Long time coming

Wow! How is it that I haven’t posted anything in so long? Could it be the back-to-back work trips that took me to Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal, New Hampshire and Vermont? Indeed, I think that’s the reason.

On the trips I came close to finishing a shawl, worked on Morgan’s socks and read two books. (I loved both The Book that Matters Most and Dumplin’. Both had something that I needed, and I can’t say that it’s only coincidence that I read them when I did. I love how books often reach you when you need them most.

I’ve been home for a week now, and I’ve been able to get quite a few things done. (Including some gardening and work on a birthday present.)

To help get myself focused, I set out everything that I’d like to finish in time for the market. I’ve made a decent dent, but there’s still so much to do.

(Before you get the picture parade, I will start by saying that I know I need more process photos. At this time of year, at the heart of market prep, it’s hard to slow down and take photos. I mostly just want to get things made!)

All of these pieces are waiting for some bead embroidery. I really want to tackle the yellow and black piece of resin, even though I’m not sure that it would be a big hit. I know, I should start with the lucite.
These three pieces used to be wire wrapped together. And then … some Mickey Mouse comments prompted me disassemble them and turn them into a pendant and earrings.
I turned this “Mickey Mouse” head upside down and think that this look, with wire-wrapped crystals joining sections of chain, is pretty good.
I’d socked away these purplish beads and when I unearthed them, I know that I needed to stamp on the big one. I kind of love it. The owl is pretty great, imho.
After the class I took on coloring metal, I was inspired to do these piece. The pink-and-blue one says “Love.” I did another Love piece with a backwards “e.” Oh Stephanie … I may have to wear it myself.
These are the three wood-burned discs that I colored in. I covered both sides of each pendant with resin.The one on the bottom right is the backside with some pebeo paint. It’s pretty cool. I’d love to dangle some crystals, but that would make it a little uncomfortable, if someone wanted to wear the other side facing out.
These three are made from either paper clay or polymer clay. That reminds me, I’m taking an image-transfer-on-polymer-clay class in two weeks. Yahoo!!!
Another polymer clay piece, painted with crackle paint and acrylics. I love all of those fire-polished beads. That is the Stephanie color palette. No other colors need apply.


I can’t jury for journals until the second Saturday of May, so I have a little extra time to finish the journals I’d like to make. Remember the image transfer journal cover that didn’t work out? I just pasted some scrapbook paper over those eyesores and here’s how the outside will look on both sides. I love it! I added some sparkly embossing powder, which doesn’t really show up in this photo. Guess you’ll have to pop by the Redmond Saturday Market and check it out in person.

Journal cover. I think I need to move away from underwater themes soon.
Journal cover. I think I need to move away from underwater themes soon.

OK, it’s time to pack up some projects to take the East Side. It’s Easter and my brother’s birthday. We’ve got a double celebration in the works!

Where did my mojo go?

From one black sheep to another.
Time to trim away the ultra suede and finish the edge stitch.

It’s my common lament lately: My creative mojo has walked off.

In fact, Morgan and I were talking, and I said I’d like to have a day off. He asked what I’d do with a free day, and I said that the way I’ve been feeling, I’d  probably clean/tidy instead of making something. It’s a sure sign that my (the) world has gone sideways.
All things considered, I shouldn’t complain too much because reading mojo has taken my craft mojo’s place. It’s been nice to actually read and not just listen to books. But, I’ve realized that even if one is a physical book and the other is audio, I cannot have two books going at once. Silly brain.
Resin Sasquatch for the book club meeting.
Resin Sasquatch for the book club meeting.
 I have about 20% of Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac to go. I think I’ll make resin Sasquatch pins for the book club attendees when we meet in April.
This week I made some progress on the socks; in about one more inch I’ll start turning the heel. Goodbye rib knit!!
Knee socks for Morgan.
Knee socks for Morgan.
I do have an order for five more of the sequin sheep. It’s taken a few false starts, but I now know that 7mm is the magic number regarding sequin size. I have also amassed more sequins than I ever thought I’d own.  (Two sentences I never imagined would come out of my mouth/fingertips.) I also think that my struggles with the sheep head showed me that a basic hedgehog head should be pretty easy.
So many sequins. Who knew I would learn to use and love them?
So many sequins. Who knew I would learn to use and love them?
It’s breaking my heart that my beaded cat isn’t coming together. I know I’ll figure it out, it just won’t be today–or even this week. I think I need to loosen up on the sketched outline.
On a more positive note, I did manage to etch a few more pieces of copper last Sunday. Ta da!
Copper etched with salt water and batteries.
Copper etched with salt water and batteries.

On the 25th I’ll be taking a class about the various ways to apply color to metals. Who knows how these will evolve after that. I’m also harboring a hope to etch a few more before then.

