Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beginnings and Endings

Maybe I'm alone in saying this, but I am so glad this week is coming to a close. So many different things ended and begun this week. And so much stress and frustration has occurred. And yet I somehow survived it all to share with you today.

As I have mentioned in the last couple of posts, the biggest thing that has been happening in my life is my preparation to move back home for the summer. Well all the boxes have been packed and the apartment is clean. We made our way down to Manhattan today with the truck to load up all the big stuff, and yet still did not get done. Tomorrow we will head back for one more load. And then there's the unpacking and sorting this week, which I don't even want to go into.  But I do know one thing for certain: if I wasn't an artist or a knitter I would have had at least half as much stuff to bring back.  Oh the life...

The preschool came to an end this week also.  I know that I for one could not wait for that to happen, just so I could move on to bigger and better things.  But at the same time, I am still very sad to be leaving.  The kiddos I worked with this year will forever hold a place in my heart, and my co-workers were spectacular as well. And to top it off, they all loved their going away gifts. College Hill Preschool will forever be in my heart!

Bag n' Bread - my new go-to gift !

On the knitting front, yet another project has come off the needles. Which is crazy to even think about considering how busy I have been. But it was an easy one and also more than half done before this week. So it's no surprise it really only took about an hour to finish on Friday. This is the 507 Scarf for this month's project in the Knitting Monthly. The original calls for knitted flower embellishments, but I decided to just use 2 colors instead. I think I actually like the back better than the front because of the way the yarns blend. 

And I also have had a bit of free time to work on my road trip socks as well. The first one has come off the needles and the second has come on. Talk about beginnings and endings!

Last but not least my art is once again on display! This time it's at a local apartment complex in their "nano gallery" (aka display case in the lobby). But hey, a show's a show right?? And I love the way it ended up looking!

Weekly inspirations:
Art: I watched Frozen for the 3rd time this week. I liked it much better this time than the first two. As I watched, I found myself visualizing new compositions for paintings. Here's hoping it results in some great ideas !!
Knitting: I have a new idea for all my scrap yarn! Bows! I need to have more bow clips to pull back my bangs and what better way to use up scrap yarn.
Food: This past Friday I made orange crockpot chicken for my family's dinner. Along with it I tried Roasted Mushroom Quinoa, which turned out to be really tasty! YUMMM
Life: I'm kinda drawing a blank on this right now. I mean this whole post sums this one up.

Happy Sunday all!


Sunday, May 18, 2014


Does it feel like that's been a title for my post(s) before? I feel like it's the title for my life, that's for sure! I am sure you all know what I mean.

Last January, I told myself that come May 1st, my number one priority would be prepping to move back home at the end of the month.  And now that May is here, I have yet to really prep anything. Instead I have been keeping myself busy with work, knitting and art.

For example, I found out that the Wichita Center for the Arts was hosting a "National Small Oil Paintings" show and the deadline to submit was this past Friday.  I don't currently have any small oil paintings and I found out about it two weeks ago. So what did I decide to do? Make one! And I finished it in time (two days before to be honest), but then by the time I got my stuff together and actually read the prospectus I realized that I had to send in the payment by mail and it had to be postmarked that day. I found this out Friday night when I went to enter after a long day of work. And so that opportunity was lost. But I still love this painting and enjoyed working small for once.

"Sad Sun Ice", 20 x 10 inches

I also just finished up a swap over at the stitch marker swap group. I really wanted to send some nice stuff this time around, and decided to go with lots of handmade goodies. I always enjoy participating in these kind of things, it's such a great way to get to know someone!

Nordic pattern inspired knitting bag, markers, spindle art and orange cookies!
Photo (C) the recipient

I guess karma is a good thing, as I received some amazing goodies as well. My partner really is such a sweetheart!

Project bag, yummy chocolate, markers, yarn, and a cute sticky note tablet

And speaking of gifts, my last week at the preschool is the week and all of us teachers in the Apple Room will not be working there next year.  What better way to thank my co-workers for a great year than with a little gift? After much deliberation I decided on market bags with homemade bread. Luckily it's not going to cost me anything to do it, because I have all the bread supplies in my kitchen already and I had the yarn in my stash (Prism Yarn Fantasy Cotton/Linen). Don't those colors just scream farmer's market?

2 down, 2 to go, 3 days.

On a final note, I switched up my lonely Etsy shop again. Now I am selling prints of my gouache paintings. So if you have been really liking my art and would like to own a bit of it, here's your chance :)

Weekly Inspirations:
Art: One of my good knitting/art friends recently had her BFA show and it was beautiful. She is very interested in natural materials and it definitely showed in her works.If you want to see more of what she is up to, check out her blog: The Studio of Something Else. Way to go Stacy, I can't wait to see what's next :)
Knitting: We had knit club last weekend and this month's project is a scarf with floral accents.  I decided to omit the flowers and just knit the scarf with two colors of yarn, to get a nice black/silver scarf. It's going pretty fast, but the bags have me held up right now.
Food: We also had a studio warming for Kennita at knit club, and I decided to try this recipe for Mango Salsa. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up falling in love. It's so simple and so yummy. I ended up making more for myself after (which, sadly is not getting eaten fast enough...).
Life: Did I mention I should be packing? 'nuff said.

