Craft Attack MuthaF*****

Happy Wednesday! I’m quite excited today, because later tonight is my monthly craft night with my favorite ladies in StitchCraft! I found these lovely ladies on MeetUp.com which is a great social planner for people new to a city or just looking for new social events to attend. For a solo-crafter like myself I have so enjoyed meeting so many crafters, whether they are knitters, crocheters, wool spinners/dyers, seamstresses, quilters, paper artisans… the list literally could go on, because there are so many wonderful people doing AMAZING things out there now. I wanted to share briefly the things I have come across lately/am in LOVE with in the world of crafting.

1. American-Made / Organic Fabrics

Let me just go ahead and inform you that cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide filled crops that we come into contact with on a daily basis. Seriously, now think about your sheets, your clothes, your lady products, your toilet paper, paper towels….. AHHHHH. I am SO ELATED to see Joann’s jump on board with an Organic Fabric line and boy is it pretty. The patterns are just so unique and visually marvelous. They are $10.99-14.99/yard though, so definitely wait for a 50% off coupon to purchase. I have only seen these in a few Joann’s stores though, I can’t seem to locate them on the website.




I’m seriously getting that panicky feeling only other crafters know right now looking at those bolts. The ‘oh man, maybe I need to leave work right now and go buy them all because what if it sells out and what if I can’t add it to the already ENORMOUS pile of WIP fabrics I have at home… ANGST.” Joann’s is also offering an “American-made” fabric line that is stunning as well. With 27 different designs and patterns it is great to see such a large chain offer something that is important to the spirit of ‘locally-made’ and responsible crafting.

Daisy On Vine Blue

I know not everyone supports shopping at a large chain like Joann’s so please check out your local fabric and sewing stores, often the smaller local shops have the best quality and respond to consumer desires faster than a giant store. My local sewing spot is The Needle Shop on Addison and Lincoln in Chicago. They offer so many different styles of rotating apparel and upholstery fabrics. Every time I go in there I think I touch and look at each bolt for 5 minutes.

2. Yarn/Crochet/Fiber Arts

I mean, I can’t even begin to share all the wonders I see daily regarding fiber arts. I’m continually inspired and awed at how crafters are able to dye/spin/manipulate and then create a gorgeous fiber item. A few of my favorite people/shops/stuff/events are:

knitxmidwest 2 – they are having a second one this year! you betchyer ass i already reserved 5 spots!

heyjenrenee – equal parts rad mom and epical knitter (plus rowan ambassador, GAPTASTIC Cowl Designer, knitxmidwest founder, the list goes on)

YarnBox – a monthly yarn delivery service that lets you sample and knit with 1/2 skeins of indie and small batch yarn producers. I seriously have LOVED being a YarnBox member. There is a wait list now, but it is worth it. Last month I got gorgeous yarn from Switzerland for christ’s sake!

Susan Crawford – the retro knit goddess.

Plus, because fiber arts are booming – so many people are creating top-notch patterns and even giving them away. Check out Ravelry before you ever buy a pattern chances are it is on there. But, if you into supporting indie pattern designers, there is no bad karma in donating or purchasing patterns from their websites/etsy.com stores/ravelry. Pay it forward my crafters!

What kind of things are inspiring you with the season change? Do you find that you change your craft entirely or just augment what you work on? Further, if anyone would like to share their thoughts and opinion about organic fabrics and/or large chain consumption I would love to hear you thoughts.

xxx
GFK

LET’S GET ALL SQUISHEE.


At the beginning of March I made a little ‘to-do’ list and I just wanted to revisit that and set some new intentions for Spring now that we are really getting into some wonderful weather.

1. Go to the dentist. I did it! After what seemed like decades of bad news at the dentist, I finally received an ‘outstanding’ review and found out more about my options for dealing with my 15 year old root canals. Since the integrity of my teeth is really great, the dentist told me I would have these ‘dead-teeth’ for a long time and could go with a ‘less invasive’ method of crowns for fixing the color issue I have going on. CUTE! I know right!? Anyways, maybe prepare yourself for the panic stricken dental posts that will begin to show up as I embark on this endeavor in the next six months.

