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Rogers Park is blooming! : Yarn Bombing on Clark St. and Howard St.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Yarn bomb Rogers Park

"We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers
connect us with our fellow men."

--Herman Melville

Yarn bombing is blasting through Chicago!  Mary K. Lawrie and I are leading three, two of which will be occuring in the Rogers Park neighborhood.  Howard Street will have a flower and vine theme while Clark Street will be celebrating Day of the Dead.

If you couldn't make our first stitching event on June 26, here is the basic information you need to get started.  Our next meeting will be July 18th from 4-6pm with Mary leading the event.  Location will soon be announced.

A Pinterest board of free flower, vine and skeleton patterns found on the Internet has been developed.  Check back with it weekly as Mary is frequently updating it. http://pinterest.com/mklawrie/blooming-celebrating

You can also like my Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/lbostudio

Check out Mary's website for more knitting and crochet information! Mary's passion is for green & recylce crafting.  She also shares her love for vegan cooking - http://mklawrie.tumblr.com/ 

You may also get more information from The Rogers Park Business Alliance's blog about the projects - http://createrogerspark.com/

Howard Street Is Blooming!
Howard Street is blooming with fields of flowers along fences and vines growing up poles.  We need flowers of all sizes and shapes as well as leaves and vines.

Knit I-cord –     5 stitch I-cord using worsted weight yarn.

                               6 stitch I-cord using sport or DK weight yarn.
                               Shades of GREEN ONLY. 

Leaves – All shapes and sizes.   Knit or crocheted.  Shades of GREEN ONLY.

Flowers – All shapes and sizes, knit or crochet, in any and all colors.

 A few flower ideas:
Dandelions -  Make a large pompom using white yarns.
Alliums – Make a large pompom using purple.
Asters – Use the Hana-Ami loom with blues and purples.
Zinnias – Use the Hana-Ami loom with pinks , oranges and yellows.

Use recycled materials such as plastic bags or t-shirt yarn.

Celebrating Clark Street!
Clark Street will be celebrating the tradition of “Day of the Dead” with crocheted papel picados, knit and crocheted skeletons and knit and crocheted marigolds.

Knit I-cord –     5 stitch I-cord using worsted weight yarn.

                               6 stitch I-cord using sport or DK weight yarn.
                               Shades of GREEN ONLY. 

Flowers – All shapes and sizes, knit or crochet,  in shades of yellow, red and orange (for marigolds).

Papel Picados – Worked in filet crochet with Day of the Dead imagery – varying skulls, skeletons, words such as hola and hello.  Any colors may be used, but bright colors are truest to the tradition. Free patters for Papel Picados for crochet and knit in lace are on the Pinterest Board.

A big thank you to Lisa Whiting, owner of SIFU Design Studio and Fine Yarns for donating several large boxes of acrylic yarn for everyon to use in making the flowers, vines and papel picados.   Don't miss Sifu's Creation Carnival Sale July 13-20.

To read more about Sifu, check out this previous blog write up about this lovely shop.

Charity Wings - LIVE from CHA


"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent." -- John Donne

Don't miss out on this great opportunity to win great craft prizes while learning more about the products themselves. Twenty designers will be also be interviewed - myself included!  Be sure to mark your calendars for July 17 and 18.  While you are at it, hop on over to Charity Wings and register with them.   They do an amazing job of using the crafts to raise money and awareness for numerous charities.

peach ginger jam

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Peaches

"One does a whole painting for one peach and people think just the opposite - that particular peach is but a detail." -- Pablo Picasso

My peach ginger jam recipe as promised.  It gives a delightful kick to the old fashioned peanut butter and jelly and is fantastic with sharp cheddar cheese on crackers.  I also love a spoonful (or two) stirred into a cup of plain yogurt.

Yield:  approximately 14 cups of jam.

12        cups of peeled and diced peaches (18-20 peaches) 
8          slices of fresh ginger root
1/4      cup of fresh lemon juice
6          cups of sugar
1           cup of chopped crystallized ginger (optional, but very yummy)
1           package of Pomona'a Universal Pectin 

Dip the peaches in simmering water for half a minute or so and then into a bath of ice water.  This makes it easier to peel them. (Same goes for tomatoes....)

When cool to the touch, peel, halve and remove the peach pits.  Dice the peaches.

Add the peaches and lemon juice to your pot (I use a large stock pot.) and mash with a potato masher until you achieve the desired amount of fruit chunkiness.

Add a half cup of sugar at a time to the mixture.  Allow to dissolve before adding the next cup.

