Monday, May 21, 2012


Seeing these darling multiple wrap bracelets everywhere, starting last spring, I earmarked a page from the Internet, but went onto other (seemingly) more important things - until last week, when I actually cleaned out my "Favorites" on my computer - talk about hoarding!  From under the stacked up pile of nonsense, saved for a year because I knew I would need those pages, I unleashed a great TUTORIAL FROM "RINGS AND THINGS" (and it's like totally free - TOTALLY, Dude!)
Armed with boatloads of cash and a burning desire to learn something new (OK, I admit the cash part is a lie), I headed to my local bead store for supplies, and turned out two pretty cool pieces of arm candy, in the past two evenings.  Some among you will "honk" the orange one as being anything but garish (the beads are actually a dark amber/orange and blue combo - always check your color wheel for complimentary colors, when in doubt), but it's THE color for summer, "they" say (the same person who will throw up in her mouth over the orange one will also shudder at the yellow one).  I actually made it to be paired with some of my orange Bakelite bangles, which brings me to this...
A new Bakelite bangle, the design of which I had never seen before, so was pretty excited to get it.  Kind of a dark butterscotch color - coiled over on itself, with the end being flattened and sliced off at an angle before being hand carved.
Once you've finished drooling over my good fortune with the bangle, you might want to pull up the tutorial and make a wrapped bracelet (or two) of your own.  These things I know - or figured out in the course of making mine.  The supply list on the tutorial is a little vague, but I've got ya' covered:

1.  2 yards of 1.5mm/2mm round leather cording will get you a 4 wrap bracelet for a standard size wrist. 2.5 yds. will do a 5-wrap bracelet.

2.  I used Czech Fire Polish beads in the 6mm size.  They came in strands of 25.  For the 4-wrap bracelet, I used almost a full 6 strands (or 150).  For the 5-wrap bracelet, I used 7 strands (or 175 beads).

3.  If you're patient, this can be made using one length of thread, instead of ending a piece and tying more on as you go (patience is the key, and making sure you have an area of floor that you can lay your thread out beside you as you pull it through, to make sure it doesn't tangle).  I cut 8 "wingspans" (from fingertip to fingertip) of the colored beading thread on the little spools (Nymo, I believe is what I bought).  Use thread conditioner to keep it from tangling, also, running it over the thread as needed.  The thread gets doubled, so you won't be working with that entire length.  Carefully lay it out as you peel it off the spool, to make sure it doesn't tangle uncontrollably until you get it doubled.

Friday, May 18, 2012


...was born 78 years ago, today...and is younger at heart than ever.  He isn't a movie star, or the president, though he is, and/or could have been all that and more, in my eyes.  He's my dad...Arvid Carl Anderson...Andy, to those that could never get the Swedish name right.
Born to Catherine and Carl Anderson, in 1934...little brother to Robert, and a joy to everyone who has ever known him!  And, I'm not just making that up, either.
Loves his cars fast...
and his women faster!  I know, she looks so innocent - I think it's the glasses.
Had a couple of kids...OK, had three kids, but the first one was definitely the cutest and smartest, and has always looked to her dad as a hero and inspiration.  He knows "some shit about some stuff", boy, and is always my "go-to" person for answers to questions I can't find the answer to.  A walking encyclopedia - my kids will still say, "Call Grandpa" if we can't figure out the answer to something, to this day.  And, man, is he funny!
Grandpa to seven; Great-grandpa to three, so far.  The best grandpa, and friend, any of them could have ever hoped for!
The best friend and companion my Mom could ever have hoped for...though she does think that cute Cuban actor on Dancing With the Stars is particularly hot, right now ("fast", I tell you!).
The smartest, most handsome, best dad; teacher; AND FRIEND, I could ever have hoped for...though I do think that cute Cuban actor on Dancing With the Stars is particularly hot, right now (apple doesn't fall far, I guess!).
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR DADDY...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TO YOU!"  Hope your day is as wonderful as you are - have TWO margaritas tonight, and think of me, thinking of you!  See you in a few weeks...can't wait!  XOXOXO  Tony

Sunday, May 13, 2012

MOM'S FAVORITE - A Perfect Ending to a Perfect Day...

My Mom's favorite flower has always been the Gardenia.  She has SUCH a green thumb, but has never had luck with these in Denver.  I planted this last summer, and was so sad when every single bud failed to open and soon fell off, as the plant itself thrived - it has been with baited breath that I watched a new batch take form this Spring.  Late this afternoon, the very first of about fifty that are on it at the moment, opened - the scent is heavenly!  This one is for you, Mom - I only wish you could smell it, too.  Happy Mother's Day - XOXO

Saturday, May 12, 2012

MY INSPIRATION... drawn from many places, but mostly my Mom, celebrating Mother's Day back home in Colorado today.  Always encouraging in the creativity department, as well as everything else I've ever done with my life, this arrived in the mail for me (from her, like I'm her mother or something), this week.  "Make something with it", she said..."I have faith in you", she always says.  The scissors came with the Bakelite rose, and belonged to my great-grandmother on my Dad's side - Grandma Gove.  I come from a long line of seamstresses, on both sides.
In the midst of this old family photo, is not only my Mom's Mom, but her Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother, also.  Raised on a ranch in Freeland, CO, my Grandma (Hazel) Rhyno raised two pretty wonderful daughters of her own, years after this photo was taken.
Once a fashionista, always a fashionista...she can't help it - she was born with style!
Her senior photo - Barbara (Bobbie) Jean - I would kill for a pair of sunglasses made from those specs!  She captured the heart of my Dad soon after, and went on to raise three kids of her own (two of whom turned out pretty awesome...wink, wink); who produced seven grand kids; who, in turn, are now in the throws of child bearing themselves, adding three "greats" to my parent's count.  The old folks, back on the ranch, would be proud!
So, like I said...Mom has always been an inspiration not only in the everyday life type of things, but in the crafty thingamajigs department of life, too.  Handy with scissors...we ALWAYS had the BEST homemade Halloween costumes, growing up - dear sister is still wearing the witch's hat.  Mom could (and CAN) do anything (same goes for Dad...such talent from both of their hands, and minds).  When she sent the rose this week, I had already been in the throes of making bangles...lots and lots of bangles, from a great online tutorial I had recently purchased here.  You, too, can make bangle stacks - the hot accessory for summer, if you don't have cat-eye glasses and have to make do with something far less cool.
I had actually finished the stack of bangles before the rose arrived, and realized that the color fit right into the whole scheme of things.  Struggling for two days to come up with a way to hang it (from hand beaded chain, to threading all the beads onto beading line, and then ripping everything apart, over and over again), I stepped back today, and realized it needed to be simple to go with the rest of the Bohemian feel...hence, the leather cord, with a few beads...amen.
Utilizing my own daughter as a hand model (she wouldn't allow the camera any higher tonight, with threat of bodily harm), the resulting set of fun.  "Make something", I did, Mom...thanks for the huge amounts of love and encouragement throughout my will never know just how much you mean to me...OK, you might.
Coming out of the Barry Manilow show in Vegas last summer, with new "glow stick earrings" from the I said, always the fashionista, always beautiful, and always fun!  HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM - I love you!
And, speaking of fun and since I'm on a bangle kick around here (yes, the Bakelite bangles still get stacked 5 high on most days), LOOK at what I found this week, on a quick trek through TJ Maxx.  I even left the price tag on so you could see the bargain I got - heavy, real brass beauties from India...not flimsy, these babies are substantial - all 36 of them!!  I'm sharing them with my Mom...not that she isn't worth a lot more!