Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A picture to keep the mice away......

sometimes when we apply to an art show they want us to submit pictures of "the artist at work with their materials" as well as pictures of the pieces of work.

So yesterday, I had DH take some pictures of me working.....

and this one isn't bad....it does show all of the materials I'm working with and a partly finished piece.

Now today I get to take pictures of him working on his silver pieces.....

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pink & Purple Ethal Eater....

another car complete!!

Meantime the toucan is coming along too.

We spent a large chunk of yesterday shovelling out the driveway .... it was about 2 foot deep in some places .... OUCH! so this morning I've got some really sore muscles (who knew I had any!?)

Have already been busy tho', made up the bed and clean the bathroom so its all ready for my daughter when she arrives.....now I'm washing some of the throws from the family room, and still have to vacuum that room and sweep the kitchen. Right now DH is whipping up a batch of bread....yummmy! (guess I'll have to include that recipe in Hattie's cookbook!)

Time to get moving..... (ouch, ouch, ouch!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Snow Day

Its the biggest snow storm we've seen since we moved here almost 5 years ago.

At 3 am when I looked outside, it was just beginning to snow.

By the time it was really light, there had been a lot of snow.

This is what it looked like about 7:30. There are 3 political campaign signs in my front yard, and in this picture, the one on the left can still be seen.

In this picture, taken about noon, the sign on the far left is totatlly covered with snow.

In the back yard we have a drift along one fence that is about 4 foot deep.

All this and tomorrow we're supposed to get up to about 50 degrees, so the 12 inches of snow in the street will most likely be a river down the street....we'll have to hope that there aren't too many leaves in the drain openings!

Meantime, I've gotten 2 more cars done

so I'm now half done with the cars.

We kept busy working on projects today, I finished one flamingo, worked on the feet for a second flamingo and a toucan. The toucan parts have been laid out and about 1/3 of that bird stitched together.

The house was kept warm with a lot of baking projects today too, beginning with a coffee cake for breakfast followed by a pumpkin pie, 2 loaves of banana bread and a turkey breast for dinner.

Be sure to check out Hattie's Kitchen for the recipe for the banana bread!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Socks & rocks & show review

Well, this weekend's show was MUCH better!!

Beginning on Friday with set up, we didn't have to haul everything up a flight of stairs by ourselves. Just 3 little steps outside, and lots of strong willing teenagers to help out....much better!! And we had the same great help with tear down on Sunday afternoon too.

We actually did better at the show too....maybe because we weren't so exhausted!!

I have found that I spend a lot of time at shows explaining what the pieces they are looking at are, and I have the distinct feeling sometimes that they don't really believe that I made them.

So, at 2 day shows, I try to always have something with me that I am working on, so that I can show them what I stitch through and the size of the beads, etc., etc.

So I worked on some more of the pieces for the river. This odd shaped stone is a piece of obsidian that is thin at one end and thick at the other....very interesting shape.

This nice oval piece is a real pretty blue, I just have no idea what the stone is! It is a a very thick stone, but even all around.

And this is the progress being made (not at the show) on the necklace of wood beads to match the bracelet....its coming along nicely too.....

While riding up and back to the show, I finished the first of the 3 Christmas socks I need to do this year......I think this looks really good!!

Well, its time to get moving....lots of paperwork to do today.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


After a trip to the "frog pond", where I removed 2 complete rows of beads, this one is now complete.

This is another of those stones that has very nice patterning in the stone itself. Actually, I've had this little piece of stone for over 30 years, so its sort of nice to be putting it into a design!

I'm about 1/3 through car number 5, and probably will spend some time soon working on the patterns for the last 6 cars. That's definately an at home during the day project.

Got to get moving, as we have to be downtown for a medical appointment by 10:30 this morning!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More progress!

This is the first stone for Let the River Run. Note the neat pattern in the stone itself.

The little white beads are supposed to represent the "white water" on the edge of the stone in the river. There really is a plan for how this will work when all of the pieces are complete.

I started on the second stone, but because of the shape of the stone and the size of the beads, the bezel just doesn't lay flat, so I will have to pick out at least one row, maybe two to get it to work properly. {sigh}

Car number 4 for the quilt is complete!!

Don't you love the flames one the side?

On to car number 5!

