Sunday, September 27, 2009

Overdue update

I have not been doing a lot of beading of late. In summer my garden seem to take first place on my list of priorities. So here are a few pictures of my yard & garden so you can see what I have been up to while not sitting in the 'bead nest'

This is the side yard looking west towards the greenhouse, the house is to the north /or right of this yard

Looking towards the house from the vegetable garden, which sits behind the greenhouse. The bright blue building to the left is my potting shed, that Joe built behind his garage/workshop.

The back deck, this is where I love to sit with a cuppa any time of day;) The hot tub is under that grey area on the deck & is a life saver, especially when I get home from my evening shift at work ~ ahhhhh

The front yard looking north, there are no lawns here to be mowed ;) That is the front of the garage where the motor home lives & beyond that, the old spartan trailer which is home to Joe's studio where he builds his robots & stuff that you can see here

My plant nursery, I propogate cuttings to sell in plant sales in the spring & summer.
The Gunnera with Joe standing behind it, it reached about 7 feet this year! This is part of the view from our deck. A little bit of the tropics in our back yard.

One of my favorite plants the Hebe, Aumumn Glory. Isn't it a beautiful shade of purple?
Looking in through Joe's 'Moon Gate', which is between the house & the garage. You can see the door to his workshop and the front of my potting shed..

Just one of my giant sunflowers...
This is a 5 year old Bonsai vine maple that I started from a seedling, it started as a 'what if' - This is the first year the leaves have been small, so something is happening as it should. I now have several more in the green house to see if I can do it again ;)
And lastly here is what I am beading at the moment, it's slow going though so don't expect to see it finished any time real soon LOL but then who knows?

Friday, August 28, 2009


While we were away in the motor-home a couple of weeks ago, I caught my thumb in one of the drawers. As the week progressed I felt soreness at the base of the nail on my thumb & figured I had bruised it, I was wearing nail polish - a rare thing for me ;) so I could not see if it was discoloured. The following weekend I sat down to remove the polish & found that my nail was infected underneath. I bathed my thumb in salt water but nothing much happened as the infection was right in the center of the nail but I kept that up as often as I could. Anyhow by Sunday evening my thumb was throbbing & all the bathing had done nothing at all!

Monday I called my Dr's office & got in to see him that afternoon, he used a wee tool that burnt a hole in my nail & let the nasty stuff escape ewwww & the Dr gave me a prescription for an antibiotic. Of course my thumb felt better right away and the infection appeared to be going away with in a day or so.

Today the Dr's office called to say that the results of the swab he took, have come back & that there were 2 bacteria under my nail!~!

So the Dr has called another prescription in for me - two antibiotics!!!

I spoke to the Pharmacist & he said that going by the two antibiotics I have to take, that I most likely have a Staph infection, now that is scary stuff!!

Here is hoping that this thing goes away fast, never to be heard of again!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Make tobacco prevention a part of health care reform

I just took action on preserving and protecting tobacco prevention funding in health care reform.

I urge you to take action yourself and spread the word!

Please write to your member of Congress today


Make Your Voice Heard!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Health Insurance Racket

Getting Rich by Denying Americans Care

UnitedHealthcare CEO Stephen Hemsley owns $744,232,068 in unexercised stock options. CIGNA’s Edward Hanway spends his holidays in a $13 million beach house in New Jersey. Meanwhile, regular Americans are routinely denied coverage for the care they need when they need it most.

Read more HERE & please share it with your friends & neighbours

STILL more to read here if you're interested..

Two little dollies

My dear Mother's younger sister Norah, celebrated her 80th birthday earlier this year, this is her with my Mother on Mum's 90th in 2007

Aunty Norah fell recently, not once but twice and has fractured her spine near the tailbone, which I imagine is awfully painful. She has always kept in touch via letters no matter how far from home I have roamed & so as I was writing to let her know that I am praying for a full & speedy recovery for her, I realized that I should make her a wee doll to cheer her up.

So here is Norah's healing doll she is just 5 " tall..My Girlfriend Frankie turned the big 40 on July 30th so to mark her middle age -snigger- I made the 'Lordy, Lordy Frankie's 40' doll..

I do believe this one is clickable so that you can see the details & yes she is on a lean LOL that is because when I hot glued her to the base I didn't hold her straight -oh well ;)

Looking down from above

Come into my parlor....

...said the spider to the fly & we all know what happened next..
But this spider is only a teeny tiny fellow & the fly was as big as he was, isn't nature wonderful?

