Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm on Carrie & Danielle!

Carrie & Danielle featured my Style Statement Journey on their site! Kvell, kvell.

Leaves Q&A #5

I understand leaving the tail of the yarn at the bottom of the leaf for attaching to the tree, but would you like the end from the top of the leaf woven in?
No, please leave the tail at the top, too. The larger tree is going to be in the form of a banner, and I'll use the tails at both ends to attach the leaves to the background.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Leaves! Showing up in my mailbox! Miraculous! Thank you everyone!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Style Statement: Creative Joy

Suzyn Jackson, August 1974
Writer. Designer. Mama.

An object that I cherish: a teacup, made by hand: imperfect, poetic, fine.

Even thought it's completely over the top, I secretly love: flowers in hair.

My definition of sexy: naked & happy.

What I'd like more of in my life: friends, dancing, walks in the woods.
If I had more of that, I'd feel: joyful, connected.

I'm my best self when: I'm well rested and fed.

If I could become a master of anything, I would like to know the most about: color.

I am the kind of friend who: might not call for a few months, but will carefully consider, and maybe even make, your Christmas present.

The best material gift I've ever received: my engagement ring.
I cherish it because: It was designed for me. It embodies my husband's love. It sparkles.

Some works of art that have moved me are:

I describe my inner rhythm as: Vivaldi, Bach

My favorite flower is: Pink lilies.
If this flower had its own personality, I would describe it as: exuberant, large, unafraid to be what it is.

My favorite form of play is: tickling my sons.

Creative means to me: artistic, fertile, rich, expansive, design, make, compose, dance, poetic, sing, mother, handmade

Joy means to me: light, life, laughter, bubbles, sparkles, sexy, rich, happy

Also, read about my Style Statement Journey.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Style Statement: the Journey

My style statement is Creative Joy.

I've struggled with style for a long time. I always figured that once I figured out what I want to do when I grow up, I'd also know how to dress. The logic fails there a bit, when you consider that not all architects, or writers, or professors dress alike--not by a long shot! But in the meantime, I had developed a fairly stable, non-offensive, somewhat dull style that I'll call "classic." And a thing for red shoes.

So I was thrilled when I came across Carrie & Danielle in Domino magazine, and beyond thrilled when I heard about their book.

The gist is this: you answer a flood of insightful, provocative, soul-searching questions, then you sift and sort through your answers, and you come up with a two word "style statement" that sums you up, body and soul.

While I was working through the book, I was certain I was going to be "Creative Light." I loved all the puns in "Light" -- travel light, lighten up, radiant, plus one of my passions is color, which is really just light bouncing around -- but I ran into a snag.

When you get towards the end of the process, Carrie (I assume it's Carrie's voice at that point) tells you to make sure that at least one of your words could describe a sofa. So I tried to imagine a Creative sofa, and immediately I thought of a scary cross-stitch lady with a purple polka-dotted sofa and a lot of cats. I ran screaming to look for more words.

I pulled two more: Classic and Joy. The description of "Classic" in the Style Vocabulary hadn't particularly stuck out at me, but my synonyms sounded like home: "quiet, tasteful, supportive, strong, proven, simple, complex, independent, elegant, clean". Joy turned out to be what I was trying to get to with Light, without the "fewer calories" connotation: "light, life, laughter, bubbles, sparkles, sexy, rich, happy".

This was it!! Classic Joy! I wrote it down and did a dance for my 9 month old son! I could see my Classic Joy living room. I picked out a Classic Joy haircut. It explained SO MUCH. I promised myself to save up for an Hermes Red Berry scarf.

Then I mentioned it to my husband. "Classic? Classical? I don't really see it." I read him my synonyms, and he scrunched up his nose. "Well, I was thinking of Creative, too..." "Yes! That's you - you're totally creative. Creative Joy - I love it!"

Hrmph. Now, I often feel that my husband knows me better than I know myself. But I wanted to be right on this one. I argued that Creative felt like WHAT I do, not HOW I do it. Yes, I'm a creative person. But it doesn't feel like a style to me. (I was still reeling from that purple sofa image.)

