Tuesday, January 30, 2007

three more done....

Have been working on pins (its usually easier to sell these kind of things if there is an assortment for folks to choose from).

This one is entirely beads (those now famous size 15s -- I got in a new assortment of colors and its like having a new box of crayons!!).

It measures 2" each way -- kind of a fun, stylized heart.

This one measures just 1 1/8" by 1 1/4".

The piece of stone in the middle is jasper, and the back of this one has a lovely burgandy velour upholstry fabric on it.

And this one is actually a reworked piece.

Originally it was a lot larger and heart shaped on a silver chain as a necklace.

The rework included putting on a new combo style pin back that also has a loop to run a chain or ribbon through to wear the piece as a necklace. Nice touch (especially for a cameo).

This morning, while I was waiting for DH to get his lab work done in the doctor's office, I drew up another design to try out...I'm thinking about using pink and a kind of chocolate brown for this one.....probably will be an "on the road" piece.

That makes 44 arcs done. Yesterday afternoon I set up 17 more to take with us to work on in the car or the motel room at night.

We take off tomorrow to head for Des Moines, Iowa, to do the HeArt Fest show. We have never been in that area, but we hear this is a good show....we hope it will be.

Time to get moving, I need to pack and get everything ready to go so we'll be ready to load the car in the morning.

Monday, January 29, 2007

new finished objects...

It's finally done.

Figuring out the necklace part was the most difficult, and I'm still not sure I'm totally happy with it, but we'll see what kind of response we get on it. I can always take it out again and redo that part without damaging the bead embroidery.

So much for doing a smaller piece that would be less expensive....NOT! I've got over $50 in raw materials in this one, so the price is still $200.

This piece came out great!

Notice the lovely suspended angle picture ... I used one of my new display pieces and it worked just fine (I was a little concerned about the big bracelet on what appears to be such a small support, but its obviously well engineered).

I have the pin that I was redoing finished too, but I haven't done the paperwork yet, so pictures of it will be coming soon.

After weeks of walking around in my socks in the evening, I decided that my feet would be warmer and the socks would last longer if there was something between the socks and the floor, so I knit these lovelies.

The internet is a great thing....this pattern was a free download, knit flat on size 7 needles with a double strand of knitting worsted weight yarn.

The odd coloring is the result of "lets use what we have on hand", and I used the dark brown until I ran out of the little ball I had, figuring that the rest of them could be the tan with the green. While I was finishing the first one, I found another piece of a skein of dark brown, so the slippers actually do match....totally unplanned, as I didn't care if they did or not.

There are now 43 arcs done....we're getting close to the half way mark on the arcs, then its on to the squares that go on each end.

Today is laundry and de-Christmasing (we're close to done) and working on last minute jewelry things.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Happy Stella!

Yup, she's a much happier girl now!

Notice the "nose job" is complete (and there's even a hint of a smile!).

And Nancy was right, she's much less cranky with her new homespun wool sweater vest. A big improvement (you'd be cranky too with such a short hair cut after 6 weeks of SNOW!!)

I finished the beading on the malachite bracelet last night (I can tell I worked on it for about 2 hours straight -- my wrist is a bit sore this morning)

Today I will get the backing cut and start putting it all together.

Yesterday the new bracelet display pieces arrived, and they are wonderful. Small, light weight, yet they hold the bracelet up for better viewing and I will have a place to put a little card with the individual prices (there's really no way to tag the bracelet itself without leaving sticky stuff on the piece -- ICK!)

A new pin design popped into my head last night too, so I hope to get to that one as soon as I finish the piece I had picked apart for rework.

The first attempt on the necklace for the fringed piece was a failure....on to Plan B.

There are now 40 arcs done for the quilt. Wooo hooo!

We're off!

Friday, January 26, 2007

working hard at ??????

Yesterday was one of those days where I was busy all day, and I haven't got a thing to show for it.

Part of that is because we spent a long time working on taking down the remaining Christmas tree that is up, and when you carefully put each ornament into the box it came in (and a good number of them older than my daughter), this process takes a while.

