A Travisity of Justice

I honestly don't think I am overstating it when I say that our house was in deep mourning last night over the horrendous ending to an otherwise perfect season of Project Runway. Mondo was absolutely robbed of his rightful title and I think that there should be some investigation of the judging. Perhaps it is time to clean house and get rid of old ladies Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. If they think that Gretchen's old lady underwear with brown prints is "on fashion trend" then I think it's time for them to move on. We need someone who can recognize real talent and not feel threatened by it.
Mondo's collection was fresh, colorful, and alive. Gretchen's was sad, drab, and uninspired. This is coming from a hippy dippy type who you would think would be her target audience. Her opening look is above and is representative of the entire collection. She had 3 different looks with those droopy knit underwear. Who in the world would actually wear those things out of the house?
This is the controversial final look from Mondo's collection which probably cost him the win. Nina and Michael didn't like it and told him last week. I personally agree with Tim Gunn that it was the perfect closing of the show and would absolutely wear it if I had the body or someplace to wear it. There were at least 6 of his looks that I would wear unlike Gretchen's sad collection. After the emotional highs and lows of this season it just seemed inevitable that Mondo would come out on top.

I believe that Missy Schwartz, who writes the recaps for EW sums it up best, "I am aghast. As I sit here at 11:16 p.m., the minutes piling up before I get to go to bed and try to forget the travesty that was tonight’s finale, I am at a loss as to what to say. Other than this: Project Runway has betrayed me. Nina and Michael have betrayed me. No, they’ve betrayed us, we the faithful Runway nuts who have stuck with the show through thick and thin, even when it went off the rails in L.A."

I have never felt so strongly about a reality show conclusion in my life. Luckily Mike is equally aghast so we can discuss it at great length. That is one thing I love about Mike, he actually prefers Project Runway to football. Does anyone else have strong feelings about last night's show or do you think I might be a bit too emotionally invested in a reality show?


Unexpected Visitors

So I saw this online the other day and I've been obsessed with it ever since. It is from the footage of a Charlie Chaplin premier in 1928 which filmmaker George Clark, discovered on the outtakes. It appears to show an old woman/man in drag walking down the street talking on a cell phone. There is a flat black device in her hand which she is talking into with no one else around. Some are saying it could be a time traveler but I'm sure there is some explanation we may never really know since everyone there is dead now.

I've always loved time travel movies/TV shows and ironically Mike has just finished a rough draft on a book involving accidental time travelers tentatively titled Unexpected Visitors. He has started 3 sci fi/fantasy novels since we've been together but this is the first that he's actually finished. He let me and our friend who has been published read the rough draft. I was worried that it would be crap and I would have to be supportive and lie but it's actually very well done. I pointed out some plot problems which he can easily fix and he's hoping to have it ready for submission by the end of the year. It could easily be done into a series if things go well which is the plan. There is actually a market for pulpy science fiction so there is always a chance it could be published.


Medusa's Day

I wish I could say that Medusa was my new best friend but unfortunately this was one gamble that didn't pay off so well. It was a perfectly pleasant day with some lovely booth neighbors but I sold a grand total of 4 scarflettes. The Medusa shot is of a big sign they had out which I posterized in Photoshop.

It was an unseasonably warm day which hurt my sales, and the event was a bit too spread out so I don't think we had as much traffic as we could have. They had booths in 3 different locations, some outside and some inside, and entertainment was all over the place . I don't think people were clear on where things were which caused some confusion. I think I pretty much broke even when you factor in the booth fee, food, gas, and a few other things I bought for the day.

I was happy with my booth display. I don't know why I didn't sell any scarves or wristcuffs but I guess it was just a scarflette crowd, what there was of it. I did sell a scarflette to a former Smashanista which I thought was cool. When they walked in I thought they looked familiar and then I heard someone talking about roller derby and I made the connection. I didn't think to take a picture of her in the scarflette which I am beating myself up about today.

I made a trade with the lovely Mandi from My Lovies. I chose a locket with a few beads but I came really close to choosing this beautiful pendant with old lace.

I had some good quality time with Kai, although he said he made 1000 texts during the day. I don't know how many different ways you can say I'm bored but I think he found a few hundred.

I'm looking forward to my last show of the year, the Rolla Holiday Bazaar on November 13. Hopefully there will be a good scarf buying crowd awaiting me there.


Off to Meet Medusa!

