Posted in crochet, dyeing, fiber arts, knitting, spinning, Uncategorized, weaving, wool, yarn

Adventures in Yarn!

We have been quite fibery lately!  Below is a photo of some “magpie yarn”, knotted together bits and scraps.  Right now it’s on the needles to make a bookmark for lil ol’ me:

20170225_173134

Other than knitting, there has been weaving. I used the back of my Whoopsitsaloom to make a tabby-weave bookmark with stormy grey/blue yarn.  This was a 30 minute weave, the warp was 6 (I think) strands of slate blue acrylic and the weft was god-only-knows shiny slate blue from Michaels’ clearance.  The tail was also a clearance find.  The label on the skein was so battered I have no idea what the color is, or the brand.  But I’ll find it!

20170226_170234

20170226_202246

Finally, there has been spinning and dyeing!  I am a super-super new spindle spinner, so my product is not exactly presentable yet, but I’m learning as I go along.  I was listening to a recent episode of The Woven Road and I became curious about dyeing.  I happened to be spinning and sipping some cheap red when I got curious….

20170301_185717

I interrupted The Woven Road to google it up and I found ChemKnits, so I watched Rebecca’s experiment with wine.  I was feeling a bit lazy so I didn’t feel like boiling and simmering.  The following happened:

Nuked it for 2 minutes on a friend’s reminder.  Left it overnight and voila, a stain!

20170302_110326

The stuff on the spindle is some of the original fiber.  The bit on the left is 12~ hours in the wine, washed, and rinsed.  I found out that at this rate it really is more of a stain than a dye, but it’s a pretty soft tint I rather like.  Still, in the interest of science I left it in for another night and was left with pretty much the same result.

Then I started to wonder about tea….

20170302_150532

This is a length that sat in a covered pot with 10 store brand black tea bags.  Bought the lot to a boil, then simmered for an hour.  This is when it was fresh from its first soap and rinse.  The color faded after drying, but it’s still a nice mustard shade.

20170303_082314

One of the teabags leaked so I do have some leaves in there.  Most came out in the wash.  I’m going to use these for weaving, ultimately.  Just want to make sure they’re clean and dry so things don’t get moldy.

So whew!  Busy bee!  Before I go, Come say hi on Ravelry – I’m Lazdamnit

Posted in Uncategorized

Creativity and Chemistry

2016 was a hell of a year all around.  I don’t think I vended once (if I did, it was really only once).  Every corner of my life was in upheaval, and in my friends’ lives too!  Thankfully, things were still enjoyable overall, and we’re approaching regularity again.  But for the last month, month-and-a-half, I’ve been hibernating.  I’ve been so fatigued, so tired.  It’s like I can’t get enough sleep.  I have no health problems that should cause this, so I’m just going to assume it’s brain chemistry and the time of year.  I like winters, but sometimes they can be hard.

I’ve been forcing myself to be creative.  This is why I took up fibers, so I could have a more portable outlet when I just didn’t feel like beading.  I’m still not as busy as I’ve used to be and that makes me feel bad.  Even though my “not busy” is what my husband says is normal people’s busy.  I’m using my time in different ways now to accommodate the lack of energy.

I have a fiber-based project for the living room, one for the kitchen, MOOCs on history and books to work on…I have access to a college library again (YYYYYES!). I’m reading more in very small doses.  I have a little lap harp to play with (Lil’ Radu).  I have my witchery, which I’m still learning.  I have at least some house plants left after the winter and the Great Plant Food Mishap of 2016.  There are still days I can’t get the wherewithal to do any of this, though, and I hate that.

Vending is out of the question for the time being – I know I don’t have it in me to do all that.  Stock making, marketing, hurry up and waiting….nah.  Though I will say that it’s nice to make for the sake of making.  

Ah, who knows….I’m muddling through and I hope you are all too 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

Wip Dishrag

Lilly Sugar and Cream cotton yarn (ahhhh, my fave!) in I think lilac.  No pattern, as per usual.  I chained 5, joined the ends, skipped a few stitches here and there for “holes”.  It’s a bit lumpy, nut this is a quick do.  And it will be for washing dishes, so yes, lumps are ok.

Posted in Uncategorized

WHAAAT I’m still alive.

Now that I’m using Ravelry more, I should blog some stuff, shouldn’t I?  

In 2016 there was more work than crafting, so there wasn’t much at all to blog about.  I didn’t vend, and I was too busy to make much jewelry.  Took up fibers for some decompression and oh shit now that’s a thing I do.  But not much was produced.  Silly work, getting in the way of crafting.  But here is 2017.  

This must be updated later w/ photos, but I’m in a place w/ spotty wifi right now so yes, we’ll have to wait.  There is the instagram widget on the side tho, should you want a visual aid.

So if you’re now, this is what happens in my world.  Complete novice at all things, except possibly the jewelry.

  • Jewelry:  Upcycling, recycling, bicycling – I tear apart old things and make new pretties.  Use a lot of natural things like bones and shells as well.
  • Knitting: We have conquered the rectangle -going from small scarves to a cowl, in progress now.
  • Crochet-eh: Not my favorite, but am getting better at it.  Doing swell w/ open work for some odd reason.
  • Spindle spinning: Super new at this – Have spun some gifted merino blend into what is more or less yarn.  Working with a larger spindle now w/ cotton roving and having an easier time.  Will require far more practice to get thinner/softer yarns.  Have managed to spin cat fur for a friend tho.
  • Whoopsitsalooming: Well shit, I guess I weave now too.  Think of this as “yarn punk” more than textbook weaving.  I have a tiny toy loom and my whoopsitsaloom made out of a poster frame.  Learning as I go along, what I can do, what I can weave on, etc.  No finished projects yet, but progress has been put on Instagram.

