Thoughts Dump Post April 21, 2010
To elaborate more on the 10k Hours project that I talked about in the last post, I stated that I wanted to “do one creative thing a day”. That is somewhat vague. What I mean is: I didn’t want to say I’ll be binding books for 10k Hours because there is so much more to it than just stitching paper together. There are so many things that I am incorporating that I would have felt very boxed in by that statement. As, I have said before, I am no longer going to just make pretty journals. Not that I won’t make journals but that is not my focus anymore. What I will be making will likely be a piece of “art” and not a functional/useable book. I am not limiting myself to techniques on paper either. I do so many things that I do not want to just say something like “No, quilting, you don’t have a place here” because I can incorporate it into a book (and have big plans to do so). So, that is why I’m saying that I’m going to do one creative thing a day. They will all (most likely) be associated/incorporated into a book because that is what I want in life, to be a Book Artist.
Yesterday, I took my camera along with me on my afternoon walk around town. The day before a gorgeous pink tree caught my eye (and nose) so I *needed* to take a photo of it. I wish I could bottle up the scent too. I don’t have a clue what kind of tree it is but I would love to have one in my yard.
I also snapped a few photos of the lilac bush outside my office and the churchyard gate across the street.
I finished knitting the April Fools Socks that is the April pattern for the Star Athena Sock Pattern Club. This sock was fun! All that is left is to snip the scrap yarn and bind off. They look so cool that I just want to keep them together for a few days.
The Everyday Adventures class started on Monday. I’ve had so much fun thinking about my surroundings in a different way and documenting them. I haven’t finished the first few assignments yet but I’m working on them. I’ll post photos of them sometime soon. This is the Goggles of Enhanced Perception which was the preclass assignment. I had so much fun making them.
April 9th & 10th there was an event at the Southwest Virginia Community College called Minds Wide Open Celebrating Women In Art that focused on the women of Tazewell County that are artists and makers and supporters of the arts. I had two pieces in the gallery and I did a bookbinding demo on Saturday afternoon. Before I went to the event I spent the morning at Thistle Cove Farm’s Sheep Shearing day and some little *Wild Thing* followed me home. I had so much fun and got to spend the morning with wonderful women that I love dearly. You can spot a photo of me on Sandra’s blog, I’m wearing my favorite green hat (photo #5).
There was a giant sigh of relief on April 16th. Tax season is finally over. Me & the hub cleaned the house from top to bottom. I started cleaning out my studio and already have a bunch of supplies that I want to get rid of. I also started cleaning the second batch of the fleece. I carded the first batch and it is so pretty. I’m torn between dying it first and then spinning it or spinning it then dying it. I’m not sure what color(s) yet either. I’m leaning toward spinning it first so I’ll know how much yardage I have, then picking a project to make (hopefully a sweater) and then dying it. That’s a long way off though, I’m on batch #2 and the bag is still overflowing.
I’ve had great mail all week. Monday, I got the Intentions Yarns in Courage from The Loopy Ewe. Yesterday, I finally got my package from Jlist (things take forever to get here from Japan) which was full of Bento goodness.
I’ve been meaning to post the flowers in bloom around my house.
I’ll leave you with a photo of a very happy Raisin.
Virtual Studio Tour – Studios Magazine October 3, 2009
My studio is what is formerly known as a dinning room. It’s actually an addition that was built onto our house long before we ever moved in. Originally it was a porch that was closed in and another porch built on that was then closed in to make the closet. This means that in the winter it is very cold in the room. I have a large double door cabinet that I keep most of my supplies in (along with some kitchen equipment). I also have an awesome easel that doubles as a drafting table, a few small bookshelves under a built in counter top, and a large wooden box where I keep my yarn and fabric.
This is my main worktable. It was given to me by two very dear friends when they were moving into a new home and no longer wanted this table. The glass top makes a perfect work surface since I can clean anything off of it easily.
Here, I’m making book cloth, which has to be pasted down to a glass surface to dry. I used the top and bottom of the glass. When I removed the book cloth, it was super easy to clean.
My bookshelf makes my life easier. I needed one for along time and finally bought one this summer. On top, I keep my ribbons and post card collection. The top shelf is where I keep my inspiration and favorite things. Next shelf down is things in progress, then a shelf of buttons and easy to reach towels. The next to last shelf is my knitting books and art books. On the bottom I keep my dye pot and my hand spun yarns.
I like to work assembly line style when I’m producing blank journals.
