Friday, October 31, 2008

way delayed

Here I go cheating again, but I did not get to finish this post yesterday. There was just too much other running around.

So here is another delayed post, about another thing in my life that almost seems like it happened in another lifetime, it was that long ago.

, my dear readers, is the mural I painted on the wall of a community center in Guaimaca, Honduras.
It says"...your seed of solidarity gives a new hope to our community".

The wall is to thank & commemorate people who have significantly contributed to the community center, many of which were based out of Berkshire County, MA.

Therefore, one of the mountain ranges represents the mountains of the berkshires, the other the mountains of Honduras.
This is lil ol' me with a close up of the mountains.

And this is a close up of the hands which is my favorite part.

This shot is really just for the purpose of scale.

For the most part, I painted this mural independently. (Shantell helped me fill in the green for the mountains.) I had hoped to do mural projects with children, but they had testing for school around the time I was there so it just didn't come together fast enough. I hope to go back to continue that project.

In total the mural took me about a week to paint. It was an interesting challenge to get paint and materials for this- I had my first hitchhiking experience as we had to go into the capital (about an hours car ride or so) to get affordable & appropriate paint.

The mural is right across the street from my friend Eddie & his families house. (They built the building & run the project there) And it's the first thing you see when you walk out of the door in the morning. It's also visible from the dirt road that passes the center.

It was a tremendous honor to be allowed to leave behind such a lasting mark and it was a great learning experience. It was the largest scaled piece I had ever painted, and the first time I had made something so publicly accessible. Although I had participated in the boarded up project, that piece itself had been created at home. I painted the mural at all hours of the day when people would watch from the road or come up and discuss it with me- what it looked like, what it's message & intent was. It was a gratifying process and I am very proud of the results.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rhinebeck, revisited.

Oh Rhinebeck, how I love thee. This year was the third annual pilgrimage for me, Meaghan & Heather. As each year has progressed we have become more experienced, and thus more intent-full shoppers. We know where our favorite alpaca yarn is- Times Remembered. We know to get to The Fold for socks that rock yarn first thing on the first day- otherwise, forget it. But there is something about it that still makes me giddy, as though it's my first time going.

Along the way, more people have been added to our brood. Greeley came for the second time this year, which I was really excited about. She's an amazing knitter and always gives good advice when mulling over measurements and substitutions when buying for projects. My friend Laura came as well. She's from the UK & a beginning knitter-which was awesome because it was all so new to her.

Anyway, on to the photos!
I love the llamas & alpacas. They seem to have so much character. Every year I daydream about a romantic lifestyle of owning land with my own animals whose fur I spin.

Me & Meg soaking up the sun. (Luckily there was some sun, because it was mighty cold this year compare to last)

This little lamb was only four days old! It was so cute, I wanted to put it in my pocket.

I love this shot because it looks like the guy in back is laughing.

Another lovely benefit to Rhinebeck is seeing all those skilled folks doing things that I can't venture into in my life, like spinning...and sickly thin lace knitting!(Though I gotta tell ya-lace knitting is not high on my "to do" list.)

And then there was the Ravelry after party. Ohhh, the after party!

Laura really had no idea what she was in for here. She just kept saying she couldn't picture what a "knitting party" would be like. Unfortunately I have no photos that accurately convey the magnitude of this awesome-ness. But there was free food and drink, lots of giveaways, lots of raffle prizes, and LOTS of amazing knitters from all over the place.

We were a bit gitty when the Yarnharlot & company asked to join our table. Well, "we" with the exception of Laura. I think she thought we were just being crazy americans exclaiming to her that we were sitting with a knitting celebrity.

Bob, another knitting celebrity, was there. But figuratively.
He got eat-ed. He was delicious.
The sky was absolutely gorgeous. (By the way, you know you are knitting obsessed when you think to yourself "that sunset would make an amazing colorway for sock yarn")
Two days of Rhinebeck glory.
And this is Rasca saying, "Um, yeah. It's cool Ma. You could put the yarn back in this bag. I''ll take care of it for you..."

And of course, here are photos of just some of my spoils...
Ah, the sock yarn.

I also got a little bit of Alpaca, the pink bamboo blend I mentioned in the last post, and an awesome ceramic mug with an Alpaca on it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


So, part of the reason I have been super busy lately is because I've been working with GSCA to organize a winter craft fair for this December! We are calling it "Give Handmade". It's going really well and we've got dates going for both Troy & Albany!

If you or anyone you know is interested, go here!
I'll of course be updating my blog as things progress as well. You know, for all three of you who read this.

On the knitting front, I've started a sweater vest (the Honeycomb pattern) with this awesome bamboo & merino blend yarn I scored at Rhinebeck.
It's coming out great & I'll be geeky sheek for the new job(s)!

Foiled & Finished

I've already been foiled on just day 2 of my attempt to blog every day this week. However, it gets to a certain point in my day that I just have to cut myself off from doing work, errands, or being on the computer in general.

However, today I'm going to try to do two posts. One now, one after my evening meeting. Maybe that's cheating, but who's to judge?

Here are my completed "Farmhouse Nutkin" Socks!
I actually finished them about a week ago, but haven't been home during day light hours to photograph them. But I love them! The pattern is simple enough that the pooling stripping of colors still looks good & doesn't take away from the design.
Here's the Specs:
Pattern: Nutkin
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock (Medium weight) in colorway "farmhouse"
New Techniques: This was my first time doing short row heels, which I liked. However, on the purl side, my increases create too much of a hole (which you can kind of see on the next photo). I think I just have to practice making it tighter.
I scored a bunch more sock yarn at Rhinebeck last weekend, but that's for another post.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Personal Challenge

In this act, Lauren will attempt to update her blog once a day for a week in order to update about all the amazing happenings in her life. We'll see how it goes.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of being in New York City. A friend and I caught the Banksy show "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill". If you're around, I'd recommend it. It's free & open for the rest of the week everyday until midnight.

Here's a list of thoughts & photos about it in no particular order...

1. The place is pretty discreet, and if you didn't know what you were looking for you might just miss it. I really appreciated that because there were people that seemed to just be stumbling upon it and talking about it without having the "Banksy" context to it.

2. Notably, there is no graffiti in the show, but it's mostly animatronics. Hot dogs sipping water in animal tanks and fish sticks swimming around in a tank and the like.
3. Having a context of what Banksy has done in the past, it was interesting to consider what this show was saying considering he has used animals in the past in manners such as this.4. Who knows, maybe it's not saying anything at all. Especially considering he was quoted as saying, "New Yorkers don't care about art, they care about pets. So I'm exhibiting them instead."5. Regardless of what he is or is not trying to say with this exhibit, it was very stimulating visually and intellectually. The "animals" looked extremely realistic and just made you rethink your environment, your food, your pets.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Easy Breezy Air

I find myself feeling anxious about not having my blog up to date. I'm not really sure why. It's not a detrimental thing in my life, and it's certainly not something I started so I could feel like I had another chore. I have to remind myself of these things.

Though it's coming in late, here is my wrap up for the June & July Project Spectrum which had an air theme (with gray, white & yellow as the color theme).

Air Element, originally uploaded by mslj88.

I got quite a few knits done- a hat, a pair of hand warmers, socks and a cardigan for my baby niecey. Well, technically the cardigan isn't actually done. I haven't found buttons for it just yet.
And in terms of skies, I was lucky enough to see many gorgeous skies over three different countries. And after all this air time, I've been spending my non-blogging time getting my feet back on the ground.