Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Buttons 2011

Here I am trying to get caught up on stuff.  It's Saturday and after another busy week, I am doing catchup. With still lots of Christmas preparations to do, I thought I'd do some computer stuff before I go shopping for food and the few remaining gifts I need to purchase. For Christmas get togethers this year I was lucky to get my choice of what to bring, so it will be appetizers to the events where I am slated to bring food.  In doing appetizers, I commit to being on time, so there is some method in my madness.  I will take some shortcuts though and have them prepared ahead of time so they just need to be put on plates, or warmed up just prior to serving.

As for my other "work", I have been filling some last minute orders and taking care of all the business part of my polymer clay work.  With that mostly done (I still have two projects on my table), I figure I can relax a bit and spend an hour or two at the computer.

Yesterday, I got an email from a gal who had purchased a button from me at a Quilt Show this past summer.  She asked if she could use a link to my blog and I said yes, and that I would post some more of my buttons.  I have been so remiss at keeping up my blog lately that I kinda feel like a school kid having not done my homework.  In her blog she showed a pink button that she used on a hat which she designed. The button itself was a bit 'busy' but she deftly created a textured pattern in a solid color wool so that there wasn't too much interference with pattern and texture, if you know what I mean.  I realize that some of my buttons are just too "much" and that busy-ness gets lost in the pattern of the fabric or fibre that they are to be placed on. The gal that crocheted the hat is Joanne and here is her blog, if you are interested in following:

She also twigged me on to a very interesting site which some of you knitters and crocheters can peruse and maybe sign up for.  It is called Ravelry and it looks like a site where I could spend a good amount of time. (I noticed that one of my very creative polymer friends from Arizona already has already mentioned Ravelry in her blog, so it's gotta be a good one.)

All that being said, I admit that it is so  nice to see my work incorporated into other people's creations.  Often when people get my buttons, I encounter them later and they tell me that they haven't used them yet, or are saving them for something.  I completely understand, because I have to admit I have purchased things, fully intending to use them in a creation and then get sidetracked and the things get put on the back burner.  I think that's one of the 'resolutions' that I will make in use the things that I purchase.  Even if it means burning the midnight oil or digging out my portable sewing machine.
These buttons are about one inch in diameter and they are all in the same basic colors, just with repositioning  of the colors.  They're a bit in the 'southwest' palette. I am thinking I am going to use them myself.  I hope to get a shirt or blouse (or other kind of top--who knows what they are called) in a solid color and add some of my work as adornments.  I am thinking not just of functional buttons here, but as kind of trim around the edges.  I have found with some of my other garments that have my buttons on that they go through the washer with no problem, and I just ensure that the drier heat is minimal.  I take the garments out before they're "baked" and hang them up without any worries about the buttons at all.  Of course, I hate having clothing that has to be drycleaned only, but if that is the case, I will remove them from the articles.  The drycleaning hydrocarbons might just be too much for the polymer.  That makes me wonder if anyone has ever done a study on the reacion of the polymer to the chemicals used in the dry cleaning industry.
This button is one that has lots of colors in the foreground.  It's a takeoff on Alice Stroppel's cane that she posted for many to share a couple of months ago.  I think I will be more judicious in how I select my leftover canes for future projects of this sort and try to stick to a palette that is more monochromatic, or at least has just analogous colors in it.  However, this button would look cool on a hat or a knit or quilted bag.  Who knows?  I just may make a woven bag on my next car ride.  I have the weaving materials all prepared and just need to make the "loom" and tie on the warp.  I spent one entire morning organizing my wool into colors so that I can just grab a couple hanks and get started on the weaving. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mama's got a Brand New Bag (almost)

Well, this bag  isn't exactly brand new.  I had woven it last year some time, but had forgotten about it.  When I was looking through my stash of wool I found it, and it was all complete, except for the lining, button loop and the cord.  I found some matching fibres for the long cord, crocheted enough for a loop closure then proceeded to make the lining, a little of which I am purposely showing in the top in this picture.  I made the lining into several layers, including a pocket, so as to make several sections inside.  I stitched everything together and voilĂ !   The button was from my collection and it was amazing how well it matched all the colors in the bag.  The finished size is about 6 inches on each side, so when opened it has plenty of room for a phone or Blackberry, some make up, keys, a couple of credit cards, maybe a Passport, and whatever else a girl has to carry.  It's not huge, so not great for 'overnighting' but suffice  to say, a savvy girl can find other ways to carry necessities for occasions that warrant more stuff.

I will be taking it to my last sale of the season, which is at Miles Macdonell Collegiate, tomorrow.  It is the school where my husband taught many years ago, and I myself did a stint there when I was in Teacher Training.  The sale is huge with  a couple hundred vendors, and it is  very well visited.  I have to admit that it is a bit overwhelming for some folks, and a bit repetitious because of the huge number of vendor spaces, but there is a lot of interesting stuff, and some of my fellow craftspeople that I know from other shows will be there.  I am quite sure mine is the only booth that will feature polmer clay exclusively, along with a few other items which include polymer in a secondary role, such as this bag.  As well, I will count on seeing some of my former students and colleagues there, some of whom are now in administration at the school.  It's good to see them all and I am looking forward to this sale on a lot of different levels. 

So, in preparation for tomorrow's activity, I am signing off now and hoping I will see some of you tomorrow!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Olden Daze and another "find".

Okay, so I have to admit today is a "play" day.  Not working, at least not at my part time job but working on stuff around home.  I have a to-do list made, but it's rather short so I decided to play a little. 

You see, I have these old photo albums of  black and white pictures taken when my aunt was younger; she loved to take photos whenever she and friends got together.  I went through one of the albums and found about six photos of people with or on bikes.  My deduction is that they were taken in the late thirties and early forties since my aunt was born in 1918 and did not marry until after the second world war. 

I was going to do one of the 'altering techniques' with pattern pieces, some of my 'paper art', snippets of fiber and all sorts of stuff,...well I did make a start and the results were so-so.  Even after doing all sorts of fun 'commands' on the computer, I wasn't really happy.  I think I will print out a few of them on some watercolor paper and that might make a difference.  I think they need more embellishing.

But being the curious person that I am, my eyes kept on going back to this one photo in the batch.  It is the only one of just one guy; the others were of girls, (should I say ladies?), and some of children. I have no clue who the hunk in this picture is.  There is a name on the back but it is just a first name, and not one that I recognize from my aunt's list of people she used to talk about.  I knew a good many of her friends and relatives, but this guy isn't one of them.  If he had been, I would have remembered...wonder why.

The photo itself looks like one of those James Dean poses...with that askance look and all.  (I can't believe I spelled that word correctly.)  As for his overalls, they are not something anyone with a movie background would wear unless they were filming. 

Those were the days when they used patches for the reason they were intended.  I doubt whether many people patch things now, except perhaps in decorative stitching.  I have done a couple of patches on my hubby's at-home pants.  They always seem to tear by the pockets, so I have taken to making patches that are 'way off' when it comes to matching and done in a zig-zag stitch with contrasting thread color, that really draws attention to the patch.  I figure if the things are 'patched', why not celebrate that. 

My mother is probably shaking her finger at me right now.  She was so good at mending things that you couldn't tell where the mend was.  I recall one episode when I was in organic chem lab.  My lab coat was open, and some 'substance' splashed on my cerise red double knit jumper. It made a hole right in a very obvious location.  The jumper was quite new, and I had a lot of accessories like shoes and bag, not to mention several tops that went with it, so I didn't want to relegate it to the 'unwearable' section of my closet.  (Don't get me started on that!!!).  So I showed it to Mom, and she said she would have to do some invisible mending on that.  I couldn't believe it. I had never heard of the technique. Unfortunately, I didn't learn how to do it, but I did mention it to some of my co-workers a few years later, and my Mom, bless her, saved those people a lot of money that would otherwise have gone to art menders.  Suits, trousers, blazers, sweaters, skirts...they all got fixed.  (Those were the days when a lot of people smoked...some casually...and needless to say, the holes were more than likely cigarette burns.) 

That's another good thing about not smoking.  Fewer clothes ruined. Don't think I will get any federal funds for initiating a no smoking campaign for that reason, but it is something to consider, lol. 

Boy have I gotten side-tracked.  Back to the askanse guy.  The only other clue to his identity is that there was a stamp on the back with the name of Hafford Photos, and the name Hafford, Saskatchewan underneath.  Guess the picture was taken in that province, so once again, another reason why there were no movie stars there at that time.  I have never heard of Hafford. 

And check out the rest of the picture.  Notice the double bars and the handle bars have that rail between them on the bike? I haven't seen that on a bike since I was a kid.  The barrels behind are pretty unusual too.  I wonder if they were located by a well?  Since the picture looks like it was taken in a rural location, there probably wasn't running water in the area at the time. 

My computer 'clock' just announced the time.  I have been on this thing for over an hour now, so must get on to my other jobs.  This was a nice little brain exercise.  Now, on with the polymer clay.  I have a couple of orders for light switch covers to finish before the weekend.  I have been pretty busy with orders and have been delivering them here and there.  And NEWSFLASH! I have some pieces in a new location.

When I was at one of my big 'shows' in October, the manager from The Manitoba Museum Gift Shop approached me and asked if I would be interested in having some of my items in their gift shop.  I stopped by there a couple of weeks ago and dropped off some things.  They aren't nearly as interesting as the photo above, but maybe when I get done with all my picture-altering I might make a few cards from them...kinda like What's in a Photo that really isn't there.  I hope I am living up to the Museum's motto:  encouraging Discovery.  Although I am not much of a reader, I do like to read a mystery every now and then, and finding and interpreting clues, whether they're in photos or in real life, has to be part of the Discovery technique, n'est-ce pas?  Hercule Poirot...Salut!