Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Even though the last few days have been unseasonably mild here in upstate New York, I have been getting the urge to pull out my yarn, crochet hooks, and knitting needles which I have not used in a long time. Fortunately, it is like riding a bike, you never forget once you have done it! I have been very inspired by a blog called Flowermouse. Lone is a very prolific knitter whose pace I can only dream of matching, and her blog is an explosion of color. She also creates beautiful items in polymer clay and felting! Anyway, she has inspired me to make something, and the first something I made is this crocheted baby hoodie. It was a free pattern from Bernat yarns--you know, one of those tear offs you find in the yarn aisle. I used a regular worsted weight yarn because I wanted it to be heavier, like a jacket. I plan to give it to our friend's daughter for her new baby girl at Christmastime.
I'm going a bit yarn crazy--don't know if it is the cold snap, freaky early snowstorm in October, or the fact that I lost so much of my yarn in the flood earlier in the summer. The adage "What you don't use, you lose" keeps playing in my mind, though I know it is not about the same thing. I also made another crochet project which I can't show yet because it is a gift for someone who reads my blog. I have a crocheted baby blanket (for no one in particular) started, a knitted scarf for me and as soon as my tunisian crochet hook comes in the mail, I will be making two more gifts that I also cannot describe yet.

So, do you knit or crochet? Do you, like me, get the urge to do either when the weather turns cooler? Do tell!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Signs of a bad winter?

Have you looked at the squirrels in your backyard lately? Are their tails extra bushy? Did you see less acorns littering the ground earlier in Autumn? These are just two of the signs that some believe will predict a bad winter ahead. I don't know about the first, but I have had trouble beating the squirrels to finding a lot of acorns to craft with this year. And why would I want to craft with acorns? Glad you asked! Because I saw an awesome post on a blog I follow called MegaCrafty where Meg created some really neat ones. She inspired me to make some of my own. First I have to tell you, Meg has the right title for her blog--she is just loaded with fun craft ideas and recipes--enough to keep me busy for a long time! Got left over cranberry sauce? Try her muffin recipe. Anyway, after seeing her post, here is what I made:
The top two are painted and they sealed with decoupage glue. The bottom four are wet felted--and boy does she have a great tip for felting balls!
Next I got creative with polymer clay and made these:
They are actually acorns covered with clay that I matched to some spare caps I had. I display them on our buffet in the dining room.

Thanks to Meg for this really fun project!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

IA Challenge

The theme this week at Inspiration Avenue is "Aged Beauty" whether it be something new made old, old people, old stories, etc. I decided to have some fun playing around with polymer clay again. I made another tile that is about 7/8" wide and just over 1" high. I used a Lisa Pavelka image of a boy & girl dancing on an ornate stage. It reminds me of a beautiful old theatre or opera house. I creased & cut the image to further age it & baked it atop white clay. After it was done I added Judikins powder resin--it was the first time I tried this product. I was pretty pleased but next time will try to smooth out the powder a bit before heating it. Anyway, without further ado:
If you have time, stop by and see all the other wonderful art created for this theme at IA!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

To All of My Friends in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving!


To Everyone...taking a few days off to spent it with family and friends. Have a wonderful creative weekend!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ya Gotta Get Up Pretty Early in The Morning....

to catch a photo like this:
There were about 10 of these huge Turkey Buzzards sitting in a bare tree. It was eerie because they are so large:
I grabbed my camera to try to get a good shot and then figured I'd get one of them with their wings spread so you could really see how big they are. I looked down to preview the first photo to make sure I got a good one, got ready to take aim again...and they had already flown off! Oh well, I'll keep trying!

Friday, November 18, 2011

IA Challenge "Harlequin"

The challenge this week at Inspiration Avenue is "Harlequin". Even though there are so many creative ways to approach this challenge, I stuck with the color/pattern theme of black & white diamonds. It was actually very challenging for me to come up with something for this, and I finally resorted to playing with some polymer clay. I made a little tile that I will use at a later date in another piece of art.
I still need more practice with clay, as you can see, but I did have fun and felt very challenged--which is the whole point, isn't it?

Stop by and see all the other wonderful entries at IA!

Have a very happy, creative weekend everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A DVD Review

Well here is another unsolicited DVD review...this time on making wire-wrapped jewelry with Scott David Plumlee. The DVD lasts a bit over one hour and is chock full of great information, techniques & projects.

