Tuesday, May 29, 2007

taking a little break......

My daughter and her fiance were here for the weekend, so I took a little break from just about everything.

She decided it was time to clean up her room here, and she did an amazing job in little bits and pieces over the weekend.

It was really good to have her here, and her fiance is such a sweet guy its a pleasure to have him here too.

Along the way I did get 3 new afghan squares knit:

I've heard that some of the next afghans that get put together for
Close Knit Hugs will be going to those little towns in Kansas that were destroyed in the tornados.

This is especially dear to me as my dad's family is from Kansas, and we had driven through some of those little towns to visit with my great aunt in Kinsley, KS, about 3 years ago.

I have been working on the quilt too. Almost done with the standard rings, then I will be moving on to the half and quarter ones which will be interesting as I get to create the patterns for those.

This weekend my sister will be here to spend the weekend working on some projects, and I'm hoping to get some projects done too....who knows what trouble we'll get into!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The puppies are done!

This one is the new one I created thinking she might like it better than the all silver one I did first.

And this is the black one she wanted for her friend.

I sent pictures of these on email to the gal this morning. I'm hoping to be shipping these little cuties tomorrow.

Meantime, I spent 4 hours this morning sitting in the waiting room of our local Big O tire store while they replaced the struts on the van and realigned it.

This was supposed to take about 2 1/2 hours, but the area to work in when replacing struts on this vehicle is so tight, it took a bit longer.

Needless to say, I was nearly in panic mode because I was fearing the worst, but everything is now fixed and the price did not go up....miracle of miracles!!

So I finished this afghan square while I was there.....

and this hot pad (pictures of front and back)

I am also about 1/3 of the way through another afghan square.

So my whole day is sort of upside down, but I'm going to try to get some designing work done on a new open mouth face for the bear we named Marmee....we'll see.....

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

getting back on track.....

Well, since I couldn't go to Albuquerque for the show, I have decided to list another of our newer creations on Ebay.

As you may recall from a while back, this is B.G., a little puppy that I made up out of odds and ends of mohair.

I have listed him, and you can use this
link to check out all of the details.

Finished another afghan square last night....when I get one more done it will be time to ship off another box!

Today I'm going to try to get the two puppies done for the order. I thought I was a lot closer, but had to make some revisions in the silver one again, {sigh!} The eyes I painted look pretty good tho'

Sunday, May 20, 2007

TOTALLY bummed.....

about now I should be doing "fluff and puff" at my table in Albuquerque, not sitting in my basement at my computer.....

as we set out on our little journey yesterday morning we had a little issue with our car created by a large chunk of concrete left in the lane of a dark stretch of road

consequently, we did not make the trip to Albuquerque, and are looking at a repair bill of just over $500.....which we can't do until we get paid on Wednesday....so my wings have definately been clipped {sigh}

So, I spent most of yesterday afternoon working on the 2 little doggies I have orders for....I should have all of the sewing finished today. I'm hoping to be able to ship these off (and get paid for them) by mid-week.

This is the picture of the newest necklace (which was actually completed on Thursday).

I had never done one with this "mini fringe" of beads all around the edges, and I really like the look.

Sometime in the next few days I hope to get started on the piece with the malachite stones in it.

I've decided to do a little "virtual garage sale" in the next couple of weeks, so I will be putting up for sale some craft items and other assorted stuff. If you dabble in any kind of arts and crafts there may be something of interest here for you soon!

So for now, I'm going back to work on the doggies.....

Friday, May 18, 2007

and we're off and running.....

headed off today to take the dog to our daughter who will "dog sit" while we are in Albuquerque for our show.

While we are in that area, we will be visiting the site where her wedding will be in August so I can start making decisions about decorating, etc. I will be taking pictures and we should have a "map" of the room setup when we get done.

I actually did finish a piece of jewelry yesterday, but I haven't yet taken a picture of it, so I'll try and get that done next week when we return.

