Kara Kronenwetter

Back Pain, Vintage Trunks, and Sensible Shoes

January 25th, 2013

I’ve been vaguely interested in trying out a standing desk ever since Andrew converted his and I began hearing the praises.  By all accounts it seems to be a great way to not only get off of your behind, but studies have shown that it actually increases productivity.  They say it increases your blood circulation, eases strain on the back and helps you live longer.

Andrew took to the process well and after an initial phase where he was psyched to come home and sit down, all seems back to normal.  He’s even complained less about holding tension in his shoulders.  Most likely it’s because instead of bouncing his leg, he’s been able to shift his weight from leg to leg and take a good stretch without having to leave his desk.  I even bought him a balance board for Christmas, and he stands on that at his desk for a little extra exercise.

So, on to my part of this story.  A few weeks ago the lower back pain that had been slightly annoying me was exacerbated with a sneeze.  Yes.  A freaking sneeze transformed a healthy 27 year old to the movements of a senior citizen.  Though honestly, my grandmother moved pretty fast with that walker.  (Hmmm, not a bad idea.)  After a day or so of bed rest, I came to work.  And there it was… my office chair.  The enemy.  My back had healed to the point where I could walk (slowly) and I could stand and recline, but sitting was brutal.  Even with my amazon ordered Tush-Cush  (my grandmother had one of those as well, I’m sensing a pattern).

Looking around the office desperate for something to do other than sit, I found them.  A stack of vintage trunks (very cool) that could elevate my computer to a standing height.  In my weakened condition, I asked a coworker to lift it on top of my desk for me, and I got everything hooked up!

And here is where being a woman comes into play and annoys the crap out of me.  As I could barely walk, I had been wearing flat shoes.  With those flat shoes I repeatedly wore the 2 pairs of dress pants that are hemmed for that height.  This removed 3/5 of my wardrobe, as most of my pants I keep with a long hem  so that they are the right length for a 1.5-2.5 inch heel.  This was fine, I was in pain.  Now it’s a couple weeks later and I’m walking normally.  I’ve been warned against jogging or heaving lifting for a time, but it’s time to resurrect my full wardrobe.

Has anyone tried standing all day in heels?  It’s absolute torture, and I’m sure much worse for someone than sitting at a desk.  I know, just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I have to wear heels.  I know a lot of people (and men especially) would just tell me to wear flats and that I’m being ridiculous.  Heck, I’m 5’11” already, it’s not that I need the height.  But you know what?  I look damn good in heels.  Polished, stylish, long-legged.  There is a reason women suffer a little bit for fashion.  And lets face it, stylish flats are often as uncomfortable or more so, than a kitten heel.

My first thought was, oh I’ll put on my fast-flats while standing at the desk, and then switch to my heels when I leave the cube.  Good in theory, but every time I go to the bathroom, to a meeting, to the kitchen… I’m not going to remember to switch my shoes.  Nor will I want to, what a waste of time.  Sitting down, sliding off my flats, putting on my heeled boots and zipping them up?  That’s just nutty, and I end up in the bathroom, with my pants dragging on the dirty ground.  Why?!

I think it’ll be better in the spring and summer, when I can easily swap a pair of flats with a simple heel without even bending over.  But for winter, with boots.  I don’t know.  All I know for sure is that I’m torn, and it’s a little irksome that a dude would never have this problem.

Ugh, I’m tired.  Maybe I should sit down.

“You People”

August 19th, 2012

My grandmother was an amazing woman. She beat breast cancer (twice), took care of my brother, sister and I while our parents were at work, and even had time to give us hell for not finishing our plates at dinner.

When my family moved from the home where my mother was raised (which was 3 blocks from where my grandmother then lived), my grandmother moved with us. She had her own living space on the first floor of our new home, apparently so that we could take care of her in her old age. It was quickly apparent that we had it wrong, and for the next 8 years she took care of us. Always with a hot meal and a tidy house, she impressed us day in and day out with the vivacity of someone 1/4 her age.

My grandmother, oh she got frustrated with us. We were too loud, always messy, and she would, without fail, start her complaints about us with “You People.” As in “You People never empty the dishwasher!” For all she tried, she couldn’t keep us in line. (I really hated emptying that darn dishwasher.)

