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.
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.
I still haven’t shared my recent additions to my crafting supplies, but I did want to share these. I love freshwater pearls in oddball shapes and sizes so much that I actually bought several strands of potato and peanut shaped ones in assorted colors, as well as a 1 pound bag of mixed colors and shapes.
Now when you buy that 1 pound bag, you get a lot of really weird shapes. Some are more like slabs then rounded pearls, and some are doubled, or just oddly elongated. This lot of also dyed in about two dozen colors, which makes it even more interesting.
I spent some time this afternoon moving all of my freshwater pearls into one bin, separating them roughly by color.
As you can see, I got tons of the spruce blue/green color and they’re taking up two spaces. The three greens near each other, and the gold, orange, and white on the far right were all stranded and are roughly the same shape while the rest are really mixed.
I still don’t know what I am going to do with all of these lovely pearls, but I’ll think of something!
Pearls were almost all purchased from Fire Mountain Gems, though a few strands came from Michael’s.
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.
I 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!
Okay, maybe not. But there will be a treasure chest!
When our renter moved out, he left a few things behind, most of which we threw out. But this I rescued from the garbage and knew I had to clean it up and save it.
Its a wooden chest, without a lot of distinguishing marks that you can buy at any craft store. I have a much larger one that I use for storing my knitting needles and crochet hooks in that I keep next to my chair in the living room. This one is smaller, with the internal space measuring about 10″ wide and about 5.5″ across. Its not very big.
It was covered in grease, and was badly painted this awful black all over. Don’t get me wrong. I wear a ton of black, but it just looks bad on this poor little wooden box.
The first step was to sand it down a bit and help its new primer and paint stick and to scrub off those grease spots, so I loaded up a sponge with dish soap and gave it a good once over then hosed it off and left it to dry in the sun. Then I got the sanding block we had purchased to use for some home repairs we still haven’t gotten to, and I gently sanded it all over.
I wasn’t worried about it being perfect. I want to look good when I’m done but I want this to be a fun project too and not one that I rip my hair out over. The wood is uneven in spots, which you can see because of how th paint sanded off completely in some areas but not others.
Then I hit it with some primer. My good friend Nikki gave me primer, paint, all sorts of stuff along with the larger chest I have and I was supposed to give it this treatment but I never did.
I let the primer dry for about an hour, and then while dinner was cooking, I gave it a quick spray with the bright metallic gold paint. I initially missed a spot on the inside but got it later in when I was doing the lining.
I sprayed the inside and the outside, making sure everything was shining and bright! The paper underneath the chest is just white kraft paper I bought off of Amazon for using in pattern making but so far its been used for everything else. Its not overly expensive and comes in really handy!
I let that dry for a good hour and then measured the inside to get an idea of how large a piece of fabric I needed for the inside. Unfortunately I did something really, really wrong and ended up with a piece about twice the size of what I needed.I ended up trimming it and gluing one side down into the box, then moving to the the next side, trimming it to fit and gluing it, and working my way all the way around. I used E6000 to glue it in place. I love that stuff, but make sure you use it in a well ventilated area- preferably outside!
I was going to call it good at that point but after Tracy brought up doing the inside of the lid with fabric, I couldn’t resist, so I carefully cut pieces and glued them in place as well. That went a lot smoother than doing the bottom did.
The next step was making this into a real treasure chest and covering the top in jewels! I busted out my Amazing Clear Cast Resin, my colored mica powders, and I started mixing and pouring. Finally, after working on them for a few days and gluing them in place in small groupings, I had this.
The resin is super easy to work with. Just mix it at a ratio of 1:1 and mix very thoroughly- the package recommends mixing for 3 minutes and I’ve found that to be about right. If its not fully mixed, it won’t set up properly and you’ll have a sticky mess on your hands. Mica powders can be added in small amounts to color the resin or you can brush it onto the molds before you pour- I mixed mine in.
I used 6 different colors of gems, some of which were single colors of the mica powders and some that I mixed to suit. Pink, yellow, green-gold, blue, purple, and a deep amber color. I used a mold I bought that had tons of shapes in it that were perfect for this, letting me mix it up with lots of options. One of my gems slipped a bit before the glue set and I didn’t catch it in time to re-position it, but otherwise it turned out just like I envisioned it! I’m so happy with it!
And that my friend is how you get your very own treasure chest! Now I just have to decide what to put in it. 🙂
Some odd weeks ago, I was texting my good friend Nikki who now lives in Washington and I showed her a blanket pattern I was considering making. She commented that she loved it and the next thing I knew, I was crocheting it for her without telling her. It was a baby blanket pattern that I worked to a larger size, and it was so easy to make once I found a video explaining the instructions a bit better.
I didn’t get any good photos of it really as I worked on it, but I do have this close up of it that shows the colors really well. I worked it up in Red Heart Super Saver yarns in Black, and Blacklight, and I used one entire Jumbo skein of black plus 3 regular sized skeins of Blacklight. The colors in Blacklight are truly neon and super bright.
Nikki shared this photo she took of the blanket after she received it (which is another story!) and posted it to Facebook where it got lots of compliments, which made me super happy! One of the points was a little odd center due to me not properly counting my stitches at the beginning but otherwise it turned out really well.
I’m planning on making another star blanket, but with more points next time, and in different colors. I’m thinking Pink Camo, Light Raspberry, and Aran. I was dying to share this one with you guys for weeks but had to wait until after Nikki had received it.
