Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bleh sick

I am sick again, and it is all because of Chris and his friend Rene. So phooey on them. I was enjoying being healthy, thank you very much. The unwelcome germs are being bombarded with vitamins, hydration, tea, and nasty thoughts in their general direction, so hopefully this stupid cold will not interfere with all my fun dance plans for the week.

In other news, it is also raining, so at least I didn't miss a beautiful weekend while I was being sick and cranky. And at least my plants, who are convinced that it is Spring, got another nice soaking.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bellydance Street Team

This is my favorite shot from last night... Chris managed to catch my classmates and I in the middle of an Egyptian 1/2 turn, resulting in beautiful swirling skirts, perfectly posed arms, and everyone looking dramatically off into the crowd. My two lovely and well-dressed classmates who are dancing with me are Meghan and Jen. Shortly after this photo was taken, our teacher Tiffany jumped in. Fun times!

The entire Street Team event was just a lot of fun. We spent about an hour and a half making our way up and down Mill Avenue. It was a Friday night, so there were lots of people out and about, enjoying various restaurants, clubs, and the few shops that were open late. Most of them reacted positively to the experience, though some people seemed annoyed about us taking up sidewalk space, and we actually had a small run-in with some bicycle cops (I didn't hear most of the exchange, but apparently they were just asking us to stick to larger spaces and leave more open sidewalk, which was fine). There were quite a few dancers and musicians, as well as significant others and friends along for the fun, and even a few random people who followed us for a bit (including a couple of steampunks!).

It was a great experience for me, as a student dancer. My classmates and I danced together twice. The rest of the night I spent either watching, or standing in a U Chorus-type formation, doing simple moves to provide a pretty backdrop for the main dancers. I got to deal with the General Public, practice dancing to live music, and deal with the "fun" of realizing that I messed up in the middle of a move, then smiling and making the best of it. I hope to go up to Tempe for another one of these monthly events!

Friday, February 26, 2010

My new necklace stand

This necklace stand is carved from teak wood, and it's one of my purchases from when we took my mother-in-law to the gem show. I like it better than my velvety ones because it's prettier, and it doesn't attract cat hair. The wood grain is a better compliment to my nature-inspired faerie designs, too. I'll probably collect some more, which will be easy since the company that made them is based here in Tucson.

Don't forget that you can still get free shipping on all $25+ purchases made in my Etsy shop, now through the end of the weekend.

Tonight I'm off to Tempe for the Plaza de Anaya Street Team event. Chris was supposed to go with me and eat delicious Thai food, but he seems to be down with a cold, so I will probably insist that he and his germs stay home.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Hungriest Pixie Ever -- Hunger Moon Art Dare

The Hungriest Pixie Ever is my entry for FAE Team's February Art Dare. Our theme choices were Snow Moon and Hunger Moon. If I'd had more time, I would have made entries for both themes, but the month flew by, so I only had a chance to make a Hunger Moon necklace. As soon as I saw that theme, I knew I had to use the pomegranate faerie that I'd been hoarding for years, and the little pomegranate charms that I'd purchased to match her.

The pomegranate faerie focal is of course from Green Girl Studios. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you already know that I love designing with their work, because it perfectly fits my sense of style and they're such a nice family. As such, I was pretty peeved when I heard that someone had ripped off many of their designs! For details on this nasty incident, visit Cynthia Thornton's blog. Thankfully it looks like they are making progress on stopping the offender, which is especially important since this person was copying the work of many artists. That's just not cool!

The little poms are also by a favorite artist of mine, Melanie from Earthenwood Studios. Because they work in similar themes (faeries and steampunk and nature), Green Girl and Earthenwood components go great together, and I'm always happy when I can design a piece that combines them (for another example, see Her Airship Sailed Through Time).

It's important to me to continue supporting the bead/component designers I love, especially when they're facing the double whammy of a poor economy and increased design-piracy. I haven't been buying as much as I used to, since I haven't been selling much, but recent events have served as a good reminder that I should be spending a bit more, and giving them a bit more love in my blog!

