Project x Project: Sweaterdress Beginnings

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I walked miles in the heat of day last week to arrive at the Redmond-based craft store Ben Franklin, my favorite local yarn shop (LYS). I mulled over yarns of differing color and weight, imagining their eventual feel and drape on my body, feeling them as I would a lover between my fingers...

Eh heh... well, I do get quite giddy when I make a new yarn purchase. Anyway, a few weeks back I began dreaming of a sweaterdress that I wanted to make as a summer project, and I have finally settled down with yarn and needles to start it! In fact, I may even try to do two if time allows. The pattern for the first one, called "Monica's Tunic" and offered through RedHeart, can be found here.

Although it is not technically a "sweaterdress" according to the pattern, this tunic will be long enough by completion to fit me like one (short people are awesome). I have decided to make it out of a brown and blue variegated (self-striping) yarn that is chunky instead of worsted, which meant that I have to alter the pattern in order to make it knit up correctly. After one tireless hour of crunching the numbers, I have my pattern set up for the rest of this voyage. Updates will come as the piece continues to grow!

Check out what else I've been knitting.

What Blogging Has Taught Me

Monday, May 30, 2011

I started this blog in 2007 as a place to essentially blurt out my thoughts in rants and other highly-energetic forms of writing. This week, I have been going through all (literally: every single one) of my blog posts in order to retroactively label and interlink them (as per the advice of Darren Rowse of Problogger) with more current posts, and it has brought me to see how I've changed over the years since I've started this blog. So, I would like to share some of the interesting reflections I've had on writing here and growing up.

Musical Interlude (Part VIII)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

This week's unifying genre involves the somewhat nebulous label of "indie." Although I originally thought that indie music could only involve somber mellow tones when I first encountered it, I have since been pleasantly surprised to find music that is both indie and upbeat - listen to some below!

Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks

The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name

Neon Trees - Animal

Check out some more great music in the Musical Interlude series.

Caught My Eye: Fringe Star Jasika Nicole's Comics

Friday, May 27, 2011

Although it may not be inherently obvious because I do not write about TV much on my blog, I am a huge nerd when it comes to TV-watching. After the heady days of sitcoms such as Roseanne and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (which, for the record, I did not watch when they were on the air - I was instead glued to the reruns during my middle and high school years), I dove into the world of fantasy and sci fi programming and never went back. Just last weekend, naturally, I re-visited my pre-teen love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer using the power of Netflix. But, although that could be a "Caught My Eye" in and of itself, instead I would like to talk about another sci fi show I watch with an avid passion: Fringe. And, further than that, I would like to write about the character Astrid on that show, a.k.a. Jasika Nicole.

Creative Every Day (CED) Roundup

Thursday, May 26, 2011

After listening to this great presentation by Nick Campbell on the "creative gap," I have decided to take one of his main points to heart and start creating a short project everyday. So, as of this Monday, I have been creating new work by the bucketloads (or, at least, once a day, everyday), and would love to share it! I hereby deem Thursdays as my new roundup day for all the creative things I've done for the week.

 Monday's project was to use a pen and grease pencil to create a drawing. This is what came out of it! Also, the weird lens flare was my camera having an awkward flash moment...

"Taligunge watched the man sift through the drawer; his hands lingered over bits of cloth, pieces of paper, all the little odds and ends she had collected from surveying at different meet ups and gatherings. His fingers on her possessions made a spark jump inside her."

Tuesday, I wrote about 250 words of my first serial fiction experiment. This is a teaser sentence from it, so expect more of the story on the blog in weeks to come!

Wednesday I decided to start using the mannequin I bought to do some creative Photoshop work. This is a work in progress cartoon figure that hopefully will be starring in some later work.

Interested in other creative projects I've done? Check out the DIY Interlude series to see both tutorials and works in progress, or my Project by Project series to see the final results.

3 Ways I Beat Writer's Block to a Pulp

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I have been fuzzy-brained for the last week because of several severe allergic reactions I've had since moving back to Washington from NYC. And whenever I get that fuzzy feeling, whether it's from illness or allergies or whatever else, I get really unenthused about writing. Yet, as a daily blogger and an all-around creative person, writing and doing creative things are really important to my daily life. So, in an effort to motivate myself to write again, I made a list of some simple ways that I use to break through the fuzz and get back into a creative mode. While simple, I think they always bear repeating, so if you are in need of a pick-me-up, read on!

