Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wordy (NOT Wordless) Wednesday

Okay, the whole "wordless" thing isn't working, lol... I have added text below :)

Yesterday, after my shower (look how fresh and clean I am), I had an idea pop in my head, that I just had to make happen. I got the idea to make Bottle Cap Earrings. Bottle caps, as they are, are just too heavy to have as earrings. Especially filled with wire and resin. I started with my jeweler's saw. I sawed off the "crowns" of matching bottle caps. Then filed the edges.

The sawing was a nightmare, after breaking at least 4 blades, I decided to try utility shears. The saw is nice because it leaves the crowns in tact and I can reuse them in collage art. The shears are much easier to use but turns the crowns into very sharp ribbons of metal. Of course, either way... lots and lots and lots of filing.

After I cut the crowns off, I had to shape the new flat cap discs into something that could hold resin (aka a bezel). Enter my cheap dapping punch set from Harbor Freight. Bang bang bang... flip to another size... bang bang bang... flip to another size... you get the idea. The kids had a half day yesterday too. So they were home and on the computer right next to me as I was banging away. It drove them NUTS!! How fun is that!?! Anytime I get annoyed with them, I getting out my dapping punches and forming bezels, lol.

This is the obvious part... filling up the newly formed caps with wire bits and resin. Yeah... hand sawing and cutting 18 bottle caps was all I could stand, and that took about 4 hours!! My thumbs are so sore. But definitely well worth it. I have never tried to make two caps the same before... it was kinda cool. And something these have, that no bottle caps have had before... GLITTER!!

The resin takes overnight to cure. Oh how I love holding these in my hands!! Only a couple need to be re-poured from overflow. After this picture, I stole Ron's electric drill and started drilling holes in the centers. Lesson learned: drills, no matter how heavy big and tough, do not like to drill trough wire bits. So, when I make the next batch of these (after my fingers are feeling better) I will make sure I leave a little space in the centers of the wire bits for easier (cleaner) drilling.

Of course I have to pop them right in and show them off. This photo is of me sitting in front of my laptop, at the kitchen table, with the camera plugged in, snapping away. And yes, my hair goes red in the sun.

There... now you know what is up with the photos... and we went from what I thought was a fun idea for a Wordless Wednesday to a rather lengthy Wordy Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I need a manicure

Monday turned into a dreary rainy day. It has been weeks since we had one of these around here. It seems that someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that you are supposed to have Spring after Winter... we had jumped straight to Summer! So this rain was very welcome. I needed to day inside puttzing around without the guilt of thinking I should be outside enjoying the sun.

For some reason, I had rings on the brain. Shortly after my blog post yesterday, I sneaked down to the studio and just started playing. I had several ounces of 10g ss wire on my desk. I hadn't intented to order it but a computer error at the site I purchased from and a very very rude customer service rep led to it being here. Rather then being charged more the $20 to return it plus pay the increased silver rate at the time to order the gauge it was supposed to have been had me deciding two things... 1)I will never order from that company again and won't promote there site here on my blog (I can't stand bad customer service) and 2) that I will make do with the 10g and try to figure out a way to use it.

It took a lot of trial and error with the 10g before I realized that it is NOT what a needed for the ring in my head. I like the bulk that is has, it feels heavy and substantial. But for what I was designing, it was off balance and too weighty.

I decided (after an hour and a half) that 14g was the answer! I used a bead I had left over from my "Spatter" necklace. I really like that it is transparent and you can see the layer of silver underneath. I had wanted to figure out a way to solder or melt a ball of silver as the "stopper", but ended up going with the swirl. I will still experiment with the stopper idea but this is working for today.

One of the great things about it... it is adjustable. Adjustablity in a ring is a HUGE must. I have neither the time nor the patience to custom size rings. And it is one of the reasons I have never made any of the rings I make available to the public. These are really the first inkling I have had of something I would be willing to offer. Remember these RINGS? Yeah, I never took them any further then that. They just didn't end up sitting well with me.

I wonder if these will be the ones.You know, the ones... the ones that finally make it past my sever ring scrutiny and on to my website. Let me know what you think... it might help the cause.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Lemonade Stand (of Art)

Feast your eyes on this little number! It is a custom Playground Necklace in yellows (obviously) that I am calling "A Lemonade Stand". It is headed out to CA to the biggest fan of Playground Necklaces ever (this one is her 5th). A perfect sunny necklace going to a very sunny state... it works.

There is a challenge I am issuing myself and I think I can relate it to a lemonade stand if I try. See if you can follow me with this...

What is a lemonade stand about? I usually had them when I was little. My Mom or Dad would take me and my sister to our grandparents' house. They lived on a golf course, so it was easy to set up a little stand by the 3rd green that was in there backyard. I think we charged a quarter a cup. Most golfers would buy a glass and give us a big smile. Others were nasty grumps that would fill their cup at the water cooler on the next tee.

But then, why lemonade? I know for one, it is because it is tradition/cliche. But then again, it is/was because it was what was on hand. Personally, I can't stand lemonade and in fact, it was the only thing that my Mom ever got sick on while she was pregnant with me. I have to choke it down. So my thinking is there was always lemonade around because I had drank up all the other flavors. It was the leftovers, lol.

I think lemonade stands are about making do with what you have to get something you want. I wanted to sell lemonade to earn money for things. I can't remember anything I wanted to get off the top of my head, but I am guessing it was candy. We weren't well off people, my parents couldn't afford to give us allowance, so if we wanted something we had to do things to earn it. In hine site, it was probably very good we had to earn things rather then having them handed to us all the time. I think it is a lesson my kids need to learn (but we'll save that discussion for another day).

Last weekend while I was cleaning the garage, I did a lot of organizing to my glass desk space. There was a bucket full of rods I had been lazy about putting away. There is an overflowing tub of shorts that I saw I had been adding some not-so-very-short shorts to, too. As I was trying to put away all those rods, and sort through all those not short shorts, something dawned on me. I have a ton... a ton... of glass. Okay, maybe not a ton, but certainly enough to last weeks, if not months. I have gotten in the habit of ordering glass every time I run out of a color. No more transparent teal (one of my favorites), well, let's put in an order... oh and while I am at it, I am kinda low and turquoise... oh and isn't that a pretty shade of copper... might as well get some ink too... my orders end up costing me $200-$300 at a time (sometimes even more). And I place 5-6 of those orders a year. The result is my fully stocked glass rack and too many colors to count that are not getting used.

I really started to think I am being too wasteful. And the more I organized, the more I realized that I really need to start making do with what I have. The thoughts organized further and I started to think what a great artistic challenge it could be. Inevitably, I am going to run out of my favorite colors, just like I would drink up all the packs of Strawberry flavored Kool-Aid first. But what a challenge it could be to find inspiration in colors I don't usually use. Like yellow... hello... doesn't this necklace rock? And I can't remember the last time I ever used yellow!!

Waiting as long as possible to reorder and making do with what I have will be helpful in other ways too. Ron feels like we are hemorrhaging money at the new house, so we have put each other on extremely tight spending leashes. Absolutely NO unnecessary spending!! Now, glass isn't "unnecessary", it is a very obvious business expense. But I know I could be more conscientious about what I am doing. I could certainly use my "lemonade" colors (this by no means applies to yellow only) and earn some pennies for new things I want for the new house (like a new sofa!).

Do you think you could do it? Could you go as long as possible without reordering supplies? Could you challenge yourself to be creative with alternate colors you wouldn't normally use? Could you be resourceful, penny-wise, and artistically inventive? Could you have "A Lemonade Stand of Art"?

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Few Jewels Posted

I just posted Icing On The Cake , Snagged - Limey Colors, and Spatter in the Brights :: Necklaces area of my website.

*Side Note* I forgot to tell you... Icing On The Cake got a big 'ol "No Thanks" for the Bead Dreams competition. I'll have to come up with something even better for next year!

Current Happens

Just a few of the things going on around me right now.

Baseball season is in full swing. Both boys are River Dogs this year. Wuff wuff!

My tulips are bright and beautiful in the front and back gardens. I think I will head out to do some weeding this morning.

This is one of the things I will have the hardest time leaving when we move. I have babied and cared for this wisteria tree for 8 years. I don't know if you realize, they take 7 years to bloom. Last year, it sprouted about a dozen flowers. I put a purple dot on each spot there is a bloom this year. It is going to be incredible!!

And that is just the part hanging over the garden, it also climbs a pergola!! There are HUNDREDS!!

*sigh*... what an active time of year.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Watch Me Create

Forgot to tell you... I had a post on WMC about "Finding The Possibilities With What Is Right In Front Of You". I hope you'll check it out!!

Lack Of Patience

I had such high hopes for this bead. It wins the honor of being the BIGGEST disc I have ever made. It was easily 3ins from side to side. As I was making it, I dreamed of how I would string it up. I planned to line the hole with sterling silver... the hang in a special way. Making a big show stopper of a focal pendant that would be just perfect for the upcoming season.

Alas, you see the condition it currently finds itself in. I am lucky I didn't slice my hand wide open when I broke it. Those edges are SHARP! The hole was just a hair too small for the sterling tubing I was using to line it. So, I was reeming the hole with my diamond bit tool-a-mbob thingy. It was going well, and I thought it was big enough to fit the tubing in. And it was, but I really had to jam it in there, lol. (I think we all know that I have the patience of a small child.) Then I decided I would pull out the tubing I jamed in there to reem the hole a bit more... obviously, I had a tighter fit the I realized and I broke my pretty bead to bits trying to get the tubing out.

If I had thought ahead... I wouldn't have jammed it... I would have realized that I hadn't even cut the tubing at that point... and duh, I wouldn't be sawing said tubing while it was in the bead... and I wouldn't be sanding the rough edges of the silver while it was in there either.

Don't worry, my lesson is learned. Next time I will reem longer and jam less. And hey, I might think even farther ahead and use a bigger mandrel, LOL!! But I will definitely pursue the idea until it is right. I think it will be totally worth it!!

Now, as promised, a close up of the new earrings. I need some feedback on these. Cause all I have heard so far is that my sister thinks they look like baby binkies. (And now that I said that, I am sure you will all think the same.) I like the length on them, definitely... I like the big dot covered bubble of glass... but I think I might need to use a smaller size mandrel instead of the 1/4 size hole one. Lemme hear what you think!!

PS~ Spell check is not working, again. So please excuse any typos!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blue & Green are BFFs

Blue & Green sitting in a tree...
First comes love, then comes marriage...
Then comes Teal in a baby carriage!

I had a great torch session yesterday! I am gonna keep things short and sweet... The beads above became the finished pieces below.

I haven't done one of these in a while! I'll be pulling out my thesaurus to find a cool name for it.

A new "Snagged" with a very Suessian inspired tone on tone striped green string of seed beads.

I'll share close ups of the earrings tomorrow and a huge OOPS I did being over zealous with my sterling tubing.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jewelry Lovers Unite!

This past weekend had to be just about the most gorgeous one ever to grace the month of April! When I was cleaning the garage on Saturday, it was 86 degrees!! I kid you not. Everyone needed sun screen and we spent the whole day soaking up the sun. Just beautiful.

We have an important topic to cover today, I hope you are prepared with your comments. Who remembers way back in November when I talked about "Drawing A Line"? I blogged about the idea of wanting to design a line of jewelry that would be available in limited edition quantities, in really cool seasonal color combinations; all in an effort to ease some of the stress that is involved with doing shows. It would also make it easier for you to get a chance to buy some of your favorite pieces, since things are so often *SOLD OUT* on my website.

Now that things are really on with the new house, The Line has come back front and center in my thoughts. Our closing date will be June 13th, which is just a few weeks before my first show of the summer, Corn Hill. I think we all know how I leave deadlines to the last minute and scramble to be ready. And we all know how stressed out I get. Okay, maybe I hide the stress on my blog, but friends and family have seen me pulling my hair out worrying that I "won't have enough stuff". Double torch session... you remember those?

Anyway, with the move, I imagine that I won't have as much time to prepare as I have in years past. So, I really want to get a jump on things NOW! I also want to be able to do a big Spring/Summer update/launch of the new line on my website before the shows. Then I can leave my scramble time for one-of-a-kind pieces.

Okay... here is where you need to be ready to make comments. Through out this post, I have shown photos of the pieces I plan to include in The Line. I picked 3 necklaces and 5 bracelets (not necessarily in the colors shown). Plus there will be signature earrings in The Line too. I would love to hear what you think of the pieces I picked, and more importantly... I want to know what your favorite piece is, not shown here.

I am also very interested to hear about what color combos you are lusting after is up coming season. Last year I think the hot one was turquoise and orange. I feel out of the loop style-wise and I would love some input on what colors will be HOT! So get commenting!!

In other news, I know a bunch of you are waiting to hear how yesterday's open house went. Unfortunately, Ron discovered around 6pm on Saturday that the open house hadn't been advertised on the big website for home buying like it should have been. We called our realtor and he didn't know what it wasn't there, he had ordered it done on Wednesday. So, all the hard work we did and only one couple went through. Though, we did hear that the couple stayed for over a half hour and that they are very interested in the property.

It only takes one, right? That one right couple that falls in love with our house. We have another showing tonight too. So, we are still very hopeful that we'll get this place sold by August.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ready For Another Ride?

