Thursday, August 31, 2006

September Project

I've decided that, for the month of September, I'm going to do a small piece of art every day, to be posted here.

Last year for the Artists Among Us show that we have where I work (Remember, I'm in science- this is a big deal to me that we have something like this!), I coordinated a community art project. People were given 5.5" x 4.5" pieces of cardstock. Each piece had an arrow giving the orientation of the piece of art and the predominant color they should use. The pieces were then assembled in to a mosaic representing the things we work on (there was a leaf, a ladybug, a glass of wine and an apple). It was a fantastic project, and they've kept the mosaic hanging up for over a year. I got great response from the participants- sure we had a few people who simply couldn't be bothered, but most were cooperative enough to simply send back their unused squares to be decorated by someone else.

I have TONS of these paper "tiles" just sitting in my desk. So I'm going to do one a day. And I'm going to show them to you. Since I don't have a scanner, I'll probably have to photograph them to share here, at least until I get access to a scanner.

And now my palms are sweating, because, while I don't have a problem doing a piece a day, I have a huge problem with saying I'm going to do something and then failing to follow through. I'm not always very forgiving of myself. I guess that just means I have to do it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Activity Levels

I've been sketching, as you can see in my last post. I've also finished the sleeves for the Baby Yoda sweater, and I've begun the I-cord ties. I'm trying to once again live up to the blog's name. But it's hard, when these are your roommates-

It's a little dark, but Kouros is sleeping on the blue blanket on the left. I'm assuming the other needs no explanation.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


This is how my boy, my lovely little boy, helps me while I sketch.

He woke up when I got the camera. He had been asleep. Taking up more white space.

Mommy and Daddy

Sometimes I'm astonished at what capable parents my Dad and my Aunt have become, considering their role models as children. My parents, my Aunt Mary and my cousin were here Thursday and Friday, and hearing about their adventures at my grandparents' house, that thought struck me once again. The fighting, the bitterness, the dysfunction, the piles and piles of junk in their house- it's completely overwhelming. I look at how my siblings and I have turned out, at the wonderful, loving relationship my parents have, and I'm amazed. I think Mary had it worse. She's 18 years younger than my Dad (they also have a brother a couple of years younger than Dad), so she was pretty much brought up as an only child. She has an 11-year-old son who's a nice kid, who knows he's loved, and who's neither overindulged nor overly restricted. I noticed at my sister's wedding what a happy little family Mary, her husband and son make. They seemed to enjoy one another's company so much.

After a visit to my grandparents' house, one usually needs a debriefing session. My mom always says she's not going to talk about the trip when she gets to our house, but in the end, we talk about it constantly. You need to blow off steam and get rid of all the bad vibes. Hearing some of the stories, and specifically hearing Mary's point of view on it (mostly that things weren't that different when she was a kid living at home with them), just made me sad. I feel so fortunate to have grown up in the house I did with the parents I had.

We had a good time, though, and they all commented about what a nice, pleasant visit they had with us. Our small apartment seemed spacious after spending the week in the cramped, junk-filled house. They filled a gigantic dumpster (Mom said it was like the trailer on a semi) with all of the stuff in the garage and the old, broken down van at Grammie and Grandpa's. They were thrilled to chat and watch movies and not have to clean anything out.

I was a good time for my parents to visit for us, too. Sometimes after you've had a tough time, as we have, you just need to see your Mommy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Creative Adventures

So, I was browsing my way through the Lime & Violet message boards and somehow ended up taking this quiz (via a link from someone's blog)-

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.
Take this quiz!

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| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

The interesting part is that I'm not that adventurous in my actual knitting. I am in my head. I am in my creativity and in my art. I think this means I need to get my butt back to creating things again. My baby yoda is still coming along (1st sleeve half done!), but it's really more tv knitting. It's not absorbing.

After I finished the sets from the play I was spent, and I decided I needed to spend 2 weeks watching movies on the futon and knitting. I did that. And it's lasted a little longer than I meant for it to last, mostly due to circumstances beyond my control (unbearable heat, medical issues), but I haven't done much to get off my artistic ass and get started.

