Sunday, July 31, 2011

Creative Cross Training: CROCHET!

How many times have you heard me say "I don't crochet!".  Lots. I can chain all day long------ but create something? No. And there are things I would love to make, but refer back to I don't crochet.

In the ongoing Creative Cross Training, I'm taking a CRAFTSY course (they all look fabulous) from the fabulous Vickie Howell. She's pretty funny within that 'has to be structured online course kinda' thing'. It's well produced, the customer service is awesome, and it is very well priced.

I'm all about well priced anything, it means you have more $$$ to buy supplies with! 

Time to start the vacation countdown tomorrow, I've already begun to assemble the Happy Bag! (the Happy Bag is the bag that contains the art journals, the art supplies, the knitting, the embroidery, and now the crochet!)  I travel with my laptop so I'll have teachers coming WITH ME on vacay to inject a little Creative Cross Training goodness on the road. The only thing I'm not taking in my beloved sewing machine but she'll be away at summer camp having a tune up. Besides which my two vacay traveling companions would probably draw the line there. When I won't be lazing on the beach with a book or walking into town down those lovely sandy roads for a bite, riding my bike around town, I'll be hanging out on the screened in porch knitting or crocheting or reading or journaling or painting or embroidering. 

How many days? Even though there is a lot of work to be done in order to be able to take some time off, starting tomorrow I'm considering it all vacation. Otherwise it will be over in a flash.

Are you cross training? Would you like to?

Damson is blocking today----- and I'm getting the Tisket a Tasket blocks set with their happy blue and coral sashing----------

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Where Women Create: The Big Event

Surely I can't be the only one LAMENTING that I've been unable to make plans to go to Where Women Create, their huge Creative Connection event happening in Minneapolis on September 15-17. I wanna go BAD.

 They're giving away passes for 2 and a hotel night------- hop on over and check it out. Even though I have already decided that I WILL WIN, you might as well have the chance too!  :)

Can you imagine the creative goodness???????

I've been dreaming today, yes I have----- about how fabulous it would be to WIN a pass and hotel nights to the Creative Connection. Okay---- it was a real dream because I took a nap at my desk (the shame of it). And I hope my dream comes true.

Can you imagine being at TCC? Surrounded by Jo Packham and ALLLLLLL of those incredible, talented, creative people? I think my head would explode! I'd take my partner in crime along so that we could split it up, be the dynamic duo of trying to see it all and take it all in. We'd be armed with a camera and fresh batteries, a big fat journal and a fresh pen for notes and scribbles---- and of course I'd perform magic sewism to make something new and fabulous to wear. Every day. Well maybe not every day now that is just crazy. We'd meet up at the end of a day and have show and tell, a brain dump of gargantuan proportions. There's not a chance that sleep would happen so we'd probably talk all night. And PLOT. There is always the plotting.

I really, really REALLY want to go. Have I mentioned that before? Probably!  :)

You can submit chances to win as well, and you should. Even though I've already decided that I'll be the lucky one.  ;)  At The Creative Connection website..................

Let's ALL go! The more the merrier I say!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Damson is FINALLY off the needles, It has been ongoing for so long that I deleted it from my Ravelry queue so I'm not sure when I actually started it. I'd be willing to admit to longer than a year! She languished in a zippie bag on a holder for a long time until Emily took her to summer camp and got her back on track. Then the lace border was one row from finished and my brain just didn't wrap around it so Silvana showed me the true meaning of knit INTO that hole and don't worry about those 2 yarn overs.

She's bound off and complete ---- and I think she will be a Christmas Gift. Much as I love her, this labor of love really should go to someone I think. I'm thinking about it anyway.

Unblocked at this point HotDamson is bundled up with a wee packet of Soak to be washed and given a good block when my Mom leaves this weekend. No sense in losing the dining room table at this point.

That lacey edge is going to be so pretty when it's blocked!

Elizabeth (and Emily and Silvana) were right........... Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises!

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's Hot so I Must Be Cookin'!

