Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Week of April 22-28th: I'm Going to Disney World!!

No, really, I am. So I won't be posting much this week and don't expect to hear from me next week. I'll be too busy dancing with Goofy, sporting a pair of mouse ears, and riding the Tea Cups. :D
Have a great weekend everyone! Thanks for reading and happy beading!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Week of April 15th-21st, 2007: Update on Goals

I've been busy, busy, busy lately. But I wanted to take some time today to get caught up on my blog. At the end of the first quarter, I wanted to recap on my goals for this year. But I was a bit busy, time got away from me, and before I knew it, the end of April was approaching. So I'm going to do it now.

If you remember, back at the start of the year, I posted a list of Crafter's Resolutions for 2007 . These were crafting and beading related goals that I have for this year. Much more fun than making resolutions to lose weight or exercise more, right? Here's a listing of the goals and my progress with them so far:

  • Complete one amulet bag. NOT YET
  • Learn tubular peyote stitch and complete one piece. NOT YET
  • Learn Ndebele/herringbone stitch and complete one project. NOT YET
  • Complete two complex Eni Oken tutorials (cuff, necklace) and then complete my own variations on her technique. NOT YET
  • Buy kit/supplies for PMC and complete two pieces. BOUGHT KIT...
  • Complete one new metal jewelry piece (cold connection or soldered). NOT YET
  • Take "Solder 101" class from Metal's Edge Studio. TRYING TO SIGN UP FOR JUNE
  • Learn basic crochet. STARTED...
  • Learn to crochet using beads and wire. NOT YET
  • Paint "Zoo" sign letters and Coca-Cola tray. NOT YET
  • Woodburing: complete two simple projects such as wall plaques or a trinket box. NOT YET
  • Learn to sew using the sewing machine (that I bought after the New Year 2006....). TOOK CLASS, MADE A PAIR OF SLEEP PANTS, AND THEY FIT!!
  • Learn Byzantine weave and at least one other chain maille weave. NOT YET
  • Sell 5 items (not for charity or to family). SOLD 3 ITEMS....
  • Have a small in-home show by August. NOT YET
  • Learn to use all the Knifty Knitter looms I have bought in 2006. NOT YET
  • Master some complex macrame knotting (micro macrame) and complete one project. NOT YET
  • Post to Blog at least once every week (and get the links set up, add more pictures, etc). SO FAR, SO GOOD

Well, I wish I had a few more things crossed off the list at this point, but no. I'll start playing with the PMC probably in May, after my course is done. I'll have more time then, and its something that I just need a whole day for really. Same with the metal and wire projects. I need a full day for those, and that's something I just haven't had in a while. I always have something else to do the first half of the day. But summer will be here soon, and I should hopefully have some more free time on my hands. I did buy two CD-ROMs a couple weeks back, one for knitting and one for crocheting. They give audio and video instructions, along with graphics, to teach you how to knit and to crochet. I started with the knitting one first. I just wanted to do something different. Having fun. Still trying to learn to just keep an even tension (tension is really my nemesis in this sort of thing). But I'll dig into the crochet one in the coming weeks. Hopefully it will help me with the bead crochet.

But I recently found a new site that may help me in my goals. Then again, it may hinder me, and keep me from them.... Its called Swap-Bot. Its an online community of Swappers. Basically, people can set up swaps themselves (host a swap) or just join an existing swap, and then send and receive packages in the mail based on the swap criteria. The swaps are often crafty, ATC swaps being the most popular, and some are just plain fun. I joined two bead related swaps. One was to make cell phone charms, the other was to make earrings. Simple, easy pieces, I know. But lately, I've been more interested in larger, more time consuming projects. So I haven't really felt like just making simple earrings. This swap gave me a chance to recollect my thoughts and ideas, and simplify. I cranked out 6 cell phone charms and two pairs of earrings in the past three nights!! That's more than I do in most weeks. Heck, its more than I've done in the past couple of months! It made me feel productive and creative. I felt good. I needed to do that. It was like a breath of fresh air.

And the Bead Circle is doing a little earring swap as well. I'll be working on those this weekend. Its refreshing to go back to the basics, rather than focusing only on complex stitches.

Well, that's about it for this week. Thanks for reading and happy beading!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Warning: Not Bead Related (But Still Important)

Well, I'm still plugging away at some rainbow pieces (a spiral rope and some earrings), and since I didn't get much time over the weekend for beading, I don't really have much to report. I did however get to listen to most of the rest of the CraftyPod podcasts. I just have about 4 more to listen to and I'm all up to date with her podcasts. Check out last week's post for more about sharing in the "crafty goodness."

But today, I just wanted to do a short post about something very near and dear to my heart. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy. This is fancy-schmancy medical term for "we have no idea why, but you are now a person with epilepsy, you lucky person you." There was some history of juvenile epilepsy in the family tree, but how extensive, we're not sure, as epilepsy wasn't exactly openly talked about in days of yore.

I've been blessed in that my epilepsy is completely controlled by a low dose of meds and that it doesn't really affect my day to day life in a major way. I've been seizure free (knock on wood) for almost 12 years now. But for many of the over 2.7 million people out there with epilepsy, they are not that lucky. It affects every moment of every day. It affects how they are able to live their lives. So because of that, I like to do my part to help out. I'm a member of the Arizona chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation. I donate yearly. I'm even comtemplating being in one of next years Run/Walks, if I can get myself in a little better shape by then. If I tried it today, I'd drop after a mile!!! Uff.

Last night I heard about something pretty cool that is being done to help further the efforts of the Epilepsy Foundation, and I just wanted to share it and get the word out. If you haven't seen the show Heroes, on NBC, you can catch the rest of the season later this month. And I highly recommend you do, its an entertaining show. One of the characters on the show has a son with epilepsy. So they have set up an auction to sell paintings from the show, which will benefit the Epilepsy Foundation. How cool is that?! If you are a fan of the show, you are familiar with the character Isaac, who paints the future. It is those paintings, that were used on the show, that will be up for auction. And some are really pretty neat looking. So go check it out.

Thanks for reading and happy beading!