Monday, March 30, 2009


So, no bead or jewelry pictures = no comments? Okay, fine. I see how you people are. Hey, I happen to think sea lions and ferris wheels are cute, but whatever. Let me return you to your regularly scheduled bead viewage ;-)

I found a couple of beautiful sets of beads on Etsy a few weeks ago:

This set is going to look smashing with some black onyx beads and pink jade briolettes that I have in my stash.

This set is so spectacular that I’m going to have to put it away in the stash for a while until I decide what to do with it. Turquoise seems too casual to put with it and the color is right for brass findings and chain, but the bead snob in me is having a horrible time thinking of putting these lovely (AND EXPENSIVE!) works of art with brass. Urgh.

I had hoped to get some jewelry made (or at least started) over the weekend, but thanks to an almost endless list of errands and chores (and I still didn't get the parrot cage cleaned or make it to Old Navy to get pj bottoms for my dad or to Payless to get new shoes for the kidlet) and a freakin' TWO WASTED HOURS on the phone with my website hosting company (merger, site migration, oops they changed my ftp password without telling me DUH!) trying to get new content loaded on my site...that didn't happen.

Thank GOD I am going on vacay next week. If the kidlet doesn't get sick between now and then (oh please oh please oh please DO NOT GET SICK!) that is.

Happy Monday, all!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yesterday's List

So, how did I do on yesterday’s list? Let’s see:

1. Finish the piece I'm working on right now – YES (at 10:30 last night)

2. Photograph two new pieces – NOPE (only got 1 done)

3. Photoshop my crappy photos to look slightly less crappy – SORT OF (did the photoshopping on the 1 item I took a pic of, but did not achieve the slightly less crappiness I was hoping for)

4. Get the new items loaded onto the website and the New Designs page upated – NO


6. Go to the grocery store – YES (but forgot half the items on my list)

7. Go to the drug store (because, after all, with a life like this, I NEED my drugs) – YES (hey, I HAVE my priorities)

8. Wash, dry, sort, fold and put away umpty-zillion loads of laundry – HELL NO

9. Put some sort of nutritional and yet appetizing (to him) substance in front of the kid for dinner – DOES PB&J COUNT? (hey, before you call the food police, he had yogurt and a banana, too)

10. Spend "quality time" with the kid (does watching "Justice League" on Boomerang count?)- NOT AS MUCH AS I WANTED TO AND WE DIDN’T GET TO WATCH “JUSTICE LEAGUE.”

But, in my own defense, bedtime is only 7:30 PM and it was already 6:15 by the time we got home from going to the stores and we still had to have dinner and shower so you can see we’re kinda time challenged on school nights.

And, to prove I’m not completely derelict in the quality time department, I thought I’d post some pics from a day the kidlet and I spent on Balboa Island last month (see – told you I’m still trying to get caught up on blog entries from a month ago!)

This is the view from the ferry as we travel from the island over to the peninsula. You can see the ferris wheel that marks the location of the famous "Fun Zone."

Another, closer view of the ferris wheel:

After we got off the ferry, kidlet and I rode the ferris wheel (multiple times - he didn't want to get off of it LOL!) Then we played some video games in one of the arcades and then took a boat tour of Balboa Harbor where I took lots of pictures of famous (and RICH!) peoples' houses.

This house belongs to the Wrigley family - of Wrigley's gum and Wrigley field in...Chicago? I think? Anyway, whatever baseball team plays at that field used to be owned by the family and they used to have their spring training over on Catalina Island so the family purchased this house.

You can't see this house as well and it's currently undergoing MAJOR construction, but it belongs to best-selling author Dean Koontz:

This house (the one directly above the boat with the blue cover) originally belonged to George Burns and Gracie Allen:

The house with the green awning originally belonged to Shirley Temple:

And here's another boat put-putting around the harbor:

Proof that the kidlet actually exists (he does - just ask my insurance company!) and that he likes waving at putt-putt boats:

The captain of our boat actually let him steer the boat for a while during the tour which totally made his whole day.

