Thursday, April 30, 2009

KnattyDreadz--What does that mean?

It means: wonderful stringers, frit, and shards on Etsy! Ask me how I know.

From what I know about the proprietor of KnattyDreadz on Etsy, he is in California and he loves frozen Snickers and lots of sugar. From what I understand, he thrives on sugar. If sugar is the key to his outstanding shards, stringers, frits, then, please, someone, send me some sugar!

Look at these gorgeous stringers in Knatty's store. These are labeled as Pandora Dark. Oh, my.

How about some gorgeous Chaledony frit. (I actually call it chardonay. It's like a fine wine, and the colors pop!)

Here's one of my favorites. You want to know how I know? I've ordered from knattydreadz myself. This particular shard is blown from Lo'IHI glass. Oh, my! Take a look at KnattyDreadz. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What no Glass? Fiber Bits

As I write this, I am watching a White Castle Commercial that shows a pig pulling a cord and being bathed in BBQ sauce. What does this have to do with Fiber Bits? Absolutely nothing. I just thought you should know that fiber bits are not improbable nor are they ridiculous as that commercial.

Back to fiber bits. What are fiber bits. They are components that you can use in jewelry. They have a metal base and are covered with different types of fibers. If you check out my etsy store and my artfire store, you'll find some fiber bits.

These fiber bits are in my etsy store. If you are an old Star Trek fan, and you remember the episode called "The Trouble with Tribbles," you might remember Tribbles. These particular fiber bits remind me of tribbles. I don't know why, but they do.

These fiber bits, which are in my artfire store, remind me of sand dollars on the ocean floor. Do you see that, too?

Here are some earrings I made using fiber bits. They are really cute, and they are in my etsy store.

I love fiber bits. No, they aren't glass, but they are fun components to use in jewelry. Who makes them? I do. Check out my shops. You might like them, even if they aren't glass!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chalcedony by Gaffer

It's on my to do list: Order Chalcedony glass from Gaffer, but it's still not been done. Of course, there are other things on my to do list, but we won't mention them here, and they're not done either. I really hope to get my glass ordered this week! However, I was lucky enough to find KnattyDreadz on Etsy who has beautiful shards made from Chalcedony, and those I did order when he first opened his store. How do I say this? I LOVE CHALCEDONY! There was a learning curve for me, but once I got it, by golly, I got it.

This is the first bead I made using the Chalcedony shards and murrini I ordered from KnattyDreadz. I underworked the shards. The colors were only beginning to pop when I put the bead in the kiln. I wondered if the colors would explode in the kiln. They didn't, but I am still happy with this beads. I used the shards on a base of dark ivory.

Bead 2 I worked in the hot flame for a longer time. The shards encircled the bead. In the open area, I added a murrini. The colors were starting to pop there when I put the bead in the kiln.

This is my favorite bead using the Chalcedony shards. I used a base of black. Veins and flames of color exploded in this bead. I think I like this glass! I'd like to write more, but the pizza just arrived. I have to go eat. This bead is so nummy, I could eat it, but I'd rather wear it!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Love Rings and Things!

Honestly, I do! I found them on line a while back. I needed some gun metal chains. They had them. I ordered them. I was extremely satisfied. This is not a paid endorsement. This is another one of my, you should check this out blogs.

I met Dave on Twitter. He tweets for R & T. I told him that I had planned to blog about R & T, as a result of the conversation, he agreed to an interview. Cool! Here it is, in all its glory. By the way, Dave is a new dad for the 4th time.
Dave tells me that what is on his head is not hair. They are actually African trade beads. Somehow, knowing he works for Rings and Things, I believe him!
1. All right, Dave, when a person looks in the Rings & Things catalog, there are 7 color-coded sections: Gemstones, Swarovski Crystals, Beads and Pendants, Cord and Chain, Findings, Precious Metals, and Tools and Supplies. Where are the rings?

Great question, since we call ourselves "Rings & Things"! We do have finger "Rings": look in the teal Findings section for ones to glue stuff onto, and in the purple Precious Metals part for beadable rings. (Jump rings, split rings etc. are really easy to find.) The "Things" are everywhere else!

