Knit One, Purl Two Sweaters

Here’s what my niece and nephew received from me for Christmas! I love making kids sweaters because they go so fast.

Olivia sweater

Here’s almost-four-year-old Olivia’s sweater. And there are my feet in the picture!! 🙂

ben sweater

Six year old Ben’s sweater is a little camo-looking.

Here’s the thing. My niece and nephew live in northern California…I’m just hoping that it gets cold enough for them to wear them. I know I’ve been to the park with them often enough wishing I had mittens. I hope they like them as much as I enjoyed making them! I even bought little labels that say “Hand Knit by Tracy Richardson”. Maybe they’ll save them for their own kids!! Just a thought.

Magic Happens Here!

Magic Happens Here!

Magic

This is my craft room. I don’t get down here as often as I would like, but it is a very soul-filling space for me,

craft room

Here are the work spaces. I LOVE the color I chose for the walls. My sewing machine is 16 years old. I bought it used for $1000, but it is amazing, Will sew through almost anything and has tons of decorative stitches (most of which I don’t use).

Yarn

Yarn in all colors left over from other projects. I use them when making applique.

painted desk

My husband’s grandfather’s desk that I refreshed and updated with Chalk paint.

baubles

Design and pattern books and rick-rack.

Buttons

Old buttons that I buy in bulk at antique stores.

I need to get down here and do something creative!! I am always knitting something as I can carry that with me, but other projects require time and space. Maybe I’ll chalk paint another table?!? 🙂

A few projects…

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A special pillow for my special niece, Olivia. This is made from recycled sweaters and over-dyed suiting material with a little embroidery, rick-rack and applique.

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Knitted dish towels. All from 100% cotton. These are fast and easy projects.

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And for me, a purple cotton cardigan. 🙂 I love knitting because I can take it with my on all of my travels and I always have something creative to do.

Upcycling

No, this does not mean bicycling uphill. I’m not even sure it is an actual word. I’m very into creating things and protecting the environment, and I’ve been able to combine the two with Upcycling. It best describes how I turned these shirts, a suit jacket from Goodwill with some random buttons and trim from my stash –

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into this custom pillow for my nephew Ben – thus the ‘B’! Shhhh, don’t tell him, it’s his birthday present.

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And these lamps I bought at Value World for $4 apiece (I don’t have a before picture, but they were shiny gold) to these French country beauties in my dining room after I painted them with off-white chalk paint. I’m still not sure about the beads, though.

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Knitted Tunic

I just finished this tunic that I designed. Every stripe is a different yarn and a different stitch. I actually copied it from a skirt pattern that I saw in a knitting store that I loved, except I didn’t really want a knitted skirt.

It was a lot of fun to make and I love the colors. It’s meant to be oversized and worn with a tank underneath. Now I’m circling back to a black winter sweater that I had lots of trouble with and just had to set aside. Hopefully I’ll get that done before Thanksgiving! So many projects!

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Baby Sweater

It’s been a while since I shared some of the creative pursuits that I do other than writing. I don’t always have time to do a full blown craft or art project, so I do a lot of knitting because it’s portable. Also, I tend to like textile projects for colors, textures and patterns. Here’s a baby sweater that I made for my soon-to-be-born goddaughter, Lilianna.

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It’s so freaking cute (if I do say so myself!) that I want one for myself!!! I’m almost finished with a sweater that I’m making for myself that I also designed. Hopefully I can share pictures next week!

Painting Class

Artistic talent runs in my family. My mother was a talented painter and wordsmith, my dad is excelling at watercolors and my children draw and paint and do graphic design and attend college at Columbia College Chicago for music and photography. While I’ve always had a certain affinity for textiles, part of me has always wanted to paint. Specifically, I want to paint luscious landscapes with oils. I figured that I first had to learn the basics, so I signed up for a painting class at Magdalena Gallery of Arts in the Carmel Arts and Design District. What an lovely place! I am having so much fun. Two of the other artists are my age and are very talented, but they swear that they started off just like me. The other student is a young lady who is benefitting from hearing all the ‘women’s talk.’ Got me to thinking about the book The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and how as women we should consider it our sacred role to share with the younger generation what it means to be a woman. But I digress!!

Here is what I did the first week in class.painting class 1-2013 003

I was secretly very pleased when Magdalena told me that I was very good at drawing!! I couldn’t do an exact drawing, so I aimed for the ‘feel’ of the flowers. In the second week I started painting the flowers, and although they arn’t terrible, they don’t look the way I imagine it in my head. Of course, I’m not finished with the painting, yet.

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What is really the best part of painting is not the finished product, but the ‘flow.’ My personal initiative for 2013 is to be in The Flow whenever possible, whatever I’m doing. I want to be so engrossed, and thus fulfilled, by what I’m doing that I lose myself in the activity and get in The Flow. Of course, what I really want is for my rose to look like this.

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Maybe someday I will be able to paint the cover image for one of my books! I just have to keep reminding myself to enjoy the process, because we are never finished.