Monday, August 31, 2009

Top In Teal

top in teal 4

I finished Lauren's Top In Teal on Saturday!! I am thrilled with how it turned out. Kid knits are

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Something New For The Living Room

new quilt 1

First... really weird things are happening with my email. I am not getting any at the moment. Well, I am getting it, just not how I am supposed to and I can't respond normally. My hosting peps are trying to figure out why Yahoo is suddenly blocking their servers, but it seems slow going. So, give me a few days to catch up on replies! (and blog posts, it was a several hour troubleshooting session yesterday)

I started a new little project this week, a fresh quilt for the living room. Y'all know how in love I am with Anna Maria Horner's fabrics. Well, the other day I discovered she started offering Palette Piles!! I was instantly clicking "add to cart". My living room is going to be sporting a lovely "Floating Branches" quilt this fall. I don't have to heart to cut up all that fat quarter fabricy goodness, so for this quilt, it is kinda like a "charm" quilt, only big squares of color. I think the brown base with all the pops of blues and yellow and bits of orange are going to be perfect for cuddling under on the couch near the fireplace.

Oh yes, Fall is on the way. I can feel it in my bones. Leaves are going to be changing in no time...

new quilt 2

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Inside Voices

inside voices outside1

On Ravelry, when you "cast on" a new project, you get to give it a fun name. When I cast on my "Whisper Cardigan" from the spring issue of Interweave Knits, I decided to call it "Inside Voices". Oh how I wish inside voices were used more often around here, LOL.

I originally bought a copy of this magazine for the cover project, but as I flipped through it, the Whisper Cardigan really caught my attention. I am by no means a professional knitter. I have been knitting for less then two years. So, when I say, this has cool construction, that maybe because I am a newbie, more avid knitters probably knit things up like this all the time. Anywho... you knit a long tube for the sleeves, then pick up the neckline, and then knit down the back. I love love love these kinds of summer sweaters.

I picked Gloss Lace yarn from Knit Picks in the color Raisin. Total, I used 2 skeins which made this sweater less then $10 to knit. How cool is that?!?

Unfortunately though... it took me two months to finish this... and I think the arms are different lengths. And somehow, when I blocked it, the back got longer and now the sides don't hang longer than the back like it should. And one side of the front is longer than the other... which shouldn't even be possible, because I knit it back and forth across the back!! How can one side be longer if you go back and forth?!? I tried blocking it and it got HUGE. I left it on a chair in the living room over night and when I came down the next morning, it was back to the starting size (because I hadn't pinned it in place to dry). Maybe if I block it again, I can get things to even out a bit.

Part of me thinks I should just embrace the new asymmetricalness of this breezey summer top. I am an artist, right? I can rock whatever I want, and if I want the sides of my sweaters longer on one side then the other, so be it. Who cares? LOL. Oh, and I am finding trying to get a picture of myself wearing things with my new camera to be quite the challenge, lol.

inside voices outside2

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wooly Blend

wooly blend

In the midst of another day playing my role as referee to my wild children, I was able to hide out in the freshly cleaned studio for just a bit. While I was working on the last of the Lickety Split Orders last week, I made myself a few beads too. I didn't have anything specific in mind for them. I was just playing around... passing the time... trying not to go nuts making 30 discs in a row. I made a few hollows in my favorite shades of blue.

When I set everything down on my desk, I just started pulling things from here and there trying to make it work. The colors are a classic KABs combo... ink purple, turquoise, lime and periwinkle. OH, I almost forgot... remember when I shared photos of my felted bead experiment? As I was surfing my favorite blogs and found that the felting guru, Betz White, was offering up mixed bags of felted balls. I picked some up. Why you might ask, when I obviously could make them myself... her colors are great! and I wanted to see some "real" felt balls in action to know if I was doing things "right". Now I know I am, and I have a great variety to work with.