This design is a memorial to my grandmother. I had t-shirts printed up and distributed to my immediate family this past 4th of July to commemorate what would’ve been her 101st birthday, and additionally the birth of her namesake, my new niece Helen Sarah Kronenwetter.

Hand-Knit Beer Cozies

June 11th, 2012

Beer Cozies
There are a lot of things in this world that can make people happy. Vacations, Friends, Saved by the Bell, Knitting, Beer… well I’ve combined them! (Yes, Saved by the Bell.) This past week Andrew and I spent a solid 9 days at the Evergreen Knoll in Betterton, MD. Of course we spent a fair amount of time reading on the dock, soaking up the sun. But I’m never as happy as I am when I have a project, so I armed myself with some yarn, two sets of double pointed needles, a lap-top and a fair amount of beer and got to work.

Note that for the time being I satisfied myself with solid colors. Upon trying to knit names into the cozies, and even stitching them on, proved disastrous. Perhaps I’ll add some stripes for the second round, although I have a sneaking suspicion that stripes will make them look like beer-socks… which actually sounds kind of adorable.

A few people have asked if I’ll be selling said cozies. I will not. The disproportionate amount of time it takes to make a cozi (3 hrs -or- 6 episodes of Saved by the Bell) combined with the cost of yarn per item ($ .37) makes for a difficult pricing scheme. Perhaps I’ll do an exchange program… you buy me 2 beers and suggest a good podcast, audio book, tv-show or movie to knit to; and I’ll make you a cozi!

Daria, Trent and Jane

November 21st, 2010

Daria, Trent and Jane

This year for Halloween Andrew, Sarah and I took on the iconic cartoons from “Daria”. We spent much of the summer trying to find the episodes online to watch and ended up borrowing the DVDs to finish up the series in October, but I knew I wanted to be Daria at the beginning of summer.

A little more confident in my sewing “skills” I bought the cheapest material I could find (6 yards for $8) and went at it using some sweatshirts and an old jacket as a pattern. The jacket I created has two layers, and while the front didn’t lay as well as I’d hope it would, I think it got the point across. I think the black edging added a nice effect as well. The skirt I could’ve easily bought, but I made it since it was so simple. Of course the outfit wouldn’t be complete without the wig and boots, and by the way if you’re ever planning on wearing a wig, pay the extra $10 and get one at a wig shop… it makes all the difference in wearability and believability. I’m still breaking in the Docs, but I’m looking forward to winter in them.

Trent was alot of fun to put together for Andrew. Mostly because he was so perfect for the part. I used some old black eyeliner for his facial hair and eyebrows, and we used black-tinted spiking gel to do his hair. The jewelery (rings/necklace) was made from oven-baked skulpy, and we bought a bunch of earrings from Kmart and basically pinched the semi-sharp ends into his ears (what a good sport).

Because of the simplicity of the outfits I feel like alot of people didn’t make the connections, but there were a few people that knew exactly what we were, and alot of friends that just didn’t recognize us at first, so that was alot of fun. I hope you all enjoy the costumes… and if you have never watched “Daria” before, please watch, it’s a great show… and for those of you who remember watching it when it was on MTV, re-watch it. It holds up very well.

Kitteh Pillows

February 6th, 2010

Quite a while ago I helps Sara pick out a bunch of fabric so that I could make a costume for her, well I apparently made her over-buy one of the most expensive fabrics we laid our hands on. So what does one do with a plethora of pearly-white fur?

The solution is obviously to make a bunch of shallow pet-carrier sized pillows for her cat. After months of procrastination, I took the blizzard outside as a sign that I should cover my floor in shredded white fur (more so than it usually is) only this time, it would be because I was cutting fabric, not because I haven’t ran roomba in a while.

Zin loves her new pillows and was gracious enough to stop kneading and eating the fur long enough for me to snap a picture

Bike Philadelphia

January 8th, 2010


I started this design a month ago as a Christmas card. The circular part was an ornament, though it didn’t make much sense that the city was chilling on top of it. I also got bored with holiday themes and started playing with grunge techniques, which looked cool, but really didn’t capture the spirit of the season.

So as soon as I scrapped that idea, I started working with a winding road, which ended up looking like a Pac Man-type design, so I added perilous little teeth, and thought immediately of Philadelphia’s bike paths. So I came up with this.

