Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday's Table

This week, what do I have on my table?


And prescription painkillers.

And a referral to an oral surgeon, so that I can have all four of my wisdom teeth removed.

Gah.  I am completely beat.  

So, here.  Have a pretty picture of leaves.

I'm going to bed.


For those interested: 
Today, I discovered that I do not, in fact, have a cold.  Or even the flu.  Instead, I have both pericoronitis and severe tonsillitis (hence the antibiotics)--which I was my temperature was hovering over 100 degrees this past weekend.

I thought it wise to put both of my stores in vacation mode while I recover from this...  I plan to reopen them next Monday, June 4th.

I will probably be gone for a few weeks later in June, when I get my teeth pulled...  but, I'll play it by ear.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Not Seeming to Catch a Break...

After a week of not exactly feeling well, I woke up this morning to find that I'm sick.


So, what do I do when I'm sitting awake at 6:00 on a Saturday morning, feverish and drinking Theraflu?

I post pictures of Silmarils!

These are three of the beauties that I recently listed on my store...

Evening Tea - Magnet

Ice Flower - Silver Pendant

Dusk Rose - Copper Pendant

I had a wonderful long post about sewing planned, but that will have to wait until I feel better.  Ah well.

Hope everyone else is doing well, this Memorial Day Weekend!


Now, instead of a cold or flu, I am starting to suspect that the cause of my trouble is a misbehaving wisdom tooth.  Bah.

Guess I have to wait until I can get a Dentist appointment to know for sure.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday's Table

This week, I am working on all of the backlog of inventory that I have yet to post.  

A daunting task--but definitely an enjoyable one!

Today's listings are special...  I actually made them quite awhile ago, but I have been struggling with the story.  Every time I looked at them, I thought of dragons--but I have so many dragon stories already in my store.

This one, however, is delightfully different.

And so I present:

Dragon Daughter

Close-up of hairsticks

Oooo, look!  It has a dangle!

Matching earrings

The story:

Contrary to what one might think, the dragons in Landus Fantasticus make excellent parents. Both males and females take turns guarding their eggs, and are much like mother crocodiles—vigilant, and dangerous if provoked. After all, dragon eggs are precious and rare; female dragons only lay eggs every 100 years or so, and they can take quite awhile to hatch. For this reason, it is rare for dragons to allow anyone—or anything—near their developing eggs.

Rare—but not impossible.

Legends tell the story of Verenyth, a mother dragon who once found a human infant abandoned near her cave. The motives of dragons are always unfathomable... Although no one knows why, she and her mate raised the infant girl as their own, alongside their own brood of dragonlings.

The needs for human infants are considerably different than those of dragon infants, but both the dragons and their charge learned to adapt. The child grew into a young woman, who play-wrestled with her foster siblings and who learned the dragon tongue before human language. 

She was named Sheranyth—Dragon Daughter.

With black the color of Sheranyth's hair, and the red of her foster-mother's scales, this pair of hairsticks and pair of earrings look as if it could have belonged to the Dragon Daughter—a reminder that a parent's love does not have to be determined by blood.

And be sure to check out the listings here!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Month in Review

Well, a month has come and gone--and I am knitting again!


My Dr. Who Scarf is calling my name!  Yipee!

After resting it for a month, my wrist seems to be as good as new.  I am still taking it easy, of course, but I have been doing some exercises and everything seems to be working properly.  Hurrah!

Still, I am a bit thankful (in hindsight) for my break from knitting.  

There are things that I have done this past month that I would not have done,  probably, if I spent all of my time working on my yarn-crafts.  And this leads me to...

What I Have Been Doing This Month:
Four Things That Do Not Involve Yarn

1.  Learning How to Program

My husband is a computer programmer.  It's not just what he does for a living--he loves computers, he loves programming, he loves tackling problems and solving them logically.  He started using a computer when he was 2, wrote his first program before he was 10.  Although he would argue with me, I think he's a genius.

So, this month?  He's been teaching me how to program in a language called Clojure.  (It's a dialect of LISP.)  

It's been an adventure, certainly.  I have a degree in Anthropology and Humanities--not computer science.  It's been fun to learn, though--seeing the creativity in tackling problems, the elegance in well-written code.  I'm actually enjoying myself.

And, I am proud to present:

Those highlighted lines?  That's code that I wrote.  Seriously!

Oh, look!  Here it is again!
Yes, it's the same code as above.  :D

That's right!  I've written Clojure code!  What's more--I know what it means, and I could do it again.   Will wonders ever cease!?

