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The Origins of the Antique Batik Stamps used on the Batik Pottery Collection

The Origins of the Antique Batik Stamps used on the Batik Pottery Collection

The textures of antique hand carved batik stamps have inspired a new line of functional pottery I call The Batik Collection for obvious reasons. I hope that the textures and visual interest inspire you as much as they have inspired me.

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Archive Knitting Patterns by Rebecca Graves | Urban Tribal Wear | S Type Creative

Archive Knitting Patterns by Rebecca Graves | Urban Tribal Wear | S Type Creative

Today there was a request for a chicken knitting pattern from 2009. I realized that the link had broken from an old website so decided to revive the classic pattern. Now I'm thinking I might just need to make some fresh chickens for myself. 

I found the cache of old patterns and will be republishing them here for free!

October is perfect for cozying up with your favorite handmade mug of something tasty and a bit of knitting.



Happy knitting!

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Take a Break and color

Take a Break and color


Some days you just need to give yourself a break to do something just for you. I hope today you'll take a break like that and enjoy my new, free downloadable coloring page made just for this reason. 

Get your coloring on!

Download your free coloring page here and print it yourself.

If you have a friend who'd enjoy it, please feel free to share the link with them! If you love it and want to come back, pin it. Most of all, have fun.

 Free downloadable coloring page by Rebecca Graves Prowse

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Ruby Cashmere Cabled Toque Free Knitting Pattern

Ruby Cashmere Cabled Toque Free Knitting Pattern

There's nothing quite like a good cabled hat. When it's combined with cashmere and a quick to knit pattern, it's even better! I couldn't stop at one. I knit it in 4 different colors using Knitpicks Capra DK Merino Wool and Cashmere yarn and 16" US 5 circular needles and double point needles for the last round of decreases. It takes about 140 yards of DK weight yarn if you have something in your stash or want to use a yarn from your local yarn shop.

When I was first beginning to knit cables from charts I was intimidated by the larger charts and would usually pass on the patterns, even though I really loved the finished knitting. Because of my initial intimidation, I decided to break out the charts into small and manageable charts to make it easier to follow along if you're a beginner. 

If you can knit a cable, you can knit this hat! If you've never knit cables before, just look for a youtube video. I like the ones from Knitpicks and Purl Soho for techniques.

The most challenging bit of the pattern is that at the beginning of some rows, you'll need to shift your marker that marks the beginning of the round. I found it easiest to just have 2 on hand. I place the spare one where it needs to be then remove the original when I get to it. It'll make more sense once you get rolling.

It's time to settle in with a handmade mug full of your favorite beverage and grab your needles. Happy knitting!

Download the FREE Knitting pattern HERE.



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Pancakes, pussy hats & kitty naps for starters

Pancakes, pussy hats & kitty naps for starters

This weekend has been a variety of celebrating Christopher's 47th birthday, tying up loose ends, snuggling on the sofa knitting, and putting away the last vestiges of Christmas. All of this was fueled, of course, by Banana berry white chocolate pancakes. (Click HERE for the base recipe and instead of apples and cinnamon, on top, I added a whole banana, a handful of fresh berries and tossed in some Ghiradelli white chocolate chips for good measure).

The weekend started early. Thursday I made a trip to Columbus Clay to pick up all the materials needed to set up my own glaze lab. It's pretty exciting to know that the last big step to setting up my own studio is now complete. After two years throwing in my own studio, I can finally do every bit of production here without heading over to my friend, Steve Smith's studio for finishing bits. Tomorrow I'll be out in the kiln shed setting it all up and that is the first time I can say hefting around 50 lb bags of anything sounds like fun.

While in Columbus, I had coffee and lunch at Fox in the Snow Cafe with the incomparable Brandon Fitzwater. I was finally able to gift him with the reversible cable scarf that I made for Christmas. We talked about new and exciting ideas for the studio this spring. It's always a lot of fun to sit down with him and work on new designs. (If you want to knit this warm and textured scarf, the free pattern is right here in my blog!)

