Friday, July 31, 2009

I guess it's time to think about Autumn

Autumn Flier is today's Daily Special! With my increased focus on fantasy jewelry, I probably won't be doing as many butterfly and dragonfly necklaces, so you should snatch them up while you still can!

Some of my on-line friends who live in colder climates have been lamenting that with August starting tomorrow, Fall is close on its way. I have a had time getting into this way of thought, maybe because it will be warm well into October here, and maybe because most of our trees in AZ are evergreens, so there's not a whole lot of falling leaves. Maybe it's because I don't go to school, so I don't equate the start of the school year with the end of Summer. Or maybe I just don't feel like beading in Autumnal colors yet. Maybe digging through my collection of leaf beads would help... except that most of them are green. Nevermind!

A couple of other things really quickly...

Class was awesome last night. Learned some new moves, did well at some and poorly at one. We're reaching the point of doing variations and combinations based on the moves we learned in the first two classes, which is pretty exciting. I also bought some nice new additions to my costume wardrobe.

Meri Greenleaf, frequent commentor on this blog, featured one of my necklaces in her blog's Thursday Trove post. Thank you, Meri!

Finally, brooches may be a little delayed, as I'm dealing with a bit of beader's block about them and may even decide to rip out all of what I've done and start over -- I'm not satisfied with how the beads are lying.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

There was a raccoon in my yard

I don't have any pictures of the raccoon, so you'll have to settle for this image of today's Daily Special, Athena's Familiar.

So anyway, last night when people were leaving our house after gaming, there was a raccoon under the tree on the edge of our front yard. A raccoon. In the middle of Tucson. I've lived here for 15 years, and I've never seen a raccoon. In fact, come to think of it, I don't think I've seen a live raccoon ever. In my entire life. Seriously.

The raccoon only had half a tail, which made him look rather un-raccoon-like, but he was shaped like a raccoon, had a raccoon-y face, and walked like a raccoon. And to be honest, as neat as it was to see him, I hope it doesn't become a regular occurrence, and that he's the only raccoon in our neighborhood. I worry about the dogs scrapping with him or one of his relatives (let's face it, my corgis aren't that much bigger than a raccoon, but they think that they're the size of German Shepherds, except when they want in my lap, and then they think they're a toy breed). I worry about having to lock my trash cans. I worry about them making a hole in the roof of the house or game room and taking up residence there and making life difficult for me. I worry about rabies and parasites.

But other than that -- hey cool! There was a raccoon. In my yard! A real life wild raccoon!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh my, look at the time!

Neon Dragon is today's Daily Special!

It's not so much the time that I'm really worried about right now, but the date. Last night I realized that it's two months until the Tahoe bead retreat, and I haven't started my Ugly Beaded Project or my fully-beaded collar to wear to the reception. Somehow, given all of the other things I have to do (including a fun-filled week in NY visiting my in-laws), I have a feeling that I will not get them both done. I'll probably have to come up with a less time-consuming, but still stunning, new necklace to wear, so I can fully focus on the Ugly project, which I'm really looking forward to.

What is the Ugly project, pray tell? I can't say yet. I need to experiment a bit first to make sure that I'm up to the challenge, and then I need to find out if we're allowed to talk about our projects, or if we have to keep them secret until the retreat. I'll only give you one hint: it's not a piece of jewelry.

Segueing elsewhere, I'm a big fan of the blog TotusMel's Wunderkammer, and today she picked out an awesome cephalopod-themed collection of items. I love it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brooches coming soon!

Once again, Mysterious Portrait is taking a turn as the Daily Special.

Once things cooled down a bit last night, I did get more work done on my brooch, and now it's almost done. I'm going to try to do a ruffled netting edge for it, because that always reminds me of waves, and I want this piece to be very oceanic. With luck, I'll get it listed this weekend, and also get to work on one of the other two brooches.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Too hot!

Automatic Ankle Accelerator is today's Daily Special!

It's another hot, humid day here in Tucson, which means that I'm really not getting anything done. Again. Once the sun goes down, I might have more energy. Maybe I'll put some more work into my seashell brooch, which got ignored while I did other stuff this weekend. I'd really like to get more destashed beads listed this week, but that definitely will not get done tonight.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Book Review -- Create Jewelry: Stones

Create Jewelry: Stones is part of a four-book series from Interweave Press, with each book focusing on jewelry featuring beads created from a certain material. The series is written by Marlene Blessing and Jamie Hogsett, two prolific designer/author/editors.

