Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Storage Unit & Journals

We had another beautiful day here in S. California so I took the shelf back out on the porch and put a polyurethane coating on it.

I also worked on my junk journal and added pockets made from scrap-booking paper to it. I thought I'd fill the whole notebook in January the way I was going but I still have lots of space left, so I guess I won't be doing one notebook a month. It's satisfying and I think my daughter is going to do one too.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wood Storage Unit Painting and Collage

I found a 3 cubicle wood storage unit yesterday. I thought I'd collage it all, which might take a long time. So I decided to use up my 'older' paints before they dry up, and put a multicolor base coat on the shelves. It's a mix of acrylic paints and Gesso to make the coverage easier. I'm taking a short break because I was beginning to feel like a contortionist trying to bend over and paint inside each cubicle. I like it so far though. I think I will use one shelf for my journals and another for magazines. I haven't decided what to put in the last shelf nor do I know where to find spot for it in my apartment. I did realize I could use it horizontally or vertically, so since I'm not sure yet I'm going to paint every surface except the back. It's a fun one day project for a sunny day. This is my 1,111 posts. Cool.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sweater Magic

Today I raided the local Goodwill for sweaters to re-purpose into whimsical fairy coats. That is to say, I need to try coming up with a design and make one first. If that one comes out, who knows what the future will bring. I asked at Goodwill if clothing is washed first and she said they just hang it the way they receive it, so I'm washing everything on cold and delicate and drying them all on delicate. Anything that can't stand up to that will be set aside and used for something else. I can't expect my customers to want to dry clean their coats. So they have to be washable to be practical. I might have to find 3 models to wear the different sizes for photos. I'm happy I'll be keeping the sweaters out of the landfill for the time being. I also bought an embroidered jacket from India. It was marked 'dry clean only' but came out okay in the wash. It was marked $9.99 but there was a sale on green tagged items so I got it for half off. I'm not sure how many sweaters it takes to make a coat, but at least the 6 I got will be enough for the top half. I think $6. is a bit much to pay for a used sweater, so hopefully I can find some better deals at the swap meet or yard sales. My boyfriend bought some books too. I also went to Michaels and picked up 2 plastic storage bins for my square foot paintings and a wooden 3 cube unit for more storage for magazines or bins. It is bare wood so I think I will collage it. That should be fun. I stocked up on craft paint too. I try to buy it on sale to keep the costs down.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Magic Ball of Yarn

I've been trying to finish my bulky knitted vest and realized my 'magic ball of yarn' had run out. A magic ball of yarn is made by taking a leftover bit of yarn and winding a ball; then when you reach the end, you tie it to another bit of yarn and wind that onto the ball. Each length can be from 1 yard to 20 yards long, more or less. You keep adding new colors until the ball is as big as you want. So with my new magic ball of yarn in hand, I'll use it as one of the 4 strands in this vest. So far I have one front panel and shoulder done, and now I'm working on the back. I thought I was much further along but I didn't realize the back part needed more rows added. I would say I'm 3/4 of the way through. I need to finish it while it's still winter. It's too warm for summer wear.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine's Day is Sneaking Up on Us.

I should work on Valentine's projects today. How quickly that holiday always sneaks up on me! I'm just not really in the mood for Valentine's Day until February, but if I want Valentine items in my shops, I have to have them ready, probably by Feb. 1 at the latest. That gives customers two weeks to buy and ship, which isn't a whole lot.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chicken and Bee Cross Stitch

In the last two days I've been working on some cross-stitch. I just finished a chicken and a bee and started on a cow design. It's like the slowest craft in the world. A person would starve doing cross-stitch for a living.
I'm using dark green cross-stitch fabric. I want to inset it into a wooden box or something.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cast Iron Tortilla Press

Today I was browsing Yardsellr and happened upon the link to export my Etsy listings directly to Yardsellr.  Now why I couldn't find that button to save my life a few days ago I just don't know.  Also, when my friend tried to migrate his, he said it took days for the listings to show up on Yardsellr, whereas mine showed up almost instantly.

Today I was telling my boyfriend that I wanted to get a tortilla press.  Then tonight when I showed him Yardsellr, he was randomly scrolling through cooking items, when he stumbled upon a cast iron tortilla press. It was priced at $27.00 but I had a $30 photon credit sitting on my account.  So I hopped over, bought the press, paid with Paypal, and when all was said and done, it was only $5. out of my own pocket. I told my boyfriend I felt like I was stealing it!  And the seller had free shipping to get the thing delivered right to my front door! Fantastic.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Valentine's Day Projects

Time for me to make Valentine's stuff.  I am ironing out the details on Cupid. It's not easy drawing babies or bows and arrows, much less on the same drawing. After destroying 3 or 4 sheets of paper, I finally drew it on the dry erase board in the hall so I could fix some of it without having to start over every time.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Make a Rose Stencil T-shirt

Right now I'm working on a rose T-shirt.  You can grab the free stencil here from my fashion blog. It's too late in the day to put it on my shirt now, but hopefully I'll get to it tomorrow. Are you missing Spring? Don't fret. If you can't grow flowers in your garden you can paint them on a shirt, a messenger bag, or gift wrap.
You could even shrink the design down and put it on a hand carved stamp. Ooh, I may have to do that myself.