Friday, I spent a good chunk of the day working on my closet. Ugh. It's one of those things I do once a year and each year I am amazed at how much stuff I have. While I don't really partake in New Year's Resolutions, I have decided that since I spend the majority of my time in the studio and not at business meetings any more, I can survive with quite happily with a minimalist wardrobe. I ran across the Free Minimalist Wardrobe Workbook from Encircled, printed it out and worked my way through it and my closet with delightful results. Now, I don't have to think about what to wear. I have a tidy assortment of studio clothes and casual clothes.

Saturday was all about birthday celebrations. My sweet husband turned 47. During the week I made 72 cupcakes for him to share with coworkers, mini cheesecakes for at home, and an angel food cake for his actual birthday, post-dinner celebrating. He's a lucky man and knows it. The angel food cake was nearly a total fail. I was stuffed up and didn't smell it cooking, was distracted and didn't hear the timer, and was thankful that before going to bed, Chris realized the cake was still in the oven. WHA?!?!? Yeah. It turns out that if you cook an Angel food cake for 2 hours, it just gets more dense. I cut off the less desirable bits and piped on frosting. It's fine. Learn from me. Just add some berries at plating and look, FANCY!

Sunday has been all about tying up the loose ends, relaxing and knitting. Christmas was all put in the attic. A friend showed up to pick up all the items culled from my closet. She'll distribute them to people who need them in the community. We used up the rest of those luscious berries in the late brunch pancakes then settled in for some social media, tv and knitting.

My friend Victoria, at Terra Cottage Ceramics in Paducah, Kentucky, is putting together a group of women for the march in Washington D.C. in a couple weeks. She put out a facebook call for a pink pussy hat and hardcore knitter that I am, I jumped on it! Christopher was a sport and allowed me to "test the hat out" on him and take his picture. He's always a good sport. <3

And as if that wasn't enough, I posted the presale for the new Dead Sexy Latte Mugs and Chris helped me snap a few extra photos of one in my hands to show proportion. 

Now that I've layed it all out, it doesn't seem like nearly as relaxing a weekend as I thought it was! The best part of my life right now is that I absolutely love what I do and my partner in crime, Christopher, makes it even better.

I think it's time to join Ruby Willow Pierce for a catnap so at least I can say I took it easy for a little while.

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Slowing down and enjoying evening with turmeric milk

Slowing down and enjoying evening with turmeric milk

Sleep eludes me. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm an insomniac. It's more that there is so much I want to do, I just don't want to wind down at the end of the day. Add in the factor that it is not the easiest thing for me to shut down the ol' brain and there's a recipe for lying awake for hours thinking about the things I will do tomorrow. 

While sleepy time might be when I'm planning world domination, I'd really love to find a peaceful and restful slumber without fighting sleep with every blink of my eyes. I've tried medications and they just make me sleep for far too long, or worse yet, I've found myself unable to really move but my mind is still racing. Ack! My thyroid has been checked and I've had a psych evaluation. I don't drink caffeine late in the evening. For all intents and purposes, medically at least, I'm normal. I just think too much when I could be resting. Often, at night, I'll wake up with an idea and if I don't get it on paper or even wander into the studio to rough it out, I won't get back to sleep for worrying I'll forget it. I process much when I'm sleeping, and that's ok, it's the getting to sleep part that is so darn frustrating.

Since the holidays, I've purposely made down time in the evening before going to bed. Years ago, a friend made a wonderful turmeric and milk concoction that was somewhat like chai tea but without the caffeine since there was no tea. I could never remember what she told me was in it beyond turmeric. It intrigued me because she said her grandmother, from New Delhi, used to make it for her after she ran in cross country races because she said it helped with relaxation, muscle spasms and muscle aches. I have no idea if that is actually true or not, but mind over matter has worked well and often for me, so even if it isn't a medical truth, I'll stick with brain power for determining my outcome on this one.

One morning, remembering that long ago discussion about turmeric, I was researching the benefits, hoping it would help the tension in my muscles after a day of making pottery. I stumbled across a recipe for a turmeric milk night time drink. After a bit more searching, I found a few more. Each one is as different as each recipe of chai tea, but the core basics were consistent. I've tweaked that core recipe to come up with my own and would love to share it with you.

