Friday, August 25, 2006

A day in the life...

Want to know what I'm really doing when I'm dreaming up fanciful art and time to make it?!

Let me introduce you to my day...

Miss N convieniently came down with a horrid cold today. The day
we went to sign all the paperwork for both sale and purchase. The
lady at the Escrow office was really enjoying her sneezing all over
her desk. I felt bad, but we have no baby sitter but Grammy and she
was at work. So in we trudged with our two kids, one sick. Who also
of course needed to go potty in the middle of all the signing... and
then her talented Mommy dropped the roll of tp INTO the toilet while
trying to tear off some and hold Miss N from falling into the potty at
the very same time. Then I got the joy of fishing the thing out of
the public toilet. GROSS.

This evening after Miss N went to bed Dh left... Miss E woke and needed
to be nursed. So then in the midst of that N peed her bed and
started crying/wailing... Oh joy. I raced her into the bathroom,
washed her off - poor kid had a good fever going by then so she
started shaking horribly. Dried her off and dressed her again...
Ripped apart her bed, threw it all back together. Picked her sister
up off the floor where she had rolled from my bed. AGH! Our mattress
just sits on the floor right now, so other than being in an odd and
uncomfortable position, she was just fine. But unhappy none the
less... her boob went away and she was stuck on the floor alone.
Nursed kiddo two back to sleep, then went back in and gave kiddo one
some tylenol and put her "lady music" on for her and rubbed her cheek
for a bit. She seemed ok... I was doing laundry outside her room and
heard her singing to herself after that. :)

Did I mention I found out this morning at 9am that the movers were
coming tomorrow and not Monday? Frantic packing and organizing going

So yeah... that's my day. lol! Want to trade? Next week we'll be
living in a hotel until we get the keys on the 31st. That should be

Yeah... so that's a day in the life of me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I'm in denial that I'm moving in 6 days. Nope... not thinking about it... My husband just called to tell me that we're signing all the paperwork tomorrow for both sale and purchase. A little scary to think about. Can't wait to be done!

Anyway... I've been up to "denial" projects.

First... finished these wool shorts up for an online friends little boys today. I am just hoping that they fit!

I set aside the pair of longies I was knitting until my longer cable came so I could magic loop the legs. Well in that period of a few days I got bored and started another project...

It's the Curly Purly Scarf pattern. It's an extra wide scarf as you can see. Almost a stole, but not sure of itself yet. The pattern warns that it stretches out a lot in leangth in the blocking. So it's going to loose some width I'm sure. It's currently around 16 inches wide in the body. At the cast on it's only 14. I think the finished width will be about 12-14 inches. A wide range, but this is soooo loose it's just hard to tell what it's going to be! It's super yummy yarn though. 100purewool in Ashtil colorway. So soft. Can't wait to wrap it around my neck! Should look great with all the red coats my husband keeps buying me. I'm not sure why, but I think ALL but my wool peacoat is red now. It's silly really. It's fun to be working on big needles. 10.5 US is what I'm using. SOOOO different from the other project I have on the needles... size 6 US... seems tiny in comparison.

Speaking of which... here's where they are currently at...

They WERE all the way down to the legs. Gusset and all. But last night around 1 am I finally admitted that I hated the shaping method I used and FROGGED it all the way back to the waistband. GASP! It was so late my brain was numb so it wasn't painful. lol! Hopefully this time I will get it right! They are for one of the same little boys getting the shorts above. I have yarn for the other brother to have a pair too. Just need to get my pattern stright! I decided I am going to be patient and do it right. I SHOULD have ripped back a LONG time ago, but I had blurred vision apparently. That or the denial about the move seeped over into my thinking about my knitting.

I'm planning ahead and boy do I have a list of things to knit now! Sheesh. I decided I'm going to make Clapotis for my mother-in-law. She is the only person I know who would first off, appreciate the effort. AND can follow washing instructions for some nice wool yarn that will be oh so yummy! My own mother can't handle anything if it doesn't go in the washer and dryer. She is not into "delicates". I think it would be perfect for my MIL because she gets cold sitting at her desk at work. This could just be a pretty scarf on her way in, and a shawl when she's chilly. I'm also considering making her a matching pair off fingerless gloves. I remember my days in the office... my hands would get so cold they would ache as I worked on the computer. Then there's the sweaters I want to make for my girls... dh wants hats... Baby needs longies... And I want to make Lady Eleanor! And I want socks. lol! LOVE wool socks.

Anyway... I should clear this fog of denial that I stink and hit the showers.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Delusions of Grandure

Yes, I have them... oh this week they are strong. I have a hankering to knit a shawl. Not the lacy grandmother type, but something cozy... made with some gorgeous colors. That's what I'm dreaming about. Now... to match the yarn I'm thinking of with a reasonable pattern...

I am now dreaming of 3 shawls, or stoles rather. They're small shawls so they're called stoles I guess. I don't know the precise terminology.

Clapotis is gorgeous and looks nothing like something my grandmother would wear.
This scarf pattern would be so YUMMY made into a "stole". I'm eyeing this yarn. I've also considered this one. Can't decide.
And Lady Eleanor isn't she gorgeous?! How could I resist putting this on my list to make?! It will have to wait until I get a little more skill under my belt though.

