Amy Artisan

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Category: M’Amy’s Girls (page 3 of 4)

Holiday Hats & Hands

(…before January turns to February, it’s high time to blog about the holiday knits…)

As fall turning to winter and the holidays of 2009, my knitting needles picked up some speed so that I could have plenty of hand-knits under the Christmas tree.

A Hat for Uncle Don

For my uncle in California, I decided that a watch cap was in order. A quick search for a pattern yielded the Modern Rib Hat pattern. The simplicity of the knit 2, purl 1 pattern and the subtle change of the color stripe (Caron Simply Soft Shadows in Merino) quickly knit into a cozy hat for his neighborhood night watch work.

Miss Butterfly Miss Doodlebug

For my favorite little girls in Texas, simple hats with fun buttons. These hats were based on the Republic Hat (Toddler edition). I cast on more stitches for each one. I found the buttons on Etsy – a fun grab bag of “repurposed” buttons with lots of fun paintings on them – in fact, it was hard to pick which one to put on each hat.

Family Hands

For the Artisan family…wrist warmers. In March, when I was in California for Grandma’s funeral we found time to visit a local yarn shop along the Pacific Coast Highway. As is my “norm” when visiting a yarn shop, I asked what was a local or unique yarn that the shop carried. The answer was Capistrano Fiber Arts – beautiful hand dyed yarns from the area. I picked up four skeins of yarn and an accompanying pattern for simple wrist warmers. These were fast knits and are very cozy for all of us.

Amy Rebecca Dad Mom

My blogiversary came & went on New Years 2010 – this is the start of the 5th year that I’ve hung out my shingle at AmyArtisan. As I seem to be saying more & more, I hope to be blogging more actively in the coming weeks and months. Going forward, I plan to make this more of a priority than it has been in recent months. Work has me on the road again so I’m figuring out my “new normal” of work and life. So far, the time on the road has yielded quite a bit of knitting in 2010 – stay tuned for those knit tales.



The end of October meant that it was time for my annual Halloween trip to Texas to see my two favorite little girls. In addition to our “normal” fun of playtime, reading, crafts & more we also hosted a fun Halloween party for their little friends. Of course costumes were required for all. In mid-September when the girls were on their way to buy their Halloween costumes they called me and asked what I was going to dress up as. When I told them that I didn’t know yet and asked what they thought I should be, in unison they replied “A Fairy Godmother.” And just like that I knew what my costume would be…because how can you say no to these adorable little girls?!?

A Bit of Spring

A little over two weeks ago, I escaped the Chicago winter for my own bit of a spring break – it was time to head down to Dallas to spend a long weekend with my favorite little girls (& their mom)! After what has seemed like an interminably long & white winter and everything surrounding Grandma’s final months, the timing was “just right” – maybe that’s why this year’s spring weekend in Dallas seemed even brighter.

Beautiful Tulips!

On Friday, we made our annual springtime trek to the Dallas Arboretum – this was the 25th anniversary of the Dallas Blooms spring flower spectacular. Everywhere you looked, there were blooms in all shapes and colors. In addition to the flowers, the special exhibit was 16 storybook houses designed by local firms – each was a unique interpretation of a childhood story.

Storybook House Detail

Miss Butterfly received a “grown-up” camera for Christmas & had a great time capturing the Arboretum from her viewpoint.

A Budding Photographer

Beyond the blooms, the weekend was filled with all sorts of ways to recharge & renew. The girls were filled with imagination in everything that we did.

Silly Girls

The new swingset/playhouse in the backyard inspired playtime to save 2 princesses from a wolf – in addition to me reading to the girls, Miss Butterfly read to me – playtime & a picnic at the park – and lots of play in general. I always bring some sort of craft project with me & this time it was some spring themed paper strips for the girls to make paper chains – by Sunday afternoon, Miss Butterfly’s chain was more than 19 feet long. Per “tradition” Maya & I had girls nite out one evening – a mani/pedicure, some shopping (including some fun jewelry finds) & enjoying “the band” on the patio at the local wine bar was a perfect combination!

 M'Amy & the girls

(more pictures here)

As is always the case, before long it was time to pack up the suitcase (Miss Doodlebug sat on it to help me close it up) & head back home to Chicago. While Spring has yet to fully appear in here in Chicago I’m glad for the few days of springtime fun with my favorite little girls!

Miles & Miles…

It seems like life has been rushing by at a million miles an hour for the last several weeks. Blog silence hasn’t been because of having nothing to blog about – just the opposite. It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

As always seems to be the case, October was full of fun with family & friends – Picture Perfect was just the start. When Maya was in town for a quick weekend, we enjoyed a fun evening of dinner & conversation with our friend Elaine – the sunset city views from her deck were amazing.

Later in the month, Artisan Mom & Dad came for a long weekend – they stopped in Michigan City on a Thursday. Friday morning, I took the South Shore train over there & we spent the day in Harbor Country & visiting some of my favorite places over there. The train ride over there was a wonderful transition from the hectic work week – the tree colors were brilliant & I felt like I was indeed in the midst of a vintage postcard.

At the end of the month, it was time to head to Dallas for Halloween with Miss Butterfly & Miss Doodlebug. Of course, it was a delightful time! There was trick-or-treating…

…and plenty of playtime indoors & in the yard…

The girls are getting so big & it was so fun to see their imaginations at work. One afternoon we played “The 3 Little Pigs & the Big Bad Wolf” in the front yard for over an hour.

Through all of this, the knitting needles have been busy. While I didn’t finish my Cubby Bear socks in October, I have less than half of the 2nd sock until I’m finished – I figure it will be airplane knitting next week as I head home for Thanksgiving. It’s “that time of the year” where a lot of the knitting can’t be revealed yet. While in Dallas, Maya modeled one of my recent gift knits – a lace capelet for her birthday. Again, the “yarn name” got me – this beautiful green is called Maya. The yarn & the pattern came together perfectly – although I did have to reknit the capelet a second time because my cast on was too tight the first time.

With all of the “on the go” time recently, it seems only appropriate that this past work week ended with my trusty car turning from 99,999 miles to 100,000 miles.

I think there are enough pictures in today’s post, I won’t bother to insert the picture of the snow dusted back deck that greated me when I got home from work this evening. Needless to say, with the return of the cold weather the hats, scarves & other hand knits are in full rotation these days…

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.

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