Category Archives: I’m Crafty

Winter Is Coming (But Your Head Doesn’t Have to Be Cold)

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Each of these three pink and purple cuties is extra large and has a rolled edge. They cost $15 each, including shipping.

I’ve been on a hat-making kick. I love to see the way colors come together and working with colorful yarn allows me to have such an experience. I like to keep my hands busy when I listen to a podcast or do a Spanish lesson, and making hats is good for that too.

Both of these hats are extra large and have a rolled edge. Either can be yours for only $15, including shipping.

At the end of last winter, I’d said I was out of the hat business. Rolls of yarn seemed too bulky to store in the van, and I had so many hats already in stock. I don’t really get a good financial payoff from selling hats either; because it takes me over an hour to make a hat, I barely make minimum wage on my labor when I sell a hat for 10 or even 15 bucks. Making more hats barely seemed worth it to me.

These three greenies will take you through to St. Patrick’s Day! Each is extra large with a rolled edge. Each will keep your head warm and save you from being pinched for only $15, including shipping.

Then, in the spring, a sweet New Mexico friend cleaned out her craft larder and offered me all the yarn she decided she wouldn’t use after all. I couldn’t turn down her kindness, and I was back in the hat business.

This hat is brown and yellow and pale blue. It’s extra large for a comfy fit for the big of head or hair and has a rolled edge. It can grace your head for only $15, including shipping.

I noticed the last few times I set up my sales table, the extra-large hats were getting all the attention. Very interesting. Most people, it seems, want a loose hat. Personally, I like a snug hat I can keep pulled down over my ears, but as my dad used to say, if everyone liked the same thing, there wouldn’t be enough to go around. Because more people seem to be interested in extra-large hats, lately I’ve concentrated my efforts on making extra-large hats. I’m asking a couple dollars more for the bigger hats because making them requires more of my time and materials.

Red and grey and brightly colored, both of these hats pop! Each is extra large with a rolled edge. Each will cost you only $15, including shipping.

Most of the hats you’ll see in the this post are new, handmade by me in the last few weeks. Each is extra-large and has a rolled edge. Each costs $15, including shipping. (As always, if you buy more and I can consolidate your items into one package going to one address, I’ll give you a break on shipping.)

The money job was slow one day, so I made a purple and blue hat while I was stuck there. It’s extra large, with a rolled edge and was made from yarn my friend sent me. For only $15, including shipping, it can keep your head warm now and into the future.

If none of these hats entice you, have a look at my newly updated Hats for Sale page. All of the hats shown in this post are also shown on that page, as well as plenty of large hats for folks with smaller heads or those who want a snugger fit.

On another slow day at the mercantile, I whipped up this colorful cutie with more yarn sent by my friend. It’s extra large, with a rolled edge. You can wear it on your head for only $15, including shipping.

Winter is coming, yes, but you can keep your head warm with a hat from the heart and hands of the Rubber Tramp Artist.

More More New Necklaces

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I’ve sold three necklaces since I posted photos of pieces I made. Yippie! In the interest of letting folks know what I have available, I’m posting three more photos of new necklaces today. I’ll add these photos and the information about the jewelry to the “Jewelry for Sale” page too. That’s the best place to see a variety of necklaces I have for sale.

As a reminder, all of the necklaces are made from hemp by my own two hands. I didn’t make most of the pendants, but I try to remember to indicate if one was made by me. I do custom pieces too, so if you don’t see what you want, feel free to send me an email and ask if I can do what you are interested in.

The necklace on the left is 14 inches long. It features a pendant with “pearls” (I have no idea if they are actual pearls) and some sort of blue stone that looks a bit like turquoise but probably isn’t. It costs $13, including shipping. The second necklace is made from natural hemp that is tied in a spiral design. It has a mystery stone pendant. It is 18 inches long, and costs $13, including postage. The last necklace has an orange metal flower pendant. It is 14 inches long, and the blue hemp is tied in a spiral design. It costs $13, including shipping.

