Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A New Day For A Fresh Start

Around midnight last night I was just about done with making an embossed box out of a soda can using a tutorial I found on Youtube. As I folded up the first side, it broke off in my hand. I threw all the parts away.  But now I'm thinking I might be able to salvage some of it and use it for journal embellishments or hang tags or something, so I guess I'll dig it out of the trash and try to add a patina. Last night after it broke, five minutes later my glasses fell apart. So I decided I was done for the night.

Today the weather is as beautiful as weather ever gets so I'm going to go out in the  yard and work on crafts.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Problem With Knitting and Crocheting

I just frogged an infinity scarf I was making. In spite of 5 tutorials explaining what an easy pattern this Feather and Fan is, I kept losing a stitch somewhere and having to fudge it by adding a random stitch somewhere, or I'd have the right side rows facing to the backside of the scarf! Ack. So I took the whole thing out. I think I've figured out how not to do it wrong, or maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment because I'm starting again. I'm casting on 88 stitches on size 10 needles. There is an 8 stitch border on each side and I'm starting with 8 knitted rows. I need to keep better track because the pattern is a 4 row repeat and I don't want to end up with the front facing the back again.

And speaking of knitting projects, I joined a knitting group on Facebook. Some of those knitters have already picked out their projects for the entire year of 2015!  Which brings me to another point. A few years ago I decided to cut back on knitting and crochet for 3 reasons. First, people still think of them as granny crafts and aren't willing to buy them for a price that reflects the time spent and the materials involved. And if you decide to sell the pattern instead, people often feel entitled to a free pattern, especially if they are just going to make it once. Second, they are hard on the hands and very time consuming. In the time it takes to knit one scarf out of yarn I could probably sew 10 out of fabric. Third; they create a huge amount of clutter, at least the way I do it. Skeins of yarn are like Tribbles; they end up in every room, drawer, closet and storage space.

The problem is knitting and crochet are both portable. I can take a project to a waiting room or a train ride or a bus station.  Try that with oil painting or mosaics or stained glass or pottery.  So when I just want to surf the Internet or sit in a park, knitting and crocheting are the easiest to keep up with. But because I get so sucked into the knitting and crocheting, I sit too much.  I think I've gotten lazier over the years and just lean towards projects where I can sit in one chair a long time and not get up.  I can't do that with sewing. I have to hop up and iron something every five minutes. I can't do that with clay. And yarn is a clean medium.  It's not messy like casting resin or gluing art journals together. And don't get me started on the cost. Now that I've joined a real knitting group in a real knitting shop, I've never spent so much on yarn in my life.  Even if I choose not to buy the $20. a skein yarn at the shop, I might go buy something similar for $10. a skein at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, when before I stuck to yarns that were under $5. a skein.  And if I spend $100 on yarn, that's $100 I can't spend on paints or chainmail supplies or candle wax. So don't knit, you say.  Knitting is so addicting and there is guilt involved. Every project I don't finish makes me feel guilty. It feeds my imagination and there is always more I want to try.  Socks? Sure. Cowls? Why not.  Slippers? My mom made us slippers when I was little. So there is an emotional connection there.

For some reason if you paint, throw pots, or draw in pen and ink, people call you an artist.  But if you knit, people just think, "Oh that is so cute, deary. My auntie used to make those too." I've given up on trying to change the world's view of knitting. It is what it is. I just can't seem to give it up. I must have yarn in my veins. And no other craft seems to go so well with sitting at a computer. I tried doing beading at my computer and I just kept dropping things on the floor.  I'm sure I'm not the only one with these issues.
An almost finished knitted bunny rabbit.
This will be a crocheted bear.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Calling It Quits Folks

Stick a fork in me, I’m done.
After many years of blogging I’m calling it quits. I’ve done everything I know to build a following.
I follow a lot of blogs and they all have fans and readers that leave comments and participate and even buy things from them. I constantly promote the works of others, but there is no reciprocation.
After spending thousands of hours and taking thousands of photos the task has expanded to eat up large portions of my day. I have over 70 blogs, and 3 of them are daily blogs. I’m going to take all that time I used to spend blogging and use it on things like writing novels, sewing a new wardrobe, and making things to sell. I’m sure I can find something to do with all that time.

