Monday, December 20, 2004

And then there were meatballs...

...or at least there will be if I can ever find the recipe I'm looking for. Each year at Christmas I seem to be mostly on top of everything that needs to get done (except for last year...but that's another story) but I always end up on a last minute hunt for ONE elusive thing. Usually it's a gift item but this year it's a recipe...for sweet and sour meatballs made in a crockpot.

I'm hosting the Christmas Eve festivities for the whole family and thought I'd add something different to the menu. We usually go to church services and then head back to our house for some punch, heavy hors d'oeuvres and dessert and I always seem to make the same exact things each year because that's what people ask for but I'm getting bored. So, I had these meatballs at a party several months ago and thought they were really awesome and I've been trying to get the recipe for them ever since (don't know the person that brought them that well). There seem to be quite a few versions of this particular dish - apparently I'm the only one on the planet who's never made it before LOL! Yeah, okay, I know...LOSER. But I'm not going to let that stop me :-)

Now my only problem is choosing between all the versions I've found as to which is the best (and I don't have time for a lot of taste-testing between now and Xmas Eve). I think the grape jelly/ketchup version sounds the best. The others use chili sauce and I'm afraid that might be too spicy for a few of my guests who have acid reflux problems...but we'll see. Maybe I'll make two versions.

The other new thing I'm trying is a cranberry chutney recipe that's to be service with cream cheese as a spread for crackers. I thought it sounded fun and pretty easy to whip up. In addition to cranberries it's got apples, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and brown sugar...mmmmmm! I thought I might try adding some orange zest, too, but not sure if I'm brave enough to do it or not.

Tomorrow's my last day of work for the year - WOO HOO! I'm taking Wednesday just to relax and get ready for the "holiday storm" and then Thursday will be last minute gift and grocery shopping and probably baking day as well. And then Friday morning I'll make up the last couple of things and get the table set. Fortunately the daycare is open this week so I'll be able to have Ryan occupied and cared for while I whip around to get all this stuff done and then we have him home with us for the entire next week.

Next I've got to start planning his birthday party and getting the invitations out. He turns two on 1/14/05. Can't BELIEVE he's getting so BIG!

Wish me luck on the meatballs and Happy Holidays everyone!

KJ

Friday, December 17, 2004

Mmmm...candy!

Or as my toddler would say "CANDY! It GOOD!" Thanks, by the way, to his daycare for teaching him that...sigh. Just posted a picture of the first piece I created after coming home from the bead show this weekend. I've called it "Cinnamon Candy" because of the colors used and the way the main pendant reminded me of cotton candy.

It was a better show than usual and (unlike last time) had moved back into the main building so that was really nice. Last time it was partially outside and partially in a building with no A/C! I kept having to run back outside in between booths just to cool off. One poor vendor had sent her husband to Home Depot to get a fan to set up in their booth because she couldn't take it any more. But, like I said, this show was better.

I found all the "must haves" I was looking for like more of the glass leaves and re-stock on the silver and vermeil Bali caps and spacers that I need to finish off any of my peyote tube creations. That was a huge relief because I'd been looking for that stuff (especially the 8mm silver spacers) EVERYWHERE and couldn't find them. Everyone had 6, 7 or 9mm but no 8's and the peyote tubes just really have to have the exact right size or they don't come out right.

Just to show how much of a frenzy I was in...I found this great vendor selling really nice stone pendants for CHEAP! and bought a bunch of stuff from him and then completely forgot to pay attention to the vendor NAME. So, for future shows, I have NO IDEA who he is...will just have to wander around, I guess.

I got two really nice faceted "chunks" of pink Peruvian opal (the first I used as a pendant in the picture that was just uploaded). Haven't decided what to do with the other yet - maybe a bracelet, double-stranded with some pearls? Hmm...have to think on it. Also picked up some really stunning ocean jasper pendants in various shapes and colors, a nice piece of sodalite and a magnificent botswana agate.

Other purchases include some faceted rectangular jade dyed a deep cherry color, lots of small, faceted briolettes in various colors (mostly quartz or dyed jade), some large, irregular pastel chalcedony slabs and some really gorgeous Thai hill tribe silver flowers and butterflies. These flower pendants are going to be just outstanding with some of the bigger, chunkier chalcedony I've been buying lately.

And, when I got home, what was waiting for me in the mail? Last week's e-bay purchases! I got a great deal on some large, circular fluorite pendants and countered that by spending WAAAYYY too much on a truly stunning set of lampwork beads featuring a large pansy flower. But, hey, the pansy is my sorority's official flower so whenever I see one I just HAVE to have it! On top of which, this one is particularly outstanding in shades of blue and the lampwork artistry on it is just top-notch. Don't believe me? Just wait til I get it made up into something and post a picture! But don't hold your breath - it's so incredible I might have to hoard it for a while. I'm sure my fellow Tri Deltas will understand the bond I feel with this particular set of beads, LOL!

But don't despair - I'm moving forward on having a section of "greek"-related jewelry on my site. I found a supplier for sterling silver alphabet beads (like those I use in my regular "brag" bracelets) but this is the greek alphabet! I've already made up and sold an Alpha Gamma Delta (AGD) bracelet to a friend and she loved it so I'm definitely moving forward on this. It's one of my goals for 2005 to get this section up and I've already got the beads for Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Gamma and Delta Delta Delta so those will probably be the first up. But feel free to e-mail me at stamparrot@hotmail.com if you're interested in any type of Greek bracelet. I'll definitely take custom orders until I get that section of the site up and running!

Let's see...oh yeah...we're going to try to take kidlet to see Santa tonight and hopefully sneak in before the crowd (yeah, right). Oh, and last but absolutely not least: HUGE CONGRATS TO MY DH WHO JUST GOT A NEW JOB!!! Way to go, honey!

Lastly, today's the last day of my "free shipping" holiday sale. It runs til midnight so if you need last minute gift ideas be sure to head over to http://www.silverparrotdesigns.net I've got more new designs up there than what is posted here in the blog!

Happy Holidays to all!

KJ

Cinnamon Candy


First piece using purchases from this weekend's beadshow - the center stone is pink Peruvian opal and it's paired with rhodonite and rose quartz. Posted by Hello

Friday, December 10, 2004

Bead Show Tomorrow!

I'm an addict. I admit it - I need a 12-step program for beads. "Hi, I'm Kelly and I'm a bead slut." Sigh.

Okay, enough wallowing, back to being excited about the show tomorrow. I just LOOOOOVE shopping for beads. All the sparkly gemstones and gorgeous, classy pearls and stunning artist glass - and it's all clamoring to come home with ME! One of these days when my business picks up, I'll go to a show with enough money to make that happen, but for now I have to be satisfied with just bringing home a few exciting things here and there.

Usually when I shop the shows I just go by "want." Whatever looks good, different, interesting is what I go for.

But this time I've got some specific "needs" that I have to take care of first so that'll probably blow a good chunk outta my budget but I've got to do it as I have half-finished pieces waiting for me to re-stock things I've run out of so I can finish them. I've been searching all over the place for 8mm Bali silver daisy spacers to finish my next set of peyote tube jewelry. Used to get them at my local bead store (LBS) but they've been out of 'em for months now and can't seem to get them back in stock. I've tried ordering on-line only to get the order in the mail and it's not exactly 8mm and so won't work. I'm taking my half-finished peyote tubes that have spacers on them already to the show tomorrow to try to match. I'm also totally out of the spacers and caps in vermeil that I need to START the next peyote tube project which definitely calls for gold vs. silver. And I've used up all my vermeil clasps, too, so will have to buy some of those.

THEN I can go play after I take care of all that stuff. Maybe some coin pearls and some new artist glass and I've got a coupon to use at Via Murano for some Venetian glass beads...yummm. That ought to about clean me out.

In other news...kidlet and I are still well! Wahooooooooo! His grandparents are going to babysit for us tonight so DH and I can go out to dinner. We've had a gift certificate to a local restaurant that we've been hanging onto for ages waiting for a chance to use it so tonight's the night. Tomorrow I'm taking Ryan for a haircut before I head off to the beadshow and I've also got to get some Christmas presents wrapped so they can get mailed out this weekend to some of DH's relatives in Texas and Minnesota. Then it will be time to get going on Christmas cards. Get me being all on top of stuff...I'm so proud! LOL!

And yeah, I know, I live the most boring life ever and yet still I dare to write about it here for all and sundry to see. I've exposed my extreme boringness to the entire world wide web. I'm so brave LOL!

