Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review: "Phoenix Rising"

There will be a brief jewelry hiatus (but for those still doin' the Bead Soup Thang, here's the link) in order to bring you this week's book review (warning - there ARE some spoilers!):

"Phoenix Rising" by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris. The first in an upcoming series, "Phoenix" details the start of the adventures of Agents Books & Braun from the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. It's sort of like the X-Files meets Steampunk.

Things I liked:

The cover art is brilliant. In fact, that's what drew me to the book even though I usually have a strict "don't get suckered by the artwork" policy on trying new authors. Still, you have to admit, pretty awesome looking.

The concept is great. I like the Steampunk genre anyway and it makes sense that of course there would be a "Ministry" keeping tabs on the more unusual goings-on in and around London and the rest of the world.

The book opens with a bang. Literally. Seems Agent Braun likes her some dy-no-mite. Great action in the opening pages really helps grab the reader, thought, and I'm always in favor of it. I really don't want to read 3 chapters of "set-up" thanks ever so.

Things that were so-so:

I could've done without the pun names of Books and Braun. And the fact that he's the mild-mannered archivist and she's the hell-on-wheels field agent...felt like I'd seen or read that before.

And while I get that it's an alternate universe, I thought Agent Braun's behavior and dress for a woman in that period...well, she would've been mobbed or lynched...or mobbed and then lynched. Sorry, I just couldn't stretch myself that far.

After the grab-bang opening, I still got stuck with chapters of set up (some of which will not come to fruition until future books which I find annoying).

Things I didn't like:

Since many of the elements of the mystery (the murders, the insanity of Agent Braun's former partner, etc.) happen before the events of this book, there's a sense of distance from them which doesn't allow the reader to have as much of a personal connection with the Agents and their search for the truth as one would have liked. Yes, yes, bad people doing bad things should be stopped. Agreed. But I want to CARE about why this is personal to these two agents.

The orgy scene was gratuitous. We already know these people are crazy bad. An orgy is the least of what they've done so I don't see why it was needed. AND, I didn't buy that one Agent was able to skip out on the orgy entirely and the other was able to just sort of dance around the periphery and then leave early when they are both supposed to be undercover as bad guys themselves. A passionate scene between Books and Braun would have been MUCH more interesting.

The corset thing is just stupid. There is not a woman in the world, much less one with a sizeable chest, who can do physically demanding activities in a corset (bullet-proof or not) without there being significant boob flashage. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the second (or maybe third?) law of thermodynamics: strapless tops + running and jumping and carriage chases = everybody look at my BOOBS!

Which brings me back to the whole mobbed-then-lynched thing.

So, I know it sounds like I hated the book, but I didn't. I actually liked quite a bit about it, but felt that it had some rough edges that needed polishing. Given that it's a new series with relatively new authors, I will probably check out the next book to see if things improve.

In the meantime, if you think you might be interested in Steampunk as a genre, I can HIGHLY recommend Gail Carriger's "Parasol Protectorate" novels. The first in the series is "Soulless."

Next week, I'll be reviewing "Ghost Ship" by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Stay tuned.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Kelp Forest Necklace

I thought maybe an entire week of Bead Soup is enough for now, but if you're still hopping, here's the link to my post (or you can just scroll down - it's the next post).

For those who already stopped by (and especially if you left a comment and/or became a follower): THANK YOU! I really, really appreciate the feedback and I read each and every single comment. I tried to respond to as many as I could via e-mail, but not all of them come through that way so I'm sure I missed some people.

Since I ended my soup-creating phase with projects based around a lavender color scheme, I had all kinds of beads still sitting on my work surface that were close, but not quite right, for the soup projects so I decided to make something with them.

This is my "Kelp Forest" necklace as it encompasses all the green and brown tones of California giant kelp (especially as viewed underwater).

I started with this amazing ceramic lavender starfish focal from Yolanda's Clay...which, if you look closely, actually has some green tones reflected in the glaze...especially near the top.

