Monday, September 27, 2010

Hooray! It's Summer!

Except...oh wait...NOT!

And yet, Mom Nature (who is obviously a WAY meaner mom than me even if the kid doesn't believe that) has decided to once again screw with the weather. After a summer of oddly cool temperatures during which I had to wear a sweater at the beach and we rarely even broke 80, she has decided that we needed to experience this yesterday:

Yep, that's right. 106 degrees in my driveway yesterday. And it's even hotter today! As I drover over the pass at about 8:15 this morning, it was already 87!

Tomorrow, it's supposed to "cool off" a high of 89. Multiple days of uber-hot temps in So Cal mean ONE THING: fire. I expect by tomorrow that everything will be on fire around here.


The kid and I tried to escape the heat for a while yesterday by going to the movies. One of his friends came over afterwards so I did actually get a teensy bit of free time to make jewelry. Of course, the perfect project for teensy blocks of time is...earrings!

So here they are:

I started with a set of teeny tiny lampwork nuggets from SFDGlassBeads.

I was originally going to call this design "Butterfly Sorbet", but after thinking about it I realized that was a bad idea because 1. EWWWWW...who wants to eat sorbet made out of butterflies and 2. There's probably some "Anti Butterfly Defamation League" out there who would get their panties all in wad and accuse me of being a butterfly terrorist and whatnot and really? I don't have time for that (beads to buy, jewelry to make, air conditioning bills to pay...y'know...the IMPORTANT stuff).

Soooo..."Berry Sorbet and Butterflies" it is. Pewter butterfly charms, sterling silver chain, tiny lampwork nuggets in shades of raspberry, grape and peach and lots of sparkling crystals.

I had another set of tiny lampwork nuggets from the same vendor so I made another pair.

Bottoms on these are cubic zirconia brios.

I used a more uniform type of chain so the dangles are clustered more closely all up and down the length.

And then I got all artsy with the picture taking - mostly to show how awesomely sparkley these are when the blazingly hot and hellish light of the sun hits them. I called this pair "Summer Seas."

Okay, back to the heat...and trying not to think about what my A/C bill is going to look like this month.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Bead 3D!!

Okay, not really...I just thought I'd try to cash in on the whole current 3D craze. I think it's funny how suddenly EVERYTHING has to be in 3D.

Even the kid is getting affected. He told me last night that he would ONLY go to the movies with me this weekend if the film we're planning to see is in 3D!

Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is. I saw "Avatar" in 2D and I don't really think I could've liked it any better just because it was 3D.

And besides...those ugly-ass glasses not only bust my whole "uber-fine" vibe, but they give me a hell of a headache!

But, if you are 3D obsessed (like my kid), feel free to put on a pair while looking at this week's bead porn:

Image transfer brass locket from Urban Rose.

And, as usual, I couldn't decide which design I liked the best so I had to get more than one.

Okay, so I got 3.

Uhhh...make that 4. She also has these amazing brass cuff bracelets with peacock feather images. I've definitely been eyeing those - I think I need one for my personal jewelry collection!

More of Lynn Davis's lovely faux porcelain - it's really hand-painted polymer clay set in pewter.

I loved the darker, more mysterious vibe of this pendant from Lynn. I'm picturing lots of jet beads and some oxidized metal or gunmetal to go with it.

I've been having so much fun lately doing bracelets that start with a large focal component and then have chain and dangles dripping off the sides so I asked Barbara from Floridity to make me something out of her "Whisper" collection that would work that way. I think it came out perfectly and can't wait to use it in something!

This petroglyph style seahorse is from Star Spirit Studios.

This pretty bird pendant in autumnal shades of gold, green and brown is from Spirited Earth.

I liked the contrast of the previous pendant vs. this one which is much more icy and wintry looking.

Then, I went back to Spirited Earth a week or so later and she had all these awesome beachy charms and pendants and I can never resist anything with that theme (it's a sickness, really) so I got this cute brown and teal starfish pendant.

And a green starfish pendant.

And a wheat-colored scallop shell with a starfish riding on its back.

And, probably my most favorite piece, this beautifully detailed blue and green mermaid pendant.

I'm still on my "be more discerning about lampwork" kick so no glass this week, but I hope you enjoyed all the great metal, polymer clay and ceramic goodies!

