Monday, July 28, 2014

Creativity Makes Life Worth Living

Today was so crazy and creative that I almost need to sit quietly in a blank room so there is nothing visual to latch onto. Here are just some of the things that occupied me today.

1. Preparing to make a crazy quilt. I'm doing research from 2 library books and also from Pinterest. Crazy Quilting is sewing, embroidery, beadwork, scrapbooking, and documenting your life all rolled into one. With Steampunk being based on the neovictorian ethos, a crazy quilt should fit right in. Yet I've never seen anyone do it. Imagine a crazy quilt featuring air ships, gears, cogs, reticulated wings, bustles and goggles. I must do this!

2. I just put in a rock garden as part of my Zen garden. I'm so happy to be playing with succulents again!

3. I tried my hand at melted crayon art. I'm always looking for new ways to make backgrounds for mixed media. Here is a crazy quilt background for an art journal. I will be drawing embroidery stitches over it. I got the idea from a used book that cost me .50 at the library.

4. I bought a washboard. Not to do laundry, but to turn into a percussion instrument. Now I need to get a cowbell. I can't believe how much fun I'm having with this idea.

5. I'm doing research on Regency era costuming.

6. I got some dye to turn my SCA tunic into a color I actually like. I tried dyeing it at my daughter's house in her left over dye bath, but it barely changed it.

7. Before I went on vacation I was learning to draw from a Manga style drawing book I got at the library. The library was going through some sort of data base change, so I wasn't able to renew the book and take it with me. It didn't occur to me to jot down the title before I returned it. So I tried to find it today and yesterday at 2 different local libraries. It's not even in their data base. The librarian thinks it might have come from the Riverside library, and they are no longer sharing with that library. But they found me 4 more manga drawing books. Two I checked out and 2 are on request. I wish I'd written down the title. Maybe if I check my old library receipts that are kicking around here, I'll find one with the title on it.

8. While it was still cool out this morning, I finished the fox painting I started yesterday. I was going to start another painting, but there were so many other things on my to-do list.

9. I also made watermelon mint juice. I had some at the San Luis Obispo, CA Renaissance Faire and I thought it would be a great healthy drink. It is fantastic on a hot day like today.
Watermelon and Mint Juice. Pour it over crushed ice.

A little mint goes a long way.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fanciewerks Yarn Shoppe

I just cruised by the Fanciewerks Yarn Shoppe in Apple Valley, CA to see when their open sessions are so I can meet some other knitters. Turns out they've just expanded. They had the last store in a strip mall, and the craft store on the other end moved out and the store in the center was already empty.  I'm glad they could afford to make a bigger store! More fun for us knitters right? And they've always had the open group on Wed. Before they were closed on Mondays but now they have a gathering on Mondays too.

Then I went to lunch and my curiosity got the better of me and I checked out the Apple Valley public pool facilities. I also had to return library books and the library is viewing distance from the pool. So if I plan it right I can hit the knitting meeting, the pool and the library all in one day from now on! Finally a cool place to sit and knit on a hot day.

I joined to help me keep on task with my Etsy shop goals.

I just started knitting an L-shaped scarf with big buttons. I started one a few months ago but then I thought we were going to move so I packed it. Now I don't know where it is. Oh noooooo! Oh well, I started a new one from a bag of 'end lot' yarn I got on sale at Joanne's. It's a wool looking ombre of dark red, brown and green. I'm not at home right now so I'll have to post a photo later.

I'm at the Apple Valley Library staying cool.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Sneaking Up On The Fourth of July

I don't have much to brag about at the moment. The hot weather here kills my productivity. I'm definitely not a desert person. This is about the 5th or 6th day of triple digit weather. It is 100 degrees right now at 3:30 PM. Last time I was in Apple Valley it was 109.

I'm not up to having some hot knitting sprawled all over me, but I did think I would be okay with one square. This little square will turn into a bunny.

I thought my boyfriend said there would be a craft fair down in Lucerne today but I can't find any mention of it on the local community pages. I'm debating whether I want to go out there in this heat on the off chance that it is happening. The truck doesn't have air conditioning. I know there are fireworks tonight but that's a lot of hours to sit in the heat until the sun goes down. That reminds me I should take my own chair. A swing band is playing at 7:30. That might be fun. Tomorrow morning there is a parade. I couldn't find out what time that starts either. While the local pages did mention they've had a parade for 40 years, there was no mention of the start time or the route. Seems you are just supposed to magically know that from having lived here for a decade or so.
Making a bunny from a square.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Challenges at the Shoebox Ranch

I've been completely overwhelmed trying to clean my house in case the landlady follows through with her plans to sell it. So I've had little time for crafting or designing or blogging. But I can't stay healthy without creating things so I spent an entire day in a mall crocheting, people watching, and forgetting my problems. That was last Saturday. This Saturday I stayed home to clean since we are running out of time, but I still plan to get back to that crochet project today. I haven't even touched it since I left the mall!

