Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's the hold up?

Um, I guess the hold up is that I've been uploading my photos to flickr all week, and not so much blogging. We spontaneously traveled up to Grand Portage, Minnesota last weekend (which is not close, about 11 hours) because the site for Chuck's studio project is a border crossing station up there. It was cold! But it was also really pretty and interesting. I believe that was the first time I've been to Minnesota (excluding the airport.) I was impressed that even a seemingly small town like Grand Marais (near Grand Portage, not as close to the border) had a really nice "Whole Foods" Co-op (Not related in anyway to the grocery store chain) with pleanty of vegan selection. was cold. There was a lot of jumping in and out of the car cause while it was was too cold. Yet we did manage a mile long snowshoeing trip to see a frozen waterfall. I'm still working on up loading pics of that, but they should be up early this weekend at the latest! You'll be able to look for them in my Minnesota Border Crossing set.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The walrus

I unfortunately came across this because of a post over at the blog you thought we wouldn't notice (a blog "dedicated to pointing out those things that give you that feeling of ‘haven’t I seen that somewhere before?'”) pointing out that some new microsoft ads are a little too similar for comfort. Nonetheless it is a nicely done animation, very fascinating discussion between John Lennon and a 14 year old boy, and also very worthy of its nomination for an academy award.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I'm feeling a little bewildered by the fact that today was really the day we finally got Bush out of the White House and Obama in. It seems perhaps to big too be contained within just one day. As so many others have said, so much has lead up to this day. On Election night I cheered and cried. Perhaps partially because of our proximity to the events, I think that will remain the day that felt most meaningful to me. Today I feel less emotional but still very proud. It was a day spent smiling.

As with some of Obama's other speeches, I felt an even greater kinship with his words upon re-reading the transcripts, so I will post a link here. He had so many issues to address and he did them all justice. To me, if there was one quote that I took away from the speech more than others it was this one:

"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."
Since his speech at the democratic convention (and perhaps more vocally once Kerry lost) I have been rooting for Obama because this kind of rhetoric should have prevalence since 9-11. Throughout his campaign his speeches served as reminders of what America is capable of, so at this moment it would be impossible to be anything but hopeful and proud.

Anyway, tonight we are modestly celebrating, a bottle of wine and a nice dinner. All week I've been noticing how happy Barack and his family look. Something about that came through in his Presidential portrait, I think.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Flickr Favorites

Reflect new Flickr pools I've been into lately (involving cats and knitting, go figure), plus some activities like protecting our couch from the cat (we have not yet covered it in foil,) watching the spire go up on the Trump tower and snow from various regions.

1. Beamish, 2. Cropped Cardi, 3. 13 January 2009, 4. Jan 14, 5. RoboCouch, 6. Gathered Cardi, 7. Linden, 8. Cabled, 9. Creationists' Closet 2, 10. Field Museum, 11. ., 12. ., 13. Hunting on the snow, 14. Not available, 15. Trump Tower Spire 3, 16. Holiday Decor, 17. Weapons of mass destruction, 18. abu, 19. poinsettia belt, 20. Cat Hoodie - Making Me Purrrrrr...., 21. Snowy hose 12/21, 22. queen anne ave sledders, 23. 5:15, 24. Andrew Bird at Hideout, December 15, 2008, 25. Pomegranate III

Friday, January 16, 2009

Isn't an architect just an art school drop out....

With a tilty desk and big ruler? I just stumbled on this Seinfeld clip moments ago and had to post it. It just makes me laugh. And we don't even carry around those big rulers much anymore...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Love for the Field Museum

Oldest Bat Tiffany Window Old Bird
So far the Field Museum of Natural History is probably my favorite thing about living in Chicago. And we live roughly parallel to it. It's not a long walk anyway. Monday it was free and I went with Chuck and my dad. We spent the afternoon there and only managed to see 3 exhibits and the hall of gems. There is so much to see in this museum and it's all inspiring, educational and exciting. The first trip Chuck & made we tried to see as much as possible of the permanent collection in a day, but still managed to miss several exhibits and rushed through several others. We would both love to spend lots of time there, possibly with sketchbooks collecting ideas and info. There are more photos of the two visits here. And the fact that the museum was free and not nearly as packed at it was in the summer almost makes the negative temperatures we've been having seem worth baring. I hope there are future visits and that future posts will be a little more insightful into the inspiring nature of this place, for right now I'm just amazed at the size of the place!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Knitting and (or vs.?) shopping

Twined Rib Socks Waffle Rabe Hat
This week I completed two out of the four projects I've promised to gift Chuck. I actually managed to start and finish the hat pictured above in 2 evenings. (it's done, I just prefer the in progress photo at the moment. There are a few more photos on my flickr and hopefully soon I'll get one with Chuck in it, depending on how cooperative he feels.) So this just leaves finishing off the scarf and sweater. They may even get wrapped as birthday presents toward the end of the month, although I think Chuck might prefer just to have them when they're done.

