Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Calendar for the New Year

2009 Calendar

I've just listed a 2009 desk calendar in my 1000 Markets shop. Since I'm coming to this a little late in the year I will most likely only be listing it there, rather than on Etsy. I actually kind of sort of just made it for myself, unsure of how it might turn out. However I ended up feeling pretty pleased with the results and figured I could photograph my copy and list it as a made to order item. Which will take me just a tad longer than most of my other items to ship off, but seems like something I'd still be able to manage within 2-3 days.

Anyway, I'm working on a few things like this to feel a little bit prepared for 2009 and New Years resolutions. I'd like to make myself a journal in order to feel like I can start keeping on in 2009. And I had some luck a while back with a form I made myself to keep track of daily workout efforts. I plan on making a little booklet of those pages to keep myself going. But mainly at some point today or tomorrow I probably need to just sit down and write up a list of priorities and goals. If this all sounds excessive, this is most likely due to the even number I will be turning end of 2009, which we will not speak of...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Gifts

I'm back from my Christmas trip to Ohio which means I can finally post all of the crafty gifts I've been working on the past few weeks. I managed to knit, sew, bead and embroider objects for gift giving. I even made a journal for my aunt that I completely forgot photograph! I had a lot of fun with all the crafts, but I was particularly pleased with some of the ones that were less familiar territory. Improving my sewing skills has been a goal for a while, so sewing up a few fabric cuffs for my cousins was a pretty quick and gratifying project. And though I think I've tried some embroidery in the past I was excited with the results of my sheep and circle t-shirts. And I think the recipients were as well! Or course there were several knitting projects, though the poor boyfriend is going to have to wait a little while before I'm done with his sweater.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quiet - Happy Holidays!

Sorry it's been so quiet here on the blog this week. I've been busy trying to pull things together for Christmas. Cards decoration, handmade gifts, etc. It's kept me pretty busy. But perhaps this means I will have lots of things to post about after the holiday. Crafting for Christmas has certainly generated several ideas for new items for the shop, which I will hopefully be able to post about early next year!

Goodbye 2008

We did accomplish one non-secret holiday crafting task this week that I can blog about. Last year Chuck got me a really pretty calendar from Herman Yu. Her work is just too pretty to discard and we still have too much empty wall space, so we grabbed 12 cheap frames at Michaels and pulled apart the Calendar. Perhaps a little early...I suppose it is still 2008...but I'm really happy to finally have something up on one of our main walls.

I'll be going back home to Ohio from Dec. 23rd -27th and the hiatus from blog and shop is likely to last just a bit longer than that. I may end up getting one more post in before our trip (in fact I'm hoping I will, I have an idea) and maybe a few more before the new year. But just in case, happy holidays! And travel safely, especially you folks in Seattle dealing with all that snow you're not used to! I don't want to hear about any more buses dangling over I-5!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Giving, receiving

"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I've been pretty busy crafting, preparing for Christmas and trying to do some other stuff, so sorry the posting has been a little light through the weekend. I almost wasn't going to post today but then I remembered Kayce of On A Whimm passed on this blog award last month and I still haven't gotten around to picking out my choices. Well, it's close to Christmas and it seems like an appropriate chance to link to some of my favorites (in no particular order.) I suppose a lot of these picks show up in my links on the right, but for anyone that follows my blog through a reader I suppose this provides a few links they might not normally see! (plus a little history for everyone else) And in no particular order:

1 - extra medium - Janie is a good friend I was in College with (another architect) she recently started up this blog of her observations about life in South Carolina. I'm envious of the theme she picked, she has the tag system done nicely from the get go (something I'm still -always- tinkering with!)

2 - Vegan Craftastic - I found Kala through the ravelry forums for vegan knitters. I saw the pattern she designed for Mossinette Socks & I just had to knit it! Since then her blog has become a regular read.

3 - Rekoj Rants - Sara of Rekoj and I worked together in Seattle. Part of what lead me to finally get started with an Etsy shop was having her and a few other people around that where already or just getting into etsy too. Sara's work & process is exciting to read about even if you don't know her, but I always enjoy just a little bit of insight into the part of the world I used to inhabit not too long ago.

