Thursday, January 31, 2013

Knitting Stamping and Gocco Printing

Somehow in my hectic day I managed to get to Michael's and get the last color of yarn I needed for the afghan knit-along. It's a nice medium blue yarn by Paton. I also found a lilac wool blend yarn in storage, and since I have nothing like that in the afghan, I added it to the mix. I hope some of you have started to knit-along with me, but if you have, no one's been brave enough to declare it. It's just for fun, so why not join in? You can get the pattern through your local library loan system. Just request it at the desk or through their web site.

In storage today I finally found my GOCCO Printer. I hope I can still get parts for it. The company kept threatening to go out of business. The inks that came with it are probably no good anymore.  We'll see. Sometimes parts remain on Ebay for years after a product is no longer made.

I also found more rubber stamps. So I foresee new cards designs and tutorials coming up in my future. I'd like to become an in demand teacher for craft conventions so I need to get my name out there more. I really should try to get some things published in magazines.

It's been a long day and I need some rest. I did knit in the car so I got one more square finished and a half of another one done before it got too dark to knit. I can't wait to add the new color into the next square. If you have any knitting questions, just ask. If I don't know the answer, I'll try to find out who does.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dregs of Moving

I felt well enough to sit outside and work on a painting for a bit today. The warm sun is soothing on a 'cold filled' head. I can breathe a little better. But now I may have to drive down to Westminster to empty a storage unit. We hope to have it empty in 2 more trips. We wanted to rent a 10 foot moving van but there are none available so we are hoping our poor pick-up can handle it. But to save $100.we have to have it empty before the first. At least I'll have more art supplies out of there. Yay.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bread Dough Hearts

I just took pictures of the bread dough hearts I made last week. The domed ones are cooked over a dome of foil to get the bump in the middle. Please note that they have no finish on them so far. I will probably paint them with a watercolor wash or with acrylics dabbed on.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sniffle Cough Sneeze

I'm doing my best to get over a chest cold. I did a bit of knitting but that's all I felt up to. After taking some faux Nyquil, I crashed out in the recliner. It's all I can do to make my daily blog post. I hope you will forgive me. I'll be happy when Monday is over.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

More Yarn

Yesterday I went to Fanciwerks again in search of more colors for my afghan. I picked up a new orange/butterscotch color, a soft dove gray, and a medium teal blue. I got distracted. The goal was to get a nice blue that wasn't a teal and after reading so many labels I ended up with a teal after all and didn't realize it until I was halfway home. Oopsy. Fanciworks was crowded as usual teaching some sort of cable knitting class. I've never been in that small shop when their weren't at least 15 people in there. I must say they sure do a good job at promoting their events.
I have about 15 squares finished now if you want to join in the knit-along. I don't want to drive my non-knitters crazy so I'm going to be moving my knitting project posts over to my knitting blog Knit a Bit of Magic.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bread Dough Crafts

The bread dough experiment yesterday was challenging and fun. I was trying to make little figures but the dough was too soft so no sooner than I made each one, it would start to droop and get fat, much like me at 55. When the first batch was in the oven, I added more flour to the dough, and then it became a bit easier to control, so I made some braided hearts for Valentine's Day. I look forward to painting them when it's sunny again. The book recommends only making bread dough on cool days, because in the heat it becomes softer and unmanageable. So it seems this is the perfect winter activity.

The favorite thing I made was a tiny skull that I can glue onto one of my assemblages. I think it was the last thing I made. I look forward to making some more after I get these painted.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Spoon Making and Bread Dough Art

I stole some of the green mulberry firewood Guy just brought home to use for carving spoons, ladles and spatulas. I split two pieces yesterday with an axe and now they are wrapped in wet rags and plastic so they won't dry out. I picked the least intimidating one and got most of the bark off with a drawknife yesterday. Guy cut the knots off with a hatchet. I would be working on it right now but the sky is dripping.

