Sunday, May 31, 2009

mittens and doodles

another mitten all done!

This is mitten number 1 in pair number 3

the first knitting I have done on bamboo needles --- they are so light, so smooth, so easy to work with ---- very nice

so, on to the other half of the pair!

and here are some doodle critters that I did while I was hanging around in waiting rooms for medical stuff this past week

not bad, not bad

my favorite is the giraffe leaning down to eat grass

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Final pieces, sticky stuff and a "freebie"

Ok, these don't look like much, but they are the last pieces I needed to create before the great "put together the giraffe" work

These are eyelids (trust me here!)

So now I can sit at the table and put all the pieces together

Pretty exciting!!

Pictures of the process and the finished project to follow

mmmmmm, more jam!

This is the time of year when the berries are in season and the grocery stores here put them on sale at really good prices

This is Bumble Berry jam

Part raspberry, part black berry, part strawberry

all absolutely yummy

Oh, and that little dish there? There was just a bit left over when we filled the jars --- can you tell I've been dipping crackers in it (shhhhh, don't tell!)

This is my victory over the grocery bill for the week

Now that Kraft has taken the MSG out of most of it's salad dressings, I watch for the coupons in any publication that has coupons, and I watch for the grocery store to put the stuff on a sale (which they do really often.

Yesterday we were in Walmart to pick up 50 feet of plastic fencing (I need to keep the labrador out of my garden!), so we decided to walk around and pick up a few other things we needed.

They had a big display of the salad dressing priced at $1.33 per bottle. I had a coupon for $1.50 off the price of a bottle.

Yes folks, Walmart paid me $0.17 to carry this out of their store

Victory is sweet (or it's light italian in this case)

In case you're wondering, yes, I'm still working on the bead pieces. But for as delighted as I was to get the letter telling me I'd finally been juried into the show in St Joe's the end of August, I am equally unhappy at this point as I'm not going to get to do the show ---- I get to have major surgery this summer instead.

{sigh!} ok, everyone tells me I'll feel a lot better afterwards and next summer will be just great, but I'm bummed none the less

Anyway, I'll get to those beaded pieces, and I'll post pictures when I do

time to get busy

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

more giraffe

the horns for the "little" critter are done

these are also crocheted

now it's on to the eyelids, then I can spend a day putting him all together


Work continues on the beaded balloons and the birds in the mist

Hopefully I get something done today between the medical appointments and the needed shopping trip

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

giraffe ears and bookcases

no, I didn't finish the giraffe and just forget to tell you all about it

I've sort of been working on other things (what a surprise -- NOT!)

Anyway, these are the ears

I needed to create something that would curve and come to a point but not require turning and using a wire

So although the giraffe is knitted, the ears are crocheted

Now it's on to the horns and eyelids (yes, I said eyelids!)

And this is now in the living room!

The bookcase that the DH designed and built to match the bench (remember the bench?) , all to go with my loom.

The bookcase has a "wicked" history of it's own, being that it was the piece he was working on when he had the close encounter with the rip blade of the circular saw (which is healing up very nicely, thanks)

So now what I really need to do is move some things around so I can actually put things away in the bookcase, then repair the loom and get it warped up.

{sigh!} so many projects, so little time!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tulip in Etsy Shop!

Tulip is now available in my Etsy shop.

You can check her out here !

Thanks for looking!!

another finished object and a progress report

Ta Da!

The second pair of mittnz complete!!

That makes 2 pair in this size, so the next size will be bigger.

Now that I have that pair of size 4 needles I can do any size I want from this pattern, and since I basically have the pattern memorized, I'm not likely to change patterns!

only 14 more mittnz to knit!

Worked on both the beaded birds and the balloons yesterday --- looking good

A while back (ok, three years ago!) I had an idea to do a beaded piece of a street in downtown Atchison, KS. At the time I wanted to try to make it into something that could be worn. I've decided to revisit the idea, but as individual buildings that will be in small frames. I'm pretty excited about the possibilities.

So, today (being as it's Monday) I'm doing laundry and hopefully working on more beadwork!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Puttering about

This is what happens when the grocery store puts fruit on sale for $1.00 a basket

We bought 10 baskets --- ate one right away on cereal (mmmmmm, fresh raspberries on cereal)

Two baskets went into the freezer to be used to make this yummy cake that the DH came up with

And 6 baskets got made into jam

Ah, the lovely "ping!" sound the jar lids make as they are sealing themselves

Pretty, pretty raspberry jam --- like a mouth full of sunshine on top of the slice of toast


Remember I said there were issues to be dealt with in our set up?

Well, our local fabric store was having a sale for the Memorial Day weekend, so we went to take a look

Those baskets are a sort of corn husky outside, and we plan to paint them a silver gray and use them for carded pins or earrings in our booth.

The fabric is an upholstery fabric they had on sale. It has a lovely stone on blue grey pattern on one side with the reverse side being --- well, reversed!

The plan is to make up some display pieces for the beaded jewelry using this fabric.

Oh yes, that picture frame was in the garage --- we've been hauling it around for a while. We plan to paint it the same color as the baskets and put a padded covered panel inside that we can pin a beaded piece to for display.

And, I started reworking this piece yesterday

This was the very first bead embroidery piece that I designed, and originally it was made up as a necklace.

About a year and a half ago I decided it would work better in a frame, but I just hadn't done anything about it.

During Friday's trip to the craft store, I found an oval wood frame that I think will be perfect.

So, now I'm reworking this piece to fit

(Nothing like actually getting into a show to get me motivated to work on stuff!!)

The DH filled the little problem in the frame (hey, when you get a frame for $1.00, you expect to do some work!), so now it's ready for me to start painting


Saturday, May 23, 2009

New projects and good news

I made a trip to the craft store yesterday.

We were looking for the plastic cleaner solution for the balloon project.

They evidently don't make it anymore (we last used it about 8 years ago!), and we decided that we could use alcohol to clean it instead.

But since we were in the craft store, we decided to take a walk down the "clearance" row ---- and lookie here!! Five new styles of birdhouses!

So while I'm working on repairing the one that got damaged last weekend, I'll also be working on these.

I especially like the windmill one -- and yes, that really does turn!!

Guess I'll be doing a bit of research to figure out five new birds too --- well, only four --- the barn needs an owl, so that one is already decided.

So now we start in on the wood works --- removing the little rods that are on the fronts and installing something actually long enough to perch the bird on, sanding all the surfaces, putting on the primer coats, figuring out color schemes --- cool!

I also got wire to start making the beaded flowers for the flower pots. And a pair of size 4 straight bamboo knitting needles. And a wood frame with an oval opening for a beaded piece I'm reworking. Your basic eclectic shopping basket at the craft store.

And after having been to the craft store and bought the birdhouses, which at the time I had no real idea where I would even take them when I finished them, the mail man brought this envelope.

I knew from the feel of the envelope that it was an acceptance letter, but I tried not to get too excited --- after all, I had applied to this show last year and been accepted, except they had put me in the "crafter" area, which is NOT where I wanted to be.

Was it the magic words "Mixed Media" on my application that did it this year? Was it a different jury panel? Is it just finally my turn?

Who cares --- the letter is from The Fine Arts Chairman! We got in!!!

This means I need to get more pieces done and figure out the display issues --- and I have until the end of August to do so as the show is August 21 through 23 in St. Joseph, MO.

Ok, I'm still doing a little virtual happy dance --- and thinking about what I'm doing next.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A really BIG finished object

After working on this for months in bits and pieces I'm delighted to say that it is FINISHED!!

This began as a project to follow along with a pattern that had started over at Mason Dixon Knitting, but it just took on a life of it's own.

First of all, I can tell you that absolutely NOTHING was purchased to create this loveliness. In fact, about 90% of the yarns I used were recycled from a sweater of my daugher's and a sweater of the DH that had ceased to be useful clothing and I decided to "un-knit" and use the yarn for something else.

There is something very "Gee's Bend" about this. Little odd shapped pieces, an interesting spatter of different colors all tied together with the gray (which was the duster style sweater of my daughter's, which she wore all through college).

When I started this project, I wasn't at all sure what I would do with it, but I have since decided that it will be a perfect Christmas gift for my friend in California who has been fascinated with the Gee's Bend ladies ever since we first heard about them.

So, one more Christmas present done!!

Remember the balloon drawings from yesterday?

Well, here are the graphs, all ready for me to start in with creating each of the balloons.

We were in the hardware store yesterday and picked up a piece of plexiglass that is big enough that the DH can experiment with the painting on the back without worry of ruining the only piece available. We still need to pick up some other materials -- like the bottle of conditioning coat (sort of like the clear undercoat in a manicure) that goes on the plastic before the paint.

We're moving along!!

I was also in Walmart yesterday --- our once a month journey for those things that are absolutely the least expensive in that location.

Magazines are one of the things I buy there, and this time there were two that I couldn't pass up.

The beading magazine is full of techniques that I want to experiment with, and pictures from the latest bead competition winners.

The Quilting Arts will be a month's worth of reading and probably the source of some inspiration --- possibly for some projects when we go to California to "hob nob with other wizards" in June.

I already have a full page in my spiral notebook jotted down for online searching, and I've barely started to read the articles!


Ok, so it's time to get busy

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Good Things in Small Packages

If you are a long time reader, you may remember my talking about creating this little quilt for a magazine's challenge. It wasn't accepted for publication and it came home to me.

Since then it has been sitting in it's little baggie on the top of my desk.

This week it's going off in the mail as a donation to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. I hope it raises some money to help the cause! If you'd like to read more about AAQI, use this link, if you're a quilter, I highly encourage you to get involved!!

Have I mentioned recently that I always seem to have several projects running at once?

Right now I'm just tired of building pieces that are somewhat like production work, and since I don't have another confirmed show for a while, I've decided to work on a piece that I did the first rough sketches for about 2 years ago. (Yes, this is why I make notes and draw rough sketches, otherwise those ideas just evaporate into the ozone!)

This then is the layered drawing that I've just done for the project.

When I do these, I use a piece of heavy drawing paper for the background, then pieces of tracing paper for each "layer" of the design.

The plan is to make 4 beaded balloons that will be suspended inside a shadow box style frame and to replace the solid back of the frame with a piece of plexiglass (that we can paint some things on) that will let the light shine through the piece.

So, now that the layered drawing is complete, it's time to start in on the detailed graphs for each balloon.

It's been hot here the last few days.

So why, you may ask, am I knitting wool mittens?

Well, these will all be donated to a good cause at the end of summer.

There's something good to be said about knitting small things when it's hot --- it's not so big that it's all draped over me making me hotter, for one thing.

I think I'm knitting the warmth of the summer sun into each mitten to keep all those little hands warm through the winter.

I hope it works

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The damages report

To any of you that came looking for me late Saturday or Sunday, you have my sincere apologies.

For me at least this show was direct from H*!!

We arrived at 11:00 a.m. on Friday morning to set up and had to wait for half an hour for the person in charge to show up and tell us where to set up.

Here is a picture of our booth.

If it looks like we're sitting in the street, it's because we practically were --- the back edge of the tent was about 3 inches from the edge of the curb.

And the wind! Oh let me tell you, it never stopped.

The whole time we were there I was picking things up after the wind blew them off the table. In the picture on the left hand side you can see that I had two framed pieces up, but I gave up on that after they were blown off too.

This picture shows the damage that was done to one of the pieces. All of the little bunches of glass flowers were knocked off the roof and many of the individual flowers around the base of the birdhouse were also damaged.

I'll have to figure out how to repair or rework this piece.

It's not that I haven't done shows in adverse conditions. We worked through some pretty strong winds in Atchison, KS a few years ago, and when we went to a show in St. Joseph, MO it rained most of the weekend, but in both of those cases I was never worried that a big gust would take my whole tent out into traffic -- literally.

Also in both of those cases the people who were in charge of the show were right on site----

and there were bathrooms available (at this show the porta potties were never unlocked -- we had to go ask a local business to let us use the facilities --- which on Saturday morning meant not until after 11 a.m. when we'd been there since 8:00 a.m.)

oh yes, and at that show people were actually there to look at (and buy) the art

At this show people didn't even know why we were there and one vendor got yelled at by a passing driver because he couldn't see around her tent to make his turn.


I will be writing a letter to the promoter to explain the issues we had, and I'm really glad this was not an expensive show.

There was an up side to the weekend, however.

A while back I ran across the website of an artist that is doing very cool bead embroidery stuff. When I saw that she was doing this same show, I was pretty excited because it meant I would get to see her work, and hopefully talk with her.

I got to do both.

And what I saw has set me to thinking about a whole new way to display my things. I'll be talking about that whole idea as we move along into creating our new look.

The latest (and last for a while) piece of beach glass complete.

Because of the curve of the sides of this semi-triangular piece of glass, I needed to use something across the back of the glass to pull the sides in.

I didn't realize it would look like a sort of spider web through the glass --- an effect that I really like

Because we don't have another show for a while, I'm not going to be working on these semi-production pieces for a while.

I have several ideas for some bigger, framed pieces that I want to work on, and there are some other jewelry pieces I want to do that are bigger and more complex.

Check out my newest doodle!

As I said, folks weren't at the show to buy --- most just walked by and complained about the sidewalk being blocked --- so I had some time on my hands

I did this little drawing of the giraffe

A while back my mother gave me a white shirt that my dad didn't need any more, and I've been thinking about doing something to "jazz it up" so I can wear it sort of like a jacket at shows.

I think I will begin by putting the bear and bird design I've been using on my business cards on the back of the shirt, then add some of the other animal drawings that I've done -- like this new giraffe

We'll see where that all goes.

Time to get some laundry done, and run a few errands

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another piece for the show

One more piece of beach glass finished for the show!

This one, from the latest batch of glass out of the tumbler, was a clear glass, so it now has that nice frosted look.

I used all clear beads with an AB finish and dark green thread -- looks sort of like pale mint --- or sea foam green.

Another one is in the works too --- one of the tomato colored ones from the last batch. The bezeling of that one is complete, and I have started the chain. It may not be finished before the show starts, but it should be on the table before the weekend is over. (Unless I'm so busy writing receipts that I don't get to work on it --- which would be okay too!)

Got an email this morning that the hours for Sunday at the show have changed to an hour later, so instead of being from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Guess we get to sleep a bit longer!

'Tis the season to make mittnz!

This is the very first one --- made out of wool yarn. The color here is a bit over exposed --- it's actually more of a burgandy than this shows.

This pair is toddler size. This is one of those patterns that you make the bigger sizes by graduating up in needle size. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that after all these years of knitting I don't seem to own a pair of size 4 (American) short straight needles! hmmmmm, guess when we get to the size that needs those I'll have to use my circular set with a short cable.

Only 17 more to make!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's Show Time!!

Yup, the first show of the season is this weekend!

The first chance to show this whole new line of jewelry and see how it is received.

So here are the particulars:

Art a La Carte -- ParkerFest
19751 E. Mainstreet
Parker, CO 80134

(just East of Parker Road off of Mainstreet, South of E470)

Friday, May 15 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Saturdy, May 16 from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday, May 17 from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm

We've never done this show before, so we're hoping for good things!

If you live anywhere in the area, come on by and say hello (and if you bring a print out of this blog post, I'll give you a 10% discount on any single item on my table over $20)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Beach Glass Set-up and a Finished Object

After some fiddling around I finally have a set up for the Rocky Mountain Beach Glass.

Made up entirely out of materials that were on hand, I tried to create that "day on the sand" look for this display.

The "beach" is a piece of rough sandpaper. The "beach chair" is three pieces of thing scrap lumber held together with duct tape hinges. The "beach towel" is a strip of terry cloth ripped out of a towel that had seen better days but still had a few "good" spots. The sign was printed on my computer printer on cardstock, and is held together in that tri-fold shape by a piece of tape. Only the shells are the real thing, and these came out of a box of goodies that were my grandmother's (the kind of "green" use she would highly approve of!). I would have like to have a little sand castle or a mini bucket and shovel, but those things were not in the "stuff I've collected and just can't throw out" box, so this will do.

I have 10 finished pieces of beach glass right now and hope to have at least one more finished by Friday --- and maybe have some "on hand" with me to work on at the show.

A finished object!!

And just for me!!!!

This is made out of a piece of the complex cloth, with some quilting embellishments.

I thought about adding some glitter fabric paint, but frankly I wanted to get it done before the weekend.

This is going to be used to protect my "darth vader" sunglasses (you know, the kind that fit right over your regular glasses) while they're bumping around in my bag.

I'm not as happy with the actual design of the finished object (it's a little uneven and the button closure isn't the best) as I am the cloth it's made out of, but it will do the job it was designed for.

Meantime I have quite a bit more of this lovely fabric to do something else with --- as soon as I figure out what that is!

time to get to it

Monday, May 11, 2009

More beach glass

Once I finally figured out how to enclose this piece of glass so I could make it into a necklace I was so excited about it I just kept on working!

I'm really pleased with how it came out.

This means I'll have at least 10 pieces of the Rocky Mountain Beach Glass to put out on the table at our show this weekend. That is enough to actually look like a "line" of jewelry.

We spent some time over the weekend working on how this stuff will be displayed. I'll be doing a "dry run" in the next couple of days with the actual pieces of jewelry, and I'll be taking some pictures then.

And yesterday was the day for the great "wash out" of the load of glass that had been slosshing around for the last month (more or less)

These are the pieces that came out.

Some really nice possibilities here for some future pieces of jewelry!

Remember these from the other day?

I've decided I like the look of these better

So I'm going through and redoing the mushrooms, changing them all to these lovely red topped ones.

Ok, it means I'm not as close to done as I thought I was, but remember this is a Christmas present!!

I've got plenty of time to get it done

It's time for Mittnz!

If you were reading along here last year, you may remember that I participated in a challenge to knit 8 pairs of mittens to be sent to Cheyenne River Reservation for the folks there. Last year this effort resulted in 1003 pair of mittens and other wrist/hand warming goodies being sent.

This year's challenge is to knit 9 pair.

And it's high time I got to it!!

So this little gem (being knit on size 2 and size 3 needles) was started last night. I cast on, did all 20 rows of ribbing and the 6 rows before the beginning of the thumb increases in about an hour and a half.

Since these are to be ready to mail the last week of September, I figure I need to knit 1.5 pair (just 3 mittens!) a month. How easy is that? (Especially since I can usually do some of this kind of knitting in the car as we travel).

Want to join the challenge? Hop on over to Sheep Shots and read up on how to join us!

Well folks, the laundry awaits.......(yeah, if it's Monday it must be laundry!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

To all of you who are mother's Happy Mother's Day!

And a Happy Mother's Day too to all of you wonderful women that set a great example for the children of other women --- this is your day too!!