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If My Name Were an Adjective, What Would it Mean?

This was the question posed by The Daily Prompt.  Hmmm, well my husband does use my name as an adjective. “Richelle Rigged” means creatively improvised. I will accept that. I am constantly day dreaming about making things, and when I see something, I almost always wonder if I could make it myself. Whenever I need something, I almost always imagine “rigging” it up myself out of basic supplies, usually stuff I have on hand. Because I have just about everything. I am a craft hoarder. Sewing machine? Glue gun? Grommet setter? Industrial soldering iron? Drill press? Torch and bench mount? Dozens of stamps? Ink? Paint? Beads? Sequins? Yes. And that is just in my studio.

“Richelle” (adjective): Creatively improvised

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Our Trip Continues…

As expected, very spotty signal in the parks. We are having a great time though! Took a cave tour today and it was spectacular. More pix when we get home.

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Ready For Adventure!

Today, after seven months of planning, we are finally heading off on our Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks adventure. We are very excited, but honestly I am a little nervous. For one, this is the first time we will be attempting to camp without reservations. All but one of the campgrounds is first come first serve and I am a total control freak. This is a rough one for me. I am just going to assume a positive outcome & deal with whatever comes.

Don't Wait to Live Life
Don’t Wait to Live Life

Secondly, we will be taking a little side jaunt and tent camping for one night in the Southern end of the park. I am not afraid of tents but I do have an irrational fear of bears. Gotta tell you, I am a little freaked out about this. My husband actually hopes to see a bear. He is crazy. I wouldn’t mind seeing a bear way, way off in the distance, but not anywhere near my tent! Or trailer for that matter.

Lastly, I just checked the weather and now they are saying it might rain or possibly snow while we are there. Now I am definitely not scared of rain or snow, but pulling a trailer on winding mountains roads makes me very nervous. Adding rain or snow to that is not my idea of fun. But my husband is an excellent driver, and we just had our Burbie checked out by our trustworthy mechanic, so I have to believe it will all be ok.

I hope we are able to update you guys during this fabulous adventure, but getting a signal in the wilderness is pretty iffy. Our two twenty-somethings will be holding down the fort while we are gone and it drives me crazy not to be able to check in daily. Last time we went away, I had to use a pay phone to contact them. As a germaphobe, that did NOT make me happy.

So here I go on another trip just outside my comfort zone. As daunting as it can be, they are always amazingly fun to look back on and I highly recommend you take them as often as possible.

See you when we get back!

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Down and Dirty Personalized Jacket

We are getting ready to head out on an amazing adventure to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks and could not be more excited. Every good trip begins with careful prep and yesterday, “Pack Clothes” was at the top of my to-do list. I have a favorite jacket I always take camping. I should clarify that it is my favorite because it’s big, warm and comfortable. I actually hate the way it looks. The giant OLD NAVY emblazoned across the front is a huge turn off to me. I am not really an Old Navy kind of gal. This jacket is a hand-me-down, and I am so a hand-me-down kind of gal. Not bashing Old Navy though.

I just couldn’t handle it anymore and had to do something about it. I didn’t have a lot of time, though. I’m sure my husband was thinking,”Is decorating that jacket the best use of your time?” He never says that to me though. He is so awesome. I would totally say that to him. I am so bossy.

Hideous Jacket
Hideous Jacket

Ick. Something must be done.

Cut a Piece
Cut a Piece

To make this wham-bam applique, you need a piece of fabric that will not fray. I used a piece of polar fleece. An old T-shirt would also work great for this. If you have a worn out T with a cool image, a beloved but tattered concert shirt perhaps, you could totally use that. I didn’t have time to sort thought my 19 totes of fabric, and I really like this pattern, so that’s why. Cut it to size.

Pin It Down
Pin It Down

Pin it down where you want it. I am obviously covering up the lettering so that’s where I pinned it. If you were just adding a decorative element to spice up a plain jacket, put it wherever it looks best.

Fancy Jacket Applique
Fancy Jacket Applique

Yay! Stitched on in a matter of minutes and ready to go camping. I used a zig-zag stitch and did my best to get close to the edge, but it’s far from perfect. I told you it was down & dirty! No worries, I love it. And once it’s washed, the edges will roll up and give it a punk attitude.

Now I will be warm and super stylish at the campfire!

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Dream Big: Beaded Snake Project

I love the County Fair. I look forward to it every year, not so much for rides and games, but the food (obviously), the farm animals and the Home and Hobby Show.

Maple Bacon Donut. Yes.
Maple Bacon Donut. Yes.

 

Last year, I entered my first project, a beaded bracelet. About one month after the fair I saw the most amazing beaded snake on Facebook and decided then and there that I would make that snake. The only bead weaving I’d ever done before was a simple ladder stitch ring, but I made up my mind to learn to make a beaded snake. How hard could it be? turns out, it wasn’t that hard. It was a pretty simple stitch. The hardest part was that the diamond pattern required my absolute attention, some days easier said than done. My snake is not as good as the original one I found on FB. First of all, it’s my first project, and second, the pattern wasn’t quite the same. I am still so proud of my snake, and proud that I followed it through to completion. And now, onto the Fair!

