Learning to Share with Uncle Jay
Oompah Loompahs on Unis?
I got some precious face time with my extended family in my hometown.
A good time was had by all.
Other Madison Fun
While the Craftacular was certainly the focus of our visit to Madison last week, there was oh so much other fun to be had while we were there!
Learning to Share with Uncle Jay
Jay, my sometimes twin brother, came through town with his Swedish juggling colleagues on Monday to enjoy my fabulous company, teach 5 how to share (see above), and see some crazy unicycling.
Oompah Loompahs on Unis?
That's right, do not adjust your screen! On Monday, while I was busy NOT posting here, I found myself at the North American Unicycle Convention and Championships. They just happened to be held in Madison this year, crazy luck, right? We had the pleasure of seeing an entire team of unicyclists perform to the, you guessed it, Oompah Loompah song from the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was an experience that 5 will not soon forget.
We also got to enjoy the Individual Expert Freestyle Championships where this young man demonstrated his long heritage of German unicycling, passed down from father to son over the generations. Not really. There were lots of other interesting costumes and such, but these were the ones that cried out to be shared.
5 learned that he is really a fan of unicycling and cheerleading music.
I got some precious face time with my extended family in my hometown.
A good time was had by all.
Have a lovely weekend everyone! See you on Monday!
Well, I'm a few days behind, but I'm back, or rather, home. A big thank you to everyone who came out to support Rispok and all the other fine vendors at this year's Summer Craftacular in Madison, WI.
Here is my little lovely booth. I learned my lesson, next time I will have a back wall on the tent. Otherwise, I was very pleased with it.
We had beautiful weather- cooler than it had been in what seems like 100 years, and partly cloudy with a sweet sweet breeze.
Here you can see quite a few of my products as well as the adorable signage I made. I'm quite proud of it.
I was in the row of booths closest to the lake. I am a lucky, special girl. That's my mom off to the left, bouncing the baby to sleep. Again, lucky, special girl.
My sort-of cousin Maite, who was visiting from Berlin, was AMAZING and helped keep 5 happy and safe all day. It wasn't always a simple task...
Who wouldn't want to go to a craft fair where you could sit here a take a break from all those nutty crafters?
Join me Friday when things will be back to normal!
Sleeping it Off
Oh! We are in Madison now and it is STILL so hot! We are trying to get all of our Madison business done (such exciting things, like new socks for Papa Fred, and thread for Mama), but we are also needing some naps...
If I don't see you this weekend at the Craftacular, there will be a full report on Monday!
Still in the midst of this oppressive (and rare) heatwave, and we are having to get creative in our coping mechanisms. Yesterday, I made a delicious COLD lunch of local veggies with cheese and yogurt-bleu cheese-dill dip. We have the obvious choices like cucumbers and carrots, but also sorrel (one of my favorites!), sugar snap peas, radishes, and dilly beans! The sorrel wrapped around super-aged gouda was delicious!
Climbing the walls, er, couches
Poor 5 has been such a good sport while I finish all my sewing, packing, and preparing for our trip to Madison (where it will be even hotter!), and now with the heat, I think it's finally gotten to him. He's started climbing the walls, I mean, couches.
We often like to peer out the windows during the day, or look at the beautiful mobile from this position, but I've always been behind him, supporting him. This morning though, he took his weight off of me and climbed higher, trying to GRAB that probably DELICIOUS mobile! He held himself like this for 5 or 6 minutes easily (until he did grab the delicious mobile and Mommy decided this game was over...)
An Important Message From Your Future Periodontist
Toothbrushes, despite their misleading name, are NOT just for teeth! They play an important role in gum care as well! Don't forget to brush your gums at least 10 or 11 times per day. This can also be achieved by simply chewing on your toothbrush, either end really.
Yes, 5 has no teeth, but he does have a toothbrush. My sister-in-law told me one of her daughters loved to chew on a toothbrush while she was teething, and now that 5 will most likely not poke his own eye out, I have given him one. He loves it, as you can see. I hope this bodes well for the future...
Join me Friday, where I'll be writing from Madison and giving you a sneak peak of my Craftacular display!
A Day at the Beach
Like most of you, we were SO HOT this weekend. In between cold baths and sitting still in front of the fan, we took a trip up the coast and spent some time at Great Sand Bay on the lovely and freezing Lake Superior. I have here, in kind of photo essay form, documented the sand, the eating of sand, the sun and shade, and getting into the lake (some farther than others). I hope my beachy pics find you doing something to cool off as well! I hope to be here Wednesday with a successful summer jumper (if only my brain would firm up long enough...)
Taking a Relaxing Break From Sewing Product
Yes, the title is a joke. Even I can appreciate my ridiculousness. I am down to the wire, making product like crazy for my upcoming show, and what do I do? I take a break to make up two new baby clothes patterns and then sew them!
I noticed this week that 5 was having trouble crawling when his pants cover his feet- duh. I think we all have all kinds of problems when our pants cover our feet- remember when all teenagers wore pants that could hide gallons of milk? Did you ever see said teenagers try to walk up or down stairs? This is my point.
