Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lilikoi's Baby Shower

newborn baby and her mother
Beautiful mama and baby on their first outing.
Baby came early so she could attend her own shower!
Wait -- is she flashing her auntie the peace sign???

Decorating for the party with a big Lilikoi flower.

The food and cake were delicious. And the gifts were plentiful. Lilikoi is loved.
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

One Inch Cropped Photos

Here's a little emsemble I call... (low late night DJ voice) Latelyyyyyyyyy...

  

  

  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Um, hi?

!
The Garden font by cenz qobbal, found at dafont.com
Oh boy sometimes life delivers so much so fast... well that's my excuse for not blogging in a few. Seriously...I had a cold, missed 2.5 days of work, got better-ish, went on a retreat, took Junie to apply  for jobs, and wait. There was something else. Oh yeah, I'M A NEW AUNTIE!!! And this auntie is winging it up to Colorado this weekend to cuddle with the little bundle of cosmic joy.

So the studio has been on hold-ish, although the MOTH did find me a wicked floor lamp with a pink shade that matches the walls. I finished the gold accents around the closet doors, labelled a bunch of things (hey that counts!), filled another donation bag for OFFCenter, created a passel of one-inch sized cropped images (ok, that was kind of off track), hung curtains and moved all my jewelry tools into the studio. I also sorted through two trays of beads and pulled some things to list, and some to donate. Whew. This is going to take almost forever...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Eazy Felt Leopardskin ATC (with sequins)

This one's for Kaytee, who isn't sure what she'd do with faux leopardskin Eazy Felt.
An artist trading card I created (a long time ago...)
for one of Beki Haley's beaded ATC swaps.
The backing is Eazy Felt, the image is a copy of one of my antique postcards, and the flower is made of seed beads and vintage sequins. Oh and the edging is scalloped stained glass tape.
Wellllll Kaytee? ;-)
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Little Green Ditch

Bright green spring trees reflecting in the narrow irrigation canal,
Rio Grande water wicking up into the dry dirt.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Eazy Felt Bead Backing

So we were talking about Eazy Felt. Not here...but nearby. And my pal Sandy was saying how Eazy Felt is way cheaper than some of the other bead backing materials (a couple of which I use religiously by the way), and that it holds up just as well as the other good ones unless you stitch too close to the very edge. Which is exactly what I was gonna say!
Let's compare.
On the one hand you've got your basic non-woven polyester backing, such as Lacy's Stiff Stuff, Sova's Bead Backing (disclaimer: I wrote the product description as a favor to Rita), or my own...no name stuff, which I got at a lowrider supply shop.
On the other hand you've got Eazy Felt.
(Or, I notice that Rita is carrying a similar product by Darice called Stiff Felt that is .89 for a 9" x 12" sheet.)
Like the big backings, Eazy Felt is:
  • sturdy enough to be worked without a hoop
  • doesn't fray
  • won't tear
  • cuts easily with scissors
  • easy to stitch through
  • is available online
But unlike the big boyz, Eazy Felt:
  • costs well under $1.00 for a whopping 12" x 18" sheet (even without a coupon)
  • is available at the big box craft stores
  • comes in a vast array of colors (like a dozen or more)
  • COMES IN LEOPARD PRINT! Oh, and camoflauge too...
So what are ya waiting for??? I recommend it to my students. In fact I give them samples of the other backing and Eazy Felt so they can see which they like better.
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Herbs and Sunset

Late yesterday, replanting some pineapple mint into a clay pot.

Tunnelling into herb light. (Click for a bigger image)

Trekking down fairy herbland path...wheeeee!
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Beautiful Beaded Cuffs

Here's a new treasury I created at Etsy, featuring some of my favorite, colorful, expertly created cuff bracelets from an array of artists there:

bead embroidered cuff bracelets on Etsy

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What the MOTH found -- Tobacco Silks

Vintage and antique tobacco silks

Check out these nearly-antique tobacco silks the MOTH brought home. He's good! He didn't know what they were but he knew they were something special.

Miniature oriental rugs made of flannel felt

These are flannel (also called felts), and like the printed silks above, they were also included with tobacco and cigarettes as promotional items. These are printed in faux oriental carpet patterns and intended to be used in doll houses. I'm seeing them in my little shrines and whatnot.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Some Serious Bead Storage

I do believe I'm qualified to talk about bead storage. Why? Because I've tried every product known to wo/man.
  • I started out years ago keeping all my beads in my antique metal tins. Yummy to look at but once my stash grew I couldn't remember what was in them all! Verdict: Pretty in the studio for infrequently used supplies.
  • Later I graduated to hard plastic stackable screw tops, but of course only the top container had a lid. And heaven forbid you'd knock over the stack, because they'd pop open and spill, or worse, shatter. Verdict: Toss 'em.
  • For years I've used plastic organizer snap-top trays in various configurations (always cheaper in the fishing aisle, ladies), and they are compact and efficient. You can rearrange the number of compartments in some of them. But once the lid is open, all of the compartments are open, making it tricky to transfer stuff in and out. You can't remove or rearrange the compartments. Also, the containers are too deep to dig anything out of easily while you're actually working. Verdict: Nice for storage, not for workage. ;-)
  • Zip lock baggies are fine and come in many sizes. They wear out over time but are cheap to replace. I use them to organize my seed beads by size and color family, in big drawers. Verdict: Favorite stand-by, especially when labelled.

Darice bead storage tray with vintage nailheads

But now even my love of zip lock baggies is being tested by these excellent containers from Darice. They are slim, clear plastic trays with removable lids. Inside are clear, removable pots with screw top lids. What? Yes, they're completely configurable, and because you can remove the containers, you can mix and match according to your current project.

I can pull together a palette of up to 24 little pots of seed beads, nailheads, sequins, and other embellishments, and keep them all in one portable tray. When I'm done, back go the pots into their original trays.
Closeup view of Darice bead storage tray with vintage nailheads in jars
This tray holds some of my nailheads. It's so easy to see what I have!
They seem to travel well (I wrap them individually in my clothing). I've dropped one on the floor and nothing broke, but still, I wouldn't be surprised if the large cover lids are prone to cracking.

Note: The big lid does not snap on, so when I travel with them I slip a cloth hair tie around the tray.
When I teach sequin stitching classes, I pull together a couple of trays of my shop sequins, with the actual stock all bagged and labelled in a small suitcase. Each pot easily holds a full strand. My students can see from the trays what the sequin colors really look like (you can't tell by looking at them on the strand).

Craft studio bookshelf with storage organizers

Each tray is a slim 1-1/8" tall x 9-1/2" x 6-3/8". On this small shelf in my studio, I could fit up to 21 trays (room to grow right?) with very little wasted space. Extra inventory goes in the closet or in my Etsy shop. Verdict: Go for it!

Regularly $10 at Joann's, you can usually get them on sale there for $6.00 each.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Apple Blossoms

apple blossoms in Albuquerque
"a flower among the few..."

One of the apple trees is blossoming, and the other is right behind.
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