A friend has been screwed over by the fiscal cliff- her disability is
being held up until after Congress gets it together and solves the
crisis they've created. If anyone likes jewelry, she can sure use the
sales right now! It's lovely and very reasonably priced. Some on her
etsy site SkyBlueRose Creations and more at her Live Journal:
buy some myself if it wasn't for brokedness, and the fact that the
husband would say "YOU make jewelry! Why do you need to BUY jewelry??"
I have finally- with less than three weeks to go- started on my costumes for Steamcon 4. Saturday's costume will be the Egyptian cat goddess, Bast, but with a Victorian style rather than see through, skin tight, Egyptian draping.
I found a heavy brown, ankle length skirt at a thrift store that looked like it would work. But it needed something that said "Egyptian" so I decided to put a decorative band around the bottom with hieroglyphs. So, after letting out the skirt just a little (thankfully, it didn't have a band, so a little unpicking, steaming, stitching and fusible web later, it fit), I took a narrow piece of ecru cotton and free hand drew hieroglyphs all around it.
Next, I went over the pencil lines with a brown permanent textile marker.
Then, I took artist's acrylics and painted the heiroglyphs in two shades of brown with a few touches of gold.
I pinned it to the skirt a couple of inches above the bottom, and top stitched it down.
I used a line of dark brown and a line of gold stitching on top and bottom. Then I unpicked the edges of the band, so it's rough and old looking. I can't decide whether to wash the skirt again before wearing it, to make the edges even more frayed. I also can't decide whether to try and antique it a bit with some dye sprayed on. For now, though, this is it.
Got my flu shot Friday before work, so that if I had my usual reaction I
could have it over the weekend and be ready to work on Monday. Sure
enough, by Friday night I was feeling achy (more achy than usual) and
slightly feverish. Yesterday I had the full effect of bone deep aching
muscles and fever, on top of my usual fibro pain and joint pain and
headache. Went back to bed midday and fell asleep while reading with a
tea cup on my belly. You can guess what woke me up- yep, cold tea
pouring all over me, the book, the bed and the cat. Talk about rude
Did manage to get the fabric for the La Catrina costume dyed.
Didn't turn out the color I wanted, of course, but then I had to mix
colors to have enough. It's not as blue a purple/pink as I wanted- it
verges on warm. Drat. And I forgot to take before and after pictures! That and writing one article was all I got done
Had to stop at the local nursery for some filler plants for
a garden job, and they were having a sale so of course some plants ended up
following me home. *sigh* They just won’t leave me alone!
Sweet potato ‘Tricolor’
Sweet potato ‘Sweet Caroline Yellow and Green’
Ajuga ‘Pink Lightning’
I also got an Oenothera kunthiana ‘Glowing Magenta’ (which, it turns out, is probably not hardy here) and an Anemone sylvestris, a white flowered spring bloomer. But they aren't in bloom, so no pictures!
No time to plant these yet; they'll have to live on the porch until we get through getting everyone else's gardens into shape!
Next time I buy a watering can, I'm not going to get one of those green, blend into the scenery like camouflage ones that seems to be the only color readily available. I'm going to hunt until I find one that's the most saturated, screaming pink around so I can find that sucker when I want it. I want it so bright that if I can't find it walking around the yard, I can go on Google Earth and see the damn thing.
This black blouse is sheer rayon with embroidered vines. It's lovely fabric, but the blouse was at least 12" too big around and those style sleeves look awful on me. Do not like elbow length sleeves!
So I laid it out flat, pinned it together so that the fabric was even and unwrinkled from the side seams in, measured two inches in on each side, all the way down- including the armscyes. And cut the excess fabric, sleeves and all, off, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance.
I then sewed along the new sides, making the side seams open for about 3" up as the original seams had.
Then I tackled the cut off sleeves. They were almost elbow length, with a large ruffle attached. I wanted that ruffle back on, so I cut it away from the sleeve right against the seam line. This circle is what the ruffle was.
Right sides together, I pinned the ruffle, largest point at the top, into the armsyce. The narrow points didn't quite make it to the bottom of the armsyce, so after I sewed the ruffle to the armsyce I made a narrow, double turned hem along the bottom of the armsyce to finish the edge. I don't normally like to leave an opening like that without a facing, but in this case, with the transparent fabric, it was the best solution- and the easiest!