I'm off to Medusa's Craft Menagerie from 11 am to 7 pm today. It will be spread out throughout the 3100 block of Cherokee Street and will include the participating shops: Fort Gondo, The Archive, Peridot, STL Style House, Snowflake Gallery, Cherokee peach. You can also find my stuff at Peridot among all of the other great handmade goodies on consignment.

I'm not real sure what to expect from the day so I'm prepared for just about anything. I'm bringing Kai to help out and keep me company. I know that there will be lots of entertainment including a fashion show, live music, and a fire performance of some kind.

So if your local I hope you will come out and say hi and partake of Medusa's wonderment.


Opening My Eyes

I was checking out the Huff Post Arts page yesterday and found a really inspirational article I just had to share. It's called Relish the Art That Surrounds You by Agnes Gund. The main premise is that we should take time to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us wherever we are. This line sums it up nicely, "I'm talking about the ubiquitous examples of the lift, the alert, the surprise and small thrills that come from acknowledging the loveliness that is both momentary and constant in the every day, ordinary encounters of our lives."

I was actually thinking about a post like this for awhile but just didn't have the foundation until I read this article. She says exactly what I was thinking far better than I could so I do hope you check it out. Ever since I took up photography as a hobby/new obsession I really feel like I've begun to see the world differently. A day doesn't go by that I don't frame an image in my mind as I'm walking down the sidewalk or driving down the street. I used to be so much more in my own head, not noticing the world around me as I do now. I see the world in images now and am constantly amazed at the beauty I encounter in my own little world.

Sunset with cross

She talks about places that she goes to explore beauty where she lives in New York City. I don't have the diversity of this local but I think I have just as much beauty to explore in my own neighborhood. So here is my own list of places in St. Charles, MO that I have photographed and can go back to time again to discover more beauty:

  • St. Charles Frontier Park. This includes the docks and riverfront views in the top shot. There are also countless festivals and gatherings held throughout the year that are not only great photo ops but just lots of fun.
  • St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. This old cemetery was founded in 1856 and has some of the most important residents of St. Charles buried in it. It also has lots of really cool old statues and headstones that I love to photograph. I caught it right at sunset with the big cross for one of my classes earlier in the year.
  • Busch Wildlife Conservation Area. This is only 20 minutes from my house and is a wonderful opportunity to explore nature and discover beauty anytime of year. I definitely need to get out there soon to capture the season change and some fall colors. The goose in flight is one of my favorites that I've shot there.
  • Lindenwood University campus. This is my alma mater and is one of the oldest schools this side of the Mississippi. I can practically walk to the campus from my house and there is some amazing architecture and walking paths with beauty to explore right next door.
  • Frenchtown. This is the old Main Street of St. Charles and in addition to great antiques shopping there are also beautiful old buildings, a working trolley, horse drawn carriages, and other seasonal opportunities with people dressed in costumes.
These are just the ones that came to my mind this morning. I didn't include anything on the other side of the bridge which opens up a whole other world of possibilities.
Goose in flight

I know it's a cliche, "to stop and smell the roses", but I guess that is what I'm really trying to say. I'm really thankful for all of the beauty I'm lucky to have around me. I love our little corner of the world and as much as I wonder about what else is out there beyond my neck of the woods I really wouldn't change things one bit.


Blogging is Hard.

Anyone who is reading this is probably well aware that maintaining a blog is not easy. Anyone can post randomness once a month and call it a blog but to actually be consistent is really hard. Add to that the need to interact and be a part of the community and you practically have a full time job on your hands. The Embrace Your Narrative Key Chain comes with book and pen charms and silver split ring and is from fellow blogger Risky Beads. She maintains not just one but two handmade blogs including the Handmade Highway.

I honestly feel I've been a bit derelict in my duties the past 6-9 months. I've gone through the motions and posted at least 2 or 3 times a week and checked in with my blog buddies at least once a week but the passion was gone. This week I decided to try to recapture again what it is I have always loved about blogging. Mainly it is about being a part of a community.

I have the EC community and then the larger crafting community. I have seen Entrecard get overrun with spammers and won't even open up my drops inbox anymore for fear of what half naked pictures and other annoyances will be there. I've developed my Favorites list there of blogs I like in the system and who drop back regularly on me. You can find the list here and if you are in EC and would like to be added to my favorites that I drop on at least 3 times a week just let me know in the comments.

