Saturday, June 30, 2012

Big Hole Challenge - blog hop

The second challenge I participated in today was Kristi Bowman's Big Hole Challenge. I was fortunate to be chosen and I received a gorgeous clasp / pendant / focal made by Kristi from copper... with a big hole - hence the name of the challenge.

I was looking forward to receive my component - from the pictures I could only fall in love with Kristi's work!

Unfortunately, the copper focal did not arrive before I left for vacation and this week was a bit crazy - so I basically had a few moments yesterday to complete the challenge... Fortunately, I also knew what I wanted to make. Something completely new for me, but I had this idea and I wanted to implement it.

So here I am, with a gorgeous copper focal in my hand... I don't have much copper - I work almost exclusively in silver - but Tina send me a few copper findings back for our April swap, so I borrowed 2 of the copper beads from there. Luckily for me, I had some other copper findings (a few eye pins, a few jump rings, and a pretty long chain. Plus some 28 ga wire I bought long time ago, which came in really really handy :) I already had freshwater pearls in a fine pinkish-ivory shade, they look splendid with copper. I needed one more thing - which I also had. What else can you call this but fate? Months ago I saw this hand-dyed silk ribbon at our local store, they had lots of colours and completely inexplicably I bought 2 yards of this copper-green ribbon. They had turquoise, they had blue, red, yellow, green - everything. What did I buy? Copper! Why? Because fate knew in a few months' time I will participate in this challenge and I will need copper ribbon!

This is what become of this eclectic combination (with elements from 6 different sources):

Big Hole Challenge (copper, hand-dyed silk ribbon, freshwater pearls) :: All Pretty Things

It is a lariat - I folded the silk ribbon in 3, so it's about 24" long, wrapped along the copper chain, 'sewed' in the freshwater pearls (on copper wire), wrapped everything once through the copper focal, made a cute tassel - using one end of the ribbon, and 4 lengths of chain - with the 2 copper beads as the 'weights' and freshwater pearls wrapped on the wire.

Below you'll find more pictures of it - I love the way the silk wraps around the wire, and the freshwater pearls are so delicate and fragile looking - it makes for such a romantic piece!

Big Hole Challenge (copper, hand-dyed silk ribbon, freshwater pearls) :: All Pretty Things

Big Hole Challenge (copper, hand-dyed silk ribbon, freshwater pearls) :: All Pretty Things

I have to make a confession: I *love* the lariat - I finished it yesterday evening and I've been wearing it since (with a brief pause to take pictures!)

Please make sure you visit the other talented participants - thank you for visiting with me today!

KristiBowmanDesign - our wonderful host

Creative Chaos Design Challenge - Blog Hop

If you're looking for the Big Hole Challenge - please click here

Today is the day for not one, but two challenges!

The first I participated in is Sandra's Creative Chaos Design challenge - if you recall, we were sent 4 identical packages and we were supposed to create something with as much as we could of it.

When the package arrived I was mesmerized - in it were a chaotic mix of blue items, not all beads: some seed beads, a leather strip, a funky fuzzy fabric, mother of pearl  beads, buttons, a butterfly, and some I don't know how you call them - those little wheels from a watch :) Plus a surprise - a gorgeous turquoise coloured stone. All in a small box wrapped with a blue ribbon.

Creative Chaos Design (chain, ribbon, bracelet / chocker) :: All Pretty Things
I spread everything on the table in front of me and I suddenly knew how I want to use the fuzzy ribbon. I needed something, though - so the next day I stopped at the local bead store (ain't I lucky to have a bead store 5 minutes from the office?!) and I got myself 2 lengths of chain, fancy chains. I had this idea I've been playing in my head before Sandra's package arrived - I wanted to make a wrapping bracelet. And wrapping I did - with the fuzzy ribbon through one of the chains, and the wrapping ribbon through the others (nothing gets lost in my translation, not even the packaging!).

The funniest part is that after you wrap it twice around your wrist, it is long enough to wear it as a chocker!

Creative Chaos Design (chain, ribbon, bracelet / chocker) :: All Pretty Things

And the best part? It has the most wonderful shades of sky-blue, so it will be worn a lot!

