Thursday, January 31, 2008

Breaking Up Monotony

The other day, I decided that I needed an outing to break up the monotony of the week. I told y'all I was longing for mobility. It is so fun having a friend so close by that is into the same sorts of things. We aren't both glassers but we are both "crafters", lol. Lindsey and I (and our girls too) had a day all around town. Which led to an interesting event... but I should go in order.

My initial email was a hey, you wanna go to the trift store... which was returned with a sure, can we hit the yarn store too,... which was re-returned with a yeah, and how about hot cocoa & lunch at Panera.

To fit all that in, we had to get an early start! LOL, and for me, that is out the door and where I need to be by 10am. I know it is pathetic to think 10am is early, but most days we don't need to be ready and out the door until 12:30 for preschool, so 10 is pushing it. We made it in time and hit a local yarn shop. I have told you guys before that Lindsey and I share a special birthday bond. Our birthdays are each others half birthdays. My birthday is coming up on Feb 13th and Lindsey's is Aug 13th. (She's older, lol, by 18months.) Anyway, I am babbling... we like to exchange handmade gifts for your birthdays and last year Lindsey made me a ROCKIN' pair of hand knit socks!! And I am getting a new pair this year!! The yarn stop was for me to get to pick out my own colored yarn. It is too cool, I can't wait for these socks. They are going to be fuschia, rosy pink and coral orange verigated goodness.

We stuffed lunch in after the yarn shop and quick scooted Lauren to school. I think that is saying a lot. We got through a yarn shop and lunch with a 4 & 2 yr old and still got Lauren to school by 12:30!!

Craft Bits & Pieces was the next stop on the list. It was a mad house in there!! But I found some great fabrics. There is a gorgeous gray cordory, a lovely orange floral and a few fresh finds downstairs in my studio as I type. I am thrilled with them. Plus I grabbed a few sets of double ended knitting needles and I might, just might, with lots of help from Lindsey, attempt to make my first pair of knitted socks!

Right next door, I mean literally, right next door to Bits & Pieces is a little shop called The Millstone Block. On the surface it looks like an unassuming little used book store, but go inside and WOW!! The tag line on the owner's business card, "A 'not what you expected' Book Boutique", is right on the money!! It is such a cool little shop. It is not only books, but funiture stuff, cute bags, baby stuff... and wait for it... JEWELRY!!

Now, I have to admit, I got a little clue from a customer last week that there was jewelry in this shop. A wonderful lady that was given a Kab's necklace for Christmas wore it while shopping there. The necklace caught the owner's attention and all sorts of info was exchanged and I was told I should stop in. Being that I was at Bits & Pieces anyway, it was the perfect timing.

Lori, the owner, it great! And in a few weeks (late February) she'll be carrying Kab's Jewelry!! YOO HOO!! It was so great getting to talk to her. She seems like a huge fan of local artists and just loves supporting them. When I told her about the book I am a contributer in coming out from Interweave Press in August (you guys didn't forget about that, did you?) she was talking about having a trunk show and book signing!! Me? A Book Signing? Shut up!! And she was even talking about seeing if she could get it picked up by the local papers too. It'll be an exciting event! But it is months away, I'll keep you posted.

It is so odd, this blog land thing... one day I can't think of a word to say and the next, I am busting at the seems with things to tell you about! I can't end this post without telling you about these new pendants!! They are still growing on me and I haven't gotten a name for them yet. I would love to hear your thoughts on 'em. I think they are definitely something that needs to be seen and held and touched to be appreciated. They were inspired by an interesting email from another friend of mine, Cindy over at Cindy hit a local art show in her area and loved a piece by an artist that was showing there. Words just couldn't describe it, lol. I would say, "you mean like such and such?" and she would be like "sorta but not really"... anyway... this is my interpretation, in glass, of that her words made me see in my head. LOL, does that sentence make any sense?

Something really cool about these... they another environmentally friendly project!! I have a tub on my desk filled with the "ends" from Playground Bracelet projects. They are so pretty and colorful, I don't have the heart to toss them. I have been saving them for ages just waiting for an idea to strike... and now it has!! Pretty wild huh?

Hey, maybe that is what I should call the pendants "Pretty Wild Pendants"?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wishing For Mobility

I am deep in the throws of Tutorial Tuesday. I was thinking ( I thought this yesterday while writing in my big comfy living room chair) that I should be more mobile. I should venture out into the world (lol, I mean town) while I write. I could chill out at Barnes & Noble, or I could grab a hot cocoa at Panera while typing at one of their tables, or I could go sit at the park and watch the waves at the lake.

