Archive | February, 2012

Viking Knit Tutorial pt. 1: The all mighty tools

13 Feb


In every craft and for every project there are tools that are needed and some that just make it easier to complete a task.  In making viking knit we use a variety of tools and a few of these we seem to only need to complete this amazing technique.

First we need wire. For the main weave we recommend either 26 gauge or 24 gauge. Wire is just the best medium for this project. Wire is sturdy, takes the shape and sets the weave in a sturdy way that is perfect for this wearable art form. In having wire though, we need a good set of wire cutters.  Tina really likes the glitter line of tools as they are small like her hands. Tammy on the other hand is thinking about a pair that has a larger grip. All in all though when looking for a pair, you want to make sure they are a good fit as you will use these often for a good chunk of projects, including this viking knit piece. Also look for a pair that is termed “flush cut” as they well give you the nicest look on your finished wire.

After you cut your wire, you will be shaping the petals around a mandrel and forming your pattern. We have used many things for a mandrel; dowel, sharpie pen, hex keys, and many others so long as we could get the right size of diameter for what we wanted to work with. Once we have the wire woven to almost the right length we need to pull the project through a draw plate. As you will learn in the following tutorials, a draw plate







15 interesting facts about the US President Lincoln

12 Feb

In memory of the US President Lincoln on the anniversary of his birth we give you our favorite facts about Abraham Lincoln:

1)      He was born on February 12th 1809, and died April 15th 1865 at the age of fifty six.

2)      His home state is Illinois.

3)      His party was Republican and he was president for four years from 1861-1865, when he was assassinated.

4)      His wife was called Mary Todd Lincoln, who was brought up into a very wealthy family.

5)      Mary’s parents disagreed with her marrying Abraham because he had a poor background.

6)      Abraham had four children, Robert Todd Lincoln, Edward Lincoln, Willie Lincoln, Tad Lincoln. Only Robert Todd Lincoln survived into adulthood.

7)      Abraham was an unaffiliated Christian as he never officially acquired church membership.

8)      He created a national banking system with the National Banking Act in 1863, resulting in a standardized currency.

9)      He was the first president to be assassinated.

10)   He had deep depression, even though he would frequently tell stories and jokes to friends and family.

11)   He was the tallest U.S president at 6ft 4 inches.

12)   Though he was strong, a talented wrestler, and proficient with an axe, Lincoln disliked killing and harming animals, even for food.

13)   He was the first president to have a beard.

14)   Lincoln, one week before his death, had a dream of someone crying in the White House, when he found the room; he looked in and asked who had passed away. The man in the room said the President. When he looked in the coffin it was his own face he saw.

15)   Lincoln was fond of pets, and owned horses, cats, dogs and a turkey.

Romance: Cheerful Cherub

11 Feb


I wonder if everyone


Sees his life as a

marvelous story,

And walks through

monotonous days

In a cloud

of invisible glory.



Such an amazing way to go through life I think. The above Cheerful Cherub always reminds me to walk through life with joy in my heart and a little dance in my step.


10 Feb

Last year Tammy and I took submissions for our featured artisan blog sections. This year we are prowling through Artfire and giving a glimpse of what we see. Hope you enjoy and if you are an artisan that we showcase, if you would like us to make changes or delete a post about your studio please let us know.

Today I was out looking for some nice hair do dahs for some of the girls in my life. I am about a third of the way done with getting gifts for Christmas (yes it is only February) and saw this site full of some of the most fun pieces. I am thinking on getting the following for a friend’s daughter:











After pursuing her bio page I was thrilled to find that her craft helps her with her health: “My name is Zelma, I started making jewelry after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in Feb 2007. That was a very hard time for me and making jewelry is very therapeutic and gets me through my bad days. Making Jewelry is my new passion in life along with God and my wonderful family. I have 2 beautiful children and a wonderful Hubby of 10+ years who are the world to me.”

Please take a few moments to check out her site and have fun shopping. Also let us help her business out by passing the word on another amazing artisan…

Open Mind Motivation

9 Feb

I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.

Gerry Spence, ‘How to Argue and Win Every Time’

As an artist wonder is a daily adventure. If we do not open our mind we miss so much in life. This is true in relationships, creativity, and just in living. When we close our minds by what we beleave, we can not let in anything else.

Our favorite George Takei Quotes

8 Feb

Tammy and I really enjoy George Takei and so I could not resist posting our top 10 favorite George Takei Quotes. We hope you enjoy and if you have others feel free to add them to the comments section.

1)  It’s OK to be Takei

2) Well, you know, I do think in the larger span of things, I owe it all to Star Trek, because Star Trek has given me this pop icon status if you will, and one of the gifts have been this megaphone I have which amplifies my voice and I can reach people. And I do think the movement for equality for LGBT Americans is in the same context of all of the great American movements, you know, the basic fundamental ideals of this country of justice and equality.

3) It seems to me important for a country, for a nation to certainly know about its glorious achievements but also to know where its ideals failed, in order to keep that from happening again.

4) I remember the barbed wire and the guard towers and the machine guns, but they became part of my normal landscape. What would be abnormal in normal times became my normality in camp.

5) I spent my boyhood behind the barbed wire fences of American internment camps and that part of my life is something that I wanted to share with more people.

6) The real challenge in acting is in comedy. It’s easier to get that gasp in a drama. Not easy, because you still have to find that emotional pitch. And when you do something in drama and you hear that sob from the audience it’s so fulfilling. But as a comic actor, when the laugh is supposed to come and you punch in that line and nothing happens it is dreadful. It’s horrific and you feel like dying right there.

7) The starship Enterprise was a metaphor starship Earth, and the vision was that the strength of this starship lay in its diversity.

8) Well, the original bridge set that we used for the TV series was donated to my alma mater, the theatre arts dept of UCLA. And they used it for a few student productions, but they considered it a used set for a show that’s been cancelled, and they left it out in the sun. And then there was a rainstorm and it got drenched, and moisture soaked in, then the sun came out and the pieces began to parch, so it was destroyed. However, one worker there who also was a fan knew what it was, and I guess he wanted it because they were ignoring it. He took the captain’s chair, and took it home. And, you know, it wasn’t missed.

9) Both the strength and the weakness of American democracy is in the fact that it’s a true people’s democracy, and it can be as great as the people can be, but it’s also as fallible as the people are.

10) My agent called and said he had an interview for me with this man who was casting a pilot film for a science fiction thing and there’s this role for a running part. So I went and I met the man. As a matter of fact when I met Gene Roddenberry, I mispronounced his name. I called him “Mr. Rosenberry.” And he mispronounced my name. He called me “Tack-I”, which is not an uncommon mispronunciation. It’s pronounced “Tack-eh” as you pronounced it, so we got started by mispronouncing each other’s names. When he described the role to me, I knew that this was the role that I had to have. And I knew that there would be a lot of competition for it, so I was really nervous about it. And so after a stressful tense week, the phone rang again and my agent told me that I had the part, and the rest as they say, is history.

The weekly Quote

7 Feb

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning. — Albert Einstein


I LOVE this quote! I have tried to live by this and to pass this on to everyone I come across.

Yesterday is the past and it is so much better to learn from that rather than try to keep reliving that past, or worse letting that past continue to cause you harm. We have the choice of growing from our past… our yesterday.

Today we need to be present for and to really live every day we have as we do not know what will come. How many people have had the “I wish I could have” moments? The best we can do is to truly live each and every day.

Tomorrow is not here yet but we need to hope and plan and strive for a future to help us grow and live in the today.

Question everything till you have the answers you need and then everything will change while remaining the same… life is oh so grand. How have you been living this quote?