Sunday, August 23, 2009

More monsoon

The view from Deb's window. Wow - a gully washer! Deb - you have a little river running around your house! You should get some gutters up there.....LOL!

Monsoon in the desert!

Bob just sent these pictures - at about 9:00 p.m. ET. It is monsoon time in the desert....
Kitty ain't happy......

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tutorial - bead stitches

I got this DVD from Beads East a month or so ago but just watched it today. It is excellent and very simply explained. So I am posting this here for the Beady-Eyed Bunch. I finally see how to do the N'debele (Herringbone) even. So - if you are missing me, get the DVD and it will teach you much better than I ever have! I have copied and pasted the information below from her website.

You want to learn bead stitching, but you don't know what you want to learn! This comprehensive stitching DVD will take you on an instructional tour of ten of the most popular and widely used bead stitches, including: peyote stitch (round, even count, odd count), brick stitch, spiral weave, loom weaving, beadpoint, bead embroidery, bead crochet (tubular, chain stitch, tapestry) herringbone stitch, right angle weave, and squared stitch. Produced by Beads East; 35 minutes, with animations, videos and lots of graphics!

Bracelet fixed

I think this will do - I think it looks OK this way. Thank goodness, now I can quit working on it!

Beady-Eyed Bunch!

Time to update for the Beady-Eyed Bunch. We had our last 'in-house' 'in-person' lunch meeting on Thursday. Laura couldn't make it and Bonani was still on the phones. Such a lame excuse Bonani - you put work before beading? Now that I am no longer manager I can say this: Where are your priorities, Girl?! However, we know I am just making that up - our priorities have made us the excellent unit we are. As long as 'enjoyment' is one of them.

Dale stepped in to take some pictures of us beading - thank you, Dale! Vicki and Peggy are learning the peyote stitch and starting a 'Bumps in the Road' bracelet developed by Bev Hermann of 'No Easy Beads' in New Orleans. Excellent picture of Phyllis, Dale!! I wish I had that one for my picture wall. But the wall is gone now - only Liz' photos of it are left. Nevertheless - this captures Phyllis' personality! Meanwhile, I am working on a bracelet this morning and am most unhappy with the way I have messed up the joining. It is a pretty bracelet but if you look to the left you will see that my pattern has gone awry and there is a bit of a gnarly mess with a couple of beads. Not something I am comfortable giving to someone!

I wonder if I can use this to fix it? It is odd-count peyote and I really don't like that stitch but it is so easy to 'zip' and make a cylinder out of. I saw this fix somewhere so I thought I would try it. I'll post my success or lack of success later.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just had to get a better picture

Here it is - a much better picture of the bird poop that looks like a baby chick. Thought I'd get another one before I wash the truck tomorrow. Even bird poop has a place in perpetuity on the Internet.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

You know you have been spending too much time driving when start seeing pictures in the bird poop on the windshield. But, seriously, doesn't this look like a little chick head? The beak, the eye, the splat kind of looks like it has feathers. And, yes, I took the shot while I was driving - I was afraid something would splash and wash it off. It may just be bird poop on a windshield but it seems to be very special bird poop on a windshield. So - the moral of this story may be - you might be bird poop on a windshield but you are very special to someone anyway!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I will be changing roles at work next week. Change can be exciting or can be very difficult. This was one of the difficult days. As I heard someone say last week - I love my job, I love the people I do it with, and I love the way we do it. We certainly have created an effective organization over the last 3 years. Often the path was not smooth but we worked together to overcome obstacles and meet the objectives we were set. We have met them very well and have been very successful. It is now time for a change on my part now. Today was a day of celebrating our success and looking forward to continued success for my 'peeps'. It is very difficult to leave them and I hope I have left them in good hands. If they continue to work together as we have the past 3 years I know they will be able overcome any obstacles that might threaten what we have built.
But on to the pictures. What a surprise it was today! I knew we were having lunch but, oh my goodness, what creativity went into the surprise.

Liz was the Mastermind! She may be small but she carries big creativity! What a treasure she is.
And then the cake! There was a lot, a whole lot, of cake eaten today.
I am not sure but I believe the masterminds of this cake are admiring their work. Thank you Eyvette and Fragilia. They have spent much time creating an atmosphere of enjoyment and fun while we work as well as boosting our morale. Bonani (one half of the two princesses) - what a shot! Wonderful, Bonani! I love it. Darn that salad was good!
Both princesses.....we don't miss many opportunities to ham it up! In fact, if there is a camera most of us will be trying to get in front of it!
And we think we are so funny!
But not original - I couldn't resist. Sorry, Kesha!
What a wonderful group of people there - somewhat demented but wonderful Thank you all - so very much. You just can't be replaced in my heart. What will I do without you?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Beady-Eyed Buddy in CA!

Chrystine has joined our Beady-Eyed Bunch virtually. In theory, anyway. We are working on figuring out how to create virtual participation in an activity that is customarily an intimate group activity. Compared to a 'quilting bee' only this is a 'beading bee'! Lots of social support and enjoyment and sharing happen in our Beady-Eyed Bunch lunch gatherings. So very nice - not to mention that we make really cool stuff and just can't admire each other's creations enough. Does it get any better than that?

Chrystine has been working on the bumps-in-the-road pattern developed by Bev Hermann in New Orleans. She sent a picture of it and, obviously, has done an excellent job of it. She is a skilled needle worker and I know she is a quilter as well as other creative activities.

It is such a shame we don't have one of those Star Trek transporters - it would be so nice to have her smiling face and wonderful energy actually present in our group. She would fit right in. She did make the mistake of adding me to her Facebook friends so I grabbed her picture to post here. It is such a cool picture - I don't know how or when it was taken but I believe that is either her hubby or a random passer-by. I'm betting it's her hubby. I like this picture because her expression is how she appears in my mind when I think about her - her sense of humor and enjoyment is right there near the surface, just waiting the chance to pop out. Whoever that stranger is in the picture obviously feels the same way. Now - the challenge, Chrystine, is to send us a picture of the completed piece!! Most of the Beady-Eyed Bunch are very disciplined and finish the project they start before going on to the next. I think Chrystine might be more like me and have lots of projects going at the same time. Don't know what that says about us but at the very least - we know we like variety!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gratitude - the lights are back on!

Two days with no electricity certainly makes one grateful for city water (don't need electricity for a well pump) and a gas hot water heater. Power was back on when I came home this evening - and I am so happy to see the lights and hear that a/c.
Losing power in August has happened two years in a row. Last year I lost power for 3 or 4 days. Seriously thinking about a generator for next year. My little supply of 'hockey puck lights' worked very well - scatter about 6 of those in a bathroom and there is enough light for that wonderful shower and quite a nice ambiance. It isn't so convenient to try to stick them to your forehead so you can read, however. I stopped by Gander Mountain and got a headlamp to use to read the next time this happens. Good idea, Little Brother!
I am happy I didn't get a tree through my roof and that I am not under water like the folks in Brown County so I am counting myself lucky this time.
And another lucky event - I had gotten my friend, Karen, a battery powered fan but kept forgetting to give it to her. Imagine the joy when I spotted it and enough D batteries to power it! Made it much easier to sleep last night. Sorry, Karen. You aren't ever getting this fan!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Yes, we have no tomatoes!

I heard some sad news this weekend. The Herald-Times here in Bloomington reported that very few tomatoes in southern Indiana would be ripening this year. 'They' say that the weather has been too cloudy and rainy, with not enough sunshine and heat, to ripen the tomatoes. I guess we will see. This is my very first year growing tomatoes. Above is the tomato plant that I grew from a little $1 item purchased from Target (you get the tiny pot, seeds, and dirt all for $1!). I am so proud it has so many tomatoes. I will be sad if they don't ripen. At least I know know how to grow the darned things so I will be planning for next year.
But I can see how they will look: I colored these tomatoes with my little photo editing program just to see what they would look like if they did ripen! They look almost good enough to eat right now. Given that I am not the steadiest person in the world I think they came out pretty well.
Here they are as they appear right now - dreaming their little tomato dreams of when they grow up... Oh well. At least Mom loaded me down with tomatoes from their garden yesterday. They were wonderful Indiana tomatoes - nothing like them!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cincinnati - Intergalactic Bead Show & Jungle Jim's

A wonderful day with Peggy and Vicki! We spent too much money at the bead show - of course. Then went to Jungle Jim's. I can't describe Jungle Jim's - you just have to go see it. Acres and acres of an international grocery store. There were probably 50 feet of different kinds of butter from different countries - including goat butter! Want herbs in that butter? Any you could think of was available. Saw live Talapia fish in a huge tank. While it was nice to see what they actually look like, they did look very sad. The water was clean but....I don't know - they were just kind of sad. Or something. Too much going on there to get pictures but we couldn't resist the porta potty fit for a queen!

And for the Beady-Eyed Bunch - I couldn't resist getting a couple of these bracelets for patterns. You could make them as a necklace as well. The first one (green) is very very simple and quick - just a small strip of peyote or brick stitch of the width you prefer and then stringing whatever you would like in between. The closing is made with a simple loop and an 8 mm bead. This 8 mm bead is one is of the variety you would find in any craft store and is a very inexpensive plastic bead but you could also use one with higher quality. I don't like to string because the darned beads fly off! But if I were going to do one, and I might, I would do the strips at the end first and use brick stitch because it is much more stable/stiff than peyote. Then I would string the beads in between simply by exiting one set of beads on one end, stringing beads, entering the bead on the other end, skittle over to the next bead and repeat. At least that is what I would try first. Putting the toggles on last and weaving the thread up through the base.
The next one I got just for the toggle closure. I will take it apart to see how they made it but, after trying to get a needle through the beaded bead, I think they simply beaded vertically through a #6 seed bead. Very clever - and avoids getting those little wooden beads and needing to paint them! This bracelet was loomed and was very quick to make as well. Both bracelets were made in Guatemala by the Beady-Eyed people in that country but probably for the purpose of obtaining food and shelter for their families. We need to count our blessings much more often.
A very enjoyable day - thank you Peggy and Vicki!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cactus Garden - finally under way

We started planting our cactus garden last week. I will be changing roles at work soon and I think that has hindered us in our planting. Phyllis, Darlene, Madeleine, and Liz have planted their cactus. We are working on the Paper and Pine Cone cactus right now. I think we will be able to start the Saguaros next week. We have established a 'desert-scape' in our wonderful window that grows so many plants. I have put most of my rocks in the attic above the garage - I will have to get those down so we can put the finishing touch on our personal desert. While the Jade plant may be from South Africa I think the Aloe comes from the South West. I think.