Category Archives: Photos – Travel and Other

Make this Scary Beaded Spider for Halloween

I’ve updated this DIY project for my beaded spider design (You know, made some corrections, cleaned up the typos, added the wine component).  I’ve kept one of these guys on my printer/copier/scanner in the office since last Halloween.  He’s good company, doesn’t eat much, and keeps the real spiders away!  Make a few for yourself and your friends.

Gather these supplies and a glass of wine. Or 3.

You will need

26 gauge beading wire (I used black)

1 large black bead (mine was 22 mm)

1 smaller orange bead (I used 12 mm)

1 size 6 orange seed bead

2-3 grams black Size 11 hex beads

1 gram size 11 orange seed beads

Various tools for snipping, twisting, etc.

Cut 4 pieces of wire 8 inches long, and 1 piece 6 inches long

On the 6 inch piece of wire, place a size 11 black hex bead and center (roughly) on the wire.  Fold the wire so the 2 ends are even, with the bead at the “fold”.

Thread the 2 ends of the wire through the  large black bead, large orange bead, and the size 6 orange bead.

Bending the wire back around the smaller orange bead, go back through the hole of the smaller bead (between the 2 orange beads).  Slide the smaller bead down and while holding it, pull the ends of the wire to tighten.  These will be the pinchers which will be shaped later  Right now, leave them long to help you hold onto the spider with your non-drinking hand.

Man, I need a manicure. And another glass of wine.

Now take the 4 pieces of 8 inch wire and wrap around the wires between the large orange and large black bead.  Twist the wires together to form 8 legs.

Stringing 1 leg at a time, place 5 black hex beads and 1 size 11 orange bead (those are the little ones).  Repeat the pattern for as long as you would like the legs to be.  I repeated 6 times on each leg.

Great, now everyone has my fingerprint…guess my witness protection identity is about to come to an end…

This actually goes pretty fast as the wire acts as the needle.  For the first spider I used 5 repeats of the black and orange beads, and it turned out fine, as well.  You could do 5 on the front and back legs and 6 on the legs in the middle.  Play around, people – get creative.  Drink up.

At the end of the leg, bring the wire back around the last bead, and holding it in place, wrap the wire around the bead at the end of the leg several times and snip off the excess.  Repeat for the remaining 7 legs.  Or 5 if that’s all you ended up with.  I don’t judge.

Now trim off the ends of the “pinchers” coming from the head of the spider.

Using a round nose plier (What?  you don’t have round nose pliers?  Well, using a pencil tip or some other round object), twist the ends around to resemble little biting jaws.  BwahHaHaHaHa.

The legs are very bend-able which makes the spiders completely pose-able.  Guess who will be going to work with me tomorrow?

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Filed under humor, Photos - Travel and Other, Uncategorized

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

I wanted to try one of the new photo gallery options at Word Press. I like it!

These things make me smile.

I’ll be back with regular posting starting next week, friends.

28 Comments

October 5, 2012 · 9:36 PM

Cops + Doughnuts = Yumminess

First Note:  This post was scheduled for yesterday, Friday July 20.  When I woke up and saw the news surrounding the tragic events in Colorado, I pulled the piece.  Given the carnage that law enforcement, trauma centers, and families were dealing with, it seemed highly inappropriate.  I’m not sure today is really better, but when I re-read this post, I saw that it celebrated law enforcement, family, and hope  –  so I published it today.  I hope you read it in that spirit.

Second Note:  Please, please, please – if you are a member of the law enforcement community – do not attack me for mentioning your chosen profession and baked goods in the same breath.  I love cops.  I was once madly (and sadly – he was not good for me) in love with a policeman.  He was guilty of felony heartbreak.  I admire and support the brave men and women who serve their communities in that career.   I do love doughnuts (also, sadly – they are not good for me) although our relationship has lasted considerably longer than the one with the cop.  They are always there for me (as in by my side, on my hips, in my arteries).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Michigan, especially in the summer time, is a very lovely place.  While its economy may be struggling, and its population dwindling,  its citizens are resourceful, resilient, and stalwart.  If you need reasons to enjoy a Michigan adventure, check out this post by Pithypants, as well as this post.

