knitxcore.: April 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

On FUN. and Authenticity.

 huffington post.

See that band up there? Cute, right?
That's "The Format". They don't exist anymore.
According to an interview, Nate Russ (the guy with the flip flops and shaggy hair) had become disillusioned by the corporate structure of the industry. Unwilling to compromise with major labels, The Format's album "Dog Problems" was self released.

Totally virtuous.


Last night, I finally got to see Nate's new band FUN.
I'm sure you've heard of them. They had a song on Glee,


My friend Kellyn and I were super excited to go to the show, only once we arrived, Russ berated former Format fans, calling us assholes or something really close to it. He went on further to explain that this show was intended to celebrate FUN. and to leave the past in the past; they were only going to sing their own songs.

Later they covered the Rolling Stones.

This weekend, I've been spending a lot of time contemplating what I think are authentic experiences and comparing them to the more sterilized counterparts.

I understand that at some point in artist's career that money does become important. You can't live in a van forever; but making taking a moment to really understand what eating out of trashcans and shopping at the goodwill had afforded you with is so important. Honest experience outweighs porcelain veneers and $300 hair cuts, and if you let that all slip away, what are you left with? Teeth that can go in the dishwasher and a creepy fashion mullet.

The metallic aftertaste of FUN.'s performance only left me to further reflect on the importance of humility, especially regarding those who are in the public eye.

The transformation of Russ's ideals in the past several years became abundantly clear as he wagged his tongue at pre-teen theatre kids, and dismissed his more loyal and dedicated fans.

It was almost sad to watch him struggling to impress his new fly-by-night fan-base, who will most like move on to whatever artist Glee covers next.

I hope the 15 minutes of fame that he is enjoying now bodes well; but I don't think that he deserves it anymore.

Sorry Nate,

-a disgruntled fan  spectator

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

recharging; free music edition.


I've been pretty quiet this week, huh?

On Monday, I had to read at a Creative Writing Colloquium because I'm receiving a Communications award at school. I always feel really uncomfortable reading my actual writing (which is a little different than the conversational style of the blog). A majority of my body of creative writing work focuses on very solitary, personal moments and to read it out loud to a group seems so inauthentic to it's voice. I'd prefer for people to find a quiet spot to enjoy it on their own.

Yesterday, I had my regular classes and an induction into Sigma Kappa Delta (an English Honor Society) which was very nice, but in the context on my already draining week, it was just a little awkward. The guests at the table with Rich Russell and my self, were just a little unsavory.

Upon receiving my award, Rich had said that I "express a unique sensitivity that seeks to highlight the often fragile yet always beautiful human condition". Beautiful, right?

Unfortunately, this also means that when things get tough, I spend a lot of time in the fetal position.

It's not all bad, I'm not looking for sympathy; just a little break.

There's always one week in the semester that makes me want to lie face down in bed and listen to records (or my ipod). Regardless of my genre du jour (freakbeat, folk, grunge) there are certain artists that I look to to help push my through the days where hot tea and a quilt seem like the only answer.

I met Caleb (of Happiest Lion) on Flickr over a hundred internet years ago. We keep tabs on each other's projects and offer support when it should. We're also both "babies for Sufjan" (Caleb's words). haha, His album, "Mammoth Moon" is definitely one of my "desert island discs".

Gah! Can you believe that Tinyfolk just give away most of their music for free? Saints.

This is one of my favorite songs ever. Wisdom Tooth's entire "Cathedral Park" album is pretty great.

(I'm pretty sure that you can download songs from each of these artists at; I'm waiting for a new password)

Tomorrow, I'm presenting a group project and rushing home to light incense, clap in the corners of rooms and make circles of salt around every single thing that I own. Cleansing energy, or whatever. Maybe Rich will lend me his Mala beads?

(Just kidding! Count those things, sir!)

What have YOU been up to?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Damn the man, save the Empire!

MSDEMRE EC016 record store day 4 My creation

Did you know that today is INTERNATIONAL RECORD STORE DAY (and Iggy Pop's birthday)?
I work in a store that sells records, but we are too large of a company to participate in the festivities. Luckily, a there is an independent record store just a few steps away!

