Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Roar Like a Mouse

Actually it is still more like a squeak but at last my voice can be heard, as long as you are in the same room as me that is.

I learned two very interesting things today. Number one- Size DOES matter.................... when it comes to beading needles and beading thread, and number two - Being a hoarder isn't always a bad thing! I found a packet with 2 beading needles and some invisible sewing thread, since I didn't buy either of these things the conclusions must be, I inherited them from either one of my grandmothers, both of which where dress makers, neither of whom I can ever remember beading anything and unfortunately both have been dead for over 20 years.
This means that both my needles and thread are at least 30 years old!! Since neither was doing much needle work by the late 80's they have got to have been sitting around waiting for me to do some beading.  All the other stuff for sewing that I inherited has pretty much been used up as I used to make most of my own clothes before I had kids. (I still have a cupboard full of fabric and a collection of 120 patterns from new born to xxxl sizes.)

Here's what happens with the wrong size thread and needle. The disaster below took me 4 hours and then the one bugle bead in the middle broke! This stunning piece is in the dustbin, I didn't even bother trying to undo it all.
Then I found the right stuff (bead needle and thread) both the earrings only took about 3 hours! The one on the left was the last. When I look at the set sitting on the table it doesn't seem like I did much today!

There is just one or two small problems with the bead needle and the invisible thread. The eye of the bead needle is so tiny it takes me a while to see which is the sharp end and then there is trying to thread this needle when I eventually find the eye with INVISIBLE thread!!!!!!!!!

I have also just completed a custom order for an antique styled watch.
I am still researching craft markets, the best ones all seem to want you to sign for a commitment of every Sunday, I am looking at once a month at the most. Next move- post to Facebook, someone, somewhere among the 400+ friends must know something.

The week is half over, and the weekend approaches.....

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Silence Please

It has been a long day at home again for me, my voice is now a squeak so I can at least mostly be heard, but I am off work for the rest of the week. We had no water for 10 hours today as they are upgrading something or other! The girls first day back at school and it ended at 10:30 as they also had no water. Thank goodness that's over and the water is back on. Now as I am sitting here writing my blog I am also listening to my two younger girls coughing and spluttering up a storm (obviously caught my virus), and my son is lying in his bed also not feeling great, he at least suffers in silence which is probably why it is easier to feel bad for him than the girls, hopefully the medicine will kick in soon and the girls will get some sleep.

 As part of my improvement and revamp plan I have said that I was going to learn a new beading technique. Well I have finally done it.
Peyote stitch it is called. Peyote is a small, spineless cactus with psychoactive alkaloids and was used as medicinal herb by Native American Shaman to help stave off spiritual and physical ills, it was used by healers for pain and fever and even hysteria, maybe that's where the name came for this seemingly simple but extremely frustrating style of beading, it causes pain (every time I stabbed my finger with the needle), and hysteria (every time I had to undo what I had done because there was a hole or the stitch didn't lie straight). I have been trying for months to learn this and I think I have finally go the hang of it.

 I took instruction from a book I bought on my son's Kindle, called "simple seed bead rings", simple my foot!!!!! It took me over an hour to do the first ring and it is only  6cm (2 1/2 inches). Once I finally mastered the two color ring (after nearly 2 hours). I decided to move on to a little experimentation (my son took his Kindle back), let's just say I was getting ahead of myself!

I will stick to the instruction manual in future or Youtube, although that was just as confusing as they kept talking about fire thread and no one at the bead shops I went to have ever heard of it.
One of the first things the books and video's say is you need a beading needle and beading thread, not as easy as it sounds, you see if you can find a needle thin enough to go through the bead you can't actually thread the thing because the eye is too small or once it is threaded the bead hole is too small! Eventually though after going through my collection of about 40 sewing needles (don't ask please, more hoarding) I found one that I could not only thread but that went through most of the seed beads.  Here's another thing they don't tell you, when you buy your beads extra cheap and in bulk (R15 for 500gm of beads about $1.50 per lb)and I have lots of them in all sorts of colors, not all your beads are the same size, just more or less, sometimes a lot more and some times a lot less, also the hole in the middle just isn't always there either. The next thing I learned and this was a few days ago is that beading thread is actually fishing tackle and they just call it "crystal string" .
Then the next thing the book said was "take as long thread as you are comfortable with" UH no lady/man that didn't work either, the first 'ring' didn't even fit my baby toe. Why can't they just say to make a four row ring for a 6cm finger use 45cm of thread, is that too much to ask.
I am beginning to think that learning to bead may just be a bigger challenge than becoming a Registered Nurse was!!!