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Make Mom a Special Card For Mother’s Day

Bonus post, you guys! Since Mother’s Day is Sunday I thought I’d show you a couple of easy cards to make. Even if you are giving Mom a store-bought gift, you still have time to make it extra special with a handmade card.

Easiest card of all, print a picture onto cardstock or even construction paper. Just make sure you trim it to 8.5 x 11 inches. It sometimes helps your printer feed the paper to have a couple of extra pieces in the printer, I don’t know why.  You can design your card in Word, or what I always use, PowerPoint. Make sure you change to print “landscape” and have your image on the right side of the page so when you fold it, it’s on the front of the card. Could not be easier.

Photo Card (This was a birthday card for my husband)
Photo Card (This was a birthday card for my husband)

Another fancy card I like to make is decorated with sequins. The catch is you need to have sequins and beads on hand. I always do, maybe you don’t. There’s still time to get to the store and buy some sequins, though.  Make it even easier by taking a blank notecard you probably do already have on hand and sequin that.  If you are sequining a letter or specific design onto the card, trace your design on the back of the part you are sequining. Don’t forget to trace it on backwards. The best way to do this is write it on a plain piece of paper then use a sunny window as a light box. I was planning to sequin the word “Mom” onto my card, but totally messed up by attempting to cram it into a too small space. Dang. I was able to salvage it and still make a pretty card by embossing “Mom” onto a like piece of scrapbook paper and attaching it (with my glue dots!) over the offending area. Then I just sequined on some accents to the flowers. I covered the strings on the back side of the image with a piece of scrapbook paper.

Sequined Card
Sequined Card
Cover Up The Strings With Pretty Paper
Cover Up The Strings With Pretty Paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, if you’re feeling ambitious and really want to impress, read all about  this awesome pop-up bouquet card. So cool.


Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms, Step-Moms and Surrogate Moms!! You are appreciated!!

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The Perils of Self Employment

I had a big day planned yesterday. Too bad when I woke up that morning,  my lower back was seizing up so bad I could not get out of bed. Unfortunately staying in bed was not an option because, you know, I had to go potty. It took me about 15 minutes to get to the bathroom. Normally this is a five second trip. It took another 10 minutes before I could get up from the seat. If I had a “real job”, I would have called in sick, but unfortunately, when you’re ‘self-employed’, you don’t get sick days. Or vacation days.

As I’ve mentioned like nine times, I recently had the privilege of participating in a workshop at creativeLIVE taught by April Bowles-Olin of BlacksburgBelle.com. I was so excited to be chosen and I learned a LOT, as well as meeting some a bunch cool people and getting some great exposure. The downside was the timing of the workshop could not have been worse. The weekend before Mother’s Day should have been a busy time for me, but since my jewelry is 100% handmade by me and me only, I was not able to cash in on the exposure I received for my lovely custom photo jewelry. Bummer.

Being your own boss is hard, at least for me. It’s not for everyone and there is no shame in that. If I hadn’t lost my super awesome job when the place went out of business, my plan was to work there until I retired. I was happy working hard, making a great living and enjoying art as a hobby. I didn’t even have a “Plan B”.

I joke sometimes with my kids when they say, for example,  something only cost $40, “Do you know how long it takes me to earn $40??” Being an artist, it could take me a week to earn than kind of money! I am blessed to have an incredibly supportive husband. A talented photographer, he selflessly works at an incredibly demanding and stressful office job so that I have the opportunity to “make something of myself.”

When I’m doing mundane tasks such as prepping tiles, or my hand is cramping up from stringing strand after strand of beads I think, “Would you rather be rating drivers’ paperwork in an office?” and the answer is always “NO!”

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A Most Amazing Experience

Red Scorpio at CreativeLive
Red Scorpio at CreativeLive

This past weekend, I had the wonderful and unique opportunity to participate in a course at CreativeLive taught by April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle When I applied, I never imagined I would be chosen, but one of my personalities is wacky and impulsive so I did it anyway. My cautious and premeditated side was scared to death when I got the email saying I had been selected. But 2009 started a bit of a s#¡tstorm in my life that I won’t go into here, and now I kind of have a f^¢k it attitude (sorry for the swears) that life is short and then it’s over, so live it while you can.

creativelive with Tara swiger marketing for crafters class july 2014
hanging out with the fabulous Jane Dolan before class

 

I am so glad that I stepped outside of my comfort zone, like way outside. It was such an incredible experience. I met some fabulous people and learned a lot and basically had a great time.

Duct Tape Edges
My fancy clipboard, custom made for CL

The main reason I blog here and at tinytraileradventures.com is to encourage people to get beyond their fear and discomfort and live life. Don’t fear being creative. Don’t be afraid that you will suck at stuff or look stupid. Nobody cares and if they do then they suck anyway. The people in your life who love you will still love you even if you stick your foot in your mouth once in a while, as long as you’re not being a total a$$hole. Again, sorry for the potty mouth.