Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Years Resolutions 2009

Three different areas of improvement:

1. Personal
2. Financial
3. Creative

1. Yoga. Often. 
2. Eat more vegetables.

1. Max out my Roth IRA.
2. Aim to save $100/month for son's college expenses.
3. Consider buying a new computer (current laptop is 8 years old).
1. Plan production so that I have a full product line for fall 2009. 
2. Try first serious craft show.

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Game Plan

Last Sunday I sat down with my planner and scheduled my knitting time for the week. Eight to ten Monday after monkey goes to bed. Ditto for Tuesday. Wednesday - no monkey; hence, three hours. Thursday - one hour, after teaching a crochet lesson. Friday, 8 - 10 p.m.

Well, it didn't quite work out that way - for example, I slept for twelve hours Wednesday night - but I managed to finish a black shrug for a client in Berkeley Heights. I based it on the Bell Sleeved Shrug and made it in Marisol T'ika.

By the way, the gorgeous model at above left is the cultural guru herself, Katie.

This week I MUST finish the Kaino vest for another client in Rhode Island. She has been patient with me for many weeks, and is also awaiting a cardigan. That will be next week's job.

The week of Nov 17 I will work with laser-like intensity on this awful pink cardigan for a woman in Texas. Awful because there is no end in sight to the amount of pink yarn that will pass through these fingers.

With any luck, the beginning of December I will make and finish the hat I promised a woman in Australia. And THEN I am knitting for myself! For my career!! For 2009 craft shows.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Promotion at my shop

The 50th person to purchase an item from my etsy shop will enjoy free shipping!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Egg and the Tomato

I had a particularly vivid dream this week. I was on a farm, looking at the ground near a picket-style fence, and I noticed a new sort of genetic hybrid: the egg-tomato. Eggomato? Tomegg? In my dream, in my own voice, I said, "Oh! What a lovely idea." After all, huevos rancheros is a delicious dish.

The eggs were balanced upright in the grass, that perfect, smooth, egg cream color with lovely rosy swirls of tomatoey orange. 

In 1988, at the age of ten, I kept track of my dreams in a journal. Twenty years later, I reinstated the practice and purchased a book of dream symbol interpretations. Guess what the egg represents? Untapped potential. The tomato - and here I'm stretching a little, because I'm calling it a vegetable - represents basic, everyday sustenance.

For years I have sought a balance between the two. A way to express the artistry and release my potential, and still be able to pay the bills. The eggomato is the answer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Too Much Time on My Hands

My monkey is in Cape Cod for the week. It's amazing how much time he eats up, in a good way. I did all the laundry, finished the latest issue of BUST, solved a Sudoku puzzle, started the second sleeve of a long-languishing sweater, and gave myself a pedicure between last night at 7 p.m. and this morning at eight.
What am I going to do with myself this week? There is a principles-of-yoga discussion group tonight at 7:30. I could clean the refrigerator. Make some casseroles to feed my family for the upcoming school year. Burn CDs from my old computer's iTunes library.
I will take advantage of the empty time and ponder my dream, my goal: to work entirely for myself. How can I make this happen? I will research online, leave no stone unturned. I will plant seeds.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

BUST 15th Anniversary Party

Felice from Girlie invited me to this fab shindig. My sweetie and I headed to Spiegelworld on the South St seaport. We love the new taxi feature - a map tracking our progress around the city, and NBC highlights of the Olympics. Plus the cabs take debit cards now! It was a bit odd to be watching TV as we zipped around the best city in the world. 
We scored swag from babelandBlack Phoenix, and Crunch Fitness. Sublime Stitching supplied their Vital Organs Embroidery Patterns. I was eyeing some cotton dishtowels at the 99c store across the street yesterday; they would be the perfect foil for some vital organ creations. A tape measure from Janome inspired me to visit their web site. Oh, to make a purse from recycled cowboy boots!! The boots I find in thrift shops are always too small for my dogs. Good thing Doc Martens sponsored this event.
Of course, tonight was not all about play. Whilst Michael braved the bar (screwdriver for me, vodka and cranberry for him) I passed out a number of bookmarks promoting my etsy shop. My basic line was, "Will you visit my etsy shop?" with a kind smile. No one refused the bookmark! And yes, I handed a bookmark to Deb Stoller. Will she actually visit my shop? I suppose there is no way of knowing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Goodies in the Mail

