Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Poem

First an aerialist.

A woman so light
she looks like a dewy petal floating
down from the gathered rose of the big top.
Palest pink satin
and sequins. How sure they are
she’s going to
--but to think it would be to wish
it to happen. She swings and tucks, her grip
loosens from the bar

a man swings out in an arc
from the wings, from the dark
to catch her
in that heavy
breathless
pause

the long split-second where it seems sure
she’ll descend to the dusty floor, a crumpled
flower part. But he catches her. How is it
possible that he holds her so certainly?
Does he falter, inwardly, ever? We know
he does not falter. He is her very young
father. They swing and let go and somersault
in tandem
to the ground, movements reciprocal
as they bow. Rubes assume only
they are lovers as he palms
her lower back and they disappear
into shadows—no one does
anything to contradict their assumption.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Felting!


Felted Neck Warmer--Antoinette Gold and Blue on Etsy

I was pretty productive this weekend with the felting! I made 4 new pieces and added some to another one I had already worked on. The four new pieces are all on the ide of the one above. Of course they never come out exactly the same, which is most of the fun! I had a ball making them, and I love how many ways they can be worn. If you don't know already, I really like to make pieces that are versatile/convertible! I'm thinking I may have to make myself one of these, and I hardly ever keep anything! Check out the other new handmade items just listed at Frost on Etsy!

I can't wait to buy some more felting supplies! They are the most fun to browse through on Etsy, all those gorgeous colors and textures and all the ways to combine them. . . heavenly! I'll probably wait for some more sales before I go drop a big chunk of change on new supplies--I still need to get a new flyer for my spinning wheel because my son broke my current one! :(

And yes, I am totally procrastinating on packing things to move. It really shouldn't take that much, because so much of our stuff is already in boxes, but it's just so not fun! Oh, well--better sooner than later, because my husband has to work this week, and I don't want to be doing it with just Sage! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Neglect

Wow, I have been an absentee blogger lately! I have been working on some new fall items though, after reading up on the Pantone picks for fall 2010! It's such an awesome resource for designing; I can't believe I didn't know about it till this spring!

So here's a new item that I really love:


Freeform Crochet Collar by Atelier Frost on Etsy

I did a new turquoise cotton one the other day--just haven't photographed it yet. It's been too sunny for my taste. I also have some lovely new colors in a pretty standard design of mine. I've also got some stuff rolling around my head for some convertible/layering garment pieces. We'll see how that goes.

I'm also collecting things and packing for the move! I am NOT looking forward to that, but luckily most things, besides supplies and clothing, are already in banana boxes for the sake of storage here. I acquired a wonderful vacuum, toaster oven, bed spread, bathroom stuff, and more today, which was great! It's going to be nice to have all that space!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Moving and some decorating finds



I am moving in a few weeks, to a lovely little apartment about 10 minutes away--of course I am in major magazine-scouring, sale-peeping, housewares-radar mode. That's always the best part about moving; decorating a new place! It will be nice to have more space for the three of us and all of our things. . .

Those frames and the mirror pictured cost less than $30 all together! I plan to leave the mirror as is (the frame is sort of gold, but rubbed through to dark brown and red in places--it has some character) and then paint the frames black with some glossy paint. I think my print from Hidden Eloise at Hide N Seek will look great in one of them. I think maybe a nice black and white of the baby would be cool, and I don't know about the rest! I DO know that I need a nice oval ornate one and at least a few smaller ones.

Working on creating my dream rug on the Flor website at the moment--I really like the Martha Stewart Faux Bois patterns!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence!



That's a little graphic I made just for today--I've been experimenting and trying to figure out Illustrator, which I have had for, oh, 6 years. And thanks to a variety of internet tutorials, I have found my way around it fairly well!

Enjoy the day with your families, your cookouts, your fireworks and sparklers--enjoy the freedom!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

East West Carnival Collection




The New Atelier Frost collection.

Sooooo, I've been putting my energies into this new collection. I know what I said about the dark romance, and all of that, but I think I'll be keeping that on the back burner for fall. Because as soon as I started formulating new designs and digging through materials, the raw silk grabbed me, and I just wanted to make something bright and multi-cultural, like the Himalayas by way of the Great Plains and some retro hippie culture. It's all those sitars, I'm telling you--they infiltrated my mind and totally determined the style of this new collection.

Tassels, shimmer, iridescence, bright shiny baubles--it's all here! And the best thing about it is that it feels like totally me. I don't feel influenced by someone else's accessory designs, or anything like that--I feel totally led by my imagination. And that is a great place to be. I feel like my color choices really make my products hang together too. I've always kind of worried that I like and make too many different styles of things for it to all work together in the shop, but I like to think that my customer is a fashion chameleon, a style shape-shifter, just like me. One day she's rockabilly tough-and-sweet, the next she's an earthy bohemian goddess, then she might be a darkly romantic steampunker, a shoe-gazing rocker in an ironic t-shirt, an ethereal nymph in gauze and flowers. Limitlessness!

So for now it's East West Carnival, Savage Romance is in the works for fall, and who knows what after that? I'm just having too much fun with my head full of ideas and designs!


Summer Reading Recommendation

I just picked up a new book at Target to read on the beach. So many of the books I skimmed the backs of were about murders and detectives, divorcees, knitting circles or sewing circles or whatever--a lot of boring stuff, as far as I'm concerned. And then I saw this book by Alice Hoffman:



I started reading it yesterday and I think I'm probably halfway through--I was naughty and I took it out of my beach bag to read in the house!! I can never seem to keep a beach book for long if I really like it. Anyway, it reads very fast, and the story is full of imagination, love, danger, trouble, modern fairy tale. . . most of the elements that I love! I love books with settings that seem otherworldly and the imagination of the characters is just as meaningful as the "real" world.

I was thinking about that as I watched Big Fish again the other night, actually. If you have not seen this marvelous movie, do not continue reading this paragraph!! I do not want to ruin it for you!! SPOILER ALERT! Will (played by Billy Crudup) feels as though he doesn't know his father Edward (Albert Finney) because he tells so many fantastic tales that couldn't possibly be true. As a journalist, Will is obsessed with what actually happened. But a person's imagination is just as important to the creation of the person they are as the things that "really" happened. A lot of people get so troubled by movies where you can't tell what's "real"--I never worry about that.

But anyway, this is becoming an incredibly long post! I highly recommend The Story Sisters for quick and enjoyable reading; the story isn't always pleasant, but it has grabbed me, and I truly enjoy the writing style--it's rather poetic.

Go ye forth and read and imagine and be a style shape-shifter!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Collection Notes

Something Savage This way Comes
I have had SO MANY things swirling around in my head lately, but they're sort of coalescing into a collection of dark romance and slightly refined savagery. I'm hoping I can do these ideas justice--some attempts turn out to be offensive to the original idea.

Here's one portion of the inspiration. Right around 3:35 it gets really intense for me.


