back and forth

My two lives. My late night/early mornings life of mad crafty energy, where my fingers itch to create and my mild mannered day life of teaching, biking, tennis and the love of my life!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

More beads!

I think I'm reaching an end to my obsessive bead making streak! I'm actually spinning another rainbow skein, and ideas for new yarn colors. And the fabric is beginning to call to me again...all good.

I love the metallic clays, and the transulcent clays. I'm also playing with some beautiful little canes I got from clayartist!

Some of the details have me in awe, when they emerge as I play with them and they 'grow'...she's amazing.

I'm thinking of just offering loose beads rather than pendants on cord. I like the idea of having some in supplies. I'm also going to post them in the Wire Jewelry forum, for the diy.

Smoothie recipe:
1/2 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
Ice and water to make it slushy. Add Rainbow pearls. YUMMM!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

burned beads, soft beads, hole-less beads, and Convection Oven woes

So I've been pretty much, well, obsessed, with polymer beads! First day back, I made some 75 beads. Then I burned 1/3 of them in my toaster oven. Holy toxic fumes, Batman!

So I went to Lowes with my gift certificate and bought one fancy, if bumped and dented, convection oven on special for the whole gc. I brought it home. It didn't work. I took it back, and bought the cheap-but-new-in-the-box one. (Did I mention this is all in my ds' sports car with paintball skull decals in 100+ weather? I got tracked by CHP both, the mom, putzin at 60 in the slow lane...heh heh). I now have a small oven that works, and $10 on my gc...

Cheap that I am, I did get an offer the next day from Freecycle , but alas, too late. I mean, I *could* return it, but I've reused this darn gc about 1/2 dozen times for various plumbing and assorted exchanges, and I feel guilty about it... it works, it's here, I don't have to drive in this Dante weather.

Here's one of the swirl beads that I made into a quick pendant.

I've put aside canes for now in the heat and having fun with swirl beads. I sit down to try one idea, and next thing I know, a couple of hours have passed, I have a dozen uncooked beads on my tray.

Sarah Shriver was right about fussing with the bead. It makes a HUGE difference in the final product. I'm still working on that. Made by hand or not, Sarah manages to make them as perfect as possible, and that professionalism shows in her work.

Heck, I'm still working on erasing fingerprints without distorting the whole darn thing...but I'm getting better!

Here are some raw beads that are slated for fussing...I still haven't gotten the skill of making 2 exactly alike, but I suppose in polymer it's not expected....but a gal can try.

UN-bead related, nl and I rode at 6:00am this morning trying to beat the heat. It didn't work. It was hot at 6:00am! Also a 'spare the air' day, tractors and trucks kicking up dirt in fields....
Stats: 34 miles
1 iced tea
passed by too many roadies to count
beaned by one dragonfly

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Latest Obsession: Polymer beads!

I just had the BEST workshop with Sarah Shriver, held in lovely Mendocino at the Mendocino Art Center. I haven't been able to stop playing with clay since...

Here's the coast at the Mendocino Headlands, straight down the road from the Art Center.

Here's Sarah doing a demo. There were 8 of us, in the jewelry studio. She was relaxed AND meticulous, and funny, informative, supportive.
I'm hoping to take her Celtic bead class this Spring at MAC too.

Lesson #1. As bright as my Skinner blends are, using the primary colors results in BROWN!! Duh. Yes, I was a Design major. Yes, I teach a color wheel class with my students every year. I dunno; I didn't realize how quickly canes can shrink!!

Evidence here, on my weekend's results...

Too much fun anyway! My first job is to make beads for my students to add to my thank you cards.

Here are some that I tried, although I'm going to start over, since I've decided to make holes *before* instead of suffering my power tool phobia! The ones on the right are a blend I did using the same method from class, using a very tight part of the color wheel! I'm trying to make a matching sock cane. My goal is to perfect my skills and offer polymer jewelry with sock beads! The ones on th left are from the primary canes from the workshop. Most are Natasha beads, one is a method Sarah showed us.

