Friday, May 31, 2013

Jewelry and Archaeology and... Meteors?

Every once and awhile, my far-flung interests connect in interesting ways.

Like, yesterday, for instance.  I found a news story that connected my love for archaeology (in this case, Egyptology), astronomy, and jewelry.

Apparently, studies have shown that the ancient Egyptians created jewelry from meteorites.

A Leonid meteor, seen in the 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower
Photo from Wikipedia

How cool is that?!  Honestly.

And not just the fact that they used meteorites in their jewelry, but we now have the technology to actually test that.

We live in such a richly fascinating world.


And, speaking of ancient cultures and jewelry, the History Blog Hop reveal is tomorrow!  Stop by to see what I created, using ancient Mesopotamia as inspiration!  :D

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Some of This Week's Shinies...

...Also wanted to share a few of the listings I've posted this week.

Just for fun.

And because, after doing some kumihimo, I'm tackling that To Do List of Doom, and feeling much more capable of getting things done.

So! I present:

Lady Copper-Smith

Hairsticks made with ceramic focal beads and copious amounts of copper.

I also made/listed two matching pairs of earrings...

A pair made with the purple/blue ceramic focal beads:

...And a pair that echoes the dangle of the hairstick:

All in all, I am very pleased with this set... I've had those hammered copper dangles for years, and it is incredibly rewarding to do something (finally!) with them.

...I think I'm going to go do some more cord-braiding now.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Kumihimo Break

When I started today, I had a huge list of things that I wanted to do--plans and goals and expectations.

...Instead, I did this:

That?  Is my first venture into the world of kumihimo, a type of Japanese cord-braiding that is becoming quite popular amongst us crafting types.

It was repetitive and relaxing... simple motions, really, but all the more profound because of it. 

And it was beautiful.

Indeed, it was a very welcome respite from my growing To Do List of Doom--a chance to play and create and learn. I am coming to grips with the fact that I'm tired and burned out... but there are still cool things to learn, and happy things to play with.

I am sure there will be more kumihimo in the future.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I am Grateful...

Recently, I have been feeling very frazzled, very off-balance, very stressed.  

I'm honestly not even sure why; the amount that I'm doing hasn't actually increased. It just feels overwhelming, and like I cannot fully tackle it all. It is very hard not to feel discouraged and disheartened right now... and the self-doubt is rather stifling. 

And so, I am grateful for my husband and my friends.

They remind me to slow down, and enjoy some tea.

I supplied the tea; my friend supplied the strawberry scones.

They help me see the beauty of travel.

Absolutely beautiful day in downtown Cincinnati

...And they help me appreciate simple things.

Tree-shadows dancing on my craft room shades.

I have every confidence that this feeling of frazzled stress will pass... 

And I am immensely, amazingly grateful for those who are making even this time beautiful and blessed.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shining Silmaril Sale!

It's Sale time!

In honor of Memorial Day, I am running a sale at my side-store, Shining Silmarils.

Until June 1st, use the coupon code MEMORIAL2013 for 20% off your total purchase!

Purple Stardust

Orange Rose

Mermaid's Finery

Dew and Rose

Number 9

I realize that, with all of my work on the Songbirds reveal--as well as blog hops and, well, life--I have neglected my poor side-store for awhile...  

So, I wanted to show it some love!  :) 


P.S.  I am actually in the planning process of re-imaging this particular store--including a new name.  While I absolutely love calling these pendants Silmarils (yay geeky connection!), I really want to connect them to my own story and my own intellectual property, instead of piggy-backing on Tolkien's success.

Soooo... poll time!!

Any suggestions for a new name?  :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

In Which I Turn into a Squealing Fangirl - Part 2

As I've gotten more involved in the beading community, I have been trying--as funds allow--to buy some handmade components to go in my creations. After all, there are so many incredibly talented artists out there!

And, well, yeah...  The inevitable has happened.  I've turned into a squealing fangirl.

In my defense, though, these artists are so cool. That is why this blog series is dedicated to sharing some of their work... well, that, and because I want the opportunity to babble. What can I say--I'm excited! :)

~ --- ~ --- ~ --- ~ --- ~

Today's Artist

Today's artist, I found through this year's Bead Soup Blog Hop... because she was my partner.

Introducing: Marianne Baxter!  (Her shop is here.)

Close up of Ocean Sunset --
a fused glass pendant without the clear glass topping,
so the colors are particularly vibrant.

Sooo...  yeah. 

After getting the chance to use her lovely work in my Bead Soup 2013 creations (the pieces are here, if you haven't gotten a chance to see them), I realized that I wanted to play more with glass pendants.

On a whim, I went to Marianne's website and found that she had added more items to her inventory...  and that some of her pendants--the ones that I had been drooling over--were on sale.