4 - Scary White Girl - A member of Seattle's EtsyRain, her shop alone is clever & fun. But I also relate to her love of sci-fi shows and movies. Though from the sound of it she gets out to see more than I manage to, so it's always fun to read her thoughts on the latest movies. And some of my favorite posts were about tracking down supplies for her cute crocheted Daleks (though Dr. Who fans will have to wait until after christmas for more of those!)

And I'm gonna stop at four though I think it's supposed to be 8. Perhaps I'll add more later. But hey, Kayce did the same thing! (:P) Plus I ought to get back to Christmas crafting!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stringy Inspiration

Blue Embroidery

Grabbed a new Treasury this morning. Took it as an opportunity to explore some of the embroidery type work on Etsy. And naturally it is blue because I do enjoy that color. And after seeing this amazing architectural embroidery project over on craftster embroidery is a subject that's been on my mind. I've thought once or twice about embroidering floor plans before. Closest I got was once binding a photo album with an abstracted linear map-like binding. That was a lot of work. Anyway, In the process of looking through the work over on Etsy I found this cool shop seapod, full of ameoba and so forth. Fun, reasonably priced brooches that would make cute & unique stocking stuffers. Actually upon making this treasury I realized that embroidery crafts generally seem pretty affordable! And because I'm enamored with my latest find, here are a few more from Seapod:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Feeling really Busy!

I almost wasn't going to post again today, but I thought I ought to drop in and say hi. I'm feeling really busy and excited about a lot of things. I guess one thing is Christmas is really not that far off. I posted an entry over at 1000 markets today about holiday shipping. (I've decided to maintain a somewhat more professional tone over there, and I'm planning on trying to make myself post about once a week.) December 18th is the last day for holiday orders and that would be cutting it very close.

We all have those days where you feel like there's so much to do and even though you're really excited about it it just doesn't get done. I think I'm having one of those. I spent a chunk of my morning trying to resolve a unexpected/uncredited use of one of my product photos. It was resolved correctly, quickly and politely so I won't go into it too much. It happens, I suppose, when you're trying to get yourself out there and I suppose it is somewhat flattering.

I guess this is a bit of a teaser blog entry cause some of the stuff I've got on my to do is list are a few things I'm planning to post about on the blog soon. But I'm not going into that either! Hopefully I can get what I want to done very very soon and you will see the results.

In the meantime fun stuff today. There's a brand new knitty! I really like the fargyle sock pattern. Also Nora Gaughan's Surface is really interesting, though I think I would make it with less of the collar. And Amelia is a pretty pattern too. Also yarn finally came for Chuck's sweater. Not sure if I'll have time to get it done for christmas...I keep joking he'll get a box of yarn for christmas and then maybe I'll get the sweater done for his birthday next month. That's not looking like too much of a joke right now. But still I was thrilled to get the yarn today. We went with a Graphite color instead of the Fern I blogged about earlier.

Oh and I hauled 4 heavy bags of groceries, a large purse, and a few supplies (boxes for presents) home from the stores...almost a mile! Not really that blog worthy, but it is a thing I did today that sorta prevented me from getting other stuff done. And it feels like an accomplishment, I think I might be sore from it later....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Renegade

Renegade Holiday 2008

We visited Renegade Handmade's holiday show yesterday with my parents. It was packed! It wasn't unlike other shows we've been going to the past several years, but for my Mom & Dad it was the first time they'd had a chance to check out a show with the younger generation of crafters. And also, incidentally, the first year they haven't gone to Winterfair since it began. I have to admit I was a little sad too the first year I couldn't make it to that show too, when we first moved to Seattle in 2004.

