Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beadsmith One-Step Looper REVIEW

I LOVE tools.  I saw this one and just had to try it!  it is the a one step looper.  It cuts the wire and forms a loop with one squeeze.  sort of.

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The wire is fed around the looper and out a hole on the right, as shown in the pic.
Above is a finished loop.  
However, The looping pliers are not really one step.  It is TWO step.  After you make the loop you need to use your rosary pliers and CLOSE the loop.  I tried it over and over, using many different gauges of wire.  Each time it left a small gap that would need to be closed.  Not a big deal really...but if the loop isn't closed, nothing is going to stay together......just sayin'.......

See......this shows you the gap.....It helped to bend the wire down to the right before removing it from the looping plier - this closed it somewhat.....but it still needed to be closed....

Here I have finished one side, fed on a bead, and then looped the other side.
Below are more examples of loops.

The one step looper is really EASY PEASY to use.
  Consistent and fast loop making!
I was even able to loop MEMORY WIRE!.... just be careful if you do this that you precut the memory wire loop end so that the looper ONLY loops the wire, and DOES NOT cut it..  memory wire is very tough and you do not want to damage your new cool tool!
The looper only makes one size of loop...but i thought the size was perfect for my needs.
Definitely a terrific addition to your toolbox! addendum...
if you harden your wire ahead of time, (use a soft hammer and hit it a several times) the loop will be stronger and less inclined to reopen.  it is difficult to work harden the loop after you make it, and without hardening the loop any pressure on it may open it.  The looper works very well with stiff wires....cuts them beautifully....(but it does not cut memory wire or piano wire well - it may break or dent the cutter)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

FREECYCLE ....lucky find!

We do not have trash pick up in my when your garbage cans are full, you load them into your truck and take them to the closest transfer station.  I think it is called a transfer station (instead of a dump) because they TRANSFER the trash somewhere else...
In any case....anything that you want to freecycle you just leave next to the dump chute.
last week i picked up this:

I thought I would be able to reuse the frame - it's huge!  40 x 50 inches!  But when I got it home and looked at it.....i realized the "poster" inside was a Guy Buffet artist print - numbered and signed.
.and the artist had drawn in pencil and then watercolored an original additional panel on the lithograph.
It is in excellent shape - maybe some mildew on the mat - although it could be under the glass.........
i really live it.
how cool is that?
what a lucky find!


After Maui, I flew home to Kauai on Saturday,
.... and on Sunday...
my dear friend Joanne flew into Kauai to visit me, a side trip on her journey to Japan.
Joanne and I had a ball.
On Monday we went to Opaeka Falls, and then Ahi wraps and lemonades at Mermaids cafe for lunch. Then we took the boat ride to the Fern Grotto.

Opaeka Falls

Dancing the hula on the way to the fern grotto
Torch Ginger
The Fern Grotto.  it drips water.
We finished our touring with a yummy shave ice in Kapaa.

Then we went back to the Marriott for a swim and dip in the hot tub and a fabulous meal highlighted with Lava drinks (fruity rum as Joanne calls it)
this is the pool outside Joanne's hotel room in Lihue.  There are 5 hot tubs, they are under the octagon shaped roofs.

Friuty rum.  DELISH!
The next morning we went to the Hindu monastery - which was gorgeous. I've seen the monastery before, but it was a first for Joanne.  We attended the morning temple service at the monastery with all the rituals.

 I had hoped we could attend their weekly tour to the golden temple, but it was not being offered on the day we went.  As fate would have it, a large Indian wedding party was there, and they had arranged for a private tour, and we were allowed to tag along.

this is a flower than blooms once a year....

..a cluster of them....
Oddly, at the Rudraksha Forest (I've posted pictures of this before) all of the thousands of Rudraksha seeds...used as beads in Hindu Malas...... that used to be underneath the trees  - were gone.
I'm  not sure if the monks had gathered them to make beads and sell/give away, or if tourists had stripped the ground clean.  Or perhaps the monks simply wanted the ground beneath the trees clean.

Afterwards we explored another waterfall (Wailua Falls)

and then Joanne came to my house to visit my studio.
We lunched in Kilauea on local Ono fish and then went to Kilauea bakery for dessert.
We returned to the Marriott for a swim and some hot tubbing.
gorgeous fine silver goddess pendant Joanne gifted me with....she makes beautiful jewelry !
Alas, Joanne left early Wed morning for Japan.
It was a MARVELOUS visit!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

MOTHER'S DAY Treasures

I had a terrific Mother's Day - breakfast in bed, lots of pampering, a day of uninterrupted art time, and a fabulous dinner.
This is the card one of my son's sent me.

so funny!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Maui FUN!

It's been a very busy couple of weeks.  My sister Gina and her wonderful husband Mark (we call him SAINT Mark - trust me, my sisters and i are a handful!) invited me to join them on Maui where they have a timeshare.  What could I do?

oceanfront view from our room at sunset
They had a beautiful oceanfront room in Lahaina.  The weather was fabulous - 5 nights, 6 days (for me, that is.... they stayed 10 days) - snorkeling, hiking, fish tacos and strawberry margaritas - I had an amazing time!

Honolua Bay Beach Reserve where we snorkeled...
I'm a timid swimmer, so Gina and I rented foam swim belts - so much better than trying to hold onto a foam noodle to snorkel in and out of the reef tunnels...and we rented lightweight plastic fins - a great improvement over the heavy rubber ones I have at home!
After snorkeling we took a drive up the coast...but went too far and ended up on a narrow one lane road that wound around the coastline.....we stopped for fruit smoothies and toured several art galleries /studios.

cool wood and concrete sculptures
we hiked to the Nakalele Blowhole, but the tide was out and the blow hole was not blowing.
hiking down to the olivine pools...named after the olivine rocks that are abundant around the pools.
It was very rocky.....
another ocean blow hole that wasn't blowing
the pools
swimming in the pools with Gina- tropical fish nipping at our toes!
stone grave
Ke'ane Congregational Church

Ti maze outside Hana

inside the Lava Tube Cave
low ceiling ahead!

Next day we took the road to Hana, and because there is so much to see along the way there and back, we rented a house for overnight.

House we rented in Hana...looked pretty ugly on the outside- but was adorable inside!
lounge lizards in the heavenly windowseat
being silly with face masks and good wine!

In the garden at the house in Hana...


 The next day we went to the 7 sacred ponds and waterfall...

pools towards the ocean

pools towards the waterfalls
and then we went on 4 hr hike into the bamboo forest to a 400 foot waterfall.
the hike was up a mountain - up, up, up.

lots of rocky steps and unruly roots....

giant banyon tree

more steps.

bamboo- we're almost there

more waterfalls along the way.

Lordy.  more steps.

Egads- my ankles are not happy!  more UP!

when will it end?
pretty rocky here...still going up...

a rivlet to cross

at last- the waterfall - straight ahead!

a brief few steps down- into a creek to be crossed.

woohoo - we made it!

BREATHTAKING!  (Gigi and the waterfall!)

We ate lunch on the rocks next to the 400 foot waterfall. Mama's comfort food - bean burritos and brownies...LOL!
 Swimming was not advised because loose rocks might fall from the above cliffs and fall on your head.
heading back....3 1/2 hrs up / 1/2 hr back down!

Gigi and Me!

We had a blast!