Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Just a little note to say that my stores are closed for the holidays...  

It is a wonderful time for me to spend time with family, visit friends, and work on new store items for January.

Happy Holidays to all!  :D

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Beauty of Creation

This week has been a week of creating.  

Serious creating--not simply dabbling with thoughts, bandying about possibilities.  Indeed,  I sat down for hours to get everything just right; I worked until my fingers throbbed and ached.  This is the sort of creating that requires an absurd amount of focus, where everything else fades into the background.

All that matters is the idea, and making that idea become tangible and real.  

Honestly, it was rather incredible...  Going into my own world, bringing order to chaos.  It is always rather humbling when this happens...  And, though my fingers still hurt, I feel triumphant.

For, in this state, I turned this:

Unsorted 6/0 seed bead mix

Into this:

Collar Necklace,
inspired by ancient Egyptian designs and
the colors of lapis lazuli

...and this:

Jumbled pile of gears

Into this:

Collar Necklace,
inspired by the combination of Egyptian style
and the steampunk aesthetic

The first design took 2 hours to make--not including the time it took to sort the beads.  Don't believe that I sorted them?  Just look at this:


The second necklace, the gear necklace, took at least four hours to finish.  Indeed, I started it at 10:00 AM, and was still working on it at 2:30 PM.  It involved an hour of attaching gears to almost 200 tiny jump rings...  and another hour of wire-wrapping...  and yet another hour of adjusting the design, when it didn't lay flat.

Worth it?  


I look forward to making more in this style, when my fingers stop hurting!  :D

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Wonder of Creating....

I have spent most of today creating--so focused on what I was doing that I forgot to eat.

It is truly amazing to be able to take an idea and make it into something tangible.

Monday, December 12, 2011

This Just In!

...or, perhaps a better name would be: this just listed!

I have been working on getting this pair of hairsticks posted for quite some time...  I am so, so happy to announce that they are finally up on my store!

And here they are!  A pair of hairsticks whose toppers are made with mood beads:


...Yes, those pictures are all of the same pair of hairsticks.  Since the toppers change color with heat, the different shades are the product of heat exposure (read: I touched them, and the color changed).

You can see the listing here.

I am so happy with these!  :D

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Another Glimpse at My Beading Table...

I have come to the realization that I have been really busy--like there was any real doubt of that, I know.

So, in addition to learning pearl knotting, I have been playing with gears...

Oh, the possibilities!

Steampunk-inspired hairstick,
recently listed on my store.

...and playing with different ways to color hairsticks... 

I am hoping to expand my hairstick line by adding colored sticks to my
repertoire.  Right now, I am beta testing a couple different possibilities--
I want to prefect it, before putting any of these for sale. 

...and playing with fire polished Czech glass beads.

I am also hoping to duplicate these toppers on non-colored sticks,
and post them to my store some time soon.  'Tis the season for sparkle!

Also in the works are Egyptian-inspired hairsticks.  And a line of jewelry based on Narnia.  And winter-hued pieces, reminiscent of snow and ice.

Add to that Christmas presents for my family, and you'll have a good idea about what I've been up to!  :D

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Glimpse at my Beading Table...

Look!  It's a post about jewelry-related things!  Because, believe it or not, I actually have been quite active when it comes to learning new techniques and creating new designs...  I just haven't been feeling too inclined to write about it, considering the morass of November.

But!  November is behind us, and it's time to share a little of what I have been doing recently...  

Such as pearl knotting.  

Recently I took it in my head to learn how to do this very traditional technique.  But what, you might ask, is pearl knotting?

Well, this is pearl knotting:

My second and third attempts--one with real pearls,
the other with Czech glass beads with a blue iris coating.
My first attempt was certainly not so... uniform.

As the name suggests, it's a way of stringing pearls by hand-knotting them on silk thread.  

