Wednesday, December 30, 2009

lots of words in no particular order

the winter weather has officially frozen my brain making it extremely difficult to get much verbiage out in an organized written fashion.

I feel a need to purge all the gunk out of my nugget onto the internets and share a few things I've been keeping low key over the last few months. (aplogizes now for sounding 'hey! look at me' )

School went pretty well last quarter though towards the end I felt dumb as rocks. October was the worst and a bit of a huge struggle as my fibro began expressing it's opinion on the whole back to school matter.

Mental clarity and stamina went out the window (both side effects of fibromyalgia ) enough that I actually called my physician for a consultation. Nothing life threatening, just life interference type things. More on this in a sec.

October/November played out a sad closure to part of my knit life. The first yarn store I ever visited, learned so much at announced it would shut it's door in November :(

November was all about the end of fall quarter and tons of working from the couch. My dr. and I meet up to compare options for improving my level of function and by turkey day decided on a minor surgery to hopefully relive some of my chronic (read: energy-sucking) pain.

Out-patient surgery was in mid-December and things went as well as planned. Health professionals were all super nice to me and accommodating whenever they could be. Family has continued to be a big help, especially my mum and wonderful hubby. Recovery is slow but consistent which is all I can ask for at this point in my life.

It's been a year. We've celebrated holidays, birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Struggled, succeed and held on for dear life. So I'll close out now and offer best wishes to everyone for a better year full of happiness, health and prosperity.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

irony

is how I'm going to define my new blog banner.

happy holidays everyone :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

bah hum bug Sale


paper and yarn is having a $2.00 off yarn sale, some mystery rovings and tons of stitch markers are also available and ready to ship :) please have a quick glance. the shop will be going into vacation mode on the 13th of December.

Happy Shopping.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

november?

seriously?

It's finals week at casa de katkoe and I'm pretty sure this event has caused some kind of riff in the time space continuum. Twice already this week I've look at the clock only to see it be like 5 hours later than I thought it was.

Aside from the strange time travel issues, achy joints from the crazy Ohio weather (i.e. 70+ degrees in November!) and of course the fact that it IS finals week I'm managing pretty well, or at least enjoying the delusions of such.

Of course Thanksgiving is next week already with not a stitch of holiday knitting complete. Dear family ya'all are getting dollar tree mystery gifts this year I swear.

So wowzy. How's things on everyone else's side of the world?

Tea / vodka anyone?



Hank, on the other hand, is handling all the stresses quite well &
is helping stock the shop for the Bah Hum Bug Sale.
Such a swell guy/sheep isn't he?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

cheating and happy halloween



I've been cheating... a while back I created a new blog for all the kid themed paper crafts, it's called project nanny and will keep growing with seasonal and holiday related craft instructions geared towards kidlets.


I figured fall was the perfect time to open the shutters on this project. It's that time of year for lots of parties which means lots of decorating and busy-making needed for kids to do while parents are going nuts-crazy with everything else seaonally related. A plus is that pretty much everything I make can be made from scraps, random odd bits and dollar store finds.

I'm fast, cheap and easy apparently... at least when it comes to crafting.

The rest of these photos are crafts designed for a recent Library Kids' Craft Day. The library's funding has been cut very sharply recently causing craft activities to instantly disappear which is a shame. So of course "that one crafty/crazy chic" stepped in for some community service/craft projects which let kids get messy and create something with their own two hands.


Instructions for the other crafts will also soon be posted on project nanny so anyone can share some craft-ular type activities with their kiddos. Happy Holidays Folks :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

nifty-ness

While out on coffee/tea break/antiquing with gal pal Sara of SaraPaper I found this clever little spoon. I guess it would be considered a true tea teaspoon. Works by filling one side of the spoon, then hinge the other side over to create a perfect metal tea bag. Very cool and one of those nifty things that just makes me smile, cause I'm apparently easily amused ;)





Also photoed is my new addiction, loose leaf tea. It really doesn't take too much more time to make an amazing cup of tea. Very much worth it actually. Now all I need to do is get a nice 4 cup ceramic tea pot for steeping instead of using over sized coffee mugs and other random glass containers to do my dirty work with.

The tea and tin above is LiberTeas Breakfast in Bed. Her Earl Grey Creme is also very smooth and delicious with no bitterness in the after-note.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

thing-a-bobs

Hola amigos finally a little proof in photos of a few new projects... numero uno

Poofy MooMoo Cap: Little girl hat that has a bit of slouch, a simple circles and hearts pattern from the brim up. Made with worsted wt. washable wool blend.