This is the sort of book which is ideal for a beginner beader. It features relatively simple (but impressive-looking) jewelry designs, with a heavy emphasis on stringing but also with some basic beadweaving and wirework projects as well. Many of the projects rely solely on written directions, but the more complicated ones include clear diagrams. All of the basic techniques are also explained in the back, with more diagrams.

In addition to the projects, the book is full of information about gemstones. They say that the book includes a guide to the most common types of stones, but that's misleading. It's a guide to the stones that they use in the projects, and nothing more. Some of these are in fact very common. Some are unusual. Some relatively common stones, like malachite, don't get a mention at all because they're not used in the book. One other problem with this is that they use photographs of the beads used in the projects to illustrate the stone guide, and some of these beads are not very representative of the most common colors and styles of the stones in question.

However, there is a lot of fun stone trivia in this book. It ranges from useful, such as a description of the Mohs hardness guide, and the hardness rating of all the stones used in the projects, to just plain interesting, such as a paragraph on the historic importance of peridot, complete with a photo of a stunning peridot-encrusted throne. The book also includes a birthstone guide, and tidbits about the believed metaphysical properties of many of the stones.

I'm not sure I'd have paid full cover price for this book. The projects are mostly too simple and specific to be of any use to me. However, since it was deeply discounted in the hurt book sale, I feel like I got my money's worth. The gemstone info may prove useful, it's full of eye-candy, kept me entertained with trivia, and I used the directions in the back to make the wrapped loop bails for my upcycled Taxco necklace.

Speaking of stones, today's Daily Special is Celestial Celebration, which features beautiful fireworks jasper!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Snark, snark, snark

Today I'm feeling tired, overworked, and generally cranky, so any full-length blog post would probably be full of negativity.

So I'll just say that if you were thinking of buying Nomadic Treasure, today would be a good day to do so because it's the Daily Special until noon tomorrow. Yay!

Friday, July 24, 2009

In a mermaidy mood.

I must have mermaids on the brain today. Napping Treasure Hunter is the Daily Special, and I'm working on a brooch in very aquatic mermaid-y colors.

There's not too much else to say today, except that I did my first driving on an actual road today, driving around other actual cars. Minor backroads, but Chris might have me tackling street lights and traffic by Sunday. Well, that's his prediction. I'm not as confident as he is.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Upcycled Taxco Necklace

Well, I got this done sooner than I expected! That's right, my project to upcycle this broken necklace is complete.

I originally thought that I was dealing with some sort of Afghani nickel silver, but while removing the drops, I found that what I thought was a decorative design on the back of the central drop was actually a stamp for Sterling Silver from Taxco, Mexico. Some quick internet research showed that the eagle logo in the stamp had been used from around 1955 to sometime in the late 60s or early 70s, so I was dealing with a vintage piece.

Before continuing on with the project, I did some poking around the internet, trying to find out if this was a valuable necklace that I should be trying to repair, or if I could continue with my original plan. After finding a cleaner, undamaged version of the necklace for 99 cents on eBay, I decided that I could pretty much do whatever I wanted to the necklace and not worry that I was ruining some priceless artifact.
And so I did! My first step was to remove all of the drops, then I attacked the darkened silver with a polishing cloth. I do like the natural patina, it gives it a more tribal feel, but I wanted to clean it up a bit so the new silver wire wouldn't stand out quite so much. Then I set to replacing the old silver drops with new green beads.

These beads are some sort of Chinese pressed glass from Michael's. I don't buy craft store beads very often, but I really liked this unusual drop shape and the variegated green glass is a favorite of mine. They don't quite look like something that belongs at Ren Faire, but they really go perfect with this top...
... which is why I chose them. The greens of the beads are the perfect compliment to the greens of the tie-dye! Later I'll get a picture of the full costume, with my floofy green skirt and teal veil. I'm thinking of making some earrings and a bracelet or two to round it out as well.

In completely unrelated news, Aviatrix is today's Daily Special.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

See, I told you!

As promised yesterday, something new! I call this beauty Nomadic Treasure. It is now my favorite of my tribal-themed offerings. Too often I stick to a very simple color palette, but the mendhi designs on the focal bead forced me to use red, green and blue all in the same necklace. This makes it feel more authentically tribal, as many of the kuchi jewelry pieces have multiple colors in them, especially red, blue and green. It should be easy for any dancer to coordinate this necklace with a coin belt, or the adornments of her turban, or a nice chunky bangle.

