Friday, August 20, 2010

Another post, same day, but it's cool

It occurred to me that I never have shown spinning stuff on here before. So, just for a fun aside, here is the current spinning I'm working on with the wheel I'm borrowing from a friend at Tempe Yarn and Fiber:

It's a beautiful 70/30 merino wool/silk blend that is just a dream to spin. I'm having SO much fun with it. I can't wait until I see whatever yarn I eventually make with this.

And above is the spindle I made tonight. My hubby and I walked through Hobby Lobby for quite a while tonight. It was therapy for my day. ^_~ I just have to say again how much I love him. Sweet man got me ice cream AND walked around in Hobby Lobby with me tonight. He made the hook for the spindle. I designed it using the basic toy wheel setup, but I think I made it just a bit more sophisticated. It spins very well and I spun a tiny bit of merino wool on it just to test it out and plied it up, then tied it as the cord for this big fine silver ring I made that I'm not turning into anything for my show. It's just a fun, completely simple rustic piece. And it feels cool that I spun the cord for it. I think I might start doing that for a lot of my pieces. It's super fun.

I've got 6 more pairs of earrings to make (to balance out my display) and one more bracelet. I think I'll just end up getting up early tomorrow. I hope I remember everything. At least I only live 2 miles away from this place.

Crazy week. New stuff. Venting (a bit). And still going strong.

Okay, I'd like to take the first section of this post for my wee bit o' venting. Brought to you today by our sponsor: the crappy week, new and improved version, as in the crappy week just before I had a show that weekend.

Honestly, it's hard to pin everything down. I'm sure that as a survival technique, my mind has blocked out a good deal of it. But here's a snapshot:

-I canceled a class this week because I was informed at 2:05pm on the day of the class (I have to be there at 6:00) that I had 2 students signed up, but it was curriculum night that night at my son's school, so... I'm supposed to get 48 hours of notice. I know I annoyed people by doing this, but for real. I have too much stuff going on to drop everything because someone else didn't call me in time. (And classes are supposed to automatically be canceled if there are less than 3 students, but I just won't get into it... this is the 3rd time in 2 weeks I've done this. I'm sure they assume I'm crapping out since I'm quitting after October, but it's always been this: not getting enough notice and there also not being enough students. It's too many hours of work to do a class so that I can get like $15.00 in three weeks.) Anyway, this was a hard decision. I don't like saying no. But I've vowed to be more assertive. So there you go.

-My 3 year old, Elliott, my sweetheart and my joy, a blessing to my life... Really, he's a treasure. Okay. *sigh* My 3 year old, Elliott, picked THIS week to have a huge regression in his using of the potty. Every single day this week he has had an accident. I thought yesterday was the topper when he started in the living room and went all the way to the bathroom tracking pee-pee footprints behind him. But today might have been better. I don't have to share the details, but he might have been trying to make a new lake in the bathroom. I'm not sure.

-Our weight room got flooded from this weird and freaky micro-burst storm we had a couple of days ago. It apparently loosened shingles on our roof because we got two huge leaks, too. On the surface, this wouldn't appear to effect me too much (can't remember the last time I used weights), but it did because this is also the place I store all of my jewelry displays and organza pouches and ring boxes and bags and all of that stuff that I use to make my shows successful. I mean, I hate to be obvious. But, yeah... this is all stuff I NEEDED to be easily accessible this weekend. Now it's all shoved willy-nilly into the garage and part of tonight will be pulling it all out and sorting through it all to find the stuff I need.

-Today was the worst day of the whole week (if you can believe it), started off by getting some horrible news that should be good, I suppose, but the potential bad of it is so much that I was really mad when I heard it. I got, for lack of a better word, yelled at for nearly a half hour about a disagreement that a certain person can't let go of, but that I would happily never talk about again. It's just one of those trying to convince me of their opinion things that doesn't work because I simply don't care and I know what I think and I'm done. After this is when Elliott tried to make the lake in the bathroom. (See above.) And then, because I was momentarily distracted upon leaving the house and taking the kids to my grandma's (she's watching them so I can finish all of this show stuff), I locked myself out of my house and, bonus, my car, and my grandma came and picked up the kids while I waited outside for my husband to drive in from his work, 22 miles away, to let me back in. Did I mention I live in Mesa, Arizona? It's not that pleasant outside today.

So maybe that was more than a bit of venting. But it's been kind of building up for a long time today. And I don't do it that often. So... I actually feel a bit better.

Just for fun, here is my table as it sits now after nearly 3 days of constant use:

It's a card table I have set up right by my couch so that I can do my torch stuff while we're all watching TV. I'm excited to get it out of my living room tomorrow.

Here's the pile of stuff I pulled out of the tumbler today. This is what it looks like before I separate it all out. I had accidentally gotten rice in the tumbler at some point this week, which I saw when I pulled the stuff out. I thought that was kind of funny. It's some really clean rice, I guess. ^_~

Those huge purple beads are SO cool. They're vintage glass beads I got from an older lady at the church I used to go to. She knew I made jewelry, so she handed me this bag of old, gorgeous purple beads that apparently fell of a necklace that snapped. I offered to restring them, but she didn't care. I've had them for years and never used them, and I finally decided to make something with two of them.

Here's the whole setup so far. It really doesn't look like a lot. I've still got to price everything and find my displays. I won't have a lot of room, and most of my thing this weekend is my demo of how I make my buttons, which reminds me that I have to cut a lot of blanks tonight, but I think it's still a pretty good supply.

That's my ugly desk, too. The icky background of a lot of my photos. It's really sturdy, though, and can take a lot of abuse. Just like me. ^_~

Overall, I feel pretty good. Maybe partly because my sweet hubby ran off to McD's to get me a McFlurry after he drove home and let me in. He just took the rest of the day off. Even though we're obviously not interacting right now, just having him around is so nice. I always feel more at ease when he's near me.

So tomorrow is going to be good. Still a lot of work to do, but in the end, it will have been fun. I always look back and feel glad about my accomplishments. I make amazing stuff. And even though most of this doesn't have anything to do with knitting, it's exciting to be selling in an area where people really can respect the time and skill it takes to make things. And I'm starting a new pair of socks tonight. Wewt, wewt!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weekend show stuff/Cool knitting stuff

Okay, I've been busting my rump to get stuff ready for Saturday and here is just a taste of the goodies in store if you wish to come and buy my stuff and support not only a local artist, but an awesome locally owned shop (Tempe Yarn and Fiber... I'll be there this Saturday from 12-4 with cool stuff and a neat demo).

Here's a pair of earrings (all fine silver, carved onyx beads) and a pair of bracelets that I made recently. The bracelets are the first two in what I hope will be a long line of stitch/row counting charm bracelets. Sometimes as you knit, you're asked to repeat a certain number of rows a certain number of times. I don't like to mark up my patterns/books a lot because if I want to make the thing again it's hard to discern between my two sets of markings. So these bracelets are all fine silver (the chain made by me, link by link, the clasp and the headpins the beads are on--all me!) except for the hooks which are made by me, but out of sterling silver instead of fine because the sterling has a bit of spring to it and will let the hooks stay formed longer. If they ever do loosen a bit, it's really easy to just squeeze them closed again. Anyway... the idea is that as you knit, you can move one charm along one side to count rows and one charm along the other side to count repeats. That way you don't have to mark up your pattern. ^_^ And they're GORGEOUS. So, yeah. You know you want one.

Here are other bracelets I made in the last couple of days for the weekend. I really love these. From left to right: Another bracelet inspired by my pwoosha son, Thad (he had made me a bracelet when he was 5 for Mother's Day... I gave him free reign in my beads and he picked only Swarovski crystals and bali silver [good boy!], but he mixed them all up so freely and used all kinds of colors and shapes, and it all looked so good and that bracelet goes with everything and I still get compliments on it.), with various Swarovski crystal beads; black onyx and fine silver; Swarovski and fine silver; Swarovski again and fine silver; and amazonite and fine silver... All of these bracelets, again, are made by me 100%, every link, every clasp, and every bit of awesome. LoL. I LOVE these.

And Barbara let me borrow one of her spinning wheels. Yay! Here's the first test yarn I spun on it to get used to the wheel. I love it even though it's just plain red without fancy colors or anything.

Here is my second Malabrigo sock almost finished....

Here's the most artsy photo I took of my completed glorious socks on my feets:

I just bought more Malabrigo today to make socks for my sweet husband who is my favorite person on this earth. $20 for a skein of yarn and SO totally worth it. I laugh at myself... if I tried to describe Malabrigo to a non-knitter, the first thing that comes to mind is, "It's like the cashmere of wool yarns." LoL. I guess it gets the idea across. Until that person gets to paw some real cashmere. *sigh* If only cashmere socks were able to stand up to wear. I wonder if I could knit myself a pair of cashmere socks and just sleep in them or something. Something to ponder... Now those would be expensive.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Show this weekend at TYF

Hey, all! I'm having a show this Saturday over at Tempe Yarn and Fiber in Tempe. I'm not sure of the time yet. I'll be doing a demonstration on how I make my sheet metal buttons and pendants as well as having some of my newest fine silver pieces for sale.

Hopefully some of you can make it! You don't even have to be in the clutches of fiber arts to appreciate the pieces I'll have. Although, I am super THRILLED to be debuting such designs as stitch/row counting bracelets and plain fine silver stitch markers and several other items that you will not find on my Etsy.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Canceling Scrapbook Social Class

Due to lack of response, I'm canceling tomorrow night's class. Just posting here in case anyone was planning on showing up.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scrapbook Social 8/13/2010

I'm teaching the depressed window cards again this month since I didn't have anyone come last month (except Gail) and we both agreed it was okay for me to push this back so that more of you could have the opportunity to do this. (And it was a TON of work to put this together, so I'd really rather teach more people to make it worth it for me.)

The class will be Friday night, the 13th of this month (August), from 6:30-8:30 at the Riverview JoAnn. Cost is only $10 per person!

Basically, this class will teach you how to make a little depressed box like shape in your card which would allow you to add extra embellishments and generally make a fun piece. You could add jewelry or tiny gifts right in your card and it's a really fun thing to do! These are usually best handed to people in person, but if you want to try to mail them, you could. You'd just have to use a stiff mailer of some kind that will fit the card inside. The card will be as thick as the depressed box is deep, if that makes sense. (A 1/4" deep box will yield a 1/4" thick card, unless you get embellishments poking out that will make it even thicker.)

Here is an image of a card I made using this technique:

And here is an image of the wall hanging I made using this technique:

The wall hanging is actually about 10" across, so you'll be able to use this technique to make more than just cards. It's pretty fun!

To make this card, you only need the most basic paper crafting tools:

-At least some cardstock (for your card base)
-Decorative cardstock or paper as an accent to the design
-Your preferred embellishments (buttons, stickers, brads, rubons, ribbon, etc.)
-Adhesive or glue, such as my favorite, Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive
-Markers or pens or colored pencils or chalks or whatever you'd like to use to add color or text, if you wish.
-Inks for adding antiqued edges, or for stamping with, if you'd like to use stamps in your project

-X-Acto Knife (or similar craft knife)
-Paper trimmer (with scoring blade if you have it)
-Bone folder (for making deep folds... you can borrow mine if you don't have one, but you may have to wait if other students are borrowing it, too)
-Any stamps you may like to use as embellishment
-Paper punches, if you have favorites, for creating embellishments (the classroom has a large selection of punches for you to use)

It looks like a lot when I write it out, but if you've ever done any kind of crafting, you likely have a lot of this stuff already.

Please e-mail me if you're planning to come to the class. It takes a lot of time for me to pack and prepare and I'd like to know that I'm showing up to teach people. ^_^

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New Etsy!

I'm announcing now even though I won't be premiering until a little while in the future. It has occurred to me that since I put a lot of time and thought into tutorials I post in the blog that I should try to sell some of them. Many good friends (including Bonnie, Rose, and others at Clay Guild) have suggested that I try to sell my clay tutorials either through Etsy or I will maybe get some clay stuff together in the future, but for now, I'll focus a bit more on the paper stuff.

My new Etsy site will be I'll be doing tutorials first on making your own craft space storage from cardstock, including cute folders and boxes and whatnot. I will probably branch out into clay and jewelry tutorials in the future, including some of my favorite earring components and whatnot. I know that and the clay lesson site exist for those purposes, but honestly, if I can just sell things without having to give half the cost of each lesson away, I'll be a bit happier. And having all of my stuff in one place is good, too, in case you like what I do. Then you'll have one stop shopping. ^_~