Monday, December 31, 2007

live with intention

I haven't called them 'resolutions' in years. What I do like to do each year on my birthday - which is quite close to the new year, so works in time with many of the western world folks who are of a mind to write these resolutions/goals/intentions.
So, some afternoons by the fireplace at Tully's led to some journaled pages - a few highlights of the writing to come in the next few weeks.

Oh, Celine Dion, just rotated in. I just *love* her new CD. And Taking Chances - what an excellent song. Now there is a theme for the year for me! It really encompasses all of the intentions I have written down in the journal and have on my heart.
Perhaps you could read some of the intentions I have on the art journal pages. I do plan to continue the daily art practice. Not necessarily collage, since I don't have enough of the cards left. I had some more than the 365 cards, but I will soon run out of those, and then I will count time spent on journal pages, making art on reclaimed coasters, making earrings, pendants. Just being sure to spend time in the studio (or Tully's, or wherever we may be - hopefully we'll be able to take a vacation now and then)
One from my heart series. I'm trying to "go with" themes that come to mind while I'm making art this year.

The super secret sewing project. I made the TV cozy. We have used a big scarf for years...but, it slides off easily and I've wanted to make one for years. I like this one, but think it needs something...maybe I'll embroider some flourishs.

I forgot to take photos of the fingerless mitts I sent to my mom and SiL for Christmas...hey, if you two are reading this in the snowy Twin Cities will you take photos and then email them to me? Thanks.

More Christmas gifts to share with you later. I'm still getting over my nasty cold and need to head to bed for my few pages of reading and then restful sleep.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

good things

I have been wanting an iPod player for a long time. I convinced myself that I would be less distracted by the computer if I could charge the iPod on something other than the laptop - because the internets just pull me in...and the next thing I know I've checked on all my flickr contacts, all the group photo updates, followed links and Yikes! I've been playing here for two years (erm, maybe more sometimes). So, It is Working. I love this thing. The remote control allows me to crank it up (when I'm home alone) and run upstairs for the iron and continue to hear my favorite podcasts. Right now I'm working my way through a pile of NPR Most Emailed Stories. While inserting other favorites here and there in the playlist (knitTherapy, Stash & Burn, Geek Farm Life, and more).
Another favorite thing I did on my birthday (the actual day), I took a pile of papers and my can full of pens and pencils to Tully's to sit by the fire and draw.
More collage bits to be added to each of these pieces. This is one of my favorites from the day.
Awaiting a favorite quote and bits of paper.
There's quite a mess in the studio tonight. Oh how I will miss having this much space to spread out...if only I could unpack all of my studio! One day we will find our home and I'll get to organize it all. In the meantime, I search through the piles of boxes til I find the one I'm looking for - today it was the silk purchased from East Bay Creative Re-Use Center (I sure miss my trips there!). I'm working on a super secret project. I'll post the finished piece later.
I just love making this up as I go. I hope it turns out as well as the vision I had for it. It just might need a little hand embroidery too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

baby Jesus

My best birthday gift. I cried when I saw the cradle, I knew. Mom sent this to me, very carefully wrapped separately in bubble wrap and inside the handwoven lined bag (my mom's a very talented handweaver - lucky me). I'm certain she's told me the story of baby Jesus over the years...though I had forgotten the story. Thankfully she wrote it down for me. When I was born (cough) several decades ago, a very good family friend was vacationing in Mexico and found this beautiful cradle and porcelain Jesus. If I remember correctly one of our traditions each year was to put baby Jesus out on the Rosewood Chest (my favorite) on my birthday - exactly one week from Christmas. Thanks Mom! I love having baby Jesus in our home now. And the special storage case for him is fabulous.

happy birthday to me

have enjoyed many great adventures for my birthday celebration week.
One whole day walking all around Pike Place Market - meeting various artists with spaces there, looking at couches, searching for a great birthday lunch place (we chose Etta's - the only thing anyone raved about at our table was the hamburger and both of the desserts the four of us shared - triple coconut cream, mexican chocolate tart - we would only go back for dessert).

Places I'd highly recommend: Beecher's cheese, the woman who makes leather band bracelets, the man who'll carve you a chop while you wait (I really should have gotten one - i'll go back for one soon), the woman who makes hair ornaments out of piano wire, the guy who makes silk screened cards - especially his Pike Place cards, and of course for those of you who like Starbucks - the original Starbucks is right down there. Thankfully there's a Tully's very near too (I just don't care for the burnt, bitter taste of Starbucks coffee).

spent time at our local Tully's by the fireplace. reading, watching the fire and drawing. (some examples here).

a few things i'll share about my hopes and plans for my new year:
finally figure out how to make prints to sell on etsy (& shows)
knit a pair of socks a month
knit a lace shawl
first i have to dye that yarn
buy an elliptical and use it every day
find a good Thai restaurant
write more letters
let go of hoping that means i'll get more letters (though i really only wrote that because i think i should, i really want more letters - and comments)
set up the kilns and get those pendants in production
produce a show

Thursday, December 13, 2007

holiday goodness

One of our stops last sunday night. First up that night was christmas tree decorating at my SiL's flat. Beautiful tree, lots of chatter about the history of many of the ornaments. Then crabcakes, salad and other yummy dinner. Afterwards, sugar cookie decorating. Amazingly I took no photos of any of this!
Next stop. Bellevue for Snowflake Lane. Big crowd. *over*the*top* decorations and planned to the second. Great uniforms, lovely to see all the projected snowflakes and the soapbubble flakes falling. We were running a bit late so we powerwalked right by the Chiluly sculptures on the way out. Afterwards while I craddled my Tully's decaf latte, I was thrilled to see all of this!
Isn't it marvelous? I'll have to go back sometime in different light to take more.
Stop after Bellevue Square. Apparently they have workshops to show you how to make these light sculptures (and I'd imagine you're a bit obligated to help with filling this place up too). Many more photos at my flickr...
Talking with my mom the other night, relating all the excitement of this evening, she mentioned that I spent my first night out of the hospital in Bellevue. (and my birthday is coming next week, so we were enjoying that)
my favorite scene here.

