A world of possibilities

Oh the holiday season. My inbox keeps announcing early black Friday sales. And, I realized that Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away. It’s crazy.

I’ve been trying to plug away at getting ready for holiday shows. I’m always plagued with so much doubt about whether or not I made the right thing. It’s a silly exercise, and I know I should stop.

It’s the show-and-tell section of my post. I took a metal-etching class last Saturday. I did learn some tips and tricks. And, I was so inspired that when I got home on Sunday, that I did these.

The beau likes the cat in the suit. I like the Space Needle with the rain.

Here’s a commissioned piece for someone whose niece loves compasses. I had some worry in the beginning, but I think it turned out pretty bo

And I think this tree is lovely. It’s maybe a titch big, but I still think i’s pretty great.

After learning that 20 of my art-o-mat pieces have sold, I’ve also spent some time making 50 more.

My resin-splattered silicone mat is an eyesore.

The beau is out of town for the weekend, so I had today to do whatever. I thought I’d work on my art-o-mat stuff, but that didn’t happen. Mostly I tidied, which felt nice. I also played a wee bit with some of the Swellegant metal paints, patinas and dye-oxides. They’ve been on my mind after I recently painted this resin crow.

Resin crown painted with Swellegent and embellished with the darkening patina.

These chipboard pieces are plenty porous; they likely don’t need any prep. However, I prepped some of them. There’s really not a difference.

 

I love the brass on the turtle, but then again, I love brass in general. The rick bronze is also pretty great. And the iron took more coats than the other metallic paints.

I had fun playing with the dye-oxides, although I’m not crazy about all of the results. The bronze owl took more of the dye color than I thought it would. The brass owl is kind of milquetoast. And, I couldn’t get the gold-verdigris patina to give me the results I want. Perhaps I need to keep trying.

What’s not to love about a chartreuse turtle that’s also showing some signs of patina? The whale has a spot of prep showing through that I could not cover up. You know what? I’m OK with that. The next step is to put a sealant on all of these.

Here are more of the same shapes after I painted them with mica watercolors.

Tomorrow I’d like to tackle my Christmas cards. I had one idea, but after thinking about watercolor paints, I may need to rethink my plan.

Speaking of thinking, I think that knitting or crocheting may be what I need tonight. The only choice now is which project. I know I shouldn’t start anything new, but the temptation is strong. And my resistance to new projects is next to nil. Wish me luck. And stay tuned to see which path I took.

 

As Annie Lennox said, “These are the contents of my head.”

I might finally be able to get my head around the fact that I need to do market stuff. Maybe I can chalk it up to the fact that I took a jewelry class at Beadworld alittle more than a week ago. We cut up metal tins and turned pieces into earrings and pendants. Since then I’ve scoured a handful of thrift stores looking for tins with interesting prints. My local Goodwill is by far the best source. That place never fails to amaze me! And, I love having real reasons to pop in.
This lovely Klimt coffee tin many have to stay intact, even though these prints will make for lovely pieces.

    
Saturday I cut up almost all of the ones I had. Why I didn’t take a “before” photo, I do not know. However, here’s a sample of some of the cut up pieces. (Now to find a proper storage box before I hurt myself.

  
Here’s the pair of class-made earrings that started all of this.

  
Because Morgan was “Super Hero Homework Man” this weekend, I found myself with extra time for a few other projects, too.

I finished the “Meatopia” puzzle that he and I started.

  
I prepped my glittery signs so that they’re ready to be displayed at the market.

I finished another windowpane scarf.

  
I started another poncho. This new one has a very granny square/crochet vibe, and I’m OK with that.

Oh, and I finally started painting the five papier mache critters that have been parked on my kitchen counter for far too long.  

 These are another great example of when I need to take breathers from the process and do some photo documentation. It’s good to have goals.

Project ‘ Why am I obsessed?’

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been watching a lot of Project Runway. Some shows really lend themselves to binge watching, others not so much. Project Runway is somewhere in between. Once the show is down to less than 10 contestants, the competition heats up, and the designs, imho, really start to deserve attention.
Also, let me say that I could wear t-shirts with jeans or cords every day and be quite happy. I’m no fashion icon or expert. I don’t “get” a lot of fashion, either. Really, I am all about comfort and ease.

This way-behind-the-times musing all came about one night after Morgan and I watched four back-to-back episodes of Making a Murderer. Morgan needed something, as he said, that wouldn’t frustrate him, so we found the earliest season of Project Runway on Hulu, which was season 6. For nearly 18 months, he’s been telling me that I would love the show because it’s about crafting. It’s not really about crafting, but I do love the glimpses viewers get into the creative process. In fact, I wish we got way more of that. (I’m hoping that the DVDs will have more talking through the process and less background sniping.)