In keeping with the tribal theme, Midnight Dancer is once again the Daily Special.

Also, I'm working on modifying that damaged vintage Taxco sterling necklace, and I hope to be done with it by the weekend, so expect a post on that soon, too!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New things coming soon

Today's Daily Special is In the Dragon Nest.

Within the next few days, I hope to have a few new things in the shop -- at least one more tribal necklace, maybe some earrings or spiral bracelets, and more destashed beads. I was supposed to list beads last week while Chris was gone, but I spent most of my time reading instead. What can I say? It's been hot, and who feels like having a bunch of lights on for photography when it's hot?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good-bye, comfort zone

A lot of people have asked me, over the years, why I didn't drive. There have been various answers, but the big one is that I do not like to leave my comfort zone. At all. Driving seems a very scary and complicated thing -- piloting a large metal object at speeds ranging up to over 75 mph, on roads with other people doing the same thing. The very idea of having to judge whether or not I could pull out into a road in front of someone, or wait for them to pass by, is terrifying. Chris refers to it as intuitive physics, and we all know that I suck at science (if you didn't know before, now you do).

But anyway, it was finally time to get out of my safe little comfort zone and get behind the wheel. And already I'm trying to find new comfort zones and stay in them. Chris's self-appointed job is shoving me out of those comfort zones, like a mother bird flinging her chicks out of the nest. Tonight I wanted to go back to the nice, straight, empty UofA parking lot. He made me go to the curvy Reid Park parking lot, with a few cars parked in it and lots and lots of curbs to avoid, and turns to make. Then I wanted to stay in the little sub-lot with no one in it, and he made me drive in the lot right in front of the dog park, where late-night dog lovers were still in attendance.

Despite my griping, I did fine. I almost hit one curb a couple of times, but otherwise I made good progress on making turns, and quickly got into avoiding speed bumps. Hey, even when you're only going 5 mph, those things are annoying.

Well, that's enough confession and driving talk. Tomorrow it will be back to beads and jewelry!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Busy Sunday

Today was spent in a sort of catching-up mode, as Chris and I ran errands, did things around the house, and took over parking lots. Nothing really exciting enough to blog about, just the sort of day-to-day things that didn't get done while he was in TX this past week.

Yesterday, I did buy some beads to hopefully make a necklace that I'd been stymied on. Oh, how I love lampwork, but every now and then (ok, fairly often actually) I get a bead that's really tricky to match. This was one such case, made even trickier by the fact that I want to string it in a cool tribal-style necklace, so seed beads were out. Anyway, I should get that necklace made tomorrow or Tuesday.

Chris took tomorrow off, so assuming no emergencies come up for him, I'll probably spend much of the day away from the computer again -- perhaps practicing my turns, perhaps working on the game room, perhaps just vegging out and watching Netflix. But normal blogging should recommence on Tuesday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Parking lots

Today is the day that Chris and I got kicked out of the mall parking lot, because you're not allowed to practice driving there. Nevermind that we were using a quadrant that isn't near any active stores, that no one else was in it, and that I was driving approximately 5 miles an hour. Apparently I was an insurance risk.

And that is really all I have to say tonight. Tomorrow I'll be taking my dangerous low-speed turns down to an empty UofA parking lot and see if they kick me out, too.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dancin' up a storm!

Mr. Skully-Man is today's Daily Special. Yes, those are the same satin-y green beads from Turtle Talisman. I love them so much!

My classmates and I must have danced up a storm last night, because as Casey and I were leaving Tempe, there was beautiful lightning in the sky -- then lightning in the sky for the rest of the drive home, and pouring rain when we hit Tucson. It was quite a nice little storm, didn't dump much rain on my neighborhood, but refreshing nonetheless. And it stopped before bed time, which was good, because Miss Mags refuses to go outside in the rain. She's prissy that way.

Class last night was great, and also more than a little tiring. I learned the proper way to shoulder shimmy, which uses some muscles that weren't accustomed to that much work, and we did a lot of them. I think the first half of class was nothing but shoulder shimmies, and transitioning in and out of them. Then we had to do more at the end when we practiced everything we'd learned! Oddly enough, my arms feel fine today, and it's my left calf that hurts!

