30 October 2015

Weird Mail and A Bit of Other Stuff Too

Hello Readers!
Better get yourself a cuppa something and settle in, this might take awhile. If memory serves me correctly (and it doesn't always) the last post was made on the 19th of October. So it's been a few days and that means there are a few things to show off. Enjoy!

That's the monster I sent to my October partner in the Envie Group over at AFA (link is up at the top right). It arrived in Texas as scheduled.  I said I didn't have a picture of him, but that is obviously not a true fact as, looky there! He's right in front of us. This is the ONLY picture of him that was on the phone though. Not a very good picture for sure. My partner was pleased so that's all that really matters, that and I had a blast making him. He's about 8 inches tall, made from an old cashmere sweater and some felt for his eyes. The postmaster got a kick out of Otto, too! Otto, that is what his name became upon his arrival to Texas. 

I've been playing in the fabric that I brought home from my kidnapping last month. You will see a fair bit of crocheting in this post.
I have an apple box full of balls of fabric yarn that I have made throughout the year. And I have a couple of brown paper grocery sacks full of garments that have been cut apart and their seams removed, ready to be cut into fabric yarn. This bag was made from both sources. It is done up with a size N hook. All of the material in this bag is silky/satiny stuff, thin material. I have no clue exactly what most of it is. The blue around the top was a blouse. The red a slinky nighty and the white a silk man's shirt. This bag is about 18 inches long and 12 inches wide.
This one is about the same size, done with the same hook and the same type of material. The green at the top was a blouse, the blue was a blouse, the mint green was a man's long sleeved silk shirt, the pink was a dress and the blue at the bottom is the same material as the top part of the previous bag. 
I'm not real crazy about these two bags and probably won't make any others in this manner.
These pictures are in no order at all.
This is the stack of aluminum cans in my stash. I finally got around to breaking down the 16 cans that have been taking up space on a shelf. I don't drink a lot of soda and I don't buy much of anything that comes in an aluminum can so it takes me a long time to accumulate aluminum cans. I brought most of those cans I broke down home with me from my son's house. I don't have much a variety really. Most of them are Arizona Tea cans that are that turquoise color you see. I'll make something out of this stuff eventually. 
I'm going to ask Santa to bring me a dapping block and tools for Christmas. We'll see if that pans out. If you don't know what a dapping block is, check it out here. And then take your pick! I really haven't decided which dapping block I want. I just know I want one.
I croheted a basket. This one is made from a dress. The red fabric is very thin cotton. It was the underlayer of the dress. The patterened fabric around the top is sheer fabric that was the overlayer of the dress. The basket is about 8 inches across, 4 inches deep. All measurements are educated guesses.
I'm actually pretty accurate at guessing measurements. I acquired that skill when I worked at the monument company sandblasting headstones. I used my six inch ruler as much as I used the metal yardstick in that job. I miss that work so much some days.
This is an experiment. It's a repeat of the experiment actually. This is tissue paper glued on to acrylic wall paint that was painted on packing foam sheet. The black lines are puff paint. Once it all dries (which it should be by now. I did this like four days ago!) I will peel the image off the packing foam and it will go into Annie's cat book. This is the only cat I've drawn since the last post. I really need to get a cat frame of mind and get the kitty book finished before Christmas!

