Quote of the week

We live in a time of constant technological progress. It's amazing - and scary - what has been invented over the last century.
Just look at old science fiction movies. Some of what used to be fiction is reality today.
One of these things are robots. Granted, we are not quite at the point where robots take over all the unloved household chores and hopefully we are far away from the point where they take over the world ;-)

Today's quote is about robot love in the 60s.
Many good agents from the secret government organization Control have already been victims of Kaos agent Octavia. It's time to send in Hymie the robot. Surely he will not fall in love with her?
Things don't quite go the way the Chief and Maxwell Smart expected them to, though. Octavia turns out to be a robot herself.

Hymie comes in while Octavia is loading her battery.
Octavia: Hi.
Hymie: Hi. May I try that?
Octavia plugs him in and Hymie starts smoking.
Hymie: I guess we're not wired the same.
Octavia: Wouldn't it be boring if we were.
Hymie: May I?
He closes the battery cover.
Octavia: Now as soon as you put all those papers in your briefcase, Hymie, we can go.
Hymie: I've never met anyone like you, Octavia.
Octavia: I've never met anyone like you, Hymie.
Hymie: You're different somehow.
Octavia: Thank you.
Hymie: The cute little way you click your eyes, the way you make my gyros race whenever you kiss me, the way my oil boils when you're near.

Ah, sweet, sweet love ...

Get Smart, USA, 1965 - 1970


Tackle that stash - Cab on cab earrings

It's not the first time that I have been experimenting with what I like to call "cab on cab". It simply means that there's not just one cabochon in a wire knit setting, but two.

In this case I used oval mother of pearl disks. Of course it makes sense that the bottom cab is as flat as possible which makes it easier to hold the top cab in place when making the bezel. A slight dome is fine, but flat is better.
I had two of those disks that came to me via a destash, now I needed to find two cabs that worked in both look and size. From the same destash I had two black acrylic cabs that worked like a charm. In fact they were the only ones in my stash that fit so perfectly, and I liked the contrast between the shimmering grey-white and the black, too.

When looking at the earrings you can see the mother of pearl shimmering around the black, and if the angle is right, there's the illusion of a mother of pearl ring surrounding the top cab.
From the side, however, you notice the domed look.

So far all the pieces I made like that are rather small, but I think eventually I'll have to explore the possibilities of a bigger piece.

The earrings are available in my DaWanda shop.


Greebo the Destroyer

Dear Greebo,

why didn't you tell me? Why did you feel you needed to destroy the pattern to make me see? And why don't you like it?
You are white and black yourself. I would have thought this pattern to be appealing to you. If there's a cat here that's in balance, it is definitely you. The perfect mix of innocence with your baby face and cute looks and of ruthlessness if things stand between you and your thirty-five snacks a day, like me sleeping for more than four hours.

Instead of helping me staying motivated, however, you jumped this harmless pattern printout when I wasn't there. I can see you before my inner eye and it makes me whimper to think of it. I bet it never saw you coming, was completely taken by surprise when you ripped it up with fangs and claws spitting little pieces of paper on it.
It was still so young.

Why this pattern? Why not kitchen towels? Why not notepaper? Why not a bill??

We need to talk.

Disappointed and sad,

Hiya Mom,

you know this is not about the pattern. Leave a piece of paper next to me and it's mine to kill. You are welcome to leave bills in my cat beds and I'll take care of them, too. Every time I do it with a pattern, you freak out.

For Heaven's sake, get a grip, lady!


Oh. Okay then, Greeb. No hard feelings, eh? See you for your next snack in ten minutes then.



The big 5-0 and a sale!

It's true. I am 50 today. 
And I want to celebrate with all of you. It's a little difficult because I only own five chairs not counting the armchair, the computer chair and the odd red metal one.
I'm not so sure about the cake, either. Baking is not my strong suit because I don't do it often. Or maybe I don't do it often because it's not my strong suit?
I can't invite you to a garden party because our garden is not very big. Pity. My potato salad really isn't that bad.

So what to do? How about a sale in both of my shops?
Today you can save 30% on all ready to ship items over $10 in my Zibbet or 10 € in my DaWanda shop. There is something for everyone!
Just use the coupon code 50BIRTHDAY.

No worries, I won't send a slice of cake along ;-) Have fun browsing!

P.S. The reason for the look on my face is not the big 5-0, by the way. I never trusted cameras ...