For this new collection, it's not really anything visual that's inspiring me--it's been more music. I've also been listening to "Disturbia" by Rihanna and "She Wolf" by Shakira lately, which intersects with this somehow--still raw, but it's kind of the industrial, insidious side of this imagined girl that this collection is made for--a contrast to her melancholy, wandering, earthy self. . . Needless to say, there will be leather, but there will be gauze; there will be metal, but there will be bone; black, but also brights. . . I'm really excited about this. Even more excited than I was about Haute Electro, maybe because I feel this collection will be saying something more personal.

Speaking of saying something more personal, here's some stuff I jotted around this idea as well. It's interesting to create in more than one medium--if I can't express the idea properly in one, I can try another!


The Hunter

The desert is the fulcrum of despair.
I ride my horse bareback, the wind
braided into my hair. From dark mesas

in the moonlight I see your horns, shadows
of your jaw--my love, my myth. Your mystery
whispers around the rocks, hushes

in a mountain stream. You twist out
of my grasp, wind through feathers. My father
warned me this journey was waste. I packed

my saddle anyway, packed my fur boots,
a wedding headdress. My wedding clothes
I rolled and left under my sister's pillow--

when I find you, you'll take me naked
in the river. I trust this truth. The wind
trails fingers through my hair.


So these are some of my seeds--we'll see what they grow to be.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Long Time No Blog

Wow, I have just gone missing lately, haven't I? Well the other part of my identity is assistant extraordinaire to my mother, who is the adviser to the senior class at our local high school. This week was their graduation and all the events that go along with it, and my time has been totally sucked up by that. But I have returned from the land of the graduates, and I just listed some new things at Frost on Etsy!


Hand Dyed Felted Gauze Scarf--Green Citrus

Cotton Gauze Adventures
I ordered some cotton gauze a week or 2 ago and I spent a lot of time ripping it and dyeing it--once that part of the process was done, I started felting on some of it, adding beading and embroidery. They're really summery, lightweight scarves, which is nice--plus, I just love doing anything with details and embellishments. That's the thing I enjoy the most about making any pieces, whether they be jewelry, scarves, or clothing.

I hope to have some new scarves and jewelry up soon--I've got some colorful ideas blooming in these parts and after I clean up from the whirlwind week, I'll be all over that!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oh Nostalgia! Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink is an excellent movie, and lately MTV has had the good sense to play it in the afternoons. I remember a few years ago when I was re-introduced to this movie full of awesome fashion (thanks to kooky Trax owner Iona, played by Annie Potts) and marvelously obscure tunes. And the songs I liked the best were the ones played at the club, Cats. Of course these songs are omitted from the soundtrack. Isn't that always the way? Anyway, at that point, the songs were not available on iTunes. But today I peeked again after catching a fave scene (the one were Duckie and Iona are at Cats, and Andie comes by with Blaine) and they had this fabulous rockabilly song on there for the buying! Well wooo-hoooo for me! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Overdue

Wow, I've been lax with the posting lately! But here's a poem for you. It's old. From 2005! I was looking at some stuff I had on my external hard drive my old computer, and out of 40 or so poems, this is the only one that really spoke to me in its entirety.


Wanna Get it Right: A Sonic Embodiment
by Cyndle Plaisted Rials

I’ve read everything and you seem kinda fucked up kinda pissed off
off on tangents lots of that off-and-on,
sweet unpredictable
focused madness that spreads and intrigues
and I mirror we mirror
I’d watch your face and trace the changes
thatfast, not so fast
as 8mm film tick ticking winding through wheels cogs reeling back
on itself reflexive like all this cyclical
all that rolling circular
back and forth still brilliance from green to blue
sharp shots pairing wit
imparting fabulous personal truths which wind around
legs tangled hair askew around the body a vacuum
poles magnets of coldness or heat— hard to tell. To leave well
enough alone— not my style not yours not
when things cluster
and break shatter rework in the slow
burning silences or the swift exchange
it’s all melting and pooling, swelling
like speed-heated glass so
fragile I won’t blow too hard.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vintage Lucite!


Midway Brights Vintage Lucite Necklace


This is probably my favorite out of the seven new vintage Lucite necklaces I posted last week. I love the purple-ish color with the turquoise and that orange stripey bead is just awesome!!! I have some other great color combos going on in the necklaces in the shop--check em out at Frost on Etsy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Poem: "The Fortuneteller"

Here's another of my circus poems from my MFA manuscript. I've been planning to enter some chapbook/book contests--I think I'll probably expand my circus poems and include them too. I'm also waiting to hear from a dear friend about these and her thoughts on them. I definitely feel that I need some more of them though to really flesh out the series. Anyway, here she is in her dark and shadowed tent,


The Fortuneteller
by Cyndle Plaisted Rials

Some offer palms shyly,
as if they never meant to enter the wine-red
tent smelling of jasmine
and incense, but as soon as the flap falls
shut, even the skeptics’ eyes darken,
widen at the prospect of revelation.
The womb released me
with these ancient talents—on the brackish edge
of a river, I read the sky, the birds, my father’s
face in the heat, my angry brother’s black
looks. I read fear everywhere. The rubes
shield their tender fright
with laughter, cup it in their hands
and offer it to me in the shadows
of my tent. Sometimes I tell
the truth about what I see, if it is not too dark,
not too feverish and tragic. If there’s anything
worse than a sad
ending, it’s the knowing
and the wait.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Florence + the Machine

Here is something sonically gorgeous, visually mind-blowing, and deeply emotive! I just discovered Florence + the Machine this week, and I've been listening to nothing but the debut album "Lungs." I would totally recommend reading her bio too--it really speaks to me, as someone who has a love of magic, fairy tales, dark love and emotions, and juxtaposition. So sometimes the perfect inspiring, stimulating thing really does come along to pull you out of your creative rut. Speaking of which, I was strolling Sage along on the way to the playground yesterday and the perfect little piece of a poem got snagged in my brain, but I just remembered that now--and the piece of a poem is gone. Hopefully I'll find it later, drifting around somewhere else. I have a firm belief that these things find their way back into our work if they were really true and necessary to say.

Anyway, here is the gorgeous stuff! "Cosmic Love" is just killing me with its savage beauty--not to mention, the lyrics are ethereal and gorgeous as the place the vocals reach. And as otherworldly as the visuals.

Labels


This morning I headed online to check some shop stats (though I haven't listed anything new since Sage's surgery), and spotted Tara Gentile's post about labels on Scoutie Girl. I definitely related to her struggles to characterize and label herself. I've considered myself a poet for more than 10 years, and I've been crafting and creating fashion accessories and jewelry for just as long.

I think that's the challenge of being someone who wants to do so many things simultaneously. If I narrowed my focus, would I be a truly accomplished practitioner of just one of those things? Because I certainly can't pour the same energies into a variety of disciplines at once. Some days I feel like writing, some days I feel like revising, some days it's spinning, crocheting, dying, felting, paper crafting, graphic designing, photographing, baking, stringing, blogging--if I only had one of these avenues to express myself, I don't think I'd be as fulfilled.

