Sunday, June 29, 2008

Some Happy Things

Last night, I went to the 40th anniversary party of Sam's parents, Cheryl and Richard. I really had a lot of fun meeting their family and friends, and of course, hanging out with Sam and his brothers, both of whom live in Chicago and had flown to New York for the occasion. They finally presented them with the photo album that that they (mostly Sam) had been working on for over a month! It included anecdotes from their loved ones, as well as photos. It was a great success!

After the party, Sam, his brothers, and I went back to Cheryl and Richard's for a night cap. We looked through the album. At this point, they opened a few presents. That's when I presented them with this box:
You see, Sam's parents collect little boxes. I've had this pattern by Julia S. Pretl in my beading repertoire ever since it appeared in Bead and Button Magazine about 6 years ago. They take quite a while to make, but I love making them and giving to people who love them. Seeing Richard's and Cheryl's happy reactions to this was sooooooooooo cool! :-)

Another happy thing is that I am currently being featured on NightMaiden's blog, Going Handmade! I am so grateful to NightMaiden for featuring me! I know that when I answer interview questions (just like when I used to write essays, and before that, reports) I tend to write a lot! So I really commend NightMaiden for taking my looooooong answers and putting together such a wonderful article! I also commend her for taking so much time to promote Etsy artist. Her blog is very new, but she has featured a different Etsy artist every single day since its birth! If you check out her blog, be sure to check out some of the other Etsy artists she features! Her post on Maoiliosa prompted me to impulsively buy these gorgeous Japanese washi earrings.

Ever since they arrived at my apartment a few days ago, I haven't taken them off! (OK, maybe for sleeping and showering, but that's IT!) :-)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

OH NO!!!

So as you may recall, as soon as I heard the theme of this month's EBW challenge, A Midsummer Nights Dream, I immediately got sketching. I worked out a pattern and ordered the beads I needed. I wasn't quite sure which colors would work best, so I ordered a few different colors in small quantities.

I actually spent a large part of this month working on gifts (more on that another day!) so my challenge piece got pushed back a little bit. I figured I could finish it this weekend.

A little while after having started the challenge piece, I realized that the colors I was using just were not working out. There was not enough of a contrast between them, so I started over, using one of the colors I had used for one of my gifts.

I don't know why this did not occur to me at the time, but I did not have enough beads in that color! Last night, I realized this, and immediately spent a small fortune on two-day shipping. They should be there by Monday or Tuesday. Problem is, I'm supposed to stay at work late on both Monday and Tuesday (tutoring is canceled this week because of the 4th of July holiday). With my job, that could have me home anywhere between 7:00 and midnight! It's not so much the beading that I am concerned about as much as the trial and error. While part of my challenge piece is in my comfort zone, part of it is something I've never done before, and it takes a while to figure out how to make it work! And then there is the photography part of it. I want to take my pictures in natural light, so I'll just have to hope that July 3rd or 4th is a nice day (for more reasons than the obvious! ;-) ) Plus, it's the type of piece that really needs to be photographed on a person. So I'll have to make sure that I'm with a person who can photograph me wearing it during bright daylight hours. The July 4th holiday might complicate things, because I'm also going to have access to my computer - i.e. be at my apartment and not a barbecue or the like, for at least part of the day. AND if this piece does not end up working out, I won't have a challenge entry at all...

Earlier this morning, I ran out of the color I needed. At least this will force me to do the seemingly never ending house work I need to do... That's actually a good thing. :-)

Anyway, this will probably all work out. I did work on the piece a lot last night, so it's not as if I have the whole thing to make. (If I hadn't already done so much work, I would have just used another color!) But this is my progress report. I have made a lot of progress - I'm just impatient and I wish I could make some more progress now! :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An Almost Knitting Night...And Other Adventures

For exactly a year now, I've tutored GED students every Tuesday after work. I used to only tutor math, but now I almost exclusively tutor reading. This is something I look forward to every week, and I always come home invigorated. Like many who volunteer, in many ways, I learn more from those whom I teach than they learn from me.

Everyone knows that on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 8:00, I am not free. So yesterday, when Amna and I decided to see the New York Philharmonic play a free concert in Central Park, Amna got there a couple of hours early to stake out a spot. The plan was to knit in the park while we listened to amazing music. But, in typical Adina fashion, I forgot to bring my knitting needles to work! Luckily, I live right near the site of the concert, and when I got to Central Park West around 8:30, I ran home to find them! But (sadly!) I haven't knit for months! I have three scarves on the needles right now - all were going to be gifts last December! - and I was determined to work on one of them! But I couldn't find the matching needle to ANY of them! I scarfed (seriously, no pun intended!) down a bowl of cereal (I am NOT a pretty sight when I am hungry!) and tore through my apartment, looking for any one of the three needle mates. Finally, I found one! But that scarf was a cable pattern, and I couldn't find my cable needle (of course)! Finally, I grabbed a crochet hook, figuring I could improvise and use it as a makeshift cable needle, and bolted out the door.

