Thursday, July 31, 2008

So Horrible.

When we got back from Columbus the other night We watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog on Now, the only reason I had heard of this before is because I was poking around on Alchemy on etsy last week and saw someone requested a Dr. Horrible necklace. I'm still not sure what that would look like, but it did make me do some googling. What I learned from my brief googling was that Dr. Horrible was something new from Joss Whedon, the create of the short-lived but very enjoyable series Firefly. And that was as far as I got with my google investiagation before we left for our trip.

But, we came back and Dr. Horrible was listed as newly added to Hulu. So knowing very little about it, we watched. I didn't even know the full title at the time "Dr. Horrible's Sing-along blog" so when they burst out into song we had a few WTH moments. But considering the start is Neil Patrick Harris...known for talking into the camera on Doogie Howser, M.D. and then taking his career to Broadway to do Rent and some made sense. Anyway, the songs are well written, the acting and singing is great, it's hilarious and fun. I recommend checking it out!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I am back

We returned from our somewhat brief trip to Columbus, OH. I'm afraid I wasn't much good helping my Mom & Dad pack for their move (which happens this week, on friday!) I kept trying, I'd get up and look around and think "I just did this!" and also it is not easy to pack up someone else's stuff. It looked like they had the essentials.

But we had a good visit. My Aunt Leslie was there from Colorado/Tuscon and we visited with my grandma, my aunt Cheryl and my cousins Tim and Jill. I also got to meet Jill's boyfriend Danny for the first time and he made an excellent vegan tofu dish for us with Thai Basil & wide Rice Noodles. Yum!

So that was my last visit to the house my family has lived in since I was 5....23 years! Although my parents are moving this week I know my dad will be back and forth a few times to get rid of stuff they are leaving and working towards selling the house. I don't feel too sentimental about it, perhaps because I am excited to see them in their new place here in Chicago, which in many ways seems like a better fit... Columbus has looked stranger and stranger to me over the past few years (see flat and low/few tall buildings.) Between living in the same city again and all the new stuff we all have to explore I really can't see any of us being bored for years to come.

Meanwhile, the trip back to Columbus meant about 12 hours in the car, and so I'm nearly done with this leaf cardigan I started last week!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Today I made...

Today I made...
Originally uploaded by emmakat79
More stuff! I'm not sure how long it will take me to get this stuff posted since we're going to visit family in Columbus this weekend. Also photographing my stuff is kicking my butt lately. I'm just not that into that part and I'm backed up. I keep thinking I need to come up with a simple consistently awesome way of doing it that doesn't take much effort. But architects like to try to reinvent the wheel every time they do something...

Not quite Martha

New Address Cards
Originally uploaded by emmakat79
Martha Stewart would probably disapprove of my sending out address cards almost a full month after the move actually happened. But I finally got around to making these yesterday and I'm thrilled with how they turned out. I designed them way back in Seattle right before the move, but with everything getting packed away I didn't have a chance to make them until now. I'm sure there are people on my address list that will still appreciate the reminder to update their address books, even if it is somewhat belated!

The design is a fire escape, because Chicago is filled with beautiful examples. This was a two screen project, one for silver (windows and highlighted text) and one for black (the railing & bulk of the text) which I think was well worth it. I even managed to use masking tape to print a few for the shop without my contact info, which should be available soon!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Irwin @ the Getty

" If you start doing things in the public domain, it has to live with change."

When we went to LA last October the Getty Center was one of my major destinations. Not particularly because of the art galleries or the architecture but because of the Landscape design by Robert Irwin. When I was in undergrad at OSU he came to speak about this project. It was inspiring, and possibly the only reason a little voice pops into the back of my head saying "hey, maybe a degree in Landscape architecture would be fun too!" His discussion of the project was inspiring enough, but being there just felt like being inside a sculpture somehow. Anyway, I bring you this rare, third blog post of the day because there's currently a brief interview with Irwin regarding his reflections on this work after 10 years, which you can read here.

(For pictures from our visit go here.)


Snagged a treasury, got to put to use the Fools Gold idea I've had since I listed some pyrite in my shop last week.

And while waiting for a spot to open spotted a lovely treasury featuring Sara of Rekoj Designs on the front page!

