Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

I think it's time to post my painting again.  At last a poinsettia that I never have to water.

And a casual Christmas portrait from several years ago...

All our family visits are over, our shopping is done, our treats are consumed...and it still only Christmas Eve. 

We ventured out today to get, of all things, a new toilet seat.  While we were there, I picked up a pack of kitchen towels.  Yep, that's it.  That's what we got each other for Christmas.  We usually buy what we need throughout the year, so a gift specifically for Dec. 25 just hasn't been a big deal for us for quite some time.

We celebrate our faith in, and love of, Christ everyday and since we don't have small children visiting, there is no need for a great deal of decorating or thoughts of Santa.  With this being said, I would like to wish all my friends Merry Christmas and pray that you are healthy and happy.

Since you did stop by, I'd like  you to stay...

Stay safe and warm and be careful of the winter storms that will be making themselves known this week.  Most of all stay true to yourself and don't forget to stay creative.

Merry Christmas to All

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Felted eyeglass case

Peri and I have been doing a lot of research and reading on felting.  (You remember my sweater felting post of a few weeks ago?)  Anyway, there is needle felting and sculpting like our bloggy friend Viv does.  Her excitement with a new craft was very evident in her post from several years ago.  My fear of repeatedly stabbing my fingers has prevented me from getting started on this craft.

There is felting from roving.  As in using wool roving that has to be placed on a mat and hand felted with hot water to make a sheet of felted fabric.  It results in unusual and vibrant one-of-a-kind pieces of fabric.  This is the same type of material used in needle felting and comes in a beautiful array of colors, often harvested from animals raised lovingly by the artists for this very purpose, then processed and custom dyed as part of their art. Wool roving is used in a vast number of ways.

There is also machine felting, as in washing machine... which is actually fulling, but is called felting in an attempt to avoid confusion.  (Check this link if you want to read about fulling in great detail). 

Previously I had never used wool yarn for any of my projects.  I was under the lifetime (that's a long time, by the way) impression that wool yarn was scratchy.  While I was in CA I got a skein of merino wool, named for the type of sheep that produces this lovely wool.   The moment my new birch crochet tool made it's first loop, I was hooked.  This yarn is a dream to work with and it's 100% wool so I can felt/full it in my top loader washer. 

After making an over-sized glasses case, see the image on the left,  I felted it and tossed it in the dryer.  You can see the size difference in the photo on the right.

I  think I could have made it even a bit larger.  My original plan was to use it for my shades, but it shrunk to the size of  readers instead.  It is still quite nice.  You can still see some of the stitches and the wool got a bit fuzzy.  Some folks shave off  the fuzzies with one of those sweater pill shavers, but I kind of like the texture.

So there you go... I'm crocheting with wool.  I'm quite happily surprised with my new yarn and hope to acquire more of this luscious yarn in the future.

That's all for now.  We'll talk soon.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Some people are sooooo sneaky!

Look what showed up on my doorstep today!

My sister and Karin got together and surprised me with this cardinal.  It's my favorite bird and every time there is one for sale at Countryfolks Keepsakes, it is sold immediately.  So apparently the two of them got together and decided to surprise me with one.

I had just talked to Peri earlier today and I suppose when I didn't mention anything about it, she realized it hadn't been delivered yet.  She's better with Christmas secrets than I remember.

It's just beautiful, and I love it.

Thanks again, you crazy gals, thanks.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hello there!

Well, we're back from visiting my sisters in California.  We had a really nice time visiting, sightseeing and shopping.  We went to the zoo and we rode around and looked at the Christmas lights in the neighborhoods and had a pleasant time while we were there.

The resort where we stayed has just undergone a massive renovation so while it is the same resort that I have shared photos of before, they are somewhat different this year.

We got several early Christmas gifts, in addition to the trip itself, and one of those is a new camera.  Not knowing, of course, that I would be getting a new camera, some of the pictures are taken with my more basic camera and aren't quite as clear as I would like.

