Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here Comes Santa Clause

About two weeks ago I went to Macy's on a quest for new pillows. Our current ones are getting to that "too flat to be comfortable" stage, so I figured I'd check out the sales and see if they had anything that appealed to me.

They keep the housewares on the third floor at the Macy's here, so as I rode up the escalator, I found myself at eye level with something that I did not quite expect to see.

Christmas decorations. Directly across from the top of the escalator, Macy's had set up their Christmas department. Artificial trees festooned with blown glass ornaments glittered in the glow of a thousand little twinkly lights. Tinsel adorned the walls and the railings. I think if you went into the Christmas department and stood still for more than a minute, you'd sprout a fine patina of glitter like mold growing on bread.

I am of course all for Christmas. I like it well enough. I can be holly jolly and dreaming of a white christmas while I deck the halls. But it's not even October yet. Halloween hasn't come and gone. Thanksgiving has yet to pass. Isn't it a little too early for the dizzying displays of Christmas cheer? I need the time to enjoy the smell of pumpkin spice and cloves before they start trotting out the freshly cut pine and apple cinnamon scents in stores. Give me a little more time with my gargoyles and pumpkins and rubber bats before you start assaulting my senses with Santa's plump and cheerful visage.

That being said, I have started to keep an eye out for Christmas presents. I've already found something for my mother. But I still want to look around and see grinning jack-o-lanterns while I peruse the stores. Give me garlands of felted ghosts, or give me..well. Give me garlands of tinsel, apparently.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

All in a day's work

This weekend was a busy one for me. I only work two saturdays a year, and this was the saturday that I had to go in. It was only for a few hours, but it still bit a chunk out of my day.

Once I got back from work, did all the usual things that needed doing, and settled in for the evening, I sat myself down in front of my anvil and worked on some new things. I've been making a lot of smaller shawl pins that are fairly quick and easy to make. I'd also been etching a lot of pendants over the course of the week, so I had to mix up some liver of sulfer so I could oxidize them.

By the time I was finished it was nearly 9:30 at night, and my fingers were stained with etching solution, resist, and the excess patina that I'd polished off the copper and silver when I was done oxidizing it.

This is one of the etched pieces I put together:


and some of the shawl pins:




and a pair of earrings:


I have about half a dozen more etched pieces waiting to be made into necklaces. I'll take care of those tomorrow after I get out of work. Ah, to be able to do this full time. But my regular job is what pays the bills, so keep it I must.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stormy weather

This week has been incredibly dreary. It started raining on Sunday, and it hasn't stopped since. Wet leaves have plastered everything outside, and muddy water is pouring from ditches and turning potholes into swimming pools for frogs.

This morning was thick with fog and flying leaves, rain battering everything into a sopping mess. I know eventually the sun will come back, but it seems like it never will.

I've been holed up inside making shawl pins and etching pieces of copper for pendants. I finally made a few shawl pins in sterling silver, since christmas is coming and I need to get more stock in my etsy store. I figure not everyone wants to wear copper.

Other than that, I've been crocheting my fingers to the bone. I have orders for three witch dolls, and I'm making myself a wrap to wear here at work, where they keep the air conditioner running until mid October. I think my hands simply can't stay still. They have to be busy with something, even when I'm watching TV. Crocheting is good for keeping them occupied without having to pay much attention to what it is I'm working on. The wrap I'm making is a deep burgundy color, done in an open V stitch. So far it's looking quite nice. I think I'll make myself a complimenting shawl pin, so I can keep it in place and advertise at the same time.

This week's weather is a reminder that the year is starting to wind down. I only have four dental appointments left until I'm done. Though it's not even officially Fall yet, I'm preparing myself for winter, hoping that this time there won't be another ice storm. I hope that autumn lingers this year. I want long golden days filled with brilliantly colored leaves before everything starts to turn brown and withered. Most of all right now, I want this soggy weather to stop.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In my etsy store right now:

The long and short of it

In anticipation of the cooler weather headed our way, I have been sweater shopping a few times already this month. Last year I waited until it got cold enough to need sweaters, and was unable to find anything even remotely nice in my size. I went through last winter with a few cheaply made pitiful sweaters that ended up bagging at the elbows and unraveling before the season was out. I should have probably splurged on some nice hand made ones, but alas, I simply wasn't thinking.

So this year I was determined that I would NOT be stuck with a few pathetic little scraps of yarn cobbled into sweater form. It would appear that this year, there's a terrible yarn shortage. Why would I think that? Because none of the sweaters have proper sleeves. Oh, I like the dolman sleeve. It's cute, if it's not overly huge. But I don't want every sweater in my wardrobe to be something I could take off in on a windy day. If the sweaters didn't have dolman sleeves, they lacked sleeves at all. Forget finding a cardigan. The only buttons to be seen were purely decorative ones on sleeves or shoulders. Nothing functional.

It's early in the season yet, so perhaps as the colder weather creeps closer they will suddenly discover sweaters with plain old long sleeves, that aren't huge and floppy, or elbow length, or embellished with buttons. A girl can dream, right?