Monday, September 29, 2008

Customer Appreciation Month

First things first. Yesterday was my anniversary. My 17th anniversary. And, before all you smart-assy McSmartypants out there go "Wow, how old is she?", I'll have you know I got married quite young. Not, like, 12 or anything, but young.

Instead of having some tired dinner out, we (all of us) went to my most fave place in the world - the beach, of course. It was a beautiful, breezy day and while we were swimming, a small pod of dolphins was leaping in the waves right in front of us.

We always see dolphins at the beach, but these were especially close and so playful, really jumping completely out of the waves and just enjoying the day.

I think I'll take it as a sign of good luck for the coming year.

Speaking of the coming year, I know it's been a tough couple of weeks out there and there's probably more to come. I know at our house, it's been stress-central.

With that thought in mind, I thought it would be nice to just spread a little love. So I've decided that, instead of having a weekly discount code, I will make October my


Every week, I will practice RABK (Random Acts of Bead Kindness) and I'll send out 1 or 2 or maybe more beads to my customers. If you've ever bought a bead or buy a bead anytime during the month of October, then you're eligible.

I think this will be fun. I think it's nice to get a little surprise in the mail. I think everyone needs a boost. And we all know how good it feels to do something nice for someone else, right? So I'm actually being kind of selfish, right?

Oh, btw, here's the revised picture of this week's Coffee & Donuts beads. Better, doncha think? They're on eBay right now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Goodbye, Paul Newman

Just heard about Paul Newman a little while ago.

Wow. I mean, you know it will happen. It happens to everyone. But Paul Newman? One of my oldest memories - my first movie memory - was of watching "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" with my dad. It was never Redford for me. I've always been a Newman girl.

I took my kids to see "Cars" solely because Paul Newman was the voice of Doc, the Fabulous Hudson Hornet.

I've always thought there should be a crayon called "Paul Newman's Eyes".

Mr. Newman was a wonderful actor but more than just that. More than just that great voice, that slightly dangerous smile, those legendary blue eyes.

He was an activist and a humanitarian long before it was "The" thing to be in Hollywood. Long before Ms. Jolie. He gave millions to charities, started several foundations and never failed to not just speak out about something he believed in or was opposed to but to actually do something about it.

He was apparently a good and faithful husband and father. And if he wasn't, his family still loved him enough not to talk about it.

He was a person who knew how to live life. He did the things he wanted to do, far past the age when most would attempt it.

I'm not a fan of movies in general. I don't follow Hollywood or it's tawdry gossip. I don't watch award shows where they all pat them selves on the back for being so fabulous.

But this is different.

Goodbye, Paul Newman and thank you.

In stitches

Yeah, that'd be Connor in stitches, not me. Yesterday, about 3 1/2 minutes before it's time to leave for school - this is the time that I use to get dressed, brush my teeth, inhale cold coffee, wad my hair up into a bun, try to find shoes, make sure backpacks are organized, let the dog out....

I think you get the picture.

Anyway, I hear this huge crash, followed by screaming. I - still in jammies, hair askew and foaming at the mouth with cinnamon toothpaste - blow by the dog who is dancing desperately by the front door. I find Connor, collapsed on his floor, rolling around in agony and sobbing uncontrollably. Nothing seems to have tipped over. The aquarium is still intact. The door is on it's hinges. What's the problem?

Well, apparently he has tripped while putting his pants on, fallen, hit his head on the train table and cut his ear. Remind you of college? Oh, yeah. Good times.

He cut it badly enough that it required 6 stitches to close it back up again. Poor little guy.

Poor little guy that when I looked at what had happened all I could think of was "Pain in my ass! Why is it always on Friday? My work day? My 'busiest day of the week' day?"

I am a horrible mother.

Yet, still I managed to get dressed, brush teeth, yada yada yada and get my daughter to school on time before racing to the pediatrician to have him stitch up the 'bucket handle' (as he referred to my kid's ear). After which, I comforted him with kind words and hugs (Connor, not the doctor), a lego toy which I helped him build and ice cream.

He went on to school (his choice, not mine) and later had the best soccer game of his short career! I videotaped the entire game, provided the team snack for after the game, picked up pizza, wings and a movie and then hosted a sleepover for my daughter and her friends.

I am Super Mom.

Obviously, I did not get any beads made.

