Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Wreath and Some Quilting Ideas

I got a lot done today in spite of myself. I took a styrofoam wreath, wrapped it with lace, tied on a ribbon and added one of my beaded spiders and some hooks to make a key holder. Before I had it decorated it kept falling off the wall, so hopefully with the ribbon loop it will stay put now.

Then I tried to make a patchwork potholder. That really wasn't coming together that well. So I set it aside and took a break. But then I saw a TV bit on making a "Whacky Nine Patch" and that looked like hella fun so I got out my new rotary cutter and board and cut out about 12 squares in that style.

Then I remembered another idea I had sketched of making a picture out of fabrics, so my cat scene was born. I added a photo of that here. It's just cut out and laid on the background right now. I haven't sewed anything down yet. But it's already past midnight so it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Parking and the Way Things Used to Be

Our city in it's infinite wisdom closes the whole neighborhood street parking down every Wed. morning from 8 AM to noon, for street sweeping, which means I have to get up way before I want to and repark our vehicles in the alley, which is also illegal but there is nowhere else to park.  Where I used to live they only closed off one side at a time, so you could just park on the other side, but that would be logical.

So I dropped by the Etsy chatroom on my way to bed. Only instead of being there for 10 minutes I was there for an hour, and now it's really late and I'm really tired and I still have to get up early to move my truck.

When I think about the difference between being middle class and lower class, one of the things that impacts me the most is parking. I used to have things like driveways and garages to park in, or even a parking structure. Now we have one driveway for four apartments or street parking if and when we can get it. But our neighbor's got the driveway first and I think they are having mechanical problems, so they could be parked there for days, because more than likely they don't have the money to fix their car.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Corn Husk Dolls

I found these directions for making cornhusk dolls and I'm looking forward to trying it, since we have 4 ears of corn in the fridge. I was surprised that you dry the husks first. Then you soak them in water to make them supple again. If you've ever made yarn tassle dolls it's very much the same idea. This would be a good project for homeschoolers because it's inexpensive and teaches about Native American culture.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fountain Vally SnB

Today I went to a stitch-n-bitch in Fountain Valley. It's the second time I've been. I was really looking forward to it, but wouldn't you know I didn't sleep that well, so I was kind of in a fog and we got there late. I just couldn't get my act together. I couldn't decide what to take so I took everything! I did some knitting and crocheting and never got around to the embroidery. Ah well. And then I forgot to take photos until after most everyone left. They are still in my camera but since it's almost midnight I'll have to post them later.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tiki Triplets

I wasn't really thrilled with the way this shirt came out, but after I jazzed it up with some dimensional paint I liked it a lot better. I'm not sure most people know what tikis are. My boyfriend thought I was going for some sort of square jack-o-lantern.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I caught an episode of Sewing With Nancy and an episode of Donna Dewberry today, and in spite of being motivated to either paint or sew, it was just too darn hot. I did sketch out some projects in my art journal. I needed to rest my hands from knitting anyway. My thumb is one giant blister today. I've never known anyone else that gets blisters from knitting. You'd think I'd just get a callous or something.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Knitting a Hat

I've been knitting away on my hat and it's just way too many stitches for that needle, so I asked a knitter on Etsy (MountainEagleCrafter) and she said she uses the 29" needles, not the 16" circular needles, which makes more sense to me. But I'll finish the hat I already started on these. I like the yarn texture and colors so far. I'm just doing the ribbing now so I should be finished soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Knitting, Painting and all that Jazz

I found a pattern on youtube last night for a knitted hat on 16" circular needles. So today I went on a quest to Joanne's to procur said needles.  Of the three or four brands they carry, they only had 16" circular needles in bamboo (Clover) and the smallest needle size they had was 8. I would have prefered size 6 or 7 because I already started another hat on double pointed needles in a smaller size, but it's the smallest they had so I got them.

For those of you familiar with the Knifty Knitter looms, I was happy to see Joanne's is now carrying another brand of looms with finer pegs for more delicate fabric. I've seen that type of wood loom on youtube videos. The large one was $44. I will wait for it to go on sale and hopefully get one. They also had a smaller size.

While I was there I picked up some fabric paint for some t-shirts I have in mind for my Etsy shop. And I got a fabric marbling kit by Jacquard as well. I was hoping my boyfriend could use it for the crown dip on arrows but he didn't seem to interested. I wanted to use my 40% off coupon on it, but it turns out it was already on sale for 25% off so I ended up paying a bit more than I wanted to.

