More Beads

I’m still making glass beads with some degree of success and more of failure.

I made this bead but don’t really like it. I was trying out some new things which was good.

This is the other side of the bead. I do like this side a bit better.

A little wonky, but of course I had to do a purple bead!

This is a “stringer”. It can be laid on the bead and melted in or used for dots. We were practicing making these. We made them in one color and then multiple colors. I liked this one the best.

Chicken Scratch Embroidery

I have been wanting to try this embroidery method for a long time. I discovered it while looking through Pinterest years ago, but never actually did anything. The embroidery guild I belong to ran a Chicken Scratch embroidery program a couple of weeks ago and I signed up.

This heart was my first try and what we did at the program. This method of stitching is really easy and really only made up of straight stitches, cross stitches, and a little bit of needle weaving.

This was my next pattern. We were given a packet of information and this was in it. This took me quite awhile as I am a slow stitcher, but it is really enjoyable.

This was the last pattern in our packet and was super fun to stitch. I can see more of this in my future!

Something New

I’ve been taking glass bead making classes!! This is something I have wanted to do for a long time so when a friend asked to sign up together I said “YES!”.

The Torch

This is the torch we use. At first it was a little intimidating but I’m a little more comfortable now.

Beads on Mandrils

We use these sticks called mandrils to wrap the melted glass around to make the bead. Then the bead goes in the Annealer to cool off slowly so there is no thermal shock and no cracking. These are my very first beads. They are a little wonky, but were so fun to make.

These two beads were my favorite from the first class. I can see a new creative addiction forming!

Crochet Cabled Beanie

This pattern, Braided Cable Beanie Crochet Pattern, was a super fun and would have been a quick crochet if I had read the pattern correctly and followed the video on YouTube.

Close up of cables.

The above photo is the way it SHOULD look. The first time through, I made an error on row 4 (this is a 4 row repeat) so all my cables went the same way instead of crossing over each other. I ripped down to the brim and restarted and all was well.

Finished hat.
The hat being worn by the recipient.

He picked the pattern and the yarn and is totally thrilled with it. This pattern was a little bit of a stretch for me. While I can crochet, I have never done cables in crochet (knitted cables, yes) but the pattern was well written and being able to follow along with her video was great. My son is in the process of picking another pattern – I can’t wait to see what it will be.

The Ausable Sweater

This time I am knitting something for myself! It’s called the Ausable Sweater and I simply love the pattern.

Cable detail

The pattern is a 12 row repeat and it’s pretty easy once you get used to it. This is 9″ of the back and side – I need 15″ as called for in the pattern, but I like my sweaters to be a bit longer so I will probably knit about 17″.

Moss stitch

To begin with, I found Moss stitch to be a bit challenging but I think I have the hang of it now. I am trying to knit at least 2 rows a day and it is really growing!

Outside for the Christmas Tree

Once we had taken all the decorations off of the Christmas tree, we decided to give it a little more life and put it outside in the backyard. We made garlands out of popcorn, fresh cranberries and dried oranges (I dried them in the dehydrator). We also made little “cupcakes” out of bird seed and other ingredients. You can find the directions from Garden Answer

We made these for the birds, but so far the only critters accessing the food on this tree are the squirrels! Oh, well, they are cute too.

I had a couple of helpers!
We put a garland and a few of the birdseed cupcakes in with the chickens – they LOVED them!
Chickens devouring a birdseed cupcake.

This was such a fun activity that I think we will do it every year! The chickens love those cupcakes so much, I think I’ll make them once in awhile as a treat.

New Year’s Day Hike

What better way to start out the New Year than with a hike! We decided to go to Burleigh Ranch State Park in Half Moon Bay. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. Cool and crisp, sunny and the air smelled wonderful.

Running creek on the trail to the barn.
Old barn equipment makes a great sitting place.
The Barn.
Trying to stay out of the mud!
Another building – was it used for storage? as a chicken coop? something else?
Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Happy Holidays!

It’s been a long time since you last heard from me! Never fear! I’ve been stitching and crafting away. Too many things to list here, but I will share as I finish things. I did manage to finish new ornaments for the kids, myself and my husband.

All of them together!

I still have two more to finish for significant others, but they are out of town until the end of December so I have a bit of time.

I watch two homesteading channels on YouTube that end their vlogs in ways that speak to me. One of them ends with: “Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart.” and the other ends with: “Slowly, slowly” (that’s his motto with all big projects). I love those two messages and what they mean to me. I will be ending my posts with those. Have a great rest of the year!!

Needle Lace Workshop

I’m addicted to these SFSNAD classes!! This class is all about needle lace. The most interesting part to me, is that we are creating lace pieces that can be taken off the fabric and used for different purposes.


This is called a Cordonnet. It is what all the lace stitches will be attached to. The lace stitches will not go through the ground fabric, they will be wrapped around the cordonnet at the edges.

Brussels Stitch with Return.

This was the first technique we learned and give a really solid appearance. We learned how to change colors within the lace as well.

Brussels With Return – the return thread has been replaced with gold thread.

This one was super fun to make and I love the look of it. I will find a reason to use this in the future.

Trellis Stitch.

This one was a little harder to do. I still need lots of practice to get an even look and to have the “knots” line up. Even though the are offset, they should line up.

Brussels with Return.

We were using quite a thick thread so this is quite dense. With a thinner thread it would look much better and a lot more lacy.

Spiral Trellis Stitch

This one still needs to be finished but is very enjoyable.