Another crocheted Market Bag. I'm working on bag #4 today. This one is about 10 inches across and 10 inches tall. The yellow was a shirt, the purple a dress. There are two shades of green making up the bottom. One was a dress and the other a shirt.
For some reason Blogger doesn't like the pictures of the other two bags so I guess you'll have to wait till next time to see those.
Fish Picture #17 now has a fish. Fish isn't glued on yet. The fish is done in marker refill ink, acrylic ink and sharpie. It has a coat of dimensional magic as well. He's shiny, though that doesn't' show in the photo.
Another bag in the making. This one is gonna take awhile to complete. And I'm not even sure I'm going to complete it. I have yet to decide. That dark green crochet cotton isn't easy to crochet with a size 6 hook. If it gets done, it will be a mesh market bag with a solid bottom. That light green macrame cord is the last of its kind that I have in my stash.
Painted Face. A postcard most likely.
It's upside down....I got this package of paper heads at the craft store last month. The long nosed devil above bis painted on one of these. There will be more heads in the future. There are 30 paper heads in that plastic sack.
I only got one book sewn together since the last post. It's made from a candy box. Junior Mints I do believe. It's about 7 inches tall, 4 inches wide. Bound with white crochet cotton thread. It has copy paper pages. The covers are a satellite image of some big city that came out of an atlas I tore up many years ago!
Weaving was done with a threaded needle. I like how the weaving is so different on each little book I decide to do weaving on.  This type of binding is the lazy way to bind a book. I don't know what this binding is called. You just wrap the cordage around the spine and through the center of each signature to keep it in place. No sewing required. The weaving is all decorative, has no function other than looking good.
I have prepared a few more covers for little books. These need some pages cut for them before I can sew them together. There are a few in that basket that are ready to be sewn but crocheting took over and the little books got put to the back burner for the time being. We'll visit them again soon, I''m sure.
You all seen the one with the yellow weaving in the last post but the other one somehow didn't get shown. Both of them are pudding boxes, covered with painted newspaper. They're both bound the lazy way too.  I sewed on lone wooden bead to the spine with the green thread. Pudding boxes make the perfect size little book. 2.75 x 3.25 inches and 1.25 inch thick.
I have some new painted papers. I didn't do all of these since the last post. I just haven't shown them to you all.
Painted newspaper. These will end up as book covers.
I kinda like this one. Some of them aren't all that spectacular.
I always put circles on painted papers.
This one is my favorite. Some of them have blobs of paint, glued down bits of paper, glitter, whatever happens to fall on the work surface at the kitchen table.
Even though I use a paper to work on, the table has paint all along the edge of it anyway.

I had all intentions of getting these 20 crocheted snowflakes made into a garland. I worked on these over a period of four days. I'm not sure why they aren't all the same size. I used the same hook and thread on each of them. Maybe next post you'll see a garland.

That's it for today, folks!
Thanks for hanging in there to the end!

I'll be back again soon with another installment of 'What has Donna Been Up To?'.

Remember to be good to one another!
It matters!

19 October 2015

This That and Other Things

Hello Readers!

It's been a few days since the last post. I've slept away a lot of daylight since then. I'm back on everyone's sleep schedule now though. I sleep at night like normal folks. Not sleeping the daylight away. I hate it that the sleep cycle has a mind of its own. At any rate, while everyone else I know was studying the inside of their eyelids I did accomplish a little with the help of the muse.

The sun shined brightly as the wind blew steadily today. I was awake at 6 a.m. I made a trip to town to stock up on supplies and went to the post office to mail off the wierdy mail and Allison's shoulder pads. I love going to the post office. I can't show you the weirdy mail today, but rest assured it did get some comments from the Postmaster. He's so funny! You all will get to see the weirdy mail after it arrives at its destination. 

None of these pictures are in any sort of order. What you'll see is what has been accomplished since the last post. I've thrown in a picture of the backyard at the end of this post but everything else is of the artsy variety.

I've been working on fish picture #17.

It isn't really talking to me. It is nowhere near done. I added some color to the 'fuzzy' stuff at the bottom and the white stripes on the background since the last time I showed it to you all. Someone gave me ten little bottles of model paint awhile back and those dang things kept falling off the shelf where I had them stored. I drizzled colors on the 'fuzz' just to get rid of that paint so I didn't have to deal with those little devils falling on the floor! I've no clue where it's heading. This will show up again in the future. This one is 16x20 inches or so.
And then there's fish picture #18 which is 7 inches square. The base is a piece of wood that fits into a shadow box. I'll have this one done before I get the other one done. I really like the yellow and purple along the bottom. That's crumpled up tissue paper and some purple and yellow sparkly balls like those peeking out from beneath the fish picture. I painted the frame of this one a gun metal gray color. You'll see this one again soon.

