Amy Artisan

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Month: July 2007

A Bit of R&R

A quick trip home to see the family in “The ‘Ville” was just the bit of R&R that I needed after a pretty crazy couple of months at work. I flew home on Thursday morning and when I left on Monday evening we all agreed that it was just the right amount of “together time” that we all needed – it had been a while since we all had just hung out.

On Friday we loaded into the car, picked up iced coffees (an Artisan family staple) and headed south for a day trip. First stop: Warm Springs, GA. We didn’t visit The Little White House this time, instead we did a bit of shopping in some of the cute shops and enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Bulloch House. From there we headed east to Macon, GA – with the specific goal of spending time on the Mercer University campus where my sister & I went to school. There has been a lot of construction on campus since we were students there; however, it was nice to see how the new buildings tie into the beautiful older architecture.

Mercer Memories

One of the highlights of the walk around campus was seeing the statue of Jesse Mercer – when I was a student there I was part of the Heritage Life committee that selected the design from several that had been submitted. When we selected this design we liked the concept that you could sit with Jesse – so of course Rebecca & I had to sit with him while visiting. (Um…sitting on a brass bench in 90+ degree weather is not so fun.) Surrounding the statue are several of Jesse’s sayings – it was fun to read them and chuckle at some.

Hanging out with Jesse

(The rest of our photo album is here)

Our day of fun ended with a bit of shopping at the outlets and then a quick dinner and dessert at the local Chick-fil-A Dwarf House where I worked when I was in high school.

A gift card for Barnes & Noble was a perfect excuse for my sister & I to spend some time at the bookstore on Saturday afternoon. While enjoying our frappucinnos, Rebecca settled in with a book and I spent the time looking through some knit books and magazines. A couple of magazines came home with me with specific project plans (including *gasp* maybe my first sweater).

When Rebecca & I were in Michigan in June we each selected some Cotton Blossom yarn as our yarn souvenir. Earlier this month I did a quick knit with Rebecca’s Tangerine yarn and she now has a cozy shawl to wear.

Rebecca's Tangerine

This knit was a great example of Ravelry in action – I stumbled upon it while browsing through patterns and it seemed like a good fit for the yarn. This “Simple Yet Effective Shawl” was a fun and easy pattern – I can see using it with several yarns in the stash.

When not out and about – there was plenty of time just hanging out at home. Lots of knitting time (details to come in future posts), lots of reading time, watching a few movies (Mame – a perrenial family favorite and the delightful Miss Potter). I also spent some time in Artisan Tech Support mode for my sister and dad. Earlier this summer my sister was a chaperone on the youth group mission trip to Moldova so I helped her build a web page of her highlight pictures (I’ll provide the link in another post). Artisan Dad is working on starting a blog as well.

Since starting to build out my notebook on Ravelry I realized that a few gifts that I knit for the family hadn’t been photographed so I captured them while at home.

Knit Gifts

#1 – The Berthe Collar from No Sheep For You for Mom’s Birthday this year – knit in bamboo; #2 – A Bedroom Pillow for Mom a couple of years ago – 3 colors of sale yarn from the LYS and a stitch pattern from a stitch dictionary; #3 – Rebecca’s Reading Wrap – 2 skeins of Homespun; #4 – Grandma’s Resting Wrap – 2 skeins of Homespun

This weekend was a lovely reminder of how much fun my family can have – even when we don’t have a lot planned. It’s not the “things” that we do – it’s the time that we spend together!


Within the last couple of weeks, I started seeing mention for the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair on a few blogs. When I checked out the website it sounded like a perfect way to spend a Saturday. The fair was this weekend and it turned out to be not too far from a BBQ that was already on the calendar for later in the evening. Saturday morning I picked up my knit gals, Jen & Kristy, and we pointed the car towards Crystal Lake.

In a word – WOW! Where to start with describing this great event? Several times throughout the day we commented that we just couldn’t believe that this was the first year for the fair – everything was so well organized. There were 4 large tents filled with vendors. The mix of vendors was great – a lot of fiber options but also a lot of “non-fiber” choices. Looking through my bag of purchases, the yarn was kept to a minimum. Among the spoils:

A sheep and yarn bowl from Jennie the Potter . Have you seen her adorable knit themed pottery? She’s a knitter as well as a potter and while at a knitting event someone suggested that she incorporate knit motifs into her work. This bowl is glazed with a pale green & the sheep & yarn are navy blue. She also has a cute needle & thread motif and some beautiful nature motifs. I would love to pick up more pieces of her work in the future. These tulip coasters are leftover weavings from SAORI Freestyle Weaving Studio.

Creatively Dyed Yarn – In the last couple of months I’ve seen blog mentions about this beautiful yarn. Seeing all of the colors in person – they were so bright and fun. I went outside my normal zone twice with this selection – first with the curly yarn and second with the color choice. I think this will become a simple triangle shawl. This year’s limited edition yarn from Brooks Farm is 50% wool and 50% silk and oh so lovely. This skein is filled with taupe, pale aqua and a dusty lavender. I think this skein may become a Montego Bay scarf for me.

This bunch of corn is actually 3 mini baskets tied together with raffia from Basket Beginnings. This will be a fun autumn decoration to use for years to come & the colors go great with my terra cotta walls. I picked up the pattern for the wool felt candle mat from In The Wool – it looks like a simple pattern that will be a fun diversion from knitting and a great gift idea.

A simple note card with woven fabric on the front – picked up from Biggie. Some wonderful soaps from HeavenSent HomeSpun.

Jack & Kim Olesker had a booth & were signing copies of Cast On, Bets Off – it was great to see them since they were out of town when we were in Michigan last month. The book continues to do well and there is movie news on the horizon – talk about the ultimate knitflix!

What is a summertime fair without fun food? The Beer Garden had several local restaurants provide all sorts of fun choices – our lunch included Hong Kong chicken with fried rice, pulled pork BBQ, a shrimp taco, kabobs and peroigies. When we were done shopping we chilled with delicious mocha granitas from Conscious Cup while listening to the tunes of the Long Gone Lonesome Boys.

When it was time to leave we all had bags full of treats – yarn, notecards, and more. Kristy did a needle felting sample and became hooked on the craft so she stocked up on supplies – I see some creative felting happening in the coming weeks.

We all agreed that this was a lovely event & look forward to making it an annual tradition!

Home of the Brave!

Star Spangled Banner
Flickr picture from jcolman

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;

O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

As you celebrate this Independence Day holiday, take a moment to remember the service men and women who have defended this freedom – both those from war times and peace times in the past and those serving today.

I’m proud to come from a military family! The service of my dad and grandpa are part of who I am.

Grandpa as a Seabee
My grandpa was a Navy Seabee in the Pacific during World War II.

Artisan Dad in the Air Force
Artisan Dad was in the Air Force and was a part of the missile crews “underground” during Vietnam and the Cold War. As I’ve mentioned before, while on crew underground he would needlepoint to pass the time.

Wishing you a safe and happy July 4th!

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