May 29-June 1: Mosaic, beads, and failures

June 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

I have decided to post less frequently. During the day I may have time to make art, but not to write about it, and at night I am just too tired. I keep waiting for someone to come and tell me, “Hey, why don’t you take some time for yourself?” but no one will say that if I don’t.

I spent the whole morning trying to make mozzarella and it failed miserably, so now I am grumpy. But here is what we did in the last three days:

Wednesday, J. and I made a mosaic at the glass museum. A clever craft: you glue pieces of glass on a CD with white glue. Simple, pretty.


Thursday, we were at the coffee shop as usual, and O. was practicing her journal writing


which means that I wasn’t. We were a little creative later on that night when we went to a friends’ house for pizza, where we helped put on the toppings, which included nasturtium and calendula leaves (they tasted great), and made silly bead necklaces. J. made one that said “Joe M. loves you” for his best friend, and I made him this one:


It’s a reminder for both of us.

Then last night I spent hours trying to learn to put together a Rubik’s cube, but all I got was this:


This, too, makes me grumpy.  This blog is clearly not about my stellar successes in art, problem solving, and homemade living.

So as a consolation prize, here is a picture of a fascinating phenomenon: a shedding lizard.



April 5:Beads

April 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

After a long, busy, and hectic day, we had a quiet evening at home, during which everyone was engaged in a different project. D. worked on one of his altars, J. built with Legos, and I did some beading. I made J. a tortoise & hare bracelet from a kit D’s mom bought ages ago. It’s supposed to give you the impression that the two are racing.


And then I made some simple prayer beads, because I could certainly use the calming effect that prayer beads can induce.


I promised I’d make some for J, but I never got around to it. Tomorrow perhaps.

April 1: fossils and zippers

April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

The little man spent a long time chiseling away sand and rock from a fossil kit to reveal a shark’s jaws. I helped, and enjoyed the work. Maybe sculpture would be a good medium to calm my anxious mind. In any case, thank goodness for thrift stores, and dads who take kids to them while moms work and buy loads of cool toys and games.

he had a captive audience!

he had a captive audience!

And speaking of thrift stores, I bought a sweater recently with a zipper without a pull. My incessant zipper pull making finally paid off, as I got to add my chakra zipper pull to the sweater, and now it looks so much better!


March 29: Beaded eggs

March 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

As it turns out, decorating with seed beads is not nearly as easy as it seems, and, as usual, our finished product looks nothing like that of the professional crafters. But that’s only fair I guess. I am sure I write better mathematical proofs than people who haven’t studied math their entire lives. So I will embrace our project, imperfect though it is.

We bought papier mache eggs yesterday, with the intent of getting glue on them (mod podge) and rolling them in seed beads. At least that’s what the lady at the bead store told us. Because J. was a bit impatient, we used a whole lot of beads which were bigger than seed beads, which was a bad idea, as rolling got difficult so instead we spooned the beads onto the eggs. J. was a good sport until it got too much for him and he just declared he was done. I finished both, with okay results. I would suggest using seed beads only, and spooning or sprinkling a few at a time. Unfortunately I can’t test my theory, as we only had two eggs, but as I mentioned yesterday, the possibilities are endless. One can decorate pretty much anything with beads. Phone? TV? Front door? Car?


The set-up


too-big beads


Finished product

March 28: Beads

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Because we didn’t want to travel this spring break, we decided to take some day trips to neighboring towns instead. Today’s trip consisted of a brew pub, library, park, bead store, and thrift store. All good things. We bought some games that we played in the park and when we got home (battleship, checkers…) and ended up with some fine beads, both from the bead store and thrift store. Though we haven’t made anything from them yet, the process of sorting and organizing them was exciting and inspiring. I announced to my family that I am now going to seed bead the entire house, but maybe I should start small. I already have a few projects in mind. Stay tuned.

I especially enjoy the colors of the wooden beads I got at the thrift store for J.


March 7: zipper pulls

March 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

(Update: the stalactite from last night is starting to grow!)

My little man and I have new zipper pulls. While we were sitting at our usual Thursday afternoon hangout, drinking coffee and juice, eating pastries, looking out the window at the clear day (a rare treat), I also beaded a few zipper pulls, one for my baby carrier, and two for J’s backpack. The fun ended when O. grabbed the open bag full of beads and spilled it across the floor. We suspect that people will be finding beads under their chairs  for days.


Having been born on Earth Day, J. is especially committed to loving our Earth, and was especially happy about that one.  And I love making zipper pulls.

December 15: gnomes

December 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

While the world seems to go on, I am having a hard time doing the same. I just can’t explain the world to myself. In addition to feeling deep sorrow and uncertainty about the meaningfulness of things (like blogging), I also watched both kids all day (one didn’t nap and the other wanted constant company), and then actually went out to a Christmas Revels show (don’t know about the Revels? Oh, but do find out! It’s the best Solstice entertainment to be had, and very good for the soul), which means that creative endeavors just weren’t top priority today. However, I bought my little sewer a sewing kit and he made two gnomes, so they can keep each other company. I helped him with cutting the felt, threading the needle and stuffing them with cotton, but mostly he did it himself.


Do ask me how to make the gnomes if you are interested. It’s amazing how accomplished my little ruffian feels when he holds a needle in his hands. And they are so beautiful! I believe they are the prettiest thing I have seen all day. As for the little red snowman, it’s a zipper pull I made in two minutes of spare time. They are fun and easy to make. Just string the beads of your choice on a ball head pin, and add a clasp at the end.

I will slowly work on gratitude again; today I am grateful for these gnomes.

November 18: Peace sign zipper pulls

November 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today was everything but peaceful. In honor of peace and the possibility of peaceful living, and because I love making zipper pulls, I made these:

I made the middle one for me, but it doesn’t fit on my raincoat zipper. I will make appropriate changes tomorrow. The other two are for the children. Somehow I don’t think D. would wear a beaded zipper pull. Maybe I am wrong.

November 16: More jewelry

November 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

My great supporters in the household responded to my question about how the necklace I made looks with “Homemade.. You know… Not in a bad way…” Okay, I choose not to be offended. I choose to I embrace the homemade-ness of my creations.

Here are the two jewelry sets I made tonight.

Now to figure out what other beading gifts I can make for all those friends (most of them) who don’t wear jewelry, especially the homemade looking type.

November 10: Beads, beads, beads…

November 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

… beads, beads.

There was a “gem faire” (i.e. bead show) in Tacoma today, and we bought goodies! Here is part of the loot

And although J. had a meltdown at the show for the third consecutive year (you’d think we’d have learned out  lesson), I still had a good time because beads make my heart sing.

I don’t make earrings often, and I only got the hang of making loops (again) on the fourth pair.

It is too bad that not too many of my friends wear earrings. I need to find another beading-type gift to make.  Earrings anyone?


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