Sadly, we have no class next week, but at least I have two weeks to practice everything I just learned and get really good at it, so I'll be ready to tackle new things at the next class.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Big Discount Today

Today's Daily Special is Turtle Talisman! I've marked it down by $50, because well, the original price was really high, and I thought maybe someone out there might be looking for a deal. In fact, with the $50 you'd save, you could buy the matching bracelet and earrings and have the entire set for the original price of the necklace!

I'm just a few minutes off from needing to get dressed and get ready for my weekly trek up to Tempe. Since Chris is out of town, a friend of ours agreed to drive me, and in return I'm buying him dinner. I've found a Hawaiian BBQ place not too awful far from class that looks pretty delicious, so I'm looking forward to it. I know I'll have danced up an appetite!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time to be social

Snowdrop is today's Daily Special. I guess it fits the whole Christmas in July thing, but it would also be so beautiful on a bride!

Monday and yesterday were the two quiet days of my week-without-Chris. Days for reading, cleaning, and vegging. The next three days will be busy and social. Today, my friend Mara is coming over and then our mutual friend Casey will join us for dinner. Tomorrow, Casey is kindly driving me to Tempe for dance class (because he's awesome like that), and Friday I'm going out with my Mom. Of course, I'll still work some reading and cleaning in on those days (in fact, I should be cleaning now), but mostly it will be spending time with awesome people.

Whenever Chris goes out of town, I always make all these grand plans of things I'm going to get done with my free time, and the vast majority of them don't get done. Faced with the choice between a stack of novels and a pile of cleaning supplies, reading is always going to win. Oh well. At least the office is looking much cleaner, even if I don't get around to any of the other chores I had planned to accomplish.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Books, lots and lots of books!

Chris is out of town on a business trip, which means that I'm spending a lot of time reading. Not only do I have three novels to work my way through (I suspect I'll only get through 2), but a great big stack of books just arrived from the Interweave Hurt Book Sale. If you're a beader or other crafter, you may want to check out the sale. Books are marked down as much as 75%, and for supposedly being "hurt" the ones that I ordered are in better shape than the ones on the shelf at Barnes and Noble.

I got a little greedy with the sale and ordered nine books. It's going to take me a while to get through all of them. I have:

200 Braids to Twist, Knot, Loop or Weave
Beading with Peyote Stitch
Bead Romantique
100 Beaded Jewelry Designs
Fabulous Fabric Beads
Create Jewelry Stones
Create Jewelry Glass
Create Jewelry Pearls
Create Jewelry Crystals

I'll post reviews as I make my way through the stack, reading and perhaps trying out a project or two.

In the meantime, I'm reading Mainspring by Jay Lake, and I think it's time that I crash out on the couch with the puppies and find out what happens next!

Oh yes, before I go, Unlock My Secrets is today's Daily Special!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Onward and upward!

Today's Daily Special is Keeper of Mementos. This is currently the only locket necklace I have available -- I think I need to fix that!

I just mailed off my 2010 Layne's Legacy -- Beading For A Cure project. You may have noticed that unlike the last two years, I did not make any in-progress posts or indeed, even post a picture of it. The truth is that I was not very happy with this year's bead kit, nor with the style of lampwork included in it, and as such I ended up doing a much simpler project than I would have liked. I simply was not inspired.

Now that my BFAC project is out of the way, I have a reasonably clean slate (bead-wise, at least) and I'm looking forward to attacking more enjoyable projects -- upcycling my vintage Taxco necklace (turns out it's really not vintage enough to be valuable), making some brooches for the shop, and working on a couple of projects for the Tahoe Bead Retreat in October. Not only do I want to have something pretty to wear for the reception there, but they're also having an Ugly Beaded Project contest, and I have the perfect idea in mind for that.

I suspect that things are going to quickly get much more lively around here!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Have you heard of Gypset?

Today's Daily Special is the Custom Crystal Bracelet. Crystal bracelets go with just about any fashion style, don't you think?

Gypset is a compound word, a combination of gypsy and jet-set. For some people, it's a new fashion trend, and for others it's a way of life.

I learned about it this week when my friend Marilee sent me this article, which talks about the fashion trend. A quick Google search brought me to Gypset, the website/blog of the author of Gypset Style, the book that inspired the article. This blog seems more focused on exploring a nomadic bohemian way of traveling the globe, living a stylishly alternative lifestyle.