So I decided to give it a test drive. I bought a "Classic Joy" handbag on ebay. It arrived. And it was nice. A little conservative. In my mind, the style statement was becoming "Classic (but not conservative) Joy."

Then I went shopping. Whenever I shop, I always struggle to find a middle ground between "boring" and "dumb." "Classic" seemed to be that middle ground. I came home with really useful stuff - black trousers, a nice turtleneck sweater, a pair of jeans that fit. Nice. A little conservative.

Your style statement is supposed to help with more than just clothes. It's supposed to be a guidepost for building a life. And in that sense, Classic Joy wasn't really working for me. It explained where I am--technical writer, huge corporation, thing for red shoes--but not where I want to go.

By the next morning, a new little voice was whispering... "there is poetry and fire in my soul." I sat down with a pencil and notepad to figure this out.
Creative Light
Classic Joy
Poetic Fire
Creative Classic
Creative Joy
...Damn if my husband wasn't right.

Classic felt right because it was where I have been living for a long time. It's safe. It's frugal (and you've gotta know I love a bargain). But it's not my core. Creative makes my stomach squirm a little bit, because I know that Carrie & Danielle are going to make me own it.
  • That means, instead of using my creativity to feed my frugal itch...
    That new sweater is too expensive. Instead, I will buy one at goodwill, rip it up, and knit a new one with the yarn." (yes, I actually did this in college.)
    ...using my frugal self to feed my creativity.
    I will save up for truly gorgeous yarn, so that I can wear a work of art.
  • That means saying no to the MBA and maybe to the MFA.
  • That means doing morning pages once my boys are asleep.
  • That means digging out some old manuscripts from digital mothballs.

Deep breath. Whoo boy.

Also, read my Style Statement Profile.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Leaves Q&A #4

What's the maximum I can knit?
I don't think I'll be able to use more than a few hundred, total. The response so far has been very encouraging! If you're really on a roll, send me what you've got now, so that I can get started on assembly.
Thanks everyone!

Leaves Q&A #3

Would you like the leaves pressed or unpressed?
No need to press, thanks! I think they look more "natural" unpressed.

They will be coming through the customs as "knitted ornaments" as I think the Customs people might get suspicious of something marked "leaves".... could possibly be finest Canadian weed.
You make a very good point!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Leaves Q&A #2

Are these leaves supposed to be small? I made one from yarn I used to make a baby blanket, so it is fairly thick yarn, and the leaf was much smaller than expected. It's height was about 2 1/2 inches and less than 2" wide in the center. Does that sound right to you?
Yes, they're fairly small. Depending on the yarn and the needles you use, they range from 2-4" long. If you want to make them a bit larger, do another row of YOs, to get to 11 st total, then decrease the same way.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Leaves Q&A #1

How soon do you need it?
I'd like to receive all the leaves by October 11, though the sooner the better. I have to assemble this thing and get it photographed well before the end of October to make the deadline for my book.

What will happen to the tree once it is complete?
You know, I hadn't thought much about it--I've been so wrapped up in the book. I will hold onto it at first to use in any publicity appearances for the book--I think it'll be a great showpiece. (The finished tree will be about 4' tall). When all the book hoopla is done, I may donate it to a children's hospital or shelter. Does anyone know of a place that would accept it?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hey Knitters!! Call for Leaves

Please help me knit a Tree of Life to be featured in my upcoming book, Knit It Together. (See, we're knitting the tree together. Get it? Get it?)

Here are all the details.

Thank you! Thank you thank you thank you!!

Update: click here to see all updates and Q&As on this project.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wedding Pics

A friend recently asked to see photos of my wedding dress, so here goes:

I made the dress (with mucho help from my maid of honor) from a Vintage Vogue patter.

I knitted the shrug (very helpful with the stiff October breeze).

The shrug slid off at the perfect moment...