Thursday, June 30, 2005

Are You a Science-Fiction Scholar?

MSN Encarta - Are You a Science-Fiction Scholar?

Of course this quiz could be subtitled "How big a geek are you?" But, if you've been reading my blog, you know I am a sci-fi nut so I couldn't resist passing on this quiz.

I got them all right including the bonus questions...let's see how YOU do!

And may the Force be with you. LOL!


I call this set "Sage Wine" because of the earthy greens and beautiful burgundies in the peyote tube beads. I've added accents of Bali vermeil, African green jasper and pink chalcedony. There are earrings, too, but they aren't quite done yet. I've had the components of this set sitting on my worktable for months now just waiting to be put together, but I was looking for the perfect clasp for the bracelet and it took a while to find exactly what I wanted. They'll be up for sale on the website later today or tomorrow. Enjoy! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The latest pair of embroidered earrings. The dichroic glass cabs in the center are actually more sparkly violet/pink than shown in the picture. Japanese seed beads and Czech glass flowers form the rest of the earrings. I'll have these up for sale on the site later today or tomorrow. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

Book Recommendation of the Week

The Witches of Eileanan - Kate Forsyth - Penguin Books

I'll admit that since Marion Zimmer Bradley passed away and Laurell K. Hamilton switched over to writing (blech!) porn dressed up as what used-to-be the Anita Blake books that I've had a hard time finding decent books to read. Fortunately, I did stumble across Kate Forsyth's "Witches of Eileanan" series a few years ago and have been enjoying it ever since.

And for those of you who HATE the wait between books being published - there are already 6 books out in this series and it's complete (and yes, Jenie, they are all in paperback). She's just started a new series called "Rhiannon's Ride" which is set in the same world. The first book in this new series, "The Tower of Ravens," is already out in paperback.

Forsyth has built a very original world peopled with all sorts of interesting never know what is lurking just around the next bush. Mesmerds, nixes, pixies, the fairgean, dryads and more inhabit this fantastic world. I will warn you that sometimes her use of accents can get a bit old, but it's a minor flaw in an otherwise very well done series.

Enjoy and have a great weekend, everyone!


Thursday, June 23, 2005

A customer recently requested that I re-create the "Juicy Fruit" bracelet (shades of lime and royal blue w/ gold accents) in a necklace and here's my initial attempt. Most of the furnace glass in this piece is single/solid colors encased in clear. I've got some additional beads on order that I hope will be luscious striped mixtures of these colors with some goldstone thrown in for sparkle. I've accented this piece with Swarovski crystals in peridot and capri blue and added some vermeil spacers and accent beads. The clasp is a vermeil toggle. This will be available for purchase later today on the website. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

So this is 40....

First of all, thanks to everyone who helped make my "birthday blowout" sale such a success! I really appreciate all the orders (as does Ryan's college fund which got a nice bump from all of this).

I've been 40 for a few days now and I have to say that at least so far, it hasn't sucked as much as being 39 did. At least my relatives have stopped dying off and no one's been sick and I got to go to a really fantabulous restaurant in San Clemente for my birthday dinner. It's called "Vine" and here's a link if you want to check it out:

Vine Restaurant

I can highly recommend the artichoke ravioli appetizer and the lamb shank w/ zinfandel sauce entree. I think I traumatized the poor sommelier by ordering a white wine, but unfortunately, I'm allergic to reds so I had to break some of the rules. I did promise him I'd only drink it with the appetizer and not with the lamb which seemed to perk him up a bit. I like my whites a little on the sweeter side but still somewhat middle-of-the road so he recommended the Signorello chardonnay. I hadn't ever tried it before, but it was excellent and went perfectly with the appetizer. DH (who isn't allergic to reds) ordered a glass of Jazz zinfandel to go with his lamb (he was unoriginal and copied my selection of entree) and he reported it to be excellent. My brother had the flat iron steak and my sister-in-law had the pork tenderloin. All of which were reported to be fantastic. We finished off the celebration with a chocolate souffle for dessert. It was really one of the best dinners I've ever had and the prices were actually quite reasonable considering the quality of the food!

