Friday, December 19, 2008

More painting, yay!

While I'm not that great at making jewelry, I still like to try on occasion. "But the title of this post is about painting. What," you ask, "has that with making jewelry?,"

At Michael's (arts and crafts chain store), they have some great finds. Among them were these black plastic pendants with birds and flowers on them, in a set of four. You could hardly make out the birds when they were black, but the design of them is fabulous even if the color sucked, so I thought it would be fun to try painting them. As I had enough to make 2 pairs of earrings, I tried two vastly different styles.

I can't take credit for this idea - a friend did it first, though not in multiple colors as I used.

Here, I dry-brushed gold and a dull, dusty brown over the black. It made the earrings turn out looking antiqued.

Here, I went a bit wild with color. The design is of a bird in a tree, with branches, leaves, and flowers, so I painted the branches brown and the leaves green, the flowers red on one side and purple on the other. For the bird, as far as I know peacocks don't hang out in trees, but I painted them to look like peacocks anyway since the shape of the birds themselves made me think of peacocks. I used blue, green, and gold for that. I really love how they turned out!

I'm posting the painting I did of the shrimp boat again, because I touched it up - mostly by thinning out the "wires" and outlining the white rigging bits of the boat. I think it is just what was needed for me to be happy with it.

This is a painting I just completed, of a Nawlins French Quarter balcony during Mardi Gras. This took quite a while to do, what with all the fine detail and all. Like my other Louisiana-inspired paintings, this one is 8x10".

Both of these paintings are Christmas gifts. I still have one more to do. I hope the recipients love them!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Windows Shopping

... Because I use Windows. Hahaha, I love puns, don't you?

See, back when I had more time to do things and bothered to write in this blog more regularly, I would mention other things, such as my opinions of the patterns in the newest IK (not that anyone cares) or point out cute things that OMGILUVZIT!

Of course, life got in the way and so I didn't blog for a rather long period of time, and now, when I have been able to blog, it's been only about things I've made. But since it's Christmas season(for many of us, shopping season), and I've done almost all my shopping online this year, I thought I'd point to some things I am digging now. Who knows, maybe I'll help someone with Christmas shopping!

I don't have my own place right now, but I really wish I did, as I love the current decorating trends. I know they are probably all things that will look dated soon, and that sucks because I adore the vivid and dramatic colors that are popular. I believe I've mentioned before how I little I like neutrals, but let me reiterate. I don't particularly care for neutrals ("What makes a good man go neutral?"). Yes, they are necessary, I suppose, and of course you can't avoid them, but I am not an "all neutral" type of person. White walls make me cringe and always have, but I suppose beige or some variation of it is alright as long as there is color SOMEWHERE... plenty of it. With that said, a good deal of what I am about to post is actually neutral... go figure.

At Garnethill, these plate mirrors. They come in three sizes; I particularly adore the Large.

Dusty's mom actually has the Patchwork Rose Hooked Wool Rug hanging as a tapestry in her house. It is much prettier and more vivid in person than online.

A rug with less color but just as much appeal is the Dharma rug. I love the chocolate brown and pink together.

The Wendy's Garden Hooked Wool Rug is another fun, bright rug. If only they showed a photo of the entire thing! Edited Jan 2009 to say: Dusty's mom bought this rug for her laundry room and it is FAB!

I'm digging everything "birdy" right now, especially these Ceramic Pigeon Vases at Threepotatofour.

If wishes were horses and pennies were hundred dollar bills, I'd possess the Cleopatra Neoclassical Chaise, available at Design Toscano. I just love this site. They have some very unique (and some very weird) things.

I've been dying to make an afghan using this Haverhill Afghan Throw as inspiration. Once I finish some of these projects that have been sitting around for a year or more, I am going to start on it. I like the pillow, too... maybe I'll make a matching pillow as well.

This Mademoiselle Haute Couture Floor Lamp is just too awesome for words. I love the dress form lamps I've seen online, and this is even cooler.

From Garnethill, this White Coral Lamp is gorgeous, though I'd like it better if it were the actual color of coral.

If you're looking for artwork, a great piece is Apple Tree with Red Fruit by Paul Ranson. I purchased this print from Allposters, and though the size is odd, so I haven't been able to find a frame for it, the print itself is fantastic.

Another great art print is Rain on Royal Street by Dianne Millsap. ALL of her Nawlins paintings are fantastic! The wonderful thing about these paintings is that you can enjoy the life and energy of the French Quarter without the smell.

Another artist with amazing Nawlins art is James Michalopoulas. Every time I walk into Barnes and Noble, I pick up his ($100) book (that I can't afford) to look through it. It would be such a great addition to my collection. One of these days...
A print of his I particularly like is Bisecting Balconies.

I'm loving the Vitruvian Collection, in particular the Peace, Warm Hands, and Kissing the Hand. "Kissing the Hand" makes me think of Mr. Knightley, literature's finest gentleman.

Finally, these Agate Coasters look like great fun, even if agate doesn't naturally come in blue or green.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


If there is anything I love, it is painting. Granted, I am no true artist, but I enjoy it and that's all that matters. Here are the paintings I've done thus far this year.

The first two paintings are not "originals." They were done at CorksnCanvas, a place where you do a painting in an evening. There is an instructor who tells you what to do, and everyone in the class does the same painting, but they all come out remarkably different. I went with a couple of people, and we had a blast. We really liked the New Orleans house paintings, so we did two of them (on two separate occasions).

This pink house was my favorite of all the paintings they offer. I just love how mine turned out, but I forgot to add some potted plants, which I still need to do.

We go saltwater fishing, usually once or twice a year. I have taken some great photos on these trips, and I always wanted to do paintings of them. Well, I finally did, at least started my "series" of Louisiana wetlands paintings. I did the red tugboat first, and then the shrimping boat. More will follow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jewelry at its worst

Oops! 2008 is almost gone, and I have a few things I've made that I've not posted. Mostly in the form of jewelry, which I am posting now, but I have a couple of paintings as well, which I will post later, when I get around to taking pictures of them.

Honestly, jewelry-making is one of those hobbies I wish I could indulge in more frequently, but just cannot afford to (without giving up pretty much all of my other hobbies). Plus, for those of you who make jewelry on a regular basis, how do you decide to buy your supplies? Namely beads and stuff. Do you just buy stuff you like, or wait until you have an idea? Also, are there any websites you frequent?

Anyway, so the main point of all this being that I do not make elaborate jewelry. I am aware of this, and most of what I have made is nothing special.

First, we have two pairs of earrings I made for my Secret Santa partner. We are doing several small gifts, then a big gift. These were two small gifts. The shells are just beads put on earring hooks, and the leopard print was a set of pendants that I simply put on hooks. So, nothing complex, but I think they are cute.

Next, I made these seahorses from beads that came out of the same pack of beads as the shells. I loved these little seahorses, and really, so much could have been done with this pack of beads (in fact, I have some left over and hopefully later can try something more elborate), but really I didn't think it NEEDED that much as the beads were so cute.

This pendant is a gift. I couldn't resist, as the person who is going to receive it for Christmas has the last name of Lucky.

I made these peacock feather earrings earlier in the year, but they are probably still my favorite pair of earrings right now. I saw the idea for these on some website; they were $99, which I could not afford no matter how well I liked them. But they were so simple, I figured they'd be easy to recreate, and they were. They were hard to photograph; when being worn, they do not look raggedy as they do in the picture. Additionally, I love the closures I used for these - I don't have to worry about losing an earring or an earring back.

I love these little jewelry-sized bottles. I wanted to use the green sand for something, and I thought this was perfect. Then I found the little green shell beads, and voila! I think the necklace turned out really cute.

Monday, November 10, 2008

2 FOs: Serrano and Goddess Halloween Costume M4954

So, I've been a busy little bumblebee, and though most of that has been with school and work, I did manage to finally finish Serrano and make a Halloween costume as well. So, here's that stuff.

For Halloween, I was attending a party that was (months ago) originally supposed to be a toga party. The theme changed to just plain ol' costume party, but as I already had the stuff for this, I stuck to it. It's a Roman/Greek/Egyptian "goddess costume," in quotes because I doubt the design could be much less historically accurate. At any rate, it was cuter than a toga because I look awful in a toga. I didn't do white because there wasn't any cheap white satin at Hancock fabrics, and this lavender stuff was cheap. I wore this to two parties and made it the day of the first one. I did all the cutting one day and then all the sewing the day of the party. It took most of the day, but I finished in time and that's that. Excuse these pictures, they were taken after the party when I actually thought to take a picture, so I look like crap. Really like crap. In fact, I can't believe I am posting such bad photos on the internet, and I will probably regret it someday. And I can't even blame it on being drunk.

As always, there is a review for this at PatternReview.

This thing took for-ev-er and two days. Mainly because I quit knitting for almost a year, and only haphazardly picked it back up a couple of months ago. Then, I couldn't find the zipper I wanted (and never did), and I couldn't decide what else to do with it because, as it turns out, a plain black cardigan is just not me. So I crocheted an edging (out of gray I was using for a pair of socks, which will now be finished in leftover black) and made an applique out of interfacing,(note to self: always check the interfacing before buying - make certain it is fusible! This is the second time I have bought the wrong kind of interfacing), scraps from my Leg Lamp costume, and a scrap of quilting cotton. I added a button on the applique, too, from God-knows what project that I probably didn't finish, but hopefully will someday. Then I painstakingly hand-stitched it on there (and let me tell you, my hand-stitching is a fright. Martha Stewart would have a stroke if she saw it. Actually, does she sew? I know she's Martha Stewart and all, but do you think she sews stuff by hand?). I chose a fleur-de-lys because I realized I live in south La and had nothing with fleur-de-lys on it, and I think you get arrested for that here. Or at least mobbed.

So, without further adieu, the pictures! The usual disclaimer of how un-photogenic I am, but my boyfriend took these and he wasn't going to stand there all day taking photos till we got one I liked, since that probably would have taken hours.

And finally, a photo of Dusty's Halloween costume. Can you guess who he is?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just a quick update

Life (to be precise, school) has gotten in the way of crafting. I finished Serrano but have not been working on anything else because I've been ill and my classes are kicking my butt. I can't remember ever being this stressed. Anyway, I will put up pictures of Serrano as soon as I get a zipper for it. I have been trying to find a dual zipper, and have had very little luck with that. I may have to look online. The positive? Serrano just may be a winner.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

FO: McCall 5584

About that "I haven't been sewing at all comment," I lied on accident without even remembering. I did sew this one thing this summer, in late June/early July.

I can't believe I almost forgot to post this. Here is the costume I made for work. I work at a very popular retail store that sells its brand-name ornaments, and for the ornament premiere, we pick an ornament and dress as that ornament. I chose the Leg Lamp from the film Christmas Story, and made my costume using some poly satin from Hancock fabrics and this pattern, M5584. I also found earrings made from real little light bulbs, and decorated the head dress. The beads are from Mardi Gras (never thought MG beads would actually come in handy). Fishnet thigh-highs, of course, completed this costume. This swingy dress, once finished, made me feel so like a flapper that I had to embellish on that end - thus the headband with a big, fat Christmas light bulb and gold pipe cleaner "electricity" wrapped onto it. The dress was very unflattering, but since it was supposed to be a lampshade, that was ok. Everyone thought it was a great costume, and someone even bought an ornament because of it - score! I'm posting the review at PR, so if you want to know more details, just click the link after I edit this post to include it.

Anyway, here are the pics! I probably didn't need to post so many, but oh well.

Me, the Leg Lamp. Yes, I did get many "I'm turning you on" and "I'm yanking your chain" comments!

ETA: Link to review on PR

Oh yeah, also, sleeves on Serrano are done and blocked. Next comes the seaming. It will probably be a hellish ordeal, as seaming always is, but I will survive it. Then the collar and adding a zipper, and I will finally be done with this sweater!

And, finally, I don't normally talk about anything other than crafting on here, but I wanted to mention that my friend Dave Yaden's album, "Bear Me Up," just came out on iTunes. Please check it out - "Down the Line" is particularly amazing and catchy! Dave is immensely talented, so don't miss out!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I spy... amazing fashion

She's armed and extremely dangerous

I know I said I was done with sewing clothes for now, but I love this dress and must have it. Any pattern suggestions?

Zombie-fied Return

Ok, so I am not really a zombie, but since it's been nearly a year since I have posted here,(good Lord, where does the time go?!) and nearly that long since I've done any knitting, it is like being a zombie, so that's what I am. A knitting, sewing, blogging zombie.

I know, I know what you're thinking right now. "Crystal! We're so glad you're back! What on earth have you been doing?"

Well... um. Grad school. Working. Reading. A bit of drawing, a wonderful, loverly bit of painting. Learning that, surprisingly, life goes on without knitting (so long as I have books). An exciting, surprisingly fun summer trip with my mother to Graceland. But mostly school.

"But," you say, "something must have encouraged you to blog again. After all, this is a knitting/crafting blog."

And you are correct! I picked up the needles again and started back on Serrano. I'm shaping the second sleeve. I originally put this down because it seemed to be taking soooo long, and now I can't imagine how I ever thought that. I feel like my needles are on fire! Hopefully I will finish that soon.

I haven't been sewing at all. I am still on a hiatus from it for now, since clothing wasn't going too well for me anyway, and I just didn't have room to keep up with all that stuff. It will have to wait a bit until I am in a place where I won't be moving any more for a long while, and have room to spread stuff out. Just like my scrapbooking stuff. But.... I am planning and buying fabrics for a patchwork quilt, inspired by this Urban Outfitters quilt and this quilt for Michael Miller fabric. I want the squares from the UO quilt, with the bird/leaf thingy from the MM quilt. I think it will be pretty darned pretty. I am one of those people who always associated quilts with grannies until recently. Now I am dying to make one, and it's not because I'm old. You heard it here first, quilts are cool! (I know it's been hinted at for a while now, but no one has actually come out and said it until now).

Anyway, so what's the rule for quilting? Do you need a theme? Or can you just put together any fabrics you like? I really, really hope it's the latter...