Oldies but goodies - Summer

No worries. You haven't lost a day. This week I'm one day early with the Oldies but Goodies Challenge at the Jewelry Artisans Community. Tomorrow you'll know why.
The topic this week is summer. What comes to your mind when you think of summer? Sun, heat, beach, ice cream, bright colors, dresses ... ? Let us know!

These are some of the pieces that remind the JAC members of summer. Hopefully they'll get you into summer mood as well.

1 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 Cat's Wire
3 RioRita
4 Studio 9665
5 Violetmoon's Corner
6 The Crafty Chimp


Quote of the week

A choleric hotel owner and manager, Basil, his sharp-tongued wife, Sybil, an art student/waitress, Polly, and a Spanish handyman, Manuel, who hasn't learned much English yet - a stay at this hotel is sure to be an experience of the other kind.

Basil Fawlty comes back from a short trip. Before he went he hired a constructor to put a door to the kitchen in the wall. Unfortunately instead the door to the dining room is gone. Too bad Basil didn't hire the constructor his wife had insisted on, and it won't be long before she's here ...

Basil: What am I gonna do? She's gonna be back at lunchtime.
Polly: Shh. Now wait.
Basil: I'm a dead man. Do you realize?
Polly: Easy!
Basil: You're dead, too! We're all dead!
Polly: Don't panic!
Basil: What else is there to do???

Fawlty Towers, UK, 1975 - 1979


Tackle that stash - Beaded Bollywood necklace

Sometimes things just come together. This time I picked Preciosa Ornela Twin Beads, those are two hole beads, from my stash. As you know off loom beading is not necessarily my world and I only do it rarely.
Twin Beads and the loom are not close friends, however. I had to think of something else and decided on a simple stitch (without being sure it was Herringbone, but that's what it was), but several colors that would go nicely together. These colors were clear with an orange lining, a transparent pink and a lovely topaz with AB finish. The seed beads that I thought would pull all of those together are gold lined crystal.

After beading for a while the necklace took on a Bollywood feel to me. I don't know if it's the lacy look or the color combination or both, but being a bit of a Bollywood fan I really liked the effect, so I kept going and going until I had enough for two lacy strands.
I do like when a piece has a mind of its own!


Oldies but goodies - Earring favorites

If you create things, no matter if you write, paint, make jewelry, compose, knit, draw or what else there is, chances are good that your recent project is your favorite one. You are working on it with heart and soul and it's what's on your mind.

At this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge we were asked to post our favorite earrings. Three pairs, not more. And not easy. Most of my favorites change with my mood, my favorite song, my favorite movie, my favorite TV show, my favorite food, my favorite cat ... nah, I just said that to see if you are still paying attention. Gotcha!

And I had to pick one pair each from those favorites then.
Here you go. Quickly before my mood changes and with it maybe my mind! ;-)

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


Quote of the week

It was the night before my final English test and I wanted to go through some vocabulary. Instead my brothers, my sister, and I watched a movie then. We found it hilarious.
Now that I started to watching classic horror movies, I couldn't leave this one out. Our favorite quote is still funny to me even though I've learned to appreciate the movie in a different way.
This post is dedicated to my sister and my brothers. Oh heck, and to my English teacher at the time even if she didn't like me.

One man is already dead, killed by the mysterious strangler, the phantom who lives in the catacombs of the Paris Opera. There is only way to avoid being killed as well if you go after it and Ledoux from the Secret Police knows just what it is.

Ledoux (title card): Keep your hand up - the strangler's noose coils quick!

Seriously? Wouldn't it make more sense to hold the hand just a little closer to your head then? What do I know, though ;-)

The Phantom of the Opera, USA, 1925


Tackle that stash - Cube beads, seed beads, O beads, oh my!

I don't want you to get the idea that I sit down every week, desperately go through my stash and then throw something together just to have something to show you.
If I were able to do that, I probably wouldn't have stash in the first place because it would be all used up. There has to be an idea behind a piece, no matter if it is something that takes me a few weeks and a well planned bead order or if it is a stash tackler.

The reason why the stash tacklers are a challenge is because I get the inspiration for them not from nature, a movie, a photo, a painting, a story or - true story - a bowl of soup, but because it has to come from the beads themselves, and that's not how I usually work.

The items still have to have me written all over them, though. I can't make something just because it's trendy at the moment or because it's easy and/or fast to make. There has to be a small piece of me in there - the movie freak, the cat lady, the silly goose, the jeans and sneaker wearer, the dreamer and more.
Maybe that's why people have told me before that they recognize if I made something even if things don't really have anything in common.

