Sunday, October 16, 2011

Introducing: Rigel

From Wikipedia: Rigel (β Ori, β Orionis, Beta Orionis) is the brightest star in the constellation Orion and the sixth brightest star in the sky, with visual magnitude 0.18. Although it has the Bayer designation "beta", it is almost always brighter than Alpha Orionis (Betelgeuse).

Rigel is also my little Havanese, four pounds of cuddles and a big bark, the bright star in my home. He's definitely an indoor lapdog; he hates walkies. So do I. 

But he does love the beach and we go to Del Mar's Dog Beach for most of the year. And he loves getting himself all dusty while I'm working in the garden.

I took this picture right after I told him, "Groomers tomorrow, young man." He stopped his play and just stood there,  giving me the Sad Puppy Eyes. 

Almost worked lol...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Dishcloths/Washcloths

Washcloths of 100% cotton, 8" x8", single crochet ripples. I'm making several, eventually for sale for $6.99 each. Colors: Spa white, goldenrod, kiwi, thus far. I might add an aqua or ice blue.

I love these, especially the white. They fit in with my "spa" bathroom, hold soap well, great exfoliant, durable, washable, and very pretty. I'm also making goat milk soap bars in creamy white and kiwi green like the washcloths, with the "Twilight"-type calming fragrance, and a blood orange energizing fragrance to eventually sell. I'm trying out the soap fragrance to see if the colors will change. Last February I made chocolate-scented soap and the colors and the fragrance changed over time.

Below are several new dishcloths I made for my own use. I've been making and using crocheted dishcloths for years, using a hodge podge of different patterns, sizes and shapes. This time I'm using the single crochet ridged pattern, 6.5"x 6.5";  fits in my hands, holds soap, doesn't ravel, washes well, stays in shape, stays pretty. The tri-colored one in the middle was my take on the candy corn colors :)

More later.

First Snowflake for my Christmas Tree

 Being alone and not strong enough to carry about and deal with a real 6ft Christmas tree, I decided to buy a fake tree. So I trekked over to Home Depot to see the selection. Turned out that they were not any lighter, and after years of assembling things the night before Christmas, I decided that NOT assembling anything that's too painful and too miserable was a promise to myself I intended to keep. So the standard fake tree was no option. I was ready to buy a small potted tree when, while I was watching a morning show one day (I forgot which one) , I saw the Possibilitree and voila! That's my tree! I ordered one.

My 6ft cherry tree was actually lighter than my floor harp which weighed 21 lbs. I suspended it from the ceiling and opened out the branches..easy peasy. All done by me.

Then came the decorating. I had a bit of a time getting the ornaments onto it at first; I needed to balance the branches or the ornaments would slide right off.  Some of my ornaments won't do. But true to the tree, and my aesthetics, the ornaments made by the kids when they were little were perfect. But the tree was rather sparse.

My Ashford spinning wheel,  Christmas gift from the kids. Possibilitree in the background.
I should have taken a picture. The one above was of my spinning wheel; in the background is my tree.

Anyway,  so this year I decided to crochet snowflakes for my tree. The first one, pattern from this site, might just be the hardest because of the spikes that go out to the sides -- it's been some time since I've crocheted with thread, and I've never done those spikes before. My fingers learned a lot about fine motor capabilities! It was towards the final two of those spikey things that I got into it and it got easier. And I think it turned out good. I need to do the glue and pinning onto corkboard procedure next (I'm allergic to styrofoam particles) to bring it to its glory.  I don't know yet about glitter; I'll try it on a simpler snowflake.

But yes! I can imagine my suspended tree with several light and airy snowflakes, perhaps a bigger one for the top, a crocheted Santa, and the kids' ornaments. Kinda like a North Pole Santa theme.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

A second online boutique

I found another crafters' mall called Lilyshop and just signed up for the "little shop". This one is perfect for my jewelry, soap and crochet items, a little shop of 25 items full of romantic feminine prettiness. I get one year free; thereafter it's $5 a month. So I need to get going, get established, get handcrafting!

I named the little shop Bountiful Style.

I've decided to use my Etsy strictly for vintage sales. It's still on vacation mode until I can get pictures up. I haven't been able to go to Frye's yet :/ I had a job offer and I that had kept me busy, as well as school.

BUT...I gathered up all the vintage beauties for sale. I'm checking the estate sales this weekend, buying/collecting packing materials, and pretty much getting Bountiful Estates ready.

Will post soon more pictures of new jewelry and crocheted dishcloths I just made.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lavender and Dark Pink

Lavender freshwater pearl strand hand knotted on silk cord, 14K gold clasp.

I love pearls. I just think they are very pretty, particularly if the pearls are of excellent quality, and I try to buy the highest quality I can find (to the detriment of my budget, sometimes). Here are two of the prettiest, most breath-taking lavender pearls I was able to get. The first one I bought about two years ago from the Gem Faire in Costa Mesa, CA. I was looking over some great pearls when this strand caught my eye across the booth and I made a beeline for it, hoping no one would grab it. Large, lustrous and practically flawless. I hand knotted it and attached a 14k gold clasp I had owned for some time. This one is not for sale~

I was not too thrilled with the thinner, cream-colored cord, so I had restrung it, using a thicker silk cord in a taupe color. The knotting was more harmonious rather than jarring as with the cream color, and less flimsy with the thicker cord.

Pale lavender coin pearls and sterling silver, 16.5 inches. Perfect for a bride!
The other strand  of lavender pearls are these beautiful coin pearls, lighter and evenly-matched in color, highly lustrous, and little to no flaws. I found this at the Gem Faire in Del Mar last weekend. I made the necklace above with sterling silver, 16.5 inches, and a toggle clasp. I will hold off selling it; I worry that the jump rings won't remain closed. So this weekend I read tutorials and watched youtube on soldering silver, and this week I'm going to get what I need for soldering and practice soldering. I believe it is an investment into making better-quality artisan jewelry. I know some of my friends like split rings; but to me, they look too much like key rings. Anyway, once I'm proficient with the blow torch and the soldering, I will close the jump rings on my jewelry.

Still on the learning curve regarding Blogspot...anyway...the hat below was an Etsy purchase. I just fell in love with it and had it in my faves until I can fit it in my budget. And of course, I needed to create a wardrobe around it. First up was the necklace of dark pink jasper beads I found at the gem faire last weekend, strung on hemp with vermeil beads and clasp. Simple, but I like it :) I will be on the lookout for a black and/or grey dress to wear with them.  

So thus. Until I get my digital camera active, I won't be selling online. I need to learn soldering. And figure out Blogspot...

UPDATE: 11/1/11 The coin pearl necklace above got sold. A bride-to-be came to my house and saw it before I mailed it out, and commissioned me to make her another one with matching earrings, and four matching bridesmaids sets of pink/mauve round pearls.  I'll have pictures soon as I'm finished. The lavender pearls stretched out and got restrung in an ever darker mauve silk cord. I hung it on a door hook before finishing it.