November 17, 2014

Blending New and Old in Friendship and Memory Seed Bead and Charms Bracelet

It's snowing here today, the first of the season. I'd been expecting it, and sure enough, this morning it was all over the trees and the ground. The snow is piled on top of the fence line and the big trash can at the end of the driveway has an inch or more on top of the lid.

A few birds are looking for their early morning feed amongst the unraked leaves in the snow. Squirrels are still laughable as they shake their tails and run in circles up and down the big tree trunk. I have to hold on to these images, for soon these little peeks into the natural world will disappear until Spring.

In a little while I'm going to paint my parlor or living room as it's also known, sorry I have always called it a parlor. I hope this is no more than a three day job, for I am slowwww and meticulous. I still carry the damp rag, to wipe up my accidents. I might be meticulous, but there's still some clumsy in my movements. I'll probably never grow out of clumsy, and not for lack of trying. Just put the table over that spot.

The snow is steady and heavy at the moment, so I am going to distract myself from the white onslaught by sharing this bracelet with you and then start moving the furniture and getting on with the paint job.

When I moved into the house, the parlor had a mucus-like green swirly stripy look and it made me nauseous just to be in or walking through the room. The front door was the same snot-like color. Sorry, I wanted you to know how much the green was a poor choice. Weird, ugly, just repulsive.

I painted the parlor a beigey/tannish color and one wall was a very light yellow- all because I ran out of paint and energy. I wasn't happy with the end result, but had to let it stay those colors for a while.

For a few years I fought the urge to paint it white, but no longer. I have given in and bought a primer and paint-in-one in something called, "Swan White." It should be white enough, not gray and not too glaring.  I hope it's worth the extra money for a primer and paint in one.

I thought this striped design might poke through, even with a primer, so I used some light colored paint leftover from another room to paint over the stripes.  

Some of my furniture has white in it and I bought a small coat rack with iron hooks to put on the wall after I clean and paint it in a white color, too.  More ornamental, but still useful. (Finally, a thrift store score.)

It's been three months since Lucy died, and yesterday was the anniversary of my Mom's passing. It's taking everything I can to muster the energy and do the work in myself to move forward. Setbacks not excluded.

The snow is not helping, but I can't control the weather. That cold blanket of white, just confirms the finality of things. It's going to be a long time before there is life again. No green poking through, the birds, squirrels, and rabbits take themselves to another place.

I don't want any big changes right now. For me, painting is an exercise and a comment that no matter what happens, life doesn't ever stay the same. Even though I'd give anything to have them back with me.

I wanted to show you this bracelet, it went to a friend. It was a labor of love and helped me to make a little inch-hold in moving on. Not quite a foothold, in due time, though.

The glass seed beads are antique, some of the other beads are upcycled, and other charms are new. The bracelet was made with the wearer in mind.

I found the burlap bags in a craft store. I sewed on the flower and button felt. The reverse side has a white heart (to which I added her initial.)

Whatever you're doing this week, be safe, have fun and keep your chins up.

All the best,

November 7, 2014

If You Forget, Just Add Garlic Plus the Necklace is Finished!

Anybody know that expression, "I can't remember half the things I was supposed to forget?"  Or, something like that?

I looked at a picture file on my computer and I saw a half dozen or so nice lookiing meals. I cannot remember what the ingredients or the steps of cooking.

It would be funny except that, this is the way I often cook. Most of the time it turns out fine, if not, add garlic, and no one is the wiser, no really, no one is the wiser.

So, before I forget, I wanted to share with you that I got my courage up and submitted a necklace to the Jewelry Gallery section at Jewelry Making Journal.  Being offline for a bit and not checking emails, I didn't know that I received an email from them (Rena and Alice) to let me know my necklace was included in the latest newsletter and on the website.  Pardon me while I regain my composure.  It's probably not a big deal to any of you, but for me, who doesn't rock the boat or reach for anything too high, it was a lovely little  thrill - and I want you to be a part of it.

If you have a moment, will you please click the link and leave a comment.  The Jewelry Making Journal has a great amount of information and sharing tips among contributors. You could spend hours reading through it and maybe sign up for the newsletter before you leave.  

I showed the necklace here on the blog in a different, unfinished state and received helpful comments.  For some time the necklace and other projects were set aside while I shuffled my way through some bad times.  A couple of weeks ago I finished the necklace and a few other items which had been on my mind.

I'd appreciate if you could comment on the necklace and hope you enjoy reading the JMJ.

November 4, 2014

Make Stuffed French Toast in the Waffle Iron and Skip the Griddle

Instead of taking out the waffle iron to make waffles every once in a while, try making other things that are just as delicious. Make stuffed french toast and skip the griddle for a change.

I thought it was going to be a messy cleanup and I was proven wrong. The wet bread cooked up brown and tasty. I layered some cooked bacon and slices of cheddar cheese on top of one slice and placed the second slice, closed the lid and in a short time, the cheese was melted.

Pressing my luck, I also made regular french toast, grilled cheese, and toasted sandwich with filling.  Of all that I tried, the grilled cheese was the least favorite, but that's because it takes a lot of butter and I don't want all that cholesterol.

I've used the waffle iron to make chocolate waffles and regular waffles.  When I have the patience, I make about a dozen waffles, cool them on racks, and once cool, sandwich them between waxed paper or parchment paper and freeze them. They taste better than frozen factory made store bought waffles; I know what the ingredients are; and I adjust the flavors to suit.  Bon appetit!

Have you tried something like this, too?  What's your favorite waffle combo?