Tuesday, May 31, 2016

More beading

Hello, everyone.

The last little bead project was so encouraging, that I was eager to do another quick little thing.

Off the Beaded Path Video was in the long list of beady bookmarks and so I watched it. And then watched is slowly, with beads and needles in hand.

She uses bicone beads for hers, and I didn't have anywhere near enough of those, so used 4mm cobalt Fire-polished beads instead. It doesn't really show in the picture, but there were actually two packets of the cobalt Fire-polish beads, which of course had dye lot issues. I used the lighter beads for the center of the cross and the darker ones for the rest.

As the beads are dark, this time I used the Smoke colored 6 lb. Fireline instead of the Crystal color. (And no, that scissors in the picture is NOT the one I cut fireline with. I use my Rapala line cutters for Fireline.)

As you can see, this is a two-needle project. It calls for a bit more coordination than I really had on hand! It still came together pretty well. It only needs to have a chain or a ribbon or a strand of strung beads to hang from now.

Final size on the cross made of 4mm beads was maybe 2.5 inches. This isn't really something you perch in the hollow of your throat on a short ribbon, in other words.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Finished one bracelet

Hello, everyone.

The dutch spiral learning project is done. I finished it off into a bracelet.

This used up some of the bead mix that was left over from years ago. It also used up a catch that was in the stash.

While looking around at youtube, I discovered that the really nifty spiral earring that I'd seen on Pinterest is also a dutch spiral project, with tapering to make the overal lozenge shape. This could grow into a whole collection of blue-toned spiral whatsits!

(Link above is to the main page of youtube, search "seed beads dutch spiral" for a whole collection of interesting videos.)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trying something new

Hello, everyone.

The sewing projects are at a break for the moment, and the beads have been calling me. I read an instruction on Dutch Spiral beading--think bracelets or necklaces--and decided to give it a try.

There is a full baggie of blue bead mix to do something with, and a cleared-off sewing machine table to do things on:

The bead mix in a condiment cup--love these square cups for beading. 

Some of them spread out on a rimmed lid

Used 6 pound Fireline for this one.

Work in progress.
I am surprised by the amount of texture the beadwork has with a fairly simple stitch. And no hair pulling because of large jumps in bead sizes being next to each other!

Friday, May 20, 2016

A project finished!

Hello, everyone.

For the last couple of months I've been working on a baby-sized quilt. It's now finished!

Here is one part of the quilt, with a whale showing its cheerful yellow eye. The half-circle almost looks like it's winking, doesn't it?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Wonderful weather

Hello, everyone.

It has been really dry lately--well, it is in the late spring down here--and the plants have been drying out. Then, yesterday and today, we had a sudden change.

 A couple of the interesting cloud views yesterday. Yes, those were clouds that were flirting with the thought of a funnel. No funnels developed, though. And--gratia Deo--no hail. Plenty of lightning when the rain actually hit.
 Yesterday we got 1.5 inches of much needed rain. It was coming down hard and heavy for a little while, while we sat under the carport and watched the show with dogs hiding under our chairs.
And today we got at least another inch of it.All the puddling soaked into the ground as soon as the rain stopped, too.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sal Del Rey

Hello, everyone.

We woke up this morning with a yen to visit the historic salt lake at Sal Del Rey, This salt lake goes back for centuries. The Indians used to gather salt here, and it was traded up and down the countryside. The Spanish were also impressed with it--thus it became part of the Crown's lands in the area. These days it is a National Wildlife Refuge operated by the federal government.

It is about an hour's drive out of town for us--an hour, that is, from picking up our breakfast Q tacos at the local drive-through. We got to the highway entrance about 8 a.m., parked in the fenced parking lot, and started walking along the trail.

A butterfly on a thistle blossom

A couple of ants milking an aphid on a paloverde

Some of the many, many animal tracks around the lake
Starting to walk along the lake shore.
The crystals were plentiful.
We photographed some birds and a rabbit, a bunch of shots of the crystals, and some plants. Then we left and drove along Brushline Road at the edge of the refuge. There was almost no other traffic.
We saw was a flock of wild turkeys cross the road in front of us, a bright-red bird (summer tanager?) perched on the wire overhead, and a very large cat (bobcat?) was crossing the road a little farther on. An embarrassment of riches, and by the time we got the cameras out and ready to click, the turkeys had slipped away, the cat was long gone, and the little red bird decided to fly away. That's nature for you. But we did have a very pleasant walk.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

In-town wildlife

Hello, everyone.

I recently had occasion to do some walking in my town and passed by the city golf course. There was an egret on the grass near the water hazard.

View of egret from across the (busy) road
Other wildlife we have seen in this area, or in the city: yellow-crowned parrots and green parrokeets (not budgies) are known to live around here. On certain streets, they pose on the electric lines around 9 a.m. on Sundays. White pelicans are known to visit the water hazards of this golf course. Also whistling tree ducks live and breed in the area.

Tree ducks leading their brood to the drainage ditch. (They crossed our whole front yard!)
Roadrunners are not as common in town as out in the country, but they are around.
Roadrunner, using the patio crisscross as a lookout point!
And, of course, the usual jackrabbits, geckoes, and the occasional snake. Plus cardinals, mockingbirds, curve-billed thrashers, grackles, etc. etc.

In the (hopefully) near future, there will be a post about the Mission Hike and Bike Trail. We walked a lot on it while training for the Camino in 2014. One day we were there around 7 in the morning, and we saw a small herd of javelinas.