I also finally figured out illustrator’s 3D art mapping tool, so I was able to get a nice effect on the road. Though, the effect doesn’t seem to be scalable which I’d hope there’s a workaround for.


November 19th, 2009

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything serious, and despite the fact that I’m listening to Britney Spear’s ‘Opps I did it again’… I’m thinking very serious thoughts.

A (previously) close friend from High School’s daughter passed away the other day, and I can’t help but think about how she must be feeling. I’m not going to sit here and spout the usual melodramatically spiritual words that I’m sure people in need may get tired of hearing. The bottom line is, I can’t imagine what it must feel like, thinking about it makes my head hurt. If there is a God, and he is all-knowing and all-controlling, he’s a fucking selfish ass for taking this little girls life.

Personally, I am of a mind that sure, perhaps there is a creator. A being or mind that started this little life of mine. I also pray every once in a while, mostly because if there is a god, he’ll make my cramps go away (yes I said it), or my grandmother will be able to check in on me. Even through the occasional (some would say lapse in judgment) cry for help however, I have faith in myself, not god. Faith in myself and the people I love. So far, they haven’t let me down. I realize that I may be in the minority as far as this is concerned, but to me something tangible seems like a more responsible (although more infinitely riddled with potholes) notion.

I with my full heart believe that the doctors and nurses of my friends little girl must’ve done everything they could for her, I know I would’ve. My faith lies with them, not with god. I’m not knocking faith. Not at all. Faith is something that can get us through some tough times, whether it’s in god, the human race, family, friends, yourself, or even a spaghetti monster. You do what you’ve gotta do. But at the end of the line, it just comes down to how strong you are. How you deal with what you’ve been dealt.

I regret that I haven’t kept up with the people who were in my life, but who are still important enough to me to be eliciting all the emotions I’m feeling right now. To the person I’m thinking about, I say this with the deepest respect for whatever you’re beliefs are or ever will be: I’m truly sorry, and if there was anything I could do, I would do it. But I know there is not… so I’m just going to keep sitting here, thinking about you and your family, and hope that maybe someday we’ll be able to reconnect so that I can get to know you again, and learn at least a little bit about the life that should’ve never been lost.

Dixie Cousins & Mrs. Monarch Costumes

November 11th, 2009

Dixie Cousins Costume

Yes, I bought a sewing machine. Obviously, I had to make my Halloween costume. And Sara’s. And fix Amanda’s. And Andrew’s.

One character I’ve always loved has been Dixie Cousins from The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. Which is one of my (and my father’s) favorite shows. Dixie was a saloon singer in the wild west, and got into all sorts of shenanigans. And of course, had fantastic outfits. The costume I went with was modeled after what she wore in the pilot episode, the first time her character was introduced (she was singing on stage of course).

The two nights that I wore it, not a single person knew the reference, but everyone loved it anyway. (And lets be honest, the show is pretty obscure, and Dixie wore MANY outfits!) I had alot of fun with it anyway and look forward to darning it again!

Sara’s costume was Mrs. Monarch from The Venture Bros on Comedy Central. She bought the black unitard and I sewed lots of gold spandex into tubes for the gloves and boot covers. The ribbon was a little hard to attach to the unitard, but I think we got the point across quite nicely!

Morris’ Blanket

November 11th, 2009


So I finished this quite some time ago, but I kept forgetting to upload the finished project. I used this pattern, and it turned out great! Apparently my nephew sleeps with it every night.

I’ve been slacking on my knitting (and a little crocheting) since I finished this, but the other day I started working on a cabled hat and scarf set. The hat is done and fits perfectly, so I hope the boredom doesn’t hit before I finish it’s mate.

And the Madness Begins

September 8th, 2009

So the digms have decided to do a weekly art assignment. Much to my dismay the first theme was Fairies. Okay. So I admit. I had fun with it. Maybe a little too much fun. It just so happened that I had my laptop and 4 hours to kill last Wed night at the hospital when my nephew (Morris Wilhelm Kronenwetter!) was being born, so I used it to my advantage. And was inspired (at least as far as the title was concerned) by the events. I’m sure I won’t put this much effort into the following assignments so enjoy!


(and yes… she’s vomiting rainbows)