Saturday, August 25, 2012

i heart macro Sunday - Back to School

This was the kiddo's first full week of school.  We've slowly been settling into a new routine which includes walking to and from school.

The kiddo is psyched to walk to school.

On the way, we pass her favorite tree, a neighbor's blue spruce, and  talk about what we think the day will bring.

We say "good morning" to the crossing guard, a sweet woman who greets us with a big smile every morning.  She makes a point to address everyone, adults and children, by name.

We cross the small bridge that the kiddo has loved to run over since she was old enough to, well, run.

Shading the bridge is the largest willow tree I have ever seen.

I walk her to the classroom, make sure to get my hug, and am usually half way home when I hear the school bell.

The kiddo is in half day kindergarten, so I pick her up around lunchtime.  The classroom opens to a small patio on the front of the school.  All of us moms and dads wait by a nearby flagpole for the teacher to lead the children out to the patio for dismissal.

The walk home is my favorite part of the day.  The kiddo chatters about all the things she did in class.  She tells me how many stars the class earned (10 stars = a special treat) and about extra curricular of the day (music, art, gym, etc.).  I love to see her so excited and hear about her day!

I apologize that the majority of these were not macro shots.  If you would like to see some awesome macro goodness, check out Studio Waterstone

studio waterstone

Friday, August 24, 2012

And what I'm still working on ...

A few days ago, I showed you what I've completed over the past weeks.  Today, I want to share what else  has been moving through my bead table.

I'm slowly putting together my creation for Erin Prais-Hintz's and Marcie Abney's Challenge of Travel.  I chose Japan and am hoping to produce something worthy of the country's rich cultural heritage.

My original idea didn't pan out, so I went back to the beading board.  I'm hoping to create two different pieces, one literal and one interpretative.

I'll let you guess which one this is.

Karyn chose four projects for our Beading Babes group this time around.  I have a two completed and am in the process of finishing the other two.

I can't show you the projects until our reveal date, but I can share a few teaser pictures.

My favorite project this round is "Josephine's Collar," designed by Jill Devon and published in the June 2012 issue of Beadwork Magazine.  I had so much fun with this, I set everything else aside so I could finish it.

I also finished "Retro Daisies," designed by Janice Chatham, and published in the April 2012 issue of Bead and Button.

I need to complete the edging for the "Ripple Effect Cuff," designed by Sherry Serafini, and published in the June 2011 issue of Beadwork Magazine.

I also need to finish the "Soutastic Soutache Earrings," designed by Amee McNamara, and published in the June 2012 issue of Bead and Button.    This may or may not happen as the soutache is giving me fits.  (It's entirely my fault, of course.  The soutache itself is soft and and cuddly.)

When those are complete, I can start on a piece for Lisa Lodge's My Bead Table Blog Hop.  Lisa sent me the following selection of stray and orphan beads from her own stash.

The colors are right up my alley and I am hoping to do her proud.

Please check back in a week for the Challenge of Travel reveal.  The reveal date for our Beading Babes group is September 16 and Lisa's My Bead Table Blog Hop reveal is October 13.  I hope to see you then!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What I've been working on ..

It's been awhile since I've posted anything "beady."  You might think I've been slacking, but I've been working on my Beading Babes projects and on my piece for the Challenge of Travel.

In addition to those, I have been also working on a few other things, and even managed to complete a few of them.  :)

First up is a UFO that's been hanging around for a bit too long.  It is a bracelet based on Scarlett Lanson's "Aegean Sea" necklace in the October/November issue of Beadwork.

I'm not sure why I never finished it, although I suspect it's because I didn't like the open area at the side of the focal.  Oh well, I'm over it and enjoying my new bracelet.  :)

I made the necklace some time ago.  I don't typically create the project in the same color scheme as in the magazine, but I totally fell in love with the colors and *had* to match the sample as best I could.

You can wear this lariat either symmetrically or asymmetrically.  I love it both ways.

Scarlett's designs are amazing.  She combined so many techniques to create this lariat.

I made two more small beads using Melinda Barta's "Seeing Stars" pattern, published in the February/March issue of Beadwork.

I also made a bigger "Cube Cluster Beaded Bead," designed by Gwen Fisher and published in the April/May issue of Beadwork.  I started with 10mm beads in the base and ended up with a 1.25 inch bead.

Here they are with the others beads in the series.

The other beads are the "Stargazer Beaded Bead," designed by Florence Turnour and the "Treasure Trove Beaded Bead," designed by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel.  These were published in the June/July issue and  August/September issue of Beadwork, respectively.  

These beads are destined to work together in a single piece for Beadwork Magazine's Beaded Bead Contest.  You can find more information on the contest and about the beads in an earlier post here.

Speaking of beaded beads, I finished a necklace using the Infinity Ubercube pattern designed by Gwen and Florence.

I love making these cubes.  They don't take too long and are so satisfying to create.

My necklace is based on this design by Gwen.

I also have a few more Infinity Cubes waiting in the wings, this time in pink.

I think they will work well with these beads by Donna Millard.  If you are as wowed by these beads as I am (and you really should be), you can find more of Donna's work for sale in her etsy shop and on her website.

I can't decide how to put everything together.  Maybe with some chain or leather?

And if you are wondering how to make you own Infinity Ubercubes, you can find that pattern and more on Gwen and Florence's website, Bead Infinitum.  You will find more beaded cubes, rings, prisms and spheres than you thought possible.

So, that's what I've been up to.  Check back later in the week for a glimpse (or two) of  my Beading Babes projects and my piece for the Challenge of Travel.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

i heart macro Sunday

This week, I have a few more pictures my husband took while we were on vacation.

