Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Halloween Costume Ideas, Fairy Wings, Threadbanger

OK, so this is a bit radical being that it is black, but the technique is a good one for white pretty wings for a sweet fairy, too.

Embellishing with paint sticks

Embellish Embellish Embellish

Mastering Silk with Sandra Betzina

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rosie The Riveter Breath Mints and Barbara Kingsolver's New Book

Yesterday, I took a very long drive (uh oh) with my 86 year old mother. I know it is very bad form to drive, so far, to buy silk. Yes, I could have ordered it from Asheville. My mom can hardly walk across a room, so for her to see Spring farm scenes with the blossoms on the trees and the green crops beginning to grow was especially meaningful.
The town of Floyd, Virginia, is in the highlands near the Blueridge Parkway. There is the place to buy fabric. Anything you can think of they have, especially if you are a fiber artist. Now, I can dye and marble or do Shibori with enough fabric to be free in what I choose to do with this silk.
I am working on a wool felted Samurai warrior. The head looks like the inside of a brain.  The title for this piece is,  "The Brains Behind It All. . . Karl Rove." This is a series of three warriors. Guess who the other two are? Anyway, I need the silk for part of this warrior. Kumihimo braiding is another element. More to follow on this subject.
In the town of Floyd is the most wonderful restaurant and natural food store. They promote slow food. I had the most beautiful salad, it was so gorgeous, I almost would not eat it. They served the salad on an oriental square handmade plate. Fresh baby spring greens, purple and green, and pale white, the bed that figs and rolled pieces of prosciutto lay along with various sprouts made the composition. The elements were placed almost like a grid with great care. The dressing was a creamy vinaigrette with Water Cress infused into this, which looked like bright green confetti. The flavors were snappy. The sweet of the fig and the salt of the prosciutto with the tartness of the vinaigrette were a wonderful combination. 
There is a nice little gallery which tables are placed in the midst of fine craft. What a great visual experience to bring home to ponder.
Downstairs is where you find the market. I love to shop here. Organic produce and many other items for sale always leaves my purse empty. I bought "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,  A Year of Food Life" by Barbara Kingsolver. And, a tiny tin of Rosie The Riveter mints that declare "YOU CAN DO IT." (These were for my mom) Just what we all need to hear, for what is coming, soon. I am not talking about Summer, either
This morning, the children in my class made trees out of paper saved from dish wrap and then we pasted yellow and white crepe paper blossoms onto the trees. The trees are twisted paper that is torn in two places on the top and bottom of two sheets held together. We pasted the trunk down onto cardboard to hold it erect. I made it a sculptural idea instead of drawing, this year. It was a lot of fun for them. Then, we brought all of their chairs to the front of the puppet theater and they took turns dramatizing made up stories. I talked about using junk to create something of beauty. If we start them thinking of our planet now, maybe they can  learn  to be caretakers of their place in the universe.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Samurai Warrior

It is truly regrettable that a person will treat a man who is valuable to him well, and a man who is worthless to him poorly.

One should have insight into this world of dreams that passes in the twinkling of an eye.

Hojo Shigetoki (1198-1261)

The idea that a samurai came from the elite families did not stop their warring. I wonder if our military would even exist if it were that our military emanate from our elite?



Amazing! I want the bag! Check this out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Knit Picks Knitting Room » Episode 40

Knit Picks Knitting Room » Episode 40


KnitKnit, Profiles + Projects from Knitting’s New Wave, a book by Sabrina Gschwandtner, is the latest addition to my knitting library. Gina showed this book to me because she understands my style and sensibility. I found this book VERY inspiring. In it I found Risto Bimbiloski who designs men’s knitwear for Louis Vuitton and his own label of knitwear for women.

I discovered his sweater, The Paris Jacket, which is based on the same idea as my origami shrug; however, he takes his to the next most perfect level. I love the simplicity of his design. I am anxious to buy the yarn he uses to try this sweater/jacket. One problem I encountered with using Noro is the matching of the stripes. As of yet, I am unable to do that, so it is a case of it is what it is.

His sweater has a very nice collar instead of ribbing all the way around. I love this treatment. Now, I am off in a new direction. Sculpture for the human is what I believe this sweater brings and this is what attracts me to this particular design.

In Anna Bell, blog name, Amelia Raitte, I find an inspiration for detail. I love what she does that is hidden in her sweaters. Her closure on the sweater, DAISY, is very beautiful. This is why I say, “God Is in the Details,” which someone else has already said.

Gina, at Mosaic, really talks and listens to her customers. I am lucky to have this shop near where I live. Thank you, Gina!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Once upon a time, I suddenly realized that it is possible to create an existence tailored to my every need.
I always loved the Arabian Nights and especially Scheherazade. She managed to change her world and her life, simply by telling stories. The thought of living a story that one told oneself compelled my waking thoughts and crept into my dreamtime, as well.
I wondered. What if I could actually live a story? What kind of a world would this story take place? Where? When? Why? Gosh, I wonder how long I would have to wait until. . .

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cooking Shows on Pay TV

Cooking shows on pay TV have brought access to lively flavors and more developed palates. What is so funny about this is that if you take a walk down the isles of grocery stores there are more and more convenience foods. We learn how to be gourmet cooks and then marketing targets us with stir fry vegetables pre-packaged meals that all you do is throw in some sort of protein.

