Wednesday, April 30, 2008


No photos today, folks. This very unfortunate illness just will not get lost, forcing me to spend time doing something I don't do often or well enough-- REST. I did manage to sneak in some time this evening whupping up beads, but alas, no photos. I paired the humblebeads shell mishaps with a black base and a few extra sparkle wraps for big huge pendants and I am mighty pleased, even in their unbaked, stored-in-plastic-container state. Also puttered around with ecru based smaller round bead sets and pancake beads. I can't wait to bake them up, sand them down and polish 'em up, ready for sale or ready made for me to make something marvelous, or whatever. Anything! I have so many supplies sitting around, boxes of beads and silver and finished etched pieces, so many beads waiting patiently to bake and when it comes down to it right now, the energy is just plain deflated.

Lucy and Mango are my faithful bedmates. Don't animals just love it when you don't feel good? They snuggle so close to me, it's so endearing. Little fuzzy critters, how I love 'em so. =)

While in my limbo state, I've enjoyed re-reading one of my favorite books, On The Rez, by Ian Frazier, also read Bringing Home The Birkin by Michael Tonello (LOVED it! I laughed almost cover to cover). Also I watched two DVD's I've had for a while but never had time to watch-- The Bourne Identity and Paris, Je T'Aime. Also I finished a long standing embroidery project this afternoon. So I guess rest is a relative thing. Restless is more like it.

On my mind constantly is my deadline to get my article in to the Belle Armoire Jewelry editor. Yes, I have an article on using up scrap sterling pieces for funky earrings due out June 1 in summer issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry. That's not their title of the article, by the way, but it's basically the content. The summer article is long finished and turned in, but I got word several days ago that I will be in the autumn '08 issue of same magazine as well. The working copy of it is called Polymer Clay & Metal Bracelets. I must get started on that article because it's a more complicated techniques based article with step out photos.

So much to do. Really I must hurry and get well.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lucy, Tornado & Humblebeads

This Monday had a particular order, or a peculiar order, whichever. First thing this morning we drove an hour and a half to take Lucy (on the futon right, with little cousin & buddy Maggie) to the orthopedic vet surgeon in Yorktown, VA, to be evaluated for a torn ACL. Two hours later, we came out with a receipt for a hundred bucks spent, an appointment (May 20) for a TPLO surgery, and after lunch, a tornado bearing down on us while driving home in a monsoon-worthy rain storm. It rained torrents the whole way home along route 5 but we didn't see any serious action other than extremely heavy rains. Lucy is terrified of storms and rode on Michael's lap while I navigated home. Every hydroplane pocket sent her into whimpering spasms. Poor girl. Two of her major life fears rolled into one day....

Finally we got home and settled into watching the storm/tornado footage on t.v. Then Michael started a new painting and I started new clay projects loosely based on the tutelage of Humblebeads polymer clay shell cane "down by the sea." Well, I kept getting distracted and ended up cutting the clay the wrong direction and then my twisted log rolls split. Once that damage was under control, I managed to use up all the white/translucent clay instead of saving it for the end of the project. So I got out those two packets and re-created them. For the actual cane, I rolled the white/translucent too thin and when the rest was rolled up in it, it broke through again here and there. *sigh* So I just ditched the directions and did my own version. After all that, when things were put away (no beads tonight-- I'm letting the clay set overnight) and cleaned up, I looked at Humblebeads online and figured out my problem-- my printer printed the photos from the tutorial out in a wonky order. 1 and 2 skipped to five, then four, on separate pages. No wonder I thought I was going nuts. Tomorrow afternoon I'll cook them all up and post photos.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Metalwork Work

This day has been one of rest, eating three scoops of ice cream (chocolate almond, chocolate espresso and vanilla chip), reading, creating. I played around with my stamps and the etched pieces were leftovers from experiments, ready to be attached to some necklace project or another. Note the piece on the left, soaked too long in muriatic acid. This, people, is what happens. Actually it looks kinda cool with holes here and there instead of letters, like a piece from antiquity.

In other jewelry related news, Willa Cline reformatted my website and the results are super!
Check out the new pics:
thanks willa!! You're amazing!!

While I worked on new pieces, Mango chilled for the afternoon under the air vent. =) gotta love a fat kitty. Who could resist that fuzzy belly?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Still whooped on Wednesday

This past Saturday I started with some sort of fatigue inducing, sore throat and lymph node irritating virus. I took one day off from exercise but now am paying for it with a semi-relapse. Thus, no new beads. Instead, I present to you a recent photo of our lovable resident fat boy, Mango the 20 pound Manx cat. Otherwise known as Mr. M., Mr. Man, Mr. Mango, Mango Man, Chubbo, Chub, and a few swear words when he decides to nail me with a major love bite. This usually happens when he is plopped next to the computer and wants me to scratch his head and type at the same time. Or when he is snuggled in bed with me (under the covers with his head on the pillow, oh yes) and I want to sleep instead of loving kitty all night. *sigh* We love him anyway.

In jewelry related news, I invested in a set of lower case custom made steel alphabet stamps and they are due at my apartment tomorrow! I can't wait to start banging away on them. On copper first, of course. Ruining silver ruins more than my day since the cost has jacked into the stratosphere.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The job interview is over. I'm exhausted and relieved. I think it went ok as far as answering questions semi-intelligently but I'm not sure the job is for me. The daily tasks require more of a worker drone than I'm quite willing to go with although with the economy the way it's going I may not have a choice in the matter, at least for now.

The bead above is one of the mokume tubes from yesterday, all sanded, polished and listed on etsy, along with several other tube beads and a set of five round beads. check 'em out. Typically i tend to shred my work more but I'm pleased with this one and the others of the same colorways.

Listening to jazz on the CD- Lee Rittenour from about twelve years ago. Many of the tracks I heard live at Seven Springs Jazz Festival in 1996 when my husband worked that gig tuning the pianos for the artists. Good memories....

Metallic Mokume

It's amazing to me how much time is spent just mixing polymer colors and then arranging them into a pleasing stack to create mokume gane beads. This pile on the bottom is only about 1/3 of the colors mixed today, all metallics in various shades of teal, green and copper metallic. For this stack and the others from today? About two hours. I ponder it for a good while, though, so I waste as little clay as possible. Because I over-conditioned all of it to the approximate consistency of superglue gel, I had to wait quite a while to begin work. I had already conditioned a lovely ivory shade as a base for some tube beads. Then I used a four part combination of metallics to create some mokume gane slices. The tubes at the top, two jumbo and one slightly shorter focal tubes, had to sit about an hour to firm up. The ends were cut and went into the cooker at 11 p.m. 45 minutes later, they looked quite lovely even in their unsanded, unpolished state. The light blue metallic gleamed especially well against the maroon copper. I was a little disappointed that the orange copper metallic mix didn't look as cohesive in color with the other three shades of green/teal, but there's always a million and one ways to recombine and try it again.

Tomorrow I have a job interview at 3:30 so I will spend the morning trying to see which of my outdated interview outfits still fit. Since pending job interviews always make me physically ill, I'm glad to wait until afternoon for the ordeal. Of course it's a panel interview, then a writing test, then a math test. I'm doomed with the last phase, I'm afraid... I've been counting on my fingers for 35 plus years.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Something New

Since I already have a website (, and an Etsy site (, and I read about fifty blogs twice a day or more, I figured I may as well further limit my available art making time or doing-anything-else-that-is-more-productive-time by starting a blog. Thus, my new blog. I hope to focus on bead making and jewelry making progress, but since I have an artist husband, an old dog and a 20 pound Manx cat named Mango, I'm sure they will figure prominently as well. Also in my spare time when I'm not in a state of melancholy over the past, I like to pick up one of my twelve or more other passionate pursuits. Some of these are, not in any particular order: knitting, journaling (sometimes art journaling when I'm really feeling energetic), cross stitch, thrift shopping, reading piles of books, studying art, traveling, and my endless pursuit of the perfect blend of tall-in-a-venti-cup-non-fat-extra-whipped mocha from Starbucks.