Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I finished the "Halloween" hearts I was working on. I'm just not into some of the Halloween creepiness, and I thought hearts would be more fun. And, well, they don't look very Halloween-like, so now they are autumn/fall/harvest hearts.

They were fun to make and I like how they turned out even it they aren't quite right for Halloween.  

I added purple mica powder to the black heart and beads before curing.  I love the shine that it added.

On the orange heart and beads I added copper mica powder before curing and then afterwards I use acrylic paint to antique them.

I have one more heart, but not quite enough beads for a necklace.  I'm thinking of keeping that one when I finish it, and actually wearing it.  Part of that shameless self promotional thing - wear your own jewelry. 

Once I get all the fall colored stuff off my polymer clay work table, I plan to start on some winter/snow themed ideas I have rolling around in my head. . .

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lendrum Spinning Wheel, Learning to Spin

Well, last week I took a drop spindle class.  And Saturday I started a spinning wheel class that lasts for three Saturdays. Now, I had every intention of renting a wheel, but I found this used Lendrum last week and just had to bring her home.
From what I can tell she is probably 20+ years old, and is in pretty good shape.  The age guess comes from some searching about Lendrums on Ravelry (I'm desertwind on Ravelry).

Learning and practicing with the drop spindle helped.  But, without having help from my spinning teacher, this would be incredibly frustrating.  It's like walking and chewing gum at the same time.  Youtube videos and things are great, but having someone to teach really helps with the steep learning curve.

I did have a bit of a catastrophe last night while spinning.  There is a plastic piece that connects the "footman" (the long skinny wood piece attached to the wheel) to the pedal.  It snapped in two! 

First, hubby and I fussed over what we have in the garage that could be used to fix it. Then I surfed Ravelry for some ideas.  Finally, hubby cut a piece of nylon rope and attached it where the plastic connector was. He is going to cut me a couple more back-up pieces and depending how it works, I may or may not order a replacement connector.

My spinning teacher, Cheryl, gave us quite a bit of fiber in the drop spindle class.  She gave us a large amount of this soft, yummy puff that came from a local sheep named Homer.  Apparently Homer is a mixed breed sheep with perhaps some merino in his heritage. I'm planning on making either a hat or fingerless mittens with the yarn I making.

Using a variety of wools she supplied us, this is what I spun for the drop spindle class.

It was interesting how different each of the wool fibers are.  There is some grey stuff in here that I hated.  It was like spinning barbed wire. Not something you would want next to your skin.  There is also a bit of yummy white merino in the skein as well.

She also gave us some small bits of superwash merino,  silk, alpaca, and some other things to spin.  I haven't gotten to any of it yet, but the alpaca is soooooooo soft! Yuuuuu-mmmyyyy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Orange and the Polymer Clay Smooshers

The Polymer Clay Smooshers guild on ArtFire disappeared briefly.  But, now the Smooshers are back! Actually, they have been back for a few weeks now. I was pretty upset when the guild up and disappeared, and I'm so happy to be part of it once more.

Each week we have a "blog roll" and this weeks topic is "orange".  To me orange say three things - citrus, Halloween and autumn.  Considering the time of year, citrus just didn't seem to fit the theme.

I found many lovely fall and Halloween season items from my fellow Smooshers. Here is a small sampling of what I found.

This first item is one stylish looking cat! This lovely pendant, Orange Halloween Cat was created by Sassy Clay Creations.

Orange Halloween Cat by Sassy Clay Creations

Love the rich orange and flowing colors in this next piece.  And with a touch of black, the colors are so yummy! This Asian Inspired Oval Pendant was created by Dream Weavers Designs
Asian Inspired Oval Pendant by Dream Weavers Designs

My favorite part of fall are the colorful leaves.  The fiery colors of autumn are captured perfectly in this Autumn Leaf Brooch created by Valerie's Stuff.

Autumn Leaf Brooch by Valerie's Stuff
Write in style with this lovely autumn inspired pen. This Fall Leaves Pen  was created by Artmakers World.
Fall Leaves Pen  by Artmakers World

For more about the Polymer Clay Smooshers, check out our blog.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Halloween (sort of) Hearts

I've been trying to get some Halloween things finished and I'm sure cutting it close!  I should have had them done a good month ago.  I'm not really big into Halloween, but I had an idea I wanted to try out.

First I made some Halloween colored (more or less) beads:

I made 3 leafy/floral hearts:

Before curing I dusted them with mica powder to make them more interesting and to make the details stand out.

Here they are on my work table:

The heart on the left is orange highlighted with copper colored mica powder.  The one in the middle is black highlighted with copper mica powder.  The copper gives it more of a faux metal look than Halloween.  The last one is black highlighted with purple mica powder.

So far, I am liking how they are turning out.  But, I did not make enough beads! I might be able to finish one necklace, but it might be a little short.

I better quit web surfing and get to work making more beads!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Autumn/Halloween Knitting

Love the colors in this scarf!  It came out looking a little bit Halloweenish, but I love the combo of orange and purple. The colors are much better in person.  I futzed with Photoshop and the colors in the photos are still not right.

I haven't completely finished the scarf yet. I haven't decided how I want to do fringes and deal with the dangley bits.

I started a wrap in the same colors and I want to finish it and see how much yarn I have left.  I might knit some leaves and other random stuff if I have enough yarn. However, the wrap is using up a lot of yarn.  It's a great stashbuster.

The pattern (more of a guide than a strict pattern) is from Jane Thornley and is the "Organic Wrap" in the booklet "Feather and Fan Club".

I'm loving the cooler weather!  And getting back to knitting. I have a mess of stash I hope to use up during the next few months.