Sunday, March 31, 2013

My First Al Sahid SCA Event

I have lots of photos to post of the amazing day I had at this event in Victorville CA, but my wi-fi isn't working. I'll have to post the photos when it decides to cooperate. I had my craft booth set up and though people had kind words, I didn't sell a thing. It really would have helped with rent too.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Al Sahid SCA Event Tomorrow

Want to know the problem with living 30 miles away from the craft store? When you need a certain color of paint for a custom arrow order, you have to drive 60 miles round trip to pick it up. Ouch.

I found out we are vending at an SCA event tomorrow. I knew we were going but I didn't know we were allowed to sell anything, so now I'm scrambling to find things to sell that are already finished. So I'm taking all the felt bunny and owl ornaments just in case someone wants one for Easter or Ostera. I just need to figure out a cool way to display them that won't take up too much table space. Hopefully I can find the leather pouches I made too. I need to do that before it gets dark. I also need to find the belt that goes with my outfit. I know its kicking around here somewhere. I've seen it five or six times.

Time to go help with the truck packing.

Items from our last SCA event.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ankh Earrings in Black and Cream

Recently I've been fascinated with ankhs, also known as a looped cross. It is an ancient symbol used in Egyptology to denote eternal life. So I designed some ankh earrings yesterday. The prototype is okay, but then I figured out some improvements. So I finished the first pair, and started one with the new design. But then the wind picked up and my patience wore thin, so I had to put it away for the day. I think the nagging voice in the back of my head that no one would buy these for a price I could make a living at kept running through my mind and ruining my fun. And then I kept thinking about how I'm supposed to be earning money, and if I can't sell them, then it's just a hobby that I can't afford to waste my time on right now. So that undermined my confidence.

Ankh earrings designed by Fayme Harper ©2013

Sunrise in Lucerne Valley, CA

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Train Crafts

On the trip to the train station I worked like mad to finish the crocheted mermaid costume I was making for the baby. I got the fin section and the bikini top finished. I was whipping out the starfish headband when the bus got there. (The first part of my train trip was a 2 hour bus ride to Santa Barbara, CA). If I’d only had another five minutes I would have finished the headband. I handed it off to my daughter to finish, with some hasty oral directions. I should probably write them down for her and email them. On the train home I got to work on my knitted squares. They look a little wonky so I had to set that project aside until I get to check the directions at home. That’s the problem with memorizing directions. If you wait too long, they tend to slip from your mind. I didn’t have time to take any photos of it, so hopefully she’ll send me some soon.

Sunset from the train near Fullerton CA

Glendale Train Depot

Sunday, March 24, 2013

ATS Costuming

My daughter wanted to try out the American Tribal belly dancing look after I showed her videos of Rachel Brice and Zoe Jakes. So using just what we had on hand, plus $3 worth of flowers and a headband from a dollar shop, I helped her get her costume, hair and make-up together. She looks stunning. But she's still editing the 500 photos we took so you'll just have to wait until she's ready to share them. I'm catching the train home in the morning, so she'll email them to me or whatever when she gets time to do it. We both learned a lot and had great fun. She just had a baby a month and a half ago and she was ready to get all fancied up, if only for a few hours. And I didn't even know she had a cool sword to use as a prop until she got it out. I'd try to load the photos myself, but just my luck I'd erase them on her computer. I'm not even familiar with the program she is using for editing. I need to get to bed so I don't miss my train in the morning.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Busy Busy Trip

My vacation time is running out and I still have to finish my projects. I have the baby hammock half knitted, the crocheted mermaid outfit barely started, and the beads for the earrings are still all over the kitchen counter. So much for finishing the earrings so I could wear them for my visit. We haven't been home much. Since I can watch one or both kids on my visit, my daughter is using the opportunity to do the things that she can't do while caring for a toddler and a baby. Namely, grocery shopping, laundry, showering alone and photo editing. I wish I lived closer so I could be useful more often.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Earrings, Mermaid Costume and Baby Hammock