Add the ginger root and and pectin (follow pectin box directions to activate it) to the mixture.  If you are like me, your pectin may end up initially looking lumpy in the pot.  Be patient.  It will fully dissolve when the jam reaches jelling point or 212 degrees.  Check temperature with a candy therometer.  

Stir in the crystalized ginger. 

Can using the rolling boil method for 10 minutes.

Hint:  Use fresh peaches from the farmer's market.  Don't bother with grocery store variety, they tend to be too hard and flavorless.

a little vacation

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Vacation

"A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work."

--Morris Fishbein

Every artist needs a vacation, a week or two disconnected from daily responsibilities.  Most artists I know hold down two to three jobs in addition to their studiowork.  Without the occassional recharge, you can burn out.  I'm no exception, but it took everything I had to actually get in my car and go.  I get so used to working, that I can feel a bit lost when I'm not.

My plan was to drive south with visits to Louisville, Asheville, Charleston, Savannah, Montgomery, and Nashville.  It finally dawned on me that I was nuts to even attempt such an intineray, so I condensed it to just three cities.  While flying would have allowed for more time in each place, I love an old fashioned driving vacation where you can pull off the road to investigate.

Much to my astonishment, the Blue Ridge Mountains are actually blue!  I took the above photo as dusk was falling and I was entering North Carolina.  WOW! Turquoise blue!

Driving through this region isn't for the faint of heart as the road leading into Asheville is very twisty turny.  I hit it at night and felt I had entered a fairytale, you know, the kind where the kid gets lost in the forest only to be eaten by a witch. The lane is narrow and the hills close in on you.  There aren't any street lamps (because you are driving through a national park) and with the cloud cover, there wasn't much in the way of moonlight.  I figured the truckers knew the pass better than me, so I followed one into town.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Asheville
Asheville is expensive, even by Chicago standards, so I booked a room through airbnb.com.  I had a fabulous stay and highly recommend this form of travel.  You pay to stay in a spare room at a person's home which gives you more of an insider's perspective on the town you are visiting.  David made a map of his favorite places.  I loved each of his suggestions, especially the French Broad Chocolates Lounge.  If you make it there, get the Liquid Truffle.  I of course made a pilgrimage to Earth Guild, a textile art supply store and one of my favorite sources for natural dye supplies.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Earth Guild

My next stop was Alabama to visit family.  My aunt is a true steel magnolia - gracious, warm, feminine, independent and razor sharp.  She served on Montgomery's city council for 28 years.  I loved going with her to the curb market where she knew each farmer by name. I had my first introduction to cream peas in a succotash at The Chop House Vintage Year.  I loved the dish so much that I had to buy a pound of them at the market, as well as some rattlesnake beans, okra, tomatoes and a bushel of Clinton county's finest peaches (my peach ginger jam recipe will be in my next post). 

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer pimento cheese
I also ate my fair share of pimento cheese which I think is best on crackers, but is also nice with celery.  My aunt's version is sublime.  I asked her for her recipe which is and I quote -"Pimentoes, pecans, a little onion, shredded sharp cheddar, blend with mayo."  She wasn't specific with the details.  My version just doesn't taste the same though I'm getting closer by using Tucker's Pecans.  These pecans are harvested within a year, so you never get that slightly rancid flavor you sometimes get with commercially packaged pecans at the grocery store.  

You would think that all I did was eat my way through Alabama, but I also took excursions to the Montgomery Art Museum, the Shakespeare Garden, the Armory Learning Arts Center, as well toured the historic landmarks downtown, including the state capital and the church where Rev. Martin Luther King pastored.  

I'm not the only crafty one in the family.  Mary Reid is an expert smocker with her work having been published in magazines.  Her current project is upholstering a king size headboard, so I also received a free tour of 2 out of 3 of the area's Walmarts in search of specific upholstery buttons.  We also hunted down a "rolltide" t-shirt for my daughter.  Alabamians take their college football very seriously and in the view of my aunt and cousins, there is only one team worth mentioning.  My daughter is thrilled as she had requested the t-shirt.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Cheekwood treehouses

The final leg of my tour was Nashville where I stayed with a friend and her family.  Cheekwood has to be one of my favorite spots in the country. A former plantation, this gem is now a museum and botanical garden.  Each summer they have a kid-friendly outdoor art exhibtion that.  This year the theme is tree houses, each one inspired by a different book.   I love this huge floating ball of yarn! My friend's daughter preferred the "Rainbow Fish" which is completely covered with used CD's for fish scales.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Cheekwood Rainbow fish

Among my many memories and momentoes is a box of Kentucky's famous bourban candy.  Mom loved these and we always stopped to get some on our way to (and from!) Alabama.  Follow the signs off Interstate 64 between Louisville and Lexington.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Bourbon Candy 

Designer Craft Connection Blog Hop Give Away: Babyville Boutique

Babyville Boutique
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."  
-- Native American Proverb

Several years ago it seemed every friend and family member was expecting a child.  While I had great fun knitting sweaters in the grand tradition of my Gam, I wish I had known about Babyville Boutique! They provide everything a crafty mom (or in my case a crafty aunt) needs to create charming, reusable diapers.  

