An update and a new project.

Ah, I am finally feeling better, I hate being down for the count. And although my week wasn’t going to be super exciting, I did feel like I was missing out on some even in the world that my presence should have been at. SO if I missed yours. I am sorry.

I am realizing with every passing day I need a new computer. For some reason PCs don’t like me. Do I know why? No. They crash, they freeze, they slur their words when I watch movies. I had an android phone, I zapped it with my energy and had to replace it 4 or 5 times before I went to an iphone. I hate to say it, but Operation Buy Christine a New Computer has commenced for this holiday season, and I am looking at a fruity variety. All holiday dollars made will be going twards a new computer for me to work on. So let’s do this! I got awesome things to sell and people got Christmas gifts to get. (A little motivation for myself, my computer situation is somewhat disappointing and depressing.)

On the plus side, I already finished one holiday gift. Its absolutely lovely. Now I have to wait to give it. And not post photos. How am I to do this successfully? I am known in the past to be too excited for some holiday gifts that I give them at Thanksgiving. I guess I can do that, but its still not the same. I always feel weird, like, “um, so I don’t have anything for you because, well you remember I gave you that thing a month ago?” Yea… No matter what I always like I came empty-handed. I started on another gift. Some of my handspun and I am struggling. 4 times I have frogged this yarn. Its lovely and I have a great idea for it, its just not coming out right. So I am going to put it aside and keep working on other things. A few more things to sell first. I finished another cowl- but I am debating on whether I would like a new cowl or if I should sell it. I am going to do a couple more, and really finish the pattern so I can post it up here! In the mean time, here is a couple shots of some recently finished pieces that I love.

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The color looks a little off here, but it has a lovely assortment of raspberry, a smidge of green, some purple and blue. Its from Madelinetosh A.S.A.P. The color used here is Alizarin. Its very soft and chunky- my ballwinder couldn’t wind this stuff because it was so soft. The lower picture is featured in Fog. photo 1 I tried winding that one 5 times before I gave up and did it the old fashioned way- using B.’s hands and me winding it. One time the ball flew off the winder and all the way across my work table and onto the floor! I was a bit skeptical on whether or not I was going to like working with it because it was so soft. But I was very pleased. It makes a nice substitute for Rasta in a pinch (not as thick thought)

2 skeins was all it took!

I know the pattern by heart but I am going to do it at least one more time before I post the full pattern. A test in something thinner should be a good challenge. I got some Prism yarn its a hand-dyed merino from Amazing Threads that has a nice softness, but not as thick so we’ll see how this challenge goes. I wasn’t super happy when I balled it, it likes to felt on itself, so frogging might not be much of a possibility if this is a failed experiment. Let’s hope for the best!

I posted a few new items on etsy the other night. One of them was modeled by B. since I wasn’t feeling super photogenic that day. Its a pretty feminine infinity scarf but he pulls it off quite well. photo 4 (3) photo 5

 

Other than that its same ol same. I picked up S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst, but dont know when I will really have any time to go through all the book and its accessories. I have many goals. The third Unwind book is also in queue on my kindle which I am itching to read. So many things to do and not enough time!

 

Tomorrow B. and I will be making potatoes. A favorite of mine. We will be taking lots of pictures so we can post them on my site. My sweet chili chicken recipe has been a very popular post, and I have seen some great numbers in visitors. So I want to share another one of my faves. (It reheats suuuper well!!!)

 

xo

-C

A summary of the last week

Well the trunk show went well, you can always hope for more sales but are happy with what you got. My late night frenzied working has caught up with me. I started to get sick. My worst nightmare. I hate being sick, not that anyone particularly enjoys not feeling well but I am a very bad sick person. I am far too active in my activities to allow myself a moment to relax and start to get better, plus I get crabby. Not just crabby, but old man ornery that no one wants to be around. So now I lay in bed, hoping my body will rebuild itself rapidly, drinking a “soup” of sorts that my cats can probably taste from here- I am particularly craving strong flavored foods so I can taste them. My midwestern taste buds would freak if they knew what I think sounds good right now.
So here is to getting better. And a picture of my table at the trunk show last night. 🙂

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Oh yes, and finally, I finished plying that Moonglow with the glow in the dark thread!!! enjoy!
xo

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The night owl.

