Friday, March 1, 2013

The Challenge of Music

The Challenge of Music Blog Hop

The Challenge of Music

This was a new one to me, and hence something that piqued my interest. In order to join we had to choose a piece of INSTRUMENTAL music that speaks to us and use it to do something artistic.

While my primary mode of self expression is beading, I seriously considered both writing poetry and painting to express this. I was totally stumpered.

I listened to music everywhere I went and while I liked most of it well enough, it didn't really SPEAK to me. Then, finally, I found it.

The piece I chose is from the HEROES (TV Show) Soundtrack and is called Abonecronedrone 3. I found it to be very ethnic (almost African) and bohemian.

Here's the necklace I designed for it (pardon the photo, but I cant find my camera and had to use my phone:
 Thanks for the awesome challenge, other-Erin!

Now go take  a look at what everyone else has designed!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fat Books

 Not only do I love to do beadwork, but I am more than a little bit of a bookworm. I have had trouble reading for the past couple of years, but now I have new reading glasses (yay!) and decent medication for my migraines (double yay!) so I'm putting myself a bit out there with a challenge.


 Chunkster Challenge 2013

January 1 - December 31, 2013
Definition of a chunkster:
A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature, whether non-fiction or fiction. A chunkster should be a challenge.

If you read books in large print, your books will need to be 525 pages or more. The average large type book is 10-15% larger or more so it’s a fair estimate.

The rules:
  • No audio books. (There are exceptions to this rule.)
  • No e-books allowed. This was discussed in much detail in the 2011 challenge. The short version: a chunkster isn’t a challenge if you’re reading it on an e-reader. (There are exceptions to this rule.)
  • Essay, poetry, and short story collections will be allowed. Collections have to be read in their entirety to count. If you’ve needed a reason to finally pick up your copy of The Collected Works Of ____ now is the time.
  • Books may crossover with other challenges.
  • Anyone may join. (If you don’t have a blog, just leave a comment on this post with your challenge level and your progress throughout the challenge.) 
  • You don’t need to list your books ahead of time.
  • Once you’ve picked a level, that’s it. You’re committed to it!
You must pick a level of participation:
  1. The Chubby Chunkster – this option is for the readers who want to dabble in large tomes, but really doesn't want to commit to much more than that. FOUR Chunksters is all you need to finish this challenge.
  2. The Plump Primer - this option is for the slightly heavier reader who wants to commit to SIX Chunksters over the next twelve months. 
  3. Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big? - this option is for the reader who can't resist bigger and bigger books and wants to commit to SIX Chunksters from the following categories: 2 books which are between 450 - 550 pages in length2 books which are 551 - 750 pages in length2 books which are GREATER than 750 pages in length (for ideas, please refer to the book suggestions page for some books which fit into these categories).
  4. Mor-book-ly Obese - This is for the truly out of control chunkster. For this level of challenge you must commit to EIGHT or more Chunksters of which three tomes MUST be 750 pages or more. You know you want to.....go on and give in to your cravings. 

Since it has been a while since I could read for long I'm going to start out with the Chubby Chunkster. This will let me stretch myself a bit while still reading some smaller things in between.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Don't Eat The Beads!

I have a new rule that I need to implement:



Well, for the moment I'm still setting up a bit of studio space in the office so I do most of my work in the living room on a tv tray in front of the television. It doesn't give me a lot of room, but it works for most of the beadweaving I've been doing lately.

The problem is this: since my beads are set up on the tv tray I tend to bring my breakfast and lunch into the living room and sometimes thoughtlessly set them down on my tray full of beads. I have since learned that seed beads stick to EVERYTHING.

It's bad enough that the dog likes to chew on my beads given the chance, but I really don't think I need the added glass in my diet. Set down a sandwich and seed beads cling to the bottom, place my spoon on the tray while I get a drink and return to find a scattering of beads ready to drop into my cereal.

The dog is a serious motivator for getting studio space spruced up - he gets jealous when I ignore him to work and tends to bump the tv tray with his head until it upends - beads rolling everywhere! <sigh>

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Memories and Thanks Blog Hop

On Lori Anderson's Blog (Lori of Bead Soup Blog Party) we were asked to make something for someone living or passed. You can find all of the details here, as well as the list of other participants..

I decided to do a piece for my Dad. He died a little over 14 years ago and I still miss him a lot. Here's the necklace I made.

