Thursday, December 31, 2009

My room is done!

We put shelves up last week. We were waiting next to forever for Lowes to get a new shipment in. I have most of my stuff moved back in. I have a few more books to put on the top shelf. There are also some large canvases and an ironing board I don't know where to put.

Lots to do, and I don't know where to begin! Projects to finish, projects to start!  The room is so clean, I'm afraid to mess it up! 

I have been doing a fair amount of knitting.  It's a winter thing for me.  I can't get myself to do it during summer. ICK, too darn hot then.  Although, I'm looking forward to warmer weather.  It snowed all day today.  Except when it rained a little bit.

 I finished the knitting part of my "fae" project.  I'm planning on making polymer clay buttons. And adding some beads as well.  So this next week I need to wash it and block her.  And make some buttons so I can finish her up.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Room is Officially Painted

We finally finished painting!  We cleaned up the mess and moved some things back into my craft room. I already had hubby help me rearrange the furniture. And will probably do it again.

Hubby still has the shelves to build for the closet, but I can move some things in and get back to "work"!  We are still thinking about the closet, shelves and a work table for the polymer clay.  And a bookcase.

But, in moving things back in, I was able to find enough tidbits to put a necklace together for the Claypen Chat tomorrow.   I made the pendant some time ago, but wasn't totally satisfied with it.  It was supposed to be a sun, but it looks like a sunflower.  Ah, well.

It felt nice to get something finished.  And, I am much happier with the pendant now that it's part of a necklace.  I could probably nit-pick a lot of the parts of this necklace.  There are quite a few things beads included that didn't turn out as planned.   Oh, like the yellow bits that are supposed to be faux amber.

But, taking all those separate bits and building something with them makes them all feel whole.  I find a lot of times if I put things away for a while, I feel different about them later.  Things I didn't like, I do like after all.  And vice versa.  Sometimes it really helps to put something away for a time.  But not always, there are things that suck no matter what I do!

I went yarn shopping and bought some more yarn for my fae project.  I lovingly hand wound balls of yarn and then put them in a basket.  They look so nice in the basket, I don't want to do anything with them.  Just look at them and pet them from time to time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thorn Rainbowfly

We got two coats of paint on the wall of my studio/craft room. YAY!  Still need to do the trim, but that won't take too long.  Jim still has the closet shelving to do.  We keep debating, exactly what to do there.  But, I'll be able to get my desk unit into the corner, and be able to do a few things in there.

It's impossible right now to do polymer clay or paint.  But, since the weather has turned cold, I've been doing some knitting. I don't knit much in the warmer months.  Can't even get myself to work on small projects like socks or hats.

The Jane Thornley Group over on Ravelry is having a "Knit Your Fae" KAL.  Jane is my favorite knit designer.   Her knitted garments are wonderful works of art!   Here is herweb site in case you are wondering:

Your fairy is called Thorn Rainbowfly
She is a fortune bringer.
She lives in brambles and blackberry bushes.
She is only seen at midday under a quiet, cloudless sky.
She wears purple and green like berries and leaves. She has multicoloured wings like a butterfly.

I am currently working on gathering yarn for this project.  The two yarns on the left and the one on the bottom right, I bought at a local Renaissance Fair Last summer.  All three are hand-spun.  The one on the top right is Manos del Urugauy Wool Clasica I bought at "Knot Another Hat" in Hood River back in September. 

Those are four of my yummiest yarns.  I don't have a whole lot of yummy yarns, I just can't afford it.  I plan to fill in with some wool yarns, and whatever else I may find.  I also may kool-aid dye some yarn. That has been on my to-do list forever.

Here are  few other yarns added in.  Some Cascade 220, and some KnitPicks  Merino Style yarn.  I'm not sure about the yellow-green yarn, but it does give jazz it up a bit.  But, I'm still working on this.

Oh and speaking of fairies:

Yes, that's my leg and that's a tattoo. And it hurt like you wouldn't believe.  Anyone who says otherwise is not being very honest.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I have been remiss with my blogging (again)

It's not that I haven't been doing anything :)  But I'm not really very focused right now. I did manage to finish this afghan that I started last spring.  Rosie is sure enjoying it. :)

I don't really do much crochet and every time the mood strikes me, I have to relearn how to do it, lol.

I have a couple of knitting projects I'm working on right now.  The weather must have turned cold.  I'm pretty much a fair weather knitter.  Okay, make that foul weather knitter.

Haven't done a lot with the "room", hubby and I seem less that motivated right now.  But, we bought a corner table and computer table.  We've decided to use the closet for storage, so he's going to build some shelves for it.  We looked at some wire shelving, and boy does that get expensive fast!

He is also planning on making a work table for my polymer clay, a book case and some shelving the room.

I have been trying to focus on finishing the painting.  I've been working on it off and on.  I'm just not focused enough.  But here is a little "sample". :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Work Space Redo

Well, the time has come - time to redo my little room.  And these are the official "before" pictures.

The room is small, about 10' by 10' and I have a lot to cram in there.  Basically painting, sewing, polymer clay, jewelry and knitting.  It would also be nice to stuff a computer, a TV and VCR in there (yes a VCR, lol).

The first picture show the east wall. And a bit of the back of "the painting".

The next picture shows the west wall and the closet.  I'm kind of thinking a office in the closet for the computer. 

But I need storage as well.  Some of the tubs could be emptied, if I had shelves.  One actually is, so why is it taking up space in my closet, lol.

And where to put the canvases.  They are so awkward to store. *sigh*

And the last picture shows my polymer clay table and the window. 

It's nice to look out the window and work, but it has problems.  The glare is pretty bad a lot of the time.  Also, I'm concerned about sun damage of anything I don't cover up.

Probably, the first thing we will do is paint the room. We bought a lot of paint at Lowes  last month while they were having a rebate. 

Next we will probably do the closet and see how much storage I end up with.

Right now we are tossing ideas back and forth about storage, tables, closet, etc.  We are going to eat lunch and go out and do some window shopping to get some ideas.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bead Show Haul

I'm a bit slow getting back into the swing of things.  Been home a week and I've just been lazy.  Here is my haul from the Portland Bead Fest plus a few random things from a bead shop in Hood River.

On the left are some hand died silk ribbons, chain, WireLace, copper beads, pewter beads and 4 Swarovski stars.

In the center are some inexpensive turquoise beads and a fossil (no clue what it is) sliced in half.  These came from Sparkling Creations in Hood River.

On the right are some glass beads, copper heishi like beads, Roman glass beads (just had to have them) seed bead size turquoise, seed bead size lapis and some base metal beads. 

Closeup of the fossil - it looks kind of like a chambered nautilus.  But, I don't really know what it is.

Close up of some of the beads.  The multicolor ones and cobalt blue ones I plan to use as accent beads with the polymer clay.  They have large holes and should work well with leather and other thicker stringing material.

Hopefully I'll get my butt in gear and have some new things to post.  I have a couple of little projects I worked on during the trip that I'm nearly done with.  Since getting home, I've made three, count them three, polymer clay beads.  I'm might even get them in the oven by the end of the year, lol

But,  I've been working on  the painting!  I actually stand a good chance of finishing it. lol

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm Baaaaaack!

Mt. Rainier was awesome!  We were only there a few days, but we are thinking we need to go back next year for a longer stay.

The Portland Bead Fest was something else.  Oh my.  I've never been to a bead show before and I was overwhelmed.  I walked around in a daze for a bit. 

There were some absolutely beautiful lamp-work beads that I unfortunately couldn't afford.  If I ever generate some income, I will have to purchase some.  And speaking of purchases, I did make some. As soon as I get them photographed, I'll post a picture of them. 

And once I get myself back together, I'll get back at it.  For now, laundry awaits. I have an apple pie to bake for hubby's birthday.  Oh, and we have to go pick up the RV - new tires.  We left a lot of one poor sad tire somewhere along the highway. . .

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Packed and ready to go

Well, not quite. Been cooking and getting the motorhome ready the last few days, and haven't accomplished much else.

Woo-Hoo! Going to check out the Portland Bead Fest! And a few other places along the way. I'm pretty excited. Hubby is to - except for the Bead Show part. TeeHee. Well I hope I can find some cool stuff to buy. It would be even better if I find some cool stuff to buy that I can afford. Price of silver, $17.00 or so. YIKES!

Probably won't post anything for a few days. Hopefully I'll have some cool pictures when I return.

Everyone have a great week!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Finished projects

I created this necklace to enter in the Enchanted Adornments Design Competition. I'm hoping it is mixed media enough.

After a lot of fussing over this one, I ended up making it a single strand. I was just trying to add too much to it. The main body of the necklace was strung on silk cord. The cord is attached to a base metal (no idea what kind) chain. The clasp is fabricated from gold colored copper wire.

I have a few other things completed as well. I finished five pairs of earrings, and said what the heck and entered them in the competition as well.

I also finished the entry for the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge.

First, I created a polymer clay texture sheet inspired by Kandinsky's "Improvisation No. 23". Next, I conditioned Sculpy Premo in blue, red, yellow, white and black; and then mixed some of each color together for a marbled effect.

I used the texture sheet to create the textures on the pendants. I hand rolled an assortment of beads Some were texture with the sheet, some were textured with a ball stylus, and some have added hand rolled "snakes" of polymer clay (what extruder?).

After curing I added a patina of burnt umber acrylic paint. And on a few of them I added a cream color patina as well.

The necklace is strung on leather and silk. Each pendant is strung with seed beads and a Swavrski pearl. The clasp is fabricated from copper wire.

The Kandinsky necklace went together much easier than the prior one. There was a lot less fussing on my part. I also was not trying to force it as much. I pretty much laid the beads out on my board and it pretty much just came together.

Two things:
1. Less fussing and worrying.
2. Practice, practice, practice.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In Process

I've been fussing over this necklace for 3 days now. I wonder, do others have this problem? Taking forever to work out a design?

I like the color combination and where it is going, but I'm not sure how to pull it all together.

Currently the polymer clay beads and dangly bits are strung on leather cord, but I think I going to change that to silk. I'm thinking that the back part will be chain.

Of course I may change my mind and string it all on a simple cord and be done. But, I like the accent string with the Czech fire-polished beads and seed beads. And that will involve crimp beads. *Shudders* Maybe I need put it aside for a bit (again) and think on it some more.

Looking through various magazines, blogs and websites, I see a lot of wonderful work. Do other jewelry makers spend this much time designing one piece? I'm sure it's all very personal - adding some of this and some of that and a pinch of this, then have it pull all together and not be an overwhelming hodgepodge.

I need to practice more - make more necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I know it's all about practice, practice, practice.

Sometimes I tend to over-think things, which is what I'm doing with this current necklace. Then I get bogged down and don't accomplish anything. I'm sure I'm not alone out there. . .

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Freeform necklace

This necklace has been waiting a couple of months to be finished. All it needed was the clasp. *sigh* I couldn't decide what sort of clasp it needed. I finally ended up with an inexpensive copper clasp that is fairly understated.

The next time I do this sort of necklace, I want to think about the clasp at the beginning. Make it more part of the design.

I am please with how this turned out. I have done other free-form items, and some better than others. I guess it's the nature of "free-form". I enjoy making these, even if they are time consuming.

I am thinking of trying Bead embroidery to make a necklace or bracelet. I have Lacey's Stiff Stuff (I think that's what it is called) and some suede scraps. Now, all I need is the time.

First I have a polymer clay project or two (or 100) I need to be finishing. Perhaps I should spend less time on the Facebook games? Gads, I'm such a game addict (Don't even ask me about Lineage).

Anyway, here is my first free-form project, with a doughnut from my 3rd (I think) batch of polymer clay beads.

Okay, time to walk away from the keyboard, get some sleep and then do something creative in the morning!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Challenges, challenges and more challenges

I better get back at it. We were gone for 3 days, to celebrate yetanotherbirthday. And to make sure the motorhome is okay for a longer upcoming trip.

I did this necklace for the August Polymer Clay Central Challenge. No I didn’t win, but I sure had a great time working on it!

I recently purchased the book, “Ancient Modern” by Ronna Sarvas Weltman. I love the primitive feel to her work. Her book was very much an inspiration to the textures of the beads in the Rainbow necklace.

To make the beads, I started with the three primary and three secondary colors of Kato Clay. I used turquoise for the blue. To each of the six colors I added a bit of complementary. I then added added a lot of translucent to each color mix. Then I mixed the intermediate shades.

Next was making the beads - each was hand formed and textured. After curing, I sanded them and added a patina with burnt umber acrylic paint. I sanded the beads again and buffed them with a soft cotton cloth. Finally, I sorted them to get the best color gradation I could and string them with leather cord.

Which brings me to a bit of a personal challenge - crimp beads. They frustrate me. I use them and they fail frequently for me. Now, I like using leather, cotton and various other stringing materials. So, a personal challenge for me is to break out the beading wire and show those crimp beads a thing or two.

Now to move on to other challenges - there are three I’m mulling around in my head. One is the September Polymer Clay Central Challenge – Glitter and Glitz. I'm not a glitter and glitz type person, so this challenge is hurting my brain.

The next one is the September Art Bead Scene Challenge. It is based on the Kandinsky painting, "Improvisation No. 23". I'm trying not to be to literal in my interpretation, but I'm having a hard time with it.

And the third one I'm thinking about is Enchanted Adornments Design Competition. Each time I look at the current entries, I keep thinking I'm out of my league. But, then that is a good thing - It forces me to do better (hopefully).

And if anyone is interested, here is another Kandinsky. *Sigh* Just makes me want to go to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg that much more.

Okay, I better get at it! Everyone have a lovely weekend.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Earrings and Contests

I was trying to make earrings for a trade being sponsored by Beading Daily. Its supposed to be mailed by August 31, but I'm afraid its just not going to happen. Too much to do and not enough time to do it.

Hubby said they are to nice to send away, and I should keep them and wear them. *sigh* I'm hoping to open an Etsy shop, but if I keep everything I won't have anything to sell, lol

I noticed they also have a challenge for "Stringing" magazine as well. I'll have to give that one some thought over the next couple of days.

And speaking of contests, Art Bead Scene, is having a giveaway for some wonderful beads from Green Girl studios. There are also details for a mixed media design contest being hosted by Green Girl studios. They have some incredible entries! I'm going to see what I can come up with, but boy there is some stiff competition.

Well, I have some "important" celebrating to get ready for. Everybody have a great weekend! I probably won't be posting again until later next week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Necklace Finished!

The Art Bead Scene challenge inspired me to use colors I don't normally use. And I am very pleased with how the necklace turned out.

I got a little stuck putting the necklace together. Actually it was more a case of procrastination. That and fussing over it too much. I tend think about it too much and make the stringing process more complicated than I need to.

I spend to much time worrying about how to put a piece together instead of "just doing it". Sometimes, simple is better. I really enjoy using waxed cotton, waxed linen, hemp and leather. Perhaps it is because they are inexpensive materials I'm not so afraid to experiment.

I have more beads for at least one more necklace. I also have some beads that need to be finished. So I can play more with this. I have some shell heishi and dyed mother of pearl I may try to incorporate.

So, off I go to play!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer's End

A tale my Mom use to tell about my brother (16 years my senior) was about a paper he had to write in grade school. The topic was what he like most about summer and what he liked least about summer. What he wrote was something like this:

"What I like most about summer is when it begins. What I like least about summer is when it ends."

I never like when summer ends either. Even now, I tend to get a little melancholy as summer winds down. I like and look forward to autumn, but at the same time I don't like summer to end. As I worked on these beads I thought about those carefree summers and days at the beach growing up in Southern California.

Really, the colors of these beads aren't quite right for Southern California. But that didn't matter. As I worked on them, I still thought of the foggy beach mornings giving way to warm sunshine. And playing in the waves of the cool Pacific waters. And the inevitable sunburn.

A picture of the woodcut print that is the inspiration is at August monthly challenge.

The bead colors were inspired by the print for the challenge. Somehow while working on these beads, I found myself thinking about the Southern California beaches and never wanting summer to end.

Back in the "Groove"

I'm such a naughty blogger. Okay, my New Years Resolution is to blog a minimum of once a week. What? It's already August, nearly September! Well I blew that resolution.

I've been getting back to working with polymer clay - it's such a fun medium! Last year at Polymer Clay Central, one of the topics was groovy. I started these beads last year and recently finished them. I made this fun little necklace with some of the beads.

Currently, I'm working on some beads for a monthly challenge at this blog:

After I get the beads buffed, I'll take some photos and post a little more about it.

I also have some quite a few beads I need to photograph and post. As well as some random knitting things. (It's too warm to think about knitting very much right now).

And maybe I'll think about finishing the painting. Maybe.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Painting progress

I finally worked on the darn thing today. I thought I would show some pictures that highlight the steps up to this point.

This is a pencil sketch that is in my sketch book. Nothing more than a doodle, but a lot of fun to do.

This is the sketch that was done on canvas. First with pencil, then black thinned with turpentine.

This is a quick wash of color on the canvas. The oil paint is thinned with turpentine and dried fairly quick.

And this is where I left off a little while ago. Basically, the canvas is covered with paint. Some things I like how they are working out. And some things don't look so good.

First thing, I don't like the blue - it is going to go away. The bottom left corner fails miserably. Then there is the round blob centered near the bottom. BLECH! There are some other things that bug me - those are the ones bothering me the most. Well, I'm going to go take my brush and "draw" some corrections I know I want to make, and then think about it a bit.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Order Arrived!

I received my order from Dick Blick! It was waiting on the front porch shivering in its little box when we got home from the doggie doctor. It was 29 degrees and trying to snow!

I ordered burn sienna, burn umber, sap green, yellow ocher, cadmium yellow, cadmium red and ultramarine blue. All that and all I really needed was yellow, lol. There was a special if you order so much, and 6 bucks for shipping no matter how much your order, and yadda, yadda, yadda.

Ok, Micheal's had cadmium yellow for about $34.00 for a 37 ML tube and I had a 40% off coupon which would have made it about $20.00. But, at Dick Blick a 200ML is 36.43. Same brand - Windsor Newton Artist Oils. If I went to Micheal's 5 times with a 40% off coupon and bought a 37 ML tube of cadmium yellow each time, I would spend $100.00 for a total 185 ML (that doesn't include sales tax). Blah. So much for Micheal's and their stupid coupons.

I'm still waiting for the paint on the bottom of the painting to dry so I can turn it right side up and work on it! I checked it earlier (oh, about 20 times when I moved it looking for my garden notebook) and some of it's dry and some of it's wet.

I could start another one, but I really would like to work on this one.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Painting again

Well, I'm finally back to working on the painting I started almost a year ago. Unfortunately, I'm at a bit of an impasse at the moment. Its on a gallery wrap type canvas and I painted the bottom and it needs to dry so I can turn it right side up.

The other thing, is I order some more oils from Dick Blick which should be here tomorrow. I'm running out of yellow and won't be able to finish with out more. The only place around here with any type of art supplies is Micheal's ( blech). Every time I go there to by art supplies it just fails.

And oils are so expensive! It's downright painful. I probably get my little paint tubes and just stare at them 'cause they cost so much. *Sigh*

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm a Project Finishing Machine!

Finished 3 projects in 3 days! So nice to get these thing done so I can start to move forward.

I finished this necklace I started in maybe October? Ah well. The pendant and button are polymer clay. Love playing with polymer clay - it is so versatile! And I love doing free form with the beads.

This scarf started out as another panel for my afghan, but now it's a scarf. Why? Because I'm the Mom and I say so.

And the third project (not pictured) was a simple green scarf for my daughter.

I have a painting to finish I started nearly a year ago. Gads, I don't know what my problem is. It's an abstract piece and maybe there is a part of me that still thinks I should be paint "realistically". Well BLAH to that! If I want to paint abstract, that's what I'm gonna do!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Project that Wouldn't Die

I thought I was done with this afgan. It was a fun project. The inspiration came from Jane Thornley's knitwear. Her work is absolutely wonderful!

Anyway, I got the thing sewed together and put on the bed and it is too short! (Please ignore plaid pillow cases). So I guess I'll knit a couple of panels to make it longer and see how that works. If not, I'll have to get some pillows and make some pillow shams.

Instead of weaving all the loose ends in, I turned them into fringe. Also, where there are some dropped stitches I patched them (normally I would rip it out and fix it "properly"). But that's what I like about this method ("free range") - anything goes.

Dang, I have plenty of other projects I need to finish - painting, polymer clay, jewelry, more knitting. Guess I better quit blogging and get to it!