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I have been wanting to get back into the cello for quite some time. I have moved with it twice now and waited 3 years to start up lessons again. I finally have socked enough money away to get a few months worth of lessons and my cello a tune up.
We just happen to have a great violin shop here in town – Hoshaw Violins – and the owner – Randy Hoshaw – recommended a great instructor to me. I called her up today and we are planning on meeting towards the end of the month.
I was feeling bold when I talked to her and it was a good thing too, she’s a bit out of my budget because she’s really good… so I asked her if she would be willing to barter for some lessons. That I could afford two a month and could we trade for the other two? She said yes! She was really interested in all my handmade things and just happens to be a knitter – so hand dyed yarns and knitting lessons will be part of the trade!
I found some great sites to help me get practiced up today. There is this site called 8notes that has some beginning music theory and general lessons for cello as well as other instruments. And they have lots of free sheet music!
Then on YouTube.com I found this series of instructional videos on beginning to play the cello. It’s already starting to come back to me.
Oh and I found this “tuner” online and got my cello somewhat sort of kind of tuned. At least to the point where it doesn’t completely offend my ears!
My past instructors both told me that I had a lot of potential and picked it up naturally and if only I would practice every day instead of once a week I would progress really quickly. Well, I’m ready! I’m ready to dedicate an hour a day to cello and really give it a shot. I figure I’ll take it three months at a time and see if I’m sticking to it and if it’s worth the investment of both time and money.
So why the cello? I suppose why any instrument. I had always played an instrument, but they always felt awkward. I was never bad, but it just didn’t feel right to me. I had always wanted to play stand up bass or cello, but felt that my hands were too small. I was wrong of course, but this notion had been supported throughout my life. Then I saw Azure Ray. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard and it was being played with – for all general purposes – indie music and not classical. It just kind of clicked with me. I looked up all I could on the cello. Rented to Own one, took lessons and away I went. The first time I sat down with my cello I was in love. It just fit. Even playing badly felt better than playing any other instrument had.
When I went away to northern I just did not have the time or money to continue lessons and my cello was horribly out of tune. I pretty much stopped playing, but always swore that after I graduated I would find a way to start it up again. And I did and I am! I’m dropping it off at the violin shop tomorrow and will be starting lessons in about three weeks! I’m so excited!
My goals for cello playing?
In ten years be able to play Bach’s Cello Suite No 1 Prelude.
In one year have my first public performance – A short series of pieces at a coffee shop or maybe at Stam even.
Next summer play in the park on Mainstreet for tips.
After playing around today and really actually practicing for the first time in 3 years, I’m surprised and delighted to see how much my hands are quickly remembering and how easily I’m picking up sight reading again. I need a lot of work, I need a lot of remembering and reminding, but I think I will progress quickly now that I am dedicated to and resolved to practice every day. It’s going to be hard. I’m not always going to want to or be as excited about practicing as I am right now. But I will. And I will improve.
And that is that for today. I was going to draw and post it today, but I ended up practicing the cello instead 🙂 I think that was a pretty fair trade off.
Oh and a side note update. I made vegetarian tacos tonight and they were a huge hit. I got the two thumbs up on them so we will be having those again for sure. I love tacos!
Have a good night and I’ll see you soon!
It’s been a long time since my last post and I’m sorry for the absence. I was hoping to get at least one post up a week and it just hasn’t been possible this last month. They have me working about 40 hours a week at the chocolate shop and things are in full swing on Craft Leftovers and in the shops. Which is great and I’m having fun and I really enjoy it all. But I’m also looking forward to less hours at the chocolate shop now.
I have quite a few fun announcements to make. Firstly, since I won’t be working as much at the chocolate shop now, I’ll be able to start posting again here about the fun things going on in the studio and ames in general. And with that, I have two plans for posts here. I’m going to start up my “drawing a day” posting again (I miss it), but having it be “Drawing Days” instead and post drawings twice a week. The second plan is that I’m going to start posting what I cook more often (like I was during the summer) to help keep me in line with a healthier way of cooking and eating. Once I get back to Ames I have a fun post in mind that I need to take the pictures for.
The other fun thing I will be posting more about is the Ames Sewing Rebellion! I’m going to start hosting the Iowa Sewing Rebellion here in Ames. Hooray! Stop Shopping, Start Sewing! You can read more about the sewing rebellion here and here and here and here. I’ve posted about participating in it from time to time in Chicago on Overextracted – but I was bad at using tags, so it’s been hard for me to track down posts about it. I’m starting a blog for it, but it’s not ready to go live yet. There will be info about the first meeting and pictures and the like. Our first meeting will be Sunday, January 11th from noon to 4pm. It will be a brunchluck (a breakfast/lunch potluck) and much sewing will ensue us all. It will be at the Ames Progressive which has been kind enough to not just donate the space, but help hang fliers, spread the word, and participate! Fantastic!
