Luscious Gracious! Look What We Made Today!

A blog devoted to the art of the Luscious Gracious clan.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Just The Kids

Hi this is Lucy & Lily. Dad is too slow with the posts, so we took over. Here is what we've made this week.

On Monday, we had a Grand Opening of LYRL (Lucy's Young Readers' Library). It took us a while to create the library, but we finally did it. Boy do I have a lot of books, 182! Enjoy our movie (sorry it is 16MB, but we had a lot to say).

I (Lily) finished my Pyramid Bag. I made it out of Lamb's Pride Bulky in Pink. I did it all by myself (Dad wrote the pattern, & Mom sewed the pictures on). What do you think?

My Label

The Pyramid Bag

How I Use It

We bought an Artist's Model.

I (Lucy) used it to draw these beautiful pictures of milkmaids.

And this picture too.

We invented a new recipe this week. It is for No-Bake Applesauce Pie.

It tastes better than it looks, and that's a fact! Here's the recipe.


4 Apple Cereal Bars

Approx. 1 cup Applesauce

Whipped Cream (optional)


1. In a small sized bowl, crush 3 Apple Cereal Bars. Smooth with a spoon covering the edges of the bowl.

2. Add the Applesauce into the crust you made.

3. Crumble 1 Apple Cereal Bar on top of Applesauce. Smooth into a top crust.

4. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

5. Add Whipped Cream if you like.

6. Eat! Yum!

Let us know if you try it out & if you think it is as yummy as we do.

That's all. Blog you later!

Lucy & Lily

Sunday, June 19, 2005

What can a family of four make in a week?

So it has been a week since we posted. I know it is boring to come to a blog and not see anything new, but it doesn't mean we haven't been making art! So this post should tide you over for a while in case we don't get back here for another week.

Let's start with today, Father's Day (HFD to all the other dads out there). You know I have 2 of the coolest kids around, so of course I got great homemade HFD gifts! Lily made me a beautiful card to go along with her gifts. Lucy made me this "Power Numbers Wristband"(you'll have to wait for Knitty's next issue for more explanation).

Both kids made me a HFD PowerPoint slide! How many Dads got one of those, let alone 2!?!? Here they are, Lucy's and Lily's.

Last Saturday we participated in World Wide KIP day. We met a group of the usual suspects at Mama Java's, then moved on to a pizza joint before closing down the neighborhood Borders. Here are Lily & Kiki working on items to be seen later.

And here is Lucy working on her next ballet tee.

I had the camera, so no picture of me, but here is what I worked on.

It is a necklace that I designed, inspired by a dress neckline in a magazine & using the Labyrinth technique by Debbie New. It is made from a heathered grey baby alpaca yarn that Kiki dyed with Kool-Aid for me (I picked the colors). Back view below.

Later in the week I used the rest of the yarn to make this bag.

I designed this "2X4 Round Bag" too, also known as "Kate's Sphere". This is in the same vein as my pattern that will be in the Knitty Man Issue, coming soon. I will be writing these patterns up for sale on the website in the coming days. We will even have some free patterns there!

Kiki was a slacker this week and only made 3 Teva Durham sweaters. Have the rest of you bought this book yet? Jaclyn did, but thinks that a new job combined with a summer move is an excuse for not making these awesome patterns.

Left-to-right: Lily in a ballet tee dress (dress modification added by Kiki) made from Idena "Carisio" tape; Kiki in a ballet tee made from GGH "Celine" tape; Lucy in a ballet tape in the "Carisio" again. All purchased during Jessica's big sale. Lily's dress was lengthened with a little of the "Celine" and some R2 "Paper". Very Summery, No?

So Lily finished her KIP projects this week. One was this drop-stitch collar out of Brown Sheep Bulky.

This is her own design. Doesn't it look fabulous in the AZ sunshine? Little warm for those 105 degree days, though! It will be great this winter or in the mountains. Orange is her favorite color.

She also "finished" half a pair of socks!

She used Mom's sock pattern (coming soon to dvd) to make her first sock! The gold is Elsbeth Lavold "Silky Wool" and the red is Koigu.

Lucy is still working on her socks. She started a new pair this week out of Cascade Fixation.

This family knows the horrors of Second Sock Syndrome!

