Sunday, July 31, 2011


This was a wonderful trip to the San Luis Obispo and Atascadero areas. The SLO SPACE gallery opening on Friday was a special time well attended by friends and family.  Heather sold one painting on Friday and a photograph on Sunday. Everyone liked the belly cast I did on her when she was pregnant.  She did a lovely job painting it and now both her and I are willing to be hired to do belly casts for other mommy's to be. She only recently painted the one I did on her, and I'll share the photos when I get them home. Right now I need to get to bed so I can catch the train home in the morning. Unfortunately due to the schedules, I'll have to take the bus to Santa Barbara and then the train the rest of the way home.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Travel Crafts

I'm not about to spend 12 hours on a train (6 each way) without taking projects to keep me happy and creative. So I have one pair of knitting needles, a crochet hook, some ombre yarn, a watercolor set (for when I get to where I'm going), a sewing kit with some felt and beads, and a sketchbook/journal.  And I got it all to fit in a small backpack carrying case thing. I plan to check my suitcase, so none of my goodies are in there. I still have to find a paperback book to take. The book I'm currently on is a huge hardcover library book and I'm not about to drag that one along. I wish I'd thought about that when I was at the library but I thought I'd be onto the next book in the series by now, which is a paperback. But the Crown of Stars series is complicated enough, that there is no way I'm going to read them out of order.

I'm also taking some ACEO's to work on. I got a whole blank 'deck' of cards at Art Supply Warehouse just for that purpose. I'm ready to go but it's still 1 1/2 hours until my ride gets here. So I guess I'll go look for a book to take.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ceramic Drop Spindle

Today I got to try out my new drop spindle whorl.  I had to sand down a pencil to make the spindle and then I pushed a wire into the eraser to make the hook.  I was afraid the spindle would be too heavy, but as you can see by the photos I got it to work just fine.  It's wobbly, and I don't know if that's the spindle or the hole in the whorl being a bit off center.  But it works and that's what matters. I think I've been a beginner for about 15 years now. My hands are tired, not from the spinning, but from the sanding.

Monday, July 25, 2011

No End To Marketing

I spent a lot of today in Zibbet chat figuring out which of my Etsy friends made the shift and what their shops are called. Since I have five shops on Etsy, and a different shop name on Zibbet, no one knows who the heck I am and if I tell them they've forgotten by the next day. So it's been insane.
A lot of them are promoting on Stumbleupon now.  It's not my favorite site and I haven't used it in 3 or 4 years so I had to ferret out my name and password over there.  Now I have to relearn how to use it.  It probably doesn't matter where we promote. What matters is whether or not there are interested buyers out there somewhere. And so far the pickings are slim.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lyondemere Anniversary SCA Event

Heavy Weapons

My First Egg Tempera Painting

Sword Match Round Robin
Fencer Stretching


Shoemaker at work
I survived the Lyondemere Anniversary in Long Beach.  No time to post photos now as I have to get up early for archery in Pasadena.
At the event I got my new tempera supplies from Griffin Dye Works.  So I spent as much time as I could doing an illumination of 2 foxes. Dealing with powders in the wind was a bit challenging. As soon as I can get the powder wet it's ok.
I took photos of some of the heavy weapons and fencing too. I'm getting to know more of the fencers.
As far as bardic goes, I only saw a trio of singers, so they got my tokens for the day.
There was a sweet raffle. My new friend from last weekend's tempera class was there today and she won a big coffee table book of Earth photos and 2 crocheted collars, so she was happy. Her SCA name is Ariana. Hope I remember it.
A lot of people were interested in the bow shaving bench too. And Guy repaired some arrows for folks while they waited. He stayed busy and I stayed busy and we get along best that way.
Off to bed with me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Etsy Chat Bites the Dust

Etsy chat is dead and gone. Here are some of the screen captures I did.  I was in two different chat rooms. Someone tried to open about 24 chat rooms to crash the system, but it stayed up until about 5:15 EDT.

