Monday, December 31, 2007

Good bye, 2007!

Well, this has certainly been an eventful year! It's been a year for change and progress... Lots of changes over at my website, Chris losing his job and starting his own business, my various attempts to take my business in new directions, studying Chinese, etc etc. I think that 2008 is going to be even more exciting, though, so I am looking forward to it!

Just for fun, I think I'll post a list of my goals for 2008, and in a year, we can revisit that list and see how I did! This list is in no particular order, of course.

1. Move into a house. Okay, this is quite literally number 1. I hate my apartment, and Chris is finally on the same page with me on our need to move on.

2. Do at least one Faerie Festival or Fantasy Convention or some such. I've got to stop relying entirely on my website to generate business. And while we're on that topic...

3. Open an Etsy shop. This is the first 2008 goal that I'm likely to fulfill. Watch this blog for more news on that!

4. Explore new-to-me materials and techniques. I want to increase the variety in my selection. I've already started that with the addition of Earthenwood Studios beads and pendants (which you'll start to see in my next update), but I hope to do even more expansion in 2008.

5. Do more polymer work. I've barely touched my clay supplies all year. This is another one that I'll probably get to early in the year -- maybe even starting on the 2nd.

6. Get published in at least one bead magazine. I've made some attempts in that area this past year, but in the coming year I'm going to put a lot more effort into it.

7. Network. I worry that I've become too insular. I need to make more friends and business contacts, and spend more time communicating with the ones I already have.

8. Dance. I haven't danced in months, and I really miss it. One problem is that sometimes I get bored just dancing for myself and/or Chris. I know I'll never dedicate the time to being a professional dancer, but it would be nice to find a few opportunities to dance for other people. Whether this turns into dancing for my friends, or the residents of a senior center, or dancing like a madwoman in my front yard, the change would still be nice.

9. Organize my time better. I have a lot of hobbies, and I can't seem to find the time to juggle all of them AND the things that I have to do (stupid housework). I know that there are people out there who do even more than I'm trying to do, and they're serving as my inspiration. In 2008, I will waste less time and accomplish more things.

10. Various and sundry personal goals. These are all too private to post about here on my blog where the whole wide world can read them. However, there are a lot of little things about myself that I'm dissatisfied with. Things I've never learned or accomplished, personality flaws that hamper my social life, that sort of thing. I hope that by the end of 2008 I'll be a better, more well-rounded, happier person than I am at the end of 2007.

Everyone be safe tonight, and I'll see you in the new year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Oh, hey, look... a blog!

I've been back since Wednesday night, and I am just now sitting down to blog. The past week has been busy, busy, busy! I had a great time dogsitting and a wonderful visit with family in CA. It was especially nice to reconnect with my aunt and uncle whom I hadn't seen in over 10 years. And weird to see my cousins, who are now all grown up with kids of their own. They're all older than me, so I don't think of them as kids, per se, but it's still weird when almost all of your cousins are parents. Better them than me!

On the way home from CA, we stopped at a bead store in Quartzite... It was disappointingly overpriced, so I didn't get any beady souvenirs of my trip. At least my Dad and little brother brought me back a plush dragon from Magic Mountain, so I'm not entirely souvenir-less.

Wednesday night was spent at our friend Alex's new place, playing Apples to Apples with our friends and his friends who were in town for the holidays. Good times all around -- we had so much fun that we went and bought our own box of Apples to Apples.

Yesterday was errands, and lots of them. Late holiday shopping, grocery shopping, that sort of thing. I indulged in my not-so-secret addiction... Wrapping supplies. I just love wrapping paper, ribbon, bows and tags. The artist in me delights in coming up with different combinations when I wrap. That's what I've been up to today! My family celebrates on New Year's Day, and we're hosting... So I figured I'd better do all the wrapping today so I could have time to clean up all the mess before Tuesday! Of course, I also have to wrap all the late Channukah/Christmas presents for Chris's family. I still have 7 gifties to wrap (and one more to buy and wrap for Chris!), but I desperately needed a break. Only so long I can bend over the table cutting paper.

Aside from the ornaments, I have barely beaded at all this past week... blah. Gotta remedy that this weekend!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I am a lazy blogger!

Sorry about the lack of posts lately, I've really been caught up in everything I've been doing... which for the most part, has been hibernating. Stupid Winter! Why must you make me so sleepy?

Anyway, I'm running late for dog sitting, again, due to hibernating. I'll be back on Saturday... and after that, we'll just have to hope that I have WiFi in CA!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Not entirely a vacation....

Recently, I've been unable to find all kinds of things. It's starting to annoy me. As such, one of my goals for my vacation is to do some serious tidying up and de-cluttering of this apartment. Of course, with dog sitting and CA coming up, it'll probably turn into a project for the between-semesters vacation as a whole, as opposed to this little break. Still, I'm going to get some of it done tonight and maybe tomorrow.

Another thing that I want to do is break out the polymer. I still haven't used my PearlEx powders yet... and I got them back in May! Plus I've barely used the cool tools that I got last holiday season. I'd like to make some gifts for a couple of people... Though nothing as involved as last year's Octopus from Hell. That's not something I'm likely to ever repeat. I was thinking about a cuttlefish, though. Freaky looking things that they are, they'd be interesting to make in clay. I saw a lampwork at To Bead True Blue in February who had cuttlefish, but I bought a dragon from them instead.

And I want to find time to DANCE! I miss dancing. This is good weather for it, as it's even cool enough during the day to do so, which means I don't have to wait until late at night.

With all of these plans, what have I actually been doing? Playing Guild Wars. I am so lazy.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

And now, I am closed!

Erthe Fae Designs is now closed for the holidays. You can still buy things, but I will not be sending your order out until the 27th at the earliest. I have dog-sitting and a trip to CA to see family coming up, so I can't even really consider in-person delivery if you're in Tucson. The next ten days are just too chaotic!

I've been playing with my Earthenwood beads. I had trouble yesterday with not being able to match seed beads to the glazes... but tonight I strung a cute necklace with a pixie face. I'll definitely work on more things during my little holiday vacation, so that I can have a great update when I get back.

Due to the above-mentioned sitting and traveling, blog posts will of course be sporadic! Hopefully our hotel in CA will have Wi-Fi!

Oh yes, and congratulations to Britany M. for winning the holiday ornament drawing! Yay!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Sale Run-Down.

Here's your quick and easy guide to the various Erthe Fae Designs holiday promotions.

All orders must be placed by 11:59PM MST tomorrow night to be mailed before the holidays. All such orders will be mailed on Monday, the 17th, and will receive a free upgrade to insured Priority mail. This only applies to US orders. It is far too late for International orders to arrive in time for Christmas -- but I will mail them anyway if you place them.

Use code lastmin for 15% off of your total order. And if your order is $50 or more, you can say "Ornament me!" in the comments section of the PayPal cart to receive a free 30mm beaded holiday ornament. Also, all orders, regardless of size, will be entered into a drawing for a large beaded ornament. The drawing will be held before I go to bed tomorrow, and the ornament will be mailed out on Monday.

After tomorrow, items will not begin shipping again until the 27th or later. Also, I will only be adding new items to the Gallery. I'm looking forward to having a little time to bead a few things for myself!

It's a beautiful day here in Tucson... I hope you're all having a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Beads, beads, I love 'em I need 'em...

(Ok, so the original song is about brains. I can take a little liberty, right?)

I managed to get down to the Post Office today and finally get my hot little hands on my box of Earthenwood Beads. They're all gorgeous and I can't wait to make things with them. I always love it when I can add a new artist's beads to my selection, and when it's a new medium, even better!

I've got hearts, robots, skulls, faeries and so much more. This is going to be great!

