March 31, 2012

March Madness at Lion Brand Studio!

Last weekend I took a little trip to the big apple with my sweet friend, Karla. We had been planning this trip for months (before Thanksgiving!) and were really excited to celebrate her 30th birthday out of town. Of course, this trip was really awesome for us both because it was the first time all our best friends were together in the same place! As you can imagine, it took us a few hours to get beyond the fact that we were all together in the most glamorous city in the country. We spent the weekend shopping in Union Square, going to Momofuku Ssam Bar for an amazing family-style dinner (so good!), and dancing the weekend away. It was just the right amount of fun that I needed.

Now, you guys know me pretty well, so you know that if I'm going to be in NYC, I am definitely going to Lion Brand Studio. Cory and I were in no rush to leave on Sunday, so Lisa and I walked down to LBS (yes, she lives within walking distance... I know!) for a quick visit. NYC was pretty beautiful last weekend as the trees were covered in blooms. For the first time ever, I could honestly say that NYC smelled fresh. How many times do you hear that? lol

The studio was set up perfectly for spring and for March Madness! I get that giddy inspiration feeling every time I walk up to the door!

The most amazing part of the studio this time around, to be honest, was the front window. The Art of Yarn--so perfect and full of talent! I wish there weren't such a glare on the window, but I tried my best!

Look closely, even the frame on the Van Gogh piece is stitched! Incredible!

During the entire month of March Hometown USA yarn was on sale for 15% off. I have been stitching up some new hats for my shop, so I decided to try out the pattern in that yarn. Fortunately, I was also able to pick up a new Interweave Crochet magazine and a few yarny accessories I've been needing. Since it's always one of my last stops in NYC, the way home is always pretty productive for me in the car as I am full of inspiration! I'm happy to say Hometown USA worked quite nicely with the hat pattern I tried (more on that later)!  

I'm so glad Lisa took an hour or two to visit the shop and pick up some new supplies. I am really inspired and get back into crocheting on a regular basis again. Recently, I've been really obsessed with crocheting new hats. I don't know why? Maybe it's the unpredictability of the weather in Maryland recently? Hmm.

What has been inspiring you?

March 30, 2012

A little weekend.

Oh, hay!

Let me tell you something. It has been non-stop over here! Did someone call my brain and give it a message along the lines of, "YOU MUST WORK 13 HOURS A DAY EVERY DAY THIS WEEK!" Because let me tell you, if you did, half of me wants to be angry (because I'm exhausted) and the other half of me wants to be happy (because I was productive this week). I just can't make up my mind.

Anywho! It's finally the weekend and I am really excited for some downtime, most specifically, some me time.

This weekend is all about:

-catching up on sleep and rest.

-finally heading to see The Hunger Games on the big screen (if I'm lucky and can squirrel Cory away for a bit)!

-drinking tea all day every day.

-working on crochet ideas I've had in my brain all week. I'm pretty impressed I still remember them after the craziness of this week!

-reading magazines and gathering inspiration for the spring and summer.

-cooking breakfast for a fleet of Cory's friends who are in town for our friend Rich's bachelor party.

-reading good books (have you ever read any Steve Martin before? It's so fantastic!).

-watching both film versions of Animal Farm.

What are you up to this weekend?

March 24, 2012

Roadtrip Must Haves

As you're reading this, I'm waking up in New York City! Hooray! 

I'm not only visiting my BFF Lisa, but I am also bringing together lots of different parts of my little world. Right now, I'm in the middle of a weekend trip to celebrate the 30th birthday of my former co-worker and beloved friend, Karla! I'm so excited to FINALLY be going on this trip as we have been planning it since BEFORE Thanksgiving! I cannot even believe it! 

Other former co-workers and beloved friends, Moira and Ryan, are also attending the trip and I am just over joyed to be hanging out with them again. I miss my old department more than I could even find the words to express. That department means the world to me and they are special, special people. Having an ENTIRE weekend to hang out and explore NYC is going to be... incredible.