So I'm going to make bread dough art in my kitchen instead. If you've never made bread dough art before, you make a dough out of flour, salt and water, then use it like clay. Then you bake your creations. I'm using the book Country Doughcrafts as a reference because it's been years since I made anything out of bread dough.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Costumer's Dream

Do your dreams ever inspire your crafts? Last night I dreamed I was at a fantasy faire. A friend of mine was there doing a magic show.He took a volunteer from the audience and made her disappear and reappear as an East Indian princess. She wore brocaded gowns in hot pink, orange, and gold with sequined embroidery all over them. She appeared next to an actor dressed as Ganesh, the elephant god of prosperity and they were dancing around together. At some point I was in the show too, wearing a long cape in harvest colors with orange, gold and brown feathers all around the shoulders. Then there was a dance troupe of men and women dressed in costumes of the deepest blue velvet, feathers, fur with long tunics and hats. Many people wore hats that were flat on top with deep crowns and borders of fur or short velvet. Sometimes 3 or 4 acts were going on all at once, so it was hard to follow them all. Eventually I was at the main entrance where there were a lot of long, skinny,triangular shaped flags. Some were on poles and others were being waved around by people in costumes. Fabulous.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Craft Rant

I am so sick of being judged and being told I have too much stuff. I am an artist and a craftswoman. I am multitalented. At any given moment I have finished projects to sell, projects I’m still working on, and supplies and books for making future projects. If I only did one thing, that wouldn’t equal all that much stuff. But I do many things. I sew, I weave, I throw pots, I paint, I draw, I do quilting, I make jewelry and costumes. All of those things require their own set of tools and supplies. To cut any of those things out of my life would inhibit the flow and growth of my creativity. I’m sorry I’m not rich enough to own a warehouse and a gift shop where there would be a place for everything and everything in its place. Yes, sometimes I keep something for over 10 years. I don’t buy the theory that if you haven’t used something for a year you should get rid of it. Some of my best projects use items that are over 20 years old. It’s called vintage people. And it means more to me if it once belonged to my mother or my children or I wore it in high school. But I’m not going to change who I am or my calling in life just so people that do nothing but sit in a chair all evening watching TV can judge me for having too much stuff. You don’t need much stuff if the most creative thing you do is flip from TV station to TV station. And no, I don’t want you to come to my house and help me ‘clean up.’ I don’t come to your house and throw away your old stuff. I don’t move your furniture around to make your place look better.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Soda Bottle Yarn Organizer

I've come up with a way to get my yarn for the afghan project under control. I've been saving up 2 liter plastic soda bottles. Then I wash them, cut the bottom off at the seam, push the yarn skein into the bottom, and thread the end out the top. Then I put all the bottles in a cardboard box. It takes up more room than dumping them in a box, but they aren't getting all tangled anymore. The funny outfit is from my gig on Sunday. Note the yarn braided into my hair to help coordinate my costume better. Too fun.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Painting an Sewing

It was a pleasant 80 degrees out and calm so I worked on my paint-by-number outside. Seems there is a limit to how long I can paint until my hand starts to hurt, so I quit when I got to that point. I found out the brush that came in the kit works out very well for face-painting too, so I’ll look for more brushes in that shape and size. The brush has no size printed on it, so I’ll have to take it with me to the store. I’m wearing a maxi dress that I got at a thrift store. I love it, but its rayon or something so the fabric is cold to the touch. I want to use it for a pattern and make one out of something warm like flannel. Then I can just toss it on when I get out of the shower. It was so warm in Anaheim I never needed a bathrobe or anything, but I sure need one here. I can’t sew anything at the moment because my machine is on its last legs but a friend said she may be able to help me out. We just don’t live close together and I don’t know when I might see her again though, to get the machine. Still, it’s generous of her to offer. I dropped by Harbor Freight yesterday and got the pipe cutting tool that I can use to cut metal pipe to make bezels for cabachons. I don't have any pipe yet though, and the library book is due. I may have to buy the book or I'll never get anywhere. Right now I'm trying to finish projects because I'm drowning in them.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Today I made some yarn 'dreads' to go with my juggling costume. I just happened to have the right colors on hand in my knitting box from making my afghan: burguny, turqoise and maroon. Fantastic. Then I got some turquoise shoelaces at the dollar store and redid my shoes with coordinating colors.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Community Afghan Knit-Along

I thought it would be a splendid and fun idea if I made the afghan I'm knitting into a knit-a-long. So if you want to make one too and give me a link to your progress, that would make things more interesting. The directions are in the book shown in the photo. It's called Handknit Holidays.  You may already have it in your knitting library. I got my copy from the library.

I sewed together four squares so you could see how it turns out. There are 96 squares in all and it's called a Community afghan because it lends itself to a bunch of people making squares and then the finished afghan can be given to charity or auctioned off to raise money.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Let Cupid's Arrow Fly

Hello my precious fans and followers.
I wish I’d thought to make some pink arrows to put in my Etsy shop for Valentine’s Day. I can still accept orders for any color of arrows though.
I found three more colors to add to my knitted afghan: olive green, taupe, and burgundy. I think I have enough colors now to keep myself entertained. I finished one and a half squares before my cat decided he needed to park on my lap and take a nap.

