Jul 072012

I’m going to post some of my favorite beads in the next few days. Sometimes it’s just the color, but more often it’s a bead (or bead set) that I’m especially pleased with.

Silvered glass with copper inclusions

Like the picture says, these were made with silvered glass from Double Helix – nice glass, but around $100 a pound. I always laugh when I buy it because I think of all the things in the world I would NOT buy for a hundred bucks a pound, but, well, glass? Sure! Anyway, I wind a small amount of the silvered glass on the mandrel, and then add bits of very thin copper sheet that I’ve cut into strips or even punched with one of those little scrap book punch things. After positioning the copper bits on to the wound glass, the whole thing gets encased in a blob of clear. The nice bright copper-red is achieved when the copper is sufficiently heated.

Regarding the post title – I did some research on SEO today, so I’m wondering if that title will increase the hits ;-). (Just kidding, Google.)

Jul 062012
Cherry tomato cluster

But all the sudden they were kaput. We’ve had hot days, but compared to last summer it’s been like summer in Iceland. We got a lot off early, lost a few to the deer and birds. We do try to water by hand pretty much every day. Dunno. But we picked up some at the farmer’s market that were pretty good. And, truth be told, a LOT cheaper than the home growns!

Enjoyed my time off from work although it went much too quickly. Made beads a part of two days, did some pricing yesterday. Started July 4th by enjoying my favorite new breakfast at our LMR (which is La Posada, by the way) – enchiladas and eggs. Trust me – do NOT knock it until you try it!

Enchiladas and Eggs

And, yes, even though the picture is a bit fuzzy (snapped with the iPhone – and did you know there are WHOLE BOOKS about how to take better pix with your iPhone?!) that IS a margarita. It was after 10am, after all.

Jun 292012

I know I should be posting pictures of beads, but I just can’t compete with mother nature.

Neon Hibiscus

Our hibiscus and Texas Star (which I’m pretty sure is also in the mallow family) are doing great this year. The only shame is that the blooms only last one day. Don’t these look almost neon?

I’m taking Monday and Tuesday off, which means I’ll have a 5-day “weekend.” This will be my last weekend of creative bead-making. I’ll use next weekend to fill set holes, so to speak (you know, those sets with 4 beads that really need 5 beads?) and to make – ugh – spacers. Although true to my oft-repeated self-promise I’ve been better about making the spacers as I go rather than having to make 100 in one sitting. The making is bad enough, the cleaning feels like torture. The weekend of the 14th I’ll use for pricing, sorting, etc.

I’m not going to spend the entire 5 days with beads. Caldonia has been seeming a bit neglected, so play time with her is definitely on the schedule. And Tony and I have designated Sunday as “eating and drinking” day, something we do about twice a year. It’s just what it sounds like. We’re hitting the new Whole Foods Sunday after breakfast at our LMR, so I don’t know what the eats will be. But here’s what we’re drinking:

Pink Grapefruit Margaritas

4 cups pink grapefruit juice (I like the Simply brand, not gonna do all that squeezing by hand!)
3 juiced limes
2 cups white tequila
3/4 cup Grand Marnier (I use Paula’s Texas Orange)
1/2 to 1 cup sugar, depending on your particular taste for sweet

These are to die for – the perfect summer drink.

Jun 252012

The washing machine repair guy had to come on Saturday afternoon. I let him in the side gate so he could avoid all the dog barking hullabaloo. (It wasn’t because my house was filthy. Really.) The laundry room is kind of off to the side, can’t really be seen from a window. But yet, there Caldonia is, barking her head off out the back window. “What’s that guy up to?!” So when I looked out the back window…

Backyard Visitor

In an amazing bit of luck, I had just put the telephoto lens on the awesome new Canon. But I felt bad, because what she was after was water from the bird feeder, and it was empty.

Jun 222012

Who else shares a fascination with skulls and bones? (Laura, I know you do!) Perhaps I should add, “especially at my age…” I’m not doing skulls publicly yet – still in the refining stages – but I’m very happy with my bones, thanks to a Kim Neely tut. These are pretty small, just a smidgen over an inch long.

Jun 192012

Caldonia is, unbelievably, one year old today.

Beautiful Caldonia

We do the crate training thing. About 3 months ago we starting leaving her out a bit during the day (she hasn’t slept in the crate for quite a while longer). First we’d leave her out while we went to Sunday morning breakfast, then longer as we went to dinner with friends. Finally, all day. And, she’s been *mostly* good. Well, except for that one rug in the kitchen….on Sunday, we finally decided that she had completely graduated, and we packed up the crate. A very bittersweet task, as we realize that Caldonia will most likely be our last puppy. We’ve talked about fostering, and our next Border Collie will be a rescue, but a puppy is a very long term commitment. And getting younger, we’re not. I will say that if Caldonia is indeed the last, I’m glad it’s her. We’ve had a LOT of puppies over the years, and she is, hands down, the most “puppy-ish” one we’ve had. Full of life, playful, puppy-stubborn. Perfect. Except for the dead bird presents she bestows upon us!

Jun 182012
Big-holed beads

The alternate title should be “OMG what a difference a camera makes.” I’ve always used Canon cameras – back in the day, I had a SLR, and until recently I’ve been using the “good” Canon point-and-shoot. And, my pictures sucked. If I edited – edited – and then edited some more, they were passable. But. Well, I finally took the plunge and bought a Canon digital SLR. Wow, what a difference. I still need to do some figuring out, mainly some depth of field stuff, but that’s no biggie. The most recent pictures, including this one and the one of the coral roses, were taken in a much more point-and-shoot manner than with the last Canon – put the beads in the little light tent thing, turn on the lights, put the camera on the tripod, and click! Voila!

Jun 142012

First, thanks to Danielle over at Nomadic Notions for setting up a Facebook event. If you haven’t checked it out, head over there.

Coral Roses
May 182012

Nothing major, just LIFE. Took a few days vacation. Ate too much, drank too much. It was terrific!

At work we are playing musical offices. I’m just moving down the hall, but prior to about 2008 most of my files were paper (I’m all electronic all the time now) and I’d put off going through them. This was the perfect occasion, but boy does all that take time, energy, effort. The actual move is next week. Ugh.

Plan on making beads all weekend. Maybe photos next week.

Apr 262012

Just as Christmas comes once a year, so do the painted buntings to our yard. Or perhaps I should say painted bunting – as in one. This is the third year in a row we’ve had this lovely visitor, this time just outside our living room window, at the corn feeder rather than at the way-out-in-the-yard seed feeders. All three years it’s been an absolute stroke of luck to see them at all, as they only hang around for a few minutes. And, just like Christmas, I consider each sighting a true gift – thanks, Garden Ssnta!

painted bunting