Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Making Memories with Mini Martha

When I look into my daughter's eyes and see the brilliant sparks of creativity pulsating just beneath the surface of those amber pools I am simultaneously awed, inspired, energized and supremely proud. The girl is a powerhouse. She makes art and craft way beyond the scope of her mere thirteen years on the planet (she's also an intelligent, witty and comedic gal to boot) and I'm not just saying this because she is my progeny. Nope. She is truly gifted and full of spirit.

That's my girl...

She's also unstoppable. Case in point...the child was suffering from a pretty nasty cold the entire holiday weekend, but still managed to craft up a trio of three foot Christmas trees (all lighted I might add)...

A smashing wool felt holiday wreath....

Begin a granny square blanket...

And bake batches of cookies! Sorry, no pics. We devoured the luscious rounds of chocolate confection before I could get a shot.

Anyway, the kid does me proud and aside from the usual tween angst every now and again, she's fun to be around. Our time together is often spent engaged in conversation ranging from the not so deep, edge of adolescence type of fare to the exceedingly murky, meaning of life type of contemplations. Our little mom/daughter duo can also be seen conjuring creative cuisine, consuming ginormous bowls of popped corn while watching a bit of entertainment from our revolving supply of red envelopes, speeding about town from one crafty establishment to another procuring supplies for our various artful endeavors and of course making multitudes of crazy creations. She's a gem and I cherish our time together immensely.

I'd like to say that she's just like me (giving myself the ultimate compliment), but truly she's so much more. My daughter radiates light from within. Her heart is full of love and compassion, her mind is ripe with incredible ideas, her sense of humor is an unceasing delight and her laughter is truly infectious. For me she is a wonder to behold and when I'm feeling blue, one glance at the first photo above brings and instant smile to my forlorn soul.

And heck, there's nothing better than handcrafted holidays and memories made with the ones you love! So, in this hectic season of stress, myriad engagements and preparations galore, take a few moments and spend some time making holiday memories with someone you adore.

Happy Handcrafted Holidays Everyone!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


In honor of its debut in December's issue of Nickelodeon Magazine, Turkeyzilla The Tote Bag and Drumstick Coin Purse patterns are now available for sale! I know, I took forever to write these up...Anyway, you can get 'em on my sidebar or on my site.

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday! I've got lots to share with you all!

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Acquisitions

Cube Farm = Cash Flow

Cash Flow = The Ability To Purchase Mass Quantities of Bound Glory Whenever I Feel The Hankering

Please put emphasis on the term mass quantities, as I left Border's with plentiful bounty a week ago last. Hey, if I've got to do the Cube Time, I may as well reap some benefits from it. Well, other than shelter and food that is...

First and foremost, an exercise in idolatry:

I know, it's a sickness, but I just love this dude...right down to his chain-smoking, seal-eyeball-consuming, crusty center.

I'm a joiner...

Hey, I was feeling left out of the whole sock-making fanaticism thang! And anyway, I have enough sock yarn to knit AND crochet a pair a day for at least the next year.

Remember, Cube Farm = Cash Flow...

Next up is the latest acquisition to my knitted lace library. Yes, I collect books on lace knitting. I know, doesn't fit with my whole jolly roger penchant.

What can I say? I like to knit holes...

A very cool alternacraft (yes, I made that word up!) book brought to us by the queen of SuperNaturale...

Actually, I find that books of this type tend to be a bit on the cornball side, but not this one. Production values are very high-end and it's chock full of stuff I'm dying to make! A must have for anyone who likes to conjure craftiness.

And finally, a little crocheted eye candy...

Seriously, if I use this book for nothing more than a readable respite from my usual crochet regimen, it will have been money well spent.

Now, if I could just find another bookshelf that is both functional and stylish I'd be the happiest Cube Farmer on the planet. Okay, I agree, that's probably stretching it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

One Hell of a Tote Bag

...or the tote bag from hell, which is how I referred to it while working on the design.

I have to admit though, despite my pain, it turned out quite nice.

This is my first collaborative design effort. Bri worked up the concept drawing(s), which were subsequently sent off to Interweave.