A local western shop is interested in carrying our wood arrows and handcrafted gourds. We need to make some samples and show them to the owner. Hopefully we can agree on a wholesale price where we can both make a profit. The locals aren’t likely to be good customers, but it’s on Highway 18, so tourists with money to burn drive through on their way to Big Bear Lake and Barstow and Los Angeles.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Zazzle T-shirt

Today I had a glorious day alone. I did a lot of scribble drawings. You start out with a scribble and turn it into something else. Too fun. I also got to order a t-shirt and some postcards I designed on Zazzle. It's a bit too expensive but I just did it anyway, because I'm tired of pinching pennies all the time.This is the design I made for my t-shirt.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Designing T-shirts and Knitting Update

I took a break from knitting the afghan to work on another Jayne hat at the Laundromat. A lady there said she liked the colors I was using (gold and orange). I’m almost done with the gold part and then red is next for the ear flaps. I think the next one I make will use Woolease though. I don’t care for the garish colors the pattern writer chose. I think the one in the TV series looks a lot more muted. I’ve also had to re-write the pattern because I think her proportions were off. The ear flaps need to be longer, and I’d rather decrease the crown more so it comes to a smoother top instead of being gathered with the drawstring method, which leaves it bumpy on top. Her pattern gave me a leaping off point, but now I see how to fix it. It’s hard to replicate something when you are not holding the original in your hands.

I also need to work on my lavender loom scarf. I don’t want it to fall between the cracks.  Too many projects, too little time.

We found a good  t-shirt shop so we’ll be able to make air brushed t-shirts again soon. I want to make some to publicize my businesses. Or I may buy them from my Zazzle shop. If I buy them I can have full colored photos put on them. If I air brush the shirts they will be much more simplistic since I only have rudimentary air brushing skills. I’d like to get better at silk screened t-shirts but I’ve yet to figure out how to use the photo emulsion to make really intricate designs. Right now the only method I know is the cut stencil method.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Square Knitting Needles

I woke up with a sore throat, so I sat in the recliner in front of the fire with a blanket over my legs. I sipped on hot tea and worked on my knitting, and in a few hours, I felt a lot better. Knitting is good therapy. I finished two squares. Last night I tried knitting during an argument and my square came out all wonky. Ha! The best way to knit is to tune everything out. I do enjoy working in many colors. I think an all beige afghan would make me lose my mind.

Yesterday on Facebook on the AllFreeKnitting stream, I saw some square knitting needles. At least they wouldn't roll off the table. I remember when I dropped a double pointed knitting needle on the bus, it rolled away and it was one of those embarassing moments as I went crawling along the aisle looking for it. If you knit on public transporation those square needles might come in handy. Plus they would be a good gift for a knitter, because I bet they don't have any yet. Try them for the knitter who has everything.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Save Your Kid's Drawings

Do you think Lady Gaga got her bow idea from this?
I love this big eyed girl so much I want to make it into a rubber stamp.
Last night I was drawing cartoon cats with my drawing lab book. A few of them were kinda cool so I might develop them further. Do you like to draw? Do you do it regularly? The sketchbook I picked up was an old one that had many of my children’s drawings in it from when they were little. I got a big kick out of looking at them all. There was a great one of the Wizard of Oz tornado. There was one of a spunky girl sticking her tongue out at a rabbit. Those were by Heather who was 8 at the time. Her younger sister Tiffany drew some great faces. I honestly don’t think I’d seen many of these drawings. Just because they drew something doesn’t mean they came and showed it to me right? Maybe I should take photos of some of them to show you so you know what I’m talking about. I found their art more entertaining and interesting than anything I’ve drawn lately. It's hard to tell sometimes which of them did what.
This complicated drawing was called 'The Butter Battle Spreading Paddles.'
G-O-O-D cheerleader
Moo to you too.
There were quite a few like this, some with lipstick prints for the mouth.
Heather drew this when she was 8. Now she's expecting her 2nd child.
I forgot there were 2 men in a boat in the Wizard of OZ. I'm amazed at the memory of a child.
I think if your kids see you drawing, they will want to draw too. Make sure they have supplies available for whenever the mood strikes.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Working on My Afghan

I love it when I'm really enjoying a knitting project. Knitting striped squares is so much fun. The modular units then get put together like a quilt. I can't wait to see the big picture. I had to take a break because I was wearing out my hands. But it sure was fun while it lasted.
I added pink and a midnight blue to the colors today.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sneak Peek of Knitted Afghan

I made some progress on my knitted afghan last night. Here's a quick look. Keep in mind it will look much better after I weave in about a million ends. I hope I can figure out how to weave the ends in as I go. There are 9 or 10 different colors in each square. The yellow, turquoise and dark green are the three colors I got in Apple Valley yesterday. The orange is from a repurposed sweater or something. Most of it is wool or a wool blend.