 

The necklace on the left features a small cross. The necklace is 18 inches long. The cross is metal, but not sterling silver or anything fancy like that. It costs $13, including shipping. The middle necklace is 20 & 1/2 inches and features a large cross with a cutout design. This cross is also metal, but not sterling. It costs $13, including tax. The necklace on the right is 20 inches. The cross is black and silver metal, but not sterling. It also costs $13, including shipping.

 

All of these necklaces have heart pendants of one kind or another. The necklace on the far left is 14 inches long. The heart is some kind of unknown black material in silver. The metal does not seem to be sterling. This necklace has small metal heart accent beads and costs $13, including shipping. The second necklace has a pendant made from two metal heart beads with a blue bead between them. The beads are not sterling or any other fancy metal. The necklace is 14 & 3/4 inches and costs $13, including shipping. The third necklace has a stone heart. I don’t know what kind of stone it is. The necklace is 15 inches, and costs $13, including postage. The necklace on the right has a blue plastic heart pendant and small metal heart-shaped accent beads. The necklace is 17 &1/2 inches and costs $13, including shipping.

New Collages and New Necklaces

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This post is just a quickie to let folks know I’ve posted photos of two new collages and a WHOLE BUNCH of new necklaces to the appropriate pages of this blog. All items are for sale at very reasonable prices.

If you are looking for a particular type of pendant on your hemp necklace and don’t see a photo of what you want, let me know. I have many, many, many more necklaces not pictured on the blog, as well as lots of beads and pendants I can use to do custom pieces.

I will have all necklaces pictured on the “Jewelry for Sale” page available for purchase by tourists starting tomorrow. You might like something, only to find it is gone when you contact me. I apologize in advance if such a thing happens. I will update the page as soon as I can after an item sells, but I am moving into the time of the year when I may not have internet access every day. I appreciate the patience and understanding of my patrons.

If you are in Truth or Consequences, NM, you can see more of my collages at Grapes Art Gallery (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grapes-Art-Gallery/451084888328312) at 407 Main Street.

And if I could just ask for a little more support…

If you read a post you like, please click the “Like” button at the end of it, or leave a comment. It helps me to know folks are reading and enjoying my writing. Readership has been really low this week, and I’m beginning to wonder again why I even bother. If you want to keep seeing these posts, please let me know.

And while I’m asking for your attention, if you are on Facebook, please consider liking my pages, Blaizin’ Sun Creations (https://www.facebook.com/Blaizin-Sun-Creations-291317231259583/), where I post the items I have for sell, and the Rubber Tramp Artist page (https://www.facebook.com/Rubber-Tramp-Artist-1582864462007151/). Also, you can invite your Facebook friends to like those pages too.

I’ll leave you today with images of the two collages I posted today.

This collage, entitled It Is What It Is, is 4″ X 6.” It is made from paper on a postcard that was intercepted from the recycling bin. It costs $20, including postage.

 

This collage, entitled Keep Growing, is 4″ X 6.” It is made from paper on a postcard that was intercepted from the recycling bin. It costs $20, including postage.

More New Necklaces

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It’s a new month, so I thought I would share with my readers some of the new necklaces I’ve made recently.

All of these necklaces are made from hemp and are available for purchase. Prices listed include shipping charges. If you like one, order it soon, before I sell it to a tourist.

The necklace on the far left is made from natural hemp and has a two circle metal pendant on it. It is 13 inches long. Cost is $13, including shipping. The middle necklace is made from natural hemp and has a carved bone bead in the middle with accent beads also made from carved bone. The middle bead features a yin-yang symbol, an ankh, and a peace sign. It is 16 inches long and costs $13, including shipping. The necklace on the far right has a blue stone pendant. The stone might be turquoise, or it might be some other stone dyed to look like turquoise. The necklace is made from natural hemp and is 17 inches long. It is available for $13, including shipping.

