Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!


Have fun and safe celebrations tonight. Party smile

My best wishes to all for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2012!

new year

Cat Cat face

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa Scavenger Hunt


For any of you who do not receive Suzanne Cooper’s newsletter (and if you don’t, you should sign up for it here) I wanted to let you know that she is having her annual 12 Days Of Christmas Santa Hunt.  I always have fun searching for the Santa pictures.

Click around the pages on her website, and if you see a Santa, click on him.  When you do, you’ll receive a free peyote pattern, immediately.  There are 12 Santas to find.  But hurry over there, because I’m not sure when it expires.  And while you’re looking for Santa, enjoy looking at everything Suzanne has to offer.

I found all of them.  Can you?

Cat Cat face

Xmas Gifts - Done!


My back is finally starting to feel better, so I’ve been beading up a storm getting Xmas presents ready for the girls.

I made them each a bracelet, but I didn’t get pics of those before I wrapped them, sorry.Xmas Gifts

I did take pictures of these pendants that I also made for them.  These are from Marcie Abney’s tutorial on her blog, La Bella Joya.  They were a lot of fun to make, and I want to make some more trying out some different variations.  I’d like to try putting drop beads around the outer edges, for instance.  I hope the girls like them.

I’d also like to wish each of you a very Merry Xmas and a happy and healthy New Year!  Here’s to all the best in 2012!  Party smile

Cat Cat face

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fun With Photos


Here’s a fun timewaster for you.  We all know we need more ways to waste time on the internet, right?  This one is really fun though.  At Photofunia, you can upload photos and make all kinds of special effects out of them.  I made my wire spiral earrings into an art gallery painting. (they were just the first picture I had handy to play with)

PhotoFunia-spiral earrings

Then I pasted them into an old book page.


Then for even more fun, I turned them into graffiti art.


I even put them outside in the snow.


There are all kinds of fun things you can do with your pictures!  And it’s easy.  The hardest part is picking which special effect you want to use.  After you make your picture, you can save it to your computer.  And some of the effects give you a choice of saving it as a 100x100 size avatar.  I think I’m going to play around with it and make a new message board avatar.

Have fun!  And don’t say I didn’t warn you when none of your housework gets done!

Cat Cat face

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Little Piglet Brick Stitch Pattern - Free

I was looking for some graph paper the other day in the organized chaos that I call my craft area.  I wanted to graph some peyote patterns for the beaded beads that I’m making. (yes, I still do it all by hand, on paper)  When I found the graph paper there were some older patterns on there that I had drawn long ago.
I can’t remember why, but for some reason one of my daughters had wanted a little piggie, and I still have the graph, so I’m sharing him with you. Keep in mind, this is from when I first started beading, so it’s a very simple pattern of a piglet on a diamond-shaped background.  I think she used it as a decoration on top of a little box she had in her room.
It’s done in brick stitch.  Start at the middle row and make a ladder stitch going across.  Then brick stitch your way up to the top, decreasing one stitch on each side as you go.  If you want it to be a pendant, when you get to the top add a little circle of beads, by coming up out of the top bead.  Pick up about 7 beads or so, depending on the size, and then go back down into the top bead.  You may want to go through these beads a few times for strength.  Weave in your thread and cut.
Now go back to the ladder row and weave in a new thread. Then work your way down to the bottom in the same way as you did the top.  It may help to turn the pattern upside down for this second half.
Here is a link to some basic brick stitch instructions if you have never done this stitch before.  There are many free brick stitch tutorials on the internet, but I picked this one because it shows you how to do the edge decreases.
I used pink, light pink, white, and black beads, but you can use any colors you choose. 
Diamond Piglet
Thanks to Easy Bead Patterns for giving away free the program that allowed me to graph the pattern on the computer and make a jpg out of it so that I could share it.  If you also want to share this pattern, that’s okay, but I’d really appreciate it if you would please link back to my blog.
Cat Cat face

Monday, December 12, 2011

Linda Richmond



I have been wanting to make the beaded fish at the top of this page on Linda Richmond’s website for a long time.  Previously, it was only available as a kit, as were most of her designs, and was way out of my price range.

