Mad Hats, anyone?

Well…this weekend had a spot of excitement in it.

With the kids out on their camping/festival tour in MN (they managed to abandon the three pretties I sent along with them with much stealth), and the SQO over at his Aunt’s home (he still helps her keep her house in order) – I had the weekend all to myself.

I love it when the apartment is quiet.

Jump Rings

So quiet you can hear a jump ring drop…

So, I put together a couple of new chainmaille things by playing with an older pattern:  the Hourglass.  I’ll have to create another post and show off some of the results.

Streamed some stuff on Netflix and Amazon.  GOT and the Great British Baking Show.  I may have also squeezed in a bit of Doctor Strange, but I’ve been sleeping to him, so not sure if that counts.

Did some kitchen stuff.

Got the food shopping thing done.

Sunday – I’m kinda flitting through that dastardly book of Faces – seeing what everyone else is up to, and I catch this:

 

COME HAVE TEA WITH ME

HAYDEN PARK, WAUKESHA

 

 

I’ve never been one to get sucked into the MLM stuff.  Remember Tupperware?  How about the Lisa Sophia Jewelry stuff.  Or Amway?  I managed to dodge many such home-party buy-shit bullets throughout my adult life…

Probably because most of my friends know that, while I’m usually an easy-going person, I have the uncanny ability to go from laid-back and personable to the-monster-bitch-from-the-deepest-pits-of-hell in a fraction of a second when confronted by a pushy salesperson.

I generally suggest used-car salespersons have a therapy appointment all lined up before engaging with me…

So I went to this tea party yesterday, determined to be on my BEST behavior…because I got to see KC for the first time in AGES!

The afternoon was fine, if a bit boring for me.  I brought along rings and marbles and pliers, and listened to the ladies gathered around the picnic tables yammer while they sipped iced tea.  I did briefly explain to all how I’m a crafter, and somewhat quiet by nature, and they were actually happy they could safely exclude me *the outsider* from their discussions about how to generate more parties, the catalog, the home office, the back-stabbing that is evident with some of the individual salespersons, the incentive program…and all the different teas available and how they taste.

KC’s GPS unit totally let her down.  Not only was she fashionably late, she also got lost 3 separate times in the boroughs of Waukesha.  Not that I blame her – this town had someone on some serious hallucinogens design their streets!

And I gotta admit – some of their iced teas were petty tasty, even without added sugar and junk.  I deftly avoided the cookies and cakes and stuff offered with the teas, because…yaknow….CARBS.

And, I got to spend time with a dear old friend whom I haven’t shared the same airspace with for a LONG time.

Me and KC 7.30.17

To make the afternoon all that sweeter – the lady doing the presenting (who was NOT one of the aforementioned pushy ‘used-car-type’ salespersons) gave away some of the stuff she didn’t really use anymore – so I got to bring home this cute little bright orange teapot.

Steeped Tea Teapot

He, Octopot, and my original White Boy are getting acquainted.

 

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Art Abandonment Project – 5th Drop

Art Abandonment logo

Now that I’ve got my new cards for the Art Abandonment project – I like dropping stuff a lot more.  This time, I’m taking advantage of the kids going far and wide on their summer camping/festival runs, and I’ve sent a couple of things along with them to drop.

They have three:

Drop weekend of 7.27-7.30.17

These little pretties will be abandoned in Harmony Park, MN, as part of the Campfire Flow Fest going on the weekend of 7.28-7.30.17.  I don’t know where the kids are going to do the specific drops, but S has said she plans on doing the ‘deed’ early in the weekend, to allow plenty of time for my little pretties to be found.

Now…I can’t post pics of the actual drops yet, because they haven’t happened – but I’ll give you a little background on my pretties.

 

Chainmaille 8 point Byzantine Star Abandoned 7.27-7.30.17

Yes, it’s another Byzantine Star pendant.  These are happy little charms – they’re some of the first forms I was able to make when I started chainmailling, and I just love to make ’em.  This is another 8 point star, in mixed copper & aluminum.