If you've hung around my blog for a while, you know I'm not the sort of person to chase after trends, but I'm more than happy when they come to me. Looking through the slideshow in the article, the clothing featured isn't too different from what's been "in" for the past year or so, but the accessories show a definite gypsy and ethnic inspiration. First of all, I do like any style that allows you to just accessorize and update whatever's in your closet. Secondly, I really enjoy a style that meshes well with the tribal jewelry I've been making.

As such, I've tagged a few items in my Etsy shop as "gypset." As of yesterday, they were the only items tagged thusly, which makes me feel like a trend setter. Woohoo! I like the idea of tapping a new market. I'd love if my jewelry went to follow bellydancers, but I won't complain if it ends up adorning young fashionistas instead.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Learning, always learning

Hey look, the Gossiping Pixies are here to tell you what's going on in my life! Well, not really, but they are today's Daily Special.

My class on Thursday was great. Crowded, hard, but great. Dancers of various ages, levels, and even genders pretty much filled up the floor (but with enough room left that everyone could move), and got a crash course in Beginner A and B before we could move on to C. I have a few moves I need to practice, and arm cues that I need to try to remember.

One of the most fun things about being a dancer is the costuming, so of course I did a little shopping while I was there, too. I bought a pair of black Tribal Fusion pants, and found a cute sheer embroidered tie-front crop top on the used rack for only $5. I think it will look cute over my bra, or over my teal halter top. I'm going to try to limit myself to 1-2 new costume items a month, otherwise I'd go crazy and my closet would explode from all the goodies.

Then yesterday, I finally went to the MVD and got my learner's permit. Yes, at the age of 27, I'm finally learning how to drive. I've had various reasons for spending the past 11 years relying on other people for rides -- some were genuinely good reasons, others were excuses. But I've decided now that I want the freedom to get in the car and go wherever I want, without relying on husband, family, or friends. Tomorrow should be my first lesson. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why seed beads?

Marcia DeCoster made an interesting blog post today, asking "Why seed beads?" and I thought it would be the good subject of a post of my own.

Why seed beads indeed? Woven projects are so time-consuming that I have to price them so high that they rarely sell. And yet I can't stop making them, because seed beads inspire me.

One of my favorite things about seed beads is the sheer amount of colors and finishes available. I can match almost anything, from a carved stone to a lampworked bead to the ceramic pendant in today's Daily Special, Mistress of the Secret Forest.

Versatility is key, too. Tiny seed beads can be woven together to form all sorts of shapes and express different styles. They can be bold, delicate, modern, classic, Victorian, tribal... Anything my muse wants to do can be rendered in seed beads, whether it's by weaving them, stitching them down, or even using them as spacers in strung designs. They can stand on their own, or they can be accented by anything else from my stash -- artist-made focals, Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, vintage treasures, skeleton keys...

I'm looking forward to doing even bigger and better things with my seed beads in the near future -- fully-embroidered collars, more ornate belly dance bras, necklaces with multiple bezeled rivolis, all sort of exciting projects.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dance class tonight!

Today's Daily Special is Celestial Celebration! The earthy neutral colors of this necklace really make it perfect for year-round wear. I'm hoping it will find a lovely new home soon.

Tonight is my first class at Plaza de Anaya up in Tempe. I'm so excited! Finally, after several years of being largely self-taught (working from a great foundation from my friend Helen), I'm going to go learn a codified set of moves (or a "language" as its often called) that will allow me to do choreography both pre-planned and spontaneous, and perform with other dancers.

This is the first step in my big plan for my life, which is to become Tucson's premier teacher of tribal-style belly dance. If anyone is teaching it here, they're keeping pretty quiet about it. With what I've already learned about on-line self promotion from running Erthe Fae Designs, and the sites I've discovered while trying to find a teacher, I'm certain that students will have no problems finding me, and learning to love tribal as much as I do.

My plan is to be teaching by the time I'm 30 (I'm 27 now). I know 30 is a time when a lot of people look back at their life and see what they've done so far -- and right now, I wouldn't see much. I want to hit 30 and say "I've built up the skills to do what I love for the rest of my life."

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Tribal Jewelry Part 3

As promised, this third installation features traditional tribal jewelry. All three of these beautiful pieces were gifts from my dear friend Helen, who first taught me how to dance!