I’ll be posting again on Sunday night or Monday morning and will hopefully have a link to the Ames Sewing Rebellion then.
Best wishes and Merry Christmas!
Since graduation I have been avoiding finding out the truth about my student loans. Sure I knew they would be due in November. Sure I knew they would be about 40k. But what companies owned what loans. Who I would be paying what amount to. It was a mystery. Not a good one either. And not with a scary ending as it turns out.
I truly felt like a detective looking for clues this afternoon and putting together the puzzle of student loan debt repayment.
After about an hour of digging through my records for all the “you owe us money” letters and getting them organized on a spreadsheet saying X loan is from YZ company and my account number A, and the contact info is B and the interest is C and the total principle is D and the repayment starts on F in the amount of E.
So then I went down the line and called every single loan company and verified all the info I had + got some more + asked questions + updated my billing address. I even did my stafford loan exit exam thing.
And in the end I knew exactly how much was due on what date. It felt brilliant. And you know what else I figured out. I’m closer to being able to pay for my student loans and my other bills and have some for savings than I thought. I’m really close. And I think if I just stay on track and keep submitting pattern ideas and teaching classes and selling kits and yarn and clm and handmade things and hopefully soon enough paintings and woven tapestries… I will be able to quit my part time job in no time. And that really made me feel good.
In other news, I totally got lost going to the fiber arts guild meeting tonight. I drove around and wandered through churches looking for it for a half hour and then, at the “20 minutes late” point gave up and went to Joann’s. I needed to get some duck cloth for the laundry bags anyway. I scored a sweet reg tag clearance deal of $4/yard instead of &7.99 which is normally is at the 72″ width. Awesome! Really though as soon as I walked into the store I was thinking about little cross stitch kits. I have loved those since I was a kid and it’s been about that long since I did one. I needed instant gratification here. An ornament project was perfect. I can’t show them because they are both gifts, but I’ll show you the backs.
Now what to use my 40% coupon on though? That’s when I spotted it — Kyuuto! Japanese Craft Amigurumi! I’ve been wanting this book for a long time and now, for just $9.47 how could I resist? Oh and I picked up some cross stitch plastic canvas because, you guessed it, I totally want to write some cross stitch patterns for it and make my own little ornament kits for Christmas! Yeah!
And with that, I’m going to work on my cross stitch.
See you later!
Craft Cat in action.
This, this right there, right above this text, right below this text, it makes me happy. I’ve been waiting for this for awhile now. Since I started weaving really. But more intensely since I received the loom in February.
I have been really busy lately and for once, little miss crafty feline, craftily got me to give my weaving some loving. I’ve been working to dress the loom since last week. Slow going at best, no progress at all since my last post really. Well on Sunday, I decided to take a “quick” break and thread some more heddles. Miss CC decided to play with the warps, they were dangling down in little bundles from the heddles tantlizing her so *smack* *swat* *claw* she went. I saw where this was going. I saw a huge mess of warp hanging from my loom as soon as I stepped away from it. So I kept at it. I kept at it for 4 hours. It was the most beautiful, healing, wonderful, meditative experience I have had in such a long time. So even though most of the time Molly completely interferes in studio process around here, this time she did her job. She helped me to finish dressing my loom. And guess what? By Tuesday early afternoon I had woven through all my warp.
Well crap. What now? I don’t have a warping board. I guess it’s time to make one! I looked around a bit and found this amazing tutorial for how to make one if I had a great woodworking shop. But I don’t so I won’t make it that way. But I think it’s good reference. I think I am going to try this from The Joy of Handweaving (google books you rock!), basically what I was thinking of before I started googling around. I don’t think I’ll make it just like that, but really similar. I’ll take some pictures while I’m making it and post those. If I do anything really different from they way the Joy of Handweaving explains it I’ll write that up too.
Thanks Craft Cat!
In other news, today sucked. I try to keep things positive most of the time, but wow, today sucked. No two ways about it.
So first off, I had to work at 8:15, which means getting up at 6:30 and being out the door at 7:20. Which doesn’t happen on any sort of regular basis so I didn’t go to bed until well after midnight.