That's all for now - take care!

KJ

P.S. Does anyone else out there watch "All My Children?" If so, I'd just like to add a little note about yesterday's episode: "AAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!" I cannot BELIEVE Bianca finally found out about her baby only to get pushed over a balcony (oh and nice job on the "fight" with her and JR...man was that ever badly choreographed!) I hate AMC for doing this to me! Why do I keep watching this stupid piece of crap that I've been addicted to since 1983? Well, okay, I love Tad and Ryan...but still...wit and rippling abs can only make up for so much frustration with incredibly stupid storylines and bad acting (not on Tad's part...he rocks!). AMC...give a poor girl a break!

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Still playing with the dreamcatcher hoops! This time I added a cascade of genuine tanzanite rondelles chained together with sterling silver wire. Posted by Hello

More earrings - this time with amethyst and the synthetic blue topaz that I've just been adding to everything because I love its icy coolness. No hoop this time - a pretty sterling earring component instead. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

So many beads, so little time...

Ah...the lament of beaders everywhere. As you can see, I've been pretty busy. Posted a couple of new earring designs today and I've got more to show, too.

Plus, there's a bead show in town this weekend. Woo hoo! Time to stock up! I know I need more vermeil bead caps and clasps...for some reason I tend to always go for silver and forget to get any gold. Plus I've got to get more of those beautiful glass leaves and the vendor that sells them will be at the show. I've got another version of the leaf necklace I posted just about done, but ran out of leaves :-( Plus, they're so pretty, I just want to have a bunch more because I've got lots more design ideas.

Then (if I have any $ left) it'll be time to hit the gemstone vendors. I've really gotten a lot of use out of the stones I got at the last two shows so I'll be looking for more of that type. You can see the synthetic blue topaz briolettes in some of my newest earring designs. Hoping to find some good deals on wire and chain, too, as I'm going through those at a frightening rate

Let's see, what else? Kidlet has been healthy for about 2 weeks now....yippeeeeeee!! Of course, that means I've been healthy, too! Double yippppeeeee!!! I'm ahead of the curve (so far) on Christmas stuff - got a big chunk of our shopping done this past weekend so now I just have a few work gifts and stocking stuffers to finish up with. One thing I'm bummed about is that I got some really cute Xmas shirts for Ryan at Old Navy last year...for him to wear to some of the more casual social events of the season...and this year, they didn't have any :-( So I've got to come up with something for him to wear (including a nicer outfit for Christmas Eve church services, etc.)

Next I've got to figure out the menu for Christmas Eve. DH and I host a little hors d'oeuvres and hot, spiced cider gathering at our house after church each year. This year, DH's brother & sister-in-law and some of their kids will be joining us so we should have a nice grouping. Then on Christmas day it's over to my parents' house (or "grumagrum" as Ryan refers to "grandma & grandpa) for presents and feasting. I just love the holidays and it's even more fun now that Ryan knows a little more about what's going on. He's learning about Santa and can even sing along to a few Christmas carols. Such a doll!

Now I've just got to wrap and ship the out-of-state gifts and get the Christmas cards done and mailed and all should be well. So much better than last year where I was WAAAYYYY behind schedule and had to scramble like crazy to pull everything off.

At this rate maybe I'll even be able to go to the amazing day-after-Xmas sale that my local bead store (LBS) puts on every year. 50% off the entire store!! And hopefully I'll have some Xmas cash from Santa to spend, too!

And with that happy thought...I'm signing off!

KJ

See...told you I can't get enough of these. I've been playing and playing with these fun silver "dreamcatcher" hoops. SOOO many possibilities! Posted by Hello

I just can't get enough of long, dangly earrings. I guess I'm permanently scarred by growing up in the 80's :-) These are peridot, amethyst and sterling silver. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Woo hooooooo!

Hey, I’m famous…seriously…my full name is Kelly Osborne. Okay, so I’m not THAT Kelly Osbourne (see, it’s spelled differently anyway) but I’m still famous. Check it out:

http://www.bearfootart.com/customer_work.htm

Bearfoot Art has been nice enough to feature some of my work that uses their beads in their on-line gallery. Scott is really a true artist with glass so I’m thrilled that my work made the “cut.” If you aren’t familiar with the artistry of lampwork glass beads, take a stroll around their site – lots of beautiful work!

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Ours was pretty low key…just me, DH, kidlet and my parents. We decided a full holiday meal for such a small group was kind of silly and since mom and I were both sick during the week prior anyway (of course) it just wasn’t in the cards this year. So, my parents ordered most of the meal from the local Honeyglazed Ham store and got the pies from Marie Callendar’s and I made a special salad that we have every year. It all worked out to a reasonably decent Thanksgiving dinner without the mess and stress except for my dad who had to deal with picking up the food which apparently didn’t go very well. He was at the store for over 30 minutes and said that the staff was not very bright and also had difficulty speaking English. We never did get our sweet potatoes and mom had to make some up at the last minute from a can. Didn’t bother me because I don’t like them anyway, but dad was pretty annoyed. I guess I can’t blame him. I know in this PC day and age we’re not supposed to say things like this, but it really is frustrating to have people serving in positions that require communication skills who can’t speak the language proficiently enough to do their job. It’s not fair to customers OR to the employee who is now in the situation of having to deal with irate customers that he/she is not prepared to handle.

Okay, that’s my “issue” for the day ;-) Let’s move on to more fun and frivolous things. Remember the pictures of bead show purchases I posted a while back? Well, I’m finally digging into that stash to get some stuff made. Up next is a picture of my latest creation made with the glass leaves I bought at the bead show. I still have half a strand left so there’ll be more pieces like this as I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

Stay tuned!

KJ

Shimmering Leaves Set - gold-filled chain, Czech crystals and dichroic glass leaves. Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Have a holly, jolly Christmas...

Oh stop groaning people...Old Navy is already advertising on TV about their holiday stuff so I figure I can do it, too! I got the website all up to date for the holidays with all the new items and some fun holiday-themed graphics. I'm also running a special holiday sale from Nov. 18 - 23: 15% off all orders of $20.00 or more. In order to get the discount, customers need to enter a special code at checkout so if you see something you'd like...e-mail me at stamparrot@hotmail.com and I'll provide you with the code. Everything is pretty much one of a kind so it's first come, first served :-) You can see it all at http://www.silverparrotdesigns.net

In other news...well, there isn't much other news LOL! We're heading into the annual family battle of "who is hosting which holiday event at which house" which is always fun and also trying to pry Xmas lists out of people so I can get started on shopping. I was WAAAYYY behind last year and it sucked. We spent a fortune on overnight shipping trying to get presents to people on time. DH and I also had a big argument over (of all things) Christmas cards. I wanted to skip them for a changed (since I was already so far behind) and he was adamant about sending them out...and I never knew he cared! So I ended up frantically scrambling to get them in the mail the week before Christmas and it was awful. SOOOO not doing that this year!

Ryan seems to be okay healthwise for the moment. He's finishing up a second round of antibiotics still trying to get rid of that sinus infection. The first round seemed to work, but his symptoms came back about 3 days after the last dose so we're doing another dose. His aunt and uncle have very kindly agreed to babysit for us this weekend so DH and I can go have dinner at our favorite special restaurant in Laguna Beach. Haven't been in ages so it will be fun to go back. Yummm...can't wait.

Speaking of which...I have no idea what we're having for dinner at home tonight LOL! Better go figure that out...

KJ

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Fun holiday designs I finished on my recent vacation. Posted by Hello

Ahhhhhh....

...relaxation is sooo wonderful. After all the illness and craziness of the past few months, DH agreed to send me on a mini-vacation over the weekend. I stayed in a hotel for a couple of days, shopped, ordered room service, worked on jewelry, watched football and just generally vegged out. It was AWESOME! I even got a room with a gorgeous ocean view and even though it's November, our weather cooperated and it was sunny and beautiful over the weekend so the view was truly spectacular.

I came back refreshed and relaxed and ready to take up all my responsibilities again. Woo hoo! Let's hear it for vacations!!

It was especially nice to have a nice long stretch of uninterrupted beading time. I was able to pump out a BUNCH of the projects that have been piling up which really helped with my stress level. After a while, I've got all these ideas in my head clamoring to get out and I can't ever get to them and it just starts to make me get kinda buggy.

Stay tuned for a picture of all the stuff I got done and I hope to have a pre-holiday sale section up on the website soon at http://www.silverparrotdesigns.net

That's all for now...take care!

