Tuesday, March 31, 2009


(These are so easy to make, I'm not even going to put up directions. But if you need more to go on than the photos, feel free to ask in a comment or email me!)

Remember the Cuff Bracelets I've been working on? ( Cuff Bracelets) Well, I was working on them one day, when it occurred to me that fabric flowers would look good on them. I did several that way, and had a row of the flowers lying on the counter, waiting to be attached to the bracelets. Suddenly, they seemed to present themselves to me as complete in themselves, not just as components for something else. Pins!, I thought. They could be pins, too!

And now they are, several dozen of them. Here are some of the ones I've finished while on this Arizona trip:

On another note, this is our last afternoon here. We'll leave for Oregon early tomorrow morning, something I have rather mixed feelings about. It's warm here. I'm outside every day. I even have what is for me a tan--something that approaches a color other people start out with. (I am such a white woman!) I love it. Of course, when summer hits, it will be miserable hot, but not yet.

It's still cold and rainy back home. As much as I miss the people there, friends and family, I do not miss being cold. I keep reminding myself that the spring flowers will probably be blooming like crazy. I should play Dorothy, and click my ruby flip-flops together three times, intoning, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like ho...."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Prickly Pears and Bracelets

Well, I managed two mishaps getting these photos, both entirely my fault.

First, I was woefully careless with my body while taking the pictures. The result of that was several minutes spent picking a virtual hairbrush of cactus spines out of my knee. Prickly pears may be beautiful, but they are terribly unfriendly.

Second, when I transferred the pictures from my camera to the laptop, I renamed them, and then deleted them from the camera card. Imagine my dismay when the transferred photos would not open! I'd forgotten to add the .jpg suffix to the new file names. Thank goodness, all I had to do was rename them, adding the suffix on. Presto!
Good as new, and a lesson learned, to boot.

These are photos of the white bracelets I've been talking about. Although they closely resemble each other, they are not identical. I rarely have multiples of the vintage buttons I use in them, but tried hard to find five of each, and when I couldn't, I used similar buttons. Same thing with the beads. But since I went through such difficulties getting the photos at all, I'm going to put more than one of them up here, free for nothing gratis!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Fence Post #16

And now, a Friday Fence Post, posted, as has been my terrible habit of late, days later, but dated as though I did it on time. Bad Ani! Bad! (Honestly, I had the pictures, but by the time Bob and I got home from our afternoon cruise of Canyon Lake, we were both exhausted, and I completely spaced out both my internet to-dos--a Blog Carnival post for my http://www.etsy.com team, Etsy Bloggers, and the Friday Fence Post I'd been planning. Having to walk four blocks to get to an internet connection in a busy laundromat doesn't help, either.)

Without further excuses, some fences I've found interesting:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I was lying in bed this morning, half awake, thinking about the pictures I'd taken of cacti yesterday, when it occurred to me how odd the English language is. It isn't the first time I've had that thought, of course, but new words had prompted it.

How, I wondered, did we come to have 'I' for the singular person, and 'us' for a group of people, and then end up with 'cactUS' for one spiny plant, and 'cactI' for two or more? It's one of those imponderables, I guess.

I also wonder how something so inherently dangerous to the soft-shelled human can be so beautiful, especially in blossom. I will leave the solution to that to God and scientists, though, and simply focus the camera.

Like a chenille bedspread, only less comfortable

Sheer pointy-lism

Strawberry cream, with sugar

Follicle me!

The view at the top

Spring green barrel

The original matrix

It really was this color!


Dots and whorls

Tic Tac Wow

Sunday, March 22, 2009


There was one stretch of highway we drove through, getting to Mesa, that was thick with insects. Big insects. We couldn't tell what they were, but they were big enough to be seen as we drove through the cloud of winged things, and the spatters they left on the windshield were as large in diameter as small apricots, and the color of bright mustard.

"What on earth are they?" we both wondered aloud, and with no small measure of disgust.

We stopped for gas a while later, and Bob decided he'd better clean off the windshield. As he did that, he noticed something stuck in the front grill of the RV. Bending, he retrieved a small, brightly colored carcas, wings tattered, but still beautiful.

