Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More eye candy!

Since nothing has caught on fire at my house since last Friday, I don't have much exciting to write about.

So, beady eye candy it is!

These beautiful pinky-gold lampwork beads are from a favorite eBay vendor of mine. It's not real obvious in the picture, but she did something inside these beads to give them almost a "crackled" interior. They are truly stunning in real life!

I'm not sure, though, I may like these beads (from the same vendor) even better. The colors sure are luscious!

And just my luck that 5 Fish was having a sale last week and I couldn't resist these beauties with their swirls of blue, green and purple...all my favorite colors!

I bought and used a set similar to this last year except the beads were wine-colored with glittery interiors. The resulting bracelet is one of the best pieces I've ever made so when I saw the same effect in this fabulous, deep cobalt blue, I just had to indulge!

And this picture just speaks for I'll shut up now.

Have a great day, everyone!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Scenario del fuego numero dos

Es el fuego muy grande...

As if I wasn’t already freaked out enough by what happened with the kidlet (I’ve decided he’s still a kidlet until he turns 7 and then he can be a full-fledged kid after that) and the fireplace last weekend, I had yet another close (too close!) encounter with fire in the wee hours of Friday morning.

Around 4 AM, I got up to go to the bathroom (because, now that I’m over 40, my bladder has suddenly decided it is the size of a pea and must be emptied, like, every hour or so, which SUCKS for getting enough sleepage and oh, wait, I’ve probably ventured into TMI territory…). It was cold and dark and I went right back to my nice warm bed where, fortunately (it turns out) I stayed half awake for a while.

I came fully awake upon hearing a strange buzzing noise from next to my bed – sort of like the noise you hear when a cell phone that is on vibrate goes off while it’s laying on a table. I couldn’t figure out what on earth could be making that noise because I knew my cell phone was downstairs.

I turned on the light to discover a cloud of smoke billowing up from the floor next to my bed. It was coming from the controller box for a heating pad I’ve been using to treat a sore shoulder at night.

**Note: The heating pad was turned COMPLETELY OFF, but was still plugged in to the electrical outlet.

As I reached to unplug it, flames started shooting out of it along with more smoke.

**Note #2: The smoke detector in my bedroom never went off during this entire incident.

I flipped the heating pad over onto the controller box and stomped on it in an attempt to smother the fire. This didn’t work whereupon I grabbed a glass of water that was on my bedside table and dumped the whole thing on the pad and the controller

**Note #3: Yeah, okay, so I remembered about 2 seconds too late that you are not supposed to put water on an electrical fire, but if I’d run to get the fire extinguisher, I think things would’ve gotten too far out of hand for me to stop by the time I got back and also, hey, YOU trying being awoken at 4:30 in the morning in the cold and dark by strange noises, smoke and flames and still thinking straight.

And then, once the fire was out, I threw open all the bedroom windows (always fun at 4:30 in the morning in freakin’ WINTER time) in order to get the burned plastic stink out of my bedroom and, at that point, KEEP the smoke detector alarms from going off and freaking out the kidlet.

Then, after I carried the whole wet, stinking, burned, dripping heating pad mess over to my sink, I discovered a nice, dinner-plate-sized burned area on my bedroom carpet


On the upside, you can no longer see the spot where I spilled “Mango Freeze” nailpolish a few years ago.

Just goes to show…there’s no great loss without some small gain.

2 weird incidents in less than a's hates me.

I’m just sayin…

Stay safe!!


P.S. No, I have no idea why my brain is suddenly spouting all the Espanol, but I'm going with it anyway.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fired UP!

So, fire has been strangely insistent on intruding into my life lately. I’m not sure if the sun is in Gemini (my sign) or if I’ve managed to unwittingly piss of some obscure fire god or what, but I’ve had two very scary “almost burned the house down” incidents at my house in the last week.