We have quite the busy weekend planned. Kid is taking his latest Tae Kwan Do test tonight and will (hopefully) emerge from it as a Senior Green Belt. Then, tomorrow, we have a Cub Scout event at Lowe's where the boys are going to get some basic instruction on tools and learn to build there own fire trucks. I will, of course, be the only female there (since his Dad couldn't make it). Sunday, we are going to see the Owl movie (but only if it's in 3D, apparently).

Yeah, no beading for me this weekend. Gah - it's so frustrating to have NO free time!

Hope you all have good weekends and get time to indulge in your creative pursuits!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Queen of the Abalone Forest

In keeping with my life-long obsession with all things ocean-related, I got my scuba diving certification while in my late 20's. I never got to do as much diving as I would have liked being that life (in the form of marriage and offspring) intervened, but that just makes the few dives I have done along the California coast that much more memorable.

Unlike a more tropical environment, California waters are surprisingly chilly. This means we don't have coral reefs. Instead, most of the underwater environment here consists of dense forests of kelp inhabited by rays, sharks, sea urchins, abalone and various fish - the most noticeable of which is the bright orange garibaldi (our state fish).

When I started pulling beads to go with this lovely green and brown ceramic mermaid pendant, I was reminded of the greens and browns of the underwater kelp forest. Then, I found these incredible abalone shell beads and off I went:

Abalone beads, Czech glass, tiger ebony wood slices and bronze Parawire made the perfect accents for this wonderful mermaid pendant.

While I mostly wanted the abalone shells to pick up the greens and chocolate browns in the rest of the palette, I couldn't resist adding a few small lavender seed beads to catch the purple opalescence in the shells.

The Czech glass beads have a Picasso finish on them that blends the greens and browns with some touches of dark blue (had to get the ocean in there somewhere).

A patinated brass hook and eye clasp add the finishing touch.

The "Queen of the Abalone Forest" invites you to come take a refreshingly chilly dip in California's coastal waters.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Sing Your Heart Out

More Labor Day jewelry coming up, but first, a little horn tootin'!

I had several items picked to be in Etsy treasuries over the weekend. This one features my "Mermaid with a Mirror" bead and other great beachy stuff. Or, you can go psychedelic with "Trippy Treasures" which includes one of my kaleidascope bottlecap pendants. And then there's "Death by Chocoloate" which sort of speaks for itself and shows off one of my chocolate and gold resin pendants.

Be Resinable seems to be doing quite well. Now, I just need to get that kind of action going at Silver Parrot and I will be quite the happy camper.

But, I'll keep on making jewelry whether sales pick up or not. It makes me happy to create pretty things and that's reason enough to keep on doing it. I do sometimes wonder what will happen to all this stuff when I go to the Big Bead Shop in the Sky. Will it get buried with me? Sold off for $1 a piece at a garage sale? Sent to Goodwill? Tossed in the ocean? This must be why wizards need apprentices ;-)

Okay, I know, it's weird that I think about this stuff, but that's just the way my brain works. I can't help it.

On to the jewelry:

Y'all are probably sick of looking at this design, but after I re-did it the first time and road tested it again, I decided it needed just a tad more length.

On second it really possible to get tired of Paris? Je dis "non."

I was out of copper chain so I added that small section of wire-wrapped teal Czech beads at the back. I've also realized (duh) that if I'm going to venture into longer necklaces, which I'd like to do more of because I'm tired of always doing such short ones, I'm going to need a larger necklace bust or mannequin for photos. These pictures just don't do justice to this necklace because you can't really see where the Eiffel Tower link hits, etc.

Okay, actually NEW stuff now:

I bought this pretty and unusual polymer clay pendant on Etsy a few months ago and have already featured it in a bead porn post so it was time to make something with it. I wanted to keep a delicate feel to the final design, play up the pastel color scheme and keep in line with the slight vintage feel of the pendant.

Again, I need a larger necklace bust because you can't really see the full color scheme in this picture.

I started with a brass bird chain that I found at Michael's and took a few birds off of it to use more as links than as actual chain. Next, I added wire-wrapped links using bronze Parawire and vintage etched pink glass beads.

