Friday, January 30, 2009

Craftster Bookmark Swap

It seems like all my swap partners have gotten their bookmarks as I have gotten good feedback on my craftster profile. Being that I no longer have to worry about ruining the surprise I'll post them up here. The images can be clicked for larger views.

For Taniquel who loves birds and nature. I really like the translucent effect that was created by cuting around the inside of the image and attaching blue tissue paper to the back; it is, of course laminated for strength. I love chickadees, for the record.

For gamemom42 who likes owls, kitties and trashy scottish romance. Not being familiar with the genre myself I googled, and this bookmark was totally inspired by The Scotsman's Bride (which seemed to fit the bill as trashy, scottish and romance) combined with the poem "the Owl and the Pussy Cat". What fun! The orange of her hair photographed more nuclear in colour than it was in real life, by the by.

For Oyhana who happens to like trees and black and white things. I drew a sugar maple because they used to grow prolifically in my parents' yard and I had a hard time pulling up these cute little seedlings, I totally lucked out because as it turns out Oyhana's favourite trees are sugar maples. I really like drawing in this style.

For stuckmachinic who likes music and animals. Who can really say no to a squirrel playing a lute, for serious? As with the owl and pussy cat one, the orange is a wee bit on the wild side in regards to intensity in the photo compared to real life. I tried to fit something of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite as the background as it would suit perfectly, but it wouldn't play nice, we ended up by a piece by Grieg instead.

I have no kitty related updates. Pussums is still wobbly from his meds, and we still haven't gotten our test results back. I am just stuck on worry mode.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tiring Weekend

I know I didn't intend on this being a "personal events" blog however we will have to cope. Pussums, my furry baby, has been taking seizures. I had suspected he was for a while but thought I was just being paranoid, or a hypochondriac on his behalf (I had convinced myself that he was just having kitty dreams because all told they have only started recently and had not been that bad, and I am a known worry-wort). However this weekend he took his worst yet. We saw the vet right away and Puss is on anti-convulsants now and we're having a series of tests done to figure out what is wrong. Admittedly I haven't been sleeping much because I have been staying up late to keep an eye on him; he only seems to take the seizures in the night while he is sleeping. I also have to keep an eye on him by day, as his pills are making him wobbly. He's just not used to them yet and keeps stumbling around, falling off stuff and getting trodden on. It comes at a time when our budget is tight; we were going to have his teeth fixed up next month, but since it has come down to one thing or another, treating his seizures is definately more important. He's a bit of an old codger at 10-12 (he was pretty well a stray, his former owners didn't keep track of these things before we adopted him from them about 2 years ago), but I am hoping to get him up to at least 17years as long as they are healthy years.

I tried sitting down to do some serious sewing today, but I just ended up sewing wrong pieces together and falling asleep at my sewing machine, I am just pooped. Thankfully I didn't end up with any pins or scissors stuck in my face, what a thing to wake up to!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bio-Hazard Surgeon's Mask

It has been a while, hasn't it? In anycase here is a surgeon's mask. Hot off the press. Just for you.

There are loose tails because I am on the fence about this project. I am not sure if I want to classify it as a failure or finish it and be happy. I am not too pleased with the workmanship on it, the only thing I am happy about is the hand turned edges along the top and bottom (I always derive pleasure from turning edges for some reason). I am terrible with drawn shapes, the pattern I drew was off from the start, so the embroidery is just not geometrically accurate. The circle part of the symbol is more like a fat triangle; I didn't even follow my own drawn lines in some places so there are a couple stumpy branches on the biohazard symbol. To make matters worse the functionality of the object has been compromised, in making room for the embroidery I changed the pleats. There needs to be more pleats, they need to be more shallow and they should span from top to bottom; the result is a squished nose when this mask is worn! The sides where the straps are attatched are too stiff leading to strange puckering. It is shoddy, even so, I love the appeal of the mask, so this is why I am torn.

This is the third surgeon's mask I have made, all told. The first was a prototype that I was generally pleased with, the second was a test to improve some concerns, this time was an attempt to address aesthetics. It is a project I pick up from time to time, the others were done some time ago, and I contemplate the topic every now and again. I am developing the "pattern" for it as I go along. I think that I am doing well enough, never having seen the real thing. I think I may just chalk this one up as a learning experience and when I get the itch to make surgeon's masks again, probably in a season or two, I will have fuel for improvement.

