Thursday, January 29, 2015

Needlepoint for a Mouse

Trying to get more even stitches, I ventured out for a second piece of needle point work.  Cotton embroidery floss is what comes in most kits for about ten bucks, so I really could not complain about the quality of the fiber, but cotton floss is not near the quality that wool gives in stitching.  My continental stitches are beginning to show some improvement in tension.

Anyhoo, here is another 5" x 5" piece of needle point, again from a kit, but this time from overstock.com for a low price.  Who can argue with a happy red ladybug wanting to be a mouse pad?


The computer mouse did not glide over the stitches so it was encased in plastic, which works much better.  Plastic is from a bag, recycled and repurposed for this use.  It was fun.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shrinky Dinks for Earrings

Back in 2012 I worked with shrinky dinks laser print pages to make charms and earrings.  Those Downton Abby and Frieda Kahlo earrings are long gone, having been given away to family members in Texas and a new friend in Colorado who wrote of Kahlo in one of her poems.

After the writing retreat when our talented author Sandy Dorr expressed appreciation for Ursula Le Guin, it made sense to make her some earrings of an image of Le Guin, along with one of her quotes.

Steps for making shrinky dink earrings:
  • Find an image you like and tone down the colors (I used 30% on the gamma scale in Photoscape).
  • Select a second image (optional) for the back of the shrinky dink paper.
  • Select 10 per page of the image and print on a laser ink jet printer, using the special paper available at hobby stores
  • Cut off all white edges on the image.
  • Use a hole punch and punch a hole in the top of the image about 1/8 from the top.  Make sure you cut the hole twice the size of the cutter because both the image and the hole will shrink to about 1/4 of its original size.
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil and place the images on it.Bake in a preheated 275 degree oven for four minutes, until the image has both shrunken and flattered.
  • Either paint on varnish or polyurethane, several coats will do, allowing the objects to dry between coats of finish.
  • Remove from oven and cover with paper or foil and put a heavy book on it for 30 seconds.
  • Make earrings or knitting markers using beads and findings.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A New Venture

Over the past ten days, I have committed to try learn to write in a more conscious manner.  This new desire has been spurred on by meeting eight women who write in a manner that makes me think in different directions, expanding my spirit, exercising my mind in styles that I embrace.  I want to do that, too!  This new venture came about from participating in the women's writing retreat held in Redstone, Colorado last weekend, directed by Sandy Dorr.  Then I signed up for her writing class "Path to Writing," eight sessions extending through April.

Homework for the pathway to writing has consisted of reading and discussing other writers and their work.  So far, we have read from Ursala Le Guin, Jane Hirshfield, Sara Teasdale, Rebecca Lee, Claire Keegan, Jamaica Kincaid, Robert Pinsky, Sharon Doubaski and Ellen Bass.  Many more authors were discussed but I was so full of words and pages of writing that I cannot hold them all together in one hand right now.

If you are interested in my pathway to writing, hop on over to my new blog, Path of Writing.  Please comment and give constructive criticism.  I value your thoughts.

I leave you with this image and verse shared by Katie who also attended the women's writing retreat.