Afterwards we decided to stroll around San Clemente (my brother lived there until he got married a couple of years ago so he knows all the good local spots) and so we headed down Del Mar to the Beachfire bar. They had a great band playing reggae music so we decided to grab a spot on the patio, order some drinks and hang out for a while. My SIL and I discovered a rather disturbing trend while we were there, though. The "uniform" of the evening for most of the women consisted of hip hugger jeans that looked okay if the person wearing them was standing up, but turned out to be rather disastrous when the wearer was sitting on a bar stool. Since when did female trouser smiles and advertising to the world that you're not wearing even a thong under your jeans become "de rigeur?" I'll admit that I thought the trend of having thong straps show up over the waistband of jeans was trashy-looking, but it beats plumber's crack any day. And sure, some of you are shaking your heads and saying that I'm only bothered because I'm now 40 and old-fashioned, etc. but honestly...I'd NEVER have worn something like that back when I was 20-something and weighed 115 and wore a size 7 jean. I'd've CHECKED the rear view (both sitting and standing) in the dressing room before I purchased the jeans and I would've made sure they FIT in both situations and looked sexy rather than trashy. But then again, I believe in all those other old-fashioned things like mystery and romance and charming flirtation and the joy of the pursuit. I suppose if your schedule is really jam packed it's better to just skip all that and advertise the goods right out in the open (insert sarcastic eye rolling here).

But I digress...

Our time on the Beachfire patio was short lived as it was relatively smoke free when we first went out there but at some point, the entire place (except for our party) lit up at once and it was a bit too much for my SIL (who is 5 months pregnant) and for me due to a nicotine allergy. So we left there and decided to head down to Laguna Beach because my SIL had read an article on the 10 best places to get dessert in the OC and 2 of 'em were in Laguna. And yes, we'd already had dessert...what's your point?

Unfortunately, the first place we went to (which I now don't remember the name of except that it's on Forest Ave) closed at 9 PM (and it was 10 when we got there). Whoever heard of closing a restaurant/bar at freakin' 9 PM on a Friday night at the height of tourist season? Sheesh! But all was not lost as there was a cool little band set up on the street corner nearby playing some nifty jazz and swing music so we stopped to listen for a while. It's not often you see a bass fiddle in a trio outdoors these days so it was unique...and they were quite good as well. Then we headed off to the Sorrento Grille (which WAS still open) for our late dessert and a last drink before heading home.

All in all, it was a great celebration and I had a wonderful time. DH's gift to me was tickets to the Billy Joel/Twyla Tharp production of "Movin' On" at the OC Performing Arts Center. I can't wait to go - it should be a lot of fun!

In beading news, I'm busy getting all the sale orders shipped and working on some custom orders that have come in this week. Busy, busy, busy! But it's okay - I like it this way! I've also got another pair of bead embroidered earrings about half way done. I hope to get those finished and posted later this week. And, I've got lots of yummy new lampwork and furnace glass beads coming in (my birthday present to myself!) that I can't wait to make up into some fabulous creations so keep an eye out for those.

That's it for now! Take care everyone!


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Continuing with my "orange" kick that I've been on lately - here's one of my bead embroidered flower pendant and ribbon necklaces. This as well as the earrings I posted the other day are both up on the website now. Oh, and don't forget, EVERYTHING is 45% off through Saturday in honor of my birthday! Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

These are so new that they aren't even on the website yet (hopefully later today...maybe). I started with dichroic glass cabochons for the centers and added rows of peyote stitch and bead embroidery in shades of gold, green and orange and finished with matching fringe. The backs are finished with ultra suede in a coordinate color and these earrings have 14k gold-filled posts . Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

Silver Parrot Designs Announces a Mega Birthday Blowout Sale!

Mega Birthday Blowout Sale!

That's right...I'm turning 40 (heavy sigh) and I'm throwing a party in honor of myself! It's a jewelry sale party and YOU are invited! Head on over to the site via the link above for all the details. Everything is 45% off for the next week with NO minimum orders!

Happy Birthday to me and Happy Shopping to you!


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sharks are just COOL!

MSN Encarta - What's Your Shark I.Q.?

I can't believe I'm actually going to admit this in public, but I like sharks and am an avid fan of "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel. I don't know if it's because I grew up in the whole "Jaws" era or what, but I've just always found them fascinating.

Anyway, I found this fun little quiz for all you shark fans out there (Jenie). See how you do - I got 10/10! But then, as I've just admitted, I'm a major super uber-geek (obviously).


Ryan's words of wisdom

Okay, so he's only 2.5 years old, but the kid is coming up with some pretty funny stuff. So, I thought I'd record some of it here occasionally.

And now, without further ado, here are Ryan's "words of wisdom" for this week:

"Mommy, is not okay to eat poo poo."

