Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Turtle Soup Talisman!

I finished the Turtle Talisman and he is on Etsy! Just click on the link to see more pictures. I'm pretty happy with how he turned out, especially since I almost never do animal-themed jewelry. The greens are all very nice, the bead soup was fun to work with, and it's good to do fringe that isn't branchy every now and then.

Now, of course, I just have to figure out what to make next! I'm thinking of maybe bezeling around another rivoli, or possibly just doing some stringing for the next couple of days. I don't want to start a major project until I find out what the next Etsy BeadWeavers and Art Bead Scene challenges are. Besides, I have a lot of non-beady stuff that I'm supposed to be doing right now, too!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mmmm.... tea

I'm in a bleh mood, I have a ton of work to do, and Chris is sick with a cold which I'll surely have within the next couple of days. But at least I have delicious tea. I bought some mojito flavored tea from this seller. I'm on my second gigantic mug of it tonight, which considering the fact that it's black tea, does not bode well for my ability to sleep tonight. Guess maybe I'll get more of that work done...

I don't think I'll quite finish my turtle necklace tonight, but it will definitely be done tomorrow, unless I wake up sick, which would suck because then I likely wouldn't complete it in time for the EBW challenge, which is the whole reason why I'm making it.

The above run-on sentence proves that I have had too much caffeine.

Oh, and a website update. We've purchased erthefae.net but Chris can't find my database to upload it. I've decided not to be annoyed, because at this rate, it's almost funny. It would be nice to have my site back in time for my 10 year anniversary of business, though.

And now, back to my turtle.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I love my Daisy dog!

And now, as promised, I talk about Daisy!

Daisy is a very, very enthusiastic dog. She loves to be pet and held. As soon as one of us sits down on the couch, she jumps up into our lap. Most of the time, she'll immediately roll over onto her back for belly rubs. She's content to spend an hour or more lying on her back like that. At times she's a little too enthusiastic. She'll sit on Maggie's head and slowly shove her out of the way to get attention. Luckily we have two people and two dogs, so there's always enough love to go around.

She's also much more eager to play fetch. Maggie will sometimes halfheartedly chase a disc or ball, whereas Daisy will charge across the yard for it. Sometimes she even brings it back. Of course, this game is quickly ended when Maggie attacks her and then they have to chase each other around the yard.

Of the two, she's much more obedient. She comes as soon as you call (even if you're calling the cat...) is quick to sit, and gets right in her crate, now that I've discovered the proper hand cue to show her that I mean it (pointing straight down at the crate I want her in). Maggie knows all of these commands, but like a cat, she obeys on her own terms.

Anyway, we're officially keeping their original names. I'm not thrilled with them, they're not the sort of names I would give a dog, but it just felt weird to change them after a few days of using them. The girls are happy with their names, which is important, although knowing them, they'd probably be happy with anything.

The next two days will be very busy for me. I have to do some BFAC photography, a lot of stuff for the e-zine I write for, and finish up my turtle necklace. Expect short blog posts!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I love my Maggie dog!

It's Saturday, so I'm going to gush about my dogs!

When I set out to get a corgi, I wanted a red and white one (like Daisy). That was what I thought of when I pictured corgis, and in fact, until I started researching them on-line, I didn't know that they came in other colors. The pictures I saw showed that black tris were beautiful, but I still had my heart set on a red and white.

Maggie has completely changed my mind, and now I love black tris at least as much as red and whites. Her black fur is so shiny, her markings are beautiful, and those little brown eyebrows make her so expressive. She's an adorable little dog. She constantly makes Chris and I laugh with her smiles, her stretches, the way she jumps puts her front legs up on our legs and stares at us adoringly (even though she's not supposed to...), and the funny wookie noises that she makes when she wants attention. Not to mention her utter and complete infatuation with Topher. She'll follow him all over, bark at him to try to get him to play, and sit down and stare at him sadly when he ignores her. I swear, she has a schoolgirl crush on him!

