Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A busy bee...

...gathers no moss. Or maybe it's a rolling stone smashes bees out of its way? Whatever.

Insert all the usual excuses for me being a busy, busy, busy girl (apologies to those who thought I was a bee. I'm not).

I did manage to get some beading done over the three day weekend (chores? what chores?) so here are some pics:

This is another of Jeff Welsh's fabulous boro glass pendants. I never thought I'd be designing necklaces around a shark motif, but he just does such a great job with the shapes - so lifelike - that I couldn't resist. I put together a bunch of strands of seed beads, crystals and pearls to pick up the colors in the pendant and then added Bali silver cones and an "S" clasp. I call this piece "Brenneke Beach" after my most memorable encounter with a shark. It involved an 18' tiger shark who, after perusing the "surfer appetizer" menu at Brenneke Beach on Kauai, decided he'd rather have sea turtle. This turned out to be fortunate for me and the rest of the surfers in the water at the time considering that all of us were blissfully unaware of our uninvited guest until one of the island tour helicopters that was flying overhead spotted the shark swimming around our ankles and dipped down to try to warn us of the potential of impending, toothy doom. Sadly, we thought they were just being friendly and giving the tourists aboard a chance to wave to the surfers. So, all we did was politely wave back. Then the lifeguards hopped on their jetskis and came out to tell us what was really going on. I have no memory of how I actually made it to shore - only that it took me about a nanosecond to get there. Then, we all went up on the cliff overlooking the beach to take a look at the shark, which was still circling in the water. A HUGE, impressive site. 18' is only an estimate from one of the locals - it's quite possible the shark was larger than that.

And yes, tiger sharks are one of the species known to eat people. When there aren't any handy sea turtles...

One of my "chores" for the weekend (I say "chores" in quotes because it's actually fun which is sort of the opposite of a chore) was to cull through my beading magazines and get rid of the backlog. I do this by tearing out any projects I think look interesting and putting them into 3-ring binders for later use. Then, I toss what's left of the magazine. That keeps all my potential projects organized (no wasting time flipping through a zillion magazines saying "I know that project was in that issue with that thing on the front sometime in 2006") plus it cuts down significantly on the storage space requirements.

I got all fired up with great ideas while I was doing this and picked one project to start. Unfortunately, it required 24 6mm crystal bicones in one color to complete it. Now, with a bead stash the size of mine, you'd think that I have EVERY FREAKIN' POSSIBLE BEAD under the sun. You'd especially think I have a large amount of something so basic as a 6mm bicone crystal.

You'd be wrong.

Oh, I have crystals galore. I have 6mm crystals. I even have 6mm bicone crystals.

But do I have 24 6mm bicone crystals in the same color?


Do I have 12 each 6mm crystals in two colors that could even remotely coordinate with each other?



So, now I'm faced with a dilemma. Break my less than 1 month old resolution to limit my beading purchases to only replacement of standard supplies (i.e. thread, jump rings, head pins, etc.) OR give up on this project.

Guess which option I chose?



It was a trick question.

I did both.

Turns out my favorite crystal supplier was having a terrific sale so I stocked up on 6mm bicone crystals at quite a discount. Hey, they're basics so I didn't TOTALLY break my resolution.

While waiting for them to arrive in the mail, I moved on to a different project which, miracle of miracles, I turned out to have all the right materials for. Okay, okay so I substituted 8 lb. test Power Pro for the 6 lb. test Fireline, but that's not something that will make a difference. Here are the results:

These turned out to be so easy and so much fun that I've now churned out a bunch of them. I'll be posting more pics later in the week, but here's the second one I did:

I spent the rest of the weekend and most of last week working on a major project at work and preparing to pull off the 4-year-old birthday party of the century (pizza, a Spiderman bouncy house and chocolate cake with chocolate filling) where a good time was had by all and Ryan and I spent an hour and a half jumping in the house by ourselves after the party was over. My neighbors have now had visual proof that I am crazy. I think some of them may have even acquired videotaped evidence of it. It will probably show up on YouTube soon.

Ryan's favorite gift? So far it's the "Bug Vacuum." For those who want to know, it does exactly what the name implies. It has 3 speeds of "suckage" (for small, medium and large bugs I suppose). You place the nozzle over the desired bug and squeeze the trigger and the hapless little fellow is immediately sucked into a canister. You then flip a lever to seal off the canister and remove it from the vacuum. The top of the canister is a magnifying glass so you can now view your sucked bug at SUPER EXTREME CLOSE-UP RANGE. We haven't tried it with a real bug yet, but the vacuum comes with a fake "practice bug" and Ryan has now spent hours vacuuming that thing up all over the house. Now if I could only get him to use the real vacuum on the carpets, it would be great.

By the way, despite the toy's claim that this process will not be harmful to any actual, living bugs, I have my doubts. The fake bug is already looking a little the worse for wear...

Anyway, after all that, I woke up Sunday morning to find that I am coming down with yet another cold. Everyone in my family has been bouncing some virus or other around between us since New Year's. We are like some giant viral pinball machine.

This past Sunday night was the long-awaited premiere of "The Dresden Files" on the Sci-Fi channel. I was so looking forward to this, but have to say that the initial episode was a bit disappointing. I will give it a few more chances in the hopes that it improves. I'm such a fan of the books that I have to wonder if that has colored my judgment of the show. I wonder if someone not acquainted with the novels would have a different take on the TV version...

I can at least say that it is not as bad as what they did to "Battlestar Galactica".

That's it for now. I'll try to post more bracelet pictures later in the week.


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