I saw some trim and fabric for my steampunk costume, but at $17.00 a yard it's going to have to wait until I either sell more crafts or get some other income heading my way.

I was sorely tempted to buy more jewelry findings when they were buy 2 get one package free, but as I haven't sold any jewelry on Etsy at all I couldn't justify the expense right now. Maybe people will crack open their wallets closer to Christmas time.

When I got home I went to work transfering the hat I started on double pointed needles onto the 16" needles. I started at the tip, and I can't gauge just how big to increase it to so it will fit on an adult head. Even though the video says the size 16 is the right size for adult hats, the stitches are so crowded on the needle right now I really can't get a feel for the diameter.

And if you don't knit I've probably bored you already.


I don't have a food blog per se, (yet) but cooking is both a craft and creative, so I thought I'd share a 'build-along' if you will, of my boyfriend making sauerkraut. Greenman Archery: Something Fun That Tastes Good

Sauerkraut has that good kind of bacteria that aids with digestion, and is inexpensive to make but so much tastier than the canned version.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Caxixi

It's one thing to play it all by itself, but I need to learn to play it while playing the berimbau at the same time, which is probably going to be like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time. Or is it patting your tummy and rubbing your head?

My Caxixi

It's one thing to play it all by itself, but I need to learn to play it while playing the berimbau at the same time, which is probably going to be like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time. Or is it patting your tummy and rubbing your head?

Gourd Basket or Hat or Lampshade

Well I just finished the weaving part of my gourd basket and found long nosed pliers to be quite the useful tool for pulling reeds through tight spots. And while that's drying, I finished closing the top of the caxixi too. Now I just have to wrap the handle with some type of cordage like linen or artificial sinew.

Now comes the fun part with the gourd basket where I can add trim and maybe color it or do woodburning on it or something. My right brain is working on it. I think it would make a great sunhat or lampshade too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gourd Basket

Tonight I did some more work on the gourd basket I started yesterday at the Paleoplanet gathering. I think it's tall enough now, so I need to get it wet again and do my best to shape it. Not bad for my first attempt at a basket made with reeds. At first I didn't like this basket but it's growing on me.

So far I've only make pine needle baskets and wire baskets. I just never had any reed before. My friend Tom gave me a bundle at the gathering because he's such a pack rat and he's trying to recover his garage. I guess I'm even more of a pack rat because I took it. Plus he gave me some hard wood, and a huge piece of rawhide.

Berimbau and Caxixi

I can't believe I missed a few days here. I guess I've been posting to my other blogs instead.

Yesterday in Pasadena my friend brought his berimbaus and taught me how to make the berimabau and the caxixi. I haven't yet finished because I need to let my stick dry and also find some more hard seeds to put into the caxixi to improve the rattle. But so far so good. My other friend Tom just happened to have some reed that needed a new home so I took that and started making a gourd and reed basket. Basically I had a blast learning new things and making new things. I've had a berimbau on my to-do list for about five years.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

About Those Shopping Carts

Like a lot of you, I have some websites. Websites that were supposed to be creating an income, or at the very least paying for themselves. So my goal right now is to work on my websites each day until I can get the little suckers to stop sucking me dry. So today's project was figuring out just how my web host does shopping carts. If a site has no shopping cart, it seems people won't just email me and pay through Paypal or something. They want buttons to click on. So I got a shopping cart built, and it seems to have an entirely different URL from my website. The only way I could figure out how to link them together, was to put a button with a URL hot link. It seems like the shopping cart should be just another page on my website but I haven't figured out how to do that yet.

Of course I still have my Etsy shops, which are really slow. Haven't had a sale in weeks. Lots of us are in the same boat. So I'm not going to whine about it too much. But I definitely need to get an income coming in. Hence the name 'income'. Right now I just have an 'out go'.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Grumpy Fairy Stamp

Lately I've been trying to finish a project and then clean everything up before starting on something new. And I still had my stamp carving kit out with 2 stamps I never had time to carve, so I finished those up. Then I tried something ambitious. I tried to make a fairy stamp. I knew I was in over my head. She looks like a very grumpy fairy indeed. And I was pretty grumpy by the time I finished.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Embroidery, Crochet and Peace

I got up this morning and started working on my lemon t-shirt. I got a special box for it because it was taking more and more parts, what with the beads, thread, sequins, hoop, and so on. Everything starts out simple and then gets complicated, doesn't it?