This style of jewelry, made from a silver-tone metal and adorned with bits of glass, plastic and sometimes lapis or other stones, is usually called Kuchi, after an Afghani tribe. It's very popular with tribal dancers, as it gives a very authentic look for a very low price (I've purchased belts of this style for as low as $25). It's also easy to get small pendants and other bits and use them to adorn bras, turbans and more, creating a unified look for your entire costume.

The above necklace is my favorite of my kuchi pieces. Though I'm not a big red-and-blue person, I love the super-long chains. When worn like a choker, the chains still stretch down to my cleavage. I am worried that I'll have to replace the red thread, though, and I might make it a little less authentic by using some SoftFlex so it will be strong and I won't have to worry about any strands breaking while I dance.
This large piece is really too big to be a pendant, and I still haven't decided exactly what I'll do with it. If I had two, I'd make a pseudo-Persian warrior queen bra. I've tried wearing it as a belt adornment with my yarn fringe belt, and while it looked awesome, as soon as I started walking, the fringes tied themselves around the chains. I should probably either use it to adorn a non-fringed belt, make it a bun cover for my hair, or decorate a turban with it.
This necklace lost a drop some time ago. I was going to move the central drop over and put something else in the center, but I've come up with a much more exciting plan. Just wait until you see the revamped necklace! So far, I've only had time to polish it up a bit, but today I'll really start to work on upcycling this damaged treasure.

07/09/09: Edited to add that it's more of a treasure than I thought. While removing the drops today, I found that what I thought was a decorative pattern on the back of the central drop is actually a Taxco Sterling stamp from somewhere between 1955 and the 1970s. Not sure about the upcycling now, since it's vintage. More updates as they happen.

I had an awesome necklace with lapis and plastic dangles with lots of chains and jinglies, but I foolishly forgot to photograph it before giving it to another friend. So instead, I'll offer you a link to TribalSouk, for all the tribal eye-candy you can handle!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

New jewelry, new pictures, old beads.

Yesterday's photography session allowed me to get some new items listed today. First, Celestial Celebration which features a carved dragon pendant, and pretty much the entire strand of yummy firework jasper that I bought at the Rings & Things show back in May.

I also listed the Gossiping Pixies earrings, which I made last week while my friend Mara was stringing her first necklace.

Plus I took shiny new pictures that I added to the listings for Athena's Familiar, Automatic Ankle Accelerator, Spiral Journey, and Mysterious Portrait. I'm really happy with the shots on the black pinstripe paper. I think it's a sharp look for my Gothic designs. Definitely going to be using that one a lot.

Then I started listing items for my destash sale! Star of David beads and lampworked vessels. There's more yet to come, probably next week.

As if that wasn't enough, I also took pictures for the next Tribal Jewelry blog post, which will probably be up tomorrow! My camera and I, we've been quite busy.

Oh, and before I forget, today's Daily Special is Moonlit Seductress!

Monday, July 06, 2009

And now, a bra!

Wow, it's gotten all costume-irrific over here at the ErtheFae blog! First two days of steampunk, and now finally, my bra. Sorry about the glare, the non-flash shots didn't turn out.

So. I started out with a cheap padded bra from Target and then I put my DIY skills to use. Ribbon and trim were hand-stitched down, and I accented the ribbon with some copper sequins. Then coins, bells, and "copyrite" beads* were hung from swags of Charlotte** bronze seed beads. For a final touch, I put a round pendant in the center to cover the strip of cloth (called a gusset, I think) between the two cups, so it would look less like lingerie and more like a tribal bra.

It's photographed on top of a scarf that I intend to wear with it. I'll take some model shots of the whole ensemble in a couple of days -- it's too hot and humid today for a 10-yard skirt and makeup.

I tried to take photos for my next tribal jewelry post, but none of them turned out, so I'll give it another try tomorrow with a different background.

Oh yes! In all of the clothing-related excitement, I keep forgetting to post about Daily Specials. Sacred Clouds earrings are on sale today!

*The mysterious "copyrite" beads have tenetively been identified as chalcopyrite, which makes sense. They look about right, and it would be pretty easy for "chal" to get dropped in transit and translation.

**For the non-beaders in the audience, a Charlotte is a small seed bead with a single cut or facet, giving it a little sparkle. They're also sometimes called one-cuts or true-cuts.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

More Steamy Pics!