#1 :: Lack of sleep
Then I wake up, drag myself out of bed, open the bedroom door and get hit with an arctic blast. I look at the thermostat – 52 degrees! I turn on the heater, so cold. Go back for a blanket and wrap it around myself. Stumble to the kitchen to get some tea going — the front door is wide open! “WHERE IS MOLLY!?” I run to the door, comforter in tow, she’s right there on the patio under a chair watching the storm. I pull her inside, shut the door. Open up the ferret cage and stumble to the bathroom.
#2 :: It’s before 7am, pitch black, the front door is open, the indoor craft cat is outdoors, it’s 52 degrees in our apartment. (that’s a whole lot for #2)
I am ready to leave and go to collect the ferrets, WHERE IS SLOANE? was she even in the cage when I opened it. Did she escape outside? Crap crap crap! Where is my ferret baby! Run outside. Look around. No where to be seen. Check all her spots. Nowhere. Crap! I’m going to miss the bus. Run Run Run. Anxiety!
#3 :: Missing ferret, maybe outside. Running late, might miss the bus.
I get to the bus stop, check it. Okay, the bus I need is coming to this stop. I go to get on the bus. My dollar won’t go in the slot. I ask if the bus is transferring to the downtown red line. “Step aside, you are taking too long, just move, I’ll tell you in a second, you are holding every one up!” Ohhhh, crabby bus lady. I felt so awkward being scolded by her. It does, I get my dollar in. Then at the next stop “just get off the bus and get on the other one now, rah, grrrr, crabbiness.” So I grabbed up all my stuff, and ran to the next bus. This lady was much nicer.
#4 :: Crabby bus lady, cold, rain. Bah.
Then work. Work was good, but I had like 5 voids! I just kept messing up ringing chocolates up. Oh well. Then one of my co-workers calls and I say yes to staying an extra 3 hours. Which is fine, I need the money. But a 9 hour shift, even at a chocolate shop, on your feet the whole time in Keds, is tiring.
#5 :: Lots of mistakes; staying later than I thought at work.
Then I get home. We saw some serious signs of ferret activity so, thankfully, Sloane was inside. We found her and she’s just fine and I felt like crying I was so relieved. All day I was imagining her running around outside, scared and wet and hungry and cold, so yeah, relief. Then I settle into answering emails and ect and I got a really snarky comment on craft leftovers. So I tried to email this so and so back and they had entered a fake email. You know, if you don’t have something nice to say, that’s fine, I’m down with the critical criticism. I’m used to it from art school. Just be sure enough in the rightness of what you are saying to provide me with the chance to defend myself. I sure am glad I do comment moderation so no one saw it. It was a pretty serious false accusation that I think was fired off without checking facts. I don’t think people realize that what they say, good and bad, I take to heart. I put a lot into Craft Leftovers. If you say something nice, it makes my day, if you say something mean, it really truly makes me sad. I’m not walmart, I’m not Lion Brand. I’m just me. Kristin Roach. When you comment on Craft Leftovers, you are sending a message directly to me. The sole provider of content. I do everything for Craft Leftovers myself, from projects to graphic design. It’s just me. Sometimes I wish I had a staff of even just 2 people, but I don’t even have enough money to pay myself a living wage (hence the part time job I just picked up).
#6 :: Snarky Comment brought me down.
So that’s my sucky day. It’s now 10:14. There is still an hour to make it better. I’ve started to feel better by getting the post up on Craft Leftovers. A little How To for sewing diy fabric covered buttons onto what they need to be sewn on. And by writing about it hereAnd I had some tea. And I’ve been listing to Bad At Sports, which actually has given me some serious home sickness for Chicago. But I’m more relaxed and motivated to submit some more proposals to Chicago art spaces. And so now, I’m going to weave. I finished my scarf, but I have 8 inches of warp left, so I’m going to play with some twill structures. Oh and Miss CC is on my lap, purring like mad and nuzzling my sweater, very soothing indeed. I think, honestly, I’m just tired. 6 hours of sleep is just not enough for me.
I’ll be back sooner than later. I’ll show off my awesome warping board that I’m making tomorrow. And I’ll show you my plans for my next painting.
Have a good night! I wish you all the best of days for all of times!
Jason and I found this huge dragon fly on the way to the gas station (we were walking there after dinner to get some hot chocolate). I just could leave it there. So we grabbed a napkin from the gas station and I carried it home. I really need to get a case for all these bugs I’m collecting! Haha. I really like drawing them though and I’m serious when I say I should get a case. Any ideas?
