Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Official Contest Announcement!

...and if you click on the pic you can read the small print... lol

Swim In That Color

The hubby took two boys to the fishing hole for the day. I hit the workshop and made some of my silver banded beads. (I REALLY need to come up with a less descriptive name for this pattern.) This is Dawn Gleaming and Aqualith together, still on the mandrels they were created on. I love how the blues and green swim together, and likewise the amethyst and golden hues. One day i'll make some of these for myself. I really enjoy the kind of bracelet where you can fiddle and see at least one neat thing about each bead.

And other than that, i made a pork roast, drove across town to tend gardens for holidaying friends, harvested some swiss chard and zucchini, added my shop website to each listing in my etsy shop... I forgot to include that when i wrote them up initially. I think it's a very important little detail. When i was advertising my "bone shaped birthstone charms" to places like dog groups, my potential customers were very often not etsy members. Therefore, if they came across a link to one of my charms in the shop, say August, they wouldn't know how to find the rest of my shop and the rest of my months. So i started putting "To see all of my offerings go to: http://www.thebeadyouneed.etsy.com". Then, if someone's isearch sends them to just one item, there is still hope that they will find the rest of my stuff, too.

This is called cutting down on your Bounce Rate, in Google Analytics speak. :-) My Bounce Rate tends to be about 62%. I need to get it much lower to feel like any serious shopping is being down in my shop.

I've got an idea for the Closing Sock Monkey Beads giveaway. I'm going to coincide it with Fourth of July celebrations, favorite party time of my quasi-adoptive country. Yes, the prize will be beads. And no, they won't be red, white and blue! ...more to come...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dedication and Petal Bone Bead

You know sometimes you find a used book with a nice dedication handwriten inside the cover? Like maybe it says something like: "For my lovely niece Melissa, Merry Christmas, From Auntie Beth."

My son and husband are on a Michael Crichton jag, and one of the books we borrowed from the local public library had this unusual dedication.

Next time you buy yourself a book, think about writing a heartfelt sentiment in it. You can't have too much love.

Put a neat new bone bead in The Bead You Need etsy shop today. More in this style to come.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gleaming Sea Foam Beads

By coincidence i filled an order for Interstellar Plankton beads, and made some Green Fire 'n' Ice beads on the same day. They are perfectly compatible! Kind of light sea foam with extra gleam.

I'm in the process of moving the spiky beads listings over to The Bead You Need, from the old Sock Monkey Beads shop. When i close SMB i'll have to have a party. And a *Give Away*. Check back in a day or two for details. :-)

When i get a chance, i need to put some thought into my new business card design for TBYN (The Bead You Need). And i'm still getting old customers contacting me for more BirthBones, and i haven't come up with a new name yet. And then my new Thank You cards... Not enough hours in the day.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Whoop! Good For Me!

I finally managed to get a pile of beads listed in my The Bead You Need etsy shop! It takes a substantial chunk of time to do all the photography, pimp the photos, and go through the listing process. So i'm feeling like a really accomplished something! :-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Misc. Pics

I added several listings to The Bead You Need shop this morning. And then we went to Bottomless Lakes State Park to cool off. Roswell has a skatepark that No. 2 son likes to spend time at, and of course there is Cici's all-you-can-eat Pizza. :-)

Some rather strange photos i took today. The cat, Shorty, was waiting for us when we got home tonight. As we approached the front door, this toad just hopped up onto the cat for safety or something. Shorty didn't seem to notice.

I thought it was interesting that this dull brown damsel fly selected an equally dull brown stem to perch on.

These three 25-ft metal palm trees adorn the front yard of house around the corner. The cross adorns the yard across the street from the palm trees.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Posy Tortoise

Here's a cute little flower-backed tortoise bead being offered in my etsy shop.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fossil Fish Beads

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there!

We had a really nice camping week. And i returned to the computer to find some wonderful, huge bead orders! I'll be working on filling them for over a week, i'm sure.

