Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vampire Mitts

How are all my happy crafters? Fall is just around the corner, and my favorite holiday, Halloween, as well. So I'm designing some Halloween bracelets and earrings.

I'm also working on knitting vampire mitts for those nights of vampiric storytelling and poetry. If you are a poet in the Anaheim area drop me a comment.

My energy is low today. So I'm not getting going too fast.

People in Etsy chat are always asking for the magic wand that is the secret to many sales.  I wish I had it. As far as I can tell there is only hard work.  Making inventory, listing, shipping, and as much as possible keep your customers happy so they tell more people about you. And don't annoy the other chatters by having an  'it's all about me' attitude. If you only care about your own sales and your own life, then who else is going to care about them?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dessicated Fairy Art Dolls, Knitting, and more

My Sunday was more like a Monday. I did get over to the store to get some parts for my next tutorial, which will be a kitschy Halloween charm bracelet.

Last year I wanted to make dessicated fairy dolls, but the discount shop had already run out of skeletons. So this time I snapped them up early. I long ago lost track of the tutorial so I'll have to re-invent the wheel. I can't even remember if they were mummified with cheesecloth or papier mache'.

Today I'm also working on some blood red vampire mitts in knitting. There again I was using someone else's  tutorial and I could see they were going to be way too small for me.  So I started over from scratch. Once I have my own pattern that fits my arm not one-size-fits-all, I can make as many pairs as I want. Somehow, when I left them on my desk overnight, some stitches fell off the end of the needle. and I could find no way to fix it. So I had to unravel four rows of ribbing, which turned out to be pretty tricky, and re-knit those rows. I should just take a bit of uninflated balloon, cut a disk, and poke the needles through it. The latex should keep the contents on the needle. I come up with the most genius ideas in the middle of the night.
At least they seem brilliant until I've had 8 hours of sleep.

I hope tomorrow is even more productive.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Life Just Got More Interesting

After what seemed like an endless downward spiral, my life just got better.
I may get to participate in my daughter's art gallery, which she is trying to find a home for right now. I hope she gets a great space for her paintings and wedding photography. And with any luck she'll share a wall or corner with me.

I'm also planning my first photo shoot. I'm going to start using models in my Etsy shops instead of styrofoam heads.I'm giddy with excitement. I've already had about 12 models respond to my ad. I just need to figure out where and when to have the first photo shoot. It's not that easy to find wooded areas in Anaheim.

And of course I need to design and sew a whole lot more fashions if I'm going to do this fashion designer thing. Ideas that have been kicking around in my head for years are all trying to burst out of the genie bottle at the same time, leaving me a bit crazed.

And my crochet tutorials are keeping me busy right now. The new one is on crocheting a squid.  I'm just waiting for the editor to approve it before I put it on video sites. I've been working on that squid for two years. I'm glad it's off my to-do list.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And Bam My Domain Name is Gone

I'm more than a little bummed that someone bought my old domain name pigglewiggins.com. I let it go and of course they squatted on it for a while, and then it became available again. Considering I made up the name out of the clear blue sky for a character in a book, and later named my Etsy shop after it, I wasn't worried that anyone else would want it. So today I decided to start actively looking for facepainting and balloon gigs again, and I was making a website on Weebly called Pigglewiggins, and imagine my surprise when I saw my name was gone! Someone named Frank in NY bought it last April and it's parked at GoDaddy. I just hope he doesn't turn it into an adult site or something. That would really fix my wagon. I wonder if he did a net search and found 200 articles by me that mentioned the name Pigglewiggins? Sigh, not much I can do now. It doesn't expire until 2012. It's also my name on Youtube. Grumble, mutter, grumble, mutter.

Models and Beads Oh My

I've been planning to make it over to the newly reopened Tall Mouse store in Cerritos, CA. When they emailed me a coupon today with strands of stone beads on sale for $2. each, and a printable coupon worth 15% off my entire purchase we high tailed it over there and I am now the proud owner of 10 new strands of beads which I hope to turn into headpieces for brides and fairy maidens.

And I just took a new step and started looking for models for my Etsy shop. I already got two applications, one for a beautiful tattooed model and the other is an exotic redhead. I can't wait to meet them. I think having a real model makes a big difference, although I'd like to think my own face could sell hats, but evidentally not. So now I will get to have a real live photo shoot. How exciting!

Say Hi To My Friend

I just found out my new friend Cat has an Etsy shop too. http://www.etsy.com/shop/cayswann It looks like she's just getting started so drop by and heart her if you are so inclined. Right now she has coffee cozies listed, with more to come I'm sure.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I was just outside working on my crocheted squid that I started over 2 years ago. It became one of those back burner projects and you know how that is. But I want to use it in a photo story series, so I need to finish it. I had no idea it would take so long to make a decopod. I just finished the seventh leg. It's just too hot outside to sit there until a breeze comes up, so I'm done with the squid for now.

