Sunday, June 29, 2008

baaaaaaaah, baaaaaaah

another of the lamb blocks complete!!

this one should have been a black sheep --- I had the body about half done when I realized that I had trimmed one of the foot pieces too short and it wasn't going to work

sooooo, I took the body off, removed the offending foot and replaced it then went back to the body

ah! much better! Right now the block is drying from the "spritzing" I did to remove the markings, then it can be pressed.


here we have the last parts and all of the parts

by now this is becoming really clear (I think!)

hopefully today I will get this put together and finished then put it away for the finishing of the quilt

I think its going to be cute!

I did the kitting up for the last of the angel panels. It took a while sorting through the fabrics as I wanted to keep the style of fabrics close to the same and the sky, frame, skin, wings and halo colors are all the same, but I needed to color coordinate the rest of the pieces. Mission accomplished!! I can start in on this one this afternoon.

Progress was made on the beadwork too, and I've started playing with design ideas for some new beaded bracelets.

Meantime work continues on the website coding -- have finished the coding for the main jewelry page, the pins, earrings, bracelets and strung necklaces -- which leaves the pages for the art clay, the set stones, the beaded necklaces and the other jewelry like pieces (like badge lanyards, etc) to be written -- those of course are the bigger pages (the beaded necklaces being the longest list and I'm not sure if I will have to build individual pages for the pieces themselves or not) -- it is progressing, tho', and I'm hoping to get some of it loaded up soon.


Green Beans!!

so far they're looking pretty good, the dog is (mostly) staying off of them, and the birds didn't eat the seeds

I'm pleased

and here, being pointed at by the big yellow arrow, is the very first pepper!

isn't it cute?

ok, its little, but I'm already looking forward to being able to pick it. It also looks like a couple others have "set" on the other plant

and these little lovelies are tomato blooms

when we lived in California and plants this small started to bloom we used to knock the blooms off to let the plant get bigger, but we're not doing that here -- the growing season is just too short and there is always the danger of hail destroying the whole garden

while the DH mows the back yard I will be weeding and giving each little plant a shot of Miracle Grow food

Its looking good!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Angels all around?

Another panel complete!

last night I finished the last border piece on Gabriel

I have to say that I am quite pleased with how these are coming out!

So now I will have to spend some time pulling out all of the fabrics to start on the third (and final) panel -- Raphael

moving along!!

progress on this piece of beading

I started this last weekend and it is going really well

unlike most of the pieces of bead embroidery, I had no real clear "mind picture" of this one before I began -- I picked out the large pieces (the glass, quartz, bone face and the leaf beads) and "fiddled" with them until I like the placement, then I drew around them on the sheet of paper so I had something to trace onto the pelon for a guide

after that its been a "free for all" -- after I finished the bezels around the big stones, the DH asked me if this was going to be another piece with open spaces -- I hadn't thought about it, but I liked the idea, and so, there are now open spaces (currently circled with beads -- the edges get finished when I put the backing on)

so, we'll see where this one goes next

another piece of the mystery project

completed last evening

I can also report that the individual pages of the new website are coming along. These things take some time, but so far, I'm pleased with the look

time to get to it!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The products of my labors

Here they are in all their glory

Two boxes of knitting, fresh off the "sticks" on their merry little way to two of the charities that I knit for.

The big white box contains all of these

They are going to Close Knit Hugs to be made up into afghans that will be given to folks in areas where natural disasters have driven people out of their homes and uprooted their lives. The whole idea here is to let them know that someone out here CARES!!

45 afghan squares

each and every one different

(its a variety pack!)

If you can knit, even a bit, this is a great cause that you can get involved in easily and you'll feel good about it!

The smaller brown box has these items

These are all knit of wool yarn

These are going to Warm Woolies.

These are a bit more than an afghan square, but still pretty easy even for a beginning knitter.

Today's challenge to you all: Do something for someone else -- you'll feel better for it!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

working on the web site

it has been brought to my attention that despite my best intentions to revise my website and get a bit of EVERYTHING (well, at least almost everything) that I do put on it, it hasn't happened yet

yes, I know the road to hell is paved with good intentions

I usually do this website revision during January and February, but frankly I was battling with other demons at that point

So the last couple of days I've been doing some page design and drawing the new graphics that I need to make this "new look" happen

these are just a sampling of the many that I have drawn, colored, cut out, scanned with the "busy" background, then cropped and saved as files that will work to be clickable buttons on the site

I know, there are some folks that would have done all of this on the computer, but I enjoy the "old fashioned-ness" of drawing the letters and symbols by hand --

and as far as I'm concerned the only thing better than a huge box of colored pencils and markers is an equal number of tubes of beads in as many colors --

or an equal size stash of fat quarters --

you get the idea -- I just like the "touchiness" of the whole process

so, now today I'll be working on the coding for the new page -- this is where what I want to see on the screen runs head on into knowing how to make that so -- and sometimes there is frustration and swearing and a lot of "nope THAT didn't work" in this process

I know there are "WYSIWYG" website builders out there, but I want to understand it on my own, and I want control of the code and I'm too tight to spend the $$ for one of those programs which I would then have to figure out how to use --

so there will be more fiddling and drawing and tweaking and loading -- and hopefully soon a real "live" website with some of my stuff available directly for sale and lots of pictures of everything I work on

bear with me here

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

progress on more projects......

You get another shot at guessing what these might be ....

The count is slowly growing -- 5 parts done, 4 to go

Finished the first block of the baby quilt last night

it hasn't been pressed yet because I still can see a faint blue around the edge of one of the feet, so it needs another "squirt" with the mister

I'll be moving on to the next block today

The second panel of the archangels piece has only 3 more pieces to be added! This one looks pretty good too. Pictures by the weekend!!

this project is complete and ready for next month's meeting of the quilt group

this block is called Friday the Thirteenth

I have no idea why, but since that was my first day of attending, it seemed appropriate -- I still need to make up a little card to go with it, but I'm done in plenty of time!

Last summer I tried and tried to get someone to mow down the huge weeds in the field behind our house to no avail.

Yesterday they were out there mowing it all down.

Now that the construction is going to get started its to their convenience to do this, so its worth while --- it just wasn't worth while to them to be good neighbors last summer

C'est la vie

Today its off to do our monthly trip to Costco --- time to get moving!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

another "what is it?"

Yup, another one of these strange items came off the needles last night

The pile is growing

what is it?

This is why I make my daughter a sweater every Christmas!

(I also make pjs -- at least some of the clothes in her house are made in the U.S.A.!!)

And this just speaks to my strange sense of humor --

got to love that raveled sheep!!

Things are slowy returning to what resembles "normal" around here -- the van got emptied and the tent, etc., put away.

Back to working on jewelry and bears and quilts and knitting!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekend show review and new projects

We spent our weekend doing a show in Canon City, CO.

We had done this show before, but not in this venue -- it used to be in a park down by the Arkansas River, right where the train that goes to the Royal Gorge comes by it.

This was our booth.

We actually made a small profit on this show -- hurrah!!

I can tell you that I'm draggin' my tail this morning -- in the process of setting up, manning and tearing down a booth, I obviously use different muscles than I do in other activities -- I've got lots of sore spots today!

As I mentioned, the show was at a new venue -- The Abbey Winery grounds.

This is the kind of bottle they put one of their wines in.

I went and "made nice" to one of the tasting room staff to get my hands on this little gem (yes, its empty, I got it that way)

I have BIGGGGG plans for this that includes breaking (YES!!), tumbling and future beading

But first we're going to experiment with a more mundane green bottle that we have on hand -- and maybe a brown one too

I think these are shells from hickory nuts (someone tell me if they know otherwise!)

Our booth was set up right under the tree and I picked these up

Got plans for them too that include soaking (and possibly boiling), making of molds from polymer clay and (Yup!) more beading

As is usual when I do a show where I take my beading, I try to have something on hand to work on.

For one thing, I want folks to understand that these beauties are created by hand, by me!

For another thing, it keeps my hands busy so I'm not tempted to spend a whole weekend snacking!!

This is the piece that I just sort of "threw together" on Friday evening, and I have to say that so far I'm real pleased with it.

When I did the bezzeling around the face (that's a piece of carved bone I've had for quite a while), it was deeper at the top than the bottom, so I used a slightly different technique where I did some extra beading across the top of the bone that helped hold it instead of making the entire bezzel taller (I didn't want to cover any more of the face than I had to).

I liked the results so well that I decided to put some additional details on top of the "wing" bead too.....

This piece promises to be another very unusual one

As also sometimes happens at a show, I spend time looking at the pieces that are complete and on the table.

This weekend I pulled these two pieces to undergo a "make over"

I'm planning to add more "fringe" to the bottom of the tiger eye piece and possibly submit it to a magazine for publication.

The leaves are cool, and they get lots of comments at shows, but I think they are just too much and the "chain" is too short, so I plan to remove each leaf from the "chain" and remake this into at least 2 necklaces -- maybe more.

We'll see how that goes.

And this is the only other thing I did this weekend --- this is yet another piece of the previously shown mystery project

Any more guesses about what we're making?

So today its paperwork (after a show there is ALWAYS paperwork) and laundry and unloading the van and just trying to recover!

time to get started

Friday, June 20, 2008

by any other name....and a complete project!

Yes, I finally finished it

just not quite in the way I had planned

There was this little "problem"

as I was starting to "zip" the tube up, the thread broke

I was definately NOT going to try again with the 15s since those require me to use that fine thread

So I just went back to the size 11s and finished it up yesterday afternoon

It looks pretty good tho', don't you think?

the single rose bush on our property is blooming

these are about the best looking roses we've had the whole time we've been here

(with minimal aphids this year too!)

anyway, I thought I'd take a picture and share

and then there is this

the trailer and the uuber-large dumpster arrived sometime yesterday afternoon

we had been told there would be some building on the empty field behind us, and I guess its really going to happen

stay tuned for updates (film at 11? -- no film from me, but lots of pictures, I promise!)

So today we go down to Canon City to set up our booth for this weekend's show -- I must admit that I'm happy that we get to do it this way because setting up the tent is about my least favorite thing to do, especially when I have to do it and put out all of my inventory in less than 2 hours. Doing the tent set up early makes the inventory process the next day a lot easier!

gotta get movin'

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Bean" busy......

This is the new part of the garden.

Notice the lovely pink tape around it.....

This was done in hopes of keeping the "big black dog" off of the lovely soft damp soil so the plants might have a hope of actually growing!

Oh yes, this is what we planted!

Two of these packets were bush beans and the third one is pole beans -- that's why the extra pair of black posts at the far right side of the garden patch.

When we get paid next week we'll be making a trip to the hardware store for some cotton cord to string between those posts for the pole beans to climb up.

Just as a passing note on how things have changed in the time we've moved here. The last time I planted beans I bought ONE packet of seeds and had plenty to fill a much larger space than this. Each of the bush bean packets had 14 seeds in it -- the pole bean packet had 12 seeds and pieces of one more.......but don't think the price of the packet of seeds was any less, you know it wasn't......

It looks like I'm actually going to get the fluorite necklace finished for the show -- I started zipping up the chain yesterday

time to get busy!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

oh look, there's TWO of them......

Ever notice how knitting the second one of anything goes so much faster?

Nope, I'm still not telling what this is

just the current W.I.P.!

it will become clear eventually

Worked on the "chain" of the current jewelry piece yesterday -- I've managed to do about 13 inches of RAW (that will eventually be "zipped" into a tube), and need to do about 9 inches more --- it takes a lot longer to do an inch when you're working with size 15s! I'm still hopeful about getting it finished by Friday.

Now that we finally have warm weather, we've been working outside some. Yesterday the DH used the little rototiller attachment that goes on the motor for the string trimmer to turn over a section of the back terrace -- we're going to plant some green beans in there today (I'm soaking the seed first).

While the planting is going on I'm going to be looking through a box of miscellaneous stuff we brought with us from California for doing drip irrigation -- I'd like to set up a little system that puts the water right on each little plant but does it all at once with one hook up to the hose.

I had a system like that in our backyard garden in California.

I know I won't be able to ever duplicate this lush green-ness here in the desert, but to put the water in the right place to grow some veggies is the point this summer.

I'm guessing that after I go through the box I'll have a shopping list that will have to wait until pay day to be taken care of, but its a start.

Ok, enough with the pictures making me homesick -- time to get to work here

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

quiz for the day

and just what is this little lovely?

not edible, tho' it sounds like it might be

all will be revealed eventually

When I went to the quilt group last week there was discussion about making pieces for a quilt for one of the members -- the group had just finished doing a "round robin" deal where the participating ladies had begun a strip quilt and passed it around among the 6 or so that were doing the project and this month they did the "reveal". There had been one lady that made pieces for every one else, but hadn't started one of her own. The group decided to make one for her as a surprise.

All of that was said to say, I'm working on a strip in shades of blue that is 60 inches wide and about 12 tall -- I decided on a block that is called Friday the Thirteenth because that was the first day I went to the group

Anyway, last night I cut out my templates (from cardboard) so I can go mark up and cut the pieces. Usually I do all my quilts by hand, but this one will be stitched up on the machine

Started a new piece of jewelry too. Its a really pretty piece of florite that has very definate purple and clear stripes. I've encircled the oval, and now I'm working on the chain -- RAW in size 15 seed beads the same colors as the stone in sort of random stripe patterns. I'm hoping to get it all finished before the show this weekend.

I had been trying to get something set up to work on during the show in bead embroidery, and its just not happenin' --- seems like every idea I have come up with would involve ordering a fairly large number of beads, and I'm just not willing to spend the $$ right now.......we'll see if any other ideas occur by the weekend.

time to get to it!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ebay-ing again......

So, I spent a couple of hours writing code, etc., etc., and listed 2 bears on Ebay yesterday.

This is Marmie -- a one of a kind mohair bear that stands up all on her own!

Her auction is here

And this is Miss Emma -- from my folk art series

Miss Emma's auction is here

Here in the studio we'd really appreciate your support!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Its finished!!


Finally finished it up

While I never did figure out a way to make it "metal free", it is now strung together (just in time to go to the show we're doing next weekend)

It measures 22 inches long, and because the center "ring" is held by sliding loops, it lays quite nicely around the neck.

And so now its on to some other ideas -- I've got a couple of glass cabs that look like eyes that I'm trying to figure out what to do with -- theatre masks keep coming to mind

we added a new plant to the garden yesterday -- actual this is 2 pumpkin plants

We planted it on the other side of the steps that go up the terrace in the garden, so it will have enough space to "sprawl" -- we use pumpkin in both sweet and savory cooking, so if it does well, I'll be happy to have as many pumpkins as we can get from it.

work on other projects continues -- last night I finished the first skein of yarn in the current mystery Christmas project, so its moving right along. The background piecing of all four of the corner blocks for the baby quilt have been done (I'm working on piecing the center block, then its on to the applique). The quilting on the log cabin and the applique on the angel panels are also continuing.

on the whole, I've been pretty productive the last few days

let's see what I can get done today

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Photo Shoot and stash building on the cheap

These two bears will be going out on Ebay soon (it takes me a while to do all the code writing to post on Ebay, so hopefully tomorrow evening at least one of them will be ready!)

So this morning we had the great "photo shoot"!

This is always sort of fun -- I turn on all the lights around the photo cube -- brush each bear so the fur lays straight -- then its fronts and sides and backs and head shots -- lots of pictures -- then on to the computer where I crop and tweek each picture for the best color and detail

Its at this point that I sometimes send a bear back to the "operating room" for some minor (or even major) surgery

I can report that today's photo shoot didn't send either of them back for repairs -- we're good to go!

These are the fabrics I have selected to use for the baby quilt.

The yellow, blue and greens will be the blocks, the black and white will be the sheep.

Of course there will be a few other colors as I plan to put some flowers around the big sheep in the middle block, but this is basically what I will be using.

I had to go and buy the yellow as I didn't have anything that worked with the blue/green combo, and now I'll be on the look out for some fabric that has lambs printed on it to use for the back (we'll see how that goes).

While I was picking up the yellow for the baby quilt, I found these in the "goodie basket" -- just love to build my stash with fabrics that have been marked down! The most expensive of these was a whole $0.79!! Got to love that.....

Yesterday morning I went off to my first meeting with the quilt group. I had run into a great gal in the Hobby Lobby last week when my sister and I ventured out on a craft supply run and I was invited to join the group.

What a fun bunch!! We had "show and tell" (or as some of us refer to it as "Drag and Brag"!), worked on projects, yacked away and had a great potluck lunch -- soup, corn on the cob, bunches of fresh fruit and a couple of sweet goodies too

They meet once a month, and I'm already looking forward to the next meeting

time to get moving on projects!