KJ

Thursday, November 11, 2004


More fun with these stone briolettes. Oh and they are amazonit - not blue topaz as previously thought - mixed with amethyst. Having so much fun making these that I don't have time to post! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


No time for a major update today, but here's a li'l goodie to look at. Garnets, freshwater pearls and blue topaz teardrops. Posted by Hello

Monday, November 08, 2004


Latest design featuring an agate pendant with freshwater pearls and smoky quartz. Posted by Hello

Productive Weekend!

I finally got some stuff done! Massive amounts of laundry....woo hoo! I did all my laundry and all of Ryan's laundry which essentially took the entire weekend (did I mention it's been a while since I've been able to get around to doing laundry?) DH had to fend for himself LOL!

Okay, okay, I made some new jewelry pieces, too, LOL! I used one of the large, rectangular pendants I bought at a recent bead show. It's a beautiful piece of agate (not sure what type - possibly Crazy Lace Agate) that has really gorgeous shades of gray, cream, brown and rust running through it. I mixed it with some silvery-gray freshwater pearls and some faceted smoky quartz rondelles and used accent pieces of Bali vermeil. I had enough beads to make matching earrings and bracelet to go with the main necklace. I think it came out pretty well and will post a picture of it here.

Now, I'm off to upload it to the website where it will be availble for purchase. Check out http://www.silverparrotdesigns.net under the "New Items" section sometime between now and tomorrow.

We had some bad news this last week - my elderly grandmother fell in her nursing home and broke her hip. She had to have hip replacement surgery last week. She's recuperating, but not doing all that well. I think it's very difficult for elderly people to handle surgery and anesthesia - they have a tough time bouncing back. Mom and I sent some flowers on Friday (grandma is out of state) and I plan to follow up with a card and some pictures of Ryan from Halloween as soon as I get a chance.

DH and I got a chance to go to the movies Saturday night (thanks mucho to my parents for babysitting Ryan!) We saw "Friday Night Lights." I really enjoyed it, but I think DH was bored. I'm a big football fan so it was just perfect for me, but DH just has no patience for movies where there aren't explosions and/or gunfire in the first few minutes and continuing throughout. In fact, the more explosions and gunfire and appearances by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the better as far as he's concerned. Ever since seeing "Saving Private Ryan," I've just given up on that type of movie...can't stand it any more. Okay, so I'm a big wuss, but the effects have just gotten too realistic for me and I'm tired of having nightmares for weeks after seeing certain films - it makes me feel like my brain needs a good scrubbing so I can "unsee" the disturbing images.

That's all for now.

KJ
http://www.silverparrotdesigns.net

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day, 2004

Well, this is it...finally election day is here. I think it's fair to say that this is probably the most important election that's been held during my adult lifetime so I hope everyone registered and went to vote. I can't for the life of me understand why anyone wouldn't exercise their rights...especially when you think of how many people fought and died so you can have that right (and that's even more true if you are a woman or a minority!)

I won't reveal how I voted because I think that's personal, but it was a very painful, drawn-out decision because I have serious problems with both sides. In fact, I didn't make my final decision until late last night...nothing like waiting til nearly the last minute LOL! I suppose only history will show who will win and whether that will be good for the country or not. It will be interesting to find out the results - I wonder how soon or late the networks will begin "calling" the results or if there will be legal challenges lasting weeks again.

On a side note...our company had a fire drill today which I thought was really stupid in light of everyone kinda being on edge about there maybe being some kind of attack to disrupt our elections. Really, really cruel and stupid IMO.

I guess that's it except I've had a couple of "bites" on my beading article - will let you know if turns into anything. In the meantime I'm working on a new necklace with a beautiful agate pendant as a centerpiece and some pretty silver pearls and faceted smoky quartz as accents. Will post when finished.

KJ

Monday, November 01, 2004


Emerald Tubes Necklace is finally done! Posted by Hello

Spiderman, spiderman....

We had a great Halloween! Kidlet dressed up as Spiderman and was a big hit in the neighborhood. Came home with TONS of candy! DH and I had so much fun taking him around for trick-or-treating...it was awesome! My parents were kind enough to man our door to hand out candy so we could both go with Ryan.

He's definitely feeling a lot better due to the antibiotic. His appetite is coming back and the cough is a lot less frequent and MUCH less phlegmy-sounding. It's great to see my happy kiddo again.

I FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY got some beading time in this weekend. Got the repair job done AND finished the last piece of the emerald tubes set. Will post pic shortly. I even had a chance to get a second piece started...plain stringing...no peyote tubes involved woo hoo! This one has a beautiful, rectangular stone pendant as a centerpiece and I'm playing with some matching pearls and faceted stones for the necklace part. I've got to do some research and find out what kind of stone this is...very pretty earth tones on a creamy background...I think it's some kind of jasper...will post pic and name if I am able to find out what it is :-)

Happy November and hope you all remembered to change your clocks!

KJ

Friday, October 29, 2004

Shopping Rules!

I've been a very, very, very bad girl LOL! Every once in a while I make the mistake of trolling through the bead listings on e-bay and since I have NO WILLPOWER WHATSOEVER...a lot of stuff ends up coming to live at my house as a result. Only this time it's worse because I looked at gemstones, too. But seriously, how can ANYONE resist something called "flamingo pink chalcedony?" And if you saw the picture as well...you'd be hooked, too. Of course, it'd be nice if I ever got to make any of this stuff up into finished pieces but beading time has been super scarce lately (thank you, Typhoid Maurice aka Ryan).

Took the kidlet to the doctor on Wednesday and he's got a sinus infection so now he's on an antibiotic. So far, if anything, I think he sounds worse than the day he started it, but he does seem to have more energy so maybe it's just his body finally getting all the crap out of his nose and throat.

The jewelry article is done and ready to be printed and submitted and that's been the status for quite some time now, but I had to wait for DH to get back and then our color printer broke down (fixed now) and now I'm just waiting to get a copy of the latest mag to hit the market to see if that's where I want to submit it first.

The only jewelry piece I've put any time on is the necklace to match the teal peyote tube beads bracelet and earrings set. It's taking a LOOOOONNNG time to get enough tubes done and I had to go buy more crystal, too. I've had it strung a couple of different ways and am not satisfied yet so I'm still playing around with the design, but I seriously hope to have it finished this weekend so I can start playing with all the new goodies I've bought at the last couple of shows and this week on e-bay.

I took in a repair job, too, and still have to get that done as well. My poor customer...usually I'm much quicker than this, but life just intervened over the last few weeks and said "uh uh" every time I tried to get anything done.

Totally unrelated to anything else...I'm a full-on "All My Children" addict (been watching since 1983!) and the big reveal in a long-term storyline is about to happen in the next couple of weeks (I'm guessing - since November is sweeps month) and I'd just like to say "get ON with it already!" Geez! I mean I know it's a soap and everything but this has been going on for over a YEAR! ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!! And as long as I'm bitching anyway...what is with the CLOTHES on this show? Erica is like 80 something and yet is always wearing leather. Greenlee, besides winning the stupidest name of all time competition, is always wearing either strapless sundresses or halter tops and low cut jeans with her ass basically hanging out...and yet she's supposed to be a hi-level corporate executive in the cosmetics industry???? And please, can Maria NOT wear mini-dresses any more? It just looks stupid on her - especially when she's at the hospital in her capacity as a (insert guffaw) "neurosurgeon." On the other hand, Ryan and Ian can wander around in as little as they want...forever :-)

Oh, and it's a great place to check out jewelry styles!

That's it for now.

KJ

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Black Hole

Sometimes I feel like my life turns into a big black hole that just sucks me down for several weeks while the rest of the world passes me by. Then, eventually, I re-emerge and wonder where the hell the time went!

It's been a seriously un-fun couple of weeks around here. Ryan came down with stomach flu on 10/14. This was full-on flu with stuff coming out of both ends...repeatedly. In between changing him and cleaning him up, I had to run multiple loads of laundry, disassemble and wash a piece of furniture and steam clean the carpet in our family room. While all this was going on, DH was preparing to leave for 10 days to Minnesota. He left early on 10/16 - although not as early as he would've liked considering that his shuttle to the airport never showed up! I had to call my poor dad at 5:30 AM to come get him and drive him to the airport. I couldn't take him myself because by this time, I was coming down with the stomach flu, too.

