Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! In my family Christmas is celebrated over the course of several days, so we're not done yet but it's been wonderful thus far. I hope everyone's travels were safe and as planned (even if they were only from the couch to the fridge and back, heehee)!

The Christmas Knitting is complete, with about 9 hours to spare! Everything was done on time, though not all is gifted yet, so I'm going to hold off on posting more specifics.

Friday, December 19, 2008

To be free...

I'm finished with finals! We're snowed in with movies and homemade peppermint bark that I made late last night. The boys are playing poker and I get to make a dent in my Christmas knitting, guilt free! There's no studying I should be doing, no meetings I should be going to, and I've got bronchitis so I can't go to the gym. Ahhh freedom.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Is Nothing Sacred?!

Is Nothing Sacred?, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

Chairman Meow, my boyfriend's cat, chewed through one of my dpns last night. This is my most used, most loved set! She's in so much trouble right now!

A note on why I haven't been posting (surprise surprise).

I've got a huge amount of knitting to do for Christmas this year, which means I can't post about any of my new knitting projects. It also means I haven't really been reading much because I've been knitting constantly. Additionally, time spent blogging is time that is not spent knitting!

I promise that after Christmas you won't be able to shut me up!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Where I'll be for the next couple months

The holiday season is here!

Nov. 21-22 Housatonic Valley Waldorf School Holiday Fair, Newtown, CT
Nov. 29 Jewelry Sale at Off The Beaded Path, Great Barrington, MA
Dec. 5 Bard Craft Fair, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Dec. 6 Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School Yultide Fair, Harlemville, NY
Dec. 13 Sheffield Market, Sheffield, MA
Dec. 20 Sheffield Market, Sheffield, MA

If you've got any questions or need directions don't hesitate to ask!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

#32 The Reader

Book: The Reader (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage International) by Bernhard Schlink
Pages: 218
Entertainment Rating: 4/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 8/10
Books Read Total: 32/50
Pages Read Total: 7066/15,000

A solid story of love, loss, secrets, discovery, horror, and some sort of forgiveness. I found this book very readable and I read it straight through (it even prompted me to spend an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill this morning) but I never quite felt like I got what I was looking for. The plot is great, but I got lost in the execution. I didn't feel particularly sympathetic or angry or really any sort of emotion, despite the emotionally driven plot, and it seems to me that that's a fairly significant shortcoming. I wouldn't say don't read it, because it is an interesting book, but I can't quite agree with the LA times when they say that it "ensnares both heart and mind". Unless maybe my heart is made of stone (which we know is not the case from the emotional gushing that sometimes appears on this blog).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Late but certainly not least!

Congratulations Connecticut!

Hopefully the rest of the states will follow!

p.s. I don't intend to make this little linky-post thing a habit, but I spent a ton of time in the car this weekend and I have no tape deck so I listened to the news. Cool happenings! I think I'll listen more often.

Book Sale Booty!

The Warren Fall Fest was a blast as expected, and the best (read: most dangerous) part was that my booth was directly facing the library book sale tent!

I got:
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon
Malinche and
Swift as Desire both by Laura Esquivel
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Day of the Bees by Thomas Sanchez

And the one I've just started reading, The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. I'm really enjoying it, and will let you know what it's about when I get a bit further into it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pretty soon Google will have a feature that takes away your car keys

And maybe one that holds your hair back while you puke too!

Mail Goggles: Because Google Cares.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Burn Out

I feel a little bit like this. (This being my very first car, which spontaneously burst into flames one day on my way home from work.)

I HATE this time of year. I hate it because it is the most beautiful time to live in New England, and yet I spend so much time in a melted puddle of anxiety and fatigue that I can't appreciate it like everyone else can. I hate that I feel so disconnected, even though I know there are people who love my and think of me. I'm sleeping 8-10 hours a night, and I fell asleep for an hour in the library today. All I want to do is go home and sleep, even though I know that on top of my regular course reading and jewelry shows I have three tests and three papers and Salt and Pepper shakers to complete in the next two weeks. I think that all my determination to ignore this problem is going to have to bend, because I'm sick of being so unproductive and listless. I think it's time to go sit on a sofa and have a chat with someone.

Do other people struggle with seasonal depression (because I suspect that's what you'd call this)? Is anyone willing to share their experience, or what has worked for them?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Right, so this is old news but my BFF Amanda took all the photos this summer of all the events we did, and due to hurricanes and mad amounts of work in her new home in NOLA she's not been able to share them with me, until now! So instead of writing about what I've been up to lately I thought I'd finally share with you some of what I did this summer, in storyboard format!

GRASSROOTS Festival of Music and Dance, Trumansburg, NY

Grassroots was a blast, late nights, great music, lots of support:

(you'll be happy to know I still had to pay him!)