I’m leaving my blogs up, since I’m sure they’ll be useful to someone from time to time. And every now and then I may miss it and make a few new posts. I don’t think anyone will notice one way or the other if I blog or don’t blog. When all is said and done, I think it only mattered to me. 

Crocheting a Snood
Bunny needs eyes.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday: Knitting and Weaving & Other Fun Things

Well, I'm taken my first woven hat off the cardboard loom. I took it to the knitting gathering at Fanciwerks and it was a big hit. I did the crocheted edging and now I'm weaving in ends. And weaving in ends. And weaving in ends.
Top of beret.

Inspired by that success I grabbed an old oak frame that for some mysterious reason was left sitting out in the weather and sanded it as best I could and warped it to make a new weaving. I just don't know what design I want to make yet so I stopped there. It's a big time commitment so I want to make sure I pick a design that inspires me.
Warping a frame for weaving.

As far as knitting goes I'm still working on the 2x2 ribbed 'architect's scarf'.

As far as crochet goes I did all the granny squares for my purse and now what?

I'm also making a funerary wreath from a grape vine base. I need to put that together today for the service on Oct. 13.
Autumn wreath with side spray.

I also need to get my fashion box together to send to my neice Faith, my birthday box for my grandson 'Gameboy,' and a pair of socks I'm knitting for him. The birthday already passed. That's how far behind I am.

And I have a plethora of pottery items that will need glazing when I get into the studio tomorrow. Ack!

I want to make dolls too. And I just ordered another amigurumi animal book, a paper piecing quilting book, 2 weaving books and some cards for card weaving. Yeah, I'm a bit busy. And this doesn't even include the non-crafting portion of my life.
The one from the library is falling apart so I just ordered my own copy.

The hat is in this book. I decided I better buy a copy before I wore out the one from the library.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Making a Perpetual Calendar

Today I remembered I had started a perpetual calendar years ago. I suddenly wanted to write something on it. I poked around my desk and found it. I got out of the habit of using it after we moved to Lucerne Valley. Now I'm really thankful I started it, because I moved to today's date and found that 2 years ago yesterday we drove out to Lucerne Valley to pick up the keys for this house. So yesterday was our 2 year anniversary. And that is the beauty of perpetual calendars.

Oct. 13 would have been Guy's mom's birthday. But it is the day she will be buried. So reading that in the perpetual calendar was poignant. But it makes me appreciate life more. The previous entry was in 2011. It said we forgot her birthday. Talk about feeling guilty!

So, if you want to make your own perpetual calendar, here is how to do it. Get a box big enough to hold about 400 index cards. I like using the multicolored cards, but that is up to you. I used a clear recipe card box I got at a dollar type store.

Then you need one divider for each month. I used old postcards cut to size. Then you need to put the dates on each card and keep them all in order in the box.  Then on that day of each month you write down the most significant event. I try to write it on one line, but sometimes it takes  2 lines. Put that card to the back so the next day is ready to go in front. You will miss days. That's okay. Just put that card to the back.

If you have young children it is a helpful way to keep track of those big moments like first tooth, first haircut, and so on. It's only a sentence a day, when you don't have time for the baby book or the blog post.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Boho Gypsy Style Purse

Right now I'm working on a granny square boho purse. The granny square I chose has a tutorial here: http://edascrochetroom.wordpress.com/2011/04/http://edascrochetroom.wordpress.com/2011/04/. So I made six of these (three for the front and three for the back of the purse in autumn colors. From here on out I have to figure out how to attach all the pieces and fill in the background. No one seems to call them purses anymore. Everyone else calls them handbags around here. I'm looking forward to making the fringe but that's a long ways off.
Center of granny square.

I need six of these for the handbag.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Getting Ready For the Pow-wow

I am dealing with a mountain of unfinished projects. Ever since I joined Burning House Art Gallery, I'm making pots faster than I can keep up. Right now everything is trimmed and in drying mode. That's only because I didn't throw any new pots yesterday.  I did make a plaque with a roadrunner carved into it and some ankh beads yesterday. I put a handle on the pitcher and trimmed another bottle. By the time I cleaned up the mess from that, it was time to go home. How can 4 hours  pass so quickly?

