Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Golf Hat Musings

I don't know where I'm going with this piece. It is really just making itself (as a lot of my projects seem to do). I never sketch out a design. I imagine that's because I can't draw.

This looks like a path leading between the shell and the thing that looks like sea coral to me.

I gave the monkey a curly tail and a top hat. I'm thinking he needs a necklace too....
I am so looking forward to seeing more of everyone's eye candy in 2009. The talent I have encountered in the past few months since I started blogging is such a treat. I applaud all of your talents. I hope to learn html (I am entirely clueless!) in 2009 so I can improve the layout of my blog and maybe even make my own web page - wish me luck! Happy New Year !

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Well here I go off on a creative tangent.

I came across a golfing visor in the closet the other day. It has some healthcare-related logo on the front, but was a really nice khaki color.

Then my mom bestowed upon me the remainder of her bead stash (she wants to concentrate on paper arts and needed the room and I was more than happy to take them off her hands -- love ya mom!). Some of the beads were old necklaces that I remember her wearing back when I was a child and so they brought back some cool memories.

I was drawn to these beads in particular and thought they would look great as a beaded band for that khaki golf visor I had just found. So I hunted through my beads and picked a color story. You can see the edge of the visor in the upper left corner of the pic.

Emotionally, it was hard to cut the necklaces apart. (Now I know how my sister Laurel felt when she was dismantiling my grandmothers quilt to make our angels.)

I'm just putting on the larger focal areas - this jade monkey asked to be put on next - :) and then I'll add something else larger and then I'll be ready to fill in the background areas.

It is very windy here today. My husband had to go into work to clean up two pine trees that had come down in the wind. Very sad, they were over 40 feet tall. I worry about him being out there too. I wish he would wait for the wind to stop. I know a lot of the country is rebounding after intense weather and I hope everyone is getting through it safely. Around here it is very warm (59 degrees !) and rainy and now we are experiencing flooding from the 3 feet of snow we got last week. Our back yard was a virtual lake. Yesterday we took Kyah and Rocco to Royalton Ravine Park in Gasport, New York. We got stuck in a downpour, but it felt good to be outside in the woods. The creek at the bottom of the ravine was flowing hard and fast - I actually watched as a fairly good size tree was taken from the edge of the bank. Most of the snow was gone so hopefully the waters will begin to recede soon.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Bead Tree - Hide in Plain Sight

Ever not notice something that's been in your house for a really long time, and then all of a sudden see it in a different light? When looking for a place to hang my beaded golf ball, I finally settled on hanging it here:

And then after I hung it up, I 'saw' all the bracelets and other whatnots that I have hung up there and then sort of overlooked. I took some pictures and thought I would share them with everyone

This is a bracelet that just 'made itself' - I had no planned design and before I knew it this is what emerged. I originally made it for sale, but then I realized I had quite a few outfits that it just looked perfect with and I couldn't part with it.

A beaded tea .....ummmm, what's the word?....... I can't believe I can't think of know what you put loose tea in to brew it. Making this was so much fun that I immediately bought a mesh rice cooker and, what do you know, never beaded it! Maybe this year......

My Turtle Rocks bracelet. Each turtle is made with a small pebble inside. I have a rock collection addiction. I have all kinds of dishes filled with pebbles, seed pods, bark and other things that I find in the woods.

I am a newbie golfer. Just started playing 2 years ago, which living in Western New York, means I've been out golfing maybe 25-30 times in all. I don't even keep score. I could care less how many times it took me to get the ball in the hole, I just love being on the course with my mom and girlfriends with everyone encouraging each other and sharing a few laughs along the way. OK, maybe more than a few laughs!!

This is one of the very first beaded projects I made. It was from a Bead and Button issue and I was so amazed that I was able to make it simply by following the instructions. It's a herringbone stitch with a spiral twist. I hate the colors, but it was what I had on hand and I never really thought I would be able to make it. I did wind up making another black, silver, and turquoise color that is very dramatic.

A Life Bracelet class. This class I loved. We were to bring small charms and beads to class and then we embellished our bracelets with our personal totems.

Some significant things in this pic are the kewpie doll: (I obviously don't know how to spell that!) signifying my love of babies (I am known as the baby hog at the office); the bee charm: a gift from my friend Stephanie and also symbolic of my mantra "Be"- whenever I see a bee, I always remind myself to just "be". Be what? you ask. Anything. Whatever pops into your head at that moment. I always start with Be Grateful. Be What You Are. Be Happy; the fish charm: for my love (aka my husband), not only is he a Pisces but he also loves to fish; the little green leaf paper bead: made by Ugandan women and available through Bead for Life, please take the time to support this group if you are able to.

The flower you see at the top of the pic is a 2-tiered flower. The solid pink petals are tacked to the base, but the top four petals (tipped in metallic beads) are a whole separate piece that is held in place by the large center bead. It's a really neat effect.

Another Bead and Button project. I think it was called a fuschia pattern.

Guarding over it all is a cute little doll made by the children of the Tuscarora Indian Nation.


Lisa' Checkbook Revealed

Now that Lisa has gotten her gift (though she was wondering when the checks and bank account would be coming to fill it), I can share it with everyone.

Although I'm not a big drinker, shot glasses are always on my beading table. They are just perfect for keeping the colors separated as you work.

The flower is the same design I learned in the Native American flower board sampler that I posted about back in October.

Before I added the scallop edge it was really plain and I toyed with putting a random spinkling of beads all around or a border above and below the motif, but then that seemed to overwhelm the design. I'm glad I didn't add anything else - the border is enough pull it all together.