The buttons and the lether strip - I have started them, but couldn't quite finish the idea (vacation and then a short week of making teachers' gifts got in my way), I'll have to re-visit. The mother of pearls are to be combined with the buttons and they'll most likely become a second wrap bracelet, since I don't have that many bracelets and I was looking forward to make myself some.

And what about the seed beads and the little wheels? I was stumped at first - toyed with the idea of wire crochet the seed beads, but I did that before and I was keen to try something new. As for the hardware... in order to wear it on the skin I should have hammered them down and sealed them somehow (I am alergic to all sorts of metals, and they are truly hardwrae, not finished for jewelry wear) and I didn't want to alter them... but how to use them as they were? Nothing a bit of glue won't fix, apparently :) Yes, it should have been rasin - but, hey, I get points for ingenuosity (I learned early on to make do with what I have and replace pretty much everything with what you have on hands - ask my mom how can you make a yummy cookie without sugar, butter, milk, eggs, and not that much flour!) I liked the idea of my first steampunk piece so much that I made a second pendant:

Steampunk pendant (metal, seed beads, hardware, leather) :: All Pretty Things

The funny part? Remember the chocker from above? Look at this combination:

Steampunk pendant (metal, seed beads, hardware, leather, ribbon, chain) :: All Pretty Things

Don't they look cute together?!

And all together:

Creative Chaos Design Challenge :: All Pretty Things

Thanks for stopping by - please make sure you visit the other participants:

Friday, June 29, 2012

William's poem

I am creative and caring - William
I always wonder what they teach the kids in school - I am coming from an old system, I am not saying it was better, just very different. we learned lots and lots of theory, and we packed lots and lots of knowledge in those few hours of school (as opposed to hands-on activities and play).

Yesterday it was the last day of school - and for the past couple of days my son came home with tons (I mean *tons*) of papers, books, notebooks, art items - all the work he had done over the year.

In there - a piece of paper, with a poem. At first I thought they copied it from somewhere... then I relized it has been written by our 9 yo.

I think they should ask all kids in every grade to write one - it's an amazing self-portret!

I Am Poem

I am creative and caring
I wonder about how many universes there are
I hear the roar of a plane's engine
I see bubbling test tubes overflowing
I want lots of Lego
I am creative and caring

I pretend that the world is peaceful
I feel a snake's scaly skin
I touch the window of a spaceship
I worry about needy people
I cry when a loved one dies
I am creative and caring

I understand that everything is possible
I say "you control your own happiness"
I dream of being a scientist
I try to do my best in school
I hope the world will stop fighting
I am creative and caring

by William Marinache

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Frans de Waal: Moral behavior in animals [TED]

Empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity - caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share.

An interesting (but not surprising) video - Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bead Soup #6 and more

Bead Soup Blog PartyYou know this is how I started the series of challenges and bead swaps and making new friends all over the globe - by being chosen to participate in Lori's Bead Soup #5 back in January... since then, as she is a true Goddess, she opened the party to all who'd like to participate and this time we'll have a huge party! It took me over a week back then, I am afraid to think how long it'll take me to get through almost 400 participants this time :) but get through I will... [oh, by the way, if you are a participant, please consider to remove the captcha code from your blogger during the party!]

My partner this time is from Australia: Tania Tebbit of Glass, Craft & Artful Goodness and I am patiently waiting for her to return from her own trip and start exchanging info :) I have no clue what am I going to send her, since she's already a wonderful lampworker... but I will have to figure something out, and like with the comments above, figuring something I will (very determined at the time, as you can see).

I came home to a big pile of letters (not that many bills, thankfully :)) and a few packages too.

My copper focal from Kristi has arrived while we were away, I am frantically going through ideas now, I had one - but now I got another one, I'll have to decide by tomorrow if I want to be in time.

The package from Lisa was waiting for me too: gorgeous beads, and there will be a true challenge. But you'll have to come back on July 21st to find out why :)

The stamps from Karen were in the mail box too, now I need to get myself some metal sheets to play - towards the fall, I don't think I have time to sleep before October or so.

