Sunday, July 31, 2011

Faux Wood: Bangle experiment

I extruded a long triangle and coiled it around but didn't manage to make it big enough for my big hands. I'll take it to work and see if I can find a tiny-boned person to give it a field test. I worry about how well it would hold up in real life. I use Kato Clay which I like because it's relatively hard and holds its shape while you're working. And of course, it polishes up easily. However, for some thin items, it's too brittle -- or rather, there's no "give" or flex to it, and I've snapped some pieces because of that.

And these are pretty. I'm going to try a few in colors with colored centers.

Update on the Dukan Diet...I say Dukan Can Do! I hit the 20 lb-down mark on Friday. Six weeks! Seriously, if you're tyring to lose weight, you are nuts if you don't give this a try. I am stunned at how well it's working for me. The menopause midriff that prevented me from breathing during forward fold and child's pose at yoga is gone!

If you think you'll feel deprived without the sugar and carbs, don't worry. That's what I thought. But it's amazing that once you get it out of your system, you don't miss it. I think the sugar is a drug...the more you have, the more you want. Everything I ate was full of sugar, even things that I didn't realize were full of my beloved Cheerios or Special K and skim milk. My treat of choice these days is iced coffee with sugar-free vanilla or hazelnut with a splash of milk.

I feel great and best of all, in control! My head is not filled with thoughts of food anymore. I eat only when I'm hungry -- but I'm hardly ever hungry unless it's been a very long time since my last meal -- and I always stop eating before I'm stuffed. Tonight I turned away a plate of french fries that the waiter accidentally brought with my bunless burger -- and I was by myself so it wasn't even peer pressure that kept me from nibbling! That would not have happened before!

A few more pounds and the pants in my closet will be unwearable! Oh darn! (Time to get that sewing machine out of mothballs and do some takin' in!)

If you're interested in my previous post about this topic, you can read it here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New things: a lot like the old things

Haven't had much time to work lately but finally got a few new things made and listed. I'm just about to hit 600 sales! Exciting!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Natural variations: old gold

A little bit of gold is always a good idea!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Fish and a Miracle

New threadfishies in the etsy shop.

And now for the miracle! 12 lbs gone in one month -- no willpower required! My two friends, Rollanda, the menopause midriff above the belly button, and Bellinda, the pooch below the belly button, are almost gone! my co-worker and I are doing the Dukan Diet -- it's high-protein, and very, very low sugar and carbs.

Unlike Atkins and South Beach, no high-fat meats and cheeses or nuts are allowed. Go to the site and answer the questionnaire to find out what schedule you should follow. I had to do three days of the protein- only "attack" phase. If I got hungry I ate, as often as every two hours, as long as it was on the allowed list. By the end of the three days I was stunned to discover my sugar cravings were gone and I was not hungry.
and I had rid myself of 5lbs of water that Rollanda and Bellinda had been holding.

At work we always have snacks and I ate whatever was around, and if I wasn't eating any, I was thinking about tyring to resist it. In the last three weeks at work we've had bagels, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate, and birthday cake, and I didn't have one bite, and was not even tempted! It's not that I've "decided" I'm not going to have them, it's that the urge for them has disappeared.

I do miss bread, but haven't had trouble going without. Eggs, Eggbeaters, chicken, lean beef, fish, tofu, and turkey bacon are my new best friends. Your fiber comes from 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran per day. I mix mine in my omelette. It has no weird taste and it gives the eggs a little more heft that does fill you up.

If I need "dessert" I have the sugar free jello snacks (tasty and only 10 calories...I splurge and have 2!) or a chocolate flavored protein drink on ice that actually tastes pretty good (EAS dark chocolate), or a latte with sugar-free syrup. The protein drink is not technically allowed on the Dukan diet but it's the only chocolate option I have so I have one every few days. After the attack phase you can have as many non-starchy vegetables as you want on alternating days so a big salad with fat-free dressing or side dishes of broccoli, green beans, squash, etc add variety.

I also joined the gym and have been going every day. Planet was only $40 to join, and $10 per month. I don't know how they can stay in business! But they have a zillion machines so no waiting. Better yet, they're open 24 hours a day during the week, so even if I work late, I can still go and do 30 minutes. I mix it up and do something different everyday. But what seems to work best for me is the elliptical set on a high "step" and high resistance. There is a row of TVs set on every channel to take your mind off the boring exercise.

I know that it's easier for me to work the new menu and exercise into my schedule because I don't have a family to work around so it may be more of a challenge for those of you who do. The pounds may come off slower but they will come off!

Twelve more pounds and I'll be at my goal weight but I actually think I might be able to go 5 lbs lower! That would put me at a weight not seen since the early-1990s! Anyhow, if you had told me a month ago that I would not be hungry, and not have sugar cravings, I would have said you were carzy. But it's true!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grand Opening: TONIGHT! Four Directions Jewelry Studio

Grand Opening of Four Direction Jewelry Studio. Owner Barb Kaczor is a member of the Pittsburgh Polymer Clay Guild. Something she has that's quite different from most bead shops is a nice selection of Native American style bone beads. The studio has a little of every kind of jewelry-making tool. If you've ever wanted to try a new tool, Barb probably has it. The opening is tonight 6-8 pm, Springdale PA. Get directions and more details at this link.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Virtual Paintout: New Zealand

Close to the intersection of Glenorchy-Paradise Road and Priory Road

This is not one of my more successful Virtual Paintout projects, but at least I got one done this month. I am always very eager to see what the new city is going to be and I check Bill's site early on the first of each month. I usually choose my scene within a day or two. And then somehow, the month gets away from me, and half the time I never get a picture completed! Today, mission accomplished, with literally less than ten minutes to spare.

My original drawing is on a medium gray paper so it's dark to begin with, and I couldn't lay down enough color because of the texture of the paper. To salvage it, I decided to make this a manual/electronic work and bump up the contrast and color in Photoshop. Not great, but better than my original drawing for sure.

Click on the caption under the picture to see the actual scene on Google maps. The trees are not really pink but as you'll see, the real scene is a bit dull so I took liberties.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Yes, it's a lovely picture and all, but where are the beads? 
I have been away from the clay too long, but a new commitment to the gym (down 10 lbs, thank you very much) and the new cat have taken precedence the last few weeks. I promise I will use my three-day July 4 weekend to re-stock my etsy shop. It looks like Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard in there! I also owe a few custom items to people so those are on the agenda as well.

Happy Fourth of July!


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