Let's have a ball!

Tricked you. I might have a good time, but neither alcohol nor dancing is involved. No flirting, no movies, no night on the town, no girls' night out.
Still my muse and I had, well, not just one, but actually two balls today and I am almost sure they won't be the last ones.
Maybe you remember my wrecking ball? The name comes to you courtesy of Maureen, an SJA friend (by the way, you should check out her blog and shop sometime). These balls are different. The wrecking ball is almost solid. These ones I wanted to make hollow, so I could fill them up, like a candy. Well, not really. A filled candy is meant to be eaten. I love liquid fillings and the sensation on the tongue once the outer wall is breaking. You shouldn't try to eat the ball pendants and I will tell you why.

First I made this one.

It is from black coated copper wire. I tried different things to fill it with, but in the end I decided to take a silver-colored kind of embroidered ribbon because it gave the best contrast.

Now I was eager to try other combinations. As I often do, I reached into the "current project bag" in my nightstand without looking inside and out came the green-golden colored wire. I tried different ribbon and beads for the inside, then I found the last bicone crystals that were left over from my "Green Fairy" necklace. Perfect!

I guess now you know why you shouldn't eat these pendants. Ribbon feels strange on the tongue and is hard to chew and crystals could break your teeth out.
Better stick with wearing them around the neck! ;-)


Where did the starched white blouses go?

Good question. Where did most of them go? They disappeared out of daily life and were replaced by t-shirts. At least that is what I have been told today.
It's a quite typical story for me, strange people like to tell me their stories, in the park, at the doctor's and on the train.
I usually take the train home at 4.02 pm. And usually there is a train acquaintance riding this train with me. Today she must have been late and gone to the next wagon because ours was quite full because I saw her when I got off the train. So I sat alone in my two-seater until the train had its first (and only one for me) stop. An older lady, maybe around 70, entered the train and asked me if she could sit beside me.
I threw her a short smile and then went on crocheting when I suddenly heard her asking if she might ask what I was doing there, if that really was wire. I guess it's needless to say that from that moment crocheting was over. She looked at my little bag and the few items in there and started telling me that she used to be a seamstress and of course still loved sewing. I told her I couldn't sew if my life depended on it (my favorite sentence when the subject turns to sewing)
Her grandmother had been a seamstress, her mother had been a seamstress, she was a seamstress and her son, imagine! No, he was not a seamstress, but he actually made stuff from his jeans and the cuffs he made, oh, she was so proud of him.
Now this sounds as if she disturbed me, but really she was quite nice, only I had intended to finish something on this ride. It wasn't gonna happen, though.
She got lost in memories of handmade clothing, starched white blouses, fancy jackets, chic little pencil skirts, and how young people today (ah, she looked at me and made me feel as if I were a 20 year old hippie) only wore t-shirt and jeans because it was comfortable. I almost felt a little guilty for wearing a tiger t-shirt and blue jeans and sneakers, so what could I do, but tell her that handmade was indeed coming back. Then she told me about a few ideas she had for crafts projects and - oops, no and. The next station was mine.
She clearly was disappointed that I got off, but I had an "appointment" with the customs office. When I got out, I took one last look at her. A lady-like hairstyle, a starched white blouse and a fancy little black jacket with a woven-in pattern that looked adorable on her.
I wish I could have listened to her a little longer - it might have been interesting ...


Yours truly, Jack the Ripper

I started early to buy and collect books. One of the very first I remember having bought as a teenager was an anthology with horror stories. There were a few stories I really liked and some of the images I still use to today like the vampire that feeds on emotions instead on blood, but my absolute favorite was Robert Bloch's "Yours truly, Jack the Ripper". Even knowing how it ended after reading it like four or five times (so I am forgetful sometimes, who cares *lol*), I read it again and again. What exactly fascinated me so much about it, I don't know.
I have to admit last year when we went to London, I would have liked to do a Jack the Ripper Tour, but the only evening that we were free to do so, I was so tired and couldn't have walked one step anymore.

The last few days it was very foggy here in the morning. Usually I get a lift to work in the mornings. I get dropped off at the bus station and only have to walk a minute to the library. In heavy fog one minute is enough to imagine all kinds of things, though. Like Jack the Ripper slowly emerging from the fog, smiling softly and pulling his knife out ...
Seriously now, it is lonely at that time of day anyway and the fog gives the scene an extra special quality.

Today I only saw the fog from the inside. I have a day off and Jack waited in vain in his foggy corner behind the big lecture room building. Still the thought of it nurtured my fantasies and this is how this treasury came to life - Dark and mysterious

If you are game, go there, visit it and leave Jack a comment. He might be hidden in one these photos right now ...


Care for a dance with the vampire?

