August 10, 2011


It should be blog-illegal for someone to have to say "Yes, I'm still alive" so many times, but there it is. I haven't beaded since I got home from housesitting. It kind of feels like I'm in Beader's Anonymous right now, admitting this (but instead of being addicted I'm admitting to some serious slacking). I did start a new cuff this weekend, the very day our power went out-- is it a sign?! Probably not. So as soon as I finish something, I'll post pictures of it. I have been doing TONS of sewing- quilting, and decorative fun stuff, and some clothing too. It's been a solid month of 100-degrees-plus heat that is only just letting up this week, and I am super excited about it and praying that we are past the worst of the heat! So are the pups, who have been cooped up most days, walk-less and desolate. I can't leave you without any pictures at all, so here's what I've got:

No, she doesn't want any kisses.

June 11, 2011

For You, I Worked While I Was Away

     Technically, I'm still away. I am dogsitting/housesitting and not getting nearly as much work done as I thought. Apparently- and feel free to quote me on this- it's way more excellent to go shopping at outlet malls than to sit and watch TV while you bead. So if it comes down to that choice for you, I want you to know that I'm predicting a very outlet-heavy outcome.

    It's really just that you'll need to be around humans every once in awhile. That's always nice.

    So here goes:

Accidentally Rainbow Collar

Here's the finished collar! In my opinion, it's slightly less crazy-town than when it was unfinished, but I can't tell you why, exactly. I've worn it a few times! With something solid-colored it looks... a little like WHOA LOOK AT THAT THING. 

Okay so, remember that time after FeeJee Mermaid when I was like, "I'll never do a filled-in netting stitch again!" It turns out that I am a liar and a glutton for punishment. Or maybe that my memory of how annoying it is didn't last long enough.

Now that I look at these pics together, I'm thinking the cuff was sort of the antithesis to the collar. Like maybe the collar was color overload and I needed something desaturated to work on.

And pay no attention to how raggedy it looks, it will look much cleaner-edged when it's finished. You know that, I don't know why I'm telling you that. I started this last week, and worked on it pretty steadily for a few days, then I started to go nuts and took a break from it. I should have remembered. What I was remembering was how cool the filled-in-netting looks. I'm wishing now that i had used a navy instead of the gray underneath the moon, but there is no way I would rip out what I've got done. I'd sooner rip out all my hair. So I will finish it! And it will be okay. I don't actually know what this one is going to be named, either. I've been doing that a lot lately! I just wanted to use that moon! Ha!

I think all of my pics were kind of blurry today, so pretend you don't notice.

Yours in love and beads,

May 26, 2011

It's a Fabulous Rainbow Collar, Accidentally

     So I started my first collar. I wanted it to be fun and bright and lots of warm colors, because I tend to use cool colors and I wanted to branch out a bit. I wanted it to be kind of weighty and substantial and an interesting shape, and I thought I might wear it to a wedding with a solid color dress (I've got a purple one it might look good with!). Also, I had no real game plan on this one- I just started beading and did whatever felt best at the time. The current result of all of that is that I am now the proud beader of a particularly sassy-looking unfinished rainbow necklace. Rainbows are nice, but that was definitely not what I was going for. I'm still happy with it and I think it will still look good with my dress, but it just feels a little yikes when I look at it. Raaaaiiiiinbooowwwww! Maybe next time I will think up a color scheme first. It's just so hard to narrow it down! I LOVE ALL COLORS!!! Hear that, colors?! I can't say no to you.

     In other news, this month has been crazy. Life will continue to be crazy until July-ish. I will survive! It's been (and will be) birthdays and dog problems and weddings (and showers) and tornado warnings and graduations and housesitting. I'm excited for it to all be overrrrr. It has been fun, though, mostly; I feel like I've lived a few months worth of events all crammed into one. Zilla has a spinal injury, which is very not fun. We don't know what happened, but it will be a few weeks of no jumping, running, or being bowled over by Henry (all of those have still happened, just less than usual), accompanied by steroids and pain meds. If there's further damage, it could possibly mean surgery. The worst case is paralysis, so we cringe every time something happens. We spent a whole day earlier this week going to the e-vet and then the regular vet after a sleepless night. I cried a lot. She's our baby. So to keep her from jumping, we've been making big pallets on the floor and sitting with her down here at the coffee table. We also have to keep stuff on the furniture and keep the doors to the other rooms closed. I've been beading a lot and watching the X-Files. I like to tell my husband that the dogs and I love sci-fi and Lifetime movies, but the truth is they just sleep and fart the whole time. I know this is only barely bead-related, but it feels good to write it all down! Sorry, beading audience! At least I'm beading through the stress.

