Wednesday, November 29, 2006

another project complete

and just in time for the show we are doing this weekend at the Ukranian Catholic Church in Denver.

This began as a wood egg that I painted with two coats of white paint then worked seed beads in the pattern over the entire surface.

I definately learned a lot about working over curved surfaces with beads do this one!!

Looks pretty good I think

Progress continues on the car quilt. I have about 2/3 of the track re-attached to the "in field" and then on to the "stands" around the outside of the track. Then I can get back to where I should have been the beginning of the week -- the borders -- at least I know exactly what I want to do there.

Meantime, a new quilt idea is forming in the back of my head...

We now have 5 of the 9 trees up and decorated. Moving right along!! I promise to get pictures taken of them all and get them posted as soon as we have them all up.

time to get busy

Monday, November 27, 2006

up to my knees in frogs.....

after attaching the last car to the quilt (and doing a little happy dance), I had to take a major trip to the frog pond because the center "race track" just would not lie smooth........NUTS!!

Alternate plan B included picking out all of the center panel's major sections and beginning again. This time I used freezer paper on the back of each of the curved pieces to stabilize them and then began again reattaching them.

So, it is the usual 3 steps forward and 1 step back, but I guess I'll get it eventually.

The beaded egg, however, is progressing nicely, thank you! I have finished all of the top half of the egg and have begun working my way down the bottom from the center row. This end seems to be going faster, perhaps because I have now figured out how to decrease the rows without distorting the pattern. DH painted the stand for the egg over the weekend, so if I keep at this I will actually have it done for Saturday's show.

The other project I have been working on (knitting project) is moving right along too....should have this one done without much strain (yeah right, usually when I say that everything goes crazy!!)

We've been decorating the house for Christmas, the tree in the family room is up and decorated, and looks pretty good. I've been addressing the envelopes for the Christmas cards and right now am being very thankful I have been blogging all year because it will make writing the Christmas letter so much easier!!

Time to get to the laundry.....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Something to be thankful for.....

two amazing sunrises two days in a row........beautiful!!!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


what other words are there?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Finished work and computer frustration

Its finished!

The edges are complete and I got it all strung up last night.

The openings in the halo are not as large as I had hoped they would be, but they are definately there. I will remember next time to leave a bigger opening in the beading since the edge work shrinks it.

Its nice to have another piece finished.

Last night I started working on a beaded egg. This is a large wood egg (about 3 inches tall) that I am working peyote stitch over to create a beaded "picture". I've not tried to work in this format before, so I'm sure there will be some "figuring out" as I go along. Its all done in just two colors -- a silvered shiny red and a matte finish white....pretty neat.

I have now stitched 6 and 1/2 cars to the quilt top. I hope to have all of the cars on, the border on and start into quilting by this time next week.

The Christmas project mentioned yesterday is moving right along.

On the computer scene, yesterday I installed the updates that my system had automatically downloaded for me. Usually these are just security updates, software patches, etc., but this time it also installed the new version of Windows Internet Exploder (er, excuse me, Explorer).....AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!! All of my bookmarks ---- POOOOFFF!! Gone!!! NUTS!!!! Some days I just HATE technology! So, hopefully I can find all of those wonderful places again. {mumble, mumble}

Time to get some work done.....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

and ONE to go!

We did our next to last show for the year yesterday.

This was again a high school's the picture of our stuff all set up in the gym.

Aside from some minor lighting glitches (created when someone down the row from us pushed the bottom edge of the bleachers in and managed to unplug the main power cord) and having not as much help with carry out as we would like, the show went pretty well.

I had a "pre-ordered" flamingo to deliver at this show, which got us off to a good start, and then we sold a number of other things as well.

During the show I was contacted by the Education Coordinator for a local store and asked if I would consider teaching classes in basic beading techniques, design formation, etc. for them. I told her I would consider doing so as I have had many people ask me if there was anywhere they could learn these things in a class from me. We'll see if we can come to an agreement that will pay what it will take in time from my other activities.

We now get a weekend off (but of course it will be full of other activites!)

During the slow time at the show, I finished Elphie's Christmas sock (well, okay, I did the last 3 rows and the stitching this morning). It looks pretty good!

So now I will be working on knitting a couple of other projects that will not be discussed here (Christmas is coming!), and making more squares to donate to Squares4Survivors.

Today we need to empty the van and put things away, and of course there is the usual show paperwork to do -- thank you notes, tax forms, etc.........

Friday, November 17, 2006

Blogger frustration and other rants

I'm annoyed at blogger just now. Earlier in the week, I decided to transfer my blog into the new Beta version of blogger because it promised some layout features (like drag and drop) that I liked the sound of.

Well, I like the new features, but they neglected to tell me up front that I would not be able to post a comment on any non-Beta version blog after converting (or I'm just an idiot and missed it).

