Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Miniature Purple Wire Basket

I just finished a miniature twined wire basket and got it listed in my Artfire shop here: Purple basket It's my first listing on Artfire and I'm glad I figured out how to get it off and running. At first I was just getting error pages so I was getting worried, but then I restarted my computer and it uploaded just fine. On Artfire you can list 10 items for sale for free. Or they have a special right now where you can get a flat fee of $7.00 a month for life. Then again, who knows how many years any new web business will be up and running? For people that list to Etsy daily it's a better deal, but I don't spend $7.00 a month listing on Etsy so I'm not as motivated to sign up for the paid account. We'll see.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crochet a Dinner Plate Hat

Just finished my new hat crochet video tutorial on Youtube. Or just use the first part to learn to crochet circles and go forth and make hot pads, coaster, pillows and amigurumi to your heart's content.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why Pastel Yarns?

I found some more yarn at the .99 store in the perfect colors for my flower scarf.

This morning I sorted a whole bunch of granny squares that my bf's mom gave me. I'm trying to figure out some way to put them together and finish them so they can be put to good use. I'm just not into pastels and don't think they should be given to babies so I'm a bit conflicted. Babies need colors with high contrast to help develop their vision. Like red, black and white. But that flies in the face of tradition and yarn stores keep cranking out the pastels. I may round up all the pastels and give them to my daughter and her sister-in-law.

Personally I prefer gem tones like ruby, sapphire, emerald and so on. And also black. I almost never use white yarn either.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Crochet a Flower Scarf and Knitting on Jumbo Needles

Today I had to find a crochet project that would keep me busy at the archery gathering. So I decided to design a flower scarf. Unfortunately I wasn't very lucid when we left this morning and only grabbed muted blue, muted gray, purple and ombre yarn in firey yellows, reds and oranges. Not quite the best choice for flowers, but it's just a prototype anyway so I went with it. Each flower has 8 petals, so I can most easily join them above and below and side by side. Four petals would work but wouldn't be very posh looking, and an odd number would make it hard to link the design together. This time I did remember to write down the pattern and make diagrams so I don't forget how to do it later. I got about 12 flowers done before I needed to move onto something else.

I also started a garter stitch scarf on big needles in purple and blue. It was getting too cold to crochet and the bigger knitting needles were easier to hang on to, though they were as cold as popsicles when I first picked them up.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Leaf scarf

Today I'm busy as a bee designing a multicolored leaf scarf in crochet. It's varying shades of green, though a scarf in autumn colors would work just as well. I worked on it outside for a while, then came in to have lunch. Now it's too cold to work outside so as soon as I finish this blog post I'm going to bring all the parts back in.

I'm working on all new stuff for my 3 Etsy shops and my 2 Artfire shops for 2009. I still have a couple of listings from 2008 that will expire soon.

Tomorrow is the paleo meeting but I have a feeling it will be too cold to do beading outside, so I'm not sure what project I will take with me. I'm going to have to stay physically active or I'll turn into a popsicle.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Yarn, Knifty Knitter, Crochet and Embroidery

I found two new Knifty Knitter pamphlets at Joanne's today. One is hats and the other is blankets. At .99 a piece how could I resist. Also I took advantage of their yarn sale and got a tote bag full of yarn. My boyfriend even picked up the cost claiming that since I don't do Christmas it wasn't a Christmas present and since my birthday isn't even till next year (Jan. 3) he doesn't know what to call it. Nothing like picking out your own present eh? I never would have bought that much yarn if I knew he was going to foot the bill. But I will enjoy making things out of it. After getting that home you'd think I would have done knitting or crochet. But I didn't. I worked on my cross stitch. The embroidery projects were expanding and making a mess so I found them their own bin so I can keep them clean and away from the cats.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Busy Day

Today I did some cross stitch on the Twilight project. But I barely got into it when I was called to dinner.

I made raisin bread today in my bread machine. When it's hot it has a crispy crust and is soft on the inside. After I wrap it and it sits over night, it is soft all the way through. I like it both ways. I was going to make chicken for dinner but no one was hungry. Later at night we had salad instead.

I've avoided the chatrooms everywhere today so I wouldn't have to hear people going on and on about Christmas. I'm a little lonely but at least I'm not aggravated.

I'm tempted to go to the Joanne's after xmas yarn sale tomorrow but I'm not sure if I'm ready to face the crowds. All their yarn is supposed to be on sale.