I actually went to work early to see what they had before I clocked in. I got the last Paul Simon Graceland re-release that they had in stock, and I picked up Leonard Cohen's live EP for good measure. When I was getting rung out, I saw the 7"s behind me; I gave in and bought M. Ward's special release as well. They had this crazy Feist and Mastadon split, but I had already done enough damage.

I know it's not a super big deal to everyone, but it really is to me! It's so important for there to be "holidays" to support independent business in general, and in a industry like recordings things always get a muddied up. It's great to see the industry and the artists support these indie shops with special limited edition releases that people will be banging the doors down to get their hands on.

I can't wait to listen to my new records! YAY!!!!

Did you go to a record shop today? What'd ya get?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tutorial: Stand Mixer Cozy!

kitchen aid 1

I finally got the KitchenAid stand mixer that I've wanted for Christmas this year.  I've used it to make a few loaves of bread and a cake or two; so while this super fancy appliance is amazing and all, it has A LOT of down time. In that down time, it seems to attract every single speck of dust our tiny condo has to offer. UGH.

The last time I went thrifting, I found an amazing vintage pillowcase and snatched it up because I hoard vintage craft supplies like it's no ones business.

Dave suggested that I make a cozy for the mixer that day when I got home. I washed the pillow case and threw it on top of the mixer; genius, right?

It looked so sad and shabby. I pinned a little here and there over then next few weeks.

Last week, I decided to sit down and figure out how the pillowcase could be turned into a cozy.

This is what happened:

kitchen aid cozy materials

-1 vintage pillowcase
-2 yards of vintage velvet ribbon
-2 yard vintage pompom trim
-sewing machine
-interfacing (I didn't use it, but I should have)

kitchen aid step 1

Step 1:
Stick your two pointer fingers into the inside corners of the pillow case and press them together; the seams should be in the center of the fabric and you will have two triangles at the closed end of the case.

You can iron now, if you're super fancy (I just hand pressed it).

kitchen aid step 2

Step 2:
Measure 4' from the tip of the triangle and mark it somehow. You could use pins or chalk, whatever. I had painter's tape on my work table, so that's what I used.

Separate the newly formed triangles, and stitch across each of them at the 4" mark. This will give the top a little structure.

kitchen aid step 3

Step 3:
On the inside of each of the triangles (where they face each other), Make another mark at 2" from the tip and pin in a 18" piece of ribbon.

kitchen aid step 4

Step 4:
Stitch around the edges of each triangle to secure the ribbon.
(Do a better job then I did; I can be a sloppy sewer.)

kitchen aid step 5

Step 5:
Fold and press a 7" cuff at the bottom (opening) of the pillowcase.
If you are using interfacing this is where you would iron it on.

kitchen aid step 6

Step 6:
Pin trim to the top of the cuff.
Secure the cuff and trim using a zigzag stitch.

kitchen aid step 7

Step 7:
Fold, yet another, 1" hem at the bottom (opening) of the case. This will give the cozy a little extra weight and structure.

And that's it!!! Now, your super expensive appliance won't get coated in that wierd sticky kitchen dust! YAY!!!!!

Kitchen aid 2

If you have any questions, when attempting this you can contact me and I'll walk you through what I did!!!
If you make a cozy, leave a link in the comments! I'd love to see it!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tutorial Teaser!

I'm working on a really fun (and easy) tutorial for you folks tonight!  I hope to have it posted by Saturday.
All of the materials are vintage (obvs) and it may be cozy for something in your kitchen.

Stay tuned! I can't wait to share this with you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Month of Craft Photos 2: Days 9-12.

My creation

Day 9:
Our Somali kitten, Pumpkin, is sort of my figurative shadow. She follows me around the house constantly; I'm always so afraid I'm going to trip over her and hurt one of us. Don't worry, I still adore her!

Day 10:
A little a bit ago, I recieved a giant box from long-time reader and one of my best bloggy friends; Shannah of Obsidian Kitten. It was full of vintage trim and a ton of macrame cord! I can't wait to use it and make her proud :-)

Day 11:
On Tuesdays, I usually pick up some fresh flowers for my yarn wrapped vase. Not only did I forget today, but I've also forgotten to change the water for quite a few days. Those poor gerber daisies are barely hanging on.

Day 12:
When I think of home, I immediately think of our bed. It's sooooo cozy! That quilt was handmade by a amish collective; Love it sooooo much!