The finished top now fits me with a fair amount of ease, and the ruffles make cute cap sleeves. It dresses up a contrasting tank top nicely, and will be great for summer!
My hoya is blooming again. Last year I never got around to
taking pictures, so I made sure to get some this time. I was given this plant
as a tiny thing, and have actually managed to keep it alive- I have killed
hoyas before, sadly. I had no idea who the plant was- I wasn’t even aware there
were so many hoyas! When it bloomed with red balls instead of fragrant white
stars, I was very startled.
I don’t even remember who gave me the plant; I thought it
was the woman across the street but she says her hoya is the white star one. So
I ran through the entire gallery at www.growinghoyas.com
and I think it’s Hoya kentiana; the flowers aren’t large enough to be Hoya
weyetii. They do produce a *lot* of nectar, which at first made me wonder what
was wrong with the plant (“It’s crying! Help it!”). I think it’s kind of cool
that it’s a plant from the Philippines.
I wonder if my mother ever saw this plant in gardens there?
Creation of photography lightbox from cardboard carton: 1/3 done Times cats were removed from cardboard box: 24 Scratches on hands from trying to measure and cut carton without removing cats first: 3 Scratches on hands from removing cats from cardboard box: 56 Number of band-aids used: 5 Times removal of cats from house was contemplated: 30
Spent some time making some quick to make bracelets, hoping to come up with things that can be sold cheaply through the one outlet I've found in town. Apparently a LOT of her jewelry sales (as opposed to her expensive art glass) in tourist season is to kids and teens who aren't spending $45 on a bracelet. So far I've come up with these:
The two on the right are just strung seed beads & rice 'pearls', three strands that are then braided. The downside of these is that the 'pearls' are plastic so they would probably *only* sell to kids, and I'm not sure I want plastic shown on the same display as my more expensive stuff (and I can only have one display board)- and I can't find any inexpensive glass pearls in this shape.
The left two are glass pearls and seed beads in simple RAW. They make a nicely heavy bracelet that is quick to work up.
I was actually able to get outside for a bit and do some spring cleanup; pulling weeds, cutting back things that didn't get taken care of last fall, pruning. Miles to go, but the ground is still so wet that I have to stay on the paths and only do what I can reach from there- I don't want to compact the soil in the beds. As it was, I sank down about two inches in one spot just stopping to cut some things- I was only there a couple of minutes! I hate to think what would have happened if I'd been there longer- I'd most likely have gone right down and disappeared.
Some plants are showing little green noses at ground level, and one clematis has fat buds on it. One of the primroses has color showing in its buds. Spring may actually be arriving- although I think it's going to snow again tonight.
It's officially spring. People all over are posting pictures of beautiful plants: daffodils, forsythia, hyacinths. People are posting about having eaten things from their gardens already. Us? About all we could do in that area would be melt some snow to drink.
I have succumbed to Pinterest. Spotted two contests in two days that required having a Pinterest account, so it happened. It does seem kind of useful, for collecting images, although I do that on my hard drive anyway. And it's not useful if the 'net is down.
I amazes me; I put up three boards with only a few pins on each, and they have been repinned like crazy within a couple of hours. It was like tossing a pig into a tank of piranha, I swear, the kind of frenzy that apparently surrounds this web site.
Because I didn't feel like cleaning the bathroom, I remodeled a yard sale dress into a skirt. It's rayon batik fabric, princess seamed, with buttons up the front. The bottom part fit my bottom part, but the top wouldn't button.
Also, photobomb by Silver.
Measured from the bottom and cut the top off. Getting this measured evenly turned into a nightmare, as the fabric is really stretchy- might even be cut on the bias.
The waist was now 6" too large for me. Happily, there were six seams so I took an inch in on each of them, tapering it to nothing 4" down.
I was going to put a facing at the waist, but there wasn't a big enough piece left over without crazy piecing it. So I did a narrow double turn down, and it worked fine. The top button that was left was only an inch down from the top, so all I had to do for fastening was sew a snap at the very tip top to keep it from sticking up, and I was done!
I'm pretty sure these buttons are coconut shell, to complement the tropical batik!
Another bracelet! This is tubular herringbone, like the green one a few days ago, but it alternates bugles and seed beads and I didn't put a spiral on it. The brilliant colors combined with the black makes me think of 1970 black light posters!
