Thursday, August 31, 2006

NY Beads -- Just a taste

Yesterday was spent shopping in NYC. We found the bead district, and my oh my did we find a lot of cool beads. A lot of it was fancy cut stones way out of my price range, but I still found some awesome and affordable stuff. I even found a good source for coins for dancing stuff, woohoo! I'll do a full report later, I have to find names and particulars and all that. Suffice it to say that I got a lot of nice focals, and I lucked into a 98 cent sale on some Czech glass strands. Mmm.

After that it was on to Chinatown! We went to a store called Pearl River where we bought a ton of really cool stuff, including the cute blouse that I'm wearing today, more Pocky, and condiment dishes, which I use for beading. Oh, and many a chopstick for my hair.

All that shopping left us quite hungry, so we set out to find a restaurant. We happened into a place called Singapore Cafe, which claimed to have the best Chinese food in NYC. I don't know about that, but our food was excellent and affordable. The restaurant was very clean, the people were nice, and they had our food on the table almost unbelievably fast.

A few little things... Kumihimo is a great train project. I got a lot done on my latest cord between the trip there and back. And all that stuff about NYers being rude? Not true. Anytime we looked lost, someone offered us directions, and we even had a couple of people holding doors for us.

Oh yes, and the sun finally came out today. Hurray!

Monday, August 28, 2006

It's still raining O_O

Normally, I'm the sort of person who packs for every eventuality. This year I felt really rushed and harried when it was time to prepare for this trip, so I just packed for the weather I expected. Boy, was that a mistake! It's still cool and wet here. Every morning I wake up to rain, and the day stays grey. Today is shaping up to be more of the same. I hope it will clear up tomorrow. I really want to continue my bead shopping adventure!

I will be in NY for one more week. Tonight we're having a big dinner to see a lot of family friends, should be fun.

In the meantime, I've got to eat breakfast and get ready for the day's activities!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Spontaneous gem show

Today's weather is looking better than yesterday's, so hopefully we're done with tornados for now.

After the flooding subsided yesterday, we went out for an afternoon of shopping. Our first stop was an Asian market. Imagine someplace the size of your usual supermarket. Now imagine that in addition to all of the stuff you get at Albertsons or whatnot, there is a ton of imported Asian food, such as Pocky and rosehip tea. Oh, and Asian dishes and such, too. We went crazy. By the way, the rosehip tea drink tastes incredible.

Now imagine that this supermarket has a food court. A food court which has a typical Chinese food place, a sushi place, and a bun place. Now imagine that these buns cost $.70 to 1.00 each. NOW imagine that you have the extreme fortune to get fresh baked pork buns. Man oh man was my lunch incredible! If this market was in Tucson, I would have buns for lunch every day.

After that we went to my favorite store in the entire world, Utopia. This place is like a Goth/hippie/alternative lifestyle department store. They have clothes, incense (including an awesome brand that I can't seem to find in Tucson), weapons, collectables, weapons, body piercing and tattoo shops, music, and apparently an adult store and smoke shop downstairs. Their regular-priced clothes are a bit out of my usual range, but I love their clearance sales. Yesterday I got a black skirt with a sequined brocade waistband and green velvet pants with embroidered cuffs for $10 each!

Ok, I got sidetracked. Today we're going to a gem show that is listed in the newspaper. No idea how big or good it will be, but it's had to resist a gem show. I'll be sure to post if I find anything of great niftiness. At this rate, by the time I get into NYC next week, I won't have any money left for the wholesale bead places! And to think, I have gem and bead shows to go to within a week of getting home to AZ!

Anyone out there want to buy some jewelry? ;)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Rain, rain, go away!

Sorry I've been so quiet, I've been running all over the place in NY instead of updating my blog.

Today was supposed to be the day that we finally went into NYC for some bead shopping and Chinatown. Well, that was before it started pouring rain and they started announcing tornado warnings! *cue scene of AJ freaking out* We're now hoping to go in there sometime early next week.

Not sure if we'll get out at all today, what with the weather, so I'm sitting here all Gothed up with no place to go ;)

Been having a lot of fun out here, went to a butterfly enclosure yesterday, that was a lot of fun. They also do wildlife rehabilitation and they had two bald eagles! Wow! Beautiful birds. I really fell in love with a chinchilla that was there (I don't know if he was being rehabilitated or what). I had no idea they were so active and CUTE!

Oh well. Back to listening to the rain and watching SciFi channel. Might dig some beads out to pass the time, too.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

NY Bead Shopping -- Part 1

My NY bead shopping adventure started yesterday. My mother-and-law and I set out with a list of shops and a game plan to start at the farthest end and work our way back. Good thing, too, because the first store we went to would have already been closed if we'd done it the other way around.

