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Friday, September 30, 2011

Behind the Scenes at the Saline Harvest of the Arts

at the booth

Last Saturday, after Lizz's wedding, I set up my red tent at the Saline Harvest of the Arts. Chris and I stayed up late on Friday for wedding fun, so Saturday morning was pretty rough. To top it off, it was freezing, I couldn't find any of the warm clothes I packed, and I forgot part of my display in Chicago. 

I won! ... honorable mention

Things started to turn around when I was awarded a ribbon for Honorable Mention for Best Display, despite forgetting part of it! I love putting together my display, so I was quite proud. 

behind the scenes at the craft show

Here's a look behind the table. I like to have everything laid out and ready to go, so when there's a sale, the customer doesn't have to wait. This works really well when I have a booth space, but I got a little apron for my next indoor fair. 

booth buddy!

And the best booth assistant. Chris is so friendly and outgoing; he was chatting up all the old farmers in Saline. I am so lucky to have him and my family around to help with running my booth. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review - Lunch Wars by Amy Kalafa

I started watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last year because, let’s face it, Jamie is cute, and food is delicious. After seeing him make “chicken nuggets” from leftover chicken pieces, including pureed bones and blood, and having kids enthusiastically raise their hands to sample one, I knew something was wrong with America. These kids couldn’t even identify a raw potato!


Ever since that fateful day, I’ve taken an interest in food education, and food in the school systems. So when the chance to review Lunch Wars by Amy Kalafa for the Blogher Book Club came along, I thought it would be a good read. I love books on food and the science of food. However, not having kids or being involved in any sort of school system, I completely underestimated this book.

What I thought would be the telling of Kalafa’s struggles with her child’s school and the sub sequential movie she made, Two Angry Moms, turned out to be a step-by-step guide to starting your own food revolution. Kalafa goes through each hurdle - from starting a blog  to gain support, to creating a wellness committee at your school, to taking on the USDA - and does so in minute detail. She provides suggestions for everything from getting kids to try a new veggie to how to build a community garden. Kalafa is thorough with a capital T. 

Because of this thoroughness, and because I am not the intended audience for this book, I was totally bored. I skimmed through the second half, stopping fully only to read the chapter on international lunches (lunch time in France is awesome). So it wasn’t for me - but if you’re the parent of kids in school, I highly recommend it. 

This is a paid review for Blogher.com, but the opinions expressed are my own - see the part where I say "I was totally bored." 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Embroidery Class at the Sweatshop of Love

I'm teaching an embroidery class this month with The Sweatshop of Love

cute sampler

This is a great beginning class for anyone who wants to learn the most basic of the basics. From the SoL website:

"Beginner Embroidery: Learn to embroider and get a head start on holiday gifts, or embellish your sewn and knit projects! In this two hour class, we’ll cover all the hand sewing basics, learn six stitches including the french knot, and finish a 4″ sampler. Monday, October 24th from 7pm-9pm. $25, and add $6 for materials."

embroidery sampler

Allyson also offers knitting classes, so if you're interested, head over to the Sweatshop of Love calendar to see the full schedule. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

the weekend in numbers

Number of -

the happy couple

Friends who got married - 2
Veils forgotten - 1
Mother of the Bride's that saved the day - 1

bridesmaids in the mirror

Bridesmaids - 4 (one not pictured)
Times I redid my hair - 3 billion
Beautiful pictures taken at the DIA - a million

I won! ... honorable mention

Craft fairs - 1
Ribbons won - 1
New friends made - 1

Friday, September 23, 2011

WEDDING FEVER WEEKEND

Today I'm up early to get ready for my friend Lizz Kim's wedding! 

Lizz Baby
Me & Lizz in 2007

I'll be taking a little blog break this weekend, since I also have a craft show tomorrow. I'll leave you with this ADORABLE video that some friends made after my friend Allison gave them a mounted mustache for their wedding. Perfect wedding gift!


See you next week!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Colette Pattern's Macaron Dress - Blue or Pink?

Awhile ago, I ordered two Colette patterns - Macaron & Parfait. I sewed up the Parfait dress over a year ago, and it's been worn quite a bit, but the Macaron pattern has languished, unmade. Until now - last week I mentioned to my friend Erica that I was considering sewing up a dress to wear to her wedding, to which she dubiously responded, "Katie, my wedding is in TWO WEEKS." Sounds like a challenge to me! 


I chose a beautiful, soft velvet in a dark blue for the main color of the dress. I think it will make a nice late Autumn, early Winter dress. Now I've always envisioned my Macaron having a transparent yolk, and after visiting the fabric store, I chose some lovely scalloped edge lace. But here's the problem - I can't decide which color to use.

blue velvet with pink lace?

Blue velvet with hot pink lace. 

blue velvet with blue lace?

Or blue velvet with matching blue lace. 