Closing on a lighter note, the inspiration for the name of this necklace came from my dog Daisy. During the first few months that we had our corgis, I noticed Daisy sitting on the couch, head down, ears back, giving me the big eyes because I was doing something other than petting or feeding her. I declared her "the saddest puppy ever." But because she does everything to the full extent she can, she has numerous "-est puppy ever" moments, whether it's hungry, barky, happy, or something even more ridiculous. I couldn't help but use the same naming convention for the subject of this necklace!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Sun Spirals Ever Onward

Due to everything that I had going on this month, I am just now getting around to using the beads that sent me to promote their Valentine's Day category. For shame! Of course, I chose earthy hearts, so the things that I'm making have year-round appeal for heart lovers.

I was especially drawn to this heart pendant by Golem Design Studios, from the Ceramic Pendants section. The design reminded me of spiraling gears, or the cross-section of a nautilus shell. I had originally picked out some nice brown heart beads to go with it, but when they got here I decided that the colors didn't quite match, so I dived into my stash for inspiration. I found Swarovski crystals, chatoyant stones, and vintage topaz-hued glass. The result is this almost-steampunk necklace called The Sun Spirals Ever Onward.

I still have the brown heart beads, and a pretty copper heart clasp to use, so keep your eyes open early next week for more earthy love! I'm thinking there might even be a give-away involved.

In other news, I feel like buying some more dance costumes, and my budget doesn't think I should, so I'm having a free shipping sale! All purchases over $25 qualify for free US and International shipping. Just purchase as usual and I'll refund the shipping fees. This sale ends at 11:59pm MST on Sunday the 28th. Visit my Etsy shop and see what catches your eye.

Edited to add FTC Disclaimer: Some of the items in the above necklace were provided free of charge by for review purposes. I provide my honest opinion of the products I receive, and I get no other compensation for it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Jewelry Tomorrow

I made two necklaces today, but haven't had a chance to photograph them yet. They're both bound for Etsy tomorrow, however! Hopefully it will be nice and sunny again so I can get some good outdoor photos.

Tonight, I went over to Reid Park where the SCA meets. Though I still don't want to join the SCA, I did enjoy meeting some fellow dancers and dancing to some live drumming. It was really cold out, so I only stayed for an hour, but I'm going to try to go back often. It was fun to see where our dance vocabularies were the same, and where they were wildly different. I even learned a new move, though who knows if I'll remember it tomorrow, since I only did it twice :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fantastic FAE Team!

I've been so busy lately that I keep forgetting to direct you all to the newest FAE Team exhibition, To Melt Winter's Heart. I've also been to busy to submit anything to said exhibition, so you won't see any of my work among the beautiful items.

Things are going great with the FAE Team. We've had a change in administrators, resulting in an influx of new members and new ideas, and our new blog is going strong. Today I posted a review of The Wolfman, which fits well with our monthly dare theme of Hunger Moon.

Speaking of Hunger Moon (aka Snow Moon), I missed the deadline for that, too. I'll have to make a piece and sneak it in late!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Check out my henna faerie! Chris snapped this shot right after she was done, because of course I was silly and got my first henna tattoo in a spot where I couldn't see it. I'm really happy with the design and the placement, so I hope it lasts for a few weeks. It's not as dark as it could be, because I got cold and put a hoodie on over my halter top, and it started pulling the dried paste off. But since I'm so pale, it still shows really well... it's a nice mellow brown-orange.

Chris's Mom is now back in New York, which means life will return to normal until his brother visits next month... and normal life means BEAD TIME! What should I make first?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Faire Picture

Just me this time! I was trying to strike a bellydance pose, but my posture is a little weird -- I don't know what is going on with my lower arm, and my chin is oddly tucked. Looks like I forgot to tilt my hips forward, too. Really, all I remembered is to lift my chest ;)

My costume consists of brown cotton gauze bathing-suit-cover-up pants, the adorable cotton striped skirt I picked up at the TEP show, and the awesome super-long halter top that I got at last year's Faire (I like it because it gives the bare belly look, while protecting people from the glaring whiteness of my skin). It's accessorized with my totally sweet new pouchy belt, my favorite old kuchi mirror belt, a zillion bangle bracelets (mostly from World Market), the Talisman of Sultry Undulations, and the hair stuff I talked about yesterday. Oh! And my cute bird ring from my tribal jewelry shopping trip last week. I need to get a good picture of that.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fun and Sun at Ren Faire!

