August 23, 2009

Portland Maine

It was raining yesterday and the work to the Elm Ave house was outside wall work. So we decided to run errands and ended up in Portland Maine on the waterfront. It's been a few years since I've been up there and the old charm has disappeared. It's been gentrified and is so upscale now. It was still a good afternoon to wander around.

Walked into one kitchen store and saw something that amazed me.... over 20 stainless containers of olive oil, vinegars and other oils.... all set up for tasting!
Yes Mam, my innards are getting a bit rusty, I'll take a shot of that there extrey virgin oil over there!

In Bisbee AZ there is a telephone pole that has hundreds of acorns studding the pole. The Acorn woodpeckers use it as a storage pantry.
In Maine I saw a pole with years of staples covering the surface. The urban use is for presenting information.
How many years does it take to get this many staples on a telephone pole?

It's just such a neat graphic when you take the background away.
The sun is not out today, but the weather report says only a small chance of rain. I'm tired of being damp. So hopefully my son and helpers will be able to get the back kitchen wall rebuilt today.

August 14, 2009

Memory - it's lanyard!

Oh, to have the memory of a 7 yr old again ..... kids don't seem to forget anything. Especially if you tell them you will do something.

I woke up this morning with the right word for my paper lariats this morning. The word I should have been using is lanyard!

"Lanyard can also refer to Scoubidou, ( also called Gimp, Scoubi, Scoobie, Boondoggle, or Lanyard). It is a plaiting and knotting craft, originally aimed at children, which originated in France, where it became a fad in the late 1950s. Scoubidou-making is a popular pastime at summer camps for children, often employed to keep the children busy and occupied for hours."
(source: Wikipedia)

Yep... it was Girl Scout Camp and I was easily amused for hours in 1957 or 1958. I guess I'm making the square knot with my paper.

August 13, 2009

Have to Play

While cleaning up I found all of the Home Depot samples and color cards that I didn't use for the house project. I really hated to throw them out, thinking that there had to be something useful (creative) I could do with them.

Well, Granddaughters make lariats. I made plastic lariats and key chains as a kid. I have this paper shredder sitting right next to my desk. Why couldn't I shred the tri-fold paint color brochures into nice even strips of paper? Who said that lariats had to be made with plastic gimp?

So I sat and watched some TV and folded paper just like I did the plastic gimp in my youth. Interesting patterns emerge. I like the elastic feel of it. Sort of has the same elasticity as bead crochet. That is until you pull and stretch it to the point that it breaks. Oh yes, it is paper.......
Two colors of construction paper helped me see where the patterns come from as you fold the paper strips. This one was one orange/red strip and three yellow ones.

Takes some time to get back into the rhythm of the folding and not have to think about which strip goes over and under which strip. Now I need to remember, or look up the folding pattern that makes the rope spiral.

The Formica sample cards are nice and solid and make some very interesting backgrounds. I was wondering if I could glue one of the folded paper ropes onto the sample card for a pin or pendant. However I think I'd like a smaller strip as these are about 1/4" wide and make just over a 1/2" cube. Do they make a paper shredder that cuts smaller strips? I tried my paper cutter but that is very time consuming and doesn't consistently cut an even strip when I got impatient and tried to hurry up.

See what happens when your beads are not easily accessible, you hate to throw anything useful out, and the creative urge hits you?

I guess tomorrow I go back to creatively painting 1970's fake dark wood cabinets a high gloss white.

August 10, 2009

Cost of free Downloads

Jeannette Cook of Beady Eyed Women blogged about pirated artisan material downloads. Her comments are worth reading. I've found copies of both my books on several sites and it takes so much away from my creative time to try and get the materials taken down. This latest round didn't seem to include any of my stuff, but then again I had to cut my search short as the site was rife with virus and other nasty spyware that I dared not continue looking.

Consider the source when you find a "free" download, scan of a beading pattern, or book.

August 9, 2009

Workshops in Fall River

Turquoise-String Beads - October 8, 9, 10, 2009
I've agreed to come out of bead hibernation this Fall and teach a couple of bead crochet workshops in the beautiful mill town of Fall River Mass. Nancy Valentine has a beautiful shop and one of the best spaces for workshops that I know of.
I haven't taught beginning bead crochet for a couple of years, but had my arm royally twisted to do so.

In addition to the basics, I'm doing an exclusive, experimental bead crochet workshop for a group of people who have taken my advanced workshops for several years now. This is a new technique, based on the flat caterpillar design that will allow one to have more canvas on one side for patterns.
I know it will work but have not had time to explore it fully. Together we will probably figure out what will not work and it will be an exercise in creativity.
Teaching is one of the things that I most enjoy about beadwork and it will feel good to interact with the great bunch of people in Fall River again.

August 8, 2009


I spent today gardening. The weather was almost ideal; cool, dry and sunny - perfect to be outside. It's sad to see what's left of the white Rhododendron, but with some care should fill out again in a couple of years. At least the guys running the big equipment scooped it out and then put it back when the big ditch was done. I'm just as glad that the overgrown ornamental evergreens are gone. I think I'll put an azalea near the back corner.

I keep looking, but the grass seed hasn't sprouted yet. Reminds me of my Grandfather-in-law, who got impatient one summer and claimed his corn wasn't growing fast enough. So he pulled it all out and planted again! Sigh, they say 10 days of watering 3 times a day and I should see new grass.

I took some time and went for a walk in our woods. You walk in under the tree line and it's like you are in a different world.