I will however, show some pictures from earlier in the week. They'll be listed on eBay later today and tomorrow. As if anybody has the money or the desire to buy beads right now. I can't blame anyone. It's horrible out there. Very scary.

These are fun though. They'll cheer you up.

These beads actually have different donuts. I replaced the orange iced ones with different ones. They looked better. I just didn't have time to take a new picture.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What's with David Blaine?

Is he starved for attention or what?

Since I have decided to continue lampworking, I treated myself to a big fat order of spendy, gorgeous glass last night. I've been making my 'Painted Lady' beads again and they require lots of color.

I made my first set 3 years ago and, you know what? I still love making them.

Here's a flashback:

Conga ~ My first set. I made these beads back in 2005 and it's still one of my favorites

Watusi ~ This is a set that was very popular with customers

Salsa - this is one of my favorite sets

Fairy Forest - I liked this one because the colors were so soft, a change of pace for me!

I love these beads because they require me to take very basic elements and a handful of color and come up with something new and interesting every time. Very challenging, but fun!

I'm working on some new element for these beads. They've 'inspired' quite a bit of replication, and these were also some of the beads that the infamous Ullja purchased. I don't know if she resold them as her own or used them in jewelry designs, but still....
So, just to keep them fresh I like to add a couple of new things to them from time to time. I'm pretty happy with the new ones. I'll preview them in a few days.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Summer's Over!!!!!

Congrats to Tina Fey on her Emmy wins!
I'm not much of a tv watcher and I didn't watch the Emmy's, but I do like Tina Fey. I think she's hysterical and smart and a very strong woman.

O.K., I don't know if I'm happy or sad on this day, this very last remnant of summer. Happy, I think. Florida summers are hard. But, the joyful sense of freedom that summer days bring is so elusive, that it's hard to say goodbye. With fall comes 'The Season', and everything gets hectic, frantic, overstressed. And then I find myself longing for the sweet, lazy days of August.

Well, I do love Autumn, of course.

Hey, something fun. I was in an Etsy treasury that made it to the front page. I've never been on the front page before, so that was exciting. Lots of traffic.

I missed it myself because I was at Connor's soccer game, but a member of LEST was kind enough to take a screenshot for me. Thanks, Eileen of Dorset Hill Beads !!!!

Go check out her shop. She has so many cool beads. My fave is her ~Sea of Hollow~. So pretty!

I've determined that I am unable to give up lampworking. I tried to take a few days off and really think. Think about what I might do and I couldn't. I couldn't actually take any time away from the torch. I kept getting ideas that I wanted to try.
That gave me my answer.

Here are just a couple of focal beads that I made last week that I've got listed. The first two are part of my ~Bead Therapy~ series. They're on Esty.

The other is a spiraled bicone that I've had for a while and just can't get a decent picture of. It's a gorgeous, smaller bead with amazing color gradations. I just can't get the right background with it. I've tried everything. Maybe I'll give it to my mom!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Check this out

First of all, I want to thank those of you who commented and emailed me regarding my self-indulgent breakdown the other day. Rest assured, I've taken it to heart.

Second of all, I want to post a picture of a beautiful lariat design that was created by Rose Puskas of

She used a set of my seashell beads, along with one of my conch focals for this piece. I think it's just gorgeous. I wish I could look at a pile of beads and imagine putting it all together like this. Thanks, Rose, for making my work looks so good!

And, I have another focal bead that I think turned out very well. I love the colors in this one. And, in keeping with my mental state, I have named it:

~Analyze This~

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Discount Time

Hey, bead buddies, it's discount code time.

I'm taking a few days off to get my thoughts together, but I wanted to make sure I posted the discount code for this week.

This week's discount is: Buy any item out of my Etsy shop and receive a second item of equal or lesser value at 50% off! This code will be good from today until next Friday but items must be purchased at the same time to qualify.

Now, that's a heck of a deal. Go on, check it out. Been wanting some cupcakes? Now's your time. Need a Coffee boost? Have at it.

Same rules apply. Add your items to your cart but don't pay. Instead, select the 'Other' option. Then, contact me with the discount code and I'll send you a revised PayPal invoice for the adjusted amount.
Happy Shopping!

BTW, here's a look at what I've got going on this week (glass bead-wise, anyway)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So, maybe I'm done

I think I might be done with lampwork.

Don't get me wrong. I love it. Working with glass, making something with my own hands, having a rainbow of light and color at my fingertips. It's great. It's the best job I've ever had and I can't imagine not doing it anymore.

It's just that I seem to lack a knack. Not for beadmaking. I think I'm pretty good at that.
But there are some beadmakers out there who just know how to promote themselves. I'm not one of them. I don't have the ability for self-marketing. I'm not a salesperson and in this economy and this business, you really have to be one.

I just know how to create. The rest of it is hard. It's not me. I don't understand any of it.

Maybe I'm just being pouty because I just spent an alarming two hours pulling stringer and making murrini for a set that it will take me at least four more hours just to make. I'm hot and sweaty, my feet hurt and my back is killing me and I don't even know if the set will sell.

It's not just about money, either. It's about putting your heart into something, working as hard as you've ever worked at anything in your life and then.....well...?

I don't know. We'll see.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Stuff

Wow, I totally love that song! Put's me right in the groove. I'm going out to torch a little right now, in fact. Well, in a couple of hours. I'm watching 'Pirates of the Carribean At World's End' right now and can't leave.
I love Johnny Depp.
So talented.
So eccentric.
So hot.
And young Orlando Bloom ain't bad, either.

In the meantime, I just wanted to put up pics of new and upcoming work.

Oh, hey, how did this get in there? This is Tonka.

I have a workshop this week and so won't have a chance to work on many new beads and jewelry. However, I do have some additional items that I'll be posting, so make sure you check back in a few days.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Hey, all.

I changed my music line-up this week. I just love 'In to the Mystic'. It's one of my all time fave songs. I love Mr. Van Morrison, also, but I really like this Wallflowers version very much. Hope you do, too.

First of all, I want to say Happy Birthday to my Grandma and to my little neice, too.
Next, I want to acknowledge that it's also a solemn day, this 11th of September.
Did you all do your moments of silence, your personal reflection?
I hope so. I know I did.
I'll bet you all remember vividly this day 7 years ago.
I'll bet you can remember the strange, otherworldy feel of the silence in the skies above.
No planes overhead.
Virtually no cars on the roads.
The silence.
That strange, held-breath waiting for what might come next.
The shock has faded with time, but when I think back, I can still recall the stunned feeling, the 'is this happening? To US?' feeling of it.
And then the horror as that tower fell. The spontaneous, instant tears of grief for those who were trapped and for their families watching it happen on the television.
Very bad stuff.

But we go on. With our faltering economy, huge national defecit, high crime rate and skyrocketing unemployment, we march on to our own beat.
Because we are America. We are Americans.
God Bless Us.

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's here

Autumn came. Just as quickly as that, with a subtle shift of light, it's here.
Autumn is my favorite season, it always has been, since I was a little girl.
It doesn't have anything to do with Labor Day and white shoes or what the calender says.
For me, it's always been an undefinable thing. A slight change in the angle of the sun, a shift in the quality of the light, a sharpening in the texture of the air, a change in the way the waves break on the sand.
Everything is cleaner, brighter, more real.
I can't gauge it by the days marked off on a piece of paper. I don't care about some arbitrary date.
I just know it's here now, for that brief golden time.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hey, ya'll

So, not much going on.
I went to Ikea last week. I love that place. So full of gadgets and gizmos and fluffy comforters. It's fun, too, wandering around in the little 'rooms'.
I recommend a visit to everyone.

I'm reading a book that has a Scottie dog in it right now. You never hear much about Scottie dogs. I think George Dubya might have turned a lot of people off of them. I have one, though. His name is Duffy and he's the coolest, cutest, funniest little guy.
I recommend a Scottie to everyone.

Congrats to all the folks who dodged the bullet on Hurricane Gustav. Wow, that was a close one. I'm so glad they came out with minimal damage. The kind of damage coastal folks and Floridians can deal with.
I don't recommend a hurricane to anyone.

Hey, guess what I'm doing this week?
I'm putting a set of Coffee & Donuts on eBay. I don't know why, exactly. They've become one of my most popular bead sets and I'm really starting to not like eBay so I don't know why I'm putting up my favorite little cuties there. I just thought I'd give it a try. It's a big set, too. I won't list a set like this again, so if you're interested, you should probably jump on it.

Here's some pics of what I've got so far this week. I actually have quite a few more things comming up, so check back. I'll put up this week's special on Monday.

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