Monday, February 28, 2011

Smooshers Challenge Theme: Nature

I'm still working feverishly to get my nature themed necklace finished by March 3.  I keep wanting to make more polymer clay tidbits for it, but I think I need to stop and actually put it together!

Here are some finished items from some of my fellow Smooshers:

Steampunk Piranha Angelfish from Desert Rubble

Squirrel, Oak Leaf and Acorn Necklace by Creative Critters


by Cats Wire

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Beads

Been working on making some new beads this week.  Finally getting my butt in gear!

These beads are part of the theme "natural" that I'm currently working on.  Leaves, twigs, twigs with moss, faux leather and faux wood beads.  I have some more beads in process.  And have a few more ideas rolling around in my head.

Hopefully I'll start putting together some jewelry in a few more days!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Forcing Myself to Move Forward

It's that time of year where I'm sick of winter.  This time every year my motivation disappears.

This photo show some random things I've been working on this month.  I bottled some wine that I started last summer. Shown here is a bottle of strawberry.  To the right of it is a drawing for the label.  I plan to size it small and add text in Photoshop.  I need to scan it in which is a major project with my computer. I keep putting it off. Don't have any ink for the printer anyway. The question is will I get my wine labeled before we drink it all? (I have three other types of wine that need labels as well).

Also shown are some random beads that didn't exactly go according to plan. Ah well. That bogged me down a bit, and I need to get over it.

So, the past two days I forced myself to go into my little room and do something! I finished some more random beads that didn't go according to plan. Got them all cured although I still have a bunch to sand and buff.  I'll work on that a little at a time.

So today, I cleaned my polymer clay work surface (the whole room needs cleaned, but meh), and dove into some new beads! I'm working on some ideas for the monthly challenge for the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild on ArtFire.  Hopefully I will actually have something by March 3.  The topic is nature, and somehow I froze up for the last couple of weeks  instead of coming up with ideas.

Well, I'm spending the whole day in my room claying tomorrow! I refuse to notice that the house is in desperate need of cleaning.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Items and Keri Mae's Felted Bunny

Spent yesterday adding several new items to my ArtFire Studio, including this necklace.  I'm currently working on more items in spring and summer colors.

I'm up to 76 items in my Studio! Only 24 more to hit my goal!  This is taking way longer than I anticipated.  I had also hoped to start adding some small paintings by now as well.  But, there are only 24 hours in a day!

And speaking of spring, check out this adorable felted bunny by Keri Mae, featured guild member of 
Miniature Bunny by Keri Mae
Shops with less than (10) Sales!! 

Also, visit the blog for Shops with less than (10) Sales and leave a comment to enter a chance at the monthly giveaway.  February's prize is a polymer clay pendant on a cable choker from moi (Desert Wind Designs).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wine Bottling and Tasting

I bottled some wine this weekend that I had started last summer.  

In the picture, small bottles from left to right: commercial wine from Desert Wind Winery (no affiliation), Strawberry Wine, Joe's Mattioli's Ancient Orange Mead (name of the recipe) and Triple Berry Wine. In the back from left to right: fortified and sweetened Triple Berry, Sweetened Triple Berry,  Apple wine.

Friday, we had to go for a bit of a drive to buy some corks, a corker and some other odds and ends.  And while we were at it we went wine tasting here:
Desert Wind Winery    (no affiliation).

Tasty stuff!  Then we went for pizza and wine.  And went to another winery for dessert: Bookwalter Wines  Chocolate dessert and red wine! Yum!

Saturday, I dragged myself out of bed and bottled strawberry wine (5 bottles) and mead(4 bottles).  And of course taste tested.

Sunday I dealt with the triple berry wine and the apple wine.  Both of these are three gallon batches. I bottled 1 gallon (5 bottles) of the triple berry.  I sweetened another gallon and put in a gallon jug with an airlock. The last gallon I fortified with vodka and sweetened and put in a gallon jug with an airlock. Much tasting was needed to get the right level of sweetness!

 I don't want to bottle those two gallons yet, because I want to make sure the additional sugars don't cause the wines to start fermenting again.  Re-fermenting in a wine bottle is unsafe (a.k.a. "bottle bomb").

The apple wine, I racked (transferred to another container) off the sediment and sweetened.  Of course had to taste test it!  This and the remainder of the triple-berry I plan to bottle in a couple of weeks.

Now, it's Tuesday and I think I've recovered from all that tasting! I've been working on some labels for my bottled wine.  Here are some rough sketches. Ignore any text, I've decided to make my life easier and add text via Photoshop. It will also allow me to use label designs again by just modifying text.

Also, the final labels will be in black and white.

Triple Berry