Chainmaille Whirly Bird Abandoned 7.27-7.30.17

Whirlys also feature on my favorite things to make list.  This one has a reddish marble in it, from S’s big bag of antique marbles.  I added some red aluminum connector rings to accentuate the marble’s color.  These are my favorite little fiddle toys.  Because the cage is slightly loose around the marble (but not too loose to allow the marble to slip out) it can roll around in your hand or between your fingers.  The form is fluid and alive in your hand or wherever you play with it.

Chainmaille Celtic Pendant Abandoned 7.27-7.30.17

And lastly – the 4 point Celtic Star.  This little guy was an early experiment in Maille.  I don’t think I’ve ever made another.  I do remember looking over the piece as I dragged it out of the storage case, and saying “Man…that’s a bad closure.  Oooooh – there’s another one…”  So pliers were applied to fix my ‘student’ closures before tucking him in his bag.  I might have to revisit making these stars, as they do look nice, and were fairly easy to put together.

 

Wish the kids stealth as they drop these pieces for the festies to find and cherish.

A Walk on the Wild -Powder Room- side…

I’ve pretty much solidified my walking route home…when I get to walk, that is.  We’ve had a lot of wet weather so far this summer.  Last week, I got 2 clear days to walk – the remainder of the week had rolling storms consigning me to watching the world through streaky windshield wipers.  This week was a bit better…but I think my demon-weather summoning fat cells are continuing their spell work.

On the (not) plus (-size anymore) side – I had to make another journey to Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul for smaller pants – the 16’s finally got to the point of ‘I don’t need to unbutton the fly to take them off.’  I stocked up on some funky shirts while I was there.  I may actually LIKE going clothing shopping again.  Three cheeses for Ketosis!!!

Hip Hip Havarti!!!!  Hip Hip Havarti!!!!  Hip Hip Havarti!!!!

Some of my more dirt-minded (NOT dirtY-minded…watch the difference :D) co-workers have started to lament on the status of their gardens.  Vegetable gardens all over the area are starting to look pretty sad with all the moisture coming down.  Plants need sunshine as well as water, and they’re starting to REALLY need a few hot, sunny days.

I hope things turn around, for Erica’s Garden’s Sake.  Cucumbers should be cherished!

Aaaaaanywaaaaaaaaaaay….

Today’s walk started out pretty normal.  Some sunshine peeking through the clouds, a bit of a breeze, a selection of my favorite tunes queued up on my iPod.

Through the industrial leg.  Check.

Past the Greenspace.  Check.

Homage given to the Fox River….Check.

It’s that witchy thing, where I bow to the river.  Just go with it…

Down into Bethesda Park….check.

Now wait a minute…what’s THAT?

20170620_165529

No…not that.  THAT…

20170620_165540

There…on the light post…

 

OH MY GAWD!

20170620_165549

 

It can’t be…but it is…

That innocent little cup from work…the one that broke containment a couple of months ago…is now stalking me on my walking route!

1re73z

Walkabout Down Memory Lane

I may have mentioned I started walking to work this spring…

 

Ok…so I’m kinda obsessed, and ya’ll get to share.

This morning, I was passed by a commuter on roller skates.  She was a middle-aged lady, wore a fairly standard backpack, and sported a bright pink helmet with matching knee and elbow pads.  The wheels on her skates may have matched the bright pink of the rest of her ensemble, but had been darkened slightly from use.

She was also on the street – which is a hell of a lot smoother than the sidewalk I was currently pounding.

I had to giggle just a bit – but not loud enough to put her off her stride.  I’d hate to cause an accident with my rather hard-to-explain mirth.

See – I did the roller skate thing a long time ago.

Remember wavy

Look out!!!! It’s the ‘memory shimmer!’