Today I also had to break down and buy some new Fall clothes. Dear Fashion Designers: Please stop trying to make me wear ugly 70s-inspired designs made out of cheap fabric. I'm rather image conscious and I know what looks good on me. I also know what won't last more than 3 trips through the washer and dryer. I'm not going to waste money on garbage and I'd really like to be able to buy some tops other than plain long-sleeved tees. Thank you, that is all.

Oh yes, and as it turns out, Lebanese food wasn't quite as exciting as I hoped. It was tasty, but the nearby Greek place offers similar fare in a larger variety and a nicer ambiance, for about the same price. Still, it's good to try new things, and beef shawarma is quite delicious.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stupid Post Office

As I've mentioned, this has been a somewhat crummy week. As such, I was really looking forward to receiving my package o' beads and using them to make beautiful things. Today I went out to the mailbox, certain that my beads would be there. And what did I find instead? An orange "sorry we missed you" slip. I would like to point out four problems with this:

1: The package would probably fit in my mailbox.
2: If not, there are two boxes for packages, and they were not in use.
3: It's a beautiful day and it's not very far to walk from the mailbox to my apartment and give me my package!
4: I was home all day, so they can't claim they missed me.

So now, instead of having fun beads to play with, I get to go to the PO tomorrow -- 11 days before Christmas -- and wait in line to get my package. This means that I will not be able to include anything with these new beads in tomorrow's update. Maybe I'll just update on Sunday and have a super last-minute buy these now for the holidays post. How does that sound?

Speaking of Last Minute, you can use code lastmin for 15% off your order until December 16th. It's not too late to shop! All items will be mailed by Dec 17th, and I will upgrade them to Priority to try to make sure they arrive on time.

Gotta leave for my Chinese final in 1 1/2 hours. I'm unsure on how well I'll do -- it all depends on what words are on the test. There are some that I know as well as English now, and some which just won't stick in my head. However, my grade so far is really high, so I can afford to miss a few things and still get an A. As such, I refuse to stress about this test... I'm stressing about too many other things!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Some New Earrings!

I just added these pretty earrings, called Sea Gems, to the website. More items will be coming later this week -- probably Friday. Don't forget that this weekend is the deadline to place holiday orders! I'll be making one last trip to the Post Office on Monday the 17th and then possibly not again until the New Year.

Today it is cold and wet and rainy. There's even snow up on the mountains. It's really good weather for beading, but unfortunately my muse has been stubborn and silent all week (still sulking over the missing pendant, I think), so I'm doing laundry instead. This is not good laundry weather, by the way. It's also not good going to Chinese class weather, but that's what I'll be doing in a little over an hour. This is the penultimate class!

My package o' beads still hasn't arrived. I'm hoping for tomorrow, that way I can come up with a nice project using new beads to take to the game, and then I can have it done in time for the update on Friday.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Update delayed.

Today has not been a very great day. I won't bore you with the details. One thing that I will say is that my site keeps temporarily going down, which does not make me happy. It also makes it difficult to update.

This week's update is getting pushed back a day or two, while I deal with obnoxious real life stuff and study for my final. Thank you for your patience!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Street Fair and Studying.

It wasn't raining today, so we went to the Street Fair. It looked like a couple of vendors had packed it up and left after yesterday's bad weather, but most were still there. It was a cold, overcast day, but the walking kept it bearable until the end, when a chill wind started to blow.

I was sad to see that a few vendors who I like to shop with weren't there, but there were still a lot of nice things. I kept myself on a tight reign and only made a couple of purchases this time! I found someone selling stained glass bracelets for 3/$20, so Chris helped me pick out three really pretty ones. And I bought some simple blue-green niobium earrings. When I was a teen I found I could no longer wear earrings. Many people had recommended that I try niobium, so today I finally decided to. These earrings were pretty, but affordable enough that I wouldn't feel bad if I couldn't wear them, and the vendor had enough cool stuff to make me really want to wear earrings again! Anyway, I've been wearing these all afternoon and though it hurt at first, I can barely feel them now. Yay! Earrings, how I've missed thee!

