Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bird of Paradise

Way back my brother-in-law went to Hawaii and brought back some Bird of Paradise seeds. We each received one and we have had plant(s) ever since. It is now as old as our oldest daughter (I’m not giving out the year to protect the innocent - which includes me)

Anyhow, we have had very good luck with blossoms and this one came into bloom just before we left for Christmas vacation. There are two others too but this is the best picture.

We could divide the plant into several smaller plants. This one resides in large "garbage" can with wheels on it. However, the wheels really don't help when it comes to moving it. They all reside outside during the summer and it is always a big production when we move the "forest' inside or outside. My husband has a "ramp" to go up the two steps (one at a time) from the front side walk into the front hall. Then around the corner to the place of honor in the living room front windows. Several other plants are there also.

My jewelry table and shelves are next to the "forest" and it makes a cozy place to do my designing and construction of my pieces.

This picture gives a little more perspective on the space involved. (Our ceilings are 10 feet tall and the windows are to the left - the Christmas tree is in the door way to the hall) It is nice to have some beautiful flowers in the winter time.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goals and new things for 2009

While we were still on vacation in MD, my husband, all my kids and grandchildren took off to see the Air and Space Museum in VA. (It was raining and I opted not to go since I was still getting over my head cold.) So I was surfing for new things to learn and learn about.

It has been pointed out to me by several websites, newsletters etc that it is a "must" to have video on your web sites and blogs (unless you want to be behind) Of course, I don't want to be behind, so I've been looking into how to make a video for my web site and/or blog.

My mind is spinning! When it comes to communicating in the modern age, I do have a cell phone. But I never turn it on unless I want to call someone when I'm away from home. (Ask my daughter) So, iPods, Blackberries and the like are beyond me. But I've been working on it.

I now know about Audacity, and something called Lame MP3 and you must have iTunes on your computer to put it all together. (Even though I have a PC) I think I will need at least a microphone to do the audio file which is how I thought I'd start. My camera does short videos which does include the audio. Need to get organized but one step at a time.

I progressed during the afternoon while all by myself, to down load Audacity and iTunes. Now, I must explain that I had also, at the same time, completed about 6 inches of a fiber Kumihimo necklace I've been working on. You know the status lines that show the progress of your download? Cracks me up: 33 minutes left, 39 minutes, 20 minutes, 70 % Oh, yes, that was just for the first step. Now status is 25 minutes, 33 minutes. and so on and so forth!

Thus Kumihimo accomplished!!

And soon they came home! More later.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to you all!

(I'm taking a week off from blogging to visit family and celebrate Christmas and the New Year)

Best Wishes for the New Year and see you all soon.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Chain Maille teacher gifts

My daughter is a former preschool teacher and has definite ideas of appreciated Christmas gifts for teachers. So, when it comes to giving teacher gifts for her own kids she is particular. No chocolate, no mugs etc.

I wasn't surprised when she asked if I had any of her favorite Chain Maille earrings. She likes the simple three ring mobius earrings I make. Well, it turned out that I did not have any already made.

I told her that if I had the correct ring size in stock, I could make them for her. It turned out that I usually use 18 gauge, 7 mm but I only had 6 mm. That would be OK, she told me.

So, with in an hour, we had some nice teacher gifts. It is nice to be able to do that.

I hope the teachers will like them.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CA observations by a North Easterner

Just thought I'd post some observations of California, from my point of view, as someone from the northeast.

We saw some nice looking wind farms on the way from Pleasanton to Modesto. (See MA, they don't look bad. In fact they were nice to look at while we were driving along the highway. Maybe MA should try them)

My son cut the grass on Saturday (We, in MA, haven't cut the grass since late October)

There are red roses blooming outside, plus pansies and snap dragons and all sorts of "spring" flowers.

The weather man said there was a cold spell coming this weekend. The high is going to maybe reach 50. Actually they predicted snow above 1,000 feet in elevation. (Note it was 52 in Boston, MA)

There are palm trees in northern CA. I thought they were just in southern CA. Not so, I guess.

