Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gourds and Swords

I had a fun day crocheting with my new friend Shelly, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and watching my friend Murph and his girlfriend hash it out with swords and shields. Then I got started on some gourds. I never did find my gesso, so I did the undercoat with a light brown similar to the skin of the gourds. I perused Pinterest and Bing for gourdy inspiration and I have lots of ideas bumping around in my noggin. My camera is still locked in the car so photos soon I promise.

Then tomorrow we are driving down the hill to visit relatives, so I'll take my crochet on the road again. These small freeform units are easy to pack up and take along. I'm still exploring paisley shapes. It's so much fun. Each one comes out different. I never get bored with this kind of thing. Usually the only thing that makes me stop is my hand or wrists starts hurting. Then I have to ice it and lay off for a day or two.

I also got to watch Jane and her friends paint some giant silk banners. That sure looks like fun. I must try that sometime.

Gourds with the undercoat. See next post for more.

Girlfriend and boyfriend trading blows.

Banners drying in the sun.

Jane painting her silk banner.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Freeform Crochet Inspiration

Last night I decided to search for freeform crochet on Pinterest and was so inspired that even though it was late in the day, I unburied a hook, grabbed some yarn, and started crocheting. Here is what it looks like so far:

 Today I decided to add some puff stitches but I needed to review how, so I found a tutorial here: One of the hardest things about crochet is remembering all the stitches.

If you are searching Pinterest for inspiration, type in freestyle crochet, freeform crochet or scrumbles.
And that should bring up pages and pages of ideas.
Puff stitch on top row.

Since this yarn was thinner, I pulled up one more set of loops.

After not a cloud in the sky yesterday, I woke up to this amazing view.

Good morning from Lucerne Valley, CA

Monday, September 23, 2013

Beads and Sequins on an Eight Gored Skirt

I've been absolutely obsessed with a sequined 8 gored skirt I am making. It started out with sequins, then I couldn't resist adding beads. Beads might make it too heavy. And I wanted the bling of sequins. I decided to bead each panel and then sew them all together. That way the project is very portable. So I have to be careful not to sew any beads in the seam allowances.

I learned from the first panel that it's better to start in the center and work out.

Each panel will have 2 beaded flowers.

The background is a mottled navy blue, more like the last photo.

Ohh shiny!

The starting point. My needle wouldn't go through the beads so I had to tack the sequins down.
At first I didn't have a beading needle. So I dug one up and things got a lot easier. I only had enough fabric for four blue panels. If I get through those four panels of this insane project, I'll get more fabric for the other four panels, either in navy blue or black.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Halloween Doodle Embroidery

Bugs and Hearts
Did you know you can turn your doodles into embroidery and make a personal statement?

I've been working on a lot of embroidery lately. All of these are works in progress and I still have to remove the pencil lines and clean them up. Then I can frame them and do things with them. I hope they inspire you to make your own. I think it is important to do original artwork.  I'll put some of them in my Etsy shop if they come out well enough. The letters are really tricky. Think of it as drawing with thread. I'm using 2 strands of embroidery floss on woven cotton or muslin.

Hissy Cat

Witch Parking Embroidery by Fayme Harper

Monday, September 16, 2013

And Then There Was Esmeralda

This is Esmeralda. Today I was going through a few of the boxes from storage, and I found her. I made her from air dried clay right before the Disney movie featuring Esmeralda came out. I was so mad that Disney used the same name, so I never finished Esmeralda. She was meant to be a marionette I think, but she's too heavy for that. She'd make a great doll. Or maybe someone has an Ozma of Oz style head collection. 

Should I finish her? Sell her? Stuff her back in a box.  I don't know. Sergio complimented her on Facebook. Then my boyfriend said she was 'Scary'. Then my friend Ted asked if I had too much make-up on. Everyone seems to have an opinion about poor Esmeralda.  And yes, she is bald. Evidently I never got around to making hair for her, so I wrapped her up in a vest for now. I'm undecided on what to do now. I have  plenty of current projects that need doing.

