Monday, September 30, 2013

She Made~She Made is BACK!!! (with a touch of Sari Monday)

Therese and I are back :-D  She was kind enough to accommodate my need to slow down for the summer.  Thanks Friend :-)  You are so easy-going with me.  I love ya!

I sent Therese a photo on my cell phone of this month's selection.  Last Friday, my phone informed me that its memory was full and so I started dumping stuff off it.  My phone is shaky at best lately, but that is a whole other stressful topic.  So before I could post it here, I dumped the photo I sent Therese.  But it was of orange glass beads I picked up at Nawbin's Beads in Traverse City, Michigan and jade donuts Therese shared with me.

I combined them to make this pendant, hung on recycled sari ribbon from (you guessed it!) Darn Good Yarn :

I originally had two size 15 seed beads on either side of that center orange bead, but at the last second decided it needed a touch of movement.  So I swallowed hard and broke the beads, knowing full well the thread might break and i would have to make this piece all over again.  The Powers That Bead were with me at that moment...whew!

I had a lot of orange beads left and decided to go bright, so here is what came next:

(my model needs a shirt without that neck seam)

All glass beads!  This is what Fall looks like around here these days~bright orange, bright red, yellow  and bright blue sky!

Please go see what Therese made.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ocean, Lake, Studio

Friday already?!  How did that happen?  There is still so much to do, but it will all have to wait while we enjoy the weekend.  The weather has been perfect~upper 60's and low 70's.  Though the mornings have been rather chilly, in the 30's.   It has been a pretty fruitful time in the workshop, as the weather is so darn  inspiring!

Here is something whose origins were Monmouth Beach, NJ and Lake Michigan and Marsha Neal Studio.

I thew in some pearls from my brother and carnelians and seed beads I picked up from the Innovative Bead Expo and voila! (or as I wrote it in French class "waalaa")

Looking forward to checking in and seeing what you all have been up to :-)
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Rolling Hop...or something like that.

Several weeks back, I send this fuzzy cell phone photo to Cynthia and told her I was thinking of sending  these old wooden spools out to a few bloggers I admire.  She encouraged me to run with that idea.  I found these spools at Nelda & Emylou's Antiques Etc. : Vintage Pieces.....Vintage Prices   31 Main St. Sussex NJ.  There was a whole big basket full of them!  I had no idea what to do with them, but had to buy them.  Then I thought that maybe a few bloggers might have some good ideas for these wooden spools~surely they (you!) are a creative bunch.  I asked a few ladies and they said yes.  They didn't know what was in the packages.  That is what I love about creative types...they will say yes without knowing exactly what they are saying yes to :-D

The rules are real simple: Use at least one of the spools received~Post the final project or the work in progress between the last week in October and the end of November~Let me know about the post so I can feature the participant on my blog/facebook/pinterest that day (and all the other participants can give a shout out too)~Have Fun!

I am so excited to see what these ladies do with the wooden spools!  I have one or two ideas swirling around, which is promising.  Because I have had them for a couple months and have drawn a total blank.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sari Monday

I placed another order with Darn Good Yarn and got more reclaimed sari ribbon.  I also ventured into banana fiber yarn.  I thought it might fulfill a need...I was told by several people that my pendants don't sell because they are not on a chain.  I didn't provide chains (metal, beaded, leather, etc) because I kinda assumed most people were like me and have a crap load of chains at home in the lengths they prefer to wear.  Not being well versed in any kind of chain/metal/wire, I put the word out on Facebook to see where people buy their metal chain in bulk.  I was given several store names.  I looked into them all then was paralyzed with indecision and fear of metal usage.  Funny...I love wearing jewelry with metal in it...I just want someone else to make it, not me!  So I ran from the metals and straight to Darn Good Yarn and started stringing the pendants on the sari and the banana fiber.  I might still do it on chain that I will buy (eventually) but I really wanted to try it on these textured, funky fibers first.  
I would really like to hear some honest opinions.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gram Parsons.....40 years gone.

                                                 (photo lifted from

I am unsure if anyone is interested in this post, but I need to write it nonetheless.

I  do not remember the dates people die.  I remember it was early March 1993, late November 1990, mid-September 1995...those kind of vague time frames.  It is probably a coping mechanism, as the exact date the person left my life is irrelevant to me.  The only thing that matters was that they were there and now they are gone.

Then there are those that I never met, but who I feel are a part of my connection to the life I lead.  van Gogh is one of them.  Gram Parsons is another.  My list of musician is endless, but Gram leads the pack.  For some reason, I know when Gram died.  It seems like I always have known.  It was 40 years ago today, at Joshua Tree.

                                                 (photo lifted from

I won't dive into his unbearably tragic life.  You can explore that on your own if you are interested.  But you can hear most of it in his voice, along with some humor and hope.

Return of the Grievous Angel ... the album (of the same title) was made with Emmylou Harris and his band The Fallen Angels.   She was his duet partner on the last two albums he cut while still alive.

We'll Sweep out the Ashes in the Morning off of the album GP...again, with his Fallen Angels duet partner, the lovely Emmylou.

When Gram was a part of the Flying Burrito Brothers, they did a cover of Wild Horses on the Burrito Deluxe album.  Hard to believe he wasn't the writer.  A lot of the phrasing is similar to his own.

It was hard to choose between Hot Burrito #1 and Juanita for a sample of songs on The Flying Burrito Brothers self titled album.  The innuendos will always win out with me ;-)

Gram made an album with the Byrds, before he and Chris Hillman left to form the Burritos.  This was it~Sweetheart of the Rodeo.  This is You're Still On My Mind.  Great swingin' tune!

Here is one he wrote~Luxury Liner, from one of his earlier bands, the International Submarine Band. Emmylou does this song a lot in concert.

A year ago, on the 39th anniversary of Gram's death, I had the immense pleasure of seeing Emmylou for the second time.  She did a few Gram songs.  And I saw her with Rodney Crowell this summer...they opened the show with Grievious Angel and after a few more Gram tunes, launched into Luxury Liner.  She still honors his life and music every chance she gets.

I did do a partial Gram post here~for The Challenge of Music Blog Hop~with one of my very favorite songs of his,  A Song For You (if you are still listening :-)

A few years back, I read "Twenty Thousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music" by David N. Meyer.  I got through the majority of it in 2 days (and i am a painfully s.l.o.w. reader), but then I got to the chapter where he was going to die.  I put the book down for 9 months.  I just couldn't face him dying all over again.  When I finally did finish the book, coincidentally, it was right around the 35th anniversary of his death.  Guess it just needed to come at that time.

(with Nudie Cohen, aka Nudie the Rodeo Tailor.  photo lifted from

Thanks for indulging me a bit here, with this video heavy post...time to go make something pretty!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pearls! Pearls!! Pearls!!! Blog Hop

Today is all about Pearls! Pearls!! Pearls!!!
And our host, Shel from MiShel Designs, is the perfect person to head up this hop!  In these circles, hearing the name "Shel" automatically makes one think "Pearls!"
So we are going to feature the Pearls, in all their grand subtlety, as the Stars of today's Hop.

First are fuchsia fresh water pearls with a few rounds of brick stitch.

Next up, I used deer leather lace, white fresh water pearls, jump rings, size 15 seed beads, and these super funky cool Gypsy Trade Beads made by Erin at Elysian Studios Art.

And the last piece I made is seed beads, white fresh water pearls and recycled sari ribbon from Darn Good Yarn.

All the pearls in this post are from the Innovative Bead Expo but I really couldn't tell you which vendors.

Thanks Shel~for being our lovely hostess and for making this a fun hop!

Please take a look at all the other Pearls participating in today's hop:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ears To You Blog Hop

Amy from Copper Diem is hosting the Ears To You Blog Hop again.  This was such a great hop the last had a real sense of completion and of doing something.  These earrings are being sent to women and girls who are undergoing cancer treatment.
A quote from the Ears to You website about what the earrings do for the women and girls:
  • brighten a patient's day with a little bling when she needs a little lift
  • create a distraction from the IV's, worries and fears and allow her to do something fun  
  • help women and girls feel more "normal" and beautiful at a time when they are adjusting to hair loss
  • provide hope and help her think positively  
  • give encouragement from a survivor       
  • are provided at no cost to the patient 

The earrings we send in will surely do all of the above :-)  

Thanks Amy!!!  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Liebster Award x2

This summer, two blog friends nominated me for Liebster Awards :-D  I promised that once I was back to blogging with a stable computer, I would post my part of the awards.  The rules vary slightly for each of them so a blend of the rules might be in order : Nominate 5 blogs I like, ask them 11 questions, answer the 11 questions asked by those that were kind enough to nominate me.

First up ~ the nominees for blogs I enjoy are:
          My Addictions...Handcrafted Jewelry by Patti (best wireworker i know!)
          Miss Val's Creations (very pretty jewelry, recipes, photos, slice of life)
          Amybeads (beautiful beadweaving, patterns, family life)
          Bead Contagion (real beautiful and unique bead embroidery)
          Kimmykats (have you seen her photography? and what about what she does with a spoon & fork?!)

Should they choose to participate, my 11 questions for these ladies are:

1.  What made you start your blog?
2.  If you could live someplace other than where you live now, where would that be?
3.  Who is your favorite musician(s)?
4.  Where is the farthest you have traveled?
5.  Do you drive or fly when you travel?
6.  Are you a country person or city person or a foot in both worlds?
7.  Are you more of an herbivore or an carnivore?
8.  Do you believe in reincarnation or that we only go around once?
9.  What is your favorite season and why?
10.  Who is the person you miss the most?
11. Do you work well with others?

Now, on to answering 2 sets of 11 questions!
First are the questions from Lisa of Carefree Jewelry By Lisa fame.  Thanks for the nomination and your patience with me, Lisa!!!

  1. What do you enjoy doing for exercise?  I walk, do yoga at home, and see a trainer once a week.  In the summer I add swimming and kayaking to that list too.
  2. Do you have any pets? If so, do you treat them like people?  After a lifetime cat owner, we got a dog.  I definitely talk to pets like they are people.  And I always give them people names (Karen, Tracey, Jessie, Ruby) 
  3. What do you enjoy doing with friends?  I like to bead, go out to eat, go to movies and concerts and hockey games. But since most of my local friends take care of their kids like I do, we usually only have time for a coffee or a cocktail once every few months.  I am going for a massage/spa day with my two girlfriends in a few days!  WOO HOO!!!!  
  4. Have you read a good book lately? What is the title? If not a book how about a song? This summer was a Leonard Cohen summer for me...I read his biography "I'm Your Man" was pretty good.  His poetry books were great, and now I am reading his novel "The Favorite Game" to wash away the horror of his novel "Beautiful Losers" (i do not recommend BL to anyone!  and lucky me, i have two copies of it!).  For music, I recently picked up Guy Clark's "My Favorite Picture of You" and a few Ryan Bingham cds~all fantastic!
  5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? And who would you take?  I want to go back to Alaska and take my husband.  He needs to see it up there. I want to experience it though his eyes and his excitement.  It would be a superfantastic  vacation!  Between the fishing and the eagles, I think he would forget all about the hunting :-) 
  6. Name something you are not doing anymore.  Hot Yoga.  I did it 3x/week for 12 months.  I woke up one day and said, "I am not doing this any more" and I was done.  I still do yoga at home and want to take a class again, but hot yoga had its time and place and therapy for me and now I am through with it.  
  7. Do you have a secret you would like to share with us?  I really want to pose nude for an artist.  
  8. Have you ever lost track of time? What were you doing?  Most always.  I have to set alarms to remind me to go get the kids.  Usually I am beading or reading or on the computer or driving...they all cause me to not be aware of the clock.
  9. Do you like to shop? Only for beads, music, and books. or at farm stands. 
  10. Do you have a pet peeve?  People loading the dishwasher wrong and people who bag my groceries for me.  They mean well.....
  11. Tell us something you remember doing as a kid...The first thing that popped into my head is not indicative of my normal childhood behavior at all, but here it is.  When I was in 7th grade, my girlfriend and I stole 2 of my Dad's cigarettes.  He was a social smoker...a pack would last a month or two.  I knew he would notice that two were gone.  So we threw the rest of the pack behind the dresser, thinking that when he went looking for them, he would be so relieved to find them, he wouldn't notice that he was short.  We then got a half gallon of orange juice and brought that, the cigarettes, and matches into the woods behind my house, and lit up for the first time.  We smoked them down to the filters, felt guilty and buzzed, drank some oj and poured the rest on ourselves to negate the smell of smoke on our clothes and breath.  We saved just enough oj to drown the filters (as i was certain we would burn the woods down if we didn't).  when it was over, she went home and I went home and showered twice.  The next morning, Mom asked where the oj was.  Guess we should have left a little.  

WHEW!  Now on to the second Liebster Q & A, given by another former Jersey Girl, Gloria of New End Studios.  Thanks Gloria!!!!!

  1. What color is your front door?  It used to be a beautiful Red, but I since was asked to make it white again (yawn).
  2. Do you have a nickname and what is it? None.  I always wanted one.   
  3. What is the best compliment you ever received?  That we live simply :-) 
  4. As a young girl, did you keep a diary?  I tried for a few years, but every day I wrote "nothing happened today".  Foolish girl.
  5. What is your favorite spice to cook with?  Ground Black Pepper.  
  6. If you could stay a certain age for the rest of your life, how old would you like to be?  I am not sure if I have reached it yet.  But my 40s are good so far.  Better than the rest, despite more ailments.  
  7. From your own blog, what is your favorite post?
  8. What is the most annoying or putrid sound, odor, taste, touch, or sight you have ever witnessed? My husband eating almonds, my husband or my mom chewing gum (but i really do love you guys!!!)
  9. What is the best advice you ever received? "Don't take any wooden nickels" ~ Dad
  10. How old were you when you got your first kiss from a crush or boyfriend? 4 and it was my sweet Paul (my longest friend).  But it didn't start in earnest until I was 14 or 15.  
  11. Can you keep a secret?  Yes.  I am known for that in my circles.  Some find safety in that and some are completely frustrated by it.  

This might have been the longest post I have ever written :-)  Thanks to Lisa and Gloria for the nod and thanks to YOU for sticking with me :-) 

And I apologize for the varied font sizes...I cannot figure out what is going wrong or how to correct it.  Oh well.....

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

23 Months in the Making

That is a wicked long gestation period!

I won this Simple Truths pendant, made by Erin over at Treasures Found, waaaaaay back in October 2011.  It has sat in on every bead project ever since.  I have used it, cut the project apart, used it, cut the project apart, weave, cut, repeat for 23 months.  I cannot tell you how much I adore this simple little pendant.  But I just couldn't make it happen in any piece at all.  Then, this summer, I was working on a very simple anklet for a friend.  And it hit me~Simple.  I was trying to put it in elaborate, fussy pieces when all it wanted was a simple place to shine.  It was in the name all along.  Simple Truths.

Sally at the Studio Sublime gave me these enameled discs at the same time I won the pendant (way back when she was still Wireworked!).  They were destined to be together.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just Words.

I am really back this time after a few false starts.  My kids started school 2 weeks later than usual this year.  I thought I could get back to my normal routine before they started school since The Bug had to keep a routine for XC practice...but I couldn't.  Oh well.  So today, I will return e-mails, take some photos, order a few jewelry items, get packages ready to send out, and bake for the traditional First Day of School Afternoon Chocolate Chip Cookies and Milk ChatFest.

My desires for my little blog this year are as follows:

~take a week to post some posts that I have been meaning to get to all summer (2 Liebster  Q&A's; a necklace that has been embarrassingly long in the making, other odds and ends)

~blog hops (esp if they are weekday reveals), including another round of A Time To Stitch co-hosted with my sweet beading friend, Therese

~the return of She Made/She Made with Therese (end of Sept is the first one...what is the date, Therese?)

~Sari Monday (when I have sari/fiber pieces to show)

~a new feature I am keeping under wraps until I get it rolling

~Getting My Rocks Off on Hump Day (when I have rocks to show) or any other jewelry pieces I want to show

~Thankful Thursdays.  I just LOVE hearing your stories and how these memories of my own bring yours to the surface.  And I really enjoy the randomness of it.  I look around and take the photo moments before I post it, so there is no forethought to the post, which seems to keep it loose and fresh

~WTFriday?!  When I am stuck or when I stumble across a UFO from a few years back that I put aside because I still do not know how to finish it, maybe one of you can make a good suggestion.  Or maybe you would like to finish it!

~learn some Native American beadwork stitches and use it in contemporary pieces, perhaps with Cynthia Machata ;-)  She has brought me back to why I started beading in the first place.  A big warm hug to you, Cynthia!

~and speaking of which: the whole reason why I first bought beads back in 1991 was so that I could start out slow and eventually learn to make amulet bags.  22 years later, I have yet to attempt an amulet bag.  I still have the strong desire.  What am I waiting for?!?!?!?

Ambitious.  More so than I have ever been.  I look at this and it looks like a full time job.  But I have a desire to do more and I don't know where it is coming from, so I will just listen to myself for a change.  I may not post 5 a week, but that is a loose format of what I am aiming for.  A bit of structure here so I can wander wherever the beads lead when I am in the workshop.

I need to get the house cleaned first after 3 months of Throw and Go.  Ugh.