Many "regular" trees still have their leaves. (They have to rake well into January, I guess)

Unless you ski, you don't have boots or really warm coats either.

Last night my grandson said "It is going to hail tomorrow" We all wondered how he came to that conclusion. But when we looked out side this afternoon we saw:

The hail stones do not show very well but they were there!

Well, we should be on our way home by now. I'll post more later when I have adjusted to the "jet lag"


Monday, December 15, 2008

Third Kumihimo Bracelet

This bracelet is a bit plain compared to some of my other Kumihimo bracelets but it is one of those go with most everything colors.

The color on the package named it "Iris" and in fact the seed beads do look like all colors of Iris that I've ever seen (well, in blues anyhow) It is hard to get a good picture of the color variations plus the iridescence of the color.

It is finished with a small heart lobster claw toggle.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Second Kumihimo Bracelet

I really like this one. The long focal in the middle has blues and greens swirled around the length of the bead.

I found a nice mixture of beads that range from light blue to a darker blue with pinks and peridot colors that seem to compliment the focal bead.

I used a secure lobster claw clasp to finish the bracelet.

I have one more to share with you soon.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Flight from Boston to San Francisco

Our flight to CA was uneventful and from Boston to Iowa (I know because the pilot told us so) we were above a thick layer of clouds. This is the view from my seat.

A word of caution when picking seats on an airline. Do NOT choose the row behind the exit row. They get extra room for the exit but YOU loose it. I've squeezed in smaller spaces in misaligned church pews!

I did take my Kumihimo ready to make a bracelet (though I found out later they let someone on with knitting needles.)

Because our ride to Logan Express had to be early we had several hours to kill at the airport. So, I pulled out my Kumihimo project. Drew lots of attention. "What is that?", "My that looks complicated" etc. Very interesting. I finished about 1/4 of the bracelet during that time period which was good since I had NO room to do any on the plane. If I had dropped any beads they would have been goners. The lady in the third seat with us took off her shoe and had to have the flight attendant help her to retrieve it.

Anyhow, the trip was good. I discovered that you get a l-o-n-g sunset going west. The plane really tries to catch up with the sun but doesn't quite make it.

I took several pictures of the sunset but the plane was not oriented just the way I would have liked it for a picture but for going to SFO - just right.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Violet and Black Kumihimo Bracelet

This is one of the Kumihimo bracelets I made while on vacation at Thanksgiving time. I showed a picture of it unfinished in a previous post.

I found a nice sterling silver square toggle with some cute flowers as decoration to use for the clasp.

It gives it a nice finish I think.

I still have a bit of problem with the color though it doesn't look blue anyhow as my first pictures did. The colors are black and light violet. Actually, it is a pretty good color, at least on my monitor.

I have two more bracelets to show soon.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Up, up and Away!

We are off.... to California!

My son's birthday, a grandson's and granddaughter's birthdays are all in December. (Makes for interesting Holiday planning) Anyhow, we were invited to help celebrate this year and of course we said OK!

So, today we are on a flight to SFO. San Francisco. Only with a my raincoat - no boot, winter coat, scarf and gloves. Makes airplane traveling easier with out all those trappings. When you go in a car, you can always just throw those things in the back seat.

However, since it is a 6 hour flight, I'm disappointed not to be able to take some of my jewelery supplies with me. I've been told they frown on such things as wire cutters and pliers. Almost impossible to make something with out those items.

So, I'll be taking my Kumihimo disk, loaded with beads and bobbins. They are all plastic and the bobbins should keep the beads secure. My other, very real fear, is having little seed beads all over aisle. How embarrassing would that be?

So, I may be not posting for awhile as we enjoy our trip and family.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Blog side bar

I'm sure you all look up and down the right side bar of my blog. I just added a widget that allows you to send email wishes for the Holidays to soldiers in the service. It has been around last year, I believe but it certainly bears repeating. You can choose from several different designs and send to one or more soldiers. You do not get a choice of who the email will be sent to but it really doesn't matter.

I also have a link to my second selling web site, 1000 Markets. It is just getting off the ground (both 1000 Markets and my store too) so check back at other times too. (My guess, for me, after the first of the year when, I hope, I'll have more time.)

