Archive | February 2014

Decluttering

Back in Roanoke this week. It has not snowed, but it is really cold. When I
left SC, it was 70 degrees and I arrived to mid 30s in Roanoke, but it was
after dark. It is supposed to get into teens tonight. I am more than ever
happy with chosing to move to Seneca.

spring in Seneca

spring in Seneca

meanwhile back in Roanoke

meanwhile back in Roanoke

 

I attended a retirement party for someone I worked with on a system for about 10 years. He had a big grin, as did a couple of us retirees who attended, and the next couple of folks who plan retirement are practically counting down the days. They decided those of us who retired all look so much better because we are getting more sleep and less stress. True.

My goal this trip is to clear out the basement. Between stuff to throw out,
donate, and as little as possible to haul back to Seneca, I have a lot to do.
The upstairs is in decent shape, but still needs completion of cleaning and
staging – next trip. I hope to talk to the realtor then, too.

I am really activating my allergies with all the dust I am stirring up – just
sweeping usually does this. I lose my voice, frustrating, and working in the garden often does this too. At least I feel like I am making progress, lots in trash bags and fewer things in boxes to take with me.

I brought Kinsey, my girl cat, with me, although she hates the trip, she does enjoy a vacation with just me in her old familiar house, away from the tormenting boys. They are as bad as children sometimes. You can see how relaxed she is in her favorite sleeping spot on the couch cushion. I am enjoying having a companion with me.

Kinsey

Kinsey

Another Snowy Day

big fluffy flakes

big fluffy flakes

After the last snow ┬áthat crippled Atlanta was quite mild here, we are getting hit with this storm. A band of snow has been over our area since very early this morning. Good news is that it is getting a bit warmer and not as much is on the ground as there was earlier. Bad news is that another band is coming through tomorrow and the prediction is for icy conditions. Best news is that I don’t have to go outside – unless the power goes out and I will go to Sharon’s house for the gas fireplace. The snow has been quite pretty, with very large flakes.

snow from back door at 7:30

snow from back door at 7:30

snow from back door in early afternoon

snow from back door in early afternoon

 

We’ve had activity next door, at the commercial property. The owner has put it up for sale and completed clearing away all equipment and concrete pipes. My only problem is living so close if it becomes a busy business of some sort. The back of the concrete block building is about 50 feet from my cottage, which is okay in the summer, but when the winter comes with die back of foliage, it seems closer. You can see in the snow pictures from the back patio, how close the building is. We are discussing what evergreen grows fast that can go in for a hedge along the property line. Sharon has done such a good job of clearing away weeds, vines on trees, and other brush out to the property line, now we want to fill it in with selected plantings.

The sunflower seeds I put out on the patio have brought in a lot of birds, even a small flock of juncos. I have not seen any here in SC yet and am glad to have these handsome little birds. We have had lots of cardinals, morning doves, house finches and goldfinches, a few sparrows. I saw a towee yesterday, not at the seed, but digging in leaves not far away. I suspect they are a lot like humans, driving past a restaurant and seeing a lot of cars makes us decide to try it, as the food must be good. Once I started getting more birds, another bunch decided to try our place.

junco and cardinal

junco and cardinal

Well, Sharon has decided to give up the young male mini schnauzer she thought would revitalize her older dogs. He was a good addition and so affectionate, but he has turned out to be a strong alpha male, acting very territorial when another male dog came to board. After much deliberation, she decided her work with rescue dogs, fostering until a forever home was found, is too important. With a very assertive dog, the poor scared fosterlings would be harder to teach what a safe and loving home should be. It would also affect the boarding Sharon sometimes does, which is also pleasant – chaotic, too, when there are half a dozen or so dogs running around.

sweet Fritz

sweet Fritz

More Jewelry

This winter has been so cold. At least we’ve only had one snowstorm in Seneca, same day as the crippling storm in Atlanta, but we missed any ice. (Plus, we don’t have much traffic).

I’ve been happy on sunny days to sit in front of my south-facing French doors in the bedroom, and work on my jewelry. It is quite warm and cozy. I have made a few items with the newer shaped beads, and I see more shapes with 2 holes are now available. I have drifted into metal, a little wire work and now am teaching myself to make chain maille jewelry. I have a very good book with basics in it, have acquired a couple of good and comfortable pliers, and quite a lot of jump rings in various colors and sizes. I like the anodized aluminum for the variety of bright colors and the very light weight. I think it might be my choice for fashion jewelry, including some of my fancy beads. I have tried some copper, too, since I find myself drawn to that metal in most jewelry. I have done a little work with 16, 18, 19, and 20 gauge jump rings, and I think I like the 18 and 19 gauge best for the feel of opening and closing the rings, plus the overall look of the finished piece.

First lesson I am learning is to make a nice neat close of each ring, no gaps or overlaps to snag or scratch. The skin should welcome the silky feel of the metal. Each gauge and diameter ring is a bit different, but I am getting decent with this. My book goes through a lot of technical info that will help with future projects, to make sure the rings fit together right for each piece, not too stiff and not too loose. I am starting on some simple examples of traditional patterns, determined to master each. A couple of patterns have surprised me for the difficulties at the beginning. I was also surprised at how soothing some are, like I find knitting to be soothing as the needles click and the pattern develops.

I am not leaving my beading behind, as the thrill of the colors, shapes, textures and stitch combinations makes me happy. The chain maille work is a different satisfaction, and combining the two will eventually happen for me. Here’s some of the work I’ve been doing lately. Click on each picture for a closer look.

rainbow chain maille bracelet

rainbow chain maille bracelet – 4 in 1 pattern

chain maille necklace and earrings

Turkish weave necklace and spiral earrings

copper necklace and earrings in parallel weave

copper necklace and earrings in parallel weave

multi colored chain maille earrings

multi colored chain maille earrings

beaded bracelets with duo holes

beaded bracelets with super duo beads