Thursday, February 24, 2011

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

This morning just before 7 am, the snow was still coming down.  All the schools closed for the day.  Molly enjoyed snuffling and biting the snow.  She gets just as excited as a little kid and wants to go out and play.  The storm moved out of Canada, across Washington and hit us yesterday and last night, then it was off to California where San Francisco is expecting a dusting of snow.  Mid morning the sun came out and by noon most of the snow had melted.  More is expected this afternoon, but I suspect by tomorrow it will be a non-event.  I covered tulips and budding hydrangea hoping to save them.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Midlife-Crisis, Mortality, or Simply Aging

Recently a friend of mine posted about turning 50.  I found the post interesting, so many of us late baby boomers are turning 50 or will do so soon.  For me it is 16 months from now, but very much on my mind.  I will turn 50 and weeks later my youngest child graduates high school, so I will also become an empty nester.  Now what?  What do I do now, cause the same old looks very boring.  I love my children, have enjoyed raising them, but it is me time again.  I look forward to the spontaneity this time will bring.  Initially I know I will stay busier then usual to fill the void, but soon I will ease into the next phase of life. Eating when I want to, going out to see friends anytime I want to, no kids to haul somewhere or asking me for money, opps, I am afraid they still ask for money, college is expensive. Going to the beach for the day, and suddenly deciding to stay the night, because we can!

So with all this on my mind, I recently took a walk by my home to a old cemetery.  It was a dark Grey day, the rain had stopped. The only noise was from cars passing by and my shoes in the wet grass.  I walked the tomb stones, I took pictures, and saw some interesting things.  This cemetery had many tombstones of WWII Veterans.  What surprised me the most as I looked for more and more to confirm this.  The Vets buried there, most lived long lives, but strangely, most out lived their wives, some by months, others by years.  I thought "Us" gals typically outlived our guys, what happened? 

I also found plots that were completely overgrown.  So what follows are photos I first took using different settings on my camera, then manipulated them.  I hope you enjoy the results.

Now I am off to work on my healthy diet, walk the dog, read a newspaper and remember to laugh at myself.  Then I think I will spend sometime thinking about my contributions and how I would like to be remembered. 
On a lighter note here's to looking at and enjoying another 50 years, hopefully. Remember to enjoy sunsets, and sunrises. Stop when the delicate smell of new roses in spring hits your nose and inhale deeply. Laugh until your sides hurt when your bird dog, leaps chasing a seagull into the ocean, only to realize she can not out swim it as it flies away. Look at the world through childlike eyes, there is glory all around you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Process of Creating

I recently posted on my Artfire blog about creative inspiration and it got me to thinking.....

Once you find a source of creative inspiration, how does it translate for you? What is the required process needed to interpet the inspiration? How many paths are you led down before you decide on a medium to express what you see in your minds eye? Which one do you choose first or is there only one choice? The space you create in what does that look like and how does it serve you, or hold you back?

When I was in high school, we had a career class that we could take. I spent some time in the career center, when I decided I wanted to do something in Art. I found this article about a designer who took pictures out of magazines and photos and kept them all in files for inspiration. This process always stuck with me.
I find magazine ads to be inspiring. So some of the pages in one of my sketch books looks like this,

And This,
Honestly I think these leggings are relevant again, some 15 years later.  I mean even the shoes, hello, cute.
So do you keep files in cabinets or do you paste them in sketch books?  This is what I do;

Some times, I have been puzzling an idea and it comes to me at night watching TV and so, the idea will float around on a piece of paper like this one.......
The idea needs a little fine tuning, but in the mean time I made the first proto type. Sometimes when an idea hits I am at my desk by my laptop and this happens....
the beginning results of this can be seen in my Studio for sale. Last week when we went to the beach , I came home with.....
It has inspired my summer collection, more about that later. 
I hope you start thinking about your process for creating art.  Let me know what you like to do.  Is it vision boards, or photos, or trips up the coast, flowers in garden?

Friday, January 28, 2011

No Shipping Costs the Month of February

So here's the deal.  At my Artfire Studio( look on the right here for a link)  I am not charging shipping IF you enter the code: Valentine when you check out.  Everything in my studio is now 20% off.  So if your looking for a gift for yourself or someone you love, please check it out. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Sale

I have decided to have a sale from now until Valentine's Day at my artfire studio.  All books, fiber and fabric will be 20% off.  Treat yourself or loved one. You can get a book on something you were always interested in trying, or improve your current skills.  Spin some beautiful yarn, or start a quilt!