On a recent visit to Michigan, I met the lovely Peg-o-Leg.  It was determined during that brief interlude, somehow, that calories consumed in Michigan do not count.  I believe the precise formula is something like this “Expenditures made to support the economy result in the automatic removal of calories and saturated fat”.  Or some such.  I returned from my whirlwind trip over the 4th with a considerably lighter wallet and pants that would barely button.  So perhaps that theory is slightly flawed.  Whatever.

We spent a couple of days with all five grandchildren at our campground.  On the trip to return them (sunburned and bug-bitten) to their parents – we stopped in Clare, Michigan, at the Cops and Doughnuts Bakery.  This magical place is part museum, part bakery, part retail establishment and pure blood-glucose-raising fun.

When the century-old bakery was in within weeks of going under, the Clare police force (all 9 members) pooled their resources and purchased the enterprise.  They opened Cops and Doughnuts Bakery in 2009 and business has been expanding as rapidly as the waistlines of the multitudes of tourists who flock there for the baked goods, but stay for the fun.  Some of their merchandising slogans include”  DWI (Doughnuts Were Involved), Cereal Killer, and Cuffed and Stuffed.

They have their own “Cops Coffee” brand of coffee, merchandise of every kind from coffee mugs to baby clothing, and have even opened the “Traffic Stop Diner” in their third expansion just this year.  Menu items include “Stool Pigeon Sandwich” (chicken salad), “Sticky Situation Sandwich” (peanut butter, shredded carrots, sunflower nuts, raisins and honey), “Misdemeanor Weiner” and “Undercover Misdemeanor Weiner” (coney style), and “Grounds for Investigation Sandwich” (ground bologna) – as well as “Electric Chair Fries” and “Cold Case Slaw”.

The business has been showcased in several national news features.  They were designated one of Michigan’s  “50 Businesses to Watch” in 2011.  They now employ 28 employees (none are family members of the police-owners and in a small town like Clare, that is impressive) and are going to 24/7 operations this year.

The real draw, of the place, though is the bakery.  The aroma hits you from the street – yeasty, cinnamon-y, delightful aroma.  I did not get any good shots of the display rack as there were many, many people lined up its entire length and I was trying to corral 5 grandkids and one testy grandpa with low-blood sugar, but believe me when I say it is a feast for the eyes.  Racks of freshly baked, handmade cinnamon and pecan rolls.  Rows and rows of doughnuts, turnovers, and pastries of every size and shape.  The cinnamon rolls and pecan rolls are roughly the size of a salad plate ($2.79) and are easily the best baked goods I have ever tasted (including my own).

I applaud the Clare Policemen who rescued this gem and their business acumen, as well as their ability to laugh at and with the stereotypes inherent in such a venture.  It is a reminder that law enforcement does much more than lie in wait for me in speed traps serve and protect, they support their communities in a multitude of untold ways.  I wish them continued and rampant success.

As proper grandparents, Sweet-Cheeks and I spoiled them and loaded them up with sugar prior to giving them back to their parents.  I will leave you with these pictures – snapped during the feeding frenzy that punctuated a family adventure that included lots of hugs, a few tears, and sweetly-frosted memories…

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What I Learned from Having a Rescued Dog

On December 31, 2010 I met my beloved German Shepherd for the very first time. She was being fostered by the good folks at German Shepherd Rescue of Southwest Florida and needed a home. She had just finished treatment for heartworm and was quite weak. She’d had a litter of pups sometime before she was rescued from the mean streets of Naples, Florida. The veternarian speculated she had been used as a breeder and estimated her age between 3 and 5 years of age. In the 18 months since she joined our home, Shelby has taught me many lessons.

It’s only hair – it will grow back…(Photo credit: k8edid)

1.  It is Only Hair.  Shelby had a patch of hair shaved from her back so that a poisonous concoction could be administered that would kill the heartworms that threatened her life.  She taught me that there are far more important things than having a bad hair day or finding the perfect cut…like living and enjoying second chances.

In my own little bed…(Photo credit: k8edid)

2.  Sometimes you just need  your own space.  This was Shelby on her first day in our home.  She enjoyed the comfort of her crate – she had been crated for 30 days while she underwent treatment, and the world seemed to overwhelm her. We don’t put Shelby in the crate any more, but it is still available to her and she often goes to it for comfort.

