25 October 2017

Long Time Coming....

Hello Readers!


It has been months since I was here last.
 You all know what that means if you are a regular reader....there will be lots of pictures and a lot of rambling on about the pictures and all manner of subjects.

I have no good excuse for my absence. Life happened. The computer died leaving a dead hole for the blog. I got a new computer in April I do believe. I'd have to go back in my paper diary to see when it was purchased. I may be totally off track here and I had the new computer already the last time I was here? At any rate it has been a fair amount of time since the last visit.

I'll show you projects done and in the works first.
This is the newest artwork in my world. It was done a few days ago. An ATC done in nail art pen on chipboard. 
I was down visiting my son the whole month of September. While there I got ahold of a nail art pen out of Terah's nail polish stash. I only borrowed it while there. I liked it so well I did a quick search on ebay and found a whole lot of them for a good price. The pens individually cost about 5 dollars each. I got  14  of them for $24 US.  They were waiting on me when I got home! They were a good buy. I wish I could tell you the brand name of them. Sally Hansen is the maker but I've no clue what the devil they're called. They work exactly like paint pens. Paint pens generally have a pretty good sized tip. These tips are very fine and make excellent lettering instruments.
My ATC isn't anything special. I had fun playing with my new toys though.

While at son's house for all of September, 8 yr old Annie and I made paper mache critters. The beast is one of those critters. He looks exactly the same today as he does in the picture that was taken sometime in the third week of September. I was going to send him through the mail to  my weirdy mail partner for September. That plan changed in mid beast. He needs a few more layers of paper and some paint. I intend for that to happen soon.

A bead making bug bit me since I was last here. I made these from paper tubes, straws and pen barrels cut to length. The straws worked wonderfully but the paper tubes, which I happened to have on hand. worked even better! I went through a phase a few years ago, making paper tubes. I made a few baskets out of a lot of them but there are the first tubes made still hanging around that were too thick to make baskets from. I have hundreds of them. I used three or four of them in this boho bead making trip.

I made somewhere around 70 of them. You'll only get to see a sampling.

The substrate is a hollow tube with ribbon, yarn, thread, fabric ect wrapped around it. I added ebeads to some of them by sewing the beads to the bead with very thin wire. Then make a loop at either end with some kind of wire. Put a bead on either end before threading the loop wire through.

I used some of these beads on a couple of crocheted bags I haven't taken pictures of yet. You'll get to see them the next post.

Bracelets lead to beads.

They are made with a thick wire core, taped together. I put tape all the way around the wire before wrapping with fabric strips. Then strung ebeads on with thin wire while wrapping. You can either sew or glue the end of the fabric strip to keep it in place. I sewed mine.

The purple bracelet is strips of cotton quilting fabric.

This one is tshirt material cut into strips.

I wrapped the wires a little different on this one.
All in all I have 19 bracelets needing some beads or whatnot to call them finished.
I've hidden them from the new kitten though. He's a thief! Kittens are wont to do just whatever the hell they want to do. This one is no exception. You will meet him later in the post.
Bracelets were all made last week.

Whenever I go visit my son and his gang I have a lot of 'down time'. I made good use of my downtime in Nickerson this trip. 

This one started it off.
I always take my bag of felt and some embroidery thread with me on these kidnappings because it is a good sewing environment. 
This one ended up on a bag I crocheted while there too.

This one ended the larger skull phase. I didn't take a close up picture of the third skull. 

I tired of skulls by the fourth day and made this fish. 
The embroidery is done of recycled sweater material as the backing and felt for the pieces of the design. The fish is about 6.5 inches wide. The skulls are comparable in size.

This is the bag I crocheted. Annie is my model.
Yes, that is a Christmas tree in background. Yes this was taken in September. Yes that tree has been standing there since Christmas last year. It gets decorated for other occasions on occasion. On this visit it had wedding things in it, including 4 pairs of shoes. 
My children are wierd. What can I say? I taught them well?

Paper mache was a hot commidity during September. It was Wierdy mail month over at AFA/EAU. The Beast above turned into a fish instead. The fish seemed like it would be an easier sell at the post office when it came time to mail it. So I opted out of the beast and went all fishy on it. 
It swam right through the postal clerk's assesment and made it safely to Washington State from Kansas. The mail clerk even smiled as it he handed it off to his co-worker. 
Fish is made from a cracker box, two styrofoam plates, a bunch of masking tape, newspapers and elmers glue.

I painted him black and took him with me to my sister's house to paint him and decorate the back. Sis lives in Hutchinson and I am expected to visit as often as possible while down her way.  She has nice toys to play with! That pretty greeny gold color was from her stash. As were all the other colors!
I drew his eye on plain white paper with markers and glued it down to the bump I'd made by layering up circles of chipboard ending with the smallest of three sizes on top.
The fins are chipboard shapes thickened up with layers of wadded paper taped tightly into shape.
To make his body, I trimmed off the lip of the styrofoam plates,  cut all the trimmings to fit inside the paper plates, stuffed it full of crumpled newspaper to fatten it up a tad and taped it all together nicely incorporating the fins and tail as I taped the plates together. Then it was all covered in couple of layers of newspaper. Three layers, if memory serves me correctly.
I put a copper ring in his nose end before the layers of paper were applied. A length of wire formed into a ring with ends sticking out to attach to the fish.  That way it is strong enough to support the weight of the fish without coming loose.

The address side of the fish is flowers drawn on plain white paper with markers of various types. I cut them all out separately and glued them to the fish with plain old white glue.

I've started another blanket. I'm not even sure if you all saw the finished blanket. I entered it in the state fair after I had entered it in the county fair. I got a red ribbon at county and nary a ribbon at all from state. I really didn't expect a ribbon from either fair so my 2nd place at county made me quite happy!

As I said the bead making bug bit me.
These are tiny beads made from strips of shredded US Currency. They are addicting little buggers! I've made near 400 of them in the last two weeks. That sounds like a lot of beads. You hear 400 and you think wow that's a stack of beads! No. It isn't. 
I sit here in front of my pc watching Cold Case Files or something similar while rolling the money beads. They really are addicting.
I had it in my head that I needed a bead rolling machine. I saw a really nice one, that looked like it would work really well. They wanted $25 for it. I talked myself out of it by ordering a parcel of eats from nuts.com instead. I'll stick to rolling beads on a bamboo skewer. It works great and costs nothing. And I like snacks. Especially those roasted jumbo peanuts that should arrive tomorrow.

Annie and I made birds. These poor dead looking birds need some new legs. I took the wrong wire with me to Annie's house and their legs aren't strong enough to hold the fat things upright. Annie kept three of the four birds she painted. I swiped one of them. It is the black one in the top left corner. She helped with forming the birds but she was of little help when it came time to get all gluey. She liked the taping part though and did help with it.

This is part of the crazy granny square blanket. 

My sister's husband is a custodian at the high school. He brought home 16 packages of pastel chalks in fall colors that he found in the dumpster. They are well worn pastels, but with still a lot of life left in them. Each package had 12 different colors in it. Sis gave me half of the stash. I gave Annie 3 packages of my stash. And then we colored on the patio. It rained after we colored. Here is my picture, all wet. I think those drawings will be there for a very long time!

When I am at my son's house my phone is usually on the charger and I am either watching youtube videos or listening to podcasts while keeping my hands busy and ignoring my son's father in law. It's hard to see in the picture, but I made myself a phone holder out of wire and masking tape to replace the last phone holder I made. It was made of cardboard and a thick rubber band. The wire one is an improvement in design. You can see my string bag there as well. I made about 50 granny squares while there. All string snippets are saved. Until I made boho beads I had no clue what to do with all those little strings! I used some for stuffing in tiny stuffies and some on fish pictures. I put a dent in the string stash after making some beads.

I entered an ATC swap over at AFA--TTMI Swap to be exact.  I made my TTMI into four flowers.

And again I played with my new nail art pens.

We had to use the totally tacky mystery item in some way. I also used the book page that came with the TTMI and the inside of the envelope they were sent in also.

I added some book pages I had laying around too as the single book page I got with the items was not large enough to cover all four ATCs. Sent these off yesterday.

Here is a much better picture of The Beast. You see how his feet are pretty much white and the body is covered in color? That's a good trick to know to keep track of how many layers of paper you have put down. I sometimes write the number on a layer and cover the number last so I know what layer is next.  Using different types of paper for each layer helps to keep track as well. Here I used only newspaper and alternated between black and white print and color. His ears are shaped from chipboard and taped to his head before paper laying happens.
You can paper mache with any paper you have. I always use pva glue instead of paste to wet my papers. I dilute the glue roughly half and half with water. I glue with my fingers and keep a wet towel nearby to wipe the fingers frequently.

Along with this beast and the bummed legged birds I also have three paper mache bowls added to the other bowls needing finished. I had a request for the three new bowls. They need stars and a varnish still.

Here is the paper mache octopus I made back in August. It was entered in the county and state fairs also. It took a blue ribbon at county and red at state. 1st and 2nd 
For some reason I don't have pictures of the other things I took to state fair. I think I may have reported on county fair already? I should have read the last post before writing this one probably.
State Fair was good. I got some ribbons, ate some smoked turkey, hung with my people and had a great time all around! I barely went to the county fair so I don't about how rousing of a time that was. I did OK with my entries in the county fair. 

