making_stuff: (Jewelry)
Eeeeeeeeeee! It's done. Done at last! There aren't enough exclamation points to express my glee.

This necklace wins the prize for most false starts and most re-designs of anything I've actually gone ahead and finished. Usually when something is as reluctant as this piece was to get made, I take the hint and give up or at least put it aside for a while, but not this time. And the effort was so worth it. See?

Pretty, eh?

Details )

making_stuff: (Handwoven)
This is my reply to the So, what have you made?" discussion over at the Fearless Scissors group at Weavolution.

I haven't woven yardage in years, so these four are all older pieces – the few I still have, ones that weren't sold or given as gifts.

cut for length )
making_stuff: (Beading)
I'm starting the ornaments early this year. My goal is to do 24 of them, and perhaps sell a few, if there's interest. The rest will go as gifts, like last year.

No pictures (yet), but the basic technique hasn't changed from last year. I've got 12 balls netted so far (some silver, some gold, and a few in rainbows), but none embellished.

I've covered each one in a sandwich baggie against dust and hung them all from my Glimåkra swift, which looks kind of pretty and it's very handy for suspending 2 dozen fragile ornaments in a minimum of space. Yes, I will take a picture soon.
making_stuff: (Sewing)
I wanted 'pearl' buttons, but the ones I had were a bit too small. They pulled through the buttonholes. So I beaded a little cup for each one. The cup has a hole in the bottom, for the shank of the button. I just slip it over the shank and sew the button in place and voila – the cup is anchored in place and the button is too small no longer.
Before and after:
I love it when my inner MacGyver comes up with ideas like this. Creative solutions on a budget – what's not to love?
making_stuff: (Sewing)

When some *outrageous* polyester brocade shows up at for a mere $4/yd, what do you do? You make a jacket, that's what! There has never been an occasion in my life where wearing such a jacket would be the first choice, nor do I anticipate any such occasion in the foreseeable future BUT I like it. Perhaps I'll wear it to work, just to make people's jaws drop.
making_stuff: (Sewing)

The Great Shirt-a-thon of 2009 is officially done. 22 new shirts – checks, stripes, prints, solids, in a whole rainbow of colors. Now how's *that* for a wholesale re-stocking of the wardrobe? I shan't have to make a new shirt for me for *years*, which means I can spend my sewing time doing things altogether for fun, rather than utility. Not that this wasn't fun, mind you, but it was hardly frivolous – like the medieval beaded silk gowns I want to make for the 18" sad, gownless fashion doll that lives in the box with the odd bits of silk and satin I've been collecting for years.

Also, that much sewing in a short period is great practice; I'm much faster and more competent now than I was 2 months ago. Never a bad thing.
making_stuff: (Sewing)

And another shirt, a silky cotton twill, somewhat less outrageous than the last one, due to the more subdued colorway. This print reminds me of something. Perhaps the upholstery in my grandmother's living room, the way it was fifty years ago? I dunno. But I like it.
making_stuff: (Sewing)
Shirt-making continues apace. This one is an Italian rayon challis. Lovely drape and feel. And OMG could it *be* any more flamboyant and not-my-style? (Answer: No.) But again, I fell in love with the fabric and it followed me home. It's a designer print from Manhattan Fabrics, which is a great place for gorgeous and unusual fabrics at pretty decent prices.
making_stuff: (Default)

Since I'd started morning glory and nasturtium seedlings for Dad and my sister, I couldn't resist growing just a few for myself, even though there isn't really any space to garden here. I had the bright idea to plant them at the edge of the walk, where I *hope* they will be safe from the hulking landscapers with their monster weed-whackers. It's also the sunniest spot in the very shady back yard. So I'm hopeful.

Then came the question, what will they climb on until they can reach the railing? A trellis is necessary, but I'm not buying anything – given the likelihood that the whole project will come to nothing… hmmm. Aha! Macrame! I dug out a ball of twine and measured the spacing of the balusters (what? I can't NOT be a geek about things!), did some calculations, cut the lengths and began to knot. I used overhand knots, since this was purely functional and anything more complex would pretty much be a waste. Once it was done, I fastened it to the deck with clear push-pins at the top of each baluster, right beneath the hand rail, and then at intervals down the side (less impact than nails, and easy to remove). Ta-da!

Now to see if the seedlings take off and grow. *fingers crossed*
making_stuff: (Sewing)

One of the early completions in the Great Shirt-a-thon of 2009. This fabric is so very much outside my usual wardrobe palette, but I simply couldn't resist it. It's wonderfully light and soft – a perfect summer shirt. And it goes so well with bluejeans. A win!
making_stuff: (Beading)

My sister fell in love with some cat-faced beads in my stash, so I made her a pair of earrings.

