Springtime and brooch addiction

Not only have the meteorologists finally announced that the spring is coming, but you can already smell it in the air. The sky is blue, the sun is peeking through and that gave me the inspiration for my flower brooches.

Well, although this one looks more like an ice flower, but maybe the gold seed beads mean it's about to thaw?

This flower was made from warmer colors, maybe an exotic plant, who knows if maybe my wishes to take off to somewhere nice led my crochet hook in this case ...

This might not be a flower in the strictest sense, but I am not sure what else it reminds me of. It's a piece like a chameleon, it changed from stitch to stitch and I think I heard my muse giggling in the background. She is probably in a spring mood as well. If you do a craft, have you ever wondered what your muse looks like? I used to think of mine as one of the beautiful Art Nouveau ladies by Alfons Mucha, but yesterday it was probably more like a bratty little girl with freckles ;-) Maybe she is a chameleon, too! That would explain a lot!

And last, but hopefully not least the smallest specimen. I can see them as a nice little accent on a lapel.

Maybe I can come up with something else today. I'll open my windows wide and let the air come in, take a deep breath and - do the laundry first. The laundry, my old enemy, keeping me from more important things, (insert an approriate word of your choice in here, thank you) you! ;-)


World literature, mashed potatoes and copper wire

You say that doesn't go together? But it does because that is what my day consisted of today. A dear late friend from the zoo had a book collection of leather-bound volumes from Goethe to Melville, from Shakespeare to Tolstoi. Impossible to throw them all away, they are beautiful, but also none of us has the space to display them permanently and they are really too nice to be left in some dark drawer which is where they have landed for now. Hopefully not too long, though, I listed most of them on a book selling website. The money that will come from it will go to the zoo and that is exactly what she would have wanted. But hey, that is time-consuming! I think I listed more than 40 books and most of them looked like they have never been touched. Gilt edging in perfect state, leather outside and silk inside, mmh, if the books haven't been touched, my librarian's heart has been now :-D But even the most hardcore librarian gets tired after a while and so I decided to leave the last few books for tomorrow. Good old "Faust" won't run away, I will just place my Mephista girl on top of it, that should work ;-)
Of course that wasn't all I did today. Not even I am
that slow in typing. I did my favorite chores around the house and I cooked, I picked up stuff at the pharmacy, I had a little chat with the postman, I got angry at the cats fighting and in between I was in my chair sleeping. After the mailman with a package had woken me up again, I went back to the chair and finished this pendant and as an extra worked on this bracelet. Do you recognise the stones? They are from my fleamarket buy and I think they work quite well on this bracelet and also the lonely one on the pendant.
All in all a successful day, I think!


The long way home

Of course I had to wander into that store that has a closing down sale even if it doesn't sell anything I need. I bought something anyway, but not for myself. I hope this person will appreciate the thought because I had to take great burdens onto my shoulders for that. Why did the shop close down (no, I didn't ask, but my face obviously cried "Tell me, tell me"), what would happen to the house and to the house next to it. What happened to the whole town anyway. Parking problems, the advantage of the new store, the wife that didn't want him to start again at a different place, but it was only supposed to be a help for his successor, to give him a good start into the new venture. Then on to the old neighbors and to the new neighbor. My part of the conversation was little and pathetic. "Yes. Aaah. No, really?" Still it was amusing. I wasn't in a real hurry. Not yet at least ...
The next store. "So are you still working in S.? Are you still taking the train?" It has its good to know your storekeepers, but by now I was afraid the furkids would kill and eat me when I'd come through the door. A vacuum cleaner saved me, I cleared the battle field and ran on to the next store. "Well, what was she doing?" you might ask. "Another store? After spending so much time already? She'll be voted worst cat mom of the century." I had to do it because it was the butcher's! That one went a little faster, too.
When I came outside it had started raining again. Not much, but enough to bring me home in a tired mood. I think I forgot my creativity at the first store. I will go there tomorrow and pick it up and listen to Part 2 of "Incredible life" ;-)
So no pictures today, only a Good Night ...


