Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Catching up from the weekend

This was our booth at our show on Saturday

Held in a nice little school in the town of Berthoud, the facility was clean and pretty well lit for a school's lunch room

While this was not a real big show, we did sell a couple of small pieces and gave out a lot of cards with our web site information on them

So now there are a few pieces on the "to sew" list, but no hurry on them

Considering the state of the country's financial system just now, we really can't complain

It was also nice to spend part of the weekend with our daughter and her husband who live fairly close to where the show was

Now that we're done with bear shows for the year, I'll be working more on some of the jewelry pieces that have been "on hold" for the last month or so while we prepared for the last two shows.

This is the first of those pieces to be finished

The cab was originally bezeled with the idea of including it in a bracelet I did last fall, but adding it would have made the bracelet too long, so it's just been sitting in the work box.

Since I'm trying to focus on some smaller (and less expensive) pieces for the upcoming school shows, I decided that with the addition of some fringe it would make a nice necklace.

I have a couple more of this type of pieces to do and some more beaded leaves to complete as well, but I have time to do this as the first school show is not until the first weekend in November.

And work continues on the quilt

I finished up this block last night while watching TV

Like the previous one, the edges are all raw, ready to be appliqued to the stripping after I put the other blocks together

So today I will be pulling out all the fabrics to do the last of these blocks -- the center one

Meantime, there are the usual fall house chores to start considering -- the tomatoes seem to be done, so we'll be taking them out soon -- maybe today; the green beans are actually doing better now that its cooler, so we'll leave them in a while longer -- and the pumpkins are starting to ripen -- pictures soon!

Last week, before we went off to do our show I ask our neighbor to move the items on his side of the fence that were making it lean against our tool shed. The plan is to reinforce the fence and hopefully get a coat of paint on the shed

Time to get movin'

Friday, September 26, 2008

odds and ends before a show

like I didn't have enough to do, yesterday morning we decided to make one more of the smaller dodos

this is Darkwing Ditto

cute huh?

actually it was helpful to learn that when I have all of the materials right in hand I can actually make one of these in about 4 hours -- and he's all hand stitched

since I had finished the previous bird quilt block the day before I pulled out the fabrics for the next one

and I've already begun working on it -- all of his tail and about half of the body is already appliqued

The box arrived!

No doubt you're thinking "box? what box?"

This weekend at our show we will be taking orders for Intercal Trading Group -- the people I have bought mohair for my animals from for over 20 years. Since their sales rep can't be at all shows at once, we're trying something new -- this box is full of sample pieces of their fur so you can actually put your hands on the fur before you place that order.

It should be interesting

Here are the details of where our show will be:

5th Annual Berthoud Doll, Toy & Teddy Bear Show
Ivy Stockwell Elementary School
175 Fifth Street
Berthoud, CO
hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, September 27

$3 admission, children under 12 free with parent

mention this blog post when you purchase any single animal over $20 and get a 10% discount (discount does not apply to fur purchases -- there are other price incentives for those)

and just because I can't seem to get myself to any show without some mishap

last night I ran into a door jam

notice the lovely red mark and the blue swelling on the toe

when I hit it I heard the "pop", so I probably broke something

there will be the applying of tape support and the wearing of socks (and probably some limping) Bring on the ice and the advil

So today we'll be loading up the van and heading off to set up -- hope to see some of you at the show!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

feeling "goosie"?

Meet Grace

having completed the duck rework, we just slid right into the goose (must have been that mess on the floor that did it!)

Lovely isn't she -- stands 10 1/2 inches tall on sturdy (wire) legs

she's a looker!

(and hopefully a flyer -- as in right out of the booth this weekend!)

Originally this was supposed to be a bigger bird, but I decided that a life sized goose would just be too much of a transport problem (what, I need to build wire pens now?!), and I wasn't sure that the wire we use for bird legs would support the weight of a larger bird (you'll notice there have been no turkeys here)

now that I've done Grace, I am considering a really ornate rooster -- one of the odd breeds with all the fancy feathers -- we'll see

along with the goose, I finished the piecing of the senegal

you probably can't tell from the picture, but the entire outside edge of this is raw because eventually the white will all be cut away and the bird appliqued to the stripping part of the quilt top

I have one more of this style bird to do (a red eclectus) that faces the other way -- these two will be on either side of the center block (which will be the last one I'll do)

According to my little piece counting chart I've got 2/3 of this put together --- WHOOO HOOO!! Moving right along