I used French earwires and a couple long header pins. I nipped the heads off the header pins, bent them into the triangle shape, pinched them into the holes in the beads and bingo. Since I don't do much with wire, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. No doubt about it, I need to make more earrings.


Apr. 9th, 2009 01:18 pm
making_stuff: (Needlefelting)
My old pincushion was always a pain. You know, those red and green, vaguely tomato-like ones you get in the notions department. Mine was a cheapie, and the green top was *glued* on, which made it impervious to pins. Pain in the ass. Since I have embarked on a major sewing binge (more on this later) the annoyance was growing. So, today I'd suddenly had enough and decided to make a better pincushion. Felting to the rescue!

First, I took a good length of natural grey roving and wrapped it into a huge ball. Filled the dishpan full of hot, soapy water and went to work; squishy, squishy, squishy. In a few minutes it began to cohere really well. The fulling went quickly, too. (I use a paint tray liner in lieu of a washboard; it works perfectly.) I ended up with a somewhat flattened ball which reminded me of a rock. And that made me think that a rock needs moss or something to pretty it up. Perfect time to try out my new toy: felting needles!

I had a blast playing around, adding mists of green and brown here and there to approximate moss, and then a bunch of teeny, tiny flowers. I was thinking vaguely of stonecrop and lichen as I worked – not that the result is in any way botanically accurate. I like the look and that's all that matters.

And, speaking of botanical improbability, there's this blue rose on a vine-like stem. Hee!

Playing around is fun.

Then, to finish things off, I needle-felted a ring of grey Berber yarn to the underside, to make the pincushion sit firmly, which worked very nicely.

Voila! I pitched out the tacky old tomato and will use this from now on. It's lovely to have beautiful tools.
making_stuff: (Jewelry)
A beading project that's been on my Make This Someday list forever. I've been collecting bits and pieces for years, ever since I found the cabs at a gem and mineral show and they followed me home.

The current design idea is to set each cab (there are five of them) in peyote, string them in an arc on a strand of tiger tail, for support (disguised by threading it with beads), then build outward and around, kind of freeform, incorporating any of the other bits that seem to fit.

If I ever actually make the thing, it should be stunning. That's a big IF, of course. *g*
making_stuff: (Default)

A bajillion years ago (or, you know, 30 or thereabouts) I had the bright idea to build a model castle. I thought it would be *really* cool to cast individual blocks and build up the walls, piece by piece. I daydreamed about it for a while – wondering how one would build workable molds and so forth. Unfortunately, the project never got beyond the daydreaming stage… then. Fast forward to this January. A friend pointed me to the Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture website, subtitled 'Cast your own blocks. Build your own castles.' It was a revelation. The gallery of completed buildings, the molds (!!!!! omg squeee!!!!), the nifty and voluminous instructions…. I was in geek heaven.

After long and gleeful perusal of the site, I settled on five molds, to start. Once they arrived, the next step was a trip to Home Depot for Plaster of Paris and I was ready to begin casting. Decided to build one from the site (the Wizard's Tower) before branching out into my own variations.

Discoveries: Casting is lots of fun in a fiddly sort of way. However, tiny dots of plaster go everywhere. I ended up making an apron to wear while casting, to save my clothes. But the big news? It's WAY harder than it looks to lay up blocks perfectly square and tidy. Wow. I've got pretty good fine motor skills, I think, but dayum. This first attempt is pretty sad, actually. By this point in the construction the accumulated inaccuracies made going on an exercise in frustration, so I decided to cut my losses. I'll stop construction and use this piece for painting practice. So, what to do?

I decided to order a big tub of Megabloks (less expensive Lego clones) and use them to build forms against which to square up each row of blocks. (Besides, Megabloks are just fun to have around, or so my inner 5-year-old assures me. *g*)

More when there's progress to report.
making_stuff: (Default)
From this: , to this: .

And they dried like this all on their own. All I did was arrange them on the cake stand. Pretty cool, eh?
making_stuff: (Handwoven)

I love this shawl; another of my made-with-leftovers specials. The mohair is a little prickly, but it's so light and warm that I don't mind.

It's a mixed-warp that used up little bits of this and that I had lying around: wool and mohair in various weights.

Back in the day )
making_stuff: (Beading)

These were fun. It's been years since I did a run of ornaments, so to have done nine at once felt good.

More about the process )