Tomorrow DH has a medical test to be done, so I will be doing some knitting on the sock projects then.

I have just submitted another article to the on line magazine, so we'll see if this one gets used.

Time to get busy!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

New projects

Completed 3 more bracelets.

The top one is an adult size, and the alphabet beads spell "DREAM".

The bottom 2 are child size. We'll be setting up a section with "gifts for the young lady" this weekend, so I needed to make a couple of things that were smaller. We'll see how that goes.

Meantime, I'm working on the new pieces. One stone for Let the River Run has been "framed" (or bezeled, if you prefer) and it looks pretty good.

Two of the wood beads of the necklace are covered....this is going much faster than the bracelet did, I guess because I have the technique figured out now.

I have also been "setting" the stones in a new piece of Art Clay that DH did....it looks like a disco ball in silver and will have many different little (2 mm, 3 mm, 4 mm) stones in it.

Progress is being made on the Christmas sock, I'm now doing the ankle shaping decreases.

Car #4 for the car quilt is about 2/3 done too.

Today we have to go and license the van ... I'll either be pleasantly surprised or there will be a rant to follow ... stay tuned!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Show Review

This was our booth set up for this weekend's show.

The show was held in a lovely facility, indoors, nice wood floors, in a great neighborhood.

However, it comes under the catagory of "remind me again why we do this".....load in and load out was difficult....upstairs (either a long curved stairway, or a short steep one) and we were not supposed to use the "handicap only" elevator.

Needless to say, today we are both beat....

We had lots of positive comment to our newest pieces, but since we did not make expenses on this one, we will not got back....chalk it up to one more not to do.

I did manage to get about 8 inches of knitting done on the new Christmas sock I'm doing, which is good. I have 2 more socks to do after this one (one for our dog and one for my daughter's), so I'll be working in this mode for a while.

The design for "Let the River Run" is coming along, I should be able to begin stitching around the stones either today or tomorrow.

I have set up the wood beads and cord to begin working on the necklace that will go with the bracelet that I finished the other day.

Time to go finish the tax forms and bank deposit for the show, then we have to unload the van (we just couldn't face that last night!)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Something to be said about the way we work on things

is that we may go for a week or two working steadily along and it seeming that nothing has been accomplished, then in one day, we have many things finished.

This is the bracelet that I have been working on the last week or so. I used 2 different sizes of wood beads strung on to a piece of nylon cord and used size 11 seed beads (delicas) in peyote stitch to cover them.

This is one of those "did I do that" moments....because it came out even better than I anticipated.

A necklace is in the planning, where I will be using several different shapes of wood beads (this should be interesting).

Meantime, the DH has been quite busy with his own jewelry creations!

Each of these pieces is made of Art Clay Silver, a wonderful material created by a Japanese company that is reclaiming the silver in photographic negatives and making it available for other uses. The neat thing about the material is that after it is fired in the kiln, it is .999 silver, which is more silver than sterling (which is .925).

The flower has a .4 carat natural garnet in the center, and the other 2 pieces are textured with various techniques before the pieces go into the kiln.

Got a few more cab stones that came with a bulk lot of pieces that we purchased.

Last night in that "fugue" state, I came up with an idea to take a variety of this kind of stones and encircle them with beads (in the same way the 4 necklaces from earlier in the month were done), then connect them together into a necklace.

I envision using a variety of stones that basically look like river rocks and are all different colors and using the same gray/blue/silver colors to work around them and arrange them like a stream bead in the finished piece.

Working title: Let the River Roll (can you hear Carlye Simon in the background?)

Here is car number 3 for the car quilt.....and I have about half of number 4 stitched together too.

The cat quilt is complete, the blue marks washed out and it is sitting in a bag with the other completed Christmas projects.

This afternoon we will be heading up to Denver to set up for our show tomorrow. While we're in the car I plan to start on a Christmas sock for my daughter's fiance.

If you live in the Denver area, please come and visit us at the show tomorrow. The show is The Ken-Caryl Ranch Fall Arts and Crafts Fair, held in the Ranch House at 7676 S. Continental Divide Road in Littleton. Show hours are 10 am to 4 pm. Hope to see you then!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

4th one done

Finished the 4th necklace yesterday. YIPEE! all of the ones I hoped to ready for this show, are complete.

