Quote of the week

We all know that the life of a secret agent is dangerous. You could be shot, you could be strangled, you could be drowned or - always fun - you could be cut up by a laser beam ... or ...

After escaping the vat of bronze and pushing the art thief Bronzefinger into it instead during the following fight.

99: Oh Max. How terrible!
Maxwell Smart: Terrible for him, not for us.
99: I wonder what Bronzefinger would have done with us, Max.
Maxwell Smart: Well, he probably would have sold us to some public park. Just think of it, 99, there we would have been, two bronze statues giving pleasure to the thousands.
99: Thousands of art lovers?
Maxwell Smart: No, thousands of pigeons.

The worst fate of all? ;-)

Get Smart, episode "Bronzefinger", USA, 1966


Who is this?

Honestly, I have no idea. She just happened. With that headdress on she looks like a queen from an old time or maybe a sorceress or a priestess.
One thing is for sure, she took her sweet time to look like this. I frogged, I bent, I folded, I added, I took away and all the time she stayed as tranquil as she is looking now.
I'm sorry for not having a better picture at this time of night, but I felt I needed to take one right away after I spent the whole evening with her ...


A mermaid's braid

The other day Gwen Fisher from beAd Infinitum posted this on her page. Usually when I see the word "math", I run in the opposite direction. This time I watched the video and of course I had to try this.

First I loomed three strips in white lined AB beads, emerald green, teal and capri blue for an ocean look.

After reweaving the warp threads into the strips, I started braiding using the instructions from the video (thank you, James Tanton).

Ocean colors - I'm even reminded of waves here - request pearls. So I added one white button freshwater pearl on each of the crossings. That way they also keep the braid from slipping.
I'm really happy with the outcome, what do you think?

Mermaid's braid in my Zibbet shop


Interview with the artist - Adrienne from Dancing Rainbows

I wish I had some sun here today. Sun is what makes Adrienne's rainbows dance, but I will let her tell you all about that herself.

Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.

Hi, I'm Adrienne.  I am the owner/operator and creator of "DANCING RAINBOWS" and have been a member of the Zibbet marketplace since 2009. DancingRainbows  My shop is Dancing Rainbows. 
I was raised in the military.  For the first 17 years of my life, “Home” was my Dad’s next assignment. I was born in Birmingham, Alabama and, with my older sister, moved almost every three years. By the time my Dad retired from the Air Force, I had enrolled in nine different schools including three High Schools, graduating in Tucson, Arizona.  When my parents said they were purchasing a home, I thought they were just kidding me. I loved moving which meant a new adventure.  I have always considered myself very fortunate to have been stationed in England and Taiwan, S. Carolina, Massachusetts, Georgia and finally in Arizona.

What's your craft and how did you get to do it in the first place?
I create “sparkling” sun-catchers using primarily Swarovski crystals. Dancing Rainbows also offers jewelry...necklaces, earrings,  purse jewelry, zipper pulls and cell phone jewelry.  
Endless rainbow
I was always captivated by light refraction. When I was little, I remember loving to play with puddles in the road; it was even better if there was a little bit of oil in the puddle. The puddle would have the prettiest rainbows created by the oil.

My husband’s mother had the most exquisite almond shaped crystal hanging in their window.   Seeing the rainbows dancing around the room when the sun hit the crystal was mesmerizing.  Years later, that same crystal now hangs in our window and I fondly smile every time I see it.  Wanting to share the beauty I would see from the prisms, I opened Dancing Rainbows.
My jewelry line started because I saw a necklace I really liked. I knew it was created with Swarovski crystals and I liked the basic design. Once I created my own version, I began receiving requests and decided to incorporate jewelry into my shop.

Peacock blue necklace

Tell us a fun thing about yourself.
I was in Community Theatre for a number of years. I'm pretty good at imitations, funny faces and animal sounds. I'm what you might term an "animated" person and frequently end up the entertainment at a gathering.

Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?
I don't mind trying just about anything. I sewed many of my own clothes when I was in my 20's . I also enjoy needle work such as crewel, counted cross-stitch and working with plastic canvas. I love painting with oils and watercolors and drawing with charcoal. It doesn't really matter, I love all crafts. One of my other passions is photography. I love capturing the nature's beauty.

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?
Now this is extremely hard. As far as the hardest, the circle ones are the hardest. I can't pick a favorite...they all are. I can't say I'm partial to one style or color. 
Sun flower

Your business name already tells us that you work with lots of colors. Do you have a favorite color?
Yes, all of them!!
Tie dye

Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you?
Yes, my parents.
My Dad…the ultimate “nice” guy. When my friends would come over to the house, they would end up talking with him. He was always the diplomat. I lost him at the end of 2010, a month shy of his 90th birthday. Up until the very end, he had such optimism, courage and strength. He refused to give up. He taught me respect, tolerance, acceptance, that character matters and how to stay positive in the face of adversity.
My Mom. Independent, smart…tough. She was an English teacher. No matter where we were, she was the Brownie and Girl Scout leader. She taught the Vacation Bible School. She has taught me to appreciate the beauty of Nature and to take care of it. Whether it was the baby bird we spent hours trying to put back into the nest or the plant that needed extra TLC, she’s always made sure I understood how important Nature was. At 92 she still continues to teach and amaze me. From her I have learned grace, kindness, strength when everything is falling apart and to never compromise your principles.

If you had free choice of one supply you need for your work, no matter how expensive, what would it be?
I would definitely have to say Swarovski crystals...anything that sparkles!!

Ocean pastels

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

I also have a photography shop at Treasures from Nature on Zibbet and you can find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus.

Famous last words ;-) Is there anything else you want to tell us?
I love custom orders and collaborating with a customer. The more a customer can share, the better. After all, it has to be “just right”. Nothing less will do. I'm just trying to decorate the world...one sun catcher at a time.

Thank you, Adrienne! Wait ... do I see the sun come out back there? Hand me one of those suncatchers!


Quote of the week

The story is really very simple. A young man meets a young woman while they are both on vacation. They fall in love and decide to marry as soon as possible.
When the young man, Johnny, comes to meet his young lady, Julia, at her house, though, to talk to her father, he finds out they are terribly rich and that he is expected to join the merry money making which doesn't go along at all with his own plans.
Then there are the two black sheep in the family, brother Ned ... and sister Linda.

Johnny doesn't want to make money. He wants a timeout and Julia to sail off with him and his good friends, Nick and Susan, but Julia won't give up her life in the money circles, so he finally decides to give in and give it a try for a few years.
When Nick and Susan come into their cabin on the boat, however, the door opens and Johnny comes in.

Johnny: Hey!
Nick and Susan: Johnny!
Nick: Oh my word!
Susan: Where's Julia?
Johnny: Julia? I left her sitting on her golden throne. Johnny is taking the big ride by himself.
Nick: No.
Johnny: Yes.
Nick: No! Boy, champagne, any amount of it, but hurry.
Porter: Oui, Monsieur Porter.
Nick: The name is Potter! Let's change our name to Porter, then perhaps they'll call us Potter.
Susan: Oh, what happened, Johnny?
Johnny: Susan, I've just wakened out of a nightmare. I think everything's gonna be alright. I know it is. Come on, children, come on.
He takes them out to the hallway to show them a backflip as as sign how good he is feeling when Linda comes around the corner.

Linda: Is this where the club meets?
Nick and Susan smile at each other and go into her cabin when Johnny who is still lying on the floor pulls Linda down towards him.
Johnny: Right here.

Holiday, USA, 1938



Guess what I found when I went into our little garden today! A bunch of very special spiders enjoying the spring sun, crawling around on flowers and bushes.

Ok, ok.
Although it would have been fun to discover a new species, I have to admit that these little crawlers are in fact my own creatures. Please imagine now how I throw my head back and break out into a mad scientist's laughter.

I had these tiny, just half an inch long carved face cabochons in my stash for more than two years. I took them out of their little bag, put them back, took them out, but I knew it wouldn't be easy to make a bezel for them without hiding any facial features.
This time I was game to try it in the wire knit technique and add some beads. When I had finished the first one, I suddenly had the idea to make a spider. After finishing the first spider then I couldn't stop myself anymore ... and now I want to make a whole army of spiders and take over the world, mwahahaaaaaa! ;-)


Quote of the week

What would you do if your plane crashed in the middle of the Sahara, without much hope to be found, limited water supplies and about 100 miles from the next oasis?
Easy. Let's hear what passenger Heinrich Dorfmann has to say about it to Captain Towns and Navigator Moran.

Dorfmann: Gentlemen! I've been examining this aeroplane. 
Towns: You have?
Dorfmann: Yes. We have everything here that we need to build a new one and fly it out. Now if you would like to have a look at my calculations. I don't know whether you can read my handwriting.
Towns: Are you trying to be funny?
Dorfmann: What did you say?
Towns: I said, are you trying to be funny?
The smile disappears from Dorfmann's face.
Dorfmann: That is precisely the reaction I would have expected from a man of your obvious limitations.

What do you think they will be doing? Really build a new plane?
I recommend you watch it yourself, the movie is worth it.

The Flight of the Phoenix, USA, 1965


Quote of the week

I'm not an expert on weddings, especially not the big celebration kind. I once attended one of them as a guest and it reminded me that I'm not doing that well with big crowds.
That brings us to today's movie.
When Stanley Banks learns that his daughter Kay is in love, he is not prepared for the wedding, though. All he knows when he sees Kay and Buckley together for the first time is that things have changed.

"Right then I realized that my day was over. She'll always love us of course, but not in the old way. From here on her love will be doled out like a farmer's wife tossing scraps to a family rooster."


Father of the Bride, USA, 1950

P.S. I do like the remake with Steve Martin, but I love Spencer Tracy and the original will always be my favorite (I mean, just look at Elizabeth Taylor's outfits!!).


Tiles, tiles, tiles

First of all let me say that I know next to nothing about tiles, neither cement nor ceramics. I have admired them where I happened to see them, no matter if vintage or at a shop, but I never saw them as inspiration for my own work, mostly because I don't carry a notebook and usually forget right pretty quickly what I saw.

All is not lost, though, thanks to my friend Susanne. She lives in Spain, she collects cement tiles and does research if she gets a chance, and she has even written a book about José Maria Tejera, a tile producer.
Her blog about cement tiles can be found here, and there are pictures of wonderful and inspiring patterns.
She suggested that I should use tile patterns in my bead looming. For the longest time I didn't do that, for several reasons.
My brain is old and often unable to deal with the flood of inspiration. I keep forgetting that I wanted to try this or that.
A more practical reason is that Delicas and seed beads are not square, no matter what you try. Tiles are not only square most of the time, but also often radially symmetrical as Susanne told me, and that is something that I can't translate into a piece of wearable jewelry of an ordinary size, especially not for the complex patterns.

From Susanne's blog

What I can do is use the simpler geometric designs that also look good as rectangles, and change colors.

Lilac, eggplant and silver tile pendant

I can pretend to have used four tiles - can you see them in the pattern? - and use warm and earthy colors.

Tile pendant in oranges and reds

I can go wild with the colors and really make a piece shine ... silver lined beads all over ... and add matching dagger dangles.

Shiny red, golden and orange on grey tile pendant with dangles

And I can take a basic design and play with it until I get something different.

Opal white and blue tile pendant

I'm nowhere near being done with this. I can make bracelets, and I will try to find something that will work for earrings.

Let me bow to the tile makers and to Susanne for creating a new addiction. I hope this will be the beginning of a collaboration!! 

And here's the link to her blog again, it's in English, German and Spanish.
Cement tiles / Zementfliesen / Mosaicos hidráulicos