Thursday, January 14, 2016

It's not all in my head

Well, Monday it was finally confirmed, I'm not a hypocondriac, I've just been living with a slow gas leak for a while. Honestly, I'm not even sure how long "a while" is, and the gas company didn't really quantify what they meant by "a pretty good flow", but I first smelled it two and a half years ago and acclimated to the smell after the landlords moved two heavy smokers into the other two apartments. I thought it had been fixed two years ago when I talked the maintenance man into checking it for me between tenants downstairs. But as I've found out the hard way, men are less sensitive to the additive in natural gas meant to make it detectable. I'm angry, I'm disappointed, I'm glad it's fixed...but I no longer trust my landlords. I'm hoping to move soon, so say a little prayer, wish me luck, send some positive vibes, cross your fingers and toes that I can get a good house and a reasonable and responsible landlord.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Soooo LATE!!!

....but better than never? My apologies, I've been having some technical difficulties and the lovely people at the electronics store I bought my laptop from suggested that I wait for Windows 10 and see if that solved any of them...geek speak: "You didn't renew your warranty, so now I don't have to help you." I did download it, I'm still getting used to it, it's not bad, it's not great, I don't love it, but I don't hate it...and still having issues. Microsoft said try our handy FAQ...yeaaah. However, when my internet was spotty and would connect but wouldn't load pages properly, and most of the time not at all (and I'm on a metered internet, it's the first thing I checked) I went back to the store. Of course I got the "I see you didn't renew your warranty" speech, no, I've never broken a computer, I don't need an extended warranty...I don't want to leave it with you, so you can break it and tell me that the only thing you can offer me is a like brand new, wiped clean, start from scratch, refurbished piece of crap that someone else broke. They suggested that I call my ISP. Yeah, I didn't think of that, thanks.

Soooo anyhoo, my mother needed a babysitter for my niece last night, so I took it to her house where she has a proper wi-fi connection...mine is a mobile hot spot and apparently strong enough to download Win 10, but not enough for the updates that came out almost immediately after the initial download. That half hour just about killed my 10 year old niece while I made her wait to play a game online...ok kid, try three months.

And now, after weeks and weeks of telling myself to be calm and patient, I'll figure this one's running just as fast as it did when I first bought it; thanks anyway Microsoft/Best Buy/Sprint, I got this. 

That's certainly not the worst thing that's happened in the last several months. As I was finishing my projects and getting ready to share the photos with Hope, we got a call that my mother's youngest brother wasn't doing well, and if we wanted to see him before he passed away from a year long battle with lung cancer, we needed to make the trip soon. We were in Arkansas for a long weekend and came back in good spirits, he'd been up walking around, talking, and joking and we thought maybe family was the boost he needed to fight a little harder, the dr's weren't giving up, so we didn't. My mother got a call the day after we got home to let us know that he'd had a stroke, he wouldn't be going through with the new chemo treatment, and he probably wouldn't be able to walk or talk again. He passed away on June 27th in his sleep. He was laid to rest July 1st, next to my grandmother, who also passed away from cancer five years ago...and now that damned cup song is playing and I'm remembering my brother and a bawling heap was not how I wanted this post to go. I miss them, but that's not how any of them lived and not how they'd want for anyone something terrible but funny.

Work...lady, you and your bf might share things as a couple, but single stall public toilets (that really aren't public, we're just nice like that) shouldn't be one of them, and bf, I don't know who you're fooling, but that door wasn't broken when you went in there, thanks for ruining my day, but you're not using me as an excuse to get out of work. Yeah, hun, I'm a little frustrated, I didn't really have time to take the hinges off the door and wait for a repair man today, but I'm sorry it shows, thanks for noticing, now go on back to your work-site...yeah, I heard why you wanted to use my cell phone, but I've got tall co-workers with hammers...we got this. Oh, and thanks, we got about a weeks worth of jokes out of the whole thing too, almost makes up for the lost half  a day.

Nor the most painful...did you know eczema could wrap all the way around your hand, I do now. But that wasn't the part that really hurt, I haven't been able to make much of anything for nearly four weeks because instead of an intense itch, it burns like a sunburn. all. the. time. and hurts like a fresh callus when I try to grip anything, and has made my joints swell and my fingers go completely numb. Just on one hand, my right hand, my dominate hand...grrrr.