And my first Rio Grande order has arrived too - some Argentium for a few custom orders. I haven't worked with Argentium yet, it seems a tad softer than Sterling Silver... we'll see :)

Count in that I have 2 challenges to finish for this Saturday, and a bunch of teacher gifts (to be done before Wednesday!) and you'll understand why my excitement is nicely bunched with some pure panic. Oh, well... I've finished projects with tighter deadlines before.

Wish me luck - and while you enjoy your adventures, please make sure to share!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Being caught

Remember those candy-like jade beads I found not so long ago in all sorts of pastel colours? I bought them with one idea in mind, to make flowers, like the blue ones... back then, the blue flowers will be just... blue... however, during Judy Glende's Flap Your Wings challenge they became (rightfully so) Forget-me-nots... and somehow making same flowers with the other colours wouldn't fit that well anymore :) I know, I'm crazy.

Caught you! (sterling silver, jade, chainmaille, wire wrapping) :: All Pretty Things That's why the beads were waiting in the box: yellows, and oranges, pinks and a beautiful rich green, some purple / burgundy, plus a gorgeous teal. Until a couple of weeks ago... when the teal got caught in a net... like this...

Caught you! (sterling silver, jade, chainmaille, wire wrapping) :: All Pretty ThingsI stumbled upon a very nice chainmaille technique, and a very easy one at that (chainmaille can be cumbersome at times, and complex most of the time). Obviously, I had to try it - it's quite cute, I would say :)

At the time everyone was talking about beaded chains and the focal now would make lots of sense using one, I had the smaller size beads in same teal and, of course, I had to make a beaded clasp too!

All together they make a beautiful necklace:

Caught you! (sterling silver, jade, chainmaille, wire wrapping) :: All Pretty Things
Caught you!
Sterling silver, Jade, Chainmaille, Wire wrapping

Caught you! (sterling silver, jade, chainmaille, wire wrapping) :: All Pretty Things

P.S. When I finished the 'Caught You!' necklace my son promptly asked me to make him one as well. We are debating colours now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I was born in a city, on the shores of Danube River, and I grew up in a city-town: half country, with beautiful houses and lots of hills, half city, with some industry and apartment buildings. I spent my childhood and youth hiking the hills and mountains, camping and being outdoors. Hubby was born and bred in the capital of the country - but loves outdoors (not so much to camp in a tent anymore, though :))

Canada, Eh! @ PSSA, Elysburg, PA
Our son has been born in the city we moved 14 years ago: one that reminds me of my home-town: half country, half city, with rolling hills (they call them mountains, but I know better), and numerous places to hike. We took him hiking when he was 2 months old, and never stopped - he's a city boy with a country heart :)

Four years ago, when we first arrived to Elysburg it was a truly magical moment. The place holds a special magic for me, and for the whole family. The mountains remind me of the mountains I camped in many eons ago, the air is crystal clear, the sun is brighter and bigger, the Susquehanna looks like the Danube, and the night sky is simply amazing. Oh - I forgot the monastery, PSSA quarters are right next to a Carmelite monastery.

That first year and every time we came, we encounter one of the loveliest things in life: fire flies.

If you've never caught one (like dear hubby, who encountered them first time 4 years ago!) and you ever have a chance, don't pass it. It is such a beautiful thing - to be able to hold light!

Since July 2008 (our first stop in Elysburg) it became a tradition to make a firefly lantern: we catch a few, put them in a jar and for a few minutes admire them. It's not so much the lantern, as the journey: it's so wonderful to watch the little boy become a Gypsy and roam around the camp barefoot, catching the light! Tonight was no different: out came the jar (I have one in the trailer just for this, with holes in the lid), away ran the child, catching them and adding them one by one to his lantern. When he reached 10 he admired them for a few more seconds and let them go.

Enjoy your fire flies!

Pennsylvania State Sportsmen' Association grounds: Elysburg, PA

Monday, June 18, 2012

Still on the road :)

We are still on our vacation - we have arrived safely in Pennsylvania Tuesday evening, followed by a day of work and gathering supplies, then another day of working remotely and... training. It's a good thing we checked at the range, I was 100% sure the competition starts on Saturday... and it was starting on Friday!