I added some gorgeous Czech glass faceted rondelles that are lavender and blue with streaks of green and brown. Next are these really cool brown shell dangles that are actually shoe buttons from ladies shoes from the late 1800's. I got a whole bag of them years ago (like 2004-ish?) at the L.A. Gift show and I've been holding on to them ever since waiting for the right project to use them in. Then there are some green stick pearls and ebony wood slices.

More wood slices and these brown ceramic donut rings that I found at Michael's. I added a lavender Swarovski pearl to the center to keep the color scheme going.

The clasp is sterling silver wire hammered into an "S" hook and ring.

Put it all together and you have a little starfish hiding in a giant kelp forest.

'Bye li'l starfish!

In other news, congratulations to my favorite martial artist...Ryan...for achieving his red belt in Tae Kwon Do on Friday night. At 8 years old, he's only 2 ranks away from black belt! My kiddo practiced his heart out for weeks to get ready and did a great job - even broke a board doing an Il Bo Chunjin Back Kick (spelling on that is probably not right as I don't speak Korean LOL) Way to go, Ryan!!

Hope everyone had a good weekend! Why does Monday have to come so FAST?!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Soup's On!

First off, I lift my glass to all of you intrepid blog hoppers out there! There are a lot of blogs to visit and if you took the time to come by mine - welcome! I'm sincerely honored that you're here and I hope you'll enjoy the soup I made and maybe even leave a comment or come back by in the future!

Just as a refresher, here are the soup ingredients provided by my partner, Judy Riley of Three Red Beads:

The focal is one of Judy's hand-made paper beads. This presented an immediate challenge as I have never worked with a paper bead before and I wasn't sure what style would best set it off or how much handling it would stand up to.

The other ingredients are Czech glass flowers and drops, freshwater pearls, faceted white jade and a Bali silver toggle clasp. Even though this color combination is not one that I would have ever put together myself, I absolutely loved it! Didn't exactly know what I was going to DO with it, but I loved it.

My process normally begins with the focal bead. I usually try to pull colors from it to select my accent beads and/or inform the idea of the design. In this case, the accent beads are already there for me, but the color scheme really screamed copper instead of silver to my brain. So, my first decision was that the clasp would form part of a separate design.

Next thing I noticed was that the paper used on the focal bead seems to have flowers imprinted on it. Put that together with the glass flowers and the fact that the green drops look like tiny leaves...I think I'm looking at a floral garland type of design. I also decided that the focal was a little small to anchor a necklace so...a bracelet it is!

I used 20 gauge copper wire and made large wrapped loops. Before closing each loop, I strung a few of the green drops directly on the wire and then also strung on some dangles I'd made out of the flowers and then closed the loops.

Here's a closeup of the focal bead. I added some Greek ceramic spacers in copper and some copper daisy spacers from my stash.

I quickly discovered that the lavender freshwater pearls did not have holes large enough to accommodate the wire I was using, but I really wanted to keep the lavender color in so I added lavender Czech glass flowers from my stash.

One of the best things in this soup mix are these faceted white jade beads. I never would have thought to use them, but they absolutely glow next to these other colors.

This copper toggle came from my stash.

And here's another overall veiw of the bracelet.

I had enough beads left to make some matching earrings.

Since I still had the silver toggle clasp, most of the green drops and all of the freshwater pearls left, I knew I needed to make more soup. I really wanted it to concentrate on those pearls and when I received my latest order from Lisa Boucher's Etsy shop and this lavender and yellow sunflower pendant was in it...

...well, they were meant to go together.

Except this design called for brass so the silver toggle still had to sit out.

I started with the pendant and some large-link brass chain and I kept picturing a chain-link fence in an overgrown field of flowers and berries with the plants twining through and around the fence links.

Other than the lavender pearls, everything else in this design came from my stash.

Here's a closeup of the amazing focal and you can see how I started weaving the pearls through the chain links using the illusion cord.

I decided to use up the lavender flowers that I still had on my table from the bracelet and then I added in dyed yellow wood round beads, vintage glass leaves, some lapis lazuli rondelles and olive green Swarovski crystals. Yes, up close with the camera eye view, you can see the illusion cord, but I've used this technique before and when the design is worn, that cord just disappears like...well, like an illusion ;-)

I was so excited with the way this design came out that I knew it needed a very special closure. A simple brass hook wasn't going to cut it and none of my brass toggles were the right size or style (note to self: you need better brass toggles!) and then I happened to look over and see some ribbon spilling out of the top of my "to be put away pile" and voila!

