Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm Back

After all the build up to the last show I needed a break, but I'm back to full working order and with a new sewing machine purchase imminent very excited about future projects. I have to figure out how to balance painting and sewing. They aren't very compatible, you can't do it in the same room for instance.
My project list for early 2010 includes in no particular order: Argyle recycled sweater pig, Recycled sweater owl, lettered garland, pin brooches, wet felted flowers (learn how to wet felt first) Image transfers on wood then made into coasters, multiple paintings of the ocean, donkey ornaments and fancy zippered bags.

It sounds like a lot just typing it out. I will also be bringing to the blog stuff that I read that interests me and inspiring projects. In this way it will lessen the burden on me to take copious photos of my stuff or lack of it !!

I found this on and absolutely love it. I was thinking of making one that said Give me strength and just have it up all year round. Patience is a virtue could be another one, must blog etc etc. I was super excited to find out that Muji has an online store, NO one sells those clear sleeve folders and so I bought 2 to begin with that will help deal with the backlog of cutouts and printouts that form my must have a go at this one day file. They currently reside in a box. The office has now got a much needed lamp which means I can work when its dark, I salvaged a corkboard from work which will need a little trimming to get it to fit the nice frame I have for it. Must get back to work. Happy New Year everyone.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Unique LA

So, I've been a slacker on the blog front but only because I've been chained to my sewing machine. I felt like a factory worker as I attempted to complete projects in time for the show. My fingers are sore from not using a thimble. The regular job just gets in the way and when there's gossip girl and desperate housewives to catch up on its hard to get down to serious stuff. I've been sucked in by Melrose Place too, oh the shame of it. Anyway, thank you to all the lovely people who stopped by and were so complimentary about my wares. The most comical moment was when I wasn't even there, a small boy with his father apparently picked up a penguin and licked it. The father then felt obliged to buy it and later on I saw the small boy still clutching the penguin. So for you kids out there wanting new toys, don't scream and throw a tantrum, just lick !!!

The furry travel buddies awaiting adoption.

I was sad to see glamour owl go, she had sparkly eyes.

The paintings before they got straightened.

Happy Shoppers.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shop Banner

This banner is for the craft shows that I'm doing. It's not quite finished yet as I have to punch some grommets in and back it but you get the gist. You may have been wondering about the delay in posting and I would love to say that I've been super busy and productive but in fact I had an accident and badly sprained my wrist. (Spent 4 hours in A&E for an x-ray just to be sure) and have been in a splint since. It's a lot better now, I can use scissors and a mouse ! I have been very grumpy though, as I had a lot of plans and they had to be abandoned and the accident could have been easily avoided. Such is life. Coming soon more lettering inspired projects.

Hug a Tree

My goal is to create a big forest of trees, but there are only four at the moment. The wool has been felted so they are very soft. It took ages to finish the big tree as I couldn't get the bird to look the way I wanted it to, I did in the end and thus the forest began.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Papa Massimo and the Penguinos

Behold the Penguino Family. Here are some photos from the family album. As you can see there is a striking resemblance between the babies and their parents. I am reluctant to put them up for sale at the weekend as I have grown rather attached. Leave a comment if you like them. Thanks.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Non Painting Chronicles - Noisy Men

Am I a bad person because I want the workman next door to stop singing. He's clearly enjoying himself although he's clearly no Pavorotti, but he's giving me a headache. They are making some sort of medical suite in the building and between the banging, drilling, shouting and now singing I'm ready to go to war. I think I've answered my own question, Yes I am. Mind you in my defense I've only eaten a couple of pistachio nuts and half a cup of coffee hardly a balanced breakfast. It sounds like they are trying to saw through the ceiling now. GIVE ME STRENGTH.

Onto brighter news, the Penguino family is expanding rapidly. The tote pattern is almost complete and its nearly the weekend. Although I have to work on Sunday, so its slightly less exciting. Debating whether to go to Ikea this evening before heading out to the husband's gig. So much to do before the shows in November and December. I had a supremely strange dream last night, I was in Politics, assisting John Kerry and then I can't remember much more but it was dark. That's what you get for watching Criminal Minds before going to bed. John Kerry must have been on the news is my only explanation, I barely know who he is. OK, singing and drilling. This is TOO much.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Here's One I made Earlier - Tote

I think I may have not posted a HOIME last week, so you get two this week as I am so proud of this last one that I can't wait. It's a tote as you can see, in this eco conscious world we live in it makes a stylish statement and packs a lot of groceries. I hope you like it.