So the plan for today, as we are nearing that nerve racking "pack the van" stage is to work on things like photos for the picture book we always have in the booth, and signs for the show (like, how many shopping days there are until Christmas) , and other odds and ends. I'm also still working on jewelry for the Holiday shows we'll do later -- yes, there's always something to do!

time to go get some of it done!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our least favorite project -- Rework

But I'm getting better at it

Perhaps its just that I see the problems and want to fix them

who knows

This is Pinkie II

before picture on the left, after on the right

I changed the nose, shortened the jaw and trimmed the hair on the front of the ears

This is the much discussed rabbit

Before on the far left, after in the center and right side

I redid the face, trimming a lot of the hair down really close and changed the nose and mouth

I still think the biggest issue with the rabbit was my fur selection. I have another fur that I want to make a second rabbit from -- shorter, denser, not curly, very "rabbit like" --

Goldie was "finished" quite a while ago, but because I was never really happy with her mouth, she hasn't seen the table much.

The before picture is the far left.

She got a new nose, and I shortened her jaw and removed the tongue. Also trimmed a lot of the fur around her eyes and on the bridge of the nose

And this is Dannie

On the far left he looks a bit out of focus, but it is just because of all the long fur on his face!

I did a lot of trimming (with scissors and the little razor) to shape his head better and clear his eyes. A little needle sculpting was also done on his nose

The glazing of the face on Grizzlie is now complete

It doesn't make a big difference in the pictures of him, but in person, its a big improvement to have the same "sheen" on the face as the paws

All of these animals will be going with us to Berthoud for this coming weekend's show

I also finished the color painting of the goose feet and stuffing of the bird, so it looks like the new goose will also be going

The piece of jewelry I've been working is also coming along nicely -- I'm hoping to get that finished soon too, even though I don't have a jewelry show for a while.

Today we have shopping to do, so not so much will be done in the studio, but I'm sure a little bit will happen

time to get to it

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm working -- honest!

just no pictures to show for it today

here then is the list of what I did yesterday:

*three loads of laundry -- all washed, dried, folded and put away

*mending -- if this doesn't happen when I think of it, it never gets done -- when I did the folding I found a t-shirt that needed the underarm seam repaired and a hole in the elbow of the DH's favorite flannel shirt -- mission accomplished, the t-shirt seam has been stitched and both sleeves of the flannel shirt now have nifty contrasting flannel elbow patches (remember the wool sweaters with leather elbow patches? like that, only flannel)

*finished stitching the body parts for the goose, wrapped the wire for the feet and gave them the first coat of paint

*put a coat of glaze on the face of the Grizzlie (pictures to follow!)

*finished the hood of the sweater I'm making as a Christmas gift, leaving only the front button band and the sewing up left to complete the project

*finally figured out the set up row on the other knitting project I'm doing for Christmas -- YEAH! (Ok, now I don't feel so stupid about it!!)

*worked on a piece of jewelry that needed a bail, some fringe and a chain -- looking good

*downloaded some pictures for ideas to design a piece for a Mardi Gras competition

Yup, I was busy

time to go and be busy some more!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gotta fly now

or not

okay, we know that dodos were FLIGHTLESS birds

we are still hoping that these 3 will fly right off the sale table this coming weekend!

We've done the two bigger ones before (that would be Darcie on the left and Darkwing on the right.)

The DH says we should name the little one Ditto -- that one is a 75% size of the other two and uses tiny little 4mm eyes -- the smallest size I've ever had (anything smaller just gets black beads)

and how does your garden grow?

the green beans are about done and the tomatoes are slowing down, but these two (along with another acorn squash and a much smaller pumpkin) are still chuggin' along

The pumpkin in particular is a big surprise since the plant we bought was supposedly a sugar pie pumpkin which would be smaller than this one is -- just confirms my idea that perhaps next year we will entertain the idea of planting from heritage seeds

Yesterday I went to the bead society meeting and spent a lot of time explaining my "drag and brag" objects. Interesting group of folks -- it should be fun getting to know them

Today, being Monday, means there is laundry to do, and then I'll be working on the goose and some "tweeking" to some other animals and maybe even work on some jewelry


Sunday, September 21, 2008

1 cute bear, 3 blind birds


Isn't he cute?

He wasn't bad before, but with the new nose and some trimming around the eyes and ears, I think he's a much cuter bear.

And then there are these (so who let Lil' Orphan Annie's cartoonist in here?!)

each and every one having been filled with polyfil and beebees

and the whites of their eyes painted on -- a task which was no easy feat since the jar of white paint I had been using has mysteriously taken wing and was no where to be found, necessitating a quick trip to the local Hobby Lobby in mid afternoon on a Saturday (something I try to avoid!)

So, we have wingless, feetless, eyeless birds -- awaiting the next step in the process -- setting the eyes

perhaps today

perhaps not

I'm going this afternoon to a bead group meeting (you remember me, I work with beads not just fur?) anyway, that should be, mmmmm, interesting

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I can't come back, I don't know how it works....

this was what we saw when we went out to check on the garden this morning!


it was so close we could actually hear the gas jets turning on (whoooosh)

pretty cool stuff

earlier, when we were over at the Farmer's Market there were 6 balloons up -- 2 of them were so far away we couldn't really see what color they were, but the other 4 were close -- and this one was one of them

gee, he followed me home!

new colors all selected for the next bird "block"

this one is not really a block, I'm putting it together on a piece of bleached muslin then the backing will be trimmed away so the bird can be appliqued right on to the stripping of the quilt (I know that's not real clear, but I guess that's because I don't really know how to describe my design process!)

The count down is getting closer -- I have this bird and one other that will be done in a similar manner, then the big center block --- definate progress!

Yesterday I finished stitching up the last of the dodo birds that I want to have finished for next weekend's show. So today's bird stitching will be the goose -- a totally new pattern that I will be making out of a very plush alpaca fabric --- mmmmmmm -- but first I'm going to get all of those dodos turned and stuffed and start in on the eye paint

and so it's into the fray!

Friday, September 19, 2008

birds everywhere

another block complete!

all 69 pieces applied

this is the only big block that is entirely contained in the square

so now it's on to the next bird -- one of the 2 "free flying" ones

Meantime, I did all of the stitching on the dark dodo and have him all ready for stuffing and finishing

today I'll try to get the mini dodo all stitched so that tomorrow I can do the finishing of all 3 at once (this involves steel shot and paint, so it's best to do all three at one time)


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Success -- and failure

It's Brillo!

A cute little wire haired dachshund

he has a pipe cleaner in his tail so it stands up cute

and don't you love the little harness with the ring for a leash (we don't have to have no stinkin' leashes tho') -- I hand made that D-ring out of an eyepin -- one more example of how the many arts I dabble in cross over one another

Now the DH is working on making a pattern for a basset hound -- arrroooooouuuu!

Brillo is a success!!

This, however, is not

Remember my comment yesterday about maybe the water isn't hot enough?

Well, my idea still stands

This went through the Hot/Cold machine setting with lots of blue jeans and towels for friction, and through a HOT setting on the dryer with the same things plus some sock covered tennis balls, and it hardly shrunk at all

I'm bummed

I guess there will be boiling of water and a lot of hand scrubbing --- NUTS!

Managed to get a light colored dodo bird all stitched up yesterday, only to discover that even in this gun friendly area, there is no place I can buy small steel shot which is what I use to weight the tails of these birds -- I have a place in my daughter's area to call today, but failing that I'll be ordering the stuff in the mail -- and the shipping will be as much as the shot!

So today to the dark colored dodo -- and I need to figure out what to make to take to tomorrow's quilt group meeting----gotta get movin'

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Meet Sushi

ok, yes, I know that raw fish dishes are actually called sashimi

but Sushi seems like a such a cute name for a cat!

oh, and check out the adorable fish! (thanks to the DH!!!)

see, I was working yesterday

This is one of the other projects I worked on yesterday

a knitted basket

the idea is to felt it

in fact, its in the dryer cycle as I type (I can hear the accompanying tennis balls going thumpity thump)

I'm hoping to use this in another project -- we'll see how the whole felting thing goes -- the last few felting projects have ended up having to be done in the kitchen in a dishpan and involved boiling water and rubber gloves (and my hands being really sore afterwards) I'm wondering if the new water heater isn't set as hot as the old one was so the machine felting isn't working as well -- we'll see

today's projects include a weiner dog, dodo birds and a goose --- an odd combo to say the least!

Monday, September 15, 2008

survival of the fittest

Before the show there was a lot of work on animals!

The rabbit completed

I'm not really happy with him

I think his head is too small

I will be reworking this pattern!

And this is Ricki

featuring a brand new nose!

freshly dressed with a beret and a hand crocheted bow

this is a big improvement on what the bear looked like before!

and then there is the Grizzlie

The claws survived just fine, thank you

and the wire loops the DH put on the backs of the footpads so I could attach them like oversized buttons (well, sort of) worked just great

Unfortunately, this guy came home with us (he did get lots of looks!), so this week I will be applying the same glaze to his face that we did to his feet, which I think will help unify the look

This was our table

For most of the weekend it rained -- no seriously, it RAINED! as in over 6 inches in about 12 hours -- as in there were tornado sirens during our banquet and trees down all over the place south and west of us and at least 2 artists that couldn't even get there


so attendance wasn't all that great at the show either

there's just no predicting the weather

and it could have been worse, much worse, as we can tell from the horrible pictures we're seeing of the coast of Texas

"naner, naner!"

I got a "sneek peek" copy of John Lamb's new book!

The official release date on this is Oct 1, but he was there at the show, signing copies for everyone -- what a nice guy! (I even had time to have a conversation with him about how he goes about his writing)

On the way back we had W I N D as we were driving through the edges of at least 2 frontal systems -- wow

Took some great pictures in Kansas which I will be writing about soon

time to go deal with unloading the van and doing laundry and getting some food in the house!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Everything's up to date in Kansas City---

we've gone about as far as we can go

Yup, we're here! Safely made the trip across Nebraska -- hit the Wyoming/Nebraska border right about at sunrise (having left our daughter's house about 5 a.m.), but the sunrise was about as much sun as we saw during the day

Cool temperatures, mist, drizzle, light rain and one short area of downpour, and nothing very eventful except the annoying stretches of road construction in Wyoming (where they take you down to one REALLY narrow lane at 65 mph and it was pitch black) and the on going areas in Nebraska -- it will be interesting to see what we encounter on Sunday when we drive back throught Kansas!

Note on the ongoing research: previous observations still hold -- racoons don't blow up

We saw a lot of cows and horses in fields, one herd with a buffalo in with the cows (I'm thinking some of those were beefalo!), two antelope dashing through a field and a large group of alpacas -- at first I thought they were goats (ok, I was seeing them from the back end with their heads down)

I got a lot of work done in the car -- finished the accessories for the bear I was reworking, I'm going to name that one Rickie -- pictures to follow. Also stuffed and closed the rabbit I had started and 2 more eye glass cords -- oh yeah, and an afghan square (I started another square but ended up ripping it out because I didn't count correctly when I cast on -- that's what I get for trying to cast on in the dark!)

So tomorrow morning we can sleep in (which means I'll probably be awake by 7), then I can finish the grizzlie bear and probably the rabbit before we go to set up at 2 --- considering how stressed I was feeling on Tuesday evening, I'm pretty mellow now

so -- time to think about sleep!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Nearly ready

Remember these from a week or so ago?

I finally got the faces done!

Just in time, since we will be leaving tomorrow to take the dog to our daughter then heading off to Kansas City for the Good Bears of the World Jubilee

If you are in the Kansas City area, please join us on Saturday! Bring along a copy of this blog and I'll honor it as a coupon for 10% off the purchase of any item of $20 or more.

Monday, September 08, 2008


from a LLLLLOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG weekend show -- wow!

this was home sweet booth

We did our set up on Friday morning, and spent most of the day huddling with our sweatshirts on because it never got very warm

On Saturday it was better -- warm enough for shirt sleeves, still cool enough to be comfortable in jeans

And Sunday was quite warm

just the typical kind of thing you get here in the mountain West! We're grateful that there was no rain/snow/hail and that the wind was light

Our jewelry was well received. We made sales and got great feedback from other artists.

One designer that was visiting the fair stopped and talked for quite a long time and gave me some ideas to improve several of the older pieces

So beware! In coming months you will see a lot of "Reworking" going on!

On Sunday afternoon my sister came to visit and pick up a hat.

As she has done several time in the past few years she stayed to help out with the tear down -- something that is greatly appreciated!!!

She brought me this little piece of heaven --- mmmmmmm, yummmy, DARK, unsweet (but not bitter) CHOCOLATE -- 87% cacao -- a lovely 2 oz bar that is neatly divided into little pieces inside to allow for resting a small chunk on your tongue and just letting it dissolve away ---- mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

This bar is just the chocolate, but the same company makes several other bars -- I may have to check them out too

I have not done much on quilt projects or Christmas knitting or bears the last 3 days, but I did manage to finish one afghan square a day in the car -- if I do as well when we travel next weekend I'll be able to ship off a box when we return!

Today, after I finish the HUGE pile of paperwork that always accompanies a show (no job is done until the paperwork is complete!), doing the laundry and making a trip to the store I hope to get at least 2 bears complete.

Someone remind me when I'm scheduling shows next year that shows in two different media on back to back weekends is a BAD idea -- we leave Thursday morning for the Jubilee in Kansas City! AAAACCCCCKKKK!!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's Show Time!!

Yes folks, we're doing a show!!

Last Minute Change: The show has been moved from Curtis Park to Cherry Hills Marketplace, 5910 South University Blvd, Greenwood Village, CO 80121

(I was notified late this afternoon of this change!!)

Show hours are: Friday (Sept 5) from noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday (Sept 6) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

(Bring along a print out of this blog post and I'll give you a 10% discount on any single item over $20 you purchase)

With all the driving back and forth to the State Fair Grounds I have completed another vest for Warm Woolies

This and the sweater I finished in July will be going off to them next week.

Since I'll be making 3 trips to Denver and back this weekend, I hope to get some afghan squares finished too -- still need a few to finish up the box of those.

Today I'll be retagging all of the jewelry that we had entered in the fair and packing things for our show.

Guess its time to get to that!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

nothin' to see here

that is, there are no pictures of anything because everything is at that "in process, doesn't look like anything yet" stage

Yesterday the DH got the stitches out of his thumb, and aside from it looks a bit odd just now, he's better than he's been in being able to use that hand for a while -- YEAH!

After we did a couple of other errands, we got some work done in the studio.

We've been working on a bear that is a joint effort -- it has a polymer clay sculpted face, as well as polymer clay foot pads and claws. I'm stitching away on the fur body (the head, body and one leg are done!), and he's working on the feet -- the face being already completed

other projects are progressing too

another leaf necklace in process - the leaf medallion is complete and I've started on the "chain"

another bird block is being worked on

the 2 Christmas knitting projects are moving along

So today we will be going back to the State Fair Grounds to pick up our stuff -- and our ribbons -- and hopefully soon we'll get our prize check too

Have I mentioned another project that I've started? (Ok, I know, there are always at least a dozen of these!!) As I type this I'm listening to the steady whirrrrrr and slooooshh of the rock tumbler running. A while back I saw an article somewhere that talked about making "beach glass" by using a tumbler. Since I don't live near a beach, I thought that would be worth trying. After reading through the article again over the weekend to see what supplies I would have to buy, I discovered I had everything I needed right here at home! (now that has got to be a FIRST!!)

So, the tumbler is full of sandbox sand and water and pieces of blue glass from a broken (on purpose!) wine bottle. I have no idea exactly how long this will take, but each day I open, stir and check and put it back on the machine to tumble some more. Right now the pieces are starting to loose the sharp edges of where they were broken. The time this takes gives me a chance to think about the design possibilities -- I'm thinking of using pieces of shell and some polymer clay faces in this piece --- have to order some drops and fringe beads to do the edges

anyway, I'll try to get some pictures up here soon!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

more leaves fallin' and birds flyin'

Finished up another of the leaf necklaces yesterday afternoon
and began work on another one!

the next one has two of my bead leaves and a large glass piece that I had purchased several years ago, but until now had no idea how to use it so it would hang properly

I hope to have that one finished by this weekend's show too

having finished the red bird, it was time to get out the fabrics for the last corner block -- the gray parrot

its a rather boring color selection -- all deep grays and blue grays -- but I guess if there weren't a few like this one we wouldn't appreciate the bright colored ones!

I've been stitching on a bear that we hope to have ready for our Kansas City Show which is the 13th of this month -- that one is progressing nicely

today we have some errands to run, but I hope to get quite a bit done anyway


Monday, September 01, 2008

let them eat cake!

just when you thought it was safe to look ---


this was the promised anniversary cake that I made for my daughter and her husband

and I can tell you it was quite tasty!

another bird is complete

I finished this one up last night, so today I'll be pulling out the fabrics to begin the next one

its coming right along!

meantime, work progresses on another leaf necklace, and the Christmas knitting objects are doing well too

today, of course, I'll doing laundry, but probably working on other projects too