Monday, May 31, 2010

Get Ready -- Its a Marathon Post!

Oh my gosh, so much to catch up on! First an update on Twigs:

He doesn't look a whole lot different, now does he? When looking at my beadwork, most people always say one of two things:"How long did that take?!" Or "You must have a lot of patience!"

When I compare the last pictures of Twigs with these, sigh, it doesn't look like 3+ hours worth of time.But, really, I don't care how "long" it takes. It's not about that at all. I'm sure everyone who finds peace in doing something they love, whether its beading, reading, gardening, hiking, etc. can understand that its the process, the journey, the satisfaction received in doing what you want to do, not what you have to do.

Our weather has been absolutely perfect, so I like to be outside as much as possible. Packing up Twigs and all his supplies just wasn't what I felt like doing, so I left him on my beading table and scrounged around for another project long past due.

I came across this kit which I have had for years. I had bought it to learn how to make cuff bracelets. I started it and then set it aside and took off on my own and made at least 40 or so cuffs, and yet, never went back to finish this -- until now!

The edging was supposed to be those fun multi-colored metallic size 11 beads. Unfortunately the holes of every other bead (I swear) was plugged and I couldn't get my needle through. Patience? Nope. I found this delicious rhubarb colored size 8 bead in my stash and added a tiny 15 mettalic purple I had on hand too. Speaking of rhubarb - yum! I've made 3 pies and I swear I have eaten almost every piece. Really. (And I still have 2 more bunches on hand)

I wasn't too keen on the stars, but they were part of the kit, so I put them around the back - I actually think they look kinda cool - almost like studs.And now for some new toys! I'm on the Artbeads e-mail list and so I got this notice of a sale where a bunch of stuff was marked down to practically free. I could resist picking up a few things:I got 3 of these gorgeous black labradorite 34mm coin beads and a pack of ultra-sparkly 8mm czech faceted rounds in stone blue luster.
And then just a mix of earthy looking strands...Some smaller (10 x 12 mm) glass cabochonsAnother mix of random goodies that caught my eye; some hematite roundeles, a mixed strand of stones and those puffy opalite coins! They are just gorgeous.
Back in the spring, as part of the blogging program, I chose a Toho ring kit and just loved it. Meghan wore it to school and the girls just went crazy over it and everytime I wear it, I get compliments too.
I wanted to order more, but they were out of stock :( I did click on their "email me when available" option and I did indeed receive an email telling me they were available again. But, for whatever reason (cash flow, time, etc), I never ordered.
Well, since I was already ordering now, I thought I would see if the kits were still in stock. They Were :) I couldn't make up my mind, so I got 3. For $12.39, it is so worth it. I picked one at random and made the motif yesterday. Just have to do the band and I'll be on to the next one.....they are quite addictive.And then the light bulb goes off! I had gotten another order of my choices for the blogging progam and had completely forgotten about them. Yeah, forgot about beads. Goes to show you what a toll all this crap with the school had done to me.
I was asked to pick some Summer beads. Here's the mix I picked, which originally I thought was going to be used all in one necklace. Not. I have always liked the furnace glass beads and these are super nice. So shiny and smooth. But the color turned out to be more green than I was expecting, so they will be used by themselves in something. A bracelet maybe with peyote tube beads intermixed perhaps? They remind me of a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone.....
These 8 mm faceted rounds just scream summer to me. Their color and sheen is really really pretty.
I'm thinking that using them with these awesome matte jet rounds will be stunning with a bit of sterling silver something added in. It's hard to believe that something matte could be shiny too, but these are! How could I not pick this dandelion pendant? I picked those sweet little Hill Tribe sterling silver flower cubes thinking they will represents my 3 daughters and they kind of look like a dandelion puff, right? I couldn't believe it when I saw the charms were even embellished on the bottom - how sweet.
So my friends that's what has been happening in my beady little world.
In my personal world, Hannah's homeschooling started on Thursday. What a joke. She gets a whopping 8 hours of instruction a week. 4 hours with an English and Global teacher and 4 hours with a Math and Earth Science teacher. Really? Yeah. Great huh? I'm waiting for the superintendent's office to get back to me on what they will do in the Fall. I really want to send her outside the district, but I'm not sure that is something we can financially afford. From what I've heard out of district tuition is sky high. But this homeschooling is definitely not the education she deserves.
On a positive note, I start a new Tuscarora bead class tomorrow. My first one in a long time. I'm so looking forward to it! And the end of this week, I'll be on my way to Allegany State Park to attend my first Audubon Society Nature Pilgrimage. Can't wait for that!
Bead Happy and Often!

FTC Disclosure: The faceted glass rounds, furnace beads, sterling silver charms, and resin pendant were provide to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion of the products.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuscarora Tuesday

I'll be taking another bead class from Rosemary Hill in June. Although I don't know exactly what the finished project will look like, it is entitled "Six Point Star."

There are three 6-pointed stars in this collection. Maybe it will be similar to these:
Each of them have an almost identical design - but don't they look quite different? This artist placed the center tube beads horizontally in her petals and has a center vein on her leaves. I like how the center matches the bias tape edge.
This artist used a few rows of tube beads for her petals and no vein in the leaves. What a fanciful center of dots for the flower center.
The artist below used the tube beads in a vertical fashion and also didn't use veins. I noticed they all used a double border of beads around the perimeter, though.
This one seems fairly modern, although there is some wear on the velvet and those large tube beads appear again. Maybe the owner just kept very very very good care of it. As they should!

Bead Happy and often!




Monday, May 24, 2010

Promises Promises

I have finally pulled Twigs out of his basket of beads and made some progress. I promised him I wouldn't neglect him so long anymore. Luckily his brain is fuzzy, so he doesn't have a very good memory or sense of time.......lol

A New Chapter


Well, I'm sad to say that Hannah's situation at school never improved. After weeks of hearing from her about this girl 'getting in her face', or that boy 'fake punching' her, or someone pouring her milk all over her lunch while she was away from her table, I was at my wits end. I was on the phone almost daily with the assistant principal and his take (after listening to the other students involved) was that she was just as much at fault. Great. Do I believe her or him? Hmmm, last time I believed the school officials, I walked away with video evidence that they were completely wrong! It seemed to me that these kids were doing everything they could to push Hannah to her limits, but just enough so they wouldn't get in trouble; meaning, no physical contact.

I begged Hannah to keep her mouth shut, focus on school, and just get through the day. There were less than 20 days to go in the school year. Believe me, I didn't feel good about this, but the school was telling me they wouldn't do anything because of her 'involvement.' Hannah fully admits she shouts back at them but doesn't initiate- and I understand that you can't always just walk away. You need to stand up for yourself.

But of course, the school wasn't going to see it that way. Their solution was to place her in what they call ALC - Alternative Learning Center. Fine. Whatever. I don't care they consider that to be an in-school suspension. As long as she is safe and keeping up with her schoolwork. Hannah actually liked being in ALC. She was able to focus and get her work done.

The final straw came on Thursday when she was accosted while she was in that ALC classroom. A classroom where the door is locked. Locked, that is, until a student needs to leave and that's when a girl came into the room and confronted Hannah accusing her of "talking sh*t" about someone else and proceeded to punch and hit her in her head (Hannah was still sitting at her desk). Luckily a nearby student immediately stepped in (before the teacher could get to her) and pulled her away. This girl must have been waiting outside that classroom until someone came out so she could get in. Unbelievable. Hannah says she doesn't know what this girl was talking about and honestly, does it really matter? The bottom line is my daughter isn't safe there - period. Done. She's not going back.

So now I wait for the school board to make a decision on home schooling. I'll find out today what the decision is.

Update: We have been approved for homeschooling through the end of the school year. At this point I just hope she passes 10th grade. I don't know what we will do in the Fall. I know she (nor I) want her to continue to be homeschooled, so I am hoping we can afford to send her to a school out of the district.

Thanks for all the kind support - you girls are the best!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuscarora Tuesday



A Lovely Little Trio of .......

purses?

needlecases?

I'm not sure, but they are lovely all the same......


I especially like the way the artist designed the motif so when the purse is closed, the design is continued.


With the velvet worn, you can see the underlying paper used as the interfacing.
The very first beadwork class I took was a whimsy pillow and I remember being shocked that the velvet was glued to a regular old grocery bag. But it worked!


If you look very closely at the motif edges, you can see the paper pattern underneath the beads.
And speaking of trios.....here I am with my sister and mom on Mother's Day! lol

P.S. The book that is tucked under my arm I read in one day - never have I done that before! It's called Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. The cutest story ever! Oh, and my mom and I are holding the socks she was knitting - they are done now and she has started her second pair all by herself! And she called me crazy for knitting socks......ha, now she's addicted!
Bead Happy and Often :)



Saturday, May 15, 2010

Making some progress

On my 'to do' list is a piece for Good Quill Hunting's Haute Couture contest. Pretty simple idea - just choose a fashion as inspiration and make a piece of jewelry from it.

Here's my inspiration:

My idea is to make a collar of sorts using random netting, which was inspired by the model's lacy hose and then attach beaded circles cascading down the collar and maybe add fringe to mimic the netting that drapes off the dress.

Well, after spending way too many hours on the netting - look at this lopsided collar that emerged! What a joke. There is no way I'm re-doing it. Not gonna happen. It was so tedious and boring.......
So I will hope that I can place my little disks in such a way as to hide the underlying fiasco.

I had never done this type of circular brick stitch before, and it was a lot of fun. I was surprised at how easy they worked up. Of course, the colors are just plain strange, but who am I to question high fashion??!!
Then I jumped ahead of myself and started on the clasp. Not really sure how it's all going to come together - maybe it won't! But I'll keep playing with it and see what happens. If nothing else, it will be worth a few laughs, right?
Bead Happy and Often!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuscarora Tuesday

I love this collection. I think it is remarkable that it appears to be made from the same fabric. And what an assortment of items - wall pockets, needle cases, pin cushions, wallets, and whimsies, oh my!

