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Working clockwise from the top left,
1) a pair of hair clips made with beads from the dollar store;
2) a seven-strand necklace made from various bracelets and necklaces I acquired in Sierra Leone;
3) a bracelet made with leftover Sierra Leone beads;
4) an artificial pearl necklace that was originally two smaller strands of something - no clasp, and each strand was too small for a neck but too big for a wrist. I'm not sure how long those pieces have been around, or where they originally came from. This will do for costume stuff;
5) white pearl necklace. This is my nice boring one, not to be confused with the long strand, the baroque pearls, or the old-fashioned graduated pearls. It had been broken for at least a year;
6)bead necklace I had made for my mom a few years ago. It got broken a while ago and the remake is done on more solid wire, with extra small beads as spacers since I suspect a few beads went astray. The original had been an experiment in multi-strand, but a simpler design is more likely to survive the wear and tear of use;
7) double stranded black pearl necklace. This may have broken when I was living in El Salvador. It has certainly been broken for almost a decade. It was a royal pain to reassemble as part of the original clasp had gone missing, and I had a lot of difficulties getting thread that would work, and I had to re-do it at least twice before settling on a method that was solid (but then discovered I had missed three pearls and had to redo one part again).
8) earrings made from a little necklace from Sierra Leone that I knew I would never wear.

Overall, I am pleased with my challenge of making something every day, though I wish I could have completed more sewing projects. A friend who did this challenge prepped many items in advance. I did a bit of that for knitting projects, and I will definitely remember that trick for next year. Remarkably, I still have a whole whack of pearls, plus some little blue beads, and ideas for two more necklaces. I think I'll put them away for now, though, and reclaim my dining room table for a while.

Now to go look up my goofy monthly challenge for June...

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I'm caught up, really! I made two hair clips that I forgot to photograph because they were in my hair, so they'll have to wait until tomorrow. I'm also minutes away from completing one of my super secret surprise things so the photo of that will have to wait until it is delivered to its intended recipient. Here is what I have gotten done in the past few days:

Most of the beads in the orange necklace likely date from the 1960s. I thought the short strand was original, but as I look at its asymmetrical bead pattern, I begin to suspect it may have been restrung before. The long strand is made up of original beads, plus some loose gold beads I found, and glass beads I salvaged from another broken necklace. I don't wear orange much, so this one is likely to go to the church bazaar.

The red necklace was one my daughter made me for Christmas when she was little, supplemented by some beads from a little glass bead bracelet of uncertain origin, crystal beads left over from the last hair clip I made, and a few tiny beads from a Dollar Store find. I'm glad to have it back in use, even if it isn't quite the way she designed it.

The blue necklace came about when I found another little prize token of blue pearl with a couple of beads. I used similar ones to make earrings, so this odd pearl cried out to be made into a single something. Then I found a string of silver beads that sort-of matched the beads that came with the pearl, and decided to use a dollar store batch of beads to make this necklace, instead of using them in a multi-strand pearl necklace as originally planned. I still have a bag of Dollar Store glass beads in other shades of blue, so that necklace will happen over the next few days.

Random thought - why do so many foods come with recipes printed right on the package these days? Is it because people no longer learn to cook on home economics or from parents? In this case, the food is a pork roast. It came with detailed instructions on how to make a pot roast pulled pork. For the record, even though I had already looked up a pulled pork recipe, I decided to test this one for a 4 lb roast, in the slow cooker:

Mix together 2 Tbsp paprika, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp coarse sea salt, 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper, and 1 tsp ground sage. Rub into the pork roast and then cook in slow cooker for 8 hours. Remove meat from slow cooker, skim off fat from the drippings, and add the drippings to 4-500 ml of barbecue sauce (I made my own rather than using a bottle, as recommended on the package). Heat through. Use two forks to shred the pork, then combine with sauce in a pan. Serve hot on buns (though we used it on rice).

Tonight I got to watch my girl perform a dance she has been working on for months. She was listed in the program as a special guest performer, which had both of us giggling. She and her partner danced very well, and it was a pleasure to see her dance with real joy and expression on her face, as the two tossed the dance lines back and forth. No pictures were allowed during the performance, of course, and she had peeled off her pointe shoes before I could grab her for a photo afterwards, but I'm still pleased to have a nice picture (even without the joyful smile).

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I'm running a bit behind, though I would be on top of things if I counted the sausages I made on two separate days this week (three more recipes tested, plus an extra batch of one I particularly like). Herewith:

A tunic for my medieval historical group (the not-too-serious one), another pair of fleece pyjama bottoms for the girl, and the last two pairs of mittens from a sweater.


a necklace that probably belonged to my mother, and which has been laying broken in my basement for as long as I can remember. Part of me wants to hang onto it and wear it with some of the retro outfits waiting to be made from my fabric hoard. The sensible part of me says to put it into the church bazaar (one of the ladies always does up a huge table with costume jewellery) so that someone else will get joy out of it. Given the rate I complete projects, and the fact that I need to invest in a third tie rack for my current necklace collection, I suspect the church bazaar will win.
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I did actual sewing stuff on my machine yesterday, and started a new super secret knitting project today, but the real accomplishment has been sausages. The doctor should never have said I'm healing well, as I spent the whole day testing recipes. I need to go boil some bratwurst now so it can dry overnight, and print out tickets for my daughter's dance show tomorrow night. Pictures of the sewing projects from the last two days will just have to wait until tomorrow.
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Two more necklaces. The yellow and black one is made of components from a necklace I loved in university and broke probably back in grad school. I kept meaning to put it together, but never did; I suspect many pieces have been lost over the years as I remember this being quite a bit longer. The rose quartz was purchased back when I was going to Hong Kong fairly regularly for work. I'm not sure I ever wore it. I haven't been to the pearl market in Hong Kong for almost 20 years, so this was definitely overdue for repair!

To alleviate the boredom, here are some pictures from the barn today. Fancy is looking very glossy now that her winter coat is gone. She's a little ribby, but now that the grass is coming in she should fill out quickly.
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First up: a mink coat acquired for $50 when the costume department where a friend works had a sale to clear out some underused stuff. It fit me just fine around and through the shoulders, but sleeves were too short (technically, it's too short for fashion as well, but I don't mind this length as I will actually wear it walking to work and when I want to stay warm). Rootling around to reorganize some craft and sewing supplies, I found a mink coat collar. I have no idea where it came from, but it was an almost perfect match in terms of colour. I carefully unstitched part of the backing and trimmed it, then unstitched the fur down the middle to make two pieces. Then I sewed them to the lining of the coat so that the sleeves are now long enough for comfort.

Second and third: a pair of pyjama bottoms for my horse-mad daughter and two more necklaces. Technically, the pyjamas aren't quite finished because she didn't get around to trying them on so I could hem, put in an elastic waistband, and make any minor size adjustments necessary since I used an old pair of pj's as a pattern and may have overestimated a) how much she has grown and b) how much the fleece stretches. Instead, she headed off to a movie about horses. I'm calling it a win under the circumstances. On the pyjamas I have displayed the repaired jade bead necklace and the gold-dyed pearl necklace. Both have been in my "to do" box of bead supplies for at least a decade.
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I woke up pumped this morning that I was going to clear off a whole whack of tasks. Here's what actually happened:

1) I pulled out the makings for blood sausage, then put them back because I need cream or milk. I have milk, so probably should have just gone for it.
2) I redid the bologna sausage recipe that was too salty by adding in a bunch of previously ground meat and re-stuffing the links. I did not start cutting up any of the meat I have in the fridge for the other recipes I need to test (and also to give me the fat I need for the blood sausage).
3) I picked up the charcoal at least 3 times, but only got the smoker out and filled it at about 4 pm. I'm going downstairs shortly to pull out the sausages.
4) I lost all three of my useful beading needles (thanks cats!), so have two partly-finished necklaces that will need to wait until I get a large package of needles from the beading store tomorrow afternoon. I did, however, complete two necklaces. The bloodstone necklace was first purchased back in university. It originally had brass metal beads, but I had lost some when the necklace broke, so I replaced them with glass beads I had bought to repair a hip scarf for belly dance class. I like it better with the glass beads, as the necklace looks brighter now.

5) I'm pretty sure I did other stuff, but none of it got completed except driving my daughter to school, picking her up after dance rehearsal, buying tickets to her show, and helping her with homework. Important things, but not helping much with the monthly challenge.

