Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wrapping up Monday night.

Today was sorting projects day. I found a fuzzy eyelash yarn teddy bear half finished, some raffia weaving experiments, a bunch of friendship name bracelets on plastic canvas, and some other odds and ends I've been tripping over. I wanted to do some knitting but had a migraine most of the day. Well, tomorrow is another day.

I also have a hand carved gourd lamp I started years ago that I'd love to finish. I have a habit of dropping things when they are 90% done. I've already dyed it and carved away a lot of it. It just needs sanding and in interior finish and I need to get the light fixture like for a hanging lantern at Ikea.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Crafting Fun on a Sunday

I've been working on my knitted bunny. For more on that look here: http://knitabitofmagic.blogspot.com
And when my fingers get too tired I'm going to do more on my cross stitch sampler. I worked on the cow yesterday. I'd made some mistakes and had to take most of it out and start over. I finished the letter H in a rust brown color.

I want to work on some jewelry today too. I've been working out on the porch. Yesterday was so bright and sunny. Today it is already 3 PM and the sun never did come out. It's chilly and overcast, but not too uncomfortable if I wear the hat I made on my knitting loom. Keep your head warm and the rest of your body will stay a few degrees warmer too.

The man in my life has a corned beef going in the crock pot for dinner. So all I have to do is make some lunch when I get around to it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Great Weather Today~Knitting a Bunny

I found a little park nestled in a residential neighborhood this morning. I worked on knitting a bunny, my art journal, and my reading goals. I had the park all to myself except for a group of people playing baseball with little children on the far side of the park. They sure get them into sports early these days. Uniforms and all.

I started the bunny yesterday in a yarn called "Camel". I knew I wouldn't have enough to do the whole bunny, so today I switched to a fuzzy ombre yarn in shades of pink and gray so the bunny will look like it's wearing pants. I left little openings in the torso to add the arms later. I think I'll sew the legs on seperately so I can make the bunny sitting down.

I came home and my lazy cat was still in the middle of my bed. I don't think he'd moved an inch the whole time I was gone. The other cat greeted me at the door and is trying to help me type this post now. I'm getting a headache so no more knitting until it goes away.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I saw some amazing knitted bunnies on Etsy this morning and now I have knitter's envy. And I started wondering whatever happened to that pink bunny puppet I was knitting last year. I lost it when I rearranged my bedroom to squeeze a bigger bed in here. I'm sorely tempted to start a new bunny (I know I know I need another new project like I need a hole in the head). Chock it up to Easter or Ostera or Spring but I have 'bunny madness'. Sigh.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Puppetry and Doodling

It's been a busy day. I got two new crocheted octopus finger puppets listed in my Etsy shop. I don't know why I always drag my feet with the listing thing. At least I remembered to take the photos before it got dark.

Then I also finished today's doodle which I am calling Noodlehead. It started out as a face and ended up with long 'noodly' arms. I think doodling can unlock a lot of repressed creativity. It's cheap, quick and gets you out of your own head.

Time to go make dinner. How do I know when it's time? When my spelling falls apart and my ability to proofread flies out of the window.

If you are a regular reader please take a moment to wave and leave a comment. It helps me to know I'm not here in cyberspace all alone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lipstick Scarflette

I started a new knitting project today. It's a scarflette in a colorway called "Lipstick". I used large wooden needles that I inherited. I'm not used to that much friction but I'm working with it.

Last night I was watching a PBS special on street musicians around the world. One group was a youth choir in Ireland that was half Catholic and half Protestant. One thing I did notice is nearly every girl in the choir had a knitted or crocheted scarf on. So I figure living in CA isn't helping my sales any. It's funny the things knitters and crocheters notice. Anyone in Ireland want to buy a scarf from CA? Or prove you are in that choir and I'll make you a scarf for free. Then it really would be a small world.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A weekend at River Ridge Ranch

Today I had a lot of new photos to download and label from my 3 day trip. When I first joined the Internet my photo posting could be done in five minutes. Now it takes the whole morning between blogs, Flickr, Photobucket, Gather, Hubpages and Paleoplanet. I'm just a photo posting fool. LOL.

Anyway, here are a few for my blog followers. The peacepipe is made from soapstone. That's Aimee touring around the blacksmith workshop.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Camping in Springville

We got back this afternoon from our camping event in Springville CA. Friday was perfect weather, Sat. was a little cooler with only a few patches of sunshine breaking through. Then Sat. night around 11 PM it started to rain. Throughout the night we had more rainy times than not rainy times. So Sunday morning we packed up our tent and canopy and all our supplies in the pouring rain and came home. Everything is wet and muddy so we still have to clean it all.

