Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I've been lucky enough to have a few more of my designs published...

...in 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)...it 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!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Car Antics

So...that really horrible smell that's been increasing in my garage for the past few nights?

Yeah, that was gas.

As in...gasoline.

From my car.

Via a cracked fuel tank.

Which has to be completely replaced to the tune of a cool $2,000 or so.

Did I mention the car is 10 years old, has over 100,000 miles on it and is probably only worth about $3,000?


I wonder where the nearest bus stop is to my house. I should probably find that out...


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kid Antics

You have not experienced laughter to nearly the point of passing out until you have witnessed the following:

A 9 year old boy standing at the top of the stairs, stark naked, doing the Running Man dance and singing "...every day I'm shuffling..." (a line from the song "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO).

OMG...I have never laughed so hard in my life. And I wish I had it on video so I could share it...well...maybe not because of the whole naked thing, but SO FUNNY!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Stuff That's Not Earrings

Okay, not really. It's two pairs of earrings AND...a necklace.

I know, it's VERY exciting. Do try to contain yourself.

Not only did I get some great new stuff at a couple of recent bead shows, but I actually had time to get my work surface organized AND get some things made. It's probably appropriate to yell "ALERT THE MEDIA!" at this juncture so g'head...knock yourself out.

I'll wait.

Okay, back to business.

I found these marvelous verdigris patinated pieces at a local bead show. I've worked with patinated brass before, but these pieces really have a lot going on. I can see at least 3-4 colors from dark brass through a couple of shades of green/verdigris to bright gold.

I added in some brass beads and wire-wrapping and some greige AB Swarovski crystals and these babies practically made themselves.

PLUS! Check out my new photo background! My old piece of weathered wood had gotten a little TOO weathered so I grabbed a couple of pieces of tile at Lowe's and this is my first photo shoot using one of them. What do you think?

I went a little nuts at this booth, but I couldn't pass up these great teardrop shapes and they just frame the seahorse charms so PERFECTLY!

This pair got some Swarovski crystals in a color called erinite. I wanted to contrast the bright sparkle with the kind of grungy look of the patinated brass and also play up the verdigris color. I initially went for some turquoise disks, but they were a little too blah with the brass...I'm kinda diggin' the crystals.

But, I promised you a necklace and here it is!

I started with this gorgeous ceramic focal from Slate Studios. The way the blue and purple glaze is swirled on the butterfly is just yumm-a-licious.

Then I started wire-wrapping on some Swarovski crystals (that erinite color again), some blue/purple Chinese crystals and some marquis-shaped Czech glass that has a lovely swirl of lavender, blue and teal along with a Picasso finish on it.

This necklace is delicate and simple so I kept the clasp the same - just a brass lobster clasp with a couple of wired crystal dangles.

All my favorite colors come together in this necklace and while the design is very simple, I'm proud of myself for finally breaking out of my "bead block" and getting something completed that I'm happy with.

I'm looking forward to getting more "play" time this weekend...maybe I'll even feel up to tackling a bracelet!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Need A Pick-Me-Up Bead Porn

Yep, that's right. Bead Porn plonk in the middle of the week...just because I feel like it. I'm in one of those "nothing's REALLY wrong, but things just don't feel right, either" kinda moods and I need something to break me out of it.

Nothing does that better than porn, right?


So, here goes...

This was a case of "I'm going to get a jump on spring and buy springy-type beads now"...where "now" is defined as last December. Now, here it is almost summer and I haven't used them yet. But they make good porn ;-)

If they price for one item at a site is less than $5, I try to buy multiple items (assuming I like them, of course) at a time so they can all ship together.

I was mostly on the fence about this sea horse because of the color, but sometimes I convince myself that will be a challenge to my skills and that's why I go for the purchase even though it's outside my comfort zone. Sometimes that works out and sometimes it doesn't...haven't figured out which for this one yet.

I love a verdigris finish, yes I do.

So, why not get a bird to go with the flower in the same finish?

All of these items are from Patina Worx.

I don't buy seed beads much any more - my vision has gotten so bad that doing bead embroidery or peyote is a lot more difficult - but the colors and finishes on this set of what is equivalent to a size 6/0 seed bead just caught my attention. The vendor named them "Indian Corn" and that's definitely what they remind me of.

