Archive for January, 2011


I hope you’ll agree that these were worth the wait…

Click HERE to visit my shop, or the thumbnails below for each item.

hana habanero - click me!

candy wrapper - click me!

pond scum serenade - click me!

I had a hard time getting moving tonight… sorry guys, I didn’t even realize how late it was getting to be. But wow, I love them all! I’m still feeling the excitement of practically chaining myself to my chair and producing some excellent work. I find that I’m thinking more in terms of jewelry design – what sort of jewelry would I make with the beads I have in mind right now? I have no idea what you would make, but lately, I’m thinking about long flapper style necklaces with lots of smaller Czech seed and faceted glass beads in between the chunky lampwork.

Oh, and one more thing – I am no longer including the US shipping price in the listing price on Etsy. I couldn’t find any information to the contrary, or any at all for that matter, but I suspect that like Ebay, Etsy does not consider shipping charges when determining your fees. You are paying the same amount for the beads+shipping+insurance, but I am (hopefully) paying fewer monthly fees. And if you somehow manage to overpay for shipping + insurance when purchasing multiple items, I’ll be sure to give a refund, but I’m thinking if I stay on top of the shipping charges for each group of listings, that won’t be necessary. I don’t charge more than USPS charges for shipping and insurance, and I’m still covering 50% of the insurance, so I guess it’s safe to say you’re still getting a deal on shipping.

Thanks so much for checking in… more later this weekend!

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I wouldn’t have known about it if it weren’t for Debby Gwaltney from Arkansas, who you may also know as Starlight Designs. I first met her at another local bead show in 2007. At that show, a transformer blew on Saturday afternoon (right during the peak sale window for most bead shows) so there was no light in the building except for the scant availability of battery operated lights the sellers provided for themselves. I went up to her table and was pleased with what I saw, and she eventually figured out who I was by the beads I was wearing – I didn’t exactly introduce myself because that isn’t really the kind of thing I do. We chatted for a bit and she was very nice.

So she emailed me many weeks ago and told me she’d be in town again, this time for the AKS Bead and Gem show. She does several shows a year, and she sells online as well. While her pictures are fabulous, they don’t really capture the beauty and intricate detail of her work. And I hope she doesn’t mind my saying this, but the fact that she has vision only in one eye makes her already amazing work even more astounding to me. Not just lampwork, but detailed woven seed beads and crystal jewelry and accents, and what appeared to be bead crochet with size 11 seed beads. As I stood there talking to her, I think she finished about an inch of inch wide right angle weave (while standing up!), greeted several potential buyers and even sold a couple of things. One of which appeared to be to a 12 year old girl with her very own money. I admired her personality and the way she greeted everyone, and she was very approachable. It solidified my stance on the possibility of my doing shows like that – never going to happen. I could not possibly be that friendly after waking up that early and standing for that many hours.

She also wrote a book a few years back, The Beader’s Handbook on Lampwork. It’s very well written, and its purpose is to educate beaders about artisan made lampwork and explain the technique, why it is so much more costly than other beads, and what to watch out for when making purchases. Debby told me that she has sold many copies to fellow lampworkers at shows – they found it to be a great resource to have at their own tables. You can buy them directly from her or from amazon.com.

Anyway, I got a few things…

bead show booty

Turns out, I’m a fool for agate. I love the liney, spotty quality and the way some layers accept the dyes while others don’t. There was a grey stone, what the seller referred to as cloudy (or was it clouded) quartz. As you can see, I didn’t go completely nuts, (and my taste naturally leans toward the least expensive items) but it was nice to have a few new beads after being on a bead hiatus for the last several months. Until very recently, I didn’t completely realize how inspiring new materials are for me. I think this trip to the bead show was just what was needed to improve my recent state of mind.

Meanwhile, I’ve been buried under work, and it feels great. (If I owe you an email, I’ll be all over that after dinner.) I even made a necklace with some of my vintage czech and german beads, and maybe I’ll show it to you soon. And… I have some (dare I say) transcendent beads for ETSY. Look for them tomorrow evening! Thanks for checking in.

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I guess 2011 is off to a marginally good start.

I’m not the type to make grand fanfare-y announcements about my intentions and plans, and it’s even more rare for me to make new year resolutions. No matter the time of year, I quietly sneak up on what I want to make happen, I grab it in a chokehold and it can’t even gasp or scream before it knows what hit it. That sounds rather serial killerish – let’s say that after it has recovered from the chloroform, I take it out on a shopping spree and then to Red Lobster.

I’ve been working every day for the last week, and have been spending more time working in general over the last couple of months. That is, when I wasn’t sick or dealing with the holidays. I guess I subconsciously decided I was going to GET BACK TO WORK. No more deciding not to turn on Mr. Blue because I don’t have several hours to get some serious work done. I can just as easily work for 3 hours as I can 8 hours, and any work is never a waste. Approaching the tasks ahead of me this way has made it easier to get in there and make something, and spending more time in my work environment has inspired new bead and murrine ideas. I’m also feeling like making more jewelry. There aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything I want to do. If I wasn’t the type that needed food or so much sleep in order to function, I’d have a lot more time on my hands to do it all.

