September 30, 2009

Handmade Louisiana Entry

I brought out the dremel and sanded this piece up abit this morning.   I wouldn't consider it 'sell' quality, however, as I created this specific collage for the Handmade Louisiana Craft-Along, I'm going to go ahead and submit.   Today is the deadline.

As I like the actual collage work, I'll probably apply another layer of solder in a couple days.

Lilly has come to visit (her mama is busy having baby brother) and I'm giving her most all my attention.  

September 29, 2009

Small Heart Pendants (Cutouts)

Some time back I picked up a few packages of thin wood cutouts at a yardsale.    I took these with me to Gator Fest last Saturday, along with  book of my painted pages, in case I needed something to occupy myself.  As it turned out, I'm sure glad that I did.    So, on Saturday, I traced a couple of the (mostly heart) shapes onto the back of a couple different painted pages and then cutout just abit inside the lines.     When I unpacked on Sunday, I'd tossed these onto my workbench. 

I'm feeling better today (the cold is improving), and decided to play in my studio awhile.   These seemed as good as anything.   Very simply, but time consuming.
  • painted front & back of each cutout (paper isn't going to line up perfectly)
  • Glued the matching piece of paper to front and backs of each piece
  • Applied two coats of polyacrylic to each side.  

Tomorrow I'll finish by drilling a small hole in the top.   I'm not really in the mood to make bracelets at the moment, so will probably just put them in inventory.

After dinner I continued my solder practice.  My skill level has moved slilghtly above remedial.     I typically do not practice longer than an hour; that seems to be the amount of time for fustration to peak.   So, I simply stop.      I'm planning on putting the one with the girl in the swing reading a book in the Louisiana Handmade Guild Call, so will need to finish it tomorrow morning. 

September 28, 2009

Gator Fest, St Tammany, Review, 8/26/09

Woke up to the sound of pouring down rain.  Uh ohhh.  Not that is was unexpected; the talking heads on the news had projected 50/60% chance.     It stopped by 7:30 and at 8:30, we hauled all the stuff to the Festival (Koop Rd Trailhead).

There was a small bustle of activity and plenty of volunteers who helped haul The Stuff from the car to the designated space (they supplied the tents, which was nice; one less thing to haul).   They also helped with setup.   After we finished, looked around abit ; there were only two other vendors.   One group of women selling little girls' dresses and a woman selling light buttons and wands (I'd been told there would only be handmade objects; apparently they changed their mind).  I had never been told directly how many artisans were scheduled, however, the newspaper indicated at least 6 different categories.

Between 10am and 3pm they had a miss teen beauty contest of some sort.  It if was ever stated what the criteria for the young ladies who won was, I missed it.   What I didn't miss was that it seemed the last names of several of thewinners were those of local politicians.   All they did was walk on the stage, stand there while another (very talented) young woman read their basic info, and walk off.     It was somewhat entertaining to watch; the mommas fussing around trying to keep their children clean.    Traffic through my tent was very minimal.  

Oh, and just to keep us from having too much fun, it rained ... more .... a big torrential rain.   This is the part where the volunteers were no longer around to help move the setup inward to keep from getting wet.   There were quite officers and I asked one if he could help me move a table and was told that wasn't allowed.  (Oh well, so much for my taxdollars at work).

Music started around 3:30 and lasted until 10pm.   The first two groups were pretty good, however, attendenace was very slim and I wouldn't guess more than 5 people came through my tent, which was on the edge of the seating area.    Before the last band started, Benny Grunch, most folks left.  And, I decided enough was enough, and we did too. 

I couldn't call it a complete loss, I did sell two items.     I certainly would not be inclined to return to this event.


September 25, 2009

Getting Ready for Gator Fest

I've had a cold for the last couple of days and have been in slow gear.   I haven't created much new, but had made a little effort at finalizing what was already done ... taking pictures, posting some of the new items in my Artfire shop ... that type of thing.   We drove over to Slidell this morning to pick up a few Jewelry findings (in case customers would like the zipper pulls converted to key chains).   We also made a quick stop by Lowe's to pick up a tarp.  It's been raining quite abit lately, and tomorrow is designated as 50% possibility.  

On the way home, Beau made a quick detour by the festival site and everything was in progress.   Tents and the stages were going up.   Alot of excitement that got me a bit pumped up.   So came home and started packing it all up. 

Tomorrow we'll start set-up at 9am.   It's going to be a great day.  Come see me !!!