Julie McDuffee, host of Scrapbook Memories / Scrapbook Soup TV, has a fantastic Babyville Boutique giveaway including a selection of PUL (waterproof fabric), patches, FOE (fold over elastic), buttons, labels, snaps and snap pliers, plus a 60 page, full color book jam packed with ideas and patterns!  Want to win?  It's easy.  Go to the Designer Craft Connection Facebook page.  Check out out our cover photo.  Do you know where it is?  Leave your best guess on the on Julie's blog"Life in the Craft Lane" by June 18 to win. I will give you three hints - 

  1. The country has a queen that just celebrated her 60th anniversary on the throne.
  2. I lived in this northern city for a year.
  3. This city is nicknamed "Chocolate City" as it is home to two chocolate factories (and where my alltime favorite candybar was made - Terry's Plain Cbocolate Waifa).  

Take a hop through the Designer Craft Connection blogs for more fun clues,  the link is on my left sidebar.  Hope you win!

serendipity: Designer Crafts Connection: First Monday - Picnic Crafts

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Picnic Craft

"Dining is and always was a great artistic opportunity."  --  Frank Lloyd Wright

It's picnic season!  Organize your treats with these crafty containers.  Quick to make and adaptable to a range of holiday themes.  Chicago summers are short-lived, so I chose to celebrate the season itself with colors reminiscent of blue skies, butterflies and roses.  

To get started you will need the following:

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Supplies for Picnic Crafts


3 or more empty tin cans, clean with wrappers removed.
Aleene's Tacky Dot Singles - Small and Large
Scrapbook paper or other decorative papers - I used several sheets from DCWV's Spring collection.
Paper Punches - I used two different Friskar flower punches.
Japanese Washi Tape
Paper Trimmer
Tape Measure  
Ruler (optional)



1.    Measure the circumference and height of your can.  In my example the circumference is 9.25" and the height is 4".

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer measuring for Picnic Crafts
2.    Trim your paper to the height you need and the length of the circumference.  I love my Westcott Premium Titanium Paper Trimmer.  Measuring and cutting is a snap!  Given that I can't cut a straight line, paper trimmers are a must. If you don't have one, you can use a ruler and scissors.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Picnic Crafting
3.    Place large glue dots along the back edges of your paper.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Picnic Crafting
4.    Line up the paper along the edges of the can and carefully roll the can, pressing the paper into place as you go.

5.    Cut a 1/4" piece of paper that is a 1/2 inch longer than the circumference of your can.  Add small glue dots along the back of it.

6.    Line up the paper a 1/2" or so down from the top of the can and carefully roll the can, pressing the paper into place as you go.

7.    Punch out flower shapes.  Add a large glue dot onto the back and place them along the can.

8.    Add a small glue dot to the back of a sequin and place one in the center of each of your flowers.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Picnic Crafting

For the blue can, repeat Steps 1-4.

9.    When the paper is securely in place, add a stripe of Japanese washi tape along the top and bottom of the can.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Picnic crafting

10.    Use a sticker or cut out a label to add to the front. Use large glue dots on the back of the label and press firmly into place if your label isn't self-adhesive.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Picnic Crafting
11.    For the final can, repeat Steps 1-4, followed by Step 10.

12.    Punch out two different flower shapes.  Add a small glue dot to the back of a sequin or button. Press it firmly to the center of the smaller flower.  Add a small glue dot to the back of this embellished smaller flower and press it firmly to the larger flower.  Add a large glue dot to the back of the larger flower and press it firmly to the upper right corner of the label affixed to your container.

You can continue making as many embellished cans as you wish.   To transport multiple goody-filled cans upright, slide them into a wine carton.  

After your picnic, use a dry rag to clean out the interior of the cans and use them to decorate your desk or craft room with assorted pencils, rulers etc. 

 These are also great Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts for young children to make with some adult supervision.  What better way to celebrate these holidays, but with a family picnic!  

For more picnic crafting ideas, checkout the work in the Designer Crafts Connection webring wherever you see this logo.

Each blog in the hop is written by a designer associated with the Craft and Hobby Assocition.  We each have unique styles, so be sure to hop through to see what each is doing with this month's theme on picnics!