There were periodic rainstorms throughout the weekend, but thanks to my good friends Paul and Maria of Asia Luna I had an extra roof on my tent which meant we stayed dry:

These girls did not:

Coming home we found a giant turtle, and had to stop and take photos (obviously!):

FALCON RIDGE FOLK Festival of Music and Dance, Hillsdale, NY

Although Falcon Ridge began with much rain, the majority of the weekend was nice and sunny:

Until it wasn't!
The sky was ominous! This is the last we saw before we zipped up and buckled down (and then it proceeded to pelt us with quarter-sized hail and huge gusts of wind):

We held on tight (this funny photo really doesn't convey the violence of the wind, because we didn't have time to take photos when we were all hanging on for dear life!):

And despite some serious flooding (and seriously white thighs, sorry):

We managed to to escape yet again without a leak from the top!:

Others were not so fortunate:

For some it was no matter. This is sort of how I was feeling, even though everyone expected me to be really upset:

It was an eventful summer, and I have to thank Amanda again for taking so many photos, for all the hours spent working on tedious tasks (like tying bows and gluing boxes) and for always being there for me when I was stressing out, or when I was overjoyed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What I've been doing:

Lots and lots of schoolwork, planning my Christmas knits, working out, and running out of inventory.

What I've not been doing:

I swear, I'll be back soon.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back on the web!

I can't recall if I posted about this, but in late July I got my website all finished up! Check it out: Soasa Designs Of course I haven't had time for the most important step, the actual listing of pieces. This collection that I'm presenting is one that I am fond of, a melding of old favorites and new loves. The challenge of selling both on and offline is a big one, especially with the volume of events I have coming up in the next few months, but I am confidant in what I have to offer to the internet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Love it!

Classes have started, and I'm looking at my clothes and thinking "do I really want to ruin all my clothes again?" Every semester I end up wrecking all my favorite outfits in the studio. I always dress all pretty, not planning to do any work that day, then end up at the polishing wheel, or covered in pickle. Always. The answer? A fabulously rugged, very comfortable apron from Utility Canvas in my new home town! I've always loved their aprons (they come on loan when you borrow a hammer kit from the school) and it's high time I bought my own so that I can always keep my clothes nice and in one piece.

Other news! I met my mysterious other house mate yesterday and he is very nice and remarkably sane!
Other, other news. The line to pick up pre-ordered textbooks is still so long that I suspect I won't be getting mine until the end of the week. I'm not really up for camping out on the floor all day.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back to civilization

With classes starting Monday I moved into my new housing Friday evening. I sort of knew what I was getting myself into....sort of. No internet, old house, eclectic landlord. Right. My family works hard to "tread lightly" as they say, but this is a whole new experience for me. I can't imagine coming into this house from a family even less eco-conscious than mine, because it's been a culture shock for me as it is! It isn't helped by the fact that the libraries (both the local and the university) are all closed this weekend, as is the studio (though that was supposed to be open, so what gives?) I did escape from the surreality for a short time last night when I went out to dinner with an old roommate. I've managed to rationalize myself into some sort of calm, but I'm telling you, this is going to be the strangest semester yet!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fall Schedule!

Come find me this Fall, I'm going to be all over the place!

Sep. 6+20, Oct. 4+18 Hillsdale Farmer’s Market
Sep. 14 Mountain Music Festival, Bethel, NY
Sep. 20 Pawling Arts & Crafts Fest, Pawling, NY
Sep. 21 Earth Day Festival, Bethel, NY
Oct. 4-5 Hudson High School Craft Fair, Hudson, NY
Oct. 11-12 Warren Fall Festival, Warren, CT
Oct. 18 Green Meadow Fall Fair, Chestnut Ridge, NY

As you can see there are a few dates that are doubled. In those cases my Mom will be working the Farmer's Market for me, so you should really go keep her company!

I'm anticipating having my Etsy back online by the end of the month so keep an eye on for updates!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#30 + 31: Narcissus in Chains + Cerulean Sins

Shameless vacation reads!

Book: Narcissus in Chains by Laurell K. Hamilton
Pages: 630
Entertainment Rating: 4.5/5
Snooty Rating: 1/5
Total Rating: 5.5/10
Books Read Total: 30/50
Pages Read Total: 6301/15,000

I don't think the actual plot began until a solid 250 pages in, but it was certainly an amusing read. These books are really more like watching chick flicks than reading.

Book: Cerulean Sins by Laurell K. Hamilton
Pages: 547
Entertainment Rating: 5/5
Snooty Rating: 1.5/5
Total Rating: 6.5/10
Books Read Total: 31/50
Pages Read Total: 6848/15,000

More plot than the last, and SO MUCH witty dialog I thought I'd never stop chuckling. Why any of those men put up with that chick is beyond me.

At the moment I'm reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell which is proving to be quite interesting, and I'm listening to Children of Dune on my trusty Mp3 player.

And just because it's been a long time since I included these little gadgets, here they are:

31 / 50 books. 62% done!

6848 / 15000 pages. 46% done!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#29: Matters of Choice

Book: Matters of Choice by Noah Gordon
Pages: 448
Entertainment Rating: 3.5/5
Snooty Rating: 2/5
Total Rating: 5.5/10
Books Read Total: 29/50
Pages Read Total: 5671/15,000

--Insert summary here--(sorry)

Before anyone starts judging me, I read this book at the beach. I've been on vacation for the past few days (still am, as a matter of fact!) and at my mom's suggestion I'm reading some more entertaining, beachy reads this week. I've got Western lit, art history, anthropology, Spanish and contemporary Buddhism courses starting in almost a week, so it's safe to say this is some of the last breezy reading I'll be doing.