September 20, 2009

15 Zipper Pulls to take to Gator Fest

I don't know how the general population feels about my Pulls, but I like them.    (Guess I'll find out soon).  I think I have around 30 of them made up, but wanted to create another handful, or two, for the Gator Fest next Saturday.   

I started on them yesterday, and pulled out a whole variety of items and put them together, off and on, yesterday and today.    They are a fun little bit.    For each one, I select a central focal piece and then just start picking and choosing, putting togehter bead sets as needed, until I have all the components chosen.   Then, out come the findings and 30 minutes or so later .... a new zipper pull.

You can see them all (or what is left) in the Zipper Pull section of my Artfire Shop. 

September 18, 2009

Fabric Beaded Necklaces

Last week, I purchased a box (about 450) 1" wood balls to make fabric beaded necklaces.     I'm planning on participating in the upcoming Gator Fest next weekend and want to spend this week supplementing my current inventory to take to the Fest.    This, of course, includes more Fabric Beaded Necklaces. 

Although the 1" beads balls are not heavy, they are heavier than the 1" styrofoam balls.  I put them into a rather shear scarf and I didn't think that the fabric would hold up well, over the long term.   So, I'll only use cotton scarves or fabrics.    I'm going to try a few variations on these.     In the first set of 8, I incorporated wood beads on a couple; paint and fabric markers on two others.   So far, I like them all. 

September 17, 2009

Crystals, Right off the Chandelier

My friend, Barb, took me to Chalmette yesterday to see visit see her 'pre-Katrina' home.   Not only had I not gone to see this extremely devasted area after Katrina, I'd never been there at all.    It seemed to be about 1/3rd inhabited and in various stages of neglect and/or rebuild.   The most surprising (although it shouldn't have been), is that a good number of folks are taking their Road Home money and, instead of rebuilding their homes, just leaving them in delapidated condition, and moving to another area .   It was an interesting day.  

On the way out, we passed a Thrift shop, and Barb, who apparently also loves Thrift shops, turned the block and pulled right in.   My best find was an ugly chandelier, tucked under a table, with loads of crystals on it.  I'd say it came out of one of the distressed homes, it was dirty, musty and the price tag was just $10.    SOLD.    But, since I was only interested in the crystals, Barb helped me remove them right there, in the shop, and I donated the chandelier right back to them.

Brought them home, and spent almost two hours with a pair of needle nose pliers removing the metal components that held the clasps together.   Then, put them in hot soapy water, with a little bleach (in case there were mold issues) and let them soak overnight.     I rinsed them this morning, and, just for safekeeping, added new soap and soaked in boiling water.    After the final rinse and air dry, I must say, they came out beautiful .

Although I already have a container full of crystals and certainly didn't need these, $10. was just too good a price to pass them up.

I've kept half for myself and the rest I've listed in my shop.

September 14, 2009

Necklace Pendants from Blank Slides

I went to add a little more solder to yesterdays' Party pendant and I, somehow, managed to crack one of the glass sides.  So, I threw it out and started over with another.     I selected two more of my grafitti painted pages and cut out 1"x3"  pieces, to go along with the Party paper.       I also put together a small collage.   Each of these are two sided. 

I then practiced the foil wrap and solder.    I didn't get the tape  properly secured on the collage piece and the solder was coming loose.  I was picking at it, to figure out how to fix, and it came loose to the point I just pulled it off.  Well, count that up to a learning experience.   If the solder/tape has a loose point, it can all be pulled off, the glass cleaned and the whole piece started over ... versus throwing out the little collage.  Cool.

September 13, 2009

Solder Practice Continues

I still wouldn't call my solder skills 'good', however, they are improving.     I set aside an hour or so after dinner to practice and completed 7 of the little Mancala marbles and made one 1"x3" Pendant.   For the pendant, I used a piece of my grafitti painted paper.      The solder feels slightly rough, where it edges the glass.   I'm going to run another bead on it tomorrow and see if that solves the issue ... perhaps these require two beads.

I'm finding the round pieces the most difficult ... I haven't yet found the right combination of tools to hold the marbles while working on them.    Tonight I added the jump rings first and then soldered the rest, that is working best so far.   Went online and browsed a variety of site looking for tool suggests, but .... nada.    So, I'll just keep trying different ways until I arrive at an answer.

Fabric Beaded Necklaces ... As per the Instructions

I selected a vintage (60's) piece of loose weave fabric that I've had for quite awhile.