I also have a list of some other blogs that I frequent, in case you might like them too. I haven't checked out the Closet Cooking blog lately but if you are looking for something different (but not exotic or hard to make) you'll find it there.

Also, The Beading Gems Journal where you can pick up some of the most interesting information on jewelry and lots of other things.

I've added our Co-Pastor's blog "More than Sunday" also. Pastor Johnny's blog has some great posts you'll be sure to enjoy.

I found a widget that allows you to do a search of the blog. I even use that when I'm looking for a post to reference.

Take some time, when you have ready the current post, to see what else is on my blog.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Chia Pets and being remembered.

Every once in awhile I get really silly. I've had this cold that has been hanging on for about 3 weeks. And I'm blaming the silliness on the cold. I was going to get my hair cut this morning and heard the Chia Pet commercial. Now for the silly part. When else do you hear about Chia Pets except at the Holiday time? The ads seem to come out in full force. (Much like the recent politial ads)

You know they must sell or they would not keep on with the yearly sales pitch. They have expanded. You can find almost anything in a Chia Pet. See Shrek above?

Here is the original commercial (Thanks to YouTube)

Now wouldn't it be great to have been the person to discover Chia Pets? (I told you I am feeling silly) Aside from the profit, would you like to be remembered for making Chia Pets? Well, that much money would be hard to set aside but would you?

What would you want to be remembered for?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lexie's request

I subscribe to Lexie's Caring Bridge web site updates. I received an update this morning with a simple request from Lexie. (She does not ask for much!)

Here is her request written by her Mom, Alice Williams:

"We are doing well, and Lexie is getting very excited about the upcoming Holiday, as you can see by her choice of backgrounds here- !!! She has a request, if you have a minute- Lexie would like to get a message from someone in every state between now and Christmas Day !!! Could anyone who lives anywhere write her, and ask your friends who live in obscure states to leave her a message ??? I know this a challenge, but she rarely asks for much, so this must feel important to her !!!
Thanks everyone-

You can read the whole post at

You can go to the site and leave a message for her. She has quite a few already but one from every state - not sure.

Thanks to you all. Remember how lucky we are to be healthy.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Science with a Mission

It has been awhile since I posted about Science with a Mission. SMI, for short, is a non-profit organization founded by Alynne MacLean.

In developing countries, many people never see the inside of a hospital or clinic. As a result, people often die from preventable diseases due to not being diagnosed. Currently, the majority of tests to diagnosis diseases require expensive equipment, electricity, trained technicians, etc. all of which are often unavailable in many parts of developing countries. SMI's tests do not require electricity or expensive equipment so they can be used in remote areas. They can also be used in mass screenings.

Alynne is one of many Christians who live out their faith. She has a Doctorate in Chemistry and in the year 2000 quit her job as a chemist at Biogen, Inc. to start Science with a Mission. The local lore (which I believe) has Alynne living on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until she was able to take a small salary to cover her expenses. I could go on about her many accomplishments but you can read some at her web site at

And my personal favorite entitled "Be A Pencil". You can read it here

Anyhow, as a means of helping Alynne and Science with a Mission, I have designed a bracelet that I sell for a $25 donation. (50% goes to SMI) See picture above

You can purchase the bracelet on my web site

Suggestion: they make great Christmas gifts. (Win - Win)


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Romanov Chain Maille

Awhile ago I mentioned that one of the reasons I liked the Byzantine pattern of Chain Maille was that it was so versatile and you could make many different patterns from the basic Byzantine segment.

Well, here is another example. (The one I showed was Olivia - on Nov 7) By just joining the segments in a different way you can come up with the one shown here. It is usually called the Romanov pattern.

To make it a little more fancy, I added Hematite beads in the center.

Many other variations exist. I have one with cobalt beads and one made with different size rings and on it goes.

Which do you prefer the Olivia or Romanov?


Monday, December 1, 2008

Vacation Kumihimo bracelet

We got back from a week on Cape Cod on Saturday. We had a great time with many relatives joining us for Thanksgiving. Five from NH, two from NJ, four from MA, two from VT and one from MD. The usual gathering - rounds of Pinochle, jig saw puzzles with my youngest grandson. (The one who doesn't take "no" for an answer) The older grandson was more interested in the adult card games and is slowly learning how to play Pinochle. He'll be a "Carlson" yet. We also had several games of "Oh, Hell"and interesting round of Balderdash late Friday night. Plus lots of food!

My husband and I arrived on Saturday and had several days before the others came. So, I had some time to make some jewelry. Not having much in the way of Internet access, it took me until Wednesday to find out I had an order for 7 Lexie Bracelets. Yay! Fortunately, that is one of the things I was working on, until I ran out of daisy spacers. (They are on order) So I started some Kumihimo bracelets. It is impossible to bring everything you need to make jewelry, so, they are not finished but I thought I'd share what is finished. The "mixture" of seed beads in the first bracelet seems to pick up the colors in the focal bead.

The second one is black and violet. Now (my excuse and I'm sticking to it) is that I didn't have much other than my camera with me to take pictures. That is the coffee table in our little house in the background. The worst picture is the only one that shows the color as violet. All the others came out black and blue. Got to work on that when it is finally finished with a clasp and all.

Sorry for the poor pictures but that's the way it is right now. I hope the daisys come tomorrow so I can get busy on the Lexie bracelets and the last show of this season on Saturday. (Homepsun Treasures in North Easton, MA)

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Doing things even if Afraid

I just finished reading a post on the blog of a 1000Markets shop. Abelee's

The title of the post is "Do it Afraid". She talks about stepping up to do something even if you are afraid. For example, doing shows for selling her products even though , at first, they did not work out well. Each improved when she conquered her fear.

It reminded me of a discussion we had at our recent South Shore Beaders meeting. We were laughing about the phrases we have come up with to explain our "problems" that we some times have in making our jewelry. We all need to see that we are not alone in these problems and eventually "forcing" us to step out and do something. Friends are good and Groups of Friends are even better!

One of our laughable phrases is "FOF" and lately "FOG". Fear of Finishing and Fear of Glue. Very silly but sometimes we recognize that it is true and we need to work afraid anyhow.

Fear of finishing is interesting since we are almost finished with a piece, then something holds us up. "I can't find end caps I like" or "The clasps I have just don't go". And on and on the excuses go. I'm sure you can think of a few of your own excuses.

Just do it comes to mind also.

Fear of gluing, well that seems a bit different. There are many steps in making jewelry and gluing is one that we often do, "Just to make sure" something will hold. Is it necessary? Sometimes, and sometimes not. Just another thing to make sure our pieces are as perfect as we can make them.
But gluing is messy, takes time and don't forget about putting the top back on. One of my favorite things my husband says about glue is "If the glue is really good, you shouldn't be able to get the top off" One of the reasons I only buy small sizes of glue is that they always dry up before I use the whole tube. So, does this help you to understand "FOG"?

I won't make any comments about what else "FOG" could represent.

We will be on vacation next week and I'm not sure if I will have Internet access. So, Happy Thanksgiving to you all and thanks for reading my blog.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Organizing Jewelry Supplies and my Grandson

Last night I attend the dinner meeting of the South Shore Beaders. A group of local jewelry designers who get together every 6 weeks or so to enjoy each others company, swap stories, supplies, show and tell and just have "bead talk", in general.

We are recognized by the restaurant people now, often, just by the little boxes we all bring with our items in side. One of our members is an audiologist and one is a nurse who works near an audiologist. It seems hearing aids come in the neatest boxes; for storing jewelry supplies. Rather than throw these boxes away, these ladies bring them to our meetings and share with us all. By now, we each have at least one or two such boxes. It seems that the boxes have been changed and are smaller. Never mind, they'll just fit something else or serve another purpose.

Well, I was working on my lap top this morning when my Grandson decided he needed attention and came over with his cute smile and question "Me sit on your lap, Grandma?" Now, you need to understand that is not really a question because he is very willing to "help" you empty your lap to make room. So, I moved my project box, the finished pieces I had on the chair arm and my laptop to make room for him.

Next, he spied my new, smaller boxes. (See above picture). He reached for one and then told me "Be right back" Down he got and returned with - well look at the next picture.

I'm not sure I'll get this batch of boxes back. He and I spent about half an hour putting cars in and out of the boxes. Shaking them and so on and so forth! Great fun.

I later finished my current project. However, organizing my jewelry supplies will have to wait for another day or until our next meeting of the South Shore Beaders.

This is what my project box looks like. Filled with all the necessary supplies to make Lexie's Jewelry. I'm getting ready for the Holiday Gift Season. It has already begun in earnest and I'm behind already. However, a little diversion is good for everyone!

Lesson learned: You can use almost any discarded boxes to store jewelry supplies ... or cars.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Kumihimo Necklace

Awhile ago I showed the Kumihimo disk and the "set up" for making Fiber Kumihimo. I promised to show the finished version.

I had a blue pendant just hanging around in my "stash" and it looked as if it would work together.

They seem to.

It always surprises me when a plan comes together. Nice though.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Swarovski Crystals

When my son was young, he was an avid reader (still is) He read words that he had never heard pronounced. Once in awhile he would try to use them. He usually knew how to use them, just not always how to pronounce them. My favorite was his use of "ka-hee-kee". It took us long time to figure it out. We maybe even asked him to show us the word written. It was Khaki. Looking at it, he certainly should not have been criticized.

His other pronunciation problem came from hearing a word mispronounced, thanks to Popeye. That was "animal" but Popeye said "am-in-al" He admits that he had a hard time unlearning that one.

Well, in making jewelry, Swarovski is my problem word. At least it was until I asked for help. Now, it isn't easy to tell someone, in writing, how to pronounce a written word. Dictionaries do that but it is their job! I tried the online dictionaries since they will verbally pronounce the word. No luck. Not found.

I tried on the jewelrymaking forum at awhile back. Very helpful group and several people helped me out. The most helpful suggestion was:

"Swore - off - ski" Much like the person who had just had a skiing accident and had sworn off skis. I still have trouble with it rolling off my tongue but if I slow down, "Swore - off - ski" works for me.
However it is pronounced, Swarovski crystals make beautiful bracelets.

Monday, November 17, 2008

1000 Markets purchase

Since I joined 1000 Markets to sell my jewelry, it occurred to me that by buying something from another shop, I could find out how easy the process is (or not) plus support I could support another shop owner.
My shop is

I found lots of nice things to purchase from the very talented shop owners. As I browsed the various offerings, I found something I liked at LaWatha's Glass Creations. She is located in Washington State. I purchased a Dichroic Fused Butterfly pendant shown here. I'll probably wear it myself but might consider working it into one of my creations.

To finish the transaction, I received two emails from Amazon (the payment method used by 1000 Markets) One acknowledging the receipt of my order and one that payment was sent. Also I received an email from 1000 Markets acknowledging the order via LaWatha's Glass Creations.

The whole process was very easy.

Check us out. ;
The URL for the rest of the site is


Friday, November 14, 2008

Marie Antoinette Award

Wow. My first blog AWARD- The Marie-Antoinette, A Real Person, A Real Award. It was bestowed upon me by Leslie on Flowers of Life. Leslie and I have an interesting "meet" story. More about that later.

I'm not really sure why I deserve this award other than I AM REAL and Leslie is a good friend!

So, the rules for winning the award are as follows:
1. Please put the logo on your blog
2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs
4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

And my 7 Awards go to:

1. The Beading Gem's Journal
Pearl writes very interesting posts about jewelry making and so much more

Miachelle is a writer and maker of beautiful jewelry

This is fun. You are encouraged to write a comment about a word in 30 seconds

Kimmi writes about Art that makes you Smile

The LB is a very talented seed bead embroidery artist. Her latest is a Back to the Future DeLorean

6. The FamilLee Jewels
Becky, Fred and Bonnie have a Family Jewelry business that they blog about

Gayle writes about her family and her jewelry business

Leslie's blog is at She is a lovely Artist.
Now the "interesting meet" story. Some of you may have read my posts while I was on vacation at Virginia Beach this fall. I wrote about a very interesting sand sculpture being made by one woman all alone (I found out later she had a friend with her). After we got back home I ran across a blog that had pictures from Virginia Beach's sand sculpture contest. Yep, you guessed it. It was Leslie. After a few emails back and forth we discovered we had a lot in common and have kept in contact ever since. I don't think I posted a picture of her sculpture but here it is now.

