Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
This is the scene that greets me after a snowfall--it is one of the skylights in my living room. I love how the snow creates shadows on the wall.
I am an unapologetic snow lover--it bothers me to no end that the weathermen in Chicago are constantly apologizing every time there is a snow forecast. And they always over-predict, which leaves me disappointed (expecting 8-10 inches and we get maybe 4). There is a joke in here about men overexaggerating about size, but I'll leave that alone....
Anyhow, we have a glorious snowcover that is ready for cross country skiing!! I'm going to finish up a few Etsy orders and head out on my skis for the first time this season!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
If you haven't been to this show before, it has a fun atmosphere. Located in a converted warehouse in Ravenswood, it is a collection of artist's studios that is only open to the public a few times a year. It's a great opportunity to see the work spaces of local artisans. And a few of us lucky folks are invited to participate with them each year.
Since you're in the neighborhood, be sure to swing by Architectural Artifacts. Instead of the usual 25% holiday sale, everything in the gallery (I hesitate to call it a store) is 50% from December 6-23! This is one of the coolest places in Chicago, with wonderful finds from all over the world. I plan to pick up some more Art Deco tiles.
Have a great weekend and stay warm!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
If you are around this weekend, I'll be at the Bucktown Bazaar show on Saturday and Sunday at the Holstein Park Fieldhouse in Chicago--lots of fun artists are there and no mall crowds! I'll have a fresh supply of Flamenco felted scarves and scarflettes in fun colors.
Monday, November 17, 2008
1) My parents are Depression-era kids, which makes me believe that this recession is going to bring out the best in us: living within our means, learning to make do and being resourceful, increased importance of family and friends, making things from scratch.
2) I haven’t dated an American guy in several years.
3) I saved two people when I was a lifeguard.
4) Flannel sheets make me very, very happy.
5) I have double-jointed hips and knees (maybe I should mention this on dates…)
6) I’ve never understood the appeal of Ken Nordine’s Word Jazz on NPR. His voice gives me the heebie jeebies and creeps me out.
7) Opera music either makes my skin crawl or it makes me giggle uncontrollably.
OK, Mary, you're it!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The setting was beautiful as usual, with the trees and late blooms putting on a spectacular display. I saw many old friends and made a few ones as well. And now I'm putting the ole' sweat shop into full drive, as I try to re-stock my inventory for another show this weekend (Barrington Junior Women's fashion show) . It's a good "problem" to have but it kind of reminds me of that old commercial: "Time to make the doughnuts..."
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
After the celebrations, it is time to harness all that energy, inspiration and passion from the campaign to continue working together.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Here are the results of Day 1 of the dye workshop. Believe it or not, there are 21 colors in this pile. Some of the dye recipes I chose were pretty similar, so they are just a few shades different. I'm pretty happy with the results, even though some of the colors didn't turn out as expected.
Tomorrow I'll learn how to use a drum carder to blend the fleeces and come up with even more colors! I ended up bringing the wrong type of wool to the workshop (I brought merino roving), but a friend gave me some of her Border Leicester fleece that she bought this summer in Wisconsin and washed herself. The sheen of this wool is so pretty, and is it supposed to be a good felting wool. In return, I'm giving her some gorgeous Cheviot wool I bought last year that doesn't felt worth a darn. Im sure it will spin up nicely--friends keep telling me I need to learn to spin, but I'm almost afraid to get started on yet another fiber technique.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I love the feel of this one--the fiber is 80/20 merino silk and so, so soft. It's hard to tell in the photo, but the shawl has a subtle tone-on-tone swirl design.
I dropped off three wraps for the fashion show at the Fine Art of Fiber next month. This weekend is the Uncommon Threads show and I will be in the boutique, but not the runway (maybe next year I'll try!) I'm trying to get a few more wraps done for the boutique, so that I can get an idea of people's reactions to them.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I was finally brave enough to use some gorgeous silk that I bought several years ago and I'm really happy with the result. This is the first wrap I made:
Now I just need a name for it--any suggestions?
Here is the second wrap:
I'm thinking of calling this the Honeycomb Wrap. Thoughts?
More photos tomorrow!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
On the studio front I'm shifting gears once again, trying my hand at felted shawls and wraps. There is a fashion show at the Fine Art of Fiber and they no longer accept scarves in their fashion show, only larger pieces. I've been wanting to try some larger pieces, so this has nudged me. It was slow going at first since my work space is not quite large enough, but I slogged through (quite literally making mess) and made two wraps yesterday. I need to finsh them up and take some photos.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Then there are some folks you wouldn't expect: there's a guy who scuba dives and is known simply as "Diver Dave"; the extended Ochoa family who come all the way from Cicero to set up camp for the day, bringing a myriad of lake toys. But my favorite, by far, are the twins--two ladies 72 years young who are out there every day, swimming backstroke together, wearing the old-fashioned caps with chin straps. They really are amazing and look fantastic. I want to look like them when I'm 72. Hell, I'd like to look like them now...
Enjoy the last official day of summer!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I've seen evidence of these guys, thanks to the gnawed-off garbage can lid, but I've only seen possums in my backyard. I'd rather look at this guy. He sat up in the tree for hours, I guess trying to keep dry.