Lastly, I'll probably be incommunicado for a few weeks, but I'll think of you often and I will bead like crazy. Promise.

With lots of stressed-out love,

April 26, 2011

As-Yet-Unnamed Mystery Cuff

Mystery Cuff, in progress

So because this cuff has no mythical origin (and duh, all the other ones do! They're magical!) it has no name. It was just worked around the center piece of vintage costume jewelry, which belonged to my great-grandmother. I have a bag full of pieces I want to try to use! Not all of them are as pretty, like, say, the pieces from the 60s and 70s. I dig things from that era as much as the next vintage-digging-gal, but the costume jewelry can be a little... garish. And I'm having to decide how to attach things like clip-on earrings, brooches, and other things that have backs and pointy parts. This piece was one of a pair of clip-on earrings and I just sort of wiggled the clip with my tiny jewelry pliers until it broke off. Extra-precise work.




Mystery cuff, totally stinking finished already

Mystery cuff, finished so fast I bet you are surprised

Mystery cuff, modeled beautifully, probably to remain forever unnamed

Anyway, I basically just made it for fun, for myself. I have an idea for a cuff that is meant to be ghostly, and I'd like to use similar, but lighter colors. So this was kind of a nice practice run to see how all of those might come together. I did find that I need more greys. That's the end!

The End!

April 18, 2011

You'll Never Believe it, Because it's an Unbelievable Thing!

Atlantis... is.... FINISHED!!! BUM BUM BUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Cue the dramatic drumbeat followed by some intense orchestral music, my friends! I have finished the unfinishable. Spellcheck would have you know unfinishable isn't really a word, but I am here to tell you that it is. When I'd completely finished- knotted the last string and all that- I put it on and showed it to my husband, who said "Oh hey! That looks great. You've been working on that for a long time, right?" to which I replied "UGHHHHH FOR FOREVER" and he said, "Yeah! Like more than a month, right?"


I'm fairly sure I responded with something between the meanest glare and the shockiest shocked face. 'Cause no, it's been a little more than a month. I searched the blog and realized I started Atlantis in September!!! Pretty crazy, right? He may be worse at estimation than I am. Anyway, that's the story, and here are the pictures!

So, I like it, yes. It's not perfectly symmetrical, which I expected, but I think it looks good. It's less impressive on the wrist, which I also expected, because it's only the center third that shows. I didn't take a picture of that though. I could do another Photoshop of it, if you need a visual! Because we all know I am an excellent Photoshopper!

Tell me what you think!!

Then I decided to try to make a feather pendant. It was... fairly successful, I think. It looks good on, and I tried to take pictures of that, but I like to take my pictures in sunlight instead of incandescent if I can, and that morning light coupled with a lack of makeup was making for some seriously unlikeable photos. Ick. So now it's hard to tell the size of the pendant; I don't think it's as big as it looks in the pics. I probably should have put something next to it for scale.... I did not do that.

February 10, 2011

A Request for Your Opinions on Medusa

This is the start of Medusa, and I am already having issues. I started in with the lime green, fading it out to gray moving outward from the center, but I hated it. I ripped it out. Now that I've got the center worked out, I don't think that white and black will do. I have a color scheme worked out, but I'm not totally sure of it:

What do you think?? Silver, gray, dark green, and that iridescent purple-blue-red. And black, maybe. I don't know. When I think of Greek mythology, I tend to think of gold. I don't think anyone will see this color scheme and think Medusa. I attempted a snake-scale-like effect around the cab, and I do still want to do bead and thread "snakes" coming out from the center... I'm just afraid that there's just going to be so much going on! Ugh. I'm waffling on what I want to do.

In other news, here were our cars after the first round of snow:

We're breaking records for snowfall here in Tulsa! I've heard Oklahoma City wasn't as bad the first round from a friend who drove out here on Sunday and was unpleasantly surprised. It is a little frustrating to be stuck inside and all, but I have to say that snow and ice driving is kinda fun. As long as the roads are empty! Backing out of the driveway was pretty exciting!

Any and all suggestions for the background on Medusa are appreciated!

January 25, 2011



Atlantis creeps slowly onward... but it's nice to get a feel for what the finished cuff will look like! I should be able to finish it up this week.

In not-bead-embroidery-related news, I started playing with making poly-clay jewelry using a book I found at Garden Ridge (Creating Your Own Jewelry: Taking Inspiration from Museum Masterpieces by Cris Dupouy) as a guide. (Side note- Garden Ridge is awesome.) The idea is to make antique-looking pieces that could be mistaken for metal- I don't think I've got the technique down quite yet. Some of the things I made were more successful than others. But! The real reason I started the project was because, if I liked the look of these things, I thought I could make my own interesting cabs for my beadwork. Wouldn't that be kind of cool?