"Virginia is for Cat Lovers"
Sorry I took the picture after everyone walked all over it. I looked much nicer before that. We have possible plans to meet at the Neptune Festival next year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Three Different Bracelets

Most of the time I make jewelry one piece at a time. Not that I don't have several in the works at the same time. However, I came home one day with these lovely green melon beads. I couldn't decide which idea I had running through my mind I preferred.

So, I made three. After I made the easy one, just green melon beads separated by some silver lined spacers I started on the others. The first was easy, simple but pretty.

Then I only had 6 beads left. Now what?

So, I pulled out my chain maille rings. I made several segments of Byzantine. Then made some links with the green melon beads and put them together. Byzantine segment, green melon and on until I had a bracelet. Number two bracelet finished.

Three beads left but I was still in the "mood".

A very simple and popular chain maille design is the "flower". Just three interlinked rings, one into each other. So three linked "flowers", a green melon, three more "flowers" and bracelet three was finished.

I think they look nice together, each in its own difference but similar.

Do you have a favorite?


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shells / Stones?

The sermon at our church Sunday was about Joshua, chapter 4. It talks about the Lord parting the waters so they could cross the river and the 12 stones they gathered and carried to the other side. The stones were for the Israelites and their descendants to remember what had occurred there.

Our Pastor explained that other things can serve as remembrances besides stones. He shared several pictures taken many years ago of church members and projects of our church. We are celebrating our 125 th anniversary this year. Several people have gathered old pictures of the building, church committees and members. It is not only fun to see the pictures but to either remember or imagine what it was like when the pictures were taken. Some of the pictures are over 100 years old.

Well, sharing pictures is what I do a lot in this blog. Whether it be a picture of one of my projects or jewelry pieces or something else. Anyhow, I want to share a picture of some shell jewelry my Mother made during WWII. The economy then was tougher than it is today. But being creative, she found a way to earn some money (Specifically to buy a new vacuum cleaner)

She had some friends who wintered in Florida. Each spring when they returned, they brought some new craft ideas. (But that is another whole story!) One year they brought back lots of shells. She turned them into lovely pieces of jewelry. Just a few small shells and voila you have flowers or a basket. She made pins and earrings. Her cousin worked at Eastman Kodak and many of her co-workers were eager to have something different. Good costume jewelry did not exist during the war.

Anyhow, this picture is a "stone" that not only represents my memory of my Mother (obviously) but also of the times and what can be done even in bad economic times. Lets face it, jewelry is something that we can do with out. However, the holiday season of giving is coming up and perhaps we can use my Mom's idea of making something from "shells" and start a whole new memory.

And don't forget to tell your children about your stones and/or pictures or any other remembrances you may have. It is a way of passing on your "stories" for the future.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

1000 Markets new shop

I've started a new adventure. Most of you know about Esty and the shops you can have on that web site. About a year or so ago, I signed up for an Esty account but never did anything with it. Not sure why I signed up really. I like the site and there are some beautiful things offered there.
I made my own web site . I used a wysiwyg program to write it. It took time and I think it looks good. I even get some orders from it.

About two weeks ago I found It is relatively new and looked very professional. It is very similar to Esty. So, off I went to see what it was all about and if I could make a "shop". As you may have guessed, I now have a shop on 1000 Markets.

The URL is I only have 6 items in the shop so far. Little steps, but a start. I have plans for new items soon.

Take a look as let me know what you think. (If you notice any typos let me know, please!)


Monday, November 10, 2008


Friday evening TV usually isn't very good. (IMHO) This year there is a new program called Crusoe. It is TV's version of Robinson Crusoe. So far it has been interesting though there are a few scenes that are "stretched" a bit.

