Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peach Beaded Collar Necklace Revisited

This morning I did quite a bit of work on the peach beaded collar. I finished the beaded fringe which was very time consuming. I added buillion knots, fresh water pearls called potato beads,  disc shaped shell beads, and some green leaves to help balance out the green I used on the roses. It's coming along. I still have to design some sort of fastener. Maybe ribbons that tie or some sort of clasp. Then I have to sew on the liner. People that don't do beadwork no doubt have no idea how many hours go into these things. Then you put it on Etsy and they want to buy it for $20 or less, when even the parts cost more than that. It's going to be lovely though.

Detail of beads and embroidery.

Buillion Knot Roses and vintage silver beads.

Freshwater potato pearls at the top. Lace ribbon rose made from trim.

Every time I think I'm almost done I think of something else to add.

I'm glad I finally finished the beaded fringe.

Leather Shoes From Bulgaria

My friend made me these traditional Bulgarian leather shoes. She said that to make them mold to my feet I needed to soak them, then put them on and wear them until they were almost dry. So here are some photos I took of the process. I'm still not sure how to lace them, so I emailed her for more directions. I've always admired people that could make shoes. Other than some knitted or crocheted slippers, I've never managed to finish a pair of shoes.

Shoes from Bulgaria

Soaking the shoes before lacing them up.

Letting the shoes mold to my feet as they dry.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Using Waste Canvas on a T-shirt

Here I am working on my t-shirt with waste canvas. For some reason this lettering style is very time consuming and easy to do wrong. I'm spending more time fixing it than I am sewing it. Such is life sometimes. At least the weather was pleasant and I got to be outdoors instead of stuffed into a cubicle.

This is a collage I made on a site called Blingee.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March Stitch-N-Bitch

I'm getting ready to go to the monthly stitch-n-bitch today. I wanted to refresh my memory on buillion knots and ended up on this site with some good tutorials on knot tying and stitchery. http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-embroider-rose-bud-bullion-knots-191588/ so share and share alike.

At the meetings I'm going to take the neovictorian collar I've been working on. I sewed a bunch on vintage beads on it yesterday and I think I'll add some embroidered buillion knot roses to it today. This project has been a great way to use up things in my stash that I've been hoarding for 20 years. I knew they'd belong on something someday.

I should take some knitting too, just in case my mood changes. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has craft mood swings. I love that our meetings are the last Sunday of the month. What a perfect way to end off one month and begin the next.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sweatshirts and Jewelry

We got two books today but I only get to keep one of them. The 'turn a sweatshirt into a quilted jacket' book is for my boyfriend's mom. I think it's going to be a great reference for her. It looks like it's pretty easy to follow with good directions. She's been wanting to make a quilted sweatshirt for a while now.

The jewelry book is for me. I bought it sight unseen from Amazon and it's a lot nicer than I expected. I think I will get a lot of use out of it. It will take my jewelry in a whole new direction. The photographs are excellent and there are a lot of expert tips to make things easier to understand.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Go See Alice

Today is going to be an exciting day. My boyfriend is off to Riverside to teach someone how to make arrows. That gives me the day free to go see Alice (the movie) finally. I hope I can catch the first show of the day because it's the least expensive. I've been waiting about 2 months to see this movie. Haha.

Recently I got the leather shoes my friend in Bulgaria made for me. I'll be taking photos of those as soon as I wet them and let them form to my feet as she recommended. She is so generous. She also sent us two beautiful hand tooled leather pouches. I love leatherwork. I know how expensive and time consuming it is to make.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I took my embroidery kit to the archery range on Sunday to work on a new t-shirt that says 'Hypnotist' on it. I'm using waste canvas to keep the text straight (hopefully). Then after the word is done I'm going to put flowers all around it in embroidery and scraps of lace and a few scattered beads.

