Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lavender blue

Dilly, dilly; lavender green . . .

Has been running through my head all day. I have lost count of how many different lavenders I have planted in this garden; I don't keep the tags anymore. I am not running a botanical garden; I don't have to know their names.

That was a very freeing decision; I used to carefully insert the little plastic sticks next to each plant and try to memorize their names, both latin and common. I've backed off on that, it's lavender, plain and simple, from here on out.

I've cut a huge bouquet of it for my desk, and it smells heavenly.

Life is good.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Back in the garden, again

We have an irrigation system! Woooo hooooo!!! It was finished last night, and this morning was its first run, all by itself. It performed magnificently. I was so inspired, I hauled a bunch of mulch this afternoon, and bought the flower bed a couple of adorable solar powered lights that look like astrolabes.

I have a horrible weakness for garden ornamentation. Not of the cute statuary variety, but I do love wrought iron; birdbaths, candle holders, arches and trellises; yup, I have decorated my gardens with all manner of such ornaments. I do miss a darling birdbath I had in New York; I meant to take it with me, but I forgot.

I'm sure I'll find another, though; it's only a matter of time.

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's here!

Hop on over to the SATeam blog and check out the deals!  We've got freebies and discounts on all sorts of goodies: jewelry, beads, and tutorials. Yup, including mine. I've got a really sweet freebie for you!

Have you been thinking about buying some goodies? Now is the time! Some of these items are one of a kind, and when they're gone, they're gone!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What a sale!

I've been working all day on getting the announcement for the SATeam Weekend Super Sale set up; bright and early tomorrow morning, I'll release it.  You are not going to believe the wonderful freebies and discounts being offered; in fact, you might find that I've snapped up a few of them myself!

You'll find fabulous jewelry, free earrings, free beads, and yes, I'm offering a freebie myself!  But you're going to have to go over to the SATeam Blog tomorrow morning to find out what it is, and how to get it.

Of course, you're welcome to go over there right now and see all the fun things that are happening on the Starving Artists Forum; that's today's topic!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Never volunteer, right?

I seem to remember that bit of advice from somewhere, but I am constitutionally unable to follow it! So yes -- I've volunteered myself again, and for a rather big job, at that.

But I think it will be fun. (Famous last words.) No, seriously! Y'all know that I love to write, and I've taken on the SATeam Blog as my new project. SATeam is an Etsy team that I belong to; it's a great bunch of people from all over the world who love to make and sell jewelry on Etsy.

It's a fairly new team, but we're really coming together. The level of enthusiasm, help, and hand-holding can't be beat. We've been working really hard to get everyone's shop open and ready for sales. That's mostly done . . . and now it's time to blog about it!

That's where I come in. I don't know a lot about selling, but I can surely write. Lots. I'll be posting pictures, information, gossip, news of special promotions and sales, and all sorts of other things over there on a daily basis.

Shhhhh, here's a heads up: we've got a wonderful freebie and discount promotion starting on Friday. Get over there and check it out, but don't tell anyone I spilled the beans!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Big Job, little job

I seem to be settling in to a rhythm with my beading; I like to have a big job going, but sometimes I need to set it down for a bit and do some smaller things. I like the feeling of finishing too much to only do big projects; but I also like the complexity of doing a big project. This method of "beading through" seems to be working for me.

So what is my big project this time, you ask? It's another Steampunk piece. More ladylike than the other one; more delicate, with lots of crystals and pearls in it. I've got most of one strap made, and today I'm working on the focal part. It's going to be fun; it didn't work out the way I'd planned, but I like what the beads did better than I like what I wanted them to do!

It's a good thing I'm not the head designer in my process.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Random thoughts

It's been a very pleasant weekend; nothing major or momentous going on, but nice. Relaxing. Pleasant is the operative word here. The weather has been delightful; sunny, a bit on the cool side, but not cool enough to make me reach for a sweater during the day. During the evenings we're bundling up a bit, but when the sun shines, it's lovely.

I've been writing a lot of tutorials lately; take a look on the right side of my blog, and you'll see most of them. Not all; I decided that the "shop window" is about as large as it needs to be. You'll just have to go over there if you want to see the rest of it! I'm really enjoying writing tutorials; it makes me feel a bit less self-indulgent about all the beading I do! You see, I don't wear nearly as much as I make, so sometimes I feel guilty about making more. But not now! Nope, I have to make stuff in order to write tutorials!

