Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tie-Dye: Round 2

Adult Hoodie.
I knew it wouldn't be easy doing a long sleeved hooded piece but gave it a go anyway. And as I suspected, it wasn't easy!

Had a hard time figuring out how to wrap the hood and sleeves into the tie for the spiral pattern I was aiming for. I have a tie-dyed long sleeved zip-up hoody that I purchased this Spring, and can tell from the dye pattern on it that the sleeves and hood and main pieces of the body were dyed as seperate swatches and then sewn together. AHHH! THAT'S not gonn'a happen, so I did the best I could working the sleeves and hood into the wrap.

After you truss your piece up and apply the dye, you wrap it in saran-wrap (a plastic bag would do, too) and let it sit for 8 or so hours. After I applied the dye, I thought I had ruined it. Got splotches and splatters where they shouldn't have been, and ran out of dye before I was satisified with how much was on it.:(

But when I unwrapped it the next morning and got through rinsing it out - the hardest part I think! - I was pleasantly surprised.

Adult Hoodie

More white in it than I would like (LOTS more dye if I ever do another of these), but overall, much better than I was expecting. What do ya' think?

Tie-Dye Round 3: Tie Dye For Tots - coming soon to a blog near you.
Here's a sneak-peak, Kate. ;)

Under Waps

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Cactus 2010

So last fall I was given a cutting of a Christmas Cactus and by mid-October it had bloomed. You can read all about that here: 2009 Cactus.
But here's what it looked like then:


And here's what it looks like today:


It just started blooming this week, making it much more a Christmas Cactus than last year. Last year it was more a Halloween Cactus. But wow! Look how much it's grown in a year. I can't believe it survived a whole year+ in my care.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Journey to the Polls

About two weeks ago I got a nice glossy postcard in the mail from President Obama telling me why I should make sure to get out and vote on the 2nd. It also told me where my polling place was. The polling place listed was not familiar to me so I kept the nice shiny card for future reference.

Voting day arrives today so I take the card to the job with me, so I can look the address up on the GPS unit thingy in the van. That shows me that my polling place is located in what I think to be a rather odd place. So when we get home from work, I go to the computer and look the address up on MapQuest. MapQuest shows me the same place the GPS unit did. Hmmmmm. Ok. That's where we will go then.

So with MapQuest printout in hand, my Other-Half and I set out to find Liberty Street. (Yes, my polling place address is on Liberty Street. Really.)
Liberty Street turns out to be not much more than an alley. A dead-end street with four run-down looking duplexes across from a bar long since closed and an industrial building. And this Liberty Street is on South Side. South Side being part of the city but we don't actually live in the city, we live in a borough.

Villages and townships and boroughs and all the other podunk hideyholes large enough to have their own mayor but yet too small to have their own postal address have been a thorn in my side ever since moving to these parts but that is for another day. On this day, at this moment, I am just wondering why the postcard, and MapQuest, and the GPS unit thingy, all sent me to an address in the city when I live in the borough. Even I know that I wouldn't be voting at a city location when I'm a borough resident.

Now I'm doubting myself. Did I read the address wrong on the postcard? Did I make a mistake? Certainly it's not a Democratic conspiracy to keep people from voting by sending you to fake addresses.
So I get my voters registration card out of my wallet. I had remembered last night to dig it out of my desk just in case I needed it today ... On the back of my card I now notice it tells me my polling place. Which is NOT Liberty Street. It's the municipal building in my borough. Exactly where I remember voting last time.

So ok, we will head over there. But since we will be in the neighborhood I want to stop back home first, to get that postcard. So that I can double-check the address on it and settle my own unease that perhaps I read it wrong. When we get home I find a large glossy flier on my doorknob, courtesy of the Democrats again, telling me where my polling place is. Liberty Street! Ahhh! We were just there. There is NO polling place there! It's a conspiracy afterall!!

So we head to the municipal building. Ya know, where I voted last time and what's noted on my voter's registration card. But nothing. Dead. No voting go on there.
Now, the municipal building houses the borough offices, fire department, and police department. There is a lower lot where the police and fire people park, and where the entrance to the police department is. You can't park there. You have to go to the upper lot to park, where there are two doors to the public offices. Someone in there ought to know where the hell I'm suppose to go to vote. So we park.

The main door has a sign on it. "Closed. Please use other door." With an arrow directing to Door #2 over to the left. So I go to Door #2 on the left and that has a sign. "Code Enforcement Only. All others use other door." With an arrow directing to the left, to the stairs that go down and around the building to the police department door.

