String ’em up

After a summer of bead making, when the cooler weather arrives, it is time to string up your creations into wearable jewelry.  There are so many ways to do this, but the very simplest is to wear a bead on a ribbon or leather cord.  Another easy way is with flexible beading wire and crimping tools.  With a crushable tube of silver (a crimp bead) you can secure the wire to the end clasps to finish your strand.

Finished strand of beads with loose seed beads

Here I have a blue green center bead I made with some companion beads – seed beads and some slightly larger beads for more color and contrast.

A variation on this would be to have three or more strands of smaller beads holding that larger center bead, the multi-strand necklace.  Next time I will have a knit tube of seed beads forming the necklace to show off, stay tuned.

the mo report

Hello Mo fans!

Sawdust and Nims

The cats are settling in to their new home.   Miss Nimbus has been quite interested in vertical exploration.  I have often seen her up on the roof of the garage, and one time she exited that roof along a tree branch, threading her way over to the neighbor’s garage roof, with the pale orange cat in close pursuit.

Let’s dub this pale orange cat Sawdust cat.  It is not as mean a bully as Creamsicle cat, and often comes to watch from a polite distance when I am doing yard work.  Here is a shot of Sawdust cat checking out Nims on the shed roof.

Oh yes, she found her way up onto a new roof, and did not quite know how to get down.  I put the ladder out for her, but she opted instead for a leap into the giant boxwood bush, a seven foot monster I refer to as Senor Mosh Pit, as the only way I can reach to prune the top is to lay a towel on the bush and surf across the top to reach the back corners.

Nims and Senor Mosh Pit

It was near the end of the day when I shot these photos, hence the dusky quality, but the actions were quite entertaining.  Click on the images for a closer view.

The new studio

The new Aura Sun Arts glass studio is nearly ready for action.

new studio in a sunny corner

I have the glass canes in easy reach, and ones in current use arrayed on a hotplate.  A second hotplate on the left out of view keeps the finished beads warm as they slowly cool down, a process called annealing.   The sunny window will give me plenty of ventilation, as will the fan.  I still need a warm enough day to keep the glass happy.

Now that I am back in Seattle I will have to make a pilgrimage to the Tacoma Museum of Glass.  I saw a delightful special on Evening Magazine featuring their exhibit of glass designed by children.  52 different fantastical sketches by children were made up into finished pieces by the glass professionals, who had a great deal of fun in the process.

The links above will show you a video and a slide show of some of the featured work.  Here is a cucumber guy by kdg.


the mo report

Hello Mo fans!

The Mo report is back, after a break to relocate to Seattle from Medford.  We will miss the deer in the backyard, but Mo is glad to be on familiar turf and Miss Nimbus adores the place.

I have noticed Mr Mo is a little hesitant about going outside lately.  He must be intimidated by the neighborhood bullies.  I encourage him to go out now and then, but he seems to enjoy luxuriating in a spot near a sunny window, usually lying half in sun and half in shadow.

Mo finds a sunbeam

This funky old farmhouse has a door at the foot of the stairs, and I have cut a small cat portal in this door so the cats have free passage.  I try to keep this door closed so the heat doesn’t all drift up the stairwell. Sometimes the cats knock the door open, like when Mo tries to drag his stuffed buddy Heath through the opening.  In the wee hours of the morning I heard Mo open this door and I trotted down and slammed it so it was securely shut before going back to sleep.

Heath hanging out the cat door

Ha ha, morning arrives and when I try to open the door the handle is not turning the latch and then it falls out of the door, leaving me trapped in the attic.  Kicking the door didn’t free me and I feared having to climb out an upstairs window and leap for a tree.  Luckily I found a pair of cuticle scissors and used those in the lock mechanism to twist the latch free.

The nerve of that trickster Mo.  I suppose he loosened the screw on the doorknob too.  It is fixed now, and it’s a good lesson to consider one of those attic escape ladders.  That and a spring so the door shuts itself!