Monday, December 1, 2014

Ticker Launch Story Time

So a couple of weeks ago my sister tagged me in a post on the Facebook. It was a post from the wonderfully talented Lisa Mantchev. She put out a call for artists and makers, she wanted to write some flash fiction and give her lovely characters from her new book Ticker, the chance to go holiday shopping through the various shops (made real in verbally gorgeous world of Bazalgate of course).

So I jumped on the chance, which was awesome cause sometimes I avoid those and regret it later. And now my shop will be featured in this amazing setting. Starting today and running until Dec 5th, new stories everyday. I literally squee inside with excitement and do a little wiggle every time I think about it...which is often, I may get committed soon.

And Then I read the book (mostly, still a wee bit left but I refuse to be interrupted every five minutes by the family so I keep having to wait). It's set in the future that never was, which is awesome because steampunk is where i want to runaway to instead of the circus. It's about a girl, feisty and headstrong (in a good way, girl kicks ass) who gets a brass heart a.k.a ticker. And then subsequent trial of her Dr. for the steps he took to make her that ticker. And then there's adventure and hijinks and all sorts of shenanigans. And that's all I'm going to tell you because I need to go and read the end of it so I can leave a review.

I highly suggest you grab Ticker first, but life on the edge is good too. So read the new stories and enjoy! Or pick up the Theatre Illuminata series. 
My story is tomorrow, and I have pages to finish because order and such. 
P.S. you can get a signed copy here.

Oh oh and there are giveaways, loads of them. Including a Kindle Paperwhite preloaded with that lovely bit of awesomeness that is Ticker.

Also one of these guys will be given away.
and free patterns woot! So go now, faster and bookmark this so you can find it easier. And now I promise my rambling is over for today.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Of Dragons and tiny things

 So I'm sure some of you remember my dragon project. Well it's been sitting in the closet pretty much since my last post about it. Partially do to boredom, that's a lot of satin stitch in those trees, but also because it just wasn't going in the direction I wanted it go.

So much satin stitching!

I wanted it to be similar to my shooting star embroidery, loads of layers colors and stitches. Of course with a needle felted body it disagreed with me and kept eating my stitches. So I tried to build up a base of accent beads to stitch around. It wasn't horrible, just not what I wanted. So this morning I had what I'm hoping will turn out to be a brilliant idea and ripped off all the beads and stitching (okay so i gently cut it out so as not to ruin the piece).
Also I don't love the background, it may get ripped out also or more likely just added to.
So with any luck I will have new, non ripped apart dragon pictures for you soon.

In other news I finally got into miniatures, the making of them since the love of them has always been there. I love it so much I was tempted for a short while to give up crochet all together...but who am I kidding, I will never be satisfied by just one crafty thing. Here's some of the tiny stuff I've made.

 The project that started it all, a matchbox swap with my sister.

 the hourglass is made of two gel cap halves hot glued together, then I took a hot needle and made a hole so sand could fall through it. You have to give it a bit of a wiggle but the sand will move.
 the ink bottle is a deformed bead with a toothpick cork. The tiny pencils are made from plant pieces and will write for a little bit at least.

 Hand dipped tiny candles, they don't have much burn time but it's fun to watch the little suckers go.

 Inspired by the tequila bottle my husband found me at the craft store. they still need painting
 Even tinier skulls, these are going to become plant parts for my witch room I'm working on.
 Tiny frogs and a lizard
 The drawer for the cuppboard.
 the interior, glossy paint does not photograph well
 Tiny bird skulls
 And even tinier mice
 This is my witch room. It's got a canopy and large bat rug now but I can't seem to located that picture.

Head and foot boards for some beds I'm making. I love making tiny furniture.
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Monday, September 15, 2014

So I recently started a new job. I work at one of the big name craft stores (not the icky one with the birth control BS) and I love it. Every time I go to work I get ogle all the goodies and it's an actual job requirement that I talk to people about their projects, for as long as it reasonably takes to get them the things they need to complete's heaven, I should have done this years ago. Everything is so much better when work doesn't make you want to pull all your hair out and stuff it in your ears.

I've been making stuff but getting the time to get it up in the shop has been a little harder to find, I need a minion who likes that part so I can focus on the making, the making is way more fun. But I'm working on it, and a bunch of other things because I will never not have a billion projects in varying stages of completion. Here's some of the finished ones.

 this is something I actually made for myself, rare but every now and again I decided I need pretty things.
Needle felted bear, woven trees, watercolor for both the fabric layer (with the big cut out circle and the trees) and a painting for the background of the piece. The grass is an old wool sweater eaten in the wash, and french knot leaves. This was my momma's birthday present (one of them).

