28 March 2015

Five Days Since...

Hello Readers!

As the post title suggests, it has been five days since I was here. I slept for 18 hours straight of those five days. That happened four days ago. I've averaged 12 hours a day on the other four. 
Sometimes it does appear that all I get done is sitting on my backside making things. Somedays that is all that gets done! Other days though, I get a few other things accomplished as well. I've been to town twice in the last five days. I've cooked more than a few times. Helped do the dishes on Monday. Ma washes, I put away. Standing in front of that sink does me in! I am attempting to get the dishes done alone today. Haven't seen Ma. I saw her truck pull out of her driveway early this morning. Sammy said she was headed to Phillipsburg to see sister Elaine. So she's nowhere around to initiate doing the dishes. She'll be happy to see I've at least made an attempt to do them. I've had water issues all week so the dishes haven't been done since Monday. I stand there and plod along till my back or legs give out and then I have got to find a seat before I fall down! Another two, maybe three sessions in front of the sink and all the dishes will be clean again. I'm just hoping the water holds out this time! It quit working on Monday night. Sammy, my brother, fixed it on Tuesday and before Tuesday was gone, there was no water again. Today was the first time he could get over here to do something about it. We aren't sure what the trouble is. Something to do with the contacts on the switch on the well pump. Sammy said he thought he had it worked out. We shall see. So far, so good.

I have once again changed my nights and days around. I'm on daylight hours at the moment! Being normal for a change, apparently. I got up around 8 this morning after having gone to sleep just before 10 last night. I truly wish the sleep mode would smooth out to an even keel instead of this back and forth, sleep too much or not at all business! I guess I'll be happy to be awake when the sun's shining as long as the old body wants to play it this way! It is a beautiful day out there!

The soybean field still looks the same. I was hoping for cows, but none materialized. I suspect cows don't eat dried up soybean plants. They will probably plow this under soon. Wheat won't be growing there this year. If they wanted wheat they'd have planted it in the fall. I've no clue what will happen in that field. We'll keep an eye on it.

I have a new windsock. Ma brought me this one a few days ago. The fish flew away in a big wind a few weeks ago, never to be seen again! I suspect it's across the highway tangled up in the ditch or on the old train track bed. There are no train tracks now. They took them out a couple summer's ago. 
Used to be that grain was shipped out of Stockton by rail. Apparently it wasn't profitable. Now they truck it out.
I haven't had to wait on a train in years! Haven't even heard a train since January when I was down at my son's house in Nickerson. 
At any rate, a new windsock is in the near future. I've made a date with my mother to sit down and make some fish windsocks. One for her and one for me! 

Handmade books are hot and heavy on the muse's radar this year! I know I said that before but it is true. I have made a LOT of little books since I was here last. 

This little book is 3 inches square with about 50 sheets of orchard paper. The covers are felt with the front cover only being embroidered. I didn't have a design in mind, really, when I started to embroidery. It was pretty much mindless meandering with the needle and thread. It's sewn together in the japanese stab binding with embroidery thread.

This 4 x 6 inch rhinoceros book is made out of trash. I drew the rhino on a scrap of chipboard, painted him with acrylics and acrylic ink, cut him out and glued him to the chipboard backings from packaging some 25 feet phone cords came in. I painted the chipboard with acrylic ink. It's sewn together in the coptic stitch with black nylon cord. The nylon cord was originally white. I ran it under my big fat black sharpie a few times and turned it black.

It has six signatures of white copy paper. I painted the inside of the covers with the same blue I used on the outside of them. It doesn't cover up the instructions for using the phone cords. I like how it all turned out.
I have a few more of these chipboard pieces that will end up as books as well. And the phone cord will show up on this blog sooner or later. I just have to figure out what the devil I'm going to make out of it. I'm thinking a basket of some sort but nothing has come of the thinking yet.

This is a very little book. 2 x 3 inches. It's made out of an orange juice container. I wanted to see if markers would play nicely with the waxed paperboard. Worked like a charm! I did a quick sketch of a flower for the cover of this one. It's sewn in the japanese stab binding with nylon cord. It has about 30 copy paper pages.

This little book had been sitting in the livingroom on the table by the chair for weeks! I had to cut down the blue and green writing paper pages before I could bind it. They stuck out too far from the covers. I do not know the name of the stitch used to bind this one. The threads are wrapped around the signatures and tied on the outside of the spine. No sewing involved. It has 10 signatures. It's 2 x 4 inches and about an inch thick. If memory serves me correctly this cover was once a pudding box.