 

The necklace on the far left is made from blue and pink hemp and has a shell pendant. It is 14 inches long and costs $13, including shipping. The second necklace is made from natural hemp and features a pendant with shiny orange glass bits. It is 15 inches long and costs $13, including postage. The third necklace is made from burgundy and natural hemp and features a mystery stone pendant. It is 24 inches long and costs $13, including shipping. The necklace on the far right is made from blue hemp and features a delicate blue pendant. I don’t have the exact measurement of this necklace at the moment, but it is at least 20 inches long. If you like this one, I can measure it for you. It cost $13, including shipping.

 

The necklace on the far left is made from natural hemp. It is 23 inches long, plus at least another three inches added by the metal fish pendant. It cost $13, including shipping. The second necklace is also made of natural hemp and features a metal pendant with green wooden beads. It is 20 inches long and costs $13, including shipping. The third necklace, also made from natural hemp has a large wooden bead in the middle and four wooden accent beads.  The necklace is 21 inches long and costs $13, including shipping. The necklace on the far right is also made of natural hemp and features a carved bone frog pendant. It is 16 inches long and costs $13, including shipping.

 

The necklace on the far left has four metal accent beads and a metal star pendant. The metal is NOT sterling silver. The necklace is made from a dark hemp (possibly black, possibly brown.) It is 22 inches long and costs $13, including shipping. The second necklace is made from rainbow hemp. The pendant is a substantial metal heart (NOT sterling silver, as far as I can tell). It has tiny metal heart accent beads. It is 20 inches long and costs $13, including postage. The third necklace is made from yellow and natural hemp and is 18 inches long. The pendant is a small yellow flower with yellow in the middle and petals that are a sort of orange color. It features small metal heart accent beads. It costs $13, including postage. The necklace on the far right is made from blue and black hemp and features a star carved from bone. It is 17 inches long and costs $13, including shipping.

 

The necklace on the far left is made from pink and red hemp. It features a mass-produced red glass heart and (possibly pink) accent beads. (I can look at the accent beads up close and in person if you want to know their exact color.) It is 20 inches long and costs $13, including shipping. The second necklace is made from pink and purple hemp and is spiral style. It is 16 inches long and features a substantial metal heart (NOT sterling silver, as far as I can tell.) It costs $13, including shipping. The third necklace is made from brown and red hemp. It features a (mystery) stone heart and gold stone accent beads. It is 17 inches and costs $13, including shipping. The necklace on the far right is made from pink and purple hemp. It features a white heart, shell, I think, but I’m not certain. It is 20 inches long and costs $13, including postage.

 

The necklace on the far left is made from pink and purple hemp. The pendant is a metal circle (about the size of a dime) with flowers stamped on it. On the back is stamped “.999 FS.” It is 14 inches long and costs $13, including postage. The second necklace is made from rainbow hemp and has four blue access beads. The metal pendant says “find joy in the journey.” It is 16 inches long and costs $13, including postage. The third necklace is made from green and purple hemp and has four wooden accent beads. The pendant is a metal mushroom. It is 17 inches long and costs $13, including postage. The necklace on the far right is made from natural hemp and is 12 inches long. The pendant is a sun made from carved bone with yellow accent beads. It costs $13, including postage.

Valentine to My Own Dear Heart

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Coyote Sue told me about the contest.

A local coffee shop was holding an art contest with the theme “Sacred Heart” just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Oh yeah, I thought. I can collage it up to that theme.

I grew up Catholic, so I was familiar with the imagery of Jesus and his Sacred Heart, but if you’re not, here’s a picture from Two Heart Design (http://www.twoheartsdesign.com):

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Heart) says,

The Sacred Heart is often depicted in Christian art as a flaming heart[3] shining with divine light, pierced by the lance-wound, encircled by the crown of thorns, surmounted by a cross, and bleeding. Sometimes the image is shown shining within the bosom of Christ with his wounded hands pointing at the heart. The wounds and crown of thorns allude to the manner of Jesus’ death, while the fire represents the transformative power of divine love.

