Friday, March 31, 2006

More last minute things

So last night I was working on a couple of canvas totes. I wanted an inside and an outside pocket on each, so I cut out pieces and lined each pocket. This morning when I went to iron them before sewing them on, I discovered I had made 8. Somehow simple math (two totes, two pockets each) doesn't work late at night. So I went ahead and used all of them.

One more bag like the watermelon bag (though this one has one handle end to end rather than two on the sides):

And I made two more belts this morning...both pink. I don't even like pink, not sure what is happening to my brain.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Public Service Announcement.

When you have a zipper with plastic teeth (not the huge ones for jackets, but a regular size zipper) you can shorten it by sewing back and forth over the teeth where you want the new end, and then cutting the rest off. This is not the public service announcement. The public service announcement is that, if you plan to do this out of sight (between two layers of fabric), you need to make sure the existing metal stopper is not in the way:

Finished the bag with a new needle, zipper pocket and all:

And some of the belts that are going to the show on Saturday...there are more but they are all duplicates of these at the moment:

I love the flannel lining with the corduroy.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Connie Fox inspired Bracelet (Brangle?)

I recently made this bracelet after spending some time on Connie Fox's website ( She has some fabulous bracelets/brangles made of wire,
so I thought I'd give one a shot. You can see some of the marks that the pliers
made on the wire which I don't like, but I'm not sure how to fix it (yet!). The stones
are Carnelian and Sodalite.


The seam ripper is my friend

A good night's sleep and some daylight...and we have success!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

And now for something completely different...bags.

I am admitting (temporary) defeat on the red bag. It is going to work, just not tonight. It is red with black lining and styled like the tan one with the cutout handles. However the fab red fabric has a serious nap, and will migrate (in one direction only!) if you look at it funny. I ended up having to sew it with tracing paper between it and the lining fabric. The tracing paper separates easily along the sewing lines and pulls out after the seam is done. And last but not least, the iron-on interfacing (the red fabric is thick but floppy) is no longer staying stuck. So I'm leaving it for tomorrow.

Tonight's succesful bags:

A light blue version of the upholstry remnant one below (and much larger) with a tiny pocket inside:

And a light green/light pink version of the watermelon purse below.

There are lots of things I seem to need to try before I really get them. I've mastered pockets today (um, easy) and I think tomorrow (after I conquer the red bag) I'm going to try for zippered pockets. Wish me luck with both.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

More bags

As promised, the watermelon bag:

Another zipper pouch (added topstitching to make it easier to open/close...the lining stays down now and doesn't try a kamikaze leap into the zipper teeth):

And a tiny little bag out of an upholstry sample this morning (note the wider, folded over handle):

Friday, March 24, 2006

Jury photo setup

So this is our photo setup:

500 Watt tungsten bulbs (mmmm, toasty warm) clamped to assorted household lighting, white fabric-draped hanging file folder frame, classic tripod (thanks Grandpa!!), slightly damaged end table that only wobbles a little, gray foam core (yeah, Staples!), my trusty Canon SD200 (would be better if it were more like an SD 400, but hey. . .), and a power strip to plug the clamp lights into (they have no on/off switch).

WARNING: to avoid fire/flame/other assorted disasters, be sure to use ceramic-based clamp lights NOT PLASTIC. Plastic has a tendency to melt. . . . and scorch. . . . and eventually burn. Also, we used 500 watt bulbs in housings rated only to 300 watts. We never said we were geniuses. . . Just be careful that your setup does not overheat.


We were checking out the site statistics for our blog, and we saw that someone was searching for "bead store enfield nh," so we figured it was time to out our very favoritest source of beads and other assorted shiny things - Gemstar Gemstone of Enfield, NH. If you've never been, GO! It's quite the experience. My one recommendation is that you don't go midday on Saturdays - the store is, erm, small, to be polite about it. More than about 5 customers, and it starts getting difficult to navigate the "aisles."

The store's address is 427 Shaker Boulevard in Enfield - the best way to get to the store is from Route 4A. You can also get there from Shaker Hill Road, but it involves the narrow dirt portion of Shaker Boulevard, which can be . . . difficult when the weather isn't behaving. If MapQuest isn't doing it for you, call 'em up (603/632-7115) - Jim or Paul will be happy to direct you in.

Their hours are a little wacky, and have a tendency to change randomly. They have always been closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and are much more likely to be open in the early afternoons/evenings. The store is almost always open on holidays - often, there are munchies for the munching, and, if it's Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, there are flowers for the ladies regardless of age or parental status.

They. Have. Everything. And if you don't see it there, ask. They generally have good prices - some are better than bead catalogs and online prices, and some aren't. If you're not sure what you need, or can't quite pick the final bead for a project, ask. The guys are great about recommending bits and pieces to fix/finish/finalize that one project that just won't work.

And they're entertaining, too.


Last night my computer was being used to play video games. I tried taking photos of some earrings but the same angle I used for necklaces makes them look really funny. It's an angle which shows off the bottom of the earrings, which most people won't see unless they've got their head on your shoulder. So no website update, instead I got some sewing done. I'm making the photos tiny since there are so many of them; click for a larger version.

Bag #1, Integrated Handles: This bag took quite a while, part of that just figuring out how to sew it without ending up with the seams on the outside. Next time I'm going to leave a little more space above the handle to hold on to. Maybe change the whole layout, I'm not sure I like quite how long it is (compared to how tall). Also I'm going to sew the lining to the outside while they're still inside out (at least part of the way around, I can't do it over the handles because the fabric is too bulky) because the folding over and pinning step was a pain in the behind.

Bag #2: This one is big enough for a paperback as well (see a theme?). The flat bottom is about 8.5x5 inches. I love the orange fabric, it's really bright. The big issue here was the handles. I cut strips 1.5 inches wide, sewed them right sides together with a .25 seam allowance, and spent 25 minutes turning them right side out. Next time I'm either going with a one-fabric-folded-over handle, or I'm making them wider. Too bad I cut out the parts for two more bags already. The other two are pale green with pink flowers on the outside and pale pink inside, and bright green with watermelon slices and hot pink inside. I mean really hot, burn yourself hot pink. It's hard to even look at. At least now I know how long I want the handles and can cut them short before sewing and turning.

Bag #3 is just a zippered pouch. Now that I've figured out the zipper issue, I think I can add them to anything (you should have seen the first pouch!) It matches the lining fabric for the first bag, and its lining is pale lavender butterflies. I've got more fabric ironed and draped over things in the house waiting to be turned into bags and pouches.

These are going to a show on Apr 1 (see sidebar and website for more info), and then they'll probably be on the website soon after if they don't all go. There are fabric/ribbon belts as well...stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blinded by the Light(s)

I think we've finally got a setup for taking photos. I'm not sure if our (slide film) jury photos are going to come out due to depth of field issues, but I think we're on the right track for our website photos. It requires two very, very bright lights (500 Watts each), hence the title of this post. I'm taking a break from photos because I'm afraid our light tent is going to catch on fire. I'm barely able to walk around the house without running into things in the "dark" with only the regular house lights on.

If I ever discover a timewarp and have a few extra days (or the same days twice, I'm not picky) I am going to re-photo everything on the website and then add all of the new stuff. For now, here's a photo of one of EK's mixed necklaces in purple:

Monday, March 20, 2006


So I was all proud of myself for finishing the light orange section of the quilt. I took a picture and everything. Then it occured to me that it's supposed to have a bump on top to follow the pattern adaptation I'm doing. Argh. Here's the picture anyway:

I did piece together some of the scraps to make the "bump" for the top. I just didn't attach them to this bit or take a picture.

Next modern quilt update here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tree Love

Ok, so this was an Idea I had for the CMAA in May, what do you think? I call them "Tree Love". They're made with Sterling silver (18g and 20g) wire and the hearts are Labradorite.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I am SO smart.

So it's been 50 degrees for two days, and today is bright and sunny. All the snow has melted off down here in the river valley. How to celebrate? Take a hike!

Okay, so this is the trail. Not sure how clear it is, but that is a giant waterfall of ice. We climbed up to the top of the mountain anyway, and I've got some bruises and scrapes from falling. Apparently I blocked out the fact that there is still 8 or 10 inches of snow in between the house and garage where the sun doesn't reach. Also higher elevations are colder. What was I thinking?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Strange Snow

For some reason it snowed on only half my walkway yesterday. I don't understand it, I have never used salt or other ice melters. Maybe one of my neighbors did it as a favor and ran out half way?

More progress on the Modern Quilt. I'm done with the dark orange, and on to the light orange.

Edit: next modern quilt update here.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

More Items

I re-took a shot of the peridot necklace today, and have had some more success with photography.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Website updated

We've got piles of jewelry compared to what's on the website. How can three artists be so bad at photography?

Anyway, today I've added a "new items" page to the website so new things can be found. They also reside on their usual page (so if you're looking for a new necklace, it's on both the new items page and the necklaces page).

Here are the two new items for today:

The first is an absolutely gorgeous turquoise, black onyx and silver bracelet, and the second is a fabulous necklace of peridot, freshwater pearls and amethyst. The only reason I didn't steal it when EP dropped it off is because I think I'm going to steal the pearl and amethyst drop one instead (you notice that one is not for sale anywhere at the pays to be in charge of the website.)

Best Fortune Ever

In a fortune cookie last night.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

New Cards for Sale

Some of the new cards are now up for sale on our website and our Etsy store (see sidebar for links).

Also, we have delivered a wholesale order of cards to the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich VT. Only one design overlaps between the wholesale order and the ones posted, so for more cards stop by and check them out! One of the last independent bookstores in the Upper Valley, they have a huge selection of interesting cards, along with the usual books and games.

Modern Quilt Update

There are five basic sections (or five colors, since there are actually two sections of the dark orange). I'm basically done with the red/burgandy section, and starting on the dark orange ones. Here they are:

It's actually very easy, I'm not sure why it's listed in the book as the most difficult quilt. It does take time, ironing open all the seams and such, but no points to match, nothing to remember. You just keep sticking stuff on until it's too big, and then cut it down. Easy as pie, though this may take easily 40 or 60 hours to finish.

Edit: Next Modern Quilt post here.