While I had my embroidery box there, I taught my friend Paige how to do chain stitch, lazy daisy stitch, French knots, stem stitch, split chain stitch and backstitch. Learning on felt is easy on the eyes and the hands. She picked it up straight away. A few hours spent learning basic embroidery can open up a whole new world. You can use it to embellish beadwork, decorate a purse, make a headband more posh, and cover stains on things that still have a lot of wear left in them.

Or you can stitch words that express your political, religious, or anarchist views on life. The sky is the limit really. I learned when I was a kid. It's definitely something you can do if you are homeschooling too. You can embroider everything from tea towels to bloomers. And it's a blessing if you need to make a gift for someone with an unusual name when you can't find their name on anything in the mall.

Beaded embroidery

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Primitive Craft Skills Bowmaking and Spooncarving

I had a blast at the archery range today. Before it got hot out I did some archery practice. Later in the afteroon I taught Paige how to do some basic embroidery stitches. Diane was there working on her beadwork. Tim showed up and he's my frisbee buddy so we played frisbee (tm) for about an hour. The day was pretty much none stop activity.

I put the rest of the photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/almostfamous/sets/72157623549893647/ on my Flickr page.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Coming up Daisies

I've had a daisy loom kicking around here for a while with no directions. So when I spotted a loom with what seemed like directions at the Salvation Army I grabbed it. The bag was hard to see through, but mostly I wanted the directions. To my delight, when I got it home it contained a loom like I already had, a bigger circular loom, a square loom and a booklet of projects. All for $1.25. Yay. I plan to make some flowers for my shabby chic line, for hats, for collars, felted purses, and so on. Groovy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Amigurumi Monkey

After I got my new amigurumi book in the mail (Mr. Funky's) I found I don't have the patience to follow someone else's instructions anymore. I guess that's what happens when you design all your own stuff. So now I'm just using the photos for inspiration. The book has both directions and charts to go by. Going by patterns really slows me down because I have to stop constantly to find my place on the page. Right now I'm working on a monkey in some pastel baby yarn I got from a friend. I need to find another color to use for the monkey's head though, so that's my next project.

This is the monkey's body.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Enjoy this video of a Leprechaun hunt. Got gold?

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Enjoy this video of a Leprechaun hunt. Got gold?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Photos from yesterday's SCA event

Barbara was the best knitting student ever. She's going to be an amazing knitter.

Anna's learning to knit too but the only needles I could loan her were pretty small so I felt like I was torturing her. But she hung in there and got a lot done.

Me taking a break between archery rounds. It turned out to be a pretty warm day so we were all clinging to the shade under the canopy Anna brought.

Guy selling arrows.

Enjoying an ice cream sandwich after all the archery was done.

Ken sharing his bowmaking knowledge and answering questions from new archers.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Distressed Steampunk Belt Upcycled

I'm really busy tonight getting ready for an SCA event and losing an hour of sleep because of Daylight Savings Time. But I made this cool belt to wear tomorrow. It can go well with Steampunk, Gypsy, and Pirate costumes and I can't wait to wear it. I'll share more details soon when I'm not so pressed for time.

The only parts I had to buy were the grommets. Everything else was handed down to me.

Archery Event

We are getting reading for another SCA archery event in Van Nuys, CA tomorrow. We have arrows to deliver and it looks like the weather is going to be a lot nicer than last time. So I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to take my bow this time and if I can get authorized again, I can participate.
Since this event will be at the same location as the previous one, here's a write up about the last one: http://greenmanarchery.blogspot.com/2010/02/great-weekend.html

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Amigurumi Books

Every time I get up to 50 followers, I lose one. It's the darndest thing. I think I've hit 50 about four time now.

I spent the better part of an hour tonight on Amazon.com trying to figure out which amigurumi knit and crochet books I wanted. I finally narrowed it down to four. Then my boyfriend said he only meant for me to pick one. So I had to leave 3 out. Maybe I'll get them eventually when money isn't so tight. I bet I could find 100 craft books I want though, if money was no object.

