Here we are, a month into the New Year and I've been resisting the pull to write a compelling "end of year" or "beginning of year" post, inevitably putting it off until, well, February.  My inner voice just keeps quieting the noise and telling me to take my time.

2014 was a year like no other.  It was full of direction and realization.  At times it moved too fast and other times slowed way down.  It allowed me to dream, create, and bring plans to fruition.  It allowed me to grow and nurture a space, raising my own wild and learning to care and create habitat for creatures far more complex than I ever dreamed.  I formed ideas that still need a path to be realized along.  I expanded my knowledge and became equipped to pursue another, parallel path.  I experienced love and heartache with my family, and stillness.

As I identify my ambitions for the coming year, one word seems to form on my lips over and over... Intention.  Setting an intention for every day or every action guides a more present existence.  I vow to exist more in the moment, taking time to nurture what needs to be nurtured.  Through this, all other aspects are affected in a positive light.

So now I will begin to resurface, find my footing and use my voice.  I hope this New Year finds you well and seeking your own truths.

Unpacked Studio!

Summertime, always a busy time, has seemed to fly by this year.  I've had multiple projects going, although not a lot to share just yet.  One big milestone occurred this weekend - my studio is finally fully unpacked and set up.  I've figured out an effective yarn storage method, bought a comfortable chair, and prepared my space in a way that is very minimalistic, inspiring to me, and open to a variety of uses.  So far, I'm pretty happy with it!
Last week I entered my 31st year, a pretty low-key event.  The chair was a birthday gift to myself, so I can start out this new year of life with vigor (and comfort) in my artistic practice.  Beyond that, life is full of ripe tomatoes, hot yoga, and finally making some headway on our home projects.  I'm looking forward to this fall and some possibilities on the horizon.


It's been a long while since I wrote much about anything going on outside of 52 Forms of Fungi or installations that I've been working on.  I thought it might be time for a new post on life updates via Instagram.  If you follow my Facebook page, you may have seen some of these already.

Aside from Niche and Succession, I've always got a knitwear project going - even if I don't get to work on it very often.  In addition, I try to keep a pair of socks with me all the time so I have a project to just whip out of my purse if I end up with some down time.  The pair in the top left was cast on in the festive spirit of Valentine's Day, though they still aren't done and I have yet to cast some on with a fun spring colorway.  (There's a pattern there.)  I'm also gradually getting my home studio set up, and as spring slowly started to show its face we started working out in the yard more…. getting the garden ready, seeds started indoors, and planting berry bushes.

New art by an artist friend whom I admire -- Erin Latham, fungi (always fungi), a new experimental project and lichen/tiny plants at home.
One huge update for this spring - I became a bee keeper!  It's more engrossing than I ever expected, and I really enjoy going out to watch bees flying in and out of the hive.  The colony has been set up for three weeks now and we should see a lot more bees this coming week as the first wave of brood emerges.
Now that it's warming up and there are blooms/leaves to forage, I've been doing some more solar dyeing.  Looking forward to sharing some of that later on and also trying some new experiments this spring.
Our yard has an abundance of fruit trees - can't wait to make cobbler with these peaches later in the summer!
We found an interesting structure on a hike recently - it felt like walking onto the set of True Detective.
The garden is finally planted!  Seeds are sprouting everywhere and I'm waiting (borderline impatiently) for my tomatoes to start putting on some growth.
Finally, a new studio detail - the Mantra Scarf prototype.  One of my goals for the summer is to start developing on this concept again!
That's what has been going on in my part of the world.  What's new in your life?

Spring in the New Home

The first spring in our new house, it's been fun watching the yard come to life.  Between finding the golden currant and more recently some lilac out there, I'm always intrigued when I spot something new for the first time.  We somehow have tons of wild violets lining the back porch, and new plants are sprouting in the bed along the side of it.  I can't wait to see what else shows itself, and to add to it myself.


My little porch container garden has really been taking off lately, which makes me happy every time I go out front.  I enjoy noticing a new little leaf enlarging or an elongating shoot each day.
Lately things have been busy but also not.  We've spent a lot of time in the last month looking at homes in search of our first one to buy.  This is not as fun as I expected it to be; instead it's probably the most anxiety inducing experience I've had in the past five years (including planning my wedding).  I'm hoping that we will find "the one" really soon.
I've taken a little break from my constant knitting, with the exception of working on fungi.  The one that's in progress now requires a lot of i-cord, so it's taking a while to complete.  I'm hoping to post about it sometime next week.
Part of my break is just to relax and regroup, and also to work on some samples for a couple of patterns I've been developing and would like to release this summer.  It's a fun and exciting process!  I'm glad it's Friday so I can get started on it again tomorrow and hopefully be ready to move to the next step for one of the pieces.
Finally, I cast on my first pair of two at a time, toe up socks yesterday using the Magic Loop method.  It seemed like a good way to relieve some stress, and while I had wanted to set a sock knitting goal this year this is actually my first pair.... so I'll just be happy to make it through one project using this method and then take it from there.
I hope you have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

