Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Life Aquatic

I'm kind of in love with sea creatures. The world underwater is such a mystery and it seems almost as if anything you imagine might be down in the dark there somewhere... I love the crazy electric colors, the translucency of jelly fish, the gracefull waving of anemones in the current and I want to try to recreate that somehow. I like the challenge of imagining and constructing my own slimy beasts. I've found that the yarn, on its own, gives a sense of structure and movement at the same time. I will, without a doubt, continue this exploration and employ all the techniques I can find to mimic those of the sea.

Feel free to send me your suggestions!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Getting Dressed

I can't decide what to call this series:

"And I call myself a knitter..."

"The trouble with not being able to see your whole self in the mirror"

"Once a Mainer, always a Mainer"

Anyone? Anyone?
Give me a better one, I'm not so good with the word wit.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A brief history of adhesives

It occured to me that my life, like layers of carbon, can be organized by my preferred adhesives at the time.

1998- Freshman year of college I was obsessed with tape. Not your typical duct tape obsession, however. Various colored electrical tapes, painters tape, gaffers tape, clear Scotches, packing tapes, filled my drawer. You name it, I probably had it. My favorite was a silver metal tape. I made some wicked awesome stuff with that.

The Mod Podge Obsession of 1999- My roomie Kj and I made about a thousand journals with our mod podging prowess. What didn't we Mod Podge? I'm not sure when, but Kj at some point mod podged a spatula and some other kitchen untensils...most likely with photos of wheat fields in azure and goldenrod. I have not used the stuff since, actualy.

2001- Gromets and metal snaps. While not comonly known or used as an adhesive... I found many ways to build with these guys instead of tape or glue.

2002- Again, breaking the adhesive rules, this year was all about the sewing machine.

The next adhesive milestone was not until my friend Sarah's wedding in 2005 when Kj and I were asked to design her wedding favors. We decided to individually wrap boxes in lovely pink and brown papers and fill them with coordinating candies. Thanks to the popularity of "scrappin" everywhere, we found a lot of interesting adhesive choices to complete our mission of TV style wrapping our little beauties. My favorites were the tape dots... perfect for securing ribbons and tiny folds of paper. They were just the right size and made the job easy. I love those dots.

My current adhesive of choice is epoxy. I use it in my jewelry making. Super strong and easier to use than I had thought.

Good ol Elmers, however, is the all time ruler in my book.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Kid Land vs. Grownup Land

I have a deep, deep, not so secret: there's something I like even more than knitting... Kids.

Let's face it, kids are the number one "project" it seems and I'm not so sure they should be.

After a full day I decided to treat myself to dinner at my favorite neighborhood sushi place. I of course choose the table closest to the one small child in the place, with all good intentions not to get involved. "Just say hi and keep to yourself Kim" I thought, but one smile to a kid and we're instant best friends! He really wanted to be my buddy (probably because he was so annoyed by his parents already in life.) They really were sweethearts- totally encouraging of our budding friendship and even asked if I would be interested in babysitting. (I get that a lot...)

Over the course of my dinner, I played evesdropper, keeping Super Nanny notes in my head. Something about them bugged me so much that I was relieved I had already said no to babysitting. I just have to say, it's amazing that children grow up to have any sort of "normal" speech pattern considering way the majority of adults talk to children.

Anything the mother and father said was directed at the child, meaning that there was no 'adult' conversation being had here. Strike 1. Voices were higher pitched. Strike 2. Everything was put in the form of a question---"Are you eating rice?" "Did you just play the drums with your chopsticks?" Strike 3. His every action was narriated by mom. The dad just kept saying "Are you eating your tofu, my friend?" My friend this, my friend that. Constantly nagging him to eat yet condesendingly calling him "my friend." (Dude, if my friends did that, I'd kick 'em to the curb.)

That's when it occured to me that maybe we pay TOO MUCH attention to kids. They become our biggest "project" and we talk to them in ways that would never fly in the real world. If you want a kid to be smart, don't talk to him like he's dumb. We've got to change the way we engage children. More importantly, we need to realiz that we don't always have to be engaging our children. It's ok to sit down to dinner and have an adult conversation that doesn't revolve around your toddler. They can deal, so chill.

