Saturday, August 31, 2013

Playing With Banners & Computer Graphics

We are having a strangely humid day. Feels like soup out there. So I stayed in and worked on some computer graphics.  It's hard to have an Etsy shop without delving into making your own avatars and banners. So here is what I made:

First I brightened up this striped rose.
Then I turned it into a purple rose.

I wrote this poem for my new Gypsy Poet board on Pinterest

Today's poem for Pinterest. Click on it to read it in a bigger size.

A photo I made for a poetry site.

Redquill banner for my poetry Twitter account.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Woman's Portrait Photo Montage

This morning I was working on a photo collage trying to improve my computer graphics skills. It was an interesting time consuming challenge and I'm still having trouble with transparencies.
The building was from a photo I took when I went with someone to their birthday dinner. 
Then I changed the wording to 'believe' where the building's address used to be. The lady's portrait came from a drawing I did with ordinary crayons. She wasn't perfect, but I used Paint Shop Pro 7 to tweak her a bit. The blue roses at the bottom came from a background on a still life fruit painting I did. 
It was fun to take the finished piece and play with it on Picasa. If you like it, which version do you like best?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kumihimo Watchband

It was hot out but some clouds were appearing so I decided to work outside and make
jewelry under the shade cloth awning.  About an hour into it I have bins, books, boxes, bags, and tools everywhere. I'd just finished putting a kumihimo watchband on a watch when it started to sprinkle. So I thought maybe I should put away anything I wasn't going to need in the next two hours. I'd barely loaded half of it back into the storage container when the wind started blowing and rain started to fall. So I made a mad dash to throw everything back inside and grabbed one bin of beadwork to work on inside the house.

Then I closed the gate so nothing would blow out into the street and scattered birdseed under the bushes so the birds could eat even if it started to pour.

For 3 days the forecast said rain. Today (day 4) I finally decide to work outside and it pours. #honestly #figures

Friday, August 23, 2013

Straightening Out My Etsy Shops.

Tonight I worked on two of my Etsy shops. The older one is called Pigglewiggins and the newer one is called Hypnotic.  Etsy has changed so much and has so many new features, they I had to update a lot of  parts. Even my address was out of date. I renewed a few listings and plan to add new stuff soon. Since I moved, I have to do a visual check to make sure I still have the items I'm listing and they aren't still packed away somewhere. Lucky most of my creations won't break; its just a matter of finding them, and making sure they are ready to ship to their new home. Some of the bigger items I had to give away because there was no room on the moving van. So I need to make some new gourd items. Paintings rarely sell (unfortunately) and I didn't give any of those away, so I'm sure I have all of those stored in my closet. I may just break down and sell them all at a yard sale, or I may relist them on Etsy. So if you remember anything you were dying to have, make me an offer. Canvas paintings sometimes cost a lot to ship so keep that in mind.

Zentangle by Fayme Harper

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rain in the Desert

You know when you say "I'm gonna make me one of those." And then you keep saying that year after year? Well, I got really tired of the desert bugs landing in my drinking cup. So today I grabbed a crochet hook and made me a cup cover to keep the creatures out. It's dark green yarn and I put some reddish purple garnets all around it to weigh it down and keep in over the cup. Now if my cat doesn't steal it for a cat toy it will be great.

Today we had a surprise thunderstorm. Glad to have a respite from the heat, I spent most of the day outdoors. I fed the neighbor's chickens a big juicy worm I found on her tomatoes. I watched the quail and doves eat the food I put on my porch. I even had dinner out in the yard after dark and enjoyed the almost full moon and the amazing clouds. This is the first time it has rained in ages and I didn't want to miss one second of it.
Delicate yellow flowers I just discovered in my yard.
Gray feather.
Rain coming down in the city nearby.

Summer thunderstorm.
Half rain, half sunshine

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Patchwork and the Summer Sun

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

What is a girl to do when it is 102 degrees out and the coolest place to hide is 3 feet in front of the cooler? She works on paper patchwork applique of course. I've made about 15 of the little hexagons and about 10 pentagons from assorted fabric from my Zakka collection. I think my first project will to be to sew some on the flap of a messenger bag. I also moved my computer desk today so I'd have a bit more workspace. I was playing bumper cars with the chair at the other desk. We were both getting annoyed, so I put more space between us. I had a much bigger desk at the old house so I'll have to see about solving that dilemma.

The view from my desk. Scrub Jay.