Just a mini post about this hat I am working on. The roving came from SpunRightRound on etsy- its AMAZING. a lovely Polworth and Tussah Silk mix. I am working on a sassy hat for Monday’s trunk show. But- I have a confession to make. If this hat does not sell on Monday, B is gonna have a hard time getting me to post it on Etsy. It looks like a Carebear party. And I sure LOVE the Carebears- so its kinda screaming MINE!!! We’ll see if it makes it to etsy!

regardless on how tired I may be right now- I’ll have about 4 hours of sleep tonight, I will say I am making some pretty sweet stuff right now, so I am very proud of that. Just a few more days of making stuff like crazy. Counting wraps, Finishing Skeins. It will all be worth it. Just in time for the holidays.  photo 1 (5) photo 2 (5)

 

xoxo

Just a few more stitches.

This skein is seeming to go on continuously. Its beautiful, and is working up nicely, but I feel every time I reach down to double check where I am in my skein, I realize I haven’t made much of a dent.

We had our first snow tonight. I hear the snow settling on the roof in odd foot patterned noises. I am ready for spring.

Tonight on my bus I was fully decked out in Kaleidoscope Kitty‘s knitty wear. Hat, scarf, cowl and my fingerless gloves. I look like a Malabrigo poster. I am working on my infinity scarf still- my fingers beginning to cramp. A lady behind me comments on my hat and cowl and tells me they are so beautiful. I thank her, and feel awkward to push a business card her way, so I don’t. I put my earbud back in and continue on my row. A family of three hops on my route, two boys and their father. The youngest is mesmerized by my handwork. I try not to pay attention to the fact he is staring, it messes up my stitching. The older boy starts talking to the dad and the brother about what I am doing, I wonder what she is making, II think it might be a sweater, I wonder if she learned when she was little, etc. The conversation is audible, but it is still their conversation, so I don’t interrupt, after all, I have my earbuds in and they could be talking about something else. I zone in on my stitches…. my music plays a rhythm that I sink into as I hook. I continue on.  I hear a bit of “what are you doing?” “EXCUSE ME MISS, WHAT ARE YOU MAKING?” Boom. All eyes are on me. I feel a rush of pink to my cheeks, I have to answer all the way across the bus what I am working on, and all these people are suddenly watching. Am I naked? “Oh I am working on an infinity scarf, See?” I stretch it out and people crane their necks to see. More pink to my cheeks. They were very sweet boys and they had a couple more questions, and asked if I made all my warm weather accessories, I said yes and they asked why I was making something on the bus, I told them it was a good way to use my time, and I like making things. I had even made the yarn in this scarf I am making. People stood up to look. It was like a strange impromptu show and tell that no one wants to do. The boys were interested still in the artform and continued to chat about it once I went back to my work. Maybe someday I will see something by those boys. Until then, I have more stitching to do.

Countdown, 5 days. I need more time.

NaNoBloMo Day 2- ISO More time in the day!

Anyone got a few extra hours in the day and a few extra sets of hands to loan me? Mine are starting to cramp up. I can do this. I need buttons buttons buttons, and finish a few more scarves. Personally I am a hat person. I love hats. however so many people are on the scarf love that I feel I need to bulk up on my scarf assortment. I will bulk up on my scarf assortment and people will want hats. Its how it always goes. My last big show people kept asking for bracelets, I was making earrings. Moral of my tale. Make all the things. Don’t sleep. Just make the things. It will somehow work out in your favor.

