Monday, December 21, 2009

appetizing appetizer

baked brie

My first attempt at baked brie, loosely modeled after this recipe. Instead of jam, though, I used cranberry salsa. It was fantastic!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

pennies to some, copper-plated blanks to others . . .


Been playing with my new doming block and metal punch sets. It's so much fun! Unfortunately my craft time is usually when Elliot's sleeping, making hammering straight out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Metalsmith's Delight

So. Much. Fun.

Granted, an entirely different kind of fun than the altered book class. But fun all the same.

Clearly, they didn't have too hard a time getting along without me while I was at the class . . .

Thursday, October 15, 2009

other books (not mine)

so it finally occurred to me that craftster would probably have things about altered books - which of course they do - and one of the first (and prettiest) completed projects I found was this

in an unrelated note, the Scrap Exchange's annual fabric sale is next Saturday! must . . . not . . go . .

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

more altered book goodness

these are pictures from the book I altered in my class in September - some of the pages have changed significantly since these photos were taken!

the outside
the popup
the honeycomb
the butterflies
the pockets

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009


call 2 recycle

Can't decide: if you're not good at something, should you still 'waste' time with it? especially if there are other things that need doing? is art for its own sake worthwhile? is it still art if it sucks? if it's pretty? if it's derivative?

I don't know.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


One of my many problems with creativity is that the image in my head is almost always miles and miles from what I actually am able to produce.

Also, I might get more posts up if I didn't have a computer trying to actively sabotage communication with the outside world.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

hoopla the necklace

Finished my hoopla necklace today. Picture to follow whenever our camera battery gets charged. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the other one.

Going out of town at the end of this week for what will essentially be two weeks of travel. Heaven help us all.

At least I'll have some time to work on my crafty to-do list. Hopefully.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

paper beads

In looking up altered book things I came across this nifty bead tutorial from A Storybook Life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Polymer Tuesday

In the midst of my metalsmithing frenzy I happened across this and now am aware of the very great lack of a small clay dragon in my life.



My class was So. Much. Fun.

Friday, June 19, 2009

full of craftitude

In addition to my class tomorrow, I'm going to try to find time to whip this up for father's day for Matthew.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Can't wait

This weekend I get to make this pair of earrings in this class at Panopolie. I'm so excited - I hope it lives up to my expectations. Also that I neither make a fool of myself nor set anything on fire.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Play doh and Poly clay

Inspired by this post that has been the talk of the polymer clay interwebs recently, I undertook some experimentation to see if I could use play doh instead of wax to make a bead-in-bead structure (ala this tutorial from Desiree). Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures yet, because other things (not the play doh concept part) went wrong with the piece I was working on, but I thought I'd go ahead and write up the steps, and add pictures when I have some.

1. Pick/make your inner bead. Make sure it is fireable and small enough to move around freely in your intended casing. (One of the primary fail points in the first one I made was that the inner ball was too big and too irregular to move pleasingly)

2. Cover your inner bead with play doh until it is the size you want bead+cavity to be.

3. Allow play doh to dry (theoretically) or bake (what I did). Sand to remove imperfections. (Fail point #2: I initially tried to apply outer bead layer without baking play doh first - it doesn't work because of the smooshiness)

4. Add clay for outer bead. Make sure you have vents for the play doh (and expanding air, for that matter) to come out. Bake.

5. Put piece in bowl of water overnight.

6. Rinse piece. The play doh - even baked - dissolves in the water.

Voila! Finished bead without the difficulties of locating/working with wax.

Typing this up made me excited about the possibilities all over again!

Monday, June 15, 2009


consider the lilies

My garden is just doing ridiculously well this year. I don't know if it's the new fertilizer (tomato-tone, though it hasn't been confined to the tomato plants) I've been liberally tossing about or what, but it's really exciting.
crop of a different sort

The bees certainly think the stand of bee balm at the west end of the garden is exciting.

My deal-finding prowess is finally, well, prowessing. My garden is filled with clearance plants and most of them are thriving.
nikko 'blue'
american beauty

Of course, if I mention bargains I can't forget about my fabulous snapdragons.