Here's a picture of me with my awesome mother-in-law Marlyn at the Renaissance Faire! I'm a woodlands belly dancer and she's a mischievous imp -- the horns and ears are from the NY Faire, but the awesome wings were purchased yesterday at our Faire. The skirt and belt are from my closet, we're close enough in size that I was able to help her with an impromptu costume. However, while we were there she picked up a couple of skirts, so she'll have her own costume when we return to the NY Faire in August!

This was my first time doing Tribal buns. I put my hair up in two little buns, wrapped the yarn falls around them once, clipped them into place with little barrettes and then added all of the flowers and sticks I could. I really love this new pair of falls, they're perfectly earthy and have more texture than my green and black pair. I could see myself getting addicted to wearing my hair this way. I just have to remember to sunscreen my scalp...

Yes, as usual I got a little too much sun with my fun! But it was worth it. Mediaeval Baebes were back again, this weekend only! We saw their show, two belly dance/world music troupes, and the falconry show, in between all our shopping. What a great time! The weather was perfect, the performers were all at top form, and the booths were well-stocked with beautiful goodies. And I even got my first henna tattoo! Yay!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My desk is covered in yarn

One of my purchases at the gem show yesterday was a cute green and brown striped skirt (yes, skirts at the "gem show") which I decided that I wanted to wear to the Renaissance Faire tomorrow. Then I decided that I wanted to make some yarn "hair" to match the skirt, so I popped over to JoAnn's, picked up three skeins, and supplemented them with some yarn, ribbon and thread that I already had, to make some really wild, mossy, faerie-inspired falls. I'll get pictures of myself wearing them tomorrow!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fun day at the gem show

Today we took Chris's Mom to her first Tucson gem show. We chose the Tucson Electric Park show, which is half gem show, half swap meet, and all fun. Good times were had by all, and I picked up some pretty Czech seed beads to add some different colors and finishes to my embroidery, plus a pretty opalized flourite cab, and some totally non-bead-related goodies.

The show has grown tremendously since I stopped going a few years ago. While there used to be just a few small stalls behind the main tent, there were now rows and rows of them, a decent-sized food court, and a whole lot more medium-sized annex tents. We spent most of the day outside exploring those, and I feel I may have gotten a bit too much sun! But it was a great time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Picture of a Pretty Pixie

Sorry this post is so late, I spent the day running errands and getting the house ready for my Mother-in-Law to spend a week with us... and now I'm on my way out the door to pick her up at the airport! So you'll have to wait for me to gush about this necklace ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Peck of Pewter Pendants

(and buttons)

Here are my goodies from the Green Girl booth! I already have a pretty impressive stash of Green Girl Goodies, so I focused on new designs. I finally got my hands on the Yeats quote faerie that was sold out in September. In fact, I bought two. One for me and one for business. I think mine might end up in a little charm bracelet.

I like the golden mermaid in the seashell, she reminds me of the focal in my Napping Treasure Hunter necklace, but smaller and shinier. The other two mermaids are both buttons, so they'll probably end up adorning some elaborate bracelets.

It was nice to see both Greg and Andrew from Green Girl. The Green Girl herself, Cynthia, was at home with her new-ish baby!

Tomorrow I'll finally unveil the completed necklace with the shibiuchi faerie.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Selection of Sensational Seeds

This picture only accounts for about half of the size 11 seed beads that I acquired this year, but it gives a pretty good idea of the sort of colors I was leaning towards. Lots of metallics, metallic irises, and matte metallic irises. I wanted colors that will make my work more lush and rich. I wanted different finishes, to add depth and contrast. And because I had about $600 trade credit saved up, I didn't have to pass beads up due to high price tags. I had quite the little shopping spree!

Oddly enough, that tube of powder blue marble luster appears to be the one of the two blue seed beads I purchased in any size. I like blue, I wear blue, I bead in blue... but I almost never gravitate towards blue beads when I'm shopping. The vast majority of my blue seed beads are in the aqua-capri family and I have to make a mental note to look for true blues, or I just don't buy them at all. This year I was so captivated by the greens and earth tones that I never even looked at blue. Of course, I bought no reds, oranges, yellows or pinks at all. But I did get 5 yummy purples.

I noticed a lot of shoppers in our booth were also gravitating towards metallics, whether it was the new-ish Permanent Galvanized, the new Platinum and Palladium electroplates (yum! How did I manage not to buy any?), or the electroplated size 15 24k gold charlottes. I think that even though times are tough financially, a lot of designers are still willing to invest in the luxurious beads that elevate our weaving to the point of rivaling fine jewelry.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A Bounty of Beautiful Beads

The colors are a little off on this picture... but look! Beautiful beads (and one cab)! From gem show! Clockwise from the top:

A coil/spring bead from JC Herrell. Not only is JC fun and awesome, but her team won the Flame Off this year! GO JC! And teammates! WOOO! I have no idea how I'll use this coil, but it's really fun and called to me.

Brand-new butterfly wings from Margaret Zinser. I saw this pair on Facebook and called "dibs." Clearly the bead gods were listening to me, because even though I didn't get out to the MZ booth until 8 hours into the show, and even though the wings were hot sellers, both of them were waiting for me :) I also picked up a little set of spacers that looks nice with them.

Raised floral cab by Dolly Ahles. I liked the flatter floral cabs that I bought in September so much that I had to get one with a raised clover flower this year. Isn't that green just luscious? Dolly is doing some amazing floral beads, too, some even have tiny 3d butterflies on them.

Greek Math Bead, a gift from my friend Deborah Gray-Wurz. Deb is addicted to making Barb Switzer's complicated little beaded beads, and she made me one in beautiful shades of green and brown. I love it!

Keep your eyes open for more gem show goodies and some actual stories as the week progresses!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I'm the worst blogger ever

Cool bloggers take pictures during gem show, and post frequently about their adventures. I am not a cool blogger! I never thought to bring my camera with me to the show, or the party, or last night's dinner. I was too busy and tired to pop in here and update you guys about my various exploits. Shame on me!

It's hard to even gather my thoughts up to do a list of highlights. I'll probably have to wait a day or two, get photos of my swag, and do up an official report.

Best Bead ended today, so I now have a paycheck to go spend tomorrow.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Tiredy McTiredface

That's me! So tired! And on top of that, I have a cold. I think in the 10 years I've been working at gem show, I've only managed to avoid getting a cold twice. I was hoping that my greatly improved fitness (plus the immunity boosting tea I've been drinking all week) would have protected me, but alas, the germs got through anyway. Stupid germs.

The cold meant that I had to stay home from dance class, which annoys me for two reasons... first, tonight's focus was slow moves, which I REALLY need to work on, and second, there's no class next week. Two weeks without class, after already missing one due to weather. Grrr. I am SO mad about being sick. I don't think I can even express it without cursing, and I try to keep this blog clean.

Other than that, I'm having a great time, shopping, working, and seeing lots of friends. I look forward to sharing my finds when I've recovered, but right now I am just too worn-out to even think of messing around with photos.

Tomorrow is the Swarovski party, and I am determined to not be too sick to attend. I want to see the previews of the new items, hang out with friends (without stopping to help customers!), show off my new necklace, and dance.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Bead-moving muscles

Today I put my hard-earned muscles to use and moved beads and tables and things for 6 hours as part of the set-up process for Best Bead Show. It was actually less exhausting than the 1-hour workout that I skipped to be there ;)

Because my boss is sick, we did not go to the Beadwork party tonight. I could have gone by myself, but that would have been weird. I know a lot of the people who would have been there, but only by sight/because I've sold beads to them. I'm a shy little elf (unless I'm dancing), so I would have felt very awkward. Instead, I went out for Japanese with Chris, then worked on my necklace, which is almost done! And I strung some crystals, because that's how I roll.

Tomorrow is my least-favorite day of the show. Staying open until 8 is nice for people who don't get out of work until 5 or 6, but it's hard on us vendors! I know I will be dragging by the end of the day. Still, I hope I'll see some of you there! Come look for me at the Beyond Beadery booth.

Today was the boring day

And by boring, I actually mean, chock-full of chores. Every year, there's a day or two between when I start shopping, and when the show I work at starts, and that's when I get all of my last minute stuff done. As such, there's really nothing to blog about. I'm sure you don't really want to hear about my laundry or grocery shopping.

I did finish the edging on my necklace. The rest will have to wait until Wednesday night. I am so excited about it!