Imagine our dismay:

Later, I wondered if we'd have felt the same remorse if we'd driven over that many caterpillars. I think we wouldn't have, which is both sad and strange.

"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it will be a butterfly."

I think we need to remember that when we deal with people, especially children, but with adults, too.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


We picked the right week to be here. In my opinion, anyway. This is the week the RV park has its park-wide patio sale. I was up and ready for it when it started, and to my surprise, so was the husband unit. We got on our bikes, and wound our way from street to street, down one, and up the other, looking for the patio sales.

I was on a quest. The only thing keeping me from finishing those five white button-stack bracelets was a shortage of white beads. I needed only ten, and I had that many, but they weren't, somehow, just the right ones.

Of course, if it has beads on it, I'm going to look, whatever the color. I'm not nuts. Or maybe I'm just not that focused, that I could pass up pretty beads just because they weren't exactly what I was supposed to be looking for.

This is what I ended up with, after perusing all the sales:

Just look at those gorgeous green beads! And the lime-olive greens of the hoop earrings. The copper, silver, and pink-centered earrings, I'll wear, but the rest of the jewelry I'll take apart. The white earrings contain all the white beads I need, and more, including what appears to be four swarovki crystals.

And the entire lot cost me a total of $4.50! Oh, I do love garage sales.

I also got myself a darling little housedress or nightie, totally vintage, and cute, and very lightweight cotton. That was a whopping fifty cents. I'll see if I can't get a photo of it tomorrow.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Well, we've been on the road for five days now, and here in Arizona since Wednesday evening. We're beginning to feel settled in, which is nice, since Willie thought we'd just be able to drive in and find a spot to park the RV. Turns out this is still the busy season, and in addition to that, the office was closed when we arrived, and the security guy was on his rounds.

We drove around until we found an empty space, and parked in it. To our surprise and dismay (who plans these places?!) our electric cord wouldn't reach the outlet. Bob did the only thing he could think of, and reparked between the two spaces, and hooked up to the "wrong" outlet. I went in search of the security guy (TSG), and finally got him by hiking out the half mile to the park entrance and calling the emergency number. As it would happen TSG was very near our impromptu pick, but NO nO No we couldn't park there. He led us to a space that was actually open, but it was another one where the cord wouldn't reach. By that time, it was well after dark. We were tired. We had no lights, and no water, and no way to fix dinner. We gave up, and went to bed.

We got our permanent spot the next day, and the cords reached, and set-up was easy. Aaaaah. Here's our old rig, home for the next two weeks:

Can you see the heat? It's a pretty comfortable 88 degrees here. I am branded a furriner by the milky white glow of my legs and arms, but that will surely change. No sun screen so far, and no burn, either. I figure it's too late to protect my skin from wrinkles, so I might as well toast it brown!

Enough of that. This entry is titled, "Crafting from the Road", so I'd better write about that!

First of all, you haven't lived until you've tried to string seed beads in a moving RV. At freeway speeds. On bad roads. Really, really bad roads. You know how they say, "So-and-so looks like five miles of bad roads"? These bad roads would've made those bad roads look good. I'm not kidding. There were times when the only thing I could do to keep everything from flying clean out of the RV window (which was closed, but it wouldn't have mattered) was to lay my forearms down on as much as they'd cover and hold on for dear life. Rubber mats are miraculous, but even they weren't doing the trick.

I finally came up with this:

The open ring beads I use for some bracelets kept the head pins, with their ten different styles of beginnings, from jouncing around and getting jumbled. Laying them out on the things-won-'t-move-around-on-this-surface mats only worked up to a point, though, so I did this:

Most of the time, I worked at the little table that sits just behind the front passenger seat in the RV. (Not to worry. Its chair has a seat belt, too.) Here's my home-away-from-home setup:

As you can see from the photo, there are five white button-stack bracelets nearing completion. The thing that's stopping me is a shortage of matching white beads. I hope to rectify that tomorrow. There's a park-wide patio sale tomorrow, and I'm hoping to score some jewelry of the white bead variety. (Bob and I rode our bikes around about half the park a bit ago, and a lot of people look like they're setting up to sell. There are something like 700 spaces here, so there could be lots to look at by morning--fun!)


