Uncategorized

Little Engine that Could…

Remember that book from childhood – “I think I can, I think I can”. The little train chugging up the mountain. That’s me at the moment finalizing everything for this show on Sat. Between a different format/set up and it having been a while since I’ve done a show and I’m rusty getting it all together this one seems to be taking forever to get ready for!

I just finished my last pour yesterday. I won’t make any more before the show after that one. I’ve got tons of pins and hair pins which I hope sell like crazy since they are my cheapest item. I need to make a few more key chains and the rest well be earrings and necklaces.

I put together a pour day before and forgot that resin is a 24-48 hour cure resin. I carefully eased most out of the molds close to the 24 hour mark but maybe a tad early. We’ll see what they look like I’m the morning and if I just messed those up or not! I needed the molds though…

Praying this pour goes better. I had some unexpected rain crop up and according to the gauge I have in the room the humidity didn’t change thanks to the AC. Hopefully that was the truth.

I have some beaded chain that I hope is waiting for me at the Post Office tomorrow when I run by there. It was supposed to arrive on Tues and I didn’t have a chance to get out there today. I’ll get by tomorrow and it had better be there so I can put some of these new pieces on the new chain and possibly switch a few older pieces to it from the sterling silver chains they were on.

I did manage to get all of my tagged inventory proved and listed in my Square app, so that’s a good thing. Check out will be much easier on my Kindle than on my phone. Also, my daughter may come by for a bit to help out and if I’m really busy we could both run sales, one on the Kindle and one on the phone. Speaking of I need to see if I can find my spare Square card swiper. 😊

When I’m done with this I don’t get to relax either… Day after I have a meeting about the website for the shop/co-op I’m a member of and sell my items in and were revamping that. So no rest for the wicked. 😄

On we go!

Uncategorized

Pulling my hair out…

Well, not literally, but close to it. I’m trying to get ready for a show coming up on the 26th and it’s raining non-stop. Started raining this past weekend and shows no sign of stopping until this coming Sun/Mon at least. There goes the power bill because the dehumidifier and AC come into play now.

This is also “new” for me in that it is only a 6 foot table set up not a full 10×10 space and I’m focusing only on my resin jewelry. I’ve never done a show with one “item” only. There are a range of products within what I do with resin, but that is the focus. I’m used to having a range of items available from jewelry to origami art to sewn items. This just feels odd to me and a bit nerve wracking putting all my eggs in one basket. I’ll either do well or I’ll be a total and complete flop.

I’m also getting down to the nitty gritty and worrying if I have enough product on hand, do I have time to pour more of this or that, what do I need more of, getting my display set, getting supplies gathered (remember that move I’m packing for? yeah, I’ve had to dig stuff back out of boxes!) and just wrapping it all up. 

Somehow it always seems to come together but at this stage it never feels like it will. It always feels like I’m going to forget something, drop some ball I’m juggling, have some sort of snafu I just did not see coming. This to shall pass. 

I will try to post some photos soon for a sneak peak preview of what will be available at the show! One woman show ya know…

Art

Playing around…


I had an idea this week that took a couple of days to accomplish. I did a layered pour and this is one of the pieces that came out of that experiment. I poured a layer in some molds with a glitter resin and let it set and cure for a day. Before removing it from the mold I finished filling the mold with resin colored with mica pigment. This one came out rather nice! Some of the other pieces turned out okay I just didn’t like them as well either because of the way I oriented the slant with the pour or I’m not thrilled with the color choices I made. 

But the mica pigments had just arrived and I didn’t know the exact look I would get with some of these so lesson learned. I’ve also learned that a good deal of these colors change their look according to what the background color is. When I start hitting markets around here I believe I might do a display with say 6 of the same piece, same color and put them all on different colors of background so folks can see just how a piece can and does change according to what it’s laying on and then they can make choices from there.

Now I need to concentrate on getting everything I’ve poured the past week or two with jump rings, onto ribbons and chains and listed in my Etsy shop. That is a huge job with trying to get photographs to properly show this resin! No small task there. So I continue to play and pour when the weather allows and work on all sorts of fun stuff!

