Archive for September, 2013

Superstars TONIGHT!

Here’s a sneak peek at just one of the selections available:


The sale starts at 8PM Central Time and the preview starts at 7:30PM Central Time… click the pic to get straight to the Superstars page!

Back to work with me, see you later tonight!


Read Full Post »

It’s FALL!

Not that this summer deserved any complaints. We had maybe 5 days that reached 100 degrees or hotter. It’s still pretty balmy for September, but the late evenings are cool and it’s time to shuffle my sweaters back to the forefront of my closet. And if there was any doubt, I know it’s fall when something exciting is always hiding under the fridge. (Exciting for the cats, not me – except when my roll of rolos rolled under there.) The other day Nelson crouched in front of the refrigerator for hours, waiting for what turned out to be a giant grasshopper to come out. When it finally did, he brought it into the room where I was sleeping and flung and flounced and skittered the poor grasshopper about. If it weren’t for these adorable little predators, I’d have noisy vermin chirping in every unreachable corner.

spawn & her dumb cat Gelly in the dolly dress I keep on hand to torture cats with

spawn & her dumb cat Gelly in the dolly dress I keep on hand to torture cats with

My stylist Estrella loved her rings! She asked me to come in 2 hours early for my appointment on Saturday, which peeled me up out of the bed much earlier than I wanted to be. She said, “thanks for coming in early, we want to go to the state fair today”. To that I replied “Gross.” I haven’t been to the state fair in years; the parking situation is abysmal, it smells horrible and it now costs $9 to get in. And you’d have to pay ME a LOT to go on a Saturday afternoon. But my stylist goes almost every year, and she has a whole list of things she likes to do at the fair. The things she named off, including a butterfly garden and a petting zoo full of baby goats (swoon) sounded pretty fun but not thrilling enough to get me to that stink-fest. The only thing that gave me a twinge was the sight of our oddball local TV personality, Lucas Ross, eating an enormous corn dog. I’m a fool for a big corn dog. And a funny nerd with an accordion. But still. The OK state fair is not happening for me. Then she cut at least two inches of my hair off and warned me that I’d better not get mad at her for taking all of my hair. I’m really happy about it, though. Since I’ve been taking b-vitamins every day, all this new hair growth and less hair loss had made washing my hair an hour-long task that I ended up putting off for two days every time.

What else is new?… well, my Etsy account has been suspended because I owe them $20. So in case you’ve tried to visit me there and couldn’t, that’s why. Um, yes, $20 – not $2000 or even $200… and the frowny little hipster face I get from etsy in such circumstances has taken on a “we’re coming to collect your kneecaps” sort of complexion. It isn’t that I can’t afford to pay it, or that I don’t feel like I should pay it – it’s that I’ve been busy and that they’re making such ado about $20 that I want to fart a little fart and fan it in their direction while wearing a tiara made of barn-wood and moustaches. Once upon a time Etsy didn’t get all that bent out of shape over a 5 day overdue account. But since they’re being so snarky, I’m going to have a SUPERSTARS sale this Thursday instead of listing my beads on Etsy! I’ll give those fanged sock monkeys my $20 when I’m good and ready. (Which will be soon, really, once I’ve had my few minutes of fun with it. I’m not the tab-walking type.)

I have at least one necklace for Superstars – it’s the one I’ve been working on for months and I finally found the perfect beads to finish it up with:

look for this and the rest of its exciting friends at the sale this Thursday!

I’m working on a different necklace at the moment. It’s almost done, but it involves wire-wrap. I’ve expressed my disdain for wire-wrap numerous times, and its disdain for me, too. I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. Just like anything else, it requires practice and perseverance. For those of you who struggle with wire-wrap too, here’s a tip – first of all, visit www.jatayu.com – that’s Connie Fox’s site. Secondly, here is something I discovered on my own. For a good wire-wrap wire+bead chain, make the wire’s eye bigger and the wrap shorter. For instance, instead of three wraps, make it two, and make the loop a bit larger. That way, when you create a chain, the chain will be less likely to twist and catch on itself. (some of you might be wondering what the fudge I’m talking about, but if you’ve had this problem you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.) I had been using the very tip of the round-nose pliers for sizing the loop, and I think that’s been too small for most things.

