Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!  The last week has been insane finishing up the last of the holiday crafting.  I also spent a lot of time at the post office shipping off the family's gifts.  Thank you post office employees!  We have been having crazy insane weather lately.  I think we have had more snow this month than we had in the last two years combined.  The snow is taller than Jesus, but he is a good boy and has no problem going out since we shoveled the grass for him.  Tomorrow we have been lucky enough to have lived with Jesus for two years.  

Currently crafting...I am working on another baby blanket for one of Patrick's co-workers who is expecting.  I got the Vanna's Choice Lion Brand yarn and it works up pretty nice.  I recently got my invitation to join which is awesome!  I am so impressed by that site.  I was actually planning on starting some sort of journal to catalogue all of my projects.  Ravelry has all the tools to keep track of finished projects, wips, pattern books, and needles and hooks.  There are also lots of great forums and groups to join.  I highly recommend getting on the waiting list (I had to wait about three weeks to get the invite) if you knit, crochet or spin.  

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Just a quick post tonight to announce that my first felting project worked.  I can't say what it is because it is a gift, but it is AWESOME!  I am so excited I just had to post about it here.  I crocheted, threw it in the washer with an old towel and magic.  It would have really sucked if it hadn't worked right as it took me two days to do the crocheting.  

I'll post pics after Christmas.  I will say that I took a couple of patterns from SNB: Happy Hooker and mixed them up a little bit to create a fabulous new item.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If you knew me and saw me recently, you would know that my butt is much smaller (not really) because I've been working it off!  This year, because I haven't been working, I am making most of our Christmas gifts and am getting close to being finished.  Dollar-wise, we are spending less than $500 for all of our family and friends' gifts.  Usually we spend about two to three times that amount.  I am very happy with how everything is turning out.  I'll post more than a taste (see previous post) after the holidays are over.

Saturday night was my first performance with the Souhegan Valley Chorus and the Valleyaires at the Nashua Holiday Stroll.  Everything went well except for my out-of-tune "solo" during the Valleyaires performance of "Hang the Holly."

Our big concert is on December 9th at 7:30pm at Souhegan High School in Amherst.  Directions are available at the Souhegan Valley Chorus Website

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I had my last knitting class on Thursday. Everyone graduated! The instructor said that she was very impressed with all the work we all did. Everyone in the class signed up for knitting with a teacher starting a week after Thanksgiving until the end of the year. I am going to make mittens. I am excited!

I am still hard at work making Christmas gifts for everyone. I finished my sister's and I am half finished with my brother's gift. I just finished my last craft swap on Craftster for a while. I had the very best partner. She sent me a great package. Especially this apron she made out of her husband's old jeans.

Thanks Jennyleigh!

Recently, I signed the Buy Handmade Pledge (see sidebar). I am very happy I did so. This year, as I tried to start making a living through my jewelry, I realized how many amazing craftspeople and artists are in this world who deserve our support. I am going to try to buy handmade for all the gifts that I don't actually make myself. Back to working my butt off!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Veteran's Day. I want to thank all the service people who have given their lives and their freedom to ensure the freedom of people all over the world. Regardless of how I feel about the war or about war in general the troops deserve our support and our respect. I spent three years in the US Army. Those years gave me an insight into what life with limited amounts of freedom is like. Every day I am incredibly thankful for the freedoms so many people in this country take for granted.

To the woman who left the thank you card on my windshield at the mall, thank you, it touched me.

In crafty news, I have been working very hard making Christmas gifts and just playing around with beads. I took a whole bunch of old glass beads and made a cool bracelet:

Here's some hints of the crocheting I have been doing:

Jealous much? Bet you want more than taste, huh? Too bad, so sad!

And last but not least, a cute blanket and hat combo I made for a friend's baby:

OK, so I have one more picture, a gratuitous shot of my baby sleeping:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The in-laws have gone home and life is now returning to normal. I am knitting knitting knitting for my class and I found out that after I was practicing for a week that I was doing it all wrong! I know what I am doing now for the most part and am about a third of the way through my scarf.

I am so awesome. Soon, there will be no craft I cannot do! HA!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Happy November! I know it has been a while, but not a lot of crafty things have been happening. My in-laws are visiting for a long weekend so most of my time is devoted to them.

I went to my first knitting class last week and knitting is much easier than I thought it would be. I look forward to making lots of lovely things with all the gorgeous yarn that is available in this world.