I spent the next few days crawling between my bed and the bathroom floor (spent a lot of time just laying on that floor, too). Thank God for my parents who came over and helped with Ryan (who was still sick, too) or we never would've made it.

I finally made it back to work on Tuesday, 10/19, but started feeling a sore throat coming on that afternoon. Greeeeaaaaattt! I made it to work Weds and part of Thursday at which point I threw in the towel and went home sick. Fortunately, Ryan was well enough to go to daycare all those days so I only had myself to worry about until 5 PM when I had to go pick him up.

DH got home Saturday night and I was so glad to see him, but I still felt so crappy that I'm afraid I didn't muster up much of a "welcome home" for him. Managed to make it out briefly yesterday long enough to get Ryan's Halloween costume - he's going as Spiderman - but spent the rest of the day in bed. I made it to work today, but still feel pretty lousy. Had to take cold medicine to keep me from dripping all over the keyboard. Plus, it's cold and gray and rainy out which just reinforces that "I wanna go home and curl up in bed" feeling.

Throughout all of this, I got NOTHING done on my jewelry. I kept thinking I should drag out a couple of orders and work on them while I was home sick, but I just couldn't make myself do it. It's awfully hard to focus when you feel so rotten (and the cold medicine doesn't help, either).

Plus, I lost all the time I needed to work on Halloween stuff! We play a game in our neighborhood where you leave anonymous treats on the doorstep of several neighbors and I'm late in getting mine done. I wanted to wait until I was as healthy as possible since I'm baking from scratch and figured the neighbors wouldn't want a dose of "virus du jour" along with their treats! I hope to get it done tonight, but it'll be tough. I HATE cooking on weeknights after a full day at work. Then there's Ryan's Halloween party at daycare on Friday that I have to make something for as well. And I can't do it Thursday night because DH has a board meeting and won't be able to watch Ryan while I'm baking.

At least he seems mostly recovered from all the illness although he still has that same nasty-sounding cough that he's had all along. I'm going to try to get him in to see the doctor again this week, but am sure that once again, they'll tell me it's nothing. I just don't understand how a kid can have a nasty, phlegmy cough for a MONTH and it not need an antibiotic to clear it up. GRRR!

Lastly, to the person who sent me a very nice comment on this Blog - it was great to hear from you! I agree that it's amazing how similar our lives are (jewelry, small children, etc.) I tried to reply to your e-mail, but couldn't get it to go through :-( Loved the comment, tho, so please keep in touch!

Cheers to all of us "super-moms" out there who somehow manage to hold all this stuff together and get everything done each day!

KJ

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


More bead show stuff. Pastel glass pearls, chalcedony briolettes, chinese glass cones, and teeny briolettes in amethyst, rose quartz and amazonite. Posted by Hello

Some of what I bought at the bead show this weekend. Chalcedony nuggets, faceted pearls, dichroic glass leaves, square freshwater pearls, artist glass, and Chinese jade. Posted by Hello

Life is a roller coaster...

Boy, ain't that the truth. I was all set to come in today and post about how much fun I had at the bead show this weekend and some pics of the goodies I bought (well, I'm going to do that anyway), but then last night and this morning turned out to be kind of a nightmare.

Let's start with last night. Don't know if you've heard about a drug called Vioxx that was recently removed from the market by the manufacturer because it turns out that it can cause strokes and heart attacks, but this has really affected me as this was the one drug I could count on to knock out my migraines and still leave me capable of functioning. But, not wanting to have a heart attack or a stroke, I had my Doctor prescribe a replacement medicine for the Vioxx. Last night I went home with that familiar "migraine onset" feeling so I took the new medicine and....all it did was make me dizzy and didn't do ANYTHING for the pain! Not only was it ineffective against the pain, but the dizziness means this is something that I can't take at work or while I'm watching Ryan w/o DH around (like last night). I was in severe pain until about 1:30 AM this morning and was on the edge of asking DH to take me to the ER. I even considered taking a Vioxx after all but was afraid to mix it with the new medication! Luckily the migraine FINALLY abated on its own - but that is VERY unusual.

This was my second night in a row with very little sleep so I'm really dragging today. So I finally get up this morning and am going to wake up Ryan when DH comes running up the stairs swearing and I'm wondering what on earth is going on when he tells me that we've been ROBBED! Yep. Some asshole(s) apparently broke into our car that was parked in our driveway last night! Stole the stereo and DH's golf clubs (including his new driver!) and some other miscellaneous items out of the car. Just swell. I'm glad no one got hurt and insurance is going to cover the losses, but still...it just PISSES me off! And I felt so bad for DH...there aren't too many things in life that he loves more than golf (and his clubs) so I even refrained from pointing out that maybe now he could stop making fun of me for insisting that we LOCK everything up all the time and that it isn't a good idea to leave valuables in your car ;-) I earned major good karma points for keeping my mouth shut on that one!

In other news, Ryan is sick (still) and I'm trying to get him in to the doctor before DH leaves for 10 days in Minnesota. I get to be a single parent to a sick kid...right after we were robbed and I'm feeling oh-so-not-safe. Lucky me.

Anyway, I'll post the pics shortly of the fun things I bought at the bead show this weekend that I can't use until next month because I won't have any beading time since DH will be gone.

Sigh.

KJ

Monday, October 04, 2004

A Comment...Woo Hoo!

Someone actually READ my blog and POSTED a comment! YAY!!! I don't know who this person is, but he or she OBVIOUSLy has fabulous taste LOL!

So now I've got some catching up to do.

I've been working like crazy on my article that I want to submit to a bead magazine for publication and rough draft is done including all the photos and illustrations except one. I'm trying to finish up two more complete pieces to photograph for the very end of the article and then I'll be ready to put everything on disk and submit it. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much as I'm pretty sure the odds on this are kinda long, but then again, you never know so what the heck? Why not take a chance? The pendant on one piece is done. I just have to do the necklace part. The other piece hasn't even been started :-( And I've got so many other things in my "mental pipeline" that it's driving me nuts that I can't get to them due to lack of time. I didn't do ANY beadwork the whole weekend...sigh. It's so tough to find the balance between my day job, being a mom, being a wife, housework/chores/errands, and my hobbies. Oh and sleep, too, LOL! Gotta fit that in somewhere or I can't do any of the rest of it. There just aren't enough hours in the day! Anyway, I've got to get back on track this week so I can get some of this stuff finished up!

After the article pieces are done, I've got a gal who wants to buy some of my finished peyote beads so I need to get going on making those up as soon as possible. DH is taking off for his homeland on the frozen tundra (aka Minnesota) the latter part of this month which is pretty much gonna put the kaibosh on ANY beading time while he's gone. I told him when he gets back that I get to go to a spa for a weekend or something to recover LOL! I was mostly kidding, but it would be so great to get in 8 uninterrupted hours of beading time! But who am I kidding? I'd miss my li'l guy Ryan sooooo much. He's such a total doll and I'm so incredibly lucky to have him in my life. What a great kid!

Next after the peyote beads are all the projects I have in mind to go with the current fashions (remember all those cool beads I bought at the bead show in August??). I got even more inspired after doing my own fall clothes shopping this weekend and I definitely need jewelry to go with my new stuff! I just love being able to custom-make anything I want to match a particular outfit. Especially after you see the jewelry that's being sold in the stores and how crappy, cheapo and lightweight it is and yet how much they are charging for it! It's pretty insane!

And finally, news on the "great spider expedition of 2004." I finally got the chance to take my camera out last night and try to get pictures of the spiders I was talking about a few posts ago. Unfortunately, the two I saw last night were spinning their webs higher up between two trees and my digital camera SUCKS at taking close-ups of small things. You have to be practically on top of something to get a shot and I just couldn't get close enough so I'll have to try again.

I'm thinking I need one of those cheapy 34mm disposable cameras to get the shot! It's a shame, though, because the spiders and their webs are pretty impressive. The webs themselves are 3' - 4' feet across and are usually stretched between two trees or a tree and the side of house, etc. I'm pretty sure they are either Golden Orb Weaver spiders or Jeweled Araneus spiders which means they are trying to capture flying nightime insects and the web placement and the fact that they spin each evening at dusk would support this. Anyway, I've got to keep trying to get a good picture as I still plan to submit a photo to the http://www.whatsthatbug.com site to get a formal identification.