Flatstock in Review

So, at the Pitchfork music festival, Flatstock completely distracted me from the music and crowds for a while. When I got a little tired of the crowd and avoiding the mud..."let's go check out Flatstock again! I haven't made up my mind about which posters I want!" This year it came down to three booths that I really wanted to get something from. Although I only ended up purchasing some smaller pieces from one booth, I'm still considering ordering some of my other favorites online.

Leia Bell

This was the booth I purchased from, and pretty much knew I had to purchase from because of an awesome poster of a Roller Derby girl. Also adorable cats. And somewhat impulsively, I bought the two tiles of birds as well. If I had to list some of my favorite things, that nearly covers it. Her booth displayed both gig posters and art prints. Which helps with the typical issue I have at Flatstock, that the artwork and the band it represents don't always show up in the perfect combination (I'll like the art a lot but not really want to have a poster for a band I'm not so much a fan of.) And she had a bunch of great impulse buys on her table like tiles and magnets, and the size of this work wasn't quite as large as some of the other booths, which hopefully will mean it's a little easier to find a place to hang it.

She's from Salt Lake City where she got into the business of making gig posters by befriending the owner of a local venue, Kilby Court. She's now married to that friend and lives with "three young sons (Cortez, Ivan and Oslo), an all-ages music venue, a printing studio, a wood shop, two dogs, an evil cat, a modest house, a few scattered ailanthus trees, and a soccermomish minivan all on the same street, Kilby Court."

Crosshair Design

This was another favorite, and a local, based out of Chicago. His work features "anti-monuments" with the band names subtly on the buildings as if they were painted on the buildings years ago. Unfortunately it was a case of the artists not quite matching up with the artwork I preferred. While there were art prints available, they were out of reach as far as price, and I really like the text as an element in this work. I was most leaning toward the Magnolia Electric Co. Poster, since I like the band. The blue building was a factor I was indecisive about..I liked it since blue is a favorite color of mine, and thought it made that print a little more playful than the others, but overall I really liked the maturity of this work, and though perhaps one of the prints with more muted tones was more representative.

Mat Daly

I loved this print! It was a bit pricey for what I was willing to spend right now, but perhaps once I've figured out where some of the other art goes I will get it eventually. Mat Daly is also based out of Chicago, so hopefully that means I will see some of his work around town. The work is full of overlapping shapes, but I particularly like this image with the owl, and the fact that it's a poster for the renegade craft fair doesn't hurt either!

These were the big three booths I was considering this year. One of these days I will find the perfect print from Diana Sudyka (almost bought one of a crane this year, but decided it was a little too large. But the colors in her work are even more gorgeous in person.) I also really liked the intricacy of work by landland, an artist I don't remember seeing at last year's Flatstock. And it was nice to see The Small Stakes and Powerslide Design Co., from whom we purchase prints last year! Actually, there was no shortage of good work, and I think just about every booth had something in it we liked. I think I'm glad Flatstock only happens once a year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Overheard on the EL

While I was guilty of knitting in public:

Kid 1: "I guess you just make loops?"
Kid 2: "I guess. Looks complicated though."


Monday, July 21, 2008

Pitchfork Mud

Pitchfork Mud
Originally uploaded by emmakat79
As referenced in the previous post.

Weekend in Review

I'm having one of those still high from the weekend kind of Mondays. Our weekend was a busy one, but fun of course. It started with a stop at our local farmer's market in a historic district slightly to the north of our apartment called Printer's Row. A very small showing due to the rainy weather, perhaps, though this is one of the lesser known markets in Chicago. Even so we picked up veggies, flowers (not quite as bountiful as the ones you can pick up in Seattle, but charming nonetheless) and rye bread. We decided to stop by a cafe nearby...yes a place within walking distance with local coffee. Thank goodness that didn't take too much longer to find! (Apologies to the now struggling Starbucks, you just aren't that tasty or interesting.)

After dropping off our stuff at home, it was off to the Pitchfork music festival. It's a 3-day fest, but I grabbed tickets for Saturday only. These where purchased a while back, shortly after we knew when we were going to move. It's a little festival compared to Bumbershoot, with less need to move around. The two main stages were right next to each other (a fact I found somewhat annoying when the next band could be heard tuning up during the preceding band's set. ugh.) We saw some okay bands, but nothing really stood out for us. I was a little disappointed that we did not manage to stay until animal collective performed. I suppose we are getting a little old for the festival scene, and like to do things like...I dunno...leave before thousands of people are trying to use public transit at the same time, or we get covered in mud. But I don't want to sound like we didn't have a good time, it was a pleasant day.

