Monday, March 31, 2008

Sick again.

I've come down with another cold. Yay, nasal congestion. Since I have some things that I need to do this week, regardless of being sick, I probably won't get around to updating the website.

I did get some good work done on Locked Away last night when I was feeling fine, so I'll probably post it tomorrow.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The end of an era, sort of.

Well, last night the D&D game that I've been playing in for the past three years or so finally came to its conclusion. I was growing a little tired of the system and the story, so I'm glad to have it done. I'm happy to say that the final session was a lot of fun, though, to the point where I actually wished we'd had one or two sessions left, just to carry the fun forward. Nonetheless, it was good that it ended where and when it did, and I'm looking forward to new games on the horizon. I call it the end of an era because it's very likely that I'll never play D&D again. Everyone in the group is really tired of it and far more interested in other systems, and no one wants to upgrade to the new 4th Edition which is coming out this year.

The game was so involved that I actually didn't make my crystal bracelets, which means I'll probably just take them to Wednesday's game and work on them there. Most of my beading at home is going to be focused on my BFAC project. I do have some ideas in mind for necklaces that I might make for the website and Etsy, though.

Not a whole lot else to say right now. I'm eager to get off of the computer and go bead!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Beading Begins -- Locked Away, Part 3

This is the first two evenings of beadwork. I decided to start by bordering both cabs, before I did anything else, and once the two cabs had met in the middle, I branched out a bit. That little green-lined amber line is going to follow the edge of the pendant for a bit, though I think it might run into a strip of bronze bugles along the way...

I really love doing bead embroidery. It's fun to design the piece as I go along. I have a lot of ideas in my head, but nothing is definitely until it's stitched down... and even then, I can undo it if I don't like it.

Unfortunately, I can't really take Locked Away to gaming with me today. The huge palette of beads I'm working with isn't very portable. I could technique just take one or two bead types and focus on those, but then what if I decided I needed something else? I'll have to content myself with an easier, more portable project... and just be ready to get back to Locked Away tomorrow!

Friday, March 28, 2008

So small and fragile.

The desert is green, and there are wildflowers in bloom everywhere. I saw a lot of flowers on the drive to and from the Faire, but I didn't stop for any pictures. Yesterday, however, I was walking back from the mailbox and I was struck by these little-bitty daisy-like flowers that were growing right at the edge of the parking lot.

How small and fragile, I thought to myself. What a tenuous existence. At any moment, one of my neighbors could be walking to or from their car and squash this tiny plant without even noticing. And yet there it is, blooming alongside the asphalt, practically in the shadow of front bumpers.

Flowers are one of the many things that I know nothing about, so I have no idea what sort of plant this is. And I know the picture could be better, but my little view screen is hard to see in the bright, bright sun, so I pointed, zoomed in, and hoped for the best. One day I should really learn how to use my camera, but so far, the results of my inexpert shooting aren't too bad.

This is a post for those out there who think that we don't have seasons in the desert. Our Spring may be short, but it's beautiful. I love this time of year. The sky is so clear, the days are warm with a gentle breeze, and birds call night and day. Soon the palo verde trees will be in bloom, for a short time their branches will be literally covered in little yellow flowers, and then they'll all fall away, to blow around in every breeze. It's an amazing time.

Tomorrow, I'll have more beading to talk about, but today I just wanted to share these tiny blooms.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

All Glued Down -- Locked Away Part 2

I've finally started on Locked Away. Not that I've gotten very far. As you can see, I've drawn the outline of the shape I want for my pendant, and I've glued the two cabochons down. Now it's time to add beads! I'm actually going to get started on that after this post, it will give me something productive to do while Chris plays World of Warcraft. Usually I just bum around on the computer, but I'm trying to cut down on that.

I had to use a silver Sharpie pen to draw my design onto the black EZ Felt. I knew that thing would come in handy eventually! My original plan was to have my father draw it for me, as he can draw neatly and I cannot. I was worried about the symmetry. Then Chris, who is brilliant, pointed out that I could use a template. Wow, did that make sense. I just drew a few half-shapes on the paper until I had one I liked, I cut it out, traced the outline for one half, flipped it over, traced again. Ta da! Symmetry! I glued the cabs down right after, and let them cure for a good long time because I hate the smell of E6000.

In a couple of days, I should have images of actual beading progress.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dancing again.

So, last night I put on my fancy new silk duds and danced a bit. The new skirt is great, so much fuller than anything else I have, and so long that it brushes the ground when I'm barefoot. I'm only about 5'6-7", but most of that is leg, so I'm always thrilled when a skirt is actually floor length on me. And the top and panel skirt are great, but the top is designed to be worn over a coin bra and as such is LOW cut. I definitely need a bra or choli under it before I take any pictures.

After a couple months of not dancing, I've lost some flexibility, range of motion and flow. Definitely got to get back to work on all of that, as well as mastering a wider variety of moves. I'm even thinking of taking actual classes, but that will have to wait a while, as I have a lot of other things on my plate right now. In the meantime, I might pick up a couple more DVDs to supplement the two I have now.

The other thing I did last night was some preliminary work on my 2009 BFAC project, so expect an update post on that tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My day at the Faire.

Ahhh, the Arizona Renaissance Festival. This was my 10th year going. It's been a tradition for Chris and I, ever since it was our first* date. We traditionally go during mid-March to mark our anniversary, but this year we finally decided that from now on we'll go in February. What prompted this decision? It was hot on Sunday. Rumor has it that it was 90! And as you can see, I was not dressed for 90.

Yep, the above is me in my Gothic/Tribal dance clothes, with my little shoulder dragon! This is the same thing that I wore for Halloween (well, I didn't wear the dragon then). You can see the yarn belt that I made, although my yarn hair isn't showing too well. It isn't full enough, I think I need to go buy some more green chenille and add to it. The skirt and the lace top are both thrift store finds, and the choli is something that I asked Mom to make to go with last year's costume. All in all, I feel that it turned out fairly well. A random little girl who was walking by looked up at me and said "You look really pretty" which basically made my day. Plus at one point, a woman grabbed my belt and showed another lady that this is what she was planning on making for herself.

Chris doesn't like me sharing pictures of him, but you can see his shadow in this picture, and see that he is wearing a cool hat. He bought it in NY from a drum vendor that also sells at our Faire. It's a woven straw hat from Africa, with leather accents. They're pretty sturdy and pretty cool looking, and a lot of vendors, employees, and musicians at the Faire also wear them. It was like Chris was part of some secret club... he and another hat-wearer would see each other, and either say "Cool hat!" or give each other the chin**. And two separate people stopped him and asked him where he bought it -- including one guy when we were standing in front of the drum booth!

So, the Faire itself. Other than the hot weather, it was a good time. Not too crowded, but busy enough that you didn't feel bad for the vendors and performers. We caught two shows of the band Tartanic, because we like them that much. We saw the falconry show for the first time, and that was pretty cool. The white-backed vulture decided to go rambling, so I got some pretty close looks at her. What an impressive bird! She was so close that, had I been a stupid person, I could have leaned forward and touched her. And we also saw two different music and dance troupes, which are the highlight of the day for me!

Both troupes had sword dances, which were incredible. I was very impressed at both dancers' ability to balance the blade on their head while doing floorwork, including some serious back-bends. And the first troupe also had a dancer who did fire eating while dancing, which was very cool. Actually, I noticed a lot more fire at the Faire this year, as there was also a whip trick guy whose finale was performing with two flaming Kevlar whips, and more jugglers with fire tricks. I have to wonder if there was some sort of ban lifted or something.

Shopping-wise, I didn't see too much that was wow-inspiring. It was mostly the same things as previous years, and the new vendors weren't too impressive. I did notice that they seem to be down to one maille vendor, and there may have been less leather vendors than usual, too. Some of the vendors that seemed absent really struck me as major productions in the past, but I have to wonder if this bad economy is really hurting them, and perhaps like many bead sellers, they've decided to stay closer to home for their shows.

As such, instead of making lots of little purchases, we limited ourselves to one large purchase each: Chris got the pants to match his leather doublet*** and I got some beautiful silk dance clothes. Plus we picked up a new Tartanic CD, and got our traditional end-of-the-day chocolate.

All in all it was a great day, and as is usually the case after the Faire, I'm really feeling inspired to improve my dancing -- starting tonight!

*Well, we say it was our first date, because that was the plan, but the weather ended up being bad and no one wanted to go with us, so instead we saw The Man in the Iron Mask and then went to the Faire the next day. However, since the movie wasn't that great, and we went with a friend who slept through it, I'm not sure it even really counts as a date, so the Faire may technically still be our first.

**I don't know what the rest of the world calls this, but in our circle of friends "giving someone the chin" is the reverse nod where you tip your chin towards someone in acknowledgment. In our gaming, it's a frequent form of greeting among stoic samurai warriors.

***This is the main reason for going in February. Chris wants to wear his leather doublet, without getting heat stroke.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Winding Path.

Winding Path is the name of this new bracelet. It's a little brighter than my usual work, but it seemed fitting for the season. Actually, it matches a couple of the new Spring/Summer shirts that I bought a couple of weeks ago. It's so nice to see greens "in" this season. Gives me a good excuse to play with all of my green beads. The seeds and triangles were both among my purchases from gem show in February.

Most of my triangle beads are very subdued colors, so it was nice to find some more vibrant colors at work. I also got a nice purple, a nice aqua blue, and a deep, rich red. I'll probably be working with them sometime soon. I've been feeling the need to do another herringbone spiral with an art bead at the center, like Night Shift. I just haven't decided on a bead yet.

So anyway, last week was pretty crazy. On Wednesday, I spontaneously decided to start some Spring Cleaning, which I'll continue this week. The clutter has built up and it's time to clean it up and weed it out, in preparation for hopefully moving within the next few months. Thursday and Friday were spent dog-sitting out in Marana, and let me tell you, the desert is really beautiful and green after the rain we had last weekend! Saturday was gaming. Sunday was the Renaissance Faire, which was awesome. I'll give that its own post tomorrow, I think.

While I was dog-sitting, I read The Scar. When I say read, I should really say "devoured." I think I spent about 9 hours reading on Thursday. I had all kinds of plans for while I was up there, and really, all I did (other than taking care of my three doggie pals!) was read and make one bracelet. Needless to say, the book was pretty good. It had a slightly Lovecraftian edge to it, which doesn't surprise me. I first encountered China Mieville in the Children of Cthulhu anthology, after all. For the record, his was one of the few good stories. I don't recommend that particular book.

I made three bracelets between Wednesday and Saturday, and I think all three of them will go into the Etsy shop throughout the week.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

So busy!

Ugh, I just can't find time to blog. I'm really busy for the next 4 days and pretty much won't be home at all until Sunday night, so don't be surprised if you don't hear from me until Monday.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another quick update.

This is Glass Garden, which is made with lampwork by Ann Scherm Baldwin, vintage Swarovski crystals, and pretty floral silver beads. I bought this bead back when Ann still came out here to do gem show, and I'd get a sneak preview of her beads and shop before the show started. Those were good times.

Speaking of good times, today is the 8th anniversary of my wedding to my wonderful husband Chris. I'm enjoying spending the evening with him, so naturally, I don't feel like writing a long blog post.

Tune in tomorrow for more jewelry!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Now on Etsy!

Here's another picture of Faerie Stones and Faerie Tree, which I just listed on Etsy.

Tomorrow, there will be new jewelry up on the website.

That's all for now, today was terribly uneventful.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Been all weekend-y.

Well, the past couple of days have been busy and weekend-y. On Friday night, Chris and I went out for a very nice dinner at The Melting Pot. It was the first time we've ever gone to a really nice, romantic restaurant and I have to say it was a pleasant experience. Also, the food was delicious. Plus I got to dress up, which is always a plus in my book!

Speaking of books, B&N is in the same mall as the restaurant, so I picked up The Scar on the way out. I'm being good and saving it until I dog sit in a few days.

Yesterday was D&D, and it was okay. I didn't really enjoy the game much, in fact I got annoyed a lot, but the storyline is finally almost over, and neither of the other loud groups were there.

Today we were supposed to go to the Renaissance Faire, but nooo, it had to be cold and rainy today. Seriously, it's been beautiful ALL week, and it decided to rain today. Hopefully next weekend will be better, because there's only two weekends left, and if I can't go to the Faire at all this year, I'll be quite sad.

Tomorrow, there should be new jewelry in Etsy and probably on the website, too.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Faerie Stones and Faerie Tree.

This necklace features a bead by one of my new favorite artists: Michele Gabriel. I bought a much Gothier tree pendant from her, and then after I got it, I realized that I should have bought one which would go with these pretty mottled Czech glass beads... so I did. When it arrived in yesterday's mail, I saw that it was the perfect match, so I put the necklace together before I went to the game.

The Czech beads were among the stuff I purchased at gem show and then forgot to photograph. They're a lentil shape with a mottled, stone-line look. They're also matted, but it's a very smooth etching. They feel simply amazing. I want to make myself a bracelet with just them and some small spacers, because they feel so nice against my skin. There's also some amber-topaz firepolished beads, some copper-lined olivine faceted beads, and some dark turmaline Swarovski crystals.

Because the pendant was named "Fairytale" and the lentils look like magical stones, I've named the necklace Faerie Stones and Faerie Tree. Now I just need to decide if I'm going to sell it on Etsy, on my website, or greedily keep it for myself!

While I'm here and blogging, I'd like to wish a belated happy birthday to my favorite blog* Art Bead Scene, which turned one year old yesterday. Woohoo! To celebrate, they're having a mega-contest with a new prize every five days. I've entered a few of my pieces, and I recommend that you do, too!

Now, as I said last night, I finished reading Perdido Street Station on Tuesday night. I did have a couple of quibbles with the ending, but over all I enjoyed the book and I hope to pick up The Scar next time I'm at a bookstore. I enjoyed the sci-fi/fantasy fusion. And contrary to the rumors I heard, things did happen in the book. They just took a really, really long time to happen. My next order of business, of course, is to circulate the book among my friends.

*In all fairness, ABS is tied with my other favorite blog, InsectPOD. There's enough room in my heart to love both of them!

Oh, whoops.

Forgot to blog today, because I was busy beading and... what DID I do today? I dunno, the day totally slipped by.

I can't even blame the book, because I finished reading it last night. Of course, I did stay up to do so, which caused me to oversleep, which can be partially blamed for me missing most of the day.

Then, obviously, I went to gaming.

Things of actual interest shall be posted tomorrow, which is technically later today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Inventor's Gala Ball.

Check it out! My first piece of steampunk jewelry! I call it "The Inventor's Gala Ball" and if you follow the link, you can see a couple more images. I made it on Friday night, and it started with a few beads that were sitting on my desk. I'm really happy with it, and in fact, I want to keep it... but I've got to learn to let go, so it's up for sale.

I used one of the new Earthenwood Studios "steam stones" as the focal. I can't wait for Melanie to have these on her site so I can order a whole bunch and go wild designing with them. In the meantime, I'll be happy with what I have. I like the warm brown glaze on this gear. It reminds me of leather upholstery.

On the subject of steampunk, I'm still reading Perdido Street Station, and I'm really hooked on it. Yeah, the story is a bit slow, but I'm still fascinated by the setting. And of course, the plot feeds into my obsession with wings. I'm a little more than halfway into it. I'll probably finish it by the end of the week, but it's hard to say, since Chris will be off on Thursday and Friday and he might want to go out and do things. I'm enjoying having a book that's dense and wordy enough that I'm not done with it in one, two days tops.

On a completely different subject, don't forget to check out this week's BFAC auctions! I have two favorites this week: Protector (the eye necklace) and Evening Out (the evening bag). Both are still at a ridiculously low price for the amount of work and artistry that were put into them.

Not a whole lot else to say. I'll probably list some more leaf beads on Etsy today, and then work on a necklace for a bit.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Lacking a witty title...

The above bracelet is titled "Misty Isle" and is hanging out over in my Etsy shop, waiting for a good home. This is what I was talking about when I said I was going to use the seafoam beads with something else. The tube of seafoam seed beads was sitting next to the flippy box of shadow crystal Swarovskis, and I was struck by how pretty they were together. Hopefully, someone else will agree.

