Work and taxes

I don’t have much to show for this week. Taxes and work stuff ate up a lot of my evening time. That’s OK. I finished one sock for Mirgan. I worked on a birthday gift. And, and fixed some jewelry for me. (Luckily, it wasn’t something that I’d made that needed to be repaired!) And, best of all, I’m taking Monday off as a craft day. I need it!!

Another non-productive thing I did this week was read a chunk of a journal from ’94 into ’95 that made me appreciate time and maturity. Being in my 20s was fun, but also foolish and self-indulgent. I’m left to wonder if I just had a lot more energy, or if the unknown of what lay beyond library school was enough to keep going and feeling unfettered and full of life and possibilities.

The offending Crayola stamp markers. Can you imagine anything worse than a puppy paw peace sign on your leg?

One of the highlights was the last page, decorated with Crayola stamp pens. I remember the night Jeff forbade me to stamp on his legs—I’d already stamped on mine. When he fell asleep, I made a puppy paw peace sign on his leg, with Asha as my accomplice. He was livid when he woke up. Come on, man! They were washable. There was no need for that kind of outburst. Maybe I was bratty, but I think that was the clearest sign that he and I were not meant to be together.

Now, some (cough) years later, I still love stamps, colors, markers, paper, journals (and puppy paws and peace signs and …). That love is evidenced by these journal- covers-to-be that I started weeks ago. They’ve languished on my kitchen counter until today. I know, I shouldn’t have covered the whole thing with napkin, but I did. And, it’s what I’ve got to work with.

Tissue paper over board. I love the elephant.

So, I took a stencil and added some color. My next step will be to go around the edges with some dark color—maybe one of the Tim Holtz oxide dyes that I’m eager to try. Then some shiny metallic paint, some gelatos used as water color, a hight of glitter and … they should be great. At least that’s how the finished product looks in my mind.

Step 2 is complete. I recognize that another many steps are to come.

Another recent experiment with paper happened around the time of the inauguration. I took some pages out of a pro-“Agent Orange” book and started by covering them with gesso. I realize now that I should have added a second coat *and* taped the pages down better. Anywho … This is what I came up with. I do kind of love the metallic foil dots! Neither is perfect, but (imho) it’s better to make something, anything, rather than nothing at all.

That needs to be covered up. STAT!
Thank you, gesso.
Seems like a relevant sentiment considering current events.
Do I think this is amazing? No? Am I glad I made it? Yes!


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.

Happy, rainy day

What a glorious Saturday. The forecast called for 100% rain, and after last Saturday’s slow day at the market, I knew a day at home would do me good. It stopped raining around 11 a.m., but it is gray and blustery, so there’s no I-missed-the-market guilt.
Instead, I have every reason to feel good about today.
First, I got about 30 more minutes of sleep than I typically get on a Saturday.
After waking I spent two hour looking at yarn p*rn on ravelry. I am particularly interested in finding uses for these yarns.

The sad thing is that those skeins are but and tiniest fraction of the yarn I own. It’s really out of control. But, I am full of inspiration. Plus, I’m only about six rows away from finishing this wrap. The colors scream fall — as does today’s weather.

Then, I went grocery shopping; I want to try out two new recipes. Wish Morgan luck.
I tidied up, did dishes, did laundry and swept.
While none of that is exciting, I did gather the cabochons-in-waiting that I’ve been gluing to substates. The question is, which do I tackle first? I’m open to suggestions.
Anywho, it’s time to finish the wrap, or start a new bead embroidery project, or set out the yearn and needles for next knitting project. A Saturday at home is a Saturday full of possibilities!

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.

A day late and a dollar short

I dropped the ball on my Sunday post, but I refuse to beat myself up about it. There was pre-guest cleaning to do. And baking! I received a Bigfoot cookie cutter for my birthday, and I needed to put it to use. So, after cleaning up the kitchen, I decided to make sugar cookies, which meant that I then has much flour to clean up. I think I’ve seen octopus cookie cutters, but I need a proper squid. However, I can imagine that getting all of the tentacles out without breakage would be a challenge.

 Saturday was my last day at the market this year, and now I’m left wondering where the past six months went. The market is a time investment. It’s a great community. It’s an anchor for the year. As much as I’m really looking forward to sleeping in two days in a row for the next six months, I will miss my market neighbors, regular customers and all of the friendly market faces. It never ceases to amaze me how something that takes up so much time is something that I can miss so very much.
It’s kind of a bummer that I had a great idea for displaying necklaces on my *last* day at the market. Oh well, it only means that next year I’ll be able to debut all kinds of neat ways of displaying items.

I’m still working through tasks and plans inspired by Schoolhouse Craft.

Without the regular deadline of the market for making new jewelry, this is also the time of year when I long to just knit and and crochet. I did get rave reviews for one of my ponchos. I’ve started a third — a very practical black and gray. However, the needle size that was recommended is just too small. So, I’ve started over with larger needles. The knitting is moving along at a better clip and I no longer feel that the project will never be finished.

Last night’s lack of sleep is catching up with me. It’s been a day of moving slowly and sluggishly and doing things like calling hiking boots hiking books. Both have their place, but if it’s boots you need, it’s boots you should have.

Apropos of nothing, I got an email from REI today saying they’ll be closed the day after Thanksgiving. I love that. Please, please, please let this be a trend.