There is a comprehensive materials overview that explains all about wire sizes, types and properties. He also goes over different types of pliers and their uses, forging tools, and some important safety tips!

One of the things I like about Plumlee's DVDs is that they demonstrate from his perspective--makes it much easier to understand how to do a particular step. In the first project you learn how to make your own headpins--super cool! He goes on to make wire wrapped earrings using the headpins that were just created. There are several different types of earrings and bracelets demonstrated, and variations are also discussed. He also teaches how to forge your own "S" clasp.

Again there is a lot of useful information to lead you on your journey of designing your own wire-wrapped jewelry!

For more information on DVDs, Kits, Tutorials, etc, please visit David Chain Jewelry.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This week at Inspiration Avenue, Hettienne chose the theme to be inspired from any form of needlework. "Where there are needlework, there is art and there are memories and stories to be shared. Share with us your creations that tells the stories that were sewn into your heart!"

I created an ACEO for the challenge. I started with a stencil and after some cutting with a craft knife and punching with a needle, I sewed in the color. I did simple weaving in the center for a little texture.

I would also like to share a quilt that I made many years ago which also fits this theme. Have you ever loved a piece of clothing so much that you couldn't bear to part with it--even though it was long past it's wearable life? Or maybe, you don't get that attached to clothing. I sometimes do, as I did with this shirt. I've always liked jungle animals and safari-type clothing (think the old,original Banana Republic), and when this shirt wore out, I was sad to let go. Then I took a quilting class and realized that I could incorporate it into a quilt. Here is the result...Attic Windows Pattern:
Now I know it is only Thursday, but I am going to wish everyone a happy, creative weekend anyway. My daughter is coming home tonight for the long weekend, but I promise I'll get around to see everyone's IA challenge art!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Good Morning!

Or at least it would have been morning if I had scheduled this post to go up at 9 AM instead of PM!!!

Thank you for all the well wishes and comments about the craft fair. As I expected, there was not a big turnout, and in fact, there were several empty tables of vendors who could not make it. I think a lot of people were just numb (no pun intended) from being without electric and just had piles of stuff to catch up on. Despite the low number of shoppers, I only netted a few dollars less than last year when I did this show. It helped that I was the only one with holiday themed items. There was Tupperware, Mary Kay, someone with homemade jams & jellies, and a lot of jewelry vendors. As I may have mentioned, I have one more show the beginning of December and between now & then will be listing as much as I can in my Etsy shop. I have been doing shows since 1994, and I'm getting burnt out.

I had the good fortune to recently win one of Roxanne's paintings--do you know Roxanne? She has a cute blog, called Mentalmulch. The painting is one of her awesome girls and is full of detail which I hope you can see in my not so awesome photo, LOL!
All the more amazing when you realize that it is all of 1" square!!!
Roxanne has recently combined her two Etsy shops together and along with her paintings and art dolls, you can now find all of her dachshund art there, too!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Well, this week just flew by! Spent most of the past two days continuing to clean out the garage and put everything back in the basement so we can hopefully get the second car inside for the winter. Thought I'd leave you with a few photos from last Saturday.
This first photo was taken in our backyard a few hours into the storm.
Taken from the back porch. You can see there was already about 4 inches.
Most of the snow has now melted, but there are still many people without power. Join me in sending out some good wishes to anyone who is still struggling without electricity.

Have a happy, creative weekend. I have my first craft show of the season on Saturday.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Blog Award

I'd like to thank Gloria of New End Studio for passing along the "Tell me about yourself award"! I've shared a long of things over the years...here are 7 more:

1)Ringo Starr is my favorite Beatle.

2)I love apples cut in half with the seeds dug out and the hole filled with peanut butter!

3)I hate cheesecake, but I think chocolate is just about the most perfect food.

4)I have one older sister who drives a school bus--which in my opinion automatically puts you in like for sainthood.

5)I like to shop but hardly ever buy anything new to wear.

6)I wish I was taller and thinner.

7)I love to read.

I am supposed to pass this along to 15 bloggers, but as is my custom, I invite anyone who wishes to play along.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thank you!

We got our power back a short while ago! Everything is well here and I want to thank everyone who left such nice comments, emails and convos! I'll be around to visit you all soon! Debbie