Batty for Beading

Halloween beaded bat earrings by JulieAnn CorbinBeaded bat earrings available in my CorbinCreations1 Etsy shop

Halloween decorations fill the stores this time of year and I love to see all the spooky cats, witches, owls, haunted houses and of course, bats. I love bats, black cats, the moon and witchcraft-like magic year-round but October is when everyone else seems to love it too.

In the continued spirit of embracing October and Halloween especially, I’ve been working on beaded Halloween earrings all this week. I actually started last week with some prototype beaded bat earrings that came out quite cute.

Just like every new pair of earrings I make in a different style that I haven’t quite mastered, I learned several things while making the beaded bat earrings. As every beader knows, a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into every beaded creation. The blood comes from repeatedly poking fingers and thumbs with sharp beading needles. The sweat (for me anyway) comes from trying to choose the right bead color combinations and materials. The tears sometimes come from the same thing that causes the blood and/or from periodic frustration when thread tangles, needles break and beads go scattering.

The final version of the bead embroidery bat earrings I designed and made feature a central acrylic jet black bead, size 15 seed beads, larger beads for the eyes and bicone crystals for the ears. Although I drew the design for the prototype earrings on the felt, I eyeballed the beading design for the finished bats to avoid any visible lines on the black felt. To keep the earrings light, I backed them with black Ultrasuede, which is a high-quality faux suede. I have several types of black leather and suede, but their thickness would make the earrings overly heavy so I chose the faux suede. Black metal hooks seemed the logical choice and overall, I love how they turned out!

Now I’m just waiting for the right person to adopt these adorable bat earrings and proudly wear them this Halloween season. I made some Halloween-themed beaded round earrings that sold this past Sunday and just completed a pair of beaded witch shows yesterday, which sold quite fast! If you like either of these styles, drop me a note and I’ll happily make you a pair!

Halloween earrings by JulieAnn Corbin

Rounds of Halloween earrings sold 10/2/16.

witch shoe earrings by JulieAnn Corbin

Halloween Witch Shoes earrings sold 10/5/16

I also made some adorable witch hat earrings that are available in my shop. I’ve been wearing a pair of them with the bats (I have three earring holes in each ear) and I must say, I feel very in the Halloween spirit!

I’m continuing to work on more Halloween earrings as I embrace and welcome October and every delightfully spooky detail!

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Queen of the Bats

That blur is a little brown bat.

That blur is a little brown bat.

No, I’m not talking about some fantasy novel or cheesy movie on Sci-Fi, I’m talking about me. I’m not into vampires and the idea that being an ageless, bloodsucking undead creature is somehow a romantic thing. No, I just like bats. Pretty much any kind of bats, though some of them do look a bit funky. I love flying foxes and think they’re the most adorable combination of two of my favorite creatures: bats and foxes. I do know they’re not actually foxes but they’re still cute, even with fruit guts smeared all over their noses.

I first remember seeing bats flying around when my family would take summer trips up to the Adirondack Mountains. The bats were always flying over the lake when we’d sit on the beach around a little campfire. I didn’t see bats flying around my yard until I moved out into the hills of the area where I live now. What we have around here are little brown bats. I’ve seen many of them flying around the yard of my current home ever since I moved in two summers ago. I love to watch them fly around snatching up insects, flapping their wings so fast they’re almost impossible to see.

I’ve seen a few little brown bats up close in my lifetime. There was one inside the sanctuary of the church where I worked as a secretary many years ago. The church custodian was terrified of the thing but I managed to nab it in the net and release it happily back outside. My cat Owl is a bit too good at being a hunter and managed to snatch a couple bats at my old house. I rescued the bats from her and put them somewhere safe until they could de-stun enough to fly away. There were a couple bats living in the barn of my old house but they eventually moved out when my ex-husband started actually using the door they called home.

