Thanksgiving by the sea

Since it was just the two of us for Thanksgiving this year and neither one of us is a big turkey fan, we decided weeks ago to go the the ocean for a nice walk instead of overeating. The weather cooperated, mostly. Yesterday's rain had stopped but it was still overcast and the sun never did come out. Nice, angry waves (okay, I realize that's a contradiction). Didn't stop the surfers.

This is the first time I've ever taken the camera along and I'm quite pleased with my pictures (not surfing magazine quality, but good enough for me).
Didn't find a single piece of beach glass, only "beach plastic" and no shells. Maybe next time. I hope we'll be able to go more often again. We used to go very regularly but haven't been in almost 2 years. It really was time.


Gourmet squirrels

No, not squirrels that taste good in a stew or ragout but squirrels that like to enhance their diet with herbs. Italian parsley, in this case.

Five days ago, I was admiring my nice, lush parsley plants and considering bringing at least some of them inside for the winter. Three days ago, I noticed that they had turned into stick plants - all the leaves are gone. Two days ago, I found one of our resident squirrels (they've been hanging out on my deck for weeks now and run to hide under the deck whenever I come outside) sitting among the many pots I keep outside. That would explain where all the parsley leaves have gone.

Now to figure out how to discourage those squirrels from eating all my herbs. Deterrants are called for, I think. That means a trip to the hardware store ................


Saturday's findings class

I was going to show pictures of what the squirrels did to my parsley plants but my pictures didn't work out so it'll have to be pictures of what I did in class last Saturday instead.

The class was custom wire findings taught by Lisa Claxton. Wire isn't necessarily my friend - just yet - but I really enjoyed this class. We made headpins, with and without balled ends (those were made from fine silver with a torch), earwires, with and without crystals, and I tried to duplicate the wires with balled ends on a favorite pair of (bought) earrings. It worked!
We also made several different styles of clasps and simple S-connectors. After struggling in previous wire classes, I did quite nicely in the one. I'm actually happy with my results. Maybe there's hope for me yet.


A busy week

I'm back after taking a few days off, not just from blogging but from hanging out online in general.
On Thursday I had a class at BABE with Lisa Niven Kelly. We worked on a stamped bracelet, using bezel wire, texturing hammers and design stamps. Lots of fun, as always and I'll post a picture as soon as I'm done.
The BABE website listed the class times as 1-5 pm, so I arrived just after noon, wanting to be sure I'd be on time and not get stuck in traffic. Something that can very easily happen around here. Wouldn't you know the class didn't start until 2 and lasted until 6? Somebody messed up. BUT, as luck would have it, I ran into my (until then online) friend Arline in the hallway (looking for the ring I'd left in the bathroom), recognized her from her picture on her blog and ended up having lunch with her. A very enjoyable lunch. We had been corresponding online for about a year, discussing beads and life in general and this time we got to do the same in person. I also got to admire one of her art pieces on her website in person.
Friday was "pick up the little dog from the vet" day and we spent quite a bit of time talking with the vet about Jerry's recent problems. I think I've mentioned before that I've been cleaning up much too much dog sick in the mornings lately. The vet thinks it may well be "billious vomiting syndrome" and I am to keep him on a fairly strict feeding schedule (strict times more than anything else) so that he has something in his stomach at night. Hopefully, that'll take care of it. If it doesn't improve things, we will have to try a hypoallergenic diet because that is the second possibility - food allergies. If that still doesn't put a stop to his vomiting, he may well have inflammatory bowel disease and that, too, is treatable.
In addition, he has allergies - that explains why he's forever licking his feet. Again, trial and error here - use a special shampoo and hope that will take care of it. Not sure if the groomer will work with me on that, it's more than a little inconvenient to leave the shampoo to soak in for 10 minutes. We'll see.
Other than that, he needs more exercise and less food because he's getting a little too chubby. Oops! I've been slacking off on the walks.
Friday evening was dinner with the bosses night, a nice dinner, good company, good conversation and I am now the proud owner of two very heavy glass candlesticks (Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick was the first thing that came to my mind - and that's where it stayed until now.).
This morning was shopping at BABE. Found oodles of beautiful clasps at Jess Imports. They also very kindly exchanged a clasp I bought earlier this year that didn't want to stay closed. I bought a few kits here and there - beadwork and chain maille - and picked up my lower-case letter stamp set from Beaducation. Lisa Niven Kelly designed every single one of these letters herself and is having the stamp sets made for her company. I noticed that the first 50 sets sold out on her website the first evening. I'd reserved mine during class.
So, I'm back, but a little tired and it'll take me a few days to get back to normal.
It's been exactly 18 months today since we lost Henry and on the way to Oakland this morning, we talked about him quite a bit. We're still trying to figure out the why's and what's but we also shared some good and funny memories. I miss his unexpected sense of humor and his dry and quick wit - among so many other things.


Seen around the neighborhood ..........

The rains finally stopped and Jerry and I took a walk around the neighborhood again - we now own at least 10 yards up and down the street.

I took the camera along, for no reason really, and lucked out with a few things along the way ........

Roses, olives and political signs (I think somebody covered all the
bases here.).

30 minutes later - the McCain sign is gone and there now is a big Obama sign.


Switching gears - again

Yesterday - really bad day weatherwise - I learned to etch on copper and brass. Loved it! Would like it even more if it didn't involve dangerous chemicals.

My images aren't that terrific, but I think it gives an idea of what I've made. I'm still patina-ing a few pieces, finally managed to find green patina.

I hope to do more once I manage to track down ferric chloride locally, or as close to local I can find.

I probably should mention that all the ones shown in detail are done with rubber stamps.

And, no, the last one is not a self-portrait.