Trying something new

Peyote stitch and I - we are still no real friends, but we are trying to get along. At the moment we are working on a project that is supposed to prepare us for another project that is supposed to take us to new heights together in turn. The jury is still out on that one. We won't know before we finished this one, and we are still in a very early stage (as I am not quite over my obsession with knitting Easter eggs yet).
This month's the blog carnival at the Jewelry Artisans Community, however, is about what new things we'd like to try this year, so I'm forced to drag our collaboration out in the open already. After all it's about what we'd LIKE to try even if it may not happen due to one or the other reason.

At least I can show you my little WIP and tell its story.
Every, now and then I like to have some gin and tonic. Two friends know that and gave me some Black Forest gin for different occasions, one bottle being a miniature, one the normal size. The bottles look so cool, like old medicine bottles you would find in a pharmacy, with a little cork. I knew I would finally want to try beading around them, and the mini bottle would be perfect for a first attempt until the big bottle - which holds ten times as much - is empty.

As for the beads, I didn't think this through. I guess I was influenced by the February challenge on JAC which had the topic "pink". Not only will I not be able to finish the bottle today to make the challenge, but I don't even have enough beads in these colors to try at all.

I see a bead order in my future .... and of course I will be back once this project is finished, and hopefully I will be also be back with the big bottle eventually, maybe even still this year!

Curious what the others have on their lists for this year? Check it out here.

Violetmoon's Corner
Jewelry Art by Dawn 


Quote of the week

The stories were a part of my childhood (this is important to give you an idea of the time setting) and I own most of the books, but I have to admit I had completely forgotten what little anarchists Nicolas and his friends could be. They have words and they have fights, they let their fantasy run wild and they have fun, not always to their parents' and teachers' delight.
Sometimes they are sad, they are afraid, they are children and Nicolas is telling their story - like the time he went for a visit with his mother and had to play with Marie-Edwige, the daughter of the house.
When Marie-Edwige suggests to play nurse and wounded soldier, Nicolas tells her he prefers to play cards.

Marie-Edwige: Well, what can you play?
Nicolas: Old Maid?
Marie-Edwige: I know a much better one.
Nicolas as narrator: Marie-Edwige's game was very difficult. She was allowed to look into my cards and also swap for hers. I wasn't. Also the cards didn't have the same value as usual. She took the King from me with a Three.
Nicolas: But ...
Marie-Edwige: Something wrong?
Nicolas as narrator: And the winner could make a wish. I never won.

Tough break, Nicolas. I think there has been something not quite right about this game, or you wouldn't have ended up as Marie-Edwige's horse or her makeup manikin ...

Petit Nicolas, France, 2009

P.S. I read that Sempé who did the drawings to go with Goscinny's stories said he wanted to catch the childhood he would have liked to have for himself. No idea if it's true, but I wouldn't be surprised.
P.P.S. Not having access to the English version, this is a translation of my own from the German one.


Oldies but Goodies - Valentine's Day

I know Valentine's Day is already over, but today's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge happened to be in the week of Valentine's Day, so that's what it was all about.
Of course the first thing to think of for this day are hearts, but these pieces are so much more than just simple hearts, in fact a gift doesn't always have to be a heart and still be perfect for that day ... You'll see what I mean.

1 Cat's Wire
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 RioRita
4 Betoj Designs
5 MC Stoneworks
6 Violetmoon's Corner


Quote of the week

True in 1960, true today. When will we learn?

"The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone."


The Twilight Zone, USA, 1959 - 1964


Oldies but Goodies - Amber

Many years ago a lovely lady from California showed me her amber collection, both of genuine and faux amber. It reminded me of a showcase I had seen at a natural history museum, also with specimen of genuine and faux amber.
With amber being a desirable stone for jewelry it's not unusual for amber imitations to be sold as the real thing. In fact that's how I got a little bag of cabs myself, as a gift from someone who had bought them as real ones. If the seller did it on purpose or not, we'll never know.

My choices from this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge are a mix of amber colors, again both genuine and faux. I hope you'll like what I picked.

