Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Messing around

So I'm still playing with that bead I riveted, and not really coming up with any good solutions. I tried netting around some pearls, and it looks nice, but not with the bead. It's just a bit off. So I'll probably scrap that attempt. This may well be one of those things that just has to sit for a bit until I know what to do with it.

On another note, my turquoise arrived today! Lots and lots of beautiful baby cabs. I'm seeing some very labor-intensive projects in my future.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And the winner is...

...whoever guessed somewhere between straightening out the tube and learning to live with it. It isn't perfect, but it's close enough for me!

And now it's time to decide what I'm going to do with it. I played around with some pearls, thinking that a multi-strand bracelet would balance the heavy bead, but it didn't work. The colors are good, but the balance just isn't there. I could do a pearl and rosary chain, but eh, that's been done. It's just sort of dull.

Nothing is grabbing me, shaking me up, and insisting to be done. So I guess I'll just have to wait.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Riveting woes

Yeah, I really, really stink at making tube rivets. The only reason I haven't ripped it to pieces is because I can't figure out how to rip it to pieces without breaking the bead. Okay, let me back up. I made a couple of very, very simple bead caps and attempted to tube rivet them to a boro bead that I've had hanging around for awhile; it is positively amazing how many ways that can go wrong.

Suffice to say the end result is rather wonky. The bead doesn't sit quite evenly between the caps because I bent the tube and I can't seem to unbend it. For now it is sitting on my desk, and I've been picking it up every now and again and trying to get it straightened out. It's just enough off to really, really bug me right now.

So either I'll finally get it tweaked into place, or I'll break the rivet trying, or I'll learn to live with it. Anyone want to guess which is most likely?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Teasing me

I have an idea that is nibbling around the edges of my mind, but I can't quite work it out. It's close, it's tantalizingly close, but it's not real yet. Every time I model it in my mind, I get a little bit further down the design; but I keep running into a brick wall.

It just won't work.

Not yet, anyway.

But I can see it, and it's very cool. I hope that someday I'll be able to make it and show it to you. Unfortunately, there's just no way to photograph my imagination.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lapidary therapy

Oh, yeah, one of my favorite kinds.

But this time, there's an odd little twist to the story. Usually I indulge in a purchase when I want a bit of a lift; I have actually been known to put off purchases as insurance against life's little disappointments. My reasoning for that is to make sure that I can splurge a little when I want to without really blowing my budget. Today, however, I just really, really wanted some turquoise, and I gave in to my impulse and bought some.

For no reason at all.

Or so I thought. Turns out that there was trauma for the turquoise to soothe; it just took awhile for me to trip over it. Good thing I bought it when I did; I'd hate to be having all this trouble without it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Something to complain about

Oh, I should not have grumbled about feeling poorly! Goodness me, but I was certainly given something to complain about after that. Yup, I have been down for the count; flat on my back for the past few days while the flu had its way with me. No more grumbling for me!

Amazing how perspective can shift; I am now very grateful to feel worse than I felt when I grumbled about it on my last entry! I've never been so happy to be able to walk downstairs and sit in a chair as I am today.

It's the little things.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Grumble grumble

This flu bug really, really stinks; I have been feeling fairly rotten for about 4 weeks now. Okay, so it's a low level rotten; I was only confined to bed for one day, but my energy level is so low and my brain is just not making connections quickly enough to suit me. I won't bore you with the actual symptoms; it's just too gross to go into.

Anyone else suffering? If so, consider yourself commiserated with.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

You made my day!

I received a wonderful surprise this morning: Miss Moon awarded Jewelry Tales the You Make My Day award.

Thank you, Miss Moon!

Now here are my choices:

Jewelry by Jennifer Casady
Jennifer is my inspiration and a great friend. She has generously shared her knowledge, freely and without reservation. Without her, chainmaille would still be on my list of things I want to learn instead of something I'm able to do. You rock, lady!

Gail makes some of my very favorite beads and I can always count on her to cheer me up when I'm down. Okay, so her blog needs work, but her beads are totally inspiring!

You want to see creative and amazing productivity? Mysticafelicity will knock your socks off.

Art Bead Scene
Talk about inspiration! This is a blog to check every day. It never fails to give me something to think about, and talk about eye candy . . . yum!

Jewelry Weblog
And last, but definitely not least, The Jewelry Weblog is the place to go to see what's happening and who is making it happen.

To pass the award on, here are the details:

  1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.

  2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.

  3. Display the “You Make My Day Award” logo.

  4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Left turn

Right then, yesterday I started a project using fold forming; I had every intention of continuing it today, but surprise! I did something else entirely. Yup, inspiration struck, and my plans for today went out the window.

I have been wanting to combine turquoise and opals in a ring for some time now; I just love the way they look together. But I was having a terrible time coming up with a design. Most of my rings are wildly impractical; I love rings that make a strong statement. But that's dangerous with opals; they are fragile and can't be used in a way that leaves them vulnerable to being whacked. So no sticking out bits.

But I still wanted to make something striking. It was a dilemma; one that has provoked me for about a year now. But today it all came clear, and I have my opal and turquoise ring at last.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fold forming

Right then, I'm giving it a go. Not sure how it will end up, but there's always the crucible if it's a disaster. I started in on it this morning, but didn't get very far before other obligations intruded. I do wish life did not interrupt jewelry quite as often as it does!

I have a plan; that's not always a good thing, but I am determined not to become too attached to it. If the metal has other plans, I'll go wherever it wants to go. But I am secretly hoping that the metal will comply; I'll let you know when I have a chance to get back to it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chances are

I like to give them, but I don't like to take them. Chances, that is. But the line between taking and giving has become blurred lately; they seem to overlap and blend so that I can no longer tell which is which.

And that is giving me fits.

I wish I had an easy way to resolve this dilemma; I wish I could pull a bon mot out of the air and make it amusing. I can't. In order to give a chance to someone who needs one, it seems that I must take a very big chance. One that I'm not prepared to take; one that I'm very afraid to take.

But the alternative is staggering.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Yes, it's February. But does it have to feel so much like February? Growing up in Southern California has left me with the persistent notion that winter should be ending this month; I should have roses on my bushes for Valentine's Day.


The rosebushes are sensibly dormant under the snow. But I'm ready for daffodils, at the very least. Hmmmm, I have some lovely pale yellow lampwork beads . . .

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I usually use lampwork beads sparingly; mostly, in fact, I use one bead at a time. Sometimes I will back up a focal bead with a few supporting players, but this time I used five stunning tab beads from Beadles in one bracelet. I had a set of seven beads; I used five in the bracelet and the remaining two for earrings.

I usually have so many ideas for how to use a set of beads; I cannot bear to use them all at once. But these beads did not want to be separated. They have such rich colors and patterns; this is a very luxurious set.

Sometimes I surprise myself.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Although I am sure that trouble is not entirely behind us, I am hopeful again; there is good in the world, and I have reaffirmed my place in it. We still have a long, and undoubtedly difficult, road to travel before we reach the Celestial City; but, like Pilgrim, we have dropped some of our burdens, and are traveling more lightly today.

No doubt we will find new burdens; no doubt we will be distracted from our journey time and again. But I do believe that we have found the ford through the Slough of Despond and are back on the hard, but right, road.

I am writing again, joyfully, and with feeling.

Friday, February 8, 2008

You Dirty Rat

Umm hmm, we have just started the Year of the Rat. Not knowing much about the Chinese calendar, I did what I always do, and googled. In The Scarborough Evening News I found:
Considered a lucky creature, the Year of the Rat is seen as a prime time for self-renewal, hard work and new opportunities.

Yup, that fits.

The rat is replacing the pig, and from Chinese Astrology: Exploring the Eastern Zodiac by Shelly Wu I found:

As the last sign of the zodiac, the Pig represents "resignation" accepting human nature as it is - content to live and let live.

Yup, we've had a bit of that, too.

January was a very rough month for us, and, at least so far, February hasn't been a whole lot easier. I think things are getting better, but after all that has happened, it's hard to feel sure of anything right now. Have we seen the worst? I certainly hope so, but I really don't know.

I am, however, ready to embrace the philosophy expressed by the Year of the Rat. We could use some new opportunities, and I have never been afraid of hard work.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

One foot in front of the other

Sometimes that's all it takes. Sometimes that's all I can do. It works; if I just keep moving, just keep putting one foot in front of the other, I get things done. Maybe it's not the most exciting way to go, but it sure beats hiding under the bed.

One step at a time; we'll get there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Catching myself

I was reading this morning and found the perfect description of me. The author described a character as someone who, "did everything as if she were killing snakes." I had such a laugh about that and immediately felt a kinship with the character. Yup, that's me. Intensity personified.

I do throw myself into things; I work fast and hard. In nearly 50 years on this planet, you'd think that I would have learned how to pace myself. You'd be wrong. I have learned how to rest; thank goodness for that. Today I am losing the fight against my cold; I've been fighting getting one for about a week now. Today I am forced to admit that I feel really, really rotten.

The snakes are safe. For now.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Making comfort

The way things have been lately, jewelry has just not been a priority for me. I just couldn't find the time or the energy to get anything started, let alone done. But this afternoon, I heard those vintage cabs calling to me; they wanted to be wrapped in silver a la Eni Oken; specifically, a variation on her ornate ring.

About a year and a half ago, I participated in a fun challenge; we started with an Eni Oken tutorial, and made 4-5 variations on it with the goal of creating something new, in a style of our own. I started with her ornate ring tutorial, and I had a lot of fun with it; but once I discovered maille, I more or less left wire wrapping behind.

But today I felt the urge again, and I realized how much comfort there is in it. I just made a single link today, I'm not sure what, if anything, I will do with it. For right now, making comfort is more than enough reason to wrap.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Vintage finds

We went on a ramble today; we just got in the car and headed north. We turned when we felt like it and headed for towns that sounded interesting. When they weren't, we kept driving, and when they were, we stopped. We had juicy, cheap hamburgers in an old railroad car diner and even bought a chocolate cake to take home.

We also stopped in an antique store where I found a fabulous cache of vintage beads and glass cabochons, some in their original papers marked, "made in Western Germany." I'm guessing that they are from the 1950s; the telephone number for the importer lists the telephone exchange by name, not number. I wonder if Bryant 9-1830 is still a valid number? I googled the company, H & S Import Co., Inc, but alas, no hits. I suspect it is long gone, and this stash is the last of their assets.

I didn't spend much; I restrained myself. But I did walk away with a couple of gross of cabs and a few very unusual beads. Look for them over at Jewelry Tales in the coming weeks and months; I'm already bursting with ideas. Now to find the time to make them come true.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Frozen in time

Metaphorically and literally, time has been interesting lately; it weaves and wobbles and isn't as predictable as it used to be. I'm sure it will return to normal one of these days, but for now, it is quite a wrinkled mess.

I haven't yet found a way to iron it out; I suspect that only time and love will do that. It always does. So I am waiting.

But that's not all; today time is frozen as a major ice storm passes over us.

There are icicles on all the trees and bushes, and, although I will do quite a lot for a good photo, standing outside in the freezing rain is not on that list.

If the rain stops before dark and the ice lingers, I just might wander around a bit and take some more pictures; but for now, here's what I can see from my porch.