Tuesday, April 30, 2013

She Made ~ She Made April

Another month has passed.  I cannot believe how fast the time is flying! 
Yesterday's disclaimer regarding my slow-to-respond ways for the next week or so apply to today's post too.  Thanks for the understanding.  

Therese picked out a handful of agate beads to work with and also a fabulous Linda Roberts glass cab. 
I really didn't think either one of them needed much embellishment.  I subscribed to the K.I.S.S. method here and am happy with the results.  I cannot wait to see what Therese made!!!  She always WoWs me!  Thanks so much for stopping by...even during these non-stop days when my brain is too taxed to form proper sentences, you all put a smile on my face :-) 

(These were the best photos I could get.  Temperamental camera, computer messing with me{using my daughters' to piece this together}, and Rain.  But here they are anyway!)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Reclaimed Sari Ribbon with Lampwork

This post is right smack in the middle of the busiest 2 weeks of our Spring so I am keeping it relatively short and simple.  And I also want to let you know that I will get back to you on all the comments you have left over the past few posts.  It may take me a week or so to get a response out, but I will, I promise.  The e-mailing is my favorite part of blogging! 

Here is this week's Reclaimed Sari Ribbon necklace:

The Lampwork Bead comes from the hands of 2 Bead Sisters.   I don't use lampwork beads too often and never really know what to do with them.  Yet every time I see these ladies at a show, I spend half my budget at their table.  I cannot resist them!
Nicole from Darn Good Yarn sent me the ribbon to work with and see what I could come up with.  This week, I did some tearing.  It tears easily when I want it to.  It doesn't seem to want to tear on its own at all, but to get the tears where I wanted them to be and how I wanted them to look, it was very compliant.  Good Ribbon.  I wish all things in my life listened to me like you did ;-)

If you missed what I made Week One or Week Two, go take a look.
Thanks for stopping by and thank you Nicole!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Shore Day

I mentioned I went to the shore to collect sea glass.  I have a dear friend who keeps sending me photos of his weekly sea glass hauls and told me to get my butt down there (over there, really) before the tourists come.  There is not a place on Earth I cannot stand more than the shore in Summer so I jumped at the invitation to go off-season.  I had no intention of collecting rocks.  And I didn't want too many shells either...I have enough.  I was in the hunt for sea glass.  Seeing really cool pieces all over his house, I knew I would find more than I could hope for!  Alas, the sea was not cooperating with me (or maybe it was my eyes, because he came home with some crazy cool pieces of glass!!!  a clear half-circle with a carved sunburst was his SuperBig find of the would have made an awesome necklace if I could have gotten him to part with it).  Here is my sea glass haul.
 Yep, that tiny collection on the bottom. I did find that really cool white porcelain square on the right.  I had plans for that the second I saw it.  I don't know if my eyes were not finding it or if the sea was not giving it up to me.  OR if it was Fate that decided sea glass might not be my bottom line.  Who am I to question Fate?

I found 5 of these beauties.  My friend was impressed :-)  By the time I made it home to show my family, two of them had turned to dust.  C'est La Vie!

If they were not so fragile, these Sand Dollars would make beautiful jewelry.  But I guess it is good for me to take things as they are and not turn Everything into something to wear on the body.

This is my total haul.  Plenty of Shells.  Mostly Rocks.  A pocket size amount of Sea Glass. 5 (or 3) Sand Dollars.   A few cool pieces of Driftwood.  And a rusty washer.  I wonder if I am really meant to be with just the Rocks.  Or maybe I need to just not think about it and just use what comes my way.  I had my heart set on Sea Glass when I left my house and drove down to the shore.  But I came home with some really beautiful bits and pieces, so No Disappointment Here.

I was at Monmouth Beach NJ.  We took a few loops though Sea Bright.  Sandy Hook is still closed from Hurricane Sandy.   Sea Bright has 20 or so businesses boarded up, with maybe 2 that look like they are in the process of rebuilding.  Monmouth Beach was hit hard too.  Countless homes in the area sit vacant and boarded up.  It made it difficult to completely relax and wander the beach on that beautiful sunny Sunday, knowing there was so much devastation just up the beach, on Ocean Avenue and beyond. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

If I Was Left Alone, I Would Have Spent Double (at least!)

This past weekend, I headed to the Shore to collect Sea Glass (more on that and what I got/didn't get in a future post).  Before I left, I looked up bead stores between my house and the Shore.  I found 2 along the route I was going to take, but quickly found out that one closed a few months prior.  I was bummed but one is better than none! 

My departure was delayed for various mothering reasons, so by the time I got to the bead shop, I had 90 minutes to shop.  My routine is :  take one slow lap though and browse, get the tray, take second lap through to pick up all I want to buy.  When I walked in, I briefly scanned the size of the room and the layout to plan where I was going to start.  It was small area.  Lots of stuff packed in it, but I knew I could do it in 90 minutes. 

I have debated whether I should call the store out by name.  I decided against it.  The store itself has a lot to offer, and 3 of the 4 owners/workers were either nice or left me alone.  They shouldn't be smeared for this other person's behavior. 

When I walked in, there was a lovely woman behind the counter that went through the usual pleasantries.  Another woman was dealing only with crystals and mostly ignored me.  A third woman peeked out of another room to tell me that I was welcome to come in that room and shop~it was all for sale.  (this room looked like a cross between a class room and a dump-and-sort-eventually room.  it had some good stuff in it!).  Literally, out of no where, #4 appeared.  She insisted I take a tray no matter how many times I said I wasn't ready for a tray yet.  I eventually gave in to shut her up about the damn tray.  As soon as the tray battle was over she insisted I touch certain beads...that were $150 each.  They were gorgeous lampwork beads, but I was not in the market for them.  Each time I stepped away, she said "Oh, you didn't touch this one" and plopped it in my hand.  After 20 minutes (now I only have 70 minutes before the store closes so I am nervous about seeing it all) of looking at beads that are clearly out of my league, I sternly said "I appreciate you showing me these.  I am moving on now."  Each time I bothered to look up from the beads, she was standing 1-2 feet from me, staring, with no regard for personal space.  I held up a piece of pyrite to my chest, trying to get a visual of what I might do with it in a necklace.  She said "That is an odd thing to do with a bead, hold it up to your chest."  I put it on my tray and walked away.  When I was looking through charlottes, she was standing so close, I could not spin the display to see the other colors.  I picked a green charlotte, and she said "Hmmmm.  Interesting."  She left me alone when I headed toward the Czech glass, but only long enough for me to get through 1/2 of them.  It was the tightest spot of the store.  I was cornered.  She called one of the workers over and demanded "Take off that gorgeous birthday gift I made you so I can show this woman what I made."  The woman took it off, handed it over and walked away."  It was a bracelet made with the brick shaped beads with the two holes.  (I recently bought some and am making a brick wall with vines with it)  It was a lot less flexible than mine, so I asked "Was this done on a loom?"  "Of course,  But not just any loom.  Rick's Loom.  You need to buy one and take my class.  You Must!"  I said I would not be doing that. "You must!"  Time for me to walk away again.  Only 2 minutes later, she came up to me and said "You have never seen matte agate before, I am sure.  Touch it."  I said I had and it was lovely.  "Touch It!"  WTF?!?  I literally touched it with the tip of my finger for a fraction of a second and walked away.  Left on my own, I would have stroked it for a does have a lovely feel.  And I probably would have bought some!  I left the Czech and went through some amber and turquoise and other gems.  She was loudly closing all closets and locking side doors.  I got the feeling we were reaching closing time so I hurried over to the seed beads and delicas.  I had not seen that section yet.  I wasn't there more than a second or two when a strand of un-pretty, very expensive, odd shape, orange and yellow matte Czech beads literally were thrown onto my tray.  I picked them up and looked up.  There she was.  She said "I think you really need these beauties."  I said, "I do not"  and I slapped them into her hand and turned my back to her.  After that, I never saw her again until I heard her yell to everyone that she was having sushi delivered for dinner and aren't they all jealous.  One of the other women came up to me and said, "I hate to bother you, but we are closing now.  Please make your last selections."  I didn't even get through the whole store, and it wasn't a big store!  I briefly thought about putting my tray down and walking out.  I was so disgusted by #4's behavior.  But the other women acted appropriately and I really wanted the beads I picked out.  So I made my way to the cash register.  One of the women said "I do hope you will come back again sometime." There was so much I wanted to say at that point, but I just managed to give a weak smile.  I spent a lot, but truthfully, I usually spend double of what I spent on Saturday.  I wish I had that opportunity, as it would have been good for them and me.  But #4 stood in the way of that.

I got in the car and drove a couple miles down the road and pulled over in a grocery store parking lot.  I sat there for several minutes, trying to process the events of the last 2 hours. It was hard to shake.  I had a very unpleasant 90 minutes with a clueless, overbearing woman, but at least I didn't have to work with her day in and day out.  I was pulled out of my deep thoughts by the ringing of my cell phone.  "Where are you?"  That was a good question.  Lost in thought.  15 minutes away.  Back in the bead store.  Headed for the Shore.  In the middle of an imaginary knock-down-drag-out with a nasty bead woman.  In a parking lot.  So I settled on "In my car.  I will be there soon".

Ok, it is off my chest.  I am moving on...and I already made some cool jewelry with my purchases :-) 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday's Thing*

How do you pop yours?  Do you put anything on it? 
I used to use Vulcan Fire Salt from the Spice House in Chicago but I ran out of it.  That was nose-watering gooooood!  Now I use Cabot Cheddar Shake...Powdered Premium Cheddar Cheese (I love anything Cabot makes), as does the rest of the family.  I sometimes put sunflower seeds in mine, but they think I am crazy when I do that.  And occasionally, I will have a glass of port when I eat it.  The port with the cheddar is a good combination.  When the Birdman is gone on a Friday or Saturday night,  I will pop a whole lot and serve it with a side of raw veggies and fruit and call it dinner.  And it is always lunch on a snow day.

 *Appreciate what you have.  Want for less...unless it is beads or music.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Reclaimed Sari Ribbon and Other Co-Stars

Last Monday was my first of many posts about the Reclaimed Sari Ribbon I received as a bonus from Nicole at Darn Good Yarn.  To read last week's post, see the direct link to this particular ribbon or check out Darn Good Yarn's other goodies, click on the numerous highlighted links in the first sentence :-) 

Last week,  I used sea glass with the Sari Ribbon.  This week, I paired a lovely Blue Reclaimed Sari Ribbon with deerskin cord, orange agate rounds, and tubular mesh metallic ribbon.  My intent was to make a triple wrap braided bracelet (finished off with a donut agate and a loop, a la button style) and I did, but when I was taking the picture, I realized it could be worn as a necklace too.  I prefer it as a bracelet, but that's just me :-)

The ribbon is soft and very easy to undo if I do something wrong.  It knots well and holds strong, but thankfully, I can unknot when I need to without cutting the ribbon.  There is lovely color variation in these 5 yard color packets, which adds to the beauty of the jewelry.  I have expressed before how I have had difficulty in the past embracing fiber in my jewelry but I can honestly say, each item I have made with this ribbon has been made with a smiling heart and light hands :-)

And now, the Bracelet (or necklace, if you prefer):

Not sure why my skin is photographing purple, but the color of the bracelet is true, so no worries there! 
I would love to see what you might do with some Darn Good Yarn!

Thanks Nicole~I am having a lot of fun with this!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday's Thing*

My Aunt Elaine made this pretty counted cross stitch for me decades ago.  She made an absolutely beautiful one of Mama and Papa Cardinal for herself, that my Mom and Dad now have in their home.   She made a wonderful "House Rules" one for my parents.  And she made an "Irish Blessing" for my Gram that my parents now have also.  The act of love it took for her to make these is nothing short of miraculous.  Aunt Elaine passed away from MS.  That she suffered from vertigo, vision problems, coordination trouble, numbness, and countless other symptoms MS offers up and still did counted cross stitch is beyond reason.  But somehow, she could focus and control these little Xs.  When she presented this to me, I silently cried when I was alone in my room.  I knew her struggles and all the cursing that went along with them.  And I knew she wanted me to have something that came from her hands.  Love.  Pure, True Love. 

