Some transition and new ideas…

So, its kinda obvious that I have been doing a terrible job of keeping my website updated………

clouds-40a-the clouds where all our information is currently stored…

As technology is moving more to ‘the cloud’ with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, people are more connected – more immediately connected – than they have ever been.  You go out to eat and post a pic of your dinner.  You go on vacation and post pics of your ski trip immediately.  You play with your dog at the park, and, you get the idea…

My website has been me taking pics, optimizing them, posting them here w/ some text that has always been difficult for me to come up with because I’m not a particularly chatty person in real life.  I live pretty quietly and I don’t like to show off, so always have trouble coming up with stuff to say…

IMG_6225Truth is, I’ve had some new beads ready to post for probably two weeks. (EDIT- i just posted them above…not the best photo, but hey, there they are…) But I haven’t been able to get them photographed and posted here.  I’m not sure that I really want to list them for sale because they are my ‘return’ beads and I wouldn’t say they are my best work.  I finally FINALLY managed to get my torch back up and running at about 80% capacity.  I can make beads, although I am still not getting enough O2 delivered, but its good enough for now.  I don’t know if I will ever figure out how to solve this, w/out buying new, expensive equipment.  But I can get small beads made and I am pleased about that.

So, what am I rambling on about?  I’ve been thinking that maybe I should try to be more connected with the real world by posting more on Instagram and Pinterest and listing items for sale on Etsy, and have them all linked together.  I could do it more frequently than I do now, it wouldn’t always have to be bead-related, I wouldn’t have to yammer on or be witty, you could find me instantly on your phone, and maybe hear from me more and see more of whats going on.  It’d be pretty mundane, like I’m getting a new windshield installed tomorrow (yes, the Beetle has a busted shield from a stone and its been running across the screen and its getting replaced).  Like, the bird is on my water bottle right now, chewing up the lid and having a complete blast doing it.  Like sometimes I see weird stuff or fun stuff or even maybe make beads and post them and you could see them…

IMG_6068Olivia, being cute, but man is she a pistol…

I think as technology moves, we need to stay up to date.  I remember when I first created Blackberrybeads.com, I had a pretty taupe-cocoa colored theme with a neat font and everything was outlined in black. Here’s a blast from the past – http://www.blackberrybeads.com/archive/Frits.htm

http://www.blackberrybeads.com/archive/index.html

FRITS_Glow2-pic from 2004.  Ironically, I just found this strand in my garden tool box last week. Its been in my yard since 2006 and I guess it had fallen off the trellis and put into the box.

As HTML coding gave way to Style Sheets and things got easier for people to use (Blogger, Word Press), I lost my neat old fashioned HTML coded (by me) website and moved to this WordPress site.  Its been fine, I can’t complain, I never put all the bells and whistles on it cause I just didn’t have the time to learn them all.

HTML

out-of-date-flash-website-2014 called – they want you to get with the times, man….

But it seems as I look around at long-time beadmaker sites, they are not being updated frequently, some are years out of date, I don’t know if the folks are even still making beads.  Everyone seems to live on Facebook, and I am not a fan of Facebook (its very noisy in the bead-world and I don’t like all the commotion), so I think people just aren’t updating their lives on their sites any longer…Makes sense, really.  Most families are different than when I was a kid, and those families were different than when my Mom was a kid.  Things evolve, change, move, into new territory…

So, I will be trying out the Instagram/Pinterest thing.  You can find me on both, although I’m not very active on Instagram yet, so its kinda boring, but I do have plans to get that up and going more…here are my contact profiles:

Instagram:  Blackberrybeads

Pinterest: Donna Mehnert

I didn’t post my Twitter handle because I don’t post anything bead-related and I don’t really post anything much at all. I use it to just follow other people, mostly sports and movie-related.  So you aren’t missing anything.  If I decide to get more active on it, I’ll add my handle here for you.  You could probably figure it out, but Its not a very interesting place at the moment…heh…

Some forward movement…

I was successful in my knitting travails….I did go back and pick up an entire row of stitches, a few hundred (only missed one) and was able to rip back and get going pretty quickly again. I’ve already moved past the problem and am into the final portion of the shawl.  So that’s good news…

I haven’t had much luck w/ the generator issue. I emailed the manufacturer and their response was weak at best.  Ok then…