I feel now more than ever, as being a stay-at-home mom has become my definition to a lot of people, that making my range of skills clear to others is even more vital for my personhood. I think that's why I've never had a truly fulfilling day job--I've never been able to take full advantage of all the things I can do.

Even with style choices I've never felt like I could label myself--I love elements of punk, boho, retro glam, goth, mod. . . and that's influenced (as everything else is) by my mood for the day! So I guess I'll just continue to be a great big amalgam of all the things that I do and that inspire me. I'm going with "limitless", Tara!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New: Fun Vintage Lucite Necklaces


I have been a HUGE fan of vintage Lucite ever since I discovered it about 5 years ago. It comes in amazing colors, a gorgeous array of surface finishes, and who doesn't love vintage? Anyway, last week I went to my favorite supplier and got some great new beads to add to my collection. Today while Sage napped I finally made some lovely new necklaces! I have plans to go buy more bags of wonderful, colorful beads, but for now, these are ready to be photographed tomorrow and listed with the rest of the Frost! goodies on Etsy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Post-Surgery

Well, Sage had his cleft palate repair on Thursday at Maine Med and we were able to go home on Friday, which I was hoping for. It's always so impossible to sleep in the hospital. The worst thing is how stuffy it is! No fresh air is no good for me. Sage definitely isn't back to 100% yet, but he's having a better time now than he was at first! He can't have any solids at all for the next week or so, and I think he's getting sick of yogurt.

But the best thing about it all is that this is the last surgery he'll have until his permanent teeth come in--I can't even express how nice it is to know that the next time he has to have surgery we'll be able to explain it to him and he'll have an idea of what's coming. I always feel like we're tricking Sage with these surgeries because we can't tell him what's going to happen. And then after that one, he may just need some nose/lip touch-ups as his face grows. But as far as that goes, I'm going to leave it up to him--if it's purely cosmetic and doesn't affect functionality, I think he should decide. I would never want him to feel that he needs to look a certain way--I just want him to feel comfortable with who he is.

It's so weird--children born with clefts are often considered "special needs"--now that he's had the surgeries, that has kind of disappeared. I think a lot of people don't notice the little scar on his lip, the little flatness to the left side of his nose, and his teeth. He's just like any other kid.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Cuffs and Bracelets and Knitting vs. Crochet



I listed some new things in Frost on Etsy yesterday, and I have some more to do today! Lots of fiber jewelry--mostly cuffs and bracelets.

Adventures in Knitting
I'm thinking about breaking out the knitting needles today too--call me crazy. I don't have the best relationship with knitting. I mean, obviously keeping the proper tension isn't a problem, so evenness isn't an issue. But I just hate how slow it goes! And I don't know a lot of stitches, so I don't feel quite as adept. Like I couldn't sit down and make an improvised item like I can with crochet. I know how to increase, decrease, add in a variety of stitches--but with knitting I am a noob. Yep. A knitting noob. So I don't do it much. But I just love how you can get such an airy garment with knitting. With crochet, you can get a pretty lace pattern going, but if you want a light airy fabric with a really nice drape but fairly solid construction, you gotta knit.

And don't all the pretty yarns seem to be marketed to knitters? It's like crochet is the red-headed stepchild of the fiber arts. . . Despite that, I enjoy it a lot--I just want to have more versatility and options in creating my work. I taught myself to knit using the first Stitch n' Bitch book; luckily Debbie Stoller writes some pretty easy-to-understand directions. Some books I just look at them and I feel all tangled up even though I'm not even holding any yarn! So that's my endeavor for today, I guess--working on the knitting.

Sage News
Sage's surgery on his cleft palate is scheduled for tomorrow, but of course he woke up with a little runny nose and I had to call his plastic surgeon and let her know. Hopefully he gets better by the middle of the day, when she calls again. Otherwise, the surgery will be rescheduled. Which sucks! But I'd much rather have the wait for a safe surgery. I loaded him up on orange juice to rock that Vitamin C, and now I need to find out if there are baby vitamins! :) Hopefully everything will proceed as scheduled!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love Letter

The other day when I came downstairs to exercise before my little guy woke up, this is what I saw on the living room floor by the baby's toys.



From my sweet husband! :) Sometimes he really surprises me with these romantic gestures.

First Sale Ever at Frost!



So Sage is having his third surgery next week, and I decided to offer a Buy One, Get One 50% off Sale from today-April 29th (the day of the surgery). If you happen to mosey on over to Frost on Etsy and find some things you love, once you commit to buy I will send a revised invoice reflecting the discount! Discount taken on item of equal or lesser value. And no matter what you buy, it always ships Priority Mail for $5 in the US!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scallop Headbands and Bursting with Ideas



I have been positively blooming with ideas lately! Which is nice, considering I was in quite the imagination-rut recently. For someone whose major enjoyment comes from writing poetry and creating things, when there's nothin' goin' on upstairs and that goes on for a while, I become a pretty miserable lady! But I made some headbands at the end of last week that I really like--that's them up above there. And also, a pretty Victorian-esque cuff that's made out of some jersey remnants from Salaam in Montpelier, VT. Plus a few little felted bits, some beads, some embroidery, and a trim remnant.

Yesterday it was all new yellows and greens on Frost, but today it's multi-color and bright (those headbands were new yesterday)! I am a total sucker for color even though I typically wear black and season with colorful accessories. In fact, that should be a post sometime-- "what to wear with your all-black wardrobe!" But it's getting warm up here in the Northeast and I am ready for raspberries and lime greens, aquas and oranges! I expect there will be a whole lot of color going on in the future for Atelier Frost on Etsy.

My ideas involve embroidered collars, patchwork scarves, and maybe even some garments!!! Up to this point I have only ever made clothing for myself, but I've been wanting to do some embellishment and reconstruction (and deconstruction) and even some making-from-scratch! So we'll see what comes of that. I'll be sure to keep you posted! Ideas are a balm for the soul!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fresh Green Braids

I've been working away at making some new items--lately I'm feeling really inspired by a box of tangled sari silk ribbon I have. The colors are so varied, some with iridescent finishes, plus raw, thready edges. . . There's so much texture! I braided a long (over 10 feet) necklace with shades of green and teal with touches of magenta. I think it came out really beautiful--the colors seem so alive and electric!




Trying out Treasury East

In honor of my color obsession, I also created a treasury on Etsy's new Treasury East, which is in beta testing right now. It's called "Now that's a bright idea!"



I really love everything on that list, but the lime green slippers by natalya1905, the photo (aren't those colors gorgeous?) by bomobob, and that amazing yarn by YOKNITS are my top faves!

You can check out my Fresh Greens Braid Necklace and almost a hundred other unique, eclectically-styled items at Frost on Etsy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Treasury: Spring Whimsy in Pink and Turquoise


I was up inexplicably late last night and managed to snag a treasury--I packed it with bright shades for spring and summer. I really love a lot of the things featured here--I love the seahorse print by papermoth. The resin cocktail ring by Triian is amazing!! I can honestly say I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. And I've been a fan of Kecky for a while--that technoPOP print has fabulous color and texture; not to mention it's just plain FUN!

Check out Spring Whimsy in Pink and Turquoise on Etsy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poem: "Interpose"

Interpose
by Cyndle Plaisted Rials

Break your soul over my body
like an egg—not like a gem-encrusted
egg on a hutch, that splits
in a predestined spot, a specific range
of opening. I want to see the harsh crack
lines like a mountain silhouette—quick, calligraphic,
one picture, one word. You are an unhealed
cut, on a knuckle or knee—opening
every time I bend. Sharp like one note plucked
on a guitar.

I bit the inside of my cheek
when I chewed and now it has this ugly
habit of insinuating itself, of finding
its way between my teeth again and again.
Things like orange juice
give it rusty edges.

I desperately want to stop
writing you onto every page, letting every subject
suggest you so shamelessly, the way a round
follows itself—when stopped, the same
song, just in a different place.







I wanted to say
something not about you—that was
that space.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Reclaimed Leather Jewelry


Last night I listed some new leather necklaces made from sample swatches from our local tannery that closed down a few years ago. It's actually about a stone's throw from my house! But anyway, they're on hand-braided cord with fun details like beading and embroidery. . . I plan to make some more, because although leather is not all that easy to hand sew through (this is thick leather), it was a lot of fun doing something totally new! Check out Atelier Frost on Etsy to see more new jewelry!

Also, this morning I headed to Etsy and what did I see? The treasury I made of all Maine Team members' items! :) It was very exciting, since it's my first front page with a treasury I made! Just in case it's not there anymore, here's a screen shot of it.

I hope all those lovely people on the front page get lots of views and sales!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Poem: "The Costumer"

This past Wednesday was another PPLP Hoot Night--I started going last month (I'd been "meaning" to go for about 2 years). Last month I made sure to put myself on the list, and my poem, "Breakfast Letters" seemed to be well received. This time I read "The Costumer," from a series of poems about the circus set roughly in the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th. I only have about 5 poems in this series, but I want to expand upon them, and I'd really love for them to become a book with illustrations.

I've been looking for someone to work with on this, but the one time I tweeted about it, I got a direct message from someone who wanted to know what my budget was. Maybe I don't know how people are supposed to go about this, but I had hoped I'd find someone that wanted to collaborate--a poem of mine would inspire them to create piece of visual art, and they would be working on the same project, maybe creating a painting of a bearded lady, or an acrobat, or even an animal, and that would inspire me to write a new poem for the project. I want an artistic give and take! But it would have to be someone whose work was bit dark and quirky--not realistic. And it would most likely end up being self-published. But I think the market for that work is there! I really do! Ah, well--I'll keep up my search. Anyway, here's the poem:



The Costumer
by Cyndle Plaisted Rials

The seams must be just so. The sequins
must be placed in such a way
that they catch the pink and yellow light
perfectly while Lena rides bareback, her little blue
slippers pointing out, so Hans sparkles
like a shooting star when he flies
out of the cannon. I don’t ask questions
about burn marks, hook holes, blood stains
in costumes. I sew and wash the skin
they get to wear then shed
every night. I care for their fabric personae,
outfits that look bodied
on their hangers in my costume car.
They sway and dance over trestles,
they bump and mingle when we stop. I saw
two holding wrists
last night—it happens occasionally. I know
these costumes better
than I know their wearers, better
than they know me. I know
their measurements, could commission
a coffin for any of them—jugglers, clowns,
aerialists, dancers. The ringmaster’s
dimensions I once knew. Now he prefers
to maintain even that mystery, wearing
store-bought clothes, laundering
and mending his sumptuous silk cravat
—red— the fine black coat with tails
and smooth satin lapels. I am
no longer permitted even the pleasure
of washing his collars and cuffs, the fabric
at the pulse points.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Unqualified Acceptance and Complacency

I have long been interested in issues of women and their conceptions of their bodies, and how society fits into the picture and affects how we perceive beauty. I was thinking about this again today because Dr. Phil had a "Fat Debate" going on today, and it made me want to sort out my feelings on everything involved.

I have never at any time been what I considered thin, but looking back at photos, I see that during the end of my undergrad/going into my MFA program, I actually was in really good shape. For some women, being 165-170 lbs and a size 10 is cause for alarm, but I'm 5'10" and I've always had an athletic body. I used to be a runner, I love winter sports like cross country skiing and ice skating, and I've always enjoyed lifting weights and exercising. I come from the land of the Vikings--I'm not meant to be a size 2!

And that's what I was thinking about the most when I was watching Dr. Phil. One part of the debate was from the standpoint of body acceptance, no matter the size. That people should just learn to be comfortable with the body they have. I can't agree with that without qualifying it a bit. You should accept the body you were born to have, and make it the best you can. Not comparing yourself to people with personal trainers, personal chefs, and nutritionists. Not comparing yourself to people who've bought their body parts. Not comparing yourself to models. Or ANYONE else. Not every woman's body was created to be a size 0. But if that's what you naturally are, great!

The emphasis should be on accepting your body because it's different, special, takes you where you need to go, and all that good stuff. But unqualified acceptance doesn't challenge you--and without challenge, there is no improvement. You have to get a little uncomfortable in order to grow. Not just in exercise, but in everything.

If you've never put yourself in a vulnerable position, trying to do something that you know might be a reach for you, whether it be a job, meeting new people, whatever, you won't experience the joy of achieving something tough. Yeah, having my poems rejected from a journal sucks, but what am I going to do? Stop trying to share my poems with the world because it's scary? Hell no! Like Tony Horton says: "Do your best and forget the rest."

So yes, accept your body for what it is--curvy hips, athletic figure, small butt, short legs, big feet, small breasts, big breasts, whatever you have--but make sure you're the best, healthiest, happiest you you can be. That's how I'm operating.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Treasury: Manic Pixie Dream Girls



My most recent treasury was snagged by just happening to log in one minute before the 333rd list expired! It's called "Manic Pixie Dream Girls" in honor of the eccentric gals in a number of indie movies. You can read a rude man's description of them (Wikipedia says that Nathan Rabin claims Katherine Hepburn's character in Bringing Up Baby was one of the first instances of this archetype, so obviously he's a dumbass. Sorry, but Katherine Hepburn is anything but frivolous).

My feeling about these characters, though, is that they are free spirits, wonderfully interesting, and colorful. Like Zooey Deschanel in ANYTHING she's ever been in? Charming! And even if you don't agree, and you think these characters are shallow, too-hip-for-their-own-good, mopey-music-loving creations from the fantasies of geeky screenwriters, you still can't argue that they don't have style! You can visit and comment on the treasury on Etsy. And if you're in a browsing mood, check out one of the 92 items in my shop!

Figure of Speech

This poem was included in my MFA manuscript, and it's been through a lot of changes since I wrote it during my undergrad. At the time I was into Robert Hass, so I started writing poems in sections. I think it may still need some more something, but here it is for now! A side note: I can't get this to appear exactly as it's laid out on the page, but hopefully that doesn't affect the reading of it much!

