Friday, September 26, 2014

FO Friday in Texas :)

This is probably one of the first time's I've actually been able to do an official "FO Friday". I usually don't have FO's lately, let alone on a Friday. But I finished up two projects this week and decided that they needed sharing.

The first one up is my Chevron Cowl, a project I started before I left good old Kansas. This project actually has a lot of history in it as well, something that makes it extra special.

The story starts with me seeing this cowl on Snapdragon crafts (aren't her colors amazing!) and knew I wanted one. I was stash diving and decided it would be a great way to use up some lose skeins. The merino is a yarn that my aunt gave me that she got in Europe. She didn't give me enough for a sweater, so I have slowly been using it for other projects (See DrehenGrace Lace, and another hat I never published). The last skein was matched up perfectly with some dark Dream in Color I used for my first socks (Here). All that was left was a third, which was chosen at the Salina LYS in the form of Ella Rae in a nice pumpkin color.  But then, about 6 repeats in, I ran out of the Dream in Color! To my horror, it was impossible to figure out a matching yarn in that brand since their dye lots change so much. To my luck, the LYS here in Navasota had a good substitute: Kenzie by HiKoo. And luckily, it matched almost seamlessly. Well sadly, I still ended up casting off before the pattern said because I ran out of the turquoise, but I liked the length and decided to just go with it. I'm glad I did because it wraps nicely both single and double. Sure to keep me warm if it gets cold this winter. 

So there is definitely a story behind this cowl: Yarn from my first socks, yarn from overseas (and a gift!), yarn from my hometown and yarn from my new town. :) 

When I first realized I was out of yarn for my cowl, I decided to just put it aside. So I cast on a new shawl, one that I had been planning for a while. Multnomah is a beautiful pattern that is super easy to execute. It's mostly garter ending with Feather and Fan. And even that was simple to finish (But then again, I do have a lot of free time here!). My only qualm is that it's a bit small. If I could do it again, I'd probably knit the garter part for a bit longer before starting the feather and fan border. 

My version is knit with some Knit Picks Stroll that I dyed two summers ago with my friend Ivy. I had planned it to become this shawl, but never got around to it. I'm glad I finally did, I love how the colors pool and work together. And I still have a skein and a half left. What else should I make? 

In the world on non-knitting (or at least, non pleasure knitting), I have stumbled upon a new idea and possible direction for my art. You can read about the whole process here! I have started making "Sculptures" out of various knitted balls. And I want to start  painting pictures of them too, with nothing but the sculpture and a background. The example below is in gouache, but I want to try it with oil paint next week.

And on that note I also finished an oil painting this week. I don't have a decent photo of the whole thing to share, and I am also saving it for the guerrilla show I'm doing next month (Themed Serenity). But here is a snippet of the bottom right corner. Isn't the color spectacular? It's looking from above and supposed to be like a pool of water. Do you feel it? 

Finally, I got really fed up with the big plastic bag of needles hanging out in my yarn bin and decided I needed to do something. I remembered that I had some oatmeal tubs downstairs in my still life props box (Yes, I have a whole box of props) and figured I could make it pretty. I found the scraps from my greeting cards in my drawer, grabbed my mod-podge and went to town. I think the end result is a suitable fix, don't you? 

Weekly Inspirations:
Knitting:I think my next project is going to be the Scroll Slouch from my Knitscene magazine. I have been eyeing it for awhile and have the perfect yarn in my stash.
Food:  I wish I could share a recipe with you, but I haven't had a chance to update my food blog lately. I can say that I was eating on some delicious homemade marinara with pasta this week. The recipe is here and it's amazingly easy.
Art:  My fellow resident, Mick, just finished up a mural in Waco. It's pretty awesome and you can read more about it here.
Life: It's finally cooling down here. Which means I don't get all gross when I go outside. I've been exploring the town more and discovered some new things. A yummy Taqueria, another bar (that I haven't gone in...) and a few more cute shops.

I hope the weekend treats you all well. We are going to vend at an art fair this weekend and I am sure lots of fun stuff will happen. I can't wait to share it with you all.


Monday, September 15, 2014

All Things Creative

Being in such a lovely place with no real job, just unlimited creative time, has given me so many different projects to work on. I have so many creative adventures to share with you all this week! From knitting to painting to even a bit of crochet.

First on my list is this gorgeous handspun with a special story. Two years ago I purchased two bags of beautiful local brown wool at a craft fair. I sent one bag to my friend Ivy and kept one for myself. The idea was that we would each spin singles with our bags, then send half of the singles to each other to ply together, so that the end yarn would be a two ply, made up of one ply mine and one ply hers. This yarn has been done since this past Feb/March, but it just never came off my spindle. Well, when I went to start my Texas Alpaca, I discovered it and knew it needed to come off. This is the end result. Isn't is gorgeous? Now I just need to perfect pattern for it!

My Multnomah shawl is making speedy progress as well: I can't spend my entire days painting after all! I went to my knitting group yesterday ready to start the feather and fan portion and left with 3 repeats done (out of 10). I have a feeling that in another week or so this will be bound off and ready to block. 

I'm not sure why (ok, maybe it was the knitters guild I went to and the quick crochet tutorial they gave this week), but I had a hankering to start a crochet project yesterday. It's so weird, because although I use crochet for edgings and cast-ons, I haven't actually made anything substantial with it. Out of pure laziness. Because it's so pretty, I grabbed the hand-dyed naturespun yarn that was sitting on top of my yarn bin and decided to start a scarf. As it turns out, the width I am making it creating a very cool diagonal pattern. I hope it stays that way!