I got an email a couple of days ago letting me know that Linda has changed her business model.  She is now selling all of her projects as downloadable instructions instead of kits.  And she has some beautiful designs!  Take a look.

Now I’m off to get myself the fish instructions!


Cat Cat face

Spiral Earrings


I did manage to do a little work with wire today.  I had started working on these earrings from a tutorial by Pat Capostato a while ago, and I was itching to work onPat Capo Spiral Earrings something so I thought I’d finish them up tonight.

I’m going to make them over again, this is just a practice pair, while I’m trying to get the “feel” of working with wire and doing different things with it.  The bends in the wire aren’t very smooth and there are marks on the spiral from where I held it with my pliers while making it.  (How do you hold a spiral to wind it without marking it? I couldn’t get a tight enough grip using nylon pliers.)  And I took this picture right at my workspace, so having a bad photo doesn’t help.

They are a very pretty design, but aside from all of the mistakes, I feel like there is something just “off” about them and I can’t figure out what it is.  I’m thinking that maybe I used a bead that was too big in relation to the dangle, so they look top-heavy, unbalanced.  When I re-do them, I’m going to try with a smaller bead on top since the little dragonflies are so dainty.  Maybe that will fix it and I’ll be satisfied.  I’ll let you know.

filed spiral


While I was playing around practicing with spirals though, I found out that if I use a file straight across the top of a spiral it looks almost like it was hammered.  But without the noise, LOL.  Interesting.  I don’t know when I’ll be able to use that little tidbit, but it’s filed away in my head for now.



I found a great website with some beautiful patterns.  I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.  Have a great day!

Cat Cat face

Sunday, December 11, 2011



I’m in withdrawal!  Beady withdrawal, that is.  I haven’t been able to bead except for a few minutes at a time, and I have so many projects going on right now that I want to get done.  So I’ve been drawing some peyote graphs with designs for my beaded beads.  That helps a little, but I want to bead them up!  And I still have to finish my daughter’s rock, work on a bracelet that I started, I still haven’t finished the wine bottle for my friend, and I have wire designs that I want to get to, and many earrings in my head.

And I’ve been a crab to everyone around me.  I feel bad, and I keep apologizing, but pain makes me crabby, and beading relaxes me.

I’ve been going for therapy every day this week.  No results yet, but hopefully I will start feeling better soon.  First they relax my muscles with a heating pad for a few minutes.  Next I get a little massage with an electronic wand.  Then I lay on a table and they lock this device around my neck (cough, cough).  It uses traction to create space between my vertebrae so that hopefully the herniated disc will move back where it’s supposed to be and I will be pain-free.  Each day the time on the table increases by one minute and the traction weight increases by one pound.  It’s not so bad, because at the same time the table is massaging my whole back.  That part feels good.  Then I put ice on it for half an hour, and then “see ya tomorrow!”

I really, really hope this works!  I will just think positive about it and wish for the best.

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, December 04, 2011

I Won Something!

Before I get to the news about what I won, I have to tell you that I was in Michaels yesterday and I found a new toy!


It probably doesn’t look like a toy to you, but wait. I made this out of it.

eyelet bead green

I wanted to wait until I had more than one bead before I took pics, but I couldn’t wait. I love it! It makes a simple peyote beaded bead look so much more professional. I can’t remember where I saw this idea, but I’m happy that I did. They come in three different sizes (this one is the largest, it’s 22 rows of Delica beads around, 6 mm across according to my calipers), and also in colors with a little flower shape on the end. Now I want all of them, lol. If you’re going to go looking for them, I found them in the scrapbooking section.

I can’t wait to make more beads, and then turn them into something!

Now for the really exciting news….I went to the bead store to get some E6000 to glue the eyelets in, and while I was paying (with my gift certificate..cha-ching!) I saw my name and phone number sitting on the register. I know I’m a regular customer, but not that regular. So, I asked Ella why it was there, and she said I won the drawing that they had on Small Business Saturday! I can’t believe it, this is my first time to win something. I get a free class of my choice! I’ll probably pick a basic wire class, since I’m starting to teach myself how to work with wire. Wire-working is a bit harder to self-teach than beading because there is a right and a wrong way to hold and position the tools if you want to get good results. It would be nice to learn the proper way to do things right at the start.