2.  Sewing

For the first time in years, I have set up my sewing machine.  How wonderful it was to find that I still remembered how to thread it, how to change the bobbin, how to adjust the stitches.  It was like running into an old friend.

Of course, I had forgotten just how much sewing is a test in patience.  I was hoping to show pictures of what I have been working on, but there have been a few setbacks.  (My ironing board broke--had to get a new on.  My sewing machine needle broke--had to get a new one. I couldn't find my seam ripper--had to get a new one.  Sensing a trend?)

So, here--have another shot of my fabric!

Such bright and happy colors!

I am also hoping to make a skirt out of a pair of my old, well-loved jeans.  I have cut them up into squares, and picked out some matching fabrics...  I'm making up the pattern, so we'll see how it goes!  

I absolutely love that blue map fabric!

3.  Baking Banana Bread

My grandmother was famous for her banana bread.  How famous?  Well, while she was living in Japan, she made it for the Emperor's brother.  That kind of famous.

So, I have been following in her shoes, and making banana bread.

Sorry for the dim photos...  the lighting in my kitchen is not
conducive to photography.

Two loaves, about to be baked.

Two loaves, fresh from the oven.

The same two loaves, ready to eat!

I must say that it is quite nice to have banana bread as a reward for Clojure code well written, or a seam well sewn!

4.  Doing Nothing

I have a hard time sitting still.  For some reason, I always think that I have to be doing something productive, whether it be cleaning or baking or knitting.  I manage to take tasks that I enjoy doing, and turning them into chores.  

This past month has shown me that if I'm not doing something, I get antsy and stressed--and I feel like I'm letting people down.  I find too much self-worth in being productive, defining myself by what I do instead of who I am.

And so, this month I have been taking time out of my day to relax... time to do nothing.

I find it much easier to do nothing when I am
surrounded by trees.

I have been reading, I have been watching Mythbusters, I have been watching my husband play video games, I have been doodling, I have stared out the window while my mind wanders.

Of all the things that I have been doing this month, this has been by far the most difficult.  And it also has been the most rewarding.  

This world puts a lot of emphasis on productivity and being "perfect"...  Do you have things that you like to do to unwind and let your mind wander?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday's Table

...is covered with a lot of catch-up from last week!

That's what happens when you get sick, I suppose.

While I don't quite have the time to write about it all tonight (working on that aforementioned catch-up), I wanted to leave you with this tantalizing picture...

What is it, precious?
It is a glimpse into my most recent project!  :D

...Take care, everyone!  I will write more soon!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tuesday's Table... A Day Late

Pardon me for being late on this post--apparently, I have the plague.

...Or at least a stomach virus.

Instead of doing anything even remotely productive, for the last two days I've been stuck on the couch watching Mythbuster reruns.  (Not that I mind the Mythbuster reruns, mind you...  I just wish that it wasn't coupled with tummy-grumpiness.)

So, that answers the question: what have I been working on this week?  Absolutely nothing.

But here's what I made before I got sick!

Silmaril pendants!

...And more Silmaril pendants!

...And even more Silmaril pendants!

Yes, indeed, I've been making all sorts of lovely Silmaril pendants--and even some magnets--that I hope to post to my store once I no longer have the plague.  (I've been staying out of my craft room, so as to keep all my germs to myself.)

So, yeah.  That's what I've been up to.

...Now it's time to go watch more Mythbusters.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again...

...The time of year that I start making more Silmarils!

I absolutely love this shade of sparkly purple!

For some reason, I don't work on these much during the colder months of the year.  I suppose it's because I need a well-ventilated space to do them...  And it's rather uncomfortable to open a window or sit in the park when it's below freezing.

But today!  Today, I sat down and made over 100 of them!

I am so excited!

The shades of turquoise and teal--
wonderful, cool colors for summer.

Light blue and lavender and orange, oh my!

The hope is that, once I have sorted through the ones that I made today, I will go ahead and make new pendants for my shop.  It's been far too long time since I have been able to do that...

As I said, I'm excited!


More Silmarils means more colors!  What color Silmarils would you like to see?  :D

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Show and Tell #3

Today's show and tell is actually extremely simple--and very elegant.

In the box of goodies, my Aunt sent me five strands of pearls:

Delicate and fluid strands of tiny pearls...  Simply beautiful.

The texture of the cream pearls serve as an interesting contrast to the
smooth pink ones.

Yet, they posed a bit of a problem.  I wanted to do something with them, but they were so lovely the way that they were...  The long strands were simply classic, and I couldn't bear the thought of unstringing them.

