Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'Tis the Season...

...for me to turn everything into a Christmas tree ornament!

So shiny!

Let me explain.

Factor #1
So, my best friend really likes her Christmas tree.  Really, really likes it.  She's been excited about putting it up since the last time she took it down.

She's also been making ornaments on and off for it this past year.  Anything that is shiny or glittery (or can be painted to be shiny or glittery) is liable to go on her tree...  And she really makes it look good.  (Call it a talent.)

Factor #2
I have been working on a very special custom order for someone--a very special pendant.  At the center of this pendant, there is a light blue crystal.

Long story short: the pendant is almost done (more on that after Christmas!), and I had some acrylic light-blue crystals that I didn't end up using.

The Result
So, what happens when you combine those two things?  


You put 'em on the Christmas tree, of course!

Here are four of the leftover

One set of ornaments--made by simply wire-wrapping
the beads with silver plated craft wire.

The second set--fuller, squatter beads, paired with gold plated craft wire.

Here they are again!  ...Simply because I like
the way that the light shines through them.

Now, the prominent colors on my Christmas tree are gold, burgundy, and purple...  But that's not to say that I don't put any other colors on there.  

For example, I really like the little shimmers of color that these new ornaments add--they almost look silver, actually, in the Christmas tree lights.

Here they are, in action:

I love the way the facets reflect the light.

See?  Almost silver-toned.

I didn't get any good pictures of the second set
in action, so here--have another picture of one
of the long drops.

It appears that nothing is safe.  A whole new set of options has been opened to me...  Just like the first time that I learned how to wire-wrap, and started making pendants out of common, everyday objects.  (And I maintain that hexnuts actually look really cool when made into jewelry--so fun to walk through the hardware store with a jewelry-designer's eye.)

So, today it's ornaments made from leftover acrylic crystals.

And tomorrow...  Well, tomorrow, we shall see!

Friday, November 23, 2012

What am I Thankful For?

This day after Thanksgiving, I am thankful...

For laughing in craft stores,

Waiting in line at Joann's this afternoon...
Everyone was scowling and grumpy--everyone, except
me and my friend, who were giggling and happy.

For finding the yarn that I was looking for—the very last skein, huddled in the corner of the bin,

It's wrapper had come off--this is paton's pirouette yarn,
in the color "orchid shimmer".

For clean bills of health,

X-ray of my husband's ankle--all healed up!
No more appointments, no more physical therapy.  :D

For sparkling, beautiful Christmas trees,

Sneak peak of this year's tree--gold and shimmery and full of light.

For Spanish Hot Chocolate and ordered-out-pizza,

Recipe for Spanish Hot Chocolate,
written out for me by a very good friend.

For warmth and coziness and family,

For beautiful sunsets and the smell of woodsmoke chimneys,

For Autumn leaves,

For silly haikus,
And for being able to reach out to others... and feel not only acceptance, but love.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Musical Interlude

I don't usually post links...

...but I definitely thought this one was worth it.

I would love to be able to write music like this, play music like this.  But, since I cannot, I will simply be thankful that there are people who can...  and that they share their art with the rest of us.

Perhaps, one day, someone will even write soundtracks to my stories.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Old Wall

There were stones there, in the forest—stones that were older than me, stones that spoke of a time long past.

I had found them while walking alone through the woods, lost in thought, withdrawn far into my mind. In fact, I had almost walked by them... but something about the light made me stop.

And there they stood, the remains of an old wall—covered in greenery, aged stones being pushed apart by tree roots.

Of course, there were the obvious questions. How had they gotten there? What did they used to be? 

Yet, as I stood there, I did not think on that. I did not think on the archaeological significance of these stones; I did not think on the wall that once stood where I stood.

Those stones—the wall—a testament to what had past.

As I looked at the scene in front of me, the light filtered through the shadows, playing through the leaves—making the shadows shift like fairies dancing, pirouetting and flittering across the old stones. It almost seemed otherworldly... a magical place, like stepping into the realm of elves and dragons, where shadows could sing. 

 Yet, again, I did not think too much on such things.

Those stones—the wall—a glimpse into possibilities and dreams, the tantalizing wondering of “what if.”

Instead, at that moment, I simply saw the colors of green, juxtaposed against aging stone. I saw the delicate ferns, their fractal forms perfect in their simple complexity. I saw the moss carpeting the wall, the lichen and the grasses.

And at that moment, my mind quieted. My earlier anxieties stilled. Like the scene around me, my thoughts became equally as simple, not at all complicated—captivated by the light and the shadow and the green and the grey, and how they all wove together to make something timeless.

At that moment, all was quiet.

At that moment, all was still.

Those stones—the wall—the solidness of the present... the surety that life continued on.

The surety that even crumbling ruins could be beautiful.


I found this stone wall when I was on vacation...  This was a piece I wrote about it then, which I thought it would be nice to share now.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Miracles Do Happen

So, what else have I been working on, besides NaNo?  Heh.  I'm so, so glad you asked.