I rented a metal container so I'd have lots and lots of workspace and so I could get all of the crafts out of the house. I failed to take into account that in the winter it gets cold in that metal box and the sun goes down at 5 PM and in the summer (which seems to have started in March and is still going through August) its just too bloody hot to work out there without frying my brains. So now I mostly work in the house. Which makes sewing difficult because the sewing machine is out there in the container and there is no room for anything else in the house. Every day I try to get more stuff out of here, not put more stuff in here.

His container. Mine is next to it but looks the same.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Go Make Crafts. Fill That Shop. Sell Sell Sell.

I need to take a deep breath, calm down and make crafts. I admit Facebook can be very depressing at times and too much negativity can make it hard to work on crafts. I have so many friends on FB and someone is either losing a loved one, dealing with disease, or facing insurmountable problems. My heart goes out to all of them and I feel sad and helpless many times.

I wish I could buy things from all my friend's Etsy shops and likewise I wish they could all buy from mine. Of course that would be easier to do if I actually put things in my Etsy shop. Many people have turned to bartering and that's fine but it doesn't pay the bills.

So why am I rambling when I should be working? Off I go.

Is life beating you down?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Zakka Zakka Zakka

I went a little crazy today and dove head first into Zakka. Evidently I'm the only one that didn't know about this trend, because when I looked it up on Pinterest, there were dozens of boards of Zakka crafts and home decor items. When I found out we were going to Hobby Lobby today I specifically looked for fabric in muted tones to use for Zakka. I never buy muted tones, so I literally had no fabric that would work for this aesthetic. Lucky for me all calico was 30% off or I would have just walked away. The muslin I needed wasn't on sale, but it was only $2.99 a yard and I used my 40% off coupon. So visions of little Zakka elephants are dancing through my head. I have to preshrink everything first so after I get to the laundromat I'll show you the fabric. I sorely miss having a washer and a dryer or it would have been done already.

Zakka combines things I love doing; namely patchwork, embroidery, and sewing. A friend of a friend gave me two books full of Zakka projects, but since I intend to sell the things I design, I won't be using any of the things in the book, just the concept. I already ran across one blog where they are having a sew along of every single project in the book! 

My daughter married into a Japanese family, so I'm thinking she will love this Japanese inspired style trend. I need to figure out something cool to make for her or my grandson.

Love the chicken fabric.

Pre-washing the fabrics I chose for Zakka crafts.

Combining Halloween and Zakka

Monday, August 05, 2013

Halloween Zakka Pentagons

I'm doing my best to just keep my wits about me and work. Just do the work. Keep reading my Louise Hay book "Meditations to Heal Your Life." Keep breathing. Keep eating. Ground and center. Ground and center. Love myself the best I can. Be kind to myself.

I got some things done today. I got a bit done on my hummingbird embroidery that I forgot I even had after I closed the lid on the embroidery kit a month ago. I worked some on my knitted hat for my granddaughter. The other one had blown off the porch. That's what I get for not putting my toys away at the end of the day. I couldn't figure out where it had gone.

I started a Zakka project inspired by the books Zakka Style and I Heart Zakka by Rashida Coleman-Hale but it won't be in the Zakka muted colors. It will be orange and black. By the way, Pinterest has a ton of Zakka boards if you need ideas. I'm doing paper piecing with pentagons. I'm just not sure what I'm going to put them on next. Maybe a tote bag. Maybe a Halloween apron. So far the pentagons have a pumpkin, a witch's hat, a skull and a bat. I thought if I'm going to list Halloween stuff on Etsy I better get cracking. Or cackling. Or something.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Working on a Pattern For a Baby Hat

It is quite pleasant outside on this Saturday morning. After I watered the plants in the front yard, I sat on the porch to work on a hat I designed. This is the 2nd go round, so I can write the pattern as I knit. It's a lot more tedious that way, but I want to sell the pattern on Etsy, so I need to do a careful job of it. From now on, when I design something and I like the way it comes out, I'm going to write a pattern up for it and post it on Etsy or Ravelry. I get asked for patterns all the time. And I meant to do this long ago, back when I was making tutorials for AllFreeKnittng and AllFreeCrochet. They wanted me to post the patterns for free and I told them no. I need to make a living just like everyone else.

So with any luck, my first pattern will be of this long tailed baby hat meant to be used as a photo prop or a costume piece, like the baby could wear to a Renaissance Faire under constant supervision.

Of course if you just want to buy a hat from my Etsy shop, that's great too. I'll have some listed soon or you can make a custom order.

I hope you are having a pleasant weekend too.