Up here in San Luis Obispo, CA I went to the new location of Jennifer's Beads. I got more bugle beads for the earrings I am making. Michael's and Beverly's had a pretty poor selection of bugle beads. I think it's more in vogue to buy the big ornamental beads because those make much faster jewelry. I'm short on money this trip so I had to stick to a tight budget and not get everything I wanted. I will still be up here for 3 days and I need to make sure I don't run out of money. I started the tail of the baby mermaid costume. It is crocheted. I also knitted half of a baby cocoon out of the heavier yarn we picked up at Beverly's a few days ago. Frankly between the 2 year old and the baby there hasn't been a whole lot of time for crafts. Plus my daughter has a very nice entertainment center so I keep getting distracted by Firefly and Dr. Who. I'm catching up on my Sci-fi.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Photo Props

After a trip to the local fabric shop, I was ready to start designing a knitted baby hammock for photo shoots. My daughter is a wedding and family photographer. I would be happy if my full time job was making costumes and props for photographers. I keep falling asleep at the keyboard so its time to call it a night.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chasing My Grand Kids

After chasing my two grandkids all day I have no idea how I ever got any crafts at all done when my kids were in diapers. I worked on an earring, and also got half a square knitted. And that's it! The rest of the day was spent cleaning, cooking, shopping, folding laundry and child care. Whew. Tomorrow we are going to the fabric store because I promised to make some baby blankets. That shouldn't be too hard as long as I can stay in the chair and actually sew them. Yawn. Long day!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Train Crafts

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Even though it is an anti-pagan holiday, I still get a kick out of wearing green. I've noticed that in San Luis Obispo, CA, they celebrate holidays a lot more. I saw so many people wearing green, and it wasn't even night time yet, so I know they weren't just bar crawling. On the train I worked on my knitting, read some fiction, and recorded a new video. Then tonight after the grand kids went to bed, I started some Thunderbird beaded earrings. I grew up in New Mexico so I knew of the Thunderbird mythology. I asked my daughter which of the picture earrings she liked best so I could make her some, and she said she preferred designs without pictures, so so much for that idea.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Do you wait to pack at the last minute? I never mean too, but frankly I am never quite sure which crafts I will be in the mood for until the trip is emminent. So I've put together a beading kit for making earrings. I think I'm going to take some things for my knitted squares if I can make a kit small enough. And I brought my size H crochet hook because I want to make a hat or something on the train. I can't take much because the train only allows 2 carry-ons and one of mine is full of baby clothes a friend is passing on to my granddaughter. And just as I was about to pack my suitcase, which is sitting in the middle of my boyfriend's bed, he's decided to go to bed early because he has to get up at 5 AM. I'm not sure how to pack in silence, but as soon as I finish this post that is just what I'm going to do. I'll have to add photos later, because I'm on dial-up again. My Broadband expired, and I'm not turning it back on until I get home from my trip. I hope I can keep up with blogging from my daughter's computer. So far I've blogged daily since the year started and I'd hate to muck it up now.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Making Travel Plans

Thank God its Friday. Or in my case, thank the Goddess its Friday. I'm getting ready to go see my granddaughter for the first time this weekend. Tomorrow we have to go to town to do the banking, and get gas because we have to leave before dawn on Sunday morning. I'm going to miss the Paleoplanet meeting, but did I mention I get to see my granddaughter for the first time? Yes!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Downside of Being an Artist

Sometimes life gets me down to the point where I can't create. Wednesday and Thursday were like that. So I made it a reading day instead.

I got a $78 fine from an old library. I knew that one was coming but it was about twice as much as I expected.

And then my resale number was yanked from me when I reported zero CA sales in 2012. Shows you how few people are buying my art and it makes me feel like a failure. Granted 6 months of that time I was involved with moving to a new place. I have to prove to them I've sold 2 things this year to get it activated again. Then she called back and said I could redo my taxes if I'd made Internet sales to other places.  I guess I was supposed to report those all these years and I didn't know. Then you exclude them on another part of the form so you don't pay any California sales tax on those items. I told her at this point it would be easier to just make 2 more sales. Sigh.  I hate dealing with this kind of nonsense. It robs me of my peace of mind and my creativity.


Sunset self-portrait

This is Charlie, our archery target. We lost his antlers when we moved.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rustic and Interesting

We are smack dab in the middle of National Craft Month so I hope you are busy and happy creating. Yesterday I worked on my arrow earrings a bit, meditating on the meaning of arrows and the Goddess Artemis/Diana who was an archer, and also on Sagittarius.

