head in beads

Although many people have participated in the making of CGB, this part is another solo stretch. I’m alone with my PDFs, the publisher’s proofs are on the way, the envelopes are being ordered.. that sort of thing. I’m deep in tasks, none of which seem to be assignable, because I didn’t go into them building them to designate. Do you know what I mean? If you know that some excellent lovemonkey is going to do the job you are gathering data for, you don’t store your musings on cocktail napkins. I’ve had three different email databases during the past 18 months; it’s like a forensic exercise at  this point, searching the correspondence or making statements about how many orders are going to England vs. Vermont and thus ordering exactly the correct supplies. I have great offers to help, but can think of no portion of the work I can share or delegate,  not until it’s time to put packets together. And that will be fun. And there will be large numbers of friendly beadgirls about the house and grounds.

I will give some thought to this idea of better task-planning for all current and future data gathering. I have reluctantly, finally, undeniably accumulated enough information in life t0 confirm the idea that keeping very good records and being current at all time on an array of spreadsheets is, in fact, easier and less annoying than managing data on an as-needed basis. I have wrestled my life down to the absolute minimum in terms of reporting requirements. It will not get better than this unless I am declared incompetent and someone is assigned to manage me. So. If this is the point of all measure, then yes, it is still annoying and unproductive to keep all of my facts in a single plastic bin, and I must spend time each day staying current.

Right now, God help me, I have to take the hummingbird feeders out to the yard, as the sun will be up in a half hour. I don’t want the birds to have to wait even a minute, beating their little wings outside….freezing.

I haven’t seen the Red Baron or any of the cardinals all week. I don’t know what this means. It could just mean that I have mostly been INDOORS.

Above, the Red Baron showing off the Vaseline-coated Ant Cap on the hummer feeder in the geriatic tangerine tree that the birds and I am devoted to. This IS the bird tree. It’s very very cold outside right now… I am trying to warm the tree from inside with my thoughts of it, warm, in summer, with blossoms.

There. All five, re-hung. Ten of the fifteen minutes were spent suiting up and suiting down, activities that I prefer to minimize. Life is ideal when the same outfit suits for the garden, a sleep, and a trip to the market. I have sweaters, coats, gloves, hats, mittens everywhere. It’s absurd. If I had my bandolier made (a 2013 project) I would keep them stuffed into little cylinders in it.

At times like this, so cold and stressy for the creatures, I feel like I should hang an extra ten hummer feeders out there, but I have an idea that it isn’t sensible to create false security for anyone, even a hummingbird. I can maintain exactly this many in a healthy condition, changing them every time it rains, scrubbing them in hot water every three days in summer, bringing them in during freezes, adding to the demand column for refined white sugar. I give my time and some portion of my earnings to the cats, the birds, the hummingbirds (who may technically be birds but are well and truly in another category of movement and required actions on my part) but I can only offer them so many hours of service, so many bags of sugar, of sunflower seeds. But at times like this (it is 18 goddamned degrees F outside) I feel like running a Nectar Emergency Station in my yard.

I was thinking that the nerds should factor in hummers to their evaluation of white sugar and society; I go through a pound a month; a sugar fiend by any measure of my Safeway metrics, but actually eating none of it. I dig crunchy raw sugar or soft brown sugar or maple sugar myself.

I assume that this mass of repulsive cold is unpredictable, considering the way the goalposts keep moving on its exit. Last night was supposed to be the end of the hard freeze; this morning I see the forecast for tonight is for another night in the 20s. It’s hard to take. Every single spare warmie in my house is outside, on something. The hose bib by the pool, which blew out a ball valve in Sunday’s hard freeze, has a faux leopard throw covering it. All of my extra blankets and sheets are over the trees, the vines, the plumbing, poking stupidly above ground and climbing up outside walls. Did it never hard freeze here in the 1950s? I can’t fathom the building codes. It’s like building in a flood plain, pretending that extremes will never occur.

I didn’t plant these beautiful citrus trees, because Tucson is too cold for exposed citrus. But God, I hope they make it through this week.

I spent all of yesterday with hands in beads as well as head, making a fierce sort of Sea Serpent for Lysa, one of our crack team of editors. Everyone who worked on the book is getting a piece from it. I whipped up a Horned Bangle first, to warm up my hands. It went surprisingly quickly- after this year of Extreme Beading I can make an entire Horned Bangle in an afternoon. It’s like magic. While beading, I NetFlixed the whole first season of The Guardian, recommended to me as the Simon Baker Vehicle Ideal. It’s definitely good (Dabney Coleman is genius in it) and way better than The Mentalist, because Simon is in literally every scene, and there are no characters like Rigsby and Van Pelt. Besides, The Guardian has Farrah Fawcett (it’s an older series).

One of my favorite things about it is the way it shows Pittsburgh; it strikes me as a love poem to the city, the bridges, the Incline, the terrain, the people. I like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia a lot.

Here is the warm-up Horned Melon, made as a strap. This is the best way to size things for experiments. I’ll be feeding memory wire through a Guide Row on this one, to keep it on my wrist with no clasp. I won’t show you Lysa’s piece yet, not til it’s finished.

Horned Melon as a strap

8 thoughts on “head in beads

  1. To think I am still at the place where it took me 3 seperate evenings to do a trianle puff. If I ever hope to make a bracelet I need to get much faster, and I will!!

    • Dude, it took me six months to make a triangle puff with no errors. To make an entire Sea Monster and Horned Bangle in two days… well. You can see what’s gone into this last year. Zow.

      • I ripped out many a wonky puffed triangle – the only thing that works for me is to count out all the beads for each side and put them in little bitty piles. I’ve got it down to about 3 hours per triangle…it would probably be faster if I didn’t have to count out the beads – I am now starting to “see” the step-up – that should help.

        • Yes! Once you can see it, you are there. I also finally succeeded by counting out the side beads, and putting them in piles. I have that in the book. Great tip.

  2. OOh, I am amazed by your beading velocity… crying: I only get 7 flats squares done in a day and my shoulders shout at me (as does the physio, but milder though ;-) )
    Being a fan of Mr. Baker too myself, I had to find out about this new series. It is funny because when I saw Simon for the first time, he reminded me a bit of William Katt who acted as Perry Mason’s blond assistant – in the last series.

  3. When my hummingbirds’ nectar started to thicken with cold, I wrapped strings of Christmas lights around and around, plugged them in and the birds could still feed. When it got colder I put a parabolic heater on a ladder to ward off the freeze. It worked!

  4. I couldn’t do triangles, or anything, without screwing up until I put the step-up within the panel of regular peyote, where even I can’t miss it.

    I whipped out another 5-wing cocktail ring yesterday, going to start another today. I am obsessed!
    Keep warm!

    • Another great tip. I do that too. One of the things I mention in the book is that if you don’t like where your step-up is happening, it’s easy as hell to just needle through the beads until you are back on some kind of “plain”, where approaching buffalo are obvious.

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