I didn't even knit at the knitting meeting. I worked on origami.  I wanted to send cards today so I wrote my two cards, made 3 origami cranes and then it was time to grab dinner before pottery. I had so many errands to run yesterday that by the time I got to the knitting thing, I was too tired to knit.

I got some odd balls of yarn at the thrift store to use in my Abandoned Art give-away stick weavings. It's the perfect use for small bits of yarn.

All the photos I took yesterday are still on my camera somewhere. I think I left it in the back of the car, but my boyfriend needed to drive that car to work today, so I'm pretty sure my camera went with him.

From here on out I'm dropping everything except the projects I need to finish for the Pow-wow in Lucerne Valley, CA on Sat. Oct. 4 and Sun. Oct 5, 2014. I can resume the other projects after the Pow-wow. If you are a local it will be at Pioneer Park this time. If you are not local, it's not a huge event. I personally wouldn't drive 300 miles to be there, unless your family is dancing there or something. Even worse there is a similar event in Apply Valley/Victorville area the same weekend. I wish they'd coordinate and have similar events on different weekends.

The medicine pouch necklaces I'm knitting for the Pow-wow.

Using circular needles to knit pouches.

The pitcher I put a handle onto last night.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Autumn I Know You Are Out There Somewhere

Weaver at an SCA event.
Since Google search punishes duplicate content (even if you are just quoting yourself) I'll  just link you up to my crafty shenanigans today. My latest crafty blog post is here.

I am definitely feeling autumn in the air today. It is gusty outside. The chickens are hiding in their  penthouse to stay out of the wind. After Fletcher leaves for work I'll shut the gate so nothing will blow out into the street. One day after a wind event there was a bra just hanging in the tumbleweeds.

I'm happy to be getting back into both pottery and weaving, all in the same week. It just worked out that way.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Knitting and Crocheting Made Monday Go By Fast

Today I decided to make a day-in-the-life style video for Vloggerheads. The day is not over so I'm still working on it. My camera batteries are about to die too.

On the way to Apple Valley I worked on the orange toddler dress I'm knitting. I can't decide if I want to make it striped, or make it all orange and then use duplicate stitch to make it look like a jack-o-lantern.

Then tonight in the last bits of sunlight, I worked on my grey free-style crochet necklace. Honestly I think I have enough bits to do the necklace already, but it is just so much fun making the little parts, I can't seem to stop. I need to find a flat surface somewhere to lay it all out and figure out how to turn it into a statement necklace.  And I have yet to sew the faux pearls and beads to it. I was going to start the beadwork tonight but once again I've managed to lose the beading needles. I didn't want to waste the last 30 minutes of sunlight looking for a needle.

Dinner is in the oven and I'm kinda dragging, so I'm just going to sit here and blog and update my Twitter and such.

Please leave comments. Otherwise I feel like I'm kinda wasting my time here.
A two dimensional crocheted flower

Exploring paisley shapes.

Friday, September 05, 2014

A Plethora of New Projects

I've been on a creative frenzy of epic proportions. I kept trying to resist the urge to get back into quilting when one day the whole closet exploded and I find myself drowning in five or six different quilting projects including purses,  pillows, and bed quilts. The crazy quilting requires embroidery, so add that to the mix. That kindled a fresh interest in doing embroidery. I'm one of those odd  people that enjoys hand stitching.

The embroidery inspired me to start a new doll with ribbon loops for hair. She is brown with pink polka dogs, and white ribbon  hair. I love making art dolls but sometimes I forget to finish them.

Then the knitting meetings have inspired me to get yarn for a felted purse one week and sock yarn the next. Only the self-striping sock yarn isn't for socks, because why waste good  yarn inside a shoe. I  plan to use it for medicine pouches, each one containing a gemstone or a talisman. Sock yarn is almost $10 a skein and it takes 2 to make one pair of socks. Many knitters do this of course, but I don't need a $20 pair of socks.