I've been a bit overwhelmed lately with so many projects and so little time. It's time to make raised beds for our first garden in our new home, so we are in need of as many free pallets as we can get.  So if you are in the high desert and want to get rid of those annoying pallets, drop me a line. I want to make a futon as well.

I also what to make a hummingbird feeder and a chicken coop without spending any money. Challenges!

I want everything to look rustic and interesting, not store bought and plastic.

Guy making a rabbit stick.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bell Pulls

Ever since I did some card weaving a few years ago, I became fascinated by bell pulls. Do you remember the old Addams Family TV series where someone would pull the bell pull and Lurch would appear and say, "YOU RANG".

I am tired of running in and out of the house to the back work containers to deliver a message or to say there is a phone call. Sometimes we remember to take the phone with us and sometimes we don't, and it always gets set in a different spot. Sometimes my cell phone is off or I forget to bring it.

I am thinking a bell pull system would solve that issue.  And be romantic in a way. I could string 2 ropes from the back door straight to the laundry room, then to the containers.  There would be a bell on each end. No more running outside in my socks to tell him his mom was on the phone or a customer wanted to order arrows. And it would work for emergencies too.  I could even string the rope to the front gate, and guests (or the mailman with a box) could ring the bell to get in.

I can see I'm going to need to make some woven bell pulls. Making something so low tech will be a hoot.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Beaded Earrings

Things are getting hectic as I'm getting ready to go on vacation to meet my granddaughter. I thought I was staying two weeks and she thought I was staying one week, so we'll see what happens.

I was working with tiny beads yesterday making an earring and my eyes were watering the rest of the day. I'm not sure if it's age, too bright sunlight, the wrong glasses or what. But today my eyes feel like I've been crying all night. I still want to finish the earrings though, so I can wear them on my trip.

Monday's sunset.

Making an earring.

Me at sunset.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Flower Afghan For Spring

I am busy with a new crochet project. In fact I was having so much fun I had to make myself stop because my hands were starting to ache. I can't crochet hours on end like I used to. So when the pain starts I stop. Even so I got about 5 flowers made I think. I found the pink and green I needed in my storage trailer.

It is for one of my Facebook Friends. Could that friend be you? I'm not telling.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

What Inspires Me

I would be happy to know if I had some real die hard fans out there, but few people ever leave a comment so who knows. I have over 100,000 views but you are a quiet bunch.

I can get inspired by the weirdest things: make-up on drag queens, big billowing clouds, barnyard fowl, miniature anything, strange shapes of veggies or fruits, circus sideshows or lichen on rocks. Never overlook a potential source of inspiration, no matter how strange.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Garden Afghan

I was getting really frustrated with the Internet today and so sick of uploading and downloading and hitting buttons and clicking this and that. So I figured the only cure was crochet. So I started a brand new afghan from a vintage pamphlet from Leisure Arts. So far I've crocheted 2 purple flowers with yellow centers. I've missed crochet. It seems to fly by so much faster than knitting. The pattern calls for a sage green background which I don't really care for. I think I'll go with a kelly green or something darker. I think I'll make all the flowers in cool colors like light and dark purple, plum, pink, and coral. The centers are a cool yellow, but I'm thinking of having several shades of yellow so it is not too boring.

There is an icy wind outside that's been blowing all day so it was good to have a nice cozy project to do in front of the fire. We didn't get any snow in our yard but it came right down to the base of the hills.

Thursday, March 07, 2013


My blog just passed 100,000 views! Who knew that would happen when I started it. So let me take this moment to thank everyone who came by. And to invite you to advertise on my blog by hitting the sponsor tab at the top of the page. You can start a sponsorship at any time. Help me keep this boat afloat.

Ornamental Plus

Ornamental plum tree blooming a the library.

Making a Witch's Broom

Today I decided to make a full sized witch's broom. For the broom section I used two kinds of eucalypus branches, olive branches, and creosote branches. I believe the handle section came from a fruitless mulberry tree Guy brought home for firewood.  After I got it all tied together I hung it in a shed to dry over time. This is my first one so I have no idea how long the drying will take, especially since it is still in the 30's at night. Snow and rain are in the forecast for tonight.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Doll Making Tips

Yesterday morning and this morning I worked on my witch doll. As the wind picked up I had to put her aside. The hair is time consuming. I picked a hairstyle that is a lot of work. So that is slowing things down some. But it is bringing pleasure.

