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The warm weather has been hanging on here in the North Country. I'm very grateful because it saves us tons of money to not have to heat the house and I haven't had to be stacking and hauling wood with my sore thumb.
Which is almost better. I've still got a limited range of motion and it is still thicker than the other thumb but I can bead! That is all that matter, really.
My left thumb was crushed at the end of October in an unfortunate livestock incident which resulted in some pretty tasty pork chops. And bacon.
Hopefully I'll have a chance to write all about it someday soon.
In the meantime, I've put together a pretty nifty autumn fairy collection over at ArtFire.
It was supposed to look like a sea urchin. Instead it looks like a lumpy pile of badly stitched beads.
But these are cool. I made them with a cubic right angle weave pattern called "Cactus Drops" by Heather Collin from DreamWeaversStudio. She sells lots of patterns in her ArtFire shop. I found this one to be well written and illustrated. I did a few different things with the embellishments on my little spikes (I never like to do things the way I am told!) - the design is ripe for variations!
I'm having significant trouble getting good photos in my studio lately. (see how gray and shadowy these are? yuck! and that's after tweaking the contrast, highlights and fill light) The angle of the sun just isn't as good at this time of year and it turns out that I spend the best hour of sunlight with Svenya in the barn every morning. Attempts to adjust milking time always seem to fail so I've ordered some special studio spotlights so that I can (hopefully) take photos whenever I want or need to. They should be in this week.
Halloween is coming on waaaay too fast. Maxx wants to be a Barbary Corsair this year. I need to make a pair of Sarouellepants, a long tunic, a turban and a shiny cloak. Nothing too hard but lots of straight seams and hems to sew. I was worried about cost but then I went through my bins and found a bunch of fabric that was originally supposed to become a quilt for him when he joined our family. It is all in brick reds and golds and will be perfect paired with the scraps from Molly's golden Zombie Prom prom scene dress. And I don't have to spend a dime!
Wish me luck. Maxx very firmly instructed me that I was to start working on it this afternoon just as soon as I return from shopping today. We had to discuss the chain of command a bit this morning!
Life has been very busy. I'm not getting much accomplished. I need to learn a new way of managing my days and I've never been very good at it.
Our church's General Conference is coming up this weekend. I like to have an embroidery project to work on during conference because it is like taking notes for me. (I used to take notes - with lots of doodles in them - but Maxx just gets too involved with my writing for that to be useful anymore) Having a piece of handwork that I can go back to helps me remember the spirit of conference and often helps me recall some of the ideas and words that struck me the most. (it's a cognitive thing - some people feel offended that Molly and I do handwork during conference but it really does assist both of us with both cognition and recollection.)
Anyway, I've been trying to think of a good project for a few weeks and last night I remembered an image that really struck me a few years ago so I went browsing around my blog to find the entry where first I linked to it. The image isn't exactly as I remember it but the blog post reminded me of how difficult that period of my life was. Things were so rough and so uncertain.
But we seem to have made it across - or at least half way. We've learned a lot about traversing difficult terrain, anyway.
I need to remember that on days like this when I seem unreasonably slow and unproductive. I will learn and improve. Probably sooner that I expect to.
(And I promise - I will post updates on our kitchen and Ruby Thursday over at the Beorningstead next week. She is beautiful!)
So - I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. It's just that Svenya takes up all of my morning posting time. I've got to get this milking schedule worked out!
In spite of being busy with the cow (and the milk and the cheese!) and living in a messy house - I have been working on some jewelry projects.
Here's the latest. It is insanely sparkley.
Molly insists that if it isn't sold by May, she's wearing it to prom.
I'm really loving right Angle Weave with czech fire polish beads. These are 3mm with dagger beads on the bottom edge. I've got three rows each one is embellished with something differen - 8o gold lined aqua TOHOs, Permanant finish galvanized 11o starlight TOHOs with Gold lined aqua 1.5mm cubes and for the bottom row, these incredible navy/clear Treasureology crystal rounds that I can only get every now and then. I've got to get more. They make me drool.
So. I have been sooooo busy. I won't even try to tell you about it. Except you should go look at photos of Ruby Thursday and her mama over at The Beorningstead. They are part of the reason I'm swamped.
School started this week. No tears from anyone.
Molly's music teacher was cut to 8/10ths time or something (thank you, Mr. Cuomo - grrrr!) and cannot do the musical this year. Which is a BIG sadness. One of the other students' moms is a talented Middle School music teacher at another local school and said she might be able to do it - so there is hope. Maybe.
I was straight out this week with orthopedic appointments, back to school stuff, milking the cow and dealing with the milk , etc... But yesterday, I popped over to Kelly Angeley's blog, where she had a photo of her "Better With Crystals" bracelet, for which she is teaching a class on the West Coast later this fall.
Man. I would really like to take that class.
Alas. I live in Upstate NY and have no money so I cannot.
But I was inspired. I didn't have any crystals the right size and only one color with enough 4mm czech polished rounds to make ONE gorgeous bracelet that I think is based on the same Rght Angle weave techniques that Kelly's bracelet is.
Gotta get some more 4mm firepolish beads!
It was a wonderfully satisfying bracelet to make. I got it done in one evening - probably about 4 hours total. It is so rich looking and feels substantial, it is one of my favorites so far.
I love that I found a use for these herringbone drilled pearls that have been sitting around in my studio for 4 years.
I hate that I use almost all of them on this project and have no more left to do similar things with. (Wait - maybe I have some yellow ones. I'll have to go look!)
It was also a very good place for a magnetic clasp. I think anything else would have been too much.
I also opted not to put picots or any other embellishment along the edges of the bracelet. I looked through my stash and found several magatamas that might have done the trick, but everything else just seemed to be acting as competition for the pearls and those great blue cube beads.
I discovered this morning that my earrings were featured in yesterday ArtFire collection of the day.
I love ArtFire.
Even though there are thousands of jewelry makers there, every now and then one of my items shows up in a prominent collection because they take such a democratic and inclusive approach to who and what they feature.
Thank you ArtFire!!!