Friday, December 24, 2010


I know this has traveled around the internet a lot this season, but it's well worth seeing more than once!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Back to Beading

As I continue to heal from this virus, I keep myself occupied with quiet, creative tasks. Today, after months (years?) away from this craft, I returned to beading.

Each year I make a handmade Christmas ornament for each member of my family. Most years I cross-stitch. Other years I embroider or sew or craft or bead something special. Our tree is now laden with hand made ornaments!

Today, I made a dozen of these beaded star ornaments . They look like snowflakes to me. (Click the photo to the left for a larger image.)

The ornaments come from a kit made exclusively for Mary Maxim by Mac Enterprises. All beads, wires and threads were included in the kit. The directions are clear and simple. All you need are some basic beading tools, a workspace where the beads won't roll away from you, and a bit of time. Christmas music playing the the background helps!

What a pleasant way to spend a few hours!

What a pleasure to give a little gift of creativity each year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

While I've Been Sick

I've been tending to my knitting. With this horrible virus that lasts about two weeks, there's not a lot else I can do in between coughing, trying to regulate my body's temperature, and sleeping.

So Jodie asked if I'd make her a new scarf. She used the last one I made her so often that it ended up unraveling. She picked out the yarns ... so pretty. Two shades of blue in a very soft 4-ply yarn -- Caron's Simply Soft. It took less than one skein of each color.

It's simple, straight knitting. 15 stitches wide using #15 knitting needles. I worked the two yarns together, handling them as a single strand. I just knit and knit until it felt long enough ... someplace around 5 feet long. Then I added 5" of fringe to each end.

Pretty. Soft. Warm.

Time for more snow so she can take it out on the town!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Time!

Christmas is coming ...

It's time to set up the tree
Unwrap the handmade ornaments
Get some jolly Ho Ho Ho time

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Secrets: December 12, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment. These four secrets made me smile:

My husband isn't quite that playful,
but his wife and daughters just might be.

There's nothing that teaches us
quite like the lessons learned
when walking a mile in someone else's shoes.

I'm pretty sure the example
of my sense of humor
helps my kids cope with stressful situations
all the time.

On Back: I hope you see this and wonder if it was for you.
I miss you

Sometimes a third party

is all that's left
as a way to communicate.

Friday, December 10, 2010

In Memoriam

Except for my 110 film camera where I could shoot some snapshots in my high school years, I became excited about photography far too late in the game to appreciate what film can do.

With digital photography now the norm, the last roll of Kodachrome has been manufactured, shot, and developed.

I know some of my more experienced photographer friends are feeling the loss. It's the end of an era.

As a final tribute, I offer Paul Simon's song:

Many thanks to Jim and Lucy for pointing me in this direction.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Secrets: December 05, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment. Only one of today's secrets caused me to raise an eyebrow:

I'd think that shopping lists and receipts
would make for good fodder for a novelist.

The name Frank gave this postcard:

I've read Found for a couple years now. It's fun.
Makes for a quirky gift, too.

They even have a "Dirty Found" magazine for those that enjoy a bit of extra steam in their lives.

Today's secret also reminds me of this book:
To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us.
Browsing through this book is an interesting way to while away an hour.

There are FIVE PostSecret books that also make for great gifts. I've got all five, and just love them. My favorite just might be The Secret Lives of Men and Women

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I got a new sweater

Jodie says I can now hide among the cushions
on her Dad's sofa.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Dance: Crocheted Scarf

My daughter Jodie is taking part in a holiday gift exchange at work. The gift needs to be $10 or less and good for either a male or female. She decided to crochet a scarf. But then she thought she'd crochet several scarves, the others for her close friends.

She's a busy girl, what with high school, college classes, work, a boyfriend and other obligations with friends and school organizations. Finding time to crochet all these scarves before Christmas was going to be tricky.

I was in between projects at the time, so offered to make the scarf she needed for the gift exchange. It only took a few days of stitching while watching movies.

Jodie bought several skeins of Red Heart worsted weight yarn at Wal-Mart, picked the colors for her fellow employee, handed me a size K crochet hook, and gave me the parameters. We made it 15 stitches wide, all double crochet.

There are 8 rows of the navy blue, followed by 6 rows of the teal. I repeated that pattern until the scarf felt long enough -- which ended up being 8 blocks of navy and 7 blocks of teal. I finished it off with about 3 inches of fringe using both yarns.

Fast. Fun. Androgynous. Pretty. (Or is that handsome?)

Next? Some Christmas gifts of my own to make!