Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's still cold.

So I've sort of moved the studio to the new space. I took all my fabric needed for current projects, a lot of tools (man, have I got a lotta pairs of pliers...), four bags of flowers and a box full of nothing but glitter.

I managed to work one day over there so far. Monday was warm and lovely here in Wisconsin. I opened all the doors and the house temperature soon rose to meet the outside (60 degrees. We in Wisconsin consider this to be shorts weather). However, when it came time to sew up my creations I realized I'd brought my sewing machine but not the cord and pedal. Oops. So I tidied up some and left.

Now it's cold again. Today it was in the 40s and rainy. Tomorrow is likely to be the same, and Thursday, with a break coming on Friday.

I can't wait that long. Twitch. Twitch.

So as a substitute for actual productivity, I made myself a sweater jacket. I'd have finished it today were it not for the eight billion things I did instead. Tomorrow I hope to finish and wear it to the meeting I'm going to, because the ladies I'm meeting with coveted similar such coats on Etsy and wanted to know if I could make them. I like to be able to say "Yes" without actually having to say it.

I'd like to say I'm going to be massively productive tomorrow, and we'll venture forth in hopes of that, but sometimes, as a fellow dancer said today, you just need a "small day." Small days are ones that you spend sitting on a comfy chair with tea and books and you don't pressure yourself to be Superwoman.

Today I should have given myself a small day.

I'm making it a small evening.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Thought I'd post some of my favorite (crafty) things of the moment:

1. Epoxy clay. I only bought a tiny tube of this, being inspired by this book:

Weirdly, I swear I got that book from my library and now it's gone. Not like checked out. TOTALLY GONE. Ah well. The book is full of amazing things you can do with epoxy clay. It's like epoxy glue, but it's clay. That means while it has plus sides (major strength, sandable/paintable, does not need a kiln or over, cures underwater if you want it to), it also has downsides like fumes and, in my case, a 5 minute working time. I need to get some that is actually meant for sculpting with, like this:

At any rate, it's fantastic. After years of making crap outta polymer clay, it's amazing to sculpt something and, after it's cured, actually be able to put pressure on it without fear of it snapping.
I'm wondering if I could make gauged earrings out of it (I hate that phrase, BTW. "Gauges." ALL EARRINGS HAVE A GAUGE. But it's easier/faster to write "gauged earrings" than "earrings for my stretched ear holes"). Presumably they would need to be coated with something body-safe, and I'm not sure what that'd be.

2. Leather. I'm not a vegan. I don't plan on becoming one, so don't shout at me. I haven't ever really worked with leather, just because I had no reason to, but recently I've been doing Ren Faire outfits and using quite a bit of the stuff. It's amazing to me to cut a material that doesn't fray, doesn't roll up, takes paint, can handle grommets without lining... Yum. I really adore used (cut up old jackets) leather right now.

3. Glitter, and glitter adhesive. Since it's spring, all the craft stores are putting out packs of fairy poop. So of course I had to buy a bunch of it. Some of it was neon colors! Oh, goodness me. I go through phases with glitter, and right now I want to attach it to any- and everything. I also picked up some fancy glitter adhesive I can't remember the name of right now, and the first thing I did was to glitter-fy my librarian shoes with them. They still look like librarian shoes, but they're glittery now. Ah well. Photos later... It's pretty awesome stuff. Paint it on, sprinkle with glitter, let dry, and it's ON there.

4. Paper made from elephant dung. No, I'm not kidding. No, it's not gross. A good friend of mine gave me a journal made from the stuff, and it's rad. Linkie:

Monday, April 11, 2011

I've been having a rough few months, but now have a Plan. The Plan makes me feel much better; that combined with drinking more water, getting more exercise, and finding some joy in my dance has led me to be in a better mood. Today, anyhow. I'll be realistic enough to say, "We'll see how tomorrow goes."

I also slept really well last night. Not more sleep, just better sleep.

The problem that began ruminations of the Plan: I work from home. I make stuff. Sometimes it's stuff to sell online, or locally, and sometimes it's costuming stuff for the Renaissance Faire I work at (for myself or other people). Lately I've felt like I can't get anything finished. I'll start a project and inevitably find something else that needs doing. Like playing video games with my daughter. I'd love to blame all my inaction on my kids and husband, but while they play a role I know the brunt of my issue comes from me not feeling like my work is Work.

Work is something you do and are paid for. This is Work, even when it's fun.

So I've felt not only frustrated at my inability to finish things (or even start things), but also have felt incredibly stunted, creatively. I started a new sketchpad and it's already filling up with ideas for things I can't imagine starting yet. I can't find the supplies, don't have the time to spare, feel it's frivolous, etc. So I'm a big wad of creative impotency right now, and that's not how I need and want to be.

Thus the Plan. The Plan was my mom's idea. She's brilliant. I love her.

My father owns a house about 20 minutes from me. It's in the city I grew up in. Right now it's uninhabited, with burst pipes and a faulty furnace. And it's EMPTY.

Okay, not empty, but it's fairly spacious, with some furniture in it (a couch, a dining room table, stools in the kitchen). There's electricty, a faucet in the basement that still works, a fridge and coffee pot and, maybe most importantly, it's a building that is not my house. It is a place to do Work.

So sometime in the next few weeks, I'll be moving my studio over there. Right now my "studio" is my basement/kitchen/dining room, where I have fabric, beads, paint, glitter, bits and bobs, glue, tools, etc. Before I do anything I have to organize my supplies, list out my projects, and figure out what I'll need over there.

Deciding what to take is the trickiest part. I make things as a hobby, too, and hate the idea of sitting up at night, husband and kids asleep, and having the sudden urge to put glitter on my shoes and not having any. Then again, this might be a good thing. I have hobbies other than making stuff-- I dance, do watercolor paintings, play the ukulele on a very beginner level. So if I'm not tempted by my stockpile of glitter, maybe I'll become a bit more rounded, hobby-wise? But then again, I imagine being like a tradesman, coming home with my toolbox of things I don't want to be without, only instead of hammers and screwdrivers my toolbox would contain glitter, a hot glue gun and some good scissors. Heh. We'll see how this goes, but this morning I woke up and didn't feel crippled by my creativity. And that's a Good Thing.