Thursday, December 31, 2009

3 652.42199 days

That's how many days are in a decade.

This decade has brought us so many things- advances and back-steps, money and poverty, joy and sorrow. Here are some of the things I've done this decade.


Lived in 11 apartments/group houses in 4 major metro areas and 7 towns.

Met Mr. Wrong

Fallen in love

Graduated from college

Gone from being a vegetarian-straight-edge-very-serious-hardcore-kid to being a middle-of-the-road-meat-eating-wine-drinking-adult

Fallen out-of-love (with Mr. wrong)

Witnessed many friends fall-in-and-out-of-love

Witnessed weddings, births, adoptions, and deaths

Had my apartment broken into

Traveled to Europe

Quit 5 jobs

Been fired from 1 job

Earned and spent around $194k (that's scary on many levels)

Started a small business

Fallen in love (with Mr. Right)

Lived with 5 cats

Become the owner of 1 cat

Bought and killed 17 house plants

Gone from no car to owning a car back to a no-car lifestyle

Traveled to 14 states

Gained and lost and gained again 35 lbs

.....and most recently I've met my new niece. This is the littlest Stacklet of them all. She is amazingly beautiful, and talking to her momma inspires me to continue to take my birth control. Welcome to the family. I hope the next decade brings you lots of fun things.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Dear Blog,

It's been a while. I've not been writing in you because I've been too busy. Also, I try not to write in you when I think I might say something that would bite me in my kiester later. Therefore, you have sat blank for a (very) long time. I'm sorry. Here's a nice little post so you can feel like I still love you.

Crafty Bastards? Effing rocked. I was not the Craftiest Bastard, but I would do that show again in a heart beat. By far, my best selling day and the nicest organizers EVER. Hands down. Awesome. They brought me a whole foods sandwich. Never in my life have I had a craftshow provide me with even a snack, and this place gave me a sandwich, and it wasn't even a nasty cello-wrapped egg salad from a food museum, it had vegetables on it. **it's sad that I get this excited about a sandwich, but during a full day craftshow, it's the little things that count** Other awesome thing about the show- Mr. Smartguy helped me tear down. Ladies, if you can find a guy who is willing to help you move heavy stuff and brave a craftshow for you, you know you've found a keeper. Which is a nice segue into the holidaze...

Hey Katie, what are you doing for Thanksgiving? Oh, well I'm headed to Texas to meet my boyfriend's family. I'll write that again, I'm going to Texas to meet Mr. Smartguy's family. Specifically Austin, specifically his parents. This leads to the other question-- are ya nervous? Ummmm, maybe?...a little? I'm pretty good at meeting people and getting them to like me. I'm not so keen on feeling like I am the center of attention. Last night I found out that members of the extended family heard of the arrival of a girlfriend, and they are excited to check her out. I'm sure they are all going to be wonderful people, but until I meet them- I'm a little antsy about the introduction. Which leads to another question....

Hey Katie! What about Holiday Craft Shows? Well, like I mentioned before, I try not to say things on the Internet that are going to bite me in the tuckus later, so I will simply say that my job took over my life this fall, and I did not get my act together with enough quality goods to be accepted into any of the big NYC craftshows (well, that was diplomatic). I'm really bummed about it, but it has taken a little of the pressure off the holidaze for me. It also has allowed me to *gasp* have a little time to make some holiday gifts for my loved ones. Who knew?! when you aren't making gifts for other people to buy, you actually do have some time to make gifts to give.

I always feel like I am cheating when I buy gifts. There just seems like there is something wrong about buying things when you are fully capable of making something that has a little love already built in. So I apologize if I've ever given you a store bought gift. I do really love you, I just didn't have time to make something so I went to the mall. I'm sorry. I promise it won't happen again...well, okay it will but we can pretend that it won't.

Additionally, due to the aforementioned work surplus, I did not do the graphics or website for the Side Project Market this year. The torch was handed off to someone who actually knew what they were doing! Again, I'm bummed that after lots of years as a participant, and at least 2 years doing the graphics I had to bail due to a work surplus, but that's the way the craftsperson cookie crumbles. Here is a link to the groovy website, and the name of the market has changed too. It is now part of a larger event called Shop Jarvis Square, which brings in the local storefronts and restaurants to create a really fantastic shopping extravaganza! Also, the coffee joint on the corner makes a freakin' awesome mocha (I'm just sayin'). If you are in the Chicago area on December 12th, swing by the square and support the local artisans. They make some really great stuff.

So there ya have it blog. The latest news from Craftlandia. Not too crafty, but hey! If it were all about crafts- would ya still be reading this blog? Here are some pics from Crafty Bastards, and some images of pieces that I have been working on in case you really do read this blog just for the crafts.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Crafty Bastard TOP 5

OMG! I'm in the TOP 5!

A huge thank you to everyone who voted and re-posted this to their blogs, facebook and myspace accounts. I really, really, appreciate it.

Here is the link thinger again, just in case you want to re post it some more. I would really love to win this. Oh, and if you come visit me on at the show and tell me you voted, I have a special prize just for you!


In other news, I am doing my best to get ready for this show. I have some fancy new buttons, some gorgeous new leather cuffs made from cast-off leather scraps that would have ended up as landfill, and I am working on having both leather and vegan belts available for sale with my schmancy buckles. Oh, and speaking of buckles- I am working on some great new buckles featuring vintage fabrics, some new-to-me vintage magazines and these awesome British cigarette cards.

