Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dollar Tree Shopping Trip

Since the mosaics turned out so spiffy, we went back to Dollar Tree to get more wooden boxes and tree houses. I'm going to make some for Mother's Day.I don't see the bird houses on their website but the boxes are there. (I'm not affiliated with Dollar Tree, I just like their style).

I also got some stuff for my junk journal there. I got plastic divider pages, those little reinforcement donuts for notebook paper, some 'baseball card sleeves' for business cards, and a new binder for the month of April. Oh, and jelly beans so I won't be a starving artist.
Plus I got a giant eraser that says 'my bad.'

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mosaic Birdhouses and Boxes

The weather was gorgeous so I got to paint outside. I finished up the 4 mosaic projects.  I just love how they came out. They will make great Mother's Day gifts. And I can't wait to do more. I've already started collecting things that look like they'd go well as mosaic ephemera. There are so many ideas I want to try out.

I think when they are good and dry I'll spray some sort of sealer over them to protect them a bit.
I got both the wooden items and the flattened glass chips at Dollar Tree. The thing about dollar stores is they may or may not get the same items in again once they sell out, so you have to grab them when you see them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Vest A Snood and Broken Glass

I got back to work on my knitted vest. I was afraid that if I waited much longer, I'd forget how to do it or where the pattern was. My hands could only take about 90 minutes of knitting four strands at once.  This is the heaviest vest I've ever made and will be even heavier when I do the last panel.

Yesterday I finished a white snood with a metallic strand in it. It's a gift for my boyfriend's mom and she chose the yarn. I like the way it came out. It's super stretchy.

Next I did some laundry. No rain today thankfully. I was sitting on the couch admiring the sunshine when I heard the sound of crashing glass. I looked up in time to see a pane of glass falling through the stairs, then our upstairs neighbor running down the stairs and tromping through the flowerbed.  She went back upstairs empty handed and never came back. So it looks like I'm going to have to clean up the glass and it won't be the first time. Kids lose their balls and toys back there, so if someone gets a toe cut off most likely it would be one of them. Somewhere I saw a bathroom sign with rules to live by for success. One of the rules was 'clean up your own mess.' Something a lot of adults have yet to learn I guess.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

No Rain So Far

I polished up my mosaics this morning and now they are ready to paint.

So far the predicted rain hasn't hit. It's very nice outside in fact. At 9 AM I woke up my boyfriend to see if he wanted to drive us to the swap meet. He said, 'It's going to rain," rolled over and went back to sleep. If we'd gone, we would have been home by now and it still hasn't rained.

Yes, I definitely need to find a used car as soon as possible. I feel like life is passing me by. I love going out for breakfast too.  He never goes out for breakfast unless we are on our way to an event. I used to do that by myself when I had a truck. I'd go out, eat at Farm Boys, run errands and be home before he was out of bed. Maybe it's all those years I spent being a performer on weekends, but I like to be out and about early on weekends.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Vlog Talking About Making Mosaics

It was so nice outside today I decided to make a video of the mosaics and talk about my daughter's wedding photography, and share photos of my flowers. I hope you enjoy it. I used Windows Moviemaker. Once the mosaics dry, I'll paint all the wood that's still plain. But first I'll let these dry overnight.

Friday, March 23, 2012


First thing this morning I glued the rest of the pieces onto my birdhouse mosaic. I'm leaving the back, sides and bottom plain. So tomorrow or whenever I can get to it, I can do the grout. Once I know what color the grout will be, and let it dry, I'll paint the blank areas .

I spent today straightening up the apartment and reorganizing craft patterns and supplies. It's supposed to rain this weekend, so I worked outside as much as I could today so I don't get cabin fever. I fed the birds, trimmed some vines, read a bit and ate scrambled eggs and toast. It's a pleasant way to start the day.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Small Mosaic Projects

After raiding Home Depot for non-sanded grout and plaster and raiding Dollar Tree for glass marbles and river stones and little wooden boxes and bird houses, I started making samples for my mosaic class. The class will be $5 for the lesson and $5 for the supplies. I haven't set the date yet but I'll let you know. Not that many local people read this blog so I'm not sure how I'm going to get students. Word of mouth hopefully.
First you glue the goodies to the wood. After it dries you do the grout.