I think the branch pendant is the most metallic-looking.

These were a super simple trial run, but I want to do some more with lots of detail and filigree and see how that looks. My biggest problem was that you're supposed to paint them with model paint for the metallic finish (then you texturize and dab the paint off and blargh blarh blarrr)- and the model paint is still tacky months later. Yeah. I have no idea why or what to do about it. It's not THAT humid! I read online that sometimes model paint can stay tacky for a few days or even a week or two after use, but I am not even exaggerating- I did these in October or November.

Any tips are appreciated! I have no idea how to fix it for the next round!

Lastly, I have some snow dog pictures to share. Zilla is not a fan of cold or wet, but Henry loooooves it. So here he is, doing this thing that looks like jumping, maybe:

You can click that to see his silly jump even bigger.

And here's Zilla, post-snowball fight:

I hope everyone is enjoying their winter!

January 3, 2011

Once Again I Am a Finisher of Things

Which is great. I'm feeling pretty accomplished right now, after having finished Mom's Christmas cuff (before Christmas, obviously) and OSIRIS! BOOM! Both totally done. So first, pictures of Mom's cuff:

I was a bit nervous to give it to her. It's kind of huge - because of the mother-of-pearl cab- but she likes it. I also practiced my raised beadwork around the center, and aside from how it made a semi-wonky line, I like how it turned out.

And now for Osiris! I have to admit that I am super happy with it. It turned out better than I could've hoped. It's a little bit hard to get a feel for the colors from the photos; they're a bit more vivid in person, but they're all pretty under-worldly.

I thought I might show you the "idea" stage in the cuff-making process. I've mentioned before that I keep things pretty loose and like to make changes while I'm working, but I do think it's a good idea to have a sketch so that I don't forget my ideas. 'Cause I will.

The top two above should be recognizable; the first is Fee Jee Mermaid, the middle is Snow white. You can see that they don't follow the sketch exactly, just the general concept.

And these two are cuffs I haven't started yet- Hephaestus and Medusa. I'm definitely more excited to start Medusa! I'm always lucky if I can read my shorthand notes, but I've chosen greens, silver and black for Medusa, with both thread and bead snakes coming out from the center cab. I'm also planning on fading the background beading from black in the center to white at the edges. It's awfully ambitious! But I think it will look very cool.

December 3, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone! I know it's been awhile! What can I say? I've got the holiday lazies. I've also done a ton of weatherproofing around our old house, which has been a fun learning experience. It makes me feel very handy! I'm also attempting to seriously organize the dreaded back bedroom- the stuffed-to-the-gills room that is full of both mine and my husband's hobbies and collections of junk. It looks a little like a hoarder room, but I swear we aren't actually hoarders!

So! On to the pictures!

Osiris again!

Because I obviously needed another project, I'm making myself a version of Hansel and Gretel because I loved it so much. This one is just for me though! Not going on Etsy.

This one is a Christmas gift! It may very well be seen by the recipient, but since she's pretty super busy right now I doubt she will. I'm not good at keeping secrets. It's my mom. That's the secret! They're busy trying to get their new house built in time to move in by the 15th, so I think it's probably safe that I put this up. Also, I am bad at waiting to give people presents, so I'll probably finish it and give it to her for her birthday on the 7th. See? Foolproof. She'll never see it. (Mom, don't read this.) She requested blues and greens, and I have already changed out the little side shell beads with green stone beads. Maybe turquoise, I can't remember what they are! As you can tell, I'm incredibly official about the materials I use. A stone snob, if you will. The big cab in the middle is... mother of pearl? It's pretty, is what it is! I never claimed to have any lapidary skills. That's probably not even the right word.

This one is also a Christmas gift, and another I hope the recipient doesn't see. It just happens to be the colors from her alma mater, and I happen to know that she has lots of team spirit. This cab is called Bluey-Purple Crackly Stone. I think we can officially shorten that to Blurple. Blurple Crackly Stone. Such a graceful name!

This is totally unrelated, but it's the start of a rag rug that I'm now having trouble with. Zilla likes it, though!

And now, even MORE than totally unrelated (and yet so wonderful): the beautiful upside-down Henry dog!

Look at those kissable lips!

Henry signs us off today with a big XOXO!

November 11, 2010

Continuing Our Walk Through the Egyptian Underworld


Osiris is moving along nicely. I added some raised beading around the first triangle-zig-zags, which to me looks very Egyptian, for some reason. The geometric-themed beading will continue in the boxes to the right and left of the zig-zags, but I haven't quite decided what to do with the negative space around the scarab yet.

Scarab butt.