Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another bead embroidery project

Good afternoon. Hope you all have had a restful day today after a busy week this past week.

I just finished another little project and I can see where I might get addicted to this. :-) I was inspired by a great book I checked out at the library. The book is 'Beaded Dimensional Embroidery' by Helan Pearce. Her work is lovely and inspiring.

The first picture is my little work space in our library/office.

My computer is to the left. Books surround me on the walls.

Click on pictures for larger view.

Finished needlework, now I have to figure out what to do with it. I do want to sell this in my Etsy shop. The shop isn't open yet, but I hope to do so, the beginning of 2010. I'm such a procrastinator.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bead Embroidery

This is my first attempt at bead embroidery and I loved doing this, even though it was very time consuming. This was made with lots of love for my DH who has encouraged me in many areas of my life, in our 40 years together. This piece will not be for sale.

Click on pictures for larger view.

Thanks for looking.

More Crocheted Wire Creations

Good morning Friends ~ It is another gray, drippy day here today as we are getting the stormy weather from Ana. At least she's not a hurricane and Bill is going to be headed northward, and hopefully stay totally out to sea.

Between work, homecaring and gardening I've created some more little wire baskets. I love how these turned out.

Working with wire and beads is challenging, fun and rewarding. I've been checking websites for copper wire and nickel wire in 34 gauge, and prices vary. Nickel is more expensive than copper.

Here are some pictures of these latest creations.

Click on pictures for a larger view.

These open baskets were the first ones I made.

Thank you for looking.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A sometime dabbler in watercolors

It has been a long, long time since I painted. I painted quite a lot for years, then lost momentum, and just haven't gotten back into it. I recently looked at a briefcase full of them that I had stashed and feel I would paint differently these days. I'm not the same person I was then. I do have some miniature paintings of birds that I like though, and a watercolor of a lady.

When I painted I signed them Rainey as that is my nickname.

This is a quail.

This is pretty close to the actual size of it.

I just held the painting up to my monitor and this picture here is just a tad longer.

This next one is a close-up, so you can see the details.
Click on pictures for a larger view.

Here is the lady. She is 2 1/2" wide by 3 1/4" tall.

Like I said, I'm a sometime dabbler in watercolors. Maybe I'll get out my paper and watercolors again, who knows. I have so many things I'm doing. Working part-time, home-caring, gardening, and other handiwork for my little shop. I have to be in the mood to paint. Starting out with a blank piece of paper is intimidating.

Thanks for looking.

Pretty Paper Boxes

Good morning blogging friends. It's a new day here, hot and humid as usual. I was out for a while weeding, but decided enough is enough and here I am.

I wanted to show you the pretty boxes I made the other day after seeing a video on Etsy. Once you make one of these, I think you'll be hooked on making more. They were easy and fun!!

I could hardly get to sleep the night I watched this little video for thinking about how to make a nice paper for the box. The next day I made my paper by picking out floral clip-art, placing them on the page how I wanted them, saved the project, then went into a photo program and made the work less opaque, by about half, so that it would be softer looking and use less ink. :-)

I will use the left over paper to make tags.

This is all done by folding the paper, so there are uniform creases in your paper, you can see them in the picture. You only make 4 cuts, no glue. They are 3" x 3" x1 1/2". Here is the link to the video.

Making boxes

Friday, July 31, 2009

Crocheting with Wire

Good morning folks. Can't believe it is Friday already. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Since I have started crocheting with wire, I have wanted to see what other wires are like and yesterday I visited a local bead shop to see what wire and beads they had. Beads, beads and more beads, and everything related to working with them. I was greeted by a nice sales lady and she asked if I needed help. I told her that I wanted to see their wire and also said I was interested in buying some beads. She showed me where the wire was, different types, colors, etc. Suggested I put my purse in a locker, so I did. Got a key to put around my wrist. Interesting, as I've never had to do that before, but I can certainly understand it with the merchandise they had, semi-precious stones, crystals, gold, silver. She gave me a little basket, with a magic marker, and some little plastic zip-lock bags.

Then she left me to do my browsing and figuring out what I wanted. I went into the shop with a certain amount of $ I wanted to spend, and only went over that amount by $3. I got three spools of wire, three different gauges, 26, 28, and 30. Then I checked out beads. I wanted a variety. I found a basket of 3" tubes which said buy one, get one free. Yippee, I thought, this is right up my ally, so I began looking through the basket and came up with four I liked and wanted to work with. Then I found another little basket of tiny zip lock bags of beads and bought two of them. I was happy with my purchases and could hardly wait to get back home.

Crocheting with wire is definitely NOT the same as crocheting with thread. It's stiffer, and harder on your hands, plus it's really hard to get the tension right. I read in a book on crocheting with wire, that part of the beauty of working with it is the uneveness of the stitches.

My nickel wire is very fine, gauge 34, and from 1928. Crocheted pieces with it are gossamer looking. When DH first saw me crocheting with it, he said "What are you crocheting with, hair?" He had given me this spool out of his workshop, as he didn't think he would be doing anything with it.

The 26 gauge wire was the hardest to work with and was really rough on my fingers. I'm not sure I'll be working with that size all that much.

Another thing, crocheting with beads is new for me also and I enjoy it. But stringing these tiny holed beads is time consuming and hard on the eyes, so I wear my stronger glasses for this work.

Anyway, yesterday was a productive day in creating pieces with wire.

Here are some pictures, which you can click on for a larger viewing.


My workspace is in our little library, where my computer also is.

Here is a picture of my wire and 'some' of the beads.

Nickel wire pieces, 34 gauge size wire.

These I made last week or the week before.

This is made with the heavier wire which is 26 gauge.

This one is made with 30 gauge.

This last one is with 28 gauge.

The tiny baskets are about 1 1/2 inches tall.

That's it for now. I have got to do a few things before I head off to work this morning. I work part-time managing an antique shop. Today my fingers will get a rest from working with wire.

Forgive the quality of the pictures of my pieces, I've still got to get the knack of taking pictures of them.

Thanks for looking. I will have these pieces for sale in my Etsy Shop, which is also called Plum Cottage Creations.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Creative Haven

Welcome to Plum Cottage. We have lived in our little cottage 37 years this summer. It wasn't until a few years ago that we named our cottage and it was inspired by the paint color. We had it specially made up at a paint store and the man named it part of our last name and plum, so Plum Cottage came to be.

DH and I have made things with our hands since we were children. A neighbor lady taught me to knit when I was 10, but I gave that up as my tension was too tight and dropping too many stitches. But, in spite of those two things, my love of working with threads began.

I learned how to crochet the summer I was 15. My step grandmother taught me how and I've been 'hooked' and have enjoyed it ever since. I have done embroidery since around that time also.

It was while a young Navy wife, that I took up knitting again, taught by my ne
ighbor/friend, also a Navy wife. We spent many hours knitting together while our husbands worked.

I tried crocheting with wire for the first time, last year. I crocheted a pansy. The wire is from a very old spool from 1928, and is nickel. The gauge is 34, very fine. I didn't do much with it until recently when I tried my hand at miniature baskets and adding beads also. It was my first time crocheting with beads and I enjoy that very much. Working with wire is totally different than working with thread. Nickel is not a soft wire, can kink and is somewhat hard on the fingers, and hooks too no doubt.

DH has worked with wood since a young lad, and was taught and encouraged to paint in oil paints by his paternal grandmother while he was young. Over the years he has done wood carvings, lucite etchings, etchings in shell, concrete sculpture, marble scu
lpture. He has also built a workshop, a pole barn, a storage building, and remodeled our cottage, plus built different hardscape projects for our gardens.

He has also done antique restoration, and we had an antique shop for 8 years. We also had a picture framing shop for awhile. It was while in our picture framing shop that he encouraged me to paint, (since I was always doodling with pen or pencil on paper), and he would frame them. What a thrill when they started to sell. I started out with pen, ink and watercolors. I still do watercolors. My paintings are miniature in size. Haven't painted any in quite sometime, but have been getting the urge to pick up brushes again.

When I got my first computer and printer about 10 years ago, I wanted to be able to make and sell note cards. I painted in different art programs in the computer, and printed out cards. Then when we got our first digital camera I started making cards with photos of flowers and butterflies from our gardens.

We have always enjoyed working with our hands and still do. It is a blessing and I am thankful for the ability to do the different things that we do.

Over the past few years gardening has become my favorite hobby. Photography has become another hobby I love.

Thank you for visiting.

"Today is life - the only life you are sure of.
Make the most of today.
Get interested in something.
Shake yourself awake.
Develop a hobby.
Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you.
Live today with gusto."
Dale Carnegie