Last year I participated in Finch's Holiday Boutique . Only one lonely towel made it's way back home and the rest of the proceeds went towards a pair of Frye boots for me. It was so much fun that I was inspired to clean even out more of my stash. In the late winter weather I whipped up hats and hand towels out of spare bits of yarn and thread and saved them for my favorite boutique event. This year I will be selling...
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
A gift arrived for me last week. Something to remind me that change can be good. Seems like a lot of "arrows" have changed my direction this year.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Last Friday Emily and I took a rather long lunch and ventured to Powderhorn Park for Empty Bowls, which is an organization that strives to create art, provide sustenance and promote the common good. Many of my instructors serve on the board of directors and work hard to run such a massive grassroots event. And I have to say; it definitely exceeded my expectations.
The rec center at the park has become a very familiar place to me. A place where friendly faces gather to create and learn. On this particular day, upon arrival, we were greeted with home baked bread.
So here's the deal... there are bowls... a lot of bowls. First, you have to pick your bowl.
I loved this pretty carved white one.
But I went with this one instead. Then you pay and get your soup and bread.
The gymnasium was packed. We sat, gathered and chatted. After a refreshing bike ride, it was just what we needed.
Doesn't Emily look happy?
Afterwards they wash and wrap your bowl up for you. Then we headed to the raffle area to place our bids. I have my fingers crossed for the little mugs in the front. Emily's got her eye on a mustardy yellow sauerkraut crock.
Monday, November 5, 2012
My mom would constantly complain that I fed my boys out of the same bowls that I use daily. She would exclaim, "What would your friends think if you gave them soup out of this bowl and they looked down and saw the exact same bowl with cat food in it on the floor!" I have no idea; no one has ever complained about that, and it wasn't as though I don't wash my dishes. Nevertheless, I decided to remedy the situation once and for all.
Of course after seeing my new cat dishes, my mom exclaimed, "Oh those are too pretty for your boys. Can I have them?" "No", I argued, "besides they already have cat food in them, you wouldn't want them." Turns out she's not so picky after all.
I was stoked to see these cat bowls being unloaded from the kiln. The glazing is always the pivotal moment between loving and hating something. So many times have I been disappointed by a beautiful piece with a terrible glaze.
Muffin, in particular, likes his new dish. Here, he is reminding me to feed him, by putting his catnip mouse into his bowl, which is definitely one of his top 3 insanely cute moments!
They both spend a lot of time looking at their new bowls and telling me how much they love them....especially in the morning....
when they are desperately hungry.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Enjoying Fall can be difficult when the weather won't behave. But on one of those rare Fall days when the sun is shining and you crave the outdoors, a pizza farm is the place to be. Good friends a bottle of wine, or two, and some knitting is exactly what you need to bring to Love Tree Pizza Farm. They provide the wood fired pizza and you bring everything else, literally. Spend the day basking in the crisp sunny day waiting for your name to be called and deliciousness served.
Monday, October 29, 2012
A few weeks ago Little E, my niece, was rushed to the hospital via ambulance due to a febrile convulsion. Once safely home, luckily without a serious diagnosis, our attention turned to her beautiful sweater hand knit by my sister. Upon arrival the paramedics had simply snipped off her clothes leaving this in the aftermath.
We brainstormed how to remedy this sweet little sweater. It would have been easy enough to reknit the front, but the idea of undoing the collar and taking apart the entire sweater seemed more exhausting than re-knitting the entire body. In the end, I brought the mangled mess back to Minneapolis, deciding it was a perfect time to learn how to steek.
The ambulance crew didn't exactly cut in a straight line along one wale of stitches, as would be preferable for a steeked garment, but they did thankfully avoided the front cable.
A quick online tutorial later, the once pullover turned into an asymmetrical cardigan. This hand knit piece will never be what it once was, but now it is a salvaged sweater with a story, as all good hand knits should have.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon I found myself back at Hogsback Farm, to help my friend Emily and other friends with CSA memberships pick out their fall pumpkins. Despite the hoards of children, everyone managed to snag a pumpkin or two, whilst enjoying the good weather and food.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
My pottery skills have improved beyond my expectations. As per usual I have become a bit obsessed. I find myself running over to the studio every chance I get. Nothing else matters or exists while I am there and there is nowhere else I would rather be. I've challenged myself to master the cylinder, throw off the hump, make lidded vessels, throw multiples and collar a vase. I overcame my fear of lifting a pot right off the wheel and I rarely have to re-wedge clay anymore. This teapot is one of my earlier pieces, but I am so happy with the results.
The moment of truth is always the glaze. I love the shape, but a bad glaze could ruin and disappoint.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
A few weekends ago a few friends and I took a day trip to beautiful Interstate State Park. It was the perfect way to spend a sunny Fall afternoon. We hiked the sandstone bluffs into Taylor Falls and opted for the river trail in return. The trees hadn't quite peaked yet, but were beautiful nonetheless.
Monday, October 8, 2012
I warped my loom, for another round of hand towels, in Medium Gray. My last project inspired me to work on something a little more modern in feel. I like the simplicity of the boxes and the structure of the turned twills. I took a break from weaving to work on upcoming Halloween costumes for my nieces and nephew, but I will be weaving again soon.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
It was another great year for butterflies. Along with Monarchs and Eastern Black Swallowtails, I managed to find and raise Painted Ladies and Red Admirals. I kept my eye out for a Yellow Swallowtail and never found it. This year I raised 94 Monarchs, 22 Red Admirals, 3 Painted Ladies and 5 Eastern Black Swallowtails. And I learned a lot.
I said last year that Swallowtails were feisty and eager to fly away. Turns out that Painted Ladies and Red Admirals are even more ambitious. Their wings dry faster and they are able to take flight within hours of emerging. It was hard to capture these guys on camera, so a lot of my pictures happened indoors.
Red Admirals and Painted Ladies are also a proud looking butterfly. They seem to have a proud upturned nose. Snobby... almost.
What I should have known and never realized til' this year is that a butterfly will always fly to the brightest source of light. So if you come home late at night, it's best to wait until morning to release your new butterfly. I stupidly released one at night thinking he would just fly up into the trees only to watch him circle the streetlamp. I finally caught him and brought him in for the night.
The caterpillar of the Red Admiral can look very different, but they all produce the same butterfly. I did a test with 3 very different looking caterpillars only to get Red Admirals. I was secretly hoping I had stumbled upon something different.
I rescued one little Swallowtail from some Dill at the grocery store. Most people would be grossed out by a caterpillar on their dill, but I was thrilled.
Red Admirals are by far the hardest to care for. I found all of my caterpillars on stinging nettles, which obviously sting, so you have to wear gloves. They like to enclose themselves in leaves with a silken thread and you have to pry the leaf open. The leaves dry out quickly and require constant changing. Each time you give them a new leave you have to kick them out of their new leaf enclosure. They don't seem to eat quickly and it takes them much longer to mature into full grown caterpillars. I also only managed to locate one patch of nettles, so the food source was far.
Finally, I seemed to have a lot of falling accidents. That is when the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis and loses its grip. Once it has fallen, if you catch it right away, you can return it to a place to dry out. If you don't, its wet wings will crumple and tear as it tries to turn around or get back up. The end result is heartbreaking. The wings of butterflies feel no physical pain, but without them they can't fly. I contemplated keeping them in captivity, but in the end I gave them freedom, even though I knew it would be fleeting.