All that said, this wasn't laborious to read. I didn't realize that it was the third part of a trilogy until just now when I went searching for a cover shot. Apparently the first two novels are of a much higher caliber, so don't tell any Gordon fans that I picked it up thinking it would be some cheesy romance (which it is, a bit, in parts.) Anyhow, I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, but I wouldn't scream "Don't do it!" if someone took it out of the Library or found it left behind at their grandmother's house.

Now, I'm going to admit that the book I'm reading now is one of Hamilton's Anita Blake vampire books. You have every right to ridicule me but I'm telling you her books are hard to ignore. I can never decide if I'm weirded out enough to put the book down. On a similar note, I was in the bookstore the other day and since when is V.C. Andrews considered kid lit! I wouldn't touch another one of her books with a ten foot pole, let alone give it to a kid!!

#28: The Winter of Our Discontent

Book: The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
Pages: 281
Entertainment Rating: 4.5/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 8.5/10
Books Read Total: 28/50
Pages Read Total: 5223/15,000

I feel that since it has been such a long time since my last book I owe it to myself to really dig deep into this one. Somehow I can't do that, despite my adoration of Steinbeck and Ethan, his lovable protagonist. Perhaps the reason I find myself refusing to delve into this story more is because I understand that what Ethan ends up doing is bad, and yet I love him nonetheless. His quick wit and charming banter held my attention far longer than the underlying commentary, though that is what originally drew me to the book (besides my obvious love of Steinbeck, of course.)
Regardless of how much I examine this book I feel there is no denying that this is Steinbeck through and through. Rich descriptions and straightforward storytelling.

And the award for most neglegent blogger goes to....

I think that'd be me. Sorry.

I know I should have blogged about the fantastic trip I had up to Ithaca with my booth. I know I should have fabulous photos to prove that Grassroots was a fabulous festival! I know I should have blogged about the huge, terrifying storm that hit Falcon Ridge early Sunday afternoon, effectively shutting down the festival. I don't have photos of that either, so check out that link to see a video, check out this one to see another, and someday I'll wrangle some photos away from My dear friend and savior Amanda when I'm sure she's more settled in her new home! She's got photos of my pasty white legs standing in a river of muddy water running higher than my ankles through my booth. It took four of us hanging on the EZ-Up to keep it from lifting off, but I am very proud to say that my meticulous weather disaster plan was 100% effective! Nary an earring was lost, and the paper goods all survived as well!

My lack of blogging energy hasn't been helped by the fact that until this week I hadn't read an entire book all month (the horror!) and I've been on strict knitting probation thanks to my lovely OT who's trying to fix up my elbow. In other news, I've started hula hooping pretty much obsessively, and I'm cleaning and sorting and packing in preparation to head back to school next week! I can't believe my break is so close to ending.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's all in the elbow

All the pain, that is. Aren't I a bit too young for all these joint problems? It seems that my non-stop abuse of my hands has caught up to me, and at knitting club last night (having cut flowers at work for 5 hours that morning)I found my arm tingling. I took of my elbow brace, rubbed my arm a bit, and tried not to cry with the pain. In the car on the way home my hand started to go numb. This is really not good!

I rushed to my Dr. and got a referral to see the OT that my mom works with, but of course she left on vacation today and I won't be able to see her for nearly two weeks. In the meantime I've got two 4 day festivals back to back, and a ton of work to get done! Not to mention a website to update, and a nearly finished sweater, half finished socks, and a quarter finished baby blanket on the needles!

I suppose I'll be reading more? I can't spend much time on the computer because that also aggravates the problem. I've been icing it, and trying to use my left hand more, and I'm going to try and learn to knit continental in hopes of spreading out the work from my right hand to my left. If anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it! I'm a teensy bit panicky.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What to do...

I have a dilemma. I'm reading Terror and Liberalism by Paul Berman and it's a wonderfully intelligent book, but it's a bit heavy. I've suddenly been struck by the urge to read the book on Waldorf Ed. that my mom gave me for Christmas (that'd be Waldorf Education: A family Guide, for those who are interested) but I do want to read this Berman book. I'm afraid if I stop now I won't pick it back up, but by refusing to start reading another book without finishing it I find I'm simply not reading anything. What to do?

