Saturday, November 21, 2009

Achoo to You Too

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I'm fighting off a miserable head cold. Right before it got the better of me I did manage to cut out a new purse and a stuffed elephant out of some cool prints I got at M & L Fabrics near my house. And I already have an idea for another patchwork purse in red with Asian prints. So many projects, so little time. Right now all I feel well enough to do is type on the computer and read novels.

I'm behind on Nanowrimo now and haven't written a thing in two days. It's one thing to write a blog post. No pressure there. It's trickier to figure out what the characters in my novel are supposed to be doing next. One is having a baby, one is being held by kidnappers, one is learning to play violin, and they just got 5 new cats for their house. Things are getting more complicated by the minute. I'm not even to the halfway point of 25,000 words and the thing ends Nov. 30. Sigh. The photo is of me last Sunday at the archery gathering writing my novel long hand in my journal. Sometimes I feel bad I can't afford a laptop, but then I remind myself that Shakespeare didn't have a laptop and he did okay for himself.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pasadena Bowyers Gathering

Today sure had it's ups and downs. Right now I'm just tired. I took photos at the Pasadena archery range but I won't be posting them tonight. There seemed to be a lot of dogs and horses there today.
And tonight when we were driving through Arcadia I saw 2 raccoons by the street. I also heard a bullfrog today.

At the archery range I worked on beading a hat and knitting a rug. At one point my hands were too cold to do much of anything. About then we decided to pack it in and go somewhere warmer.

My friends Roland and Merikan worked on their basket quivers. Most people were working on bows. We always take way more than we have time to work on.

Aimee showed us a beaded medicine pouch she'd picked up at a Fresno shoot. I wish we could go to the Fresno shoot but it's just too far from Anaheim for us to go.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Four New Paintings

I'm supposed to be working on my Nanowrimo novel, so of course all I want to do is paint. I've done four paintings in two days to try out my new watercolor crayons. I like the little girl in the snow the best. It's called 'Snow Day'. Next time I'll tape the paper down to a board first so it won't curl as much. These were all painted with a combination of watercolor crayons, watercolor pencils and white acrylic paint. They dry quickly. They are in a folk art or naive style. Ironically, once you've learned to paint in art classes, it's harder to go back and paint in a primitive style and throw proportions to the wind.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Retail Therapy

My daughter and I practiced some retail therapy yesterday by going to Joann's and Art Supply Warehouse. We also drove to Pearl in Huntington Beach only to find a vacant building. And another one bites the dust. Thank you economy.

At Joann's they were having another 10 for $10 Simplicity pattern sale and I finally got the archery costume pattern I've been trying to get since before Halloween. I also got some patterns for pillows and home dec items. And another apron pattern or two.

Sadly and a commentary on our times, Joann's now has their beads under lock and key. They installed glass cases for almost all the beads and now you have to wait for an employee to come and unlock them as they stand there and wait for you to decide. Unfortunately, but a sign of the times that theft is way up. Beads are just too easy to shop lift for those with sticky fingers. But how embarassing would it be to get arrested for a handful of baubles?

At Art Supply Warehouse I finally got some water soluble wax crayons for mixed media. I've really admired Willowing's work with wax crayons.  Those cost me dearly, a set of 24 was about $30.00. But supplies like that last for years if you take care of them. I already have water color pencils but being a fine pointed tool it takes too long to cover a big area, so the water soluble crayons will be a great help when I need to cover a lot of space fast. If you have no idea what I'm talking about I'll make a video soon.

I also got 2 square canvases and some more gesso. I feel like I'll go mad if I don't start painting again.
Its so hard justifying buying art supplies when I'm making no sales, so please buy something so I can stop feeling guilty.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Little Girl's Room

I'm getting ready to have my daughter visit. Which means I have to hide the things I'm making for her for Christmas. HAHA.
I picked up some root beer colored beads last night at Michael's. I suppose it's a sign of the times that now they have a combo lock on their bathroom and their employee's lounge. Those didn't exist when I worked there. Very inconvenient when you have to use the restroom. And they no longer just tell you the password. You have to wait for them to page someone to come to the door and unlock it for you. Kind of like being in second grade eh? I'm surprised they don't come in the stall to watch you.