For Topher's part, he's gotten a lot more tolerant of the dogs. He always comes out into the beadroom with me when I let them out back, and he used to run away as soon as they came in. Now he just sits there, and they come in and sniff him and maybe give him a couple of little licks, while he looks on with slight disgust. He's also more likely to be in the same room as them, or even on the same couch. I suspect that come winter, they'll be snuggling together.

In beading news, I'm about 4" along on what will eventually be 16" of spiral rope to go with my frog pendant. I had all kinds of other ideas, but the truth is I only have 1 of the three greens in size 11, and I didn't want to do something complicated in 15s, not with a deadline looming. Hopefully next month's challenge will be more up my alley and I'll be able to make something cooler! I think it will be announced within the next week or so.

Tomorrow, I'll gush about Daisy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

On the fringe.

I spent today making fringe! I tried to start it last night, but it didn't work out so well. The thread that I was using was too thick and made the fringe all stiff. So today I got out my super-fine thread, and then played around until I came up with a fringe design that looked nice and hung properly. I added some turmaline* Swarovski crystals and some dark green drop-shaped pearls. It looks pretty nifty. I'm just feeling too lazy to take pictures right now.

Tomorrow I have to figure out a necklace. I suspect it will end up being a spiral rope, as anything else would just take too long. My deadline is approaching!

*I know that's not how the stone is spelled, but that's how Swarovski spells the color name for the crystal.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hey look, a turtle!

I thought I'd post a little in-progress picture of my turtle project. As you can see, I liked those green satin beads from Mr. Skully-Man so much that I used them here, too. I thought it was a nice break from the size 15s I was using, adds a little more visual interest. Then I spent a while doing a brick stitch edge to hold the base and backing together, which gave me a headache and sore fingers. Next, I shall experiment with fringe! I'm still trying to decide exactly what to do for the actual necklace, too.

Last night's gaming went fairly well. Everyone seemed to enjoy playing at our place, and the dogs definitely liked having us home all night, along with extra people to shower them with affection. We did have a small problem as people were arriving. Maggie had managed to step on a nasty goat-head thorn, and didn't want to hold still to let me get it out -- she was more interested in limping around the yard to greet all of our guests. Our friend Casey was quick to help me hold her down while Chris searched for good thorn-removing tools, and as soon as I pulled it out, she was back to her usual happy self. I just need to figure out what plant is throwing those thorns and get it out of my yard! I hate those things.

By the way, I am part of this fun "Buy and Replace" Treasury on Etsy. I bought a pretty Japanese paper and glass pendant, and in return, got my earrings featured to replace it. Check out the items on display! The ring at the bottom is made by one of my Facebook pals, and she's the one who told me about the treasury.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's on the horizon?

Sorry about not posting yesterday, I was feeling moody and wisely stayed away from my blog.

Anyway, there are things coming up soon. Since it looks like it may be months until I get erthefae.com back, Chris and I will be getting my website set up on erthefae.net. I really don't like having the 150 or so items on my website just sitting around doing nothing, and it would take forever to get them all transferred over to Etsy.

Speaking of large numbers of beaded jewelry, I think that once the website is back up, I'll be having a clearance sale. I have some very nice jewelry which has just been around for way too long. And because I keep making more jewelry, I am seriously running out of places to put all of this stuff!

I'm going to spend some more time tonight working on the "turtle soup" pendant. Note that I won't be calling that when it's finished, but it's a good working title. We're moving the Wednesday game to our house, due to various drama and the tendency of my dogs to eat my shoes and the cat's toys when we leave them at home along all night. By having the game here, I'll actually be able to have an Ott-Lite at hand to make working with those little size 15 Japanese seed beads easier. Assuming, of course, that I don't have a Daisy pup in my lap all night!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I made bead soup!

Today I finally figured out what I'm doing for the Esty BeadWeaver's challenge, and it involves a cute little turtle bead. To match the colors in his shell, I decided to use three shades of green. Then I got a wild hare and I... mixed them all together!!!

Ok, so a lot of beaders make bead soup. But I really don't, because I like my work to be all neat and orderly. But the focal bead is variegated and I wanted to carry that theme into the beadwork. Besides, it's good to force myself out of my comfort zone. Not that it's too far out, since it's green bead soup.

