Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

Prepping for My Art Class

Prepping for My Art Class

I stopped for a visit with my friend Marcie yesterday morning. She and I are taking Cori Dantini’s Mixed-Media Girls online class together.


It starts next week and I wanted to touch base with her about what supplies we need. The first words out of her mouth were, “We may have to order some of this stuff because I can’t find it in Kalispell anywhere.”

Oh, the oft-heard refrain.

I am aware that it is a first-world problem not to be able to source art supplies locally. But it’s why sometimes I don’t even bother to look in town for things I need; I go straight to Amazon (although they don’t have these items, either). This is a good excuse for a quick day trip to Spokane. I still need to take my sewing machine over there and drop it off for service. I’ll have to leave it for a week or two, so I want to do it now when I am not sewing as much and don’t need it. Spokane Art Supply looks like it has the items we need. I’ll call to confirm.

In the meantime, I did pick up what I could find in town yesterday. We will be layering vintage papers onto wooden cradles (the cradles—which are frames like art canvas but without canvas—are the things we can’t find here in the sizes we need). I picked up a few old craft magazines and sheet music at the thrift store for $0.50. We also need calligraphy pens. I was hesitant about taking this class because it involves drawing. My drawing skills suck—not to put too fine a point on it—but Marcie assures me I can do this. She’s worried about the calligraphy part, and I said, “Oh! I used to do a lot of calligraphy!” When I was in middle school, I had piano lessons every Wednesday afternoon, and on the way home, we would stop at an office supply store a few miles from our house so I could buy another nib for my calligraphy set. I had quite a few. I don’t know what happened to them; my mother shipped most of my stuff out here years ago and I don’t remember seeing them. If they are still at her house, I am sure she will let me know. But I did buy a set of pens to use for the class because it starts next week. It’s rather an unexpected pleasure to again pick up something I used to enjoy doing.

Between the two of us, we might be able to produce something interesting.

I had no intention of spending six hours in town yesterday—it was a quick trip to get chicken feed and do a Costco run—but I was slammed by the reality that is Friday in Kalispell during tourist season. There is roadwork everywhere, tourists who have no clue where they are going, and RVs the size of small mansions on the roads. It took forever to get to everything on my list. I didn’t even bother stopping at Costco because I couldn’t get through the parking lot. I’ll go Tuesday morning.


This next item might best be filed under the category of “Things Most Knitters Neither Know Nor Care About.” It’s hard for me to tell. It’s rather like how most people in Montana don’t know and don’t care about what happens inside the DC Beltway. I know about this incident mostly because of a bunch of disparate threads that unexpectedly came together (see what I did there?). Back around the first of the year, I listened to a fascinating Love to Sew podcast interview with Karen Templer, a knitter and sewist who has a business under the name Fringe Association. On the podcast, Karen talked about her goal of paring her wardrobe down to only items she had made herself in order to reduce her consumption of fast fashion. I was impressed with her commitment to that goal and with her perspective on life in general.

About a month later, Karen was back in the news for having written a blog post about an upcoming trip to India in which she made some comments that were interpreted by some people as being racist. That ignited a firestorm on social media. The whole incident was the focus of a piece by Kathrine Jebsen Moore in Quillette Magazine.

Kathrine recently did a followup piece in Quillette and has also been interviewed by Jonathan Kay on Quillette’s podcast. (I have the podcast queued up for listening today.)

Most knitters may not even be aware of this kerfluflle—or even care—and I didn’t think it merited a discussion here on the blog. All I am going to say is that I encourage you to read about the story from as many sides as you can. (If you’re on Ravelry, you may be aware of the timeline of events.) I think the situation points to the fact that social media is causing a lot of unforeseen upheaval and turbulence in society, and while it can be used for good activism, it can also be abused and used in ways that aren’t so positive. I will never be in favor of any tactics that are intended to destroy people and their livelihoods in the name of furthering a cause, no matter how noble the cause is.

Spokane is Not the Same

Spokane is Not the Same

June is a Sprint

June is a Sprint