Thursday, June 26, 2008

Life is Good

I've got to try to get back into the habit of blogging!

Anyway, as the title says, life is good. We finally had a nice rain today, and the weather is just about perfect right now. While it was raining, I went out into my beadroom (our screened-in porch) and saw that the rain was not being blown in through the screen, which was a relief. In fact, it was very nice in there. I think I'm going to enjoy beading in there, until winter, when it will be unbearably cold (note: anything below 70 is "unbearably cold" for me. This is why I live in the desert).

On Tuesday, I started writing again. I'm not sure why, I just sat down at the laptop, opened up one of my files, and started working on it. It feels really good. Months had passed since the last time I wrote, and I definitely felt its absence.

The desk is all finished, except for the drawers. I think both Chris and I have had about all the assembly we can take. We had to have a friend come over to lift the hutch onto the base. My girly arms just couldn't handle it, and even the guys had a bit of trouble with it. That desk is NEVER leaving the office. I don't think we'll ever be able to paint, and definitely not replace the carpet.

I really want to paint the bedroom, though. It's a kind of nasty shade of off-white that looks especially hideous in low light. And I want to paint the living room, as it's currently painted with some sort of flat white paint that attracts stains much in the same way that white pants do (note: I never buy white pants or skirts for this reason). All home improvements will wait until Autumn, however, as 110 degree weather is not ideal for painting.

Tomorrow I hope to find some time to bead, but the main plan is to move the rest of the stuff over from the apartment and see a late showing of Wall-E. Every time I watch a trailer or animated short for that movie, I start to smile. That is one cute little robot!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Yes, I'm still alive.

I didn't mean to drop off the face of the internet. I've just been very busy, and my computer of choice (with all my bookmarks and things) is currently awaiting a good spot to be used at. The table it was previously resting on was taken down to make room for the awesome entertainment center, and building the desk has turned into a monumental task. We're almost done with it tonight, but I honestly don't know if we'll be able to lift the top (complete with hutch) onto the base. I have weak girly arms. I knew I should have been working out more!

In other news, I finally started beading again today. The beadroom is still in the process of being properly furnished and arranged, so I just sat on the couch and worked on the rivoli project I was doing before we moved. The cats prefer it that way anyway -- Topher spent most of the time curled up next to me.

Slowly, the house is turning into a home. We've got furniture, and it's pretty much arranged how we want it. In another week, we'll have a washer and dryer. This week, I'll try to hang up some of the art that I've amassed over the years, and I've got more coming from Etsy. It will definitely feel much more home-like with nice pictures on the walls. Right now all we've got is my Nene Thomas calendar, and I just hung that today.

Once we're all settled in, I'll take some pictures. In the meantime, I've just been photographing the interesting bugs that I find!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Desks, but no beads

The desks arrived this morning, but there's been no time to assemble them. They're sitting there, forlorn in their boxes.

I spent a while today with my neighbor (from whom we purchased the house) learning about my irrigation system. I do not have a natural green thumb and I am trying to not kill my beautiful plants, and maybe actually have them thrive. I love plants, I just don't seem to be very good at taking care of them. I am determined to do this right, though.

Tomorrow, the rest of our furniture arrives. It's been over a month since I've had a couch to sit on, so I'm really looking forward to it -- even though it will probably arrive at an hour best reserved for sleeping. It will also be good to be able to put clothes in the dresser, and the TV and DVDs in an entertainment center. It will make the place feel much more put together and much less piled-up.

We have our usual game tomorrow, and I think maybe I'll take my beads to that. I want to create!

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's official.

Clearly, I am a homeowner now. We went to Home Depot tonight, and I actually enjoyed it.*

You see, when I was a kid-teenager, a trip to Home Depot was something to be dreaded. It was like many people's reaction to a dentist visit. To my young mind, nothing could be more boring, more of a waste of a Sunday afternoon, than looking at hardware cloth, PVC pipes, or whatever we needed for the latest home improvement/repair. The only possible fun was looking at all the paint sample cards and wondering whyohwhy my parents wouldn't paint my bedroom silver.

