Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's Summer Time!

We are about half way through Summer and it's time for a post featuring some hand made products that evoke the feeling of Summer.

 Here are some items from the members Blogging Again Ring  on FaceBook that remind me of Summer.

Summer time is a time when we all need a new tote and this Extra Large Earth Tones Coffee Bean Burlap Tote by HevVinDesigns  is a perfect bag to bring along to the farmer's market or the beach.

Summer is the perfect time to adorn yourself with new jewelry.  This Show Your Soul Stacking Bracelet by TL Yarn Crafts will show your style, as well as your soul.
You can never have too many earrings and these Organic Green Ruffled Leaves Dangle Earrings by Fantasy Clay Store  are the perfect compliment to your summer time wardrobe.

Summer time is a time when the countryside is full of butterflies.  These Butterfly Wine Glass Charms by Pottery Heaven would be lovely gracing your wine glasses at your next outdoor gathering.
Since summer is a time when flowers abound and run riot through every yard and field, I had to include this Hand Drawn bouquet of Flowers Polymer Clay Brooch Pin by Valerie's Stuff  to satisfy my floral fix.

So go out and enjoy you Summer and don't forget to bring something hand made along with you!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Flowers of Summer

Summer is the time of flowers.  They can be seen in sculptured gardens amidst well-manicured lawns and in riotous masses by the roadside.  In my yard I have black-eyed Susan's just coming into bloom and fragrant three foot phlox with its wonderful scent reminiscent of lilac.  I have lavender and chamomile with their blooms of purple, white and yellow sprinkled about my yards.

While Autumn is my favorite season, I can't help but be joyful when I look out on my beautiful garden with its cacophony of color like a symphony for the eyes.

I chose some wonderful florals from the Blogging Again Ring on FaceBook to feature in my ode to summer flowers.

Valerie's Stuff on Etsy is a prime example of abstract art mirroring life.  Her wonderful pieces are a riot of color, just like a summer garden.

Hand Painted Abstract Summer Purple Flowers by Valerie's Stuff
Hand Painted Flower In Full Bloom Pendant by Valerie's Stuff

While this piece is an obvious abstract, it reminds me of a flower.

These pieces by Pottery Heaven on Etsy also remind me of flowers.  Their subtle colors are soothing to the eye.
Ceramic Wine Glass Charm by Pottery Heaven
Fantasy Clay Store on Etsy has some lovely and unique pieces.  I love her dragons but these floral pieces evoke the joy of a summer garden.


These little fabric covered stud earrings from TL Yarn Crafts on Etsy are understated, yet elegant.  Perfect for casual wear in the summer.

I had to add a few on my own floral pieces, just to round out this post.  Wyvern Designs on Art Fire

Bottle Cap Wool Felted Pincushion

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Colors of Purple

Purple is one of my favorite colors, from the deepest royal to the palest lilacs.

Purple was one of the first colors used in prehistoric times, as early as 16,000 and 25,000 BCE.   As early as the 15th century BCE citizens of ancient Phoenicia were producing a purple dye from a gland of the sea snail called the spiny dye-murex.  .  Since the process to produce this color was long and laborious and as a consequence expensive, purple became the color of kings and those wealthy enough to afford it.

It wasn't until 1856, when a British chemistry student, William Henry Perkins produced the first synthetic aniline dye while trying to synthesize quinine.  His dye was called mauveine after the mallow flower, which was later shortened to mauve.
Soon Perkins built a factory and started producing the dye by the ton.  As a consequence, purple was no longer exclusive to the wealthy/

Maybe I was a royal in a past life and so came to my love of purple naturally.  I don't know but I do love purple.  I've found some wonderful purple items to demonstrate just how beautiful this color is.

This bracelet by Valerie's Stuff  evokes the feeling of s sunset with its purple and yellow swirls.

Abstract Modern Purple Polymer Clay Bracelet by Valerie's Stuff
While this piece is an abstract, I see flowers in a garden.  I guess that's the objective of an abstract, though, to make you see something that's only suggested by the color and form.

Modern Abstract Polymer Clay Pendant by Valerie's Stuff
This necklace makes me feel the juxtaposition of life, the roses and death, the skulls.

Purple Roses and Turquoise Sugar Skull Polymer Clay Necklace by Valeries Stuff
I don't usually wear rings unless I'm going out somewhere but this ring holder would look perfect by anyone's sink.
I chose this because it made me smile:)
Peanut Butter aand Jelly Custom Figurine/Cake Topper by Pottery Heaven
I love dragons and this reclining dragon remind me of the way my dog always lays.