Let's see, what else? Oh, I'm off to another bead show this weekend! I know, probably shouldn't be buying more stock when I haven't made up the stuff from last time, but I just can't resist. Besides, last show I was pretty cash poor and had to leave some things behind that I really wanted so hopefully I can pick them up this time ;-) There was that strand of large Kyanite pebbles and that strand of funky dotted glass cones and that fun-looking candy jade and some small briolettes perfect for earrings and the Peruvian opal and all the gorgeous Italian glass at Via Murano and, and, and....okay now I need a cold shower LOL!

C'est tout pour maintenant, mes amis. Au revoir!

KJ

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

saksfifthavenue.com

saksfifthavenue.com

Wow....could this BE any cooler? Love, love, love this jewelry and as a newbie designer myself I am soooo totally jealous! And if you read the story of how he got famous...talk about LUCKY! Well, and of course, he's talented, too. LOL!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I'm a bad, bad blogger...

Ooops...didn't realize quite so much time had passed since I posted. I've been busy working on my article idea for the bead magazines and that's been sucking up a lot of time. I haven't even been doing any beading so I could concentrate on writing! The article is going well - rough draft of the written part is almost done. It's the photos and diagrams that are time consuming! I'm looking forward to being done with that part for sure! I road tested a finished piece by wearing it to work and got a lot of compliments on it and people asking where they could buy one which was kind of neat because most of them know I make my own stuff, but they thought this piece was "store-bought." Cool...exactly what I was going for!

Ryan is sleeping SOOO much better! He's just awesome and is learning so many new words every day now. Gotta be REAAAAALLLLY careful what we say around him LOL! Still, he's just a precious joy to be around...we are really lucky! We're taking him to look for his Halloween costume this weekend (some friends have opened a Halloween store just for the season) so that should be fun and in a few weeks I'm hoping we'll get to take him to a pumpkin patch for the first time.

Meanwhile, in other news, I'm so sick of hearing about the upcoming election! As I've said before...I don't like EITHER guy and now I'm stuck having to listen to crap about both of them on a daily basis. Blech! Iraq is such a total mess and I think Bush has really screwed up by putting the focus over there instead of on our economy and on finishing the job in Afghanistan and getting Al-Qaeda (including Bin Laden) but I think Kerry will only make things worse so again, I'm stuck. Now that we're IN Iraq, seems like we'll have to stay until things are stabilized and we have an organized plan for pulling out and still maintaining the stabilization. Oh, and we need to get that Zarqawi a--hole before we go, too. He needs to not be taking up oxygen any more. If Bush wants me to feel "safer" as an American with him as president...why am I not hearing anything about what he's doing to get that guy...instead of how time and resources are being wasted pulling Cat Stevens off an airplane in Maine???? Stupid.

See what happens when I don't write for a while...all this crap piles up LOL!

All for now,

KJ

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Gee, my life is boring...

I do try to write an entry a day, but sometimes there just isn't anything interesting going on at all. The last few days have been that way. Ryan's sleeping better at night, the giant spiders haven't gotten us yet (nor have I made it back to the park to take pictures) and I've been too busy with general life stuff to bead anything new. Oh, last night I did have the enjoyable experience of stepping on a piece of banana on the kitchen floor (thanks, Ryan) in my bare feet. Yeah, that was fun (not). Blech! Isn't my life just endlessly fascinating?? Don't answer that LOL! I also slept weird last night and now the left side of my neck is all screwed up - can't turn my head in that direction and the muscles are spasming and I've just taken my 3rd round of Advil...ouch!

There is one other tidbit of news, but I'm trying not to get too excited about it so I guess I'm not really counting it as "news" yet. I've had a nibble of interest from a new beading mag about publishing some of my finished work in their gallery section and possibly being interested in that article idea I mentioned a few posts ago. Nothing definite at all yet and in fact, I'm still in the very early, rough draft stage of writing the piece and trying to figure out which steps need photos and which need illustrations, etc.

Will keep you posted on what happens. In fact, you won't need this Blog because you'll hear me screaming from here if this works out ;-)

That's it for now. Maybe I'll get to go spider hunting tonight.

KJ

Friday, September 10, 2004

What's That Bug: Spiders

What's That Bug: Spiders

See my previous post about my spider experience. In an attempt to identify the particular spiders involved, I found the above website that's lots of fun to look through (well, only if pictures of spiders and other bugs don't freak you out!) I'm okay with pictures, just not the real thing.

DH and the kidlet and I are going back to the park tonight with our camera to try to get pictures and submit them to the site to see what they say.

KJ

EWWWW...Spiders!

Okay, I'll be the first to admit it...I have a SERIOUS case of arachnophobia. Spiders just freak me out big time. I know they're good at keeping the population of other creepy crawlies down, but still...ewwwwww!

Having said that, I'll relate a little story from last night...

In the area where we live, there's a large park right across the street from our house and we usually take Ryan there in the evenings to play on the jungle gym and swings. Part of the park is manicured and has equipment, etc. but it borders a wilderness area that runs all the way down the canyon to the beach and has trails for mt. bikers, etc. So, it is not unusual to see various wildlife (owls, rabbits, coyotes, possums, skunks and the occasional deer). The sun is setting and Ryan is playing on the jungle gym when I notice that hanging from one corner of the top of the gym is an absolutely ENORMOUS spider! I mean this sucker was HUGE! We're talking escapee from the jungles of deepest, darkest wherever type huge!

I get a little shiver down my spine but then I get a hold of myself and figure that as long as this thing stays up where it is and minds its own business I'll be fine. So the kidlet and I continue our running around and playing and eventually end up next to one of the corners of the tent/pavilion thingy that covers the entire play area when I look up and danged if there isn't ANOTHER of these gigantic spiders slowly spinning a web that slants down on an angle from the corner of the pavilion out to a nearby tree. Now of course, Ryan has seen this thing and is FASCINATED by it and wants to run up to it and I'm torn between my total panic at the size of this spider and trying to be a good mom and let him see and experience things. I manage to maintain control enough to walk up to within a couple of feet of it with him.

Now, as he's fascinated with looking at the web-spinning monstrosity, I'm looking around and realizing that there're more than just two of them! There's a giant spider at EVERY corner of the pavilion and dangling from several branches of the nearby trees! Okay now I'm REALLY freaking out! It's also getting quite dark and I'm slowly looking around and realizing we are the only people left in the park.

Here's where things get even creepier. I'm starting to think about how I'm going to get Ryan back to his little "car" that he rides in so we can start to get out of "giant spider heaven" without him having a tantrum (have you ever tried to interrupt a 20 month old at what he really wants to be doing and get him to do something else? doesn't go well too often) because I've interrupted his hypnotized gazing at the web-building creepy-crawly when I suddenly become aware that I've been hearing this weird clicking noise for a while and hadn't really noticed it amidst the background of evening birdsong and frogs peeping. As I pay more attention, I realize that the clicking is coming from multiple sources all around us.

I look up at the spider that Ryan is watching and realize THAT IT'S THE SOUND OF THE DAMN THING BUILDING ITS WEB! There's a little "snick" sound as it is starting and ending web threads and the reason the noise is all around is is because the spiders are all around us.

I have no memory of how I got Ryan into his little car and got us out of there...all I know is we were home about 30 seconds later! It'll be a LONG time before I go back to that park w/o at least taking DH (aka heap big spider killer) with me.

Blech!

Oh, and Ryan's new word for the week? "'pider!" Greaaaaaat!

KJ

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Sea Star Earrings - bead embroidery around moss agate cabochon Posted by Hello

Comments, anyone?

So I've been going along wondering why there haven't been any comments on this blog (maybe I'm seriously dullsville, etc.) only to discover that I didn't have the right setting completed to allow comments. DUH! I think it's fixed now so feel free to fire away!

So what's new? Made lots of changes to the website this week. Put new stuff in the "New Designs" section and took all the older stuff out of that area and divvied it up to the various categories it belongs in. Now the "New Designs" section is a lot smaller, but will hopefully be easier to maintain on a more frequent basis. I like to make sure the site is kept as current as possible as one of my own pet peeves is going to websites and seeing that they haven't been changed in a long time.

I'm still fiddling around with my idea for a magazine article. The first attempt made me re-think some of the supplies so I had to place a new order and that stuff just came in last night...looking forward to playing with it. I'm really excited about this opportunity and hope I can make it pay off.

Ryan is doing MUCH better at night. Hip hip hooray! His eye teeth are in and I guess that was what was bugging him so much. We took him swimming at my parents' neighborhood pool this weekend and he loved it. Ever since then he keeps asking me "water? water?" whenever we drive near the clubhouse. Hope the weather stays nice so we can take him again this weekend.