It's time. Of course, tonight I have to get cleaning because the parents are coming for a visit. Time to sweep up the kitty tumbleweeds...

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Last night was a long night. I wound up in the emergency room with severe cramping around 7pm. They gave me some lovely drugs for the pain, and I slept a lot. It was much less convenient for Carl, since he didn't really get to eat (we were at a restaurant with friends, of course, when the pain hit and I had to leave), and he was awake the entire time. I had a D&C at about 1 this morning. I'm feeling much much better, and Carl is my Mom's new hero for sitting with me for 7 hours with nothing to read but a November issue of Family Circle and nothing to eat. He's a fantastic man- I'm so lucky.

Today, I'm hanging out on the couch. I've got a couple of movies to watch. I'm knitting a lot. And I've got some good company in my wonderful husband and my furry boy.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


I'm thinking about what's next. In everything. What's my next art project? What's my next job? Where do we live next? What's my next knitting project? What's our priority now?

I'm really not going to talk about this miscarriage forever. But life was on hold for a couple of weeks there, and now I'm feeling a great need to move on. I'm not someone who sits still well... I need to do something. Anything. I'd almost rather do the wrong thing than do nothing.

As I imagine many people do, we realized there were a number of things we wished we could change before the baby came. We wished we were back in MN, we wished we were more financially ready (who doesn't?), we wished we were in jobs we found more fulfilling.

Now, we're in the position to make some changes. We've got more than 6 months. So. Now we just have to make some decisions.

I didn't register for an art class this fall, because last year I was completely exhausted by trying to fit my 40 hour work week plus 8 hours of painting into a somewhat typical 8-5 work week. Well, 7-5, actually, and I'm not a morning person. Ten hour days on Monday and Friday wiped me out, and I figured it would be even worse pregnant. I'm thinking of how to give myself some structure and do a lot of art on my own. I think something like a daily or weekly project to be posted here would give me the deadline I need. I've considered doing The Artist's Way again, too. It was good for me last time, but I'm not sure if doing it again will take me the in direction I need to go. I really want to focus on making more art. MY work, the stuff that's not assigned by a teacher, is still very immature. I need to experiment more, make more, even practice more.

We're not happy in Geneva. It's a nice enough town, but it isn't good for us. I've talked about it before, I probably don't need to say anything more. We miss the Twin Cities area, and we want to go back. But moving halfway across the country is not cheap, and it's something we need to be prepared for, not to mention we need to have some things in place there before we make the move (jobs, a place to live, etc).

It's a lot to think about.

One more thing. Thank you. So very much. Your kind words have meant more than I know how to say. I know for some, sharing this kind of thing is uncomfortable, inappropriate, unthinkable. I'm a heart-on-my-sleeve woman, much as I'd like to be cool and mysterious. I'm no good at hiding my feelings. But even more than that, I feel better expressing my feelings! I hate hiding things, dancing around certain topics and keeping secrets. Thank you for being receptive to my need to share.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I was pregnant. For 10 happy weeks and 2 awful weeks, I was pregnant. I'm the oldest in my family, and until July, the only one married. This was to be the first grandchild for my parents, and they were ecstatic! Carl and I went back and forth between being really happy, and wondering what the hell we were doing, but I've been told nearly everyone feels that way, even after the children have been around for a while. We were excited.

Two weeks ago the ultrasound revealed that the gestational sac was not as big as it should be, and while I'm no technician, it looked pretty empty to me. No little embryo in there, no little heartbeat. And we were told we had to wait 2 weeks until the next ultrasound to know anything. Unless I started to miscarry before then.

I hate the terms "threatened miscarriage" or "threatened abortion." They sound like I'm throwing a tantrum. I'll hold my breath...

