Chevalier Mittens and Blog Feature - Part 1

With school going full force, sometimes I need a bit of quality time with my knitting needles. I've been pining after the Chevalier Mittens from Made by Myself for quite some time. I've also been trying to burn through some stash yarn, so this project was perfect for that lone skein of brown Cascade 220 that was taking up room in my closet. I started them in the morning, and got just past the cuff.
A few episodes of Battlestar Galactica later and I'm almost finished with the first mitten. I really want to finish these so I can wear them. It is SO cold outside today!
I also wanted to start featuring some of my friends' blogs. First up is the blog of my BFF, or as some may think, my brother from whom I was separated from at birth, Tony. His blog, After Fighting For Hours, traces his journey from Wisconsin to Vegas, and his (sometimes elitist- haha ) epiphanies along the way. It is good reading, and sometimes I make an occasional appearance there as well. Here is a picture I stole from his blog of our trip into Chicago from last summer:

Studio Clean Up and 'Old' New Work

I've finally gotten around to posting some pictures of my newest watercolor paintings.



I've had a bit of a slow start to the semester for more than a few reasons, but I'm working past them, and getting moving this week. I cleaned out half of my studio, and organized the other half. I wanted to have a blank canvas, a fresh start.
This is the 'business' end of the studio. I switched out the old couch as well and replaced it with a different one. I'll be posting some new paintings soon!

Hopes and Dreams

If you have ever met my Grandpa C, I'm sure you've heard about all of his 'Grandbabies,' and each of our accomplishments. :)
Yesterday, my cousin Alissa, placed first at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships! We are so happy!
If you want to see it for yourself, here are links to the short program and the long program.
She has worked so hard for so long, and it is SO great to see her accomplishing her dreams!
In fact, if you meet my G-pa, you will hear about how all of his grandbabies are reaching for and accomplishing their dreams. The figure skater, the dancer, the hockey player, the accountant, and the artist. I am so thankful for having such an amazing family.
(the artist, the skater, a friend, and the dancer)

Alissa, this is your time, and we are SO pround of you!

Love,
The Artist

A Beautiful Morning

I had the morning off today, which was wonderful. I was supposed to go in to the university, but my meeting got canceled so I am curled up on the couch this morning with the sunlight beaming through the windows. I've been listening to the 'This American Life' podcast, sipping coffee, and listening to Blitzen Trapper, Bon Iver, and the Fleet Foxes. If you haven't heard their newest albums, you really should. They are wonderful.
This week I've got some pieces up in the Graduate Gallery - Gallery 214 right now in a show that Kim put together called 'Pin Up'. It is a sampling of works on paper and works in progress done by MFA students here at NIU.
I've got some of my formica sample paintings up. Feel free to come see them in person!
The gallery will be open all of this week, and also on Thursday night to coincide with the opening of the faculty show in the Jack Olson Gallery.
Yesterday I started the daunting task of cleaning and rearranging my studio. I think it needs a few more hours work, but I think the new setup will help my productivity. I'll post some pictures when I am finished though, right now it looks like an art supply store exploded. Here are some of my paintings in progress. They have a long way to go still... Lastly, I've been contemplating cutting my hair super short, but in the meantime I cut myself some bangs. I wear my hair up most of the time, and I was sick of it looking drab, hence, bangs.
Much better.I hope you all are having a good morning as well.

Brrrr!

It has been a little cold this last week. The lowest it got on my car's thermometer was -22, and that was without the wind chill. This is the Kishwaukee River, I took it on my walk to class on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, it was completely frozen over.
All this cold weather has had me knitting and weaving like a madwoman. My favorite project has been this scarf which is turning out really well. It is going by very quickly, which is good because I really want to wear it!
I'm weaving a scarf from the same yarn (ModaDea - Tweedle Dee) and it is about halfway done as well. I'm still spinning as well. I want to spin enough of my llama fiber to make a sweater. I'm in the process of looking for patterns, but I'm thinking of just winging my own pattern instead....The cold weather has also prompted my amazing sense of style. Take note: Jeans + Leggings + Christmas Socks + Nate's Socks = SO UGLY, but warm! Oh the sacrifices we have to make for warmth. I hope you have all found some more fashionable ways to stay warm!

Sunday Nights

This is how I've been spending my Sunday Nights the last 6 months or so. Good friends, good food, and of course, knitting.
Here are Carolyn, Kathy, and Mary:
Mary and Heather:Myself and Carolyn:Carol and Trixy:
We are missing quite a few other regulars in these pictures, so I'll try to take some more soon!

Weddings Galore

I shot another wedding last weekend, our friends Lesleigh and Tony got Married, and I've just started the editing process. Here are some pics of the oh-so-beautiful bride getting ready. :)More to come at a later date...

Yarniness - Odds and Ends

So I went home for X-mas, and I saw these huge presents under the tree and thought to myself, why did my Mom get me big body pillows, that is strange... Upon opening the gifts, I found myself much less confused. Instead of body pillows, she had gotten me some llama roving from another hockey mom (don't confuse my mom with Sarah Palin please, she doesn't wink at the end of her sentences - haha). I've already spun some of it up, and it is very warm and easy to spin.
There is also some amount of veggie matter in the fiber, so it probably won't be suitable for against-the-skin wearing, but I can either line what I make, or stick to outerwear/blankets/slippers etc. I'm SURE I'll find plenty to do with it. It is such a lovely shade of gray, and I think I'll have fun both leaving it natural and over-dyeing it.I also got this little pretty as a gift. Yeah I know, I already have a nice DSLR, but I've been wanting something that is a little easier to take with me in my travels when I'm not taking 'real' pictures. The big selling point of this camera was that the manual mode is easy-peasy to use, and that it has a recharchable lithium battery. I am smitten.
And remember those mittens I was working on, well, they are gifted and gone now. I made a pair for both of my sisters, and here is Molls, my youngest sister, modeling hers. Look how perfectly they match her jacket and snowpants! This is pure coincidence since I had no idea she was getting a jacket for x-mas. Amazing right?
And here is something I'm knitting for myself. Just another cowl. I actually cast off on this yesterday, and I'm working on a pattern, so I'll have some nice modeled pics as soon as I can get the husband to cooperate and take them. :)
I've been fairly busy this last week getting prepared for next semester. I feel like break flew by especially fast this year. I start teaching and classes this Monday, and I'm feeling fairly prepared. I'll be teaching a figure drawing class this semester, which is one of my favorite things to do/teach, so I am excited. I am also taking fibers, painting, and contemporary art history. Wish me luck! I'll need it!

Through the Lens Photography

I've been playing around with my camera lately, after seeing some beautiful photographs online somewhere using the "through the lens" photography method. Basically, all you do is take an old camera with a viewfinder (I am using an old Kodak Brownie camera) and I pointed out my window, and then I took a picture of the viewfinder with my Nikon D50.
I played around with the top one in Photoshop, but the bottom one is straight from the camera, no editing.
I really love how they are turning out, and I am planning to do a series of these this next semester that relate to my studio work.

Goodbye, Hello


"Love would never leave us alone,

Against the darkness there must come out the light."
--Bob Marley


In this new year I am wishing for love, health, happiness,
and most of all healing to those around me. I hope we can all focus on the
important things in life, and avoid being pulled down by the little things.