Somehow the teachers at my weekly Catechism classes failed to teach me what the Sacred Heart was all about, and I had to turn to Wikipedia again. The aforementioned article says,

The devotion to the Sacred Heart (also known as the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sacratissimi Cordis Iesu in Latin) is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions, taking Jesus Christ’s physical heart as the representation of His divine love for humanity.

This devotion is predominantly used in the Roman Catholic Church and among some high-churchAnglicans and Lutherans. The devotion is especially concerned with what the Church deems to be the love and compassion of the heart of Christ towards humanity, and its long suffering. The origin of this devotion in its modern form is derived from a Roman Catholic nun from France, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, who said she learned the devotion from Jesus during a series of apparitions to her between 1673 and 1675,[1] and later, in the 19th century, from the mystical revelations of another Roman Catholic nun in Portugal, Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart, a religious of the Good Shepherd, who requested, in the name of Christ that Pope Leo XIII consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Predecessors to the modern devotion arose unmistakably in the Middle Ages in various facets of Catholic mysticism.[2]

I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to do when I started the project. I knew I wanted to make a collage, and I knew I wanted to profess the sacredness of my heart. As interesting as a heart pierced by a lance wound and surrounded by a crown of thorns may be, I decided not to go the Jesus route with my project. Yes, in the collage for the contest, I would make the sacred heart in question my own.

Most of my collages are small, usually about 4″ x 6″, postcard size. The minimum size accepted for this contest was 8″ x 10″. OH! This was going to be a big one.

I started gathering materials at my favorite purveyor of inspiration, the thrift store.

I took this photos showing the original wall ornament after I painted about half the border with red fingernail polish.

At the thrift store, I found an inspirational plaque with the saying “Home is Where the Heart Is.” I liked it because the words were written on a piece of heavy cardboard that projected from the frame. I also bought half a bottle of red fingernail polish which I used to paint a copper colored border. Finally, I found a big red cardboard heart to use as the focal point of the project.

After painting the border, I started collaging the areas within and outside the border. I used mostly images I had on hand. I also collaged the big red cardboard heart. I went back and forth between those two parts of the project.

Royalty Free Images Anatomical Heart Vintage

This is the royalty free anatomical heart image I got from http://thegraphicsfairy.com/royalty-free-images-anatomical-heart-vintage/.

I wanted my sacred heart to be somewhat realistic, so I found a royalty free image of an anatomical heart from “a Vintage Circa 1884 Science Book” on http://thegraphicsfairy.com/royalty-free-images-anatomical-heart-vintage/. I used colored pencils to color the body of the heart red and the blood vessels a purply blue. Later, I used purple and red glass beads to accent the parts of the heart and the blood vessels.

My final touch on the anatomical heart was to add words of inspiration and aspiration next to the letters marking the different regions of the heart. For example, the letter H shows the part of my heart where “breathing with joy and ease” occurs. Part C of my heart is “joyous.” The letter I points to the area from where my compassion flows.

In addition to the images I cut from magazines and catalogs, I used real stones on my collage. I added turquoise (which is said to stimulate romantic love), rose quartz (the stone of unconditional love and infinite peace) and quartz crystals (a powerful healer and energy amplifier) I dug up in Arkansas. In the middle of the anatomical heart, I glued on a cubic zirconia a friend sent me last summer. The cubic zirconia and the self-stick “jewels” I bought at Wal-Mart give the whole project a bit of bling.

I pierced the representation of my heart with little skewers which once held tea bags from the shop sponsoring the contest. Those skewers sport little red hearts. I think the skewers evoke the piercing by the lance in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

I attached  metal spirals which I painted with glittery nail polish, as well as a large red glass heart which had been crookedly glued to my dash. (I used three different kinds of glue to make this collage! Is that some kind of a record?)