I officially became a teenager in the tender year of 1980.

but I’m still 29 thanks to ‘female’ maths

In this year of big, permed hair, screen-printed satin jackets, and eye-blistering neon-colors – one of the biggest social gathering places for those newly minted teens was the skating rink.  There, you could blithely roll your heart out on a stretch of perfectly level, perfectly straight, and perfectly clean poured concrete, while the punk music blasted out of the speakers and stage lights flared, spun and flickered across the painted expanse.

All your classmates were there, too…doing what teens do worst – attempting to flirt with the opposite sex.

Well, except for me.  I was more interested in actually skating.

At this age, I didn’t yet understand the biological Human directive to form pair bonds…

I had a pair of rink skates.  Not the little metal numbers you had to screw onto your shoes (although I owned a pair or two of those, too…) – but a real pair of above-the-ankle leather boots with the wheel assembly permanently bolted onto the hard sole.  I dressed ’em up with hot pink wheels, neon-purple, sparkly laces, and pink/purple puffballs strapped to the toes.  I even had a bright blue satin jacket with the rink’s name screen-printed across the back.

The rink was within walking distance of home, and I went there every chance I could.  Not that there were a lot of chances in 1980.  The parent’s divorce was final, and Mom had moved back to the ‘ancestral’ part of Wisconsin with my and my little brother in tow to work a 2nd shift job in a nursing home.  Guess who got the responsibility of making sure I and my little 10 year old brother had food at night?

I can still wield a can opener with the best Olympiads!

So 1980 was memorable, if only for the year I got my first ‘real’ skates, learned how to heat up cans of food, and realized I had little awareness of or interest in the whole boy/girl attraction thing.

I loved my skates though…they represented freedom & frivolity!

Now…I’m just gonna fast-forward through the remains of the 80’s.  The fashion trends are starting to make a comeback, anyway, so why remember when I can just look out a window and see the same stuff on the street?

Yea!!!  I’m 20.  Out on my own for the first time eveah!  Just me and my wits against the rest of society!

Damn…this sucks.  

A broken-down car, some mother-fu*k3#! stealing my bicycle, less than $50 in the bank, a tiny efficiency apartment with a lecherous landlord, a job waiting tables in an extremely depressed segment of the US…

Yea…I had to walk to work.  But, unlike now…back then I resented having to do it.  I’d rather have had wheels.

Can you see where I’m going with this?  I HAD wheels – my old trusty freedom-loving skates.  And, unlike the bicycle that went off on its own, the skates I could bring inside the restaurant for protection against the tender mercies of the more ‘unsavory’ elements in town.

So I skated to work once…

 

 

10796452

ONCE!

It didn’t go so well.  First…I was out of practice.  Second, the sidewalks had cracks and pits and ankle-breaking perils (sticks, small stones, various debris) randomly scattered about.  Third – curbs.  Do you know how difficult it is to step off a curb with wheels strapped to your feet???

Lastly – there was traffic.  Both other pedestrians and actual cars.

There were no cars in the Skate-Rink…and everyone rolled the same direction.

Welcome to real life!

 

I did survive that trip in to work…sweaty and shaking but intact and unbroken.  At the end of that shift serving grouchy people burgers & fries…mopping up various spills and cleaning tables that the public left incredibly messy – I didn’t even bother lacing the skates back on.  I just looped ’em over my shoulders and walked back to my little shelter.

I don’t think I ever wore my skates again.

 

e0cada17921831a6ab853ed1c29d533f-pompoms-skating-rink

Somebody Order an Ark?

We had a weather-event in Wisconsin last week Tuesday.  It got wet.

Really wet.

Really, REALLY wet.

Dinosaur weather

I remember 2 ladies at work not able to make it in, as they were flooded in.  I remember one lady who managed to get TO work getting a news push, citing the dam that was 2 blocks from her house had failed.

(for the record…everyone ended up safe, as sane as before, and semi-dry…)

I remember having to drive to work, as I don’t own a wetsuit or flippers.

I also remember walking to work the day after the stormage pounded through…because I had to detour.  Bethesda park’s walking path was flooded.  Now…I could get ON the footbridge spanning the Fox River…but I couldn’t get off it.

