Shopping Experience…

Over the weekend, I went to the craft store.  It was a store I hadn’t been in in a long time, based upon the expiration date of my discount club card thingy.  (It said it expired in 2015…)  This store has everything my meandering creatives heart could desire—fabric, sewing patterns, craft books, yarn, jewelry bits and bobs, paper supplies, scrapbooking supplies, fine art…and enough aisles in between to keep my youngest entertained for a bit as well.

I went in specifically because I just found out about Dina Wakley’s multi-surface journal for mixed media…it has cotton rag paper pages, kraft paper pages, untreated canvas pages, and burlap pages.  I spent a week after seeing that journal online before I could see it in person and decide, yes, I want this.  It was another week before I would buy one—and it’s a good thing I waited because it was on sale when I bought it.  The thing is—I wanted another one.  That is how I ended up at this particular craft store this weekend—looking for another one.

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Playing in new Dina Wakley multi surface art journal

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They didn’t have the journal I was after—but they had a lot of other stuff.  I’d like to tell you what, but much of it will be turned into gifts so I cannot disclose the contents.

I am just happy that I found this store again—because it has everything I want in it and more.

A funny thing happened, though, while I was in this store.  In this store, during an incredible store-wide sale…not everything was on sale—it just felt like it.

After I found out about the multi-surface journal, I went to YouTube to seek out videos about it, about what it was, about what people were doing with it…and watching a YouTube video by a fellow artist I follow is exactly how I found out about this journal anyway…I watched so many videos of people working in this journal.  One thing that struck me was how many supplies some people have—because some of the videos were not just hey, watch me play in my journal—they started out as hey, look at my haul, or look at my supplies…and moved into working in the journal.  So, my curiosity was piqued over several products I saw.

Now, fast-forward to being in the store, looking around.  I am not quite in need of fabric yet—I have a stash and I have some patterns I want to play with before I get really into buying fabrics and sewing bits again.

I did buy two skeins of dishcloth cotton, because I have a stack of knitted dishcloths to make and I loved the color and it was one that I don’t see too often…so I grabbed two skeins of it.  Now, I have been having trouble finding a DK weight yarn that I like in the stores I usually shop at (and I try to shop local before shopping online—and I have a budget to stick to)…this store had several yarns that were lovely and DK weight…I think I might still have to go to Knitpicks to buy my DK weight cotton yarn, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.  I have plenty of yarn and patterns in my to be done pile to keep me busy for a while yet…and now my youngest is intent on learning to knit – he has his own needles and his own yarn and we started lessons last night.  If I can get him to pay attention and understand what’s going on…and not drum with the knitting needles every time he touches them … I may be able to give this child something that will help calm and focus him…so fingers crossed there…it will be a trip, I know.

I looked through the paper crafting section—which includes mixed media…no journal that I wanted to be found—but lots of other things, so many things on sale, so many things on clearance…and it hit me…I may want to TRY this product, but I don’t really see me incorporating it into my art or any other work in a cohesive or constant way enough to justify getting it.

That was the weird thing.  I have enough supplies to keep me busy.  I have supplies I love to work with—and there is plenty of experimenting to be done with everything I have yet.  The new stuff looks cool…but right now, I don’t want it.  I have more than enough to keep me occupied.  I’m sticking with what I have and delving deeper into that…and letting the rest go until something jumps out at me…like this journal…

I’ll talk more about the journal itself later…in another post.

Until then…


Duncan’s First Adult Baby Surprise Jacket

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Dun's ABSJ

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My darling boy wants me to knit him…sweaters, pants, hats, blankets, jackets, toys, houses, rockets, cars…as in full-sized cars, rockets, houses…if I could knit everything he wanted me to as fast as he thinks I could knit, I would be AMAZING…but I am not fast…and I am frequently distracted…although I keep working.

So, the finished product is a wonky uneven thing—through no fault of the pattern, please know.  I cast on this jacket just a few days after getting home from the hospital after surgery and I was still taking my prescription narcotics…to say I wasn’t all there at the time…understatement…I just didn’t realize it until later.

