I just wanted to post really quick, since I left the last post on such a crappy note, that Thursday was much better than Wednesday and Friday was not too bad either. Today has also been pretty good. It’s not all bad.

Honestly, I think I was just getting really tired out. This part time job thing is starting to get to me. Not the hours, but all the sugar. Haha. Working at a chocolate shop is so hard. I realized last night that I’ve gained 8lbs since starting work there. It’s not just the chocolate. Jason and I have been eating out more since I haven’t had as much time to cook. I’m hoping it’s just for this adjustment period, that things will start to fall in to a routine again. I think they will.

I did get some good news on Friday. I’ll be teaching more than just the one class at the Octagon Shop. I’ll be teaching Beginning Knitting, Beginning Tapestry Weaving, and then a series of fiber arts workshops. I think the list we worked up was Beginning Pattern Writing, Sock Knitting, Surface Design (fabric dyeing techniques), and Soft Sculpture. I’m also going to participate in a kids workshop before Christmas though, so I’ll be starting sooner than I thought. I’m going to have a “station” for wet felted Christmas ornaments. I was thinking using cooking cutters, roving, and bits of ribbon for each one. I think that’s pretty kid-o friendly.

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I happily packed up orders this morning, felted my basket (pattern for cl), and took off to work. Work was work. Then I stopped at the UPS store to pick up my cl mail. I had two letters! A letter from my good crafty buddy Carolyn and a letter from another citizen of my old hometown Charlotte N. I posted an interview with her on Craft Leftovers awhile ago. She has some new roving available and sent me samples! Hooray! It is so soft and wonderful. I really want to get some. And, perfect timing, I just happen to be starting a spinning class next week! I’m going to learn how to spin on a wheel and improve my drop spindle skills too! Hooray! That was the other good thing about Thursday. I found out we were starting the class on this coming up Thursday.

So now that the pattern is up, what’s on the agenda for the rest of the night? I think, honestly, after I post this, I’m just going to go to bed. I’m totally beat. Thanks for all the nice comments too. You are right about molly being a great stress reliever. She’s actually stretched out and purring in my lap right now. Haha. I love this cat. Knitting and tea always help out too 🙂

Have a good night!
Kristin

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Craft Cat

Craft Cat in action.

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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.

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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.

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Thanks Craft Cat!

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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!

Kristin

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I love this little top shelf on my loom. I’m keeping my shuttles, bobbins, crank, and any other little weaving thing-a-mi-jigs in there. Love that!

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Unfortunately I only had one lease stick so I needed to make another one before I started warping the loom. I was also missing the bolts for the breast beam, so to Lowes I went this morning. I picked up a piece of pine trim, cut it in half, glued the two pieces back together and drilled two holes. I am so proud of this for some reason, haha. The little things folks, the little things make me super happy.

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Do you see that? That is 56″ of awesome weaving width. Someday I’ll make a rug on this baby, but for now I’m just testing out the middle 18″. I had some warp left over from my last semester at school, so I tied it up and took it with me. I’m thinking a scarf would be nice to make. I’ll play around with twill structures and just get back into things. It’s been about 6 months since I was last on a four harness loom.

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Oh and check that out! You see those slots there? That’s for 6 more harnesses that this baby will hold. Now just where to get them. I’m going to start searching all over the internet. The thing is, this loom, the company that made it is out of business. Lame!

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And here it is in all it’s glory taking up about half of my studio space, haha. I can work around it no problem. Just to give you a frame of reference as to how big this bad boy is, that window right there is about 5 feet wide! Wowzers!

And with that, I’m off to go thread some more of those heddles. 18 down, 172 to go!

Have a great night!

Fall Dragon Flies

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?

Argyle Slipper Toes

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.

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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!
Kristin

Stam's Chocolates

I just started my first day of work at Chocolaterie Stam. The chocolate is the best. We are one of two stores in the US. The other one is just a half hour away in Des Moines and that’s where all of our chocolates are made. The owner of the DesMoines shop is actually the son of the son of the son of the original shop owner in Amsterdam. The shop in Amsterdam is still open and owned by the family. Wonderful. I love that.

We also sell gelato and it’s made with Picket Fence Creamery (a local dairy). We also serve espresso drinks and really nice coffee. And our cream? Well, it’s so fresh that we actually have to strain it! You can make butter with it (I should try that come time… like making butter out of fresh cream, not butter out of the stuff we strain off).

So far I am loving working there. It’s a true delight. It’s clean and nice and it’s store policy to say “please and thank you and your welcome”. We call every one ladies and gentlemen. It’s just too cute. We have piano players come in and play all the time too, wonderful music to work by.

