Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tie One On

So, one of the reasons I've been a bit absent lately is that I've been feverishly working to meet the submission deadline for Lorelei's book project competition.

The deadline is tomorrow and I finally got all my items posted to the group page today so I'm DONE. Well, other than the whole "gnaw the fingers to the bone while wondering who is going to win" part of it.

Not my favorite part, I admit.

If you want a sneak peek at my submissions, you can check them out on my Flicker page here (because I am too lazy to re-upload all the pics to blogger).

Comments and feedback on the designs much appreciated if you have the time.

And if you don't...well...no soup for you.


P.S. Thought for the day: "You know you are shoveling the Hershey's Kisses into your mouth too quickly when you keep getting a taste of the paper 'flag' part."

P.P.S. ATTENTION ALL PORN ADDICTS: This week's bead porn post will take place on THURSDAY. Friday's post is reserved for a special blog hop/contest I'm participating in. Tune in tomorrow for more details on that. I just didn't want all you porn addicts to miss out again after last week.


Pornarella (Keirsten Giles gifted me with that nickname and I love it so much I'm totally keeping it)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Reports of my Death...

...have been greatly exaggerated ;-)

Sorry for the long absence - I just needed a mental vacation. I felt like my brain was going stagnant and that was leading to no creativity in my jewelry and a seriously boring blog.

I feel somewhat refreshed (coulda used a couple more days, though) and even got some pieces made yesterday. You know your muse is absent when it takes five days of vacation before you have even a glimmer of a desire to create something!

It figures she decides to show back up right when vacation is over.


In other news, I got almost all my Christmas shopping done in one giant power-shop on Wednesday. I did this last year for the first time and it was so successful that I decided to make it a yearly thing. No fighting the insane Black Friday crowds for me! Plus, I find that everything is picked over by then anyway.

By going on Wednesday, everything is fully stocked and a lot of stores already have their deals and sales in place as preparation for Friday, anyway.

And, also, it cuts down on the chances that I will actually kill someone for their rampant stupidity in the parking lot because I'm so $(#)&)!! irritated with the crowds and craziness.

So, shopping accomplished and me not awaiting arraignment.

I call that a win-win.

Hit Target to take care of the three boys (my son and two nephews). Hit Old Navy to get some things for my mom and sister-in-law (and a couple things for myself because I am my own Santa Claus). Ran into Bath & Body Works (conveniently located right next to Old Navy) to get stocking stuffers for all the girls. Got supplies ordered for jewelry prezzies.

Only person not taken care of is my brother. Because he failed to follow my oh-so-explicit instructions about getting me his wishlist (despite two reminder phone calls).

Men. Why can't they learn to follow simple instructions?


Oh, and he tried to give some BS excuse about how he was all busy running the nuclear plant and working late and all. Like that is somehow more important than me being able to get all my Christmas shopping done in one day.


Dude - you are so getting light-up socks and the stale leftover candy canes from last year.

Maybe in future you will learn not to mess with my master plan.

Oh, and I'm totally telling Mom on you, too.

So there.


P.S. Hope to get the blog back to normal this week with some fun posts so stay tuned! Hope everyon had a happy turkey day. I ate massive amounts of pecan pie so all was good.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Get A Life Bead Porn

I would've written blog posts this week...really, I would have...except absolutely NOTHING happened.


Not one single friggin' thing.

Given that when my life DOES get exciting, it tends to be in a bad way, I should probably be thankful for these periods of extreme boredom.

But I'm not.

I'm bored.

I even think this week's selection of bead porn is a bit on the boring side, but that could just be my overall boredom with life talking. Also - if the bank would get off it's giant ASS and get me my replacement ATM CARD, then maybe bead shopping wouldn't be so damn difficult!

I mean, I'm just tryin' to do my part to support the economy, yo. C'mon, B of A, help a girl out!

While I go back to anxiously watching the mailbox for my card, here's this week's selection of bead porn from my rapidly dwindling backlog:

Black diamond and topaz Czech glass leaves.

Same shape - brighter, more tropical color scheme.

Some primitive and earthy-looking Czech glass disks. The leaves and these disks are all from Five Sisters on Etsy.

This was listed as "volcano quartz" but it's actually glass. I just thought the colors were pretty.

Dyed purple howlite disks.

More dyed howlite - loved the bright shades of aqua, purple and turquoise.

I really like this "buffalo tooth" cut on stones lately. This is a strand of African turquoise cut that way. All of the above glass and stones are from New York Bead.

Miss Fickle Media declares that she has discovered "color utopia" with this new patina called "Peacock Blue." I wholeheartedly agree!

So I bought a lot of it!

Mmmmm....peacock blue. Happy dance!

