Friday, August 27, 2010

End of Summer Bead Porn

Soooo...there was supposed to be a really cool video here right now of the big swell that hit our coast over the last couple of days. There are two reasons why you're not looking at that right now.

1. "You guys REAAALLLLY missed it. You should've been here yesterday." (and if you know where that quote comes from, you win a prize). Although the high surf advisory lasted until about 11 PM last night, when I got down to the beach at about 5:30 yesterday, the event was mostly over. Still some decent size waves, but not ginormous.

2. I tried to take a video of the biggest set of the evening and just when I got it going, this oblivious woman with a giant ass (and since I have one of my own, I can legally call her on it) stepped right in front of where I was OBVIOUSLY filming and completely blocked the shot. By the time I'd paused, stepped around her, and re-started, my camera informed me it was out of battery power and would be shutting itself down for the forseeable future. $)#*@&!!!

So, no surf video for you guys. But I do have a pretty good collection of bead porn this week (even if I do say so myself...and I do.)

Grungily lovely patinated heart charms from DimeStoreEmporium. They have all kinds of cool, vintage-y stuff for those who like that look.

Fabulosity in saffron from MissFickleMedia.

And links to go with.

And really, what can I say about this chain except "Shut. The. Front. Door." I know, I know, it's a sad day around here when I'm reduced to quoting Rachel Zoe, but in this case, it's an appropriate quote. My favorite part of this purchase was when, upon receiving the order, Miss Shannon e-mails me to ask "you want more than one length of this, right?" Well, now that you mention it, why yes. Yes, I do.

Such a salesperson that Shannon!

Blue. Green. Gold. Perfection.

I had so much fun playing with saffron stars from Shannon's store, that this blue star was a no-brainer.

Bronze twig links from Amanda Davie.

And a nautilus shell clasp.

A while back, I purchased a purple ceramic pendant from MaryAnnCarroll and these beads are the perfect match to go with that pendant. They make my little matchy-matchy-lovin' heart sing.

Some green links also from Ms. Mary Ann.

And the beads to match 'em.

MamacitaBeadworks has been taking a break from the pewter lately to get back to her clay roots. This raku bracelet link is just one example of what that is a FANTASTIC idea!

Oh, Gaea. You just HAD to have a sale when I was supposed to be taking a break from buying too much ceramic stuff. Now, look what you made me do!

Oh, come on. Like I was really gonna resist that pendant with all the shells on it (and the coordinating bead set).

More fairy skirts from MermaidGlass. Soon...I will have them in ALL the colors...wheeeeee!!!

And, as long as I was in her shop anyway, why not some cherry and purple raku lampwork?

This lovely and earthy disk set is from Beeboo. I love the little bits of pink and aqua floating against the "stonier" background colors.

Mirror-bright silver circles on aqua and blue lampwork glass beads? Dude, I am so totally down for that! This are from IMakeBeads.

And for the finale...this incredible set of "Cozumel" lampwork beads from JulsBeads. Juls was my swap partner in the Bead Soup Swap earlier this year (it's also possible she's my long-lost pseudo-twin). This set is completely the opposite end of the spectrum of what she sent me in the swap - which just goes to show how versatile she is with her glass creations. Between the two sets, both sides of my Gemini nature are doing the happy dance big time!

Oh, by the way, if you think this set looks gorgeous in the photo, you should see it in person. AMAZING. It makes me think of the brilliant colors of Hawaiian shave ice (one of my favorite frozen treats).

Have a wonderful weekend, all.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Odds 'N Ends

First off, thank you so much to everyone for the condolence messages about Summers. I told Ryan about them and he was really touched. He seemed to do okay during the day yesterday when he had lots of things to distract him, but got teary at bedtime when the subject came up. He's told me he doesn't want to talk about it or think about it any more.

I'm trying to decide if that's a good thing or not. I don't want to bug him, but I don't want him to stuff his feelings, either.

Y'know, no one tells you that you need a degree in psychology (along with a medical degree and a social worker's license) when you contemplate becoming a parent. It's amazing the amount of situations that have come up in his short life that I have to try to deal with by pulling some brilliant solution out of my ass.

So far, my solution has been to buy him a toy while I was out a lunch yesterday in case he was upset when I picked him up. Since he wasn't, the toy went into the "reward" stash in my closet. It probably wasn't a good idea anyway, but I'm kinda stumped at this point. He did ask about buying a new crab and I told him I thought it would be best to wait a few days out of respect for Summers (yeah, I really said that...about a crab) but that if he still wanted a new one after that, we could talk about it.

I would've thought by now, after 7 years, I would stop having those moments of "I seriously have NO IDEA what I'm doing as a parent", but apparently not. Anyway, if anyone out there has any brilliant ideas on how to handle the whole pet death thing - I'm open to suggestions (and obviously desperately in need of some).

