Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Long Time, No See (or Write)

Okay, from February to June (barely) is a long break in blogging and for that I apologize. In my own defense, I have to tell you we moved from Houston to Los Angeles. And since this wasn't a company move, it was all on us and we had many years of accumulated stuff to go through and organize and get rid of. What a job! We moved into a place that's one-fourth the size of our house in Houston so the getting rid of part of the job was most important.  I just wonder why we waited so long to do this. I love being here. I love being near by one daughter and grandgirl. And the other daughter is at least in the same state!  We've become great friend with the 2 yo Ruby. What a gem she is, too. We babysit every Tuesday because her mom teaches yoga then (hence, our very own Ruby Tuesday). And last weekend we babysat while her parents took a well-deserved mini-vacation. It was our first sleepover with Ruby and did we ever love it! She's an amazing child -- bright, funny, quirky, silly, cute as the dickens and has a mind of her own (don't all 2 year olds?).

I love this photo of Ruby with yogurt all over her face and a picture of her mom at the same age in the background. They're both cute little girls!

As for the beading world: At the end of February, Mandy came to visit!!!  It was the best. We met through her blog, Beads for Brains, and became online friends, really good friends. It was a little unnerving for us both to have this meet up. What if we didn't like each other in person? Well, that was SO not a problem. We had fun, took a beading class, made bracelets, started a Nancy Dale type Color Play piece.  The only problem with the visit was that it was too short! An added bonus was that Mandy & my hubby got a long like old friends, too. Lovely!

After that came all the move preparations and then the sale of most of our belongings (that's a photo of some of the yarn I had for sale and ultimately donated -- I still have too much here!) and the packing of everything else. I still brought too much crafting stuff and we have a second bedroom filled with boxes of mostly my junk (and I call my husband the packrat!).  I haven't gotten to the beads yet and we moved in at the beginning of May!  But they're out of their boxes and onto some bookshelves. That's a start. Sadly the bookshelves are unreachable because of boxes and stuff in front of them! Some day...

I've signed up for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party to force myself back into blogging and beading. My partner is Sheryl Stephens at The Babbling Beader. She has WAY more experience than I in beading but she and I have found connections that are really kind of amazing. We've even made some bracelets that are very much alike! How cool is that? Lori must have been pulled by some strange strings in the Universe to pair us up! I love that and am looking forward to our partnership.
6th Bead Soup Blog Party

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Long Month

It's been busy here in Houston. And fun and rainy (thank heavens for that). The busy-ness started with this.  Our good friends from Dallas have a son whose a professional runner. He qualified to try out for the Olympic marathon team so everybody came -- all the aunts and uncles, several cousins, and the grandmother of the runner. They came from all over the US and it was such an amazing show of support for this kid. Though they all stayed in a motel, our house was the gathering place for meals and socializing. It was really fun, and even though they weren't our family, we felt part of theirs. My own brother even came and that was awesome (he's one of my favorite people on this earth). Sadly, the runner didn't make the Olympic team this time. But he has an indomitable spirit and is already planning for 2016.

And then the stomach flu hit our house. Yikes! That was not fun and that's all that's need to be said about that. And it felled several of the people who were here that weekend. Sadly we missed a trip to see a cherished SIL who was visiting Texas because of this bug.

I have beaded. First I'll show you what didn't work. I call this one the Elephantine Hot Mess:  I mean, look at this! Thread showing everywhere. The spirally look going in too many directions (should only be ONE). And it would truly fit an elephant. HA. Let me know if your pet elephant needs a bracelet and I'll send it on.

Then I did some quickie bracelets in chakra colors. I'm going to do more of these using the right gemstones but these were made of glass beads.

And finally, one that I really like and really enjoyed making. It's the flat spiral pattern and I just love the way it turned out. I love blue & copper together. And it was really fun to do, too.

I've had a lot of work for my job so that's kept me busier than usual. It's a good thing to have work but I really want to bead all the time!  So that's my record of January. Sorry to post so sporadically but that's the way it goes!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Word Cloud

Have you seen these cool word clouds? I spent my working years in the publishing business. I love typography and words (I have been known to read the dictionary). I am hooked on Words with Friends on my iPhone (anyone want to play with me?).  So I love these word clouds and now I love that I can make my own so easily. Here's one based on my  blog.

 It seems only right and natural that Beads is prominent but I'm pretty sure I never wrote anything with "eeeeee" or "tabs-inner."  So I don't know where the words come from exactly but it's pretty cool to do.

I made one for Brooke's blog (my daughter), too. She's at whimsyvalentine.com Her word cloud is:

 I love this one, too! What fun to play with this cool software.  It's here.  You can go make your own.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Call It Finished or Call It Crazy

Here we are again. Same project... different result. I had two excellent comments with suggestions for this monster. Cat suggested doing spirals at the ends and bending them over. Pearl suggested adding more tubes. Both excellent ideas. I decided to follow Cat's idea first because it would be easier and faster (assuming it worked).  I really didn't want to make more tubes (then).

Well, it worked. Thank you, Cat.

Who knew that making spirals was easier than a simple loop? Not I, that's for sure! But it was. I've never made spirals before and consider these acceptable and actually pretty cool! (That last comment was for my friend Kristen.)

So I am done with this. Finally. It only took about a year. But now I kind of want to make something else with tubes. Something different but still with tubular beads. We'll see.

I have a folder on my desktop that entitled "Make Now."  I put patterns & things in there that I really, really love and want to make. Sadly, way more is going into the folder than coming out. I also have a folder labelled "Bangles" and it has a dozen or more patterns or photos of things that inspire me to bangle some more.  Time to revisit these and set some priorities. I'll keep you posted. 

BTW,  I should have credited the book Bead Tube Jewelry by Nancy Zellers as the inspiration for this bracelet. I love that book and wouldn't ever have thought of this without it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Albatross

I made the peyote tubes for this bracelet months & months ago and was putting the whole thing together when I realized that one of the little loops was missing on one of the bangle forms. Grr! So I sent the photo showing the missing loop to Fire Mountain and they responded promptly with a new one.

Progress on The Albatross
I tried to put it all together again some time after I got the replacement only to discover that I didn't have enough silver spacers. Grr!

Ordered and received the spacers. Did a bunch of other stuff in the interim and kind of forgot this (but not really). Then I decided to get done with it once & for all! Only I forgot I had ordered and received the spacers. I only remembered that I needed them. So placed another order and when putting them away, I found all the ones I'd ordered before. GRR!!

So last night, feeling taunted and tortured by these beads sitting in a basket next to me, I decided to finish it once and for all. (if only...)

This is what it looks like. It looks finished and also looks like crap. My wire wrapping skills (or lack thereof) really shows. I could do the wrapping on the wire when it was all by itself but not when attached to the bangle. So half of the wraps are ok. The rest are awful.  And on top of that the rainbow colored wire looks bad, too. I tried to do a simple loop instead of the wire wrapping but found that impossible. I need to learn this stuff, folks!

So tonight I'll take all the wires off and try to figure out a better way to do this. Sadly, I think that even when it's done to my satisfaction, I'd never wear it! It's just so not me. But I had fun planning it and even if the execution was spotty (at best), it was a fun project.

If you have any ideas how to complete this so it doesn't look awful, please let me know! I want to get this albatross off my neck!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Not too much beading...

I can't believe I haven't written here in so long but I've been working... working... working. I love my job and love that I can work in my pjs if I want to (I often want to). But when I work this much, it leaves little time or energy for anything fun. So just to give my hands something to do when my brain wasn't really engaged, I did a couple of Christmas projects.

First an ornament for each of the grandgirls. I would love to make the making of ornaments an annual thing for the girls so when they grow up and have their own trees, they'll get a set of ornaments (or a bunch) ready made. I tried to do this with Brooke and dutifully wrote down each ornament each year -- for about 5 years until the list was lost or something. But I still got the ornaments for her. I am so bad at this sort of thing. But I'll try again. Maybe I'll be better now that I'm old. HA!
These had felt backing to cover up the ugly threads, and they are cute (and totally brainless to do).

Then I had this pattern from Heather Collin and decided to make a couple (ha!) chili peppers. I really liked making this. The pattern is straightforward and easy to follow. But I would love to know a way to decrease in tubular peyote that doesn't leave bumpy bits all over the piece. I turned to my favorite seed bead books (5 of them) but nobody covered what I was looking for. 

I made most of these w/ 2 colors of red & 2 of green just so I'd know where the end of the row was and when it was time to "step up." I tried one without that and it was okay. I did have to take out the stitches a few more times than I did on the 2 color ones because counting seemed to be something I wasn't capable of!  Most of these are seed beads but I did one in delicas (on the bottom) in the hopes of avoiding the bumpy bits but no. Still bumpy. GRRR!  Oh, well. They were still fun and totally brainless which, for my addled mind, was perfect!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...