One thing I noticed that was a little different about this show compared to other shows was the number of Flatstock/poster artists mixed in. (I did have to assure my parents that all the bands were real, though they did recognize a respectable number of the band names. And none of us had heard of the band Mustard Plug before. Oh well!) It's certainly great to see that kind of work at most of the shows here. But it was a little packed, I would've liked to check out the Ork Poster booth a little more closely. I've heard they recently added Seattle and we've been contemplating a set of their print for a while. They also had t-shirts!

So anyway, here are a few favorites. Unfortunately I didn't make any purchases because well, I'm on a small budget this year, and it takes me a while to decide on purchases anyway. But there was plenty of great stuff, and this is just a very small sampling:

All the images above are linked and clickable through to the shops. You might also see more of the sellers from the show turn up in my favorites over the course of the week! A few are already there. Or, alternatively here's a link to check out the renegade vendor list!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tiles, Dogs and Twigs

Tiffany Ceiling & Holiday Decor FAO Schwartz Display Yule Log Dog Baha'i Temple

It's already been a busy weekend for me, and we still have to make our way over to the Renegade Handmade Holiday show. To quickly summarize, I spent some time (while Chuck was finishing off his semester, and subsequent sleep recovery from the semester) with my parents. Friday we checked out the elaborate decoration at Macy's downtown and the market on Daley plaza. Yesterday we went to the Botanical garden and saw a parade of dogs in holiday costumes and an elaborate model train display with twig and gourd buildings from all around Chicago. Now I'm recovering a little bit before we check out renegade!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I am a cat lady

I just have to go and make it official by admitting that watching video of cats doing crazy (awesome!) things is one of my favorite internet activities. This one of a cat on a roomba is everywhere right now, but it's funny. In my opinion, required viewing. Oh Wait! I like the one of the cat chasing its leash around a toilet too. And this is just such a cute kitten! So yes. This post makes it official. As if it wasn't already.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Tofurkey Day

Tofurkey & sides
It might seem to some that Thanksgiving is maybe not the best holiday for vegans, but this is not the case. Think of all the glorious veggie side dishes! And these days it's pretty easy to pick up a Tofurkey at the store. The past few years it's been a small affair for us because of the distance between Seattle and Ohio. This year we're closer but with Chuck's classes coming to a close and the need for someone to watch my parent's cat while they traveled we stuck around. And that's fine since I've really enjoyed having a whole day all about cooking lots of stuff every year. We've got a handful of recipes we typically use, though every year I take notes on how I might adjust them a bit better to our taste. And one of these years I hope I actually remember that I did that and take a look at my notes from past years before I start cooking! Ok, so this year I forgot that again...but really the recipies only require some minor tweeks. A little more sugar in the cornbread, try out more broth on the stuffing, etc. But it all turned out well..and made up several dinners and lunches for us. Oh, and there was Pie of course, mostly by Chuck though I did mix up the dough for the crust and help out some cutting up the apples. Every year I think I should make more of these dishes on other occassions, hopefully this year I will. Particularly the cornbread, which would be fantastic with some Chili!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Monday in Photos

Laundry & Ice:
Sweater in the Sink Icicles!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hearts & New Markets

First off I surpassed 200 hearts on Etsy last week, and I'm very happy about that! It's been a pretty great first year there. I can't complain and I'm not much of a complainer in general...but I will say there are quite a few features I've seen discussed in the forums I'm highly anticipating. Etsy's full of such fun and inspiration, I tend to think I'll keep a shop open there as long as I can, in spite of any growing pains it may be experiencing.

So. I've been hearing about this site 1000 markets for a few weeks now. I guess in light of what I said above, I was hesitant to really even look at the site. Plus, you know, the idea of trying to manage two cyber store fronts, figuring out a new site, etc. didn't really seem all that worthwhile. Until this weekend. And what really convinced me were Anandi's posts about it. She's been excited about it for a while now, but the market she helped set up for Handcrafted in Seattle really impressed me. It looks great! So I could no longer resist. It's free to sign up and list items so what the heck!