In doggie news, Jesus is doing well. He is on a low sodium diet and on lots of medication to keep his heart in check and to keep his lungs from filling up with fluid. He is extra spoiled and now gets to sleep in bed with mommy and daddy every night. He has to be touching one of us at all times. He especially loves all the attention he is getting from his grandma and grandpa right now.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I got another sale today. Unfortunately the good news was kind of marred by the fact that my Chihuahua was in the hospital for two days and was diagnosed with end stage congestive heart failure. According to the vet, the average length of time a dog can be expected to live with the condition is about six months. This news was especially hard since we lost our other dog, Petie, in June to kidney failure. Our new goal is to spoil our little Jesus with lots of love and affection and make the most of every day we have left with him. I know he'll be here with me for a while longer, but my heart is still breaking over the thought of losing him.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Yippee!! I got my first Etsy sale on Friday! I was so excited I freaked my husband out in the shower.

In other news, I spent most of the day yesterday making origami for new jewelry pieces. I am still working on the origami so I haven't made any new pieces yet. Tomorrow, Patrick and I are heading down to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to see the Jewelry by Artists exhibit. I am then going over to my friend Kate's house for a little stitch and bitch session. Should be a good day. We were going to go to the museum today, but with the Red Sox craziness we decided to stay out of the city. Hopefully I will get some inspiration as I am kind of in a jewelry making slump right now.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Yes, I know. I promised that I would post one new item a day for the month of October on my Etsy site. I see you checking there every day for the past four days wondering where oh where is the newest jewelry offering? Sorry to say, I ran out of items on Sunday and haven't had a chance to make anything new until yesterday. I will be working all day tomorrow as well so expect more items out this weekend.

As you can see, I have also decided to forego proper punctuation for the time being. I don't have time to do everything! Gosh! What do you people expect of me?

In other news, three crocheted baby projects are finished! One has already been delivered (and was well loved as far as I could see) and the other two will be mailed out shortly. I also signed up for a knitting class which starts in two weeks. Hopefully I won't impale myself on the needles, or poke an eye out or something. I can be a klutz.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I am working my booty off! In the next couple of months there are babies babies babies being born to many friends and family members. So I have been crocheting like a madwoman. I'm not going to mention what I am making or post photos yet because a lot of the receipients of the items might be reading this blog. I'm also making lots of Christmas presents and jewelry. Come January, I'm going to need a vacation for my hands.

I have to admit, my favorite part about crochet is that I can do it while I am sitting on the couch in front of the TV. I am such a TV-aholic. I'm from that generation whose parents just tossed their kids in front of a TV as a babysitter. Not that that's a bad thing, just an observation. Right now I'm watching the Red Sox kick Cleveland's butt in game 1 of the ALCS.

In other news, I have posted new items everyday so far in October on my Etsy shop. I also posted an ad on Craig's List and sent out some e-mails. I should post some bulletins on Myspace as well. Hopefully I'll start getting sales soon.

Sorry for the random rambling of this post, just wanted to remind everyone that I am still here...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Feminist Swap items
Originally uploaded by coveykeating
I guess I promised to post everything I sent for the feminist swap. I think I sent a lot of great items and received TONS of complements from everyone in the swap, except for my swap partner. I have no idea when/if she will even be sending a package in return since I haven't heard from her in a while. I really hope she likes everything she received and the reason she hasn't been in contact is because she is so absolutely amazed and astounded by everything I sent that she has been rendered speechless (or e-mail-less or unable to type or something). Yeah, we'll say that.

So here's everything I sent: I sent the "Fashion First Aid Bag" from the Stitch and Bitch Happy Hooker, a Wonder Woman Accordian book, feminist quote artwork, and a female symbol necklace. I made the pendant out of sterling silver and the necklace itself is amethyst, rose quartz and swarovski crystal strung on silk.

As I said, I hope she liked it.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Autumn is here! Patrick and I had quite an adventure this weekend. We drove up to Mt. Washington and went up the auto road. I really know why people proudly drive around with the "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington" bumpersticker. It took us about a half an hour to get to the top. At the summit it was about 35 degrees and there were 75 mph wind gusts. Not only that, the summit was completely covered in clouds. I could barely walk and I couldn't see five feet in front of me. On the way back down the mountain we stopped to cool our brakes and to take pictures of the beautiful views. We have been living here in New Hampshire for three years and this was our first trip to really experience some of the lovely natural scenery.

The scenery was so very lovely that I was inspired. I have been making tons of jewelry and will be posting one new item in my etsy store every day in the month of October. Keep watch, I think you'll be pleased with my fall offerings.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Patrick worked SO hard on the pirate costumes for us, I had to do something in return. So I found a pattern for an amigurumi chihuahua and whipped it up for him. I had a lot of fun doing it! It turned out very well.

