Wednesday, June 25, 2008

San Antonio

It must be summer.

The flowers were arranged.

The bell rang
The priest arrived.

And so did the wine.

These ladies cut some pizza and cake.

We prayed.

Then the party began.

Homemade wine...bring it on!

The King of Maberga.

The band.

Monday, June 16, 2008

a creative journey...come on along!

I don’t iron. I iron nothing. I don't hate it or anything, I just don't see the point. There are people, like my mom who iron everything. Most Italians I know would rather die than leave the house unironed. My mom, and most Italians I know iron bed sheets. BED SHEETS. I have, many times, declared that I have never and will never iron the sheets.

Never say never…

Ok. I ironed this sheet, but it’s not going on the bed. I hatched an idea yesterday and it involved an old sheet. The idea went better with an ironed sheet. So I ironed a sheet.

Want to take a little trip with me? Come on. I’ll tour you through my thinking…the thought process that hatched the idea. Everyone vaccinated? Let’s go into my head.

think: I really want to crochet a rag rug.

think: gotta learn to crochet.

do: nothing.

6 months later…

find: every sheet in the house with huge holes from new puppy

think: I’ll save these for that rag rug I want to make!

1 year later…

see: a guy on The Panopticon blog knitting with needles as big as turkey basters

think: I can KNIT a rag rug! (duh)

look for: turkey baster sized needles.

find: nothing.

do: nothing.

3 weeks later…

see: turkey baster needles on Mette’s kitchen table.

think: I can knit a rag rug!

borrow: Mette’s turkey baster needles

learn: to make great balls of cloth yarn from Mette

go: home with jumbo needles and some new-to-me knowledge

do: nothing

receive: this cool book from some friends who own a gallery in town (Art for the Housewife author/artist Cynthia Korzekwa...very cool, google her)

get: inspired

make: a cappuccino

finish : the milk

think: these cows from the milk carton would make cool earrings

think: Don't get distracted. I’m going to knit a rag rug! (a crochet version is found in the book)

find: Q ripped up sheets

make: great balls of cloth yarn

knit: a practice square

feel: disappointed

think: I need a better sheet

knit: this

feel: more disappointmen


think: I need an even better sheet.

get: permanent markers and white sheet

MAKE: a better sheet

make: a great ball of cool cloth yarn

knit: a … well, I don’t know what it will be yet but after all that I’m sure as shit not putting it on the floor and walking on it.

Tour’s over. I’ve got to knit.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Meet Jacopo

As it happens, my new and improved studio also has space for musician and friend extraodinare Jacopo.

David and I met Jacopo on a tiny greek island almost 10 years ago. We had one dinner together and the rest is history. It's mostly his fault that we moved to Italy. His fault, but without his help in the early years we wouldn't have survived. (Jacopo, remember that time that David pushed his spankin' new convertible into the woods, inches away from plummeting to premature car-ly death down the mountain side if you hadn't found that really nice Enrico with the tractor to pull it out? ...what fun!).

As life's irony happens, he met a great American gal walking El Camino a couple years ago, married her and now lives in San Francisco.

Last night I was treated to an awesome dinner with conversation that lasted until always happens with this guy. This morning I got a free private concert as he rehearsed for some upcoming gigs in Turin. Check him and his music out at his my space page here . Dude plays the kazoo. The kazoo. And damn well, I must add. He also plays the guitar and sings.
Thanks for squeezing me into your very hectic stay in Italy, Jacopo. As always, great hanging with you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

goat milk, gals, and hæls

I am so happy to report that the very first meeting of the , um, well, we don't really have a name...these-gals-who-wanted-to-knit-together happened today.

I've been wanting to organize this for awhile and, I should have known, all I had to do was mention it to Mette and, well, DONE.

It started as all good knitting sessions and afternoons with friends should - with a pitcher of goat milk-banana-peach smoothies. Friends, you couldn't even taste the goat.

Not only did this gal mix the smoothies, and pour them, she milked the goat, too.

Pictured here we have METTE (of comments well as many other things), ANNAMIE (of the goat milk well as many other things) and ME. I'm the dark haired one in case you might confuse me for the Dane or the German.

It was a big day. Annamie, who has been knitting her entire life, has never used pattern, had also never knit a sock. Today she turned a heel.

All you knitters know what I'm saying here when I say it was a big day.

Mette, who could knit socks around me decided to teach me to teach knitting socks. She quietly sat back while I tried to talk Annamie through short-rowing in a language that is neither of ours. Being a German, Annamie speaks German pretty well and is learning Italian. Being American myself, I speak (some version of) English pretty well and am learning Italian.

I'd like to mention that Mette being Danish, speaks, well, Danish AND German AND English...she's also learning Italian. I have to ask myself-- was Mette being a kind and gentle mentor in having me teach Annamie, or just a lazy bitch? (Just kidding, Mette)

She did speak up when we were having vocabulary troubles with "heel".

"Go get that big red book from the kitchen and look it up"

The big red book was Danish/Italian.

"How do you say heel in Danish?" I asked once with the big red book.

"hoo#&(#)L". That's what it sounded like Mette said.

I spend a bit of time looking for hoo#&(#)L in the h-section

"How do you spell that?"

"H - that AE thingy - L"

"ok" More looking. If you were the Danes, wouldn't you put the AE thingy in the alphabet right after the A thingy? I would. They don't.

"Where's the AE thingy?"

"Third to last letter of the alphebet."

"Of course."

hæl = tallone

I can't wait to see what I learn next Wednesday!

Monday, June 02, 2008

time to tidy up the nursery

Ala that genius and sage Mary Poppins, I decided to invest a little time, energy, and paint in my studio. It's such a great space, I'm grateful to have it and I've been totally neglecting it, focusing too much on the stuff that I make in there and not enough on the atmosphere.

Maybe it was finding this week's entry in the "LOOK WHAT I FOUND IN MY HOUSE!" that has me wanting to move everything around, vacuum, bleach, vacuum some more.

Check that guy out! I found him floating in my dish water...which I suppose is better than my bath water, but freaked me out just a bit anyway. Note to self: check your shoes.

Anyway, back to the studio...

This room, when we bought the house, was the personal dump of the former owners. There was a dirt floor, a variegated fiberglass roof, an old pizza oven whose dome had caved in unfortunately leaving it just a pile of bricks, mountains of trash, and a little room that housed the toilet. At least that's what I was told, I personally refused to go through the little door leading to the toilet. Not that I'm really a 5 star kind of girl but there's something about climbing over 50 years of someone's trash, closing myself in a 2'x3' room and pulling my pants thanks.

Therefore, the room was one of the first projects. A floor was poured and tiled, walls build and a roof put on. Unfortunately we used a less than stellar guy to do the work and it’s all pretty half-assed. Apart from the rain that comes through the roof and cries down the walls and the breezes (gales) that waft (whip) through the (enormous) gaps by the door and windows, it’s just fine for me.

So yesterday with a spoonful of sugar and an amazing display of energy, time and paint, I gave the room a new look. Everything was moved out and the room was wiped down, painted, rearranged, and then, after a little culling, refilled.

With just a little organizing I now have so much more space!

Space to play with yarn

space to play with beads

space to play with books

space to display my goods when friends come over to shop

And space for whatever the spirit may move me to next.

What was all this space doing before?

It might have been housing this, which is still in the bedroom.

You think David will notice?

I’m pleased to report that I found no scorpions.

Completely unrelated to my clean studio except that I get to spend the day there because...Happy Day of the Italian Republic!