Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Edible Wild Plants

I always look forward to the wild greens in the early spring. Dandelions are my favorite and usually the most plentiful on my property. Dandelion greens provide many vital nutrients to your diet including potassium and magnesium. They are natures way of providing you with the necessary nutrients to help energize a winter weary system and cleanse a system that may have become sluggish over the winter from eating too much carbs, which we all seem to crave during cold, dreary weather.

The weather has been so dry here that the dandelions haven't really flourished and the ones that have come out are tough and very bitter even when they're very young.

Yesterday, as I was moving things away from my house preparing to mow, I spotted some wild oxalis, which I haven't seen in several years, as they like moist soil.

Wild oxalis, also know as sheep sorrel or sheep shear, is a great catalist to get your body to absorb other nutrients.  It's slightly sour taste reminds some of lemon.  They're great in a salad or cooked as a pot herb, but eat only moderate amounts of this deliscious green provided by nature, as the oxalic acid in them may block calcium absorbtion.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hana Ami Bracelet Tutorial

Around the Beading Table has some wonderful, easy to follow free tutorials using a variety of stitches.  The one I've chosen to share today is Hana Ami (Japanese for Flower Stitch) which uses triangle weave technique.

Hana Ami Bracelets

Depending on the beads used, this bracelet can be an elegand, sparkling accessory for dress or formal wear, or using bright contrasting colors it can just as easily go casual, fun or even downright funky!

My first introduction to triangle stitch was very confusing and I just never did get the hang of it.  Later I found a tutorial by another person and have been able to use it to make a few designs.

I first learned Hana Ami from Christine Lim.  She uses RAW to make hers and I found it less confusing than triangle weave, however I find that Deborah Roberti has made the triangle stitch tutorial very easy to understand, and I can see many possibilities of variations and additions to this particular bracelet.

Monday, March 23, 2015

More Uses for Beaded Ropes

In post in January 2013 I asked "What Else Can Your Do With a Beaded Rope" and I showed you some samples of chenille stitch and CRAW a pretty meager showing I must admit.  It's taken me two years to come up with other uses for beaded ropes.

I've told you about the tri-RAW rope I was making to encase an opal cab.  Well here it is. I've finally finished it.  I'm still working on the tutorial.  I thought it turned out rather well but was a little disappointed.  the picture on the right is blurred, but this is what it looked like before I closed it around the cab.  I liked that puffy little roll, but alas, when I was finished, it was no longer puffy.

I found this tree agate (or is it moss agate?) bead that I've had forever and decided I'd see if I could put a rope bezel around it.  As you can see both sides of the bead are very pretty, so I need it to be reversable.  In the picture to the right you can see that it isn't smooth, but has some dips and bumps in it..  The rope to the side of the bead is a chenille rope and I think I've come up with a way to close it around the bead without flattening the rope.  We'll see.  The fact that it is a bead means the bezel doesn't have to fit perfectly.  The rope can be attached through the hole in the bead, then bezeled (I think).  I'll keep you posted..

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Why Do I Bead?

The vision in one eys is all but obliterated by glaucoma, my depth perception is shot, making it very difficult to string a small seed bead on my thread; my coordination is in about the same condition as my depth perception, making it difficult to pass a needle through the next bead in my project; my back and hips rebel at sitting in the same position for very long at a time, making it necessary to get up and move around often, which means it takes me many time as long as it should to complete a project or illustrate a design, and still I bead. Why?

I bead because it is the outward expression of an inner conversation that words can't express. Because the concentration on my project drowns out the chaos, distruction, brutality and hatred with which the news and social media constantly bombard the world.

I bead because it fulfulls me. It keeps me thinking. It gives me new things to learn. There are an infinite number of modifications to a myriad of stitches and I haven't discovered them all yet. In short, it keeps my young!

I bead because you, my customers, deserve to wear beauty outwardly that reflects the inner beauty of your soul.

Why do you bead?

Patterns for all the designs shown here, plus many more, can be found in my Craftsy Pattern Store.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Share Saturday

It's share saturday again and I've found some helpful posts for all beaders.

The first one is Bouncing Wolf's recommendation for her beading tray, which you may find very useful if you do craft shows, or just need to protect your project while you're not beading.

Jean Campbell, editor for  Beading Daily has some great tips for new beadweavers.  Follow the blog for many informative, helpful hints and tips for beadweaving.

And last for today is my own tutorial for waffle weave stitch. You can find links to more stitch tutorials in "My Bead Stitch Tutorials" page (tab at the top of the blog).


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