Friday, January 25, 2013

The Everyday Is One Big Still Life

If you're like me and love color, then you tend to pay attention to it everywhere - except in your everyday life. My home is filled with color, most of it intentional, like the artwork and textiles. However, a lot of it changes daily, depending on the time of day and the current project with which I'm involved. I find inspiration in all of it:

While you may recognize this cowl I made a few months back,
there's something about it on the dressform, on the table with the cream fabric beneath it,
with the blue peeking out from behind that gives it a whole 'nother dimension.

I found the play of the blue coffee cup with the wonderful,
deep purple on the clear glass table rather inspiring.

And then there's George Bailey. While his colors might not change,
his mood does. Constantly. Here, he's in a catnip-frisky mood. You don't want
to know how many tries it took before I got a somewhat clear shot of his face.
If mood were a color, he'd be neon orange right about now.

Now definitely link up with all the other color and yarn lovers over at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. You just never know from where the next inspiration will come!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Behind the Scenes This Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday

I haven't been around my blog too much in the last few weeks (although I've been busy on Ravelry). I have been working on finishing up some projects for publication. Shameless plug alert - And, if you were already on my newsletter mailing list, you would know the yarns I've been working with - so if you're not on it, go on and sign up right now. End shameless plug.
I'm almost finished with a design that's been donated for a charity publication. The yarn is yummy and I am really excited not only about the project, but the fact that all the designs, as well as the yarn used in the publication, have been donated. It's very appropriate that I am slated to finish my design this holiday weekend when the U.S. celebrates the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.
This time each year is always contemplative for me, and working on this charity project has really focused my hands and mind, once again, on the true meaning of this holiday. Being of service to others can take many forms, not the least of which can be a donation of one's time and talent. I was honored to have one of my designs chosen for this project, and despite delays due to unforeseen acts of the universe, everyone has managed to stay focused and perservere. I cannot wait to see the final result, and to be able to share the design and the entire project with all of you.
In the meantime, please head on over to Wisdom Begins in Wonder and check out what everyone else is working on (of service or otherwise) this Fiber Arts Friday.  And if you have the opportunity and are so inclined, get out in your neighborhood and engage in a service project. Knitters and crocheters are such a giving bunch.

Image from

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Little Underwhelmed

I recently picked up a pet tree house at the beginning of the year - you know, the kind a cat can sleep in and scratch on? Well, George Bailey initially put his nose up in the air after I put him on it.

See the slightly pinned back ears?
Not a happy camper, he.

Then I borrowed some catnip spray from a neighbor. What a difference a little kitty crack makes:

Life with catnip is a beautiful thing.

Friday, January 4, 2013

I'm A Little Late To The Fiber Arts Party This Week

Well, it's the first week of 2013's Fiber Arts Friday and where am I? A little late, but I'm here - really!

The first thing on the Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday front is my completed Snow-tipped Poinsetta shawl, which I gifted to a family member during the holidays:

My version of Drop's snazzily named 0-859 Shawl for Christmas. 
The original design was created in only one color. I used two different yarns in my version's edging, adding an additional row in a peachy color to break up all that lovely red, and then added beads along the final edging row that look a lot like icicle drops along the edge of a poinsetta flower:

I love using beads, but not in a gratuitous manner. I think they add a lot of pizazz to this shawl, even if I say so myself.

Though the original was done in a cotton viscose, for my version I used not quite a complete skein of Drops Lace for the body of the shawl. It blocked beautifully, and the lace adds a delicate touch. I would recommend this pattern - it's easy, works up quickly, and would look wonderful in a variety of yarn types and weights.

I had also hoped I would be able to show you my completed Skappel sweater, but alas, it has hit the frog pond and sunk to a very icy depth, never to be recovered. I came to the conclusion, after getting the first sleeve done, that 80s dropped shoulders and oversized proportions just weren't going to cut it. Et voila, it did a disappearing act. I am thrilled that I got to practice my three needle bind-off technique (of which I'm rather pleased). Otherwise, that was a boondoggle I hope not to repeat in the new year.

And finally, Melisa from Toad in a Boat has won my give-away copy of Quick & Simple Crochet Scarves - congratulations, Melisa! It will be winging its way to you shortly.

While I'm certain everyone else has checked in, if by some chance you didn't, definitely head on over to the WonderWhyGal's Wisdom Begins in Wonder blog and check out all the other on-time fiberista activity.

It just might be a very busy year, if beginnings are any indication.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cheers to 2013!

Another amazing year is about to begin, and as I have done in past years, this is a time I lay low, recover from the year-end creative flurry, take inventory of things great and small, and develop the new year's game plan.

I remain amazed, humbled and so thrilled that I continued to design, write and publish patterns in 2012. There have undoubtedly been hiccups (of all varieties) along the way, but somehow the designs just keep spilling forth. I see no end in sight, which makes me smile first thing in 2013 (even if this post is set on a future scheduled publishing time).

As I have the past two years, I'll have more to say about a few new paintings as well as my most recent shawl at the end of the week. As for the book - well, I ended last year with that wonderful surprise (and, if you would like to win a copy, go and leave me a comment ... like ... right now, since I'm going to draw the winner very soon!)

I created the collage above in Picasa, and for those of you who may not have used the software, you can choose the type of collage, but then the program places the photos in some random order, and you can keep shuffling the arrangement until you get a collage you like. I was thrilled with the very first one above - since George Bailey was right in the middle.

I hope the collages keep shaking out so elegantly in 2013.