I did get the last heart all picked apart in preparation for redoing it. I hate picking things out....maybe its the frogs that abound (can't you hear them saying "Rip it! Rip it!") or just that I don't like going back to a project once I have classified it as "DONE". If I wasn't so stingy with the raw materials, I would just chuck the whole thing, but NOOOOOOOO, I pull out and return every little bead to the "raw materials inventory" then start over. {sigh} Sometimes all that accounting training comes back to bite you in the butt.

The other piece that needs picking will not be "revived" -- it has to be totally scrapped because the technique I used to attach some of the embellishment didn't work out, and it can't be repaired. I'm trying to think of this as a creative opportunity....I get to design a whole new piece for the bigger pieces of material....but I'm still bummed about it.

After knitting a sample to determine the guage with the homespun on the needles I had at hand and doing a lot of measuring, I began Stella's vest last night. I've worked it up as far as where I have bound off for the arm holes, now I'm trying to figure out exactly how I will create the right shape for the back of the vest. No doubt there will be some "picking" before I get it finished, but I am pleased with how it is going.

About a week ago I had submitted a "blurb" and a couple of pictures to an on line magazine in an attempt to have our work considered as a feature in a future issue. I did it as a lark, thinking it was going to be just another writing exercise. Silly me! Yesterday I opened my email, and there was the full fledged interview form for us to fill out, attach pictures to and return to them by Monday. They are going to feature us in the February issue! YIPPEE!! So, I did spend a lot of time yesterday afternoon writing answers to the questions. This morning I will let DH take a look at the printed out version so he can make his own notes and comments before we send it off. All of this of course means that I should make some effort to put some new stuff on our webpage before we leave for Iowa. AAARRRGGGHHH....just what I needed! Ok, being featured is good tho', I'm really excited because it is a first.

Work progresses on the bracelet. I probably will finish the field beading today (baring any unforeseen projects that jump ahead of it). I'm at the "want to have it done" stage, which is a good sign that it will be finished before we go.

We are forecast to have yet ANOTHER weekend of snow .... I'm SO ready for it to go away .... and very cold temperatures again. Today is supposed to be the warmest day for at least a week, so we will be venturing into the storage shed today to pull out everything that we will need to take with us (hopefully we will avoid freezing our fingers and toes by doing it today.)

Oh yes, there are now 39 arcs done. I'm going to have to spend some time before we leave getting a whole batch ready to work on for while were gone.

time to go get busy, maybe tomorrow there will be something to take a picture of!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

...and another...of a couple of things...

I got this piece reworked too.

Like the pink one, I think it looks better as a pin, and it is adding to the new line I will be unveiling at the Des Moines show. Hurrah!

I have one more piece to pick apart, and it will take a bit more work since I'm also going to change the shape of it and put a dual use back on it so it can be either a pin or a necklace. Picking work to commence today so I'll be ready to put it back together when the supply order arrives.

In a comment (thanks Nancy!) it was suggested that Stella's attitude could be improved if I at least knit her something that was wool.

I have a "stash" of hand spun, hand dyed yarn that I did a few (ok, 20!) years ago, and I figured I might as well use it. So these are the two I picked out to knit Stella a vest ... nothing too flashy, just warm.

Her nose, BTW, has been picked out and redone with a more sedate gray and I think she is much improved for it. Pictures to follow when I get the knitting done!

When we travel anywhere farther than 5 minutes to the local grocery, I take something with me to work on.

Yesterday's trip to Costco gave me the time to finish this blue and green square that I will be sending along to Squares4Survivors (along with 4 others) today.

There are now 38 arcs of the quilt done.

Time to go....things to do, people to annoy!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

One done....

I got one of the pieces finished last night.

This measures 2 inches across by 2 1/4 inches tall. I did it with the new 2 bead edge, and I think it looks so much better than it did as a necklace.

I got the red piece all picked apart, so I hope to have it finished by the end of today.

We spent time taking down more of the Christmas stuff yesterday. We're down to the family room tree and then the usual clean up.

One more arc done....that's 37.

Today we're going to our closest Costco to get RX, Kleenex and the other "bulk" stuff we get there about once a month.

time to get with it

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


When we did our inventory at the end of the year for taxes, there were a few pieces of jewelry that we pulled out for reworking.

This is the first of those items to be redone.

Originally this was strung on chain with just a few of the black and crystal beads, and it just didn't display well.

Yesterday I took it all apart and created this more substantial necklace that I think looks a lot better.

And this is the second piece.

This one had just been on a silver chain, which looked ok, but I felt this could be a more "unisex" piece if it had a little bolder looking necklace.

The colored beads in this are a sort of rainbow finish glass that were given to me by another crafter at a show during the fall season. When she gave them to me I had no idea what I would do with them, but when I put them with the black cube beads it just fit this piece.

The next projects are to take apart 3 heart shaped pieces that had also been necklaces on chains, and make them into pins. Pictures to follow!

I'm working on ideas for an accessory (scarf, vest) for the sheep. I tried out a purple "fluffy" yarn for a possible scarf last night, and after about an inch of knitting vetoed it as "too fussy". Now that the DH has chipped away the ice in front of our storage shed so I can get in to it, I'll be looking for some other yarn to make the item out of.

Work on the quilt continues. I finished another arc last night.

Time to get something done.

Monday, January 22, 2007

something finished ... and almost finished ...

Meet Stella II

Now here is a sheep with a lot of attitude. I think her cantankerous mood is due to a small identity crisis .... I made her out of a silk and alpaca blend fabric ...

Who knows, she may just spit....

I haven't decided yet if I really like the sort of mauve colored nose ... I may yet pull that out and replace it with something more sedate -- like a steel gray. I'm letting her sit and glare at me while I think about that.

She also might need a sweater vest....after all its cold and she has a fresh "hair cut".

And I finally finished all the fringe on this piece.

Now its on to figuring out what to use to create the necklace part. That may take a day or so.

I finished 4 more arcs the last couple of days.

My routine is totally hosed this morning.

When we got up the house was cold -- like 52 degrees, so I had to call for someone to come and repair the furnace. Fortunately, he came right away, and because I had given him such an accurate description of what was happening, he had the part in hand when he came in the door. The repair took about 20 minutes (the ignitor on the electronic started had "blown up" -- it just looks like a looped piece of flint, and it is a fragile part, so it doesn't take much to damage it) and cost just under $200...OUCH! But as I sit and write this, I'm hearing the happy sound of the furnace running -- which it will do for a while just to get the house back up to our tropical temperature of 62.....meantime the dog is roasting herself in front of the fireplace....and she really like the repair man (who has 3 labs of his own).

Time to try to get something done.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

slogging along -- and its the weekend so its snowing

I'm in the stage of the necklace project where I feel like I'm stuck in "Ground Hog Day" .... fringing looks wonderful, but it is a mind numbing experience to create. I just didn't know it before. Now I look at the front of the current Fire Mountian Gems catalog and have a renewed respect for the brave person that created that necklace, it must have taken FOREVER!!

I'm feeling more positive about this piece, however.

When I did the little pins earlier in the month, I discovered that I had to do less touch up work at the end of the project if I colored in the design first, which is why the field looks green even where I haven't beaded yet. The only down side is that it doesn't make as good an "in process" picture because there isn't so much contrast between where the beads are done and where they aren't. Oh well!

This one is right on target for being ready for the show in 2 weeks.

Meantime, the mittens are done!

And not a moment too soon, I might add. When the dog got me up at 6:30 this morning, it was snowing....AGAIN!! For the 5th weekend in a row......I may run screaming .... not that there is actually anywhere I HAVE to go, but the enforced "you can't go" is really annoying. (Actually we had planned to go visit our daughter this weekend -- and last weekend -- and the weekend before that!)

Maybe next weekend {ok, I'm crossing my fingers, rubbing the rabbits foot and adjusting the horse shoe over the door!}

Moving along on quilt pieces too.....4 more arcs complete, we're now to 31 -- 1 more to go to be 1/3 of the way on the arcs.

time to get a move on.....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

taking a sick day....

I woke up yesterday morning with some sort of stomach complaint and spent most of the day laying low.

I worked on the second mitten some, it is now up over where I split it for the thumb.

I did start on the next bracelet -- I'm working on the malachite one. Doing the bead embroidery was easier than working on the fringe of the necklace.

I did manage 4 more arcs for the quilt. This makes 27, and today I will need to break out the iron and the fabrics and set up some more pieces. Its coming along!

Today I'll try to get back to normal work load....we'll see

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday morning stats....

Well, last week just flew by, and I can't quite believe that its Monday again.

We've been taking down Christmas decor, and it takes us about as long to take it down as it does to take it up, so we're about 1/3 of the way done. (Taking a day out for doctor's appointments did slow the progress slightly)

So, here is the status on the animal projects:

small dog -- closed, ready for face
mouse -- DH is stitching
small wolf -- machine work complete, ready for hand work
flamingo -- stitched, ready for turning and finishing
open mouth bear -- stitched, ready for turning and finishing
fish -- DH is working on this
black sheep -- stitched, ready for turning and finishing
white sheep -- stitched, ready for turning and finishing
open mouth polar bear -- closed, ready for face
horse -- stitched, ready for turning and finishing
penguin -- stitched, ready for turning and finishing
toucan -- laid out
6 assorted miniature versions of animals -- laid out, read for stitching

I'm working my way along on the fringe of the primavera necklace. I had done about and inch of the fringing then picked it all out (must have at least ONE trip to the frog pond!) and started again putting the fringe closer together, and it looks better.

Today I will probably also start on one of the bracelets I have set up.

I finished the first mitten!

Doesn't it look warm? This was pretty much work out the stripe pattern as I went along, but I did make lots of notes, so hopefully the second one will be a close match.

This has to be a record for me in getting a mitten done -- hope the second one goes as fast.

Three more arcs done -- that makes 22.

Today's chores include laundry and more de-Christmasing -- time to get to work

Sunday, January 14, 2007

work complete and work continues

I finished this one last night.

The whole piece measures 1 3/8 inches by 1 5/8 inches.

Now the challenge is to write up the instructions with pictures and drawings to submit to a magazine.

Meantime, it goes into the inventory for the next show, and I go on to work on finishing the necklace.

Progress is being made on the necklace. I got all of the edging beads stitched on last night, so now its on to the fringes -- which should be interesting.

Two more arcs complete! That makes 19.

I worked on my mittens last night too. I have the first on worked up almost to where the thumb splits off. I'm using up scrap yarn from some other projects, and working some patterns in as I go along. The real challenge will be rather I can make the second one match, but I'm not real worried about that ... the point of this whole exercise is to keep my hands warm!

...time's a wasting....

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I'm back.....

been very busy the last few days with doctor visits, taking down Christmas and working for my accounting client, so I just haven't gotten here!

We're in the deep freeze here. These pictures are of the trees in our yard, and that's NOT snow on them, its ice -- the result of heavy fog in 10 degree (or less!) temperatures. Pretty nasty stuff.

This is another in the series of little pins I've been working on. The piece of goldstone in the center I have had for about 40 years, and just now figured out what to do with it.

Odd factoid for the day: Goldstone is not really a stone at all, its glass!

Anyway, as I worked on this one, I took pictures of each step. I'm hoping to write up a complete instruction for it and submit it to a magazine.

And I have now finished the field of this piece -- and yes, this is definately right side up.

Next step is to figure out what kind of fringy edge to put on it.

Two more arcs for the quilt complete, that makes 17 of 96. We're chugging right along.

After our excursion yesterday into the cold, I have decided that its time to knit something for myself -- so I have a pair of mittens on the needles. I have some lovely fleece gloves, but in this weather, they just aren't enough, so I'm making an oversize pair of mittens that I can wear OVER the gloves.....got almost all of the ribbing on the first one done last night.

Time to get to work!