I also decided to make a commitment to be more a part of the wider blog community. I don't leave as many comments as I know I should and I hope to get over that lurking impulse. I went through the blogs I follow and cleaned up the list. I unfollowed anyone who hadn't posted in the past few months. This reaffirmed how hard blogging is as there were many abandoned blogs on my list. I have it down to a healthy 140 blogs. You can see the list on my profile here if you like. Now that all the dead weight is gone I can actually use my Reading List as it was intended to be used.

I also added some new blogs to My blog List on the right column. This blog roll is prime real estate as the more links to your blog the higher your google page rank. I'm still proud of my Google Page Rank 3 which took me 2 years to achieve. If you have a creative blog, not necessarily crafty but it doesn't hurt, you post at least once a week and would like to exchange links on our blog list you can also let me know in my comments.

I wanted to highlight a few of my new featured bloggers and recommend that you check them out. Some of the blogs on my list are well established with many followers like Makeunder My Life, and a few are just really well written blogs that have yet to be discovered like Cara Makes. Cara has a real way with words and is also very creative to boot.

I absolutely adore hipchic designs natural aesthetic and she really inspires me to try my hand at something new.

Additions Style has a very inspirational blog for the creative types. She has a modern design aesthetic which is refreshing to the eyes.

I also added Moonangelnay, who is a fellow longtime EC member. I have always respected her work and her commitment to blogging.

So I am going to make a commitment to return blog comments in a much more consistent way and to really try to be a supportive member of this wonderful community. I've gotten so much support myself through the past 3 years both personally and creatively and I really am grateful that there are people that still check in on me regularly.


Almost Wordless Wednesday

My Photoshop class is half way done and I've learned a lot so far. I thought I would share some of my homework assignments from the past few weeks. You can see the original image of the first one here. It's from the Sandia Peak Mountain at sunset in New Mexico. I added an artistic filter, I think called Cutout.

This is a church in Taos, NM. The assignment was to apply all of the different adjustment layers and come up with something cool.
This is a bug in my backyard. The assignment was to turn the picture black and white and then bring one thing back to color. The last one was a silly card I made for my sister's b-day. It's a shot of her dog Boozer that I took.
I still have so much to learn but I'm starting to get a handle on how layers work finally.

Opening Doors on Cherokee Street

I've had a few interesting developments on the crafting front the past week. I was beginning to get frustrated and wondering if it was really worth it. I tend to get easily discouraged but not getting into the Rock n Roll Show was actually a good wake up call for me. It got me thinking outside the box and looking for other venues that I would have overlooked otherwise.

I contacted peridot, a new craft venue on Cherokee Street. Here is the description on their site: A workshop space for local talent to thrive and grow. Offering various classes in areas like sewing, knitting, stained glass work and much more! We also have a consignment shop for local artists to sell their treasures.

They are also where the upcycle exchange is being housed and since I had some things to drop off this weekend I decided to bring some of my knitting for them to check out. I ended up leaving the things I brought to consign, which was very exciting. They didn't have any scarf/hat sets yet which she liked. I will work on some more of these that I think would be a good fit for their clientele of indie artsy types.

I really love the vibe down on Cherokee Street. It is in South City, where all the cool people are moving. I really hate driving in the city but the two times I've gone down to Cherokee I haven't gotten lost or had trouble finding a parking spot. I didn't take the time to really explore on Saturday as I had Ani with me and we were trying to get back in time to get pictures of Kai in his homecoming garb. A failed mission, but take my word for it, he looked sharp. I have a shopping date set up with a friend in a few weeks to explore all the antiques shops, thrift stores, and art/craft venues.

Peridot is also sponsoring a craft show in a few weeks that I think I'm going to go ahead and do. It is only a $30 booth fee and should be good exposure. It is called Medusa's Craft Menagerie, which is actually a lot of fun to say. I was driving Mike crazy last night saying it over and over. It sounds like it could be a fun event too. Here is what the invite says:

On Saturday, October 23rd, Medusa's Craft Menagerie will debut on the 3100-3200 block of Cherokee Street in Benton Park West. Celebrating the emerging “Upper West Cherokee” creative district, this all-day event will feature eclectic arts, one-of-a-kind crafts, delicious edibles, live music, a offbeat fashion show, fire performances, and much more!

In addition to these opening doors I've also got another more traditional venue that is interested in consignment that I will talk about on another day.


Oh So Missoni!