2. I know what section is my favorite (Tools and Supplies). What’s your favorite section of the catalog? Why?

I'm really partial to the "African Trade Beads" feature in Beads & Pendants section. Every single item there has a glorious handmade feel that would make any Etsian proud.

3. “Quality products, Personal service, One Stop.” True or not true?

Two-and-a-half out of three ain't bad...mostly true...we try to tell the painful reality. You can't get everything at the best price at one place. But Rings & Things works awful hard to figure a way to give you nice prices and quality stuff.

4. What’s the history of Rings and Things?

Here's what I know: This company was started in bucolic Spokane, Washington, by Russ Nobbs in 1972. Being apparently the hardest working man in bead business, Russ managed to turn a teeny tiny startup into an expanding company. Over the years, Russ started putting together a little catalog by hand, doing some trunk shows, and creating a website. A mere 37 years later, he's got a lot of helpers, Rings & Things is a worldwide supplier of beads & findings, and we put on bead shows across the country... And I think it's extremely cool that we're still known for listening to our customers, just like back in the day.

5. Your prices are great! With this economy, how do you do it?

Simple! Now's not the time to raise prices, and we'd be in trouble if we cut them. So we heroically keep our prices steady. Um, can you tell I don't work in the accounting department?

6. I know you’re on Twitter. Where else can we find Rings and Things?

Shhh, you have to be in the know to find us on Facebook. Special message to readers of this blog: you can follow our incognito "Russ Troll". It's an experiment to see if we can get 2,500 followers without mentioning the name "Rings & Things"...

7. I know you're a new Dad. How's it going?

Esme was born a few days ago, and she's being very nice to my wife and me. Every baby is a great experience...she's our fourth...and last? Funny moment from the home birth: our 2-year-old got a notion to pass the time waiting for the new baby HOW? By stringing beads!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

They Walk Among Us

No one knows what they look like.
No one knows who they are.
They speak their minds.
They make you think.
You might not always agree with them,
but they have their information.
They even have an auxilliary.
Sometimes their language is questionable.
They hit you in the face with thought provoking issues.
They remind you that there's another side to everything.
They are angry.
They are ready for change.
They bite the hand that feeds them
They are calling out for change.
Who are they?
They are the

Make that plural.
They are the Etsy Bitches.
Makes interesting reading any time.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Look Who I Met!

I've never met them before! I was amazed! Can you guess?

They are warm and fuzzy. They only have teeth on the bottom of their mouths. They don't spit often. They are very curious. On a cool morning, if you put your hands deep into their fiber, your hands will feel warm surrounded by their luxurious hair.

Their name? Alpaca.

Now, I don't remember the others' names, but I do know his. His name is Buck. Buck is very shy. He didn't like if picture being taken. He avoided my camera every time he saw it in my hand. He's a gorgeous creature, and the feel of his hair is amazing! Buck is 2 years old. Of the 3 alpacas I met, he was the oldest.

This little guy is a year old. He was not as shy as Buck. He was very curious. Now, when you look at that face, what do you see? I see a great bead! I'm going to have to try that out. His fur felt wonderful!

This little female was as sweet as could be. She didn't like to be touched on the head, but I was able to dig my hands into her delicious hair. It was so warm and soft!

Other little bits about these wonderful alpacas are that they bleet very much like a lamb. When I returned their greeting, they simply looked at me. I thought I was communicating, but I guess that I wasn't. They didn't "speak" to me. The two younger alpacas are one year old. I'm not sure I'd like to own one, but I enjoyed meeting these critters.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Science Experiment

I feel like a kid with a new science experiment.
When Spike and I were out walking the neighborhood,
I noticed that there was moss growing on the trees.
I remember thinking,
"This could be fun."

I peeled a little bark from 3 different trees.
Each bit of bark had bits of moss growing on it.

Sorry about the photo quality on that one!

I filled a small jar with some pebbles for drainage and some soil that I had.

I added the chips of wood and a little bit of water.

In an hour, I already saw a difference!

