Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Change of plans

I had great aspirations of finished a beautiful beaded ornament cover in one week. And then the ants
invaded. Yuck! An unplanned pantry cleaning began. They were very fond of the drips of sticky stuff on the bottles of sorghum syrup and molasses. Walked around the ceilings of 2 rooms to find those drips. After dealing with these I just kept cleaning out. (Am I the only one with things with dates older than I care to admit?) Multiple ant traps for a week and I think the ants are mostly gone - knock on wood.

The unfinished piece is coming out quite nice. There is really not much more to do but part of what was left involved weaving in the ends and burning them off (I use a very cool little tool that is battery operated and melts the ends of the thread). Definitely could be easy to mess up if hurrying and I didn't want that. More on this piece next week.

So, yesterday when I decided I wouldn't make it on that one I grabbed a quick little fall-back Yes, more Czech blown glass beads. Even though these are quick and easy they are awfully pretty!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another one bites the dust ...

It is amazing how many objects I've found in my ornament supplies that are started but not finished. Actually not all that amazing - I love the excitement of starting projects. This week I decided to work on a little knitted stocking, one of the first ornament kits I for from Knit Purl in Portland. All I had done was knit the green facing that is folded inside the top.

It's always a relief to find all the supplies and directions. These were (fortunately) trapped inside a Rubbermaid container. Fortunately because as I wound the wool into little balls it seemed to be in multiple pieces. I think some little friends had had a snack. Knitters live in fear of little friends! Most of my yarn is stored in plastic bags but I should probably make a pass through and check things out.

Anyway, the cute little stocking with its Fair Isle pattern was
fun. But, not without its challenges. I am a very loose knitter. This pattern had no gauge or size information so I didn't change needle size - probably not the wisest decision. Clearly the size isn't an issue. Except that I ran out of red yarn 3 rows before the toe. I searched through my other Knit Purl kits. None had the same yarn but one was close. I used that and decided it looked pretty good - a bit brighter but I think it looks okay.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How long has this been going on?

Actually, not going on at all. Sitting in a cute little plastic box.

Anyone remember Daisy Kingdom? Adorable little store in NW Portland which then turned into an adorable bigger store in NW Portland. Some of it was actually a bit too adorable for my taste. In their larger store they taught a variety of classes. In fact, I took my first beading class there around 1990. It was for beaded earrings. Sometime after that I took a class to make beaded Christmas ornaments.The class was taught by Carol Perrenoud of Bead Cats. Beads Cats is a great source for beads. Their website is not so great - no pictures, no color samples, just words. But, they have a huge selection and are very helpful. Best way to interact with them is at a bead show.

Anyway, back to the 90s! The ornaments used round green glass bugle beads from Mill Hill, craft wire, ribbon and some accent beads. I had all of those in a plastic box with some beads from a Martha Stewart ornament kit. Some weeks this is like an archeology dig. Along with that was an almost finished pine bough. Seriously the only part not done was the top inch. The branches and pine cone were finished.                  
The truly miraculous thing was that in a beautiful Vera Bradley looseleaf notebook with a label on the spine that says "Ornaments" were the (not very fancy) directions. A true anomaly in my normal organizational style. But a very happy anomaly!

I remember finishing the wreath and giving it away as a gift. But I, of course, planned on making another for myself. And this week I did!

Carol provided some directions for round Czechoslovakian ornaments as well (carefully stored in the same lovely notebook - go figure!). They remind me of the ones I've made from blown glass but use 4mm pearls, pony beads, and seed beads. Perhaps they will show up in a few weeks.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pushing pins again

Not much to say about this one other than it takes a boat load of pins and sequins to cover these kind of ornaments! There are two more of these stocking ornaments in the kit, each with a different pattern of sequins. Usually I'd make just one of them but these are pretty cute. I think I'll set them aside and use them later Maybe.

A few people have commented on what my tree might look like this year. At the risk of losing my citizenship in Oregon (we grow a lot of Christmas trees here!) I'll admit that I have an incredible artificial tree - full but enough room between the branches to put tons of ornaments on. I also have a great space in my living room for it - in front of a bay window - where I can put ornaments all the way around.  More on this later.