Found these long ceramic tube beads at Excellent Gem.

In many...



...many different colors!

And they had these cool ceramic long teardrop pairs, too!

Which I thought would make nifty earrings. Plus, I just like to use the word "nifty."

These gorgeous ceramic link components are from Joan Miller Porcelain.

That's it for this week. Is everyone else looking as much forward to Thanksgiving vacation next week as I am? I'm not gonna do nuthin' except eat pecan pie and make jewelry.

And then eat more pie.

And watch my ass get bigger.

Fun times.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Porn Lite

The porn is a little bit on the "lite" side this week. You can thank the thief who hacked into my ATM card number and bought himself a bunch of stuff which required me to cancel my card.

I'm in shopping limbo until the new card gets here. Good thing I have at least a little bit of "backlog" on porn pics or y'all would be S.O.L. today.

So, even though there's not as much "quantity" as usual, I did find a couple of new vendors to highlight - so enjoy!

Czech glass is just getting more and more amazing all the time, isn't it? Look at the gorgeous ruby and sunset colors AND rayed textural elements AND picasso finish on these beads! I found these at Bead and Ribbon on Etsy.

I'll admit it - I'm not a big fan of the color red. I blame my mother. When I was a child, she had some kind of weird obsession with dressing me in red, white and blue. And not just for 4th of July, but ALL the time! The emotional scars have yet to heal, but perhaps I'm starting to loosen up on my lack of appreciation for red beads because I thought this set was kind of nice.

You can see I went nuts in their store. But I never can resist any beads that remind me of the ocean...like these gorgeous Czech glass disks.

Okay, so, I can't resist any other beads, either. I liked the unique color palette on these.

These cranberry and black disks were my very favorite. I've already used them in my Poe's Raven necklace and that says a lot because usually I have to hoard beads for at least 6-12 months before I can bring myself to use them LOL!

I kinda bought these just because of the name: "violet black tea." That's a really dumb reason to buy a certain bead, but that didn't stop me from doing it anyway.

Another unusual combo and shape. All of the above beads are from Bead and Ribbon (who, strangely, has no ribbon in her shop, but she does have some kinda cool copper and resin pendants a la Jade Scott but without the horrendous price tag and once a month feeding frenzy...y'know, in case anyone doesn't like that experience)

Deliciously cool amazonite in a "buffalo tooth" shape. This is from another new vendor: New York Beads.

They have a great selection of glass and stones. I couldn't resist the vibrant pink and great texture of these dyed, etched and crackled agate beads. They're in a nice, useable 8mm size, too. Other places I've seen doing the etched and crackled beads seem to only have really huge sizes. Sinces these beads already have a lot going on, I think 8mm is a better size to go with.

So I got a dyed blue and un-etched version, too.

It doesn't show very well in the picture, but this is banded agate that has been dyed blue. In real life, it has white cloudy "swirls" through the blue. These were a nice, substantial size for the price!

I have always been a fan of the recycled glass pendants from Artisan Clay, but now she's doing these smaller pieces that are perfect for earrings, charms or small pendants. This is the second set I've purchased and I'm just thrilled with them. The colors are to die for!

No lampwork this week as I'm still trying to cut down on my glass habit. So, as the finale, I had to show the wonderful work of artist Heather Kent. She takes the resin pendant to a whole new level by doing all her own artwork as the insert...and she is quite the artist! Each pendant is a tiny masterpiece and I can't wait to design a necklace to go with this cute beach scene and starfish!

That's it for this week. B of A is supposed to get my new card to me by the middle of next week so hopefully the Friday Bead Porn won't continue to be impacted by my lack of a valid account number ;-)

Oh, and for the person who said last week's porn was missing my particular style of "playful banter"...well, I'm not sure about banter, but I did have an odd thought in the middle of the night last night when I couldn't sleep (my body is doing this weird thing where I'm popping awake at 2:30 or 3 AM for no reason and then I can't get back to sleep...it sucks):

"Creativity is like an orgasm. Sometimes, no matter how much preparation and work you put in...it just AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN."

Brains are weird, aren't they? I got that thought sandwiched in amongst:

1. Trying to decide if I should get up and turn on the ceiling fan because maybe making it cooler in the room would help me go back to sleep.

2. Wondering if I had any clean underwear for the next day.

3. Mentally making a grocery list.

4. Trying to remember if I'd turned off the computer and whether it was worth getting up to check.

5. Realizing I needed to pee.

Even in the middle of the night - I am quite the multi-tasker!

Have a good weekend, everyone!


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Is it just me or....???

So there's this thing that's been happening to me lately and I finally decided to quit wondering about it and ask if anyone else is experiencing it. It's a little thing and not really worth mentioning except that sometimes I just feel like doing a sanity check to see if I'm the only one who has noticed it.

