Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Morning Grumbles

Last Monday night I took a friend to the emergency room, from which we were released 3 1/2 hours later. The friend is healing well with only bruises. She appears more shaken by the knowledge that she cannot, at 70-something, simply keep forging ahead  full tilt until the job is done. She has to take breaks; she has to learn to stop when tired.

This is something I learned at 40.  Last week's  lesson is harder. I cannot go near emergency rooms. I've spent parts of  the past week flat on my back, feverish, depressed, lacking energy, foggy-brained. I cough up green phlegm. 90 minutes in the garden wipes me out. The cats said  a walk around the block was out of the question and herded me back to my own yard. When I'm tired, I'm waspish and judgmental and spend too much time reading Facebook.

Which is how I discovered that Facebook had been hiding posts even from folks designated Close Friends, and substituting posts from companies I had indicated I liked. When Trending Articles appeared in my feed, it was too much. I don't want to see anything from the Huffington Post. Did FB assume that because I occasionally followed links to articles from the NYTimes and the Manchester Guardian, I wanted predigested pap delivered in a smug, sly, confiding tone? To get Trending Articles removed from my feed I had to click Hide on 3 articles before I was offered the choice of removing Huff Post from my feed. Stupid.

I spent time indicating companies that I do like in order to get FB to stop feeding me ads from singles companies and death merchants. Now I get ads from bead and craft suppliers, furniture stores, and targeted clothing ads. This is an improvement, but I do not want their merchandise updates in my FB feed, and especially do not want them taking the place of random thoughts by friends. Usually, the Hide option offers permanent removal.

Some ads are offensive. I do not believe that wearing a charm bracelet and tucking my hand in my back pocket will make my rear end any smaller, and I do not care for companies that routinely refer to lady parts as boobs and butts. It feels like a slap in the face. I know that using certain words decreases their shock value, but I don't want those words in my vocabulary. Bottom, behind, rump, posterior, backside -- those are all acceptable. I prefer the term breasts to all other slang and nonslang terms. I prefer to be treated with courtesy by companies I don't know. A "hey girlfriend" followed by terms I find nasty? I don't care what is being sold. Perhaps the target audience is 14-year-olds with disposable income and foul mouths. I'm over 15, living on the edge, and while I may be familiar with slang and curse words, they are not the first things out of my mouth.

While I'm complaining, why is it that I develop an urgent need for sponges and scouring pads at the end of the month, when I'd prefer not to spend any money?

Monday, August 20, 2012

She Really Liked It

I've been the strange one for so long that when someone DOES share my taste, it's a shock. I figured I'd have this flower brooch around forever, as a mascot at shows. It was a little bit of home to  look at when  I felt swamped by tides of humanity. I was floored when a woman picked it up, didn't read the price sticker, and insisted she had to have it no matter what. I gave her a "flattery will get you somewhere" discount.

The multi-flower pin is sort of bead embroidery, stiffened felt with spikes of seed beads occasionally topped by pressed glass flowers. There's a tiny circle of cardboard topped by another bit of felt with the pinback. I had read about metal mesh circle brooch bases, had no way to get one, and  was consumed with a desire to  bead. The two brooches at the bottom are on mesh bases. The bracelet is freeform peyote, part of my attempts to blast myself out of drab colors. Yes, it IS rather small, but so are my wrists.

I'll be doing more freeform bracelets and pins because I like them. If people should want to buy them, I guess I'll let them. As long as I get to enjoy the colors, the slick silk touch of glass beads, and a visible result, I'm relatively happy. Really, it's a good thing I'm not trying to sell these because my words are so humdrum.

As I was performing small repairs on merchandise, I felt the cyclops eye of a inhuman thing on me. I looked up to see a young photographer happily focusing. She was quite taken aback by my growl that yes, I DO mind if she takes my photo. There are people who have no photo graciousness in them, and I am one.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Testing, Testing

Newsprint necklaces
I've been sorting and consolidating my jewelry supplies, taking short breaks to test  things to see if I should keep them or toss them.

A Creativity for Kids paper bead rolling kit was a keep, if only for the nifty little bead rolling tool. It is so much easier than rolling the paper around a toothpick. OTOH, my hand cut strips from the newspaper made better beads than the kit's machine cut scrapbooking paper. We won't even talk about the plastic beads that came with the kit, okay? I had to substitute beads from my toss pile. It also had stretchy gel beading thread, which needs no needle. A boon.  
Creativity for Kids necklaces

The internet is full of  projects using resin or Dimensional Magic from Mod Podge on paper stuck to wooden forms. You get a lovely high gloss item with Dimensional Magic. I put images on wooden nickels and stuck pin forms to the back. I'm less than thrilled with the images I had to use, but Dimensional Magic stays.

A stash of soutache braid will be very useful when I attempt a soutache braid and bead creation real soon now. I've used bead tips and soutache as necklaces to hold small charms.

By Annetta Valious,
My entire collection of felt fits in a copy paper box, but there's oodles of red. For awhile, I bought it up whenever I saw it at Goodwill. When life gives you red felt, make felt flowers. I've got a Pinterest board full of different flowers to try.

Most of my beads are in one place, but there are escapees in every room of the house. There are bead findings in the thread box. There are beads in the box that contains my MIL's worn copy of The Settlement Cookbook. There's a matchbox of bead findings from jewelry that fell apart 20 years ago, tucked into a box of buttons. Many years ago, I rescued vintage beads from a cashmere sweater that moths riddled, and tucked the bag of vintage beads into a box of sewing supplies. I also bought necklaces from thrift stores, just to deconstruct. I could never find the box when I wanted it, so I bought findings and beads.

It will be such a delight to go to one place for jump rings and jewelry findings rather than pawing through 6 boxes. I recognized each tiny bag as it appeared. Nothing sneaked in while I wasn't looking. It's not that I blithely bought huge quantities. It's that I would bead madly for awhile, put things away, then not be able to find what I wanted during the next beading spurt. First all the jewelry findings got put in one place, then types of things separated out. Seeing the variety of my findings makes me feel wealthy. 

Speaking of wealth, I modified a quilted bag from Goodwill, giving it features Vera Bradley puts in her quilted bags. There are two pockets inside the purse, a pocket on the outside, and a strap for the housekey. I put vintage red rickrack on it, too.