1 and 6 MC Stoneworks
2 and 5 Cat's Wire
3 and 7 Violetmoon's Corner
4 RioRita


Quote of the week

Some time ago I introduced you to Hedwig Courths-Mahler, an author who wrote - as she put it - fairytales for adults. That means she wrote stories that are full of tragedy, love, betrayal, heroism, misunderstandings, secrets, you probably know the kind.
In the 70s five of her novels were turned into movies, full of tragedy, love ... well, I mentioned that already. You do get the feeling, however, that the directors and actors didn't always take her work too seriously (how very strange ;-)). Can you say overacting? And then there is of course the narrator, the flowery language, and the music. It's hard to describe really, but you have to keep in mind that the novel to this was written in late 1914. If you like a good giggle and are in the right company with the same kind of humor, it's fun.

The young, poor orphan Rose von Lossow lives with her wealthy relatives. She is in love with her cousin Hasso, a military man, but he proposes to a Russian lady. Unfortunately this lady is a spy who is after his latest invention for military aviation and who uses Hasso's "holiest feelings" to gain access to the plans and then even mocks him calling him an "interesting intermezzo".

Luckily Rose's entry at the right moment had prevented worse, but nevertheless Hasso quits the service to work on his airplane designs at Falkenried, the family manor, instead.

Hasso's mother dies, then the war breaks out. Hasso decides to marry Rose to ensure that she will still be cared for in case he will die out there. Only when it's time for him to go, he realizes that he loves Rose, has loved her for a long time - but does she love him, too? He needs to know.

Hasso: No, I can't leave you like this. First I have to tell you that I love you. My shy, proud Rose. In this hour only it became clear to me what has been rummaging inside of me lately. I have loved you for a long time, I know that now. I loved you before I knew it myself. Fool that I am! A blind fool I am! Tell me just once, in this bittersweet hour of parting, what lives for me in your soul. Tell me the truth, Rose.
Rose: In my soul no one lives but you. I love you, have always loved you and will love you for eternity. You are taking my heart with you, and if you are taken from me, I do not want to live anymore.
Narrator: It was as if their souls wanted to wed in this kiss for all time.

Die Kriegsbraut (The War Bride), Germany, 1974

P.S. You guessed it, there is a happy ending. The Russian spy is caught after all, and Hasso comes home to his Rose (again, keep in mind, this was written in 1914 when the war had just started and no one knew yet HOW terrible it would be).
P.P.S. Again this is my own translation because obviously there is no English version. I hope I managed to capture the mood at least a little.


Tackle that stash - Beaded pendant with crystals

Remember last week's stash tackler?
Although I had more plans for this week, I didn't make it due to different reasons. What I managed to make last weekend, however, is inspired by the Bollywood bangles by Jill Wiseman. Again the word Bollywood doesn't really fit because I used almost the same colors for this pendant as for one of the bangles I made - minus the brown seed beads.
A gold tone chain added, here you go :-)
I also got some silver and red out, so stay tuned!


Oldies but Goodies - Nature

I don't think I have to say anything about this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge topic. Nature has always played a role in jewelry. The materials mostly come from nature, jewelry depicts nature and often celebrates it, too.
Of course animals and plants are at the top of the list as my choices today will show you.

1 Betoj Designs
2 Cat's Wire
3 MC Stoneworks
4 Violetmoon's Corner
5 RioRita


Quote of the week

Once upon a time there was a station called Nickelodeon. And once upon a time there were Fridays. Okay, there still are, but they are different now. Let me explain. The year Nickelodeon started in Germany was also the year I started dialysis. Three times a week I would go to dialysis right after work, except for Fridays. Fridays I always tried to take off early. That was my little private time window when I would come home and enjoy some Nick shows, enjoy the weirdness, laugh and wind down for a bit before I had to leave again.
Today's quote is from one of those shows.

Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina are young monsters going to school learning how to be good monsters and scare people. Of course they stumble from one adventure into the other, like that time they ended up in the countryside.
All they want to do is scare some humans. The humans, however, think they are aliens, so finally one group is chasing the other. Finally the little monsters make it home again (after successfully scaring everyone) and two of the humans are wondering about the events.