I think most everyone had a good time though. We had live music on Sat. night by a duo called Four Shillings Short. They must have played 20 instruments between the two of them including sacbutt, psaltery, hammered dulcimer, various recorders, tin whistle, bodhran, dumbek, sitar, and banjo.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Power Outage

Last night I was just about to grab an Etsy treasury at 5:20 AM only my power went out at 5:15 AM. Some sort of weird auxiliary lights came on inside the apt. And right as the lights blipped the first time I heard a popping noise out on the street. So I wonder if we blew a transformer. That has happened once before on this block. I'm glad I was already up because my aquarium filter was making a godawful noise. The power shortage somehow interrupted the siphon and the pump was running dry. If that had gone on until morning it surely would have burned out the pump or maybe even caused a fire. So I unplugged it until morning and also unplugged my answering machine which kept trying to restart with the weak current going through it. My ISP wouldn't work at all. Finally I went to bed about 6 AM and by morning, everything was back on line again. But alas for me, no treasury. :(
At least the aquarium filter seems OK.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crafts-n-Things Magazine Review

Someone gave me a copy of Crafts 'n Things magazine for April 2009 and I must say it's the best issue I've seen recently. I couldn't have done a better job if I'd designed it myself.

They have simple directions for how to make a starter for sourdough bread and recipes for Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls or Sourdough bread that I'd like to try.

For you card makers out there they have 6 pages of 30 minute card making ideas, as well as several other articles on working with rubber stamps and making cards.

For people who crochet there is a wonder lacy afghan that is on the cover in shades of pale orange, pink, green and yellow. I might have to try that someday.

For those of you that are organizationally impaired, there are some great suggestions on organizing your craft supplies so they are attractive to look at and right at your fingertips. I'm definitely going to implement some of those. They have ways to store ribbon, show off your embroidery floss, and put your glorious beads and buttons on display so you can enjoy them every day instead of hiding them away in a drawer or a closet called 'Getting Organized on a Budget.

And there is a fascinating knitted swirl tablecloth with beads and a knitted sweater for those that knit.

This issue has 205 stamping and paper ideas for you paper crafters.

There are even some birdhouses to make, some vintage purses to repurpose and an article on how to make and use foam stamps.

That's not all but you'll have to get your own copy to see the rest. Their website is www.craftsnthings.com. Happy crafting.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Are You in a Treasury?

Ever wonder what Treasury you are in on Etsy.com? http://www.craftopolis.com rocks! If you type in your shop name it will tell you if you are in any treasuries at the moment. No more guessing. No more scrolling through page after page of treasury listings. See in a flash if you are in any treasuries so you can blog about them or list them on Twitter. Or so you can leave a thank you with the artist that included you.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beading and Puppet Making

Today was our monthly Paleoplanet.Net archery gathering. My friend bought 3 new beading books so I fell in love with one of them. It was on Zulu Beading. So I learned one of the techniques for a zig-zag bracelet. It was overcast and chilly today so my fingers were pretty much frozen by the time I quit at 6 PM. I'll do some more tomorrow inside where I'm not in the breeze. The colors are ice pink and royal blue. The pattern looks completely different when you change the style and size of the beads so I'm looking forward to trying out many different combinations.

A lot of the guys are working on atlatls for a big atlatl event coming up called Valley of Fire. Others were making wood bows.

And this weekend we have another archery campout called Springville, so I'm looking forward to that one.

Today I also crocheted 4 finger puppets. I have 3 octopusses and one 'other'. Right now it's just a tube with eyes so I don't know what direction I should go with it. Hair and a hat? Wings and antennae? Oh well, tomorrow is another day for making puppets. I took photos so when I have time tomorrow I'll add them.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shifting Things a Bit & How to Torture Your Neighbors

I thought my blog was getting way too cluttered so I removed some of the widgets, and moved a few to my other blogs that didn't have much on them. So if you are looking for something that seems to be gone, just ask. I don't think most people will even notice they are gone. And for those with slow computers maybe my page will open a bit faster now. That's the plan anyway.

I didn't work on crafts today because my neighbor's decided to throw a big party on the lawn in front of my house. So I've had 7-10 year old girls bouncing in the bounce castle on the lawn, constant screaming, the generator running and then they run upstairs to the little girl's bedroom over my head like a herd of elephants about every 20 minutes. What ever happened to taking the party to Chuck E. Cheese or the local park. Why torture your neighbors? The party started at 10 AM and it is now 9:18 PM and no signs of it ending anytime soon. Enough already.

