Monday, July 30, 2007

It's hard not to be a "cat lady" when...

Your buddy is so darn cute!

Mush fest

Woah. I had a little blast of a mush fest earlier. I remain hopeful, but just a wee bit annoyed at how much space the thought of finding someone seems to take up in my head. The post is a little embarrassing but I'm going to leave it because I'm sure I'm not alone in my thoughts.

I remember a church service once where the Pastor said something that really stuck with me. Now, I'm terrible at remembering the exact words... but it pointed out that God is not interested in us simply following. He wants us to take risks, because when we do, he's then able to make something of it. Otherwise there are just too many options...

This is not to say that we should be jumping off bridges or anything. It just makes me realize that my own struggle with life and faith is about wanting to find a magic key that opens the door to a completely easy life. Wanting to find the "it" that takes all the questions out. In reality, it's the questions and mistakes that make us interesting.

What I struggle with is when to take those risks and how. And whether my desire to sit back and rely on divine intervention stems from a true faith OR a wimped out attitude that wishes to take the easier route.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Love dot dot dot

Originally I had envisioned this blog to be about projects and the inspirations behind them... Inspired Knitting... but I've found that many other things seep in to fill the cracks of my brain and either enhance my creative process or distract me from it. Who's to say the distractions aren't just as important though? Maybe by actually giving them some of our time, they might be satisfied and leave us a lone for a bit.

So Love. Is it an enhancer or a distracter? Well, both I suppose and like many, I've been thinking about it a lot lately. About what exactly? Pretty much all of it, but mostly worrying about missing the boat. Like, what if you met the love of your life and did nothing about it? Or what if you thought you had found that love but they didn't love you back. Or maybe they did, but then dumped you out of the blue, leaving you baffled. Or maybe the person is less than perfect and all you want to do is run for the hills, but you can't help it. Love is an active thing, we do have a choice in the matter, right? How do we get on the same page with each other? And also, why can't we be satisfied with all the love all around us (our family & friends), instead of running toward the most difficult?

It's driving me crazy people. I'll admit to being young and easily swindled by the grip of love... but fool I am not. So why do I feel like one just for talking about all this??

If you want to be married and have children, you have to imagine yourself being married and having children with someone. And if you've thought these things, even if it was WAY before you were really ready for them, it is difficult to break your attached to them. And IF, without even knowing it, you've become attached to such fantasies... how do you get rid of them?

How do you mourn a loss of something, that never even existed???

I should team up with Nicholas Sparks on this one and write a real tear jerker...

What if the love of your life doesn't know he was the love of your life?

look out

What if you thinking someone was the love of your life, keeps you from seeing the true one right in front of you?

Either way I'm stunted and destined for spinsterhood.

Oh well, more time for knitting!

New Items in my Etsy Shop!!!

Buy Handmade

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Goodies in the mail...

Today I picked up two packages filled with treasures...

My mom has a lovely habit (which I love) of picking up things for me at yard sales and flea markets:

There's a vintage glass turkey baster, an old curling iron, a shoe polishing kit, a little box with cuff links in it and my favorite... a bunch of spools of woolen thread. There's just a few here, but more are on their way and I can't wait to make stuff with them! In fact I already have!!!

She's pretty good huh, that mom of mine. She's getting better and better at picking out not only the little dusty things I love, but materials that help me make my "stuff." Thanks MOM!!

One of the things I've started collecting are old picture frames. I don't like to spend too much money on them or have them be worth anything because I like the ones that have been around the block a few times better. My only other requirement is that they be smaller than a breadbox. Well, I've gotten bigger ones in the past for using in my craft booth, but mostly I like tiny. So, when I was home visiting I picked out a whole slew of them at the flea market and Mom sent those a long too. As I unpacked them, it erupted into a whole re-decorating frenzy. I created a new 'tiny things' collection above my bed, which is nice because it exhibits some great lace items I've been wanting to show off.

Those stockings are amazing. Tiny tiny cotton knit sockins that only cost me $2! I feel kind of bad because whoever priced them must not have known what they had, but at least I'm giving them a happy home. Sometime people don't get old items like this. They think of the cost of a new pair of socks and that it would be crazy to ask say, $10 for an old, used pair.