Oh, but the ramifications of GETTING BACK TO WORK… When looking at my 2007 Gallery, which has 21 pages even with several things left out, I wonder what the heck I was doing in 2007. Well, let’s see, I was working crazy long hours every day of the week, and so was Mr. Sarah, and he was gone a lot of the time. My house was a mess and I was stressed out and I wasn’t eating all that well – mostly frozen dinners and fast food. And the only thing I was focusing on was glass. Then in late 2007, I started the !BLING! (coldworking), and in 2008, I got back into beaded beads (bebeadeds). In 2009, a few personal things were going on and my life was somewhat uproarious, and I was not at my usual level of performance, and then having to leave Ebay was just the icing. I lost momentum. But in 2010, personal things in my life improved and I got into the Etsy groove, I explored uncharted territory (for me) like hollow beads and silver glass, and of course, I stuck my fingers into metalsmithing. I’d like to be in up to my elbows. I just need some ring stock and a torch and I’ll be ready. Honestly, I think I’ve been putting it off because I’m nervous about that part. I need to get over it.

I do think that due to the milder, warmer temperatures this winter (outside of a few days of very cold temps and harmless dustings of snow), I haven’t felt nearly as blue and blah as I have the last couple. Today, the high reached 57 degrees, which was about 10 degrees warmer than predicted. There’s nothing like 57 degrees in January to inspire me to get to work. But tonight, I must take a break – I’ve worked on orders all week – and I’m going to listen to something peppy, make cupcakes and macaroni salad, and after that’s done, maybe I’ll get out my Czech beads and think about long necklaces. My house is a little dirtier than I’d like for it to be, but I just don’t care. I’m getting things done!

Next post: The bead show I went to last weekend! Meanwhile, here’s a random boro bead photo.

Nightfall No. 2 - February 2010

Thanks for stopping in!

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2010 in review

I got this in my email the other day:

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 29,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 122 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 178 posts. There were 213 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 9mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 23rd with 237 views. The most popular post that day was Aunt Charlotte.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were z-beads.com, blogger.com, das-unikal.blogspot.com, katemckinnon.wordpress.com, and strandsofbeads.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for beaded beads, z beads, zbeads, peyote stitch, and z-beads blog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Aunt Charlotte November 2010


The Bebeaded Story February 2010


big musings at a wee hour… February 2010


what do the people want? July 2010


CIM – Creation Is Messy October 2009


So, I’m doing well, huh? That’s what WordPress told me last week. Part of me does wonder, considering the friendly nature of WordPress, if they didn’t give every single blogger a Wow on the Blog Health-O-Meter even if they didn’t really deserve it. It isn’t that I can think of any one person who wouldn’t. Well, besides me.

After all, I’m not very interesting. I don’t travel to exciting places, eat interesting food (except maybe the persimmon – and I should tell you that I was not in the least impressed – I think it may have been over or under ripe) or have big flashy ideas for world peace or politics. I’m extremely protective of my privacy and the privacy of those in my life, so I keep the majority of what happens or what is said to me or what I think about day to day, to myself. Really, the only interesting thing about me is the beads. I’m more than fine with that, because that’s the one aspect of my life I’m happy to tell you about.

I frequently, seriously consider deleting this thing. If I’m not going to use it to share my opinions about current events, make fun of famous people, air out my dirty laundry or make snide comments about my peers and perceived competition, why should I bother? If I don’t post for several days, I feel it nagging at me. The reason for my absence is usually because I’m doing something, and I don’t have time to sit down and tell you all about it. I’m more of a do-er than a talk-er. So I guess 30,000+ views is nothing to sneeze at. Even if you’re only here for the beads.

Speaking of which – I have some new ideas but I must finish up my made to orders first. There likely won’t be anything on Etsy next week while I finish them up.  And I’m trying to figure out whether I should take some time to work with boro or not. My big kiln is acting kind of weird, and partly why I’ve been putting off another boro binge – it’s been almost a year since the last one. I guess we’ll see what happens.

Thanks for stopping in!

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Etsy Now

Click HERE to see all the items in my shop, or the thumbnails below for each new item.

super stripey triple toggles - click me

pacific northwest - click me

rock candy princess bling - click me

Okay. It’s still cold and I think I’m going to get into my warm bed for a little bit. I hope you guys like everything this week! There are still a few things left from last week, too, in case you missed them. Thanks for checking in!

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What else?

I’ve been working when I can, and freezing my butt off. Yikes, it’s cold – but no snow! That makes me glad.

I’m putting together 3 new listings for Etsy, they’ll show up just a bit later this evening. Stay tuned!

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It’s Etsy Time!