Figure of Speech
Cyndle Plaisted Rials

What is the figure of speech, of stylistic perfection,
expression lovely— out loud or on the page, what is
the most attractive shape?

Ask Calvin Klein:

The figure of speech
is heroin chic
barest minimum frame
for the meaning to hang--
fabulous designer clothing.

Peter Paul Rubens:
She is luxurious, fleshy
luminescent and full-bodied
with Truth—the figure of speech
is fully revelatory and glorious.

Hugh Heffner:
The right figure
is not one of speech! Sex sells, yes,
tanned skin, platinum hair,
the biggest breasts
imaginable. A picture is worth
a million dollars; words
are for people without sex appeal.


-----

It was words for me. Puns
made me laugh, plays on words—my Jack the Ripper
joke that people in my class, people
my age, never understood:

What did Jack the Ripper’s friends say about his skills with women?

He was a real lady-killer!


Maybe it was the oldness
of the colloquialism that made the other kids
not laugh, think I was weird; it was a turn
of phrase that they might have heard
if they liked their grandparents’ TV shows.

-----

A metaphor is not a carte blanche,
not in this world where the slightest reference
calls up numerous entries in a rolodex, some splotched
faded, or no longer accurate—
no association is really free. Poetry
is not psychoanalytic therapy.

-----

The caricature doctor says: white.

wash, wall, wide, wing, sing, span

I think you’re getting a bit carried away. Let’s try this
again. Black.

ball, bat, blood, blend, mend, mink

Clearly you’re not even trying. What do you hope to gain from this
anyway?
-----


Once I let them go, they are not quite mine
anymore, the phrases I utter,
the way I hear them when I say them—
feel free to misquote me. They do.

What are the words,
the little many lots of words
in a hundred thousand shades
that become re-colored with every use?

What does it mean when I and an Atheist
say Jesus Christ?

-----

The figure of lines on a page—like posts
where signs hang, streetlamps, lines
like uneven fences.
Maybe the meaning is not just the configuration,
but it is actually beyond
the margins, something humming
in the air around the lines and paragraphs
scratched and marked
in my straight up-and-down penmanship.
I was sketching, between the words,
the curving hips of a woman’s body.
Something true, the skin and flesh
of an inspired woman, the speech and figure,
fourth finger callused, dirty from pen ink.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Poem For You, on the First Day of April: The Season

The Season
by Cyndle Plaisted Rials

Commune with the dirt, seeker girl, sneaker
freak, meteoric on a pedal-bike,
breathing deep the greenness, the absolute life. The snow
melts perceptibly, the evening brightens in your dreams.
You leave a sigh on the countertop
and allow love to be. Spring is
quick! It flicks like pink buds in the wind
across the vast everything in sight. You open
your veins like a goddess, let that O positively
out, benefactress, baby, smiler. What’s greener
than this? Only yellow. Drip-
drying happiness in a backyard
on a clothesline that turns in the wind
like a mill. Like a million particles
of ever after, the sun fuses and burns. I call you
“girl” for sure. It is undoable.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sparked

My friend Amy, who I met during my time in Vermont College's MFA program, runs this great site of collaborative work between writers and visual artists (and sometimes musicians too)! It's organized in rounds and each round runs for a specific period. How it works is I'm assigned a partner, I send him or her my poem, he or she sends me a visual art piece, and we each work on a response piece to the other's work. At the end of the round, all pieces are submitted to Amy, and she posts them on the site.

This time I was assigned a mixed media artist to whom I sent my poem "The Looking Glass"--you can view it with her response piece. Check out the SPARK website to see more creative, collaborative work!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Haute Electro!



So this is the first time I've officially made a "collection" of products for my shop. It's called "Haute Electro" and it's pretty much fiber jewelry and hair accessories at the moment. I don't know what I might expand it to, but I just listed a few pieces, and there will be more coming tomorrow. The inspiration for the Haute Electro collection came from some bamboo fiber dyed in shades of neon with black by my friend Sara from LushMommy. A touch of punk, some retro chic, bright Day-Glo colors, tulle, vintage lucite, and metal touches are the essence of these pieces.

I love a little punk in my wardrobe--in college I was punk all the way, clothes-wise. As has been mentioned in a previous post, I was petrified of doing anything permanent to my hair, so I didn't have any crazy hair colors. But I did wear hot pink fishnets, combat boots, over-the-knee socks, things with studs, and lots of black. But I've never been totally sold by one style, so a lot of the time, the things I design are a mish-mash of influences and styles--I think the pieces for Haute Electro are kind of retro-burlesque-punk, which is always fun.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bringing the poetry to Frost

So, I started a separate blog for my poetry (if it has not been mentioned, my education is actually in creative writing--BA in English with Writing minor, MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry concentration). But I am not dividing myself between these blogs anymore--I am going to put my life stuff, Frost on Etsy stuff, and poetry stuff all in one place--after all, these are all big parts of who I am.

Here's your first poem that has ever appeared on this blog, from my 2008 MFA manuscript.


Radio Boy

by Cyndle Plaisted Rials

Auroras don’t happen at lunch time, when your lungs
beat time against your ribs. Tattoos. The dual meaning. Let me go on
with my making up and thinking everything has more
than one. I swear it does. This phone in my pocket
is like a tunnel from your lips to my ear, always open
when it’s powered on, whether you’re really there or not. Your voice
is muffled from my pocket—I like that. Hearing you like in a close-rocked
cave, anytime, all day, your stream of consciousness out loud.
I want to hear those sudden lucky thoughts, like a little voice
in your brain, a little you sitting by a flimsy tape
set up like a reel-to-reel (thoughts are cyclical) reading
your thinking out loud—things about cat’s fur, the way you wake up
with hot fingers, what that blue car looks like in the sun. See me
making up your thoughts? But I’m not. The little you is reading
to me, running his finger along each line on the scrawled tape
to keep his place, reading fast to keep up. I hear you thinking
out loud from my pocket, that simple. At first I tried to cover
the sound with my hand. And then I didn’t care who heard.

My adorable son



Occasionally I just have to do the "here's my cute kid" post. So here's my cute kid! He's been walking around the house a lot lately, taking furniture pit stops. And now if he falls, he stands back up again instead of going immediately back to crawling. It seemed like it happened overnight. One day he could only walk a few steps, now he's touring the rooms like a little toddling pro!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Transitional Accessories


(Crocus Sky Cowl with hand spun rambouillet--the most velvety, squishy fiber I've ever had the pleasure to spin. Will be listed for sale tomorrow)

I've been making cowls for the last few days. Relatively open stitches, with bands of my hand spun yarn. I like them a lot. But unfortunately, they don't photograph correctly on my torso mannequin--having a neck is a pretty important part of wearing a cowl, and my mannequin has a little stub neck. So I had to model them, although art direction of a photo shoot is a lot easier when you're not IN the photograph. . . I really need to enlist some free or very cheap models sometime here. That'll be my next goal. I did one shop update today, and I'll have another tomorrow.

