Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Itchy No More

For now, at least, until the next bite (which already is begging for attention).
The genesis of this pendant lies in the marriage of a cubic right angle weave cube (I have one from years ago lying around) and the class I taught this month, a triangular cylinder with a rivoli on each of the three faces. It seemed to me that each open square face would be an excellent start to a bezel for a rivoli, so I started beading a cube.

Somewhat more than halfway through, the thread looking a bit too short to start another leg, I started playing around with the rivoli, some small fire-polished beads and fringe beads and very quickly had a perfectly lovely bezel, but by this time I was a little bored of the cube, although perhaps not so much; I might go back to it later.

There have been Meetings at work, and since I don't think I could get away with knitting in meetings (I'm no longer young enough for that to be in any way edgy, but am most decidedly of the age where people assume you must have an incipient grandchild if you haul out the knitting - oh please not yet!), I doodle.

I usually doodle beading designs or knitting designs, and this pendant was one of the variations of doodles that I doodled this week.

I like it very much, but it'd be a bitch to teach exactly as is, so it's just a rather nice pendant.

The next itch has already made its presence known, and the one after that too: both variations on this pendant.

They'll all share the same bezel technique though, as I'm falling in love just a little.

By the way, I just noticed today (no one actually mentioned it to me) that one of my Bead & Button classes was cancelled and replaced by a second session of Trivoli which is doing rather well, registration-wise.

I might need more supplies for kits for the classes, and I'd better get cracking on more samples!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

And Another Sample Done

I always think I know better, but t turns out that they were right when they said that this shade of green was good with greyed tones. The accent colours were cake to pick, but I needed about three tries with the main matte beads, ending up with a sort of greyed putty colour.
And I'm halfway through the second sock of a pair of which I'm already thoroughly tired, which is good news as it means that it won't be long before I get back to the sweater I was working on before I made all the mittens back in December.


It's all about the samples, but there are Bead & Button samples, and there are samples for my ongoing local classes.
I became a little weary of the sample below, so as a distraction or intermission (call it what you will, I needed to do something to make myself happy as opposed to keeping myself from being anxious; doing what I want makes me happy whereas doing what I ought relieves any pending anxiety. It all works out) I started on the necklace above and then when I ran out of faceted beads in the correct colour (I had a strand of fifty) I completed the sample I'd started.
It's all good.

Friday night was ballet night and in keeping with the creeping trend of just about everything to achieve the lowest common denominator (I give you Snookie. I rest my case) I was expecting Moulin Rouge (the ballet) to be aimed at mass markets: inconsequential and irrelevant dancing taking second place to over-acted underwhelming less-amusing-than-intended pantomime.

Fortunately I was mistaken.

The dancing was lovely, the dancers very accomplished, and the style of the whole thing, even though not choreographed a century or more ago, was very much in the Classical style. The costumes were charming, the sets inventive but not overwhelming, and the progression and culmination of the story was perfectly in keeping with any of the old stand-bys.

It was an excellent start to the weekend.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sample The First

First Bead & Button class sample.
Difficult to photograph accurately, as usual, but I rather like the colours.

Turns out I under-estimated the kit cost when I made my proposal, so people signing up for this class are getting a bargain in terms of the supplies.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Just This

I've been knitting, and there are no pictures. When I think of it, it's already dark and my lighting really only works for very small things that I can put on the table, and the socks look nasty if not on a foot.

I made one pair of Vertizontal, mostly following the pattern as written, but was dissatisfied with the fit, so I made a third sock trying out a couple of ideas which helped but still didn't overcome my overall issues, so I'm considering making this second pair fraternal rather than identical twins, but if I do that then the fit will be completely different for each foot so I guess I'll just soldier on with the same sock (but perhaps better if I can figure out how to make it so).

Meanwhile because I've done practically no useful beading whatsoever (my time has been taken up ordering beads for my Bead & Button classes) I felt a deep urge, so I worked on some long-overdue commission work:
 A pair of earrings to match a pendant, and s necklace and pair of earrings to match a bracelet.
Yeah, it's been one of those weeks.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Good Start

Registration for Bead & Button show classes opened this week, and I was gratified to see that one of my classes was two-thirds full within the first few hours!
There are so many classes and so many well-known instructors that I wasn't sure my classes would even get noticed. I guess it's really happening, so I'd better in earnest start filling kits!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Just One

One class sample for Tuesday.
The colour in the picture is off (as usual).

I'm a fairly decent cook, and if I'm not forced to cook on a regular basis, I enjoy it quite a bit. I especially enjoy a challenge.

