Finding Inspiration

Good afternoon! It’s President’s Day today, and somehow is a day deemed worthy as a vacation day for my company. I gladly slept in much too late, woke up feeling regret about sleeping in too late, and am now searching for creative inspiration. I’m thinking about what brings inspiration when one is a bit dry and lacking in the area. Because I am a person who thinks and thinks and has to express myself before I make action, I wanted to sort of talk this out, and hopefully get some feedback from you people who I find so inspiring yourselves!

This is my life right now:

I work for a knitting magazine. Arguably one of the best in this niche industry. I love knitting with (pretty much) my whole heart and have an insatiable desire to continue learning about the craft, in technique, material, tools, etc. This is fantastic for many reasons, but can also be challenging. The great thing about it is that I’m able to hone and improve my skill, which will benefit me both professionally and personally (you know, ideally). The not-so-great thing is that I focus so much of my time, even outside of work, on knitting now that I am losing focus on other arts and crafts that fulfill me so much.

I’ve been able to continue with pottery every now and again, when I have the time and money to invest in some studio/class time. Photography has totally taken a back seat, as I dropped my digital camera in a glass of soda a few months back (I know… what?) and buying and developing film from the film camera (that is not even mine) is so expensive! I still have three rolls to get developed from when I visited Cuba. Woops. But also #thirtybucks. #atleast.

I’ve got a few sewing projects that have been waiting for me pretty much since we moved here. Many of them are altering clothing items, and I’m also working on a t-shirt blanket for Joey. I’ve had the desire to make a modernly designed quilt for years now, but have never taken the plunge and bought the fabric and begun one.

Making my apartment kickass has also been a challenge. Living with another human and a dog makes it harder to keep everything clean and decluttered enough to move onto the next step and really make this a functional and beautiful space. As most of you know, who have seen my past apartments/bedrooms, you know this is a pretty important thing to me. I’ve always spent lots of time rearranging and playing around with my furniture arrangements and wall decor to find what really works and looks the best. I have not done this here, and it’s making me a little crazy!

I’m also aiming to improve and expand my blog, as well as my Etsy shop, including giving it a new name.

So, essentially this is my list of things that I want to do and keep doing. Whenever I have some sort of list of things to accomplish, and I’m actively checking off tasks I’ve completed, I feel great. On the other hand, I’ve got a list of crafty tasks I have been aiming to accomplish (see: Joey’s blanket, film development), and the list just remains as is. Often when I find myself with free time, I end up on the computer, browsing whatever and wasting time, or simply grabbing my knitting project and focusing on that. Am I setting myself up with too many expectations about what I can get done? I’m really not sure, because I read blogs from other people all the time who are doing awesome things, like Leah and Erin’s a clover & a bee blog, and these girls seriously do so much! During college, as well. What college student has time to do any of this stuff let alone ALL OF IT?! (Let’s be real, they probably don’t go out every single Friday night and get plastered. That is step 1 to success. Unless you are trying to be a successful partyer.)

Anyway, I’ve been rambling here but my point is – I have this deep desire to express myself creatively and accomplish a lot in the way of my passion for functional beauty/art. But (a) where can I get some more time? and (b) where does my creative inspiration truly come from? Where does YOUR creative inspiration come from? What do you do to get yourself inspired and then motivated to act on your inspiration? I’m sure many would answer this with “JUST DO STUFF” or something along those lines and a little more eloquently put, and I’m interested in specific answers that carry that idea, but what about for those of you who are cerebral, questioning, hesitant, who think about your every move and approach? Are you organized in your motivation somehow?  I really want to know how other people tackle their creative endeavors and from where they find inspiration. Please share yours in the comments! Please!

I think with getting all of that out of my system, I’ve inspired myself to go find a white cloth to use as a backdrop for taking pictures of my pottery that I’ll post to Etsy. So, thanks for letting me rant and express my creative confusions/frustrations with you. I really hope to see some words from you guys :)

One Love (and Happy Presidents Day?),



WIP Wednesday

I’ve never done a “works-in-progress Wednesday,” but here we go!

I’ve got a few simple projects on the burner, as well as one doozie of a sucker of a sweater.

The Rikke Hat

I’ve done a few of these already – one for my  mom and another for my BFF. Right now I’m working on one for myself and another human (not going to say for whom at this point) in these beautiful Madelinetosh colors:

Green! For me!
Blue! For someone else!

Impromptu Chunky Green Guy

On Saturday I decided to use up some Knit Picks green stuff I have and make a chunky-ass hat. (Not a chunky ass-hat.) I finished it Sunday, and it’s absolutely HUGE on my noggin. That one might be going up on Etsy. I’ll post the finished photos later. Also, check out the badass huge pom-pom I made for it. The colors are off because one picture was taken inside, at night, and the other outside, in the daytime.