Monday, we went back, and nothing had changed. Except I was no longer threatening to miscarry... I had begun. And I'm ok. I've been sad, very sad, and disappointed. However, what I thought was the worst thing that could happen has happened. And I'm ok. Carl's ok, too. It really isn't the worst thing that could happen. We know we can do it again, and the odds are in our favor that this time, I'll carry a baby to term. It's surprising how hopeful and grateful I feel- our family and our friends are so good. Such support. My favorite knitter in MN, Jenny, emailed me practically every day to check on me. How lucky am I?

I'm glad I've had this little space to think about other things- or maybe at least pretend I was thinking about other things- for the past 2 weeks. The anticipation, the not knowing, was far worse than coming to terms with the end of my first pregnancy. I over-analyzed every twinge, every single gas bubble, until I couldn't feel anything anymore. Every negative sign was followed by a positive sign and vice versa. After the first week, I simply felt like a spectator, with no clue which way things were going to go.

One thing I have discovered is the joy of knitting baby clothes. Aside from the preparation for the baby who will wear them, they're quick! They make me feel like I'm accomplishing something. They're soft and comforting, too. I've done the back and left front panel of the Baby Yoda Sweater, and I'm not going to stop. My baby won't be born at the end of February now... but my baby will still need a sweater, whenever s/he makes the grand entrance. When it's complete, I'll post a picture. Knitting therapy to the rescue again!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

More Hiking

These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago when we went hiking in Treman State Park, just outside of Ithaca, NY. They're pretty, and I haven't done much that's blogworthy lately.

It looks a lot like the other parks in the Fingerlakes of which I've posted pictures. Gorges and waterfalls. Treman is my favorite, though.

This is Lucifer Falls. I think it's absolutely beautiful.

It was pretty hot, but it was nice and damp in the woods. The part of my Plant Pathology program that I loved the most was Mycology, and I still love mushrooms. Since it was so moist, they were all over the place. I love hunting for them.

The mushroom above, although big, isn't that interesting. It's the little yellow one at the bottom of the picture that really caught my eye. Fungi can have such brilliant colors...

and such interesting shapes.

I took a Field Mycology course during grad school and it was my favorite. I had to hunt and identify a bunch of different mushrooms. The best part was we had experts around to confirm identification- so when we found delicious edible fungi, we could be confident when eating it for dinner after class. It was wonderful. I identified this little orange guy once, and he's not edible, but he's pretty. I can't remember who he is, though.

I love this one- it was the first time I'd seen this color.

Oh, and here's a really gross millipede. It's got brilliant red stripes and legs, and it gives me the willies.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Sometimes, what you think is going on isn't really what's going on.

We have some friends who've been good friends to us since we moved to NY. We were friends with them before they even started dating... and now they've been married for 3 years. There are some rather obvious differences that we've noticed, namely that they're hardcore scientists and Carl and I are crazy creative-types.

Lately, we had been feeling like we've been drifting apart from these friends. You know, Carl and I are pretty comfortable sharing our feelings on things. I'm not talking just saying you're angry when you're angry, or something like that. We've both learned how important it is to talk about feeling depressed, or feeling unfulfilled at work, or about how great a certain song makes me feel, or about how hilarious we found a certain movie. I guess we're passionate people- we get excited, we get sad, and we need to share it. They're a bit more buttoned up about things. They're less likely to express feelings. They can get very uncomfortable if there's a display of any emotion that's too strong, positive OR negative. They've seemed like they really don't want us to know a lot about what's going on in their lives, either. They seemed to be putting some distance between us and them.

I've had my undies in a bunch as of late about something, so we've not spent much time with them, my thoughts being that my unrest would make them uncomfortable. Well, lo and behold, when I finally explained, it turns out they have a similar situation. Actually worse. She seemed so relieved to talk about it. And we have plans to get together again, probably today, without all the awkwardness. I was just so wrong about it all!