Y'know, people always ask me when I buy a certain bead or supply "what are you going to do with that?" And I never have the answer because I don't really have a specific design in mind for the most part. I put it into my stash where it waits for the right moment to come out and make magic. I mean, really, who would have ever thought that I would use olive green ribbon trimmed in lavender edging, right? But look, the right design came along and I think it works wonderfully. My little matchy-matchy heart is singing for joy LOL!

Matching earrings, of course! Olive green glass pearls, lapis rondelles, vintage glass leaves and some more of the lavender Czech flowers. I used brass leverback earring wires for the tops.

At this point, I still had some leftover lavender pearls AND that clasp. Obviously, whatever the design is, it's going to have to be purple and silver to start with...hmmm...didn't I just buy some pretty purple ceramic beads at the Costa Mesa Gem Faire a few weeks ago...???

Why, yes, I believe I did. Good for me!

Then I searched through my stash for some lampwork to mix with them and despite having a MASSIVE collection of it, I couldn't find a set that worked with what I wanted to do (obviously, I need more lampwork...which is really hard to believe) but I did come across some large grey ceramic beads that went perfectly and then I mixed in a few crystals and it was starting to come together, but I felt like it was still missing that magic something...

So, I let it simmer on my bead design board for a few days and then I went through my carefully hoarded (because the prices have gone C-R-A-Z-Y) sterling silver stash and found the perfect pendant.

This design takes me back to my designing roots when I was all about the Bali silver mixed with crystals and, usually, lampwork.

However, I think this gorgeous shell pendant and the shimmering ceramic beads give it a different feeling. Plus, I love how the ceramic can look so earthy in my earlier sunflower piece and so upscale and glamorous in this necklace. What a versatile material to work with!

And yes, those marbled purple/lavender/grey beads ARE ceramic. Oh, and I did find a way to finish up using the rest of those lavender pearls from the original soup mix!

Here's a better closeup view of the side of the necklace. That lovely purple crystal color is "Cyclamen."

And finally...I did get that clasp worked in! The only thing I'm really missing is that I was out of sterling silver crimp covers so I'll have to add those later, but I didn't want to be late with my soup just because I'm waiting for that order to come in ;-)

Here's a final look at the whole piece. Yes, it's simple and straightforward in design, but I like to think this approach allows the beauty of each individual bead and component to really stand out.

That's it - hope you enjoyed my three different flavors of soup. As you can see, my style is a bit all over the place but that's because I let the beads take charge and tell me how they want to be used.

Thanks for stopping by and if you're continuing on in the hop, here's the list:

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner Manuela Wutschke

1. Aimee Wheaton and Barbara York

2. Alice Craddick and Sandra Richardson

3. Alison Sachs and Amy Severino

4. Allison Scott and Cynthia Abner

5. Amanda Cargill Austin and Charlene Sevier

6. Amanda Davie and Patsy Evins

7.Amber Dawn and Kim Ballor

8. Ambra Gostoli and Christine Hansen

9.Amy Freeland and Christine Altmiller

10. Ana Krepel-Novak and Eleanor Snare

11. Andrea Morici and Hope Smitherman

12. Andrea Trank and Jayne Capps

13. Andrea Turini and Charlene Jacka

14. Angela May and Emanda Johnson

15. Anitra Gordy and Elizabeth Owens Dwy

16. Ann Rishell and Debbie Price

17. Ann Sherwood and Lynne Bowland

18. Anna Lear and Barbe Saint John

19. Anna Sabina and Erin Siegel

20. Nan Emmett and Erin Siegel

21. Astrid Boyce and Birgitta Lejonklou

22. B.R. Kuhlman and Deanna Chase

23. Barbara Bechtel and Bryna Lumb

24. Barbara Blaszczyk and Davinia Design

25. Barbara Judy and Holly Westfall

26. Barbara Lewis and Cathie Carroll

27. Barrie Edwards and Lyn Foley

28. Becky Fairclough and Jana Tarhala

29. Bella Borgouise and Gillian Lehman

30. Beth and Evie McCord and Erin Prais-Hintz

31. Beth Bricker and Heather Pyle

32. Beth Emery and Cassie Donlen

33. Bobbie Rafferty and Cindy Cima Edwards

34. Candice McGinnis and Sally Anderson

35. Carol Bradley and Cece Cormier

36. Cathy Khoury and Molly Alexander

37. Carol Tannahill and Hilary Frye

38. Carrie Tahquechi and Cris Peacock

39. Cat Pruitt and Cindy Gimbrone

40. Charlene Gary and Doris Stumpf

41. Charlotte Pevny and Kate Gardenghi

42. Cherrie Fick and Cathie Carroll

43. Claire Maunsell and Cherrie Fick

44. Cheryl Roe> and Jenny Vidberg

45. Chris White and Norma Turvey

46. Christa Murphy and Kathy Alderfer

47. Christie Murrow and Dana James

48. Christina Miles and Collette Collins

49. Christine Brandel and Elizabeth Woodford

50. Christine Damm and Cynthia Deis

51. Christine Hendrickson and Debbie Goering

52. Christine Stonefield and Dee Wingrove-Smith

53. Cilla Watkins and Johanna Rhodes

54. Cindy Wimmer and Riki Schumacher

55. CJ Baushka and Cory Celaya

56. Courtney Breul and Joanna Matuszczyk

57. Cristi Clothier and Kathleen Robinson Young

58. Cryss Thain and Serena Trent

59. Cynthia Tucker and Kitty Durmaj

60. Dana Johnson Jones and Eva Sherman

61. Davinia Algeri and Janet McDonald

62. Deci Worland and Lara Lutrick

63. Diana Ptaszynski andKristy Abner

64. Diane Cook and Kerry Bogert

65. Diane Hawkey and Jen Judd Velasquez

66. Dorcas Midkiff and Jill Harris

67. Doris Radlicki and Heather Goldsmith

68. Dot Lewallen and Gaea Cannaday

69. Elisabeth Auld and Jennifer Justman

70. Erin Fickert-Rowland and Geanina Grigore

71. Erin Grant and Julie Jones

72. Eszter Czibulyas and Helena Fritz

73. Fiona Christie and Michelle Heim

74. Gail Zwang and Genea Crivello-Knable

75. Geneva Collins and Jana Haag

76. Gretchen Nation and Heidi Post

77. Heather DeSimone and Karin Slaton

78. Heather Marley and Terry Carter

79. Ingrid McCue and Jennifer Pride

80. Jackie Ryan and Nicole Keller

81. Janna Harttgen and Joanne Tinley

82. Jean Yates and Lori Anderson

83. Jelveh Jaferian and Jenny Davies-Reazor

84. Jenni Connolly and Jennifer Heynen

85. Jennifer Cameron and Kristi Bowman

86. Jennifer Geldard and Lisa Liddy

87. Jennifer VanBenschoten and Kim Hora

88. Jess Italia Lincoln and Lori Greenberg

89. Jill MacKay and Lori Bergmann

90. JJ Jacobs and Karen Tremblay

91. Joyce Becker and Kathy Welsh

92. Judy Glende and Karen Sinkowski

93. Judy Riley and Kelly Morgan

94. JuLee Wolfe and Julie Bean

95. Julianna Cannon and Julianna Kis

96. Julie Nordine and Lesley Watt

