Tanked!

I made these without a pattern, just looked at a lot of pics for reference. For some reason, I have a hard time reading people’s patterns. Thankfully, I’m very visual and can construct things.

I think I need to take better pics in the light. I was just so excited these are finnnnnallllllly done. It’s only been about a year. They are a gift for a friend. I hope he so enjoys!

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We All Fall Down

Behind the scenes of this craftmanic life, there has been joy and sorrow. I live a pretty great life, the American Dream life. I have a house with a white picket fence, two kids, a dog and cat, a job that I love and a partner who supports me and keeps me accountable. However, having this life also means that beyond the fence, there is reality to contend with.

The reality of my life, inside my head, lives depression. The subject has been brought into the media more so than ever. It’s not that people have just suddenly come down with depression, as if catching a cold. Before, I felt that the criticism was that people who have a mental illness just needed to “get over it” and move on. Yet, that’s not how this sickness works. I just can’t will it away.

I’ve now had to come to terms with this with my own child. My first born. The pride of my life. He was the catalyst of my adulthood. You see, I’ve been a parent my entire adult life. I found out I was pregnant at 18, had my son at 19, still very much a child myself, struggling with my demons. Now almost 18 years later, I have to watch him struggle with his and feel so powerless. I can’t just will it away.

This is intensely personal. This is very serious business. This is our reality. My son has attempted to take his life. With the onset of social media and all the news, I know many have been hearing about the numerous teen suicides there have been. Our town has been through several recently. And in my head, I just didn’t believe it could be my child as well.

We have been swept up with getting treatment for my son and it’s not easy. There are specialists and doctors and facilities and oh so much coordination to take care of. Not to mention the emotional trauma the family has to go through.

This is a journey. This is just the beginning. If you are or have been through this, we are not alone.

Endeavors – New & New!

Sometimes, okay, a lot of the time, I get bored of what I am doing. I know that things need nurture and care to grow and whatnot, yet I grow restless and find myself moving to my next fancy.

I like to blog. I like this blog. What I don’t like it not having the time to put into my little blog because I am inundated with my constant thinking and wandering.

In any case, I started a new store. If you would be so kind to check it out!
Craftmanic Mommy Designs & Cuttables

What have I been doing?

To be honest, I’m not quite sure. I know that I’ve been busy. Life busy. Who isn’t?

The kids finished school finally. Did I show you my lil D? He was ecstatic to be done.


My oldest is now a senior. I’m still in disbelief he will be 18 in a few months. Just unreal! He is job hunting reluctantly right now. I know he wants to sit around and text and game and sleep his summer away, however, I’m feeling it is time for him to start funding his hobbies. He plays Magic the Gathering and that is expensive. If you don’t know what it is, Magic is a card game that features mythical and magical lands and creatures battling each other. For what, I don’t know. Game domination?

Since summer hasn’t officially started (but really, it has), I can’t really think of what we have been doing exciting…we’ve been camping a couple times. OH yeah!!!

My hubs and I celebrated 10 years married. And now 14 total together. It’s pretty amazing thinking that. I met my love through some mutual friends while I was dating someone else and I had no interest. Then my then boyfriend  moved away and so that opened up opportunity for him to “slide right in” place. His words. The longer we are together, the more I realize we are definitely meant for each other and we aren’t big believers in fate and destiny. It’s a running joke with us being soul mates. Suffice it to say, he is the love of my life.

So, we went camping at a private resort. It was an experience. I can’t really elaborate on it other than we definitely enjoyed ourselves and we are going back next year. And then every Father’s Day we go camping at a local bluegrass music festival. That was a great time as well. I got in some major quality knitting time. Pics later for what I’m working on.

I’ve had a bit of an issue crocheting lately. I think I have sprained my index finger. It hurts to bend it or hold onto the fabric how I normally do yet knitting doesn’t really bother it. It it possible to sprain a knuckle?? I should research this. In any case, knitting has been on the rise and my crocheting has slacked. I think part of the issue is that I am a very tight crocheter and has been making washcloths that are very dense.