In the meantime, how about some of the beads I found at the local show this weekend?

This show comes through about every 3 months or so. It's not very exciting because there are hardly any art bead vendors and almost never any new vendors so I've seen most everything before. Still, I managed to find a few things like thisn strand of dyed howlite nuggets in a lovely denim blue/lavender color.

Lumina Inspirations is one of the few art beads sold there. And they don't come in person, but sell through a stone/gem vendor called Royal Quality Gems. I've bought so much of Lumina's stuff, but I have a hard time parting with it so most of it is still being hoarded in the stash. Which is why I made myself promise that I wouldn't buy any more. Then I saw this leaf bead and loved the colors and texture. But still...only one bead from them when I usually get several...I ALMOST kept my promise LOL!

Did I mention it's reversible?

Normally I wouldn't get something as plain as mother of pearl donuts, but I got them to go with the next item:

A beautiful shell pendant carved from amazonite. Oh, and sorry for the blurry picture - my camera was having some kind of fit with its macro setting. I must have taken 30 shots and every one of 'em came out blurry. All the other shots I took that day of other beads were fine.

I keep seeing pyrite turn up and I wasn't really sure if it was for me, but I needed these donuts to go with this:

A shell carved from pyrite. It looks so much like an actual shell fossil - I was amazed. Since it's carved from pyrite, it has that nice metallic gleam on the raised scallop edges, too. I'm still not sold on pyrite as a whole, but THIS? This is cool.

I also found a gorgeous strand of big labradorite nuggets in a $4.00 a strand bin! Forgot to photograph them, though. Everything else I bought was for a specific project I'm working on: some vintage glass, white shell gumball-sized beads and red coral beads. Also got some gorgeous "russian gold" finish chain and findings from Via Murano - that was my big splurge for the day as they are spendy, but SO pretty. And I had a coupon ;-)

This is just a taste. Stay tuned tomorrow for the REAL bead porn ;-)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sad News

I TOLD you that turd on my car was a sign! I'd really like to go ONE week without a crisis. Just one.

I have sad news to report from the crabitat. Checked on it this morning and found that our favorite crab, Summers, has gone to the giant crabitat in the sky.

No idea what happened to him as he seemed fine the last few days. Thankfully, the other two seem to be fine for now.

Ryan is totally devastated, but I think a part of it is that it pulls up his grief over losing his grandfather. The poor little guy tried to be so tough, too. He was really trying to hold back the tears even when I told him it was okay to cry.

I know this is a small thing compared to the other losses he's already suffered in his short life, but it's enough already. The kid needs to catch a break. I didn't have to deal with a death until I was almost 17 years old.

I'll miss Summers - out of all three of the crabs, he was the one with the most personality.



? - 08/24/10

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Divide and Conquer

I occasionally have a distressing tendency to take a good idea and run it way down deep into the ground. This can have tragic results such as overly fluffy bracelets or, even worse, a horriffic case of what I like to call "CNS" or "Conjoined Necklace Syndrome.

Y'know, that's when enough stuff gets dragged into one necklace to the point that when you really stand back and take a look at it, you realize that it should have been two necklaces. That's when you round up the team of experts and decide whether surgical separation is the way to go or not.

Disclaimer: Since I'm on a budget, the team of experts consists of, well, me. But I'm a Gemini so that helps.

For your review, I present the following case of "CNS."

It started off innocently enough. I'd heard lots of great things about the new "Industrial Chic" line at Michael's so I thought I'd go check it out. Turns out that most of it wasn't really my style, but I did manage to find a couple of items that I thought I could work with (since I made the trip down there, I was determined not to leave empty-handed):

Cute, right? And French. And sparkly. Some of my favorite things.

I thought I'd add in one of my resin beads that kind of continued the theme and maybe some of that supercool Swarovski studded chain I just bought at the Pasadena show.

So far, so good.

Then, I went into the bead stash and tried to pull more things to finish off the design...and that's where things went horribly, horribly wrong. I discovered that the down side to having a ginormous stash of amazing art beads from incredible artists want to use them ALL.

Which is how this happened:

Because, seriously, who could say no to a gorgeous Lynn Davis Eiffel Tower done in pewter? Or a chestnut-patinated coin bead from Shannon LeVart?

Not me, apparently.

And not only could I not say no to those items, but I also couldn't weed out pearls, Czech glass, tiny copper Eiffel Tower dangles or sparkling crystal chain.

One of the worst cases of "CNS" I've seen in a while. Y'know...since the last time I went all Dr. Frankenstein with my bead stash.