Anywho! These are my road trip essentials. A comfortable outfit is imperative for any long car ride, but to me, the most comfortable is skinny jeans and a loose tee with shoes that can slip on and off easily. I just bought the blue shoes (19.99 from Target) and wore them to work on Thursday. They are so comfortable and I got a million compliments on them! I'm planning on pairing them with a pair of strawberry red skinny jeans and a grey top for the trip (the ones above are from Anthro). I'm a big fan of gummies (any kind), but Sweedish Fish are my favorite by far. Pair those with that and a good book (I'm currently reading Shop Girl) and I'm set!

I hope you have a really great weekend! I'll be back next week with a full review of our super-fun-omg-Karla's30-bff-weekend-getaway! What are you doing this weekend?


March 23, 2012

Recycled Art: Dental X-rays!

While at FiberPhiladelphia, Whitney and I visited a really cool warehouse turned art gallery called the Crane Arts Building. It is broken down into many different galleries and work studios, so beyond the fiber art, there was a lot the other cool innovative art. 

What you may not know is that my mother has worked at a dental office ever since she graduated from high school. That's right. When I was in high school I would put long hours in over the summer organizing (and sometimes re-organizing) their filing system, assisting with cleaning equipment, and greeting patients. Looking back now, it was a really good experience for me to see what the professional world was like before I went to college. It helped me get into the mindset of working with the public and keeping a routine. Plus, the best perk of all, the money was great and I got to hangout with my mom most days. Now, to be real for a moment, I really hated having to wake up so early when the rest of my friends were staying up late and sleeping in, but when all was said and done, it really wasn't that bad. 

While I strolled through the art gallery, I stumbled across the most amazing (+ beautiful) piece of art made from recycled goods that I have ever seen. Here it is:

It is the most stunning floral sculpture made of recycled dental x-rays! I love the texture that the x-rays naturally provide, both color and textile. 

Across from the sculpture was another sculpture arranged as a beautiful plant with a few "leaves" scattered among the fixture.

What art have you recently seen that uses an uncommon material? I feel like seeing these sculptures have caused me to look at every day materials in an entirely new way! I love it when that happens. :)


March 22, 2012


I've been craving girlfriend time like crazy recently. Maybe it's due to the changing of seasons and me being tired of being closed up, or maybe it's just because I don't see my girlfriends on a regular basis (probably the latter), but I have been trying to squeeze in as much friend time as possible.

My good friend Whitney, owner of The Muse in downtown Frederick, invited me on a day trip with her to Philadelphia and I was more than happy to tag along! Many of the FiberPhila events and exhibits are still underway through the end of this month (and even into early April), so if you're near by, you may want to make a day or weekend out of it! 

I'm a big fan of day trips in general, but this trip was extra special because it gave me the girlfriend time I needed, plus a healthy dose of inspiration for the spring and summer! Here's a look at our trip (and my thoughts regarding the show, too):


What do you think? My favorite exhibit was the one above that was curated on the theme of Mending = Art. There have been many times that my art has helped me mend myself. I think one could also argue that the process of mending a piece is also art unto itself, right? Maybe all art is mending and all mending is art?

Throughout all the exhibits I noticed a subversive trend regarding if craft could be interpreted as art. It's a great argument and one that I am constantly struggling with in my own life and work. Is crafting really an art? Has it always been or is it just now gaining said attention? Can we attribute the handmade revolution that has been sweeping our country throughout the last decade to this idea? Or has it been an art all along? 

What are your thoughts? I'd love to know!


March 21, 2012

Book Review: Extra Yarn

A few months ago I was scrolling through sponsorship ads on some of my favorite blogs and stumbled upon One Sheepish Girl, written by one of the sweetest people in blogland, Meredith. It didn't take me long to see a lot of myself in Meredith as she so accurately communicated the ebbs and flows of college life for an English major as well as the ebbs and flows of a knitter/crocheter! Now, we all know I'm no knitter, but I sort of want to be by looking at her beautiful work (I really die over those stirrup socks every time I see them)!

