Thursday, December 30, 2010

Only the beginning of winter and already tired of snow

Today I am stuck at home because of the snow. I left work early yesterday because of the threat of snow and boy am I glad I did! Twenty-five minutes later as I entered Lehi, it began snowing really hard, but more like ice chips than snow. This morning as I tried to leave, the streets were still covered in a layer of ice and snow, then, I couldn't get the doors open on my car as they were frozen shut. So, I'm stuck at home but at least I'm able to get some other things done in the meantime, like catching up on my blog. Of course, all I can think of is the work I need to be doing at the office. It'll get done but not as soon as I'd hoped.

Mr. Darcy loves the snow though. He bounds around the yard, digging his nose in wherever he can, and rolling in the drifts. Last night, the wind was blowing some of the snow around and he was trying to catch the swirls. It was too funny. Truffles thinks he wants outside but as soon as we open the sliding doors, he realizes that it's too cold and there's snow out there. He just turned 19 which is quite old for a cat. There's some white strands of fur among the chocolate and some patches above his eyes that are going bald, but he still seems spry for his age. One of his favorite spots is up on my cutting table where Darcy can't bother him and that's a pretty high jump for him.

Now it's show and tell and up first are my newest paintings, all acrylic on masonite, 11"x14".

From the August class, Sunset:

From the September class, Trick or Treat:

From the October class, Pumpkin Patch:

From my November class, The Wise Men:

And finally from the December class, Christ Head Study:

Along with the Chester painting, I think the head study is one of my favorites. I'm also currently working on a commissioned painting that is coming along more slowly than I'd like but still going well.

These can all be purchased at my Artfire shop or my Artbreak gallery.

My project bags and aprons are selling well, which I'm happy for. I'm also making a few baby blankets and one thing I've found out is that fun fur is not fun while you're working with it. It's bad enough when I'm trying to crochet or knit it, but when you're dealing with fabric ... oh man, it's worse! There's strands of yellow fur all over the place, the stuff stretches and doesn't like to stay in place no matter how many pins I use.

Of course, my dog loves the soft fabric so I have to keep it out of his reach or it won't be fabric for long. For such a small dog, he sure can tear things up! We've bought him toys that are supposed to be "tough" and within an hour or less, he's found the weaknesses in it and there's filling and fabric all over.

Another thing about the blankies is that the fuzzy fabric is so expensive. I'm lucky if I can get away with the fuzzy fabric and backing fabric for $15 and that's if I can get it on sale.

Okay, that's enough for now. I have some fuzzy fabric to wrangle into some semblance of a blanket.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Still catching up

Okay, crochet projects ... I'd have to say that everything I've done in the past year has been for Crochet Uncut, even if the items were for someone, the patterns went into the e-zine. Crochet Uncut has been well received and I'm getting a lot of items sent to me for review. So far, I've been fortunate in what I've reviewed and they've all been a pleasure to work with or read. One of my favorites was the Denise Interchangeable Crochet Hooks, which I adore using. For some yarn, I've designed patterns to use with them but haven't been able to do that for all the yarn. Hopefully I'll be able to work my way through them and publish patterns that show off the best of each one.

For the Summer 2010 issue, I had two patterns that I designed for my cousin Marci for her wedding, a garter and a keepsake bag. I also designed a bridal wrap but my dog decided it would make a good snack and ate it along with part of the remaining $18/ball yarn. I'm currently making a version of the shawl for a co-worker then will go back to the white version and finish it.

Take a look at all the fabulous patterns in Crochet Uncut at Ravelry. Each project page links to the pattern page in the e-zine and you can see who designed each pattern, how many folks like them, and how many are making the item.

I'm continuing to take painting classes from Jon McNaughton although it is getting harder each month to come up with the class fee. It's one of the few luxuries I allow myself each month. I posted the paintings I'd done over the last few months in my last post and since then, I've completed several more paintings over the last few days. I don't have photos of them yet except for one that I painted on my own based on a photo taken by a friend's SO. Some of you may know her as Bubbo at Ravelry and know that she has two dogs, Chester and Maddie. A few months back, Bubbo posted a photo that David had taken of Chester and I knew right then that I had to paint it.

I had my painting class on Wednesday and Thursday evening and I finished my painting for class about 45 minutes early so I went ahead and drove home. It was still too early to head to bed so I decided to finish the Chester painting and here it is:

(click on image for larger version)

I also posted three photos of the work in progress which you can take a look at on my Flickr gallery (click on image above to go there).

I have one more painting to finish up, then I'll varnish them and take them to Office Depot to get scanned in and saved to a CD. Which reminds me, if you'd like prints of any of my paintings, you can get them at for about $12 for an 11"x14" print. Links are below to the different Zazzle sites for the U.S., Canada, UK, and other countries. Clicking on the link for your country will provide an affiliate commission for me no matter what Zazzle user you purchase from.
Fignations of Imaginment:
Almost forgot, I've also been making reversible project bags, half aprons, and needle/hook rolls in addition to my stitch markers and row counter bracelets. Sales of these items are used to pay the hosting fees for Crochet Uncut, so if you're looking for a cool items for Christmas, please take a look at my Artfire shop. The reversible bags can be used for crochet and knitting projects, treasure bags for kids, purses, gift bags, and more. The RapidCart in the right side bar shows different items available, just refresh to see different items, or just visit my shop!
Well, I think I've rambled enough for now and it is after 1 am so I think I'll play a computer game for a bit then try to get some sleep.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Catching up

The other day I looked at my blog and was dismayed to see how long it had been since I'd updated it. I've painted several new landscapes and such, published several issues of Crochet Uncut, lost a beloved furry friend and adopted another one, made lots of row counter bracelets and stitch markers, and generally kept busy.

Not long after my last post, my little Shih Tzu, Kaylee, passed away after suffering seizures for some time. The medications weren't working any more and it finally got to be too much for her and she left us on October 19, 2009. A few weeks later, I adopted a Shih Poo from the local shelter that I named Mr. Darcy. He's twice as big as Kaylee was and now Truffles is smaller than the dog instead of bigger. Darcy keeps Truffles on his toes and still hasn't learned that hissing is not an invitation to play more.

The image below is of sweet Kaylee:

And these are of Darcy, the evening I brought him home and then five months later. He took to my sister right away.

The ladies at the shelter called him "Happy" because he was always happy to see people. His given name was "Wall-E" but that didn't sit well with me. My sister suggested "Mr. Darcy" so that one stuck.

Paintings ... now those I have quite a few of. I still have three I'm working on but hopefully will have at least two of them finished soon. The third one I just can't stand right now and it is now in the corner thinking about what it has done. So far it is unrepentant. I'm still taking classes from Jon McNaughton but trying to also find the time to paint on my own, which isn't easy to find time for.

The paintings are in no particular order, all are acrylic on masonite, 11"x14". They can be purchased at my Artfire shop (link is on the right-hand side of blog) or prints can be purchased at Zazzle. You can get an 11x14 print for about $12.

Springtime on the Farm

The Quiet Place

Old Truck with Sunflowers
(this one goes to my father)

Southern Utah

Self Portrait, 1983
(from my Senior High School Portrait)

Grandma's Garden

Cafe Lights

Girl with Flowers

Winter Wonderland

Garden of Weedin'

The Nativity

Okay, that's enough for now. I'll catch up on my crochet projects in my next post.