Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wildlife Encounters

I think I've mentioned (probably a few too many times) that this summer has been one, long slog of work, work and more work. Which makes me so very grateful that I managed to "bookend" it with a couple of vacations. We're leaving for Lake Tahoe in a few days and back at the very beginning of the summer, we squeaked in four days in Carlsbad.

Now, I've been to Carlsbad before and while it's pretty and enjoyable, it's mostly the same as the other So Cal beaches closer to my home. However, this time, we had some wildlife encounters that were truly "once in a lifetime" and I wanted to share them.

So, no wildlife yet (because I am a tease that way)...this was our first afternoon there just walking along the sand.

There's something about that end of the day light at the beach. It has such a beautiful golden quality to it.

We took a day-trip a little farther down the coastline to La Jolla and walking along this path looking over the cliff edge we saw seagulls NESTING! After all my years as a So Cal beach girl, I'm very familiar with seagulls, of course. But I have NEVER once seen them nesting! I wasn't fast enough with the camera to catch a shot of the babies, but this bird is sitting on two little balls of fluff...beige with black speckles. Again, first time I've EVER seen baby gulls!

But the biggest reason we went down to La Jolla was to check out the sea lions and harbor seals who hang out on the rocks there. These are mostly adults or larger juveniles.

Then we headed down to what is known as the "Children's Pool" in La Jolla. For years, this beach has been closed to the public and given over to the seals and sea lions. The closes you could get was to walk along the top of the sea wall and look down at them.

Not any more. We were THRILLED to find out the beach was open and you could literally stand within feet of wild seals.

I'm actually standing ON the end of this rock to get this photo of baby harbor seals snoozing.

My camera makes it look farther away, but I could have reached out and touched them (if I'd been stupid enough to try it...which I wasn't).

Here's a bit of a closer view - it was hard to manage the camera while standing on slippery rocks with waves coming in every few seconds!

My only regret is that I didn't wear my bathing suit that day since we didn't anticipate the beach being open. If I had, I could've joined the people who were swimming in the water WITH the seals. Oooh...I was so tempted to go in anyway because, really, how often can you say you got to swim with wild seals, but it just wasn't practical given that I had no towel to dry off with or even other clothes to change into and we had other destinations to visit the rest of the day.

Still, it will go down as one of THE coolest moments of my life!

I hope the upcoming Tahoe trip will be equally memorable. I'm not looking forward to the 8 hour drive, but I am so totally desperate to get out of work mode and give my brain a vacation that I'm sure it will be worth it in the end. I've only ever been there once before, when I was 12 or so, and barely remember it so it'll be a lot of fun to discover all the things there are to see and do there.

So far we're planning on renting waverunners, parasailing on the lake, trout fishing, maybe taking a day trip to Yosemite or a sight seeing bus or boat trip all around the lake. We might even head over the border to Nevada to check out an old silver mine and ride a vintage mining train...

Hopefully, I'll have some good photos to blog about afterwards and maybe it won't take me 2 months to get them up like it did with this post.

Of course, when we get back, school starts just a couple of days later and I can't believe the kid will be in 4th grade already!


Friday, August 10, 2012

A Visit to Tucker Wildlife Center

Or, I could have titled this post "Rumors of my Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated." It's been awful not being able to keep this is current like I have in the past! A recent promotion at work has meant a significant increase in my workload which means much less down time for things like blogging and jewelry-making. Every time I pass by my bead table I can hear the beads crying from loneliness. I'm sure things will eventually get back on track, but at least in the meantime, I'm rakin' the overtime pay LOL!

I first uploaded this pictures back in May! They are from a wonderful little wildlife and nature preserve in our local Saddleback mountains called Tucker Wildlife Center. We visited it for Mother's Day and then went to lunch at a nearby restaurant afterwards. It was such a beautiful place and really fantastic for bird watching - especially hummingbirds. I just wish I'd been fast enough with my camera to catch more of them in photos!

This is Silverado Creek that runs through the back edge of the property. You can see that even though it was only late May, it was already starting to dry up. We didn't have normal rainfall amounts this year so things are pretty dry.

This is a darling little genuine wishing well. You can even lower the bucket if you want to!

