Thursday, February 23, 2012

Unfinished Business

Though I'm not overly observant religion-wise, I do like to try to take the opportunity every year to limit myself to finishing things I've already started during Lent.  So, for Ash Wednesday, I sat down and made a list of projects I've started on (even if they're just in the planning stages).

I ended up with three pages.

Yes, I definitely don't need to be starting new projects until I get a few things done.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

A few resolutions I'd like to share with everyone (because if other people know, I feel more obliged to keep them):

  • A new post on my art Tumblr every day, even if it's just posting doodles/sketches/swatches.
  • Keep my Etsy store stocked with a better variety of items.
  • Find someplace to have *good* prints made of some of my work (happily accepting suggestions)
  • Try to remember that making and selling neat stuff is my primary goal - not something to just squeeze in here and there if I have time.
And on a related note, my webcomic may be a bit wonky over the next week or so as I move hosting services.  The people I'm with now seemed like a good choice at the time (compared to my original hosting service which turned out to be based in another country and was so patchy that it took me three days to realize my site was *down* down - it turned out the server I was on got fried, lost all my files, and they had no intention of telling me until I pestered the hell out of them over the phone), but I've found a much better service - but I'm not sure how long it'll take to get settled in.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bread Weather

It felt like baking weather today, and operating under the influence of having read through most of Historical Foods last night (a great site - I kind of want to make some of the Medieval recipes for our next D&D night), I decided on the Dyett Bread  - a fennel seed/sage bread recipe from the Tudor period.  It occurred to me as the bread was baking that while I bake a fair amount, it's usually buns or cupcakes or cookies - I'd never actually made a loaf of bread before. He came out quite nicely, I think.

I ended up using regular white flour since I wasn't of a mind to run out to the store (and had soup going while I was baking), but I think I'd like to try this again with some stoneground or whole wheat flour.  With the sage and fennel seed in there, I think this might work well with spelt flour as well.

I'm looking forward to using the leftovers for some Welsh rabbit tomorrow (though it was pointed out that the sagey-ness would make for some beautiful dressing...) 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Quilty as Charged!

So, this year for one of the Christmas presents I'm making, I thought it'd be nice to give quilting a try - nothing huge, just a nice throw with a simple pattern.  It's a craft I've never really tried before, and we get a fair number of quilters coming in at work, so it seemed like a good idea to get a little experience with it.

This is just four of the blocks laid out to give a general idea of the overall pattern.  I realised once I drew things out on some graph paper that the best way to assemble the quilt itself was going to be to sew the blocks into strips, then sew the strips together - otherwise things were going to get a bit awkward cramming everything into the machine.

Now the part where this gets tricky is that I forgot we weren't actually going to be seeing them at Christmas. I need to have this finished in time to give it at less than a week.  I am so very glad that I remembered to buy a fresh case of energy drinks last time I was at the store.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Presents Ahoy!

Our friends were getting married, and they'd really just asked for cash as wedding presents.  On the one hand, I like giving cash as presents - always a welcome gift - but the packaging nerd in me cringes. How do you make a cash gift look pretty? Fancy envelope? Hidden at the bottom of a box of marbles? Then I had a flash of brilliance.

One unpainted wooden chest from the craft store:

Plus this awesome tutorial on crackle finishes using regular school glue:
(my test sample)

Plus a little stiffened felt and coins, equals:

I thought about posting a tutorial for this, but honestly, this is it - the hardest part was actually finding the unfinished box to paint. I painted the whole thing dark brown inside and out (you could even spray it if you were so inclined/able), then did the crackle finish over the inset parts in a cream color.  I gave it a couple of hits of clearcoat, and glued some felt on the bottom for more usability, but that would really be optional if you were just doing it for decoration.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Moving Recovery

Some of the most currently needed items still missing from the move:

  • All of my Inspector Morse novels (which wouldn't be so big of a problem if I hadn't recently discovered how many people I need to lend them to)
  • All of my guitar picks 
  • At least one knitting magazine with the pattern for a current project
  • My electronic tuner (yes, yes, there are places on the internet to get a pitch to tune, but it's not always convenient)
  • My computer speakers
  • A pair of brown clogs
  • My husband's dress shoes (though he got another pair that I think he actually found more comfortable)
  • At least two camera batteries, still in the package
Many other things have been noted as missing as well, but I've realised I need to start keeping track of what's missed so that I know what *hasn't* been missed (and thus can get sold off).  On the bright side, I did find my Red Wings jersey (after missing it for about three years) just in time for the weather cooling off.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Shoes pre-dropped for your convenience.

Normally, every year things start to go terribly wrong around my birthday. I either spend the week in a general state of crisis getting things straightened out, or just waiting for whatever's going to go pear-shaped.  Things are still going wrong this year, but at least they had the decency to go wrong a bit early, so we're already to the getting things straightened out part and I can enjoy my birthday.

Things are moved, curtains have been made (sheer nylon fabric has claimed the bottom rung on my 'favorite fabrics to work with' list), I got my order from Sweet Libertine, Team Fortress 2 is now free to play on the PC, the Meet the Medic video is finally out, Maker Faire is this weekend (and I have the weekend off so I can go!), I've talked everyone into my favorite Vietnamese restaurant for my birthday dinner, and I'm nearly out from under this huge mess of a commissioned project.

Also, please, someone remind me to never do a commissioned piece without a picture again - I apparently suck at mind-reading.