Friday, November 7, 2008

Heads and Tails: Taking in the Bay Area & a Birthday Contest

I have my warm cup of tea. My emotions feel a bit more in control. And, I am ready for a bit of storytelling. What a week! What a month! What lies in the year ahead? This month at the Verb house, things have been exciting, hectic, tense, and productive.

I have been going through a period of intense love for the Bay Area. Which is a large shift from where I was for the past 2 years. I was very uncomfortable living here. Everything seemed overpriced and crowded. I was yearning to stretch my legs, live in a house where I would have a view, of even a tree would do, maybe a washer and dryer, oh, and the real kicker, a dishwasher. I searched for a home in New Mexico, Oregon, various regions of Northern California. I miss my Midwestern family and even entertained the idea of moving back to Minnesota before the memory of ice cold air hitting my face snapped me back into reality. If it wasn't for that damn cold...

My love affair with the Bay Area has been re-ignited due to spinning and knitting. Over the past year, I have met so many awesome people. Those who are talented, always pushing the envelope, searching for new ways to express themselves. I had a lot of tension over "wanting' to carry forth my dreams and creativity. Now, that I find myself more in this position, I have become a generally, happier person - and am able to see the beauty of the Bay Area again. It really is amazing to follow your dream, even though it is risky, and there is still stress, but seeing your dream lift from your mind into reality. To begin to mold it with your actual hands, I highly recommend it. Can you imagine if we all said, "Enough!" and we went on to create our dreams, what that would look like?

Earlier in the month, A, Cleo and I hiked at Point Reyes.

Getting back to work, we went over to Alameda to shop for some furniture and design ideas for the new store. On the first Sunday of the month, on the old Naval base, there's Antiques by the Bay. Love! So, let's set the scene, Alameda is an island, right off the coast of Oakland. The Naval base, is like a large parking lot on the water, strange but interesting. And, then there is this huge antiques market with 400 vendors. It is sunny. You have a view of SF. And look what's there:
The cranes in the distance marks the landscape of Oakland.

We came home from the Market with a new, drop leaf, oak table and a rocking chair for the store. Oh, the store, we are so close to being - I hesitate to say done - because this is certainly a work in progress - but close to being able to really move into the space, and put away all of the power tools. I have decided to limit my photos of the actual store because I want it to be a bit of a surprise for the Grand Opening (December 6th, mark your calendars). But here is a taste:
The Y Knit boys and K painting.

Alongside working on the store, I have been dyeing. We have 2 new lace weight yarns.

Shimmer. 100% Silk.

Holding. 100% Superfine Alpaca

New products are pouring into the store, getting ready for the opening. Like our new Spindlewood Spindles. Yikes, these are so beautiful. They spin like a little rocket and the folks in Oregon that make them are the sweetest people. I love supporting great people.

In September, I started teaching beginning wheel classes at Article Pract. Previous to September, I really had not been spinning on my wheel. Most of my time was spent using my drop spindles. Teaching has been great, it has gotten me back on my wheel. Last week, I gave myself the day to just sit home and spin. Here are some of the results.

My birthday is on Sunday. I think this year's birthday theme is going to be in celebration of living out one's dreams. I would like to start the celebration by offering a contest. The winner will receive a package full of surprises. What would your world look like if you lived out your dreams? If you would like to share what one of your dreams are, or perhaps a dream you had, that you have already experienced, you will be entered into the birthday drawing. Please leave your comment by Sunday, November 9th at 8pm pst. I will let everyone know who the winner is on Monday, November 10th. Cheers!


Nell said...

I would live on an alpaca farm in a place where it's always 75 degrees. The farm would be "in the country" but there would be a Target within 30 minutes. I make my living from the farm and I wouldn't have to work outside the home. I'd have lots of time for knitting and spinning and keeping up the big farmhouse. There would be kids, dogs, and chickens in the yard. And every night when I went to sleep I'd feel tired and fulfilled for a good days work.

R said...

I would live in an old ranch house that always needs a little bit of work. Just enough acreage for a sheep or three to keep my border collie satisfied. A barn/studio so my husband has his own workspace. But the real dream is to be a country doctor, to make housecalls on my bicycle and to be connected with the life of the community I serve. To make a positive difference in the life of my patients, and still have some time left over for my spinning wheel collection!!

EP said...

i dream of no worrying (i think genetic in my case, i'm afraid), and a healthy and happy family. i've got the latter, just working on the former!

the Lady said...

Happy early birthday! It's very cool and inspiring to read about you living your dream. Mine would include a spacious, clean environment where I could see the stars, warm weather, and I would be making "fine" art and fiber art. There would be Sean, and maybe kids, maybe not kids, definitely a dog or two and some horses.

Donna B said...

Learning to spin was a dream come true for me. I wanted to learn when I was a teenager, but put the dream away for almost twenty years. I am so glad that dreams come true sometimes! :-)

I hope you put lots of pictures up of your store when it does open!

barefoot rooster said...

here's one part of the dream i hope to live someday: buy a chunk of high desert land in rural NM. build something small on it. spend my summers there. i recently move east to spend several years in grad school, so i'm working towards my career dreams, but i'm aching for the west.

Kitty Kitty said...

Happy Early Bday.

My dream has been to open up a tea shop with a fiber focus. The front of the tea shop would be a traditional Japanese tea house with little matted rooms where you could steel away a few private moments for yourself.

