Just a Quick Note

I'm loving how this is working out - the peyote tube I'm working is just slightly larger in circumference than the stethoscope itself, so it's just a tad loose - what I'll be doing is sort of scrunching the peyote tube to give it just a little more texture. Busy busy busy.


Fishy? Nah . . .

I'm in a treasury over at Etsy! It's been a while since anyone poked this one with a stick:

The Magical Fish That Grants Any Wish (in a nice cream sauce)

I love that one. The rebuild on my beaded stethoscope is continuing - I'm on the right track now with it - I decided to simplify my initial design by replacing the netted base with a more solid peyote stitch base and substantially reduce the amount of fringe, limiting it to just the crossbar.

I've set the bead embroidery piece aside for a bit while I give that a harder rethink.


Stalling Out

I'm stuck. On two fronts.

I sat here looking at the "Death-O-Scope" and realized it wasn't working for me - and why. So I'm ripping it all apart tonight. Which is therapeutic in its own way.

The red purse patch is slowing down - I keep making false starts, backing up, ripping out then lurching forward in tiny increments. I'm editing myself as I go - and I'm overthinking this in large measure.

I had my third migraine in 4 days today. This is a first for me. Last year I had maybe four migraines total. Wow. Made it through a day of work in spite of it. And I get to wear sunglasses constantly for the next couple of weeks.

On the upside, I got the lampworked beads I special-ordered from Canyon Echoes! They are going to be perfect for what I have in mind - my next group of bead crochet projects. Pics of them up tomorrow.

Oh - and I shipped my beaded journal off to Interweave yesterday. New date to worry over: March 6, when the winners are announced.


Catching Up: Now With Sunday Edition CrunchBerries

Sunday Edition #4: This week's 'Hey Lookie' Etsy site belongs to Yokoo, who keeps a photo blog over at Flickr:

I love her style, color, wit.

Here's my (very slow) progress picture on the bead embroidery:

Friday afternoon I got a mild migraine. I was fine Saturday morning, but Saturday when I got off work, BANG. I have what are called "light flash triggered" migraines, and there's just no way to tell when its going to happen or find a way to avoid them, short of going around in dark glasses all the time. Migraine #2 came on with a vengeance. This was the "lie down in the dark" variety. I've never had this happen - one right after the other. In any case, I was still rocky yesterday. Glad that's over. Thanks, everyone, for all the well wishes!



Feels like this behind my eyes. Having trouble with my focus. No beading, no creating, just being very quiet. I get these every now and again. Just have to ride it out.


What I Was Talking About

The bead embroidery progress.
Pay no attention to all those weird lines I drew on the interfacing - since I won't either. The cab and the found metal piece have been secured with bezeling, and I'm in the process now of adding garnet chips.

The Phantom

In remaking this fringe bead, I simplified the number of different sizes of bead I used, shortened the fringes and added in a blood-red rose bead. Not the best picture, but I'm taking others today so I can list it on Etsy.


You'll Have To Trust Me On This

I finished remaking one of the black/white fringe beads - I just didn't have time this morning to take a photo. By the time I got off work, I'd already lost any decent light. I've also made a tiny bit of progress on my embroidered piece.

That means there aren't any update pics. I cannot do a post with a picture, so I'll leave you with this one - posted this morning at the Astronomy Picture of the Day website.


Graphic Designs


Did I mention I finished this some time back? And how much I like the banded agate beads? And how great it feels when worn? And how well it goes with most of my wardrobe? And how you won't see it in my Etsy shop for a while?

My creative act today was to redesign our bookstore business cards. Boring but necessary. I spent the day sorting, selecting and discarding a handful of bead choices for the purse - or 'satchel' as Darcy refers to them. I got a chance to sit down and put the beaded bezel around the large Wild Horse cab. It took me a while but I managed to track down some missing antique silver finish beads (Miyuki 11-464A for those of you keeping score at home).


A Late, Slow Start

I have my preliminary sketch, now I have the larger elements nailed down - the more interesting stuff is yet to come. By tomorrow evening I expect to have more of the midsized elements incorporated. Last night I spent almost an hour taking the hideous yellow finish from the zipper heads, removing the ghastly zipper pulls and replacing them with an enormous metal star for the side pocket and heart for the main pocket. They're on the underside in this picture, but you get an idea of the color of the leather.

The thread across the found metal angel was put there to keep her in place while the glue dries - the cabochon, discs and button bead are Wild Horse stone that I picked up at Kameyab Imports during my wild shopping spree with Darcy. Those are stick pearls on either side of the main cab.

I'm at one of my favorite parts now - selecting the midsize elements. I have this wealth of choices and by the time I hit the hay I should have them culled down to a working number.

I forgot how much I really love bead embroidery.


Sunday Edition #3

Wow. Nothing makes you feel the passage of time like numbering your weeks.

Anyhoo - this week's installment of Stuff I Like On Etsy focuses on some of the funniest greeting cards I've ever seen. It's Julianna Holowka's Etsy shop, julih32:

You can see tons more of her stuff at her website HERE.
Besides cards, she also has a line of home decor items (pillows, lamps, etc). I should warn you, if you're not a fan of the Mean Cards for Many Occasions, you might find something there to offend you. I think she's hilarious. Now you know a whole bunch more about me.

Yesterday I built the citrine and lapis lazuli fringe bead - it's the smallest one I've made and I'd say it's just about an inch in diameter.


I like how it came out, but it wasn't quite what I saw in my mind. I'm going to try again with yellow jade and blue synthetic topaz.

I've been remaking the black and white fringe beads I made the other day - then in the middle of all this, I started thinking about getting back into bead embroidery again. I was admiring the Jade Dog's drop-dead gorgeous purses, so yesterday at the thrift store I found this totally cool brick red leather bag that would be perfect for the same sort of treatment. I have these great Wild Horse cabochons and discs that would be terrific in a freeform embroidery piece, along with some interesting heart charms, maybe some garnet and moonstone chips . . . I've got to work on a sketch for that.

And I still want to alter another pony doll, this time a bit more realistic - something along the lines of the Carol Grigg watercolor of the Chinese horse:

Time. I need more time.


Another Day, Another Fringe Bead


I made this one last night and just posted it to Etsy. Of all the black and white fringe beads I've made so far, I like this one best. In fact, as I compare this one to the others, I realize I'm going to dismantle the other three and rework them. They were just too - I dunno - busy I guess.


What I Made Yesterday

Yes She Was

I'll be listing this one today - I love the look of copper with the fire agate and dark amethyst. Now I'm back to work on those black & white fringe beads (using opal and black sandstone chips) - but I had this idea about combining citrine with lapis lazuli . . . and I've got a sketch here for a new pony . . . but I still need to list all those earrings over at Etsy. There goes the afternoon . . .

Thanks, everyone, for all the good wishes on the Beaded Book thingie.

That Would Be Me On The Floor Over There.

"Greetings from Beadwork,

Thank you so much for entering the contest Beadwork VI: The Beaded Book. Out of all of the dozens of amazing pieces we have received, we feel that yours stands out for its uniqueness, originality, and quality of crafting. Therefore your piece "The Wheel of the Year: My Beaded Journal" has been chosen as a finalist. Congratulations!
The winners will be notified on March 6th.

Best of luck and warm wishes,


Leigh Trotter
Marketing Manager
Interweave Press"

I can stop pacing now!


The Really True Reason

I have made 53 pairs of earrings in the last 3 days. Aside from wanting to have something on the seasonal shelf in the gift cabinet, what was my motive for doing this somewhat repetitive work?

Notifications will be sent out on Monday (they say) as to who the semi-finalists are in the Beadwork VI: The Beaded Book competition.

Why should this suddenly become the pervasive thought-background music-overriding theme in my head? Once my application was accepted, I put the whole thing right outta my mind. January seemed much too far away to think about. The holidays were the main focus, then cleaning up after the holidays, then dealing with the end of the year accounting - so the very moment all that was behind me, I remembered the contest.

So naturally I started to mentally pace, working myself into a semi-froth, and all to no good purpose. So I distracted myself by making earrings which I still need to post to the Etsy shop. But really. 53 pairs? Enough is enough. More fringe beads are in order, I think.

Here's a sampling of what I made yesterday:


Didja Miss Me?

I was working on these guys until the wee hours and chose to wait until this morning to photograph them. I love the way they turned out. So I did do something creative yesterday, I just didn't blog about it. It may work out much better if I just report on what I did the day before, so missing a day of posting was actually a good thing.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

My Gothic Valentines

I've made about three dozen pairs of heart-themed earrings over the past two days and I have about two dozen more to put together - and while I've managed to get last year's beading business records sorted out (came out ahead by about $25!), I still need to set my sketchbooks to rights. Maybe next Sunday . . .



The blog title isn't a typo. Actually, it was when I was doing a search for images but when I sat back and looked at it, I realized that's what I'll call this year's Valentine collection. Today's creative endeavor is all about making the earrings - I still have a pile yet to make. I'll post a pic tomorrow - it is very late and I've not been at all happy with the way the camera's dealing with the available light in here, so best to do the photo stuff in the morning.

And the tax stuff is now with the accountants and I can slip back into right-brain mode! WOOHOO!!

Here's a sampling of the copper fitted earrings I'm posting on Etsy shortly:

Tomorrow the silver findings!!


Sunday Edition #2

Already! The days are slipping through my hands too quickly again.
Havresac is this week's Etsy shop - I love these bags.

This is kind of a two-fer today, as she also has a second Etsy shop, Kackleboan -

She brings such a marvelous sense of fun and play into her work, it always makes me smile to browse her shop. And lament that she has so few items on offer!

I finished my second juicy little orange/purple/copper fringe bead pendant after some experimentation with the length of the fringes. I like how this one turned out so much more than the first that I ripped the first one apart and I'm halfway through rebuilding it closer to my heart's desire.

Heart's desire . . . something's been pinging the back of my brain pan for at least a week and that little phrase just tipped it into the access bay. I need to get busy on Valentine thingies. Earrings and whatsits.