We are going to be gone all day tomorrow. Why couldn't the party have been tomorrow instead? We could coordinate these things if they would just tell us ahead of time when they plan to take over the common areas. I remember when I had parties as a child and none of them were over 2 hours long. Kid's have a short attention span. They don't need 12 hour parties.

Format Woes

I have no use for these wide green sidebars on this blog. There must be an easy way to shrink those so the rest of my important content isn't all squished down the center. Help!!! Anyone. I tried to do it once and wiped out my whole format and had to start again from scratch.

So many nice people in the Etsy chatroom tonight. Or at least they were putting their best foot forward. I finally left at 3:30 AM. Gads. I didn't mean to stay up that late. Why am I so wound up? Full moon? Friday the 13th? Who knows. People in there still don't see how I make money blogging. Every day it seems I explain that you can make money blogging using various methods...adsense, Kontera, Project Wonderful and so on.

Speaking of which, I went to log into my Artfire store called Steampunk and couldn't log in for love nor money. So I figured out how to go straight to my user name url, and the page that opened up was not my shop, but rather an Artfire subcategory. What the heck? So I hit the button for 'reset my password' and when I got the email confirmation, I saw they had changed my shop name from 'Steampunk' (a great name) to 'Steampunk1' (a marginal name). And worse, they didn't even notify me about the change. Looks like they decided to keep the Steampunk name for themselves. Kind of shifty if you ask me. So I tried to log in with the new confirmation code they sent, only I couldn't. It said 'you have not picked a security question so you must call our offices'. Great plan but it's the middle of the night and I'm not even sure they take calls on the weekend. What a hassle.

Anyway, now it's almost 4 AM. Thanks for coming to my blog. Out of a million or more blogs, you chose mine. Thanks so much.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wearing O' the Green

I'm glad the weekend is here. I made corned beef and cabbage for dinner. It's so cheap this time of year. And then we watched a special on Ireland. I guess I'm celebrating St. Patrick's Day early. And there were 2 lovely harpers on the show playing songs that were preserved from the last remaining traveling bards in Ireland many years ago. So now modern harpers can play the same tunes. I really should do some Irish themed art even though I'm only half Irish.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rainbow Scarf to Brighten Your Day

The last time I went shopping with my daughter she picked up yarn to make a rainbow scarf. Imagine my surprise when it suddenly appeared in her Etsy shop. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22159459

As for me I was adding another heart to my cross-stitch sampler. Then my hand was turning numb so I gave it a rest.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cats Are Evil

Life is strange. Yes. This morning I was getting ready to go to the post office to mail my daughter's birthday card and a package for my boyfriend. The cat was begging for milk so I leaned over to pour some into a bowl on the floor. He leaps like a crazed rabbit, bumps the folding table the mail is sitting on and spills not one but 2 glasses of water all over me, the card, the package, the couch and the floor. So yes, in hindsite I wish I'd shut my mouth when my boyfriend asked me if he wanted me to take my mail to the post office with his mail. But like an idiot I said, "I thought you wanted me to go," and he said, "Could you?" So the card was ruined, and I had to repackage the other stuff. So I took it to the post office, but also dropped by Joanne's (another mistake) and ended up spending $30 I'm supposed to be paying my car insurance with. I wouldn't have been tempted if I hadn't left the apt. which is why I stay home a lot. If I go out I try to link all my errands together, which one way or another ends up costing me money. While I was out I got hungry and ate at Wendy's and spent another $8. Once again, if I'd stayed home I wouldn't have spent that either.

At least I got five silkscreen prints listed in my Etsy shop. A sale would be nice.


Today I got out my cross-stitch sampler and decided to add a cow. I finished the bunnies first and then used the white to start the patches on the cow. Then I made the udders and nose in pink. I'm a long way from done but my eyes can only handle so much of that in one day. I find the animals are easier to do if they have a line to stand on, so I added some green checkerboard grass.

Yesterday I did some flowers in the corner. Not sure if they are lilacs or bellflowers but they are purple and white. And I started doing a maroon 'X'. The sampler will have the alphabet on it.


Today I started adding a cow to my cross-stitch sampler. First I had to finish up the bunnies. Then I used the same white to start on the cow. I found it's easier to do the animals if there is a baseline, so I made a baseline of green checkerboard grass for the cow to stand on. Then I did pink for the nose and udders. So far so good.

I did a flower motif in the right hand corner yesterday. It looks lovely in shades of lilac. My eyes were tired after all that. A little cross stitch a day is easier on the eyes than a whole bunch in one day.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Bucketman on youtube

Can't afford art supplies? That's no excuse. Meet the Bucketman.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes

I was right in the middle of an online game when all the power went out. It came back on a minute later, and I'm glad my computer still works. Wonder what that was all about.