Warm, sunny day, so I hung the laundry out to dry for the first time
this year. I had to dance around in the snow under the clothesline, but
the clothes *almost* dried and they smell so good. There is hope for
This is the latest bracelet: my try at twisted tubular herringbone. I couldn't figure out how to make it spiral at first, hence the straight section at the end; to keep from pulling it apart to fix it I just made the other end straight tubular herringbone, too!
This necklace has the same history as the butterfly vest: I started it to wear at Steamcon I in 2009. Didn't get it done. I had no idea that branched fringe took so long to do- or used so many beads. (I came very, very close to running out of the beads that make the main branches of the fringe)
It started as a simple band of (I think) brick stitch, with the fringe put on at the same time as picots along the top edge. The band is #8 bright purple seed beads, the bugles are bright purple 4mm, the #11 seeds are reddish purple with some sort of finish on them that makes them appear different colors from different angles. And it's *heavy*
I've been making a few things, trying to create a little bit of stock before I open my Etsy store. First, another Russian spiral bracelet, this one in red, black and purple. I will have a hard time getting rid of this one, because those are *so* my colors! Actually got the clasp attachment done correctly this time.
Next, a couple of cat dolls. One is made partly with Oriental cottons, a beady fire breathing dragon, vintage button eyes, and Siamese cat coloring. The other is a celestial one similar to one I made earlier, but this one has a tail.
Today I have a blinding migraine that actually sent me back to bed (while I hurt most of the time, very little sends me back to bed) and I am creating nothing.
I have begun my assault on the pile of clothing that needs to be altered before I can wear it. I started with the easiest one: a culotte? skort? dress. It fit around me just fine, but my long body made it difficult to wear without being cut in half lengthwise.
So I cut the crotch out of thing, trimmed the excess fabric, ran the center back and front seams on down to the hem, and rehemmed it. New dress for me, as soon as spring comes and it's warm enough to wear it!
I started this vest in 2009. I was going to wear it at Steamcon I. Steamcon 3 has now passed, months ago.
The fabric was kind of the fabric from hell. It's a synthetic brocade (jacquard? Can never remember which is which) from Mulewart. It frays if you so much as look at it. It's thick and doesn't fold or bend well.The fact that I picked a princess seamed pattern was blindingly foolish with this fabric.
The pattern was supposed to be a lined vest. I have a fear of linings, so I decided to flat line it and cut facings for the front. Fine, except that this fabric needed to have all edges enclosed. Crap. I ended up binding a lot of the seams, all the edges that weren't faced, and the princess seams I overcast and prayed for.
Buttonholes? Right. Fear of them, too. No way could this fraying stuff have regular machine buttonholes, plus, the buttonhole setting on my machine doesn't work right. So I made a foray into the wonderful world of bound buttonholes. I'd made them exactly once before, about 37 years ago. And they weren't great. But watching a Project Runway marathon and having Tim Gunn's "Make it work!" ringing in my ears I bulled my way through. They aren't pretty; they look like a 12 year old made them. But they function. Barely.
So, after two and a half years, I present the butterfly vest (the brocade pattern is butterflies):
This is the pattern is the one for the Seedbeadsters January Beadalong:
Almost matt teal #8s in peyote for the base (which you really can see from the top side, except along the very edge), silver and matt teal #11s on either side of a 4mm pearl, and aqua and lime #15s as picots along the edges.
Sadly, I screwed up and put the lobster claw clasp on upside down, so it's kind of hard to put on. Do-able, but awkward. Pooh.
First up is a pattern I've used several times now, just in different colors
Next is a sort of Frankenpattern: I tried to follow a new pattern, and couldn't get the hang of it. I ended up making a base of right angle weave, then adapted the ruffle to it. Finally I embellished it with a vine and crystal 'flowers'
I got done today was making the base for a new bracelet. The pattern
called for even count peyote in #11 beads; I could not figure that out
for anything. Decided that was for a day when I don't have such a nasty
headache, and decided to make the damn base in #8 beads (much easier to
see!) in RAW (much easier to do!)
the newsletter together and sent it; wrote tomorrow's article today
(because we are going to a resume/job seeking class tomorrow); made a
bracelet in just under three hours including snack time. New record for
me, but it's a pattern I've made a couple of times before.
Today’s epic fail:
get a bracelet 2/3 of the way done, and realize that the reason it’s not working
right is because *triangular* #11 beads are longer than regular #11 beads, not
just differently shaped. Not enough to notice while working with them, but
enough to throw the pattern way off.