Isn’t this lovely? I can’t remember the stitch name but the pattern is a simple repeat of slip st, hdc. I love the tightness of the fabric and this will later soap nicely! Or be great for a dish cloth. I also knit a basket weave washcloth that’s not too impressive in the density and a seed stitch that is just pebbly loveliness.

I did participate in a logo contest for Gander Outdoors which was formerly Gander Mountain, now owned by Camping World. The top prize was $100k and the runner ups were I think $1000 gift cards. I will take either! This is my concept…I chose to have a dynamic movement followed through with an arrow pointing like a compass and inside the arrow are the initials G and O so that could be used as an icon logo mark. Nothing super fancy, but clean and simple; To the point. Check out the twitter feed #ganderoutdoors to see everyone’s submissions. There are some pretty amazing ones.

I’ve been super busy at work. When we get crazy I often question my career path. Lately I have been getting a lot of job posting for textile designer or the like at places like Lord & Taylor, Ralph Lauren and Williams-Sonoma and that just fascinates me! These are all in NYC and I don’t want to move but I am certainly tempted at veering away from traditional graphic design. I just don’t want to go back to school and pay any more money… dreams, dreams. I have been commissioned to do some fun stuff though lately. That keeps me going! I keep trying to figure out what exactly I want to do in my online store. I opened a big cartel site and haven’t really done anything with it. Something will come, I’m sure of it.

I hope everyone has been doing well so far this first half of the year. Summer solstice next week! My fave day, as long as it is sunny! 

#icraftsohard

At work we are having a luncheon and having a penny drive for the local rape crisis center this week. Our design team planned some awesome representation. I blinged out our coffee can!


We also have tie dye shirts with the logo on it (logo designed by my one coworker). The tie dyes were procured by our boss.


I can’t wait til we roll in all matchie!

I was glittering last night about midnight and things got a bit sparkly all over the place. I hope my hubs doesn’t notice his feet are gonna glint for a few weeks til I can get all the glitter up from the carpet.

So this past week I attended and vended at my first ever Fiber Festival! As you may have been reading about my contributions design wise and now about my attendance!


It was so glorious! So. Many. Choices. This was a very small show with about 35ish vendors, so not everyone was as enthused as I was especially because foot traffic and sales were light for a two day show. I was the only actual soap vendor but lots of others were selling soap, like felted soap.

I finally had made my buying choices Sunday. The first items I purchased was some pickled asparagus and herbed mushrooms for my hubs from the Forking Spoon. This was her second show ever. She was delightful. I think she did very well. The second item was a project bag from Pandia’s Jewels/Suburban Stitcher. Llamacorns! Totally adorbs! The Suburban Stitcher designed this fabric. She told me there is only one other bag in existence and she has it. So I have a exclusive bag 😉


Then I bought yarn from The Fiberists. These guys were so cool! Spencer (?) and Reggie are from Northern Virginia (a place dear to my heart because I grew up there mostly). And they are relatively new to the Indie yarn dying scene. Their color ways are just beautiful. I love their bold and vibrant choices. I bough common grape in worsted and azurite in bulky in merino. They are gloriously squishy and just so lovely! The azurite will be a hat for my hubs and I am not sure what I am making for myself with the other…


Oh! So what I actually bought first were Chinese auction tickets! I donated some soap, essential oils/necklace and made some stitch markers. I forgot to take a pic of the set but here were a couple of my first attempts. Is it me or do you think that jump rings just don’t seem to be substantial? I kept thinking they will not hold together well.

With my tickets I won a hank of merino yarn from Mad About Ewes and a needle felting kit from Grandview Farm. Squeeeee!

All in all, great scores for the weekend! I had brought my little guy with me since my hubs was out of town working and the vendor next to us had a little boy about a year older and they had a grand time together. So everything worked out pretty well.

Mo’ & Mo’ Brochures

Only 380 of 500 brochures to go. I was running two printers but I ran out of toner for one so now I have a lone printer crank in’ away slowly. I was sure that I had another 😦 Tomorrow we will be stapling them together.

Here is the one I put together to ensure correct layout.

