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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rumors Of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

I'm still here. Life rolls on. My new mantra? "The trouble is you always think you have time." It's been attributed to Buddha but it's really from Jack Korfield in his work Buddha's Little Instruction Book. You can find it on Amazon. I haven't read the book but the quote fits right now.

July is always jammed packed Chez Buchle. I've been writing a lot. I am halfway into my first good novel. I did submit a piece for an anthology but, alas, I received my first rejection letter. So I've started my rejection letter file. No big deal. The important thing is that I put myself out there. It's a good story, just not a good fit for that particular book. And no, I'm not ready to share my pen names yet.

I've been beading. Yes! Beading! I had purchased some kits from Beads East years ago and have started working on one. If I work diligently I can have it finished in time for a class reunion in October. And if I only pick it up once in a while that's okay, too.

It's summer. The teenager is home. The little boys are becoming big boys and the baby is growing like a weed. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will have a ton of beach photos.



And that's the scoop.

Monday, May 19, 2014

How The Poodle Skirt And The Bolognese Tried To Do Me In


Ah, the poodle skirt. Bastion of the 50s and 60s. Every girl had one, well every girl but me. I wanted a plaid poodle skirt with a black Scotty dog and a chain leash when I was six or seven. It was in the J.C. Penney's or the Sears' catalog - I can't really remember which - but I wanted one so badly. Alas, no poodle skirt for me but I still love plaid and black Scotty dogs. And this is a really long post today, so you are forewarned.

Ariel's last choir concert ever (she could not fit choir into her schedule next year) has a theme, a 60s theme. In fact, they are singing Johnny Angel, one of my favorite oldies. Anyway, the girls are wearing poodle skirts and pony tails. Yes, poodle skirts. In case you are not aware, buying a poodle skirt is pretty much impossible in May. If the concert had been in September or October, no problem - Halloween costumes abound. And, given the fact that my child is vertically challenged at 4'11" finding one the correct length would be, well, impossible. So off the fabric store we went. 

She wanted black felt – in May. I had to search all over the store before I found it. Okay, black felt – lots of black felt to make a swingy skirt, by the way. Then we found a poodle applique that said “iron on adhesive”. Okay, that makes it easy. Then we pick out some trim for the leash, the zipper, black thread and interfacing.

Ariel and I spent all day Saturday pinning and cutting. That meant down on the floor, stand up and stretch, repeat for six hours. Bend, stretch, repeat for six hours. I’m not too old for this shit but evidently my knees and hips are. Oh my stars! I was so very stiff by bed time! Let’s just say sleep was impossible – I think I got three hours in spurts. Anyway, we laid it out, pinned it, and cut it. Then I sewed it – simple, right?

I put the skirt on her to pin the waist band in place and the waist band does not go around her even though we had measured and cut the appropriate size. As Ariel told it to T-man “mom spent half an hour just whispering the ‘F’ word over and over”. Yeah, pretty much. Fortunately there was a ton of fabric AND interfacing left over (thank you so much, Simplicity, for making me spend more money than I needed to). I laid out the waist band pattern again and just lengthened it – ruler and Sharpie to the rescue. Sew it, put it on her, pin it. It fits, glory halleluiah.

Now for the poodle. Iron on? You didn’t really think so, did you? One strip of double-sided tape in the center. That’s it. Soooo, text the husband who is working for a friend in the middle of nowhere with barely any reception to pick up some type of fabric adhesive (there were four texts from me with different types, yeah, there were). I love that man – he brought me an adhesive kit.

The Bolognese? It is going to be amazing. It damn well better be.

I got up at 8:30 just to cook this thing. I was actually supposed to get up at 7:00 but keep in mind how very strenuous the cutting, pinning and sewing were. Everything for this sauce must be precooked (that has taken two hours). Then it is supposed to go into the slow cooker for 12 to 15 hours. My plan was to let it cook overnight. Weeellll, I started chopping (food processor – my hero). Then I cook my “holy trinity” (carrots, onion and celery). Then add the three pounds of meat and sausage, then a few other things.

Now comes the liquid – three cups of milk. Okay. My pot is getting really full and I am looking at my little old crock pot thinking “this is not going to work”. But I am still following the recipe. Time to add the two big (BIG) cans of tomatoes and now my pot is full to the brim and I still need to add the three cups of wine before I put it in the crock pot (it is NOT a slow cooker, it is an actual crock pot from the 70s). Okay, I can do this. I start ladling into the crock and the crock is half full but the pot on the stove is still quite full.

Crapamolé.

Basically, as part of the recipe, you let the milk cook off living the milk fat. I know, it sounds yucky but this Bolognese is going to be really good and it’s only been cooking for an hour. But I digress. The milk cooks off, but I have no room for the wine. So I have to slowly add the wine, like every twenty minutes, after some of the liquid from the milk and the tomatoes slowly cooks off. I finally get the three cups of wine which, by the way, is a full bottle, into the pot and now I’m cooking it down, stirring it every 20 minutes and the house smells amazing and every time I taste the spoon it gets better and better. But I have been standing and stirring while . . . .

I glue and pin the non-adhesive iron-on adhesive poodle to the skirt. Glue a section of leash, pin it down (lots of curves), go stir the pot, repeat for two hours. And in the middle of this venture, I spill a box of pins. Did you know sewing pins are no longer magnetic? That’s right, kids! But it is now glued in place. A book is holding the cute poodle down while a hundred or so pins hold the curves. I’ll post photos later in the week.

Oops, need to go stir! But I have the rest of the day to sit and only stand once in a while. I think I will sit on the deck and work on a short story for a contest, make some novel edits, and listen to the birds. Later someone can serve me the amazing Bolognese. Let me know if you want the recipe – just make sure you have a huge slow cooker and lots of time. It will be worth it, just like making a poodle skirt for your daughter.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Stupid Blogger

The Bead Soup Blog Party post was supposed to publish at midnight. I had it scheduled to automatically publish but it did not. Alas and alack, I am a few hours late. But enjoy!

Bead Soup Blog Party! Time For The Big Reveal!

Today is the day! You get to see what I made with the fantastic stash Tina Bosh  sent me. First, instant replay. Here is the luscious focal from a souvenir swoon, I mean spoon. There was also a fabulous sterling toggle clasp. Those pearls are to die for and there were oodles of vintage goodies (note the hematite facsimile glass in the lower right -- one of my favorite vintage beads.)

Drum roll please! Oh, wait.




Here is a close up of the beads. I used the vintage pink crackle glass rounds she sent with some Chinese gemstone cuts in a hematite finish. I also found some of my own hematite facsimile glass in an oblong shape, and there are some titanium plated hematite stars sprinkled here and there. There are seed beads in a gray AB finish. I used the larger vintage beads from the soup and the pearls. Two strands are knotted but the one with the bird is strung.



This is the clasp. I added a couple of links from an acid etched brass chain in a silver color. It made it easier to combine all three strands. I am loving this clasp!






© 2014 Theresa Buchle "Fly Me Home"

Now for the drum roll! Open the photo so you can see the details, like the stars and the tiny faceted beads that add a bit of sparkle. I included a silver finish brass bird and I called the piece Fly Me Home.

The inner strand is 19 inches long, the outer strand with the pendant is 23 inches. The pendant strand and the center strand are hand knotted on gray silk. I used silver-plated copper core wire to make the loop to hang the pendant. The bead tips for the two knotted strands are plated silver. The crimp beads have nickle colored crimp covers over them. All in all I wanted a slightly vintage look for everything so I tried to stay away from bright, shiny silver. The only beads sent to me by Tina that I did not use were the bronze seed beads. I am in love with what I did. There, I said it, fully admitted it.




Now, a little about my partner, Tina Bosh. She has traveled all over the country (47 states!)  but has spent most of her time in Northern California. She's very much like I am regarding Texas -- she wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

She has two children, a boy and a girl, both in their 20s. They have done their mama proud with their degrees. He went into Industrial Technology and she went into Event Planning. And Tina was a school librarian for a while, which explains her love of books. She has been married for 27 years and has four dogs: three dachshund mixes and a chihuahua who help fill her now empty nest.

Now for the other thing she and I have in common (the thing other than beads, of course):  finding other people's junk and making something else out of it! You know, junktiques, upcycling, repurposing. Only she has actually made a teensy bit of money doing so. Also, for the past four years she has made it a point to take an art class each semester (and a P.E. class which puts me to shame!). I love all of this about her.

This part is in Tina's words: "I love making jewelry. I have taken college classes in casting, making wax models and then casting in metal. One semester I took glass fusing and enameling. I have made many focals in the classes. For beads, I pick up thrift store necklaces, deconstruct them and make something new.  I work in stone, gem or glass beads.  My style is a bit Bohemian/Hippie.  While I think seed beading is lovely it is not my thing . . . . As far as art, I work mostly in mixed media.  Collage is another favorite.  The watercolor bird on my blog is a very beginner effort.  I am taking watercolor this semester and am only a few weeks into the learning." By the way, I love the watercolor bird! What I took out was that she doesn't like seed beads. *sigh*  I just couldn't bear to see the words again, sniff!



And here is what sent Tina. I cannot wait to see what she did and to find out which soup she used. My original post about the goodies is here.

The first soup was built around an ammonite. I included some mother of pearl drops, carnelian daggers, some white jasper pillow beads and faceted crazy lace agates (I love those - saved some for me!). There is a lovely sterling clasp along with some ear wires. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
The second soup was built around that sexy rose quartz pendant. I included more rose quartz beads (I love those acid etched faceted drops & have some of my own), fancy fire polish in green/gray/pink, some green glass gemstone cuts, and some tiny faceted labradorite. There is also some brass chain, a Vintaj dragonfly and a Vintaj filigree ring and toggle. Last, but not least by any means, I added a length of hand died silk ribbon in pink/green, gray. This is actually my favorite of the two. No wait, the other one is. No, wait . . . .

And I sent her a pair of earrings with niobium ear wires in copper, copper chain and bead caps, mookaite, and tiny orange glass beads on copper head pins -- just because.








Bead Soup Blog Party links are found here on Lori Anderson's blog. Warning! There are several hundred links, so be prepared.

Happy hopping! And have a Happy Mother's Day if you happen to be a mom. I have a great weekend planned and might just have pics for you next week.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Blog Party Delay

If you came by for the big reveal I have a little bit of bad news. Unfortunately the Bead Soup Blog Party has been postponed for a week. We need our hostess Lori to be up and about when everything is shared with our readers. BUT I will give you a sneak peek:




Well, I can't show you everything yet, can I?

Next week, May 10, big reveal with a link to lots of beady blog links. There were over 200 participants this year, so have your coffee, tea, wine, whatever close by. Then sit back and enjoy the bead porn!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Beads!

My soup came! The box of beads was waiting for me when I came in the door. I love boxes of beads.

Vintage glass, fresh water pearls, a toggle clasp, just enough seed beads and, oh my stars, this:


Tina told me that it was from a souvenir spoon that she flattened and drilled. It's going to make a lovely pendant and I already have an idea for the necklace. What did I send to her? I'm glad you asked.


She actually got two soups. One is built around rose quartz and the other around an ammonite and some jaspers and agates. I will provide more details on everything later. I can't wait to see what she makes. I also included a little pair of earrings I made just because. Those are niobium, copper, mookite, and glass.

And the sweetest picture this week:


Luke had a big welcoming reception when he got home. It is just too sweet how his big brothers can't stop touching him and kissing him. I really didn't want to leave but I'll be going back again soon.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party Previews & News!

I actually have two previews. There are some yummy beads in these packets, very tummy beads. Here is the first:


And it's a really bad photo - I didn't get a chance to edit. You find out why down below. Here is the second preview:


And it will be mailed on time today even though I am a little ways from home. You see, that's not my dining table or my cup. My plans were slightly interrupted this week by arrival of the sweetest little bundle of joy:


And this time we waited a full nine months so he gets to come home today with his mommy and daddy. His name is Luke and we are all very excited. And even though the weather is freakishly gorgeous, I will not brave the beach for it is spring break. Yeah, that's right - no beach. I've got other things to keep me occupied.