And I found some royal blue yarn the squid can live without. It's the color I need for my Albuquerque Sunset wrap. And there is plenty of it left so I'll add it to the bin.I don't need to add any more colors, but it was on my list of colors I wanted to include. So why not? That's what I love about designing. You can change your mind at any time and go in another direction.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How to Make a Crafter Cry

Today I went to a grocery store to pick up some chicken for dinner.  And then I saw it.  My favorite thrift store was gone! I go there almost every week and never saw any signs of it's demise.  They will be re-opening in Fountain Valley, but that's 15 miles from me. And even so, once they are in a new building, the prices will no doubt increase to help pay the bill. They built a new Goodwill across the street from me a few years ago, but their used prices are higher than retail, so I don't even go there.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday and New Ideas

Doing some research into fabric embellishment including marbling, batik, melting, and dyeing. Gearing up for my new wardrobe website with all DIY fashion, Malls suck, DIY or die! I may have to go goth for the Halloween season. I want a candy corn hat too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Library Day

It's morning in S. California and we are having a heatwave. So I'm thinking today might be a good day to return library books and  make use of their air conditioning. I'll find one of my more portable crafts to take. I've been hankering to do some cross-stitch.  I should work on one I already have going though. Or I could do crewel work on some kitchen towels. Sadly, the market is really depressed. I can't compete with stitchers that sell their hand-embroidered towels for $6. each. That's not even minimum wage.Before I found that out I bought about 12 towels to embroider. I think I listed one or two and then got discouraged.

My boyfriend is off to the archery store this morning to get more feathers or something. You can see his latest arrow creations here: Greenman Archery.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Right Angle Weave Earrings Explored Further

On Sunday I beaded five pairs of right angle weave earrings. Somehow I only managed to take photos of one of them, even though I took about 150 photos that day. Maybe I'll go out on the patio and take photos of the other ones. Every time I make one pair I get ideas for four or five others! I'd have to live to be 300 to indulge in every idea. I'm always mystified by people that say they can't think of anything to make.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Knitting Stole or Wrap

I just did five rows on my knitted wrap with the many colors that I've dubbed Albuquerque Sunset. Naming my projects inspires me and helps me keep them separated in my mind. I grew up in New Mexico and loved the Southwestern colors. I wasn't sure what colors I wanted in total, but I was sure I wanted orange, turquoise and adobe! Then as the sun sets in comes the violets, the purples and the blues of night.

I try to do rows in increments of three, because the pattern is broken up into rows of three. But I had barely finished my fifth row when it got too dark to see on the patio. I could still see well enough to knit, but I was having trouble telling forest green from olive green from dark brown. So I wrapped it up carefully for the night. With that many colors, I can't just knit on the couch. I need a big table in front of me with the chart right in front of me. Plus I don't need the cats jumping on my lap.

Now I should go practice belly dancing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Crochet Videos Coming Up

I just pitched some ideas for a crochet site. They wrote back and said they were all great, but they have a limit of two videos per week. I didn't know they'd want them all. I'm a bit panicked. But at least they only want two a week. Why do I cringe whenever someone gives me a deadline? I'm really addicted to freedom. But my hopes to make 2 or 3 a day so I could have a real income just flew out the window. The most I could make now is $50. a week. Still, I'd rather have that then nothing, right? Hopefully I didn't just shoot myself in the foot by telling them I can only make videos between custom orders and the needs of my five Etsy shops.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Productive Day

After having so many sick days, I was determined to have a productive day today. First I had to get a bunch of annoying mundane tasks out of the way. But after that was done I was able to do six rows on my Kaffe inspired wrap, and weave in 24 ends, each one a different color. Yes, there are about 30 colors in my version. I just love color, what can I say? I'm treating it like a geometric painting.

Then I got to juggle on the front lawn and enjoy the sun going down.

Then I had an excellent dinner that I didn't have to cook of chicken and rice.

And then I got to bake a peach cobbler for a lunch meeting with friends tomorrow. Not bad for a Friday the 13th.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Knitting and Dollar Store Stuff

When I saw the site had added some new spam protection stuff, I decided to turn my comments back on. We'll see how it goes.

Last night I needed some retail therapy so I headed to the discount store where I couldn't do too much damage. They had some lovely seashells, so I got those for future art projects. And I got some silver nail polish. Nail polish can be used in scrapbooking and mixed media so I like to keep some on hand. It's a good metallic paint. My father used to use it to put his initials on his bowling balls.

While I was out I went to Subway and Starbucks and worked on a knitted slouch cap on double pointed needles in a gray and silver yarn. I feel like I'm knitting with fairy cobwebs. It's pretty cool, but not too cool when I drop a stitch. I have to get in the habit of taking a crochet hook with me whenever I take my knitting on a journey.