Also! Old Songs went wonderfully this past weekend. It's a fabulous little festival, a really comfortable size, very family friendly and mellow. I felt safe and welcome the entire weekend! It rained a bit but we were ready for it and it was no problem! Up next is Grassroots in Trumansburg, NY, followed promptly (read: two days later) by Falcon Ridge in my hometown Hillsdale, NY. I hear fabulous things about Grassroots, and I know from experience that Falcon Ridge is the highlight of many people's year, including my own! Y'all should come on by!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

#27 Knitting with Balls by Michael del Vecchio

Book: Knitting with Balls by Michael del Vecchio
Pages: 150
Entertainment Rating: 3/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 7/10
Books Read Total: 27/50
Pages Read Total: 4942/15,000

I got this book from the library in hopes of finding something to knit for my brother for Christmas (how forward thinking of me, right?) This book is wonderfully thorough! Much like the Stitch 'n Bitch books this one has all the information you need from start to finish, but written in "man" language. Occasionally the wording is a little bit cheesy and over-the-top but it's mostly endearing. I especially enjoyed the breakdown of different yarn weights, the tips and tricks (I never thought to use a card or post-it to mark my place in a chart!), the how to knit continental or english, and the bit in the back about altering patterns. The actual projects didn't do much for me, but I did check them out, and they offer a great range from basic onward and cover a variety of techniques. This book would make a great gift to anyone (male or female) who's looking to start knitting more. It's also a good source for quick guy-gifts (unless that guy is my brother!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

#26 Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce

Book: Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: 4.5/5
Snooty Rating: 3/5
Total Rating: 7.5/10
Books Read Total: 26/50
Pages Read Total: 4792/15,000

I actually finished this book a couple weeks ago, but somehow never got around to writing about it. A part of a series called The Circle Opens, I found this book as enjoyable as I found the preceding books so many years ago. Interestingly, this book was released in audio before it was printed. The actors did a lovely job, and the story is quite entertaining, if a bit over the top at times. I enjoyed this book, but I think much of my enjoyment was nostalgic. These are great YA books, but do not quite take that step beyond. Fun and quirky!

#24 + 25 The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Book: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: 5/5
Snooty Rating: 5/5
Total Rating: 10/10
Books Read Total: 24/50
Pages Read Total: 4220/15,000

Book: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Pages: 572
Entertainment Rating: 5/5
Snooty Rating: 2.5/5
Total Rating: 7.5/10
Books Read Total: 25/50
Pages Read Total: 4792/15,000

Pullman is fabulous. Each time I experience his storytelling I think about it for days afterwards. While listening to this audiobook (narrated by Pullman himself) I was also reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons and couldn't help but draw parallels between the two. While I recognize that Brown and Pullman play in two different arenas I think that in terms of depth of character and thought-provoking plots Pullman definitely has the upper hand. While he does have the advantage of a trilogy's worth of pages to build his story I feel he has been true to those pages and made use of each of them. He's neat. He cleans up after himself, if you know what I mean. While Brown (miserably, albeit with some witty bits) shoves a weak love subplot in to attempt to add some depth to his action packed adventure, Pullman captures the anguish and complexity of what love really is, but without disrupting the story in any way. As I said, he's neat.

I am by no means "hating on" Brown's book. I read all 572 pages in a matter of days (a feat for someone as busy as me) and I hated putting it down each time I forced myself to sleep. Brown can tell a suspenseful story, to be certain. There are no good places to stop, and when it comes to plot twists he has a field day. Still I find that when I'm on the hunt for content the most surefire place to find it is in a Young Adult or even a children's book. Somehow these authors have taken responsibility for the power they have to captivate young and old alike, and they have put it to good, thought-provoking use.

#23 The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Book: The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Pages: 345
Entertainment Rating: 4/5
Snooty Rating: 3/5
Total Rating: 7/10
Books Read Total: 23/50
Pages Read Total: 4220/15,000

Funke tells the captivating story of two orphan boys on the run from their evil aunt who make their way to Venice, their mother's fairytale. The characters were quite commanding, and it was very easy to take sides. Almost too easy, I think. Unlike Nancy Farmer, Philip Pullman, or Madeleine L'Engle to name a few, Funke tells a good story, but doesn't present much else. It was a fun, quick read, but did not have the subtly (or not so subtly) challenging subplots that many successful children's authors manage. It is, as one Amazon review puts it, "a solid adventure story". I'd put it with Harry Potter. Some coming of age, some teen angst, some wonderful friendship, and lots of bad guys and adventures.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nobody, not even Henry Higgins...

could make a lady out of me.

About an hour ago I got home from the fields and jumped in the shower. I washed my hair, bundled it all up in a towel, threw on a comfortable (read: horribly unflattering) house dress and sat down to write a thank you letter to my great uncle (to that extent I am a lady). Upon sealing and stamping this letter I headed out across the street to retrieve the day's mail, and put my letter in the box. As I stood at the side of our busy road chatting on the phone with my mother I spied the vet, my dad, and his employee standing at the barn door talking. I laughed to my mother that I could not possibly look more absurd with my towel, flip flops (now am I talking about shoes or my unharnessed chest, because I swear I'm too young for this?!) and comfortable house dress.

Little did I know...