I try to use items I already have as well as those I just got.

I'm curious to see how this flat metal fan does next to the higher items around it.

Front of a tiny birdhouse.

UFO Dessert Night

I'm starting a new series of craft classes and I'm sure most of the time the project won't be able to be done in one session, so I thought I'd start a UFO craft night. In the crafting world, UFO stands for Un-Finish-Object.

So I'm thinking Dairy Queen, Wednesday nights from 6 to 8.  The dining room is open until 9, so if you are not able to get there at 6, it's no biggie. I've been there on week nights and they could use the business.  There isn't a lot of sprawling space, so we'd have to stick to fairly small projects. Plenty of free parking. Both Michael's and Joann's are fairly close. If you want to RSVP, leave a message below or email me at queenofdreams at gmail dot com. Thanks.

Dairy Queen It's the one near Beach and Lincoln in Anaheim (near Knott's Berry Farm).

3060 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

First gathering will be 3/28/2012. It's free, but be a good neighbor and patronize the restaurant, even if it's just an ice cream cone. Blizzards are on sale until the end of March.

All are welcome. You don't have to be enrolled in a class or a member of S.C.A.M.P.S to participate.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

When Archers Gather

The rain left us alone on this crisp day at the tail end of winter.

Last Sunday we met with friends at the Arroyo Seco area in Pasadena to work on bows and primitive skills. It had rained the previous day and the archers that drive from far away had second thoughts, fearing a wet day after a long drive.  We had a somewhat slow turn out for Paleoplanet, but our SCA friends showed up too, so we had enough to keep us productive and entertained. I worked on sewing beads around the rim of a gourd bowl. Aimee embellished a didgeridoo with beads. Amanda ran an SCA style practice. Altogether about 30 people showed up throughout the day.

Guy setting up his bow bench.

Gary, Guy, Sal, and Aimee enjoying a beautiful day together.

Alex stands on a bench while Tom holds the froe. They are splitting the wood to make bows.

Me wearing the snood I just finished crocheting.

Admiring the llama wool fingerless gloves Santiago let me borrow. 

Santiago shoots his bow.

Details of the snood I made for St. Patrick's Day

Majestic sycamore

I like spending the day near trees

Back to Mosaics

I think it's time to haul my mosaic supplies out of the garage so I can make mosaics again. With two grandsons now, I'm thinking of making personalized stepping stones.  I want to make a mermaid headboard for my bed. I want to make wooden picture frames into mosaic frames. The recent book I got inspired me even more. I need to get to the hardware store to buy non-sanded grout. I was going to buy some anyway to make the chalkboard paint I mentioned in another post. I also need some plaster to make figures to go with the mosaic frames. It's all so very exciting! But first I need help unburying the tools from the garage. They kind of got buried in the great hot water heater meltdown a few months ago.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy First Day of Spring & Classes Coming Soon

Spring is finally here and none too soon. Sometimes I get so carried away looking at other people's crafts that I forget to design my own. I'm putting together craft classes for the spring and summer. I'm thinking of $5. per person per 2 hour session, plus a materials fee if applicable. Some of the topics I want to offer are gourd art, eraser carving, making a wood burned pendant, wire wrapped stones, tree of life pendants, fabric juggling bags, painting on glass, knitting for beginners, crocheting for beginners and making a mosaic frame. I'll probably list the classes on my blog with Paypal sign-ups. Any class that doesn't get 3 or more people in it 24 hours before the time of the class will be cancelled, so in a sense you are voting with your dollars. The classes will be in West Anaheim (near Knotts), unless you have a group of five or more and want me to come to you. That will cost a little more because I have to haul all my toys to your house or rec center. To make sure everyone gets enough attention and help, I'm limiting it to 10 people per class. I've taught classes for Michael's, and before that at Recreation and Parks in Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo, CA, and SCA collegiums. I also taught at the Learning Light Foundation in Anaheim for five years. I miss it and I'm looking forward to doing it again.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Midday I decided to make a green snood for St. Patrick's Day.  I'm all done except for the drawstring, and if we don't get rained out, I'll wear it to the archery range in the morning. When it's light out again I'll take some photos.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beading and Gourd Bowls

