I've been in a funk over the last few days. Cranky, anxious, and agitated and I am not sure why. But today, much of that lifted after a morning visit to Fort Foster with two of my favorite girls. It could have been the chubby legs, the happy squeals of laughter, the clear blue sky, the salty air, the warm waves, or the sandy skin. But more likely, it was all of it combined. Whatever it might have been left me feeling content and for that I am grateful.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Remember when you tried everything in your power to avoid being labeled a dork? Nowadays, dorkiness is the new cool. Which is a huge relief, because I can confess my dorky nature without the fear of being judged. Not that you guys judge me. Right? If the knitting weren't enough to push me over the edge, I also love to read. As in, I would rather read ANYTHING rather than read nothing. I used to secretly read under my covers as a kid and now that I am an adult, I frequently stay up past my bedtime to finish a chapter or two.
Summertime is the best reading time for me. School is "out" for the summer, which means that I don't get in to bed and fall into a deep sleep after three sentences. I plow through books in the summer, making it necessary for me to keep a stack of books on my bedside table or I will be left reading recipes or worse other peoples Facebook pages. And this summer, I have finally mastered my system for replenishing said stash.
I used to make a mental list of all the books that came up in conversation or that I read about somewhere. Which never worked. Ever. I would find myself at the library walking in circles trying desperately to rack my brain for a hint of a title or author. Then I advanced to the paper list. Genius, right?! Except that I always left it at home. And then I got an iPhone and it changed my life. Nowadays, when I am at a bookstore, I take a picture of a book that interests me. Every now and again, I transcribe the title into my gmail tasks titled "books to read." Then (and this is the genius part, trust me) I hop on to my library's website and reserve the books on my list that are available. This means that every week or so, a lovely librarian calls me and tells me that a book that I have requested is available. I pop in, return the book I've just finished reading, grab my new book and am in and out in three minutes tops. Seriously, this system makes me more proud that anything else in my life right now. And I am not at all embarrassed to admit it.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
It's hot up here again. And I am cranky, again. It could be the heat, but it is more likely that it is just me. Some days it just happens and I can't snap out of it. I decided that I would distract myself from the heat and my mood by going to the movies. Air conditioning and someone else's drama-sounds great! I went to see The Kids Are Alright and I feel sort of duped. At some point during the winter, I read an autobiography written by four kids who lost both of their parents within months of each other. It was called, The Kids Are All Right. Guess what I learned today. Just because a movie and a book have the same title doesn't mean that they tell the same story. So that was disappointing and altho the movie was packed with great actors, I wasn't all that engaged by it. Plus, I needed the theatre to be "put-on-your-sweater-cold" but it wasn't. The cranky ensued.
Midway through, an idea sparked. After the film, I grabbed a milkshake and went to the Christmas Tree Shop. You know, just to browse. I didn't even get a cart, I got myself a basket. It filled itself a little bit too quickly and with little self control. It found the berry bowl that I was looking at on etsy. It's not the same, but it still has such a sweet feeling to it.
It also picked up some more serving plates and bowls. When my friends were here over the weekend, I kept feeling like I didn't have the right sizes in my cabinets. All of my dishes were too big or too small, hopefully these two are just right.
It also picked a couple sets of "made-specifically-for-girls-who-are-going-to-college-sheets." I couldn't resist. They had bright stripes and polka dots and whales. This is a big deal for a purely white sheets and linens girl. They completely clash with my headboard and my yellow walls, but they m
ake me smile and look forward to crawling into my bed despite the fact that it is going to be humid tonight. All-in-all, the perfect pick-me-up after a bummer of a day.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I wanted to catch you up on all of the shop happenings. We may be in-betwen heat waves here in the Northeast, but I am still busy filling up the shop in preparation for Fall and Winter. I even made my poor friend visiting from Brooklyn model my scarves and neck warmers! Don't worry, I paid her back in maple bourbon steak tips from The Meat House.
These bow tie scarves seem to be getting some great attention. Many in the shop are knit with organic Moorehouse Yarn which means they are soft and cozy and come in fantastic colors.
Doesn't this photo remind you of the pictures that used to be in our mother's knitting books and magazines? This great, textured scarflette is cozy and comfy. Perfect for a fall night.
A friend requested a set of onesies for a new mama that she knows. I hadn't done appliques in a while and procrastinated on getting them done. But once I sat down and did them, I had the best time. It was fun to go through all of my fabric scraps and think about what shapes would work. I think that they came out pretty well. Anything to spice up a traditional onesie!