When we arrived at Keystone Shooting Park (Allen Chubb's amazing facility) we discovered an impressive number of athletes, including the USA Olympian, Corey Cogdell, a couple of Marksmanship athletes, and some junior from the Development Team - along with some old friends, and brand new people. What I love about trapshooting is the sense of community: I found it in the ATA family and now in the International / Olympic family as well.

My shooting wasn't stellar, it couldn't have been with zero training over the winter, after all. But I considered the competition as a high-level training: back home I don't have access to the top-of-the-line facility Allen built here, and the focus during a competition is quite different anyhow. Plus - who knows when I'll get the chance to watch Corey Cogdell compete? I missed the chance to compete with her in a final, since originally we were supposed to be 6 Ladies (ended up only 4) - that would have been something!

The weekend was an amazing one: we met our old PA friends in Elysburg, we made new friends in Keystone, we watched the ATA shoot-offs under the lights, we had fun competing, we watched not one, but three finals at Keystone, and we ended up with 2 medals in the family.

Now we train for a few more days, before moving to Marengo, Ohio!

With the 2008 Bronze medalist, Corey Cogdell @ Keystone Shooting Park
With the 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist, Corey Cogdell
@ Keystone Shooting Park

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On the road again

A few years back I started my first blog as a travel journal. We were leaving for an (unknown to us at the time) amazing vacation - it was supposed to be for 2 weeks and we ended up to be away from home for 4 weeks! We traveled from our home all the way to Florida, then back home through Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan. It was a memorable vacation, one we still reminisce at every corner of our life :)

In there - since we were moving a lot - I had quite a few posts with this title... not surprisingly we all love Willie Nelson to pieces, so his song plays in my head over and over every time we prepare for vacation.

As we do today: for our first part of the vacation - and the start of our 'other life': trapshooting competitions. I am excited and looking forward to seeing my friends again - our first stop is Elysburg, PA, a place I hold dear to my heart (I'll explain why this week, stay tuned!).

So here we are, getting ready to be on the road again - to my beloved friends and my beloved mountains.

Elysburg, PA - PSSA Grounds

Monday, June 11, 2012

Jasper fun

I thought it'll be fitted for today, since my SIL is on her way to Jasper, AB :) I hope it's Jasper - the lady I bought it from had no idea what it is - she said she liked it, and so did I: it has a beautiful pinkish - cranberrish colour and the size of the stones is simply gorgeous!

Of course I fell in love with the stones - I entered the store to buy some supplies for Sandra's Creative Chaos Challenge and before entering the store I said to myself: 'Self, be good!'... yeah, sure... self in a bead store and a good girl, quite an oxymoron! Funny thing is, I bought them knowing exactly what I want to make with them. And during my pink uh-oh (after making the first 4 dangles and discovering the design doesn't work) I picked my Jasper-cranberry-candy stones and created this with them:

Candy necklace (Jasper, Sterling Silver, Wire work) :: All Pretty Things

It is a very delicate looking piece, I really like how the connecting elements came out. It gives the stones a very feminine, flirty air, I could say a romantic one.

Candy necklace (Jasper, Sterling Silver, Wire work) :: All Pretty Things

A couple of details - the stones are 1" by 3/4", but the necklace remains quite light. It wears very nicely too!

Candy necklace (Jasper, Sterling Silver, Wire work) :: All Pretty Things

I added a long chain - I was wearing it with a white linen shirt and the chain was completely hidden under the collar, leaving the necklace open to view. The stones are too big to wear them directly around the neck, however the chain drapes them perfectly for a beautiful wear.

Candy necklace (Jasper, Sterling Silver, Wire work) :: All Pretty Things

I love it - surprisingly so, since, as we've discovered, pink is definitely my colour. But this one - you can simply eat it (actually I had my hubby asking me to not leave the stones on the table, he's waking in the middle of the night for a snack and he was sure I bought him candies when he first saw them!)

A perfect piece for a summer day - and for a white crisp summer dress: elegant, feminine, delicate, romantic, with a very organic feel: The Jasper Candy necklace.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The little sparrow

A man had 2 daughters - both very inquisitive and smart. The girls would ask their father lots of questions, some he could answer, some he couldn't. One day he decided to send them to study with a wise man.