My studio extends outside this one room and on into the rest of the house when I need more space. I do most of my knitting, crocheting & spinning in the den so I can use my computer & watch TV. I use the living room as a sewing room since it has our dinning table in it. I use my kitchen to dye wool and make felt and my porch doubles as a drying rack on sunny warm days (on rainy days, the shower rod in the bathroom is used for drying).
I hope you’ve enjoyed the little virtual tour of my studio. Feel free to check out my online shop (which is a little empty at the moment) The Crafty Kitten.
Eco Books Inventive Project from the Recycling Bin September 23, 2009
I’m so excited, I just can’t stop squeeing. My wonderful UPS man dropped off a box of these books for me just 15 minutes ago. I immediately cracked one open and found my project. I’m on page 48 & 49 with a bio in the back.
There’s a back story about my Book Jar that I feel I should share. My grandfather, aka my hero, passed away in September of 2007. This project was part of my healing process after his passing. I used to visit my grandparent’s house after school when I was a kid. When I would come in he would ask me what I learned for the day. Whatever my reply, his was always the same, “Learn all you can and can all you learn.” There were many tears shed during the months of creating all those tiny books while thinking back on my precious time with him. I’m so proud of my tribute to him.
Friday FO’s September 4, 2009
I’ve been on a mission this week to get lingering projects finished and off my needles (or hooks). I finished this kid’s vest that is a shop sample for the shop; made in Malabrigo.
It was knit in two pieces that I then Kitchener stitched and mattress stitched together. This was my first time with the mattress stitch but it was so worth the work and time.
I finally finished the Hedera Socks. They are so pretty!!
I also finished the fingerless mitts that I made to match the crochet bobble beret.
The final thing that I finished was Wesley the Elephant from Cute Little Animals. It is another shop sample and I’ll also be teaching a class on how to make him later this month.
Virginia Highlands Festival Wrap-Up August 9, 2009
Hooboy! Am I ever glad to be home! July 31-August 4 I spent my days at the Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon, VA. I woke every morning at 6:15, was out the door by 7:30, and at the festival by 8:30-8:45. The festival ran into the early evening and I would most of the time be home by 8:00. It was wonderful even with the commute, early hours, and very little sleep.
This is what my table looked like Tuesday afternoon (I kept forgetting my camera) and yes, that pole is right in the middle of my booth space and my table was pushed up against it. It didn’t seem to hinder any of the customers though so I didn’t mind it so much.
Friday was very rainy, probably some of the hardest rain I’ve been caught out side for luckily I was prepared for it. Saturday was the Celtic festival (yes that means men in kilts and no matter what I try I can’t convince my hubby to wear one) anyway… the Celtic festival meant that the craft portion of the festival would run until 7:30 instead of 6:00. It was sunny and there were a ton of people there so I was pretty exhausted by the time I got home. Sunday started out rainy but turned out to be quite lovely. Monday was sunny and crowded. Tuesday threatened rain but never did anything but it was terribly slow all afternoon.
I met wonderful people, both customers & vendors, and really enjoyed every minute I was there. What I saw a lot of from people who didn’t stop at my table but would kind of drift by; They would look, read my sign, get a funny confused look on their face and then walk away. Occasionally, one of the confused people would actually stop and ask what bookbinding was. So many people had never heard of bookbinding or didn’t understand what it is. Next year I’m going to try to have signs made up that explain a little about the process of making the books.
I ended up selling almost half of my inventory and came home with some wonderful items that I received from people who wanted to barter with me. It really touched my little heart that other vendors would want to give me their items in exchange for one of mine because they liked my work.
My goal is to have some of my items listed in the shop by August 15 and slowly try to get everything listed by the end of the month. In the meantime, I’m also working on a new line of books that meshes my fiber habit with my book passion. The line will be launched at a gallery show in mid September and will be available online sometime in October. *fingers crossed* So be on the look out for the shop updates. As for now, I’m returning to the regular schedule of blog post and knitting up a storm.
Friday FO’s June 26, 2009
Hurray! I have some books done! There’s only four books to show for all the work I’ve been doing but I like them.
Two have covers from a vintage science book about The Cell. It has some great full page photos and drawings.
One looks like a plain jane craft paper cover but the inside has coffee stained end papers that I made.
The last is a little book with surveyors on the cover.
I also finished my Trekking XXL knee high socks.
This is a little crochet purse that is a shop sample for a class I’ll be teaching next month. It’s made with Classic Elite’s Soft Linen which is such a wonderful yarn.
Finally is the Net of Justice bag from Handknit Heroes Issue #2. I love this little bag. I made it with just a bit over half of a ball of Hempathy.
