Saturday, December 29, 2007

Santa been berry, berry good to me..

One of the great things about the holiday season around here is the annual "Day After Christmas" sale at my LBS. 60% off the entire store (except lampwork...damnit!)!! Plus, this year, my family finally clued (I've only been doing this for, like, 10 years or something) in that I like beads and got me a gift certificate to use at the store on sale day.

I had limited time so didn't end up waiting in the mammoth lines for Swarovski, wire and chain like I'd planned, but still managed to get some other great stuff:

Got two strands of this gorgeous Jasper - one in coin shape and the other in diamond shape. I'm envisioning mixing the shapes together in a necklace, but haven't fully fleshed out the entire design yet.

These four strands are African Blue Jasper - 2 in coin shape and 2 in square shape. One of the great things about this sale is that it allows me to get enough of a particular type of bead to really play with design ideas. Usually, when it comes to stones, I have to limit myself to one strand only or I blow my entire budget on just one kind of stone.

This strand of Labradorite coins has some beautiful, but subtle, chatoyancy going on in nearly every bead. It's tough to scan, but trust me, these beads are absolutely stunning in real life.

I'm not usually a big fan of Rhodochrosite, but I thought this strand of coin-shaped beads was pretty and well matched in size and shape and I do always try to pick up something that I wouldn't normally get when I hit a show or a sale. Otherwise, I'd end up with nothing but turquoise, amethyst and blue opal when I shop.

Just to round out my stash and fill in some projects I'm currently working on, I picked up a large selection of Czech crystals. They make great filler beads when you need to add color and flash without the expense of Swarovski crystals. The store had some new and unusual color variations I hadn't seen before so I picked up multiple strands of each - this picture is just a small sample.

Other purchases included some size 6 and 8 seed beads in various colors for beading edges around cabs, some Lacy's "Stiff Stuff" (also for cab beading), some polishing cloths, glues and replacement tools.

I also spent part of yesterday on-line doing my major bead ordering for the year. Some of it was generic supplies like head pins, filler beads, earring wires and jewelry boxes for shipping orders, but I found some really different and unique stuff at a few websites so I'm looking forward to watching the mailbox over the next few weeks.

Pictures, of course, will be posted ;-)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New Year! Looking forward to a fun and exciting 2008!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Was everyone nice instead of naughty this year? I sure hope so! It's so totally worth it - Santa was VERY good to me.

I got a great new bike and so did the kid so we can start riding together. At least, we can start as soon as the HURRICANE FORCE WINDS die down! Who ordered Santa Ana's for Christmas, anyway? I protest!

I especially protest the part where I came downstairs this morning to find piles of black dirt blown under my front door and all over my entryway by the wind. Too bad I didn't find them before the kid had walked through them and then tracked them all over the carpet.

However, Santa was so good to me, I can't complain too much.

And since it's Christmas, here are a couple more pictures I never got around to posting:

Furnace glass with pearls and Swarovski crystals.

Venetian lampwork from Murano with pearls, Swarovski crystals and 14k gold filled beads.

And now, I think I hear pecan pie calling my name - or else I just had too much champagne at brunch.

Nope, definitely the pie!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

And one more picture...

...because I have nothing more interesting to write about.

Cane glass, Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and sterling silver.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Site Update & Pics

Whew! Did a major site update today and added lots of new items for sale. Also updated the gallery pages with items that have recently sold.

I need a nap now, but before I go, here are the Christmas presents I've finished so far. See? If you people read the blog, you'd know what you were getting for Christmas. I'm just sayin'..

Fairydust Stripe Earrings - cane glass, Swarovski crystals and gold vermeil accents.

Black Cherry Rosebud Earrings - Murano lampworked beads with vermeil accents and Swarovski crystals in rose satin.

Raspberry Stripe Earrings - cane glass, Swarovski crystals and gold vermeil accents

Purple Suede Earrings - these look blue and green, but are actually purple and turquoise enamel and sterling silver findings with sterling silver accent beads and Swarovski crystals in my new favorite color - purple velvet. Yummmm.

These are for someone special on the kid's Christmas list and he helped pick the beads, colors and design structure. Cane glass with Swarovski crystals in blue topaz and chrysolite.

Ruby Slipper Earrings (the kid and I watched the original "Wizard of Oz" last week for the first time) - red Murano glass beads with sterling silver accent beads and Swarovski crystals in siam.

I just love earrings - so quick and easy to make and so much "bang" for the buck in terms of eye candy and adding the perfect touch to finish off an outfit. I always say you don't have to have a ton of jewelry for every outfit as long as you've got THE perfect pair of earrings!

Oh, and no nap for me. Time to go make Christmas cookies with the kid and my nephew.

Happy Holidays, all!


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Nights in Black Onyx...

...perhaps I shouldn't listen to The Moody Blues while I'm trying to name new pieces...

This set just DEMANDED to be named "Nights in Black Onyx."

And yes, another sub-par scan. This new scanner has about 10 times the bells and whistles that the old one did and is smaller and lighter, but the old one was SO much easier to use and end up with good pictures on a consistent basis.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Thank you, Merci and Muchas Gracias!

Thank you so much to everyone who has placed a jewelry order recently! Given that I'm now a single parent trying to support what was a dual-income lifestyle on a single income, every little bit helps. This extra income means that Santa can be really good this year to a kid who really deserves it.

Now, a bit of housekeeping...

If you've ordered something from the site and I've shipped it, its picture has been moved to the Gallery Pages of the website so if you want to show someone a picture of what you've ordered, that's where you'll find it.

And, of course, pictures...

Just finished this set this weekend.

The scan is absolutely awful as it has turned everything that is bright gold to a very dark, tarnished-looking color, but it's the best I was able to do. The cab is some kind of miscellaneous agate that I got in a grab bag full of stones from Fire Mountain Gems. I actually think the stone is not very attractive on its own, but with the addition of some bead embroidery, it has really come alive.

There are two pairs of matching earrings:

Also finished this custom order today.

Once again, seriously crappy scan...sigh. A customer ordered a similar item off the website because some dippy blonde website owner (me) forgot to take that item down when it sold. So, I spent the weekend frantically trying to re-create the original which is nearly impossible given that the beads are furnace glass which makes them very unique and individual. Plus, I bought the original beads probably two years ago so no way my suppliers still had any of the same lot left. Still I was able to come pretty close, I think.

You be the's the original:

And then I finished off a couple of pairs of earrings which I've posted before, but never had time to put the tops on them. They are now actually DONE!
And yes, the really bad scanning continues...

And now, to bed. The bills and laundry will just have to wait until tomorrow...or longer.