My mega complaint about the new time change, I can’t crochet in the car when I come home from work. I know there are light up hooks, I have one, not in the size I need right now for this particular project, BUT I have one, and it is neat. Right now I am hooking with a Knitters Pride Symfonie Dreamz hook (the full set is on my Christmas list if anyone needs a last minute present for me <3 ) Its a lovely wood hook- just the right size, weight and smoothness. A bit more expensive, but MAN they are such nice hooks. This hook does not light up- and I dont want to be the weirdo with the headlamp on trying to fit in a few more stitches in the car. So yes, I am counting the days til more daylight, and trying my best to be patient.

I am using my symfonie hook to work on a multi functional infinity scarf. The yarn was spun by me in Duluth- some of my Lake Superior spinning, and it comes from Crosspatch Creations. I got a nice amount of yardage from it- like 300+ yards, and it looks and feels like Noro!
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It has a nice warm fall look to it but I could see someone wearing it to an elegant dinner as well. I cant wait til it is done so I can post it!

 

Ok, off to crochet and watch Gossip Girl… only 4 more seasons to go. Someone please suggest something I can work on and not have to pay too much attention to? B is mildly making fun of it, I don’t blame him, it is pretty lame.

xo

NaNoBloMo Day one- ish and a recipe!

Ok, so its November. Happy November. I had an unfortunately lame halloween but on the good side…we still don’t have snow. So that is a happy moment. Ben is getting busy for a November challenge for writing music and I am super excited for him to work on his goal He is very goal oriented, and when he has one, he always seems to succeed at it. Me, I get close, real close but many times I get distracted by other things. (That “I have A.D.D joke – ooh shiny!” was truly written about me.) But I will try this one. Apparently not only is it a music writers month, but also a national writers month as well. Along with those, I was also notified it was a blogging month. One blog a day for November. Can I do this? I think I can. Since I didn’t know about it until now, I don’t want to fully disqualify myself from it so I will make 2 blogs on two different days to cover from me starting on November 3rd. Maybe a few followers will help. I found one of my blogs was reblogged on Tumblr and I got super excited! People do read these things!

A quick recap. On Friday, I worked, and made some cards with some nice ladies, we pushed past our comfortability zone and I had them try some new techniques and played a bit. I felt everyone enjoyed their card making experiences. I went with a Dia de Los Muertos theme- I don’t know how much people give cards for that celebration, but I liked what I worked on.

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Saturday I had off but came into work for a demo on Inktense. It went great! I had at least 20 people watch, and learn and remind me I am doing what I am meant to do. I just have to figure out how to do it. A gentleman was turning 77 next week and he told me I have inspired him to do art. THAT is WHAT I WANT TO HEAR! I welled up from his praise- I want people to be inspired. The demo taught me a few things as well that the internet world is lacking… A proper demo of the amazingness of these pencils. In the near future, once I am done with my trunk show, and possibly my other holiday gifts, I want to sit down with Imovie, and start making time-lapse paintings of how amazing inktense can be. Two hours can be really intense to sit and work and chat thru the whole time but a video would be so amazing. So that is another goal of mine.
Ran home for crocktoberfest- what a fun night! delicious foods, friends and games. We tried Ladies and Gentleman for the first time. It was a fun game and I think with the right crowd it would be really fun, but the startup is slow and the rules feel long. so only about half of the table as into that one, we will play it again and it will be amazing. We got to make my favorite crockpot sandwich stuff Sweet chili Chicken!
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Sweet Chili Chicken

1 1/2 frozen chicken Breasts
1 bottle of Franks Red Hot – Sweet Chili Sauce
1 dry packet of Hidden Valley Ranch

Put the frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot, cover with sweet chili sauce. Cook on Low for 6 hours. Pull out the chicken, shred with two forks, put back in crockpot. Add dry Ranch packet and cook for another hour or so. This can cook for longer, but the sauce will reduce more, and could potentially burn on the sides.

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Serve on toasted buns- I prefer Kaiser Rolls and some shredded cheese. The extra ranch or buffalo sauce is optional depending on your tastes.