Everything on the mend now though, finger's crossed.

Man, I had no idea how much I depended on my computer. I love you Asus.

And now I can finally check out the Summer Creative Spark...not available on mobile :( , and share with those of you who are still here even though I haven't posted in eons. And then I will post my projects in more detail in a separate post, hopefully tomorrow night. The above link is directly to the e-mag, but you can also check out for all the latest involving the Znetshows news and design team projects, including past and present editions of Creative Spark, an e-mag sponsored by that primarily features their exclusive and lovely Cultured Sea Glass Beads and put together by the multi talented Hope Smitherman of If you haven't checked them out yet, you have to. Like, right after you check out the e-magazine.

So glad I'm back online properly, I missed you.

Damn it, now they're playing See You Again, I'm turning the radio off.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

New Creative Spark

Here's a link to the new edition of Creative Spark from and the design team. I'll have a more in depth post about my beads and what I worked on soon. I've lost a friend and coworker this weekend and honestly, I just don't have the energy to go in depth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Strange goings on...

Well, it seems I was signed up for a challenge hosted by Rita of Jewel School friends...this one...originally scheduled for October. I did send an email stating that I wanted to participate, but I thought I was too late because I never received a reply. I don't know exactly what's going on with the hop, but I did read that this happened to poor Rita, and the hop was rescheduled to take place today, but I was still under the impression that I'd missed the cut...didn't even look at the list, just assumed I wasn't on it. I don't have a bead to work with or a post to share. This afternoon I noticed a increase in traffic sources coming from blogs rather than pins, facebook, twitter, google images, very un-random, and not normal for my stats. Soooo...I followed some of them...and it led me back to the delayed hop post...and Rita has me listed for this Falling on the Edge of October Blog Hop featuring Maryse Fritzsch's Sparkling Rocks beads. Which I could have ordered on my own, but did not :( know, still thinking I was sitting on the sidelines I just figured I'd look at what the participants did with them.

I did think I was part of the Octoberfest hop, but then my name wasn't on that list...soooo maybe that's where the mix-up happened...and maybe the tree that landed on Rita's house...which made her have to move house...I think we can cut her some slack.

I do have some things to share, not really related, but fall inspired. My mother is a quilter, she pulls out and sets up a free standing quilting frame in her living room at the first sign of cold weather. This year she decided to make all 9 of her grandkids a hand. She lost her leather thimble, and I just happened to have some leather scraps sitting around from my failed attempt this summer to make leather sandals with sea glass,..that's a whole 'nuther post.

Three design fails later and...voila!

 As you can see here I reversed the lacing, I don't know why I thought I could do it the other way, and you really need to do both sides at the same time in order to be able to see the holes properly.

I called my mother and told her I was a genius...I just hope it fits, lol, I measured my own thumb, not hers, lol.

Also, this happened today....

Fifty standing earring card displays...only took me two attempts to get this one right after seeing a similar one on Pinterest this afternoon...too bad the Holiday Baazar I was hoping to sell the nearly one hundred pairs of earrings I've been working on since July is taking place a month earlier than usual and I can't attend because I was already scheduled to work :(

Fifty pairs of earrings ready to go...just in case.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Creative Spark 2014 Summer Challenge and Blog Hop

I woke up this morning feeling like the Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, but I couldn't remember why. Then it hit me! It's time to check out all the beautiful work the designers did with their Cultured Sea Glass beads and pendants for the 2014 Creative Spark E-zine challenge! I'm running a bit late, I tried to get this to post last night, but blogger wouldn't load any of my pictures.

As you may remember, the challenge was to pick two colors from the Cultured Sea Glass collection from, then create a day/casual piece or set, and a evening/dressy piece or set.

