Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Lo and behold! An almost full bag of WHITE Model Air!
It has to be a couple of years old... And Yes. It is still good. I put it away in a sealed bag with a wet paper towel. The towel was dry, but the clay was still fairly soft.
I threw a wet paper towel in the sack and sealed it back up. After about a half hour, I went back and pulled off a chunk.
It took some kneading, but it was workable...
I finished the peak of the roof line. Just like new.
Hopefully, the clay was dry enough that Tessie isn't going to be stuck to the wall for the rest of the day... She insisted on getting in the picture. If she gets stuck, it's her problem.
I decided to let the bag sit overnight to moisten the clay more. It looks like I will be able to finish the porch walls without running to the store.
I can patiently wait for 24 hours whilst the clay softens. I have lots of other things to do....if I can just get the dried stuff off of my hands...
See you tomorrow...
Monday, March 10, 2014
All I can see is pink. It is a little better today, but still not all the way dry. I can cut them with an Exacto knife, still.
This photo is more the real color of the stain.
The guys braved the winds that were blowing through here yesterday to drill holes in the bottom for drainage and fill the thing with lots of potting soil. Thanks Walter and Seth!!!
Now all I have to do is go find more plants tomorrow...Then water and wait for results.
The only worry is the squirrels. Not so much eating the plants as burying peanuts for winter. I have found peanuts in plant pots on the porch, when re potting. They love digging holes.
Anyway, the glue and stain should be dry by now...Back to work.
See you tomorrow.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
If you do the tiles the way I did them yesterday, break them apart or cut them when they get leather hard. I discovered that, if you leave them on the wax paper, they tend to curl if they aren't separated. I forgot that this stuff dries from the edges into the center. Curls aren't cute on tiles. I did get to them in time to flatten most of them. Just a few of the edge ones were dry and curly.
Meanwhile, I finished another magazine basket. All I had left was a bit of the handle. I see a spot that I missed on there....It will be fixed.
Tessie crawled into this one and demanded, "Take me to the kitchen. I need a cookie!"
I knew that it would be useful...Maybe if I make a lid for it, with a lock, it will be even more useful...
Since rug yarn in nice colors is few and far between anymore, I decided to use it up.
So far, this one is about a foot across. I am thinking that April's two cats could use a basket.
At one time, one of their cats slept in a large ceramic bowl that Seth threw in pottery class. It doesn't seem like that would be very cozy...
Seth, April and Amare are coming over later today to finish my Christmas/Birthday present.
Seth has a large livestock tank in their back yard and grows all kinds of wonderful veggies in it. I mentioned that I thought that I would like a smaller one.
They got this one for me. Today it gets filled. I won't be growing as many veggies in this one as Seth does in his, but I am going to try. He plants in it year round here.
This seems to be a popular way of gardening right now. I think that it is smart. Small space. Rich soil. Equals lots of veggies.
I bought three plants for it this morning. more will be added later...
I couldn't resist this one. I never realized that some of the heirloom tomatoes have totally different blooms on them. This is a Pink Brandywine Tomato. The bloom on it is going to be spectacular when it is completely open.
I do want the tomatoes, but I confess, it was the flower that sold me.
I also bought another heirloom just because I liked the story that went with it. The tag said it was a Mortgage Lifter. The story is that the man that bred this one, paid off his mortgage in the 1930s selling these plants. That's some tomato! I had to have one of those!
Anyway, I am going to go try to get a bit of mini-ing done before the kids get here...Wish me luck.
See you tomorrow.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
I made bricks and tile.
Actually, not in that order. the bricks that you see are scraps from the tile, but I needed to show you the tools that you will need. To make uniform bricks and tile is fairly simple if you have the right tools.
The all important thing is the quilter's cutting mat. It is laid out in one inch squares with a ruler along all four edges. With that, you can speed cut both tile and brick.
The second most important thing is the Wilton fondant roller. I got mine at Walmart years ago and have never been sorry. See those two little pink bands on the ends of the roller? Those allow you to roll your clay out to 1/16" evenly...Caution. Don't use it for food after doing this. Food and clay don't mix!
I thought this up in my sleep....That's where all of the good ideas come from.
I put about 1/8 of the clay on a piece of wax paper and roll it out to as close to a 4" by 10 to 12" as I can get it, using the roller with bands. Actually the center photo is the one that I did first. I trimmed it and fit the pieces into places where there wasn't any clay at the edge.
I am sure that there is going to be someone saying that the edge above the ruler isn't straight...I know. This is Sautillo tile. It is known for it's flaws. I have even seen them with dog's footprints in the tile. I tried to get Spike to do that, but he refused to get his feet dirty. They are never all one color either. I am going to have to fix that with washes later.
