Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mini Snowmen Earrings

Mini snowmen earrings
I got the urge to make my teeny snowmen earrings. I made 3 pair in one day. That is like...huge for me. :) Not only for the multiple children making distractions factor, but also because I have the attention span of a gnat! :)

Anyway....I really enjoy making the little guys. Snowmen are my MOST favorite winter thing. And last year's earrings were a big hit. So I'm giving it another go this year. Would anyone like to place bets as to how many pair I can make before the ADD kicks in? I'll put my money on about....6 pair total. LOL!

They will be up for adoption in my etsy store. :)

ABS November Challenge

Thanks to our computer woes and house issues, I barely got this finished in time for the November challenge. I bought some really nice adjustable ring blanks from The Perfect Bead a couple weeks ago. I bought them with the intention of making some faux stone cabachons like these beads.
Faux stone experiments
But after reading about the coffee inspired challenge I had a lightbulb moment! I had just days before looked at some dark brown mica powder and wondered what I would ever do with it, but once again put the powder back on the drawer with no ideas. The ABS challenge inspired me to make "cappuccino quartz"!
I am very pleased with it. It was a devil to photograph though. I could not get the colors exactly accurate. The stone came out so rich and chocolatey brown. It's much richer brown in person. The mica powders sparkle and make the ring really fun!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fuzzy thankful moment

This evening I am thankful for the following things. It's not a very "deep" list but then, I'm not in a very deep sort of mood. :)

  1. Eggnog. More specifically eggnogg with Mandarine Napoleon and apricot rum. :)
  2. The hellion kids are GONE.
  3. Warmth

    It's not attractive but it is now a working gas stove. It's keeping the living rooms a comfortable temperature. No more jackets required in the house. Yay!
  4. Working computers!!

    This is our working desktop. I had to reformat it and lose everything but at least it's working again. (Oh yeah, I remembered a box of music cds in the garage that had not been searched and it also held a few VERY important computer cds.) So YAY for random bits of memory! :)
    AND! Just moments after taking this picture Aaron got the laptop working again. He managed to get into BIOS and return it to the default settings. Whatever THAT means! So now we have TWO working computers. Two! Oh happy days!
  5. Little Miss Lydia's pigtails.

    They make me smile. She was busy eating M&M's and this was the best pic I could get. But you get the idea. Imagine a big glowing smile on that cute face. That's why we call her Sunshine.

Basement work has begun

Okay boys and girls, it's time for a story about our basement. Yay! :)

Aaron's plan was to re-level and re-support the house. After some exploratory digging and poking around he discovered quite a bit of wood that had old termite and/or carpenter ant damage. So he started the rather large task of replacing floor beams and other important wooden components I don't know the names of. Then the day came that he needed to remove a large portion of the seal and some siding. This was our first look at the rotten wood.

With the rotten wood and the crumbling brick "support" walls, I don't know how this place is still standing! But according to Mr. Fixit it's all part of buying an old house that hasn't had the necessary TLC. He says, you just replace stuff and fix stuff and that's it! LOL! (He thinks he's invincible. But that's another story.) :)
A few hours later the new wood starts replacing the old.

He was so proud of his demolition.

Can you see inside that large hole? That's the inside of my house! Well, the basement. But still!

Just a couple days later the weather changed from 70's to 30's. It got cooooold in our house. So we now have this lovely plastic sheeting helping to keep the winter OUTside.

Here is a shot of the mess inside.

The basement is divided into 3 large rooms. This is the first one to get the repair and re-level treatment. So this project will be going on for quite some time.
Today Aaron's friend is here helping him. (unfortunately he brought his hellion kids along) They are installing a HUGE 20+ foot beam that will be held in place with new permanent pillars. When he's done, this house will be standing stronger than ever before. (If it doesn't break and fall down first!) :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Post turkey chatter

I hope you all had a nice holiday yesterday. We did. We had our family gathering here, but my Mom was the chef. And she hit a home run. Everything was dee-licious and we even napped on the sofas after lunch we were so bloated and content. :) Actually I'm sitting here hungry for lunch right now, but can't get psyched up for turkey. As good as it was, I still want pizza or something. LOL!

We are still computer-less. Still!!! Our laptop has had the new battery in it for 2 days now. It has had plenty of time to charge but the laptop still won't boot up. *sigh* Oh how I wish I'd went to college to be a computer fixit person! It looks like we'll be buying a new laptop very soon. Unfortunately we wasted $110 on that new battery. Maybe I can ebay it. The whole situation is so frustrating.

Aaron has been spending his evenings and weekends in the basement. He's replacing rotten floor supports and basement seals before he levels the house. He has some of the wooden siding removed from the bottom of the house as well. That means the basement is exposed to the weather. We have heavy plastic sheeting providing a temporary break from the wind, but it's still damn cold in the house. We are dressed in 2 layers of clothes and jackets IN the house. It's crazy. He's making wonderful (and necessary) improvements to the house, and I know he's working as fast as he can, but DAMN. Ya know? :)
I have pictures of what he's doing. I will see about uploading them as is (which I hate to do) to my photo album. Visuals help explain the cold situation. :)

Ok, the low blood sugar shakes have set in. It's time to eat turkey whether I want it or not.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Twisty Sliver Post Earrings

Aren't these earrings fabulous?! I recently bought them from Anne of Contrariwise.Etsy.com. Since I do some wirework I was tempted to just make a similar pair for myself and save my money. But I decided to step outside my tightwad box, be adventurous, and not make it myself. I am soooo glad I did! Anne's craftsmanship is outstanding! She has a store full of beautiful jewelry, but I can personally vouch for her wirework earrings. They are comfy and absolutely perfect.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I see trees of green