Here's the link to the newest stuff:

http://www.silverparrotdesigns.net

That's it for now.

KJ

Friday, September 03, 2004

More playing with pendants...

Now I'm so addicted to this pendant design that I can't stop trying different variations. I just uploaded a version made with Swarovski crystals in a bicone shape (instead of round beads) and I think it came out really well even if I do say so myself ;-) This one I had time to finish off by stringing it...the others are still waiting to be strung from something. I might do chains on those as the seed bead necklace I did for this one was kind of tedious to string. Looks like another new section for the website has been born. This weekend should be fun as all the supplies for my "idea" have arrived so I'll be playing with those and if they come out well enough, I'm going to try to write up an article and submit it to one of the bead mags for publication.

I've been fighting a cold all week and cannot wait for it to go away. What is it about holiday weekends...I was sick for Memorial Day weekend, too! SOOOO not fair! I wanted to take Ryan swimming again this weekend and now I don't know if I'll be up to it.

Have a great weekend!

KJ

Green & blue pendant Posted by Hello

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Two little pendants I made...they'll be finished off by hanging them on a silver chain. Kinda cute, I think! Posted by Hello

Monday, August 30, 2004


Japanese Mandala Bracelet Posted by Hello

Okay, so I can't do embellished Russian Net stitch...

Tres depressing, but I fiddled and futzed around for over a week on this piece and finally ended up cutting it up in sheer frustration. I think the directions were flawed (because of course it couldn't POSSIBLY have been ME, right? LOL!) Between this and my bead crochet failure, I was feeling a little less than confident about my current skill level.

Anywho...moved on to a different technique of making these cool little mandala pendants that I learned on a Japanese beading site and yes I AM very proud of myself for being able to follow a diagram only since the instructions were all in Japanese (see, I'm not TOTALLY lame!) Then, I had 3 of the little pendants all lined up on my beading board because I was going to do a pendant and earrings when I realized I might be able to link them all into a bracelet. Neato. I'll upload a pic when I get a chance. This version uses pale pink glass pearls and faceted Czech glass rondelles in a pretty gray-green shade. I'm pretty impresses even if I do say so myself.

In other news, one of my beading IDOLS, Sherry Serafini, e-mailed me out of the blue to compliment me on my version of her embroidered earrings! Wahooooo! I'm totally stoked! And she was so nice and even answered a couple of dumb questions for me. Here's a link to her website if you want to check out her AMAZING stuff:


http://www.serafinibeadedjewelry.com



On the home front, Ryan fell pretty badly Friday night and cut his poor little lip up. I just HATE it when he gets hurt and cries because he's such a good little guy most of the time that it just seems extra unfair that he should ever get hurt, but he IS a boy and I'm sure this is only the first of many injuries I'll have to get through over the years. At least it didn't involve the emergency room (shudder). He goes for his 18 month check up today and we're hoping maybe his doctor can give us some advice on the night wakings. He does seem to be doing a BIT better (only waking once and then going back to sleep instead of being up all night) but I could still do with a few more nights where he sleeps through. It's weird because he has NO problems at bedtime at ALL...he's almost spookily good about "going night-night."

That's all for now. I'll post a pic of the mandala bracelet.

KJ

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Power Pro Rocks!

Okay so in the beading world I am SEVERELY late to the whole Power Pro (it's a specific type of fishing line that has been adapted by beaders because it is thin, strong and will stand up to the sharp holes of crystals, stones, etc.) party, but I finally got some and finally used it today and it is AWESOME! I made a cute little pendant out of pink Czech glass and garnet stone rounds and rondelles and it came out so darling! I'm going to make a bunch and link them together in a bracelet. And of course, I'm going to need some more faceted rondelle beads to make these in LOTS of colors ;-) It's great that they don't take a lot of beads to make so I can use up some "leftovers." Watch for these coming soon on the website :-)

Now chant with me "Power Pro! Power Pro! Power Pro!" :-))

See ya!

KJ

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Oops...

I'm trying to post every day, but, well, sometimes life just gets in the way. I'm not even sure what exactly it is I've been so busy doing, but whatever it was, it kept me away from blogging. Let's see...

I finished the emerald peyote tubes set - bracelet and earrings and got them added to the right page on the website although I haven't had a chance to do the upload yet. Also added a couple of pairs of simple earrings and another necklace that I found in "lost inventory." Hope to get that stuff uploaded tonight although it's my night for "baby duty" so we'll see what happens.

Ryan was up most of last night (from 12-4 pretty much continuously...sigh). He had been pretty good for a few nights there so I thought maybe we were going to turn the corner but we just don't seem to be making any progress. Keep trying to wear him out during the day hoping it well help him sleep better and bought him his first "scooter" over the weekend to try to help with that. It works as both a sit-down and stand-up model and he's doing really well with the sit-down version and doesn't fuss about wearing his helmet either! He can do the stand up part, but doesn't want to push with his foot...wants mommy and daddy to provide the "go" power for that mode LOL! Kinda counter-productive (not to mention that mommy and daddy are POOPED!)

What else...am finishing the edging on a pair of embroidered cab earrings in shades of turquoise and emerald green and am also working on a swap item for a beader's e-mail list I belong to. I'm trying a new technique (for me) called embellished Russian net stitch. It's very lacy and pretty, but so far feels a bit "floppy" to me for use as a bracelet, but I'm not done yet so hopefully it will stiffen up a bit as I continue to work the next row. I'm using shades of pink and amethyst on it and hope my swap buddy will like it.

I bought a new earring display/organizer at the bead show I went to last weekend and finished transferring all my earrings into it. They look so much nicer and more professional this way (plus they were totally overflowing the other container I had them in) AND this thing rolls up neatly and fastens shut so everything stays protected. Very cool. While I was doing that I realized that the bead stash was starting to get a bit messy due to all the recent projects (leftovers not getting put away at all or getting tossed in their drawers, but not actually put into their tubes/boxes so I took a stab at straightening that up. During that process realized I need yet another iris cart and some more of the fabulous organizing tubes/boxes from Betcey at Beyond Beadery.

Lastly, I think I've come up with an idea for an original technique and am hoping if it works out that I might submit it to one or more of the bead mags and/or create some kits for sale. I've been web surfing/shopping today seeing if I can purchase the components I'll need to try this out and if it comes out well enough, I'll move on to writing the instructions and screwing up my courage to submit an article. Will keep you posted.

C'est tout pour maintenant (that's all for now).

KJ

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Teal peyote tubes bracelet with focal bead of West German crystal and two Swarovski cube crystals. Still needs a clasp. Posted by Hello

Better late than never...

Oops...missed a couple of days of posting...guess I've been too consumed with the Olympics. Wasn't the men's gymnastics (individual all-around) competition AMAZING last night? Way to go, Paul Hamm! Just goes to show that no matter how bad things seem, you've got to keep trying, give it your all, and never give up because you never know what might happen. Definitely a lesson for me in there!

On the jewelry front, I've been working hard on the next peyote tubes project. It's basically done except for needing a clasp. I have a pretty good bead stash on hand, but I tend to mostly work in silver and this needed gold and I'm pretty low on gold clasps so none of the ones I already have will work with this. I'm going to have to...GASP!...go shopping! Don'tcha just hate that? Anyway, I'll post a picture of the work in progress shortly.

The kidlet got up at 4:00 AM this morning and would NOT go back to sleep. Looks like another tooth on the way. This is just not fair (especially considering I keep staying up til nearly midnight due to the Olympics each night...have GOT to quit doing that!). Then, of course, he fell asleep in the car on the way to daycare and didn't want to wake up when we got there. Sigh. On the upside (I think) he did learn to say "Spongebob" yesterday. Well, okay, it sounds more like "punbo" but I know what he means :-)

Have neighborhood summer bbq party this weekend...am not looking forward to it at all. I HATE social gatherings, but DH loves them and insists we go to all of them so I guess I'm going to have to suffer through it. I just hope it's not too hot!

That's it for now - pic posting soon.

KJ

Monday, August 16, 2004

Gem Show Goodies

I just posted a pic of a FEW of the goodies that followed me home from the gem show this weekend. Carnelian, kyanite, ocean quartz, tiger eye and adventurine are only part of the damage I did. There were some great deals and I sure wish I'd had more money to spend! Of course, that's usually the case. Next show is at the end of this month in San Diego and I hadn't planned to go, but maybe if I can save up some more $ (or I get some orders!) I can swing it as there were LOTS of things I had to regretfully leave behind.

