I cant’ take it anymore.  I need to be able to ply, and I don’t feel nervy enough do do that on a drop spindle, although it is possible.  But, I also cannot afford a spinning wheel for a while.  I’ve got my eye on a couple on Etsy, though, and I may just ask for part of the cost for my birthday.

In doing my research on wheels, I came across alternatives like the kickspindle/Mother Marion. Finding out about these was a big slap on the forehead moment.  They’re logical and straightforward, not as intimidating as a full wheel.

Aha!  This is simple enough to DIY.  I’d love to be able to buy and support crafters, but I also want to be able to pay the fair price for their product.  The kickspindles I’ve seen on Etsy range from 50-70 and even that is a pinch.  So, off to the internet I went.  I found these plans on and variations on the design on google.  I wanted to make it as bare bones as possible, so here we are:

This is the general idea.  I have a fence finial instead of a bun foot or wheel for a weight.  I will be threading the dowel through a hook on that wood block.  The angle may have to change to keep the finial from rubbing on the base and slowing me down, but we’ll see how it spins.  I was going to cut the dowel in half, but honestly….I kind of like the absurd size!  I hope it doesn’t effect the motion – if it does, it’ll be cut down and I’ll make a regular spindle from the excess.



As of writing this, production has ceased for my drill’s battery to recharge so I can get the dowel into the finial.  I’ll add more later as this unfolds!


Fairy Keys!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou know how much I like reusing stuff, so here’s the latest idea to come off the craft table!  I had a lot of old keys, and some agate discs that I really wasn’t sure what to do with.  They’re too thick to link, and kind of heavy.    I really didn’t want to destash them, but I had to do something.

Then it hit me when I found that pretty pewter fairy holding a pentacle – fairy keys!  I like to use fanciful narratives when I can, or to riff on folklore.  I was thinking of holey stones when I started these, as well as other fairy lore and style.    Even though these discs are carved, the idea still lingers.  It’s early spring, so it’s time for magic and garden colors, growing things and feeding the sprites.  The whole feel of April is warm, but changeable – anything can still happen.  That’s why I made them look rag-tag – I had this weird springtime in mind.  So here are some stones to see a world beyond, and keys to lost locks that will open the door.

I’ve got a few more keys sitting around, so I’ll keep playing with these pendants.  Hopefully they’ll hit the table this week at Hidden Grounds in New Brunswick.

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!

Recent doings at Haus of Laz


So Busy lately!  There’s 3 new goodies up at the shop, so feel free to check ’em out:  I have more steampunk, tarot, and reliquaries than I know what do with!  First is this pretty number, with a delicate handmade chain, and a sprinkling of tiny treasures in the “watch” case.  As a bonus, there’s a little bottle of lavender in the chain:



Then we have the two tarot beauties, from The Lovers and Strength cards respectively:



Also found a lovely preserved cicada carapace attached to a decoration in my garden.  I saved it carefully and it’s going to be used in  a piece 🙂


When I got them ready for their photo shoot and posted them to Etsy, I was left a little bored.  I ended up taking a look at my desk and thought I’d show you who keeps me company when I blog.  Below we see Gladys the Gar-gal, and micro-Chibi Ganesh being all cute!


I’m a big fan of these…


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  So, a friend and I went in on an order of paper fans and parasols earlier this summer.  Now, at nearly the end of the season, I’ve figured out what I want to do with them!  They were plain white until I decided to “gild” them with paint.  That made them lovely, but impossible to close. The paper is like leather with enough coats.  I decided to make that a feature rather than a bug.  These are no longer closeable fans.





OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I made a mini pattern so I could make fans of fabric to cover the ribs to deter people from trying to do the impossible and destroying the fan.  Leatherlike or no, they are still delicate.  They’re going to pretty much be art pieces rather than accessories.  When they’re done, they’ll have discreet hooks so they can be hung when not in use.  If I can wrangle it, I’ll attach some sort of handle to them.  That may require some trial and error.  Lucky, I have a bunch of these to play with!




The gold is my favorite, but I’ve started painting some silvers as well.  I experimented with a variety of undercoats, and I’ve found that painting them matte black acrylic first gets the best out of the metallic paint.  I still need a ton of coats to cover the undercoat as well as obscure brushmarks.  I want these to look like they’re gilded and straight out of the early Renaissance!



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Of course, I’m using tarot to decorate some of these.  The Empress is reigning on one fan, backed by burgundy satin.  I’m nearly done with her, but I need an elegant way to hide the rough edges where the bamboo still shows. I want the fan to be useable as a fan, but also to look good from all angles.  Shipping will be…interesting….with these!  Temperance is going on another gold fan, with recycled white silk backing I took from an old lampshade.  Here’s a peek of the angel:







Keep checking back – these are going to be a regular on the worktable, and hopefully a hit with LazMart shoppers 😉

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