Please take a look at WBKDesigns

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January Randomness

It is 2011, I am still in shock.  By June 2012 I will be an empty nester, as much as I thought I would look forward to the freedom, I don't think I will like it very much.  Have I ever said I have the best sons in the world and I am so very proud of them!!

The one thing I knit for Christmas was for my youngest son.  He came to me at the beginning of December and said his hands were cold.  I jumped at the opportunity to knit for him.  Trying to be all casual I asked him if he would like some gloves.  He did but he wanted his fingers free.  I quickly pulled up Ravelry and with the lightning speed of a regular user, I had fingerless gloves for men pulled up.  As we scrolled down, he quickly picked cigar with mods, but he just had to have the same yarn, knitpicks Wool of the Andes. Two weeks later I had the yarn, with two weeks to go, I started to knit, hoping my hand would be ok.  His mods included only 2" of ribbing on the wrist.  We picked the large size based on his hand width.  he wanted all the fingers to end at the first knuckle.  As I started to knit the hand and have him try it on, we did other mods. On the second set of increases I used the medium size, on the thumb I allowed all the stitches for the large size.  We skipped the strips, of course he wanted all black, he is 16. I knit the rounds for the small, all fingers I allowed the medium size.  I liked the way they came out, he is very happy and I finished the knitting on Christmas eve!
My only complaint was with the yarn.  I was surprised at how much it shed.  I probably noticed it more because it was black.
This caused me to spend some time on google looking up information about mills.  Interestingly most of what I found was about mills in the US that have closed.  I found that they used Sulfuric Acid to remove debris and neutralized this with baking soda before dumping it in ponds.  I also found they soaked yarn in a chemical with the dyes.  The land of these mills was toxic and have required clean up.  This concerns me as a knitter, as someone who is chemical sensitive and for our environment.  Especially so when so many yarns are made overseas and we don't know what they are using or how they are dealing with the waste. 

Last but not least, I finally took the time to develop my Artfire Studio  you can go there and read my blog about my New Years Resolutions.    What have you resolved to do this year?

Ok this is really last, I also treated myself to a gazing with Braco  I owe my Step mom lots of gratitude, she told me about him and we went together.  I am sure this is not for everyone.  All I can say, it was the best gift I have given myself in a long time, words can not adequately describe the experience.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Catching up

In August, my mother came to visit. We had a wonderful time. We went to the coast and visited the Latimer Quilt and Textile Museum. It was a lovely day and we had lunch on the water. Mom was in search of the Boutique knits book, because she wanted to make the Side Slip Cloche Our travels took us to Knit Purl in downtown Portland where she purchased yarn for both of us to make the hat. More about this later...

September brought rain, fall leaves and my son back in school, while I started the job of packing up our house to move. I needed a break from my MSP so I did something for fun. I made these batts from a dyed roving of merino, bamboo and nylon. I threw in some brown Shetland roving and a chunky bits of soy silk top. Into the drum carder it went for one pass.
I made 4 one ounce batts and spun them into a thick and thin single.
Then I went back to packing, cleaning and moving.  As some of you know I over did it and hurt myself. My upper back inflamed, my left arm spasmed and my carpal tunnel flared.  Many weeks of doing very little and getting acupuncture.  To be followed by a whooper of a fibromyalgia flair that sent me to bed for days.  I admit I was grumpy and not fun to be around.  Thank goodness for comcast and a dvr, recording shows and watching TV was one of my only past times.  Recently I was able to pick up the needles again and started working on a sweater I started in February. 

I thought I would do a little book review here. Knits to fit and flatter by Jane Ellison is a lovely book. It is laid out well, with easy to follow instructions and ideas you can use to change the pattern.  She offers tips on how to customize the knits so they fit your body.  This is my current favorite knitting book. I highly recommend it.  I had wanted a basic cardigan and the twice as nice cardigan has been easy to knit.  The yarn I am using is Woo Bu by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. In the colorway  Oregon Red Clover Honey  I love this yarn.  It is a dream to knit. I love the feel of the fabric it makes and the slight shimmer the bamboo offers. I had purchased 2 skeins in January.  The pattern says I need about 200 more yards for the medium size.  Stubborn I am, I am knitting away.  I made the back and one sleeve out of one skein.  I have completed the second sleeve from the second skein, weighing everything as I go.  My calculations say I will have enough for the two front sections, but just in case I do not, I have a plan.  I'll keep you up to date.
If your wondering about this picture, it was not random. Hell child, oh I mean my darling kitty Leonardo da Vinci, or Leo as we call him, was laying all over my sweater and book as I was trying to take pictures.  I prefer to call him fur ball because when he is done torturing me, he gets up all casual like and as he walks away he swishes his fluffy angora tail from side to side.