Even my poor strawberries-and-cream lilies that have been dragged hither and yon the past several years (and are still ingloriously stuffed into a pot) are blooming like mad.

I'm so thankful to have my own bit of earth to poke around in!

Friday, June 12, 2009


``Your list of the common extent of accomplishments,'' said Darcy, ``has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse, or covering a skreen.

Bebe's second birthday purse, made from this wonderful pattern out of fabric from a thrifted shirt.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

shiny little things

I've been hemming and hawing about knitting/crocheting jewelry for some time; this gorgeous piece by Kirsten Skiles pushes me to 'just do it.'

Monday, June 8, 2009


I want to make this rainstick. Perhaps even in a jewelry size.

note: I've been off by a day all week. Just pretend I posted this on Tuesday.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

gift bags from book jackets

book jacket gift bag

I took a class Monday at the library and learned how to make gift bags from book jackets. It was easy, quick and fun. Just the way craft projects should be. (Plus I got to use the book jacket from one of my favorite books to read to my son.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009



I'm a little obsessed with fish lately. Pursuant to my new interest in altered books, I picked up a copy of "A Flyfisher's World" for free at the used bookstore.Just what I needed - more books around.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

a little obsession

Thanks to an awesome Mother's Day gift I've been looking at the class lists at Ornamentea and Panopolie and saw a listing for their Altered Books Club. Altered Books are, as far as I can tell, scrapbooks without the relevancy. I was intrigued, so I've been digging up little things about it and I picked up a free book at the used bookstore today to play with. It seems like most people use them as what I would call an art journal - covering up the original book entirely - and not as many seem to derive the art from the book itself. There are no words for how cool these are.

Also, it seems to be a really cool way to make a book of words and pictures for my toddler. Though for him I think I'm going to dig up a binder and some white paper to start with.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

oh dear

I fear I'm being sucked into the precious metal clay vortex.
Art Clay World
Metal Clay Lens
PMC Types Lens

I don't want to be sucked in. It's too expensive. Seriously. But it's sooo pretty . . .
School of Fish by Rita Llanso
True North by Jeanette LeBlonc
Spring Blossom by Dianne Sims

Monday, May 25, 2009

chicago peace


On a rosebush I got as a bareroot rose from Walmart for $1.50 last year about this time.

Friday, May 22, 2009

speaking of someday piles

I've been wanting to make myself an apron for quite some time. My current favorite is this one from CraftStylish, followed closely by this one by Frog Creek Cottage. There are pattern options a-plenty here and here; for inspiration and general drooliness I go to Tie One On.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

elegant nut necklace

I've been wanting to do this necklace ever since it was posted. In the meantime it takes up space in the ever-growing Someday Pile.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

do want

. . . to find time to pick some of these to print out onto watercolor paper and play with them. Thanks to Art Projects for Kids.

Also, I need to find time (make time) to update the blog list on the sidebar. Google Reader is great for reading blogs, but now that I'm using it, this list is behind the times.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I was trying to find out if the picture at the bottom of this post was by the same artist that's popped up in several blogs lately (the answer, btw, is yes: apparently the PC online world is in a summer state of mind these days) when I came across this instead. Don't ask me how the search for one led to the other, but I'm so glad it did. I love iconography anyway, and this is so wonderfully expressive and just lovely. I could stare at these offerings for a long time, and probably will (until my baby wakes up again, anyway).

Monday, May 18, 2009

benign neglect

Looks like my garden thrived on the inattention while we were at the beach:

Maybe I should leave it to fend for itself more often!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kure Beach

Home again, home again, jiggity jig. The beach was lovely, we had a fantastic time, but it's nice to be home again, too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

beach bum

We're actually at the beach this week, soaking up some much needed rest and relaxation. So here's some polyclay pictures I've collected in my files to at least help you imagine you're there too . . .

Actually, I'm not sure the below is polyclay (despite its presence in the clay folder); when I was trying to find out who made it I found it here.

From a class listing:

Monday, May 11, 2009

I never promised you a rose garden. . .

. . . but here's one anyway. Pictures taken on Mother's Day at the Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden.