27 July 2010

The Crafting season has begun!!

Well, for me, at least. My crafting season is the month between classes. I'm making earrings, working on a peyote stitch necklace (should be fun!  You can see the inspiration for this necklace here), I may cross-stitch a bit, I'm making some cards, and I'm wondering how to pay all the bills. But I'll figure it out!  I always do. I'm going to enjoy this month off, and maybe next week, I'll do some work to get ready for Fall Session. Or maybe not.  Maybe I'll take 2 weeks off... and decoupage!

So I'm watching Heroes for the 1st time.  I'm on Episode 5 or 6.  Can I just say, thank god for Netflix!?!?!  See, this is one of those shows where they, very meanly, leave you HANGING at the end of each episode!  UGH!!!!!

Okay, I'm over that now... Overall, pretty good show.  Lots of cuties...and a pretty good story.

Ah, vacation.  There's something to be said for a vacation.  Now if only I could go somewhere... Maybe next August.  Maybe this Christmas!

Have a great day!



I love making earrings, and I love wearing earrings, so it's handy that I enjoy making them, huh?  Yeah, circular reasoning if ever I saw it, but it works for me... lol!

So I made earrings today.  Two pairs; I tried for a third, but the inspiration just wasn't there... although, it might be now... I'll be right back...




Yup--just got another idea!

And just made the other idea!  LOL!  So anyways, I made three pairs of earrings today...

Turquoise and Copper

Falling Leaves

So, the first pair of the day was the Turquoise and Copper.  I just thought they looked like a lot of fun. And the most recent pair is Falling Leaves. Also, just a lot of fun.

But I also made a pair I'm calling Beautiful Death, and those were my baby today:

Beautiful Death

I'm not sure of the name yet, but I thought I could try it out here for the time being. I bought the skull beads ages ago from a seller on Etsy, and they're actually the first beads I used in anything I sold.  I have a great earring and necklace set that I made for myself, ostensibly for Halloween, but I wear them year round (it's subtle, and until someone really looks, they don't actually know I'm wearing skulls.) My goal with Beautiful Death was to go over-the-top (ish) joining the death icon (the skull) with flowers and soft colors.  There's even a little blue butterfly, if you look closely. I really like the way they turned out.  So much so, I may not sell them (the danger in making things you like....)

Enjoy, and thanks for reading!


17 July 2010

I'm stumped...

So, I've found I enjoy entering beading contests.  I like that someone else chooses the beads and other materials, and I have to figure out what to do with that kit.  I've entered 3 so far, the Use the Muse IV contest back in the spring, and both Art with Heart contests.  Use the Muse and Art with Heart Cycle 1 are both complete, and I had a lot of fun working on those pieces. Here they are:

[gallery columns="2"]

So now I'm working on Art with Heart 2.  And I'm clueless...It's a beautiful kit, but... yeah...  I got nothin'... Here's a link to the project kit. Pretty, yes?  The focal bead is gorgeous, that blue teardrop. So I can't decide if I should do links for a necklace, or if I should do some bead weaving or what.

I'll figure something out.  After all, I have until August 18th to get it all done!


10 July 2010

My Deb has moved....

Or at least, I think she has.  I helped her pack some more stuff yesterday, so I'm hoping she was able to finish up and get out of here today. I haven't heard from her yet, and if she was still packing, I didn't want to interrupt...

See, my friend Deb is moving from Florida back to Arizona. :(  She doesn't really want to, but kinda has to at the moment. So, because she didn't really want to move, she was kinda dragging her feet about the whole packing thing.  Add to that that she lives in a 2600 square foot house; she has a lot of stuff.  Gorgeous stuff.  The type of stuff I can only hope that I may one day have. And as we're packing stuff, she'd tell me the stories of where things came from... Absolutely amazing. She gave me some wonderful treasures as we were working, things that I hope to one day be able to give to people I love (the vase, especially--gorgeous silver with a ring of yellow, blue, purple, and red tiles set in just below the rim.  beautiful!)

But to top it all off, she gave me the ENTIRE contents of her spice cabinet, fridge, and pantry.  7 boxes, and the big cooler... I sent things home with Amy, took stuff to my mom, and I still have an entire cookie sheet full of spices that have no home.  And see, since I'm heading into my broke month, this is the best possible gift she could have given me, since now I essentially don't have to worry about groceries for ages.

I hope Ms. Deb is doing okay, driving all the way to Arizona. I'd hoped to be able to drive with her, but my school schedule made that impossible. She is truly the most generous woman I know, and I'll miss being able to see her as often as I'd like.  This isn't truly a parting, since we do still have phones and email and Facebook, but it's not the same as her being here.