Ideas for hair accessories have also been swirling through the old noggin lately. . . 'tis the season, I guess. Those will hopefully be coming the end of this week or the beginning of next. Leather butterflies. . . And some neon cuffs with tulle and dupioni and stripes. . . I'm too excited not to get off here and go get working! Check out the new goods, and keep an eye out for more new additions with plenty of new designs!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ditched the new shop idea

I had started a new shop for selling supplies, but I have changed my mind about that and decided to just spin yarn to use for my own projects now. So my supply shop is no more! But I have some lovely things I made yesterday with my new hand spun yarn that will hopefully go up today. . . Hooray! :) Nothing else new here--just trying to keep many ongoing projects afloat!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My brother, the future Navy SEAL



This photo of my little (ha!) brother was in the San Diego Union-Tribune this month--he's on the obstacle course during his BUD/s training. My mother of course called and ordered 10 copies of it! :) He's on San Clemente Island right now for next 5 weeks, but when he's done with that, he'll be back to Coronado for graduation from BUD/s! Another step closer to his dream of becoming one of the toughest of the tough, a Navy SEAL.

His birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and honestly, I can't believe he'll already be 21. I can still remember the day my parents called me from the hospital (I was staying with my grandparents) to tell me that my prayers had been answered and I had a new baby brother. Man, I'm tearing up just thinking about it! Because although we had a little rough patch here and there, I've always had a great relationship with my brother--he's also a really great friend that I love to laugh with (and at), share music and old movies with, and learn about. He's a tough guy, as I'm seeing more and more as he goes through this process, but he's also a sweet and thoughtful guy, and that's what makes him the best brother in the world.

Alright, I'm going to stop before I get too teary. Oh, the emotions of the evening are so intensified! Little brother, my thoughts are with you--I hope you know it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spinning New Yarns



So I finally listed some new yarns on my supply shop. I spun up some of my new bamboo/rayon from LushMommy too, and I'm planning on making some lovely textile jewelry pieces with it. The difference between spinning a fiber like that and wool is like the difference between sewing satin and cotton on the sewing machine. It's a lot more slippery and a little tougher to control. For me, anyway. But the yarns I spun from it came out gorgeous. Her colors are just awesome. I already made another purchase from her. I just keep wanting to buy piles and piles of roving and spinning supplies. Fiber is addictive and there's so much gorgeous stuff out there!

Friday, March 12, 2010

One of the other things I do in my somewhat busy life is advise a high school yearbook. It's a 200-page book, so it's no small feat. And inevitably, I end up doing a lot of the work (the sentiment was summed up perfectly in the answer to an interview question for a yearbook layout: "Why are you late to class?" "Because I don't care."). It's already my responsibility to do all the design work for the layouts. But the whole book is due on Monday, so I have been working on that what seems like all day every day for the last week and a half. Boy, does my body hate sitting at the computer for that long every day (the yearbook is built online). Anyway, that's the reason for the lack of productivity in other things, like shop updates. But I plan to rectify this soon--I hate feeling like my shop is stagnant.

I have some cool fiber necklace ideas that I'm working on, so we'll see how that goes. I want to do some pieces that are a little more happenstance and deconstructed looking. I'm thinking embroidery, frayed edges, metal. . . If I get anything good made today, I'll take some pics and post!

In other news, my conrod joint to fix my spinning wheel came today! So now I can use the yummy fiber I got from LushMommy, whose stuff is just gorgeous. I want to be in her monthly fiber club SO BADLY!

Well, that's the deal lately--and I am now determined to make something today!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Surprisingly Good Blurb from a Cruddy Magazine

So I have been bumming a bit lately because of various areas of life: poetry submission rejections (check that out here), feeling a little lackluster creatively-speaking, and various other blah things.

Let me backtrack a bit to say that I used to LOVE Domino magazine (a fabulous and hip decorating magazine with a few lifestyle things thrown in) and I had a subscription last year sometime. And then Domino was no more, and the magazine publisher, in its infinite wisdom, replaced my funky, sorta indie interior design subscription with one to. . . Glamour. I was less than pleased. That magazine is fluff. Or at least it always has been. I prefer Elle personally--better fashion, more intellectual articles--but Glamour seems to be turning over a new leaf, trying to feature models of all sizes (and not just in weight-specific features--most of the time not even mentioning size, which is refreshing) and they seem to have more articles that mean something.

This month there was a little one-page piece called "Quick: What Do You Want to Do With Your Life?" written by author Kelly Corrigan. The whole little essay is good and got to me. But here's the part that really stuck:

"Aren't we all secretly aware that there are things we'd like to try--and might actually be able to do--if we weren't so damn embarrassed to be seen trying?" . . . "That old self-consciousness that kicks in around kindergarten and holds us hostage until we're finally old enough to wear purple, as the famous poem reads, impacts more than just our fashion choices. It snuffs out dreams."

It made me think of all the things that I haven't done because I was afraid. Afraid of failing privately, afraid of failing publicly and being laughed at--a short list is team sports (I ran track and XC--I felt coordinated enough to run), auditioning for plays, and taking dance classes. There are other things that intimidate me, but I still do them. Like submitting my poems, despite the fact that they get rejected. Repeatedly. Because I have this goal to have my poetry read and heard by other people, I'll keep putting myself out there, just like I did last week at an open mike after a poetry reading. I'll blow up a big bubble and suspend my disbelief and keep trying to get there. I think this has been the problem for me lately: life has no purpose if you're not putting yourself out there and trying to get somewhere.

Monday, March 8, 2010

New, Scary Adventures in DIY! (and the History of my Hair)


Let me start out by saying that I pretty much find out how to do something if it interests me. Just in the last year or two, I figured out needle and wet felting, knitting, and spinning (next on the list is resin) just because I saw things made with those processes that inspired me. So I did some research, bought supplies, and had at it.

But this story is not just about makin' stuff. The history of my hair is a pretty peaceful one. I've never had a perm, I've had just a handful of haircuts at salons (the rest have been courtesy of my mother), and I've had my hair highlighted once a year in the winter from maybe 1999 to 2007. My hair wasn't virginal, but it was not experienced.

In Vermont on one of my MFA residencies I dyed my hair (with the encouragement and assistance of my fabulous friend Liz) for the first time EVER--that was in January 2008. In junior high I saw other girls with crazy colored hair and wished I had the guts to do it, but I never did. Since 2008 I've dyed my hair various dark browns and a couple of times, even a bright, punchy red. And had a number of haircuts from my mom. She's great at cutting hair, but she has claimed to feel uncomfortable cutting my hair in a more "scene" style (yes, I am not emo but I LOVE scene hair). She gave me one awesome really layered haircut that was great for teasing (had lots of short layers on top/in the back) but I'll be damned if I can get her to do it again!

