Sunday, 30 January 2011

What Joanna got

More on the bead soup blog party. Joanna just posted a pic of the beads and pendant I sent her. So I thought I'd show some pics here as well.

For a focal, I choose one of my etched onyx pendants. The bird motif comes from a peel off sticker so it's not a fancy hand-drawn picture by me. I like to try making my own motifs in the future, though. And for a clasp, I choose a swarovski crystal button. I wanted to keep the mix metal free and also leave it to my recipient to choose what colour palette she prefers when it comes to metals.

Then there's the rest of the soup, a mix of stone and glass. There's a blend of Miyuki beads featuring matte black 2,8 mm drops, jet black drops (regular size) and matte black long magatamas. Joannas pic shows the shapes much better so do read her post if you want a better look of the Miyukis. Then there's blue luster farfalles and erinite green fire-polished, both Czech.

To that I added stone beads that would match the focal: onyx chips (some of them etched), two big sodalite rondelles, a round matte blackstone bead and three large hole beads in stone. Unsure about exactly what type.

I included chips eventhough many dislike them, either because they feel cheap or because it's a shape that can be hard to use. I nurture a hate-love relationship towards them myself. In this case I included them because they remind med of leaves and that fitted the theme of the focal with the bird on a twig with leaves.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what Joanna will do with this mix. She often uses colour so will she stay with my dark and faded, almost monochromatic, palette or add more colour? What will she do with all de different bead shapes I've presented to her? Which will she use and, most of all, will she use the infamous chips? I'm looking forward to the big reveal on February 26!

Oh, crap...

Yesterday I discovered that my photos on this blog doesn't always look as crisp as they do on my monitor. I was, for the first time, viewing my blog on my sisters computer. She has an old monitor. Watching my pics on that, I saw several photos still had a yellow tint, not the crisp white background I see... It really made me sad as I want my blog to feel airy and fresh, I don't want any border between the blog background and the photo background. It should all be white. But now it turns out it isn't. Not always. And I'm pretty upset about it.

What now? Try and find out which of all my hundreds of pics doesn't look good on my sis's computer and redo them? It's just a little extra tweaking, but it's all jpeg files and that means each time I edit and save the pic, it loses in quality. It deteriorates. And apart from that it's an enormous task. I have to live with this, try to think more about it in the future and accept the old pics, I guess. Will change the pics in my last entry though.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

My bead soup -- with pics

Ok, finally some pictures! Here's the pretty Polish present (sorry about the alitteration) I got earlier this week from my bead soup partner Joanna. My bead soup beads came in a lovely gift bag, as you can see above, and this is what I found when I unfolded the floral tissue paper inside it:

A soft, romantic mix in creme, bronze, pink and brown. Three glass cabochons, glass buttons, cotton lace, bronze-coloured wavy spacers and clasp plus ceramic beads. Though many people say I have a romantic style, neither lace nor pink is something I use very often nowadays. But I still like it, when balanced with the vintage-feel or bronze and brown (as it is here), so it'll be both a challenge and a pleasure to work with this bead soup.

I kind of already know how I want to use the angel cab and lace, just have to figure out a few details first. I think I have just the right beads to make a bezel. Hope I can make a design that will do your them justice, Joanna, and big thanks for your lovely gift!

PS! Don't miss Joanna's blog, Biżuteria z filcu. She makes lovely jewellery using colourful beads and felt (hence the name of her blog). If you're curious about what I gave her, then you can find a sketchy sneakpeak here.

Friday, 28 January 2011

My bead soup beads

I received my bead soup beads from Joanna yesterday and all I can say is that it's such a sweet and romantic mix. I'll be looking forward to doing something special with it (though I'm not sure exactly what yet). Haven't had time to photograph them and wont be able to do it today either -- handball on telly again -- but if you're curious, Joanna has posted a sneakpeak on her blog, Biżuteria z filcu.