Kiki started a lace scarf as a surprise for a beautiful friend.

It's her own "Turtle" pattern, out of some random Japanese laceweight wool she had lying around the house.

Steve finished "Pyramid Bag 2" for his jealous wife.

This was a slight modification from my original design, made from Lopi & some other wool. The outside picture is from our favorite place, Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

The title is "Shade".

The inside tag is this self-portrait. Solarized & toned blue.

I made some pictures this week. I finished my roll of black and white on my favorite subjects. Here are some family portraits, Steve style.




Also on the roll were some pictures of my niece Cali. Who can resist a cute baby?

Finally this week, I did some sprucing up of our website. Haven't got that Illanna urge to re-do the blog template every 3 posts, but I did start on some changes to the website. We are trying to make it More Gracious and Extra Luscious. If you don't like it, find your way to the old-school version. It is still there.

We were all "tagged" by Mel. As a rule, we don't participate in chain-letters (Kiki thinks they are illegal). Probably the reason for our rotten luck. However, we think reading is important (coming soon the LG report on the library opening IN OUR VERY OWN APARTMENT!). So here are some of our favorite authors, etc. We won't tag anyone else, but if there are 20 people that read this that haven't been tagged, feel free to answer the questions on Mel's blog. Then send us a dollar.


....and now, a word from KIKILUSCIOUS.

Hi, all.

Books are important to us. We read them. Lucy used to eat them (nothing like a little fibre in the diet), and we even make our own. All of us write stories, we draw and photograph illustrations, we keep records and journals, we even keep a crazy blog. Books come before groceries in our budget, and when we moved to AZ, the moving company refused to believe that we had a wall 15' long and 8' high FULL of books, and that was only one room's worth. They underestimated our house by 10,000 pounds of books, and ended up having to move the car separately.

The first (and only) thing that we have unpacked in the 10 months that we have been here are books (OK, yarn too). Why, just today, to celebrate HFD, I gave Stephen two books, Tarantula by Bob Dylan and Collages by Anais Nin. Sure, I want to read them too, so what?

Starting with the youngsters, Lily Grace's favorite author is Edgar Allan Poe. She weighed down her backpack all year carrying volumes of his work to school every day, just in case she would need some reading material between digging at recess. She also reads lots of science and nature books, and purchased her first Charles Darwin this year. And she is happy to read anything by Roald Dahl.

Lucy Jane's tastes run more toward history, and historical fiction. Right now, she loves Lewis Carroll and Katherine Lasky. Lawrence Yep is another favorite. The kid reads like she knits - constantly. She wakes up early just to get in some minutes with yarn and her favorite pages. She begs at night for "just a few more minutes" until her eyes close, images of the written word invading her little dreams. Her new library contains 178 books sorted, counted, and listed in her catalog. Many more under the bed, in the closets, in Mom's room, hidden in various bags on doorknobs, and on Sister's shelves.

Steve and I have made the decision not to watch tv. It is for my own protection, as I am a confirmed addict. Our cable isn't plugged in, and we only watch dvd's. Now, truthfully, we watch a lot of dvd's, but no hours are wasted on commercials. When people say to us, "I just don't have time to knit (or write, or create, or paint, or cook, or whatever)," I am always interested to know how much time they DO have for television. Only the newly converted have such righteous indignation. Remember, ADDICTED. To the Western Channel. And thank god for TIVO. Man, I miss TIVO....

You would think, then, that we would be reading much more than usual. But we knit now, which seriously cuts into the reading time. Shout out if you hear me!

Stephen likes picture books. Not by kid's authors, although those are great too (we were relieved when our children were born - our collection of kid's lit was a little creepy for two childless adults), but the ones by his favorite photographers. Man Ray, David LaChappelle, Ellen Von Unwerth.....He DOES read, and possesses a fabulous reading voice. It is my favorite thing, falling asleep listening to him read, and he has read to the kids since before they were born. So, as far as his favorite authors, he loves Chuck Palahniuk, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sam Lipsyte, Kahlil Gibran (Broken Wings was his first favorite book). Lane Smith's The Happy Hocky Family is his ALL-TIME FAVORITE, though. Check it out, will you?

Steve is especially fond of short story collections. As Stephen King points out, these are becoming a lost art. That is a shame, because there is so much charm in a perfectly wrought book that only takes an evening to devour.

