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.

It’s sheep we’re up against

I won’t lie. It was another rough week. I’m still working on finding and maintaining balance. The daily stress is taking its toll on me, but I will continue to forge ahead.

Making things has helped a lot. Items with “This is not normal” give me some comfort.

What’s particularly helpful is having things to make for other people.  Speaking of which, I finished this pendant!

Beaded bezel with size 8 and 11 seed beads.
Beaded bezel with size 8 and 11 seed beads.

I also made a sheep pin, which has me eager to try my hand at a hedgehog. I also have a request for a black sheep. And, I found a mix of brown and gold sequins that will make for a lovely brown sheep.

First I sketched out the basic shape on bead backing.
First I sketched out the basic shape on bead backing.
The sequins covered up the sketch and gave the sheep a more natural wool look.
I was pleasantly surprised when the sequins covered up the sketch *and* gave the sheep a more natural wool look.
The finished sheep. I like the look of using beads for the face. The two different textures work well together, imho.
The finished sheep. I like the look of using beads for the face. The two different textures work well together, imho.
I started the finishing row and worried that the final row of beads looked silly.
I started the finishing row and worried that the final row of beads looked silly.
Ta da! I ended up liking that finishing row. It gives a little more dimension, I think.
Ta da! I ended up liking that finishing row. It gives a little more dimension, I think.

I have some other ideas for more sheep. Maybe trying some with beads only, crystal sequins or even applying the regular sequins in a different pattern. (OMG!! while looking for a link for crystal sequins, I found a site with all kinds of sequins. Look at these patterned ones. I must make something with them right now! Fine words from a girl who never worked with sequins until this week.)

Later today I’ll be taking a journal-making class. Yay! It will be my first book/journal-making class, and I’m excited. Everything else has been something I learned with the help of books and the internet and tried on my own.

Also, Morgan picked out the loveliest yarn for socks for me to make for him. It’s way more fun than the plain black socks I still owe him. I cannot say how much fun I had looking at yarn with him. Funny the things that make my heart skip a beat.

On a final note, the headline comes from the song “Sheep,” by the Housemartins. Damn I loved that band in in86/87!

“Sometimes I get so angry with the simple life they lead
The shepherds smile seems to confirm my fears
They’ve never questioned anything, They’ve never disagreed
Sometimes I think they must have wool in their ears”


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!