Friday, May 15, 2009

MAKE My Heart Skip A Beat!

The new issue of MAKE Magazine is out and it's positively incredible! This issue, Re-Make America, should in the hands of every school, home, and workplace in the country. How inspirational! It's time to start thinking outside of the recycling bin!

Screen Printing For a Cause

Last week was the busiest I've had in a while. Per and I have been helping some friends on various aspects of an independent film they're making. In the film, Otis Under Sky, the main character is building a huge interactive light installation. Per has been helping to make the physical installation a reality since we met Anlo and Mandi (the film's parents) back in October of last year. This weekend was finally the unveiling of the light installation as well as a fundraiser for the film and a public sneak-peek. It was an awesome event and here are some of the reasons why it was particularly awesome for me:

*I screen printed shirts to sell at the event and also set up a live screen printing station on site. People could bring their own shirt to have printed on, or just give me the shirt off their back. Mandi said the shirts brought in the highest amount of donations out of everything at the event.

*Being in charge of the screen printing definitely made me feel ready to start offering my lessons more officially to the public. I decided to list my screen printing workshops on Craigslist and am already gaining some interest.

*The space where the event was held is called Co-Lab, an independent media art space and community center in East Austin. I talked to the proprietor, Shawn, and he was very enthusiastic about the Treetrunkwise mission and having me do some workshops there.

*In brainstorming about possible interactive installations to bring to the Co-Lab space, Per and I have unearthed the Beautiful Machine project and are working on several exciting new appendages to the photo collection. These will be interactive elements which bring the participant into the world in the photos. We are very excited about the possibilities and hope to have something to present to Co-Lab sometime this year.

Sometimes you just have to take a moment to step back and realize how lucky you are. I am thankful for the opportunities I've recently been given, and I hope to use the experience and connections I've gained to further advance the dream! Cheers!

Here are some pictures of me screen printing at the event...

..And some beautiful pictures of the light installation.

**All of the above pictures were taken by Don Mason and I have posted them here with his written permission. You can see more of his work on his Flickr page. Thanks, Don!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Great Stamping Tips

This site covers everything from paper qualities to embossing techniques to markers for coloring. A great resource!

Gotta share this great stamp idea! The empty glass jar stamp has endless possibilities. Fill it with stickers, drawings, buttons, or whatever! But the funnest idea I've seen is to stamp it onto printed paper- all of a sudden it looks like your jar has a beautiful design all over it! Thanks to Jordan and Rachel for the stamp-inspiration!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blueberry Muffins and Vegan Mac (n' Cheese)


I haven't shared anything in a while, so I thought I'd post the link to (and my thoughts on) the recipe for the blueberry muffins which were such a hit with the girls last night.

These were really very good, although I think we all agreed they seemed a little more like biscuits or scones- at least on the muffin-tops. I made only a couple of modifications:
1) I didn't have any fresh lemons for zest, so I added a little lemon juice to the yogurt instead. I think the zest would have been much more flavorful.

2) I used salted butter, so I cut the salt content down slightly. I also used sea-salt, which is a bit saltier than regular table salt, so I cut down to account for that, too. I cut the salt down to about half the amount in total.

3) This recipe says it yields 12 regular sized muffins, but this is probably for jumbo muffin tins. Several people commented that they had to put this recipe into two regular 12-count muffin tins. I made half of this recipe in two mini-muffin tins (24 mini-muffins), so I assume that the full recipe would indeed take TWO of the standard size 12-count muffin tins, as suggested by other reviews. For mini-muffins I baked for 22-25 minutes.

While I'm posting recipes, I'd like to share one that a friend shared with me. She made it for a potluck and it was gone within minutes. Even the real-cheese eaters couldn't resist the creamy, savory Vegan Mac (n' cheese) (-great for the lactose intolerant, too!). Now you should know, this recipe makes a family-sized (or potluck sized) dish of the stuff, so cut the recipe for fewer people- even if you want to have some leftover.

