Sunday, October 31, 2010

November Sale!

...It's almost November!  And you know what that means?  It's almost time for my NOVEMBER SALE!

Throughout the month of November, for every pair of hairsticks, a single hairstick, or a necklace that you buy, you will get a pair of earrings FREE! 

How does it work?  Simple!  When checking out, in the "Notes to Seller" please tell me what pair(s) of earrings you would like! (Eligible only on earrings up to $12 in value--please do not ask for the "Coffee and Cream" listing!) 

If you don't tell me what pair you would like, I will choose for you and send you a surprise!  

Let the fun commence!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Last Days of October...

As previously mentioned, October is one of my favorite months.  It's hard to believe that it's almost over!  So, as this month winds to a close--and I start gearing up for the insanity of NaNo--I'm doing my best to document it.  How am I doing that?  How else--through pictures.

With that in mind, for this morning's post I have two updates on previous themes: birds and frost.

Taken yesterday morning: more cardinal pictures.  These were taken as I sat at my desk, looking out my window less than three feet away.

You see how close he is to the glass, right?

...Yep...  Still really close...

He's looking at me!
He stayed right there for a good 5 minutes.

Moving on...  here are some pictures taken today: more frost pictures!  These were taken outside in the backyard; when I woke up this morning, a heavy frost was clinging to the ground.  When that happens, I venture into the cold to see if I can get any good pictures.

Frost-laden marigolds

The same frost-laden marigolds, from a different angle

The frost-covered ground

Icy leaf veins

And now, the frost is slowly dissipating, and there are no birds in the lilac bush outside my window.  Yet, the sun is shining brilliantly, and the air is still crisp and cool.

I love October.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Picture Project - Update 12

The sunlight has been changing.  

It used to shine brilliantly on my desk between 9:00 and 11:00 AM.  Now, instead, it shines on the area right next to my desk during that time--never touching the desk at all.  It's still beautiful, I've just had to change my routine a bit to get brilliant pictures.  Ah, adaptability!

That said, here are three more picture updates--all of necklaces.  Very tricky necklaces, at that...  it took a lot to get photos that pleased me.  Still, I am content.

Peace Walker - Necklace

Peace Walker - Necklace (Detail)

Hearthstone - Necklace

Apples and Cider - Necklace

Apples and Cider - Necklace (Detail)

As I start preparations for NaNoWriMo*, my photography has slowed down a bit.  Still, I am planning on working on this Picture Project until it is completely done...  whenever that may be!


* NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month.  It's the time of year where crazy people around the world try to write a novel in one month--50,000 words, to be precise.  For more information, go to their website.  I've done it the past five years (made the goal the last two years), and I'm definitely excited about this year's endeavor!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rainstorm - a Blog in 11 Pictures

Today, it rained.  Finally, thankfully, it rained.  It has been so dry here...  The storm that rolled in was as beautiful as it was torrential and windy.  There were no tornadoes that I know of, fortunately...  but there was a lot of water.

There were also a lot of pictures.  Here are a select few, chosen in an attempt to capture the whole meteorological spectrum that was today.

The morning was filled with threatening clouds and
high, high winds

The darkening sky...

Rain on the glass (and on the trees, and the porch, and...)

Tree through wet glass

We had errands to run...  here is the rain reflected in
the passenger side mirror

Droplets on the car window

My favorite picture of the day, I think

The brightening sky

Glorious sunset - beautiful even at the stop light

Gentle ending to a windy, tumultuous day 

Clouds through the trees

...I really do think that the puddle-reflection picture is my favorite.  I took it while running errands, as I watched my friend walk into the store.  There really is beauty in everyday life; I am trying to train myself to see it.

Drop of Water

I have just posted a new set on my store.  I actually wrote about this particular set before; the first mention of it is here.  I named it and wrote the description this morning.  (I actually almost posted it this morning as well, but was having some problems with technology.) 

Amusingly enough, I called the set Drop of Water.  Why is this amusing?  Because today, for the first time in weeks, it rained.  And by rain, I mean that it poured.  It was beautiful.  (I took several pictures...  If any of them turn out nicely, I will try to post them here.)

And so, without further ado, is the very timely-named Drop of Water set:

Drop of Water - necklace

Drop of Water - Earrings

Despite the coincidence, however, this set was not named after today's meteorological events.  Instead, it was inspired by my own parents...  I was thinking about them today, and just how much they mean to me.  And so, this story is dedicated to them.

The story:

In the Landus Fantasticus lies the River Aiwen, a river whose swirling waters are bright turquoise. The locals view this river as a symbol of their unique land; they claim that its water makes their harvest bountiful and prosperous.

Suhannah was one such local—a young woman born and raised near the banks of the Aiwen.  She loved her home, she loved her parents…  Yet Suhannah also loved to travel.  She dreamed of exploring the entire Landus Fantasticus, from the Great Sea all the way to the High Mountains.

Of course, her parents were loath to see her go; they loved her greatly and knew they would miss her terribly.  Yet they knew that, more than anything, she wanted to go on her adventure.  And so, when she came of age, they gave Suhannah their blessing to follow her dreams and travel the land.

When it was time for Suhannah’s journey to begin, her parents presented her with a gift: a necklace and a pair of earrings, each bearing a single drop of turquoise glass, the color of the mighty Aiwen.  It was a tearful farewell, but Suhannah wore the gift throughout all of her travels.  She was wearing it even when she visited her parents much later, with tales of grandeur and beauty and adventure—and how their gift always reminded her of their love, even when she was far away.

This set, made out of turquoise Czech glass briolettes, looks like it could be the gift from Suhannah’s parents—a touch of home and love, no matter where one journeys.