So today, after I cut Tom's hair (I cut my husband's hair and my son's hair with no nervousness whatsoever now--it wasn't always the case) I said "why don't I just learn to cut my hair myself?" So I watched some videos on YouTube about cutting your own hair, looked at pics of hairstyles I liked, and then I wet my head, velcroed on my hair-repelling Conair poncho, grabbed a comb and scissors, and had at it (I'm pretty sure I never would've undertaken such a project if my spinning wheel were not out of commission, so maybe that turned out to be a good thing today)!

I'm not going to lie. It got a bit dicey here and there. I was real worried about my layers getting out of control. And I don't think I breathed while I did my bangs. One thing that made it less scary was that I didn't actually snip with the scissors--I used a technique more like razoring, I just did it with my open scissors. And you know what? I'll be damned if it's not the best haircut I've ever had! :) Please see the blurry nighttime photo exhibit below. I normally don't take pictures when I don't have makeup on, but I thought this post would be nothing without pics.





It's not all teased and sprayed, but I think it still looks cute that way too. I have to say, as scared as I've always been to cut my own hair, I'm pretty impressed with my first try! Now what new skill can I conquer tomorrow? :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chained to the Wheel


I have been missing because I have been spinning yarn like a crazy person the last few days! I've opened a new shop called Frost Supplies and I just posted my first items in it last night and this morning! It's very exciting. I just love spinning! I'm saving my pennies for a jumbo flyer unit because I like spinning bulky yarns, and I want to be able to do greater quantities of yarn too. At the moment the most I can spin at once is pretty much a max of 100 yards. I must say that buying roving and other spinning supplies is SUPER fun. All the beautiful color combinations. . . It just makes me want to hoard the stuff! Anyway, that's what I've been up to lately! Just another new crafting obsession. . .

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Good Day to Dye


Yesterday I was a dyeing fool. The most popular item I think I've ever had is my Revelry Scarf. I started making them a few months shy of a year ago, and I've sold more than ten on Etsy, plus some at my holiday fairs this year. Last week I pulled out a pile of plain white jersey and decided to make some up then dye them.

I wasn't sure about the fiber content of the jersey (I tend to stock-pile fabric and don't always keep good records of these things), so I didn't know how they would come out, but I finally got around to dyeing yesterday. I also did some formerly white jackets that I plan to embroider and embellish, plus some new jersey scarves that are less tailored than the Revelry Scarf. All told, I dyed 18 pieces yesterday! My fingertips and nail beds are a dull burgundy today.

So I'll be updating the shop with these items, a few at a time. I've been tossing around ideas for a new funky textile jewelry line as well, so we'll see how that goes. Nothing else new under the sun!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One Year


Sage has been a year old for one week. His birthday was a really nice home celebration with just us (other than an unfortunate appearance by an uninvited guest later in the evening, but I don't want to dwell on unpleasantness). My mother got his cake for him--it was an homage to my brother, who's in Coronado. It was a Sponge Bob cake. She wanted it to say "Happy Birthday, Stinkyface!" but had to settle for "Happy Birthday Sage" (the stinkyface thing is because of this adorable book she bought him--the first one he ever got. It's all about a little boy who asks his mother all these questions about if she would love him if he was an alien, or a one-eyed monster, or a skunk named Stinkyface, etc etc etc).

Basically I just can't believe he's a year old. He's been pushing a wheeled mop bucket around the house lately--he loves picking things up and dropping them in his little cart as he toodles around. It's very cute. I thought that maybe by the time he was one, I would be thinking about having another, but I'm really not. I saw my super-pregnant cousin the other day and I didn't feel a twinge of longing. Not one. So maybe this is it for us. But then I think of all the fun I've had with my brother and how much I love him, and I wonder if I'm depriving him of something. I guess I still don't know. But in a way I can't imagine having another child.

I guess that's something I'll have to continue to toss around. I guess it's akin to the question "How do you know when someone is the person you want to marry?" And I think answer is purported by many to be "You just know."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Different People, Different Styles & Behavioral Responsibility


(my "little" bro who is now more than 6 inches taller than me)

This post by Seth Godin about "hunters and farmers" and how they differ is really interesting to me. It specifically made me think of my brother, who as a child in school was pretty easily distracted by birds outside the window, paint peeling on the windowsill beside him, noises in the hall, etc etc etc. The private school we went to wanted him tested for ADD and wouldn't take him for the next school year until testing had been done and (presumably) medication dispensed.

But my mother didn't want him labeled like that, so she opted to homeschool him instead. She did all kinds of great lesson plans with him that made his work really hands-on and vibrant. He did a great job. I believe it was in junior high that he went to public school, and he did well right up through graduating. Tried the community college thing, it wasn't really for him. Now he's in the Navy training to be a SEAL.

If my mother had allowed the school to force him into a "farmer" box, he probably wouldn't be doing what he's doing now. And he probably wouldn't be happy, going against his natural proclivities that way. But that "hunter" mentality is just what he needs to make it as a SEAL--lots and lots of observation, the ability to focus intensely for a the period of time that's required to make all the important things happen. . .

It's really made me think about how Sage might be as he grows up. We've already talked about homeschooling for him, but more and more that seems like a good idea, being able to tailor his lessons to his learning style. Also, because his teeth will probably not be quite normal until he's 8 or 9, I don't really want to subject him to any unnecessary teasing.

I really think that all this diagnosis and medication for ADD and ADHD, from what I've seen, is more harm than help. I've subbed in all grades, from kindergarten to high school, and I've had 5-year-olds come up to me and tell me "I'm gonna be out of control today because I didn't take my medication." It's almost like "Well, I have an attention problem, so I don't have to take responsibility for behaving properly and TRYING to pay attention." That really bothers me. What I think this world needs more of is people taking responsibility for what they do and making sure that the things they ARE doing are something to be proud of. Giving people a cop-out is bull.

That post also made me wonder--am I a hunter or a farmer? And I think that I am a little more hunter than farmer, but they are both there. Self-exploration: so fascinating! What about you? Are you a hunter or a farmer?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Baby in the Cupboard



My son Sage has progressed, at this level of dexterity and mobility, to opening cupboards and pulling everything out of them. Yesterday he managed to pull out the Cheerios box (he definitely recognizes this box as something pleasant--whenever he sees it, he starts smiling and--there's really no other word for it--panting. So he got that out of the cupboard, opened the box, pulled out the bag of cereal, and commenced to eat right out of the bag. And that was all in no time flat. And too cute not to photograph! :)

He's going to be a year old in exactly one week. It's pretty crazy to think that it was just a year ago I was still pregnant with him. He just learned to clap this week, and I think walking is going to be coming up pretty soon. I remember being in 5th grade and thinking that it took forever just for a week to go by. In college, semesterd went by pretty quickly. But now that I have a child, it seems like a year is gone like that! Can't believe it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Freeform Cuff



Here's another freeform cuff I just made--I love the colors. I'm really on a purple kick these days. I just applied for a total dream job--more later on how that's gonna go. I'm seriously praying about it. Non-stop--it's like a mantra in my brain.

