Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 151: Knit like your pants are on fire!

For some reason, I am knitting like my Pants are on fire! I started another scarf today, and it will likely be finished by tomorrow. I am using two balls of FREE yarn from my swag bag as part of a nearly week long fiber fest. Alone, they wouldn't
T have made for a very long scarf, so I found another ball to match, and off we go! This one will be quite long!
Pictures aren't loading as ,y Internet connection seems to be suspect. I give up for tonight!

Pictures FINALLY added 9:00 A.M. June 1, 2011

Day 150: Cotton Scarf Finished with FRINGE!

I finished my "ecru" cotton scarf and added fringe along the ends.  I had about 3 inches of leftover yarn when I was done!  I couldn't have made even one more row and still had enough for fringe on both sides.  Luck was on my side!  Somehow my brain thought it would be a lot longer than the green scarf that I did out of the same single skein of yarn as this one is so much thinner....however I didn't really think about the fact that it had the same number of stitches across and was worked much more tightly with a smaller needle.  Knitting math always seems to escape me!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 149: I am the mother of a nine year old!

Not today actually, but tomorrow morning.....I am officially the mother of a nine year old!  I have no idea where the time goes, and I can't believe my daughter is so grown up!  Sniff, gulp.

In addition to having a full house of family this weekend, I did manage to steal away and craft a very little bit today.  My ring from yesterday was completely without the black markings after spending all night in the pickle solution.  It just wiped off with my finger rubbing across it.  I continued working with it and experimented with polishing using the dremel tool, and I have managed to get rid of most of the blue coloring too (although that was not at all my intention).  It is spending the night in the tumbler tonight.

As for other stuff, I added a little wire swirly and snap tight setting by soldering today and then adding a little 6mm stone to the setting to make this pendant with a base circle that I had made a few days back.
 I also did some quick work with chain mail using my favorite weave (byzantine) with some little shiny sterling rings on each end.  I will attach them to earring wires tomorrow.  The red rings are enameled copper.....and although I had intended to make chain mail flower earrings with them, I think I didn't get the right sizes for the flowers to look right.  Oh well, I like byzantine better anyway!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 148: Ring.....learning experience

I worked today with a thinner bezel than I have used before, and my mom and I ended up looking for thinner stuff to mount .  I bought a flat shell bead that had some black markings on it, but I scuffed the top of the finish when I was working on the bezel.....so now I am going to see what it will take to remove the black entirely.  I will leave the ring in the pickle (acid solution for cleaning) all night just to see what that does to the "stone" which is really a bead....the holes are just hidden.  Then I will see if I can polish the top of the setting to get a shiny top again or at least, a scuff free top.
Sterling Silver with Three Band Ring

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 147: Out in the yard today, but just until it rains....again.

With company coming into town for the weekend, I felt compelled to try to mow the lawn before we no longer had time and/or the jungle grasses got tall enough to obscure our house from cars driving by....so a two day adventure to mow the law commenced.  I drive slow on the riding thing as the bumpies do not make for happy back....but as I drove around the remaining hill on our lot today, I soaked in the sun as it peaked through the thickening clouds, drank my chilled cherry coke, and noshed on a sausage and peppers sandwich made by the corner Italian deli.  Although I am completely wipe out now, it was one of my most pleasant days!

The garden is about to explode with iris blooms!
The lilac bushes are heavy with their bounty!

My project today came from my reluctance to use a ginormous brown pot that I purchased cheaply a number of years ago when our house was BROWN.  I emptied the dirt out of it earlier this season to fill holes in the yard (thanks, doggies) and I was then thinking of what to do with it.....when I figured I would just repaint it and spruce it up for some pretty color around the front of the house.

Primer and cream spray paint......GO!
Rope and gorilla glue.....GO!
Dirt and pretties......GO!
Now I just need some tall spiky plants in the back and some pretty trailing plants along the edge.....otherwise, much much MUCH better!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 146: Rags to Riches.....Ear Bobs to Buttons!

I did a little bit of work transforming my pile of clip on earrings into coveted buttons for my knittiness.  I had a pile of earring posts that someone gave me since they heard I "was into that sort of thing" and I just gave a quick run around with the pliers, and glued them on with E6000 glue.  Presto, chango!

There are still lots to be done, but I wanted to test these first and see if the strength of the glue and the post solder would hold up the way I hope!

Also, here is some progress on my knittiness of late....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 145: Knitting some, in bed lots, bad tv? Yes plz!

Today I didn't really have anything pressing to get me moving. I have been tired, and for some reason, I thought it a good plan to volunteer to help the artist partnership week in my daughter's class. They were making copper wire sculptures that were then wrapped with dried strips of stretchy paint. Strange to say, but very cool in actuality. I should take picture when I go in tomorrow as I am just not explaining it well.

I have been working on another knitted scarf like my last one, same pattern and everything, but in an off white cotton and smaller needles. The pattern is less loopy, obviously, and it is quite nice to be able to see the pattern well.  This color is "ecru." (be sure to wrinkle your nose up a little while saying the word "ecru" otherwise it is entirely a different color....."ecru" is off white with attitude!)

I also knit a headband that covers a plain plastic headband form. That was a quick project, and I am ashamed to say that I opt to go to bed now instead of waiting for my camera battery to recharge. Pictures will be added to this post early tomorrow!