Who is Watching Who?

Looking outside my window this morning, I realized that I was being watched.  That's right--being watched.  By whom, you may ask?  By an assortment of plucky birds.  

There were a handful of little birds (my first thought was finches, but I can neither confirm nor deny this initial identification).  There were also a pair of cardinals, male and female.  The finches and the female cardinal were all very skittish, chirping and twittering from branch to branch, never sitting still.  

The male cardinal, however, sat very close to the glass and kept staring at me.  I, of course, tried to take pictures.  So, then, the question is: who was watching who?

He's looking at me!

Now he's pretending not to be interested...

Close up of the fine gentleman

I am so blessed.  I have birds outside my window, and clean water for my shower, and friends to go to lunch with, and leftover birthday cake (not my birthday) to eat.  As I told one of my friends, right now I'm living in a world of shiny things and autumn leaves...  and that isn't a bad thing at all.

Friday, October 22, 2010

First Frost

This morning, when I woke, up, it was cold.  So cold, in fact, that the warm air inside had caused condensation on the window glass.

It was also our first frost of the season.  (At least, that I've noticed.)  And so, being the sillyhead that I am, I decided that the only way to celebrate was to take pictures.  Dressed cozily in layers, I trundled outside to commemorate the occasion.

The above leaf was beautiful--the veins laced with tiny tiny ice crystals.  It looked like filigree, honestly.  I was so happy that my pictures actually caught some of that dainty webbing!  (Be sure to click to enlarge the photos--you'll be able to see the details better.)

My attentions to the frost also did not go unnoticed.  Our kitty, Tolkien, decided to keep me company during the photo shoot.  Here he is, sitting on my feet and heartily purring.

And so, that was my morning--moments of crisp weather and a purring kitty, before going hither and yon on errands.  It was lovely.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn Inspiration

I have been calling this my store inspiration blog.  Why have I been calling it that?  Well, because of the myriad of different topics found here.  After all, some of my posts are directly connected with my store, and the things that I list there.  Some other posts deal with my creative endeavors related-to-but-not-listed-on my store.  Yet other posts have to do with the day-to-day things that I encounter that spark my creativity and my love for beauty.

This is one of those latter posts.

Here are some pictures that I have taken these past two weeks, on different days.  They capture some of what I love about Autumn--the beautiful leaves, the striking sky, the deepening shadows, the silent twilight.  Some where taken outside in our backyard, some where taken at the park...  but they were all taken because I love Autumn.  It truly does inspire me.

Sun through the leaves - taken at the park

Translucent leaves - also taken at the park

Dramatic sunflare - taken at the park

Simple leaf on wood - taken in the backyard

Very happy kitty - taken in the backyard

Sunset - taken in the backyard 

Sunset through branch filigree -
taken in the backyard

Orange and gold - taken at the park

Sun through yellow leaves - taken at the park

Standing at the trunk, looking up -
taken at the park

Dressed in full Autumn splendor - taken at the park

Sky chiaroscuro - taken on the drive home from the park

And so, when the trees are bare and the weather starts to get colder, I can look on these pictures and remember the beauty of this season.

Of Bats and Pumpkins...

This is just a quick entry to show off my two new sets that I have listed to my store, both Autumn-themed.*  As the title of this entry suggests, one highlights bats and the other highlights pumpkins.  And here they are, without further ado!

Filigree Bats

Filigree Bat - Hairstick

Filigree Bats - Earrings

These were inspired by all of the nocturnal-animal programs that I have recently been attending.  (True, those programs highlighted owls--but bats were often discussed as well.  And, why not?  They're wonderful little nocturnal flying mammals.)

The accompanying story:

To some people, bats are both ugly and frightening. To the people living near the Haunted Forest, however, bats are considered welcome guests. 

As one might expect, there are many reasons for this attitude. First, and perhaps reason enough, is that the presence of bats means that pesky biting insects are at a minimum. This is appreciated both by the villagers and their plentiful animals. Secondly, it is said that the presence of plenty of bats is said to be indicative of a plentiful harvest. Therefore, the villagers near the Haunted Forest always look to the sky at the end of summer; there is much celebration when many bats are spotted, sometimes causing spontaneous festivals.

Made using filigree bat charms, this set looks as if it could adorn a villager near the Haunted Forest—a reminder to look into the silent twilight to see if there are any bats.

Pumpkin Carver

Pumpkin Carver - Hairsticks

Pumpkin Carver - Earrings

This set was inspired by the adorable little pumpkin bells that I found while out shopping last week.  I bought two--and that is why there are currently two pairs of these hairsticks available.  (They have one bell each.)  They make me smile, and I'm excited to share.

The accompanying story:

Carving pumpkins has long been a custom in the mid-Autumn chill. In the Landus Fantasticus, this is no different. Indeed, it is there that being called a Pumpkin Artist is high praise. Carving pumpkins is considered a high art-form; in displays of extreme skill, the orange gourds are covered with portraits and pastoral scenes of incredible detail. 

Every year after the harvest, Pumpkin Artists hold country-wide competitions. The winner of the coveted prize, affectionately called the Pumpkin Cup, also becomes the Official Royal Pumpkin Carver—a title that he or she holds until another winner is declared in later years. 

This set is made in the colors of an autumn night—a black sky, the silver moon, the orange leaves and pumpkins. They look as if they could adorn the Official Royal Pumpkin Carver while creating this year’s masterpiece. 


* I suppose they could also be considered Halloween-themed...  yet, I don't think they necessarily have to be pegged as such.  Bats and pumpkins aren't just around on Halloween, after all.  So, that's why I have decided to call them Autumn-themed instead--to highlight their lasting relevancy.  :)