I'm not normally a fan of bugs or insects, but I generally make an exception for photography.

For more macro goodness, check out Studio Waterstone

  studio waterstone

Saturday, August 11, 2012

i heart macro

Last week, I mentioned that we had spent a few days vacationing in Estes Park.

On one of those days, my husband and his dad spent a day hiking to Bluebird Lake.  When they returned, my husband said, "I took so many pictures that you now have macro posts for the next few months."  I was a bit surprised that he remembered my blog and pleased that he thought to take pictures for me.

These are pictures I probably would never have been able to take as my husband and father in-law hiked about 6 miles (one way) over trails, through streams and around rocks and boulders.

I love the colors on this one.  The dark purple against the green background is pretty enough, but the splotch of yellow just adds so much.

I don't know much about marmots, but this one looks like he was posing.

For more macro goodness, check out Studio Waterstone

studio waterstone

Monday, August 6, 2012

Family Vacation

A few months ago, my husband decided he needed a vacation.  He kindly allowed the kiddo and I to accompany him.  :)  Actually, he decided a family vacation might be in order and the kiddo and I agreed on the spot.

We chose to visit Estes Park, Colorado.  My husband loves to hike and the scenery in Estes Park can't be beat.  We live in Kansas and while the state isn't entirely flat, cornfields are not the prettiest things to view.

Yeah, even with rain clouds in the background, mountains beat cornfields in the aesthetics department.

The kiddo was great in the airport and on the plane.  She loved that we traveled by car (to KCI), plane, train (in DIA), bus (to the rental car) and car (to Estes).

Our first day, we took a short hike to Copeland Falls.  My father in-law was kind enough to add something to his pack so the kiddo could walk hands free.

With her friend safely stowed, the kiddo was ready to go.

(Yes, those are Batman socks.  The kiddo is awesome!)

The falls were really something to see.

The next day, my husband and father in-law started at the same trail and went several miles further to Bluebird Lake.  They passed the Calypso Cascades

and even managed to make a friend.

My mother in-law, the kiddo and I went shopping instead.  We paid a visit to the Estes Ark and picked up a new friend for the kiddo.  We also stopped at the Red Rose Rock Shop.  Both the kiddo and I picked up a few shiny things.

The kiddo picked up some honey quartz, pyrite, chalcopyrite (the dark blue), beryl, rose quartz and a pretty pink striped glass shard.

Of course, I picked up a few things for myself.

Above are thin slaps of blue jasper, crazy lace agate and Brazilian agate.  They are thin and light enough that I could try some bead embroidery with them.

I also picked up a few stones:  labradorite, lepidolite and blue lace agate.  These are a bit thicker, but would work with a bead or wire bezel.

I couldn't resist the copper flecks or heavy copper slugs.

I also had to restrain myself and buy only two of these fabulous stone buttons.  I adore these.

After we finished shopping, the kiddo and I treated ourselves to our first ever mother/daughter pedicure.

Seriously, how cute is it that the kiddo's skirt matched her flip flops?

Later that day, we drove out to the Alluvial Fan.  My husband said the Alluvial Fan was a nice waterfall with some rocks to play on.  I was in no way prepared for this:

Oh .. and by the way, see that red arrow?  The kiddo climbed to there.  She wanted to go to the top, but my husband (wisely) told her that might not be such a good idea.

The next morning, we rented a paddleboat (for me and my mother in-law) and a kayak (for my husband and father in-law).  As it turns out, the paddle boat was too slow for the kiddo and she wanted to try the kayak.

My husband was more than pleased to take her for a ride.  I don't think she really wanted to stop.

We also drove to Loveland later in the day.  We made a point to visit the Benson Sculpture Garden while there.  The Benson Sculpture Garden is a park that provides a home to over 100 sculptures.

We didn't get to see nearly all the sculptures, but I was taken by "Evening Jazz" by Warren Cullar.  I love the soft colors Warren used.  The pieces just takes you right into to the mood.

I also loved "Storm's Brewing" by Jeannine Young.  My father is a fan of old Westerns and I watched more than one growing up.  This sculpture brought to mind Clint Eastwood and the Man with No Name.  I love the detail on this sculpture.

Since Ft. Collins is only a short drive from Loveland, I asked my husband to drive a bit further.  He and my in-laws took the kiddo for ice cream while I paid a visit to the Bead Cache.

The Bead Cache had a marvelous selection of seed beads.

I found a few colors of delicas I hadn't seen before.

I also picked up a few odds and ends.  I love the ribbon in the background.  The teal and brown pearls have large holes (perfect to string on leather).  I treated myself to some bone circles, a bone spacer, some Czech lentil drop beads and those awesome black and white beads in the front.

On our last day, we did a bit more sightseeing.

We also managed to visit Fun City.  This place certainly lives up to its name.  The kiddo and I started out on the giant slide.

Of course, she wanted to try on her own, so I watched her climb the mountain of stairs and slide down, laughing all the way.

I took the kiddo on the bumper cars and go karts.  Her favorite, however, was the bungee trampoline.

I have never seen a smile so big on anyone's face.

In case you are wondering, I did get some beading in while on vacation.

I didn't do as much as I had hoped, but I got most of the components finished for Josephine's Collar, designed by Jill Devon and published in the June 2012 issue of Beadwork Magazine.

This necklace is one of the projects for our Beading Babes group.  You can find out more about the projects in this round here.

We had a good time on vacation, but it is always nice to be home.  It will be nice to get back into our usual routine this week.

With packing, vacation and unpacking, I missed a few too many karate classes and I need to get back before I forget everything.

The kiddo is gearing up for kindergarten and it's only a short few weeks until school starts.  I think we can make it until then.  :)