I played around with different papers and an origami star pattern.
This black one is a stiff paper similar to construction paper not quite as thick. The paper came out of an album full of plastic sheets with black paper in between each. This one measures about 4 inches across. It's folded out paper the same size as a dollar bill.
This one is phone book page paper painted metallic gold with craft paint. I hit it with the heat gun till the paint bubbled a little and then gave it another coat of paint. Phone book paper isn't very sturdy but the paint beefed it up nicely. I folded two stars from phone book paper. No picture of the one that is just phone book.
I've done a bit of crocheting. This tiny snowflake is about an inch and a quarter across. Easy little snowflake to make! Here's the pattern so you can make your own. I used a size 6 hook and crochet cotton string for mine. I suspect it would work fine with any size hook and string accordingly.
Book are still on the muse's radar. This one is 3x3 inches with copy paper pages numbering 20. The background on the cover is a black and white picture of an underwater scene. It had Asian writing on the backside and apparently came from a book. Someone gifted it to me with an ATC trade in the past. I drew the fish on cardstock with markers. Book is sewn with embroidery thread in the pamphlet stitch.
Not really much art involved with this one. The book is thin chipboard with orange cardstock glued to it. That's a plastic gem doodad adhered to the cover. Book measures 5 x 5 inches with orchard paper pages numbering 30. It's sewn with blue embroidery thread in the pamphlet stitch.
I have several of these plastic sticky back gems that by their packages tell me they were bought on clearance at ALCO. ALCO went out of business almost two years ago and I know they were acquired well before that! Not sure what will become of the rest of them.
The muse wanted to go little with the books....
So we made six 1.5 x2 inch leather bound books with blue end papers and copy paper pages. The leather was once sewn into an A-line skirt and the blue end papers were torn out of a book I discarded for one reason or another. So essentially, the end papers have always been end papers. 

This is your tip for the day. If you are going to throw away a book for any reason. Before it goes in the bin, tear out the end pages and any other blank pages in the book. These pages are usually made of good quality paper and are excellent for drawing on! This is especially true of hard back books.

This is cardstock with asian paper glued to one side.
This notebook (same as the one above) has a pocket to hold business cards or whatever along with a 20 page notepad. It measure about 2.5 x 4. I didn't really measure any of the books, I'm giving an educated guess.
I worked on this green bag for a few days. The light green is macrame cord and the dark green is crochet cotton thread. I used a D hook to crochet with the cotton thread and a Q hook with the cord.
 I don't think it is quite done yet. It needs some bling, I do believe.
I love how it looks up close! I worked on this bag, off and on, for about three days. I finished it this morning before I went to town. I do think it needs a bit of something more before I will call it done. It's not a very large bag. Guessing on the measurements, 7 inches wide at the bottom by 4 inches front to back and probably 9, maybe 10 inches tall.

I finally got a picture of the finished green and purple coiled crochet bag. I really like how this one turned out!
Another painted newspaper book. 3x3 inches on cardstock with 20 pages copy paper sewn in pamphlet stitch with hemp cord.

I've been trying to get the fabric yarn supplies under control. Ma brought me two dresses and a moomoo a few days ago. I got those cut apart and the seams all sewn together with the rest of the seams.
Seam yarn balls, ready for crocheting. Theses things would look fabulous knitted into a rug! I don't know how to knit though so crochet it will have to be!
This is an unfinished seam rug which you will see finished in a moment. And the blue stuff with tulips is the moomoo, seamless and some of it already cut into yarn rolled in a ball. That moomoo is going to become a basket. The two dresses are under the moomoo, minus their seams.
 A close up of the seam rug. All those little white strings are crochet cotton that is threaded, on a needle, through the ends of the seams to connect them. I then tie the cotton thread in a knot to keep the seams connected. I haven't decided if those strings should be snipped short or left like they are.
 Here's the finished rug. It's wonky like all my rugs are! I like how colorful the seam rugs end up being. This one is about 24 x 18 inches. There will be another seam rug to show before too long. I have five more balls of seams and some loose seams as well. That's enough for at least one whole rug and the beginnings of another.
 I found these three fish hiding out on top of the microwave in the kitchen. I slapped a magnet on the backside of them and called them done. I don't know if you all have seen these guys before or not. All three are made from a toilet paper tube, painted, covered in glitter and then the scales are puff paint. They're about 4.5 inches long.
 Alien babies hanging out in the burnt house.
I leave you with the new hen house (still in need of it's roof being finished) in my brother's yard. This is looking out my back door. A beautiful fall day!

Thanks for hanging in there till the end!
Be good to one another!
It matters!

10 October 2015

A Slew of Books and a Few Critters

Hello Readers!

We will start off with books because there are a slew of them to show! The muse has books on the brain at the moment. She cares not that other projects need attention. Perhaps in the next post we will see something besides books.
Don't get me wrong, I love making books but I have quite a few books already made, I don't really need to make another boatload of them. But looking at the top of my desk, I see a dozen or more page blocks needing sewn into their covers. So more books are on the horizon apparently.

Enjoy the books but do stay tuned for the critters to come at the end of the post. The last one in the batch really gave me a great laugh!

The books are in no particular order. I don't remember in which order they were made.

