Snow in August???

…made of snow. ūüėÄ Yep, snow.

So, I know it’s kinda hot out, and I don’t know about anybody else, but I miss there being¬†snow outside. Last March, if you can believe it, on a day that my classes were really spaced out, it just happened to have snowed about 6-8 inches of *perfect* sculpting snow. For those of you who think that all snow is created equal, let me clarify: there are 2 types of snow: 1:wet snow, and 2:dry, powdery snow. For sculpting of *any* kind (including snowballs), you want the wet kind. This snow, for reasons beyond my meterological knowledge, was the perfect balance of moisture.

I *was* just going to go inside the union and get a hot cocoa, honest! But then I thought about how many hours I had until my next class, and how perfect the snow was, and I just couldn’t resist! I don’t know why I decided on theVenus De Milo, or when, but after a while, the idea was planted in my mind.
I gathered up a little mound of snow at first, sweeping all the snow together from the surface of the concrete. I just kept sweeping it together with my hands, building a bigger and taller little mountain of snow, until it became a pilliar, then a pilliar with shoulders. I did a bit of¬† of adding snow on¬†then packing it in, and a bit of carving out curves and hollows with the blade of my hand. (That’s the pinkie side edge of your hand for those that have never attended a martial arts class lol)
A few things I learned that I will be sure to put in application next time it snows:
  • Wear WATERPROOF gloves. When I did this, I was wearing knit gloves. Not only were they completely useless after about two minutes, They actually collected snow in the spaces between the threads and made me colder. Just not wearing any gloves is also a really bad plan, because¬†I did some of that while I was out there sculpting, and my hands didn’t really forgive me over the whole ordeal for about a week, give or take a few days.
  • Take breaks that are indoors somewhere heated. This was amazingly helpful, and much more so when there was¬†hot cocoa present. Of course, I may be the only one crazy enough to spend hours in the cold just to make a snow Venus De Milo, but hey. I had fun. ūüėÄ
  • if you are making something with a realistically proportioned head+neck, be¬†VERY careful. It took me nearly 2 hours just to get the head balanced so that it would stay. Now that I think about it,¬†a little under¬†1/2 of the total time I spent on that thing was spent solely on¬† the head. And let me tell you, it fell off SO MANY times. So many. Go slowly and carefully, is all I can really say. When you’re packing new snow onto the head, hold it steady so that you don’t harm it with the pressure of your packing hand. I know I pushed the head completely off by packing carelessly.
  • You should probably either do a better job at making it recognisably the Venus De Milo, or choose a different subject matter than I did, if you’re making this thing in a public place. Because there are a lot of people who called my venus a “snow woman”, which, while accurate, was not the point, and has connotations I did not care for.
  • If you want the outside of the sculpture to be pretty white, instead of covered with random dead leaf litter and dirt, use some snow from a fresh place, skimming off the top, to pack on the outside. Kinda like painting it. Only not really lol ^_^
  • Have fun!! This is essentially a different¬†spin off of building a snowman,
  • ¬†so don’t be afraid to be¬†a kid just a little bit. ūüėÄ

Happy sculpting! Too bad there’s no snow right now, but someday, there will be.

 

New Weaving Experiences

After a great many failed attempts, my continued efforts produced 4 lovely woven rectangles with loose fringes.

So, recently, I decided I would try my hand at weaving. I crochet, and I’ve done at least a little knitting, (enough to form some sort of opinion¬†about it) and I thought weaving might be fun. Don’t ask me why, (though comments are appreciated) but I got it into my head that making a pair of shoes this way would be cool. So, I bought a few balls of some nice twine (my reasoning being that twine was strdy, and thus, a good shoe material), already having a nice chunk of cardboard¬†at home, and began my attempts. I had no real clue about how to begin, but I’d heard of cardboard notch-style looms, and seen¬† a few pictures, so I just jumped right in. After my many failures, here’s a few tips for those who may like to try this¬†type of weaving:

