Sunday, September 30, 2012

JoAnn's in the High Desert

In spite of all the stress (or maybe because of it) I'm determined to keep creating a bit each day. I started a pink beaded doll pin on the way home from Apple Valley yesterday. I got to tour the Joann's out there and got some felt and beads, just to comfort myself that when we move I'll still have access to a good craft supply retailer.  Thank you Joann's for being there.

I really wasn't expecting big box stores to be out there in the High Desert but I've already seen 2 Walmarts, a Ross, Home Depot, Lowe's and just about every chain store I'm used to seeing in Anaheim. That has it's pluses and minuses I'm sure, but I'm relieved to know I won't have to drive an hour or two to get supplies. Especially when I don't have a vehicle to call my own right now. I think I will be miserable out there until I can afford a car again though.  It's just too hot to spend hours standing at bus stops.

Joshua Trees are amazing.

It's as if this tree is saying I love you, welcome home.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Craft Time

Craft time rejuvenates me. If I don't get my craft time, I'm a cranky lady. It takes my focus off my myriad of problems. If I can get lost sewing beads onto a belly dancing costume, or putting feathers on a hat, or sewing a patchwork square, I can't really be thinking about the little 'nasties' in life. Being creative lifts my spirits and keeps me focused in a positive direction.

So proud of my friend Carol, who finished not 1, but 9 viking dresses for Great Western War. Go Carol! Way to embrace National Sewing Month.  Unfortunately I won't be able to go to G.W.W. because of the impending move.  We wanted to get done moving in time to go, but we haven't even found a place to move to yet, so that's kind of the ole wrench in the works. Tomorrow we may drive out to the desert to look again, but we don't have any definite appointments yet.

Sadly we have to take the cat Rocky to the vet this afternoon.  I fear it's a one way trip. So yeah, I'm not in the best of emotional states right now. He's always been a great pet, but right now even touching him makes him bite.  And to think just a month ago he looked great and we didn't even think of him as an old cat until we found some paperwork that said he's about 15 years old.  Maybe I shouldn't have jinxed it by saying 'wow he's in great shape for being that old'.  No sooner than the words were out of my mouth he started that downward spiral.

In other happier news, my daughter #1 and grandson #2 are coming to visit.  They are in the neighborhood while hubby goes to a conference.

I wanted to thank my youtube subscribers. By some miracle I have about 700 of them now.  Where did you all come from? If you didn't even know I was on Youtube, I'll put the link right here: Pigglewiggins.
You know I just fixed my password on there 3 days ago and now it's not working again. What's up with that Youtube?  It wants to sign me into my other account, then when I try to switch it's always a hassle.
Anyway, now you can find me there.

Autumn Stencil Page

After watching a video of an artist making an art journal page using a stencil, I've been thinking about it. So when I saw some maple leaf doilies at the .99 store I knew they would be perfect for an autumn themed page.  But I didn't get to it today because my cat is in sorry shape and emotionally I just couldn't deal with the prospect of taking him to the vet for the last time tomorrow and trying to do some art. Stress and creativity do not go well together.

While I was at the .99 store I also picked up some grotesque statues.  If I face them at each other they look like they are having a staring contest. They make me laugh.  And I need laughter in the worse way right now.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vlogging Today

I thought I'd do one more Vlog post before we move so we could compare and contrast things from my new location. So here's a little about crafts and a little about my life. Hope you all enjoy it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Repairing Purse Straps

Here you can see the poor condition of the original strap and the new braided strap.
 My model asked me to repair a Mexican style leather purse that she found used somewhere. The straps had already broken once, been glued again, and torn again. I thought it would be a quick fix but ended up having to discard the original strap. A friend had given me a bunch of leather cords, so I decided to try braiding a strap instead. My first solution didn't work, because the glue from the last person's repair was in the way and the loop tore when I tried to remove the glue. You can see in the photos the solution I finally came up with. Then it seemed the braid would be a bit rough on the hands, so I sewed some suede leather tubes where the handle is. If she likes the purse I'll see if I can get her to pose for a few photos. She's not home from school today yet I guess. Hopefully we'll get to take the photos today before it gets dark.

