Friday, July 26, 2013

Wrapping Up My Vacation Early

Yesterday I worked on my assemblage box and used glitter glue to add two hearts; one a heart with beads embedded in the red glue, and one a heart made of red glitter glue that is pretty enough to stand on it's own.

It was hot out by the pool, so I found a spot in the shade and worked on a pink and gray and black hat for my granddaughter and it will also be a prototype for my Etsy shop. Every day it seems I have new Etsy followers, so I'd like to add more inventory as soon as I get home from my vacation. Anyway, I got so little sleep last night, I found myself nodding off while knitting, so I laid my head on the table and fell fast asleep. And here I am up at 5 AM again because I'm too anxious to sleep.

I haven't gotten around to even half my projects and I'm cutting my vacation a week short, so I probably won't do much more crafting. We are spending today at Laguna Beach and they are driving me home (hopefully on Sat.) if they can fit it into their schedule. My friends are self employed too and their schedule can change often and suddenly. They work really hard and I hope prosperity finds it's way to them. I've learned from watching them they I'm not working nearly hard enough myself, so if I ever get home, I intend to remedy that. Depression sucks. It drains every ounce of energy away from me. It's hard to push through when I'm so exhausted from overthinking everything.

I have tons of  photos to post when I get home of my craft projects and grand kids and places I've gone on my trip around CA. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Just Focus on the Art

Hello my friends,
I got a pasteboard box at Michael's and I happily went out on my friend's patio and painted it red and black. Next I get to glue on all kinds of charms and cool bits.

My friend also had a wooden box to paint.  Hers will be a medium blue shade with seashells. Funny how we both had a box project to work on.

I also got some stuffing so I can continue on with my jester doll pins inspired by one my daughter has had for years.

I got a few big things I could have brought from home but didn't want to haul on all those train trips. I also got a wee bit of embroidery floss and an embroidery hoop. I have plenty at home but I need it now for this doll project or just for fun. I swear I need a tether to my art supplies to be happy in life. Otherwise I go nuts trying to beg, borrow or steal craft supplies. I almost envy people that don't have that need. I swear I'd be rich today if I nipped the buying craft supplies thing in the bud. My plans to live a normal life by my art earnings has never panned out that way. First an artist needs to earn enough to cover supplies. Then something has to be left over to pay the bills. Then there needs to be enough beyond that to have a good quality of life; you know the weird things like feeding pets and putting kids through college and having something left for retirement.

This wasn't meant to be a rant. I really should do something about that depression slipping through.

Summer Vacation

I'm enjoying some excellent company, some fine sharing of stories, and the cutest little bedroom to sleep in. And most importantly, computer access to my online world of friends. Once I wake up a bit and my eyes focus, I brought many projects with me to work on. And since I'm getting a ride home in a car or truck at some point, I can work on more bulky things that I wouldn't be able to take on the train. Like a assemblage box I want to make. I have some of the parts but I don't have the box yet.

I got a little homesick looking at photos of my garden this morning. The snake gourds are growing like crazy. Then I realized that might not be my home for much longer and that just made me sad. So I am trying to keep my emotions under control and enjoy what is supposed to be my vacation, but hasn't quite turned out to be relaxing and trouble free.

The nature of life is change, so I just need to buckle my seatbelt and hang on for the ride.

I need to build myself up so I can survive other people tearing me down.

It's going to be hot today. I'm sipping iced tea for breakfast. I'm hungry and I'm not sure when breakfast happens around here. Everyone leaped out of bed and went to work. I'm the only one on vacation so I feel like a lay-about. Ha!

I may have to mention I'm hungry or resort to eating the M&Ms in my suitcase for breakfast. Right? Right.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Tip Box of Wondrous Surprises

While at the SLO Farmer's Market Thursday night there was a juggling duo and they had the most amazing tip box! I'm dying to make one. It had all kinds of ephemera, tchotchkes and stuff glued to it and glittered up! Cool. Then when I woke up I realized a box was not something I can easily carry on the train with a suitcase, a diaper bag, a mandolin, and a purse. So this project will have to wait until I get home or until I get to my friend Rebecca's house next week. Some of the chunkier jewelry I got in the bead grab bags will be perfect for gluing onto the box. I'm not sure it will actually be for tips, since I can't remember the last time I did street performing. But I'll find a use for such a wondrous thing.

Costuming and Stuff

We are going to a Renaissance Faire tomorrow, so I really should be in bed but I'm all wound up.
I finished my grandson's pirate tunic and made a belt with skulls to go with it. He is as excited as a 2 year old can be about wearing a costume.

My daughter just had a baby 5 months ago, so her bodice was too small. I noticed she'd taken in the seams not once, but twice, so I went ahead and let all the seams out again. Now she can get back into it, but just barely. I'm sure she'll lose weight after she's done nursing and we'll have to take it in again, or just get a new bodice, because this one has been taken in and out so many times, it needs replacing.

When I got on the train, I didn't know I was going to a Ren Faire, so I didn't bring my outfit. I'm making due with 2 gypsy skirts, a regular blouse, and some gypsy jewelry and the star hat I used at the face painting gig. I've worked at plenty of Ren events, and I'm just going for fun and to spend time with my family so I'm not going to sweat the small stuff like I usually do.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pirate Costume

I've been collecting parts to make jewelry all week and I finally got to make some today in an air conditioned library in San Luis Obispo, CA. I worked on a necklace in shades of purple, white and silver. It features a big seashell heart in the center. I've missed working with wire.

Now I need to sew a belt for my grandson's pirate costume. My daughter needs to make her bodice bigger.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bit of Knitting

My best laid plans of doing a lot of crafting went by the wayside since my grandchildren pretty much demand energy. My grandson made 4 paintings on his easel. Then we had a big water party to clean up.

