Amy Artisan

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Category: The Ville (page 3 of 3)

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!

Home & Handknits for the Holidays

I hope that each of you had a lovely time celebrating the holidays with those near and dear to you. I was able to enjoy a week at home in the ‘Ville with the family.

If you had asked me 5 weeks ago what my Holiday Handknits would be this year I would have said “1 gift.” By the time that Christmas rolled around, it turned out that I had many more handknits to gift.

As I mentioned earlier, I knit several Christmas trees while at home for Thanksgiving. I also finished up a 6th tree that was gifted to family friends on Christmas Eve. In addition to my own “mantel forest” that I’d like to knit before next Christmas, I’ve had several other requests from Mom & Dad for trees to gift next year. Stay tuned.

In addition to the trees, here are the other handknits that I gifted this year.

First up, the “secret knit” that I worked on starting in August. Earlier this year, when my Dad & I were in the yarn aisle at JoAnn ETC he jokingly gave me a not so subtle hint about wanting a knit scarf. Now he has an Artisan scarf. I bought this yarn at Stitches Midwest – Brooks Farm Limited Edition Sock Yarn. The pattern is the “broken rib” pattern from the Knitting to Go deck (& sent to me by Judy for the Vacation Knitting Swap earlier this year) on size 9 needles. This was the perfect project for my plane commuting to/from Chattanooga. The colors of this yarn are gorgeous – blues, greens, browns – it goes great with many of Dad’s coats and jackets.

Dad's Scarf

Next up, the first installment of the “Artisan Dishcloth of the Month” club for Mom and Rebecca. Each month in 2007 they will get a new dishcloth from me. These are “grandma’s favorite” in the Sugar’n Cream Mistletoe colorway. The second dishcloth was knit (start to finish) at the Chicago airport last Thursday when the flight was delayed because of rain and fog.

Christmas Dishcloths

The “last minute” knit that I alluded to earlier was indeed a pair of Fetching gloves for my Grandma. (Stay tuned for a longer post on them…)

Additionally, a couple of my felted bowls were gifted.

On the receiving end of gift giving, I received 2 great items that will help with Artisan Knitting in the coming year: a swift and the One Skein Wonders book. Thanks Grandma!

Christmas at home with the family was a lot of fun. Our traditional Christmas Eve movie was on the 23rd this year – Night at the Museum was delightful. After church, on Christmas Eve family friends came over for a yummy dinner, gift exchange & a “newer” tradition of watching The Vicar of Dibley Christmas Lunch episode. Later in the evening we watched It’s A Wonderful Life as we always do on Christmas Eve evening. Christmas Day was lovely – when we first get up we open our Christmas stockings (which are all needlepoints from Artisan Dad) and then enjoy breakfast before opening the gifts under the tree. After delicious homemade cinnamon rolls and peppermint coffee the gift opening began. We don’t open the gifts as a free for all – rather, Dad hands out the gifts & only one of us opens a gift at a time. I think the gift givers are as excited to see the reactions to gifts as the gift receivers are to open the gifts.

The day after Christmas was a day trip up to Chattanooga to visit friends from my 6 month project there earlier this year.

While at home I also taught one of Rebecca’s friends how to knit. A couple of hours one morning and Sheila was well on her way to making a “grandma’s favorite” dishcloth. Sheila is the 3rd person that I have taught to knit – as I was teaching her I was very aware of “what” I was doing with each step of the dishcloth. Sheila is so crafty so she picked this up rather quickly.

As 2006 winds down and 2007 begins I’m looking forward to a couple of days of reading, knitting and cooking – some of my favorite things that seemed to be in short supply for a lot of this year.

Oh Baby…skinks, that is!

As I mentioned previously, when I was home with the folks over Father’s Day weekend we discovered a Mama Skink was nesting in our front flowerbed.

Late last week Mama Skink hatched her eggs & for a few short days there were baby skinks in the front. As you can see from some of the pictures below their tails were an electric blue.


(Thanks Mom & Dad for capturing the pictures for this entry!) 

Mama & the babies have now left their nest in the front flowerbed & are out in the great big world. For a few days Mom & Dad enjoyed checking on the little nest. Just like Doris the dove that has nested above my back door for 3 years, I think that Mama Skink knew that the Artisan family would provide a safe place for nesting.