These are my argyle slipper toes I’ve been working on (Weekend Knitting). The finished one isn’t blocked, but it will be soon enough. I can’t wait to get them done. I haven’t decided what I want to use for a sole as I can’t use leather (Totally allergic, my toes swell up and turn blue! Yuck! And itch! Annoying!). I was thinking about thick wool felt, but there is no local source to get it from. I could wet felt some soles. I could order some wool felt online.
I am really excited to get these done though so I can start wearing them around. They will be so cozy and warm and I can’t wait.
I should apologize for the complete lack of posting going on here lately, but I’m not going to, haha. It’s my blog, I’ll post when I want. Nah, I’m just kidding. I really want to continue the daily drawings. And I want to continue to show you my knitting and random things I see and do. I just need a bit of time to adjust to this whole working a part time job thing. I’m going to be working 6 hours tomorrow and 7 hours Friday and it’s really thrown me out of sync with my craft cave. I am starting to get the hang of it, but I’ve had to cram a whole lot into yesterday and today to stay on schedule. I did get most things on my to do list done though with just “clean ferret cage” left to go (I just gave them their bath, so cute! they are little puff balls right now). It’s almost midnight some I’m going to clean the cage, put the citizens to bed, and then go to bed myself.
Hopefully you will hear from me again sooner rather than later, but honestly it might not be until clm is in the shop on Sunday. If I can sneak in some drawing time of that awesome dragon fly I will and I’ll post it. I’ve even been considering doing some studies and then a painting or larger/detailed drawing. We will see.
Have a good night!
So I’ve been just tacking up all my drawings in my studio. It kind of keeps me thinking about it and ideas flowing.
The yarn is finally dry and I’ll start listing it in the shop tomorrow. The above is a preview of the new colorways.
I was about to start taking pictures of my yarn when I noticed the pile of bananas turning quite black and having little flies starting to buzz around. Well, we have enough crickets and spiders around here so I really don’t want fruit flies too. I whipped up a huge batch of banana bread, it turned out delicious. I wasn’t in the mood for super sweet, and I wanted whole wheat flour in there, then I didn’t have much butter, and no baking soda… haha. By the end of “whipping up” the batter I had completely made up my own recipe for it. After I finish this post I think I’m going to have a couple of slices.
I cooked this up in the slow cooker last week. Curried lentils from 125 of the Best Vegiterian Slow Cooker Recipes. Jason and i both gave it a two thumbs up, 5 star rating. I made some Spicy Lemon Ginger Tofu tonight and that also got the 5 star rating from both of us. I wrote down the recipe right after I made it so hopefully I’ll be able to remake it. I still haven’t been able to reproduce the reduced red wine sauce that I made a few months ago… I know to write it down right away because I will forget! Anyway, anyway.
This was from a week+ ago, but it still makes me happy. It’s the October clm all ready to go out the door. Such a good feeling.
And here’s Molly out on her break. We’ve been letting her outside under close supervision lately and this was the last time she went out without her suspenders. We bought her a harness and leash this past week and we eat breakfast and plan the day’s work out on the patio every morning. She loves it and she sleeps through the night now.
I started these slippers and am happy to report I have one of the argyle toes finished, just one more to go. A lot of people on ravelry say they have a ton of problems with the actual putting together of the slippers. Like they are too floppy on the feet. Well, I have a plan for that, so let’s hope it works or this will all be in vain.
And here is the scarf I’m working on for Jason. I finally figured out the pattern and my knitting mojo has been restored. I actually ripped it out over a dozen times. No joke. I’m not telling a tall one. I can count 12, so I’m assuming it was more. I beat it and my confidence is all in tack again, haha.
And this will soon be a little pull over. Just seaming and buttons to go.
Oh would you like the recipe for the banana bread? I can post it for you as I made a point to write it down how I made it this time, go me! Same for the Spicy Lemon Ginger Tofu… I think I’ll post them both this week, but I’ll break them up.
Well, it’s 10:26, so I’m going to end this here and work on those slippers a bit more.
Have a good night, see you all tomorrow!
This is the drawing I did today, it’s pretty small, the whole piece of museum board is just 2 X 3 1/2 inches. Think business card, but a little longer. It’s of my trusty nikon camera, which I turned around on it and snapped this photo with. Sorry about the quality, but it’s late, it’s dark in here, and I did the best I could and as cool as my camera is, it can only do so much inside at night, haha.
Black calligraphy ink and a calligraphy nib.
I’m finally getting around to replying to the mail I have received from contests over on Craft Leftovers. I’m making all the post cards, so it takes me a little bit to get back to everyone. I hope they like them!
It’s actually the block print that I used for the summer issue of clm. (you can see it as that incarnation in the clm flickr set).