I was super worried she would never get it though. I dropped it in the mail one night and only after it went into the chute did I learn her phone had auto-corrected her mailing address into a street that does not even exist so I had no idea where her package would end up or if it would find its way back home. Luckily her mail carrier is stellar and figured out the correct address and delivered it to her!
I just can’t win lately when it comes to ordering things online. About a month ago, I placed two orders on Amazon with private sellers, both based somewhere in China. I’ve not had any real issues in the past so thought nothing of it. One order was for a selection of crochet hooks, 12 of them, in sizes 3mm through 10mm. I really wanted that 10mm hook. I ordered the set for that 10mm hook. The other order was for a 4 pack of a small compartmentalized containers.
After a few weeks I received my package with ONE container in it. Just one. I contacted the seller and asked where the other three were. They said it would be several weeks but I would get the other three shipped out as soon as possible. I got my second package from them yesterday. It had ONE container in it. I emailed them again asking where the other two are at. I’m seriously frustrated because knowing these were going overseas, you’d think they would be more careful in getting an order right because shipping takes up a lot of time. But no. I’m still two containers short. I got an email from them today saying they were out of stock and will send the other two immediately. I’m not holding my breath though. Is it that hard to say we are out of stock and will send then as its possible to do so, or offer a partial refund?
I received another package yesterday as well, this one from the crochet hook people. Did it contain my 10mm hook? No. It contained 11 hooks ranging from 2.75mm to 8mm. So now I have a freakish number of really tiny hooks, and still no 10mm that I really wanted in the first place. I left less then stellar feedback, and also stated on my review that the hooks were fine, but the seller, as many other buyers have stated, doesn’t seem able to deliver a 10mm hook no matter what happens. At this rate I give up and will just find a 10mm hook here locally so I am guaranteed to get the damned thing. After I left not so stellar feedback for the seller, I was offered a refund without return. I’ll take it, but damn it I just wanted that one stupid hook!
Saturday night Mattie and I were at friends’ and I was chatting with my friend Tracy via messenger. Tracy is a fellow crafter and all around brilliant creative mind. I’d say this conversation was divergent from the norm, but that would be a lie because all of our conversations go kind of like this.
Me : I bought some novelty buttons today that look like bees. I’m not sure why. They should be here midweek.
Tracy : Do you need bee buttons?
Me : No, but maybe I can make a beehive hat? Lol
Tracy : Beehive hat… Never thought you would be interested in something like that.
Me : There is a hat pattern on ravelry.com called Wurm that I think in the right colors would look like an old cartoon style beehive with some small modifications.
Tracy : Um…what occasions do you plan to wear this too?
Me : Haha I have no idea. To the beekeepers convention?
Tracy : You don’t keep bees. Lol
Me : Um… Erm… I… Uh… I honestly have no good answer.
Tracy : I think you are getting as bad as me. Lol
Me : Craft daft?
Tracy : Yes. And buy supplies with crazy ideas in mind for no good reason.
I’m positive that we are not the only crafters out there with this problem, and lots of you are also buying up random supplies with a wild idea vaguely in mind or just because the impulse struck, and you were sure you could use them one day. I personally now really want to make the beehive hat and saw some yarns at Joann’s which would work perfectly for that I had in mind!
As someone who only a few months ago had never even read the yarn labels on a skein of yarn, much less purchased and used one, the label was a baffling thing at first! However, much like the link I shared a while back on reading the back of a sewing pattern envelope, there’s a link with clear illustrations that explains the symbols on that skein of yarn you’ve been eyeballing!
I’ve reposted the graphic here, but you can see the site where I found it here.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking this time!
A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on
A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on
I’m learning to #crochet! This is after about 2 hours on and off but I’m really proud of how even my stitches ate and how smooth my tension is! Knowing how to #knit already helped tremendously in that! This is triple crochet that I learned from YouTube after learning single from my friends Jenna! #crafting #madebyme
A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on
When I first bought my polymer clay, I watched a ton of videos, mostly on making miniature food. I was totally fascinated by it. There are people out there that make the most realistic looking polymer clay minis that it seems strange that you can’t actually eat them. SugarCharmShop on YouTube is one of them. Check out this amazing mini ham tutorial! Her work is impressive whether its this ham, or a plain old donut!
Anyway, the day before yesterday I started making miniatures- ice cream cone earrings. Each set was a little better than the last, and except for one pair going from mint chocolate chip to a beautiful gunmetal grey in the oven, they turned out fantastic. The pair that turned colors didn’t burn, it just got dark- the cone stayed the same tan color it went in as.
At right is my pair of blue bubblegum ice cream earrings, and below are my pistachio ones- they are both in shop as well for purchase. I tried a few different things with texturing the cones as well, but what I was doing first seemed to work the best.
I decided to give the light colored ice cream scoops eyes, and then after baking them, applied a coat of acrylic paint which I think wiped off of the outer surfaces. Using a color a few shades darker gets it worked into the low spots and gives more definition to the piece.
Today I finished up the last few pairs of ice cream cones, and I realized I have a wire stipling tool in my kit that I didn’t realize I had. Using the stipling tool made me able to make the ice cream cone drips look somewhat foamy and more natural.
After the ice cream cones, I decided I’d try making toast. The toast turned out so easy and I might actually do a tutorial on how to make them. Its pretty much forming a nice organic square shape, indenting the sides near the top, stipling the heck out of the open surfaces, and then brushing on some chalk pastels onto the top (more on the top because that part of the bread is always browner) and sides, and then to the open surfaces in a toaster-eque pattern.
Anyway, I need to work on my knitting and stop playing with clay for a bit. That’s the plan anyway. We’ll see what actually happens!