My idea of fun is to go to Wegman's in the DC area and check out the price of truffles. My grandchildren keep me updated on the price of truffles when I am at home. To them it is a matter of greater importance than their mother's concern over the price of oil.

I think there should be a Trader Joe's brought to every small neighborhood. Where I live it would be one of the most amazing things ever done. What will happen when it is so expensive to drive to a grocery store? Whoever figures out how to capitalize on the gasoline crisis by filling our soon to come needs will be the next Sultan of Brunei, or Bill Gates. The internet is wonderful to shop for those who live far from stores. But, hey lets face it, frozen foods for everyone? Imagine the size of truck that would take.

It is 2008, and I do not have an address. Really, I am not kidding. Lucky for me I have a PO Box. This is a problem because UPS does not ship to PO Boxes. It is 13 miles to the UPS store. The truck would never find this place because, again, I do not have an address.

Maybe we should bring back the milk man and the bakery truck and the ice cream man and make the US Postal Service accept packages from UPS?

I am tired of sending money to Iraq to build their infra-structure so they can blow it up. What about The United States of America and our infra-structure? What about all the junk we are forced to buy from China?

This is one reason why I knit. It is made by me. It is soft, not like my keyboard. But PLEEZE don't take away my high speed internet access! At least, I do have a virtual address.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The NORO Origami Shrug


Ok, I have been getting quite a few requests for the Noro Origami Shrug that appears on Skein Cocaine blog site. This is really not a pattern. It is a sketch I did for Gina when I tried to explain to her about this thing.
First of all, it is very simple, it folds into a rectangle(great for travel) and is super easy to make. Most days you will find me folding origami stuff and I love Noro. I play around with ideas of what to do with this yarn and how to take advantage of the unique properties hidden within the fiber. I love the tweedishness (ala American Idol) of the color.
At the moment,I am making one in Silk Garden, and am trying some of the "Jared" color work that he did in his Noro scarf; which, by the way, seems to have taken on a huge life of it's own and good for Jared. I am taking one of his classes at Purl Jam in June and I c a n n o t wait. But, back to the Noro Shrug:
I have tried making it 60 inches long instead of 64 and it fits nicely.
This shrug is an experiment. Please feel free to try different things. That is all this is. Please share your results so we can all see what happens.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Life Is But A Dream

My friend Gina, at Mosaic , was saying that when she is very busy, like when she is trying to get Purl Jam, the knitting event taking place in June, together, with running her store and taking care of her toddler, and hosting dinners for friends and knitting until she drops over and talking to her customers, like me, she finds that time expands.
Well, I am older than she, and my experience of time might be a little different because of this or I find that I am timesick. I like to stand in line at a very busy grocery store with ten people behind me and then I write a check. I find that writing a check takes, FOREVER, an eternity. I find that the more I do in one day makes my time go by faster, and faster. I want to savor my life; every minute of everyday. So, this is why I shop. My husband just does not understand what IT is. The motive is to write a check so I can feel time.
Seriously, I never write checks, anymore, because I use a debit card, I am really miffed about debit cards.
So, I knit or paint and listen to interesting things and think about the world in which we live and wonder what I can do about anything. I compress into my time the universe and it gives me so much energy. E=MC2. So, why not click on the title and see what great thinkers have to say about this.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

See Sha Sha Sway

Click the link for my other space to see something amazing!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What happened next

My trip on Friday to Mosaic in Blacksburg, Virginia was amazing. I had such a great time bouncing ideas off of my friends and fellow creative spirits. I always take home way more than I bargain for, in yarn and yarns. The stories they tell! If only it were possible to do all of what I believe we could accomplish in one lifetime. The group of gals and one guy that were gathered in this colorful place could change the world. Ambition and willingness to work and play hard is catching and the rippling affect out into the world is evident. It has been a long time coming for me to find souls such as these and I appreciate their spirits.
Now, the problem came into fruition when I photographed my bounty. You see, I keep my stash inside a birdcage that I bought years ago in Santa Fe at a folk gallery. I knitted and I knitted until I used up all of my NORO. In my studio, that is declared a major disaster. The energy of the silk garden vibrates until it could fly away, right out the window. Therefore, that is the explanation for the bird cage. Well, knowing about that energy I thought that I should hurry and take a photo of the evidence. This is what happened, I placed the yarn in a pyramid shape inside of the cage and closed the door. Next thing I knew the door flew open and out came the energy stored in the balls of silk garden. I was fortunate that the camera could capture the sight of color, which is light, right? Capture it, before it was out the window.
I have been listening to Mark Twains "Huckleberry Finn" while I knit, can you tell?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My Wish for BUSH

TED | Talks | Isabel Allende: Tales of passion (video)

TED | Talks | Isabel Allende: Tales of passion (video)

While the Democratic primary is being held today in South Carolina I am thinking that it is so important to consider carefully what we do in this country, how we exercise our right to vote. Isabel Allende is one of my most favorite writers. I enjoy her passion of mind in this world gone crazy. Click the above link to view and listen to her speech.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Trick Finger

Gosh, I am having trouble making things go where I want them to go, today. I am making labels for containers to keep all of my stuff.

I wanted to say, earlier, that I have been thinking a lot about what is important for this new year.

Reverie is my mode and I have a new sign that says DAYDREAM.


Design of this blog is top on my list. If I could just control when and how to hit the buttons, that would help.

I am soooh busy organizing my stuff

For Kellie : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZHrbjhwKik