Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Paintings at GrayDayStudio

Last week I began a new watercolor series. It stemmed from my need to have something therapeutic and almost meditative to do at night after the kids are finally tucked in. I wanted something that I could essentially turn my brain off and do, to get back to making something, to have something that was just for me.  So I began with blind contour drawings, where you don't look down at the paper, then I layered more intentional watercolor washes over top.

I've really enjoyed zoning out, listening to classical (or French) music, nothing that interrupts my train of thought. And I must say it's been awesome!! Just what I needed. And so I listed a set of four today and will list 4-5 tomorrow.

See more in my shop GrayDayStudio.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Knitting to do / wish list

Knitting can become very addictive, at least for me anyway. The sense of accomplishment is so rewarding you just want to start something else immediately after finishing each project. I just finished this darling tunic for our daughter and it was so fast (as child knits are) that I finished it in 4 days! Which made me kick myself for not knitting it back in November, but I knit it with cotton yarn so she should be able to wear it for most of the spring. ;-/ So on the heels of that project I'm itching to start something else, and here is my short list!

I've been casting on and tearing out this lovely scarf/ shawl "A Little Romance" since last spring. I can't wrap my brain around this one yet.. hence the mistakes and then I put it aside for a few months and knit something else. But I should really start this one again- i.e.: lock myself in a room without any distractions until I understand the pattern and stop making mistakes!

The lola shawl, is one of those pieces that has convinced me that I could indeed wear a shawl! 

And the Aisance cardigan is very simple and classic!

of course should it EVER stop snowing around here and warm up, I'll probably be inspired to knit a warm weather piece... as it always happens, I cant knit ahead for the next season... I'm working on it!

If you knit or crochet you and I can be friends on ravelry GrayDay and see even more on my favorites.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Boy's Baby and Toddler Scarf Knitting Pattern

I recently took the train to NYC and needed a little knitting project for my ride. I decided to knit our son a boy's version of the baby scarf I knit for our daughter. It took me roughly 4 hours total, and he looks quite dapper! (I like how his little feet are holding hands.)

I adapted the knitting pattern by Liesl Gibson on her blog disdressed.

Note: I knit 4" of the square portion, you could knit less, but I knit it long in order to grow with him. Our daughter has worn her scarf from 1-3.5 (so far).

Gauge: 4.5 stitches per inch, cotton/ non-itchy yarn (I use double pointed size 6 needles)

Cast on 16
Knit 4" (or length desired... 3" etc)
K1, M1, knit to last 2, M1, K1
K 1 row
K1, M1, K to last 2, M1, K1= 20
K1 row

With double-point needles, slip 1st stitch on needle 1, 2nd stitch on needle 2, 3rd stitch on needle 1, etc. Odd stitches will be on needle 1 and even stitches on needle 2.

Work 1 x 1 rib for 1 1/2 inches on each needle respectively (break yarn after working needle 1, before working needle 2)
Holding needles together, knit 1st stitch from 1st needle, then 1st stitch from 2nd needle until all 20 stitches are on one needle
Knit every row until scarf is the desired length (for the scarf I made the baby, this section measured about 11" not including the rib or the end)
With double-point needles, slip 1st stitch on needle 1, 2nd stitch on needle 2, 3rd stitch on needle 1, etc. as done previously. Odd stitches will be on needle 1 and even stitches on needle 2.
Work 1 x 1 rib for 1 1/2 inches on each needle respectively (break yarn after working needle 1, before working needle 2)
Holding needles together, knit 1st stitch from 1st needle, then 1st stitch from 2nd needle until all 20 stitches are on one needle

next row: K1, K2 together, Knit to last 2, SSK
Knit row
K1, K2 together, Knit to last 2, SSK = 16 stitches 

Knit 4 inches then cast off.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My blog and I have been hibernating... but here's what's been going on

After the rush of Etsy orders that hit my shop during the fall and winter, come January I decided I needed a break.  It was too much to have the husband working 13 and 18 hr shifts while I take care of two little ones... it was a bit too stressful. Although I miss that income and sense of connection with my customers as well as a separate purpose than being a mom... in all my life is a lot less stressful than having made-to-order shipping deadlines.

My break also stemmed from my need to get some bigger projects completed. (this proved virtually impossible during the fall when my free time at night was consumed with fulfilling orders). One such project was completing a knit blanket for my cousin and his wife for their wedding back in September 2013.  It was a very fun project that has become a traditional gift for my cousins when they marry. I realized that in order to get big tasks done I simply have to chip away at them veery night... so at the beginning of January I set to work and managed to finish it one month later! Phew! (You can read more about it here.)

Now as a result, I'm knitting a large blue throw blanket for our family room. (A perfect project to have stashed away when I need something mindless to keep my hands busy while watching a movie etc. IE: wont be finished anytime before next fall.)

The other larger project I am working on is my children's book. It's about our daughter's "Jingle bell christmas hat" (she named it) which started as a hankerchief which evolved into scarves to act as hair, since her hair is slow growing. I've written the story, mapped out the story board, and have begun drawing and painting some of the scenes. It's slow going, but I'm enjoying the process, as I try and finalize composition and medium.

We've had a very cold winter that has kept us indoors but we've stayed busy with new crafts and family activities, like Dad- as a jungle gym.

Our daughter at almost 3.5 has stopped napping in the afternoons, which means her bedtime is now 6pm, which is pretty great for everyone... however most nights she wakes up and comes into our bed anytime between 12-4am. It's both sweet and insane (Leg kick to the back of my neck) and I know it's just a phase and some nights I put her back in her own bed... but most nights I'm dead to the world when she comes in, the extra snuggling is pretty nice though, so I'm soaking up the sweet moments.

These two little sweeties adore each other, it's been so fun to watch them grow and to see how they interact and play together, they are two goofy monkeys that know how to make eachother laugh.

Also this winter, during the second weekend in February, I went out to my friend Katy's wedding in Colorado. It was my first time being away from both kids for 48hrs. YES my first 48hr child free time in 4 years (insane!). It was really fun to catch up with everyone and to celebrate Matt and Katy's awesome new life together (they are incredibly sweet and perfect for one another!)

(ah yes, the day after one of our many snow storms when I had to get out of the house. It was epic. It was toooo cold but I managed to walk them around the block. note the boots on the wrong feet, classic.)

Then the first week in March I went up to NYC to see my friend Clint's opening as part of a group show at the Curator Gallery.

Here is Clint's window drawing. It was pretty exciting to see his work in NYC.  Then my sister and I went out to dinner that night and I spent the night at her place before returning the following days to my motherly duties ;).

And this little guy is going to be one next month!!! (minds are blown!)

So yes, the past few months have been spent hunkered down with family and friends visiting us and I visiting them. We are looking forward to the spring, but know it is still quite a ways off. So we are pacing ourselves with thoughts of warm days and list making of a spring and summer bucket list.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Enter my GrayDayStudio Giveaway on Instagram to win a set of cards!

I'm hosting a giveaway on instagram! If you are on IG, simply follow me @GrayDayStudio and then share this image and tag it with #graydaygiveaway and then include which set you would like with the tag #set1 #set2 #set3 #set4 you will receive a total of four cards (so doubles of the bears and an extra of the quotes!) there will be four winners chosen on Friday! (Sorry only open to US and Canada residents) I'll share individual images of each set soon, so more image sharing options! Spread the word and have fun! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

GrayDayStudio NEW original Paintings

I've picked up the paint brushes once again and I can't tell you how exciting it is! I intend to focus on florals and landscapes for the time being, starting with watercolor and moving towards oil. Above are four new watercolor and gouache paintings that measure 22x30" and are available in my etsy shop! I wanted to offer customers affordable large original paintings that will really make a statement in any space.  I'm thrilled to be reunited with one of my favorite pastimes... I plan to blog more in depth about this return to painting with the motherhood occupying my subconscious.... nothing weird, just an interesting new perspective. ;)

I will continue to list new work as they dry. Stay tuned and follow me on twitter for shop updates!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our Advent Calendar (2013)

Well, We've been busy around these parts with Christmasy activities and the like, so I regret that I haven't shared our advent calendar until now! First I'd like to explain that this Christmas is special in many ways. This is a Christmas of many firsts- our first as a family of four seems to be the biggest one. And really it's the first big Christmas where we can actually decorate! Last year we went to Alaska for Christmas so we opted for a potted tree that would be okay with our absence and then the Christmases before that we were living at my folk's house and then before that we were in Maine for two Christmases and I never had all of my Christmas loot with us. So it's really been since 2008 (our first Christmas as newlyweds) that we've done it up and with a 3 year old in the house, there is reason to REALLY do it up!

SO, as to the advent calendar. I ruminated (a bit too much probably) about what type of advent calendar to have (see my board here). But I decided on the bag option to allow for a little wiggle room should our schedules turn upside down and we have to move some activities around. Another perk of the bags is that they are reusable and I can use them year after year (until they are teenagers- sniff).

I bought plain 5x8 bags here. And I was happy I found bags that had a sturdy drawstring. (some have these thin whimpy ones that are fine for little giftbags but not for something like this). THEN I traced numbers on all 25 bags with my stencils and painted them using gold silkscreen ink that is intended for fabric. (Heat treated them with an iron later)

For the rope I braided a combination of red, white, heather, and sparkling red yarn together and then hung it from the fireplace. (It has since moved to a doorway to accommodate fires.)

In the bags are little pieces of paper that have a drawing and the description of the activity, craft, or event we will do that day. I've already had to switch some of the contents around to other days due to scheduling conflicts, or today's snow day etc. So happy I went for the bags!

Here are a few of our activities so far!

Day 1: we got out the felt Christmas tree from last year, hung it, made new felt ornaments and decorated the tree and then refused to take a nice picture! hahaha

Day 3 was "A Snowy Day", Day 4 a little penguin Tattly tattoo, Day 5 Make a Joy decoration for the tree.

Day 7: Make pom pom angels for the tree. Our daughter's is the rad pink one with the all gray body! nice contrast ;)

Day 8: Get the tree!

Day 10: make a pom pom snowman and hang it on the tree. Our daughter actually made a pom pom (the bottom one)! I'm very proud of her and it was so fun to watch her understand the concept and then how proud she was and of course here she is explaining it to me! It helped that I got it started for her and gave her pieces of yarn that were pre cut and not attached to the entire big ball of yarn. So cute!

Originally the two pom pom crafts were more spread out, but since we had a snow day today I had to flip some bags this morning to accommodate the need for an activity on a day when she was just going to have a little trinket before heading off to school.

So there you have it!

I'll be sure to check back in with more advent activities and such as we approach Christmas!


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