"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


Silver in Periwinkle

Okay, I had to take a break from the snapdragons. Just a short break. Here is what I made.

Yes, another Octahedral Cluster. This time in periwinkle blue and sterling silver.

So, what is that background my beady bead is sitting upon?

The fir cone shawl. I'm down to 12 rows before I can start the edging. That is, if I decide to do the edging. I can't make up my mind. It's taking almost an hour to do one row now.

And lest you think I've abandoned the snapdragons oh ye of little faith.

I made all of the pinky parts for s-dragon 3 yesterday. I had an extremely productive day-out on the deck. It was a wonderful 81 degrees F with a nice cool breeze coming from the south-right past my blooming lilac bush so I got to drink in it's lovely scent the whole time I was working. The hummingbirds were entertaining too as they fought over who got to drink of the red elixer first. Silly birds.

Today my sis-in-law Diane is coming over and we're gonna s-dragon together. We were supposed to get together Tuesday but, well, Murphy's law and all.

Have a wonderful day.



This Is Not My Work

but I sure wish it was!

I'm devoting todays post to someone who is an awesome beader.

I like to surf beading blogs done by folks that don't live in the USA. French, Hungarian, Spanish, Russian..... To be honest, their work puts those of us in the US to shame. I found this blog by an artist named Philomene this morning and it just blew me away. This gal knows what to do with a cabochon, or a stone donut. Here is one of her pieces:

Lets just say I finally know what I want to do with the Blue Goldstone donut I've had in the stash for eons.

One of her cabs.

I don't know her. Can't even speak or read her language, but she is a total inspiration to me. Philomene, if you should happen to read this, I want to Thank You for sharing your wonderful work with the internet.

If you've got some spare time to be enchanted and awed, visit Philomene's blog.

Have a good day.



Then There Were Two

After 3 days of dedicated beading, I now have 2 Snapdragons.

I took today off to do laundry, clean the kitchen, mop floors, etc. All those things I didn't do over the weekend cos I was beading.

Speaking of beads, these arrived in the mailbox today. They are 20mm wooden beads in white and black.

I had a hard time finding them. Well, I couldn't find any around here. Thanks to Joan, one of my Yahoo group bead buddies, who pointed me to the MacrameSuperstore I ordered some online. I would recommend these folks if you need wooden beads (or macrame supplies for that matter). Their service is wonderful.

This is my new best friend.

I have had it for a few months now. I bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond. It goes here.

It's an oven liner. It's made of some sort of fabric that is coated with a non-stick plasticy sort of coating. If something spills over on it (like the 1 peach and 2 strawberry pies I baked over the weekend) you can just wipe the spill up with a sponge even when it's cool. My pies tend to bubble over every time because I like my fruit pies to have LOTS and LOTS of filling. No skimpy pies in this house, no siree. It works very well at keeping my oven easy to clean. The stuff just wipes right up. I love it madly.

Oh, one more thing. My Mother of the Bride outfit arrived in the mail last Saturday. Since it was backordered until June 1st, it was a HUGE surprise. What's even better? IT FITS!!!!

Doin' the Happy Dance

Have a great day.




I am in beaded flower mode now. So I probably won't be posting as often as I would like. I've gotta get these flowers done.

Here is the first successful Snapdragon.

I am happy with it. Most importantly, the bride is happy with it.

For each Snapdragon I must make 80 separate beaded pieces. Then assemble them all together. I need to go to Joann's and get more floral tape. Poor Frank. He looks like he's had a hard day.

(And yes, there is something on the lens. Well, there was. It isn't there now.)

My fingers are sore. I keep hoping I'll get calluses on the tips, but so far-just blisters. Fun fun. I decided to make good use of my many different little plyers that Sweet Hubby bought me a few years ago. It's helping.

I have been knitting. I've got 26 rows left on my lace shawl. Hurray! I am taking it everywhere I go and working on it every spare moment-between beaded flowers that is. I've got just over 350 sts on the needles. When I get to 400 I will be done.

It's a 3 day weekend. The weather is perfect. I can't remember the last time we had a sunny Memorial Day Weekend. I'm spending it on the deck with the beads. The rest of the family is gathering up at the cabin on Twin Lakes to paint said cabin. It's needed it for a long time. I am providing home made from scratch Strawberry Pie for the workers. Mmmm...strawberry pie. The plan for today is to work on the flowers for a few hours, then I'm heading up to the lake.

Have a good day!



Beading Away

It was a gorgeous day yesterday. In fact, it was downright hot. I had to get out some shorts, it was that hot. The breeze was warm and sweet with the scent of new leaves and flowers. Violas are growing all over the place in the back flower beds. Volunteers that have sprouted on their own. I love the colors in this one.

After a quick run into Coeur d'Alene to pick up some necessities, I settled down on the deck to do some beading. Sweet Hubby took this picture of me, hard at work.

The results-18 more Snapdragon pieces.

Saturday I made this beaded bead. There's a bit of just about everything in it.

I started with Right Angle Weave, then did some Ndebele, and finished up with some peyote. I embellished with netting. A nice satisfying project.

I love the colors. They remind me of the ocean beaches in Mexico. I apologize for the dark bead used as the base. I have no light colored 20mm beads in my stash. I am going to fix that problem asap.

Earlier this week I made use of that Octahedral Cluster kit.

I love this bead design.

It has some interesting geometric lines in it.

After making the kit I felt sufficiently confident to strike out on my own.

The kit uses 6mm round beads. I used some 4mm glass pearls.

Yes indeed, I am liking the beaded beads.

Well, I'm off to see Star Trek 11 again with my friend, Andrea. She's single, no kids (unless you count the 4 pugs that live with her), and wants to see it. I offered to go with her so she wouldn't have to go alone. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. I can hardly wait. I love that movie.

Have a great day.



Reason Number 5432034847.8 ....

why I love Ravelry:

Someone has already figured out a pattern for Scotty's hat, and it's free! How sweet is that?

Ravelers. I love them.

Have a great day.



Another Scaph

I've finished another Scaph bead.

I taught a class on the subject so I made one along with my student.

I'm not happy with the workmanship. Even though I was trying very hard to make it almost perfect, it's far from it. I couldn't bead a straight line if my life depended on it.

I think I've made enough of these. I'm moving on to something else.

Which reminds me. Major progress has been accomplished on the Snapdragons for Sarah's wedding bouquet. Look at all these beautiful little petals.

Only 90 more to go. Doesn't sound like I've done much, has it? Well, I figured out a pattern for the darn things. That is MAJOR progress. I was getting frustrated and even fearing I might not get the bouquet done in time because I was having so much trouble with this. But now that I've conquered it I'm feeling good about it all. I've still got lots of time, right? Right???

::crickets chirping::

Gotta dress fitting for the bride tonight. I'm going. Taking my knitting though so my nervous hands will be busy while I watch them poke pins in her (I mean, pin up her dress for alterations).

Have a good evening.



It was a Good Mothers Day

It started Friday when this box arrived.

Inside was a Mothers Day gift from the chilluns. Clearly, I have ejimucated them well.

On Sunday they took me to Azteca for the Mothers Day brunch, which was delish!

Then we went and saw the new Star Trek 11 movie. Wow. That is one awesome movie! I thought they did an excellent job in keeping with the characters of old. Even had the same mannerisms. Great plot, fabulous special effects....full of WIN! I want to see it again.

All in all, a great weekend. Thank you to my chilluns, and Sweet Hubby!

Spock is wearing a sweater.

Have a good day.



BeAd Infinitum Kits/Patterns Review

I'm giving an honest opinion-from someone who has designed, written, produced, and sold patterns and kits for both beading and knitting.

As a rule, I don't ordinarily purchase bead kits. In fact, I loathe kits. I want to buy the patterns and use my own beads. Partly because most kits don't come in colors I like, and partly because I have a humongous bead stash and I want to use it. And then there is the over priced factor. Most of them are horribly over priced.

Case in point: these two kits I just received today that I ordered last week. I've been wanting these two patterns for a long time. However, the prices have put me off. The one on the left is the Cuboctahedron Bead by BeAd Infinitum. The one on the right is the Octahedral Cluster Bead, also by BeAd Infinitum.

If you order these direct from BeAd Infinitum, the kit on the left is $32 and the pattern alone is "only $18". For 32 bucks you get 7 pages that are clearly either xerox copies or done on a cheap printer because everything is slightly blurred (printed on one side), stapled together at the corner, 2 beading needles, some thread, and enough beads to make 4 beaded beads. You get 4 plain 10mm clear round glass beads, a small amount of size 8, 11 and 15 seed beads. All in all about 4 bucks worth of materials. I gotta admit, though, the plastic package is cool and probably was pretty pricey.

This one, though, really takes the cake. This kit is priced at $52 from BeAd Infinitum. The pattern is "only $36". You get materials to make one bead. Here is the contents of the kit.

11 pages, again xerox copies (printed on one side)-stapled in the corner (mine has staple marks in the right hand corner where they made a mistake and took the staple out), a couple yards of thread, one beading needle, 12 plain clear round 6mm beads, 30 green size 8 seed beads, 30 size 15 seed beads in metallic gold, 236 green size 15 seed beads, and 83 green size 11 seed beads. Yup. About 4 bucks worth of materials. $52 for this little kit! At $36 for the pattern I'd expect at least a spiral bound book for that price.

The patterns themselves are well written with good illustrations. However, I don't see what makes them so expensive. I know how to do those kinds of illustrations so I know a lot of copy and paste was done to create them. Yes, definitely lots of copy and paste That makes them fairly easy to draw.

Now, I understand that a certain amount of skill and talent is required to design and write patterns for beading. And then you have to put the kits together which requires the beads be put in all those little 1-2 cent ziplock bags, and the time it takes to put the package together. I'm willing to pay reasonable prices for that. But some bead designers clearly think they are way more valuable than they really are. Some folks like to think that because they can create a small beaded project they are Gods gift to mankind. Unfortunately, those same folks haven't noticed the dearth of patterns available on this planet. If it was that hard, and that special, I don't think there'd be so much available.

Now, lest you think I paid that much for these two kits, let me relieve your mind. I am not that stupid. I'm only partially stupid. Last week I stumbled across a web site called Mathartfun.com that had them for sale at $24.95 and $29.95 respectively. Wow, I thought. That's a good deal. I've been wanting these kits really bad. At the prices they come at I figured there must be something really really special about them. Now that I have them, I see they aren't. I'm very disappointed. This is the last time I'll be buying beading kits, or anything created by BeAd Infinitum for that matter.

One little note. I had intended to link the Cuboctahedron beaded bead, however, it is no longer on Mathartfun.com. I must have bought the last one.

Today we are having a 5 minute weather day. The Red Crossbills have been congregated around the Parkarosa Seed Buffet for most of the day. Here's a couple of couples picking up the leavings on the ground.

Lindy saw them and tried to catch one. Ha ha! They're smarter than her.

Hey! Where'd they go?

Have a great day.



The Proclaimers

Don't have much to say today. I love the internet. I found this wonderful video of one of my most favorite songs on Youtube. There is no way I can stay mad, sad, or miserable when listening to this song.

Yes, they are twin brothers.

Have a great day!



The Happy Couple

Today I met with Sarah and Frank. They took me and Sweet Hubby out to lunch. Then we went for a walk on the dock at the Coeur d'Alene Resort and I took pics of them. They're working on their invitation and want pics for it.

Walking out on the dock.

Yeah, I think they're happy.

Yes, definitely happy.
By the way, Sarah made the hats they're wearing.

The wedding is going to be on the lake, on a big boat. So this seemed like a good place to take the pics.

Have a good day.



Our Anniversary

April 30th is the anniversary of when Morgan joined the family. We celebrated our 9th one last week, on Friday so Sarah and Frank could join us. I rotisseried a beef roast. Morgan enjoyed his share immensely.

Tommy, who refused to sit still long enough for a pic, was a baaaaad boy. Sweet Hubby had sliced up the roast for me and put it on a platter, which he left sitting on top the stove. Tommy waited until no one was looking, then jumped up, grabbed a piece, and ran away with it. He's never actually grabbed something off the stove before. Little turd. We cornered him and took it away. That is not acceptable behavior in this house.

On Saturday I taught the first session of a beaded bead class. It went very well, though I only had one student. Second session is next weekend.

Having taught the class, I found myself in the mood for beaded beads, and since I'm supposed to be making a necklace for a swap, and that swap deadline is coming fast, I thought I'd get to work on it. I have decided to make a necklace with 3 Scaph type beaded beads. I made one of them weeks ago already. So I only need to do 2 more. I made the second one yesterday. Same color theme as the first one. Just slightly different variation.

