Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Brain Age

Sad to say but when I first tested my brian age it was 79. Now I am at 53. Better but not great. That is 19 years older then my actual age.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

focusing on 1,000 Petals

It had to be done. 1,000 Petals needed an update. Not a fiber update, although that is on its was too. But it needed an image update.
New Label
New Web Button

New Etsy and Ravelry Button
Whats to come? Whats also to be considered?
1. Patterns. Lots of ideas are swirling in my brain.
2. I'm considering and researching building a website. Maybe using zen cart. I need more info and need to decide if I have the smarts to build it. I might also consider having a local friend help out.
3. I've got to decide if buying in bulk will be possible. Currently I buy 2lbs at a time. I'd like to be able to buy much more and get a better discount, but the initial investment might be a problem.
4. I'm currently testing out better lighting equipment.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Okay, time to take a break. Thank God I took next week off from work. I finished Mom's sweater and Dad's blanket. I think they liked them.
Dad wearing his blanket.

Yarn: Lion Brand Thick & Quick.
Mods: I used size 15 needles instead of the recommended 13. I only did 4 panels instead of 5. That's about it. Mom's Sweater

Pattern: Personal Pattern. Created using the help of Sweater Wizard. Top-Down.

First Spin

Used 1 oz of "Ra" superwash wool. 4 oz of Ra is available on my etsy. ***self promotion***.
I am very proud of this first try at spinning on a wheel. The Wheel? Stella a Kromski Minstrel. Yes, her name is Stella and I love her.
Special thanks to Mom and Dad for this wonderful gift.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


It is 3:59 in the morning. I am trying to complete the Christmas knitting, and one of the dogs has gut rot. OMG! That's what I get for giving them wet food.

Thought I would share.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Please forgive me. I have so much to blog about but no time. Just thought I would drop in and let you know that I am currently making a mad dash to the Christmas finish line.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's New?

Egyptian Deities Roving. I'm most satisfied with these. I think I have found my fav dye process which allows for an unpredictability that I just luv. Each priced at $15 and shipped priority mail.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Things I have learned - Metal Clay

I have never had any formal training so these are things that I have figured out on my own, or borrowed from other sources.

1. I keep the clay moist by storing it in vacuum seal bag with a moist towel tucked in with it. This is good for short periods, days not weeks. The plan is to use all the clay before it dries out, so at this time I don't buy the 50 gram packs unless I know I am going to use it quickly.

2. When attaching two dry (prefired) pieces together I not only use the syringe type clay as a glue but I also moisten both surfaces. This is borrowed from pottery classes.

3. Olive oil does NOT work for me. I spent a little extra money and bought the special hand conditioner used specifically for working with metal clay.

4. Collect all prefired dust. This can be from the residue left on brushes, or from small bits of dried clay left on the work surface. Also, when sanding a dry (prefired) piece I lay a piece of cardstock on my surface to collect all the fillings. These can later be rehydrated and used again. You would not believe how much clay is saved. Also, when using a wet brush, the brush is rinsed in a container that will collect the clay that stuck to the brush.

5. Silicone molds are AWSOME! Carving stamp pads are AWSOME! Both are great for creating your own unique forms and textures.

6. I use polymer clay to shape more intricate items, bake the polymer clay and then use silicone molding material to make a flexible mold. I can then take my time with the poly pieces without worry of the metal clay drying out. I then use the silicone molding material to make a mold of the item. These molds can also be used over and over again. I just press the metal clay in the mold and pop out when dry.

7. A tissue blade, originally purchased for polymer clay work also work very well for metal clay.

8. I use a silicone spray to spray my tools and molds. I also spray a small amount onto a paper towel for use with smaller tools and the tissue blade. This spray keeps the clay from sticking to any surface.

Metal clay is some sticky stuff. Not sticky like gum, but it wants to grab onto anything that touches it. Hope this helps, I am no teacher and I am not in a guild, but these are things that have helped me along the way.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Things I have learned - Spinning

I spin on a spindle, my spinning wheel is being held hostage until Christmas. Santa is mean. Anyway, these are practices that work best for me. I haven't taken a spinning class so some parts might be things you would learn in a class. These might also be "duh" things, but might be helpful to someone.

1. Before pre-drafting roving I do something that I call "snapping". I hold a short lengths of the fiber between my hands (shorter than the staple length) and snap it a couple of times working my way down the roving. For me this fluffs and straightens out the fiber. Seems that it allows the fiber to draft easier.

2. I split the roving into 3 sections, lengthwise. I have tried leaving it hole. I have tried 2 and 4 sections. But for me 3 works best.

3. I made a little pouch wrist thingy. I saw it on a you tube video. While at home I just make a nice little pile, but when I take my spindle out, the little pouch keeps the roving nicely tucked away and keeps it from blowing around in the wind.

4. If I'm wanting to do 2 ply I weigh my roving and split in half. If 3 ply I divide in thirds. This helps to make sure there is even amount for plying later.

5. I keep all my roving in waiting in ziplock baggies. Keeps fiber from snagging on anything, and if my cat sneaks into my studio, the roving is safe.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

watcha knitin'?

Yes, I am still knitting. It seems I haven't been blogging much about it lately. Oh, I'm thinking about doing a couple vlogs (video blogs). I thought that would be fun. Anyway, well most of my attention is going to handmade items for Christmas gifts. My Mom's sweater being first on the list. It's a top down v-neck sweater with a 2 row pattern repeat. Simple enough but not to boring to make my mind melt to mush. Still knitting on Paul's socks, 2 done so far. This past weekend I decided to work on some WIGP's (weekend instant gratification projects). I knit 3 pair of Garter Stitch Mitts and a sideways garter stitch hat. I'm also still working (slowly) on my clapotis. Most Christmas gifts this year will be knit or handmade in some way. I'm making some pendents for some and knits for others and I don't know what for the rest.