On another front, I’ve been doing all kinds of research to find a Doctor.  I haven’t had a proper Dr. in a very long time. I was using the small satellite clinic that was out here with very nice physician assistants who could help me with my occasional bout with bronchitis or some weird rash or what not.  But they closed a while back and I haven’t bothered to find a new Dr.  The past two years I’ve had some real issues with my right hip muscles and it hasn’t gotten better and I really really need to get this resolved.  I can’t go up and down stairs properly, my sciatic nerve will ache in the evening, I can’t stand for long periods of time due to lower back pain and my flexibility is pretty bad.  So, after literally WEEKS of researching Drs, doing all the due diligence about reviews from other patients, I finally narrowed it down and have an appt for April 1.  I’m actually really excited to get started and get this issue resolved.  I just hope I made a good choice and don’t have to start all over again.  Good lord, this was a battle…and I’m only just starting..gah.

 

New beads and bad air delivery

Jan2002_making beads 3

Early days of beadmaking on a cannister of gas Jan. 2002

So, after about a year, which I didn’t realize had really been that long, I fired up the torch and made a few beads last week.  And I say a few because all I could manage was about 5.  My air generator that I’ve been using for years and has been updated and rebuilt is just not delivering air the way it used to.  I have a backup unit that is doing the same poor job of air delivery, so I have to troubleshoot this problem.  I don’t know how long this will take, as I am not a whiz at fixing machines, and I live in the sticks where there aren’t folks who know how to do this. I had to remove the parts of the units and ship them off for rebuilding previously.  There aren’t locals who service this kind of thing.  I’ve been hunting around the internet looking for assistance and I’ll get there eventually, but its going to take some time.  Hurray?  I’m gonna make this happen.

I’ve been working on a shawl, and recently had a minor accident with it – it was a rather comedy of errors with stitches falling off, me not noticing, a stitch marker falling off and dissapearing (still haven’t found it), and now I cannot get the thing fixed.  I will prob have to pick up an entire row (hundreds of stitches long) to then rip out the yarn and get back to it.  I’m gonna wait on that for a bit…

Even with these setbacks, I’m not giving up.  I’m just getting there slowly.  But I’ll get there.

Happy Valentine’s Day

This year I’m spending VDay alone, while Brian is in Dallas at a convention…I don’t mind, really, i am used to it and I like having the house to myself and do whatever I want…

So, I poked around for some fun Valentine-related Gifs for ya’ll to enjoy…

To kick things off, Here’s Tina and Jimmy Pesto doing a little dance –

image1Ralph is sad cause no one is giving him a Valentine…

image2Here I am, telling Brian ALL the things I want for my birthday…the size and shape of them…send as many as you can…or just give me 10’s and 20’s…

image4Linus is obviously finding those awful chocolates with the pink filling…blech…

image3Sally is always enamored with Linus…

image5I don’t know if this map is real or not, but it made me laugh.  Us big-ass folks in Texas looking for plus-sized lingerie for Valentine’s Day…And South Dakota still goes to JC Penney for portraits?  Cheap Sex Toys, Tennessee we are lookin’ at you…At least Rhode Island gets what its all about…

image6

Have a great day and treat yourself if you have no one to treat you…i’m going shopping!

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Knitting projects in action

IMG_5984Knitty Spring 2010 “Summit” shawl

There isn’t much exciting going on here, I’ve just been knitting and trying not to get a suntan in the 70 degree weather.  Can’t complain, but I do wish it was more ‘wintery’ here.  We get enough summer that we don’t need 12 months of it.  Still, we aren’t shoveling, so there’s that…

IMG_5982“Daybreak” Shawl from Stephen West

I’ve been knitting more than anything else right now.  I’ve got like 8 projects working from shawls, fingerless mitts, socks, and I’m not sure what else I’ve got on there.  A few of each, I think…still, i do enjoy it and I’m actually getting some headway on some of the pieces.  I do actually finish stuff, even if I don’t get much opportunity to wear any of it.  Its kinda a funny hobby to have where its hot.  And yet, here we are…

IMG_5985Fingerless mitts in progress and yes, that is Amelie to the left of my legs and her white hair pretty much everywhere.  Cats…I love em!

Will I ever get back on the torch? Oh yes…I am not sure when but everything is still setup, I just need to dust off a few tools.  I’ll get there, tho…I guess i just need to get some inspiration. I’ve been looking thru old tutorials and seeing if anything looks interesting…and I’m seeing a few things….I’ll get there…

IMG_5987More fingerless mitts, I’m kinda making these up on my own…simple 1×1 rib, and a sock pattern that I’ve incorporated.

Aradena