You'll need a blender to make the "cheese". Also, stirring and letting stand for at least ten minutes after baking is part of the key to the creamy consistency. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Knitting In Front of the Fire

It's been a while! The cloak pattern is going great - I need more yarn! I'm so happy I chose a difficult pattern to start with because I've learned so much! I learned three different increases. I used the M1 for this pattern. I learned to wrap and turn- cool stuff! And I learned the Kitchener stitch! I can't believe I am making it! :)

Stitch n' Bitch Thursday's continue as usual, and tonight a new friend, Lisa, joined us. She learned to knit and took home a cute little hot pad that she'd made by the end of the night- good girl! It was a small group tonight- just Mom, Melanie, Lisa and myself. The weather had turned very cold, so I got a fire going before everyone showed up. We all sat in front of the fireplace with our wool Swedish house-socks on our feet, eating snacks and talking- and stitching, of course. Very cozy!

This week Melanie taught me the basics of crochet! I'm excited to learn a new craft, especially one that two of the stitch n' bitchers have been doing during the Thursday night gatherings. I'm still kind of clumsy at it and my hands feel cramped when I put down my work, but I'm hoping I'll start relaxing as I get the hang of it. There are some crochet-alongs on the web, which I've suggested we do together. A new project would be fun!

And lastly, I cheated a little and opened my birthday present from Sweden a little early- what! I've had a tough week and I needed some cheering up! Boy, was it overwhelmingly fantastic. I was speechless. Two more pairs of wool house-socks (one of which is a tiny one for our friends kids who come over-- or are they??!!), five beautiful skeins of wool yarn and two sets of double pointed needles to make the socks (project time!!), a gorgeous Scandinavian design needle and hook holder, and lastly... Per's mother's collection of knitting needles and crochet hooks- which are extra special because she died when Per was just ten years old. I cried. I felt undeserving and not a little spoiled... but now I just feel happy and incredibly grateful. I am very lucky to have such wonderful in-laws. When we go visit, I can't wait to knit with Per's step-mom (who makes us the socks) and her mom!

Knitting is truly bond-creating craft for women, and I'm so happy to have finally taken it up in earnest!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood

[Image Cred: Artist: Kneil Melicano. This design was the winner of a most prestigious award for the year's best on If you don't know about Threadless tee-shirts, check it out!]

This year I have reason to start thinking about my Halloween costume early. One of my oldest friends is getting married on Halloween and I am her maid of honor. The entire wedding is Halloween themed, and everyone including the bridal party will be in costume. As of right now, I think Per and I will be dressing as Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf.

I found the most amazing pattern for a knitted and felted red hooded cloak from CRAFT magazine. It's out of my league for now, but I'm pushing myself to learn all of the techniques required in the pattern. I may opt out of the felting part, as I really like the way the knit looks on it's own, but that will require some resizing of the pattern.

THREE girls have learned to knit since I started the Stitch n' Bitch three weeks ago! Congratulations: Sarah, Mandi, and Casey! Hope to see you all at the future hen-house knit nights!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


It tends to surprise people that one of my most prized little indulgences in this life is my subscription to Vogue magazine. Every time my new Vogue arrives, I have to run to get a cup of tea, and maybe some chocolate, so that I can curl up for the next hour or so turning page by page through the magical world of high fashion and world renowned artistic visionaries. How could this possibly be a surprise? I love fashion. I love art. Vogue is the absolute world class Queen of Fashion Art.

Sacrebleu! What is this? How on earth could I miss such a sweet little succulent.. er.. Vogue?!

I just bought my first issue of Vogue Knitting, and I'm absolutely transported by the incredible knits inside. I want all of them. Page after page of heart-skipping, voluminous, chunky-soft yarn made Fashion Art. I'm in heaven.

The best part about Vogue Knitting is that, unlike it's predecessor, after drooling over piece after piece that you'd like to walk down the street in-- you can actually turn to the back to find the patterns to MAKE THEM YOURSELF!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We Stitched and Oh, How We Bitched!

