I’m going through my inventory and while I have several items I’ve just added to the shop with more to come, there are also several that I am considering donating. So, if you want to score some free stuff (just pay shipping) check out the shop portion of the site and sort by price from Low to High. Or just click this link.

There’s a few scarves, a pair of ginormous slippers, some earrings that just aren’t quite up to par, and a pot holder that has too small of a hanging tab. These items are well-made, they’re just not moving well and I want them gone. So click on through and see what you can grab!

There’s also a few beading patterns, but those ones are always available for free.

Saturday night I will be at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum selling my makes at the craft fair and chili cook-off. There will be a campfire, cowboy singer, chili cook-off, coffee, and cocoa! You can download the flyer for distribution and more details here, HotH Flyer 15.

Chili, Crafters, and Cowboy Songs at “Holidays on the Homestead”

Visit the Antelope Valley Indian Museum on Saturday, December 5th from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. for an old-time country Christmas celebration! Originally a 1930’s homestead, the historic grounds will be decorated in vintage holiday style with live acoustic music around a campfire, a chili cook-off, tours of the grounds, a country craft boutique, real cowboy coffee brewed over the fire, and hot chocolate or cider for the kids! Explore the unique hand-built museum and whimsical grounds at night with soft lighting and the smell of fresh greenery, and the wintery sky sparkling over the desert.

Stay warm around the blazing bonfire while cowboy singer Michael Tcherkassky, “The Saddle Serenader”, croons the romantic poetry about life on the range that cattlemen composed by day during their journeys across the old west, and was then shared around the campfire when the sun went down. Michael has performed traditional cowboy songs and poetry for many years at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival and other events around the country.

The country craft boutique features one-of-a-kind handmade gifts. The crafters carry on the artistic spirit of Howard Arden Edwards, who built the Indian Museum to house his collection of American Indian artifacts. The Craftsman-style building is decorated with his colorful representations of Indian culture and creative hand-made furniture. This is a great opportunity to support local artists and find unique gifts!

Rose Edwards was known for her tasty rib-sticking chili and cornbread feasts at their holiday celebrations. Try Rose’s original 1930 Christmas chili recipe and the chili cook-off entries, complemented by delicious cornbread generously provided by The Lemon Leaf Café.  Our 2015 judge will be ranger Colin Daxon, who recently joined the department.

Event admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12, and ages 5 and under are free. This event is a fundraiser for the non-profit Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, which provides funding to help keep the museum open.

I’ve been sick with a terrible cold the last few days, but when I heard the local Friends of the Library were holding a book sale at our local library, I ventured out not once but twice to see what I could find. I felt like death but still went to look for new craft books. New craft books created a big pull to get out.

I was a little disappointed they only had 3 small boxes with craft and sewing books and magazines in them, but I managed to find these 7 to take home with me.

books1 books2 books3 books4And the best part is I paid an average of $0.40 a piece for them! They are all in pretty good condition, just some cover or dust jacket wear, and they all have some cool patterns in them.

I also got two cook books and a Gnomes book for my friend Tracy who little did I know was actually looking for that book! The cook books are on chicken and making stews and soups, two things we enjoy, and the Gnomes book is an art book, which after flipping through it, is pretty amusing.

I haven’t gotten much crafting done the last few days since I’ve been sick, but here are a few items from my shop you might have missed!

These are all handmade by me, and unique in that they won’t be made exactly the same every again. And who doesn’t love a unique handmade piece?

This first one is my Curse of the Sea Witch necklace. You can purchase it for $14.99 here. It features glass seed beads and crazy baroque freshwater pearls in two colors.

sea witch

This dyed orange turquoise butterfly set is super pretty and ready for Fall! It’s $16.99, and made up of stone butterflies, dyed orange turquoise, small crystals, and large vintage Japanese acrylic beads. The central focal bead is glass.

orangebutterset1

I hope you’re all having a great day today and are ready for the weekend! Happy Friday, and see you next time!

Good evening friends and first time visitors!

I have metal allergies I’ve inherited from my mom. Hers are bad enough she can’t carry change in her pocket without getting a rash, or wear a watch that has a metal pin in the band. Mine seem to be isolated to earrings, but they make it hard to wear them because unless the posts or wires are gold, my earlobes become itchy, inflamed, and then infected, depending on how long I keep the earrings in. Then I have to keep wearing them in my poor irritated ears, or as the infection heals, my holes close up. The typical hypo-allergenic silver-toned ear wires you can buy from most jewelry suppliers is a bit of a joke because it takes about an hour for a fairly bad reaction to occur with my earlobes.

My good friend Tracy at Art Resurrected sent me a link one day explaining the different types of ear wires, and which are least likely to cause a reaction in people with various sensitivities. I’ve since lost the link, but I remembered that niobium ear wires are supposed to be non-reactive for basically everyone, so when I placed my last order with Fire Mountain Gems, I ordered a pack of five pairs of niobium ear wires to try.

