Monday, September 29, 2008

Double Spiral Finished!

Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday we arrived in FL. It has been over two weeks and I have beaded so little. I miss it when I do not do it. I did work on a black bracelet for my Grandson. I showed it in the last blog. It was the Russian Spiral with the bugles. It came out okay, but it just fits Jacob. Guess I will have to think of another for him for Christmas.

I started this while I was still in PA and it is a pattern that I downloaded. I talked about it in the September 8th blog before leaving PA. Please check it out, I linked to the pattern. It is easy and I love it. Designed by Jann M. Christiansen.

The design is hers, but the bead selection and size is mine. I used two 15/0's for the two spiral colors and an amber 11/0 for the center core. I continued with three core beads and then one of the bronze 15's and about 1/4 inch of French Wire and the clasp. I went through all those parts with the thread and then back through the 15 and several of the cores and then tied a knot. I continued down through several more cores and tied another knot. Then I continued down several more cores before cutting the thread. It is a little difficult making the knot in the center of the bracelet. I messed with it for some time. It works but does take extra patience getting between the 15's to tie the knots at the core beads.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Versatile Russian Spiral Stitch

All done with Russian Spiral
I have a great friend that I gave a bracelet to while I was in Las Vegas. She does not have much time right now but she sure would like to learn the Russian Spiral stitch and how to make similar bracelets. I tried to find a tutorial for her and found one with a combination of 11/0 and bugle beads. I did not find one with the pattern that I know with 11/0and 15/0 beads. I guess I am going to have to try to make a pattern that a novice could learn.

I can do so much with the Russian Spiral pattern and have varied the projects I have done in several ways. The obvious is just by using different colors of beads. I love the combination possibilities. Sometimes I use the same colors in different size bead. Sometimes I use contrasting colors. Sometimes I use colors I did not even think would go together. Sometimes I stopped after about 3 rounds and ripped quick before anyone could see the mess! The great part is that the variations are endless and only limited by your imagination.

I have also used a variety of sizes of beads. I have used all size 11/0 beads just making sure that the colors are different enough to see where to insert the needle. I have also used all size 15/0 beads. Again it is essential that the colors contrast enough to locate the bead that much be stitched through. I have not used many different sizes of beads as I do not own many sizes. However I know that you can do the pattern with any variety of sizes as long as they are not too many size differences. An 8 and a 11 would work but I would not try a 6 or 8 with a 15. I would try an 8 and 6 together though as I am certain they would work well. However, I did do a practice piece that was larger beads with small and I added another of the small ( 3 instead of 2). For all I know that could be another pattern. Remember I am a Newbie at this with less than a year of beading.

Above is an example picture in which I used shiny and matte black beads of the same size (11/0) and also the same matte beads with a shiny bugle. I have not worked with bugles and the ones I used I acquired in a "mess"of beads and I have no idea what size they are or even how they are sized.
Another way of varying the Russian Spiral pattern is by enlarging a portion of the bracelet. This is accomplished by doubling the number of beads in a round. Instead of 1 larger and 2 smaller three times around, you do 6 of the combinations. After doing the double for 4 or so rounds you skip every other and are back at the original 3 combinations per round. I was told that you can continue to add combinations to form flowers but I have not tried that. I am not sure how often one would increase the combinations.
One of these days I will try and design something with that in mind...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Yes this is home to me!... I love my house in FL!
I wrote this blog yesterday. At least it is similar. I forgot most of what I said. The darn thing did not save and when I posted it, it was not there. Throughout the time I was writing, it said not saving, but it acted like it was so did I believe it? Of course not. However I should have been a believer as it was gone.
I was so bummed I simply let it alone.
We had a great trip South. The first day, it rained until we were on the road for about 5 hours. The construction on the Interstate was not fun, but hey I was crocheting and the time flew. It takes 3 hours at least to get out of PA and on Friday it took about 3 and a half hours to get into WV. In Virginia we got gas at 351.9. We made up for it. By the time we got to Bryan's in Charlotte the gas panic had started because of IKE the hurricane. We did get gas there. The gas panic was in full swing by Sunday. We paid 499.9 in GA.
We had a great visit with Bryan and Stacy and got to deliver the Grammy bead earrings to Stacy. I also got to see Kelly at work and delivered her Grammy bead bracelet. She seemed pleased to see us. We did kind of surprise her. I loved giving her the bracelet and felt my Mother smiling down on the moment.
We continued our trip to Fl on Sunday and it was a delightful trip. The sun came out when we reached FL. I guess Fl was as happy to see us as we were to arrive. On Sunday evening Jessica had us for a wonderful spaghetti dinner and oh how we enjoyed it. We also loved seeing the whole FL family. The kids had all grown and were so darling. Jacob and Jayda had made us a welcome home sign. So sweet of them! I was able to deliver the last of the Grammy bead bracelets to Jessica and Jayda. Mother would have loved being with Jessica and her family. She adored Jessica and wow would she have loved Michael and the children. Her love for children was one of her greatest charms, but Jessica's children would have been her greatest love. Indeed!! (Her favorite term)
I have been trying to make a bracelet for Jacob in black and I am going to have to confer with him, as I am not happy with the three false starts I have had. Help me Jacob.
Speaking of Help! Bryan was able to track down the mouse hide and seek problem in no time. It was the one built in mouse driver that functions on that little Dell eraser type thing. He eliminated the use of it and immediately we were back to normal. As we always add a Mouse, we did not need the built in ones. Thank you again, Bryan.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Off To Florida We Go.