Tomorrow we leave early to travel to Albuquerque. If you live (or are visiting) in that area and want to come and see our stuff up close and personal, you can use this link to visit our website and get details of where we'll be and the show hours. If you come to the show with a copy of that page in hand, we'll give you 10% off on any purchase from our table.

and so, we're off!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Update on Marmee

She just didn't look finished to me, but she's definately NOT the "tie a bow on it" type!

So, I made this cute little necklace for her.....its ceramic heart beads and a copper heart lock and key charm all strung on a double strand of perle cotton with triple overhand knots tied in between the beads as spacers.

Much better!

work continues on the quilt....slogging along!!

Today I will be packing and doing household chores as tomorrow we will be out doing errands for our trip on Saturday.

time to get moving

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

finally got it!

This is Marmee.

The original design sketch for this was done by the DH while we were in California for our show and it has taken us a while to get her finished.

Being a total departure from anything we've ever designed before, there was a lot of tweeking, trying and redrawing of pieces, especially the nose area which took us three tries before we liked the look.

Now we're thinking we may be able to spring from here into something cat-like...we'll see.

Anyway, I'm glad she is finished, and will be going to the show with us.

I worked on redoing the face of the jester yesterday, so this morning we'll see how the new paint I applied looks (glitter fabric paint looks really different after it dries than when its wet, so I couldn't really tell what was happening yesterday when I put it on). I still have some embroidery work to do on this, but I'm pretty sure he will be ready to go too.

I went to the second class on cake decorating last night. You can click here to read about that.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

going to the dogs.....

Meet Wolfie!

Finally finished this piece, after almost a week of shaving and shaping, he's actually ready to go.

If I ever make another one there are some changes I will make in the pattern, but on the whole I'm pleased with the way he came out.

Usually when we travel these big animals go in the back seat of the van, but I think we better make sure this one gets bagged up lest someone decide we've left an animal in the car unattended!

And this is the latest of the little puppies. I had actually started this one before we went to Nevada City, but I had made an error in the layout and couldn't finish it until I could recut a couple of pieces.

I named this one B.G. -- for Brown and Gray puppy -- its as good a way to name one as the way real dogs get their names!

So now I have a black schnauzer and a silver and black schnauzer to work on for an order (LOVE doing orders, I know they'll sell!!), and a couple of sheep (one black, one white) all laid out to work on.

There is still one new bear that is not finished, but I hope to get him done in the next couple of days. He's a brand new design and we're redoing his snout for the third time because we're still not pleased with it....

I'm also reworking the eyes of one of my big bears to jazz him up some and hope to find him a new home at this show.

Work continues on the quilt. I'm back in a pattern for putting in the new pieces, so its moving forward again.

Tonight I have the second cake decorating class, so I will have to spend some time today preparing for it.

Time to get moving!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

First Cake A.C., new bear from the studio

Yup, its a plain ordinary looking cake. But its the first one A.C. (after class -- one session), and I can tell you, I learned a lot! The edges are much straighter, the top is level and the frosting is smoother. Yeah!

This little guy has been in process for quite a while.

He is one of the new designs DH came up with but we didn't get him finished before we went to Nevada City.

I tested out a new technique on his open mouth, and it came out pretty well....I'll be using it again on some other pieces in the future.

We're going to visit with my mom today for mother's day, so I don't expect to get much done....guess I deserve a day off now and then too!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you too!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

working, working

I actually finished reworking 2 birds yesterday, but I haven't gotten any pictures yet, so I can't show them off.

These were 2 pieces I had done a year or so ago, and decided to redo their feet with the new wire technique we've learned.

So the owl and the pelican will be going to Albuquerque next week along with the toucan and the flamingo....we're becoming bird brains?

After the success of the tiger eye piece earlier in the week, DH went through the box of stones and did some sketches for some other pieces.

These stones are verisite. This will be another necklace where the stones are strung together with strings of seed beads. I'm also thinking about using a new fringing technique I just learned around the stones....I'll give it a try and see how it looks.

The bottom band of the sweater I'm working on is finally done. About 6 inches away from finishing I finally "got" the pattern, and they took a lot less time than the first 30 did!

This is the first of the afghan squares made out of the new Rum Raisin yarn (held together with a strand of a solid lilac colored Caron yarn). I love the look of this one, and it feels wonderful too.

the quilt is progressing nicely. I still have several odd shaped pieces to do where parts of the standard wedding ring block must be cut in half or quarters, but it is progressing. After the frustration of having to redesign, recount, pick out, etc., I'm feeling much better about it today.

Time to get moving....lots of things to do today

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Victorian Lamp necklace and wolf hairballs.....

Its finished!

As I had said earlier in the week, the whole inspiration for this piece was a hanging Victorian lamp I saw in a picture somewhere.

The tiger eye cabs just seem to fit in this whole thing.

I spent a bit of time yesterday fiddling with some other stones that I had on hand to see if anything else of this type suggested itself, but no go.....inspiration can not be forced.

So right now I'm working on a remake of a piece that had originally been a necklace, but was just too big for that format. I have picked apart all of the necklace cord and removed the edging and the back. Now I'm working on making it into a shape that we can cut a mat for to put the piece in a frame....a better format I think.

Work continues on animals for next weekend's show. The big (over 2 foot!) white wolf has been stuffed and closed, his tail is attached and I have begun the process of shaving and shaping his face....hence the hairballs...he's made of a very dense, very fine fur, so when I shave it or clip it those little fine fibers fly around everywhere....{hack, hack!} This process will probably take a couple more days.

Meantime, the painting on the feet for the owl and the pelican are complete, so today I can put on the first sealer coat. With any luck by Saturday, both of these animals will be done too.

I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with my software and got the banner finished. (just a little case of being temporarily brain dead!)

Of course I couldn't resist tweeking with the thing a bit more too....hopefully it will pass the requirements for the site I want to put it on and I can get it posted soon.

Last night I went to the cake decorating class....I will have to make another trip to pick up supplies for my "homework", but they did give each student a 10% discount coupon which is good for any Wilton stuff I need to buy in the next four weeks....perhaps this would be a good time to pick up any extra stuff I need for the wedding cake too. A lot of people were getting their stuff last night right after class, but I want to review what I have on hand first.

Time to get to work.....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

puppy and yarn and cake

This is the little silver schnauzer puppy I have been working on.

Someone at the Nevada City show had asked me if I could do a silver puppy for her, which is why I started this one. This morning I had an email from her with a picture of the dog she had, but he has a lot of black on him, so this little cutie may not be what she's looking for. We'll see.

If not, he'll go on the table and I'll make another attempt and creating a dog for her.

Isn't he cute with his little pointed ears?

Here is the latest completed afghan square.

I've been knitting these out of yarn that I had on hand or stuff that my sister had donated to the cause.

Yesterday I was in Hobby Lobby picking up things for several projects and as always I walked down the yarn isles looking for anything interesting that was on sale that could be used to knit squares.

They had this great yarn called Mosaic Twist from Yarn Bee ... usually $6.64 for 3 ounces, but on sale for $1.97 ... I picked up one skein called Rum Raisin and one called Iced Fruit ... the Rum Raisin is purples and greens and pinks, while the Iced Fruit is more pinks, melons and lavendar ... Really neat stuff .. I would love to make a sweater out of one of these, but at $6.64 for 3 ounces I know that will never happen. At least I can enjoy the color and feel to make some squares.

There was another great bonus in store for me while I was wandering around in the store....aside from the doves for the wedding reception tables being on sale at 50% off, they had a sign up for a Wilton Cake Decorating class that was also half price. So, I will be getting 4 2-hour classes on borders and roses and lots of other cake decorating for a very inexpensive price! Oh yeah! I start tonight from 6 to 8 (amazing too that it falls on a night that I will actually be here to take the class during the "show season"). This should be fun

time to get crackin'

Monday, May 07, 2007

Is it still winter?