I crossed the street with no mishap, and as I grabbed the mail and reached up to insert my letter two giant trailer trucks blew by just feet from where I stood. It was the end, I tell you. I dropped the phone, and nearly dropped the mail as the wind from the trucks blew my towel tower over, my skirt flew up, and tried to rip my letter from my hand. My mother called to me from the phone in the grass, asking what happened. I tried to pretend it was nothing and no one had just seen my bare bottom, but as I turned around to cross the street again, towel hanging limply from my shoulders (along with my pride. Oh and speaking of hanging...can we talk about the girls again?), the employee was waving from the barn with a ridiculous grin on his face.

'enry 'iggins, do your worst.

Monday, June 9, 2008

#22: Morality for Beautiful Girls

Book: Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: 5/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 9/10
Books Read Total: 22/50
Pages Read Total: 3875/15,000

Like all of the No. 1 Detective Agency books, this one is good, clean fun. Like their main character Mma Ramotswe, Lady Detective, there is no BS or fluff here. Smith tells good, interesting and entertaining stories, and Lisette Lecat does a wonderful job reading them. I don't have a whole lot to say about this book except that Smith never fails to entertain. The fact that I've been listening to them all out of order and still enjoy them immensely should tell you something.

For the record, the reason I've been listening to so many audiobooks is because I listen to them at work, and when you spend all morning in a field it's nice to have company. I'm currently listening to The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman, which is much longer than the Smith books, so it will last a bit longer, I hope!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

#21: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Book: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: 5/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 9/10
Books Read Total: 21/50
Pages Read Total: 3875/15,000

Sara Gruen has a vivid set of characters, to be sure. Jacob Jankowski recalls the most influential year of his life, one that began his career as a circus veterinarian, from his confines in a nursing home at the age of "90, or 93". He alternates between venting his frustration at being trapped in an old man's body, and vividly remembering his past experiences. I am 100% in love with this old man. Gruen did an exceptional job of wrenching my heart in every direction, aided no doubt by the fabulous voices of David LeDoux and John Randolph Jones. A moving, informative story not only about the circus but also about the Great Depression, growing old, and elephants. This book opened up an entirely unfamiliar topic for me, and I've enjoyed reading about it since I finished the book last week.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Soasa Calendar!

Late Summer & Early Fall 2010

September 19 Van Houten Avenue Street Fair, Clifton, NJ
September 21-23
Fall Northeast Art & Craft Show, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY
September 26
Haverstraw Street Festival, Haverstraw, NY
October 2
Hudson High School Craft and Home Expo, Hudson, NY
October 3
Warwick AppleFest, Warwick, NY
October 9-10
Warren Fall Festival, Warren, CT (one of my favorites!)
October 23-24
Connecticut Renaissance Faire, Hebron, CT

October 26-27
Thanksgiving Northeast Art & Craft Show, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY


Spring and Summer 2010

Edit 6/24/10:

This should be it. For real. See you there!

June 25-27 Oldsongs Festival of Music and Dance, Altamont, NY
July 18 Nyack Street Fair, Nyack, NY
July 23-25 GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance, Trumansburg, NY
August 5-8 WOOL, Lake George, NY
August 28-29 Old Bethpage Village Craft and Gift Show, Old Bethpage, LI, NY
September 4-5 Eisenhower Park Craft and Gift Show, East Meadow, LI, NY
September 11-12 Bayville Waterside Craft and Gift Show, Bayville, LI, NY
September 18 Pawling Art and Craft Fair, Pawling, NY

There will be more events for October - December!


Winter 2009

Nov. 21st Valley Central School, Montgomery, NY
Dec. 4th Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Dec. 5th Hawthorne Valley School, Harlemville, NY

If you decide to stop by don't forget to print out this coupon and save 15% off your entire purchase!


Fall 2009

I'm not quite as busy this fall because it was difficult to organize everything from abroad, but here's the plan! I hope some of you can stop by! There may be additional dates, so check back around the end of the month.

Sep. 19 Pawling Arts & Crafts Fest, Pawling, NY
Oct. 3 Hudson High School Craft Fair, Hudson, NY
Oct. 10-11 Warren Fall Festival, Warren, CT
Oct. 17 Hillsdale Farmer’s Market

As always, if you've got any questions or need directions don't hesitate to ask!
RobinMarie [at] Soasadesigns [dot] com


Summer 2009

I'm currently in Buenos Aires, Argentina on study abroad. I will be back in the states on August 2nd, and hopefully geared up for a good fall season! I have jewelry available on my Etsy site that my mom has kindly agreed to ship out for me!

Have a happy and healthy summer!


The holiday season is here!

Nov. 21-22 Housatonic Valley Waldorf School Holiday Fair, Newtown, CT
Nov. 29 Jewelry Sale at Off The Beaded Path, Great Barrington, MA
Dec. 5 Bard Craft Fair, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Dec. 6 Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School Yultide Fair, Harlemville, NY
Dec. 13 Sheffield Market, Sheffield, MA
Dec. 20 Sheffield Market, Sheffield, MA

If you've got any questions or need directions don't hesitate to ask!
RobinMarie [at] Soasadesigns [dot] com


Come find me this Fall, I'm going to be all over the place!