I am pretty excited about my new mail box for, umm, cough, “fan mail” – aka me having a contest and then receiving submissions. Even though I silicate them, I love the mail I get all the same.
Do you want to send me a letter?
217 Welch Ave., Suite #101
Ames, IA 50014
This one is my favorite so far:
And just for kicks, look what I found yesterday:
Oh and I posted a How To :: on Potato Stamps over on Craft Leftovers today. I think you would all really like it, so you should go give it a look.
Here is the end result:
She is so cute. A worthless studio assistant, but good for studio moral, so I suppose that’s good enough. She is such a lazy crafter. Haha.
Have a good night!
This past week has been absolutely nuts. Take a wedding that Jason is in and add it to trying to get clm out the door and then a nice dash of no car and a few cups of migraines just about every day for at least half the day! Honestly though, it was great! You know why? Because I made it! I made and got everything together and sent out and taken care of. And on top of that, I stuck with my Monday/Wednesday/Friday Schedule (almost anyway) Monday’s post was on Tuesday, but other than that it worked out well. I just posted my interview with Charlotte and accompanied by a give away for roving. I’m feeing better more ofter and getting more on top of things.
Here is a picture of Jason and I at the wedding. I couldn’t not get a shot of us when he was looking so fancy.
I rearranged my studio last night and cleaned and organized a ton. I’ve spent just about every hour of every day in the studio (except when I went out for a pint on Tuesday night with Jason and two of his friends). It’s been really good though and I really loved it. I love keeping busy and I love working on all these projects. Sure this week was mostly Craft Leftovers Monthly, but now it’s time to switch gears. I’m going to prepare Kro Postal for submission to Poppy Talk Handmade (deadline is coming up very very soon, just two days! Yikes!) and refashioning Green Prairie Fibers a bit. Guess what I did last week?
This is just a sampling of the colorways. The yarn on the left is my first tries at spinning on a drop spindle. I soaked and dried it. The yarn on the bottom is a vintage wool. The woman who gave me her loom, gave me this yarn as well. It was 8 oz of undyed domestic wool. I think I’ll keep that and weave my first piece with it once I get my loom set up. Then above are the different color ways I tried out. It had been awhile since I dyed, and I never took good notes when I did before, so I’m experimenting with different techniques and color combinations right now. This time I’m taking really good notes!
I’m working on updating and changing around and adding new things to Green Prairie Fibers. It will be all set to go by August 1st. I purchased a small ad for it on Ravelry and thought I should put my best foot forward.
It’s for the month of August, so August 1st seemed like a good deadline to get things whipped into shape.
I have another awesome August surprise, but I have to stay mum about it until it is manifested, but because of that I’m also going to clean up this blog. It’s been awhile since I’ve changed the banner or colors or anything actually since I moved it over to wordpress. It’s time for some summer cleaning here too.
We have dinner plans tonight and I still have a lot to get done. I just wanted to check in and let you know what has been going on. Make sure to check out the give away. Or if you want to just send me a note (I love getting mail) my new parcel box address is:
217 Welch Ave. #101
Ames, IA 50014
Hope to hear from you in writing soon! And I’ll be back with more pictures and news sometime this weekend.
++ Kristin Roach ++
Sorry about the lack of posting yesterday. I was having too much fun doing random thing. I have been drawing so much in preparation of kro postal’s opening on Monday. I was planning on a zoo trip today to do some drawing and photography and Jason even took the day off, but then it decided to rain…. and now of course it’s not! So I’m working on more stationary ideas and will most likely go to the print shop today or tomorrow morning to get some printed in color on linen paper! I’m so excited!
Anyway, so on Tuesday I went to the alpaca farm and it was so much fun! I took so many photos! These, out of over 100!, were my favorite.
I want to do a story about this guy, he had so much personality!
Everyone was so nice and I learned a whole lot about alpacas and it’s just a half hour away from where I live! You can see more about the farm here.
And then last night I was at, gasp!, walmart picking up some photos and decided to get some hair dye… it oddly enough turned out to be the same color as one of the alpacas that I took a photo of!
And even more funny, I didn’t realize it until after I took the photo!
So that’s my adventures for this week. I’m going to add a few Reclaimed Leftovers to the shop later on today and there will be fun pattern tomorrow on Craft Leftovers. And don’t forget, Kro Postal will be opening on the first, so I’ll keep you up to date on that!
I’m going to Davenport, IA for a week on Monday to do some research on a project, so posting will be a little more random. It will just kind of depend on internet access. (I’m taking kro postal stuff with me so I’ll still be able to fill orders, it’s all pretty light weight).
See you soon!