Then I used the birds again to transition to the back half of the necklace - which is composed of more wire-wrapped links this time featuring coin-shaped pale green glass. It picks up the green in the bird picture quite nicely.

The clasp is a simple brass hook - patinated to match the dark tones of the wire.

And here's a better shot of the complete necklace. It's a simple design, but I felt there was so much going on with the focal that I didn't want to detract from that. And that's my "Sing Your Heart Out" necklace.

And now for a few random thoughts (because they'll keep swirling around in my head until I get them out):

1. Am I the only one who has been freaked out by the ads for that movie "The Devil" - y'know, the part where the girl frantically screams "TURN ON THE LIIIIIIGGGGHHHHHTTTTSSSSSS!" I suppose the worst part is that I often watch TV in my bed late at night with the lights off and kinda start to drift off to sleep and then one of those ads comes on and she starts screaming and WOW! Seriously freaky!

2. And speaking of commercials that are bugging me...could we STOP with the incessant media barrage about "The Event" series premiere? I AM OVER IT! And I'm SOOOO not watching it. It looks like a bad combo of "Lost" (which "lost" me after the first season) and "24" (which lost me after about the 3rd season).

3. Do not call, text, e-mail, IM, Facebook or whatever me tonight between 8-9 PM as I will be getting my Hugh Laurie fix on with the premiere of "House." The only way to get my attention will be to drop a nuclear bomb directly on my house and really? Unless you are my mother (because she thinks I should be at her beck and call at a moment's notice), that's probably overdoing it a tad.

4. There were more random thoughts, but I started thinking about Hugh Laurie and forgot the rest.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Just Bead Porn

Okay, fine.

I see how you people play. You don't (with the exception of the four people who DID comment and who are obviously superior beings) care about my silly vacay photos. You're only here for the porn.

Well, fine then.

Porn it is.

I hope you're happy with yourselves ;-)

Someone bring me a Lava Flow!

Lovely copper swirl clasps from Miss Fickle Media. I decided I needed to beef up my supply of clasps and these fit the bill perfectly!

And since I can't ever go to Shannon's site without buying more than one thing, I got these cute turquoise disks at the same time.

Hammered and oxidized silver rings from Cathy Dailey.

I decided to get some oval rings from the same store - y'know, just to have something in a different shape.

And a pair of these cute flower charms as well.

I've had my eye on Hint's gorgeous silver charms for a while and finally took the plunge (no pun intended) with this little dolphin. Very appropriate considering my recent vacation (which you'd know about if you'd read yesterday's blog post...I'm just sayin')

Lynn Davis is really doing some phenomenal things mixing her polymer clay with her pewter pieces. I thought this bird with the floral setting around it was just darling.

And then she posted this heart and I was just stunned by how pretty it is.

Even though I do my own resin work now, I haven't taken it to the next step yet of creating my own bezels out of metal so I'm happy to buy these more unusual pieces from Amanda Davie. I love the dark patina she gets on the metal and her choice of images.

I haven't been a big follower of the whole "owl" fad that's been going on the last year or so, but I did kinda fall in love with this cute little blue guy from Yolanda's Clay.

Got this cute little butterfly and floral square at the same time.

And Gaea just kept on having a de-stash I just kept on getting more sets of her gorgeous beads. They are so cute like this that I almost feel like I don't have to add much of anything. I could just string 'em as is and add a clasp and be done. And okay, I probably won't do that, but it's nice to know I COULD.

See? I told you I just kept on buying from her...

A pretty coral-colored butterfly design from Summer's Studio, Etc.

Some great blue and green ceramic beads which I bought to potentially (or not, might use them separately) go with this:

...totally rockin' butterfly pendant.

Now, normally, there'd be lampwork here, but I've been trying to cut back on my lampwork purchases. I have enough for about 3 lifetimes. Plus, since my jewelry rarely, if ever, sells...even the stuff I've used in designs is mostly still in my possession. It was getting kind of ridiculous (even for me). Not to say that I won't EVER buy more...I'm just trying to rein it in a bit so there may be a bit less lampwork in the porn posts from now on.

Hope you enjoyed this week's batch o' bead porn (and that you know the opening comments were all meant in fun...and if you don't...well...uh...this MAY not be the blog for you LOL!)