Sep. 6+20, Oct. 4+18 Hillsdale Farmer’s Market
Sep. 14 Mountain Music Festival, Bethel, NY
Sep. 20 Pawling Arts & Crafts Fest, Pawling, NY
Sep. 21 Earth Day Festival, Bethel, NY
Oct. 4-5 Hudson High School Craft Fair, Hudson, NY
Oct. 11-12 Warren Fall Festival, Warren, CT
Oct. 18 Green Meadow Fall Fair, Chestnut Ridge, NY

As you can see there are a few dates that are doubled. In those cases my Mom will be working the Farmer's Market for me, so you should really go keep her company!


It's going to be a busy one! I'm incredibly excited about how much everything has progressed in the last three years, and this summer is just a whole new level.

Every 1st and 3rd Saturday from June - October I'll be at the Hillsdale Farmer's Market in Hillsdale, NY
June 26-29: Old Songs Festival of Music and Dance in Altamont, NY
July 17-20: Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance in Trumansburg, NY
July 24-27: Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Hillsdale, NY
August 23: Blueberry Festival in Ellenville, NY

I've also got quite a few events booked for the fall, but I'll let y'all know about those as the dates get closer.

In Which I Attempt to Catch Up - Ep. 3 - Work

Yes I do a lot of it!

This summer is pretty good, as summers go. I'm working at Taft Farms and Off the Beaded Path, both places I love, doing work I enjoy. At Taft Farms I pick asparagus and plant or pick or really any field work they need from me. Once strawberry season starts I'll be picking those (any day now!) I get to spend every morning outside with plants, and I'm getting into a really good sleeping pattern. Sleep by 10:30, up by 7. I dig it. I'm working on getting up at 6.

Of course, on top of that I'm doing a LOT with my jewelry this summer! I'll post the finalized summer schedule soon.

Friday, May 30, 2008

In Which I Attempt to Catch Up - Ep. 2 - School

School ended May 15th or so, I stuck around to spend one more day in the studio, then headed home. I didn't see the final Grad show, or go to the end of the year party, which was kind of a bummer, but not worth staying until the end of the week for. I'm relieved to be home, that's for sure.

I pulled of some lovely grades, and here's the run down:
Ceramics: A
Metal Forming: A-
Enameling: A-
Sociological and Philosophical Foundations of Education: A
History of Jazz: A

I'm very pleased with myself, but my pleasure is heightened by the fact that I know for certain that I learned a lot this semester. The past semesters have been a bit of a let-down, but this one was both academically and artistically stimulating. I spent more time than ever in the studios, and my Soc and Phil class was the best course I've taken at New Paltz to date. So stimulating, in fact, that it helped me solidify some very important decisions that I've been unsure about.

I've decided to change my major from a BFA in Metals to a BS in Visual Arts with a Concentration in Metals. This will allow me to balance my academics and arts more evenly, and I feel will help prepare me more adequately for *drumroll* a Masters in Library Sciences. It will also give me the free credits I need in order to get a minor in Spanish. I'm very excited about all of this!

Photos top to bottom: "Flailing Soul" somewhat comical piece done for Forming - copper and sterling silver, "Stumpy" exploration of high temp brazing for Forming - copper, Earrings made last minute before I left for the summer, enamel and copper in a bowl I threw for Ceramics.

In Which I Attempt to Catch Up - Ep. 1 - Knitting

I thought about doing this chronologically, but I'm afraid that would turn laundry list preeeeety quickly! Instead I'm going to do my best to let y'all know what I'm up to in segments, beginning with knitting.

Considering how busy I've been, a lot has been happening on the knitting front.
I'm still working on my Forecast because upon finishing both sleeves I put off knitting in the button band for a long time knowing that I would run out of yarn. And run out of yarn I did, a mere 4 rows from the finish! A few panicked topics and messages on Ravelry (I'm RobinMarie on there) and a darling named AMP came to my rescue with not 1 but 3 skeins of the discontinued yarn I needed! Enough to make matching mitts or something! Needless to say there will be some jewelry headed out that way!

While Forecast became too large to be a carry-around project I decided it was time to put to use a gorgeous skein of Jitterbug superwash merino that I had bought myself for my birthday. After some disappointment at finding out that the free Berroco sock pattern I wanted to use had only directed me to buy enough yarn for one sock, this yarn sat around in my stash before I pinned it to a pair of Cookie A.'s Monkey socks. They're coming along swimmingly, though they're a bit too large for me, and will probably be gifted.

Because I wanted my Monkey sock carry-around project to last a while, and because the beating I took from Forecast wasn't enough to scare me, I felt no guilt picking up this new sweater project! Valley Yarn's Olive Branch Yoga Hoodie in Berroco Comfort, colorway Filbert. I have to admit that this Superfine Acrylic/Nylon is incredibly soft and delicious. I LOVE IT. I never thought I'd find and Acrylic I liked ever again, but not only is it wonderfully comfortable (I fell asleep on it one night, needles and all) but it's machine washable! Yay! The picture doesn't look like much, but this project is nice and straightforward thus far. I don't think I'm going to use a zipper, I don't like zippers. I'll probably use the toggles I bought for the Forecast.

