Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Bead Porn

At least I don't have to feel guilty about posting these beads. I bought them back in May or June and they only just arrived recently (they were made to order):

They are from SortaFlowerDesigns on Etsy.

I liked the "organic" shape and thought they'd be fund to design with.

They're very teeny - not much bigger than a size 6 seed bead!

Bought these when I was working on that copper/green necklace. I guess I just had earthtones on my mind. They are from Blue Seraphim on Etsy. I can't say enough good stuff about her beads and fast shipping? Oh my gosh - they arrive practically before I've hit the "buy" button. AND she gives free stuff!

Actual beach stones drilled and ready to bead with.

How can anyone resist THAT? And by the way, where are the beaches where you're allowed to pick stuff up and keep it? 'Cuz where I live? You practically get drawn and quartered for even touching something in a tide pool. And yeah, I believe in conservation and all that, but I can't help feeling that a little of that "magic of childhood" is missing when a kid can't collect shells or stones in his bucket and take 'em home. Doing stuff like that as a kid is kinda what made me interested in the ocean and committed to preserving it - how can we expect the same feeling from future generations if we limit their tactile connection to nature?

Just something I wonder about sometimes...

Okay, back to the beads:

Because you can never have too many cool, drilled ACTUAL BEACH STONES!

And these stones have TWO HOLES! Y'know, like for linking and stuff. Two holes! How do people come up with these way out ideas?

Okay, that'll have to hold you until I come back from the show. If my brain doesn't explode from lack of bead buying before then.

(insert evil giggle here)


Oh FINE, then!

Y'know here I am. Minding my own business. Not bothering anybody. Makin' it through this bead diet one second at a time and achieving a full 24 hours without buying anything thank you very much and then BAM!

The newest issue of "Beadstyle" arrives with a great article on ancient Roman glass beads.

And yet, I resist the urge and make it through the night.

And then, the Art Bead Scene blog has to post THIS

And then Happy Mango goes and puts them ON SALE!

C'mon, people. How am I expected to resist ALL OF THIS TEMPTATION!


And the answer, of course, is that I didn't. I mean, when I get three signs like that all at once doesn't it sort of mean that the universe is saying that these beads are my destiny?

Yeah, I thought so, too.

So I bought this set:

I mean, the idea of creating with something so many hundreds of years old is just too cool! Who owned the original items that these pieces came from? What were their lives like? Were they happy? Was their country at war? At peace? Were they in love?

I could speculate endlessly.

At this rate, I am going to have NO MONEY for the show tomorrow.



Thursday, July 30, 2009

White-knuckling it

Okay, yeah, so I fell off the bead diet wagon yesterday and made three purchases. One was on sale, one was something I’ve been trying to buy on Etsy for three months and every time the seller lists one, somebody else gets it before I do (literally had one sold right outta my cart before I could finish checking out), and some stuff that was just too breathtaking to pass up.

I HAD to have it.


Or I would’ve died.

Like that time in 7th grade where I HAD TO have a pair of Chemin de Fer jeans to wear to school the next day or I was gonna die. And they had to be the sailor style with the five buttons on either side.

I still remember my mother standing at the checkout counter with me at Miller’s Outpost (remember them?) and loudly saying “$35??? For JEANS???!!!”

Ahhh…the 70’s.

Anyway, no more purchases until Saturday at the show. I am determined. Surely I can go 48 measly hours without making a bead purchase? Right?

I am a responsible adult woman with a college degree. I will not be defeated by a tiny ball with a hole in it, dammit!

Speaking of which, I read the funniest bead joke yesterday that I’m going to share here.

**NOTE**: It’s a little off-color so if you get offended easily or you’re one of those people who feels compelled to e-mail me whenever I don’t keep the blog G-rated, just do us all a favor and stop reading now, okay? Okay.

For the rest of you:

A bead is a marble that’s lost its virginity.


Okay, *I* thought it was funny. But then, I spend all my time with a 6-year-old boy so it’s possible that my sense of humor may be a bit debased.

For example, this is the conversation that took place in my bedroom last night (again – warning and read at your own risk and potty words, etc.):

CREAAAKKK! I hear my bedroom door opening and I look at the clock. Crap. 2:42 AM. Why does this stuff always happen in the middle of the freakin’ night.

Kid: “M-m-mommy?”

Me (TRYING to be nice and yet still not wake all the way up): “What’s wrong, honey? Did you have a bad dream?”

Kid: “No.”

Me: “Well, go back to bed then.”

Kid: “I can’t”

Me: “Why not?”

Kid: “My underwear is stuck to my butt.”