I have a small bat house but when I hung it in a tree, it became filled with nasty web caterpillars, not bats. I was going to hang it somewhere on my property this summer but never got to it. Turns out, I didn’t need to worry. As I was working in Jordan’s room last week, I heard the sound of bat squeaks outside her window. Curious, I looked out the window and saw three bats fly by in quick succession. I thought that was really neat! Then the light bulb turned on. Needing to know if my sudden conclusion was correct, I went outside and walked around the end of the house where Jordan’s window is. As I reached the chimney, a bat swooped out from somewhere toward the peak of my roof. I moved around so I had a clear view of the top of my chimney and the side of my house and within moments, I saw a little brown bat climb out of a hole in my siding behind the chimney and then fly off. As I watched, another half dozen bats flew out. So I do indeed have a bat house…or a bat attic at least.

I read up on humane ways to remove bats from the attic but I don’t see any huge harm in them living there. I don’t use my attic crawlspace nor do I ever intend to so the bats might as well enjoy it. I imagine they’ve been living up there for years and they were nice enough to eliminate the nest of bees in my siding so I think they’ve earned their keep. It’s actually kind of nice knowing I have a family of little brown bats in my home; it makes me feel less alone when I don’t have the girls. I am the queen of many things and now I’m also the Queen of the Bats. Better than the crazy cat lady if you ask me…

Resuming/Reworking the Routine

The morning view out my living room window.

The morning view out my living room window.

I was up before the birds this morning. Getting up before the sun seems to get harder and harder as the sun rises later and later. I shall persevere though, I always do! My alarm went off at 5 a.m. but I snoozed it until 5:30 when I was finally able to drag myself out of bed and to my desk in the living room/office. I warmed up some coffee then sat down and started plunking away on the first article of the day. I can’t even tell you what it was about at this point.

As I was working at my desk I kept seeing something outside the window in the pre-dawn light. I finally turned and watched for a few moments to discover it was a bat flying around in my front yard, snatching up the last few bugs of his nighttime buffet. I love bats but haven’t seen many this year because of the odd summer weather. They never seemed sure that it was really summer and safe to come out of hibernation. I understand their confusion. I was surprised to see the bat this morning because the heat wave has finally broken here and it was so cool this morning I put pants and socks on. Perhaps the bat realized that it’s now or never to fatten up on bugs before fall settles in.

My girls go back to school tomorrow and while they’re not exactly thrilled, it will be nice to get back into a predictable routine. This year’s routine won’t include me having to drive into an office job though and that’s a welcome rework! It will include waking my oldest at 6 a.m. so she can be awake, fed and functioning in time for the 6:51 bus to take her to Middle School. She’s nervous about starting 6th grade and I completely understand. Jordan is a very bright girl though and I know she’ll do well. She’s known some of the kids in her class since preschool and hopefully none of them change for the worst as they progress through middle school and high school.

This will be the first year my youngest will have to ride the morning bus alone every day. All the kids I’ve seen interact with Jaycie seem to love her though so I’m hoping there aren’t any problems. She tends to go off into “Jaycie world” when she’s on her own so I’m sure that will make the bus ride pass quickly for her. Should any problems arise for either of my girls though, I’ll be down at the school to straighten things out at a moment’s notice. I only live two miles away and don’t have an office job to deal with anymore so I’m quite available to discuss any issues that may arise. Depending on how the school year goes this year, the teachers and staff might come to know me well.

Once both girls are on their buses and off to school I plan on taking Jazzmin for our morning walk. Then workout, then jump into freelance writing. I’ll fit in our second walk before the girls get home and the pup should be suitably satisfied and exhausted for the evening. Will that keep her from staring at me longingly asking for a third walk? Not likely. There’s always the possibility of a third walk with the girls when the weather permits and then everyone should be properly tuckered out.

I’m looking forward to returning to all my stay-at-home mom school year routines. Having fresh cookies or bread waiting for my girls when they get home. Getting a home-cooked meal on the table by 5 p.m. and then helping them with their homework. I hope to get all my freelance work done before they get home but articles don’t always appear conveniently for that. I’ll make it work though. I always find a way to make it work. Faith, trust, pixie dust…and strong coffee!