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Friday, December 31, 2010

Connecting with Facebook Friends

Rypan Designs - "Sedona Kilim", TBS 2000 Bag of Bead Challenge

Rypan Designs now has a page on Facebook. So do I... Thanks to my friend and #1 assistant Jo-Ann, I'm starting to get the hang of connecting with the wide world of Facebook. I never realized how small the world really was until we were just checking out features. There's someone I know, and as I'm clicking on "Add as Friend"... and then there are Mutual Friends.... There is no end... If you're reading this, don't be shy about "Adding me as a friend". Let's keep in touch.

My "Sedona Kilim" is my "face" for Rypan Designs. My "photo" is for my personal page. They're interchangeable because we want to share beadwork ideas and news where ever it's most suitable.

Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Creative New Year!

З Новим Роком, бажаю Вам натхнення та творчих ідей,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas Tree in Toronto
Hard to believe it's Christmas Day already! I had many good intentions and lots of traditions I like to observe. By the time I got around to them all, here we are blogging on Christmas Day in Detroit!

This year's Christmas card mailing was huge! Twice the usual amount because I combined it with thank yous to all the wonderful people I met in Ukraine in my family visits, folk arts and beadwork research quest. How do you stop and print a few photos for keepsakes when you snapped 2,000+? There goes a full week/weekend trying to edit and selectively print "just a few"... Then there's the handwriting of each card. Began to feel like a dinosaur when I mentioned it to folks. Seems like cardwriting has fallen out of favor in today's busy crazy times. I continued on because I believe it's important to personally thank each and everyone and send a token photograph of our good times... they'll get it in time for Ukrainian Christmas on the Jan 7th.

My husband Eugene picked up the tree and decorated it while I continued writing cards. The baking was done in shifts. Pinwheel and honey poppyseed log cookies were sliced and baked on the 23rd morning before packing. The baking pans and ingredients for other favorites were thrown in to finish baking in Detroit once we arrived after a white-knuckled drive down Hwy 401 near Ingersoll, ON.

Yesterday morning I assembled gift cookie plates. Then worked on a few gifts and off to my brother's we drove for a Christmas Eve celebration. Family and friends came from far and wide. Traditions were observed. New twists were added. It was really nice... perfect! Later, we drove down to my parish for Midnight Mass. The church was full of families and classmates because everyone came "home for the holidays". What a wonderful time...

Christmas Eve 2010 in MI - Maria & Eugene

Merry Christmas! Best wishes to all for a Blessed and Peaceful Christmas. May the spirit of the season continue throughout the year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snowflake Decorations

Snowflake ornament on my tree

"Snowflakes", TBS 2011 Calendar, December

It's hard to believe it's time to decorate the tree again.... Luckily, I have some of my snowflakes handy from last year. Glass bugles, seed beads and Swarovski crystals never spoil... Since they're specially interlocked in like a fan around a circle of beads, they keep their shape forever.

This extraordinary snowflake can be made quickly once you get the knack after you've made your first one. A very fine beading wire, .010 SoftTouch by Softflex, is the secret to holding the crystal-tipped long bugle V's in place around the circle of seed beads.

Several ways to get the instructions: See page 90-91 of Beaded Ornament for the holidays and Beyond from Bead and Button and BeadStyle Magazines by Kalmach Publishing Co., 2009.

Order an all-inclusive Snowflake kit with a choice of 15mm, 20mm or 30mm bugles and crystal pearl or silver-shade vitrial finish from Rypan Designs. Or get patterns for use with your own bugles and crystals. The instructions are available in printed pattern with a Supply List or a downloadable .pdf. Shortly it will be available in a Ukrainian .pdf version soon as I get the illustrations matched up to my translations.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas

Sizing up the tree in Winter wonderland

The season has begun.... The annual drive to Erie, PA, was delayed a day. Buffalo got dumped by 3' of snow and I-90 was closed because of the lake-effect. Luckily, we were able to drive in on Saturday. The pressure was on because it was the only weekend where everyone was coming to search for the perfect tree.

The trip was "picture perfect" with snow on the trees and fields instead of the interstate. Side roads were a different story... especially the one to the tree farm. This year we turned left instead of the usual right and this is the tree that caught our eye. It's pretty perfect all the way around despite its interesting top.

There's something special about going out to the country. I love it when it's snow-covered and peaceful. Such a wonderful change from the crazy pace of the big city... A chance to appreciate beauty and peace with friends. Photographing helps keep the memory alive. Inspiration abounds. What a wonderful world!

Best wishes for a happy and peaceful Christmas.