Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bead Soup Blog Party • Partner and Soup Reveal • Owls

It's here, it's here!!!!  My Bead Soup Blog Party (BSBP) package arrived and I couldn't be more excited!!!!


The BSBP is truly one of my favorite blogging activities!  Created by the talented jewelry artist, Lori Anderson, the BSBP was on hiatus while Lori battled some health challenges.  But I'm delighted to report the Party has been revived.

This year, Lori added a theme: Bead Hoarders Edition.  Can't we all relate to that!?!?!  Who hasn't hoarded something pretty, with the best intentions of eventually creating something with it?!   She also encouraged everyone to create their BSBP package before they were partnered, so that we influenced to create our BSBP soup, based on who our partner was.  Here was my package and note:

I knew I was giving in the spirit of this theme, because I struggled a bit on whether I wanted to even give it away!! That said, I'm super happy that this pretty focal is going to get its due with the BSBP!

In the meanwhile, I was partnered with none other than, micro-macrame knotting extraordinaire, Sherri Stokey!!  Can I just say, I have been drooling over her work for YEARS! Seriously - if you haven't had a chance, check out her amazing micro-macrame on her Etsy page or follow her on Facebook.  Here is Sherri's blog, Knot Just Macrame (and may I also give her HUGE props for her clever business name!?)

Now onto the bead soup that she sent me!!!!!  Yippee!  First of all.....how cute is this packaging!?

Next: this card!!! Oh my goodness.  LOVE!

And anyone who has been reading my blog will know that my head just about exploded when I got to the part in the note about an "owl pendant"! WHAT!? Talk about synergy!

I LOVE OWLS! In fact, just yesterday I trudged through a foot and a half of snow just to get a glimpse of my neighborhood great horned owl pair (as referenced in this post ), and saw Papa Owl fly away.  At which time, I scanned the tree line for 30 minutes and took lots of pictures.  Wasn't sure if I got anything (blame it on my middle aged eyes!) until I got back to my computer and was delighted to see I was aiming my camera just where I thought he perched!

Oops - I digress - back to my soup reveal:

I LOVE IT! Thank you Sherri! I am positively swooning over my pendant and beads.  I love birds and especially owls, and this earthy color scheme is going to be tons of fun to work with! I can't wait to begin working on this!  Come back on March 25th for the reveal party!!!

Since we're on the subject of owls, I'll leave you with this video I captured last month of a screech owl trilling in his tree hole! Love these pint size owls! They are so cute!! (And doesn't this guy kind of match the colors of my bead soup!!???)


(This video was also captured on my new Canon Powershot, more about that camera if you click here!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy February!  Just when I as thinking 'we are having a mild winter', February reared its ugly head and reminded me that it's still winter in New England! ;)  The day after I took this shot, we got hammered with another 10 inches!


But the previously mentioned mild winter, has made for some fun winter birding!  And on that note, because I've been posting just as much about birds as I have about beads, I decided to slightly rebrand my blog to include birds too! hee-hee


So back to the birds!  A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to pick up a new camera that is popular for its amazing optic zoom.  This camera does not disappoint!

The Canon Powershot SX60 16.1MP Digital Camera 65x Optical Zoom Lens 3-inch LCD Tilt Screen (Black) optic zoom is not to be reckoned with!!  I mean seriously people, this is a point & shoot, or as some people say, a 'bridge' camera...because it has some features and settings similar to a DSLR, but this camera totally rocks as soon as you take it out of the box!

So here are a few shots I got the first day I used it:



Earlier this week I checked out an area near my home, where last year I located a great horned owl couple that was nesting.  They are back!  Here is the camera view when I first got to the site:

See those little circles?  The one on the left is the nesting hen (uncropped)!

The one on the right is the male owl roosting near by!!!! (Also uncropped!)

Can you believe it!?!? I hardly can!  Here are a couple of moon shots recently snapped by the amazing Canon Powershot SX60:


I couldnt' be happier with this camera.

So when I'm not working, or looking for birds, I have also been beading!
Some earrings here & there....


Here are a few snaps of one half of a heart pattern by Gwen Fisher:


And I came across this pattern via Bead&Button and am still working it!  Seems I need to get started on Valentine's day hearts a little sooner than a few days before Valentine's day!

And when Im not beading, or birding, or working, I'm still having tons of fun playing Pokemon Go with my son.


This fun game even inspired me to create this Pikachu bracelet pattern!


Finally - I'll leave you with a few snaps from my work over the past few weeks!


Stay tuned for another post soon.  I am excited to participate in the  2017 Bead Soup Blog Party (BSBP) this year! I can't wait to see and post what my BSBP partner sends along!


HAPPY FEBRUARY!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!!  I can't believe we are already a week into 2017!

Christmas 
The holidays were nice.  I did a little baking for my son's teachers.  The recipe I followed was for "Saltine Toffee Cookies", but I substituted graham crackers and they were a hit!  And they are very easy to make!  (And I positively loved the little mini tree decorations!!!)


On Christmas day, I scored this awesome Ott Lite caddy!  I love it!!!  Props to my husband for paying attention when I went wild seeing something similar several weeks earlier!

We also went on a lovely hike in the woods near our house.

Earrings
Just before the holidays I sold a couple of "Earring of the Month" subscriptions so lately I've been very busy prepping earrings to send off to subscribers this year! I just love making earrings.  Whether they take an 30 minutes or an hour and a half, it's a great way to fit in some quick and satisfying beading!