Okay, a couple of things really quick... we have a million things to do today.

First ~ THANK YOU!! To everyone who went nuts buying up ALL of yesterday's Bead Box beads. I am thrilled to pieces that you all loved them so much. And I appreciate your support of my art, I really do :)

B ~ There is new developments with the house. Yesterday around 2pm, we got a call from our realtor saying the selling couple's attorney wants to "work something out". I said these things were going to be quick... so long story short... we met them half way on with the offer that was going to bump us. THE HOUSE IS OFFICIALLY OURS, again. This time with an addendum to the contract that better protects us.

#3 ~ Oh My Stars... we have on OPEN HOUSE tomorrow. So, whatever good luck, positive thoughts, white light, praying, energy thing you are into... do it for us. We really need to sell our house.

And now I need to spend the day cleaning the garage!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Beads By The Dozen

Yes... I understand... feel free to shake your head at me. Because I can't believe I had this many beads setting on my desk not being used either. You know what I think my problem is... I made most of these beads here and there. And individually, none of them really struck me as note worthy. Then yesterday, I was playing at my desk and started making a pile of beads with like colors. Suddenly, I was making groups and thinking... dang... these look really cool together!

So, I am super excited about these new bead sets. I am typing my fingers to the bones editing the photos/writing the descriptions/adding them to the website. I hope to have them all ready to go in an hour or so. Don't worry, I'll send out an email so you all know when to go and grab 'em up. There are 8 sets in all... 5 set with a dozen beads each!!

You are gonna find mixes of hollows, discs, big hole beads, super bubble dot beads, rounds, cones and more. Come on now... what more could you ask for?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Beady Update!

After toying with the beads on my desk this afternoon, I realized I had more beads then I thought!! There are plenty of beads for an update... DOZENS, even!! Above are just a few of what I'll be offering!! Tune in tomorrow, FRIDAY APRIL 18th, for the update!! I hope the tax man was good to y'all... cause these are BIG sets!!

(I love a good reason to use extra exclamation points!!)

Emotional Rollercoasters

AKA: A Rant About Rule Breakers
Saddle up with your favorite snack, because this is gonna be a long one.

What a difference 48 hours can make. After my last post on Tuesday morning, I got to torch for a good solid 5 hours. I was able to finish up some orders that were on my plate far longer then they should have been. I rocked out to tunes on the radio as I worked. I was picking paint colors in my mind for my new house. It was a truly delightful morning.

I got a confirmation call from the bank that our mortgage commitment went through. Our awesome rep at the bank faxed it to everyone and we were officially "all set"! I called our realtor and he heard his fax machine doing off as we talked on the phone. I think you can imagine I had a grin from ear to ear.

Over these past few weeks, we have gone up and down emotionally more times then I can count. Well, I probably could count if I stopped and thought about it, but I do not want to go back up and down those hills again. I have the biggest hill on the ride in front of me at the moment and I need to focus on what to do about this one.

Tuesday afternoon, I got a strange call from our realtor. He asked "when did they serve you the bump notice?" Um, Sunday... "Yeah, but when?" Late afternoon... why? "Do you know when?" I would say 2:30ish... why? He went on to say that he had just gotten a fax from the realtor of the couple selling the house. It said that since we hadn't responded to the bump notice by 4/14 that he considered our contract terminated. WHAT? We are supposed to have until Tuesday at midnight... that is the 15th. Turns out, that when we signed the bump notice on Sunday, we just used the date that the couple wrote above. It was Saturday's date (the 12th). Oh crap.

We called our lawyer. He assured us that we should be alright. We had done everything we needed to. He said not to worry about writing the wrong date. He said they know when they served us the papers, so it shouldn't be an issue. (Insert a slight sigh of relief.) But then the phone rang again. It was our realtor, again. He said he wanted to let us know that everything was to everyone. But... (insert intake of the sigh above... I hate the word 'but') that he had spoken to the realtor of the selling couple. She said they assumed we would have everything to them by 3pm. Our guy said "according to who? The serving agent said midnight." She said regardless... her clients would probably be putting up a stink about it because the new offer is "considerably" higher then ours.

Yesterday we had plans set with friends to spend the day at Letchworth State Park here in NY. It is the "Grand Canyon of the East". A positively beautiful park to visit on a picture perfect spring day. The kids are on Spring Break this week and it was our adventure for the week. We thought about cancelling but decided we needed the break from the stress. We called everyone before we left... leaving voice mails with our cell phone numbers to be sure that the minute there was news on anything, we would be called.