I'm still working on my set-up as it has been the thing that consistently challenges me. I want something that looks like it has been thought about, but not over thought, and that is where *I* get in trouble. Hopefully I will be able to figure out something that looks cool *and* travels easily. Wish me luck.

In more life news: Mr. Smartguy and I are having a blast. We've both been swamped with work, but we are still able to find time to hang out (seriously). This week we took one of the amazing pasture-raised-non-caged chickens I've bought from Green Fence Farm, and made a delicious beer can chicken in the oven. If you've never tried making a beer can chicken- let me just say-- oh, so easy and delicious! Your house will smell great, the chicken is moist and tasty and if you line your pan with foil, the clean-up is a breeze. If you don't drink beer or eat meat...sorry this isn't one for you. Maybe there is a version with diet coke and tofu, but somehow I don't think it would translate.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Craftiest Bastard Contest

Drumroll please................................

It's here. The Craftiest Bastard Contest. What is the Craftiest Bastard Contest? Well it's a contest by the Crafty Bastard ladies so the public can vote on who is the Craftiest Bastard. Since you read this blog, you know I am a pretty crafty b!tch. Sooooooo now is the time to help make me a crafty bastard too.

So what makes me a Crafty Bastard? Well, I am crafty, and although not technically a bastard, I can be a real smart-ass, and sometimes have a potty-mouth. Also, professionally I am basically what would happen in Mcgyver and Martha Stewart got together and had a red-headed baby. So, you should vote for me!

What can I win?

Grand Prize: $500 gift certificate to Urban Outfitters + Winner Promotion in one City Paper 1/4 page print ad + 1 Crafty Bastards eblast

2nd Place: Washington City Paper advertising ($500 value)

3rd Place: Crafty Bastards prize pack filled with City Paper goodies

So as you can see-- if nothing else it could offer me a nice chunk of advertising for this upcoming holiday season.

How can you help? Well I need you to vote, and get your friends to vote, and get their friends to vote. You can vote by clicking on the button ^^up there^^ or by clicking on this link

And if you are willing you can put this link on your blog, or on your facebook page or myspace page. You can also send out an email to anyone who might want to help me and ask them to vote for me!

Please please please, with sugar on top!

Oh, and if I have your email address, you are about to get this same posting as an email....because I'm that kind of thorough.

So vote for me!


This message has been brought to you by: Citizens United in Nerdy Crafts Contests.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oh what to write about?

Here's the skinny. I've not got much to write about. I'm with a great guy, I'm making some cool crafts, and my job has calmed down. So I guess this blog is becoming less a sounding board for my crazy single life, and more like a narrative for how things should/could go..... to be honest I'm not sure what to say more than:

For the first time in a long time I am beginning to feel like I am home. I wouldn't be so bold as to say that he is the only reason I feel DC is a home, but I do think he is a big part of it. More than anything, I think that by giving him a little piece of me, I am giving myself permission to let go of all the other relationships I was holding onto (friends, lovers, jobs, possibilities that can and will never be more than possibilities). I never thought that by giving another person a little piece of me, I'd become more of myself, but I think that is the reality I am living in right now.
I'm beginning to feel like myself again (for the first time since leaving Chicago) and all it took was giving another person a spot in my crazy life. I guess after years of being a Catherinette, I'm finally willing to toss my hat in the ring, and give it a real go.

Who knew?

Sunday, August 23, 2009


It's a quickie of a blogpost.

The Crafty Bastards vendor gallery is up and running. I think this is going to be a fantastic year. The vendor list looks hip and fun, and it seems like there will be a fantastic variety of products this year. Oh, and I sound like a real live professional in my artist's statement. haa!

ArtSpring has re-opened in beautiful downtown Silver Spring. They are the gallery collective I am a member of (previously known as Pyramid Atlantic) and the new store looks amazing. I did a drive-by craft drop this weekend with Mr. Smart Guy, and I was totally impressed. The new shop is huge, the artisans are varied, and the merchandising is top notch. If you are in need of an original handmade gift for someone in the DC area, check this place out. They have things for almost any budget ($3 cards to $!@#$ fine art). Swing by, and help support local DC metro artisans.

Things are a buzzin' at the theatre as well. We are about to open our Free For All production of The Taming of The Shrew (set in the 1950's!). I generally don't talk too much about my 'day job' on this blog, but this seems like such a great community event that I just can't help but get the word out. The show is free to the public, and a great way to get introduced to the Shakespeare Theatre Company without spending big$$.
**Just remember, in this current economic state, the arts are struggling as much as any other not-for-profit-- so give a donation at the door, and feel good about yourself.**
Listen up fellows! This is a date night that will win you billions of good boyfriend points, without costing you billions of dollars. For added bonus points, pack a romantic picnic and eat dinner at the Building Museum lawn.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to it!

It has been a lovely summer. I spent most of June traveling, July hosting travelers, and the beginning of August trying to make myself get back into the habit of making things daily. It's been a bit of a struggle to get my act together, but this week I am going to make a real effort. I have 5 techs between now and Christmas, as well as at least 3 big shows with a website and graphics to design for one of them.

It's time to get some music playing and my craft on!!!!

