Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

The real price of freedom.

One of many, James Reagan gave his life for us. You can read about him here. Join me today in prayer. Pray for the families of these brave men and women and remember them with pride.

Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's me again...

So you won't have to keep looking at those burned beads, I'll show you what I did with them.

I antiqued them with black paint and then with gold paint, glossed them up with Mop and Glo floor wax and made links using 14k gold filled wire. Considering everything, they turned out just fine.

I also put together a similar style necklace using beads from Peri's and my early attempts at polymer clay beads...

You are probably seeing a pattern here. Although I have silver hair and am a "True Winter" and not supposed to wear gold, I love warm coppery colors, combined with black and gold. I have lots of necklaces that are very similar to this.

I tossed together several donut necklaces and have a tutorial in the works if anyone is interested in how these super easy necklaces can be made. (Along with a very funny story about them)

I love wire work and have been wrapping beads on eye pins recently just for fun. I decided to combine some of them in a pair of dangly, but casual earrings...

Shucks, I even had time to do some seed bead work...

I was trying to learn to make a beaded bezel for this ring, but it wouldn't hold the stone, so I converted it into a beaded bead and went with that.

And just for fun, I'll leave you with a picture of me. I have always had super straight hair, that back in the day, had to be glopped with Dippity Doo and then spend the night sleeping under a hairdryer to achieve a bit of curl. Imagine my delight now that my hair is coming in wavy.

I know some of you gals might laugh at me for thinking this is curly, but believe me, I'm Shirley Temple compared to what I used to have.

So that's it for today. Hope everyone is having a good week. Take care and treat yourself tonight!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Well, there certainly wasn't supposed to be another segment of the Ugly Bead Project so soon. But alas, many things went wrong .

I forgot to take the beads off of the cardboard that I used to carry them to the oven...

I forgot to check the temperature...

I forgot that after spending an hour conditioning the dang stuff, that I had mixed Cernit with Sculpey III...

I shrugged it off when my hubby seemed concerned because he thought something was on fire and couldn't find it...

I still didn't think anything about it when he had me look at the haze ("don't you think that's smoke?") that had wafted thorough the basement...

I was actually surprised when I went downstairs with him to check on our crystal growing coal project and just casually checked on my beads that were cooling in the oven...


Sorry Hun, it seems you did smell smoke and yes, something was burning. Sometimes things really go awry don't they?. These faux coral beads are going to be antiqued, but I think some of them are too far gone. As Britney would say, "oops I did it again".

Well, not to worry, it's just a reminder that things can still go wrong. Even after fifteen years of working with polymer clay. So I'm off to see how this little project ends up.

How are things going with you? Think I'm the only one having bad luck? Nope, check out my friend, Shelly at Blue Ridge Lady and see how your day measures up.

Whatever you are doing this weekend, don't try for perfection. You just might be disappointed.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ugly Beads vs Lonely beads

OK, perhaps I was too harsh when I referred to the bubble gum colored beads as ugly. No, actually I wasn't, but as my sister pointed out, the way I presented them and the angle at which I took the shot made them seem much less hideous than they really are. That actually reflects the way I look at life. Sometimes things in life can get really ugly, but often when we change the way we look at them, they somehow get a bit better. I have always been an optimist and I'm sure I always will be. All this being said, I will continue to post some beads that, while possibly not the ugliest in my stash, have certainly been lonely.

There are several large baggies of polymer clay beads that I have made over the years and thought they were horribly disfigured, or just misfits. Either way, they were relegated to a life in a plastic box, under a table for a long, long time.

Here are a few, remember those awful pink things on the left, from ugly bead project #1.

On to ugly bead project #2. This next piece was created from these lonely (read u.g.l.y.) beads at the left of this photo. They were the result of my attempt to step outside the round bead box that I sometimes get hemmed into.

Well, they didn't turn out like I had planned, so I tried highlighting them with some silver paint and when that didn't go well, I tried dipping several of them in melted UTEE. UTEE stands for ultra-thick embossing enamel and is one of my all time favorite things to work with. I can usually rescue anything with UTEE. When this still didn't get the effect I was looking for, I banished them to that "I'm not happy with you box" under the table.

Fast forward to my current Ugly Bead Project. After dumping all these beads out onto my table and really studying them, I decided that the main thing the flat ones needed was continuity. So I painted all the edges black and then dotted red and yellow paint on top of that. Then I glued black square beads on the tops of the beads and then glued orange beads on top of them.

So take the continuity of the embellishments, along with some coordinating dangles and a bit of chain, and I have created a really fun piece that I like a lot.

Seems we've come full circle here. If life is giving you ugly beads, search for the continuity that is needed and then present those little beads in such a fashion that they are no longer the least bit ugly. Then pat yourself on the back and give yourself an "atta girl"!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ugly Bead Project

Ugly Bead #1

What in the world was I thinking? This looks like something encased in pink bubble gum. Apparently pretty glass beads and sparkly pink paint didn't help at all.

More to come....

Friday, May 14, 2010

I hope it will be worth the wait...

Just popping in to say hi. I have been making jewelry lately and some of it has been quite less than satisfactory. That got me to thinking, how about an "ugly bead project" so that's what I'm working on.