The other bead project is coming along nicely too, I might even have that one done for Saturday's show.

Got my copy of the latest issue of Teddy Bear Review and discovered that they did indeed use my holiday paperdolls and the little article I wrote about them.....way cool!! Guess I'm going to have to go buy a few extra copies.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Nibbling away at the projects

Finished half of the last "chain" for the necklaces yesterday.....this one is going better, probably because I didn't string the beads so tight.

Work on the new design idea is progressing....I have successfully covered 2 1/2 of the wood beads (and the rope in between then) with the bright colored matte finish beads....I can already envision doing future projects where there are checker board or swirl or paisley patterns covering each bead....this is one of the best ideas yet, and the original plan was the DH! Yes sir, we make a great team!!

Another car complete......1/6 of them finished. These really are going MUCH faster than I thought they would....it actually took longer to create the patterns and make the fabric selections that it has to put them together.....I'm very pleased with how well these are going.

Now have 1/2 of the binding done on the cat quilt.

Today will be taken up in laundry and cleaning, and I need to rearrange the photo studio to make room for the new photo light cube that has arrived....a pain to rearrange again, but the new cube should make our photos a lot better.....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

more work being done.....

Finally got the "chain" of this one finished.....the beads I had on hand to use for the core were a bit smaller than the ones I usually use, and after I got them strung on the center cord, I discovered the string was too tight to work the spiral around...the good thing about glass beads is in this situation the fix is easy....just use a pair of flat nose pliers and crush one (or more) of the core beads. (Yeah, and once I figured that out after spending a lot of time mumbling, it went much faster!)

This is the first of the cars for the car quilt....who says curved seams are evil? I still need to embroider the number 59 on the side, but I've already begun working on the next car....there are 12 of them in the quilt, so we're moving along.

I have finished 1/4 of the binding on the cat quilt.

ok, places to go, people to annoy!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Announcing Hattie's Kitchen

I have just begun a new blog titled Hattie's Kitchen (http://hattieskitchen.blogspot.com)

You are invited to check it out!

yesterday's accomplishments.....

These two pieces are now complete. I have also completed half of the "chain" for the pink shell piece, so we are on target to getting all 4 of them done for next weekend's show.

I need to lay out several of my heart bracelets too, might get to those today after the yard work is done.

Began work on the first of the cars for the car quilt....I am truly amazed at how well it is going together.....one of those "did I do that?" moments.

Got the machine stitching of the binding on the cat quilt done, now its on to the blind stitching on the top side.

time to get moving

Thursday, October 05, 2006

under the heading "what I did in the car"

It takes a while to drive from our house to Dallas, so I had quite a bit of time to working on things!

These are the four afghan blocks that I was able to get done while we were gone.

I also had finished quilting 3 1/2 sides of the borders for the cat quilt. I finished the last side last night, so today I will start putting on the binding. Another project nearing completion!!

Lots of things to do today, a lot of data entry for my accounting client, some lawn work, finishing the first of the magazine articles.....time to work!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

and a good show was had by all.....

at least by all of us!

Consider that we had no customer base in Dallas to send out our usual mailings to, and we did VERY well.

Here is a picture of our table set up....yes, we did forget to put one thing in the van....the poles for the lights, so we had to make do with the "ambient" lighting, which wasn't all that great, but I've been in worse ones. (next time we'll remember as one of my "to do" list items is to revise our packing list into 2 lists, one for indoor shows and one for outdoor ones, which should help)

Our birds were hot sellers....both miniature dodos, the new flamingo and the toucan flew off to new homes!

We did observe that we were the only "on the edge" artists in the group, all of the other pieces were very traditional teddy bears of various sizes and states of dress, so we really were surprised after seeing the set up that we did so well.

In addition to the pieces that we sold, we came home with a commission to make a horse for a customer, so that will be our next "engineering" challenge.

I don't take jewelry to this kind of show, but I do usually wear a piece of my own stuff. This show I was wearing the newest one (Solar Power), and gathered a lot of compliments. I may actually get a jewelry commission as well since there was a woman there that may want me to build a piece of jewelry around a stone she already has...that would be fun too.

After a long conversation with the promoter, who also is the Editor in Chief of an online magazine, I came home with writing assignments for 3 articles and a request for another set of paperdolls.....

yes, on the whole, this was a very good show!