Monday, September 15, 2014

All Things Creative

Being in such a lovely place with no real job, just unlimited creative time, has given me so many different projects to work on. I have so many creative adventures to share with you all this week! From knitting to painting to even a bit of crochet.

First on my list is this gorgeous handspun with a special story. Two years ago I purchased two bags of beautiful local brown wool at a craft fair. I sent one bag to my friend Ivy and kept one for myself. The idea was that we would each spin singles with our bags, then send half of the singles to each other to ply together, so that the end yarn would be a two ply, made up of one ply mine and one ply hers. This yarn has been done since this past Feb/March, but it just never came off my spindle. Well, when I went to start my Texas Alpaca, I discovered it and knew it needed to come off. This is the end result. Isn't is gorgeous? Now I just need to perfect pattern for it!

My Multnomah shawl is making speedy progress as well: I can't spend my entire days painting after all! I went to my knitting group yesterday ready to start the feather and fan portion and left with 3 repeats done (out of 10). I have a feeling that in another week or so this will be bound off and ready to block. 

I'm not sure why (ok, maybe it was the knitters guild I went to and the quick crochet tutorial they gave this week), but I had a hankering to start a crochet project yesterday. It's so weird, because although I use crochet for edgings and cast-ons, I haven't actually made anything substantial with it. Out of pure laziness. Because it's so pretty, I grabbed the hand-dyed naturespun yarn that was sitting on top of my yarn bin and decided to start a scarf. As it turns out, the width I am making it creating a very cool diagonal pattern. I hope it stays that way!

I have also been creating some super cute watercolor stitch paintings as of late (gotta have something to do while I finish up watching Lost). I decided to turn them into greeting cards to sell at a coming up art show (and then hopefully etsy after that).  What do you think? Would you buy them? 

 I have a finished oil painting also, but I haven't seemed to get a good photo of it yet. Stay tuned for that in the next post. :)

Weekly Inspirations:
Art: Me and Mick are planning on participating in a Guerrilla Art Takeover in College Station next month. We met with the creator and are super excited to do it - it sounds like so much fun!
Knitting:  Stitched Together has made yet another gorgeous striped project, and I am once again feeling inspired. Is this in my future?
Food: I made whole wheat pancakes yesterday and they were super yummy! Want my recipe? Check out my food blog!
Life: It's finally cooling down here in Texas, thank god. The humidity has been getting to me. But hopefully that will pass soon.

I hope everyone has a happy and productive week. I see mine being just that.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Houston ;)

This past weekend Catherine and I hit up Houston for some shopping and art openings. It was a whole new experience, that's for sure. I was the driver, and I have never experienced a city/freeway quite like theirs. (K.C. is big, but still decent).

Luckily Houston is only 70 miles from us, so we can return pretty much whenever we want fairly easy.

One of the intersections was super fancy for some reason. This was the only one like this I saw....

As we were driving, it started to rain. The combo of rain and reflections makes this a favorite photo of mine.

Really cool old Sears building. It was vacant now though.

Art opening for Micheal Villarreal, who was an Artist in Residence in Navasota before us. 

Overall, we ended up seeing 5 different art shows and talking to a few people here and there. I hope to make it back again - I really want to get my art into one of these spaces before I leave.

Weekly Inspirations:
Art: One of my favorite shows that we saw the works of Seth Alverson. He really knows how to create depth with his paint - from far away there is so much space and then you get close and it's a flat painting. I am definitely keeping him on my radar.
Knitting: I started a new shawl that I have been wanting to start for awhile. It uses yarn that I dyed 2 summers ago that was intended for this project. Better late than never.
Food: In Houston we tried Ethiopian food. Of course Catherine has had it before. I have not, but it was super yummy. What an experience though - you don't use silverware, you pick it all up with the cool bread.
Life: I finally have my studio set up and another painting done! You should check out our Navasota blog for more info - navasota AIR Wordpress

I hope that everyone had a lovely Sunday, I know I did. :)


Monday, September 1, 2014

Live from Navasota

Happy Monday friends! For some of you in the US, Happy Labor day as well. If you have the day off I hope you are enjoying it.

I have had a super productive day today. I was able to get some substantive painting done, art hung up and drawings mounted. Phew I need a break.

Now I'm sure that many of you are eagerly awaiting updates on my new journey. Well you are in luck, because I am hear to share with you some of my adventures so far.

We've been doing a lot of exploring and meeting people. One of my favorite adventures thus far has been our visit to the city of Bryan this past weekend. Bryan is basically connected to College Station (which is 20 miles from us) and has a very small, yet thriving art scene. We were in College Station Saturday for a photo shoot for a local magazine and decided to go downtown for lunch.  We ended up at one of the cutest and most delicious cafe's I've ever been to. The Village Cafe is part cafe, part gallery and all amazing. They even have a small stage for local music.

Wall by the stage. 

After lunch we went down the block to the SEAD gallery, where we saw some really cool photos and paintings and met the super nice owners. They told us all about their mission and plans and also gave us a tour of Innovation Underground, a program they have that supports new and innovative ideas and individuals. At the end of the tour they had us take a photo in front of their raven mural - which is where all the "celebrities" who visit get their photo taken.

