of course, it's:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Woodland Christmas challenge

I  am so happy I get to participate in this challenge. The minute I heard of it I knew exactly what I wanted to make for it, Paula Adams pagoda ornament, a free pattern on her website. I’d seen one made by and I was entranced. I was glad for an excuse to try making it. but…, a big but, when I tried to find the pattern again, it (the browser) told me I was forbidden to access it.
But, again, I had a realization. Paula Adams ornaments were almost identical to Kate McKinnons geometric ropes, with a lot of crystal and fringe added. and since I’d spent all winter working on Kate’s designs, I thought I could deconstruct the pagoda ornament and produce a similar, not identical design. After ordering delicas, crystals and other such gauds, I set to work. And it is working
For my second work I wanted to make a magatams pinecone as the magatamas were some of the only beads I had that went with the dark woodland colors that that palette demanded. Adding some gold for sparkle, I uses deep green and gold beads to make a cone shape, also from Kate McKinnons book and added magatamas to the sides. Never having used magatamas before, I piled up the mistakes. Undoing my work several times, because I’ve learned thats the only thing that You can do when things go badly wrong, I ended up lining up each magatama in the way and order it was being used. More mistakes were made sewing them on. But I took it apart again and again until I was satisfied. 
The ridiculousness of this design contest struck me when i found aa complete Saint Nicholaus doll just like the one in the picture. Would he help me set the scene. You betcha! I toyed with the idea of bead animals but discarded that as too time-consuming .
After days of effort, I made something nice. My own attempt at designing didn’t work so well, so I bought a pattern. Its a simple pattern and I should have been able to think of it myself, but I didn’t. So thats one pine cone and pine-branch lariat down. Thank you, Deb Moffatt-Hall for the simple but elegant pattern. Now I’m, working on a second lariat, this one by Carol Wilcox-Wells. This one, although a simple spiral rope, is more complex, with a lot of counting and I’ve had to make modifications and be very specific about which kind of beads go where, as there are multiple thread passes through some of the beads
Now its time to take the pictures and try to post them online. The funny thing about this contest is I really don’t want to win it because it has a booby prize. If you win you have to hold the next contest. And in the past I have found I am really bad on things that need follow-through and commitment. Although, even saying that, I’ve already picked an artist and picture if by a miracle I do win.
christmas dalek

the marriage of christmas dalek and christmas cake

pine cone lariat, courtesy of Deb Moffat-Hall

I made the pine-cone

bracelet mistake

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oh,OH OH Bulgaria!

What do I have a blog for. To post sad stories of how my husband and friend all have cancer and are going to die?
Attribution; wikimedia open license;
The Joker, GIJoe, Ronald McDonald,Superman, Santa Claus, Captain America and Robin strike a blow for Good Old Glorious

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Let me start out by mentioning that my chicklet is orange. When I got it it made me laugh because orange is a color I think I hate yet if given a choice of colored objects, i always choose orange.
Of course, I misplaced the chicklet. I searched everywhere and couldn't find it. I panicked and posted about it on Linda’s new site"Bead Peeps" and to my surprise I got an email from Toltec  Jewels that Sue Kennedy  had heard of my plight and offered to replace the bead. Of course, by then I had found the bead again.(It was with a collection of orange beads I had put together to go with my orange chuckle 0t But how kind Sue was to offer to replace the bead.
Next I came up with a grandiose scheme, I would make a butterfly and use the bead under to attach a flower to it. After three attempts to producee a butterfly, I managed to come up with oner,f,rom a  Katherina Kostinsky  design: Catopsilla Solstitia,which I mangled,, but which still made a spectacular butterfly. Three more attempts to get the freeform flower done and I managed to produce a posie.  It consisted of a left-over butterfly wing and a green stem with leaves that I stiffened with wire. After producing this orange confection, I found there was no  place for my little chicklet to go on it. 
So with only a few days left I had to come up with a new idea, which was not easy. I ended up redoing a bracelet I had made before, with elastic stringing material and some sort of white  jasper bead with a what looks like black writing with splashes of orange on them, and half the bracelet done as a flat spiral, in orange, of course. Unlike the butterfly, the bracelet is very wearable.

14 colors of bead for the butterfly

I managed to provide myself with a lot of drama. I had a purpose to direct my beadwork. I learned a lot, new skills like: sort of reading a peyote chart graphic, and I tried things that my skill level wasn’t quite up to before.  In many ways I enjoyed this challenge more that the bead soup blog hop, where my desires  in no ways matched my skills. Now I've become a bit more competent, more able to get the beads to do what I want them to do. I am planning to try another butterfly, using more uniform beads and I will wear my little bracelet with pride. 

Some time in the future I'm going to be like all the big girls and have a  contest on my blog, I've got a great prize, OH, No its a book, isn't it?!