Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lights Are On

I love the lights of the holiday season!  When I lived in Manhattan, there was a street near where I lived on the upper east side where all of the trees were covered with warm white lights.  I used to make sure I took that route home after work.

To bring the holiday warmth into my own home, I decided get these lights that come in mesh form.  I found them at Target.  My terrace is about 16 feet long, so I got two 4' X 8' sheets of multicolored lights.  There are so many choices these days.  Bulb size, color, led, etc.  I had the faux evergreen wreath with white lights which I had used that last year, twisting it around the top of the terrace rail.  This year, I even got a timer!  You know what I used to attach the lights to the terrace?  Arts and Crafts pipe cleaners!  A bag for basically one dollar.  I was looking for a roll of twist tie wire, but couldn't find one.  The pipe cleaners worked like a charm.  You can see them in the following picture.  I thought it was a genius idea, until I told my sister I couldn't find the twist ties and asked her what she thought I used and she guessed it right away... oh well.

The last two years I put up my pre-lit 7.5 foot high faux tree without any other adornment.  I figured since it didn't have any ornaments, nobody could rightly call it a Christmas tree, which it's not.  But I decided I don't care anymore what anyone thinks.  The darn thing is for me to enjoy!  After I grabbed the lights for the terrace, I was wandering around in the holiday decoration section and I happened to spy these crystal clear acrylic gem looking "ornaments".  That did it!  I held out for two years and then I caved.  Another chance to put bling up, are you kidding me?!  Okay, you don't have to twist my arm.  Then I happened to be in Rite Aid looking through every aisle because I was enjoying looking at everything and then I saw them.  The perfect complement to the clear crystal drops, clear acrylic snowflakes!  I LOVE SNOWFLAKES!  I kind of walked out of Target saying to myself, maybe I'll return the ornaments.  But after seeing the snowflakes, the deal was pretty much sealed.  I will say that I still kept is simple.  I could have gone crazy with the ornaments.

See how they pick up the lights from the tree!  Pretty!  They glow and when the tree isn't lit, they shine in the daylight.  I was debating on whether or not to put up a tree topper.  My ceilings are 8 feet and the tree is 7.5 feet.  I couldn't find anything I liked in the size I needed.  Surprise, surprise, I am going to make my own.  I am going to glue three of the clear snowflakes together so that it is 3D and then slip that over a branch at the top. The snowflakes pick up the lights up there and glow.

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Blue, The Bold and The Beautiful

Dramatic, just like a good soap opera, is the bold beautiful blue seed bead ring I recently added to my growing collection.  I can't help it! I love jewelry and I love making things.  It's either a recipe for disaster or success.  I got my first order for a replica of the tanzanite crystal ring posted earlier, despite the fact that I wasn't intending on starting a business.  Either way, it remains to be seen. Though, I can tell you for certain, that more rings will be forthcoming.  I'm already in the planning stages.  Besides, I have to keep you entertained!  Bold blue seed beads, surrounding a large oval cz stone mounted in the east to west orientation.  I was going for a domed effect with this one.  What do you think?

Another statement ring!  It says, look at me, I'm very sparkly!

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Knitting Becomes Obsession

Not only do I like knitting, once I get started, I actually crave it and go through withdrawal when I'm not able to do it.  Can anyone relate?  I have been knitting on the train to and from and I think it really annoys some people, while others are curious.  It's kind of amusing.  I try to be considerate when someone sits right next to me on the train and I am knitting, but I have to do it!  I only knit on circular needles which cuts down tremendously on the movement.  But frankly, it's better than sitting next to someone reading the newspaper.  Oh well, people will get over it or go sit somewhere else.

