An Autumn Bead Crochet Bracelet

autumnbeadcrochetbracelet.jpg

More bead crochet exploring. This time I used Perle Cotton 8 thread with size 6 glass beads. The black stripes on orange remind me of autumn and Halloween so I created a polymer clay pumpkin bead for the clasp.

So far, I like this thread the best in feel and ease of crocheting. The black color of the thread was a little tricky to find the stitch to go into but my hook slid into the stitch a lot easier than the C-lon cord. That was too stiff for my beginning skill level. This thread also gives a slinky supple feel to the finished bracelet which is a wonderful feeling on my wrist.

The loop for the clasp is a single crochet with the same thread. I then sewed terra cotta colored seed beads around the loop.

What I really loved in creating this bracelet is that it combined 3 techniques – polymer clay sculpture, bead weaving and bead crocheting.

I chose the blue graduated background because it reminds me of a clear autumn sky and it accentuates the orange beads. I love looking to nature for inspiration even in something simple like choosing a background for photography.

Saturday Morning Tea

earlgreycremevanillacup.jpg

My kindred friend Laura adores Earl Grey tea so this Saturday Morning’s cuppa is in honor of her. As the pigeon tribe from the building across the street wheels across the sky, I look out over the treetops onto a cloudy cool mid-fall day and open my journal to a new page. There is still a blaze or two scattered across the countryside but most of the trees have now muted to a rusty color. Nature is starting her slumber.

earlgreycremevanilladryleaf.jpg

Earl Grey tea is traditionally a black tea that has been scented with the essential oil of the bergamot orange, a small fragrant citrus fruit grown in the Calabria province of Italy. The bergamot orange is not a variety of the sweet orange that most of us are familiar with eating but a hybrid between a pear lemon and a Seville orange, or bitter orange.

Legend has it that the son of a Chinese bureaucrat was rescued from drowning by a servant of the second Earl Grey, Charles Grey, Prime Minister of England from 1830-1834. The man was so grateful that he presented Earl Grey with a special tea. Earl Grey liked it so much that he gave a sample of it to his favorite tea purveyor and asked them to replicate the flavor.

I am enjoying a cup of a flavored Earl Grey called Creme Vanilla. The aroma is sweet and creamy, reminding me of the cream sodas I used to love when I was young. The flavor is an interesting blend of citrus and vanilla which I especially like. It’s strong enough for milk but sweet enough for no sweetener added.

I really like the story behind this tea – a gift of a special tea bestowed in gratitude for saving a life.

What is your experience with Earl Grey tea?

October Journal Page Progress

octoberbjpprogress.jpg

The idea for my October beaded journal page has been gestating for the last couple of months. It all started with the image of a candle illuminating the darkness, which came to me during a meditation one day. I thought about the candle as being a wonderful symbol for all of the aha moments I have been experiencing in my life this year. I added the oval moon face but instead of this representing the obvious (a moon), it will symbolize the face of my serene Higher self. I made a little mask from polymer clay leaf canes. As the candle burns brightly and illuminates, the mask falls away and reveals my Higher self. There is much more work to be done on this piece but I am pleased on its progress so far. I have a jewelry show in 2 weeks so a lot of my time is being devoted to getting ready for that. So, this page will emerge a bit behind schedule but its slow progress can also be representative of the slow emergence of my authentic Higher self.

Saturday Morning Tea

makaibari2ndflwetleaf.jpg

As the wind and rain whip against my windows this morning, I am thankful and happy to be cozy and warm inside sipping a cup of a new second flush Darjeeling from the Makaibari estate. I watch the tree outside my window which has lost all of its leaves now. It reaches its skeletal branches towards the sky in what appears to be a gesture of praise and gratitude for the water soaking the earth around it.

makaibari2ndfldryleaf.jpgmakaibari2ndflliquor.jpg

This tea comes from the biodynamic Fair Trade Makaibari estate in the Darjeeling tea growing district in northeastern India. It has long leaves with the look of an Oolong tea, not a typical Darjeeling leaf which appears smaller. The dry leaf has a fair amount of tip giving it a variegated look. I place my nose inside my cup and I am transported to a fragrant orchard as I inhale the lush ripe aroma of a peach. The liquor is a beautiful honey color with the taste of ripe fruits and muscatel. I usually find a muscatel flavor note to be pungent but the taste is buttery smooth. What a treat for a gloomy November day!