Well, after weeks and weeks of not doing a Friday Fence Post, I finally have one. I do apologize for being such a wimp. It was the weather. I just can't bring myself to suffer rain, wind, snow, and cold for my art. I don't have a problem wrenching some piece of metal until I cut or bruise myself. Just don't ask this Temperature Wuss to be cold on purpose!

I spotted these fences on the way to Mama's last week, and pulled off the highway to snap them. Meggie seemed to think it was perfectly normal to do that, although she did have questions, and the photos of fences shot on edge had her tilting her head this way and that, completely puzzled by the point of view. But she did seem to find new interest in something she'd probably never paid much attention to. Well, after all, what five-year-old is likely to have noticed something like a dilapidated old fence?

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Oh, boy, did I score when Mama, Meggie, and I went to the Goodwill the other day. We pulled into the parking lot, and one of Mom's friends was standing a car or two away. They said hello, and stood chatting, and Mom's friend told us she'd just come from the Goodwill herself.

"You know," she said, "There's a gallon jar of buttons on the top shelf in the craft aisle. I almost bought it, but it was twenty dollars."

Twenty dollars. Whew. That's a lot to shell out for a jar of buttons. Mama and I discussed it as we were walking into the store. I was suddenly struck by something.

"Mom, think about it," I said. "We'll spend twenty-five cents to get a shirt we can cut the buttons off of it. Imagine how many shirts we'd have to buy to fill a gallon jar!"

That was almost enough to settle it even before we saw the jar itself. It didn't take long to decided I needed that jug of buttons. We practically had a party, the three of us, going through it back at Mama's. I poured the buttons into a 9X13" baking pan, and six hands pawed, and three mouths "aahhhh"ed.

This is most, but not all, of the buttons:

Two close-ups of some of the buttons:

The first card of buttons I pulled out had six of these on it:

We, as in my dear husband and I, will be leaving tomorrow, driving to Arizona. I plan on sorting buttons while he drives, and can hardly wait to get started!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Spent the day with my little granddaughter yesterday, taking her with me to my Mom's. As we were going to the car, I saw a mass of purple, and pointed them out--"Look, Meggie! The crocuses are in bloom!" She was probably not as thrilled as I was. The harbingers of spring have not become familiar to the average almost 5-year-old.

I bundled her into her car seat, telling her I had to take pictures, and got not a word of argument. She's well acquainted with the camera bug that runs rampant in the family. Besides, for both of us, it doesn't matter a great deal what we do, as long as we're spending our day together.

Crocuses at morning:

When we got home, just beofre dusk:


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Okay, I've been talking about the new cuff bracelets I've been making for weeks and weeks. It's about time they actually made an appearance on my blog. (My apologies, by the way, for being so completely absent of late. I got sick, followed by rather lazy, followed by way too busy trying to make up for the first two things in this sentence!)

The bracelets came about because a stack of nice, but small, faux leather samples from a local design house came face to face with my deep reluctance to throw anything remotely useful away. What, I wondered, could you make with something that little?

Here's what I came up with:

That's one of the very first styles I came up with. Basically, if you want to do your own, you cut a piece of faux leather a little larger than 4" X 6" (10.2cm X 15.2cm). Attach a button or buttons. Placement will depend on where you want the decoration to be in relation to the lacing--near one end if you want it right next to the laces, or in the middle, if you want the button to ride on top of your wrist.

Once the button is securely attached, fold your piece in half lengthwise, and sew about 1/4" to 3/8" (0.6cm to 1cm) from the edge. Pink the sewn edge, and punch five holes on each end. Cut a length of elastic cord about 24" (61cm) long, and lace through the holes like you would a shoe. Lace each end of the cord through two holes of a four-hole button, and tie a knot. You can cinch the laces tight after the cuff is on your wrist, using the button.

After I did some simple button adornments, it occurred to me that the scraps from cutting the cuffs could also be put to use, and I did this:

Then the idea of using pinked disks of colorful fabrics popped into my mind:

You'll notice there are a few beads, too, I'm sure.

A couple more:


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