1.03.2008

My Portable Studio: Knits, Books, & Handwritten Notes

wintery woolens: re-purposed sweater sleeves & a simple knit scarf


I've returned to our little nook in Oakland after nearly 2 weeks of holiday travel. What a joyous whirlwind of travelings and gatherings and families and old hometown friends and festivities and gift-giving and starchy foods and sugary treats and so on! Oh my. I'm tired from so much holiday stimulation but also energized by such a productive eastward trip w/ my beloved D. (We did manage to find time for a one-night B&B outside of our dear Ithaca and it was certainly majestic nestled in the lakeside woods w/ snow falling and claw foot tubs calling our names! Sweet joy!)


As I was away from my Oakland studio and traveling throughout upstate New York, coastal New Jersey, and midtown Manhattan, I had to pack the art supplies on the light side. I wanted to bring all sorts of goodies for my anticipated "downtime" in the evenings and early mornings but, of course, the downtime was sparse and the suitcases heavy w/ gifts for nieces and nephews. Before I left I packed one tin of colored pencils, a small stack of good reads, my digital camera, 4 skeins of yarn and 2 favorite knitting needles. There were a few nights I curled up on the couch w/ Mom and knit knit away (luckily, most times to snow falling just outside the kitchen window) but mostly we were either moving from house to house or engaged in various social holiday happenings.


From time to time I longed for my sewing machine, vintage suitcases stuffed full of fabric scraps, boxes full of ribbons, letterpress studio just a 10 minute drive away, my laptop, my bookshelf, and my flea market treasures. BUT! I persevered w/ just a few creative tricks in my overstuffed bag. And now I'm home in Oakland until the next eastward trip which is actually very near on the travel horizon. In the midst of our holiday madness I did, however, manage to finish knitting one pretty scarf, read parts of the nonfiction super informational book Craft, Inc., the new collection of poems The Marvelous Bones of Time by Brenda Coultas, a borrowed copy of the naturalist's delight Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, the popular novel The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg, and the smashing new literary journal nor: new ohio review (which is somehow fabulous after only 2 editions).


I also managed to write or sketch or doodle in my journal nearly everyday and even dreamed about designs for a new babydoll dress pattern and a 2-color letterpress note card (stay tuned for spring). Mostly, I'm glad to be home and surrounded by familiar household things. This afternoon I'll also update my Flickr site and Etsy shop in the midst of unpacking luggage, attempting several loads of laundry, and managing the usual jet lag wearies.

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