I brought my knitting to the library because I'd rather knit with warm fingers than with cold fingers. When my computer time runs out I'm going to sit down and knit for at least an hour. Then maybe I'll draw a bit.

Please leave comments. I'm beginning to feel all alone here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Back to Knitting

Would you believe I got up at 6 AM, lit a fire, and then knitted in front of it for four hours? I’m working on a new afghan comprised of squares, rather like a quilt. It has 96 squares. I didn’t really need to start another huge project but my soul needed to. My logical side got outvoted as I played with all the pretty colors of yarn. Then I got a ride to the yarn store and bought more wool. Once again my logical side got outvoted. Then my friend mentioned he bought a giant wool afghan at a yard sale for $3.00.  That’s less than I paid for one skein of yarn. So yeah, I feel a bit insane. But crafts are about the process, not about saving money, right?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A New Oddity

Yesterday I found 2 old frames and a kewpie doll. I never knew what to do with the frames so I decided to use them for my assemblage as per the Altered Oddities book I mentioned in a previous post. Then I found a gourd on my piano knick-knack shelf that I’d been saving for an elephant. So I combined them all and I’m making a Ganesh shrine with the doll body and the elephant head. I painted the frames black and I wanted to do a crackle finish on them today but when I got up this morning it was snowing. It’s going to be freezing in my work container and too cold and windy to work outside on the work table. I just hope my paints don’t freeze.

Since I’m stuck indoors I guess I’ll work on my knitting and crocheting projects instead. Or maybe some beading. And I want to spend at least an hour drawing today.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Steampunk Assemblages

Right now it is colder in my house than it is outside. So as soon as I make my two daily blog posts, I’m going out in the sunshine to thaw out. The front porch thermometer says its 55 degrees in the shade. Guy said his container thermometer says 84. Hard to believe. But it’s metal and in the sun.

I’m inspired after reading a book called Altered Oddities last night. It’s a craft book with all kinds of odd mixed media collages and assemblages in it. It’s weird and wonderful in a Tim Burton sort of way. And I really wanted to know more about resin casting, metal patinas and bezel making, which she covers in great detail in the book.  The stuff is very Steampunk looking as well. So today I’m going to see what I can do in the manner of her book. Most of the supplies and tools I own, but some I will have to get for the patina finishes and rusty bits.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Jayne Goes to the Laundromat

Laundry day consisted of going to the local laundromat because our washer has decided it doesn't want to agitate properly.  But since I had a helper I was able to get some knitting done while things went through the motions.  Now we have clean clothes and half a Jayne hat knitted. Excellent. Now I'm at the library playing blog catch-up with their DSL connection. I'm still crossing my fingers that I won't be stuck with dial-up forever.
Do something creative today.

There is nothing wrong with fiber arts but I've been itching to do some fine arts. It's sunny today so hopefully I can paint outdoors when I get home, either on my paint-by-number kit or on a blank canvas. Or maybe on another gourd.

It's time to make Valentine's Day stuff for my Etsy shops. Anyone have any requests?

Monday, January 07, 2013

Hobby Lobby and McCalls

McCalls 6694
McCalls 6697
Lucky for me the Hobby Lobby I've been dying to go to was near the DMV that I had to go to. It's not just the first time I ever went to that Hobby Lobby, its the first time I went to any Hobby Lobby. I was bummed because I only had a few dollars to spend but I wasn't going to miss my chance.  I figured my boyfriend would be ready to leave in five minutes flat.  He left me in the fabric dept. while he went to find a bathroom. And then I saw that the McCalls patterns were on sale for .99.  So a few pages into the new catalog I spotted 2 dress patterns I liked and had them in my hot little hands before he got back.Who knows when I'll get to go again or if I'll have any money so I didn't want to miss my chance.