So I've set up a page there:

Already there are several features I pretty happy with. Uploading and managing images is pretty easy, not nearly as time consuming as Etsy can be. You are able to upload multiple pictures at once. And a blog is integrated into the site. Plus you can rearrange items in your shop and the main pages on the site consist of a random selection of items instead of the most recent uploads. I am missing the ability to select and keep track of favorites, but from browsing the forums it sounds like that feature is in the works. Which also reminds me that apparently some of the forums are only accessible to sellers, which seems like a good idea. The site uses Amazon payments for checkout, something I'm not too familiar with, but it seems reliable and easy enough to sign up with.

So I'm not really sure how to go about managing this site alongside my current Etsy shop and blog, but it is a pretty site. Right now I've got more paper goods than jewelry, since I already have multiples due to the nature of the printing process. That may be how it goes, which I suppose is fine. And I imagine blog entries there may be less frequent, but perhaps more focused and professional. Which really I think will be an interesting contrast. So I guess we'll just see! You can visit my new 1000 market shop here, or of course my Etsy shop if you prefer is always open.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cat Comparison

Okay, this is incredibly silly of me, but I always like looking at these kinds of charts in magazines. And besides, it seems like the best way to sum up our weekend and brief experience as a two cat household.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Weekend Guest

This is Slick, our house guest for the weekend. In spite of their completely opposite personalities it's been going well. Of course they are both very confused about the situation. But fortunately because Lucy is very sociable she pretty much bases her sleep schedule around us humans. And Slick is the opposite. So they've managed to avoid each other well. When they have met, there's been some hissing, but no major incidents. Much better than I expected, I have to say. But I know it's been a hard weekend, particularly for slick. So I'm pretty glad he enjoys the catnip toys from Jake and Micah so well. Lucy likes them, but she's not as much of a catnip fiend. I've noticed these cute cookies have drawn Slick out of his hiding place multiple times over the course of the weekend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tofurkey Day & Pie!

I believe I need to post the video above before thanksgiving since it is more relevant that way.

We have a special guest over for the holiday, we are watching my parent's cat Slick (aka Schwartzcat) while they are out of town. He arrived this afternoon, and so far no major incidents, of course we've been keeping them apart to get adjusted thus far. There is the possibility of updates on this topic throughout the holiday weekend...stay tuned.

Also, we will be having Tofurkey (store bought) and lots of lovely side dishes (not store bought.) And if we can manage it, there's supposed to be a parade tomorrow, practically right out our front door. So basically, I'm not going anywhere, but there should be some interesting stuff to blog about if I get a chance!

I Hope everyone has a fun weekend planned. Happy Tofurkey Day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Today in my Apartment...


I rearranged furniture. This is something I do that I hypothesize distracts me enough to actually kind of enjoy cleaning. I sweep, organize and do all sorts of stuff that is normally not fun in the process. The end result seems somewhat seasonal; placing the couch in front of the window will perhaps keep the apartment slightly warmer. Chuck's reaction was in his words "tepid." But am hopeful that the new layout will prove cozy. Perhaps it will also help me keep clutter off our dining table since we now face it. Or at the very least it made cleaning more fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Finally we have Aquired Cart

We've been on the lookout for one of these since we ditched the car back in September. Not something that's been completely essential, we've certainly gotten by pretty well with our handy fabric bags. But we have jealously watched many many people walking around our neighborhood with these in tow. A few weeks back we checked out the Container Store, where they are avaliable, but rather high priced (which seems to always be the case there.) Finally it was our neighborhood ACE Hardware where we found success. Also purchased: a mop & bucket.

And, oh, this was on the way back from Printer's Row, home of Loopy Yarns. I did make a modest yarn purchase there, nothing very fancy. The "jumbo" shopping cart is the news of the day.

