About this blog

The original intention of this blog was to help promote my handcrafted jewelry and beading supplies. However, I believe I lead an interesting life (which Dave gets a lot of credit for), so you will often find ramblings about things other than beads and jewelry! Hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy living it!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

On the Bench

Here's what is currently on my bench...
The two pair of brass earrings need to be oxidized, then tumble polished. I'm just waiting to have a few more pieces that also need to be oxidized. I prefer to do several pieces at a time. The large, clear faceted glass beads are going to be paired with smaller Swarovski crystal bicones for a goes-with-anything necklace...kind of Wilma Flinstone style! Lastly, the hair on hide cross pendant is waiting to be matched up with some stones. I cut the pendant from hide scraps myself...not the easiest project, but I like how it turned out. I'm think it would go well with some white magnesite rounds beads. The ones in my inventory have a lot of brown veining in them which I think will complement the color of the hide. Notice the silver rings to the right of the cross...still waiting for me to figure out exactly what I'm going to do with them. I have a couple of ideas...maybe tomorrow!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Puppy Update

It's been several weeks since I last posted about the puppies, so I figured it was time for an update. Chris and Rich apparently have their hands full! The puppies' eyes are open and they are becoming more active...and curious! One of them will be going home with a family from Chris' flyball team, which means she'll never be too far from one of her littermates as Chris and Rich have decided to keep one of the pups. I've posted a few pictures, but you can check out their website for more pictures and information.

What I've Been Working On...

Here are a couple of photos of my latest creation, Green with Envy, which is part of my Cowgirl Collection. This piece is listed in my Etsy shop. I've developed a real affinity for magnesite beads and have purchased many strands in different shapes and colors recently. I have another piece in the works on my bench that uses pink magnesite nuggets and large brown lava stone rondelles. I'm hoping to have that finished later tonight. I also have several fine silver fused rings that have been sitting on my bench for weeks...just haven't decided what I want to do with them. I think one of my challenges is that my design ideas go in so many different directions. One week I'm full into working with metal, the next week I'm doing some basic stringing, and the following week I'm working with crystals and pearls and wire wrapping! I guess diversity is good, but sometimes it impedes my progress because I can't decide which technique to use. Alas, I guess if this is the worst of my problems, I'm not so bad off!!! I welcome all comments...and constructive criticism!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What I've Been Doing This Week

I'm on vacation from my full-time job this week and have been getting a lot of things done. Monday was a doctor's appointment. Three of the six spots I had biopsied in May came back as skin cancer (all basal cell carcinoma...not melanoma thankfully), so I had to have them removed. I'm also thankful that this time I didn't have any on my face. I've really been making more of an effort to wear sunscreen (SPF 70) if I'm going to be out in the sun for any length of time, especially since these were numbers nine, ten and eleven to be removed. Unfortunately, this is all damage from years past. Funny thing is, I was never a sun worshipper, grew up in New York, and can never remember anyone ever saying, "Hey...nice tan"! I guess it's just the harsh South Florida sun, and the fact that I'm fair skinned and have light hair.

Tuesday I ran several errands...nothing really exciting, just stuff that needed to be done.

Wednesday was spent in my studio (sounds so fancy...really it's just the spare bedroom where all of my beading stuff is!). It was in major need of some attention. I had to reorganize my beads...make room for some new ones, which now requires shuffling of supplies since I'm trying to keep them organized by color. Sorted through some other strands that I'm going to be listing for sale either on Etsy or Artfire and just some general straightening up of the place. I did manage to make a pair of earrings!

Today, I'm painting the hallway bathroom. I actually don't mind painting...it's the taping off of everything that I can't stand! Dave and I seem to take the longest time to decorate, but once we get started we really seem to get on a roll. We've been in our current home almost 7 years, and all of the walls are still white!!! For me, the hardest part is picking out colors. I tend to be very neutral in my color choices...including my wardrobe and my cars (my last 4 vehicles have all been silver!). But we finally decided on a color for the bathroom, and while picking up that paint, we made a decision on the two colors for the greatroom and the kitchen. All of the walls have rounded corners and the rooms are really like one big open space so I thought it was going to be very difficult. However, we found some really nice rustic, westerny colors. Not sure when I'm actually going to start that project yet...want to get through the bathrooms first!!! I have about another hour before I can start the second coat. I'm also going to try to get all of the trim in the main room painted today. Not sure that I'll be able to finish it all, but there's still tomorrow. I was actually hoping to get some yardwork done tomorrow morning, so I'll have to see how this all works out. It's just been so darn hot lately that any outside activities have to be done by 10:00am or it's sweltering! I was complaining to Dave about the heat yesterday, and asked him to remind me of that when it gets to be 40 degrees (which normally only happens about 5-7 times a year)!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mudfest at Holley Mud Hole

Over Memorial Day weekend Dave and I went to the Mudfest at the Holley Mud Hole in Okeechobee. We brought the black CJ and the 4-wheeler, and two of my brothers-in-law (Bob & Chris) and my sister-in-law (Janis) met us there. We had a great time. It wasn't too crowded (the last old Okeechobee mudfest had about 30,000 people...yes, I said 30,000) and the weather was good. I'm going to let the pictures tell the rest of the story!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Finally...I Finished the Copper Earrings!!!

