Monday, July 31, 2006
Or if sorting is too painful, just put it in the donate box and maybe someone else can benefit from your 50% finished embroidery kit.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Why not make your own for pennies? Most of the cards consisted of a piece of handmade paper (make it or buy it). I've made it from an inexpensive kit and a blender. Or the local art supply store carries it. A big sheet will make several cards. Then glued to the cardstock was either a small photo, or pressed flowers, or a little painting. That gives you three options of something to put on the card. Or buy a packet of flower seeds, cut four slots on the cardstock for the corners of the seed packet, and make the packet the front of the card.
I couldn't see the inside, but if you are a whiz at calligraphy, you can write whatever suits you. Or print it out on the computer in a frilly font. It's more time efficient to make half a dozen cards at once, and then stockpile them until needed.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
I've been struggling to figure out what kind of strap I wanted on my mandolin case, when I realized that stick weaving might be just the thing. So I fished around in some bags until I found my last stick weaving project, and lo and behold the sticks were already in a project in a yarn color that will work well with my case! And it was almost done. So ten minutes later I had the strap ready to go. All I have to do is sew it on.
Anyway here are some photos of stick weaving, a craft brought back to Europe by the Crusaders.
I made my sticks from hardwood dowels. I sharpened one end and drilled a hole in the other.
Friday, July 28, 2006
I went to the closing sale at the Indian Store and they were mostly sold out of colors of beads I would normally buy, but the price was right so I got some size 10 olive greenish gray czech seed beads. So now the creative wheels are spinning, and I'm thinking I could make something with a camo background. Maybe a camo hatband for archery? Maybe customized with a name on it. Hmmm. Or maybe an animal silouette in black over the camo background?
I also got all the orange beads they had left figuring Halloween would be here soon, and those pumpkins made on safety pins are awfully cute. Maybe I can whip up some of those for Etsy.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Findings are all those little doo-dads you need to finish your jewelry and make it look professional. Here are a few that are indespensible:
1. Crimp beads and crimp tubes. These look like ordinary non-descript beads. You thread your ends through them, then through the clasp, then back through the crimp bead. Then you crimp it down (smash it) with needle nose plyers and it holds all the loose ends together. Trim the excess or thread it back through the beadwork to secure.
2. Clasps: There are many kinds but I prefer 'lobster claws'.3. Spacer beads. These feel in the gaps between different sizes of beads.
4. 3 to1 connectors. These take a wide piece of beadwork and narrow it down so you can put a clasp on it.
5. Spring rings. These have a little loop and are part of the clasp.
6. Tube bead with dangle loop. Have you ever tried stringing a pendant bead straight onto the thread and it hangs in the wrong direction? This little piece solves that dilemma.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Supplies: Long remnant of calico (cotton) fabric.
Gel pellets from the plant nursery
Sew a tube long enough to go around your neck with a little extra to use for ties.
Be sure to leave an opening for the pellets. Sew on the ties to each end.
Scoop some of the dry pellets into the tube. Remember, they expand a great deal so don't over do it. Sew up opening.
Get your tube soaking wet in a bowl of water. The water will make the pellets swell up. Stick tube into the refrigerator for a few hours. Remove the tube and tie it around your neck for cool refreshing relief from the heat.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Monday, July 24, 2006
This bracelet has 2 rows of buttons (about 40 total).
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Then after they were dry, I cut apart the cloth from the seams. I'm keeping all the parts until I know for sure if I need them or not. Next I have to trace around my mandolin to make a pattern. I'll have to give my older sister credit here because back in high school she made a guitar case out of my dad's old air force fatigues. She used the button placket as the opening to unbutton it to get the guitar out. Very clever.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Useful tecniques:Whenever you are getting paper wet, it will want to curl up. The solution is to use drafting tape to tape it to a drawing board first. The tape will leave a clean border around your card. Or if you don't want a border, cut the paper big to begin with and trim off the border later. I find it easier to start with a big sheet of watercolor paper (like 11"x14" and tape it down. Then make many cards at once (however many will fit on the sheet). When dry, remove the tape and cut to size.
Improving the base:I can't imagine using white-out when acylic gesso is so much more efficient and less expensive in the long run. Check the prices...sometimes the bigger bottle is a lot better deal than the smaller sizes. Save time by adding paint to a small bit of gesso to avoid the white background phobia. I barely mix mine so that each stroke is a different shade. I find it more painterly that way.
Don't waste paint:When you have all that excess paint on your pallette and you are done for the day, you can cover it with foil or plastic wrap. If you have no use for it because you finished your project, grab you sketchbook with the heavy weight paper that you use for your artist book/journal and flip to a blank page and use the excess paint as a background for a future art page. If you lay the book flat you can paint two pages at once. I always slip a piece of thin cardboard under each page so the paint won't seep through to the other pages. Leave open until dry. Or sometimes I use the extra paint to put a background coat on stones for gypsy stones (the found art I give away). I have a box full of clean stones ready to go. Have fun.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Anyway, I saw a real cute journal cover made of used denim and I started thinking of all the things I could make from old denim. I wanted to make a distressed denim skirt in the worst way, but I think I'd look like a blue elephant in one. So now I'm thinking of things like purses, hats, bookcovers and other small projects.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Interruptions are a fact of life. We sometimes assume that if we get started with great fevor for a project, we'll get it done in a reasonable length of time. But life has a way of intruding. Between unplanned moves, unexpected company, unexpected illnesses and sudden trips, it's a wonder we get anything done. Even five minutes worth of notes can be priceless later.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Peyote stitch, also known as gourd stitch, can be worked around a tube or a cylinder. I started covering the cordage of some eyeglass holders a while back and just unburied it today. I have forgotten the specifics, so I'll be off hunting for instructions on 4 color peyote stitches.