Carry Me Tabi Socks: Split-toe tabi style socks from the toe up with easy left/right foot conversion.
Washable wool blend worsted wt.



oh and I've been taking Spanish class, not that that obvious or anything hasta luego.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

a brief rest... and then anarchy

hi there internet folks, it's been super quiet around here for awhile. most of this is due to said owner of blog going back to college and all the fun micro-managing that type of 8 year gap resolution involves.

things are still brewing, as always, still brewing. frankly I'm spinning my wheels a little bit trying to make seven different directions of thought flow smoothly into one working system in my life... this of course will never go as planned (thank you mr. murphy) which of course is just life, plain, simple, life.

don't get me wrong. at near 30 it may just be a mini-mid-life crisis wrapping around me. since at this age, I still feel like a child... really odd considering all the age-challenged mini-adults asking me for guidance in this world.

I'm in a phase where more things make me cry, laugh and ponder (is this what adulthood is about, seriously?) or maybe it is just autumn in the air. my favorite time of year has been know to heighten the senses... at least for me.

strange is life, especially when you pay attention to it.

so I'll quit getting all philosophical (it is kinda boring after all) and hop back onto my other projects for now with the knowledge that someday soon I'll have some more good things to share, show or chat about.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

from the desk of katkoe - figuring out the brand



paper and yarn has been around for over a year now (woohoo!) and being a graphic design by trade I figured it was time to freshen up the brand a bit. Below are thumbnails of the Ravelry ads I've begun using recently. I'm still hashing out which direction to go with but I thought I'd share a little glimmer into the design process. (my favorite is the last one, though I'm not sure it does much for the company *lol*)

Have a great week.



(first out of the gate)


(a few minor tweaks makes a big difference in visual appeal)


(round two: larger photos, more subject specific)


(round two: with a more popular colorway and smoother skein)


(round three: more ad location specific)


(round two.five: ah, simplicity)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

from the desk of katkoe - pictorial evidence



here's one to avoid the month-long no-blog rule.



Some of the blog avoidance has been because of works in progress: See Trilobite hat and 2nd/3rd pair of KAL socks (July Nanners/August Seaweed Socks). It's hard to sit in front of the computer when there are a bazillion odd items calling from the knit bag.

I hate to mention it too, but this is not all the projects I'm working on. Aside from the photos there is a new Trilobite hat in pink being requested, another hat pattern of my own making in the works and one lonely little sweater vest that someone keeps asking me about (sorry fridgey).

Nothing like knitter's guilt to keep the ball rolling.

Of course there is always the ironic kind of blog avoidance. This month brought to you by my mishappened adventures with motivation, nature and yard work.



Sadly not pictured is the pile of paperwork, arm band and medications acquired from doctor's office because apparently one little patch of poison whatever-it-is is not only resistant to the above but can spread all over the fricken place in just a week.

and this is why I stay inside and hide...

Fortunately things are now improving so it's back to main-stream-non-itchy-everywhere avoidance.



Friday, July 17, 2009

from the desk of katkoe - sleep, what that?



okay after several weeks worth of 5:30 am wake up calls I'm pretty much worthless in the brain functionality department. fear not, knitting and crafting has occurred, even new stuff has been skimming across my desk.

if a good nights' sleep ever comes my way again I'll be sure to include the highlights ;) along with photos, misplaced demos and general shop whoring.

sweet dreams.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

from the desk of katkoe - time suck can be so pretty



Those sweet little wooden tooth picks look so cute and innocent, then wham, you're staying up for hours knitting around and around trying to finish just one more row. Because after all you're soooo close to finished, so close... sweater denial is so much easier to ignore.



Well, I actually finished these beauties at midnight-ish today/yesterday EST (reference: loud a** jammies). The big push to finish came from a Ravelry Group Sock-a-Long featuring the goodness that is WendyKnits.net

The blue socks above where knit using the Lacy Ribs pattern from Wendy's book "Socks from the Toe Up" using some of my hand dyed stash in "Icy".

Love, love, love this pattern for it's 4 row repeat and extra stretchiness. Be sure to get gauge or just go down a foot size, depending on your tolerance for adventure, to compensate for the extra give.

other than that I'm boring, working and doing okay *fingers crossed*

Monday, June 15, 2009

from the desk of katkoe - life in picture form





1. Arts in the Parks: a yearly summer event organized by Arts Place for kidlets. I've been helping out with this as a summer intern. Tons of unique classes for first graders on up.

2. Vintage Hand Spun: from the estate of a very prolific spinner. Going through the bags of hand spun was like going through an old photo album. Each skein listed the farm or venue the wool was from and dated (1979-1983). Very cool.

The natural white skeins were sourced from Ewetopia in Troy, OH and will be available for purchase there very soon.

