Saturday, March 27, 2010

Life with coffee spoons

Sometimes there are moments when I wonder "what put this into my head?"  These are not the rare, strange, crazy moments, but the lowly, mundane, pedestrian times when I am doing things I have done a thousand times, but at that particular split-second I make an association that leads to analysis.   It is Saturday morning and I have been awake for hours even though it is only 8:30.  During this time I have been avoiding all the washing that must be done today - laundry, dogs, dishes, the bathrooms - but a pang of guilt got me to start a load of laundry and while I was looking at the Kirkland 28 lb. bucket of detergent and thinking that perhaps it really did do 200 loads because I bought it on my trip to Cleveland last June and here it is almost April and I've got powder to spare, I reached into my spiffy front-loading machine and it hit me:  I sort of miss the old top-loading machines.

My machine has that tiny hole in front, surrounded by a thick black rubber gasket.  For some reason when ever I pit my arm in to fill or empty I always think of the milking machines they used on the dairy farm in Holland I stayed at 25 years ago.  The inside is stainless steel and it shines next to the gasketing and white enamel on the front of the machine.  Yet as I stoop to shove the clothes through the opening, I miss looking down into the wide empty space of the top-loader.  It didn't have a little porthole window through which I could catch a glimpse of the water, suds, and fabric mixing together, it used more water, it made more noise, and it didn't clean as well.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I visited my old blog

I took a look at my old blog this morning and am convinced that someone removed my brain last year and gave me an Abby Normal brain in return.  I seems that I could write just a bit better when i started this blog stuff than I now am able.  You can check out my old blog at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bullet Proof

This is one of the latest beaded pieces I finished.  It is heavy - two layers thick - and very comfortable to wear.  The main beads are size 11 Toho rounds with size 15 silver one-cut charlottes, some size  15 shiny Tohos, and 3mm sugar plum magatama drops.  The piece is strung on Kevlar thread, which I really enjoyed using.  I'm working on another piece now and am using Nymo with Thread Heaven and still having trouble with tangles no matter how many times I let the needle spin.  I still need to get better photos, but this is a start.  This pattern is Layered Loops from the February 2010 Bead & Button magazine and was designed by Smadar Grossman of Modi'in, Israel (

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Incarceration is, in and or itself, punishment."

"Incarceration is, in and or itself, punishment." - Philosophy of the Brooks County Jail from the Brooks County Sheriff's Office site.

Whether this is a typo or some hybrid malapropism,  the idea also seems to be redundant.  But you are probably wondering why I was reading the BC Sheriff's Office site.  I just wanted to check to see if  the dress code was listed on the site.  Last week the Quitman Free Times ran the dress code and provided me with ample reading material to amuse ( as in we laughed until tears came) my coworkers Sra. D. & Mme. G. 

More curious than the dress code was this tidbit highlighted in red:

The following restrictions should be considered when sending mail to the jail. Correspondence that does not conform to these restrictions will be returned to sender or placed in the inmates property.

Social occasion cards, (i.e. birthday, Christmas) cannot exceed 6x8 inches in size. Cards that contain mechanical devices, such as musical cards, are not allowed.

Photographs cannot exceed 4x6 inches in size. (No Polaroids are allowed)

No envelopes, stamps, paper, pens or pencils.
No personal or payroll checks.
No food items.
No nude or suggestive items.
No stickers or other gummed labels.
No jewelry.
No magazines.
No books.
No item larger than 8x10 inches in size.
No heavy crayon, ink, watercolor, painted, glittered or glued items.
No clothing or cloth material.
No gang related writings, drawings or photos.
Any item that contains bodily fluids will be destroyed upon arrival.
No items scented with cologne or perfumes.

...kind of boggles the mind.

Friday, March 5, 2010

My dogs are crazy

Maybe it is because they have stubby little legs, maybe because they love the rough texture of the dried grass, maybe because something extra stinky touched the grass - my dogs love to roll and rub the sides of their faces on the grass.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A tiny bottle and thousands of miniscule beads

I bought this tiny vial with a plastic stopper and carved a cork for it.  Then I filled it with garnets from my mother's stash and threw in a few beads for good measure.  I made the sterling silver wirework that holds the neck of the vial and provides a bail for hanging.  Sometimes I wear it with this heart locket and key, sometimes I string other things to accompany it.

This is a bracelet I made while watching tv.  It took me a week working an hour or more each evening after dinner.  Some people knit, I guess I bead weave.  If you had asked me in October if I would ever do this I would have told you that you were completely crazy.  Something happened and I tried it.  Now I'm hooked and can't get enough.  It has taught me a lot of patience, as if teaching for 17 years were not enough!  I can allow myself to make mistakes, not understand directions, and rip out hours of work ( a la Penelope) in order to redo a mistake.  My favorite beads are Japanese seed beads called Delicas.  I am particularly found of the #15's.  One gram of #15's is equal to about 363 beads!  This piece is made with beads slightly larger than that.  It is really a practice piece and the wavy quality is intentional.  I've learned how to hide the threads that are visible on the edges (maybe I hid them well in this photo). Somewhere around here is another bracelet that is more wavy.  Right now I'm working on a piece that has two layers of woven beads.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A little new work and a few blurry pics

I did a little new work including this necklace and bracelet:

The links, loops, and clasp are steel which I hand forged - much to my sweet husband's dismay.  The green beads are peace jade and the others, strung on linen cord, are various Japanese seed beads.  The ceramic pendant is from Michael's, and the purple ribbon is from a mixed box of sundries I bought on West Screven Street a few years ago.

This sterling silver and hematite bracelet I wrapped.  It is about the sixth like it I have done. The photo is terrible, but the bracelet is beautiful and has a really nice weight to it because of these beads.  In an earlier post there are pics of a similar piece made with chevron amethyst.  Both of these pieces sold, but I made another necklace just like the one above and ordered a pendant from Summers Studio Pottery as a reward for myself for my first sales.  This is the pendant I ordered .  I'm hoping that the color goes well with the peace jade and if it doesn't, well I just love it so I'll make another necklace from which it can hang.