Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let the beads fall where they may

A finished project.  I don't know who is the more delighted, me or my young jeweler!      My play room was kinda full as I had young Jenn, little e,  and another friend who travelled back with us from Ontario and is also an E.  Gosh if I'm big E, I wonder how upset she'd be with old E! Shhhhhhh!

I was kinda upset when I wore my new bracelet and before anyone could hardly admire it, FLING;  I was on the trail of errant beads.  I thought it was broke but during our jewelry class I saw it was unscrewed.  I had bought a more solid bracelet but it isn't quite as elegant.  As I tell, Jenn,  we start simple but fast and easy doesn't make for finesse!  We'll get there though.

While I was away, we two E's  began to follow around a gal with a lovely necklace who steered us to the maker!  These are crocheted yarn.  We bought some.  Very cool!!!  They look like nothing unless they are actually being worn.

Now the kit we had bought and eagerly examined suffered some from the transporting around so while lesson number one progressed along our assistant tried to group like minded beads together and get them into little zip lock bags.  LOL

We are all quite impressed with ourselves.  It is a tad bit long but this is good for to take away and show off and we'll make the corrections next week.  I am already looking at lesson two and this is starting to get pretty exciting!

Life has been rolling along quite like these escaping beads and I'm determined to somewhat keep all the necessary happenings at least up off the floor so the stringing is faster and better.  ;^)

No sewing samples this week as I'm off to babysit.  hmm, I wonder what the ultra sound will show.  When my kids were born the hospital gave each baby a beaded identification bracelet.  I have them still!  awwwww!  :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Back to Monday

Winter finally arrived and just as my friend and I were scheduled to depart for a lovely weekend away.  But the roads were cleared and we headed off.

 It was a wonderful weekend and the setting was in northern Ontario.    When we left winter was showering down more of the white stuff  so we didn't dally on the way home.

We did make a quick stop at a mall and I scooped up a few more bead accessories.  Today is my beading day!    It is good to roll on down the highway for fun, finding inspiration and fellowship.  It is good to roll back home for more fun, family and the finishing of fine ideas.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Furniture Finish

I got my reupholstered chairs and foot stool back. I am thrilled with the wonderful job.

The foot stool will be in the sitting room with the two neutral chairs.  One reclines for a tired rooster and the other is for this chick to nest in.  I was always sorry I never got the matching foot stool. Now I'm not sorry at all.

The two recovered chairs will be in the front dining room.  They can be drawn up to the table or they can be available for serious thinking as they are not quite as comfortable as the over stuffed chairs.

As each choice is made it fine tunes the over all design plan.  The new chairs are best on either side of the stove and my original ideal for glass fronted cabinets that keep the dust out  may be too deep. I may have to revert to bookcases. WAIT, they could be shallow glass fronted cabinets that are the same depth as the bookcases.  Blogging my thoughts is the very best thing!  :)    The door in the sitting room leads to the bathroom and kinda needs to be there but needs upgrading.  I'm seriously thinking of putting  a door with glass panes in it, probably white.  They would then relate to the sliding doors with wooden inserts that are behind the curtain.  In summer I switch my chair with a gate leg table for easier access to that door.

I am really trying to stay focused on finishing the bathroom and then into these two rooms for painting and finishing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I like aqua.  I just don't want aqua to be more than an accent.

The front hallway, which is our only entrance, needs to carry the colours of the rooms downstairs.  On a meander through Canadian Tire I spotted this rug.  Bigger than I envisioned but the price was right.  hmm  The Rooster was also meandering and meandered by.  We consulted.  He felt it was kinda dark but I asked him what colour did he bring in on his work boots!!! ;^)    So we wrestled it into the car with the understanding we could bring it back.  ???
 I like!   It adds an up to date touch to the old time feel of the house.  It has lots of the colours I am leaning towards and already have happening. It also brings in my accent in kind of a bolder way which works in the entrance.

It is very much my new found style!  I luv the asymmetrical aspect of the pattern and the stylized leaves and flowers.

I'm looking forward to styling the front hall and exploring my design style.  I'm also hoping the Rooster steps on the dark parts!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

wow - What a lot of stuff on the worktable

I am still stitching. I should probably just bite the bullet, put my head and my foot pedal down and get these done.  But I do have such a lot of other options to play with.  I've been beading, gathering things for an altered book, sketching some design possibilities,  collecting 'useless' thread ideas and vbsigh, mending.

I am looking forward to opening up some of these patterned stitches and letting them break loose from their parameters but that'll be for next Wednesday.

I was experiencing some piling up of stitches sometimes.  Nina wasn't talking but I suspect that I should be using this foot which has a better groove for those stitches.  I've just been using the regular foot.

Stitch number 659 is not accurate.  The filled diamonds in the large diamond are not aligned.  There is a balance function that corrects this but I'm not taking the time to do that.

I am also taking note that some patterns would be wonderful with thicker thread and/or bobbin work!
I am also noticing that not all black markers are created equal.  LOL  Actually the thicker nib works better than the fine one on the fabric.

I did get a fair bit done and that was due to the piles of snow that are covering everything.  My errand has been postponed and I'm quite happy to stay home and sew, sew, SEW!

The bonus to all this is that my quality control is improving.  I'm starting to pay attention to spacing and the beginning and endings.  And improvement is not something to be shunned, even with an overflowing worktable!    Wonderful Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Beautiful beginnings

I do believe I have a beautiful beginning for Bead Day.

I kinda like instant gratification so I decided to use my beads with any of the premade packages I had acquired.  I am learning how 'some' of the ends come off.  lol

The fabric necklace probably needs one end removed and then recrimped when the beads are added.

I do like the magnetic clasps and it was totally by accident I discover that it just has a long thread on the wire.  The suede or elastic are very casual.

I stumbled across some discount beads at the fabric store.  They were buy one and get 3 packages free.  Goodness.  But the reason was that only the beads remained and there was no wire.  But I took the chance as I really like these large beads with the big openings that are lined with metal.

 Sure enough I found a large bracelet that had a clasp that enclosed the small end that the beads slipped over. Turns out I have a small wrist.  :(   This is very loose but because the beads are packed to fill the chain they would be falling off as I tried to close that clasp on my wrist so loose is good. But that's a pain either way.  Now I have an idea of sizing. :O  The one I decided would be too small wouldn't have been.  I shall try to get back for more of the sale beads and the smaller bracelet.  I do have a package of snake chain that may or may not work but that would be lesson two.

A big advantage in using wires that have a knob that unscrews is that I can try all kinds of different things.  If it doesn't work when I wear them for a bit then I can try again.  I imagine you could quickly change colour schemes if you were so inclined.  I did find this bead reamer quite useful but perhaps it is an indication of the quality of my beads.  

I need to consider more spacers between the individual feature beads.

The disadvantage of quick is that it lacks the finesse of fine jewelry.  But I will upscale as I learn.  I'm thinking that I will like simpler necklaces but  fairly clunky bracelets.  I haven't even thought too much about earrings.  

Monday is scheduled as a Family Day Holiday so I took the free time to get a wee bit ahead of my fellow beaders.  I'll try to work on the new stuff in the morning and share what I learned the previous week in the afternoon.  Then it should beeeeee a good day.  After all,   I/we Got Options!

Monday, February 20, 2012

What's an ORT?

My friend Sherry over at Creatology had commented about my saving all the threads from my stitching  samples.  "oh no now you will have an ORT jar next to Nina.".  So I asked her what an ORT jar was.  She sent me this link.   Seems I have a few jars and more than one has some orts in it!

My weekend helper was as dismayed as I was!  I'm not dismayed about saving creative bits but I now realize I have another collection happening.  Jars!  oy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thread Tales

I am amazed at how much thread these samples are eating up and I haven't done very many of the filled stitches as of yet. But I need to find another thread to continue with my samples.

I originally wanted to use some 100% Mercerized cotton from Cansew  as I had bought a box of the ecru colour which is a chameleon colour that resembles old gold.  The plastic spools have a slit for holding the thread end and it catches badly when it feeds.  In the picture above you can see how it catches and lifts up. This makes problems. :(  Then I learned about spool caps!

Spool cap covers prevent thread from catching in the spool notch, and assure even delivery of thread. Ordinary spools require the large spool cap, which is larger in diameter than the thread spool, and thinner spools use the small cap cover, which is larger in diameter than the spool, and yet not too large as to impede thread delivery.

I snagged this cropped image from the MarveLes Art Studios to share.  Leslie has some great tips.  I'd seen  ends caps but didn't understand what they did or how they worked.  Thanks, Leslie for enlightening me.  I know I have end caps in my serger tool box but it is at the DD's.  I don't recall Nina coming with any although I think my previous Bernina may have had some.   I'm off to collect my little sewing partner tomorrow so I'll be returning with those end caps so I can keep the samples rolling.  hmm, The Grand kidlet can play with the empty spools.  Leslie also recommends saving thread tails for adding to fabric paper.  There will be more tales to tell in this saga.   ;^)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

wow testing

Just stitching out all of the preprogrammed patterns that are in Nina's innards can be a bit boring but I've had a few  what if's...