When I first walked by this pond, I thought these guys were actually statues because they were so still. Nope, actual turtles that live in the pond...out for a sun bath!

This is Henry, the desert tortoise out for a stroll.

This is supposed to be a bird feeder, but from what I could tell, the squirrels had pretty much taken over the buffet.

There's a fantastic bird watching enclosure with feeders all around it and we identified at least 10 different bird species, not including all the hummingbirds we saw. Unfortunately, I just wasn't good enough with my camera to catch any of that action - especially since we had three wiggly boys with us (my son and my two nephews) who inevitably moved or made noise and scared away the birds just as I was about to snap a picture.

Hope everyone is having a great summer and I hope to get back to blogging more regularly Real Soon Now.


Monday, June 11, 2012

New Resin - Part I

Wow. I started writing this post TWO WHOLE WEEKS AGO. I remember being all proud of myself for getting some posts partially written and lined up so all I had to do was finish them and my blog would look all nice and current and stuff.

Little did I know that I was going to be suddenly working crazy hours, have a sick kid and an even sicker car and gee...this is what it feels like to lose a two week chunk outta my life and not have any real clear memory as to where it went or what exactly happened to it.

But back before all that happened, I'd uploaded all these nice pictures of new resin pieces and don'tcha wanna see what they look like?

I knew you did...

I made a point of selecting summertime images when I prepped this particular batch. These are all vintage seashell illustrations on script backgrounds. The beads are bayong wood.

Then it was time for some 70's inspired summer and surfer expressions. Sadly, some of the more interesting designs in this group didn't survive the resin process, but I still love this artwork. Makes me think of Op shirts and Dolphin shorts (and if you don't know what those are, this blog may be too old for you LOL)

These designs came from a set of vintage Hawaii travel posters and feature not only surfers, but a great view of Diamondhead as seen from Waikiki.

Next stop on the summer vacation tour - Paris!

During college, I spent one amazing summer living in Paris and it was one of the best times in my life. I would go back there in a heartbeat!

So, Paris-themed pieces are always going to resonate with me. Or maybe that should be res-I-nate ;-)

More Paris!

This is an older view of the balloon flying in the background!

Ahhh, Paris. It just makes you want to sing "Non, rien de rien. Non, je ne regretted rien..." (For those that have kids - if you see "Madagascar 3", this song has quite a scene in it LOL)

I love this collage with the Eiffel Tower, dragonflies, script and flowers.

From Paris, I stepped outside into the garde and grabbed not only these images of tulips and pansies from vintage floral catalogs and seed packets...

 these never-in-real-life truly fantastical florals.

And what's a garden without some butterflies? Since a previous experiment with square bezels with strangely and horribly wrong, I was excited to see that this round went differently and they all survived.

Maybe EVERY garden doesn't have a fairy, but I'm sure that certain special ones, way off in their most hidden corners, do.

As long as I've wandered into the realms of fantasy, I thought I'd throw in a Pegasus and a few unicorns just for good measure.

I've got lots more resin goodies in store including new designs and bezel shapes, but they all need a second pour to get that nicely domed top on them and as soon as I stop living La Vida Loca, I'll get right on that!


P.S. Monday is my birthday and I'm sorta kinda toyin' with a birthday sale in the ol' Etsy shops so watch for more news on that if I decide I can pull it off given my limited time to process/ship orders right now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I've been lucky enough to have a few more of my designs published... the current Summer issue of "Stringing" magazine.

I'm not sure why, but summer seems to be "my" issue - it was the first I was ever published in AND I seem to get the most items in this issue than any of the other seasons. It must be that whole "California Girl" thing :-)

I haven't received my copy of the issue yet, but given that they are already sending out the publicity e-mails...

(snippet from a recent one) can't be too much longer.

I still haven't made the cover, but I'm not giving up until I do. A girl's gotta have some kinda goal to work towards, right?

Oh, and since this issue has resin as one of its topics, I got out the resin-making stuff over the weekend and did a major pour so watch for new resin items hitting the blog and the shop in the next couple of weeks. Some of the items are deep enough that I will have to do a second pour on them. Then I'll have to do all the photography, editing, etc.

Keep an eye out!