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.

Friday, October 8, 2010

C. Harper Birds

I was doing some online research today, googling for images of barn swallows, and i came across a picture that i had to really look at to figure out what it was. And then i was all, "Cool!" It was an illustration by Charley Harper. Then of course i had to google him, and i found all these incredible bird prints he did.

He was a country boy in Ohio and was a keen observer of the wildlife around him. Although his illustrations are highly stylized, he manages to capture some key essence of the animal he is depicting, whether a characteristic head movement, or flying style, or the a the merest indication of its habitat. [barn swallows, heath hen, cactus wren]

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mary's Gold

Introducing a new color combo for my lens beads: Mary's Gold! (Available in my shop now.)

Several years ago i made some little cylindrical beads with one end transparent amber, and one end rubino oro, with a narrow band of reduced silver foil where the colors came together. I made them into earrings for my mom and this summer she told me they were a very special color for her. So if she's reading this: Mom, i'm working on some more earrings for you. :o)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Autumn Ornamental Gourds Harvest

I'm harvesting the lovely ornamental gourds today. The leaves on the vines are getting that death spore look to them, all powdery and grey. It's the stage before the leaves dry up and start to disintegrate, making a mess in the process. So i'm getting rid of the vines now while it can just be pulled out, more or less neatly, and piled into the wheel barrow to be taken out back to the compost pile.

When these plants came up last spring, i thought they were my hard shelled gourds, but no. They had yellow flowers rather than white, and the vines grew faster and hardier. But this is a nice autumn display, and i don't do anything with the hardshells anymore, so the ornamentals are good this year.