I'm not an athlete, or a "mathlete" for that much, and I don't like being put on the spot of having to compete with a group, BUT (and isn't that a big but?) I do love to compete with myself. So tomorrow in addition to showing some jewelry that I actually planned out, I will be showing you the first installment of the ugly bead project. I have lots of beads that sort of went in their own direction and I'm going to see if I can corral them back into my world.

Wish me luck and let me know if this is a phenomenon which exists only in my own personal galaxy, or if you have "ugly beads" also.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Hello there, for some reason I don't really have any pictures to post today. So if you are just a blog "picture only" person, you'll be bored. No wait, I do have a picture, hang on while I load it....

Yep, my goodies came in from our recent session of retail therapy. This is from a store in San Diego called Great News. It's a fabulous store that sells all things related to cooking. They even sell online, for those of us who can't just jump in the car and visit on a whim. We bought cook ware and all kinds of other goodies. One of the fun things I got is a peculator. (Oops, that should be percolator, thanks Sis, I was relying on the spell check and clicked the wrong one) Anyway, how long has it been since I had perked coffee?? Heavenly, I am telling you.

At the risk of sounding like a shopping fanatic, or a mall rat, I have another quick story that I thought was funny. DH (that's Darling Hubby when he's being good) had errands to run and I know that sometimes he gets sidetracked and doesn't get everything done, so I went with him to help. We had several things to get that required going to said mall, and I had him almost running from store to store, especially looking for the elusive oval shaped table cloth. Everyone has oblong, but no oval. Why didn't I remember this at the shop in CA? Sorry, I digress, just had a shiny moment. You know how birds and other animals are distracted by shiny objects, that's a shiny moment according to my sister... Shoot, I did it again.... anyway, after sprinting from one store to another, he finally stopped and said quite emphatically, "my toe hurts!" and without breaking stride, I told him "my toe has hurt for three years, keep shopping".

I finally let him stop and take a break and even "let" him stop at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I told him I didn't want anything since I'm dieting, but I did mention to him that he might want to try a chocolate covered pretzel and that he might like that coffee flavored cream and that he might like... Well, anyway he got a bit of a break and we decided to find the table cloth online and call it a day.

I tried to get him to do this,

but he wasn't going for it.

They also had a riding/driving simulator that bounces you around inside, while trying to make you think you are sailing over sand dunes, but he didn't want that either. You got to remember that this is the same guy that convinced me to go on the Skyfari at the Zoo...

and I was terrified, while he loved it. All this leads me to reason, that his toe really does hurt. Needless to say, after finally having to take his shoe off and massage his toe because it was cramping like crazy, we decided to donate those shoes.

As you can see, I'm hopping all over the place today. First I say no pictures, then I end up with three, and I can't seem to stay on topic. Have you ever been typing and think there is a bug on your foot and go crazy and then realize that it's the cord to your mouse??? Sorry, another shiny moment.

Well, I'm driving my own self crazy, so I better go get focused on something. I have made two pieces of jewelry this week that didn't work at all, so that is a bit frustrating. I think I'll find a nice easy pattern and make something that I know will work.

Take care, enjoy the rest of your weekend and if you're a mom, Happy Mothers Day.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spring time fun

As you know, I'm back from my trip and we're settling back in to everyday life. When the hubby picked me up at the airport, he asked me if I wanted to take a quick overnight trip to his college to hear one of his friends play music. I opted out of this trip and sent him on a little retreat of his own. He only stayed one night, but had fun seeing them play and then meeting up with the members of his old garage band and belting out some 70's favorites. He had a blast.

Ok, so now we're back to settling in to everyday life and having fun together. We always go to the Strawberry festival that is held to raise money for one of the local schools, so we headed out to check out this years event.

Here's DH getting the tickets (we figured this out after a brief wait in the serving line and having to change lines, man, is every thing is so complex these days?)

We did enjoy the sundae and shortcake and even got a friendly passerby to snap a shot of us.

Shucks, I even found a heart shaped bite...

After partaking of all the strawberry yumminess, we headed out to see a movie. DH and I have been waiting patiently for the release of The Runaways, and it didn't disappoint. There is a bit of sex and drug use, but considering the time and subject of the movie, it was completely necessary. The actors did such a great job of portraying these legendary female rockers, that I completely forgot that one of these rowdy little gals is being played by Dakota Fanning. They grow up so quickly, don't they?

Not much art to post, as I have been beading lately. I have finished this...

Loomed Bracelet

Bead embroidery butterfly

and I'm almost finished with this little number...

Free form bead bracelet with custom blended polymer clay cabochons.

So other than making room for my shipment of goodies from our retail therapy, I'm taking it easy. I got three magazines to amuse myself with while DH was gone, Bead Unique, Cottage Style Design and Taste of Home Chicken cookbook. Great choices for me, as I can read these mags over and over again. What better way to spend your weekend? Planning jewelry, planning bedroom redecorating and smacking my lips over chicken recipes. I'm happier than a baby pig slipping around in the mud.

How about you, you having a good weekend? I hope so. Take care and enjoy each day. It's been given to you for a reason. Live it and love it.

That's it from me for a few days, see you next week. Have a blast until then!