Friday, August 29, 2008

New Kumihimo

I made a new Kumihimo necklace. It is about 16 inches long made with black and gold seed beads. The pattern is a spiral with a gold tone hook clasp.

This is one of those go with everything pieces.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to me

Well, I mentioned earlier that I had a birthday coming up. My husband suggested that I pick out a present for my self. I was thinking - new watch. Mine is getting a little shabby.
This morning my daughter came up from the basement and announced : "I can't get the dryer to work!" So, my husband went downstairs and returned looking discouraged. Nothing he tried worked or rather got the dryer to work. After all we got it when we moved into this house. (That is 1981 - 26 years ago)

We had plans to go grocery shopping. That would have been a lot cheaper! After checking out dryers on the Internet, we went off to some local appliance stores. About $525 later, we have a new gas dryer. Well, we have ordered a new dryer. It will be delivered next Wednesday.

I hope to enjoy my new "watch"!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Necklace

With my purchases about a month ago and the ones I just ordered on the web, I put together this necklace. Now my plan when I started was oh, so far from the results. I can't even remember how the path went. A little like the little kid in the comic Family Circus where the kid traces a crooked path all over the neighborhood on his way home.

Anyhow, it is made with leather cord, a new pendant, various other beads and most importantly a new (to me) method of making a necklace that will lengthen and shorten and no clasp. It is hard to see in the pictures but the leather cord doubles up to shorten. It fits over your head and then you can shorten it if you want.

Shortened necklace.

Let me know what you think of the new design.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It occurred to me the other day that I have a birthday coming up. Further, it means I need to renew my drivers license. Always an experience, no matter what state you live in.

So today I filled out the form, made out the $40 check to RMV and went to our nearest Registry. The parking lot was full, not a good sign. I went in and waited in line to get a number. The number I was assigned was A262. As I looked up on the tote board I saw B143. So, I settled in for a long wait.

Much to my surprise, I had just settled in when they called "A262 - window #15" Yipes, I'm up already. So, I found window #15 (the last one - in the corner). A unsmiling clerk was waiting for me. I handed him all of my paperwork. He looked it over and then told me to look into the vision machine. (I had passed the first test - no mistakes in filling out the form)

"Read the colors to the bottom"

"Red, yellow, red, green" I said.

"Read the first line to the end" I did and I don't think I made any mistake as he then told me to

"Sit down on the chair" which I did.

"Take off your glasses"

"Take off my glasses?" I've worn glasses since I was 10 years old and have a requirement on my drivers license that I need glasses to drive.

"Take of your glasses!" OK, sir. Click. My picture showed up on a monitor in front of me.

"Is that OK?" I don't have my glasses on. However, after many pictures for drivers licenses I know better than to object. RMV employees rarely have any sense of humor. And they have lots of power.

The picture was OK - with out my glasses on. Now, you need to understand, I don't have eyebrows that show. I use my glasses as my eyebrows. One time when I was getting new glasses, I tried the rimless style. No eyebrows. So I went back to the usual frames.

I have to say that - no visible eyebrows - is what looks so strange about the license picture.

Anyhow, I'm good for another 5 years and I hardly ever look at the picture.

FYI, the non jewelry pictures I show in my blog like the one in this post are my magnets and they are available on my website.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Shopping for Beads

Yesterday, one of my beading buddies and I went to a Bead show. It was only one vendor, "Nice People 4 Y". They had some great gemstones, good quality, beautiful. Here is a picture of my newest "stash".

I thought it would be fun to show you how I go about designing a new piece. So, I chose the strand on the bottom to start. Now this is really just a start. I'm not at all enthused with what it looks like now.

First I went to my bead drawers and pulled out some Bali Silver. I only had two strands that would even work. One was oval and one was rectangular. I figured rectangular would be best (matching the rectangle stones.) But it is usually best not to make too many decisions before hand. So, I put them all together anyhow.

Next I grabbed my considerable stash of Swarovski bicones. Only three of my colors "would go". I did add a few "maybe's" Here is the picture of the first go-round.

Next I tried the stones without the Bali Silver.

That is when I said "Maybe tomorrow" Nothing seemed to work well but I'll keep trying with this strand and maybe I'll work with one of my other purchases. How about the top strand. It might be easier. Oh, yes, I also have a web order of beads coming that should be here today. So, I will have something new soon.


Friday, August 22, 2008

New Chain Maille bracelet

I've been making several 4 in 1 Half Persian bracelets lately. (How is that for a name for a pattern?) However, in needs to be specific in its description so you can let me know what it is you want to buy.
This pattern is hard to start but once going is not too hard other than keeping from dropping the little jump rings. This is one pattern that I need to do a little at a time to prevent the "tight shoulder syndrome".

I decided that this needed something to be a little different as the pattern is very simple looking. I decided to use one of my favorite clasps: a sunflower. I think it rather sets the bracelet off and makes it special.

Here is a close up of the clasp.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Blog List

I've been writing this blog for about 6 months, regularly. It has had its ups and downs as has everything else. The name even changed. But I do wonder if anyone is reading it.

I guess I had no idea how many blogs there were until I was looking at the profile of a blogger I was reading the other day. If you notice on the profile page (of the Google blogs like this one you can click on various information such as "location" to see who else lives there or "industry" to see who else is in that industry). Well, I found someone who lives in Berkeley, CA and clicked on that to find that just on this blog group (not to mention Wordpress and other groups) there were 2,500 bloggers in just that city. Massachusetts (me) has 35,900. So, that might be one explanation of why I never hear from anyone. There are so many blogs out there. Who knows I'm here???

I decided to add "My Blog List" to my information on the right side of the blog. That is a listing of those blogs I read. I've included the blog of Pastor Johnny, the co-pastor of our church. He has some great stuff. It is entitled "More Than Sunday".

Then there is "Ink Slingin' Woman" by Miachelle who is a jewelry designer but who also loves to write. Only some of her posts are about jewelry.

The third one is by Jean Yates. ""Snap out of it Jean there is Beading to be Done". I have one of Jean's books on jewelry making and really like it. Jean also writes about her life and an interesting one it is. Just the name of her blog may give you a clue to that.

Just yesterday, while surfing, I found a blog entitled"Closet Cooking". He gives recipes that are very intriguing and yet simple plus information about the recipe. Good stuff.

So, let me know if you are enjoying my blog and check out some of the blogs I read. Click on the one that interests you in "My Blog List" and read away.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Grandma's Home

I discovered that "There is no place like Home unless it is Grandma's" even if it is just downstairs.

Yesterday, our two grandkids kept us very amused. First, the oldest came and announced he was moving. He was moving to his room upstairs and brought food with him so he would not be hungry. He had a ziplock bag with a sleeve of Ritz crackers, cookies, pretzels and a few other unidentifiable things. His departure was complete with hugs and his promise to come to visit us. His new address is 26, he told us. Of course, his younger brother tagged along. So, for about 2 hours, they played upstairs in his room. He did as he promised, he came for two visits during the 2 hours. Complete with hugs of welcome and departure as he went back upstairs. And his brother tagged along. Now I know better than to make a remark such as "My, the kids are being good." So, I did not. However, my daughter was talking on the phone and mentioned that "The kids are being really good this morning"

You know what happened next. Oldest screamed, youngest started to cry (we think he was hit by oldest), oldest started to cry and then things deteriorated from there. The time of playing together nicely was over!

Well, then they came downstairs and played a game with Grandpa. Youngest is really too young for the game and so they decided to stop and put the game away. Which they did but somehow the oldest forgot the dice. Youngest had one of his famous melt downs for about an hour when he discovered that the dice were not put away. He kept saying that his brother forgot to put the dice away. He does not forget quickly and can really hold a grudge! An hour of "He forgot to put the dice away" and lots of crying. Eventually, things calmed down and things were quiet again.

This morning the oldest made an announcement that he had moved back. Things are now back to normal which will include "melt downs" and crying. They can still come to "visit" Grandma (and Grandpa) any time. After all, it is all one home. It is interesting to see how they think, however.