The morning in the park was wonderful. Then the phone rang as we were settling into our PB&J lunch. It was our realtor. He had just been sent faxes from the attorney of the selling couple. It said that they were ready to pursue legal action to get out of the contract with us. That the new offer was $7,000 more then ours. And technically, we hadn't removed all the contingencies from our offer because the bank was requiring an appraisal for our mortgage. We reached the top of the hill and get ready for the ride down...

We tried calling our lawyer from the road to no avail. I am sure we called no less then 10 times! We left 3 messages... nada. But then, all we had was the office number. I had left he cell number at home. Letchworth is about an hour or so from home. After a little more hiking and playing, we headed back and was finally able to get a hold of our lawyer about 5pm. He had been in court all day. He hadn't seen any of the faxes. But, he had looked everything over the night before. And sent a few faxes of his own. He confirmed that we had met all the terms of our contract. We were in the right... it is legal and binding.

Now our new decision... are we willing to pursue legal action ourselves? We will need to get a civil attorney. We don't know yet how much it might cost, and there are no guarantees that we would win for sure. Our lawyer says, he has seen these situations before and they usually aren't pursued because of the costs. Ugh. Hopefully we will find out more today.

It used to be that you shook hands and a deal was made. I know those times are long gone but we have a legal binding contract with someone and even now, that isn't enough. Maybe it comes from being bullied as a child, but I just can't stand it when people don't follow the rules. It eats me up. I hate we people get away with things/rule breaking. If some one says no you can't do that... I don't. And it drives me crazy when I see someone else doing that same thing. Doesn't anything have consequences anymore? We are in the right... but because this couple is being greedy, we have to back off or pay an arm and a leg to enforce our rights.

I know I sound like a five year old but, it is just not fair.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Over A Blueberry Bagel

I am sitting at my kitchen table this morning with a cup of hazelnut coffee and a toasted blueberry bagel completely over come with nervous energy. It is a beautifully bright morning and sun is streaming in every where. So much so that I had to move from my usual seat at the table to a new one in the shade. The only sound in the house right now it that of me chewing, lol. The kids are at my Mom's having a break from me and a play date with her.

But what has me nervous/anxious/scared-to-death/overwhelmed/gitty and just plain over joyed?

To tell you, I would have to start with the total opposite feelings that were sitting in my gut on Sunday. Imagine this scene... I was inside cleaning something or other, kids were playing inside and out, and Ron was cleaning up outside getting ready to head out to watch The Master's with my Dad. I wondered past the front window and noticed an unfamiliar car in the drive way... "hmmm... who could that be?"

I go outside to see Ron talking to some woman with a clip board... a Bible sales person, I wonder? Ron was talking to her far too long for her to be that. I go outside and she says to me "Hi, I am the realtor of a couple that just put a non-contingent offer in on the house you are trying to purchase. I am here to serve you with a bump notice." See, our offer was contingent on the sale of our house, so the couple owning the house we wanted to buy were free to continue to market the house until we removed our contingency. And suddenly, they had another buyer.

She had us sign a form acknowledging that we had received our notice. It gave us 48 hours to do one of three things... 1) remove the contingency from our offer 2)sell our house before Tuesday to someone with no contingencies or 3) let the house go. I held it together just long enough to sign the paper and have to the woman pull out of our driveway. Then I was completely devastated, I went to my room a balling mess. Yes, me, Kerry... the (most of the time) happy-go-lucky-positive-things-will-be-fine thinker was a crying snotty weeping mess. That is my house!! How can someone take it away? After I have worked so hard these past 3 weeks. It was just awful!!

I sent Ron out to keep his golf watching date with my Dad. I think I needed to not think about anything for a while. And he needed the break too. My Dad is a great person to talk to and debate with as well, so sending Ron to him was a good idea. When Ron got home, we talked and talked... and decided to see what the bank had to say.

I spent no less then 4 hours on the phone yesterday! I talked to the bank, then to Ron, then to the bank, and then to the realtor, and then to Ron, and then to the bank again. Thank heavens for a credit score of 819... there was light suddenly fluttering at the end of the tunnel. Our bank said we could be approved for a mortgage non-contingent on the sale of our current home. It was a risk that, when first suggested, Ron and I didn't want to take. There is no way we can afford two mortgages and all our regular bills (for two houses!). But when we took the time to look at the timing (not numbers) on paper... we realized, these double payments wouldn't actually start until August.... hmmmm....