He had made a tiny web across the front of a petunia & I had to capture it on film - hmmm digital really isn't on film but you know what I mean ;)

You SHOULD be able to click to make this picture bigger & much easier to see this wee fellow enjoying his lunch

Just to see the whole scheme of things - he is that white dot on the petunia ;)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

LOL @ myself

While cleaning up after finishing my last project, I thought I should sort the flippies & odd beads & stuff on my bead cabinet as well & guess what I found underneath some STUFF..

A bracelet that I had finished somewhere back around Christmas time ~grin~

This was done in 2 drop peyote with a row of gorgeous purple swarovski sequins (?) stitched down the centre & fringing on the sides & either side of the crystals

It really is dainty and looks great on as you can see.
Maybe I should clean my bead cabinet up more often LOL

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Beaded Rock - the timely end of a UFO

I am not going to admit how long this has been sitting around as a UFO but it has been a while & some of my friends may have seen it in person at a certain event here at the beach ;)

It began life as a 2.5"x 2" rock which I beaded over using peyote stitch & then the fun began, making tiny sea anemones.. I added lots of embellishment using tiny shells, pearls, drop beads & lots of tiny fringe/stacks.

I have taken pohots from all angles so you can see all the fun details..

I hope you enjoy this piece, it sure was fun to make even if it did take me a long time to finish LOL

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Layne's Legacy - Beading For A Cure

Layne's Legacy is an annual beading challenge dedicated to raising money for the National Colorectal Cancer Research Association in honor of Layne Shilling, a member of the online group All About Beads, who lost her battle with colorectal cancer in November 2002.

The premise of the challenge is simple: participants purchase a kit which contains a variety of beads. Each kit is identical. At least one of each bead type must be used in the finished project and the beader can only add one other type of bead to the project (but as many non-bead items as they wish). The completed works are as varied as the beaders who created them. from the website of Layne's Legacy

Although I frequent All About Beads, I did not know Layne but felt this was a cause worthy of my time.

My favorite methods of beading are bead embroidery & 3D sculptural bead weaving, so of course my piece combines the two..

Here is Dragonfly Dreaming:
The area inside the frame measures 5"x7" & the dragonfly is 5" long with a wing span of 5"

This is the kit that we all started with..

Small beginnings - I stitched a line of size 11 beads down over the lines of the branches
I covered the line of beads with whip stitch, using a combination of beads from the kit & leaving space for the art bead to sit.
The body is done, size 15s make up most of the body - My added bead type are the size 15 purple. Size 11s round out the area where the wings & legs attach & then 8s for the head. I also put a piece of wire into the body area & tweaked it just so, causing the tail to lift slightly & then added a blue Swarovski Crystal to the tip of his tail

I covered the head area with black/purple 11s adding a mouth & the 2 large rose montees for his eyes, here you can still see the 8s in between the darker 11s

To get the right scale for the wings I printed out some dragonfly wings that I found online - I forget where ;)

The wings were made using goldfilled wire & I guess it is a version of square/brick stitch but as I made it up as I went, I am not really sure. When finished they were each about 2 1/2 " long and would not sit as I wished them too, they were too floppy & we all know dragonflys do not like floppy wings..
Finally I resorted to painting the undersides with Mod Podge - 3 coats before they were firm enough to sit above the rest of the beadwork.
Here he is drying his wings after the 3rd coat
I also added some swirly green sequins over the 'leaf' area on the fabric, here is a close-up of the Art Bead & some of the embellishing.

Close-up of the dragonfly, you can't see from this angle but to make his legs, I added black beads from the kit to where the wires from his wings came out on the other side of the body. The wires pierce the fabric and are secured on the back of the fabric.
Bird's eye view, allowing you to see the 3D effect of the dragonfly

I used a light tent in full sunshine to get my photos - if you photograph beaded stuff, one of these is a must - my Tide Pool at the top of my blog was also photographed in my light tent)
Here is a photo that Joe took while I was taking photos, I think it's kinda neat, so I included it for your pleasure.
This piece, along with all the rest of the wonderful creations will be acutioned on E-Bay next year - I will post here when that is ready to go live..

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The ups & downs of life

Sometimes life just plain overwhelms me ~

Last week I attended the last of 4 diabetes education classes (3 hrs each week!) at our local hospital & have a follow up appointment with the diabetic nurse next week. I was mightily ticked off with the idea of having to go to classes at first but I now appreciate the fact that our hospital provides this for us. The classes really helped me to come to terms with my diabetes, as well as helping me understand what this chronic disease is all about. Now I know how I can control my blood sugar & I am finding that my diet has not changed a lot, more meat/protein & healthy fats.