From Left: Mick's friend Jose who came to visit. Mick. Catherine, Me

Another great thing about this program is that the house has gallery space (which is also my studio). They allow us to hang up whatever work we want and switch it out whenever we want. We're open for the public to come check out what we are doing also, so it's good to have something on the walls!

Part of my gallery space

I'm still waiting around for my easel to show up, so until then I am working on old paintings I brought along. The one below is one that I started at the end of the semester before my BFA, and then when I started new ideas and techniques, I never went back to it. I decided to give it new wind today and am already loving how it's looking. Sometimes having no still life is for the best. 

Overall, I am really enjoying myself here, I've met some amazing people and seen some amazing things. I've been on one incredible journey and it's only been a week. I can't wait to see what's ahead!

The house :)

Weekly Inspirations:
Knitting: I joined the knit group at the LYS here, and my first meeting was yesterday. It was so much fun and so chill. Everyone was knitting on something completely different, but they all seem to mesh well. I am going to definitely try and go back next week.
Art: We happened to see the show at the Art's Council when we were getting our photos done. I'm not the hugest fan, but I think that she has a good idea behind her work. Danika Ostrowski is still a student, but I bet she will go far. 
Food: We've all been cooking for each other here. I keep meaning to update my food blog with new recipes, but I just haven't felt motivated. But I can tell you that Catherine makes a mean split pea soup, and my burritos last week were pretty good too!
Life: What else can I say. Life is pretty much perfect right now.

Thanks for reading guys, keep checking back for more updates and don't forget to share your thoughts with me!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Five

I feel like Friday's have become my norm for blog posts, because here we are again at yet another one. I know it's been a bit since my last update, but I have had so many amazing things going on that I just haven't found the time to share it all with you. This past week I moved myself and all of my art to Navasota, TX, to begin my 6-month artist residency. I promise this coming week you will see an update or two on my life here.

For today, I wanted to share all things knitterly, because I have so many! Let's just call it my "Friday Five" - Five things to share :)

1) I finally finished my mom's socks about a week and a half ago, just in time for the move. She says they fit her very well, with a bit of baggy in the foot (as always...). I love how these turned out. The pattern was very easy and the yarn was a breeze to knit with. Overall, it was a nice fun project!

2) The day after I finished the socks my friend Ashley was coming over for a Disney knit day. I needed something easy and quick to work on and decided I needed more berets. I'm a big fan of the lacy kind over the cabled kind and found Gwen Slouch to be a perfect match for my stashed Premier Yarn. I literally had this done in 24 hours. :)

3)  When I started stash diving after my hat, I had no idea what I'd find or what I would make. I came across a skein of some turquoise merino from my aunt and some dark Dream in Color that I made my first socks with. As I mentioned in my last post, I am absolutely in love with this chevron cowl/scarf and decided that these two paired together nicely. All I needed as a third color, of which I found at my LYS in the form of Ella Rae classic superwash in a nice rusty pumpkin color. I think the three of these together are making for one gorgeous scarf!

4) As I was stash diving that day, I also found this berry-dyed yarn from a few summers ago.  The color is super muted and I decided it needed a pick me up. Out came the food colors and the jar and in went the yarn. I dyed it in a similar fashion to how I dyed my friend's yarn last year - by tying off only certain areas to leave the past color visible in some spots.  Through this experiment I learned that the purple Wilton's food dye tends to separate, leaving behind a bit of blue in some areas. I'm ok with this though, because I think it adds character. Definitely an improvement from the original.  

5) Yesterday, after finally feeling settled in, I went to the LYS here in Navasota - W.C. Mercantile. One step in the door and I knew I was in fiber heaven. Half the store is dedicated to spinning and the other to knitting and all was just gorgeous. They have lots and lots of local spun and dyed yarns and fibers and a very welcoming atmosphere. Safe to say I will be returning!  

My first purchase was this gorgeous bit of local alpaca from Bluebonnet Hills Alpaca, in a nice rusty color. I have been itching to spin again and this has fit the bill nicely. I cannot wait to see how it turns out.

Normally I'd go ahead and give you my weekly inspirations, but this post as already been super long. Next week I'll go back to doing that, as well as filling you all in on my first week in Texas. Until then, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Happy Fridays.

Happy Friday! This week has flown by, but that's alright. I hope it was a wonderful week for everyone. Mine was fairly decent. I have managed to get a lot done that's for sure. 

Last weekend my family road tripped to Kansas City for a Royals Baseball game and a weekend away. The 3 hour car ride allowed me to finish up the first of my mom's socks. I am really enjoying knitting these- the pattern is so simple (so much in fact that I almost fell asleep in the car as I was knitting). The only issue I have is that once I get to the cuff it gets monotonous...

Oh and the weekend was a fun one indeed. Filled with Trader Joe's (yay!), a gorgeous night, a winning game, lots of shopping, and lots of yummy food!. 

Since my last (long) post I have also managed to finish up my gouache painting. I really like how this one turned out. The colors are so bold and fun. And so is the composition. I can't quite decide what to title this one yet though - "Bridges" seems really obvious. 