We'll see what happens as my mini garden grows, if it does. No more watering, now, for a while.
I'll let you know how this experiment goes, and whether or not, it will become a bead!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

At Last! Signs of Spring!

At last!
There are true signs of Spring!
Take note.

Rhubarb. It's not big enough to pick, but it will be ready soon!

I was shocked to find these in the lawn already!

The sweet, gentle violet, should be one of the first blooms of spring. Soon, very soon.

Here's Spike by his tree.

I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day Haiku!

Always remember
We must return what we use
Wisely and safely.

Thank you, Mother Earth!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm Dreaming of Spring!

When will it come?
the high was 46.
It's the end of April.
I want to complain
about the
It's time for spring!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sometimes, We just have to accept things

If you've read my blog, even on a frequent basis, you know that Spike, is now and has been, a very important part of my life for almost 12 years now. Right now, he's downstairs whining. No, he's not in pain. He's just being himself. The whining drives me insane. I love him dearly, but, as with life, sometimes, we just have to accept things about those we love.

Last week, I took Spike to the vet. The vet told me that he's in renal failure. I googled renal failure in dogs, and the most common cause of renal failure in dogs, is old age. If Spike survives to his next birthday, (May 25th) he will be 12. That is VERY old for a dobbie. I am blessed to have had him with me for as long as this. Each day is a gift.

I'm crying as I type this. He's not gone, yet, and he's still very spunky. My consolation is that there is no pain with renal failure. There is confusion, and renal failure explains why Spike has been confused this winter at times. He's still very happy. His heart and liver are strong. I do know, though, because of this, that, most likely, he won't die in his sleep, as I had hoped. I know that to take him to the vet will be one of the worst days of my life, but I hope, that he and I will both know when it's time.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Some Days are Just Like That!

My laptop is in the repair shop because it wouldn't start two days in a row.
They are still testing it.
My photos are all on the laptop.
So, today will simply be



From my Etsy Store:

On the Wings of An Angel

From my Artfire Store

Apricot Nectar Handmade Lampwork Discs

From my 1000Markets Store

The Conch is Mocking Me Handmade Lampwork Vessel

Hopefully, tomorrow, the laptop will be home.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quiet Saturday with Friday's Sunset

Friday's Sunset
Just Watch

Now, wasn't that pretty?

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Perfect Garden

When you live in Minnesota, you expect a long winter, a short fall, a very short spring, and a medium length summer. Usually, at the first sign of a warm day, the true gardeners are outside raking and cleaning up the gardens to get ready for the first planting, the first tulip, the first day when they can be outside puttering in their beautiful gardens. I am not one of those gardeners. I'd be happy just watching my garden grow from afar.

Knowing this, I had to ask myself, what would be the perfect garden for me. Here are pictures of my garden as it looks right now.

In my perfect garden, there would be flowers blooming all the time--even in winter. Winter would not kill the perfect rosebush or make it go dormant. Flowers would bloom all year long.

Some bushes and plants would have two different types of flowers on them. They would bloom profusely and never go dormant.

This rosebush, which has been in the same place in the garden for over 20 years, would bloom profusely. In the twenty years it has been here, it has bloomed only one time, and that was for my daughter's graduation. The flowers were bountiful and fragrant. Since then, the rosebush has not bloomed again.

My beautiful little herb garden would never need weeding. (Actually, none of my garden would ever need weeding!) The herbs would overflow with their pungent fragrances and taste. Now, that would be awesome!

The perfect garden would also have the perfect gardener. That would be Raul with his shirtless body steaming in the sun. His muscles rippling as he plunged the shovel into the garden----Wait!

Wrong fantasy! Oh, well, at least you know what my perfect garden would be like!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blogger--Etsy Store--TwoZanyZebras

I belong to an Etsy street team called Etsy Bloggers, and each month, a different blogger is featured. This month, the featured blogger is TwoZanyZebras.

In her blogger profile, MamaZ states:

"I am a SAHM (stay at home mom) of two silly zany kids. They keep me busy and on the brink of insanity. I am trying to find a balance between kids, husband, self, housework, scrapbooking, sewing, and selling things on etsy. I love being with family, having fun, the outdoors, and being creative." You only need to read MamaZ's blog to enjoy her sense of humor and being.