97. K. Hutchinson and Shea Zukowski

98. Karen Firnberg and Karyn Bonfiglio

99. Karen Williams and Kimberly Roberts

100. Karen Zanco and Polly Barker

101. Kari Carrigan and Laura Twiford

102. Karin von Hoeren and Laura Blanck

103. Kate Richbourg and Lorelei Eurto

104. Kathleen Lange Klik and Maria Clark

105. Kathy Engstrom and Keri Lee Sereika

106. Kay Thomerson and Loretta Carstensen

107. Kelley Fogle and Laurel Bielec

108. Kelly Ramstack and Sally Anderson

109. Kim Stevens and Tiffany Long

110. Kristi Harrison and Mandy Williamson

111. Kristi Kyle and Lana Kinney

112. Kristina Johansson and Sue Hodgkinson

113. Kym Hunter and Laura Sanger

114. Laura Zeiner and Susan Kennedy

115. Laurel Steven and Mary McGraw

116. Laurie Hanna and Lisa Boucher

117. Lesley Weir and Liz DeLuca

118. Linda Djokic and Tracey Weiser

119. Linda Inhelder and Pam Brisse

120. Linda Landig and Lori Dorrington

121. Linda Murphy and Lisa Hamilton

122. Line Labrecque and Marianne Baxter

123. Lisa Lodge and Monica Johnson

124. Lois Moon and Melissa Muir

125. Lola Surwillo and Therese Frank

126. Lori Bowring Michaud and Marci Brooks

127. Lupe Meter and Norma Agron

128. Maggie Towne and Marge Beebe

129. Malin de Koning and Susie Hibdon

130. Mallory Hoffman and Shirley Moore

131. Marcie Abney and Patty Miller

132. Marcy Lamberson and Melissa Clarke

133. Margot Potter and Suzann Sladcik Wilson

134. Maria Grimes and Wendy Blum

135. Maria Horvath and Melinda Orr

136. Maria Rosa Sharrow and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp

137. Marian Hertzog and Melissa Mesara

138. Marianna Boylan and Sandi Lee James

139. Marina Dobrynina and Michaela Pabeschitz

140. Marsha Neal and Miri Agassi

141. Mary Ellen Parker and Melissa Meman

142. Mary Elliott and Tamara Soper

143. Mary Hicks and Laurel Steven

144. Melissa Pynn and Michelle Buettner

145. Michelle Hardy and Niki Meiners

146. Michelle Mach and Moira McEvoy

147. Missy Rappaport and Mags Sarri

148. Molly Alexander and Poranna

149. Mylene Hillam and Nicole Rennell

150. Nadezhda Parfyonova and Stacey Curry

151. Nan Emmett and Nancy Peterson

152. Nancy Boylan and Natalie McKenna

153. Natalie Monkivitch and Niky Sayers

154. Natasha Lutes and Pam Ferrari

155. Noemi Baena and Penny Ilagan

156. Pamela Petry and Rebecca Sirevaag

157. Pat Haight and Shannon Hicks

158. Patty Gasparino and Vonna Maslanka

159. Penny Neville and Sandi Volpe

160. Pepita Bos and Wendy Chamberlain

161. Raida Disbrow and Rebecca Watkins

162. Rebecca Anderson and Sabrina Staub

163. Regina Santerre and Rose Binoya

164. Rhea Freitag and Tari Kahrs

165. Rochelle Brisson and Teri Baskett

166. Sally Russick and Tracy Bell

167. Sandra McGriff and Shay Williams

168. Sandra Wolberg and Sara Hardin

169. Sarah Elder and Salla Small

170. Saskia Kaffenberger and Sharon Gardner

171. Sharon Palac and Shannon Chomanczuk

172. Shay Stone and Suzette Bentley

173. Shiraz Biggie and Tammy Powley

174. Staci Smith and Tracy Stillman

175. Stacie Stamper and Tracy Martin

176. Stefanie Teufel and Vicky Taylor

177. Stephanie Dixon and Stephanie LaRosa

178. Stephanie Haussler and Valerie Norton

179. Suzanne Tate and Terri Wlaschin

180. Sweet Freedom Designs and Tammy Jones

181. Tania Spivey and Tari Sasser

182. Tara Plote and Terry Matuszyk

183. Terri Gauthier and Deana Hager

184. Theresa Fosdick and Tracey Nanstad

Friday, September 16, 2011

Somebody Please Tell Them Who I Iz

Wow...never would have thought I'd be quoting Nicki Minaj lyrics in a blog post title. I am soooo au courant. Of course I also never thought I'd be saying "I iz" at any point in my lifetime, but I'm just quoting Nicki so the bad grammar is really her fault.