I was straightening the bookcase when I found a beading book that shows how to add a beaded fringe edging to gourd bowls. Surely that was why I bought the book in the first place. And I already have two tiny bowls ready to go. I was going to do crochet around them, but now I'm in the mood to try this. Tomorrow though.  Started a beading project when it's almost midnight is folly. There is a reason Peyote stitch is more correctly called gourd stitch. It works great on hourglass shaped gourds.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Using a Nostepinne

A few days ago I watched a video on using a nostepinne to roll balls of yarn. Tonight I found a fat dowel piece that I could use as a nostepinne.  My first 3 balls were tall and football shaped, so I had to go back and watch the video over again.  I was keeping my wraps too close to the stick instead of gradually moving them further and further out.  I finally got a successful ball! Now if I can just carve my dowel into a more pleasing nostepinne.

If you want to see her tutorial it's here: Nostepinne

Here's a photo of my yarn ball:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Finger Knitting, Tophatter, So On and So Forth

It would be nice to get to 100 followers someday here on my busiest blog. I was stuck on 69 for the longest time. I'm glad to see I'm finally up to 73. Do less people follow blogs these days because they would rather follow on Facebook or twitter, or some other site?

I did some more finger knitting today. It's very relaxing and doesn't seem to tire my hands out like knitting with needles or crocheting with hooks. I'm trying to use up old yarn I got from a friend who moved away. The first strand reminded me of seaweed, so I thought I'd make a curtain as a backdrop for mermaid's to romp in. 

I'm also studying the ins and outs of Tophatter. I already bought 2 things on there. I have a painting scheduled for Wed's auction. You don't have to be present when your item comes up for sale, but I think it's more exciting that way and you can answer the last minute questions buyers might have.  I hate to see sales lost because someone forgot to put how long their bracelet is, or what the ear wires might be on the earrings up for sale. If you shop for jewelry, there are some excellent items to be had for low prices there. Almost everyone in the auction room seems to have an Etsy or Artfire url attached to their screen name.  Unlike some other sites (cough zibbet cough) that won't let you mention competing sites, Tophatter doesn't seem to mind at all. And the listings are easy to pin to Pinterest so you can show off your purchases or your listings that are up and coming.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Knitted Yarn Curtain

Those Youtube tutorials always get me in trouble.  Today I was kidnapped by a tutorial on finger knitting. I spent the better part of the day making long glorious strands of knitted cording. I want to make an entire curtain out of it.  Each strand is 12+ feet long. I want to hang it from my canopy as a backdrop for belly dancing or puppet shows or something theatrical. I'm keeping it in shades of green and blue like under the sea. I'm using up old acrylic yarn that was handed down to me. I think it's going to look pretty awesome.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Sketchbook 1986

Today I found an old sketchbook of mine from 1986 in the garage. It's so interesting to compare drawings from my past to those in my present. And most dear of all was the art my children drew in there. I know the ones marked H were from my daughter Heather.  But some of the art was when she was 4 1/2 and some from when she was 8.  So the scribbled pages may have been by her of by her younger sister, but I have no way to know without the name on the page.  So if your kids are doing art, don't forget to get them to sign it or sign it for them.

Interesting to note was it had a lot of my calligraphy practice in it. That means I've been doing calligraphy for over 25 years. But not consistently. I was also doing art like Zentangles back them. Maybe that's why I don't give Zentangles any credit.  Drawing patterns on things is nothing new. I owe more credit for learning to do such things to Mark Kistler and his book Draw Squad that I bought about 30 years ago. His course covers overlapping, shading, perspective, details, contouring, proportion, well, in short, the same things that are covered in Zentangles.

Some of my drawings from the sketch book are worth me doing a final version to sell on cards on Zazzle or on T-shirts on Cafe Press or to make rubber stamps of. It's like a walk down memory lane.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

My Craft Blog for Kid's Crafts

I've very much enjoying my new kid's craft blog over here: Sweet Tea With Bunny and Me. Now that my kids are grown up with kids of their own I've started to feel nostalgic about those times in my own childhood, and then again when my children were small and so precious. And I kick myself every day that I don't live closer to my grandsons so I can enjoy watching their daily escapades. At least we have Facebook now so I get to keep up better than I would have done before computer days.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Drop Spindle

Sometimes the stress of life gets to me and I just can't create. This week has been like that. I have lots of ideas but not enough drive to follow through. I went for a long walk today to clear my head.