Bead Soup Blog Party
In other beading news, I'm super excited to see the Lori Anderson is reviving her Bead Soup Blog Party! I have met so many lovely beaders doing that and I always love to see all the creations from the packages people received.  It's a brilliant concept and I enjoy it on every level! Mark your calendars, here is some more info:


Bead-it-Forward 
Bead-it Forward is a little on the quiet side these days. I think for the 2018 round there will have to be some changes to make it more viable.  I've learned a lot over the last few years working on this project.  Seems that people love making squares.  They love seeing other beaders' squares.  They love to see what has been done with the squares.  However, it seems that assembling the quilts and objects as well as auctioning or selling the final products, is where things get stopped up. I seriously have a lot of  squares that still need assembling and a lot of finished projects that need to be sold!   I am hopeful the we will see a lot of squares for the 2017 fantasy theme.  We've received a lot of really fun patterns!   Also - if you are interested in obtaining a quilt - there are many quilts available on this Etsy site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeadItForwardQuilts?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Birding
Switching gears now, I've had some really great luck with winter birding lately! And I mean LUCK!  I had heard rumors of a snowy owl at Duxbury Beach (about an hour and a half or so from my house), so one morning I trekked down there.  When I arrived there, I saw that most of the parking area was under construction, and the only area that wasn't under construction was chained off.  Given the time investment, I could not let that deter me.  I parked on a street near by and walked through the only open path I could see to the beach.  Just as I stepped onto the beach the owl was literally flying right in front of me!!!!  Imagine my surprise and delight!!!  Ad to top it off, she landed about 20 feet away!  Then she just sat there and posed for me for about 10 minutes.  I think I only took one more step onto the beach to get these shots!



Another tip I received, was about a large flock of cedar waxwings on a highway visitor center near by my town.  This spot was super close to my house so another morning I headed that way and was treated with a flock of about 100 or so cedar waxwings munching away on some berries.  They are such pretty birds and super fun to watch!! Warning - lots of photos here!!




Resolutions
I didn't make a lot of resolutions (okay, I didn't really make any), but I do hope to blog more frequently this year! A lot of my fellow bead bloggers have been wondering if the activity of blogging is dying out, given the ease and reach of other social media.  And I wonder the same thing! Time will tell I suppose! I'm love using Instagram, but I do enjoy the narrative qualities of blogging and the ability to share a lot more photos.  And I'm so immensely grateful for all the wonderful people I have met (virtually or in person) through this blog that I'd hate  to miss out on any future opportunities!  HAPPY 2017!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Happy December!

Happy December!

I've been super busy with beading since I last posted as I participated in two craft fairs!  In my last post I had picked up some buttons for a cuff I was working on.  And since then I started working on some holiday peyote cuffs, from some patterns I picked up through Bead & Button.  They are so super holiday-ish!

The "Christmas Sweater" cuff called for some sweater buttons.  So naturally, I took another trip to the fabric store, and naturally picked up more buttons than I went in for!

The black buttons on the end there inspired me to create yet another cuff of the "Boho Scroll Pattern"! Now I have three! lol!


So basically every spare moment I've had in the last few weeks has been beading to stock up on product for the craft fairs.  The first one was so-so, but the second one was huge and very well attended!

In the meanwhile, I also did a custom set of jewelry for a friend.  One day she commented on a pendant I was wearing that I made YEARS ago! It was from LaBellaJoya's tutorial, "Carnaval Pendant".  I purchased that tutorial years ago and was shocked to find the printed version in my files! But I went ahead and made a few pieces with the "Carnaval" pendant as the focal.  It's a fairly easy pendant to work up and Marcie's instructions are excellent!


Turns out she is allergic to metal.  So I used leather for the necklace and sewed on some beaded clasps.

I modified the pattern (by basically not completing some of the final rounds) for a bracelet


And earrings (I did learn she can wear titanium! but that's the only metal!)

These just screamed fall and that was perfect for her dress and the fall wedding she was attending!

And speaking of fall - thank you so much to all the folks who voted for my palette during the Halcraft color palette challenge!  It was a close race, and that is understandable,  just look at how pretty these pics and palette are!

Halcraft was very kind to send me a stash for participating! I look forward to playing around with the fun strands!

Other than all the beading, I've mostly been working! Which I enjoy so for that I am super lucky.  Have you ever seen Lucie Fink on Refinery 29?  I'm totally obsessed with her "Try Living with Lucie" series.  I really enjoy seeing her work and I think she is an admirable young lady! She is a stop motion video producer and seeing her work inspired me to give it a try.  If you go to my Instagram (link on the right sidebar), you will see some beady ones I did.  But I also brought the stop-motion fun into my day job for some gift card promotions for the holiday season.  Here is a round up of the videos! I had a blast doing them! IT's super time-consuming, but I really think the result is worth it!


And finally - one of my bosses teased me last month about achieving a rite of passage at my company.  That rite of passage is wrangling an escaped cow back into pasture!  I stumbled along this fella enjoying some of the greens outside his enclosure!

I can't say I actually wrangled him....but I successfully spooked him back through the fence! But in any case I'll take credit for the wrangling!  hahah!  I don't think he was too happy with me!

Now, it is time to brace for a small New England storm about to fall on us this evening!  Happy December y'all!