I've had two pairs of copper earrings on my bench for a while. The only thing I needed to do was oxidize and polish them. For whatever reason, I'd been putting it off until last night when I decided to just go ahead and finish them up. I am so glad I did because I think they turned out fantastic *patting myself on the back*. I really like the way copper turns out after its been oxidized. The patina on the domed pair turned out very rich. I'll be posting them in my Etsy shop in the next few days. I would love to know what you think of them, so please feel free to leave your comments.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Weekend Full of Bead Shows

I attended two bead shows this weekend (insert groans from Dave!). Saturday I went to the Down the Street Beadshow in Palm Beach. They had a nice selection of vendors, but I made all my purchases from just two. Today I attended an invitation only show which had an incredible selection of semiprecious stones, many of which I've never seen before. I set a budget for both days and had to exercise a lot of control to stick to it, but I was successful. I always scout the entire show before making any selections. I'm very happy with my purchases. Now the big question is, do I resell them, or incorporate them into my own designs?! I did purchase multiples of each strand, so I should be able to do both (one for me...one for you).

Dave was a real trooper today and went to the invitation only show with me. It was about a 45 minute drive from the house so it was nice to have the company. Dave and I always have the best conversations while driving. I do need to clarify, though. He actually dropped me off at the show, went to the motorcycle shop around the corner and then came into the show when he was ready for lunch! His timing was perfect though as I only needed about another 15 minutes to make my final selections. While he doesn't always understand my need to buy more beads since I already have bins, boxes and bags full of beads all over the studio, he totally supports me and wants me to be successful.

Next year I would love to attend the Tucscon show. I'm trying to figure out how I can make a vacation out of it so it's more practical of a trip. I need to do some research on the area. I'm sure if I can find somewhere reasonably close to go 4-wheeling either in a Jeep of on ATV's, I can convince Dave to go. Only problem is, it may still be a little cool at the time of the year. I guess I better start my research now!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Leesburg Bike Fest - April 2009

Back in April, Dave and I went up to Leesburg with our neighbors, Jeff and Jeanette, for the Leesburg bikefest. We trailered the bikes up...I know...I'm hearing the groans from the die-hards! Believe me, I would have loved to ride up, but there's just no place for bags on a sportbike! The weather was really great...a little on the hot side, but no rain. Friday we spent the day in town browsing all the vendor booths and taking in the events. The funniest part had to be the woman who was convinced Dave was NASCAR drive Tony Stewart (yeah, I know...it was at night and apparently she'd been drinking all day)! Saturday we took a back roads ride up to Dunnellon and went to Rainbow Springs. The ride was great...very scenic. We found a quaint little restaurant for lunch called The Front Porch Restaurant. The food was great and the pie was even better (I did not lick the plate, even though Dave says I did...I only do that in the privacy of my own home!). Later that night we went to the racetrack in Bronson. It was really cool to see that kind of racing...where the driver is the mechanic and crew chief, too! Sunday morning we loaded the bikes back up and took the scenic route home down US27. It was a good trip and I look forward to going back again next year.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I think I've mentioned in a previous post that I love living in a rural area because of the variety of wildlife that makes its home here. After I pulled out of the driveway this morning, I noticed this wood stork over by the canal so I snapped a picture with my cell phone. There was a second one on the other side of the canal, but I didn't get it in the shot.

We've also had an abundance of snakes in the yard this year. They like hanging out in the landscaping we have around the pool. More than once I've been surprised by them when I've pushed the big leaves of the philodendron aside to pull weeds and found one curled up. Dave thinks its kind of funny...me not so much!!! Usually they are just black snakes which for the most part are harmless. I've also seen more rabbits this year then in all the past years combined. So far, we've only seen them at night, so I haven't been able to get any pictures. I just hope they stay away from the vegetables!

The picture of the hogs was snapped one day when I was going to have lunch with Dave. To me, the funniest thing about it wasn't that their was a family of hogs on the side of the road, but that its so normal, no one around me gave them a second look!