In completely unrelated news, my son texted me today to tell me he plans to apply to do an MBA at Concordia, where he can get an CFA (chartered/certified/something starting with a c financial advisor) at the same time. He promises me he will rely on his own income and student loans, at least for most of it. Yay!
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I decided I needed to do something quick yesterday, and I had a broken necklace and some unloved beads that needed redoing, so I dug out my beading stuff. Of course, I immediately got distracted with two other projects. The necklacey thing is a string of beads to hang off my Norse brooches when doing Viking-age re-enactment. The Thor's hammer replaces a broken cross ( living at the time of mass conversions to Christianity, my persona believes in hedging her bets :) ). The earrings were originally two pearls from a luggage tag or keychain. I think I got it in China as a thank-you gift after one of my pearl shopping sprees. Above the pearls are two cute little metalcubes that came off some sort of prize token from an arts competition I entered a few years ago.003.JPG

Once the beading stuff was out, I decided I really needed to get a grip! There was a bag of mixed lampwork glass beads I have probably owned for a decade, plus a few of my own beads, various little tokens that would be good as hangars on necklaces, and some hair clips I once bought with the idea of covering them in beads, and beads to cover the hair clips, and other beads for which I could no longer remember my original intent, not to mention broken necklaces I forgot I owned. So today's project became several more necklaces, plus a hair clip.

I may go back and redo one of them, as I found a whole bunch of cabochons that were cheaply mounted in with my collection of gemstones to be set later. I purchased them when I lived in Brazil, with the intent of continuing to do silversmithing. That was 20 years ago, and I have yet to set up my workshop, so it may be time to rethink it. The oval cabochons look reasonably similar to a famous Viking age necklace, so I may stick them into the one with the small beads and pewter Thor's hammer. None of these necklaces are remotely accurate, so it doesn't matter. OTOH, I have been known to wear these crazy necklaces to work, and the cabochons would be too over the top even for me.

In my enthusiasm, I even started to restring one of my pearl necklaces.

And those beads and necklace in my room that started all this? Still upstairs. Sigh.

In completely unrelated news, I am rather jealous of my horse. Because I can't shower due to the sore foot, I can't soak my feet easily and deal with calluses. I would dearly love a pedicure, but there is no point until my bandages are removed; that won't be for another three weeks, at least. My horse got her hooves trimmed today - her feet look lovely and all ready for summer.

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Yesterday's headband:
no title

Today's project:

Very tired now. Going to go to fall boom into bed.

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A hat. An incredibly boring hat. I can practically do this pattern in my sleep, and it's what I often carry around in my purse in case I need something to do with my hands. But it's done.

Headbands, OTOH, are turning out to be fun. I have found many patterns and they are just about the right size to practice new techniques without getting bored. So far today I have downloaded three new patterns to try. It's helping to bust the stash, but it's not doing much towards getting me through the many projects I already have on the go.
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This isn't exactly sewing, but it is something I made and will be using next week. It is a sausage stuffer (basically a very primitive funnel made of cow's horn). I'm researching medieval sausages, and this is one of the tools I have been able to document. You can read about my sausage research here:


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This seemed like a brilliant idea, but I'm not entirely happy with the pattern. I have fairly large hands, so found these rather snug, and the thumb placement isn't brilliant. I am now cutting out more and playing with the pattern, as I think I can get another two pairs from the sweater. They'll be fine for the local shelter; if they get lost or no-one wants them, I don't really care.
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I should be posting Day 6, too, but it is 11 pm and I'm still stitching so it will have to wait until tomorrow.

This is a headband that I thought was rather cute. It has braided strips along one side that don't show well in this picture. I suppose I could try taking another one, but it is 11 pm and I hate taking pictures of myself anyway, so this will have to do.

For tomorrow, I think I will sew something. I am thoroughly sick of knitting at the moment.
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I finished these this morning, but had to deal with some other chores so I'm late posting.

Now for a nap, and then on to the next project.
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It's another child's hat. I promise things will get more interesting!

Me-Made May

May. 1st, 2015 09:26 pm
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Day one - a child's hat of mystery yarn.


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December 2016

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