This pair might not have been knit by hand, but I can tell they've been darned a number of times, which means they were well loved and important to someone. Unlike the socks we buy for $2 a dozen and throw out with little thought, right?

Last, but not least, I got a little yarn package from Blue Sky with the colors for my next project...Yippee! I love them!

Hogwarts = Hot sweaters!!

So I just saw the latest Harry Potter tonight and it was pretty awesome. Sweaters totally rule at Hogwarts! Let's discuss the spiffy school uniform cardigan...

Probably a nice fine gauge wool with a thin stripe of their house color at the waist. I guess it's your standard preppy school uniform... I just like how each character wears his or hers differently. I especially love that Ron's collar is loose and his shirttails almost always hang out in perfect dishevelment, along with several other boys.

Nevil rocked his sweater vest:

Then as the kids started doing their rebel magic thing, I kept noticing this crazy collage of colored and patterned sweaters whirling around the screen. No matter how they would line up, they just looked cool together....

I wish it were sweater season already!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What I made today

That's right. It's a knitted mushroom necklace. I must have been inspired by all my nintendo playing in Maine... because I've been thinking about mushrooms a lot lately.

This little guy is wool with mohair spots and underbelly. (Not really sure what the under part is called on a mushroom!)He's about 3/4" on an 18" chain. Um, yeah, people will comment and you'll be super cute. Putting 3 in my ETSY store now!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Over vs. Under...

Yes I think about this. It seems to be an issue that causes a great divide in our society. Seriously. People, myself including, are so opinionated they will actually switch the roll to their way while at a guests house.

For the longest time I assumed my opinion (and compulsive need to switch the roll my way) came from a long line of mothers... my mom gave it to me, she probably got it from her mother, etc. Then I started to realize it was more than that for me, so I made a chart:

Ok. So I'm a FIRM believer that the toilet paper should roll under and here's why:

It works better. I've noticed that when the toilet paper is in the over position, it is too close to me to get the optimum pull. I have to adjust my body, use both hands in an awkward way, both of which take away efficiency points. Having the roll go under, on a pretty full roll, could give you up to three more inches of pull room...

Aesthetics... ok I realize that I can't just say it looks better (which I believe to be true) because that can't logically be argued. SO I pinpointed why I like the looks of under better. In the over position, the toilet paper dangles out into space, whereas in the under position, the paper dangles close to the wall (or the pole of a free standing holder). I think this is less of a disturbance to the overall look of the bathroom. The wall is already there... so having the paper hang next to it seems logical. Why create another vertical line into space by having the toilet paper hang out into it, even if it is only a matter of a few inches??

The under pull is clockwise and the over pull is counter clockwise. I think I'm generally more comfortable with a clockwise motion... perhaps this is conditioned into us and really shouldn't matter. Regardless, the over pull roll AT you whereas the under pull rolls away from you, which feels less aggressive.

Now, I'm interested in people who think the other way is better and I want to know why.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Totally on TV

So the other day, as part of my "work," I got to to model a cutie fredflare outfit on the CW11 morning news. Then a couple weeks ago a film crew from Eyewitness News came by and there are a couple shots of me doing my shipping thing. So funny!

Check out this fredflare blog post for the videos...

Happy Birthday MOM!!!!

Ok, I have the best mom ever and today is her birthday so I thought I would share with the world some of my most favorite things about her:

She always played games with me in the car. This was of course really fun as a kid, but I now realize what a great tactic it is to keep kids occupied and not complaining!

We recently started playing Yahtzee on a regular basis- usually during meals- when I'm home for a visit.

She always buys me a raffle ticket at the fund raisers she goes to. If my ticket wins, she gives me the prize when most people would keep it.

I can do a crazy dance in front of her for at least two minutes before she looks up and acknowledges me. She totally does this on purpose!!

I don't think she's EVER complained about going shopping with me.

She is an amazing gift giver, wrapper, care package packer, stocking stuffer-er... incredibly generous and thoughtful, this one. I especially remember the one Christmas when the presents were numbered... yeah, she likes to organize... and I got my nintendo AND tickets to see NKOTB in concert.