I actually changed his eyes to big black buttons, but I don't have pictures of the update. Patrick named him "Buttons" and he now lives on his desk at work. I'm not sure Jesus liked him very much, but they do have matching ears!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A quick update since I am trying to blog more. I have finished all my items for the feminist swap and will be sending the package out tomorrow. I am really happy about how everything turned out.

The pirate party was a great success. Patrick and I won for best costume and the flintlock pistols were a huge hit. Everyone posed for pictures with them. We had a great time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy September! I have been pretty busy lately. I had poison ivy all over my arms and that kept me itching for a couple of weeks. Nasty stuff. Labor Day weekend, I put hardwood flooring in our living room. It is so beautiful! Jesus did not like it one bit. He acted like he couldn't jump on the couch from the hardwood even though he had no problem jumping up when Patrick and I weren't looking. We bought an area rug and his life is so much easier now. Spoiled dog!

In crafty news, I have been busy working on items for a feminist swap I am doing on Craftster. I will post pictures after I send as I want my partner to be surprised and I don't know if she reads this blog. I am making some amazing things and I am very excited about sending them off to her. I am also trying to start making jewelry again. I haven't done much lately since this summer was so hectic. Entering September was like a breath of fresh air...I can finally get back to my routine. I am back to the gym everyday, I joined a local choir and the Nashua Pastoral Care Center Gourmet and Auction committee has started meetings.

Tomorrow night some of our friends are having their annual costume party. Last year the theme was "High School Graduation" and everyone had to dress up like they did in high school. This year, it's "Pirates." My husband, being the historically accurate man that he is, insisted on getting me a (real) cutlass and a (real) flintlock pistol. He is also making my costume from scratch. I can't wait until it's done! I'm going to be one hot pirate wench.

I'm busy, my life is going good, and I'm happy right now.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I know, I know, it has been a million years since I last posted. In the past month, I have traveled to Maryland and to Wisconsin and I had a couple of craft dates with my friend Kate. Kate came up to New Hampshire from Boston for a day and we played with polymer clay. I made a fugly pencil holder from an old tin can.

Beautiful, isn't it? Polymer clay is not my medium. It works better if you bake it at the proper temperature. I learned that the hard way...

In other craft news, I have been working on making note cards to put in my etsy shop. Here's a quick sample:

I'll be posting them in my shop as soon as I have a few more sets made. I will also be making mock-ups of wedding invitations for my sister. One year from today she will be Mrs. Paul Aparicio. Now that I am home for an indefinate period of time, I will have more time to craft and more time to post, so keep watch!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Last weekend, Patrick and I took a boro bead making class. We had a lot of fun. The instructor was Marta Bernbaum and she was excellent. She really gave everyone personal attention and tried to help me with more advanced projects as I have already taken a boro class. She inspired confidence in me that I didn't have in my last class. The instructor in that class was not very good and the whole experience was slightly uncomfortable. The coolest thing I did was actually blow a small vase. Marta said the easiest way to put a stand on the vase was to make three legs. Once I had my three legs made, I noticed they looked like two legs and a tail. I then decided I needed to make a monster vase. I started to add arms and realized that I was adding the arms in the wrong place and that became back spikes. I wanted to try to make a head, but that was a little beyond me, so it just ended up looking like a headless monster wearing a turtle-neck. I named him Leonard. I love Leonard.

Patrick and I also made a ton of beads and pendants. My pendants turned out a little wonky, but the implosions look lovely. I also got over my fear of playing with the colors. Boro colors are amazing. Depending how you heat them, how long you heat them and what other colors you mix them with, you get incredible variation. That is the challenge of working with boro. It is difficult to get the same result twice. Once you have a grasp of the colors, even the craziest wonkiest creations can be beautiful. It's kind of like people really. With the right personality and heart, even the craziest wonkiest people can be beautiful.

Red Heart Pendant:

All my crazy color flat beads:

Random pendants:

Pretty beads:

Friday, July 20, 2007

I am home from Montreal. I spent a lot of time there doing origami. Many of Erica's family do not speak English and my French is very rusty, so I just folded a lot of cranes and lilies to make everyone like me. ;-) I have photos from the trip on my flickr page if you want to have a look. You have to register and request me as a contact. My user name there is "coveykeating"

In other news, Patrick and I will be spending two days at the Sharon Arts Center taking a borosilicate bead making class. I have already taken a boro class, but this will be Patrick's first. It's a lot of fun. 12 hours of torch time this weekend should make for some pretty beads. I will post photos once they are made and annealed and home where they belong.

