Wednesday, September 24, 2008

monkeyin' around

I have finally done it folks. Crossed the line into knitted items that seem silly because they are so tedious and take so much time and you have to hand wash them and you wear them on one of the most abused areas of your body -- your feet and you have to buy special shoes to actually show off all your hard work...I have finished my first adult sized sock. Meet monkey #1:
Quite a beauty I must say myself. Except I have lost the ball band and can't remember what kind of yarn it is. And I love it. And I want more. Blast!

Here's the yarn up close though:

What a gorgeous colorway huh?! Perfect for Fall. The pattern for the sock is here from Knitty. It's called Monkey.

Now I just need to buy these cute Mary Jane shoes to show them off. Oh what we knitters do for our craft.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

for the love of buttons

Yesterday, on a whim, my james and I walked over to our local antique store. I was in there last year about this time. Which at that time, there were a few more items for sale, but not much. The store is mostly filled with religious books and dishes. The smell is that familiar odor of my grandparents' basement-- old, dusty memories. The store is for sale right now and has been for about a year. Business can't be that great considering our little town is the dead end of the west side of the valley--literally.

The elderly man who runs the shop reminds me of my grandpa, who is gone now, but fondly remembered. Last time I was in the store (about a year ago) the old man was at the counter doing the same thing - "putterin' around" as grandpa would say when we asked him, "Whatcha doin' out here in the garage?"

Antique stores sometime make me a bit sad and conflicted. One side of me thinks of all the treasures abandoned. The history and personal memories of most items are forever lost. But the other side of me is overwhelmed by all the stuff. So much stuff. Thousands even millions of things that can't be taken with us when we die and sometime become burdens on those we leave behind. I left thinking, "Oh I love that fabulous water pitcher. It would look great in my dining room." The other side of me wants leave the store immediately to go home and clear out all my clutter and things I don't need or use so my loved ones don't have to deal it when I'm gone.

Anyway, on this occasion my love for colors and practical items won out (it usually does dang it!) and to add to my collection of stuff, I found this little jar treasures.

Oh how I love buttons! When I see buttons in a collection like this, it reminds me of my mom's button tin. Opening it was always a feat because the lid didn't sit right. But when you did manage to pry it open, gasp, oh the eye candy!

Opening my jar I think who's buttons were these? Did they all belong to one person? Where they on doll clothes? On a man's suit? Never even used and just tossed in the button tin for those just in case moments? I will never know but they are mine now.

He had about 2 or 3 more jars just like this one and I'm tempted to go back and purchase all of them. Justification: To support the little old man that reminds me of my dear grandpa and to let him know that yes, some people still care for old treasures - even buttons - and even when they feel conflicted about all the stuff already in the world.

Friday, September 19, 2008

chicken in da car, da car wont go, that's how you spell Chi-ca-go

Back from Chicago! What an adventure we had. We went with our good friends L & L for a few days of bummin' around the windy city. Little did we know that hurricane Ike would be visiting that same weekend. Nothing like the devastation seen in Texas, but Chicago was hit with rain like it has not seen in years. However, Ike did not spoil a bit of our fun.

When talking about what we wanted to do while in Chicago, I about fainted when Lisa casually mentioned, "We could go see this street fair called Renegade." "Are you kidding? THE Renegade Craft Fair?! It's happening this very weekend? The weekend of all weekends we chose to come? Ummm...heck yes I do!" I excitedly replied. (For those who do not know about Renegade, it is the Mecca of all amazing indi arts and crafts. NOTHING like the craft fairs we see here in Salt Lake. Nothing. Nope. Nothing.)

So while the boys happily enjoyed many pints of beers, Lisa and I with umbrellas in hand ventured out to each vendor. It's like Etsy had materialized before our very eyes!

Sadly some of the vendors had left and some of the ones who braved the rain were wet and freezing trying to keep their merch dry. But that did not stop a people from shopping. I was shocked by how many people actually were shopping in the rainy conditions. It just shows how amazing Renegade is. Here's what I managed to score...

A cute bird bag to add to my growing collection (my James just rolls his eyes at my bag obsession), some striped wrist warmers, a scarf with a cute tree on it, a necklace made of all kinds of seeds and nuts and a recycled bottle top pendant that I plan to make into a necklace.

Oh it was so hard to resist many more purchases!! People you do not understand how exhausted I was at exercising my self control. Seriously! I passed up hand spun yarn in yummy colorways, gocco prints of birds and trees and little boys with birds on their heads, jewelry of all makes and models, one-of-a kind garments, plushies and softies, felted items, handbags, ahhhh for the love of all things handmade!

Lisa and I are actually talking about going to the San Francisco Renegade sometime next year--it was THAT good!

We didn't do all the usual touristy things because we were limited on time and we're not big fans of the touristy stuff anyway. Personally my James and I have issues with crowds and would rather find some little hole-in-the-wall pub or coffee shop and watch the locals go about their daily business.

However, we did see this famous sculpture:

This is Cloud Gate. A.K.A. the big mirrored bean thing.

This one cracks me up. We look memorized. "Ooooooo shiiiiiinnyyy!"

We also went to go to the top of the Sears Tower. Here's my favorite pict.

This was in the elevator that takes you to the top. The ceiling was mirrored. It was worth the funny looks from that girl in the corner.

My James said, "Legoland!" when we saw this sight.

This is what we mostly did:

...ate amazing food and drank fabulous beer and shopped and laughed endlessly at Lisa's incredible death grip and destination speed walking (inside joke) and walked miles and miles and miles and laughed some more and marveled at the smells and sights and the stories of previous travels and got really wet and had the best chocolate cheese cake ever made by human hands and laughed some more...

...all with our bestest buddies, L & L.

"Turns out not where, but who you're with that really matters." - Dave Matthews Band

Monday, September 8, 2008

two sad little birds and one happy one

The state fair was.....ok. I regrettably forgot my camera. I wanted to get a picture of my dad's prize winning egg. However the people that set the display up not only spelled his last name wrong, but the egg is set in there backwards so the picture wouldn't have shown it off in it's full glory anyway. Seriously! It's very obvious which is the front and which is the back. The painstakingly carved out little bird was not visible. SAD! I went to one of the supervisors and told them they needed to fix it ASAP! But the kind lady explained that the display cases this year are a whole new design and they had screwed the glass fronts shut and will not be opening them until the give back day. Duh! I told the lady that that was a serious design flaw and that I would hope they change it next year. Don't worry I wasn't mean about it but I was stern.

Our good friends Lance and Lisa came with us--actually it was their idea to go in the first place. It made the fair way more enjoyable. L & L "made" us ride the giant slide, which I don't think was worth $2 a person but it was fun and now I can say that I have indeed ridden the giant slide.

There were soooo many people there! Granted we did go on a Saturday night but still. OH and the strange folk sure do come out of the woodwork for the fair! I've never seen so many mullets and shirts with the faces of country western singers proudly worn by their owners all in one place.

We saw lots of quilts and canned items and giant squash and peppers. Tiny lion head bunnies. Stinky sheep. Tons of high priced traditional fair food. The rickety fair rides and games for the kids run by the usual "carnies" as L & L called them. Sad tigers on display seemingly bored as they made endless circles around their cage. Lots of bad karaoke. Gross bathrooms. Beautiful works of fine art.

So all I have to say for next year is that I'm going on a weekday and they had better fix those damn display cases!

On another random was a good mail day! I received my purchase from The Black Apple's Etsy shop. These little buttons are sooo cute! I can't wait to put them on miscellaneous items. bags, my apron, my shoes, my dog's collar (just kidding - my James would not be too excited about that). I especially love the little bird, rabbit and tea kettle.

Here's one more random item... another little nest I found the other day in our front yard. Poor little bird. I feel so bad when I find a nest like this--so much time and labor put into it. I try not to think about the what the former owners are doing for a home. I stuck it in the coleus plants in my front yard for now.

In honor of the theme of this post, here's one of my favorite songs by The Be Good Tanyas:

Well I feel like an old hobo,
I'm sad lonesome and blue
I was fair as the summer day
Now the summer days are through
You pass through places
And places pass through you
But you carry 'em with you
On the souls of your travelin' shoes

Well I love you so dearly
I love you so clearly
Wake you up in the mornin' so early
Just to tell you I got the wanderin' blues
I got the wanderin' blues
And i'm gonna quit these ramblin' ways
one of these days soon
And I'll sing

The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs...

Well it's times like these
I feel so small and wild
Like the ramblin' footsteps of a wanderin' child
And I'm lonesome as a lonesome whippoorwill
Singin' these blues with a warble and a trill
But I'm not too blue to fly
No I'm not too blue to fly cause

The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Meet Tessa

This is Tessa. Originally named Sheldon from the Knitty pattern but renamed Tessa thanks to my friend Halen. Tessa was deemed Tessa on knitting night because it's weird to have a pink turtle named Sheldon. It's for one of my girlfriends, Jamie, who is having a baby shower tonight. I don't think I'll be knitting one of these up again. It was quite tedious and time consuming, but well worth it because I know Jamie will appreciate it and love it--she's a knitter too.

And here are some Saartje's Bootees for her as well. I've done these for other babies and Jamie always comments on how cute these are so of course I had to make her some for her baby. Her other two adorable children have dark skin (she married to an "island boy") so these colors will be great against the new babies skin for sure.

We're going to the Utah State Fair tomorrow! I'm so excited because this year my dad won the Best of Show for one of his eggs! See more about his egg hobby from an earlier post here. I'll be sure to take pictures of the prized egg and post them.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mourning Summer

September 1st. A sad day. Summer is officially over. It was around 97 degrees on Saturday. Today it is hovering around the mid 60's. Brrrrr! Although Fall is a great season, this Summer has been especially wonderful. We had a long, cold Winter and the Summer temperatures have been gloriously hot. It seems that Summer knew it was over because it is raining today--dark, cloudy, gloomy. Don't get me wrong, I love the rain and cozy, blanket, hot coffee, warm slipper days, but I'm just not ready for these cold temperatures!

I did make a fun little purchase off of Etsy today to easy the pain (oh the costly things we do to bring cheer...). I finally bought something from the Black Apple. No not the Mac kind of apple, but the top Etsy seller. I really love this girl's work. Though I didn't purchase a print, which is what she is known for, I did get some really cool little pins. I'll blog them when they arrive in the mail. Etsy is addictive! I could just spend hours looking at all the art and crafty items.

Amongst the mourning and the Etsy perusing, I've been knitting today. We've had a whirlwind weekend of BBQ's, late nights, family, and friends so to have the holiday day off to recover has been quite nice. I've been working on some Monkey Socks from Knitty. I really like them so far. I just hope they fit!