Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine's Day Sneak Peak

My thoughts on Valentine's Day...

I have mixed feelings about Valentine's Day.  For quite a long time, I had no Valentine...  After all, it wasn't until I was a senior in college that I had a boyfriend (who, happily, is now my husband).  So, I was the single girl who bought myself chocolates and flowers on February 14th, and tended to avoid romantic movies.  Even today, happily married, I am not much for pink and foofy displays of affection.  

I am, however, very fond of stately expressions of love.  For example, my favorite flowers are roses--not to be cliché, but because I love their depth, the way their petals unfurl, their silk velvet reds.  I enjoy the deeper shades of Valentine's--reds and silvers, velvet and damask, rich dark chocolate truffles and creamy ganache.

And so, while thinking of designs for Valentine's Day this year, I tried to incorporate that feeling of stately love.  I am happy with the result--both the Winter's Masquerade set that I posted earlier, and my newest creation:

I plan on posting it to my store very soon...  I am just trying to come up with a fitting story to accompany it.  Keep a look out for when it goes live!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Random Fun: Science!

Can you guess what these are?

For those of you who guessed "those are polymer balls that expand when exposed to water, currently drying in a sieve!", you would be correct.

In my last foray into a craft store, I ventured into the science fair section--the part with children's microscopes, ant farms, test tubes, and astronaut ice cream.  It's the section that I loved when I was little (yes, I was a nerd)--and the section that I still love now (yes, I am still a nerd).

While all of the bigger sets are quite expensive, I was delighted to find that there are a lot of smaller sets for under $10.  And so, I bought a packet of "slippery spheres"...  or, in other words, polymer balls that go from 2mm to the size of large marbles when exposed to water.  I put them in a bowl of water on the counter.  The constant excitement at watching them expand--and the subsequent delight to find that they bounce--was well worth the $4.00!

And, because I find delight and inspiration in the slightest things, here are pictures of the venture.  To start with, here are the spheres right at the beginning...

And here is what they look like after a few days (the smallest next to the largest):

Something else fun about these spheres is that they actually shrink when no longer exposed to water.  Once dry, you can start the entire process over again.  And so, here you can see them being dried out:

Of course, I have yet to figure out how to incorporate them into any of my jewelry...  After all, it is hard to work with a substance that has to be perpetually wet.  Yet, I find them beautiful to just stare at...  and wonderfully fun to play with (did I mention that they bounce)?

The world that we live in never ceases to amaze me...  I am living proof that science can be fun.

Fine print:

For all you fellow nerds, here is the Wikipedia article on polymer:

And, for all of you fellow nerds who feel the desire to replicate my experiment, here is the link to the actual set that I bought:

Basically, the idea is that polymer in the spheres creates chemical bonds with the polarized water, causing the water to be absorbed and the sphere itself to expand.  It's a simple enough explanation, but I find it fascinating how it actually does it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm on a roll...

I just posted some lovely silver and red items...  Just in time for Valentine's Day!*

Hairsticks -- http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=38828212
Earrings -- http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=38828037
Necklace -- http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=38827784


* - I usually don't like doing anything over the top for Valentine's Day...  I try to keep things understated and elegant, something that you would want to wear other times of the year.  I think this set accomplishes this goal quite nicely...  I have started wearing my set already, and have gotten compliments on them.

New Items Posted!


Remember the petroglyph necklace that I posted about earlier this month?  The one that I made from some beautiful beads from Beadazzled?  I listed it--and it's matching hairsticks and earrings--in my store tonight.

Here is a preview...

Here are the links for the above:
Necklace -- http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=38817583
Earrings -- http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=38816861
Hairsticks -- http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=38818210

...And, as a special bonus, I also posted these:

They are called Wintermoon, a counterpart for the other pair of earrings I have listed called Summersun (which, coincidentally, happen to be listed right before them--and I didn't do that on purpose!)

Here are the links for those:
Wintermoon -- http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=38812758
Summersun -- http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=25293583


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some things that made me happy today...

In lieu of a jewelry update, have a list:

~ I went to Starbucks on a whim, and got a free drink because they didn't have what I originally ordered (a chai)

~ I was able to catch an earlier bus home, just by chance--and even got a seat to myself for most of the trip home

~ I found a copy of one of my favorite soundtracks at half price book for $6.00 (it is not even sold on iTunes)

~ I was able to share my jewelry with some people work (namely, the people who I made the custom orders for--see earlier posts)...  They really liked what I made, and I felt appreciated and talented

...and now, I am tired and grateful to be safe and home.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Three Posts, Three Pictures - #3

Recently, I have been working at clearing off my work table.  (It's no small feat, trust me!)  Tonight, as I mucked around through the various and sundry tidbits I have lying around, I came upon an anklet that I had abandoned last year.  I loved the color combination and the beads--beautiful kambaba jasper coins mixed with copper--but it was just a bit too chunky to lay nicely around my ankle.  I had put it aside because I didn't want to abandon it completely; I just did not know what to do with it.

As I stared at it tonight, however, I had an eureka moment.  I realized that it was sitting next to a lovely length of copper chain (complete with toggle clasp!).  They complimented each other beautifully, and they were the right length to make an 17.5" necklace!

And so, a necklace was born (called Filani of the Forest*):


* It is called the Filani of the Forest because it matches this pair of hairsticks:  http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=16181236.  I am going to see if I have enough of the kambaba jasper coins to make another pair of said hairsticks, because I do not believe I actually have a pair for myself.

...Is it just me, or does the first picture look like a smiley face?  Perhaps it's just because it's getting late and I should go to bed...

