Thursday, November 17, 2011

Etsy Swag

I have been busy lately knotting up 50 (yes 50) micro-macrame owls for the etsyRAIN holiday sale in 2 weeks. I don't have time in my life to actually participate in the sale, but I am part of the 20 or so artists who created swag for the swag bags that will be given out to the first 50 customers. I got bored making these critters in monotone so I started getting all creative with colors...

I even knotted up a couple of 'em in the University of Washington colors of gold and purple: go dawgs go! Just don't eat my owls...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Manukura, the White Kiwi

Poor little critter - she had to have surgery to remove two stones from her gizzard.

But according to the Beeb, she appears to be recuperating well.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Micro-Macrame Video Ad - First Try

My Micro-Macrame Video Ad

What do you think? I am trying out a couple of different ideas for a business video.

etsyRAIN's Handmade Holiday Craft Show!!!

etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Craft Show

I'm not selling at this craft fair because I'll still be moving into my new place that weekend, but I am supplying swag for the gift bags!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Knitting Machinery

Karin is visiting me and last night I got out the Singer knitting machine to show her how to use it. Of course, it took me about an hour to remember exactly how I cast on with it and to knit some swatches. Today she went over to Churchmouse yarns on Bainbridge Island and bought some yarn to make a poncho with. Here she is knitting away!
As you can tell, Jynx is not at all impressed.

Here's what about half of the poncho looks like...I think it took about 40 minutes, maybe a little less, to do this much.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Okay, so I was fumbling around on the living room floor yesterday and a faery darted out from behind the sofa. To save her from Jynx, who is a Supreme Catcher of Many Small Wriggly Things I caught her under a water glass and took her over to the faery front door (the one by the television set). I put her down there and she squeaked her thanks. We got to talking about the neighborhood and I asked if I could take a picture of her for my blog and she shook her head vigorously "No!" She made it clear that to take a picture might mean her soul was captured in 2D and she didn't like the thought of it. So I asked if I could sketch her. Again, she said no. Could I made an image of her in needlepunch embroidery since it wasn't all that 2 dimensional? She reluctantly agreed. In fact, I think she kind of liked the idea.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gnarf Cat and Blue Embroidery

Last week I found an incredibly cool embroidered wallhanging - it measures 105 cm (about 42 inches) and I think it would be perfect either in my teeny tiny dining area, next to my Incan Calendar wall hanging or as the headboard of the bed in my guestroom/office...
Hmmm...where to put it? I also thought about getting rid of all the surrounding frou-frou and using just the center piece, but, all that outer busy-ness is kinda growing on me.

I had this oh-so-profoundly-brilliant idea to create a set of punch needle embroidered pins this week and started on my Fuzzy Moggy series. Here is Moggy #1, a prototype also known as Gnarf Cat. I picked that name because my friend Tini uses the word Gnarf quite a lot and I don't know quite what it means, so I googled it and I must say, I think it appropriate for this little fellow. He measures 3 cm by 4 cm-ish, and is made from plain old sewing thread. He has Austrian crystal bead eyes, though! Now I have to glue him to a piece of cardboard and slap a pin thingy on the back!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Quilty Goodness

I started one of my deranged Florida patchwork quilts sometime in 1991 (?) and used the patchwork part of it:
1. in a movie - it was part of an outdoor street market scene supposed to be somewhere in the Bahamas
2. as a duvet cover
3. as a wallhanging
In 2001 or 2002, I decided to make it into a quilt, so I replaced the duvet backing and added a layer of batting and pinned it. And there it sat for a few years. So by 2005 I realized I was never going to get around to doing the quilting part myself, so I sent it off to a professional quilter with one of those big fancy quilting machines and had her quilt it.
Like an idiot, I didn't want to pay for her to bind it because I kept thinking "Oh, that's the easy part! I'll do that myself!" Well, when she mailed it back to me I put it in a plastic bin and forgot about it. Well, not exactly. Every time I went by that bin I looked at it and thought, I'll get to that next week/month...
Last week I got it out and FINALLY FINALLY sewed the binding on to it.

Of course, I cannot sew a straight line to save my life, so I sewed the binding on with a compendium of wavy and most crooked lines.

Then I added threads of differing colors to the mix:

Is it the best quilt I have ever made? No. Is it finished? Why, YES!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

In a Red Currant Jam

The Northwest is renown for its cherries, apples and berries, but I was completely surprised to find a half flat of red currants at Central Market! I didn't know we grew enough of them in this area to merit them being packed up in half flats and sold in grocery stores. So, naturally, I HAD to purchase a half flat and make some jam.

While I was in the check out line by the cash register a man behind me in line said "Oohh, those things are sour! What are you going to do with them?"
"Make jam," I replied.
"They're really really sour, you can't eat 'em. I know, 'cause I tried a couple and had to spit them out." he said.
Niccccceeee, I thought. Some old dude goes around sampling the fruity wares and spitting all over the floor of the produce section. Just greaaaaaat.
So I brought them home and started removing their little sticks and stems...Aren't they just darling?

And, yes, I did have to put one helluva lot of sugar in the pot as I cooked them!

I actually got 4 jars out of this batch, but gave one to a colleague at Amazon.

What to do? What to do?

There's a big fabric swap in Tacoma next month where I will be able to sell some of my treasured fabrics - I know, it's almost sacrilegious to do so, but it must be done - and as I am sorting through my goodies to sell I came across my collection of devore/burnout velvet scarves.

I'd collected them over the years to put together one of Kayla Kennington's Paris evening coats, or Panel Tops but, (let's all chime in together) I never got around to it.
Looking over my collection, though, I realized I really didn't want to sell it; there are too many pretties! And I would never get back the money I've invested in all these scarves.

Admittedly, most were purchased for a few dollars at either Goodwill or Value Village, but I've amassed them over a period of probably 10 years.
So I need your help!
What should I make from all these luxurious snippets of Devore velvet?

Monday, August 01, 2011

Doors to Faeryland

I'm not all that observant most days, but yesterday I was looking down at ground level and came to realize that there were several doors to faeryland near my new apartment!!!!
There was even one IN MY APARTMENT!!! Right by the tv set. Sheesh!

All I had to do was go outside to see several situated very close to my front door:

And just a little way behind the the ground cover, if you look carefully...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Found Stuff Piling Up in Enormous Stack

The Ibsen Pinata made for Cinco de Mayo in the First Year Graduate Students' Office. I made margarita cupcakes to add to the festivities.

Eileen and me being goofy in the office at the end of Spring term 2011 at Stony Brook U:

Road Trip: Niagara Falls, New York side:

Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. I found it sad that so many people around me kept asking "Now which president is which?" Jeez!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Off Off Broadway Debut

Saturday I took the train into NYC to perform in a show at The Tank called American Decameron. This show was a collection of monologues given by several people - mine was about how I'd found a book at the local Goodwill that had previously been owned by a classmate of mine, Waylon Lenk. My monologue went something like this:

"I was perusing the woo-woo section of the used book shelf at a local second hand store this afternoon and came across a most interesting book: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Plays by Women. Oooo! Now this is a truly fascinating collection, but what really struck my curiosity is the previous owner of this book had crossed out the book's previous owner's name and written his own name in large Capital letters on an inside page. Jeez, that name sounds really familiar but I cannot place this mystery man. Where have I seen that name before? I really am cudgeling my brains about this because I know that name from somewhere. But where? Is he that Cambridge spy who defected to the Yukon over the Norwegian moose scandal a few years back? Didn't he co-author that novel about Florentine artifact smugglers who got embroiled in a VAT scam with what's his name? Or was he the director of the vintage classic motion picture movie Gidget Goes to Hell and its sequel Gidget Goes All the Way and Gidget Goes Rio?

I am at a loss. If you know who this guy is, give me a shout. I'm pretty sure he didn't mean to donate this ultra-fantastic book of restoration plays, and if you find him, tell him he can have the book back for a nominal fee. Now, I'm not talking blackmail or anything, so don't get your knickers in a twist over this matter. It's just that used book stores don't give books out for free, especially ones that have been autographed by famous people..."

As it turns out, a man from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival was in the audience and really liked the show and encouraged us to participate in their festival:

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Making Stuff, Packing Stuff...

The term is finally winding up here at Stony Brook and I have been packing all my stuff in fairly-easy-to-ship boxes and sending them out to Washington in batches. I'm down to only a few projects still due for my classes; one is a Powerpoint presentation on Ibsen's "The Master Builder" due the end of this week and another is a performance in "American Decameron" at a place called The Tank in NYC on May 14th. I am performing two monologues - one of them is a video that will be broadcast during the show; it can be viewed here: Invisible. I called it Invisible, partly because most women over 40 are invisible to men and partly because the character is...well...dead...It was inspired by something Linda Shaffer told me years ago from when she worked in a funeral home.

And here's a puppet head I built for a raggedy puppet to be used in "American Decameron"
Apparently it lost its head in Korea somewhere. It was fun to build it a new one out of paper clay and styrofoam. Here he/she is next to a buddy puppet who had somehow managed to keep his head screwed on tight.

And here are some flip-flop socks I managed to finish last week.
They are only one-tenth as cool as the Easter socks Tini knit and sent to me!

The flowers are in bloom here on Long Island; here's the view from my basement apartment window

Saturday, March 05, 2011

A New Term at School

Man! This term is sooo kicking my ass! I have so much writing to do, a ten page paper here, a twenty page paper there, that I've been wondering lately what I've gotten myself into. On Monday I have a paper due on Arab interpretations of Hamlet since 1975.....ehdhashasdhadlkwrtn (incoherent mumbling has ensued).
And...I have to write 50 blog posts for one class...arrrgghghghghghghhh! Here's a link to the blog where I post those entries...Grant Group. You can tell which ones are mine - my name is in the taglines...Can I just go home now???
Luckily, some of the posts can be vlogs (video blogs); so far I have posted a couple of them on the Grant Group blog. Here's a silly one called Two Aspects of Abandonment; we each had to create a video with the theme of Abandonment. Most of the other students got all angsty with their videos, but I thought the whole thing was a total joke. In it I talk about a 61 VW bug. I never owned one; I did, however, drive my brother's 67 VW around until I crashed it into a telephone pole and got a ticket from an uptight cop for parking in a moving zone!
Here's some test footage for a project I am working on with a fellow student - this shows my new haircut. Admittedly, this little video snippet is a bit unsettling and...well, in the words of my fellow student, a tad bit creepy...

I was busy over the Christmas holiday knitting mitts for the long hard cold winter that overtook the Northeastern part of the US. Lucky me, I still love snow, I find it quaint, charming, picturesque, etc. etc., but as of yesterday I am officially SICK OF WINTER.

I actually knit four pairs of these cuties but only have one pair left because the rest were given away to fellow students. They were very simple to knit up, which is always a big plus in my book. Lookie! There's a tea towel with darling little hedgehogs behind my hand! Woooeee! I love hedgehogs!