Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Just a Little Thank You


Blogger in their wisdom have decided to put Feedburner in maintenance mode on 1 July. This has caused me (and thousands of other bloggers) a huge headache. In a nutshell, it means that we are losing blog readers who follow us by email.

After extensive research, I decided that Follow.it is the best solution to the problem. Lots of work go into the back end of a blog or website to make it work, and as a result, moving my mailing list was not quick or easy. Just when I wanted to cover my face with my hands and cry, the helpfull support staff at Follow.it stepped in and helped me over the last few hurdles. Thanks to them, you will continue receiving your blog emails without an interruption. 

If there are any other bloggers out there still wondering what to do, I can recommend Follow.it.

Secondly, I want to say thank you to all my readers... so many followers by email... never mind all the other ways in which people keep track of this blog. I'm humbled and honoured.


Monday, June 28, 2021

Three Small Things

Do you remember when I told you about the The Tray in March? This weekend I closed my eyes, put out my hand, and grabbed something to finish. As luck would have it, the something had a brother so I figured it  might as well be two.


These little critters are called Ouch! and Carol Casey of CAZ bears designed them. Way back in 2006, as it turns out. She taught a workshop to make them here in the studio. The students had the option to accessorize their lizard/bird/bear hybrid animals with porcupine quills and Guinea fowl feathers to make a uniquely African creation. You can see from the templates that the original animal was significantly larger. Since I prefer miniatures, I reduced the pattern.


At the time, I tested the pattern and started making two little animals so that I could advise students if they needed help with their pre-sewing for the class. My Achilles heel is that once I have figured something out, I often lose interest and move on to the next thing without finishing it. I think here it might rather have been a lack of time. I know I was always very busy serving refreshments and assisting the teacher when there was a workshop on. Having a look at my mini-Ouchies, I decided that only three things were needed to finish them.

How can one breathe fire without a nose?


Unlike teddy bears, bunnies and dragons, as well as many other soft sculpture animals often look good with just an outline for a nose. Adding those few simple stitches gave these two a mischievous look and pranksters should not be flying around without fair warning.


I gave them each a collar with a bell. 

The third, and final, thing that remained to be done was to use coloured ink to add some shadows and definition to nose, toes, belly, and wings.

Aren't they two distinguished looking fellows? 


The Ouchies are available for adoption on my website.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!



Sunday, June 20, 2021

Colour Makes Me Happy


I cleared away the detritus of a few completed craft projects this week. I always seem to end up with some spare beads and one shiny-bob thingy that defies classification and easy storage in my stash.

Years ago, I read on a bead artist's blog that she makes 'bead soup' with her leftover beads. She said that by throwing random beads together in a bowl, ideas for new combinations will often insinuate themselves into your mind. 

For a long time, I had a jar in my studio for odds and ends. Flinging random beads and findings into the jar was a quick way to tidy up my workspace but my obsessive personality never really approved of the chaos jar and eventually, it became so full that it was impossible to search for something anyway. 

One day, I bit the bullet and started sorting the contents of the jar. Instead of trying to separate beads from other 'small stuff' and try to find a place for everything, I catalogued the whole lot according to colour.

You can now find expensive cloisonné next to a plastic teddy bear, and if you need anything from a crystal chandelier dangle to an ivory dice, you only need to know what colour you want, and you can easily find it. Bits of broken jewelry with butterfly wing, sea shells, a rhinestone, a fossil,  leftover beads of every shape and size, it's all there.

Like a good wine, this kind of cumulation takes years to develop and mature. If well organized, such a collection is precious. It has become a mainstay in my creative process and many a miniature project has been sparked when I came across a random doodad in my stash. 

How do you organize your creative supplies?

There isn't really any news here. For the last few weeks, I've been sorting and tidying away things that piled up in my studio over time. With Henning well on the mend after his surgeries, we have started exercising outdoors more often. It is mid-winter here now but the days are sunny and nighttime temperatures haven't dipped below freezing more than a few times.

As you might have surmised from my silence, I'm in a bit of a creative slump but rather than letting it get me down, I'm using the time for housekeeping and planning ahead.