Wondering what I've got for her? Well, I don't think she's received it yet som I'll do like Joanna and post an edited pic for you.
Don't be fooled by the shape on the left side, those beads are photographed in a heartshaped tin.

PS! Don't forget you can find the link to all participants in the Bead Soup Blog Party here. Don't know what this is all about? Read more about these parties at Lori's blog.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Re-designing the blog

If the blog looks a bit odd right now it's because I'm in the middle of giving it a much needed make over. The bead soup party became my motivation to do something about it, rather than procrastinate because it's a bit of an ordeal to fix it: it's like a game of domino where one brick sets of a long and winding reaction so you have to deal with new deatails all the time.

At the moment, I'm not sure if the background works, whether the layout is correct or if something looks wonky depending on your choice of browser and/or resolution. I'm not even sure that I'll keep these colours or my handmade background (even if you can't tell, it does have a pattern in it).

So please have patience with me while I'm working on this -- and all always all feedback is very welcome. Is there something not working? Are the colour of the links too similar to the text colour? Is the background or template just pure uglyness? Or do you like the new style? Feel free to let me know! If you don't want to write it publicly in a comment below, just e-mail me. You can find my contact info here.

UPDATE: After the teal came the rust and olive -- and now I'm on my third background. Not sure which I prefer. Perhaps I have to scrap the pic under the headline so it doesn't clash?

Picture source: animated clipart from Webweaver.

Monday, 24 January 2011

A photo from yesterday

I spent yesterday taking a lot of pics, but haven't really had time yet to select and edit a handful to publish on the blog. There are other things I have to do -- and then I have to follow the Men's Handball World Championship (from the telly: I know they play more or less nearby, but I do prefer watching sports at home). Sweden's ready for the semi-finals, yay!

But, anyway, I just wanted to show one pic I have edited. Rather moody. As you can see, almost all of the snow has melted away. Not like last year went the winter seemed neverending. Hope you like it: there's more coming soon.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Metal stamp set giveaway at Pretty Things

Lori Anderson, in association with PJ Tool & Supply, is giving away one set of the company's new ImpressArt letter stamp sets (check out the cool and whimsical fonts they're available in here). For your chance to win, head over to Lori's blog Pretty Things and read all about it.

PS! Don't miss her lovely pendant where she uses the letter stamps as abstract pattern stamps rather than a way to write on metal.

Bead blog recap weeks 2-3

I took a long break from writing Manekis Pärlblogg during Christmas and New Year's, but now I'm back so here's the first two weeks of posts over at my other blog.

Job's tears
Job's tears, Chinese pearl barley or adlai is the name of a plant that can be used for lovely silver-grey beads. Mostly seen in "ethnic" jewellery from around the world, it works just as well in sleek, modern designs.

Polymer clay contest
French bead shop Perles & Co has announced their latest contest, focusing on the use of polymer clay. The contest is open to residents in EU countries. Click here for the contest website.

International Charm Day 2011
Spread the news: April 28 is International Charm Day and your opportunity to celebrate art charms. The motto for the day is "wear & share". Wear you art charms, swap them, send them as a RAK, do a giveaway/blog candy, publish an art charm tutorial -- there are many ways to celebrate the event.

Jewellery packaging
Whether you buy them or make them, there are many things to consider when choosing packaging for your jewellery, especially if you're trying to build a brand. Contains several links to tutorials and instructions to make your own packaging solutions, from jewellery pouches to origami boxes to altered tins.

Reversible pendants
Utilize the hollow back of a stamped metal pendant or component by filling it with polymer clay, epoxy clay or resin. A creative way to make a pendant more personal.

Most read 2010
Top 25 of the most read blog posts during 2010. Not surprisingly, the most popular post was the introduction for beginners wanting to learn how to bead/make jewellery.