Here's a little music to get the mood going. This is what the inside of my head feels like:

If anyone has any suggestions on how to get back into my groove, I'd appreciate them now.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This week has been strange.

On Monday I received several horrible pieces of news: A very dear (maybe even my best) friend lost his father without warning. Another friend lost her brother after a lifelong battle with illness. It was a hard week. I have a difficult time with friends and loss. I also have a difficult time with the conventions of language and what is proper. My initial response generally involves at least 2 or 3 expletives and the idea- "I cannot imagine how you must be feeling". Which is not the comforting words that you are supposed to say while handing over a bundt cake or fried chicken. My lacking social grace is one of my less charming attributes, and at times like this it comes raging out.

The most helpful thing I can think is to remember the time I lost my Grandmother (who lived next door and helped raise me) and recall how destroyed I was, and how the thought that she is still looking out for me helps at times. So that's what I said. Hopefully in 5 or 10 years they will be able to feel a little comfort in the idea that they have a wing-man. It's not much, but sometimes all we get are the comforts we create in our minds and hearts.

In the midst of all this sad news I have managed to meet and become smitten with a darling man. We met online, and have been seeing each other for about 6 weeks. Each time we are together I find out something we have in common, and something we can experience for the first time. He is a dear, and so f**king sincere that I don't even know what to do with him at times.

As you can see: I'm having a bit of a dichotomy of emotion that I'm not sure what to do with. It's been a strange week. It's been days of switching between tears and smiles, and not really feeling right about either because of it.

If you are the praying type- Light a candle and say a prayer for my friends. They are dealing with some astonishingly hard emotions and sad realities this week. If you are not the praying type, cherish your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you. Personally, I'm doing both. It's important.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A trip to the zoo

I went to the National Zoo this week to take some pictures of animals. I ended up taking lots of pictures of bugs. I seem to be developing a bug problem.

At the zoo there were stinky things, and loud things, and smelly things, and animals too!

Here are some bugs.


Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm a Crafty Bastard

This may not sound like much to those of you not in the DC metro area, but Crafty Bastards is a rather big deal. It is DC's largest annual indie craft show. This year there were around 480 applicants, and I was one of the 120 chosen. I'm psyched, and I cant wait to start getting my craft on!

Here are the Photos I applied with. It will give you an idea of what I am planning to bring with me. WOO HOO!

There will also be some surprises, but you are going to have to wait to see those!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ugh. Really?

I got back on the online dating bandwagon.

I've met a very lovely fellow, and we've gone on a few rather enjoyable dates. In general I think he is quite charming, and very intelligent (and I have no idea if he reads my blog...)

Since I have paid up through the next 60 days I feel like I shouldn't put all my metaphorical eggs in one basket, so I've been checking my eHarmony inbox when people send me a request to communicate. This afternoon I finally sat down to weed through it and see who has been checking me out.

I don't care what anyone says, it's a scary thing to date on the Internet.

The number of people who misrepresent rather obvious details about their lives is staggering. If you say you are 5-10" and I meet you and you are eye level with my boobs -you are not 5-10". If you say you are 32 and you post a picture of you and your daughter, and she is my age- you are not 32(also if you have that many crows feet at 32, go to a dermatologist). If the only tid-bit of personal information you are able to give me about your life is that you liked The DaVinci Code(barf), scored !@#$ on the Myers-Briggs, and make 145k a year, I'm sure there is some girl out there for you, but I'll be damned if I know who she is.

it's a jungle out there, and I'm not sure I have enough bug spray.

On the upside, I'm having a great time getting to know this non-scary guy I met online, so it can't be all bad....

A very Large Bug

I went picture hunting with a friend today around Eastern Market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of DC. This is the very large bug I found. I thought he was rather handsome, so I took some pictures of him.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stash Reduction Skirt Enlargement

It's not as painful as it sounds. There comes a time in every crafty girls life where she realizes the vintage fabric will not make itself into a new skirt. There also comes a time in every crafty girls life where she has been working behind a computer for too many months in a row and her behind starts to show that she has been behind a desk (and she ate her way through Chicago last week). I'm hitting the gym and upping my veggie to junk ratio, but I sincerely doubt that will make a difference by next week when I go to Florida, where the weather is hot and many eyes will be on me.

So I'm getting my sew on!

I also signed back up for eHarmony -yeah we're back to that- and I feel I need some cute date-wear to give me that extra bit of confidence, and seperate me from the sad, sad women limited to shopping at Forever 21 (when they're 32). Hopefully this time Mr. Right will present himself, as I am not interested in doing this for the rest of time. I know I have to keep kissing frogs, but holy crap! The endless supply of pond fodder is starting to wear on my nerves.

But I digress...
Tonight I made some patterns. I used this as a starting place, but as per my usual, I changed it up a little to be more suitable for my tastes. I also ordered some more fabric (I couldn't help myself, it's an illness I swear) from a groovy online fabric shop.

I'll be cutting things tomorrow night, and posting some pics of the process. I think I may have even convinced a draper at work to fit me in my skirts so my bum-bum will look as hot as possible!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Chicago By The Lago

This is a proper Chicago style pizza. The correct order of Chicago style pizza is: (bottom up) crust, toppings, crust, sauce. No subsitutes.