And so, I came to a compromise.

On a trip to the craft store, I picked up two spools of cream-colored ribbon (on sale!).  Using that ribbon, I came up with this design:

A simple ribbon on the left side, off-center.

The elegance in this solution is two-fold...

First, the ribbon makes the entire necklace feel very Victorian--I feel like I should go to a afternoon tea party, wearing a dress of cream lace and wielding a pink parasol.  (Not that I have a dress of cream lace, or a pink parasol, mind you--but this necklace makes me feel like I need one!)

A better view of the way that bow looks next to the rest of the necklace.

Second, I tied the bow in such a way that, while very secure, it can be untied.  So, if I ever wish to wear just one strand of pearls, I can.

Now, to be honest, I am not sure if I am going to stick with this design.  But, for right now, I think it's perfectly lovely.

...All I need is a dress of cream lace, parasol optional.

Anyone want to have an afternoon tea?  ;)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Show and Tell #2

I have been still having a lot of fun making things from my Aunt's jewelry...  And so here is Show and Tell #2!

Today's featured set was inspired by this color combination:

I love the juxtaposition between the blue and the rose.

I really wanted to make pieces with those colors and beads that could be worn interchangeably, but still match.  After all, some days I wear blue, some days I wear shades of rosy red, some days I combine the two and wear both.

With that in mind, I started off wanting to make one pair of earrings, one pair of hairsticks, and one necklace.  

That was my plan.

However, I kept elaborating and complicating everything.  Soon I found myself mixing and matching and experimenting.

Ultimately, in the end, this is what I created:

Aren't they pretty?

Yes, indeed, I made:

2 pairs of hairsticks, instead of 1
2 pairs of earrings, instead of 1
3 necklaces of varying length, instead of 1

Here's another view of the pieces together.

Now, what I find exciting is that these pieces look good on their own, as well as together.

For example:

I think this combination is lovely.

I love these teardrop beads, and I really like this set.

Not only that, but they go well with their matching necklaces (and even the non-matching ones).

I have already debuted the rose hairsticks, necklace,
and earrings--I wore them to church last week.

I am just waiting for an excuse to wear the blue
hairsticks, earrings, and the short blue necklace.

And even the necklaces themselves can be worn by themselves, or with each other.  (I made them actual separate necklaces, so that this could be the case.) 

These beads have so much depth!

This necklace was made with all beads that I already owned--
cobalt cat's eye rounds, brass melon beads, glass seed beads.
How cool, then, that they matched my Aunt's beads so perfectly!

Close up of the necklaces together.

To show the various lengths of the necklace--going from choker length,
to 18 inches, to 22 inches for the longest one.

So, perhaps I went a little overboard....  Even so, I regret nothing!  :)

I am having so much fun, playing around with such pretty beads!  Who knows what I'll come up with next!  ;)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday's Table

This week's table might not be very colorful, but it is very cool!

(Silly sidenote: I'm making up the color deficit with another project that I'm working on--more on that in the weeks to come!)

Anyway!  Last week, I went fossiling...  so, it stands to reason that this week on my table, I have:


That's right...  fossils.  There are all from the same little patch of park.*

So, what kinds of fossils are these?

Well, my father would know--and does know--the scientific names for them.  As he currently lives in a different state, however, all I can do is generalize--and hope that I don't sound too silly.

There are two general types of fossils that I found: shells and bryozoans.

Here's what they look like:

Look!  Shell fossils.

These are large bryozoans...

...And these are smaller bryozoans.

What do I plan on doing with these?  Oh, the possibilities are endless!  

Right now I'm thinking of wire-wrapping the little ones and making a charm bracelet with them.  Or possibly earrings--but I need to make sure they aren't too heavy.

The large bryozoans I'm thinking about wire-wrapping and using for hairstick toppers.  ...Or pendants.  ...Or cool attachments for bookmarks.  I have actually done all three!

See?  Here is the fossil-topper I put on a hairstick.
I made this about a year and a half ago.

Oh, look!  Here it is again!

And, because I don't have a picture of either the pendants or the
bookmarks, here is another shot of the hairstick.  Even though I was still
new to wire-wrapping, I think that it turned out really, really well.

So, there you have it!  Fossils on my table...  and the possibilities are endless!


Have any suggestions on what I can make with these wonderful fossils?  They don't have to be jewelry related--I'm not above putting them in some cool glass containers and decorating the apartment with them!  :D


* - In case you're wondering, this is one of the parks that allows fossil hunters to poke around.  At least, as far as I know.  So, hurray for legally obtained fossils!  :D