Mischievous, after a while, one of the girls decided to fool the wise man.

- How are you going to achieve that? asked her sister

Exotic bird @ Bird Kingdom, Niagara Falls, ON :: All Pretty Things
- See this little sparrow? I will hide it between my palms and I will ask the wise man if the bird is alive or not. If he says the bird is dead, I will let her fly. If he says the bird is alive, I will kill her with my hands and show him the dead bird. This way - whatever he chooses, he'll be wrong.

The girls approached the wise man, and the older girl asked him:

- I have this little bird, wise man, tell me: is she dead or alive?

Smiling, the wise man answered:

- It's upon you, little girl, she's now in your hands...

P.S. I asked my 9 yo what he thinks the morale of the story might be.

'Hmm... not fool a wise man! you can learn more from him by listening!' was his answer.

There you have it :)

Friday, June 8, 2012


The following is a true piece of our lives - conversation through email between our son and his parents (us).

It started like this:


From: Son
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2012 6:44 PM
To: Daddy
Cc: Mommy
Subject: Getting next pet
Importance: High

Hi mommy and daddy,
I wanted to update you on my news.
The next pet we get is going to be at Cat.
No exceptions until the next email.
Please write to me if you have any questions or concerns, please write back.
RED LETTERS= Important
William's email signature

Star wars expert
62031 777 Guelph Line,
Burlington Ontario L7N 3R0
Toll free: (877) 942 5348
Mon-Fri 4:30-7:30 Sat 2:30- 6:00
$5.50 Each Hour
Mom trying to negociate a way out of this mess

From: Mommy
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2012 6:44 PM
To: Daddy
Cc:  Son
Subject: Getting next pet

Hi William,

Thank you for your letter – it is lovely!

Your request has been noted – right now we have as many pets as we can deal with, however when the time will come for another pet we will have a family council and make a decision together.


Son not bulging...
From: Son
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2012 6:44 PM
To: Mommy
Subject: Getting next pet

Hi mommy,

1: way off track

2: decision made already


When the time comes, we will get a snake of a cat.


Daddy enters the stage - he did not see 2nd email from son yet :)
From: Daddy
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2012 1:49 PM
To: philip
Subject: RE: Getting next pet
Hi William
This indeed a well written letter, well done William!
To reiterate what mommy said, we will make sure to give your proposal our full consideration when the time comes to make a decision in this important matter.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
P.S. I like your signature!
We are now waiting for son's answer to his father... I sense it will be good... really good.
P.S. If at 9 years old they are able to articulate such letters (complete with proper signature and pictures in signature!), is there a wonder I've always been somewhat intimidated by the corporate language?! Obviously not hubby :) 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Art Bead Scene Blog: Jewelry Designs from Nature Challenge Winners

Had to share this, thank you, Marlene, for reminding me of it (I entered a few challeneges / contests and I promptly forgot about them... should really start adding them to the claendar to keep track).

Art Bead Scene Blog: Jewelry Designs from Nature Challenge Winners

Boy, am I excited or what?! Can't wait... Happy... happy... :)

National day of...

I just had to steer away from the Thursday Technique theme, you'll understand me in a moment.

Last night I just stumbled upon a site, it seems a most serious one, State Symbols USA. Listed were the national holidays, a few more important dates... then... Food Holidays. OK, I though, there are going to be a few dates here and there... Nope, apparently almost every day of the year can be celebrated with yet another food. And every month has been declared the National Month of... at least 3-4 different food-related subjects.

And today, you'll ask, what about June 7th? Well - June 7th is no less than National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. I don't know about you, but I am going to observe this - not one to pass a chance at Chocolate Ice Cream, and neither is the beautiful son, as you can see from these pictures:

National Chocolate Icecream Day, celebrated a month earlier (Florida, May 2007) :: All Pretty Things
Florida, 2007 - the biggest ice cream we have ever seen!

National Chocolate Icecream Day, celebrated a month earlier (Florida, May 2007) :: All Pretty Things

Just in case you wonder - nope, we were not able to finish it.

And yes, 5 years later, to this day I still think about that immense cup (about the size of William's head at the time!) we had to to leave behind us... unfinished...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Johnny Reid - Thank you!

Although the video is on the sad side - I still love this song of Johnny's. It's powerful and gentle, and reminds me of what is important in life: the 'thank you'-s of every ordinary moment!

With just a few days until we pack for vacation (some sort of vacation, at least) I feel grateful for all sorts of things - but mostly for my family and my wonderful friends... and I am happy I will see some of them for the first time since August last year. I missed them during the winter and the summer seems too short, but I am going to enjoy every moment with them.

May you enjoy your treasures (and may you know who they are before it's too late!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


With our winters being usually quite harsh (the past one being a welcome exception, for which we will most likely pay dearly), by February I look for any excuses to be around as many flowers as possible.

Last year I instituted the 'Every day with blooms' rule in our house - we must have some sort of blooming flowers every single day of the year. In the spring / summer we start cutting from our own backyard (tulips, lilac, roses, lilies, peonies and whatever we fancy that year). During the fall - we usually get lots of potted flowers (mums, African violets), and right around November / December we have bulbs forced indoor (daffodils, hyacinths, Amarillo @ Christmas, and our Christmas cacti when he decides to gifts us with its flowers).

That leaves January to March quite uncovered - and that's when the daily grocery shopping trip brings home a bouquet or two of whatever I fancy. But still - usually at the end of February I had enough of the cold and white stuff.
No problem - right in the middle of March we have a huge show: Canada Blooms - with, as the name expresses - flowers... you name it, they have it! I take William and we wonder through the Exhibition halls for hours (the floor has about 500,000 sq ft! and tons of exhibitors) - we smell the flowers, we admire arrangements, we buy seeds, tools, flowers, even honey and enjoy ourselves. A lot! I recently discovered the 1st show took place the same year we arrived in Canada... but I remember the very first one I went to, next year (that would make it the 2nd show): I was in complete awe!

I still am in awe every time - I love the colours, I love to touch the flowers, I love to talk to some of the exhivitors, and I love the arrengements: they are gorgeous, and every year different. Did I mention the gardens they put together? They have a theme each year - this year was music!

I hope you have enjoyed our blooms :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

More wire

It seems I have a love affair with wire these days. I can't tell you how many things I've started and I am ready to finish, all wire-related :)

Between them - some jig work. I found it very relaxing to swirl the wire around the jig pegs and then to hammer them down (gently, I already replaced a few links in one of the bracelets :)). Lesson learned? If you hammer on a beaded link, put something in front of the bead, so the hammer will not strike the gemstone!

Wire work: sterling silver, Swarovski crystals, pearls, jade, gemstones: necklaces, pendant, bracelet, earrings :: All Pretty Things

Although I am never fond of dark colours, the dark gray pearl & Swarovski set (earrings & bracelet) is looking really great. Then there is the purely crystal Swarovski bracelet and earrings - a very elegant set that can be matched to absolutely everything you want. Making the pink agate bracelet was a lot of fun: it's very happy and cheerful :)

All these sets can be personalized to use your own birthday stone, or maybe your wedding theme colours - they are perfect for the bridal party (and for the bride too!). They are very easy to wear and give you the most delicate and elegant feeling. Who wouldn't want to feel beautiful?

What's your relationship with wire and the wire jig?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The smartest people in the world

Little Angel (stained glass) :: All Pretty Things
A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy, and a priest were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute, yelled to the passengers that they had better jump, and then he bailed out.

Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining. The doctor grabbed one and said "I'm a doctor, I save lives, so I must live," and jumped out.

The lawyer then said, "I'm a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live." He also grabbed a parachute and jumped.

The priest looked at the little boy and said, "My son, I've lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace."

The little boy handed the parachute back to the priest and said, "Not to worry, Father. The 'smartest man in the world' just took off with my back pack."
[received through email]

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fun bits

How would a search begin? With a few words :)
Recently I was checking the site statistics - and the traffic sources. It's always both fun and educative to learn how did people arrived to your site.