Circular logic, I know it is; but it's better than no logic at all.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Art and Inspiration

Our town is having an art show in the park this weekend, and we got out first thing this morning to see it. It was such fun; the weather was cooperative, and there were so many talented local artists showing their work. There is something so rejuvenating about seeing a lot of art, all at once; it reminds me how much beauty and creativity there is in this world.

I saw so many things that I enjoyed; yes, it would be fun to be terribly rich and be able to own them, but seeing them is wonderful enough.

Not for the artists, though. Sorry, guys -- I would love to support you, with more than just my appreciation; maybe some day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

Yup, today is my birthday, and it's been a lovely day. My hubby took me out to lunch for my favorite -- Mexican food -- and he got me a new crock pot to replace my 30 year old, definitely seen better days, slow cooker. So I'm cooking a corned beef for dinner; you know I couldn't wait until tomorrow to use it!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Garden notes

It was a gorgeous spring day here, and I ended up spending pretty much all of it in the garden. I moved some bushes that were in the wrong spot; they were here when we moved in, and are too big for the front of the flower bed. The previous owners had stopped gardening at the end of the lawn, so that's where they were. We're gardening a bit further out than that.

After I moved the bushes, I finished mulching that area; it's amazing how mulch makes the garden look so much more defined. It looks like a flower bed now; the plants really stand out against the mulch. I filled in the empty spaces with more lavender; I love lavender and it's not a water hog, so I feel good about planting it.

The vegetable beds are looking good; I planted six more tomatoes and four artichokes. The squash seeds are coming up, and I think tomorrow I'll plant the last of the beans.

I'm tired, sore, but happy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Woo hooo!

We're going to have an irrigation system put in. That will give me back quite a bit of time; I've been watering by hand, and that takes awhile. Especially since we have quite a lot of new plantings and seedlings that need to be kept damp.

We've got three raised beds planted; all sort of veggies and melons are coming up. My tomatoes and peppers are flowering, and they should be setting fruit very soon. We've got honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon; several kinds of squash, cucumbers and even a pumpkin. It's the eating sort, as pumpkin pie is one of my true culinary specialties.

I'm enjoying the garden, but I have to admit that it will be nice not to have to be tied to it with a hose!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy, happy, joy, joy

Why do I love seed beads so much? I have no idea. But I do know that any day spent wandering about my favorite local bead store, Naturally Jennifer's, is a good day. I mean, just look at all these beads!

Now imagine yourself standing in the middle of all that, picking up the little boxes, and putting them into your basket.

Are you happy yet?

Friday, May 15, 2009


Some projects go quickly, and others seem to take forever! Quite some time ago, I came up with a design for a beaded bead. It's a fun little bead, quite different from most, and I was really happy with it. Of course, I immediately thought, "Tutorial!"

It should have been the first tutorial in my Etsy shop. Yup, that's how long ago it was; it's the first tutorial I started writing.

And then I stalled. Big time. The diagrams on this one were really hard for me to visualize. It isn't easy to take something that is very 3-D and show how to make it in in only two dimensions. Or, at least, it wasn't easy for me! I kept finding myself drawn off into other, less dimensional, projects.

But yesterday afternoon, I got determined. I worked all afternoon and into the evening, then started right in, first thing this morning. And I am very pleased to report that I got it done, and listed in my shop. It's over there, to the right.

Click on it, okay?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Making Lemonade

Thank you Cat's Wire for awarding me the Lemonade Stand Award! What a fun surprise. Cat told me that this award is for bloggers who show, "great attitude and gratitude." This is something that I really appreciate; it's important to me to do what I can to try and see the best in the world and share it. So this award really means a lot to me. Now . . . who to pass it on to?

First up, I have to choose Debby. She is facing some very difficult circumstance, and she is doing it with a very large measure of grace and thankfulness. She is an inspiration to me; her faith continues strong in the face of so very many difficulties.

Next up, Scarlett at The Beader's Muse. Scarlett is an inspiring young woman who is reaching for the stars and actually catching some of them!