Thoughts on Marketing

Last night Sergio of Blakenetizen and I stayed up until the wee hours in the Chatsie chatroom brainstorming on ways to earn more income with arts and crafts and blogging and freelance writing. So this morning my brain was stuffed full of ideas. Today I want to get going on listing things on Yardsellr, Etsy, Zazzle and some of my other shops.

I also want to start sponsoring inexpensive ads on my blog now that I'm getting 400+ views per week.  The ad boxes will be between $15-$40 a month.  The idea is still gelling in my mind but if you think you might be interested, and what you are selling pertains to arts and crafts, leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page or shoot it over to me at queenofdreams at gmail dot com. Super.

Blog Lovin

I just joined Blog Lovin Follow my blog with Bloglovin If you are also there please follow me. Leave a post below if you want me to follow you back. Yeppers.

I thought I'd join Networked too.

Cuppa Joe

I can't remember if I sold this painting or not, but I need to make some more coffee themed items.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Painting a Pet Sympathy Card

My friends lost their dear pup after months of seizure issues, so I made this card to send them. I purposely didn't make it to look like their dog because I think that would make them even sadder. I could probably try again and make it better, but I think it's important to mail it as soon as possible.

Our Pets Never Want to Leave Us

So They Take Our Heart When They Go

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Knitted Vest Another Day

Last night and today I got going on my knitted vest again. I got bogged down in some confusing directions so it sat there a week until I could find some courage. Now I almost have one shoulder section done. I can't wait to be done so I can try it on. I'm not sure if I'll like it or think it looks completely hideous. I want to do another one in white on white yarn. But it would be silly to do that if I don't like the way this one looks on me. Plus I need the needles that are still buried in the first vest before I can make another one.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Creative Weekend

David watching Guy make a longbow.

Kat doing some card weaving.
I wish I had a close up shot because it was really incredible.

Me in front of the new Greenman banner.

Sal showing Susan how to make a bow.

Guy reading one of the used books he got at the event.
This was a creative weekend.  Saturday I was at an SCA event in La Crescenta, CA.  We proudly hung the Greenman Banner from our canopy.

I started working on a narrow red and pink knitted scarf. My friend Carol worked on her knitting as well. I just realized we were both making scarves.

I ran into Kat who was weaving some amazing trim. I think it was card weaving.

Guy brought 2 bow shaving benches and he and Jim worked on new longbows.

Then on Sunday we went to the Paleoplanet gathering. It started out slow but by the afternoon there were about 25 people there. I worked on my new Junk Journal and started a cross-stitch chicken on a dark green background.

Aimee was there working on some feather earrings and then on some beadwork on her leather archery glove. Sal was helping a new woman work on a board bow. I think her name was Susie. Alex brought his new bride and his boys.

Then after that we went over to see my boyfriend's mom. She had wanted to review her balloon animals. She used to be a clown for the Rotary Club years ago. So we got a good laugh out of trying to make balloon poodles, dogs, giraffes, swans and other mutant things.

I'll have some photos tomorrow. I'm too tired to start editing photos tonight.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Marketing Crafts

It's 7 AM and probably too early for me to be hashing out marketing strategies, but I think I should start putting an hour a day exclusively into marketing. Things like listing new items on Etsy, Zazzle, Cafe Press, Bonanza, and Zibbet. I've really let that fall by the wayside.  I'm like many artists in that I'd rather paint, sew, shop for supplies or research new crafts than I would writing ad copy and trying to steer buyers in my direction. I do market things on Facebook and Twitter, but I don't really see much profit in that. Of the millions of things people could possibly buy why would they buy from me in particular? And hard sell never works. People just get annoyed and annoyed people don't buy things from the person that's annoying them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Juggling v the Green Man

I was up to my eyeballs working on my juggling club project.  I got all the dowels sawed and was working on cutting the tennis balls in half when my boyfriend comes over to my work area. He asked me if I could paint him a green man banner for his archery booth from the logo I designed for his website. And the event is Saturday.

I explained to him how important is was to me to make some forward progress on the juggling clubs. And I finally had some momentum going. He said I didn't have to drop everything. But dropping everything is the only way I'm going to have time to paint a 2' x 2' canvas banner, let it all dry, heat set it and hem it in time for the event.

