Friday, September 30, 2016

Here's to a legend and a legacy

You might think with the name Paula Kramer, I'd be a better golfer. I gave the game a try-out about ten years ago and even took lessons. I told the golf pro he could tell everyone he taught Paula Kramer how to golf! You golfers out there will understand.

And what does golfing have to do with beading? They don't have much in common other than fans with an affection for small round objects. But it's only fitting today to pause from beading to salute one of the greats: Arnold Palmer. As most everyone knows, golfers and non-golfers alike, Arnie passed away Sunday, September 25th.

He leaves a legacy of excellence at his craft but more importantly a legacy of kindness. Many folks around Western PA have an Arnie story and mine is very recent, told by a friend of our son who was attending a golf outing at Latrobe Country Club. He was with three friends when he saw a familiar stance on the green opposite where they were playing. Yes, it was Arnie who stopped to watch our friend tee off. Can you imagine? That would be like Sherry Serafini coming over to my home to watch me bead. Yikes! After a particularly bad shot, Arnie came over and gave him a few tips and then encouraged our friend to try again. He did and hit a great shot. That story sums up Arnold Palmer: someone who took time for everyone.

Most golf courses around here flew their flags at half mast this week and the course where my hubby played offered the prayer card shown here.

But the very best tribute was this tweet by Pittsburgh sports writer Gerry Dulac who featured a picture of a spectacular rainbow over Latrobe Country Club shortly after the service when Arnie's ashes were spread on Thursday.

I guess even our Supreme Being is a member of Arnie's Army. RIP Arnold Palmer. We're lucky to have had you on this earth.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hello Fall! Farewell Summer!

With temps the warmest on record, it sure doesn't feel like Fall but it arrived this week nevertheless. The Pennsylvania Department of Forestry marked the occasion by issuing their fall foliage map.

So folks in Pennsylvania have a couple weeks to wait for the majesty of turning leaves.  I marked the occasion with a trip to visit my sister in Indiana, PA where summer greenery was on lush display, especially at The Woods Spa where I was treated to a spa day.

We had such a fun sister day and I was truly spoiled with pampering that started with a peppermint hand and foot soak, followed by an hour massage and then a pumpkin facial. With all those yummy-sounding names, we were delighted to finish our visit with a slice of warm apple pie accompanied by vanilla ice cream. Nothing to say but yum!

Let's give a proper farewell salute to Summer. Here we have Delirious Earrings, a design by Ann Benson of Beads East captured against the backdrop of leaves that are waiting to turn.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Things change

My hubby is an avid sports fan. I knew this when we met but it was a somewhat guarded secret. Our first date was to the ballet. That was over 30 years ago and that was the last time we attended the ballet together. But that's ok. I just round up my girlfriends for those events. But when it comes to sporting events, that's a whole different universe. We have attended hundreds of sporting events over the years. Professional football, college football, college basketball, the College World Series when we were living in Omaha, professional baseball. And don't get me started on golf.

I have observed one thing about sports fans. They love the ritual... the ritual of preparing for the tailgate, where to park, what to wear, who to meet.... And many of those rituals become finely tuned. Such is the case with our parking and tailgate spot for Pitt football games.

When Pitt decided to tear down its stadium on campus to make room for other university buildings, it was like a death. We mourned the walk up heart attack hill (which I don't miss). We mourned the parking spot. We mourned the beautiful view looking over Oakland. But on the bright side, we moved to the spanking new Heinz Field where the Pittsburgh Steelers also play.

I mean how can this be bad?

Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA

But it took some adjustment. We had to find a new tailgate spot which just happened to be located beside the Partin' Panther-mobile. How can this be bad?

We were still able to enjoy our very nutritional tailgate meals. I know how this can be bad.

We still enjoyed the pre-game Pitt band festivities.

And met friends in rain or shine. But I much prefer the shine!

And just when we relaxed into our new routine.... horrors! We were  notified that Pitt was moving parking spots since construction had started in the lot where we had so many great times. (boo hoo) Here's our former parking location.

So it was with some anxiety that we settled into our new parking spot. As you can tell in the below shot, we are taking the change rather well - especially with Pitt's win last week-end.

So I salute the resilience of all sports fans who weather all manner of adversity in the support of their teams. In signing off, I'll offer a beady creation that I made last year as gifts for the fun women of Section 211 where we sit each Pitt football game.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Gone fishing....once

No, I haven't gone fishing. In fact, fishing wouldn't even make the top 1,000 on my bucket list. There's something about the combination of the smell and the worms and the bugs that just doesn't appeal. And that makes me feel close to my Dad who is shown with his brother, Jim, in this photo that I just love.

Gone fishing...... once!

This photo is probably from around 1940. It makes me smile just to see the two brothers posing with their fishing rods. My Dad was such an active man, fishing never held much attraction for him. The only time I remember him talking about fishing was relating the time he and his brother went to a near-by watering hole, got all set up and hunkered down to wait for the fish to bite. After about five minutes, my Dad looked at his brother and said, "are you having fun?" My uncle shook his head no so up they popped, returned home to stow away their fishing poles and went to play baseball instead. This must have been that day.

But since this is a beading blog, I can try to tie in the water theme with the necklace I made using a pendant from an Andrew Thornton kit. I think if my Dad and uncle had run into a mermaid at their watering hole, they might have been more avid fishermen.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Necklaces and a milestone

I love Jill Wiseman's designs and seem to return to my favorites time and again. Like the Dewdrop Spiral design shown below with a pendant I found on Etsy.

The rope is pretty basic - a spiral - but the pretty comes in when each little spiral is embellished with a contrasting row of peyote. It's time-consuming but well worth it.

Next up is something a bit more basic. I had this varigated rattail in my stash along with a kimihimo disk purchased a couple years ago. I decided to pair it with a pretty turquoise stone. Normally the pendant would take center stage but the vibrant colors on the rope made it an eye-catcher.

And last up is probably the most beautiful cake on the planet, except for the milestone #!

Last week-end, my family spoiled me with an early birthday celebration and this cake was one of the highlights! Not only is the Arizona theme perfect but it was a triple chocolate threat so how can that be bad? I have to give a shout-out to my brother and sis-in-law, Pam, who introduced me to this fantastic bakery: Jennuine Bakery in Murrysville, PA, owned by Jennifer and Mike D'Ascenzo. If you are ever in the neighborhood and in need of a gorgeous baked confection, this is the place to be! It makes a milestone like 60 pretty sweet.

And speaking of sweet, one of my nieces also celebrates a birthday around this time of year and I wanted to give her a special shout out. Here we are together at a family wedding this summer. She is my crafting partner and a pretty special girl. Happy birthday, Josie!

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