Reminiscing About Sewing

I need to get back to knitting and crocheting. It's funny how easy it is to get out of the loop. I set it aside when my grandson was here, and now it's a mess in the corner that I'll have to sort through. I have the knitting and crocheting mixed together and the little tyke just loved to pull stuffing out of my bag and carry it all over the house. I wonder what I was like when I was 2. Did I have a fascination with yarn and stuffing even back then? Did I raid my mom's art supplies? As early as I can remember, I was into my dad's tools, and I remember sitting at my mom's feet and sewing doll clothes while she sewed on the machine. They used to make panels of doll clothes that came on the bolt at the fabric store. You'd buy a panel, cut around each piece, and sew them together to make doll clothes. Fabulous idea but I haven't seen anything like that in years.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Steampunk Dreams

I was looking at some incredible Steampunk outfits on Pinterest yesterday. Oh the things I’d do if I had money to burn! I would love to go to a Steampunk convention with a handful of friends. But now that I live out here in the desert, I’d be lucky to find a friend to have tea with, much less one that was into Steampunk and who wanted to drive 2 hours to the nearest convention. I need a car or I’ll have no life. I’m too young to retire and sit here and knit all day.
Speaking of knitting, I have plenty of that to do today. I need to make 2 or 3 more Jayne hats. I saw some cool knitted dolls at the Thrift store yesterday and that got me to thinking about knitting dolls again.
I'd also like to get back into card weaving. I keep thinking I'll order some cards when I have some disposable income, then I remember I have no disposable income, not unless I can figure out how to earn more money.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Christmas Stockings From Rice Sacks

Here are photos of the Christmas stockings I made. I thought all 3 were on the flash drive, but now I only see two so I won't be able to post it from the library. If you are having trouble with Blogger letting you load photos in the last few days, try clicking on the HTML tab instead. Add them, and they will be in code, but then you can see them when you switch back to the compose tab.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Orange Octopus

The sun came out long enough today that I could work on my paint-by-number kit. I realized that while I don't consider it art, it kind of fits in the same niche as doing a jigsaw puzzle or a brain teaser. It's just plain fun and puts a smile on my face.

I'd also like to learn to crochet those star shaped baby blankets. They are so pretty and fascinating.

But right now I'm crocheting an orange octopus for my grandson. It was supposed to be a last minute gift and then I didn't have time to work on it at all once he arrived. He's a 2 year old. I can't expect him to sit still while I crochet.

I just lit the fire in the wood stove. It's so cold in here that I'm wearing fingerless gloves to type in, which reminds me I promised my daughter a pair of fingerless gloves ages ago.

So many projects, so little time.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Paint By Number Birthday

For my birthday I've decided to buy an inexpensive paint-by-number kit at the local market that I saw a few days ago. I really enjoyed doing them as a child, but I feel a little silly now that I've gone to college to study art to go seemingly backwards and resort to a paint-by-number kit. But it's nostalgic.  I have known adults to do them. My father used to do the kind with the velvet background of race horses and such.

Also, did you see that movie where a bunch of college girls were trying to get their MRS. degree and their teacher was surprised when they all did paint-by-number kits of Van Gogh's sunflowers? I can't remember the name of it to save my life, but it was about feminism and women learning to live up to their potential instead of becoming Suzy Homemaker.

I just can't decide which of the four kits I want. There is a train, two with horses, and one with dogs. Not the greatest selection. I could have a better selection on line, but I want to start it today, while it's still my birthday.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I Need a Sewing Machine

Hi my doves,
When I sewed the Christmas stockings, my poor sewing machine seemed to be on it's last legs. I sure hope I can find a replacement. Money is real tight right now though. I have a lot of sewing to do, including curtains for every window in the house. I'm not sure why, but someone took down all the curtain rods, and Venetian blinds just don't keep the cold air out. My serger still works so I need to see if I can change it from 3 needles to 4 needles. Normally I just use it for hemming and finishing raw edges. Or I need to bite the bullet and learn how to sew on my boyfriend's industrial machine. That has some feed dog issues though. But surely I can find a solution without spending $300 that I don't have.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year and Farewell to 2012

My last craft project of 2012 was to make 3 custom Christmas stockings for my daughter, son-in-law and grandson. They were a big hit, though everyone was puzzled that I'd included birdseed among the candy, apples and oranges.  But the next morning we all got to get up and feed the quail and tweety birds out in my yard. I can't wait to share the photos when I'm on a better connection.

My sewing machine that I got for a graduation gift from high school in 1976 seems to be on its last legs. I think the motor is giving out. It's sewing slower and slower.  After 3 months ago I was going to replace it, sensing the end was near, but all my available cash went into moving.  So I'm just hoping it will limp along until my life is more prosperous.

Wouldn't it be grand if I could blog every day in 2013. I am willing but I can't control the Internet and whether my connection will cooperate. So let's just see how many days I can go.