Stitch #114 looks kinda hody hum on the selection screen but wow!  I like it!  Then I was still thinking about it a pattern later and stitched the pattern twice.  Awk,  it'll ruin my nice photo opportunity for WIP Wednesday.  duh!  So I hit mirror image and squeezed in the pattern and this will remind me when I'm hunting for bright ideas to try the mirror image in combos!

I stabilized my fabric and marked it so I'd know where to cut my sections.

Using a white side, a black side and stitching in a medium colour does make a difference.  Some stitch patterns just look better on one side than the other.  go figure!

I trimmed the squares and then placed two with wrong sides together and edges stitched.  I am using one  patters on each pair and making a note of the number.  I also am finding that sewing off the edges  and doing the sides and then top and bottom edge is working better than turning corners.

Boring with brief moments of inspiration but definitely this is a good idea.  I'll be keeping them in a handy box and referencing them often.

This exercise also reminded me that while I do like free motion I also like the lovely patterning that our sewing machines are perfectly suited to do.  Nina just purrs away.  What if...

A few years ago I challenged myself to work in a limited palette.  I need to challenge myself to find ways to incorporate Nina's penchant for perfect patterns and my passion for free form.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Into every life a little red must fall

Goodness, buying beads and bead supplies can put you onto the red very quickly.  LOL

 I dug through my previous acquisitions before we made our 'field trip' to Michael's in the big city.

We settled on Stringing Beaded Jewelry which I felt was the best beginner book. Clear, large pictures and quite a few options.  Then we threw our hands up in the air and went for a kit.  I just added some glue.  I had also surmised that with all my many pliers I was missing the much needed crimpers so we grabbed a pair of them.

Then we just played a bit when we got back.  As I keep saying, "we got options!".

                                                         I hope you have a red letter day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A True Rumour

A rumour is general talk, report, or hearsay, of doubtful accuracy;  a current  but unverified statement or assertion.  Therefore, as my son used to say, is it a true rumour?  

Here is one more report on upcoming changes to Blogger!
sorry, it isn't working. dum da dum dum
very curious
The jist of it was that those who are on Blogger will see no changes but those who use other programs will not be supported by Blogger.  With only Blogger blogs on they hope to stabilize their own system better. 
The true rumour will be revealed March 1st.  
Better than April 1st!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blog Luv

People who don't *understand* disparage Internet time and friendships.  I wonder if pen pals were once misunderstood as well.  I would rather type than talk on the telephone even though I'm a 'hunt and peck' kind of typist.  8^)   But I am very blessed by my blogger friends.  I've received very kind and thoughtful comments and e-mails during this last month.  Thank you.  My youngest son is now discharged from the hospital and is well on the road to recovery.  My  daughter has passed the queasy stage and is moving along in her pregnancy.  The grand kiddies continue to come and go for play or stay times.  My Rooster struts and crows as he surveys the farm yard and his hen's ASAP list.  I'm starting to feel like my creative process is 'jelling'.  It is good.

Monday afternoon's I'll be entertaining two gals for a jewelry making playtime.  I'm thrilled to do this because it is something I have really wanted to do.  I've collected some supplies and a few books but I haven't actually made anything.  So we will all learn together and I will share the learnings.  I've asked my friend, Sherry, over at Creatology for a few tips on getting started.  This Saucy Chick has a number of colourful eggs in her basket and she especially makes lovely jewelry.  Thank you, Sherry!

Another dear friend is Leslie, who does marvelous things with fabric and thread over at MarveLes Art Studios.  This clever chick is very inspiring and encouraging for us budding artistas.  An added bonus for me is that she happens to have the same sewing machine; therefore her technical suggestions make my learning curve a little less steep.  Thanks Leslie.

The rumours in blogland are calling for changes in how people will be following their favourite blogs.  This affects me because I follow some blogs.  This can also affect anyone who follows me.  So I'm thinking about how to do all this.  One option that has come up is Linky Followers.    I will be considering this and if anyone has any input on how to continue to make 'spreading the luv' even better I'd like to hear about it.

My wish for you is to have a lovely day!  Thanks!