A chunky beginning
Look at this thing!
Look at this thing!

Tara Jacket

Finally, I’ve got this here crazy guy. I’ve finished knitting the body, as you can see below (please excuse the Instagram photo), and I’ve started working on the sleeves. If I’m going to keep up with this Knitting Daily knit-along, I better get clickin’!

I love you, I hate you, Tara Jacket. You are a beautiful beast.

So, those are the projects I’m currently working on. Green hats are a new favorite, and I’m attempting to make a collection of them this year. All different yarns, all different greens, all different designs. I’m hoping to do one a month. Wish me luck!


Sick Day Update

Hello world. It’s been a while. I think the last time we spoke I was showing off my newly finished sweater (that I have yet to actually wear for more than 15 minutes).  I want you to know I haven’t forgotten to write a blog about my trip to Cuba, that is in working draft mode, and I still haven’t gotten my film developed. I would really love to include the pictures in the post because they help tell the story. Here’s one from my phone to tide you over:

I'm not going to tell you the story behind this yet. You just have to ponder it until I finish writing that post. Suckas.
I’m not going to tell you the story behind this yet. You just have to ponder it until I finish writing that post. Suckas.

In any case, I have done other things besides going to Cuba since November. Important things: Joey and I have started bowling fairly frequently. That reminds me to look up some tips online for how to bowl better. Oh good, the first result is an angelfire-hosted site. Thank god.

I’ve been listening to NPR out the wazoo, to and from work every day. Sometimes when I get sick of hearing about Obama’s “opinion” that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, I’ll flip over to the CSU student station. They play some pretty good stuff most of the time. I usually don’t recognize any of it.

Joey got a job. He’s working at a cabinetry place 50-60 hours a week. Crazy dude. I like hearing about the process and what he does at work all day, and when he says “polyurethane” (btw I spelled that correctly on the first try). He’s pretty great. I think Girlfriend Tha Dawg is lonelier (duh) being home alone all day. She does pretty well, though.

Speaking of Girlfriend Tha Dawg, she has worms. Grossout warning! The worms are totally in her poopy. Fortunately our new next door neighbor was a vet science student and is willing to examine dog stool and might be able to get us a prescription. Bomp. Despite the worms, Girlfriend is still a lovely and happy derg.

There's that pretty dog.
There’s that pretty dog.

I’ve been listening to the latest Backstreet Boys album A LOT lately. Here’s the thing, you guys, before Kevin left BSB their sound was pretty consistent in terms of style. Then he left and they made two or three really awful albums that were trying to be like all the music on popular radio that I can’t stand, and it sounded totally fake. BUT Kevin came back and this last album they put out in 2013 just sounds like them again and it makes me so happy. They’re corny and ridiculous and their songs really aren’t that good, but I love them anyway and I’m listening to this album right now (“In a World Like This” check it out if you dare). So there’s that.

Ah I love them. I dreamed last night that I Kevin and I did karaoke together. Boom.

Many books have been making their way into my life, but somehow I haven’t finished a single one since the new year. I do believe I should spend a large portion of my sick day today making some headway in “A Passage to India.” It’s a good read, though I admit sometimes I don’t know wtf they are talking about. I’ve also got a book about Kurt Vonnegut and another about the Dresden bombing. And to top it off with some fluff I’ve got a book about yarn! I’m trying to re-up on my yarn knowledge, for both work and just becoming a better knitter/fiber gal. The yarn book is by Clara Parkes, who wrote The Yarn Whisperer, which I read at the end of 2013. I wrote about it here, check it out!

I was knitting a lot before we left for Cuba, and since we got back I’ve mostly been knitting for work and so am a little burned out on it. I’m hoping to start the sleeves of another sweater I’m currently knitting. I need to finish up that sucker! Other than that I have an idea for a knitted collection in the works. I’m not gonna reveal what it is now! I’ve got some Etsy re-vamping to do and what-not, so I need to make a plan of action for that. More on that later.

I auditioned for the Larimer County Chorale. It went ok – I won’t hear about whether or not I’m in until Wednesday. I’m not too worried, because if I don’t make it, I won’t have to spend $110 on membership fees or moneys on a dress. So, win/win. I tried out and that’s the important thing. If I do make it, I think it will be a lot of fun.

I can’t really think of anything else right now, except that I missed Justin Timberlake at the Pepsi Center in Denver this past week. Bummer. Oh well, that would have cost me a couple of Benjamins. Just gotta let it go sometimes.

Here’s something for you before I go. It’s a photo from my first Fort Collins Friendsgiving. It was so warm on Thanksgiving that we ate outside. ‘Twas lovely.

For those who don't know: from left to right we've got Sarah (Awesome), Doug (IngerTall), Jerry Lutz, And Marlon Brando(n).
For those who don’t know: from left to right we’ve got Sarah (Awesome), Doug (IngerTall), Jerry Lutz, And Marlon Brando(n). They are lovely humans.

