Monday, June 30, 2014

Earring Tutorial: Paper or Plastic?

Being in the upcycling arena and all, I don't usually get to work with stuff quite this cool.  But I won some of this from the web site back in December, and I finally told myself I had to stop hoarding it and to use it!  I also wanted some dangling earrings now that my hair is so very short.

So what is this stuff?  I call it paper plastic or plastic paper because it has all the best qualities of both.  It is durable, slightly flexible, and waterproof, with a holographic sheen, like a plastic.  It is thin enough to be cut with ordinary scissors and is quite light, like paper.  It's been easy and fun to work with.  It's called Rowlux Illusion Polycarbonate .


So easy, in fact, that these are five-minute earrings.
Here is what I used:

1.  I cut out circles.  I used the paper punch, but it didn't go all the way through and instead left a circle imprint for me to cut out with my scissors, which was fine.  I probably could have forced it, but I didn't want to since I use the circle paper punch all of the time when I make my Christmas ornaments.
2.  Using exacto knife with wood underneath I "drilled" the holes by rotating the exacto knife in one direction, gently pushing it into the material.
3.  I added the circle to a jump ring and then to an empty earring.  All done!
The technique was so easy that I whipped up a couple more.

Studio Time Today

... and tomorrow, with my nephews!  I'll have some fun pics to post soon.... 

First up: Alex and his paintbrush!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Weekly Round-Up

This week I...

.... had a slumber party!  My sister Rachel and I played board games and reminisced, and had a lovely afternoon on Sunday.  We enjoyed playing Castle Panic, which was fun for adults, but she thinks might work for her two boys, ages 10 and 7.  It is a cooperative game wherein you defend your castle from the orcs, goblins, trolls, and rolling boulders coming out of the forest.  Everyone wins if at least some of the castle is still standing at the end.  It seems fairly complicated to start, so the adults might want to play a game or two first before introducing the kiddos to it.

... went to the house blessing of our dear friends Mike and Jen.
... snapped an expressive shot of Conner putting together a puzzle with Grandma.

... walked to the Sunken Gardens with Gen and Madeline.

.... introduced Arwen to squid

... and did some more volunteer voice-over work:

Friday, June 27, 2014

Some Time for Myself

I'm playing in my studio today for a bit.

Any guesses as to what these are going to be?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Happy Photo!

I'm rejoicing in my new haircut and my new earrings!

(Tutorial on making the earrings coming soon....)

The photos is really too small to see either new thing.  But it's a cool fountain....

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Now Harvesting...

Yesterday, we added peas and carrots to our usual harvest of chives and lettuce.

I think I pulled the carrots too soon.  Now I know.  All of the above went into stir fry, except for a few chives....

I'm experimenting with freezing chives so we have some over winter.  I washed them, dried them a little, and popped them in a tupperware container which I tossed in the fridge.  Some time in October, I'll let you know how that experiment went....

Book Notes: Handmade Living/Scandinavian Style

Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style
by Lotta Jansdotter
149 pages

This book is artsy and fun, but not practical.

It's basically a lavishly photographed look at this hip young fabric designer's lifestyle via her apartment.  There are a few recipes and a few how-tos, but mostly lots of artsy photos.  It's more of an inspiration/ coffee table book than a DIY book.  I enjoyed flipping through it, though, and I'd love to learn to make these:

But unfortunately this is the sum and total of her description on how to make them.

Perhaps the Wilds of the Internet will cough up some more information, should the need arise.

Bottom Line: Nice for inspiration, but I'd go with library rather than buy, although I might give it as a gift to someone really into artful European minimalism.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Prosperous Heart Reviewed

I just finished reading The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of "Enough", by Julia Cameron.  She wrote , a book that moved me, which is designed for blocked artists of every stripe.  (I've never faced a dearth of creative energy, but I still enjoyed the book.)

The Prosperous Heart is for anyone whose relationship with money is troubled.  It incorporates a spiritual approach to money issues, which makes it pretty unique.  It is well written and packed with insightful anecdotes.  While Julia tends to write for artists and their fluctuating income, I think anybody who is interested a healthy relationship with money and who practices any kind of spirituality would find the book helpful.

Here is a sampling of some of the quotes that she has in the margins to give you an idea what the book is about.

By using prosperity affirmations, you're not trying to make God give you anything.  You're only trying to open your mind to see the abundance He has already given you.
-- Catherine Ponder

Tenacity is when you follow your heart -- when the whole world is screaming to get back into your head.
-- Sonia Choquette

When you have fear and do the thing anyway, you are holding on to the hand of God.
-- Edwene Gaines

We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.
--Thuch Nhat Hanh

In order to demonstrate true prosperity, you must to get rid of what you do not want, to make way for what you do want.
-- Catherine Ponder

We have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic, and positive equals unrealistic.
-- Susan Jeffers

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Garage Sale Update

A garage sale is not a good place to sell arts and crafts!

Not a big surprise, I know.

I had a lot of fun hanging out with friends and family, though, and meeting some interesting people who came to the garage sale. 

And I'm taking the week off from projects to play in my studio....

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


“Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.  Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Craft Boutique @ Garage Sale

My dear friend Jen is letting me sell some stuff at her garage sale on Saturday, June 21.  I will be there if you want to meet me :)

4221 Washington Street
Lincoln, NE 68506

8-4 pm

The craigslist post for everything is here, but here are some of my contributions:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I Won A New Dressform!

I enter contests on Cut Out and Keep occasionally, and I just found out that I won one!

(Check out the projects members have posted, but beware!  You can spend many, many happy hours before you know it!  It's one of my favorite websites.)

I'd entered my sweater dress tutorial.  That just makes my day! 

May Budget

Obviously these budget updates are really exciting because it takes me two weeks to get around to posting on them, if I remember at all...

But I promised I'd let you know how much we saved from having the windows open rather than using the air.  I'd said in the earlier post that the savings were significant.  Upon actually examination, they were around $17.  Is that significant?  Not really.  My vote: Open up the house when it's 60s and 70s, but the savings are not worth being uncomfortable for.  (We weren't really all that uncomfortable, except perhaps toward the end when we were waiting to see who would crack first!)  I'd also note that fresh air is good for you!

In other budget news, our passive income from savings account interest and revenue from a kindle book = $5.92.  We aren't going to be able to live on that, even with the house paid off someday!

Which leads me to my investing for income plans. I had big dreams.... now I just have more patience!  I'd invested $250 in a conservative income-producing mutual fund February 2014.  I added another $20 in April for some unknown reason.  That's $270.  The account garnered .82 at the end of March as a dividend, and the value has been slowly creeping up, but because of the fees, I have yet to break even.  Today it's at $267.98.  My plan A is to add a little more occasionally when our total investments with that mutual fund company reach a high enough number that the percentage fee they charge drops.  My plan B is to leave it alone and hope that I get $200 after 30 years, which by that point will probably buy us a steak dinner.

I'm also reading The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of "Enough" by Julia Cameron right now.  I'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 16, 2014

DIY soup stock

The Magician turns trash into dinner!  (I really love that man.  Especially when he feeds me.)

1. Collect chicken bones by tossing them in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
2. Throw the chicken bones into a pot.  We had some tired carrots that should be been eaten weeks ago, so he threw those in too.

3. Boil for an hour or hour and a half until any meat falls off bones.
4. Remove bones, carrots, and anything else you don’t want in the soup.  What remains is your stock.  Add fresh veggies, noodles, meat, whatever else you like and heat it up. 
5.  Boil your veggies, etc. for another 20 minutes to get their flavor into your stock.
  This stage is where The Magician added garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, salt, and celery salt, although I suppose you could add it earlier.  (Want to chime in, Sam the Ham?). 

Ta da—homemade soup!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Round Up

This week I....

.... Palova and painted toes.  Yes, it was a good time!

Guess which one is mine?
Hint: I called "Eighties Indecision"
... went to a family reunion, which was a great pleasure

.. worked on Arwen's dress.  Here is the Blank Canvas Dress getting painted on.

... stopped by the Eco Store for Free Fridays and did NOT pick up Pscyho Santa.

Since the blue tape says "Peter" on it, I think perhaps he is having an identity crisis....

... made some more tiered trays for the garage sale this Saturday. 

I added the dots on the glasses.  I think this one is one of my favorites.
... planned out some cute earrings.  Now if I can just get down to my studio some time this week....