Au revoir until my next post...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Quick update:
I am sure all my three blog readers are interested to know that my swap package was received by my partner and she said it was one of the best packages she has received! That makes me happy, especially considering that her mom is going through chemo right now.

Here's the necklace I sent for the swap (one of several of the items...)

It's rose quartz, hematite, and swarovski crystal on grey silk. It was made to match the fat bottom bag of one of the previous posts.
I finished the shawl and as predicted, it turned out much smaller than it should have. It will be going to the 6 year old daughter of my friend Erica. I haven't been doing too much else lately. I am getting ready for a week in Montreal so that is taking up most of my time.

One thing I have been doing is helping Patrick paint his Warhammer guys. He has a health condition that causes his hands to shake, so it is very difficult for him to do small details on the miniatures. Plus, he has sausage fingers. I seem to be fairly good at painting them. I was looking at eBay and ONE fully painted miniature was going for $50! If I get really good, I could make some serious bank. That's Patrick's hope anyway.

I sent my package for the pink swap on Craftster last week Tuesday and according to the delivery confirmation my partner received on Friday. I haven't heard anything from her. I don't know if she received it, if it was intact, or (most importantly) if she liked it. I'm starting to get a little worried. Hopefully I will hear something soon.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Today, I spent most of the day trying to get the word out on my Etsy shop. I added a mini-shop to my MySpace page and made sure my PayPal was set up correctly. I have already forwarded the link to everyone I know and send updates to my address book as well as post MySpace bulletins everytime I add new pieces. I also added my shop address to my signature on every message board I post on. I have had jewelry listed since April and haven't sold one piece. It is getting frustrating considering that I want to make my living making jewelry.

I have sold some pieces to friends, but I definately do NOT want to make my living by selling only to my friends. I don't want tto live off them. Although if someone (besides my husband) offers to support me through jewelry making, I might take them up on it!

In other news, I had to buy another skein of yarn to finish the shawl I am making. I also realized that I did a triple crochet instead of a double triple crochet in each shell, so the shawl is a little smaller than it should be. I don't want to frog it now, so I am going to keep going and give it to someone with small shoulders.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I learned to crochet when I was a kid in Girl Scouts. Back then I could only do one stitch and I always kept the tension too tight which made it impossible to make anything decent. I gave up on it and went on to do other arts and crafts. Recently I picked it up again. I decided that I wanted to start crocheting so I found myself some tutorials online and bought myself some cotton yarn and jumped right in. I started by just crocheting a big square with all the different stitches. I then found some crochet-a-longs on Craftster and tried a couple of granny squares. Next, I had found Crochet me magazine which is an online magazine with lots of cool patterns and I started crocheting hats and scarves. Finally, I ordered "Stitch and Bitch: The Happy Hooker" off of Amazon with a gift certificate I had and started working patterns from the book. I have made several "In Bloom" bags, three "Fat Bottom Bags" and I am currently working on the "Sweet Pea Shawl." I really like crocheting because it is something I can do while I am watching television. I am one of those people who can't just sit and stare at the TV, I have to be doing something with my hands.

What I really discovered from my venture into crocheting, is that the resources are available online (for free) for anyone who wants to teach themselves anything. You just have to look for them.

Today, I have posted photos of my first "In Bloom" bag, a "Fat Bottom Bag" which I recently finished, and the in process "Sweet Pea Shawl."

Monday, July 02, 2007

I have just finished a ton of crafting for a swap I am participating in on Craftster. The theme is "pink" so I am tickled pink right now. I have photographed everything I made, but I hesitate to post it now as my swap partner hasn't received it yet and I want everything to be a surprise.

This past week I have dabbled in a little of everything: crochet, sewing, paper, jewelry, and painting. Today I thought I would post some more of my older work. These two necklaces were made at the beginning of the year. The blue one for a swap, and the red one for the Nashua Pastoral Care Center annual silent auction (I donate jewelry to the auction every year). Both necklaces are made with origami beads which were painstakingly folded out of six 1x1 inch squares of paper for each bead. The other components are sterling silver and semi-precious stones. I am working on making more of these to put in my Etsy shop. I wanted to get some inventory in the shop before I start working on more of the time consuming (i.e. more expensive) items. Now I just need some people to start buying!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Welcome to my first craftastic blog entry! The reason I started this blog was to discuss and post photos of my latest crafty projects.

Recently, Patrick and I took a jewelry making class. We worked with metals and semi-precious stones. It was a lot of fun. Here are some examples. The first is sterling silver and malachite and the second is a sterling silver and copper ring (my first ring). I really enjoyed making rings and am looking forward to getting a torch set up at home so I can solder. I love working with open flame.