New Decomposition Installation + Weekend Away

This weekend my husband and I rented a cabin down in Broken Bow, Oklahoma (the southeastern part of the state) just to get away for a few days and enjoy being out in nature.  We planned the trip over a month ago, and since that time I've been busy working on these pieces for my fifth installation for the Decomposition series.  You might recognize them from the 52 Forms of Fungi project, since I made a couple to use as form number 5.  Check back later this week to see the installation--- I'm really happy with how it turned out and can't wait to share it with you!  In the meantime, here are a few more photos from the weekend.  You'd better believe I'll have posts out the wazoo (do people still say that?) depicting all of the awesome fungi and things that we spotted while hiking.

... and Emma got to come too.


Spring, Spring, Spring!

Photo credit for 2nd photo down on the left side: @lauraleaf on Instagram
Here are a few shots from over the past few weeks.  Work has been super busy for me recently, with Arbor Week coming up.  I've just been trying to get in as much knitting as I can when I'm home, between getting back into my exercise routine and fighting off some intense allergy issues.  The past few days we've seen buds opening up and trees are starting to bloom and leaf out.  The weather has been warmer too, so I've been taking the pup on much longer walks and it's amazing how much my spirits are lifted by the new hints of green and short sleeve weather.  I'm itching to repot some plants and overhaul the compost pile... maybe this weekend.  Happy Spring, friends!  And here's to an extra hour of evening sunshine!  (unless you're in Arizona... in which case... happy spring!!)

Big Things Are Happening

I had hoped this morning to show you the final product of a project I have worked on for nearly a year, but I still need to do a little photo processing.... so maybe it will be up here later this week!

Another milestone is in the works and I will be able to share more about that next week sometime.  It's very exciting, slightly daunting, and it's definitely something that I'm proud of myself for following through on.  This past year has been a wild roller coaster of new things and stepping into a world that I've always only felt like an outsider of.  Here's to pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone!


Moisture, Finally

We got some very much needed rain last week, finally.  When it rains my driveway doesn't really drain, which means we have some standing water for a couple of days afterward.  It was such a welcome sight to come home to this from work one day, after having a steady rain for several hours that morning.  I've missed it.  This drought scares me, let's be honest.  I read recently that all but one county in Oklahoma were declared disaster areas because the drought has gotten so bad.  This was mainly to offer assistance to farmers, but it's getting really extreme.  My fingers are crossed that it will break and maybe this summer won't be quite so hot for quite so long... but we'll see.

The red berries are from the American holly tree beside our front porch.  While they can be an annoyance sometimes (my car is nearly always covered in bird poop), they do serve for a nice moment of admiration a lot of the time too.


Life in Photos || January

This is just a little bit of this past month.  We are in the process of getting some new neighbors (fingers crossed that they are tame) and we're looking forward to a quick trip to Austin in a few weeks to visit some friends.  It will be a weekend jam packed with reunions, food (one of the things I miss most about that place), margaritas, and enjoying the oddness that is Austin.  It's been over two years since we were there last, and I'm sure I'll be shocked and awed by how much it has changed.  Nonetheless, I'm excited!

On Regret...

I was thinking on this topic during my quiet early morning hours and felt compelled to share my perspective.  I know this is delving a little deeper into my philosophies than my usual posts, so if you aren't interested in reading through my musings, feel free to scroll on down.  :)

By nature, I for years have chastised myself for missteps, misgivings and really anything that I later viewed as something that could have been taken the wrong way, that could have had the slight possibility of shedding a negative light on me or that just did not turn out how I wanted it to, no matter how small and insignificant.  It took me pretty much until my adult life to convince myself that I am not the things that I do/have done.  That they do not define who I am.  Furthermore, there is no wrong decision once it's all said and done.  Yes, you can choose a path that is more fortuitous to you -- one that will make you more successful, possibly more content, and that would leave fewer people hurt in the end.  But once you are on that lower road... and you can't take any of it back, there is no benefit to despair or thoughts of "if I had done things differently..."  At that moment, it is finished.  It is sealed.  At that moment, all you can do is know that you are exactly where you are meant to be, because there is no turning back.  All you can do is be confident in that, listen to your discernment, and move forward.  It will all be okay in the end.  As long as you pursue what you are certain to be true and right, as long as you strive to fulfill your purpose and seek after the deepest desires of your heart, you will be on your right path.