With all that being said, let's start off with a tour of the suite at the resort.

Instead of the usual fruit basket, we were greeted with a nice carafe of cool water and a bowl of fruit dried there at the resort.  I suppose that is what it was, as I had never seen grapes on the stem.  Peri and I laughingly commented that perhaps it was just an old bowl of fruit.  Seriously, the grapes were very tasty.  The rest of the dried fruit...not so much.

The sleeping quarters have been revamped with new mattresses, beds and bedding.

In addition to the new bedrooms, there was new furniture in the living area...

 as well as new wooden floors with new rugs and colorful pottery

For some reason someone seemed to think that a distressed leather chair would be an asset to the decor, but my slinky jersey blouses did not agree.

I immediately had to cover this crackly chair with a coverlet to keep from ruining my clothes.  Grrr.  The cabinet beneath the widescreen telly holds the fridge and espresso maker and such.

This is just the beginning of the five days that we were there, so I won't bore you with too many more photos this post, but I do want you to see this...

My sister, Peri, is a fan of the art of our friend Karin at Countryfolk Keepsakes and has a nice collection of her work displayed on her mantle.

 Karin's art is displayed in a lovely grouping, along with a self portrait that Peri did...

 and here we see Gracie, nestled among the little pillow doll that I crafted and the portrait of Zipper Cat, that I painted in pastels.

In this view you can see a portion of the beautiful, artisan crafted cabinets that hold some of their other works of art.

I'm quite honored to be included in the fine art that they have displayed.  There is another cabinet that holds the more whimsical art pieces, and even more of mine and hubby's sculptures are displayed there.  The gals have such lovely decorating tastes and we are honored to have our art showcased in their home.

Well, there is a lot more to come, but it does take time to decide what pictures to show.  I'll be back soon with more.

Take care and don't wear yourselves out shopping and baking.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A new video...

Well, it's been over two years since I said I was going to be doing a video log and I suppose things just got in the way.  With that in mind, here I am two years later saying hello.

For one thing, I'd like to apologize for the sniffing throughout the video.  In the winter my nose gets wonky and that's all it is.  I'm not on any kind of nose candy, or whatever they call that stuff on Intervention.  I know that I really don't look this goofy in real life, nor do I sound like this.  I cannot, for the life of me, use my real voice when I am being video taped.

With that being said, watch and hopefully, enjoy.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fabric coils...

Remember back several years ago when I got the book about fabric coil crafting?

I had very good luck, making mats and baskets...

and who can forget the handbag that I made...

This bag served me well and I still have it.

All of this is bringing me to what I will be experimenting with tomorrow.  I was thinking about covering some clothesline and coiling it and stitching it, leaving both ends open.  The end result will hopefully resemble a bangle bracelet.  Since I will be using fabric, it shouldn't be too difficult to embellish it with beads or coins or buttons.

So, that's the plan for tomorrow.  We'll see how it ends up. 

I know that none of you ever run into anyone who is less than pleasant.  In the event that you EVER do, remember the sentiment on this sign that I saw on the internet.  Normally I don't post bad words, but it really is funny.

That's it for now.  We'll talk soon.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing
Sing praises to His name; he forgets not His own.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning
Thou, Lord, was at our side; all glory be thine!
We all do extol thee thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender will be.
Let they congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O lord, make us free!

I sang this song as a child in Thanksgiving church service. The words still touch me. I pray that you and your family and friends have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My, my, how taste does change

I have always been a "rocker".  I loved the British Invasion and every electric guitar fed genre that followed them.  Marrying a musician just seemed to be a natural step in this  progression.  I really wasn't that into rock until high school and even then I marched to my own drummer.

Being a fan of The Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders and Creedence Clearwater Revival didn't mean that I didn't have time for groups like Queen and Led Zep.  The thing is, lots of my memories are from listening to the radio.  I had lots of albums, but I was quite selective in purchasing them. Therefore I know lots of songs and liked them, but didn't really know who the group was.  My hubby is like an encyclopedia of musical information.  He knows a little about almost all of it, but he know a lot about rock and classic country.  Over the years, he has introduced me to bands that I liked but really didn't know.

This week we watched a documentary on Jeff Lynne so, Timbo has been playing his music in it's many forms and bands for me to absorb.  Gotta love it.  Yesterday we were listening to classic country on the music stations of the cable tv and so many came on that I remember and really liked.  I got a mini lesson on country music and found out that I have even liked a certain type of country music, I just didn't know how to explain it.  He likes bluegrass, which is not may favorite.  People have asked me what I don't like about bluegrass and I always say, "if it just had some electric guitar and some drums and maybe a bit of keyboard" I would really dig it.  I like the twangy-ness of the vocals and just want it to...well, rock more.  The following song came on and I got excited because I remembered it from my youth and I said, this guy!  I really like this guy!  To which my husband (and he should know) said this guy is a "long hair".

Well, this guy turns out to be John Anderson and his sound is more what I would call cowboy country or country swing.  You might remember this as a bit of a novelty song, but he sounds just the same now as he did back then.  Here he is from back in the day, Swingin.

He has a crazy twangy voice and not the shiniest spoon in the drawer, but you gotta love this song.  In fact, go to YouTube and check out his videos.  This is what I think bluegrass,(and shoot, all country music) should sound like, electric with drums and keys.  Rock on long hair, rock on!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy Saturday!

Well, elections are over and my guy didn't win, but life will go on.  It may not be life as we know it, but it will go on.  Since the last few years have been occupied with political websites by my hubby (and to a somewhat lesser degree) me, I am finding that I need to throw out the old and bring in some new.   I've cleaned up my computer of lots of the news sites that I was following and have been delving into some new things. 

When not blogging or reading tweets, I go to the craft web sites.  As you know I have a page on Pinterest and I like to browse on Craftgawker and Etsy. If you aren't on Pinterest and need an invite, please let me know and I'll "hook you up" as they say.  I'm not sure if anyone still says that, or if it means the same thing these days, but that's another story altogether.

Keeping all this in mind, me looking for something new to try and such, I have been researching recycling sweaters.  I love to sew and I thought it would be fun to work with sweaters.  I have always wanted to felt a sweater but never realized that you could do it in the washing machine.  I recently got a new top loading washing machine (my old faithful front-loader finally needed to be replaced due to an unknown mold problem) and this top loader is great for felting because you can stop the wash cycle and look at the garment.

I hit the Goodwill several times looking for 100% wool sweaters and there are not as many as you would think.  I found a mohair monstrosity and a small cashmere twinset.  Almost all sweaters are cotton or acrylic.  Who would have known?  I did find a striped wool scarf/muffler that looked promising and something I was willing to cut into.  It's hard to destroy a perfectly good garment in order to makes something else out of it.  But anyway, onward and upward.

If you aren't familiar with felting (not to be confused with needle felting, btw) here is a quick tutorial.  The one thing I wasn't prepared for was the smell.  Remember that "wet dog" smell that your sweaters got when you came in from playing in the snow as a kid?  Yep, that's what hot wet wool smells like, even with detergent added. Not my favorite aroma.

Long story short, I felted my items and got the scissors and went to work.  There is a learning curve, to be sure.  After several hours I finished a felted sweater pillow and I kind of like it.

I have been seeing lots of sweater items with the seams on the outside for texture, so I mixed it up and little bit with some seams showing.  I made the star simply by placing a star template on the sweater and basting around it before sewing it on the machine, then I cut out the star shape.  Much easier than trying to sew around a pre-cut shape.  Learned that trick from making doll appendages.

While the last sweater was in the dryer I made two pin cushions that were fun.

The fish is simply cut out from a printed piece of fabric, sewed right sides together and turned. To do this, I split the back of the fish, turned it right sides out and added fiber fill, then whipped stitched it closed.  I attached an additional piece of fabric and ran a wrist band from an old pincushion and there you go.  The little hat shaped one is made with a jar lid as a base and a circle of fabric stuffed and tacked on to the base.  A bit of ribbon hides the boo-boos and it's ready to use.

While I haven't found the stash of sweaters one would need to make something like this...

I'm happy with the direction I'm taking.  Speaking of that monstrosity of a mohair sweater, a very large loosely knitted sweater when felted, turns into a dense heavy piece of fuzzy wool.  I didn't know about taking the sweater apart first, so this is what I ended up with.  What's next for it? Any ideas?

That's all for now.  Have a great weekend and stay healthy and happy.  I do have another project in the works and that will probably be next week's post. 

xoxo to you all.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

There is a Morning After

I've always loved this song and for now it says what I want to say...

Those of you that know me, know what I mean.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Election Day.

Vote, vote and vote.  

Oh, and if I forget to remind sure to VOTE!

Yes, this means you.  If you don't vote, how will your true voice be heard? 

If you can't vote because you're a felon, you probably are not even reading this blog, (so you won't come and get me) but, boo hoo hoo.  You knew the rules, so there.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Just popping in to say hello, Happy Halloween and to let you know that we weathered the storm quite easily.  We had high winds and some snow flurries but kept our power.  My husbands hometown received about 15 inches of snow, but blessedly we were spared that.

Hubby and I are going to a Romney/Ryan rally tomorrow so he went to see his barber to get spiffed up a bit.  Normally one doesn't post a picture taken with one's hubby's barber, but today is different...

 Remember to click on the photo to see a larger version.  And no I'm not wearing contacts, my eyes are cat green

When hubs called to tell me that Rocky was in full regalia, I told him to come and get me and we could take pictures of her.  I grabbed a holiday themed necklace, drew on some 60's styled eyeliner and called it a costume so I could be included in the pictures.  You know it's always about me, me, me.

Did I mention last post that I was making a quilted handbag?  I went through my fabric stash, found some fun fabric, quilted it and using a commercial pattern came up with this...

I do have to admit that the current trend of Vera Bradley quilted bags did influence my most recent sewing project, but I have had the pattern for about five years and the fabric just as long.  The pattern called for pre-quilted fabric or quilting your own, and as I mentioned,  I opted to quilt my own.  I used the contrasting trim fabric for the other side of the fabric, eliminating the need for a lining.  I added an extra pocket on the outside and adjusted the pocket inside to fit my lifestyle.  I carried it today for the first time and it was very comfortable. I used Butterick pattern #B5197 if you are interested.

So that's it for today.  Hopefully I'll be back soon with pictures from the rally.  Remember that Tuesday is election day and it's a privilege to vote.  Make your voice heard and vote intelligently, not emotionally.

See you soon!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Saturday (or Frankenstorm Eve)

Well, we aren't supposed to get much of the rain from the storm, but you never know.  We went out yesterday and got some additional nine hour candles and an emergency crank radio. 

We had just gone to the store Thursday, and have plenty of food on hand.

The front yard is raked in case of an early snow...

 (yes, we have to rake even though we have no trees in the front yard...)

 and green beans are on the stove.

We will be spending the evening catching up on the shows recorded on the DVR and waiting to see if we even get one drop of rain.  I am not being snarky really, I am thankful that we aren't in the direct path of the hurricane.  It's just that the media tends to want everyone to freak out over everything and especially near Election Day they are already running around like Henny Penny telling us the election may have to be postponed.  I, for one, am not a "freaker outer" so boo and hiss lame stream can't scare me.  I'm prepared and will hike to the polls (in case of Zombie attack) if required.

With all that being said, enjoy the rest of the weekend, try to stay safe if you are in the direct path of the storm and remember that now and always, God is in control.  Do your part and things will be as they should.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pictorial tour of my daily life...

Well, kiddos, it's me again.  I had initially planned to wait until I completed my drawings before posting them.   I suppose I am like many of you, in that sometimes I start another project before (gasp) finishing the current one. This is what I have done, so I decided that I would stop dragging my heels and go on a post the photos anyway.

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to take you through some of the current projects that I have going. Remember this needlepoint project?  Well I did finish it, but this photo is to show you the black and white color chart in the background.  The color chart for this project "spoke to me".  I thought that it would be fun to take this color chart and make a pen and ink drawing from it.  So this is what I started on...not sure if it is done yet.

This turned out better than I had anticipated.  If you are stumped for a design, or aren't one that can do drawings or doodles from your imagination, this just might be a good source of inspiration.

It's not quite a zentangle, but it allowed me to use various designs and repetitive shapes in a fashion that I find quite interesting.

As much as I love to draw or do needle work in the living room while I watch television, there is a downside.  I, being the spoiled child that I am, don't like to put my toys away.  It doesn't take very long for a previously neat living room to start to appear less than straight...

If you come to visit me, don't expect to have a large glass of sweet tea, as I've used most of my large cups for holding my colored pencils.  I start off neatly, but as I work through a drawing, not only has my 1950's end table become completely overwhelmed with my accoutrements and paraphernalia, it usually spills down to the floor below...

In this photo, I attempted to used some creative cropping in an effort to make the extent of my mess less alarming.  I usually have books and magazines and catalogs for each of the project that I am currently working on and once I have gotten something out from storage downstairs, I just don't want to put it away. I'm just like that.

The main thing that got this drawing frenzy started was a tutorial that showed an easy way to draw op art.  Using the ideas presented in this tutorial, I came up with this...

It's not really an optical illusion, as the coils are supposed to look like they are moving in some fashion, but it was fun to work on...for a while.  After working on it several nights in a row, I was bored with it and went on to something else.

That something else is often called impossible art.  It's a form of optical trickery that makes your brain kick into overdrive.  I'm all about the brain and visuals, so this was right up my alley.  You may think it is a bit confusing to look at, you should try to draw it.  Even with a sample to go by, it is almost impossible to get your brain to "switch over" while drawing these illusion.

The tuning fork was almost impossible to draw.  Not impossible in a "drive you crazy" way, but impossible in a "I know I can do this" way.  There are lots of illusion art out there.  I'm sure you have seen the sidewalk art that is illusionary, but have you seen the art done on a rooftop that looks like giant spiders...

I know, it's freaky.  You can read about it here and see how it looks from the rooftop instead of above.  It's very interesting.  Please check it out.

Now I know that my skills in illusionary art don't compare, but it's fun to dabble in.  There is something called impossible architecture that is a bit easier to draw.  I came us with this one...

If you click in, you may be able to see various levels of stairs that when turned in different directions, change the look of the drawing.  On the right page is a spiral that I have started and I'm not sure where it will be going, but go it will.

When I wasn't making myself crazy with op art, I was cutting out slacks...and making rice bags.

I tried five times to get blogger to accept this picture in the direction that it was taken, but to no avail.  Please humor me and tilt your head to the left to see what a rice bag made from monkey flannel looks like.  Hubby loves monkey art and he picked this fabric.

The pants and the rice bags were made downstairs in my basement on my Bernina and seams are pressed open in the laundry room.

As I sew, I usually watch television.  I can never get the remote to work with the television, unless I stand up, and I'm way too lazy for that.  With that in mind, please see my redneck solution...

Yes, in order for the remote to activate the sensor I had to elevate the television and what better to use than books.  So I have my studio television securely lifted on a stack of books.  Necessity is most certainly the mother of invention.

Well, I suppose that is it for now.  A blog post that should have taken about an hour took four hours.  Recently blogger changed things and if I turn my camera when taking the picture (an old habit from my 35mm SLR days) it requires tons of photo program work to get the photo to load correctly. 

Hope everyone has a great week and stays (or gets) creative.  We'll talk soon. Take care.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Just saying hi...

Since I still don't have anything to brag/post about yet, I'll just show you this picture of me and my hubby.  Timbo and I had a little function to attend Friday night and we got a passerby to snap our picture.
Hope you like it.

Yep, it's me in all my long haired, no glasses glory.  Looks like I could have used a bit more paint on the old barn, but it's all good.

My three month, cataract surgery follow-up appointment is tomorrow,  but other than that ,the upcoming week is appointment free.  Seems like a good week to amp up the gym workout and start sweating out some of the junk food toxins that I seemed to accumulate this weekend.  I find myself falling into the "I'm so good all week" routine that I treat myself with junk food on the weekend and undo everything I did during the week.  I'll bet I'm not the only one that does this.

As they say, tomorrow is another day.  We'll talk soon and I promise I will find something artsy and interesting to blog about, really I will.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Where is she???

Oh, not to worry, I'm hanging around.  I've been a bit on the lazy side, drawing and eating cake.  When I finish coloring in my current doodle, I'm post it.  In the meantime, check out this tutorial for an op art drawing.  This is what I have been working on and it is quite time consuming but fun.

In the meantime, here is a funny little cartoon.  Hope you get it.


Thursday, September 20, 2012


No, as much as I wish I were talking about cheese doodles, this is something completely different.

As yummy as they look with that other worldly, beautiful orange color, I'm talking about doodling as an art form.  I have mentioned before that I think everyone has an artist lurking inside their bodies, and a good way to nurture that artist, is with another kind of doodle.  As you may have seen over the years, a whole new wave of books and blogs and such have been dedicated to Zentangling.  Poo on that, I am talking about sitting around drawing while you watch television.  Nothing with a fancy-smancy, made up name, just drawing or doodling. 

Oh, now you are getting ready to whine, I can hear you tuning up.  "I can't draw", "poor me, I'm being left out of all the fun".  Shut your crying, you big baby and go get your notebook and pens.

You can use a composition book to draw in, and just a good old fashioned ballpoint pen will suffice.  Personally I like to add a bit of color and I have boxes full of markers and pens at my disposal.  If you prefer pencils that's fine too, as long as you don't postpone the drawing by erasing everything that's not perfect...grrrr, don't get me started on that.  Can't draw a straight line?  Duh, find something with an edge on it and use it as a guide.  I'll bet you have a credit card in your purse...use that if you don't have the world's most perfect ruler.  As you can see, I am eliminating all your pitiful excuses for not drawing.  So now get off your butt...oops, I mean get ON your butt and draw.

Absolutely cannot think of anything to draw, because you are still trying to fight me on this??? Draw a letter or two.  Yeppers, you heard it here first.  Alphabets or monograms are some of the best things to start on.  Who doesn't love a monogram or a fancy drawn letter?  There are gazillions of decorated monograms that have been created since the beginning of your specific language.  (see how p/c I'm being here?) If you still need a nudge, do an online search for ideas. Pinterest or Google or Etsy. You know the drill, stop dragging your feet on this. (Y'all know I'm just kiddin' dontcha?)

Anyway, here are the monograms I drew this week while sitting on my keister watching the telly.

S is for Susan, as most of you know.  It's a fun letter and you can do all kinds of things with it.

T is for Timothy.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned his name here, just calling him DH for dear hubby, but he does have a name and it has many fine letters in it.  Starting with T.

Ok, now scroll back up to my letter and click on it.  You will see that I started out with the letter S and embellished it with those silly little petal flower that everyone has been drawing since first grade.  That's what it's all about.  Your favorite little thing to draw, be it flowers or moons and stars or Scottie dogs, I don't know...just draw in some little things in to fill out the letter some. I often add leaves to make things look "viney" and I love circles so I do lots of circles.