There we have it!  There is also occasional writing, tweeting, etc. etc.  Bye for now!

Posted in Uncategorized

Oh, dear….

I bought supplies.  But also, beads.  Normally, I don’t bother buying beads – I have quite a stash, and I will trade/destash with friends.  BUT!  LOOK! AT! THESE!  Might have been a mistake to enter the bead aisle after catching up on Steven Universe.

IMG_00015

In other news, crafting continues apace.  From cross stitch: IMG_00016To knitting:

IMG_00017

Watch this green one’s progress here on Ravelry!

IMG_00018

To decorated knitting needles:

IMG_00006

It’s all systems go!  Just really…really…slowly…

Posted in Uncategorized

So anyone who tuned into last night’s stream (click here for part 1) saw me making a beaded chain for a pendant.  This is something I do quite often, as I think all parts of the necklace should have handmade attention.  I chose some champagne colored glass beads, and rose/black iridescent seed beads and made link after tiny link for about 2 hours.  Here’s the results!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This still needs its clasp, but it’s about 18 inches, a lovely length for any type of wear.

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here she is on my tablecloth.  Quite a pretty set.  Not sure if I’m ok with the little dangle on the pendant.  I might yet change that out for something more similar to the rest of the necklace.  Depends what I find trawling through my stash.  That trawling is a little difficult on cam 😉

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This lets you see the contents of the little vial, which are quite pretty!  These things are very popular.  I think it’s because they look old-fashioned, which people always love.  Also, I like to put in certain intentions when I fill a vial…dried roses, dried spring flowers, pink and champagne colored beads…clearly this is for romance!  That extra thought counts.

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And the earrings, awaiting their hooks!

Posted in Uncategorized

Blowing Eggs! Part 2

This was a one-day, very brief project.  But stuff happened, and I didn’t get to photograph the finished product until today.  These are some snapshots of my glittered eggshells:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There’s only 4 for now because I can only eat them so fast!  The rest of the dozen will have a similar, glamorous afterlife when their innards become omelettes or egg sandwiches.

I didn’t go vary fancy with these.  I wanted them in my garden anyway.  Knowing the local wildlife, I did not think they’d survive very long.  But it’s worth practicing because well-done eggshells can last for ages.

When the shells were dry, I went outdoors and used spray adhesive on them, then tapped glitter all over them.  And the glitter went all…over….Kinda looks like a bunch of fairies pooped near my mailbox.  BUT!  The eggs are adorable.  Next time I’m going to use a glue wash and do this indoors because I wasted a lot of glitter, and….well….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Yeah, this stuff doesn’t come off so easily.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I used acetone nail polish remover to get the adhesive to ball up and become scrapeable, then scrubbed hard w/ dish soap.
Posted in Uncategorized

Antiquing papers for self-made book

So as you may know, I have decided to go bananas, stop submitting poetry to places, and just make/sell my own collections.  The product of all this is Wild Woman Press!

I have lost what little calligraphy skills I used to possess, so I’ve decided to combine the handmade and the technological.  I’ve formatted and printed several copies of one collection of poems.  I’ll be sewing them together in custom, one of a kind books.  But first, I have to make the paper more interesting.  So I’m antiquing it with coffee.  These are photos of the process.  I’ll add the finished product when I have one full “volume” done and ready to sew!

printed page about to be coffee antiqued
Tools: coffee (cold is ok, even watery grounds), brush or sponge, and baking sheet
Get it nice and covered with the delicious smelling yuck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You need a really low oven – you’re drying rather than baking.  15 mins per sheet at 200F is ok.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the paper is dry, it will start to stand up off the sheet. This means it’s time to take it out and brush the grounds off
Posted in community, Lady Lazarus' Designs - the stuff!, share the wealth, Uncategorized, Vending

Thoughts for the next show

So, South Jersey Pagan Pride day was a success!   Despite some wicked weather in the beginning and some “interesting” wind.  Anyone wandering into this blog from that day will remember my tent as the one with the “Olympic Tent Holding Team” that sprang into action at each gust.  And the “if it flies away and you catch it, 15% off!” discount.

This was the first show in a while that counted as a success, and I’m pleased.  Not just for the sake of profit, but because I genuinely like seeing happy customers.  When I make jewelry, it is artistic for me.  I carefully select elements and colors.  I design some really funky pendants.  I put a lot of work into what I do.  It’s pleasurable work, but it is work.  So it’s nice to turn some of that into money again.

However,I have to get this off my chest. This is a gripe unrelated to yesterday,  but rather one about vending in general.  It can get demoralizing trying to sell handmade goods for a number of reasons:  it’s a bad economy, people have vastly different ideas of appropriate pricing for jewelry (ahem), and there are a lot of resellers out there.  By resellers I mean booths that have mostly pre-made, prepackaged stuff.

I don’t begrudge you a display or two of quicksales and doorbusters – we all need to make a buck.  But I do get annoyed when I see mostly pre-made passed off as “crafted”.  To me, it’s like giving a kid cheap processed lunches for years then suddenly expecting them to eagerly eat garden-fresh food you’ve lovingly prepared.  They’re going to refuse it because they are used to the quick hit of salt and fat from the processed stuff.  So when you get a crowd that can get a shiny, dangly necklace for $5 because it’s essentially dollar-store stock, they’re going to turn up their noses at my entirely handmade $35 necklace.  Despite the fact I know what went into it, you can talk to me about how I made it, and ask me for alterations or repairs – the easier route will always be more popular.

So, I get encouraged when I do sell things, because it shows that people still appreciate small businesses, effort, and an artistic eye.  And yesterday was quite encouraging 😉

**the next post will be the results of barters w/ other vendors and me crowing about their lovely stuff.  I just need to unpack the car first and find my new goodies!