Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Can you tell what the image is?

Does the title of the post help??

This design was a spin-off from my very first knitted art piece, wherein I was drawn into the image of two hands shaking; a very dry way of reflecting a relationship between two people. An agreement of sorts to the commitment of being another's companion. In my first show, it was nice to show the 2 pieces side-by-side but (thankfully) "You House Wife" has a new home and this guy is left all alone to puzzle the viewer in understand what they're looking upon.

I FINALLY got a professional shot of this granny square crochet piece I finished last year. I love it more and more, every time I get a chance to look at it. Lately, it's been crumpled up in the office but even then I walk by and admire its colors. All the yarns were hand-dyed (with the exception of the black) with half being natural dyes that came from onion skins, turmeric, and alkanet root. The rest were MX Procion dyes that came from Dharma Trading Co. The whole thing measures about 7 feet wide and 3 feet tall! Alas, with all the fire places, windows, and build-outs we have at home, there's no wall to hang it. So it might just stay another cozy wool thing to stick your feet under on the couch :) and no one's complaining about that!

A dear friend's mother past away this month. She was an avid knitter and her passing inspired me to stop what I was doing, and knit something simply for myself - a project I had put in the queue months ago. I found the pattern online, while I was searching through photos of god's eyes, this being called God's Eye Mitts by Alexis Windslow. Naturally, I had to adapt the pattern a little (cause I just have to make things more challenging). I lengthened them to cover my wrists more and slimmed down the cuffs. It was a great project to knit, abet the obvious fussiness of using double pointed needles, and I feel they'll make the dropping temperatures somewhat more tolerable to face. Maybe they're not god's eyes but all the eyes of those we can't look into anymore, and they can be a reminder that those we love can still look down upon us, and remain alive in our hearts and minds.

Hope everyone is doing well! Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Slow Movement

I'm ever-so-slowly readjusting myself from a loaded summer schedule. I feel like there have been so many things to celebrate, I haven't had much of a chance to spend time in my studio. And I KNOW I should be so pleased that I have so many engagements and friends to laugh with, and I am, but I just don't get that "on-top-of-it" feeling when I don't have a chance to be at home, alone with myself - to relax in my favorite spots, to make myself a meal that's exactly what I want to eat, to sleep in my own BED, to get to do exactly what I want to do, even if it's just for a couple hours. I really need that.

Recently, I've starting hatching a plan to become an advocate for The SLOW Movement, specifically when it comes to those of us creating our own businesses and working for ourselves.

How many times do you hear a story about a freelancer who talks about how busy and all-consuming their days are with work? Where even sleeping becomes a chore that's challenging to fit in? Where their nose is smashed so hard up against the grindstone that they even lose sight of the joy and pleasure they originally found in their work??

Maybe, right when I got out of college, I would look up to these go-getters, (I mean they're getting SO much done, right?) but now I'm finding my opinions are changing. Sleep a chore?? I LOVE to sleep!! No joke, it's on my list of Top 10 Favorite Things In The Whole World! Why would someone choose to live a life where this daily (indeed, necessary) pleasure is taken away? No, now I find myself disheartened to hear of all these wonderfully-creative people throwing away their life balance for meaty portfolios and whatever kind of accolades they can find.

Certainly one of my goals in being a freelance maker is to counteract the mass-manufacturing of cheap goods that have proliferated in our world, along with humans' diminished understanding of quality and craftsmanship. There is definitely a culture of people out there, like me, who want to produce goods and provide services that center around these goals. High-quality, small batch, handmade, ethical, etc. What I don't understand is why those of us who are creating these alternative businesses still hold themselves to the rigors and demands of big business - make it faster, make it cheaper, grow, grow, more, more, more. When are we ever going to stop??

What I say is this - you make a product, you provide a service and you keep pushing until you find that sweet spot, where your materials, labor and overhead are covered, where your bills are paid at the end of the month, and you provide a quality result that makes you and your customer satisfied. And that's IT. You take on what you can handle and leave behind the rest for another day or another person. For some of us, there will be more work, for others of us, it will be less. But at the end of the day, it will be just right for you. And we can all still make the time to include life into all this.

Is that too much to ask? And, yes, I did ask myself if this was just a way for me to rationalize my laziness ... and I say "yes" and "no". I don't think I work at a rate that I'm completely satisfied with yet but I'm working to get there while also balancing the other things I deem important that are outside of the realms of a career. To always be balance will always be a fantasy but we can actively work towards it everyday. No one but you can understand what is truly important in your life.

I really like to work and move around and have purpose to my days. I also like to cook dinner every night and hike the nature trails near my house and zone out for long periods of time looking at cool things on the Internet. I don't like stress. I don't like staying up all night because I have to to meet a deadline. So that's why I'm deciding to not allow the Maserati-speed that society keeps pushing us towards to influence me or my work - to accept that this might mean I have less dough in my pocket, or achievements on my resumé, but know that instead I'm choosing a healthy lifestyle. 

With lots of sleep.