Hope you have a great day!


Friday, December 02, 2011

And Now, Finally, Something Beady!

YAY! Ahead of the anticipated delivery date, I received my copy of Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry by Maggie Roschyk. I’ve already read it from cover to cover.Product Details

Before Maggie even gets to the projects, there are 26 pages of luscious goodness, including how she comes up with designs, how to choose colors and finishes, what she hopes you will get from the book, a rundown on tools, and more.

Here’s a couple of sentences that will whet your appetite. “I consider starting a new beading project akin to having a small party on my beading tray. I’m going to gather together different and interesting characters and let them mingle.” She does have a way with words, and will make you look at your beads with new eyes.

There are 13 projects in the book, and while I will probably not make them all, each of them has techniques that can be used as a springboard for new ideas. She also demonstrates a totally different way of doing cubic RAW, so some who may be having trouble with it could possibly try it her way and see if you can grasp it easier.

The project instructions are written in a way that some knowledge of basic stitches is assumed and there aren't very many diagrams, although there is a glossary of stitches in the back of the book, so an enthusiastic beginner would probably be able to work through them. Maggie’s famous Poppy Pod Beads are in here! Although I think there is either a mistake in the directions for the narrow band bead on page 46 or I am reading them incorrectly.

All in all, it looks like a great book, and I can’t wait to get started using some of the ideas in it.

As soon as I can use my arm without pain, lol. I have been beading some small snowflakes for Xmas cards, but it’s a slow process, 10 minutes beading, then 30 minutes on the heating pad…

Cat Cat face

The New Neurosurgeon


Well, I went and saw the new doctor today.  He was certainly friendly enough, and thorough.  He looked at my MRI’s and gave me lots of tests.  He’s also getting my records from my pain doctor and the other “neurosurgeon”.

But one thing he said really pissed me off.  When I was telling him how much it hurts (because I thought it might be relevant that he knows this is not just some derpy level 5 pain), he said, “If you’re here looking for drugs, I’m not going to give you any.”

You asshole, you have my medical history right in front of you. Including two MRI’s that show substantial spine damage.  I am already taking more drugs than I want to be taking.  I have a pain management doctor who takes care of any medicine I might need for pain.  Did I ask you for drugs?  I told you I am here to try out your Groundbreaking New MethodTM that controls pain without surgery or medication.  WHY would you say something like that?  I guess all the idiot people who do go around to different doctors looking for drugs ruin it for the ones who really are in pain.

Now I only wish I had said all that to him.  Just because doctors don’t even think about how what they say might make somebody feel.  Instead, I meekly said no, I am hoping that this treatment will allow me to decrease my medication back to normal levels.  So he says he’s glad to hear that.  Good for you, Doc.  I’m happy you’re “glad”.

I’m still going to give it a chance.  I go in Monday for a nerve test, then I start a physical therapy regime 4 days a week that uses a combination of heat and cold therapy, and some sort of traction-therapy to stretch the muscles.  This is supposed to give the discs more room and relieve the pain.  He might want me to wear a neck brace.

Also, I was worried about the co-pays, because I can’t afford a $40 co-pay four times a week.  As it turns out, I was talking to another new patient outside the office.  He told me that when he said he couldn’t afford the co-pays, the office offered to reduce his co-pay to five dollars.  So, when I am negotiating with the office, I will be sure to tell them that I know they offered another patient a five dollar co-pay and that’s what I want also.  I’m sure this place is making out like a bandit from the insurance money they’re collecting.

I really am still not sure if this is some kind of legitimate therapy or some insurance scam.  (I gave you the website last time.  What do you think?)  But I guess I’ll never know until I at least try it.  And at this point, I’d be willing to let someone stab me in the back with a fork if it would stop the pain I’m in.

So, I guess I’ll have an update on the back issues some time next week, if therapy begins that soon, which I hope it does.  And I hope this stuff works.

I hate doctors.  Even the ones who pretend to be nice.

Cat Cat face

PS…Sorry for the long rant.  I’m just so tired of all of this.