I love the detail in the bottom of the bag.
WIP Wednesday June 24, 2009
This is going to be a quick, down & dirty, just the facts mam, WIP Wednesday. I feel like I have been working non-stop all week… but still just treading water. Sunday, I spent six hours gluing book covers. Monday, I was in the studio from 6-10 gluing book covers. Yesterday, I was again in the studio until 10:00, well, gluing book covers. The thing is, I’m not even done gluing book covers! Tonight, I actually got some binding done (photos of those on Friday) but here it is, 11:00 pm, and I’m just getting finished up in the studio. This photo is of a concertina binding that I also glued up during all that cover gluing.
On top of all that gluing, I’m still clicking away on the Siren Shawl and I’ve started a sweater. I’m on the second ball of M&K Eco Ull to make the Buttony Sweater (Ravelry Link). I’ve been wanting to make this sweater for well over two years. I just kept putting it off but I’ve finally taken the plunge and cast on, and knit through the first ball.
I’ve done a gauge swatch to start a Norah Gaughan skirt pattern (Ravelry Link) from Knit.1 Spring/Summer 2008. I’m making it in Summer Linen.
On a side note, I had a wonderful lunch with my dad’s side of the family today & my brother. Earlier in the week I got a bit of mail from my dad. He always draws little pictures on the back and it makes me smile. I love special mail.
Road Trip June 19, 2009
Ok, ok, I know it’s friday and this post is supposed to be “Friday FO’s” but…. like I said on Wednesday, I feel like I’m treading water. I’ve gotten so much progress done this week, but I don’t have a single finished object to show for it.
I do, however, have a Road Trip story, short, but a story nonetheless.
I met my dear friend and LYS coworker this morning and headed to Penland School of Crafts. We hit the bookstore & coffee shop. I picked up some bookbinding supplies, had an amazingly delicious blackberry lime Italian soda and a giant peanut butter cookie, and bought a very cool postcard. We also took a look at a couple of the resident artist studios.
From there we headed into Asheville. I cradled & cuddled and ended up buying a skein of malabrigo sock yarn and lace at Yarn Paradise. We had lunch across the street which was delicious. Hamburger, feta potato salad, and pea salad.
Next was Bookworks. I Love Bookworks. For real, I could have drooled all over the equipment there. I wish it was closer to me or we had some place similar. The employee we met was so super friendly & helpful. I want to go back in September for Bookopolis.
Earth Guild was nice. I didn’t buy anything but I did drool all over some leather (ok not literally, but you know). The book selection was nice too. Across the street is True Blue Art Supplies which has a good selection of bookbinding supplies. I picked up a beautiful flocked deep purple damask paper that I really want to make something for myself out of. I also picked up another pretty Japanese paper.
Our last stop was at The Chocolate Fetish… ok, you may remember from some older posts that I do not at all like chocolate, so really, what was I doing in a chocolate shop? I ended up buying a white chocolate cashew frog, kind of like a turtle. It was delicious. The funny thing, Karen didn’t buy chocolate either!
The drive home was beautiful. I had not been on I-26 yet and it was an amazing view. Though I had my camera with me all day I only took the two photos at Penland. I instead knit away on the trekking xxl socks, which are almost complete and I’ve decided that they are to be knee socks.
It was a wonderful road trip with great places to visit, excellent weather, and the best company.
Friday FO’s June 12, 2009
Not too much to report on the finished objects front this week. I’ve been busy at work & cleaning/rearranging the studio. It kinda put a kink in actually getting things done. I did spend all of Sunday afternoon dying wool. Some I dyed with Kool Aid and some I dyed with food coloring. I used vinegar to set it with so I hope it holds. I’m going to be using this for wet felting.
I did manage to get one book bound. It’s another leather book. It’s much larger than my other leather books that I’ve bound so far. I really like this size; it would make a nice sketch book.
Most of what I’ve gotten done this week is reading. I’ve read Stardust, Coraline, part of The Grave Yard book, P.L.A.I.N. Janes, and I started Death: The high cost of living this morning. I also re-read both issues of Handknit Heroes. I’m loving me some graphic novels this week and I’ve become a Neil Gaiman addict.
Last night at A Likely Yarn, we had the first meeting of the Handknit Heroes Knit Along which was sooooooo much fun!! We has such a good group I can’t wait for the next meeting!
Snuggies wanted to be a camera hog so here’s a couple of photos of her being silly.
I have a big weekend planned! I hope everyone else has a good weekend too