Tra-la-la, enough yammering for now. See you guys again soon, thanks for looking in on me!

Read Full Post »

Retail Therapy

gaffer glass cane

gaffer glass cane

I bought a small sampling of Gaffer opaque glass last week. I’ve never tried their glass before. For those who don’t know, it’s 96 COE from New Zealand. They have so many intense pinks and purples, including their own take on Zimmerman Purple Rose. I got some pinks, purples, a couple of greens and blues and the two chalcedonies. I think I’ll give those a melt this evening.

For some reason, I’ve been dreaming about Donna Karan’s Delicious NIGHT perfume. I was never too enthralled with her other Delicious fragrances but her Black Cashmere impressed me, so I’ve been meaning to try Night. I have only an inkling about what to expect, and after reading the reviews I decided to hunt some down on ebay. According to the reviews, it’s very different from the others in the Delicious line and sounds like it’s right up my alley. If I end up disappointed it won’t be a big deal because I didn’t spend much on it. Of course it’s discontinued, so I’m sure to love it and not be able to get more. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Do any of you like/dislike this fragrance?



Mom and I found this interesting ring at a dinky antique mall the other day. It was only $20 so I couldn’t pass it up. It alludes to a princess’ly engagement ring, but more unusual. The stone appears to be carved and is likely a citrine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pentagon shaped stone before.


As you’ve probably guessed, there were no beads this week. Instead, I worked on rings. I’ve decided I enjoy making rings much more than pendants – although that doesn’t mean I won’t make pendants any more. I made surprising progress over just a few days. I’ve definitely picked up some speed with practice. I enjoyed making these so much that I had to make myself stop and get the glass back out.


z-beads sterling rings, week of sept 9th

I made the yellow one for mom for her birthday. It’s a large faceted lemon quartz. This stone is really bulky and the fact that it has a slightly concave underside didn’t help. So I tried something different. Instead of using sterling for the bezel like I normally do, I tried 24g fine silver for the first time. The stone setting went much more smoothly and I got a nice tight setting. (Although in the photo I see a couple of spots that need a slight cosmetic tightening up.)

I also tried my hand at engraving. Meh, it didn’t go as well as the stone setting… But I enjoyed the experience of breaking a few rules – setting such a multifaceted stone, upside down no less, and in what some would consider an improper setting for this particular stone. But it’s still as sparkly as a glitter bomb, and that’s the whole point.


The other two I made for my stylist. The drop is prehnite but the other one is some sort of agate and I’m not sure what they’re calling it, if anything special. I’m calling it “ice storm on a raging river of lava.” I asked the lady I bought it from what they were and she shrugged and said “from China” with a wry smile. Well, duh Christy, isn’t dang near every bead these days. (Christy Ma is one of my favorites at the bead shows. She always has something interesting and she remembers me every time. If mom isn’t with me, which is unusual, she asks about her.)


With these three rings I hoped to practice efficiency by keeping it simple. I worked on all the bezels at once, then soldering the bezels to the backplates all at once, etc. Then I decided to try keeping the sanding, filing and polishing very simple as well by limiting myself to emery paper exclusively. Normally I use wet/dry and little 3M sponges. I also made sure to use Tripoli and red rouge (both on felt wheels) and I figured out that Tripoli removes small superficial scratches. Then the red rouge polished it up to a mirror, which I then sullied with the liver of sulphur and satin finish. But I found that such a smooth surface is a good start for the patina/satin finish, rather than just the fine sandpaper and nothing else.


I used heavier gauge fine silver on the bezel (above) as well. I’m pleased at how well this setting turned out – it was my first teardrop shaped setting. And this thing is very high and chunky, nice and heavy on the finger.


So, that’s what I’ve been up to… I had better get on the glass! I’ll be re-working the Random Acts of Turquoise set on Etsy, so if you like it as-is and have been meaning to get it, you’d better do it quick.

Thanks for checking in!

Read Full Post »

Answer me this (and Etsy)

Why is this cat so bad at all times other than when he’s getting his picture taken? And why does the only good cat in the house (Fred) leave as soon as the camera comes out?


So there’s the Nelson fix you’ve surely been jonesing for. I’m happy to report he isn’t as much of a butthole as he used to be, but he’ll still eat just about anything. He definitely has a sweet tooth. He destroyed the last brownie, which I had wrapped in cling wrap and put on top of the pan cabinet. Why he hadn’t taken the opportunity to get into the entire brownie stash the days before that – when they were covered only with a large dinner plate – is beyond my comprehension. Mr. Sarah theorizes it smelled much more like “not supposed to” when it was wrapped up, opposed to how off-limits they smelled when left only partially covered. Oh well, he was rewarded with what looked like painful squirts. At least he hit the litter box.

Onward with the Etsy listings… click HERE to visit my shop or the thumbnails below for each item.

delft blue clogs, holland

delft blue clogs, holland

I got a bit hung up on the delft vs china china conundrum. They’ve always just been “the good dishes”, hence the title:
The Good Dishes:


Jeweltone Bedotteds & Friends:


(Confession: See the Glimmer Strips in the jeweltone bedotteds set? Those were mistake beads from a made to order of Pond Scum Glimmer Strips. They were too purple and didn’t go. But they ended up next to the fractals and looked like they were made for them, even though some of the accent colors were not used in the others. Funny how that works out sometimes.)

Burnt Sugar Hana:


Did I ever tell you guys about the burnt sugar candy Mr. Sarah made one time? It took a ridiculously long time to make, like 5 hours or something. It made a ton and we ended up eating all of it by ourselves in two days because it was so good and we couldn’t stop. On day two we both woke up thinking about it and went straight for it. Which is kind of scary since we both are able to resist any and all sweets until after dinner. He added peanut butter because it looked like it wasn’t going to set up right, and I’m sure that added a few fat cells around our midsections. I think that’s why he only made it one time. Or maybe it was because it takes 5 hours.

There’s the beads. Now I’m gonna go eat some homemade beanie weenie. Everyone I mention beanie weenie to is like “gross” but I’ll be ding-dang ol’ darned if I don’t make the best beanie weenie in all of Amerka. I use Pork N Beans, beef franks, I add a dash of liquid smoke, Durkee California Blend Garlic, a little bit of salt and a lot of diced onion. I cook it for about an hour. I eat a little bit of that and a lot of a side vegetable and wow it’s tasty. It’s a guilty pleasure I try not to indulge in too often because it’s difficult for me not to eat the whole thing all by my lonesome.

Smell you guys later (or you may be smelling me, what with the dinner I’ll be enjoying)… thanks for looking in!


Read Full Post »


Do you ever wake up and find everything to be a little bit off? Not better or worse necessarily, but your daily routine feels just a little strange and out of sorts and you’re attacked by sudden bouts of self-consciousness that go as quickly as they come? I was talking to mom about recipes a bit ago and it seemed strange. Writing descriptions about my beads felt odd. I’ve had these days before, they are usually in early spring and fall so I’m quite sure it has to do with a seasonal shift. It begins when I first wake up and it wears off through the day. The first couple of times I worried that I had a stroke or something, until I began to notice when it was happening. I also experienced deja vu the other day for the first time in several years. It was while I was watching a movie I had recorded several weeks earlier, and it seemed like I was thinking the same thing I was thinking the first time I watched the movie… which was strange since I know I’ve never seen that movie before.

Enough of that kind of babble. I have beads for you. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

look for us on etsy later this evening!

look for us on etsy later this evening!


And once they’re on Etsy I think I’ll do a little silversmithing for a few days. I owe my stylist some jewelry. If I don’t show up at my next appointment with at least one ring for her I’m pretty sure she’s going to tell me and my grease mop to hit the road.

I’ll be back in a bit with the etsy listings… thanks for checking in!

Read Full Post »