I also have many ideas for weaving. I want to weave a hat! And some pouches. I want to weave in the round.

And it's been too long since I painted. I have a half finished  painting just waiting for me to finish it.

And I have skirts to make. Plus I'd like to make an apron. And I just started a new fashion design project with my niece Rockstar.

But right now, this very second, I have the afternoon drowsies and they are driving me crazy.
This was supposed to be a juggling ball but its too big now. Rats.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Craft Lists in the Works

I'm really inspired by the 'Fatkini' movement. I wonder if that term is trademarked? I'm tempted to make some for my Etsy shop called Cherry Moondrops.

I have a lot of crafts I want to talk about but right now I desperately need a nap, so I'll just make a list for later.

1. Woodburned spoons
2. Doll gourds
3. Quail gourds
4. Finish snake socks
5. Crocheted juggling balls
6. Knitted & felted purse
7. Crazy quilt blocks
8. Animal blocks
9. Metal container purses
10. Washboard Kit
11. L-shaped knitted scarf cowl thingie
12. Amigurumi for Etsy

Yep, need a nap.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

An Obsession With Patchwork

Yesterday I had a fabric shopping spree for quilting fabrics. I fell back into the quilting bucket and I can't get out. I'm working out 4 different projects: the chicken bumble, the paper pieced animals, a quilt based on a purple palette sample, and a quilt  based on blocks affiliated with the state of CA.

Up till now I've been making do with some scrap fabric bits I got at a thrift store in Atascadero. There is a great selection there, but when I was making the elephant block, I realized I have very little green or grey. The dolphins also require grey. So I stocked up on grey, purple and green fabric.

Then I found a bolt of orange with a shine to it for $1.50 a yard. There were almost 11 yards on the bolt so I got that. Somewhere I have more orange set aside for a belly dancing costume, so I need to get those into the same  pile. I remember years ago I wanted to make an orange and aquamarine colored belly dance costume. I am not a huge fan of orange so I don't want to dress head to toe in orange. With my body shape, I'd look like a giant orange!

Yesterday at the library I got a book written by a quilt historian listing a bunch of squares associated with each state. So since I've lived in OK, NM, NV, CA I thought I'd represent each in a quilt. I might add NY as well since that is where my father's side of the family is from. The book is full of facts about each state. For example New Mexico was once claimed by Texas, Mexico, and the U.S. There is also a page for Wanderers and Canada is included as well. It's called Create Your Family Quilt by Barbara Brackman and comes with a CD to help you design it. 
(ISBN 1-893824-1001)

Time to get back to sewing. You guys take care.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Creativity Makes Life Worth Living

Today was so crazy and creative that I almost need to sit quietly in a blank room so there is nothing visual to latch onto. Here are just some of the things that occupied me today.

1. Preparing to make a crazy quilt. I'm doing research from 2 library books and also from Pinterest. Crazy Quilting is sewing, embroidery, beadwork, scrapbooking, and documenting your life all rolled into one. With Steampunk being based on the neovictorian ethos, a crazy quilt should fit right in. Yet I've never seen anyone do it. Imagine a crazy quilt featuring air ships, gears, cogs, reticulated wings, bustles and goggles. I must do this!

2. I just put in a rock garden as part of my Zen garden. I'm so happy to be playing with succulents again!

3. I tried my hand at melted crayon art. I'm always looking for new ways to make backgrounds for mixed media. Here is a crazy quilt background for an art journal. I will be drawing embroidery stitches over it. I got the idea from a used book that cost me .50 at the library.

4. I bought a washboard. Not to do laundry, but to turn into a percussion instrument. Now I need to get a cowbell. I can't believe how much fun I'm having with this idea.

5. I'm doing research on Regency era costuming.

6. I got some dye to turn my SCA tunic into a color I actually like. I tried dyeing it at my daughter's house in her left over dye bath, but it barely changed it.