I didn't end up listing anything on Etsy today, because by the time I finished all the other things I was doing, I was feeling kind of beat. I'm used to spending my Saturdays having fun and gaming, but since both of our GMs are in Phoenix for work, I stayed home and got things done. Important things, like advertising, networking on Facebook, and writing BFAC stuff.

Speaking of BFAC stuff, some of the auctions are still sitting at only 24.99. We can't have that happening! Go forth and bid, and be ready to look at next week's auctions tomorrow afternoon! As for myself, I'm not bidding because I'm saving my money for a couple of items that I love and suspect may result in bidding wars.

Last night I started reading Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, and that's what I'm going to do when I finish blogging over here. I've been warned that not much happens in the book, but so far I'm enjoying the writing and the weird setting. Haven't decided yet how I feel about the characters, I'm only four chapters in. I picked up the book because I saw it on a list of steampunk novels, and I'd already been considering it because I liked Mr. Mieville's short stories that I read.

I've actually been doing a lot of reading over the past two days. The latest issue of Simply Beads arrived in yesterday's mail, and it had cool interviews with Anne Choi and Green Girl Studios. I purchased the latest Bead and Button, and it has some rather neat looking projects in it, though I've found the quality of non-project articles in there to be lacking. I don't like their current trend of having non-beader freelance authors write the beadmaker interviews, because they often spend too much time telling me things I already know. And my other bit of reading material was a book on making broadcollars by Julia Pretl. This book snuck in like a little book ninja... I hadn't seen it advertised or reviewed in any magazines, and this was the first time I'd seen it on a shelf anywhere. It was hiding surreptitiously between two other beading books when my infamous eagle elf eyes spotted it. The copyright is 2007, but I suspect it probably didn't see distribution until the last couple of months. Anyway, the book has great illustrations and lots of cool-looking projects, nicely ordered by difficulty. I'm going to have to invest in a lot of bugle beads, as I've wanted to make a collar for a loooong time.

I think that's all I had to say today. Don't forget to go read my Pay it Forward post and sign up if you'd like something handmade by me!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Let's play "Pay It Forward."

This picture has nothing to do with the subject of this post, but I think it turned out very nicely (I just took it this afternoon), and I like my blog posts better when they have pictures, so there you have it!

No, the subject of this post is that thanks to Arline, of SharedstuffbyArline, I am participating in the Pay It Forward Project. The rules are simple, as copied from Arline's blog:

Pay It forward rules: I will send a handmade gift (something beaded) to the first 3 people who leave a Comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange (and email me their mailing address), and who make the same pledge on their own blogs. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward meaning you will do the same for three people who comment on your blog.

There you have it! I will be sending out either beaded or polymer items, and if you tell me your favorite colors, I'll try to make sure that it suits you, too.

I really like this as a fun and reasonably easy way to share handmade goods with the world.

And by the way, if you haven't already, you should really visit Arline's blog. Her bead embroidery is great!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Locked Away? (Part 1)

You'll definitely want to click on the above image to get the full-size view, so you can really see everything that I've got piled onto the palette!

As you can see, I have gone maybe a little overboard on everything that I want to add to this year's BFAC kit! For my one added bead, I had to go with a size 15, and I chose a nice white-lined amber, to lighten the kit up a little bit, while nicely complimenting the amber tones already present. And then I went crazy on the non-bead items: a vintage coppery-bronze key; a titanium-coated druzy cab; 4 crystal chili pepper rivolis (two for the necklace, two for earrings); and of course, the keyhole cab from Melanie. She also sent me a pair of accents, which I may add to the necklace or earrings if that's not stretching the rules too much.

When I saw the bead kit, I first said "Great, I have no idea what I'll do with these!" But within 10 minutes, I was picking things off of my desk and adding them to the stack, to see how they went. I originally planned on adding an 11 in the same shade of amber, but then I realized I wanted to add the rivolis, and I needed to use a 15 for the bezel. When I added the key, that was when I knew that I had to have one of the keyholes that Melanie was developing for her Steam Stone line.

Did I mention how excited I was when I received my package yesterday? I had an idea that the glaze I chose would go well with the kit colors. Imagine my happiness when I discovered that not only did it go well with the kit, but the amber tones of the cab were exactly the same as the amber tones of the 15s. It's serendipitous.

