Welcome to ChrisBeads!

A Blog about Bead addiction, crochet, knitting and life in general.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Our worm farm has become a casualty of the extreme weather conditions. Three days of 45 deg C heat has finished them off. My Dad rang on Thursday to say his worm farm had succumbed and when I checked ours it looked OK. This morning though, it was a different story. Despite being in the shade and having water poured over it a few times a day, it looks as though a lot of them are now nothing more than shrivelled up strips.

Our garden is not much better. Everything has suffered terribly and the front lawn is brown crispies. We are trying to save our trees by using the grey water from the laundry on them but some of them look very sick. Many of the trees have survived the last 30 years, but the drought over the past three years is starting to take its toll. We have had water restrictions on garden watering for the past three years and only the toughest plants are holding on.

On a more positive note, it seems as though we have managed to relocate the beehive (see earlier post). It was almost a catastrophe as about two weeks ago we went out to see how the bees were weathering the heat, to find that one side of the nest had melted and fallen to the ground. There were many baby bees just hatching from the fallen piece and it was quite upsetting to see them trying to fly when they didn't quite seem ready for it.

The bee keeper came over the next day and cut the original hive out of the tree and put it into the wooden hive. He also put the melted piece in as well. For a couple of nerve wracking days, the bees acted very strangely, swarming on the outside of the drums which the hive is sitting. It may be that half of the hive departed to foreign parts, but we do seem to have a lot of bees still flying in and out and they appear to have weathered the heat reasonably well. We have caught them drinking from the saucers of some of our pot plants, so now we have a dish of water on top of the hive as well.

This photo is a view of the hibiscus tree in which the original hive was hanging. The poor tree now has many shrivelled flowers (purple blobs) and leaves. If you look closely above the hive, you may be able to see a couple of very small pieces of the hive which still cling to the tree.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's too Hot today!

We are in the middle of a heat wave - four days of more than 41 deg C. Yesterday was more than 43 (110 deg F). My studio is the only room with an airconditioner, so I have been doing some beading to keep cool. No piccies yet, but hopefully later today I will have a finished piece.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wheel of Fortune

After checking out Beadwright's blog and seeing her card I thought I would take the test myself. If you scroll down to the bottom of this blog you will see the result. I do feel that I have had a fortunate life - here I am, a 17 year survivor of cancer and if that's not fortunate, what is? I have been lucky enough to see my children grow up and a grand child's arrival.

My parents and parents-in-law are still with us to savour the moment as well. Mum and Dad are a very fit 81 and 83 respectively and you can see from the photo taken at Mum's recent birthday that they certainly don't look like they are in their 80s. Hope I can be so lucky.

We have had our reverses of fortune though, not the least of which is the economic downturn currently effecting everyone around the globe. It has put some of our plans on hold, but I will continue to hope for an upward swing soon.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Holiday Reading

This weekend is a holiday weekend for us here in Australia. Monday is Australia Day, marking the arrival of European settlers way back in 1788. We are taking it easy, it is a lovely sunny 24 deg C, my hubby is watching the Australian Open Tennis on TV and I have been reading a most amazing book. I started reading it yesterday afternoon and could barely put it down last night when our guests arrived for a barbecue. Today I have read it until my eyes are popping out, but I have just finished it, amidst tears and laughter and a feeling of great empathy for the characters. The book is "Belly Dancing for Beginners" by Liz Byrski. It is the story of two fifty something baby boomer women and a third who is their belly dancing teacher. I think it speaks volumes about women and the lives of my generation, and especially about revealing who you really are. Being a fifty something granny who has lived through the same type of upbringing as the characters in this novel, I found it heartwarming and also at times heart wrenching. I would love to see a film based on this story. It would make a really good movie.
Strangely enough when I saw the book in the library it was just after reading Liz Byrski's newest book, "Trip of A Lifetime" which also made quite an impact - enough that I was looking for more books by this author when I got to the library.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Class at the Weekend

Last weekend was the BSV Bead Retreat down at Mt Eliza which is a lovely beach side spot and the weather was beautiful. Everyone seemed to have a great time, good company, good food and interesting classes with congenial company. My Glam Ring class went off nicely on Sunday morning and almost everyone finished their rings, with one talented person finishing two! The one pictured is a red and black version with drops around the outside.
The wooden bead "bracelet" which I made as a teaching aid was also very popular, with several people asking me for the pattern! I will have to rejig the instructions so that it is a bracelet as well! See the bracelet pictured in a previous blog post.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Look ChrisBeads Website

Decided it was time to give my website a new look, so today I have been struggling with all the changes. Despite broadband and a fast computer, every little change seems to take so long. A couple of hours have passed and still there is a need to change more! In the meantime, take a look and let me know what you think.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ring to a Bracelet

This weekend I have been trying to get my head around tutorial notes for NEXT weekend. Been a bit slack, but I had them partly done and just needed to photograph a work in progress.

Since the ring itself is a bit fiddly to photograph, I decided to make it in large wooden beads - and it turned into a rather nice wooden bracelet. I might even make some more in larger glass beads.
For the band on the wooden one, I threaded with elastic to make it easier to wear.

Maybe I can teach bracelets as well!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Great Grandparents

How amazing it is that my young grandson has so many great grandparents still living. He currently has four great grandpas and five great grandmas (one is a step-gg) to dote on him. We thought our children were lucky to have one great grandma and one great grandpa back when they were born.
When my eldest son was born, I was almost 29 and this was considered to be a ripe old age to be producing a first child. Nowadays it is common to be 35 or more before having a child so I suppose having great grandparents will also be more uncommon as the generational gap widens.
The days of having only 18-20 years between the generations is well and truly in the past. Although the grandmas in the photo above look very aged, the oldest was only about 70. These days she would no doubt look much trendier despite her age. My own Mum is a very young looking 81 year old.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thanks to everyone who commented.

Thanks everyone who commented on my previous post. It was great to see so many people encouraging me to continue and I was heartened by your encouragement. Yesterday I made another etsy sale so I guess people are still looking. I will keep going for the time being. I read another blog recently which was talking about the down time between Christmas and New Year, so possibly that was having its effect on me too.
We had a lovely birthday party for my one-year-old grandson on Sunday. It was a beautiful sunny day and we got to the park early so that we could grab one of the sheltered pavilions. There were so many people out enjoying the gorgeous summer weather, it was a good thing we got there early.