Tomorrow I am starting home. Yes, Florida is home in my heart. PA is my original home state, but I miss my Florida Family bunches, thats home.
We are planning a stop to see our youngest son and his wife in Charlotte. We may be able to see our neice there too. I have a Grammy Beads bracelet for her. For my daughter-in-law I have a pair of Grammy Beads earrings.
We are anxious to see the changes at Bryan and Stacy's home. It is such a beautiful house but the additions should make it a beautiful home!
I have been working on the Double Trouble bracelet and it is about 5 inches long. I just added a length of thread to it and then put it away to be completed in FL. I really love the pattern and hope to make other projects in it.

Time to finish all the packing and then take the Digital box and Modem back to the cable company. I will not be at my computer for a few days and I sure hope that Bryan can do something with his Dad's computer. It is having Mouse issues...the mouse runs across the screen as though it were a real mouse and then it hides in a corner. The built in mouse pad responds the same. I did all I knew how to do and it did not fix it.
Brrrryannn Help!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Quick Beading Fix

I am suppose to be packing and doing the last minute things that happen before heading back to Fl for the next 8 or 9 months. Indeed!

However a person has to do what a person has to do. If it means beading a little and even time out for a new beading pattern what can it hurt. First I had to finish Jayne's birthday present. It is a blue on light blue Russian Sprial and with the required silver Flamingo Charm! I put the charm on differently and I am not sure it is what I should have done. Too late now.

I do not know what made me go to the free pattern site today.

I felt the urge big and had to do it. It is called "Double Trouble" and is a double spiral rope chain.
© 2008 Jann M. Christiansen. I did it with 11/0 core beads with large centers for the many passes of the thread. I did the two colors in 15/0's so it is going to take a bit of time to complete. The core is an amber bead and the two outside colors are clear with gold centers and bronze with gold. I love the effect and could not visualize how the spiral would happen, it sure does.

Okay, okay, I am getting busy right now...

Friday, September 5, 2008

We Survived 12 Days in Vegas

What happens in Vegas does not have to stay in Vegas, right? What a great time we had. We started out losing and losing and losing. We started our trip on a invite to Caesars Palace for a 27 inch HD TV. The 27" was free, but if you wanted the 32" behind door number 2 you had to play X amount of dollars more. Well who likes a challenge better than Harv and I? So play, play, play. Sure enough we got the most expensive 32" TV we will ever buy. Hey, it was fun trying to win. Just imagine for a minute that we won, won, won, instead of lose, lose, lose and sure enough it would have been a bargain, right? Right! The Suite we got was great and the jacuzzi was heavenly. At least, we had a wonderful room.

We move to Main Street Station from Caesars and the fun began. This was more like it. I could not do anything on my favorite machines in the front. However there were some old triple play machines and they must have remembered me. I had a great amount of luck on them and that started to dim the TV fiasco. I continued my good luck for the three days at MSS and we were getting triple points to sweeten the pot even more. MSS gives cash back so that ultimately triples the amount I was earning in cash back. Couple that with the offer we came to Main Street Station on; suite, gold card (free food at any restaurant owned by the property), $100 free play and the mentioned 3X points. Things were getting better. Should I mention the Double Hot Fudge Sundae Harv surprised me with as a carry-out at Midnight!

View from Main Street Station looking Northeast.

From MSS it was out to Henderson, NV to Sunset Station. Sunset is a neat casino with lots of stained glass and a great buffet. Who can resist. I have not had much luck there in the past, but hey it has such good food I need to try every trip!

This was a much better than average time spent at Sunset and I continued my winning ways. I should explain a little about luck and winning and losing as it applies to my Vegas experiences.

"Luck is when preparation meets opportunity". I prepare by practicing correct Video Poker Play via two different Video Poker Tutors softwares. Winning is when a Jackpot happens. Losing is the time I play waiting for the Jackpot. When I have a better than average time of winning in relationship to time of losing, I Smile!

Smiled at Main Street Station, smiled at Sunset Station.

On to the LV Hilton. This property is located at the end of the Monorail track and about two blocks off The Strip. It sits behind and half way between Wynn and Sahara Casinos on The Strip. We were invited to an anniversary celebration at Hilton. I did not win any of the drawings, but it is always fun being eligible. I won a cruise from Hilton some years ago so I have won there. I continued to win at the machines and thus a Smile for Hilton, too. We also won a limited edition Godard statue called "Sitting on Sevens". It is one of 2500 and cute. The TSA worker at the airport was a little put off by its shape in our carry on.

View from the Hilton - I guess they had a heavy equipment convention.

Final Casino on our Itinerary was Silverton. Silverton is a locals casino at the extreme southern end of the city. It is west of I-15 at Blue Diamond Blvd. If you have ever been to the Outlet Mall on the South Strip, Silverton is south of it at the next major intersection. It has a Bass Pro Shop on one side and a Casino Hotel on the other. It is completing an expansion that we look forward to on our next visit.

Silverton Mermaid bar - Jellyfish aquarium.

Silverton was trying to act like Caesars (making me a loser), but to be fair, I only played there one day and thus I believe having a little longer could have made me smile at Silverton, too, right? Next time! I will give them a longer time to make me smile. They did give me some free play and some free food and like all our visited casinos free rooms.
Yes, for a very big change we came back Winners! What a great and fun trip, and winning, too. It doesn't get any better than that.