Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just playin' around

We wanted to experiment with our new small jeweler's kiln so the 3 of us each whipped up a pendant (or 3: Jamie) to fire using PMC (Precious Metal Clay). Here they are bone dry. I'll show you what they look like after firing.

And then Jamie and I did some wet felting. Angharad's the expert in that department.Jamie'smine
(looks like spinach)

I'll show you how these come out, too.

I love before & after shots!


Monday, April 28, 2008

'Great Green Goods'

I just found a great blog that is all about crafting recycled waste:


recycled bicycle tires
recycled clam and mussel shellsrecycled skateboard jewelry
(double sided)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

This is harder than I thought!

I'm trying to recreate a beautiful pair of earrings I saw. It's become quite the challenge!

It looked simple enough- knotted thread with a bead at the top of each peak- wrapping around the length of the hoop (like a stegosaurus).

These are peaks #'s 2 & 3 (I undid the first attempt). It's time consuming, but I'll keep at it.

Wish me luck!


Friday, April 25, 2008

Tidy yarn storage

Here's a handy idea ( I found here) for storing balls of yarn, that puts to use unnecessary waste at the same time:


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sculpted knits

Another star student that I have blogged about before is my friend Evi. (see her blog).

She recently told me about some knitwork that I must check out. Sandra Backlund is the artist's name. I had the devil of a time trying to remember this woman's name. It's like one of those phone numbers that is impossible to remember- (even though no one memorizes phone numbers anymore)- because there's no pattern to the numbers- and no matter how many times you dial it, you cannot retain them. She had to train me phonetically. It became sort of a joke. I'm usually pretty good with names, too...

Anyway, I looked up her site and the work is just stunning! Hand-made. Not much is planned- she lets her needles go where they take her.

I agree that her work is more sculpture than fashion. Thanks for the tip!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dyed reeds

Preparing for the Basket Weaving class I wanted to offer other color options besides just the natural reeds- which are beautiful in their own right.

Here I combined natural with a subtle nude color:


I achieved the colors for this basket and the basket Eugenia made (pictured below), using a mixture of Jacquard Acid Dyes and Kool Aid packets:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Star student

Somehow yesterday's Basket Weaving class had only one person signed up. It was just Eugenia and I, and it was such fun.

I thought you guys should see her basket. She really excels at crafts that require meticulous attention. I blogged about her soap batch a little while ago...

Here she is working away...(on turbo speed it looks like).
Great work!

Monday, April 21, 2008

New toy

We just got a cricut machine. It is technical, but fortunately it comes with a (rather amusing) instructional video. We've been having fun playing around with it's extensive capacity.

It is a computerized diecut machine. Each template is plugged in to procure different shapes and lettering. Here are a few template examples that we have:We also have a Cuttlebug, which is a manual diecut machine:
Great for Scrapbooking, or Art Journaling, or Paper Crafts, etc!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Linocut Print Making

I wanted to see what I could get by applying pressure using only a wooden spoon:

Not perfect, but ok I think.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Embroidered porcelain?

Diem Chau is an artist who is doing some interesting things with embroidery.

How did she do it? At first I was perplexed:

The perspective was odd...
...but could possibly hold true if the artist's approach was calculated:
This one is my favorite:Then I saw this photo of a similar piece where you can see a dip in the middle:
She embroiders on a screen, pulls it tight across the tops of the porcelain dishware, and then adheres it to the rim: Phew! At one point I wondered if she were gluing down each individual thread. What a great idea!


And I threw in these carvings of hers just because they're so cool- Crayola crayons!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

More Paper Making:

In order, actually:

These first two had more of a landscape direction...

...and then I got sidetracked with abstracts:


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Embossing Powder is addicting!

I made these beads out of paper, etc. What glossies them is sprinkling embossing powder over them and then melting it. Repeat this process adding several layers and mix-media materials. "The possibilities are endless!"


Monday, April 14, 2008

Through the ages....

...was completely charmed by this first image and set out to find more:


"The Knitting Girl"
"Madonna Knitting"
the oldest Western knitting image

Saturday, April 12, 2008

In the works

I'm starting a new embroidery project. And it's big! I drew out a light diagram for myself, so obviously that's all going to be covered with embroidery floss.

Can't wait to see how it turns out...


Friday, April 11, 2008

First Sewn Tote Bag

Ever have one of those projects that really only needs a few last things done to it. So minute. But yet you don't get to it for ages? Probably because it's part of a pile that's grown - and it's the same thing with all of them - the very last 2 or 3 steps.

Well, I finally finished my first tote bag that I started a while back. I already blogged about my 2nd one...so it was started even before that one.

And by the way - I love strawberries! My mother said that she ate strawberries by the barrel-full when she was pregnant with me...so...maybe that's why....Does that mean I'm sweet?


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Candle Making

This was a fun and simple project.

The flakes are eucalyptus leaves and they smell heavenly.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Artfest 2008

Artfest 2008
We're back and had a great time!

Out of the 3 workshops I took, somehow I wound up with 2 that were more art than craft. It seemed to take away from the whole Artfest vibe. So many amazing techniques are being shared by innovators in their field- it was a shame not to tap that resource a little more. You get 3 choices for 3 days worth of workshops and either get your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd pick. Basically, you choose 9 classes and wind up with 3.

'Waxy Layers' with Judy Wise was one of the classes I chose and didn't get.

I want to share with you the PMC Bird Pendant workshop I took with Catherine Witherell. It was a great class- Catherine's a lovely teacher- and I was amazed at how easy, yet complicated the whole process was. It works like clay, then you put it in the kiln and it clinks like metal. Because it is metal. The clay burns off during the firing process as it is merely an organic binder. Fascinating!


Here are some examples of Catherine's work:

Here's the pendant that I made:
(someone told me that it looks like a Pacific Northwest Thunderbird)

Monday, April 7, 2008

We're back!

Jamie went to CraftCon in San Francisco, and Angharad & I went to Artfest up in Port Townsend, WA. It was a great time and I will tell you about it tomorrow.

For now, here's the Gocco Screen Print I made in class tonight:


Thursday, April 3, 2008

In SF for the Craft Congress!

Here in SF for the Craft Congress. I've been invited to speak on a panel on Sunday from 10-11am. Excited to meet other crafters and for the ready made party tomorrow. Will report in tomorrow.