There are loads of potential health benefits to virtually all of the ingredients and a quick google search will yield a wealth of information. I'm not going to list them all here because you'd be reading a long and mildly boring novella on holistic and ayervedic healing that I'm simply not qualified to expound on. If you want to know the benefits, seek your own path. If you just want a tasty drink, I'm not promising the world, here, just a tasty drink with ingredients that research suggests reduce inflammation and aid relaxation.

Whether you have a hard time settling down in the evening, or you just like a little pampering down time, it's worth a taste. If you like chai tea, you're likely to enjoy this. If you're missing an ingredient, don't worry about it. Just play around and make it your own. If you love, love, love cinnamon, add more. If you just hate anise, don't put it in (though I have to say you're unlikely to really taste it, it just gives the drink a bit of necessary sharpness in my opinion). Just play. The only thing you really need are a big handmade mug (because handmade is best), a tea strainer of some sorts or a mesh strainer, a sauce pan and a wooden spoon. Beyond those tools, it's fair game.

Now put on your fuzzy pants, a cozy sweater and pick out your favorite mug. It's time to make something tasty. It's time to relax and give yourself a much needed break.

My nighttime concoction:

    • 2 cups milk (approximately. I just fill my favorite mug for my measurement)
    • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
    • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1-2 green Cardamom pods crushed (or a pinch of dried cardamom)
    • fresh ground black pepper (I do about 8-10 twists of the grinder)
    • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
    • Star Anise - 1 star or a pinch of dried anise powder (optional)
    • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla powder
    • Honey to taste

In a small saucepan on low, pour the milk from your mug, add Turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and ginger. If you're adding anise as well, this would be the time to add it. Stir gently and bring it to just before boiling. If you leave it unattended for too long, the icky milk skin may form on the top. I consider this gentle stirring a bit of the process of starting to slow down and relax. Watching this liquid as you gently weave the spoon back and forth can be a bit mesmerizing.

Once the concoction is heated, add the vanilla and honey to taste.

Next, I strain it all back into the mug. Sometimes I use a tea steeper with a filter, other times I just use a mesh tea strainer that sits on top of the mug. Honestly, it depends on what's clean at the moment. I'm not going to stress over this step, so long as all the bits and pieces are strained out.

Now it's time to settle down. Turn off your devices (says the girl typing this out while sipping her own nighttime brew). Dim the lights. Have a cookie if you need a little sweet. Enjoy the intense golden color of your all natural beverage. I like a nice oatmeal cookie or a matcha kitkat bar with mine. Relax, breathe deeply and sip until it's gone.





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Skulls, Reversible Cables and a Vintage Typewriter

Skulls, Reversible Cables and a Vintage Typewriter

You might think that skulls, reversible cables and a vintage typewriter don't have much in common and you'd probably be right in most cases. Here at my casa, though, they're a few of my very favorite things. I found the vintage typewriter a few years ago at a storage unit auction for $5 and I love the look of it. The thing is heavy and unwieldy but it looks so damn nice in the background of product photos. My mom used to have an antique typewriter when I was a kid and I thought it was just the coolest thing ever. Those rare occasions when I was allowed to type something on it were spectacular. Now I have one of my own and when the humidity isn't too high, I even type on it a wee bit.

Skulls just intrigue me. They always have. As an artist, I enjoyed anatomy training for drawing the human form and the skull always seemed to be a challenge. They find their way into much of my work and someday I intend to make some sort of skull scarf or sweater. I'm not sure, yet, what it will look like, but it will happen eventually. My husband and I have skulls on all sorts of things, including a band of skulls that I hand painted on his kayak to bling it out for him. This skull mug is one of my favorites. It's a go to that I grab several times a week when making my morning Latte. 

 Continuing on with my "and here are a few of my favorite things" monologue...