Book Review - Click: Moments When We Knew We Were Feminists

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

As part of my Well Women duties for next year, I am duty-bound to read a book from our library - you can imagine how giddy I was to receive this assignment. It's like summer reading, but revamped to suit my feminist and inspirational needs. In keeping with these themes, the first of two books that I chose to read was Click: Moments When We Knew We Were Feminists, which is edited by Courtney Martin (of Barnard and Feministing) and J. Sullivan.

A Hike is Not Just a Hike

Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm back! Taking a week away has cleared my head a bit and allowed me to do some much-needed research and have some much-needed life experiences. Awesome posts to come, but let's begin with a story for now: last week, I went hiking at Wallace Falls, so today I present you with a few photographs and a free-writing exercise about it. Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This week has been a hard one for posting. Since I have just moved back to Washington, I have been fighting to adjust to a concrete schedule, so I have made the decision to stop posting until next week. I will definitely come back stronger and ready with regular posts and maybe even some new work!

Until then, please enjoy this video about cat herding:

Writing Live: Nuyorican Poet's Cafe and The Moth

Monday, May 16, 2011

Last week, I had the fabulous opportunity to attend not one, but two literary events in NYC: The Nuyorican Poet's Cafe Friday night slam and The Moth's StorySlam at the Brooklyn Museum. After getting a healthy dose of Snoop Dogg, I took a 180 degree turn in my live entertainment consumption. And, to put it mildly, it was amazing.

As writers everywhere know, most of the time our work will not be read aloud. We will not be asked to come on television or the radio and act out our pieces - nor would most of us want to. The boundary between spoken and written word is not often crossed: we are writers or speakers, but there is an inherent challenge in being both. In these two spaces, however, so many people proved that they could bridge the divide with fantastic results. And - equally amazing - they attracted major crowds! Although it is often said that literature is dying and the printed word is on its way out, you wouldn't know it from the audience at both slams. And that's essentially what I wanted to get before I left for summer - an energizing reminder that writers were and still are appreciated for their work, which is not just for themselves, but for all those listeners and readers out there that appreciate them too. Here is a brief recap of both events and their impact on me.

Musical Interlude (Part VII)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Today, I was trying to think of a theme that would tie together the songs that I've chosen... and the only thing I can say is that all of them are a little "out there" to me. Take that statement how you will, but enjoy the music!

Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand

Chromeo - Bonafied Lovin'

Dr.Dre feat. Eminem - I Need a Doctor (P.S. this video has the best bromance, and I love it.)

Check out some more great music in the Musical Interlude series.

Caught My Eye: Reading Women

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Alright, I know that I said that regular posting would resume Friday, but I didn't account for one major thing: sleep. Upon arriving home, I attempted to stay awake, but instead collapsed into an earth-shattering slumber, not to be awoken unless food was available. So, this post that was supposed to be put up Friday is actually coming to you today. My apologies for the delay!

Contrary to popular belief, finals time for me is great for doing all the things I miss out on during the rest of our very busy school year. So, when reading week began and I realized that I actually didn't have anything I needed to catch up on, I dove into this book that had been waiting on my shelf for quite some time: Reading Women by Stephanie Staal.

Moving Day!

Today was my moving day, and tomorrow I am flying out to Seattle, so posting is on hold until Friday! Peace out, NYC!

Breaking New Work: The Bearniverse Issue 1

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Although it is Tuesday, and usually I'd have a Project x Project post ready to go, I just could not wait till Thursday to release my newest collaborative work!

Behold, an online version of my latest collaborative endeavor: The Bearniverse issue 1!

The Bearniverse is a revisionist history comic zine where all the people in the universe have bear bodies and human minds! If you click on the link, it will take you to a page where you can download the free PDF version.

Snoop Dogg and Shakespeare

Monday, May 9, 2011

Last week, I had the privilege of attending two very different shows on the same day - a Snoop Dogg concert and The Taming of the Shrew. They were both offered at the Columbia campus and I'm sure they've already been talked about to death by our students, but I wanted to add my voice to the mix. So, to start off, I ask you: what do you think Snoop Dogg and Shakespeare have in common?