New book on ICE Resin and more black from Vintaj
The gals behind Objects and Ornaments are launching their own publishing division. First out are a book on ICE Resin and a softcover editions of Susan Lenart Kazmer's fab Making Connections. Vintaj is launching a wider range of their lovely, black Arte Metal line.

Vintaj February challenge

The theme for the February challenge at the Vintaj blog is Starry Nights. Read more about it here.

Cross-woven bracelets
Make lovely bracelets by weaving/braiding cord, lace or ribbon.

With the price of silver still rising, zinc alloy is one of the alternatives that are becoming more popular. Zinc is otherwise perhaps best known as a part of brass, white gold, nickel silver and tibetan silver.

LED jewellery

LED, light emitting diodes, are fun, but did you know you can also use them in to make jewellery? And more precisely: used as they're intended, being able to be switched on and off. Pendants, bracelets and necklaces that can light you up.

To dream about beads and pearls
Do you know what it means when you dream about beads or pearls? To those that believe in dream interpretation, they are symbols with special meanings.

Authentic Victorian bead patterns

There are several sources for actual victorian bead patterns if you're interested in learning about beadwork in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Metal prices predicted to keep rising
The prices of metals like gold (now at an all time high), silver and copper are predicted to keep rising during this year, experts say. Many jewellery-makers and beaders are now looking for alternatives to sterling silver.

Patina for cat owners
Did you know your cat can help you patinating your copper, bronze and brass? A twist on an old, traditional way to add patina to metal the "natural way". (Also includes tips on more modern vinegar and ammonia techniques.)

Art Bead Scene January challenge

The theme for the first monthly challenge this year over at ABS is Wayne Thiebaud's Brown River. Create using art beads for you chance to win gorgeous beads and silk cord -- and participate in the tour.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Job's tears and flint

Sometimes I'm a prolific blogger, other times I'm not. Right now I feel rather prolific. Perhaps becasue I got the inspiration to bead again? Anyway, I just wanted to write about this pic before I prepare for tonight's handball (it's Sweden vs. Argentina today).

I'm planning to write about Job's tears/adlai/croixseed/pearl barley on my other blog so I got out this thriftstore find for a photo session. Doing so, I passed by the heap of tumbled flint my sis has laying around as we can't decide whether to keep it matte and smooth or go through the next couple of steps in the tumbling process to give them a high polish. And I thought: that flint matches the adlai beads. So I took a pic of them together.

Not sure I'll actually make something using this combination of materials, but I like the soft stone against the silvery white of the adlai. You can't see it in the pic, but several of the flintstones have white patches that even more so make them blend in with the seeds.

Monday, 17 January 2011

More etching

I should do other things than blog here today, but I just wanted to show you my latest etching experiment. This is a handful of cat's eye or fiber-optic beads. Optical fibers cast i glass and cut into beads with that characteristic optical effect that's supposed to mimic the chatoyance, cat eye effect, in certain gemstones. Top grade cat's eye can look nice and is even used by lapidary artists, lower grade cat's eye is just ugly. With a few exceptions this isn't my favourite material.

But seeing how I like silverfoiled beads better when etched, perhaps this could be the case with cat's eye as well? Had to give it a try. And here's the result. Matte glass with a sublime silky shine. Can't really capture it in a picture. I like it. Now I'm thinking about etching the hold strand. [And as I'm writing this I suddenly realised that I should've taken a pic with the un-etched beads next to these for a comparison. D'oh.]

Goldstone/aventurine and cat's eye -- two types of beads that look better when etched. Don't think anyone sells already etched beads of either kind, or do they?

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Two more giveaways

I've got a couple of giveaways to tip you about today. First out is the one over at SoftFlexGirl's blog where you can win a Multi-Diameter Beading Wire Trio. That is, a package of three mini-rolls of Soft Flex wire -- original steel gray colour -- in three different sizes (.010, .018 and .024). See photo above. Last day to enter is this Thursday.

For the second giveaway, head over to Malin de Koning's blog. She's celebrating having gotten 100 followers by giving away 100 beads from her own stash. For a chance to win, give feedback on her blog. A winner will be picked this Wednesday.

Looking for challenges and contests for beaders/jewellery makers? I usually write about those in my other blog.

Found a grub in my wardrobe...

This little critter is one I recently found in a bag of old stuff in one of our wardrobes. I used to make a whole lot of things from scraps of wood ever since I was a little kid as my dad enjoyed woodworking and more in his spare time. My sis and I would make e.g. snails by hammering nails in pieces of wood. Well, this one I made in school. No idea how old I was at the time.

It's made from unfinished wooden beads, a wood rod (rundstav), nails (for attaching nose and as antannae) and some fleece for hair. Not sure larvae have hair on their heads, but some are hairy.

An example of "beadwork" I made long before I became a beader. Woodshop was so much fun! I've actually also found a copper ring and a few of the enamel pendants I made there. Sometimes politicians want to cut lessons in slöjd (textile and woodshop), arguing it's more important to focus on math, language, science and all of that. But for me, slöjd/"sloyd" and art class are important for children. It gives them opportunity to be creative, to have fun, to experiment -- and to learn. Not everyone has parents with a whole room full of tools and materials to work with like me and my sis and especially for those kids, I find art and slöjd to be important parts of children's education.

Anyway, I'm going to take some pics of my other finds as well some day. Until then, if you want to see some jewellery I made in the 90's check out this pic. The bracelet is new, made from readymade charms, but the pendant is made by me in 1993. So when I was 11-12 years old. I also made a Father's Day pendant for dad.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Forged copper rings

Haven't I showed you these before? I made a coupled of hammered copper rings from 12 G (2 mm) bare copper Artistic Wire as one of my inspiration projects for Fru Pärla (you can find the rest here or in the shop's gallery).
They're really simple to make: just anneal and hammer, anneal and hammer, anneal and hammer. I don't even have a ring mandrel to I shaped these (with my hands and a hammer) around a sort of cardboard core from a note paper roll. It worked. I created different rustic textures using the ball on a ball-peen hammer, the wedge of a cross-peen hammer and, on one of the rings, coarse sandpaper -- se pic below for a close-up. I hand-polished all rings to a subtle shine, except for one that I oxidized using the egg method and one that I blackened.

Bead Soup Party Sign Up

Bead Soup Blog Party

You know there's still a couple of days to sign up for the big Bead Soup Blog Party, hosted by Lori Anderson? I signed up a few days ago and it's going to be my first party so I'm both nervous and excited about it. Haven't been part of any international swaps in ages so I thought I just had to jump in this time.

If you want to participate or just read about the party, click the pic above. You can find the list of participants so far here. ( 171 people and counting.)

Monday, 10 January 2011

New beginnings: my entry for the Vintaj January challenge

Today, you can begin voting for your favourite challenge entry at the Vintaj blog. Check them out here.

This is my entry, which I'm of cause hoping will be considered good enough to earn a few votes. As you can see, I used the bezelled #2102 Swarovski stone from this post to make it.

At first I planned on making another piece for this challenge, based on a sort of abstract idea of a new beginning, placed far, far away from me on a grand scale (the birth of a star -- I'll keep the idea for another project). But after all the new energy I got from making my beaded bezels, I realized I wanted to create something based on a more personal interpretation of the theme.

I've suffered from beading block, lacking inspiration and energy to make jewellery, for months now. Then, as I've written about in the above mentioned blog post, just before Christmas I participated in a colour challenge of a forum and decided to make a beaded bezel. That was like opening a flood gate, it's so addictive. I choose to incorporate one of the bezels I made during this period of flow in a necklace. The focal piece features 15/0 bronze seed beads, a #2102 vintage Swarovski stone in crystal tabac and two floral Fastenables suspended by a pretty textured chain. With the new year came a fresh start, a new beginning, for me as a beader.

