summer view.

What I get to look out at every morning in summer, with no alarm clocks (though I’m an early riser, period) and nothing but quiet and birds. Lake Winnipesaukee is heaven; if this view doesn’t inspire you to make things all day long, I don’t know what will.

renewed.

camera

Trying to be better about my making endeavors. It might be good that I’m not so obsessively keeping this little cavern of the world I’ve held since 2008. Maybe it means I’m more focused on nurturing the personal relationships I have and the loves in my life. But, this thing, has been quite the lover of mine too, and doesn’t deserve neglecting.

And so, I’ll once again try to be like that person pictured above; behind camera, always making.

Go on, Jenna…

The other night, my good friend r.r. summoned me outside Gather Here, one of my favorite stitch lounges owned by friend Virginia; it was to be a covert journey to a new space upstairs which Virginia was feverishly working in that night, while we were downstairs at her Thursday night pints and purls event we attend for just that–beer, knitting, nerdery, happiness, and maybe even, if we’re lucky, a pretty decadent interpretation of the Tracy Anderson Method (look it up, fools, if you were as unfamiliar as I was a few weeks back). Virginia is creating a genius little handmade empire and I swell with pride to think of it all.

And as we walked down the shadowy street toward the stairwell that would lead us to Virginia’s new Annex–artist in resident space, class space, and finally, a real office for the lady at the helm of it all–I broke down in tears as r.r. grabbed me in a rare embrace. I couldn’t decide if I was frustrated that I’d been swept away mid cable and the mess I was about to head back to annoyed me, or if I was just feeling generally overwhelmed like I always am this time of year. Either way, she comforted me, and we began laughing hysterically as V. greeted us, me with tear-stained cheeks, in utter confusion.

I don’t know if its a nip in the air, fall finally being right up on us, the pure mania that comes with starting the school year and all it entails, or any bunch of other things, but I’ve got clarity, now on one thing:

As we admired V.’s new space and reveled in the excitement of how brilliantly she’s delivered such a transformative, inspiring place for art, creation, experimentation, a little council of ladies emerged on what we do, how we do it, and most importantly, how and whether we’re even sharing it.

I used to travel the scope of the internet picking up inspiration from millions of blogs just like mine. I admired, drooled, and immediately bookmarked things I wanted to do. I followed creators all over the globe willing to share and I looked forward to the daily little handmade moments in their life–dinner, a finished baby sweater for a close friend newly with child, and for instance, a cheeky way to organize your spice drawer.  I felt a part of their lives, even when I wasn’t, and it inspired me to share the things I made, the ideas I had, the photos I snapped.

And amidst the stress of designing and building a brand new space, V. told us about late night visits to our blogs–she read and read old posts, she found the original expression of r.r.’s first crush with Gather Here, and she craved more. But what had happened? Both r.r. and I have pretty much abandoned these spaces for more attractive and quick expressions of our work–instagram, that ever enticing way to quickly create, reigned supreme.

But as the weight of all that stress was let out of that ever-tightening balloon amidst ladies with power drills, bolts of fabric, and the anticipation of creative greatness, we made a pact: create, but really share that creation, with each other. Because as I find myself still making, the real desire to keep pushing on feels watered down, washed out. If I’m not sharing and looking at what others are sharing, I feel alone on a little island, and with that, I feel less impressed with my handmade endeavors.

And its not about showing off your work and hoping for “oohs” and “ahhs”. Its the photographing of the process, the writing about the ups and downs, and the contribution to the collective ethos of handmade nation.

So, I pledged that evening to create more again. To push myself like I used to. To spend more time working on my craft and being proud that in this ever-tempting “pick one of our filters” world, I will use my own lens, my own unique filters, and I will again document it here.

Here’s to you r.r. and V. May you continue to inspire me with your gorgeous work when I’m old (because we already know I’m gray).

spied, 1.13

In a fashion book that just came in for my library; its meant to give you inspiration, and since I’ve started incorporating the bow tie into my regular wardrobe to much fanfare, I thought it was fitting that the first page I turned to upon skimming the book was this one. Indeed.

fisherman’s wool, 10.13

Despite the fact you can pick it up just about anywhere, I’m always so smitten with fisherman’s wool. I love the sea in winter, particularly here in Massachusetts. As soon as the weather is finally just cold enough to see your breath in the mornings and evenings, to where when myself and a friend walk the beach, we have to wear hats and jackets, I long for this yarn.

And so I scooped up two skeins to begin working traditional New England knits–conservative and warm.

I couldn’t imagine living without the ocean at my side.

creation, 6.10

Becoming a true reality is evenings spent pouring over my knitting project book, munching on chocolate, and making things. Today is the last day of school for the kids; and whilst our work never really ceases, it slows, and that means I can breathe new life into my creative endeavors.

brainstorming, 3.16

My vacation from work has, so far, pretty much revolved around knitting, sewing, and eating. But now that I’m into the swing of the week, I’ve whipped out my knitting design books, listening to a lot of Radiohead on my ipod, and thinking of a new design for high, cotton spring rain galosh socks.

Inspired.

gifted, 1.25

My friend Rebecca is an incredible artist and teacher. She recently photographed my apartment for a project and as a thank you (which was completely unnecessary as it merely required me to invite her over one Saturday morning, which I’d been wanting to do anyways!), gifted me one of her stunning fabric paintings. I love the fabric tag on the back, too. Such a genius touch.

I still haven’t decided where this piece will hang in my place. I’ve gone over and over it but am still indecisive. Of course, snaps of it in all its glory when it finally finds its resting place (goal: today).

Please go look at all her brilliant art. And you can read her amazing blog here, too.

inspiration, 2.2

When I was in high school and college, I took a lot of random art classes at the Art Insitute where I grew up. Drawing with vine charcoal, drawing boxes over and over, painting at apple orchards with gouche.

Since then, I’ve dabbled a bit here and there; recently, my mum told me she hoped I’d use my summer vacations from work to get back into taking classes now that I’m older and can appreciate it more. She says she thinks it will provide me with some much needed structure to create while learning something new, and I think she’s right.

So I’ve begun perusing what I might be interested in taking this summer and going for it. In order to inspire myself and get excited, I bought myself a beautiful 48-color box of Liquitex Basics Acrylics. I usually paint with gouache or raid my sister’s massive oil collection, but I decided it might be fun to dabble in mixing paints like gouache and acrylic.

Today, I think I’ll spend some time trying this out–one of my best friend’s has a birthday this month and he lacks art for his walls (I think). Perhaps I’ll make something for him.

spied in school, 1.7

Caught these adorable and cheeky drawings of Enlightenment figures in a classroom across the hall from my space. Brilliant way to teach the  Age of Reason in my opinion.

There are some clever teachers I work with, for sure. Color me inspired.