Here's the spine. My sister gave me the map I used to cover the pudding box. I bound it with different colors of embroidery thread and left the little knots ragged at the top of the spine.

Here's the tree that took me four days of work to complete. An hour or two a day. This is another of the series of felt books. This one is 5 x 7 inches, sewn with embroidery thread in the japanese stab binding. It has about 50 pages of orchard paper. I lined the inside of the front cover with purple cardstock. 

The felt book series continues...there will be more.

This is a terrible picture! The book is one of those painted covers I spent an afternoon making. It is 4x6 inches and has writing paper pages. I know you can't see the binding in the picture, but it is done in the long stitch with blue embroidery thread.

Another of the playing with paints covers. I like how colorful this one is! It too is 4 x 6 inches with writing paper pages and sewn a little differently but still in the long stitch. 
This series hasn't ended either.

This one is 6x6 inches. I drew the zentangle patterns with a black sharpie on some kind of paper board. I have no clue what this stuff is. I'm pretty sure it wasn't intended as art fodder, but it's lovely stuff for a book cover. I had about 10 12 inch square sheets of this stuff at one time. It's an ivory color with red and green strings running through it. Kinda like the way money has the thin strings of color if you look closely. 

I zentangled on both covers of it. I drew a bunch of circles with my circle template, colored around them all with the marker and then did the zens.
I sewed it together with black embroidery thread in the coptic stitch. It has white copy paper pages. Somewhere around 140 pages.

And yet another OJ container book. This one is 3 x 4 inches. Japanese stab binding with embroidery thread.

I also made these four little books. Each one is 2 x 3 inches and about half an inch thick.

They have blue legal pad paper for their pages. They don't all have the same number of pages. Some have more signatures than others. That's because I can't count early in the morning apparently! I covered little chipboard candy boxes with painted newspaper for the covers and used that lazy stitch I don't know the name of to tie them together. These are Easter gifts.

These are the little boxes that became books. I had a devil of time getting that bottom flap of the box to come loose of its glue. I don't know why they glued them shut so tightly! At any rate, they made perfect little books!

Here are the Easter baskets to put the little books into! I made these little guys out of some thin chipboard that came from packaging of DIY flooring. My brother and his buddy laid some flooring of some unknown to me type in someone's house over in Hays a couple weeks ago. The packaging for said flooring ended up in my trash bins. Ma brought it in the house for me! It was four feet long and seven inches wide. She brought me over 20 sheets of it! Perfect art fodder!

I dragged out the needle felting supplies the other day. OK, I didn't really have to drag anything out, it's always right there by the chair in the livingroom. 

I made a cute little bunny! His ears need some work and his legs aren't quite right, but he's definitely a bunny! I embroidered his eyes, nose and mouth. I don't know why I decided I needed to make a bunny other than I hadn't needled felted anything in a long time and it felt like the thing to do for a few hours. This little bunny is about 2.5 inches tall.

I showed you all this silk lantern in the last post. 

I've made progress on it. Not a lot of progress, but some. I'm afraid I will run out of purple petals before I am done covering the whole thing. When those purple petals are gone, there will be no getting more. I do not know what I will if that happens. Guess I'll cross that bridge if it comes. 

That's about it for me this time.
Thanks for hanging in there!

Be good to one another!
It matters!

23 March 2015

A Wild Goose Chase

Hello Readers!

I call this post 'A Wild Goose Chase' because of the variety of things I have to show you all.
The muse has been very busy and quite productive since I was here last.
So, let's get started!

This guy made it to his destination intact. I had no doubts that he would. 
Miss Iowa named him Sir Witherspoon. She says she's been playing with his mustache. There is something about a mustachioed man that makes you want to touch him! It helps that Sir has real mink fur for his facial features. He's painted on a game board. Monopoly I think. I really didn't pay any attention to the board game when I pulled it off the shelf where many other board game boards reside. He's painted in acrylics. I put some clear plastic from a page protector over the whole thing mainly to keep the spoon corralled. That's a miniature tiki spoon, half a set. I still have the fork. The 'canvas' is (guessing cause I didn't measure!) 9x10 inches? Somewhere around there. 

This is the back of my March Envelope for the Envie Group (EAU) over at AFA (link is up there on the top right). I drew the little dude, cut him out and then painted him in acrylics. He's glued to the envelope which was also painted in acrylics.

