Tuesday, March 30, 2010


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. . .