Anywho... I just started pulling things together. Some scrap wire from here, some beads from there... and in no time... TADA... "Wooly Blend" was made. It has been quite literally WEEKS since I have made anything and I am not really sure what to think. I like the mixed up jumblingness of this piece and the mix of textures, but at the same time, I think something might be missing.

wooly blend worn

Excuse the puffy eyes and overall tire expression I am sporting in this pic. I told ya the kids are wearing on me. This was the best I could do, LOL! I would love some feedback on this. (the jewelry, not my puffy eyes, lol) Should I simplify things a bit? Is there too much going on? Is it fine the way it is? Comments people, leave them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Still Pouting

I decided that my bad mood of late is more pout than grumpy. I am not getting my way about something that I really really wanted... so mope, mope, mope is me.

The thing is, I have been saying for months that come September, when all three of my kids are in school full time, I will look for a studio space outside my house. Some place to get away to... go there, keep hours, come home. I don't like being in the dungeony basement. I hate hitting my head on the 'I' beam in the center of the room.

So, last week I started looking into rental properties. Commercial spaces are out of the question. They are triple the cost of residential places, plus you have to spend more on the utilities. I was really hoping I could find a "studio" apartment within a few miles of my house that I could call my own. Unfortunately, most are in the city and start around $500 a month. Which is doable, but I don't want to go into the city everyday. I want to be close to home.

Okay, I am about to do something very embarrassing. I am going to show you what I let happen in my studio this summer. Hopefully, this will shame me out of letting it happen again.

studio mess again

LOOK AT THAT MESS!! I have no excuses. I have been as bad as my kids, I start something... finish it... then don't clean it up... I just move on to the next thing in whatever tiny space I can find to work. Frankly, it is no wonder I don't want to go down there. I am sure "Carrie" (my ocd alter ego) subconsciously was keeping me away so as not to cause permanent trauma to my psyche.

I decided on Friday that I couldn't mope any longer. It was time to clean the mess up and find a way to be "okay" with not getting a new studio space. I decided to open up the area I had partitioned off. I went through all the crap I was hiding, I mean storing, back there. I pulled down the rest of the insulation still on the walls. I did some furniture rearranging too. And of course, hung more twinkle lights. I am going to need to seal the concrete at some point (like I did on the blue walls), but that can wait for now. I still need some place for all my books too. I have spent three days down there and still have a few more to go, I think.

studio opened up

Honestly, though, I am still being a brat and pouting, even with my bigger, tidier, studio. I can't get past feeling like I am locked in a dungeon. I think one reason for that may be the mountain of laundry that I have to climb over every time I try to get to my studio, lol. Sorry, I know, I really need to stop my complaining. Just thought I would fill you in.

At least now with the space clean, I have a fresh slate to start doodling new ideas on. I am really starting to wonder what direction the fall is going to take me. I wonder what new things I will be able to come up with. I guess we will see.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tutu Therapy

We are partaking in a little tutu twirling therapy today.

tutu uno
more twirling

My skin isn't really that funny shade of orange, but my tutu is really that blue.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Grumpy Mood

I have a lot of pent up energy at the moment that I can't let loose which is leading to total frustration... and thus a grumpy mood. Rather than ranting and raving... I am ripping weeds out of the gardens and cutting back the daisies. I am cleaning the studio, rearranging things, and honestly... creating utter chaos in there. I threw out four bags of garbage in there yesterday, and it is messier than ever.

I am going to give myself a few days off from blogging until my attitude improves and I have something pleasent to share.

See you soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Top In Teal

I have been working on my Whisper sweater for close to two months now. I find myself in stockingnet stitch hell... will it ever end? I know, eventually, it will get done. In fact, I am about 2 inches from binding off and blocking it. I just had to break up the monotony. So, Monday afternoon I cast on a new, little top... for Lauren... for the first day of school (I will not mention how days away that is, but I asure you, I know exactly how many it is, lol).

my yarn stash

For this project, I decided to dive into my stash of yarn. I keep all my yarn in an old suitcase under a bench in my living room. And yes, I sort it in rainbow order. All the blues and greens are together. The purples float near the reds and oranges. There are a few yellow in the center and in one corner are the browns and blacks and grays too. I have more yarn than I would like to admit to my hubby, but not nearly as much as others I know, LOL. I used to just buy random single skeins of yarn because I fell in love with the color. I learned my lesson now though. Most projects need way more then one skein. So, I buy what I want for particular projects now.