 I was browsing pinterest and my sister had pinned a really cool illustration from Alice in Wonderland and it inspired these lovely ladies. The large rose went on to become a shadowbox for my sister's birthday. A picture of which I cannot for the life of me locate.

 My newest crochet pattern in the shop.

 These ones aren't in the shop just yet, but for future readers they will be.

 These are in the shop singly or as a set.

 More moths, the Saltmarsh
 Also a future pattern.
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Damn that's a lot of work or how to felt when you're broke

       So my wonderful (and in childhood years wretched) sister asked me the other day what materials I use to felt with. She's got a tight budget while she's home with my newest nephew and she knows that's just how mine always is. I've seldom let a lack of funds dictate whether or not I make things so she asked me what materials I use when I felt (needle mind you, never tried wet felting...yet).

I use regular stuffing for the core of any felting project I start. The more cottony feeling the stuffing is the better. I use Morning Glory stuffing, which if any of you have used it you know the texture is different from box to box. When I get the more slippery stuff I make a quick run over the finished shape with a lighter to shrink up stray bits that would otherwise show through the final color layer.

For the color layer I will use a couple of different things. On rare occasion I'll actually get to use roving (I have a stash of angora from a a friend I made one thing and it was so soft and wonderful I couldn't think what would be awesome enough to use it again) but for the most part I use yarn or felt. They both need to be shredded back into rough fiber before you can use them so there's a lot of elbow grease involved.

Some of the fluffier chunkier yarns, like Lion Brand Homsespun, are really easy to shred, you just have to find the thin thread that's wrapped around the thicker fluffy strand and unwind it. The thicker strand will pretty much fluff apart.

Otherwise I just bust out the scissors and get to work like I'm curling a party ribbon.

I don't suggest using cotton, it shreds readily but doesn't felt worth a damn.

For the felt, you don't really want to use the cheap stuff you find in most crafts stores by the sheet. Either go by the yard or get the really good stuff on Etsy. I know not terribly money saving to tell you to go buy stuff, but it's still cheaper than roving and if you use felt at all it's a win-win.

Same method when shredding the felt, though once it gets started you can just pull it apart with your hands and save your thumb a bit of ouch from the scissors pushing up on it.

And that's what I do every time I felt something. Speaking of which, here are some of the projects I've got going on right now.

 My sexy bearded lady, available here
 Excuse me Mr Lion, I seem to have lost my hat
 One day I'll get wings and be finished
 He just needs weights on his barbell and his signage and he'll be ready to go
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Knowing your heart

The more time I spend making things the more certain I am that's what I want to do with my life. I want to make. In an ideal world it would support me and my family but until then I'll do it anyway. Every cut, needle stab, bruise incurred is a war wound I wear with pride. I close my eyes at night and I see pretty stitches or projects taking shape. It is my passion in this world.

Here's a few of the things I've been working on lately. The dragon is sadly all phone pictures so the quality might not be great but I wanted to document the progress as it develops.

 the arm will be added once everything else is finished, just before it goes in the frame, the idea being that it will hang over the frame itself. It was made using a wire armature and small quartz crystals for the claws. Everything was wrapped in fleece and will be most likely covered either completely or nearly so with stitches

 I created a netting to go over most of the body, mostly I was playing around with it but I also needed something to help coral the fuzz from the stuffing used to felt the body
 Various widths of cording to make the base of the tree. once it's all completely wrapped more texture will be added.

 Felting the body. For this I felted directly into the fabric, takes awhile but I love the look of it. Though I would suggest a more cotton based stuffing for this, they stuff I have on hand is a little slippery feeling and required being held to a flame to get the strays to go away as scissors just didn't cut it.
 The beginnings of the tree, you'll notice it's not blue here. I realized because of the use of a red pen (yes I know not my best idea) to draw the dragon I needed to hide the lines. Originally I had thought to just stitch all of it, and I still may. But I did cut up a shirt I wear to do the blue so probably going to have some of it show.
My original drawing, it's not going to turn out quite the same as this, but such is life and I'm okay with that.

I've also been working on some miniature dolls with the thought of selling the wee bits when I'm finished. I will for sure make and sell a few but they are quite time consuming (11 1/2 hours) so I have some other hopefully awesome plans for some of the wee darlings.

 the full sized version, I've found that designing patterns in miniature is a humongous pain in the ass.

 And some of the newest cross stitch patterns. All of which are in my shop

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