Summer Sweet Summer

It happens every year. Things get so busy and I can hardly believe summer is speeding by. We’ve been having fun and I am reminded of how hard keeping kids well nourished in every way all day is. We’ve added two sweet Guinea pigs to the family. It’s only been a couple of days and we are starting to adjust. Pikachu is pretty calm and Snowball has lots of energy. The kids have read a bunch about them and have been so attentive. Cutie (our cat) has been only slightly interested in them. My zinnias are growing up and we’ve built them a gnome garden. Lots of fun. Crafting fits in among all of it. I did finish my Campside shawl. Didn’t block it but love it as is. I’m crocheting a baby blanket out of cotton as the baby to be will live in Texas. I also started (almost completed now) a sock that I just love. I can say that after looking through Home and Away and trying to decide on a sweater I’m feeling a tiny bit okay with fall coming. But until then we will carry on with swimming, Italian ice, bike riding, corn (soon I hope), reading and more.

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Right now

I love that this space can be whatever I want it to be. With the news being what it is I think it’s essential that we (makers) continue to share our hearts, our joys and passions. Sending out our light into the dark. We all have a voice and a reach even if it’s only in our own home. We are continually painfully reminded to love with all our heart, forgive often and do all that we can in whatever way we can to help.

I also see it as a time to try new things if we’re called to. To stop waiting because if not now then when. I’ve been trying things and I will share more soon but for now I want to leave you with some lovely posts that have struck a chord with me.

– Stephanie Ryan shares such a lovely description of her painting process here. It’s totally the way I would love to paint.
– Danielle Laporte shares the upside of finally giving up.
-Alicia Paulson shares some summer spirit.

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The Sea


We’ve just returned from a trip to the sea. The weariness of life was slowly washed away by the waves. I love how you drop your bags and with them your burdens. The only things that had to be done were digging in the sand, swimming and playing. We breathed in the scent of saltwater and soaked up the sounds of seagulls and crashing waves followed by squeals and laughter.
It’s a feeling I will work to hold onto during the all too short summer season.

I brought along my Campside shawl because there was going to be several hours in the car and I figured I could get a lot done. Not much did. Instead I spent time un-knitting back to another mistake. Why yet again did that happen? Not paying attention I suppose. Letting my mind wander when I really needed to focus on yo, k1, k2tog. Another lesson (again) to pay attention to what is right in front of me. When will I learn this? I’m back on track again and hopefully it will be smooth sailing from here on out. As long as I remember to see what is right in front of me.

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Campside+keep going

I instantly fell in love with the Campside shawl by Alicia Plummer when it was first released ages ago. I immediately downloaded it and then I took one look at the chart only pattern and immediately felt defeated but determined. I really wanted this shawl.

I was a relatively new knitter with little experience with shawls and I had no clue how to knit from charts. I read it over a bunch of times but still couldn’t make sense of it.
I even bought the yarn for it. I searched Ravelry forums for any help and I found out someone was so kind and generous to write out the chart only pattern line by line and with row counts. I could knit the shawl after all.

I naively thought I would start it and finish in the month of August. We would be camping and what a nice project to work on while there. I didn’t get to work on it then and I didn’t complete it in August.

As you can see I’m still knitting it. After I took this pic I realized I had made a mistake. I was very frustrated. It was eight rows I had to rip back. But as Elizabeth Zimmerman taught us I remembered I’m in charge of my knitting. I got it back on track and promptly made two other mistakes. Thankfully I love the yarn (cotton, alpaca and silk) and the product and I can’t wait to wear it. I have still many more rows to go (it’s huge) and I’m hoping to make to the end with no more mistakes. It may come to the beach with me and perhaps camping again. Maybe by this August it will be done.

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I’m sitting in my yard on this first day of summer. It’s quiet minus the birds and the distant rumble of trucks and the hum of our neighbors air conditioner. There’s a slight breeze but the air is heavy with humidity. I spy two birds (doves maybe) on the telephone wires above me. It’s a good day.

The children are at school for their last full day. My oldest is completing his elementary education. Soon the days will be filled with ice cream, water, camping, sand and lots of summer magic. I can’t wait.

It’s been so long since I’ve written much here. I’m feeling the pull to start sharing again. Taking photos. Filling you in on what I’m reading, listening to and making. I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to hearing what you’ve been up to as well.

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2×2 Wrap up

Today Anne and I are celebrating our over one year long 2×2 sketchbook project. We’ve each made a little flip through video of our sketchbooks. I’m definitely sad this project is over but I’m also so happy we did it. This year is so full of change for me and I’m looking forward to all that is to come.

If you stopped by for one 2×2 post or all I want to say thank you. I know that Anne and I both hope that you will feel encouraged to work more frequently in your own sketchbook and/or perhaps start your own collaborative project. My video is the top one and Anne’s video is on the bottom.

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2×2: 2 Artists, 2 Sketchbooks//Week 62

Week 62
This is it guys. Our final 2×2 spread. 62 weeks. Wow!
I love the pretty flowers Anne painted this week. A perfect ending to our project.
Week 62 Detail
On Friday we will post a little celebratory post. For now make sure you stop by Anne’s blog to read her post for the week.
2×2: 2 artists, 2 sketchbooks, a collaboration between artists Dana Barbieri and Anne Butera.

Dana and Anne met in an online painting class. Although they have never met in person they have become friends through regular visits to each others blogs. It was through this connection that this project began.

Wanting to move from friendship to collaboration, each spent two months filling one half of a sketchbook
before mailing it off to the other. Dana worked on the left-hand pages and Anne on the right. Each will be responding to the other’s work on the adjacent sketchbook pages over the coming year. Watch weekly as they reveal another page of their story.

About the artists:

Dana is an artist and crafter living in the foothills of the Catskill mountains two hours north of New York City with her husband, two children and little kitty. She is passionate about painting, knitting, crochet, color, pattern and design.

Anne is an artist, writer and crafter who finds inspiration and joy in the beauty of her garden and the magic of nature. Dissatisfied with and disheartened by the pace and lifestyle of the city, she and her husband (with their two rescued greyhounds and an aging Siamese) relocated to a small town in the beautiful Driftless region in southwest Wisconsin with the goal of living a slower, simpler, more intention.

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