Same for the front side. The rainbow, the pot of gold and the little dude, all glued to the envelope. The rainbow is painted with fingernail polish. The shamrock on the pot of gold is bumpy. It's cardstock painted with green acrylic ink and then with sparkly dimensional magic. I hit it with the heat gun to make it dry faster and the dimensional magic bubbled up giving it a really cool effect! Was a happy accident that was.

This basket is about 9 inches tall, 9 inches wide...give or take. I really didn't measure this either. I used to have to know distances in inches. I'm a tad out of practice on that skill, but still usually get it right more or less.  That skill was needed for taping stencils to headstones in preparation of sandblasting the designs. 
This basket is crocheted out of a pair of sweatpants I cut into fabric yarn. After I crocheted it, it looked awfully plain jane to me so I sewed some little glass beads to the outside of it. I got to use my size Q crochet hook for this basket. Took me a little over an hour to crochet the basket. Sewing the beads on took several more.

I was digging around in the cutting room, looking for something. I forget what. I came across a little brown box containing a typewriter ribbon on two metal spools. My fingers turned black crocheting this tiny basket out of that typewriter ribbon. I varnished it with acrylic varnish and shaped it to dry. It's about 3 inches across and an inch and half deep. 
Nothing is safe from being used as yarn.

A little map bird. 
This was an experiment. It's not a totally successful experiment either. I forgot to put his legs on. He's made from a piece of map that has clear packing tape on the back side of it to give it a bit more substance so I could sew it together. It's filled with polyester filling, sewn together with blue embroidery thread. It's about 3.5 inches long. If I make any more of these, I will have to tweek the pattern a bit to accommodate his legs. They have to be added before he's completely sewn together. 

Little books are hot and heavy on the muse's radar this year! This one is about 3 inches x 6 inches. The covers are made from a stiff felt placemat. I embroidered the circles and put pink paper on the back side of the front cover. It's sewn with pale pink embroidery thread in the japanese stab binding.

Another little book made from the same placemat as the first one. This book is about 5x7, also sewn in the japanese stab binding. Both have white copy paper pages.

I have another of these felt covered books in the works. It's taking me forever to embroidery a tree! You'll get to see some more felt books next post.

I played around with the maps and origami. That's a little blue bunny back there not cooperating. I couldn't get that stupid bunny to sit up at all! Not sure what I did wrong with him. He's supposed to sit up right!  The crane at the back is not folded correctly. I knew I needed some practice on origami cranes. You'd think after having folded about 600 of the things last year, I'd know how to fold one with my eyes closed! Nope. I had to go look up the instructions after I got done with the one in the back.  I don't know about origami bunnies...I'll have to try them again sometime to see if I can figure them out.

I made some fairies.

This is the rainbow winged fairy. All the fairies were made in pretty much the same way. Her wings are remnants from the rainbow that is on the altered envelope at the beginning of this post. 

This one isn't a fairy. She has no wings. Her body is an empty purple fingernail polish bottle. That's the only difference in her from the fairies other than she is wingless. I was going to put the purple wings on this one but her hair is in the way of any wings, so she can't be a fairy. She's about three inches tall or so.

This would be the fairy that got the purple wings. I painted these cicada wings with the purple fingernail polish and the bottle was empty after that. I took the brush out of the lid and was sitting there trying to decide if I should keep the bottle or not. That's when I decided to make a doll out of it. These other fairies are all made with a little glass vial for their bodies. A plastic bead for their heads, copper wire arms and legs. The hair is curly doll hair that I just cut off in chunks and hot glued to the bead. There's a loop at the top of the fairy's heads for hanging. Her wand is a straight pin with a metal star hot glued to the pointy end.

This one is made exactly like the previous one. Her wand is made from plastic broom bristles instead of a straight pin. 

She has a whole set of cicada wings whereas the others one has only a single set of wings, not four, like this one. Those are real cicada wings. I put a coat of clear dimensional magic on the wings to give them a little more strength. I collected the wings back in 2008 when we had an invasion of the 17 year cicadas. The cats dragged them in for weeks. Cats LOVE playing with cicadas! Their wings make perfect fairy wings! I didn't kill any cicadas for their wings---though if you know me well, you'd say, "Yeah, right! What about those dead bugs in the freezer? You killed those! You bug murderer!" Yes, my family has called me a bug murderer in the past. The last bug that ended up in the freezer was a little red scorpion the summer before last. If I still had the energy to run around the yard and hunt for bugs, there'd be others! I used to collect insects and I really enjoyed it! I love bugs of all kinds! Spiders included! 

Wings and the little glass vials I used for the fairies' bodies. The vials are about an inch and a half tall. 

There was much talk of cardboard among the Envie Addicts.