I'm going to stretch the rules a bit on my third award. Debby Sweet isn't a blogger, but only because she really doesn't have the time. She spends virtually every minute of her waking hours rescuing dogs that have been abandoned or abused, teaching them that the world is a good place, and finding loving homes for them. Here's to you, sis!

Next up is Kathy. Go check out her backyard video and you'll see what I mean about her attitude and gratitude!

Those are my picks! I hope you enjoy visiting all these wonderful and special women.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Has it really been that long?

I've been heads-down, working. In the garden, and at the beads; I had someone ask me if the Wireless Tutorial could be extended into a bracelet, and, after a few tries, I had to say, no . . . but the idea intrigued me, and I couldn't stop until I made it happen! I finished the tutorial this morning and listed it on Etsy. (click on the picture to got there)

I'm really enjoying writing tutorials; I can't believe how much fun it is! It makes me feel a LOT less guilty about all the things I make; after all, I have to try out a lot of things to figure out the best way to make it.

Stay tuned . . . I'm working on a fancier bangle.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tomatoes, Peppers and Marigolds

Yup, that's what I did today! I assembled the tomato cages (don't you just love brand new tomato cages?), planted six tomato plants, twelve peppers (six bell, and six Hungarian) and two dozen marigolds, a dozen each of yellow and orange.

The marigolds are supposed to keep the hornworm population down on the tomatoes; they're supposed to confuse the moth. But I'd plant them even if they didn't; they're so cheerful. I love flowers in my vegetable garden.

Next up: squash and beans.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I have a confession to make: I love cheese. Give me a soft, gooey, fragrant cheese with a gazillion calories per bite and I'm in hog heaven. Add a loaf of kalamata olive bread, and it just doesn't get any better than that. Unless, of course, I can add an ice-cold beer or a glass of red wine.

The simple pleasures are the best.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gotta love it!

I've been lagging a bit on writing tuts; I'd been working on a pair of earrings, had lots of notes, but just wasn't getting around to writing them up and drawing diagrams.

So I set myself a challenge today: Get It Done.

It took a marathon writing and drawing session (all day, pretty much!) but I did it. The tut is done and in my Etsy Shop, and I feel great about it. It is such a good feeling to get things accomplished!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I got a Treasury!

Click on the picture to go there, and, while you're there, take a look at all the fun stuff I found. If you're an Etsyian, log in and leave me a comment!

Since making my Steampunk necklace, I've been on rather a Sci Fi and Fantasy kick. It was fun searching Etsy for other science fiction and fantasy things; there were so many, I wish I could have included more.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


It's a never ending process; I'm always trying to find an organizational structure that will enable me to FIND my beads when I want them. Moving twice in six months didn't help; there are some things that I just haven't found after the last move.

Like my 2mm crystals. I put them somewhere safe, somewhere I knew I would remember, somewhere where there was no way I could lose them. I lost them. Yes, I could replace them; no doubt I'd find them the minute I did. But I'm feeling stubborn. They're here somewhere.

They're probably partying with the battery charger.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Between projects

There is something about finishing a big project; sometimes I'm just not ready to start another one. Today was that sort of day; today I cleaned house.

I put all my beads away, swept, scrubbed, and gave myself a clean slate. I went shopping for new towels and hot mitts, and made a pot roast.

Domestic goddess; that was me, today.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pulling weeds

Yup, the yard got me today; I had to reclaim the bed I dug out earlier this year. Stupid weeds.

I got 'em though.

Y'know, one of the things I like about making jewelry is that is stays done. I love my garden, don't get me wrong, but it's constant. The minute I turn my back, the weeds are marching in. There's always something that needs doing. It's never finished.

And speaking of finished, the Steampunk piece is done. It's up on my Jewelry Tales blog.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Too much fun!

I got my prize from the Use the Muse contest yesterday, and I'm feeling like Golem from the Lord of the Rings: "My preciousssss..."

Seriously. I just sat and fondled all those crystals and pretty brass bits; and then I grabbed them up and started adding them to the steampunk piece I've been working on. One of the brass pieces was a perfect fit for an area that "needed something;" and some of the the crystals found their way in there, too.

It's finished. I think. I'm going to let it sit tonight and decide tomorrow.