Can you tell that I really love the color yellow???

Monday, April 16, 2012

(analog) monday: letters to cleo.

lettters to cleo

Sooooo effing hot today! Ugh!

I hate the warm weather. I really can't think of anything nice to say about being hot. I hate flip-flops and shorts, the beach is scary and ice cream hurts my teeth.

However, the warm weather always leaves me feeling a little nostalgic; spending summers in our really old house that never had air with a fan blowing on my face; it was a struggle to even get out of bed if the temperature rose above 80. The doldrums of the lower middle class summer did afford a lot of time to listen to the radio and even to escape to the mall (where there was free air conditioning).

I remember first hearing this song on one of those summer days (god, i'm old) while shopping at the Merry Go Round/Fashion Cafe, no doubt looking for an IOU windbreaker. Ugh. So many fashion mistakes.

Anyway, I still remember EVERY SINGLE FAST PACED WORD to "Here and Now". I loved Letters to Cleo. I still do. Any time that the weather breaks, this is the first thing I think of. I dust off "Aurora Gory Alice" and pray that the cassette will play for one last summer.

What are you favorite warm weather jams?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Free Library.

free library 2

We pass this little "shelter" in the car almost everyday, and every time that we do I crane my neck to see inside. At first I thought it was a fruit stand, it's connected to a small horse farm, so that makes sense, right?. There are  at least five different fruit stands within 1 mile of our home. The building wasn't always painted like this, it used to just be a little white shelter; totally nondescript.

Sometime within the past week, it had been painted black with the words "Free Library; Take/Give A Book" and since the day I noticed it I could not stop thinking about it.

Yesterday, I had some spare time and it was really nice out, so I decided to walk down the road (for about 20 minutes each way) to check this place out.

Walking up to the property, there were six dogwoods. Each holding a plaque with the name of a family member and the dates of their death. I looked at each one and wondered what the person might have looked like, and whether or not the tree would have been an appropriate homage.

I finally wandered up the "free library" and tucked my self inside.

freelibrary 1

This is what it looked like. I felt kind of weird taking pictures in, it seemed so personal; eerily monumental among the memorial dogwoods. You could hear someone making horseshoes in one of the barns on the farm. I didn't really want to have a conversation with anyone; I sort of felt like I was trespassing, and after seeing all of the plaques I wouldn't have been able to look any remaining family members in the eye without tears.

The presence of the candles was striking. The had all been lit, except one blue one. I wasn't sure if someone had intended for them to find a new home or if they had been part of some sort of altar or ritual and I didn't want to shake things up. The "free library" had become and almost spiritual experience. I know I'm grasping at straws, but it's what I do best.



Eventually, I found my way to the handles of the cabinets below the makeshift altar and perused their wares. There wasn't much; a few Reader's Digest history books, a book of poetry, a bible and a stack of Martha Stewart Magazines (all essentials, really).

I took the poetry book and picked a random magazine, leaving behind two Chuck Palahniuk books ("Invisible Monsters + "Lullaby"), a book by Justin Taylor entitled "Everything here is the best thing ever", and "A Boy's Own Story" by Edmund White. I looked at them, my ephemeral footprint left at the free library on the side of the road, and closed the door.

I left a note for patrons that read, "Man loves company, even if it is only that of a small burning candle -Lichtenberg" and began the walk back to my own shelter full of candles.


Are there any quirky things in your own neighborhoods? Do ever explore your town on foot?

Friday, April 13, 2012

What I Wore: 4/13/12

wiw 41312

wiw 41312 2

wiw 41312 3

Hoodie: American Apparel, Tee: Spotted Moth, Khakis: GAP, Boat Shoes: Sperry, Monogrammed Backpack: L.L. Bean.

Today, I tossed all of my camera equipment into my backpack and took a walk to the "free library" on the side of the road; more on that this weekend. I stopped at this weird quarry/construction site place to take my WIW photos.  My tripod didn't do well in the sand; it keep leaning over but I'm sharing the pictures anyway. Haha.

I saw this shirt on Jeremy Larson (via @elsiecake on Instagram) a few weeks ago and had really wanted it. Luckily Elsie and Jeremy had done a "What I Wore" post shortly after and gave away the details. So stoked! I hope it shrinks a little in the wash, though; the sleeves are a tad too wide.

