A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bead Store Booty

Although I guess it isn't technically booty if you paid for it. For it to be booty you have to plunder it, like at sword-point. Or you have to win a battle or a war or something and then just take whatever's lying around after everybody flees or bleeds to death. I don't think filching it qualifies it as booty either, that would just be loot. Or if you went and broke the window at the bead store with a baseball bat during a civil uprising and looted it. That would be loot. I guess this was just...purchases. Such a dry, lifeless word for something so LIP-SMACKING TASTY!!!

OK, I only bought a little bit. There just wasn't that much that appealed to me. And unfortunately nothing from the $2 rack spoke to me. Bunch of chips, I don't like chips. Unless they're barbecue Kettle chips. Or plain Ruffles or classic Fritos.

So here are my ACQUISITIONS (oh, that's good--sort of Trumpy):
I don't know what these are. Aventurine? Carnelian? Red agate?

Crazy horse stone and I don't know what. Purple aventurine?

Little glass eggs. About the size of pistachios.

That's it. Aren't you proud of me? I could have bought more from the $6 table, but I decided I would only buy it if it spoke to me. "Pretty" was not good enough. Most of the stuff was strangely mute. I just didn't really have any idea what to do with it. Well, I guess I don't really have any idea what to do with those red and black tubes (it was sort of more of a muffled mumbling I heard. Sounded like gas). Or the eggs. And nothing really specific in mind for the orange rounds, but they would work so well in my "sunset sorbet" and brass pieces that I do every now and then. You can never have too much orange. Did I tell you I was a Buddhist monk in a former life? A lady at a carnival told me that. It doesn't look like the spiritual enlightenment part of that came with me this time around (I swore in a yoga class once), but (well, I guess I actually swore through a yoga class once) I still really like orange.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Something a Little Different. With an Owl!

I'm getting in to my stash now of pewter totem beads from Happy Mango. I used this little owl totem for this bracelet. Standard gauge Greek leather fit nicely through the holes of the lampwork (chevron pattern beads in goldenrod and carnelian red by Being Beads, and commercial "mocha swirl" lampwork beads) I wanted to use, and the turquoise glass spacers slid right on there.  (I was thinking of naming it "Harbinger of Death", or maybe "Mortality", in honor of traditional Native American owl symbolism but I thought it might be a turn-off).

I left a little space between some of the knots to add more dangling beads--carnelian pebbles, picture jasper, turquoise and trade beads hang from hand-forged sterling silver ball headpins. Pewter crimp ends with hand-forged hook clasp. I took apart some of my antique-silver-plated steel 5mm rolo chain from Lima Beads and used the links as spacers (they're already out of stock again! glad I loaded up!). I managed to restrain myself with this one--instead of getting overexcited and making a 10" cankle bracelet it is only 7 and 3/4" long. Perfect for a 6 and 1/4"-1/2" wrist, but it can be lengthened by about 1/4" with a bigger clasp. It helps when you only have a handful of beads!

I recently discovered that there is such a thing as 1mm Greek leather, so I can string Kelley Wenzel's baby raku beads on leather too! (I'm hoarding some of her beads, and she's going to make me more of her baby black raku, melon/mustard raku, and some of the red/silver/black!! I can't wait!!) I have therefore ordered this leather in red, marigold, dark blue, black, brown, and oatmeal (it also comes in dark green but I didn't get any of that). However, before ordering this leather I had already filled up my cart at Fire Mountain with 1mm waxed cotton cord (been wanting to try it) in red, turquoise, lime, lemon green, navy blue, dark green, chocolate, and black. Phew! I want to use them ALL at the same time. In fact, I'm going to make a maypole in the front yard.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last Weekend

Here are some pictures from our island camping at Flathead Lake last weekend, on Bare Belly Island (no, I do not know why it is called that, but I wish I did). We docked up with some friends in the north cove and spent a couple nights there.  There was a brilliant, nearly full moon and cloudless skies.  I didn't get a good picture of the moon because I never learned the manual settings on my camera to do a prolonged exposure.  It was like a giant spotlight.  Coulda read a book under it.

From the bow approaching Bare Belly from the north.

The north cove.

The view north.

The flotilla.

The flotilla from on high.

The view south.

Some flora.

Nighty night!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bored to Death...

with my own schtick. Bored, bored, bored. Here's how it happened: I was shopping on Etsy the other day and fell prey to some of Sue Kennedy's (Sue Beads) enameled skinny cones. These are what I bought:

I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with them, but I had to have them. And the moment I saw them, I became instantly sick of everything I'm currently making and everything that's sitting in my shop. Hate it all. I want to do Something Completely Different. But I have no idea what it is. Whatever it is I hope to God it involves all the crap I already have because I can't afford to acquire a completely new collection of crap. I don't have anywhere to put a completely new collection of crap. And I hope it isn't going to take a bunch of time because I don't have that either. Perhaps it's just a mood. I do have a sinking feeling, however, that scratching this itch will probably involve buying more tools and related paraphernalia. Or at least some resin. And maybe an enamel setup (I just feel suddenly captivated by enamel--Maire Dodd started me like on the subtle, "gateway" version and then Sue Kennedy hit me with the hard stuff and I was powerless to resist. And of course now Barb Lewis has virtually everything in her shop that you need to do your own enamel). I don't have time for this obsessive crap. Crap is such a great word, isn't it? Sounds like exactly what it is. Crap. No mistaking "crap" for anything else. And my existing crap has already taken over the kitchen and living room. I don't have any room for new crap, unless I get rid of the old crap. (Do I really need all those clothes? The closet and bedroom chest of drawers would be so handy for all my jewelry crap. Not to mention the medicine cabinet...Maybe we could keep our dishes on the porch and I could put more jewelry crap in that cupboard...)

Color, I think I need more color. Color in unexpected places. Which I think is why the enamel is appealing to me--Look! a chartreuse toggle clasp! Look! Purple bead caps! Oh look! Pumpkin headpins! (And I think I am also going to have to transfer some more of my supposed-to-be-going-to-savings funds to Shannon at Miss Fickle Media for the same reasons. I will expect you one day, Shannon, perhaps thirty years from now, to spring for a can of cat food for me to take back to my lean-to under the bridge.) I am also slowly picking up, here and there, with each order of staple items various hues of silk string and ribbon. Without any clear idea of what to do with it (tie my crap together so it doesn't get lost?). Unfortunately none of the silk string I bought turned out to be the color it was advertised as (teal and sea green are apparently the exact same color--dark ELECTRIC aqua, and "olive green" is actually BRIGHT GRASS GREEN), but oh well. So I think the next few months are going to consist of torturing myself to figure out what to do with my new crap (which I hope won't take up that much room), while having it still be wearable. Maybe all I need is enameled bead caps. And that'll do it. Or maybe I should just color my hair and get a tattoo. Maybe this is what a mid-life crisis feels like (although I'm WAY too young for that). Anybody ever had one of those?

So without further ado, here's some more tired crap (because I don't have the enameled cones and silk ribbon yet):
Lampwork, burnt horn, chrysanthemum stone, brass and greek leather:

Lampwork by Karen Hardy and porcelain by Macarroll (the two UN-crap (and absolutely fabulous) elements in this more-of-the-same-crap necklace), and some ebony wood and moss agate:

Unakite and copper, with bone, of course. (I don't particularly like this one).

And one of my recent custom pieces. I actually sort of like this set, especially the earrings. It's wooden jasper, a little moukaite, and copper:

Ho-hum. Not sure where my blahs are coming from. Maybe I just need a life. Like somewhere out of the house. With some people in it. Other than me.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oy! Another Treasury!

Beth at Sierra559 on Etsy was kind enough to feature my Spring Blossoms necklace in her dreamy treasury! Stop by and check it out! Maybe we'll land on the front page...Thanks Beth!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Minty Fresh Treasury! by Bumblejack on Etsy

Look at this deliciously minty treasury!!! Thanks for including me, Bumblejack!

Stop by and check it out, and visit Bumblejack! You'll love the fresh and charming children's illustrations! (Or maybe you'll want one for yourself, just to lighten your mood!)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hint Jewelry Feature!

Woohoo!! Check out the great feature Beth Hemmila at Hint Jewelry posted about Lune Designs!! And if you aren't yet a follower of her blog, sign up! Beth's work is both lovely and inspiring, and from time to time she will take you "behind the scenes" at her studio and show you her process for creating it. Fascinating! She also shares handy tutorials about the various aspects of her craft and business, from creativity to packaging to marketing, and meditative kind of posts on expanding onesself as an artist and a person through the things life brings our way.

A sampling of Beth's lovely charms:

Go visit her if you haven't before! And if you haven't been in a while. You'll be glad you did!