Both interior zippers were sticking too, so I put some beeswax on them. It helped a bit, but I wouldn't put anything important in those pockets.

Add caption

New straps

Back of purse.

Creative strap solution to handbag or purse.

Back of purse.

A Bit on Wardrobe Color Theory

Cleaning up clutter can be fruitful. I'm finding all kinds of craft books (and other books) that I forgot I had. I also found some scarves and accessories I never much cared for, and then I realized they'd be perfect for fall.  Let's face it, I don't normally wear earth tones. I'm just not attracted to them much.  Impulsively, everything I own would be either purple or blue or burgundy or black.  Then because my boyfriend practically lives in green and khaki, I started wearing green more (but not khaki). I've been at war with beige for years (tan, sandstone, cream and all similar colors). If you use the color scheme theories from the 70's, I'm a winter, and winter's neutrals are gray, navy, and taupe. You can wear any color you want, just not near your face. I'm not a big fan of brown either, so maybe that's why I never cared for having brown hair.

So wardrobe wise, it usually means I wind up dressing much more colorfully than others (except other artists). But I'm trying to keep a more open mind, and at least in autumn, try out some earth tones. I remember a make-up artist once did me in earth tones for a class demo and the minute it was over I ran to the bathroom and washed it all off.  Ugh. I do look like death warmed over in earth tones.

Ever wonder what colors look good on you? Grab some fabric (blankets, towels, sheets) and drape them around yourself under your chin and over your shoulders. Sitting in natural light, look in a mirror.  Having a friend or two helps, but they will be biased towards their own colors.  The right colors will make you look alive, younger, and healthier.  The wrong colors will make you look like you have zits, skin flaws, and dark circles under your eyes.  Remember those days at school and work where people ask if you are feeling ok? Chances are you were just wearing the wrong colors.

Color combinations I'd like to experiment with:
1. Petal Pink and chocolate brown
2. Sage and Tan
3. Rust and forest green
4. Teal and Charcoal gray
5. Oyster and White

Source: via Theodora on Pinterest

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Last night we helped our friends figure out how to put up their new pavilion.  I think we all got a good work out. We had to hurry because the sun was setting and we didn't want to try to fold it in the dark and get it back into it's bag.I can't believe it didn't come with any directions!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Round Trip to Nowhere

Last night we made an appointment to view a house in Victorville.  We got all the way out there this morning (3 hour drive round trip) only to be told the place was already rented.  So back home we went.  How disappointing but I just know it wasn't meant to be because there is something better for us coming our way. So I have peace with that.

So now I'll pack more boxes and get them off to a friend's house so we can clean this place up and wait for our new home to reveal itself.

If by any chance you are reading this and have a rental in that area and want two artists living in it, please let me know A.S.A.P.  The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can get back to painting and making dolls and doing what I love.

Me in a candy corn hat.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Packing and Preparing

My apologies for falling behind. All this preparation for moving has my schedule in a constant state of chaos. I'm sorting, packing, pitching and pondering. So much to do, so little time.  In a way I'm enjoying it though. I keep finding things I forgot I had. So many blessings in the way of books, supplies, resources. It keeps me hopping. I hope the things I give to the thrift store make someone else's life better as well.

My microwave gave up the ghost just to annoy me I think. So that's going to the recycler as well. I hope I can afford a new one soon, but all money is going to the moving project just now.

I discovered a new to me artist here:  Friedensreich-Hundertwasser. And you thought your name was hard to spell? His work is so colorful and passionate.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Apple Valley Road Trip

Yesterday we took a road trip to Apple Valley CA. Now I have all kinds of art inspiration. There is nothing like a day trip to clean the cobwebs out of your brain and help you see the world in a new light. I would have cried if I'd forgotten my camera. Even though I have friends in Apple Valley and my boyfriend has relatives in Hesperia, I'd never been to either spot unless I passed through as a child on the way to somewhere else.  I have no recollection of it anyway. But the dessert always has great photo opportunities.