So, I decided I should make him some clothes that will cover his knees (to protect them from the carpet) but will be fitted around his ankles. Then I decided it should be bizarre. And also have no closures of any kind. (Why? I'm not sure. Sometimes I make really weird and difficult decisions out of "laziness"). I did some measuring, but then 5 fell asleep, so I just winged it (wung it? wanged it?)...
I had intended for this to be a much roomier garment than it turned out to be. In fact, I had to go back and open the sides a bit more because I couldn't even get it over his thighs at first! I immediately made notes on what I would change and how I could improve the fit, etc. I cut out the pattern pieces and promptly made a funky jumper that is truly impossible to get on. Still working on that fix. If I can ever get it on him, the fit will be lovely...
Here it is. It's symmetrical right left and front back. The top half is lined and top-stitched. The woven fabric is a bit gathered going into the stretchy jersey cuffs. I was terribly excited to use this fabric- my sister brought it back for me from Niger and it's so perfect for baby clothes I think. When I finally figure this piece out, I'm going to make a whole bunch of them and then perhaps I will figure out an adult one...
Tough Biker Wear
This strange little upcycled number has been nearly finished for a few weeks, just waiting for snap tape. I think it is SO cute, if ever so "handmade" looking. It's made from a t-shirt his dad was getting rid of. We'll be picking up his new bike helmet early next week (no he's not riding a bike yet, but he will be going in a bike trailer soon!) and he will be ready to mingle with all the other cool bike nerds in town yay!
I was going to attempt a lap-shoulder but then it turned out that the head hole was actually a nice fit on him. I ended up liking the futuristic wing shoulders on this one, but I think I would change them the next time around.
What kind of Summer sewing are you working on?
Today I Am
Eating local strawberries like they have their own food group.
Planning a fantastic aloha-shirted family photo since I thrifted a lovely blue and yellow baby aloha shirt the other day.
Watching my boys laugh hysterically over alphabet block nonsense words together. They are the sweetest.
Loving that my 8 month old is suddenly such a big boy that he would prefer to nurse sitting up, or even better, standing.
Feeling a bit sad that I can't give my baby everything he wants because mostly he wants power cords, scissors, and the pincushion.
Enjoying the sense of accomplishment that arrived when I finished sewing throw pillows for Craftacular today. Whew!
Secretly wishing that 5 would take a little bit longer to fall asleep so I could read a little more of my latest book,
The Informationist. It's really too good to put down...
Trying to find the VERY fine line between working too hard (and making mistakes), and being as productive as possible.
Delighting in 5's desire to try any kind of food we give him, be it broccoli, cucumber, raw onion, or basil leaves.
Soaking up a beautiful UP sunset, made even more beautiful by a house full of laughter!
Working on the Weekend
The Rispok elves were hard at work over the weekend. Summer Craftacular is close at hand and the to-do list is not finished... In between weekend family time, shopping, cooking, and visiting with friends from out of town, I managed to get all the printing done for my placemats and throw pillows- hooray!
There are a few new designs in there, what do you think? I did a very trendy chevron, and a rather geometric berry-type thing and I'm pretty pleased with the results.
Now, I just need those elves to sew like the wind ALL WEEK!
5's first head lump
While I was grocery shopping on Saturday, the boys were busy injuring themselves. Mr. 5 crawled around and pulled things down, including a nice long piece of wood that knocked a frame off the wall which hit the floor and bounced up to hit him in the eyebrow. Dad was taking pictures. Of him. So it's well-documented.
With the double ice method (one on the wound, one in the mouth) the swelling went down quickly. He just has a red mark on his eyebrow that looks like he used to have an eyebrow ring, but it got all infected after some three-day rave in the desert, and now he has to take it out for a while...
Mama Makes It Better
Where are all the delicious food pictures?
That is an excellent question. The food pics are lacking for two reasons.
1. The last few weeks I've been cooking almost exclusively from my new cookbook Super Natural Every Day (go get it, it's awesome) so I don't have any recipes to share.
2. Strawberry season has finally hit the Keweenaw and all I'm eating is strawberries and ice cream. Yes, I know, awesome, but how many pictures can you see of strawberries and ice cream? Lots, you say? Well, it's hot and I can't wait to take a picture, I have to eat it NOW!
I promise, they'll return soon, and with them some fabulous recipes!
Four years ago yesterday, I married the man of my dreams. He is funny, intelligent, charming, strange, sweet, super dorky, and the only person I can imagine spending the rest of my life with. Luckily, he seems amenable to the idea.
We've been trying to add to our small but growing art collection every year on our anniversary. Because I was quite pregnant last year, and I am the official memory of our household, "we" can't remember what we did for our third anniversary. So we added TWO pieces to our collection this year!
I got this GORGEOUS papercut of Lake Superior for Fred. I found this shop on etsy almost 9 months ago and have been waiting all year to buy this piece! Marnie Karger of Crafterall does fantastic work, incredibly beautiful papercuts of lakes, geographical topology, and abstract work. I knew that this would strike the perfect balance between art (which we both like), and Lake Superior nerdery (which Fred likes).
