Sunday, April 27, 2014

Worth the Wait

Is it the end of April already? I cannot believe how fast this "Spring Semester" (I will forever judge time in semesters, despite no longer being in school) has gone by. 

I think one of the signals that time is going so fast is the fact that Relay For Life was this past Friday evening. For those of you who have been following my blog the past months (and years), you have probably heard me talk about Relay and all the efforts I put into the event and fundraising.  This year's event was no different. 
People walking during the Luminaria Ceremony. I love how my camera shaking inadvertently made a good photo. 

Me with my bags in memory and honor of my Grandparents. 

Usually every year we spell out HOPE in the bleachers with Luminaria bags.  Well as Chair for Luminaria, and as my last year on committee at KSU, I wanted to leave a bit of a mark on the event and try something new.  So I decided to make "Giant bags" that say HOPE on them.  As you can see, the wind had other ideas. 

However, the desired effect was still achieved, when we lit them with lanterns and changed them to CURE. 

It was a fun night to be had by all.  Being on committee for the past four years has been a real treat, and this year was even better. Our committee showed so much passion and dedication and really knocked it out of the park. AND at the end we raised almost $27,000 for American Cancer Society, which is an amazing number for a college event. 

On the crafty side, I finished my striped socks about a week or so ago.  I love how they turned out - besides the toes the stripes match perfectly - and think this is my new favorite pair.  However, I think the foot is a bit short, because the heel area keeps sliding down onto the foot.  If I use this pattern again (the basic short row toe up from Wendy Knits) I will make the feet a bit longer.  Has anyone else experienced this and how did you solve it without ripping it out?

Weekly inspirations:

Art:  Ok so to be honest, I haven't been looking for much artistic inspiration lately. But I would love to share with you one of the first "knitting artists" I ever discovered.  There is just something about the simplicity of these that makes me happy. Valerie Molnar
Knitting:  As I mentioned last week, I really want to work more on pairing my yarns with projects.  My first choice shall be Creme Brule. I just need to sit down, find the yarn and start now.
Food: As I type this, I can smell the bread in the oven baking.  For about a year or so now I have been baking my own bread (I think I have maybe bought one or two store bought loaves - not counting the homemade at Farmer's Market - this past year).  The kind I'm particularly fond of right now? Honey wheat oat (which is from the bread machine book)
Life:  With Relay over, packing to move begins. I am t-minus 1 month away from moving. What a scary thought.  However, I am really excited to be finally cleaning up and moving on.
Happy Sunday all!


Just for giggles. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Inspiration Saturday - Pattern/Stash Match-up!

I've been bored that last couple of nights, which is insane because I have to worry about sending work to shows and Relay For Life stuff this coming week, and decided to attempt to pair up my stash yarn with potential projects.

A gift from my aunt when she went overseas, this yarn was handdyed by members of a tribe she visited (if I remember right, she was in Africa, but I am not completely sure on that). The yarn is 100% bamboo and there's enough here to make a gorgeous summer top.  Upon digging through patterns and patterns on Ravelry, I think that Creme Brule would be a good fit.  The example is in a nice variegated yarn and I have always wanted to have an over sized tee.

Image (C) Joolsy Woolsy


When Wildflower was closing last fall, I grabbed some of this yarn towards the end at 60% off. I have been wanting to knit with it for awhile, and what better timing? Since this yarn is so versatile, there is a good chance my plans will change, but for now I am thinking Sizzle is a good choice. The color really fits the design and the drape would be perfect for this cotton. Once again, another summer knit I really want to start.

Photo (C) Lalouja


There isn't much on Ravelry about this yarn, which I find weird because it is a pretty nice quality yarn. But maybe it's still new, now that I think about it Wildflower didn't have it for very long before I stocked up at the closing sale. Yet another blue yarn to add to my collection, but this time a bit more pale.  A perfect color for the Agnes Pullover.  Simple yet elegant, the perfect winter knit. 

Image (C) Interweave Press

Plans are constantly changing, so who knows if any of these will ever materialize.  But it sure was fun digging through patterns and favorites and searches.  I found a lot of things I would normally overlook and realized there are a lot of projects I really want to knit.  Which one will I start with?

P.S.: Today's post is a part of Woolen Diversion's Inspiration Saturday. What a fun excuse to share ideas!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stormy, Stormy Sundays

Is it already Sunday? Where did the week go? All I know is that the weekend went by way too fast. And now it's a stormy, stormy Sunday here in Kansas.

What's on your needles this week? For me, it's still my stripey spring socks, which should be done by next weeks post if I have my say.

I really have been enjoying every minute of these socks and see lots more striped and/or vanilla socks in my future. The idea of popping the project in my purse and heading off is a nice plus also! Except I've had a couple of casualties involving dpns falling out in my bag. But you take the good with the bad.

With these socks being close to completion, I am contemplating my next move. Which, in reality, should be my next move - moving. I am leaving Manhattan in a month and a half and haven't even begun to clean/pack/organize. And man, my apartment is a MESSSSSS.

But on the knitting front, I am thinking my next move will be the Diamond Tee from the Spring 2012 Knitscene. I already have the yarn from my stockpile during Wildflower's closing so there really is no stopping me. My yarn is a deep teal color, a perfect fit for a simple yet elegant pattern. 