I did, in fact, want a silver bedroom when I was a teenager. It seemed a brilliant idea at the time, but my parents adamantly insisted that silver paint would not dry properly or something like that. So my bedroom stayed the same slightly-dirty blue it was when I moved in, because seriously, why bother painting at all if I couldn't have the color I wanted?

But I digress. Home Depot is a lot more fun when you get to look at things which will enhance the beauty or efficiency of your own home. I ooh'ed and aah'ed over pretty switchplates and drawer pulls, priced window film, and picked up compact fluorescent bulbs, among other things.

Anyway, in other news, our desks will hopefully arrive tomorrow, and then I will hopefully be able to put some furniture in my beadroom and actually bead.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

On the Horizon

I'm sitting in the living room, looking out my front window and watching a storm blow in. Apparently, this is the first monsoon of the year. The weird thing being that we don't normally have monsoons in June.

I'm hoping for a lot of rain. For one thing, I want to see how my screened-in porch/bead room does in a storm. For another, I haven't figured out the irrigation system and my trees need water! I'd rather let nature do the work, instead of toting a hose around the yard.

Right now, though, I need to get ready to head over to my parents' place for Father's Day. There's PUPPIES involved!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We're living in our house!

Weee! Chris and I have moved into our new house. Things are pretty chaotic and messy right now, but I've been working hard to get things organized. I have to, as the furniture is arriving on Tuesday and there needs to be a place to put it! Right now almost all of our stuff is piled up in the living room, waiting to be redistributed to the proper rooms.

Our friends and family really worked hard to help with the move, and made it go a lot more smoothly than it would have if we'd just done it ourselves.

There are still some things left in the apartment, waiting for us to take another trip or three next week, but all of the important things are over here now: beads, cats, us, chocolate, and pillows. The pillows kept getting forgotten and required a special trip last night hours after we thought we were done.

Now I have to learn how to take care of a house... maintenance, and cleaning all this extra space, and watering and trimming my various plants. It's exciting, and should keep me very busy!

In the meantime, my temporary computer space is not very ergonomic, so I'm going to cut this short and relax my poor shoulders. New desk won't get here until Tues or Weds, yikes!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another awesome dragon

This gorgeous carved shell dragon was the surprise in my mail that I mentioned several posts back. Thank you, Marilee!

I love the transition from dark to light, and the iridescence that the photo only hints at. Actually, I'm pretty happy with this photo, too. It really captured all the details of the carving. I'm really looking forward to designing with this piece.

I don't have a lot of time to blog right now, as I'm still packing and preparing to move. But guess what? I'm a homeowner now! I have KEYS! It's very awesome, and a little hard to believe.

Monday, June 09, 2008

So... sleepy!

No picture tonight, because I forgot to prettify one today.

I didn't sleep well at all last night, and I got up early, so I'm feeling rather tired right now. I'm going to take care of a few more things and then go to sleep. Our walk-through got moved back to 1pm, so at least I don't have to get up particularly early tomorrow.

Since I'm still without boxes to pack things in, I spent the day doing housework and working on my rivoli necklace. I'm trying a couple of different things with this necklace. They may or may not work out, but if they don't, I can always start over. My website update is half a month away, so I don't have to feel rushed. This sense of freedom is encouraging me to experiment. I don't want to get dull!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Something with some sparkle.

This pendant is made with the first two rivolis I ever beaded! They sat around on my desk for a few months until recently, when I decided to stitch them together and give them a simple bail.

The bottom stone is crystal AB with no foil lining. It takes on the hue of whatever's behind it. So against my barely-pink skin, it makes a nice, warm compliment for the brandy-hued stone above it. Unfortunately, I had the brilliant idea to photograph it on this green notebook. What the heck, self? You had a nice brown notebook sitting right there! Also, I didn't quite focus the image right. I'm still working on it, but I'm trying to wean myself off of relying so much on auto-focus.

I spent some time today working on my next rivoli project, which is shaping up to be beautiful... but now I'm packing. 5 days to go and there's still a ton of stuff to go and no boxes to put it in. I just packed a whole bunch of beads in a small rolling suitcase. In fact, that accounts for a huge chunk of my BTSB collection. I've also got my bead desk down to just a few scattered things left to clean up and put away. There may be light at the end of this tunnel after all.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

An awesome housewarming gift

I don't quite have a house to warm yet, but that didn't stop my dear friend Deb of Bead Indulgences from sending me this awesome dragon! The base appears to be a mirror, but it's mostly hidden under the beautiful poly-clay dragon, smooth pebbles, and perfectly clear crystal points. There are a lot of great touches that you can't really see in the photo -- the slight sheen on the pebbles is from green mica powder; there are coin pearls and amethyst beads between the dragon's feathered wings; her tail is curled around yet another crystal point. And the entire thing rests on feet made from more pebbles. In short, it's a stunning sculpture, and I feel blessed to have a friend who is talented and generous. I can't wait to find a special place to display this!

Another awesome person is Christina, who gave me a helpful tip which allowed me to make a hassle-free bezel today! Woohoo! You should definitely head over to her blog and see the lovely wrapped butterfly that she made from the class she took at B&B this year.

And now it's time to go pack more beads. Moving day is less than a week away!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Did I take pictures? No.

Ok, I promise I'll take pictures tomorrow, unless something catastrophic happens. I should have plenty of time, since I don't game on Saturdays anymore, but Chris does. I'll have the apartment to myself. Just me and 50 billion boxes.

Actually, I've been saving the latest issue of Bead and Button for tomorrow, so I'll have some fun reading time. And I'll work on the bezel again. And of course, pack and clean. But a gal's got to have some fun on the weekend, you know?

We're supposed to have our walk-through on Tuesday. The current tenants of the house are supposed to be out by Monday, but so far they haven't budged. I sure hope they have a busy weekend of moving ahead of them. If all goes well, we close on Wednesday and move on Friday. And then... you won't see much of me, because it may take 2 weeks to get a cable connection at the new house, and I don't have any sort of dial-up.

One thing's for certain, without internet, I'll make a lot of progress on unpacking and settling into the house.

The house! One week from this very moment, I can be getting ready to spend the first night sleeping in my very own house. Amazing!

In non-amazing news, we watched War today. You know, Jet Li movies have a lot of action. So do Jason Statham movies. One might expect that a movie with both actors would feature twice as much action, but there's only so much action you can have in one film. So you could at least reasonably expect that a Li-Statham flick would have at least as much action as a film with only one of these men. But somehow... somehow... it's as if their action star statuses canceled each other out. They spend most of the running time doing things other than kicking the crap out of each other. There's double-crosses and car chases and gun battles and investigation scenes and flashbacks and attractive ladies and gratuitous breast shots, but the martial arts don't come out until the end. And when they do, they're pretty mediocre. It was essentially a waste of time, but I'm a sucker for anything with Jet Li in it. Yes, this means that I have to go see that stupid Mummy movie, too. Curses!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

So much for beading.

Argh, I swear, these bezels are out to get me. This one should fit the rivoli I made it for, and it's just not fitting. So once again, I'll have to start over. Eventually I'm probably going to get annoyed and stop working with rivolis altogether.

I spent today cleaning up my bead room, sorting through the piles of beads on my desk in there. I'm making some progress, and really instilling in myself a desire to be better about putting beads away as soon as I'm done with a project. I might even finish cleaning the desk off tomorrow.

Photography didn't happen today, I was just too busy and too tired. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I like packages!

You know you're in packing mode when you find yourself hoping for a package in the mail, not because it means a nice surprise, but because it means an extra box and maybe some wrapping material.