With the Bead Soup Blog Hop coming up TOMORROW (woo hoo!), I thought I'd pull together a few highlights from my blog over the years in case anyone who visits wants to learn a little bit more about what goes on here. Y' case they decide they might want to come back again sometime. are a few oldies but goodies:

I like books (maybe even almost more than beads...shhh...don't tell anyone) and I used to write weekly book reviews here on the blog like this one. Then I stopped doing them for a while, but have recently gotten back into it so here's a link to the latest one.

My hatred of the grocery store is legendary. My mom is now doing some of my shopping along with hers each week so I don't have to go as often. It's really safer for everyone this way.

Of course, I love to make jewelry (duh) and since my style tends to be all over the place, I thought I'd share this post that shows the two extreme ends of the spectrum I live on. Both pieces eventually sold and the first one was published in a magazine prior to its sale.

I'm on a (seemingly) neverending quest to organize my beads. This process started out brilliantly, but has since been compromised by an upstairs flood (and the resulting year-long chaos of putting everything back together) as well as what I can only call rampant bead buying/hoarding. One day I will appear on one of those TV shows and when the door of the house opens, instead of junk and cats pouring out, parrots will fly out and beads will spill all over the ground.

The result of all this bead buying is that I do a lot of bead porn posts. Not as many this year as in the past because it really was getting out of hand, but I still do the occasional one so I don't fall out of practice. Plus, it's my way of giving back to all the great artists whose beads and components inspire me - they totally deserve the free publicity.

But don't think I can't admit that I'm a beadaholic. Because I totally can. I'm even in a 12 step program.

Once nice thing about revisiting old posts is that I remembered how much fun this blog challenge was and I've been inspired to host another one. I figure everyone will need time to recover from the Bead Soup process so I'll wait a bit longer, but watch for an announcement in the near future! I've got a cool idea for the inspiration AND I've been saving up a whole bag of beady goodies for a YEAR as the prize. And if you've seen my porn posts or remember back to the 9 lb. box of beads I gave away a few years KNOW this prize is gonna be AMAZING.

And last, but not least, over there on the right you'll find the links to both of my Etsy stores: Silver Parrot has all my handmade jewelry for sale and Be Resinable contains my handmade resin beads and pendants.

So, welcome to the blog! Stroll around, grab a snack, make yourself comfortable and come back any time!!

Bead Soup post goes up at 1 AM!!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's ALMOST Soup Time!

And here's a teaser photo of what I'll be revealing in the Bead Soup Blog Hop:

Meet me back here at 1:00 AM on 09/17/11 for some delicious soup. I'll be serving three different varieties along with some "extras."

Can't wait!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review: "Three Days to Dead"

After the book from my last review turned out to be such a disappointment, I was really nervous about this next one. Not only is this a new author for me (and I have a track record of not doing well with branching out into new authors), but the subject matter had some similarities as far as the whole “revived from the dead” idea was concerned. In fact, I probably would have passed this book up were it not for the comment blurb on the cover from Patricia Briggs who is one of my all-time favorite authors.

The good news is that while the “semi-zombie” idea didn’t work for me before (just too gross and depressing), it definitely worked better here. I think the difference had to do with how the re-animation was handled. In “Working Stiff”, the main character really is dead and her body will immediately decay if she doesn’t get her daily shot of nanites. In “Three Days to Dead”, Evangeline Stone dies but her spirit is transferred to a different body which, yes, is also dead, but is completely healed through magic. There’s no ongoing decay process and no need for daily booster shots.

Of course, there is still a catch – the new body will go back to being 100% dead in three days. So Evangeline has only that long to figure out not only how she ended up dead in the first place, but also who called her back, what they want and why she ended up in the body of Chalice Frost, a recent suicide victim, instead of being called back into her own body.

There area a number of good things about this book. There's almost non-stop action from the first few pages on so I was immediately sucked in. In addition, while the typical cast of vampires, werewolves, and fae are there, they are all given new and unusual twists which helps keep this book from feeling too formulaic. Also enjoyable was the seemingly doomed romance.