Another good topic for weekends

1. Perched, 2. 4/365, 3. Acorn found a shell to grow into., 4. FInished Cable Cushion, 5. IMG_6963, 6. changecakes, 7. Polar Bear Diorama in the Stoll Wing, 8. Hats and scarves, 9. Untitled, 10. Mr. Bones, 11. Untitled, 12. 30 october., 13. 2 may., 14. Outside Cats, 15. Fruit, 16. Untitled, 17. kittycat, 18. IMG_6917, 19. Pantry after!, 20. Stash corner, 21. HEBRU (part of his mural), 22. Symmetroflections #4, 23. Mère & Pére : handmade paper, 24. strawaffles, 25. Turning

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pink & Gray Treasury


Notices these subtle colors floating around in my etsy favorites sometime last week and I promptly made up a poster sketch about it. Of course it wasn't until this morning I notices some space freeing up in the treasuries. Nice to get it of my sketch board!

You can view the treasury here: http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=22642

Friday, November 21, 2008

Listen Up!

Something the other day reminded me of this video by the Gossip. Filmed in one of my favorite places in Seattle, the Chapel bar. I do miss the crazy martini list including the pepper and the murder. And when you're hanging out with people in the chapel of a former mortuary, there's always something to talk about. Actually, it's a pretty nice, very design-y space. And Beth Ditto puts on a great show. Chuck's photos of her from Bumbershoot are still among my favorites.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shop looks a bit like Christmas

So this is more than a few seasonal items hanging out in my shop right now. But wait! There's more! (heehee) there's also the larger scale paper ornament and a few cards I may decide to list soon. Most of the paper goods come as an offshoot of crafts I did for myself last year. The tags I've just listed are the leftovers from the ones I made for my own gifts last Christmas, for example. I guess I wasn't sure how many I would use up, and by the time I knew it wasn't Christmas anymore. This year I'll probably try to think up something new for my packages, meanwhile, they are freshly listed in the shop!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


A few knitting projects that have been so close to finished finally got completed last week. First item tackled was the Leaf Cardigan. Ah, the applied I-cord trim. I was all ready to finish it, made it half-way around the sweater then suddenly ran out of yarn. It took me a while to get my hands on more yarn, and a little bit longer to get into the mood to do an I-cord trim. I was sorta having a brain freeze or something on how it was done. I dunno why, I got over it pretty easy by paying just a little bit more attention to what I was doing. Anyway, it was a fun project, I really enjoyed the top-down raglan construction.

Second item was nearly complete already, it was just a matter of deciding when to stop. And also if I wanted to connect the ends to form one big loop (something that could still be done later, if I change my mind.) Last night I wove in the ends and declared it finished. A interesting knitting challenge here of working double pointed needles through the loops. This project was inspired by a japanese knitting book that has lots of great project ideas, even if it's a little skimpy on the details (and English, though there is some.) A second project influence by this book is in the works.

Meanwhile there are more than a few items I really need to photograph and add to the shop.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Birthday celebrations, internet style

Happy birthday to me!
On Etsy there is a page of Etsians with Birthdays. Apparently since I recently signed up for a buyers account for some more secretive Christmas shopping, I'm on there twice. Oops! Also, I get a nice note at the top of every page:

And then on ravelry I noticed a cake appears with my avatar today. A little subtle, but I like it:

So far that's all I've noticed. And it's late. But I thought this was cute enough to share nonetheless. Perhaps I'll find more tomorrow!

Remembering Italy

Hadrian's Gator Chiesa dell'Autostrada del Sole Campo de Fiori
A work in progress since I signed up for flickr about a year ago is uploading the massive amounts of pictures I took when I went to Italy in 2002. This was a full quarter in undergrad, with lots of traveling...that adds up to a lot of photos. I think one thing that orginally got me very excited about flickr was the idea that I could place these photos on a map (the geotagging I was talking about in my last post) and have a better record of where I went. I spent a good chunk of a weekend or so when I first signed up working on this. After making 10 sets or so I stopped for reasons I don't recall.

Anyway, somehow I put it out of my mind for a while. Then a few things yesterday got me thinking about it again. One I suppose was the post yesterday, another was finding an image of a church I had been to but forgotten the name of on Facebook. Turned out that people that went on the Rome trip in my Graduate program had also stopped there. It's pictured in the middle above. Anyway, happy to have identified it, I promptly uploaded, labeled and did everything else to it I intend to try to do for the rest of the photos.