I finished my "so cozy warmer."  I was having size issues and also with a cast on row that was cast on a little too tight.  The trick was taking out my Joy Mangano's trusty handheld small steamer and blocking the warmer.  For those of you not familiar with knitting, a cast on row is the first row of a knitting piece and blocking is a process for shaping or smoothing a piece into the final product.  I like to use steam for my blocking but others wet their knitting pieces.  To explain in more detail: when I knit a scarf, the edges often curl and I block it  to make the edges flat.  This is done by pinning down the scarf and especially the curled edges on cardboard or something similar. The next step is steaming the straightened out scarf and then letting it air dry.  The other good thing about blocking is that it can help with accidents or mistakes.  What I mean by that is:  knitted pieces usually have a little stretch that can be played with to make a piece bigger or even smaller depending on what you need it to do.  Blocking can help, but it can't fix a glaring mistake.  The process of blocking helped make my warmer a little bigger when it was a little small.  I wouldn't recommend relying on blocking though.  Measure, measure, measure!

I am almost done with my circular/eternity scarf and I am almost done making a neck warmer.  The neck warmer is really just a 14 inch long tube that fits over your head.  You can fold it in different ways or just scrunch it down your neck.  The neck warmer is black with a shimmer to it.  Here's a photo, though it doesn't really show well.  

The next knitting project I want to try to tackle, if I succeed, will be the most difficult project I've done yet.  I found a really cool pattern for a sweater vest.  I'm only at the fact finding stage for that one, but hope to have something to show you soon.

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Raspberry Swirl

Adding to the collection of seed bead rings, is one of my recent creations that I call: Raspberry Swirl.  How do you make a raspberry swirl? First you take a purple turquoise pear shaped stone and then you surround it by tiny raspberry seed beads!  Doesn't my raspberry swirl look delicious?  Raspberry swirl is the title of a Tori Amos song, so I must give credit to her (though the song has nothing to do with the design). 

You have to see it with flash and without - so here you go:

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Magnetic Personality

Magnetically speaking, my new nail polish is "interesting" and decidedly cool.  Who decided?  I did.  Made by Sinful Colors, look what new effects are being made for nail polish wearers.  Goodbye to the old boring plain flat nail polish.  Now we have frost, glitter, crackling, magnetized, dry nail polish stickers, gel, uv gel and much more.  What will they think of next!

This starburst look is achieved by applying the nail polish, which by the way looks completely normal and ordinary, and then taking the attached magnetic and hovering over the nail for a few short seconds.  Cool huh?  They almost have a 3D effect in person.  Here's the view before I cleaned up the edges of my self-manicure.

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ying and Yang

I hope you guys aren't getting bored with my seed bead rings because I've been on a roll!  Here are two more lovelies!  I call them my Ying and Yang rings and I think it's easy to see why... You think it would be too much if I wore them at the same time?  Just kidding.

This time I decided instead of using all tiny seed beads, I would try using normal beads.  I think they are cool.  The middle stones are druzy quartz with an A/B finish (rainbow).  The druzy stones aren't flat or rather even on top, they have dimension to them. Druzy quartz is big these days.  Am I happening or what?


Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pure As The Driven Snow

The Nor'easter that came our way last week, brought with it a lot more snow than I had expected.   The snow was light and fluffy.  I got so excited that I had to take some pictures.  I was hoping to capture some snowflakes with the camera but even though I didn't get perfect little snowflakes, I did get some really cool shots of snow crystals.

Not bad for a Canon point and shoot, eh?  I think this calls for another haiku!

Twist and drift and fall
Tiny crystals connecting
White cold and perfect
So the next day, there was snow all over the place and the fall leaves were falling from the sky onto the white snow.  I wanted to stop and take a picture along the way, but I was rushing to get to the train station.  The snow covered trees still had green leaves on them.  Now that's something you don't see every day!

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Opposites Attract

On the color wheel orange and blue are complementary colors which is another way to say they are opposite each other on the wheel.  As we all know, opposites attract and happen to look fantastic together.  Case in point, my carnelian (orange) and turquoise (blue) seed bead rings!


The only disappointing thing about these rings is that orange and turquoise aren't really winter colors!  But, have no doubt, they will be walking the town with me when spring peaks it's head out of the snow and maybe before!
Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Tiny Miracle

When it turned from summer to fall, my pretty flowers on my terrace slowly faded away.  While I waited for everything to dry out, as it is easier to cleanup when everything is dry, a tiny little spider came and setup camp in my flower box.  I only know this, because one sunny morning, I walked out on my terrace to check the temperature and my eye was caught by the glimmer of sunlight reflecting off the almost imperceptible silken threads of a near perfect spider web.

