Friday, October 31, 2008

Sale ends today!

Just a reminder, today is the last day to take advantage of the 10% off sale on all jewelry in my Etsy Shop! Remember, the holidays are just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to buy some presents or pick up the perfect necklace to wear to the office Christmas party.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

So blasted lethargic!

Ugh, I just could not fall asleep last night, and though I eventually did (sometime after 3am), I don't think I slept very well. I've spent the entire day with that slightly dulled, completely energy-less feeling that I get when I haven't slept. As such I didn't get nearly as much done as I should have. I did write three articles for Collector Times, and I'm about to edit some BFAC pictures, but I didn't have any inspiration to bead or motivation to clean the house.

Last night, however, I almost completed a rivoli pendant in purple and green. I left it out in the game room so I can finish it next week. It was fun to work on a smaller, simpler project without any real pressure. I think I need to work on such things for the next little bit, at least until I'm done with all this BFAC stuff. I don't seem to be having much luck working on major projects.

The other fun thing about last night was dressing like my roleplaying character, since it was just two days before Halloween. I love the fact that I can cobble together a costume out of the contents of my closet -- although to be fair, I did borrow Chris's Ren Faire pants -- and I'll do the same tomorrow. I haven't decided if I'll be a belly dancer or a steampunk for Halloween, but I'm leaning towards the latter. I've been a belly dancer for the past two or three years. Not that I'm even doing anything for Halloween, but I will be handing out stuff to any kids who come by, so I'll dress up for them.

Anyway, off to photos with me!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nope, that idea didn't work...

I may have already said as much on this blog, but after the beaded book didn't work out, I decided I'd try doing a necklace based on the expression "a stitch in time saves nine." Today I sat down to work on it, and it was one little problem after another, which resulted in a crooked and unattractive pendant. Grr. Hopefully I can pop the old watch face out of the glue, because it's the only one from my package of watch faces that actually has numbers on it.

So after two failed attempts to come up with something appropriate, and the deadline for the November challenge looming, I'm quite frustrated. It's reached the point that -- despite the fact that I am not an evolutionist -- I think I'm going to go WAY back on the ancestral scale and make a primordial ooze bracelet. Ooze about matches my mood right now. And ooze is green. Working in green should make me happy.

And if that doesn't work out, I have to give up on the November challenge altogether! I have too many other deadlines on the horizon. Darn my tendency to bite off more than I can chew.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The brooch, at last!

Here is my brooch, The Soaring Wyvern. It has a fun little story with it in the Etsy listing, too. I'm so happy with how it looks, that I might just make more brooches in the future.

I had a nice day today, did a bunch of housework and then had a visit with my friend Helen. She adored the dogs, and they were of course all over her. We talked a lot about pets, some about life, and a bit about the current season of Heroes. All in all, a good time.

Tonight I'll start picking things out for my EBW challenge piece, I think.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My dogs are clean!

Much to their extreme dismay, Daisy and Maggie got baths today. Their white fur is actually white again, instead of a dusty-color. And they smell slightly less like dog. It's quite an ordeal bathing them, and next time Chris wants to try taking them to one of those do-it-yourself groomers so we don't make a mess of our bathroom. Given the bits of dog hair everywhere in the tub, I'm inclined to agree with him.

The girls had to be bathed, as my friend Helen is coming over to meet them, and I thought she'd probably prefer to not be greeted by dirty, smelly dogs. Our weather has been so dry that the backyard is all dusty, and all that dust and dirt gets caught up in their fur... yuck!

Moving on to a much more pleasant topic. I actually managed to finish my brooch before bed last night. I was going to put some fringe on it, but after I finished the edge, I thought that any fringe would just look too fussy, so I'm leaving it as is. I hope to photograph it and list it on Etsy tomorrow.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Not much getting done...

I'm feeling a little rundown today, probably the stress over the stupid website thing. So I didn't get much done, not even much fun stuff. I had planned to bead a lot, and here it is almost 11:30 and I've only done a single stitch. I'll do a few more after I post this, but not too many, because I'm using black thread to stitch black felt and black Ultrasuede together (accented by dark pewter beads) and that makes my tired eyes get all squinty!

This next week is going to be crazy, as I have to continue what I've been doing for LL-BFAC, write my usual e-zine columns, and get my EBW challenge piece done (which, by the way, I haven't even started). Oh yes, and keep the house clean and care for all the pets and possibly cram a couple social visits in as well. And, of course, try to get my website back. The fun never stops!