When I was in college my orientation class sang a song. It was called "Come to Chicago, the city by the lago". I for the life of me cannot remember the words, but it also worked in a clever rhyme about eau and Chicago. I tell you, those fine arts students are nothing if they aren't clever.

This past week I dashed away from our nation's capitol and worked in the costume shop of Northwestern University in Evanston, Il (also known as Heavenston). They were working on a crafts heavy show, and I found myself in need of a little diversion and money. So I jumped on a flight and crafted it up with the groovy folks at NU for a week.

The best thing about a working vacation? You can work all day, play all night, and at the end of the year- write most of it off! Here are some shots of my Chicago adventure. Enjoy!

This is Minnie, she is the pup of my dearest Canadian friend. This is how Minnie rolls.

Some shots of stuff I worked on in the shop.

Local Chicago wildlife

Chicago LOVES it's public art. And so do I.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why Blog?

I've found myself asking this question lately. Does it really do me any good? Does it really do you any good? Here is one thought.

It's from Post Secret. Check it out.

I love this stuff.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Not In Charge

I've got a rule about blogging about work- I try not to do it. If I do it, I try to make it so generic that no one at my work could read it and feel like I am talking about them. So lately, I've not been blogging.

Here is why. I've been in charge of a costume shop for the last few months, and to be blunt- It has pretty much been the worst few months of my life. I have had to deal with almost every bullsh*t issue you can imagine. From grown women crying at work to grown men cursing me out in public. It has been one of the most stressful periods in my life to date. It *may* have even out-stressed the year my grandmother was dying, my father lost his job, my beloved dog died of bone cancer, and I had mono. Yeah, it's been that kind of few months.

There is good news. I am no longer in charge. The new person in charge is here, she is awesome, and she will deal with all this bs (hopefully) much better than I have been able to. If not, at least It's not me on the front line.

Some people have been asking me if I will be able to go back to my craft shop and be happy with my smaller income and less glamorous job title. The answer is one word:

And to celebrate- I'm gonna go do something totally immature and childish- I'm just not sure what that will be.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hello Craft

There is a summit of craft going on in DC next week. It is a collection of crafters, shows, speakers, and a documentary screening. Today I was on the website and I tried to call to get tickets to the screening of Handmade Nation. Somehow I was routed to voice mailbox where they are collecting "handmade stories" for a podcast as part of the event. I decided (and who knows why) that I should write my handmade story. Maybe it's because I've been in a funk lately, or maybe it's because I don't really know what my next goal in life should be, but this is my handmade story I'm submitting....

My handmade story:

My name is Katie and I live a handmade life. God, that sounds like something you say at a crafter’s anonymous meeting. Anyway, a little background: My handmade life… I work full time as a costume craftsperson and theatrical milliner. I make my living creating armor, hats, accessories of dress, puppets, puppet clothes, leg wear, leather goods and painting and dyeing everything from fur pelts to silk stockings. My work has been seen (by my count) in over 70 theatrical productions in 6 cities and 2 countries. I’ve worked in some of the largest and most well respected costume shops in the country, and I make my living solely by making things. I have a 100% handmade income, in my spare time I have an shop, and I make and sell things at indie craft shows and artisan markets in 5 cities and 3 states. By many accounts I have a dream career. A dream life. I am living the crafts dream.

But that’s not really a terribly unique thing. The thing I think many people forget about when they hear things like my income is from completely handmade sources is how difficult that life can be. I work 8 to 10 hours a day at my theatre-day job making beautiful and interesting things, then I come home and make more things. I find some days that my brain is so busy and so creative that I simply cannot think, sleep, or even concentrate on the banalities of life. I’ve spent many days hammering rivets into leather to make armor only to go home and knit baby socks. But again this is not that unique, or even really that interesting.
What I think is worth noting is that I’ve managed to give up almost all the normal and regular things that make modern people happy. I rarely watch television, I don’t love to go shopping in big box stores, I abhor regular fashion magazines. My bookshelves are lined with how-to books, instruction manuals and visual research. I given up many deeply intimate relationships to move from city to city, state to state and follow my dream career. The really interesting thing is: The things that make me interesting are also the things that challenge me. Daily. I find myself almost unable to relate to people who sit in an office and stare at a computer screen all day. I cannot go out on a date with a “regular” guy and tell him what I do for a living without some strange remark about how much I must love Halloween, or renaissance festivals (I don’t really enjoy either). I’ve ditched and left best friends, lovers, roommates, my family, and even a few pet fish.
But here’s the crazy thing, and I want to make this totally clear: I’m not unhappy. I am in fact a mostly happy, joyous person. I’m pretty content with my life, but I do wonder what it might be like to be able to turn off the creative side of my brain and just veg-out on the sofa. I wonder what it might be like to be able to sit on the train and not notice every knitted garment and pattern it in my head. I wonder what my life would have been like if I’d not left one of those cities, or I had followed my boyfriend instead of my career. I wonder how it feels to come home after a day of sitting in front of a computer and sit in front of the television. But then again, I don’t really want to find out what it would feel like to have a normal life. Because then it wouldn’t be my life, it would be everybody’s life. I’d just be living it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This I believe.

I listen to a lot of NPR. Scratch that… I listen to a whole lot of NPR. On NPR they’ve been running a series called “This I Believe”. It is a combination of essays and interviews from famous, and not so famous people about their beliefs. Every time I listen to one, I think to myself..______ this I believe. So I started jotting them down, and here is the current list of my beliefs. I’m sure some of them will change, and I know some will not.

