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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!



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!

Here are some pictures of the woven piece I’m making for the International Fibers Collaborative. It is off the loom now and I’m finishing up weaving in the 480 warp ends, yikes! I have over 300 sewn in, so I am well on my way.



Now I just need to get all of these:

Threaded through all of these:

That is tomorrow morning’s task.

Today I finished the painting I have been working on and started the next. I need to really start cranking them out and finish at least 6 total for the show on the 28th. I also need to order prints and mount them on panels. Lots of wood shop time in my near future.

Tuesday is my take it easy/cook for the week/clean the apartment for the week day.

So far I have cleaned quite a bit, spent 3 hours in the studio, made some throw everything in the frig and bend it with potatoes and whole milk potato soup, and some banana bread. I just really didn’t want to throw out those bananas, they just looked too gross to eat, like black. I really should have taken a picture.

Well, back to cleaning and some coffee.

Have a good tuesday!

Well, kind of like being home sick, but more home sick for my studio.

I really love being here on vacation, but I really do miss my studio. There is something to be said for sitting at a table, surrounded by my wips, inhaling solvent, and feeling full of creative energy. I think i’m going to post to my blog and say something to that affect.

I’m getting close to the end of Paper Mario and good thing too. I’m starting to get bored. I’m longing for my studio really. And nothing else is quite staving off that hunger, no matter how fun the game, craft, book is.
I did do a little drawing the other night:
Note CardNote Card
I added these two note cards to my shop.
I did have a successful batch of cooking for dinner. I made a Brazilian Black Bean Stew from a Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons. It turned out really well and both Jason and I liked it. I’m giving it five stars for that. I bought a blank recipe book and have been adding recipes and writing notes and rating them for future use. So far so good.

Black Bean Stew - PrepBlack Bean Stew - RiceBlack Bean Stew - chicken style for JasonBlack Bean Stew - Vegan style for me

In the Family’s Vegetarian Cook Book I found a great recipe for mac and cheese with silken tofu and a fancied up ramen’s noodle recipe. (I gave that one 5 stars, Jason gave it 3).

I also tried Sesame Seed Chicken from Pop it in the Toaster Oven, chicken for Jason and Tofu for myself. That was also really good. He took it to work today for lunch and I guess everyone was like “that smells so good! where did you get that?” and he was like “Kristin made it for me, it’s delicious” Best compliment ever!

I’ve also continued to be sucked into Ravelry and Jason is constantly like “wow, they really know what they are doing, this site is amazing!” and “How did they get that like that? that is so neat!” He’s totally jealous of their site. He’s a web programmer himself.

I am glad to say that I have actually completed one of my goals of getting all of the knitting and crochet patterns from craft leftovers added to the ravelry database. It’s pretty neat to see all the patterns getting hearted and added to project lists and nice comments. Not a ton, but enough.

You can see them all here if you have a ravelry account. It took quite a few hours, but it’s totally worth it.

Speaking of goals, I thought it was about time I post some of my goals for this year:

For Craft Leftovers:
1. Add all Craft Leftovers’ patterns to Ravelry to help spread the crafty goodness (check, that makes me feel good).
2. Convert all old patterns to pdf’s
3. Do at least two craft sales
4. Add at least 5 items to the shop each week
5. Continue to do the midweek post, patterns each saturday, and craft leftovers monthly
6. Finish my pattern book draft and shop it around (after i move, before the end of the year)

For Green Prairie Fibers:
1. Have a dye session once every two weeks with acid dyes (starting in Feb)
2. Have a dye session once a month with natural dyes (starting in Feb)
3. Invest some money in getting the word out
4. Do at least two fiber markets

For my art work:
1. Continue to add new thing to my new shop each week
2. Find a reliable place to get professional quality prints made
3. Show at least once each quarter
4. Apply for grad school (just to see what happens)
5. Apply for at least 4 residencies
6. Get a studio outside of the home by the time this year is over and after I move to Ames.

7. Draw in my sketch book every day (i’m already doing this, but i need to keep it up)

For myself:
1. Get active 3 times a week (ie – go on a walk, go on a long bike ride, run on the elliptical)
2. Work out with weights 2 times a week
3. Try a new recipe once a week.
4. Do yoga every morning (even if just some simple poses for 15 mins)
5. Clean for 15 mins every evening before I go to bed
6. Do my dishes every day (i’ve been so spoiled with the dishwasher here, i’m going to miss it, something you may not know about me: I HATE doing the dishes).
7. Read one book every month
8. Be making enough income by the time I graduate in May to not have to get a full time job when I move to Ames and in the same vein, Be able to support myself fully by the time my student loans kick in next January.
9. Start recycling (i use a lot of stuff in my crafting, but with no recycling service available in dekalb, it’s tough to get myself to the recycling center of dekalb county, i want to get there this year, starting this month)
10. Eat more local and/or organic foods

Craftroom goals:
1. Get organized
2. Get rid of the clutter
3. Stay on my stash diet until I am down to fitting all of my fabric into one bin and my yarn into the 4 drawer bins easily.
4. Learn to silk screen with photo emulsion
5. Learn a new sewing technique every month
6. Make my corduroy pants I have been dreaming of! (this is a huge thing for me, like socks in knitting for some, it’s like making my own pants is some kind of hang up to my sewing abilities)
7. Finish one handmade Christmas gift a month so I can enjoy my before christmas time at my leisure. I joined a make along on Ravelry to help motivate me.
8. Pay off my credit cards

Overall goals:
1. Get active
2. Get more reading done
3. Get more resourceful
4. Get financially set
5. Get prepared for the future

And if you read all that, congratulations, it’s a whole lot!

I have officially been on vacation since Saturday night. It has been soooo nice. I don’t really think I’ve done anything productive at all, and I must say, vacation is great.

Remorsefully, I realize that this is most likely the last “winter break” I will have until the fated day that I decide to return to school to finish my MFA.

I started out with grandiose hopes of getting so much done this break, I’m taking it easy and mostly, gasp, playing video games! Jason bought me a wii last summer and I haven’t had too much time to play. So I have Super Paper Mario and I’ve been playing non stop. I think in the last day I have played about 12 hours! It is so much fun.

I have also been doing a whole lot of cleaning, which in a way is really refreshing. Lots of tea drinking and book reading going on too. I have been on a mission to try new recipes and that has also been very rewarding.

I just finished The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

It was really interesting, although some parts of it were kind of gross. I had no idea how bad of a disease cholera is. If you like narrative non-fiction I would really recommend it.

This book is next on the list to start reading: My Life in France

I like France, I like Julia Child, I love cooking. It seemed like a good choice. I’m kind of a sucker for non-fiction. Especially when it is well written.

Not too long ago, about 2 weeks ago, I finished Devil in the White City and found that, like The Ghost Map, to be disturbing, interesting, and fun to read all at the same time. There is some kind of added bonus because I feel like I’m learning, which I am, about things I don’t know about. Like the Colombian world’s fair in Chicago and cholera’s role in improving civic services like sewer systems.

Anyway, I’m going to do my first knitting since Christmas. I’ll show you some my progress tomorrow.

See you all later! Have a super happy new year!

++Kristin Roach++

Upcoming Events:

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

Things I Do: