Monday, March 14, 2022

Joy: Spring Yard Work

Spring is around the corner and I, like lots of other people, looks forward to changing seasons. I didn't get the amount of skiing in this winter that I'd have liked to but there are reasons for that and there's always next year. 

I'm on to getting back to putzing outside.  Now that I have a nearly-completely-dry garage I'm set up in there painting a little bit every day to get the trim for the finishing of the roof done.  I also had a few huge tree branches come down this winter and I have them in a pile by my fire "pit" which is more like a chimney in the middle of my back yard.  While I'm outside I had a small fire going to burn down my heavy yard waste to then get it moved to my compost pile.  

I got another door up on my door-fence which I had also been picking away at painting on the days I wanted to be outside.  

I love burning stuff.  Whenever I poke around and see what other properties aare for sale that might be a good fit for us, I look for a big yard but I also want a fire pit. I've bagged and put out my yard waste in the past and it's such a pain. Plus, the city doesn't always get it in time; my neighbor across the street has had his sitting out all winter.  I also like that the askes help grow my compost as I use it for a lot for gardening.

I have 1/3 of an acre and I love it.  My gardens have been coming along slowly with time and patience and splitting and moving plants. The door fence is turning out really cool and I'm learning about what doors will work for it and what needs to be replaced as I go along. I put in my earbuds and spend a couple of hours out there picking up, cleaning up and getting my hands dirty.

There was an AA talk that I listened to quite a while back and the speaker talked about how we are part of the Earth and we should feel the Earth with our bare hands or feet on a regular basis. I hadn't really thought about it like that before, but I definitely need that.  When I'm feeling squirrely, I go dig around outside. 

Friday, March 11, 2022

Metallic Pink and Black Jewelry

After I made myself some jewelry options with metallic pink, black and white checkers for NYE I couldn't seem to put away the extra shiny pink 15/0 seed beads. I wanted to use them in a gift for a friend, then I just kept going. I made a few pairs of earrings and then felt like the pink needed to be a "stripe" in a netting bracelet. Above is the base set that I feel goes together.


Lately I've been saying that jewelry just kind-of falls out of me and that's what happened with these.  My attraction to these metallic pink beads mixed with blacks just needed more attention. I keep saying that I'm trying to focus my time on my larger woven pieces but I always end up making some jewelry in between. I bead while winding down watching TV at night with Bryan  

I hadn't made a netting bracelet in a while and one of the cool things about this design is that it can be adjustable to whatever length I make it and smaller.  The loops for the design are also the loops for how it clasps.

My tiny pod earrings have been popular with both sales and I'm wearing them at work a lot.  They have a little bit of pop but don't get in the way of the masks, and they don't fight with patterns in outfits.  I love how these tiny beads allow for every stitch to look so delicate.  

I started thinking about stitches that I have used over the years...all the way back to the very first stitch I taught myself; the Daisy Chain. I recall grabbing a "how to" tear-off paper in the bead section at Frank's Nursery (remember that store chain?).  I was always attracted to beads and I was stuck on a thing I had stitched on a bead loom.  Not knowing how to get my first beaded piece off the loom I just kept playing with the beads I had.  I was in elementary school when I started teaching myself beads stitches.  I always recall the daisy chain to be simple because it was the first one I learned. I later tried to teach it to some girl scout groups and it wasn't as easy for them. Now that I really get into the stitch again, it's not that simple.  In this little stitch I learned a lot about the importance of bead and thread direction.  It turns out that stitching tons of daisy chains as a young person gave me this amazing base for my ongoing beadwork.  


So I decided to make a daisy chain from this bead combination and I'm in love all over again.  In the 15/0 seed beads it is much more delicate and will layer nicely with other bracelets and bangles.



Metallic pink earrings! These beads just look so wonderful stitched together.  I wanted some silver accent beads to go with them and the above and below pairs of came about.  I am always attracted to interesting-shaped polka-dot beads. In the above earrings I think the pink frames the center beads nicely.

Below I found these white and silver disc beads which I hadn't ever used. I started stitching around them thinking that the pink band of beads would hang vertically around the disc but it looked much better when I rotated it to have the pink band horizontal around the disc bead.  This was harder to bead then I thought it would be but I really like how they turned out.



I think I'm about ready to change up my evening beading to some other colors, but I have to say after taking the photos of this set today I may keep the pink out a bit longer and see what else comes about. 





Monday, March 7, 2022

Joy: A Week Off

Last week I didn't do a "Joy" post; I had the week off of work and was taking a "Staycation" since I had to use my vacation days up before I lost them.  I didn't feel Joy.  It happens. The lack of a schedule was a struggle for me, I get overwhelmed easily with all of the stuff I "should" be doing or getting done.  I set my goals of what I "should" get done much too high and can forget to enjoy myself. Monday I cried a lot. I had kept myself busy Saturday and Sunday. I think I've just been avoiding emotions that I needed to deal with and this was the week and time I had to do it. I journaled a lot, got on the elliptical, went to meetings had deep conversations with Bryan. 

Somewhat recently I heard at a meeting "Don't Should all over yourself." So I tried to carry that through the week and I did end up enjoying myself.

I got into the groove of having the time off the last 2 or 3 days. So those were really productive, looking back on the week I did get a whole lot done but I also relaxed.  Naps are the best and they're even better with my snuggle-buddy, Clark, who curls up with me on the couch and purrs under the blanket the whole nap.

I'm glad I had the week off to start painting the trim for the garage, start working together on wedding plans; we went to Cranbrook Art Museum to see Olga de Amaral's show To Weave a Rock.  Ultimately the three days off I had with Bryan were the best days.  With how busy things get and our work schedules don't quite line up I often forget how we can see each other in passing but not really have those deeper conversations or get to touch base. It was a good week but I have to say, I'm glad to be back to work today!

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Update for the Weaving with the Long Title: Edging

I decided that the title of this weaving should be a quote from Chris Thile when he was the host for Prairie Home Companion/Live from Here. It's a ridiculously long title and I hope to not make that mistake again but it fit perfectly how I feel about social media: "Is There and Thing to which Brings Us Less Joy Yet We Devote More Time."

We waste so many hours scrolling through social media allowing it to tug our emotions in a million different directions or distract us from what we need to be doing or would rather be doing. Weaving is what I would rather be doing so here's my visual on how I feel about the whole social media situation in my life. 

I've decided that I want the edging on this piece to be different than my other wall hangings. The netting stitch I use would complement this weaving's design as it's much more linear. So I started stitching my netting stitch before I thought to "audition" it with the weaving.


At first I thought it would look fine until I stepped back from it.  I had gotten almost 27 inches done before I took a look at tucked around the edge of the weaving and decided it's too big and too distracting. So that's been set aside for who knows what and then I made 2 smaller stitched samples.

Middle Size Edging open

Middle Size Edging around piece

The "middle" size that I stitched looks ok, but I wanted to check one more option: 

Smallest Edging Open

Smallest Edging wrapped around weaving

Bryan helped me confirm that the smallest of the nettings looked the best and were the least distracting,  so now I'm working on that (among other things as you'll notice on my Instagram) in the evenings while we wind down in front of the TV. 


Spike Stripe Earrings

Lately I feel like I've been knitting more than beading, but when I was between 2 dresses for a baby shower I decided to come up with a ...