Amy Artisan

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Month: March 2006 (page 2 of 2)

Glass Slipper Project

Over the last couple of years I have had the privilege of working with The Glass Slipper Project here in Chicago. The 1st year I went there solo, the 2nd year 2 friends came with me & last year 2 additional friends joined in the fun.

This non-profit endeavor helps Chicago high school girls be the “Belle of the Ball” at their high school prom. They collect formal dresses and accessories and allow girls to come through the “boutique” in the spring & select their perfect outfit. For several years I have participated as a “fairy godmother” & been a personal shopper assisting girls through the boutique & selecting the dress, shoes, accessories.

For bloggers in Chicago…the 2006 schedule is now posted & they are looking for volunteers to help set up & staff the boutiques. Also, they are still collecting items to be distributed. If you have a few hours on one of the boutique days I would encourage you to participate. If you aren’t in the Chicago area, the website has a list of similar efforts in other cities & states.

A friend & I have already signed up to help out in the morning session on April 22nd – if you will be there let me know.

Backyard Greetings!

All around knit-blog-land today it’s a virtual field trip into everyone’s backyard. Since today is a gray & overcast with snow predicted the view in my backyard is not a pretty one today. So, I will show you some pictures from warmer times.

First up – my deck from the first summer I was here. When I was looking for a new apartment & toured this place it was the deck that was the final clincher.
My Deck in Summer
Because it faces east I get the morning sun on it & I can enjoy sitting out there after work without being blinded by the sun. The deck has allowed me the opportunity to exercise my outdoor green thumb – even as an urban dweller. The first plants I placed on the deck were 2 angel trumpet cuttings from my Dad’s garden in Georgia (In May 2004 I flew back to Chicago with the cuttings as my carry on.) Here is a detail of one of the beautiful blooms that I’ve enjoyed from the plants.
Pink Angel Trumpet Detail
I have also enjoyed growing tomatoes & assorted basil varieties on the deck. In the evenings it is nice to be out on the deck either gardening or just relaxing – looking up & down the backyards I’ll see a lot of neighbors working in their gardens as well. In recent years the hibiscus has become one of my favorite flowers. This is a close up of my hibiscus plant from last year.
Pink Hibiscus

This past July 4th weekend I heard fireworks in the neighborhood & when I stepped out on my deck I was able to enjoy an incredible “local” show. Here is one of the many shots I took.
Fireworks 2005

Right now the backyard is pretty much a dried mud pit – the dog that now lives upstairs has had “fun” over the winter. Who knows how the backyard will look this spring with the dog in residence – he has an affinity for perinnials.

For the last 2 springs I have had a backdoor visitor – Doris the Dove has nested above my door & each year has had 2 baby birds. I’ll leave you with a picture of her family the first year.
Doris & her babies
I have seen her above the door in recent weeks but no signs of a nest yet. Each day I hear more & more birds chirping in the morning, the angel trumpets are dormant in my basement…there are more & more signs that spring may return (even as we await snow today)!

A few fun links

As the weekend starts, here are a couple of links I learned of today & wanted to pass along…

The Knit Oscars: On Sunday head over to Knit & Plenty to cast your vote for the best movie. Here are the movie titles: Berocco Mountain, Good Knit and Good Luck, Clapotis, Stash, & Muknitch. Visit Purl Needlemeyer on Sunday to read the hilarious movie descriptions and vote.

Close-knit friends: This was actually a link that Gmail had – an article from Japan about assorted knitting activities & the increased popularity of knitting over there.

Have a crafty weekend everyone!

The Joy of Knitting

Stargazer 2005

(First I will divert your attention from the fact that I haven’t been able to start on my Project Spectrum Red & Pink items by sharing a picture of a stargazer lily that I took last summer when visiting a tulip farm in Holland, MI.)

Participating in the Knitting Olympics gave me a chance to reflect on why and how I knit. I knit to relax..I knit to carry on a craft that my Grandma does…I knit as a way to give personalized gifts for others that show I’m thinking of them…I knit! Just yesterday I received an email from a friend that reaffirmed the joy that I find in knitting for others. Here is a snippet about a blanket I made for “Baby Grace” who is now 3:
I forgot to tell you…the only other thing she has a hard time parting with for any period of time is her blanket that she calls (appropriately) blank… the blanket that she won’t let anyone touch is the sweet blanket that you made…she will not sleep without the blanket and the only one she will let touch it is her pup. she and pup and blank sleep together every night or…no one in the house sleeps at all…thank you so much for that sweet blanket!

In other knitting news, I’ve made a detour into pale blues, greens & purples for a quick knit – details to be posted later. This evening while commuting home on the EL I spotted a fellow commuter knitting & discovered she was knitted the fabled Jaywalker that has been seen all over knit-blog-landia – I think the woman got a kick out of someone recognizing the pattern – she commented that it was an easy knit but she has had to frog several times – in fact, at lunch her co-workers give her grief when she pulls out “the same sock”. I took a sock class 3 years ago (& never finished the second sock) – one of my knitting goals for this year to to complete a pair of socks.

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