I also found some unmounted stamps I designed in the days I thought I was going to have my own rubber stamp store. I don't know if I should list those on Etsy or give them to my children. I don't think they are into rubber stamping. I found a lot of parts in one box to make many more dolls. The creative bug has bitten me but I feel torn in 100 directions.

Clay doll or marionette head by Fayme Zelena Harper

Esmeralda the gypsy.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

DIY Ring Holder

Recently an artist I admire made a tutorial for a DIY ring holder. I knew I wanted to make one sometime but I kept forgetting to buy the sponge curlers at the Dollar Tree store. Yesterday I picked up 2 packages. I didn't know if I had a tray to put them in but I found one kicking around in a kitchen box. I had also come across some black stretch velour in my bedroom that I knew would be easy to tuck around the curlers. I used 15 large rollers, but you should use the amount that fills up your tray. Hers is much fancier, but mine will do the trick. Namely, keep my rings from getting lost and make it faster to find just the ones I want to wear. I have a bit too much wiggle room in mine, but I think it will be just the right amount once it is full of rings with different sized bands. I didn't glue anything down. That way I can take it apart if necessary and redo it. Make sure you see her tutorial first for other ideas. You can find it on her Talk2TheTrees blog.

Take the curlers off the rods and arrange in tray.

Cut a piece of stretch velour larger than you need.
Tuck excess around and between rollers.
Add your rings.

Uh oh. I may have to make another one.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Hoppity Hop

I got an early start this morning rearranging my crafting container. But then the sun came out and it was too hot to work inside of it. I need to get a fan for it that I can leave out there permanently. About 7 PM when it is cooler, I'll go back out there and arrange some more stuff. I want it organized enough so that when I need to work in there I can just open the door, hop in, and start sewing or whatever.

I did get some embroidery done based on a sketch I did. I started a new original project for Halloween based on the classic 'Witch Parking Only, All Others Will Be Toad' humor. My letters didn't line up at all like I'd penciled them in to be, so I hope I can wash the stray pencil marks off.

A cottontail bunny just hopped by, stopped, washed its face, and moved on.

I also unpacked more boxes, so I can set up my scanner. I really need it because I'm behind with scanning and posting art projects. I just hope I can find all the cables.

Last night's sunset in the desert.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Project Wonderful Issues

Working on my Project Wonderful ad code. Is anyone else having trouble getting this to work? Blogger has been so glitchy lately.

Update: A while back I had a hijacker that was blocking legitimate ads with it's own devious ads. So I got Adblocker and eventually deleted the offending hijacker. So I wrote to Project Wonderful tech support to ask why I couldn't see the ads I am hosting and they got back within a day to tell me that if I had Adblocker by any chance it was blocking their ads. It was easy to fix by clicking on this link: that they sent me, and now I can see the Project Wonderful ads again. Thank you for putting your ads on my blog.

Breakfast Without Facebook

Good Morning World

Rock Formations in Victorville area.
A few days ago I decided I needed a new morning ritual. I had gotten into the habit of waking up in front of Facebook. Then 3 hours later I realized I was still on the computer and it was too hot to do anything outside. So I decided to postpone turning on the computer until noon each day.

So this morning I randomly woke up at 7 AM. I purposely didn’t turn on my computer. I went next door to feed my neighbor’s dog. She was very happy to see me and had to run a few laps before she settled down enough to eat.

Then I set the hose down to water a tree, and sat down and scrubbed the rest of the gourds I got last Tues. I watered the garden. I pulled up some sad tomatoes that never set fruit and got attacked by hornworms. I can plant garlic in that tub now.

I wrote a long letter to a friend. I spent 30 minutes reading my meditation book and thinking about what it said. I put out birdseed for the quail and sparrows. I made bacon and eggs for breakfast.  I moved some boxes that were blocking the front door after I moved my bed yesterday. Then I spent the rest of the time working on an embroidery project for my Etsy shop. I even went 30 minutes past noon because I was so engrossed in it.

Still about 50 times I thought of something I needed to do on Facebook or on line. For example, I was going to play my guitar, but I need the computer to tune it, so I postponed that until later. It’s going to take a while to break the Facebook habit.

First I’m going to do my blog post and then go on Facebook. Now if I play Candy Crush I won’t feel guilty.

