Sunday, July 26, 2009

Playing with web cam

Enjoying playing with it this morning. Going to see if there are USB extensions here in town so I can move the cam out. This is as close to my living room as I could get it. I know I could take a picture with my camera but....well, it just wouldn't be the same!
So - here is another snapshot taken from the web cam looking from my office/guest bedroom into the living room and door to the deck:

My office/guest bedroom and my window on the backyard. Not a bad place to work from home, huh?

And, through the screen, a nice shot of my neighbors Box o' Wood fences! Hate the fences.
But a nice place to work from.


Thanks to Bob, I actually managed to hook up a web cam and use it to talk with him in AZ! How totally cool. I signed up on Windows Live Messenger to IM with him and Debbie. Last week he came on with his web cam - I could see and hear him but he couldn't see or hear me. I was just typing my responses. Naturally, that simply wouldn't do. I purchased a Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000. A little more spendy than some of them but definitely worth it - you really can't see my wrinkles! (very good marketing on Logitech's part) Other than that, the picture is clear and the sound is terrific. It is an auto focus with a low light option so is just perfect. The instructions are very good and it didn't take long to set it up - the only problem I had was getting the audio to play. It took me some time to find the place where I could set up and test the audio but it went quickly once I found it. Live Messenger has an option on it's IM to engage the web cams and that is what we did. Thanks Bob! I didn't grab a picture of our actual chat page but I will this afternoon. The web cam lets me take pictures of whatever it is looking at so I took pictures of me! And here I am........

Wish I would have straightened out the stuff in the background! I know my mother will see this. It wasn't me, Mom, it was Dan!
Come on, Rocky - turn around! We are on TV!

There we go - I called it good at that point and went to bed.
OK, Karen --- have you got Live Messenger downloaded, yet? You are next!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What do you think? I'm just not sure....

I wore this turquoise leaf last week for good luck and it occurred to me that I could make a rope for it. I have started on it but now I'm not sure if there is too much going on with the whole thing. What do you think? A plain turquoise rope? Or maybe with only one other color in it? Just not sure - I have 'designing-anxiety' as most of you know. I become so indecisive that I just walk away from it. Good thing I have that day job as a nurse!

By the way, the leaf was carved by a Santo Domingo lady who lives in the Southwest. I don't know her, I got the leaf here in Bloomington, but she does nice work. This turquoise is probably stabilized and dyed - just a guess from how it feels and looks and the price.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beady-Eyed Bunch!

It's Thursday and that means the Beady-Eyed Bunch met over lunch. I finally got some pictures of Miss Vicki's creations and some more from Phyllis! Totally forgot to take pictures of people. I just love looking at the color combinations and the shapes that the Beady-Buddies come up with.
Here is a pick from today:

Miss Vicki's lovely blue spiral bracelet As well as the necklace she made:
One of the first things I do is to see what Phyllis is working on - here are new designs. A very lucky friend of hers will be getting this purple necklace. The pictures don't do it justice.

I snatched this one off of her beading mat as she was working on it - just to get a picture of it.
And the last Phyllis creation for today: Happy Beading!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

3:00 a.m. above the Arctic Circle, August, 1988

I took this picture on my last day/night in Kotzebue. It was 3 a.m. when my friend Lynne and I had been picking Iris's and taking our last pictures together. The sky was filled with the colors you probably see here. Sunsets in AK last for a long time and have incredibly brilliant colors - just like this. There are also fishing nets spread out to dry below the anchored boats. This is on the shore of Kotzebue Sound which is part of the Chukchi Sea.

I scanned this sometime in the 90's but don't remember when. I think I have the negatives and it occurs to me I should try to see if someone can image it into digital form. I don't know what made me think of this picture but I decided to put it here - blemishes and all!

Lynne - do you remember this?!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Double rainbow

If you look just to the right of the rainbow in the picture above you will see another one! I think this means our upcoming work week will be a good one!

What do you do when you find a rattlesnake curled up in your garden?

Why - one of the boys prods it with a stick and the other picks it up with another stick and puts it in a garbage can. What else?

There we we're safe... it right in the garbage can. Oh Debbie! Can you take out the garbage tonight?
Bob and Lee found the snake in Lee's chard this morning. Bob said it had 7 pairs of rattles so it was an older snake. I'm not sure I would have gotten close enough to count but I guess it was important information. Seems that it had eaten a mouse or something small recently because it had a lump and seemed to be cooling off and digesting it's breakfast. When WHAM! it gets poked and hauled out of it's nice cool cabbage patch and slammed in a garbage can. Entertainment, desert style!

Below is Lee, the proud owner of his desert garden and, apparently, a rattlesnake. Lee's garden looks wonderful - particularly when it might have been around 110 this morning when this picture was taken. Lee was doing the prodding on the back end of the snake and Bob was using a grapefruit picker to pick it up and throw it in the garbage can. Somewhere during the process the rattles got counted. Sheesh!
Way to go, guys!! I am never going to walk on the ground around there again.

For the Beady-Eyed Bunch!

I thought I would put up a picture of a 'fix' for the Bumps in the Road bracelet (or necklace). If it seems like your loop is too big or the piece falls off your wrist, then you can add another row - or two - of peyote to the inside. The matte red and gold loop below has the regular number of rows, the blue and silver has one row added. Now that I look at it in macro I see that I also need to add another size 8 bead to the side of the loop to obtain symmetry. I am still fascinated with the crocheted bead stitch. I did learn to connect them with an invisible join but now I have forgotten how to do that. So I have saved the tubes so I can do a lot at once. After all, repetition repetition is the key to learning!
Thought you might like to see what I have been working on. One day this will pass and I will be on to the next new stitch.
The safety pins are there to keep it from unraveling until I finish it. It can unravel very quickly and very easily until the ends are finished. It is so sad when that happens and it has happened several times.
This is the one I am working on now. I don't think you can go wrong with silver and turquoise. I will make a 'bead' out of the matter silver and wrap it around the piece when it is done.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Beady-Eyed Bunch!

Fragilia and Bonani joined us today. They are working on their obligatory Christmas star earring that all new initiates have to complete during their 'orientation'. They were doing very very well and are very easy to teach! Nothing like those teachers in Alaska that will stay in my memory forever!

We had lots of people there today - I think Madeleine was the only one missing. She was taking some time off - she would have been thrilled that Fragilia and Bonani joined us and I am sorry she has missed their first beading class! Ahhhh the memories.....

The other side of the table. Thanks for taking the pictures, Peggy!

Bonani measuring her 'wingspan'! And our Virtual Beady-Eyed Buddy - Chrystine Martin from way out there in Sacramento! Very talented lady and I really like her friendliness and enthusiasm. Not to mention she is a crafty RN. We haven't actually made the virtual 'thing' work yet but I hope we can because I will need to be virtual in a couple of months!
Chrystine beads with wire and this is one of her necklaces (and her throat). Uh-oh I think I just felt one of the other Beady-Eyed Buddies perk up and think that they now want to bead with wire! I don't know how it works but Chrystine might be talked into to teaching us.
I know all of the Beady-Eyed Bunch will like this picture. Levi is guarding the bead tray! I wonder how many times that little nose has had some beads stuck to it!
Chrystine has made her first 'Bumps in the Road' designed by Bev Herman of 'No Easy Beads' and will send us a picture of that to post here.
Happy Beading!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lazy Days of Summer and tomatoes!

Summer has been quiet and Mini is taking a snooze. Still in her post as neighborhood watch-Chihuahua but all is quiet for now.

And the tomatoes continue to grow in the summer - I am so happy they are getting big. Now if only they will get red! The stem split at the base in a thunderstorm but the tomatoes have not seemed to mind it. I now realize why people tie them up or put them inside cages. I will remember to do that next summer. For now - she is tied to the porch light with blue yarn.
I have high hopes. At least I am not fighting the birds for them like Bob is. I believe that Mini and Rocky are hoping the birds will come down to play with them. I think that the birds may be smarter than that. I think.

And one picture of this morning's backyard - early when the sun was coming up. I will want to look at this when the snow starts piling up back there and I am shoveling the yard because Mini simply won't 'go' anywhere else but in the backyard!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Parts fell off of my truck!

Well - this was a first. I have never had this happen before. I pulled my truck out of the garage and heard a big thump/clunk. I backed up a litte bit, noticed the power steering was gone. I kind of thought that when this happens to a computer we re-boot. So I turned it off and back on. Still no steering. Thought I would back up a little more....just to see if it came back on. And saw the parts laying on the driveway! Of course, I had to take a picture of it...
I sent the pictures to Bob who told me they are the idler pulley and the spring 'thingy' that keeps the tension on the serpentine belt. Who knew?! Thank goodness for Bob! BTW - it is 117 degress at 6 p.m. AZ time and in the shade. He says it is a little warmish down there!
And here is her first tow....there she goes, brave little truck! 9 years old and 160,000 miles...she just looks so small up there... Wish I would have washed her this weekend like I had intended to.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Beady-Eyed Bunch!

Really looking forward to seeing the Beady-Eyed Bunch tomorrow at lunch time! It's been weeks since I've gotten to see what everyone is working on. I'm still stuck on the bead crochet at this point. Phyllis, the wizard with color and shape, brought in about 5 bracelets she had made with the spiral stitch so I took some pictures. Apparently not a good picture day - I only got two good ones so here they are. I will try again tomorrow. I took 44 pictures and only 2 were decent. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Handy Man!

Now this really IS the last picture of AZ - Deb sent me pictures of Bob working on her garage work bench and shelves. Not only can he grow produce, make our dinner, and help us pick cactus off of the desert - he is quite the Handy Man! They are such nice pictures I couldn't resist putting one up here. And here is Deb's Harley...very pretty and nice looking and has LOUD pipes! Sounds absolutely terrific. Bob and another fellow built the garage a couple of months ago. It is big and airy and clean. The Harley is immaculate, of course. And I now know not to wipe any dust off of anything like that - thanks, Bob!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Independence Weekend Cookout - this is real class!

No hot dogs and hamburgers here. No Sir. Nothing but the best. Patty & Rose invited me over for a Boston version of a cook out. They must eat like this all of the time out there on the East coast! Rose's dad, Bob, is from Boston and she wanted to do something special. I will say it was special - very nicely done and I was a lucky girl to be invited! Thank you to Patty & Rose! Yes - those are 4 lobsters! AND corn cooked on the grill. AND the best potato salad ever. And a wonderful chocolate cheese cake pie contributed by Jen who couldn't make it because she had to take her cat (Dante) to the vet. But what a friend - she sent the pie anyway! I made the salad which sounds pretty mundane after all of the rest.
Thanks again. And you were missed, Jen!