Here's one I made Earlier - Owletto

Owletto is the newest of the animal series that I'm currently producing very slowly. Owletto is made from wool felt and embellished with machine embroidery and vintage buttons. He will be going on sale shortly in my Etsy shop. At last some inventory!!

Non Painting Chronicles - Lost and Found

The weekend started inauspiciously. After a late night on Friday, the early morning surf trip was delayed by trying to find my waterproof watch. Parking is metered so the watch is an essential part of kit, those traffic wardens just swoop. After the watch was located, I couldn't locate my wallet that was fine though I had quarters I could get by. I stopped off at work to check I hadn't left it there but no luck. The surf was the biggest its been for a while and the crowds were out, you have to wait till its really cold for the numbers to die down. There was a lot of fog which created this strange atmosphere. I caught one big wave but was content to crouch, the drops are quite intimidating when the waves are big. No injuries though and an exhausting session. They say that bad luck comes in threes I beg to differ.
Here's my top three for Saturday. 1. Looking for lost wallet, everywhere, checking bank activity etc.
2. Stepping in dog poo in my birkenstocks and having to clean it off with an old toothbrush. Those grooves in the sole are a nightmare.
3. Breaking my sewing machine.
I could go on but I'll leave it at that. On the plus side I had some great finds at the thrift store and also went to The seed peoples market where I saw a lot of very groovy handmade stuff and had a nice cup of Spicy Apple Cider. The perks of winter.

Sunday, so much better. A nice chat on Skype with the family is always nice, I love the fact that you can get up and grab something to show them so much easier than describing it. Following a chat with my neighbour who suggested the thread might be the problem with the sewing machine, I had already changed the bobbin twice so I gave it a shot. I changed the main thread and it seemed to work, but then no it was still all loopy at the back. I racked my brains, the needle had broken and I had put a new one in so I took it out again and turned it curvy side forward and like Moses parting the Red Sea the machine started chugging out perfect stitch after perfect stitch. I had visited Jo-Anns and looked at the new computerised machines and to be honest was seriously thinking about trading the old one in. Self threading needles, drop in bobbin, auto start I could go on... Maybe the old tank got wind of it and decided to behave but it works and whilst it does I can't really justify the expense even if the new one does Letters and eighty three stitches !! I produced my second tote ever on Sunday lined and everything. I was very proud and promptly went round my neighbours who are used to me flinging new craft projects in their direction. Feedback was very positive. Whilst I was looking for a CD for my neighbour what should pop up, none other than the missing Louis Vuitton wallet. Oh, the joy. I hadn't cancelled any cards. How did it get in the draw in the first place I've no idea. I have my suspicions. I lost a bag of cheese earlier this week which I later found in the freezer. It's been a spacy couple of days.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Non Painting Chronicles - Chicken Run

As we have established Chicken is no longer person non-grata. She/he has a name Penny and has been through many tribulations in her short stint on the street. When we no longer saw Penny out and about we feared the worst but she was spotted by a neighbour in another neighbour's yard looking forlorn with a bunch of cheetos for company. We were going to plan a rescue and relocate with a much more caring neighbour who really wanted Penny but through recent circumstances that happened anyway. At 5am this morning I heard what sounded like a cat fight, the rain was so loud I had barely slept but I didn't move. ( Yes very rarely in rains in Orange County !) The downstairs neighbour however went to investigate and found Penny in the jaws of a Possum. Possums are not cute at all, this one was bigger than Sanford and the neighbour had to launch into attack mode to get it to release Penny who duly managed to escape and ran through my neighbour's legs into her bedroom. She scurried into a cardboard box and stayed there till 10am the next morning. Penny had lost a lot of feathers and had left a pool of blood in the yard, she is being well looked after with an appropriate diet and we hope that she will make a full recovery. The hunt for the Possum is on, the gloves are off. I might add despite their capacity to kill other animals they are a protected species in Orange County so we will be relocating Possum who has left a fecal trail on top of the laundry area. Sorry if you're reading this before dinner. More Penny pics to come.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Picture Moment - Penny Chicken

If further proof was needed that the chicken is alive and well, see below. Chicken casually strolling up and down the street.

Non Painting Chronicles - October 3rd

Well firstly the chicken is alive and well. He seems to be settling into life on the street and is keeping the noise down as far as I can tell. The dogs now ignore it, two kids have given it the name Penny although I'm pretty sure its a boy, not the same kids that chased it with a shovel i might add.

The cowboy boots had their first official outing, I had them re-heeled and given the chill in the air opted for skinny jeans. They were much admired. It would seem as though the heat wave has ended and Winter is finally here, time to get the jeans out and thicker T.shirts. I bought a really warm coat but I think I'm going to have trouble wearing it whilst riding a bike which means either walking or not wearing the coat quite as much as I thought I would. Oh, such dilemmas.

On the domestic front, after months of hand washing dishes the new dishwasher was finally going to be installed. However, the handyman was also painting the back bedroom and it took longer than expected, blah blah. Upshot, the dishwasher is sitting outside on the balcony, so near yet so far. I had specially saved up some dishes for testing which I promptly had to wash. Still the office looks lovely and cosy now that the walls aren't institution white. What is it with replacing bulbs ? I've had a lamp on my desk for month now sans bulb, its one of these fancy halogen types, I must get myself to a hardware store.

I'm reading a couple of books at the moment, one about a sailing voyage and another by Elizabeth Berg. By the time I get to bed though I just want to sleep and manage about 2 pages before I do. I'm starting Lent early and giving up coffee, which is the reason I am soooo tired sans caffeine boost. I'm sipping water but its not making me any more alert. The husband was fiddling with the lamp the other day and needless to say it was on and a spark shot right through his thumb.I've never known someone more accident prone than me. I discovered the source of my spectacular superman fall, my birkenstocks had stretched so I duly got some holes punched in and so far no re-enactments yet. Yesterday a bike was stolen from our neighbour who had it locked to the railing, I remember my wheels getting stolen off my bike in London on 3 seperate occasions and I was mad about that, this bike was brand new and had never been ridden. I made some flyers and will be on the lookout.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Picture Moment - Ocean Morning

Overcast skies, unusual for Huntington beach but so much more dramatic.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here's one I made Earlier - Penguino

Here's One I made Earlier 
Penguino is an original design, made out of felt and is the first of a many penguins currently in production (well on the ironing table.)

Copyright. DesireeB.2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Non - Painting Chronicles

I shot the chicken but I didn't shoot the deputy. ( Sing to Bob Marley)

That bloody chicken, last night it sounded like it was being attacked by a ferile cat the amount of flapping it was making. Early this morning it was squawking away and generally making a racket. Let me be clear about this, we live in a city, there are no farms nearby that I know of and it would be like a chicken walking around a cul de sac in Ladbroke Grove. Apparently its a bantam chicken and those are expensive said my neighbour. My other neighbours had seen the chicken this morning and contrary to popular belief that it was being attacked it was just happily and casually strolling up the alley, clucking away. Those darn sleep bandits. In the evening as I chatted to the neighbours we spotted the chicken on the fence, slightly obscured by a table. I got the airsoft gun and using my valuable TA experience crouched into position and aimed. I think one of the plastic balls ricocheted and possibly hit the chicken ( I doubt it though) but the noise was enough to startle it, and it flew away. This may seem cruel but I can safely say I don't mean to harm the chicken I just wish it would find somewhere else to live, like the country. I think we are going to have to fork out for a fishing net if we have any hopes of capturing it . It's like the Usain Bolt of chickens. We would of course find it more appropriate accomodation. It's either that or a wanted ad on Craigslist. Chicken: young, agile, social and talkative seeks full time carer. Free, pick up only.

2 Days later Chicken update. So, yesterday in a scene reminiscent of Lord of the Flies the kids on the street decided to chase the chicken. There were about 7 of them. I know I fired at it, but it was indirect only and one of these kids had a blue shovel ! The chicken was flapping about like nobody's business. They weren't hitting it as far as I could see, merely poking bushes, but they were chasing it like a relentless mob and they trapped it in the Apartment complex across the road. Well, we didn't see chicken the next day and feared the worst. Note use of the word fear, due to the nature of it's capture I felt really bad like someone who sees a crime being committed and just closes the curtains. Those kids are out of control. To quote my neighbour " If you want to figure out who the next serial killer will be, look no further." I exaggerate but a shovel ? I'm happy to say Chicken outwitted them all, he was heard happily clucking this morning much to our relief. It is imperative that we capture chicken, he needs to know its us or the kids. We'll find him a nice patch where he can be free of the daily stresses of living on the streets. Still he better steer clear of the Santa Fe.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Picture Moment - The View from I-5 & Raccoons

Naturally with an 8 hour journey the sky is going to change but it was pretty dramatic. All pics were taken from the comfort of a moving vehicle.

These little muddy prints are those left by the rowdy raccoons after a night's camping at Caspar Beach.