 Copy paper pages. 2.5x2 inches. Sewn in long stitch with waxed hemp cord. Black leather cover with a metal button closure.
 I really like making these pudding box books. This one has some slick paper from a newspaper ad painted with waste paint covering the taped up pudding box. It measures 3.5x3 inches about an inch and half thick. It has copy paper pages sewn in the long stitch then the waxed hemp cord was woven along the spine. It has 120 pages counting both sides of the paper.
This one is a pudding box too. It has a few more pages in it than the yellow spined one. This one has painted newspaper covering the pudding box. The thread I used to sew this one is some thick beading thread. I ran out of thread before I was done weaving the spine. Looks great the way it ended up. I added one single wooden bead to the spine of this one.

 These two are cardstock presentation folders with painted newspaper. They measure about 3x3. I didn't measure when making these. I cut the presentation folders so the spine of the notepad didn't have to figured out later. The paper was cut the same time as the covers. Some of them have copy paper pages, others have green lined computer paper pages. All have a total of 20 pages.
 two more notepads made the same was as the previous two. Only difference with these two is they have pale orange writing paper pages.
 Three TINY inch by inch and a half leather covered books with copy paper pages. Fully functional little books. These will end up being key chains as soon as I locate the key chain attachements.
 Three more little books made from the presentation folders and painted newspaper. A few of these are more like wallets than notepads. Some of them have a pocket alongside the notepad paper. None of them measure more than 3 inches in any direction.
 presentation folder an painted newspaper
 Another just like the previous. This one needs to be trimmed it looks like. I sewed them with either embroidery thread or waxed hemp cord. Sewn in different stitches. Some with beaded spines, some without beads.
 This one is 3 x 3.5 inches. marker doodling on text weight paper from the Rooks County Free Fair book for 2015. The cover is from a corrugated cardboard box that once held a replacement ring for a light fixture. Sewn in pamphlet stitch with waxed hemp cord.
 Painted filter paper, embroidery and white pen on black paper. This one measures 5x7 inches. Sewn in the long stitch. I left tails. It has copy paper pages.
 Painted newspaper on presentation folder.
 And another ....
 This one is presentation folder with galaxy painted black paper (a failed experiment). It has copy paper pages. 4 inches tall, 2.5 inches wide.
 Candy box book. It has pale orange writing paper pages sewn with orange embroidery thread. It measures 3 inches wide by 7 inches tall.
 Another with painted newspaper on presenation folder cardstock with a beaded spine.
 Same as the above one but this one has a little pocket in addition to a notepad. Again, painted newspaper on cardstock.
 This one is made from packaging from some bathing products. It is 3 inches square sewn in japanese stab binding. It has copy paper pages. I forgot to glue some paper to it before I sewed it together. I think it will still get something to art it up a bit before I call it done. The reason I forgot to art it up is because I drilled the holes instead of using my crop o dile to make the holes. Got all caught up in doing something different it threw off the muse's mojo!
Another japanese stab binding. Presentation folder with painted newspaper. I didn't intentionally make the holes on this one all wonky but I do like the effect of it. One of my holes got out of line so I just made them all out of line. It is 3 x 2.5 inches with copy paper pages. Sewn with orange embroidery thread.
 And the last one....presentation folder with painted newspaper. Green lined computer paper pages sewn in pamphlet stitch.

If I counted right, there are 25 little books here. My muse has gone crazy with bookmaking! Part of that craziness comes from the 'need' I feel to use up all that painted newspaper I've acquired over the last few months.

I've been working on Annie's Kitty Book too. Nothing new to show with that unless you want to see a bunch of background paintings. I do one or two spreads in those books each day. One day I'll be donw with backgrounds and get busy on kitties again.

I've also got a couple of crocheting projects going on. I finished the green and purple tote bag. Forgot to take its picture. I'll show it to you all next post. 

I guess that's it for the art for now. Thanks for hanging in there. 

Now for some critters!

