A livejournal friend asked me how I go about spinning wire. I took photos of the whole process from wire to bracelet. There are a million pics under the cut.
A few weeks ago, I saw a very lovely bracelet in one of the fiber/spinning communities on facebook. I loved it and thought that surely I could replicate it. I watched a couple of videos on youtube about spinning fiber onto a wire core. That was my project for the last Second Saturday Spin-In. Spinning onto a wire core isn't really as tough as I thought. The only snag is getting the fiber to catch as you start spinning. But once it's started, it goes pretty easily. I used a "demented batt" from my local yarn seller/dyer, Lunabud Knits. It has lots of colors and sparkles in it so it makes for a crazy yarn.
Then, I went to my local bead shop, Dandelion Bead Connection, and asked the owner of the shop for some help on what to use as a core and how to attach my hardware. He helped me out immensely. I sat down on Sunday and attacked the project. It was surprisingly simple!
For starters, I created my "core". The guy at the bead shop had given me a giant black rubber o-ring, like 8 mm diameter and 4 feet long. I cut off enough to go around my wrist. Then, I used the dremel to drill some tiny holes though the rubber about 1/4 inch from each end. I secured my wire into these holes and created small rings on each end. it didn't matter that they were ugly, the fiber wire covers them up! Once each end had a loop, I started wrapping the bracelet with the fiber covered wire. This process is a bit tedious and gives me a cramp in my hand but isn't difficult. I just had to be sure to wrap it tightly. As you can probably see, my "yarn" was a bit thicker in some spots than others. That just adds to the beauty, I think. Once the bracelet was wrapped, I put a wee bit of glue on each end just to keep it from unraveling. Then I used split rings to attach a clasp. I like the toggle clasps best for bracelets. I find them easier to connect one handed than the others.
My only regret(?) about this bracelet is that the o-ring is a bit more rigid than I would like. It is kind of stiff feeling on my wrist. I think that once I've used up all of my o-ring supply (I have enough to make a half dozen or so bracelets) then I will try flexible tubing.
I enjoyed this project so much that I may make a handful of these in the coming weeks.
I've been busting out the Trip Around the World quilts for years now. They're super quick and easy and make a pretty, colorful quilt. However, I'm tired of the design. Each quilt is as pretty as the last, but I'm just ready to move on to something new. On the other hand, I didn't want some super detailed pattern that would take hours to make one block. I found a cute, easy pattern the other day while browsing the craft blogs and thought it would be fun to try.
My color choices for this one were inspired by a quilt by Rachael Adele creations, otherwise known as my dear cousin Mindy.
Here's the finished top:
The pattern was easy to follow and not terribly time consuming. At least, I didn't notice the time passing. Here's the pattern I used.
As for the back, I'm still thinking about what I want to do there. I've found myself really drawn to quilts without a plain backing. I've been really drawn to the ones with a row of small rectangles across the back. That may be what I do, but for now, I'm going to let it sit while I consider my options.
I've let the depression rule my life for the last several months. However, in August I started feeling better and cleaning the house. Now that I had a nice clean craft table, I decided that it was time to put it to use.
Several months ago, my cousin mentioned to me that her youngest child would love one of my baby quilts, even though she is hardly a baby anymore. She told me that the kiddo loves pink and yellow. I found the perfect fabric in my stash and as I dug through I found that I had already put a top together with just that fabric. Joy!
Tonight, I finished it up. This is also the first quilt I've done on the Viking Rose that I bought from my auntie. I have to say, it's a danged nice machine. There's some puckering in the back, but that's more due to me using a basting spray instead of pinning everything really well. I don't think I've had a quilt not pucker in the back ever. It's the nature of the beast.
I was quite pleased though with NOT having to fight with a machine for the first time ever. I may not have figured out all of the bells and whistles, but this thing sews a straight line like a dream!
Here's the finished quilt:
I hope the recipient likes it as much as I do.
