Beaded and wire-wrapped flowers

I’ve been doing a lot of beading this summer - but mostly at night in front of the Boob Tube. I never feel particularly creative then. (For this I’ll blame the television. Right?)

This is my first attempt at beading free form. I made these “flowers” from old buttons, 28-gauge copper wire and beads that I was about to discard - until I repurposed them today.

I’m keeping this little beaded bouquet on my kitchen countertop.

One does not need an excuse to make an iMovie on the iPhone on any given night. So, without further ado, I present you with video footage of what my dog ate for dinner tonight. Bon appetit! 

Tags: dogs food dinner

Beads in carousels

Few things scream “summer” like a corny carousel. Corny as in really cool.

I’ve been back from Europe for some time now. But I still have a few bead dropling stories to post. 

This carousel is located in Honfleur, France, a most lovely artist colony on the water. 

The carousel is in the heart of the city, and its loud music is catchy despite its odd tonalities. It’s France. It’s summer. Corny somehow becomes “tres chic.” No?

I plopped this little beadling right here.

Do you see it on the floor of the carriage?

A quick zoom out shows the carriage in its entirety.

So pretty in pink. 

I almost forgot. I did a second bead drop in Honfleur. The city, known for its art, also has quite a bit of chocolate shops. Chocolate, after all, is art. No?

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If you’re in your 20s or 30s you can take a FREE online course inspired by their book “Becoming A Life Change Artist: 7 Creative Skills to Reinvent Yourself at Any Stage of Life.”

Interested? Please contact

Here’s their official announcement:

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Richard Leider, best-selling author and nationally recognized coach, called Becoming a Life Change Artistone of those rare books that change the way you think about, well, everything!”  Authors Fred and Kathy have teamed with Donna Krone, CPCC, a seasoned professional life coach, to help you do the same—change the way you think about everything.  Becoming a Life Change Artist Online will empower you to create a more meaningful future based on a whole new way of seeing your life.


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An Amsterdam drop

So we arrived - at this part in our journey - in Amsterdam. Land of the leggy blonds/blondes and intrepid bicyclists. Did I say intrepid? I mean FEARLESS.

I witnessed a biker who got hit (albeit gently) by a vehicle. He swerved and kept going - the bicyclist, that is.

This bead drop took place at the Felix Meritis Society. I know nothing of this society except that they had a generous menu of foodstuffs. 

I asked the waitress if Amsterdam was known for a certain type of coffee drink. She said not really. She recommended that I order a cafe au lait, which happens to be my go-to caffeine beverage anyhow.

It arrived - hot, mind you - in a tall glass. I was content and the third bead drop commenced. 

First comes food, then come beads

Food and beads complement each other wonderfully. Beads are something shiny to look at while consuming gobs of food. Beads can also be a way of saying “thank you” after a particularly relaxing meal.

This bead drop took place in Berlin on June 9 - in the former East and blocks from the spectacular New Synagogue. The specific location of the drop was at a restaurant with the English translation resembling something like “Go to the Black Rabbit.”

Well, I went.

Our lovely waitress was very sparkly and fashionably dressed. 

I was a lady who lunched that day on beer, lentils and homemade noodles with mushrooms.

Thus commenced the second drop.

Bead droppings: On the train

This is the train I took from Luebeck, Germany to Berlin. June 8. A pleasant day.

Hello train.

It was a notable experience because I realized that my Eurail tickets allowed me to sit in first class. So the very nice conductor brought me not one but two white-and-milk-chocolate-checkered soccer balls for my consumption. 

Which I consumed.

She brought me a moist towelette for my hands. Then came a German newspaper, which she quickly took away as soon as I opened my mouth and she could hear from my bright and shiny American accent that I did not speak - let alone read - German.

She was a nice conductor.

I wanted her to have a bead droplet. But while she was so attentive during the train ride she was suddenly no where to be seen as the train pulled into Berlin’s central station.

So I left the droplet on my seat. I do not know whether it ended up in her hands - or someone else’s.

Such was my first drop. It was a bon voyage indeed! (Or a gute fahrt - according to Google Translate.)

Bead droppings

In the great tradition of “yarn bombing,” I decided to do my own version of spontaneous craft love across Europe: It’s what I call “bead droppings.”

Here’s the premise. I brought over an assortment of beaded things, mostly beaded triangles that I made throughout the past months. I dropped them with a little business card attached to them. Or I gave them to the friendly souls I met along the way in my travels throughout Germany, the Netherlands and France this past month. 

Over the next few days I’ll post photos of these bead droppings, along with brief little stories of the why and when. 

I was inspired to bead drop because of two gentle souls who I met briefly on my travels some years ago.

Back in 2007 I was on a flight from Dublin to Boston. A man a few rows ahead of me had an adorable deck of cards that were decorated with sheep and other Irish symbols. I guess he saw me eyeing them because he told me he’d give me the deck of cards once the five-hour flight ended. Wouldn’t that be nice, I thought.

And then he did. Today, I can’t get on an airplane without that tattered deck of playing cards. On airplanes I am the solitaire maven, thanks to the gentleman whose name I don’t even know.

The second gentle soul was a young woman (in college?) who I came across in the Munich airport in 2009. We were both at the same gate, waiting to catch a flight to Krakow. She was making a blue and white friendship bracelet. 

That’s nice, I said to her.

She just smiled.

And then right before we boarded she finished the bracelet and ever so gently handed it to me. I keep that bracelet on my dresser.

These gentle souls have inspired me. Their little gifts are not precious in monetary value but I’m quite keen on them. They are little token reminders of my travels and strangers’ kindness. There’s something spontaneous, fun and uncertain about leaving bead droplets at a little destination, wherever the whim strikes me.

Please stay tuned for the posts that will follow over the next few days about these little droplets. 

Hey big mouths, don’t you look Hipstamatic

I’ve been playing around with the $1.99 app Hipstamatic. It’s a less intuitive but more customizable Instagram-like tool. I found this guide really helpful. 

One of my favorite Hipstamatic facts is that a New York Times photographer used it back in 2010 to capture front-page photos of soldiers in Iraq.

Today I decided to put it to use in my home.

But first, I tweeted about my new-found Hipstamatic interest and got some helpful hints courtesy of @likeacolortv.

Each shot below has the exact same composition. The only thing that changes is the flash, lens and film. 

Jimmy Lens, Kodot XGrizzled Film, Dreampop Flash

Kaimal Mark II Lens, Kodot XGrizzled Film, No Flash

Jimmy Lens, Kodot XGrizzled Film, No Flash,

John S Lens, Kodot Grizzled Film, No Flash

I definitely find myself more partial to the “no flash” shots.

Here’s a 40-second recap of the May 5 felting activities at Imagine RIT in Rochester, N.Y.

Tags: felt wool video