This particular method is very traditional.  After all, pearls used to be so valuable that it would be tragic if a strand of them were to break.  As they tumbled onto the floor, they might get cracked, or even lost forever. But, by putting a small knot in between each pearl, this fate could be averted; if the strand broke, only one pearl would fall off.

...Besides, it just looks classy.

And so, that's one of the many, many things that I've been doing recently.  To date, I have successfully knotted two such strands (the first attempt doesn't count).  I like the way that these necklaces drape--very elegant.  I hope to incorporate this into more designs to come, if for no other reason that I simply enjoy doing it (even if it is rather time consuming... that is a lot of little knots).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blessings Abound...

Today has been filled with many, many happy things...

  1. Shopping at a craft store.
  2. Helping my friend put up her Christmas Tree.
  3. Being introduced to Almond Joy coffee creamer (sooooooo good).
  4. Being surprised by my husband--he brought home dinner (also sooooooo good).
  5. Enjoying after-dinner smoothies, while I take pictures and my husband plays on his computer.


       6.  Staring at my Christmas Tree (now with even more ornaments*).

* - The craft store had all of their Christmas decor on sale for 50% off...  Yes, I admit to buying some more pretties to go on my tree!  Like the iridescent bird.  And the purple balls covered in golden starbursts.  But not the gargoyle--I already had him.  :D

Monday, December 5, 2011

In light of everything that has been happening recently, I've been doing my best to live in the moment, to seek comfort in beauty.  And it's been working so far.  Mostly.

Anyway, along those lines, here were today's goals:  

  1. Retrieve the Christmas tree from storage.
  2. Assemble said Christmas tree.

I am happy to say that both of those goals were reached.

Here are the results:

Surprise!  It's our Christmas Tree!

For my Christmas tree, I tend to start with a theme...  And then add special, extra touches. My current theme is burgundy, purple, and gold.

Okay, so it's a dark picture--but in it, you can
see purple, burgundy, and gold!

And, occassionally, I like to include bright red:

One of my favorite ornaments, taken from my parents' tree.
I remember this bird from when I was little.

This time, I also added touches of clear and silver:

...And maybe some more bright red:

This very special ornament was handmade
by my grandfather.  I teared up when I put
it on the tree.
Of course, that's just the beginning.  There are plenty of ornaments that match absolutely nothing--that I include simply because I like them.  Like my Christmas Gargoyle.  And my VeggieTales ornaments.

Yes, that is Larry the Cucumber.
And a hand-blown glass hedgehog.

Now that it is all said and done, I'm sitting at my computer, staring at the warm glow of my Christmas tree.  To me, there is something very comforting about Christmas lights, and the soft sparkle of tinsel.  Any other time, these things might seem gaudy...  but, right now, they are gentle beauty--and they make my heart glad.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rest in Peace, Pop-Pop

My grandfather recently passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly.

Because of this, it may be awhile before I post here again.  After all, it is hard for me, right now, to write about my feelings.  In fact, it is hard for me, right now, to write at all.

But the words will come back.

Know, in the meantime, I will be finding comfort in warm tea and soothing music...  Indeed, this world is beautiful, and there are still songs to hear.  

The last of his years were full of joy, and I know Pop-Pop would not want me to grieve too long.  

Monday, November 21, 2011


My NaNo word count has reached 75,300!

The first draft of this novel is coming together, and I am beyond excited.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I have been ridiculously busy.  In good news, though: 

I have reached 51,100 words in NaNo.

I have also posted many new hairsticks to my store, including but not limited to:

Apple Tapestries

Delegate from the Haunted Forest

Delegate from the Coast

Delegate from the Enchanted Forest

Colors of Evening, Design 1
I posted about these when I made them, here.

Colors of Evening, Design 2

Gentle Sunset, Design 1
Also posted on this blog, found here.

Desert Nomad

Hope everyone is well!  :D

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Benchmark...

The story that I'm working on just reached 105,105 words.  

The symmetry made me ridiculously happy.