Unfortunately, the spider was evicted shortly thereafter and the spider web was put into a garbage bag along with the rest of it.  Don't worry, I made sure the spider got away before the demolition began.  This story inspired a haiku poem:

O little spider
What a miracle you are
Spinning worlds of silk
Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fishnet Nails

All of a sudden, everywhere I look, I see new and fabulous nail stickers being made by many of the beauty companies.  I, having an apparent addiction to nail polish, am over the moon with the new styles.  A running theme this season, is fishnet.

Loreal is making some really cool nail stickers.  I found one called The Wise Mystic which is a project runway limited edition and here's what it looks like:

As you can see, you can wear some of these over colored nail polish because some designs have backgrounds that are transparent. 
Here's another one from Loreal called Razzle Be Dazzle.
How about these? - Called Fishnet by Fright Night Nail Wraps.
And I can't wait to try these - from Loreal and called Bling Addict.  Perfect name for me!
What fun these are!  I love innovation! Nail stickers can be a little difficult to put on well, but they are worth the patience and effort.  The Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips are still much easier to put on.  They are really like putting on nail polish versus the stickers which are thicker and harder.  It's hard to describe.  I wish Sally Hansen would come out with more cool designs.  I don't happen to like most of the ones they have out on the market.  What a shame!
Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Though this Halloween may not be the happiest of occasions given the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, I still wanted to evoke the spirit of the Halloween night.
See ghoulish images I've made with my Halloween decorations.

Hope you have a Spooky Halloween but in a good way!
My best to you and your families during this difficult time.
Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Curiouser And Curiouser.

As a blogger, I want to know if anyone is even remotely interested in my blog or if anyone is even looking at it.  Funny thing though, my blog titled "RedRum, RedRum" in which I discuss my red bedroom, happens to be the number one most viewed post out of the total 46 posts I've written so far.  I don't know if it is because people are searching images and that leads them to my post.  I bet they are searching for "RedRum" from the movie "The Shining" with Jack Nickolson.  I don't know which is the truth, but I sure do find it curious!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Itch To Knit or Tis The Season To Be Knitting, Fa La La...

It's that time of the year again.  Like clockwork, when the weather starts to cool and I get bored of playing solitaire and checking facebook on the daily train commute which I did all the hot summer long, I get the itch to start knitting again. 

I know I always say the same thing - "if you know me by now...."   In this circumstance, I am going to say: if you know me by now, you will know that I can't just work on one knitting project.  Of course, I have to be working on two things at the same time. 

It all started when I was in Michael's looking for something and they had their Halloween decorations out so I was walking around the store.  I ended up in the yarn section and saw this really cool multi textured, multi colored yarn that I had to have.  The yarn is called Red Heart Boutique Magical and the two colors that I couldn't live without are called Top Hat and Fortune Teller.  Here is Fortune Teller which is mostly purple with red highlights and more.  I am making an eternity scarf or a circular scarf that I will be able to wrap around my neck a few times.  I'm almost done! 

See the picture on the yarn wrapper in the first pic? Red Heart calls it the "So Cozy Warmer" and it's a pull on wrap. I am making it in the Top Hat color which is black with all kinds of colors - a picture would illustrate it better - see below.  I followed the directions and when I was finished with the piece, I decided it was too short, so I'm working on making it longer.

I hope to finish this soon, though I came across a little problem.  I knitted another piece and I used the mattress stitch to put the two pieces together with an invisible seam.  It looked really great, but when I tried it on, I realized that the starting row of the original piece (which is the bottom of the original wrap) is too tight.  So I had to take out the mattress stitch (such a waste of good knitting time) and I think I'm going to try to stretch the yarn out with steam.  Otherwise, I might have to either leave it short and use it as a cowl neck scarf or I don't know....  It looks pretty cool the way it is, but I really want it to be longer.  Plus, it's a waste of yarn if I don't use the second piece.  I'm sure I could do something with it though.

Here are some fun close-up yarn pics:


Thank for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hemming And Hawing.

My first time hemming dress pants was today and I have to say it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be.  My pants are so long and they drag on the ground and wear out and even rip.  It's a sad state of things.  I have been meaning to take them to the dry cleaners and have them taken up, but I have a lot of pants and that would cost a lot!  I have this pretty nice sewing machine with all sorts of different chotchkies to do various stitches.  I figured it's time to learn how to do it myself!  If I can make a handbag, I can hem pants, darn it!  Turns out, it worked out that way.

If it were not for the internet and youtube, it would have taken a lot longer.  I'm a visualist and I needed to see how the pant hem gets folded for the blind hem stitch.  It's hard to visualize from the illustrations I've seen.  I found this great tutorital for that part of the process: Niler Taylor.  Thank you Niler! 

Anyway, there are a lot of videos on youtube that show you how to measure and cut and then hem but I had to get bits and pieces from various places to do it the way I wanted. 

Here's what I did.  I put the pants on and with shoes I normally wear them with and folded the hem under and pinned.  I readjusted to make sure they weren't too short (that would be bad).  I took the pants off, turned it inside out and measured the pinned material.  Once I found a measurement that looked good, in my case it was 3 inches folded up, I ironed to create the new bottom crease (do not iron with pins in).  Then I put the pants back on with the shoes for another spot check.  Once happy with the length, I again turned it inside out. Please measure and check multiple times!!!! I then cut the old crease to take off excess material.  Now I used my sewing machine to seam the just cut raw edge using the seam/overcast stitch.  That stitch makes a nice edge.  The next step is to fold the new crease and pin.  If you watch the video I mentioned earlier, you will see that the pins are pinned vertically instead of the usual horizontal pinning (like when pinning two pieces together). The vertical pinning makes the next step very easy.  Taking the folded and pinned crease you just worked on, fold the pinned material inward so the vertical pin heads stick up and the seemed/overcasted edge is on the inside ring of the pant leg and sticking up underneath the pinned material.  See video.  Once, I folded the inside-out-newly-creased-pinned pant hem, I then used the blind hem stitch on my sewing machine to create the blind hem.  The video does a great job of illustrating all of this much better than I ever could.  After sewing all of my pant legs with the blind hem stitch, I turned the pants right side out and ironed the new hem.  Of course, I tried the pants on again with shoes just to make sure everything went okay.  Happily, my first round of hemming went swimmingly! 

Close up of inside, newly cut and newly seemed/overcasted edge connected to outside by blind hem stitch.  Really good view of the seem/overcasting but not so great view for blind hem stitch.

 Here is what the blind hem stitch looks like on the outside of the pants

In addition to shortening my pants, I had another pair that had a cuff at the bottom that I used to get my high heel caught in all the time and almost killed myself a few times.  That cuff had to go.  Turning cuffed pants into uncuffed pants is really easy if you don't have to shorten them.  I left the original hem alone and just undid the cuff.  Then I ironed out the crease as much as possible so that I could then fold the cuff part inside the pant and iron the same crease but just going inside instead of the original oustide fold.  Once that was done, I used the blind hem stitch.  I did not have to use the seam/overcast stitch because the orginal cuff edge was already finished and flat. After sewing the blind hem, I ironed right side out again.  Worked like a charm! 

These were the cuff pants and now as you can see are not cuffed!  Blind hem stitch doesn't really show on the outside.  See here.

 I feel like I have new pants now.  I have a whole lot more to do but now I know how to do it so it should go faster!  Just remember these methods are more for dress pants than for hemming jeans.  But you can find youtube videos on that too!

I hope this post helps give the bigger picture of what to do.  Happy hemming and hawing!

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Third Times A Charm.

Or another ring!  As I've said before, I'm a collector of things and one is usually just not enough for me.  I guess it could be worse.  In the meantime though, I thoroughly enjoy all of my pretty things. And as you can surmise, I especially enjoy making pretty things.

During my hunt for seed beading supplies, I happened upon this spectacular crystal rhinestone in a tanzanite color.  Oh how it sparkles!  And it's fairly large, okay, it's huge!  That was it, I knew I had to make another seed bead ring.  I absolutely love it!

Here it is along the way to being fabulous.

Here it is as: Fabulousity!

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!