Here's the scenario:

My oven has been broken for almost 2 years now. Part of that time was lost due to dealing with the whole dad passing away issue and the flood. Then I had a replacement part ordered for it and installed...which didn't fix it. Ordered a second part and had THAT installed...still broken.

I probably just need to give up and replace it, but I haven't mentally accepted that yet.

All of which I mention because it means that over the last two years, I've gotten really adept at using my microwave and my toaster oven and, when all else fails, ordering pizza.

A LOT of pizza.

So I'm pretty familiar with the whole pay the pizza guy at the door scenario. And normally, it goes like this: guy rings doorbell, I open door and hand him a $20, he hands me the pizza and my change and then, based on certain criteria (timeliness, condition of pizza, politeness, etc.) I determine how much I'm going to tip him. Once I determine that, I had him back some money and say "thank you."

Normal, right?

Except lately, when it comes to the change and tip part? It's not going so smoothly. About half the time, instead of handing me my change, the driver asks me "did you need any cash back?"

Why yes, yes I do. Since it's MY money!

And the other half of the time, they hand me back my change LESS the tip that they have decided they've earned.

Now, call me crazy, but isn't it MY decision whether or not you get a tip and how much it's going to be?

And yes, I realized that there's probably something a bit silly in the process of them handing me my change back and then me handing some of that change back to them, but I still think that's the way it ought to be.

Also, I find it embarrassing to have to be the one to say "umm...you forgot my change?" And then some of them have the guts to BITCH about me asking for it.

It's almost gotten to the point where I want to demand all my change back and not tip at all.

Is this an isolated phenomenon? Or have you experienced it, too? If you have - how did you handle it?

And how much should a pizza delivery guy be tipped, anyway?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.


P.S. Does it count as a tip if I fling a couple of strands of seed beads through the open window of the delivery car as it drives away? 'Cuz I can do that...

Monday, November 08, 2010

4 Things

Miss Erin of Tesori Trovati tagged me with a meme to answer the following four questions:

1::If one color were suddenly eliminated from the world, which one would you sacrifice and why?

I'd be okay if I never had to look at baby poop greenish brown ever again. As for the why...that's kinda self-explanatory, I think.

2::What one moment in your life would you go back in time to have a 'do-over' and why?

OMG...there are SO MANY! How to pick only one of the uber-embarrassing and awful moments of my life to erase? It's nearly impossible. So, I'm going with two. One more serious and one that was hideously embarrassing at the time, but is more humorous now (although I still could live with undoing it).

First - the serious one. Without naming names and going into excruciatingly painful details, let's just say there was a pivotal moment at the beginning of a certain relationship in my life where I had a choice between two options. I made the best decision I could at the time based on the information I had available. However, hindsight (and more information) has revealed that I definitely picked the wrong option and if I could go back and choose the other option, and thereby save myself a huge amount of suffering and heartache, I would.

As for the humorous one, here it is. I would really like to save my 16-year-old self from that day in French class where I had to give an oral report and one of the rubber bands on my braces snapped, flew across the room and hit the teacher in the middle of her forehead. In front of the entire class. Yeah, that was a BAD day - the repercussions of which continue to follow me to this day.

3::What would the name of your superhero alter ego be and what super power would you possess?

Since I've already proven that I have the ability to spontaneously re-generate from the wreckage and ashes of my former life, I think my alter ego would have to be called "The Phoenix." I'd be indestructible and have the power of flight (since the phoenix is a bird, after all).

4::What job would you absolutely hate to have to do every single day and why?

I have an extremely low "ickiness" tolerance so anything remotely gross, smelly or disgusting is totally out. An employee who spends all her time bent over puking is not really an asset to the company.

I'm also not fond of anything that puts me in contact with bugs or requires me to get sweaty.

Oh, and I'd be a terrible nurse, too. I have no patience at all and would probably sedate most of my patients within the first five minutes just so I didn't have to listen to them.

Actually, anything dealing with the general public would be bad as well because I tend to dislike a pretty high percentage of the population within 30 seconds of meeting them. And yes, I know that this makes me evil and likely to end up in a very hot place in the hereafter. But the Powers That Be shoulda thoughta that before they wired me this way!

Wow. It's amazing I even HAVE a job LOL!

So, now I'm supposed to pick four additional people to tag with this. A task at which I sucketh mightily because most people have already played by the time one of these things gets to me. Here's what I'm gonna do. Iffen you haven't already been hit with this meme and you wanna play - consider yourself tagged.