As you can see, it's an illusion style necklace - I've written here about how fond Dad was of doing magic an it seemed appropriate. I think of magic as being all whites and silvers so that is the colour palette I chose. 

Dad was also the one who introduced me to science fiction in all of its many forms. We loved to watch Star Trek together, so when I saw this swarovski piece I had to include it. I know it's supposed to be a piece of coral, but I think it looks like a communicator pin!
And for those of you paying close attention there is a single red bead in the upper right of the first picture. This is for unexpected surprises and warmth of character.

The first winter after I was married we were dirt poor and just barely putting food on the table. Dad showed up at our door one night with a present for me - a brand new winter coat in my favourite colour - red.  Now it has been 22 years  so I don't still have the coat, but that memory has kept me warm through many a cold night. He saw a need and quietly filled it.

That was my Dad.  Love you, Daddy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The magic of growing up

I have some rather unique memories of growing up - you see my mother was a clown and puppeteer and my father was a magician. Yes, they had "regular" occupations as well, but this was what they chose to do with the rest of their time.

I remember helping to put together puppet plays and watching Dad rehearse. Dad loved to perform. He did shows big and small; company Christmas parties, children's birthday parties, Sunday school object lessons and table to table sleight of hand at bars. He would learn a new trick, practise in front of his full length mirror and then call me: "dear, come see if you can tell how my new trick works!" to come see if he had it down good enough to show others. We grew up knowing that one did not tell how a trick was done - that was a secret shared only between magicians.

And then there were the conventions! Imagine hundreds of magicians getting together for a week or weekend in order to teach and learn from each other - a cacophony of magical delights! Dad always seemed at his happiest either performing or learning with other magicians and a joyous crowd they were.

Dad is no longer with us, but memories of his favorite illusions fill my dreams.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas Chaos

So after committing (to myself) that I would blog more frequently we promptly found ourselves looking for a place to move to and then ended up without internet (or even phone) for a while.

Obviously I'm back online now.

A while ago I committed to do the Memories and Thanks Blog Hop and now that the time is drawing near I'm finding it an emotional struggle to create this particular piece of jewelry. This blog hop is for those people in our lives who mean a lot to us -- a mom, a friend, a brother -- anyone who has meaning to us.  Create a piece of jewelry that tells that story. For some reason it didn't even occur to me to do it for someone still living. I have narrowed it down to two people: my dad (who has been dead for 14 years now) and my Uncle George - who died a couple of weeks before Christmas this year.

Dad would be easier - I adored him and he was a very cool person; a lot of memories to work with. Uncle George is a lot more complicated. He meant a lot to me and we were very close until about 5 years ago when he suffered a stroke. I was the only family member living nearby and pretty much the only family member on speaking terms with him so I jumped in and took care of him. This wasn't easy, but someone had to do it and I did it happily until I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. While I was in the hospital he got it into his head that I was out to get his money (not that he ever had much) and became very angry towards me. The stroke did enough damage that he was never the same and a man who had once been curmudgeonly was now as intractable as a two year old. I had hoped to reconcile with him, but he remained angry at me and we never spoke again. His death leaves me with a heavy heart.

For the blog hop I'll probably do Dad since I don't have a lot of time left and then I think I will gradually work in my journal until I'm ready to do something that lets me say goodbye to Uncle George.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dog craziness

Everyone seems to agree that my dog is crazy. Sweet, but crazy.

What does he do?

Well, he has a bizarre fondness for produce. Yep, produce! Apparently apples bounce in a really interesting way and just happen to taste pleasant when you pick them up in your teeth. I'm still looking for the last one he had - hopefully before it goes bad under the couch. His next toy was an acorn squash. I only HEARD him playing with it (quite a distinctive thud), and when I found it he had eaten almost half of the squash <sigh>. Guess we're not having squash for dinner. His final attempt was with a banana. It didn't work nearly as well.  Ick!  Enough said.

Does anyone out there know how to stop him from eating shoes? I know it's common for puppies (he's only 9 months old), but when your puppy weighs 50 pounds and has teeth to match, those shoes don't stand a chance.

And finally there's the laser pointer. I know cats commonly love to play with laser pointers, but Damian goes CRAZY for it. Stuart had him running around like crazy with it last night and this morning Clinton got him running in circles so frantically that he got dizzy and fell over (poor puppy!).

Ah, well. He's a happy dog and he makes me happy. Most of the time ;-)