we've been thoroughly enjoying preparations for the holiday season.
making handmade holiday ornaments for the Second Annual Holiday Ornament Swap (that link sends you to their flickr album - amazing craft out there!)

i've receive three so far. aren't they great - and wildly different?

we are looking forward to buying an eliptical machine -- it just pours here too often for consistent walking. and longjohns for the days when it's not rainy and we can go for our favorite new walk along the water here.

i made this yummy tomato sauce the other day - totally inspired by dona's blog. i just wrote down a few ingredients, ran upstairs, chopped some stuff, threw it in the pan and boiled some pasta at the same time. topped with a bit of parm. yum.

Friday, December 07, 2007

snow covered mountains

The mountains were peeking out a bit this morning. I love being able to see snow covered mountains again! Also enjoy watching all the holiday decorations going up all around in our neighborhood.
Yep, it finally dawned on me to knit the fingerless gloves in magic loop. What took me so long? And these are going to have embroidery on them because I would like a more practical knitted embroidered product (in the past I've just had the purses - you can see 'em on Ravelry if you have access. Or on my flickr account under fibery goodness).

Saw another abc's of me meme on someone's blog and thought -- I want to do that in my here it is. There will likely be more embellishments along the way. But, I got distracted by the wintery pages I'm also working on. And figuring out how to make prints of my daily collages.

I won a prize! After listening to Insubordknit's podcast,
I took a guess and this recently arrived in the mail. The artwork of her young son. The detail and the lettering - awesome! An excellent illustrator and storyteller!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

winter wonderland

So beautiful. Saturday nights snow. Then it rained, um, poured for two solid days. Flooding. We are at the top of a hill, so no problems at our house, thankfully.
Early in the morning before heading to my first craft show in Washington state! (It went well, and I am now free to post bunches of new items to my etsy store. Sold several mixed media collage pieces and tons of the little collage pendants!) The snow did keep the numbers down a bit at the show, but it was so beautiful watching the big fluffy flakes falling all day. I also got to trade for a bunch of soap! (One of my favorite trades, because we love handmade soap, and I haven't made it in years, though I have all the necessary day, perhaps. Though really trading is so fabulous!)

Wearing these (the red ones are mine) right now as I type, it's cold! I wear them quite a lot and think they'll make fabulous gifts this season. Knitting up several more pairs.
Available at my little handmade items on etsy site. Dreaming of Malabrigo lace, trying to work up the courage to try my hand at knitting Forest Path Stole (photo from Ravelry search):Isn't it beautiful?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

coffee and chocolate

Good chocolate, hand dipped right here in Washington state. We took a short road trip to see the chocolate mecca for the R family. I'm sure it was a great place to go years ago before Issaquah became another overgrown mcmansion 'village'. Wow! What on earth do people need 5,000 square feet of living space for? And it just was so sad, to see these *huge* homes - easily over 4,000 square feet, so close to their neighbors homes that they could likely stradle the property line and reach out and touch their wall and the wall next door. Crazy. We are so hoping to find a home with 1500 square feet (and even that seems excessive for our small family sometimes) and as much yard as we can get, for privacy, for a chicken coop, for fruit trees, and for a couple of big raised vegetable beds.

Spent a bit of time yesterday catching up on my video podcasts while turning the heels on these socks. Which was fabulous because then I could begin the round and round of knitting to the end of the yarn. As I see the pattern emerging (first time I've knit this pattern - Tangled Up in Blue) I am ever more confident that it is the perfect yarn and pattern for the gift recipient.

I've been tagged by exile's return for a Mug Meme - to share and tell stories about my 7 favorite mugs. Since we are still living out of boxes waiting to find our new home (the house we bid on had problems with the inspection, we asked the owner to take care of a few major issues, she declined and our offer disappeared, so we are back to looking....) I actually only have 4 mugs out, however, since I *love* to get tagged for memes, I'm going to dig through the packed up boxes to try to find 3 more mugs to take photos of.By far my favorite mug. I love the size of it, I love the handcrafted look and feel of it. Other things I love about it: mermaids, fish, sand, Cambria (where I bought it), the beautiful turquoise glaze.
Forgot about this one...the perfect mug for my (decaf) espresso shots in the morning. The only mug that fits and the little "snowflakes" indicate how long to run the espresso as the nectar of the gods drip out of the tightly packed handle. Yum.
My favorite travel mug. Stainless steel inside, love the red, love the motto.
I *love* the bright, shiny red of this mug. When we had our Subaru, the UCC mug didn't fit in the holder, so I used this one everyday. (Another stainless steel interior)
This clear mug was one of two received a few Christmas' ago from a colleague who made hot chocolate mix to add to the package. Yum.
I decided against opening any more boxes, so I took a picture instead. I'll decribe 2 more mugs: Before the mermaid mug, my favorite mug was a Laurel Burch mug from Grad School days. One of my office mates gave it to me during the HOlidays. It's creamy with a tribe of beautiful faces on it. A Life is Good mug (also part of a set that friends gave us years ago) with the sweet little dog on it. I used this mug everyday at work to put my keys in. I love the classic cafe style - heavy, curvy, white, sturdy.
I tag anyone interested, please put a link in comments if you do the meme too.