Generally speaking I don't much keep up on trends in the world of fashion. I have had pretty much the same sense of style since I was 13. I like bold patterns, long skirts, loose knits, and chunky jewelry. I do most of my clothes shopping at thrift or resell shops, supplemented by the occasional online outlet purchase from my favorite big girl shops Torrid and Ulla Popken.

I sometimes like to rate the runway looks on Elle. About 90% of the time my favorite look is the least popular one which says a lot about my ability to choose what is popular. I, of course, watch Project Runway religiously, thanks Lifetime for actually giving us a riveting season this year. But other than those two fashion diversions I am pretty much out of the high fashion loop.

The one designer that I do actively follow or at least check out each season is Missoni. This really shouldn't be any surprise as Missoni is known for knitwear and bold patterns. This year I love the fall RTW collection even more perhaps than the scarftastic 2009 line. I love the patchwork knits and use of granny squares. And how cool are the high collars and scarflettes on every single look. I really like the ones with zippers, like the blue one here. I'm totally wondering if I could find a way to use zippers in my own work.

I love the color palette which is perfect for fall and winter. I also really like the interesting shapes of the knitwear and the asymmetrical looks. I will definitely be thinking about them as I add to my inventory in the coming months.

I also checked out the Spring 2011 line that just showed on the runway and all I can say is WOW. The wild colors and prints are absolutely mind boggling. Some might say head ache inducing but not I. I love the hats and scarves. Each look had a colorful scarf wrapped around the neck which I think is awesome for Spring.
Do you have any favorite designers that show up in your work sometimes?


Sets For Sale!

A month ago I posted about my indecision regarding my Etsy shop here. I've decided that it's important to have some sort of online presence even if it's not as active as I have kept it in the past. That way the customers who take my card at my shows have a way to shop in the future, etc. I also think that my empty shop may have hurt my chances of getting into the Rock n Roll Show as well.

I went ahead and renewed the items that I had listings for that didn't sell at the Strange Folk Festival and listed a few of my scarf/hat sets this week. I must say that the listing process has definitely been improved since the last time I did it awhile ago. I also like that you can use pictures that aren't perfectly square now.
The top shot is of my Fabulously Pink Set. I have it priced at $40 for both the scarf and the hat. I also have a teal set in the same pattern and size that I don't have photographed yet.

The Rainbow Bright Set is made with a machine washable acrylic and is priced at $35 for the hat and scarf together.

And finally my favorite set is the All Natural Pink Set. It was made with an organic cotton yarn with natural dyes. The scarf and hat are priced at $45 together. They are more for fashion than warmth but I think that they are a very cool ensemble.If anyone has any custom requests for scarf/hat combos I would be happy to oblige. I can probably find something in my stash to meet your color/fiber requests. If not that is just another reason to shop for yarn!


Change in Plan

booth closeup

I recently found out that I did not get into the Rock n Roll Craft Show this year. I have to admit that this was a huge disappointment to me. There is a $40 jury fee that you don't get back for one thing. I was also counting on it being my other big venue since it was my best show last year. I sold a ton of scarves there last year and made more in one weekend than I've ever made at a show before. I thought that since they got a 15% cut of that amount that I would have a good chance at getting in again but I was wrong.

I looked at the vendors that did get in and the knitters appear to make big cowls or use higher priced yarns. I guess that they are trying to make it more like a high end boutique event but I don't think that they are going to make as much this year because of it.

So I've been scrambling around the last 2 weeks trying to come up with some alternatives. After talking to my Mom about it I think I now have a partial plan. I have decided to do the big Holiday Bazaar in my hometown of Rolla. My mom and I used to go to this together pretty regularly and it is my first memory of a craft show environment. It is obviously a more traditional craft show than I have been doing for the past few years but I think that is ok. I just need to whip up a bunch of lower end scarves in the next month to get myself ready for it.

My mom knows just about everyone in the town so I'm going to have her sit at my booth with me. Mike thinks I will have a lot of sales from the locals who stop to chat with her. They will see something they like, and because it is Joyce's daughter they will go ahead and buy it when normally they would have walked away. So yes, I plan on pimping my mother out for my business.

I am also looking into a few other alternatives that will be a better venue for my more creative work. I really hate having to rework my plans this late in the game but you have to go with the flow. I've been really lucky so far about getting into the shows that I have wanted so I shouldn't be too discouraged but that is easier said than done.

(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD