A Beaded Bead?


Last weekend i wandered up to Whidbey Island to visit my god-parents and soak up some beautiful scenery and yummy food.
Before i had even set my bags down, my GM Peggy was taking through all of her craft rooms, of which she has 3 right now, and showed me the incredible projects she has been working on over the past few months. Gorgeous quilts, embroidery, curtains, towels, and then there was the jewelry. Peggy likes to make woven beaded jewlery to relax…she must need to relax a lot because she has hundreds of the most complicated ornate pieces i have ever seen. i have always admired them for the hours of work that goes into each piece.

After i had set my bags down and grabbed a glass of water, Peggy asked if i would like to join her for her beaded  bead class the following day.  A beaded bead you may ask? Oh lord let me tell you! if it can be made, it has been and these ladies are very serious about their craft. i thought sure, why not. it will be a nice time to spend with Peggy doing something she loves and i am always up for a craft.


Peggy took me  to the “bead room” of the house. i was asked to pick out 3 colors-size 11 beads and 1 color-size 14 bead. this was like trying to pick out a puppy at the animal shelter and just when you find the one you want, they take you into another room filled with more perfect puppies to love. Boxes and bags and drawers full of every shade  bead imaginable.

library  bunny 

After scarfing down a pb&j we headed down to the local library for our class. Everything on Whidbey is cute and has a beautiful view…the library was no exception.  We settled into our room with windows on 4 sides and got to work. As i was reading the instructions that could have been written in russian for all i cared, i started to get nervous. i hate getting behind on a new project. i was anxiously trying to figure out whether i weave the 2 A beads up through the B bead and down through the next two C beads,  or i skip the A bead and move to the next “ladder” and then add 2 A beads. I just looked at Peggy, happily plugging along as i pulled off all of my A beads and started over. She does this to RELAX??? what the hell is a ladder?

Then i figured it out! i loved it! i was having so much fun that when i would finish a row, i would make these deep throated giggles. i was channeling the craft gods and they were responding. We only had time (in  a 3 hour class) to make 1/2 of a beaded bead. The other half would have to be finished at home. I was so excited that after drinking the majority of a bottle of wine, i made 2 more beads and went to bed after midnight.


i think they look like tiny chinese lanterns and i am going to string them up and hang them in my window. i also think they would be really pretty over a christmas tree light.



Happy Days of Fall

I got an email from my friend Nicole who told how much she enjoyed driving around Chicago on this gloriously beautiful fall day. The sun is shining, the leaves are just starting to change and it is COLD! but not too cold. She decided that we needed to resieze fall.


so me, being a virgo, I made a list.

here are all the things i can think of, that  i LOVE about fall. these are things that make me giddy and when i am feeling like a complete pill, can pull me up and dust me off.

Kale sauted with bacon

Sweaters (especially my new blue cardigan)


Changing Leaves

smell of burn piles

Boots with tights and cute skirts

Down comforters and big wooly blankets

Sunny cold days

Freezing clear nights

Apples/hot cider

Soup! ohhh thank god for soup season!

harvest moons

pumpkin patches and corn mazes



Meatloaf and casseroles

craft projects by the fire

bundled up Hikes

Putting the garden to bed

Drives in the country

Farmers markets in the mornings



Wearing sweats, socks, slippers, old thermals and sifting through seasonal magazines while drinking hot tea

Putting away all the summer clothes and pulling out all the winter clothes

Not feeling guilty about sitting at home all weekend in the rain to watch movies while doing any of the above.


my birthday (of course)

So that is that. Hope if you are feeling like a pill, it will pull you up and dust you off too.

Naked Chicken


It has been brought to my attention that i forgot to produce pictures of my naked chicken. Gladys spent a good part of the summer desperately trying to be a mama. i tried all sorts of things to remedy that, save get her a baby chick (i wish!) but when she finally came to terms that her sweet eggs would only be used for my cooking adventures, she began to molt.

I left for Greece and all was well, Miss Gladys was eating and strutting around like a chicken should. The day i returned from Greece, my yard and the coop looked like someone had set off chicken bombs. I had downy white and red feathers everywhere! even the dogs and cats were bringing them into the house.

After discovering that when chickens go through a stressful event (i.e. failed mother-hood) they like to shed their feathers and start anew. I liked this idea. i wish i could do that, just shed all my skin and hair and start from scratch. all better.

Unfortunately glady looked like hell. she was angry and naked. she stomped around the yard growling and wouldnt let me near her.

frankly, i cant blame her. She had all of these quills poking through her soft pink skin and they looked painful! she was like a science experiment gone wrong trying to breed a porccupine and a chicken. ick! everytime i looked at her i would get chills and she would growl at me.

I did take a picture for you.  these photos were taken after she had started to feather out again. You can see little puffs coming out of the quills. it is fascinating…and really creepy! I can tell you that if your hens do this, it will remedy itself. Gladys looks gorgeous now and her new red feathers are so lovely. she is also much happier and gaining weight again.