But no... I am gonna be right here at my kitchen table today. I am slightly deterred by the fact that I had to refill my gas tank yesterday and it was more then $50. I am slightly deterred by the fact that I think I may get a call from the school nurse cause Andrew has a bad case of the sniffles. And who am I kidding? I am such a home body! It is all gray and moody outside (my favorite kind of weather) and I just wanna curl up here at home, with a mug of coffee (with hazelnut creme) and do nothing.

Okay, the do nothing thing is outta the question. The pile of laundry here is higher then I would like to admit. I am pretty sure Jacob has worn the same pair of pants to school everyday since sometime last week. (But I think that is a 10yr old thing, cause there are other options in his dresser drawer.) I am also pretty sure there is a load in the washing machine that has been in there since last week too, waiting to be thrown in the dryer. I can't believe I just admitted that!

You'll be happy to know... we'll I am happy to know anyway... that I finally caught up on my accounting, which doesn't explain the total lack of laundry washing but makes for a good excuse anyway. Did you guys read THIS POST I had on Watch Me Create a few months back? Yeah, says a lot about my attitude towards paperwork. But after 2 1/2 hours yesterday (while Lauren was at preschool) I think I am finally caught up. Yoo HOO!

Hmmm... you know, I think this is a rather spastic, train of thought style post. I am all over the place. Tutorial Tuesdays... wishing I was more mobile... insane amounts of laundry... tax talk... weird. I guess I will just go with the flow and change topics again. You don't have to read if you don't want to right?

Last night, at 1:44 am, Lauren woke out of a sound sleep crying. I went into her room thinking she needed help finding the bathroom or something. But nope, she was upset because all her monkeys (she isn't a teddy bear kinda girl) weren't all snuggled in by her. I got her tucked back in and the monkeys too, I think she was back asleep before I had the comforter even pulled up to her shoulders. I, on the other hand, had quite a time getting back to sleep. I think it was well after 3am before I was out again. I tend to get a very busy brain at night. Last night it was three new necklace ideas, tutorial outlines, and plans for "turn off the TV night" with the kids that was keeping me up. I try counting backwards home 100 but I get bored around 53 and tend to think of something else.

Anyone else have a busy brain at night? How do you shut off?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Robot Love

I am almost ready to post the Bead Box Beads! First, I needed to come and post all these group shots of the beads. I was reminded yesterday why I don't often use this red!! It is a nightmare to photograph. Something about my light bulbs in the studio make the red turn muddy brownish black.

Click on the pics here to see what the beads look like in more natural light, just sitting on my kitchen table as they waited patiently to be measured and posted.

I really had a lot of fun with these colors! I'll admit it... I spend way way way too much time on Etsy. And like I said last week, these beads were inspired by a Treasury that had all sorts of red and gray items. Those treasuries expire so fast, though! So I don't have the link to share, oh well. You are gonna be busy look at beads anyway, what do you need an etsy treasury for?

I guess I am going to call these "Valentine's" beads, but really, there are very few hearts so depending on how you use your set, you'll be able to make pieces that can be worn year round. My favorite beads, this time around, (it's so hard to choose) are the big hole beads and the buttons. I think these beads would look fantastic with oxidized wire and I am dieing to make Timeless bangles with those button beads. But no, I am letting you have 'em! Oh, and I should tell you, make sure you scroll down a little bit in each listing... there is more then one photo for eash set!!

Okay, I hope you enjoy them! Let me know your thoughts!!

Friday, January 25, 2008


We just got back from the Smile Day assembly at the boys' elementary school. Andrew was named Citizen Extraordinaire in the area of tolerance for his classroom. YOO HOO Andrew!! Unfortunately, it is being timed with a frustrating situation with his teacher. So I am not sure if she is trying to wash over the situation Ron and I infuriated about or if Andrew really earned it. I am sure he is very tolerant in school, if only he could tolerate his sister a bit better.

So this situation with his teacher... a few weeks ago, a packet of papers arrived home with a note attached. The note read "Andrew wasted an hour and a half of centers time today. He got no work done and will be losing recess and Fun Friday time. He will need to get the work done at home. Unfortunately, you won't have the resources to help him as the resources are in the classroom." Not the kind of note you hope to ever see. I asked Andrew about it, only to get shrugs and I don't knows.

The next morning, I called the teacher to ask about what happened. She explained that with the NYS testing going on, the classroom routine was out of whack. Their usual morning centers time for Social Studies was done in the afternoon and on that day it was longer ( 1 1/2 hours). She started the class explaining what the kids were to be working on, did the first question with them, and sent them out to do the rest on their own. Come to find out, there were two teachers in the room at the time. Both, his teacher and the reading resource teacher that Andrew works with. Andrew has struggled with ELA (english language arts) since preschool. He despises reading! Anyway, after an hour and 15 mins of centers time, Andrew came up to the teacher asking for help, still only on the 2nd question of the 1st sheet.

