Sunday, October 28, 2012

In the Midst of Many Projects...

... and trying to get some of them finished!  I haven't blogged that much about the various projects going on in the house right now, partly because I've been so busy going from one to the other, and partly because I haven't stopped to clear a space to photograph anything!  Time to catch you up a little on what's been going on around here.

Let's start with the charm bracelets.  I've been trying to craft a decent variety and quantity so I can submit them to sell at the Putnam Arts Council's annual holiday craft sale.  I've made at least two with a red and green Christmas theme, two with a pale blue and white winter/snow theme, and two of the retro 70s Bohemian denim and copper style.  I also have one with a spring "flowers and birds" theme and one of the ocean themed turquoise and silver.  I'd like to make one more of each of those and then take some great photos of everything, which I'll post.  Meanwhile, here's a group shot of some of the jewelry on a display rack with two cluster necklaces (which you can't see in the photo - I'll rephotograph them all individually soon!)

In addition to my ongoing projects, my daughters have also been taking their turns at the craft table.  One recently finished a large batik project using Elmer's glue gel and acrylic inks, but she gave it away before I had the chance to photograph it!  My younger daughter painted the black t-shirt below with the symbol of her zodiac sign, Libra.  We used freezer paper as a stencil and sponge-painted on acrylic paints.  It looks great and she's so proud to have made it herself!  She also created a cool sculpture of a dragon head using paper clay, and designed felt horns for a sweatshirt hood, which I stitched in place.  I'm so glad the girls see the value and pride in making things with your own two hands!
Friday after school they had a friend over for a pumpkin carving session.  Our town hosted a Pumpkin Fest this weekend and gave free pumpkins to any school-age child who promised to carve or decorate it and bring it back to the town park for display.  I'll post pictures of those another time, but meanwhile, here are the pumpkin spice cupcakes I baked in honor of the occasion.  The recipe is very simple:  pretty much just stir a whole can of pumpkin into a carrot or spice cake mix.   Add 3 eggs and 1/4 cup each of water and oil.  Mix and bake for 16-20 minutes, then frost with cream cheese frosting.  Delish!
Last Thursday, my FANE group met and we started a second round of Renga fabric exchanges.  This time, we each altered a half-yard of white fabric, then cut it into two fat quarters which each went to two different people.  Below are the two pieces of cloth I received:

 One group member added a design to her fabric using shapes cut from artist tissue paper, which bleeds when wet.  I decided I liked the blurry pastel colors that it produced and thought I'd give it a try.  I picked up this package of art tissue and went to work!
 I stuck with the raspberry and lemon color palette for the first piece of fabric.  I didn't want the shapes to be too angular and geometric, to match the tie-dye effect that's already there.  I went with irregular trapezoid shapes and scattered them around on the fabric like this:
 Then I spritzed the whole thing very well with water.  Sometimes air bubbles got trapped underneath the tissue, so I had to smooth everything down and make sure it was in contact with the fabric.
 Here's the finished product:   (I shot this in a different light than the photo above and it looks kind of washed out.  It really has more of a pale yellow color than this almost white).
 With the second piece of fabric, I chose to go with wavy lines in a teal green shade.  I like the look of this one (I really have some obsession with fabric that looks like water, don't I...?)
I managed to get the worktable cleaned off just in time for my DH to begin building a new wall in order to enlarge my daughter's bedroom.  Here are the studs going up...
 ... and here is the shelf I had to clear of stuff, which is now all over the worktable!  These cubbies will be turned on end and move against the second new wall, ...
 ... which will be several feet out from where this wall (with the door) currently is.  This room was originally his home office and he graciously gave it to her for a bedroom, but it had no closet.  When it's all done, she'll have a larger space as well as a closet.  This way, her room will be that much neater and more organized, right?  Right! (LOL!  I'll believe it when I see it!).  It better be worth all this effort!
Now all that is going on indoors, of course there are all the outdoor chores coming up.  I just cleared off this deck on Saturday, but the winds from approaching hurricane Sandy have already shaken enough oak leaves down to cover it up again!  If that's the worst we get from the storm, I'll take it!
Of course, we are all preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.  I stocked up on everything I could think of and made great efforts to keep up with the laundry and housecleaning this weekend.  I learned a lot from the two big storms we had last year and I know how to prepare now!  Since the brunt of the storm seems to be headed well south of here, I'm hoping we'll only get some heavy winds and rains - enough to close the schools but not enough to take down power lines!  (From my lips to God's ears...)
Have a safe week and see you on the other side!

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