Monday, November 30, 2009

Daydreams in Black

I've been daydreaming about designs, like the collar that I want to make with the above pieces, which I'd like to make before gem show. Realistically, that probably won't happen, but it would be awesome to have if I get a chance to go to the Swarovski party again. The necklace that I wore this past year (my steampunk cameo) only had a little bit of Swarovski in it, whereas this one would have the wings and then lots of jet bicones as accents, and maybe some other crystals and/or crystal pearls.

The other design on my mind is making a necklace with a goodie that I picked up at a craft fair yesterday... a nice black trilobite fossil elegantly wrapped with silver wire. I'd like to be able to wear it for my recital, as my costume is black and silver, and modern enough that I don't feel limited to kuchi. I just need to make sure that the teacher's OK with jewelry, since she chose our costume theme because it was relatively simple and sleek. If she wants to keep the jewelry simple, I may just wear the trilobite on my plain black herringbone cord. One of the reasons why I liked this particular pendant is that it has a nice big bail that my basic black cord would fit through.

Perhaps more bead time is in order...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Bust

The bazaar that I was supposed to do today was such a bust that I didn't even do it. The Etsy shop is open again, and there's still tons of jewelry there to tempt you. Go forth and shop!

That said, I can't believe the long weekend is practically over. I have a lot to do this coming week, including taking the car to the shop for routine maintenance, and taking Daisy to the vet to get her stitches out. Now that I'm driving, I get to run all of these exciting errands while Chris stays home and works.

I also plan to bead, because I wasted too much time this week preparing for the bazaar-that-wasn't.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Party Time!

Tonight I'm driving up to Tempe for a black light belly dance party. It will be my first time driving up to Tempe by myself... good practice for the weekly drive I'll be making for class.

Should be a fun time... I still haven't decided what I'm going to wear. I'll have to open my costume closet and see what jumps out at me. I'm thinking it might be a good evening for my 25 yard green skirt.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Just what we needed

Today was a much-needed quiet, relaxing day for Chris and I. He's been working 7 days a week lately, putting in much more than eight hours on most of those days. It's especially hard on him, and a little hard on me, because hey, I married the guy because I like to spend time with him. I feel lonely when he's working all the time. It was nice to have the chance to be lazy, to spend an hour just sitting on the couch giving our puppies some love.

The rest of the weekend will be really busy, so I'm glad we had this chance to be with each other, without any major obligations or tasks hanging over our heads.

You know, other than the mountain of Thanksgiving dishes I'm trying to ignore...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Free shipping this weekend!

In recognition of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and those nameless days between them, I'm offering free shipping this weekend on all purchases of $25 or more. This applies to US and International orders. Simply make your purchase, pay, and I will refund those pesky shipping fees. This sale is good until noon MST on Tuesday!

Now is also a good time to mention that my store will be closed for most of Sunday, as I will be at a bazaar, and it would be truly embarrassing to sell the same item twice! So if there's something you really want, make sure to buy it before Sunday morning.

All business stuff aside, I had a nice Thanksgiving with my family, ate a lot of tasty food, and now I'm in a bit of a food coma. Time to shake this fog off with a little tea.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quiet night

Usually Wednesdays are gaming night at our house, but due to the holiday, only two players were going to show up, so we decided to cancel it tonight. I do enjoy gaming, but with all the work Chris has been doing, it's nice to just have a quiet night at home with him. Of course, he's currently in the kitchen baking a pie, but we'll have time together as soon as said pie goes into the oven.

I'm way behind on prep for the gift bazaar. I should probably find my tags and start pricing things in these spare moments.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Yesterday was a really good day. Not only did we get the "all clean" on Daisy's mystery lump, but I then proceeded to go to the MVD and pass my road test. I'm a licensed driver! Armed with this license, I drove myself to the gym and lifted 115lbs, a new record for me.

Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty good about life right now. I'm in the perfect frame of mind for Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, as the proud owners of a large, sturdy dining room table, Chris and I get to host for the second year in a row. I spent today driving around town getting things for Thanksgiving, though I was thwarted in my quest for a few key ingredients, which means a trip to another grocery store later tonight.

Tomorrow I get to clean the house, and make some preparations for the little gift bazaar I'm doing on Sunday. Never a dull moment!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good news, everybody!

Daisy's lab results are already in, and the mysterious lump was benign! They told me exactly what it was, but it was very confusing a wordy. Something like a "Sub-2 mass in the collagen of the nerve something." The important part is that once her incision heals up, she'll be a perfectly healthy girl, no meds or treatments or constant worrying about new growths. She's currently celebrating by snoozing in the sunny spot on the living room floor.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What to post on a Sunday

I often find that I don't have a lot to blog about on Sundays. I usually spend the day running errands and hanging out with Chris, not really doing anything that anyone would be interested in. And it seems like no one really reads on Sunday anyways, because I rarely get blog comments over the weekend. Not like I can blame you guys, I usually just catch up on my blog-reading on Mondays, too.

