Saturday, April 25, 2009

Felting afternoon

Well, my first attemp at dying cotton didn't quite turn out. I soaked in soda ash instead of urea and then a soda ash wash so will try again tomorrow. The cotton did accept some of the dye but I am afraid it will wash out if it gets wet. Learn something everyday.I am going to have to hire an electricion soon. The mice and squirrels that I share the studio with seem to be chewing all the wires and each time I go up there, another socket doesn't work. Wonder if I can find someone who will wire on the outside of the walls and put a cover over the wirings instead of wiring inside the walls where hungry critters will continue to eat? Probably very out of code but with so many people out of work, I am bound to find someone who will do it, maybe.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A quick post today

I just found a website with amazing dolls. Odd-Dolls - This lady has stage 4 inflamatory breast cancer. If you get a chance, check out her site. At the bottom of her blog, she has a list of doll artists that she admires. You might even want to send her a note if you really admire her dolls as I do.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

setting goals

new on Etsy

I saw this on a Tweet the other day. A goal is not always meant to be reached,it often serves simply as something to aim at."Bruce Lee" This really got me to thinking. I always have goals but mine are pretty flexible. I include mental health days, my muse has left me days and weeks where nothing sells well but the week before was a great sales week. In one of the Etsy forums last week and suspect this comes topic comes up often, a new seller had set a goal to sell 100 items in her first 6 months on Etsy. Now that is a nice goal to set for yourself, much higher than I would ever set for myself but still possible. This person was new to Etsy, it was her first time in the Forum. She had never been on Twitter or any other Social Medias, had no blog and did no advertizing. She just couldn't understand why her art wasn't selling.

I think this is how many of us started at Etsy but we didn't give up in six months. We just started looking at ways to promote our shops and our artwork. If you only sit there waiting for people to find you, that rarely happens. I am constantly looking for ways to market. Heartomatic turned out to be a great way to to draw lookers to my shop. I still don't get Tweeter and think there is a lot of good information in there, I just haven't had time to read it all but I do post a few times a day, usually answers to other Tweeters and I post if I ad something to my shop or blog.

So don't quit after 6 months, just work a little bit harder. Set your goals but they are something to aim for not to live by. Of course I am sure that Donald Trump would laugh loudly at this blog but luckily he is not on my friend's list so I don't have to worry about it!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

optical lense tutorial

This is a tutorial I wrote when I co-owned a now closed company. I still have more of the optical lens if anyone is interested.

Antique Optical Collaged Pendant
Supplies needed

Antique optical lensBackground and decorative papersOld photos, magazine or stamped imagesMetal leafing penGolden's Matte Gel
OptionalGlitter, mica, pressed flowers, threads, etc.Chain, ribbon or some cording

This is a really simple project that is a quick way to make a unique piece of jewelry. These lenses were used to test people's vision before the invention of the machines that your optician uses now.Wash the lenses and dry it well to remove dust and fingerprints. If part of the lens is frosted, that is the side that you will collage onto and the frosting will disappear.

Draw an outline of the lens and cut out a piece of paper this size. You can use cardstock but I like to use old Christmas wrapping paper that I have saved, esp. the foiled type. This is your background.

Now find old photos, magazine or stamped images that you want to use as your focal point. Take the pieces you want to use to a photocopier that can reduce the images, our Kinko's color copiers do this. Make several sizes of the pictures so you can play around with them. I like to tear the images out instead of cutting them, it gives them a more interesting border. I often run a Krylon metal leafing pin around the edges of my image.

Using Golden's Matte Gel, paste the focal image onto the background. Now you can paste more images or dried, pressed flowers and ferns, specialty threads, mica, glitter or anything else that will not make the piece bulky. Let all of this dry, it dries quickly.