Errr....yes, dear, that's right. And I sooooo don't want to know what the situation was when you learned that particular phrase. {{{Shudder}}}

Take care all (and remember, don't eat poo poo)


P.S. New bracelet, new earrings and 3 new necklaces are up on the site this week and I'm also contemplating a MAJOR sale in honor of my upcoming 40th birthday so stay tuned for details!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I've had these done for a while, but have been holding them back from the website while trying to get an article on them published. Doesn't look like that's going to fly, so I've decided to put them up for sale. They'll be added to the "Hippie Dippie" section of the website because they've got that 60's flower child feel. I started with a basic iron-on applique, backed it with suede and added hand-beaded embroidery around the edges. It's strung on suede lace and finished with a sterling silver clasp. I may also have kits available in the future, but right now, these finished necklaces are for sale. There are several other designs and I'll be posting those pictures here over the next few days. Groovy, baby! Posted by Hello

Monday, June 06, 2005

Who needs anti-depressants when there's ice cream?

MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery

I have a new addiction - Maggie Moo's ice cream. This new vendor is springing up all over the place down here and is a terrific competitor to the overpriced (and IMO not all that great) Cold Stone Creamery. This ice cream is so good that you don't even need the "mix ins" (but they do offer them if you want). And for all you figure-conscious people, well, if you're worried about that, you shouldn't be eating ice cream anyway. Go have a carrot!

Seriously, tho, they have fat free AND carb-free and sugar-free, blah, blah, blah whatever...but they do have it so go crazy.

And if you want recommendations...well, I thought the chocolate mint was TO DIE FOR. I have it on good authority from the 2 and 4-year-olds who were with me that the Grape Bubblegum and Blue Cotton Candy are also FABULOUS.

While I was laying sick in bed with my latest bout of whatever-illness-du-jour I was just DREAMING of someone bringing me a bowlful of this stuff for my poor abused throat. Of course, no one DID bring me any and I had to make do with grape popsicles and Vicodin which, despite how it sounds, is nowhere NEAR as good as this ice cream.

So go get you some (cuz, as I learned the hard way, ain't nobody gonna bring you any even if you're sick!)



Black Holes, anyone?

Do you ever have those periods in your life where everything just seems to blow up at once and you're so busy scrambling to put the pieces back together that weeks go by before you can sort of "come up for air?" I call these periods "Black Holes." Like life just sucks up everything for the moment until you don't even know where the time went. The last 10 days have definitely been a HUGE "Black Hole" for our family.

On Friday, May 27th, I was at lunch with my parents when we received a phone call that my grandmother's nursing home had called 911 for her and that she was being rushed to the ER. My parents raced off to meet her there, but I, unfortunately, had to go back to work until 5 PM at which time I was able to go to the hospital as well. By that time she had been admitted and it was pretty obvious that the end was near so I spent the next several days running back and forth to the hospital. On Sunday, I started to get a sore throat, but since that's pretty much been a chronic thing for the last six months, I kind of ignored it, although I did start feeling worse and worse over the next few days.

I went to work on Tuesday, but got the call late that afternoon that my grandmother had finally passed away. She was 92 years old and had had a debilitating stroke 2 years ago so it wasn't a complete shock, but it was still very sad to lose her (especially so soon after the death of my other grandmother). She was quite brilliant at both cooking and sewing and I firmly believe that any skill or talent I have at any of the crafts I've fiddled with over the years (including jewelrymaking) must've come down from that side of the family. I'm so lucky to have known her and I'm grateful that she passed on some of her knowledge to me. Notice I didn't say "recipes" because grandmother Mildred was one of those terrific cooks who just did everything by taste. If you wanted a "recipe" from her, you had to make an appointment to sit in her kitchen while she cooked something and take notes and the whole time you had to bug her about using measuring spoons and cups so you had a hope in heck of getting a detailed recipe to follow. Otherwise it was a "pinch of this" and a "handful of that."

Losing both my incredible grandmothers so close together has really had me thinking about the generation they were part of (Depression, WWII, etc.) and all the amazing knowledge they had and how that is all passing out of this world. I suppose I wouldn't necessarily WANT to pluck my own chickens or sew my own clothes, but it's kind of sad that pretty soon it won't be common knowledge any more.

At least I do have some killer "recipes" to remember her by. My aunt collected a bunch from all of us and published them in a memorial booklet that we had available at the funeral on Friday. But I'm still the only one that has the recipe for Chicken and Dumplings :-)

Through all of this, it turned out that I had a pretty severe case of tonsillitis which I am now mostly recovered from (thank goodness for antibiotics). I did manage to start one new beading project late last night. I was tired, but I guess I felt really compelled to pick up a needle and start something. Maybe Grandma was looking down on me and nudging me to get going ;-) I started doing some bead embroidery around a pair of dichroic cabs...citrus shades of gold, orange and green. I only got a couple of rows done before I was too tired to do any more, but it definitely picked my spirits up a bit.

Thanks, Grandma.

Take care everyone and if you haven't told your family and friends lately how much they mean to you - don't it today!