Art

Here Comes the Rain Again…

Falling on my head like a memory – admit it, you just sang that in your head! LOL At least any self respecting Eurythmics fan did. Last weekend was wet, we dried up enough to be able to pour resin during the week and we are raining again this weekend. The week was so crazy I lost a day somewhere and thought Thursday was Wednesday! But my allergies did not help.

This year pollen here in MD is killer. Folks who don’t normally have problems are having problems and those of us who do have trouble are just miserable. I’m trying to keep from going in for a breathing treatment, but may be fighting a losing battle here.

Anyway – yay! I had the time and the weather to get some resin poured this past week! I need to get jump rings in a lot of them still, and I need to start taking photos and start listing them on Etsy and look at possible hitting Maker’s Market at Annemarie Gardens. This is a few examples of how I spent my time this week…

It is difficult to get good photos of the confetti/glitter, but I love how the mouse came out! That one is awesome. The micro glitter in the sakura blossom is terrific along with the matte color of the elephant and giraffe in the wooden pendants. It’s difficult to see but the metal bezel has star confetti in it. I have a lot more I poured, this is just a “taste”. I’ll try to get more photos up soon.

 

Art · downsizing

Rain, rain go away…

It’s been humid and rainy the past few days. I’ve been wanting to play with the resin and can’t due to the weather.  In the meantime I have been trying to match a certain color blue yarn and I do believe I came pretty darn close. Once the weather is nice and I have the time I’ll be trying it in some resin for a shawl pin to match the yarn.

So, or sew, in the meantime I’m working on some sewing projects and trying to figure out the logistics of working small again with all of that. I used to only have the dining room table to work with and projects had to be put away each night for dinner, then when we moved here I got – whoa – an entire bedroom!!!! And trust me that was amazing – but I quickly outgrew it. LOL When our son moved out I got the room over the garage which equated to roughly 325-350 sq. ft. of space which has served me well for many years – until the floor loom showed up. LOL You see how things have just invaded and taken over more and more of the house here! Luckily my husband indulges me.

It is time though to streamline and focus instead of the “shotgun” approach. But with my ADD/Oh Shiny/Hey that looks neat, I wanna try that nature this is difficult. Not to mention the stable of er, um roughly 20-ish sewing machines to pare down. (me, now sheepishly looking around and wondering if I have more possibly and have forgotten any) gulp Plus, I need to find friendly art that is smaller to travel well with me in the RV.

Anyway, it’s tough to get back into the routine of cutting fabrics and keeping things in a small area when you’ve had larger! LOL I did get about a dozen of my little snap bags made for the shop and will deliver those soon. I had a few cut out and waiting but some needed linings cut, I cut some new ones, and all needed interfacings cut. I’m also working on some new baseball bracelets to freshen up the display in the shop as well. (New View Fiber Works in downtown Leonardtown, MD – stop by if you have the chance!)

bags

These are the little snap bags that will be showing up in the shop and the bracelets below are somewhat ready. I’ve decided to rework some of them and “jazz up” the beading on them. More pictures to come on those. But you get the idea and I do have several that are headed to the shop as well.

bracelets

Still working away even though the rain has dampened the resin bug, but not down and out – too many other things to get done!

 

Art

Mad scientist, playing, artist?

When I start into a new arena of art I call it going down a rabbit hole. I’ve started down a new rabbit hole and it’s called resin… Boy do I have a learning curve on this one! But when I “play” with the resin right now trying to figure out my mixtures with the colorants I don’t know yet whether I’m an artist or mad scientist. LOL I think there may be a bit of both in there! I do tend to be one of those “Hey, let’s see what happens if I throw this in there, or I wonder how this would look” kinda artists. I come up with some interesting looks and some stupendous flubs! hahaha