7. Before I went on vacation I was learning to draw from a Manga style drawing book I got at the library. The library was going through some sort of data base change, so I wasn't able to renew the book and take it with me. It didn't occur to me to jot down the title before I returned it. So I tried to find it today and yesterday at 2 different local libraries. It's not even in their data base. The librarian thinks it might have come from the Riverside library, and they are no longer sharing with that library. But they found me 4 more manga drawing books. Two I checked out and 2 are on request. I wish I'd written down the title. Maybe if I check my old library receipts that are kicking around here, I'll find one with the title on it.

8. While it was still cool out this morning, I finished the fox painting I started yesterday. I was going to start another painting, but there were so many other things on my to-do list.

9. I also made watermelon mint juice. I had some at the San Luis Obispo, CA Renaissance Faire and I thought it would be a great healthy drink. It is fantastic on a hot day like today.
Watermelon and Mint Juice. Pour it over crushed ice.

A little mint goes a long way.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fanciewerks Yarn Shoppe

I just cruised by the Fanciewerks Yarn Shoppe in Apple Valley, CA to see when their open sessions are so I can meet some other knitters. Turns out they've just expanded. They had the last store in a strip mall, and the craft store on the other end moved out and the store in the center was already empty.  I'm glad they could afford to make a bigger store! More fun for us knitters right? And they've always had the open group on Wed. Before they were closed on Mondays but now they have a gathering on Mondays too.

Then I went to lunch and my curiosity got the better of me and I checked out the Apple Valley public pool facilities. I also had to return library books and the library is viewing distance from the pool. So if I plan it right I can hit the knitting meeting, the pool and the library all in one day from now on! Finally a cool place to sit and knit on a hot day.

I joined http:www.giveit100.com to help me keep on task with my Etsy shop goals.

I just started knitting an L-shaped scarf with big buttons. I started one a few months ago but then I thought we were going to move so I packed it. Now I don't know where it is. Oh noooooo! Oh well, I started a new one from a bag of 'end lot' yarn I got on sale at Joanne's. It's a wool looking ombre of dark red, brown and green. I'm not at home right now so I'll have to post a photo later.

I'm at the Apple Valley Library staying cool.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Sneaking Up On The Fourth of July

I don't have much to brag about at the moment. The hot weather here kills my productivity. I'm definitely not a desert person. This is about the 5th or 6th day of triple digit weather. It is 100 degrees right now at 3:30 PM. Last time I was in Apple Valley it was 109.

I'm not up to having some hot knitting sprawled all over me, but I did think I would be okay with one square. This little square will turn into a bunny.

I thought my boyfriend said there would be a craft fair down in Lucerne today but I can't find any mention of it on the local community pages. I'm debating whether I want to go out there in this heat on the off chance that it is happening. The truck doesn't have air conditioning. I know there are fireworks tonight but that's a lot of hours to sit in the heat until the sun goes down. That reminds me I should take my own chair. A swing band is playing at 7:30. That might be fun. Tomorrow morning there is a parade. I couldn't find out what time that starts either. While the local pages did mention they've had a parade for 40 years, there was no mention of the start time or the route. Seems you are just supposed to magically know that from having lived here for a decade or so.
Making a bunny from a square.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Challenges at the Shoebox Ranch

I've been completely overwhelmed trying to clean my house in case the landlady follows through with her plans to sell it. So I've had little time for crafting or designing or blogging. But I can't stay healthy without creating things so I spent an entire day in a mall crocheting, people watching, and forgetting my problems. That was last Saturday. This Saturday I stayed home to clean since we are running out of time, but I still plan to get back to that crochet project today. I haven't even touched it since I left the mall!

To make matters worse my boyfriend is sick too, but has to work anyway since his job offers no paid sick leave. It is basically sink or swim (or swim until you sink).

On the positive side, my hypnosis has been paying off. I have 3 hypnosis clients that have paid me for sessions, so I can at least pay a few bills and keep gas in the truck.

Spring is here and the birds are serenading me. I have a new roadrunner lurking in the yard as well. And the chipmunks are out of hibernation and running all over the place eating the peanuts and almonds and corn from the critter feed mix I get at Winco.