I was floored, I was flabbergasted, I was speechless!! I asked "was Andrew misbehaving?", No. "was he talking, goofing off, anything?", No.

He literally sat in his seat for an hour and a half and with two teachers in the room, no one noticed him or that he didn't know what to do!!! BOTH teachers, who know full well that Andrew doesn't advocate for himself, who know full well that Andrew struggles with reading and writing... left him to read and write for an hour and a half solid WITHOUT CHECKING ON HIM OR OFFERING HIM ANY SUPPORT!!! How can teachers do that? It was NINETY MINUTES!!! Not 10mins, 90 minutes of walking around the room, helping other kids, doing this and that while completely over looking a child they know struggles!!

Needless to say, the conversation with his teacher didn't go well. She said things like "if you think you can teach centers better you are welcome to come in and try". She told me "at some point Andrew has to take responsibility for his own education". (um, he's eight?) And when I said I felt her note was rather condescending, she said that she doesn't think I know what condescending means.

Grrrrr.... talk about making a Momma lion mad.

I broke into the conversation and simply said "my husband and I don't feel that Andrew is getting the support he needs in your classroom. What steps do we need to take to get him an IEP (individualized education plan) or other additional support?" And that is where we are going now. With meetings set up first thing next month to get additional services for him in regards to reading.

Now, two weeks later, out of the blue, Andrew is getting the tolerance award. I'll say he can tolerate a lot!!

I would love to hear other appalling teacher stories. It'll make me feel like I don't have things so bad. Please feel free to share!! (oh and I heard from another parent that this same teacher has been TAPING a student to his seat who won't keep still!!)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm Awake

NO, I am not sleeping. Just because my eyes are drooping and I can barely hold them open at the moment doesn't mean I am sleeping. Do you get those days where, even though you haven't done much of anything, you are just dog tired?

Anyway.... I got a little snag in the plans for you... I spent a delightful afternoon playing with a friend of mine's little one, so I got no work done. And tomorrow Andrew is getting recognized at school for showing "Tolerance" at the Smile Day Assembly, so I won't get any work done tomorrow either. So, let's do the update on Monday instead! It'll give me the weekend to get together more fun beads.

YYyyaaawwwnnnn..... no, I am not sleeping.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mini Update

I just finished up a little update before the update over at my website. I had several pieces that needed their pictures taken, descriptions written and posting done. And I am happy to say... they are now all available.

Go see:
The Nonsense Necklaces ~ HERE & HERE
The Cup Cake Bangle ~ HERE (sold!)
Timeless Bangles ~ HERE & HERE
A Playground Necklace ~ HERE
A Playground Bracelet ~ HERE

That should keep you busy until Friday's Bead Box Update. Yeah, you read right, the update will be Friday! Watch for those beads!!

Lauren and I had a fun day. We were "worker girls", lol, as she calls it when both her and I are working on something. We broke from our usual routine to take a trip over to the city and finally drop off some new pieces to the Gallery Store at The Memorial Art Gallery. Now it's time for a bit of running around to pick people up early for this and that. Then it is off to Gee & Pappy's (my Mom & Dad's) for homemade pizzas for dinner. Should be fun!

Oh, I wanted to ask... is there a doctor in the house? LOL, anyone know why I would be suddenly breaking out in hives all the time? It is really annoying and very itchy!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tutorial Tuesdays

Again... many thanks.

I can't tell you how much all you virtual friends mean to me! Between all your comments over the past few days and the very personal emails you are sending, I am just beside myself with love and appreciation. Thank you so much for the parenting support, on top of all the other art support you give me.

On to brighter, happier things!

Guess what! You totally aren't going to believe this... really you are just going to flip when I tell you.

Wait for it....

I am going to have Bead Box Beads this week!! YOO HOOOOO!!! Can you stand it? I have been secretly sneaking in torch time here and there over the past week. (Like those quiet minutes when everyone was napping instead of pucking last week.) I have some great beads so far and think I can sneak in a few more. I was suddenly inspired by an Etsy Treasury that was all gray and red. I wish I'd saved the link, but those things expire so fast it probably would have disappeared by now anyway. I just loved the look of cool crisp gray and warm deep cherry red. And I think it is an awesome "alternative" Valentine's day color combination. I decided to call the theme for this update "Robot Love"... how cute is that?!?