The last two houses used to be one single house. It was owned by "King" Gillette (of Gillette razor fame). His two sons inherited the house, but they hated each other and eventually split it into two houses. But that wasn't enough - the son who had the outermost house (the lighter-colored one on the left) extended his balcony by 18" just so the other son's house would no longer have an ocean view looking down the channel. togetherness.

This is the jetty separating the harbor from "The Wedge" - the O.C's premiere (and sometimes most dangerous) body surfing beach. I caught quite a few waves there with my dad years ago and I can still remember the time I did a pile-driver into the sand and couldn't turn my head for a week. BIG WAVES! The Wedge is on the other side of the rocks as you're looking at the jetty.

And then we met some "not quite as rich" denizens of the harbor (well, actually, they live on oceanfront property just past the end of the jetty):

Of course, they do have a SLIGHT problem with overcrowding, but hey, they can go out to eat without really leaving their front yard:

If the neighbors didn't keep driving by on an hourly basis in a noisy boat and interrupting their daily siesta, life would be just about perfect:

Except maybe for the sharks? Nahhh...look at this big guy - NOT concerned in the least.

No pillow? No problem. Just use the butt of the guy next to you:


And I took some pictures of this huge sailing yacht on the way back just because it was so pretty:

And after we got off the tour boat, we went back on the ferris wheel and then took the ferry back over to Balboa Island and got Balboar Bars (it's a giant slab of vanilla ice cream on a stick, dipped in chocolate and whatever topping you want - I got rainbow sprinkles)

Okay, tomorrow, back to jewelry pics and beads - assuming I get more photos taken tonight.

Laundry? What laundry?


Monday, March 23, 2009

That sound you hear... me tooting my own horn :-)

Now that the April issue of “Bead Trends” is starting to hit people’s mailboxes, I thought I’d go ahead and publish the pictures of my work that appeared in the March issue:

I sure wish I could take pictures like this at home – I’m sure my website would get a lot more interest and traffic if I could. But, alas, I remain photographically challenged.


Oh, and if anyone from Rings N Things still checks in here, I thought you might want to know that this necklace was just accepted for the August, 2009 issue of “Bead Trends.” The beautiful strand of snakeskin jasper that makes up the majority of the piece came from one of your traveling trunk shows.

So, as of this entry, I'm caught up to about February 20th. Hopefully, I can get enough time to post tomorrow to get caught up to the first week of March. Of course, that's assuming no disasters between now and when I get home and that I have time to:

1. Finish the piece I'm working on right now
2. Photograph two new pieces
3. Photoshop my crappy photos to look slightly less crappy
4. Get the new items loaded onto the website and the New Designs page upated
5. Write the blog entry
6. Go to the grocery store
7. Go to the drug store (because, after all, with a life like this, I NEED my drugs)
8. Wash, dry, sort, fold and put away umpty-zillion loads of laundry
9. Put some sort of nutritional and yet appetizing (to him) substance in front of the kid
10. Spend "quality time" with the kid (does watching "Justice League" on Boomerang count?)

Yeah, um, there may or may not be a new blog entry tomorrow LOL!


Friday, March 20, 2009

All hecticness...all the time...

Whew! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks with NO time at all for writing. I’ve got all these pictures ready to post but I can’t get a spare second to sit down and write about ‘em.

What’s been happening you ask? Well, okay, maybe you’re not asking, but I’m going to tell you anyway because isn’t that what blogs are for? Publishing the miscellaneous minutia that make up our lives?


Well, whatever. I’m going ahead anyway.

So, my oven died back in November – Thanksgiving weekend to be exact. Haven’t had time to get it fixed yet (small clue here as to how much “cooking” I do). The dishwasher is slowly dying. Haven’t called about that either.

My car has been making a weird noise for about the last six weeks. I took it in for an oil change and a 24-pt. inspection which, of course, found nothing wrong. I’ve continued to drive it and the noise has continued to get louder. Finally contacted the dealership to make an appointment for service – they have no openings for two more weeks. I will no doubt end up stranded by the side of the road any day now…and I think my AAA membership MAY have expired. I don’t know and I’m too busy to check.