For many people, Etsy helped them make sales, meet friends, keep up with Etsy changes, blow off steam, and relax from their family duties. Many were angry, hurt and shocked that it closed.  A big chunk of them joined Zibbet so they could use the Zibbet chat room, which has a NING format. It's the end of an era. Most of my shop views over the years came from Etsy chat.

If you need me, I'll be on Zibbet chat under the name Zelena of Vespertine, and also on a new Ning group called Artistry United, and on Facebook of course and my usual haunts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Embroidered Hands Red and Yellow

I've been making more hand tokens to give out at SCA events.  There is one on Sat. so I want to be ready.
Right now they are just one layer, but I'm thinking of making future ones two layers so the knots on the back and the messy bits of thread are covered up.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dreibergen Festival of the Rose Photos

Last Sat. we went to an SCA event called "The Festival of the Rose' in Hemet CA. I thought I'd share some of the photos. I took a class on mixing my own egg yolk tempera. I can't wait to do some more illumination with it.

I hung out with my friend at his weaving display in the morning, then I watched the bardic performances around lunchtime, and then I took the class. By the time I got out of class the archery booth was already loaded in the car thanks to our SCA friends Rino, Christos, and Joshua. I didn't have to lift anything. How nice is that?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Freeform Crocheted Scarf

At the knitting guild meeting I started working like crazy on a crocheted freestyle scarf. It's light pink, moss green and black and the yarn is three different textures. I was hoping to get it listed on Zibbet today but my hands got fatigued so I had to take a break. Instead I went to see the new Harry Potter movie. I'm not sure if I was more excited about the movie or the fact that I got to sit inside an air conditioned building for 2 1/2 hours.

Etsy announced today that chat is ending forever on Friday.  As a response, regular chatters are leaving for Zibbet.  Some are just opening another shop and still keeping their Etsy shop, but I've met about a dozen that are done with Etsy for good. It was like the straw that broke the camel's back after all the other Etsy changes, like getting rid of alchemy.

I just hope I don't get addicted to another chatroom. I don't really have time for that. And usually chat just depresses me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

1000 Posts

I'm happy to see that I've reached a landmark of 1000 posts. That's a lot of blogging! Thanks to the readers that have kept me company. And to the followers that keep coming back for more.
May you all find some happiness today.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Two New Wire Wrapped Pendants

With all the kerfuffle over Etsy getting rid of their chat room, a lot of us are heading over to the Zibbet chat room.  So today I listed 2 new wire wrapped pendants in my Zibbet shop, which you can see here: Vespertine
If you want to buy something from me and have a preference of one shop over the other, I can list the item in whatever shop you shop from. I'd rather do that than lose a sale.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life Model

I'm kinda stepping out on a limb here but I just ran an ad on Craig's List for a life drawing model. I plan to get back into oil painting and I want to have a group of models to choose from that I can paint. I'm going to trade things I made as payment to the model. So people that only want cash won't be answering my ad I'm sure.  I'm sure a model can always use more hats, scarves and earrings though, so it should be okay.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Embroidery on Felt Hands

I made a change in my list yesterday to accommodate being out of town. I worked on my embroidery instead. I cut out two felt hands and decorated them with buttonhole stitch and glitzy buttons. Now they are ready to be sewn onto a hat, added to decoupaged box, or worked into mixed media of some kind.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Bear Drawing

Today's art goal was to sketch animals.  So I did my best to sketch a bear from a TV show. That was challenging. Drawing a moving target is tricky and though it's good practice, it's not really great enough to post a photo. You think you know what a bear looks like until you try to draw one.

Then I started to draw my cat, and he decided to leave. Oh well.

Friday, July 08, 2011

New Wire Wrapped Jewelry

In my 30 days of crafting goals, today was wire-wrapped jewelry.  I was on a roll. I made 2 pairs of earrings and half a dozen pendants. I even got 3 of them listed on Etsy. So I would call that a productive day. 

