Tag Archives: Projects

On a Lighter Note – Miscellaneous Updates.

On a Lighter Note – Miscellaneous Updates.

Cats: Clarence was adopted. Edgar and Alfie are still looking for homes. The new kittens are getting bigger, and are playing with the dog and the other cats. Pics to follow soon. Nigel had roundworms. Ick. Ickickick. All better now after medicine, but the episode confirmed. . .

Bifocals: I need a different prescription. Distance is fine, but the bottom part of the lens is uncorrected. I can see up to about a foot away uncorrected, and from about four or five feet away with distance correction. This means that there is a very large, fairly essential distance that I see poorly through either lens. That area includes anything at arms’ length, like scooping litterboxes, which is why I didn’t see Nigel’s roundworms earlier. Not that I want correction specifically for sighting feline parasites in poop, but you know what I mean.

The Raiders Cane: Unfortunately, I made the silver clay with silver and translucent, and it baked up to a dark color. The contrast was lost, so I have to try a different mix. Not such a bad thing, though, because it gave me lots of “scraps” to try out my new bench grinder/buffer. Heh. I’ll also try out a different method for reducing the cane to see if it lessens some minor distortions.

Being a Band Mom: Part of the reason for the dearth of posts. I had many cookies to make, had a lot of driving to do. The kids put on an excellent show at Giants Stadium in the cold and the pouring rain, not that the judges appreciated it. Their scores went up, but they were among several bands that somehow scored lower than other bands with less impressive (IMO) shows. I’m not going to name names, but some schools were unfairly treated in the rankings. We’re heading down to Baltimore this weekend for the last competition of the season. Since the judges apparently base their scores, in part, on the bands’ previous scores, there’s no question that there will be any upset in the rankings, but I still know that these kids are doing a truly impressive job.

This Will be Quick.

This Will be Quick.

More to come later. Last week, the server burped, and a post was lost, and hubby knew that more problems were to come while servers were being switched. So. . .I didn’t bother posting here. By the time things were fixed, it was time for more Marching Band stuff. Bingo on Monday night (in costume). Parent meeting on Thursday. Making cookies for Saturday’s bus ride on Friday. Loading, unloading, moving, loading again, and unloading again for the competition on Saturday. The kids started the day at 10AM. I was over there about 1PM. We got home about 2AM. Ugh.

Yesterday was Polymer Clay Guild. I was really looking forward to it for a number of reasons. First, of course, because I really enjoy the company of all these creative people. Second, I had to miss the meeting last month. Third, I had decided I wanted to make a cane of the Raiders logo (the logo for the High School) and hadn’t had the time to set up, make it, and clean up at home yet. The guild meeting gave me 4 hours to play and get hints and advice from more experienced clayers, and a space to spread out and get messy. So here’s the picture of the logo I used:

raiderlogo.jpg

And a slice of the cane:

raidercane.jpg

I can see where it needs a bit of tweaking, but it’s clear enough that it is what it is. After I exercise and shower, I’ll be slicing this up, putting it on backings, and baking it into beads. It was quite fun to make!

Why No New Posts, Alison?

Why No New Posts, Alison?

Umm. . .umm. . .

I’ve been in a more receptive than productive mode, actually. I cruise around the web, see all kinds of things I would comment upon. . .if everyone else on earth hadn’t done it all ready. There’s not much point in simply adding another voice to the cacaphony, so I just leave brief comments and be done with it.

My internet time has been a bit more limited, too. The guys who are replacing our siding and fixing the soffits and installing the gutters and closing off the garage have been here every day, so I’ve been going out to chat, approve things, talk timelines, and all the stuff you do with contractors. Plus, I’ve been away from the garden so I don’t get in their way. Plus, they keep knocking the cable loose and I lose the internet. Heh. (This happens when the cable is loose on the ground waiting to be secured to the house, and right in the major traffic pattern between supplies and work. I’m not saying anything bad about these guys. They’re great.)

I’ve been playing around with clay, and have discovered that Fimo is way better for me than Sculpey. I’m still new at this, and don’t have enough precision to make consistent pieces, and the Sculpey becomes very soft and pliable, which makes it worse. The Fimo is stiffer, so my little adjustments don’t become big mushy things. I got some tools yesterday from Polymer Clay Express, only a couple of days after I placed the order, and they should help a lot with consistency. A couple of marking tools, forms for cabochons, bead rollers. . .In a few weeks, I’ll be able to put it all in an organized fashion in the new art studio and be able to sew again, too.

In between, I’ve been doing things around the house. Audrey now has a normal closet rod. She and Carolyn and I have all our clothes hanging from commercial hangers that are 14 inches wide instead of the normal 17 inches (10 inches for children’s hangers). No more little bumps at the tops of my sleeves. I also hung up a closet doubler rod (a rod suspended from two vertical rods that hook to the main one, so you have an upper and a lower rod) and went through my clothes, getting rid of stuff I don’t wear, stuff I don’t think I look good in, stuff I outgrew. . .more things will be on their way out when I have things to replace them with. You need to have pants, even if they make your butt look huge, because you can’t go out in underwear.

While the girls and I were out yesterday, we stopped in the Ocean Pet Center on Fischer Blvd., and met one of the volunteers for SAVE, which helps out the TR Animal Shelter because the town doesn’t support it well enough. I’m thinking of helping out – start small and see how I like it. They need people, and I love animals and like to do things that actually make a difference. We also checked out the Chinese restaurant in the same mall, Dynasty, and were pleasantly surprised. It’s a small place, only two tables, so it’s really a take-out more than anything, but it was really, really clean. That counts for a lot. The dumpling skins were a little thick, but they were homemade and tasty. We’ll just tell them next time to make things a wee bit more spicy.

We haven’t been to the beach yet. I’ve been letting the girls sleep in, we’ve had some afternoon things going on that would interrupt a trip. . .we’ll get out there soon, though. Friday we’re going to make a stop in Ong’s Hat on the way to Grandma’s house to see if it’s really weird. I hope we don’t get sucked into the vortex.

Busy Playing!

Busy Playing!

I found a few tutorials for polymer clay on the web, and had to try them out right away. The fun part is done – the mixing, the shaping, seeing how the pieces come out of the oven. Today was the not-fun part. Sanding, buffing, and varnishing. I know that practice will make perfect, but there’s got to be another way! Well, when everything’s dry, I’ll put up pictures.

Beadsbeadsbeads

Beadsbeadsbeads

Well, except for five loads of laundry and unloading, loading and running the dishwasher, putting the papers in recycling, and making dinner, what I’ve done today is organize beads.  It wasn’t too bad until I got to the tray where the pinkish-orange seed beads got mixed with the dark pink and light pink seed beads.  I have mad bead-tweezing skills now.  And a headache.

Hubby said it would have been cheaper to throw them out and get new ones, but I pointed out that I’d either have to pay a lot to get a smaller quantity close to home, or pay a lot to go up to Manhattan to buy them in bulk.  He pointed out that I wanted to go to NYC for the Bodies exhibit anyway, so why not?  Hmmm.  Why not, indeed?  Except that I’m almost done sorting now.  Then again, I need a particular brass bead to fix an earring, and they sell it at this one store on 5th Avenue, and while I’m there. . .

I’ll order tickets for the exhibit tomorrow.  Heh.

Argh.

Argh.

I hate when I lose momentum.  I found my beading supplies (after unpacking almost all the fabric, it was a box hidden under some fabric I’d unpacked and dumped.  *sigh*) and decided to try re-organizing.  I’d put most of the beads in a hardware chest – one of those things with the sliding plastic drawers, made for screws and nuts and bolts and such – but the problem was that the drawers were too deep, and if I divided them, I could see only the beads in front.  Plus, they have no tops, so seed beads and delicas got all mixed together.  Tweezer time.  Again, *sigh*.  I started putting beads into some divided translucent plastic boxes I had already, then ran out of space.  No problem, hopped out to the store and got more.  Came back, and I’d just gotten as far in the organizing process as I needed to create more of a mess than I started off with, and there go the rest of the family, complaining that they want dinner.  Geez Louise! 

After dinner, I knew I wouldn’t be able to pick up again, so hubby and I hit the hot tub until the rain started.  I did give it another shot, but I don’t have it in me to keep working on it.  The sight of stuff strewn all over the sewing table is too much for me right now.  Tomorrow, though.  I have only a couple of housecleaning things that need doing, then I have all the way until 5PM to work on this.  Once it’s organized, maybe I’ll finally make some things all the way to the end. . .

Milwaukee Bead & Button Show

Milwaukee Bead & Button Show

Oh, man, it’s killing me to get all these e-mails with classes and seminars and bead marketplace and new techniques. . .it’s the kind of thing I’d gladly drive to, even stay at a hotel for a couple of nights for.  But, but, but. . .it’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and runs for a full week.  Argh!

I still haven’t unpacked enough to find all my beading supplies (as I found out when struck with a creative urge, but no needles, or Nymo, or Silamide.)  Well, there’s a new bead store opening in Point Pleasant, and I’m off to see if it can slake my beading thirst for a bit.

If anyone’s actually going, maybe you can send me daily diaries so I can live vicariously. . .

My Brain Won’t Let Me Sleep.

My Brain Won’t Let Me Sleep.

All night last night, it was going a mile a minute.  I have so many ideas.  Problem is actually doing something about them when I’m awake, because I’ve been up all night thinking and am too sleep deprived to actually feel like doing anything then.  I have an idea for a sewing video, now that it’s so easy to put videos up on youtube and link them in the blog.  It’s all I can do to keep it simple, because of course, in my busy brain, the ideas are constantly producing dozens of baby ideas, until I get paralyzed by too many choices.  I’ve been worse – medication is definitely making it more manageable – but it’s hard to remind myself of that after a rough night.

So anyway, I’ve figured a couple of things I can do to rig up the video camera so I don’t need a camera operator.  I’ve worked out the “storyboard” and figured out how I can do it without scripting it (I prefer room for improvisation, because I remember things as I’m going).  I need to get a front-loading bobbin case to demonstrate, make the rig for the camera, and clean up the sewing area.  Maybe I can at least get started on that.  Of course, by the time I’m done with that, Audrey might be done with her homework and I’ll make her work the camera for me.  MUHAHAHAHA!!!  I knew I had kids for a reason.

What I Made To Wear

What I Made To Wear

OK, this would look a lot better on a skinny body, but I’m working on that right now. Don’t care. This was really fun. The Bog Coat was featured in Threads #87, I picked up the Revisions pattern just for some fun ideas. The pants are Lois Ericson’s “My Favorite Pants”. I made them a teensy bit snug because Weight Watchers is working for me now. The design has a drawstring waist, to it shouldn’t be difficult to keep wearing these 30 pounds from now.