When I got to where the concert was, there were droves of people walking towards me, and I was sure the thing was over...but it's wasn't! It was just intermission! I found Amna with surprising ease and, armed with my quarter-finished cable scarf, sat down on her huge picnic blanket to knit. And then I realized that it was too dark to knit. (It was even too dark to take pictures!)

Well, at least it was great company and amazing entertainment. And I hadn't seen Amna in over a month and I missed her! So it was great seeing her again. And, well, the New York Philharmonic! Enough said! Even without our knitting, we had so much fun! And then we went to Pinch for pizza. Yuuuuuuuummy.

Then, tonight, I had a tutor appreciation dinner. Also so much fun. I think I surprised the other tutors because I'm usually so quiet when I see them. But then, I'm usually concentrating on tutoring when I see them! Get a glass of wine and some good food in me, and I can't stop talking! Like our students, the tutors themselves are all so diverse, and getting to know them better was a pleasure!

It's late...

...and I have quite a few things I want to write about, but I will have to save most of them for later in the week. For now, though, I wanted to post another treasury here. It's another patriotic treasury, and this time, my red necklace is in it! (It's currently in two treasuries!!)

This treasury, red white and blue, which will be open for your viewing pleasure until 11:40 a.m. on Friday, was created by Jessica of bruizerbeans. There is no denying that Jessica is an amazing artist, but I am in complete awe of her beaded purses. Here are just a few of them:

Aren't they just stunning?!!

And with these beautiful treasures, I wish you a good night! :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Thing Come in TWOS

or at least treasuries seem to...

I'm in two more treasuries!!

This one is called Shine On Your Crazy, and it was put together by the very talented Carol Dean of SandFibers. It's the second treasury to feature my three tier blue cylinder necklace, and I'm so happy about that because that one took soooo long to make and is one of my favorite designs! Also, sometimes when the picture is small, you can't tell that the cylinders are made out of seed beads, but when the picture is bigger I think it looks pretty cool.

Happy Independence Day, America!
You can see this one on Etsy until Thursday at 5:05 a.m.

My red hexagon necklace is in Symphony of Color, a treasury chosen by Ileana of enchantedbeads. I really love the concept behind this treasury. The different colored treasures are sitting together like sections in an orchestra! I think that to come up with something like that, you have to be very artistic, and and it is obvious just how creative Ileana is just from her own work!

You can view this one until Wednesday at 5:41 pm. I highly recommend taking a look at both of these treasuries, because (as you can see) all of the pieces in them are beautiful, and (as you can also see) most of them are beadwoven!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Challenge, Corporate Style

The Corporate Challenge is a huge annual running race entered by employees of thousands of companies. It is held in different cities, and in New York, it is held on a 3.5 mile course in Central Park. I participated in this race on Thursday. It was my second Corporate Challenge.

At the end of the work day, I was getting changed in the bathroom when I realized that I had taken one of the wrong shoes with me to work! Somehow, my I had thrown one running shoe and one Chuck Taylor in my bag! I couldn't run like this! Not only would I look hilarious, but this would probably have been quite bad for my back, ankles, and feet. Wearing two different types of shoe at once tends to do that to you - plus, those Chucks are so old and worn out that I can't even wear them walking for long periods of time.

Luckily, I live near Central Park. So I dashed home to change, and walked back to where my company was stationed, waiting for the race to begin. Inevitably, I got lost finding it, but I made it just in time!

I really love running and I used to run several times a week. Lately, though, I've been lucky to fit in one weekly run. This, combined with the stress of the shoe fiasco and the fact that I'm only used to running in the morning, when I have little food and drink in my stomach, resulted in the worst side cramp I can ever remember having. I ran the first two miles while grabbing my aching side and, occasionally, walking. But by the third mile, I was pretty much OK. I'm really glad that I did it! I loved participating in such a huge event, and I LOVE the idea of bringing fitness to the sedentary corporate world.

Sam participated for the first time this year, for his company. It was awesome seeing him afterwards and stopping for sandwiches and frozen yogurt with him on the way home. We even trained together exactly once - last Saturday to be exact! Maybe for next year, we'll start training a little earlier. Like, perhaps, tomorrow! Then again, that's what we said last year, when I ran the race the first time and Sam decided to enter this year's race. So maybe I'm being a little optimistic. But whoever said optimism was a bad thing? :-)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm behind

This week has been pretty hectic for me. Really good, but busy.