Okay, late today!  I forgot to actually put the camera battery on to charge until I was ready to post tonight....then I had to wait!  Silly me!  Pictures added Thursday, May 26, at "Late" p.m.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 144: This and That

I did a little of this and that today.  I made tags for my knits, including swatches of the yarns I used and the labels from the yarns too.  Then I felt free to use up the ends of the yarns for experimenting with flowers and ruffles  I knit the pink and light green ones  and crocheted the three little flowers in the top right corner of the pictures.  I don't know what I am going to use any of them for yet, but that doesn't keep me from making them =)

 I also reworked a little turtle neck I made while at my mom's place.  I misjudged the size originally and couldn't get it over my head.  So I sat on the idea for more than a week now, and I then felted it a bit, cut (YES, YIKES, WITH SCISSORS) and then bound the edge with crocheted ribbon.  I can now get it over my head.  I just fold the corners in and it looks really cute.   I used a "Magic Ball" made by Be Sweet.  Love those colors! 

I popped into a garage sale, and I found these treasures.  Lots of ear bobs (that is what my mom calls those clip on earrings)!  I plan to rework them into buttons and other embellishments.  I put them in the tumbler for a quick cleaning, and they are totally cute.  I threw one into my red flower right away!

This one is my favorite!  I saw this cute little pin!  AND IT OPENS!  Hooray!

Linking up to party with Kim over at Savvy Southern Style on her Wow Us Wednesdays post!  Thanks Kim for hosting one of my favorite week day parties!  There are always a ton of projects and cool ideas there!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 143: Solid Sterling Bands

I had a DR appointment today, and despite the impending muscle spasms, I am really in a good mood today!  I checked a ton of piddly errands off my list, and I spent some afternoon time working on textured sterling silver rings.  Polishing still proves to be challenging for me, but these shine okay.  I made a few errors which I will refrain from pointing out =)  Otherwise I will just say that it is really really REALLY tough to get photos of shiny stuff!

Share your thoughts anyone???  I flattened little sterling balls and added them to the tops of the bands....like a stone or design, but just small little textures to give a focal point.

Now I know I was never destined to be a hand model!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Days 140-142: Where does the time go?

I am sorry I have been such a bad blogger as of late.  Once I broke the streak of posting every day, it is hard to be motivated to be sure I post even though I am creating up a storm.  I promise to be better.....I have lost "followers"....but I guess I am not really blogging so that I can count the number of "followers."  I do it to share the journey and to document it for myself and my family.  So here is what I have been doing since my last post....

With bead ball
I used my gift certificate to the YARN GARAGE given to me by my fam for mothers' day, and I bought some scrumptious cotton yarn that I am working into a "fast knit" pattern that is newish.  It is just a nice, light, open working lace pattern.  I ran a bead ball made my "Be Sweet" with the green cotton for half of the scarf and half will be just plain.  Depending on the day, I can display different parts of the scarf.....right?  We all have our different faces.

just plain gorgeousness!

I am sure I will finish this up tonight, and then wrap up in it and feel the mommy love!  Thanks family!

I have been working on my silver wire work and soldering skills, making a number of different forms and adding silver jump rings (soldered shut) to hang on a chain for pendants.  My trees have really turned out nicely and I have added hearts, open circles for wire wrapping beads, and dragonflies too.   I wore my large tree today and got lots of complements!  I will make more for sure!

I also wrapped up a couple of sets of serving utensils to match platters I sold as wedding gifts!  I wish I had thought to take pictures of the beaded serving ware with the platters they complement.....oh well, just take my word for it!  They match!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Days 134-139: Silver Smithing and BURNING STUFF

I spent five days in my hometown with my mom, taking classes in silver smithing.  Check out what can be made with my favorite tool, THE TORCH!

This was the product of the two-day beginning class. We learned basic torch technique and soldering to make a three-band sterling silver ring.  I designed the ring, bent and soldered the three wires to make the ring band, I bent the wires to make the curls on the top, and I soldered the bezel and design elements to the top of a sheet of silver.  We learned to set stones and finish the joints to make a professional looking piece.  Totally cool!

The advanced class was also two days long and centered around the completion of a solid band ring.  I formed the ring, textured it, sized it, and then added the bezel.  I set the stone and also did the polishing process with a rotary tool.  The polishing is very key and can't really be done properly with only a tumbler or a cloth.  Apparently a long-lasting shine is dependent on the polishing process.  Who knew?

In addition to this ring, we worked on small wire pieces to learn to refine our soldering and torch skills.

We did a number of copper wire pieces to use as little solder as possible and then become familiar with how to copper plate so that the silver solder joints become invisible.  I didn't know that copper pieces could be so interesting.

After practicing with copper, we worked on a silver piece and then extended the project to learn to use prong settings

We worked on using different metals and then added a post earring back.  I have only made french earring wires so far, and I am glad to expand my jewelry making vocabulary.  I lost one of the earrings somehow in the process....but they were just for fun/learning/practice.  So no tears will be shed.

We experimented with making twisted wire using a drill and it was so fun that my mom and I twisted up an entire spool of blue wire and then made them into little things yesterday before I returned back home. I ate my lovely baked oatmeal at a nice local restaurant, and my mom and I twisted wire.  We must have looked kind of funny with our tool kits and spools of different wire.

My friend the heron...this is a form I have drawn a lot over the last couple of years.  Across from my house is a little pond with a pretty heron that frequents.  I use the form for lyno stamp carving, drawing, pottery images, etc...I have gone through making a short series of them so I can get used to bending this twisted wire.  It behaves very differently than a single wire.  Pretty pretty pretty!

Here is an example from my series of dragonflies that I also did out of the twisted wire.  I still need to work on making them into plant labels or other variations.....They are just really simple, really pretty, and quick!

Today was my first day home and stationary for an entire day.  I worked a little in the garden.  I puttered around the house changing sheets and putting dinner in the crock pot.

I then sat down to do a little soldering work.  After making a copper practice design on top of several drawn designs, I worked on this series of sterling silver trees.  I will likely put little loops on the tops to become pendants.  I feel I have been very productive today, and I have blogged about it!  That means it really happened, right?