We were camping in the mountains east of Santa Fe. At the top of a ridge we found an outcropping of shale that was flaking off and sliding down the slope. It was one of those really neat geological instances of finding fossilized aquatic animals at the top of a mountain. There were really fine skeletal corals, and bivalves, but i was ready to sit there all afternoon looking for a fish skeleton, when a loud animal snort nearly gave me a heart attack. I fled, in a semi-contolled fashion, on legs of jelly, back down the mountain. It was probably just a mule deer, but i wasn't taking any chances. :-)

A couple of fish skeleton beads are now in The Bead You Need shop.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Flower Photography

It isn't difficult to take a pretty photograph of a flower. The subject matter itself takes care of that. But it is harder to take a flower photograph that is interesting enough to make you pause and really look at it.

I try to find an angle or a composition that helps show off the flower's already lovely color, texture, structure.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Denim Car Blanket

It strikes me at this very moment that i should be making jewelry. I really find it too hot to put on a respirator mask and sit over a torch. We're still up around 100F every day. But, i've got loads of old beads sitting around here that could be put together to make bracelets or pendants or charms. But i have been working on a quilt, so i'm not feeling too guilty about the lack of new beads to show here.

I began recycling the kids' jeans when they were pretty small. I cut 6-inch squares of denim out of them. As the kids have grown, their jeans get bigger and i can get more than just a few squares out of them. Unfortunately, two of my boys wear those super skinny jeans, and they don't provide much expanse of material.

I simply sew the squares together as a grid to form the top of the quilt. For the bottom and binding i use a comfy flannel. And instead of quilting, i just make yarn tufts to fasten the top and bottom panels together. The result is a heavy, sturdy, blanket, with a certain amount of sentiment inherent. But mostly i just like the look and feel and utilitarian nature of this style of blanket.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BP Oil Leak

The ongoing "oil spill" in the Gulf of Mexico darkens our days. In the beginning, while we were still trying to grasp the enormity of such a thing, i would have put money on BP standing by their promises to stop the leak and clean up the mess...up to the point that it became too expensive and public outrage reached a crescendo. And then the BP company would just die of embarrassment and shame. But really it would just go underground until it restructured itself and came back as a big oil player with a different name. So i'm surprised they are still here. Not only that, but spending big bucks on a new advertising campaign aimed at improving their image. Again.

I offer links to a couple of commentaries on BP and this oil leak: The Onion. And Mark Morford.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2 Cute Kids

We were at Bottomless Lakes State Park, NM yesterday when we spotted these awfully cute little kids heading towards the beach.

Another hot one. Not a pleasant time to have the vehicle's battery die. Fortunately, hubby was with me and the kids in Roswell, NM. Had it been just me i would probably have had the van towed to the dealership for fixing and had a big bill to pay. Instead, hubby got us a boost, which got us to the local AutoZone, where they diagnose charging problems as a courtesy, and all he paid for was the new battery.

We drove the 3 miles or so to the Auto Zone, the outside temp 100 degrees, without rolling down the power windows or using the A/C because we couldn't take the chance that it would drain the battery. As soon as we got to the car parts store, we threw the doors open and piled out onto the glaring asphalt of the parking lot, reveling in the fresh cool air. 100 degrees never felt so crisp! lol

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hot Pink Rose

100 degrees in the shade. This is my pink rose. Very hot and dry and has definitely seen fresher days.

But a search on etsy.com reveals that everyone's "hot pink rose" is not so sad. There are some lovely offerings here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mom's a Good Sport, Gets Pwn'd Anyway

This "good sport" went on a birthday outing to the paint ball course with her teen boys and husband. (That's me on the right in the white T.) Self proclaimed pacifist/ gun hater that i am, this was way outside my comfort zone, but i figured you needed enough bodies (aka targets) out there to have teams, and thus have "fun". Anyway, i confirmed that it really does hurt as much as you think it will, and some people (me) aren't much funner targets than trees so they may as well have stayed home...

Apparently it's more fun to shoot at and hit people that are running serpentine while firing at you, than it is to shoot at someone who is cowering behind a stack of tractor tires. But, i honestly thought it was a clever strategy since my team mates who were dashing from one cover to the next were getting picked off. Mind you, they were getting picked off with drama and bravado and dynamic bursts of orange paint. Eventually the other team popped over my shelter and the jig was up.

I would never make a good soldier. I had to pause in the middle of the field of battle to take this ironic nature shot of a cone flower.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vases To Put Your Poppies In

Some choice (my choice) offerings of nice vases on etsy. Some of these would look great with a few stems of poppies. :-)