I'll have to fill in names and locations later, but we started out with a store in a business district. Not the most visible location, but the store was sizable and my gosh, did they have vintage! Several tables of loose vintage beads, ranging from ten to forty cents each. I went wild. I found some really cool stuff, like wild Japanese lampwork, two-hole butterfly shape beads, and about a dozen different styles of nifty green beads.

After that it was onwards to a small but nice store with lots of stone beads and a little bit of other stuff. The prices were very good for a retail bead store, so I actually picked up a couple of things that caught my eye, including some pretty blue briolettes. I also got a cool pewter dragonfly clasp and some pewter chandelier findings.

We tried to go to another store next, one that we'd visited last year, only to discover that they're closed on Mondays. Bummer! We're probably going there today.

Our last stop for the day was a personal favorite, Ace Handicrafts. This is a craft store with an ever-growing bead selection. I always find new and unusual things there, and this year was no exception. I picked up all kinds of cool glass beads, some pretty abalone top-drilled beads, and a few nice sterling clasps. Also, my MIL gifted me with a lovely Venetian lampwork leaf faerie :)

At all three bead stores we found friendly employees and owners. Definitely a pleasant day.

I'll be sure to take some pictures after today's shopping.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm in NY!

I'm sitting here in my mother-in-law's den, just loving my laptop. How did I ever live without this baby? I'm even almost used to the little keyboard and the touchpad already. Not sure I'd want to play a video game without a real mouse, though ;)

The weather is beautiful, in the 80s and a little humid. It's a nice change from 90s and humid.

I've been beading away on my very purple necklace. Base row is finished, and after I eat breakfast -- yes, I do my 'net stuff before I eat, I am a sad little geek -- I'll add the clasp and start on the fun part: embellishing!

Then later today it should be Long Island bead shopping for me, and then tomorrow, beads in NYC! WOOHOO!

Oh yes, as an update on the web page situation, my domain has been re-registered, there's a little mix-up to take care of with that (my former webhost registered it under their business name, not mine as they told me they would, grar!) and then we have to find a new, more reliable webhost. You know, one that won't randomly go out of business without telling me. I do already have some recommendations, so I need to see which of those will best fit my needs. Hopefully we'll get that done sometime this week, maybe Wednesday as we don't have any plans then.

My site content, however, will not return until after I get home, as we didn't have time to transfer it over to the laptop before we left.

Onward to breakfast and beads!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Running out of time

Just a quick pre-bed post. I am one tired little beader.

Tomorrow (technically today, but of course I haven't slept yet) is my last day at home before 2 weeks in NY. I get to spend the day packing and running errands and making sure that everything is tidy-ish before I leave. Such fun! I have so much I need to take care of, and I know some of it just won't get done.

I probably will not get to post any new jewelry pics before I leave. I am working on a very purple necklace to go with a very purple skirt. I'll try to get a decent pic of it while I'm in NY.

I'm still trying to decide what all jewelry projects I will take with me on my trip.

Yesterday I received a very pleasant surprise in the mail. A friend read my hairstick post and sent me a ton of beautiful sticks for my beading pleasure. Wait until you see these babies! Carol, you rock :D

I should really go sleep now! I'll try to get a post in tomorrow. Updates after that will be sporadic.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Jingle, jingle, jingle

Here is another one of my new beaded anklets. This one is even more jingly than the green one I posted before. I really like these particular bells and I hope to find a good wholesale source for them.

I haven't been beading nearly as much as I would like, as getting ready for my NY trip has kept me busy. Two weeks away from home requires a lot of packing! Plus I have been installing and patching things on the new laptop. I already love it! I can't wait to get a wireless network here at home, so I can be on-line from anywhere, rather than being limited by my 5' spare ethernet cord.

There are a few things that I'd like to get made before I leave, so I should have pictures of those at the end of the week.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I miss my website is still down and may be for some time. This may put a large damper on my plans to reopen on September 15th. It has not, however, stopped me from beading. I just made a cute necklace, but the pictures are bad, so I'm not sharing.

I did get my new laptop today. Hooray!

Tomorrow I shall post some jewelry pics.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Love my mother-in-law

My mother in law just loves to spoil my husband and I. We got a great big box from her today, and upon opening it we found a TON of cool ramen from Asian markets (not the boring Top Ramen). Why did she send us a box of ramen? Because she found a book called "!01 Things to do with Ramen Noodles" and she wanted to make sure we had enough to try them all out.

Now the question remains... where am I going to put all these noodles??? My husband says that the logical answer is that it should go into his belly :)

So my website is down, but at least I have noodles.

Website still down is still down. I've received no word from my supposed webhost.

If I have to change hosts, I will be getting one that actually has a phone number. This is not acceptable.