Let's see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully my voice and mastery of Peyote stitch.

Monday, 28 July 2014

A Silent Monday

I woke up this morning feeling well enough to head off to work for the first time since Wednesday. My boss wasn't all that impressed with my dedication! I have no voice and when it is there it is squeaky at best.
Since the first task of the morning after handing off from night shift was to explain to an elderly patient that while we are an emergency department he can come in and see a doctor for his blood pressure medication and all other ailments, but that he would not be able to specifically request a doctor by name as we are not a GP practice. This wouldn't have been too much of a problem but he was slightly hard of hearing and I am slightly short of volume.
So I got to see a doctor and then was promptly sent home.
The biggest problem with having no voice is living in a house with kids who are still on school holidays. You just can't yell "BE QUIET" with the oooomph it requires. The best part though is how everyone talks to you in a whisper.
Being home did however, give me time to make a watch for my shop.  I decided on a charm watch and went searching through my stock to come up with a theme and colors and the watch face, the first watch face was a bit of a problem, it seems the manufacturer forgot the holes for the watch strap.
Since I seem to have a lot of fish type charms I chose a seaside theme for the watch.  I often struggle to decide how to list my jewelry and how to describe it but this one seemed to be easy enough, there were two choices Sea Breeze or Beach Comber. Beach Comber won.

I also started on another watch, I thought something a little more refined, that one isn't working out so well, I don't have enough pearls and it started looking odd and very pink, not refined at all.

So back to the boards with that one.
With all the beads I have it is frustrating that I have to be short of the type I want to use in this project. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Lost Weekend

I missed posting my blog on Friday and spent the whole day coughing and spluttering up a storm, Saturday wasn't much better.Friday morning I dragged myself out of bed to do some very urgent food shopping, and then to take my younger girls to visit their little cousin, even though it was the last thing I wanted (and I am sure my sister-in-law would have been happier if I kept my germs at home), I knew if I didn't take the girls there would be a riot in my house! It was also a week filled with tragedy as my husband's brother and his family in Canada lost their daughter this week.

I am still busy with my workroom revamp, it is slow going but progress can be seen, I do need a new method for storing all the small bits like jump rings and loose beads and things that need repair and about 1 million charms! I also think I need to make up some kind of calendar to plan what I am going to make each week, some kind of action plan to start making more than just pocket money.
I am still trying to think of what to do for the jewelry that I have made and for which the postage would cost more than the item and I am looking into flee markets and craft markets that will not require that I sign up for every Sunday in the month as I work 2 Sundays at my regular job. Once I have found that the next trick will be the willing slaves uhm volunteers to help out.

This is one of the pieces that I made before Adiesdesigns was even a thought, then put away and forgotten, I actually had to go to the store where I buy my beads to get the prices so that I could list it, and I am so proud of myself I didn't buy beads!!!!!

I was tempted but as I would like to move into the higher end of the market and start using things like agate and fresh water pearls I restrained myself admirably.  In the clean up of my work room i have found a few strings of agate and even pearls. I plan to use what I have to make as much as I can before I buy anything more.

Today was an annual event that happens in Johannesburg every year, the 702 (talk radio station) "walk the talk" it is an extremely well attended event with people coming from all over to walk with their families, friends and dogs either 5km or 8km (not sure what that is in miles) the pictures being posted on facebook look great and it appears to have once again been a successful event.