I think I lost count of the pages I had printed so far…oh well! I guess there will be extras lol

While I am waiting between print batches, I am watching American Greed and knitting on my drop stitch poncho wrap thing. I was at a concert last week and a woman’s knit poncho caught my eye. It was drapey and lacy and all in garter with side tassels. So easy! I have started one for a friend.


I hope I like it when I am done. 

I think I hear the printer needing a paper re-up…I hope I don’t fall asleep before I am finished!

Application for a knitting job

Hello!Just for fun I looked up knitting jobs and lo and behold, here one is! I am totally stoked for the opportunity to knit for a company other than my personal projects or for gifts. I have taken on some commissioned work of various skill in the last few years. In addition to knitting, I also crochet and have a wide passion for handicrafts and other creative endeavors. This year I have had the pleasure of working on a fiber festival board committee building the website, flyer and program and will be a participating vendor later this May.

Even if I am not considered for a chance to work with your company, my heart and soul have been uplifted in knowing there is a possibility that one day I may be able to really pursue my dream of being a stay at home knitter, ahem, mom. Just this week, I also bought my first little knitting machine to check out if I would like it as much as hand knitting.

Thank you very much for this wonderful posting!

Rhianna Speck

Samples of my work 

1 – A gauge swatch, knit for a cabled hooded cowl, Cascade Eco Wool, chincky weight

2 – Teapot cosy – a commissioned piece I knit without a pattern inspired by several other patterns, an acrylic yarn in worsted weight

3 – Monster bum pants – toddler-sized, this was a fun project learning short rows! Caron Simply soft

Work, Work, work, work…

This is not the Rihanna song although I do feel like all I have been doing is working!

Lots of freelance, lots of regular work, but not enough fiber time except for fiber festival planning! We are coming down to the wire and this week I have our program book to layout and print 500 copies. We have a night planned for booklet assembling. We’re a bit poor right now because this year started from the ground up with a new panel and set up. I am still so excited! My first fiber festival and I get to be a part of it. I’ve been involved in planning a couple large conferences and just love seeing events come together.

We have a new client at work and was working out some logo ideas. This is part of my first round. I love the colors. Hopefully we hear sooner than later for feedback.


I totally forgot to take a picture of a cool event invitation that I just loved doing in the retro Great Gatsby style. I’ll remember to take a pic to show it off. These kind of projects really solidify why I love doing what I do.

My son brought home one of his friend’s pottery pieces that’s pretty awesome.


It wasn’t hard to see what I was going to use it for! I have always wanted a yarn bowl and have seen some breathtaking pottery but with my lil guy having wandering hands, I couldn’t bear to have one out for little fingers to accidentally bump. We have carpet but you know what could go wrong…I love this little yarn ball, I hand wound it. I find winding skeins to be relaxing. This is my little basket of hand wound balls. That was a project in of itself.

It’s about to be craft show season and I’m at a loss of whether I am gonna take a break from soap and maybe try my hand at something different, more of what my profession is. I’ve been researching other online markets since my boot from the mother of all handmade market sites. I signed up for a couple but haven’t really done anything with them. What sites have you heard of to have good results? Aftrca, Zibbet, Artfire… So many choices!

Spring into Action!

I am so darn happy that Spring has arrived! I had quite a concern with all the snow coming down that we were in for an additional six weeks! And then I was hunting for my crocus to start sprouting yet none in site, I did think the squirrels dug up my bulbs and scurried them away for snackage! But they are up and so are all the early spring bulbs. I can even see the greenery coming in on my lilac tree. 

Now that the weather is warming, I am starting to feel the urge to really do things. Lots of craftiness starting to flow. 


Birthday shirts for a dedicated client.


Bunny slippers!!!

I worked all day on other shirts for the local taco truck. I love the backs saying I love tacos or tamales. I so do love tacos AND tamales!! I’ve been in the mood for Mexican  all week. 

Still in the works are the army tank slippers and the unicorns. I swear I am not undertaking such projects for awhile. I lose interest when things start to get tedious. 


Fun items I acquired! A set of purple pens!! These are from jetpens.com and oh how I love the variet.  I don’t remember sharing these with you all. What is interesting is that the pen I love from this set is a pen I write every day with that I got at the store.

I am starting to drift to sleep…hope everyone is enjoying the change in season!