I’m on day three of a four-day vacation. It doesn’t hurt that a weekend gave me an extra two days. In that time I’ve said farewell to the 2018 Redmond Saturday Market season, made jewelry, broken out my die cutter and dabbled in keycaps.
The great thing is that most of the projects have made me stretch myself.
First I was sorting through my bead stash looking for beads to re-home, and I found these bright, candy-like beads. I tried pearl knotting and a few iterations of stringing before I remembered some shiny pastel spacers I had on hand. Once I worked those between the beads with some clear glass spacers, I ended up with something that I don’t hate. It’s very Miami/summer. I’m such a Seattle/autumn.
Next, the beau commissioned a keycap. Although it’s not complete, how to get the image on the keycap really caused me no small amount of concern. Once again, I remembered a product that I had on hand (and that seems to be no longer available) saved the day. Preliminary results show that the technique is indeed promising.
As for die cutting, I hadn’t done much in ages. It always feels like an event to cut out a bunch of small pieces of paper — even though the machine does most of the work. I’m excited to try something with vinyl. Unfortunately, I only have white vinyl on hand. Unless I’m going to print out an image of go-go boots, I’m having a hard time imaging using it. That feels like another personal challenge.
While marbling doesn’t stretch my skills, per se, it’s still fun to see what kind of results I get. Who knew I’d fall in love with the medium.
It’s a bummer to think that tomorrow is the last day of vacation. I could use another month of this. I mean, holiday shows are coming up, and there are Christmas gifts to make. No rest for weary/wicked.
It’s been far too long since I’ve posted anything.
The move is complete. We’re still adapting to the house. I am glad to report that living together is good and something we’re both enjoying. The cool fall weather certainly help. This house gets crazy hot inside when it’s hot outside.
I’ve been making a few things. A class about painting with alcohol ink led me to give it a try on keycaps. I had some varying results.
Here’s a marbled keycap. I quite enjoy marbling keycaps. I have learned that solid spaces are way prettier when marbled than pieces that have open designs. I’m not articulating this well. Let’s just say that there will be examples to come.
I haven’t done much bead embroidery this summer. This focal piece is waiting to be finished. I wonder how long it will take to find the right home. It was my first time beading with crystal cup chain. I’m eager to do more of that! And, just more bead embroidery in general.
Lastly, to bring it back around to alcohol ink, here’s a sheet of yupo paper and some stenciled alcohol ink. It’s kind of ghostly and lovely. Must break out more stencils and alcohol ink.
Four months since my last post. What’s up with that? I can answer that, but first a keycap.
I started this year knowing that the beau and I would be taking steps to move in together. And so, I made a lot of jewelry to prep for the time when my supplies would be packed up, and I’d need a surplus of jewelry.
I won’t say there’s a surplus, but I made a lot. See!
And, I dabbled in keycaps (including a few custom orders).
The move is less than a month away. My place is mostly boxes with random unpacked items here are there. I go from thinking that “I don’t have that much more to pack” to “Holy cow! The movers are going to be very unhappy with me.”
With my supplies mostly boxed up, I’ve come home from work and felt indifferent about making something with the items I left out. Maybe it was a sillyl decision, but I signed up for the #stencilgirl #stencilfiedjournal challenge to keep me creating something, anything. This is how I handled the first prompt — stencil a page and cover it with circles.
Easy Marble has helped, too, to get me to make something. I love that stuff and kind of want to marble everything, such at these cabochons that I need to work up into something a little more substantial.
And these keycaps!
I think that I get results that are as close to Fordite as anything I’ve tried/seen.
On that note, it’s time to make “We’re moving” cards. Yup, an email notification just won’t suffice.
Let’s see if I can blog again before another month goes by.
The first basic truth about me is that sometimes I feel down, less than inspired because my crafty obsessions are pointless. I’m not so self-absorbed to think I’m alone. It’s just that sometimes I want to steep in it. And so when I wrote the draft of this post on Friday, my capital-BT Basic Truth was that Im a foolish time-wasting hack.
It’s nearly 24 hours later, and I’m feeling better (never mind the wish that I had all of next week off). Morgan has been ill, and that gave me time to dig into a few things. And, it helped boost my spirits, if not my confidence. So, take the below words for what they are: a snapshot of a moment, of a mood.
Here’s a basic truth about me: My day-to-day existence is nothing if not a roller coaster ride of feeling pretty good about myself and feeling rather down on myself. I know that doesn’t set me apart from anyone or make me special in any way.
I’m guessing that, like most people, it’s something I think about only when I’m in a “less than” frame of mind. You know, those days when you question yourself, your worth, your skills … your everything.
On the good days, I’m too busy making stuff and bouncing from idea to project and back again to think about myself. I’m busy thinking about beads, paint, paper, pens — pretty much all of the supplies.
So, how to harness the feelings of the good days? Or, how to ignore the doubt-filled messages that scroll through my head.
I’ve tried books. I recently finished Real Artists Don’t Starve. And then there was Make it Mighty Ugly that inspired me about two years ago. I really need to get to Life Without Envy. I have high hopes that there will be some message in there that works its way into my brain and becomes so deeply rooted that I can become one of those people who moves through the world with confidence and ease, not once surrendering to fear and skepticism.
I can say that, even at my lowest, I still manage to make things, even if I am unhappy with the results.
This bracelet, for example, is something I worked on despite being fearful that the result wouldn’t be perfect.
Even before I reached the halfway mark, I knew that I needed ot see it to completion, no matter how arbitrary that decision might have been. It’s a simple peyote stitch around a metal bangle. Those Delicas should be a uniform size, so I’m not sure why some rows stick out a little more than others. Oh well … It’s affixed and stitched up, and it is what it is.
I’m still thinking about soldering. Still trying to solder. Here are some of my most recent attempts. It is amazing how just a little practice makes a big difference. I also need to remember that burnishing is my friend. That said, I’ve burnished until my hand cramped, and the foil was still lifting. I wonder if my iron is getting too hot. Do I need a rheostat, which books and some online sources say I should have. Sigh…
Here are two keycap caps that I stitched up a couple of weeks ago. These I love, no matter how anyone else feels about them. They’re silly and make me smile.
Speaking of keycaps, I have some new tools to put to use with keycaps: tiny stencils! I used them on keycaps and a few resin pendant.
Until then, here’s another basic truth (and then some!) about me.
• I’m a horrible housekeeper.
• I’m a decent baker and OK cook
• My feet are happiest in tennis shoes — after being barefoot, of course.
• I have a lot of bathroom rules. (Just ask Morgan.)
• I’m OK moving from baking to feet talk.
• There is no greater comfort than just being with Morgan. (Here’s one of his personal truths: No matter how motion sick he might be feeling, he is a rock, comforting me while I feel the same. Damn, I love that man!)
• I like making lists.
• I really like taking classes. And this week the universe is tormenting me with classes I would love to take, but can’t because they’re full or too far away.
There’s a class at Art and Soul in Portland this week that’s being taught by Laurie Mika about embellishing polymer clay that been put in molds. Man I’d love to have those skills – or boost the limited clay skills I have. Then, I visited Tracy Stanley’s site and after not have posted anything since last August, she has a relatively new post about classes she’ll be teaching in Milwaukee at the Bead and Button Show in June. It’s kind of breaking my heart to be missing those classes. She is local, however. Maybe, just maybe, she’ll find a place to offer them in the Pac NW.
All of that pining aside, I often find that trying to figure out something that I can’t learn in a classroom setting helps fire up my creativity.
If you have a basic truth — or two or 12, I’d love to hear from you.
Until then, enough with the navel gazing, it’s time to get back to making things.
Anywho, back to keycap time. After taking a break from keycaps, I knew it was time to get back to it. Seeing as how the keycaps with tiny flowers or leaves have been the most popular, I decided to focus on those.
I’ve added six to my Etsy store, with another five or six that need to be photographed and added as well.
Looking at all of my tiny flowers has be longing for spring and summer to have blooms ready for the picking. I’m not eager for the heat of summer, but oh how I love seeing pretty and colorful flowers right outside of my front door.
The month is not quite half full, and I already feel like my goals for 2018 have fallen to the way side. Maybe they have. Maybe I’m too hard on myself. Who can know? When pressed, I will always opt for shouldering the blame of being a slacker/phony, etc. (Is it as tiring to read those words as it is to write them?)
That said, I am plugging away at loomwork projects. In fact, two sold already. (Yay!!)
After an hour spent looking at journal-making videos on youtube this past Sunday evening, I decided that I needed to try something new.
So, I tried a junk journal, pamphlet-stitch journal with more than just plain paper and an accordion spine journal with signatures. All of them have imperfections, but as I’ve said before, I’m OK with prototypes.
Regarding books, I’m having trouble just pick them out for review. Horrible!
Maybe I need to start with some easier decisions. I have some boardgames that need to make their way to my Goodwill pile. Speaking of boardgames, I found this Charlie’s Angels board under my desk. It will make for two great covers!
I also looked, with much envy, at the website for San Fancisco’s Center for the Book. Why doesn’t Seattle have such a thing? Their classes look great. I was lying in bed wondering how to make their core certificate classes a reality. Right now I don’t have any answers. I might as well try to develop a plan to travel back in time to study book preservation in library school. I do kick myself for that decision, but then again, all of my decisions led me to where I am. So, make of that what you will.
(Maybe the next time I have a $1,000 burning a hole in my pocket, I’ll head to SF to day a four-day intensive. Ok, that does sound a little easier than time travel. There just won’t be time to travel there for the next session in March.)
I am also making slow, but semi-steady, progress on going through books and magazines. Deciding on whether or not to keep a magazine is the easier decision. However, the first two issues of Bead and Button that I picked up were relevant to things I’d recently been looking into: a review of looms and a story about the various options of pattern-making software. Funny how the information finds you once you’re ready.
Speaking of things finding you, a quick trip to Goodwill this past Saturday resulted in a fun board game find, to great books and a jar of beads. It was spendy for a Goodwill purchase, but I could tell there were enough real pearls to make it worth my while. I spent a good part of yesterday sorting them all out. And, several strands of plastic beads will make their way back to Goodwill.