Tonight I did a little spinning. It wasn't going so well and I ended up with a headache so I set it aside and ate dinner. Here are some photos of me spinning on Sunday. I made the spindle from polymer clay.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Junk Journal and Fairy Gourds

Today I worked on my junk journal adding all those paper bits of art that get knocked off by cats. Little paintings, sketches, magazine tear sheets, old letters, postcards and stuff that just clutters up the place until I sit still long enough and get it into the journal.

Yesterday at the archery range I started 2 gourd fairy houses. I glued gourd seeds around the windows and doors.  But by the time I got it home in a plastic bag, some of the seeds had been knocked off. So I glued them back down, and then used a toothpick to drizzle Modpodge between each seed. Now I feel like they'll be much more secure.  Tomorrow if the weather stays nice I'll take the wood burner out to the garage and burn designs on the gourds. It was a bit much doing it indoors. Even with good ventilation the smoke lingered for hours.  So from now on I'll do it outdoors or in the garage unless the weather is bad and I have deadlines to finish the work.

Also, at the archery range, I worked with my drop spindle. I think I spun for 20 minutes and only had the thread break once, so I must be getting better. I just needed consistent practice.

Tomorrow we have to take the cat to the vet for his yearly check-up. I'm sure we'll end up running errands too.  I just hope I get home long before dark so I can work on craft inventory.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Archery Tomorrow

I spent all day making a fun tutorial on magic wands. It's over in my Sweet Tea With Bunny and Me blog and on Youtube. Because I spent all day making that I didn't get ready for the archery range and now at the eleventh hour I'm drawing a blank on getting ready for tomorrow. Life is like a merry-go-round. Sometimes you just don't know when to get off.

Friday, March 02, 2012

I Have an Inkling

I was just studying my favorite Tumblr Crushed Culdesac. I was looking at all the interior decorations and I was wondering why my rooms never look like that. And it hit me...I know I have too much stuff but... I'm so prolific, and I can't sell things worth a darn, so there is no room for the new creations, but what if I treated my space like a photo studio. That is, set it up all nice like, take photos, and then just give all that stuff away. Get it out of here to free up new negative space for tomorrow's studio set up. It's not like I'm ever going to run out of stuff anytime soon. So if you are one of my friends, or one of my enemies, or one of my frienemies, look out because you may soon find yourself with a care package of weird and amazing Pigglewiggins creations. I can't afford to mail stuff to people, so if you want stuff and you don't ever see me face to face, feel free to make a request as long as you are willing to pay postage, delivery confirmation and so on. I need to free up some space for new ideas. Yep yep. Act soon before I change my mind.

Nate Berkus Features ETSY

Nate Berkus often plugs Etsy and today he featured the Etsy offices with some behind the scene looks. Over a billion dollars in gross sales. I just wish more of them were from my shops.If you missed it, here's a link: Nate Berkus Etsy sure sounds like a fun place to work. I love the personalized phone booths and desks. Nate also plugs some specific Etsy shops. I hope they are ready for the deluge of orders.
I would love to have my own craft TV show.

March is National Craft Month

Around my house every month is craft month. What crafts are you all working on? Right now my home is infused with the smell of beef jerky drying in the oven.

My recent projects include the gourd doll I just finished, some hair sticks with peyote stitch beading on them, some juggling beanbags that I just today got the birdseed filler for, children's arrows, and yarn spinning.

The craft stores will no doubt be having sales for National Craft Month.

I made a vlog for Leap Day. It's the first video I've made since New Year's Day. Where does the time go?

If you feel inclined to do St. Patrick's Day or Easter art they are just around the corner. Time for egg art. I have a whole box of wooden eggs to paint if I can get around to them.

Also, if you sew, it's not too early to start on your summer wardrobe. You want it ready to wear by the time school is out, don't you?