(Photo copyright Nathan Rega + Knitscene)

I mentioned that this week has had it's ups and downs. Well, one of the ups (or downs, if you look at it from a financial standpoint, but let's NOT). is that I received confirmation that one of my large oil paintings got accepted into a NATIONAL JURIED SHOW. Yes, I could not believe it either, but one of my paintings will be on exhibition and for sale at the National Greeley Art Exhibition. I feel like someone is playing a late April Fool's trick on me, with this and the print show in a 2 week span. So now onto the fun part, shipping the work to the show - which as it turns out is very expensive to do. Let's just leave it at that. 

Accepted work: "Green Rain Tears", 24 x 40, oil on canvas, 2013

Weekly inspirations:

Art:  After getting accepted into the National Greeley Art Exhibition, I clicked around a bit and read up on the Juror: Desmond O'Hagan. Desmond works primarily in oils and pastel, and man is his work amazing. The colors are so rich and the scenes are so real. Talk about inspiring. I hope I get to meet him when I go to the reception!
Knitting:  I've been participating in the My Sister's Knitter Knitting Resolutions KAL and there have been some amazing things happening. So many beautiful FO's and stories to go with them. It's hard to pick a favorite of course ;)
Food: This past week I was feeling like oranges.  I decided to make orange spiced sweet potatoes (although I used a butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes) and orange porkchops. They were both very very yummy. 
Life:  I've been helping a knitting friend clean out her studio (she's an artist also) as she prepares to move in June. It's been a lot of fun actually, and I have actually learned a few things. She has had me taking apart old picture frames and I've learned a fair amount about framing in the process. Was a handy skill to have!

I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

March and April Happenings

Blogging has slipped through my fingers once again. I keep up with some of my favorite blogs on a regular basis, but posting seems to just be difficult. I think it's the photos - I am just too lazy to take constant photos of my WIPs.  But from here on out, I vow to try and update once a week, likely Sundays. This will be helped by the use of my new camera, my Canon 40d dslr !

Well, it's 1 week into April, and Kansas is still being bi-polar with it's weather. I think we are FINALLY hitting consistency with our nice weather, but I may be speaking too soon. Either way, I have been happily enjoying my time with art and knitting and constant inspiration.

I finished my Cookie A. Socks a few weeks back. I feel so very accomplished. I went from getting completely lost on the pattern two years ago to finishing the whole pair in a little over a month with only a couple mistakes. I have only worn them once since completion however, because one of them is a bit tight. I need to wash and block them, but I keep forgetting (doesn't that always seem the case?).

Rick by Cookie A.

From one sock to another, I have found myself casting on yet another pair of socks, this time a super simple vanilla sock with the amazing sock yarn gifted by Andi (I mentioned it last month). I now know why so many people use self-striping yarns and make vanilla socks - They are so easy and portable and quick. I see more vanilla socks in my future, that's for sure!

Short row basic toe up socks by Wendy D. Johnson

Besides knitting, I have been very inspired lately with my art as well. I spent this last weekend in Omaha, wondering around the Old Market District, which is loaded with cute shops and galleries. I found some very inspiring artists that I hope can only push my work further.  We also had a chance to go to the Joslyn Museum of Art, which was loaded with lots of "famous" works!

Jackson Pollock Painting at the Joslyn Museum of art. 

Partial inspiration is also coming from a recent success story. To my utter surprise, last Friday I received an email from the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, FL.  One of my prints has been accepted into their National Juried Show: Bite, Scratch, and Expose.  When I applied, I knew my works fit the theme, but I NEVER thought I'd actually get in! From this experience I have learned that you never know until you try. I am now in the process of framing my print and sending it off to Florida!

The accepted print - "Investigate #4"

Oil painting has been halted lately, with so much else going on (I think I was literally home for an hour each day this past week!). Which is too bad, because this painting is really close to being finished. My plan for this week is to suck it up and finish it. I want to add ropes to the bottom, coming out of the dark under the "paper". 

"Thunder Breath Beneath" in progress.

I hope you are all having a lovely April and a lovely Sunday. 

I have also decided to include a list of my current inspirations at the bottom of my posts from now on (I hope!).

Weekly inspirations:

Art: I discovered artist Jerry Jacoby in Omaha this last weekend. His colorwork is gorgeous and his style relates so much to my own.  Too bad all his inspiring works aren't on this site to give you a better idea.
Knitting: My summer Knitscene came the other day! Items I see knitting in my (hopefully)  near future: Bethel TankHelium TankStoxa Tank
Food: The kids at my preschool never eat their bananas, so I've been stockpiling them at home. I found the perfect, most amazing breakfast bar recipe! I've been using Kerub Choc chips and adding pumpkin seeds. I bet they'd be good with raisins and other nuts also!
Life: The Tea Smith is the coolest tea shop I've ever seen (ok, the ONLY tea shop I've ever seen). We stopped there in Omaha and I walked out with Blackberry black tea and mint/chocolate herbal tea. Both are super yummy, especially in the mug I got at a gallery 30 minutes later!

Reminds me of my Muffin, who passed on almost 2 years ago :(


PS: I am going to try really hard to reply to comments more also :)