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good to be back.

March 22, 2012

oh my.

yes, it’s actually been that long since my last post. but I have good reasons. well, perhaps one, really:

Africa

my little family was able to go back to South Africa, the place where we lived for three years and where my son was born, to follow up on current work projects and see old friends. who feel like family. and who I missed desperately.

so, between finding out short notice that we’d be going, packing up for the trip, being there for a month, coming home, being jet lagged with this winter’s virus and then attending a birth (did you know I’m a doula, too?), two months somehow flew by.

but I’ve missed being here, and there’s so much to talk about and share. a few pictures from South Africa. knitting projects finished and in progress. impending Spring and all the gardening & outdoor projects I have up my sleeve. perhaps some homemade cream cheese. a few books I’ve been reading that I have to share because they are SO good. so very, very good.

so, today is the beginning of many posts that will be coming in the future!

a recent commission of 'legwarmers that are more like anklewarmers that will bridge the gap between skinny jeans and clogs'

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Birthday = Shop Sale!

January 24, 2012

Hello friends! Today is my birthday! The above is a lovely handmade gift I received from a dear friend (which she handpicked from my ravelry ‘favorites‘, by the way). My sister-in-law (who is also an avid knitter) and I were recently talking about how we are starting to get pretty selective about who gets a hand-knitted gift from us, as a lot of people don’t understand or appreciate the amount of time and effort it takes to create something. A smile and an ‘Oh, this is nice’ as they toss it into the back of their closet is just heartbreaking. But, someone who understands the true gift of hours spent picking out a pattern, purchasing yarn and stitch after stitch after stitch of knitting (or sewing…or brushstrokes of painting…) opens up a handmade gift and might be momentarily overcome by how kind and thoughtful this gift truly is. So, I really appreciate it when I receive such a gift- to know what it means to make one for someone else and then to have someone do that for me- I’m momentarily overcome.

And, because joy isn’t complete unless it is shared, I’m offering a 10% discount in my shop today to celebrate my birthday! So head on over, and type in BIRTHDAY10 as a coupon code to treat yourself and share my joy! Happy Birthday!

Have you ever received a handmade gift which you truly appreciated? Has anyone ever had a great reaction when they opened a gift you made for them?

Favorites: The Black Apple

January 23, 2012

Emily Winfield Martin of ‘The Black Apple’ creates all of these beautiful little worlds in her artwork; worlds which I would describe as whimsical with a slight touch of Gothic darkness (is that possible?). I’ve been eying the above painting for quite some time- to the point of keeping wall space blank where I wanted to hang it- and finally bought a print last week.  It’s now occupying it’s reserved wall space in our bedroom, and it makes my heart happy every time I see it.

Ms. Martin has also released a book of paper dolls and is about to release a children’s book tomorrow, if either of those things sound fun to you.

Are there any artists or handcrafted things you’ve had your eye on?

*The monster computer is up and running again, so I’ll be updating the blog with my most recent knitting projects sometime this week.

Favorites: 8 New Hairstyles

January 19, 2012

8 Hairstyles at A Cup of Jo


I know I don’t usually feature things like this, but I’ve been having lots of fun with it lately, so I thought I’d share. It’s made me a little less itchy to cut off my locks- maybe even encouraged me to enjoy having them-for which my husband is very thankful.

Favorites: Anne Lamott

January 16, 2012
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I love reading memoirs, and I just found out that one of my favorite memoir authors is going to be releasing anew book in March.

I love Anne Lamott’s way of capturing life in words- the way we try to do right and make good choices, and how hard that can be sometimes. The way life can suck, and leave you reeling, feeling like you’re going to die in a puddle on the floor. But then the next day you wake up and realize that life can actually be okay, beautiful even, and that you’ve decided to stick around for another day just to see what might happen. She makes me feel a little less crazy (or maybe provides some companionship in the craziness?…). And she’s funny. Really funny.

When I found out I was expecting a baby boy, a good friend sent me her book ‘Operating Instructions’- her memoir of her first year with her son, Sam. Her new book, “Some Assembly Required,” is “a journal of my son’s first son.”

If you’ve never read any of her works before, I suggest starting with ‘Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith.”

Have your read Anne Lamott before? Is there a memoir that you have especially enjoyed reading?

Favorites: Wikstenmade

January 14, 2012
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Hey folks! Sorry for the longer than-usual absence around here- my hard drive has unfortunately crashed, so I haven’t been able to access any pictures from the holidays. So, until the monster gets fixed, I thought this week I’d share some of my favorites from the blog-o-sphere. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Some new hat designs from Jenny Gordy of Wikstenmade.

Her new shop is wonderfully curated, and while her taste is a bit more expensive than mine, I love her design ethic. She’s a knitter and a seamstress, so I love to see what she’s up to and where she’s getting her inspiration from. I recently purchased one of her sewing patterns (the fabric is in the washing machine right now, getting ready to be cut!) and I can’t wait to get started.

IOU Gift Tags

December 22, 2011

Hey knitters out there that are frantically trying to finish up those hand-knitted gifts…knitpicks.com has come to our rescue! I just downloaded a freebie graphic that has six different ‘IOU’ tags that each feature a different knitted item. Perfect for those socks for my dad that are only halfway done (and that’s a generous estimate).  So, while I hope that you are more on top of it than I am, if your fingers are starting to cramp you might want to use one of these.

Are you racing to finish anything before Christmas?