Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shifting Gears

Whew--thanks to everyone who came to the Barrington show this weekend! I ran out of business cards, postcards, shopping bags and almost ran out of a few scarf styles! In fact, I'm a bit concerned about making enough scarves to keep up!

But I'm shifting gears completely for YarnCon this weekend. The scarves are staying home ('cuz knitters have enough scarves) and I'm breaking out the knit sterling jewelry. Well, provided I finish it all in time. I have yards and yards of knit Argentium sterling waiting to be made into earrings, bracelets and necklaces.

So what is Argentium sterling? It is a new composite of sterling silver that is tarnish resistant, which is great because most of my jewelry includes cultured freshwater pearls.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Art in the Barn--Barrington

This weekend is a new show for me--the Art in the Barn in Barrington. I've heard great things about this show and it is an annual fundraiser for the Good Shephard Hospital in Barrington.

I'm especially excited because this will be the first show for my new Flamenco Felted Scarf design. It is always helpful to hear the comments from people on new designs. I'm not a girly-girly type of person, but I love the ruffles on these scarves and how it hugs your neck. Just the other day, it occurred to me to make a shorter, scarflette version of it. I like this version, too. It's just the perfect size to keep the tuck on and keep the wind off your neck, yet still has that fun, elegant look to it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh, no you didn't....

I've been trying to keep calm, really, I have. (Well, except for my Tourettes-like outbursts during the RNC.) But now They have done it. Dis my city for political gain? Include outright lies (not that that is new for Them) about Chicago folk? Uh, uh.

Ok, deeeeep breaths. Think happy thoughts. Keep felting fun things....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Swimming in Lake Michigan

One of my greatest joys this summer has been open water swimming in Lake Michigan. In addition to swimming down at Ohio St. beach where all the triathletes train, I also swim in the basin area between North Ave and Oak St. beaches. Early Sunday mornings, I meet up with a group (I use the term loosely--it is whoever shows up) called the Lake Monsters. We started out at 6:30 am, but have since moved it to 7:30 (thankfully) . Still, it's amazing how many folks are out there in the early hours. There are the usual hoardes training for the marathon (I'm glad those days are over for me) and lots of dog walkers.

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!
* Photos couresty of Steve Hernan of Lake Monsters

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Raining cats and dogs and....raccoons?

One of the many things that I love about my space is that is feels like a treehouse (I'm in a third floor converted attic). The back window looks out into a large tree and I'm eye level with birds and squirrels. Yesterday afternoon, I found this guy lumbering up the trunk and nestling into the crooks of the branches.

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

Food for thought.....

It makes for a good bumper sticker, no?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Big Shoulders and the best t-shirt ever

Yesterday was the annual Big Shoulders open water swim in Lake Michigan. This was the third year I competed and I was happy to take 7 minutes off my previous time. There is something about open water swimming that is so fascinating to me. Some find it boring, or even frightening, but the lack of a black line and endless flip turns is so relaxing and even zen-like at times. Swimming was my first sport—before rowing, cycling and cross-country skiing, so there is such a back-to-basics relaxation there for me.

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

The Good Stuff

Since I've been felting up a storm, it was time to buy a new block of olive oil soap. You can felt with just about any type of soap, but I find that this is really the best: low amount of suds (which can impede felting), supposedly the best ph level for felting and eeeeeasy on my hands. Plus, the organic look to it is kind of cool.

I picked this up in Lincoln Square ( a fun neighborhood in Chicago) at Merz's Apothecary. Very cool place to check out--an old-fashioned pharmacy, featuring homeopathic medicines and all sorts of lovely imported soaps, creams, colognes, etc. A real treat.
In unrelated news, Joe Lieberman is a weasel...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Summer is NOT over yet!

I hold firm to the fact that summer lasts until the vernal equinox, September 21st--I'm hanging on to every last day. (But I do agree that summer starts Memorial Day weekend--I will have my proverbial cake and eat it, too)

This has been one of the best summers I've had in a long time, lots of swimming, biking, time with friends and family--hope it has been wonderful for all of you, too. Twenty-one more days to go!!!

This image is from two summers ago, kayaking in the Apostle Islands with my brother.