Here’s a couple of shots

 

This one, taken earlier in the spring, the Fox River is firmly in it’s banks, you can see the walking path winding all the way across the park.20170508_165502

Here’s the shot from the same vantage point.  You can see where the water has totally covered most the path.

Flood July 2017 Bethesda Park

This morning when I once again donned my walking shoes and set off…I thought I’d at least see where the water now was in the park, and see if I could now get through.

Almost success!

I can now get onto the park grounds from the footbridge, but I have to go straight up the hill instead of the walking path down by the river.  I call it ‘Taking the High Road.’

I’ll take it whatever way I can get it 😀

noahs-ark

No (ah) Ark Required!

Art Abandonment Project – 4th drop

Art Abandonment logo

It’s been a while since I did a bit of artwork dropping.  To be perfectly honest, I was not very satisfied with the tags I had (pulled from the Art Abandonment files, printed on plain white paper, and cut to size) and this restricted my ‘will’ to package things up.

But…my workbench is overflowing with whirlys, stars, and some sizable strips of European 4 in 1 left over from one of the dragon wing design attempts.  It was time to clear some of the chaos.

I did find some new tags.  On Vista Print (it’s on online print shop, they have a lot of different stock designs for business stationary) I found a business card background I was extremely pleased with…and I could add in whatever text I wanted.  You can see the results in the drop pictures below.

Once I got these in my hot little hands…I could barely wait to package stuff up.  YEA – clearing clutter AND getting back into freely distributing a little bit o beauty into the world.

 

Life is good.

All 4 of these were abandoned on July 16, 2017, in the Downtown Waukesha area – after 7pm, as I did a bit of walkabout.

The whirly bird was abandoned by my most favorite fountain.  This is the water feature I was first drawn to when I moved to Waukesha…it had a wonderful energy as it was situated right on top of the small dam.  And, although it still has a fantastic energy…it no longer pours that energy out to me.  I’ve moved further downstream.

The 8 pointed Byzantine Star was abandoned at this point on the Fox River Walkway.  I found some old, rusty staples in this wood beam…one came out easily, was re-inserted equally easy, and allowed me to hang my little package for max visibility.

The 6 pointed Byzantine star found it’s temporary abandonment resting place smack dab in the middle of our very artsy downtown area.  This is some kind of electrical or grid-service box.  The gallery which shares the sidewalk with this has painted it with a downtown scene to jazz it up.  This is one of the biggest reasons I love the downtown area.  After I did and photographed this drop, I waited for the crosswalk light to change, then passed a pair of uniformed officers heading the opposite way.  I can only hope this star was picked up by one of ’em.  I can’t think of anything more fitting than a star for a cop 😀

And, finally, the European 4 in 1 key-chain.  I’ve been sitting on this (and a 2nd, which I haven’t converted yet) patch of chainmaille for a bit.  It was one of the failed wing attempts for the dragon project.  It consists of around 400 rings.  Up until this point, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the patches…I just knew I didn’t want to unweave ’em.  So I stitched up one end and added a short length of chain to attach to a key ring.  And…because all this walking and abandoning is hard work…I stopped at the little sweets place downtown for some sugar free chocolate gelato.

 

Hope my little twiddles brought a smile to the face of the lucky finders!

The Completion of the Dragon Project

I’ve done it.

Really done it.

No more experimentation.  No more half-realized wing patterns.  No more going to bed at night dreaming of chainmaille weaves and rings and toes.

I have a fully upright, free-standing chainmaille dragon that screams D.R.A.G.O.N.

Just look at him:

Chainmaille Dragon Front side

I’m absurdly pleased with my little creation…and although he doesn’t actually fly or growl or toast mine enemies to a golden brown, I’m claiming the title of ‘Mother of Dragons.’

Daenerys – eat your heart out.  Mine isN’T CGI.

Ok…I’ll admit to being a Game of Thrones fan.  The new season starts on SUNDAY!