Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Junk Journal Revised

I think I need to redesign my junk journal. The concept is working great, but a plain notebook is just too limiting. Switching to a 1 1/2" ring binder so I can add notebook paper, sketch paper, watercolor paper and graph paper. That way whether I want to write, draw, paint, or design a project I'll be covered. And the sturdier cover will keep it from getting mangled as I carry it from site to site. I think I'll be able to decorate the plastic black cover with some contact paper. I'll have to remember to pick some up next time I go out. It will also allow me to rearrange the pages. Before, if I accidentally started on the wrong page, there was no way to easily fix it and keep things in chronological order.

Gourd Doll

For the past three days I've been busy working on a gourd doll using pyrography. At this point I think I'm almost done and can show you some photos. It's a bit chilly since I have the door open and 3 fans running to push the smoke outside. Right now I'm taking a break to rest my hands.  It's like drawing with a really heavy pencil. I used painters tape to give me some guideline for the patterned areas.  I used a mechanical pencil to draw the birds and such. Then I erased the lines after burning. This helped me to fill the space and readjust motifs if necessary.  I combined nature and abstract patterns.  It just takes experience to figure out what shapes play well together and how to transition from one area to the next. The tape provides nice straight edges too.

There are a few bug holes that I'm tempted to glue beads into. But I like it straightforward like this as well.

Monday, February 27, 2012

SCA Robin Hood Tourney

Yesterday I was at an SCA event focusing on spinning on a drop spindle. I also got some crochet in when my arm got too tired from winding the yarn around the spindle. I think I need a fatter spindle that doesn't tire out my hands so much. I didn't quite finish my jester hat but I'm getting close. In fact I wanted to wear it yesterday. But Sat. was a busy busy day and I didn't get to finish it.

Today I worked on some wood burning on a disk. It's raining today so I guess I'll wait until tomorrow to take photos. I forgot to take a photo of myself yesterday but here's a photo of my boyfriend winning an SCA award. He worked very hard yesterday and answered dozens of archery questions.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I Made a Drop Spindle

I wanted to use my drop spindle tomorrow at an SCA event and I couldn't find it. So I made one out of white Sculpey. Unfortunately my oven is possessed. I was supposed to bake it at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. So I set it modestly at 225. When I took the piece out 15 minutes later, it was very scorched. The oven thermometer read 350 degrees. I could have just lived with it like that. But I decided to glue decorative paper to the front and back with ModPodge. I made the shaft out of a poplar dowel. The hole in the disk shrank a bit as I expected so I enlarged it with a round file so the dowel would fit again. I dyed the dowel red and coated it with ModPodge as well. I needed a piece of wire to make the hook. I grabbed a large safety pin and cut the wire from that, using the super sharp end to push it into the dowel. Once it's all dry and put together I'll share a photo. I don't think it will be that durable since the Sculpey was old and a bit crumbly so I couldn't smooth it as well as I would have liked. But it will do for tomorrow and the project has potential. I'll just have to be careful not to drop it on anything hard. I am taking a straw mat with me tomorrow and I'll work over that in case the yarn breaks and the spindle goes flying like a top. So once again necessity is the mother of invention.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Upcoming Projects

Sometimes I have so many ideas and things I want to try that I feel as if my brain will burst. Right now here are some of the things I am thinking of doing:

1. Making a bamboo container for my drop spindle. I want to add a strap so I can carry it with me to outdoor events and have it handy for spinning.

2. Cartoon tutorials. I'd like to make them in video format but don't know how to set up the camera so it looks straight down at my desk.

3. Make a messenger bag out of the upholstery scraps I've been hoarding.

4. Sew a spring wardrobe.

5. Calligraphy. Use it or lose it.

6. Something with a St. Patrick's Day theme.

7. Hair sticks with peyote stitch beading on them.

8. A belt favor for thrown weapons.

9. Wooden eggs painted for Easter

10.Scarves for a fashion tutorial.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I've been hand-stitching some little Japanese style juggling balls today. I can't finish them up until I get some millet. They are smaller than the usual juggling balls, but they will be good for kids or people with small hands. There is more about them in my juggling blog.