Finally, I'm currently blocking the poor, neglected project I call Whispy Whimsy. I found the yarn upstairs in the storage room, the pattern is incredibly straightforward, and I'm not crazy about the color. As a result I don't even remember knitting this piece. I just have to let it dry, sew in some ends, and throw some buttons on it and it'll be done. Maybe I'll gift it?

I could say that's all there is, but I would be lying. I've discovered a little group of knitters in my (sort of) area! I went to a meeting on Tuesday, and there was only one other woman there, but she was a blast! I'm very excited to be making new friends. Come knit at the Muddy Cup in Hudson on Tuesday nights! I'm told that after next week we're meeting at the MC in Catskill, which is a bit of a hike for me...but we'll see if I can't car pool. I've also purchased a ton of yarn from DBNY in preparation for Christmas projects, and the Hemlock Ring Blanket I've been lusting after for ages.

And one last thing! At work the other day I felted and beaded myself a cute little case to hold my DPNs while I'm working on socks! With the sock sticking out it looks like a face with a tongue!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Every day should be Mother's Day.


You are my best friend, and I cannot imagine life without the support and strength you give me every single day. Thank you. I love you.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My excuses this week...

Basically this is my to-do list for the next two weeks, which I'm sharing with you in hopes of justifying the fact that I probably won't post again any time before mid-May.

In the next two weeks, on top of my regular classes, I have to complete two final projects for my two metals classes (Forming and Enameling). I have to run four Habitat fundraising sales. I have to organize and run the Metals Jewelry Sale (also make jewelry for it), on the same day as one of my Habitat Sales. I have to write a final essay for my education class. I have to study for my History of Jazz final. I have to glaze everything I've made in Ceramics in the last month. I have to go shopping for, then make hundreds of bagged lunches for, and then participate in Midnight Run through Habitat for Humanity. I will be spending next weekend with my Habitat group on a retreat. I will be moving out of my apartment the weekend after that. I have to make a Mother's Day gift for my mom, I have to make a birthday gift for my brother. I have to figure out my work schedule for the summer. I have to finish festival applications and processes for the summer.

I maintain that I am not a negligent blogger just because I'm too busy actually living life to find time to write about it.

#20 Sugarcane Academy

Book: Sugarcane Academy: How a New Orleans Teacher and His Storm-Struck Students Created a School to Remember by Michael Tisserand
Pages: 192
Entertainment Rating: 4.5/5
Snooty Rating: 5/5
Total Rating: 9.5/10
Books Read Total: 20/50
Pages Read Total: 3875/15,000

This book may be small, but it packs a punch. Riding on the wave of emotions from my recent trip down to NOLA this book could not have come at a time when I was more vulnerable. Frequently I found myself in tears over the hugeness of it all. The hugeness of the hurricane and the aftershocks, the hugeness of the indignities forced upon so many citizens, and the immeasurable outpouring of awareness on the part of those capable of giving something to the people who had nothing. In a society where education is so bound by rules and regulations, this small section of a community banded together to give families what they needed. This is education as it should be: active, responsive, aware. What these children needed was not a standardized test or even a normal classroom. They needed time and space to express their experiences, to learn about their relations to the world around them, and to make sense of all that they experienced in such a short time. Much was lost during Hurricane Katrina, but the disaster laid bare the strength, courage, determination and love that human beings are capable of giving.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

#19 The Land of the Silver Apples

Book: The Land of the Silver Apples by Nancy Farmer
Pages: 495
Entertainment Rating: 4.5/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 8.5/10
Books Read Total: 19/50
Pages Read Total: 3683/15,000

This book is the sequel to The Sea of Trolls. I can't remember the last time I had such a hard time putting down a book as I do with Farmer's. Even Harry Potter doesn't hold the control over me that she does. Her stories are excellent, witty, vivid and fun.

In Silver Apples Jack's little sister Lucy disapears, and saving her is up to him and his new "friends", a recently freed slave with a "froggy" face by the name of Pega, a wishy washy guy named Brutus, a monk named Aiden and some newly acquired skills. Together they experience the beauty and danger of the magical world of the silver apples, where time never passes. Their quest is filled with surprises, both good and bad, and the end results may not be what you think!

As a sequel this book was excellent, just enough plot overlap to be related, but a totally new adventure and many new characters. Also, way less of the bratty Lucy dialog! The religion humor is excellent, as always. I really admire Farmer's even keel in that regard. She makes fun of everyone's gods equally, while never actually putting any of them down, and giving all opinions without seeming contrived. Another great book!

#18 A Long Way Gone

Book: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: N/A
Snooty Rating: 5/5
Total Rating: 10/10
Books Read Total: 18/50
Pages Read Total: 3188/15,000

This book will blow your mind. It will probably give you nightmares, and if you have any soul at all it will make you cry. It will make your stomach turn, your heart ache, and your palms sweat. There will be times when you absolutely must put the book down and walk away, but I promise you it is worth it. I cannot describe this book to you in any way that will do it justice, but I beg you to read it.

From the website:
A gripping story of a child’s journey through hell and back.