This is a short necklace, almost choker lenght, so the chain doesn't show much in the front. I am thinking about making it slightly longer, but at the sime time I feel it looks pretty nice as it is. The lenght is more or less perfect if you don't have a low neckline.

More beaded bezels

I have two loves when it comes to jewellery making: metal and seed beads. Usually I alternate between the two and right now it's all about bead weaving. I've already mentioned here why I'm on a roll right now, making beaded bezels. These are my three latest creations in that department.

Above is a crystal vitrail light rivoli (18 mm) that I bezelled using metallic purple 11/0 seeds. I wanted to use 3 mm fp for embellishment and settled for jet lumi amethyst. Rather dark compared to the colour of the rivoli so I decided to use something less dark for the 15/0. Transparent Grey Luster didn't seem like a perfect match when holding the tube next to the rivoli, but the rainbow finish did look like it could have something in common with it. So I went for it. And I liked it: the blueish grey beads brightened up the dark purple bezel so that the nuances were more in harmony. The dark purple thread helped bring it together, I think, as it "dulled" the grey a bit.

When peacock was a new custom coating on Swarovski rivolis, I bought this one as I just had to see it IRL. Was rather ambivalent about it and thought about selling it several times, but each time I saw something in it that made me keep it. (Keep in mind, I don't like dots and stripes in beads so it was not like me to even buy it!) So in a way I didn't feel bad about "sacrificing" it for a bezel experiment.

For this one, I used two different colours to make the bezel base: Permanent Finish galvanized gold from Toho and Duracoat Dark Berry from Miyuki. I also added 15/0 in jet AB as I thought they picked up the colours from the peacock spots. As you can see, I used a different way of embellishing the RAW base this time. Not adding bows of beads on the diagonal as with the fp for example, but stitching them "straight" between the spokes. Not sure about the colours, but I like the result of my altered thread path for the embellishment.

Then there's this one. Again, a piece where I'm not sure about the colour choices (you got to work with what you have), but where I'm pretty pleased with the over all design. Here, I used a glass cabochon instead of a rivoli. To avoid gaps in the ring of beads in the front, I added 15/0 in sparkling beige-lined crystal. A couple of the same bead where stitched to each "hole" in the RAW base along the side. I then netted a border using the same Dark Berry seeds I'd used for t he base. 3-bead netting for the first row, then 4-bead. Will use this design again, but this pendant is in the danger of being frogged.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Bezelled crystals

For weeks and months now, I just haven't had much inspiration or energy to bead. Then a few days before Christmas I just had to participate in Noora's colour challenge at Inspira. I got the combo midnight blue, wine and bronze to work with. Nothing I use very often, but still not too far out, which meant less of a chance that I'd give up and yet again feel like a failure. After rummaging through my stash, I also found beads in the right colours that would work together: custom coated Swarovski rivoli in rose sphinx, 4 mm fp in garnet topaz luster (that was the closest I had to wine, and much darker than in my photo) plus some medium bronze Delicas and a few 15/0 bronze seeds.

I've never tried to bead a bezel using beads as large and cylinder-shaped as the 10/0 Delicas, which explains why it's a bit uneven. It was my first try and in retrospect I can see several things I'd do different. But seeing how this piece was responsible to giving me back the yearning to bead, I don't want to redo it. Unfortunatley, both garnet topaz luster and rose sphinx are hopeless colours to photograph in this combination so I'm a bit disappointed at how crummy the pendant looks here...

Anyway, bezelling is addictive so when I'd finished this one I just had to make one more, trying different beads and bead counts as well as embellishments. And then one more and one more and...

'I don't use bugle beads that often because I'm afraid they'll cut my thread, but sometimes I just have to use them as the shape alters the look of a piece considerable compared to using multiple seeds to acheive the same lenght. This is Alchemy mk III and I'm afraid I never got any pics of the first two incarnations. At first I used just 3 mm bugles for the RAW strip, but it got too wide. For the second version I used two 11/0s as "spokes", but that was not much shorter than using bugles so for the final version I just used one 11/0 and suddenly it fit perfectly. I was soo pleased.

Pity I used my 16 mm Alchemy rivoli (by Preciosa) as the black bugles (the only 3 mm bugles I have) blend with the crystal. But you can see the structure of the bezel better on the flipside. I never planned on keeping this so I didn't bother too much about choosing colours. After being pleased about the result I actually got a bit annoyed at not choosing different colours as the bezel turned out so good I didn't want to rip it...

This bronze bezel capturing a 14 mm Preciosa rivoli in crystal Marea shows the structure of my basic RAW bezel very well. I don't do peyote bezels as many other do as I don't get along with that stitch, but I love RAW/cross-weaving and netting. I really like RAW bezels for two reasons: a) they are so easy to make and alter to fit the stone in question and b) they form a base that's perfect to embellish in different ways.

This one isn't embellished as I'm planning on using it stitched to a pendant and don't want it too "frilly". At least not before I've worked more on the details of the design. I've used 13/0 charlottes for this bezel.

For this little charm or pendant, I didn't use a rivoli but a pointed-back foiled crystal, I was given in a secret santa swap just before Christmas. I wanted to use drops, inspired by Beadsmania, and due to the size of the crystal (perhaps 14 mm across) I choose Miyuki's new 2,8 mm drops and 13/0 (blueish) hematite charlottes. Another pic I'm not pleased with: the shape of the bezel looks wonky, but it really isn't IRL...

Back to rivolis. Once again, I just wanted to test a design and had to make due with what I had so I ended up using a 16 mm crystal volcano rivoli and metallic purple 11/0 seeds (japanese). This is the same typ of embellishment I used in my first bezel, but this time only using seeds. I also added bows of seeds around the bezel.

For this one I did just as before, using 15/0 japanese seeds, but here it's a vintage Swarovski stone that's a bit different. It's oval and it has a totally flat, not pointy, front while still being pointedback. #2102 if you want to look them up. Here, I embellished the front just as bove, using three beads on each bow. A bit of a pesky shape, not because it's oval, but because the girth is thicker on the two sides than at the narrow ends. But not so much of a problem that it shows on the front.

The latest version of my RAW bezels is this one I made today. I used Toho 11/0 seeds in copper-lined topaz. A shiny warm, golden tones that looks strange in this photo and more transparent than IRL. I also added 10/0 Czech seeds in copper-lined light olivine to match the pretty olivine stone. This is the same type of pointedback crystal I used in the grey pendant before, from the same secret santa.

The strip is slightly too short so the beads cover much of the crown, but I choose not to redo it, fearing that it'd be too loose if I added another section of RAW. The gaps between the beads, which you can see in the pic, aren't really visible IRL. Once again, I embellished the front with row of three beads (1 topaz, 1 olivine, 1 topaz) and then, as in the purple pendant, I added two-coloured rows around the bezel. This time I wanted to use picots in some way. I like working with picots. So I combined picots and rows, alternating between the two, after figuring only picots wouldn't look as nice as when combined with bows of beads between them.

I've already shown my tila bezel here, but as it was part of my rivoli bezelling obsession, it has a place here as well. I've tried to arrange the bezels in the order they were made, but this one was probably made first or at least after finish my challenge piece. This isn't made in RAW as the once above. The method here is more like stringing. And I keep repeating myself: I just have one colour of tilas and had to make due with a shrinking stash of rivolis so there wasn't much room to choose colours that'd look fab together. Besides, I wasn't even sure it'd work and thought I'd just rip it and return the stone to the stash afterwards. But I think I'm keeping it...

Like with my tila beads, I'm soon running out of rivolis and crystals to bezel. It's just so addicitive! I even had to stop myself from making more basic bezels before I ran out of stone to try different embellishment designs on.

So there we have it: I'm beading again. That is, beading for real and thinking about designs. But I soon have to buy more beads and stones if I keep this up. Having flow can be oh so expensive (and not being able to buy much needed/wanted supplies can be frustrating and throw me back into the bead block). But right now I focus on the important part: I'm beading again!

Tila trials

Well, seeing how my bead block kind of faded away this last week or two (read more about that here), I finally got around actually finish a couple of tila projects. While I've made a few swatches just to test how I could stitch with them, it wasn't until now that I actually made a whole project.

First out was the rivoli above. It's by now means a perfect project, but I really enjoyed creating this slightly unusual beaded bezel. The flipside looks exactly the same as the front, but the tila beads are a bit crowded: next time I'll only use seed beads for the back. As for colours, I just had to work with what I had eventhough the colour combo isn't my best one. Matte black tilas and seeds and a 18 mm custom coated Swarovski rivoli in peridot glacier blue.

I was planning on making a bracelet as well, but not this one. What happened was that I stumbled over Jennifer VanBenschoten's article Diagonal Stitch for Tila Beads and her Elegant Tila Bead Bracelet project. The stitch looked fun and interesting so I put my original idea aside in order to give this a try.

I didn't mean to embellish it with these seed beads. I tried a few different ideas, but in the end it was my choice of clasp -- a black and gold glass button given to me -- that made me go with the Permanent Finish golden 11/0. Ideally I wanted to use 15/0 matte beads in the tips, but I couldn't find them so I had to settle with larger 11/0 Czech seeds.

For the loop, I stitched a row of herringbone. Again, nothing I originally planned (thought I'd do a simple three rows of peyote instead of just stringing the beads). But when I began fastening the first beads agains the tilas, it came natural to do it in herringbone stitch instead.

And now I have to get more tila beads! Love playing with them and the new possibilites as well as challenges these two-hole beads offer. I've got so many more ideas to try, but -- alas -- I just have barely a dozen beads left right now...

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New year's eve

Yesterday was foggy, very unlike new year's eve 2009, but the weather the night before was really what urged me to go for a walk with my camera. Supercooling it's called (or underkylt regn in Swedish). It rains eventhough it's below zero on the ground and as a result, the rain drops freeze to ice when they land. So basically everything was covered in bumpy ice yesterday, from the car windows to the grass.

Last night, new year's eve, then temperature went up and fog turned into rain. It also got really windy so through the evening and night it was quite noisy as the ice from the trees blew off and struck the steel paneling on our house.

That last pic might look like some tangled plant, but it's actually a small bundle of chicken wire.

I'm not always very attentive: at first I thought it was just a black leaf or something on the branch of the horse chestnut. Turned out to be a very still blackbirds. They are not as shy as many of the smaller birds so therefore easier to photograph.

The birches didn't really appreciate the ice, which weighed down their fragile branches. But checking on them today, they've survived it more or less unharmed. I fear more for the boxwood hedges, covered in heavy snow and ice right now.

These pics might be a tad dark. It was getting darker as the afternoon wore on and the fog got denser. Forgot to change my camera settings as well... But they still look nice, I hope.

Junipers look lovely covered in snow. I think these are my favourite pics of the day, especielly the second one of the three.

The colours got a bit strange when I edited the second pic, but I like it so I kept the way it was. For those not familiar with hunting, I probably should explain what that wooden construction is, but I can't find the right words in English. It's really just a place for the hunter to sit and wait for the moose or roe deers.

But didn't I say it was a foggy day? Aye, it was. Very foggy.

Today the landscape has altered again as all the ice on the trees thawed and blew away. The sun has been shining and it's been windy. And the only thing covered in ice is the ground as the rain froze again. So if I want to capture the lovely winter scenes, it's impossible to wait even a day. It can change so fast and if you procrastinate that walk in the forest, you'll miss it.
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