Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Trip

We took a family trip to Texas and played in the sand and surf around Corpus Christi/Padre Island. We took a tour of the USS Lexington aircraft carrier that is at dock there, and of course made a pit stop at the local skateparks. The weather was lovely with temps in the 60's and, of course, since we were coming from New Mexico, the humidity was a sensual treat!

We were surprised that late December would be the "low season" for tourism in any place that had palm trees, but we found the beaches pleasantly empty of people. The boys considered the water warm enough to swim in and they had a blast in the surf. Finding crabs amongst the rocks of jetties was a favorite activity, too.

We spent three days at the coast, and three days inland at a rustic cabin in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas, where again we were gifted with isolation and mild weather. It wasn't the right time of year for insect collecting, but other wildlife, like deer, armadillos, skunks, fish and spiders, were abundant.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Creativity Gene

My oldest son has taken to various creative hobbies from an early age. His current passion incorporates a lot of different skills. Check out this nice cleaver he just made. The long bullet sharing the hanging nail is a key fob he made, too.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sock Monkey Hat a Must-Have

Promoting beautiful handmade sock monkey hats available from seller jessicambaiseku on etsy. They are made in my old stomping ground of Edmonton, Alberta, which makes them twice as cool. And the baby in the photo is perfectly adorable in that little ear flap hat, so let's say they're at least three times cool. (Several styles available in baby to adult sizes.)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Alternative Snowman

I'm making a new snowman bead for the Christmas spirit that doesn't conform to the red, green and white tradition. My new lampwork glass beads are fun and unique. Even though they are decked out in tu-tu's i still refer to them as snowMEN, because i believe in suspending judgement. If a person likes bright colors and cliché girlie wear, and it makes them feel good, then why not? These kids are also a little goth or punk, with their black and white hats and scarves. Tu-tu snowmen beads are a quirky holiday option that are available in my etsy shop now, and they will shortly be available as pre-made zipper pulls.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bumble-Boo Handmades

There is a fresh new shop on etsy that i suggest you visit: Bumble Boo Handmades. You will love the dear buttons, the book marks, and now the prints, of this very talented artist's original illustrations.

Her penwork is exquisite and her subjects are designed with a sensitivity and detail that proclaim an enormous natural talent when you consider that she is still a struggling student at art college. She manages to harmonize contrasting yellows and blues, reds and greens, in her beautiful watercolor and guache illustrations, available as professional prints. The images on her little pins are perfectly composed little vignettes, that are often very sweet, but seem to have a hint of humor, too.

You are invited to take a walk through Bumble-Boo's growing gallery and enjoy, and of course, keep your Christmas list in mind. One of the most humane things you can do is support the arts and buy homemade!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Book in Hand

So much fun to make a book. My alphabet book is hot off the presses. Here is the C/D spread--our Dog, keeping an eye on our Cats. As i said, the subjects are all to do with my family and where we live, to make this book personal to my preschool nieces living far,far away from us. And i even enjoyed taking all the photos of letters from local signs and such.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Howdy, Boehner!

I know nothing about the men. I just saw an uncanny resemblance.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Beads. Blue Beads.

Nice new set of Indigo Roswell beads. And some Xmas sock monkeys.

Sweater Time

I love fall because i love wool sweaters. I have nothing in my closet like these hoodies by Enlightened Platypus on etsy, and i would never wear a sweater like this, but i can sure enjoy looking at them. They are constructed using recycled wool sweaters. Many other color combinations are shown in their shop, deserving of a peek.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Braided Tree

Check out this nice little tree. It is a green walnut that we had to chop down because it was dropping big dead branches onto the neighbour's truck. A number of suckers emerged from the stump and i braided three of them. This was maybe three or four years ago now. It's a perfectly shaped little tree right now, but i hope i'm around when it is twice as big so that i can see how this trunk turns out.

I'm quite pleased with the popularity of the minty Frosty snowman beads and zipper pulls, but i've run out of white glass. The shipment should come in on Tuesday, so in the meantime i'm trying to come up with some other, non-white, seasonal beads. I like Rudolph, but it took me too long to make--i don't seem to have the patience for half-hour beads.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

alphabet book

I love the idea of making books. I do enjoy writing, but managing images seems easier and more pleasurable somehow. I've illustrated a kids book and made a bead calendar, and now i'm making an alphabet book.

It is expressly for my two preschool nieces in Canada. All of the letter images are my photos. That's been neat because i look at my collection of isolated letters and know exactly which local signs they came from. Today i'm trying to get all of the photos of the words that my letters represent. Since the nieces are in Canada, and we are down here in the southwestern states, i'm trying to use images that reflect how and where we live. It's meant to be quite personal, so for instance "S" will be a photo of their cousin Henry on his skateboard, since that is his passion. And "D" will be a photo of our dog. It's a lot of work, but the final product should be pretty darn cool.

I'm using, a site i've used before and been very happy with the results. Hint: if you sign up with them, they will soon try to entice you to make a book project by offering you nice discounts. :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mint Brothers

The fresh, minty, cool snowman triumvirate: Wintergreen, Candy Cane, Peppermint. Get yours today! I'm selling the beads loosely and will also be selling them pre-made as zipper pulls, eventually.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bits of Glass Menagerie

More sculptural beads coming out of the workshop.

I could have been a hand model, but i like the feel of digging in the dirt, filing metal, and detailing my own vehicle. Don't look too closely at the fingernails, plox. :-)

i'm going to etch the ape and the frog. The bee was made for my little daycare charge, but you can't give a glass ornament to a 15 month old. It is the bee in one of his favorite books--he's fascinated with the buzz (which i guess comes from the reader, not the book). I'll show it to him tomorrow and see if he recognizes it when it's off the page. It's so interesting studying a developing mind! The fish and the snowman will probably show up in the etsy shop.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Seeing the Signs

Small Town, America. My home away from home. Thinking about letters. Big letters, handpainted letters, crooked letters.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Banana" Cozy

Etsy seller handamade offers this neat item: a sweater for a banana. It could help keep your lunch banana from being bumped around too much by your tomato sandwich. I like how the color pattern wouldn't confuse you, too. Even if it feels different, you still know by color which item in your lunch bag is the banana.

Women in bitter cold regions of Canada (aka Winnipeg) knit a similar item. It is a little sweater sleeve to give as a gag gift to men so that they can keep their "bananas" from becoming frost bitten. With teens in the house i have the search preferences on google images set to filter out the suggestive material, so this is the best image i could come up with for a photo of a wiener sweater. lol Cute model. Do you think he minded being photographed in that ensemble?

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Pleasant Monday Outdoors

Ding, one of my bachelor bead guys, was featured today in the blog Suzy's Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom. Thank you, Suzy!

I spent the morning at the playground with "Pip" (16 mo.). He doesn't care to ride the merry-go-round thing, but he likes to spin it. I spent the afternoon in the garden, continuing to dig up everything. I then got most of the plants back in that i want back in. And i've got a TON of plants left over! I may have gone a little overboard on the "thinning"...

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Well, the recession is still with my etsy shop, so i've been digging up the gardens in my free time. It shouldn't be taking me over a week to do it, but it's slow going when you have to stoop to pick dense clumps of daffodil bulbs out of almost every shovel you turn over. Plus the garden was still full of blossoming perennials, and i'm trying to rearrange them as i go so they still look good for another few weeks.

This weekend DH completed his scuba certification. It should be easier to talk him into that xmas break trip to some location with reef-lined beaches in a tropical climate now!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Is My Recession Receding?

Good news: I am no longer self-unemployed! I got a custom bead order from a fellow etsian, bringing an end to my week long dry spell. I will be rehiring myself on a contract basis. I can put the McDonald's application back in the drawer for now, and the cats will continue to get their Friskies kibble. :-D

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Economic Crisis Strikes TBYN

I was feeling pretty smug last week as i was enjoying frequent, and often monetarily significant, sales in The Bead You Need etsy shop. And then suddenly..... (crickets chirping).

It has only been one week without a sale, but i'm getting a touch of depression, and i have no desire to go make beads. No one wants them, so why bother. If my shop and business is capput and i am no longer self-employed, then when do i officially join the ranks of the unemployed?

What happened? Is October officially when people quit spending because you have to save up for December shopping craziness?

I wondered if perhaps, there being a finite number of glass bead artisans with shops on etsy, maybe everyone who likes my beads has already bought them, and now they're looking at other things? Etsy stats: there are something like 4.4 million members, and 400,000 active sellers. I did the math. Thats 4 mil. shopping members, or 10 buyers for my shop. No, i don't really know what to do with those numbers.

So i'm waiting for a few sales to boost my dismal self-employee morale. Meanwhile, i should be forcing myself to get stock prepared for all those Christmas season shoppers. Kick, kick, kick.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Pretty little songbirds are passing through on their way south again. It's refreshing to hear something other than blue jays and grackles...

Some new glass birdies in the shop. I'm trying to make them look like actual species, rather than generic birds.