I'm thinking the Curly Purly is the front runner right now. With Clapotis coming in a close second. Really they would both be great... Clapotis could double as a scarf... a REALLY yummy one, and I AM moving to a snowy winter climate after all. But I have no idea what yarn I would like to use... granted I have limited yarn exposure, and a very limited budget... I need ideas.

Anyhow... while I dreamt about the shawls, I finished these...

I don't love them. The color in the picture is too bright, but they are still too bright for my liking. Too "royal blue". Ah well. They were my first and a might good first at that. I did manage to do the gusset without much trouble. However, halfway through the body I realized that there were no short rows in this pattern. I really like short row shaping. And then I finished and realized that the legs were not big enough to fit the intended recipient. Now isn't that a bit irritating. But the pattern didn't seem concerned with thigh circumfrence. And I wans't until I got there and realized they wouldn't work. So, I've drafted a new plan. I'd say pattern, but it's really still the same basic pattern with my modifications.

Oh, and I-Cord... somebody shoot me. Ick! It's a true test of patience. But worth it as it's so much nicer to use than a crochet chain or braid. Oh well... makes it nice.

SO now... I'm starting over. Bah. Hate that. Upside is I need more yarn!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

what's behind artistjess?

So... what's artistjess you might ask? Well... as it turns out, I'm an artist and my name is Jess.

That might have been obvious. I have a major in architecture and minored in art. Really I wish I would have had the guts to major in art, but that didn't seem "prudent". I felt if I (and my Dad!) was paying for an education in something I should be able to make money with it when I was done. After changing my major a million times in the first year I somehow landed in architecture. It was a cross of being artistic and being able to make money. Or so I thought... turns out it was more about paperwork and details and code than anything else. School was fun though... lots of fun! So after working in the field for a few years I retired. And became a stay at home mom. What a crazy career that is. Oy vey!

But the artist in me never rests. It's this drive that is in me every day. If I don't have something to show at the end of the day I'm restless. It's a crazy thing. And so, the artist in me gets to come to the light. No worries about making money. Now it's an outlet for me. I've sold a select few of my pieces under the name "J.Bird Creations". But being a mom to such young kids I don't have the time to pursue a real market for my work. Nor do I have the space to work in. The dining table is my studio... not terribly condusive to getting much done.

And so... here's the exciting part...

We are about to move out of our condo... east of the mountains into a house on the other side of the state. Where real estate prices are actually affordable - for the moment. We are waiting for our condo to close and then 2 days later the house we have an offer on to close. And this house... oh this house is a blessing. A real and true blessing and gift from God. All I wanted was a yard for my children to play in, and a garage/shop for my husband to play in. And I honestly didn't have any stipulations other than that. I am just so grateful for a home and a piece of land to play on. But I got something too... such a gift. Something I dared not dream of ever even having! This house... has a room off the garage... a perfect little room... that shall be my studio! My very own art studio! A room where I can make my creative MESS and not have to clean it up by dinnertime! A room where I can just make my nest and stew in it. Oh how lovely that will be. It almost brings me to tears really. I feel like it is such a gift. And a sign from God to get off my keester and bring more art to life.

My husband... wonderful and encouraging man that he is. Has already gotten shelving, flat storage, and worktops to install in there for me. He works for a construction company that does laboratories and these are all things that were made wrong or whatever and headed for the dumpster. But hey... it's all gold to me! All I need now is a chair and stool or two.

I just can not wait. What a special and very unexpected blessing.

I like to mainly work in watercolor, but also enjoy collage. Most of my work combines the two methods. Here are a couple terrible pictures of a few pieces. The first is 3 pieces from a series titled "Waterview". And the second is titled "Fiery Sunset".

I told you they were terrible pictures! I need better ones... and more of them I suppose.


So... what have I been working on...

Well, I started out knitting for my adorable girls of course! I decided to make an "Apron Top" for my baby girl. My dh kept telling me it would be too small but I insisted it was not... uh... you be the judge of this number.

So as you can see... I had to suck it up and admit my dh was right... darn it!

Then I moved on... decided to forget the baby and use a model that could actually stand up. Big sister! How cute is this?!

In the mean time some yummy yummy wool yarn arrived. And I just had to make something from it. Soakers and knitting in the round still scared me. So I bought the pattern for a Ribby Wrap . It turned out great and I was even impressed with the ease with which I followed the pattern. I'm horrible at following instructions. Which is a rather odd quirk seeing as I have my Masters degree in Architecture... a career in writing instructions.

And then... I decided to bite the bullet and knit in the round. So I made the baby's new top using this method. What was I so afraid of?! Easy peasy!

Add in a trip to the Target clearance rack for a $1.98 skort and... wah lah... a little sisters coordinating cutie patuti set was born. Now just admire the set... the models were not in such fine form, but that's what happens when Mom is just too excited to take a picture and really... it's bedtime.

First Post!

My new "thing" is knitting. I've wanted to do it for a million years and now I finally bucked up and learned! Since I was directed to I no longer had the excuse of not understanding what was going on in the pictures in books. And I didn't have to worry about trying to find time for a knitting class. I could just sit here after my kiddies were sleeping! How wonderful! Anyway... I've been totally inspired by reading knitting blogs of women I know and some I don't. So I decided to start my own. To inspire myself and maybe to inspire others to throw caution to the wind and create to their hearts content.