Spring cleaning

I'm a Swabian. There are lots of clichés about Swabians. We are busy bees, we don't like to talk, we are good workers, we like to save money and we are obsessed with cleaning.

Yeah, well. No. Sorry. I missed that gene. I don't find endless happiness in cleaning hard to reach gaps in the kitchen or dangerously balancing on a chair to get rid of a cobweb in the corner. Actually I just looked up and saw a cobweb clinging to my stairs to nowhere.
I have bouts of energy which make me clean out closets, but my Swabian grandmother would probably have considered it a very feeble attempt. I can start scrubbing something at 10 at night, but I can also laugh a spot right in the face and give it another day to live without losing a moment's sleep over it.
The trash has to be taken out, I don't want food leftovers or empty pizza boxes around, but my home is definitely not sparkly clean. Guess what, though. I'm comfortable the way it is.

Spring cleaning is a theoretical concept for me as well, both in my home and my not really existent studio.
Not really existent means that I can take my stuff pretty much anywhere. I'm the Travelling Crafter! ;-)

There you have it.
Now you may wonder why I am telling you all of this if I don't really have anything to tell at all.
Easy. It was time for the Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival.

Have a look at the other members' posts which are not only much more informative than mine, but also show that my JAC pals are much more organized than I am. My poor grandmother. She wouldn't be very proud of me, I guess. I don't know if "creative mess" would have been in her vocabulary, either .....

Bead Sophisticate
The Crafty Chimp
Jewelry Art by Dawn

Oh, I forgot. No post without a picture. Since I don't have to offer you photos of me organizing my bead stash or my findings, however, have an old picture (2006) of three very relaxed cats (Merlin, Ponder and Greebo).


Quote of the week

Today I'm going to introduce you to Hedwig Courths-Mahler, a German writer of love stories or as she put it "fairytales for adults". Courths-Mahler stopped writing in 1935, so her novels are obviously set in time before that which might make them seem a little, erm, aged to us.
Five of her novels were made into movies in the 70s with well known German actors ... who didn't always seem to take the "fairytales" very seriously which annoyed Courths-Mahler's daughter. The keyword is "overacting". Reason enough to pick some quotes from them over the next months (which will be obviously be translated by me as there is no English version) because that's just what my twisted sense of humor likes.

A special touch are a narrator reading parts from the novel, the still photos that are shown in between and of course the piano music which matches every mood so perfectly.

After both of Ria's parents are dead, industrialist Rolf Matern, a long time friend of the family whose secret it is that he made his money through an invention by Ria's father, takes her in. Ria who knows about this, but doesn't want to reveal the secret, falls in love with Matern's son Heinz.

When Heinz' parents die, he offers Ria a marriage of convenience. He quickly finds that he loves her, but thinks she doesn't love him, while she feels she is his "unloved woman".

Will they reveal their love to each other despite the breach of trust and the silence between them?
Who is Mr Krause? And what does Ria need all that money for?

When Ria visits a friend, Heinz goes into her room to feel near to her. There is a picture of him on her desk. But what is this? It looks as if someone has kissed the picture. As much as the question plagues him, however, he cannot ask her.

When he finally finds out his father's secret and what Ria did, he has to know.
"Ria, did you kiss my picture?"

And they lived happily ever after, I guess.

Eine ungeliebte Frau (An unloved woman), Germany, 1974 (after the novel from 1918)

 P.S. I wish I could give you the slightest idea of how the actors speak, gesture, move and even stand. Maybe the screenshots help understand a little ;-)
P.P.S. Look forward to more quotes from the other movies!


Tackle that stash - Faux amber and wire knit ring and earrings

A few years ago I got a little bag full of faux amber cabochons. They were different sizes, different colors, different shapes and over the years they have made for some big fun. I made earrings, rings, necklaces, pendants, in fine silver or in copper wire, in wire knit or crochet technique and sometimes I even mixed both.
Often when my muse was out of town I grabbed the little bag and matched pairs, sets or contemplated the best bezel for a unique shape like the little rounded pyramid.

Finally the bag is almost empty. There are a few last small round cabs left now after I took two of them to make this pair of starburst earrings.

Available in my DaWanda shop

And then there was the cab that had been haunting me from the very beginning. Shaped like half a circle it defied all my attempts to put it in a bezel. More than once I thought now was the time to show it who was the master and more than once I kept ripping up what I had made half way through. If I ever heard a cab snicker, it was definitely this one.
I don't give up that easily, though. Eventually the time comes when I put on my determined face and do the job, and that's what I did.
With this ring. Ha!