These were my color choices:

#37-Medium Amethyst
I received:
S79-B161 Cultured Sea Glass barrel beads in opaque purple
P23-B37  Cultured Sea Glass bottle curved diamond square pendants in medium amethyst
S62-B37S Cultured Sea Glass oval ring beads in medium amethyst

#16-Desert Gold
I received:
P23-B16 Cultured Sea Glass bottle curved diamond square pendants
PMX7-B16 Cultured Sea Glass fancy ring Pendants free form large hole
P51-B16  Cultured Sea Glass fish Pendants in desert Gold
P49-B16S  Cultured Sea Glass sand dollar pendants in desert gold
S77-B17  Cultured Sea Glass teardrop round beads in amber

And this was my challenge color: #82 Teal
What I received:
PMX7-B82  Cultured Sea Glass fancy ring pendants free form in teal
PMX5-B82  Cultured Sea Glass free form flat pendants in teal
S76-B82  Cultured Sea Glass hour glass beads in teal
Cultured Sea Glass 37x8mm Teardrop Round Tip Drilled Pendants--these unfortunately have been out of stock since the first time I spied them, but I keep checking, because I really like them.

And of the pieces I chose for my entries for the Creative Spark E-Zine:

For casual/day pieces I decided a pair of barefoot sandals were in order, I love walking through the grass or digging my toes in the sand, and my niece absolutely loved these. I asked her to model them for some photos and she refused to take them off after, they do look pretty awesome on her. She's only nine, the same height as me, yet wears a shoe size three sizes larger than me, so I was really checking to see if they'd work for her as well as they did for me. I put all of the weight of the beads at the front and used a lightweight material and clasp, so while it was loose on me, it was still very comfortable and stayed in place at my ankle.

And these earrings are part of my evening set, I wanted to keep the sea glass as my focal, but give it a little bling treatment. The Chinese tiaria crystal rondelles are from also.

And more to come, a preview of the pieces I worked on, but weren't what I considered up to Creative Spark standard:
The hourglass beads are wrapped in a hemp cord, and glued in place. I thought I'd like them strung with some of the opaque purple barrel beads, but I didn't much. I do like the long teardrop earrings, and I like the chain on it, but I can't seem to get the placement right, the fine sterling silver chain just doesn't move the way I wanted it to.

To see better pictures of my pieces please check out the Summer 2014 edition of Creative Spark, the blog, or the link that will be on the right hand side of my blog shortly.  

Also, this is a blog hop, so please check out what all the other designers received and what beautiful pieces they imagined with the always delightfully challenging Cultured Sea Glass from

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


...and not with my fancy shmancy 16 MP Fuji digital camera with all the bells and whistles either. This picture was taken with my four year old 3 MP Android v2.5 (yep, you read that right) LG Optimus smartphone.

Thanks for pollinating the black raspberries little dude.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Znetshows Summer challenge

With the BSBP still under way I forgot to let you know about the new project, a new summer E-zine featuring their line of colorful sea glass. The theme is Summer Days and Nights, and we're asked to make two to four pieces/sets, one or two for each aspect of the theme, casual days and glamorous nights. We were allowed to choose two colors, and were warned that we may receive another color with the ones we chose.

I chose Medium Amethyst and Dark Amber, I'll break down the pieces for you in another post, but I couldn't decide which was my day and which was my night, but I knew I had to have these.

This was the curve ball, the funny thing is, I had tried to order those top drilled long teardrops about a week before I got these and they were completely out of every color...but the aqua is what I wanted, lol.

I've already started working on my pieces, look at just how cool they look together, and so summery, I can't wait to show you what I'm doing with them.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party 8: It's reveal time!

As I've posted before, I'm participating in Lori Anderson's BSBP again. This year's group is again almost 400 participants, the amazing thing about this is that we only had one day to sign up! The most astounding part about this party, though, is that Lori managed to continue it in spite of the fact that she's still fighting for her health. Honestly, being sick most of the time myself, I don't know how she does it. I'll admit, I struggled with this one myself and barely got it done...just under the wire. I've been so exhausted lately staying up till midnight was just out of the question. I haven't had more than 30 hits to my blog so far so I'm encouraged that maybe I'm not the only one that didn't stay up for the midnight blog post/read/comment blitzkrieg this year.

I want to thank Lori; our fearless hostess, Kim Hutchinson, my beady exchange partner, please visit her blog to see what I sent her and what lovely things she made with them; and all of you, my fellow BSBP'ers.

But without further ado: What I did with Kim's generous helping of bead soup.

I just fell in love with these silk ribbons, I think I focused too much on them, but I just couldn't help it, they're gorgeous.

 This anklet was the first piece I made, I just loved the texture and the color, and so I changed the chain on the clasp so I didn't have to cut any of the ribbon.