My favorite thing that I saw, but did not buy (because it was $550!) was a painted woodblock image of a medusa's head. The snakes were all different colors, and layered and intertwined. It was seriously awesome. Although I'm afraid of snakes, I really love medusae and it can be hard to find good artistic interpretations of them.

Anyway, prior to popping on to blog I was busy studying for my Chinese final. I'm just worried that all of the words that I've forgotten will be on the test! Seriously, when am I going to need to say dorm?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sparkle Saturday Sale!

Bah. It's raining. As such, I'm not at the Street Fair. Stupid rain! Couldn't it have waited a little while? I really feel bad for the vendors, who are surely stuck out there with no customers. Many of these sellers come from around the country. Of course, I suppose that's the risk you take when you do an outdoors show. In December.

But! Enough of that! As hinted at last night, today I am having a sale! It's the Sparkle Saturday Sale! All Crystal Bracelets are 20% off... Thus bringing their usual $50 price tag down to $40. I have a great selection of beautiful colors. These bracelets make a wonderful gift, and they're also perfect to wear to swanky holiday soirées. Pick one to match your favorite party dress and watch the compliments flow! Just use code "sparkle" to receive the discount, or use this handy link. Remember that all of my jewelry is unique, so if you see one you like, grab it now!

This sale will run until midnight my time, which is 2am EST. All orders placed today will be mailed Monday!

Friday, December 07, 2007

The weekend ahead.

I still can't find that misplaced pendant. I was carrying it around with my traveling bead projects for a while, so I'm worried that I may have lost it someplace. I'm going to come up with something else to work on instead and hope that it just pops up in an unexpected spot.

Got a bit of a busy weekend ahead of me. A member of our gaming group is moving out of state and is having his going-away party tomorrow. Before the party, we're going to the 4th Avenue Street Fair. I really love the Street Fair, it's so full of awesome arts, crafts, and imports. Supposedly I'm going out there to do holiday shopping, but I always find more to buy for myself than for anyone else. We've also got to run some errands, but who wants to talk about that?

I think I'm going to have a special one-day sale tomorrow or Sunday. I do love sales, don't you?

And if the Post Office is kind to me, I'll have new beads tomorrow! Woohoo! That ought to distract me from the stupid missing pendant.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Crammity Cram Cram!

I was under the mistaken impression that the skit that we'd slaved over for the past couple months was our final for Chinese... As it turns out, we have a test that serves as our final in a week. So I'm going to need to study a lot for that. Gotta make myself remember all those odd words that I learned near the start of the semester and haven't used since. After that, though, it's over a month until Chinese 102 starts. I fully intend to use most, if not all, of that free time to bead like a madwoman.

Last night I unfortunately did not bead. An annoying thing happened to me. You may remember that sometime back, I wanted to make a necklace with a pendant that I'd purchased at the Sept show, but I didn't have the right shade of orange seed bead. So when I ordered seeds a couple weeks ago, I picked up several likely oranges. Thus, last night I went to get all of the beads for that project together. I was ready to finally complete something that had been floating in my mind for months. Guess what? I can't find the pendant ANYWHERE! I looked everyplace that it should be, could be, and probably wouldn't be, but I was there so I looked anyway. I'm so frustrated! I have no idea where it is! By the time I gave up I didn't have time to pick out another project, so I just spent the night being annoyed and practicing Chinese instead. At least that helped me do good on today's test...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hot Earrings!

I made half a dozen pairs of earrings today, but only had time to put two of them up on the site. The rest will be part of next week's update. The new additions are Fireball (seen above) and Rhapsody.

The Fireball earrings are perfectly coordinated to Phoenix Feathers... The Sun crystals are one of the 4 colors used in the necklace, and the crackled glass is the same hue as one of the other crystal colors. And they're made with gold-filled findings, to compliment the gold-accented button clasp.

... my cat Lira has just decided that my photography backdrop is the perfect place to lie and take a bath. Never mind that there's a whole rest of the apartment for her to be in. *sigh* I'd better go chase her off and hide the cloth.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

So good to be done!

