Monday, March 30, 2009

Quick Post - New Beads

Just a quick drive-by post before I hit the hay: Painted Desert, Avalon River and Space Tornado all slated for the wilds of ebay in the morning.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Garden Week 3 - Sprout Watch!

We don't have anything new planted this week, though we will be planting carrots, cilantro and more snap peas tomorrow. What we do have are sprouts! I've never tried sprouting seeds inside before and I was hesitant. But we really wanted to plant a lot of basil this year and I'm happy to say we're on the right track:

I planted basil in all of the left over containers from plants already in our garden. I planted I thought three seeds in each of the little compartments and about six in the larger green thing.

At the time It: 1. Didn't realize that basil need 1 sq ft of space per plant. 2. Didn't believe that all of the seeds I planted would sprout. I was wrong on both counts and now have like 50 plants. It appears that my fingers were slippery and I planted even more than three in each compartment, some have 4 or 5. Basil anyone?

I really didn't expect them to sprout at all actually. But they grew rather quickly in Black Gold potting mix with vermiculite on top (thank you lampworking!) I planted them late Tuesday and they sprouted on Sunday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Bracelet!

It's been a productive week for me and I'm proud to show off some of my newest pieces:

Emerald Flower Garden Bracelet: It's been at least a year since I last made one of these. A fun flower garden style bracelet full of lucite flowers, Swarovski crystals and hill tribe fine silver beads. I listed it for sale on etsy.

Then we have a fun little set of rounds. Spring colors, all etched with opaque cores. I don't know what came over me, but I just had to make this little set with fun dot patterns. I tried some new raking techniques and was quite happy with the results.

Then I have a couple more focals, all available on ebay:I'm very excited about a new product I should have ready soon. More on that in the coming weeks. Tomorrow - Garden update! See you all tomorrow at the Last Friday Artwalk.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Free Bead Contest! - And new venue - Artfire

First, I've set up a new shop, you will find these lovely beadies on Artfire:

All of them are at low introductory prices - A bit more than 30% off. I really hope this new venue works out well for me and that you enjoy it. Let me know what you think of Artfire, feedback is always welcome.

----Contest! Free Bead!-----------------

This part is easy, to be entered into the contest all you have to do is sign up for my e-mail list on the right hand side of the page by the end of March. That's it! I send out e-mails no more than once a month, usually less. Once on my list you will also be entered into future contests.

The free bead:

A lovely little alabaster cobalt blue bead from my Electronica series. This bead has lovely little portals that shine purple/silver.

Free Bead Recap:

Sign up for my mailing list on the right side of the page by March 31st to entered in the drawing for the bead above.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Garden - Week 2

Well we got off to a rocky start, but we're trucking along now. We hit a small (major?) snag when we asked our landlord to till the ground for our garden a few weeks ago and he said that a raised bed would work better. He estimated the cost and offered to pick up the materials. We smiled and tried to imagine where we would get the money for the extra materials.

Then a couple weeks later he showed up with half a yard of organic fertilized soil, lumber, screws and electric driver and said, "It's on me." Wow! So here she is, our raised bed:

Isn't it lovely? And free? We decided to try square foot gardening, so see if we could fit all of our needs into this bed (8ftx4ft) two boxes (1ftx3ft) and six pots (roughly 1ft diameter).

The grid has 32 spaces, so far we've planted four but allocated them all.

In this photo we have two squares of spinach on the left (the flattened roundish looking soil) and kale and Swiss chard on the right.

Next we have our two small boxes in which I originally planted all the snap pea starts spaced too far apart. Now they're all in the bottom box and we have plans to fill two squares of the big plot as well. I was going to plant the other small box with snap peas, but I think I'll wait and plant it with pole beans so they can be easily anchored.