A was able to get in some great writing time today. I have officially typed out the full outline. I have one of the tutorials written, my introduction is done too, and I started the toolbox dialog. Really getting down to the nitty gritty of the outline and seeing it all typed out rather then rough draft form, I am thinking I have way more info here then I thought. And at second count, I have currently around 27 projects!! WOW!! I guess I can scratch "can I actually come up with enough to fill a book" off of my worries list. I also decided that it is going to take more then Tutorial Tuesdays to make a dent in the writing of this thing. So pretty much all my free time, including the time we spend watching American Idol and commenting on how awful the contestants are, will be spent writing. Oh and then the making.... I have to make all the jewelry that will be in the book. It all has to be photographed and illustrated. My stars.

What have I gotten myself into....

Monday, January 21, 2008

Surrender to The Super Mom

First of all... thank you so much for the overwhelming response to Friday's post! I am touched, I am excited, I am definitely writing the book. I am glad to know I will have so many of you here with me as I go through the process. So, thank you, thank you, thank you... you are so very appreciated around here.

And now, on to today's post title. I give up! I surrender! Super Mom, I am not. What I am is so exhausted that my eyes keep going crossed. Here is the deal... for several weeks now Ron and I have been at our wits end in the parenting department. Jacob is mouthy and disrespectful (ex: yesterday he said to me "Just because we like Dad better then you, Mom, doesn't mean you have to be a jerk all the time"). Andrew was diagnosed with early onset childhood bi-polar earlier this summer and these past few weeks we have dealt with countless major balling meltdowns as we experiment trying to find what treatment will work best for him. And Miss. Lauren, well, she is just plain spoiled rotten and shrieks at the top of her lungs when ever anyone sits in her spot when she wants to watch cartoons.

Seems like no matter what we do, it doesn't work. We give them what they want, they get worse. We take things away, things get worse. We have just been beside ourselves with what to do. I have even read parenting books people, I am feeling that pathetic as a parent. Some of these things I think we bring on ourselves. All to often, to get a moments peace, we let the boys numb themselves with PS2. Or we watch movies when we should be sitting at the kitchen table playing games together. But even so, they are things we have really worked on. I can't tell you how many times Ron and I have said "who wants to play a game of Crazy 8s?" Truly, it is countless times.

I feel like I am losing the boys. The Jacob I knew, who could spend hours writing his own graphic novels (really he would staple scrap paper, illustrate a cover, write a story, then go outside and act it out), who was so eager to get the best grades he could, who was absolutely magical, has been warped into a snicky, snotty pre-teen who thinks he can call his buddy on the phone at 8pm to ask if he thinks his "girlfriend" is cheating on him. Come on now, fictitious cheating girlfriend talk in 5th grade just to have something to talk about? Is this really who my child is?

Ron is about ready to pull a Dr.Phil and strip the kids' room of everything but their mattresses and a blanket. If they really think everything is so much better every where else... he'll show them just how much they take for granted. I, being the weaker, couldn't bring myself to do it. But today, we did "take things back to the table", so to speak. Today was a NO SCHOOL day. I sat the kids down right after breakfast and had a serious talk. I told them how much it hurts me to see what they are becoming. And how they aren't the kids I knew when they were 4 or 5. So rather then constantly fighting over who has what, who's turn it is to do what, when they cane go here or there... we are working on EARNING the things they want. And we are all going to work on treating each other better.

I got all Super Nanny and actually made charts (my Mom's suggestion, THANKS MOM). It has simple responsibilities that the boys are expected to do daily (ex: brush teeth, make beds, load dishwasher). If they do them respectfully and without arguments, then they can earn PS2 time (albeit limited!), time to talk on the phone, or go to a friend's house. If we don't see changes in attitude and how we treat each other... we are getting serious and Jacob will be taken out of football (I still have to come up with the serious consequence for Andrew).

After the talk, we set out on a Job-Jar-Day. I have told you about these before. We had one THIS DAY. The four of us, who were then joined by my Mom: making it 5, worked together getting things straitened up around the house. Then, as a reward, they got to pick a movie at Blockbuster. We did some grocery shopping and I didn't want to pull my hair out while pushing the cart. It was surprisingly pleasant actually. Then back home we watched our movie together, then made a batch of cookies. All in all it turned out to be one of the best days we have had in a while.

Here is hoping it will last for more then just today.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Proposal

I have a topic that has been invading my daily thoughts for quite sometime now and I think it is time I share it with you. I am kinda at a stand still and need a bit of a push into what comes next. I don't know if you have noticed or not, but I haven't mentioned working on writing much lately. It doesn't come from a lack of projects to write about. Actually it is just the opposite. Right now I have approximately 15 projects I could write tutorials for. The fact is, I have been hording them. Why? Well, because I think I should write a book. Have I mentioned this dream of mine here before? I can't really remember.

It has been a dream of mine to write a book since high school. I always thought it would be a novel but hey, you take things as the come, right? What kind of book am I thinking I should write now? Well a wire working book, of course! Don't writers say to "write what you know"? I think I know wire.

In my mind, the book would be an alternative wire working book. Since I am a self taught wire artist, many of my techniques and tips aren't the "supposed to" way of doing things. I would basically put my 5 hour Totally Twisted class into published form. With lots of extra step by step projects too. I like to think that I have a unique voice when it comes to writing and I would want my book to reflect it too. I also think I have a unique visual style and use of color that I would want to be loud and clear.

Why am I at a stand still then? I guess it is the doubts that every insecure artist would have. Could I actually come up with enough projects to fill a book? I am self taught, what right do I have telling others what to do? Would anyone even buy my book? Heck, before that, would a publisher even be interested in a book by me? Then I wonder things like "why do I want to write a book, what would I get out of it?" Will I be able to teach more? Only in the since that I would be teaching through the pages because as a stay at home Mom, I wouldn't be able to travel to teach. It wouldn't be a get rich quick scheme... from what I hear, there isn't all that much money in books, it is more the attention it gets your work.

So here is the plan... I am taking the leap. In fact, I already took the leap. I have started something I call "Tutorial Tuesdays". I spend my work/studio time writing on Tuesdays. I currently have a full outline, about 20 tips and all the projects sorted. I sent a (I'll admit, quickly written and probably not thorough enough) book proposal to an editor at a publication I have worked with before way back in November. (Told ya it has been on my mind for a while.) And not surprisingly, I haven't heard back. What I really should have done was wait until I had written the outline, introduction and one project... then sent a proposal. So that is the new plan. I am writing the book then, I will shop it out. And if all else fails, I could always self publish it.

But, people... I need a push. I need to know that this is the right direction to take. Give me some reassurance. I started a poll to the right... answer it!! And feel free to leave comments, I wanna hear them!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's A Sign

A few months back I found out about this really cool pen, called a TI-Pen, that allows you to write on the surface of glass without damaging the glass. I made one of these pens my first purchase for da' business in 2008. I am still getting used to it. It shows up better on certain colors and is dang near impossible to photograph.

I think this is going to work out great. I plan to sign all new pieces with this. In some tiny tucked away place. Won't it be fun when someone goes on PBS' Antiques Roadshow in 75 years, lol, with one of my pieces. "In January of 2008, Bogert started signing her work with titanium. Pieces with her original signature KABS are highly sought after. Later pieces signed with Kerry Bogert and not considered as valuable. The piece you have here doesn't have a signature and that tells us it is before 2008. I would estimate the value of the piece you have here at $100,000."

Oh, and I also plan to # the pieces in my "line" too. Very much like artist who signs "prints". When I told my sister about this whole idea/plan she said "yeah, that's hot." I am so relieved to have her approval!

In homely news... it is now 4 down and one to go on the tummy virus. I am the only one, as of yet, unaffected, or should I say infected. Though, I have to admit, as much as I am chanting "I will not be sick, I will not be sick" over and over, I am a little queasy today. Ugh. But that could be because I have been awake since 3am taking care of Andrew. Keep your fingers crossed that it is just fatigue!! The biggest bummer with this whole virus thing... I am missing book club tonight!! For the first time since March of 2006!! I am devastated!! Those girls better pick a good book for February. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Little Snipets

I have been enjoying a bunch of blogs that are doing photo projects about everyday life. I decided that I wanted to do it too. So, for the next 366 days (it's a leap year, did you know?) I am going to try tracking my life with my camera. Just one photo a day... (yeah I know 1.12.08 has two photos... but it was the first day, lol) that is a random moment of my everyday life. I'll be posting the photos in my Flickr gallery HERE. Don't worry, LOL, I won't be boring you with it here. Well, that is of course unless I get a really really good picture that you just have to see.

This art project is more for myself then anything else. I can't wait to look back at these days a year from now. I hope it helps me grow a little as a photographer and I hope it helps me to look at my days in a different, more appreciative and hopefully humorous, (check out 1.13.2008, can you tell what that is about, LOL) way. I think, all to often, I get caught up with this or that and I forget that I have a really good life. I am one of the lucky people that get to follow a "calling" to create and I shouldn't take that for granted.

If you have a camera, I think you should do it too. Really, what could it hurt? I am also challenging myself to leave the photos as taken. No editing, at all. You'll see them just as they come out of my camera.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Inspiring Exchange

I have had a really cool, behind the scenes, artist exchange going on for the past few months. And I can't believe I haven't mentioned it sooner!! I have raved loads of times about Cassie over at I have told you how she was my inspiration in learning to make beads. About 3 years ago, I found her site through the Bead&Button forums. I asked her loads of questions. Until then, I had loathed any and all lampwork I had ever seen. I decided if I could make beads... and make them as cool as Cassie's... then I had to learn.

Cassie and I have kept in touch over the past few years, sending "checking in" style emails every few months or so. We even tried to meet up at the Bead&Button Show last year, but just missed each other, though I think I saw her on the escalator, lol.

Anyway, I am rambling, I'll get to the point... a few months ago we were chatting about how we never keep any of the jewelry made with our own beads. And it was decided that we would do a fun exchange. We both made some beads and sent them to each other. We then made jewelry out of those beads and sent the projects back. So now we have jewelry, made with our own beads, that we can never part with since they were made special for the other!! I made a few "mini" sets like I do for my Bead Box updates. There were a few Mod Dot style beads, some Big Hole Beads, a few plain spacers too, a set of rustic plaids and some "cabs". Cassie really wanted a Playground bracelet of her own. So to me she sent a couple dozen of her discs!

I am going to say, I think I got the better end of the deal!! Look at all the cool stuff she came up with for me!! I now have two fabulous bracelets and a fantastic necklace. My favorite is the top bracelet. I can't get over her ingenious shank on my end-of-the-mandrel cab. It makes for a perfect button!!! It's so simple, it's brilliant. I am going to have to make some of those for my own designs. (And she is posting some in her own style on her website too!!) We both agree that this has been a fantastic exchange, not just for the jewelry, but for all the inspiration we got from working with someone else's beads.

Here is what I ended up making with Cassie's discs. Not only did she get her own playground bracelet... but she got TWO, lol. And I sent her a bottle cap too. When I started playing with her beads, I found they were in two very obvious color groups... brights and darks. I made filler beads and discs to fill out the design. Can you look close and tell which are KABS beads and which are BEADLE beads? I love Cassie's bubble style dots on these discs!! I gotta try that sometime :)

In other news... I am going to have to quarantine my house!! So far 3 out of 5 of us are battling a horrendous stomach bug. Lauren started Saturday, with Ron and Jacob close behind yesterday. Andrew is still in the clear and for now, I am feeling okay. But if there is one thing I have learn, it's that this bug comes on suddenly. So if I go missing... you'll probably be able to find me in the bathroom. Wish me luck and if you have any spare cans of Lysol around... send them my way!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Random Life Questions

Why is it that when you get the hiccups once during the day, you seem to get them a half dozen times that day?

Go & Get 'Em

Bottle caps are up! Did you notice? They are in the "Brights:Necklaces" section. To make thing easier on myself (which is turning out to be a pain in the butt), I sorted the pendants by color and gave them each a letter. So, when you go to the "BLUES" you'll see that there is cap A, B, C, D, and E, ... pretty straight forward stuff here, people. If there is no letter... that's cause someone bought that cap up!! That is where my butt pain comes in... I thought I had this website taking care of itself, but no... I have to go in and take the option down when a letter sells. Either that is the way the system works or I don't understand how zen cart works. My guess is the latter.

You'll notice that the caps aren't strung on anything this time, and it is for good reasons. One: I am out of silk cording. And although I bought the materials to dye my own silk cording (4 months ago!!) I haven't had a chance to experiment with the dying... but I will. Two: I think the the silk is more of a summery style. And Three: I am lovin' how these look on Omega style cable chains. Get yourself one of those HERE. Please excuse me while I go into my sales shpeal (is that how you spell that?) for a second... these chains... oh my stars... too cool!! They are 18in long, sterling silver and kink resistant. The clasp is narrow enough that you can slide on these pendant... or LAMPWORK BEADS!! Yeah, that's right... you don't have time to turn some really fabulous beads a piece of jewelry... slide 'em on your chain to show them off... start a collection... you could do so much with it. Really, seriously... you know you want one.

I don't know if you could tell or not, but last week... not so good for me. I try to keep the blog positive, and up beat. But last week just plain sucked. No two ways about it. It started last Sunday... I won't go into details, it would just sound like a boat load of whining, but lets just say being a parent is insanely frustrating sometimes. Which I am sure I don't have to tell parents!! I thought for sure that things would let up, but no... things are still sucky. I am trying to ignore the suckiness and try to dwell on positive things. Sometimes the sucky gets the better of me though. But doesn't it for everybody?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cap Results

The bottle caps set up perfectly! I have about 3 dozen of them that I will work on posting this weekend. I am going to need to think of a way to get them up that lets you see them all and isn't totally time consuming.... hmmmm....

