Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blogger's sabbatical

Montenegro December 2012
I think things have finally caught up with me. Last year was packed with cataclysmic events that could easily have been the topic of Four weddings and a funeral, the sequel, throw in a few job shifts, two NGO projects on the side and it's one frantic mix.

I feel spent, exhausted and because there are too many things, moving too fast I'm no longer in control of it all. I know I've sort of pushed my blog on the side and I believe it isn't fair to just pop in from time to time and give tidbits of info which then make no sense.

As the weather is finally gorgeous, lots of sun and nature virtually exploding all around, I've just taken the time to enjoy myself and tune off completely. No more schedules, planning, calculating, pondering....

Blogging schedule will resume, once I've had time to catch my breath and come up with quality content that doesn't make me sound neurotic (too much)

In the meantime enjoy your May break :-) Spring is finally here!

xoxo Ana

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Down to the last bead - Bead soup 2013 2nd reveal

Tribal vibe: tooth shark shaped mother of pearls paired with pyrite
This is my third time participating in the Bead soup blog hop and it's been another prolific one! This time I used up every single bead my lovely partner Sarah sent me. I even ended using beads from the previous soup from my then partner Agata. The pyrite beads from the first set of earrings and the clasp in the asymmetrical necklace.

Last helping: the last two purple glass rounds paired with some last minute shopping ceramic beads and silver metal discs
To be quite honest, I finished my bead soup in the first three days after I got my beads. I just love that magical moment when I open the parcel from my partner filled with gorgeous beads and lovely thoughts in the accompanying notes that my imagination turns to super mode.

Lush: the majority of bead soup paired with beads from my stash in a rainbow of purple, lavender, silver, dove and charcoal greys
This year was no different, I made the charm bracelet and the chain necklace the first evening and decided upon the design for the asymmetrical necklace which had to wait a week because I needed to go to town to get the exact satin ribbons I wanted to use.

tribal vibe: another angle
Then came these earrings. I knew I wanted to accentuate the shark tooth shape but no matter how I paired the beads it just didn't work. I must have pulled them apart at least seven times. But it was worth it because I'm very happy with the final design.

The asymmetrical necklace is very difficult to photograph and even looks a bit blah on the photo but quite nice when worn. I used pale pink faceted quartz and faceted yellow Chech beads from my stash and the cute pink lampwork beads Sarah sent as focals.

Playful mix
This necklace deliberately has no clasp and can be worn as a single or a double strand. I used the remaining lampwork beads from Sarah and paired them with Pandora beads from my stash. I wanted to "immobilize" the Pandora beads so that they lay perpendicular to the chain at all times. Instead of wire wrapping  which would make them wobble all over the place I used a smaller chain, two links of it roughly equalled the length of the hole and attached them to my main chain with the Pandora bead trapped in. It required a bit of fiddling around to attach the main chain to the smaller links without loosing the Pandora bead but once I was done, the bead was snugly caught between the links of the large chain preventing the bead from moving. Ta-dah! Success.

As always this party would have been a dull one without our hostess extraordinaire Lori Anderson from Pretty Things. Thanks Lori! And another warm thanks to my lovely partner Sarah whom I've been in constant contact during the dreary snowy month of March as we exchanged thoughts, ideas and progress report. Go see what she made with her soup!

Click HERE for the entire list of participants for the 2nd reveal.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Changing rituals

Easter eggs

Last week's Easter celebration was the first since dad died. True, there was Christmas, but it came and went in a whirlwind of other unprecedented events (still to be blogged about) so it was easy to sort of overlook that was now one setting less at the table, no gifts for dad under the tree...

ham & cheese

By Easter the chaotic things in our lives have balanced themselves out so his absence was keenly felt. Especially since dad was always more actively involved with Easter traditions. He always prepared the eggs that were dyed in the onion skins, grated the horseradish and shelled and ground the walnuts for potica.

smoked cheese piglet*, smoked salmon, bakalar and pickled quale eggs

I've already written about my penchant for traditions and how I relish in the quietly assuring repetitiveness of never changing rituals. I adore the notion of having the same table cloth for Christmas for years and years and a separate one for Easter. The menus aside for a few variations remain the same too.
Easter salad
To top things off mum contracted pneumonia a week before Easter and the weather outside was more appropriate for Christmas than Easter. It was a rather sad Easter. We divided dad's chores between the three of us and mum taught me how to bake potica.

Potica buns
There was no denying it or going back... things are changing and try as I might I can't stop time.

* The cheese piglet was a gift from Mr. C before he went on a business trip to Germany the week before Easter. It made me smile, suck a quirky little thing.