Sigh. (Okay, so I didn’t find it so funny at the time, but this morning it’s making me giggle)

I bet Angelina Jolie doesn’t have to put up with this kinda stuff. Or if she does, I bet she makes Brad go deal with it.

So, until the day when Brad Pitt comes to be my live-in nanny and all-around man slave, I guess I’ll just have drown my sorrows in my beads.

How many more hours to the show?


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Beader's 12-step program

Erin - this is for you!

1. I will not spend my grocery money/utility bill money/mortgage payment/kid’s allowance/ savings on beads.

2. I will not buy “a strand in every color” when I find a cool new bead.

3. I will not fall for every trendy new bead, technique, or supplier that comes across my radar.

4. I will not let my studio resemble a nuclear bomb test site.

5. I will not allow my studio to creep into three other areas of the house.

6. I will not attend bead shows just to pick up more beads.

7. I will not stock up on beading supplies just because they are "on sale."

8. I will not hoard my art beads because they are “too pretty” to use.

9. I will not let my beading distract me from fixing pizza.

10. I will not stay up all night beading.

11. I will not buy every bead magazine I see.

12. I will not make promises I cannot keep.

And I've already broken at least 3 of those just today!


Why (bead) diets fail...

I am on a bead diet and it’s making me grumpy!

What’s a bead diet, you ask? It’s like where you swear you’re going to lose 10 lbs. or die trying so you quit eating all the stuff you like such as cookies, cake, ice cream, pizza, anything fried, white bread, sugar, etc. Except that in the case of beads, it means no buying beads for a week.

And why on earth would anyone want to torture herself that way? Same answer…you wanna lose 10 lbs. before you go on a cruise or a vacation, right? Well, I need to save up my $$$ for the Pasadena Bead Show this weekend which means NO BEAD SPENDING this week.

Then, Saturday at the show I will gorge myself sick (like you do on the cruise where you gain back the 10 lbs. you lost plus another 5 from all the rich food) on beads, beads and more beads…wahahahaaaaa….

Wait, what was I talking about (sorry, got lightheaded from lack of bead spending there for a minute).

Oh, right.

But I can look right? Just like I can go LOOK at the donuts in the lunch room while I’m dieting, but just not eat any. I can go look at beads on Etsy and put things in my favorites and buy them LATER. AFTER THE SHOW.

Oh, and that sale announcement I got from Fusion Beads about the ICE resin kit being on sale? I can LOOK at that and delete it and buy next week.

Except…it won’t be on sale any more.

But that’s okay, it’s not marked down by THAT much.

Except, what if the sale is such a big hit that they run out of stock and don’t have any left when I can buy?

I better at least go ahead and buy that now…cuz, y’know, SALE and everything. Oh, and I better buy some molds while I’m there. I could wait on those, but it’s silly to pay shipping this week and then again next week on a separate purchase. There. $25. That’s not too much – plenty left for the bead show.

But that’s it. I am absolutely, positively NOT buying anything else until Saturday at the show.

*****5 minutes later*****

Okay, this whole not buying beads things totally sucks! If it were only pay day THIS week, then I wouldn’t have to do this. Oh, and if the kid hadn’t needed new pants and shoes and the garage door hadn’t needed to be fixed. And the cleaning guy and gardener both needed to be paid and who the HECK are all these people and don’t they realize they’re sucking up my BEAD money?


I know, I’ll distract myself with a bead mag. And I can make a list of all the new supplier sites that I want to visit NEXT week.

*****30 minutes later*****

Wow, got an awesome list of new vendors to check out that I haven’t been to before. This will be cool.

I wish it was Saturday NOW. This week is just taking WAY too long.

Y’know, I could just go look at the new vendors that are on Etsy and put ‘em in my favorites. That way, they’ll be all ready to go for when I’m able to shop again.



But definitely NO BUYING.

Go, me!

*****30 seconds later*****

(you already know where this is going, don’t you?)

LOOK at THAT! I have NOTHING like that. And it’s only $2.00. I NEEEEED it! And really, how much difference can $2.00 make in my bead money for Saturday? Except that I need jump rings and headpins to match. Okay, still under $10. That’s okay…oh wait, ear wires, too. Silly to get headpins and jumprings and no earwires and oh, wait, CHAIN. Need that. Okay, $14.00. Still not bad.

*****20 minutes later*****

I’m looking at my shopping cart and scratching my head. I just know if I put a couple things back I can get back down to $14 and that won’t be too bad. Except not THAT…because I need it. And not THAT either because it goes with the first thing. And that is just WAY TOO COOL to pass up and…oh crap, $30 is not that bad. I’ll just go ahead and then I’ll just be super-dooper picky at the show on Saturday about what I buy.