The first challenge that I remember/that was fun was a dinner party at which one person could eat no dairy, including butter, one person could eat no wheat, and a third eschewed mushrooms and curry. The main course wasn't a problem, but the appetiser and dessert were problematic (given that I refused to opt out and give them hummus and crackers at one end of the meal and fruit at the other end). It turned out quite well in the end, and involved making almond milk from scratch, although I'm not sure why I didn't just go out and buy some.

So there's a group of people with whom I have dinner on a fairly regular basis, and we tend to go to rather vanilla places for the most part. Never anything ethnic (I don't count Vaguely Italian as ethnic).

Once the two in the group whose tastes in food seem the most catholic and I ended up at a Thai restaurant; both of them ordered a rice soup that was suspiciously like a Vietnamese pho, though which rice grains rather than noodles. Much to their surprise and mine, they loved the soup.

I'm not one of those people (this should not come as a shock unless you haven't read any of the preceding paragraphs) who regard food merely as fuel and derive no pleasure from it. I also enjoy, well, proselytising: I love to get people to eat and enjoy foods that they have not tried, especially when they've been in any measure biased against that sort of food, so when I knew my friends over for lunch today, I knew what I had to make: pho.

It was well worth it, though I can't figure out why it's so hard to find bones for soup in reasonable quantities. One tiny bone isn't exactly going to flavour gallons of broth, so finding sufficient and suitable bones was probably the single biggest time-suck.

My broth was clear and scum-free and had appropriate silkiness.

The shredded beef from the bones was meltingly tender.

The sirloin, well, I need to work on "paper-thin", but it was most definitely edible.

Next time I might not follow the cooking directions on the package or rice noodles, as I would have preferred them firmer.

Next time I will most definitely heat the bowls first, because it was not piping hot.

Next time I need even more soup bones, but yes, overall, I'd do it again because it was delicious and probably one of the healthier dishes I've made in a while. Definitely healthier than the white and dark chocolate extra-custardy bread pudding with raspberry sauce I made for dessert.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I've never owned a computer that was not a Mac.

I've never had trouble with a computer, except once that eMac died and they said it was cheaper to replace it so I did. My daughter was distraught at the loss of 30Gb of music, so my colleague Matthias carefully and painfully extracted the hard drive.

The New Year happened. 

The stroke of midnight was uneventful.

The following morning was like any other. I drank coffee, read email, that sort of thing.

That evening my laptop forgot it had an Airport card. Like that man who woke up with someone else's arm attached to him; unrecognizable. Sadly, my laptop isn't much one for deductive reasoning, and no amount of cajoling could get it to recognize its own Airport card.

I still have the replacement eMac (an iMac) so I went surfing for solutions. 

I tried rebuilding the <insert some acronym here> and reset the <insert other acronym here> and nothing made any difference. Reboot, rinse, repeat. Nada.

Then I saw something that said to remove some file that was a remnant from a previous operating system, and I checked, and nothing had changed or been touched in two years, so I deleted the file and tried to restart.

Grey screen, grey apple, grey spinner.

No problem, I thought: I have Time Machine and it backs up ALL THE TIME. I can do this.

So I did.

Time Machine lies. It said it was backed up through Tuesday morning, but it has nothing newer than November 28th. 

More than a month of stuff is missing.

Photos, instructions, notes, emails, receipts, invoices, records. Gone.

A pox on Time Machine. I suppose it's better than losing everything, though in truth I could have started it from a system disk (if only I had one, what's that about) and reinstalled that stupid file from the Trash.

The other problem? Time Machine (my stupid choice) didn't back up Applications, so I had the OS, but no Safari, no System Updater, no iPhoto, no iTunes, nothing. 

Luckily my son with his newer-than-mine laptop is in town, so yay File Sharing, I copied his Applications folder to mine and I'm set.

Except for the missing stuff.

I'm not sure what the lesson is. Better research next time? Don't freaking delete anything just because some random strangers cheerfully suggest it will help you? Bite the bullet and pay for those so-called Geniuses to fix it?

Meanwhile, earrings for a friend. They're a surprise (if she doesn't read this).
Version 2 of the spike pendant with the back window.
 See the floral shape deep inside?
In December I completed the instructions for at least two classes that have not even been submitted yet (so they'd be sometime after May).


Worked out colour-ways for my Bead and Button classes.

Gone (unless the shopping cart didn't also disappear).

Took photos of new beadwork.

Mostly gone. Some are on the iPad, which I synced about a week ago.

I'll give myself a full week to get over the loss, and then I'll move on.

I will.