These were done by pouring different colored resins into the center one after the other and as you can see each side has a totally different look to it. Really interesting to me. Not really sure which side I would say is the “front” so it may get used in some sort of sun catcher type thing. But I did it just to see how it would come out and what it would do – they were all colored with acrylic paints by the way.

sticks

These are hair sticks, shawl sticks, whatever sticks… I played with mica powder in the purple and red ones on the ends, the others are acrylic paints. None of my alcohol ink sticks came out. Either they were so light in color they looked clear, they had color but it was so much alcohol ink that they didn’t cure and stayed pliable, or they came out “sticky” and never cured. Alcohol inks are my nemesis at the moment and I’m not sure how much is the inks (80-90% most likely) and how much is weather related.

It has been cooler and high humidity to some rain on one day that I poured resin. Stupid me thinking I could get away with it because I had the AC on in the house to pull out the humidity in the air. Most of them did well, just not the alcohol ink ones. Learning curve.

Once I have these figured out I really want to start pouring and curing them for sale. I’ve got some neat ideas up my sleeve and can’t wait to start working on them!

 

downsizing

Meet Lucy…

sold

Lucy is a 1922 Singer model 66 treadle sewing machine with a back clamp – unusual as most are a side clamp for the foot. She sews like, pardon the pun, a well oiled machine. I picked her up several years back from a family who had been storing her in the garage for I have no idea how long. Prior to that she had been in a kitchen. I could tell because when I opened the cabinet the backside of the machine (the top when you open the cabinet) was covered not only with tons of dust but a layer of greasy grime that comes only from sitting around in a kitchen where fried foods have been cooked and over time particles wafting in the air have settled on there. I cleaned her up and she has been amazing to sew with since.

As part of my clearing out and downsizing I am having to sell some of my beloved machines as I will not have the room to keep all of them. Machines with a family connection are off limits. But machines I have picked up over the years like this are (sniff, sniff) on the chopping block. I’m hoping this one was the difficult one because she was such a joy to sew with and she was the first one I sold of this caliber. I hope the next few don’t feel like this to sell. LOL

I do have the comfort of knowing she went to a nice home. I know I’m talking about her like a kid or a pet, but these machines take on a life. Anyway, a very sweet woman now has her at her home in VA somewhere. She is a quilter and always wanted a treadle machine. She had completed a puzzle with the “Red Eye” decal on a treadle machine and was so pleased when Lucy looked just like her puzzle. In fact, she asked me if I had named the machine because I kept referring to it as “her” while speaking about it when she came to buy it. I explained that since it is a Red Eye decal, I went to red head, Lucille Ball with her red hair and I always loved her so I named the machine Lucy. So she will continue to call her Lucy and she just so happened to be a redhead as well, so maybe it was kismet, she was just meant to have Lucy.

She was sweet enough to send me this photo of Lucy set up under her puzzle of the machine she dreamed of having one day and now she has both!

home2

downsizing

How do you choose???

Going through things, and yes some things are easy to cull, but then you have the hot dog bun pan… I love home made hot dog buns. I admit it, I don’t bake them as often as I would like, but it’s one of those things you can’t make them without this special pan. So how do you downsize and yet hold onto special items like this???? Argh! How do you choose which child to get rid of?! That’s what it feels like sometimes.

Okay, I’ve got something like 8-10 pie plates, I can get rid of some of those. Not all of them because I do bake 5-6 assorted pies at the holidays, so I do need to keep at least 5-6 I would say. But I have to keep all three loaf pans for bread because some recipes make three loaves! Some are only one loaf recipes but I have quite a few that make three loaves at a time. I can pare down casserole dishes, I don’t need two sets of glass rectangular baking dishes, I can do without some of the miss matched mixing bowls, I can let the seldom used electric orange juicer go…

But there are those odd seldom used items I just can’t seem to bring myself to part with yet. Like the paper forms for panettone to be made at Christmas. Maybe some of these things will go once we are actually in the process of moving and I have to transport them from this house to the next. Maybe it becomes an “are you worthy of the transport” issue.