Today I swapped out the silver toned hypo-allergenic wires for the new niobium on my five favorite pairs of earrings and I’m happy to say I’ve had zero reaction to them even after an entire day. This is pretty exciting because I love earrings but could barely wear them because let’s face it, gold jewelry is expensive and often the fun pieces are not made of high dollar components. Of course the downside of the niobium ear wires is cost- they are still pricey at about $2.00 per pair.

The last week or so has been crazy busy here, not just with the website issues (I’m still working to restore images to the blog for the 2013 posts) but with creating all sorts of new items for the shop. A lot of the new arrivals are perfect for Halloween! Here’s just a few of them.

Skull earrings handmade from polymer clay. I have these in pink, blue, green, purple, and black. The colors are all pastels.
Skull earrings handmade from polymer clay. I have these in pink, blue, green, purple, and black. The colors are all pastels. $9.99
Red and teal handmade polymer clay bow earrings. I can make these in other colors as well.
Red and teal handmade polymer clay bow earrings. I can make these in other colors as well. $5.99
Handmade polymer clay rainbow cake earrings.
Handmade polymer clay rainbow cake earrings. $9.99
Handmade polymer clay and glass beaded necklace with square mirror.
Handmade polymer clay and glass beaded necklace with square mirror. $17.49
Halloween cats earring and necklace set with seashell and resin cats and acrylic and glass beads.
Halloween cats earring and necklace set with seashell and resin cats and acrylic and glass beads. $15.49

Good afternoon friends! I love Halloween. Its absolutely my favorite holiday of the year? Christmas? Who needs it? Give me fun costumes and spooky decorations any day! And since its almost October, why not get started with some spooky crafting? Bring on the Halloween skulls!

Wednesday night I started out with making some little polymer clay skull earrings. I didn’t worry about them being perfectly accurate but I did want them to be recognizable. They turned out to be so easy to make I decided to make a larger one today for display around the house.

This is what I started out with. Lots of white clay, and a few tools. I didn't use anything fancy, just those things pictured plus a one inch ball of aluminum foil.
This is what I started out with. Lots of white clay, and a few tools. I didn’t use anything fancy, just those things pictured plus a one inch ball of aluminum foil.
This was my almost finish and before baking picture. As you can see, it looks pretty boring and you can see a hint of the foil in the eye sockets.
This was my almost finish and before baking picture. As you can see, it looks pretty boring and you can see a hint of the foil in the eye sockets.

The basic skull shape is a ball that’s been pressed a bit to make the lower end someone narrower then the top. Make a pair of eye socket indentions, and then use a few small strips of clay to add the cheekbone ridges. A little more clay is adding to the lower front to make the lower jaw project a bit, and then add some clay to the upper back of the skull to add fullness to the braincase. I also added indentions into the sides at the joint of the jaws.

Teeth were simply scratched deeply into the surface, working out from the horizontal line, so lines were etched away from the split between the jaws. This keeps the horizontal scoring from being filled in by tiny bit of clay being drug down into it when drawing the teeth.

Then things got fun! After he baked and cooled a bit, I got out my yellow and brown acrylic paint and mixed them together to get a medium yellow-brown. I applied it everywhere with a heavy hand, and then quickly wiped it off before it could dry. Then I used only dark brown and dabbed it over the areas I wanted to have more definition and wiped it off. This is the end result.

skulls1 skulls2 skulls3 skulls4

 

 

 

 

modelI had so much fun making these and I hope you’ll try them too! They really can’t be easier! I did have a little help for basic shaping from a small clear plastic puzzle skull, which helped me quite a bit with the details of the larger skull. Sorry this final photo isn’t as clear- I snapped it with my phone without great lighting and its a little grainy.

Hello friends!

Over the last few weeks I’ve made some changes. If you’ve been to the site recently, you’ve likely seen the biggest ones right away. The most noticeable change is that I changed the way the website and shop look. I decided to go with an unmodified theme that was made especially to work with my shop software and the result is pretty good.

The second biggest thing that changed is I removed all of the graphic design portfolios from the site and am focusing purely on the shop aspect. I’ve also redone the menus to better focus on the shop and make it friendlier both on computers and on mobile devices. I haven’t been doing much graphic design and to be honest, the laptop I current have is awful and makes it nearly impossible. Less stuff = simpler to navigate.

The third thing, and this might interest you if you intend to place an order, is I got out my postal scale and I weighed almost every item in the shop and re-calculated shipping rates by the half ounce. What this means is you will get the absolute lowest possible shipping rate I can afford to give you. There is no way anyone can say my shipping rates are unfair! I hate paying too much for shipping, and I’m sure you do too.

The fourth thing is I’ve been adding new products like crazy! Your best bet is to pop by the site and see for yourself, but I’ll show you a few images from the new items here so email subscribers can get a quick peek.

There are several other new items, plus of course the other 200+ items that previously existed in the shop.

I’m planning to add more over the next week too, so pop in, have a look, and remember there is always a coupon code available. Right now and through the end of the year, that code is UKULELE for 20% off of everything. That includes sale items too!

I’ve also added a way to comment on and discuss items in my shop. You don’t have to log in or register to do it- just fill out a name, email address, and ask your question or leave a comment. Easy!

E1I received an order yesterday for a pair of these so I spent the evening stitching them up. These and my girly skull earrings are my best sellers and I never remember to make an extra pair to have on hand. Doh!

These shipped out this morning and hopefully make someone’s daughter very happy!

I recently became enamored with the idea of learning to play the ukulele. Of course I need to get one before I can learn to play it, which means I need to make some sales. Money… There’s never enough of it!

Last Monday I took some of my jewelry items with me to pool league and I sold 3 bracelets and would have sold two pairs of earrings but we missed each other in the way out. Hopefully she still wants them next week. If she does, that will put me at about the $50 mark plus some survey money I have coming in. I found one online I think I like for  about $100 but I also made the mistake of going into a music store and falling in love with a ridiculously beautiful one that is marked at $300. I really should stick with the budget one though as I don’t even know if I’ll be any good and it’d be a shame to spend a fortune and not stick with it.

Anyway, my earrings are shipped and I’ve spent most of the afternoon doing surveys online until I could finally cash out. With the cash out I’m expecting in a few days, and hopefully the sale I should make on MOnday, I will very soon have my ukulele! I’m so excited!

Now its time for me to work on my donation to the Bark at the Park though. October will be here in no time!

So, I’m having a great time using Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast Resin! I’ve been making resin earrings and its so much fun!

These first two I posted yesterday before the findings were attached but these are better, clearer photos. I added Delica seed beads to each of these, setting some into them after the resin started to gel. This first pair has silvery beads in the front and behind those, black and white beads. I think these turned out pretty cute.

blackearrings2

 

This pair I did a baby blue, bright pinkish purple, and white beads into. They are kind of 4th of July in feeling, though I’m a bit late for the holiday. These have a small tab at the top of the mold shape made to be drilled, so I got to see how good I am at putting holes in things. Apparently good enough because I drilled this pair and another not pictured without a problem.

blueearrings

These ones I like even better than the other two. I sniped a few inches off of some of my silk sari yarn and I shredded it into little fuzzy bits, putting them into the molds before I poured the resin in. Most of the silk is red, but there are also blue, turquoise, and a little yellow in there.

fiberearrings

I have others I poured as well but they aren’t ready to be shared yet as I am trying something a little different with them. Once I get the other things I need to finish them off I will post photos. It involves sandpaper and a softer, frosted glass-like finish! Some of these will make it into my shop, so expect that to happen soon! I hope you guys love these as much as I do! This might be my new favorite craft!

I haven’t posted in a few weeks but I’ve been busy with my crochet, some knitting, and I started a new craft last night. Let’s start at the beginning though.

Let’s start with my Mickey blanket which I was only able to finish with the help of a really nice fellow yarn crafter who mailed me a few yards of the orange yarn I needed to finish. I didn’t want to buy a whole new skein of yarn for just 8 or 10 yards worth that I needed.

I’m still not 100% sure what I’ll be doing with the Mickey blanket, but I suspect I will be gifting it to someone in the future. After that, I started a new blanket, and while I’ve done quite a bit on it, I want to make it bit enough to cover our Queen-sized bed, so I still have quite a ways to go. Here it is though with what I’ve finished so far.

More #crochet #blanket #progress. Still have a long way to go though. #redheart #yarn

A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on

I’m hoping to have it finished in the new few weeks but it will be slow going, especially now that it takes me a good 40 minutes to do one round at this size.

I took a break from that blanket for a bit and knitted up this quick scarf, which turned out really really well and it’s definitely a keeper.

And last but not least, I decided last night to try out resin. I won a kit from a blog contest some time ago, and figured I’d give it a try. I wasn’t sure if the resin was too old or not, but figured worst case it didn’t set up and I’ve chalk it up to user error and if it happened again, to being bad resin. I placed some tiny seed beads into the molds and then poured my thoroughly mixed resin into it, letting it set up a bit before adding another sprinkling of beads. Then I left them to sit overnight and this morning I had this. I need to file down the edges a bit more because they are a little rough but all in all they turned out how I wanted.

I want to do more earrings but with tiny bits of threads in different colors embedded into them and I’d also like to create a light switch plate embedded with various tiny scraps of fabric. I can’t believe I never tried resin before this, it was so fun on my first try!

So all in all, I feel like this has been a pretty successful couple of weeks of crafting! I’m looking forward to more resin pours in my near future!