The queen of hearts represents me, and the pink image of Guanyin (or Guan Yin) represents the compassion and mercy I want to offer to myself and others. (For those who may not know, Wikipedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanyin] says Guanyin

is an East Asianbodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by Mahayana Buddhists. She is commonly known as the “Goddess of Mercy” in English.)

Since I’m a word person, I couldn’t let the piece go without a written explanation.

My heart is sacred, fragile, and precious.

I used the definitions from an old dictionary Coyote Sue gave me to explain the meaings of the words “sacred,” “fragile,” and “precious.”

I call this collage “Valentine for My Own Dear Heart.” It’s a reminder to me that my heart needs to be treated with reverence and care. Anyone who gets close to my heart better be prepared to treat it kindly.

My Creative Dream Guidebook

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I’ve adored SARK for years.

I can’t remember which of her books was the first I read, but I know I knew about her before the 21st century. I remember decorating a post card and writing a fan letter on it and sending it to her in 1999 or 2000, so I certainly knew her work well by then.

If you’ve never heard of SARK, I’m glad I can be the one to tell you about her.

Succulent Wild Woman
SARK is her acronym name; the letters stand for Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy. On her website, Planet SARK (http://planetsark.com/about-sark/), she says about herself,

Throughout the course of my life and career as an international expert in personal well-being and transformation, my name has become synonymous with transformation, color, healing, movement & FUN.

I’ve written countless books and created programs that I offer to provide a powerfull [sic], grounded and practical approach to feeling glad more often, transforming what hurts into what helps and living a life of joyfull creative expression. No matter what!

I’ve read a lot of SARK’s books over the years, including Succulent Wild Woman, Eat Mangoes Naked, A Creative Companion: How to Free Your Creative Spirit, The Bodacious Book of Succulence: Daring to Live Your Succulent Wild Life, and Change Your Life Without Getting Out of Bed: The Ultimate Nap Book.

The books are full of colors and wisdom and love. Even though I live in a van and have little space to hoard books, I own copies of both Succulent Wild Woman and Eat Mangoes Naked. Sometimes when I am sad, I reread one or both of the books for the umpteenth time. I like browsing through the books, skipping around, reading bits and pieces here and there. Reading SARK’s kind and gentle words always lifts my spirits, cheers me up, makes me feel better.

Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, and People Who Would Really Rather Sleep All Day
In 2004, Touchstone books released SARK’s book Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, and People Who Would Really Rather Sleep All Day. (Yes, I WOULD rather sleep all day, as a matter of fact.)

I’ve had my eye on Make Your Creative Dreams Real for a while now, but I was never in the right position to acquire it. I don’t like to spend money on books since there are so many free ones out in the world, but I never found this one in a free pile or offered on BookMooch.

I was house sitting for a friend from Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve. She had a $10 voucher at an independent used bookstore that expired on New Year’s Eve. She didn’t have a chance to use the voucher before she left town, and her plane didn’t land until late on December 31. Since she couldn’t use the voucher, she left it for me. (Super big thanks to this generous friend who also left a Chick-fil-A gift card for me!)

Before I went to the bookstore, I didn’t really know what I wanted to get. I wandered around in the store for a while before I thought, OH! SARK!

So I sought out SARK in the store’s self-help section. (SIDE NOTE: I couldn’t find the self-help section, but I was too embarrassed to ask any of the workers to direct me. How silly is that!?! I was too embarrassed to let strangers know I wanted to self-help myself. Sigh.)

The Grapes of Wrath
There were quite a few titles by SARK on the shelf. Then I saw Make Your Creative Dreams Real. Oh, yes, that would do. I checked the price. It only cost $8! Score! (With my remaining $2, I bought a battered copy of The Grapes of Wrath, which I’d decided to revisit.)

Although the word “plan” is clearly in the subtitle, I didn’t realize Make Your Creative Dreams Real is a how-to book. I started reading it and realized it’s a twelve month, week-by-week guide. Every week SARK presents a new project, exercise, game, or suggestion.

I’ve never been good at sticking with how-to books that require weekly exercises, but I figured since I already had the book I should stay the course.