In other news, today I went to the thrift store and bought something green and shiney which might be a sari. It's soooo pretty!

Look for pictures of finished projects this weekend!

Thursday, August 10, 2006 down

My website is currently down. I do not know how long it will be down for, nor if I will still have all of my content when it comes back.

I am not happy about this. I'm trying to cope by finishing lots of half-done jewelry.

More info will be posted when I have it.

Tassel-riffic Hairsticks

Ok, let's see if I can write this post real fast before blogger's scheduled maintenance!

These are my new hairsticks. They're made with teakwood sticks, Czech pressed glass beads, vintage cut glass beads, and tassels which are made from a blend of acrylic yarn and cotton embroidery floss. They're really cute! I want to make some with bells for dancing, but I figured I'd better leave my every-day ones bell free so I don't jingle with every movement of my head and drive my poor husband crazy.

I plan to make some of these available on my site as well, but only after I find a source for nicer hairsticks. These ones are very unevenly carved, so it's hard to make a matched pair. I do have some other hair accessories planned in the meantime!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

New Pictures!!!

I am so happy with this picture! And this is before investing in any nice backgrounds, or a light tent, or any of that other fancy photo stuff. Things can only get better from here :)

This necklace is a little sneak peek of what to expect in my September 15th update; I'll finally be able to post all of the necklaces I've made with lovely lampwork focals. In this case, we have a focal by Ann "Schermo" Baldwin, accented with ruffles by Joan "Mothwoman" Eckard. I love it when beads from two artists go perfectly together!

For more new photo happiness, please see the Lariats section on my website. My plan is that whenever I'm taking photos, I'll mix it up with some pics of new things, and some new photos of old things. Of course, it's going to take a long time to replace all of my current photos.

I have a lot of ideas for new things, so I should really go get myself into the beadroom and get started. After all, I only have a week and a half until my trip!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Inspiration Strikes!

Earlier this afternoon, I was wondering what sort of project I should take with me to NY. I like to have beadwork to keep me occupied on trips, especially when I'm going to be gone for two weeks. Well, while thinking about what would travel well, I thought of kumihimo (Japanese braiding) and that in turn lead to thinking of some awesome lariats I could make using that and my new found knowledge of tassels. I'll try to make at least one up before vacation.

We just ordered a new laptop last night, so I should have good computer access when I'm in NY. I'm also planning on bringing my digital camera. I'll be able to share pics of any cool beads I find while I'm out there, and also of whatever I make.

I really need to finish that prototype bracelet I was working on before I got distracted by my beaded belt. Curse my short attention span!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Dragon In The Raw

Here's the dragon I've been working on, prior to his trip to the exotic land of oven. He's made with Premo! His eyes are brown cat's eye, and the cab that his tale is wrapped around is... some random cab from a grab bag. Probably some sort of jasper? He's since been baked and patina'd. Now he needs a nice varnish and another trip to the oven, and then he will be ready to sit on my husband's desk.

While yonder wyrm was baking, I learned how to make tassels. I'd been wanting to learn how to make my own, as tassels are a common element in tribal belly dance costumes. I may not have room to sew my own clothes, but at least I can make my own tassels. I have two green ones hanging from my ruler now. I might make more before bed.

As for the source of my recent stress... my husband is employed by a large internet company which restructured this week. We were worried that this restructuring would result in the loss of his job. Well, his position is safe for now, so I can breathe a huge sigh of relief. ::SIGH::

Tonight I booked our plane tickets for our annual visit to the in-laws in NY. I am looking forward to getting out of Tucson for a bit!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Playing catch-up again

Things have been rather strange and uncertain around here lately, so I've been quiet. I don't want my blog to be a realm of drama and moping, after all.

Within the next day or two, I'll have a better idea of what the future will hold, and it will either be back to life as normal, or time for some major changes. Either way, I'll be free to finally talk about things which were previously hush-hush, and that will be a huge relief.

I've been working on several projects, including the bracelet that I mentioned in my last post, a belt that had been sitting unfinished for a year or two, and a polymer dragon sculpture for my husband. I haven't managed to settle down and complete any of them, of course.

Weather here has been weird. Lots of rain, and temps in the 80s and occasional 90s instead of the familiar 110 of July in Tucson. I've been a lot more active with these lower temperatures. I did a ton of re-arranging and cleaning in my beadroom, and as soon as I get a new CD player, it will be able to double as my dance room. No more tripping over my tomcat when I dance!

In addition to a CD player, I'm thinking of picking up a toaster or convection oven for my clay-baking. I could set it up on the back porch and thus not have to worry about heating my apartment up... this is a big concern, since my current dragon will need to bake for about 2 hours!

I'm going to try to stay in blogging mode and not be such a stranger.