In no particular order:

I believe

·It is better to live comfortably within your means than fabulously beyond them.

·People want to be nicer than they actually are.

·Giving someone a granola bar is the right thing to do when they tell you they are hungry.

·The act of creating is one of the most satisfying acts in the universe.

·Going to the gym feels good, assuming you can make yourself go.

·A favorite pet is the luckiest pet.

·I’ve chosen my career over my life one too many times.

·Red heads have more fun.

·It may not be better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

·Watching more than 1 hour of television a day can make you dumb (even the Learning channel)

·Wooden spoons are the most useful thing in the kitchen.

·Sex is like food for the soul, have too much or the wrong kind, and you’ll feel lousy.

·Skirts are more comfortable than jeans.

·Working on a project that is personally meaningful can change your outlook on life.

·Everything I ever needed to know- I did not learn in kindergarten.

·Chicago has got to be one of the best cities on earth, otherwise why would anyone stay there in the winter?

·Touching your toes is highly satisfying.

·The Christian right is neither.

·Growing up in Florida is like growing up in a foreign country.

·Socks are the best piece of clothing.

·You should move to a city you’ve never visited at least once in your life.

·Sheep are an all-around useful animal.

·Having someone to sleep beside you is very important.

·Birth control is the greatest invention of humankind.

·If we all believe, we can change.

·I’ve over thought myself into a corner more times than I can remember.

·Working in the arts is a lot like herding cats.

·If god wanted me to believe without question, I wouldn’t have been given cognitive thought.

·I should have been more attentive in math class.

·The revolution will be handmade.


What do you believe?

Friday, April 17, 2009

The waiting game....


No word on the Brooklyn show. Or rather, got word- the word is- no word on the Brooklyn show. It seems the crafty world is out in force this summer, and BUST magazine and all their BUSTy ladies are working a little (or a lot) of overtime trying to decide who is doing the show.

I can only imagine how difficult a task it must be to weed thru all those applications to try to figure out who is in, and who is out.

So the question remains: In or Out?

Looks like I've got to wait till Monday for an answer.

In the meanwhile, I've been getting crafty with it. 25 anatomical hearts are almost ready for their stuffing, and 25 buckles are awaiting papergoods and resin.

It's going to be a VERY crafty summer. Pictures WILL be coming soon.

I promise.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


well, not really.

No sleep till Philly!

Say it with me now, do a little chicken dance, I got in! I got in! I got in! woot. woot. wooot!

Okay, so I got into the Philly Art Star Craft Bazaar. It's my first 2 day, juried craft show. It's also outdoors. I'm starting cutting things out tonight. I have a feeling pincushions will be my popular item, so I'm taking suggestions for new designs. Have a great idea of what I *should* be making? leave a comment.

I still have to wait for 10 more days to find out about the Brooklyn show. If I get into that show- it's gonna be a VERY crafty summer.

I'm super excited.

like I needed to say that.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hello old friend.

It's been a while....

Okay, so it's been a month, in this month- which I apologize for. Just to give you an idea of how busy it's been- I have a glorious beautiful new digital SLR just siting in it's box. I took it out once, and then I put it down to deal with something else that seemed more pressing at the time (it wasn't).

So what's going on? Weeeeeellll! I went to Connecticut and got all my stuff out of storage. Luckily I have a bucket load of friends there who helped me load the truck, put me up for the weekend, and in general have bailed me out more times than I can count. You know who you are....all of you. Thanks so much. Once I arrived here in DC I got a second wind, and unloaded my truck. It only took 90 minutes. A friend showed up and helped me with the dresser, and the next night 6 of us shoved my sofa thru my front window. Yes, you read that right. The door wasn't wide enough, so thru the window it went. Thankfully I had smart people on both ends of this trip who helped me with not only considerable brawn, but also huge freakin' brains.

I've been quickly un-packing and getting reunited with some old favorites. My sofa is just as good for sleeping on- I tested it out. My sewing machine seems to be in good working order, my shower curtain is just as flowery and retro-fabulous as ever. It's weird when you realize- you really do miss your own stuff, it's a bit like seeing a good friend from college, you didn't realize how much you missed it till it was back in your life. People keep asking me what I need for my apartment, and the answer is- not much. I have my stuff now, and with a quick trip to IKEA for some planned replacements- I'm all set.

What else? I applied for the Philly Art Star show. My bad-assed, sweet-assed friend from The Hand of Fatima and I are going to go halfsies on a 10x10 space. Hopefully we'll both be accepted, and we can rock the show together. Her pieces are so amazing, I can't imagine she would ever be rejected from a show, and my stuff seems to fit into the shows "look" so I'm going to go ahead and say- it looks good for me to be in Philly the weekend of May 30-31!

That's all for tonight. I'm working on getting internet in my apartment, but like so many things in life- it's proving to be another of life's adventures. Hopefully it'll be installed sometime next week. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

Dear Universe,

Thanks for this week. It makes me a stronger person. I appreciate that you consider me capable of these very stressful days, but I would like to request that in the future you spread out the difficulties.


