Apr 242012

Two friends and I went to a wonderful craft market over the weekend, a Firefly Market at Chautauqua in Boulder.  I went to this last year with some other gals and it was just as fun this year.  Any day spent with friends surrounded with such brilliant creativity is a great day.  Plus it was in the upper 70s and we were at the base of the Rockies.  How can you beat that??  Actually, I could have gone for better coffee, but the strong cup at Foolish Craig’s later in the day made up for it!

Anyhow, upon returning home I was reminded of my post after last year’s market (see here).  I am so pleased to re-read this now and see that I stuck to each and every one of my resolutions.  How often does one get to say that??!  Whee!

#1: More respect for my craft room.

Messy, messy old place!

This was a big one.  I am not a naturally clean person.  I’m a “dump the whole purse on the floor to find something at the bottom then only put back what you need” kind of organizer.  This room has been a test of how well I can change that when I care too.  It’s taken much more attention than I’m use to but it has been monumentally worth it.  Look at it now!

I can’t believe that it looks like this most of the time.  At the moment I have fabric scraps on the floor and and miscellaneous other things strewn about, but for the most part it’s tidy.  Yay me!  There is still clutter on the tops of the shelves (one that didn’t make it into the photo) but it least I’m no longer tripping over it.

Also I have not one but TWO places to sit.  Fancy.  I spend way more time in here than I need to just because I like the space so much.  The big trees outside the window are also now fully covered in leaves so I have high hopes that it will stay cool here during the hot months.   Next I have to take care of the strange wall color that came with the house and find that just perfect rug.  Hopefully that will change before summer’s over.

#2: No more using yarn that I don’t like.
I don’t know why this no-brainer was such an epiphany to me.  I destashed so, so much yarn in the last year.  I think the knit night gals groan every time they see me walk in with a bag now, they’re so sick of it (That fun fur was supposed to go in the Goodwill bag, I swear!).  I’ve added a lot more to my stash also but at least when I look for yarn for a new project it’s all stuff that I’d actually enjoy using.  This makes my stash so much more enjoyable.  Duh. 

#3: Who needs to knit dishcloths?
I haven’t made a singe one since that post, thank you very much.

#4: Part with the infinite hibernating UFOs
And did I ever!!  That purple sweater was frogged and it’s now waiting to become a sweater for one of the kids.  Many things were frogged and the yarn was donated.  Some things that were un-frogable but not worth finishing simply went into the trash (eek!).  That trunk in the previous post is now out of my room and the remaining UFOs, the ones that will be completed, are organized in a very small drawer.  Phew.

#5: Not every known newborn baby needs extensive handknits
Okay, this one was harder mainly due to the fact that these babies just keep on coming.  Two were born just this week!!  I only knit one baby sweater this year and a few toys, but most all the other babies got hats.  What can I do?  There are so many babies from our knit night and I can’t not knit for them.  New motto: the number of hours taken to knit the baby item should not exceed the number of weeks that the baby can wear it.  A 10 hour sweater that a baby will only wear for 4 weeks?  No!  A toy that takes 5 days but they will play with for years?  Yes!

I did have one friend who is currently pregnant who I didn’t knit a thing for and I felt like I was being rebellious by doing so.  Yeah!  Heehee.


Now I’m trying to think up things for next year, ideas to live/stick by.  Here is what I have so far:

#1:  Design, design, design
Not like I’m not already doing this.  But I want to try to get out of my comfort zone here and branch out.  I adore making toys but I want to see what else is out there.  A sweater, perhaps??  Who knows.

#2:  Attend more art and craft events/outings
Now that my “baby” is two and it’s easier for me to leave her for extended periods, I need to go out and about more.  There is even talk of an out of town trip without children!  Ooo!  So grown up!

#3:  New yarns! 
There are so many out there that I don’t know.  Perhaps this year I’ll dabble with some silk??  Who knows!

I am so happy with this last year.  It has been the best knitting year ever!  I am so looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2012 has up its sleeve.

 April 24, 2012  inspiration Tagged with: , ,  2 Responses »
Apr 212011

I use to read more blogs than I do now. Early on in both my knitting and parenting lives, when I was still wide eyed and absorbing every bit of information like a sponge, I use to scour the internet for wisdom and guidance. I remember coming across, as we all have, the blogs of women who had it all together. Immaculate, enviable craft rooms, beautiful houses, angelic children, and both the time and patience to keep them all up.

Even though I think I’m not as materialistic as the stereotypical woman (I own mere six pairs of footwear and two purses) I wondered if I was missing something by not having the hip barn door upcycled to a craft bench or vintage glass jars to hold my supplies. Would my children be as wonderful and seemingly content if we built that Montessori style bedroom for them or took the time to walk barefoot through the woods together?

After a while I started finding myself looking at old photos of me and the family with this same kind of longing. Wait, this was it! It’s the deception of  the photos! These split second snippets that I thought were wholly representational of lives were not at all. Hell, any life is going to look amazing if you capture that right second or the right angle.

So here’s a little exercise in perception.

Remember my button post?  Here’s what my counter really looked like at the time.

Too lazy to even clean up my dirty dishes.  And speaking of dishes,

Here was my kitchen yesterday.  At about 4pm.  Those are breakfast crumbs and droppings.  At 4pm.  Because I wanted to sit around and knit instead.

Oh, and the cardigan photo on the button post?  Here’s the real scene.

This table is 90% dedicated to the boy’s toys, so whenever I want to use it I just shove his stuff in the window.  And that’s not nice defused light coming in the window, it’s hazy since I hadn’t washed the outside of the window since we moved into this house in January of 2010 [note: it has since been cleaned, but only because someone else did it for me.]

And today, here is my living room.

Yes, that’s my four year old, standing a foot and a half from the television.  Yes, to the left of the chair is a toothbrush and half a pancake that I didn’t pick up when we ran out of the house in a hurry this morning.  Sometimes mess and tv have to be the sacrifices for some craft time sanity around here.  I use to feel bad about that.  But now, whatever.  I’ve become so conscious of how I try my best to hide these things in photos, as we all do, as if future generations will remember me falsely as a clean person.  *Snicker*

But what a cute old little house, you say?  Yes, it is cute.  And old.

It sometimes strikes me as a sweet old place, full of history and charm.  But most days it’s more sad geriatric to which the previous owner did some quick fixes that seem akin to putting this old gal in a nursing home.  Just hang out over there for a bit longer, will ya?  For example:

No, this isn’t to look at the cute cupboard or the messy carpet.  It’s to show you the reason we can’t have nice hardwood floors here.  See those shims under the shelf?  They’re compensating for the inch and a half difference between the floor level between the back and front of the shelf.  My whole poor living room sags.  And creeks.

Look again at my kitchen.  Those cupboards are vinyl coated.  Just like the floor.  The previous owners were obsessed with vinyl, plastic, anything synthetic.  So much original wood in this old house has been replaced by things that look nice but are horribly cheap.  It makes me nuts.

None of my old doors latch right.  My vinyl windows track crooked.  In the living room, when the summer morning sun hits just right, there is a strange pee smell that we cannot find the exact location of.

But it all looks great in photos, doesn’t it?

 April 21, 2011  life Tagged with: , ,  6 Responses »