I thought my daughter had given up knitting and crocheting because her husband convinced her it was a complete waste of time when she could be doing something more productive. Then she taught one of his sisters how to crochet. When she told me I offered to give his sister some of my extra yarn and supplies and my daughter says, "Hey, I want some too." So I guess she is back on the wagon. The crochet wagon at least. So when she comes down to visit I'm going to give her enough yarn for the both of them.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Welcome to the party.

Yippee! I got three new blog followers today. So that makes an even 10. Thanks for signing up.

I overslept this morning and woke up at 10 AM. Oopsy. Guess I stayed up too late in the Gypsy Camp Etsy chatroom last night, but I was having a really good time chatting with another writer named MSHalton. Bill from Pagancellar was also there. He was up late listing jewelry in his new Artfire shop. Everyone who came in the chatroom was an old school photographer so we talked about darkrooms and developing and the good ole days of photography too. I only had use of a darkroom when I was in college but it was a wonderful learning experience. My daughter has an Etsy shop for her photography but I noticed it was empty yesterday. She's really busy at her day job. Hugs to all you shutter bugs.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


First thing this morning I worked on my hypnosis cross-stitch. I had to mix fonts from 2 different sources but I really like the way it is coming out. I'm still not sure if I just want it to say Hypnosis or if I want to keep going and have it say "Hypnosis Happens Here". I like watching projects unfold. Most of it is in dark red, so I may put a border of roses around it. Or maybe to underline it.

I would also like to do some more freestyle embroidery soon, maybe on silk. I've never tried on silk before but I saw an example on Antique Road Show.

Monday, December 22, 2008

ArtFire Special Promo Deal

I'm building two new shops over on artfire. If anyone wants to join me here's the link: Artfire. If you can get 10 people to join you get your shop for free. But that expires on Dec. 31, 2008 so get cracking. I didn't even think to ask people today so help a girl out and sign up.

One of my shops is named Steampunk. I'm trying to remember the name to my other one. Laughs. I haven't had time to put anything in my shops yet. The Internet is eating my life.

Anyway, thanks for considering it.

Loom Knitting and Crocheting Hats

I woke up to a rainy day, perfect for crafting. I've been studying my 3 loom knitting guides because I need to do a tutorial on removing projects from the loom. The books lean heavily on using a crochet hook to do so, and I'm not sure why but many knitters seem to be allergic to crochet hooks. Most of the techniques can be done with a yarn needle as well, it's just a little harder to get into tight spots but it can be done.

I also want to make a tutorial on crocheting hats. Threadbanger just did one and I feel I can make one that looks the same without all the tedious counting. Counting slows down progress. Sometimes there is no getting around the counting, but if there is a way that you can just move smoothly along rather than checking a chart after every row, it stands to reason that it will be quicker to complete the project.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

51 Things in My Bedroom

I spent most of today working on a vlog video for youtube. Hope you enjoy it. The music was a collaboration between myself and John Chafe. I wrote the lyrics and he did the revisions and wrote all the music and sings all the songs.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Knitted headbands

Yay me. I finally made myself grab my yarn needle and finish 2 knitted headbands. I finished the knitting weeks ago but couldn't seem to do the last little bit of work on them. I'm not sure if I'll put them in my Etsy shop, just wear them or give them as gifts. I'm just glad they are done so I can focus on my 300 other projects.

Saturday is Getting Away From Me

It's already after 3 and I haven't had a chance to work on crafts yet. Our cat needed his medicine refilled and the vet wouldn't refill it without a yearly check up, so we spent the morning driving to the vet 30 miles away. Then we needed cat food so we had to stop at the pet store. I got 2 angelfish and a plecostomus while we were there.

We also swung by the farmer's market in Buena Park and got beets, tomatoes, lettuce, and asparagus. Traffic was terrible coming back by Knott's Berry Farm. I realized that this is the last weekend of their promotion where you bring $10 worth of toys for Toys for Tots and get in free. So there were long lines of families all carrying big bags of toys.

When I got home, I hooked up my old computer. My other computer needs a new motherboard so I'm going to have to live with the old and slow one for awhile. At least I don't have to borrow my bf's anymore and we can both be on line at the same time.

I just finished lunch and was about to dive into some crafts when a friend of my boyfriend's dropped over. So now they are in the living room talking and I can't even get to my crafts at the moment. But at least I can catch up on my blog posting. I thought I'd better do it now before the day got away from me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blogging on Somerset

If you are like me, when you first started blogging people either said, "What's that," or "That's lame." But then a lot of artists caught on that not only is it a great form of self-expression, it's also a way to make friends, find customers, get your name out there, inspire yourself, inspire others and improve your writing skills.