Okay, so you are asking yourself- Katie, what could have been so difficult about this week? Well, really no ONE thing was that hard. I moved. I worked. I attended flying rehearsals in the evenings. I was emailed a break-up by someone I had been on 8 dates with. In general these are not terribly bad things, but when you cram them into Tuesday evening to Thursday at 5pm, it leads to some pretty tiring days.
The good things that happened this week are HUGE! I love, love, love my new apartment. My commute to work has been reduced from 1 hour 15 min to 18 minutes each way. I have a little studio space, a huge living room, and a great bedroom. I love the designers I am working with, the costume shop is working hard and happiness is flowering in some unexpected people. My quality of work life has gone from good to great. I applied for the BUST Magazine Spring Fling in Brooklyn, and I was complimented on more than one occasion for my composure in a stressful working environment.

The bad things this week were just a little too crappy...

I've been seeing a fellow I met on eHarmony. He seemed fantastic, genuine, and like he valued the same things in life I value. We even come from the same hometown. On Thursday, he sent me an email (YES AN EMAIL!, at least it wasn't a post-it-note)stating the idea of getting into any relationship gave him a panic attack. That's right, I met a man on a website geared towards marriage who gets panic attacks at the idea of commitment. I don't know how I keep finding these guys??? It's like I have a commitment-phobe magnet. It would seem anyone on eHarmony would have a pretty clear idea of what they were looking for. It's not like the questionnaire is vague.....
In the midst of all this I crammed my stuff into a rental car and moved in 6 hours time. It was one of the hardest days of my year. I worked in the morning, moved, and literally ran to the theatre to be at a rehearsal in the evening. If speed moving was an Olympic event, I would have made the qualifying round.

Cest La Vie! It's always an adventure. I'm off to restart my eHarmony profile, and tomorrow I'm headed to the farmer's market in my new neighborhood then to Ikea for some overdue retail therapy.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stress and the Inner Zen

I'm moving this week. Yes, again.

I also start dress/flying rehearsals for a show, pre-producton for 2 additional shows, and somehow working to manage a shop of 25+ women who are all strong personalities in very different ways.

It's stressful. My job is stressful. I'm watching people all around me lose their cool, freak out, and even quit (and in this economy, WTF?). But yet, somehow I feel calm. I go to work, do my best for the day and go home. The next day- I do the same. There is no time to be angry, there is only time to get the work done quickly, done well, and done with the best attitude you can muster. This week I had several people become upset with me, because I'm not angry or stressed, and I refuse to become angry because it will only make me more stressed. It seems my coping mechanism for freaking out has become- I get calmer.

Well see what happens this week, but I feel like it's going to be so stressful I might go into a state of zen... or just total emotional apathy, ya know, well see...

Until then, enjoy this little bit of fun! I love Neil Patrick Harris.

Oh and here are the handwarmers I finished this week. They make me happy. The yarn is 100% suri alpaca, so it's very fuzzy, soft, and warm!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Universal Handwarmer Pattern!

Okay, so it’s been a long week. The economy is in the crapper, and life is hard. Something that always makes me feel better is the act of creating. Specifically knitting. This pattern can be used with ANY yarn/needle combo, and to make ANY size or length of handwarmer.

This is not a pattern for someone who has never knit anything before. I consider it a starting place for intermediate knitters to begin writing their own patterns.

Before you get started. Here is the least you need to know. I failed math. I don’t mean “ I was bad at paying attention, and math was hard for me”. NO, I failed math- literally. Twice. I went to art school mainly because I knew I wouldn’t have to take a math class. I can do this math, and so can you. Just don’t think about it too hard, follow the instructions, and it’ll all work out.

To start you will need:

The yarn you plan to use. Generally you can expect to use about 200 yards of yarn for an average pair of handwarmers. This changes depending on lots of things, so be prepared to use 100 yards more or less depending on your project.

A calculator. Math is your friend.

A set of Double Pointed Needles- the right ones for the yarn you are using to achieve the gauge you want (whatever that may be for you)

A notebook or place for taking notes and an implement of marking- or just print this blog post, and write on it. I like to keep my knitting notes in a book, you should do as you please.

4 yds Waste yarn- the same gauge as the yarn you are using.

A soft cloth/plastic tape measure.

A yarn needle

To start:
knit a 4” by 4” gauge swatch using the stitching pattern you are planning to use. YOU MUST KNIT A GAUGE SWATCH FOR THIS TO WORK. NO CHEATING!

Count your stitches and rows. Write them on the top of your notes.

Gauge: ______(stitches) ______(rows) equals 4x4

Okay. Now measure.


Around the palm of your hand (not including thumb) this is your width measurement.

(Width)_________ X (Width Multiplier)_______=_______ (Cast On) round to nearest whole even number

Now measure from the crook of your thumb to where you want the handwarmer to end on your arm. This is called length A

(Length A)__________ X (Length multiplier)______= _______ (Rows to Thumb Row) nearest whole number

Length B is from the crook of your thumb to where you want the handwarmer to end on your fingers.

(Length B)________X (Length multiplier)_______= ________ (Rows After Thumb Row) nearest whole number

Now wrap the tape measure around the base of your thumb and DIVIDE by 2 (half). This will give you the Thumb width

(Thumb Width) ________ X (Width multiplier)_______=_______ (Thumb Opening) nearest whole number

Now measure how tall you want the thumb sleeve from the base of your thumb.

(Thumb Length) _______X (Length multiplier)________=________ (thumb row) nearest whole number

Now lets do some math! I promise it’ll be okay.