Here are your questions:

1. What's your favorite period in history and why?

2. Which TV show are you ashamed that you can't stop watching?

3. I liked Erin's question about the life do over so I'ma steal that one. What one moment in your life would you go back in time to have a 'do-over' and why?

4. Who in your life do you wish you could re-connect with and why?

Okay, go!


Friday, November 05, 2010

Droid Bead Porn

You're probably wondering why the porn is so late today.

Well, I have a new love interest in my life and I have been busy with it all day. It is my new Droid 2 phone (and before anyone faints at the price...that's NOT what I paid for it...there was a special, one-day deal going at the store AND an additional discount because I had earned a phone upgrade so I got a killer deal).

I bought it on Monday and am now obsessed with it. I spent two hours Monday afternoon downloading all the cool free applications (Google Maps, B of A Mobile Banking, Amazon Kindle, Pandora Radio and many more).

Look - don't judge me until YOU'VE experienced the digital crack that is "Angry Birds" and lost entire chunks of your day to it. I swear I could hear the birds chirping and those darned pigs grunting in my dreams.

Frankly, it's probably a good thing the battery finally ran down last night and I was forced to put the phone on the charger or I wouldn't have gotten any sleep.

So, for a brief few moments while the phone is re-charging, I'm here to fulfill my porn obligations to you...my loyal readers. Then it's back to the game. I'm THIS CLOSE to level 3!

Turquoise Czech glass in a funky freeform drop shape from Uncommon Beads.

Carved orange coral drop flowers are also from Uncommon Beads.

Gorgeous caramel and cream shell rondelles from Gemme Tresor.

Some really nice quality and size lapis rondelles from Uncommon Beads.

Faceted green aventurine "chunks" also from Gemme Tresor.

Tiny, carved pink coral tulip flowers from yes, Gemme Tresor, again.

Bright red carved coral flower teardrop shaped beads from Uncommon Beads.

And my best stone purchase of the last few months - GORGEOUS apatite rondelles! These have great color and a quite uniform in size and shape. They are from Lily's Offering

Sterling silver toggle also from Lily's Offering.

Crescent moon charm from Hint.

Enameled blue domes from Gardanne. Truly outstanding color on these!

Heat patinated copper seashorse from Joan Miller.

Bronze clay "butterfly goddess" pendant from Amanda Davie.

Crusty black Greek ceramic spacers from Linden Avenue. These were originally for a Halloween design, but I kinda missed the boat timewise. I'm sure another use will occur to me...eventually.

Pretty ceramic beads from Mary Ann Carroll in shades of sky blue and reddish brown.

Small poly clay hearts from Floridity.

And some great antique style charms from her, too.

Gorgeous lampwork glass from Bead Abundant.

That's it. I think the phone is recharged so I've got some virtual pigs to kill and a weekend to enjoy. Hope you all do the same!


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Poe's Raven

The silence on the blog has been deafening this week, no? I was supposed to have this entry ready in time for Halloween, but what with the vacation and the kid getting sick on vacation and the rush to get caught up after I got back, well...that's the way it goes.

Anyway, in between bouts of taking the kid's temperature and pouring cough medicine down his throat in the hotel room, I managed to create one necklace. Never mind that I took the supplies and idea lists to create at least four pieces...I got ONE done LOL!

This necklace had a few sources of inspiration. First, of course, was the amazing patinated raven pendant from Miss Fickle Media. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect for a design for this time of year. Also, it reminded me of one of my very favorite poems, "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe, which became another source of inspiration. The poem is set in December which caused me to look at a cool, frosty color palette with hints of darkness.

Another source of inspiration was a period film I watched recently in which one of the characters wore a deep cranberry-colored dress all accented with sparkling jet beading. I wanted to pull the cranberry and black colors into the design.

Black patinated links, chain and clasp (also from Miss FM) were in keeping with all of these elements and also added a vintage feel. I threw in a few lighter hits of pink for contrast.

So, turn the lights down low and pretend it's still Halloween and enjoy my "Poe's Raven" necklace.!

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"— here I opened wide the door; —
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" —
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; —
'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning— little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered— not a feather then he fluttered —
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before —
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore —
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never — nevermore'."

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore —
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee — by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite — respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil! —
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted —
On this home by horror haunted— tell me truly, I implore —
Is there — is there balm in Gilead? — tell me — tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil — prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us — by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting —
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!— quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted — nevermore!

Accent beads in this necklace are carved black onyx, pink chalcedony rondelles, frosted white vintage glass, deep rose shell disks, frosted pink glass, cranberry and black Czech glass disks and white jumbo Swarovski pearls.

I linked everything together with copper chain and patinated copper wire in 20 and 22 gauge (depending on the size of the holes in certain beads).

Hope you enjoyed.