One River comes into focus

November 15, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Posted in art, country life, faith, family, fingerless gloves, inspiration, knitting, Life, love, photography, shopping, travel, women, yarn | 3 Comments
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The past month has involved quite a bit of hard work preparing for our photography show; the show is opening on December 2nd at Marti’s on Main in Albion, New York.  When we first decided to do a photography show this December, the idea seemed rather simple and easy to pull off.  Of course it could have stayed that way, but the more we worked on it, the bigger our plans became and the more work there was to be done.  No regrets about that at all, we are having a good time doing something productive and creative that the entire family enjoys so it is worth any amount of time or financial investment that has gone into it.

This past week my son designed an awesome postcard and poster to promote the event.  We have the posters going up in shop windows in the villages around us, and postcards are going out in many directions.  I also wrote a press release and submitted it to plenty of media contacts in Western New York; we will be interviewed this Friday for some coverage.  If you are a blogger and would be willing to give us some coverage, it would be greatly appreciated.

I listed the poster for sale in my fine art Etsy shop (FleckensteinFineArt.Etsy.com).  Proceeds from the sale of this poster will help cover costs associated with the production of the show.  Now through Sunday, I have three special offers for my readers:

1) Buy a One River poster for $19, get any two knitting pattern downloads FREE (excludes the Three Scrumptious Christmas Stockings pattern, although you could substitute that one for any other two).  To take advantage of this offer, place your order for the poster, and then email me to tell me which two patterns you would like for free.  I will send a download link via email, or will gift it to you at Ravelry (Ravelry username required).

2) Buy any Subway Roll Sign, Bus Scroll Print, or reproduction vintage map from my son’s online store and get any three knitting pattern downloads for FREE — same details as above. (Offer also applies to any custom order placed with him.)

3) Buy any 11 x 17 inch Knitter’s Eye Chart (or Crocheter’s), and get any two knitting pattern downloads FREE — same details as above.

This is all being done to raise money to cover expenses for the photography show.  We have printed all of the photographs at a professional lab using Kodak’s Endura Metallic paper, they are all matted with black mat board and framed in simple black wooden frames.  A limited selection of some of my photographs that are featured in the show are listed in my fine art Etsy store … if you are interested.

We have titled the show, “One River”.  It is a show of six decades, five artists, four photographers, three generations, two coasts, and … One River.   The photography began in the late 1940’s when my husband’s father began shooting beautiful color slides at the family’s cottage on the river where we live — our farm is situated on that same river.  There are five artists in the show because it features photography by my now-deceased father-in-law, my husband, my son, and I plus poetry by my father.  Three generations — that should be obvious from who the photographers are.  Two coasts — my son still maintains a home and studio in the Los Angeles area, and then we have the place here in New York.   One River.  We have all been photographing this one river for the past sixty years, using the range of photographic technology available during that span of time.  I think it will be very interesting to people to get a chance to see one river–and the surrounding countryside–captured by three generations of photographers, each bringing their own take on the river into focus.

Even with all of this show related work in progress, I have managed to make a humble start to what I think is going to be a very cool (yet warm) pair of knuckle gloves for myself.  I have a hank of Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca fingering weight yarn in a gorgeous colorway called “Potting Soil” to make them with on size U.S. 1 knitting needles.  I am using a delicate little broken rib pattern for the cuffs and am enjoying the knitting very much.  The yarn is dreamy soft and easy to work with.  I’m planning on making these knuckle gloves with extra long cuffs so they go way up in my sweaters and jackets to keep my arms warm.

What will be even cooler, I think, is that I will make a pair of coordinating fingerless gloves using the same Berroco Ultra Alpaca worsted weight yarn in Lavender Mix colorway used in my Lavender Hat and Scarf pattern way back when I first started my blog in 2006.  On particularly cold days I will wear the Lavender colored fingerless gloves over the thinner, more delicate knuckle gloves for extra warmth.  They are going to look ultra cool, and now that we are pretty much finished putting the photography show together I should be able to get some serious knitting done so the gloves will be ready to wear soon.

Okay people, I am going to head off to get some more work done.  I appreciate your continued interest and support.

Warmest wishes,

~firefly

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Titles elude me at this moment

January 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Posted in art, Christmas, country life, country living, dogs, faith, family, fingerless gloves, free knitting patterns, hat patterns, knitting, Life, love, marriage, pets, photography, scarf patterns, shopping, snow, socks, travel, yarn | 11 Comments
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Happy New Year, dear reader. My year started out with both beauty and, unfortunately, a bit of pain. Somehow I managed to hurt my back or shoulder or something between Christmas and New Year’s. For about two weeks I have been in and out of some very unpleasant pain, unable to write … or knit … or paint. Sigh.

However, I am back now and feeling good again. We are enjoying a most lovely day of snow today, as are many people in the country. It started snowing late yesterday and has not stopped since. I was out early this morning with The Duke (my son’s English Bull Dog) and we both enjoyed the cold stinging snow blowing in our faces and the beautiful scene of snow blankets on everything in the outdoor world.

This photograph was actually shot on the weekend by my dear husband — so, please use your imagination to add in deeper snow on the ground, flamboyant drifts round the bottoms of the trees, and heavy, thick snow falling. Oh, and the snow is up higher than The Duke’s belly, and I have my Lavender Scarf wrapped round my Mad Bomber hat (I love my Mad Bomber hat), and very warm mittens on my hands. There, you see … you have a great imagination!

While I was still enjoying my back pain a couple of dear friends invited us to go with them to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens for their annual poinsettia show.

The building that houses the gardens is a historical masterpiece and well worth reading up on. It was striking to see it in the snow, with a gray-sky backdrop, bedecked in huge evergreen wreaths for the holidays.

While the poinsettia display was lush and spectacular, I was even more impressed by their bountiful collection of orchids. I focused my camera lens on the orchids much more than on poinsettias, and will share a few of those shots today and more next time I blog.

In fact, I will be using some of these photographs for drawings and paintings in colored pencil, watercolor, and oils over time.

Equally impressive to me was the succulent collection … oh my goodness. There were a great many varieties of healthy, thriving, large and sometimes humorously shaped and named species. It reminded me of my many years living in the Southwest, traveling through the deserts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada.

If you entered my great big, end of the year giveaway, the drawing was held on Friday, January 7, 2011 and the winners were all alerted via email. The winners were Rita T. (Grand Prize), Margaret F. (First Prize) Joan C. (Second Prize), Patti B. (Third Prize).

I had a wonderful time giving away patterns, prints, etc. this holiday season. I wish I could afford to give prizes away to each and every one of you, and make each reader a winner, because I know it makes the receiver of the winnings feel very special to be one of the lucky ones. With all of the goodies I sent to Wendy at WendyKnits for her giveaway, and the three giveaways I held on my blog this year I was at least able to add to the happiness of a good number of people.

For those of you who viewed my son’s new Etsy store last month and left comments, thank you so much. Your feedback was very encouraging to him and helpful as well. His first month in business has gone well, and he has already released quite a number of new posters and signs. If you aren’t familiar with him yet, his store is Flying Junction and he makes and sells subway signs and bus scrolls that he hand letters with meticulous detail and prints on archival paper and canvas in a variety of sizes.

This week he released a set of three vintage-look NY subway signs in the 11″ x 17″ size at an attractive package price. You can also order custom subway signs, bus scrolls and tram scrolls from a variety of cities in the U.S. and abroad. The largest size, I think, is 20″ x 60″ (on canvas). I love his custom destination posters because you can have him create a poster that represents the places you have been, or hope to go to one day. I’m planning on having him create one for me featuring the most meaningful places I have lived and worked, with our farm here as the “End of the Line”. Hopefully 60″ long will be tall enough!

It would also be a cool gift idea for someone you love who has plans to travel, especially a young person who has the world and their whole life ahead of them. Maybe someone just setting out for college or out into the work force, with dreams and goals, places to go and people to meet.

If you haven’t been to his Etsy shop yet, grab a cuppa something tasty and go have a look …

In knitting news, I have this little sample to show of a pair of two-toned fingerless gloves I am designing and knitting for someone very special in my life. Now that I am feeling better, I will be working on them again and finishing them up in the next few days.

For Christmas my daughter and I gave our two dear friends, Anita and Debbie T., each one of my Biscuit Blanket kits as well as a promise to spend two evenings in early winter knitting with them. Debbie has been wanting to expand her knitting skills and Anita has wanted to get together and knit for quite some time, we just haven’t ever made it happen until now. Tomorrow night will be our first knitting evening, and we are all looking forward to it so much.

Another friend of mine from church told me she received a pair of handknit socks from a cousin this Christmas, and as a result made a new year’s resolution to learn to knit this year. She said the most precious thing, that she treasures that pair of socks so much that she cannot bear to wear them. Instead, she carries them around in her purse showing them to everyone she knows.

When she was telling me about this, her eyes were aglow with admiration and joy and I just had to think about all of the knitters out there and the fact that generosity and giving is a hallmark of our craft.

Take a minute, if you are a knitter, and think about how many knitters there are around the world and then multiply that by some number that seems reasonable to predict how many hand knit gifts will be made this year, and then think about the people who receive those gifts and their happiness. It is a beautiful thought, isn’t it?

Here’s to a year of beautiful knitting that knocks the socks off of the recipients of the millions of hand knit gifts that will be presented throughout the world over the course of the next twelve months!

Have a beautiful day, wherever you are!

~firefly

NY Knucks: Knuckle Gloves for a Guy

November 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Posted in Christmas, faith, family, fingerless gloves, gifts, knitting, Life, love, Thanksgiving, travel, yarn | 3 Comments
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I would love to spend a little time with you, my reader, on my blog today. It is a stormy day in upstate New York, and we are expecting snow a bit later in the week. The turkey is waiting to be thawed, the groceries and fresh produce from our favorite farm market are purchased and waiting for Thursday’s big day of cooking and gratitude.

Tomorrow morning I will try to sit down with a cuppa and do a bit of writing for you, but I cannot promise that will happen; it might be Friday morning before I can do that.

However, for today I can let my knitting readers in on a new pattern release. The gloves you see in this photo are knuckle gloves I designed and knit for my son. This past week he was in Toronto with his partners from Bumpy Pitch for the MLS (Major League Soccer) Cup. I made him a new, warm and cushy scarf and hat (pattern to be release late next week) as well as these knucks to help keep him warm while he was there.

They are easy and fun to knit with about 160 yards of any sock yarn, and you can knit them up in a weekend so if you still need an idea for a Christmas gift for a guy on your list keep this pattern in mind. The pattern is available for download in my Etsy store, on my website, and in my Ravelry pattern store.

For now, I have to run … hope you enjoy your day.

And if I don’t get back to the blog before Thanksgiving, have a beautiful and delicious day filled with love and all those things you have to be grateful for.

Warm wishes,
firefly

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