To make matters worse my boyfriend is sick too, but has to work anyway since his job offers no paid sick leave. It is basically sink or swim (or swim until you sink).

On the positive side, my hypnosis has been paying off. I have 3 hypnosis clients that have paid me for sessions, so I can at least pay a few bills and keep gas in the truck.

Spring is here and the birds are serenading me. I have a new roadrunner lurking in the yard as well. And the chipmunks are out of hibernation and running all over the place eating the peanuts and almonds and corn from the critter feed mix I get at Winco.

So I'm crossing my fingers and hoping we don't lose our home and that the universe smiles upon us. Think good thoughts for us.
Free form spiral medallion for the back of a vest or jacket.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Paddy's Day Hat & More

Knitty Gritty Knits Book

I've been crafting up a storm so I thought I better take a breather and catch you guys up. I was making a triangle hat from the Knitty Gritty knitting book, and before I even had that one completely done, I thought it would be sweet to have a hat like that, only in shades of green, for St. Paddy's Day.
My first triangle hat work-in-progress
So I began making the 26 triangles for a green version. I finished the last triangle at about 2 AM. So far so good.
Making a chicken coop out of used pallets.

We are also in the middle of building a chicken coop that's taken the better part of the last 3 days. I'll write more about that in my Country Living blog. My hands are so sore from pulling out nails and staples so we can use re-purposed pallet wood. It's a challenge for sure. The chickens were supposed to be delivered yesterday but the man got sick so no chickens until next Monday.  But that's okay, because the coop isn't nearly done yet.

Last night I was going to do beadwork, but by the time I got everything laid out and finished helping with the coop, the sun was going down. And it's windy today so if I do beadwork, I'll have to find somewhere inside to do it. Either inside the container or inside the house. But I have so many dishes to do before company comes, that I may not get to that either. So much to do, so little free time.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Knitting in green for St. Patrick's Day

Friday, February 28, 2014

How I Made a Fascinator

What is a hair fascinator? It is a hair doodad that you wear instead of a hat. They are often trimmed with tulle and feathers. Remember you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.
  1. First I gathered all the parts together that I thought I might need. I rinsed out and dried a 2 Liter soda bottle to make the support for the fascinator.
    From left to right: Soda bottle, fabric, pink tulle, square buttons, gray felt, contact paper pattern, feathers, and pearl trim.
    2. I cut an oval out of the contact paper. I picked this so it would be flexible. I held it against the bottle and traced around it with a Sharpie marker. Then I cut out my oval. This goes inside the fascinator and since it has a curve it fits the shape of your head. I saved the pattern to cut out the fabric and the lining. When I cut the fabric, I allowed 1/4" seam allowance. On the future ones I'll add 1/2". 
    Save the pattern for the plastic, the fabric, and the felt lining.

    Hold the pattern to the bottle and trace around it.
    Carefully cut out the oval and clean up the edges a bit.

    3. Now think of it as a sandwich. You are going to have 3 layers: Fabric, plastic center, & felt lining. Got it? I placed the fabric on top of the plastic and used a sharp needle to tack it through the plastic at both ends with a needle and thread to line it up. I recommend using a thimble. Then I ran a running stitch along the edge to get it to fold around the plastic.  Then I sewed the gold pearl and chain trim around the perimeter.

    I only sewed through the plastic when I had to. When I sewed the pearl trim on, it is 'couched' onto the green fabric; not through the plastic.

    4. The pink tulle came from a costume I bought to rip apart last Oct. I tacked that to one end, followed by the feathers and then a gold 'knot' button to cover up the ends. 
    You can still see the plastic inside the fascinator. This will be covered by the gray felt lining.

I am amused that the fabric I picked has an illustration of a woman wearing a fascinator.

Love these square buttons. I used 3 on the fascinator. They'll look great on the dance floor.

Polka dotted guinea hen feathers.
I sewed the buttons through the plastic.
5. After you sew on everything you are going to add, it's time to sew on the felt lining. Line it up carefully, tuck the cover fabric under it and sew the edges together with a whip stitch as neatly as possible. Most people would then attach it to an Alice band, but those are too small and pinchy. So I usually sew mine to 1/8" black elastic or stretch cording. If you have light colored hair you can use white or beige elastic.
Attaching the lining.

6. You can do some of the steps with hot melt glue. I live in the desert and I don't feel secure using glue. But if you needed to make a bunch in a hurry for a dance recital and they'd only be worn a few times, hot melt should be a lot faster. You can also use it to keep things from shifting before you sew them. I like hand sewing, so I sewed it all together.

Hair Fascinator by Fayme Harper from Pigglewiggins

For the photos I just used bobby pins. Now I just need someone to invite me to a cocktail party or the Kentucky Derby.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hair Fascintor With Feathers and Pink Tulle Made Out of a Soda Bottle

I'm busy making a hair fascinator, photos to follow. I'm just about to sew on the polka dotted feathers.

Here it is: Fascinator