So today I got a package that I didn't expect for another week, and it DID have a nice surprise in it, but it also had paper to wrap my knick-knacks in. Good thing, too, because yesterday I used up the last of my bubblewrap and tissue paper and junkmail paper. I think I'm going to break into the bag of fabric I got from a neighbor and start wrapping things in it. That's the DIY attitude!

In fact... if you take something that's normally garbage (like Capri Sun pouches) and you turn it into something useful (like a quirky purse), then you're not just recycling, you're "upcycling." So if you take an already useful item, and you repurpose to fill a need that would usually be filled by a consumable item, are you "downcycling"? And if so, did I just coin that term? Can I be the latest green/DIY trendsetter? (answer: probably not)

Downcycling aside, I think I'll try to make some time for photography tomorrow. I'd like to show you all the rivoli pendant, the rockin' steampunk transistor necklace that Chris gave me, and the awesome carved dragon pendant from today's mail.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Boxes and Beads and Books.

I'm almost out of boxes... but I'm almost out of places to put boxes, too! Some of them are going to have to go live in the trunk of the car until we move, just so I have some room to work in here.

Today I actually started packing my beads. A lot of them are in these two 4' tall plastic filing cabinets (aka iris carts). This is a great storage method, however, it's a little heavy and ungainly for moving. As such, I've begun the process of moving the beads into smaller containers. I'm still keeping the containers out and accessible -- next week, right before we move, I'll put them all into suitcases, which have convenient wheels and handles for easy bead-moving.

I started another rivoli project tonight, and picked out beads for the next one, too. They both involve green and earthy tones. The second one will be for me to keep, as it involves "little chippies" -- rivolis that have dings on the edges. Sure, I cover the edges with beads, but I still feel bad selling damaged goods -- especially since I got the chippies for free from my gem show job, because she also doesn't like to sell damaged goods!

The books part of the title refers to the fact that I'm working my way through some nerdy astrophysics book called Death By Black Hole. So far it needs more death and less physics, although I did like learning more about the rings of Saturn and why they look the way they do. There's also a lot about the history of physics and general and astrophysics in specific. Last night I read about people learning that we are not the center of the universe. My cats, of course, disagree. They're pretty certain that everything revolves around them, even up to a cosmic level.

So I'm probably going to go read more nerdy physics stuff, although what I really feel like doing right now is writing. I did a short little story for some gaming-related stuff this past weekend, and it reawakened my inner author. Unfortunately, said inner author can't really settle on a project, and doesn't have anything specific she wants to write, she just misses the process. Maybe I can distract her with shiny beads, or bore her to sleep with physics.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Getting things done.

Much of today was spent packing and cleaning. I'm been packing away all my fragile things, and hoping that they're well-wrapped enough to survive the move. I haven't even decided exactly where I'll put them in the house. The shelves I've got them on now aren't very pretty. I might get a curio cabinet or something. The vintage dragonware tea set will go in the kitchen, and that's about all I've figured out.

I did get to bead a little bit today. I finally finished the first rivoli pendant I worked on. I kept it really simple, since it's not really colors that I wear a lot, so it'll spend most of its time in a jewelry box, I'm afraid. But now I feel like playing with more rivolis, so maybe tomorrow I'll come up with another project -- after I finish my work, of course.

Now I'm feeling pretty tired, so I'm just going to do a little e-mail and go to sleep, so I can be prepared for another busy day tomorrow!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

One Bright Anklet

Here is Tropical Steps, my new anklet. I just love these colors! They're so bright and perfect for summer. And the tiny silver bells add a wonderful touch, just a bit of jingle without getting too noisy. I put them at the end of extra long fringes because I just liked the contrast with the short flower fringes.

It felt good to be beading again over these past few days. I'll need to pick out another project to help me keep my sanity this coming week. There's just a week and a half left until we close on the house, and still a lot of things to pack around here.