Available in my Zibbet shop


Wire knit, Viking knit and netting

"Why do you call it knitting if you are using a crochet hook?" "I like your crochet." "Is that woven wire?" "You can't knit with a crochet hook." "It's called knooking." "Is that spool knitting?" "Oh, but that's Viking knit!"

I admit it can get confusing. I blogged about the differences between wire knit and wire crochet before, in this and more elaborately with sample pictures in this blog post. I didn't want to repeat myself here, so please look up these two posts if you want to know more.
The wire knitting I do is also not the same as Viking knitting although I get why people may think that at first. Knitting is knitting after all, right?
Actually it's not.

A few things before I show you my samples:
I am by no means a Viking knit expert, so far I have only dipped my toe in. For the sample I skipped the making of a base part. This is NOT a tutorial, this is just supposed to show you how differently wire knit, Viking knit and netting look.
I do knit with a crochet hook. I could use knitting needles and end up with the same look, but with a crochet hook I feel I have more control over the wire. I call it knitting because the result are not crochet stitches, they are knit stitches.

This is a knitted wire rope sample and this is a very short explanation of how it's made with an ordinary crochet hook.
First you make a row of chain stitches (which is different from the first row if you knit with needles) and close it (if you make a flat piece, you just work your way up back and forth, but the technique is the same). Then you pull the wire through the first loop with your crochet hook, towards yourself and bend it upwards over your loop to avoid the wire slipping back out. You will see that it looks like a knit stitch already, and that's how you go on. Go through the next loop with your hook, catch the wire, pull through and bend upwards.
The wire in the last row is in no way anchored to the other stitches and unravels easily if you are not careful.
You don't have to cut a length of wire off your spool for this technique. If you use it with beads, however, you have to put the beads on the wire before you start knitting.
You can use a draw plate to even out your rope or make it longer and slimmer.

This is a simple single Viking knit sample.
The loops are woven around the loops of the last row. No unraveling there. You can use a mandrel, a dowel, a special Viking knit tool that helps you with the start, a pencil ... I used a large knitting needle for this sample.
There are different Viking knit variations like double or triple knit.
You have to have a length of wire cut off the spool to be able to weave the loops, but you can add wire while you go along. To even out the chain and make it longer and give it a different look, you can use a draw plate.

Last but not least I made a small netting sample. In this case loops are not woven around loops, but around the wire between two loops which makes this a very open net.

I hope I made the differences at least a little clearer, but should you have questions, I'll do my best to answer them!

I do have to say, however, as I keep getting asked that I don't make tutorials and don't plan on starting making them. Thanks for understanding.


Oldies but Goodies - Big and bold

BIG AND BOLD, that was the last Oldies but Goodies Challenge at the Jewelry Artisans Community. Not everyone is comfortable wearing BIG AND BOLD and not everyone is good at making BIG AND BOLD. I know, you got the idea.
There's no stopping the JAC members, though. Again it turned out there's always someone there to pull a rabbit out of the hat, no matter what the challenge is. That's what makes this so much fun and I really want to invite you to come by and play along next time!

1 MC Stoneworks
2 Violetmoon's Corner
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 RioRita
5 Cat's Wire
6 2 Fab Fristers
7 Robin's Jewelry, Antiques, & Collectibles


Quote of the week

A girl gets killed. Sounds like a normal murder investigation, but there's nothing normal in Twin Peaks.
If you heard about Twin Peaks, I don't have to say anything else, if you never heard about it, though, there's not much more I can say without writing a whole novel, but you need to know is that Agent Dale Cooper can get quite excited about a cup of good coffee.
Not this time ...

Pete Martell: Fellas, don't drink that coffee. You'd never guess. There was a fish in the percolator. Sorry.

Twin Peaks, USA, 1990 - 1991


Tackle that stash - Black wire knit ring with acrylic cabochon

Is it Friday already? I completely forgot! Not only did I have to look after my Esme since last weekend who was sick and refused to eat even the finest snacks I had to offer, but I have also been working on a project for which I had to order the beads *gasp* It's a bead looming project and if I am missing one or more colors, there's nothing I can do. Now I only wish I knew where I have hidden my polymer clay ...

Oh well. I set myself a challenge, so I had to make something quickly, a simple design this time.


Oldies but Goodies - Crystals

What do you think of when you hear the word crystal? Probably bling to the max. Crystals come in all kinds of materials and shapes, from snowflakes to gypsum crystals (have you ever heard of the Cave of the Crystals?) to glass.
As always the JAC Oldies but Goodies challenge delivered a variety of items, this time - you've guessed it - with crystals. Enjoy!

1 Violetmoon's Corner
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 MC Stoneworks
4 2 Fab Fristers
5 Cat's Wire
6 Echoes of Ela
7 The Crafty Chimp


Quote of the week

The most famous detectives of the world are invited - for dinner and a murder. How can they resist? It turns out that Lionel Twain, their host, is not only challenging them to solve the murder that is about to happen and promising a handsome reward of one million dollars, but that he also turns up as the murder victim a little later.

One of my favorite quotes of the movie that is brimming with wonderful stars says it all. I have thought that for many years. Seriously, how am I supposed to know that the butler's sister's husband's aunt Lucy who comes to visit in the last chapter is really the lord's first wife's daughter from her second marriage Lucille? (Yes, I do know there are a lot of 'ssssssssss here, I did that on purpose)

Lionel Twain: You've all been clever for so long, you've forgotten to be humble. You've tricked and fooled your readers for years. You've tortured us all with surprise endings that made no sense. You've introduced characters in the last five pages that were never in the book before! You've *pointing at Miss Marbles* withheld clues and information that made it impossible for us to guess who did it. But now the tables are turned. Millions of angry mystery readers are now getting their revenge! When the world learns I've outsmarted you, they'll be selling your $1.95 books for 12 cents. It's checkout time, ladies and gentlemen. I have your bills ready. Credit cards will be accepted.

Hear, hear!
Even if you think I've spoiled watching the movie for you now, you are wrong. Give it a try if you haven't seen it yet, it's still a classic (and it has a blind butler!).

Murder by Death, USA, 1976


Tackle that stash - Wire crochet ropes with different size seed beads

In my stash I have a small collection of seed beads in different sizes. As you know I mostly do loomwork and rarely use different size beads for it unless I make a channel cuff.
Instead of buying new beads to go with the old ones I decided on a classic design for this red, blue and gold, wire crochet ropes with the earrings being the slimmest to avoid them being too heavy, with the bangle being bold and big and the necklace even a little bigger.

As I still felt somewhat under the weather, this was the perfect project.

And don't you think the colors are a little like spring, so bright and happy?

I am still waiting for end caps for the necklace, then these pieces will make it into my shop individually.


Oldies but Goodies - Animals

At the Jewelry Artisans Community we are not only jewelry lovers, but also animal lovers. We have cats, we have dogs, we have birds, and we even have our own resident chimp, that's one of our members, though ;-)
This week's Oldies but Goodies Challenge was about animals and here is what I got for you. Please be sure to click the link to go through all the pictures. Dawn has been sharing some wonderful examples of her painted animal pendants, you don't want to miss out on that!

1 The Crafty Chimp
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 MC Stoneworks
4 Violetmoon's Corner
5 Cat's Wire


Quote of the week

It's true. I can get stuck in the IMDb message boards forever and read discussions about movies. This time I ended up in a thread with the title "People above 30, Why you didn't watch Labyrinth at theaters?" Well, I actually saw it at the theater, together with my little brother who liked it so much that we went right back the next day to watch it again.

Sarah is tired of having to babysit her little baby brother, Toby. She asks the Goblin King, Jareth, to take him away. When he really does, however, she goes into the labyrinth to bring Toby back.

Sarah: Give me the child.
Jareth: Sarah, beware. I have been generous up until now, and I can be cruel.
Sarah: Generous? What have you done that's generous?
Jareth: Everything! Everything that you wanted I have done. You asked that the child be taken, I took him. You cowered before me. I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down. And I have done it all for you. I am exhausted from living up to your expectations of me. Isn't that generous?
Sarah: Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City. For my will is as strong as yours and my ...
Jareth: Stop. Wait. Look, Sarah. Look what I'm offering you. Your dreams.
Sarah: And my kingdom as great.
Jareth: I ask for so little. Just let me rule you and you can have everything that you want.
Sarah: Kingdom as great. Damn. I can never remember that line.
Jareth: Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave.
Sarah: My kingdom as great. My kingdom as great. *pausing* You have no power over me. You have no power over me!

Labyrinth, UK/USA, 1986