I think this bracelet is also very "me". It starts with the colors, black and black AB, which are teamed up with more black and black AB and - for the surprise effect ;-) - clear AB beads.
It's easy to put on and will go just as well with a dress as with shirt and jeans. Sounds perfect to me.

The bracelet and a pendant that took care of the remaining cubes (no picture yet) will be available in my DaWanda shop soon.


Oldies but goodies - No jewelry today

This week I would really like to ask you to go to see more pictures of the Oldies but Goodies Challenge at the Jewelry Artisans Community. It's proof that the JAC members can do more than just create jewelry. There are so many examples of that, I'm sure you will enjoy the pictures.
It made it very hard for me to pick from the boxes, sculptures, portraits, bags, wall hangings, keychains, wind chimes, and more! Why don't you go and pick your personal favorites?

1 The Crafty Chimp
2 Violetmoon's Corner
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 Studio 9665
5 RioRita
6 Brenda K Bead Creations
7 Cat's Wire


Quote of the week

1930s England.
He's living and acting under a pseudonym. Albert Campion, a man from an aristocratic family, is not really a sleuth, but he helps people out with their problems, anyway. He's at home in the high class circles just as much as he knows his ways around the underworld.

This time he has to find out who wants to steal an invaluable family treasure, a chalice that is hundreds of years old. And not only is he always open for anything that might come his way, he tends to take things with humor, too.

Campion: I'm told on good authority there's a witch operating in the high street.
Penny: Mrs Munsey?
Campion: She didn't leave her card. Only a wax effigy and a couple of pins.
Penny: In the lady chapel of the church there's a list of witches put to death in 1624. Every other name on the sheet is Munsey.
Campion: Does Mrs Munsey live in the village?
Penny: About half a mile outside in a sort of hen house with her son. They're both simple, poor things.
Campion: I might pay a call. I've been having trouble getting hold of bats' wool and newts' eyes. I've tried Harrods, Fortnum's ....

Campion, UK, 1989 - 1990


Flower power Hippie time - Part 2, The accessories

Welcome back to the 60s! Today I'll talk about Francie's accessories. And her hair. Which is not quite an accessory.
Let me see, where were we. Right. Francie was dressed now. Have you noticed that there were no shoe problems this time? It wouldn't have been difficult to find shoes for this girl, I might even have something that fits in my little shoe box, but she chose to go barefoot and feel the grass under her feet instead.

What she couldn't do without was a tote bag, and the tote bag couldn't do without fringe. I'm the mad fringer, mwahahaaaa! I wrote about the tote before. The nice thing about a hippie outfit is not being forced to coordinate colors. That way I could use my bead soup and a color that didn't go with anything else so far to brick stitch this tote. I like to think Francie found it in a second hand store.

When I was a child, ball point pens still used to have that little metal ring in the middle where you could unscrew them to put a new ink cartridge in. Sometimes these rings were very thin, sometimes wide. It didn't matter, we used them all as doll bangles.
I had to use two large jump rings here instead.

Now it was time to do something about Francie's bristle head. The original vintage Malibu Francie had long blond hair and that's what I wanted to stick with.
The blond hair I have is called "Sunshine", a great name because it is really shiny.
After weeks of procrastinating I finally mustered the courage to go for it. Rerooting still doesn't come natural to me.
It wasn't easy to pull out the hair plugs and unfortunately Francie already had some small scalp splits, but I did my best to cover those up. I had blond hair everywhere and so did Ponder. He declined my offer to make him a little wig, by the way, but supervised my rerooting with a sharp eye as always.
Here's the result.

After brushing, setting the hair in hot water, giving her a trim and brushing again Francie looked like this. Almost done!

I had always thought I would make a headband as last accessory, but then I wondered if one of those floppy hats would look cool, too. My personal adviser aka my sister, however, had a different idea which I fell in love with right away. She said Francie needed a daisy chain. I had never made one before, but looked it up, and when I found I had beads in my stash that would work, there was no stopping me.
Isn't it perfect for her?

I hadn't planned to make a necklace, but then I was told there had to be a peace sign. Actually my first plan for the tote had been a peace sign pattern, but that didn't work in this size and I didn't want to make it any bigger. So it had to be a necklace after all. This was as small as I could make it with the beads I had. Any smaller and it looked like just a mess of beads. Yes, I tried this more than once.
First I used a copper tone ball chain for the pendant, but that was too big, so I finally settled for a simple chain stitch necklace.