*****The Next Day*****

I hang my head in shame as I realize that I fell off the bead diet wagon.

In a big way.


But hey, I never could resist a donut, either (just look at the size of my ass if you don’t believe me).

At least beads aren’t fattening and don’t clog up your arteries.

Two more days until the show.



P.S. Notice no pics in this entry...hey, if I have to suffer the bead diet then I'm dragging everyone else along with me. Told you it was making me grumpy!


I can't believe it. I won a gorgeous clay pendant from Chinook Jewelry!



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Experimental Subjects

As I mentioned yesterday, I did some experimenting with some different techniques over the weekend. It was fun not having a specific goal in mind, but just kind of messing around.

The first thing I did was work with the circular link component from this month's Rings 'N Things package:

For some reason, as soon as I saw that component, I just had a flash picture in my head of a moon suspended within the circle and then surrounded by stars. Sometimes that's how my designs come to me - just a quick flash in my head. Often they are gone before I can get them made which is SOOOO frustrating.

But this one stuck around:

I think it's kinda funny that I was putting this piece together while watching the "Harry Potter" movie marathon on the Disney channel this weekend. Oh, and the big star - not really blue. It's clear like the moon - just caught a bit of the flash from the camera. I kinda like the effect, though.

I got all the moon and star crystals and components at Michael's with my 40% off coupon.

The back is a vermeil hook clasp and I used crystals to finish it because I didn't have enough of the hammered chain. I think it works, though.

This is a better shot - without the flash. Only after this design was almost complete did I realize that another cool thing to do would have been to bezel a rivoli crystal with seed beads and crystals and hang it in the center of the link and let it spin and flash. But I don't have time to do much seed beading right now so I'm glad I came up with this design instead.

Then I did more experimentation with my alcohol inks:

This is a mix of three colors plus gold and then I used a rubber stamp to ink some "script" across the surface.

It was a little difficult to get the stamping not to smudge, but considering the effect I was going for, I don't think it's a big deal.

I'm thinking of adding a few flat-back crytals here and there, but then again maybe not. Don't want it to be "too much." The thing I really like is that these wooden bangles are VERY lightweight to wear. I got them at Tall Mouse and they come in different sizes and shapes.

I had so much fun doing this that I had to make another one. But this one I added an interesting new detail to:

I used my Fiskars craft drill and drilled holes all the way around and strung gold chain through them! This was another "flash picture" inspiration. I just got this pic in my head at the store of these bracelets with chain woven around them.

I think I'm going to add a few crystal dangles and/or charms to the chain sections. If I do this again, I think I would do larger holes and a chunkier chain.

The stamping went better on this one as I got a little more practiced at it. The only issue I had with this technique is that I don't have a vise to hold the item still while I'm drilling it. The bracelet kept moving so some of my holes are not exactly even. Obviously, I need a vise!

Then I decided to join the resin-bezeling craze:

Because I have had experience from years ago (not a happy one) using a 2-part resin, I was a little hesitant to try it again so I did these pieces with Diamond Glaze. The cloudiness on the larger bezel piece is more a function of my unskilled photography, I think, because it's perfectly clear in real life.
Results were mixed. I liked that I didn't have to mix anything up like you do with the actual resin and therefore no worries about getting the ratio right and making bubbles, etc. I don't think the DG is quite as clear as the resin - however, my past experiments with resin turned yellow over the years.
Lastly, I did a good job of not allowing bubbles to form when initially pouring out the DG and I got rid of any that did using a toothpick, but when I came to check on the drying process a whole mass of bubbles had appeared out of nowhere. Fortunately, the DG was still wet enough that I was able to get rid of the bubbles, but if I'd waited longer to check, the piece would have been ruined.
Also, I didn't have any cool charms or doo-dads to add to the picture which makes these kinda boring, but last night I experimented with adding color (tried dye re-inkers and food coloring), pearlization (used Powdered Pearls pigments) and sparkle (used glitter). The little mixing samples all came out really well - although the dye re-inker version was really dark, but that could have just been the color I used (super dark purple). I can't wait to try actually filling bezels with some of these. I may even un-bend and get the ICE resin - it's on sale at Fusion Beads this week!

Last, but not least, the postman brought me my order from Interweave Press's "hurt book" sale:

I got two books for about $4 each! I can't tell why they were in the "hurt" pile, either. Can't find a thing wrong with either of them.

Whew! Okay, my fingers are tired. That was a massive update. I think I need food now.


My first Etsy Treasury!

Yay! I've been featured in a Treasury!!


P.S. Sandy from Marbella Designs - I need your snail address to mail your prize. I know you sent it to me already, but I have managed to be a complete and total loser and misplace it. Bad me! Anyway, your prize is packed and ready to go so please e-mail me: stamparrot AT hotmail DOT com.


Monday, July 27, 2009

The Dirty Ol' Wedge

So, the waves were breakin' big at The Wedge this weekend and I'm sure my dad was lookin' down on 'em from heaven and yelling "OUTSIDE!" at the top of his lungs. I have awesome memories of the two of us riding the waves there together and the time that the lifeguard came out and insisted that I get out of the water because "girls can't surf The Wedge." Now, granted, I WAS the only girl out there. I was also the only person under 20 (I was 16 at the time). Dad told him to get lost and that I was perfectly fine. Dad was awesome.

I wanted to take the kidlet down to check out the scene, but we ended up not going. In retrospect I'm kinda glad. Not only was it hella crowded (according to the news footage), but THIS happened, too. Also, not sure I would've been able to keep it together thinking about my Dad there.

My dad, me and my brother at the beach on Oahu where we lived. First time I went surfing...last time I looked good in a bikini.

Also, while I'm thinking about it, if you haven't ever seen "Endless Summer," you HAVE to rent it. BEST MOVIE EVER! Well, okay, best SURFING movie ever, LOL!

And if you HAVE seen the movie, then all I have to say is "You guys REALLY missed it. You shoulda been here yesterday." Which is what everyone will say when I try to take the kid down to The Wedge this afternoon in the hopes that we can see what's left of the swell.

Okay, on to other weekend activities.

It was REALLY hot and humid (blech!) so we mostly stayed indoors. Kidlet went to play with a friend on Saturday afternoon which means I got to do some product experimentation (yay!) Played around with my alcohol inks and some wooden bangle bracelets and also did my first ever attempt at filling bezels with images and resin (okay Diamond Glaze).

More on those later.

I'm about 75% done with my latest Rings 'N Things product project, too. Should finish it tonight and get pics, I hope.

Got more stuff listed on Etsy and made some updates to the website.

Took the kidlet and his friend to see "G-Force" on Sunday. It was actually pretty good - if a movie about commando guinea pigs can be called good. At least, it wasn't as bad as SOME of the kids movies I've had to sit through.

I got caught up on a couple of photos, too:

These earrings go with the necklace I posted last week. Notice how I am venturing out of my "matchy-matchiness" by mixing brown and black and two different copper finishes PLUS bronze all in the same piece. Go, me!

And I'm still finishing off working with these pink beads, too. Got this set of earrings done about the same time as the bracelets and necklace but just didn't get them photographed. I've got one more set partially finished and then I think I'm about done with these beads LOL!

That's about it - my weekend in a nutshell (well, minus the boring parts about grocery shopping and laundry).


P.S. Does anyone else feel like this entry oughta have the theme song from "Hawaii Five-O" playing...or at least "Wipeout" by The Ventures? Or maybe it's just me...

Mermaid Contest

Nope - not mine (as if I would give away mermaid beads). Lorelei Eurto is having one over on HER blog. Go check it out for a chance to win!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Etsy progress to date

Okay, so it's probably silly to do a progress report so early in the game (haven't even been up a week, yet) but people asked for updates so here goes:

Sales: 0

Hearts: 5 (thank you to everyone who "hearted" me!) I find it encouraging that at least a few of these were from "non-jewelry" Etsy people. Those of us who make and sell our own stuff are probably less likely to buy from one another I would think.

Picture issues: Let's see - how many items do I have up? LOL! I'm having a terrible time with how Etsy re-sizes my images for thumbnails - some of them are getting cut off. Does anyone have the brilliant solution to this?

Back to weekend mode...can't believe tomorrow is Monday...ALREADY!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chinook Jewelry Contest

Mellissa over at Chinook Jewelry is having a great "name that glaze" contest. Go check it out!


P.S. Don't win, though, because I want the prize :-)

Friday, July 24, 2009

My project collage

Messing about with Powerpoint and some of my pictures, I thought I'd try making a collage of my recent projects:

I'm thinking maybe I could use it for postcards or for the Etsy site. Any comments?

Rings 'N Things Beady Playtime - July Version

This month's selection of "play-with-me" products from Rings 'N Things was an interesting mixture. I was originally going to do a bead-woven and fringed piece using the baggie of "bead soup" they sent, but given my schedule lately, I'd probably still be working on it next year so I decided to keep it simple.

