knitxcore.: July 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Vinyl Monday: Conor Oberst

conor oberst CONOR 3CONOR 2CONOR 2


If I could only listen to one artist for the rest of my life, I would pick Conor Oberst without hesitation. His trembling vibrato and genius lyrics easily make him the Bob Dylan of my generation. So many of his songs are so moving; like an audio equivalent of a Miranda July film, really.

At the end of the album, you sit waiting for more; hoping for more because nothing else will be good enough. You're left with a feeling of emptiness or connected-ness or something. Whatever. Contemplation, maybe? You float around in an emotionally "hungover" state, waiting to find a greasy plate of cheese fries or a bottle of Gatorade to help you sort things out; but no matter what you take in, the music sits there, inside of you. An inspiration? Yes, an inspiration.

And so I turn to his music when I need a little of that. Inspiration, I mean.

If you're haven't heard him, you're definitely missing out.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Arrow & Apple E-Course: Week 1

WEEK 1 Collage

Last night while reading blogs (A Beautiful Mess and Smile & Wave), I decided that I really wanted to take Arrow & Apple's new lighting e-course (the discount code from Rachel sealed the deal) and that was it. I typed my credit card number into Google checkout and hit the ground running. I've really wanted to improve my photo-taking skills and the price was great.

Today, I rushed to Home Depot to get some of the supplies I needed. Did you know that they make you cut the PVC tubing yourself? I could have lost a finger; I'm super clumsy! It seemed like the old guy really hated me. I should have worn work boots and a sleeveless tee or something. I guess rolled-up khakis and a Ralph Lauren button-down aren't necessarily tough guy clothes, but I digress.

I finally got home about an hour ago and got to work immediately setting up all of my new toys. I'm so excited to get started! Keep an eye on my progress and please don't be afraid to give me feedback!

What new things have YOU been up to?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Time-Machine Tuesday: Soul Train.

ST1 SOUL TRAIN COLLAGE

I hope that you all are walking away from these Time Machine Tuesdays both super inspired and with a smile on your face! I love doing the research for them and stumbling upon pop culture gems, like Soul Train.

I remember pretending to be asleep on weekend nights until everyone went to bed, so I could sneak back out to the living room to watch Soul Train and dance like maniac.

Even as a lil' boy, I realized the cathartic power of movement and soul enriching properties of music. Looking back on these videos and pictures, I still feel that same energy; creative and stimulating, flowing through me.

I'm so thankful to have been able to experience Soul Train (even though I was watching it in the 90s) and all of the magic that it had encompassed. 


Soul Train was inspiration in one it's most energetic forms!
 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I still make stuff.

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(Excuse these pictures, I took them at 1am in the bathroom. Haha)

I made these little felt flower boutonnieres and bouquets for my mom's vow renewal today! She asked me to make them, but gave me full creative license to do whatever I thought would look good.

I went to JoAnn's and they had the most awful floral picks and really sad looking ribbon. I decided to find an inspiring fabric, and then just bought a ton of coordinating felt with no plan whatsoever. I used a tutorial I found through a Google image search at Please Note at it worked perfectly!!!! I'm so happy with the results and I'm pretty sure that she was too. That fabric is incredible (I actually bought the whole bolt, just to have it) I know the colors are super unorthodox, but I have pretty quirky taste!

Don't you just love them?



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Goodbye, Gus!


As some of you (the ones who follow on Instagram and Facebook) already know, Gus died yesterday (hence, no Vinyl Monday).

In the morning he enjoyed a blueberry with me, but by the time I got home from work he was gone. I was pretty shook up but, I made him a pretty little place to rest with washi tape, brown paper and a little box. I hope he's comfy.

He was afforded a very long and luxurious hamster life and he was definitely the best little muse I have ever had.

I'll miss him tons! It's really hard to go into the studio and see his empty cage on the worktable. I may craft on the couch for a few days before I'm comfortable enough to go clean out his cage and put it away.