Today I tried to work on projects. I got some beading and cross-stitch done. But my bf is in such a bad mood it kind of sucks the fun out of doing anything.

I even made chocolate cupcakes and ate them alone. Sigh. I sure can't eat 24 cupcakes. Maybe I'll just give them away tomorrow.

The crickets are singing in the backyard. Spring is just around the corner. I was tempted to plant some tomatoes today but I don't really have the money to buy the plants yet and I still have to turn all the soil in the garden and rake it. I've learned the hard way not to buy pony-packs until you have the area ready to plant because they dry out quickly and then the plant suffers or dies, and your money is wasted. So now I try to make sure I have a place for everything before I buy it.

Where's my Clock Tech? Spring ahead my foot.

When I get up in the morning the times on my clocks will be all over the place. My computer clocks will reset automatically. My stereo clock may or may not reset. The plug in clocks and watches will be wrong. One of the clocks in the truck will be right by default because they are an hour off from each other. I will need to review once again how to reset my microwave clock. What a mess. I wish they'd do away with daylight savings time. Not to mention it disrupts my sleeping biorhythms.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Gourd Art Sneak Preview

Today I sat out on the patio and painted on gourds all day. The weather was perfect for it, and for once my neighbor's weren't outrageously noisy, except for someone that was dumpster diving and blaring rap music out of his car. But that only lasted for about five minutes.

I have a new plan now. First I'm going to list items on Ebay. If they don't sell in a week, I will move them to Etsy. If they don't sell before they expire (4 months) I'll move them to Artfire. And then if they don't sell, I'll put them in my gift or give away pile.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Folk Art Thoughts

I've been watching Folk Art videos on Youtube. I've always had a fascination with grass roots art styles. Power to the people and all that. Plus I like the funkiness and originality of it. I hope to do more soon. It's a fun and relaxing way to paint. Maybe I've been too hung up on waiting for scrap wood to come along when I could just as readily paint on gourds or found surfaces like cans or bottles or whatever comes my way. I don't live in a construction zone...it's not like there's a lot of scrap wood lying around. And if there was, this alley gets gleaned about ten times a day. Someone would carry it off for a bonfire or something.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Organizing Embroidery Floss

This morning I made a concentrated effort to organize all my embroidery thread. But the plastic binder pages I bought have squares just big enough for each bobbin, but when I move the book, the bobbins spring out of the sleeves. Definitely not a good design. So I think I'm going to have to tape each square shut or risk losing pieces everytime I move the binder. Not good. Did they even test this thing out before they sold it?

I've had family visiting so haven't gotten to work on my cross-stitch much. But last night I got the colors I was missing for the rabbits and to finish the red chicken. Go chickens!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Celtic Name Chart

Need help plotting a name or saying for embroidery or cross-stitch or knitting? Try this Celtic Phrase generator. http://www.celticxstitch.ie/cgi-bin/stitches.cgi. Then you can print out the chart and put it with your project. Need a name on a hat? An "OPEN" sign for your door? A birth announcement in embroidery? Use this tool to help you generate a grid.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


I spent the day in Hollywood and boy am I worn out. Had a great time though. Mostly I was at the Kodak Center. Towards the end of the day we went to rest in the car and I got some cross-stitch done. It was the only craft I took with me. I took a ton of photos, which in a way is a craft itself. It would have been easier to take crochet. I got some fashion ideas from people watching down there. And I have some new scarf ideas I want to try with the knitting loom. Fun times. It felt like a Saturday. But I'm not used to leaving my apartment before 8 AM so I'm pretty tired right now.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


The blacksmithing photos from yesterday's class. http://flickr.com/photos/almostfamous/sets/72157614583815349/ at David Brunetta's studio in Laguna Beach CA. I tried to stay out of the way so I got photos as the opportunities presented themselves. If you have detailed questions I can put you in contact with David. I was just the observer.

Folk Art Chicken

::Does the chicken dance:: I sold my folk art chicken that was up on Ebay to a guy in NY. Yay! Instant pay too. I'm so happy. My first sale in quite a while. And I had zippo in my Paypal.

I've been into chickens and roosters lately. I just did one on a cross-stitch yesterday. It's going to have a bunch of different farm animals. So far it also has a piggy, and 2 rabbits. I hate to admit I have a corny side that I probably inherited from my distant relatives that lived in Arkansas. I tried to repress it during my art college years, but it still pokes out from time to time. Mostly because things like that remind me of my mother. She was a country girl at heart.