At my bridal shower, we played a DIY version of the newlywed game; my mom asked Fred a bunch of questions beforehand, and I had to answer them in front of all my family and lady friends. I did really well, one of the only ones I got wrong was "Where would you like to be?" Silly me, I thought he'd like to be with me! Instead, he said, "Lake Superior". Seems a fitting gift for such a one as he...
More Water (am I sensing a theme?)
Fred got me this fantastical collage that we've both had our eyes on for a few months at our local art center. It's by Jodi Rauvala, a local woman with a strange and wonderful creativity, SO much patience with tiny scissors, and an amazing collection of vintage images. She's a relative newcomer to our local art scene, but her work is already selling like hotcakes! Alas, she had no web presence yet (I know! A veritable travesty!), but rest assured I will keep you apprised...
A Sweet Day
My lovely man also brought me two Marimekko dishtowels. Yes, he knows that the way to my heart is indeed through textiles. I have been a bit under the weather the last few days, so we did not go out for dinner, but ordered a fancy bleu cheese pizza from our local Studio Pizza, and topped it off with an apple-rhubarb crisp (which was itself topped with ice cream, of course).
I will admit that the crisp turned out a little weird. It tasted "green". I was just a little worried that I had poisoned us, but my mother saved the day. Apparently, sometimes rhubarb needs a little salt. Yes, salt. I know, it's funny that the ONE THING I didn't salt actually needed it. I guess that'll teach me.
Back to the Important Baby/Sewing Stuff
I made a long-time-coming mental connection this week. It's evolution came about like this:
1. Fred's socks are in TERRIBLE shape. So many holes, for SO MANY months. Bad housewife...
2. A few weeks ago I saw a GREAT tutorial on Made By Joel on how to turn grownup socks into baby socks.
3. A few days ago I noticed that my baby's potato feet do not really fit into his socks anymore. Would we have to GASP! buy baby socks?
4. Yesterday I put together (holey man socks + cutting and sewing = new baby socks!)
Here they are! I love them! 5 loves them, because he can pull them off! Fred has fewer socks! Hooray!
If you have not been to Made By Joel, you HAVE to go. He is awesome. Really. You will have Dad envy.
Yes Mom, I would like a drink of water.
Like all babies, I would imagine, 5 wants whatever I have. It doesn't matter that he doesn't want to swallow any water- if I have a glass of water, he would like some, please now.
After drinking and subsequently spitting out half the glass onto my legs, I wised up, tossed most of the water out, and just gave the whole glass to him.
It was better that way.
Lovely Summer Treats
Bring On The Picnics!
This week I whipped up a picnic quilt (and I use the term "quilt" VERY loosely here)! With meal mess increasing exponentially, it seemed a prudent idea to prepare for outside eating. We tried just setting the Bumbo seat in the yard, but little 5 can reach down and add grass to the meal a little too easily...
This will be perfect for us- heavy enough to keep out ground chill, light enough to fit in a tote bag, beautiful enough that I will want to bring it everywhere, but not so pretty that I will fret over the inevitable food spills.
This beauty measures 64" by 72".
The super sweet center fabric and red fabric on the edge was picked up at Ikea in Sweden (although I believe both of these patterns were available in the US as well)
The blue border fabric is some upholstery fabric I bought on super clearance years ago.
The back (oops! forgot to photograph it) is two full yards of a crazy bright plaid I got from someone's destashing frenzy.
The middle is half of a cotton blanket I scored (for $2.62 no less!) from the Salvation Army, which I then hot hot washed and dried.
I call this a quilt because there's patchwork on one side (I know, not a requirement), and there are three layers. I have yet, and may never, bother to do true quilting on the body of the blanket. I also did not bind the edge- I just sewed the three layers together inside out, flipped it right side out, and topstitched.
Good enough for me!
My Big Reader
I was alerted to the end of one of 5's naps the other day by a very strange sound. Kind of a scratching, scraping sound. I was delighted to find that the little pumpkin was entertaining himself by reading the next chapter of my book!
He is already enthralled with books of all kinds, and sometimes enjoys being read to, but mostly wants to read to himself with help turning the pages occasionally...
A Children's Music Review
I recently got the Johnny Cash Children's Album through our Inter-Library Loan program. I waited and waited for several weeks, eagerly anticipating such a marvel concept as Johnny Cash singing kid's music.
I was a little disappointed.
I should have known.
While all the songs were truly aimed at children, the subject matter was often just as dark and violent as the rest of his music.
My favorite inappropriate song was about a boy who loved his dog, and when the dog got old and he had to shoot it, he wished he could be shot himself instead.
Hmmm, perhaps this album would be best edited before giving the kiddos a listen...
My name is Ansley Knoch. I am the creator of Rispok, a line of accessories for big and little people made from repurposed materials. I live in Madison, Wisconsin with my husband, Fred, and our son, also Fred, better known as 5.