  • use a thick, study piece of cardboard (a single layer simply *will not* cut it, and it’ll bend as you try to work with it.)¬†A thin piece of wood with pegs/notches¬†will probably work even better, if you want an even sturdier loom, but I’m cheap, haha¬†so I just took a large piece, folded it in thirds, and taped it tightly shut to keep it flat. True, it was harder to cut notches through multiple layers, but for just¬†a bit of extra work, I had a reliable little loom that I’ll probably use again.
  • measure the space between the notches, and make them as close together as possible. The thickness of whatever you’re weaving will play a part in how close/far apart your notches/pegs are, but a good guideline¬†is simply to make them as close as you can manage without bending the cardboard.
  • use yarn/thread/twine/embroidery floss/whatever you want to use that is already the thickness you want the cloth to be. A thicker gauge can make a thicker cloth, but it’ll also create a rough, homespun look. Not a bad one, but I’ll admit, the roughness of my little cloth rectangles suprised me a bit.
  • pull the yarn/thread/twine/etc as tightly as you can possibly manage. This may be uncomfortable on your fingers, but having to take breaks periodically is much better than having loose, unreliable cloth.
  • DO NOT cut the ends of whatever youre weaving off at the ends of the loom. When you loop the thread/yarn/etc, tie a good¬†knot at the end of it, and loop it all the way through the notches, like this:

 

¬†Doing it this way will help your cloth have tight edges, ones that aren’t as liable to unravel as ones done other ways.

  • At this point, you weave through, over-under, however long you want, until you make your cloth the size you want. If you make it shorter than the width of the loops, all you have to do is tighten them throughout the weave, creful not to harm the weave, and cut off the excess at either end.
  • Now, it seems like the horizontal threads would be best done like the vertical ones, to make the cloth less¬†likely to unravel on those ends, too, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that, really. So any input on that would be cool, if anyone’s reading. ūüôā I just cut it to the necessary¬†length, leaving a tail on either end of about 2 1/2 inches.

Currently, I have 4 rectangles about the size of the soles of my feet. (2 layers thick makes for a sturdy sole, maybe?) So obviously, my shoes aren’t quite finished. I’ll keep you apprised though. ūüėÄ

Hello world!

I'll post instructions later, but it's the easiest bit of knotwork I ever did, and I wear it all the time!

Hey there, everyone with internet access and the random luck of finding me and my blog.

I’m Bonnie,¬†a college student who, like billions of others, is feeling the financial pinch of college. However, I still want to have the things I need, as well as nice things, and it occured to me that knowing how to make my own purses, clothes, jewelry, *food*/ desserts/candy,¬†hats, possibly shoes, as well as¬†various gifts- would not only be cheaper than a great many other ways to get the very same things, but making them myself would get me exactly how I want them. Because I make them myself. Cool, huh?

My mother taught me how to do some basic crochet when I was a litte girl, which I expanded on as I got older, and through a very handy how-to macrame book I received as a gift around the same time, as well as some research, I’ve been fairly capable to provide myself with all the handmade fashion I could wish for. And, when I didn’t know how to do what I wanted to do, the internet proved a very useful tool.¬†I absolutely¬†LOVE cooking my own food, even when the kitchens I have access to aren’t¬†mine. ūüėõ One day…. but not yet, alas. I take every opportunity to practice my candymaking skills as well. (Not as¬†hard as it sounds, by the way! I know, I¬†thought “how could I even begin to make Almond Joys?”¬†because that was what I made¬†the first time, but it was amazingly easy.¬†All you really need for¬†most candymaking is a good pot+stove, and to wash the disheas IMMEDIATELY after. But that’s another post.)¬†I create art as well, including everything from scultping in clay, wire, or wood, to pencil/pen sketches, acrylic painting, and chalk. (Sidewalk Chalk + India Ink are my 2 favorite mediums, currently, and I’m actually working on something that utilizes both, believe it or not.)

Knitting is still beyond me, except for a very irregular garter stitch.

However! my most common venue for textiles will be crochet, and for jewelry, macrame. Although I’ve been looking into possibilites with wire. ūüėÄ

Who knows? Whatever strikes my fancy.