Tonight was skit performing night at Chinese class! Almost everyone did a great job. I messed up a bit on a couple of lines, but over all I'm pretty happy with how our skit went, too. The skits didn't take all night, so we also had a nice time chatting with our classmates before we buckled down and studied. Previously there hasn't been too much talking in class, because we've all been a little focused and insular, but everyone was nervous about our skits, it seems, so afterwards we were all relieved to be done and feeling more open. Anyway, we have another week and a half or so of class, with two more tests (one for the last chapter and one for the semester as a whole), but the skit was the big thing I was worried about!

The above necklace is Sacred Grove, which you may have already seen yesterday. I've entered it in Art Bead Scene's December contest. The theme is All Wrapped Up and the idea is to combine art beads with fiber... However, they've deemed that beading thread counts as a fiber, so any beadwoven piece with an art bead qualifies. Needless to say, I have a lot of jewelry that qualifies. The prize is a beautiful mix of wintry white ceramic pendants and beads by Gaea, and gorgeous fibers picked out by Melanie of Earthenwood Studio, so if you have any jewelry that qualifies, you should definitely enter, too! And if you don't, you should just keep an eye on the entries. I can't wait to see what Art Bead Scenes other very talented readers submit.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to do that earring update... Though I also have to do all of the homework that I ignored while I was memorizing the skit!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Phoenix Feathers!

Well, I didn't get the website updated until almost 9pm because I wanted to finish Phoenix Feathers -- I think it was worth it! I love this necklace! Not only does it look nice on the black neckboard, but it is absolutely stunning on a neck. The fringes are long enough to really have some presence, without requiring you to wear a top that's TOO low cut.

Today's other new addition is Sacred Grove. I had hoped to have some earrings done today, too, but then I wouldn't have updated until 10. So right now the plan is that I will make some earrings tomorrow, and post them on Wednesday. This will be a double update week, because, after all, Christmas is coming.

Speaking of Christmas and other Winter Holidays, I will not be shipping anything after the 17th, so the ordering deadline is the 16th. I'm going to California for Christmas, so I probably will not be shipping again until at least the 27th... That means that if you want something to wear on New Year's Eve, you should also order by the 16th.

I'm now officially in the holiday mood, because while I was editing photos and updating the site, I was also listening to A Very Scary Solstice by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society. Good times, good times.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Just taking a little break from working on Phoenix Feathers. Those of you reading this who are beaders know the importance of resting your eyes and shoulders to avoid straining them both. The rest of you probably know that it's easy to find an excuse to go update your blog... LOL.

As I'm working on this necklace, I keep thinking of the story Sunbird by Neil Gaiman, and how I should really make Chris read all of the good stories in Fragile Things. And how I really ought to read more in general. Other than bead magazines, I haven't read anything since my dog-sitting weekend.

Memorization of the Chinese skit is coming along pretty well. I'll be glad to have that done so I can move on to worrying about getting ready for the holidays. Today we had some fun and got silly, reading it "with feeling." It's kind of hard to act in Chinese, since it's a tonal language, you have to be careful not to use the same sort of tone that you would to emphasize something in English. Also, it's hard to act when you're just trying to remember what you're supposed to be saying -- as has been proven by numerous movie and TV show outtakes where the actors flub their lines and totally fall out of character.

My Topher-cat is sitting in my beading spot. I suppose I should go ruin his night by making him move. He looks so cute and content!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It's COLD in here!

I'm blogging from the game store on my laptop. I got elected to stay behind and guard our stuff while everyone else goes out to get food. They've got an auction going on, so they've got the back door open so people who are outside smoking can hear what's going on. I really wish I had brought a jacket! At least I've got my awesome spiderweb arm warmers to keep my hands cozy. Mmmm.

Phoenix Feathers is now in the works! I don't think I'll finish it tonight, but probably tomorrow. I think it'll turn out pretty nicely.

More tomorrow, I can't think with this other group chatting away.