Now for cable knits. Come on. Cables are just sexy as hell. Imagine that handsome gent in a richly cabled sweater standing at the cliff's edge, the sea roaring below while his faithful Irish Setter bounds up to his side. Yeah. It's a thing I've had for EVER. Something about cable knit whatever makes me wistful and a little turned on. Good lord I have a ridiculous imagination.

For several years I've had this vision of a cabled scarf I wanted to make that would be richly textured, color blocked and look essentially the same on the front and back. The unfortunate thing is that I rarely make anything that requires me to count rows because I tend to knit in snippets here and there. I also usually have several projects going at once; a hat in the car, a scarf by the sofa, a sweater in my travel bag just to name a few. Since I seem to have knitting project ADD, I've let this idea just swim around in my knitting dreams.

On a trip home from visiting friends in Columbus a couple weeks ago I worked out a pattern in my head to try that I didn't think would require a hard core attention span. When we arrived home, I dug through a bit of my yarn stash for some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn that I knew I had odds and ends of left over from some other projects. I ended up using 2 skeins of Onyx Heather (the dark grey), 2 skeins of Dove Heather (the light grey), and 2 skeins of Camel Heather (the tan).

This morning I finished the scarf, curled up cozy on the sofa with Ruby, our lovely new kitten. Here are the results and the pattern for your enjoyment.

The Pattern:

Color 1: 2 skeins Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Onyx Heather
Color 2: 2 skeins Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Dove Heather
Color 3: 2 skeins Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Camel Heather
(or 300 grams of your favorite worsted weight wool will work just fine)

Size 8 needles
I use a dpn for cables, or you may choose to use a regular cable needle.

Cable Patterns:
C6F = Cable 6 forward = slip 3 sts onto your cable needle and hold at the front of the work. Knit the next 3 sts then knit the 3 from the cable needle.

C6BP = Cable 6 Back to purl = slip 3 sts onto your cable needle and hold at the back of the work. Purl the next 3 sts then purl the 3 from the cable needle.

Both the front and back side cables are worked on the same row - row 5 of the pattern. 

Cast on 54 stitches with Color 1

Row 1: *K6, P6, repeat from * until 6 sts remain. K6.
Row 2 (and all even rows): *P6, K6, repeat from * until 6 sts remain. P6
Row 3: as for 1
Row 5: *C6F, C6BP, repeat from * until last 6 sts, C6F
Row 7, 9, 11 &  13: as for 1

Repeat rows 5-14 until your scarf is the desired length and at the same time work the following color pattern:

  • Color 1: 4 pattern repeats
  • Color 2: 16 pattern repeats
  • Color 1: 2 pattern repeats
  • Color 3: 11 pattern repeats
  • Color 1: 9 pattern repeats
  • Color 3: 8 pattern repeats

After the last cable row, repeat rows 1-4 one time.

Bind off in rib pattern, loosely.

Weave in your loose ends and enjoy your color blocked, reversible cable scarf.

If you prefer to go classic, do the scarf all in one color. You can color block however you desire. This would also be a terrific pattern for leftover yarns that you just can't bear to part with. It would be beautiful in brightly colored random stripes.

The real fun of color blocking like this, for me, is not following a pattern at all for the color. When you get tired of knitting with a color, change to another one. You can't go wrong. Some of the best stripe patterns come from just deciding you're going to change colors when you feel like it. That would make it even more uniquely your own.

If you want to make it even more textured and oversized, you could use chunky weight yarn and size 10.5 needles. It would be more of a wrap, in that case.

My finished scarf ended up approximately 7" across when relaxed. If you want yours narrower, subtract 12 stitches from the cast on. If you want yours wider, add stitches in sets of 12 until your desired width.

Most importantly, have fun! Happy knitting.


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Sailor's Knot Trivets & Brie en Croute

Sailor's Knot Trivets & Brie en Croute

Brie en Croute sounds oh so fancy. I assure you, this particular lunch was not the result of careful culinary planning. We haven't visited the grocery for over a week and the odds and ends left in the fridge are how I ended up making this tasty lunch. Once it was pulled from the oven, taking pictures of it in the sunlight streaming through the kitchen window was inevitable, especially since it looked so tasty on the freshly made wool Sailor's Knot Trivets.