Lauren's Top In Teal

I do have several skeins of some lovely cotton called King Tut, and I have it in lime green, light purple, burnt orange, and this lush teal color. Luckily, the stitches per inch was EXACTLY what I needed for the sweater I had in mind for Lauren. The top is called Heidi, from Yarn Forward magazine. Follow the link and you can see the top right on the home page. (my guess is that image will change, but it is a cute orange top on a girl in braids) I am loving the way this is yarn is knitting up. The fabric is it creating is delicious. Not to mention the color!! A dark version of one of my favorites.

I will let you know when it is finished.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I am going to keep the word to a minimum on this post and let the pictures do the talking. Here are a few of my favorites from this weekend.

camping 5
camping 11
camping 19
camping 27
camping 29
camping 32
camping 42
camping 49
camping 51
camping 52
camping 64
camping 71
camping 75

I narrowed down 268 pictures to about 80 and if you like family vacation slide shows, you can see all the photos HERE on Flickr!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Brown Tract Pond - Camping

This weekend, we packed up our van, threw the kids in the car, and headed up into the Adirondack Mountains for our first ever family camping trip (with our friends, the LaPlant/Ogden family). Let me just say, I. Don't. Camp. Every camping experience I have ever had has been miserable. From being kept up by exit signs while sleeping on a big cabin floor during girl scouts, to a family trip to Massachusetts when I was 12ish where the state received a record rain fall while were we there camping for my uncle's wedding. It just never works out. LOL.

With encouraging from Ron and our family friends, I agreed to give it another go. The Ls picked the place, Brown Tract Pond (near Raquette Lake) and as fate would have it... I had been there before. In June of 1977, my parents and my dad's best friend Harold (Uncle Harold to me) went to the same park. And... Mom was pregnant with me. I had seen there photo album from the trip dozens of time, but never noticed the name of the place they had stayed. My Dad dug the album out of storage for me and I thought it would be fun to do a side by side of then and now. I set out to retake the same photos that my Mom did back then. Better then the usual look-at-all-the-fun-things-we-did photos, right?

My Dad wrote me this note to go with the photos of their trip...

Kerry -

Looking back, this was a very exciting & adventurous weekend for us (as for you) - but no kids - except the excitement of you on the way - - -

We were the only ones at the campsite. We had to assess the Island to see if we could jump. We had a raft that leaked air & we left the pump on the Island. Had to race back to get it.

When you blog ?!!**? Make sure you mention the 1967 Super Sport Impala Convertible I bought for $3, there is a pic.

camping in 1977 a
camping 54

Looks like the took off the governor's name and added a distance marker instead. The road leading into the site is a rocky dirt road all curvy and hilly.

camping in 1977 b
camping 24

I think their tent would have been harder to put together then ours. Those poles all go at funny angles! Ours sleeps 6 and we got it on clearance at Target a few years back. This is the first time it has left our yard. I am sure my parents' tent has seen a few more places then ours too.

camping in 1977 c
camping 9

Dad said they had to "assess" the water to see if it was deep enough to jump into. My boys were fearless and just jumped in. Though Andrew did have to check things out from this higher location. There was 4 spots you could jump from... small, medium, large, and extra large heights. This spot the boys are on is the large one. Comparing the rock forms now... I think that Dad and Uncle Harold were on a different rock completely.

camping in 1977 d
camping 58

That is my Mom sitting in a tiny raft behind Uncle Harold. She was about 18 at the time. My parents married when she was 17... and she was 19 when I was born. On Saturday, the boys decided they would row us out to the island for our second day of rock jumping. A huge thanks to my friend Lindsey's Dad (who actually went to school with my Dad, small world) for lending us his canoe. I don't think we would have made it on a leaky raft, lol.

camping in 1977 e
camping 59
camping 61

Yep, that is my Dad in the top photo... and Jacob in the middle one... then, me in the bottom one. Crazy huh? I couldn't get the canoe to hold still long enough to get the exact same shot, but I think these turned out very cool.

camping in 1977 f
camping 4

How they rolled... and how we roll...

camping in 1977 g
camping 55

The kids are very curious to know who paints this rock.

camping in 1977 h
camping 53

It was funny, when I took the photo of Dad's picture for this post, the back of the picture said "Browns Pond Mall". Dad was convinced it wouldn't still be there, but it was. It has been painted and boarded up... the gas stations are gone and the stairs too. It still has the same shell though.