It is HOT, beyond hot really. Thank heavens I was not on the contract for Saturday's wedding where the reception was OUTSIDE!  A normally lovely reception venue but the end of July? What could you possibly have been thinking? Horrible--- the staff melted and not in a good way.

I was a sewist in the moderate category. I have 2 aprons cut out, one is this little piece of frippery and one yet unmade from a GORGEOUS piece of Monica Solario-Snow's Happy Mochi Yum Yum from Lecien. (yum).

I think you can order in when it's hot if you wear a cute apron. Really.

Pretty simple stuff
serged edges with black
a little deco stitch on the waistband
Call it done

Apron and Art!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Where I'll Be Cross Training, aka Make Art!

The Cross Training at Casita Contessa continues as I have le grande epiphany!!!! I am a cranky ole' B unless I'm doing something creative. My creative lovers shift, I am nothing close to true blue---- be it knitting, painting, mixed media, journaling, engaging in sewist activities------ I just need to be doing it. As I have explained to my family who wants me to fix, make and otherwise spend my time doing stupid stuff, that does not count.

I've been really good at my Summer Goals---- journaling every day, at least 15 minutes of self-care and at least an hour doing something creative. The kicker is that I am not willing to spend that hour at the end of my days when I'm tired and done in any longer. Under that rule of thumb I'm too tired to honor my creativity so I don't do anything. Not good on many levels, N'EST-CE PAS??

So, I'm spending a little time and money on me. I'll be taking an online course with the fabulous Christy Tomlinson starting Monday, her 3 Hearts Workshop. Christy kicked off my Cross Training when I took her She Art Workshop, that really opened my gates, heart and soul and art is part of my daily life. I have broadened by personal definition of art to be just about everything I do on a creative level.

I urge you to enter your own cross training no matter what YOUR ART is! Do something a little different, maybe something you've always wanted to do! Broaden yourself, Rendre l'art!! I'm even broadening my language--- in any form, MAKE ART!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chalkboard Prophet

Simon and Garfunkle said long ago that the "words of the prophets are written on the subway walls", and I'm always reading the signs left behind. The chalkboard prophet above actually left this message in a coffee shop ladies room.

Love it: 

Never Lose Faith: Miracles Happen Every Day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cross Training Crafting Continues

It has been a GREAT experience to fully experience other long neglected creative outlets---- I've been in the Happy Zone a LOT and after all, can we ask for more than that on most days?

I recently purchased the adorable stitch sampler from creative virtuoso Pam Garrison----- and have added by selections for colorful floss and some beads. I can't wait to begin it and really don't know if I'll start now or wait for vacation (and the inevitable drive time).

The sewing machine was purring last weekend and I finished the Shana Tunic from Sis Boom. Excellent pattern (purchased and downloaded fairly simultaneously), I love it. I have a couple more waiting in the wings.

Nothing in the world like a well drafted pattern---- it all went together so smoothly and was a pleasure to sew and to wear!

Jury Duty was yesterday and I was not chosen. Not a bad thing. So now I'm trying to check all the things off the list that have to be done.

and on we go..................... hope things are happy on your side of the screen! Are you cross training? Whatcha' workin' on?

Friday, July 15, 2011

What I believe about Pudding

It's been a crapsnacker of a week. Truly. I'm keeping it together, and trying to channel my British stiff upper lip. This does however require some additional help.


I believe pudding should be:
Double Thick to the point you can cut it like cake

--and pudding can truly save the world.

I'm in the all sorts of makery mode this weekend. That and pudding might set me to rights.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Knitters- Prepare to be JEALOUS!

Last Thursday night a group of us knitterly types went to (wait for it) THE LOOPY EWE!

We had a GREAT time, despite the thunderstorms that came barreling through. Everyone has a bag of knitted goodness----- and we petted yarn all night! Fabulous!

The photo above was taken by Sherri herself---- we have all kinds of yarny goodness. We kind of look like drowned rats for pete's sake!  Like yarn drunk, drowned rats. 

I had a sighting of Madeline Tosh Light in the wild............. and could not resist her siren song! I purchased a nice fat skein in the colorway "lichen". It runs from a browny/black through deep greens with highlights of purples. It is GORGEOUS.