So to those of you who are wondering why I haven't made any comment on your blogs, its because BLOGGER WON'T LET ME!! They say a "fix" is in the works, but so far, I'm just stuck....NUTS!!!!

Here is another source of current frustration.

This piece of fabric was the tummy gusset of the latest toucan.

See at the top the ravelled edge? See me ranting!? This "flaw" did not appear until I was in the last stages of closing the back after stuffing him.

So, off I went to the "frog pond" (rip it, rip it!) having to totalling "unstuff" him, then pick out the piece, cut a new piece (NO, NOT out of the same fabric!!), resew the new piece, restuff.

I can report however, that the new version (I used a lovely yellow mohair with a nice wavey finish) is even more attractive than the original.....mmmmmm, creating through serendipity!!

I'll try to get pictures of the finished bird taken soon.

At last week's show (as I mentioned) I sold the malachite cuff bracelet that I had on the table.

So, I have acquired some new pieces of malachite to work cuffs and necklaces with. The larger ones are 30x40mm (that's about 1 1/4" by 1 1/2" for those of you who are metrically challenged!), which are for necklaces and the smallest ones are 12x16mm (1/2" by 3/4").

And no, you're eyes aren't playing tricks on you, those are purple stones too....2 nice pieces of Russian Charoite to use for a bracelet or something too.....

Today we will be loading the van up again for tomorrow's show.

Guess its time to get moving.....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Its Show Time!

Yes folks, once again this weekend we will be doing a show, the next to last one for the year.

This weekend's show is at Rangeview High School from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday. Rangeview High School is located at 17599 E. Iliff Ave. in Aurora, CO.

Our booth number for this show is L-8. We will be in the large gym, and I'm guessing we'll be against one of the walls as we have requested to have electricity.

This is our next to last show for the year (and yes, I admit to being just a bit weary of getting up at 4 am and driving to Denver for 6 am set ups, then doing the whole thing in reverse and getting home at 8 or 9 pm.....its a hard way to make a living!)

Come and visit in our booth and see the new things we've been creating in person!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Progress on another project

and here it is, the beadwork all done and ready for the finishing steps. The areas in the "halo" that are still white will be open work with rows of gold on either side (if all goes well!)

I got all of the cars basted on to the quilt top yesterday, and have almost completed stitching down the first one. Moving right along!!

Today DH has a doctor's appointment, so we will be out and about for a little while, then I hope to get work done on the cross and other projects.

Monday, November 13, 2006


TA DA!!! Finished car #12 last you can see, I truly did save the most difficult one for last.

Today I hope to get all of them pressed and pinned down (and then basted) to the quilt top so I can start on that part of the appliqueing.

The beading on the cross is almost finished too, so I will be trying to get that on to its backing the next couple of days.

You may have noticed a new picture on my profile....actually this is a picture that is about 10 years old, but it is one of the few I've had taken that I actually like...I think it looks like it will work on a dust jacket of a book....(it doesn't hurt to dream about that!)

Anyway, today will be full of life's mundane paperwork, laundry, a trip to the pharmacy for DH's meds.....{sigh} hope to squeeze in the fun part of creating!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

another day, another dime

So, one more show down and 2 more to go before Christmas.

This was another high school show, supposedly not in as "good" an area as the one we did a couple of weeks ago, but we made more money at this one.

Once again the beaded cuff bracelet was a big hit, so I'm glad I have already ordered in more brass cuffs so I can make up some more of those before the spring shows.

Also sold some animals....2 frogs and the prototype sheep, so I'll be making up another sheep too.

Next week's show should be even better if everyone that has told me they will be there actually shows up. I do have one for sure sale there tho', the lady that ordered a flamingo, and I'll actually have 2 for her to choose from.

One of the best things to be said about the school shows is that we get lots of young strong help for carry in and carry sure saves a lot of pain the day after!!

Meantime, during the slow times of the show, I finally finished the stitching on the toucan, so I will be able to finish him up this week too. YEAH!

Well, I still have lots of paper work to do from the show, so I better get with it.....

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Finished another one yesterday! Only one to go, and I saved the hardest one for has 40 pieces...YIKES!!

Looking good tho', can't wait to start attaching them to the back ground.

Work is continuing on the cross. I have completed about 1/3 of the beading, so I should have no problem finishing it by Dec 1.

Got an order from my web site that is going to England!! Now that was a cool thing. Also a reminder that I need to update a couple of the pages on my web site to mark which things are no longer available and to put up new stuff.

Spent about 2 hours yesterday working for my accounting client, and will probably do likewise today. At this rate I should have everything done early next week and then be able to just "coast" through the end of the month which will give me time to write a Christmas letter, start addressing cards and start decorating the house.

I got my flu shot on Monday and have felt sort of "blah" most of the least I haven't felt really sick like DH did.....its just annoying not to have the usual energy to get things done.

Guess its time to get busy, I have 3 Ebay packages to mail this morning too.....

Monday, November 06, 2006


Another car finished!