So, Ms. Deb, drive safe, be good, and have fun.  Don't forget the pics and my postcards.  I hope you made it out of Florida!


08 July 2010


So for the first time, I have an inspiration other than the beads in my stash. My parents recently bought a 2nd home in North Carolina, and during the purchase process, the original owner sent some pics of the flowers in bloom.  They were all beautiful, but the pics of the azalea with the rhododendron in the background is absolutely gorgeous. Here's the pic:

So, like I said, I finally have inspiration outside of my beads (don't get me wrong, I have some awesome beads, and they've led me to some wonderful ideas), but I so so SO want to make something (maybe a set!) based on the colors in this pic.  I mean, look at it!  The orangy-pink, and the pale blue-purple, with the green?  Gorgeous!! I'm just so taken with this image!  I think I have the beads to do this, but I'm not sure yet how I want to work it.  Links, weaving, stringing, a combo of all of the above? I just don't know.... But I'll figure it out!  I'll post pics when I do!


04 July 2010

Bakin' brownies...

The 2nd ever batch of Thin Mint brownies just came out of the oven.... well, I guess, really, since it's a half-n-half batch, this is actually the 1st ever completed batch of Thin Mint brownies....  See, brownies are kinda my thing... Every time we have any type of family gathering, it's always "Hey Rana, can you make brownies?"  And since they're so easy, I generally don't mind. But sometimes it gets boring making plain old brownies... And since I just remembered recently that I have Thin Mints still in my freezer (yeah, I forgot about 'em...) I thought it might be fun to see if I could use them in the brownies.  They turned out pretty well!  Not as minty as the Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark brownies I made at Christmas (those ended up being either a "love 'em or hate 'em" kinda thing... most people liked 'em, though!)

So now I'm off to see my friend Ame's for the 4th, and we're going to eat hamburgers and stuff with her family! Hope she likes the brownies!

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!


(oh, to make brownies my way, here's what you do: Buy a package of Betty Crocker's Special Dark brownie mix and mix per package directions.  Add about a half-bag of milk chocolate chips, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. For the Thin mint brownies, I broke up about 5-6 cookies for half the brownie batter, poured both halves into the pan, and baked at 350 for about 27 minutes. And always cut your brownies with a plastic knife--they don't stick!)

New Stuffs...

Happy 4th of July!!

Well, it took a good minute, what with all the, you know, real work and stuff, but I finally got a few new pieces up on my Artfire page.  You can see them here. I'm in the middle of a rather major revision of my artfire page, and I'm aiming to spend the rest of my summer learning some new techniques, posting some new work, and trying to make a real go of my jewelry business.  Which, if I really want this to be my life's primary work, I really need to get to work on!

So, the latest work... well, I have several more pairs of earrings, since earrings are something of a staple for me (I'm looking into making clip-on earrings, too, since I have several family members without pierced ears, so let me know if you'd be interested.) But I also posted a bracelet I'm quite proud of. The stitch is called the African Helix stitch, and I found a  video tutorial for it on YouTube.

With this stitch, it's relatively easy to master the basics, (you work with five beads at a time, so there's not too much room for damage) but I'm discovering new and different problems every time I make another piece. For example, this stitch is worked on a wooden dowel or pencil. I thought it would be a good idea to score the pencil with inch marks, so I'd know how long the bracelet was. Great idea, yeah?  Yeah, I thought so, too... until I had to destroy the pencil to get the bracelet base off...  oops!  So far I've made 2 bracelets, and I have an idea for earrings.

[caption id="attachment_19" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="This is the African Helix Stitch bracelet, done in a base of matte black, with transparent lilac accent beads."][/caption]

I've also made an awesome little bracelet for a good friend of mine who's moving back to Arizona next week.  She's had a rough few months, but is getting back on her feet, and she collects bracelets, so I figured it'd be perfect (it was! She loves it!)  My goal was to make her a "Beach Bracelet."  She's lived here in Florida for 5 or 6 years, and doesn't really want to move back to Arizona, but at the moment, there's really no other option. So I wanted her to take a wee piece of Florida with her.   Here it is:

[caption id="attachment_18" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Deb's Beach Bracelet"][/caption]

I found some wonderful shell beads at Michaels, so that was obviously going to be the focal, since this is a "Beach" bracelet, and Florida definitely has shell-y beaches (unfortunately, we also have other icky stuff on our beaches now, too... boo....) And, of course, any "beach" bracelet must have it's water and sand!  I used a spiral rope stitch (probably my true favorite, and the first I ever learned) that I modified a bit to include a bit more framing around the turquoise beads. This is just such a fun and bright little bracelet!

So that's my new news!  More fun and changes to come!