2. Cheapskates are the BEST skates! Well my cheapskate lifestyle is really gaining momentum. I’ve managed to stop consuming new clothing and housewares items. I’ve cut my shopping bill to reflect a sustainable, yet low amount each week. I’ve even gone so far as to price compare at several store and online for the items I consume regularly. I signed up on Amazon’s FREE Subscribe and Save plan for several reoccurring items that I use such as face wipes, wet ones for the cats, allergy medicine, floss, toothpaste, vitamins, Vega protein powder, and lotions. The great thing about the subscription plan is that you can save up to 15% off each item and you can choose the frequency of how often you’d like to receive the item. Then you receive all your monthly subscriptions on the same day depending on your frequency selection. PLUS you can cancel or opt out of it at any time. It’s really a great program and there are quite a few discounts/coupons floating around that take 30% off your first Subscribe and Save enrollment. I even called up my current satellite and internet providers and negotiated new cheaper plans – and somehow got SHOWTIME and STARZ for FREE!!! (for three months). Cut my monthly bill by $30 calling on both! đŸ™‚

3. Lent. Going strong with my GIANT reduction in froyo. Thank goodness. Adios frozen yogurt. I’ve only had it twice all of Lent. However, now is probably not a good time to ask me about all the Easter Candy and limited edition sugar I’ve consumed in place. SAY SUMTHING!

4. Positive Energy. In this goal I have made the most improvement. I really did kick the negativity to the curb. Both in my personal and professional life I’ve made immense efforts to be positive. Don’t get me wrong I’m still emo as hell sometimes and will readily drop a UGH MY LIFE IS OVER in jest (well mostly jest), but I’m not focusing on the negative. Life is wonderful right now and the fact that I am rocking it, is just glorious. I worked really hard to get here – I’m healthy, I’m sober, I’m busy, I’m creative, I’m excited and most of all I’m able to love myself and the great family and friends that have my back. I owe a lot to PMA and to my support group. I’d also just like to give a huge kudos and squeeze to my ‘heterolife mate’ and life-seester Tannith – she has been my sounding board and a great friend in all these changes despite being such a stupendous wife and mother to her own family!

For some new intentions I really want to find a balance in fitness. I love working out – for the physical results, but also for the mental benefits. I rejoined an online Yoga site to practice some things at home and so far I’m loving it. There is deep twisting for detoxification and wonderful work for tight shoulder (because the chiropractor visits are few and far between) and hamstrings. I think keeping with my existing cardio regimine but adding yoga to the mix will be splendid. Further, I really want to focus on being a leader and student in my health, crafts, and relationships. I’m so grateful I have this moment to be proud and look at all the gifts I’ve given myself.

See I told you I’m all squishee.

BARF RAINBOWS.

XXX
GFK

Denver April 2014

Home Sweet Home. Well sweet old home. I flew into Denver for a quick visit Friday through Monday and boy was it fun! I got to see my family, go for a wonderful hike, eat some delicious food, finish my fantasy sleeve, hung with my badass super babe crew, visited Allegro Coffee headquarters, and attended a Game of Thrones premiere party! I will do a separate post on the Allegro visit and the Game of Thrones party in the next few days. Let’s roll the footage!

first stop!  The Curve for some effing good green chili.
first stop! The Curve for some effing good green chili.
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it's time to work on something else!
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it’s time to work on something else!
my homie TWINKIELOVE24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo
my homie TWINKIELOVE 24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo

CHECK OUT HER WORK HERE đŸ™‚

the artist known at twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
the artist known as twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
the Allegro Cafe - super amazing there.
the Allegro Cafe – super amazing there.
BEST VISIT EVER.
BEST VISIT EVER.

Lois Came for a Visit

Lois – my mom (and my nickname for her) came to visit over the weekend. I was so glad to just hang out, run errands, and eat super tasty food with her. Honestly, I forget that I’m here alone, because of social media and phones. But, I LOVED having her here even if it was for a few short days.

We both started watching Chicago P.D. and got addicted.

Don’t worry I don’t have my mom come all this way just to watch TV! We were working on our Heliopath KALs!

1/2 way done with the cable pattern!

Then, I have been on the market for some vintage Pyrex – but I’m still too cheapskate to pay the retail prices for it now. I mean, all the sellers know it’s popular at the moment so for a set of 4 nesting bowls it’s common to see $100 price tag attached. I’m more into the designed square refrigerator ones so it’ll take time to ease in to that hobby. BUT. We went to this great Vintage/Retro Kitchen store in Chicago called Jazze Junque and it was way cool. She had loads of vintage Pyrex, $500 cookie jars, plates, mugs, kitchen sets, glasses – I was in heaven.