I'm sorry, I know this is vague. I'd like to explain further, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to or not. I just thought it was nice that we were so mistaken about our friends' motives, and that we _are_ still friends.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


I got the Fall issue of Vogue Knitting the other day. There are some designs in it I like, such as this one:

Over all, though, I'm kind of disappointed. I'm having a hard time with this "Let's go back to the 80s" fashion revival. Are we supposed to pretend that we didn't look ridiculous the first time around? There's a pattern for a striped tunic with matching scarf- to be worn with leggings, of course- that's metallic for one stripe and angora for the other. It's so depressingly like sweaters I saw in 1987, and I didn't like them then, either.

I think the other reason I'm a bit disappointed in Vogue Knitting is because, not long after I subscribed, I started to get Interweave Knits. I LOVE that magazine. The designs in it appeal to me more, I guess. I still haven't gotten my fall issue yet, even though I've heard that some people all the way in Wales already have theirs, and everyone says it's wonderful. Bah. I'm not a patient person.

In other news- the cuff of my ugly sock is nearly an inch long. And I've swatched for a project I'm not certain whether I'll start right now or wait on a bit. We'll see.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Broken Heat and Birthdays

So, any of you been knitting? I sure haven't. Since it was about 175 degrees for the last week, I didn't do much of anything but sit and sweat. After I finished the Clapotis (see previous entry), I got all excited and cast on for my second ugly sock. But, since it was 175 degrees, I did 2 rows on my sock and haven't touched it since. Dedication, I'm tellin' ya.

Well, obviously if it was too hot to do much of anything, I've done no art lately, either. I can't imagine painting in this humidity and having it EVER dry. Well, it wouldn't dry before all the hair my boy in the fur coat is dropping stuck to the paint. Poor kitty.

So what did I do for my week of unbearable heat? I mostly sat on the futon, so no part of my body was touching any other part, showed my husband how much I love him by not touching him in any way, and stared at whatever the hell came up on the television screen. I watched a Led Zeppelin DVD, and I don't even really like Led Zeppelin. Ok, to be fair, I appreciated them MUCH more watching the DVD, because they really were geniuses... drugged-out geniuses. I think my problem with them is just that the sleepy-voiced husband listens to the classic rock station at work (did I mention that we work together all day? Did I? And then we live together in our 1 bedroom apartment at night? Did I mention that?) and they play the same 10 Led Zeppelin songs over and over. The live performance was cool. Did you know Jimmy Page has 9 inch long fingers? I swear, he does. He could wrap his fingers around the guitar neck twice without straining.

Now that it's a balmy 80 degrees, I'm feeling a little more like I could pick up the poor little sock and work on it some more.

This weekend is my dearest, sleepy-voiced Carl's birthday. He turns 30 on Sunday. I've got a stash of presents hidden in my sweater drawer (who the hell would look there right now?), and plans to take him for some Dinosaur Bar-b-que! He's a wonderful man, and the only person I could work with all day AND live with at night... without bloodshed. I love you, Carl!
Carl and Kouros, sharing a nap

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Clapotis stew

Do you ever get something stuck in your head and have a hard time letting it go? I have some problems with anxiety from time to time, and I have a tendency to worry over things until I've driven myself half mad. It's usually... make that always something I have no control over, because if I did, I'd fix it so I wouldn't have to feel the anxiety. I just obsess.

I've got something on my mind right now, and I'm trying not to sit and stew. But Blogger has been VERY unhelpful, and not allowed me to post pictures of my COMPLETED clapotis to distract me from myself. Thanks a lot, oh powers that be at Blogger! Didn't you know you were causing me to stress? Why don't you have teams of people at keyboards, ready to fix anything inconvenient to ME, the most important person in my universe? How inconsiderate.

Well, here's hoping that it works this time:

The variegated yarn is Art Yarns Ultramerino 6, color 123. The purple stripe is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK, and I think it's color 07.

I haven't blocked it, and I don't know if I will. You see, if you don't block it, then you can arrange it into the "little waves" if you wear it purl side out- which is how it was pictured in Knitty. It looks like this:

Now, sadly it needs to be packed away until it's no longer 200 degrees in our apartment. Stay cool!