December 30, 2011

Out with 2011 ~ In with 2012

100 years ago and more, when hunger was always just one failed potato crop away, many Irish New Year traditions involved food. In County Cork, crumbs were thrown out the windows and door to prove that no one inside was hungry. New Year's Day was always known as La na gCeapairi--the Day of the Buttered Bread. This was possibly a talisman against hunger, or to show that food was plentiful. Sandwiches of bread and butter were placed outside the door on this morning.

I just took this loaf out of the oven and from just the smell of it there probably won't be any left to butter and put outside the door on New Year's Day. The King Arthur Flour baking blog is my downfall... it always makes me hungry and often sends me to the kitchen to bake. For 34 years I've baked with their flours. King Arthur is located in Vermont, near enough for me to visit their store when I'm in NH.

Our New Year's eve celebration will be a quiet one. A good meal, a glass of wine or other spirits and probably fall asleep before the ball drops. We've been in the habit of taking a day trip, sort of the old fashioned Sunday drive, on New Year's Day. Haven't yet decided which direction we'll go this year. The weather promised to be fantastic so we might just pick a compass point and go.

I wish all of you

A Happy & Prosperous 2012

December 29, 2011

Native Stripes - Last Chance

There are just a few spots left in the Native Stripes String-Along.

Registration closes at midnight MST on Dec. 31st.

As one participant said, "I'm done with Christmas, and ready to start stringing." I think she was trying to hurry me up and get started. We're ready to go on New Year's Day, this is your last chance if you've been thinking about it and want to join in the fun with the mystery of new patterns once a week. We'll all end up with unique bead crocheted necklaces.

December 23, 2011

A Christmas Gift

If you bead crochet, here is a little something to put under your holiday tree. If Christmas trees are not your thing, then make them white on a black background and call it a winter wonderland rope.

May your days be Merry and Bright.

(click on the photo to enlarge, then save to your computer or print it out)

This young buck came wandering through the yard this evening along with two does and three young'uns. He was only 3 ft from my kitchen window and not a bit worried about me tapping on the window.

Have a Merry Ho Ho Ho, however you celebrate this holiday season.

December 14, 2011

Keeping the Chill Away

Tombstone has had a couple of days of chilly rain - 1" over 2 days and I've missed having the sun warm my studio during the day.

In between baking to warm me up, I quickly made a couple of last moment Christmas presents. These double wrap leather bracelets were a lot of fun to do. A button, C-Lon cord, a couple of beads/charms, leather cord, and ball chain from the hardware store. I think they are just funky enough to appeal to the younger generation. Now I can mail my boxes to NH and hope they get there before Santa does.

When I get chilled, I bake. I found this beautiful Blue Bird flour in a real flour sack and couldn't resist. It was such a happy bag of flour. The flour jar is clean and has all new flour in it, now I can whip up a batch of King Arthur's Blitz Bread. Gee, I'm not using their flour this time so I hope it comes out the same.

My one house plant is going to bloom, but not soon enough to dispel the gloom of the gray, overcast, rainy days. It didn't have the label, so I have no idea what color amaryllis it is. Whatever color it blooms, it will brighten the winter windowsill.

Now I need to go see how my bread is doing.

December 11, 2011

Native Stripes - Open Registration

Native Stripes, String-Along Registration is open:

Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011 at 12 noon MST or GMT -7


Midnight Dec. 31, 2011 or when all 40 spaces are filled

Once you pay for the String-Along, you will receive an email with the beginning information, and a link to join the FaceBook Group page. This could take up to 12 hours. Check your Spam folder and be patient before you email me that you didn't get the introductory materials.

December 10, 2011

Native Stripes - British colors

One of the members of the latest string-along lives in England. She commented that all of the color palettes from Central and South American textiles were so foreign to her. That made me stop and think.

When I think of England and colors, two things come to mind: Celtic blue war paint and Liberty of London fabrics. There was a time when I'd have given anything to be able to afford all of the Liberty prints I wanted. Could you call them native? To people who sew, they are native to England, and they are textiles.

ABOVE: 1933 Liberty print- great rich colors in darker hues.
Click color selection photos to see them larger.

Here's a 1970's Liberty print - Fresh, lighter color scheme

The only two keys that I'm using for this string-along are: native + textiles. My personal interpretation comes from childhood and Chilean textiles from the high Andes. Your interpretation will be different than mine. This project is about patterns and the use of lots of small patterns in a bead crochet rope lariat. It can be done in my exact colors, or interpreted in your colors.

I've used Big Huge Labs color generator to pull these color selections.

December 9, 2011

Native Stripes - Dec. 11 Registration

click here for more information

Watch this space for open registration for Native Stripes, String-Along.

Sunday December 11, 2011

Starting at

12 noon MST or GMT -7.00

We're going to start by considering colors. What colors do you

associate with Native Textiles?

December 4, 2011

Native Stripes - String~Along

Get Ready for January 1st 2012
This is the next String-Along that I've been promising. It will be a 60" lariat with optional peyote bands and fringe beads. It can be crocheted in either 8/0 or 11/0 seed beads. I will be using 8/0 Czech seed beads.

The form and shape will be like this crayon bright lariat that I made in 2006.

Click Here for a PDF informational sheet.

Native Stripes will draw inspiration from my Chilean childhood. The Altiplano region of Chile, Bolivia and Peru produces beautiful textiles in bright bold colors. These are knitted or woven on narrow backstrap looms. The narrow fabric bands can be filled with many interesting small decorative motifs. I have a notebook from the early 1960's of designs that I saw. I will try and translate some of them into the fabric of a 6-around bead crocheted rope. Many small patterns will be interspersed with bands of beadsoup or a background color. This will be a very eclectic, many small patterned rope

I know that many of you are in the middle of holiday beading and family things. However, I wanted to give everybody enough time to think about the project and possible color combinations before actually starting the project. You can do my colors, or research and chose your own colors. Native can mean anything from these Chilean textiles to Navajo blankets, or textiles from any country.

Sign-ups will open December 11th and close when all spaces are filled or on December 31st, whichever comes first. Once you register for the String-Along, you will receive an email with all the information on material requirements and choosing your colors. The first pattern section will go out Jan. 1st, via email.