Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day. I love red and hearts and pink and flowers and all that jazz. I also love that Sarah got up early and went out and got me bagels (and put gas in the car, 'cause she's that kind of girl). Too bad she has to work today. Sigh. Guess I'll just have to hang out and embroider things and cut hearts out of paper. I designed a bunch of Valentine embroidery images (see above) but never really got them all finished. I guess that's what life with a toddler is like. E did enjoy the felt hearts I made him and the heart bag inspired by The Crafty Crow.

And I'm enjoying the paper hearts. I love cutting paper. It feels so art class, but in a good way.

So, enjoy the love today and keep it going into tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Summer in the City

Seriously, folks, it was 65 yesterday in Chicago in mid-February. That's bananas if you ask me. We went on two walks with our sweatshirts and sweaters and NO COATS! It's almost enough to help you get through the fact that Chicago was voted one of the five most miserable cities in the country. I totally get that, though. Traffic, taxes, and the generally crappy weather get me down. Chicago is a tricky lady, though, switching it up with random bits of gloriousness like today. Yes, sales tax is over 10% but you can also find a miniature piano for free in your alley. Oh, Chicago, you test me.

I really think that sunshine is one of the great creative catalysts, and this recent summer spell has been no exception. My mind has been spinning with ideas ever since the weather broke. I haven't gotten as much done as I'd like (primarily because of a certain two-foot-tall sweetie pie) but the juices have been flowing. I also heard a great interview yesterday on Fresh Air with a filmmaker who talked about her process a lot. I'm blanking on her name right this minute but she discussed how location scouting is a big part of her process. She searches and searches by driving around (and seriously around, like around the country) and looking at possible places to shoot. And it struck me that I really think my own process has this same quality of, I don't know, browsing, I guess. I spend a lot of time browsing through the possibilities, having internal conversations with myself about the choices before me, making a lot of tiny judgements, almost unconsciously. In writing, I do a lot of reading but also a lot of initial writing and revising (which for blog purposes means I sometimes don't even make it to the writing part!) With textiles I go through my materials and collect things together. I also go through many patterns and options. You can see why Ravelry is a dangerous place for me. All of this makes for a slow process but it allows the things to evolve organically. In fact, I started this post yesterday.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Need For Speed

So, what could be so fabulous that it would make me spend forever downloading the camera, you ask? Clapotis? No, although it is getting kind of fabulous.

Alas, it isn't Clapotis. What made me download the photos is the kind of fabulous that's only possible when you spend $10 to buy something that was going to cost you so much money that you could barely dream of having it. So much money that in your dreams, there were flying cars and, you know, some flying pigs, too. So here it is. What $10 can buy you on Craigslist.

That's right, people. A totally sweet serger. Something I totally have been wanting forever but could in no way justify buying, because buying one would have meant going without something else. Something important, like heat. Nonetheless, I've been browsing Craigslist for one because you just never know. And then this week-end, there it was, being sold by the lovely Angela who is moving to Japan and who clearly has the same craft issues that I do (the ones where you have tons of stuff and no time and so when you move to Japan you have to sell you serger for $10, and also you sell a bunch of canvases for $2 each. I promise promise promise to use them. But back to the serger.) It's pretty sweet.

So in my fantasy of buying the serger, I'd take it home, learn to thread it, and be whipping up awesome creations for my etsy shop by nightfall. By morning, I'd be rich. Instead, I went home, spent forever maybe learning to thread it. I have no clue if I'm really doing it right. I watched a bunch of u-tube videos of how to use it and after lots of work and trying, I made this.

So, if you'd like to buy that, send me an email. I'll totally sell it to you.

I'm hoping there's a learning curve to this and that I'm on it. I mean, it took awhile to get the hang of my sewing machine, and this puppy is much more complex. It sews at the speed of light, like 60,000 stitches per second or something. Also, and for ten bucks I'm really not complaining, but I think maybe it isn't the awesomest serger in the history of serging. But that's cool. I still feel like this over it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

So, today it's supposed to be 55 degrees in Chicago. Three days ago it was, like, zero. I'm completely happy for the warm front but I just don't know how to feel about it. I mean, these erratic swings toy with my emotions and my habits. I feel like a heat addict, by turns on the wagon and bingeing. This can't be good for people.

On the other hand, it's pretty sweet to have fifties in February!

Clapotis marches on. I'm deep into the decreases now. It's quite energizing the way this pattern speeds up the at the end after such a long, steady build up. I'm sprinting for the finish. But it's easier than that. It's more like the luge, just speeding along on my tiny sled. Except, you know, it's knitting and, well, this metaphor is totally disintegrating now.

On Wednesday, the E and I went to storytime at the library with Mary and some other friends. Afterwards, we went to Wishbone for post-story refreshments. E was like a demolition expert at the table, wrecking whatever he could reach. But he was calmed by the sweet potatoes, so it was all good. I'm having a little blog envy of Mary. She blogs like 5 times a week. I'm pretty sure she has a secret live-in nanny that she's not telling anyone about because where else could she find the time? Of course, maybe she doesn't squander her precious free time searching Ravelry. I mean, I don't know anyone who does that, but just as a theoretical example of how someone might waste time and not get anything done. Someone I don't know. Clearly.