I don't mean to sound all complainy. All in all, life is pretty good. The house is awesome, the dogs are a constant source of joy, Chris is great, the economic situation hasn't hurt us, etc etc. I just can't help but wish that I had a little more time for beading and writing, and to play with polymer clay and learn to use my sewing machine (which I've had for about 10 months now), and all the other creative endeavours I might want to try.

I might as well take advantage of the time I do have, so it's off to the beads with me!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Key Necklace!

Key to the Autumn Door is the first piece in my new series of inexpensive steampunk jewelry. With the economy being what it is, I'm sure many people will be looking for affordable presents for the holidays, so I'm trying to add more modest pieces to my collection, to balance out the wanton extravagance of beadweaving and art beads. This new line of jewelry may also include other themes, but I just purchased a lot of keys and brass elements to use, so that will be the main focus to start with.

In other Etsy-related news, today I was accepted in the Fantasy Artists Etsy Team. I'm really thrilled and honored, as many of my favorite Etsy sellers are part of that team. If you'd like to get a taste for the excellent work done by the members of FAE, just go to Etsy and do a search for "faeteam."

In annoying news, my domain name was finally released, only to be snatched up by one of those annoying companies that purchases expired domains to use for advertising. So next week, I have to try to get it back from them. This is about where I start to bang my head against the wall...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Photos, I take them!

I hope you're not bored of Locked Away, because here's another shot! I just edited this picture, and a dozen others. That's the part I hate about doing photography... going through and getting all of the images web-ready. Luckily, with this set-up, I don't have to do any color adjustments, so it goes a little faster, but it's still a tedious job. I have to take lots of little breaks... Like a break to post on my blog!

Last night, I bezeled a rivoli in the new "Purple Haze" effect (you may have seen it advertised in the beading magazines). I'm not thrilled with the effect, it's not very purple. I won't be buying it again. But I do have a couple of vintage cabs that go nicely with it, so eventually they'll all be part of a very fancy pendant. The cabs just have to wait until I've got a couple of other projects finished, including the brooch and my November EBW challenge piece.

Rivoli bezeling is a nice, simple project for gaming, though, so if I'm not working on something else easily portable next week, I'll definitely work on another one. I feel almost like I should plot out projects for all of the rivolis that I currently have, and pick out the bezel beads for them, so I've got a ready-made project for the next half dozen or so game nights.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Making stuff!

Well, I got an early start today, and my friend was too busy to come over, so I actually got to have a little creative time today. I just whipped up a quick, simple necklace which I'll try to get photographed and into the Etsy shop soon. Because it is quick and simple, it will also be affordable! I think I need to have more than just earrings in the $25 and under range.

I'm going to do a little beading tonight during the game, probably just bezel a rivoli that will eventually be part of a larger project. Or maybe bezel one of these slightly defective rivolis and make myself another cute pendant. I haven't made anything for myself for a while... and I have several green rivolis to choose from. Hmmm....

In my mail today, there was a package full of some goodies that I purchased from Etsy... two different styles of vintage glass cameo cabochons, and some cool Czech snake beads that I wish I'd had for the Animal Instincts challenge. I'm trying not to buy a lot of random supplies, but these were all too awesome to pass up. The cameos are especially beautiful, and I've been needing some of those for Neo Victorian/Steampunk jewelry.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just flitting in.

I snapped a few shots of this really cool moth on the screen in my beadroom today. I owe thanks to Topher for these pictures, as I found it by following his gaze to see what he was staring at. The neat thing, which is more visible when its wings are spread out (unfortunately, those pictures were fuzzy) is that the lighter parts are translucent.

Anyway, I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get to bead today, and I won't be writing either. I did take a bunch of LL-BFAC photos, and go to Target and buy another vest, and get some housework done, but I didn't get to any of the fun stuff I had planned. Bummer.

Tomorrow will be another busy day! I've got housework galore, possibly a visit from a friend, then grocery shopping and gaming. I'll try to at least get some beads together to work on something during the game.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sarcasm dog rolls her eyes at you!

I took this picture of Maggie looking sarcastic last night. And that's all I'll say on the subject of dogs, since it isn't the weekend!

Over the weekend, I came to the conclusion that I'm just not going to finish this beaded book. It's boring. I remembered that square stitch was a bit tedious, but my memories were not exact in just how soul-numbingly dull it is. I bead to enjoy myself, so I should be doing something fun. As such, I'm going to go in a totally different direction for the Ancestral Expressions challenge. Hopefully I can start my new project tomorrow.

I have a couple of small, simple projects that I want to do, too, and I need to finish the wyvern brooch. I definitely need to make time to bead this week, when I'm not taking LL-BFAC pictures, or editing them, or cleaning house. And speaking of BFAC pictures, it has been working out much better to take them in the game room. I'm not getting that weird yellowish tint anymore, so it must have been those lights.

Also, if you're on Facebook, you can now become a fan of Layne's Legacy -- Beading For A Cure! I'm maintaining the page, and will be using it to post pictures, website updates, news, and the auction schedule. You can use it to chat with other LL-BFAC fans, plot out your auction purchases, and introduce your Facebook friends to a worthy cause.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I've been tagged!

When I checked my comments today, I saw that I'd been tagged by The Beaded Lily with one of those blog memes where you share random facts about yourself and then tag your friends. Weee! Here's the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So without further ado, here are some facts about me:

1. I like to dip french fries in honey instead of catsup.
2. My female cat is named Xunalira because I couldn't come up with a good name for her, so Chris and I played with a word spin game until we randomized something that we liked.
3. It's been 14 years since I had a haircut.
4. I used to square dance.
5. I live within walking distance of the largest park in my city.
6. My first roleplaying character was a five foot tall faerie armed with a katana.
7. I wrote my first novel when I was 15. Too bad it sucks.

And the seven people I'd like to tag are:
My friend Charlene
My EBW Teammate Ann Burke
Fellow LL-BFAC Contributor Arline
My friend Doris
My friend Gina
Marilee, who probably doesn't like memes but gets tagged anyway
Blog-buddy Christina

And now, back to spending my Saturday lazing around. Hurray, lazy Saturday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

All day at the camera...

Well, not quite all day, but I did spend a while setting up my photography stuff out in the game room. It worked out pretty well in there, and I took a lot of pictures, which I will have to sort out tomorrow. It was unexpectedly warm today (back up to 90), and the heat wiped me out. Once I was done with photos, I just wanted to kick back with a cold glass of water.

I've just added the little widget that allows you to easily follow my blog! If you are a blogger user, you can choose to follow this blog, and my posts will show up on your dashboard. Plus you can click on any of the other people who are following my blog, and see if their blog interests you. Isn't technology grand?

That's all for tonight, I want to go write before I get too sleepy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's Fancy!

Just took my first batch of photos using my light tent and varitone sheet backgrounds. Ooooh. Aaaaah. I purchased these items in an attempt to make the Layne's Legacy -- Beading For A Cure photographs look nicer, hence why this test shot is of Locked Away.

By the way, if you're new to this blog and haven't seen Locked Away before, you can click on the "locked away" tag at the bottom of this post and view all of the in-progress posts I made about it.

I seem to be having some weird lighting issues in this shot, though, probably from the incandescent bulbs in the overhead fixture in the guest room, where I've been taking my pictures. Tomorrow I want to move out to the game room, where the lighting is better and I can set up on an actual table. We're not having a game on Saturday, so I can actually keep my stuff set up until Wednesday.

Work on my beaded book is going sooooo slooooow. This is why I don't do square stitch very often. It's time-consuming and well, a little boring. I'd rather be embroidering or doing a herringbone rope or something. I don't think I'll be making very many beaded books in the future, which is too bad, because I think it will be pretty cute.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Last Day to Vote!

Voting for the Etsy BeadWeavers' November Challenge ends at midnight! I'm not sure if that's midnight PST, EST, or some ST in between, but there you haven't. If you haven't voted already, click here and choose your favorite! The poll is conveniently located on the right side of the blog.

I'm pleasantly surprised to see that I'm in 4th place, which isn't bad at all, since I think there are more than three items which are much better than my necklace ;) And there's a very good chance that the item I voted for will win, which is great. Everyone loves to pick a winner!