This isn't what I thought it was when I added it to the download. I thought this was the netting for my pole art in Lucas. It isn't though. It is a crocheted bag with pony beads that still needs its strap finished.

I will take some pictures tomorrow to get myself caught up with the goings on in the creative department. I have so many irons on the fire right now, I may never get it all figured out.

The pole art is pretty much finished. Another session of glue with the bird critter and he will be done. The nest netting is already done. has been for better than a week. It looks a lot like the beaded bag in the picture. It's a lot bigger and whiter, but similar. 
I need to do a fitting on the pole out front to make sure no adjustments need made before it gets installed on the pole on Main Street that has my name on it. Well, it doesn't really have my name on it, but it is designated as mine. Will be cool to see it on the pole sharing space with all the other poles with artwork on them on Main Street. 

I promised you a kitten greeting.
I don't know what possessed me to bring home a terrorist from my kidnapping but bring one home, I did. Meet Gimpy, born sometime early April 2017. He's an ornery critter!

He's a pretty good kid when he's asleep. He does quite well sitting in my lap while I'm sewing or crocheting. He seldom chases my strings. He goes after my bracelet instead. He likes to sleep in my lap. He has somekind of deformity on his back end. He doesn't walk quite right. He slithers and lurches across the floor in a sideways gait. When he gets going really fast, and he can get up to pretty good speed, he always ends up facing the way he was coming from when he stops abruptly. That rear end swings right around! Doesn't seem to slow the fella  down much at all except that he can't go great distances until he has to sit for a minute to get going again. He loves to play. He loves to eat! That cat will eat anything you put in front of him! 
He was an outside kitty at my son's house and I was convinced a coyote would eat him if I didn't bring him home with me. I pissed the old man off when he found out I was taking Gimpy home with me but he got over it soon enough. Annie was a harder sell but she was cool with it. 
Toby gets along well with all the cats.
He was cool with Gimpy from the time he met him. They slept all the way home from Hays together in the front seat of the car while I drove. They've been buddies ever since.
Dennis isn't impressed with Gimpy. Dennis is a tad grumpy these days for some reason. Mo keeps beating him up for some reason too. Mo has been beating up everyone in the neighborhood! He beat up my brother's cat Mica, the other day too. I guess Dennis has reasons to be grumpy what with Mo's attitude these days.

Gimpy already had his name when I got him. I really think he should be called lurch. He sure has a cute little face though! He undoubtedly begging for scraps in this picture. I'm probably not even eating anything but as kitten has to make sure, just in case...

At the STate Fair
A contest for you all. 
Whoever can guess which of the people in this picture is my son will get a surprise in the mail. 

Tell me your answers in the comments.

They watch...Toby and Lola. They are watching me eat a sandwich. That Lola cat won't even eat human food, but she likes to watch me eat it! Toby will take whatever you're handing out usually. 

Toby and Moses taking up space on my bed when I'm fixing to climb between the sheets. I really don't know what has gotten into Mo to make him want to beat everyone up. Lola is the only one he hasn't beat up that I know of. He didn't wollop the kitten too badly but he did cuff the boy and hissed at him. He hisses at the boy all the time. So does Dennis and Lola. Gimpy does alright though. He's a happy little cat who stays away from the big guys as best he can. He loves playing with the yellow felt fish hanging from the edge of the coffee table. He stole the four unfinished bracelets I had in a basket on work table. He tried to eat the basket after he knocked it on the floor. I retrieved two of the bracelets before he did a number on them and the basket was saved as well. He essentially helped himself to new cat toys disguised as bracelets.

I had some bug encounters in September besides that bead making one.

I was sitting in my chair at home, minding my own business with crochet when along comes this grasshopper, hiding from a cat. I really like bugs. They're fascinating creatures. This one did meet his demise at the paws of a cat. Lola to be specific. A good grasshopper is a dead one though. They are destructive pests. Really cool bugs though.

This little fella, a nymph of some sort, a juvenile beetle, showed up on the glass top picnic table at my son's house. He stuck around for his photo shoot and then crawled away. Cut little bugger, ain't he?

Then some days later I met up with this preying mantis while filling the cat's water dish outside by the water faucet.

She was a pretty good sized one at roughly three inches long. Probably looking for a seculded and sheltered spot to lay her egg case before her days are done. I love mantids! What a special visitor this one was! 

You'll have to click on this one if you want to see the buzzards flying the blue skies above Stockton, Kansas in late August of 2017. I believe by now they have begun to move to south. It is getting colder and colder at night already. We've had frost warnings two different nights now in the last six days or so. It's chilly this morning (4am). 
That concludes Critter Watch for this post.

And I guess that concludes this post. It's bit out of order, somewhat comprehsible and hopefully entertaining, at least in spots!

Remember to be good to one another. 
Be kind.
It matters!

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