Anyway, so one day in December Meredith posted about a soon-to-be-published children's book, Extra Yarn. As soon as I heard the name, no lie, I headed straight to Amazon to pre-order it. I received the book in January and have been loving on it ever since. It has transformed itself into a coffee table book that Cory and I have on top of our wedding album! That's how much I love it!

I think the cover alone is sort of amazing; I seriously can't imagine how it could be any better. I love the mixture of texture and color with the little details, like the strand of yarn winding between the letters in an outdoors setting--so unexpected!

I love how the publisher suggested that this text is appropriate for people aged 4-8. Do you know of a knitter or crocheter of ANY age that just wouldn't love it?! I mean come on!

I am in love with the image above (^^) as the image of a girl, hooks/needles and yarn in hand, patiently walks her dog through the snow as if there is nothing more in life that she needs. I have definitely had those moments when the snow is falling and I have nothing but a good project to keep my mind occupied. Pure bliss! 

What I love most about this book is that it's simple. I miss the days of simple stories and simple ideas that truly keep our world working. Children's books are often convoluted with bright colors and extreme stories--but this is the complete opposite. The colors are used to show the magic of yarn and craft, the magic behind patience and knowing a skill, and the magic of creating. This is now my go-to gift for needleartist friends and baby showers! Love it!

What books have you discovered that put a magical twist on an art or a craft? I'd love to add them to my library!


March 12, 2012

Half a Weekend in Review..

(This is a budding tree right outside of our home! Spring is here, my friends!)

I had a "just-what-I-needed" weekend, which seems to be the theme of the weekend for a lot of bloggers I follow, too. 

This past Friday Cory and I only had a half day with our students as it was the end of the first marking period for our new semester. Essentially, this means a lot of last minute grading, finalizing and submitting grades, and getting a head start on paperwork and planning for the following week. As soon as I got home from work I got a very exciting phone call--our water heater could be replaced that day! Hooray! What an adult-y thing to say, right? Either way, I'm ecstatic as I now have consistent hot water and nothing to worry about when friends come to stay with us! Worrying about if you'll have enough hot water is for the birds!

After Cory and I did a little victory dance, we shuffled downtown to soak in the last hours of sunshine and get in a little weekend thrifting. We didn't buy anything, but we did have a lovely time. We ended our night by grabbing sushi for dinner at our favorite spot, Hinode, which lead to the best brainstorming session possible. Long story short, Cory and I designed a new craft show display AND brainstormed new merchandise for the 2012 year! Exciting! We ended the night by browsing through Barnes & Nobel with a nice cup of tea and then picking up a few materials from JoAnn's that I needed for the new products. 

We burnt the midnight oil and stayed up listening to good records and watching Netflix. By the time we found ourselves going to bed, the clock was well-past 1:00 a.m. and we were exhausted. Bed never felt so good.

Saturday I worked my little fingers to the bone on a new collection of items that I am so excited to share with you. Some of you might have already seen the Lace & Leather Cuff Bracelets that I posted over the weekend. They are so fun and SO perfect for spring! 

We had big plans for Saturday night--checking out the local mom & pop barbecue joint that is highly rated in the country. I found out about the joint after Bryan Voltaggio (local chef, runner-up on Top Chef) tweeted about it earlier last week. We met up with Rich and Beth around 8p.m. for a late dinner. We had the best time drinking out of mason jars and eating the most tender brisket I have ever had. We ended up losing track of time and taking our dinner really slow--which lead us to closing the place down. I cherish evenings like that, you know?  They are the best.

Even though Rich and Beth came back to our house for a few ours to listen to music and catch up on their wedding plans (so soon!), we didn't seem to realize that we were getting ready to lose an hour of sleep. Our friends left around midnight which  made for a short night of sleep for me, as I was planning on heading to Philadelphia bright and early Sunday morning.

...and that's where I'm going to cut this post off. I have SO much to share with you about Fiber Philadelphia I can hardly contain myself. Check back tomorrow for a complete post dedicated to our day trip to check out the Fiber Phila exhibits! 

How was your weekend? Did you have any special moments?