Anyway, I'm going to go back to stitching this green soup onto the green felt around the green turtle. So much for less green jewelry...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The night of many vests

Before I talk about the vests, I'd like to let you know that Mr. Skully-Man is on Etsy! I think the pictures turned out very well. Now that I've learned how to use the macro focus, I can't believe that I ever took pictures with the "auto" feature!

Anyway. Vests. Chris and I went to Target tonight to get a few things. I noticed that they had men's vests on sale, and last time we'd been in, I saw a lady's vest that I liked but talked myself out of buying. I decided to go look for that vest. They didn't have it. They did have a denim vest, which I liked the cut of, but denim is not steampunk. They also had a GREAT grey double-breasted wool-ish vest. Except it was only half a vest, sewn onto a t-shirt. You know what I do NOT miss from the fashions of my childhood years? Vests sewn onto shirts. I thought they were dumb when I was a kid, and I think they're dumb now.

I did find a really sweet short jacket made out of brown suit fabric, and while it's more of a 1940s-50s kind of style, I'm going to wear it in a steampunk way because I can. Chris really liked how it looked on me, which is the most important thing.

Then we went to the men's section, where they had *lots* of vests. Chris got a cotton pinstripe vest, and a really sharp suit fabric pinestripe vest with a sort of collar. I really liked that one and tried on a size small, but it was still too big for me. Then we found the courderoy vests, and they were on sale, and they came in brown. I really wanted a brown vest, so I tried it on and it actually fit. And unlike my black vest, it actually has pockets! So I can wear a pocket watch. Or a chain that looks like it should have a pocket watch.

So we bought four vests and a jacket. It was fun. Now we just need shirts that look good with vests over them.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A lazy day.

Well, I didn't get Mr. Skully-Man listed today like I had planned to. That's been pushed back until tomorrow.

Since it's the weekend, you of course get a doggie picture! This is Daisy and Maggie on their favorite chair after a nice romp in the back yard. I usually take them out sometime around 10 or 11pm, when the heat of the day has all dissipated, and I throw their favorite toy, and they chase it and then chase each other. They're very fun to watch running, with their short legs and long bodies.

I'm really glad that we decided to adopt two dogs instead of just one. I think it's good for them to be able to play doggie games with each other. They like to play with us, too, but we can't do the same wrestling and chasing that they do.

My family came over tonight and met the girls for the first time. Maggie decided that she loved my Dad, and of course, Daisy loves everyone. She wasn't too keen on Joe and Mom making strange noises, though, and started barking up a storm. Next time, they'll bring over their Aussie puppy Tailgunner for some playtime, the three of them can run around in the backyard like crazy pups.

The other thing was that Joe brought over my share of our Ornamentea order (he's making goggles and wanted some gears and things to adorn them, whereas I wanted the same for my jewelry). I'm pretty pleased with my gears and keys, but not so much with the assorted watch parts. I don't have much use for the crystals and the watch faces are mostly not faces at all, but just brass blanks. Oh well. I'll find some sort of use for them!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yo ho ho and all that

I was going to load up the pirate lexicon page and write this whole post in pirate lingo, but then I realized that my enthusiasm for Talk Like A Pirate Day has really waned. I'm much more interested in Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day. Maybe it's because pirates don't wear goggles (unless they're airship pirates!).

Regardless, it is somewhat fitting that I made a necklace with a skull today! Of course, he's more of a Dia de los Muertos skull than a pirate skull, but that's OK. This was a really fun necklace to work on. Most of the length is spiral tubular herringbone with black Japanese seed beads and green satin Czech (I think?) cut seed beads. Then it turns into four strung strands of those same beads, gathered at short intervals by vintage pressed glass flower beads... all topped off by a skull bead from Earthenwood Studios. Oh yes, and a green satin glass button with a floral design. Gotta have a cute button clasp on a Ndebele spiral.

I have to take more pictures tomorrow, and then I'll list him on Etsy. I sort of decided on a whim to take a bunch of BFAC photos today, so that pushed back my photography time for Mr. Skully-Man here. Now I just need to decide if I like these BFAC pictures.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Beading right along.

I got a lot of beading done at the game last night, and then more today. I might even have this new necklace ready tomorrow. It is not the Damballah one I was talking about doing, but it is pretty cool. I'm working with these really cool green satin size 9ish beads that I bought at a pow wow in NY a couple of years ago. They look a lot like cat's eye and are fun to use.

That's all for tonight!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm having an annoying day!

Today I made this necklace. It was supposed to go on Etsy, but I did such a horrible job on the wire-wrapping that it's going to become a permanent part of my private collection. It's a shame, because I really like the design and how it looks, so I think it would sell nicely, but the quality is not such that I want it going out in the world with my name on it.

So that was one annoying thing. But the main thing is that there are more delays on getting my stupid domain name back. I was having a perfectly fine day until that happened, and it's been all crankiness and little annoyances since then.

On the bright side of things, my finding and bead order arrived last night! The filigree centerpiece of this necklace came from the order, as did the Sterling wire I mangled and the little headpins that the dangles are hanging from. I got some other cool things, too. And they're even mostly all put away already.

I'm going to go play with my corgis now, to make up for the irritation of the day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Medusa Turning to Stone

Despite being afraid of snakes, I have a real fascination with Medusa and naga. I really love this three-dimensional Medusa head pendant, I've had it for years, and I finally decided to work it into a necklace. Of course, I chose Ndebele stitch, to mimic the slinky, scaly nature of her snake-hair. If you'd like to view the additional images on Etsy, please click here!

This was a fun piece to work on. The green section is Delicas in two-drop Ndebele in green iris Delicas. Very fluid. Then when it transitions to "stone" I've used matte grey Japanese seed beads in a single-drop Ndebele. Much stiffer and a little more nubbly, like an aged statue.

I'm not quite sure what I'll do next. Probably something inspired by the snake Loa Damballah for the Etsy Bead Weavers' "Animal Instinct" challenge. That's another one I've had planned for a while.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New necklace coming tomorrow!

I finished my herringbone project today, but I don't have time to post it before the end of the "work day." So the first thing I do tomorrow will be to photograph and list this beauty.

I would have had time to put the necklace on-line, except I decided to make a findings (and a few beads) order this morning. I'm really excited to have some new supplies to work with! As usual, in addition to the utilitarian necessities, I picked up a few "just for fun" items, and while I was at it, I bought the new colors of Swarovski crystals, too. I think the colors are very steampunk-appropriate. I might pair them with some Earthenwood beads, or a brass key. Oh, the possibilities!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mmm... sleepy.

As often happens on Sundays, I pretty much forgot to blog today. I was too busy hanging out with Chris and the dogs and getting absolutely nothing done. Pretty much par for the course.

I got a little writing done last night, but not as much as I would like. Daisy and I have this disagreement, where I think that the laptop belongs in my lap, and she thinks that she does. It's going to take some work to get her to realize that my word is law, no matter how cute she acts, and that sometimes she just can't be all up in my face. I'm perfectly happy to have her next to me, to receive belly rubs while I'm thinking, but she has to be right on me and in the way. She's a very needy dog.

Anyway, I'm really tired. I'll be hitting the hay in an hour or so, to rest up for another busy week.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Doggie Post!

This is my pledge to you: jewelry during the week, corgis on the weekend! Well, probably there will be a little dog during the week, and a little jewelry on the weekend, but I promise this will not turn into "OMG, my dogs are so cute!" all the time.

Of course, they are so cute! Here's a picture of Maggie on the back of the big chair in the office. We bought a nice microplush blanket to put on the chair to keep it from getting totally dogged up, plus I think it's more comfy for the dogs. Anyway, they both like to occasionally get onto the back of the chair, couch, or loveseat and lie there like a kitty. It's very amusing to me. It's not so amusing to the kitties, who would like the backs of furniture to remain a solely feline domain.

The cats still aren't thrilled about having dogs in the house, and the dogs don't help matters much, since they like to occasionally chase the cats. At least Topher has stopped hissing at them. He now glares at them with the sort of disdain that only a cat can show. Lira, on the other hand, mostly resorts to her usual defense against anything in the least bit unusual: she hides. She is the original scaredy-cat.

Work is coming along great on my herringbone necklace. I'll probably finish it tomorrow. I could finish it today, but I really feel like writing. With my new dog-induced sleep schedule, I haven't had as much quality writing time as I would like.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The end of the Daily Design Challenge

Ok, it's time to at least take a hiatus from the Daily Design Challenge. It's been a fun way to get myself beading and listing items on Etsy, but it's started to really become a challenge, and not in a good way. I'm running out of inspiration for one-day projects, while more complicated project ideas build up. I want to spend a week or two able to work on whatever I want when I get up, instead of wasting time trying to come up with something that I can finish within an hour or two.

Today's item is Within the Waves and I am not happy with how it photographed. I might take more photos this weekend, as I have other photography to do.

And now, back to my medusa necklace! I have a ton of work to do tonight (including bathing some smelly dogs!), so I'm enjoying my bead time while I can.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

They're purple!

I've had a really strong tendency lately to only make things in combinations of green, brown, and blue, so today I decided I should make some purple earrings. They're called Plummy Posies. The flowers that I used are vintage and they're really quite lovely.

I'm not feeling any more sick than I did yesterday, nor am I feeling any better. Perhaps I'm just run down and dehydrated. As long as I don't come down with a cold, I'll be happy.

Today I hit the halfway mark on my herringbone project. I had intended to get a lot of work done on it at the game last night, but I was a little too tired. With luck, I will finish it over the weekend.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finally Finished.

Ok, true confession time! I wove this bracelet a loooong time ago, but because I hate working with memory wire (who doesn't?), I kept putting off completing it. So today, since I really wanted more woven bracelets in my Etsy shop, I finally finished it today. I call it Neon Dragon and it's today's Daily Design Challenge piece.

I feel like I'm trying to come down with something, which does not make me happy. I haven't been sick for a long time and I'd like to keep it that way, thankyouverymuch.

If I've been quieter than normal lately, by the way, it's because much of my time is spent playing with the dogs. They're so cute and wonderful and I spent an hour today just reading with one in my lap, getting some love. I'm trying not to gush too much about them here, since it's a beading blog and not a doggie blog, but expect some more pictures this weekend!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I spent the day weaving!

Making earrings and stringing necklaces is fun, but today I really felt like weaving. Unfortunately, I have more than a day of work left on the Medusa necklace, so I decided to come up with something else to work on. It felt like a good day to make a spiral rope bracelet, and then when I saw these leaves in my stash, I thought they'd look pretty at the ends of the bracelet, but it needed to be two strands to look right. I call it Elven Craftsmanship.

By the way, I am now a member of the Etsy BeadWeavers Team! Hurray! If you click the link, it will take you to their blog, and you can vote on the current challenge. I joined too late to be part of this challenge, but I am thinking about the next one. Be sure to do a search for "EBW Team" next time you're on Etsy, you'll find lots of beautiful work!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Found Objects

I don't normally do found object jewelry, but I really liked these little keys that my friends were tossing around at the game store, so I laid claim to them. I paired them with some of the lampwork that I bought from Margaret over the weekend, and created today's Daily Design Challenge piece. I call them Keys to Faerie.

As I was writing their description, I was struck with inspiration for a steampunk persona -- a faerie hunter. Along the lines of Lady Cottington from Brian Froud's books, I could be a slightly unhinged lady in search of faerie folk. Or plagued by them. It would be FUN! I really do need to learn how to sew.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A couple of hours at the bead show

This was the weekend of the September bead shows. It used to just be one G&LW show, but people are trying (in vain) to turn it into a miniature version of February. There are now two G&LW shows, a Best Bead Show, and a Beaucoup Conge show (actually, I don't know if they had that one this year, their shows are so small that I don't pay attention to them).

Although I had pre-registered for the G&LW show back when I registered for the February shows, I decided to skip it. I would have been too tempted to spend lots of money stocking up on crystals, and other than said crystals, there wasn't much I wanted at that show. The one I went to a couple of years ago was mostly finished jewelry and stone beads.

I enjoy the Best Bead show, however, as it's very laid-back and there's always lots of eye candy. It's a very small show, though, and this year a lot of the vendors who were there last year were absent. I'm not sure if the show was smaller, I think they may have replaced all of the missing vendors.

The main reason that I went to the show was to see local lampworker Margaret Zinser, who is a great beadmaker and a fun person. In fact, I feel pretty lucky to have such a talented artist in my hometown, because it means she's always at the shows! I love her beetle beads, and I was excited to see that she's now making large beads decorated with lots of tiny beetles. Way out of my budget for this particular show, but fun to drool over. I ended up buying a pretty set of barrel-shaped beads from her (which I already have a plan for) and some little spacers to put in earrings.

I intended to just window shop the rest of the show, but Chris did his usual arm-twisting to make me buy a few more things. Well, actually, he didn't have to twist me at all to get me to buy the strand of coins. Do you know how hard it is to find those things? Every belly dance costume supply place that I've seen only carries the cheap stamped ones. In fact, I really should have bought 2 or 3 strands, so I'd have plenty to make a bra some day, but oh well. I got the imitation dZi bead from the same vendor. I know the different designs have different meanings, I'll have to research what mine means. I just liked the colors. I have some Afghani jade that will go perfectly with it.

The cabs were my real splurge, however. They were just so pretty and Chris insisted that I should buy them, even though they were way more than I usually spend on cabs. The black-looking one is fire obsidian, and it has beautiful flashes of browns and oranges and hints of green. The greyish looking one is a pyritized ammonite, which has a nice spiral pattern from the shell. And the triangle one is actually drilled, so I can use it as a bead or a cab, and I think the receipt says that it's Binghamite. It looks kind of like quartz with tiger's eye or some other chatoyant golden stone through it.

I also bought some thread, but that was too boring to photograph ;) I got a great deal on Nymo, the primary thread that I use for my woven work, and I bought another spool of the cord that I used to make that notted necklace, this time in black. I wanted some green, too, but I didn't like any of the greens available. Well, correction. I liked them, but they wouldn't have coordinated very well with many beads.

And just for fun, here's a picture of what I bought in Flagstaff:

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Flagstaff to Farmington to Home

Ok, finally the report on the rest of our trip! Blogger was giving me a lot of trouble earlier, and I don't feel like wrestling with it again, so if you want to see the other pictures, you'll have to click links.

Flagstaff was a lot of fun. After decompressing for an hour or so, we decided to head out for dinner. Rather than play it safe and go with a chain, I felt like trying someplace local. I looked in the Menu section of the phone book, and thought that Beaver Street Brewery sounded pretty good. Neither Chris nor I like beer, but the food sounded cool and sometimes those places also brew root beer or other tasty non-alcoholic drinks.

We got lost trying to find it, and had to go back to the hotel to look it up on Google maps, but on the way we found Animas Beads. This is a small but rather well-stocked bead store, with surprisingly good prices for a retail store in a touristy downtown area. The gal working there was really nice and helpful, the store was well-lit and fun to shop in, and they were playing Portishead, which was kind of cool. I bought a few cute focals. There were a lot of other cool shops that I would have loved to check out. Definitely have to go up to Flagstaff again sometime.

Beaver Street Brewery turned out to be very popular, so we had to wait forever for our table and there was a fiasco where they claimed they called us but we knew they didn't, but they sat us right away after that. Our waiter was good and the food was awesome, and while they don't make their own root beer, Chris got a really good bottled sarsparilla and I got a delicious kashmir chai latte, which hit the spot after we waited outside in the cool weather. Because Flagstaff is a big railroad town, they had the restaurant decorated with old-timey stuff, including a beautiful antique wood burning stove. Pity it was too dark in there to take pictures! Anyway, despite the seating issue and the long wait, I'd really recommend them as a place to eat if you're in town.

This pretty office shared the parking lot with the Brewery. If I lived in Flagstaff, I would want to have the money for Chris and I to run our businesses out of it. It would be such an inspiring place to bead in! Of course, I'll never live in Flagstaff, because their late Summer weather is too cold for me, forget Winter!

The next morning, we got up early and went to Barnes and Noble for breakfast and books. They had the next two Charles Stross books I wanted to read, so I snagged them right up. Then it was off to Art in the Park. It was a partially cloudy day, nice temps, and though the fair was small, it was nice. I saw one vendor who recognized me from gem show, and one who I recognized from our street fair. We bought some sauces and preserves from some very nice people who wisely gave samples out of anything you were interested in, which quickly convinced us that they were as good as they sounded. Raspberry cocoa preserves... mmmm.

Then it was off for New Mexico! As it turns out, we were taking Route 66, which I had never been on before. Talk about a road lined with tourist traps! There were tons of "Indian" stores dating back to the 50s or 60s (at my best guess), a meteor crater, and other attractions. Also lots of small towns, some picturesque, some sadly run-down. It was a cool drive, someday when we have a Hybrid or hydrogen cell car (hey, I can wish, can't I?), we'd like to do it again and actually stop at the meteor crater and go to the Grand Canyon and maybe photograph some of the cool abandoned service stations we passed (we're both fascinated with them, especially the really old ones).

I took this picture on the way back, actually, but here is an example of one of the tacky tourist trap shops, set against a cool cave. This is near the AZ/NM border.

20 miles into New Mexico, we hit Gallup and left Route 66 to travel north through the Navajo Nation. It's very rural through there, lots of cool rock formations and herds of sheep, cows, horses, and even a couple of llamas. Very few towns, and they're all very small.

This shot was also taken on the way home, but it's our favorite
rock formation/hill that we saw in this long stretch. Well, the mesa ridge was very cool, too, but I didn't get any pictures of it. (it's the same picture as the top of the post)

Finally we reached Farmington. It's a rather small town, and sad to say, but the first thing you hit on the way in is two porn shops across from each other! Not the best impression. The downtown area was pretty cute, though, and our hotel was right next to a pretty river park. We stayed at the American Best Value, which was in fact a good value for a nice room that allowed dogs and had a very nice lady working at the front desk.

Once we checked in, I called Wendi, our doggies' foster "mother." She told me that she was another half hour outside of Farmington in a tiny town called Blanco, which was pretty much just a post office, fire house, church, and peoples' homes. So we set out, eager to go there before it got dark, and we managed to only almost get lost. Wendi and her husband Bill turned out to be two very nice, friendly people, and Wendi is a beader. She also introduced us to her four show corgis, which were Cardigans instead of Pembrokes, and they convinced me that Pembrokes really are the cutest ;) Sorry Cardigans!

After a nice visit, where we determined that we loved the girls and they loved us and we were all ready to go home together, we drove back to the hotel. Here's a picture of my two corgis, barely holding still for the camera. They're the reason I have no pictures of the river park. Ok, so maybe I left my camera in the room, but still, there's no way I could have photographed the park AND walked two hyper corgis!

Following our walk Tuesday morning, we hit the road for the loooong drive back to Tucson. Rather than go back through Flagstaff and Phoenix, we took the more rural route home. We passed through Show Low, which is surrounded by a beautiful national forest, and Globe, which is well, kind of there, and Winkleman, where we had gone to an SCA event once upon a time.

The road between Show Low and Globe goes through lots of mountains. It was very scenic, but also very hard on our poor Saturn! We might have been better off taking the same route we took on the way out, but we both really enjoyed all the mountains and trees we saw. Here's a shot of the mountainous road as we're driving on it, and a shot of part of an abandoned settlement of some sort.

And then finally, we were home! The dogs were very good and quiet on the trip, but very happy to finally get out of their crates at the end. It was a crazy trip to adopt dogs, and all of Chris's friends thought he was insane (or possibly whipped?) for doing it, but it was well worth it! Besides, we both agreed that not only was it great to get our dogs, but it was fun to see all these places we've never been. I don't think we would have done a trip like this otherwise, we tend to get lazy and homebound!

Today I went to a bead show, so tomorrow I'll have a report about that. It's a report-filled weekend!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Wrapping lots of loops.

Now that I actually know the proper way to wrap a loop, it allows me to do things like this! I made this necklace this morning, with a little corgi help. It has a few leftover beads from the Collaboration Exploration that I did last year, a little locket that I bought in NY a few years ago, and Sterling chain with lots of dangles. I call it Keeper of Mementos and it's today's Daily Design Challenge piece.

So, the good news is that I found my 100ft spool of Beadalon that I was sure I had ordered earlier this year (it was actually right where it belonged, but I thought it was something else). The bad news is that after making this necklace, I'm down to only a dozen headpins. Yikes! Definitely time to order some findings before the holiday rush.

I feel like doing a little beadweaving, so I think that after I finish all of the networking things that I have to do here at the computer, and put away the leftovers from my last two projects, I'll go pick out the beads for a medusa necklace that I've had planned for a very long time. While I was deciding what to make today, I actually came up with 3 weaving projects. I think what I need to do is make sure to put a little weaving time in every day after I complete my Daily Design Challenge piece.

This is especially important because I'm trying to join the Etsy Beadweavers team, so I need lots of beautiful beadwoven items for my store! Most of my best woven pieces are on my website, though since that is still down, I might re-photograph some of them and move them over to Etsy.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My adorable dogs!

Ok, this isn't a great picture, because the light in the hallway isn't too great, but here are my two corgi girls! The red one is currently named Daisy, and the black one is currently named Maggie, but I think we'll change both names. They're very hard to photograph because they don't like to hold still! I had the perfect image lined up, they were both sitting at my feet next to each other, looking up at me, but when I depressed the shutter button, they both moved their heads. I have lots and lots of bizarre ghost dog pictures, with blurry half-there heads.

The photography gods really weren't with me today, actually. I made these earrings, called Underworld, and I only managed to get one so-so image. I'll have to try to take more tomorrow or over the weekend.

It was fun to make something Gothy today. I haven't been doing a lot of Goth jewelry anymore, mostly faerie and steampunk stuff. It's nice to go back to my roots every now and then!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back to the grindstone, which isn't much of a grind.

After a good night of sleep, I got up really early today and got a few things done! I listed not one but two pieces of jewelry on Etsy. One is Elvensoul, the rivoli necklace that I made a while back. I had been planning to put it on my website, whenever it is back up, but it seemed a shame to have it just sitting around. Click the link to see more images. And for the Daily Design Challenge, I made Asrai, which uses some nice Mothwoman lampwork.

The one problem I'm finding with doing the Daily Design Challenge is that I am really eating through my supplies. I think I'm going to have to make a findings order soon. I have plenty of beads, but not necessarily enough Beadalon, chain, clasps, or headpins.

I'm going to save the trip report for Saturday, I think. That will give me time to edit the photos from the trip. I didn't take a lot, but I did get some surprisingly good scenery shots while we were driving down the highway yesterday.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

We're home, and tired, too!

Green chandelier earrings, inspired by the earthy ones I made for Denise. Created last week, listed on Etsy today! Tomorrow I'll get back to the Daily Design Challenge.

The four of us made it safely home. Daisy and Maggie were great on the ride, they slept most of the time and didn't make a fuss at all. Now they're exploring the house, much to Topher's dismay. Lira is content to pretty much ignore them, just puffing her tail a bit, but Topher hisses every time they come near. I sure hope he comes around! I don't like to see my fluffy beast so unhappy.

We spent about 9 hours in the car today, and I've been up since before 7am NM time (6am my time), so I am really quite beat. I'm going to grab a shower and watch a movie with Chris and probably crash not long after that. I'll try to make some sort of intelligent trip report tomorrow.

Monday, September 01, 2008

I've got corgis!

I have two corgis, and they are beyond cute! I'm in love! Chris adores them, too. While I was sitting here doing my e-mail, he had both in his lap :)

Crazy long day today, I've been up since before 6am. No Etsy update today, but hey, it's a holiday. Hopefully I'll have the energy to list an item tomorrow after our 8.5 hour drive.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the girls and share our fun on Route 66 -- and it was real fun, not the sarcastic "oh great, it's pouring rain again" sort of fun.

Meanwhile, I'm off to enjoy my doggies :D