I've considered not blogging at all on Sundays, but that would throw off my goal to blog every day. As it is, right now I'm thinking of posting beading book reviews every Sunday -- but that would require me to get 52 new beading books a year, and they just don't publish that many.

Maybe I'll do a Finds post, like my old Fashionable Fridays series, but on a smaller scale.

Is there anything you'd like to see become a regular feature here?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sparkle Sparkle Sparkle

With the holidays right around the corner, I thought it might be nice to put my Custom Crystal Bracelets on sale for today's Daily Special. Buy as many as you want for $35 each! These make great presents, and they're also the perfect little bit of glimmer to add to your go-to holiday party outfits. Dress up the Christmas sweater, or make your cocktail dress even more elegant.

By the way, the word Sparkle really starts to look weird after you type it three times in a row. I think it's the "rkl", such a weird and unattractive combination of letters, in such a nice and useful word.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Need more practice!

My dance class recital is one month from yesterday... Our teacher brought it up last night, we picked out our costume, and we're supposed to think about what song we might like to perform to, so we can choose one in two weeks when class resumes (no class on Thanksgiving, obviously!). I'm excited, but I also realize that I need to practice a lot more if I'm going to be ready -- especially the moves that I never officially learned. So on top of my two bits of assigned homework, I need to continually go back over my vocabulary of moves and really polish them.

We learned two new moves last night, although one of them was just a variation on something we already knew. Still, it's exciting to be moving forward into Intermediate, and to be challenged with some more complicated footwork, which I'm now supposed to drill for 8 minutes a day, minimum. Practice, practice, practice.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Long overdue

Halloween is weeks behind us, and I'm just now finally posting an image of the awesome belt that I made for my costume. Keys and tassels and kuchi and chain... so much fun! I'm happy that it actually stayed up while I danced, as it's pretty heavy. Now I need an excuse to wear it again. It's just a little too over-the-top for class.

I'm looking forward to class tonight. I think we're going to finally start learning some intermediate moves. And hopefully my almost-daily zill practice will show. I also think I've finally got the grasp of one move that was stymieing me, which is a good thing since it was this week's homework and I barely got a chance to practice it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daisy's Surgery

I just wanted to let everyone know that Daisy is out of surgery and we're going to go pick her up from the vet in about half an hour. Now begins the fun of keeping her from worrying her stitches! Better go get the e-collar out of the pet cabinet.

Maggie seems pretty unhappy about Daisy's absence. First we took Daisy on a car ride without her, then we came home sans Daisy! Her puppy mind must be boggled. I've made sure to take several breaks today just to cuddle with her on the couch.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thank you, Meri!

You've probably seen Merily posting in my blog comments before. She's one of my wonderful teammates over at FAE Team, one of the crazy few who post regularly in our team thread on Etsy. The thread is a nice melange of daily life, random thoughts, and a little bit of self-promotion. Recently Meri decided that she wanted to run artist interviews on her blog, and today was my turn! Head over to Elbit Blog to read the interview and see the beautiful collage she made of me and my jewelry.

Make sure that you also visit Meri's shop. She does great work in jewelry, polymer clay, and crochet. I especially like these Autumn Leaf Rune Stones. If I were the sort to read runes, these are the ones I'd want to cast.

On completely unrelated news, Canon didn't want to let me install the camera software that I downloaded from their site without the CD (Dear Canon, if I knew wear the CD was, I wouldn't be downloading from your site), but I discovered that I can remove the photos from the camera without the software. Now I just need to install GIMP so that I can edit photos. Hopefully this means pictures in tomorrow's blog post!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Daily Specials Return

I don't handle change very well, so the simple act of switching to a new computer completely threw off my usual routine. Now, more than 2 weeks later, Daily Specials are finally back! Face of the Gorgon is today's offering.

This week I hope to get my camera talking to my computer, and start getting new jewelry into the store for the holidays. Of course, that would require me to spend less time playing video games and more time beading. The beads have been feeling awfully neglected lately.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Autumn is Back

There's a chill in the air today! Looks like it may really be Autumn this time. As much as I do enjoy warm weather, it's unnatural for it to be warm this late in the year, so I guess I need to resign myself to lower temperatures.

My Dad came over today and winterized the cooler and set the furnace up for us, so I don't have to worry about freezing. We needed to ask for his help, as I'm afraid of heights and there's no way Chris was going up on the roof with one bad hand. It's nice to have family close enough to help.

The cool weather put me in an Autumn-y mood, so I put together a tasty dinner of ahi tuna, grain medley with dried berries, and squash tossed in a mixture of butter, maple syrup, and chai spices. Yum! We washed it all down with hot spiced cider. Hot drinks are the best thing about cold weather.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Just passing by...

This is one of those cheezy "I'm posting just so I can say I posted" posts, as cooking dinner took longer than I expected and now it's almost time for gaming.

Not too much to post about anyway, as I spent most of the day running errands and playing video games. I did pick up the latest issue of Beadwork, but I haven't had time to read it yet.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aww man

I was really excited for Sunday, because I was going to take a 4-hour workshop called "Fire For Bellydancers." It was going to cover fire fans and palm torches. What could be more awesome than adding fire props to my dancing?* Unfortunately, I got an e-mail this morning saying that the class was canceled due to lack of interest. Lack of interest? Seriously Tucson, what is wrong with you? How could there not be enough interest in Fire For Bellydancers.

Apparently they're going to try again in January. I may have to find random people and convince them to sign up for the class.

Anyway, today I went back to the gym for the first time since Monday, and I did a really hard workout. I even learned some new things. Hopefully I won't be too sore tomorrow, since I want to go to the Saturday afternoon workout.

*Actually getting good at the moves I already know, which is what I'll do instead.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shiny New Book

This week I spent some of my bead-stringing money on Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence. You may recall that Marcia was one of my teachers at Bead Retreat. I had already planned to get the book before her class (actually, I hoped to buy it in Tahoe and get it signed, but alas, it was Not To Be), but after the class I was even more convinced. Marcia does beautiful work with my favorite materials -- seed beads, Swarovski crystals, and firepolished glass.

I flipped through the book as soon as I got it, and I've already found three projects that I definitely want to do. Of course, I have to finish all of my Retreat projects first, and start thinking about beading holiday presents. Once again I need to learn to manage my time better!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday already?

Well, this week is flying by and I haven't done half the things that I had planned. This includes my homework for tomorrow night's belly dance class. I've been practicing my zills almost every day, but not my Maya and Taxim (two variations of slow figure-8s). This wouldn't be much of a problem with some moves, but I really am bad with those two. I'll have to force myself to stay awake after gaming tonight to practice before bed, and then get some practice tomorrow before I drive up to Tempe.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Went to the vet today

Ah, Daisy. She's my little problem puppy... Totally manic and OCD, always charging into everything, always licking, always desperate for more love, and twice now she's needed her own special trip to the vet.

For the past several months, Miss Daisy-Face has had a little lump on her side. When she had her annual vet check this summer, the doctor said that it might just be a bump from wrestling and to keep an eye on it. Well, it never got better, and it started to get bigger, so back to the vet she went today.

This time the lump got a much closer examination (last time, the doctor could barely feel it). Because it felt unusual and the skin was discolored, she recommended that we have it removed and sent to the lab, and Chris and I quickly agreed. Mysterious lumps are not something you want to mess around with! So Daisy goes back to the vet on the 18th for a little surgery, and will once again have to wear the Cone of Shame (thank you, Up) because she can't be trusted not to lick her wounds.

I don't know how long it will take us to get the lab results after the surgery, but I'll keep everyone updated.

Lest anyone worry too much, let me assure you that Daisy does not seem to be in any pain (though she doesn't like having the lump prodded), she still eats like every meal is her last, and she's always eager to run outside, play, wrestle, or lick our friendly mail carrier. Whatever the lump is, it's not affecting her quality of life one bit.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Thank you, and Art Bead Scene!

Today is a day for sites with Art Bead in their name being nice to me!

First, I woke up and found that Elvensoul had landed me a spot as the Featured Designer at Art Bead Scene. It always makes me happy when other people love this necklace as much as I do, as it was very experimental for me.

Then when I checked the mailbox this afternoon, I found an envelope from Inside was a $20 Gift Card for me, and a coupon code for my blog readers! So if you would like to do a little bead shopping, click the above link and enter the code SCF10P-ARTBEADS-0424 when you check out for 10% off of your purchase.

I used my $20 to buy some Toho Hybrid seed beads and a really cool silver dragon pendant. I'll blog more about them when they arrive. Hopefully by then I'll have my camera and my computer talking to each other.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Software... where?

I kept the box from my digital camera, and I put everything back inside. Everything except the CD with the software. AGH! What was I thinking? Until I find the disc, no pictures on the blog. Or new Etsy items. Yuck. Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A good day

Today was a fun day. Chris and I went to the gym, where he managed the workout despite only having one usable arm. This impressed quite a few people there. I just hope that he didn't over-do it with his right arm. We'll see how he feels tomorrow!

Then after we cleaned up, he dropped me off at Margaret Zinser's open house. You may already know that Margaret is one of my favorite lampworkers, which makes it even more awesome that she lives just 5 minutes from my house, and has open houses a couple of times a year. This time she also had the lovely and talented Anne Mitchell there displaying her beautiful fine silver jewelry. I spent an enjoyable couple of hours chatting with them and the other bead and jewelry people who came in and out of the house while I was there. And of course I bought a few pretty things, which I'll take pictures of tomorrow.

Chris left his usual Saturday game long enough to pick me up, say Hi to Anne and Margaret and tell his broken thumb story, then he took me for a quick deli dinner, ooohed and aaahed over my goodies, and dropped me off here at home, where my puppies were happy to have me home.

Now I'm going to kick back with a bead magazine and a mug of tea, and maybe get my zillage on in a bit.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Art Bead Scene Challenge

For 2009, Art Bead Scene decided that all of their challenges would be inspired by classic or iconic paintings. A great idea, but unfortunately most of the paintings have been very uninspiring to me. Until this month! Finally, a faerie painting has been chosen. The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke by Richard Dadd. It's not my favorite faerie painting, because the colors are so muted and bizarre, but the level of detail is amazing and Dadd's story is quite sad.

I've already submitted Elvensoul to the challenge, as the colors and design are relatively evocative of the painting. I'll likely submit the Mushroom Pixie as well when I finish her. But I'd really like to make a necklace specifically inspired by the painting, probably using a Green Girl faerie pendant to go with those muted colors. It might be a good time to use the new Greige Swarovski crystals, too, although I had planned to use them with a Lillypilly shell pendant. Maybe I have enough for both.

By the way, yesterday's drive to Tempe went very well. Next week I hope to manage the round-trip.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wish me luck!

Tonight I'm going to drive to Tempe for the first time. It's about a 1 hr 45 minute drive from my house. I've only driven on the highway once before, so this is a pretty big jump for me -- but it's something that I have to start practicing since I'll be doing it at least once a week for the next year or so.

I'm trying not to worry about it too much, and am focusing instead on this zill rhythm that we're supposed to master by the end of this class. I've been mostly just practicing the finger movements at various times and places, because let's face it, it's not very feasible to break out finger cymbals at the gym. But today I actually put them on and walked around the house practicing. The dogs ran away and hid, which is better than what I expected -- barking and jumping. Perhaps I can actually practice dancing without crating them now, so long as I'm also zilling.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Busted thumb update

We just got back from the orthopedist, where Chris was given a cast up to his elbow and told that it will take 10 weeks for that little thumb-bone to heal. But the good news is that the bone didn't die, which was a definite possibility given the bone in question and the fact that it went untended for over a month.

It was a very good thing that I drove him there, because we got into the office and they handed him a 6-page medical history questionnaire to fill out. I'm now his unofficial secretary, writing and filling things out for him. My new position pays all the chocolate and beads I want, which is the same pay as my housewife position, but it looks better on my resume.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Day = Derailed

I had plans to get some work done today, beading and housework and setting things up on my new computer. And I was going to get some dance practice -- smoothing out my gahwazee, and trying to get that darned beledi zill rhythm memorized.

What did I do instead? I spent 4 hours at Urgent Care with Chris. Back when I injured my ankle, he injured his wrist. He thought it was nothing and ignored it, but it kept hurting after the gym. Finally yesterday he really hurt himself at the gym, and the trainer, his best friend and I all told him he had to go see a doctor. So he did, and the doctor ordered X-Rays, and the X-Rays found a broken bone in his hand. So tomorrow he has to go to an orthopedist. Hopefully he won't need surgery, but it is a possibility.

And while I would like to now relax a bit and then catch up on all I had to do today, instead I'm off to the gym. Hooray.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Cthulhu on the Front Page

My dear friend and editor Sheryl asked me to write an article about my beaded Cthulhu project... and then put it on the front page of Collector Times!

In other news, I'm not having any luck getting my old e-mails to load into my new in-box. Hopefully Chris will get it working later, there were a few things I needed in there and I really don't want to have to set the old computer back up.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

From my new computer

I'm posting this from my new computer! Chris and I spent most of Halloween cleaning our desks and the office, and setting up the new machines. They're pretty freakin' awesome. Tomorrow I get to put all of my files on here, and set up my e-mail server and all that. Need to install the software for my camera, too!