The back of the tea shop would have 5 spinning wheels where you could come and rent a bobbin and spin for a few hours. Or rent a spindle for a couple of hours and we would keep it for you until you came back.

The back wall would be filled with exotic natural dyed fiber or natural fibers with the photos of sheep above the fiber.

The menu would allow you to drink your way through the worlds tea. Having yet another escape for you from your world and your stress..

evergreenknits said...

Thanks for the inspiring post! And happy birthday.

I'm in a transition period where I'm realizing that the dreams that I was working so hard to pursue (a PhD and an academic life) aren't my dreams anymore.

What I dream about now is having an authentic, organic life where I'm growing much of my own food, keeping a few animals, spinning and natural dyeing. Maybe when I retire in 40 years, ha ha! I guess a more realistic version of that life is trying to do some indie dyeing, while I figure out whether to keep pushing on grad school ...

Christa said...

My life dream has always been to have a life where I have a good set of close friends that live close by, that our kids and our friends kids move from house to house. I guess a sort of commune, although not in the country.

Sasha said...

Isn';t it lovely to have imaginations that can pull us away from reality when it is less than favourable and give us hope towards times ahead, inspire us and motive us? :)

My big picure dream is shared with my partner, we both are aiming for and working towards LIVING our dream. Being primary producers on our won land - acres and acres of space to be free and open, with alpacas, chooks, geese, ferrets, dogs, highland coo... you name it!

All the best with your dreams this year :)

lupinbunny said...

My dream is littler than most. I dream of my own room. Virginia Woolf would approve, I think. Right now we live in a 2-bedder. I share the master bedroom with my partner, and he gets the tiny 2nd room as his study. My craft stuff and desk is in the living room. I dream of the day I can have my own room, with space for shelving, my desk, and a daybed. Walls I can paint whatever colour I want. Hopefully in six months time we can afford to move out of this rented dump, and into a pretty little place we bought, with a room I can call my own.

ikkinlala said...

It's interesting how many of us would like to farm. I'd like to do that someday - I grew up on a small farm and am still most comfortable there - but before that I'd like to travel, maybe to South America.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

taelixev said...

I would live in the mountains again and dye yarn. I would craft things to my heart's content.

Happy Birthday!

Shannon said...

oh, kristine,
your post has me pining for home in a big way...i miss oakland, alameda and berkeley so much sometimes it hurts. it was always be home to me, but i'm pretty darn sure we've married ourselves to the northeast for good.

after three years in vermont, we are finally beginning to realize the dream that we came here with. we are renovating a cabin on our friend's land and turning an awesome old weaver's studio into rentable artist spaces. we'll be cooperatively farming and raising sheep, whilst tucked cozily away in the woods.
i'll be much closer to town, where i've just started teaching felting and spinning workshops.

it's not easy to drum up biz when the "big city" around here has 12,000 people, but i always find the experiences that you share a total inspiration. :)

Kim MacKenzie said...

I had a dream of being a metalsmith jewelry designer and owning a boutique. When I found out how un-green metalsmithing can be, I am now not so sure I want to fullfill my dream. I am now considering more green ways of making jewelry.

Erin Garcia said...

I would also love to live on a farm where I spend most of my time taking care of fiber animals and knitting.

Anonymous said...

First, a VERY!! Happy Birthday to you! My dream is to be able to buy the fibers I love and spin on numerous types of wheels and spindles - and to gift the product on a whim. To be able to combine and spin the fibers into gorgeous new yarns in a sunny studio. Terry

helenlam said...

Happy birthday to yooouuuuu (sung as on-key as I can possibly muster).

The simple dream for me is the health, safety, and wellness of Everything else I can find a way to make do. I love living here in the Bay Area.

Lisa T said...

Happy Birthday!!!

I was cheered to see how similar the dreams posted can be.

I think I have a number of dreams. If I plan to be able to achieve any I probably need to focus on one.

In one, Toni and I live in Europe.

In another, we have built a wonderful community here in the Bay Area. He has successfully finished school and we have found the right way to balance work and live. This allows him to pursue his dream of blacksmithing and we can travel wherever we want to whenever we want to go.

Marnie said...

I hope I'm not too late.

In my perfect little world, my pups and I would live within walking distance of a dog friendly beach in Oregon (I think that's all of them) and within a 10 minute drive of an area with salsa dancing, live jazz and some great restaurants. We'd spend our days running on the beach, and I'd spend my nights designing knits, when I'm not partaking of the nightlife and restaurants :)


Jessica K. said...

I realize I am late for the contest, so I won't post to win, just to air out my dream, because I HAVE ONE. Big time. Here it goes:

I will co-own a Women's Craft Collective. It will be in a big old industrial building in a cheap part of some fantastic city. We will have the huge, main room split up into different work areas: huge noisy tools for the woodshop people, with ventilation and a spray room and what have you, a well-lit wall with row after row of stovetops and several basin sinks and good floor drainage for the dyers; glass space; a few potters wheels and some great hand building tables over by the kiln(s) (but they're mostly out back, I guess), and more importantly:

The needle arts room. I see it as being shut off from the main workspace. A potbellied stove, many rocking chairs (kudos on your find, btw), some soundproofing, maybe? And lots and lots of yarn. And windows. And wheels. Etc.

Someday, this will all come true. And it will be sort of rented out each month by people who don't have room in their homes but aren't yet ready to outfit themselves with a private studio downtown somewhere. The perfect, share-alike, come as you are, enjoy working all Saturday long space.