I had my 2nd A1C test a couple of weeks ago & am pleased to say that my numbers have dropped 2 points to 6.2. It's good to have confirmation that I am now in control.

I actually enjoy finding different ways of presenting my meals & I'm seeing a Mediterranean look to my food which BTW, I am enjoying immensely. I even took photos of some dishes ;)

One chicken thigh with steamed veges & some olives & no that is not butter it's Smart Balance margarine on my potato -I didn't eat white potatoes for the longest time but I'm enjoying a small serving of them again ;)One egg scrambled with stewed tomatoes, to which I have added chopped onion, garlic & fresh spinach, along with some olives for healthy fat
A freshly baked loaf of whole grain, Rye bread with sprouted Rye berries & flax meal added. Bread is a good thing if it's whole grain, which this sure is. We've had a change in our hours at work, so I now do 7 hr shifts & just 2 nights a week - Yay!

But the past 2 weeks saw me covering for other caregivers who had health issues & me with a small tear in my Achilles tendon - sheesh all the gals there are a lot younger than me, what's wrong with this picture?

I have no idea how I tore my Achilles tendon if indeed it is torn, I didn't have an MRI as my Dr said it was just a small tear & gave me a boot to wear that makes me kind of walk on the ball of my foot & decreases the strain on the tendon. I'm also on an anti-inflammatory med to help with the pain. Dr tells me that because I am older ~ahem~ my tendons & muscles will tear with little strain sometimes & it can be as simple as turning my foot in a mole hole in the garden - well that is a possibility as there are moles aplenty here ;( I need to get some decent work boots to wear when working in the garden.

I am totally rearranging my garden this year, if I get enough fine sunny days to work out there. I lost a couple of plants to the extreme cold we had here last winter so they need to be replaced & there is an area at the back on a hillside that really needs a make over. I have moved my Dahlias out of there, so that is a start & Joe is rebuilding my strawberry beds today, it might be a bit late but we shall see.

I took a few cuttings last fall, which wintered over under mist in the greenhouse. They have been potted up & hopefully will be ready for my plant sale in June.

Beads; Oh yes I am beading, mostly in the evenings when I'm not at work.

I am behind again in my BJP being that it's May now but I will get back to that real soon. I have been working on the BFAC Project, this is the first year I've taken part in it.
This is the kit that is sent out & I have to use the big glass bead as well at least 1 of each of the rest of the beads, I can add 1 extra bead kind & a few other things like cabs, sequins & non bead items
I had a couple of false starts, which seems to be the norm for me LOL but I am pleased with what I'm doing now. So here's a wee tease for you to wonder over ;)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Proud Mother - that's me ;)

Last year my daughter Elizabeth bought a Cafe. She lives in northern New South Wales, Australia.
In February to celebrate International Women's Day, the local Weekly News did an article spotlighting Business Women in the Surrounding area.

Elizabeth sent me a copy of the Weekly, so I want to share her with you all ;)

I am so very proud of my Daughter!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

March BJP - The Women in My Life

Ok this makes me up to date on my BJP pages - Yay!!

This is Julie Briggs, a dear friend of mine who passed away May last year after a sudden illness. She taught elementary school here on the peninsula for over 25 years & was instrumental in getting our Boys & Girls club stated.

She is greatly missed & I often find myself thinking of how Julie would have enjoyed this or that thing.

You might be gone Julie but you are not forgotten...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Muse is unveiled at last!

Scarlett has set up a wonderful gallery where all the entries - over 60 of them - are on display.

I love how there are so many different styles & ways to use this piece which Scarlett named the Muse.

Nope I didn't win but I enjoyed the challenge all the same & congratulate the winners.

Here's my interpretation of the Muse & of course it's Bead Embroidered..

Here are a couple of progress pix so you can see how it looks out flat..

I enjoyed this challenge immensely but will sit the next one out as I have a Mermaid waiting for some attention, more on that soon;)

Daily pix

Busy, busy, busy today, aren't I?

Well I said I was going to post daily pix, so here is one of Ms Phoebe's tent & all her toys..

Yep she has her own tent - mind you, she is not a spoilt cat at all, not one little bit LOL

She has a new mouse, it squeeks when touched & while it doesn't smell as good as the catnip mice it does seem to be the favorite for now. I read that Maine Coons remained kitten like & that seems to be so with this one, she loves to throw that mouse in the air & chase it across the room