On sale!

After some careful financial debating, I decided not to buy all the pendants (oh, I wanted to)...  Instead, I settled on three.

These three:

From left to right:
Blues Pendant
Ocean Sunset Pendant
Grass is Greener Pendant

From the pictures, I knew that they were going to be lovely--and I was not disappointed. When the package arrived, I did a dance... And then promptly took pictures of my own, because that's what I do.

They are gorgeous and shiny and exactly what I wanted!

Blues Pendant

I picked this pendant because of the shifting green and blue shades--it matches practically half of my wardrobe.  I also have been toying with the idea of possibly turning it into a gift... If I can bear to part with it, that is!  :)

Grass is Greener Pendant

This was actually the first of Marianne's pendants that I fell in love with, when I was introduced to her as my Bead Soup partner.  Purple and green--amazingly textured...  



Ocean Sunset Pendant

This pendant is bigger and bolder than the others.  I picked it because I love the juxtaposition of the complementary colors--and because that blue is simply gorgeous.  

Marianne pointed out that it doesn't have a clear glass layer on top--which makes the fused glass vibrant and, honestly, quite stunning. 

And that means lots of close-up pictures!  :)


And, once again, here are all of the pendants together:

So, I realize that I might be addicted to glass pendants.

A little.

...Okay, a lot.

As for what I'm going to do with them, I am fairly certain that I'm not going to leave them on their simple chains.  That's not because they aren't gorgeous the way that they are, but just because I want to play with them.

Of course, when I'm done creating, I'll be sure to post pictures here! 

And so, there you go!  Yet another talented artist, and yet more beautiful shinies to make me smile!

~ --- ~ --- ~ --- ~ --- ~

And, for those interested in such things--no, Marianne did not pay me or bribe me to write this entry.  Not at all.  I'm just really, really like her work, and wanted to share.

After all, this blog is, in part, my chronicle of happy things...  And, to me, these pendants are happy things!  :D

Friday, May 24, 2013

Today's Ladybugs...

Soooo...  want to guess what color today's ladybugs are?

Here's a hint:

...Granted, that's not so much of a "hint" as an "outright showing of the answer."

Ah well.

Anyway! As you probably guessed, today's ladybugs--the final ladybugs of the week--are green!

Thoughts of Friendship - Green Ladybug Earrings

Thoughts of Friendship - Green Ladybug Hairpin


And, for fun, here are some more pictures of all the hairpins, together.

I must admit, I really enjoyed working on these bright little buggies...  Simple, colorful, and happy!

Thank you for joining me in Ladybug Week...  Silly, perhaps, but it made me smile.

Have a nice weekend, everyone!  :D

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Today's Ladybugs...

...are Purple!

Thoughts of Friendship - Purple Ladybug Earrings

Thoughts of Friendship - Purple Ladybug Hairpin

Of course there are purple Ladybugs...  Purple is my favorite color!

(And, well, I have actually blogged about them before... but we're overlooking that fact for the purpose of this reveal. *grin*)

One more color to go!

Another Blog Hop!

...This one to be revealed on June 1st!

The theme?


The Details:
This History Hop is being hosted by the remarkably talented Leah Curtis, of the Beady Eyed Bunny Blog. She gave us a list of different ancient cultures to choose from--ancient cultures from all around the world. The goal is to research that culture, and make something that is inspired by it and reflects the area. Then, on June 1st, we all share what we created.


I signed up for Mesopotamia.

The Jewellery Maker by Gyula Tornai. Source Wikimedia.
Text added by Leah Curtis

...And I am so ridiculously excited.

Seriously.  I have already made two pieces, and will probably end up making more. Because, ancient cultures! The Anthropologist in me is going nuts. I have an excuse to do research and make pretty things.

And re-read the Christmas present I got two years ago.

So, yay!

Come back on the 1st to see what I've made!  :D

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ladybug Week!

It's Ladybug Week!

Well, okay, maybe that's not an actual official thing.  But for me, it is!  

...Just go with it.

Anyway. The reason that I have declared this as Ladybug Week is simply because I have four different colors of ladybug earrings/hairpins that I'm posting to my store this week.  I've been revealing one color per day, and so far I've listed two of them.

There are blue ladybugs:

Thoughts of Friendship - Blue Ladybug Earrings

Thoughts of Friendship - Blue Ladybug Hairpin

 And there are yellow ladybugs:

Thoughts of Friendship - Yellow Ladybug Earrings

Thoughts of Friendship - Yellow Ladybug Hairpin

What will the other two colors be, you ask?  

You'll just have to come back to find out!  :)

(Hint: neither one of them is red.  Not that I have anything against red ladybugs; I just couldn't find matching charms in that color, oddly enough.)