I picked the copper bail to start with (it's at the top of the pic - next to Russ):

And turned it into this necklace while the Russ troll bead looked on:

Well, of course, after a false start where I had the light green pearls too close to the center pendant and had to move them.

Here's a closeup of the necklace center:

And a closeup of the bail:

And here's what the back looks like:

I glued it to this green stone (aventurine, I think) cab that was in my stash.
I've got a second project started using the circular link component, but I wanted to at least get 1 thing blogged before the month is over which is...yikes! week!
Some of the rest of the items are going to find their way into the 2nd and 3rd place prize winners packages which are, fingers crossed, going to mail out this weekend (or at least by Monday) if it's the last thing I do!
And of course, Friday is bead picture day:

Found these lovely, soft green disks at Blue Seraphim on Etsy. The color is so soothing!

And this set of ruffle disks matches perfectly. It's the wrong time of year, but I'm suddenly hankering for Easter candy :-)

I went completely the other direction in purchasing these oxidized sterling silver disks from Atlantis Glass & Bead. This set came drilled with holes, but they also sell them without holes.

Of course, little miss "matchy-matchy" had to get the matching clasp to go with them. Plus, I just thought it was cool-looking. I wish I could get to the point where I make my own clasps like this, but wirework is just not my thing. Have tried it and frankly, if there were a school for wireworkers...I'd arrive on the short bus.

Back to feminine with this porcelain heart from Round Rabbit on Etsy.

More hearts - because they are just too cute!

And lastly, this very cool blue ring which, I think, might look amazing with some of that copper chain I've been working with...hmmm...

Also - shout out to my fellow "pants-ers" - you rock, ladies! The rest of you rock, too, I had just had to "plan" what I was going to say to you and it took longer.

That's it for today and hope everyone has a great weekend.



THIS is about the funniest thing I have ever seen (other than the kidlet running around naked and calling himself Mr. Bouncypants, that is).

Okay, I'm off to wipe the tears outta my eyes...can't stop laughing.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

What's your design style?

I was supposed to have a picture of a finished necklace to post today, but considering that I found myself re-doing most of it at 9 PM last night, I didn’t have time to photograph it and then run it through Photoshop and get it posted when I finally finished it. I suppose that means something to look forward to for tomorrow’s blog entry.

But that, and another project which is stalled mid-way, got me to thinking about something so I thought I’d pose a question here. What’s your design process? Are you a planner (i.e. making sketches and meticulously arranging your designs until they are just perfect before assembling them)? Or are you, like me, more of a “seat of the pants” kind of designer? Or maybe somewhere in between?

Do those of us who are “pants-types” end up doing more re-working than the planners? I would think so, but I’ve also wondered if lots of designs look good in the “sketch” phase but don’t translate as well into reality?

Depending on which type you are, “planner”, “pantser”, or “’twixt the two”, do you ever try one of the other types and what are the results? For example, I’ve tried doing some sketches or really laying out my design on the board and fiddling with it extensively to get it “just right” (at times even letting it sit overnight to see if I still liked it the next day) and the results have been not so great.

With sketching, not only am I just unbelievably BAD at drawing (which leads to me spending more time picking on myself for not having a good sketch rather than getting to the beading), but I also seem to have a limited amount of “interest” in any one project or set of materials. By the time I’ve handled them enough to sketch or plan a design, I’m often “over” the whole thing. It’s like that particular set of materials only has so much “design magic” in them and I used it all up in the planning process.

With over-planning on the board, well, you heard about what happened with my LAST attempt at that where my son sent the board flying along with all of its beads and my oh-so-perfect design was lost forever.

I can say that the one successful exception to really planning on the board was this necklace:

But I put that down to the fact that I was on vacation at the time and had plenty of time and the space to spread out and the kid was occupied.

I prefer to just dive in and see where the beads take me. MOST of the time it works out. Last night was one of my (thankfully) rare re-do’s and I winced every time I had to cut another headpin off and waste it. In fact, I ended up with just exactly enough to finish the piece after all the corrections were made. I used the very last copper headpin to make the dangle on the extender chain in the back of the necklace.

Whew! Pics of that tomorrow, I HOPE!