And in all of this, you have to BE KIND TO YOURSELF.  (I really struggled with this one.  That is how the Mantra scarf was born).  Don't torture yourself over things you can't change.  Show yourself some grace.  This is not to say that we should not take responsibility for our actions; I am merely stating that dwelling on them does no good for anyone.  Do what you can to make it right, then forgive yourself and move on.

There is no need for regret.  It is a poison that spoils talent, potential, passions and fulfillment.  Your possibilities are limitless.  GO.


Sometimes You've Just Gotta Get Out

The winter months are hard sometimes, because the days are short and the weather isn't always so pleasant - all I really want is for it still to be daylight by the time I get home from work and to have a comfortable body temperature when I'm wearing my coat outside (it's not always the case).  The past couple of weeks have been odd, because we've had weather in the 60's one day, 40's the next day, another few days of 50's, 60's, and tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 30's again.... then back up to the 50's.  Last weekend the warmth for once stuck around for our days off, so we got outside to appease the ongoing cabin fever.  And man... I feel so much better!  Is it just me, or is anyone else ready for spring?!

Knit Hacker

This morning I woke up to the pleasant surprise of having my fiber series "Decomposition" posted on the Knit Hacker blog.  It's exciting and humbling to see people picking up on my work and I am immersed in gratitude for this kind of support - the support of my readers, friends, and family.  I am grateful for the abundant visions that bounce around in my head and the ability to act on them.  Do what you feel you are meant to do, friends, and you will be content.


The urge arose in me a few nights ago to create some out of focus images of the lights on my Christmas tree.  Simple enough, but I love the halos of color, large circles of light in various hues that remind me of the image you see when you squeeze your eyes shut after looking directly at something that was just a little too bright.  I love getting wrapped up in the holiday traditions that have been stacked upon my nostalgic sense of holding on to happy memories, but a fact of life:  In the thick of it things get busy and stress builds up and it's easy to drone on through your days when it's dark by the time you get home from work and it's too cold to go for a run and all you want to do is eat massive amounts of comfort food and lay on the couch.  That's December in a nutshell, for me.  I guess what I'm saying here is look at those halos!  One of my number one goals in life is to notice the details... Not to get lost in them, per se, but to notice and to see something within you spark from it.  As we have seen demonstrated in events of violence or in friends that are hurting or even our impatience in where our lives are taking us, life is just too short not to.  Happy Holidays, friends, and take the time to be present and feel gratitude.




Photo Randomness

These are just some recent photos of things that made me happy but didn't fit into a different post.  If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that my sweet greyhound was brutally attacked by two dogs in our neighborhood dog park.  The photo of her above was taken the day before it happened, which is why you don't see the wounds.  She is healing nicely, and will hopefully be all better very soon.  I am so very thankful that she is a fast runner and able to defend herself - it could have been SO much worse.

Hiking is Good for the Soul

We drove down to the Wichita Wildlife Refuge this weekend, which is probably the closest area that has an abundance of hiking trails and gives one a feeling of solitude/remoteness.  The morning was cool, so there really weren't too many people out.  Aside from playing naturalist and observing minute details, my favorite thing about heading out of town like this is the silence.  No vehicles, no industrial sounds or people... all you can hear is the occasional tremble of the leaves... and that odd buzzing sound in your ears which is only apparent when either your hearing is stopped up or when you are away from the sounds of society.  It's funny how silence does, in fact, have a sound.  I drink it up like an elixir that hydrates and refreshes my tense mind.

Decomposition: Colony I

I'm excited to finally show you the first phase of my Decomposition series.  Phase one is called "Colony", and these photos depict the first of two installations that I had the joy of constructing.  View the full documentation of the installation in my portfolio.

I have yet to develop a formal statement about the series which will incorporate knitted replicas in the form of several types of wood decay fungi.  I've hinted at it here and there in previous blog posts, but I will explain a little further:

The series is a study on the intricate textures of fungi and how they blend in to their natural environment.  At a glance and from a distance, these knitted replicas meld in as a part of the magnificent cycle that transforms living plants to detritus and further into minerals that nourish other living plants as they draw these minerals up from the soil.  For instance, when viewing the installation at the distance of the bottom photo the pieces appear natural and as though they are meant to exist there.  However, on a closer encounter one sees that these are not fruiting bodies at all.  The delicate knit stitch stands out and draws you in for closer inspection, much like the intricacies in the texture of fungi draw me in.  These elements spur on a stream of questions that carry me meditatively in to a place of introspection.  While this is a personal project, I hope that it excites the same way of thinking amongst its viewers, elevating to a greater level of awareness of one's surroundings.

The second installation of "Colony" will go up on this blog a week from today, so check back to see it! I hate to choose favorites, but I was actually even happier with how the second one turned out than I was with the first.  I am also exploring inspiration for the next phase and hope to begin construction on that very soon.