Shelby gets PLENTY of beauty sleep (Photo credit: k8edid)

 3.  Naps are wasted on children.  Seriously.  Adults and dogs know that naps are really fun.

Shelby’s been digging…

4.  If you mess up, someone will notice, no matter how small you try to make yourself.  Shelby likes to dig up things her Mama plants in the yard.  Here she is after rescuing me from some evil flowers.

I’m going to rest now.

5.  Know when to rest.  Shelby completed the Lee County Heart Walk 5K last fall. It was hot and she was used to walking early in the morning – not in the middle of the day.  When we were done, she was overheated, cranky, and tired.  She plopped down in a shady spot and would not get up, lying on her side and panting rapidly.  Walk officials were very concerned for her and encouraged me to call for a vet.  She rested for about 15 minutes, drank another of Mama’s bottled waters, then right after I snapped this shot she got up and trotted off toward the car.  I’m learning to rest when I’m tired, drink when I need to, and listen to my body.

Shelby cools off by Charlotte Harbor. (Photo credit: k8edid)

6.  It is always cooler by the water.  At a large party thrown for dogs and their humans, Shelby sought peace and quiet near the water.  Sometimes you just need to walk away from the crowd and find your peace – and a cool breeze.

Play like a kid. (Photo credit: k8edid).

7.  Take time to play.  Even if you can’t push the merry-go-round, you can still enjoy the ride.  Don’t let others define what you can and can’t do for fun.

Waiting for Papa (Photo credit: k8edid)

8.  Waiting can be hard.  Shelby is happiest when both parents are home and she alternates between laying beside one or the other of us, seeking out pats and scratches…and treats.  I have to wait long periods of time between visits with my loved ones – and the waiting is hard.  The joy when we are finally together knows no bounds, though I usually refrain from licking their faces or sniffing their crotches.

Patience is a virtue (Photo credit: k8edid)

9.  Sometimes service is slow.  Be patient.

If you can’t stand the heat – head to the kitchen…(Photo credit: k8edid)

10. If you can’t stand the heat – head to the kitchen.  The coolest spot in our house is the kitchen.  My late father-in-law was a genius when he put in an industrial-strength exhaust fan (it seriously sounds like an airplane and can suck dust off the floor) and a strategically placed air conditioning vent directed at the cooking space.  Not that anyone is going to cook with 90 pounds of canine laying in front of the stove.  On really hot days you can find Shelby stretched out in her second favorite spot…so make reservations or get take-out ’cause she’s not moving.

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Filed under humor, Photos - Travel and Other, Uncategorized

Adventures of Andy

 
Lenore, Over at Lenore Diane’s Thoughts Exactly recently acquired a beautiful creature, Andy, through a White Elephant Gift Exchange.  There was some discussion about whether Andy was an aardvark or armadillo.  When I commented on her “White Elephant Exchange Gift” post, I referred to Andy as an armadillo. 
 
I expressed that I had been looking for an armadillo, whom I would name Armando, and he would travel the world visiting bloggers and having adventures.  Lenore, gracious buddy that she is, offered to send Andy to me for a visit.  In exchange, I agreed to take him to the Armadillo races held each year in LaBelle, Florida so that he could see some of his speedier relatives.
 
Andy arrived in Florida on Tuesday and has since spent some time getting to familiarize himself with Casa K8edid.  Today, he accompanied me to work, where he set about increasing his knowledge base and working on solving the Rubik’s cube, which he plans to incorporate into his stand up comedy gig.
 
 

Despite his lack of opposable thumbs, Andy is determined to learn to solve the Rubik's cube.

 

Success!!!

 
After work, Andy and Shelby had a little play time.
 
image
Shhhhh…..nighty night.
 
When it was time for lights out, Shelby and Andy settled down nicely.  Andy will spend a few weeks with us.  If you are interested in hosting Andy and showing him some of the sights and sounds of your city, contact Lenore Diane directly.
 
This weekend, Andy will make his way to Miami…we’re looking for a bathing suit for him, but he is hard to fit…..
 
 
 

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Filed under General Mumblings, humor, Photos - Travel and Other, Uncategorized