I plan to work on my beaded book at the game tonight. It's actually the perfect sort of project to work on during a game; small, easily portable, and at this stage, very repetitive. Tomorrow I'll probably take a break from it and finish the dragon brooch, as a friend of mine sent me plenty of pinbacks. So many pinbacks, in fact, that I may have to make more brooches!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Started my November challenge piece

After considering various parts of my heritage, I decided that rather on focusing on a particular country of origin, I was going to do something rather specific to my family. I come from a long line of teachers, readers, writers, and general bibliophiles, so I'm making a beaded book.

I did want to do some sort of pretty, elaborate piece inspired by the jewelry worn by ladies in Renaissance portraits, but let's face it -- there's no aristocracy in my family tree. We're all a bunch of peasants, and I'm not going to pretend otherwise. Besides, a beaded book is something I've wanted to do for a while.

I came up with the idea last week, but I finally sat down to work on it today, I'm using square stitch, which is not my favorite technique. It's pretty time-consuming. But it will give my book nice straight edges, like a book should have. I'm using Delica beads, whose uniformity will help create the image of a smooth book cover. Hopefully it will turn out! Watch this blog for in-progress pictures!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Celebrating 10 years of Erthe Fae Designs!

In October 1998, I bought some beads at a cute nature gallery in one of our local malls, turned them into jewelry, and listed them in eBay. I thought this was a fun way to make some money for the holidays, and that it would go to the wayside someday when I got a "real" job. Little did I realize at the time that I was getting myself into an all-consuming addiction that would lead to numerous friendships, a few fun journeys, and the need for an entire room set aside for my supplies.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, all jewelry in my Etsy shop is now 10% off! This sale will continue until the end of October. All other jewelry that I list between now and then will also have 10% knocked off of its intended price. This is a great time to pick up some holiday presents, or something suitable to wear to all those year-end parties.

Thank you to all of my friends and family who have been a constant source of support, encouragement and inspiration on my jewelry-making adventure!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

No pictures here, move along

My grand plan to take photographs was thwarted by my camera running out of battery juice, and me being unable to find the other two awesome camera batteries that I have around here someplace. I know that rechargeable batteries are better for the environment, and I'm all for improving my green footprint, but I really seem to get better life out of those Lithium batteries that are designed for electronic gadgets.

Anyway, since I can't do photography today, I'm writing instead. Yay! I've written a few pages, and if I really buckle down, I might even get to kill off a character tonight. Well, probably not, but it's something to strive for. I admit that I tend to get really attached to characters, and then I don't want to kill them, but a few need to die to move the plot along. Poor characters.

Because it's the weekend, I get to talk about my dogs. Awwww! They're behind me right now, wrestling. Daisy makes this really vicious face, with her ears back and her lips pulled way up, and her jaws go snap-snap-snap in a ferocious display that is really ruined by the fact that she'll randomly stop to lick Maggie. They're really amusingly bad at fighting, so I often find myself giggling at their antics. This causes them to break up their fight and run over to me, to try to get me to join in. They also still try to get The Toph to wrestle with him, but he is having none of their corgi shenanigans. I did catch him sniffing Daisy's wagging tail the other day, though. He's getting used to them!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quick Post!

Can't blog for long tonight, my parents will be here in a few minutes, and a polite hostess doesn't leave her guests waiting while she blogs ;)

So anyway, a quick rundown of things that happened today: I decided what to do for the November EBW challenge, I realized that I really need to buy more Delicas, and my light tent for photography arrived via UPS. As such, tomorrow's blog post should have some nice pictures!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The turtle compels you to vote!

No, I'm not talking about the US Presidential Election. No politics here, only beautiful beaded jewelry! The turtle compels you to vote for your favorite entry in the Etsy BeadWeavers' challenge! Go forth, view all of the lovely pieces submitted for the Animal Instincts theme, and cast your vote. Tell all of your jewelry-loving friends, too!

Please note, I am not one of those people who tells all of her friends to vote for her, and to tell their friends to do so. I created Turtle Talisman to challenge myself to make something I wouldn't normally (a piece of jewelry with a non-fantasy, non-insect animal), and while I think it's very nice, I do not think that it is the best item in the poll. I want people to vote for the item that they like best. That's what I did. There are some really great items, made by people who were clearly more inspired by the theme than I was.

Now, if you want to tell your friends to buy my Turtle Talisman, I will not stop you ;) That would buy me a lot of cabochons! (ok, maybe not a lot, I have expensive tastes)

On a barely related tangential note, today was an awesome mail day. I received my two most recent Etsy purchases -- a pair of hairpins with clock face cabs, and a gorgeous steampunk bottle -- and a package from my friend and frequent blog commentor Marilee, who sent me some awesome sewing and beading supplies. Hooray for packages! (and for my nice mail lady, who brings them to the door, and who doesn't mind having two corgis charge at her every time)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Etsy Treasury!