Now if I can just figure out how to rescue this copper bracelet that I started only to discover that the copper heart charms I wanted to put on it have loops going the wrong way for what I wanted to do. I’d have to use two jump rings per charm to get them to lay correctly and then they’d be too dangly (not to mention I’m a little concerned about the durability of having two jump rings instead of one). Another option is to take my pliers and see if I can GENTLY twist the loops until they are going the way I need them to, but I run a huge risk of breaking them and ruining the charms – and since they were expensive copper pieces from Nikki Passeniere:
I don’t really want to take that chance. The chain I'm using is that heavy link version on the left side of the pic. The heart charm is in the middle of that big ring just to the left of center in the picture.
Last option is to give up on the charms and use some different beads, but dang it! Those charms would’ve been PERFECT for the bracelet. GRRR!
Or, maybe I was just too tired last night to come up with a better solution and there's probably something obvious staring me right in the face at this very moment LOL!

So, what are you? A planner, a pants-er, or a ‘twixter? And how do you deal with the setbacks or challenges that your style proposes? What’s been your experience when you try a different method?

Okay, discuss!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm officially an Etsy-ite

Okay, I started putting things up today based on the poll results. I know it's still running, but I think the results are pretty obvious and are in line with what I was thinking as well.

I'm not done putting items up, but made a start - grabbed some things from my website sale page and built a SALE section on the Etsy site for them and then started an earring section but ran out of time to finish. I'm hoping to get more items put up tonight.

I need to work on the photo sizes, too. I never had to edit them for size to fit another site's requirements before - on my site I make 'em whatever size I want LOL!

And there's the link right over there ------->

Go check it out. Not much yet, but I have a friend making a banner for me to use, too.


A rant and some beads

Maybe it's just the craziness of Monday and the dreaded meeting I had to go through yesterday, but I'm peeved today. I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat to find out why, right?

Well, there's a particular phenomenon going on in retail establishments everywhere that is not new, but I guess has been bugging me for a while and my annoyance with it has finally reached blogging level.

What is it? It's the INCESSANT credit card offers at EVERY SINGLE STORE. You know, when you check out and they ask you if you want to "save an extra X% by opening an account with us today?" Translation: "I get in trouble if I don't ask every single customer this stupid question and I do get extra brownie points for every customer I trick into getting themselves deeper into debt they can't afford by making them think that momentarily saving 15% off 1 purchase is worth the years it will take to pay off the balance on the card while in the meantime my company makes huge $$$ off all the interest and penalties."
It was one thing when this was just going on at the department stores like Macy's, but now everyone is doing it so if you go on a major shopping expedition - like I had to do around the time of my dad's funeral to get something to wear to the service and some of the other family events we planned - you can end up getting asked this question a dozen times in one day.

Honestly, I know it's not the fault of the poor, sad, pimply, minimum-wage teenagers who are being forced to ask this question all day repeatedly (and I can poke fun at them because I used to be one - worked for Express during and after college) but I got to the point where I just want to shake them and yell "Don't you watch the news? Do you understand about foreclosures and bankruptcy and the worst economic crisis since the depression? Stop offering people credit cards, dammit!"

Except I know it wouldn't do any good and would very likely result in me getting arrested. And then who would continue to support the economy by spending WAAYYY too much on beads?

But hey, at least I spend cash...and Etsy stores don't ask "would you like to save 15% on today's purchase by opening an account with us?"

Which is why I keep spending my very hard earned money on lovelies like these:

This beautiful solid pewter leaf is from Mamacita Beads on Etsy.

And this is her seaweed pendant.

And a really cute little pewter bird. She also threw in an extra pendant which was awesome. I love when vendors give you a little something "extra." Especially when the alternative is being badgered with credit card offers!

This cute starfish pendant is from Every Heart Crafts on Etsy.

And so is this leaf - which I liked so much that I bought two of them AND the vendor added in a third, smaller leaf as a freebie.

I know, maybe I just need a sticker on my debit card when I hand it over that says "don't ask me about credit cards?" Or better yet - a sign that I can hold up when I get to the register that says "Don't speak - just ring me up."


P.S. My other favorite part is when they ask at the register "did you find everything you were looking for?" Because 1. if they cared then why didn't they come help me sooner and 2. what are they going to do if I say "no?" I've never yet had a salesperson be able to find something for me after I couldn't find it myself and despite the fact that my mother always insists on asking all salespeople "do you have this in the back?" the answer is ALWAYS "no, everything we have is out on the floor." So again, I wonder why they always ask that question at the register? But at least THAT doesn't cost me interest and penalties!

Spider identified

The nice folks at What's That identified our spider for us: Silver Argiope

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm back

Okay, that was about as much fun as a root canal, but at least it's over with. I am officially proud of myself for getting through it and not reverting to "doormat" mode.

Tomorrow...back to the beads for sure!


Wish me luck!