From the beginning, I found Tim Gunn to be the highlight of the show. I’m sure that puts me in a agreement with every other fan of the show. He is a class act, and offers up a master class in manners. Seriously, I may have to track down Project Runway: Under the Gunn. Maybe. The judging wears me out and breaks my brain sometimes. I need more about the creative process and more words of wisdom from Mr. Gunn. I think what he says to the designers is good advice for any crafters/makers: Use an editing eye. Be willing to take risks. Always listen to your gut.
While the judging is my least favorite part of the show, I do like hearing the judges say how they want to see “who the designer is” in the creation. That’s another good lesson for me and my fellow makers/crafters to keep in mind.

One more good thing about it? It’s a great thing to have on while I work on other things. It really only requires a little looking with a lot of listening. And, I’ve used that time to finish some things and start some others. I could use of month of that. (Don’t get me started on how I love to dream about being on a four- to six-week house arrest.)

Even though I woke up this morning and realized that I only have three months until the market starts up again, I’m still very much in a knitting and crocheting frame of mind. Maybe the jewelry class I’m taking on Saturday will get me back into jewelry-making mode. Fingers crossed. Wait, that’s a lie. My fingers will be busy with knitting needles and crochet hooks until I’m ready to tuck them away for the season.

First book of the year

First, a cold knocked me on my arse for the last 10 days. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so tired. My taste buds are finally returning, I sound a lot less like Brenda Vaccaro and my cough has mostly subsided. The only good thing about having to rest is that I got a lot of crocheting done. One project was the Windowpane scarf from Ravelry. Another was a simple cowl made with the second ball of yummy alpaca yarn I received for Christmas. I just grabbed a big crochet hook and whipped something up.
The first scarf I made from the alpaca yarn I gave to my mom. The pattern came from the book One-Skein Wonders By Judith Durant. When I first started knitting, I made many, many scarves. It was a great way to try out various yarns, stitches and needles. Plus, t seemed like a good way to justify buying just one or two balls of a yarn I liked for those scarves. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best method of acquiring yarn, but it was my approach.
So, When I saw the book One-Skein Wonders, I thought for sure it was for me–and a great way to use up my stash. It features 101 patterns for everything from hats to tea cozies and scarves to baby clothing and accessories to mitten. While it still seems like a good idea, I have to admit that I’ve only made two of the patterns. I think it might be time to de-accession this title. There might be one or two more projects to try, but then goodbye. So, maybe I’ll be back to knitting scarves. Or maybe I’ll make more of my crazy, giant granny square afghans with random balls of yarn. Either way, it’s silly, for me, to keep a book for just two or three patterns. And, it pleases me to think that someone else will pick up my copy and get a lot of use out of it.
Now, back to convalescing.
Coming up …. My thoughts on all of the Project Runway I’ve been watching. I know, I’m more than a little late to that party.

Time to get back to it

Oh the new year. While New Year’s Eve is a pretty lame holiday, I don’t mind the natural reminder to look back on the past year and make some plans for the new year. In an email from Craftsy, the message was to resolve to do more of what you love. I can get behind that.
I was thinking that reading for 10 minutes a day would be nice. So would coloring.

The beau and I stated a puzzle last night, which was great until we finished the border this morning and realized that finishing th3 2,000-piece “Starry Night” puzzle was going to take way too long and too much table space. So, back in the box it went. Maybe we’ll pop into Columbia City’s Retroactive Kids to look for a new one before seeing the new Star Wars film today

Anywho, back to looking back at the last year. 2015 was good. Busy. Productive in many ways. I had a streak of blogging that surprised me. And then the holidays showed up. I think I could have handled the work for holiday shows and my previous blogging commitments (to myself), but my vow to make only one gift snowballed — as it always does. And that snowball took over all spare moments.
I made:
A shark tail afghan for my great niece. (Like the popular mermaid tail afghans, but gray and with the fins turned 90 degrees.)  

A scarf for my youngest nephew.
Three “Cultivate Goodness” screen-printed t-shirts (for my oldest nephew, the niece’s beau and my brother-in-law).
A t-shirt for my sister with iron-on letters. (I learned that iron-on letters are not my friend. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears.)
A poncho for the oldest niece
A necklace for my sister-in-law.
An enameled necklace for my friend Sarah.
A bracelet for mom.  

A wrap for Pennie.
Socks for my unicorn.  

And, I’ve recently started another pair of socks, for Asha.

Since Christmas I’ve also made a wrap, poncho and granny square scarf for myself.  

 I’ve started three scarves and two ponchos. I need to focus. I’m ready to be a little self indulgent and just make stuff for myself. Or, stuff that I want to make, not stuff I have to make.

Today I need pick the next craft book to go through/evaluate. I’ve also decided I need to try using colored pencils on copper. The gesso is drying on the copper blanks right now.

I think I’ll break out the Prismacolors and keep streaming The Flop House to fuel my activities.
See you Thursday!