I have a new idea to motivate me to lose weight. I'm writing my weight on an ornament. I could only find a wooden house or a wooden dog to use at the store, so I picked the house and I need to paint my weight on it. As my weight goes down, I'll make a new ornament, and make a time line. Then someone invited me to join http://www.sparkpeople.com to provide the moral support I need.

So that's what I'm up to today, and I really should do a crochet video.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Little Sidetracked

My apologies for falling behind. I've been dealing with some health issues which have zapped my energy. I wonder if other people even notice when I fall behind. I somehow doubt it.

The best news is I found a sponsor for my crochet tutorials. My biggest inhibition with doing more tutorials is they take a lot of time, and don't create any income. So now at least some of them will create some income. I just hope my computer doesn't run out of memory space before I save enough money to buy another one.

Some of my ongoing project right now include a knitted stole inspired by Kaffe Fassett, a macrame' owl out of twine, a crocheted necklace with sequins, my plarn totebag and my ongoing wardrobe project of just wearing my own creations every day for a year. Since I've been sick I may have to start over, but that's okay. I've already learned so much I can do it better the next time.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Stitchery, Beads, and Other Fun Stuff

I've been working on an article called the Creative Spark and it's been keeping me from blogging as much. I was just working on a rainbow knit scarf that I'll be posting in my knitting blog.

Earlier today I hit the jackpot at a yard sale and got a bunch of beautiful silver lined lampwork beads, as well as some prints of frock coats, some metal jacks, and a watercolor book. I made out like a bandit.

So I couldn't resist making a pair of right angle weave green earrings out of some of my new beads.

Yesterday I started a stitching project with burlap and felt and I'm making a pumpkin pillow. I was hoping to work on that more today but it got circumvented by bead fever. Ah well, maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Ear Cuff in Copper and Australian Jasper

I can't believe I forgot to mention the ear cuff I designed yesterday! And I was so excited about it too. I've wanted to make one for years and now I finally sat down and figured it out.

So Excited For My Paleoplanet Friend and His Etsy Interview

Paleoplanet.net is my favorite primitive crafts forum, so imagine how excited I was to see another guy from Paleoplanet on the Etsy blog being interviewed about his bowmaking and knifemaking skills.

Handmade Portraits: Old School Tools from Etsy on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Catching Inspiration

Yesterday I let creativity take hold of me and I made a rustic mobile out of found objects including seashells, a pinecone, and gourd pieces. I resisted the urge to make it perfect, and just let it be what it was, namely a spontaneous outburst of creativity. Today I took a wet rag and cleaned it up a bit so the green sphere would glow in the sun.

Satisfied with that, today I got out a box of partially finished jewelry and fished out a pair of woven earrings. All that was left to do was weave in the ends and add hooks. It's amazing how close I get to finishing something, and then the project gets stuck in a box where it can languish for months, even years.

Usually that happens when I'm either too tired to finish, get called away to some mundane task, or don't have the proper piece to finish the puzzle. Today the earrings were in one box, the scissors were in the house, the pliers were in another bead box, as were the earwires. Try as I may to be organized, I just do way too many different styles of projects to make that simple.

Luckily I had my camera ready, so the earrings may actually make it into my Etsy shop today.

But for now I need to get back outside, while the day is still cool and before the sun goes down.

Update: I got my earrings listed this morning here:http://www.etsy.com/listing/53052209/pretty-bead-woven-earrings-in-pale-green

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Path of Inspiration

When I wake up in the morning, I tune into spirit and ask what I should make today. That spark of inspiration is often a subtle little voice that says things like, "I haven't worked with clay in forever, and wouldn't that feel nice on my hands," or "I've always wanted a whole armful of unique beaded bracelets."

Or my eye might just wander around the room or the garden. I just saw an amazing red dragonfly in my garden. Dragonflies are great motifs for all kinds of art projects, from purses to gourds. And I get a lot of visitors to my hummingbird feeder. I started a cross-stitch hummingbird a while back and I could work on that.

If I pick the right project and dig in I will be focused for hours. If I pick the wrong one, I won't be able to concentrate and I'll keep thinking things like 'I wish I was beading.' Or 'How come I'm not sewing today.'

Of course sometimes the universe doesn't cooperate and there are all kinds of distractions. But I do the best I can.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

A Day At the Archery Range

Today at the archery range I did a lot of beading on my orange collar necklace I started a while back. It's amazing how much I get done when I'm away from electronic devices.

About halfway through the day I was target shooting when I thought to myself how glad I was to have a dozen arrows, though seven are from one set and five are from another, and how I hadn't broken or lost any in ages. Well, I jinxed myself, because the third arrow I shot after that hit the metal frame at the bottom of the target and popped the end right off the wooden shaft. Ah nuts!

We met some new friends who tried out the bow bench. It sure makes shaving a bow easier.