While diggin around in the pile on top of what I call the craft table, looking for the beads that I needed to make the above bead, I ran across a couple stash enhancements I bought a couple weeks ago but never blogged about.

First, there's this book by Karen DeSousa. I LOVELOVELOVE her ornament covers. This is her latest one. Had to have it. I bought the beads to make the brown one in the lower right corner, only my beads are shades of green.

When Marguerite was here for her visit last month I bought this sock yarn, made by Araucania. It got buried pretty deep on the table.

It's an unusual colorway for me to choose, but I really like it. Bits of lavender mixed in the rust, red, wine, orange, gold and yellow.

My craft table is actually the dining room table. I should clean it off today so I can see the wood again. ;-)

Have a good day.



Catching Up

It's been a busy week, and I haven't felt like blogging because of a disaster that happened over the weekend that took the oomph out of me. My daughter had a birthday party at her place over the weekend. I took the fircone shawl to work on. I got to work on it quite a bit too because they decided to play a rousing game of Munchkin, which I don't enjoy playing, so I was able to bow out and just watch them, which was far more entertaining for me than playing the game. They quickly ran out of dining room chairs, so I sat in one of those folding camp chairs. It was navy blue.

We had hamburgers for dinner, which were pretty sloppy, so I made sure I washed my hands before I started knitting. So, they're playin' the game, and I'm happily knitting along. After the game I held it up to show Sarah and that's when I noticed that all the work I'd done while sitting there had a blue/gray tinge to it that was blatantly screaming at me. Sarah could see it too. Oh Noes!

My first thought was that I was sitting in a navy blue canvas chair. The yarn was running lightly over the arm as I was knitting. Did it pick up the blue dye? Which led eventually to the thought-is this a permanent discoloration? Do I have to take the whole inch and a half of yarn out, cut it off, and throw it away? Poof! That was the end of my desire to work on it further.

"Forget it. I'm not knitting a stupid arse lace shawl! I'm incapable of doing such a thing. That's probaby why I haven't knit one since I was in high school. Obviously the knitting gods don't want me doing it either." When I got home I tossed the shawl on the craft table in disgust, and worked on something else for awhile.

First of all, I got back to my Mexican Waters sock. I have found 2 errors so far in my pattern. So glad I'm proofreading before I post it on the web site.

I've also been, dare I say it..... crocheting. (insert scary music here). I love to crochet toys, and since we (the Knitwits) need lots of toys, and I'd forgotten to take my knitting pattern with me to the last meeting (I don't think I blogged about that) so had nothing to do, and I just happened to have a very old pattern with me that was donated to us last December (along with 3 boxes of other vintage crochet and knitting patterns) of a clown, I borrowed a hook from someone and started it. There is no copyright or publisher information on the pattern, but it calls for Bucilla Twin Pack worsted acrylic yarn. So that should give you an idea of it's age. I just love these old patterns.

I'm calling him the Clown of Doom because clowns are scary like that, though my goal is to make him look sweet and friendly. I've got 10 diamonds done. Only a couple of hundred left to go.

I also worked on the wedding flowers. Sheesh! I learned how NOT to make snapdragons. Does this:
Look like this?:

I don't think so. Scratch that pattern! It looks like a snapdragon from afar, but when you start looking at the individual flowers, this pattern sucks! Back to the drawing board.

Yesterday morning, in a wistfull mood, I picked up the shawl and looked at it. What's this? I hauled it to the window and looked at it in the bright sunlight.

The blue/gray line is gone! It's completely gone! Whew! What a relief. I was so happy I took it with me to work on during my knitting class. This is where I'm at.

Speaking of my knitting class, I had my first student yesterday. A lady named Pam who is taking her first steps into lace knitting with a beautiful, and simple, scarf. You go girl!

My sister-in-law Elizabeth also showed up for a visit this last weekend. She brought the fur niece and nephew, Penny and Pete.

For something so cute looking, they sure can cause a lot of trouble.

Yesterday was our anniversary. That is, the anniversary of when Morgan joined the family. We're havin' a little celebration tonight.

Have a good day.