Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Turn Of Events......

Drum Roll Please (Ok, so I like a bit of anticipation).............

Last week while wondering how to attract attention to my blog I came to the decision to turn it into a tutorial blog of sorts. What better way to be able to "showcase" some of what I do while feeding my ADD with different projects and showing how to make some of the things that I create. I've wanted to write tutorials forever and just haven't worked my way around to it, however this is a great way to motivate myself plus get feedback on how I'm doing.

The tutorials will be of various projects, from sewing, knitting, crochet, wirework, woodwork, glass fusing, resin, polymer clay......whatever I happen to be playing with at the time.

Today I will post just a basic progression of a project I did for my sister, woodburning a mirror, and next week I will start with a basic sewing project.

So without further ado......the mirror I woodburned for my sister:

I started (stole) from my sister this rather plain IKEA mirror, it measures about 10" square and cost approx $2.99.

Next you can either transfer a design on using carbon paper or you can free hand a design using a pencil. If you draw lightly to begin with it will easily erase if you make any mistakes. I free handed mine.

When you've completed your drawing, plug in your woodburner to pre-heat it. Don't forget to select your tip and screw it in BEFORE you plug it in. Now while I'm new at wood burning this is, so far my favorite tip to use (skew). It helps a lot with "gliding" over the grain of the wood which can prove to be a bit of a "bumpy ride" using the pencil (writer) type tip. Search for wood burning tool 

Once the burner has heated up then start burning away. Remember that if you haven't done this before you might want to start on a small piece of scrap wood to get the feel for your "tool". My favorite wood to work on is bass wood, which has a less defined grain and burns easily with these lower wattage (inexpensive) wood burning tools. The pine is nice but the grain is more pronounced and the wood is a bit harder, which makes the burning a bit more difficult.

Although I decided not to add color to this design, you can define yours with Sharpie Permanent markers, watercolors or acrylics, even colored pencils would work.

Please keep in mind that I'm just a beginner myself when it comes to woodburning. The most important thing to remember it is to have fun!

Coming next week, How to turn a Seat Belt into a Fashion Statement.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Great Weekend!

For just staying one night we sure did a lot! My son Duncan caught his 1st fish ever! It was so exciting, one of those "payoffs" for being a parent, when you get to see that look of pure joy on one of your kids faces.

We also hit the pool a couple times, this would be one of Connor's greatest pleasures in life. So we will be heading back next weekend for one more run before the boys get back to school.

While fishing the next morning I was a able to snap a picture of a cool stripe winged dragonfly. I'm really liking my camera (A Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7). As you can see above it has a sports setting that works wonderfully for taking action shots and also takes great close ups. It's not horribly expensive either (around $100). The only thing I will require in my next camera would be better Zoom capabilites.

This is neither here nor there but I wanted to show off the local hornet's nest. It's hanging from one of those cables crossing over the middle of the street supporting the power lines. I would estimate this nest to be the size of a couple of basketballs put together. Yeah, it's a biggie!

One last note. I'm going to be changing the course of my blog soon.........curious?

Keep watching, I should have something new up in the next couple of days.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Heading Out Today....

Camano here we come! Will be visiting with my sister and her kids, and taking 2 of my boys (and my niece) fishing and swimming. My oldest will be helping out a band and hoping to get to play at least one set with them when they play at a block party tonight.

Speaking of fishing (the not to eat kind)........

Yesterday we hit the local pet store since they were celebrating one of their local fish personalities (Zorro) Birthday. They had games and all their fresh water fish were 50% off. The kids love this store which is called Bridges Pets, and is one of the nicest pet stores that I have ever been in. They have a huge selection of fish, a reptile room (not my favorite), various other furry critters, and tons of supplies for pretty much all pets.

I snapped a picture of my favorite fish, the Discus tank:
and the Betta I would love to own but, of course isn't for sale (Black and gold, so cool!):
and a Bright Orange Betta, also NFS:
It was fun, the kids got to play a couple of games, win some toys and candy and I came home with a new Betta. I'll post a picture of him soon.

Anyway....time for me to get a move on, Camano is quite the hike from here.

Have a terrific weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What I've Been Up To

Made a bit of tatting progress. I started out using the shuttle but for some reason my brain just couldn't wrap around the concept, all I ended up with was a short row of tatting and then a knotted mess, so then I acquired a tatting needle and talk about "catching on". No problems there, plus I find it to be very "speedy". I now keep a needle and some thread in my purse so that when I have down time I'm able to pull out something to work on. Tatting is an extremely "portable" hobby and fun to boot!

I've drifted back over to the knitting side (for the moment) and am now working on my first pair of socks, well actually booties. It's something I have always thought of as a big mystery. Why? I really don't know, but I figure that it's long past time to learn and I've been told that sock making can become somewhat of an addiction in and of itself (we'll see). Another portable project, btw.

In anticipation of Fall, I've also started a poncho. I received some really nice yarn in a swap I did with a friend (Thanks Tracy!). I think that it will make a terrific poncho, however now that I've started it I realize I don't have enough yarn to finish it, and of course, this happens to be a discontinued yarn so I'll be keeping my eye out for more. If you should happen to know anyone who has some "Yarn Bee, Mosaic Twist" in Grotto, that they no longer want let me know. In the mean time I'll keep a watch on Ebay with the hopes that some will come up before I run out. Or I will improvise and work the collar up in something a bit different but the same yarn weight.

Have I mentioned that I might be a bit ADD? I think my wood burning venture might verify that. Something else that I've been playing around with. I have to say that it's a lot of fun, but I wish the burner had a bit more wattage for more burn power. The professional wood burning tools are between $100-200, and that just doesn't work into the budget at the moment. However if it proves to be something serious for me maybe when things improve we'll look into investing. Do you like what I've done so far?

And on a random note, this is our Betta that loves to play dead. Here he is doing a head stand in this photo holding perfectly still. What I need to get is a photo of is him laying on his side at the top of the tank, which he does frequently, and makes me gasp thinking that he's dead. Tap on the glass or drop in food and he's back to normal.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Want To Simplify?

One of the blogs I follow is having a contest to find some testers for e-courses she will be offering. If you are looking to "Balance Your Budget" or "Simplify Your Life" click on the link and get your entry in!