Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gearing up

So, we all know by now that I am hooked on chains. Just love the chainmaille!

So I spent last week researching jump ring cutting systems, and finally picked one out and placed the order on Thursday. And I ordered a bunch (a bunch) of wire.

The jump ring cutter should be here by the end of next week (holiday delay, of course), and my wire by mid-week, so I need to figure out where I'm going to put everything, and how I'm going to store all the different sizes and gauges and types of rings I cut.

Then I'll get the system set up, hopefully without any difficulty, and figure out how to cut rings!

Then I'll start putting some handouts together, and hopefully be teaching chainmaille classes by October.

I hope.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chain Chain Chain, Chaining Fool

I'm back from William Holland, and I had the best time!

I took Chainmaille - and here are all the projects I made in class - it was a tremendously productive, and fun, week! I learned SO many new patterns, and can't wait to do more! I am so hooked on this!

Instead of staying at the school, as I usually do, I had been invited to stay at my friend Kathy's gorgeous mountain home near the school. This is the view from her deck! We had gorgeous weather, and Bailey got to go, too, so he didn't have to stay in the kennel, which was so nice for both of us.

Kathy teaches Wire-wrapping, Bead-weaving, and Cold Connections at William Holland, but last week she took Enameling (while I was taking Chain), and this is the gorgeous bracelet she made. Now I want to take Enameling!

Kathy has two dogs - Tai, a cocker spaniel, and Kuda, a precious Yorkie-poo puppy. Here, Bailey tolerates Kuda's kisses.

Bailey says he will blog about the trip when he recovers - he is still sleeping it off!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Back to School

I'm leaving for William Holland again in the morning, and this time is so different from the last. This time, instead of staying in the dorm, I will be staying at the home of one of the teachers, who is also a friend. She graciously offered her home to me AND Bailey, so we will be staying with her, and commuting a short distance to the school every morning. This is such a great opportunity for me, and so nice of her.

I'll be taking chainmaille, so that makes this trip especially exciting. As you may know, I am totally hooked on chainmaille, and can't wait to learn more techniques and designs.

I have been packing and doing laundry in preparation for leaving in morning, and Bailey is extremely agitated. Usually when he sees me packing, he knows he is going to the kennel. The only exception has been our trips to Daufuskie Island, but those are few and far between. Little does Bailey know, he is going on vacation with me, and he will be staying with 2 canine playmates.

I think we will both be having a great time.

My Etsy shop is temporarily closed, so that no one will be expecting prompt shipment of a new purchase while I am away from home. I'll re-open it in about 10 days.

I still have a HUGE secret - a few of you have asked about it. I'm hoping a few more folks will comment here, and convince me to spill the beans! It is worth it, I promise!

See you in a week or so!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Passion of the Lawn

OK - I have a confession.

I prefer almost ANYTHING to doing yardwork.

There. I said it.

This beautiful purple flower is Passiflora incarnata, the passionflower. Pretty, huh?

I first saw this flowering vine at a gorgeous gardening center in Columbia, SC, about 10 years ago. The owners told me that it was the exclusive host for a particular species of butterfly, and I decided to take a sprig home and train it on a cast-iron trellis next to my deck.

And for 9 years, the gorgeous, rapid-growing passionflower vine grew and festooned my deck, and I had lots of little orange butterflies everywhere, and all was good.

But the gardening center folks neglected to tell me this little purple flower and its vine were invasive.

And this year, it has decided to make its move.

It is spreading out from my deck, and taking over my yard, and my hammock, and who knows what will be next?

It isn't even fazed by the current drought conditions, and it loves our 100 degree temps!

It even tries to trip me when I walk through the yard.

Here, Bailey has a face-to-face with the intruder.

Sure, it's pretty, but this is getting ridiculous.

I have NO idea how to get this under control. Of course, I could start by getting the yard mowed...

Here are some earrings I made last week - they even match the Passionflower!
PS - I have a secret! It's a really, really big secret, but if you want to know, post a comment here. If I see that you really want to know, I'll spill!