This is what I woke to this morning.

For a moment I thought perhaps I had slept through 6 months and it was winter again. Come on now, its MAY! And yes, I know that there is blue sky in the one of the back yard (that faces north of us), but the sky behind the picture of the van is pretty ominous.

I am SO ready to be done with winter even though I know any bit of moisture we get is a good thing, but still......

just saying.....

Yesterday gets categorized as one where I got way more done than I excepted to.

To begin with, I woke up a little before 5, and tho' I intended to go back to sleep, I found myself listening first to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, then to a whole program about a woman named Debbie Friedman -- her music is a sort of blend of Joan Baez syle folk and Reformed Jewish cantor -- I loved the sound (and the uplifting feel) of her pieces. All that followed by mass from Notre Dame, and needless to say, I never did go back to sleep!

I figured by the middle of the afternoon I'd be asleep in my chair having never finished reading my favorite parts of the Sunday paper (the book reviews!). But no, I never did take a nap either.

Along the way I accomplished all this:

Finished all of the color renditions for the Archangel Triptych, we are now ready to do the polymer work for the hands and faces of the angels.

Stuffed the last animal that needs to be finished for our May 20 show....its a big white wolf in a howling position that took about 7 pounds (!!) of stuffing.

Wrapped the wire feet for the owl and the pelican to prepare them for painting.

Completed the edge work around the tiger eye piece of jewelry, so its ready for stringing together (today!)

Since I had been so good, I decided that it was okay to play for a while, so I started working on what I hope will be my entry in a beaded doll competition. Over at Land of Odds they are running this great contest. (use this link to check out what this is all about. I had recently gotten a new book on beading and dolls, so this is a great chance to play with that whole concept.

Oh yes, and worked on the quilt some more.

And added another 1 1/2 inches to the bottom band of the sweater I'm making my daughter.

On the whole a very productive day.

Today (being Monday) I'm doing laundry and other household chores, but as quickly as possible so I can get back to doing more fun things!!


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Blue Lapis

Its done! The pieces of lapis in this are truly amazing, very deep blue with golden flecks in them.

I had originally started this design quite a few months ago, so by the time I got to actually stitching on it I had kind of lost the "fire" for it. I am pleased by the way it came out tho'

A while back we had a chunk of tigereye cut and polished by a friend of ours, and the piece that came out is pretty amazing. I drew up a design to create a piece with that tigereye in the center of it right after it arrived, and Friday I started stitching on it. This one has not lost its attraction, however.

The original inspiration (besides the stone) was a Victorian hanging light fixture, so it will be interesting to see if it translates into the piece of jewelry! Last night I finished all of the bezeling and background beading, so today I will begin on the stringing it together. Hopefully I'll have pictures of it soon.

I've been trying to create a banner ad to use on several sites that I am linked to. This was my first go at it, and I want to make some very specific changes, but this morning I seem to have gone totally brain dead.

The original graphic was created in a PrintShop program then exported as a .JPG, pulled into Photo Shop (Adobe) and cropped.

When I tried that again this morning, Adobe wouldn't let me crop the exported file, telling me the "layer is locked", whatever that means.....{sigh} there are times I know just enough about all this software graphic process to get myself totally frustrated.

This is the file I want to just crop down to the little banner (ie, chop off the extra color at the bottom of the file), but since I couldn't get it this morning, I'll just think about it tomorrow (ok, I'm donning my Scarlet attitude, lest I reach the Rhett Butler stage in which I decide that "frankly, my dear.....")

I worked on the quilt some more yesterday, getting some more footballs placed. This part is a bit more time consuming as I must make sure that each one actually goes into the right place on the "map" I'm following. A shopping trip for the remainder of the needed pale blue fabric will probably take place sometime this week.

Time to get moving along.......