Upon their acceptance of our design, we bought tons of this stuff and I got started on the crochet portion of the program, which included lots of acts of frogging, I might add, mostly due to the material I believe. What can I say? I like yarn folks. Alternative fibers are cool, but if you want to know the truth, I can take 'em or leave 'em.

At any rate, I think it looks perty in all of it's plastic-y ribbon-y glory.

Here's a detail shot of the apple pocket:

This lovely tote pattern will be available on your local bookseller's shelves sometime in '07. I'll update you when I have more info.

Please note that the Dem Bones Scarf Pattern is now available on my sidebar for purchase! Thanks for your patience!

I'm pattern-testing Turkeyzilla The Tote Bag right now. That pattern will be available in the next couple of weeks.

Have a great weekend everyone! Toodles!

Copyright 2006 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Linoleum On Gastronomy

I don't think that I've mentioned this before, but I've been nursing a strapping addiction to many a show on the Food Network and other related entertainment for some time now. There are a host of celebrity chefs that my trusty DVR makes sure I keep in touch with while doing my daily duty at the Cube Farm. Ahhh, I love technology! How else would I be able to pay homage to my foodie faves outside of their regularly scheduled broadcast?

I have to admit it though. I don't have much time for conjuring cuisine at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I love to play with food, but with my schedule I've been forced to pick a side. It's hooks and needles or my Cuisinart and Kitchenaid. Currently yarn seems to be the winner. So watching this chick throw pounds of chocolate into her saucier has got to sate my inner gastronome.

With all this said, let's put the old gear shift in reverse shall we? Yes, let's go back, back in time, to Saturday last. Yes, that would be the day that I unearthed ye olde blades and steel from their mothball mausoleum and spent the entire a.m., yes, yes, cutting and chopping and roasting and seasoning and pureeing and preparing for what has become one of two days of the year that I still always produce plentiful pabulum!

And this year, my plans for pabulum plenty do not include this substance...

What? No pumpkin you say? To which I say, yes, there will be pumpkin o' plenty come this T-Day, just not the orange porridge entombed in a can variety. Nope, last Saturday I bid fond farewell to the pumpkin pack of my past and set to making my own glorious pumpkin-y potage myself!

I know, impressive...

However, I will dispel your awe when I tell you that the process of creating your own cucurbitaceae chowder is a no brainer. Really!

You cut the pumpkin(s) into quarters. You clean off the pumpkin guts. Save the seeds! Good for roasting...mmmmm! You brush the quarters with melted butta. You place lubed (love you Alton!) and quartered squashies in a roasting pan. Cover the pan with foil. Roast in your oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until soft. Let dead squashies cool. Scoop out the orange and delicious meat. Puree in batches in your food processor. Drain the glorious goop in a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl in your fridge for about 8 hours. Discard liquid. Store your personal pumpkin pack in your icebox or freezer until you're ready to use!

And roast those darn seeds! They are super yummy and good for you too. I swish mine in a bit of olive oil and throw some Tony Chachere on 'em before committing them to the oven. Ooooooh! Ahhhhh!

Lest you think there was little yarn usage happening due to flagrant foodstuff preparation last weekend, feast yer eyes on the offspring and her newest creation...

How awesome is that little crocheted rectangular dude she worked up? She even made removable booties for the guy, instinctively knowing to turn the heel! The kid's a genius I tell you! And she was a very helpful sous chef during Operation Pumpkin.

Anyway, we rounded out the weekend filled with food and fiber fodder by attending the opening of the group show some of my work happens to be in. Here's the hubby whooping it up with a glass of wine and somehow donning another woman's shawl. Go figure...

He's not Alton nor Tony, but he looks quite fetching in pink!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Current Events

Thanks should have gone out to these lovely peeps eons ago, but did not because I'm swamped and lost track of time. Not a very good excuse, but it's the only one I've got.

Anyway, having knowledge of my love for ye olde craft tome, Jessica sent me this beauty...

My daughter commandeered said tome for herself. Chip off the old block the young Linoleum is.

Next, Brownie sent me more of this stuff...

I have to say that as much as I love natural fibers, this line of acrylic distributed by Jo-Ann is pretty darn cool. I really like the way it worked up for the Swamp Crone Shawl. Viva la acrylic boucle! Oh by the way, make sure you peruse Brownie's gallery. The woman makes some wonderful garments!

And last but definitely not least, Finny Knits sent me a sampling of her homemade blackberry preserves, which the peeps at ChezLinoleum just recently cracked open.

Oh my this stuff is wonderful J! You did good. I wouldn't change a thing!

Monster Crochet News Items of Note
  • Apparently Turkeyzilla the Tote Bag will be profiled in Nickelodeon Magazine. I think soon. Though I haven't received a tear sheet from them yet so I don't exactly know if the poultry sack has been seen by kids everywhere or not.

  • I am co-designing a bag for an upcoming book from the folks at Interweave. That should be on your local bookseller's shelves sometime in 2007.

  • A couple of my creatures will be featured in a group show at That Yarn Store in Eagle Rock, CA. For those of you who live in the Los Angeles area and have an interest in seeing some cool fiber art by a smattering of Los Angeles based artists, the show opens this Saturday, November 11, with a reception from 7:00 - 10:00 pm. I'll be there! Here are the directions should you choose to attend.

  • I will be working on getting several new patterns up my website through November and December (one of them being Turkeyzilla the Tote Bag). I've made this my mission so it will happen. Thanks for being so patient with me! Stay tuned.

  • Blank and Boring O'Lantern will be showing off their new looks very soon...
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Like Minds

Natasha is my soul sister...Literally, this post is one that I could have written.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Eco New Zealand

Yes, yes, more New Zealand...

Anyway, one of the side trips that we embarked upon while experiencing destination Auckland was the Northland Region, which encompasses the northernmost geography of North Island, yes, you guessed it, north of Auckland. Northland is home to some of the most amazing vistas I've ever experienced.

This piece of the planet is riddled with breathtaking beaches (overlooking the Tasman Sea shown above) and bays as well as some of the oldest forests I've ever had the privilege to step foot in. Dubbed the Kauri Coast, no traveler should miss an opportunity to explore this region and stand at the base of a 2000 year old tree.

Yes, a 2000 year old tree! Its Maori name is Tane Mahuta, which translates to God of the Forest, for those you who didn't click the link above. It is the ultimate example of a Kauri tree. What the heck is a Kauri tree you ask? Well, just click here for a much more cogent explanation than I could ever give.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but for a change of pace on this here bloggidy, blog, blog I shall let my pictures do most of the talking...

First stop on the Northland tree tour, Parry Kauri Park!

Take a look at that sky...

Basically we took a stroll through the dense brush of Parry. Lovely brush, but yeah, pretty darn impermeable. Despite the density, I took some excellent shots and I, my friends, am NOT a photographer. Be that as it may, I still was able to pull this shot off...

Okay, how awesome is that shot??? Ethereal mist gently rising off of the dampened bark, bathed by the morning sun...oh yeah, definitely having Shutterfly shoot me a print of this one...

After finishing up at Parry Kauri Park we traveled deeper Northland to meet up with a man who makes wonderful turned wood pieces from fallen Kauri trees extracted from swamps. He showed us his lathe and quickly turned a lovely box in a matter of minutes, including finishing! I was impressed for I know my way around a woodshop my friends. Yep, there's more than just yarn lurking about my torrid crafty past...

I did say that I was going to let my photos do the talking. Oh well, I just can't help myself!

Anyway, after bidding fond farewell to the woodturning guru we headed even further north to Trounson Kauri Park for another stroll through more dense and beautiful flora. In fact, so solid is the forest canopy that even though it was raining pretty hard at the time of our visit we were spared a shower. Maybe just one or two droplets of water, but that was it. How cool is that?

It felt otherworldly surrounded by such amazing plant life...

Finally, our tree tour hit its apex with our introduction to none other than THE God of the Forest...

Here's big P, the hubs, for size comparison...

It's pretty darn awesome to stand next to a living being that's been on the planet for 2000 years. Um the tree, not the hubby. Anyhow for me, this immersion into the heart of ecological New Zealand was really the highlight of the trip. Yes, even above and beyond Hobbiton. Although I'd wager that Tane Mahuta is probably an Ent...