I’m sure I’ll have griping points in a few more weeks, but right now, I’m loving it 🙂 The only complaint I have is that my tolerance for sweets is so low. I did good today on coffee though, only 1 cup of regular and I went with decaf the rest of the time. I think I’ll bring some tea in for myself tomorrow. We serve tea, but I’m kind of a snob when it comes to tea, haha.

Well, so much for starting posting drawings every day. Little did I know that I would get not just one but two jobs on Tuesday and start so soon. It’s been great, but things have been a little out of order since Tuesday morning.

I don’t think I’ll have time to post tomorrow, but I’ll shoot for Saturday. Finally get that banana bread recipe for you 🙂

See you then!
Kristin

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So I’ve been just tacking up all my drawings in my studio. It kind of keeps me thinking about it and ideas flowing.

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The yarn is finally dry and I’ll start listing it in the shop tomorrow. The above is a preview of the new colorways.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!
Kristin




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Originally uploaded by Kristin Roach

I haven’t drank soda in forever. Every once and awhile I’ll have a fresh brewed root beer from the local micro brewery, but that’s about it.

Well, my stomach has been pretty messed up lately and soda water has become my good friend. It really helps me out with nausea and it’s tasty and fresh and low in sugar. I jazz it up a lot of times with frozen fruit (blueberries and raspberries) and lemon. Or sometimes I’ll just mix 1:1 juice and club soda.

Just a quick post right now, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve been laid up with some kind of flu/stomach thing/food poisoning lately and that’s why I haven’t been posting drawings. I do have some pictures for you and hope to find you again later tonight to show and tell a bit.

The yarn is finally dry today (it took forever because there was just so much!) so I’ll be shooting that and hope to show you my favs of this batch too.

Best wishes and see you soon!
Kristin

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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.

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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?

Mail to:
Kristin Roach
217 Welch Ave., Suite #101
Ames, IA 50014

This one is my favorite so far:

Happy Crafting Postcard

And just for kicks, look what I found yesterday:

Look what I found!

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:

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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!
Kristin




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Originally uploaded by Kristin Roach

Today I was a little rushed for time, but I still made sure to at least crack my sketch book. I worked on some yellowish paper with brown ink. I used a calligraphy nib for the whole drawing and like the line quality. I’ll try to do something more detailed tomorrow.

So why was I rushed for time? Because I just finished dyeing 29 skeins of yarn! Holy Moly that’s a lot of yarn. I actually don’t have enough room on my rack to dry so it’s draped in the sink for now. I’m hoping to move it to the bathroom tomorrow morning.

Well, I need to go pick up my guy from work, so I’ll see you all tomorrow!

Have a good night!
Kristin

I used to draw daily, hourly…. as much as I could possibly in a day. It was an obsession. It is an obsession. Other things have caused that practice to go to the way side. I still draw, but only with purpose. Mapping out ideas, overs for craft leftovers monthly, figures for patterns, etc etc etc. I like drawing for the sake of drawing. I want to keep my skills sharp. I can tell already that I’m rusty.

Yesterday’s post was kind of about a similar thing, accountability through blogging. It’s helped me so much with leftover craft supplies, maybe, just maybe, it can help me with this too.

And without further ramblings, I’m starting now. Drawing Daily starting today:

Grasshopper

This might seem a little weird, but as I was walking home from the laundry room I found a dead grasshopper on the ground, and maybe that’s not s weird unto itself. The thing is, I took it home. Haha. Then I drew it. And I think I’m going to draw it several more times. It’s the perfect thing really. Different textures, doesn’t take up much space, doesn’t move.

This little drawing is about 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inches, maybe bigger. I used too soft of a pencil for detail work, so I’ll draw it again tomorrow. And I suppose that is what I’m looking for right there, practice. I am going to start out with just studies. For now, studies of this grasshopper, maybe some plants, then move into some little color studies, paintings… and from that, larger works. I know from experience that when I draw on a regular basis, that’s when I get my big ideas.

I need to keep drawing though, especially while I can’t paint right now. We are working on getting the garage cleaned up, but I have a feeling it won’t happen this season. Maybe it will, but I’m not going to hold out for that. I might just take over the kitchen and so some acrylic paint, haha.

Well, I’ll see you all tomorrow!

Kristin

Upcoming Events:

  • Green Prairie Fibers Shop Update 09/29/08
  • Craft Leftovers Shop Update 09/23/08

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