The exercise for the first week was to make a “creative dream guidebook” for myself. I had a visual journal I’d bought with a gift certificate The Lady of the House gave me a couple years ago for Christmas. I’d bought two journals and only used part of one, so I thought the second one would do just fine.

I made collages on both covers. (One of the best features of this particular journal is that you I can open it completely and lay it flat.) I went for a blue theme, which I thought gave everything a dreamy feeling. Coyote Sue had just given me an old children’s dictionary she’d bought at a thrift store, so I cut out and pasted on the definitions for “create/creation/creator” (since there was no entry for “creative”), “dream,” “guidebook,” “blaze” (because, you know, the dictionary doesn’t include “Blaize”), and “sun.” I think it turned out great.

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I took the photo of my Creative Dream Guidebook collage. The other images are links to Amazon.com. If you click any of those images, they will take you to Amazon, and I will get an advertising fee from anything you purchase.

Yarn

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I thought I was done with the business of making hats. That’s what I told the world on December 1.

I’m not making any more hats for a long time…Yarn takes up storage space…The completed hats take up up space too…Yarn cost money…I’m not really selling enough hats to make creating them worth the effort.

(Read all about it here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/12/01/the-last-of-the-hats/.)

Less than a month later (less than two weeks later, actually), I went to the Las Vegas Goodwill Clearance Center on what must have been yarn clearance day. I found so much yarn, in many great colors. Yarn doesn’t weigh much, right? So yarn sold by the pound is cheap. I couldn’t pass up cheap yarn in good colors. I threw all the yarn I found into my basket. Some of it was all tangled up in other items, and I had to cut the yarn to get it in my basket. (Good thing I found some scissors being sold off by the pound.)

This photo shows the yarn I got at the Goodwill Clearance Center in Las Vegas, NV.

This photo shows some of the yarn I got at the Goodwill Clearance Center in Las Vegas, NV.

I actually didn’t buy all the yarn I found that day. I went through the yarn before I took my selections to the register for purchase and put back the colors I didn’t like so much. I got rid of a couple skeins of a dark green that made my head hurt. I left behind some dingy looking white. I only kept the yarn I thought would make really nice hats.

Why do I have such a hard time walking away from yarn? I guess I’m going to have to face it: I’m addicted to yarn.

Also, I just like making hats. I like the ways the colors come together…or how they don’t come together when I make poor color combo choices. I like starting from a couple balls of yarn and ending up with a hat. I get great satisfaction from creating.

As soon as I bought the yarn, I could barely wait to start making hats again. I’ve already made several, and yesterday I loaded up my phone with podcasts to listen to while I work with my new yarn.

I guess I’m back in the hat business. Let me know if you want to buy one. I’ve got plenty.

These large hats were made from yarn bought by the pound at the Goodwill Clearance Center. All three have rolled edges and cost $13 each, including postage.

These large hats were made from yarn bought by the pound at the Goodwill Clearance Center. All three have rolled edges and cost $13 each, including postage.

 

These are two more hats I made from yarn I got at the Goodwill Clearance Center. Both are large, both have a finished edge, both have sparkle white yarn in them, and both cost $13 each, including postage.

These are two more hats I made from yarn I got at the Goodwill Clearance Center. Both are large, both have a finished edge, both have sparkle white yarn in them, and both cost $13 each, including postage.

 

This green and grey hat is extra large. It has a rolled edge and costs $13, including shipping. The yarn came from the Goodwill Clearance Center windfall.

This green and grey hat is extra large. It has a rolled edge and costs $13, including shipping. The yarn came from the Goodwill Clearance Center windfall.

 

I made this hat before I left the forest in October, but it just resurfaced when I cleaned the van. It is an extra large and has a rolled edge. It costs $13, including postage.

I made this hat before I left the forest in October, but it just resurfaced when I cleaned the van. It is an extra large and has a rolled edge. It costs $13, including postage.

I took all the photos in this post.