I made a book cover out of it.  I am quite pleased with my abstract cardboard design. It took me quite a long time to cut and peel and paste and rearrange and get it all where I thought it looked good.

But it all worked out wonderfully! I ended up with a very sturdy, thick book out of the whole experiment. This book has 14 signatures with 5 sheets in each. I've sewn it in the coptic stitch with tan embroidery thread. This book is 6 x 8 inches. All the pages are blank.

And I made another OJ carton book. This one is 3.5 inches square with about 50 copy paper pages. It's sewn with tan embroidery thread in the japanese stab binding. I used the leftover thread from sewing the cardboard book. It was the right length to sew this book.

I crocheted a market bag. I used up the rest of the bulky acrylic yarn on this one. It's about 15 inches tall and about 9 inches across the top. It's bigger on the bottom than it is on the top. I used what I had. The colors aren't the greatest, but it is what it is. 

I also crocheted a leather pouch from leather strips. It's a nice feeling little bag. Hefty. Smells nice. It's big enough to haul the phone around in. I don't recommend crocheting leather. It's hard on the hands. It is dang near impossible to get an even tension on the stitches. It worked out alright but I doubt I'll make another crocheted leather anything.

This isn't really art. More like craft. I'm in the process of covering this silk lantern with plastic purple flower petals. The light in the lantern is run on a battery. I'm going to give it to my granddaughter for her sixth birthday in August. Purple is her favorite color!
I don't know how she can be turning six already but I do need to be ready when it happens! This is the plan!

Well, that's about all I have for now. Thanks for hanging in till the end!
Until next time,
be good to one another!
It matters!

18 March 2015

A Very Large Basket and Some Little Books

Hello Readers!
It will be a short post today. Any minute the phone is going to ring and I will have to be ready to go in five minutes.
So, let's get at it!

I showed you all this basket a couple posts back when it was only a few inches tall. 
It is sitting in my recliner in this picture so that gives you a better idea of how large it is! It is every bit as large as a laundry basket.

I like that is large, but it's a bit floppy around the top. I think had I made it a few inches shorter it would be a better basket. I'm pleased with the outcome nonetheless. 
I still haven't got to use my new crochet hook properly though so another basket made as this one is, will be in the works just as soon as I tear enough fabric strips to get it started. This one is made from a pair of drapes. The next one will probably be made from sheets.

And as usual, there are a few books to show. This one is made with cereal chipboard, an old map of Kansas, computer paper pages and green embroidery thread.

It is five by six inches. This one shows the town of Greensburg on the cover. Greensburg is famous for a tornado that wiped out the entire town! There were only a few buildings left standing once the tornado went through. I believe that happened in 2005. I might be wrong on the date....at any rate they rebuilt the town. It's now known as a totally green city. Meaning they used environmentally friendly materials in rebuilding the town. 
I have never personally been to Greensburg. I'll try to hawk this little book in the gift shop in Lucas.

I played around with the acrylic paints the other day and did a bunch of these covers. This one has two signatures, sewn in the pamphlet stitch with yellow embroidery thread.
I'll show you all the other paintings as they turn into book covers.

I needed a new day book so I made a weekly planner from seven sheets of paper and some chipboard. The drawing on the front was done a few years back. It's sewn together with nylon cord. I folded each of the seven sheets of copy paper into a little booklet before putting them inside the cover. It's a very simple book that worked great for the purpose it was made for. I've already filled this book with my daily ramblings and lists.

And I made a new one for this week out of some of that playing with paint session covers. It's made the same way as the other book but I didn't cover the cover with clear packing tape on this one like I did on the other one. And I wrapped the excess string around the threads on the outside of the spine. This book is a bit larger than the other one, but the pages are the same size.

I have three more things done but I can't show them to you yet as others will be getting those surprises and I'd like to keep them surprises until they arrive!
Better make that four things I have to show. I didn't take a picture of the little map bird I made earlier today so you'll see it in the next post. 

Have yourselves a wonderful!
Thanks for reading!
be good to one another!
It matters, truly, it matters!

16 March 2015

A Whole Bunch of Critters!

Hello Readers!

It's been two weeks since I made a post. I don't really have much to show in this post except a bunch of critter magnets and a couple of books. I haven't downloaded the pictures from the phone today so there will be another post soon (like REALLY soon) when I get that done. For now though, let's just go with what is downloaded.