If I was to write a note to my Dad about our trip I would say...

Dad -

I know I said I didn't want to go on this trip about 100 times, but I am glad I did. It is so cool to think that you and Mom and me walked on the same beach and the same rocks 32 years apart.

The kids loved every minute of the trip and couldn't wait to get on the phone to tell you about jumping off the rocks, just like you did. We let the kids row us to shore the first day and Andrew said "This is wonderful... isn't it wonderful?" And there was true wonder in the tone of his voice. I am glad they got to experience it.

Make sure Mom shows you all the other pictures!!

Love, Kerry

As for the "other pictures"... the look-at-all-the-cool-things-we-did ones... I'll share those ones tomorrow.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

School Supply Shoppers Anonymous

Hi, my name is Kerry and I buy too many school supplies. It has been 4 days since I last bought any supplies. (now you say "hello kerry", like you are in the meeting with me... come on, you know you love fresh school supplies)


Friends, I have an illness... it truly is a disease... I am starting to think I am a hopeless case. And the fact that I just went upstairs to my school supply stash and inventoried everything just further proves what I hopeless case I am. LOL.

Boxes under my bed hold... (and this does not count what is in tote bags all ready for my kids' first day of school)

36 red pens, 22 blue pens, 23 black pens, 3 red pencils,a long pink pencil box, 7 packs of index cards lined and unlined 3x5, 5 packs of index cards lined and unlined 4x6, 3 boxes of 24 count Crayola crayons, 5 scissors, 2 locker locks, 16 big pink erasers, 1 pack of small pencil end erasers (15 count), 1 pack 64 count Crayola crayons with built-in sharpener, 10 pack of rainbow highlighters, 60 2-pocket folders, 4 rulers, 6 pack of post-it notes, 1 pack of dividers, 16 1-subject wide ruled notebooks, 14 1-subject college ruled notebooks, 1 black pencil pouch, 1 graph paper notebook, 1 five subject notebook, 90 yellow #2 pencils, 5 dry-erase board markers (4 black, 1 green), 1 10-piece 'math' tin with compass and protractor, 13 assorted highlighters loose, 13 glue sticks, 13 black gel pens, 2 packs of wide ruled loose leaf paper, and a partridge in a pear tree... (after all, it is the most wonderful time of the year)

supply box

Every year I tell myself I won't over buy. I won't get extras. I will get just what is on the list. Heck, maybe I will look under the bed and fill the list from there instead of getting it at the store and then only get what I really need when I go out to shop. And every year... on some random day... I walk down the aisle in Target and there it is... the back-to-school display. I get sucked into the 25cent boxes of crayons and $1 packs of notebooks and 75cent reams of loose leaf paper. HELLO? 10 brightly colored 2-pocket folders for 60cents?!? How does anyone resist?

Ya know, if I psycho-analyze myself, all this school supply over compensation comes from childhood trauma. I was a very smart girl in school, tortured and picked on by bullies, and all I ever wanted was my spiral bound notebooks to be the same color as my 2-pocket folders with a crisp brown paper bag book cover on my textbooks. Is that too much to ask? Some how, that was never the case. I ended up with the 24 count crayons knock off brand crayons when all the other kids had 64 count Crayola ones. Forget about having a Trapper Keeper! That was just dreaming!! I refuse to let my kids feel even the least bit of school supply envy!!


Breath in... breath out...

