Thursday, May 28, 2009

Birthday Wishes

Today is my best friend's birthday. He is actually 46 years old, but I found this great collage with a 45 on it.
Happy Birthday Honey!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I took this picture of this bug a couple of weekends ago and forgot to post it. We luckily don't get alot of bugs in our backyard. There is always one annoying wasp, but that is about it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Winner of Give Away - Mary Catherine

Mary Catherine - please contact me and leave me an email and mailing address so I can send you the items in my give away!

Friday, May 22, 2009


My friend was supposed to be in Japan right now, but she had to cancel her plans due the swine flu paranoia there. So this post is dedicated to you, Joan!

I liked Hello Kitty and her friends when I was little and I happened across the word Kawaii today while surfing the web for purchasing zippers. I figured it has something to do with Japanese stuff so I looked it up. There turns out to be an interesting history ...

The Wiki entry:
Since the 1970s, Kawaii (可愛さ kawaisa) has become a prominent aspect of popular Japanese culture. Foreign observers often find this cuteness intriguing, revolting or even childish because the Japanese employ it in a vast array of situations and demographics where, in other cultures, it would be considered incongruously juvenile or frivolous (for example, in government publications, public service warnings, office environments, military advertisements, and commercial airliners, among many others). It emerged in the 1970’s as part of a new style of writing. Many teenage girls began to write laterally using mechanical pencils. These pencils produced very fine lines, as opposed to traditional Japanese writiing that varied in thickness and was vertical. Also, the girls would write in big, round characters and they added little pictures to their writing, such as hearts, stars, smiley faces, and English letters. These pictures would be inserted randomly and made the writing very hard to read. As a result, this writing style caused a lot of controversy and was banned in many schools. During the 1980’s, however, this cute new writing was adopted by magazines and comics. and was put onto packaging and advertising. From 1984-86, Yamane Kazuma studied the development of cute handwriting, which he called Anomalous Female Teenage Handwriting, in depth. Although it was commonly thought that the writing style was something that teenagers had picked up from comics, he found that teenagers had come up with the style themselves, as part of an underground movement.

Here are some images of this great Japanses way of keeping life playful and adolescent. (Which is all I want to be lately)...A Bank Card

More Condoms

Thursday, May 21, 2009

another May giveaway

Sofia Barao, a visual artist, who lives and works near Paris, is having a give away too! So those of you who do actually read my blog but do not knit, may want to check out her great blog: and comment. You may possibly receive the wallpaper necklace pictured above!
Her Etsy shop is called L'oiseau rare. And I would like to think that the young girl who dreamed of being a French teacher is still somewhere deep inside me - as I am smitten by her work as well as the title of her shop.
I feel she has a really interesting aesthetic. Her work is the epitome of feminine, being grounded in both strong and delicate physical materials and natural qualities. She also makes beautiful mixed media paintings with collage (pictured last). More can be viewed in her portflio on her website

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Birthday Gifts and Give Aways

Nicole at Coco Knits had a give away and I won a great yarn stash! (pictured above) I won 2 skeins of Fiddlesticks Zephyr Wool-Silk in mulberry,1 skein of Noro Blossom in purples/blues/reds, and 2 Fleece Artist kits that each include 1 skein of 2/6 Merino and 1 skein of Angel hair (so 4 skeins total). I have never knit with Noro but I read about it all the time, so I know that will be wonderful. And I really love the deep raspberry. I can't wait to get my gift in the mail. Nicole had just won a give away from Melissa at Tiny Happy and decided to have her own give away.

And now I am going to follow in thier wake of generosity and have a give away too! So after realising that I've been writing this blog for over a year now so I thought I'd give a birthday gift to someone else on my birthday. Just leave a comment by 12:00 noon on Saturday May 23rd, and I'll draw a winner on Sunday, May 24th.My give away includes six balls of yarn. There are two of bright white and two of silver Filatura di Crosa Brilliant, which is a shiny blend of cotton and viscose. The other two balls are a very soft pale blush pink cotton with a subtle silvery sparkle by Jaeger. There is also a head band in pink wool that I knit (I wear these all the time they are stretchy and comfortable) and a pink suede and sterling necklace with a hand made glass bead on it. (The bead can be removed and replaced with something of your own). Once again all you have to do is leave a comment by 12:00 noon on Saturday May 23rd, and I'll draw a winner on Sunday, May 24th.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Playing House

It is my birthday on Friday. I will be 43 years old. I get sort of introspective when my birthday comes around and here I am reading this book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which is all about finding the meaning of life and beauty and so on. So I am bit over engrossed with it this year.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog also has steady theme of building. Building the world and the individual and building the universal and the independent parts. Typically an author would present a juxtaposition of contemplation with the physicality of creating something tangent, but in this book they are quite connected and their coexistence is elegantly described.

I try telling myself that it is only the present that matters and I should use all my strength to build something that matters, that I have to surpass myself every day. But what I really want to do is go backwards, to knock the blocks down. I want to be a teen who doesn’t have to think about anything really, plan anything or be anything because the future is so far away.

I am constantly rebuilding my identity as an adult on top of the one I had as a child, and on the way I view (viewed) other adults. I continually change my mind about what I want to be when I grow up. But then, feeling like I am suspended on a steel beam, (or, depending on the day, feeling perched on a thin branch) I realize I will never be any of those things, I am what I am.

What am I? Preoccupied. Dependable. Distractable. Pragmatic. Creative. Curious. Grateful. Happy.