I got this Simpsons gem for $2! đŸ™‚

We ate amazing Polish food at Staropolska in my neighborhood too. I tried to practice my Polish, but I’m too shy and got way too nervous. But the waitress was really nice, even after I made an ass out of myself trying.

placek z cukini z piersia z kury, papryka, cebula, cukinia, kozi ser (zucchini pancakes with chicken, peppers, goat cheese)
kiełbasa z kapusta (sausage and cabbage)

We also got tattoos. I got this ‘Dunwich Horror’ inspired monster man and done by Josh Howard at Pioneer Tattoo in Chicago.

Done by Mr. Josh Howard

I made this little tissue ‘coozie’ for Josh Howard also since he is an elderly_lady.

strawberry chocolate cake.

Overall great weekend. Back to reality.

XXX
GFK

Perspective

Gee Whiz February Health Challenge you caught me on a day where this is a total loaded prompt for me. Sigh. Perspective.

Well, I guess in terms of perspective, mine has changed extensively in the last 7 months (!). Things I used to see in a certain light are now not even in the light, let alone my thought process. I think honestly, the thing I’ve changed my perspective the greatest in regards to is PMA: Positive Mental Attitude.

People can get a little preachy with the battle cry of PMA, but for the most part I love the idea. Of course everyone has a bad day here or there we are humans living in a challenging world. For example in my life recently: I’m heavily affected by blood sugar and in fact had a ‘bad’ day on Thursday when I didn’t properly feed my body/mind resulting in a quiet and somber afternoon/evening (I literally had to ‘put myself to bed’ early just to get back into balance). However, that didn’t stop me from spewing my irritation about ‘boxed lunches’ and literally a rant occurred about how bread/rice are conspiracy food fillers….. I know, I know – carry a snack always.

But I digress, PMA is just a way of seeing the world. Instead of ‘woe is me,’ ‘the world is out to get me,’ ‘nothing ever goes right for me,’ PMA challenges us to see not only the positives, but identify the underlying ‘problems.’ I’ve been a huge advocate of DO since I changed my life, and PMA is an extension/inclusion/result/cause/action of that. Lots of the roadblocks we face are put there by us. It’s simple to sit back and judge others and their problems/problem cycles, but ultimately, we all have areas in our lives that need PMA. I feel like I’ve only really brushed the very shallow surface of this, but perhaps it got you thinking about the positivity we can bring to everything we do. It’s easy to get into a cycle of shame and disappointment, but literally that is the worst way to go about finding a solution to a problem. Not only will you feel your life becoming a huge drag, but you yourself will become a drag too. Friends and family are always there to support you, but even if the spiral of shame is too encompassing, your drag may start to alienate you further. PMA is necessary to get through the challenges with a lesson learned, not just simply to get through one rough patch to immediately/simultaneously encounter another hardship. Life is difficult – there is a whole wide world of hard out there, but PMA can truly change your life. Focus on the good, enrich the positive parts of your life and the negative, energy wasting, drag parts will subside and be solved. PMA is important for us. It’s hard and no one wants to sound like a cheerleader, but you have to in order to have the life you love and want. At the end of the day, the only person that matters is yourself. With PMA and cheerleading for your own success, the people and things that lift you up will surround you entirely.

Nothing Hill Vimeo from EasyRider Records on Vimeo.

“you are the weakest link between you and your dreams”

xxx
GFK

Together

Well it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s always a day full of such great expectations. If you have a typical Valentine good for you. I’m flying solo, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have awesome family, friends, and the tribe to send me love all year long. Plus…. Motley Crue.

Happy V Day. Whatever it means to you.

12520220434_e392e71f25_z

Love yourself the most.

xxxx
GFK

Outside

Wow already biffing it hard on this daily blog challenge, but c’est la vie. I had an exciting weekend and am working on a secret craft I’ll be able to post on Thursday so in the mean time… Outside.

I am so sick of winter, I’m sure everyone is, but especially the insane cold and snow that Chicago has been hit with every week. I took a walk up to Bloomingdale’s yesterday during lunch. I had to cross the river and I was pretty impressed and awed by the ice.