Okay, so unofficially, I asked Ron to put me on restriction next year from buying more school supplies. Although the supply box is actually under his side of the bed, I don't think he realizes just how much I pack into the under-the-bed box. Keywords in that first sentence... "next year". Some how I am totally colored pencil-less? And Andrew has colored pencils on his list... and Lauren needs hand sanitizer (that's a new one for a supply list)... oh, and a thumb drive too (weird).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Last Round

lickety split super quick

The third round of Lickety Split Super Quick Ring beads are out in the mail, making their ways to their new homes. I decided it is time to call LAST ROUND for orders on these guys. I have made over 100 of them since opening orders up a few weeks back and now it is time to move onto something else. As I told someone yesterday... there will never be any new and fabulous beads if I am always making discs, right?

Taking these semi-custom orders did teach me some things though. I have said countless times how I hate taking orders. I am a brat of an artist at times and just wanna do what I wanna do, but doing this, with boundaries, really helped my attitude. It is an attitude I am going to need to continue to work on, since I am now planning on teaching in 2010. Teaching means kits... kits mean lots of the same beads... hopefully, I can keep it fun, fresh, and one-of-a-kind. I am getting a little ahead of myself. We have several months until my first MAJOR teaching experience... we will stress, worry, complain, and stress some more about that when it gets closer (are you prepared to encourage me through it?).

Anyway... it's official... LAST ROUND!! Get me your orders by FRIDAY!! If you need a reminder about the rules for ordering, check out this post HERE. The beads will be in the mail next Friday the 21st and then it is on to new things 'round here. I have big plans for the studio and cool new jewelry ideas I am working out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

... all on a summer's day ...

(aka... boredom busting project #2)

picnic basket project 1

Dear Mr. Warren Kimble,

Several years ago, my Mom gifted me a lovely picnic basket with one of your folk art styled images on the lid. It is the one with a striped light house and sailboat on it. I have loved it over the years, it goes with our family on all our outings to the park. Would you believe, I even have the set of matching dishes and cups too? Though, some of the cups have cracked and some of the plates were used to make some resin art jewelry on. We still use, what we have left of them, when we eat out on the deck.

Anyway, I am babbling. I am writing this post today as an apology of sorts. From one artist to another, I am sure you can understand that not all people like the same thing. And while I can appreciate your unique New England style... light houses and sailboats, they just aren't "me". The other day, I decided to change up your picnic basket lid.

picnic basket project 2

At first, I tried just peeling the paper image off, but props to your manufacturer, Mr. Kimble... it was really stuck down! I tried wallpaper remover, and a scraper, but finally, just had to pick and pick and pick at it with my nails. And then I sanded it and put down a layer of primer. The project ended up becoming so messy that I couldn't keep working at my small kitchen table, I had to set to work in my studio floor.

picnic basket project 4

But what to do with that fresh, blank slate of a lid? I knew it needed some blue, it is my favorite color these days. And although I liked the rustic denim blue that you used in your seascape, I am more of a teal-blue gal myself. Mixed with a little cream and some seafoam green too. All blended together... *sigh*... is it such a wonderful color.

picnic basket project 5

picnic basket project 7

I doubt that you are familiar with my work, but I have been know to paint a project or two from time to time. And I love black and white stripes/checker boards. Hmmm, I wonder if that might be why my Mom bought me your picnic basket in the first place? The light house what striped! Surely, that must be why. Checkerboards are just plain fun, don't you think? They make me think of mid century kitchen floors and poodle skirts... and oddly, at the same time, I think of imaginary places too. Like... Alice In Wonderland.

I love the poem in Alice In Wonderland (the one with real people that aired on TV a while back with all those well known actors in it that I can't name at the moment... you know the one) where Jack is on trial for stealing the Queen's tarts.

It goes a little something like:

The Queen Of Hearts, she made some tarts, all on a summer's day...
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts, and ate them right away...

As I finished up the edging on my basket, I knew I needed one of those lines on this lid.

picnic basket project 8

picnic basket project 9

So, no hard feelings right? It really was a nice basket before, but now... NOW.. it ROCKS! And it is so "me".