And I actually started on #11 this morning while watching an episode of Simply Quilts.

Much of car #10 is white, pale grey and light blue, and the next one is mostly black, which is quite a difference on the eyes!

Yesterday I worked on the new cross for quite a while, so its coming along nicely.

This morning there will be a trip to the lab for blood work for the DH, then I will be meeting with my accounting client. After that there is laundry to do and on with the beading, animals, etc.......better move out smartly!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Rocks, Socks, car and show review...

As is my usual procedure when doing a 2 day show, I had a project on hand to work on during slow times and so I could show people how this is all actually done by me.

This weekend I was able to get one more stone ready for Let The River Run. This is a really nice piece of adventurine, and a nice smooth shape, so building the bezel around it was an easy job.

Meantime, during the show, I sold the large Western style beaded cross I had done that had a 10x14mm garnet cab in the center, so I designed a new piece to replace that one...this one has a 10x14mm amethyst cab in it and is more of the Eastern style.

For once I won't have to buy anything to put a new design together, I have all the beads, findings, etc. that I need on hand (this also speaks well of having built a really usable stash!)

During the driving up and back three days in a row, I managed to finish this Christmas sock for the "grand dog", and have worked down through the lettering on the sock for our dog....moving right along!!

I'm toying with the idea of doing some of this kind of thing for sale at some of the school arts and crafts shows next year.....much of our ART jewelry just scares people away at that level because of the prices.

I have managed to finish another car for the quilt too.

This one is number 9, so I have only 3 more before I start putting them on the quilt.

This was our booth at this show.

It was an "ok" show.....we made a little money (thanks in a large part to flyers I had sent out to my own bear collector customers), had very nice neighbors on both sides..

We let our neighbors on one side use our booth opening as access to their booth as well, and at the end of the show she gave me a group of bead packets she had been selling for a dollar each during the show and had no other need for them. Some of them will be of no use to us (plastic stuff), but the rest will go into my stash.

Set up for this show was easy, the day before, an available ramp, plenty of time to get it done.

It was, however, the tear down from H***!! At about 4 pm we were told that we needed to be all out of our space by 6 pm because they had scheduled a dance at 7 pm in the same facility! Meantime, the show stayed open until 5 pm. Now I can tell you that if I had known that in advance, we would not have signed up for this show, we simply can't tear down everything at an indoor show in an hour!!!!

And, to top it off, as we are trying to tear down and get out, the group that was supposed to set up for the dance were rude and constantly in the way with tables, sweeping, and other equipment that they needed.

So the verdict on this show for the future --- NO WAY!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Artist at work, another car and victory over the software!

As I was saying the other day, we have to have some pictures of our pieces actually being created, so yesterday I took these while DH was working on a piece to fill an order.

I'm hoping one of these and the one of me will serve the purpose for future show applications.

Meantime, I completed another car.....this makes 8 done and 4 to go!

I actually wanted to post the car yesterday morning, but getting this picture was quite an adventure. I actually took this one with my camera, just to get it until I had the visit from the "Adobe Fairy" (see explanation below).

Usually I just plunk the stuff into the scanner, scan, save (in the software that came with the scanner), tweek in Adobe, then its ready to upload to blogger.....yesterday, not so simple!

It seems for some reason the software that came with my Epson scanner (its called ArcSoft Photo Impression 4.0) just quit working overnight.

Now I had experienced "glitches" with the scanner software before, so I did all my usual "fixes": create a backup disc of the photo files on the desktop, uninstall the software, defrag the hard drive, unplug the scanner, reinstall the software and try again....NOTHING! ARRRGGGHHHH!!! Major screaming!!!!

After trying all that again, I sent a note to Epson's customer service asking for assistance. They responded quickly, but just refered me to the software company, who, I now find out, doesn't even support version 4.0 of this software and wants me to shell out $$$ to upgrade.

Now I'm thinking, why should I spend that much just to have a program that will save whatever it is I scan (I know the program is supposed to do more, but I like 2 other programs to do those "more" items, and I don't want to spend $$ for something so simple as a SAVE function)!

Hello! Maybe I've just been brain dead, but it occured to me at that point that there might be other software on my desktop that would do what I need. Enter the "Adobe Fairy"!

I opened my Adobe software, clicked on "Import" and low and behold, I can upload with TWAIN!!! Oh joy! Oh happiness! See me turning cart wheels, since not only will I not have to spend any $$ for the SAVE function, this actually saves me a step (ie a moment or two per scan!) because I always "tweek" in Adobe anyway!!!

I'm happy, happy!

Today we set up for our show in the Denver El Jebel Shrine Temple....a two day affair on Friday and Saturday with a central cashier....I don't have to handle the money, credit cards, checks, etc., for this one. I'm hoping we do well.

If you are in the area, the show is located at: 4625 W. 50th Ave., Denver, CO. Hours are from 11 am to 8 pm on Friday (Nov 3) and 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday (Nov 4).