Now, my turn. I don't pretend to know a great deal about literature, and there are very few books in which I do not find something to love, but I do have my preferences. Just this past week, I read The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, Henry and June by Anais Nin, The Stranger by Albert Camus (with a brilliant new translation by Matthew Ward), and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I usually don't read that much in such a short time period, must be why I "ONLY" finished 3 sweaters this week, huh?

Some of my other favorite authors are Dorothy Parker, Edgar Allan Poe (Lily inherited that, I am afraid), Henry D. Thoreau, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (especially Innocent Erendira and Love in the Time of Cholera, which I read almost every year), Oliver Sacks, Susan Sontag, and W. Somerset Maugham (The Moon and Sixpence is on my bedside stack, ready and waiting). Also on the list for this summer, A Tale of Two Cities - Dickens again, Friendly Persuasion - by Jessamyn West, who wrote many books about the strange and wonderful Quaker way of life, and The Mayor of Casterbridge - by Thomas Hardy. That reminds me, there is this perfect little movie based on that book, but the name of the film is The Claim. Milla Jovovich, singing in a Western, what's not to love?

But, hey, it's not all The Classics, people. I LOVE Douglas Coupland (Shampoo Planet changed my life). And I couldn't live without Elizabeth Zimmermann's writings on knitting as a metaphor for life.

I would like to thank the Winchester Public Library for teaching me that books open the world. The Luscious Gracious clan also supports our Phoenix Library, mostly with the large fines we incur.


Aren't you sorry that you harassed us about not blogging? LONGEST BLOG EVER!

Signing off,


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Steve's Old School Shot Of The Moment #2

This is the second in a series of posts about some of my older photographs that aren't currently on the website. You can see the first in this series here.

If you are a regular reader, you have probably heard me cry about the continual elimination of my favorite films. Time for some more tears.

Recently I received an e-mail from Polaroid reading:
"Due to a change in manufacturing process, current supplies of Time Zero film no longer have the ability to be "manipulated" for Creative purposes. This is an unintended and unanticipated consequence of a process change."
My guess would be that 50% - 75% of purchases of this film are for this "manipulation purpose." Hopefully they will get this fixed with the next batch. In the mean time, Polaroid felt it was necessary for them to remove any reference to this technique from their website, including some of my photos. Here is a link to the ones that remain.

Since the others are no longer there, I thought I'd post them here. Time Zero manipulation is a technique in which you "smoosh" the emulsion of the Polaroid film before it hardens. You have about 5 minutes to do this once the film is processed through the Polaroid camera. The result is a painterly effect that leaves the appearance of brush strokes on your Polaroid picture (no need to shake it). I would go into more detail, but as you can't buy film to do this, it is kind of pointless. So here are my missing Polaroid pictures.


Katie Klimt-Like

Polka Dot


Rose (they left this one on for some reason?)

She Drank Water For A Living (from the Agreement series)

Hopefully this is not the end of my Time-Zero manipulations. They are one of my favorites. Liquify in Photoshop, doesn't come close to that one-of-a-kind piece of art that you get with Polaroid.


Saturday, June 11, 2005

Contest Results

Sorry for the minimalist posting last time. After fighting with the computer to get internet access for 3 hours, I was too tired to post anything but links at 12:30! Plus I wanted to get the video out there before the computer crashed again. So in case you didn't click on those links, here they are again.
hi 10mb
lo 5mb
These are high and low resolution videos of the official drawing of the contest winners! If you can't download them, or don't have 7 minutes to spend watching two very entertaining children, here is who won.

Congratulations to all our winners! Thank you to everyone who left comments! We will deliver the prizes soon.

Happy Knit In Public Day! See you at Mama Java's.

Friday, June 10, 2005

hi 10MB
lo 5MB

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

7 Teva Tanks In 7 Days! Plus More FOs

Have we told you how much we love Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham? Not only did Lucy make her first sweater from this book, but Kiki knitted 7 tanks in 7 days! And she never uses patterns!

That's right, 7, count 'em! You may remember some from a previous post when it was only day 4, but we'll show you all of them again in case you missed it.