I am still not done with my knitting spool. Not at all. Although so many ideas haunt my poor old brain, sometimes the crochet hook has to go to sleep and give up its place to the spool.
The other day I bought some cheap boxes with beads that were on sale. One of them contained a black mix, the other one a purple mix and both of them contained big seed beads of which the purple ones are silver-lined. Suddenly I just happened to have my black and metallic purple wire in reach (even true, there was no planning whatsoever involved at first).
So the beads went onto the wires and row for row the necklace was growing. Take a closer look to find out what exactly I did ;-)
The result looks really best in the dark, I found, just with a little light on (shhh, I still got one of the old light bulbs in my lamp, but don't tell the EU). I tried to take a picture to show you the effect, but I am not a good enough photographer (yet *lol*) to take good enough night photographs. You'll just have to believe me that the light makes for a dark, mysterious sparkle.
Black and purple makes me think of Victorian times, but also of a kind of classic understatement that seems dark and dull one moment and suddenly gets lightened up to reveal the subtle colors. It doesn't always have to be black and red to get into the right mood ...
Imagine a gorgeous dress swishing across the stone floor when you go to meet the handsome vampire and have a dance with him, this necklace sparkling on your white throat.

For your information ;-) No, I haven't read or seen any of the "new" vampire books or movies, but I have to admit I still think I could fall for the vampire Lestat, prince of the darkness - and I'm not talking the guy in the movie I don't even want to mention! And by the way, you'll find this necklace in my DaWanda shop ...


Farewell Gandalf

When we came to pick you up, you were hiding behind the heater. You had had a rough start into life. Rescued from a farm, you had cat flu and your right eye needed to be removed. We had just lost Jester, the one-eyed, and didn't want Magica to be alone, and then you sat there on the table looking at me from this large beautiful eye and the lady said in a sad voice "People don't want sick cats." We didn't have to think for a minute.
You were the quiet and shy type, not a cuddly cat. You would rather sleep on our feet than on our laps, but you liked to be close. There were a few very rare and precious moments when you let me hold you without trying to get away - once when I picked you up from the vet's where you had had to stay overnight, you jumped into my arms. A few days ago you sat on my chest for 15 minutes kneading away.
You truly were the grey eminence. The others respected you, only Meffi sometimes couldn't hold back and chased you a bit. She never caught you, you were fast. That fact earned you the name "Grey Lightning". We used to say you didn't run on the carpets, but underneath them. Ventre-à-terre, so-to-speak. It probably helped that you had short legs.
You didn't like strangers, but in the last year you didn't mind them too much anymore. You sat in the door looking at them, your eye saying "Look, but don't touch". For years people hadn't believed us that you actually existed and I still see some of them how they lay on the floor taking a peek at you sitting underneath the bed.
As a baby you had an office, first in the cave of the scratching post, later underneath the bed. If we were searching for a pen, we knew where to go. I still see you running a worldwide empire from underneath the bed, but I never found out what exactly you dealt with. Catnip maybe?
Catnip was not your own poison, but you would have killed for chicken or turkey. Standing up, clawing at me while I was cutting it for you. You have been known to steal chicken from the plate, it was something you couldn't resist, no matter how well-behaved you were.
You didn't like to get combed. Your hurt look when the tall guy picked you up, held you and went to work was something else, especially since one tooth had been pulled and you had that slightly crooked smile. When you felt your soft fur was too tangled for you to handle yourself, you came by and dropped, showing us your belly or your pants (the long hair on your hind legs), only then it was ok for you if we combed you, we didn't even have to hold you then.

Today it was time for you to leave us. You spent more than 16 years with us and they were mostly good. But now you got weak and skinny and I'm sorry in case we selfishly dragged it out too long.
Tonight I had a dream about Merlin and you, a sign that he would pick you up maybe? When I came downstairs this morning, I saw that you were ready to say Goodbye. Thanks for giving me the chance to stay with you and hold you one last time. It means a lot to me.

Run free, Grey Lightning, Merlin is waiting for you and he is not the only one. You will be missed.



To understand what I am talking about now, you might have to read these posts first in case you didn't already.
A while ago I notice strange things going on in the house and a sighting, even if vague and blurry, gave me confidence I might find out the solution to the secret soon.
If you want to know what I mean, check it out here:

Today I wanted to take some more pictures. I already had my camera in my hand and just wanted to set up my items on the chest of drawers (that is driving Esme crazy, but that is a different story) in the tall guy's "playing room" when I saw her. She was sitting very quietly behind the alarm clock that is standing there.
There she was, with the sweetest little dragon face, looking at me from her blue eyes. Not moving, but wary obviously.
I knew it! I have a dragon in the house and such a cute one at that!
How good to have a zoom, so I didn't have to disturb her. Very carefully I raised the camera and took a shot. Only one, then she had disappeared.

Of course now I hope I'll be able to take a closer shot of her eventually without scaring her off.
A dragon in the house must mean luck, don't you agree? :-D


Francie doll goes shopping

About one and a half weeks ago a project that I started went into a totally different direction, like so often.
Out came a line of small and very small baskets crocheted from wire.
When I showed them in my forum, not quite knowing myself what I wanted to do with them except fill them up - with whatever - , Sue, another member, brought up the idea to put wire yarn in there and one of my kitty heads.
The yarn part was easy. This fine silver basket is not even an inch high, I will add a bail if requested, so it's possible to wear it as a pendant or take the bail off, else you can just decorate it.