Well, this will expire tomorrow night, but you should really check out my Etsy Treasury, The Green Faerie! I curated it yesterday. It's my first treasury ever, and I was really excited to snag it. It's a strange, almost exhilerating feeling, to get to show off a bunch of my favorite items and sellers. And of course, it's fun to pick out items that go well together.

I finished the embroidery for my dragon/wyvern piece. Now I need to dig through all of my beading books -- which are still boxed up -- and find directions on attaching pinbacks. Assuming I have any such finding. I used to have a bunch, but I think I got rid of them all, because I never make brooches. Curse my fickle muse! If I don't have any, I'll just have to hit the bead store this weekend, and in the meantime, I have a different project to work on, so it's OK.

But for now, my main project is cleaning house in anticipation of having the game here tonight. The beads will have to wait!

Monday, October 06, 2008

World: Not quite conquered yet

Looks like I didn't conquer the world today. Or even my house. It was too nice of a day to go out and conquer anything. Autumn has hit Tucson, and we're having lower temperatures (for us) and gentle breezes. The dogs love it, they always want to go outside and chase lizards.

That's right, I didn't blog all weekend, so you get dogs in the middle of the week! This is a picture from shortly after we got the girls. Daisy likes to sleep next to my desk like this, it puts her in the middle of things and makes sure she doesn't miss out on any petting, snacks, or opportunities to go outside. Maggie's more likely to sleep on the Giant Dog Chair. She favors comfort over being in the center of things. Of course, right now, neither one of them is sleeping. They're playing "Follow the kitty around and give him kisses." Poor Topher.

The dragon necklace is coming along well, though it may turn out to be a brooch instead of a necklace. And it won't be my EBW entry, as it's going to have a steampunk story to go with it. Alas, my ancestors were not steampunks. I don't think my great-grandfather the engineer counts, even though they were steam trains.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


After a mostly relaxing weekend, my zombie feelings are gone and I think that when I wake up tomorrow, I'll be ready to conquer the world! Or at least my house. The house could use a good conquering.

I've got a nice vintage dragon cab all glued down, and by tomorrow the glue should be all cured and no longer producing headache-inducing fumes, and I will get down to some serious beading. This may or may not end up being my entry for the Etsy BeadWeavers' November challenge, "Ancestral Expressions." Given my heavily (ie, 100%) European ancestry, a heraldic-looking dragon fits, but I'm not sure if it's what I want to do. I might honor the Welsh side of my heritage. For that matter, my great-grandma Chapman claimed that we were from the same branch of Chapmans as Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman, so I could do something like that*. My English roots would give me a good excuse to do something Victorian, and I always like an excuse to do that. I'll probably avoid Irish, as several other people are already discussing that. I could even be silly and do something Elven, since I joke about being an elf or a faerie, but I do have enough of that in my shop already. The French and German/Prussian sides of my family call up no immediate inspiration, though I do have lots of nice vintage German beads.

I have almost a month to decide, though, so we'll see what the muse says!

*Due to this admittedly probably apocryphal bit of family lore, I'm always amused when I hit the part in American Gods where Shadow meets John Chapman. One can't help but be amused when one's possible ancestor shows up in ones favorite novel.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I feel like a zombie. Uuuuuugh. Braaaaaaaainz.

"Safety Gear" isn't working out yet. I'm going to try a different technique, I think.

I got some new ultrasuede today, so I might do some more bead embroidery instead.

As soon as I stop feeling like one of the living dead.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Here's a close-up of my turtle pendant. I'm really happy with the positive response so far. I didn't think he was that awesome, but sometimes we're our own worse critics.

I really want to do more embroidery pieces. I ordered some ultra suede earlier this week so I can back them. I have a few cabs to work with, too. I just want to buy a whole bunch more! I've got a few sellers favorited on Etsy, and I can't wait to go on a little shopping spree someday.

For tonight, I have a weird steampunk necklace idea to work on. It's been floating around in my head for a while, and I decided it was finally time to use it. I even have the perfect name for it... It's called "Safety Gear" and when you see it, you'll know why!