OK, now scroll back down to Tim's letter and you will notice several things.  One it has additional lines added that make it look.....drum-roll here please... "3 D".  One of the most fun things to do is to add perspective to doodles.  It's really easy to do.  Just check out the internet for drawing 3D and you will find easy instructions.  "What?  Shoot, quick stomping your foot.  I'll do it for you."  Here.  Satisfied?

Seriously though folks, I used black felt tip pens and then filled in (we are too old to just say we color) with markers.  You can use markers or crayons or other dry media that you can just grab and use.  Keep it simple to start.

Hope you have fun drawing your letters.  Send me a picture of your finished art and I'll post it here.  I really will.  You'll be instantly famous.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Another experiment...

So, at the risk of boring you all to death, I'm posting another picture of a bracelet.  Practicing beading can lead to one of two things...either something that works in jewelry or something that doesn't.  This most recent piece was supposed to be a wide cuff, but I made it too wide and it was uncomfortable on my wrist.  So I sewed the edges together and made it into a tube and it still works as a bracelet.

 I purchased the size 6 beads in Autumn colors, which worked well together, and while it doesn't really match anything else I have, I think I can find something that will coordinate with it. 

As you can see, it looks different on a dark background,

so perhaps a navy blouse or the ever present black top will work with it.

While going through my stash of beads last week I came across this owl pendant.  I got this in a grab bag of  broken jewelry at a flea market and it just so happens that I have a friend that collects all things owl.

Yes, this little pendant is going to my friend and trainer, Chelsea.  Sweet little Chelsea was recently diagnosed with cancer and after trying various treatments over the past few months, her doctors told her yesterday that she will have to start undergoing radiation.  Hopefully a little vintage owl pendant will help keep her mind off of things a bit.

Well, that's it for today.  Hope everyone is hanging in there and getting ready for Fall.  I'm not sure what is on my agenda for today.  I deconstructed the shawl that I showed you last post and I'm thinking about making granny squares with the yarn.  I found a pattern for a granny square sweater that looks promising.  I'll keep you posted.

See you soon.  Let us hear!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I remember hearing murmurs, back in the days of my youth, that someone "was doing peyote".  Well, the peyote that they were doing was certainly different from the peyote that I am doing.  The peyote they were whispering about is a cactus that has hallucinogenic properties and has been used for years in religious ceremonies of various "indigenous people" of America  (for those less politically correct...American Indians).  During these ceremonies bead covered gourds are used and over the years the beading technique used for this decoration came to be known as peyote stitch, or gourd stitch.

I have a fairly ample supply of seed beads that were a gift from a very lovely gal some years back.  I have used these beads in jewelry making, as well as bead embroidery and even mosaic work.  They are so pretty, sitting there in their little plastic tubes and I love how colorful they are.  Over the years, as my cataracts gradually began affecting my sight, I stopped using my seed beads.  As many of you know, I had my cataracts removed so I am now delving back into my stash of tiny beads.  With the help of various types of magnifiers I am attempting to relearn peyote stitch.

Just to get back in the groove, I started out with larger sized beads.  Using various colors of size 8 seed beads, I whipped up this little color block bracelet. 

I fashioned a button and loop closure for the bracelet and added some larger glass beads for fringe, as well as weight.

Now I'll tackle peyote using much smaller beads and see what I come up with.  I purchased this magazine

 at Books-A-Million this week and it has fun projects in it.  I also have a very nice loom that another sweetheart of a gal got for me, and the projects that you can make on a loom with the tiny beads are really nice.

When not reading or beading, I've been crocheting a shawl, and I've done this much so far...

At first I thought it was finished, but when I tried it on I realized that it was too thick to be a scarf, but too narrow to be a shawl... so back to the hooks for me.  I'm currently adding a triangular shaped piece to the back to make it more shawl like.  I'll keep you posted on that.

Hope everyone is having a nice September and if you're like me, you are waiting in anticipation for Autumn.  I love Fall and everything that goes with it.  Sweater weather is what we called it when I was younger and it's not here yet, but almost.

Well, children, that's it for now, but take care and remember to stay creative. xoxo