I picked up a boodle of heart-shaped gemstone strands for just this occasion.



Today's creative thingie was a little time waster I found by way of some friends over at Deviant Art - the website is called "Face Your Manga" and this was my result:

I wanted to make a new avatar for some of the forums I regularly post to and I love all those websites that allow you to put yourself into a familiar style - last year, getting Simpsonized was fun, and so was making myself into an M&M character - but turning into a Lego figure was probably the most fun I had with this type of program. I almost forgot to mention the first avatar generator I ever used - making myself into a South Park character.

I did manage to work on that purple and orange fringe bead I'd been thinking about, but I need to fine-tune it some before I take any pics.


Ooooooo Shiny . . .

I got another late start here in the 'studio' - we spent a few hours working on restoring order to the bookshelves in the store this afternoon. By the time I got to anything creative I was kinda beat and more than a little hungry. After a mug of tomato and red pepper soup and a grilled Swiss cheese sandwich I almost nodded off. I made a cup of raspberry quince black tea and found my second wind.

So there I was, still culling through my mound of purple glass, when I came across this bag of amethyst chips. The color is so clear and deep, I start thinking - didn't I see some other stones around here? And there it is - this fat little bag full of fire agate chips, flaming and juicy.

I finished with my sorting as quickly as I could and in the process realized I've misplaced many of the shapes I'd used in the Rosetti sunset beads. But I can't be bothered with looking for them right now - I gotta get to my sketchbook.

I'm looking at this wonderful, serendipitous little mess and I'm looking at the clock and damn. I'm outta time again.

The light's not great and I need to change the batteries in the camera, but you get the general idea.

I'll be so glad when I hand over all this paperwork to the accountants. I really hate January.



I completely underestimated the - um, abundance of purple beads I've amassed over the years. I wanted to get a good idea of what I would have available as I prepare to make more fringe beads. What I imagined would be the work of perhaps an hour is now staring me down - and I blinked. I'll get back to it tomorrow afternoon - but knowing I have to wait until then is killing me. Time is not my friend. Where's a decent Wrinkle when you need one?

Culling is always my first stage when I'm getting ready for a new project - things fall together around a central idea - then I have to go through the first round of pick & choose - what you see here is just about half of the small chunky purple bits I have to explore. This is my creative endeavor for the day.

I've been consumed with left brain stuff for most of the day - I only just caught up with the Astronomy Picture of the Day this morning. In doing so, I came across this and spent most of my allotted internet time just staring into Space, if you will.

This is a photo of the galactic core shot in infrared. You can read all about it HERE.


The Mail Came! The Mail Came!

Here I am, all wound up in my jammies, sweater, bathrobe, two pairs of socks and a pile of blankets, feeling this cold IN MY CORE. So I got the day off today to just be utterly miserable. Knowing I was expecting my package from The Jade Dog, my partner valiantly braved the stinging wind and walked up the street to check our postal mail box. My chains are here! And a few beads, too. So I popped the fringed beads onto the ball chains and got some pics to share.

Black & Gray

Black & Crystal

Black & White

I like these black and whites - I'm going to make a few more using black sandstone and moonstone/opal chips.


Sold Two Things, Still Making Things

On Sunday we sold one of my rings from the gift cabinet here at the bookstore - one of my favorites - Compassion:

And today I mailed off one of my fringe bead pendants to an Etsy buyer - one of the Rosetti sunsets:

Tuesday is my double-shift day, so I managed to work on more leaves while holding down the counter. I really love those coppery bronze metallic seed beads. I'm thinking I'll save the matte leaves for something else and just focus on these deeper wine and copper colors for this next piece - which I think is shaping up into a bracelet.


Calling In Sick

I tweeked the colors and fonts here on the blog, made a few more icicles on what we're now calling the "deathoscope" and completed the base for another fringe bead - I know it doesn't sound like much but the cold I've been fighting for the last 5 weeks finally landed a sucker-punch today. Bleah.

None of which deserves a photo.

Instead, I'll share something I came across by way of StumbleUpon:

This is from the homepage for Canyon Echoes Lampwork. Nice, huh?


Sunday Edition #1

New thingie I'll be doing this year; every Sunday I'm going to post a favorite shop over at Etsy. Just 'cuz. In this inaugural edition, I'd like to share my current jawdropper, Jan Huling, operator of the Etsy shop elJan:

Too too cool, eh? I like her website, too - Jan Huling - Beadist.

What I Did Today

First, I redesigned my blog banner here and I got a little distracted, trying to remember how Photoshop works. It's been way too long since I mucked about with the program. Then I took out a widget or two and expanded the margins. I like the results. I'll most likely fiddle with the blog colors tomorrow.

Next up; remember this? My challenge to bead your fears? In case you missed it, here's that clickable banner link to my challenge.

Now here's my sorta progress report. The embellishment is in Phase One. I'm laying in the first round of icicle fringe. It's tedious, but once all the grunt work is done, then I'll have some fun with Phase Two, which will be a great deal more creative.