Meet the pack!

May I introduce ... the masters of my universe!

Gandalf, the senior, almost 16 years old and addicted to unhealthy food

Mephista, the lady, 9 years old and still behaving like a baby
Greebo, from the same parents as Mephista (who would have thought that??), 8 years old and the clinging type, you should see my shoulder ...
The black devil siblings Ponder and Esme, 3 years old, with unbelievable energy and the will to rule the world

And a tribute to Merlin - he is not longer with us. I miss you so much, Merl, every day ...

Bye, little prairie dog :-(

I don't know if he had injuries we couldn't see because from what we could see he wasn't hurt too badly. We wanted to take him to the vet's last night, but it was too late. When I came home, he had crossed the bridge already. Farewell, Mr. Prairie Dog, I am sorry ...


Flea market!

Aaah, spring may be coming after all. At least there were three flea markets in one little town today. There had only been one this year and so we - my sister, the tall guy and I - were pretty excited and in hunting fever. I wasn't expecting too much, maybe a book or two, but although there were many commercial dealers with goods from screwdrivers to sweatshirts, there were also a few private sellers.
I ended up with two books, a nice little old ashtray with a polar bear standing on top (the seller said, as no one in the family smoked, her mother had used it as a bowl for peanuts), a strand of blue goldstone and this:

Seriously, for about six bucks I just couldn't resist. I had been looking at something else on this seller's table and then saw a box full of beads (also some glass pearls that I already sorted out). I took a peek, the seller saw it, looked at my necklace and said "if you are making necklaces, you can have the whole lot cheap, it's my last rest". I know there isn't anything spectacular in there, but for that money I will have some use for them, I'm sure :-)
The tall guy and my sister were also happy enough to find a little something. I can't wait till the season really starts.

By the way, good thoughts for Mr. Prairie Dog are appreciated, I hope he is just too excited at the moment to eat because so far he has spurned all the delicacies we have offered him :-(

P.S. I had to try and make something with the blue goldstone beads. A night picture, so it's not too good, but you'll get the drift ...



Blue sky with cotton ball clouds, that was my chance to take some pictures outside. Officially spring began yesterday, but it doesn't feel very springlike with those temperatures. So I wandered outside packed up in a t-shirt, a sweatshirt and a big jacket. Anyone know the movie "A Christmas story"? The little brother who couldn't get his arms down anymore from being all wrapped up in jackets, a scarf and a big anorak? I felt a little like him except I didn't fall on my back and had to lie there like a bug until someone came to the rescue.
My hopes for some good pictures were destroyed, though. Not enough light out there yet, maybe later in the afternoon. Instead I did some chores
around the house - yes, litter boxes came first, I don't dare making my furry masters mad ;-) - and then fiddled around with something I had begun to work on last night. It started out as a large ring and two little ones, then I put the little ones that I had intended to turn into earrings aside. One of these days I'll have to clean this "aside", stuff is piling up there!
You want to see what became of the large ring? Turn it into an infinity sign , combine it with a sterling silver ring and a fine chain and voilà, a collier is born :-)

Much better than cleaning litter boxes, I can tell you ...
Just now the tall guy (my husband) has arrived from our small local zoo. He brought an injured prairie dog who needs some time away from his or her family. Don't we all? Even if we don't bite each other? Poor baby, I hope he/she will feel better soon and then I will show you a picture.