SO, I am not really feeling very chatty... I am gonna take a couple days break to get my bloggy groove back. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bottle Caps In The Afternoon

I had the urge this afternoon to resin up some bottle caps. By the time I was pouring the resin, the sun had gone down and I lost the light to take more pics. I will let you know tomorrow if the resin set properly. It is always if-y for me if it'll harden just right, lol.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Man Oh Man

New things for The Gallery Store again today.

Way back in November, it was requested that I do some masculine pens. I have been so overwhelmed lately that this is the first chance I have had to get to them. For some reason, I have had it in my head that manly beads would be large, full length beads rather then several smaller ones stacked. I also think men would prefer rustic earthy beads over polka dots. Maybe I am thinking that because most of the beads that I see by male lampwork artists are big long beads. Check out the work of Trey Cornette. Okay, he doesn't have much listed on eBay right now, but mark him as a favorite... you'll see... his beads are amazing.

These are some of the biggest beads I have ever attempted. I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep that much glass hot. But it was easier then I thought. The beads are all around 3 inches long and about 1/2 in diameter. The pen bases are black, gunmetal and silver... some how I don't think you'll catch a guy using a lime green pen, but hey, I could be wrong. I kept things very geometric... lots of lines and grids. My favorite pen, by far, is the one on the left. The base is red copper glass with copper foil and silver foil burnished into the surface, and there are lines in ivory and black on the surface. Love it!

I took a pen and marked the mandrel to tell me how long the beads needed to be for the pen base, but they were still just a hair small. I didn't mind... that is the perfect opportunity for me to add a little wire work. So two of the pens have a long black coil that outlines one edge of the bead. I like the extra layer it gives the bead and pen. Too cool!!

Okay, give me some feedback... would or wouldn't your man be caught dead with one of these?

Monday, January 07, 2008


Who remembers my necklace called "Circulate"? Presented today is my latest variation on that design. The original sold quickly at The Memorial Art Gallery's Gallery Store... and it was requested I do another one. I put it off for a while... I didn't want to do the same thing. Out of the blue, while sitting in the bath tub on Thursday (last week)... this new design popped into my head. The bare sterling wire has a double twist, which leads to three different sized loops instead of two that are the same. I love it... though I am having a hell of a time trying to get a good photo of it.

I am going to call it "Strolling"... something about the swirling sterling wire had me humming... "while strolling through the park one day.... in the merry merry month of May..." I think it fits.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I went Thrifting!

Something I find incredibly inspiring is seeing all the cool things people collect while thrifting. Call it garage saleing... call it going to goodwill... call it rummaging through Grandma's attic... I don't care what you call it, I am going to call it thrifting. I am terribly jealous of people who can thrift. My friend Lindsey and I agree that Rochester just doesn't have a lot of good places to get good deals. There are so many blogs were people go on and on about all the amazing treasures they find on what seems like daily trips here and there. But we just don't have that here. At least, that is what we thought until yesterday.

There is no way in heck that you are gonna catch me in the garage torching this week. It is in the teens with windchills in the single digits, so when Lindsey asked if I wanted to go with her to check out a local place called Bits&Pieces, I said OF COURSE!! It is such a cool little spot. Everything in the place is donated and "crafting" related. Everyone who works there are volunteers and all the proceeds benefit senior citizens. Who doesn't love that?!?

For $30, I got the above tonage of fabric (anyone wanna guess what color I am currently lusting after?), this awesome vintage storage container that now holds my knitting needles and some yarn, this sweet little bud vase and a bunch of matboard pieces. Too Cool!You can totally tell that this place is one that has constantly changing inventory. So I think we'll need to be visiting there often.

Oh, and something I love about thrifted fabric... it is prewashed!! NO LAUNDRY!! LOL ;)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Laundry Ranting

All these have been on my mind this week... I am sure you can identify.

10 Things I Can't Stand About Laundry!!

1- It is a vicious cycle you can only break out of by becoming a nudist.

2- Winter laundry means twice as many clothes that are twice the size of summer clothes which means half the amount fits in the washer which means there are 4x as many loads to wash and the baskets are twice as heavy.(wonder why I made that number two? HA)

3- Having to bit my tongue so I don't scream "why don't you do a load yourself" every time I hear "I am out of underwear."