At any rate, I got my beads, and got to work on my beaded collar for about an hour before bedtime. I think I have enough beads in the right colors now to finish it. It's getting pretty heavy, but I actually like the way the weight of a beaded garment will hug your body.

I met two knitters at the Nanowrimo meeting yesterday. They just learned so I'm looking forward to seeing them again so I can teach them to knit a hat to go with their scarves. One of them told me about a site called 'Write or Die". If you have trouble writing blog posts in a timely fashion you might want to check it out. I tried it last night but I was so tired, I'll have to try it again. You set it for how many words you want to write and in what length of time, and then the timer keeps you on track. Sometimes I think my blog entries are a little on the slim side so I will definitely try it. Otherwise I tend to daydream instead of write.

Friday, November 06, 2009

My Life in a Vlog

I've decided to make a vlog about what I've been up to lately and as soon as it uploads to youtube I'll share it here. It is me talking about Nanowrimo and Halloween 2009. And it highlights some of the projects I'm working on right now. Sometimes I forget I can make videos and weeks go by without me making one. I make them with my Canon Power Shot and Windows Movie Maker.

I'm working on 2 aprons. I'm also making a knitted rug. And a beaded collar. And writing 1,667 words a day for the National Novel Writer's Month. It sounds like a lot but I still have time to blog and watch too much TV and sit around daydreaming.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bread and Aprons

It's been a busy day and I'm getting kind of sleepy. But I'm still making bread. The loaf I spent all day making is about ready to go into the oven. I can't wait to see it turning brown. My first loaf ever of home baked sourdough bread. I'm so excited.

While it was rising, I went to the fabric store and picked out the fabric to make two aprons for Christmas gifs. Each apron has 2 fabrics. So for the first one I'm going with red chili peppers on a burnt orange background with orange and yellow polka dots for the pockets and straps.

The other one is a mod retro looking swirl of colors. Two of the colors are hot pink and brown. So the contrast will be a small print in brown with pink stars. My daughter's new kitchen is shades of brown so the apron will hopefully go with it more or less. The fabric is in the washer getting pre-shrunk so I won't start on those until tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Beading and Stuff

I did a good bit of beadwork today and now my back feels like a gorilla squeezed me. Definitely need to work on something else the rest of tonight. But I have a long list of Christmas gifts I want to make so I better get crackin'.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Working on Gifts

Today has been a busy day and not much time for crafting. This is Nanowrimo month so I've been working on my novel. And some of my characters are crafters! Ha, big surprise there.  One of them crochets and the other one is sewing.

Speaking of sewing I want to make some aprons for Christmas gifts. I got a cool pattern from Simplicity. It's 2492. The catalog has a Christmas version not shown on the pattern envelope. But I think I want to make a year round version. If I'm going to that much trouble I don't want to make something someone will open on Christmas that they won't want to wear until next Christmas. That would be dumb.

I got some beadwork and knitting done on my trip. Check out this vintage needle package I got from a relative. Only 10 cents. The needles are in perfect condition. I didn't get much beading done. I was too busy visiting my grandson and keeping tiny and sharp objects out of his hands. He just learned to walk and climb on furniture, so areas that used to be safe aren't anymore.

Here is my daughter holding her son. She was Dorothy and he was a monkey for Halloween. We all got a good laugh when I showed up as a witch, when none of us had discussed costumes ahead of time. Cool beans.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


I think I finally have Halloween out of my system. I'm candied out, costumed out and tuckered out.
I'm still 300 miles from  home though. I'm looking forward to knitting on the train. I just hope it's not too crowded from the weekend travelers heading home on a Sunday afternoon. I've never taken the train on a Sunday before so we'll see how it goes. The train won't sell out but the bus might. Being crammed in a bus seat too narrow for my thighs for two hours isn't my idea of a fun time. So I'm hoping to get a empty pair of seats so I can work on crafts.
I have time to do some beadwork before leaving for the train. So I'm going to get on with that. The way the Amtrak works is sometimes it's half bus and half train, and that is the case this time. I'd rather take the train the whole way, but that only happens once a day and never seems to work into my schedule. So half and half it is.