Friday, November 30, 2007

flora, fauna, fairies and the attack of the Christmas lights

As I noted the other day, I have been spending a bit of time doodling....

My daughter calls me every day as she is going home from work and we talk about "things"

Sometimes its how her work day went, sometimes its family stuff, somedays its just odds and ends.

I love hearing about what she is doing and is concerned about, and feel privileged to be someone that she WANTS to talk to.

For the last week or so, I've been picking up a pen and a note pad and just letting the doodles flow -- there is something creatively freeing about letting the pen just move over the paper while I'm talking --- perhaps because that ever present (censoring) right brain is busy forming sentences, the left brain is free to run wild amid the brain fields.....

Then there is this one .... doodled out in pencil while I was "watching" TV (ok, the "boob tube" is on, they're running for the zillionth time a sitcom that I can probably "watching" is probably a misnomer)

I love the little fairy creature!

And last night (after riotously spending $1.19 for 2 special drawing pencils that are softer than the usual #2 lead) as I was drifting off to sleep, I envisioned this little creature becoming a very special Christmas present for my mother who has collected paper dolls for years......

I will be working on this idea to see where it goes.....

Meantime, I thought I'd share these pictures I took last evening of the house across the street from us.

He has a blow up lit Santa, lit candy canes all around the yard, a light up oversized mail box, spiral and stake trees, snowflakes in the tree, lights around the windows and the roof of the garage -- the only thing missing is a 6 foot twirling star -- (I shouldn't mention that perhaps -- he might find one!) Oh yes, all of these FLASH on and off!!

All in all, its a bit much, but at least there is no grinchiness there!

We, on the other hand, will keep this whole decorating to a more sedate level this year -- I'll be putting up the crystal tree in the living room and the usual family room tree with all the wonderful handmade ornaments. Soon....I promise

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sunrise Slippers

About the best thing to be said for the travel time to my closest Costco is that I can knit while we're traveling!

And here, for your admiration, another project complete from the UFO listing, a pair of toasty warm slippers.....this pair should warm by just looking at them, with all the oranges and yellows and hot pink and fushia!

As I was knitting them it was fun to watch the patterning appear and it was kind of fun using 4 different colors and still getting a unified look (yeah, don't waste those small balls of yarn!)

For some reason, since last week's excursion into doodle-ness, I've been scribbling on every little scrap of paper available while I'm talking on the phone (and sometimes even when I'm not!) And then yesterday I was in a bookstore and saw some of the most amazing drawings in a book for kids -- wow! There may be more fantasy flowers and toad stools and little cute bugs forthcoming.

And today I have mailed off the box of afghan squares .... the last one for this year. I'm now trying to decide what my charity goal for next year will, a new countdown ticker will be forthcoming too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

of tote bags and rejection slips

This cartoon appeared in yesterday's paper....

Yes, well, since I have become a confirmed tote bag toter, I found it quite hilarious (partly because it may be true!)

I have completed this project, which was one in the series of "what do you do with the plastic bags the newspaper comes in"

This is a picture of the entire bag which measures 16" deep by 18" wide by 4" thick

and this is a closer picture of the top (a pair of sturdy crocheted handles!), that shows the inside of the bag too.

This one was created by weaving the plastic bag strips onto a cotton warp on a little table top loom.

Last week I recieved another package of plastic bags from my friend in California that included some lovely peach colored ones --- amazing the lengths companies go to to create something that for the most part just gets thrown away

Meantime, as I mentioned yesterday, I had submitted a design project to a magazine, and as they say "bad news travels like wildfire, good news travels slow", in this morning's email was the "thanks but no thanks" as the project uses size 11 beads (which are pretty little) and they are looking for something simplier.....{sigh} more "rejection slip" for wallpapering with.....

Today we're off to make our one a month trip to the closest Costco (about an hour away in good weather, which it really isn't today), then on to the cleaning up the living room for a Christmas tree and back to other projects later......

into the fray!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Return of the Blue Footed Penguin

Perhaps should be titled "Revenge of the Blue Footed Penguin"!

He's been sitting, looking at me blamefully, wanting to know just why he didn't rate the same treatment that all of the other penguins I've made got....

Behold, the return of the Blue Footed Penguin!!

I knit him a cheerful, warm colored scarf......

and while I was at it, I redid his eyes too .... yes, he had eyes before, but I had embroidered them on with yarn, and they just weren't doing it for me

so yesterday I went searching for the shoe buttons that I knew I had on hand and found some blue ones (to match his feet!) and replaced the embroidery

Nice, no?

For those of you watching the project meters, you'll note that the undisclosed Christmas project is definately on the downhill side -- hurrah!!

But I also added more stuff to the UFO counter, so we've just about maintained the status quo

Seems we're not done with this project yet either!

I sent pictures of it to the customer that had originally inquired, and she is going to purchase it (the check is on its way).

Meantime I had recently gotten a copy of a bead magazine that is looking for bead designers to write project articles for upcoming issues, so I will also be submitting a proposal to them for this. (This of course means that I will be making another of these and taking lots of pictures along the way.) I sent off the inquiry to the editor this morning (the deadline for proposals is Jan 2), so now we wait to see if they want the project (I may just go ahead with the write up anyway, cuz if this magazine doesn't want it, someone else might!)

time to get moving.....lots of cleaning and other projects to do

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cold meds + phone call = usable floral doodle?

As I have said several times, I don't draw.

By that I mean Draw as in looking at something and translating what I see to paper with some form of writing implement (pencil, pen and ink, markers, crayon) and the viewer recognizing what it is I was looking at. I mean Draw in the ART sense.

No, I don't draw .....

But I doodle!

In the past my doodling has largely been rows of cubes, sort of like a tumbling blocks quilt, or drawings of tall file cabinets, very structured.

This amazing doodle presented itself as I was talking to my mother on the phone. We were talking about recipes and my dad's health and the weather and that sort of thing ... nothing real earth shattering, and I am still fighting off the demons of the nasty bug I've had for almost a week (oh joy, we're to the coughing stage now)

This doodle has real USABLE potential!!

For a while I've been working on a piece of altered couture -- I rescued a shirt that had shrunk and have been making it into a jacket. The whole theme has been leaves in the greens and rusts of fall. Then there was the amazing show I saw over the weekend about using fusing techniques. And this amazing doodle......

I think I finally have a real direction on where this project is going -- as soon as I finish up some of the Christmas projects! (and this may be another candidate for submitting to Belle Amoire!)

Today however will be more mundane things like cleaning and laundry.....fooey....I'd rather play with fiber...............

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blue Footed Penguin......

perhaps induced by too much cold medicine -- who knows!

Notice that the bottom of this guy's feet are BLUE!

It's my contention that if you stand around on the ice all the time, your feet (or at least the bottoms of them) will turn blue

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Meantime, more progress has been made on a couple more Christmas projects.

As you may remember from yesterday, this was the "quick and dirty" shot I took of the finished eye glass cord.

This one was done by putting the cord in my scanner with a black fur background and scanning it in.

This morning I fiddled about with the black acrylic platform I recently acquired and shot some pictures with my camera.

This one was the best of those shots (IMHO), and I like it better than the one from the scanner.

The problem with the scanner is that the background makes everything look "flat", there's no "flash" like there should be when you look at glass beads.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

creating while drugged.....

it takes me a lot longer to finish things when I'm hazy with cold meds .... ick!

I did manage to finish this 26 inch eye glass cord which is a "maybe" order from the last show we did. I'll be sending off pictures to the gal today and then we'll see what happens next. If she wants it I will be shipping it off to her, otherwise it will get put into inventory for shows.

It took 17.3 grams of seed beads and its worked in right angle weave -- it actually was a kind of fun project, and I might whip up a couple more to use as samples if nothing else because this is something I could actually take orders for.

Meantime, I finished another project from the "Christmas presents" list, and I've now knit more afghan squares than my original goal -- nice!

Ok, its time for me to go back to nursing my cold ----

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gobble, Gobble!

Remember when you were in elementry school and you learned to do these?

I still love those crayons!!

Hope all of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

a better picture

too bad the show was a bust -- the first time in several years that we got skunked -- a real sign that the economy is in the tank when a $15 real stone necklace in real sterling silver is "too expensive" -- don't even think about any of the real "arty" pieces

ok, try to regroup and prepare for our final (all bears and animals) show of the season which is on Dec 2

meantime, I've got Christmas projects to work on .......

Thursday, November 15, 2007

only 18 inches of I-Cord.....

and it took F O R E V E R !!!!

Well, ok, it took me about 2 hours, but in my own defense, I was teaching myself the technique as I went too, so the next project with this edging (who knows WHAT that will be) should go faster -- per inch anyway.

Isn't he cute! Much spiffier than the last two were (at least I think so anyway). Oh yes, this one has a tail which also meant I had to change the "under body" piece to leave an opening for said tail....once again proving that I never met a pattern that I didn't want to fiddle with!!

Yeah, one more project off the UFO list!! Well, actually moved to the "accomplished" column. Of course I've added a couple to it in the meantime....oh well..........

The other project that I spent a lot of time on yesterday can't really be discussed or shown until after Christmas, but it does have its own ticker there on the right side of the blog so I can at least see a measurement of the progress!

Today I will have to spend some time getting stuff together for our show this weekend. We have decided to do a slightly different set up which includes a different table, so I have to find the table cloth for it .... hmmmmm, wonder where I put that.... you see my point!

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

Monday, November 12, 2007

What the.....?

Ok, obviously I was having a bad day on Saturday when I attempted to take a picture of our booth set up for our show.

What we have here is a lovely picture of, er, the floor! I swear, I had not been drinking then OR the night before!! But this seriously looks like a case of "one tequilla, two tequilla, three tequilla, FLOOR!"

We've done shows in the facility several times, but every time we're in a different spot and while we had been told we would have a 10x10 space, we ended up with an 8x10 with the 8 foot being the front, and the original set up we had planned would not work. We had to create the whole thing on the fly -- which might explain the picture!

We actually did make enough to pay a couple more show fees -- as soon as all the credit cards clear -- this is the first show I have ever done where EVERYTHING was a credit card -- wow! Thank goodness I have that set up, or this would have been a very nothing show. Oh yes, and on the very up side, no one stole anything from me this time.

I spent most of yesterday sitting in my recliner dosing or doing a little knitting. After scooping up 12 bags of leaves from the front yard on Friday, followed by being up at 4:30 am on Saturday and doing load in, work the show and load out, I was just wiped out (and suffering from a MAJOR sinus headache too!)

Feeling better today -- thank goodness!! Much as I dislike the cold of winter, a good snow would be good about now to put a damper on the dust of all the leaves.

And so, aside from laundry, I'm not sure exactly what I will be working on today.....a little of this, a little of that......

into the fray!

Friday, November 09, 2007

W.I.P. - Terrapene ornata

Having successfully completed the first 2 of these critters which are purely intended to be toys for very young children, this one is a gift of another type.

Because this is intended for an adult (and because after doing 2 of anything I'm bored and have to make it more interesting), I decided that a pattern of some sort would be more fun (ie challenging enough to keep me working on it) -- I almost did myself in however (typical!).

The first idea was to do stripes that ran up and down the body, but after 3 attempts at that, I gave up and went to this pattern instead -- I had briefly considered doing the stripes AROUND the body, but that was just too "bumble bee" like, so this is the result. (If anyone knows how to do those up and down stripes in knitting, I'd sure like to hear how its done!)

So now its on to the legs and tail (the first 2 didn't have tails, but we're going for challenge here, remember). I'm planning to continue this pattern on those as well. One thing I did notice when I did the stuffing was that the knitting on this one seems much tighter (thus he looks thinner) which I think must be attributable to the fact that you have to carry the yarn not in use behind the one that is and I probably pulled it a bit tighter than was really necessary.

Meantime, yesterday we finished packing up the stuff we needed for this weekend's show, so today we will be loading up the car and doing the other "day before the show" things that we need to do.

time to get to it

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

We're still alive......

having spent a lot of time once again retagging the items that we had taken to last weekend's show so I can take them to a new show this weekend, I finally got to work on new stuff yesterday.

This is a sneek peek of the new pair of earrings that I just finished.

If you'd like to see more about these, use this
link to take a closer look.

And after numerous requests, I finally got the mashed potato tutorial written for Hattie's cookbook and got it posted.

If you ever wanted to know how someone else does mashed potatoes, you can take a look here to see how I do it.

Meantime, work on other projects continues. I have worked on birds and turtles and sweaters and a quilt, and I'm closing in on my goal of 100 afghan squares before Dec 1.

On the whole I've been real busy, I just don't have anything to show just yet. This is pretty typical of the way I work on things tho' -- because I work on many things all at once (keeps down the boredom factor), I may go for weeks with nothing to show for my efforts then all at once there are lots of pictures to take!

Onward and upward!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

TGIF on Sunday

Most people work all week and have the weekend off.

For me, its working on the weekends, and I can tell you that this weekend was WORK!

This is our table all set up on Thursday afternoon.

To begin with, all of the paperwork I had received ahead of time made me believe that we were getting an 8 foot table -- guess again! The table was only 6 foot, so we had to make major adjustments to our set up.

Then as we were putting up lights (I had planned to have 3), one of the clip supports that hold the lamp together broke (and sent all of the little springs and clips inside flying). So there were only 2 lights on the table -- not a major problem since it was a smaller table.

After having had so much stolen from us at the last show we decided that we would be on site for most of this one, so we made the trip up and back all three days.

For all that effort, we sold only 3 of our least expensive pieces, and we probably won't see the check for it for a couple of weeks.

Needless to say, we won't be doing this one again, just not enough traffic to make it worth while.

Saturday afternoon my sister came by and spent some time with me, and stayed to help us pack up. A couple more shows and we'll have her all trained! Its good to have some time to just "chat", and since I was within easy driving for her, it worked out well.

On the up side, I had lots of time in the car, so my afghan square count down is now in the single digits!!

And, I finished this little guy---cute! one more item off the "to do" list of UFOs -- but I'll probably be adding more to the bottom.....its a never ending cycle.

So today we'll unload the car and I'll start thinking about what we're taking to next week's show.......{sigh}