Another variation- the pinterest recipe we originally pulled it from had Franks Hot Sauce instead of the Sweet Chili. As someone who doesn’t care for the hot part, this was far too hot for my tastes. And I also felt it was more hot than flavorful, and the sweet chili is perfect. Bit please try your own and see what works best for you.

Oh yes, and I am one who does not like leftovers, I LOVE THESE AS LEFTOVERS. I call this a win! Its SOOOOOO GOOD!
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I did do some super productive things this weekend though that made me feel pretty good.
I woke up with a crazy idea to move furniture around, to help organize my spinning area. It can get a bit out of sorts and I need as much organization in it as possible. I woke up, dwelled on it all day, came home and BAM! Took care of it myself, no shopping trip to ikea or target for me! Yeah! Hind sight would tell me to measure first. I just lucked out enough with it fitting in the closet perfectly.

I nailed another shopping day out of the park. Last week I figured I would have to go to 4 different stores to get what I wanted. I got everything in one store. Today was the same. Found exactly what I was looking for, it fit, I felt amazing in it. Ring me up lady, I am outta here! Next is shoe shopping!

After the first of the year I also will be working on a new facet of my shop. Bridal fascinators. I just like fascinators in general, and I am thinking, put a pretty russian tulle with some handspun handmade flowers, and a little bling? OOOH that just sounds delicious.

Until next time!
xo

Holiday Goodies and Updates!

Time flies. Each year I start with a plan of ” I am starting my holiday gifts early this year. I will not be a last minute scrambler…” I dislike being that person. Maybe it makes me more stressed out, maybe it is my years in retail and the person saying, ” but I need a present, its two days to xmas and you don’t have it?” kinda drives me nuts. I will not be that person. I will not be that person.

I unfortunately am wavering on the possibility of being that person. I don’t have many people to give presents to, I don’t have a huge family, but the presents I do give, I want to be really special. This year I have taken on the idea of not just making warm things for people, but now I am making warm things for people and spinning the fiber to make said items. One more step. Still the same amount of people. I always want to give something special. Always. Since I do all my gifts handmade, they take longer- sometimes waaay longer, because if you rush art, you get crappy art.

I have a Trunk show in 12 days. Am I freaking out? Yes.

Not only am I to have my handspun yarns, but I am also to have a selection of ready made items too. Exciting, yes. Easy? no. Like wall art the wrong choice in mat can make or break your piece. A bad selection in framing can turn a serene landscape into a big erratic mess. Choosing the right pattern, or in my case, looking at a pattern, and deviating from that pattern is the exact same thing. I can’t remember if I have mentioned this before, but I struggle with reading patterns, I have forever. I lose track of counting, my mind thinks about too many things at once, and before you know it, I have created a new piece that looks similar, but not exactly like the original. Thats what makes my pieces special right? So the choosing of the patterns are eating my precious time… my precious precious time! I know I have many items to choose from, but I always want to have just that extra thing, just in case it is THE item that someone has to buy. When I did the RAW show in August, I made jewelry up until the moment I had to put my dress on and leave. Apparently its my way of coping with stress? I also get to look like a crazy person.

So I am currently working on 4 WIPs. I have another Malabrigo hat in the works- I can’t say just how much I love these hats (I am currently wearing mine now.) I am working on another pair of boot cuffs- I love love love mine, they look so cute with my boots! I am just finishing a handspun hat, from a really large skein of yarn, the other part of the skein will be up for sale in a short while. (it was a jumbo 8oz) so I thought It might be wise to split it into 2. The hat is really cute though. And I am also working on a neckwarmer in Beesybee’s Summer SAL, which I named Candy Crush It looks like the candy crush game colors. I spun this one up while I still played the game, ( I am not right now, I don’t have time to get all crabby from it. – I currently only play Happy Street on my phone) On Sunday, I will be on the hunt for a few buttons to add a little something. Or, if I get really really ambitious, I might just make a pin out of some sculpey and attach it that way.- its just large enough to not need buttons anyway. The important thing is that it is really really cute.