I cast on the correct number of stitches.  I marked the first double decrease properly…but I misread the second double decrease spot…instead of marking stitch 52—I marked stitch 57.  In the grand scheme of most things, this wouldn’t have caused much issue…except gauge with this little jacket is 2 stitches equals one inch.  I didn’t realize my mistake –as I do not count stitches with every row—until I got to the double increase part…by then, I was just going to keep going and figure things out once I finished.  Which is what I did.

Once I reached the end of the knitting…I went to sew up the shoulders…and found out one arm was way too thin for my boy’s arm…that’s where the first issue showed itself.  The second issue is that the one side isn’t squared as it should be, since the decreases/increases were off…so the front ends of the sweater are…asymmetric.

In order to make the sleeve fit, I picked up stitches and added width to the sleeve…and to balance it out, I did the same on the other side, only I knit up just a couple rows.  That was more for look than for utility.  I made sure the sleeves were the same depth.  I also added length to the sleeves, whichi s part of the pattern.  The shoulder seams sewed up with no issues.

I added a collar by picking up stitches and knitting back and forth until I liked the look of it.

I have emoji buttons to sew on it, because the boy wants to wear the jacket…especially now that it is seventy-degree temperatures around here…Spring has finally arrived…

As soon as he tried the jacket on, he demanded I knit him pants to go with it…he wants his favorite yellow and rainbow – my ABSJ is “rainbow” colored according to him…uhm…he may be waiting on those pants for a bit.

The main body of the jacket was made from Lion’s Brand Hometown USA yarn in Pittsburgh Yellow and Madison Mustard.  I also used some…something,…I had two balls of something laying about that I double-stranded to add in his stripes.    The Hometown USA yarn is thick and heavy.  He likes it.

I am planning to make him another one.  I had already planned to make him another one long before I messed the first one up.  The second one will be made from Loops & Threads Charisma…again yellows and again stripes, ‘rainbow’ stripes.  Other than actually following the pattern properly this time…I plan to add a collar again.  And maybe pockets.  I am also planning to make myself another ABSJ—and it needs a collar and pockets…I didn’t realize how much I love pockets before I made my own first ABSJ—with no collar (which is fine) and no pockets.  The funny thing is—the boy needs pockets to put his rocks and whatever else he finds to collect in…I need pockets to put my hands in…

Both of these projects are on the to be done pile…I am working on something else right now.  More on that later.


How Is It April Already?

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I forgot that this was April.  I forgot it was National Poetry month.

Honestly, I just flipped the calendar over to the new month yesterday and didn’t notice a thing.

However, I still get emails.  Today, on the 5th, is the first day I received anything that said anything about Poetry month.

On top of that, I know that the 100 Day Project began two days ago.  I have had plans for this year’s 100 days project for a while.  And it fits in beautifully with Tara Leaver’s free 7-day challenge that started today.

Last week, due to the 100 Day Project, I was cognizant enough to pick up paint specifically for my project.  I bought three colors of postcard-sized cardstock, I think back in December (brown, white, black).  I’m not worried about starting late, because with our days, I never thought I would make one thing a day for one hundred days—but I did want to make 100 things within the time allotted.  So I had planned to set up space one day during the week and paint out as many cards as I felt up to…and then work on the individual cards throughout the coming week as I felt able.

Plus, I got an extra push this morning when I received an email from the Kindness Rocks Project suggesting that we leave Random Art of Kindness cards as an art abandonment project.  My original idea was to make up 100 art cards, write or doodle or something (that part hasn’t gelled up quite yet) and then … leave them for people to find…

So—what am I babbling on about here?

The fact that I have four days of poetry to catch up on…and it’s time for me to start my 100 pieces project…as well as making sure I take more than enough time to rest rest rest, recuperate and heal.  Luckily, I can smoosh and splash paint while sitting on the couch…because I am so worn out at the moment…if I had only a few spoons a day before surgery, right now I have one spoon per day…and an energetic five-year-old on top of that…

I will be posting my work as I go along…

Thanks for listening.