This piece though, was the first piece I planned and the only one that looks nothing like I intended. I knew right from the start that the loop on my clasp was going to be my bail, but figuring out how to do that drove me to distraction. I don't I've ever spent so much time on a piece that turned out so simple. And then, we were given another week, instead of finishing the earrings I wanted to do with those awesome grey matte beads in the beaded bead on the right....I took this one apart. Yep, I spent nearly a month trying to knot and tie and sew that beautiful pendant to that "bail" and then took it off in the 11th hour....and then lost it. I found it late last night, sighed with relief, and went straight to bed, lol. 

So there you have it, I had fun, and I hope you did too. Now go check out what Kim did with my soup. After Kim's, I'm going to go around to all your blogs and see what you sent, what you got, and what you did with it. Happy hopping my beady peeps!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A delay

Oh yea! I get another week to come up with a piece or two for the BSBP 8. I already have four pieces done, but Kim (my bead soup partner this year) sent me so much, I'll be using these beads for a long while. I wish I could give you a teaser...but I don't have you'll just have to the rest of us, lol. 

I was going to post a picture of the adorable bumble bees pollinating my mother's bush, but they wouldn't stay still...buggers. I only got pictures of they're backsides or blurry images of them hovering while they were moving from bloom to bloom.

But here's a pretty successful image of the weird cloud formations at the tail end of some storms that blew over us at 45 MPH with hardly so much as a drizzle.

I'll be back on the 10th of May for my reveal, and please keep Lori in your thoughts and prayers as she continues to fight for her heath and well being.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog Party

So the 8th edition of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party is officially underway. We've all received our partners (and hopefully our beads).

My bead swap partner for this round is Kim Hutchinson, a very talented mixed media artist. Please check out her blog at

These are the beads and extra goodies that Kim so graciously sent to me for our swap.

I found a lovely butterfly tin and two bags of candy with my generous helping of beads.
I've already dug into the cinnamon bears, I had no idea Jelly belly even made those, yummm.

This was what I found inside the tin, I love how the beads are all subdued colors and the sari silk is vibrant and bold.

The required elements; as per BSBP rules, there must be a focal and a clasp in each soup, and those are the only two pieces we receive from our partners that absolutely must be used. Kim made the focal in my soup, isn't it lovely?

The hand dyed sari silk ribbon is, I think, the only thing that might give me pause...I know it's expensive, and I know it's fragile, and I know I'm going to have to do some research on how to treat it properly....but aren't those colors fabulous!

And these are the complementing beads, I already know what I want to do with the matte grey hexi seed beads in the upper right corner, but if I can pull it off, those dark metalic purple match a leaf in the focal and one of the silk ribbons.

I'm going to go ahead and post what I sent Kim, she's gotten them, just not posted photos as of yet, I'm hoping her's come out better than mine did. I didn't do a great job of getting them lined up and focused.

This is most of it, though not all. There was another strip of black leather cord, about 6ft at least. And I forgot to add the 4 mm matte white sea glass rondelles to the pile before I started snapping pictures.

I sent her one focal really, but also two minor focals instead of my usual two clasps, you'll see why in the next photo. These were handmade by me using white polymer clay, homemade alcohol ink, and then coated in Ice Resin. I used a stamp for the image, in fact the same stamp was used for all three pieces, just turned this way and that to get different impressions.

The clasp is also handmade by me, using 20 and 34 gauge bright copper wire and 2 mm tourmaline. I really wanted to be sure that she used this clasp, so I only sent her the one...not that I thought she might not like it, but it is kind of weird looking if you stare at it too long.

I sent some 4 mm tourmaline to go with the clasp, and the greens and pinks go well with the dark purple of the focals.

These are some of my favorite beads from, Chinese Tiaria crystal rondelles. I barely had any sunlight that day and yet just look at how much they sparkle!

These are just some garnet chips to tie in the color on the focal with the rest of the beads, you couldn't tell it in the light I had to work with, but the color on the focals are that deep purple/brown color of these gemstones.

I sent her some findings as well, the brown in most of these photos is actually a scrap of suede leather. There is also an unfinished 16 inch cord necklace hand wrapped in bright copper; two 3 inch lengths of bright copper chain; bright copper cord crimps to go with the two pieces of black leather cord; and two pairs of handmade petite french earwires.