I also submitted poems to two of my favorite journals this week: Ninth Letter and Hunger Mountain. Ninth Letter is absolutely amazing. The visual art and written works co-mingle on the pages--it's a big format and one that I would LOVE a subscription to sometime when I have some extra dough. Hunger Mountain is VCFA's (where I did my MFA) journal. They were both online subs, so hopefully I'll hear back before too long.

Oh, so many things happening! How exciting!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Freeform Crochet Foray! Hurray!

Oh, I am such a geek with my word selection! Anyway, I have been SUPER inspired lately by some freeform crochet pieces I've happened upon on Flickr and other places, so I decided to try my hand at some myself; let me tell you WHAT FUN!! I love making scarves, but occasionally I get a little toasted after doing V-stitch or grit stitch for a few days, and doing this cuff was seriously like shaking out your foot when it's all pins-and-needles! It was like a big, reaching stretch. Just FUN.

Here's my first piece: Apple Kiss



And here's the back:



I'm already working on another! It's great because going into spring, I don't do a lot of scarves--I do more jewelry and hair items. So I expect to be putting more energy into these are spring approaches.

I've also got to get working on some pin-up style snoods--I just love them, and I haven't found a lot on Etsy in the retro style I like. Taking photos of my own head is kind of tough though, at least getting them to look how I want my photos to look--might have to enlist some gals I know to be models. . .

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lovelorn Scarf and a NEW Blog!



This is my newest scarf and I have to say I love it! I started with the tweed and suede yarn, and it just grew from there. I love the weight of it and how it drapes, the scallop edge--the fringe is so cool too! Okay, I will no more gush over my own item. But I do like it.

In other news, I've started a new blog on poetry, writing, and such. It's called "Out of Slumber and Dreams" because my poems often seem draped with the mist of the freshly awakened. And the unconscious mind is so important in writing poetry and dreaming both.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Heart of the Hopeless Romantic



I've made a few felted heart brooches this weekend, and I really like how they came out! The above is the Hopeless Romantic's Heart. This is really the first time I've produced items specifically fora a holiday--usually I have all kinds of ideas that never get put into motion, but I wet felted on Thursday and made these, and I've been beading and stitching last night and today. I can't even remember what brought the idea on, but I just started thinking about creating a visual representation of the heart. I also have the Mermaid Heart listed, and in progress are the Punker's Heart and the Fairy's Heart. I've also got some other ideas for love-themed scarves; we'll see how that goes!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In an Etsy Finds Email!! Yahoooo!!!!


So today I opened my Etsy email and lo, and behold--there I was! Well not me, actually--it was my Downtown Tribal Collar/Fiber Necklace!

I think it's the first time I have ever been featured! I was just very excited, so I wanted to share! :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New item!



I started making these cool wrap cuffs from my stash of leather and jersey remnants (leather's from my grandmother's leather goods designer days, the jersey is from a great boutique in Montpelier that designs and cuts a lot of their own pieces). I love the combination of the toughness of the studs and the drape of the jersey, not to mention I think the matte black studs are deathly cool.

I've listed a purple stitched one, and one with three big silver studs with lime stitching.



Oh, I forgot to add that they're actually convertible into a headband too! :) I love versatility!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Celebrity Look-Alike?


These are the varied women I have been told I look like (and not just once--by a lot of people. Like I meet someone and they say "Hey, you know who you look like? That girl on Scrubs (or "that girl on That 70s Show" etc etc)!

And I really can't see any of them. Here's me (when I was my natural blonde, for the sake of comparison).



Hm. Nope, still don't see it. I think they all have smaller noses. . .

Anyway, I'm hoping to be able to do some sewing today. I got some gorgeous t-shirt weight jersey recently in a beautiful orange and a lovely, au courant medium green. Plus a great linen neutral plaid. . . Hooray!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Worth Pondering


(Cleft lip progression: Sage at a few weeks old, six months old, and 10 months old, a few months after surgery)

Actually, I realized after I finished that last post that I *do* have something to say and that is this: Today my husband was feeding Sage, and he was talking about Sage's past and upcoming surgeries. And he said that we were "un-perfecting what God made perfect." I have to admit that I've thought about that before. Certainly I wouldn't want Sage to go through life feeling Other and ostracized--but I think the way I'm planning to raise him, he probably would anyway. I always did.

I've settled on the conviction that if it were simply cosmetic, I don't think we would've gone through all of it. I think that would send a message that he is unacceptable as he is, which couldn't be further from the truth. But since these things affect his functioning (lip, palate, teeth) I think it's justifiable. I guess that's my little thing about acceptance and what God makes and all of that difficult stuff.

Still Sick!


I can't believe how long I have been this sinus-y! Beginning this afternoon, the space between my ears (temples, cheeks, nose, etc) felt like that photo every time I coughed. Or leaned over too far. I'm sure you can imagine what a fun day I've had.

In other news, I will try to write something interesting in the next day or so, as this is certainly not exciting reading.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Snagging a Treasury


The numbers count down . . . 336 . . . 335 . . . Hours ago I entered search terms relentlessly, seeking the perfectly curated collection. . . I have my title scribbled on a piece of scrap paper next to my computer. I'm knitting to pass the time until suddenly the number drops to 333. . . the words "The Treasury is full right now" blur before me on the screen, my fingers hovering over my keyboard, waiting for the title box to appear. I have an almost uncontrollable urge to apply chapstick to my dry lips. . . The box pops up! I type furiously and hit "Create!"

Yes, that's what it's like every single time I make a treasury on Etsy. But I got one today, and this time my inspiration was "The Night Dances" by Sylvia Plath. I used search terms found in the poem (tiger, petals, lilies, spirals, black amnesias, lamps, planets, six-sided, comets, ego) and I think my favorite item in the treasury is the ring pictured above, by Mercury Orchid. Love it!

New Year, Better Blogging?



I sure hope so! I'm going to make a concerted effort to blog more this year. Actually, after having more time to think about it, I have since added to the list I posted to Alison Tyler's blog (for which I won a snazzy Elvis quote pendant). So add to that: 1) posting on my blog more; 2) getting better at knitting (already working on that--see photo above); 3) trying to make something happen with singing/band thing (I want to be Karen O.); 4) potty training Sage! Okay, so he's only 11 months now, but summer is a great time to potty-train, I hear.

Since I am no longer on Facebook, this blogging thing should be a bit easier--the time I used to spend on FB I can now spend blogging about something interesting. And actually I would like to spend less time wandering around the vast internet and more time creating.

I have some great new ideas for products, so I'm hoping to get those new things started up and posted--unfortunately EVERYONE in the house is currently ill--even the baby. He has the saddest little cough. But he still smiles and laughs almost as much as usual. I'll post some Christmas pictures in the next day or so (his first Christmas!). Meantime, I'm off to try to snag a Treasury spot, finish my knitted cowl (first thing I've made for myself in about a year), and play some Beatles Rock Band with my brother before he has to fly back to CA tomorrow!