Now it’s time to tackle organizing receipts. Oh, the joys of micro-business ownership.

Insomnia, my old friend

Sleep is an elusive thing this week. That is, real and lengthy sleep. So, after waking up at 4 a.m. (on a Saturday!!), I poked around online looking at information about liquid enamels. That got me to wondering about enameling pieces of copper that had been etched. How would a transparent color look over that?

So, I got myself out of bed and etched some metal.

Copper etched with salt water.
Copper etched with salt water.


I’m sad to say the results are not what I’d hoped for. Maybe just a clear enamel would be best. Maybe I need a lighter coat of the lightest transparent colors. Although I’m frustrated and feel like I wasted an hour or so, I know it was a good start, and I’ll forge ahead.

If you look close, you can see a hint of the owl.
I’m disappointed in this hedgehog. Breaks my heart to see the blotchy enamel, too.
More blotchy enamel, but at least you can (kind of) see the hedgehog.

So, time to pick the beads back up and work on this guy.

The beginnings of a bead-embroidered cat. He's a little frowny, I know.
The beginnings of a bead-embroidered cat. He’s a little frowny, I know.

And, in recognition of the big things — thank you, Elizabeth Warren — and the small things, like forging ahead in the face of craft fails, these pendants are also in the works.



All the stuff

About a month ago I filled out a survey that was sent out by Cloth Paper Scissors. (I’ve always kind of loved filling out surveys and am still kind of upset that neither I nor my family has ever received the long from census.) Occasionally I’d read questions aloud to Morgan. They were of the “which of these kinds of art/craft supplies do you buy or own?” Morgan asked if “all of them” was a choice.

I like my arts and crafts like I like my supplies: in bulk and as plentiful as possible.

Let's all go the lobby.
Let’s all go the lobby.

It got me thinking, once again, about all of the things I want to do and how I struggle to find time accomplish a fraction of what’s on my things-I-want-to-do list. (Please note: Tidying up is rarely one of those things. Supplies might get moved from one room or surface to another, but that barely counts as tidying.)

I still want to:
Paint (watercolor and acrylic)
Make journals
Do art journaling
Use this blog to review my ever-growing stash of craft books
Make more mini mosaics
Make mini collages to cover in resin
Put more flowers in resin
Organize my supplies
Use my cricut
Make more items with polymer clay
Read non-craft books
Practice my glockenspiel (I got new mallets for my birthday!)

Polymer clay with beaded necklace
Polymer clay with beaded necklace
Polymer clay pendants
Polymer clay pendants

That’s plenty, right?
Wait, there’s more. Add to that knitting. Now that the weather is turning a little cooler, I want to make wrap after wrap while mindless TV plays in the background.

Oh, and yeah, there’s bead embroidery. I dabbled. I retreated. I continued with basic beaded bezels. Now I want to do more free-form embroidery. It’s so much more fun and satisfying than I ever imagined it would be. I love how this project came together. Must. Make. More.

Beaded heart pt. 1
Beaded heart pt. 1
Beaded heart pt. 2
Beaded heart pt. 2
Beaded heart all finished!
Beaded heart all finished!

Oh, and in between the day job, the jewelry and time with the beau and family, I got my first wholesale order. Yay!!! It’s pretty exciting, and it’s giving my exacting standards a true workout.

Sure I’m busy. But I’m happy. And really, is that such a bad thing? I didn’t think so.

Making steps toward the market


How did I go from being swept up in a month-long beading challenge to taking a month away from blog posts?
Silly question. The answer involves a double-birthday weekend, a business trip, planning for the market and then some.
In that time I also discovered a bead artist who I just adore. My longing to do bead embroidery led me to books by Jamie Cloud Eakin. Her pieces were a huge inspiration for me, and led me to create most of what I’m showing off today.

Because I love this stamped image, of course I love this piece.

This fused glass piece was dichroic gone wrong. However, I’m OK with the overall results now that it’s been embellished.

This wonky fused glass piece is so much better now that it’s been incorporated to something more. I love the colors and the polka dots.

These two pieces make me smile. I put rose dried rose petals in resin. I’d save a few rose buds from the bouquet the vet’s office sent after Slinky died. I’d been wanting to do something with them, and this seemed right.
I have a few more resin-rose petal pieces in the works, but these are a good start.

I’ll have to do another post about putting fresh flowers in resin. And about the heat patina (not Wheatena, Morgan!) class I took last week. And there’s the Sizzix/bead embroidery project to reveal soon.

Plus, I feel like these are enough images for today. There’s not a one of these I don’t like. And, having several pieces of substance ready makes me feel like no matter what, I’ll be able to face the first day of the market head on.

Speaking of the market, I ran into Krista Jefferson of Wild and Whimsical today at the art museum. It’s good to be out and about and see someone you know!