Add a generous layer of the Gel onto the entire face of your small collaged piece, being careful not to dislodge any of the parts. Now push the gelled side of the collage against the lens. (Don't forget to put the collage against the frosted side of your lens if you have that kind) Gently push the collage with your fingers so that any extra Gel is pushed out the edges of the lens and wiped away. Try to also push out any bubbles you can see thru the lens but don't worry if you can't get them all out. I have been using Diamond Glaze by Judikins instead of the gel medium and it works well, just remember it is much runnier and you will have to be careful to let the lenses dry on a level surface. You may find that your lens already has a small hole in the handle. If it isn't big enough or if you have no hole, you can use a Dremel to bore a hole big enough to put a jump ring thru and then hang your pendant on a chain, a ribbon or some cording.
Enjoy your new piece of jewelry, you will have lots of people asking you about it!

A Better Day

The job situation for my husband still looks bleak but he is trying to keep his spirits up. We have been thru this before and maybe the next job will turn into a forever job. We just keep praying and trusting that we are in the right place for the right reason.

Back at my little store, I had another very new friend, Lois Stifel, write a review of my shop and the charity work I do with Corgis, you know, the Queen's dogs. It is on her blog, Art from the Heart and I really appreciate her getting the Corgi rescue information out to the public. The article can be found here Please read it if you have a chance.

Well, time to head to a meeting so off I go, TTYL.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What a difference a day makes

Phil came home with bad news tonight. His contract job was ending 3 weeks early because the company had decided to go in a different direction. He is so down and there is not much I can say to make it better so rather than blogging tonight, I am going to direct you to a very good article by a fellow artist. She made the decision that making art for arts sake was much more rewarding than selling her art. Gives me something to think about

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


What a wonderful day I am having! First I sold 2 of my most beautiful felted pieces. So far everything I have sold on my Etsy shop has been felted, hmmm, that tells me something. Second GladRaggz has written a beautiful description of my website on her blog Thank you so much GladRaggz.
My ad on Craft Cult showed a dramatic rise in views yesterday, all good stuff! I needed a little kick in the pants to get my muse going and all of this should do it. Don't you just love it when things come together at the same time?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend

What a great weekend, beautiful weather, all sorts of things blooming and neighbors working in their yards. I felted and dyed wool on Sat. Made the most beautiful robin's egg blue batt which I show in here when I have it totally dry and take pics. My felting experiments didn't turn out as well but I did get a lot more organizing done. I almost know where things are and I do know what to not buy anymore of, I have more locks that I ever imagined. Today I have been finishing up the CorgiAide necklaces so I can get them into the mail tomorrow. I procrastinated on them for far too long and didn't realize how much that was bothering me. I re-strung a felt ball necklace and am finishing another. I also put up 2 more rovings for sale on I really enjoy dying wool but can only use so much of any one color. I did put a bid on a carder on Ebay, keep your fingers crossed that I get it. I would love to blend my roving and I think it would sell well.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and let's make it a good week!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Do you think this will work?

I have some lovely roving that is merino, silk and sparkles. I was wondering if I laid out the roving in rows, wove silk inbetween the rows and then put another thin layer of the roving on top if this would all felt into nano cloth? I know the silk should all shrink up so this piece of wool/cloth will be very distorted and probably won't work as a scarf, but I could cut it up and make it part of a vest. I am designing a very unusual jacket in my head with many felted pieces, altered fabric and dyed lace. Anyone have any ideas on my nuno project?

Friday, April 3, 2009

weekend of felting

Looks like the weather is finally going to be nice this weekend. I plan to do a lot of felting. I want to make at least one shawl, maybe 2. Will be dyeing too since I can do it out on the porch. I have decided to felt a lot of book markers to give away as gifts on Etsy. Have also decided to put an advertizement on CraftCult. It isn't very expensive and will hopefully bring more people to my site.
In the dog world, I have been working on toe nails as usual. My dremil works really well but wish it was faster. My crew will only stay still for so long. Everyone needs baths but it is so muddy outside that I think that would just be a waste of time. I have been trying to teach "inside voice" to Larkin, my corgi. He has the shrillest voice, it goes right through you.
Hope you all have a good weekend. See you next week.