Musical Interlude (Part VI)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Since it's the end of the year, I've been getting pretty sentimental. So here is a series of songs that make me tear up for a variety of different reasons. I don't know if they touch other people in the same way they touch me... let me know what they do for you!

Jay Z & Beyonce - 03 Bonnie and Clyde
(Maybe you already know, but I've been listening to Jay-Z non-stop since last weekend - plus, this video features Broyles from my current favorite TV show, Fringe!)

Alicia Keys - Unthinkable

Jewel - Hands

Check out some more great music in the Musical Interlude series.

Question: How's the New Design?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hello there, readers!
I have been doing some tweaking around here now that I've gotten some new blog and micro-blog outlets to connect to, and I want your opinion.

The changes I've made are to a) change the labels from a cloud to a drop-down list, b) put up a Twitter feed, and c) put up a Tumblr feed.

How do you think it looks? Is it cluttered or well laid out? Do you like the labels as a drop-down menu or a cloud better? Do the feeds look nice or crowded?

By the way, if you're wondering whether this is today's only post, don't worry! There will still be a musical interlude posted later today.

Caught My Eye: Safe & Sexy Photography Project

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Safe and Sexy Photography Project is a website that features women in two outfits: their "sexiest" and their "safest," as chosen by the participants. The website also features captions that have the stories of why these women chose their outfits - I think it's really interesting to look at them first without reading and try to guess, then read and figure out which is which!

This project really speaks to the idea of different personal styles and beliefs about fashion. What someone might call safe, I might call sexy and what someone might call sexy, I would say is safe. Similarly, the women on this website are a range of ages; there are some older women that have more radical (at least in my opinion) sexy outfits than I myself would wear! Basically, I think this project opens the doors to looking at personal fashion choices and what they mean for the individual, rather than what the media feeds us in terms of "safe" and "sexy" labels.

 I do not own any of these images - they are the property of Sarah Hughes, the photographer.

Absorb some more media with the on-going Caught My Eye series.

Breaking New Work: Etsy Shop Listings & New Pages

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You know that link at the top of this page that says Etsy on it? It has intentionally been left as a non-working link because I had not yet set up the items in my store. But no longer! My Etsy shop is now officially stocked! I have put up an array of knitted items that I made a while ago, as well as some zines from the past. Please check out the pieces and send me an email if you are interested in commissioning an order. Now that we are heading into summer time at a fast clip, I will be making new items both for myself and for the Etsy shop, so if you have a specific request, please let me know!

In other related news: I have created a Twitter account and a Tumblr page. You can access me in these new ways by looking for @thecowation on Twitter and clicking on the banner link above that says Tumblr.

Here are some of the items that I am currently selling on Etsy:

You can also see what else I've been knitting.
Or check out some more posts featuring my photography.

DIY Interlude (Part V: The Conclusion)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Alright, we've reached the dramatic conclusion! This collage project did incorporate some of the suggestions that you guys gave me, but unfortunately I could not incorporate all the ones I received (sorry!). However, I think that the final product is radiant. I incorporated ideas of interior/exterior in order to show that you can be whoever you want both inside and out - although, another purely aesthetic reason that I used strips instead of the whole block was because I enjoyed the collage pieces underneath and didn't want to block them entirely! I also attempted to use a diverse set of library book covers in order to represent diversity in as best a way as I could. Read on to see the final product and the last bits of the process!

Single Sex Education for Women & Girls

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Last Friday, I spent several hours teaching 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade girls about body image in downtown Manhattan at Girls Prep Charter School. So this week I am weighing in on single sex education.

Regular Posts Will Resume Tomorrow

Monday, May 2, 2011

Today marks the last day of classes in my sophomore year (and our fabulous Well Woman end-of-the-year dinner!), so I will not be putting up a post tonight and will start up again tomorrow. See you all then!

Musical Interlude (Part V)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

In honor of Bacchanal, which this year hosted Snoop Dogg, here are some songs that I think pair well with his music - or maybe I just have them stuck in my head after the concert! A write-up will be forthcoming.

Jay Z - Dirt Off Your Shoulder

Tupac - California Love

Lauryn Hill - Doo-Wop (That Thing) 

Check out some more great music in the Musical Interlude series.
You may also be interested to learn the similarities between Snoop Dogg and Shakespeare.