So I'm crossing my fingers and hoping we don't lose our home and that the universe smiles upon us. Think good thoughts for us.
Free form spiral medallion for the back of a vest or jacket.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Paddy's Day Hat & More

Knitty Gritty Knits Book

I've been crafting up a storm so I thought I better take a breather and catch you guys up. I was making a triangle hat from the Knitty Gritty knitting book, and before I even had that one completely done, I thought it would be sweet to have a hat like that, only in shades of green, for St. Paddy's Day.
My first triangle hat work-in-progress
So I began making the 26 triangles for a green version. I finished the last triangle at about 2 AM. So far so good.
Making a chicken coop out of used pallets.

We are also in the middle of building a chicken coop that's taken the better part of the last 3 days. I'll write more about that in my Country Living blog. My hands are so sore from pulling out nails and staples so we can use re-purposed pallet wood. It's a challenge for sure. The chickens were supposed to be delivered yesterday but the man got sick so no chickens until next Monday.  But that's okay, because the coop isn't nearly done yet.

Last night I was going to do beadwork, but by the time I got everything laid out and finished helping with the coop, the sun was going down. And it's windy today so if I do beadwork, I'll have to find somewhere inside to do it. Either inside the container or inside the house. But I have so many dishes to do before company comes, that I may not get to that either. So much to do, so little free time.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Knitting in green for St. Patrick's Day

Friday, February 28, 2014

How I Made a Fascinator

What is a hair fascinator? It is a hair doodad that you wear instead of a hat. They are often trimmed with tulle and feathers. Remember you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.
  1. First I gathered all the parts together that I thought I might need. I rinsed out and dried a 2 Liter soda bottle to make the support for the fascinator.
    From left to right: Soda bottle, fabric, pink tulle, square buttons, gray felt, contact paper pattern, feathers, and pearl trim.
    2. I cut an oval out of the contact paper. I picked this so it would be flexible. I held it against the bottle and traced around it with a Sharpie marker. Then I cut out my oval. This goes inside the fascinator and since it has a curve it fits the shape of your head. I saved the pattern to cut out the fabric and the lining. When I cut the fabric, I allowed 1/4" seam allowance. On the future ones I'll add 1/2". 
    Save the pattern for the plastic, the fabric, and the felt lining.

    Hold the pattern to the bottle and trace around it.
    Carefully cut out the oval and clean up the edges a bit.

    3. Now think of it as a sandwich. You are going to have 3 layers: Fabric, plastic center, & felt lining. Got it? I placed the fabric on top of the plastic and used a sharp needle to tack it through the plastic at both ends with a needle and thread to line it up. I recommend using a thimble. Then I ran a running stitch along the edge to get it to fold around the plastic.  Then I sewed the gold pearl and chain trim around the perimeter.

    I only sewed through the plastic when I had to. When I sewed the pearl trim on, it is 'couched' onto the green fabric; not through the plastic.

    4. The pink tulle came from a costume I bought to rip apart last Oct. I tacked that to one end, followed by the feathers and then a gold 'knot' button to cover up the ends. 
    You can still see the plastic inside the fascinator. This will be covered by the gray felt lining.

I am amused that the fabric I picked has an illustration of a woman wearing a fascinator.

Love these square buttons. I used 3 on the fascinator. They'll look great on the dance floor.

Polka dotted guinea hen feathers.
I sewed the buttons through the plastic.
5. After you sew on everything you are going to add, it's time to sew on the felt lining. Line it up carefully, tuck the cover fabric under it and sew the edges together with a whip stitch as neatly as possible. Most people would then attach it to an Alice band, but those are too small and pinchy. So I usually sew mine to 1/8" black elastic or stretch cording. If you have light colored hair you can use white or beige elastic.
Attaching the lining.

6. You can do some of the steps with hot melt glue. I live in the desert and I don't feel secure using glue. But if you needed to make a bunch in a hurry for a dance recital and they'd only be worn a few times, hot melt should be a lot faster. You can also use it to keep things from shifting before you sew them. I like hand sewing, so I sewed it all together.

Hair Fascinator by Fayme Harper from Pigglewiggins

For the photos I just used bobby pins. Now I just need someone to invite me to a cocktail party or the Kentucky Derby.