I'll miss you lil' bear!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Etsy Crush: Wooden Sleepers

thermos

I had planned on doing a "What I Wore" Post, but I walked to the grocery store before taking photos and it was definitely a bad choice. No amount of post processing would have made me look human. I was so sweaty and gross! My hair was totally out of control and my face was all blotchy from the heat. Trust me, you didn't want to see them anyway.



To make myself feel better about the grotesque photo shoot, I decided to go vintage shopping on Etsy to pick up a few new things before school starts. I never really buy clothes "en masse". I like to pick out a few things here and there to build a wardrobe of separates instead of shopping for outfits. I think most guys do.



That being said, it is insanely difficult for us boys to find "good" vintage, even on the internet. I don't want creepy 80's clothes, or golf pants. I  just want simple well-constructed and time-tested clothes.





I've been watching  the Wooden Sleepers shop on Etsy evolve from a small, but well curated collection into a treasure of the best men's vintage on the web. Of course, I tend to favor "heritage" or "Americana" styling and there is no shortage of things I love in this shop. I would wishlist everything in the shop if it was my size.




Even the accessories and home decor are spot on!

Let's applaud ol' Wooden Sleepers for a job well done!!!!
(Feel free to pick me up a gift or two!)



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Furry Friends: Gus the Hamster!

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There's been a lot of interest in Gus since my post last week, so I thought that I would  take a few seconds to formally introduce him to all of you.

Gus is a Winter White hamster that has been an integral part of my creative process for around 4 years (which is incredible as he was only guaranteed to live 18 months). In his younger days, he would change from the grey that he is in the pictures above to a brilliant white during the winter!

His little habitat shares a table with my sewing machine and a handful of positively charged knick-knacks in my studio. Let me tell you, Gus is the perfect assistant! When he's not nibbling on cherries or sunflower seeds, he's picking out fabric and agreeing that everything should be coated in gold glitter.Sometimes it's good to be surrounded by "YES" men (or rodents)!

Having Gus in my craft room forces me to spend time in my creative space everyday. Even if I'm not working on something, I still sit in the workroom for a few minutes just to feed him a few treats and play.

In a way, having this lil' guy around keeps me inspired. I adore him :-)




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Time-Machine Tuesday: Scopitone Dance Party!

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Scopitones have become my latest obsession. According to what I have read, they were a type of jukebox that played 16mm films along with music that found their heyday in the US somewhere around the early 1960's.

I found a few Scopitones videos one day after searching for some Herb Alpert stuff and was immediately hooked . Bright colors, fun music and quirky dance move abound.

Check out a few of my favorites!:



Herb Alpert is the king of fun!




I've loved Lesley Gore ever since the first time I watched Hairspray!



This song's an old favorite!

You not still sitting down, are you? Get up and shake those hips!

Have you ever heard of a Scopitone before? Do you love these videos or what?

Monday, July 09, 2012

Vinyl Monday: The Monkees.

monkees

We've already discussed my gigantic crush on Mike Nesmith, but I wanted to make sure that ALL of the Monkees got a fair shake on my blog.

The are such a source of positive energy! You can't listen to them without smiling. This morning, I felt moody and little groggy before going into work. I wasn't really sure how to psych myself into happy mode until I dug out this record (the sleeve above isn't mine; mine is in VERY bad shape). Almost instantly, everything turned around.

Have you ever read about Maslow's theory regarding peak experiences? Basically, a peak experience is one of those moments where you are immediately flooded with intense feelings of happiness and inter-connectedness; a moment of transcendence. While it is considered to be insanely difficult to facilitate these experiences outside of using hallugenics, some things may trigger smaller (but still powerful) states of euphoria.

Listening to the Monkees this morning, gave me just enough personal illumination to make it through the rest of the day with a smile on my face.

Thanks boys!



Friday, July 06, 2012

What I Wore: 7/6/12

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Western Button Down: c/o Skippy Haha Vintage, Deadstock Shrink-to-Fit Levis: eBay, Topsiders: Sperry.

