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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!


Country Living recently released a collection of profiles featuring women who have chosen to follow their passion to success. This collection of inspiring stories is called Country Living Crafting a Business: Make Money Doing What You Love by author Kathie Fitzgerald.

The book starts with a wonderful introduction about how the book came together; which leads nicely into the profiles. Each profile talks about where the artist is now, where they hope to be soon, and what led them to realizing their dreams. I really enjoyed that in each profile there is a list of the goals that each woman is currently working towards; whether it is getting a studio outside of their home or raising compassionate children.

It features profiles of:
Amy Butler, owner of Amy Butler Design
Anna Corba, owner of Found Cat Studio (home accessories)
Michelle Joy, owner of Primrose, a floral design and vintage shop
Marilyn Lysohir, owner of Cowgirl Chocolates
Lisa Norris, owner of Made by One Girl (handmade books)
Kate Shifrin Style Consultants Inc., Come Flea with Me
Jane Zaccaria, owner of Tiddlywinks and Scallywags, a child’s clothing store
And many more too.

Each section of the book is followed up with a summary of the different tips that the woman offered up; what they had learned on their journey. There is a nice intro to different aspects of running your own business and a helpful summary of resources bring this inspiring read to a close.

My favorite part of the book was the profile of Kaari Meng of French General. I really liked the way that even though she was successful with the one business, she made the decision to change it to more closely reflect what was important to her. It’s nice to know that just because other’s like what you do and think it’s ‘right’, it doesn’t mean it actually is the ‘right’ thing for you.

Overall it was very encouraging to read and had a nice overview on the technical aspects of running a business.

I think that if you are just getting your feet wet and starting to think about opening shop, this book is just what you need. That’s why I want to pass it on to someone who is thinking about starting their own business! Just leave a comment and email me at Include in your comment as well as your email the answer to the following question:

-If you could craft your own business, what would you do?

-If you already have your own business, what goals are you working towards?

-If your idea is just so cool and is still top secret, just let me know that you would like this book for some extra encouragement to get you on your way.

Make sure to comment as well as email me your response. Please include your full name and address in your email. You can enter the drawing until 02/16/08 (next saturday) And I’ll announce the winners that same day.

I’m officially on spring break, so I’m going to be taking it “easy” the next few days at least. Well not really easy, more like working on taxes and some other stuff, catching up on things that need to get done.

First off I want to say thanks again for all the wonderful support you all have given me. At first I was kind of annoyed with classes being suspended a week, but now, I see the wisdom in it. I wasn’t even directly affected, but I was still affected. Just a lack lusterness that is not my usual standard of living. It took me almost a week to get back on task and start working on my daily, well, work again. But now I am. And it sure feels good. I’ve recovered. Got some good R&R (reading, knitting, wii, weeeeeeeeee for the wii). And now I’m really cranking out the work.

Yesterday I did a whole lot of recipe testing for this month’s clm, which is in the shop, btw. And the one (which i’m not talking about because it’s going into the zine was awesome) turned out so perfect and the other, yogurt, was a flop. I think I added the yogurt before the milk was cool enough, so nothing happened. Now I just have some yogurty smelling thick milk, yuck. I feel like it’s making fun of me, so, just to teach that yogurt from scratch who is boss, I’m going to try again today. I’m also going to try to make some egg nog. I really want some and of course you just can’t get the stuff anywhere anymore.

I did get yarn dyed up last week and it turned out really well. I’ll be getting that up into the shop today or tomorrow (depending on reskiening and etc). I have already sold 2 skeins in person and one skein was a birthday present to my friend Jess.

In the mood of getting things done, Craft Leftovers Monthly is in the shop. I really like this month’s cover:

This month is all about the sun coming back home. Even though it is totally snowy outside, I am so happy the sun is shining again. Ahhhh, so nice. I have a bunch of really great stuff set aside for this issue. I was on the ball this past month.

Back to studio practice, I had an interesting revelation about the painting I was working on. It was not something I would have liked to have hanging on my wall. It was too smooth. Too clean. Too proper. So I went about muddying it up a bit.

Here is the starting point:


Flickr is doing something kind of weird, it’s uploading my photos, they are showing up in my photo page, but then when you click on them, they aren’t there. So go here to see all the stages of the painting so far. It was better at this point (from a wip standpoint, not a finished piece), but I wasn’t sure where to take it next. So I set it down for a week. Then, of all days, Thursday I attacked it with furver and it turned out just perfect. I still have more to do (adding in the foreground for one thing), but I got it over that “this doesn’t really look like much” to the “wow, that’s a nice painting (pats self on back)”.

I’ll show you a new progress photo later tonight. I’m going into my studio today. First time since last Thursday. I have two stretcher bars finished, one has canvas stretched and the first coat of gesso on it. I’m all sorts of happy that I get to go in there today and get it finished up and start the next. I think i’ll be able to get the first of the series just about finished today, so I’ll start the second while I’m gessoing the third. I really need to step up the pace. I just got my Senior Show date finalized and it’s in three weeks! Yikes! Two of my friends in the painting program will be in it too, so, thankfully, not all me. But still. I want to get about 9 paintings done. And I want to have quite a few photos too. Plus a found object instillation. I’m going to electroplating found objects, casting them in luminecent beeswax, and making them into objects of art instead of ordinary “stuff”.

The other pictures that you saw on flickr? Well the honey bear is a still life I set up. I’m going to paint it several times using different techniques. The big mess picture? That is my at home fibers studio before I tackled cleaning it up.

I also just finished up this pattern on Monday:


Thanks Jill for the great name idea! Naming and titling my work is always my hardest task. Crazy how that works when it is such a small thing.

Well, I’m going to get back to work.

See you you all later tonight with new wip photos!

++Kristin Roach++

I am blissfully immersed in my vacation goodness. I have been shopping with my christmas money and look at this great loot I bought:

Target tea set

This fine little number was only $20 from Target, inadvertently, thanks mom and dad!

Target Tea Set

The local quilt shop was having a huge sale and I just couldn’t resist. These fabrics will be going into market and temari ball bags that I will be putting into my shop under Handmade Goods, that will take a couple weeks at least though, I’ll keep you updated.

Fabric from the Quilting Connection

And here is where I am on Jason’s scarf:
Jason's Scarf Progress

I just posted this week’s midweek post for craft leftovers, so be sure to check that out. I made a little to-do list from mis-prints of patterns, a gift bag and some scrap book paper.

To-do List Tear Out Notebook

In other news, I’m just about set to put some drawings up for sale in the shop. I’m thinking they will be up by noon tomorrow if not sooner. I added a shop page with sub-links last night, took pictures today, and tomorrow I will post.

See you all then!

++Kristin Roach++

Upcoming Events:

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

Things I Do: