Monday, September 20, 2010

Covered tins and homemade ribbon storage

Recently, we got an awesome new (to us) couch from our friends. It's HUGE and we had to rearrange our entire living room to fit it in, including moving my craft space from in front of a window on one of our walls to a corner of our living room. I am thrilled beyond thrilled to have a wall in front of my desk now so that I can eventually do some storage hung on the wall. The plan is to eventually put a shelf in and add a florescent light underneath so that I can get rid of the big light above my desk.

Anyway, anyway... I was at JoAnn and got these tins on clearance, then covered them with some paper. They've become my embroidery floss/chalk storage. I love them so much! I sanded the tops of the tins, then cut a 6.75" circle (the tins are about 7 inches across) out of kraft cardstock for each, then a 6.5" circle of this really cool patterned paper... I decorated/aged the papers and attached them with Mod Podge decoupage glue.

The circle plastic canvas thing is NOT for doing plastic canvas. *shudder* It's for marking circles and curves for my stitching. I forget which brilliant friend introduced this idea to me. But I love it and it works really, really well for evenly marking dots to poke and stitch in your papers.

NOW. On to my ribbon storage. It's not fancy, but it's functional and cool. I had gotten these wooden pieces at Hobby Lobby for making spindles, and I've successfully made a spindle that I love very much, but you know, when you buy these wooden pieces, you get many pieces in a package and I was starting to wonder what I was going to do with it all. Then I decided to undo my former ribbon storage and make a ribbon tower.

This is a 12" long 1/4" diameter wooden dowel. with a toy wheel and a knob that both have 1/4" openings. The packages say right on them what size opening they have, so you can make sure you get the same stuff.

Basically, just put some glue inside the wheel and stick the dowel in so that the bottom of the dowel is flush with the flat side of the wheel, as shown in the picture below. Set it on your desk so that it all evens out. Slip your ribbons on. This setup holds 18 ribbons with spools about the size that you can see in my pictures. I leave the knob unglued so that I can pull it off later to change out the ribbons. This setup actually stands up very well, even though it doesn't look like it would. I haven't had it fall over at all.

Secure ribbon ends with small pieces of tape so that they don't fly everywhere. I was originally thinking that the ends hanging down looked cool, but they soon got way too long and really tangled and that was not a fun mess.

So here's a general photo of the space now. I'll post more pics once I get my shelf. I recently got a new three drawer tower from Walmart, too, and I haven't labeled it yet. Oddly enough, this is pretty much what this space always looks like. I always keep it clean. I make stuff, then put it all away. To me, I just love the freedom of being able to sit whenever the impulse hits me and make whatever I want. I do scrapbooking, jewelry making, polymer clay, and other general crafting at this desk. So it's a multi-use station. It's not as pretty as the craft spaces in the magazines, but I love it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New pieces and fun stuff!

Okay, I've got some new stuff. Yay! Here are my semi-famous lotus pendants. People love these. I put a tutorial on for how to make them.

Here are my latest pieces posted to Etsy. I've gotten obsessed just a bit with crosses. I have to say, too, that I've had some pretty severe carpal tunnel type pains developing in my right hand and arm, so all kinds of things are becoming too painful to do in various crafts, including sanding and buffing. I allowed myself to sink into the depths of despair a la Anne of Green Gables, but then decided to just explore and perfect techniques that actually shouldn't be sanded when completed. These pendants are a result of that. I'm adding beads, crystals, and accenting with PearlEx before baking. They're a different kind of work, but they're still a lot of work. And I've been strengthening the use of my left hand, too. A lot of these pendants were worked with my left hand, doing texturing and cutting and whatnot. It's annoying, I suppose, but also kind of fun. I feel like I'm really exercising my brain now.

So there they are! I'm really quite proud. Oh, and I have a new camera. So I can take awesome pics now. Aren't they pretty!?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's been forever, I know, but I have pretties!

Okay, so I've been off the radar for a bit. Basically, I had a really successful show at TYF and then I rested. Because I was a silver fusing maniac for about 2 weeks and it was just time to take a break from everything.

I've been really embracing fiber arts lately. Specifically spinning. There's something so cool about it, and it's really neat to be able to sit on the couch with my wheel in front of me while we all hang out, playing games (they move my pieces for me), watching TV, etc. I don't have to be off by myself at my craft desk and that's awesome.

Anyway, my friend just got here, so here's the rest of my blog post in super summary mode. ^_~

Spun skeins of yarn soaking before dyeing with Kool-Aid:

Dyed skein with Kool-Aid:

Original skeins, both about 100 yards of fingering weight, Navajo plied, spun (by me!) from merino wool. These skeins were named "Sand" and "Blue Sky".

Skeins after dyeing with the Kool-aid. Now they're named "Aurora" (from the Blue Sky skein) and "Sedona" (from the Sand skein).

Latest handspun: 220 yards of fingering weight in a 70/30 merino wool/silk blend. I'm calling this one "Aloe".

So there it is! That's what I've been doing. I need to go now! ^_^