Then this afternoon I worked on a freestyle crochet halter top. It's pretty wild with lots of colors and I think I'm too chicken to wear it. I don't think I can sell it because I don't think anyone else would wear it either. Maybe in the '70's I could have gotten away with it but not now. I miss the 70's. In fact I started a peace blog today called Peace Pebbles. It's really hard to talk about peace without talking about war though, and once it shifts to politics people get their shorts all into a twist. But still, I think it's good to keep saying that we need peace.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Under Construction

Pardon my dust while I muck around with my HTML.
I made a background collage showcasing some of the items I've made. The white tube with the skeleton is a digiridoo I made from PVC. Then there's the fuzzy green hooter, a crocheted butterfly fingerpuppet, a hat I made, and a self-portrait of me working on a gourd. The yellow spiral is on a gourd drum I'm still working on. And I added some of the monkeys I carved earlier this week. Then there is my signature 'Fayme'. I just used the brush tool to write my name on a clear background, and added that to the collage. I had to keep bringing that layer to the top so it wouldn't disappear. Of course this description will become irrelevant if I change to a new background.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Last night while Etsy was down, I found this charming doll making video. I just had to see it again this morning so I put it here.

Photo Backgrounds on Blogger Blogs

I am absolutely thrilled that I finally figured out how to change my blogger background to a customized photo. You can see my experiment here: I'm looking forward to changing the backgrounds of all of my blogs. But I've found html experiments are best done on a practice blog before mucking up a blog you've already poured hours into.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Carving Eraser Stamps

Today I got into a stamp carving fever. I carved a big steampunk stamp, a big leaf and 3 monkeys. I had two more stamps ready to carve but I ran out of steam. It's so handy having orginal stamps to use. I want so use some on shrinky pendants, or on polymer clay, or even on cookies. We'll see. Stamps look so much more impressive stamped on anything other than notebook paper. They even looked better on a brown paper napkin. I don't know why more people don't carve their own stamps. You can get started for under $20.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Embroidery Oops

When I got down to San Diego, I pulled out the Christmas stocking I'd planned to work on and couldn't believe that I hadn't left a single embroidery hoop in the bin of embroidery projects. They'd all been 'borrowed' for other projects. The only thing I had in my bin that would work was a new needlework frame which you can see in the photos. I've used them before in a pinch. But it came back to bite me in the end because when I finally had to move the hoop, it had left an ugly brown smudge. I don't know if it's dirt, or dye that's rubbed off the frame. Either way, those shouldn't have stained the project because after all they are designed to frame needlepoint. Ugh. I hope I can clean it off. Generally I wouldn't even try to clean this until the embroidery was all done, but I don't want to invest anymore time in it if it's already ruined. I just hope I can save it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Barrettes, Needlepunch, Wool

Today we raided Joann's and came away with some jewelry findings that were buy 2 packages and get one free. So I got barrettes for the fascinators in two sizes and some nice long hat pins. My boyfriend picked up some wool yarn to make string silencers for archery and he's giving me the leftovers to make hats to sell at an archery event in Oct.

Late tonight I started working on a needle punch design I had halfway finished some time ago. I found it in the bin when I was doing the fish design. This one is a little girl in a red dress flying a red diamond kite. All I have left is sky and clouds.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


I went to visit an old friend today and he really likes to do cross stitch. He showed me an amazing one of two jousters. Just beautiful. Most of them are dragons though.I wish I had photos to show you but it seemed kind of rude to just whip out my camera and start snapping away in someone's home.

I also cleaned up some of my embroidery thread today. That stuff really does end up everywhere. I added some leaves to my t-shirt in satin stitch. That project is moving along slowly. Real life keeps getting in the way. I wasn't home much today.

I really should start working on that Christmas stocking I started cross stitching for my grandson last year. Today is his first birthday. And Christmas is getting close for those labor intensive projects. Anyone that does cross stitch knows what I mean. Thousands of stitches all done by hand. There is just no way to go fast.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Clowns and Lemons

I read an entire book today. It was called the Clown Girl. I guess I can relate because I did a lot of clowning before I moved to southern CA. The balloon animals, the face-painting, the magic, the juggling, the whole deal.

But I did work on my embroidery some tonight. I doing leaves to go with the lemons on a t-shirt I'm working on. Groovy.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Don't Hoard It Use It

I started a new embroidered t-shirt today. This time I picked a size small, which won't fit me. I did that to force myself to list it for sale, instead of wearing it one day when I didn't have any clean shirts left to wear. Ha.

So far is has 3 lemons, some flowers, and some vines. I got to use my pure silk ribbon that I bought ages ago for ribbon embroidery but I was too intimidated to use it! Don't hoard your craft supplies...use them. Do as I say and not as I do. Otherwise you'll be dead some day and some lucky dog at Goodwill will have your posh craft supplies that you squirreled away.

I also grabbed an embroidery book at the library because I can never seem to remember more than a few embroidery stitches. It's good to keep a reference guide handy.

I also got to use up some odd bits of lace. Many years ago I bought a box of lace scraps at a yard sale. The box is about the size you keep files in. Well, that must have been twenty years ago and I still haven't used them all. So I'm determined never to move that box again. I'm going to use all those buggers up on purses or t-shirts or whatever. Fabric does keep a long time but it doesn't keep forever. I cringe to think how much I've spent on storage over the years because I didn't use things up in a timely fashion. I could have bought some of these supplies 10 times over by now. Do the math...$80 a month for storage. That's $960 a year. That's $9,600 in 10 years. $10,000 can buy a lot of craft supplies eh?

Help Me With My Blog

Would someone please tell me how to make a super cool blog like this one? I'm so tired of being stuck with the boring blogger templates but I just don't know how to do anything more original.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Draw Your Outfit

I just found the coolest Flickr pool where you draw what you wore today. Check it out, especially if you like to draw. If you are one of those people that never knows what to draw, here's your big chance to draw your outfit.

Arm Mitts

Our heat wave is continuing. So I'm trying to do crafts that involve sitting still a lot. So I've been working on knitting some arm cuffs. I'm about 3/4 done with the first one. The yarn is a blend of fall colors.

By the way, did you know Etsy added a new feature for sorting your shop items with one click? You can sort high price to low, or low to high, or newest listed or oldest in the shop and so on. I played with it a little last night.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Gourd Rain Stick Part 2 Almost Ready

It seems like it took half the day but I'm finally finished with my gourd rain stick. I am uploading part 2 of the tutorial even as we speak. By tomorrow the glue will be dry and then I'll be able to use it to make music. I love percussion instruments. It's the gateway instrument for so many.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Rain Stick Tutorial Part 2

Today I'm working on part 2 of the Gourd Rain Stick tutorial. Only I didn't like how there was too much of me on the video so I have to reshoot it in a minute. The rain stick sounds good though and that's the point.

Yesterday I tweaked my left hand making the fascinators. I don't know if it's CTS, arthritus, or just a stress injury, but both my wrists hurt almost every day. So I'm really going to have to take it easy today.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hair Fascinators

I spent the day making hair fascinators with bits of ribbon, faux flowers, beads, trim and feathers. I wanted them to be extra durable so dancers could wear them, so they have sewing and gluing. After everything dries I'll be able to take photos.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Slow Day is Turning Into a Busy Day

It looks like we are going to go to an SCA meeting today to help them build arrows. I had forgotten all about it. The air quality is very bad with all the fires, so I was planning on staying indoors all day. I have some wheat honey bread baking in the bread machine. It won't even be done until four or five. I'm going to have to ask my bf to keep an eye on it because I need to run to the bank and make a deposit. It's really humid today and I don't really want to be in my truck at all.

I worked on another hair fascinator this morning. I had it sprawled all over the couch, which didn't used to be an issue, but now with my boyfriend out of work he kept commenting on me taking up the whole couch, so I put everything away. It's definitely affecting how much I get done each day, and I need to get even more stuff listed, not less, because I need to increase my income or we'll be facing some desperate times.

Money Rain on Me

Nothing like taking all the money out of your PayPal account and moving it to your bank account, then minutes later having your cellphone charge go through PayPal. How's that for timing? Then I got hit up for my four Etsy shop fees, and I could have sworn I just paid 2 of them a week ago. Ugh. Never check your bank accounts right before bed.