I'm tempted to make up both versions and see which looks best on me! What do you think - blue or pink?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Daisy Stitch Handwarmers

After I cast on my Aidez cardigan last week, I suddenly realized that what I really needed was fingerless gloves! It's exactly fingerless-gloves-weather. Luckily, I had queued The Purl Bee's Daisy Stitch Hand Warmer pattern on Ravelry

handwarmers on the keys

This pattern is awesome! Not only is the daisy stitch pattern interesting, its the perfect way to use up odds and ends of yarn. I used two colors of Wool-Ease, one color of Cascade 220 (recognize it from my Beatnik?) and one color of Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepard's Wool. 

close up

I made three little changes - I knit the daisy stitch on size 9 US needles, I added 8 rows of Daisy Stitch before the tumb, and I took out the row of daisy stitch in the thumb. Instead I just worked 3 rows of 1x1 rib. 

pretties

They're a little tight, due to the Daisy Stitch, but I think they'll stretch out in time. I've been wearing them while sewing brooches for my upcoming craft fair - perfect!

Monday, September 19, 2011

the weekend in numbers

Number of:

musician rehearsal

Rehearsals for Dumb Angel - 2
Times I cried (from awesomeness) in rehearsal - 2
Dinners with good friends who live in the suburbs - 2

brooches in progress

Brooches cut out -  65
Brooches sewn - 11
Episodes of Lost watched (for the first time!) - 5

the Beach Boys at karaoke

Birthday celebrations - 1
Songs sang at karaoke - 1
Bottles of wine shared - 2
Songs sang by my "Beach Boys" (above) at karaoke - 1

ps. Today is my birthday, and we celebrated a bit on Saturday. This morning I woke up earlier than I have in the past 3 months, so it looks like 28 is a responsible year. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

the theater stuff: Dumb Angel

Some of you may remember that in real life, I'm involved in theater, and I wanted to tell you about my new project - I'm directing a reading of a new play, Dumb Angel, for the Ruckus Theater. There are three performances - two this weekend and one next week - and if you're interested, there are tickets for sale here

Dumb Angel is a collage tribute to the life of Brian Wilson, and the first act is directly transcribed from a recording of the Beach Boys' recording session for "Help Me, Rhonda." In the play, the actors playing the Beach Boys sing the song multiple times in 4-part harmonies. Which means I've woken up singing "Help Me, Rhonda," for the past 3 weeks. 

Makes a girl want to pick up a ukulele...


Yup, my music is off-camera to the right. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

upcoming craft shows

After doing two craft shows this summer, I feel like I've been bitten by the bug! I love setting up my booth, figuring out new ways to display my crafty wares, and talking to customers face to face. In the next month I'll be doing two craft shows, both in Michigan:


This first is downtown in my hometown of Saline, MI. I'll be at the Saline Harvest of the Arts on Saturday, September 24th from 10am to 7pm.


The second is the brand new Liberty Local at the Ann Arbor Arts Center (click for address) on October 8th from 10am to 6pm, and October 9th from 12pm to 5pm. I'm really excited to be part of this new Handmade Craft Fair! 

Here's the description from the website: "With two floors of indie craft goodness, Liberty Local will be held in the historic Walker Carriage Building, home of the Ann Arbor Art Center.  Think of it as an indoor indie artists’ market, showcasing the best in independent craft." Awesome.

Why do two shows in Michigan? I'll be home for two weddings on September 23rd and October 1st, so I figured I'd make a week or two of it. I'm planning to pick apples with my nieces, make brunch with my family and see The Lion King with my sister. A nice autumnal getaway!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Renegade Haul

I spent a very sweaty Sunday afternoon at the Renegade Craft Fair with my friend Kathryn. The weather was beautiful, and it was absolutely packed. We stopped by Allyson's booth, where she was peddling my yarn ball brooches, and made a full tour.

renegade haul

I bought a great-smelling bar of soap from soapily ever after and picked up a few fun postcards (Lisa Chow and Twig). 

pretty bunny necklace

I absolutely love this little bunny necklace from The Foundrie. I almost got one of their plastic charms, but Kathryn convinced me to go for the silver. How cute is that packaging?

modeling the bun necklace

I like shorter necklaces - this one hits at the perfect spot. Just a few purchases, but money well spent!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thanks, Craft!


I was featured yesterday on Craft!

Thanks, Craft!

They did a little blurb about Nixon's Presidential Seal, and I was pretty excited to see it. Welcome if you've just clicked over from the article, and thanks, Craft!