If you read my last post, you'd know that I was also accepted into an amazing program last week. The Navasota Artist in Residence program will allow me to live and work in Navasota, TX for the next 6 months, making art and being creative. This is the house I will be living and working in and I simply cannot wait - I move in about a week and a half. This will be such a scary, nerve-racking, exciting experience that I know will change my life. 

As a treat to myself for getting the TX "job" I decided to go yarn shopping at the shop in Salina. Me and a high school friend went down there yesterday (her first time!) and after at least 30 minutes of contemplation, I walked out with these yummy yarns. The top is Blue Ridge Yarns, Subtle Shades Purple. 400 yards of fingering weight that is destined to become lacy socks, maybe even another Cookie A. Pair? The bottom yarn is my new favorite - Claudia Hand Paints, Fingering, in the colorway "Oops". I fell in love with the gradients of blue and violets, that I just had to buy these. I am seeing simple vanilla socks in it's future.  Both are super squishy 100% superwash merino. 

For the record, my friend walked out with 2 skeins of sock yarn to knit a scarf with as well (she's still learning how to knit, so that's about all she makes...). But I can tell she will be visiting that shop again very soon!

Weekly Inspirations:
Knitting:  I am in love with this chevron cowl, thanks to Snapdragon Crafts. Her's is super gorgeous, as are all the ones on Ravelry. Now I just need to find the right yarns!
Art: In Navasota I will be living and working with 2 other artists. Both are super talented! Catherine Kaleel and Mick Burson. I can't wait to meet and work with these guys.
Food: I bought a veggetti device last week, and decided to give it a try. It turned out super yummy. Check out my food blog for more info!
Life: Packing is underway. This time I don't need to take everything with me, but I still am tired of packing none-the-less.

Thanks for popping in guys, even if you don't comment I always love that you take the time to read about the random thoughts in my head. 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Next Chapter Begins

Hi friends. Today's post is going to be short and sweet.

As of Saturday, I have been accepted into the Navasota Artist in Residence Program.!! This is spectacular news for me because I have been wanting to find a studio and just make art for a while now. This program will allow me 6 months to live in the historic Horlock House in Navasota, TX, with two other artists. Here I will be devoting most of my time to making work, as well as manning the galleries, teaching a few classes and networking like a crazy person.

I am beyond excited for this next step in my career and life. All I ever really wanted to do was make art full time,and now I have 6 months to do just that. I am already beginning to pack up all my art stuff - I have to be there in two weeks!

I can't wait to start this adventure and share it with all of you as well. Words cannot even explain how blessed I feel right now.


Now please enjoy my explosion of happy cats!

Basically what I wanted to do after I found out. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Artful Bliss

Hello friends. I come bearing amazingly exciting, yet nerve wracking news. I have an interview this afternoon with the Navasota Artist in Residence Program. If I do well, I will receive a completely paid for 6-month studio/apartment experience in the Brazos Valley of TX. Words can't even explain how much I want this. Fingers crossed.

Anyways, back to the here and now, I wanted to take a moment to share with you my current projects.  With my Art Center job done (sad day!) I have had extra time to knit and paint during the day before going to work at my other job.

I finally got around to starting a new gouache painting, after having about a month break due to work. This one just kind of popped into my head. I wanted to do something new and different, so I made a bunch of i-cords and put pipe cleaners inside them to make them bendable. As I set up my still life I found myself making "bridges" and went with the idea.  As for the color, well I have a blue light and a pink light shining on it and somehow this is what I got. It's not quite done yet, but a couple more paint sessions and it should be. 

My current, and only, knitting project is my mom's socks. I started these a little over a week ago using some Lion Brand Sock-ease she happened to come across at Goodwill. Since I have yet to finish her wrap, I figured I owed her something hand knit. She looked through my favorite sock book - Socks from the Toe Up and decided she wanted some texture. Luckily, she picked the Lacy Ribs socks, which are dead simple. I have knitted these once before, but alas, they felted in the machine. So it's nice to be doing them again and watching the texture appear as I knit. I think that I should have these done in another week or two if I keep it up. 

In other news, my food blog is up and running again. You should really go check it out! The current recipe is this super yummy chocolate coconut cake. I know you won't be sorry you tried this deliciousness. 

Weekly Inspirations:

Art: With this TX residency suddenly in my radar, I decided to give their blog a lookie. I found Michael Villarreal doing some crazy stuff with plaster, and Owen Drysdale doing some pretty legit drawings. Both are actually really inspiring and a good example of the kinds of things this program is looking for.
Knitting: I can't decide what I will cast on next. I think it will depend what I'm feeling and where I'm at. But I see a shawl in my future. Maybe Truly Myrtles new pattern? 
Food: Seriously, just try that cake I mentioned
Life: Well, I downloaded the old PC game Roller Coaster Tycoon for my computer. I probably shouldn't have, because now I am re-obsessed with it. Dang it anyways. 

I hope that this week has treated everyone well. It's been a roller coaster of work, exercising, amazing news and crazy experiences. This weekend will be just as much - we are going to Kansas City for a baseball game as our "vacation". If it doesn't get rained out...