It was so toasty out today that I did some juggling outside. At least it's a bit of exercise. I got tired so quickly though. Some days I just don't have any energy.

This weekend we'll be selling arrows at another event. So most of Friday will be loading the truck and getting our outfits together and deciding on food. If you are going to the Robin Hood Tourney, we'll see you there. I think it's Sunday but I'm not the driver so don't take my word for it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Flat Peyote Stitch

I worked on my knitted cat a bit tonight, but most of my craft time today was devoted to beading. I'm trying to learn flat peyote stitch and the chart in the book is just eluding me. I've started over four times now and it's still not quite right. I just can't see where I'm going wrong. I'm supposed to already know how to do this. I'm better with tubular peyote. I just thought the flat version would be easier, faster, and I could see the design better as I went along. So far none of those has proven to be true.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Twenty Twenty Cat

Today I needed a project to take along on a long drive. So I grabbed two knitting needles. The only thing I had handy was 2 double pointed needles and some variegated yarn. I'm using them like straight needles anyway. I wanted to make a body that can either be a rabbit or a cat or even a doll. So I cast on 20 for the body and once it is long enough I'll fold it in half for the front and back portions.  Then I'll cast on 20 again per arm and per leg. If it comes out maybe I'll do a knit-a-long.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Banners For My Blogs

Today I started remaking all of my blog banners. That's a creative project that I can only do about an hour at a time before I get too frustrated. I wanted them to have some continuity yet not all be the same. I sure won't get them all done tonight. I think I've done five so far out of about 75. I'm mainly making them in Paint Shop Pro. I'm not all that great with Photoshop. I don't know how to layer things together or do anything fancy with Photoshop, so Paint Shop Pro it is.  Feel free to visit my other blogs.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Make Your Own Chalkboard Paint

I'm glad I didn't buy any chalkboard paint for the file cabinet yet, because I just lucked onto a tutorial on making your own chalkboard paint in any color you want. Not only that but she has some cool tips on making a pattern from a Chinese take-out food carton that looks like a lot of fun.  I think we might be going to the hardware store today too so I can get the ingredients. Awesome.

Leather Juggling Balls

A friend gave me some used suede leather and I'm thinking I might be able to use it for juggling balls. I've made juggling balls before back in the '70's but I'm not sure my sewing machine can handle leather. We'll see I guess.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Make a Valentine

I just finished my valentine tutorial and not a minute too soon. I started it about 5 days ago, but my schedule has been too full to finish it. Sure came out cute though. And now that I'm done I can give the cards away to loved ones. That's the best part. Sharing love is a good thing.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Festival of the Rose Lyondemere. SCA

Yesterday was awesome. I got to juggle, watch belly dancers, crochet a hat, see friends, and run between the raindrops. Sometimes I love the SCA.
The new bard of Caid

Guy making a bow.

Discussing archery.

The first King of Caid

Heavy weapons

Make Lip Balm

I've wanted to make lip balm for a while. I ran across directions here: Lip Balm I don't use it every day, but I do use it a lot when I'm outdoors. It would be great if I could make my own. It looks about the same as making candles or soap (melt and pour).

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Paper Valentines Cards

I spent today designing Valentine's Day cards for a tutorial. Hopefully I'll get it written and posted tomorrow because I'm running out of time. Some of them are simple enough to do with your children. Others are a bit more sophisticated, but surely there is something for everyone.
My Grandson

Puppy Love

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Crochet Some Hearts

I couldn't resist trying this. I just grabbed some acrylic yarn that was laying on my desk, but I thought it came out pretty cool anyway. This is all one strand of yarn.