Next up - I think I'll work on a sock monster! But first, I must sleep.
Obviously, I couldn't just post a picture of it last week, I wanted to keep it under wraps until the birthday girl had seen it. And usually it's my rule that the recipient must see the gift before the intarwebs at large. Tho' sometimes, if you see me in real life, I'll show you a sneak preview pic on my phone. I had trouble keeping quiet about this one, I was so proud of the results.
I will have to give a thank you shout out to my friend Homes, who not only pushed me away from a skull necklace and toward pearls (much more Mimi) he also recommended a tutu.
Without further hubbub, I give you - Miss Penelope Jean, the pink hippo or pippo.
Here she is, on the guest bed, chilling with Lenore, giving you a good view of her sparkly pink eyes and the huge fluff that is her tutu. I love how one ear lies down and one stands up, she demanded to be that way no matter how much I argued that her ears should both do the same thing. It gives her pizazz.
Showing off her pearls.
And with her new person, I believe they will be a good match. Mimi seems quite happy.
Usually, I don't name my creations, I allow the recipient to do that. But Penelope whispered her name to me while I was sewing her together. But maybe she'll whisper a different name to Mimi and her name will change.
Except for the buttons that I used for her eyes and nostrils, and a little bit of fleece for the tail, everything that went into this project came from my craft stash. Some of this fabric I'd been hoarding for years waiting for just the right project to come along. It did.
I won't promise to be diligent with this journal. I am a known slacker and am entirely too old to change. However, I'm going to make an effort here to keep up with this thing a little better. There are so many beautiful things out there and I'd love to be able to perhaps inspire some one person as I myself have been inspired by so many.
I thought I'd start by posting a preview of a project that I'm about to start on. It's a birthday gift for a friend and from the color selections (and the fact that her birthday is next week) it won't be difficult to guess who this is for. But this is before any cutting has taken place. I don't want to give too much away.
I recently bought my grandmother's Viking Rose sewing machine. This will be my first project on the machine. I hope it and I can come to terms enough to sew something relatively simple. I have another sewn project in mind for another January birthday. Otherwise, I'll have to come up with a completely new idea.
Last week, for the release of the MAC Venomous Villains collection, Mimi and I took the afternoon off work to go play in makeup. Then, we did a bit of halloween shopping. This is the time of year when I find most of the decor for my house.
While we were at Michael's, I saw some cute clip on bats and ravens. I thought about how awesome it would be when I'm an old lady to clip bats onto my old lady hat. Then I saw this silly vulture. I squeed at how it made me think of Neville's grandmama and how I so needed a hat with a vulture sitting on top of my head looming at everyone.
Thus, an obsession was born. I spent friday and saturday thinking and replaying all of the various stores we'd been in and products I've seen. The teeny bat dingleballs at JoAnn Fabric, all the hats at Halloween Express. On saturday, I made a few quick stops and picked up supplies. Sparks helped me pick out the hat.
Later that afternoon, Blizzard seemed to know that I had a very important project to work on. It flat refused to let me into World of Warcraft. That's my latest time suck. So, while I was denied entrance, I worked on my hat. Once it was complete and resting on my head, I logged in with no problem at all.
I started with the hat, added purple sparkly marabou around the crown. Then I attached one bat dingleball to the tip. Next I attached the vulture to the hat and secured him to it.
I wore that hat all evening saturday and most of sunday. This made this boyfriend laugh every time he looked my way.
I posted this picture on the facespace and someone said "I wish I had that kind of free time." I really like another friend's response to that - "Time spent in creative pursuit is not 'Free time.' It is just as constructive as time spent on technology, non-creative production and analysis." Wow, yes, exactly! Thanks for the beautiful words, Mark!
I'd been meaning to post pictures of this project for quite some time - it is finally finished. Me being me, I jumped right in and didn't take a before photo. Luckily, the lamp I "upgraded" was one of a pair - Dad has the other. So I was able to pop by his place last night and get a photo of the mate for a pseudo before and after.