I'm knitting away on HotDamson and she's ten rows away from the lacy edging! I'd like then (very much actually) to finish Eiffel and move on to using the Madeline Tosh for a new shawl that I'll show off soon.

Isn't it true? Sharing and talking about it sometimes puts the pointy toed shoe in the pokey butt of a kntter.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


A week that was a nightmare for someone who works from her computer-- where that electronic notebook holds life itself, both personal and professional. My laptop was already on it's last legs, the blue screen of death coming with ugly regularity. Then.......... before the replacement computer arrived the unthinkable happened. I spilled a diet coke on my keyboard!  After much cursing and the failed attempt at a mop job it became obvious that we do indeed have a problem. I'd backed up my files to a separate location, handwritten down passwords and things that needed to be kept "off site" anyway. When the old laptop started beeping wildly it also decided to do its own thing when a program (like Outlook) was opened.  The short version is that things were deleted in front of my eyes, it was impossible to forward over emails and things, the Outlook backup was a big huge FAIL. Passwords were even changed!!! The end of the story is that now, a week later----- all seems to be as well as it is going to be. The most important things were saved or resurrected in some form. It has been a stressful, terrifying, horrible week. Blast technology anyway.

So today I'm "off", well not working 'on site' ----- and I plan to sew merrily away. The fabric that I purchased last week has been washed and ironed & is at the ready, the patterns printed out and taped into place. Now to decide what fabric to sew up first.......... which tunic shall be the first off the machine.

I'm also working on HotDamson, after a small setback that has had me wondering WHY this project makes me feel like a novice knitter!! On I push.

Vacation happens in a month (sigh) and my goal is to finish Damson and the Eiffel Tower Shawl so that I can start a new project, the Lorna Suzanne sweater. Of course the problem there is that I have ordered the color card and can't decide on a color!

what do you think? 
I'm leaning towards a deep blue....... but the wine color is speaking to me as well. And then, there is the green.....

I couldn't make a decision before............ after my recent week I feel unable to string anything together!

Hope your weekend is fabulous!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Post Holiday Blogging

Have I mentioned that it is HARD to get the nose back to the grindstone after a long holiday weekend? The difficulty seems commensurate with the enjoyment, and if this is the case then I had a LOVELY weekend! Which I did.

I did not knit one stitch. I had my knitting in my lap several times but no knitting was accomplished.

  • I did download a couple of darling tunic patterns, print them out and get the pattern puzzles set together, taped up and ready to go. 
  • Fabric for the tunics was purchased, washed and ready to cut out
  • Naps were taken
  • I finished 3 mini canvases
  • put the new dust ruffle on the guest room bed
  • Made the cute little green and white valance for the dinner party bathroom
  • prepared and consumed a great 4th of July meal with family and friends
  • and generally enjoyed life in the summer
Having said all that now that I'm faced with a fresh workday (and halfway through it if I don't stop for lunch)--- I do feel really bad about the knitting because that WAS the plan after all. There was no bike riding because it was flat stinkin' hot------ and although I searched there was no washi tape or pretty twine found.

If nothing else, I've become happy to roll with whatever comes my way in the spirit of joyful flexibility. (Most times).

I'll get to knitting, really I will. HotDamson is calling me!

The photo above is the large 30x30 canvas I finished a few weeks back. I'm still crazy about it, and it's perfect in the room. Things that make you smile are good things indeed!

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 4th Weekend

It's the July 4th weekend here in the US and around Casita Contessa it means that starting now (appx. 4:30 CST) work is done and I'm not due back for a showing into the real world until Tuesday, July 5th. 

I plan on making a little valance for the powder room in my new favorite gray and yellow-

There will be some knitting on Damson, renamed HotDamson by the little shawls Camp Counselor, Emily.

And there will be some munching and drinking interspersed with a bit of shopping for some Washi Tape and pretty twine, green paint, still unpurchased and another handful of my beloved (and yet hard to find) Varsity fountain pens.

A few movies, maybe a bike ride if the heat would cool down a bit.

Hope wherever you are that your weekend is Way Past Perfect.