And I hear thunder, so I’m glad I got the outdoor stuff done before it starts to rain.

Lace Curtains and Cookbooks

Today we went to a rummage sale and I found a whole box full of white lace curtains. I was even happier when without any haggling she dropped the price from $5 to $4. My boyfriend stocked up on .25 cookbooks.  I also bought a bag of buttons in shades of blue for a quarter. I go through a lot of buttons because they go with a lot of craft projects.

Anyway I've been looking for lace for some Magnolia Pearl inspired summer tops. I'm not sure I want white though. I'll probably dye it some other color. When I dug though the curtains at home, at the very bottom was a cute little battery operated alarm clock with glowing hands and numbers. Love! That was a total surprise.

Two friends found us a washing machine, so now sewing is going to be a lot easier. I won't waste half a day each week dealing with the laundromat.

If anyone is in Lucerne Valley, CA tomorrow the Senior Center's sale is still going on. Outdoors on the patio are all the yard sale items. Indoors where it is cool has booths set up with ceramics, stained glass supplies, some Roy Roger memorabilia, and other goodies. They can really use the money so drop by if you can and pick up a few things.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Welburn Gourd Farm Photos

Big gourds for things like drums and bowls.

Sculpture gourds.

Bottle Gourds.

If you don't like cleaning gourds, pay a bit more for already cleaned ones.

Tiny jewelry gourds.

Kettle Gourd

Fayme Harper holding a sculpture gourd.

Under the oaks.

Sculpture gourds for things like penguins and swans.

What a great field trip!
Here are the Welburn Gourd photos I promised you yesterday. I just wanted to take them all home! But like many artists, I can only buy so many supplies and that is based on how much I sell.  If no one buys my art, I don't have the money to keep buying supplies. I did the best I could with $25.

Making gourd art is labor intensive. First the exterior has to be cleaned, and then cut open and cleaned inside. Then the art may require drawing, painting, wood-burning, dyeing, stenciling, carving or may be decorated in other ways like weaving or inlays.  By the time it reaches the shop, all kinds of time have been put into it to make it the best I know how to make it. Most gourds will also need a stand or a hanger or some other accessory to truly show them off.

Every bit of a gourd can be used. The seeds can be planted or used for mosaics or necklaces. The papery pulp inside can be used in handmade paper. The tiny shell bits can be used for earrings and doll faces and brooches. Even the stems can be saved and glued onto gourds that have lost a stem. 

Just like any fine sculpture a gourd will last many years if you treat it like fine art. Keep it out of the sun, don't drop it, dust it from time to time, and enjoy.


Tuesday we had a big adventure. We drove all the way to the Welburn Gourd Farm in Fallbrook CA for the last day of their 30% off sale. Seems the place was packed on Friday and Monday because of the Labor Day weekend, but we practically had it to ourselves today. We had to pick up canteen and bottle gourds for a commission.

But my project was to get mini gourds to make santas for my Etsy shop. The first batch I picked were cheaper than I thought so I still had five dollars left to spend. For slightly more than that, I got 7 more gourds. It was a blistering hot day and we don't have AC so by the time I got home I was too tired to do much. Basically I zoned out in front of my computer. But tomorrow I will clean up the gourds and get started. I'll also post photos of the gourd farm. It's 2 AM so it will have to wait for tomorrow.

We had lunch at Subway in Menifee on the way home, mainly so we could sit in the air conditioning for a bit. We happened to have a bag of cans and bottles to recycle, so we turned those in first and it paid for most of our lunch. I have a high school friend that lives in Menifee now.  I didn't know where Menifee is so I didn't get to go see her. I haven't seen her since I graduated in 1976, or maybe I did at her wedding soon after. One day my sister found her on Facebook. I imagine she was at work anyway. We've been meaning to get together for about a year now.

Right now I really need sleep, so goodnight.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Drawing For Halloween

Today was Halloween doodle day. I just finished a really challenging post telling about all the new doodles. My doodle blog was lonely so I put them over there if you want to take a peek. Oodles of Doodles Halloween 'Hoodles'.

Mummies and Zombies oh my.