3. Diet Change can be Funny: I switched to a gluten-free diet a few weeks ago. This is how my double hamburger/only pickle/no bun came to me, 10 points for presentation :)

some form of growth - dinner



Our garden exploded this week. The cucumbers and squash are now well over knee high and starting to flower. The beans and peas are also starting to flower and will be producing soon-ish we hope and the onion sets are suddenly ginormous.

The start of this week also marked the first harvest from the garden, 4 radish and a quart of bib lettuce :)
Since then 8 more radish and a huge bag of greens have been pulled.

Somehow we ended up with one dark purple radish out of the lot of red ones. Never seen a radish this color. I used it when I made butter fried radishes for a late night snack and it tasted the same but dyed the paper plate indigo blue. Mmm blue food.



Forgot my camera last trip to the garden and will hopefully have some photos late this week of the middle garden bed. The bed must have gotten sprinkled with franken-food since each week it seems to pretty much double in size, basically taking over the other two beds which seem to be struggling right now.

Odd but very cool to watch.



Thursday, May 21, 2009

a quick garden update - some form of growth




Beans, peas, radishes, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, onions and marigolds all reside nicely in my new square foot style garden.

This guy Mel (http://www.squarefootgardening.com/) really knows how to make your soil and space work to your advantage.



A note about the half empty end box. These photos are a couple of weeks old and we are now using the third box to transplant the spares that grew from the extra seeds we planted (waste not want not).

A special thank you too for my wonderful husband and Father in Law for building the boxes for me. We ended up with three 4 foot x 4 foot boxes (photo above) constructed using 2x6's.



The coolest part about the square foot garden is everything gets it's own square (pumpkins/watermelons need 2 a piece) and neat little rows of veggies (1-16 plants all neatly lined up in a grid). Easy peasy to weed and water.

My favorite seeds to plant have been the radishes for the quick pop of greenery (seriously like 3 days and sprouts appeared ). The beans have been great for their crazy growth rate once they finally shove through the top soil, our indoor bean has sprouted 3 bean pods already.

Aren't they just the cutest?


Sunday, May 17, 2009

from the desk of katkoe - ninja style



Sorry to be all 'ninja style' lately. I've been hiding out doing some web work for a great group of local gals who run a webzine called The Family Fun Finder.



The new site will update weekly with news, special deals and blogs geared towards local family fun. (Local for us is North-West Ohio.) The site is still in incubation mode but is so close to finished it's crazy (doing happy dance). The blogs and forums are a great read even if you're not local to Ohio so I'll be sure to give more links once we have the polish applied to the site :)

Busy busy has also involved a lot of production mode for PnY. The local Farmers' Market starts May 30th so I've been squeezing in craft time whenever I can to have a nice stash of goodies to take with me.

Love this time of year though it's crazy crazy for me too. Ah, summer.



Thursday, May 7, 2009

from the desk of katkoe - my life according to sheep



Hank the Confuzzled Sheep came to visit my craft room today. He's cute and kinda gullible, just the way I like um'. He says 'bah' btw which I think is "hello" in sheepenese.




Hank even made an appearance on some of the new hand stitched 'mini knitters notes' graph paper notebooks. He's hand drawn in black permanent marker so each notebook is a unique.

Hank also seems to prefer the au-natural look of craft card stock to the fancy stationary grade stuff, though I'm kinda up in the air as to which I like better.




(The bull's eye notebooks where created by stitching fused target bags to some pretty red card stock. )

Most of my new mini notebooks have semi-transparent graph paper in them. I reclaimed this stuff from an office sale a few years back and love the smooth texture of it. The sizes are small-ish so they fit better into project bags, about 4-5" wide by 5-6" tall.

Other than that I'm kinda boring, have a great night everyone :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

from the desk of katkoe / Squeaking one in



Squeaking one in before the end of April, wow the end of April already.

There were several deadlines today both actual and motivational and luckly all were meet :)



Donations to Arts Place, Random Mailing Wednesday surprises, sock club, PnY orders and the long awaited HAP afghan all went for delivery today *woot* Granted part of me is still very paranoid that I missed something or that May will simply devour me with other craziness, though things *should* be okay.



A quick garden update too. I started another round of plants on the 28th, went to check on the little guys today and happy to report the radishes and lettuce are already showing tiny green leaves. *fingers crossed* these sproutlings will survive being transplanted into bigger accommodations similar to photo two. Those are green and sweet red pepper, cauliflower in the purple bin and some poor little tomato plants still hanging on.

We are planning on creating a square foot garden this year. The lumber is bought and assembled with only some more soil being needed in order to get things rolling, well and a moderately dry day here and there... but who's complaining.

Anywho, it's a smidge past midnight and I'm off to sleep. Happy trails everyone.