As you know, I am on a new yarn ban. Do you know that?? Well, I am. I have plenty of yarn in my possession that I should not have to buy new yarn unless I get a custom order. This hat came from my current stash. I am still pretty fixated on cables. I plan to knit up a few more of these over the next few weeks. They are a great stash buster.
I got an inquiry about making the bow-tie scarf in red. Duh, right?! Luckily I had some red yarn left over from a baby sweater I knit up in the spring. I think that it looks great and a perfect color for the style. There should be lots more coming before the end of the summer. Can you believe that we are more than half way to fall?!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I'm exhausted after a fun-filled weekend with friends. We engaged in lot's of local activities and did our part to stimulate the local economy. Farmers markets, local festivals, dinner at the best lobster pound, and trips to the beach. Before they embarked on their five hour trip back to the city, I made one last meal for us to enjoy together. I picked up some sticky Cinnamon Swirl Bread from Saturday's market and used it for french toast this morning. I've done this before with another local cinnamon swirl bread, but this loaf surpassed all others. It was gooey and sweet and the perfect thickness. Add a side of bacon and use the maple syrup that you helped to boil down back in the spring and all is well with the world.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
When you live here, you get lots of company. Which I love. It has been key to my mental health since moving away from the city. In truth, I moved here knowing a total of three people who lived within 15 miles. Three is not a lot, especially coming from New York where I had established myself socially and was surrounded by new and old friends on a daily basis. I've learned how much I love being by myself much of the time, but I also realize that all that alone time makes me cherish the time I have when folks come up for a visit.
It's safe to say that I get excited for company. There's a prep to it. As much as I would like you all to think that I live a "company-ready" life, that is not the case. That's mostly because I am lazy and easily distractible. And since I am being honest, I still get a thrill from knowing that I don't have to clean up. See, my mother was one of those folks who maintained an
unbelievably clean house.
I'm talking about permanant vacuum lines in the carpets, needless to say, I have yet to move out of the rebellion phase. Aside from cleaning up the place, I also like to bake up a little something to snack on and there's grocery shopping to do and making sure the guest room isn't too covered in cat hair.
But the extra effort is
usually well worth it. It results in me getting "filled up." I get a chance to reconnect with good friends, enjoy cocktails on the porch, eat lobster by the sea, go bowling, mini-golfing, outlet shopping, swim in the local pond, visit the nearest creamery...
basically, I get to be a tourist in my own home.
Monday, July 19, 2010
On a steamy 90+ degreeday last week, I was invited to have dinner with a friend of mine (yogamama) and her family. Yogamama and I became close last year while working at a job that caused us both an immense amount of distress. She became my sanity from 8-3 andwas the only one who made me feel both sane and justified. Initially we bonded over our situation, but our friendship quickly grew beyond that. She is a reader, politically informed, a yogi, and just plain kind. I'm not sure she realizes how much her alliance saved me.
While her husband and two boys and I endlessly complained about the recent heat wave and immense amount of humidity in the air, Yogamama stayed quiet. Turns out, she is one of those folks who is cold all of the time. This is something I can't imagine as I can never get cool enough (with the exception of my feet). We talked about down slippers and how to keep her hands warm while working on her computer and came up with fingerless mittens. Two days later, I had an email request from Yogamama for a pair knit up in warm colors (red, yellow, orange). A perfect weekend project, right? And just what I needed. I'd never knit up gloves before. Mittens, yes; gloves with actual fingers-no. (Don't tell her that though!) I was up for the challenge and ready to learn something new. (On a side note, what did
knitters do before the internet? What did anyone do before the internet??)
I really enjoyed knitting these up because they required just enough brain power while learning some new techniques. I wasn't stuck counting and recounting. I could take it to the beach, knit in front of the tv, and be impressed with myself all at the same time! Highly gratifying. I also love this yarn. It isn't the first time that I have used it. Don't these colors remind you of fall? Just looking at them makes me excited for the cool crisp air! I'm also thinking that these might be a perfect Christmas gift. (Is July too early to start thinking about Christmas? Oh my, am I becoming my mother?) Hopefully, these guys will keep Yogamama's hands warm throughout the winter. I can't wait to give them to her!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I wanted to share my newest scarves and neckwarmers with you guys first! I have lots of new favorite that I think you guys will enjoy as well!
First there is my Blue and White Diagonal Striped Scarf. She is a huge favorite and gets bought up quickly.