Monday, September 12, 2011

weekend in numbers

Number of:

daisy stitch handwarmers

impulse projects started - 1
plays seen - 1
rehearsals for Dumb Angel - 2

Germanfest parade

parades watched from my dining room - 1
marching bands in parade - 3
bottles of wine shared - 1

Sweatshop of Love yarn brooch

yarn brooches made - 21
special Sweatshop of Love brooches made - 2
episodes of Weeds watched while sewing - 10

Renegade

Renegade Craft Fairs attended - 1
hours spent sweating at said fair - 2
people who ran directly into me at said fair - 6827

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vintage Crafts - Nixon's Presidential Seal, finished in Crewel

the seal, hangin' with my books & owl

I posted in July about a special commission I was working on - The Presidential Seal, worked in crewel. I've finished stitching, and it turned out so well!

the seal, complete

This was a great opportunity to brush up on my crewel stitches - I especially loved the stitch used on the leaves. 

closeup on the seal

Wanna see the back? No one ever shows the back of their projects, but I'm not shy:

the back

After I framed it and glued down the fabric, I covered the back of the frame in brown paper. I love this nice clean look. 

After Chad (he who commissioned this piece) saw my last post, he sent me some fun pictures. Here's Nixon and Elvis, chilling in the Oval Office. You can see the crewel seal on the wall on the right side.

RN with Elvis

And here's a picture of the actual piece stitched by Julie Nixon:

Presidential Seal Crewel to RN from JN

It's fun to compare Julie's work with mine. She did some stitches that were very different than those suggested in the kit, which makes me think it was manufactured after Julie made her piece. Look at how things catch on!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer Thrifty Finds

I haven't had a ton of time to thrift this summer, but I have had a few really good finds that I wanted to share. Can you tell I'm playing catch-up on posts?

thrifty finds

Check it - a vintage Samsonite shoulder bag, patchwork leather clutch, pastoral pendant necklace, teal polka dot dress (to be refashioned) and the mother lode - a beautiful red student size accordion. 

close up on the accordion

After playing my accordion in a show earlier this year, I realized it was much too large for me to carry around. It's really built for a larger person than I, and caused some serious back pain. So I started looking for a student-size accordion, occasionally checking Craigslist. Then, while visiting a new thrift store near my house, I found this baby. It's perfect!

pretty necklace

This necklace came from the same shop, and I love it. I'm sure it's not really antique, but I love how large it is, and the illustration is the sweetest. 

Have you found anything lately?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

a little sample Cossette

I took a little project along with me to Liz & Joseph's wedding - Never Not Knitting's Cossette Wrap. I knit this up as a sample for Sifu, so I didn't exactly chose this project myself. I thought it was pretty and all, but I wasn't very excited to knit something for the store. I mean - do I haveta!? 

Lisa modeling the wrap
 Lisa, the owner of Sifu, is my lovely model. 

But let me tell you - I LOVED knitting this. The construction is awesome, despite all the stockinette. You shape the whole thing with short rows, and then simply change colors for the decorative edging. No picking up stitches!

from the side

I used Malabrigo Worsted, and I love these colors. I wasn't sold on the pink when it was wrapped in the skein, but it looks awesome knit up.

notice anything fishy?

Except for one little problem... do you see it? Above? How the top part is completely different, despite being the same dye lot!? Maddening, but luckily the wrap is for the store, and can be a teaching piece. "See, kiddies, sometimes things are unfair. Like dye lots." 

beautiful edgings

I seriously can't get over the edging. I think I need to knit one for myself. After all the sweaters, that is.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Etsy = Updated with Headbands & Curios!

My etsy shop is finally updated! I added leaf headbands & mounted curios, take a look here.

My friend, Sharriese, agreed to be my headband model, and I wanted to share some of the outtakes from our photo shoot:

you real cute

Sears Portrait Studio

tiny man!

"You open the door for a blind date, and the man is TINY!"

mmmm.... hair


katieface

"Make a Katie-face".... apparently this is what I look like?!

Ps. I know some of you expressed interest in pieces I posted back in June. I chose not to list all of these on etsy, but some are still available, or I can custom-make a headband or bracelet for you. If you're interested, please email me at katiesredumbrella@gmail.com! 

thinkin' about sweaters

On Monday, the chilly weather swept in, and I just knew I had to cast on a new sweater. 


I've been thinkin' and wishin' and hopin' about Aidez for a month now. It's so slouchy and comfy looking, with cables to keep things interesting. And there are some pretty awesome finished sweaters (including Elly's and Julie's) on Ravelry, so I think this one's a winner! I'll be knitting it in Cascade Eco-Wool, which I just picked up today. 

Other autumn-appropriate sweaters that caught my eye:


Cloudy Sunday by Hillary Smith Callis - I love this one, but I can't decide which yarn to knit it with. I feel like this would lend itself to a blend, yes? It would do well in something with a bit of drape. Think how cute it would be with a long sleeved t-shirt layered underneath. 


Delancy Cardigan by Alexis Winslow - Chevron stripes! I love this one, but it's duking it out with...


Paulie by Isabell Kraemer - See? They are both wonderful in a shawl-collar-y, thick-and-thin-stripe-y, garter-edged way. And since my heart cannot decide, I shall not cast on. Well, at least not yet. 

Psst - Last year's sweaters are here