Just look at this basket! I love it!!
I really like this checkerboard effect in the tulip flower.
And here it is again in the basket on the needle case.

Have yourself a Happy Tuesday - hopefully one that includes a bit of beading time. . . .

Monday, May 10, 2010

It could have been worse



Saturday there was the most horrible wind storm.

I hate wind-I'll be honest, I'm afraid of wind.

I've had some wild wind experiences including getting blown down, literally, in Buffalo while walking to an attorney's office for a house closing. Its actually a pretty funny story. I was walking with a client (of course, a very quiet man, not real friendly) and as we were walking down the street the wind blew so hard, that as I stepped off the curb, I was blown right down on my knees. Both knees - wham - in a skirt, carrying a briefcase. As I fell, my instinct had me turn to the client and reach for him, which, after all was said and done, I found myself paralyzed with my hand clutching his pants and my face in his, um, well, you know. I seriously could not get up without his help. I looked up at him and he was absolutely horrified as I squeaked out "could you please pull me up?" I was mortified, not to mentioned my knees felt like they had been smashed with a sledgehammer. Not good.
Then there was the time I was driving on the thruway during a wind storm and the huge overhead sign came crashing down just as I drove my little Honda CRX under it. Unbelievable.
Then in high school as I laid on the floor in front of the huge window of my parent's living room watching General Hospital, the maple tree fell over - thank God it fell parallel to the house and not into the window- I would have killed, no doubt.
So whenever the wind blows viciously, I get a little panicky.

I prayed my maple tree in my deck would hold strong against the wind. It faired pretty well, but we were left with some large gaps in the canopy and I think every single helicopter seed pod fell that day. So many old giants in the City fell victim to the wind. Debris and branches and stumps are on every street. So sad. Trees make all the difference in a neighborhood. For us, we will have a bit more sun on the deck, but it could have been so much worse.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Blog Friend Giveaway!

Hey there - not only is my blogfriend, Lisa, an amazing bead artist - she's also a generous soul ---check out her gorgeous brooch she is giving away:


And while you are there, spend some time getting to know her and her art, you won't be sorry!

Bead Happy and Often......after you're done blogging, of course ;)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mean People

Oh for heavens sake! Some evil-minded twit hacked into my email and sent a spam message to everyone in my address book. So my apologies to everyone who received a message "from me" with the subject line of Dear Sir/Madam -

Hopefully you would recognize the fact that "Sir" and "Madam" are not how I address my friends!

Bead Happy and Often!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuscarora Tuesday


I like the unusual Patriotic feel of this little purse.
Notice those same awkward tube beads are used. They are so clumsy looking and they are in almost every piece of Tuscarora Souvenir Art from this time period.
I like the way the little red and blue flowers have the double white bead for the center. I guess the artist didn't have a large white bead, so she improvised. And what do you think about that random yellow bead in the flower stem? What's up with that?? It's the only yellow bead in the whole piece. I wonder why she did that.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sadness and .....Happiness

Well, I have to admit, I was quite sad to know my desk set had been sold off to someone.


Who?
Where?


Will they like it?


Use it?


Will they really look at it?


Study the stitches?


Find all the different beads used?


I know that the point of this whole thing is to raise money for colon cancer research, but I can't help feeling a bit of anxiety over the fate of my set. After putting in so much effort and thought into something, its hard for me to let it go.

I am happy to say all my fears were unfounded. I got an email this morning from the winning bidder - and I couldn't be happier! Susan from Plays with Needles was the high bidder! If you don't know Susan yet, wait until you see her amazing needlework - beyond description. To think that my set will be in her hands is so comforting. So hop on over to see her blog and be prepared to drool....................Thanks Susan!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What a Find!

WARNING: This has nothing to do with beads.


Pete and I took the dogs into the woods yesterday. I kept remarking how amazingly "green" everything was. I knew the wildflowers would be just about done, but I was blown away by how quickly the woods were filling in. It was gorgeous.


So we follow the trail and I see what I thought was a leaf stuck to the side of a tree. I look again and literally get chills from head to toe. It wasn't a leaf:
But a Luna Moth! I have never seen one in person and I was absolutely thrilled ! I think this is a male because his antennae are so bushy (I understand females aren't - but I could be wrong). He was so gorgeous and so amazing, I could have studied him all day.

And to think I almost left the camera in the truck. We had started into the woods when I realized I didn't have it with me. So I debated whether or not to go back, and luckily that little voice inside my head urged me to return to get it, so I did.

Hooray for Nature! I can't help but think how ironic it was how often I mentioned the 'green' of the woods (poor Pete listening to me saying "nothing beats spring green".... "I wish I could bottle this green and take it out in January"..... "God, this green is just mind boggling"... "I swear it couldn't get any greener"..... blah blah blah) and here I stumble across this moth. Too funny.


I love the sign at the end of the trail. ~sigh~