Beads and Yarn

I have a secret. I love coming home from a bead show, dumping all of my purchases into one big pile on the table and running my fingers through all of my new beads. All that beautiful color and texture! Even though I buy from different vendors, my purchases reflect ideas and images I’ve been thinking about lately and they all seem to match in one way or the other. Do you experience the same thing?

I’m thinking of a bead embroidery cuff for the face cab from Earthenwood Studio. Isn’t it fabulous?

My dumping/ooh-ing and aah-ing ritual reminds me of when my kids returned from trick or treating on Halloween night and all the stashes got dumped on the family room rug. First, Mom or Dad would go through to pick out any suspicious looking items (and the Butterfingers) and then the trading would begin.

Here’s some detail of a strand of unique snakeskin jasper and pearls I couldn’t resist along with amethyst and peridot. A lot of my stone bead purchases were made from Momminia of Cold Spring, NY. A husband and wife team, Marlene and Steve Goodrich are quick to share their in depth knowledge about any of their stones. So, buying from them is both an education and a treat to the eyes. Even though my daughter isn’t at all into beads like I am, she listened intently while they named the different stones and where they originated. Here’s some faceted rhodolite garnet. We couldn’t resist that amazing raspberry color. It will go fabulously with black, I think.

Last but not least, my yarn purchases from my Michigan trip in March. I also discovered a yarn store called Knitting Pointers, right down the street from my new home, and I visited there last weekend. I couldn’t resist the pale muted colorway on the left.

The brand name is “Poems”. What a perfect name for what these colors inspire in me.

“I want to make poems that look into the the earth and the heavens and see the unseeable.

I want them to honor both the heart of faith, and the light of the world;

the gladness that says, without any words, everything.”

-Mary Oliver

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Saturday Morning Tea on Friday

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I’m in Michigan visiting family this weekend so my tea post is a day early. I’m using my Dad’s laptop and I absolutely love it.  Note to self: purchase a laptop this year!

This morning I am sipping a cup of Tai Ping Hou Kui, a China green tea, and gazing out at the 4 inches of snow that fell over night.  Even though the sun is shining brightly on the sparkling snowfall, winter is not over here in the Detroit metro area.  Back home in Massachusetts, I think the forecast was for more springlike weather, rain and temps in the 40s.

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The long hand-crafted leaf is amazingly intact. After steeping the leaves for 3 minutes with 180 degree F water, I found a leaf set with 4 leaves attached. The aroma is fresh and mildly vegetal and the liquor feels surprisingly thick and full in my mouth even though the taste is mild and sweet.  This tea was first produced at the beginning of the 20th century by a venerable Tea Master.  Its name translates to Great Green Monkey King and it is produced in An Hui province.  The criss-cross pattern on the leaves is stamped from the cloth used to press and flatten the leaf.  The fine crafting and care in its processing is apparent in its beautiful appearance and taste.

Yesterday, my Mom (who is an avid needlepointer and knitter) and I visited a fiber arts shop in Macomb, MI, called Crafty Lady Trio.  We purchased some scrumptious wool and silk yarn, Mom to knit a scarf and I to try my hand at a felted bowl pattern I found in the book One Skein by Leigh Radford. I have visions of colorful felted bowls filled with beads adorning my new studio!  I’ll post photos of the yarn, along with some rubber stamps I purchased for my next mosaicon, when I return from my trip.