Scenario del fuego numero uno:

Monday night, I brought the kidlet (although I guess he’s not really a kidlet any more but is actually more of a kid at 6 years old than a kidlet any more…and for those who are new here, kidlet is the diminutive form of kid, the feminine of which would be kidlette, but since mine is masculine, I go with kidlet and WOW was it a bad idea to eat M&M’s while drinking a Diet Coke because look at the brain damaged tangent escaping from my keyboard…) home from a really nice playdate at a friend’s house.

We were both tired and it was cold (it having been the day of the el giganto rainstorm around here) so I turned on the gas fireplace and settled the kidlet at the kitchen table with some hot chocolate and crackers for a snack.

I walked into the living room to get a piece of paper (was gone all of 60 seconds or so) and came back to find said kidlet still (or so I thought) seated at the table finishing his snack. He put his dishes in the sink and left the room to go play and I began tidying up.

As I approached the fireplace, I saw a bunch of black stuff all over the tile hearth and noticed that the fire had been turned off. The warning bells went off immediately and I called the kidlet in to ask if he had touched the fireplace. Of course, he said, “no.” After a bit more prodding (and okay, some stern words), he finally fessed up to what had happened.

In the 60 seconds I was gone from the room, he’d gotten a sheet of stickers from the bookcase, opened the glass fireplace doors, and stuck the sheet of stickers into the fire to “see what would happen.”

When the obvious result occurred, he panicked and dropped the burning paper onto the (THANK GOD) tile hearth where it miraculously missed catching his pants or the nearby fabric bird cage cover on fire.

He then closed the fireplace doors, flipped the switch that turned the fire off and went calmly back to drinking his hot chocolate at the table before I came back in the room.

Never made a peep during the whole incident. Had I not found the ashes and noticed the fire was turned off, I never would have even known what happened.

Kidlet has nerves of steel, I tell you.

Needless to say, Mr. Nerves of Steel went straight to his room and bed with no dessert right then and there and was lectured sternly the entire time by Ms. I-don’t-know-whether-to-hug-him-or-strangle-him (aka me).

I went to the store the next day and bought three different types of safety locks for that stupid fireplace only to get them all home and discover that none of them will fit the handles on the fireplace doors.

And he’s only 6.


Scenario del fuego numero dos to be posted sometime in the next few days (aka when I get around to writing it.

Have a good weekend and safety-lock your fireplaces!!!


Thursday, February 19, 2009 and improved with PICTURES!

Okay, a bit of housekeeping before we get to the eye candy:

1. I'm thrilled to see people signing up as followers of the blog and even GASP! leaving comments! Awesome! Thank you so much for choosing to spend your daily allotment of "wasted computer time" meandering through the drivel that flows from my brain and out through my keyboard. And okay, yeah, everyone's really only here for the eye candy, I know, but a girl can dream...

2. As I've mentioned in previous posts, but will continue to mention again and again because I'm too excited to ever get really tired of writing about this, I will have six designs published in the March, 2009, issue of "Bead Trends" magazine. I've already gotten the advance copies so the mag should hit the newstands soon. The pictures are truly stunning (thanks to their photographer and stylist no doubt) and I'm so thrilled to have been selected by the magazine as a designer. More items will follow in the April and May issues, as well.

**Note - if you click on that link for the magazine, they're still showing the February issue, but I expect the March issue will get posted within a week or so.

Okay, eye candy time!

These stunning lampwork tulip beads came from one of my favorite eBay vendors. This is the photo from the eBay listing, but the real beads came in the mail a few days ago and the colors are actually prettier in person. They're much brighter and not as olive-y on the leaves.

These pretty pansies are made by the same artist who created the tulips and I just love them. They haven't arrived yet, but I'm watching the mailbox like a hawk...a pansy hawk!

Some more of Kevin Chen's beautiful porcelain beads. I wish the scanner could do justice to them, but it just can't pick up the rich gold metallics and the shiny, mirror-like finish on these babies. I think with some dark blue crystals or stones, they'll be sooo dramatic!