Monday, August 18, 2008

SMI Sailing ship Fundraiser

I'm sure you all know that my favorite (small non-profit) charity is Science with a Mission or SMI for short. (If not you can read more on my August 12 post. ) Yesterday, they had a fundraising Tall Ship sail on Boston Harbor on the Poincare. It was an absolutely beautiful day. Blue skies with some nice white puffy clouds and temperature in the low 80's with a nice breeze. There were about 40 people and it was just a great afternoon. We drove in on the Southeast Express way, found a parking garage to park our car and off we went. To get our sea legs started there was about an 80 yard walk on floating docks to the boat. Then a floating gang plank to the boat, then a rocking ship to our seat. They say the ship was rocking because it was at the dock and the harbor swells made it a bit "unstable". I found a seat and did not walk around much. There really wasn't much room to walk around but the aformentioned harbor swells kept me pretty still. Once out in the harbor it was much smoother. I was able to get some nice pictures. Boston Harbor is very nice place for pictures from the Charleston Navy Yard, Old Ironsides, the new Zachem Bridge, Bunker Hill Monument, Old North Church, Logan Airport, and of course lots of boats of all sizes. It was fun to watch them put up the sails and take the them down.

There was only a three person crew. The captain and two others responsible for the sails and some sight-seeing announcements. We were back at the dock in about 2 hours and the 80 yard floating dock.

Oh, yes, the little house is a house for ducks. Kind of hard to see them but they are really enjoying their house. All in all it was a great fun day.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jimmy Fund Radio/Telethon Results

Yesterday, I told you that Melanie would be on the WEEI/NESN Jimmy fund Telethon. She was, though a bit later than she expected. She was there with the likes of Mike Lowell (Red Sox third baseman), Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester and many other cancer survivors of all ages. Their goal was to make 4 million. At noon on the second day, it was only a little over 1 million. But guess what? The goal was reached and even exceeded. 4.8 million. WOW.

There were great stories of survival plus stories of what people did to raise money. Kids sometimes have great ideas for that and even though their donations are not as large as the Donald Trumps, are sometimes are more meaningful. One kid has been giving his birthday money to the Jimmy Fund for several years. How inspiring is that?

Here is a link to the Jimmy Fund web site where you can read more about the whole day.

Because it rained in Boston, the Red Sox vs Toronto game was postponed and Melanie and her kids did not get to throw out the first ball. Maybe when it is rescheduled?? Don't know now. But it must have been a great day for all. Especially that 4.8 million for the Jimmy Fund.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Melanie on NESN and first Pitch

I received an email from my friend, Melanie, today. She is very excited. WEEI and NESN are having a telethon to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. The Jimmy Fund is a charity based in Boston, Massachusetts, that supports cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Founded in 1948 to raise funds for patient care and the fight against children’s cancer, the Jimmy Fund now supports the search for new cancer treatments and cures for both adults and children at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Between its founding and 2006, the Jimmy Fund has raised more than $500 million.

You may remember, Melanie ran the Boston Marathon in April for her patient partner, Lexie. Lexie (and Melanie) inspired my line of Lexie's jewelry that I've be talking about so much lately.

Anyhow, the telethon is in its second day today. Her message was: Watch for me today, 4:30, NESN. Also on the mound!!!!! Hannah and Zach will be with me to throw out the "first pitch".
Watch out Paplebon,

Hannah and Zach are her two kids. So, if you read this in time, watch (on the Boston station NESN) I'll let you know what happened if you can't see it. Just being on the field at Fenway would be so exciting. Wonder who the "catcher" will be?


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lexie's Choker

As promised, here is a "new" picture of Lexie's Choker. The white background is the new part. When you have pictures in a white brochure, you like just the piece to be seen as if it were floating - no color in the background. But, for reasons I'm still trying to figure out, there is always "something" in the background. Even here you can see a little blue. I don't understand, when the background you are taking is pure white, why the pictures come out with a yellow, gray, pink or sometimes blue background. Obviously, physics/optics was not my strong subject.

I'm learning to see color in a different way. Actually, I'm learning to "see" color. My sister-in-law years ago couldn't understand why I could not see the "pink' in my skin color. She had a "golden" hue to her skin. All looked the same to me but now (finally) I'm beginning to see and understand the difference.

Let me know what you think of the "new" choker picture.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Picture of taking a Picture

Many years ago, I wondered, if your vacuum cleaner gets dirty and dusty, "How do you clean it?

Well, fortunately, at the time I had a second vacuum cleaner and I could vacuum the first one and get all the little parts clean. (I don't worry about things like that so much any more)

I was presented with a similar dilemma today when I wanted to show how I took a picture of Lexie's bracelet that I've been working on so much lately. You remember, trying to get a pure white background and still being able to have a good picture of the bracelet. I must have taken 100's of pictures. Most are too dark, not good color and so on and on...

One by one, I've been zeroing in on what works and what does not work. I tried different light, different adjustments on the camera and my photo adjusting software. I finally think I've got it!

Today I'm going to show you (as much as can be shown) the set up I devised.

For lighting, I used my Ott light that gives natural light. (My other halogen lights are a yellow-white light) I purchased some foam core board to make a "light box". But I was still getting glare on the pearls. So, from the kitchen drawer, I used a translucent white plastic bowl to diffuse the light. That, at this point, it is hand held. If this works well, I may get a more stable set up. (The wind blew in the window and down it all went!)

We have some old green insulators that I used to prop up the foam board. I do have a real tripod, thanks to my husband. My camera has a self timer and many adjustments that I'm learning about. So, here is the picture of my picture taking set up. Cool isn't it?

I really have to thank Jim Juris, who has written an eBook on taking pictures of jewelry. That was the other thing I bought. Great book, downloadable. His first suggestion was to get to know your camera (read the manual, duh!) and play with it. Well, I've played with my camera now and I must admit, at least with my camera, I know lots more that I used to. (I love the point and shoot part of the camera still!) Jim has a web site

Check him out! There were other tips too. Thanks Jim.

Tomorrow, I'll post one of my good pictures. Till then


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Science with a Mission Bracelet

I've mentioned before about the Science with a Mission bracelet I've made to help support my friend, Alynne MacLean's non profit organization.

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.

You can read more about SMI at or purchase a bracelet at


Monday, August 11, 2008

New Kumihimo bracelet

I think I may have posted this in my old blog but I'm not sure. Anyhow, I really love the cobalt color and the little white beads as contrast.

I'm getting closer on my pictures with white background and may post one tomorrow.

Stay tuned.


Friday, August 8, 2008

08-08-08 and Lexie's Bracelet

Well, here it is another
"special" date. I think last year it was 07-07-07. Next year 09-09-09??

Anyhow, despite what anyone might say 8's have always popped up in things in my life. Born 08-28-xx (Ha, thought you'd get that part of the date!) I've lived in houses with 28, 1188, 408 and again 28 as addresses. Seems, if I were superstitious, today should be a good one. We'll see.
I'm still working on getting a good picture of Lexie's bracelet for our brochure. I've been trying different ideas with much the same (not good) results. But I'm now getting stubborn. I'll keep trying. See the latest try. What do you think? Getting closer?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Blue and White Kumihimo Bracelet

This Kumihimo bracelet looks like "Summer" to me. It seems to go with everything I wear in the summer. I love the spiral look and the water like blue. Hopefully, though not lately, it looks like blue sky. If you agree and would like to purchase this bracelet go to


Chain Maille 1/2 Persian

(Note: if you have been following my posts in my previous blog, you will notice this is a repeat. However, if you are new - so is this)

