A Little Patch of Cool

Yesterday was loaded with activity – all those last-minute errands when one child is graduating from and the other is returning to college. Late in the 100° afternoon, I turned the car toward my favorite tomato stand. As I rounded the curve, I didn’t see the wooden chair that signaled the small stand was open. But, no, there it was, tucked a little further back into the surrounding trees. As I got out to buy one of the two remaining baskets, I noticed it was at least 20° cooler here in the shade. And quiet, almost serene. Birds were chirping (chirping!) and through the trees, I saw a woman in a housedress soundlessly shaking out a rag from a corner of her porch. I felt like I’d been transported back to the 1950’s! For a moment, the galloping concerns of the day stood still. I turned back to the road and blinked. The bank with its crowded ATM’s was still on the corner. The four lanes of traffic were still whizzing by. The tomato seller smiled as if he’d seen this reaction before and told me I’d just stepped into his “little patch of cool.” It was a moment that stayed with me the rest of the day.

This afternoon, when I finally got a chance to sit down at my bead tray, I realized I’d just entered my own little patch of cool. Where’s yours? Visited lately?


Mad Men tonight

I’m in a pearl state of mind as I wait for the season premiere of Mad Men tonight. I found these classic earrings in the newest “Best of” edition of Step by Step Beads. They reminded designer Terri Wlaschin of some her mother owned back in the Mad Men-era of clip-ons, so she redesigned them as dangles for a modern touch.

Katie and I each worked on a pair this afternoon. Katie's pair is elegantly crafted in the original crystal AB design, and I opted to anchor mine in light siam.
Mad Men’s Betty "As long as men look at me that way, I’m earning my keep" Draper might have worn them to a Sterling Cooper holiday party. Joan “No dull moments or dull men” Harris would wear them anytime!


Baby It's Hot Outside

It’s over 100° in ATL today, so I decided to spend this sultry afternoon indoors – not at my beading table, but at Beadworks Atlanta’s warehouse sale. We shoppers got the chance to step beyond the retail showroom into the warehouse itself to browse the stacks of beads, findings and components offered at lower-than-wholesale pricing.

My favorite purchase was this pendant and string of black rutilated quartz teardrops. After some intense days of beadweaving, I’m in the mood to do some stringing.

A great afternoon to browse the selections and chat with fellow beaders about their current projects. And since I only exceeded my budget by $4.95, it proved to be a no-sweat way to cool off!


To Infinity and Beyond

Infinity has many faces. It’s one thing to the mathematician and quite another to the scientist. To the artist, I suppose it is imagination given free reign. That’s what I discovered when I found Gill Slone’s blog, Beadography, last year, when I threaded up a needle and opened my first tube of seed beads. Gill’s was the first beading blog I read, and after a few visits, she seemed like an old friend. I felt like I knew her Scottie dog, her garden, her dreams. She joked about hiding a few beads in her luggage when she left for a motor bike tour around Europe with her husband, a trip that, tragically, ended her life. I still find inspiration from her blog entries, and knew when her design, Galaxy Bead, was published posthumously in the February issue of Bead and Button that I had to make this piece. When I discovered a cache of Swarovski Peridot Sahara bicones at Crystal Creations in West Palm Beach, I finally had my beads.

Fastening it around my neck, a line from Gill’s first post came to mind – sometimes happiness is bead shaped!


A Pearl of a Gray

I just downloaded Margie Deeb's Fall 2010 Color Report, and what a treat for the eyes! If you're a green lover like I am, there's a healthy dose of that color, from the yellow-green of crisp Endive to the forest green of Woodbine. But while I was searching out the green page, I was caught up by a new color, Oyster Gray, and this piece from SaraBeth Cullinan. Isn't this a gorgeous neutral? Can't you just imagine it paired with a deep navy blue? Now, where's my bead stash...


Girl Time

A visit from my grandchildren left little time to bead this week, but what a week! Yesterday was a day just for the girls – an hour’s drive north for a trip to Atlanta’s American Girl Boutique for shopping and hairstyling tips followed by more shopping. A lunch stop at the Cheesecake Factory, where one bite of this eight-layer chocolate fudge cake toppled Subway from the number one spot on Abi’s list of favorite restaurants.

And speaking of heavenly confections, today I’ll be teaching Abi how to make Buckeye Balls. Some families reserve these for the holidays, but at our house, chocolate is always in season!


Friendship Bracelet

I love this bracelet. But I’m not keeping it. It is boxed, wrapped and addressed to my best friend, Carol. Our friendship, going on 25 years, began when Carol interviewed me for a job, and recommended my hiring, even though she thought I dressed like a nun, and would probably be no fun at all! (It was 1985. Didn’t everyone consider the navy blue suit/white blouse as standard dress code for interviews?)

We worked in adjoining offices for several years, our friendship evolving beyond the ordinary. She is “Aunt Carol” to my kids. I moved on to a new job, and our daily conversations turned to weekly lunches; and now that I’ve moved 500 miles away, we only see each other 2-3 times a year. But when we do get together, it’s guaranteed we’ll have more fun than should be legal!

The bracelet design is Cynthia Rutledge’s Cascading Links, from Beadwork’s December 2009 issue. I knew it was perfect for Carol the moment I saw it, and Cynthia graciously helped me pick out the jewel-toned rose and amethyst stones when I met her that same month at a class in Atlanta. It’s a truly elegant design, each link serving as a stage for the brilliance of the gemstones. Tomorrow, it will be on its way to Carol - a little bit of bling to hopefully, brighten her day!