Definitely time to operate. Just hope that everyone survives the procedure.

That Eiffel Tower component really deserved a necklace all its own. It was a littly tricky to work with because of the three-dimensional nature of the legs at the bottom, but putting the crystal chain there helped with that.

You can't see in the picture, but this piece just GLOWS - it has an incredible patina on it that gives it touches of coppery fire here and there.

And Shannon's bead got more of a place of honor, too.

I thought it was a little twee to have the small dangle be another Eiffel Tower on this necklace so I changed it out to this little flower and a small Czech glass rondelle.

GAWD, I so wish I was in Paris right now. Eating a chocolate crepe and "Riding on the metroooooooo..."

Oh, I did SO have to go there so shut it.

Also, if you don't get that are probably too young to be reading this blog. I may have to check your i.d.

I really have to get a bigger necklace bust for photographing longer necklaces - I couldn't get a decent picture of this one - it's quite a bit longer than my usual 18-20" comfort zone. No clasp needed because it fits over my head.

I'm wearing it at work today.

Because I love it.

But, I know what you're all wondering. Did the other necklace survive?

Why, yes. Yes, it did. And I believe it is MUCH happier now.

I kept the same centerpiece - my original idea of pairing the purchased component with one of my resin beads worked just fine.

I just simplified the one side by adding a single strand of larger chain along with a few dangles.

I love the sparkly chain from Kabela Designs. I want to marry it.

Look - I've been single for five years. Don't judge.

And, okay, yeah, so the extra Eiffel Tower on the back is still kinda sue me.

Bienvenue a Paris!

Au revoir, mes amies!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Oh, Crap!

Y'know, I was determined that this week was going to go better than last week. Because, seriously, there was NO WAY it could possibly get worse, right? Right.

Then, I came out this morning to find that a bird had pooped on my windshield.

No, wait, let me rephrase that. A rather large bird took a dump on my windshield.

Nope, that's not it. I'm still not giving you quite the full experience of this particular incident of crapola. Let's try one more time, shall we?

Some sort of flying creature, possibly of extraterrestrial origins and definitely of gigantic size, had an anal explosion of epic proportions that obliterated the front windshield of my car.

I'm trying REALLY hard not to take it as an omen for the rest of the week.

So, let's look at some new resin beads instead...

I was so happy with how my "Sunflower Fields" necklace came out that I figured it couldn't hurt to make a few more sunflower beads.

Ah...the good old days...when you could get a whole bottle of cologne for 10 cents.

Or, five cents if you were on a budget.

Of course, I have to wonder what it smelled probably couldn't expect much for a nickel.

How about some vintage French travel posters as beads? I got a whole bunch of these designs for various French cities and attractions, but I had to make this one first. Ever since I spent a lost weekend in Deauville with a 6'2", blue-eyed, black-haired French guy named Stephan, I've had a soft spot for that city. Plus...BEST SEAFOOD EVAH! Seriously. The restaurants are built to back onto the docks - the boats pull up and unload at the back door and the food comes out on your plate minutes later.

So, to recap - amazing food and a hot French guy. Yeah, I'd revisit that weekend in a heartbeat.

Sometimes, Blogger likes to turn my pictures sideways for no apparent reason that I can detect. Usually, I fight it, but today...I give up. Just tilt your head sideways and it will all make sense.

This is a similar set of beads to the ones I used in my "Painted Desert" necklace (if you click the link, scroll way down to see it). I love the colors and since this isn't just regular paper, but something special, I have to go through several processes to get it ready to be resined so it takes more work than my other items. I think the results are worth it, though.

Now this? Is regular scrapbook paper...with a crystal.

Same idea - but the paper came already glittered so it has some sparkle to it. And I do love the sparkle.

The colors are much brighter and prettier than they appear in the photos.

I'm sure it's completely the wrong time of year for tulips, but I thought they were so pretty. I just had to use this design.

Another sunflower - but a completely different style and shape.

I love these designs - they always look like some kind of nebula or space debris or something. This one has shades of red and hot pink with a white hot sun (pearl) as the center.

This mermaid is checkin' herself in the mirror before she swims off for a hot date ;-) Maybe she'll notice that she forgot to wear a shirt...or at least grab a pair of coconut halves or clamshells.

I don't know why you would ride a seahorse when you already have a tail of your own, but these two are making it look stylish at least. And, one of 'em remembered to bring along the tunes

Out of the three, I like this mermaid the best. Love the long, flowing hair with all the flowers in it.

And, it wouldn't be complete without at least one fairy. She definitely looks Winter Court to me.

I'll start listing these tonight on Etsy - with the exception of the fairy because she's already been mailed out.

Hope everyone had a good weekend and that your windshields did better today than mine did.