In my mind there are two Lands: Kid Land and Grownup Land. The world we live in, like it or not, is Grownup Land. Kid Land exists in small tucked away pockets and I reccommend you visit as often as possible. When I'm babysitting and am feeling particularly grownuppy (usually because the kids just want to scream really loudly in the house and I don't like it and know better than to tell them that) I ask the kids to go to Kid Land. When they're ready, they can come back to Grownup Land all worn out and ready to not scream anymore. The two worlds overlap it's true, but they need to be seperate sometimes, for all our sakes.

I guess what I'm getting at here and what was bothering me about my dinner mates, is that if you're constantly hanging out in Kid Land.... how are your kids ever going to have that truly amazing Kid Land adventure they've always wanted..... and how are they ever going to communicate and survive in Grownup Land? You can't train them to expect Kid Land, when we all know what the realitly is.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Making the bed

This is what I woke up to this morning:

It's no secret that I love sheets and linens. I've been collecting sheets and vintage pillow cases since college and while my little wadrobe is over flowing, I show no signs of stopping. Why? Why would a seemingly hip, modern, Brooklyn woman such as myself care about these things? Shouldn't I be occupied sipping cosmos or painting the town red with my hipster haircut boyfriend?

Well it's the winning combo's like this morning... waking up to those playful patterns, the colors, the buttery softness of a sheet from the 70's... that makes me step out of bed in the morning with a smile on my face.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Spring Patterns!

I'm very excited about my new spring patterns for Blue Sky Alpacas! I love using their yarns and together we're a great creative team. Look for the patterns in you local knitting store or online at

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Jewelry Nerd

My recent obsession= Making Jewelry!

My even more recent obsession= Antiquing...
I love this solution because it has turns shiny gold into a aged brown. It's fun and easy to do, just make sure you use plastic containers!

Step 1: Place item in bath of solution and leave in until desired color is reached.

Step 2: Remove from solution and place in a container of water to stop process. I use a plastic fork to do this and not my hand.

Step 3: Use steel wool or an SOS pad under running water to remove most of the finish and create highlights. Dry on paper towel.

Before steel wool

After steel wool

Dinah helping me with my jewelry nerdiness.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Ironically, collections are a great way to showcase the beauty of an individual item. I recently aquired a collection of used stamps which I had many crafty plans for. It was so interesting to sort them into categories... color, place of origin, theme, etc. As time passed I began to look passed the obvious similarities such as shape and color to see the vast differences. Stamps from Africa were printed on a much lesser quality paper the those from the United States, some countries tended to glorify people while others simply displayed monitary ammounts. I began to think that maybe the entire culture of a country could be summed up in the design of it's postage stamp. These tiny things we use everyday and hardly think about really, are a huge anthropological clue to the human race. So beyond the weight of that thought, they are also just incredibly beautiful!
I began arranging them by color, making a rainbowy wash not that different from my childhood ROYGBIV obsession. It wasn't until I awoke this morning to see my progress hanging on the wall ( a little blurry from not having on my glasses) that I realized how beautiful these stamps were together. It took a little human intervention, a little orginization...

And that's when the whole idea of collections hit me. My room is filled with collections. I have a collection of tiny framed things, some are important family members and others strangers. Above my door, a collection of thread spools, also a rainbowy wash... clue me in to my need to collect and arrange. That's what we do.

We take these things and make more of them. What is it they say, three points make a triangle? Well putting just two things together and immediatly a connection is made. Our culture, that is the substance we value and think of as beautiful, lasting and important, has our hands all over it. It all comes back to creating hands.

I enjoy making things, do you?

Hey- so to join the blogging nation.... where it's at apparently.... I want to see if there's interest in this little idea I have.

I like to make stuff. I like to encourage people to make stuff. I love seeing stuff that people make.
I feel most of the sources out there for do-it-yourselfers fall short of true inspiration. I won't name names but some publications -coughreadymade- ask us to make things out of trash and then others (marthastew) expect us to have craft rooms full of the best tools and gold leaf and whew... I can't even afford the thought.

So what's in between? And where does true inspiration come from? And how does that translate to the little things we make each day? The gifts we imagine for our best buddies, the meals, even the doodles while on hold... these are our mark on the world and they mean something.

So bear with me as I begin to flesh out these thoughts and share my world with you.