Resolution #1 Keep Learning

If one of your resolutions is to learn mesoemthing new (hello ukulele), then the folks at Bluprint have a deal for you! Especially if you’ve been wanting to learn how to knit, quill, decorate a cake, or like me, crochet a cute cactus. My friend Martha let me know that Bluprint is offering free classes until 1/7. Sign up for free and craft your little heart out this weekend.

I’ll be crocheting a cactus this weekend, what will you make? Time to get crafty my friend.

mybluprint.com

Ceramic Christmas Trees

One of my favorite things to pull out every year is this lovely painted ceramic tree that my mother-in-law Edna sent to us years ago. I beleive she painted it in the 70’s but not really sure. I love how pearly white it is, somehow kitcshy and elegant at the same time. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Obviously you can buy these ready made and just plug it in, but if you want to get your hands on an original vintage tree, you’ll need to search eBay and thrift stores. Better yet, ask your aunts and grandmothers if they may have one tucked away.

Read about the history of these DIY gems here

Holiday Gift Guide 2019

Here is a short list of some of my favorite gifts this season. Some local, some not so local.

MAYO & TOMATO T-SHIRT $30
Such great gifts at bittersoutherner.com for your southern friends, and those who want to be southern. Nothing conures up memories of a perfect southern summer day than a tomato sandwich with home-grown tomatoes and mayo. Dukes or Blue Plate… please. bittersoutherner.com

GALENDARS from $10
Friends that I gifted with Galendars last year asked where to buy some of these tiny desk calendars for their friends this year. These gals only do two shipments each season so order now so your gifts will ship on their last ship date of December 14th! Oh, and they sell out fast! galendars.com

If you’re in the Austin area you can find them at Blue Genie Art Bazaar

MDK FIELD GUIDES $14.95
If there is a knitter in your life, they need one or twelve of these. These themed, pint-sized tomes are a perfect gift. Each beautifully designed volume explores a technique, yarn, or pattern style. My favorite so far is Wanderlust. masondixonknitting.com

DZIUK’S MEAT MARKET from $6.99
In my circle of San Antonio friends it is imperative if near Castroville, to make a trip to Dziuk’s Meat Market. Their Chunk Beef Jerky is like nothing I’ve ever had before. If dried sausage with wild combos such as quail and pork smoke your meat… look no further than dziuks.com

WHEN PIES FLY $21.59
This follow up to 2018’s James Beard nominated Pie Squared will make any pie lover a happy baker. I’ll be trying the apple strudel recipe over the weekend. amazon.com

Getting Warm & Fuzzy with Rowan yarns

Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No.13

In all my excitement about the new MDK Field Guide, I remembered I have another Kaffe Fassett knitting project on the some needles… buried somewhere deep in WIP purgatory.

Earth Stripe Wrap | free pattern link below.

What is not to love about the yummy soft fuzzy color blends of the Earth Stripe Wrap? I need to unearth this ASAP.

This pattern calls for one of my all time favorite yarns, Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I’m always amazed at how something so light an airy knits up into such a warm and substantial fabric.

Rowan Felted Tweed
Earth Stripe Wrap
Rowan Kidsilk Haze
Kaffe Fassett
Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guides

PS. Pie Wagon, Squad Mitts & Afterthought Buttons and Summer Sock Knitting

Perhaps the Spider is Wiggling and Jiggling and Tickling Inside Her

Oldwoman_2

but I think it’ll be obvious where this is going. I recently unearthed this flannel board story my twentysomething self illustrated during my pre-school teaching years.  I have not drawn or water colored much since. but have been thinking a lot about how trying my hand at drawing again, and just how much I’m beginning to resemble this old lady. I mean, I’d even wear that apron. OMG! Does it not look like just like the little collage of me at the top of the sidebar? Hillarious!

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Imagine spider here

Bird

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Doggie

Goat

Horse

Grave

The Company of Women

We are not all here for this shot, but from left to right are; Emily, Stacey, Martha & Emma.

I can’t beleive it’s been a whole year! This weekend She Creates Union participated as a group in the Elgin Art Studio Tour. This time last year Emma and I were hatching an idea for a group for women makers and artists whose sole function was to fully support each member creatively while helping each other navigate branding, social media, marketing, and general business best practices.

I remember talking it up with Emily (www.paintbrushprintcompany.com) while were both doing demos that weekend at G&M Drygoods.

Community

While there are groups like BossBabesATX that organize events and meet-ups in Austin, we were interested in forming a more intimate community in our small town just 19 miles east of Austin and the neighboring towns like Paige, Bastrop, amd Lexington. We particpate here in local events and will be expanding our efforts later this year to markets in Austin and Pflugerville.

Since we formed SCU we have participated in one large festival, an art studio tour, and a couple pop-up shops. We meet once a month and talk about things we’ve been thinking about doing, things we’ve done, and generally cheer eachother on.

Whether at our monthly meeting or via our Slack channel, there is always some nudging, sometimes gently, sometimes not, eachother to raise our prices. We generally suck at pricing our work, but we’re getting better.

I recently saw this quote, “You’re priceless, your work is not.” I cannot find where I saw this yet, but wil link when I do.

Always Learning

To say we’ve all learned a lot in the past year would be an understatement. We are constantly investigating and learning as individuals and bringing our acquired knowledge to the group. Sometimes these fact finding misssions look like sitting in a sales tax class, taking an online course, or visiting a craft market or festival. It’s all learning.

Out of the Kitchen

Slowly but surely the living room studio is taking shape. I need to think a little on how to best sort and store the million little bits that I use, but I have already been able to jump in and get to work without having to haul everything out of a closet or make room for dinner prep. I love it. I highly recommend carving out your own space to make things if you can. Also, it still is cozy, if not cozier. It is now my favorite room to read, drink coffee, and write my blog posts in the morning before I scoot off to work.

The natural light in this room is perfect all day, bright and golden in the morning and softer as the day rolls on. It’s the perfect place for Olive and I to watch the parade of dogs on walks, neighbors driving their riding mowers to the gas station, and the man on the yellow bike who argues with himself all the time.

I think Bee likes it here, me too.

Three’s A Throw

I was gifted these great, wide, wooly scarves a few years ago. While each of these scarves are truly wonderful on their own, I decided they would be more wonderful and get more use if I stitched them together.

I picked a grey wool yarn to just whipstitch them. I like the contrast, and the visible stitches. Three unworn scarves are now one chunky, graphic, textural throw to hunker down for a rainy weekend of British TV and cooking shows. It remind me of a Swiss army watch for some reason.

Voila!

Hatched

I stumbled across this Kelsey Excelsior Mercury 3 x 5 at an antique hop in Carmine, Texas.

I discovered Hatch Show Prints on a 1999 DC to LA road trip with my sister Jessica. We’d spent the prior night in Asheville, NC and were headed to Memphis, along the way we stopped at the Country Music Hall of Fame. While the Nudie Suits were the initial draw for me, it’s the posters that had my full attention. I saw a sign that said the posters had been printed locally, and told Jess we needed to head there ASAP. Jim Sherraden was our tour guide. I was hooked. I could not get the presses, the wood type, and the smell of the ink out of my mind for the rest of the road trip. That road trip and accidental visit to Hatch is what inspired me to learn to print and get a publishing job. True story.

I’ll be firing up Bee this week to print some letterpress cards. Look for a shop update soon.

To learn more about Hatch Show Prints click here