Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sewing trouble - and a finished needlecase

I was so in the mood to do some sewing today. Sadly, just after starting on the project, my primary sewing machine decided it didn't really want to work anymore. Took the thing apart, cleaned and oiled everything...still nothing. *sigh* Switched to backup sewing machine and quickly remembered why I had abandoned it in the first place. It was refurbished, and I think the person who did the work on it made a new needle plate for it, or just bought the wrong one. The hole that the needle is supposed to go through doesn't quite line up the way it should, so at high speeds, you are likely to snap the needles, and at low speeds, sometimes it just gets stuck. And I can't figure out what the model of the machine is (even the people at Brother were not able to identify it), so I couldn't find a replacement.

Too bad yard sale season is over. Maybe I should just give in and buy a sewing machine that is less than 40 years old. I have to say, though, that I definitely got my $15 out of the Kenmore. Even if I can't fix it at this point, it has served me well.

Anyway, despite these difficulties, I did manage to complete the knitting needle case that was meant to be the first of my projects today, and is now likely the only project of the day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So, now that the bulk of my swapping is done, I have a little time to craft for other things, like Christmas presents and the etsy shop that I want to get set up sometime soon.

So, if you would like to put in a request for a homemade gift, feel free to do so (note that some of you already have presents in the making, but I will certainly take your input into consideration).

If you have suggestions about what kinds of things that I have made you would pay money for, I would also like to hear those.

Monday, October 29, 2007

On Saturday, lordavon, extrajoker and I went to the Franklin County Fibertwist.

Now you may be thinking, wait a minute, didn't you go to a fiber festival last weekend? Well, yes. I did. But this time, it didn't involve a bus ride from hell. :) Of course, it's a lot smaller than the NY Sheep and Wool Festival, but we still had a good time.

We hit the marketplace for a bit of shopping, and also attended a demonstration on Charkha spinning. Here's a pic of lordavon trying her hand at it:

I really liked this demonstration, put on by the people of Journey Wheel, from whom I did buy a lovely drop spindle (after watching someone use one and realizing that it suddenly made sense to me), and the wheels are so pretty, and portable. If I had the money, I would totally buy one.

When we were shopped out, we went out for some Chinese food, and then headed out in the rain to visit some farms. First we paid a visit to Northeast Alpacas, where we got to feed them. They are sooooo cute.

The owners there are totally awesome, and were offering warm cider and alpaca shaped sugar cookies. And the guy remembered lordavon and me from last year...and he is sure to remember extrajoker after this year's excursion. :)

We also visited the Winterberry Farm. It was a very interesting place, as the "farm" is located basically in the middle of the woods. The sheep are sent out to pasture elsewhere, so we didn't get to see them. But they have bunnies!

Yes, she is pulling off fur from the bunny on her lap and spinning it.

I need a bunny.

Finally, this is just a favorite pic of mine from the day:

Thanks to lordavon for remembering about this event, and inviting me to come out and play. I had an excellent time. (But I am keeping my fingers crossed that maybe next year, it won't rain).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Have spent most of the week working on a mobile because I volunteered to be an angel for a swap. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but you know what? Making mobiles is frustrating. Especially if you are kind of anal retentive and want the damned thing to hang straight. It's been a lot of -add a bead to this add two beads to this side...and hope that at some point it all works out. Stupid math, interfering with my crafting. *sigh*

However, I did have time to finish spinning up some yarn, mostly because I wanted to get it off the bobbins so I could play with my new fibers. :)

I've been very into the autumnal colors, but this one is a bit too orange. I don't know what ever possessed me to buy orange fiber. Unless maybe I was going to needle felt some pumpkins or something? Who knows.

Finally, I wanted to share an action shot of the apron I made for the Day of the Dead swap, cause it looks better on a person.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I received an awesome package from my Day of the Dead Swap partner.

There's a really cute skull tote bag and crafting apron:

The bag is lined with the same sugar skull fabric that's in the apron and has a little pocket inside. It's so cute. Am totally transferring my stuff into it so I can bring it to work tomorrow.

And then, there was all this awesome jewelry and stuff:

Cute skull pendant on a multi-stranded, an amazing bunny sugar skull pendant which I am definitely wearing tomorrow, a bottle cap pendant necklace, and sugar skull hair clips. Yay!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yesterday, geekpixie and I went to the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck). The Festival was completely wonderful, though the bus trip left something to be desired.

This is us, on the bus, at around 6 am. We look so happy, probably because we didn't know that the 3.5 hour trip was actually going to take 5 hours.

Thankfully, once we arrived at the festival, we had a perfect day to wander around and visit all the lovely, lovely fibers.


And the animals. Can't forget the animals. :)

We had a lunch which included deep fried garlic cloves.

And I came home with all of this:

But I didn't buy a bunny, so I think I exercised a remarkable amount of self control. Go me!

All in all, it was a good day, though we have decided that next year, we should just drive ourselves down and stay in a hotel. It will probably cost the same, and we won't spend 2/3 of the day on a bus where we didn't even have lights so we could knit on the way home.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Received my adorable little cat fairy stuffie from my partner. Check her out:

She's so cute, I love the hair, and the dress, and her huge eyes.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Halloween-y Goodness

My partner for the latest Little Stuffie Swap received her bitty stuffies today. I ended up making 3 of them because I kept not being happy with how they turned out.

So, my first idea, because my partner said her favorite thing about Halloween was the costumes, was to make a stuffie with several different costumes that she could wear.

She could be a kitty:

a wizard:

or the headless horseman:

Although I am happy with the way the bunny herself came out, I wasn't fully satisfied by the costumes. So I decided to make another little stuffie. Something I was convinced I'd be able to do well. So I made a little black cat.

Although I think he's cute, it didn't feel like my best effort.

So, as a last ditch effort, I made a tiny mummy:

I kinda love him.

Finally, as the extra gift, I painted this domino pendant (a medium I am very into right now for some reason):

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Received an awesome package from my Halloween swap partner. Check out all the loot:

2 cat toys w/ catnip, hand painted wooden skull box, "monster" wreath, stenciled pillow, pumpkin carving kit, Friday the 13th shot glasses, candy.

Closeup of the felt cat toys and stenciled pillow. Absolutely am in love with the pillow, and the squidjees are enjoying the toys very much.

Inside the skull box, with extra eyeballs!

Best. Wreath. EVER.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My partner for the fall themed swap received her package as well.

First I made this little embroidered pillow:

The fabric is some random fleece I had left over from some other project, and the embroidery was done with wool-ease left over from the second scarf I ever made (I knew there was a reason I never throw stuff out!)

Next is some autumn-colored yarn:

The fiber was a romney blend, but I had lost the tag for it, so I don't remember exactly. This single was pretty well balanced, a first for me.

And last, a wreath:

I originally resisted the idea of buying the wreath base, and gathered a bunch of twigs and branches from my yard and spent most of a day entwining them and binding together with floral wire, only to discover that the base I had made was too big to fit in any of the boxes I had, and I tried to get a larger box, but couldn't find one. So, I ended up buying a wreath base. But it was still fun to hot glue stuff all over it, and I will just end up using the base I made for a wreath for me. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Halloween swap partner received her goodies, so I thought I'd post some pics.

This is the graveyard jewelry box:

and inside:

A foam skull mobile:

Spiderweb candle holder (purchased from a thrift store and painted to look all pretty and stuff):

Crocheted slippers (these actually ended up fitting the recipient, which I was worried about, because they seemed so small, but she wears a size 5):

The "zombie attack" hoodie:

And a stenciled Jack tote bag:

Have I mentioned lately that I love Halloween?

Friday, October 05, 2007

I received my frame and roll of film from the Disposable Camera/Roll of Film swap. My partner made me this cute frame:

And here are a few of my favorite pics: