3/31/2012

Gas cooking and baking recipe calendar

Gotta hand him this. He's good at finding stuff I like. I'm talking about the tall guy. Today the "Gas-Koch- und Backrezeptkalender 1952" landed in our mailbox or for those who don't understand German - the "Gas cooking and baking recipe calendar 1952".
You don't know what to cook? Do not despair, your calendar brought to you by the Hamburg Gasworks has thought about it for you - well, not the calendar itself, but some smart people with gas stoves, I guess - and offers you a recipe for each day of the year. Now that does make planning easy.


And this is what you'll get:
Sunday .......... meat recipe
Monday ......... something simple for every day
Tuesday ......... supper or appetizers
Wednesday .... vegetables, prepared in many different ways
Thursday ....... sweet desserts
Friday ............ fish
Saturday ........ cakes, small baked goods and fancy cakes

In week 30 there are only recipes for preserving and in week 51 only recipes for Christmas baking. Boy, they thought of everything, didn't they?

And of course you get cute pictures with funny little captions, so you can hang up the calendar without having to look at recipes only. You think that's it? Wrong. There are also little stories on the back from time to time.

If you think I'm being ironic, you are wrong again. I love things like that and what I did first was to look up the recipe for my birthday (the day, I wasn't born in 1952 yet although I like to play the age card a lot).
Anyone for "Spanish sandwiches"?


You'll need
- 2 anchovies
- ½ gherkin
- some parsley
- 3 table spoons capers
- 1 tea spoon mustard
- 1 table spoon oil
- 2 table spoons vinegar
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- salt, paprika, white bread and butter

Chop up the anchovies, the gherkin, the parsley and the yolk, mix it with the capers, mustard and oil and season with salt and paprika.
Cut the bread into thin slices, cut off the crust und put butter on. Put the mixture on the bread und add the chopped egg white on top.

Wow. I do have a real 50s feeling now. Too bad I don't eat anchovies, but like always, if someone of you wants to go for it, let me know how it turned out! ;-)

3/30/2012

Update of the exciting, the not so exciting and the weird

Seems I haven't shown you for a while what I have been up to.

I'll spare you the pictures of the laundry, always a hoot around this house as you know (that's the not so exciting part ↑).

I'll also spare you the story about how I tried to coax out the cat that lives in my keyboard. There must be a cat in there with all the hair sticking out here and there. I finally got help from ... uhm ... this ... uhm ... dude.


I bet you remember Slime, too? I remember our reverend was slightly shocked about us playing with that on our confirmation trip. Bright green and it went through all hands.
This stuff is bright yellow and has a light lemon scent. It's supposed to be antibacterial. The kid in me just wanted to play with it, but I don't think Mr. Slimy will have a successor. For the picture I couldn't resist but turn him into a creepy face (that's the weird part ).
Oh, sorry, I guess I couldn't resist sharing the story with you after all.

What else is there? Oh yes, I finished a few things, let me show you two of them.
 There's the Morning Rose cuff (showing off collages as long as I still know how to easily make them ;-)) ...

Bead loomed Morning Rose cuff

.... and the caged faux amber. This wire knit thing is really more fun than I anticipated. I thought about caging all kinds of things, pens, dumplings or maybe a cat if I can get one to hold still. So far I stuck to beads or cabs, though ;-)
The advantage towards needle lace is that I can do this in one piece and don't have to struggle with a long wire.

Wire crochet and knit collier with faux amber cabs

And now the exciting part. End of last year I entered a contest, the second International Bead Award,  with a loomed piece. As you can imagine that was a big step for me. Not only had I never entered a contest before, but also the idea to do it with something made in a technique I had only started a few months ago seemed pretty crazy. It still does.
Nevertheless my piece is on Perlen Poesie's site now with five others in the category loomwork which are eligible for public voting.
I could show you a picture, but if you want to vote, I want you to vote for the piece you like best. I have been told it's pretty easy to tell what I made anyway *lol*
Of course not only the category loomwork is interesting, there's more to see. The theme was "Pop Art", the requirements mentioned colorful, humorous, whimsical.

Maybe I should start working on ideas for next year's contest already?

3/26/2012

Finds of the week

The Easter bunny is hopping towards us in big leaps, that's why I wanted to get you into the mood for it. Enjoy the following items, all of them so much fun!

Hatching chicken keychain by Page by Paige
Vintage Easter postcard with kittens at Sandy Creek Collectables
Needle felted Easter eggs by Daria Lvovsky
Needle felted Easter basket by Woolington Lane

Easter bunny angel by Makiko
So, are you in the mood yet??

3/25/2012

Quote of the week

March 16 Jerry Lewis turned 86 years old. I always felt some people underrate the choreography of his jokes, there are some real classics among them.
So today I chose one of my favorite scenes.
Great music, great ... erm, dancing, or whatever you want to call it in this case.

Happy belated birthday, Jerry!


3/24/2012

Spring plans

This month's JAC blog carnival theme is spring plans. I have been thinking back and forth about this one. When this didn't help, I tried to think in a round instead. Didn't work, either.
The problem is that I hate to make plans. One of my middle names is disorganization (I have a lot of middle names of which procrastination is probably the one you heard most until now). I could take a picture of my desk to prove my point, but I think you already get the drift.

When I hear "spring plans", it makes me think of people who are getting ready to wake their garden up from its winter slumber, I think of blossoms, of seeds being planted, or whatever it is those garden people do - and I don't mean that in a derogatory way. I admire anyone who can keep a plant alive.
So what are my plans? Staying awake sounds like a goal, I tend to go right from hibernation into spring tiredness, the difference is I leave the window open.

My jewelry is not depending on seasons, either. In the biggest heat I can make icicle earrings, in winter I think of summer flowers and fall is omnipresent in my head always being my favorite season.
A little spring happened to sneak into my thoughts however when I made this ring.

Spring dreams ring

If you want to know what other JAC members have planned - which is probably much more interesting - check out their posts!
Islandgirl's Insights
Bead Sophisticate
J3 Jeannes Jems and Jewels 
Jewelry Art by Dawn
Bead Up A Storm

3/21/2012

Plarn, plarn, plarn

I have the weird urge to sing that to the melody - if you can call it a melody - of Monty Python's Spam song. Oh yeah, don't make faces at me, I won't.

When I first heard the word plarn, I had no idea what it was. Funnily enough Google Analytics listed it to be one of the keywords leading someone to my Etsy shop back then. Plarn? Jewelry? I was confused, so I looked it up.
PLAstic yaRN. Uh-huh. To be precise you can cut up all kinds of stuff, plastic bags, cassette tapes (for the old people among us), videotapes, and crochet them into a unique piece. Indestructible shopping bags, jewelry, purses, sandals ... you wouldn't believe it.

I'm the happy owner of such a piece and I have been wanting to blog about forEVER. You know how it is. It's in your head, but you don't have the right idea. Sounds lame, but it's true. So I decided to just write it down, very simple. Better late than never, and it helped my motivation that Greebo just tried to drag my bag away.

Here it is - made from videotape which makes it extra special since my friend knows how much I love movies. I really admire Susanne for the patience. I would give up after cutting up the first three strips, I'm sure.
By the way, here is one of her posts about making those bags. Just in case you want to try it, too (sorry, it's in German, but I'm sure you'll get the idea).

Now let's have a drum roll for my very own plarn bag!



Thank you so much again, my friend!

3/20/2012

Whimpering and rambling

Seriously, I can't handle a new addiction. I feel torn between one technique and the other, I fall in love with one kind of design and want to make it in a thousand different colors, and then there are still those ideas from the list I made two years ago, one year ago, four months ago.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Ok, that helped. Not. You know I'm very unsocial at the moment. I'm happiest with two or three cats fighting for the best place on or near me, with a DVD playing, in my little fort whose walls are built from a loom, a bead mat, bead cups, wire, findings, beads, cabs, crochet hooks in different sizes and two remote controls. I don't need to talk and I am much too lazy - although I prefer to call it happily relaxed - to go outside and buy food. The selection at home is not that great at the moment, but as long as I still have milk, I don't really mind. Don't worry, I had spaghetti with veggie bolognese last night, I won't starve. And if there's danger of starving (if you know me, you'll find this as funny as I do), there's still nice Indian food waiting for me across the street. Very tempting.

I should take pictures and edit them before they take my Picnik away. I have played with other photo editing programs, downloads and online, but so far none of them has been IT for me.
Let's get to my latest addiction now however. I better write fast, the cats are in a strange mood today, and I have no idea when they'll get up and try to scream each other down again, crazy bunch.

A while ago I got myself some gold and silver Kumihimo cord. It lay around waiting forever, but suddenly its time had come.
Would you have thought that cord, tiny glass cubes and other beads might look good together? Well, I did, thanks to Erin the Evil Enabler. You might remember her.
Inspired by one of my favorite quotes I now want to say "I'm gonna need a bigger cube stash." As in Miyuki cube. You saw what I did with the bigger ones, I'll show you what I do with the tiny ones.

Those pearls (from Crysallis Gems, another enabler ;-)) look good enough to lick. I bet they would taste like chocolate. They sure look like it.
Unfortunately I found that I didn't have the right clasp for this cuff, so it's not listed yet.



Oh darn. I knew I wasn't fast enough. The "food patrol" is here demanding food for starving cats. To avoid more screaming and hissing, I'll obey.
I'll turn some music on for you and be right back.


I just hope 6 minutes will be enough.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Amazing. I'm a real speed feeder.

On with the story. As I had so much fun with doing this cuff, I decided to go through my beads and see what else I had and I found tiger eye.
Then I had some more fun ;-)

Bead loomed cuff with tiger eye

THEN I ordered some more cord in different colors and now I need to decide what color cubes I want .... *sigh*

If you came that far, I can only admire you. Thanks!

3/19/2012

Interview with the artist - Laney from Izzybeads

I first met Laney through her Flickr account. If I remember right, her whimsical designs were the first ones to catch my eye.
When looking at this "Hot Dawg" she made, you might get an idea why.


Let's hope however she doesn't stick her Izzy into a bun! ;-)

Laney's beads just make me smile, be it the chicken, frogs or her flowers. As she was away on a show when I did my lampwork finds post last week, I couldn't show them to you then.
I'm sure this interview will more than make up for that.

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

My name is Laney Mead, Izzybeads, and I now live in Hereford, UK, with my husband, two teenage children, my two golden retrievers, two elderly cats and four chooks (chickens). I make lampworked glass beads, mostly sculptural, beads to make you smile.

Chicken "Lithium"

What's your art and how did you get to do it in the first place?

Lampworking and more recently glass fusing as well.
I came into lampworking by accident. My ex-sister in law wanted to learn about glass bead making, she found a place near me that gave lessons, her and my brother in law (hubby's brother) stayed with us that weekend. As it was a small class, only three places, my husband asked if I wanted to go along, too. It was either stay home and tidy up or go with my brother in law. I chose to go. I lit the torch and the rest is history. That weekend we learnt how to make just a round bead, I have never had another lesson, preferring to teach myself techniques.
Glass fusing is something I came across, again by accident, whilst searching our rather sparse library for lampworking books - they had none - and found a glass fusing book, the rest I figure out as I go along.

I think this is one of the most asked questions - where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from everything. A song on the radio. A picture or photograph. A book, just about anything.
I do though take a lot of inspiration from the animals that live with me, my two golden retrievers, Izabel and Defi, my two old cats Megan and Claude - now 20 and 18, my girls - my chooks (chickens), Frankie, Poppy, Ever-Ready (ex-battery hen) and Dave - my son named Dave! - and the farm animals that surround where we live, the sheep, pigs and cows.
I went to Efteling as a child when I lived in Holland and promised I would take my children there which I did when they were 6 and 4, they are now 18 and 16. Sadly my limited Dutch was gone, but it didn't stop me enjoying it and I would go back tomorrow if I could, I love the world of magic and fantasy.

Tell us a fun thing about yourself.

A fun thing about me? I am rubbish at telling jokes and always manage to tell the punchline before the end of the joke .... that and I can't cook!!

Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?

Before glass I was a painter. More accurately I was a fine line artist, again self taught, but I did have a wonderful artist friend who encouraged me. My preferred medium was coloured pencil, the artist type, and I used to do pet portraits in a very realistic style. Sadly these pictures took hours and hours of very detailed and concentrated work and selling them was usually at a massive loss to my time, I now only draw for me and really only draw my designs for my next bead or glass art.

Octopus bead

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?

I don't have an absolute favourite, but I do wear my original chook bead, based on my much loved Duracell (another ex-battery hen) who died, and my earrings are my two goldens - head beads - Izabel and Defi Dogs.
Hardest bead? I don't think I have a hardest piece of art, if they don't challenge me, then they don't hold my interest, so each piece has to have some degree of difficulty which is what I love about glass. You can't make it do completely what you want, you have to work with it, not against it.

Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you?

Over the years, I have loved the work of the Impressionist painters, their use of colour and light, as well as the great masters of glass such as Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka for their amazing work in recreating flowers in glass. Inspiration, for me, comes from so many sources, I wouldn't like to say just one person inspires me.

Purple roses and pearls necklace

If you had free choice of just one supply you can use for your art, what would you be dreaming of, no matter how expensive?

Time. There is just never enough hours in the day to do everything I want. I get very frustrated when I get tired and have to stop.

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

Yes. I sell through Etsy on Izzybeads and also through eBay at Laneys Beads and Glass Art as well as various fairs throughout the UK, throughout the year.

Is there anything you feel you need or want to tell the world outside now?

Yes. There is a wonderful poem that I think everyone should follow its advice ...

Dust if you must.
But wouldn't it be better,
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed?
Ponder the difference between want and need.
Dust if you must.
But there is not much time
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
Music to hear, and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.
Dust if you must.
But the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes,
The wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come round again.
Dust if you must.
But bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go, and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.

(Rose Milligan, Lancaster, Lancashire, England)

There's nothing much to add to that, is there? (Especially not when looking at the shelves around me ...)
I hope you'll enjoy browsing through Laney's world of glass just like I do.

3/18/2012

Quote of the week

Today's quote comes to you courtesy of ... erm ... actually a bag of coffee beans. I won't tell you the brand, but when I opened the cupboard that also holds the cat kibbles I found that the tall guy had bought coffee that read "FSK ab 6 freigegeben" which in English means it's a movie that can be watched by kids 6 years or older. Why would 6 year old kids want to watch coffee beans? They weren't even dancing or singing.

I have to admit I was confused for a moment until I pulled the bag out and found there was indeed a DVD glued to it. A nice surprise since it was a movie I still own on video cassette. You remember? Big? Bulky? Wide brown tape?

Not that I have any clue what the movie has to do with coffee. It does have to do with England (doesn't that make you think tea, too?). And with a song I love a lot. And weddings. And ... oh, you already know? Then you can also imagine how hard it was to choose a quote from it. I'm sure this movie will be back here more than once.

Let me digress again for a bit and tell you another secret about me. I don't dance. Well, not in public. I say about myself that I'm a great "sit dancer", but don't drag me onto the dance floor. There are embarrassing memories in my past that sometimes haunt me in my dreams ... and possibly others as well who were unlucky enough to share those memories.
They came back to my mind with this quote ... you'll understand why.


Matthew: " I remember the first time I saw Gareth on a dance floor. I feared lives would be lost."

;-)

3/12/2012

Finds of the week

I'll tell you a secret. I love cats. No secret, you mean?
Ok, let's try something else then. I can't seem to crochet a cat from wire and that bugs me. Three attempts have been tossed so far. On the other hand I'm not surprised. Cats have their own head. See, you didn't know that, did you?

There are artists who don't have problems with that in their line of art. Here are a few of them!

Pet portrait tabby watercolor by Pigatopia
Polymer clay cat brooch or magnet by Coloraudia

Grey tabby cat tote bag woven after original painting by Andy Mathis Art Co.

And this piece is just perfect for today. Today I went to the vet's with my Esmeralda for her checkup.
What a coincidence it was to stumble over this cat then!!

Esmeralda lifesize ceramic cat by Zsuzsa Ujj

I'm sorry, but that's it for today. Not only did I have a very long day, but my abilities and talents are needed elsewhere now ... believe it or not, I have been chosen to hold Ponder's butt, so he won't fall off this desk now! What an honor ...

3/11/2012

Quote of the week

Are you a chocolate addict? And do you already know where I'm heading with this question? Yeah, right to a chocolate factory. To THE chocolate factory. Wonka's.
I remember reading the book as a child and letting my imagination run wild.
I know what you think. You think this is surely about the movie with Johnny Depp. Wrong.

Come and meet the "old" Willy Wonka.
His machines might not look quite as cool and the chocolate not as rich as the "new" Wonka's, but it's still pretty much fun - like the lickable fruit wallpaper for example?

Wonka: "The strawberries taste like strawberries. The snozzberries taste like snozzberries."
Veruca Salt: "Snozzberries? Whoever heard of a snozzberry?"
Wonka (very softly): "We are the music makers. We are the dreamers of dreams."


I like that thought.

3/09/2012

One of those moments

Too early to go to bed, too tired to do more than hang around the computer and struggling to keep my eyes open. Why I am so tired you ask? Small, black, furry and persistent, especially shortly after 5 in the morning. Right, I said 5. Once he has transferred duties to me - not sure what they are, but I think they must be terribly important - he leaves for the next comfy chair and falls asleep in seconds while I am wide awake.


It gave me time to get a few things done, though. Maybe he has a deal with Mabel, my muse.
I finished the looming on a slim cuff which is actually meant for listing. I gave up working on the edging when I just forgot that the tube with the beads was open. I love the sound of bead rain. It's very comforting. NOT!


I almost burned a little lady for the second time. Monty Python and the witch come to mind. Oh, the lady is polymer clay and wire crochet and she didn't burn. I think I'll have to unwrap her arms again, though. They look like a mummy's arms, only in silver. Planned is the look of long gloves. I thought about posting the picture when she was still missing her arms, but nah. It's not Halloween and it's bad enough I already gave you the mummy association. (Curious now, hehe?)

I also went "on adventure" finishing my ancient idol pendant. That was fun. It's not only finished, but already listed, too.

Ancient idol pendant

Now I still got the "medal" and the large "rose petal" waiting to be listed. They are made in a similar style as the idol and still look so different.
Of course one big difference is the "medal" being rather weighty thanks to the tumbled rock.


 
I also wanted to show you a picture of Buster, our bunny. So sweet. Unfortunately I can't show you a picture. My brain forgot to tell me that I wanted to take one.
Oh, and the arrowhead. Nope, too early to tell you about it. Forget I said anything.
I'll close today's page now before I start to get really embarrassing and blog in my sleep. Right now I wouldn't think that impossible! ;-)

Oh, wait!! One more thing. Until Sunday you'll save 15 % in my bracelet section on Zibbet, why don't you check it out? The coupon code is CUFF (original, eh?).

3/05/2012

Finds of the week

Do you like glass? Then there's no need to say much today. Just look for yourself, be amazed and make sure to click the links. There's so much more to see!

Ice blue fish by Melissa Vess


Headpins helix teardrops by Iced Moments


Caramel Sundae by Bead Up A Storm



Ribbed transparent beads by Pink Beach Studios


Dark red melon beads by Deronda Designs


Lampwork set by Donna Millard

3/04/2012

Quote of the week

Gee, this is a hard one. I mean I really like that movie. Of course there's a lot of blood and gore. Not something I usually watch. And swearing. Lots of swearing. I remember I saw something about it on TV when it came out. Not about swearing, but the  movie.
Then, years later, there was this DVD night. I sat there with my mouth open and thought "What the ..." Of course I also thought "He's kind of cute in his own way." and "This is weird." and "I like that. I really like that."

Still it was hard to pick the right quote. I'm avoiding swearing on this blog which left about 85 % of the movie unsuitable.
In the end I found the perfect quote, though. It could have been me saying that, except for the choice of movies.

Sergeant Angel, an eager, perfect cop is transferred from London to a quiet, beautiful village and teamed up with Danny Butterman, not exactly a model police officer who is longing for action and driving Angel nuts with his questions about police service in the city.
Once they get into a talk about how Angel can't stop thinking about his job all the time, and Danny shows him how to do it ...


Danny: Point Break or Bad Boys II?
Angel: Which one do you think I'll prefer?
Danny: No, I mean which one do you wanna watch first?
Angel: You are pulling my leg?

Nope, he isn't. And I'm not pulling yours when telling you to watch "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" in one go ;-)


P.S. A room full of DVDS ... I want it ....

3/01/2012

Distracted!

I shouldn't have. No, really. There's other things to do today. Household, looming (I promised), I should be off to the post office, I need to buy bread ... instead I watched "Dhobi Ghat" (still trying to decide if I liked it or not) and played with beads.

You already know my wire knit bracelets and collars incorporating Miyuki glass cubes or triangles. If I thought I'd run out of inspiration and ideas soon, I was wrong.
Let me show you what I mean.

I started out like this - straight bracelets. The fun in that is how close to each other and linear the beads sit in the wire structure which is a very different look from the lacy wire crochet cuffs in which the beads rather sit on top of the stitch than in between stitches.


Then came the collars to figure out how to best achieve a nice curve and make the collar sit on your neck perfectly.


These are the pieces you have seen in different variations, some of them are already listed, some are still waiting for to be listed.

You have also seen one round piece with a cab in the middle, the Sun Web.


Obviously the next step was to use beads in the round instead of in the middle and I played with that for a while. Different colors again. Just one bead between two stitches. Increasing the number of beads between two stitches in each row. Two rows. Three rows. Shaping it into a dome. Flatten it to a disk.
This is just one example (with the wire still sticking out as I'm not sure what I want to turn it into), I don't want to flood you with pictures. They would make fun earrings, in the bright colors in particular, but then that hole in the middle suddenly started talking to me.


In one of my infamous supply bags I found a tumbled rose quartz rock which provided a nice contrast to the dark wire and earthy looking colors.
The back is tightly crocheted to hold the quartz safely in place.

Wire knit and crochet pendant with rose quartz
Can you imagine what new possibilities I am looking at now? That way the distractions will never end, my household will head right into chaos, and as I already "promised" some people, my head will sure explode at one point because I'm sure new ideas will come along. I'm lucky to have a friend promise she'll be standing by cleaning up the mess! ;-)