1. Ballet Tee in Ete by Phildar

2. A mini version in the same yarn

3. Steek Vest in R2 Paper

4. Ballet Tee In Malindi by Filatura di Crosa (Hey, don't panic!!! I added a couple of inches to the bottom via crochet to hide that belly! kiki)

5. Another Ballet Tee, this time in Online Line 95, "Summer Mistral"

6. One more Ballet Tee in "Mikado" ribbon/tape by Crystal Palace

7. Had to modify! This is the Ballet Tee in Muench "String of Pearls" with straps and hem from some random scraps of black ribbony stuff instead of the usual top. It's easy!!! Just make, try on, place straps, sew and go. Yeah, and slipcovers are easy too, if you know how!!!

Kiki then took a break to finish this shawl for a relative going through a very difficult time. The rest of the family helped a little. It is made from two strands of laceweight Soy Silk from SW Trading Co. It's just a traditional round shawl (you can find a pattern in just about any Elizabeth Zimmerman book, or just do like K does and increase evenly 16 stitches every 4th this case she used yarn-overs on each side of 8 evenly spaced markers to create "spokes"). It's just pi, people.

Unable to resist the Teva addiction & bummed that Illanna got to meet her in person & we didn't, Kiki took a couple days to make this modified design.

The Ballet Tee turned into a dress! It is made form this beautiful yarn with a beautiful label.

Notice what the label is missing? Look closely....that's right, no yardage. Hmmm. And it was pretty darn thin, so instead of doubling it, she tripled it on 15's for the shoulders, 17's for the body, and then double strand on 19's for most of the skirt. Kiki just kept increasing after row 60 to make the skirt, only she increased 4 times (8 stitches) every 3 rows (add increases on sides as well as on center front and back), instead of 2 times (4 stitches) every 4 rows until she had 128 stitches total. Then she just knitted even, and cast off when she ran out of yarn. Simple. She thinks she looks a bit like she wrapped herself in a hammock. Very summery. (Look, Mom, I did it!!! I am actually wearing that antique yarn. Did you mean for me to keep it in that pretty tin, or use it up? Ooops - Katiejo)

The rest of us sure feel like losers with no FOs to show, so here is what we are working on.

Lucy is making her second sweater with Cascade 220, same favorite Ballet Tee pattern.

Lily is working on a Pyramid Bag - Felted from this pink stuff. (Lamb's Pride) The pattern was designed by good ol' Dad. Eat your heart out Teva!

Dad is making a new version of the Pyramid Bag out of this lovely blue & red. Lopi and something something by someone else.

O.K. I know you are saying "All this knitting is keen, but what about that contest!" We are getting closer. Dad is almost over the illness, the art is in the mail, so we decided to go ahead and pick the two winners' ................................................................................... prizes. We haven't drawn the winners, but at least now you'll know what you are hoping to win! (Kiki wanted to draw winners and then assign prizes based on how much we liked that person, but she was outvoted).

Prize number one for the original drawing is Pigment 2. Is that o.k. Alison?

Prize number two will be Sunset Lace.

Now all we need are winners. I promise it will be soon!


p.s. we now should have one of them thar RSS feeds for all you techies.

psjr. Hey, It's katiejo....Melanie, my sister Muffy, thanks for commenting!!! Haven't had any email at the old account since Feb. Email Steve with your email address, or leave it in the comments!! Miss you, love you, thanks for being a good sister and so super cool. Love, Your Favorite Sister, Katie

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Show Update

Sorry for the delay in posting. The poster boy has been a little sick. Here is a quick update on the show. We sold 3 more items last weekend. Pass It On and Warm Phone were one-of-a-kinds, and are now at their new homes. Poppy Triptych is a limited edition, so there are more still available. The show is not up in Muncie still, but we will leave it up on the website for a while, in case anyone is still wanting to buy.

Now for what you really want to hear, the contest. We have tallied the entries that met the midnight 5/31/05 deadline and below are the updated graphs.

Thanks to last minute posting, we received over 200 comments! We have decided there will be 2 prizes given away. One based on the original rules of one entry per comment, and a second with one entry per commenter. We haven't decided on the prizes, as we are waiting for our art to be shipped back from Indiana. Because of this, and my illness, we have not held the drawing yet. Stay tuned to the blog as the drawing will be held sometime soon.

Also, we have been knitting like crazy & will update with some more FOs shortly.