Having said that…there are a few rookie mistakes in the novel: the name Chalice Frost is a prime example. I mean, Chalice Frost? Really? I much preferred the character’s original name of Evangeline Stone. Also, I didn’t buy that the new body would be much use in a fight – it was healthy, but didn’t have the training or muscle memory that the old one did. Not to mention that the character had to adjust to a whole new center of gravity, etc. But the biggest issue I had was that there were a couple of plot manipulations that were a little too heavy-handed and obvious.

Overall, however, it was an enjoyable read and I will definitely be checking out the next book in the series. One plus with this is that the subsequent books are already out so if you like this one, there’s no annoying wait time for the next.

That’s it for this week. Check out my next book review candidate over on the right side bar: “Phoenix Rising.” If you like Steampunk (it’s not just for jewelry!), then this one’s for you!

See you on the 17th for Bead Soup!


P.S. Just in case anyone was wondering...I look EXACTLY like that chick on the cover of the book. EXACTLY. Because fighting otherworldly bad guys SHOULD be done in a cropped tank and skin tight jeans. Makes TOTAL sense.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Random Lizard Drive-By

Although the excessive heat combined with multiple sprinkler control valve leaks (and subsequent flooding of flower beds) over the summer have wiped out a number of the plants in my back yard, it's good to know that the critters are still thriving:

Found this guy (or girl?) on the wall when we got home from church yesterday morning. Have also sighted numerous newly hatched baby lizards (about the size of my littlest finger) in the last few days, but they are so scared and so quick, I couldn't get pictures. This older lizard let me walk right up and snap a few close ups.

Good think I wasn't a hungry cat or hawk!


Friday, September 09, 2011

Random Bead Porn

Summer is over. School's back in session (except for our district being closed today due to the massive power outage even though our particular school never lost power AND the power is back on everywhere...which makes no sense to me) and I haven't done a bead porn post in a while so why not trot one out on a random Wednesday?

Except I just realized it's Friday. Obviously, the brain is still on summer vacation. I blame the power outage (because that's what everyone else is blaming everything on today).

Berry-vanilla faceted Czech glass.

Fiery orange Czech glass - how perfect for this time of year!

This color is called "black currant" - yumm! I want to spread some on toast!

And these I just thought were so unusual and had a lot of potential with all the colors. All of this lovely Czech glass is from Bead and Ribbon.

Ocean jasper "buffalo tooth" shape stones from Excellent Gem.

Carved white coral rounds are from Mint DeStash

As is this strand of mixed kyanite and picture jasper - what a great idea to mix these two stones! I would never have put them together on my own.

Long kyanite ovals also from Mint.

And these really nice, high quality labradorite coins came from Mint as well.

A selection of patinated scallop shell charms. Perfect for earrings.

Naahhh...I'm not a sucker for ocean-themed beads AT ALL. Everything in both of these photos is from Miss Fickle Media.

This great mixed media butterfly is from Floridity.

Sweet pink/moss green enameled bead caps.

Turquoise/brown enameled bead caps.

Teal/white snowflake enameled butterflies.

Magenta enameled butterflies.

Sky blue enameled butterflies.

All of these pretty enameled pieces are from Gardanne.

Ceramic koi fish pendant.

Deep teal and salmon pink ceramic flower pendant.

Deep green with splashes of electric blue and bright pink floral ceramic pendant.

All of these pieces are from The Classic Bead.

Gorgeously electric lampwork with sparkling silver accents from Julsbeads.

Julsbeads sets are like potato can never have just one.

In other news...I'm working on the next book review so stay tuned for that. I've also been busy stirring and simmering my Bead Soup and I'm really happy with the way it's coming out so I can't wait to get the finishing touches put on, the photos taken and the blog post written for the big reveal on September 17th. Be sure to bookmark this blog now if you want to check it on the 17th. Yes, there's a hop list, but I am WAAYYYY down towards the end and I'm assuming people will get blog fatigue before getting anywhere near that far (although, if you do actually make it to all 300+ should definitely win some kind of award LOL!)

See ya back next week!