I think this will do the trick: http://www.beadjewelrymaking.com/Arts_and_Craft_Idea/peyote_stitch_instruction.html
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
1. War chest...hand carved wooden chests are popular for reinactments to stash all your gear in. Whether you are a pirate of a viking, you have to stash that booty somewhere.
The options are limitless. You can make these out of fabric, leather, gourds, chainmaile, wood, metal, or found objects. Sporran pouches have even been made out of badgers.
3. Needle cases
Make them out of felt to hold needles, or make wooden tubes to hold needles. Or buy the tubes already made from the needlepoint shop and paint them yourself with cool designs.
4. Knit or crochet containers. This includes purses, pouches, bowls, boxes, and roll-up jewelry cases.
5. Needlepoint is famous for adding a decorative touch to containers, whether they hold a tennis racket or eyeglasses.
6. Use clay to make a container. You can make a vase, or a wall sconce, or a bowl out of clay. There are many clays on the market from the kind needing a kiln to the kind you let dry in the sun.
7. Make little containers to hold jewelry, cards, dice, pet rocks, ID cards, buttons, beads, or touchstones. All those cool things you don't want to break but you need to keep in a safe dark spot until you need them.
8. Make giant containers to hold books, tripods, sleeping bags, bows, guitars or laundry. We bought a roll of canvas at a good price a few years ago and out of it we've made bow socks for archery, a pavilion, banners, tool caddies, and many other things. The beauty of canvas is you can paint right on it or dye it. It helps to have a serger to keep edges from raveling.
9. Make the container part of the gift. Instead of giving someone a deck of tarot cards, give them the cards in a personalized beaded pouch. Instead of giving your gamer a handful of dice, make a leather pouch just for them. Embroider a dragon or their favorite animal on it.
10. Stores abound with things you can turn into cool containers. You can buy little paper boxes to decorate with paint, beads or decoupage. You can get little tins at any of the bargain stores. Just eat the mints and the container is basically free. Many people pitch their gift boxes after a holiday. If you ask people to save them for you, you'll soon have more than you could ever use.
Sometimes tea comes in great little wooden boxes. My first choice is wood, then metal, then cardboard, then plastic. Get in the habit of reading paint and glue containers to make sure all the items are compatible. Then craft away.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Most people are familiar with the concept of patchwork quilts. You take squares, rectangles, triangles and other geometric shapes and piece them all together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Modular knitting works the same way. Save up all those knitting swatches and half-finished scarves. Pick a garment or a purse that is made of simple geometric shapes, and start pinning the various shapes that you have in your stash to the pattern.
Right now I am making a dress. The front panel is striped ribbing. The back panel is stockinnette stitch. They are multicolored. Then I will make the sides and sleeves out of black.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Patterns gotcha down? Tired of following in someone else's footsteps? Why not grab some yarn, your favorite hook and take off blazing your own trail. Here's a photo of a 'scrumble', a bit of freeform crochet I made up as I went along. Once I get enough of these made, I'm making a mermaid belly dancing costume out of them. Want to see more scrumbles? Go to Google images and google up scrumble and scrumbles.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
I can't find the site now, but here is another one: http://www.jaedworks.com/clayspot/polyclay-faq/molding.html
Friday, July 14, 2006
If you've never painted with acrylics before, you are in for a pleasant surprise. They smell a whole lot better than oil paint and turpentine, and they dry quickly, making them an excellent choice if you have children that like to put their hands on everything. This is an acrylic painting on gessoed canvas. I save time by adding some paint directly to the gesso and pre-painting the background. The rest of the painting I worked on this morning; quit when it got hot outside, then worked on it again as the sun was going down. With any luck, I'll finish it tomorrow. I need to paint more leaves and figure out what to put in the lower left hand corner.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
If you know how to crochet the basic single crochet stitch and you know how to increase and decrease, you can design your own amigurumi projects. Amigurumi originated in Japan and is a way to make small animals, and 'things' like cupcakes or sushi. The debate is on-going about whether amigurumi includes knitting too. But if you are more adept at knitting, why not knit one. Anyway, here is one of mine.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
This morning I was cleaning out a notebook and found a flyer for a doodling workshop long passed. But her website was listed so I wanted to share it with you. http://www.sacreddoodles.com/pages/artworks.htm Scroll down on that page for the doodle directions. When I finish my doodle I'll post it here.
I made a new flickr group just for doodles over here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/oodlesofdoodles/
It's free to join so come on by.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
especially since my friend taught me how to do a screen capture and save it to my paint program and print it out.
My first design is a skull choker that will say "Dead Men Tell No Tales" to commemorate the release of Pirates of the Carribean 2 tonight. I'm going to go see it at a special showing tonight at midnight.
I started the beadwork last night but I made some mistakes and started over with a better chart.
I'm using size 10 Czech seed beads and a big eye needle. I prepared the loom with D beading thread and I am using B thread for the beadwork. Those recommendations were given to me by the clerk at the Indian Store and they seem to be working very well.
In the past I've had poor results with uneven beads, so now I'm careful to discard any lumpy beads. I can use them for other projects that don't require so much accuracy to look right.
painting on glass
quirky sock critters TM