Three Posts, Three Pictures - #2

Here is a custom order that I made for another lady at work.  She saw the necklace that I made for a fellow coworker (see previous post), and decided that she wanted one, too.  I showed her the options and she picked out the length and color combination.  The result is similar to the first post, but still unique.  And it is still simply stunning!  I'm taking it into work tomorrow for her to see...  We shall see if she likes it!

Here it is (again, name of design is pending):  


When I showed it to my best friend, her response was that she wanted one, too!  :)

Three Posts, Three Pictures - #1

Tonight, I have a lot of pictures that I want to share.  To do so, I'm going to separate them into three different posts.

Here, we have a custom order that I made for someone at work*.  She saw a necklace that I was wearing that I had made, and got very excited about its design.  Using that design as a springboard, she told me the length that she wanted and the colors that she wanted.  I went to work, and got it right on the first try!  When I took it in to her the next day, she was so excited that she started wearing it right away.  It definitely looked stunning against the white shirt she was wearing...  It was extremely gratifying.

And so, here it is (design name still pending):


* - Actually, this is a copy of a custom order that I made for someone at work.  I gave her the necklace that I made for her before I could take pictures of it.  However, I had the same components lying around, and decided I liked it so much that I made a copy for myself.  It really is simply stunning!

Things to think about...

Some happy things from today:

~ Multi-colored jingle bells
~ Cheezits
~ Calligraphy
~ Symphony of Science songs (found conveniently at Symphonyofscience.com)
~ My new fossil necklace (an Orthoceras)
~ Hot chai and coffee cake
~ Remembering something right when I need to remember it
~ Long thigh-high purple socks
~ Knowing the answer to a difficult question, and feeling clever
~ Lips that are not chapped

Friday, January 8, 2010


Today, honestly, was not my best day.  So, in deciding what to post here tonight, I decided to lighten my mood and post some beautiful things.  These are things that are inspirations for me--things that capture feelings of love and beauty and hope, with a touch of fun and whimsy.  Those are all feelings that I attempt to capture in my jewelry, in my stories, and, honestly, in my life (when I stop trying to think myself into a black hole).

And so, enjoy.  Here are some beautiful things.

Snow Covered, Sleeping Trees

(taken on the way to Christmas festivities)

How can you choose?

(ahhh, the wonderful palate of flavors!)

Baking Cookies with My Mum

(fun times on Christmas Day, full of warmth and sugar)

Christmas Lights Shining on Glass

(it's magical, really, to stare at a Christmas Tree)

Free Birthday Drinks

(this one was a chai)

Roses from My Husband, Just Because

(call me old fashioned, or decadent, but I love the texture of roses)

Sunset in Summer

(driving back home after vacation)

A Still More Glorious Dawn Awaits...

(taken at work, of all places...  it was so beautiful, I almost cried)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lovely things

Recently, I have been trying to focus on lovely things.  It's one of my ways to keep my mind and heart filled with the beauty of the world.

Here are a few that made it onto my list.

~ Snow falling against a darkened sky, and the quiet hush that it brings
~ Ducks standing on top of frozen ponds
~ Silence, and a time for quiet
~ Seeing a friend after a long time
~ The feeling of holding a crisp, brand new book
~ The feeling of holding an old, well loved book (it’s like visiting a good friend)
~ Warm and dry feet
~ The swirling of layers of warm skirts
~ Light glinting off of glass
~ Being cuddled and held close by someone you love
~ A hot beverage on a cold day
~ Chocolate
~ Translucent leaves
~ An alert and clear mind
~ Having someone you love say your name
~ Birds chirping in the winter
~ Having money to buy a gift for someone
~ Plush dragons
~ Cinnamon
~ Soft scent of vanilla
~ Breathing deeply and calmly
~ Soft and fuzzy purple sweaters

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sale is over!

Thank you, everyone, for looking!

(And don't worry, 2010 will be full of new promotions and deals...  I have an entire book full of ideas!)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Proof that I did go to Beadazzled...

Remember when I posted about going to Beadazzled over the holidays?  I just remembered that my mother documented the trip with a photo.  So, behold--it really did happen!  

Me, Surrounded by Amazing Wonderful Beads (tm)

There really were beads everywhere.  *wistful sigh*  I will go back, I'm sure...  until then, I will content myself with enjoying the beads that I purchased there.  (Which, I did more of today, I might add.  Overall, I was extremely productive, and I am excited to take pictures and post some things here.)

Also, for fun, here are pictures of the dragon that my mother bought for me on that same shopping trip (not from Beadazzled).  Woo for early birthday presents! 

My Dragon, Looking Studious

My Dragon, Riding on the Way Back Home

It really was a beautiful time...  A chance to just remember that the world is a beautiful place, filled with beautiful (and shiny!) things.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

It has been a beautiful day--full of resting and beading, taking the time to nap and work on a custom order for someone at work (pictures may be forthcoming).

This is the time of year that people often reflect on the year past, and create goals and plans for the year to come.  I did most of that yesterday...  Today, I am just happy to sit still and be at peace.

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope that it is full of lovely and beautiful things to come.

Showcase Time!

One of my items is featured in the Gift Guides Showcase today!  Whee!  Can you guess which one it is? (Hint: there is an ever-so-subtle black box surrounding it.)

That's right!  It's this one!

Those are my Coffee and Cream earrings, found here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=26534678...  They are on sale until tomorrow, so get them while the getting is good!

Yes, it's shameless self-promotion...  but I am very fond of these earrings, and I want them to find a good home.