 Cows aren't really anything special in my neck of the woods. They're a dime a dozen as the saying goes. I like cows though. These cows were discovered on short jaunt through the countryside with Ma a few days ago. We went looking to see what all the sirens were doing heading east from the house. Four different vehicles, lights and sirens blaring, zoomed by in a short amount of time. It was a wreck about six miles down the highway between a piece of farm equipment and a Suburban. Looked as though they side swiped one another. The big sprayer had a flat tire and the Suburban was in the ditch with the passenger's side of the vehicle all scuffed up. Didn't appear to be anyone gravely injured. Probably one pissed off farmer and an unhappy Suburban driver, but didn't appear to be any blood involved. Ma and I found the cows on our way back home. Instead of driving past the wreck to get back home, we took the chalk roads around and back to the highway. 
We saw a big old herd of wild turkeys before we saw the cows. I got the phone out and turned on the camera after we saw the turkeys. Sorry there are no pictures of that big flock...must of been three dozen or so of them. (Most anything can come in a herd.)
 This picture will be a lot more interesting if you click on it and make it a lot bigger. The vultures have gathered atop the Co-op grain bins in the middle of town for the night. I didn't count how many were settled in already when I took the picture. I'm guessing close to 100 or so. There were still a dozen or more of them flying around and there's another tower to the left that you can't see that also has a few vultures perched on it for the night too. Won't be long and the vultures will be moving south to warmer parts for the winter. 
The vultures always make me laugh when I see them occupying the grain bins.

This next fella, though, he gave me a big ol' belly laugh before I shooed him out the back door. I was sitting here in front of my computer, reading, minding my own business when I hear someone rattling around in the kitchen. I had just come from the kitchen where I sat a half full bowl of hamburger gravy on the floor for Tommy cat to eat if he wanted it. He wanted it when it was sitting on the desk. I filled my coffee cup and came back to the deskroom. I didn't pay it much mind till I heard the bowl scooting across the floor. 
I really wish I had brought the camera with me to the kitchen when I went to investigate the noises from the kitchen. Cats are not, as a general rule, noisy eaters. 
I flipped the switch for the light above the sink as I walked into the kitchen. All I could see at the bowl of gravy was a dark colored long tail. My first thought was, "Good grief, Tippy! Are you that hungry?" As I took another step and could see the critter sitting there, I could clearly see it was not Tippy being the noisy eater!
Mr. Opossum slowly raised his head from the cat food bowl he was monching in. He'd already licked that gravy bowl clean! He looked at me and turned toward the laundry room in no big hurry.

He's nowhere as menacing as he looks.
I really don't want him coming in the house for kibble, but it was a great laugh to find him sitting there acting as though it were quite natural for him to have waltzed right in and help himself to some grub. 
He didn't come in the back door. That door was closed when he headed for the laundry room. He had to have  come in the front door. It was standing wide open at the time. He had to have come through the living room into the kitchen and around the corner. When I found him sitting at the cat food bowl I hightailed it back to the deskroom for the phone so I could take his picture. It worked out great. It was dark in the laundry room and I didn't trust him enough to get too close. I couldn't reach the light switch to see what the heck he was doing. The flash on the camera confused him enough he just pretty much stood there in a daze. He didn't freak out at all. I opened the door and he nonchalantly went down the back steps with his belly full of hamburger gravy and a bit of cat food for dessert.
I am rather partial to opossums. They are harmless little guys.They seldom become aggressive, they just pass out when they get rattled. Wonderful little characters. I want him in the yard! He eats tons of bugs! But not in the kitchen! I'm seriously hoping he is not the critter who helped itself to the avocado tomato salad leftovers I left sitting beside the sink a few nights ago. The tomatoes were still sitting on that plate the next day but there wasn't a trace of avocado to be found. Tommy may have a taste for avocado. He's not lived with me long enough to really know his eating habits. I know for fact, the other three felines wouldn't touch that avocado with a ten foot pole. Apparently none of these critters like tomatoes. It probably wasn't Mr. Opossum who ate the avocado. He'd have made enough noise to wake the dead climbing up on the counter and keeping that plate from hitting the floor. He chased that bowl of gravy a ways. I think he would have eaten the tomatoes as well as the avocado.
At any rate, I was elated to have a visit from Mr. Opossum. I'm guessing its a boy. I didn't get close enough to find out for certain. Now if he'll just stay outside where opossums belong, we shall get along famously! Yes, I know I probably shouldn't leave the door standing wide open if I don't want wildlife in the house. I've lived in this house for ten years and lived in the burned house for five and this is the first time I've found anything larger than a dead rat inside the house. And I know the dead rats aren't killed in the house. Those silly felines bring them to me as gifts! We are up to six dead rodents for the week that I know of. Yesterday it was a juvenile kangaroo rat and a half eaten field mouse. I really wish they wouldn't kill the kangaroo rats and show them to me. Those little things are so dang cute!

That's all the excitement I have for you today.
Be good to one another!
 It matters!