Now, I have been to the police department before. (For those of you who remember my Carbondale years, no, I have not yet outgrown parking tickets.) I know that the police department door has a sign on it that says "Please ring buzzer and speak into the intercom for admittance. And please note that your buzz may be answered by the fire department." Now, I am NOT buzzing the fire department to ask them to ask the police secretary to call upstairs and ask the borough office people where the heck the polling place is! So to heck with my civic duty, lets just go have a drink and toast how swell the government is doing.

We stop at a drugstore four blocks from home. Which happens to be right on the border of borough vrs city jurisdiction. I ask the cashier if she knows where the community center on Liberty Street is. She has no idea, says she doesn't even think there IS a Liberty Street in the borough. Now the older lady in line behind me speaks up. "Are you looking for the polling place?". YES!!!
"I just came from voting" she says, "it's right behind the library". "You can walk to it from here" she adds, "just push the button at the crosswalk and it'll let you go right over. It's the little garage behind the library." The cashier chimes in that she knows where the library and the garage is, and says with a laugh "THAT is what they're calling a community center?". I don't know about that, but I do know where the library is. It's just a few blocks from home and probably no bigger than my bedroom.

So we head down the road to the library. And yes, there IS a little garage behind it, and yes, there is voting going on. Absolutely no labels on the tiny garage or elsewhere, but clearly a polling place by the activity. So we park and I go in.
There are two folding tables and three volunteers sitting at them. The woman closest to the door asks me to fill out a form. Ok, but I ask her first, am I in the right place? She asks for my last name and finds nothing. Then asks for my first name to check again. Uhm, ok, if my last name isn't in there, my first name isn't going to help ....

She doesn't know what to tell me but the jolly looking middle aged man at the far end tells me to come over, he'll help me. So I give him my voter registration card and he tells me the municipal building is my place. Uh, thanks, but no, I say, I have been by there, twice now, and there is no voting go on there. He says, "Well, it moved since these cards were printed..." UGHH! "They moved to Liberty Street".
Noooo!!! ..... This is like a bad dream now!

I tell him, I have the glossy postcard and the big shiny flier telling me to go to the community center on Liberty Street, but there is no such address, not according to my GPS or MapQuest, both of which sent me to a deadend on South Side. Jolly-looking middle-aged man turns out to actually be jolly and pleasant and patient. He first tells me to calm down (though I was ready to claw someone's eyes out at this point I didn't think it showed) then tells me where I am actually supposed to go and block by block direction on how to get there. I tell him that without pen & paper to write the directions on, forget it, its no use. How about a landmark instead? Do I know where the pool is he asks? No,I don't. I didn't grow up here, I don't know where The Pool is. How about another landmark. The ballfield? Uhm, no, don't know where that is either. Damn. BUT, I tell him, my mate who is driving, he'll know. "Well" he says "I'll go out and give him directions on how to get there just to be sure you all can find it." Thankyou VERY much, I say, but, I'm sure he'll know where it's at with those two landmarks.
Jolly-Guy also now tells me that as a member of the Lions Club he helped build the community center, and that as a "joke" they named the road it's on "Lions Way". The borough even put up a street sign that says Lions Way to thank and acknowledge them.
AHHHH!!!! THAT explains why noone knows where the hell Liberty Street is!

I thank him and head back to the car. Other-Half says he knows exactly where the pool and ballfield is. So we head there and finally, bingo!! Definitely a polling place!! I side-step the group of gentlemen outside still trolling for votes and go in. A nice suited man takes my name and YEEHAW!!! I'm finally in the right place!!
With a smile on my face and laughter in my voice - thanks to jolly-guy at last stop who righted my mood - I tell him briefly of my woes in getting there as he finds my paper to sign. He says, "Well, at least you are taking it in stride and still smiling, the last woman in here was FURIOUS that she had so much trouble finding her way ...."

So good gads almighty - an hour and many miles in circles later, I got my vote in today. Did you?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tie-Dye 101

Philadelphia Flyer fans here. Several friends who are die-hard Pittsburgh Penguin fans. Free "Pittsburgh Sucks" T-shirts. 100% cotton, too, all the better for dying. And for irritating all the Penguin, Pirates, and Steelers fans among us. (Did I mention we're in PA?) Could there be a better reason to finally try tie dying?

four shirts
I did a long sleeved tee for myself and a baby tee for my expectant niece while I was at it.

two shirts
This is the first time I have ever tie-dyed. I read some tutes and watched some how-to videos, but none explained what I really wanted to know. But I guess the great thing about tie-dye is, who's going to know if it's wrong? Right?
Overall, the results are better than I was expecting but next time around I'll use more dye as these didn't get the coverage I wanted.