What I really appreciated about Pitchfork was that there was an actual selection of vegan food options. Vegan festival food options. Yay. There was even a vegan ice cream booth, a local company called temptation. Local veggie restaurant The Chicago Diner had a booth and several other booths went out of their way to point out that they catered to vegan-ness. And the beer wasn't bad either.

And what I really enjoyed at pitchfork was the craft event Depart-ment and Flatstock. I love flatstock, the annual screenprinted poster sale. We caught it last year at Bumbershoot, and I was so happy to see it here at Pitchfork. I end up going through the booths three or four times perplexed about which designs I like the best, what I absolutely need and what I actually have space for. I'll have to write a more extensive post about my favorites later this week.

So not to be out done by Saturday, Sunday saw exploration of a garden filled neighborhood up north hosting the Sheffield Garden Walk/Festival. We hopped on an el once again and checked out some cute (and small) gardens. And the neighborhood. And stopped in a restaurant for some drinks before hoping back on an el to go home. Such a pleasant weekend!

Friday, July 18, 2008

What? Still Unpacking?

Yes, we're still working on getting the apartment squared away. I think we're particularly motivated to get everything just right this time. We really have been viewing this transition time as an opportunity to be organized and eliminate clutter. Actually, this has always been a passion of Chuck's, and I'm trying to be better about it too. So it's taking a little long to think through our furniture choices this time, think about what we need, what might make the place easier to clean and keep clean, and what we really should get rid of.

Chuck has been talking about doing a wall mounted shelving system for our books and desk space since well before the move. It's been one of those ideas that is somewhat difficult for me to grasp. I liked it, but I had a little bit of trouble visualizing it. Chuck argued that it would be easy to sweep under since it keeps stuff off the floor, which is great, but what color will it be? We were to be putting this together as cheaply as possible, rather than buying an overpriced system from elfa, from what was available at home depot. So while I could use my skills of architectural deduction to visualize it to a degree, but there were a lot of unknown factors.

But Chuck pulled it together, it looks great. It wasn't easy to stain sand and all that in the limited space of our apartment, and that did cause us some difficulty. But in the end it has books on it, so it doesn't have to be perfect. It ended up looking pretty matchy-matchy with our kitchen's color scheme, which I think works out nicely (once the entire apartment is set up there will be photos of this.) And I'm so happy to have finally emptied the 9 boxes of books and made our space seem that much more livable.

Oh, and just for fun (and cause I made the bed all nice last night) here's a picture of the bedroom too. Things are near complete, but it may be another week or two before I have photos of the whole apartment. Actually...our couch delivery date is yet TBD, so it's pending that before we're finally settled!:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Not much is going on other than I'm trying to make myself work hard toward the job search today. So I thought I would post about the fact that I walked up to my grocery store yesterday and used my handy pink Tote 2 Go Bags. They work amazingly well, and are much more comfortable in my opinion than other bags we have (Yes the ones Chuck uses cause they aren't pink. But hey, it even matched my outfit yesterday!) And it was really handy to have two bags and balance out the load rather than just one!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

F.O.s and new items in the shop

I am finally getting some items photographed and listed in my shop. Items that I finished making way back in May but haven't managed to get posted yet. I used the Sky Garden in our new apartment building in Chicago...and um...learned once again why this place is known as the windy city. (The last blue turquoise necklace should be up in the shop later today.)

I also finished a sack this week, which my cat seemed to really want to be photographed with. It's made with Knit 1 Crochet too's 2nd Time cotton, which is a recycled fiber. I figured it be the perfect choice for a market bag, pattern from the purl bee.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Spoonflower time!

When Sara of Rekoj posted about Spoonflower fabrics a few weeks back I knew there was gonna be a new thing to mess with. But I was about to move to Chicago, lots of stuff was going on so I didn't have time to play. Well now that I am sorta settled (though there is still a ton of stuff I should be doing instead) I've been playing. Spoonflower is a neat site that prints your designs onto nice cotton fabric at a reasonable price. It's currently in beta, and you have to sign up and wait a little bit in order to join. Well, I did that promptly after reading Sara's post and I've been wanting to play with it ever since.

So my flickr photostream is quickly filling up with pattern ideas. I'm not really sure yet what I might do with some of these patterns, but I keep waking up with new ideas I want to play with. And I tend toward black and blue color wise thus far. I suppose having just moved I can make up some home decor type items like place mats or pillows. Or perhaps some small projects like cute little pouches or book covers. Though this all sounds like a large undertaking for a very novice sewer....and I certainly don't need more projects. (ahem...two active knitting projects, more in hibernation, an etsy shop to maintain, "we've moved" gocco cards to make, a new city to explore and more, I'm sure) can I resist at least send one or two of these off for 8"x8" samples?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Clean windows are a good thing. Though the suction cup men really disturbed the cat. Lucy decided last night to be freaked out for some reason after several perfectly normal days. We left to run some errands and heard her crying at the door. I came back to check on her and let her explore the hallway a little. The hallway is bright yellow, by the way. (A clear attempt to emulate the Koolhaus Seattle Public Library.) Anyway, she spent the rest of the day and evening very concerned about the other side of the door, two more exploration attempts didn't help.

Today just when she woke up enough to start up her concern for what was behind the door the men with the suction cups adhered themselves to our windows. Well...that drove her to hide in the closet. She even forgot to bother us for food at her feeding time, poor cat.

Anyway, I am pleased that we now have freshly cleaned windows and I took a panoramic of our view. And....I think Lucy will get over the trauma....I hope so.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One week already

As of sometime around 3pm today (CST) I will have been living in Chicago for one week. For Chuck that happens in a few more days. And considering "living" for the first night involved absolutely no stuff and sitting around on an air mattress until my knees hurt, maybe we should celebrate the time at which Chuck arrived with the stuff instead. But, either way it's hard to believe it's already been a full week since Lucy's great adventure in the sky.

Yesterday I believe we were tourists. The Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park has tons of free music events and yesterday we checked out a band called Le Loup. We actually only managed to catch the last three songs, but it was still very pleasant. Lots of busy people up on stage, downtown people stopping by on their lunch breaks, and me obsessively knitting. Following that we walked the Magnificent Mile. I bought a shirt and Chuck....waited. We had coffee in a Starbucks in a Historic Landmark, a James Egan building. (We're hoping to start finding some more independent coffee shops, but so far we've mostly seen Starbucks and Caribou.) Stopped by the Alessi store in another very neat historic building. And made our way back to the apartment on foot, stopping in at Bed Bath and Beyond for some remaining essentials. A total of about 5.3 miles in one afternoon...I'm thinking it's about time we start using some of the amazing transit they've got here, but still it was a nice day. I think it will take a while before I'm done being a tourist here, since it's all about the architecture and there's a lot to see!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I made a Sale!

Some time during all of the stuff going on this last week I had a sale! Yay! I haven't had a chance to ship it off promptly as I normally would have because of all of this moving business. And now that things have finally calmed down a bit the post offices are closed. Well, first thing Monday morning I'll be back on track.

The item sold was the necklace pictured above. It was one of the first pieces I made in my recent return to my childhood hobby of beading. The v-shaped hematite beads are leftovers from that time. And I believe the seed beads came from my boyfriends bead collection. He gave me a bunch of his beads from a phase in high school I guess after we'd been dating about a year. The compliment the V's nicely.

Anyway, I've made a few more asymmetrical necklaces similar to this yet to be listed. They feature oval/petal shaped glass beads and I made several in different colors. Maybe when things calm down a little bit more (soon I hope) You'll see some new stuff! (which is actually becoming fairly old to me at this point...but new to the shop!)

P.S. look at all that green peaking into the background! That's Queen Anne in Seattle, the place I don't live any more. :( Though Chicago is looking good right now too...look for pictures of fire escapes and fountains on my flickr soon!

Friday, July 4, 2008

We Made it!

Whew! That was a pretty drawn out moving experience. First off was killing my last day in Seattle. Chuck left Monday morning at 4am. I suppose I intended to sleep in, but after spending the whole weekend (and most of the previous week) packing, selling last minute items on craigslist, giving stuff away... I ended up staying up. It was that or continue to have nightmares of finding a hidden room in our apartment containing piles of crap that I absolutely had to find a place to pack in the trailer for some unknown but very important reason. Plus the sky was really pretty as the sun came up and it was going to be my last Pacific NW sunrise. I walked to Kerry park.

I walked a lot on Monday, met some people for lunch, did some shopping, got a haircut. Inevitably purchased some yarn. I should've know packing away all of my knitting projects would just be an excuse for some emergency stashing. Gotta have something to do on the plane, right?