I 'm going to make some decaf french press coffee and put my feet up until it's time for work.

What are you doing today?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pottery Epiphanies


Today was such a strange day. One of those days where the sky is the wrong color blue and the clouds are are an unnerving shade of grey; they have a sort of surreal 3D quality that makes you want to pull the covers back over your so you can try again.

I listened to creepy psychedelic music and laid in bed until I had to pull myself together (barely) to meet some people at school.

I had to take the bus today, because Dave had class; it's no big deal, I do it a lot. By the time I got to the school Dave called and told me that he had stopped at home and locked his keys inside. A really nice girl drove me home, and back  to school; the crisis was averted. She told me a really funny story about an awful date she had recently and we laughed loads.

I got back to school and the group I was working with disbanded, except for one guy who had somehow cut his hand really badly in the time that I was gone. He was bleeding a lot, so we decided to call it a day.

Not wanting to waste my time on campus, I decided to go work on a few things in the ceramics studio. I walked in and saw the regulars; familiar faces that made me feel comfortable/safe/whatever but, today (in following the surreal precedent that had already been set) there was a new face.

Sitting in the back on the left, there was a small bearded man with big red glasses. In my mind, I played the hipster or homeless game, trying to figure out what his "deal" was. Nobody seemed to be talking to him, and he definitely looked like he was struggling with the pottery wheel (just like me!).

I got my tools together, prepped my clay and found a seat next to the mystery man. After both us watched each other fail several times at producing a simple cylinder, there was a sort of cosmic connection; circumstance had put us into the same situation and without words we bonded.

That's when I noticed he was wearing two different shoes.

Again, the day was already weird. Why wouldn't he be wearing two different shoes?

I figured that I should just go with the flow. The girls had been giggling about him, The other guy just kept smiling and looking up. I really had no idea what going on. The clay dust was making giant clouds, everything was hazy and covered in mud, and I'm pretty sure my decaf latte had actually been caffeinated; I threw caution to the wind.

I introduced myself to the bearded man in the mismatched shoes.

He immediately perked up and started talking so quickly (and so much) that I couldn't keep up; just non-sequitur references to comics books and TV shows, cartoons he liked, actors he thought were cool. By now, the others were in an uproar; giggling and leaning on each other for support. It didn't help that he had a sort of funny voice.

However, I was legitimately interested in what he had to say, and he had seemed so thrilled that I was listening that he talked until he had left for the day.

Upon his departure, comments were made about his unorthodox social skills and his attire, and I couldn't help but feel like a piece of me left with him.

The conversation after he had left the room, had left me feeling drained/depressed.

I get it, he was weird. Whatever.

While he was in the room it had vibrated with positive energy (at least for me, personally) and after he had left it felt like heavy weights were placed on my shoulders, and all that I wanted to do was lay on the floor in the fetal position.

It's really strange how just the smallest amount of negative energy can completely drain you within seconds.

I've been home now for about two hours and I'm just starting to shake that clay dust out my hair.

How do you combat negative energy? 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Month of Craft 2; Days 5-8.

My creation

Day 5: My crafty idols! Vickie Howell / Pip Lincolne / Elsie Larson
Day 6: My fee in Jaywalkers!
Day 7: Dyeing brown eggs; totes trad, right?
Day 8: Softies for Mirabel submission; that hair took ages!

8 days, and I haven't given up yet! YAY!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Vinyl Monday: Wild Flag.

Vinyl Monday vinyl monday: wild flag
I spent the weekend watching Portlandia, eating vegan chili and working on my secret projects; so Wild Flag kind of makes sense for this Vinyl Monday.

I really loved Sleater Kinney, so Wild Flag isn't really out of my comfort zone or anything. It seems as though they just sort of picked up where SK left off, and I'm totes thrilled about that.

The dream of the nineties is still alive :-)

On your suggestions, I switched over to Picmonkey for my photo editing needs and it is soooo good! Thanks to all of the folks that suggested it!

I have to write a paper for ceramics class as quickly as possible, so we're gonna keep this short.

Have a beautiful night!!!!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter!


I'll probably eat jelly beans until I throw up, and then I'll fall asleep on the couch watching Lawrence Welk.

What are your plans?