On a completely different note, this is the first entry I am writing WIRELESSLY!!! I did it all myself (ok, also with the patient help of Ken in the Philippines on tech support), but still, I am really excited not to be tethered to the phone jack any longer.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
This year I only had time to compete in one race, but of course, it’s my favorite one. It’s deemed as the most “architecturally significant swimming race” and who is going to argue that? With every breath, you see the amazing Chicago skyline.
While I was happy with my time, there was little time to get heady about it. Shortly after I finished, not one but two guys came in having done the entire race in butterfly. Then came two amputees: a woman with one leg and amazingly, a man with one arm.
And then there’s the t-shirt—you gotta love the t-shirt!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
This image is from two summers ago, kayaking in the Apostle Islands with my brother.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I'll be at the same booth as last year--#171, right by the entrance to the food/beer tent (do they know me or what?) Stop by and say hi!
I have lots of fun new scarf designs, as well as new flower pins and felted jewelry, thanks to the encouragement of my great customers!
Friday, August 15, 2008
I was checking out the sidewalk sale in Andersonville (my lovely neighborhood) and stopped in Haus, a boutique that carries the work of some local artists that I really admire. I happened to be wearing one of my knit sterling necklaces and the owner noticed it immediately. One thing led to another and well, Haus now carries my work.
Friends and family are always telling me that I should wear my stuff more often and be more forward about promoting myself. Tooting my own horn is not really my style, so for this to have happened is such a compliment and I'm really thrilled.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I'm fascinated with this kettle-dyed merino/silk roving that I picked up at the fiber festival a few weeks ago. The color gradations just melt into one another and the fiber has a subtle sheen from the silk content. Makes me want to A: buy some more, or B: get out my dyepot and give it a try. Neither is particularly practical right now since I'm in the process of moving and don't really have the time or money to spare. Definitely something for my to-do list!
Mother Nature was raging last night--it was the first time that I headed to the basement for a Chicago storm. When the radio alert mentions your neighborhood by name, the sirens go off and you live in an attic, it's time to hide!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
After setting up our booth, I decided to check out the other displays and see who was there. I wasn't in the mood for small talk and since there was no one around (or so I thought) it seemed like a great opportunity to check out materials without having to chit chat.
Down the row, I noticed a fairly big exhibit with a huge stack of DVDs as giveaways. I always tend to be a bit jealous when I see non profits with more stuff than us, so I had to take a look and see who it was. So I walked over and picked up a DVD and was surprised to see who it was: "The Tourettes Association--what the f*ck?!?" Unfortunately, I said this out loud to myself, and even more unfortunate was the fact that the Tourettes Association staffer was just off to the side, within earshot. It was all so fast: she shot me dagger eyes, just as I realized what I had actually said out loud. I was mortified. Well, mortified and almost on the verge of snickering because I realized how bad and how funny this was. Had I been thinking on my feet, I could have pertpetuated the whole bad medical sterotype thing and introduced myself: "Hi, I'm from the Alzheimer's Association...where am I?" I am a bad, bad person.
To continue the theme, I was disappointed that I could not find either a Pope bobble head or a Bush countdown clock while I was there. Gotta keep looking for that clock.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Well, Cambridge, more accurately. These a just a few of the nuno felt scarves I sent off to the Cambridge Artists' Cooperative. I'm having a lot of fun playing with this new design, that I'm dubbing "Watercolors" for now. I was able to make lemonade out of lemons with two pieces of silk that were not quite the color I expected after I ordered them. While shockingly and scarrilously bright on their own, they became part of a beautiful landscape of color with the blends of merino and tussah fibers.
I really need to make more for Etsy!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Saturday was spent waiting nearly nine hours in the ER for a hospital room for Dad. A long time in a stressful, sterile environment—Mom was exhausted by the time we got home. But waiting for us at my parent’s foyer was the best gift with perfect timing. An envelope filled with handmade Easter cards (out of purple construction paper) and a hand knit prayer shawl. The fifth grade class at Notre Dame parish, where my family has gone for years, has kind of adopted my parents since they’ve been on the prayer list at church. They write handmade cards and Mom occasionally sends treats to the class and answers their letters. A group of girls in the class are learning how to knit and surprised Mom with a hand knit prayer shawl. The shawl is acrylic and made of garter stitch swatches, complete with dropped stitches and misaligned rows, but is one of the sweetest things I’ve seen. It’s hard to describe how much it lifted all our spirits after such as long day. Even thinking about it now makes me smile.
Friday, March 7, 2008
…and the candy store is in my house! Lemme explain. One of my favorite felting artists, Nicole Chazaud of Festive Fibers is changing directions in her career. She has been known for her beautifully upholstered furniture in her signature colorful felts—she’s now going to design for the textile industry. The felting world’s loss is also our gain, as she sold off her hand-dyed wool. As soon as I received her email newsletter, I placed an order. Do I really need more fiber right now? “Need” as I’ve learned, is a relative thing. Good, upholstery-grade batting is hard to come by, especially in fun colors. Add to that the fact that this wool was dyed by an artist whose sense of color I really admire, and well, yes, I realized that I “needed” this fiber.
Honestly, I think I squealed in delight when I opened this package. Oh, the fun I’m going to have....as soon as I finish up an order of Nuno scarves for the Cambridge Artists Cooperative. I'm really please with the new designs I've been playing around with. Gotta make sure I take photos before I pack them up!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
This Saturday, I head out to St. Charles to teach Felted Scarves at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center. It's the first time I'm teaching this workshop, so it should be interesting!