When I was happy with the layout, I used my 12" ruler to pretty much cut through the clay. I laid one end of the ruler on one of the 1" lines on the mat. The first two were to even the side and bottom and make it square. After I was satisfied with that, I lined up the ruler at one inch away from the long edge. Then I lined up the other end with the same line and pressed down. If this ruler didn't have the cork back, I would have been able to cut all the way through the clay.
I cut the long way first, then the shorter sections.
For the bricks I cut them 1/4" by 3/4". See first photo. That is close enough to scale for me. At the edge, I cut some half bricks. Usually you need quite a few of those, even on a fireplace. If I were planning on doing any herringbone pattern, I would cut some of those into triangles for the edge.
Next you lay the tile out flat to dry. I noticed that the corners are curling on these. I will have to go flatten them.
I only used about a quarter of a package. I have a ways to go, but it will go fast when I do it.
If you aren't going to use all of your clay at one time, seal it in a plastic bag inside the original package, with a wet paper towel. That should make it last for a long time. Just check it once in a while to see that it is still moist and the towel is still wet.
I am doing big basket weaving with one hand and cutting bricks and tile with the other. This could get interesting...
See you tomorrow.
Friday, March 7, 2014
This is what they are supposed to look like... They are one of the puzzles that is this house. You really have to fight to get them into place. I didn't want to put them in place until I was further along on the house. Once you have the second floor on, it is next to impossible to get them in place.
Tessie and Monte kept interrupting the work. Monte kept slithering up onto the porch and I bribed Tessie with a couple of Oreos to keep him at bay...Every ten minutes or so.
I plan to cover the posts with rock work also... Never ending rock work...
It is getting harder. Now Monte is trying his best to be a python... He just isn't a squeezer. Tessie took him away further this time. All the way to the Tudor Trailer, where he is supposed to live.
He was back faster than she was. That snake can really move when he wants to.
I gave up and let him have the porch. I think that he is afraid that I will close his entrance under the bay...
I left them to argue about whom was going to live where... I told you so. Tessie is trying to tell Monte that this is her place....Not happening, Tessie. Daisy will be back as soon as it is finished...Which may be never, the way things are progressing....
Are you wondering what happened with the buttonhole rugs? I started another one and absolutely hated the color combination. Brown purple and turquoise? What was I thinking when I purchased that thread? One thing lead to another... I made the mistake of taking out some of the baskets....Loopy, remember. I discovered that there are more than I wish to count... I may have to finish a few of them, in self defense.... They are taking over the world...
Maybe I will go loop some baskets now. Yes. They can also be looped!
See you tomorrow.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
This was fun. I started it yesterday and finished it this morning. I did the center with over dyed floss and the outer edge with three rows of DMC floss that matched.
Granted, it isn't very big, but this was just a trial run to see how it looked. It really does look like one of Grandma Daisy's big buttonhole rugs. I am definitely going to do more and some that are larger.
As I stitched, I started thinking...I do a LOT of looping. All of the trim around the open areas on my wicker are looped. And the edges under the braid are looped. Every piece of wicker that I do has looping on it.
I do buttonholes and blanket stitch edging. Needle made lace is all loops. Some embroidery stitches are just plain loops.
Loops are everywhere if you just look for them.
I even do looping in jewelry. These bracelets are done in Viking weave with fine wire. I found out that this is considered looping as well as the single loop.
This was a precursor to knitting. It is just a double loop.
OK...So I am playing for time here. I have to go into town in just a little bit for more Model Air clay....Completely out and still a lot of house to cover.
Hang in there. I will be back at it, as soon as I get home. Maybe even with some more loopy ideas... No snide remarks, please.
See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I wanted to see if I could shrink the buttonhole rug down to miniature....It can be done!
I know that a lot of people don't want to go to the bother of crochet or braiding rugs...This is much easier. One stitch over and over.
As usual, Tessie tried to take over...Ignore her. Maybe she will go away.
The start that you see at her feet is with six strands of embroidery floss, over a core of another six strands. Even though the real rugs can be quite thick, I think that I want the mini one to be a bit lighter than that one. That's when I thought of the Treasure Pouch pattern that I have from Piecework Magazine. It was in the Feb. 1994 issue. I kept the magazine just for that pattern...and a few others.
I was going to do a tutorial, but then I remembered that Interweave press has a free one on the net already. If you go here, http://www.interweave.com/needle/projects/Treasure-Pouch.pdf
This is the same pattern. This is without the filler thread and will look like the red one in Tessie's lap. If you follow the original pattern, you can make a tote bag for minis.
To make the rug, you just keep going with the bottom pattern adding stitches as you go. Don't do the sides and you will automatically keep enlarging the circle. It comes out in a hexagon, but is still rather nice. You can add different colors simply by starting the new row with a different color and threading the tails through a few stitches on the underside. If you want to do the filler thread, simply add in an extra piece and work over that as well as the row below.
Hopefully, I will have a chance to get one going for real and can show you tomorrow.
See you then.