I just love working with the clay! I guess it's lucky that Knitty got delayed, and I get to indulge myself in my latest obesession.

Yes, I've finished clue#2 on the Mystery stole, and am still knitting on Clapotis. I should have 3 sets of hands...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Clapotis fever!!

SO I'm a couple years behind the times. I know everyone in cyber-knitting land was doing a clapotis. I honestly thought it was some kind of South American poncho, or a scarf with pockets/poncho thing: not interested in that! But from my Mystery Stole wanderings, I clicked on Clapotis and saw the real thing. I read the intro. I had visions of myself with red lipstick, little black dress, sitting in a cafe in France, sipping a latte...well that was IT! I had to knit one.

But what to do about the yarn? It asks for something close to worsted: but reading around, some have used lace. I had lace weight. I had lots of lace weight. But I didn't really want to knit with something that thin. I didn't want to spend *more* money on yarn when I have so this is what I did.

I chose two skeins of lace weight, just slightly different. And then, laboriously, set one on my swift, and added more twist to the single ply on my Louet. Talk about tedious!

At the end of one skein, I was no longer adding twist, as much as I was simply transfering it to the bobbin.

There was no way I was going to go through 850 yds of another skein!

So I figure forget the counter twist. I'm just going to ply the darn stuff, and set it. Theoretically, it should be fine.

Here's the result. I haven't set the twist in this pic, but it set just fine! I have a slightly barberpole, varigated fingering yarn! It should be very nice as a first clapotis.

I'm sort of waiting for to get more Malabrigo merino worsted weight. I have my heart set on a deep forest green clapotis at some point...

OH. And I finished both sides of Clue #1. Hopefully I'll have time to knit when I'm in Mendocino taking my polymer kaleidoscope class!

Monday, July 10, 2006

I'm IN - Mystery Stole 2006

I jumped into Mystery Stole 2006 ! This is the very first knitalong I've joined, and I've finished one side of clue #1, and took off my provisional casting and am doing the other half. I'm using kettle dyed lace yarn from in 'Sunset' and really like it.

Here's a close-up. This is the best way to tackle one of these lace stoles! A not-overwhelming part at a time!

I'm using #4 needles. I always knew that yo's are a favorite of mine, so I'm really enjoying this!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

All is NOT lost, merely delayed!

Amy replied right away, and was so nice! They merely ran out of time to properly review stuff, so it'll be in the fall issue. I hope they like it! I made them to fit one skein and one sock in progress, to carry with you anywhere, not really to hold too much more. Oh well! I'll have to wait 2 more months to see what happens!

But I feel so relieved too. Before I checked my email, I was so upset, I stayed up until 3:00 am reading this biking journal on And then I got a call from nl at 7:00am to ride, since we were fuzzy on whether we were riding or not after watching the July Crit downtown. So I went! She had to be back by 11:00 so we did a 30 mile loop, which included a pastry for me, and coffee for her at Konditeri. (YUM) And came back to find the nice post from Amy.

Feeling better, here are some pics!

These are earrings I bought on Etsy from loopityloopglam. I absolutely love them. She was having a sale, and in my weakness for earrings, even when I'm trying to save, I couldn't resist. She has such cool stuff. I WILL treat myself, if my review goes well!

Here's some yarn samples I got from The Fuzzy Bunny. I really want knitters who think of handspun to think of Etsy! She did a really great job, they're so cute.

Here are some Baby Bugs. They're so much fun to make. Matt brought his girlfriend, Kristyn over on 4th of July and was remembering the one I made him when he was small. It's probably still around here somewhere!

Okay, now I'm off to look for fabric for Annakat's SuperSized Sock Bug!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


So I get this post from that they want to review my Etsy. I send them a Sock Bug, Yarn, a Baby bug and so on. And I tell people, spend tons on supplies and sew and spin like crazy: and the issue finally comes out, and I'm not there!!!


I'm pretty depressed about this. I have no idea what happened. I emailed Amy to find out what happened...