Friday, July 25, 2014

Fire, glass, and metal chapter: I'm going to the Street Fair!!

Handmade Metal and Glass Jewelry!

I started torch firing with a new technique after reading "painting with fire", by Barbara Lewis. There is a steep learning curve, and I would prefer to take a class or workshop, but I haven't seen anything like this offered in the Bay Area (though I haven't looked at The Crucible yet).  So, there are a pile of failed "experiments" at that back of my bench. I really believe that training as a bench scientist was perfect preparation for this sort of thing!

Anyways - in May, the owner of my local bead shop, Bead Inspirations, offered customers who'd spent at least $100 this year the chance to set up a table in front of the store at the Spring Park Street Fair. I had been making a lot of bits and pieces and trying new techniques, but didn't have enough pieces or time to prepare in time. But Vicki said I'd have another chance at the Art & Wine Faire July26-27 - that's this weekend!!

Here are some pieces as a preview:
These are the most intricate using many little enameled bits.

I made a series with just the larger pansy form as a focal piece:




And I made lots of earrings - some with enameled filigree beads or discs, and many pairs that I fashioned from Vintaj natural brass blanks or copper blanks. 

They've been embossed, shaped, hammered, enhanced with inks and patinas, polished, and combined with beads and other elements to make the finished jewelry pieces:


I made the earring card holder from two old frames (another post maybe). The photos lost some resolution in the iPad post-writing experiments - the earrings look quite lovely in person and not at all fuzzy!



Some of the earrings above use old clock faces. I made a pretty fun steampunky necklace too by riveting metal elements together:


More enamel pendants, most are made from copper discs or pennies (pre-1981).  Several have images from enamel decals fired into the glass:




I also made some bracelets using memory wire, others with handmade pottery focal pieces...


Another enamel piece - I want to make more hand cut shapes and pieces. Hopefully I will be able to sell some things and be encouraged to continue playing with different techniques and designs.


I have a couple of beaded necklaces, and many more beaded earrings that I haven't photographed yet. 


I hope some of my friends will stop by and say hello this weekend - I'm excited!!

The Fair is on Park Street in Alameda between Lincoln Ave (the Bead Store and my table will be there to the right of the bandstand) 10am-6pm - check it out!!

xoxo, janet


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Busy busy...textile chapter


When my crazed work project preparing for an FDA panel was over in March, a series of events followed that have kept me equally as stressed and busy. However, I did take a week off and kind of went crazy with my sewing machine, finishing a blanket and making a few new pillow covers for our living room.

This one is little HST scraps from the mum quilt:


This is a reverse appliqué sort of experiment with a felted sweater:


Another made with felt from recycled sweaters pieced and embroidered with dahlias:

All 3 of them included Marimekko scraps from Crate and Barrel outlet store:

They all live on our sofa now!

Here is the Star Wars patchwork blanket finished: 

Backing is a SW polar fleece.  The top was pieced improv from a rough sketch I made. Kind of goofy, but I like it...reminds me of my SW pillow case from the 70s (which I still have).

Then I ran across some napkins I'd bought with a matching tablecloth on sale. Except the tablecloth turned out to be round. We have a large rectangular table...doh! But I like the print and the napkins seemed quite large...so I covered two more pillows to go on our old ratty big chair that my family won't part with. They classier it up a bit.


Last textile project I will post was finished more recently - a knitted afghan that I worked on FOREVER!
So much I could say about this, but since it looks pretty cool all finished, I will be kind and just show the photos:
The thing covers our queen bed!

Next post will be about my crazed jewelry making since May - I'm going to try selling some of my work this weekend at the Alameda Art &Wine Street Fair.












Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mums for my Mum - Blogger's Quilt Festival entry

I just finished a quilt that is for my mom and her new husband - "Mums for Mum", and I'm entering it into the Fall 2013 Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side that just happens to be this week!



I have been collecting chrysanthemum print fabrics for a few years now - mostly half yard cuts - 28 different prints in this quilt! I have plans for a Bargello Mums and another patchwork mum quilt with the large amount of scraps from this project - yay! It's hard to give this one away, but I can think of a better cause than my own Mum. And I can keep the next one...

The pattern is called "Twinkle" from Sew Be It. I saw a finished one on display at Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove, CA. I love Pacific Grove - we've been going a couple times a year lately to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and go tide pooling at Asilomar State Beach and just hang out at our cheap and funky (but clean) motel adjacent to the butterfly grove. There's a great yarn store there too (Monarch Knitting). Anyway - the sample was made with all Kaffe Fassett prints, and a few of my mums are KF too, and all the prints together are a riot of color - so I knew what I'd been stockpiling mums for at that moment!

I built each block with some light/dark contrast and then pieced them so that you can see sort of large pinwheel shapes alternating across the quilt. It came out fairly subtle since there are a lot of mid-range prints among my mums. But I like movement in such a bright "printy" quilt and I think I got what I was trying to achieve.


I'm not terribly accomplished as a quilter, so this large quilt was a bit ambitious for me. I quilted it in 2 pieces and then attached them together. The quilting itself is a mix of hand quilting the center stars for each block, then using concentric organic wavy outline around the stars by freehand using my machine.  There are a lot of imperfections that I'm not very happy about - but since the overall effect is really cool I will call it a success.  

The binding was cut from a Marimekko scrap that I got at the Crate and Barrel Outlet store - they sell scraps for $0.50 each and you can pull out pretty good sized pieces if you fish through the bins.  The yardage is a great buy too, but I don't remember exact price. This piece was simple blocks of reds from light to a dark burgundy. I attached by machine and then handstitched to the back.


This quilt makes me so happy! I hope it brings joy and light and warmth to my mom and her new husband for many many years to come. (I love you, mom!)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Basel yarn bomb!

No Words Needed...this is a draft post I made something like more than a year ago - back when I used to go to Basel fairly often...One trip a friend and I were crossing one of the bridges in Basel and came across this awesome yarn bomb!










Friday, December 21, 2012

New knit FOs - a couple of scarves

Confession - these are no longer "new" FOs...but I haven't posted them yet, so this is a catch up.  I'm knitting cowls and scarves compulsively lately - so much obsessing on my mind that my hands need to keep busy. I've been squishing a lot of bits of journaling, reading, crafting, holiday stuff into the cracks of my overburdened schedule in fact.

But as of today, I'm on holiday - too bad I have a million things to take care of and still some work work to do, but I am happy that I'll have the next couple of weeks away from an office or a commute and that's a fact!

First up in the catch up is my "Seattle Summer" scarf - this was a single ball of thick and thin cotton blend that I picked up at a cute little LYS in Seattle on Teen Wonder's birthday in September. Now, in December, this scarf isn't holding up to the chill, but I really like the crisscross of the thick parts. What was the yarn called, you say? Well, if I hadn't lost the ball band I would be in a position to say. but alas, that is not the case.




Okay - next up is a frilly scarf that I knit for Mr. Wonderful's mom, aka Awesome MIL. She handed me a ball of this novelty yarn (Red Heart Sashay) and explained how you knit into the edge of the lacy ribbon - it was a bit tricky, but a pretty quick knit and fun results.










Then I went to the craft store and picked up a couple more colorways and some other novelty scarf yarns too - so I'll share those after Christmas since some of them are being gifted.

Linking to a couple of Friday linky parties -

Of course!
And also TGIFF!

HO! HO! HO!  Have a great holiday!!