As you know, I love making chain maille. I haven't been making many pieces lately. I've been making Kumihimo instead. Well, has recently offered a new advanced kit for Half-Persian pattern. Half-Persian is one of those patterns that is not hard but is a bear to start. I've made it before but really remember how much trouble it was and how many different tutorials I tried before I "got it".
Aislyn, at Urban Maille, is well known for providing great tutorials. She waits years before putting out tutorials before she makes it available. So, after much waiting by her customers, she put out the tutorial for Half Persian. I was sure she would be able to make it easier than what I had gone through to make my Half Persian. So, I bought her tutorial and this is the result. It is made from copper and Argentium sterling silver. The purpose of the two metals is to make the pattern easier to follow (which it is) I was not disappointed with her instructions. Having struggled with it before, it was a "duh!" moment when I looked at her instructions. Finished in about an hour! Her instructions included the ring sizes for other gauges. This is 14 gauge and it rather heavy. My favorite gauge to use is 18 (the larger the number, the smaller the ring gauge). So, my next one will be in a smaller gauge and probably all one type of metal. I love copper when it shines but it tarnishes very quickly. I'll show you that one when I finish it. (Assuming other things don't get in the way) ;-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Full Persian Chain Maille

I don't usually show a picture of just one chain maille earring. (I need to make the second one now) One of the members of the South Shore Beaders, a group of jewelry designers I belong to, found an article in an old jewelry magazine. It gave directions for Full Persian, graduated earrings. I've made several items using the Full Persian pattern and found it fairly easy to make. So with that in mind, I said, "I'll order the rings and teach everyone who wants to know, how to make them". When I got the rings, I started to make one. Now, many things come into play. The way I learned to make the Full Persian pattern was different than the directions in the article. So, I figured I'd do it "my way". Because the rings are graduated (getting smaller with each group) "my" method did not work. So, I tried the method in the article. Now, I won't go so far as to say I'm stubborn but I guess I was as I did not pay attention to the directions very well. Needless to say, I had a lot of trouble. When I finally told myself, "You can do this, Bev!" and read the directions, I made a lovely earring. Now, I need to make the second earring and then "Bring on the group".

Balloon Weekend 2008

We have been sponsoring a Hot Air Balloon at the Pittsfield, NH annual Balloon Rally for 15 years. This year was not one of the best weather wise. We had only one flight (Friday night) out of a possible 4. Saturday morning, however, we were able to tether the balloon so at least we could get off the ground. Saturday evening, the skies opened up, to say the least. That was something not needed in the area. Just last week some of the near by towns had a tornado. It is impossible to show with a picture how the area looked. Trees wound up like tops, some sheared off 20 feet in the air, others untouched. Fortunately, only one life was lost. Trees and roads, that is another story. Since we did not fly much, I'm posting a nice picture from another year. Gray skies don't make good pictures. We did have a great time with family, however. Some of my husband's cousins came from NY State and other NH locals. Even the newest family member, a 3 week old baby, attended!

Now to get back to a routine and make some more jewelry. Christmas is coming!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Shell Jewelry

I was looking though some old pictures and came across this one. A picture I took several years ago of the shell jewelry my Mother made during WWII. She always did lots of crafts but these were made to earn money. Her cousin worked at Kodak Park (Eastman Kodak) in Rochester, NY and she sold the pins and earrings to the secretaries she who worked there. (They were called secretaries then) She purchased an $89 Airway vacuum cleaner with her profits. That was a whole lot of money then. I still have several pieces of her shell jewelry and the picture reminds me of how you can have a great idea only to get side-lined. When I took the picture, I purchased 3 shadow box frames with the intent of making 3 shadow box frames of her shell jewelry. One for each of my children. As of today, I'm not exactly sure where they are. Undoubtedly, in the attic put away when I got tired of moving them around.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Inside a Bleeding Heart

My Mother really loved flowers. She knew a lot about them, in the "common" way. That is to say not the biological names but the more common names and things about them. She loved Bleeding Hearts and always had one in her garden. I have one too. (It has been gone for several weeks now) She taught me about the "inside parts" of a Bleeding Heart and I've tried to pass it on to my children and grandchildren too. (Not sure how successful I've been but I've tried.)
Here is a picture of the parts of a Bleeding Heart. The outer red parts are the "Rabbits", next the "earrings" then the "slippers" or shoes (she referred to them as "mules" and last the "bottle of champagne". The story often was embellished a bit depending on her mood. A Bleeding Heart blossom was always something I could take apart and look at the various parts with their "common" names. One of my nice memories of my Mother. Thanks Mom.