I love this shirt more than anything I own. Gingham + hand embroidery? I can dig it. It's pretty close to 100 degrees out today, so I took a little walk through the woods to find a shady place to take pictures. I hate the hot weather soooo much. Ten minutes outside has me ready for a two hour nap. I'm just not built for summer, I guess. I'm already counting the days until cardigans and pumpkin lattes; it's awful really.

I really need to find some new shoes again. The Vans I bought from J. Crew are destroyed already. I patched a hole in the toe with a little fabric glue and I keep washing them. I hope they last until September. I may just buy a second pair of Sperrys because they seem to be built tough and I'm insanely rough on shoes.

But for now, I'm going to go sit on the couch and drink my weight in iced coffee until it's time to leave for work.

What are you up to today?


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!!



I just home from watching 4 different firework shows on the beach. My pictures were all awful. I couldn't get the settings right in the dark.

I'm going to shake the sand out of my shoes, have a little nightcap and knit until I fall asleep.

I hope you all had a beautiful day!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Time-Machine Tuesday: Lucite Grapes.

lucite grapes

Dave and I watch "That 70's Show" from time to time, and I am always completely fixated on the home decor! Everything is always so kitsch and brightly colored! Every room is just so perfect! I wish I could just live on the set.

One night, I caught a glimpse of what seemed to be giant plastic grapes on the Foreman's coffee table. I couldn't stop thinking about them. I started Googling and found hundreds of results! They can get super pricey. I didn't want to spend a lot, but I really wanted them. Eventually, I found a sort of beat up pair on eBay for around $12 and took the plunge.

When they finally arrived, I had no idea where I was going to put them. I wanted everyone to see them. They're sovibrant and fun that I wanted them to be a focal point in a smaller room. After auditioning a bunch of different places, they found their way to back of my toilet. Unorthodox? Yep. Perfect? Yep.

lucite grapes 2

I love putting together vignettes in the bathroom! It's weird and sort of unexpected, but it puts a smile on my face every morning.

While searching for some shopping options for you, I came across the most incredible hanging lucite grape lamp on Etsy! As a gentle reminder, my birthday is in November. Just sayin'. It's a little expensive, but it's just flawless.

lucite grapes 3

I also wanted to find a set similar to my own at an affordable price point, just in case you want re-create my amazing toilet vignette. Haha.

lucite grapes 4

This definitely is the beginning of fun new collection! I've been keeping my eye out at thrift shops and estate sales hoping to come across one of those hanging lamps for a bargain, but i haven't found anything yet. If I do, you will definitely be the first to know!

Are you in love with these things or what? Do you have any? Do you know anyone that does/did?


Monday, July 02, 2012

Vinyl Monday: Xanadu.

xanadu record xanadu collage

OH MY GOD!

I love Xanadu more than any other movie ever. It's the film equivalent of this blog, I think; a little over the top, a little kitschy, and a lot of roller skating! Who could ask for more?


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Last week brought us a few sketchy thunderstorms that ripped trees out of the ground while amazing us with tons of colored lightening. Unfortunately it also knocked out most of the electricity in the area (there are still quite a few people out here without AC or running water). 


When we finally made it back home I thought my hamster, Gus, had died of heatstroke. I went to check on him and he was laying on his back. I ran out of the studio crying, so Dave went in to see for sure. Turns out that he was just really hot. Did you know that a hamster can sweat? He rolled over and ate a little rodent treat and he was just fine. Phew! I've had him for quite a few years now, and I would be devastated to lose the lil' guy.


Other than that, our personal experience with the apocalyptic storm wasn't really that awful. No trees fell on our house, all of our belongings stayed put and the animals just got a little warm. NBD, right?


So, we're back to regularly scheduled blogging this week!

Tomorrow, I've got orientation at my new school. I'm hoping to take a ton of pictures, so I can share everything with all of you. I'm kind of excited. Send me good vibes!

What have you lovely folks been up to? Tell me everything!!!