Thursday, February 26, 2009

the never ending to do list

I am a total sucker for a pretty sunset. So is Michael. We'll veer off any highway, anywhere, pull out the camera and snap lovely pink and purple clouds with the receding sun. We take at least one camera everywhere we go. Not only in case we finally see a UFO, although that would be the coolest, but to capture moments such as above, December 30, 2008, on the way to my parent's house for belated Christmas. This was taken on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and believe me, it got alot more red and orange as the moments passed. So pretty.

I have to remind myself of lovely moments like these when I feel too much under the gun, as has been the case today. Too much to do, too little time and everything must be done, you know the feeling? My apartment is grossing me out. Definitely not up to the standards I set for it before I started working again and seriously making jewelry again. Right now I have four loads of laundry going in the machines, laundry that needs folding, a wet floors that are drying, etchings in various stages of completion that must be mailed tonight from the post office do it yourself kiosk, resin setting that must be periodically checked for the dreaded rising bubbles, a dog who is itching for a walk, people I need to write letters to, and and and and. A day off is rarely a true day off.

The problem is that I get into too many things at once, then I crash with the weight of all that I've put upon myself. *sigh*

Then again, what I don't get done weighs heavy on me. Particularly keeping in touch with people, something very important to me, and too much neglected on my part. I have a dear old friend in Australia who is not well whom I have owed a letter for two months. Another older lady I keep in contact in PA, again, about two months overdue. And a lovely gentleman in PA (hi Owen!!), recently having lost his dear wife, whom I owe a letter. I hope you are keeping in touch with me through this blog, Owen, because I am thinking of you, and will email you soon...

What I know is that some of these folks are not able to use computers and write long hand to me, and look forward to return letters like no one's business. So, like I said, things weigh heavy on me and I have a responsibility to keep up that has been put aside for the jewelry business, work and household duties. It just plain makes me sad.

Anyway, one of the reason for my flurry of activity tonight is my husband is at his band rehearsal and a gal can get alot more done with husband away than with husband under foot, at least in my household this is true. Also, I'm trying best as I can to free up time for this weekend to finally finish up some jewelry I want to submit to a few jewelry and beading magazines. These deadlines are coming up fast and I'm trying to submit to more than just Belle Armoire Jewelry, much as I love it. I have one piece accepted in Creative Jewelry magazine, although I'm not sure when it comes out.

Guess I better think of something for myself for dinner since it's almost 8 p.m. Then I'll walk Lucy, finish laundry, finish etchings, mail etchings and get to bed. Like I said, the never-ending list. Sometimes it's a bitch. I need to look at the sunset some more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

buying stuff

I have tomorrow off from work so tonight is nice and relaxing. I don't have to get up at 6 tomorrow. whew. Nice feeling.

Right now my husband is watching some show called I Shouldn't Be Alive. If anyone has seen this, it's not a recipe for relaxation. Some guy is being taken down by a crocodile in Australia....he's screaming and gushing blood while being chomped on with big teeth. Michael thinks this is inordinately fascinating. Really it's pretty gross. What's to like about this?

Today my workload was light. Towards the end of the shift, I went somewhere I rarely go-- etsy surfing and finding neat and inexpensive goodies to buy. I had a small balance left in my paypal account from etching sales, so decided to treat myself to a few neat things....

a pewter Funky Nut from Mamacitabeads:

textured jump rings from cathydailey:

textured fine silver round and rectangular links from prolifique:

*sigh* I saw so many beautiful things. I am so in love with buri nuts and wood beads these days and I luuuurrrrrrve freshwater pearls in all their multicolored, multishaped glory, but didn't buy any. I had to seriously shut the etsy surf down before I did serious bank account damage. Then my shift was over and I went home.

Pictured way above is me and the Lucy dog on our Yorktown battlefield Surrender Trail walk. It is the most beautiful, peaceful place. Hard to fathom all that went on there, a great expanse of land to the distant right of the trail early in the walk was a large hospital during the Revolutionary War. Imagine that, people... Probably carnage far surpassing the croc eating the guy in Australia, at the very least.

Tomorrow I have a glorious day planned of filling a few orders, working on some commissioned pieces at long last, washing and drying and folding PILES of laundry. Clean folded clothes always make me happy! Some vacuuming, putting things away, and basically cleaning up the mess here that has been neglected for a while since I've been too swamped to get anything done other than work at work and work jewelry at home.

What to do before bed tonight? Forget the crocodiles... I'm taking a nice hot bubblebath. :D

Monday, February 23, 2009

new in the shop

Saturday we took the day off, loaded Lucy in the car and trekked over to the battlefields at Yorktown, where we walked Surrender Trail, where Rochambeau and Washington had their respective camps very close to each other. This trail was five miles and Lucy in her advanced age did wonderfully well, better, I think, than did we. Michael and I used to live very close to this area early in our marriage and before, and we walked this trail several times a week, so it was a wonderful day and made all the more due to the complete lack of litter, bottles, trash, cigarette butts and other refuse so commonly seen on "scenic" trails. The US Park Service does a fabulous job with Yorktown, so head out and hike some well maintained areas if you are nearby or passing through. Once we finished this trail, we put Lucy in the car to rest and walked another five by ourselves. It was great fun to get some good exercise for a change, away from the city, breathing fresh air by the York River. Beautiful!

All the historic markers recounting Rochambeau and his assistance to Washington in the Revolutionary War made me itch to etch something French. So I cut the above piece of copper with a jeweler's saw into a coin shape and etched both sides with a lovely flowing French script. It is a very rich pendant and looks quite old. It is thin and weathered, much as a coin would be if found from centuries ago. Look for it now available in my etsy shop

Other items now available for sale in my shop... etched copper charm earrings with whimsical shaped earwires and free floating drilled river pebbles.

The French influence again... etched on both sides.

On to another continent- etched Kanji characters on copper with patina.

And smaller Japanese kanji characters etched onto copper with rich antique patina.

My big kitty Mango is snoring next to me, Lucy is bugging me to go to bed, Michael is already off in dreamland, and the king size is calling my name for a six a.m. wakeup. Time to nod off...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

100 sales!

Well, I know for alot of Etsy sellers out there, it's not alot but to me it's HUGE.  I made my 100th sale on Etsy today!  Yay!  I appreciate the business so much and enjoy creating my wares.  Thank you, everyone!

Monday, February 16, 2009

new etchings on etsy shop

I spent the last two days filling more orders for etchings. I'm grateful for the business. Today I also worked on some new designs, seen here. Japanese name hanko with poem above, etching on copper with fine antique patina.

Asian stork at pond, copper etching with antique patina. For added interest, I put double holes at top center.

A little whimsical bird, copper etching with texture and patina. Top center and bottom center holes.

Asian stork at pond, brass etching on slightly lighter weight metal than the copper version. Same double center drilled holes at top and one center bottom.

And finally, a brass version of the letting go lao tzu connector bar. Again, lighter weight metal than the copper version.

Lucy the dog is itching for a nice walk in the cold weather and even after three days off from work the grocery store is still calling my name tonight. I had fun making up these new etchings today. My cleaning is neglected, clothes not ironed for work tomorrow and dishes in the sink but I feel good anyway. All the above now listed and for sale in my etsy shop

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Real Quick

Real quick. I flew on down to Yorktown early this morning to stock Lucy up on prescription dog food. She also had a quick checkup to look at a lump on her stomach. Thankfully she got the all clear and she was very ready to head home. We drove the Colonial Parkway, pit-stopped at the bead shop in Williamsburg where I couldn't resist some new large Swarofski crystal beads. And since the yarn shop was right there, well, it would have been rude not to have stopped in to say hi. And rubber stamp shop is a skip up the road, on the way back to 64 west and home, I had to say hello to the good folks there. Starbucks called my name, too. Hey, Happy Valentine's Day to me, you know? Lest anyone think I am a fibber from my post yesterday, all this was accomplished before noon and I was on my way back to the salt mines, where I am currently rubbing out metals for etching preparation.

The photo above is of some beads I made recently, just some whimsical one of a kinds from leftover scraps. I love the swirls and stripes on them. For a closer look, check out

Back to work, now. Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

a fiendish weekend in progress...

I have no photos today! But just a heads up to anyone of you out there who ordered the BeadStyle pendant or versions of it from me on etsy.  I am working like a fiend, although with mindful care so your piece is beautiful, to get orders created, completed and mailed over the weekend, so the last batch since february 11 will go out tomorrow evening.  unfortunately for the mail, monday is a holiday.  fortunately for me, monday is a holiday so i have more time to make things and experiment with new designs.  in advance, i thank everyone who is waiting for their patience!  
pictures soon, i promise!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

French Script Etched Brass Pendants

A version of the BeadStyle magazine French Script Pendant is now available for purchase in my etsy shop in a rich high sheen brass. The etchings really POP in brass and it's also a bit lighter weight than the copper version.

Also I finally made it home from work at sunset today and managed to snap a few lovely outside shots of the BeadStyle magazine etched copper pendant. The patina really varies on these pieces and I was really pleased with how the last batch turned out. I've listed four new photos on this piece.

Still at work on the tree etching. I doused it in patina several times last night and polished, polished, polished, trying to get exactly the right dark and light spaces inbetween limb and sky. Since I worked on pendant orders until 3 a.m. last night (oh yes...) and slept for two hours before getting ready for work, I am taking tonight off from all creative pursuits and am vegging in front of the television with some DVD's (Atonement & Vicky Cristina Barcelona), tomato soup and crackers, diet coke and a warm comforter.

I'll get back to my other list tomorrow evening...

Monday, February 9, 2009

If nothing else, a pretty view...

Florence, Italy. *sigh* Isn't it beautiful? 7 January, 2009. I can still feel myself standing there, right in this moment....

Since the entire weekend was swallowed up by errands, cleaning, laundry, animals, more errands and yet more jewelry orders, I had not a moment to create anything new in the way of jewelry to post, although along with a stack of prepared pendants, there are new and lovely things coming that just need doused with acid and a little rub, and presto, voila! Etchings a-new.... coming soon although not as soon as I would have liked.

Tomorrow I am back in my office, which is not such a bad thing. In this economy, I drag myself up and out of bed at 5:30 and am glad for it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Mother Of a Load, A Mother Of a Bead

Thanks to Lorelei Eurto and her lovely spread in the current BeadStyle magazine (page 48!), I am selling etched pendants like hotcakes. The above are but a few of those already shipped, on their way to their new homes and eventually featured dangling around someone's lovely neck. I made most in copper with French script etching as seen in BeadStyle. Due to lack of time (I leave for work when it's dark and get home when it's dark) a few orders were delayed. These folks got an extra goodie as a thank you for waiting, in the form of a brass version of the Starry Night necklace pendant. Also you will spy an etched Chaffinch bird pendant and some etchings in Italian (imagine that... I'm still stuck on Italy). For all of these pendants and connectors, beads and other goodies, they are listed on my etsy site

This Mother of a Bead is one I created last weekend prior to leaving to go to my parents. I felt in the mood for a big huge bead and this is it. I think it's about four inches long. A mokume flower is wrapped in the middle. I can see it on a shorter multiple chain with lots of charms dangling from the bottom. Maybe. Not sure yet. Should I put it on Etsy or make something with it myself? hmmm...

Opposite side of Mother Bead.

Mother Bead and a few other tubes and rounds. The darker color didn't turn up well, but it is a dark purple, in between the yellow stripes and swirls. I thought all week I would get home in time to get some good daylight photos but it never happened so these are the flash under the kitchen light versions.

For Lynn, who asked about my trip journal, this is the one I made for myself. I got a bag of small art and handmade papers from an artist in California a few months ago and just picked and chose bits I liked for front, inside and back covers of this small square coptic journal. Art = Love. Don't you agree?

First page was written on the flight over, when I was still gripping the pen with fear of plunging into the ocean... Oh, wait. I did that the entire fright, I mean flight... :D

I wrote in the journal and also collected lots of tickets, scraps of interesting papers, maps and business cards to glue in. It is a work in progress still.

Somehow I had to capture the moment of standing where ancient Romans stood at the Colosseum. In my bag of supplies were some fat colored pencils. Leaning against the outside wall of the Colosseum, I placed a single sheet against the heavily pocked surface and made a rubbing of it. Also filled pages with green, black, yellow and blue pencil rubbings from other spots at the Colosseum.

Inside back cover. Giraffe, anyone? In it's own weird eclectic way, all the pages seem to go together in my mind.

The whole sha-bang. I'm off for the next three days. YES! I will be, as Heather Powers put it, a busy little copper etching making bee for a good part of the time. Also some new etchings are coming soon to my etsy shop so check back over the latter weekend. Right now I'm off to an art openhouse where my husband has his paintings. Happy weekend, everyone!