There may be as many as 300,000 child soldiers, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s, in more than fifty conflicts around the world. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. He is one of the first to tell his story in his own words.

In A LONG WAY GONE, Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a riveting story. At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to reenter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion. This is, at last, a story of redemption and hope.

#17 Slaughterhouse-Five

Book: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: 4/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 8/10
Books Read Total: 17/50
Pages Read Total: 3188/15,000

Let me preface by saying that I listened to this book more than a month ago. A lot has happened since then, including a week in New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity, some emotional meltdowns and a lot of work. Anyhow, I do remember enjoying this book quite a bit. I was pleasantly surprised, in fact, thinking from my past attempt at the book that I wouldn't particularly enjoy Vonnegut's style. Only my brother's devotion to him made me give him another try (my brother hates to read, but he'll read Vonnegut).

I'm sorry I don't have a whole lot more to say about this book but it feels like it was years ago. So much happens in a month of my life, it feels like ages.

For sure a good book, interesting, emotional, weird. Read it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Home at last...

Just in time to start up classes again in the AM. I've just waded through over 50 e-mails, and I've got 120+ blog posts to browse. I promise that journal entries and photos are forthcoming, and until then here's a sample! I still can't believe we made it all happen!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Flooding, Taxes and New Orleans, oh my!

Sorry, no real time for an update, here's my news:

#17 Slaughterhouse-Five, liked it quite a bit, audiobook, more later.

Heading down to New Orleans at 2:30am Saturday.

BUSY as all hell with studio work.

DIDN'T fail my Jazz midterm:)

DID file my taxes!

Also, my bedroom flooded this past weekend, so I'm sleeping in the living room. It SUCKS.

Also also, I signed a lease today for a room for next semester. I'm totally excited. My own room. Oh bliss, oh joy!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sticks and string...

I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to post this update, but I took the pictures last week! This is a bit of what I've been up to in the knitting world. The above were knitted for my friend Amanda's aunt in exchange for a new set of dpn to knit them with! Great trade, in my opinion! I've knit this pattern several times now and each time I do it a bit differently. This time was my favorite for sure! I lengthened everything, the cuffs, the body, the top cuffs and the thump, and knit it all about 1/4th smaller than the pattern calls for. The result is really snug and warm! I think they won't lose their shape as quickly as my own pair did.

The pattern was Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
The yarn was Tosca from Lang Yarns.

My perpetual WIP is this lady here:

Forecast by Stephanie Japel
Knit with Bollicine Victor from Cascade

Again it's slightly modified, no bobbles, longer waist, and I'll need to knit in a wider button band than the pattern calls for. It's been a challenge, to say the least, but I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere with it!

Friday, February 29, 2008

D is for...

Dready 001, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

Dreadlocks! I've been been nurturing these guys for about two and a half years, and we've been through a lot together! I've learned patience and dedication, I've learned to embrace the process, to allow things to develop as they will. I've learned to be more open with people, because I can't blend into the furniture anymore. I've learned that stereotypes are lame, that a lot of people are looking to buy pot, and that people are sometimes very stupid. (Do you wash your hair? How long does it take for you to make your hair like that every day? Yo, wanna smoke? So you like, hug trees and stuff? You're stealing black people's culture! You wish you were black! [I should note that it's only the white folks who say this to me]) I've also learned that people are often curious, they want to touch my hair, and they want to learn more.

As a point of reference, here is where my locks were at in February 2006:


I say, DAMN.

For the Flickr ABC-Along

#16 The House of the Scorpion

Book: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Pages: 380
Entertainment Rating: 5/5
Snooty Rating: 5/5
Total Rating: 10/10
Books Read Total: 16/50
Pages Read Total: 3188/15,000

"Fields of white opium poppies stretch away over the hills, and uniformed workers bend over the rows, harvesting the juice. This is the empire of Matteo Alacran, a feudal drug lord in the country of Opium, which lies between the United States and Aztlan, formerly Mexico. Field work, or any menial tasks, are done by "eejits," humans in whose brains computer chips have been installed to insure docility. Alacran, or El Patron, has lived 140 years with the help of transplants from a series of clones, a common practice among rich men in this world. The intelligence of clones is usually destroyed at birth, but Matt, the latest of Alacran's doubles, has been spared because he belongs to El Patron...[Spoilers]"

Goodness this woman is great! It's extremely rare that I keep reading books from the same author unless they're in a series. (Tom Robbins and John Steinbeck are exceptions) Nancy Farmer has my undivided attention! While her books are technically "Young Adult" I'm finding that I don't feel the least bit guilty reading them instead of the work required for my various GE courses. I took this book out of the library on Tuesday, and I finished it last night, despite attending all my classes and spending a great deal of time in the studio. I couldn't put it down! I carried it (hardcover) around in my bag all week, catching bits here and there when I had a free moment. The characters and the plot are captivating and exquisitely crafted, though the ending leaves room for another book. I just discovered that there's a sequel to Sea of Trolls called Land of the Silver Apples that must have just been released, so maybe that's where she's headed with this one!



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