Monday, December 28, 2009

Felting fanaticism

Omigosh, I've got the felting bug big time. Mostly, I am making coasters. They are sooooo soft. And they absorb the drips from the drink, instead of dumping them in my lap. That's a plus. Most of these coasters have sold, but we may still have some listed at if you want to see them in detail.

These look sort of Native American to me.

I have a thing for leaves and stars.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Free Giveaway: dragon pendant of lead-free pewter

(EDITED DECEMBER 20: Whoa! Looks like I picked the wrong week to run this promotion! Everyone is too busy. I'll run it again another time.)

Life's an Expedition is giving away a dragon pendant, handmade (but not by me) of lead-free pewter. It's, I don't know, a couple of inches in diameter and on a black silky cord.

To register for the giveaway, please visit the new Life's an Expedition store on Zibbet, pick out your favorite thing and write a comment about it on the Life's an Expedition Facebook fan page by dj runnels.

You will have to click on BECOME A FAN on that page if you are not a fan already, but you need not divulge your private Facebook info, wall or friend's list. By becoming a fan, you are free to visit us whenever you log into Facebook. But we will never send you email spam or "updates." We merely post messages on the Facebook page and as a part of our creative community, you are welcome to do the same (or not) as you desire.

No purchase necessary.

You may also place additional entries by mentioning
(1) Life's an Expedition's Zibbet store and (2) this link via your Twitter, MySpace or blog. Make sure it is, indeed, your own account. Please don't write a spammy comment on someone else's blog! Then place a link to where you did so on the same Facebook fan page: .

Please use a separate post for each comment about LAE merchandise on Zibbit and links to a comments about LAE merchandise on Zibbit. On [date postponed] I will assign a number to each post and choose one in a random drawing. The winner will be announced on the Facebook page, probably on [date postponed], depending on the state of my liver. The winner will need to check this page, contact me and provide an accurate address for first class mailing. The mailing address the winner provides will not be used for promotional purposes.

If the winner does not contact us within two weeks, we may be forced to send an email message via Facebook; but under normal circumstances, we will never resort to this. You may also set your privacy settings to block such emails at any time, according to Facebook rules. Life's an Expedition considers it a privilege to have you as a fan. It is never our intention to send you spam of any kind. Blood relatives of dj runnels, anyone with the last name of Runnels and/or current or past employees of Life's an Expedition are disqualified from this giveaway.

Traffic is at a near standstill on some of my shopping sites, Facebook, etc, so everyone must be super busy with the holidays. I'll run this promotion another time. You will love this pendant. It's been a big seller for us. :o)

Merry, merry!
dj runnels

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Primary color blending in your crafts

In my last post, I wrote about mixing pastels and promised to give examples of yarn and color mixing in my work. Despite my short memory, I have not yet forgotten that promise (yippee!) and now I'm going to show something with primary colors.

You probably already know this, but for those who don't: red, blue and yellow are primary colors on the color wheel. These colors can be mixed to create secondary colors. Red and blue makes purple. Blue and yellow makes green. Red and yellow makes orange.

An easy way to remember these is to envision the classic 8-pack of Crayola crayons. If you omit the black and brown, these are the six colors you have left. The crayons in this pack are bright and saturated and that is why they will often go together in your artwork, home decorating and wardrobe planning.

If you were wearing a blue and yellow summer outfit, for example, you would probably want both the blue and yellow to be bright or both to be pastel or both to be muted. That doesn't mean you are locked into this rule, but if you aren't sure, the bright-with-bright, pastel-with-pastel and muted-with-muted is a good rule of thumb to follow.

In home decorating, imagine a living room decorated in medium light blue and medium light yellow in a sort of French country to Provencal scheme. Or think of a children's room, decorated in bright blue and yellow. For the exterior of a house, you might choose a muted smoky blue and very muted yellow trim.

Often small accents can tolerate a smattering of colors, whereas the backdrop will only use one or two.  A pillow in red, blue and yellow--I had a photo here, but lost it, long story--works well as an accent. But you would probably not decorate a room using all of these colors. Perhaps the pillow would serve as an accent on a royal blue sofa. Maybe there is a red side chair across the room. An Oriental carpet might tie the colors together in a dark navy with flecks of red, blue and green. Some houseplants would echo the green in the carpet and in the pillow.

Similarly, in your wardrobe, you instinctively know that when you put on a navy wool suit, you can get away with a vivid red, blue, yellow paisley scarf and perhaps some garnet jewelry.

Men might choose a navy suit, yellow dress shirt with a navy rep tie. Perhaps you are tempted to point out that navy is a muted color and the yellow shirt a man would most likely wear would be a pastel yellow and that this contradicts what I said earlier. That is because I have no freaking idea what I am talking about.

But I can usually wing it. Except for the time when I was pregnant and shopping for dress fabric and a contrasting floral collar fabric with my mother. The dress fabric was peach. And I thought the collar fabric was peach, blue and white until I got it home and saw it was rose, blue and white. "Why did you let me buy that?" I wailed to my mother, who has a master's degree in art. She said he hadn't wanted to argue with me. And maybe that is also a good rule of thumb. If you think you know what you are doing, trust your instincts and don't let people talk you out of them. But don't help me shop for maternity fabric, okay?!

dj runnels

Monday, December 7, 2009

An example of yarn blending

I still receive puzzled questions from knitters about yarn blending, so I thought I would start posting more of my project photos. Yarns do not literally have to match when you blend them. For example, the two blue yarns in this photo are not identical blues. And the pinks are not identical either. But when you hold two strands of yarn together as you knit or crochet, that sort of forces them to go together...

Well, within reason. Forest green and bright orange are always going to look like a sports team. But if you keep pastels with pastels, earth tones with earth tones, brights with brights, that will help you avoid some glaring color combinations.

All yarns shown in these photos are available in our online yarn store.

dj runnels

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What people say about LAE yarn:

I'm finding quotes around the internet from people who have used Life's an Expedition yarn blends and what they have to say about us.

From Cheesiesmom: "I've purchased from her. I thought her yarns were nice and a little unusual. Her service was fast and she was very nice to work with....I would have no problem recommending her." I deleted a mention that we sell on eBay, because our yarn has mostly moved to Artfire.

Thanks go out to To Knit A New Life and to The Orange Yarn, Please for the links. I am always very touched when I read good mentions about our yarn.

dj runnels
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