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Archive for March, 2011

That’s better.

Did I mention my D drive finally died, for real? It did. Luckily, I had it all backed up. But I couldn’t do a whole lot without it for the last week or so, like update my website. I’m finally done with the boro. I’m happy and relieved to go back to the land of Fizz Tabs and bold color. And a day or two off every now and then. I think I’ve worked two weeks straight without a break, and when I do that, I’m likely to do dumb things to console myself, like eat all but two of an entire container of Lofthouse cookies in two days. (and the only reason I didn’t eat the last two is because I had to save something for Mr. Sarah.) Who could blame me? They’re like cotton candy on a marshmallow cloud. With sprinkles. That probably wouldn’t have been so bad, if I hadn’t had girl scout cookies and a butterfinger. If I could just stop eating sugar, I would likely drop 20 lbs. But being thinner just doesn’t taste as good as Skor bars and cupcakes with party sprinkles with cream cheese icing and home made butterscotch chip and pecan cookies.

longing for green glass, but not for long

Anyway. I’m getting the bead cave back to normal, the boro is going back into its drawers. I’ve been leering at my green 104 glass for days now. Unfortunately, due to our severe drought, spring isn’t offering much in the way of inspiration this year. The last few days have been grey and threatening to rain, and all the local news stations are bandying about their newest catch phrase, “beneficial rain”, but we haven’t had anything but mist and drizzle. I can just see April – flooded basements and leaky rooves (roofs). The same thing happened in 2007. The driest March in OK history was followed by the one of the wettest Aprils in OK history, if not THE wettest one of all. And at my house, the antiest. It isn’t going to be paranoia that drives me crazy. It’s going to be the ANTS.

Anyway, I hope to be back later this week with some GOOD STUFF for Etsy! And then Superstars later this month, for sure. Thanks so much for bearing with my long silences of late… I really do hope to be more chatty with you during the weeks to come.

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ETSY!

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

april showers, part 5 - click me

psychedelic watermelon - click me

Now, for the grocery store (bleh) and more beads (yay). Once I’m done with the boro, I hope to be around here more often.

And Rainy Day Rose is meant to be all mine, I guess. I have to admit, I’m a bit excited about it. I think I’ll make a chunky bracelet, I have the perfect coordinating beads in my stash.

Thanks for checking in, I hope you like the beads!

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coming up for air

I’ve been hunkered down with the boro and ignoring everything else. I’m enjoying the boro, but am still pining for my 104. Some day I’ll have a real “studio” where I can spread out and have more than one station to work at and this once-or-twice-a-year boro binge will be a thing of the past.

I was going to list a couple of things on Etsy yesterday, but decided I would rather make beads. But at least I got the photos taken. So! I’m thinking Etsy in just a bit. I’ll be back!

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Etsy, at long last

Hooray!

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

misc no. 11 - click me

blue sage !BLING! barrel - click me

new bloom - click me

The Rainy Day Rose listing will end next Wednesday, so if you’ve been eyeballing it, you know what to do.

rainy day rose - click me

So, guess what I’m going to do? I’m going to back up my D: drive because it would be idiotic of me not to. And relax with some seed beads while the files fly from one folder to another. Thanks for looking, enjoy!

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No Etsy tonight.

I’m sorry, you guys. After editing the first Etsy photo at 5PM this evening, my D: drive suddenly went fishing and took today’s new bead photos with it. It does this every six months or so, it’s been jinky from the start. But if I know me, I’ll wait until it falls out of the boat and drowns before I get a replacement. (Once I commit, I stay committed to all things, breathing or not, until the bitter end.) We went ahead and installed the new service pack, just to be on the safe side. That’s what took so long. The D: drive sitch was remedied in a matter of minutes, but not until after the new updates were finished. Computers these days.

Anyway, I would rather make beads at this late hour, so you will see the Etsy beads bright and early tomorrow afternoon. Great beads, at that. I’ll see you then! Here’s a peek to tide you over:

not sure what to name this one yet, please pardon the lint

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I like you all very much, actually. I’m not into Facebook, Myspace, Twitter or any other social networking website of that ilk. If I belonged to every one of the sites I’ve been invited to, I wouldn’t have time for anything else. I spend as little time at the computer as I can get away with these days; the sparkly things are demanding much of my attention.  So really. It’s nothing personal when I ignore your invites.