4- While sorting, finding underwear with "tracks" that someone thought they could hide by stuffing it in the bottom of the basket.

5- Living in a raised ranch makes me have to go up and down the stairs 5 times for ONE load of laundry!!

6- Dressers here have three drawers... underwear/shirts/pants... why there are folded piles of clean clothes on the floors next to dressers, I will never understand.

7- Finding more clean clothes that were never put away (see #6) then dirty clothes in the dirty laundry basket after asking certain people to clean their room. By the time said clean clothes are found, the laundry basket is already in the laundry room being sorted and no doubt, there is a #4 item in there too.

8- The morning after someone vomits, when you go down to put the soiled comforter into the dryer after washing it at 2am, then looking into the bottom of the washer and wondering what the chunks are.

9- That funny smell things get in the summer when you forget to change a load from the washer to the dryer for a week.

10- Realizing for the 3rd day in a row that you forgot to pick up detergent when you were at the store. Then remembering the detergent, washing a load and discovering that you are out of fabric softener sheets when you put that load in the dryer. And no doubt... you forget to pick up dryer sheets for 2 weeks every time you go to the store.

No, I didn't copy and paste this list from some obscure Top 10 website... this is my own ranting, lol. I hate laundry with a passion. And considering I just spent an hour folding it... I had to vent. I could go on... don't even get me started on the inopportune times that a load decides to go unbalanced and scare the crap outta you with it's banging. But, I will leave it at 10 things. If you have your own points to add, feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Timeless, Sort Of

Are you starting to get concerned that I won't be posting any of my white background photos anymore? LOL. I can't tell you how much I am freakin' lovin' this gradated paper. It totally ROCKS!! It really makes things POP right off it. Never fear though, I will be using my old style photographs when I get back to posting new items on my website. Consider this a little white background hiatus.

Here we are again... another new design. I told ya I was feeling fresh and excited!! These are a few prototypes of, what I think I will call, "Timeless Bangles". They aren't timeless in the "classical" sense. Meaning they aren't a traditional design that has passed through the ages and are still worn today. No... they are something totally new. I like the name "Timeless" because I think these focal beads look like faux watch faces. But since they are faux, they don't actually tell time... they are time-less. Oh how clever I think myself to be, lol.

They design isn't quite there, yet. I think the "snail" style link needs to be in a heavier gauge or wrapped in a way that makes it appear heavier. And it has been mentioned that this kind of clasp has been dubbed "the sweater snagger" by some. So I want to see if I can't figure out a way to make sure there will be no sweater mending needed when wearing this.

Post your thoughts people!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Nonsense in 2008


Welcome to 2008! I hope you all had a blast last night and got to smooch someone special. I got to smooch 4 someones, lol. This year we had a quiet night at home full of Crazy 8s, homemade personal pizzas and a giant sleep out in the living room. Every one tried to stay up, few succeeded. Ron made it until around 10pm, Andrew until 11:40, Lauren until 11:50 and it was just me and Jacob up for the count down. I gave each of my crew a kiss before shuffling off to bed by 12:10, lol.

Oh, how different it is from back in the day. I remember staying out until 3-4am and sleeping till noon. I doubt I could do it these days!

As I layed in bed... waiting to drift off to dream land... I was finally a little reflective. Last year was full of some many things, but then again, it feels like it was a split second of time. In that pre-dream state, the name for this new necklace design popped into my head too. Not only does it fit the necklace... I think it fits the approach I hope to take into the new year.

This is "The Nonsense Necklace"!

I freaking love it. It has so many endless possibilities for expressing your own personal style. So far I have come up with five basic ways to wear it. But that is just the start. Subtle changes here and there, and there are even more ways to wear it.

It starts with a 40in chain!! Dats right... FORTY INCHES!!

The beads slide all over the place. You can let it hang long (photo 1)... you can double it up with the beads hanging low (photo 2)... you can slide a few of the beads around, turning it into a double 'v' (photo 3)... part the beads and use them as dangles for a traditional lariat (photo 4)... or let all the beads hang together and use the free end like a lasso for even another style of lariat (photo 5)!

This is the prototype of the new design. I still have to work out what color combos to make and I need to make the smaller accent discs on a slightly larger mandrel so they can spin all the way around the chain. Right now they can't get past the small link I use to connect the chain ends.

So how is this like the attitude I want to take into 2008?

Well, it is kinda hard to describe. I am not one for resolutions... I have told y'all that before. If I want to change something about myself, I just try and do it... I don't wait for a certain date on the calendar. But I want to have more nonsense in my life. More "just for fun". Less stress.

Here is hopeing we all can have more nonsense and fun!