I always had the coolest clothes. I remember shopping at Kids-r-Us in elementary school and feeling so rad. For Christmas I would always get amazing outfits with matching socks and hair things (think sparkles & feathers... Lucky!)

She loves:

She is always willing to help. I see her help with so many organizations that need to raise money or organize an event. She'll do even the smallest task and never expect any notice for it.

She's friendly and makes conversation with strangers everywhere we go. It's really cute.

She raised me to be creative and never bored.

Most of our conversations take place while one of us is in the bathroom.

One nickname or me: Poopsie, which is unrelated to the reason above.

She's my mom and no one elses!!!


Sunday, July 15, 2007


Right now, I was supposed to be with friends here

wearing this

sipping this

But I'm not!

In usual Kim fashion I awoke early, went to the grocery store and made a bag full of treats for the event. Fittingly, the odds where apparently against me today- I waited FOREVER for the bus and then when one came, finally, I realized I didn't pack my wallet. I had to run back home and of course missed the bus. Since there's no way to get there from here, I walked. In the heat, carrying all my crap. By this time, I had totally missed the LIRR train I was planning to take, but figured there would be another one and I'd just meet my buddies there. Nope. Last train.

There I was in the Atlantic Long Island Railroad Station wearing my favorite Victorian petticoats, my new Sephora bright red lip stain, toting 20 chicken salad sandwiches and a lime custard cake. Yeah, I let loose a couple tears. It was such a let down.

So I thought if I bought a few dumb things at Target which was right there, it might pick me up. Yeah, I got some scissors that are my favorite color and a beautiful new journal with creamy pages and a lovely plaid cover:

It did make me feel better.
So did about six of those chicken salad sandwiches and an iced coffee.

Now I have my fingers crossed for an awesome movie on TV.

"Over Board! Please let it be Over Board!!"

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Tonight I'm working on a new pattern for a little girls dress. I'm never quite sure about sizes, so today I went to Old Navy to get a bunch ofdresses to take measurements from.

Mine won't really look anything like these... I just thought the basic shape would be similar. Here's a swatch of my idea... but that's all I can show you!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Steak frite

Last night I made this for dinner. Steak, French fries and yummy salad. Then I watched two rented movies. Ahhhhhhhh
Here's what I did:


Usually people freak out over the thought of frying but I like to make my own fries and it's pretty easy. I use a wide skillet, so I don't have to use too much oil since I never know how to best dispose of it afterwards. I cut the potatoes with the skin on because it's yummy that way and make sure the fries relatively the same thickness and size. This is not just an anal, Martha Stewarty thing, it's essential in making sure they cook at the same rate. The oil has to get pretty hot, but once it's heated you might want to turn it down a bit so it doesn't smoke. This is highly unlikely if you use canola oil. For heavens sake, don't use olive oil! It has a much lower tolerance for heat and will burn if it gets too hot. I learned this somewhere, but notice it most when I try to make popcorn on the stove and all I have is olive oil. It pretty much always burns the popcorn. Anyway... toss the fries in and wait until they're golden on the edges. They get brown quite quickly after this, so be ready to remove them if you don't like dark fries! Work quickly, but carefully- you don't want to burn yourself. To get them out I use my pasta scoop. It's pretty amazing at grabbing the little guys and draining off a lot of the oil. (I'm the queen of using things for reasons other than what they were designed for) You should let them cool on a plate with a couple of paper towels underneath, just like you would bacon. Sprinkle on the salt. Then try to wait until everything's done to gobble them down- good luck with that!

Super easy!!!! Rub her with salt and stick her in a fry pan. Get both sides... to your liking. My steak happened to come with a peppered edge. I got it because it looked like a good cut, I didn't really want the peppered edge, but it turned out to be good! You could do that yourself, if you wanted.