I am also hoping to have at least 3 new skeins of yarn done and ready for sale on the 11th- including the Crosspatch Creations I have to ply. Its the lovely moonglowy one, I’ve been neglecting Opal the past couple days and I am sure she will be crabby when I start working with her again, but my mission is to ply. I try not to stop a ply job in the middle- it can turn out kinda funky- so if I plan on plying, I get my water ready, my shows ready and stay the whole time. I ran out of my normal lineup of shows while spinninng, and I decided that I was going to watch…. eek, “Gossip Girl”. Its got 6 seasons, its no longer running, and I don’t have to pay attention to it as deeply as I would with something like Sherlock or Breaking Bad (both have come highly recommended, but require too much of my attention.) What shows are you watching? Any new recommendations? I have both Netflix and Amazon.

I will be hosting a Crocktoberfest again this year with a game day- mixing up the crew of friends I invite, more people should know each other, see how the dynamics change. Its not very fun when more than half your guests all hang out on a regular and then you sprinkle in 3 non clique friends. So the rules have changed, the groups have changed and if everyone will be ok with me spinning at the game table I will be set! If this does happen I will take pictures.

Oh yes and my Halloween Nightmare. Many months ago, I spun up a skein of yarn. I called it lemonade. A lovely pink and yellow mix of Merino. Its lovely. Things in life happened, work got stressful, I skeined it on my niddy noddy and left it for setting the twist. 2 weeks later I am ready to toss it in the pot. As I put it in and give it a quick stir, I realize I never put the skein strings on. I had a good 300yds loose in a pot of hot water that I couldn’t just reach in and pull out. AND I gave it a stir. I got it out finally and where it “didn’t look that bad” I knew I was going to have some issues with it. To the point of I questioned my decision to be a spinner, and briefly BRIEFLY thought, I should sell my wheel and just be done with it. I hate telling this story because it breaks my heart to think I would do such a thing since I LOVE my wheel and LOVE spinning so much. Anyways, I left this big knot of yarn to sit in a basket for months. A reminder of my mistake. I finally pulled it out and worked thru it. I may have 3 really tiny skeins of yarn now, but I have one decently sized skein, and I feel better about fixing my problem. SO here is a picture of my mess of yarn. I will feel much better once it sells.

xoxo

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Winter is coming, it is cold, warm up with new creations from Kaleidoscope Kitty!

For a born and raised Minnesotan, I am a pretty poor speciman of Minnesota living. Its been 40’s all week and I am wearing a scarf, a cowl, and a hat. Don’t forget those fingerless mitts! I hate being cold, I don’t like snow, winter sports do pretty much nothing for me. Why do I still live here? I don’t have a very good answer for that., because I don’t know. What I do know is that winter is great for wearing cute scarves, cowls, and hats- so my yarn and crochet line really excel in this area. I posted the other day a few of my new works that I am extremely happy with. I am also doing a trunk show for my handspun yarn and crochets on November 11 at Wunderkammer. The event page is on Facebook right here.

I will have Opal, my wheel, a crazy assortment of new handspun and some hats and scarves. I am working my fingers like crazy trying to get as much done as possible for this event. My hands hurt.

Anyways, picture time!

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This one here is mine, I love this colorway and waited over a year to get it in! It reminds me of the lovely color patterns bubbles make as they swirl. I made a little pom to go on it, and I really think it adds a bit extra cuteness to it.

 

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This one is a new favorite, with the same yarn. Thick and warm and oh so soft. With or without pom (shown without pom)

You can find it on my shop HERE.

 

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The magical thing about this yarn is that it comes in super small batches, and I think that makes it very special. My cowl in this picture is actually from the same colorway. Its incredible how they can be so different, and it makes me appreciate handmade and hand-dyed items so much more. This cowl is not for sale, but I can make more! The hat however is for sale- with or without a pom pom. Check it out.