Which explains why I had to buy even more from him. Can you EVEN BELIEVE these peacock beads??? And the water swirl ones aren't too shabby, either.

And no, I didn't rob a bank...remember, I went AWOL for almost 3 whole months including the holidays so I have a HUGE backlog of posts and pictures to get through.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I can haz MORE beads?!

Because pictures are a lazy blogger's best friend :-)

And also because, my brain is too fried from life crap to write witty, interesting blog posts. Not that I was every able to do that before, but I was just looking over some of 2008's greatest hits and hey, I occasionally achieved at least a chuckle or two.

Oh, and the other thing I learned when reviewing the 2008 posts - my bead buying habit is, um, slightly worse than I remember it being.

Someone should probably stop me some day.

But today is not that day (and heck, tomorrow is probably not that day, either):

Because, seriously, who could resist these beautiful raku beads with their rustic feel and beautiful, earthy colors with splashes of metallic (which sooooo do not show up well in these pictures)? Oh, and did I mention they were on sale?

Yep. Sale.

You wish you were me, right?

Well, if you didn't before, you do now after seeing these yummy C. Koop enamel beads, clasp and pendant. I don't even have to talk about them - they speak for themselves. Trust me, I could hear their voices in the bead store saying "Buy me...BUY ME!" They got louder because I tried to pretend I wasn't hearing voices at first...I thought the store owner might think I was weird and throw me out or something. But then, she realized I was just waiting for her to say the magic word: "SALE!"

These lovely pieces of lampwork came from Unicorn Beads at the Costa Mesa gem show back in December. Which reminds me, there's another show this weekend. Too bad I spent all my money on eBay beads yesterday. Oops!

If you've been following along here for any length of time, you might remember my oh so sad post from last year about how I lost (the horror...THE HORROR) a brand new bag of gorgeous furnace glass from Mingo and Asho of Glasscapes right at the show where I bought it. Well, I e-mailed Asho right after the show to see if she had found my poor abandoned beads and alas, they were not to be found. Fortunately for me, she had a booth again at the next show and when I walked up and introduced myself, she remembered my e-mail and immediately offered me a discount off any new purchase. How totally cool is that! Especially because their glass is just so lovely. In my opinion, if you're going to use furnace glass in your designs, you shouldn't buy from anyone else - no one can TOUCH the color combinations or artistry that these two people achieve with their beads. Heck, you can tell just from look at the preceding picture how stunning their work is. My only complaint is that their beads look like such yumalicious candy that I often want to eat them rather than design with them...except I think it would be bad for my teeth ;-)

Lastly, I found these stunning lampwork glass and dichro leaves at Brea Beadworks. Oh...My...God. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. The only downside is that these babies were most definitely NOT ON SALE (no matter how I begged and pleaded and groveled) and therefore I couldn't buy one of each and had to limit my selection to what you see here. Which was nearly impossible to do because oh, they were all SO GORGEOUS.

And no, I have no idea what I'm going to make with them. Why do people always ask me that silly question? The muse cannot be rushed people. Chillax.


P.S. I officially have TWO, count 'em, TWO, blog followers. Yay! I am no longer blogging at myself and therefore am officially NOT beads aside, that is.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I can haz beads????

Or maybe this entry should be entitled "Portrait of a Lazy Blogger?"

Which means you get pictures of pretty, pretty beads that are MINE...ALL MINE:

And no actual writing of any worth ;-)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Greetings from outer space...

“And so I’m back, from outer space. I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face…”

I kept trying to start this long-overdue blog entry with the words “I’m back” and all I kept getting was that stupid song in my head so I figured I might as well include it because then maybe it’ll quit bugging me and taking up valuable brain space in my head.

Sorry for the loooongggg stretch of quietude on the blog, but I was off recuperating from life/fate/the universe/whatever having kicked me in the teeth…actually, it was more like getting hit by a bus and then dragged hundreds of miles over rocky ground, speed bumps, broken glass and a few squished animals here and there.

