Thursday, April 21, 2016

Too Sparkly? Nah!

Last week I couldn't sleep, so I just snuggled under my covers and thought about things. I wondered how I didn't have any pins to glue on the back of the shrink plastic dragon I'd made when my stash of supplies is so big and varied. Then I thought about other things that could be made with the shrink plastic and how they could be made and decided to experiment with earrings. The next day I found some round things to trace and a purple marker. I made a bunch of different sized circles and colored them on both sides before baking them. The color wasn't quite as strong as I'd hoped, so I got out the glitter nail polish. I used three different polishes to get a look that was perfect. I super-glued some posts on the back, linked the circles together, and voila!

They're very long but super light and make a gentle jingle when I move. I love them. I need to put some top coat on them to keep the sparkles where they are, though, so I don't wind up with chips around the edges. They touch my shoulders and I have to wear my hair up so I don't get tangled up, but look at how they are when worn (but ignore how icky I look):

Of course, I have tons more ideas for big, sparkly earrings now. I have a place to work, too, so I don't have to clean up my mess to fix dinner or anything. The ideas will have to be written down and sketched for now, though, because I seem to be developing the hereditary arthritis in my hands. It's not a good time. Last night I could barely turn a door knob. I won't stop doing what I do, though, because I would probably explode in frustration. There are too many things to make for me to just give it all up. When I'm hurting a lot I enjoy an old movie or two and admire the brilliant actresses of the 30s and 40s - and not knitting while watching means that silent movies are easier to keep up with because I read all of the cards. Well, I'd better get going. Joshua seems to be up to no good. He's got spring fever and can't keep from climbing the screens to try to chase the birds and squirrels. I'd better go get him before he gets stuck somewhere.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Experimenting With Shrinking

It's been awhile! Sorry about that. I've been slowly working in my new craft room, fixing it up and arranging everything. It's a work in progress and probably won't be perfect for a long time. I don't even have all of my stuff in there! I've discovered that I have more supplies than I thought. One of my favorite parts so far is my display of pretty little purses:

They're all thrifted by my mom from when she volunteered at the charity shop. A couple of them still had their retail price tags - a hundred bucks. I should just start using the bigger ones daily because they're fun. Right now I'm enjoying how they decorate the corner. I've seen a ton of tutorials for using plastic containers as shrink plastic but, since I don't buy things from the bakery or deli department, never had a chance to try it. Last week, though, I got some monkey bread for Khloe and her friend and noticed that it was the right kind...so I had to try it! I cut the pieces apart and traced a couple of images from coloring books. I watched them as they shrank in the oven - easily amused, I am. Check out the results:


Look at how little they got! The original dragon picture is about 3" by 5" and the original butterfly is about 2 1/2" long. I think I'll glue some pin backs on them and wear them as brooches - maybe add a bit of glitter or something, too. I have tons of ideas now and want to scour the internet for clip art to trace. This is one of those times when I wish I could draw, let me tell ya! I need to find the rest of our markers, too. I know there's about a zillion around here somewhere. I have a big stole that I finished, too -

It's cotton yarn, very light, and the finished stole is about seven feet long (about 2 1/2 meters). It will be nice to have this summer for dramatic tossing over my shoulders and such. It was really hard to get a picture of. Since it's pink and purple it matches nearly everything I wear. In Joshua news, whatever was making him sickly is gone. He's super cat-like now, bouncing around and playing constantly and eating like a little horse. He's trying to make up for being sick for a year and a half by being extra crazy whenever possible. I'm so happy that he's better. We thought, more than once, that he wouldn't make it. Now the girl child is trying to talk me into getting a little dog because obviously Joshua needs a playmate. That's all for today. I'll be back with more goodies and experiments soon.

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Month, Finally

Wow, January kind of of sucked. It's enough to get the girl child back into school mode after being out on break for two weeks, but then David Bowie died. That was a shock. I held myself together long enough to get the girls to school (we heard the news on the radio) but cried the whole way home. Many blogs wrote about their feelings, but this one really touched me. I can't imagine too many other performers who meant so much to so many people. Then that week ended with Alan Rickman dying. You all know how much I love Harry Potter. He's also in a movie called CBGB that I really enjoy, so I watched it on netflix and read a couple of threads on Ravelry that shared feelings and celebrated his work. The very next day I got some unpleasant news about my son that hurt me a lot. Then we finish the month with a medical diagnosis for my dad that's only going to get worse. So my year is starting off quite crappily. I've been restless and antsy because I can't process so much at once. Last week I decided to check the charity shop. It was a good idea - lots of new goodies! They had cones of yarn - I'll be doing a burn test to determine the fiber. Three cones is more than enough for a couple of huge projects or dozens of small ones. I found lots of fabric, too. And these great patterns:

Aren't they cool? Three of them, the 70s ones, are too small for me so lots of tracing and adjusting will be required. I suppose I should finish getting my sewing area cleaned out and set up. The Butterick dress reminds me of something Sarah Jane would have worn during her adventures with the Fourth Doctor. I tried to look for some of her outfits but got teary-eyed knowing that the current Doctor won't get to have an adventure with her. Wouldn't they be great together? That's all for today. I'll be back soon, maybe even with something good to share. Have a lovely week!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Thrifting Finds

My boyfriend is kind of hard to shop for. He says he doesn't want anything and if he needs something he just gets it. He likes painted or carved wooden boxes, so I decided to check the charity shop - they've moved to a bigger building and I hadn't yet checked it out. Well, no luck finding something for him...but I found myself some goodies!

