Friday, June 19, 2009

last minute odds and ends

You'd think after 4 loads of laundry, helping to mow both lawns and packing for our trip that I'd be too tired to do anything but go to sleep ---

But no, the brain would not stop babbling, so after all of that I worked on the beaded band for the balloon piece, and on the Christmas quilt project, and knitted on a mitten

Then I drew this little swan

Another addition to the doodle collection -- and a possible candidate for creating a rubber stamp from

I packed my rubber stamps and the materials I have on hand to make more of same (tools, rubber for cutting) hoping that we'll get to play with that idea while we're in California

So after breakfast we'll pack the car and head on out

Watch for posts on the road and while we're in California "playing"!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Finally complete!

And isn't it adorable?

I especially love the ears!!

While the ears looked like they would stand up okay on their own, I ended up putting a pipe cleaner on the outside edges of them by doing a single crochet over the pipe cleaner all around.

The nose is two rows of contrasting color single crochet too --- worked right into the knitting stitched in a curve around the nostril outline.

And see how long the neck is? I used a piece of 1/2 inch PVC pipe inside, and the butt is weighted with a combination of plastic doll pellets and copper beebees.

Yes, this is definately the most off the wall critter I've created yet!!

So today (even though it is NOT Monday) I'm doing laundry so I can pack for our trip. We will be heading out to our daughter's tomorrow, then on to California on Saturday morning. I'm planning to blog some while we're gone, but probably not every day. I'm taking along a paper journal kit to do drawings, etc., on the road, so I'm hoping to have some of that to post when I return.

time to get busy!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The package is here!

ordered last week and arrived last night

This means I will definately have a big project to work on in the car as we travel


ok, back to work!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

glue resist and balloon backgrounds

The fabric that I did glue resist on went through the washer with the laundry yesterday

The color seems a bit more muted and not so speckled

Even after the trip through the washing machine, there is some stiffness to the places where the glue resist was.

It's not as stiff, but it is definately different that the rest of the piece

I think this piece now needs a lot more embellishing with stitching, stamping, beads, etc. I may make it into a pillow --- we'll see

I realized I had been talking about the background for the balloon piece, but I hadn't let ya'll see the great painting the DH did for it!

Here it is

Even though it's hard to see in this picture, this is painted on a piece of clear plexiglass, and the paints let the light come through really well --- which was exactly the "look" I want for the back of this piece.

The beadwork band for the inside edge is coming along.

The strip began there on the left side where the dark blue of the mountain begins and I'm now about half way through the green on the bottom edge. (And I'll be real happy to get the green done because those are the one bead I'm using that has to be sorted for size, thickness, etc., etc., because they were a bulk purchase.)

movin' right along

Monday, June 15, 2009

mittnz, progress report and "image"

So here is the 6th pair of mittnz

Only 3 more pair to go, and I started another pair (bright pink!) last night, doing about half of the ribbing before I got too sleepy to remember it is supposed to be K2, P2, not some other odd permutation of that count!

Which means I need to think about picking out the yarn for the other 2 pair to be knit and getting that packed up for the car trip.

I'm happily anticipating the arrival of "The Yarn", which is supposed to arrive tomorrow (according to the UPS tracker). Just about this time every year I start knitting a sweater that will be a Christmas present, and I figured that getting it before I start on a cross country car trip will be good as that will give me lots of swatching time. And hopefully it will be well underway by the time we return!

After thinking about possible ways to put color inside the shadow box frame that will hold the balloons, I decided to do a strip of beading that will go all the way around.

Here is the little "map" I drew of where the colors need to go based on the painting the DH did on the plastic for the back.

This little piece of beading is the bottom, dark blue edge of the mountains, and I'm starting to make the transistion there to the green section

My thinking about doing this beading strip is this:

1. The reflective quality of the glass will brighten the inside of the frame and improve the look of the piece

2. I can stitch through the beadwork at the top and the bottom to attach the balloons and "suspend" them in air

I can tell you that working on this strip reminds me clearly of why I don't do bead loom work. This folks, is the beaders version of 999 rows of garter stitch ---- it's boring, best done while watching an interesting TV show or movie!

At least one of you has noticed that I've been playing around with the format of this blog. The answer to the question asked on my last post about this is -- Yes, all of the above!

Part of the issue at work here is I'm working on revising my website, and that always leads me to examine what all of my studio online presence looks like. Right now I'm trying to decide if I should change my Etsy shop as well and make the whole "who are you?" issue clearer by having everything carry the same name. (When I first set up the Etsy shop I was deliberately trying to create a different "persona" for some of my fiber arts things, but all of this work has merged since then!)

So be patient with me here as we have a sort of mini "identity crisis" and try to figure out what we want to look like.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

a little more work

and the final ballon is complete!

the DH has finished painting the piece of plastic that will be the back of the shadow box frame

now it's on to creating a beaded band to fit all around the inside edges of the frame

meantime, we're still fussing with the frame for Birds in the Mist

even though the test sample looked pretty good, the attempt on the actual frame did not, so sanding and re-gesso-ing is probably the next step, then another approach

yesterday I mailed off the two necklaces to Fire Mountain Gems for the competition --- I'm now back in "waiting" mode

and the premium book for the State Fair is now available, so I can think about entering things there --- my main complaint is that this year the catagories I usually enter in are supposed to be turned in on three different days instead of all on one day like they were last year ---- grrrrrrr --- I wasn't really planning on making three drives down to turn things in --- sure would like to know what their thinking was on that point

I really am putting in quite a bit of work on projects just now, but one of the biggest ones I can't talk about here --- all to be revealed at a later (after Christmas) date

so there ya go

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Playing around

the glue dried

and this is what the piece of fabric looks like after I sprayed it with dark green dye over the glue "drawings"

oh yes, I put salt in the dye spray, but I don't think it got totally disolved because the result has those little "spots" of more intense color

I like that the flowers really show up -- I was actually surprised that it worked so well

I don't like that the flowers are still "stiff" and a little sticky when they are damp

when I do my dark laundry load next week I'm going to toss this into the washer and see what happens --- I'm hoping that will remove the rest of the glue residue without loosing the image

we'll see

I got a very cool envelope in the mail yesterday from my friend in California

we've been working on similar projects, and since I've been sending her pictures of what I've been doing, she sent me some pictures of what she's been doing

got to LOVE this elephant!

on her note she says she cut this rubber stamp out of that nice white rubbery stuff from the craft store -- she must have had one of the really big sheets of it, because the actual print is 6.5 inches tall --- sooooo coooool!!!

I'm hoping to get to make a print or two of this elephant on a shirt I'm working on when I go to California ---- I think he'll go nicely with the giraffes I've been working on, and together they'll be just the thing on a jungle themed shirt

time to get movin'

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

another balloon

the third balloon for Carried Away

I was concerned that the vertical stripes would be a problem on this one, but they worked out very nicely

So now it's on to the last (and biggest) balloon, which is a checker board pattern --- I hope --- we'll see how stitching that goes

Before I actually draw right on the frame for the Birds in the Mist, I decided a test on some scrap lumber was a good idea

What I learned is this: some colored pencils will take being coated with a sealer and some will not

Most of the blue and gray tones I tried did just fine, but the browns and rusts just disappeared --- interesting

So, those cattails were drawn on with a Micron pen after the sealer was dry

I think that will work

So now it's on to the frame itself!

When I was talking to a friend we were discussing an idea that we saw in that wonderful Complex Cloth book.

In the section about resists, it suggests using Elmer school gel glue as a resist

So, yesterday I decided to experiment

I used the bottle of gel glue to draw freehand right on the cloth

You can see the designs here as pale blue against the white (this picture was taken after the glue was all dry)

Next I'll be getting out the spray bottle and spraying some sort of color over it, then we'll see what happens.

Today I have a doctor's appointment, but she did call me yesterday to tell me the biopsy report came back all clean. I will still be having surgery in July, but there is no cancer. I am very grateful for that.

Time to get rolling!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Mittnz #5

and another pair complete!

usually I make one entire mitten then the other, including the thumbs, but on this pair I knew I was really close on having enough yarn, so I knit the hands of both first

hence the contrasting thumbs!

so now it's on to pair #6

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Carried Away

at long last, the promised pictures of the progress on the balloons

In the pictures these two look like they are the same size --- but if you look closely at the size of the individual beads, you'll see that the yellow one is actually smaller

(Ok, not a lot smaller, but smaller!)

Yesterday afternoon I started working on the next one which is a sort of pastel rainbow vertical stripe, and it's coming along nicely

Meantime, the DH is working on the back ground piece

So before too long I'll actually have to figure out the whole "how do I actually suspend these inside the frame" issue --- which should be interesting

Recognize these?

Aside from carrying the color out onto the frame from the beaded Birds in the Mist, I wanted to add something on the frame that takes the picture even further

I think something like these will do that job nicely

Yesterday the DH brought in a piece of scrap wood that I coated with gesso so I can experiment with how I will paint on the frame --- or draw on the frame --- I'm going to try colored pencils and markers and maybe even paint (though I'm not near as good with a brush as I am with a needle!)


Saturday, June 06, 2009

actual progress

I finished the bead work on Birds in the Mist

In this picture the beadwork (which has not yet been sealed or trimmed) is laying on the table with the frame I picked out to put it in

The idea is to carry the design of the beadwork right out onto the frame with paint or markers or colored pencils or something (I'm still working on that part)

It looks pretty neat --- even though I had to really scrounge to get enough of those dark blue beads to finish it up --- it took more of those than I realized it would to make the drastic change in the shape

So now I can spend some time doing some drawings to determine what I want to do on the frame

You may recall seeing that drawing on the left back when I originally did it.

I liked the little nibbling giraffe so well that I decided to try to cut a rubber stamp of it

There on the right at the bottom is the stamp that I cut --- at the top is what the image looks like when I stamp it

I'm really pleased with how this stamp came out, and I am seriously considering using it to stamp along both sides of the button band on a shirt I've been thinking about altering --

No, I'm not all that smart either that I could just draw the head on the rubber material and start cutting to get it right --- I used some software on my computer to take the scanned drawing and print it like a negative so I could remember which parts should be cut away and which parts needed to stay.

I like it a lot!

Work on the beaded balloon piece is also progressing --- my daughter has given it the title "Carried Away", which I really like. The DH is working on painting the plastic panel which will be in the back of the frame with transparent colors, and it's looking really good. Two of the four balloons (and their baskets) have been beaded --- ok, one of these days I'll remember to bring those to the computer and put them in the scanner so I can show you what they look like! Today I will start on the third balloon ---

If you've been reading here for a while you may recall these two pieces that I did early in the spring.

I had entered them in a competition sponsored by Fire Mountain Gems (a supplier that I use almost exclusively for many of my seed bead projects).

I knew that the acceptance date on the first round of the competition was May 30, but I figured the notifications would be email, and when I didn't hear anything for the first couple of days in June I just figured it was the usual stuff. (And frankly, I've been sort of caught up in the health issues this week and just wasn't thinking about it much.)

So I was totally stunned to reach in the mail box yesterday afternoon and find this letter from Fire Mountain telling me that not one, but both of my pieces had been accepted through the first round of the contest.

Now I have a questionaire to fill in about my work and each of the specific pieces and the pieces themselves go off to Oregon to be considered for the second level of the competition.

Uh, I'm still in shock! Being pretty used to "throwing stuff against the wall" and having it just rain back on me, when something finally "stuck" I'm not exactly sure how to react.


Anyway, in the next couple of days the DH will bring in the cases so I can retrieve the pieces and I'll be working on the questionaire.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Mittnz #4

One thing I can do while still groggy from pain meds is knit a pattern that I've done many times before

So, in the last two days, another pair of mittens for the great Mittnz 09 challenge

ok, only 5 pair to go!!

and now perhaps a return to what resembles normal for a few weeks anyway

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Mittnz #3

here they are, all complete

the third pair of mittnz for this year's challenge

so now it's on to the next pair (same size, different color)