Sorry, no red roses too. I don't care much for roses. :)

I am still using Mom's laptop (Thank you Mom!!) but I've discovered I can use my PhotoImpact program via the portable hard drive backup doo-hickey Aaron bought last week. Yay for USB connections! :) Anyway...here is a picture of the new pendant I made last week:
Green Jeweled Tree

It was definitely an evolving idea. I sat down intending to make a wire and jewel xmas tree pendant. I wasn't feeling that shape. So I pulled out my idea book and made this from an old sketched idea. I'm pleased with how it turned out. I used gold filled wire and vintage swarovski rhinestones from my pal Scott. (check out his Etsy shop for great swarovski supplies!) I used gold and copper mica powders for the earth below and tree and around the edges. If I wore gold jewelry I would be keeping this one! :) I imagine it hooked to two seperate pieces of chain. But I'll be putting it on Etsy soon and let someone else decide how to use it. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Been away

Fah fah away....like with 2 broken computers and no internet! **gasp** I'm not sure if it was Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon, but the laptop battery DIED. Like died died. And we couldn't find one locally so Aaron ordered one online. He comparison shopped and bought one that was $100 instead of $150. That's great...but apparently this company is not johnny on the spot with the shipping.
Anyway, over a month ago the desktop computer died. It gives me this windows\drivers\pci.sys file is missing or corrupt error message. And I can't find the XP cds ANYWHERE!!! But it wasn't a huge big deal b/c we had the laptop. Until Tuesday!

Mom, bless her heart, brought over her laptop today. I've downloaded and burned that pci.sys file to a CD but I can't seem to get the desktop fixed. I am sooooo not computer saavy in that way. So I'm guessing it will remain broken until we can find the XP disk.

How many times can I roll my eyes? :) Anyway, it's just fortunate for me that google has merged with a half dozen companies or I wouldnt' even be able to log into blogger! Without my firefox cookies I'm lost! LOL!

I had just taken pics of a new pendant I made when the laptop died. I still have them on the flash card but I can't resize them, so I'll wait to share those later. I really just wanted to pop in and say Hi! And thank you all who sent bday wishes! I really appreciate it! :) See you later taters...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

32 is not so hot

So far, being 32 is no fun. Last nite just before bedtime I had what I thought was an allergy attack. Could not stop sneezing, puffy itchy eyes, etc. About an hour later I had the beginnings of a sore throat and achy body. A few hours later, Emily came into our room crying. Her nose was bubbling and she was motioning that her throat was bothering her. I was also miserable feeling so it was a long nite!

And today is my birthday. What a way to start it, huh? Last nite, Aaron & Garrett were out late with Aaron's dad. He was helping his Dad with his airplane. (He bought a slightly wrecked airplane and they have been rebuilding it.) Poppy has recently accepted a new job near Houston and is storing his little plane in our garage until he finds a hanger to rent down there. So last nite they moved the plane into our garage. This is something I didn't agree to. And hope it's a very short term situation. (That airplane, and the stress it has caused is a long story.)

Granny just called. We are going to pick her up at her sister's house. She'll spend the day here hanging out with us. I'm glad she wants to spend the day with us...but I really feel like crap. It's going to take effort to be good company. Luckily Granny is a sweetheart and will understand.
My Mom is coming over after work to take us to dinner. Again, I don't feel like it but I know she really wants to treat. All I ask for on my bday is to not cook or clean up after dinner. :)

Emily seems to be quite happy right now. She obviously feels a lot better than I do. Maybe I need to take some of her kiddie medicine!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Been beading

I think I'm afraid to clay. I just can't bring myself to open the clay drawer and start a new project. It's really weird. I want to clay but I can't make that first move.
Yeah....I'm definitely weird! Where's my therapist? **looking around for Dr. C. Morgan** :)

In more recent weirdness, I have made some jewelry. Nothing major. Just earrings and a pendant. Let's not forget my other phobia: designing jewelry. WHY is jewelry/beads my primary hobby? (Note to self: Research taking up knitting.)
I can't commit to something as serious as an entire necklace but I can do pendants. I finally used some lovely ceramic beads I bought many years ago. I made this pendant:

Then I made some matching earrings:

I also pulled out all my zuni bear beads and made these guys:

I'll be making more zuni bear things, I think. My Mom will get some of it, but the rest will go on Etsy. :)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Eggplant clusters

Or maybe dinosaur egg clusters. I'm not sure. Neither name sounds very glamorous. LOL! Here are the earrings anyway:
New earrings for ME!
I bought the window beads in a bead store in Eureka, CA about 3 years ago. And I just used them today! I hardly ever buy beads in a bead store. Bead stores are just not...economical. I am frugal and like to buy my beads in bulk.

I love cluster earrings. I made a few pair of cluster earrings, a few years ago, before I had ever seen them on the internet. Which makes me feel good. Lately I have serious issues with "originality" and "oh crap...that looks like someone else's design". So me coming up with an original cute idea, way back then, makes me smile today. Nowadays cluster earrings are all over Etsy. Have you noticed? ANYWAY...it dawned on me that my unused bead store beads would make cool clusters.

I spent some time playing around with photographing in the new craft room. The windows are all south and west light. I took late afternoon pics. I experimented with direct light on the earrings. They were SO pretty sparkling in the light. It's sad I couldn't capture that in picture. But I'll keep experimenting. I didn't use my lightbox. And I didn't even adjust the picture color afterwards! I just cropped and sharpened. It's not a stellar picture...but it's not bad for a first pic in the new room.

Anyway (how many times have I said that word??), I'm wearing my new earrings right now and I love them. It's the first jewelry I've made for myself in a long time. I think I'll do it again....soon. :)