Mr. Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful was the one I finally decided on getting: http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Funkys-Super-Crochet-Wonderful/dp/1581809662/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268366830&sr=1-1#noop
I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

And as far as crochet goes, I worked on my squid again tonight.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Bluebirds and Watercolor

Today I took a leap and tried to add 2 bluebirds to one of my watercolor backgrounds. It was a lot harder than I expected and I'm not altogether pleased with it. But I've learned not to judge my own work too rapidly. Usually after it sits a few days or weeks it starts to grow on me. Mixed media can be tricky. If all else fails I can cut it up and make bookmarks.

Then I started the red dragonfly and got interrupted before I got very far.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Derwent Watercolor Pencils

Tonight I got an unexpected chance to go to Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster, CA. And I was able to pick up some more Derwent watercolor pencils in colors I didn't have yet. I was shopping w/o a list though so out of 8 pencils, I wound up with 2 I already had and another one that wasn't a watercolor pencil at all. But I got 5 new colors that will help with skin tones and lips so my petite girls don't look jaundiced. I was sorely tempted by the stores vast inventory of fancy handmade papers. But at $8.00 a sheet, it will have to wait until I sell more art or win the Lotto or something.

Tomorrow our friend is coming over to make arrows. It's like an arrow factory here sometimes.

Earlier today I did 2 more watercolor backgrounds. That sure is fun.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Original Amigurumi Creations

My Amigurumi Creations
Today I thought I would take a moment and just appreciate some of the many amigurumi creations I've made in the last few years. I made this mosaic of some of my favorites. Many have found new homes by now, so I'm glad I photographed them when I had the chance.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

You Can Heal Your Life

I've been re-reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay. It first came out in 1984 which is probably when I read it. It is a life changing book. Recently she was on Oprah. My only regret is I didn't read that book every year of my life and it took over 20 years to come back to my life again. Upon re-reading it I realized I have a habit of being overly critical of myself and mean and bossy to myself. I also think I've been punishing myself for what I see as my failures as an artist. So now I'm trying to be a kinder and gentler person to myself. One thing I noticed right off is when you start working on your issues, things tend to get worse before they get better. I feel like I've opened the flood gates or Pandora's box if you will. This book isn't a quick fix. You have to hold a mirror up to yourself (literally) and look into your eyes and tell yourself that you are willing to change and give up old thought patterns. I feel like my body is trying to purge itself of years of accumulated self loathing. I just want to get back to being productive.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Moonmaiden Banner

Yesterday I made this animated banner for Project Wonderful. Then I realized the blog I was going to rent ad space on was in New Zealand. I hope I find a blog to put it on soon. I want to see it twinkling. Maybe you have P.W. ads on your blog in this format. If so drop me a line.

I just discovered that while the copy above doesn't show the animation if you click on it to view the larger size, the animation comes alive. Check it out.

Watercolor Backgrounds

It's been a while since I worked with watercolors. But after seeing a painter on TV who goes by Gary, I had to give it a go. So last night I started out with 2 watercolor backgrounds. I had paint left over so I did two more small bits of watercolor canvas. I love how vibrant the colors are. I need to go take photos before it rains so I can show you guys. I'm not sure what to do next. I intended to add a bird or two. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Art Journaling

My interest in Art Journaling waxes and wanes. But a serious case of a slow recovery from the flu and cabin fever lead me to work in my art journal again. I did 4 double spreads in two days. And although it seems like the tall hat one was inspired by the new Johnny Depp movie Alice in Wonderland, in fact it was based on a crazy men's hat I found on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/artysmokes/3740318521/ I have a thing for zany hats and I always have. So I hope you enjoy my art journal pages, and more importantly I hope you go and try to do some of your own. Go have fun and re-connect with your inner child. Leave your critic in your pocket and just do whatever you want.

If you have questions about techniques feel free to ask.