Tuesday, November 29, 2005

After the Feast...

It's the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and I am beginning to feel human again after a week with a cold. "A cold?" you say. "Pshaw, what's a little cold..." "A COLD!" I say, "and if you think it's nothing, I will be glad to share it with you..."

Seriously now, I think the only waves of guilt I am feeling about my inactivity come from myself. Everyone was very kind and understanding as they kept their distance while I hacked and wheezed.

I did manage to get some spinning done. I washed up 4 skeins today -- I'll post a photo when they're dry. The fiber closet is still full, (looking in their gives me new sympathy for the Miller's Daughter from the old fairy tale!) but I can at least put a toe in now. It has been satisfying to spin up multiple skeins of yarn for future weavings, rather than sampling. I will have enough soon for another blanket. It's almost as satisfying as fondling and buying new fiber. :-)

I also picked up my knitting again, seeing as how we had company and I couldn't disappear into the studio. A while back I bought a box lot of yarn on eBay that included some lovely Colinette Mohair (the pale blue ball in the upper left.) I am working it up, accented with handspun leftovers in coordinating colors, in "Old Shale" on size 11 needles into a throw. It's a lovely mindless job I can do anytime, anywhere, even when nursing a cold. I should probably provide a better photograph, but I couldn't bear to interrupt Mocha's nap. She's a good kitty.

I hope this cough goes away in a few days. In the meantime, I will knit, watch a few movies, and babysit the printer while I get the farm's year-end tax information ready for a visit to the accountant on Thursday.

I'd really REALLY rather be sculpting!

Monday, November 21, 2005

This was my little corner of the world for this past weekend. It's only a little church craft bazaar, but it's a venue!

Friday was pretty discouraging -- the weather was perfect, but still very few people came, and of those who DID come, not many were buying.


Saturday went much better. I made enough to cover some serious Christmas gift buying at any rate. On the whole, it was a pretty good year. My table was flanked by the tables of 2 friends, so there was always someone to talk to.

This a close up of some of my items. 3 of the dolls sold (yippee!) as did a lot of the jewelry pictured. None of these scarves went this weekend, but a friend wants to buy one of them after she gets paid. The large shawl on the manaquin sold. Finally! This is the 3rd year I've had that one on display!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What Is So Rare...

...as a sunny day in November in Oregon? Seriously, I do NOT mind the rain... much... but when Creation offers me a day like this, I have to enjoy and celebrate it!

To top it all off, there was a glorious full moonrise. This is the view from my front yard yesterday afternoon beginning around 4:30 pm...

...until about 5:00. I can only sigh in satisfaction having observed something so simply and completely perfect.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Too Busy to Post

I have been scrambling this week to finish up as many salable items as possible. This weekend is our church's annual Holiday Bazaar. This year I have once again thrown caution AND sanity to the wind and bought a table. I don't know why I put myself through this...

I guess if I were honest I would admit that it IS fun. My daughters each take a day to man the table with me and they say it's one of the most memorable things we do together over the holidays.


I am always nervous when I put my work "out there." I want people to like my stuff! OK, I want people to BUY my stuff. It is so HARD to smile as you hear (once again!) someone say "I could make it myself for less than that." Sigh...

This year, in addition to my usual jewelry, I am adding a few other items. These barbies were all rescued from the Goodwill. I stripped off their factory paint, repainted the faces, then gave them new costumes and accessories. It is a lot of fun to do, and each one done gives me ideas for half a dozen more.

So it goes!

This doll on the right is the first girl I did. I don't know if I can sell her as she took hours and hours to do. There is an embarassing amount of work in her outfit alone. I learned a lot from doing her though, and I am much better and faster at the process now.

These two on the left are a pair of former My Scene Barbies repainted to represent birthstone fairies. The blue one is March/Aquamarine, and the purlpe one is February/Amythest. I am especially happy with their wings. Since I started reading up on this process, I have learned about a zillion new (to me!) ways to make wings!

My pride and joy is this former My Scene Chelsea. Her tail was formed by first amputating her legs at the knee, and then covering them with Magic Sculpt 2-part epoxy clay. The scales were sculpted with a drinking straw, and there are pearls embedded in the clay.

Her bodice is made of free motion machine needle lace, and her jewelry is made of fresh water pearls and Swarovski crystals. She is VERY striking in real life -- one of these days I am going to have to learn to take photos without the flash. The glare just spoils everything.

OK, back to the trenches. Thursday is set up day. I'll take a picture of my table and post it then.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I received this pin doll in a private swap with a friend from Doll Street -- I am in love with her face! AND the colors of her costume, AND her head wrap.

Of course her name is "Frieda", LOL.

I am beginning to think that I am getting the knack of working with the polymer clays. It satisfies something in me at a level that even spinning and weaving can't quite match, that imperative need inside that drives me to have something in my hands.


I still have a lot to learn about the finer points of sculpture, but so far my intuition has served me pretty well.

This is my second sculpture. He is made of a 50/50 blend of Translucent and Pearl Premo Sculpey. The photo doesn't quite show how luminous this combination turned out to be; it is lovely, and perfect for a Unicorn. His spots are made of the tiniest of dots of Silver Premo pressed into place and kind of smeared in. They look as if they are really part of his coat, and not just added on.

Here's another view of him.

His mane and tail are tibetan lamb rooted into the unbaked clay, and his eyes are faceted black crystal beads. He is built over an armature of 24 g copper wire and tinfoil, which was set into a block of marbled clay to hold it in position and then baked before I began sculpting.

As usual, he took longer to make than I anticipated, but I am very pleased with him. I haven't thought of a name for him yet though. Perhaps his mane and tail are too long? I simply can't bear to cut it!

I wish my hair would grow like that...

And then finally, there are these little guys. I made up a bunch of them and I hope to sell them at our church's Holiday Bazaar next week along with the jewelry I usually bring. I'm not too optimistic about my chances of selling as much of the jewelry as I have in the past -- people just don't seem to have as much money to play with these days -- so I am hoping that some small inexpensive doodads like these little ornaments will do better for me. It's all in fun anyways. I don't know how I would hold up under the pressure of *needing* to make money doing what I do...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Instant Gratification

I took some time from the Finishing Quest to make some pin dolls for a swap on doll street. I need to add the pin backs yet, but otherwise they are ready to mail out, and not at the last minute this time either. LOL.

Hmmmm... I see now that I should have put something in the photograph with these dolls to give an idea of scale. The little orange and green one is 4" long, the purple and orange ones are each 5" long, and the green one is 6".

I don't usually like to do such small projects, but these left me with enough room to play and experiment without feeling as if I was "doing crafts". It is a weird personal prejudice, I know; my family knows better than to call me "crafty." Oh dear!

The green one was my favorite to make. The face was done with polymer clay in a press mold, and them embellished after the style of Christi Friesen . I love her work! The fabric for the body was done on an old Weave-It using some handspun wool/silk yarn. The square was then folded over some copper wire and embellished with beads. The hand and foot beads tickle me to pieces!

I'd kind of like to keep the orange one. The beaded fringe on the arms is tipped with some of the prettiest Swarovski crystals I have ever found. But I have another one like it started... I may even finish it some day.