The first weekly Stitch n' Bitch has just ended; the last girls have left. How I love having women around and doing crafty things! Sarah learned to knit; Casey learned to cast-on; Melanie and I worked on our circular needles for the first time; Melissa used a knitting loom to weave what would have taken me hours! We snacked, laughed, gossiped, and caught up: It was great. Who knows if we'll be knitting next time or if this will eventually evolve into a general craft night or something else. All I know is, I love my friends and I love getting together with them!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stop-Motion Commotion

A few months ago we went to a camping art and music festival on a friend's recommendation. The Oxblood Masquerade was a festival of the arts in the middle of the woods. There were stages, music, costumes, crafts, and the one that caught my eye the most- art in a field. Here was a big field with artists sitting at their easels and other "canvases" just doing their thing right there in nature. You could just walk up and watch it all happen.

Our trip to the field brought us to the most extraordinary set up, where we incidentally ended up spending the rest of the evening. It was an interactive station set up to allow anyone to walk up and make their own stop-motion movie. Per and I were on cloud nine. There was scented play-doh and chalk. We got started on our spontaneous story (see it here) and spent the rest of the evening waiting around to see everyone's movies played on a projector in the field (see them all here). We made some good friends at that installation and Per got a great project out of it.

Last night we joined those friends for a continuation of that installation: The Edge of Imagination Station (I love rhymes and alliteration!). Set up in a small gallery space in east Austin, this time there was a white wall, colored balls, paper, stickers, props, and chalk. The idea this time was to steer away from claymation by providing other mediums to work with. People were getting creative! Per used chalk and paper for his underwater animation, and I was able to take one of my favorite art forms, paper cutting, to bring the changing seasons to life. We couldn't wait to see the final results. The animations weren't shown last night, but I will be sure to post a link as soon as I get one.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Purlina Purlizkova

It's Superbowl Sunday and it's quiet on the streets of the University campus neighborhood. Per is at the skate park skating and I'm home alone on this gorgeous, sunny, warm first day of February. I decided today was the day to learn to purl, so I took up my knitting, my "Stitch 'n Bitch" book, and a short video from

Well, not only am I purling, but I am now proficient at the stockinette stitch, ribbing, and seed stitch! I made a really fun swatch that has several rows of each of these stitches. I can use it as a reference in the future... and it looks neat!

I just sent out my first invitation for a Stitch n' Bitch right here at my own place. I'm looking forward to seeing my girlfriends and continuing on the almighty path of the kneedle!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Something About Knitting

As a souvenir to this time in my life I am knitting a candy cane striped scarf. It's only the second scarf I have ever knit. It's cute, but I'm not convinced that it's entirely right.

I'm following the method for making stripes in the infamous knitting handbook "Stitch 'n Bitch". It basically states that to start a new color, or stripe, you cut the old color with about six inches to spare, hold the new color with this piece at about the same length, then just start knitting with the new color at the beginning of the row. With these six inch pieces that are hanging from the side of your scarf, you tie a loose square knot and then later, untie and weave it in.

It looks horrible. I have a bunch tassels hanging off one side of the scarf. I have yet to try weaving them in, but something just doesn't quite feel right. In the future I may try knitting one color, then weaving the stripes in over the knit piece. That might make for some nice texture.

On another knit note, I finally bought myself a knitting basket which I love. Time to start collecting yarn!

Jan 13, 2009. KNIT NOTE!
I visited my grandmother this weekend, a lady with over 50 years of knitting experience! I showed her my scarf and asked if I was doing anything wrong. She assured me that it was exactly how it should be, and even showed me a couple of other methods which may have even been more difficult.

She showed me how to weave in my leftover ends where the new colors begin and end, and even gave me a needle to do it with. The needle is thick and has a rounded point and a large eye to thread yarn through. To weave my ends through, first I'll untie any small knots I've made to keep them in. Thread the piece of yarn through the knitted stitches (of the same color) at least a third of the scarf's width or more. The most important thing at this point is to grasp your scarf width wise (not length wise) and give it a good pull, or stretch. This will allow the yarn to settle deeply into the knit and not be easily pulled out later by simple daily stretching of your scarf. Once you've done this, you can snip off the end of the now hidden yarn.