I've made a new year's resolution to work on Twigs at least once a week.
He seems very happy!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A sock is born

yep, just one. At least it fits!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

White Christmas!

We received about a foot of snow yesterday with high winds which blew it up onto my porch and decorated my greenery - I love it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes . . . .

. . . .snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, silver white winters that melt into spring, these are a few of my favorite things.....

Sorry, I couldn't resist singing the next verse. Of course, my lyrics are probably wrong, but I know it's something like that (or is that the verse with brown paper packages tied up with string??)

Anyway back to the point of sharing my favorite things.

As I mentioned in my last post, my Believe memory book from my sister Laurel is truly a treasured piece. Here's a peek at some of the pages.

My mom took my sisters and I to NYC 2 years ago in December. While we were there, we visited this silly Charmin (yeah, the toilet paper company) 'event' and posed on this tobaggon. Look at the vintage image she found - can you believe that?

I love the santa at the bottom of this page.

A menagerie of memories......

I love my sister!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

...these are a few of my favorite things.....

...when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling bad,
I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad......

oh come on, tell me you just sang ! and if you didn't, you are not a Sound of Music nut, like me :)Anyway, I was just tooling around the house and came across so many things that just make me smile. I thought I would share them.
A trio of dolls from my sister Laurel.
I love my perennial garden, so this was a birthday gift one year.
Her skirt reads "Flowers have the sun, Children have their mothers"

This one is fashioned from an old quilt of my Gramma Toms.

Emotionally, Laurel had a hard time cutting the quilt apart. She consulted with a textile expert and they assured her the actual quilt was beyond repair. And this way we all have a bit of it, as she made not only one for me, but also her my other sister and my mom.

Old St. Nick

A snowman from Meghan

And lastly, always remember to . . . . .

This is a beautiful memory book my sister Laurel made for me last year. I will share more of that with you later - it's so special it deserves its very own post. But for now, I need to stay on task and keep working on a Christmas surprise. I have made fabulous progress on my socks too and I will bring you all up to date on that soon - it is so cool the way the pattern works!
Savor the spirit of the season while you can and please don't let the 'stress' of Christmas bring you down. Take a drive at night and look at the Christmas lights, listen to old Christmas songs, bake and eat as many Christmas cookies as you possibly can and

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Renee's Wallet

I'm really loving Renee's wallet. Here's a side view (obviously !) I did my favorite wallet edging in fancy black, taupe and copper. It really pulls all the shades of the velvet together.
The flap edge is a 2-bead edge that I first had done with all taupe beads for the top 'picot' bead, but it was too much, so I alternated the taupe and fancy black and it was much more effective.

Here is the vine on the back (I'm not sure why this picture looks so washed out). The leaf beads are so pretty - one side is olive green and the other has a gold finish. I wish I could remember where I got them.

I always try to incorporate my little signature bleeding heart stem. This time I placed it on the inside money flap.

I can't believe Christmas is two weeks from tomorrow. Where or where did 2008 go?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Beading and Knitting and Friends Oh My!

Ok, now how cute is this? The picture above is my friend Shannon and her husband, Chad, at her grandparent's 50th Wedding Anniversary party last weekend. Note his hand placement. What do you think he is hiding??

Ta da! It's the beaded motif I fixed for her. Hard to see in the pic, but it doesn't matter about that. I just love the way he did that. Cracks me up!!

I still am not finished with Renee's wallet. I've got the pockets sewn into place and although the picture doesn't show it, I finished the leaf vine too. I finally got smart and rather than line the pockets with pellon and a satin-y material, I used ultrasuede which eliminated me having to 'hem' the lining. So much easier and faster too.

The inside flap and the liner aren't in place yet, but that will have to wait because I'm personally challenging myself by taking a sock knitting class (thanks Jackie). Oh boy.
I have done some knitting in the past. Felted Bags (simply so I would have a place to put these large beaded flowers I was making at the time - I'll have to post some pics of those someday), a sweater that never got finished and a few pretty shawls. But other than that, I've never adventured into something like this.
I was really overwhelmed in the class. Right off the bat, I found out I cast on differently than everyone else in the world (apparently). So here I am learning to cast on while everyone else in the class is zipping along getting their 60 stitches on the needle. Great, not looking too good here.
A lot of chatter going on, which is normally a good thing, but I needed to concentrate on every little thing I was doing, and I kept getting distracted. I swear I had to re-count my cast on stitches 20 times! And those needles - jeepers I felt like I had Shrek hands. Considering I work with a needle and thread everyday, I was surprised at how clutzy I felt with these tiny little needles.
I got home after 2 hours of class and had less than a 1/2" finished, but at least I could see the ribbing pattern forming. I knitted away yesterday morning before work for about an hour and then after work some more and then......yikes. Not sure where I went wrong, but it was way wrong. After attempting to un-knit I finally gave up and just ripped the whole thing out. I wasn't even sure if I would remember how to get it started again, but I was so disgusted that I knew I had to at least try. I didn't want to go back to class on Monday and ask the instructor to figure out my mess, it just didn't seem fair. And after all, I'm challenging myself here, right? And I'll need to know how to start for the second sock in the pair, right? So I made the decision to start fresh.
After two attempts, I finally got it cast on and after about 3 hours of time, this is what I have to show for it:
But I really like doing it and now that I can (almost) do it without every ounce of my brain cells burning up, I'm confident that I will get my homework done. I'm not even going to think about the heel part...........