All I need now is some felt to use as the base, and I am ready to start my project! I'm not sure yet what it's going to be called, but I think the name might involve secrets and things being locked away... So for blogging purposes, I'm going to use the working title "Locked Away" and that will be the tag you want to use if you want to track my progress... Because this is my first in-progress post for this project :D

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm a kitty godmother!

If you've been to my Etsy shop this week, you've probably already seen this bracelet, but I think it's pretty, so I'm posting it in the blog. I really like this teal and green combo. The light green is an interesting color. I think of it as a green, and use it as a green, but my friend Betcey who I bought it from thinks of and uses it as a blue. I think it's one of those colors that kind of blends in with what you use it with, so with blues it seems blue and with greens it seems green. Either way, it's beautiful, and I'm going to use it again tonight.

The silly title refers to the fact that my friend Deborah of Bead Indulgences just adopted two kitties after a long time of living pet-free. I'm the emergency contact for them, and so now we're joking that I'm their aunt and godmother. Hopefully I'll soon have pictures to share of my little furry goddaughters.

My own kitty Lira (who you hear about less than Topher because she's better behaved) is sitting here in my lap, purring up a storm. It's a little cool again today, so she's been feeling cuddly. Like Deb's two new cats, Lira is also a Humane Society find. I cannot stress enough my belief that if you're in the market for a new pet, you should check a shelter or rescue organization first. Save a homeless pet!

Ok, stepping off of my pet-loving soapbox, and back to beads. I just started listing beads over in my Etsy shop, because let's face it, I have a lot of them. More than I'll ever use. It's about time I started selling some. Of course, I'll probably turn around and spend the money on more beads... but let's ignore that little fact for now, ok? I have a gigantic stack of various leaves (almost all green) that I'll be listing over the next few days, plus some other assorted beads. I like to think that I have pretty good taste, so if you're a bead lover, I'm going to recommend that you watch my Etsy shop and maybe do a little buying.

In absolutely awesome news, I got a cab from Melanie at Earthenwood to use in my BFAC project, and it is perfect. I love it so much! I'll post a picture tomorrow of the kit, plus all the things I'm adding.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bracelet in the works.

Here's an in-progress image of my cuff bracelet, which I'm calling Dragonesque. I did a little more work on it last night, but not much. I ended up spending most of the night hanging out with Chris and Alex. Tonight I don't have any plans, though, so I should have lots of time to bead!

The central cab is a dichro piece that I've had for a very long time. The vintage sequins came from a bead store in NY. The vintage nailhead, well, I buy those all over the place. I can't remember if I got them from a bead store, a gem show, or eBay. The two colors of size 15s came from my collection. The 11s, peridot, and felt all came from a cuff-themed bead swap that I participated in.

Last night, I added some opaque dark green size 15 hex beads. I felt that I needed something dark and non-iridescent to balance out the sparkle. However, I'm determined that I will only use green beads on this bracelet, instead of retreating to the safety of black as a neutral. The 15s are pretty cool because I bought them at the only powwow I've ever been to, which was in NY. There was a vendor there with lots of cool beads... 15 hexes, 3cuts, Charlottes... lots of sparkly beads that are great for embroidery.

By the way, be sure to check out my Etsy widget on the right-hand side of this blog. There's a new bracelet and two new pairs of earrings in there!

Monday, March 03, 2008

As promised, some rockingness!

Today has been one busy day, let me tell you. But it's almost done, and soon I'll be relaxing and working on my embroidered bracelet until it's time to go out to dinner with Alex. I can't wait to eat that delicious Indian food!

The above necklace is Queen of the Arctic Ocean. As you can see, it features one of Melanie's very nice water goddess pendants. I wasn't sure if I wanted the mint alabaster crystals, because I'm not usually a fan of opaques, but Chris pointed out that they were a nice seafoam shade, and my brain went "Seafoam = goddess pendant!" perfect match. As an added bonus, the Pacific opal crystals are pretty similar to the darker areas on the pendant. I'm very happy with how she turned out.