Okay, I'm off to the lunch from hell. Wish me luck and if I'm not back by 3 PM...somebody come and check on me...

Argh...sooooo do NOT want to do this.


P.S. Somebody mentioned they didn't know about my website. It's right over there -----> in the links.

A Poll! Now improved with whining!

So, I'm thinking of going for it and listing some items on Etsy, but I can't decide what to start out with. My first thought was to clean out all my sale items and hopefully draw customers in who are looking for bargains, but then I wondered if my first few listings would "set the tone" for what people expect from the store going forward?

Then I thought maybe a selection of all different things from every area of my inventory - but that's a lot of listings.

Another choice would be to do the "Memoire Collection" because those items all have a similar style, but it would be a limited number of listings.

And then I threw up my hands and said "I'll do a poll on my blog." So there it is over on the right side. Please vote and help me make a decision!

See how easily I got myself out of that dilemma? Plus, I have a built-in scapegoat to blame if it all goes horribly wrong LOL! "Hey, it wasn't MY fault...the poll said I should do it this way."

Only kidding (sort of). Please do vote and help me out!

Now this space here was supposed to contain the necklace that I was working on yesterday, but I never got to finish it or take pictures because here's how my day went:

Up at 5:30 AM


Get the kid up

Pick out his clothes

Dry my hair

Go back to check on kid (not dressed yet)

Go downstairs to set up breakfast

Make kid's lunch

Go back upstairs to check on kid (still not dressed)

Stand there and make kid get dressed

Go downstairs to eat breakfast

Notice kid has not followed

Go upstairs to find he has taken all his clothes off and is in the bathroom because he "forgot" he had to pee.

Stand there til he's done, has flushed, has put all clothes back on and washed his hands

Go down to breakfast

Clean up breakfast and send kid upstairs to brush his teeth

Uncover the parrot

Feed the parrot

Tickle the parrot

Give the parrot his treat for enduring the tickles

Go upstairs to check on kid who has, miraculously, brushed his teeth, but has also filled the sink with water and is running some kind of race with q-tips and my hair mousse in the sink.

Make kid clean up mess

Send kid downstairs to put shoes on

Re-clean up after kid

Put on makeup, do half-assed job on hair, throw on clothes and run out the door

Go back inside to grab kid that I forgot about and his lunch

Drop kid off at YMCA

Arrive at work 30 minutes late

Call mom to remind her to be at my house at 2 PM to meet garage door repairman (garage has been broken for 4 months)

Mom requests that I call garage door company to ask what time they will actually show up (they've give us a 2-4 PM window).

I hang up intending to call (and yet knowing they are not going to tell me anything different) and get pulled into a meeting - no time to make call.

Mom calls me at 2:05 PM from my house asking why I never got back to her and how come the repairmen are not there yet.

I tell her about meeting and remind her about 2-4 pm window.

She asks me to call them again.

I hang up and do not make the call.

She calls me back 15 minutes later.

I let it go to VM (I know, I'm a horrible daughter who is probably going straight to hell for this)

She calls me back at 3:45 to let me know the garage door is done and to ask if she should pick the kid up early. I say "yes."

She calls me back at 4:15 to let me know what deplorable conditions she found him in at YMCA (i.e. he was playing outside in the sun and had gotten sweaty). Horrible, indeed.

She wants me to call the YMCA and complain.

I tell her I'll get right on that and hang up.

5 PM I leave work

5:30 arrive home

Change clothes and run right back out the door

Take car to service station as all 4 tires are low on air

Go to drug store to drop off prescription

Realize I have left ATM card at home and only have $40 cash on me

Go to grocery store but can only buy a few things from my list because of not having my ATM card which means I will have to go back tomorrow

Go through El Pollo Loco drive-thru to pick up dinner (thank goodness for employee discount!)

6:30 PM arrive home

Eat dinner with mom while kid plays outside with neighbors

Listen to 30 minutes of mom telling me everything that is wrong with the house, the garden, kid's shoes, my hair, the carpet samples I'm looking at and pretty much everything else within her range of vision

7:00 PM get kid in to eat his dinner

Clean up kitchen

Get mom out the door (after she has made me a written list of all the things in the house and yard that need to be fixed and NO I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP)

7:30 PM Wash off makeup and get into sweats

Get kid showered and into his PJ's

8:00 PM Watch 30 minutes of "Justice League" with kid

8:30 PM Put kid to bed

Look at my workstation and realize I am WAAAAYYY too tired to even think about working on anything.

9:00 PM Fall asleep watching "Forensic Files" on TV.