Now I can see the half moon outside of my bedroom window. It's finally cooling off.  I made a pasta salad so I'd have something cool to eat since I don't want to make the house hotter than it already is. I feel good knowing I got to create things today and I like what I made. This is the first time I've been excited about Etsy in a long time.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Art Cards Editions and Originals Day Three

Today was A.C.E.O. day and by some miracle I found the pre-cut acid free cards I bought just for that purpose.  I wanted to make something much fancier, but I realized if I was going to go to bed before midnight, I better get on with it.
So I took a rather 'zentangle' approach to it.
Octostarfish ACEO Sharpie Marker and metallic marker.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Weaving and Hot Weather Don't Mix

It's hot and humid out. I did a bit of weaving, but came in for a cool drink and a respite. I have an open window on one side and a fan on the other.  About twilight I'll go and weave some more and hopefully finish the sash that I started at the Santiago Park archery range last week. I want to get it done so I can make more hair scarves to sell on Etsy or other places. It's a bit too warm to wear them now, but they'll be ready for the Christmas shoppers, some of which shop year round. It's easier on the budget that way, as long as you remember in December where you hid the gifts the rest of the year.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Gourds and Socks

I updated my gourd blog with today's gourd projects. I had to get the gourd dust off of me so I jumped in the shower.

After lunch I think I'll go back to working on my fan and feather socks. I only got through five rows last night so there is not even enough to take a photo of yet.

Thirty Days of Crafts

I've been seriously lacking in motivation, so I thought I'd do 30 days worth of different crafts to have something in writing to look forward to and to keep me moving.  So here is the list I came up with for the next 30 days. All of these are from supplies I already have on hand. So I will have no excuses to not dive right in. If you don't lose your skills, they will get rusty. When the economy is crawling around, use that time to hone new skills.

July 5 Gourd art

6 Backstrap weaving

7 ACEO's (Art cards editions and originals)

8 Wire wrapped jewelry

9 Animal drawing

10 Embroidery on Felt

11 Thread looping
12 Sock knitting
13 Woodburning
14 Walking stick
15 Feather fascinator
16. Sock monkey
17. Macrame'
18. Acrylic on canvas
19. Sewing
20. Quilted Chatalaine

21. Art doll
22. Freeform crochet
23. Amigurumi
24. Papercrafts
25. Puppet
26. Boutonniere
27. Flower arrangement
28. Hat
29. Needle punch
30. Clay pendant
31. Faux flower pin
August 1 Tree of life pendant
2 Earrings
3 Wood egg  painting

Making a dragonfly needle punch I designed.

Monday, July 04, 2011

How to Make a Boutonniere With a Real Rose

How to make a boutonniere:
I ran across this trying to figure out how to make one out of kitschy stuff and thought my readers might find it useful.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Happy 4th of July Go USA

It's about time I launched my hair accessories on Etsy, so yesterday I started a hairstyle blog.  Since tomorrow is the 4th of July (U.S.A. Independence Day), I got some red, white, and blue trim to make a fascinator to wear in my hair tomorrow.

If you want to follow my hair blog it's here.  Tresses 101. To keep things rolling, I'm going to do my hair differently every day for 30 days. Fun.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Backstrap Loom

Yesterday I took my loom kit to the archery range in Santa Ana.  I'm glad I did because we were there much longer than I planned on and I got quite a lot done. This is the first striped sash I've made.  It's my best one yet. I found out this type of loom is called a backstrap loom because you wear a strap around you and tie the belt to it so you can get the right tension.
At one point a squirrel was under the bench right by my toes but it scooted off when a bike went by.  Once you are tied into the loom it's not that easy to jump up and do things and I couldn't quite reach my camera.
Nothing beats crafts on a nice day under a shady tree in my book.

Making a striped belt on my backstrap loom.

Using a comb as the beater.

I made a simple shuttle out of a basswood rectangle and the loom out of popsicle sticks and basswood slats.

Weaving is fun.

San Tiago archery range.