And now my story just reached 111,111 words.  On 11/11/11.  Really, it's the little things.


Disclaimer: No, not all of that was written this month, for NaNo.  This has been a work in progress for about three years now.  However, I am hoping to finish the first draft by the end of the month, so that I can start editing it and hopefully get it published.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Stores Have Re-opened!

...And the 20% off sale continues!  Be sure to check it out here!

Also starting today: National Novel Writing Month!  

The coffee is brewed, my new notebook is prepared, and my purple pen is at the ready... Now all I have to do is write!

This is going to be a fun month.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yesterday, I was productive.  I unpacked the entire kitchen, washed every dish that we own, set up every kitchen appliance we have (after washing them, too), took all of the empty boxes to the dumpster, and made lots of yummy food.

Today, I am not doing nearly half as much.  The bedroom is still in boxes, I can't find some important paperwork (think it's still in our old room), and I have a growing headache.

But, there will be baked potatoes for lunch. 

And the view from our windows is absolutely beautiful.

View from the window in the spare bedroom/
my future crafting room.  

I love being surrounded by trees!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Adventures in Packing: Week Two

Today, I packed the inventory for my stores.

In so doing, I discovered that I have many, many, many small things.  And they all need individual attention.  I spent all day organizing them, and then putting them in small bags, and then into small boxes, and then in bigger boxes.  So, for a full day's work, I only have four big boxes to show for myself.  But, by golly, those boxes are well packed! 

No pictures yet this week, because I've been too busy--not to mention that it's been rainy and dismal, so the lighting hasn't been very good.  

In hindsight, I haven't done as much as I wanted to... there are always more things that I think need to be done.  Still, I am content in my progress.

Tomorrow, we sign the lease and the apartment is ours.

Tonight, I stop putting little things in little boxes, and try to get some sleep.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adventures in Packing: Week One

Last week began the packing marathon.

In good news, most everything was already packed.

In bad news, most everything was already packed--in my in-laws' basement, in boxes that were falling apart, and schlucked together, and too heavy, and in desperate need of some TLC.

So, last week I ventured into the basement to tackle those boxes.  I did not go alone--my friend Lisa went with me, ready to assist in all things packing-related.  My goal was to repack those boxes that needed to be repacked (due to weight or box disrepair), and organize them according to room.

Look at the sight that greeted us:

This was one of many, many stacks.
And, yes, that is a stuffed stegosaurus on the coffee table.
And iced coffee in the foreground.

Now, I should tell you that packing, for me, goes in stages:

  1. Try to be organized, keep things together, and use the right size box for everything.
  2. Start to get a little more haphazard, but have "themed" boxes.
  3. Schluck unrelated random things into a box, label it "miscellaneous".
  4. Schluck unrelated random things into a box, forget to label it and draw a narwhal instead.

While we made good progress--finishing repacking/sorting almost all of the boxes--by the end of last week, Lisa and I hovered somewhere between stages 3 and 4.  

Case in point:

Remember that aforementioned stegosaurus?
He's in this box.

So, I own a lot of books.  After packing one too many boxes of them,
this was the look on my face.

I love reading books--holding them in my hand, feeling the paper.
Yet, I have to admit, a Kindle is looking more and more appealing.

I should also mention that I have a LOT of journals...

...Which I point out on this box.  Lisa, with the purple sharpie,
apparently agrees with my assessment.

So, that was last week.  Most everything in my in-laws' basement has been readied for departure.  I am very pleased with our progress.  

This week, I'm focusing on everything upstairs.  That includes our bedroom, the bathroom... and my beads.  I think, once I pack my beads, this move will feel official.  

Or maybe everything will just happen in a blur--like all of my other moves--and it won't really sink in until November.  

Either way, I am just so blessed that it's actually happening!  Now, if only I can retain my sanity!


P.S.  Sorry for the darker pictures...  obviously, they were taken in the basement!