About the kitty head I wasn't so sure. Two-dimensional was not what I had in mind. What to do? Polymer clay? The last time I played with clay was at a friend's house with his child. Must have been like 15 years ago and my pretzels were not exactly life-like. So what? I went to town and got myself some clay.

I should have known something like that would happen! When "Charlie" was finished, he didn't know anything better than to jump into a basket full of colorful yarn and play with it! And still he has that look on his face "No, Mom, it wasn't me, the yarn attacked first, I had to defend myself!"

Here is Francie, the doll (please Mattel, don't kill me for saying her name out loud), showing the latest fashion in baskets.
She just came home bringing cucumbers, oranges and a bottle of wine (I don't even want to know what kind of supper this is going to be, but everyone to his or her own taste, right?).

Then she remembered she still had to go by the farmer's house and get some eggs for a cake. A big cake, it seems.

To be true, I don't know myself what is going to happen next, but you'll be sure to find the answer here in my blog eventually. It might surprise me just as much as you. Or maybe not. Who knows?



Yesterday I was on treasury hunt again. Can you believe I missed two although I was so close and had a poster sketch ready and everything? The first time it was pure stupidness. I didn't stick to the golden rule you are never supposed to click away from the site if there is only a little time left. Those treasuries have the tendency to go off early. So I prepared for the next one, but I was so absorbed in folding socks that I missed it again. Luckily I got a third chance, so meet my birdie collection in No bird soars too high ... You are welcome to comment! :-)

A nice surprise was I was featured in this team treasury with my agate slice pendant. This one is called I want!, what a fitting title!



I bet you think I am still lost in meditation staring at my pendant, but that is not true. I was near Cologne to see one of my best friends and celebrate her husband's birthday. Believe me, that meant hard work and not much sleep. We see each other so rarely that we need all the time to talk.
Nevertheless I took something to work with me for the train ride and there will be pictures soon.
Not after my 10 hour work day, though. I couldn't even take a break to eat my roll at noon and my feet hurt and I feel a whiney attack coming on. Sounds like a severe case that can only be solved by a long hot bubble bath, don't you think? ;-)


My boy Merlin

Wow, this is harder than I thought.
This post is dedicated to Merlin who passed away February this year at the age of 13.

I "stole" him (we thought we rescued him not knowing the Humane Society would come by the next day to pick up his oh so young Mom and his siblings, but still I think I wouldn't have cared!) from a neighbor of the tall guy's cousin who neglected them (the neighbor, not the cousin, they were the ones that fed them at all). When I saw him sitting on a post - we are talking small village and former farm here - with running nose and half-closed eyes, I knew I had to take him with me. Although he very bravely tried to scare me off by hissing at me, I took him off the post and glued him to my sweater telling the tall guy that he was coming home with us and that his name was Merlin.

Little did I know what he would become to me. Of all the cats we had and have the honor to serve (we do know our status in this house! ;-)) he was mine the most. He slept in my arm at night, he listened to me ranting, laughing and crying and he was the one all the other cats seemed to respect. Not because he was tough, oh no, he was a big couch potato, but around him they all calmed down - after a fight, after a rough game, after the disappointment of another meal not suitable for their gourmet taste.
When he was 8 years old, he got diabetes. We pulled it through together, he just let me do what was necessary and finally he didn't need insulin injections anymore.
Like so many cats he got a kidney problem, though. In February he told me very clearly he needed to go, with a look from his beautiful eyes.

Although he is in my heart of course, I wanted to do something else to remember him by, something special.
Then my way had already led me to SJA and when looking at the pieces of Dawn from California, I suddenly knew what to do.
It took us a while. I say us because I hope Dawn didn't feel neglected during this time, left alone with the task to satisfy a crazy cat woman and a grieving one at that. The way she asked me about Merlin, how he got his name, what his character was like, showed me she didn't just want to copy a photo, she wanted the pendant to show him. As she had other commissions to work on and there were vacation trips in between as well, it took a while until Merlin finally made his way from California to Germany.
I wasn't home the day he arrived and when I came home the next day, I was alone in the house. I opened the parcel and there he was.

Don't the beads compliment the pendant perfectly?
I have been staring at him for over a week now (with small breaks to go to work) and still I am amazed, stunned, speechless. I had expected a lot, but this went beyond my expectations.

There is also a little surprise on the back, but that will stay my secret.

I know I already said it, but I'll say it again. Thank you, Dawn, thank you so much.

And now for something completely different.
That's not true, but as a Monty Python fan I couldn't resist to say that.
Merlin has been drawn years ago when he was still a youngster and his figure a little, ehm, fuller. My friend Denis (from California as well which is pure coincidence because I first met him years ago) who is a talented animator made some sketches of our cats for us when he visited.
This is "his" Merlin.

Ok, now I am sitting here bawling and smiling at the same time. It's time for bed. Thanks for bearing with me through Merlin's and my story.

Can you guess?

I missed to show you the last two treasuries I was featured in.
Today I checked the SJA treasury thread and what a surprise, my Lady of the Lake necklace is here amongst all those beauties! What a lovely color :-)
You still have time to click and comment and answer the question - Can you guess?