Friday, December 31, 2010

Rose Red Beret

I made this hat as a somewhat belated gift for my sister Jessica's birthday.
Instead of trying to guess what she wanted, I asked her. Luckily I only had to show her one pattern, Rose Red by Ysolda Teague, and she liked it right off the bat. I then went to my trusty local yarn store The Yarn Barn where Beverly helped me pick out the yarn, which I am very thankful for.

I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK and Alchemy Haiku held double, made a gauge swatch and got started. I used a size 6 (4.0 mm) needles, held both yarns together, and began!
At this point, all seemed promising.

Somehow, (I’m guessing this might have been denial), I didn’t notice how big it was getting. I happily kept plowing along.
I finished.
Gave it to her.
It was big enough for almost two of her heads...
....ripping it out wasn’t what I would call ‘fun’… .
I mustered up the energy (after letting it sit for two weeks or so), began again, ignoring gauge altogether this time, went down one size to make a small.
Luckily, this time it fits her 22 inch head, using the size 5 needles worked perfectly.
The pattern was really easy to follow, very well written, and the second time around it flew by.
She loves it and so do I! I almost didn’t want to part with it… ;)
Doesn't she look B-E-A-U-tiful? :)
Oh well! It was a bit late, but as they say better late than never.
Happy Friday!
xoxo, Callie
the magical bean

Monday, December 27, 2010

Urge for Going

This time of year I find myself in a constant state of longing. I long to be in Germany, amidst the Christmas markets, purchasing some gifts at the artisans stalls, walking along in the snow downtown, going into stores like H&M, or my favorite little yarn store, that I can't recall the name of for the life of me, on that corner next to Nanu Nana. I miss eating fresh hot chocolate, made with real thick creamy cocoa, eating bratwurst, and fresh pastries.
I miss going into Starbucks in a big city and them giving you a real mug to use while sitting down to thaw off a bit of the cold.
I miss the wonderment of that first snow fall.
Awaking to find, like a gift, our little town blanketed in snow, and then the insurmountable thoughts of snow ball fights, and sledding.
Catching snow flakes on my tongue.
Aah, so many happy memories, and yet I don't know how to describe this feeling of being pulled in two directions.
I love my time in Germany but also love my time in Texas.
Somehow all this has translated into me wanting to travel, go somewhere new... making me reminisce about a time quite a bit ago now that I will always cherish.
I feel so lucky to have had those precious moments.

This longing to travel, reminded me of one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs: Urge for Going.

Listen and enjoy!

"Urge For Going"
I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
And shivering trees are standing in a naked row
I get the urge for going but I never seem to go

I get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

I had me a man in summertime
He had summer-colored skin
And not another girl in town
My darling's heart could win
But when the leaves fell trembling down
Bully winds did rub their faces in the snow
He got the urge for going And I had to let him go

He got the urge for going
When the meadow grass was turning brown
Summertime was falling down and winter was closing in

The warriors of winter they gave a cold triumphant shout
And all that stays is dying and all that lives is getting out
See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow
They've got the urge for going, they've got the wings to go

They get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

I'll ply the fire with kindling and pull the blankets to my chin
And I'll lock the vagrant winter out and bolt my wandering in
I'd like to call back summertime and have her stay just another month or so
But she's got the urge for going and I guess she'll have to go

And she get the urge for going when meadow grass is turning brown
All her empires are falling down
Winter's closing in
Hoping your holidays were a pleasure!
XOXO, Callie
the magical bean

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a merry Christmas this year!
Happy holidays and the like :)
Hope this one is a grand one!
XOXO, Callie
the magical bean

Friday, December 17, 2010

That person is you

There is only one person who could ever make you happy, and that person is you.
David Burns, Intimate Connections

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quilted Portrait

One project I am particularly proud of is a quilted portrait I did for my drawing II class. The assignment was to make an non-traditional portrait, so I chose quilting. For years I had seen some really amazing art quilts in the magazine Quilting Arts. I had always wanted to try my hand at making one, and so when the chance presented itself I jumped on the idea. After conferring with my teacher, who gave me the go-ahead, and my mom who helped me decide how to go about doing it. I got started!
The final result really makes me happy.

I based my quilt off of an amazing photograph I saw on flickr. The photo was taken by a phenomenal photographer, whose user name is LJ. Click here to visit LJ'S profile.
Click here to visit LJ's photostream.

1. Untitled by flickr user LJ.
The resulting quilt only somewhat resembles the original photograph. Basically what I did to make it was to cut out varying shades of colors and then glue then down, putting them layer by layer on top of one another. Finally I have my mom to thank for the actual stippling of the quilt. She did an amazing job, in my opinion, and I felt very proud of how it looked. Thread painting, is what I think it's called. She zipped along, sewing the contours of the face, added wrinkles, and some extra hair. She really did do a swell job! Thanks mom! We chose some variegated brown/tan thread as well as some black and white.
I then hand sewed the binding... and turned it in the next day.
Here's a little close-up of the eyes.

The back looked like so...
All the white thread makes it seem kind of ghostly, no?
When I was photographing it, I switched the position of the portrait for a moment, and by some chance the light shined through for a moment and this is what I saw...
Old man illuminated.
Made me smile.

Can't wait to do another!
Happy Thursday,
xoxo, Callie
the magical bean

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm back!!!!!

Why hello there! I'm back! :)
And wearing a headband no less.
My semester somehow came to an end, thank goodness, and I am able to breathe freely again. Whew!
So much work and projects one after another. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, some classes were great. Especially my drawing II class was a blast. I had probably the best art professor I've ever had. It was very inspiring to be in her class. I made some pretty nifty stuff too. I can't wait to show you!
Well the first thing up is this little cowl/ headband I made.
I improvised the pattern Alpine Scarf from Interweave Crochet Magazine, Winter 2008. All I did to make it a cowl instead of a scarf was to join the ends once casting on, and the proceed working it in the round.
I made this in between working on a school project. I really shouldn't have been working on it but how could I resist! :)
Don't worry both were finished within the weekend.
I had bought the yarn last year as a birthday gift for myself, at Hill Country Weavers in Austin. I couldn't bear the thought of not making something with it before my next one. So I got to working...
The yarn specifics:
Great Adirondack Yarn Co. in sea mist colorway
100 yards
It is really warm to wear, and so far has not been cold enough for me to use.
Oh well!
I just love this yarn! It was so soft and fuzzy, and it was a pleasure to watch the colors change, and the glittery bits merge together as I went along. The colors are what really drew me in. The greens, purples, and oranges all fit so beautifully together!
Can you see the little shimmer of the metallic thread? I love that extra little sparkle it adds.
It has such a pretty stitch pattern too.
Well, I'm happy to be back. I've missed blogging. My etsy shop has been sorely neglected and it makes me very sad. I have some great things planned for it. Including a range of new prints that I have already started on. Hope to share soon.
XOXO, Callie
the magical bean


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