I have a lot of faceted fire polished Czech glass beads, but nothing in this size (they are quite large) or with this lovely frosted finish. Great olive green color with touches of blue in it, too.

I've bought a number of sets of these gilded melon glass beads in different colors, but am always on the lookout for more. They make EXCELLENT additions to any design. In fact, they've almost become a design good luck charm for me because the pieces I've used them in have always turned out to be some of my best work.

I love teardrop and briolette beads. The only problem is that I love them so much I tend to hoard them and not use them as often as I should. These were so pretty and delicate, though, that I couldn't resist adding them to the hoard. Maybe I need a self-challenge for this weekend to make SOMETHING with this shape in it.

Here's a more solid color version.

All of this Czech glass is from Arte Bella Surplus.

Here is where you can see I started to put on my "get ready for summer" hat. Love these bright, sunny yellow enameled teardrop beads. I totally have earrings in mind for them.

And where would our yellow sun be without a pretty blue sky to go with it? Ummm...set for the night, probably. Duh. You know you are losing it when you ask yourself stupid questions LOL!

Both of these are from Sue Beads.

I don't often go for buttons because I usually have no idea what to do with them, but this time, not only could I not resist that great blue/green color combo, I DO have an idea. Yay. Go, me!

These have already been made into earrings with some rose and smoky quartz, but I thought I'd post them again in the porn, just for fun.

The buttons above and these hearts are both from Gardanne.

And...back to sunny yellow again. I swear you can tell what I was thinking about on any given day based on my bead purchases LOL! These are polymer clay flowers.

And sky blue poly clay flowers...are you sensing a trend here? I have a feeling it was a rainy day and I was dreaming of sunshine and being outdoors.

Both of these sets are from Tooquarius.

One of my favorite polymer clay designers has started making accent bead sets to go with her pendants and charms and she uses alcohol inks to color them.

How awesomely rich are these colors? When beads look like candy and make you want to eat them, you KNOW they need to come home with you.

Both of these sets are from Menagerie Studio.

I definitely started thinking about summer designs here with these pretty ceramic seashells. I think it's my favorite season to design around. Being based in So Cal with all the beach influence, etc., sort of makes that inevitable.

I can't even count how many versions of starfish beads and pendants I have, but that doesn't seem to help me resist buying more. Add in an aqua background and I'm pretty much a goner.

In addition to ocean-themed designs, I also love to work with what I think of as the "beach ball brights" for summer. This ceramic set of beads fits in perfectly with that theme.

As does this set. It's great that both of these sets could be focals in a bracelet OR they could be accent beads in a necklace with a larger pendant focal.

So, it's a good thing I picked up this heart pendant from the same vendor. She had them in several colors - including my usual "go to" cool colors like purple, blue, etc. But, I decided to be brave and go with the orange. Then I found out later that one of Pantone's top colors is Tangerine Tango.

I love it when I'm brilliant...it happens so rarely any more as usually I forget what I was saying in the middle of a sentence or have no idea why I walked into a particular room in my house.

All five of the above items from the seashells through the heart came from Suburban Girl Beads .

There was a certain point where, in going through my bead stash, I decided I didn't have enough pink focal beads. Can't exactly remember why that was (see memory issues above), but it may have had to do with a shirt I was trying to match or something and noticing that I had a lot of seed, accent and filler beads in pink, but not so much in the way of focals. Anyway, it stuck with me strongly enough to get me to purchase this set of pretty lampwork from Radiant Mind.

More from the "I need pink focals" phase, plus, I was also looking to jump start some earring designs and wanted pairs.

Sue Beads to the rescue! I love the little added touch of silver, too!

I've been seeing more and more of this finish from the lampwork artists lately - not sure what the official term is as it's far more than just regular etching - and I can't get enough of it. This set made me think of all the different shades of beach sand. PERFECT for anchoring summer designs.

And, can't have sand without the water to go with it so I had to get this set, too.

Both are from Havana Beads.

That's it for this round, but it was quite a hefty amount of porn and should hold us for a while. I know I feel better...how about you?