I needed one more lamp for my living room. I had a pair of these at dad's house.
They were inherited from my nana, some sort of milkglass lamps with brass trimmings. I decided that it needed a bit more pizazz to punch it up. I started out fiddling around gallery glass. I filled in the dots with red and played around with the idea of putting some black swirlies on it. However, I just couldn't get those to turn out as I wanted. Luckily, gallery glass is very forgiving - a couple of seconds with a fingernail or razorblade and PRESTO back to start. I added a line or two of instant leading (peel and stick). Then I took the whole thing apart and hit the brass parts with a hammered black spray paint. The brass was rather beat up anyway.
The crowning glory, I think, was the black and white stitched lampshade I found via Black & White Delight. I was a little unsure when I put it on there, that it might be too small. But I love it when the light is on.
It's been completely finished for a few weeks, I just finally got the pictures last night. Yeah, I'm a slackass.
Looky, looky! A finished project! There haven't been many of those around here for a while. Moving really threw my crafting into a standstill, then working too many hours made getting the house together take even longer. But now the house is together enough to live with and I can get back to making things. I missed it something fierce.
The first thing on my list was to finish the neverending scrap scarf. More than a year ago, I got the idea to knit a scarf from leftover bits of yarn. I had a few small balls, but no major amounts. My auntie though, she had tons of leftover yarn. She and my nana had saved every scrap of yarn down to pieces that were only 6 inches long. I decided to knit this longways on circular needles. I cast on (by my mom's old, tail free, cast on method) until I couldn't cram any more stitches on the needles. It would take an hour or two to do a single row. On each end I did a full row of black, but otherwise I just randomly grabbed a color from the bag. If they were short, I used them until they ran out. If they were long, I used them until I got bored of the color.
I don't knit fast, I don't knit daily. But I did knit enough to be sick of this project. I was bored to death with it. So, once it got to be about 5 inches wide long, I finished it. I expected it to be maybe 8 feet long, it's well over 16. It is triple my height, which is 5'6". I decided to mostly leave the ends poking out, just because, though I'd sometimes wrap them up in the next row once I got there.
And here we have it - the scrap scarf!
I don't know if I'll keep it or not. Most likely it'll go in the giveaway bag. Crazily enough, I have enough yarn bits leftover to do a couple more.
As I was finishing this one up, I was already plotting out the next scarf. I started it last night too. I like to knit while watching tv, it keeps my hands busy.
I love that my dad is a cabinet maker. Oh sure, he'd probably still have the know how and carpentry skills to help me with projects. But as a cabinet maker, he also has access to the big shiny power tools that we couldn't play with otherwise. At least not without spending loads of money.
Toward the end of last summer, I told Pop that I wanted to build a couple of ottomans for use with my wingbacks. I took the measurements and he told me what wood to get. Maybe 4 2x4s and a little plywood later, we had a pair of these.
I told him that I wanted something sturdy enough that my fat ass could stand on it and it wasn't going anywhere. I hate cheap furniture that falls apart. These weigh a ton.
Last week, I found this fabric.
Let me just say how much I love this fabric. I especially love that I don't have to use a straight edge, just follow along with the fabric.
On friday night, I painted the legs of the ottomans black, in case they showed from beneath the skirt I planned to put on it. I eventually decided that with the black legs, it didn't need a skirt.
Last night, I covered the first ottoman. However, the batting I used was thinner than I liked. So, this morning I took it apart and, using an old ripped comforter, added some more thickness to it.
Here's the finished product!
It's a little lumpy here and there, but I'm very thrilled with my first upholstery project. Today, I'll be working on the other one. Eventually, I'll recover the wingbacks either in a solid black or in this same fabric. I'm afraid that one I'll have to send out though, so it'll be a while before I can afford it. Until then, maybe I can find some slipcovers for them.