With that I will say to you, peace out, Girl Scouts. I hope this was fulfilling for you. It sure was for me. Love y’all like sisters.


#PFDINP (post from December I never published)

The autumn season is upon us, and winter is creeping up quite soon. It’s cold as eff out here already, though, with snow, ice, and temperatures lingering around the zero mark. I hate to admit that my physical activity has dwindled since it’s so cold out, even though I had a two week (*FREE*) membership to the Fort Collins Club (it’s a swanky gym, don’t worry about it). It’s almost debilitating to be outside, and that means that Girlfriend “The Dawg” Baker hasn’t gotten a lot of walks either. One key to surviving the Colorado cold is to knit massive scarves, though I don’t think this would work for the dog. Another tip is to just pretend like it’s not cold out. This tactic doesn’t last very long, because if it’s not cold out, why are you sporting the massive scarf and hippo mittens? Anyway, the point is that you JUST DEAL.

We’re super lucky to have the amenities that we do. I’m not just talking about Joey and I when I say “we” – I’m talking about us all. There are a fair amount of homeless people in Fort Collins, noticeably more than I’ve ever been adjusted to seeing around me everyday. I don’t even know what they do when it’s this frigid outside. Is there some shelter they can stay in? Do they just find the “warmest” spot around and nestle in for the night? I don’t even know, and I realize I’m super privileged and ignorant because of that fact alone – I don’t know. Last week our pipes froze, and it took the (very) few hours that we didn’t have running water to feel thankful that 99% of the time, we have it without even thinking about it or having to work for it. We have heat in our home that is adjustable to our liking. We have resources that make it possible for us to not have to brave the elements as they come at us. We simply go inside. 

Since weather is one of the most common conversation topics – it’s something we all share – we often have conversations with friends, family, and co-workers about how unfairly cold it is outside. But we get respite from the cruelty of the winter. We complain about the cold while we are inside, in heated buildings that have power and water and INTERNET (Oh really, it’s cold outside? How would you know when you’ve been inside, in your jammies, watching Miley Cyrus music videos all day? [This is obviously what I believe Americans do on a daily basis]). Our basic needs, most of our secondary needs, and certainly many of our wants, are met and we’re talking about how COLD it is outside. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had this kind of conversation with anyone who can’t go inside, at least not for as long as they might like.

This is my Etsy shop profile bio that I made before I graduated college:

I am a soon-to-be college graduate of Anthropology, but have discovered my love of functional art. I have been a knitter for over six years. I just recently took a ceramics class at my university and found the process to be exhilarating and therapeutic. I am very excited to continue to make pottery in order to hone my skill and challenge myself. After I graduate college, I would like to move to Colorado and work for the National Park Service for a bit, and then find a job in a yarn shop in a town where there are local opportunities to continue to make pottery. Eventually I would like to own a yarn/coffee shop, and recently have added to my list of hopes to own or be a part of a pottery studio.
I attend Kansas State University, and I live with my boyfriend, my brother, and my wonderful black lab Girlfriend.
I try to maintain genuineness and sincerity in my everyday life.


My First (Complete) Hand-Knit Sweater

I finished knitting a sweater. I brought it into work today. I went outside with my lovely co-worker, Louisa, and she photographed it (and me). And we are reminded yet again of why I will never be a model.* Here are the images from the photo shoot…

cc pullover







Peace out,



*I’m talking about my awkwardness in front of a camera, not belittling my appearance.

Going Home

In my whole life, I had never “gone home” until this past weekend. Going to college in the town where I grew up, I heard out-of-town classmates often say “I’m going home,” as the reason for their weekend absenteeism. I already was home, and actually left home to see family, rather than vice-versa, which might have been viewed as the norm. I didn’t know what it was like to “go home.” Now I know, and I get it.

I absolutely love my home and am grateful for my twenty years of life I spent in Manhattan, Kansas. I had been homesick for the past few weeks in Colorado as well, and really looked forward to the weekend back in my total and complete comfort zone. It was nice. But, fortunately, I think it reiterated to me the importance that I’ve finally left. I can see now I really did make a wise decision in moving away from home and building a new life outside of that comfort zone.

In short, I’m completely grateful for for it all: being born and raised in Kansas (mostly Manhattan), going to college there, working full time at Kansas State University, and then finally making my way out as a 25-year-young woman. I’m so fortunate to have such a place to call home, and doubly so to have a new home that is bright, fresh, and inspiring. To be with the creatures I love most, my boyfriend and my Girlfriend (The Dawg) is just the perfect cherry on top of it all; they are the ones with whom I share all of my new experiences and drink all of the beer. Having my brother here would be an extra cherry, but that might take a little while.

Thanks, Kansas. And thank you, too, Colorado.