Mom & Dad have always shown us the simple pleasure in little things in our world – including these types of “nature encounters.” Some day I will share the story of how turtles came to be one of my favorite animals…until then I will leave you with this hint:

How did the little turtle cross Ridgemont Dr. in 1989? With the help of Amy Artisan guiding the way & watching for traffic (with a bit of a nudge from Dad Artisan)…


Hanging Out with the Folks…

Instead of heading to the airport to fly back to Chicago on Friday I picked up a rental car (a slick new Azera which the family has dubbed Hank) merged south onto I-75, set the cruise control & headed down to the ‘Ville to hang out with Mom & Dad. It was a fun weekend – filled with playin’ in the dirt, grillin, chillin’ & knittin’.

Playin’ in the dirt…

Saturday was a gardening day for Amy Artisan & Dad Artisan. I definitely inherited my green thumb from him and since I didn’t do my deck plantings or flowerbed this summer since I’m traveling it was fun to ‘play in the dirt’ for a bit & help get everything planted at home.

The first thing we did was plant the zinnias in the front flowerbed. (Zinnias are an Artisan Family favorite flower.) As Dad lifted up the turtle statue to move it out of the flowerbed he discovered a Mama Skink had nested & was watching over 6-8 eggs. So, the turtle statue will stay where it is & Mama Skink now has a lovely flowered & mulched home for her babies.

Skinks Home

We also planted up several color pots for the front entry to the house as well as the back deck. I think my favorite planting was the red & white coleus in the red pot – look closely & you’ll see a familiar “As Seen on TV” item – that’s right, the coleus are in the “Pasta Pot” from several years ago. The pot had outlived it’s usefulness in the kitchen & was such a pretty color that we thought it would be fun to plant into it – the red coleus leaves are a perfect match for it. Next year I vote for basil in the pasta pot – how fun would it be to grow “pasta herbs” in the pasta pot?

Pasta Pot Coleus

The other color pots indeed contain a lot of different colors: zinnias, coleus, petunias and more!

Flower Pot Color



Dad & I cleaned up the grill & made use of it for dinner on Saturday & Sunday. Saturday got the grill going for the season with turkey mignon, Vidailia onion slices and yellow squash slices. Sunday was yummy marinated steak. The meals were rounded off with super sweet canteloupe and Mom’s homemade strawberry pie. Having Mom’s home cooking is always great but I appreciated it even more this weekend since I’m eating out ALL the time while on the road.



A couple of fun movies that we watched over the weekend: Nanny McPhee & Glory Road. Both were fun flicks & good entertainment!



On Saturday afternoon Dad & I went to Hobby Lobby & spent the vast majority of time in the yarn section. There were several ‘new to me’ baby yarns that look like they would be so soft & cuddly for baby blankets – I have to make 2 baby boy blankets this summer so I think I will try some of these yarns instead of reaching for my “standard” Bernat Cotton Tots.

While browsing through the yarn at Hobby Lobby on Saturday I found a good selection of my favorite Sugar’n Cream for dishcloths – including several colors that I haven’t seen in store before. So, even though I had some SnC yarn in the suitcase for hotel knitting I picked up 5 balls of summertime colors. Saturday evening I got started on 1 “Grandma’s favorite” & kept on going all Sunday afternoon & evening. I’ll be finishing up the 5th dishcloth later this evening. Since suitcase space is a premium 4 dishcloths stayed in Georgia for my mom & sister to enjoy.

Summer Flavor Dishcloths
(L to R: Cherry Swirl, Swimming Pool, Key Lime Pie, Creamsicle)
These colors just seem to capture the vibrant fun of summertime!

Also…a bit of hotel knitting…Last week was fairly busy in the evenings here in Chattnooga – the annual Riverbend Festival was in full swing so our project team checked out the events on a couple evenings. I still managed to get 2 small knit projects completed: a simple dishcloth & a scarf.
Hotel Knitting

Project Spectrum: Blue Hydrangeas

As I was taking pictures of our flower plantings last night & Dad was watering the plants he asked if I needed any more blue pictures for this month and suggested that I take some pictures of the hydrangeas along the side of the house. So this Project Spectrum digital collage is from Amy Artisan & Dad Artisan.

Blue Hydrangeas


All in all it was a great weekend – it was a treat to hang out with my Dad on Father’s Day!

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