My First Crochet Necklace

This is a long post, with a lot of rambling, but bear with me guys.

Before the wedding (sorry, right now everything is either before wedding or after wedding. should I adopt a BW and AW? Ha!) I went shopping with my maid of honor, just a casual affair in the town I used to live in. If you want a really great place to shop and you are in Illinois, Geneva is great. Many of the stores focus on local artists, incredible finds, and unique items. I don’t care if they are all vanity shops (meaning: operated at a loss by rich housewives, you’d be surprised how often that happens) it’s a lot of fun to shop there. As you may or may not be aware, I am doing by best to put my money where my mouth is. I am trying to avoid big box stores and buy from adults. Ahem. Adults who get paid.

However, spending money is really not my best skill. Arguing myself out of buying something? I’m the best. Unless I really, really want it, I don’t buy it. If I really want it, I’ll drop a pile of money on it. So I kind of forced myself to really look around and at least try to buy something. There was a lot of jewelry that was made locally and it was really beautiful, but either not my style or way out of my budget. So I dug. And then I found these babies:

wpid-20140706_134939.jpgthe ashtray was my grandmother’s

Little tiny sea shells! Hold the presses. I love shells. I would wager that I have, hands down, the most privately owned sea shells in the State of Illinois (we’re landlocked aside from Lake Michigan, for you folks not familiar). How? Well my very very dear Great Grandma Bertha Lance (aka Birdie):

wpid-2014-07-08-07.25.19.jpg.jpegshe was a firecracker

I briefly mentioned her in a previous post. This woman was a major inspiration when I was a little girl. I had never met a woman so carefree and so absolutely amazing. Granted, I was probably 6 or 7 when she passed at 90something, but I have yet to meet anyone even in the running as her equal. She lived in Florida with probably around a thousand cats and obviously that fine fellow there. My memories of her are nothing but laughter and fun. She brought me the cool toys, the boy toys that my other relatives wouldn’t get me. She brought me sea shells from Florida. When we’d go down to visit, we would hunt shells, lizards and in general, start a ruckus. She collected creepy clown dolls and did macrame and other crafts. I never had so much fun then when all of us, great grandma, grandma, grandpa and my uncles would all get together and just tell jokes. So sea shells remind me of her. I have several large conch shells, a million sand dollars, two dried sea horses (which now I regret a bit, but I still have them. I was like 5, ok?) and I can’t even tell you how many jars of small shells. Jars. All from our adventures. In her honor, I wish to tell you, the Great Grandma Birdie Joke. It is NSFW. You might not get the slag.

Ahem. Ready?

“I still have my cherry, but it’s pushed so far back I use it as a tail light.”

90 years old, people. 90 years old. Do not discredit older people. They are hilarious.

Anyway, back to the point, sort of, those earrings had to be mine. They were in my price range and I took them home and wore the immediately. Love them.

Back to the necklace portion of this saga, I wanted to have a go at making my own jewelry. I wasn’t planning on moving mountains, I was originally thinking something with like flat metal pieces, kind of like coins, simply crochet into a necklace. That’s all. Keep it simple, stupid. Well I didn’t find any of the type of beads I had in mind, but…

wpid-20140706_140121.jpgjust what i need, more f’ing sea shells

OF COURSE I BOUGHT THEM. DUUUUUHHHHH. I am such a damn hoarder.

So, the plan was like this, string the shells on the crochet thread (it is lace weight 0) using an embroidery needle. Then I chained 20, looped in a shell, chained another 20, repeat til desired length.

wpid-20140706_135115.jpgall my goodies

wpid-20140706_160459.jpgdistance the shells are apart

wpid-20140706_160520.jpgbig stupid looking knot

wpid-20140706_160427.jpgfinished product!

wpid-20140708_174031.jpgmy stupid face, making a stupid face.

I really love it! It will always remind me of Grandma Birdie and I made it. My very first try! I couldn’t be more pleased. Beats the stupid coin necklace I was going to make. Thanks for sticking around for all that! Have a great day!

Yard Plastic and Rock Hoarding.

On this episode of what BMary Hoards, rocks.

Yep. I hoard rocks. Well, I have my reasons:

  • You can’t just go out and buy large rocks
  • When I was a kid, we had big rocks that were my imaginary kitchen outside. Makes excellent mud pies.
  • Rocks are always interesting.
  • They are free and useful for decorating outside.

To the point, the house that I live in had a beautiful yard at one time. The person before the person before us was a serious landscaper. There’s a million flowers, beautiful flowering trees, plenty of plant-scaping. There’s also a big berm that at one point must have been breath taking. Fast forward:

The people that owned the house before us did not make any attempt to take care of the outside. It’s gone wild, which is fine by me, but I find all sorts of lovely treasures. And some not so lovely ones. So we are trying to rein it all in without losing some of the nice flowers and shrubs. The berm has to go. It’s turned into a pile of mud with a stick tree and like 2 tulips. Very depressing. We called up our neighbor who has a bobcat to dig it up. While we were out there messing around and consuming adult beverages, I noticed there were some rocks buried in the berm. Hmmmmm…

After he left, with a promise to return soon to flatten the berm, I finally had enough adult beverages to balance out the this-is-probably-a-bad-idea-but-i’m-doing-it-right-now and tore out all the plastic barriers that were around the various former garden areas.

wpid-20140428_121458.jpgthis stuff…lo, how i despise this stuff

I’ve literally hated that feature of the yard ever since I spied my eyes on it. Why would you try to trap a garden like that? Why would you use hideous black plastic? And it was EVERYWHERE. Even around a stone pathway! I’m sure there is a reason, but who cares! I tore it all out in a frenzy.

wpid-20140428_121434.jpgewww, just look at it.

Then I got started on the rocks. We dug out all of the big rocks around the berm. How fantastic! Now, using the rocks as a barrier around the pathway (the idiot also put gravel around it, so we can’t have that in the mower) it looks 100% better.

wpid-20140428_121419.jpgI should “weed” but frankly, I’d rather dig all that stupid gravel out, replace the pathway and let it sink naturally.

wpid-20140428_121305.jpgwe had more than enough, apparently, so we put some by the tree.

I wouldn’t say I am a good landscaper, frankly, I like my grass long and my weeds high. Sure, I like a food garden and a small flower garden, but I love the look of natural wild plants. So I am kind of at a loss. One flower bed we are going to dig up and make an herb bed. The others I am going to attempt to clean up and preserve. If we ever get some real spring around here, maybe I can get to that!