So let's start with the lunch, or for most people, the appetizer.


1 can of Pillsbury butter croissants
1 wheel of brie
1/2 cup of leftover smoked ham

If you're using the ceramic Brie Baker from my shop, do not preheat the oven. With brie, I prefer not to preheat it anyway because it allows the refrigerated cheese to warm up with the oven so it isn't cold in the center.

Layer the croissant triangles in the bottom of the Brie Baker, place in the wheel of brie, or half like I did, then top with smoked ham chunks. Fold the croissant triangles over the top and make it look all arty if you'd like.

Place the whole shebang in the oven and turn it on to 325 f. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until thoroughly toasty brown across the top.


Now, for the crocheted Sailor's Knot Trivets (free pattern link here), I used a pattern that I found on Yarnspirations (link here). Instead of cotton as was called for in the pattern, I chose a 100% pure wool from Knitpicks (Onyx Heather, Cobblestone Heather and Autumn Heather) and size H crochet hook. The smaller version was made with a leftover bit of Sock Yarn (Train Station) and a size D crochet hook.

They're quick, easy and look fantastic on the counter. We're hosting Christopher's parents from Canada for Christmas and I realized that all our fabric trivets are mismatched and oh so hideous. These fun little trivets will look wonderful on our festive table while they protect the not-quite-real-wood IKEA dining table from burns.

Enjoy your snacks and crochet!


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Fluffy Pancakes from Scratch are so easy

Fluffy Pancakes from Scratch are so easy

We have developed a bit of a routine on the weekends when we aren't traveling or at a show. We sleep in a bit, dink around the house, play with the kitties, maybe watch some of the tv we DVR'd from the week then make fresh pancakes.

The experimentation with pancake recipes began when I realized I was out of pancake mix from the grocery store. I thought we were doomed to a pancakeless morning but refusing to be thwarted I started researching pancake recipes online. As it turns out, it's just as easy to make them from scratch and they're even fluffier! 

This recipe will make 8 pancakes about 4-5" each which is a little too much for the two of us. If we have people over for pancakes, I usually double the batch.

Here is a list of ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it isn't expired so your pancakes are nice and fluffy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest (optional but highly recommended)
  • Vegetable Oil

If you want to add the sauteed apples, you'll also need:

  • 1 Large or 2 small apples
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

So here's what I do. First, I find a nice mixing bowl like my Small Mixing Bowl, and melt the 3 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Usually 30 seconds on high is enough, if not then continue in 15 second intervals.

Add in the egg, Vanilla, Milk and Lemon Zest. (If you don't have a citrus zesting tool, just peel the lemon with your vegetable peeler and finely chop the zest you've peeled off). Mix well with a whisk.

Add the Baking Powder and mix well again.

Add the All Purpose Flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix well.

If you want to add any fruit like blueberries, raspberries, bananas, or you're going really decadent and want to add chocolate chips, this is the time.

Pour your vegetable oil in a skillet. I usually use about a Tablespoon. Once the oil is heated, pour your pancake batter and cook them as you normally would.

I usually prep and start the apples before the pancakes so they have a little longer to simmer. They're so easy you may find yourself making them just for a snack on their own. 
Core and rough chop your apple(s). Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and drop in the apples. Simmer the apples, stirring occasionally, until tender. 
Once I start the pancakes, I add in a teaspoon of cinnamon to the apples and stir it in well. Yum! I don't add any sugar. The apples are sweet enough when you factor in the maple syrup and powdered sugar that will top the pile of brunchy goodness, but if you're not using syrup, you may want to toss in a couple Tablespoons of sugar or brown sugar and simmer for one more minute.
When all your pancakes are finished, plate them on a handmade plate then top with the apples, drizzle some maple syrup and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
They're also amazing drizzled with warm caramel. Ooooohhhh yeah, that's tasty as hell. Sometimes if I am making chocolate chip pancakes, I'll use orange zest instead of lemon zest. 
However you choose to embellish your pancakes, this recipe is going to make a nice fluffy base for whatever you're adding. Enjoy!

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