As for Etsy, I don’t keep up with all the changes they make and why, but it seems like every time I visit it’s different. Which is good – that means they’re at least attempting to keep up – although I think these attempts are a bit misguided. This Circle thing has me stumped, and in my opinion, it’s utterly pointless. (And when people get mad at each other, what, do they uncircle each other? We have SpaceFace for that sort of social networking nonsense.) Not that I mind being added to circles, but I don’t have my own because the purpose of it hasn’t been made clear enough to me. You’re sent an email whenever someone adds you to their circle, and that appears to be all there is to it. I think that Etsy, an entity that exists to make a profit, would benefit more from alerting us of new items for sale from those in our circle and our favorite sellers. Etsy needs to fix what needs fixing – how about that awful seller search feature? How about making changes that allow us to host our own photos and create our own HTML for our descriptions, or enforcing their precious supplies vs handmade rules?

You probably shouldn’t listen to me, I’m just an old fuddy-duddy. I found myself watching Matlock yesterday morning with two cats on me.  I’m not trying to hate on Etsy, because all things considered, Etsy is still the best place for my weekly specials. By the same token, I’m finding my recent decision to have more Superstars sales to be timely, indeed.

Anyway. What I meant to tell you is that ETSY stuff is coming up in a bit! Don’t go too far.

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Not feeling too chatty lately. But today…

I had a hard time picking the boro back up last week. But over the weekend, I summoned up some tiger blood, and now, I’m winning inside of every moment. Ya’ll can’t hang with me. Try to process me, and your bones will melt like wax. (sorry, I couldn’t resist using a charlie-ism, it was the perfect context. We are getting so trolled, you guys.) I worked for about 12 hours and made about 15 boro beads yesterday, and plan to work double time until the end of the month (or maybe into the first week of April) to get it all done.

one of my long gone favorites

I haven’t been to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s in I don’t know how long, so Mom and I went on Saturday. But first, we hit Hancock Fabrics. I always liked Conso nylon upholstery thread for my beading loom warp and nymo for the weft. I looked around for the Conso, I always bought that at Hancock, but they now only carry two or three brands of thread, and Conso isn’t one of them. I guess they had to make room for all those cake decorating supplies and crappy lampwork beads with metal glued into the holes. Crimony. I found a comparable substitute for Conso by Coats & Clark, but still found myself a bit irked at how things have changed so much over the last 15 years. You used to be able to walk into a store like Hancock’s and find the best product for the job, no matter what brand it was.

Nowadays, it’s all about brands and bedfellows. Don’t get me started on how I can’t get sales receipt books, steno pads, Poppycock or Sea Breeze at Target, because Office Depot and Walgreens, located directly east and west of Target, all in the same parking lot, carry those items. The clerks on the floor at Target will specifically direct you to those places for those items. Fine, but if those three stores were following that logic faithfully, Target would eliminate their entire stationery, office, and over the counter drug/pharmacy departments, and Walgreens would stop selling toys, school/office supplies and snacks, and Office Depot would stop selling candy and cameras. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I like to drive to one place, get everything I need, and go home. I know I’m not going to be able to get a prescription filled at Office Depot, but the fact that I can’t get a bottle of Sea Breeze at Target completely puzzles me. (sorry. I guess I got myself started on that.)

Next was Hobby Lobby. For a short while they sold Delicas, but they don’t any more. They have tubes of misshapen (labeled as High Quality) Chinese seed beads strategically placed with the tubes of Czech seed beads. (Which they don’t classify as High Quality, even though the quality far exceeds that of the Chinese seed beads. Further encouragement to read labels.) I’m not sure if there’s any real difference between the Czech beads in tubes and the nice hanks you can buy at the bead store, since I’ve never really compared them – but for the price, selection and better lighting, I’d rather have a hank from the locally owned bead shops. Hobby Lobby now sells Soft Flex, which is getting harder to find at the local bead shops. I’m not sure if they feel the price of Soft Flex is too high for them or their customer base, or that they can’t compete with Hobby Lobby, but I definitely prefer Soft Flex and Acculon (also hard to find locally) to the Griffin and Beadalon. As usual, HL is selling large fused and lampwork glass pendants, and many of them have cracks in them. You know where those are from… but they also have Swarovski rhinestones and beads. I guess they’re vaguely covering the whole range, and for anyone who is just starting out with beads, it’s a good place to jump off.

Now, for Michaels. I have to say, Michaels really impressed me this time. The lady working in the bead section knew the beads and the brands and helped me find some good storage containers, which was what I set out for that day. The Bead Gallery line had some interesting beads, a good bit of agate, ceramics, and of course, lampwork, but not very much lampwork compared to the rest. Everything was made in China. I was disappointed to find that they were no longer selling the Paula Radke dichro beads. Too expensive for the Michael’s crowd, maybe? Or maybe I’m confused and they didn’t have them to begin with. I didn’t find any Czech beads, either – instead, I found Toho and Toho Treasures. I guess Treasures are their answer to Delicas. I like Japanese seed beads as much as I like the Czech, but have honestly found little use for Delicas. Even though the colors are simply the best.

I find myself lamenting the dwindling availability of Indian lampwork. I remember buying those when I first got into beads. I bought mostly small cubes and rounds – they had wonderful greens – and the fancy (what we called) wedding cake beads, decorated with delicate goldstone stringer. I wonder if the Venetians were making those first? I guess India can’t compete with the Chinese, either. Comparing the two, the Indian lampwork somehow had more character, and I don’t recall any of them breaking in half on me. I’m sure some did, but not at the same rate as Chinese lampwork. Another thing I miss from the old days is GICK beads. You could get them at most fabric stores and Michaels and Hobby Lobby, and the individual stores within each entity all had something different in the way of GICK. GICK packaged everything from Japanese seed and bugle beads to Czech druks to Indian lampwork in those little square stackable containers. The containers didn’t always elegantly stack, but it was so much fun to go to all the different stores and look at the GICK rack and find something new every time. It was even better to see an orange clearance sticker on the bottom, particularly when I was using my lunch money to buy them. There was no finer sound in the world than multiple GICK squares clicking together inside a plastic bag on the way out to the car, with a buck sixty left over for a soft taco supreme, pintos and cheese and small ice water from Taco Bell. Times sure have changed.

Thanks for reading… I’m thinking ETSY tomorrow, so keep an eye out.

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Again? Already? Yes! I would have preferred the 17th for Superstars, but I have to get my teeth cleaned that day. (I guess I wasn’t thinking when I hurried to reschedule last month due to blizzardy conditions.) There will be !BLING! beads, more Rainbow Hana beads and other great stuff. I’ll see if I can snap a sneak peek photo before Thursday. Right now, The Spawn and Dad are hogging my photo table with a game of Magic. They keep me posted on who’s winning and how, but all that malarkey about elves and dungeons and angels or whatever sounds like the nasal Charlie Brown “wha-wha-wha, wa, wha-wha-wha” to me.

In other news, The Spawn is already doing wonderfully with the seed bead loom, she caught on right away. She thought it would be way more complicated than it is, and I think she’s very pleasantly surprised. I gave her a good bit of my excess seed beads and my smaller loom, and she’s already completed three patterns. The best design is the one she came up with herself after having practiced with simple color blocks and a free pattern from the internet. Next, I’m going to show her the square stitch. I remember the day I found out about the square stitch. What a wonderful day that was.

The boro binge begins TONIGHT! Woohoo! I guess. I’m trying to work up some excitement about it. I’m afraid I’ve forgotten everything, but once I get everything situated, I’ll probably remember and get more excited.

EDIT: Here’s the belated sneak peek I promised earlier this week:

neon russet - look for us and everyone else at the Superstars sale

Thanks for visiting, we’ll chat again soon.

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Etsy!

Here they are! I was a bit more efficient than I thought I would be.

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

rainy day rose - click me

metallic raindrops again - click me

persimmon dangle bobs - click me

Thanks for looking! I’m off to forrage for food and piddle with some seed beads and jewelry. I really should dust something, anything, everything… but I probably won’t. If I don’t talk to you again before it’s all over with, have a great weekend!

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Etsy tonight!

Just a heads up. I’ll be back later…

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