Not surprisingly there were searches by the name (of the site, my own, or both).

There were also searches for 'beaded chainmaille bracelet' (interesting, since I have only one post about that, my favourite chainmaille piece ever, Princess), 'accessories polymer clay multiply', 'crochet stitch jewelry + easy + wire + for kids' (eh, I wouldn't say my crochet tutorial is for kids, but I'll take it :)) or 'crochet necklace with beads' (I get this one, I have a few articles on the subject).

Then there is the odd 'blue as depth and stability' or 'disk glass beads with large hole' or 'yourself, in your way of thinking. flower' and 'flowers for office with elegant meanings'. I wonder what articles / images they arrived to :) I talk so much about flowers, it's no wonder.

As it's no wonder someone found me searching for 'pictures of butterflies' or 'beautiful full butterfly', I know I talk a lot about butterflies, birds, and blooms. They are such an important part of  nature and they are the prettiest little things, and they bring so much joy and beauty. How could I not talk about them?

But then someone arrive on my blog typing this: 'شجرة الكاكاو'. I recognize the Arabic style of writing and a short trip to google translate shows me it's the 'cocoa tree'. That's odd, I have written once about cocoa, on our adventure at the Chocolate Exhibition. Google has its own mind!

What is the strangest or most unexpected phrase people searched and found you with? Have you ever checked? It's an interesting exercise :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Birds - update

This year seems to be one good for birds - at least the ones at our house.

First - the robins who made their nest right under the roof at our bedroom window. After a few days of chirping and growing, they are off. She laid 4 eggs - and we had to research the number, so we found out it's most likely her first nest, she lays 3-4 eggs the first time and usually 2-3 afterwards. We're patiently waiting for her to come back, watching the chicks on TV was a true gift (they nested right under one of our outdoor camera, so we had live feed 24 x 7 :))

Fuchsia (with bird nest inside) :: All Pretty Things
Last Saturday, I believe, we went to one of the local nurseries to get some plants. Now that the deck is complete, we need to do something about the garden, right? Sure. I have to admit - I didn't want to buy the fuchsia pot first. We had some a few years back and they didn't like it on our porch. Not sure why, just went 'poof' in a couple of weeks. But my son had such a disappointed look in his eyes that after saying 'No' I decided to buy one. He wanted a light pink - and as you probably know by now, my relationship with pink hasn't been a good one. I can barely tolerate the colour, and the light shade with white he picked were way too much for me. I pointed to a fuchsia one (yeah, a fuchsia fuchsia, I know), with some neat purple. He didn't want it ('too colourful'... uh-oh... the manly prejudices are starting to arrive), but after I described how it will give a nice spot of brightness to the porch (our house is wood covered, and painted a deep brown, a tad on the reddish side, but still - brown), he reluctantly agreed to get
Fuchsia (with bird nest inside) :: All Pretty Things
it. Came home, put it up - finished planting everything else... came back inside - my desk is in front of the window that faces the porch, I see the pot when I look out... and what do I see? A little bird (still haven't figured out what could it be) - fade colours (more like a sparrow, but more brownish), with a long beak (compared to the body length) - flying back and forth with... could that be?... what? straws and pieces of papers and grass... are you kidding me?! No - the little bird made a nest right inside out fuchsia pot.

It might be something normal - I just never heard about such a thing!

I haven't managed to take a photo of the bird - she's faster than my reaction time... but I can tell you this: on Thursday she started to lay eggs - and she's now down to five (another one every day). We scarred her twice - looking into the nest while she was there - she flew away and came back... We're now waiting for the chicks to come :)

Same day another bird decided to get inside the house. she pecked at all out living room windows for hours:

Yellow bird, trying to get inside the house, through the window :) All Pretty Things Yellow bird, trying to get inside the house, through the window :) All Pretty Things
Yellow bird, trying to get inside the house, through the window :) All Pretty Things Yellow bird, trying to get inside the house, through the window :) All Pretty Things

And last, but not least, one of the cardinals, in the bush in front of my window:

The Cardinal :: All Pretty Things

Yes, I am quite sure he was watching me :)