March 31, 2008

Netted Druks

A toggle designed by Geneva Beck was the inspiration for this bracelet. I found the instructions for the toggle clasp in the June 2007 issue of Bead and Button magazine. I wondered how it would look if I just continued beading the same netting stitch in the toggle instructions until it was long enough to make a bracelet. The bracelet is made with black seed beads and 4MM druks in varigated browns and greens. The clasp is made from recycled refrigerator magnets beaded into end caps.

Yes, I know there are magnetic clasps available to buy, but I don't live near a LBS (local bead store) and the beading muse insisted that this piece not wait. So, I found some old refrigerator magnets and used a tubular brick stitch to enclose them.

This will show you what the same netted stitch looks like as a toggle clasp. Geneva's design was originally done with seed beads and crystals. So far, I've tried it with faux pearls and now with druks.

Fresh From Our Ackee Tree

My husband picked these ackee from our tree this morning.

I took the pictures with the full intention of taking a picture of the meal, once it was served.

Maybe next time. This time we ate the ackee & saltfish with green bananas, boiled yams and sweet potatoes before I even thought of the camera again.

Thank you, Jah, for providing for our needs.

March 27, 2008

For Janice

This bracelet has been completed for several days now, but I didn't want to post a picture of it until it was delivered. Mark migrated to America today to be with his lady love, Janice. He is going to deliver the bracelet to her for me.

The last time she was here in Jamaica, we came up with the design concept for the bracelet. It is beaded using the N'debele stitch, with brick stitch end-tabs for stability. The closure is a large snap. To remind her of home, I put a Jamaican flag on either side of her name.

I thought I would be making it to keep it here until she visited again. Little did I know, he would be on his way up to marry her before that. Their plan is for April nuptials.

I met Janice when she came home for a visit from Tennessee. Our sound system, Rootsman International Sound, was playing at her Auntie's shop. Since then, she has become such an important part of my life. We only get to see each other once or twice a year, but what a gift it is to be around her! A beautiful smile and a generous heart are just two of the many things I love about her. That wicked sense of humour doesn't hurt, either!

My prayer is that she and Mark will make a wonderful life together, be very successful in their chosen careers, make a bag of cash, and then move back home to Jamaica, where their talents are needed and they both really belong.

March 23, 2008

An Easter Delight

No, you aren't seeing doubles. Yes, this is a portion of the blog page showing the previous post.

What I really want you to see is the wonderful duplication of the message of Easter hope that happened when I pulled back up the post to proof-read it.

I recently added the blogosphere widget to the right hand sidebar on my blog. It randomly lists blog titles of other bloggers who also have the widget on their blog. I or my readers can click and read their posts. (It is one of the many ways to increase your blog exposure.)

To my surprise, in the widget was a post with the same title! Sparks and Butterflies also posted a message of hope represented by His resurrection; His conquering of death and hell to give us I-tinual life.

Using the screen capture software FastStone Capture, I was able to get the image to share here.

This is better than bun & cheese (traditional Jamaican Easter treat) or a Cadbury creme egg (traditional American Easter treat).

He Is Risen!

March 21, 2008

For Idren Wallace From Spain

This is for you, Idren Wallace.

I promised Idren Wallace, my Loyal Reader from Spain, that I would to try to get a clearer shot of the bus restaurant that I drive past on my way into Mandeville. The original picture was taken as I was driving. Yes, I know, not the safest way to drive in Jamaica; one hand on the steering wheel and the other one holding the digital camera. This time I got out and took some closer shots.

Details will be easier to see if you click the picture to open a larger image in another window.

The bus seats were replaced with counter and chairs.

Under the arrow you can see the Emergency Exit sign. In the yellow circles are bottles of catsup and hot sauce. Unnu haffi see Grace dere pon di label dem, don't?. (Jamaicans will notice the labels of a local conglomerate, Grace Kennedy, on the catsup and hot sauce bottles.)