And now, have a great weekend, all of you, while I hurry downstairs to get the stove cooking instead of the crochet hook ;-)

P.S. Listening to Mr. (got informed about that by the tall guy) Prairie Dog (any name suggestions?) squeaking and whistling I made another piece that is totally unusual for me. I call it the quartz trio and as you can see there is not a bit of crochet in it! ;-)


Kitty in distress

When I came home today the first thing I did as usual was counting my cats. One, two, three ... where are the black devils?? The same moment I heard a desperate meow from upstairs. Ponder, of course, who else could have managed (again!) to get locked behind one of the few doors that are closed to him. Seems someone from the family had dropped off something and didn't notice the little black panther sneaking in. I wonder how long he had to wait there all alone. Am I making fun of him? Never! ;-) When I opened the forbidden door there he was, yowling his little heart out, so confused that he didn't even see that the door was open now. I had to carry him out while he told me about his cruel fate. He's very talkative anyway, but this was absolutely hilarious. I filled the bowls, but he didn't have time to eat, he had a tale to tell first. Finally he followed me to get some hugs and comfort, as seen in the picture.
Now he's sitting beside me, purring and looking cute, but he can't deceive me. I will pack some things now and he is sure to "help" me ....
I hope afterwards I will have a little time for me and my creativity until the tall guy arrives and wants to be fed, too ...


What do you do when ideas won't turn out the way you want them to ....

Easy enough. You calm down, relax, have a cool drink and try again.
Huh? That might go for others, but not for me. I don't calm down, but jump around like
Rumplestiltskin. Then I throw everything on the floor (if I am sure it will not break ;-)) and after lots of swearing and cussing I might turn to that cool drink and afterwards calm down. A little. Sometimes I try again and sometimes I decide the whole idea was dumb anyway.
You wonder why I am elaborating on this subject? That's why:

To my defense, I did not throw it on the floor and also didn't jump around on it. It was just that I wasn't totally happy and still am not, but ideas from friends how to improve it are already rolling in. More experimenting will keep me from thinking about things that happened the last few weeks. There's a whole lot of trouble going on in my circles it seems and like I wrote a friend in an email today, it feels as if I should be scared to look around corners because the next bad surprise might already wait there.
Oops, no, the surprise is waiting inside my keyboard and it's called cat hair. The little guys should by right be naked now, but the way it looks and feels they are still pretty much covered. I think the shedding has become worse, does that mean spring is
finally around the corner?? Please, let it be so, although I don't mind rain usually, I am getting to the point where I want to change my mind about that.
The snoring behind me - in black and white and very furry - is telling me I start to get boring, so I'll call it a day now.


Bifocals!!!!!! ;-)

So I just picked them up - AND got home without falling. That is a good sign, isn't it? Later I'm going to put it through the hardest test of all, crocheting and looking TV at the same time. If that works I should be on the safe side. Of course my friend is already making fun of me. So I am an old woman, who cares? ;-)
At any case I hope making pieces like this moonstone pendant in a net of copper wire coated black (afterwards scrubbed down to let the copper color reappear a little) will be easier from now on. It took quite some fiddling, I can tell you, because the stone is small. I tried to make another one in sterling silver, but the stone kept slipping. In the end my eyes were so weary I had to give up. Sometimes you have to know when to put something down and give it a new try later.

Now I'm off to do my laundry. Not something I particularly love, but it has to be done. Although it is said about Swabians that they are crazy about housework, I think my mother's genes - she isn't a Swabian - come through here :-))

Shoot, I keep looking over the rim of my glasses when I want to look at something closely, I really have to stop that!


Frustration and meditation

At the moment I am little frustrated. There are many reasons and the story would be much too long to be told. What helps me in dealing with the small and big problems in life is retreating to my beloved armchair, grabbing some wire and a crochet hook, maybe a few beads or a stone as well. I feel my mind going blank except for the little part that is needed to go on with the work. It's very relaxing even when I come to a point where I don't know how to handle something, a stubborn wire or a problem thanks to the fact that I still don't have my bifocals. I will pick them up tomorrow and if they are not an immediate hit, I am probably going to break down, because I set all my hopes in them! It gets a little wearisome taking off one's glasses and putting them back on all the time. Which I have to do because there is a pack of nosy and smart cats around that just wait to get some of that wire between their fangs. They have to be watched ;-)
Today I worked on a pendant. I had bought this smokey quartz cab this week and this is what it's looking like now.