Then I've got this fun Pink Scarf with Fringe. It's a playful scarf that will brighten up the dreariest of days.
Here is my Green Felted Scarflette. So cozy! And a perfect weight to carry you from fall to winter.
And then another Teal Blue Pebble Scarf with a Smooth Stone Button. I love, love, love this guy! The texture, the length, the button. Maybe I will keep it!
Finally, I have the Plum Bow Tie Scarf. Knit with organic wool, he is soft, cozy, and trendy!
Posted by MB by Brigid at Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
At the end of a harder day of teaching in NYC, I used to look at my assistant teacher and tell her that tomorrow would be a better day. It was in part to boost our spirits and in part to convince her to come back the next day. Working in special ed has its very defeating days and it is on those days that you need reminding of the remarkably successful days. Yesterday was one of the first defeating days of my crafting career. As I drifted off to sleep last night, I silently reminded myself that tomorrow would be a better day.
Today has lived up to that mantra. I just needed
to regroup. And it hasn't exactly been exciting, but it has been just what I needed. A trip to the local farm for some fresh fruits and veggies. Since having company here over the 4th, I have been eating like crap. Today, I took full advantage of using my fresh ingredients and spent a couple of hours cooking. I love how I feel when I am prepping meals and really investing in the food that I am putting in to my body. Especially after sustaining on french fries and fried food this last week. While cooking, I caught up on my favorite Sunday morning news shows and listened to a favorite political podcast. And after this, I look forward to sitting on the porch reading Maine Magazine. Have you read this magazine? It is gorgeous. Stunning really. It is filled amazing photographs of the Maine I want to live in.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
I woke up bright and early this morning, finished packing up the car and was on my way to the fair. The weather was hot and soupy, not the best kind of day for sitting out in the sun. And less-than-ideal for selling hand-knit goodies.
When I got to the field, I was able to pull my car right up to my booth and unload. I was by myself, so that was great. I had decided not to buy a tent this week, I wasn't sure if I would be able to get it up on my own and also wasn't convinced that I needed one. After unloading, I parked the car and came back to set up my table. I was really pleased with how it looked, the colors popped off the white and it really came out the way that I had hoped. I am still thinking of better ways to display my scarves, but the drying rack worked for today. I had a chance to meet my "neighbors;" a man who sold his wife's jewelery, a candlemaker, and three alpacas. Yup, I had llamas as my neighbor. I wasn't sure if this was good or bad luck.
As the fair opened and folks started wandering through, I received such great feedback. It was really neat to hear what people think and notice the things that folks were drawn to. My pom-pom hats were a favorite, as were all of my various hair accessories. After about an hour, I made my first sale. A woman purchased a pom-pom hat and a neckwarmer.....as toilet paper covers. Seriously. I couldn't make this up if I tried! I was thrilled to make the sale, but I little disappointed about their new purpose.
Just as she walked away, the clouds rolled in. Do you think that I was prepared? Did I bring a tarp? How about an umbrella? Trash bags at least? NO. I did not bring any of those things. They did not make it on to my never-ending list. So glad that I decided NOT to get a tent. Lesson learned the hard way. Thankfully, my candle-making neighbors offered one of the sides from their tent which worked as a great cover and kept everything dry. We all hoped that it was a passing shower, but as I checked weather.com on my phone, it quickly became clear that we were in for at least four hours of this. Which might have been fine if I had a tent. Or if we weren't in a soaking wet field. So, after assessing the situation and looking at what the other vendors were doing, I decided to pack it up. Disappointed and soaked to the bone, I treated myself to a milkshake on the way home followed by a long nap. Maybe I'll stick to indoor craft fairs from here on out.
Posted by MB by Brigid at Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Since my last post, I have figured out how to successfully cool my apartment and thus, regained my sanity. I received such great ideas and support about how to best set up my craft table. It was really fun for me to see this blog in action! It also helped me get over myself and passed the creative block that I was having. While I still am fine tuning, I feel like things are coming together and Saturday's Fair isn't going to be a disaster! Here are some quick photos of where I am at. As always, let me know what you think works and doesn't work. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
I found the glass display case at my local Marshall's.
A sign up sheet, made in the hopes of getting some sort of newsletter together.
I tried to keep all of the text in the same vain as my logo and easy for customers to read.
A bowl for my hand-knit wash cloths.
These hat forms were such a great find!! A perfect way to display my pom-pom hats.
Posted by MB by Brigid at Thursday, July 08, 2010