Salad Dressing

I'll just do dressing because you can figure out on your own what you want in your salad, right? For dressings lately I've been doing a little bit of mustard, vinegar, salt/pepper, a dash of chili powder and finally olive oil. Put them all together and then shake or stir. The mustard acts as an emollient to keep everything together. I like the added spice of the chili pepper, especially with arugala in my salad! Spicy city! You can use lemon instead of vinegar, that's nice too. (Did you know that olive oil looses it's good-for-you qualities once cooked? It's really good to eat it in dressings or on bread then, isn't it?) Make sure your greens are dry so the dressing will stick to them. Salad spinners are good for that or you can do this little trick I learned from Martha- place your wet greens in a clean dry towel, draw edges together and then whip that sucker around!! I do it out the window...would Martha approve? I don't know, but I don't want my house covered in water!! It works really well!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

New phase of Jewelry

If you read my second blog post you know about my little stamp collection. Well, I have been trying to figure out a way to incorporate stamps into my jewelry making for a while now and have just hit on something that pleases me much.

I didn't want to do much to the stamps, as not to destroy their beauty... so I tried just gluing two together and hanging it on the end of a chain and made a matching pair of earrings. They looked pretty, especially that scalloped stamp edge, but it seemed too delicate. One swipe to tuck back your hair and there goes your earring!

Well I hadn't investigated much more than that until a recent shipment of jewelry findings arrived. Here's what I made because I can't wait any longer to show you!!!

It's a flip top frame with stamps inside.

I mounted each stamp to a piece of chipboard (using acid free glue of course, mom)

And then made sure each one was double sided so you can flip through and change your necklace everyday!! How many options is that! It's a little treasure box so you can carry a little stamp collection around with you!

Then I pair it with a little nautical-but-nice charm and a vintage chain.

That's enough talk. I'm going to make more NOW!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Celebrating Independence

Here's a gathering of patriotic stamps I found quite fitting for the day. I've always loved the symbolism of the flag and it bothers me when people diss it. For me, the flag represents the ideals our country was founded upon. Our government might not always make decisions that make us all happy, but we can all look to the flag to unite us and remind us what we should carry in our hearts to live and strive for.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Truth be told: I've been lacking in the inspiration department lately. Right after the craft fair, I had this major drop off in my drive to make much of anything. It's quite possible I just needed a break after all the late nights getting stuff together for my booth, but I was getting a little worried as to why I didn't feel like making things. Don't get me wrong, the craft fair was a great success and I'm super happy about it. I was also a little let down, because once it was over, I didn't have a "reason" to make stuff anymore! I was standing at the foot of a mountain I had no intention to climb, with no other way around it.

I didn't think I needed a "reason" to make things, it's just something I do by nature. All of a sudden though, the thought of lifting a finger was too much for me. Um, so had my previous course in life ended? What now, get a normal job and remember the good ol' days? What was wrong with me?

I wasn't INSPIRED.

It happens. But what do you do about it?

What a gift to have a break from making. Seriously. I love being uber productive, but getting ready for Renegade... I kind of went on auto pilot. I was cranking it out in a push to fill my tables. The pieces were inspired at one point(like the three months prior when I first thought of them!) but mostly I was just making different versions of the same thing. It would be silly for me to compare that level of production to that of a new creative period.

My suggestion on being unINSPIRED?

Pay attention. Notice it. Feel it. Then go out for a really good dinner and order dessert. Visit Maine (it's the "way life should be" after all.) Go to the flea market. Buy some new materials. (As much as I want to be thrifty, a few new jewelry findings seem to spruce my entire supply.) Drink a few beers if you want. Give yourself permission to RELAX. Oh and just wait.

In hindsight, I can easily see this time as an uninspired period of waiting. In actuality, it felt terrible and I'm only able to be writing all this because I found my pathway up the mountain. Some INSPIRATION!!!

More on that to come....

Funny work photo

Check out my Maine thrift store finds which I gave to my fredflare co workers!

Jen, second from left, wrote a blog about it!!

My Latest Pattern!!!!

My latest sweater for Blue Sky Alpacas! I made this for them in white and LOVE the version they made in green. It debuts their newest yarn, Suri Merino: a luxurious 60% baby suri/40% merino, single ply yarn, which comes in 14 inspiring colors. My favorite thing about this design are the 14 buttons up the collar which makes for a very sexy, Victorian touch.

I loved knitting with this yarn and want this sweater for myself!!!

You can view all of Blue Sky's patterns here.