I have noticed, however that both Crusoe and Friday have very interesting jewelry. It seems to be different in each scene and I do wonder where it all comes from. (One of the stretches I see - along with a very amazing "Tree House")

Here is a link to some of the pictures from the show. (They are not all jewelry pictures but you have to take the whole link.)
What do you think? A "stretch" or just imaginative?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chain Maille - Olivia

One of my favorite Chain Maille patterns is Byzantine. Not only is it beautiful on its own but it can be adapted in many ways.

You can change the gauge (thickness of the wire used to make the rings) and you can change the order of the segments. This is one of those changes called "Olivia" The segments are lined up parallel to each other and then connected at the end of the segments. This picture shows the Olivia pattern in 18 gauge.

The next picture shows the same pattern in 16 gauge. (The smaller number gauge is thicker. ie 16 gauge is thicker or bigger than 18 gauge.) I realize it is hard to tell in the picture but there is a big difference. The 18 gauge bracelet is much more delicate and narrower than the 16 gauge. Some day I'll try the pattern in 20 gauge. It should be even more delicate and narrower.
The next picture is a regular Byzantine pattern bracelet (with a dicroic rectangle as focal) Just so you can see what it looks like (in case you haven't seen the pattern before - or in case you call it something else; a common problem with naming Chain Maille. Byzantine is also called Bird Cage, for example)

I'll show some other Byzantine variations in future posts.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Charles Schultz

Everyone is talking about the elections today. Now before anyone complains, I think the election is very important (See my post on Woman's Suffrage) but somehow, I need a break. Breaks for me usually are something funny. Here is one for today. Seriously funny, however.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.
You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies.. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier? The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials...the most money...or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most. AND, THE ONES WHO MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Enjoy your day!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Organizing Beads

It seems lately every time I want something that I know that I have, I can't find it. I seem to waste a lot of time just looking. It is very upsetting and/or embarrassing!

For example, a friend gave me a set of pearls that she had purchased. The request was to add spacers and change the clasp. The pearls were too tight and didn't drape well. There were two necklaces and a bracelet. Very simple request. I started with the bracelet. Now bracelets are length specific and by adding the spacers, I changed the length. So, I needed to have her try it on before I crimped.
Suddenly, I could not find the bracelet. So, I continued with the necklaces until I finally had to confess that I had misplaced the bracelet because no matter how hard I looked, I could not find that bracelet! I sent her an email and she nicely said "Not to worry. It will show up". Still, the bracelet was missing. I felt terrible and secretly hoped it had not ended up in the trash by accident.

Well, one day it got cold outside and the heat came on. This necessitated removing items that had been placed on the radiators. Lo and behold, in a tin on the radiator near my work table, was the bracelet, in the tin. Invisible to the quick look. So, all is well that ends well but my organization problem (and loosing things) still remains.

The next part of the solution is to go through all my drawers with supplies and all the little baskets I have stashed items and get ORGANIZED.

My organization plan was not bad. I had silver in divided boxes, all in plastic bags, gemstones in other divided boxes and so forth. But when I was finished with a bead or finding, I didn't put them back where they belonged. Plus, while looking through my drawers, I found some items that I had forgotten about.

There is a jewelry show this weekend and I AM NOT GOING! I really need to continue organizing what I have. Then start making pieces with what I have. I know I'll need a few items to fill in but I bet I can go along time before I need more "stuff" - at least the main focus of the piece. You see, when I go to jewelry shows, I see really nice beads but do not always follow through with the plan before I'm on to something else. Sometimes the beads are so beautiful, I just say "I'll find something to do with them" Well, times up! I need to do something with what I have.

Anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions?


Sunday, November 2, 2008

American Woman's Suffrage

This has appeared on several blogs. I also received it from a friend. When I read it I was amazed at how much I did not realize about what our female ancestors went through to get the Woman's Right to Vote. It was written by Deloris Wright. Remember to VOTE this year. Everyone!

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?
Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.
All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.
My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'
HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.
The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'
Again, remember to VOTE. Thank you Deloris Wright