I cut off a 12" strip of fabric, which was then cut down, on the bias, to 4" strips (these are the general instructions from the original Amy Butler pattern).   I stitched the individual pieces together to create one long bias strip.   Then, pulled out some fabric markers and wrote in some words ... Everyone loves summer flowers ... randomly, in green and outlined the flowers and leaves in black.   

Sewed the edges together and turned the tube right side out.  Inserted the wooden balls one by one, knotting in place as I went along.   Underturned the ends and stitched together.

The wooden balls, of course, make the necklace heavier than those I made with the styrofoam.   I like the extra weight, however.   Gives the necklace a bit of substances and it lays nicely.   It's not so heavy as to be uncomfortable.  I also like the way the writings and outlines make the pattern as a whole pop out.       I'll try some other variations in a day or so.

September 12, 2009

Take my Advice; Read the Directions

Last week I found myself thinking about the fabric beaded necklaces ... adding beads and fibers for some variations.    I also wanted to use 1" balls instead of the styrofoam so I could evaulation the difference.    So, I went online and ordered a 'box of balls' from Casey's Wood Products.   They shipped them amazingly fast and they arrived on Wednesday. 

Yesterday afternoon I pulled out the 'oblong scarves' container and made some selections for the next batch of 'fabric beaded necklaces'.    This morning, I dived right in  ... the general game plan being to create at 80-10 sleeves and then I'd pull out the yarns, fibers and beads and embellish either before or during insertion and tieing of the beads.    I proceeded right along; creating 8 sleeves; each taking a little over an hour (cutting and handling scraves are a quite abit more difficult than standard fabric.  Then, this evening, I started to insert beads into the first sleeve. 

WOOPS ... It's too small.   So, I tried the next sleeve, and YEP, it's too SMALL also.   Tried a third, just because I can be a die-hard, with no difference.    I pulled up the computer and looked up my all instructions.   Gosh, I blew it ... the strips are to be cut 4" crosswise, not 4" at the edge, which creates a 3" strip.     So ... I threw the 8 strips away, and tomorrow, I'll start over. 

Take my advice, read the directions before you start your project ... even if it's one you've done before.

Yard Sale Saturday, September 12th

Just like anticipated, we woke to rain ... pouring down rain.   There had only been two in my circuit listed in the paper.   So, around 8:30 there was a brief let-up, so decided to slip out and see if anything was going on.   The sale in the Oaks was apparently cancelled, but did see a sign for The Traces .. an indoor sale at that.    Only one treasure I was remotely interested ...  a game of Mancola.

Now, I'm clueless as to how to play this game, and the instructions were quite vague, but the little marbles are flat and should work well  for solder practice and the mancola board will be great to line up small beadsets and parts when I make charm bracelets.

September 11, 2009

My 9/11 Memorial Vase

8 years ago we experienced the 9/11 tragedy in New York. It was an event so emotional that one will also remember what they were doing when it happened. I remember. I had just finished pulling Vitreous Tiles from my inventory for a vase; the TV was on. I don't recall what was said, but I looked up and saw the plane hit the side of the World Trade Center. I didn't quite understand what I'd just seen and stood their, fozen to the screen. They replayed the plane hitting the trade center and I was running to get Beau.

We moved to the living room to watch the unfolding the commentary on TV. Hour after hour, we stayed. We watched everything; we listened to it all.

I'm not one to sit still, but I couldn't pull myself away from the television. I pulled out a TV tray and brought out my materials. I cut vitreous tiles into quarters and created this vase.

This was my first vase. It's not a particularly fine art vase as it's a bit boring; lacking interest. To me, however, it reminds me that alot of lives were lost, and even more changed during 9/11. I've never used it, however, it sits on the bookshelf in my living room as an ongoing memorial.

September 10, 2009

Scrabble Tile Pendants as Charms in 4 New Bracelets

Today, I decided to work with the scrabble pendants that I finished on Monday.

Used some of the 'already made' beadsets, created more, added in little pieces of chain and a few surprises here and there. Basically, there are 2-3 charm sets between each of the pendants.

I had finished 5 sets of pendants, but was growing tired of making bracelets. So, put the 5th set of pendants into inventory for some other day ... not to far away.

I'm planning on doing a few shows as we approach the holidays so will need to commit to creating a few pieces each day to build up a decent size inventory.

September 09, 2009

Finished with Love & Happy

I had pulled out the container of previously made bead sets to use in these bracelets, but, as I should have known ... just what you need at the moment is seldom what you'd put together awhile back on a whim.

So, I've created mostly new bead sets to be in the right colors and sizes. And, while I was at it ... created a couple extra for the pre-made inventory ... not that they will be right in the future, but what the heck.

These two bracelets are created with the scrabble letters, beads, buttons, chain and a few little metal spacer thingies. The chain were from pre-made bracelets sold at Hobby Lobby. I never like the clasps on these, so switched them out to ones just a bit easier for the regular person to put on themselves.

So ... here's Love and Happy ... to honor the release of Beatles 090909.

September 08, 2009

Imagine, Peace, Love and Happy

I've been watching (listening) the VH1C channel in the morning for the last couple days. Apparently they are having a Beatles week to comemmerate the Abbey Road anniversary last week as well as some Beatles game being released tomorrow. I've seen a couple shows on John Lennon and have learned a whole lot about the man that I'd mostly forgotten (except for perhaps 3 or 4 songs) ... Funny how that works ... So, in honor of John Lennon

Imagine .... Peace .... Love
And, what the heck ... when not toss in a little happy to go along with it.

So, I had out the container of scrabble letters from those little pendants I made yesterday, and Before I put them away, thought I'd pull out some letters for words to turn into bracelets.

Pulled out a bit of this and that and put together two of them .... Peace & Imagine. I'll create the other two tomorrow.

(( Saw a couple clips of the last Beatle concert on the top of their building in London (I think). Sure wish they'd show the whole concert).

September 07, 2009

A Play Day & A Variety of Pendants

Although it's a holiday, Beau still went to the Nature Center and I decided that I was going to spend the day just playing with my stuff ... versus housework or any of the other stuff that in need of doing.

Using 5 different sheets of my painted pages, and some more of the number wood tiles (just below 3/4" sqare), created a whole bunch of little pendants. I made a couple deviations from the set I created last week.
  • Cut the paper down to appropriate size and glued to top using Elmers Glue.
  • Painted on 2 coats of polyacrylic instead of the clear spray paint.
I like the Polyacrylic better. It gives a much better shine and acts as a secondary sealer to the paper.

I continue, each day, practicing soldering the glass pendants. And, if I don't say so myself, they are getting better. Today I branched out and cut some pieces of clear glass, put some of my papers between them and soldered. They are a bit thicker than I think I like ... I'll look for some picture frames at yard sale this weekend; they will have a thinner glass. Tomorrow I'm going to get out the dremel and a sanding barrell and smooth them up ... then re-evaluate.

It was a nice day. We ordered some Pizza for dinner and drank White Russian Daquiris in the hot tub ....

September 06, 2009

My Day at the Slidell Art Market was A Bust

I decided I wanted to do a few more shows, but, with the starting of LSU football, have to coordinate it around the Schedule ... i.e., the 12th and the 19th are out for this month. The Slidell Art League have a market in Slidell the first Saturday of each month and that seemed a good fit.

So, got ahold of them on Tuesday for all the info, sent them my $50. on Thursday and confirmed my space at 4pm on Friday. I spent part of Friday afternoon checking everything and getting organized and we loaded up the Explorer for the next morning.

We'd been told to be there for 8am for the actual space assignment. We knew, as soon as we arrived, that something was wrong. There were no artists, tents, street markers, barricades .... nothing. We asked around at the Camellia Farmers Market (right next door), and they really didn't have much good to say ... sometimes there are a good number of art tents, sometimes just a couple and they seem to show up whenever the feel like it. We stayed until 8:30, the official start time of the market and when there was still no one showing, we went home.

Upon arrival home, had a phone message on the landline indicating the market was cancelled as not that many artists had shown up and it might rain. Talk about fustrated ... perhaps better described as downright irritated. If they were going to cancel they should have said so Friday.

Now, I'll have to mess with them to get my $50. back. And, will definite mark the Slidell Art Market off my list of shows ...

(((( Checked for yard sales on the way home .... didn't see any signs ... how about that !! ))

September 02, 2009

With Solder Gun in Hand

I've been wanting to learn to solder for some time. I want to try my hand at making little glass collage pendants for my charm bracelets and, since I have tons of found objects, would like to create some jewelry pieces with them. My friend Rue gave me a short lesson and some tips on equipment last week, and yesterday, my supplies order arrived from Delphi. ( Had to fight off temptation to play with it last night, but Lilly was here and she's always more important ).

Set it all up this afternoon and gave it a shot. Had some initial problems figuring out just to to get the solder to melt and flow ... trail and error, and then, managed to complete these 4 pieces. Now, I realize they are nothing special ... BUT, I did manage to get the solder in place and have jump rings on two of them. I call that progress.

I plan on practicing a bit each day and I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.