On Ravelry I participate in a group of women named Kari.  Specific, I know.  It's turned out to be one of my favorite groups.  Sometimes these groups have a shelf life and you move on, but this one recently completed a dishcloth exchange.
"My" Kari lives in Ferndale, Michigan.  I knit her an entrelac dishcloth and enclosed a Burt's Bees wristlet sampler.  In a scandal for which the United States Postal Service ought to be ashamed, her package was opened and the Burt's Bees sampler missing.  I shake my head in disgust.
The story has a happy ending.  Kari crocheted a beautiful dishcloth for me in pale yellow and turquoise, and surprised me with a crocheted scrubbie and a HANDMADE nostepinne.  Stay tuned for Kari's new etsy shop, in which she will sell these incredibly gorgeous creations.  This one is made of tulipwood.
I am in the process of knitting a landscape scarf for Kari and it is thoroughly addictive!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bird Song

The story of how I met Jessica Burko.
I was a student at Eastman, and she was a student at RIT.  She and three friends decided to form a quartet of singers, The Sirens.  Before they made it big, they contacted me for voice lessons.  For graduate students with busy lives, they were surprisingly dedicated.  Several of them took individual lessons as well as the group workshops, and Jessie was one of them.  She has a sultry voice and was eager to improvise and interpret the standards, among them Angel Eyes and God Bless the Child.  The Sirens eventually disbanded, but Jessie's and my friendship has remained consistent through two marriages, a divorce, and at least ten moves!
I was lucky to be Jessie's model for her Master's thesis.  I also modeled for her when she visited me in New Haven.  It was a kick to see my hand or my profile integrated in her work, sometimes hanging on her living room walls.  While browsing through her web site I found a piece from 2007 entitled Bird Song.

There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one.  Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine.  And, dying, it rises above its own agony to outrank the lark and the nightingale.  One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in the heaven smiles.  For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain... Or so says the legend.

The sheet music is written for solo piano.  The grace notes in the soprano melody line lend a chirpy, happy, pastoral feel, like a walk in the woods on a sunny day.  The left hand keeps the beat in three, an inexorable march of time.  The music is cut, interrupted, by the scissors; stitched back together to the right, and torn where my face peeks out, searching, looking for the thorn tree.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Knitting Quotation of the Day

From Zen and the Art of Knitting, by Bernadette Murphy:

Knitting a sweater is a tremendous act of faith.  We undertake an ancient practice that requires hundreds of thousands of stitches and hours of concentration to create something completely new.
At any point, a firm tug on an unsecured piece of yarn could unravel the entire work.  Because knitting uses no knots, every stitch is little more than a twisted and twined bit of yarn, each section a group of simple but tenuous webs. When the work is finished, though, those webs coalesce into a garment rugged enough to withstand a lifetime of wear...
Knitting is slow. So slow that we see the beauty inherent in every tiny act that makes up a sweater.  So slow that we know the project's not going to get finished today - it may not get finished for many months or longer - and thus, we make our peace with the unresolved nature of life.  We slow down as we knit.  Our breathing and heart rate drop and knitters who've been at it a while experience a trancelike state that provides the same benefits as other forms of meditation.
Unlike other forms of meditation, though, when all is said and done, knitting produces a beautiful, handcrafted, wearable work of art.  Each garment reflects its unique moment in time and is as singular in its construction as the person who knit it - an image of its creator's spirit.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The un-birthday party

Last night my son and I had an Un-Birthday Party.  Some Fun-Fetti cake, Neopolitan ice cream, and plastic forks.  My friend Niccole said the whole apartment building "reeked of cake".  In a good way.  She brought coconut curry and Rowan's tweed; I taught her to knit using Lovikka and Susan Bates size 13 needles.  She said we were "freegans" (rhymes with vegans) because we like to barter.  Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hello, world

My friend the cultural guru started her blog today.  Her introductory post is concise, entertaining, and witty.  Mine will be rambling and chaotic.  Margaret Prusan encourages us to write without limitations; write to open up possibilities.  That feeling of endless possibility in writing has been with me since elementary school.  

Recently I commissioned kimcappelliniart to complete a handbag I'd knit.  Besides doing an amazing job, she surprised me with a felt brooch and a small slip of paper which stated "Be joyful - your creativity inspires amazing results."  That is my hope for this blog.