Can we sell our house by August? With 8 showings in the past 12 days... we are very very confident we can. Heck, we haven't even had an open house yet! We just need a little more time. So August? Can we sell in the next 4 months? We think so.

So the risk has been taken... we have been dealt our cards... we have our hand in front of us... we think we have a winner and we are going for it. Our bank is over nighting a mortgage commitment to our realtor who will forward it on to the nasty lady that showed up in our driveway on Sunday. And he will say, "you can tell your non-contingent clients to keep looking, because our offer just chewed up and spit out your offer." Okay, maybe he won't use those exact words, lol.

Can you see why I am nervous/anxious/scared-to-death/overwhelmed/gitty and just plain over joyed while I chew on my blueberry bagel this morning? We bought our house!!! And now we really really need to sell ours.

*As a special note* ~ I know there has been a lot of "house" talk around here lately with little to no "bead" talk. Rest assured, I realize it and I am thinking about that all the time. I wish I had more bead/jewelry stuff going on. And I hope you aren't too bored by the lack of it. Today, with the kids gone, I will be devoting the whole day to bead making. I have a long list of "must do-s" and I am hoping to have loads to share. I have been working with Zoozii's testing a new top secret tool, so that will be something to look forward to :) Just hang in there and bare with me!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Laugh Till You Cry

I have told you guys a few times about my son Andrew (age 8) despising and loathing writing with an absolute passion. He has convinced himself that he can't write... that was until last week. Out of the blue, Andrew is writing up a storm!!

Last night, Andrew went to Ron and said "Here Dad, you want to read a story I wrote?" Ron read it out loud... and we all (Andrew included) laughed until we were crying!! I promised Andrew I would "publish" his story. So, here it is...

*Special Note* ~ I know this has the word "kill" and "die" a lot, and most parents would be concerned. But Andrew insists that he wrote this to be a "funny" story. Jacob tends to write war and dragon epics, and I think Andrew is modeling his writing after Jacob's.

Evil Dieing Chickens

By Andrew B

A 1,000,000 eons ago, there was a whole army of evil dieing chickens. The chickens kill evil cows. They kill each other. The chicken always wins. So the cows lost. That means the cows die. So the chicken wins the war.

The End

LOL... okay, so maybe you had to be there last night. We all thought it was hilarious!! I don't think it will be winning any awards, but the fact that he is writing is awesome. All writers start some where. And, come on, you gotta admit... chickens and cows are funny.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Under Control

*SIGH* ~ the carpets are in... and the upside down house has been put back to right. I have to say, being a bit obsessive compulsive about cleaning can really help when you have a big job to get done. Though it makes for a really sore body the next day.

I had the rooms empty and the carpets ripped up by 11am yesterday. And then the waiting began. A friend of ours was doing the install and he didn't exactly give us a time that he was coming by. I just knew I had to be ready "in the afternoon". I used my time wisely and thankfully, I finished up the last 4 articles that have the April 15th deadline while I was waiting.

Our friend ended up coming by around 5pm and it took until 8pm to get the carpet layed down. Ron tried to convince me to just leave the reloading of the rooms until today. But I couldn't think of sleeping while there were things that needed organizing!! By 10 or so I was done. You know you have a problem when you are putting things back in a closet, in the dark because the kids are sleeping. The floors really look great and the kids think it is cool to have something brandy new in their rooms.

Today has already been full, believe it or not. I just can't seem to slow down! I got the floors washed, rooms dusted/windexed, and the bathroom scrubbed. Ready for weekend showings of the house. Now it is time to borrow a friend's camera to photograph some of the tutorials and, I'll be making the last few beads I need to make the finished pieces for those tutorials too. Once everything is in the mail tomorrow, I PROMISE I will work on Bead Box Beads. Actually, I have something special in mind for the next update... something I haven't done before... I think you'll like it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It was time...

I said this past weekend was an exciting one. One reason was Ben, another was this... my little girl can now ride a two wheeler!

The training wheels came off Sunday morning, by lunch she could ride down the hill in our backyard. Monday she just needed a little help getting started and was all over the driveway. Determined to do it ALL by herself, yesterday she mastered starting on her own too.

As far as bike riding is concerned, the Bogey Boys have a proud history. Jacob learned the two wheel thing just a month before his 4th birthday... that means he was riding when he was THREE. Andrew had it down the summer he turned FOUR!! Lauren is a little later then the boys, being that she is five. But hey... she caught on in a few hours... it took them days. LOL.