During his gymnastics class I got some knitting done on Maggie's pink hat. I worked on it on and off throughout the day. I also did some kumihimo. Still working on the yellow and black cordage.

My daughter took some photos of her daughter wearing the yellow horned hat I knitted so I'd have something to post in my Etsy shop.

I got my train ticket for Monday, when I'll be going to southern CA to visit another artist. So I'm sure we'll get to do some crafting once I'm settled in at her place for a little while.

With any luck I'll also go to the SLO Ren Faire. Which means I need  to get busy making garb for my grandson before Sat. Hopefully I'll get to do that tomorrow. As usual, my schedule is all full.

I recently added beads to this hat and I'll probably wear it to the Ren fair on Saturday.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Earrings and a Hat

Let's see. Today's crafts included making another pair of right angle weave earrings in shades of plum and pink, plus a strand of green on green daisies with seed beads, as well as knitting a few rows on the pink/gray/black baby hat.

Yesterday I started crocheting a monster hat for my grandson. I want to make five eyes to put on the bright green hat. He keeps trying it on and I keep adding more rows, but I think it's just about right now.

Now it's off to bed with me. It's been a busy, fun, creative and long weekend.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Listening to son-in-law reading Cat in the Hat to my grandson. #priceless
Today I worked on beading overlooking the lovely Los Osos bay in the misty morning. I finished a pair of right angle earrings, but I need better directions for the beaded daisy chain and I've already forgotten how to make the beaded Cheyenne earrings. Or my beads were too irregular. So I need to look up some references. I'm always amazed that I can make dozens of something and then forget just how to do it a few months later.

Hopefully after the grandkids are in bed I can work on the pink knitted hat I started on the train. The days are so full; I haven't gotten as many crafts done. I did paint on Monday and Tuesday. I decided not to paint today and do beading instead.

I was so tired of triple digits so I enjoyed my morning in the fog and my daughter's home with air conditioning. It makes life much more pleasant when you are not fighting the elements.

Speaking of which, today 'dad' made an odd noise from the kitchen and I told my grandson 'that sounds just like an elephant'.  The next thing I know he's trying to open the blinds and look in the driveway.  "What are you doing," I asked? "I want to see the elephant," he said.

I have been thinking of crocheting some more plushy elephants though.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Under the Oaks

The Amtrak Surfliner delivered me safely to San Luis Obispo last night. We were even about 20 minutes early. I guess the crew wanted to get home after the last run of the day. Because of the 4th of July, it is one of Amtrak's busiest travel days. Remind me not to take the train during a four day weekend next time!

Sweet little Maggie looked great in the yellow knit hat I made. I'll have to get some photos of her tomorrow. I started a new hat on the train with variegated pink/gray/and black yarn. I worked on it a bit at Bru's coffee while my daughter ran her errands.

This morning I  painted under the oaks en plein aire. I almost finished the painting. When it is light out tomorrow, I'll do the last of the detail work and hopefully start a new painting outdoors. A bird tried to land on my painting.

It's so nice to have weather that is not so oppressive that I have to plan everything I do around it.
And my daughter's new car has air conditioning, so it's a whole different world than driving around in our truck at home that is like sitting in an oven since we don't have air conditioning. Yes, we can roll the windows down, but the desert air is like a blast furnace blowing in when it's 109 out.

I'm trying to pick up some extra face painting or balloon art gigs while I'm up here. So if you need someone in SLO County, give me a holler. I'm booked on the 13, but that leaves every other day open for other gigs up until July 22. Being summer, most other entertainers will be booked up, so that leaves a chance for me to pick up some last minute parties.

Thanks for reading. Comment below if  you'd like.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Summer Travels

I hope my American friends had a happy 4th of July. I tried to get my kids and grandkids here but they didn't want to brave the triple digit temps, and I can't blame them.  It's amazing how I lose any motivation to move or be productive when it is hot out. I did manage to work on some embroidery at the library.

I'm mostly worried about getting ready for my trip. I'll be gone for 3 or 4 weeks and money is going to be super tight. There won't be any shopping sprees on this trip. I have a gig on the 13th of July, and hopefully that will keep me afloat for the 2nd leg of my trip to S. Cal. I haven't even procured my train ticket yet because of a cash flow issue. So I hope my dial up connection doesn't prevent me from getting the ticket online later today. I need to find some light weight and compactable crafts to take with me. So I'll probably take the kumihimo disk, one small crochet project, one small knitting project and some beading supplies. My back has been unhappy so there is no way I'm carrying more weight than I absolutely have to. I'm trying not to be so stressed out that I can't have fun.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Knitting and Embroidery Update

Horned Baby Hat

Faery Pouch
 Last night I got the ends all sewn in on the knitted yellow baby hat. So I took a photo of it when it was all done.

And I've been busy working on some embroidery. I forgot to take a photo of the hummingbird I'm working on. It's tricky knowing what photos to bring to the library. I'm still working on  pouches as well. I need to put some craft kits together in mini form to take on my summer vacation. I can only carry so much on the train!

We are having a heat wave. Which means it was 109 degrees yesterday and in the triple digits all week. Holy coyote batman!  I had to water my sunflowers 4 times yesterday because they kept wilting. Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

As I was going through boxes that  have been stored for over a decade, I found a lot more embroidery floss just when I needed it. As far as I know that stuff seems to last a very long time. I've never found old floss that was in such bad shape I couldn't use it. It's 100% cotton and seems pretty indestructable.

Even so, I may need to get more shades of green. I never seem to have enough!