The garage door opener died a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been having to park outside every night so now my car is extra filthy. Not to mention my own paranoia about how the door can now be opened manually by anyone who wants to come on in and help themselves to the contents of my garage.

…..pauses to consider contents of garage….

Never mind – that may actually be a good thing.

Then, to top it all off, this weekend, my wonderful son who I really, truly love with all my heart, really put the cherry on top of the sundae that is my life by causing a li’l incident which I like to call “The Great Flood of 2009 (aka how to ruin the entire 2nd story of your house with a handful of toilet paper).”

**Free parenting tip** Don’t forget to teach your child that when water starts pouring out of the toilet in the middle of the night, the appropriate response is NOT to close the door and go back to bed.

It may also be helpful to make sure he or she understands the definition of the word “emergency.”

I’m just sayin’…

But I love him. Really, I do. I don’t, however, think my insurance company is too crazy about him at the moment, but, hey, they take my money every month anyway so I guess my answer to them on that subject is “shut up and pay for my new carpet, dammit!”

And now….bead pics…from a month ago…when my life was only incredibly hectic as vs. now when it is INSANELY hectic:

Various bits and pieces of silver components from Sadco. LOVE their stuff!

The current economic suckage hit the bead show – these babies were only $1 a strand.

More deals and steals – this vendor had an offer of your choice of 5 strands for $3 total. I thought the square shaped beads in particular would be fun to design with.

And then, of course, my favorites - these beautiful porcelain beads from Kevin Chen. He has additional designs which I'm hoping to pick up at a future show in April. Yay! Just in time for summer designs.

Lastly, I picked up this unusual lampwork heart-shaped toggle on eBay. I've already got the design for this done in my head - just need the time to make it.

...pauses to re-read blog entry.... might take me a while LOL!

Good weekend, everyone!


Monday, March 02, 2009

Yes, Virginia, she DOES occasionally make something...

...and here are the pictures to prove it:

I decided to go trolling through my lampwork this weekend to see if I could force myself to part with anything and I found a couple of bead "pairs" that I thought I could work with. Since they are only pairs, they sort of demanded to be made into earrings which solved the design issue right up front and from there it was just a matter of finding some crystals and other beads to go with them. I used a light rose satin Swarovski, some freshwater pearls and some vermeil spacers to go with these lovely rose pink lampwork beads. The result came out very "princess-y" to me...hence the name "Rose Princess."

This pair was a bit harder to work with because I just love them so much - it's hard not to keep them them all to myself as part of my "treasure." Maybe I was part dragon in a past life? Anyway, the flower work on these beads is truly outstanding and they've been etched to a soft, velvety black finish. I added a few crystals and some chain (great use for leftover chain, by the way, is to make dangles for earrings) and suddenly I had "Midnight Trillium" earrings.

I made one more pair of earrings that are sort of a cross between these two designs, but today I found something on them that I want to adjust so no pics yet until I get that fixed.

Happy Monday!


Music: the click-clacking of the keyboard...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ugrades and Updates

Did a major overhaul on Silver Parrot Designs today and whew! do I need a nice cold drink now! Where's that darn cabana boy when I need him?

I made some big changes on the home page as well as re-listing all the items that have come back from "Bead Trends" now that the March issue has been published. If you haven't checked out this magazine yet, I urge you to do so...and not just because I'm published in it ;-) The photography is beyond outstanding and there are really some great designs and ideas in it. It's sold at Barnes & Noble and also at Michael's (great way to use that 40% off coupon!).

There'll be lots of eye candy posted over the next few days. Not only did I get a couple pairs of earrings finished this weekend (yay!) but I also hit the Costa Mesa Gem Faire so I've got new purchases to show off, too.

Lastly, the editor at "Bead Trends" was nice enough to give me .jpg files of my designs from the magazine so I'll be posting those here as well.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Music: "Misty Mountain Hope" - Led Zeppelin