Divide gauge Stitches______ by 4. Round to nearest .5 this is your multiplier for widths.

(Width Multiplier) _______

Divide gauge Rows ______by 4. Round to nearest .5 this is your multiplier for lengths.

(Length Multiplier)_______

Plug these numbers into the worksheet above, pull out your calculator and do the math.

Now if you want to get extra fancy and figure out exactly how much yarn you will need – frog (rip out) your gauge swatch and measure it in inches________ (Gauge Length).

Multiply Gauge (Stitches)______ X Gauge (Rows)_________=_________ (Total Gauge)

To get how much yarn per stitch you will need divide (Total Gauge) _______ by (Gauge Length)_________= _________(Stitch length)

Add (Rows to Thumb Row)_________+ (Rows after thumb row)______+ 1 = _______(Total Rows)

Multiply (Cast on) _______ X (Total Rows)_______ = (Stitches in body)_______

Multiply (Stitches in Body)_________X (Stitch Length)________= __________(Single Needs)

Multiply (Single Needs)_______ X 2 = _________ (Total Needs)

Divide (Total Needs) ________ by 36=_________ (Base Yardage)

Add 30 + (Base Yardage)________= _________GRAND YARDAGE

GRAND YARDAGE = this gives you about how much yarn you will need to knit your handwarmers with your gauge! You should round UP when buying yarn, so you do not run out. There is almost nothing as frustrating as needing 10 more yards of something once the dye lot is no longer available.

Okay, so now onto the fun part!

Start designing your handwarmers! Cuff and stockinette? Ribbed for your pleasure? The options are yours. Stripes? Whatever you want.

Wrist Cuff: you should decide what type of cuff you want based on how many stitches you are casting on, and personal preference. With a little math you can determine what type of ribbing you want, and how tall you want your cuff to be.

I generally use 1/3 of the total of (Length A) to get the number of rows for my cuff:
(Divide Rows to Thumb) ______ by 3= ______ (round to nearest whole number).

Type of ribbing can be determined by personal preference and number of stitches in cast on. For example: I like a 3x1 rib. In order to get a 3x1 rib I need my total stitches to be divisible by 4 (3knit+1purl) you get the picture. You can adjust your cast on stitches accordingly. If you like your knitwear a little tighter- subtract stitches from cast on. If you like your knitwear a little looser, add. I generally like to add, because my hands swell and shrink in the winter and I hate to have things too tight!

Finger Cuff: This is the cuff at the top of your handwarmer over your fingers. The ribbing here should also be divisible by the same number as your wrist cuff, but it doesn’t need to be the same. I like mine to be around 10 rows long. You should use your personal preference and design something pleasing to your eye.

If you want to do stripes, use your (total rows) and divide into stripes. I like to use three colors and a 4 stripe repeat, so it looks random, but there is a pattern. You should design something that makes you happy.

Okay so onto the knitting! After all that math, you are going to really enjoy knitting handwarmers you designed, that are perfect for the yarn you like! And won’t you feel smug when someone asks you for the pattern, and you can say “oh, I designed it myself”

Cast on _______sts. Divide evenly between 3 DPNs. Place marker. Begin knitting in the round. BE CAREFUL not to twist your work!

Knit in your rib pattern: Knit ____ Purl____. Repeat for rows 1-______(rows for cuff). Continue in pattern to end of (rows to thumb row) _______. Slip marker.

Pick up waste yarn and knit across (Thumb Opening)_____ turn work, and knit across those stitches again. Drop waste yarn, pick up main yarn and knit across those same stitches one more time.

Complete this round. This completes thumb row. Leave waste yarn in place and continue knitting in pattern for (rows after thumb row)______. Be sure to put on your finger cuff for ______ rows.

Bind off loosely.

Knit the bodies of both handwarmers before you knit your thumbs. It helps you to count and double check that your right and left are both the same length, and the thumb is in the same place on both.

For the thumbs!

With your work facing you carefully pull out the waste yarn and pickup the stitches. This should look a little like a buttonhole with knitting needles holding it open. Pick up an additional 2 stitches on either side of the “buttonhole” to complete the round. Distribute onto 3 DPNs place marker and begin knitting in the round for _______ (thumb rows). Knit the last 3 or 4 rows in ribbing to keep them from rolling down. Bind off loosely.


Weave in your ends, and block with steam over a clean rolled-up washcloth. Voila! You are now a knitwear designer!!!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

SO Cool.

My friend Mara posted this link and it was so cool...I had to copy her.

Enjoy. I'm in tech.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I was there

I don't know if you heard, but there was a little party in Washington DC on Tuesday. I was there with 1.8 million of my closest friends.

I could write a big sappy post here about how much this day means to me. But in the end I think many of us all feel the same way. So instead I'll just say thanks.

Thanks to everyone who:


worked on the campaign

volunteered on MLK day

was there at the inauguration working security

took a part in this little piece of history

is going to look at their life and find a way to be a little more personally responsible for our future


Oh, and I know I promised you pictures, but blogger keeps crashing my internet when I try to upload images, so I'm going to have to figure out what the problem is first......grrrrrrr

Sunday, January 18, 2009


There are a million (literally) people in DC this weekend. Maybe even more than a million. There is no toilet paper, milk, or bottled water to be had. It's a political hurricane.