I have also been creating some super cute watercolor stitch paintings as of late (gotta have something to do while I finish up watching Lost). I decided to turn them into greeting cards to sell at a coming up art show (and then hopefully etsy after that).  What do you think? Would you buy them? 

 I have a finished oil painting also, but I haven't seemed to get a good photo of it yet. Stay tuned for that in the next post. :)

Weekly Inspirations:
Art: Me and Mick are planning on participating in a Guerrilla Art Takeover in College Station next month. We met with the creator and are super excited to do it - it sounds like so much fun!
Knitting:  Stitched Together has made yet another gorgeous striped project, and I am once again feeling inspired. Is this in my future?
Food: I made whole wheat pancakes yesterday and they were super yummy! Want my recipe? Check out my food blog!
Life: It's finally cooling down here in Texas, thank god. The humidity has been getting to me. But hopefully that will pass soon.

I hope everyone has a happy and productive week. I see mine being just that.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Houston ;)

This past weekend Catherine and I hit up Houston for some shopping and art openings. It was a whole new experience, that's for sure. I was the driver, and I have never experienced a city/freeway quite like theirs. (K.C. is big, but still decent).

Luckily Houston is only 70 miles from us, so we can return pretty much whenever we want fairly easy.

One of the intersections was super fancy for some reason. This was the only one like this I saw....

As we were driving, it started to rain. The combo of rain and reflections makes this a favorite photo of mine.

Really cool old Sears building. It was vacant now though.

Art opening for Micheal Villarreal, who was an Artist in Residence in Navasota before us. 

Overall, we ended up seeing 5 different art shows and talking to a few people here and there. I hope to make it back again - I really want to get my art into one of these spaces before I leave.

Weekly Inspirations:
Art: One of my favorite shows that we saw the works of Seth Alverson. He really knows how to create depth with his paint - from far away there is so much space and then you get close and it's a flat painting. I am definitely keeping him on my radar.
Knitting: I started a new shawl that I have been wanting to start for awhile. It uses yarn that I dyed 2 summers ago that was intended for this project. Better late than never.
Food: In Houston we tried Ethiopian food. Of course Catherine has had it before. I have not, but it was super yummy. What an experience though - you don't use silverware, you pick it all up with the cool bread.
Life: I finally have my studio set up and another painting done! You should check out our Navasota blog for more info - navasota AIR Wordpress

I hope that everyone had a lovely Sunday, I know I did. :)


Monday, September 1, 2014

Live from Navasota

Happy Monday friends! For some of you in the US, Happy Labor day as well. If you have the day off I hope you are enjoying it.

I have had a super productive day today. I was able to get some substantive painting done, art hung up and drawings mounted. Phew I need a break.

Now I'm sure that many of you are eagerly awaiting updates on my new journey. Well you are in luck, because I am hear to share with you some of my adventures so far.

We've been doing a lot of exploring and meeting people. One of my favorite adventures thus far has been our visit to the city of Bryan this past weekend. Bryan is basically connected to College Station (which is 20 miles from us) and has a very small, yet thriving art scene. We were in College Station Saturday for a photo shoot for a local magazine and decided to go downtown for lunch.  We ended up at one of the cutest and most delicious cafe's I've ever been to. The Village Cafe is part cafe, part gallery and all amazing. They even have a small stage for local music.

Wall by the stage. 

After lunch we went down the block to the SEAD gallery, where we saw some really cool photos and paintings and met the super nice owners. They told us all about their mission and plans and also gave us a tour of Innovation Underground, a program they have that supports new and innovative ideas and individuals. At the end of the tour they had us take a photo in front of their raven mural - which is where all the "celebrities" who visit get their photo taken.

From Left: Mick's friend Jose who came to visit. Mick. Catherine, Me

Another great thing about this program is that the house has gallery space (which is also my studio). They allow us to hang up whatever work we want and switch it out whenever we want. We're open for the public to come check out what we are doing also, so it's good to have something on the walls!

Part of my gallery space

I'm still waiting around for my easel to show up, so until then I am working on old paintings I brought along. The one below is one that I started at the end of the semester before my BFA, and then when I started new ideas and techniques, I never went back to it. I decided to give it new wind today and am already loving how it's looking. Sometimes having no still life is for the best. 

Overall, I am really enjoying myself here, I've met some amazing people and seen some amazing things. I've been on one incredible journey and it's only been a week. I can't wait to see what's ahead!

The house :)

Weekly Inspirations:
Knitting: I joined the knit group at the LYS here, and my first meeting was yesterday. It was so much fun and so chill. Everyone was knitting on something completely different, but they all seem to mesh well. I am going to definitely try and go back next week.
Art: We happened to see the show at the Art's Council when we were getting our photos done. I'm not the hugest fan, but I think that she has a good idea behind her work. Danika Ostrowski is still a student, but I bet she will go far. 
Food: We've all been cooking for each other here. I keep meaning to update my food blog with new recipes, but I just haven't felt motivated. But I can tell you that Catherine makes a mean split pea soup, and my burritos last week were pretty good too!
Life: What else can I say. Life is pretty much perfect right now.

Thanks for reading guys, keep checking back for more updates and don't forget to share your thoughts with me!