heidi merrick

pretty black dresses by heidi merrick

loving some of the spring 2013 line:

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knitting hats

one of the lovely parts of winter is all the hand-knit hat options. nothing is better than a perfectly cozy knit hat. i realized this weekend i’ve knit myself 6 hats in the last year and i appear to have 3 in the same camel color. i guess i was really on a camel kick for awhile. i might need to give one or two of those away.

hats are always a fun knit because they are usually pretty simple and immediately gratifying because they don’t take too long. i knit my brother’s girlfriend two hats for christmas this year: this one and a version of this. i love slouchy hats and have knit this pattern 3 times now, along with a few cabled versions that i can’t find the patterns for anymore.

last week, while picking out yarn for a few more hats (some for late holiday gifts, some for me), i bought this book. i rarely buy knitting books because i’m extremely picky about what knitting patterns i’ll work with and it’s rare for me to find a book with more than one pattern in it that i would ever knit, but i found three hat patterns i loved right away and went for it. i’m currently working on the hat pattern called sapphire toque. (fun fact: toque is french for cap, specifically one with a small brim, worn during Revolutionary-era France.) the cap has a folded hem worked in to the pattern, which involves creating a hem by folding the first 12 rows knit back into the cast-on stitches and knitting them together. (a time-consuming process but well worth it.)  i’m knitting the cap in a deep ruby red of 70% baby alpaca and 30% merino wool. i’m not much in to having feathers and gems on winter caps, so i’m going to trade them out for a solid button or maybe a leather snap i can make myself. we’ll see.

can’t wait to wear it.



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pretty prisms

just ordered this 2013 prism calendar by designer julia kostreva:

The prism drawings are printed in gold foil and the calendar is hand-printed on an antique letterpress. I can’t wait to put it up in the studio. I need some pretty new things for my walls to celebrate the new year.

check out more of julia’s work here. found via Design*Sponge. all images julia kostreva.

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making lists

i don’t usually ring in the new year on my blog with a list of goals or resolutions. i usually write a letter to the year that passed or a letter to C, because he’s amazing. but 2013 feels like it’s going to be a very big year for me, so i’ve been making mental lists of things i really really want to do this year.

i’m not one to make resolutions and not keep them, or at least, try to keep them. 2012 will go down as the year i did a full pushup for the first time in my life (this is no small feat for those who know me) and completed all of my PhD comprehensive exams. i still can not touch my toes, although i’m about 3 inches away from being able to. (that’s been a new year’s goal going on 3 years now.) i also dyed my hair a brilliant red, something on my 2012 list, although i spent about 5 months trying to cut and condition it back to normal. not sure that will happen again any time soon. i also put out a winter collection, put together a small shop,  and was in second storie for the first time ever after years of sponsoring it. all 2012 goals i met.

here are goals i’m hoping to cross off my list in 2013:

blog at least 4-6x a week here and on lifewithoutbreadandbutter

learn how to take/edit better pictures for my blog/shop using Pixelmator

put out a spring/summer painted leather collection (already started!)

do at least 10 perfect pushups in a row (so far, only have 2)

do a full pullup

learn to ski (never been! buying snow pants this week.)

finish/defend my dissertation proposal by April

finish/defend my dissertation by winter 2013
(i’ll let you know when you can officially refer to me as Dr. Rachel Chaffee)

complain less. a lot less. try not to complain at all.

 here is the 5 second video of my second full push-up ever. not gonna lie: i watch this as motivaton at least once a week. hoping next year i’m posting a 5 second video of my first pull-up ever. and maybe me making it down the bunny slopes without breaking my elbows. again.

happy new year!





Posted in Random Things, starting over | 1 Comment

little holiday show

come visit!

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wish list: golden

i’ve always been a die-hard silver person, but over the last two years, i’ve fallen in love with gold and bronze. i think it’s because it looks and feels warmer to wear golds in the winter. here are a few of my favorites currently on my list wish:

1. seamstress bracelet by Monserat De Lucca via Fancy French Cologne
2. 14k gold scissor necklace by Erica Weiner 3. House of Harlow Arrow Cut Out Cuff  4. two-tone cuff by Juhos Janka via Shiny Squirrel via Miss Moss

5. geo ring by a merry mishap 6.arrow earrings via the curiosity shoppe
7.  geometric gold ring by Osnat Har-Noy  8. chevron brass cuff by Kora


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small things at Thread & The Yards holiday show

2 things:
*Thread has some things from the winter collection that aren’t available anywhere else.
*I’m going to be in a holiday show, this Saturday at The Yards, a collaborative art space at the Rochester Public Market (50-52). It’s a sweet space! They are having a holiday bazaar from 9-4 on Saturday, so if you’re at the market, come visit me. I’ll be obsessively knitting Christmas presents I’m worried I won’t finish on time and downing almond milk lattes from Javas downstairs while sitting at a table with my winter collection. If you bring me something gluten, dairy & soy free, I promise to give you a present.

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shop is up!

my little shop is finally up and running: yippee!

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2 exciting things

1. my little online shop will be opening tonight, fingers crossed!
2. Thread has some things from the winter collection, including cuffs for guys and gals. All one-of-a-kind and made from 100% recycled leathers, which makes things more fun. Go check ‘em out!

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handmade holiday

Been shipping off some special orders from the winter collection and trying not to ruin my clothes by painting in between writing fellowship applications and running around to school meetings. It’s kinda fun to be back in two worlds: fully in the Ph.D. and fully in the creative. Makes life more fun.

There will be a few things from the winter collection available locally at Thread in my very own South Wedge neighborhood: cuffs and wallets. Some by tonight, some by Friday morning. There’s a fun holiday event this Saturday, December 1st in the Wedge: lots of businesses will be open with holiday specials, you can get a christmas tree and take a carriage ride and buy eco-friendly ornaments and see some friendly faces. And visit Thread!  I love my neighborhood!

*Hoping to launch the online shop by Friday.
*It’s been snowing tiny little flakes all week.
*Finally feels like December!

Posted in handmade holiday, holiday, winter leather collection | Leave a comment
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