Intuitive Doll Making Tips

Keep more than one sized needle handy. A tiny one for beads, a regular one for hand sewing, and a big eyed one for embroidery at the very least. Stick them on a magnet or your favorite pin cushion.

Take frequent breaks to rest your hands and eyes.

Keep a shoe box full of things you might need like ric-rac, buttons, trim, beads, lace, felt, novelty threads, and so on. Put elastic around the shoebox so it won't spill.

Don't wear lipstick while making your doll.

Don't get ahead of yourself. Leave room for new ideas to occur to you.

Listen to the doll. Change course if need be. Be flexible.

Don't forget to stuff things before you sew the shape closed.

Don't accidentally leave any needles inside the doll.

Hide the knots inside the doll or under trim or in the seams whenever possible, unless they are a
design element.

Keep a color wheel handy for inspiration.

Have fun and quit if you start getting too frustrated.

Put things away before you are too tired to do it.

Sneak preview.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Tangible Daydreams & Selling Craft Booklets

I fell in love with this blog today called tangible daydreams. She must be a kindred spirit. I saw her felted juggling balls on Pinterest and I make felted juggling balls too. So I went to her blog and it turns out we have many of the same crafty interests. So I followed her blog and look forward to seeing more on it.

Today I tried to make part 2 of my doll making video but then my boyfriend sold something and we had to race to the hardware store for a box big enough to ship it in. Now he's boxing it up so he can find out how much shipping is going to be and let the seller know. The seller only wants it if it's under $30 to ship, but it's heavy so it looks like we are going to eat the rest of the shipping in order to make the sale.

And heavy winds are predicted this afternoon and for the next day so I don't want to take all the little parts out right as the winds pick up. And it's already starting to get gusty.

As we unpack, I'm finding a lot of old crochet &craft pamphlets and booklets.  So I looked one up on BING to find it's out of print. Originally $6.50, one seller got $7.50 for a used one and another person has a used one for $12.99 on Ebay. So I'm thinking of scanning all of these, then selling them. Kind of like having my cake and eating it too and freeing up room in the bookshelves. And when my boyfriend's grandmother passed on at 95, I got a bunch of hers as well, which are surely worth something to somebody. I only hesitate because I hate the tedium of listing things on Ebay or Etsy. Dealing with people who want the moon for nothing make selling things a PITA sometimes. But considering how my income has gone down greatly in the last five years and expenses keep rising, I may have to just bite the bullet and do it.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Making a Doll

Making this video took up a big chunk of my day so I hope you enjoy it.

I can't seem to get the embed code to work, so here is the URL: Dollmaking

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sunset Bunny

Since its too windy to work outside today, I decided to work on my Etsy shop instead. I still have more to list, but if I do too many at once, I start getting the descriptions all mixed up. So I thought I'd quit while I was ahead. I've added new owls and bunnies. The sunset bunny is my newest favorite. If you've never tried embroidery on felt, it's a delight to work with. It's also a good material to teach young hands their embroidery stitches. For about $3.00 in California, you can gift a young stitcher with enough felt, thread and buttons to get started.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Photoshop Drawing Practice: Girl in a blue robe.

This was the Photoshop drawing practice I started yesterday and finished this morning. And I just noticed I should have made the forehead wider. No matter what I tweak, I'll find something new to fix. That's one thing that makes drawing so maddening.  Other than that, I've improved over my last experiment.  It helped to have a photo reference. The last one was out of my imagination.

Hooting Around

These are the two owls I made today. I'm experimenting with different shapes of owl bodies.  Which one do you like better? In the top one the sides of the head are straighter. In the bottom one they are more rounded.

I haven't listed either in my Etsy shop yet. I just haven't had time. But your opinion will help me decide which direction to go with these in the future.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Learning to Draw With Photoshop

Yesterday I found some tutorials on Youtube on drawing with Photoshop. I've had the program a long time and don't really know how to use it. So I got inspired by the tutorials and my goal was to draw and learn to use as many features as possible. The end result kind of makes me cringe, but at least I did it.  It's very time consuming. I stayed up till midnight working on it and then put another hour into the same drawing today. I'm tempted to go back in and try to make improvements, but I saved it as a jpg so I'm not sure I can. So here it is: