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"

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

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.