I don't show you guys everything I do. A lot of the things that come about from my experimenting never come to fruition. I give up on them for one reason or another. Usually I give up when the experiments aren't going according to plan. I'd make a terrible research scientist! But I do good at being a mad artist! Well, good at experimenting as being a mad artist at any rate!

My sister called me on the phone one day a week or so ago to tell me she had a problem. She's an arty person just like me and is playing mad scientist all the time as well. She started making fish magnets (mixed media) and had sold some of her fish magnets to some folks she works with. She's the lunch lady at an elementary school...anyway Mr. Somebody-or-another (I forget his name) asked her if she could make him some chicken magnets to send to his mother out in Arizona. She freaked! She told him she doesn't do chickens but she knew someone who could do some chickens for him. She freaked cause it took her by surprise that someone was asking for something she had never made before and she (says she) doesn't know how to draw. Well, ANYONE can draw! I keep telling her that but she doubts me. So the task became mine cause she just wasn't going to even give it a try! 

So.... I says to her that I can fix her up with some chicken magnets! The two chicken magnets I made for Mr. Somebody-or-another are not in this post. I don't even remember if I took a picture of them...they might show up in the next post.
I didn't have to draw those two chickens because I had them already painted. They were twinchies that I had made a year or more ago that never traded. My making Mr. Somebody-or-another two chicken magnets turned out well for me! I owed Sister $9 for some stuff she had found she was sure I needed... I haven't laid eyes on these things yet, but those two chickens and the other five little chickens Mr. Somebody-or-another bought cleared my debt with Sister and then some. I told her to just keep the funds for future finds! 
It was so fun putting those little magnets together I drew up a bunch of twinchies and inchies and odd sized tiny pictures to make into magnets. 
The two chickens and owl in this picture are all inchies.
I sold this one to my oldest sister Elaine for $2. Took me all of 5 minutes from start to finish to make this one. That includes drawing and coloring the chicken. This one is an inchie.

Beings I really need practice on drawing cats, I drew a few of those as well. Those are pistachio shell flower magnets in the picture with this cat.

Another inchie.

Owls need practice too!
This one is a twinchie with no cardstock border. All the others are mounted on cardstock and then adhered, with double stick tape to an advertising magnet that was cut to the size needed.

this one is a twinchie

I sent these two characters to my sister, Jeanny along with all the chickens in this post. Except the one I sold to Elaine. 

this one is an inchie.

Then the owls got strange! Not sure what size that one is. 1 x 2 inches maybe? not counting the border. The dog is the size of a moo card. 

All the little chickens were snatched up by Mr. Somebody-or-another for his mother.

This one too. All the chickens are inchies.

this one is moo card size, I think.  The little key junk magnet beside the cat was done a few years ago. It was a failed experiment as far as I'm concerned. Nothing special about it for sure!

Another inchie.

Happy white hen. 

this little yellow cat is a twinchie. 
All the drawings are done in marker on cardstock. 

I found some double stick tape at AS&S that is reasonably priced and works like a charm! Sticky, sticky, sticky! Great stuff! I got mine on sale for $1.50 a roll, but even at $3.50 a roll, it's a heck of a bargain! That link will take you right to the tape I'm talking about here.

In the post before the last one...last one was the tutorial for the embroidered balls, I showed you all a stack of paper destined to become books.

We have books! 
This one is 6x6x1 inches. No art on it as such....It's cover is part of a dog food bag. Sewn in the pamphlet stitch. It has about 140 pages of computer paper pages. I stiffened up the dog food bag paper with some cereal box chipboard. I used that double sided tape to adhere the dog food bag to the chipboard. 
Some books don't turn out as well as others. There are sometimes sewing issues. This dog book turned out wonderfully in the sewing department! Nice and tight!

I have more pet food bag books in the works. Not sure how many books that will end up being. I should be able to get at least two books out of each dog food bag. (Fred gets a variety of dog foods, not the same kind every time I buy him food. I never remember which one I bought him previously! Trust me, he doesn't complain! So long as the bowl is full, he's happy! And changing his food doesn't seem to bother him any!) So stay tuned for more books!

And last but not least of the books is this one. I've no idea how many pages it has. I started out with 24 signatures to sew in but still had quite a gap when those were done so had to sew in another five or six or so. This book is almost 3.5 inches thick. 

That's it for now. I'll be back again either later today or tomorrow to show off the stuff not shown off in this post. 
I finished the big fabric basket. I've made some wool rocks for a project that I don't know will work out or not. Need to make some more rocks before I know if it will work as planned. I've made a few envelopes and some other endeavors occurred as well.

Thanks for hanging in there!
be good to one another!
It matters!