And then I realized that I hadn't even gotten to uploading pictures of Rome and the rest of the trip. Those first 10 sets really only covered the first 4 weeks of the quarter. (We spend the first two weeks in Ascoli Piceno, then traveled to many cities in Northern Italy. We settled in Rome for the rest of the quarter minus the last two weeks in which we traveled through cities in the South.) Part of the reason for that is that the bulk of the digital photos I have are from the beginning, before I filled up my tiny 2002 memory cards. Once we settled in Rome I was alternating between digital and film, until I eventually ran out of space completely.

Anyway, the goal is to eventually scan and upload everything. For now I'm slowing trying to finish off the rest of the digital pictures. The collection in progress is here, and I'll be sure to post about it when it's finally complete. (at which point I think it means it's time for another visit, right?) It's a lot of work googling and trying to recall names and places, I wish I had done it much sooner. But it's also a lot of fun.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Flickr Maps & Recent Walks

Wheeler-Kohn House

Just a quick post on this, since it's early & I am still groggy and consuming coffee. (Yeah, I was up late last night for no really good reason.) We're kind of right in the middle of a lot of interesting stuff architecturally, so we've been taking walks that involve lots of photos. And I try to be good about uploading and tagging these photos. And geotagging them as well, as evidenced in the picture above. You can see more of my map here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emmakat/map/

In my opinion, the interface is clunky (only a handful of photos show up at one time) but I still enjoy playing with flickr's map feature. From the link above, in the bottom right there's a blackened tab that says "Search the map" which gives you a few options on how to search. Within my maps, I recommend looking up photos "taken in" Chicago, Italy, Washington, Utah or Colorado. Italy in particular was fun, though difficult because I did it last year from what I could recall about an undergraduate quarter long trip in 2002. This tagging was one of the first activities that got me hooked on Flickr.

I wish I could provide specific links to each of those, but unfortunately it's not set up like that. I hope eventually it will be less clunky, but for now I'm happy to know pretty specifically where I've been. (oh, also zoom in, I try to get as specific as I can) Alternatively, on most of my outdoor photos on the right you'll see the neighborhood listed under additional information, with a link to a map that will show you where that picture was taken. Anyway, thought I would try to share this, since I'm not to sure it's a feature most people are aware of or use. I certainly enjoy it, even if it's mainly for my own reference!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yarns I "need" to Stash

1. Tahki Cotton Classic
for Cabled Boat Neck Sweater

This has been long on my Queue, since before I had one on Ravelry. One of the first magazines I ever got had an ad featuring this pattern and since it was still on my mind months later I went out and purchased the booklet on a lunch break. I almost stashed the yarn for it too but the shop was short just a few skeins. I was leaning toward the light mocha color at the time, but now I'm contemplating any of the colors pictured below from yarnmarket.

2. Euroflax Sport Weight for Bottom's Up
I think I had noticed this pattern as a free download on ravelry before, but when I saw it as a FO done in Euroflax I got excited. It was fellow former Seattleite and flickr contact Melinda's FO that I was reacting to. Euroflax is one of those yarns I've brushed up against at the yarn shop and thought about how nice it would be in sweater form. This pattern is lovely, only taking 3 - 4 skeins, and looks dramatic enough to justify the fancy yarn. I know I have too much on my plate right now to get it done in time, but all of the colors below seem so perfect for New Year's Eve. I think I'm leaning toward pewter, pictured in the center.

3. Blue Sky Alpaca's Dyed Cotton in Fern
for Organic Man Pullover
Lastly, something that is definitely on my plate right now is this pullover for Chuck for Christmas (or perhaps his birthday in Jan. if I can't get it done in time.) I love the color pictured, but when we stopped by a yarn shop this weekend I thought it seemed to orangish for Chuck's completion. Though I also liked a brown, Chuck said he preferred a nice shade of green called fern. Oh, by the way, this present isn't much of a secret. I've been talking about making it for him since this magazine came out last winter. I just have to get around to stashing it (soon!) so I can get started.