(click pictures for larger images)

Call Ed

call Ed
Right there between the free Bowflex and the like-new sofabed. Call Ed. Not even "Dr. Ed". Just "Ed".

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 42 - 6 weeks

No SmokingCigarette Free

for 42 Days

6 weeks - in the bag!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Helping Hearts

101 to be exact.

The hearts are 1.5 x 1.5 inches, made of polymer clay and Dremel-buffed to a high-gloss shine. The ribbon charms are also polymer clay, but since buffing was not practical they were clear-coated with MinWax water-based polycrylic.
Periwinkle (which is a rather subjective color and hard to mix!) is the awareness color for gastric cancer.

First Batch 1-46

Second Batch 47-101

The hearts were donated to a Relay For Life team to sell to help with their effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The "Helping Hearts" as I dubbed them were a bigger hit than I expected and raised over $300 for the ACS.

You can view all 101 Hearts here:
Col's Helping Heart Album

Special thanks to AuntyM (aka MoeArt) for her generous donation, without which there only would have been 76 hearts.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Textured Heart Necklace

Textured Heart

What was I thinking? It seemed like a good idea to wrap wire around silk cord and add little glass beads for decoration. But it took six arms and I of course only have two. Don't think the "look" was worth the effort.

Textured Heart

Carnival Necklace

Polymer clay swirled-lentils, glass seed beads, and 3 metal star charms.
My first real effort at wrapped loops.
(The lentils aren't really squished on top, they just look that way because of the light reflection.)

Carnival Necklace
Sort of a silly necklace, but fun. Looked great I thought with my black turtle-neck sweater. I sent this to my 11-yr old niece.
See it in my Photo Gallery

First Charm Bracelet

I had these six "stained-glass" beads I had made from cane scraps. (Not my canes as I haven't made enough yet to have any interesting scraps.)

Stained Glass Beads

I wanted to make a bracelet out of them but wasn't sure what direction to go in with them as I am still in the beginning stages of learning wire wrangling.
When I saw a picture of a bracelet that had been made by simply linking split-rings together, I knew that was it. Not only should it be a no-brainer, I said to self, it should also make for secure links I don't have to worry about being pulled open.

So I decided to make a charm bracelet for my 11-yr old niece. After linking up enough split-rings to make the "base" of the bracelet and adding the six bead charms, I realized, OOPS!, not a no-brainer afterall. It wasn't hanging right. So I undid it all and started again, this time paying close attention to which "side" of the rings to attach the next ones to. That meant constantly picking it up and straightening it out to see which way the next ring should be. So I twisted up two sticks of wire and stuck them in a block of styrofoam, to hold the bracelet stretched out for me. Not pretty, but worked like a charm. (Pun intended. Hee.)


You may have noticed there are 10 beads there, not 6. Six was not enough, not even for a small wrist, so I had to find some of the same scraps to make up more. After much contemplation over how long a bracelet should be for an 11-yr old, I decided 10 beads would work out just right. So I made 4 more beads, strung it all up, and added the little metal charms.
My first charm bracelet.

Charm Bracelet
Charm Bracelet

(After taking the pictures, I switched out the last end ring for a larger, colored one, to make it easier to find the end to fasten it with.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sunshine Blog Award

Sunshine AwardThe Sunshine Award
is awarded to bloggers whose positivity & creativity
inspires others in the blog world.

A big thankyou to Betty Jo of
Knightwork: Playing With Clay
for passing this award to me. :)
Have a look at Betty Jo's shop.
I just love that foil heart pendant!

The rules for accepting this award:
Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
Link the nominees within your post.
Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

MoeArt Polymer Clay Creations
Because it's AuntyM's fault I got into claying and blogging. ;)

The Pleasant Pheasant
Because Jackie's just such a nice lady.

2 Good Claymates
Because Carolyn and her husband create together.

Chasing Rainbows, Too
Because I love the name Sue gave her blog.

Polymer Clay, Etc
Because Alice shares video tutes.

Tonya's Treasures
Because Tonya's blog is beautiful.

Butterscotch Grove
Because Melissa creates from a cabin in Alaska.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Name My Frog Muse

He came home with me today. Isn't he great? He's over a foot long and eight inches wide, from toes to toes. He's supposed to be a garden decoration but I hung him on the wall in my kitchen/craft corner.

Maybe he can represent my muse. (Can a muse be a frog? Or a he?) "Oh, froggy, what should I make today? ..."  But he hasn't told me his name yet. What do you all think his name might be?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lost Cat Ad

Lost Cat
HUH? Why not? Is it armed and dangerous?

(For anyone wondering what a Savannah cat is, here's a link: )