Today is going to be a nutty one... the carpet in the kids' rooms is being replaced. I have the lovely task of moving all the furniture in both rooms out and ripping up the carpet. The installer will put down the new berber we bought, then I will be replacing all that moved around furniture. I thought you might like a little update on the house... so far 5 showings in 5 days, but no offers yet. We found out yesterday, though, that if the buyer qualifies, they can take over the last $10,000 of our grant! YOO HOO!!

Wouldn't you want to buy a house that gave you $10K for nothing?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Don't Do The Dishes

"Don't Do The Dishes" is just one of the names I am thinking of using for this new necklace. I know it is a silly name, and it is one I used ages ago for a very small set of beads covered in bubbles. There is just something about gigantic transparent blue bubbles that has me thinking of a pile of dishes waiting to be washed. Oh, or that scene in Disney's Cinderella, where she is scrubbing the floor and huge bubbles float around the room. Or... an over flowing, over suds-ed load of laundry too. LOL. And at the same time, I imagine that anyone wearing this would definitely NOT be doing the dishes while she wore it.

I can't say exactly where this idea came from.If just floated into my head yesterday. Lauren and I were sitting at the kitchen table. She was chewing on some Cheerios and I was reading some emails. I was suddenly panic stricken. I couldn't remember where I had put my sketch book in the midst of all the cleaning I have been doing lately. I eventually found it tucked away on a book shelf. I flipped through the pages and started to doodle this design. I thought about it all day.

While Lauren was at school, I planned to work on Bead Box Beads, but I couldn't stop thinking about the necklace doodle. I grabbed a few rods of my new favorite shade of transparent blue. These are the absolute BIGGEST hollows I have ever made. I am talkin' HUGE! As big or bigger then ping pong balls. As the kiln cooled through out the evening, I took out my wire and readied the base and made the coils. First thing this morning I wired up the beads and put it all together.

Because of the enormous nature of the hollows, I should have made the base wire longer. I started with a piece just over 18ins, but with the chunky beads it now wears like a short 16in. Not that its a bad thing, I like short for summer styles, it just limits the wearers to smaller necked people. Next time I think I'll make one longer with a few more beads.

So far, I am getting mixed reviews from my home based critics. Ron thinks it's weird and has too many beads... Jacob thinks it's kinda crazy... Andrew thinks it's awesome... and Lauren is still sleeping. I would love to hear what you think!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Beeming About Ben

Oh what an exciting weekend I had!! The very most exciting thing is this little guy. His name is Benjamin Denton and I am going to be his God Mother!! Isn't he beautiful. My cousin, Audrey, called me last Monday to ask if I would take the job. Through a teary honored smile I said "OF COURSE I WILL!!"

I knew from the very first day that I heard Audrey was preggers that it would be a boy. I just knew it. Although, she never found out at the ultrasound. She was due Friday but Ben waited one extra day and arrived about 10:30 Saturday morning. He is tall (21 1/2 in) and trim (7 lbs 12 ozs)... he slept the whole time I held him. You know, being born is such hard work I can't say I blame him. I even tried taking his blankets off and tickling his toes, lol...but he just made a mad face and went back to sleep.

Ben will be my very first God Child (technically, he is also my second cousin). I asked Audrey if I had to do anything special as the God Mother. I am not an overly religious person. I tend to keep my feelings about faith to myself... I feel it is each person's choice what path they follow. She told me I just need to be someone special in his life... I said "I can do that!"

I am so so excited... and so so in love with little Ben. I get all the benefits of a new baby, lol... without the labor, delivery and sleepless nights. What is not to be excited about!?! Oh... and his name... goodness... you all know how I love alliteration... I could make anything sound good with a name like BEN!

Friday, April 04, 2008

My Secret Revealed

For weeks now... nay, months now... I have been hinting that I was working on something extra special that I didn't want to share until the time was right. Okay, the time is right... and I hope it was worth the build up. This is "Icing On the Cake".

I first started having the ideas stir for this necklace back in Oct/Nov when I was working on the bridal piece I did for my cousin. I didn't want to jump right into making the necklace without playing with the design first. And that is where "The Cup Cake Bangle" started. (I know I told you it started with something from something on Beading Daily, and it did... but it is all intertwined.)

One random day, I got an email reminding me about The Bead&Button Show 2008. And in it was a blurb about the Bead Dreams Competition. I got to see the winners from last year in person when I was at the show. It was too cool. There is some wild stuff in this competition. At some point, I got it in my head that I had to bring this necklace to life, and I had to enter it in Bead Dream.

Under any other circumstances, I would have shared the whole process with you. Trials, errors, bad beads, good beads... but for some reason, I got very protective, and very paranoid. I didn't want any secret blog stalkers suddenly deciding they were "inspired" by my piece and that they were going to enter their knock off too. Since today is the last day to enter... and beads take hours to cool in the kiln, and this piece takes days to wire up... I feel safe that there won't be any "copies" entered. (At least I think it is safe at this point, lol). I was going to wait until I hear if I place or not to share it, but I don't have any beads to show... so here ya go.

If I am remembering correctly, the "status of acceptance" comes out by April 25th (ooohh, that is the same day I have to sell my house by... freaky). Finalists are selected, then you mail your piece in to go on display, then right before the start of the show judges pick 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each category... plus there is a Best in Show winner and runner up. I don't really care if I place, I just want to at least be a finalist. I want this in the big glass display case and people walking by to say... "look at that one, isn't that cool".

You can see photos of last year's entries HERE. Let me know if you think this will stand up to this kind of competition!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Gimme Input

I am totally losing it. My brain is off in too many directions. I need your help!! I just spent the past hour and a half on the torch... you wanna know how many beads made it to the kiln... a big fat ZERO!! I made at least a dozen and wasn't happy with a single one... all of 'em got set down to let cool and crack.

So... here is what I need... a plan of action. I need to not have to actually think about what I am doing. I want to make bead box beads!! Give me ideas for styles and colors you would like to see... and that is what I will work on. And don't all say the tapestry ones from a few weeks ago... they are wicked hard to make. LOL. I need stuff like... "make spring colored plaids"... or "do a whole bunch of bright discs".

Come on... leave a comment and gimme your input!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Snagged - Necklace

I paused in my flurry of cleaning yesterday to make a few (much needed) beads. I was asked by a magazine if I could make a necklace version of my "Snagged" bracelet. "Of course I can," I told them. I need to get this in the mail today!! And I will let you know the details of which publication when the time gets closer. For now, I am keeping it on the down low.

I am glad I slowed down to work on this. I really like the loopiness of the seed beaded strands. I like that it has a POP of contrasting color (the lime green). The flower shape of the bead is too cute. The length really works and I think it'll look great with t-shirts/tank tops in the summer. See, it has loads of things going for it.

Seeing it in this photo also gave me an idea for another variation on it. I'll let you know how that turns out!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Grand Tour

Hot dang this stuff happens fast! Our realtor just left after about an hour and a half of paper signing. The guy comes tomorrow to put the sign in our front yard and in just a few hours, our house (yep, our house!) will appear in the MLS!! WOW!! To say I feel like my life is suddenly moving in fast forward would be an under statement.

I had to get the house perfectly perfect for the listing photos. I thought I would give you the grand tour of my home!!

We'll start in the living room, lol. Look at all the light we get through the big windows. I think for the purposes of showing the house, we are going to pack the china cabinet on the left there and move it out to the garage.

This is the kitchen. Humble, but modern. We have cooked many a fine dinner in here, lol. All our appliance are fairly new. And hey, they come with a full price offer on the house... wink, wink.

I love our little dining room. It is connected to the kitchen and I would say, next to the studio, I spend the most time here. I am sitting in that seat off to the left by the window right now, lol! It is where I always have my laptop set up.

I have to show a couple of the bedrooms. Above is the "master bedroom", and this shot was taken from inside the bathroom. Weird I know, but it was the only way to get a good angle. Below is Lauren's room. You might remember I just redid it a few months ago. She is hoping there is a princess room in the new house. But I have a feeling I will go green and purple again.

You all know this place!! It's my jewelry studio! This is an older photo, but it'll have to do. The studio is just too crazy right now. I straightened it up, but it still looks nutty. Oh well... that's how it goes in the studio of a working artist, right?

I don't have the exterior photos to show you yet. Unfortunately, when my computer crashed a few months ago, I lost a lot of my outdoor stuff. Thankfully though, the realtor had been by our house way back in July of 2007 and he got great shots with the yard looking MINT so... we'll be using those ones!

I am kinda curious... I am on the fence about whether or not I should share "numbers" with you all. You know... how much we are going to list the house for. I guess it is public record right? You could just look it up tomorrow. Property values are so different from place to place. I would love to hear what you think our little house would be worth in your neck of the woods.

Leave a comment and let me know!! And just so you can round out your figures properly... our house sits on .74acres, has 3 bedrooms, 1 bath and is 1348sq feet (small, I know... see why we were house hunting?). There is a two car garage, large deck, above ground pool and 12x12 shed.