For starters: a miracle has happened.  
Yes, this miracle involves knitting.
What gave you that idea?  :)

After years of knitting... I finally know how to purl.

Seriously, this is a major breakthrough for me.  For some reason, I have had a mental block when it comes to purling--I couldn't figure it out.

And then, a few weeks ago, something clicked.

It had been an awful day.  I had been working on hairsticks, and I had almost been driven to tears by misbehaving beads.  I kept dropping things and messing things up.  I even forgot to put dinner in the crockpot.


I randomly sat down with a skein of yarn and a pair of knitting needles, and something made sense.  There is no other way to explain it--I suddenly understood what needed to happen.  And, as a result, I learned how to purl.


Do you know what that is?  That is stockinette stitch. 
...You have to purl in order to make
stockinette stitch.

My random experiment became a random wrist cuff.
Because, honestly, why not?

…And then, later, I picked up the same yarn…  And found out that it wasn't a fluke.

This is rib knit!
Rib knit that I, well, knit!

This is a swatch made out of seed stitch...  Again, something that can
only be done when you know how to purl.

So...  After all these years, I finally know how to purl.  



This is not the first time that something like this has happened to me.  I will be struggling with a concept--struggling to see how it works--when, randomly out of the blue I will figure it out when I'm not even thinking about it.  

For example, this is how I learned how to braid…  I was in elementary school, and I had been struggling with the concept.  Then, one night, I randomly dreamt that I was doing it.  When I woke up, I not only remembered the dream but also understood what I had done…  I sat down with one of my dolls, and was able to replicate what I saw in the dream.  

Apparently, my brain is still dealing with problems--even when I don't realize it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


...that is my current word total for National Novel Writing Month.

To celebrate, I made some chocolate chip cookies.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

NaNo Check-In...

Total words written today: 10,200

Total words written overall: 36,050

Look familiar?
That would be because I have hardly moved from this spot.
But, trust me--it was taken this morning, as opposed to yesterday!

Today, I also: 

  • worked on silmarils (approximately 60--we'll see if any one them turn out)
  • made beef stew
  • baked chocolate cookies from scratch
  • took pictures for a possible blog series that I'm working on
  • ...and completed a crocheted ruffled scarf that I was working on.
...So I now realize that I have a reason to be exhausted.

It is now time to collapse.

Good night!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lost in a World of Words...

Yep, I am still in the throes of NaNo.  

This is what my days have looked like recently:
A mug of coffee...  my husband's laptop...  and the
comfy chair in my craft room.

I have been writing, writing, writing...  Working on my story, doing my best to make sense out of it all.

And it gets better...  This past week, I have come to the realization that, when it comes to Landus Fantasticus, I have probably been working on 6 novels all at once.  

That's right: 6 novels.

All at once.

*refrains from banging her head against the desk*

I have discovered that each region that the main character visits is rich enough to make its own novel...  and, so, instead of trying to cram it all in one extra long story, I'm separating them out into their own distinct entities...  trying to let the work grow that way.

And so, on this, the seventh day of NaNo, I'm wandering along in the words that I'm writing, getting lost in the new developments and the new plots within plots.

We shall see where this all takes me.


Oh, and my current total is 25,550.  Hurrah!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Another NaNo Update...

Total wordcount: 14,080

Total words written today: 6,275

...And, to celebrate, I'm going to go clean my craft room.  Or take a bath.  Anything except sitting at my computer, because if I sit here any longer, I will end up writing more.  *smirk*

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New Pendants!

Apparently, I am over-achieving today.

Not only have I written over 3,600 words for NaNo...  not only have I introduced ball chains for my Silmarils (see last entry for that announcement)...  not only have I taken over 200 photos for my store...

I have also just added 11 new listings to my store.  


Here are the nine new pendants:

Gears!  Yay for steampunky goodness!

An artistic angle shot...  for extra drama.  ;)

And, I also added--surprise!--ball chains to match them!

Look familiar?  :D

Here is what the pendants look like on the chain:

Copper Spindle Gear Pendant

Copper Rounded Gear Pendant

Brass Rounded Gear Pendant

Pewter Spindle Gear Pendant

And now I'm going to go crash.

Or play Angry Birds.

...I think I've earned it.


For those keeping score, that accounts for 10 of today's new listings.  The other one?  A simple, yet elegant, pair of earrings, found here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/113788264/unbroken-circle-earrings

Yeah...  it is definitely time to do something mindless!

Did You Know...

...that I'm now selling ball chains to go with my Silmaril pendants?

Sample Silmaril, hanging from one of these
new ball chains.

They are 18 inches long and silver-plated...  simple and elegant, allowing the pendant to really stand out.  And their closures are perfect!

See how thin and streamlined it is?
Perfect for sliding the pendant on and off--
making it interchangeable!

For right now, I only have them in silver...  Still trying to find nice copper ones to offer, as well.

They also cascade nicely.  Just sayin'.

Close up of the chains.

I know it might seem silly, but I'm really excited!  :D


NaNo update:
I am currently at 3,600 words.  Not sure if I will continue writing tonight--but, either way, not a bad start!  :D