First, a close-up of Amy's amazing work! A little too much flash, I guess, because the cream flowers are really glowing and the clock hands got a little lost -- but I still love how this looks on my head! The feathers at the front sort of frame my eyes, the peacock eye sticks out jauntily, and the entire thing compliments my brown hair very well. You can click here to see it on Flickr, where you can also view a larger image.

This image is my new profile picture on Facebook, and I might make it my profile here on Blogger, too. I know my current image is kind of small and you can't really make out any details of what I look like, only that I love green and have wings ;)

And finally, a front view of the whole costume, which shows the neat double row of (non-functioning) brass buttons down the front of my pseudo-corset. You may notice that I am trying, and failing, to look sultry. I blame my freckles.

Tomorrow I'll try to finally provide pictures of my tribal bra!

The day I steamed it up in Tempe

Today Chris and I drove up to Tempe to meet an on-line friend Serge and his wife Sue. Like me, Serge is into steampunk, and he was dressed up to attend FiestaCon/WesterCon. I couldn't attend the convention, so I chose to do what I am told is "ghosting." And to make myself easier to spot, I dressed up in steampunk gear as well. But let's face it, we all know that I love an excuse to dress up!

I'm developing a steampunk persona for myself -- a dancing girl who was abducted by airship pirates, and decided that she liked the pirate life better. It's a good excuse to combine glamorous elements like my bronze bustle skirt and gorgeous feather headpiece with the military-influenced styles of my pseudo-corset (with brass buttons) and suede short-sleeved jacket. Next I need a name for my persona. I think she'll be showing up as a character in my steampunk jewelry stories, too!

Anyway, we had a great time hanging out with Serge and Sue. We all had a lot to talk about, and we stayed in Tempe longer than I expected, only leaving because I didn't want to leave the corgis home alone for too long (Mom did come and give her "grandcorgis" their dinner and some love). It was so much fun to get out of town and kick back with some new friends and chat about sci-fi, writing, work, pets, and childfree life.

By the way, back to the costume. I love sharing my resources! The gorgeous bustle skirt is from Damsel in This Dress on Etsy. I really love my bustle skirt (I may have mentioned wearing it to the Swarovski party back in February). Unfortunately, she doesn't have any in her shop right now, but you could probably request a custom order.

The feather, flower, and clock-hand headpiece came from The Gypsy's Kiss. I clipped it onto a lace headband that I bought at Target. A gentleman at the convention even came over and asked to take a picture of it. It really is that beautiful! Amy does fantastic work, I'll definitely be buying more.

The socks are of course from Sock Dreams. I'd forgotten that last time I wore the skirt, I wore either black lace tights or my brown-striped thigh highs. I can't remember which, but knee-highs are not high enough. That doesn't make the socks any less awesome, though!

And that's about it. The shoes are just from Payless, and the pseudo-corset and leather jacket are both lucky finds from Buffalo Exchange, our local resale boutique. Plus my steampunk cameo necklace, and a brass bracelet that Chris gave me for the holidays.

I'm off to edit more photos and upload them to Flickr. I'll post links tomorrow!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Thrown off

Chris actually got half the day off for the holiday, so I didn't spend nearly as much time at the computer as I would normally. As such, I never really got around to writing a blog post for today.

Tomorrow I'm going up to Phoenix to meet an on-line friend, but I'm leaving late enough that I should have time to set up the usual Daily Special and blog post.

In the meantime, Forest Singers bird earrings are today's Daily Special. Tweet!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Fun times were had!

Today's Daily Special is Asrai!

Yesterday, my friend Mara was over, and we decided that it was time to play with beads. So I taught her how to string a necklace, with some hematite, Czech glass, and a wolf/fox head pendant. It turned out pretty awesomely, and she was very happy with her necklace. I think I've made a new addict.

While she was blissfully stringing her necklace, I was making a cute pair of earrings with some faerie pendants she found. I didn't even remember that I had them. These earrings will find their way onto the website or Etsy next week.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Just Flitting By!

I have a couple of things to do this afternoon before my dear friend comes over for some much-needed fun times, so I just thought I'd flit in and let you know that Summer Dragonfly is back up on Daily Special. Only $30. The For A Summer Day earrings shown in the image are not included in that listing, but are available for only $15. That means for $45 you could have a beautiful, perfectly coordinated set of jewelry that will carry you all the way through Summer and into Autumn.