So he offered to keep working on the juggling clubs if I'd get started on the banner.  So that's what I did.  I was back in my comfort zone and he was back in his. I didn't finish the painting before it got dark though so I'll have to paint all day tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Leather, Chaps, and Other Things

Eep.  I just found out I have plans on Friday (birthday lunch), Sat. (SCA event) and Sunday (archery event).  I'm not sure I'm up to all that. When it rains it pours. I thought the archery event was on a different weekend. It will be fun to get out of the apartment though. I better get organized because the rest of the week is going to be super busy. Maybe it will get me out of my funk.

I'm thinking of doing some sewing tutorials. Would anyone be up for that? I want to make cowboy outfits for my grandsons. Then when they outgrow them my daughter can use them in her photo studio. I have leather. I was going to make a quiver with it, but I can always get more.

Youngest Grandson

Oldest Grandson

Monday, January 09, 2012

A Zentangle Painting

Zentangles fascinate me so tonight I drew a complex Zentangle inside a circle that I'm going to paint. It will be like paint by number sort of. I'm going to need a tiny brush for it. I was too tired to start painting it tonight. And I want to think a bit about the color scheme. If you don't know what the heck a Zentangle is just Google it or look on Flickr images.

Also, I think I should be painting my dreams. I've heard twice in two days about people who paint using their dreams as a source, and I have some pretty wild and epic dreams. I know it was an assignment once in our oil painting class in college.  We were supposed to go home, have a dream and then paint it. But I didn't have a dream.  So I made one up and the teacher called me on it.  I can't help it if I didn't have a dream. He wasn't exactly the best teacher I ever had. After the course I went to see his work in a gallery and I didn't even like it. But that's the way college is.  There is only one teacher available for the course so that's the teacher you get.
Here are two of the Zentangles I've done in the past.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

January Journal

I like to keep a long hand journal. I don't have time to write in it daily but I keep it around so I can remember to use it. I tuck it in my purse so I can write in cafes or on the train.  So it bounces between my desk in my bedroom and my purse.  This one is striped and cost .99. I may decorate it more if the mood strikes me.
I tried keeping a separate art journal and another written journal and it was too repetitious and confusing.
Someday I'd like a shelf to line up all my journals on.

The store also had the composition books with graph paper so I got 2 of those as well because I couldn't resist.

If my computer vanishes tomorrow, I'll have my paper journals as back-ups.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Zippers and Yarn

Today I went to a new bargain store where I got individually packaged acrylic yarn for $1. a skein.  I got red and pink to make something to wear with my 'red, pink, gray' wardrobe theme.

They also had nylon zippers, 4 for $1.00. It's a good size if I make some wallets.  They are most commonly used for A-line skirts.  I used them in Jr. High school when I first took sewing and could fit into an A-line skirt. Those were the days. Did you know you can take a long zipper and cut it shorter if you need to? A good tip to know if you ever find long zippers for a great price or if the store doesn't have the size you need.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Beading With Fine Beads

I felt it was high time I got back to beading. So I grabbed the nearest tin of beads and found a piece of beading that was either going to be a bracelet or a necklace, or maybe a watchband and I started working on it. I really should put hang tags on these things and not trust to memory. The part I added tonight was a bit of the pastels and all of the gold with a tiger eye bead accent.

Gorgeous Belly Dance Costume

Today I made a to-do list, and virtually ignored it as my day went off in another direction. I got some dishes and laundry done, then it was off to Sizzler to take advantage of a 'bogo' birthday coupon I got on the Internet. Then I went to Walmart to buy a picture stand so I can take better photos of my square foot paintings.  On Jan. 3 I got some mat board so I could frame them and get them to lay flat for the photos.
I planned to work on my Etsy shop, but somehow I kept getting distracted. I swear I have no self-discipline sometimes. Facebook is eating my time like crazy.

Then I saw this gorgeous belly dancing costume here:

I'm dying to make something in red and leopard print. I was planning that before I saw her costume, but now I'm so excited about doing it.

I was going to work on my juggling clubs today but the day just got away from me.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Poodle Video

While I was doing my wardrobe shoot for today, this action was happening across the street so I paused a moment to film it. Funny stuff.

Rose Parade and Knitting

This morning I worked on my knitting while watching the Rose Parade. Our archery range is near there. Luckily we didn't have archery on Sunday because it would have been a zoo down there. I like to watch the parade from the comfort of my own living room. It would be nice to see it once in real life though, since I'm only about an hour from Pasadena.
Look how beautiful the weather is. My Facebook friends keep talking about snow and here I am enjoying T-shirt weather. 

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Knitted Vest Work in Progress

Here are my photos from yesterday when I was working on my knitted vest. It's going to be heavy and I'm not sure I'm happy about that. But I've gone too far to ditch the project now. And I love the way the colors are dancing together. That makes me happy. I even added a little FunFur in there for texture. After this I want to make a 'white-on-white' vest, but I will probably drop to 3 strands of yarn instead of 4 like this one.