Click HERE to visit my shop, or the thumbnails below for the individual items.

claret-y danglebobs - click me

the orange fart - click me

plan b artifacts - click me

quilty pleasures - click me

wildflower spikes - click me

And, the pendant is still available:

sweet potato bling pendant - click me

Wow! I don’t recall ever having this many listings up at once on Etsy. I hope you guys like everything. Meanwhile, I need a bath, a good hair washing and then later, a trip to the grocery. That’s one of my least favorite things about being an adult. Grocery shopping.

And yes. Orange Fart. You read it right. Us arteests have to get our inspiration somewhere… I’m just not the type of arteest to make any bones about precisely where. I could have said “this was inspired by the sun poking through the clouds on a stormy day” and I’m sure it would have been a bit more palatable, but it would have been a lie. Fudging the truth for the sake of palatability is way overrated.

Until next time… thanks for stopping in!

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I’ve been a busy little ant this week, and I’ll have some great stuff on tap at Etsy just a bit later this evening! Here’s a quick peek:


Be back soon!

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I’m still not operating at normal capacity.

But I was able to make beads today, and was surprisingly efficient, considering. I’m carrying on with my new attraction to grey glass. I do wonder why, after nearly 13 years of glass, I’ve just now decided that I like grey. It’s fantastic, and it goes with almost everything. I’ll know this for sure when I see how these test beads turned out.

When I first woke up today, everything was weird. The sun, annoying cell phones, bad drivers, one clerk at the post office at 4:45pm when the line is out the door and out into the street… it all seemed really bizarre, as if I’d been asleep for two years and had just woken up to find all these treaures awaiting me outside the safety and comfort of my home. Any other day, it would have been just like any other day.

Particularly the state of affairs at the post office. Why that hit me as so odd, I don’t know. They keep raising the prices, and they keep doing the same old silly crap, like going on break at 4:45, leaving only one clerk to deal with 20 people waiting in line. Nothing new there. Of course, the place is buzzing with other seemingly knowledgeable postal employees who are evidently not allowed to work the cash register. The postal service is pretty amazing, don’t get me wrong. We got mail during the blizzard last year, for crying out loud. It’s the way they run their offices that has this casual observer utterly mystified. It’s safe to assume there’s more to it than I know about, which doesn’t put me in the best position to judge, form opinions or get all lathered up. Meanwhile, my previously mentioned international package still hasn’t turned up, but it’s my second international package to go missing. I still hesitate to say it’s missing for good… all in all, I’d say that’s not too shabby and am hugely relieved to be armed with postal insurance this time.

Anyway. I ate, and things got better and less weird. I’m mostly able to breathe through my nose at this point. I’m happy to report that since I absolutely had to get out of the house today, I did not sneeze, breathe or cough on one single person, or on your beads or packaging materials.  I didn’t even feel the urge. I guess that means I’m getting better… I figure I’ll sleep another 10 hours and make a butt ton of beads tomorrow, too. I’m really looking forward to more work. I haven’t had nearly enough of that lately.

Until next time –

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Happy New Year!

Did you eat your blackeyed peas or whatever your particular traditions/superstitions dictate? Some people only eat blackeyed peas once a year because they think they have to, but I eat them about once a month and was just as happy to have them for dinner this evening. They’re one of my favorite things to eat, and every time, I surprise myself at how many of those things I can pack away in one sitting. I remember a couple of summers ago, frozen blackeyed peas could not be found at any grocer for a few months. I settled for canned for a while, but was overjoyed when the frozen bags turned up again.

I prepare 1 bag with a few slices of yellow onion, seasoned salt, a dash of Durkee California Style Garlic Blend, and pepper, and cook in water approx 1.5 inches higher than the top of the peas, for 45 minutes. To go with, I must have canned green beans with a 1/4 capful of Wright’s Liquid Smoke, cooked in a cast iron skillet until almost all of the juice is gone. Most importantly, Mr. Sarah and I each eat 3 small patties of country sausage, burnt to a crisp. I pour what probably ends up being a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar onto my mashed up blackeyed peas, and it’s heavenly. Those around me don’t always agree, they often turn away appalled and shivering in disgust – that’s fine, they just haven’t yet discovered the flavorful wonders of apple cider vinegar. Those same people promise me that parmesan cheese from a can tastes much better than it smells. It will remain a stalemate, I fear.

 Andre came back to help us ring in 2011. Mr. Sarah went to the liquor store yesterday and returned with Blush and Peach Passion champagne, $5 each bottle. I haven’t been able to enjoy it as much as I normally would due to my chest cold. All the aspirin and ibuprofen appear to have upset my stomach a bit, so I’ve done without either today. I feel much better than I did yesterday. Throughout the day, I kept feeling almost good enough to work, but as soon as I considered it more seriously, I’d be hit with a wave of bleh. Maybe tomorrow.

See you guys again real soon – I hope to have more good stuff for Etsy this coming week.

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