Tuesday morning was the day of the flight, and the second night sleeping on an air mattress in an empty apartment. Shortly after I woke up I deflated the air mattress to pack for the trip. Well...that upset the cat who was already not too happy about the lack of anything familiar in the apartment. She expressed this by peeing in her carrier. I don't know if that was sort of marking it (this is mine, you are not taking this away too!) or just very confused and upset, but I'm sure it was the last straw for her. I guess that was fine, after that her bladder was empty for the rest of the journey and I could sort clean it up easily while we were still in the apartment, though I was in such a hurry. We sorta smelled like cat pee for a little while.

She did get some drugs in her food that morning (just one spoonful, since we hadn't succeeded in giving it to her in pill form, it got sprinkled onto food. However, tried to feed her as little as possible so she didn't have anything to...ahem...poo, or vomit.) And I think that stuff really worked. We had experimented with it a few days before and it seemed to make her really happy and relaxed. So the first cab ride, which was the one I was most concerned about, was really not bad at all. All of our previous attempts without the drug to transport her in a car to get her used to it had pretty much failed...ending with something gross happening right when we pulled up to the apartment. But she was fine.

All the lines, check-in and security were pretty rough on her, as she informed me several times that she just wanted to at least sit down. But she wasn't very loud and didn't act too unsettled or anything. She did have to come out of her carrier and go through the metal detector with me, but she did fine. It actually may have been the quickest I've ever gone through airport security, I had a new found skill at quickly removing and replacing my shoes...and packed so that I didn't have anything else to deal with. The TSA employee commented that he couldn't imagine traveling with his cat, and people around me were all very curious what happens with a cat (she definitely does not go through the x-ray machine!)

So calmed down a bunch once I was able to sit down at the gate. A nice woman came over and talked to me about cats and was very impressed with Lucy's calm. Lucy talked to her a little bit, she likes to talk back to people, but again, not very loudly. I waited until the end of the line before boarding. And the flight was perfectly alright. She made a little noise on the plane during take off and landing, but the people around me didn't even realize I had a cat with me until I pulled her out from under the seat at the end of the flight. I am curious what they thought I was doing sticking my hand down into my bag about every 10 - 15 minutes though. Lucy stayed awake the whole flight but didn't look too upset, just kind of sat and watched everything. Taking off was worse than landing (she scared me for a moment looking like a frightened woodland creature) and she didn't like going under tunnels here in Chicago on the cab ride in. But she was fantastic otherwise!

Of course, once we got here it was another empty apartment, brand new...with strange noises of the El outside. She was pretty freaked out and hid in the bathroom most of the rest of the day. Too afraid to eat, actually. Poor kitty. Chuck, who was driving our trailer of stuff across the country, ended up unable to make it that evening as planned. Another night alone in an empty apartment...the air mattress and sitting on the floor was becoming pretty painful after night #3. And I needed to entertain myself so I did more walking to check out the grocery shopping options around our new place. Fortunately on Wednesday Chuck finally arrived, we got out new furniture delivered (Cb2 bed & mattress and dining room table, so we didn't have to move a mattress again) and I had a level other than the floor to sit on! Yey!

Our place is still a mess now, but it's already pretty comfortable nonetheless. We managed to get the kitchen boxes unpacked (wow we have a lot of kitchen stuff!) and then walked over to Grant Park to eat at the taste of Chicago. Wow. We knew it'd be nuts over there right before the fireworks, but it was intense. Surely the largest bottleneck I've ever experienced. But people were friendly and civil and we got some vegan BBQ and sweet potato pie. Then we quickly got back out of the crowd and returned home to see what our view of the fireworks was like. Just a sliver between buildings, but it was pleasant.

So Happy Fourth! We will surely be spending the day unpacking, maybe taking a trip over to ikea or something to help us get settled. Before too long we need to do some exploring. I live here now and I still haven't taken the El. (though I know which line has advertisements for Wall-e on it and which is advertising google!) And I think we'll try checking out Taste of Chicago again when it isn't so crowded. Eli's cheesecakes has a booth...cheesecake is one of my non-vegan weaknesses...and it's supposed to be the best....but we might just go back for more vegan soul food. It seems like a fun event, probably more so when not absolutely jam packed.

Oh, and Lucy seems really happy with the new place now too, she really cheered up as soon as Chuck got here!