How would you like to have to change that back tire? It's actually a stack of wood. Did you notice the mango in the upper right corner?

I can't vouch for the quality of the food, but I give it nuff nuff Ras-pect (two thumbs up) for the creativity, the artistry and for recycling a gas-guzzling bus. Rather than another ugly rusting hulk on the roadside, it is an an eye-catching, viable enterprise.

I hope this was better, Idren Wallace.

Jah Says I Love You

March 16, 2008

Pearl Beaded Bead on Memory Wire

Pearl Beaded Bead on Memory Wire

This bracelet is the second piece I have completed, using one of the faux pearl beaded beads I made last month. I finally realized I wouldn't be using all of them in one item as I initially had imagined.

The picture is a bit dark, but I hope you can see the details of the focal bead. Using memory wire means no clasp is required. The ends of the memory wire are covered with faux pearls.

If you want to see a larger image, just click on the picture.

March 14, 2008

Gold N'debele Bracelet

We have a function to attend on Sunday and I made this bracelet to wear. It is beaded with the N'debele stitch using gold seed beads and faux pearls. The tab ends are done in brick stitch for stability. The toggle is peyote stitched and attached to the brick stitch end tab.

OK, so this last shot was an attempt at being artistic. The N'debele stitch is supple and I wanted to show the bracelet's flexibility. Did it work for you?

March 13, 2008

Beaded Bead Bracelet

This is one of my favorite bracelets. It is one piece that always gets noticed.

The beaded beads are created with glass seed beads in a two-drop peyote stitch over wooden beads. More than one person has asked me how I glued all those tiny beads in such a neat pattern. NOT GLUED! BEADED! Individually stitched onto the wooden support using peyote decreases to follow the curves.

The band of the bracelet is tubular two-drop peyote over an armature wire. The toggle is also two-drop peyote and slips into a brick stitched loop.

March 8, 2008

O Ring Pendants

These pendants were made on rubber O rings purchased from an automotive parts store. The white seed beads were brick stitched around the inside and outside of the O rings. I like that these pieces had an unconventional start.

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March 7, 2008

More Views of Our Home

I asked before if you wanted to see more pictures of where I live. There were two requests sent via e-mail, so I am adding additional shots taken around the house. (Please, those of you sending direct e-mails related to any blog post, take a moment to leave a comment so everyone can see your requests and ideas.) Remember, any picture can be seen in closer deatail by clicking on it. It will open in another window.

This is a lion head that is on the side of the airtank. Airtank is a mis-nomer, because it really holds water, not air. Go figure.

This next shot shows a very tall, slim pony palm that is taller than our two-story house. You can see the lion head on the airtank.

This is another view of the pony palm, but what I really want you to see is amyrillis bloom in the lower right hand area of the picture.

Here is a closer view of the amyrillis bloom. The leaf just to the right it, with the red and white specks is called "Jesus' blood and Mary's milk". No, I don't know the correct name, just what we call it.

This angel hangs over the entry doorway to welcome all our visitors.

I am glad you stopped by to visit. I hope you enjoyed yourself. Stop by again very soon.

March 6, 2008

Swahili Words of Wisdom

Pearls on Branch Fringe

Remember the beaded beads I made from silver-lined gold seed beads and faux pearls? While making them, I wasn't sure how they would ultimately be used.

Since the previous post was titled, "Parts of a Piece to Come", I must have thought I would be using all of the beads in one final piece. That just didn't happen.

This necklace is the first completed item using one of the beads. Thank you, Sistren Camile, for agreeing to be the model. It is strung on memory wire, a thin wire that retains it's shape, so no clasp is required. I finished the memory wire ends with a faux pearl.

The picture below shows the back view. The memory wire overlap keeps the necklace comfortably secure without using a clasp.

Still waiting for inspiration on how to use the other beaded beads. Stay tuned!

March 3, 2008

On The Drive To Mandeville

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This is one of our St. Elizabeth restaurants.