 

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Another struggle artists face everyday is the Target syndrome, Can I pay you $30 to make something? I saw something at target for that much and I figure you could get the same thing. My item sells for $90. She offered me $30. That doesn’t even cover my yarn- or even the time it took me to make it. What people don’t realize these days is that Target has people in other countries making things for them. I work a full 9-10 hours a day, come home and am lucky if I have time to keep my eyes open, let alone crochet for 4 hours. My supplies are not cheap, I do not use cheap goods. As I have continued my artist journey, I have realized life is too short to be using cheap materials I will not be happy with. Sure I could, and have in the past, but I also think I would be providing an inferior product and a lesser value of service, plus I like the feel of nicer things in my hands. So yes, my product may be more expensive- but the time I took to work on a pattern, pick out the yarn, and work with it is worth it. I think all your artist friends are probably worth it, and a whole lot more. I never want to come off as rude on this subject, but there are reasons the “starving artist” exists. Please do yourself and your favorite artist friend a favor and buy from them this year. I have made all my own holiday presents for years now, with the exception on my father, who I don’t feel would like a pair of sparkly earrings or a sassy new cowl (I think he would agree as well). Big companies are opening earlier because the people want it. They buy into it. Everyone complains about Christmas trees popping up in August, yet we start banging on the retailers doors earlier and earlier each year. Support your local artist. <3 Buying from one person each holiday makes a world of a difference. I am not saying it for me, I am saying it for everyone.

And now I am off my soapbox. I just had to say it. Its a stress maker for Holiday and I had to voice it.

A few more pretties before I say goodnight. I spun up another winner from Beesybee Fibers, and plyed it with a simple copper thread. It is absolutely stunning.

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The plying process is fun and still very exciting. Its amazing to see the combos you can come up with by adding one simple thing to the mix.

 

 

My next up is a colorway called Pansy and it comes from Crosspatch Creations. This was a fiber bump from Playing with Yarn in Knife River, MN. I picked up a bunch from this shop and have had such a great experience with this line of fiber. I think my version will be called moonglow, since I will be plying it tomorrow with glow in the dark thread!  photo (13)

A new trick to add to my hoop skillz.

I obsess over certain moves, it happens. This was the move I obsessed over last week, and this week I nailed it. A video, because I have to share!

It’s a wedgie start!

http://youtu.be/vDhRPwjxLLY


photo 1 (2) I will figure out how to get the video thing to actually work on here. Be patient, or just click the youtube link! <3

 

An Etsy post with the most

I will admit, over the years Etsy has made some huge changes and updates to their posting format. It is still far too time consuming for me to get anything done. I made 4 postings today. 4. I took all the photos, I photoshopped them so they look right and the size is correct, and then comes the post. Writing about my work is one of the most uncomfortable challenges for me out there. I feel like it is very cut and dry, but thats the kinda shopper I am, I like the facts, nothing more, nothing less. Some buyers want to hear a story, how I was feeling when I created something, I don’t know. The times that I have had a story to go with something they were pretty depressing stories, and I think it turned people off to the sale of the item. And I most certainly don’t want to lie, but it takes me ages to talk about my stuff. AGES… So yes, it took all day and only 4 posts were made. Can I have a cookie now?

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Check out my new posts on my shop, I am really proud of them, and can’t wait til they find good happy homes. I will be having a trunk show soon at Wunderkammer showcasing my yarn and creations, I am super excited and will make a real post about that soon! There will even be a beginning crochet class as well in the works for December. Exciting things are afoot!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/166146575/amazing-and-colorful-handspun-yarn?ref=shop_home_active

https://www.etsy.com/listing/166138562/soft-and-colorful-sky-blue-handspun?ref=listing-shop-header-0

https://www.etsy.com/listing/166131756/bright-and-bulky-handspun-neon-party?ref=listing-shop-header-3

https://www.etsy.com/listing/166143905/bright-purple-and-rainbow-2ply-handspun?ref=listing-shop-header-2