Friday, March 30, 2012

For The Fee Fi(ber) F.O. Love of Projects

Hello everyone! I have been absent from here for a little bit, and I've missed the blog. While I've been away, I've gotten this fiber and bling serving out the door to its intended destinatination:

That makes five projects I've delivered to various publishers in February and March. For me, it's been (and continues to be) a real learning experience. While I've written in the past that each new design is like a child being released into the world, there's the flip side to that scenario: what's left in its wake at home. After I send out each physical project, and get the written directions delivered electronically, there's a palpable ebb in energy. What, no more of X pattern? No more working with that particular fiber? It's a yarny spin on empty-nest syndrome, I imagine.

Projects never really leave, though. There's always the design thrill of watching FOs being produced (I've had the pleasure of leading a CAL for my La Poetique Infinity Scarf this month - another thing I've been doing while away), as well as any pattern support and maintenance to be done.  Not unlike children, no?

Additionally, I've been working on my Big, Fat Crocheted scarf. I've switched up the fiber just a bit - I wasn't thrilled with one of the colorways I had originally chosen. There was too much bright white and yellow in it. So I added some tonally-appropriate fuschia as well as some left-over mustard and green laceweight held double (you can see the current fiber in the photo at the beginning of the post), so this is definitely a stash-busting project. It looks like this (sort of) right now:

I've also got two other projects in progress for National Crochet Month (which ends Saturday), so I should have some FOs to share next week.

However, the other new development while I've been away: I have a new online shop! Some of you may have recognized the new page link at the top of the blog, or the link in the right-hand margin. My shop will feature designs that I think successfully can be made in small batches. Right now that means artsy stuff for the home - my Les Bijoux Sur La Table napkin rings, as well as my latest baby (which has been marinating for a long time), the Box d'Histoire. It marries prints of my paintings on the outside with ephemera from my travels and research with recycled media copy on the inside, so no two will be exactly alike. They will eventually come in three sizes, and here's what a small box looks like:

It's my way of sharing bits of my story with all of you. I can't wait to see what bits of your story get put inside each box (which, btw, would be great for holding stash and small projects). Want to win one? Leave me a comment telling me what you might stash in a Box d'Histoire, along with a promise to post in future a photo on your blog of your box contents. I'll pick a winner, using a random number generator, from all of the comments received next Monday, April 2nd. Yeah - I love giveaways!

Now's the time to check in at Andrea's blog to see what everyone else is up to this Fiber Arts Friday. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Update Time

Just in time for tomorrow's Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday, I bring you several updates from chez Voie de Vie.

Initially, remember I wrote about getting these fiber servings out the door to their intended destination? Well, I'm happy to report that the FOs will be published in August. I'm super thrilled about that. Be on the lookout for a potential bloggy give-away around that time. (Of course, we won't discuss what I owe a different editor next week - eep!)

I am also currently participating in several Ravelry CALS (crochet-a-longs, for the fiber uninitiated) to celebrate National Crochet Month - yes, March is indeed crochet's month to party hardy. I'm using this laceweight (a gift from a fellow Ravelry mod) to craft a La Poetique Infinity scarf for myself:

I'm also using some linen fingering weight fiber from Germany (received in a previous swap) to make a Kristin Omdahl shawl (the Gali pattern) (a side note: Kristin is blogging about this CAL over here; I coordinated the CAL in the 12 shawls in 2012 Ravelry group); and I was using all of this to make a scarf from Crochet in Color:

however, I've switched my fiber up just a bit, but don't have a new photo. That will make it to a blog post next week.

Finally, I know several of you have commented on the lovely Blog Hub swap gifts I received. Well ... I'm so thrilled to be able to reveal my swap partner, since her box has finally arrived - it's Vivianne over at Kismet's Companion (the swappy organizer, no less). One could have gotten old waiting for the package to clear U.K. customs. It arrived in country on February 29th, and didn't get out of customs until March 7th! What were they doing all that time with Vivianne's poor swappy box? We'll never know, although it probably just sat in a corner, all forgotten-like. Pfft.

Enough about crappy customs offices, though. While you should check out Vivianne's blog entry to see her photos (complete with interested dog and a cat's butt), here are a few photos I snapped of her Day 1 gift before I packed it off on a jet plane - it's a box I made especially for her:

The outside is a print from one of my tulip paintings in some of her favorite colors; the inside are reprints of things I've saved from various travels - the map is from The Big Sur campgrounds where I rented a cabin for a few days back in 2005 (the best night's sleep I've ever had) and on the sides is a copy of the menu from a Paris bistro where I had one of my most memorable meals when I visited in 2009. The place wasn't fancy, but the food was good, stick-to-your-ribs fare and I loved it.

The box is a generous 8" in diameter and can easily hold several skeins of yarn, or a project in progress, or a host of several other things. I've been contemplating this box for quite some time, so seeing it out in the wild is rather exciting.

I hope each of you are experiencing excitement - fiberous or otherwise. Definitely check in with Andrea's blog, ok?!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Wiggly-Perfect Match Made in Gotham City Heaven

Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Fallon: two entertainers at the height of their on-stage powers got together on Friday for one amazing show. This is the second time that Fallon-as-Neil-Young and Springsteen appear together and absolutely steal the show.

Springsteen, out to promote his latest album Wrecking Ball, has hit solidly with fans and critics, at least in terms of lyrical sentiment. The Star-Ledger, however, had this to say about Springsteen:

         "Springsteen, who has often written eloquently about the distance between the
         American dream and American reality, is no doubt sympathetic [to the Occupy
         Wall Street movement]. Yet his prescription on "Wrecking Ball" — community,
         perseverance through hard times and a surrender to spiritual guidance — is not
         necessarily one that will resonate with protesters who are hoping to find success
         on their own terms."

I might humbly suggest that recipe - community, perserverance through hard times and a surrender to spiritual guidance - have (to a greater or lesser extent) led both Springsteen and Fallon to their current success. On their own terms.

Watch and come to your own conclusion.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's Over - No More Shiny Happy Gifts

Well, it's the final day of Blog Hub Swap gifts here at chez Voie de Vie. I've thoroughly enjoyed my bloggy, gift-filled week compliments of Tanya a/k/a Goddess Jasmine. The final day was the only gift that was specifically marked. It was a card, and when I opened it, this is what I found:

Wrapped in tissue paper, the pin was inside the card. It's a wonderful pin, and something that will be incredibly functional for me, since I wear shawls and scarves all the time. To the left below is a closer view of the pin:

Additionally, Tanya gifted two patterns from my rather voluminous online Ravelry queue: the Cascata Scarf (which would look stunning in the orange variegated wool/bamboo blend she gave me earlier in the week) and the Ocean Waves Stole. While I'm not certain how she settled upon those two patterns (although it might have had something to do with the yarn she gifted to me), since I have over 700 patterns in my online queue (!), I love them both, and I'm completely over the moon that I have two more patterns from which to craft loveliness.

I cannot adequately convey how much I've enjoyed this swap. I'm so glad I was your victim, Tanya - thank you, thank you, thank you! I have also enjoyed reading everyone else's bloggy gift reveals.

Now I just need to wait until my package arrives at its destination, so I can live vicariously through the recipient.