For my whole life, Aunt Elaine had MS.  To me, it was just how it was...I did not know her before the illness took over.  But it was not what defined her personality.  She was frickin' funny, loud, personable, smart, a confidant, devilish (tried to trip a nun at an airport with her cane while I was pushing her wheelchair...long story short, she was taught by nuns for 13 years and Did Not have fond memories), spoke her mind, gave kids rides on her electric wheelchair, and was just plain Fun.  There are not enough hours in the day, days in the year to tell all the stories about her.  She was the best aunt a kid could hope to have.  And she would botch the punchline to every joke she ever told, which made them all the more hysterical. 

At our wedding, she led the conga line.  My brother pushed her wheelchair.  It was classic Aunt Elaine.  She was the life of the party that day.  It was the last time most of our family and friends saw her.  She died 3 months later.  At her funeral, almost every person said, "The last time I saw your aunt was at your wedding, partying it up and leading the conga line!"   What a wonderful lasting impression to leave on people :-D

 *Appreciate what you have.  Want for less...unless it is beads or music.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Reclaimed Sari Ribbon & Sea Glass

Darn Good Yarn...have you heard of it?  Click on it and see for yourself the goodies Nicole (the happy owner) has in store for you.  If you don't knit or crochet, no worries~there are plenty of other ways to use the yarn and ribbon she carries.  I first ordered from Darn Good Yarn well over a year ago, thinking fibers would sneak into my jewelry.  It sat on my work table for months, mocking me, as I could not make it look like it belonged in my jewelry.  Then one day, my latest collection of rocks was sitting next to the Multicolored Tibet Jewels Silk Sari Ribbon and a light bulb went off in my sari ribbon and rocks...perfect together!  And the Sari Stone wrist wraps were born.  I sell them at Earth and Wears in Dallas, PA.   This example went to a friend out in Michigan...where I originally got the rock. 

I was running low on the Tibet Jewels Sari Ribbon and ordered more.  Nicole asked if she could throw in a new product for me to have fun with.  Being a One Trick Sari Pony made me hesitant.  I really cannot make those luscious fibers work for me in any other way other than the wrap, but I said yes. 
And now my challenge begins. 
For the next several Mondays, and maybe during a few upcoming hops, I will be posting how I used the Reclaimed Sari Ribbon Nicole shared with me.  I have no delusions that many will be paired with rocks, but there are a few that will be used in other ways too.  Nicole has given me a really sweet opportunity to expand my thoughts as to what to do with her ribbon. 
To find out how Darn Good Yarn came to be and the business ethics they uphold, please click here.   It is best to read it from the source itself rather than have me paraphrase.  But it is all recycled and Earth friendly, hand spun and dyed by women in Nepal, who are earning a living for their families. 

This First Monday not only features the Reclaimed Sari Ribbon Nicole sent me, but it also features some Maine Sea Glass Cynthia gave me.  Darn Good Yarn is based out of Maine so this was the perfect piece to kick off the Sari Mondays :-D    I also used brass swivels I got in the fishing department the last time I was at Cabela's. A little drilling and ~~Voila~~ this happened:

The Sari Ribbon has me throwing away the tailored look and go for something more soulful and tattered and soft and beautiful.  The Sari Ribbon and the glass were both reclaimed and given a chance to shine.  Pretty Darn Cool  :-D 

A Big Thanks to Nicole from Darn Good Yarn

and to Cynthia :-)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday's Thing*

There are many more scattered throughout my bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, workshop, and treadmill.

Books...keeping connected, getting lost, viewing the world through another perspective. 

Someday, I will read more than I do now.  But when I do read, I shut it all out and dive in head first. 

Who is it that said when we buy books, we think we are buying time?

I am on a book buying hiatus at this time, due to too many that live here unread (unless someone drops "The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of 'Hallelujah' " in my lap...girls, if you are reading this, Mother's Day is coming!)

What about you~what are you reading? 
Or are you a non-reader?

I live with one magazine reader, one non-reader, and one who never ever stops reading books. 

And...we have no e-readers in this house. 

Do you have an e-reader?  Why or why not?  

*Appreciate what you have.  Want for less...unless it is beads or music.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thursday's Thing*


                                                                 and Shadows!

I hear the sun is sticking around for a few days.  Yip-Yip-YipEEEEE

*Appreciate what you have.  Want for less...unless it is beads or music.