9:30 PM Awakened by kid running in to tell me he's pulled one of his loose teeth out and can I please do something about the blood.

Clean up tooth and kid

Find baggie to put tooth in

Put tooth under pillow and kid back to bed

10:00 PM Scrounge for $ to pay for tooth

10:45 PM Make 1st attempt to sneak into kid's room to play "tooth fairy."

Wake up kid by stepping on creaky board

Pretend to just be "checking" on him

11:15 PM Make 2nd attempt to sneak in.

Get caught again.

Tell kid I have message from tooth fairy that she doesn't want to wake him up so can he please put the tooth in a bag outside his bedroom door

Kid falls for it (Thank goodness!)

Arrange bag outside door and switch tooth for money

11:45 PM Turn off light to go to bed

2:00 AM Wake up and realize that today is the day I have to meet my ex for lunch to discuss the possibility of his resuming his visitation with the kid.

Stay awake the rest of the night wondering what on earth to do and wishing that I really, really, really didn't have to go to this meeting or have this discussion.

So, that is why there is no picture of a new necklace today. And now you also know why most of my jewelry-making gets done in 30 minute increments on my lunch hours at work - because EVERY day is like this!

But hey, my tires are full of air for the first time in a month AND my garage door works!



P.S. In case anyone is concerned, I do love my mom dearly and she is a wonderful help to me...she's just a bit of a perfectionist and I am, well, NOT, so sometimes that can be an issue.

P.P.S. If you've read this far, you certainly deserve some eye candy so here you go:

This beautiful square pendant was created by Melissa at Chinook Jewelry. The picture doesn't do it justice - it's just gorgeous in real life!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Color my world

I guess I'm just wordy today, but I couldn't wait to post this link I got from Margie Deeb's blog. It's an on-line color palette design tool. I have no idea how it works, but I can't wait to have time to play around with it. If you're color-challenged like me, it's got to be worth a look-see.

Margie's blog and books on color are a real help also. I have both of the books and can highly recommend them if you're looking for help with color...or just inspiration.



Well, okay, I was a teensy bit interested in trying the Fried Coca-Cola (Americans will just fry ANYTHING if it holds still long enough) but most of the rest? NOOOOOOO.....!

KJ - who prefers her dinner NOT on a stick, thank you very much!

Whew it's hot!

We spent the weekend mostly indoors, enjoying the A/C, thanks to the hot, and unusually steamy, weather outside.

Which means I actually got a bit of jewelrymaking done. Yay, me!

My mom has been bugging me for FOREVER to make something for her. This is in spite of the fact that I've made any number of things for her over the past few years which she has, um, forgotten about or returned to me for being "not quite right." Mom is, well, I guess you might say she's a bit "particular" about things. So, I'd kinda made a vow not to go down that road any more, but then I saw the gorgeous daisy pendants on Summers Studio Etsy site and I knew they'd be perfect for her.

So, this is what I made:

Mother-of-pearl shell disks, some Czech crystals and leaves and a bit of wire-wrapping.

Here's a closeup of the yummy pendant.

Here's a closeup of one of the smaller links. I added a Czech glass leaf to enhance the "floral" feeling.

One of mom's "issues" in the past has been length so this time I made the necklace adjustable. I added a yellow Czech glass flower dangle just for fun.

I'm extra happy with the earrings. I'm definitely going to have to see if I can get more of these daisy pieces and make more stuff with them. They're pretty cute!

I also got a TON of work done on my website which was good because I was about two months behind in updates. However, after reviewing this morning, I found a couple of boo-boo's that I'll have to fix tonight. I was pretty tired last night and my computer was being unusually slow so I finally gave it up and went to bed without doing as much of a proofreading job as I normally do.

Finally, sorry if the last post sounded kinda whiny about my lack of sales. I try not to do that, but I guess I was just feeling a certain amount of frustration and some of it "leaked." I decided over the weekend that I may try to sell some things through Etsy. I'd been avoiding doing that because I tried years ago to do it on eBay and had no luck. I felt like that particular market was just "glutted." I suspect the same may be true of Etsy - it's good for bead and component vendors but may not be as good for finished jewelry. Still, I'm going to give it a shot. Hopefully, I'll have the store done later this week.

Hope everyone has a good Monday.


P.S. I leave you with the quote of the weekend from my son who came running into my bedroom at 10 PM last night totally naked (don't ask me what happened to his pajamas - he had 'em on when he went to bed at 8:30) and announced loudly "I'M MR. BOUNCYPANTS!" and then went back to bed. Never a dull moment at my house, I tell ya!