In commonwealth news South Africa also seems to be featuring nicely with 16 medals so far. It amazes me how I can sit and watch these games for ages but can't sit and watch soccer, golf or tennis for more than 10 minutes.
One more day before school starts for everyone of the kids, YAY, my internet usage and electricity should drop nicely as well as the food bill, I am convinced that my fridge has a hole or that we have hidden people in my house, there never seems to be any food in the house even after I have just been to the shop.

Don't forget to check out this weeks recipe in the 'what's to eat' page

Thursday, 24 July 2014

I can almost see the Weekend

Today being Thursday I am looking at colors. I have chosen yellow. They say the color yellow appeals to logical side of our brains and stimulate mental agility and perception.
In psychological terms yellow is uplifting and adds light, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun
It is the best color to cheer you up about life and can awaken greater confidence and optimism.
It apparently also helps with decision making as it relates to clarity of thought and ideas, apparently people who prefer yellow can often be impulsive. It is a color that helps us focus, study and recall information, useful during exam time, so keep a yellow pen handy.
People who prefer yellow are less emotional, and come from the head rather than the heart. They are independent, and prefer to not get emotionally involved.
Yellow is the color that is related to the ego and our sense of self worth, to how we feel about ourselves and how we are perceived by others.

According to the website people with a yellow personality
  •  Have a happy disposition and are cheerful and fun to be with.
  •  Are creative, often being the one who comes up with new ideas - an ideas person who needs others to bring the ideas into reality - you tend to have your head in the clouds much of the time.
  • You can be very critical of yourself as well as others - you are a perfectionist.
  • You analyze everything, all the time, and are methodical in your thinking
When using yellow in business you should break it up with some other colors as it can be intimidating.

In other news, my clean up and clean out is coming along and I  have found that |I have stuff that never made it into Adiesdesigns, mostly because I am not sure how to price the smaller items as the postage from South Africa is often more expensive that the actual item (like earrings) and also a lot of the stuff was made before I had the shop on Etsy.
Here is some of the hoard as I am only halfway through the clean up.

I am now exhausted at the thought of trying to get photographs of everything and then work out what to do with it or how to price it so neither I nor hopefully the buyer gets done in.

Time to end this short post and crawl under the duvet and dream that my work room is in perfect order and everything is where it should be.

Hump day, slump day

Sorry for the late posting of my blog, I know you all wait with baited breath for each installment. I went to work as usual on Wednesday morning feeling fluish and figured that as with my colleague the previous week they would put up an IV and I would be right as rain.  Apparently not. I was booked off and sent home. I haven't actually been able to post as I haven't been able to look at anything with light. I didn't realize how bright a computer screen actually is.

This is going to be a very short post as it is hard to sit up for long without my nose and eyes turning into a tap/faucet.

As Wednesdays is for Adiesdesigns I am going to post existing stock, I haven't made anything new this week. I am busy with Halloween stock as it is coming up soon so here are some watches that I have in stock.

This one sold right off my arm at a function, so I am making a new one with a different face.
One of the hardest things about maintaining a shop is trying to cover all the popular holidays that are celebrated around the world. Halloween is becoming more popular here in South Africa, but things like Thanksgiving is a typical North American holiday and finding out what is celebrated when can take an hour search.  Also Holy days for other religions require extensive searches as I do not know if these days have special symbols or practices.  I would hate to make a range for an observance that is a mourning period an not a gift giving period.

I have also been asked that Dudu make a few items with particular emblems such as Native American symbols which is also a little tricky as we do not know enough about the different tribes and if it is anything like here you don't want to give a symbol from one tribe to the other. Another request was for an emblem for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, we tried it looked terrible all the beautiful detail was lost and we disappointed a potential customer. Hopefully the range she is working on for Halloween will be better, although I did have to explain the festival to her and give her some diagrams. As I said it is new to South Africa.
I have tried to proof read this post before publishing, please forgive my meds if I didn't do a good job.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Patience can be learned

I discovered that I have more patience that I originally thought, since my laptop died I have used one from Noah's times and it does not always agree with what function I want it to perform, like SAVING my blog. There are days when I have to rewrite everything over as it is disappeared.
I also think I might be getting the hang of blogging, sort of, sometimes.  In the last three weeks I have made changes to the way I have been posting. This is supposed to be a blog about beading and jewelry making and other hand crafts, but I often found myself posting things that had nothing to do with my supposed main goal. Mondays are still mostly about my week and things that have happened or things I have learned. Tuesday I still want to do Interviews with beader's, jewelry makers and crafters. On Wednesdays the plan is to post for my shop Adiesdesigns on Etsy and show off new things that I have made. That will definitely stay. Then on Thursday's I wanted to give fashion advice, which is ridiculous as I spend most of my life in uniform! So that changed to discussing color and how it can affect your mood and that of your buyer or potential customer, which I think is more useful and more in line with my goal. Friday's I was posting about books or movies that I have seen (also ridiculous, we don't have time for movies, the driving age in South Africa is 18 so we spend most weekend evenings running the two oldest to and from different venues and activities), so for the book review I will still post some of those but in the main blog I will look at beading suppliers, possible craft markets if I hear about them and let readers know about interesting blogs and how to Youtube video's and beading magazines. Saturday is the day I don't post, my day off so to speak. Sunday I think I will keep the same and put up recipes that I either made or found interesting.

I joined a facebook group, I mentioned it in yesterday's blog that is all about beading, now their beading and my beading are in two different planets, universes, dimensions. Mine is putting beads on wire or string.

And theirs is art. The piece below was made by Lenise N Robert Sanchez it apparently takes 2 days to make, I am assuming that is all she does on the day, and she takes orders (this one is sold), you can find her on facebook. This piece reminds me of summer sunset with it's pink and gold.

So I don't post my jewelry on their site, but I definitely window shop. It is a very good thing that the exchange rate in not in my favor, because even though I don't wear jewelry I probably would have bought myself into bankruptcy with the art work displayed in Beadwork Addicts, which probably should change it's name to Beadwork Artists.
As I said yesterday it was time for me to learn a new beading technique, so I chose even count peyote, supposedly an easy stitch for beginners, that went beautifully for the first 5 rows and then I am not sure, but it doesn't look anything like it should! And no I am not posting my humiliation for the 30 of you that read this blog to see!
Now I am off to see about securing an order for 8 retinue necklaces.

Ego Boosting

Monday morning I made a trip to my old workplace to teach an AHA BLS for Helathcare providers (CPR) class to a group of professional nurses. I have forgotten what it is like to have to drive so far to work, the Americans will laugh as it is a 30 minute commute, but I now work in walking distance (if I want to) so 30 minutes is long.
If circumstances and work load there changed I would consider going back, but that is not going to happen, and I am enjoying my job in the Emergency Department where I am now.  I do miss the teaching a bit, setting a standard that hopefully will shape their careers as nurses.
While I was there I met a few of my old students who are now in their second course of nursing, I taught Auxiliary Nursing (nursing assistant) as Clinical Facilitator, they are now doing their Enrolled second year (American equivalent is LPN), It was a huge boost to my ego as different groups of these students were all saying how they missed us and wished that we would come back and teach them again. This included my partner at work who was the Theoretical Facilitator, she teaches at another nursing college now.  We were both considered extremely strict and the toughest tutors.

This is something I worked on on night duty, it is not finished off yet as it still needs to have the knot covered.I took the picture at work so it is hard to get detail, when I list it I will have to retake the photo on the correct background. I called it Mardi Gras as the bright colors just made me feel good, it is made with plastic beads. I got the idea for the earrings from a fashion magazine, they were listed at double what I will sell them at (and I am making a profit). I have made these bracelets in the past for my girls so I already had the beads on hand..

I have also decided it is time to learn a new type of beading as I have been seeing the most beautiful creations on a facebook group called beadwork addicts. Some of these creations are unbelievable and I have seen full length beaded moccasins, beaded stethoscopes, pens and gorgeous ceremonial crowns.
I am hoping for permission from some of these artists to show their incredible creations.
I also found a great beading website with beads, tutorials and all sorts of thing called fusion beads. www.FusionBeads,com. I am spending a lot of time on their site these days.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Shock and Horror I'm a Hoarder also!

I wanted to make some new jewelry today as I have a lot of beads in my workroom. I know my workroom is messy and I have let it slide for a while, but today I couldn't get to the beads I wanted and could only find the cord I didn't want.  So I enlisted the help of my husband and started cleaning up, I didn't actually realize how bad it had gotten till my husband disappeared after an hour to go lie down.
I discovered I am a hoarder!!!! Not as bad as some but as I have only been collecting beads for the last 3 years, and certain people who know who they are still have unopened magazines more than 5 years old and receipts and invoices at least 20 years old, oh and recently found car service invoice for a car that was sold 22 years ago, It is time for a yard sale or as we call it in South Africa a Jumble sale. Money for advertising!
I promise not to go bead shopping again until I have used at least 90% of my existing stock! Unless of course it is for a custom order, then all bets are off. Although I think I will leave the wallet at home.

Here is my collection of intact strings of Swarovsky element glass beads
There is still a glass coffee jar about a quarter full with loose beads. There are about six strands of pink and 5 of red and blue and green and clear and black and silver and and and........

I still have to sort the round crystals and the agate and the glass and the lamp work and the spacers and the ...maybe I should stop I am exhausting myself!

I also think I need to learn the correct names of all the beads I have as when I put up a listing it is easy to infringe on copyright names. I don't know if any other beading hobbyists have the same issue.

The first is my Swarovsky Crystal tag are actually Swarovsky elements, which explains why I can afford them.
The second are these Czech glass beads which I have always called trinket beads because I wasn't sure what else to call them

The third thing I learned is that there are too many choices and it is a good thing my credit card has a limit. On line shopping doesn't count as going shopping, does it!
There is a bead shop (online) called fusion beads and one of the things they have is a weekly challenge, from cleaning your work area (oops- I missed that one) to making your Xmas line in June. I haven't got to Halloween yet people! I think though I might sign up for the challenge.

We had nice warm day today 17C which is a fairly normal winters day, but the wind is icy cold so it feels like less and now the sun is setting the temperature is dropping so it is time for some soup and a beigel!

My condolences go out to everyone who lost a family member or colleague this week with the Malaysian air disaster, the war in Israel and here at home a child killed  in a hijacking.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Friday at last

At last the weekend is here, time to recharge my batteries.
The last shift was a doozy, it started off busy (for me) with two patients in the resus room and no beds to be had in the hospital and none in a 20km radius from us! Then I had nothing to do till 5am with a new patient and still no bed.
Glad I wasn't the night superintendent as she had the unenviable task of finding space for these patients.

Something that I have noticed in the last 3 months is that teen suicide attempts are definitely on the rise. Talking to one of the EMT's they responded to a 12 year old who tried to kill herself. One of my patients last night was a 16 year old who may still succumb to her attempt despite the antidote that was given.  Paracetamol may still be one of the safest pain and fever medications on the market, taking 120, 500mg tablets are going to damage your liver severely.  This was also not her first attempt as she shows scarring on her wrists from a previous attempt.
A few weeks ago there was a 14 year old boy who took a cocktail of medications from his mother's medicine cabinet.
And a 15 year old girl slit her wrists, even though she in therapy?
What are we doing to these kids that suicide has become a viable alternative to living?

Today was Mandela day, so what did you do for your 67 minutes?  Outside his house the Community Active Patrol (CAP) our local safety enterprise arranged this event to commemorate a great man.

Choose your convenient starting time between 6:30-9am

And choose your charity to support

1. 'Warm the World'
Drop off your hand made squares/ blankets to be donated in Hillbrow on the day. Or even try your hand at knitting a square at Mandela's House on the day.

2. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world".
ORT SA is teaming up with Ndaba Mandela (Madiba’s grandson) and his Africa Rising Foundation to collect children’s books in English Xhosa and Zulu.

3. The Mandela Day shoe box project by bringing
1x shoebox wrapped/decorated
2x Personal management item
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Soap and cloth or sponge
1x Clothing item
Socks or beanie or scalf
1x Non perishable food item
Tin food or mielie meal(maize meal)
1x Sweet
Chips, chocolate, chewy sweet
1x Toy
Needs to be unisex:
Ball, bubbles, books, games, writing pad and pencils, crayons

4. Donate new school shoes in kiddies sizes

Here are some pictures
Laureen Margolias Shalpid's photo.

Laureen Margolias Shalpid's photo.
Flash mob!
Laureen Margolias Shalpid's photo.  

Mandela Day Walk

What a great initiative. 
Happy Mandela Day every one.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Last shift

Thank goodness my work week has finally come to an end and tonight is my last night shift. Once again a fairly busy shift, but I learned something new and disappointing.
We had a patient in that was not on medical aid, he is dangerously ill and so our casualty Dr began treatment immediately and then tried to arrange a transfer to a government facility for further treatment, such as brain scans and possibly emergency surgery.  When he spoke to the receiving Dr she was quite happy to take the patient but our doctor must contact her superior for permission for the brain scan.
The end of that discussion was that they would not take the patient as a transfer as we had already begun treating him at a private facility!!!! You can fill in the words from our doctor over that response. In the end we disconnected all his drips (after a dose of pain medication and an antibiotic) and sent the patient with his family and a referral letter off to the government facility. We only hope and pray that they saw him quickly.
Apparently it is not protocol to accept a patient from another facility if they have already started on treatment!! The doctor at our facility is a lecturer at the institution where we were trying to send the patient, I really wouldn't like to be the senior doctor there when he goes to lecture on Friday as he has promised to follow this up. As sad as I was to have to meet with this idiocy, our doctor restored some of my faith in the medical profession as he fought hard to get this patient the fastest care possible, because human life is still more important to him than the money he makes.
Okay enough ranting.

Now back to my shop revamp.  One of the things I noticed that is missing in my shop is a range of bracelets and earrings. So I made a few and Angie and Dudu both also contributed.  The other thing that is missing is earrings, so those will also be making an appearance soon.

The first two are my and the next two are from Angie

And these last two are from Dudu. The second of Dudu's bracelet is actually navy blue and gold, but I have not been able to get my camera to capture that, so now I have some playing around to do.
The first bracelet in this selection also comes in purple, yellow and green.

In a Thursday post I am trying to focus on colors and their meaning as well as how they affect our mood and our personality.

Last week I looked at red. Today I am looking at orange.
People who like the color orange are often warm, optimistic, flamboyant and extroverted. They are mostly good-natured and agreeable.
They can be assertive and determined without being aggressive, and they may be more light-hearted and less intense than red people.
They tend to thrive on human social contact and can be the one to facilitate the meeting of other types of people. 
Orange radiates warmth and happiness with out the aggression triggered by reds physical energy and stimulation, it also has the cheerfulness that yellow brings.
In color psychology orange is optimistic, uplifting and rejuvenates the spirit, so we should find ways to use orange in every day life, even if it is just an orange pen.
Apparently it is a great color to use in tough times (especially economic times) to keep us motivated and help us look on the bright side. It can bring spontaneity and a positive outlook on your day.
I do know that even though I am not a great fruit eater the smell of a freshly peeled orange or naartjie (tangerine/ mandarin) makes me feel happy.
Naartjie/ Tangerine
If you would like to find out more about colors here is the link to my source.  Choosing colors when creating a piece can often dictate who will eventually buy it.  You mood on the day may also dictate the colors you choose, a person who is feeling down will very rarely choose a bright color, but sometimes if we override our natural instinct when we are feeling down and purposely choose something like orange to work with or wear we can improve how we feel.