I grabbed what photos I could. I wasn't the driver, and we already had a day full of stuff scheduled, so it was catch as catch can, often from a moving car.  I did what I could though.

One of the rentals we looked at.

I've always loved joshua trees.  I just never thought I'd have them in my yard.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Talk to the Hand

I don't believe I've ever talked about the little felt hands I've been beading.  I made them for bardic tokens.  So if I'm at an SCA event, and I see a bard strolling around or doing a presentation, I like to 'give them a hand'. I don't normally do it at competitions, because they have an audience and get tons of attention.  I give them out to bards that go out of their way to go to SCA events and stroll around singing, or juggle for the children, or recite poetry to the queen, and so on.  I just like to reward them if I catch them doing something entertaining.

Some of the hands have a pin so they can wear them.  But recently I've started making some with loops so they can hang them from a hook, or a Christmas tree, or their mantel or whatever. I should go take photos to help you visualize.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

New Batch of Bowsocks

First Guy dyes all the canvas before any sewing.

The finished bow socks waiting for a longbow to go inside.
Yesterday we went to a friend's house so Guy could sew hand-dyed bow socks.  A bow sock is a sleeve you put a longbow in. I wonder why they don't call them bow sleeves?  My part in all these was cutting 36 pieces of ribbon to use as ties, and then touching each end to a flame to keep the ribbon from fraying. I love playing with ribbon! Now they all have to be turned right side out. Thankfully that's not my job.  He does it with the help of a yardstick but it's still a struggle.  So if you are tired of your bow getting beat up in transit, let me know and I'll have him set one aside for you before he puts them up for sale at Great Western War.  The selection is always the best right after a new batch is dyed.  Some colors sell out fast, but there is no way to predict which ones.  This time around the purple is particularly beautiful.

You can visit Guy's website at

Photos or Not

Lucky me, I got to go out to my friend's ranch today. But it was short notice so I just had time to grab my camera. I didn't have time to look for the case with the spare batteries.  So as Murphy would have it, my batteries died on the fourth photo.  Luckily one was of my daily self-portrait. I doubt the other three were that great. Tomorrow when it's light out again I'll unpack my camera and we'll see if it's in focus.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Knitting a Blue Elf Hat

I started knitting a new blue hat yesterday on double pointed needles. I soon discovered I either need a 5th needle or I need to transfer it to a small circular needle. I started in the point of the hat, and increased as I went, and now I can't risk adding any more stitches to the needles or they'll just fall off the other side.

Sewing Machines Can Be So Stubborn

Yesterday I helped my new neighbor get her sewing machine going. It turned out to be a tangled bobbin issue. Sometimes two heads are better than one. She is doing some alterations. You know the drill: Weight goes up, weight goes down, weight goes up, weight goes down.  She's taking the seams in again.

For once, I'd like to be taking my seams in again.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Going Green

Yesterday I begged a ride to Joann's and got the black yarn to finish my witch doll. I looked for pre-made witch hats and they had some but none in the right size or that weren't attached to something else. They did have quite a few dog Halloween costumes, so if that's your thing check them out.

The landscapers were a rude awakening at 8 AM on a Saturday morning, but I'm happy to report we now have an instant green lawn thanks to sod. So I should be able to start doing video tutorials again. I'm not sure how soon I can walk on it and I doubt the Mexicans out there are going to tell us. They're not big on communicating. I think only the foreman speaks English and I haven't seen him around.

I'm just happy it's green out there again. We're still planning to move though so I won't get too attached to it. They said they wanted to replace the old yard with drought resistant landscaping so I wasn't expecting them to put another lawn in. Then again when have they ever done anything the way they said they would.