Saturday, June 26, 2010

Crochitting Party

Miss Laurie!  Isn't she beautiful?  Such a sweet, gentle, soul.  Confidential to Laurie:  Did I ever tell you that the notecard you gave me when you retired, and you wrote about the fun we had and the things we learned teaching math, is one of my greatest joys?  Yep!  I've saved it and I treasure it.  And you.  :) 

The food she prepared was so delicious!  All of it was so fresh and healthy.  Veggie pizzas on whole wheat dough, green salad, and this other salad of roasted veggies and rice, I think?  Was it rice or wheat?  Well, I'll sort it out and let you know, asap, because she gave me the recipe and I WILL be making it this weekend.

Laurie is working on this beautiful knitted blanket.  Ha!  Funny story:  She had a bit of 'scrap yarn' that she thought would work into a nice lap-afghan.  Wouldn't you know it?  It was nothing like enough yarn, so the stash-busting project suddenly required a wallet-smashing trip back to the yarn shop!  As you do.

A crochitting party is the best place to get help on a new project.  Here, Nak Min makes great progress on her first knitted scarf, after Susan helped her to cast on. 

My dear-sweet-Linda was off and running on a crocheted blanket she is making for her first granddaughter, due in early fall.  I think it may have been her first experience at actually reading and following a pattern, so I was only too happy to help her get started and continue to trouble shoot when she dropped a stitch or got lost in her row. seems I didn't upload the picture of Laurie's friend knitting her Waldorf-style dolls...perhaps I was making some play at respecting somebody's privacy?  Who am I kidding?  ;)

Anyway, once everybody was well underway (I was working on a crocheted baby dress ~ not for me, I assure you! ~ and it's almost done now), I asked Laurie about her trip to New Mexico.  Laurie is an artist, and soon enough she was sharing some art that came home with her.  It was beautiful, and led us to a small tour of where it might be hanging in the future. 

Which found us in this hallway.  Aren't these trees beautiful?!?  The one on the right was a gift from her son.

Here, see if we can get closer.  I think you can't really get a feel for the beautiful blue here, but I think the tree itself can be appreciated.  I thought it looked like a person!  Doesn't the trunk look incredibly human?  I was quite taken with this piece.

From here, I managed to finagle a tour of her reclaimed studio.  (Previously functioning as her daughter's bedroom!)  Linda gave these plain letters to Laurie as a gift for her studio, and Laurie decorated them by collaging inspiring and colorful images.

Right here on the R is a scrap of paper that reads:  May all your dreams come true.  (Note to self:  Start saving your pennies for a nice macro lens.  You won't regret it.)

Her inspiration boards!  I love inspiration boards!  I would have one, except I have no place to put one...for now I'll live through my friends.  You can't see it very well in these pictures, but one of the greatest things about this room is that every wall is painted a different color!  This was her daughter's choice when this was her bedroom, but I love that she kept it.  Pale green, lavender, pale's a really beautiful effect. 

When I say that Laurie's an artist, I'm not kidding.  Her talent astounds me.  I guess there's a whole school of thought that would say we're all artists, and shouldn't we claim the artist label, and take ourselves seriously as artists when, say, we're crocheting baby dresses or making shirts out of sheets or repurposing material into quilts?  And, in fact, each of those activities can be elevated to an art.  Look at this baby dress, or these quilts, and you will never doubt that it's true.  Still... I can't look at these pictures and not know, there's a huge difference between what I do and what she does!  I can do everything I do, make everything I make, and really, it requires not talent so much as tenacity.  And don't imagine I'm downplaying or pishawing the importance of tenacity, either, as having it and using it is definitely it's own kind of talent, but I am just saying...there's a difference.  A huge, undeniable, awe-inspiring difference.

Next stop was her 'private retreat', but you need to know that, should you invite me to sit in your living room and enjoy some ice cream with fresh strawberries, I am totally the kind of person that will end up taking pictures of your bedroom and plastering them over the internet.  Prepare accordingly for my arrival.  Do you see what she has there, instead of a headboard?

It's all painted on!  The fern and flower leaves are a mix of stencils and freehand work.  The photo is from Hawaii, one of her favorite destinations.  Who could blame her?  I smile now, seeing the wooden "Dream" letters on the shelf... a theme, perhaps?  One of Laurie's dreams was to sell her art, and she's making that happen even as we speak!  She takes her drawings and watercolors and prints them on notecards and they are beautiful ~ I've purchased a set and, in fact, I need a refresher set.  She doesn't have an online site, but I'm encouraging her to get an Etsy shop or something, ASAP. 

One last picture, from her bedroom.  This trio of pressed leaves was her mother's.  Her mom collected the leaves and pressed them onto cloth herself, I believe Laurie said in the 1930s!  The display is one of the most beautiful objects I've ever seen in person.  I'm thinking I might do the same thing, though I can only hope that in 80 years, somebody could appreciate it as much as I do this one.  It's so old that the leaves and the cloth they lay on have actually begun to sort of 'meld' into one entity.  I love it!

Thank you, Laurie, for letting me share these pictures!  It was such a fun night; the hours flew by with great food, amazing friends, both deep and silly conversations that I love so much, and a little uninterrupted crafting time.  Savored!


  1. Oh Mia, how nice! I always knew my 15 minutes was coming but what better place than on my very favorite blog (and, bonus, I got to read it with my daughter!). Thanks for a lovely story about our first crochitting party. We'll have to have another one in the fall.

  2. So cool, Mia! I need to host one of these because I have so many friends who make things and they should meet each other. Thanks for sharing your friends and inspirations! :D

  3. wonderful. why oh why could i not be there!

  4. Laurie ~ Thank you so much for having us! I didn't make it to the Farmer's Market this weekend, so the salad is on queue for next weekend. I can't wait! I am so happy that you are getting to spend all this time with one of your (two) favorite people in the whole world!

    Nancy ~ Thank you... I am LOVING your quilt along fabrics! I have an update too, I'll have to do that for Tuesday though. I have my squares and rectangles cut, but I'm not sure if I'll get to the sewing the strips before this weekend. I'm digging the accountability though!

    Michelle ~ Oh. Sigh. Something about oceans and continents? I wish you lived closer!!!