(For those with “’satiable curiosity”, this is my way of describing the fact that my formerly healthy and not all that old dad had a major stroke back in November and now requires 24-hour care and that my mother is completely helpless without him because he did everything for her.)

Oh, and did I mention that during all this fun and frivolity I had first, the flu and then, bronchitis, and that my non-child-support-paying and unemployed loser of an ex-husband got himself arrested for the third time while all this was going on? Boy, I tell ya. Fun times.

So, um, yeah, that happened.

I wish I could say I got a lot of recreational beading done during the holidays and while I was on my leave of absence from work because of the situation with my dad, but if you read the paragraphs above, you’ll realize that there wasn’t a whole lot of time or emotional energy to spare. Practically the only “down time” I had was when I was sick and I spent most of that time either wishing I was dead (not conducive to creativity) or in a cold-medicine-induced coma (makes it difficult to thread a needle).

Still, I did manage to finish a couple of things:

The photography sucks (the full extent of the mysteries of the digital camera continues to elude me) and the colors in the pictures are totally off, but both of these pieces came out pretty well – the small exception being that the darker blue necklace is a bit longer that I would really like it to be, but it was either that or completely re-string the thing because of a mistake I made and I just didn’t have the energy. This way, it’s a little long, but the mistake is fixed. I can live with that.

I also managed two afternoons of bead shopping therapy – and man, did I NEED therapy in the WORST way. Hence, the shopping turned out to be a tad more, um, indulgent than was probably wise. But, hey, it was better than driving off a freeway overpass, right?

(And for those who just read that sentence and are freaking out – it was a joke. Get over it.)
Pics of my shopping therapy will be posted tomorrow for anyone who feels the need to have a major eye candy drool session ;-)

Anyway, I’m back to work now and trying to re-adjust to “normal life”…if there even is such a thing. I hope to get back to writing more frequently, but given the situation with my dad, things may continue to be a bit bumpy around here. So, if there are some unexplained absences from this blog occasionally, I hope you’ll keep checking back because I will get things back on track eventually.


P.S. A small public service announcement because my family and I just learned a few things the REALLY hard way…if you are past a certain age, have a history of stroke or other health problems or your parents fall into that category, please put a plan in place for what to do if something should suddenly happen that incapacitates you or a family member. Make sure all vital records are in a KNOWN location and that things like computer passwords and other important information are included. I don’t mean to have that stuff lying around carelessly for just anyone, but I am saying that more than one person in the family ought to know where stuff is. Also, make sure you (or your parents) have adequate insurance coverage specifically for “long term care.” Because let me tell you…Medicare only pays 100% for the first 20 days and then 80% for the next 80 days. THAT IS IT. 100 days and then you are on your own unless you have specific long term care insurance. AND, you only get the 100 days if you meet Medicare’s “qualifying guidelines” for a skilled nursing facility. They change all the time, but currently this means that you must either have a feeding tube or be on an I.V. OR you have to qualify for AT LEAST 2 kinds of rehabilitation therapy of which the primary one has to be physical therapy AND you have to show “continuous progress.” So, let’s say that after 30 days working with a physical and speech therapist that a patient is not making any progress. Those therapists are required to report that to Medicare and BAM! Medicare stops paying. You now have the choice of either staying where you are and paying privately at a rate of $10,000/month or you can move home and have your family members take care of you around the clock (never mind that they have kids and jobs) or you can go to what’s called a “board and care” which is basically a private home where you lay in bed all day with no therapy. Medicare doesn’t cover that either so you pay anywhere from $3500 to $5000 a month for the privilege of lying around waiting to die. GET LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE, PEOPLE!

I am just saying…

P.P.S. I do promise that I will try to make this my last “downer” entry, but you have to understand, things have been REALLY, REALLY crappy so some “stuff” may occasionally leak out. All I can say is: read at your own risk ;-)