Amy Artisan

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Month: March 2008

We’ll Have Fun, Fun, Fun…

Many things come to mind for the letter F – family, friends, faith, flowers, and more. My trip to Dallas last weekend to celebrate Easter with Miss Butterfly and Miss Doodlebug encompassed many of these things. The overarching theme of my trip was yet another F…

F is for FUN

Easter Egg Fun

March has been a pretty busy week at work and so several days with the girls was just what I needed to break free of the winter blahs that have gripped me so often in these recent months.  I arrived after the girls were asleep on Wed. evening but from the time they crept into my room on Thursday morning until I left on Monday we indeed had fun, fun, fun!

Dallas Blooms

F is for Flowers – Another beautiful spring day to enjoy the Dallas Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum. The tulips were at their peak and the late afternoon sunshine made for some great photo opportunities. As we were taking pictures of the girls, whenever we would tell them “Say Cheese” Miss Doodlebug would reply “I already said cheese” which yielded some funny faces. This year’s Dallas Blooms theme was Star of Texas – it was fun to see Texas icons interpreted in flowers & grasses.

F is for Feelin’ the Sun – After the winter that we’ve had in Chicago, it was wonderful to soak in the sun. Sunscreen was needed to avoid burning but it was great to have the sunglasses on and just be outside in the sun. There were plenty of opportunities for that. Many fun times were spent in the backyard pushing the girls on their swings or at the park.

F is for Friends– While it is always great to spend the time with Miss Butterfly and Miss Doodlebug it is also such a treat to hang out with Maya. After the girls were in bed we managed to catch up on a couple of movies from our queues – we finally saw Once & the soundtrack has stayed with us ever since. On Friday evening we left the girls with their favorite babysitter and enjoyed some fun out & about – a bit of shopping, another excellent meal at Zanders House and then lattes & dessert at Cafe Obzeet. Saturday while the girls had afternoon rest time we enjoyed manicure time out on the patio while soaking in the sun.

Easter Girls

F is for Faith– Easter Sunday morning was a whirl of activity. After the thrill of opening Easter baskets,  watching a bit of an Easter basket DVD and cracking the glitter eggs & having hard boiled eggs with breakfast, we enjoyed a lovely Easter service at church. The service was topped off with a sing-along of the Hallelujah chorus.  Throughout the weekend, when the girls would pick out stories for me to read they included several tellings of the Easter story which can yield lots of questions when you are 4 & 2.

Easter Kids

F is for Family – Even though I wasn’t with my family for the holiday, I was still a part of a family celebration. Easter dinner was at Maya’s parents house. It was the same group that gathered for Easter when I was there in 2006 so it was fun to see them all again. Everyone contributed to the dinner spread – I was on for one of my appetizers, the Mushroom Caviar was definitely a hit. The ‘big kids’ had a great time hiding the Easter eggs in the backyard while I kept the little kids distracted with reading several stories. The little kids loved the Easter egg hunt, the eggs with the coins inside were definitely the ones to find. Everyone had fun cracking confetti eggs on each other’s heads later in the afternoon.

The rest of the weekend was filled with all sorts of fun things that were perfect for recharging from the winter – lots of “read us a story M’Amy” story times; Miss Butterfly loved having me tell stories about when she was a baby here in Chicago (“and then what…and then what…”); making a feast with the playdough in the Easter basket; ice cream cones at the local ice cream shop and just all the fun that it is to be little girls.

(more pictures here)

Even “f is for flight delay” on both sides of the trip didn’t diminish the fun that was had. I had knitting in my bag but didn’t knit a single stitch at the airports or on the trip – but I did enjoy reading a couple of good books.

As spring continues to fight it’s way into Chicago (really, did we need to see snow again this week?) the fun moments of last weekend keep me looking forward to the arrival of the spring and summer and all the fun that will be had in the coming months.

The Easter Song

The blog may have been quiet for most of this month; however, life has been keeping me pretty busy. I have several things I want to blog about but those will have to wait for another day. Before I head out for a trip to Dallas to celebrate Easter with Miss Butterfly & Miss Doodlebug…

E is for Easter

Easter Sculpture 

I’ll leave you with pictures of the incredible Easter sand sculptures in Findlay, Ohio (these pictures are from 2006) and the lyrics to an Artisan family favorite Easter song – The Easter Song by Keith Green.  

Easter Sculpture

Hear the bells ringing
They’re singing that you can be born again
Hear the bells ringing
They’re singing Christ is risen from the dead
The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead
Joy to the word, He has risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
Hear the bells ringing
They’re singing that you can be healed right now
Hear the bells ringing, they’re singing
Christ, He will reveal it now
The angels, they all surround us
And they are ministering Jesus’ power
Quickly now, reach out and receive it
For this could be your glorious hour

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah, hallelujah

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah

Easter Sculpture 

Doing Dishes

Based on my knitting history, my choice for the letter D should come as no surprise.

D is for Dishcloths


As a child, I always remember a handknit cotton dishcloth hanging over the sink or faucet in the kitchen. These dishcloths were the only thing that mom would use to wash dishes, clean counters, deal with the spills and messes that children can make. I remember always being amazed that it seemed like no matter how big the mess, that dishcloth could handle it. Mom remembers getting some of these dishcloths from an aunt as a wedding gift & initially not knowing what they were. Obviously she quickly caught on to the power of the handknit dishcloth. Grandma learned the pattern from Aunt Irene & so we never were at a loss for dishcloths.

When I had an apartment in college & in my pre-knitting days Grandma kept me in dishcloths as well – no visit with her was complete without getting a few more dishcloths for the stash. One drawer of her bookcase by the front door was always filled with dishcloths to share.

As I’ve mentioned before, learning to knit the cotton dishcloth for myself was my catalyst for learning to knit in 1997. Since then, I have always had a stash of dishcloth cotton – years ago it was maybe only 2 or 3 balls. These days…um…one whole cube in my craft storage is filled with dishcloth cotton. Whenever I’m in a craft store and see a selection of Sugar’n Cream yarn there is a good chance that I will pick out a color or two. Sugar’n Cream was Grandma’s favorite yarn for the dishcloths – it only made sense that it became mine as well. I remember a couple of times when Grandma knit with another kitchen cotton and she would always comment that it wasn’t the same as SnC.

In recent years I’ve dabbled with assorted dishcloth patterns – through the Monthly Dishcloth KAL, from websites & Ravelry, from MDK, from pattern booklets. I find that I always return to the Grandma’s Favorite pattern – especially when using the variegated or twist colorways.

Dishcloths are my go-to project. I haven’t yet hit a point of having too many dishcloths. Now that Grandma doesn’t knit anymore, I keep Artisan Mom & Rebecca stocked with dishcloths. Of course my kitchen is stocked. And I always have a stash of dishcloths on hand to use for hostess gifts – in fact, I have a box filled with dishcloths & coordinating tea towels so that I don’t have to show up empty handed.

I keep dishcloth supplies in the car. They come in handy when the line for a carwash in the winter stretches around the block. A basic dishcloth is perfect movie theater knitting. When I feel like knitting but don’t want to have to think about what I’m doing I’ll reach for the dishcloth cotton.

In this vintage apartment I don’t have a dishwasher. So all of my dishwashing is done with a handknit cotton dishcloth. As I stand in my kitchen & do dishes I remember seeing Grandma at her kitchen sink washing up the dishes. When she was done, the pale yellow tile kitchen counters would be wiped off, the dishcloth rung out & then it would be hung over the faucet – to dry and be ready to handle any mess that came into the kitchen.

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