Our plan is to do most of our planting on Sundays, so my updates will be the following Friday. This round of planting was actually done on Tuesday, the 17th. See you next week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Garden - Week 1

We have finally started our garden! We've actually planted a few things every year but we're very ineffectual gardeners, we tend to plant and then ignore. This year we have it all planned out, what to plant when, when to water, when to fertilize, etc... so I'm very hopeful. We're staring small:
Two small boxes of snap peas. 1 foot x 3 foot boxes with potting mix, compost and fertilizer. These are Sugar Sprint Peas, should grow fast and be tasty! We're planning to successive plant them at least two more times. Can never have enough snap peas. Or Tomatoes. Or Basil. More on that later.

We have a small basket of strawberries, quinalts, they're everbearing and hardy. I wonder if they'll be hardy enough for me? This is my third time planting strawberries, I've never eaten more than one or two berries from my efforts.

That was our first week, I'll post the results of our second week on Friday and hopefully continue to update on Fridays.


And now some beads for ebay tomorrow:

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Beads for Ebay - 3/17/09

Electronica Portals - Stars: I'm hoping to make this a series. This bead features a transparent emerald green base and a bicone shape. The surface is adorned with my "Electronica" style dark silver plum concentric line pattern. At the center of each circle is a murrini star encased in clear, like a little portal.

Invaders: I just couldn't shake the feeling that little murrini in this piece were flying saucers circling a turbulent earth. The base is a mixture of opaque and transparent blues with some red/coral thrown in. Dark silver plum shards across the surface.

Sandy Beaches: A lovely serene bead in pale pink/peach with a gentle wave of green/light turquoise and a dark silver plum mountain in the background. The murrini at the apex of the spiral is just slightly raised.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Knitting: New Socks & Mittens

My second pair of socks are finished and I'm quite pleased with them:
They fit very well and are not snug around the ankle like the first pair. When I started I thought I would never learn to do ribbing correctly but now I've finished this pair of socks and have it down pat.
If you look closer you might see one of my newbie "I've never seen anyone knit before" mistakes. I was twisting all of of my knit stitches, which made my first pair of socks extra snug and the toes all twisted. A kind and talented glass beadmaker friend let me know they were twisted and now my socks are soft and stretchy.
I had already done all of the cuff/leg and the heel when I found out so I dutifully twisted all the stitches for the cuff of the second sock to match.

My next project is a pair of matching mittens. This was my first attempt at striping (I made up the pattern as I went along) and it turned out mostly fine. You can see one of my mistakes easily in this picture though, hopefully I won't make that one again.

I also made this french press cover for my sweetie for our anniversary. I made up the pattern as I went along and it turned out well. I originally planned to have it fasten under the handle but in the end decided that any fastener would be too fiddly for morning coffee.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Beads - 3/3 and 3/5/09

I have a lovely and fun selection of beads for your enjoyment this week:

Life on Mars: This one is definitely my favorite. So much so that I'm working on a similar set of Kalera Nuggets for next week. I wanted to take the Sarah Hornik ribbon technique and turn it into something more organic. I started with a red base, layered with some complex shards in turquoise, ivory and coral. I swirled the base, then applied the layers of ribbons, clear, dsp shards and then raised dots. I'm sure I originally planned to flatten this bead but I just couldn't do it, the depth was too nice.

Angelic Wonder: A white filigrana core swirls under dichro and faint ribbons in white and blue. Raised dots feature tiny millifiori and very thin dsp shards shine on the surface. I love the ethereal feel to this bead, so light and airy.

Aqua Basket: Swirls of aqua race across the surface concealing yellow/orange stars. A hint of dichro adds some sparkle, finished with raised aqua dots and dsp shards. At first I was going to call this bead "Aqua Star Basket" but then I realized you can't see the stars or make out what they are supposed to be. They're complex murrini that I made, but one too many manipulations and they're indiscipherable.

Midnight Carnival: This set will go up in two separate auctions on Thursday. I wanted to created something fun and colorful with lots of contrast. Each of the beads features lime green, turquoise, dark orange, purple and light blue in some form of dots or lines or both.