I hope you all have a lovely week. If all goes well, my next post will be from Salina!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Imagination is more important than knowledge

I would like to agree with the above quote.  Imagination really is the key to a better future.  The past few years I have felt this with all my heart, as my imagination has begun to flourish. 

I spent this past weekend in Greeley, Colorado.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I had submitted a few works to the National Greeley Art Exhibition, and one of them (Green Rain Tears) got accepted.  While the shipping was far beyond my budget, I believe that participating in this show was well worth it. One, it gave me a chance to exhibit outside of good old Manhattan, KS.  Two, I learned just what it takes to prepare, pack and ship work to a show.  And three, it gave me an reason to leave town for the weekend. 

Me with my painting at the show. ( I had a better photo, but I accidentally deleted it)

Me and my good friend Rachel decided to travel up to Greeley for the opening of the show this past weekend.  Let me just say it wasn't quite was I expected. I had hoped to get the chance to meet other artists and do some networking.  I had hoped (but didn't expect) that my painting may get an award, or even sell. To be completely honest, it was a little unorganized.  Set up at a local bank, all the works were either on easels (like mine above) or hanging from wire dividers.  Most of the works in the show were landscapes, animals or city scapes.  In fact, mine was one of only a few abstract works that I saw. It was also lots of older people, and lots of locals.  I am not even sure if anyone there knew I was an artist (they didn't give artists name tags or anything).  So by the end of that night, I was a bit down. I had hoped something would come from the reception/show and nothing really had.  The show runs until Friday, May 9 (Yes, it's a very short show), so who knows. Something amazing could happen. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, me and Rachel set out to explore Greeley. Their downtown area is a very artsy, cultured place - much better than most places I've been.  As frustrating as the previous night was, Saturday made the trip well worth it. We started the morning at a local comic book shop for Free Comic Book Day. I came out unscathed, but Rachel had other ideas. Let's just say she's a comic nerd.  We found this very cool statue and just needed photos!

I <3 nbsp="" p="" spiderman.="">

Lunch came in the form of the cutest little crepe shop, Cafe Panache.  One step inside and I knew that I could spend every day here eating crepes and knitting.  It's so full of character, with local art lining the walls and vintage decor and furniture.  And to make the experience even better, we started talking to the owners, which led to showing them my work, which led to them inquiring about me displaying there.  It is almost 7 hours away from home, so I don't know if it will ever work out, but I am going to contact them in the next couple of weeks to follow up. 

Doesn't it just scream "Knit here!"

The rest of the afternoon we kept on exploring, which included more local galleries and shops.  I can tell you one thing - our feet were very tired by the time we decided to go home. But as I have said before, it was well worth it.  After relaxing for a bit, we decided to grab dinner at Santaremo's, a local Italian place with homemade pasta. It was so yummy. And because the night was still young, we explored the park also, which was a treat.  The lights started to come on and it go so beautiful with all it's sculptures and greenery. As I wondered around a learned about my camera, Rachel enjoyed a nice bench to binge on her comics. 


Me experimenting with my camera while Rachel enjoys her comic. 

We ended the night at a local bar, which was so much different than the bars I am used to here in Manhattan - even though it was busy, it was so calm and relaxing.  And the drinks were pretty good too! ;) 

Sunday meant time to head home, but not before breakfast at another local eatery.  The Kitchen was a quaint little spot we found the day before.  I am so glad we did, it was probably the best restaurant breakfast I have ever eaten. And the sign doesn't lie - they really do serve homemade bread. It was so good, we each bought a loaf to bring home. 

And more street art too!

The weekend has since come to a close and I am back in reality. I guess the fun can't last forever.  If I learned one thing from my trip, it's that I am destined for bigger and better things outside of Kansas.  I saw amazing art, met amazing people, explored an amazing city and ate some amazing food. The Greeley/Ft. Collins area is definitely on my maybe list for my move this fall.

And because I can't go a post without talking about knitting, I will show you my socks.  I started these on the way up, during Rachel's turn to drive.  Although I planned on just doing vanilla, I decided to instead do the "Dead Simple Lace" pattern from my toe up book.  They're pretty much vanilla.  By the time we got back Sunday, I was at the heel. 

Weekly Inspirations: 

Art:  While in Greeley, we went into Madison and Main Gallery.  There I was able to talk to the artist who was volunteering at the time - Dan Augenstein - who happened to be the artist of my favorite painting in the gallery.  We talked about art and I showed him my works. He loved them and started telling me how to display at their gallery. I am not sure if I will take him up on this offer - it's more of a local gallery and I don't live that close, but I am going to try to keep in touch. 
Knitting:  Well, you saw my socks started above.  Not much else is happening. I am feeling kind of wacky inspired lately - I just finished a white tree and a white mushroom for future painting still lifes.
Food: I had a can of chickpeas in the cabinet I wanted to use, so I googled recipes and found one for lemon pasta and chickpeas. I made it last night and literally wanted to finish the whole pan in one sitting. It was so delicious and so easy (I omitted the breadcrumbs for convience)

Life:  I should be packing to move in a few weeks, I really should. But instead I am working on other things. I wish I could get my priorities straight. My apartment is such a mess right now and it's driving me crazy.