And what else do I have to show you? That's right, the 2009 Layne's Legacy -- Beading For A Cure kit! The NDA has been lifted and I'm allowed to show you my photo! I think this will be nice to use as the official kit image for the site and any promotional materials. I have another image of everything in the packaging, which gives a better idea of the size and scope of the kit, but I think this image is more artistic and fun.

If you're at all familiar with my beadwork, you probably have a good idea that these aren't colors that I'd normally put together. In fact, I find some of the colors downright weird. But over all, I am very happy with this kit. The beads are high-quality and I love the fact that there's a wide variety of seed and seed-type beads. The "royal crown" cathedrals are my very favorite item in the 2009 kit. You can't tell in the image, but they're a nice tourmaline kind of green, with that bronze edging. Yum!

I've been gathering things to add to the kit. You're only allowed to add one bead type, but there's no limit on adding non-bead things, so I'm adding one bead and 4 different kinds of other items. I'll tell you what they are once they're all in hand!

Now that I've piqued your interest, it's time to go add some items to my Etsy shop!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tomorrow's going to rock!

I'm late in posting, because I've spent much of the day working on my latest project -- a bead-embroidered bracelet. I think I'll take an in-progress picture tomorrow when I'm doing all of my other photography. The bracelet is pretty cool. Among other things, it includes vintage sequins. Spangling is a very addictive technique. I found myself wanting to cover the entire bracelet with sequins, but that wouldn't have been a very good way to practice my various embroidery skills.

Anyway, I wanted to let you all know that tomorrow is going to be awesome, because it should include new jewelry on the site and Etsy, a picture of the BFAC bead kit, and uhm, I can't remember what else. Maybe I'm thinking of the cool things that will happen to me, namely, going out for Indian and then watching a Chinese movie.

While I'm here, I'd also like to mention: AUCTIONS! Yep, the 2008 Layne's Legacy -- Beading For A Cure auctions have begun, and YOU should be bidding. Trust me on this. I know.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Staying home, getting things done.

I decided to skip D&D today so I could try to get better, and also get some things done here at home. I'm glad that I did, because it is such a beautiful day and I have a nice breeze blowing in through my front window. Even with being sick, I don't feel bad, because everything else is just right. Perfect temperature, wearing my favorite jeans, a happy cat in my lap, and Dead Can Dance on iTunes.

Spring arrived rather suddenly here in Tucson, and caught me off-guard. One day I was wearing long-sleeved tees, the next I was digging around trying to find my tanktops because once again, the living room was turning into an oven during the afternoon. I just hope that Summer doesn't arrive fast on its heels. This weather is so pleasant, I want it to at least stick around long enough for me to go to Renaissance Faire and not get heat stroke.

After I do some much-needed housework, I'm hoping to finally start beading again. I hate sitting around, not making anything, when I have so much cool, inspirational stuff around me.

Last night we went out and saw "In Bruges." It was really, really good. Sometimes I was sitting there wondering if I liked the movie, because some of the humor was off, and some of the scenes really seemed quite random. But then it all pulled together at the end and I was all "Wow!" It's only playing on one screen in all of Tucson, so I guess it has a pretty limited release. Everyone who was watching it at the same time as us really seemed to enjoy it, though. Please note that this is not the movie for you if you have a problem with cursing, or a little American-bashing. I'm not sure I've ever heard so much cursing in one movie.

The interesting thing to me about the film was that the trailer totally plays it off as a comedy, albeit a dark one with some gun fights. However, there's also some serious drama in there. Although at times I questioned the blend, overall it came across as pretty natural. "In Bruges" has the kind of comedy I prefer, which is to say, witty dialog that seems natural. I don't like forced situational comedy or physical comedy.

We also went to the CD store, where we found two QNTAL CDs, a Voltaire CD, an Ataraxia CD (I have no idea if I like them, but they were on Chris's list of bands to look for, and they were on the Lotus Eaters Dead Can Dance tribute CD), and another Nordic Roots collection. Please note that neither Chris nor I have any Nordic roots of which we are aware, but we do occasionally enjoy some good Nordic music. Garmarna and Varttina are both good, though I swear I can't tell them apart.

I suppose I should stop rambling on and go get to work!