Now, make a quick visit to her etsy store, and you find some absolutely wonderful and zany items for moms and toddlers. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Please meet:


He's a fabulous monster! I think I'd like him a lot!

How about this? It's a cuddle blanket for your little one! Isn't it awesome? Make sure you visit TwoZanyZebras on etsy. It's truly a lot of fun.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Going Green with Glass

No, this isn't a blog about green glass. I have nothing against green glass. I love green glass! No, this is a blog about my attempt to go green when selling my glass products.

This afternoon, I spent some time cutting up old magazines. I decided that I needed some cards for my products. I took each full sized magazine page, and I cut it in half. I trimmed the ends. Then, I folded the half page in half until it reached the size I liked. I punched a hole or holes in it, and the result was like this......

I have a fairly sturdy card, made from recycled or upcycled materials, on which to display my glass goodies.

Now, how are you recycling?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Queen is on her Throne!

In this month, when we honor Mother Earth by talking about new ways to help our environment, I feel we need to do more than talk. We need to do.
In that vein, I present to you,
The Queen on her throne!
No, this isn't a commercial for the Works, a toilet bowl cleaner.
This is a way to use, or repurpose,
an everyday item
in an interesting way.

Please note the dark color of my copper earrings.
(No, they are not in the toilet bowl. They are in an empty, plastic container.)

These are the same earrings in the Works.
I must emphasize, no earrings were harmed in the making of this blog.
The earrings are still not in the toilet bowl.
Notice the slight change in color.

Here are the same earrings after rinsing.
Aren't they purty?

I've used the Works for cleaning beads, especially turquoise colored glass. Turquoise tends to get a wee bit scummy.
I've also used the Works on reds, though not as successfully.
I've cleaned many beads.
The greatest part of the Works is that once you have finished cleaning your beads or your copper,
you can pour it in the toilet bowl,
add a bit more,
with a little scrubbing,
your toilet bowl
will be sparkling!

Now, how do you repurpose everyday products around your house?

Monday, April 13, 2009

My new Wordle - Where am I?

I am a very visual learner.
Photos always help me to ingest and digest information.
I decided that I needed a "picture" to help others find me.
So, I went to
to make myself a
Word Cloud.
Now, I have a visual guide to where I am.
Did I say, I love Wordle?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I cheated!

You saw the elephant painting a self portrait! Wasn't that absolutely fabulous? If I hadn't seen it myself, I wouldn't have believed it. Anyway, back to Sylvie's online Facebook class. This week the assignment was to make a bead that was a self portrait. I cheated! I uploaded 3 beads because I couldn't decide which one I liked the best. I'll let you decide. Sylvie suggested that we go online and look at the way other artists portrayed themselves. That's how I found the elephant video. I also found many of the more traditional self portraits, then I found Picasso's self portrait. It was fabulous! His nose was in one area. His eyes in another. I was absolutely fascinated! That's when the idea of an abstract self portrait might be the way to go.

So, I doodled and doodled. I found one design that I really liked. I used black as a base and pink, guess who loves pink, as the other color in the bead. The doodle I made just reminded me of an Egyptian symbol. for what, I don't know, but it did. (Since I am also working on improving my stringer control, I thought this would be the way to go.) Oh, I know I need more practice, but that's not the issue. This self portrait made me feel the joy of being open to new experiences. Hmmmm. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

So, then I cheated. I added two more photos. We were only supposed to add one, but.....

Again, I tried to show joy in the movement of the glass. Arms are up in the air, and I feel like I am dancing.

This bead shows the diva in me. If I knew how to make eyebrows that weren't frowns and lips that weren't crooked, this diva would be much happier. If she didn't have a crack in her forehead, she'd be happier, too. I suppose there is a diva in all of us. I have found mine.

So, Sylvie, forgive me. I cheated. You can scold me in your nicest mean voice. (Sylvie isn't so tough.) This was a great assignment!