Human #1: You know, I was thinking.
Human #2: Really?
Human #1: Maybe those creatures weren't aliens at all.
Human #2: Really.
Human #1: Maybe they were monsters.
Human #2: Monsters! Noooo. Who'd be stupid enough to believe in monsters when there are so many aliens around?
In the back a cow gets abducted by a spaceship.
Human #1: I guess you're right.
Human #2 (shaking his head): When will people learn ...

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, USA, 1994 - 1997

P.S. Yes, when will people learn ... once again this post is dedicated to my favorite alien friend ;-)


Random Saturday - Ponder and Harry

Usually this would have become a post on Ponder's own blog, but he is too busy running around the house and practising his new aria for the midnight performance, so I'm not hesitating to steal it right from under his nose.

So who's Harry? Or should I say who was Harry?
Let me explain about my relationship to spiders. First, I have them in my flat. Second, I don't mind. Of course that is easy for me to say, after all we don't have really dangerous spiders here. I have to admit that I didn't use to be as cool about bigger black ones as I am now. Just the other day my sister reminded me of the time she and I worked hard on evicting one of those from her flat many years ago using a TV guide, a sieve, and a glass if I remember right. I hardly have those now, though. Most of my spiders are named Charlie (after Charlotte, the spider, one of my favorite characters), sometimes called Chuck, or Harry.

Two days ago Ponder and one of the Harrys met. Ponder had been excited for a while and like most of the time I had no idea what he wanted from me. I should find out soon enough after I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Singing loudly Ponder jumped into the bathtub.
When I checked, all I could see was a leg, probably from a Daddy Longlegs that seemed to be trying to escape into the drain. I heard a munching sound, but that doesn't mean anything. It wouldn't have been the first time for Ponder to nibble on a (not very juicy) "Longleg" and then let it go. He kept hitting the drain and I almost thought he was going to try and stick his paw in.
Instead he retreated one level up and kept watch in case Harry came back.

"Where did he go?"

"Honestly, where did he go???" (Doesn't it look a bit from far as if he has lost his head?)

"He's gone. He didn't want to play with me."

Needless to say that I had a hard time helping Ponder to get over that loss ... until the next Harry or Chuck turns up!

How are your furry masters around spiders? Do you have a story to share?


Tackle that stash - Beaded bangles with crystals

It was pure coincidence that I rummaged around in my "various beads" drawer and received the YouTube subscription email in the same week. That way I was not only reminded that I still had some tile beads in my drawer, but I also got an idea what to make with them. I had only worked with tile beads once before and that had been inspired by my ribbon and bead bracelets (that are made using a loom, but are not bead loomed). While my tile stash wouldn't have been big enough for another one of those, the Bollywood Bangles design by Jill Wiseman worked perfectly.

Only my bangles are so not Bollywood at all. My tiles were silver and a marbled lavender and beige, I only have two colors of size 15 seed beads (for a different project), black and gunmetal, and my Twin Beads are limited in color choice as well. I could have used some bright colored crystals to make up for that, but for now I decided to stay subtle.

For this bangle I used the marbled tiles with brown and gold lined seed beads in size 11, matte metallic golden Twins, but instead of using size 15 seed beads and smaller bicone crystals as in the video I chose these bigger beautiful firepolished crystals (originally I had got them to use them with a tutorial that I lost patience with). Actually I think they sit better than the bicones, and I don't mind that you don't see as much of the tile beads.

Then there is this set of bangles with crystals in grey, pink and a light burgundy. They are very sparkly in the light and they do look great stacked!

I already have some more ideas for small variations, but that will mean a bead order which is not in my plans for the moment as I really have to finish up some WIPs first. Remind me, though, if I forget! ;-)


Oldies but Goodies - Paris

What do you think of when I say Paris? The City of Lights, the City of Love, the Eiffel Tower, Mona Lisa in the Louvre, spring, fashion ... that are just a few things that come to mind.
The question had been asked at the latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, and these are the pieces with which we replied.

1 and 7 Violetmoon's Corner
2 and 6 MC Stoneworks
3 and 8 Betoj Designs
4 and 9 Jewelry Art by Dawn
5 and 10 Cat's Wire