The town is buzzing. The people are excited. It is going to be the best weekend ever.

I'll post some photos soon.

Oh, and Pat wins the caption contest.

Pat, I'll send you a little something something this week!

Monday, January 12, 2009



This is officially my 100th blog post. And you are still reading this thing? Wowsa. I feel like I should include some amazing, wonderful, cool thing that some lucky person should win for reading 100 insane and wacky thoughts by me!

Well, instead- here are a few thoughts about this week.
I went on a date. Yup, a real-live-honest-to-goodness-date. It was even with a real-live-guy. Maybe eHarmony will work for me yet! DC seems to have a much better selection of "my type of guy" than Hartford. I also have been looking at apartments. I've narrowed it down to a neighborhood I want to live in, and I am looking each day at the listings for that area. The problem being- The inauguration is in a week, and every one is trying to rent out their apartments for $8million a night, so they aren't really interested in talking to me and my crappy $1,000 a month, ah isn't the free market grand?! ...Whatever. Oh, and yeah- that is a sh*tload of money, but that's what apartments here cost. YIKES!

The area I am looking in was really bad about 10 years ago, and slowly has been picking it's way into the kind of place that will be taken over by artists (me), then yuppies (too expensive for me) in the next 3-5 years (median income trends up, population trends down). Good news for me- I work in the arts, so I fit into the artist category and the area is still cheap* enough for my not-for-profit salary. It's also not so sketchy that the teenagers are selling smack in the alleys. Hopefully I will find a great apartment in the next week or two, and all will be well!

So I guess that's all I have to say for this momentous 100th blog post. Not so momentous, but also kinda nice to be headed towards a little normal in my crazy life.

Oh, fine. Here is a picture contest. Come up with the best caption, and I'll send you something from my etsy store! Post it in comments, and I'll pick someone by the 18th of January.

XOXO, and thanks for reading my rambling....

*Not really cheap at all, but everything is relative.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ringer in the New Year

I am starting to feel like I only write blogs after something really big has happened. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it seems to be a trend.

Here is the update (s).

(1) I visited Florida for the holidays! Woohoo. While visiting my folks I also tossed together an impromptu high school reunion. It has been said that I attended the "gayest high school in America" I would like to change that to I attended the "most likely to succeed high school in America". A little back story for those not in the know: My High school was (and still is) an arts magnet school for Orange County, Florida (and a large number of graduates are homosexual). It was a school that you had to audition/interview to get into, however it was free to attend. Pretty sweet deal. When I graduated, I knew we were all pretty talented. Little did I know we were all going to be incredibly successful as well as talented.

around 15 people showed up at the reunion. Among the attendees were Broadway dancers, riggers, master electricians, and singers. One owner of an environmental consulting company/not-for-profit for the entertainment industry and a well known rap/hip hop artist(who was on twitter chatting with other even more well known rap/hip hop artists while hanging out with us). Not in attendance due to scheduling conflicts and births -photographers and musicians who support themselves fully with their art. In addition, after the public festivities we were invited to the home of a grad who was most well known for a boy band and a well planned appearance on Dancing With The Stars... ( I didn't go because it all seemed a little too weird, and contrived). It was a treat to see all those people and realize that either because of or in spite of the education we received at that crazy high school we are all incredibly talented and insanely successful.

(2) I got a (temporary) promotion (sorta). The Director of Costume at my theatre is leaving. While the theatre is searching for a new director, the duties will be split between myself and another woman. It is going to be a HUGE CHALLENGE, but one that will very quickly tell me if I want to be upper management or not. It is something I am looking forward to, but at the same time I have a feeling I am going to be astonished with the amount of time and energy I will be putting into this job. Additionally I will need to move (YES AGAIN), so I can get home from the theatre past midnight during the week.
Side note: I am beginning to hate moving. Almost to the point where I am willing to toss or sell all my possessions in order to be able to do it easily and cheaply. The *near impossible* search for an affordable new apartment has begun, and since I no longer own a car I am looking to move into the District of Colombia. My bi-annual moving is beginning to wear me down, and I am starting to feel a little like one of those theatre gypsies I used to look at with pity and concern.

So there are my updates! Lots of little things, and maybe even a big one. Oh, and since it is New Years week here are my resolutions. This year the list is short.

1. Loose the weight I put on this fall/winter. It is my rule that I CANNOT leave a town till I fit back into the pants I wore into the town, and I'm going to break that rule pretty soon if I don't kick the 10 fat ones I put on. So here it is. I gotta loose 10 pounds during the month of January so I can leave Maryland and move into the District of Colombia.

2. Start paying more attention to my appearance. I *hate* blow drying my hair. It feels like a waste of time and resources, but the reality is- I look much better if I do it. So I'm going to make the attempt to do my hair and at least slap on some mascara everyday. I will also make sure I have at least one pair of jeans without paint or dye stains on them at all times.

3. Find a way to be happy to live in DC. With the economy as it is- I am going to be here for more than a few months, and it is time to start enjoying it. So there.

4. Start dating again. It's time. I've tried to pretend that I am happy with my life and relationships as they are, but in reality I'm lonely. It is now officially time to suck it up, and go out on some dates. EHarmony will once again be getting my $$$$. Jerks.

That's the story on my end. How about you? Any resolutions to share with the class?????