Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dulcinea... Bead Soup Sweetness

This post is going to appear a little out of order.  You see, I decided a few months ago to participate in the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party, hosted by Lori Anderson.  I probably should have known better, but I always think I can do more, in less time, than I actually can (sometimes my Superwoman cape gets twisted around).  But there I was, signed up to participate, and then I started to panic a little that I wouldn't be able to complete anything with my "soup."

I did finish something, though -- not something elaborate, by any means, but it does meet the requirements of using the focal and the clasp I received in my soup from Penney Klaproth (more about the soup later).  Because I wound up waiting until the last possible minute to work on my piece, there's only one...  this sweet little necklace that I named Dulcinea.

I mentioned before that I was required to use the focal and the clasp (and you'll see later that there were LOTS of other beads, including a huge bag of seed beads and bugle beads that weren't even part of the soup!), but as soon as I saw the clasp I knew that it was going to wind up being part of the focal -- this little swirly copper loop is just too pretty to sit at the back of someone's neck.  So I chose to use it to suspend the little stone donut.  The necklace itself is an ndebele rope I made using beads from my own stash:  pretty bright copper lined seed beads that coordinate perfectly with the copper pieces Penney sent me.
Want to see the "soup" I received?  Here it is!  It has a great collection of metal and natural beads that will eventually be used in some project.  In fact, I have them sitting on my bead board now, while I ponder what I can do with them.  I'm particularly intrigued by the little glass plugs, the ones nearest the hand in the photo below.  Their colors are wonderful, and I'm thinking I might actually try something with wire...
Now I have some blog hopping to do...  And I'd like to invite you to hop along with me.  You can visit for a list of all the Reveal #2 participants.  Don't forget to visit my swap partner's blog, Faerie Acres!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Need a Vacation?

Do you need a vacation? I can honestly say I don't "need" one, but they sure can be fun.  I've been to quite a few places over the years, on all sorts of vacations:  the coast of Florida to sit on the beach and play in the ocean with my friends; to Venice for sightseeing; to Sweden for my friend's wedding (in August, which was much nicer weather than when I visited her in November!); to the Cayman Islands for some of the most wonderful SCUBA diving anywhere; to Sedona, Arizona, for hiking and sightseeing, including a trip to the Grand Canyon (which is where I took the picture you see here); to Bonaire, for more SCUBA diving of a completely different sort than what I experienced in Cayman; and even on a Caribbean cruise!  There are more places on the list, but those are some of the standouts.

Our most recent trips were to Hilton Head, somewhere I never would have thought of going, but a place that turned out to be pretty relaxing and enjoyable.  We went in the off season, so we just tooled around the island, visited some galleries and museums, and ate.  Lots of seafood.  It was wonderful!

So why am I talking about vacation?  Well, honestly it's for a contest... 

This is my version of a perfect 24 hours on a Spanish Island. This post was written as an entry for 24 hours on The Balearics contest sponsored by The prize is £500 in Amazon Vouchers and the contest runs until August 17, 2012. Please visit to learn more about the contest and how you can also enter.

I've never been to a Spanish island, and I must admit that I didn't know anything about the Balearics, other than the names of some of the islands, before I saw the post on BearsandBeans.  The names of the four largest islands are Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera.  A quick Google search for information and images demonstrates just how easy it is to learn about this island chain.

So let's see...  a perfect 24 hours on The Balearics would begin, of course, with a trip to the beach.  It really doesn't matter when the plane lands on Majorca.  It's an absolute necessity for me to get my toes into the sand and to feel the salt air rolling in off the ocean.  Since these islands purport to have 300 days of sun during the year, it's a pretty safe bet that that first foray onto the beach would be wonderful.  I could spend hours on the beach, especially if there are seashells to be found, but my husband would soon be clamoring to do something else...

The something else would probably be exploring.  Rather than driving around, we'd probably choose one of the island on-and-off tours that hits all the high spots and still gives you time the stop and visit anything that's particularly intriguing.  It looks as if there's no shortage of sights, either!  With beautiful scenery, mountains, Stone Age ruins, Gothic cathedrals, and villages all over the island, it's a pretty safe bet that we'll find lots of places to take pictures.  I always have at least one camera with me, and sometimes as many as two or three (especially after having our new digital video camera break on the first day of our vacation in Venice!), so the drive would take a long time.  I've been known to return from a vacation with more than 800 photos.

I'd have to be able to spend at least some time on or in the water, so I think we'd probably sign up for a catamaran cruise and snorkeling trip.  Although I've been a SCUBA diver for years, snorkeling is a nice, relaxing way to see some reefs and fish without having to haul all that heavy equipment around.

If we're not too tired from the cruise and snorkeling trip, we'd head out for the Majorca evening tour:  horseback riding and dinner!  Rancho Grande is located at the north coast of Majorca and has a 1.5 hour horseback tour followed by a barbecue dinner.  Yum!

Next on the agenda is a trip to one of the other islands, Minorca.  A lot of people will like Majorca, which apparently has more clubs, restaurants, and bars; but my husband and I are much more in tune with the laid back vacations where we can just look at sights and visit historical areas.  From what I've read, I think we'd take a ferry to travel from the larger of the islands to Minorca.  I believe my husband would like this island more, not only because it's less crowded but also because it supposedly has an almost constant breeze and is a bit cooler than Majorca.

I haven't kept track of the time spent, but I'm pretty sure that at this point we'd be pooped and ready for a good night's sleep.  We might stop at one of the local bars or restaurants for a beer or a glass of wine, but not too much -- with all the things to do and see in The Balearics, we're going to want to get an early start on the next 24 hours!

Nope, I don't "need" a vacation.  But reading all the articles I found and looking at the pictures makes me want one!  :-)