Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Goodbye Winter, Llama Hats, and Yarny Goodness

This is what I woke up to this last Sunday Morning.
It was so beautiful with the snow, it stuck to all of the trees, and when the sun finally came out they all started to sparkle. I decided to pull on my boots for what will probably be the last time this winter, and head outside to take some pictures. I wandered around the outside of the farm that is next to our apartments.
With all of the cold weather these last few days, I finished a hat I had started last week. It is made from the Llama yarn that I had spun about a month ago. I love it, it is warm and lightweight at the same time.
I've also been taking apart more sweaters for yarn. I love the tweedy green yarn. It is 100% wool from a J Crew sweater. The yarn on the right is a cotton/acrylic blend that is buttery soft.I am really excited for tomorrow. Nate and I are heading into Chicago to attend the 'From Trash to Spectacle' lecture series that is going on at the School of the Art Institute (it is free and open to the public if you are in the area!) Tomorrow's lecture covers issues related to contemporary fiber and craft. Up my alley? I think so!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Lace Painting - Continued

I've made a lot of progress on this painting these last few weeks. I now have all six panels drawn out and the underpainting finished. I made some progress yesterday with the detail work on the first panel:I'm working 'wet in wet' for these, you can see in the following picture how I work just the light areas in first, and then fill in the darker areas around them. The tinted canvas makes it a lot easier to see what I am doing. Still have a long way to go - hahah.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Sweater Project -- Continued

I've made some progress with the yarn I was spinning yesterday and the day before. I have three skeins completed, and I'll probably get about 4-5 more out of those two sweaters.
A finished skein:They are pretty big skeins, cotton yarn is SO heavy, it is almost rope-like when it is this bulky.
Even though it is heavy it is still really soft and drapes well.
I've still got a ways to go. If you look closely at this pic, you'll see Bo, my cat, is trying to get some attention.
Back to work!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sweater Project - Continued

Sorry I've been neglecting this blog this last week or so! The rest of spring break flew by, and this last week has been spent working a lot in my studio, grading, reading painfully complicated art history articles, and 'catching up' in general. In the beginning of the semester I had been in a bit of a rut art-wise, but recently, things have been going well. I've been working on part of my Sweater Project. This week I've been spending a lot of time spinning together recycled sweaters. Here are two of the sweaters that I've deconstructed into pieces.
I wanted a bulky yarn for this project, so I am combining both sweaters into one yarn, I am taking two strands from the sweater on the left, and one from the sweater on the right. When I'm done spinning the three strands together, I'm going to ply in back on itself to make it really chunky. So far I've spun three spindles today. I'm going to start plying them today. I love the subtle difference between the two colored sweaters in the yarn. Hope you all are having a good Sunday! I'm heading in to the studio for a while today, and hopefully I'll get enough done that I can go to knit night tonight.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Recipe Box and Salt & Pepper Shaker Revamp Project

I went thrifing yesterday and came back with a bunch of wooden things for around the kitchen with the idea that I would paint them to give them a whole new life. I forgot to get a before picture of the recipe box, but imagine a dark brown box with ugly 70's style flowers in green and red. Here is the after shot:Detail of the painted doilies -- I did these with a toothpick, far easier than using a paintbrush for this kind of thing.
I was on a roll, so then I decided to refinish these old salt and pepper shakers. I loved the shape of these, very mid-century modern. The finish was flaking off though, and they were in pretty bad shape. These pictures are a bit decieving. They were pretty nasty. But I saw their potential and $.50 later they were mine.
Before painting them, I sanded off what was left of their previous finish. I covered the brass tops with painter's tape so I wouldn't accidentaly scratch the finish. After that, I washed them off, and applied two thin coats of grey acrylic paint. Then I painted on the doily design with a toothpick again. I love these now!! They are so adorable. I also bought a giant wooden tray and a gray vase that I plan on revamping as well, but I'm not sure if I will paint the tray or try to refinish it somehow. More on that later though. :)

The 'Sexy' Show at Pleasant Street Gallery

Last Thursday I went to the opening for the 'Sexy' show put together by Karen Brown. It was at the Pleasant Street Gallery in DeKalb, and will be open to the public next week - March 16th- March 20th. I will get more specific times when I find them out for sure. Anyways, here are some of the pieces from the show:

Cassie Christenson (mine! ) - Absence (the doily paintings) and Crochet Studies 1 & 2
Christine LoFaso - furniture pieces

Cameron MacEachran

Joanna Goss

Nina Rizzo

Steve Hoover

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lovely Weekends - Visiting

This weekend our good friends came down to visit us from Oshkosh, and we had a good time despite all of the gloomy weather. They got the tour of the ever-so-exciting cities of DeKalb and Sycamore. Jacki is a fellow knitter, and so a stop at the Yarn Exchange was mandatory. Good thing both of our husbands have a lot of patience for these things. :) They know me way too well, they brought some knitted mugs for me! I LOVE them!! Jealous?
I also bought two skeins of yarn- Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport weight. I am thinking fingerless gloves. They also fit the color scheme of my life. Ochre yellow and gray. It was the same colors outside yesterday. The sky was grey and the hay field behind my house was matted down and yellow.
I took it very easy yesterday, It was the start of my spring break this weekend, so I've been trying to recouperate from the first half of the semester a little bit. I finished the body of my Francis Sweater yesterday as well, but I am thinking I may go back and add about an inch more of seed stitch to the bottom. I've already added about 3" total to the length, and it just needs a smidgen more. The body fits perfectly though, and I LOVE the color.
Our good friend John ( "Johnny" to me ) is stopping through for lunch today. He is on one of his mini-tours. He just got back from his Eastern European tour, and if you haven't heard his music, you should check it out here: John Statz
He may be coming to a city near you! :)
Thats it for now -- I'm off to start cooking some portabella burgers!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunny Sundays

Fresh grapefruit reminds me of spring. I always peel my grapefruit before I eat it. I took this pic as the sun was setting and coming in through my windows.For some reason I was really able to get a lot done today, I think it probably has something to do with the fact that it was sunny outside and nice and quiet around the house. I worked on some paintings, knitting, cleaning, and some stuff for school. Here are two more panels I tinted and then drew on for my painting. I was working on my Francis Revisited sweater as well. I lost my old stitch markers, so I had to make some new ones quickly. I hope you all had a good Sunday as well.