Also I just got back from a little shopping at Kohl's. They had some nice markdowns and cute items. Several very knitterly sweaters on the racks I was finding hard to resist. I bought the one pictured here, which was actually the main reason we headed out that way. I saw it before and just finally decided to spend some christmas money on it! Anyway, I noticed a similar prevalence of nice cables and laces last time I stopped by H&M as well. Part of me is a little frustrated to see this stuff for so much cheaper than it would be to make it, but mostly it's kind of nice to see this kind of pretty detail easily avaliable. I guess maybe I can save my wrists a bit an maybe not knit all of my clothing. I suppose.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Probably getting ahead of myself but...

After making my Dad's Birthday Scarf last month I decided to make something similar for myself. The rigidity of the scarf due to the cables seems like the perfect protection for Chicago wind. And it's still soft. So in my last bit of stashing for a while (during a 20% off sale at Loopy Yarns) I grabbed a few balls of the cotton yarn I used, this time in blue. While I was thrilled with my quick Karaoke Cable Scarf project, it's just a little to skinny for serious use.

Anyway until just recently I thought I had it figured out. I was going to make another awesome pattern from SmarieK who designed the Bernadette Cable Scarf I made my dad. I figured I might make the Miranda Scarf, which is only slightly different, that way it would be likely to have a similar propensity to protect from wind. Then I thought it might the fun to challenge myself with another choice by SmarieK, the Marjke Scarf. Now to make matters even worse I found two more fun patterns from different sources, and these have all been added to my queue. The Antler's Scarf from Son of a Stitch'n'Bitch and the Secret Admirer Scarf from Half-Assed Patterns. And I have to admit I'm really drawn to those last two because of their subtle geekiness...I can't help but think the antler scarf bears a striking resemblance to a Klingon forehead, and the secret admirer scarf spells out I love you in binary, which is too much fun. Now I don't know for sure what I'll knit, or probably more accurately what I will knit first...

Of course the whole thing is moot for now since I am in knitting debt to my boyfriend. Today I finished one of his Christmas gifts, a pair of gray socks. That just leaves his sweater and the items I decided would be birthday gifts a scarf and and hat. And I haven't started the hat yet.

Monday, January 5, 2009


So I sorta started out 2009 with a big ol' lapse in posts here on the blog. Sorry about that. Recovering from the holidays, trying to figure out the New Year, excuses excuses. Anyway...

It seems I always spend the first week or so trying to decide how to approach the whole resolution thing. And I always seem to feel unresolved about it for some time, usually until everything just dissolves back into normal behavior. I've also tried not making resolutions...but I do like them in theory. So a few weeks before the year turns around I tend to feel confident I have some idea of what my resolutions will be and how I will approach them. And then the holiday comes around, I sleep in the next day which makes it difficult to get going on the resolutions right away...and I end up having several false starts before giving whatever it is up in some sense and just presuming I will be somewhat better about everything in a very vague non-committal way.

But this year in the lead up to resolution planning and failure there were some fun thoughts I had. Which may or may not actually happen in 2009 but that I would like to keep in mind as things I might like to do. Of course I made some boring "be healthier" type resolutions, but I'd really only like to go into the fun ones here. So here are some things I might like to do this year:

- Sew up a skirt or other garment for myself. Thus improving my sewing abilities and confidence in them.
- Make some kind of animation even if it's just a flip book. I've always enjoyed and wanted to create an animation of some kind, so sometime this year hopefully I'd like to give it a shot. I'm sure it will be crude, but as long as it's fun.
- Knit only from stashed yarns - Ok less fun, but trust me I have enough to last me for the year. And it will be fun to get stuff off my queue without spending more money!
- Read at least one book a month - little more serious one, 2008 wasn't the best year for reading for me and this year I would definitely like to know I read at least 12 books. I couldn't tell you how many I did read in 2008, but it didn't feel like I was reading enough!
- Design and have a pattern printed at Spoonflower and then also make something with it.
- Print something with Potatoes I've never done this somehow. I got the Lotta Jansdotter Prints book for Christmas which should provide additional inspiration on the subject!
- Fuse Plastic Bags - I like the way it looks and I've been seeing lots of tutorials for this in the past year or so. If I can figure out how to effectively avoid the fumes...

Ok, well that felt like a fun and optimistic way to look ahead to the next year. Like I said I still have un-fun stuff to sort out like going to the gym regularly resolutions and a few professional goals to tackle. But thinking about what crafts I might explore this year is a bit more fun.