Not shown in the picture are some gorgeous Venetian glass beads that I bought from Via Murano, some silvery-gray freshwater pearls, and some fun millefiore-style glass donuts and beads from Japan. I also got sucked in by a LOT of new cabochons for my bead embroidery projects - several different shades of dyed paua shell and some pretty blue quartz and adventurine. Normally I stay away from the dyed stuff, but since this will be embroidered, it won't come into direct contact with skin and should therefore be okay, but I'll test it before I make anything out of it. Will try to post some pictures of the other items later this week if I get a chance.

We had a brief respite from Ryan's nightime antics last week - he slept 4 nights in a row (woo hoo!), but now he's right back to waking up again. I really am at my wit's end as to what is causing this...just don't know what to do to help him at this point. He had an accident at daycare on Friday, too, and came home with a big bump on his forehead right between his eyes. He just doesn't quite have that "running at full speed" thing down 100% yet...poor li'l guy. It looked pretty bad, but didn't seem to be bothering him so I don't think that's what caused the wakefulness to start up again. I guess maybe he'll just have to grow out of this stage...but it's sure taking a lot out of his poor parents in the meantime!

Let's see...what else? Oh, I took a bead crochet class this weekend and while the class itself was fun, I don't think this particular technique is for me LOL! I've always loved the pieces I've seen other people wearing, but I, apparently, am going to turn out to be one of the "crochet-challenged." I've only ever tried it once before (without beads) when I was 8 years old and I seem to remember that didn't go too well, either LOL! Anyway, I tried and tried yesterday and while I can actually DO the stitch, my tension is WAAAAYYY too loose and I just couldn't seem to get my hands in the right position to hold the tension more tightly so in my crocheted piece you can see all this goofy thread hanging between the beads and it's HIDEOUS! I may have to post a picture for amusement value if nothing else. Oh well...back to peyote tubes (at least I was able to master THAT technique!)

Bye!

KJ

Goodies I bought at the gem show this weekend. Posted by Hello

Friday, August 13, 2004

Bored, bored, bored...

Not much going on today and not much to report. As you can see, I finally got the Hello/Bloggerbot to post that picture of the peyote tubes set! I also finished an extra pair of earrings in the gunmetal color to match that set and now I've started the next version in a delicious peacock blue/green metallic finish.

Hit the bead store yesterday afternoon and did some damage there including buying some large Egyptian crystal faceted drops (think disco balls in the shape of teardrops - kinda like the drops hanging from chandeliers). Am now wondering what in heck I'm going to do with it - sometimes I get mesmerized by the "pretty sparkliness of things and bring them home with me only to realize I have no clue what to do with them so they go into the bead stash to wait until I have an idea LOL!

It's going to be a buying kind of weekend as I'm going to a gem show tomorrow. Used to go to them all the time, but haven't been to one since before Ryan was born so it'll be interesting to see if the vendors and stock are different. I also got sucked into some e-bay auctions today as well...no really, I HAD to bid on this stuff LOL! Got some cute lampwork beads in some bright primary colors and an unusual "pillow" shape...those oughta be fun to play with and I'm still waiting to find out about some really pretty 8mm aquamarine stone rondelles. They are a beautiful pale aqua shade that ought to go well with some of the new colors for fall.

That's it for now. Take care (especially those in the path of Hurricane Charley!)

KJ

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Finished first peyote tubes set of bracelet and earrings using technique by Sheilah Cleary. Posted by Hello

Peyote Tubes are DONE!

And don't you wish you could see a picture of them???? Well, you could if the stupid Hello/Blogger Bot wasn't having conniption fits! It keeps ALMOST letting me send the picture and then it craps out and wants me to log in again. Been doing it all damn day and I'm SICK of it!

So, you'll just have to hold your breath until I get the silly thing to work...have no clue what's wrong with it. But, I promise, it's worth waiting for. Came out better than I even expected it to, especially for a first try!

That's it for today...pics coming soon (hopefully)!

KJ

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

One more thing...

Thought I'd post a link to one of my favorite authors for whatever it's worth. I just love this guy's Harry Dresden books! If you were/are a fan of "Buffy" and/or "Angel" you should definitely check out these books. They are sort of in that "style" plus James Marsters, aka Spike, did the audio book versions and is in demand to play the lead role when the Sci Fi channel turns these books into a cable TV series. I think they plan to change the name of the main character to "Eric Dresden" though...something about not wanting to be confused with that "other Harry" wizard character! ;-)

Here's the link:

http://www.jim-butcher.com/

Hellooo? Anyone out there?

Well, at this point, I have NO idea why I'm writing here as it doesn't appear that anyone is reading this blog, but I'll keep plugging away anyhow.

Kidlet slept again last night...am starting to believe we've turned the corner. Of course we have had to push his dinnertime back to 7 PM, his bedtime back to 9 PM, eliminate his afternoon nap and make sure that he spends most of each afternoon/evening racing around outside to wear himself out LOL! Doesn't leave a lot of time for mom and dad to pursue anything else...like a jewelry business...or cooking LOL! Good thing Ryan LOVES Boston Market...we get take out from there a LOT!

I've got all the components for my peyote tubes bracelet completed and even have enough for a couple of pairs of matching earrings. Am going to try to get all these strung tonight so I can post pictures. Then I've got the colors for another set out of this technique...this one will be in shades of turquoise and aqua and I also have a pair of embroidered earrings to finish up as I believe I mentioned in a previous post.

After that, I've been perusing various fashion mags and style reports to get ideas on fall colors/styles and I've got some great ideas percolating in my brain...we'll see what happens...they may end up being my "spring" line at this rate LOL!

Bye!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Ahh...sweet sleep!

The kidlet has now slept for 2 nights thru in a row! I don't want to jinx anything but...YAHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Maybe we are finally coming to the end of this nightmare! I shouldn't complain because he's so awesome for everything else and was a good sleeper early on from 3 mos. to about 13 mos, but ever since then he's been waking up EVERY night...sometimes ALL night. We never have a problem at bedtime, but after about midnight it gets kinda tricky and we have not been able to identify the cause. I'm sure SOME of it is teething-related, but not all of it. He's got almost all his teeth now...just a last 2-4 coming in and almost through so MAYBE we can at least get past that. I hope that it's not that he's been having nightmares. I've always had terrible ones and they started when I was a little kid so I worry about that for him and he doesn't have quite enough language skills to tell us yet. In fact, right now his favorite phrase is "Whoa, big truck!" except that he can't say the "tr" sound and says an "f" sound instead so it comes out "Whoa, big fuck!" instead LOL! Just LOVE it when he yells that in the crowded grocery store and people are like "nice language you're teaching that kid, lady." Sigh.

On the beading front, the website has been accepted to a couple of on-line jewelry directories and webrings so hopefully that will drive some traffic and also induce Google to get off their ass and list it in their search engine.

Work continues on the peyote tube bracelet...I got some of the beaded tubes combined with the other components to make finished beads last night and they look AWESOME if I do say so myself. I'm getting really excited about the possibilities for this technique and plan now to add matching earrings and necklaces and branch out in color schemes. Just found a GORGEOUS deep blue/green AB (aurora borealis finish) delica that I think is going to be really stunning when mixed with gold vermeil components instead of silver. Yummmmmmm! Oh and I've got some to-die-for pearls that match and crystals and...and...okay, er, um..I need to take a break and maybe a cold shower LOL!

Bye for now!

Monday, August 09, 2004


Blue Lace Embroidered Earrings Posted by Hello

Long Time, No Post

Woops...sorry about the long delay. Sometimes life just steps in, ya know? I had a busy weekend of working on orders (yay!), kidlet watching, laundry, ironing, dishes and errands. Whoo boy...I lead an exciting life I tell ya!

Got 1 order from the website shipped (which means I get paid - woo hoo!) The other order was a repair of a strand of pearls for a co-worker and I had to re-string/re-knot the whole strand so that took a while. I hope the orders continue...it's exciting to be making some headway in that area.

I got to play some, too. Am still working on that peyote tubes bracelet I learned in a class a week ago - decided to make some changes to the color scheme because I wasn't quite happy with it so I made a bunch more tubes and now I have enough for several bracelets! Just have to get the time to get them assembled. Plus, I got some more colors of delicas in to work with!!

And I also made some progress on another pair of bead embroidered earrings - this set is in shades of green, gold and turquoise...yummmy! The center stone and bezel are done and the ultrasuede backing is finished and trimmed. I just have to do the edging and the fringe now.

If you want to see what a bead embroidered earring looks like, here's a link: http://www.silverparrotdesigns.net/New%20Site/Silver%20Parrot%20Designs%20New%20Home%20Page%20Files/Hippie%20Dippie%20New%20Site%20Page.htm

Check out the last 3 items on the page....or maybe I'll just post a pic here to the blog when I get a chance ;-)

Chirp! (that's parrot for "bye")

Thursday, August 05, 2004


The second of two new designs uploaded to the website last night - check out the tiny silver elephant charms! Posted by Hello

One of two new designs uploaded to website last night. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

They Like Me!!!

"Silver Parrot and I just finished collaborating on a birthday gift for a special girl. It was SO fun working with her to create something we both thought would *fit* my daughter's friend.

Silver Parrot is not only creative, she is extremely professional.

I can't wait to give young Brittney her gift on Thursday!

Thanks, Silver Parrot!"

Okay, that's a quote from my most recent customer and I'm so proud of this success that I just had to share it! Now, back to the beads!

http://www.silverparrotdesigns.net

Monday, August 02, 2004

Totally Tubular!

Wow, I took the most awesome peyote tube bracelet class from Sheilah Cleary this weekend! For those of you who are non-beaders, we learned how to weave teeny, tiny beads called Delicas (they are glass seed beads in Japan) into little beaded "tubes" that then become "beads" in and of themselves and then they are strung (along with other components) to make a bracelet or necklace. I'm doing a bracelet to start and I picked a gorgeous silver and garnet clasp so my "tubes" are all in shades of deep red (to match the garnet in the clasp) and a couple of different shades of pink. I think it's going to be yummy when done. Sheilah lives here locally in So Cal, but travels the world doing shows and teaching classes (and yes, I'm green with envy). She's off to Australia shortly for six weeks! You can check out her work and some of the kits she has for sale at http://www.shebeads.com

I'll put up a pic of my finished piece...when it's finished LOL!

I also just finished reading the latest issue of "Beadwork" magazine and am glad to see they've gotten back on track. Their last issue, IMO, sucked. They did sort of a "trash-to-treasure" thing (except I think they called it "recycled art" or something). That sort of thing just doesn't work for me. I want jewelry made of beautiful stones and glass...not old pop-tops and plastic cartons...blech. Sorry, but trash is trash IMO. Anyway, the newest issue is inspired by "antiquities" - think Egyptian, etc. And they introduced this awesome artist from Colorado who does laser engraving on shell, bone and wood pendants and beads for some really awesome, gorgeous stuff. I need to get me some REAL quick...I've already got design ideas burning holes in my head and will post finished pieces as soon as I get the pendants and get stuff made.

That's it for now!

Friday, July 30, 2004

MSNBC - The bizarre case of the bone-eating worms

MSNBC - The bizarre case of the bone-eating worms

Weird and kinda fascinating in a grossish way. And there's a branch of marine biology that JUST specializes in whale carcasses? Really? I used to want to be a marine biologisty when I was a kid (too many Jacques Cousteau movies I guess) but that's just...ew.

Just had to share a picture of Ryan - notice the stylish footwear! Posted by Hello

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Television Without Pity

Television Without Pity

Yes, I'm webcrawling today...wanna make something of it? Anywho...LOVE this site for the humorous commentary on every show on TV. Look up your favorite show and see what they have to say about it!

MSN Encarta - 10 Words You Simply Must Know

MSN Encarta - 10 Words You Simply Must Know

Okay, so I LOVE words...and these are some good ones. This should be perfectly pellucid ;-)

Yee HA!

Got a repair order for a strand of pearls!  Not as exciting as doing a new creation, but hey, a job's a job. 

And I'll have plenty of time to work on it as it's not like there's anything important going on in the country this week...oh wait...the Democratic National Convention...SNNNNZZZZZ!  I mean, seriously people...Al Sharpton???  How does this man have the credibility to SPEAK AT A NATIONAL POLITICAL CONVENTION???  It's embarrassing.

And to add insult to injury, today CNN was broadcasting from the convention floor and who did they find to interview for his "take" on things?  P. Diddy.  Yeah, I know.

Yet another election where there's no candidate to represent ME.  My choices are brain dead, lying, anti-choice warmonger OR wishy-washy, inexperienced, pro-choice, certain-to-raise-my-taxes, hazy on national security liberal.  Yeah, I'm looking forward to the election and the next four years...sigh.

And by the way...does anyone remember a little ol' place called AFGHANISTAN???  Seems like it ceased to exist (at least as far as the media is concerned) when we set our sights on Iraq.  Where are the embedded reporters with the troops that are still in Afghanistan?  I'd like to know what's going on there!

What progress (or lack thereof) is being made in re-building the infrastructure and putting democracy in place?  Or did "we" just c0nveniently forget about that?  I know it's hard to remember things when you are busy crashing your bike into things on your ranch in Texas.

Alright...back to the beads.  See...this is why I shouldn't watch the news any more.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

All Quiet on the Blogger Front

Well, this will be mondo-boring as I have nothing to report today.  The only thing that happened was that an e-mail list that I have belonged to for several years and that I very much enjoyed because it was so entertaining is kaput.  The list owner had some sort of hissy fit and decided not to keep running the list....but instead of abdicating so the rest of us could keep enjoying it...she shut it down entireley.  Crap.  Now I have to go back to watching "Real-life Trainwrecks" as a substitute...or maybe "Cops" has a Yahoo Group?  I need an electronic dysfunctional drama replacement drug!

Other than that...kidlet is still waking up at night and I haven't made any sales from my new website.  Hope I didn't go to all that effort for nothing...sigh.

Okay, enough downer-ness.  I will stop throwing this pity party for myself.  I do still have that custom order to work on although I'm getting nervous that some of the supplies I ordered will not arrive in time for me to meet the deadline (which the customer just shortened by a week).  Yikes!

Off to check the mail!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Another Day, Another Blog

I can see where a big portion of keeping this blog is just going to be coming up with entertaining titles for each day's entry (and yeah, I know, the above is hardly original, but it's the end of the day, kidlet was up for hours last night and when he did finally go to sleep then I was too wired to sleep so my brain is pretty fuzzy right now).

I cannot WAIT until this whole teething thing is done with.  I'm sooooo tired of this middle of the night stuff and yet I feel so sorry for the poor little guy...he just cries and cries and Tylenol or Motrin seem to be pretty useless in helping him.  So much for our baby who started sleeping through the night at 3 months and kept it up until about 14 months and then it's all been downhill from there.  At least he still goes to bed without a fuss...I'll take what I can get, but oh, it's so hard to hear that cry start at 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:15, 4:00...ugh. 

On the up side...got a custom order that came in via e-mail that I'm really excited about.  Just hope I have enough time and energy to do a really good job on it.  I'm always a little nervous about custom jobs that I won't be able to get the piece exactly the way the customer wants (especially when I have to do the communication via e-mail).  Not that I'm a perfectionist or anything (perish the thought, right Sparkle?)  Hey, Sparkle knows who she is and if you're NOT Sparkle, then that comment wasn't meant for you anyway LOL!

On a final note, I did a check of the search engines today and looks like most of them are bringing up Silver Parrot except for Google so I re-submitted to them....only to discover that they got hit by the MyDoom virus today so not sure how that will go.  May have to re-submit again in the future.

Well, it's time to get back to beading.  Rose quartz and peridot and sterling silver here I come!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Up, up and AWAY!!!

It's up!  The new site is up!  Check it out at:  http://www.silverparrotdesigns.net

A few minor last minute glitches happened, but they've all been corrected and everything looks good as far as I can see.  I'm sure there are probably still some errors here and there that I haven't caught just because I've looked at the darn thing so much that I'm "looking past" them, but I'll keep fixing as I go.

In other news, we bought the kidlet his own little "couch" for use in the family room.  It's just a cheapy foam thing we got at Target, but it has SpongeBob Squarepants on it and it folds out so he can lay down on it, too, and he LOVES it.  He's spent most of today playing different games with it and he's learned to say "SpongeBob!"  Well, okay, it sounds like "PonBo" but hey, he's only 18 months old :-)

Now, I'm off for a well-deserved nap before we go to dinner later this evening.

Bye!