I try not to look in the mirror. When I look in the mirror I don’t see myself. I see my mother. I see a young girl. In my head, I know what I am. In my imagination I know what I can be.

“If you dread tomorrow, it’s because you don’t know how to build the present, and when you don’t know how to build the present, you tell yourself you can deal with it tomorrow, and it’s lost because tomorrow always ends up becoming today.” The Elegance of the Hedgehog p. 128

The Photo above is from an Etsy Shop called Subject2Change.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I very rarely buy cut flowers, as I hate to spend the money and I am highly allergic to most. But these ranunculus were too beautiful to pass by. And we have a tangerine wall in our otherwise very white kitchen. I wil have to show off that wall some day to you all. I am hoping to plant some ranunculus in my garden this weekend so I won't have to buy them next time.

The buttercup is a species of ranunculus. Another name for ranunculus is Persian Buttercup.
We used to play with them when I was little. We would hold them up to someone's chin and if you had a yellow reflection on your chin it meant you like butter and if it turned out that you liked butter we would laugh. It seems so wonderful to be so eaily entertained.


I have been shopping for fabric for our bedroom curtains again. I like these four - can't get enough yardage at Purl Soho for any of them, but maybe some one else will have more...Still can't decide what I like. I am nervous that the honeycomb is too dark, and the others are a little too flowery for the room.
Later: I found the grey dandelion field by Amy Butler at Fabric Worm on Etsy for $8 a yd. It is my second favorite; I think it has a '60s feel to it and I believe the grey background makes it masculine enough for the man who shares this room. So I ordered it. (My favorite is the japanese orange dove pattern. Maybe I can make a pillow or two with that one). I hope the grey dandelion field turns out to be perfect - it is always risky ordering fabric online. But I have no choice as the local fabric stores have horrible selections. That would be a dream job- opening my own fabric store!Kokka Fabrics - Etsuko Furuya Echina "turquoise honeycomb" above and "orange dove" below.
Rowan Fabrics - Amy Butler's Daisy Chain "grey dandelion field" (above) and August Fields "moss fresh start"(Below)

Flattering Knits

I am interested in making more shapely sweaters for myself. I just found out about this new book posted on The Blue Blog and it looks like a good one. I love the green sweater on the cover (and pictured below). The subtitle of the book is 30 Designs to Flatter and Fit. The Blue Blog states that the chapter about knitting to fit is classic Sally Melville: full of clear, concise details and a multitude of useful illustrations. And there are explanations for sweater lengths and shapes, how to measure yourself (not just a basic bust measurements, but more specific measurements like shoulder width and waist length), and how to adjust any pattern to fit you better.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Loretta Lux

Have you seen Loretta Lux's photos of children?
They are oddly vintage and contemporary, Anachorisms. Edward Gorey pictures if he had a camera and a computer. Out of proportion, miniature adults sharing their misplacement with their voyeur. Loretta Lux currently lives and works in Monaco.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

I began reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (Translated from French to English by Alison Anderson) during my trip to New Orleans. I had finished the book of science fiction type short stories that I had brought with me. So I went into the Chicago Airport book store to look at books during a layover and it was there that I opened The Elegance of the Hedgehog to a random page and read…

“There’s so much humanity in the love of trees, so much nostalgia for our first sense of wonder, so much power in just feeling your own insignificance when we are surrounded by nature…yes, that’s it: just thinking about trees and their indifferent majesty and our love of them teaches us how ridiculous we are- vile parasites squirming on the surface of the earth – and at the same time how deserving of life we can be, when we can honor this beauty that owes us nothing.”

When I got to page 169 today, I realized that this was the paragraph that convinced me to begin this book. I did not know then that the speaker is one of the main characters, the eleven year old Paloma. I also didn't know then that she is too brilliant for this world and unless she finds a reason to keep living she is going to kill herself and set fire to her apartment on her 12th birthday. The book is a little bit pretentious, but offers many beautiful descriptions about beauty, art and balance. I highly reccomend it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Knitting for Chicks

I did not knit this adorable shawl. Erika at Red Shirt Knitting did. My daughter and I would love to have a chicken in our lives, but her father will not allow it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

also on the needles

I purchased this yarn at the local Fiber Festival almost two years ago. It is very very soft and I love the color. I took it with me to New Orleans so I could knit while waiting at airports and on the plane. I had no plan and stupidly got a lot done not knowing what it will become. I could make a sweater, but considering the other sweater I would prefer to complete, I have decided to make a wrap. It should be a wonderful thing to throw on at the beach at the end of the day. I don't know the fiber - I assume it not a natural fiber because it looks ribbon like, as if it were spit out of a machine. But, boy, is it soft. I have another skein which I think will become a baby blanket. It is on top of my pile there on my bedside table pictured below. I did finally get some Orla Kreily pieces at Target. I got a great Pears table cloth (of which two would make amazing curtains for the right room) and these containers for my yarn. The blue is an exact match to our vintage wall paper. I wish they produced this fabric in tablecloths as I have been looking for curtains, or fabric for curtains, for 4 years for this room.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

new necklaces

A nutrition professor asked for a necklace with the nutrition facts form a soda bottle - here are two I made. I hope she likes them.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The cat came back

Nemo returned around 8:00 pm last night. It is as if he just reappeared. He was not wet, he was not cold. He was not hungry. I don't know where he was, but I hope he doesn't go there again.