Today I took Francie out to the garden for her first real photo shoot. There's a collage with more pictures at my deviantART if you want to have a look.
You know you want to sing "Let the sunshine in" now or how about "Aquarius"? ;-)

You missed the first post? Here you go!
Part 1, The clothes


Tackle that stash - Wire crochet hedgehog family

Even a few beads do count! In this case it's the hematite beads that I used for the noses and eyes of this little hedgehog family.

I don't see hedgehogs that often. Our little garden mostly consists of higher spots and pots and isn't very interesting for them. Sometimes when I walk to the train station really early, I see one of them crossing the empty road, though. They come from one garden and go to check out the next one.
The other day one was a little confused and struggled his way up the few stairs to the hairdresser's, but I guess he had forgotten his keys ;-) He came back down and disappeared around the corner instead.

These three are a little smaller than the usual variety, though ...


Flower power Hippie time - Part 1, The clothes

From the 20s to the 60s it's quite a time jump, I know. I can't even remember how I decided that I wanted to make a Hippie outfit, I just knew I wanted something completely different from the Flappers this time.
And different it is.

Francie, our lovely doll model this time, is from the Malibu series and was produced from 1971 to 1977. Instead of the regular Francie head she has the smiling Casey head.
This Malibu Francie had seen a very bad hairdresser, one who was even worse than me. He left her with a bunch of bristles on her head instead of a hairdo. Unfortunately that was at a time when I had given up on re-rooting after a few attempts to try other things instead, so Francie spent her life hidden on a shelf behind the door.
Then I re-found her, so-to-speak, and thought she would make a wonderful flower child with her happy smile.

Francie has yet another figure compared to the first two dolls. She is smaller than Barbie - whose cousin she is, by the way - and not as curvy, so I had to make a completely new pattern regarding the arm holes and the straps.

First I made the top. I went browsing tie-dye shirt images on the net and went for a swirly rainbow kind of design. I loomed front and back in once piece, re-wove the threads, sewed up the sides, and then I went totally overboard making a long fringe.

Next came the "leather" vest in a mix of two of my favorite brown bead colors. Other than the top the vest is removable. It has fringe around the top of the arm holes.

I took quite a long break before I tackled the skirt. All I knew was that I wanted to have some kind of denim color, that it was going to be long and wide and that I wanted to pick up the rainbow motif again.
Finally I decided to make it in four parts and sew them together. I used red thread for this to imitate decorative seams.
This was the hardest part. The all-blue parts were pretty boring to loom and instead of going faster because they were easier they almost destroyed my motivation. Joining the parts was okay, but then I had to decrease the top to make the skirt fit on Francie's waist.
At that point I knew it would have been smarter to make the skirt first. The fringe of the top kept getting in my way big time. With gritted teeth and lots of eyerolling I finally got it done.

Then I had the idea for a wide belt in brick stitch. The only problem was what to use for a buckle.
I didn't find a real buckle, but then I had another idea. Yup, sometimes they just roll in like that.
I took one of my toggle clasps and clipped off the little loop. Not bad, eh?

Now I had a complete outfit and only needed some more accessories ... and hair. That's what I am going to tell you about next time.


Oldies but goodies - Opal and opalite

I have always loved opals. When I looked at pictures of opals as an introduction to this post, I was ready to sit down in a corner and whimper. The colors, the varieties, the COLORS!
Black opal, jelly opal, milk opal, blue opal, pink opal, fire opal, boulder opals ... these are just names that really don't do much to conjure images of what that really means.
I remember getting a pair of opal earrings for Christmas that I had practically begged for when I was 18. I was so disappointed that one of them only showed a very small speck of color. For me opal was all about the ... oh wait, I had already mentioned that, I think ... colors.
Little did I know then about how spectacular opals could really be. Learn more about them here in this link.

To make this week's Oldies but Goodies Challenge at the Jewelry Artisans Community easier for the members, not only opal pieces were allowed, however.
In the collage you will also find opalites. Can you tell what is what? Don't forget you can click the picture to enlarge it a little.

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

P.S. Google "Virgin Rainbow opal" and read the story of that gorgeous rare opal. I wish there were more pictures to find, though. I saw it in a documentation and it absolutely blew me away! You are welcome to buy it for me, my birthday is coming up in June, you know ....