A Solution to a Common Problem

I LOVE these ideas for what to do with yarn scraps! Most of the time, I throw mine away, but I always hate doing it. It goes back to that whole, I-Hate-being-wasteful thing. Check out a tutorial, save your scraps and share your photos if you like. I’m going to have to find a special spot to start saving my scraps from now on. :)


Worth the Time

It always makes my day when someone buys one of my patterns or follows my blog or other social media. Hopefully I’m not the only designer out there whose biggest fear is that no one will like her work. Whenever I release a new design, I always feel like I’m putting a little piece of myself out there, and I am incredibly grateful and relieved when people like it. I am also extremely honored when a fellow artist or designer follows me and deems me worthy of their time and attention. Recently, Sue Wong (among others) followed me on Twitter, and when I watched her intro video, I had to share it! Her beautiful clothes and talent as a designer are on full display, but for me, it was worth the time to watch it because she also shares her joy in being creative and tells her story, from her life as a poor immigrant and how she grew into her success of today. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!


New to Me

As I might have mentioned in prior posts, I have a hard time dealing with clutter. The main reason for this is because I really hate being wasteful. I don’t like getting rid of things that I still feel have life left in them, but I’m not one of those people who has constant inspiration for how to repurpose stuff. I walk into thrift stores and immediately feel overwhelmed. One of my best friends is an extremely talented artist who can take a toilet paper roll and make fine art out of it. I admire this trait very much, and so when I was at the library last week, I was intantly drawn to this book. And of course, I went to this artist’s blog and found way more goodies than can fit into a book. I don’t know if it will help me get rid of all my clutter, but I am inspired to keep trying to look at old items in a new way.


Things I Learned About Andy Warhol

As mentioned in my last post, I just returned from a trip back east to visit family and longtime friends. I grew up in Pittsburgh, and now that I”ve been away for so long, I’m always struck by the beauty of  the city when I go back to visit. This year, I made it my mission to visit the Andy Warhol museum. I don’t know how I’ve loved Pop Art, grown up in Pittsburgh, gone to art school in Pittsburgh, and yet never visited this museum! I decided it was time, so my sister and I spent a lovely day touring all seven floors. It did not disappoint. Each floor covers a time period of his work – his film work was on one floor, the famous silkscreen portraits on another…

I also realized that despite all the references to Warhol’s work in today’s culture, I really didn’t know very much about him at all. Since the museum didn’t allow us to take photography anywhere except on the ground floor, here are a few of the tidbits I learned.

 

I couldn't resist. And this photo cost me a whole lot less than a bachelor's from Carnegie Mellon!

I couldn’t resist. And this photo cost me a whole lot less than a bachelor’s from Carnegie Mellon!

 

  1. He is not only Pittsburgh born and bred, he attended Carnegie Mellon University. This was particularly of interest to me because Carnegie Mellon has a prestigious art program, and was my dream school. I applied and was accepted, but unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t realize until my museum visit that this was Andy’s alma mater, but since the program is a tough one, I have to admire him for making it through and going on to become so successful!

    Andy Warhol Museum. Any art lover visiting Pittsburgh should go!

    Andy Warhol Museum. Any art lover visiting Pittsburgh should go!

  2. I read in his diaries (in the notes by his secretary, Pat Hackett) that Andy really loved his “weekday rut”. There is a stereotype out there that artists live wild, erratic lifestyles, and this may be true for some. However, in my own experience, and also in my observation of other artists I know, we need to have a routine and practice self-discipline if we want to maintain our creativity. Inspiration is usually something we have to actively pursue and work for. It was interesting to read that Andy stuck to his routine, despite being known for his intense social life with celebrities.

    View of Andy Warhol bridge. And all the crazy signs - Pittsburgh is not a city with square blocks. One way signs, bridges everywhere...I get lost easily!

    View of Andy Warhol bridge. And all the crazy signs – Pittsburgh is not a city with square blocks. One way signs, bridges everywhere…I get lost easily!

  3. But lest we all get the wrong idea, his secretary also mentioned that his Factory (which he later called his office) was always full of clutter. I related to this also, because I struggle with clutter. I need alot of images and stuff around me to refer to, but at the same time, if I let it get out of hand, I find myself becoming less creative. According to his diaries, alot of the items he kept went into his Time Capsules.

    If you love Andy's silkscreen portraits, there's a whole floor of them waiting for you! But this is the only one you're allowed to take a photo with.

    If you love Andy’s silkscreen portraits, there’s a whole floor of them waiting for you! But this is the only one you’re allowed to take a photo with.

  4. Andy was associated with many celebrities, but I didn’t realize until my museum visit, and then reading some of his diaries, that he was so far ahead of his time. He published Interview magazine, and his vision for the magazine was to have it filled with celebrities, ideally, with celebrities interviewing other celebrities. His diaries are full of namedropping and his interactions with celebrities. Today, these things are a dime a dozen, but at the time, he was on the cutting edge of the pop culture influence. If he was alive today, I wonder if he would now be veering in the opposite direction, taking interest in the handcrafted, artisan movement. Our culture is now so oversaturated with celebrities, it is a relief to escape it.

And now, just a note about his diaries. I expected to be reading about his work. The truth is, the diaries are more a record of his social life and how much he spent on cab fares and such than they are about what he did in the studio. I found this very disappointing, and did not even make it through more than a few hundred out of the almost thousand pages. There are descriptions of parties with drugs and drinking, which celebrities were there and conversations they had, so if you enjoy reading about 1970’s New York partying, you may make it through this book. However, I wanted to read about his working methods, his thoughts and inspirations, and he only makes minimal references to his artwork.


Two Artists

It is unfortunate that when I was in art school, we did not spend much time studying current artists. Of course I love the classics, but Jackson Pollock was probably about as recent as we came. My friend and I spent Friday touring Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky at LACMA and were talking about how sad it is that some of these talented and now-famous artists never lived to be valued in their own time. Van Gogh created a few thousand works, but only sold one in his lifetime. I certainly do believe in studying the classics, but I would like to show more support to current artists by visiting their gallery shows when possible, even if I can’t afford to buy their works. Here are two of my recently-found favorites, one of whom is local to California.

Mark Grotjahn – especially love his Butterfly series!

Damien Hirst – I love pop and op art, so I relate to his Spot series and also his Spin Paintings.


Unfurled

Inspired by an orchid, this shawl unfurls color as you knit it. This baby goat mohair is as close to the softness of flower petals as I could get!

Inspired by an orchid, this shawl unfurls color as you knit it. This baby goat mohair is as close to the softness of flower petals as I could get!

Just want to share my latest pattern, which I am also honored to have on display at Unwind! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed designing it. Colinton Australia is a total luxury, and I truly hope my design does it justice! Flowers are so full of color and texture, I can promise with certainty that this will not be the last pattern I design inspired by them!


Details with a Color Palette

If you are on Facebook, you should definitely follow Musetouch! They posted this beauty this morning:

Spanish Synagogue in Prague, ceiling, designed by Vojtěch Ignátz Ullmann, 1868, photo by John Galbo.

There are certain taboos in the design world – no yellow and black unless you want to look like a bumble bee. Too much orange and black and it’s Halloween. I have no idea how this architect managed to use so much red and green without it looking too Christmas-y, but I would love to design some knitwear with this color palette!

 


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