There does come that point in every move where you just get so exhausted you really don’t care anymore and you start giving away and dumping stuff just so you don’t have to move it. 😉 Or in the case of military moves you start worrying you are going to be over the weight allowance and will have to start paying for that overage and start giving away stuff to avoid paying. 😄

Breathe, just breathe… Lean in and shoulder it, and get through it all. Come out the other side lighter. I’ll get there.

Moving

Spinning my wheels…

and getting no where fast – you know that feeling? Seems like the more I try to get things done the more pops up behind it that needs to get done or the more things get put on hold and I can’t move forward and it’s frustrating.

I think the most difficult part is not having a hard date or time frame on when we are going to be out of this house. The owner wants to move back in and it was to be by the end of the year, we were shooting for fall (Sept/Oct-ish) and now that’s kind of up in the air.

I went on a packing spree last month and packed up things in my studio that I’ll now have to go find the boxes and unpack parts of them if we’re going to be hanging out much longer because I’ll need some of that stuff. sigh

My goal was to just start packing up rooms, clean them up, close them off and not use them again. Then just go in and do spot cleaning when we leave to dust/clean up from non-use. We’ll see if that plan continues. I do know I will continue to downsize things and keep moving forward somehow. I swear it was easier to do a long distance move with the military than this move locally! I’m not used to long drawn out maybe we’ll do it this time, no maybe it will be this other month, no – give me a firm month please… I don’t think I’m asking for much.

Studio space

Conundrum…

Let’s talk fabric. You may find that along with roving (and other things) it’s a weakness of mine, but also a necessary evil for my work. I need to figure out how to tame the monster in this new configuration and as I go forward with a smaller footprint. I’m trying to *gasp* work my way down and use what I have on hand and not buy to “just have on hand for future projects”. This can be frustrating when you get into the middle of making something need a certain color for a pocket, or accent, fill in the blank and don’t have it. Then you have to stop in the middle of your groove until you can get to a store to find the right fabric to finish that project and change gears mid-project to move on to something else at that moment. Oh well…

I digress… so I need to find something to put my fabrics in that I can either tuck under the table my sewing machine and serger are on, or some sort of boxes/bins that I can store upstairs for the time being and bring down as needed. I’m thinking something open and airy so I can somewhat see what is in there as well as allowing the fabric to breathe would be better than enclosed boxes. They will be away from sunlight so I don’t have to worry about fading. I came across the following at a certain craft store that I’m considering –

The baskets to the left would go in and out if I stored fabric in those and eventually when we move might be stored on shelves in the room. The little cabinet to the right would go under the table in the room now I think. The drawer fronts are chalkboard and I can put solids in one drawer, separate by colors, whatever I decide and label them. I can see me ending up with at least 2 of those if not more! LOL If I use the lidded baskets on the left who knows how many I would end up there – it could be quite a few of those.

So, out of sight, out of mind and I would forget what I have, not use it and end up buying more fabrics so the baskets would be a bad idea? Or is that better because it keeps me from jamming more “stuff” in the studio and making it cluttered? You do get to a point where you can’t see the forest for the trees you have so much in there.

I know I’m fortunate to be faced with such a problem. There was a time when we could not afford craft materials for me when the kids were little and my husband was in the military. The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society has (had?) a program called Baby’s First Seabag and part of the items given to first time parents were baby layettes and afghans that were hand knit and crocheted by volunteers. You could go pick up the yarn “kits” to make the items and then drop off the afghans and layettes to go into the bags. In about 4-5 years I had over 5,000 volunteer hours with them. I also designed custom counted cross stitch pieces for a local gift shop and would stitch for them. I had to create and the only way I could make things was if the supplies were paid for like that. I couldn’t afford my own “stash” like I have now. So I am thankful and maybe that’s part of why I have gone so overboard with some things, because I didn’t have it and I’m afraid I’ll run out. LOL

No matter, I’m now dealing with trying to figure out how to wrangle my fabrics, how to whittle the stash down to a “manageable” level, and how to organize it to find what I need easier when I need a particular fabric.