Why? Well I am not sure.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Terrible Realization

I have come to a terrible realization that I get nightmares constantly when I am not actively creating something. It seems silly but I suppose it makes sense. I shouldn't let my projects idle as I have. Apparently it isn't good for mental health.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Craftster Bookmark Swap Teasers

I managed to get these out just barely on time. I got to the post office, got stamps and posted the letters. I then popped into the grocery for a few small things and not even 15 mins later I saw the postal van collecting mail from the post office! I am so glad I got them out by the due date. The swap was a lot of fun. I hope nothing gets lost.

Of course being that no one will have received their bookmark yet, I don't want to ruin the surprise by putting up pictures. However I think these teasers will do nicely!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Etsy Finds: Financial edition

This second instalment of Etsy finds is inspired by another of my resolutions: become even stronger with my budget. I have always been good with money, I am naturally frugal, but I feel that I could be better. Of course buying things doesn't really help you save money but one can look and maybe gather inspiration.

{1} Cash Ledger - Green on Tan by OrangeBeautiful
This handy little ledger book helps you keep track of that spending, as it happens. This is the first line in defense when it comes to your budget, properly kept it is a real time display of how much (or how little) money you have left.

{2} Mesquite Postal Bank - Keyed by Williams' Mesquite
This is a fine example of a piggy bank, save that it isn't a piggy at all. It's a handsome way for grownups to save that loose change, not to mention it looks as though this bank will last near forever. With keyed access, it is a fantastic alternative to those sometimes just as pricey, one time use break-open banks.

{3} Set of 3 Notebooks Made From Upcycled Monopoly Money by Vintage Paper Works
If these aren't a deal I don't know what is. These sweet little Monopoly notebooks could hold your shopping lists as a playful reminder to keep on track at the store. Who knows, if you save enough you can buy a hotel on the Boardwalk!

{4} Money Drawing Votives Set of 6 by The White Magick Shoppe
A little white magic couldn't hurt, if these candles will help draw money to you. Even if you don't believe in magic, there's nothing wrong with lighting a few nice green and scented candles to relax after vigorous financial planning, or while you contemplate your next big fiscal decision.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Job

It has been a couple days since I have posted anything. I have a new job though so I have been kind of busy; my projects have been mostly laying around untouched. I have only really been working on my part of a swap I am participating in, on Craftster.

I am sure that things will settle out soon enough and I will be able to pick up my crafting again. Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy new year! I hope that everyone had a pleasant holiday season. I had a fairly good go of it, we did a tour of both families and as you can imagine ate a lot of food. My little niece experienced her first Christmas; it wasn't so nice at first, she had a terrible lung infection for a few days but fortunately the antibiotics started kicking in Christmas day so she wasn't too miserable and could get excited about all her new shiney toys and books.

I just finished this stamp and I am thoroughly pleased with myself. I tried stamping it with kids craft paint, it worked out well enough but I couldn't get an even application. Also I don't think I let the glue dry long enough (it has a long curing time) because when I washed the paint out, the glue turned all white again. Oh well, I am still happy with it.

Etsy Finds
I love (window)shopping on etsy. There are so many fantastic things that you can find there. I would love to start featuring things I find every week that I am particularly fond of. Since it is new year's day and time for resolutions, I will start out with one of my resolutions: to read more intelligently, to read a book and not forget halfway through what I had already read. Here are a few fun book and reading related items that I am charmed by:

{1} Genuine Fish Leather Bookmark by Stacy Studios
These absolutely fascinating bookmarks are made of fish leather, in the shape of fish if you can imagine! They are colourful, they are charming, they are unique, they hold your page; what more could you ask for?

{2} Book Re^marks - Magestic Mr. Owl 3-pack by The Sherwood Press
These little bookmark notebooks are the most clever idea. They hold your page and also allow you someplace to take notes, (that isn't the margin of your books! Not that I would do that, oh no, never.) What a great way to keep track of information and thoughts, definately something I could make use of.

{3} Custom Ex Libris Bookplate Rubber Stamp by The Mayberry Sparrow
My own attempt to carve a bookplate stamp pales in comparison to the absolutely sweet work in this shop. Bookplates are a wonderful way to introduce a little personalized artwork to your beloved book collection; also it serves as a gentle reminder to those who borrow and don't return books. I have been craving these for a while, they are just so pretty.

{4} A Reader's Diary by Green Chair Press
Someone bought this just today! Still I love it. It lets you keep track of what you read, when, and what you thought of it. I admit I have a neurotic attraction to listing things, and stationary for listing things, and the silly rating system would make me smile with every use. I am sure the seller will post more, or would be glad to fill your request if you, like me, NEED one.