I love old craft books. How could I resist a sewing book with "the 70s greatest looks" on the cover? I've flipped through it and it's full of tips and information. The Crafts and Hobbies book is crazy. It includes not only macrame, spinning, and tie-dye, but sculpture, bread baking, preserving fruit, and wine making. The knitting books seem to be for beginners but have some nice basic patterns. The needlepoint one is just pretty. Maybe I'll start doing that again someday.

They had so many patterns. I looked through all of them. There were A Lot of great 70s ones but for a person smaller around than I. Maybe I'll go get a few for inspiration, though, or to put in frames as decoration. I was surprised to find sewing patterns. When I volunteered there the general thought was to toss them. The new bosses obviously don't feel the same way. Thank goodness!

Fabric! The pink is a thin fleece and there's five yards. I don't have any ideas right now but something will eventually come to me. The black is four yards of a light cotton and the blue is seven yards (!) of a similar light cotton. The cashier was impressed that I like to make clothes and we talked a bit about how sad it is to think of the working conditions in clothing factories. I really need to get in there more often. They have it planned out nicely and it was easy to move around and look at everything. When I picked Kerry up yesterday I noticed three second-hand stores near his dad's house. (Kerry is staying with his dad. I'm heartbroken but he's doing great in school and that's what really matters.) I've noticed a small fabric store and a couple of "junk" stores, too. It seems like I should plan to spend a day checking it all out. Who knows what kind of goodies lie waiting for me?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Weaving In Circles

When I was about five years old I had a boyfriend named Michael. I went to his house once. It was amazing. They lived out in the country because his dad had a small airplane with a runway out back. Inside his mom was playing a Jim Croce album and had a huge floor loom. She wasn't using it but it had a project on it. That image has stayed in my brain - a big loom against the wall, music playing, smiling people. Sadly I don't remember Michael's last name or know what's happened to him. I just have that one memory. Ever since I've been fascinated with weaving. It's amazing what can be done with a loom and thread. I once had a small table loom, made for children (I was about ten), but it disappeared through the years. My stash of things for being creative does include some small hand looms, but they're kind of awkward to use so I haven't done much with them. So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, recently on Cassie's blog she showed some CD weaving that her students had done. They look so neat. Then, by shear coincidence, CD weaving was all over my pinterest feed. I listened to the hints and found some unwanted discs in my son's room (he's notorious for not putting them back in their cases, leading to scratches). Add some scraps of leftover sock yarn and voila!

I had such a good time making these - and of course I started thinking about other color schemes - ombres and rainbows and striped monochromatics - and things to do with them - magnets for the fridge, glue a pin on the back for a brooch, hang lots on the wall, string together as a window screen - and it hasn't stopped. I even wondered about getting some crappy albums from Goodwill to weave into a huge design. I think they would be really nice around one of those great "God's Eyes" that are yarns wrapped around crossed sticks. No, it's not exactly the same as sitting at a big loom making large wall hangings or blankets, but it's sure fun. And, of course, it's helped me procrastinate more - those gifts still aren't done. I really need to get going on that...after I sew the zipper into the dress I'm making, of course.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Getting Ready For Chills

I decided to get a jump on my Christmas knitting since I only have two gifts to make. One is done. The other is stalled out because it's for someone who doesn't like me. I'm knitting it as a sign of affection for someone else...and I'm really having a tough time finishing it. Instead I've made a couple of things for myself. The first was inspired initially by this project on the Up Sew blog. I selected this scarf labeled cashmere but cost five dollars so it's mystery fabric - but it's soft and warm and I love the wine color. I had the buttons sewn on but the fabric is too delicate and loose for button holes without stabilizer, which I don't have. So I took the buttons off and just sewed the ends up. It turned out pretty cool.

I still want to make one with buttons to make it like the inspiration project, though. Good thing my scarf collection is big! I just need to stop at the fabric store next week after court if I'm in a good enough mood, of course. The second one is a similar style - big rectangle sewn on the ends. I used some yarn that's been in my stash for around ten years. I'm glad I found a project for it finally. As I was knitting I thought of ways to add different stitch patterns to change it up, but the plain knitting was perfect for watching television.

I may make a couple more of these, too. I have other yarns that would be good for something this simple. I suppose I should finish this gift, though. After I finish the Patti Smith - inspired project that I've been working on...and find a sewing project to restart my mojo...and maybe knit a sweater vest to satisfy the strange urge I've been having...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

They Grow Up So Fast

Yesterday was my baby girl's fifteenth birthday. Fifteen. It seems like so recently when she was the tiny bundle with big blue eyes that charmed everyone. Now she's in high school and last weekend went to her first high school dance.

Isn't she beautiful? She went with a group of friends and had a really fun night. I'm glad she's enjoying school so far this year. In less happy news, I no longer have my job. I'm very heartbroken and depressed about it but won't talk about it further. It's back to the stress of looking now. Back with some finished projects soon, I hope.