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Saturday, July 30, 2016

"This is a good cure for when you're bored!"

So said Beadboy2, when I introduced him to perler beads.  He's gone nuts making weapons and other doodads inspired by Minecraft:
He likes to iron the heck out of them

It's been a busy summer, filled with doctor's appointments, therapy sessions, official forms to fill out, and meetings with DOE officials, plus whatever free activities I could find to entertain Beadboy2.  I'm glad he has another outlet for his creativity.

I made a couple of doodads, too:
I need to practice my ironing technique, too
I'd like to finished the perimeter of the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern, if I can get more turquoise beads (I used up a lot making that diamond sword).  The trio of purple flowers might make a cute pendant.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer Stitching

This was the "Loves Me" kit from M Designs.  To finish it, I sewed on a narrow calico border, then backed it with a purple gerbera print, giving it a wide faux binding.

'Tis the season to move on to Halloween stitching.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Sew Charming

The Charm Bracelet wasn't a very good book, but it did inspire me to dig out the silver sewing machine charm I had forgotten about.  With it I found a scissors charm, and I had a theme for a necklace:

I found lots of bobbin jewelry on pinterest to inspire me, and all those holes in the bobbin were just begging to be adorned with lavender swarovski crystals, silver Bali beads, and a pewter thimble:

Placing the jump ring for the chain on the back of the bobbin helps the necklace to stay positioned correctly.  

I love it when books, sewing, and jewelry come together.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Book Round-Up

The Fortune Quilt by Lani Diane Rich: TV producer Carly encounters a psychic quilter (yup) whose advice turns her life upside down.  I think this novel suffered from the restrictions of its chick lit genre -- short and frothy story with a happy ending.  I would have preferred a longer novel that spent far more time on the relationship between Carly and her estranged mother, and the artists' community she finds herself in.

The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny: This is the third in Penny's mystery series, but the first for me; I couldn't resist the title.  Penny's writing is highly literate and descriptive, filled with characters who are mostly unlikeable but fully realized and fascinating.  There was a sub-plot about the police department that managed to be both compelling and distracting from the main mystery. Apparently that storyline continues through all the novels, making me less likely to seek out the other books in the series -- like I wrote, it was interesting but not so much that I want to read so much more about it.

The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman: Shipman structures this story about mothers and daughters around the charms on a bracelet.  It can be an effective way of telling a story, and the characters themselves were interesting, but ... this was not a good book.  It had too many cliches and was poorly written. Misused words, an overabundance of adjectives and adverbs, and awkward sentences made me wish for a red pen.

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale: I didn't even realize this was a sequel when I picked it up, but reading the first is not necessary for one's enjoyment.  It's your standard divorced-woman-needs-to-get-her-groove-back story (why are ex-husbands always such unrepentant jerks?) set in a Jane Austen theme park (do those exist? I bet they'd be very successful), with an Agatha Christie-ish mystery thrown in for good measure.  Said mystery was a little implausible and the book suffered from a surfeit of endings, but it was witty and enjoyable, even laugh-out-loud funny in parts.

The Heroines by Eileen Favorite: The conceit -- heroines from novels occasionally show up in our world to take a well-needed break at Anne-Marie's inn before returning to their fates -- is excellent, and the novel handles the themes of feminism, agency, and adulthood well.  A good chunk of the story, however, takes place in an institution where Anne-Marie's thirteen-year-old daughter is confined when no one believes her story about the heroines; it's effective in its own right, but not nearly as interesting to me as what was going on at the inn.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Red, White, and Blue

I'm not generally into flag motifs and patriotic doohickies, but this year I was inspired to make some earrings for the Fourth of July:

The earrings are based on these* by Happy Go Lucky, which I had booked marked a while ago to make in lots of fun colors. But as much as it pains me to admit, I have a TON of brightly colored earrings, and none at all that were red, white, and blue.

In keeping with my goal to use stuff from my stash only whenever possible, I made do with blue size 8 beads and red and white size 6 beads (poor quality ones, at that, dating from my years in college -- they varied wildly in size and shape).  I am curious to know what size jump rings Kara from Happy Go Lucky used; there was no way I could fit size 11 seed beads on my rings, and even some of the size 8 and 6 didn't work.

I originally tried it with same color beads on each ring, but that didn't look right once the earring was done:

Now I have something to wear! ... for one day a year.  And people wonder why I have a massive jewelry collection.