Winged Purple and Green Dragon by Fantasy Clay Store
 If you wear this, you will always have a dragon looking out for you!
Polymer Clay Dragon's Eye Pendant Fantasy Clay Store
Steampunk evokes so many feelings in so many people.  Some hate it, some love it.  This cute little steampunk bug is so adorable, you can't help but love it!
Polymer Clay Steampunk Shimmery Bug Brooch Fantasy Clay Store
Hand made wash cloths are the best and here's a set of 4 that has my favorite color!
Dainty Wash Cloths Set of 4 by TL Yarn Crafts

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Little Bit Of Heaven -- Pottery Heaven On Etsy

As Wednesday rolls around again, I realize that I haven't done my post for the Blogging Again Ring.  We're a little group of 9 who have pledged to promote each other through our blogs.

This week the topic is to feature one of our fellow members on our blogs.  I've was intrigued by the work of Martina Morton of Pottery Heaven on Etsy'

Martina is from the Toledo, Ohio area.  She and her husband have 2 young boys who are currently the focus of her life.  To quote Martina, "Her boys are only young once, so I'm trying to make them my first priority."

She joined Etsy in 2009, after a friend told her about the site, where she makes and sells the most wonderful pottery items. Etsy turned out to be a match since her engagement, wedding and the birth of her first son, left little time for shows or spending extended periods in her studio.  The birth of her second son left her even less.   With Etsy, she can list her products and basically forget about them until they sell.

Despite a husband and two young children, Martina still strives to work in some creative time while caring for those she loves.

This is my personal favorite,  Black/Green MetallicGlazed Pendant With Celtic Knot Relief

Another of her creations is this  Adorable Honey Pot with Sculpted Bee Knob
I love these  Spoon Rests  They are simple in design but beautifully textured.

For your wedding, she has Unity Candle Holders
And last but not least, I found this wonderfully glazed Small Cobalt and Ash Bottle 
I highly recommend that you visit her shop and see all the gorgeous hand made pottery items. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Knitting In The Round

Since I haven't learned any new techniques lately, I decided to rehash my adventures in learning to knit gloves, mittens and hats using two circular needles.  I have already written a post about this but I love doing it so much that I decided to do anther one.

I first came across this method of knitting from a craft book club to which I belong.  I was looking through the book catalog before throwing it in the recycling bucket and a book called Knitting Circles Around Mittens and More by Antje Gillingham caught my eye.

I've knitted for years, having learned from my mother as a child, but my projects were mostly flat items, afghans, scarves and the like.  The few times I attempted to knit mittens, they always came out way too big and were always different lengths and they had to be seamed up the side, since I could never get the hang of knitting with double pointed needles.  The same was true for any hats I made.  With this technique, the mittens or gloves come out the same length and size, since you work them both at the same time.

Knitting with two circular needles takes some getting used to.  The book said to get two different length circular needles so that you can keep track of which needle you started on but I found that knitting with one 16" needle and one 24" needle didn't feel comfortable.  I solved that problem by using two of the longer needles and placing a stitch marker at the beginning of the starting needle.

In this method you cast on your stitches onto one of the needles and split them between the two needles, making sure that the stitches don't get twisted in the process.  I can't tell you how many times I had to start over because I hadn't realized that I had somehow gotten the stitches twisted.  Once you have done this process for both mittens on the same two needles, you start to knit. At first this method can be quite  confusing, at least I found it so.  You have two needles, two balls of yarn, and two dangling bits from casting on your stitches.  I had to start over a number of times because I either started knitting with the wrong ball of yarn or with the left over from casting on.  As I stated in my first post about this method, it was like knitting with an uncooperative octopus and there were lots of expletives uttered and many times I got so frustrated that I threw the whole thing against the nearest wall.

But I am quite stubborn and don't like it when something appears to be getting the best of me and I finally mastered the technique.  Well, maybe not mastered it.  I still sometimes get confused with which piece of yarn I supposed to be knitting with but I've become more competent in this technique. 

I'm planning to start on some more fingerless gloves soon, since horrors of horrors winter will be back far too soon.  I've included some photos of some examples I have in my Wyvern Designs on Art Fire  shop.

Purple Fingerless Gloves

Fun and Funky Kaleidoscope Mittens
Hope you enjoyed reading about my adventure.