So I felt pretty darn good when I walked into Joanne's and saw Somerset magazine had devoted it's front page to blogging. Go bloggers!

Hypnosis Cross Stitch

I wanted to make some sort of cross stich design about hypnosis. So I started on an H. I'm not sure if I want to make "Hypnotist", "Hypnosis spoken here." or what exactly.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crocheted potholder

I just finished a black and white potholder that was started either by my boyfriend's mother or grandmother. It was in a box of unfinished projects from his grandmother's estate. So at least I can say I finished one thing this week even if I didn't start it.

For those of you reading my blogs via RSS feeds and other proggies, you won't be able to see the photos on my blog, so make sure you drop by the blog itself to see photos. Also I often type a post and don't add the photo for a day or two. I don't always have the camera near the computer or the project for that matter. So do check back for photos.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I started on a peyote stitch beaded medicine pouch today. I'm quite stiff from working on it so I'm giving it a rest for a while. It is light pink, hot pink, silver and green so far.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Knitting Book

Here are some photos of the knitting book I'm doing the Confetti Sweater with. It's on page 95. So if you have the book feel free to knit along. It's called the Yarn Girl's Guide to Simple Knits.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Are You Sick of Knitting Yet?

The only problem with going to bed early is I wake up early. I was wide awake at 6:30 AM so I started knitting the sleeve of my sweater. I decided to use the smidge of multicolor yarn I have left on the cuffs and do the rest in the 2 shades of yellow I used in the rest of the sweater. Coming along great so far.

Last night I found a teal scarf I had started so I worked on that before bed last night. I had to undo and redo about 8 rows before I could figure out the pattern again. But I think I'm on the right track now.

As far as holiday cards, I went ahead and just bought an asst. box of cards. I'm just too busy to make any right now. I got most of those mailed off this morning.

I'm amazed at how many people come to this blog and yet how few leave comments. I know you are out there, I can hear you breathing.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Confetti Sweater Cont.

I worked on the Confetti Sweater first thing this morning. I have the back and front finished. I'm also not going to have enough of the multicolored yarn to make two sleeves. My options are buy another skein if I can find it, look through my stash and see if I have more I forgot I had, make the sleeves plain yellow, or make yellow sleeves with a multicolor border along the bottom cuff with the yarn I still have.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gem Faire

The gem faire was a lot of fun. They had virtually nothing for Steampunk though. Mostly I bought carved bone items and seed beads and 2 beaded necklaces. Crowds were way down this time. Normally a Sat. crowd would be elbow to elbow. I think the economy is having an impact. Let's face it, if artist's aren't selling as much, they won't need to buy as many supplies. I know most of the items I bought were for my own use when normally I'd be buying them to make items to sell on Etsy.
I'm glad we went today. It's supposed to be storming tomorrow.

knitting a bit

Tonight I got some knitting done on my confetti sweater and also worked on my cross stitched Christmas stocking. And then I spent some time drawing. Nothing I was drawing came out quite right, but I think drawing is so important I do it anyway. I figure I can't get worse at it so I have to get better, right?

I also joined a new blogroll, but I'm too tired to add it tonight and my boyfriend is pacing back and forth waiting to use his computer so I better get a move on and get to bed. It's 12:03 AM.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gem Faire

I took 6 giant bags of cans and bottles back to the recycler this morning so now I have more space in my garage and dining room to get projects done. I can get to my sewing machine again.

And now I have $20 to spend at the Gem Faire tomorrow. I want to look for some steampunk componants and a present for my boyfriend's mom. Plus whatever else catches my eye. I could easily spend $500 there, but I don't have it to spend.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wire Basket and New Steampunk Blog

Tonight I made a new blog for my current obsession with Steampunk and Neovictorian counterculture.

I also reserved the name Steampunk on Art Fire. No listings there yet but I hope to have some up soon.

Most of tonight I spent working on a purple wire basket with swarovski crystals and glass beads. It's turning out quite nicely but tomorrow's another day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Confetti Sweater (knit)

I've dubbed my mostly yellow sweater the confetti sweater. I bound off the back section of the sweater this morning and started on the front. The front is just like the back and done from the bottom to the top, only near the top you divide it in the center for the v-neck.

Tonight I'm going to take a break from knitting and work on holiday cards so I can get them in the mail on time. Which begs the question, if they are not Christmas cards, but holiday cards, do they even have to be there by Christmas day?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Plotting some kind of Steampunk project. Hmmmm. At least a pair of earrings or a leather cuff or something.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Greeting cards

As Christmas approaches I'm debating what to do for a holiday card. Do I want to make them or buy them? I really only need to send 5 or 6. So it wouldn't be unreasonable to make them. It's times like these I miss my Gocco printer. It's probably in storage. I hate storage.
What do the rest of you do about greeting cards? Make them, buy them, recycle old ones? Or build a stash to keep on reserve so you have them when you need them.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sunday Crafts

First thing this morning I worked on my knitting loom making a scarf I call Buttery Sunshine.
Then later this afternoon I switched to knitting needles and worked on my sweater. I'm almost done with the back of it.
I also re-watched my video on gourd art. I just don't have enough time in the day to get to all the projects I want to work on. But having a blog keeps me plugging away. I always want to make sure I have something new to share with you all.
My boyfriend is sitting on the floor surrounded by a colorful swirl of dyed goose feathers trying to sort out what he needs to order for the arrows he's working on.
That reminds me; I glued the nocks on my arrows too.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Visiting an art studio

Today I went to the Brunetta Art Studio in Laguna Beach CA and took David some gold velvet for the dagger shealth he is making to go with my dagger. We visited for a few hours and talked about the importance of drawing, the challenges of switching from pencil to pen to paints to sculpture and developing skills that will help in every aspect of being an artist. Plus we discussed the challenges artists are facing in the current economy. We get hit the hardest when there is no disposable income. Even well established artists are scrambling for alternative incomes as we try to keep a roof over our heads.

Friday, December 05, 2008

cross stitch oopsy

Last night I was working on my cross stitch and adding green x's. Suddenly I realized I'd gone off on the wrong line somewhere and spent the next 2 hours undoing all the green I'd done so far. Some crafts are easy to correct errors on. Cross stitch isn't very forgiving. I still have a little more to remove because I can continue on.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Using a Knitting Loom

I was sorting projects tonight and writing them in my log book when I came across a yellow ombre scarf I was double knitting on a knitting loom. I don't think I've worked on it for a year and it needed some lovin'. So once I figured out the technique again, I got about 6" added to the scarf. It's very posh feeling and will be a nice thick scarf. I need to live somewhere where it snows. Southern CA doesn't give me much opportunity to wear knitted hats and scarves.

Art Fire

I just joined a new craft selling venue called Art Fire. If you want to join too click on this link.
Register on
I'm not doing that well on Etsy so I'm willing to try out something new.

Sewing Article

Today I updated my sewing article
At first hardly anyone read this article, but now that the economy and the global warming thing are on everyone's mind the do-it-yourself crowd is turning to sewing as a way to repurpose things they already own, rather than buying new. Imagine the money you'll save when you start mending and remodeling your already owned clothing. Turn those jeans into hot pads and purses and place mats. Cut apart old sweaters and make mittens, and a scarf or a toy. Socks can be sewn into sock monsters, bears or other creatures. Use your noggin and I'm sure you'll be surprised.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Researching crafts

Today the time just flew by. I did manage to get some knitting done on my sweater first thing in the morning, but my plans to get back to it never quite materialized. I did catch some videos on, a knitting tutorial on youtube on mobius strip knitting, a few steampunk inspired belly dancing videos, and took time to glance at some vintage knitting magazines. So today was more of a 'grist for the meal' kind of day.

Plus I looked up my old name on and saw my groups needed some moderation and that alone took about 2 hours. I had 27 friend invites just sitting in my folder. Some were from a year ago. It's hard to keep up with all this internet stuff isn't it? It really does expand to fit the time.

I'm pooped. I'm glad bedtime is near.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cross Stitch and mornings

Guess who got up at 6 AM and worked on her cross stitch. Normally if I get up so early I have to be quiet, I just log onto my computer and my computer died. So I resorted to cross stitch. I'm really not a morning person so this is freaky to me.

At any rate I'm supposed to be cleaning the living room right now. It's such a jumble I can't work on my projects. So off I go.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Story of the Stone

I truly am having a run of bad luck. After sending a special stone to be cut for the handle endcap of my dagger, the artist finally finishes it and mails it to me. I open the box, and the contents are gone. What I held in my hands were two pieces of box. After contacting the artist, he said the box was all one piece when it left his studio. Someone took a knife or razor blade, cut the cardboard, took out the contents and taped it all back together sometime between when it left his place in Kansas and arrived in my place in CA. Meanwhile, the blacksmith has been waiting on the stone for a month and will now have to wait even longer.