I woke up Monday morning to a request for a trade! It was something I'd never done before but was eager to try! I traded this little "charm" bracelet
for three sets of adorable stickers from beckynot! Now I have cute stickers I can use when I send things to my canine-obsessed relatives, and I can also adorn my packages that I send out to Etsy customers with them! (You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find cute stickers in New York City. I had given up. New York City children are apparently beyond stickers.)

I have apparently become an avid Etsy buyer, because I've made quite a few Etsy purchases since I joined. I'm usually pretty frugal, so this could get dangerous!

I came across Chopstix Waits' shop kind of randomly. I was looking at the blogs on a "blog roll" Etsy Forum, and when I read Mary Jane Frances' blog (which is, itself, very inspiring, and a great blog to read), I just knew that I had to visit that shop! Chopstix's sewing is impeccable, and is inspired by African textiles. No matter what I end up doing as a career, I will forever be the anthropology major I was in college. I'll be the girl who loves all crafts - especially those from other cultures, whose thesis structure was loosely based on an ethnography about Guatemalan textiles. Best of all, these clothes look like they were made for me! I impulsively bought a beautiful knit summer top, and a few hours after it arrived, I could not help but to buy another. And you know what? I couldn't be happier!

I also did something very uncharacteristic for me this week - I went out on both Thursday and Friday nights. (Gasp!) I had lots of fun, but was left kind of behind in my craft-related work.

So I fell behind in my EBW Team emails and posts. I was pleasantly surprised last night to read an Etsy conversation from Grandma Marilyn's that I was in this treasury along with 11 other EBW Team members:

(As you can see, some of the images in the treasury got cut off - I still have to figure out how to get better screen shots.) You will be able to view this until Monday at 2:19 a.m.

I was so far behind, that I actually MISSED a treasury that I was in. I just saw this screenshot of it on Carol Dean Sharpe's blog this morning! (She is, rightly so, the queen of Etsy treasuries.) It also had some other amazing EBW pieces in it.
Now I have to work on a gift whose owner should be getting it alarmingly soon. I might also finish a bracelet to sell, with which I am almost done. We shall see...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Here they are!

(Thanks, Marylou!)

My beeeeeeaaaaauuuuutiful new beads.
I tried to find a background for the purple mix that I already had, but now I'm thinking maybe the blue mix. I think I'm going to have some silver in there too. So I got a LOT of potential background colors, but I got them in small quantities (I can always get more), knowing that I will find other uses for whatever I don't use for this particular endeavor. Now all I have to do is get beading!!

And now I will talk about the weather. (Seriously.)

It's been unusually cold here in New York. But all of a sudden there is a heat wave. I think my body is in shock. I went outside to take pictures of the finished necklace that I started last weekend, and after a couple of minutes, I had to rush into the doorway to relieve myself of the heat. I went back outside to finish the job, and quite frankly, I don't even care about the shadows right now. When I got back inside my apartment, I could barely see, even though the the lights were on. This is something that I'm not used to happening in New York. (Sydney, but not New York.) I got a couple of pictures of a gift that I just finished so that I could post them after the gift is received. But just barely. They're pretty bad pictures, but I couldn't stand the heat anymore! I'm supposed to go out tonight, but I'm not so sure if that's going to happen.

Here is the finished Etsy necklace:

Friday, June 06, 2008

As soon as I finish the necklace and bracelet that I started last weekend, I'm going to have to put Etsy pieces on hold for a little while. I have some gifts that I have to start and finish working on. Why oh why do I always leave these things so long??!

I also need to start my entry for the Etsy Beadweavers' July Challenge, a Midsummer's Night Dream. I have something in mind, and the beads I ordered for it came yesterday. I'm so psyched!

Speaking of EBW team challenges, the entries for June challenge, Anything Goes, are now posted on the Etsy Beadweavers' blog. These are all stunning. I am not exaggerating. Seriously. LOOK AT THEM!! :-)

I didn't enter this one, but I am currently drooling over these pieces. It's amazing for me to see elements of the different designers in their work, and to see everyone's best. How one can decide which entry to vote for is anyone's guess, but voting begins June 7.

....yep, still drooling....

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Return of the Camera

I am a woman of my word, and for that, I will bestow upon you pictures of Sam's reunion. (I can't believe it's already been a week and a half!)

Here is Sam during the gig (yes, that is a dorm in the background, but they pulled it off well!)

And here's one of the two of us in front of one of the houses he lived in in college. I must say, that is a very purple purple!
I've become kind of obsessed with different shapes of peyote stitch. Here's another one I made this weekend (I have yet to add the chain to it, which I guess is kind of crucial for any necklace if it is to stay on one's neck):(Blurry, but you get the idea...)