Please come back to see what I come up with using Kim's bead soup. And check out Kim's blog for more about her art and jewelry, and to see what she makes with the bead soup I sent her. For a list of all the participants, and more about the BSBP, please visit Lori's blogs Pretty Things, and Pretty Things-Bead Soup Blog Party. Also you can check out what a lot of what the participants have swapped by browsing the Pinterest page set up just for the BSBP8.

The reveal and blog hop is on May 3rd, don't miss it!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

An open letter to Winter

This was the first major snowfall we had this year, January 5th.
Isn't it just beautiful? I stayed with my mother because we knew this was coming, and she lives less than a block from where I work. It was completely clear when I went into work, but this was my walk back to her house at around 3:45 that afternoon.

  This was the last time it looked this pretty.

The temperature dropped into negative double digits and we ended up in a deep freeze.

...and this never melted...

...and we've gotten several more inches on top of this...

...with black ice...
...and pot holes... that don't want to start...

...trashcans frozen in place...
...and $300 heat bills...

I'm done with you.
 I've loved you for 37 years, but now it's over. My hair is so dry it's breaking off in places, and my skin is so dry it's cracking...literally. My knuckles look and feel like I've been in a fist fight, red and swollen and caked in blood. I draw the line at violence.
Please pack your bags and leave.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

7000 Bracelets for Hope with

As I mentioned in a blog post last week, I was invited to take part in the latest lightening round challenge.
The challenge for this particular lightening round was to choose just two blue beads from Znetshows catalog, and with those selections, design and donate bracelets for The Global Genes Project's 7000 Bracelets for Hope campagn.
Please click on the links, I tried to summarize their mission, but I think it's best if you read for yourself. I'd heard about them about a year ago and with my own family's connection to rare and genetic diseases I felt a need to contribute. Before I was invited to this challenge, I'd ordered several Chinese Tiaria crystal rondelles in blue and white from, whith the intention of donating to the campaign. So I've added a picture of what I've done with some of those beads too. My choices for this lightening round are the teal blue coin beads and the smokey blue 3mm rondelle beads. Which I paired with denim strips, with snap closures, to represent the Global Genes awareness ribbon. There are a total of 16 bracelets so far, five teal coin, two white coin, one butterfly, and eight stretch bracelets. I want to make a few more (I have enough smokey blue beads to make just one more butterfly, but I still have nine teal coin beads left) before I send them off.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Creative Spark Glossie Fall Edition pre-post

First I'd like to thank everyone for the kind replies to my last post, it's going to take time, I know that, and I'm grateful to know so many who understand. I miss my brother, I always will, a part of me will always want to scream and yell, and cry out loud at the whole world as if it were someone's fault. I have questions. I have regrets. And I have hope. Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated. 

Jeff lived life the the fullest, and I plan to follow his example. He was a creator too, that's our connection. Occasionally he would ask me about my jewelry work, he worked with hemp and beads, knot work, micro macrame. I'll never have the physical strength to finish the pieces he left behind. But my mother insisted I take them anyway. To try. 

First, I'm trying to pull myself back into the creative mindset. I've followed the last two challenges from, but without participating. This summer, the Znetshows Design team put together a Glossi, called Creative Spark, an online magazine featuring the products from, using a theme, "Rings and Bling" and a select group of Znetshows design team members. The next edition of Creative Spark, the fall/winter edition, for which the theme is Pearls, I've been asked to participate. 

These are my bead choices. 
These big black pearls are enormous, heavy, and solid. Like tiny bowling balls. I love them!!

This picture is a bit deceiving, these pearls are quite small, and very slate gray sky cold...or are they glittering frozen dew? Melt from an icicle hanging from the boughs? 

My non pearl choices: to compliment and accentuate the pearls.

And for the next post, Hope has put together 'lightning rounds', challenges with a quick turnaround. I've started a post with my choices and pieces, but I'd like to post it as one post and I'm still working on a couple of pieces. The aim of this lightning round is to make bracelets for the organization Global Genes Project and thier 7000 Bracelets For Hope campagn, who offer hope, encouragement, and blue bracelets to patients and families who suffer from rare and genetic diseases. I'd already planned a donation, and ordered several blue beads from before I was invited to this challenge and so I have a lot to work with. I'll have that post up soon.