Loving My Junk Journal

As soon as my boyfriend wakes up I'll clean off my printer and scan the heart collage I did in my Junk Journal yesterday. I'm totally digging the junk journal concept. I'm throwing all kinds of things into it, from project ideas, to poetry, papers, stamps, rubber stamps, and all the ephemera that floats around my house. I filled the journal with envelopes to tuck things into like recipes, receipts, postcards new and used, bits of trim, photos. It's not really fit for public viewing, but now and them I can scan one of the artsy pages and share it here. It helps me test out techniques before I try them on a commercial project. My playing around and screwing up I come up with fresh ideas.

Fancy tissue paper collaged with ModPodge

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Fun Hat

I just finished this fun crocheted hat that has two nozzles to put your pony tails or braids through. It's a great hat for parades, clowning, drum circles, Burning Man or those cool nights of fire spinning on the beach. I made a big floppy daisy to put right on the top. I'm going to list it on Etsy and probably on Yardsellr. It's going to rain soon so I'm glad I got the photos done. I can't wait to make a hat like this for myself. I love the bullion knots on it.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Chasing My Tail

Suddenly everything seems so busy. My life is a blur, like someone sped up the merry-go-round.
I'm about done with a free-form crocheted hat in many colors. I got all the ends woven in and then decided the crown is too shallow so I need to do another row.

I did some decoupaging in my 'junk journal'. It's so fun to have the freedom to slap anything I want in there, and not care if it's perfect. Today I glued in some postage stamps I got from India. Those have been kicking around my house for a while so I'm glad I finally found a parking space so they'll quit falling on the floor.

I'm still rearranging furniture in the living room and dining room for the arrow making and the sewing and drawing areas. It's a jumble. Today I got the binder clips to hook onto the plastic chain to hang things on.
And in my bedroom I want exercise space, so I just moved the Japanese lantern into another room and the mobile that was over my office chair is now over my bed. Every time I'd stand up to pull my sweater off, I'd knock it out of balance. Maybe with it over my bed, I should add some glow in the dark beads or paint to it. That would be awesome. Then I can see it after I turn the lights off.

As if things aren't busy enough, I just got reminded we have an archery tourney on Saturday where we are selling arrows. I'm glad for the full schedule. Then I have less time to worry about poverty.

Also, before I forget, the drawing for the custom arrows is this Saturday at the Robin Hood Tourney and tickets are $5 each. The money goes to a friend who suddenly found herself a widow. Thanks to those who have already generously donated. Some of them don't even want the arrows, they just want to help. That is a beautiful thing. 

Friday, February 03, 2012

Spring Cleaning Starts Early

So far today I've moved a lot of junk to reclaim my sewing and drawing area. I wrote about it here: Sewing Area I'm just taking a break now. I have a long, long way to go. I can't wait to move the bigger pieces of furniture. Right now it's just drudgery sorting things and pitching things and labeling stuff. I hate this kind of work, and yet no one else is going to do it. The cats think it's a great game though. They think I'm building them a rec room and perhaps I am. It's a good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or I'd put them to work. It's a beautiful day but a little windy, so I'm going to be stacking boxes outdoors so I can make room for vacuuming and rearranging my drawing table, and 3 tool chests.

This thing with the egg cartons on it is my drawing table. I haven't seen the top of it in about 3 years.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Taming the Clutter

My to-do list today had about 25 things on it, and I didn't even write down the mundane tasks like 'do the dishes'. Then I wasn't planning on leaving the house, but we spent about 3 hours shopping. I raided the hardware store for things to build storage caddies and hangers out of so I can tame the clutter. Now the days half over and I've barely gotten anything else done. I'm not one of those high energy people. I'm already dragging. That's why I'm here, typing this, instead of being out in the garage, sawing wood.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I Heart February

A new month has begun. Happy February everyone. January sure flew by. I've been sharing some kid's crafts ideas with my daughter now that her son is 3. Suddenly I realized I'd never made a children's craft blog. How did that not occur to me before now? Once I have a good night's sleep I'll think of a good title for one. Yay, kid's crafts, for the inner child in all of us. I homeschooled 2 girls. I have bunches of craft ideas.