Friday, February 26, 2010

Yes, it hurt like hell!!

(I really need to change my bathroom wall color. It makes me look really yellow.)

A few weeks ago I told my husband I was thinking about getting my nose pierced. Now, I'm pretty conservative, and he, even more so. But there was pretty much no reaction when I shared this secret desire with him. I think I at least expected raised eyebrows. Nothing............ Hmmmm. He even agreed to pay for it as a birthday gift. So, I went ahead and had it done.
About a week later I attended a family gathering at my son's home. My whole family was there. I had been in attendance for a least 2 hours before my daughter-in-law finally noticed the hole in my nose. When the rest of the family's attention was drawn to it they barely shrugged their shoulders.
Well, Jeez people, It was exciting to me!!! Even though the diamond jewel is so small you can barely see it and it's still a bit red, I love it!
I think we should all do something that scares us a bit every now and then.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Man In The Moon

I love to search out unusual jewelry findings to use in my designs and I especially love funky, whimsical, handmade toggle clasps. They can really set my jewelry apart from all the other lovely handmade pieces out there. I ran across this Man In The Moon clasp recently and knew I had to have it! It is handmade and I wish I knew who the artist was because surely he/she has more of these wonderful, imaginative designs to share.When designing the beads for the Man In The Moon bracelet I knew my usual hearts, dots, and flowers just wouldn't look right so I chose a technique by Michael Barley that was shared, (with permission), in Corina Tettingers's book Passing The Flame. The design utilizes fine silver leaf which causes some unusual reactions between the different colors of glass used within the bead. I think these clear encased button shaped beads look a bit like a night sky and go great with the clasp. The bracelet sold immediately, (thanks J.), upon posting a Flickr photo but hopefully by next week I'll have one similar.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Voodoo Blue

The colors used for this bracelet have turned out to be an all time customer favorite. Warm, deep amber, the color of burnt sugar and frosty, arctic blue are sure to become a Hippkitty classic. Squeezed tab beads with line designs and flowers in arctic blue, and textural, etched, rounds are combined to create a stunning bracelet design. A small heart dangle and sterling toggle clasp with a hammered finish. I think it's one of my favorites!

Mission accomplished!

I did it! I found the perfect jeans and I did it on the second try. I am in love with NOT YOUR DAUGHTER'S JEANS! I ordered my regular size and although they fit it seemed they would look better a little looser and I was right. I sent the first pair back and ordered one size up from my normal size and they arrived in about 19 or 20 HOURS!!! Amazing! So here it is Friday and I started my quest on Wednesday and I have the perfect pair of jeans to wear out with my dear sweet husband tonight. I'm sure he will appreciate the fit as well as I do. I selected the "Sarah Boot" cut in blue black. They have a tummy control panel in the front and just the right amount of stretch. The length and rise are also perfect for me. I'm a little on the stubby side and I have to be careful I don't select jeans that are too long or they just makes me look stubbier. Of course I paid more for these premium jeans but I think it was worth it and I'll definately order more. And Zappos, I LOVE YOU!!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shopping anyone?

I'm on a quest to find the perfect jeans. It can be so hard to find them. You have to be willing to try on several pairs and I am not usually willing. I get frustrated very quickly. Having to stand there in front of the dressing room mirror is not my favorite place to be. It makes me regret having those apple dumplings for desert last night. Actually, it makes me regret every morsel of food I've put in my mouth lately....

So, I've decided to try something new. Since I'm not likely to find the perfect jeans in the local mall, I thought I would try ordering jeans at I love Zappos for online shopping. I buy all my shoes there. (Don't even get me started on shoes......) There prices are reasonable and I usually have my order in 24 hours or less, (I know.... I don't know how they do it!). And shipping is FREE! Both ways. Meaning if you need to send something back for whatever reason, you don't pay a dime either way. This is not a plug for Zappos, I just like them, and I think they may have my PERFECT JEANS! If not, it won't cost me anything to try them on in the privacy of my own home. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trip to Seattle

As promised one of two bracelets I had hoped to have finished this week. A remake of an old favorite. You may remember the original as "Ojime and Me". I used a Japenese carved bone bead, a jumping bunny rabbit, as a dangle. I decided to use a lampwork teardrop this time instead. Hope you like it.

I took Shannon and her boyfriend, Earl, to Seattle yesterday afternoon for some medical appointments. It's interesting to go to downtown Seattle. The city is big, exciting, and a little intimidating if you're not used to the freeways and crowded side streets. Especially in the Magnolia, hospital area. There are several huge hospital complexes grouped together with many different buildings. Harborview, Swedish, and Virginia Mason are three different hospitals that I know of and there may be more. Anyway, all these hospitals have multiple buildings in and of themselves. Our appointment was at Virginia Mason. We had an address and that was all. We didn't know which building we needed to be in, which entrace, which floor or dept. We found a parking garage right away, (there are many of these too), and as soon as we entered this multi-floor, cram packed garage, a car pulled out right in front of us and we grabbed the spot. After carefully noting the parking slot number and floor number in ink on the palm of my hand, we walked across the street to one of Virginial Mason's many buildings and entered the first door we came to. A door that looked the same as all the other doors in all of the hospital's many buildings. We found a reception desk as soon as we entered and lo and behold....we were in the exact spot that we needed to be. I think our angels were following us around all day. Everything seemed to work out just like it was supposed to. We were home in time for dinner, cooked by my wonderful husband............. Perfect. We have to go back today. I hope the angels are still present.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just thought you should know how I feel...

That you would take time out of your day to stop by and see what I'm up to and maybe leave a comment just makes my heart swell......
Okay, enough of the sappy stuff and on to what you came here for. I'm working on a new bracelet. I'll have photos soon.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

How to make an "aged" necklace

I had a really great time working on this necklace today. Took me awhile with all the different steps. I started with one of my hollow cone beads which I etched. To etch a bead I dip in a glass etching liquid, (ammonium biflouride), for 4 minutes, take it out and rinse in a bowl of water with baking soda added. This neutralizes the acid. Then I wash the bead with soap and water. Now it's time to create the pendant.

First I cut several pieces of fine silver wire in 1-1/2" lengths and used my torch to make headpins. Headpins are what I used to make the pearl dangles. I melted the ends of the wire into little balls. (The little balls on the ends of the wire are what keep the beads from falling off.) The headpins, along with all the other metal used for this piece, chain links, sterling beads, etc, are then dipped in an oxidiziing solution which darkens the metal. This oxidizing step can be done either before the piece is assembled or after. I thought for this particular piece it would be easier to do this step first because the metal has to be burnished and polished after oxidizing to get that nice "antiquing" effect and I didn't want to scratch all the little pearl dangles while going through the antiquing steps. Now I can assemble the pendant and create the necklace. I know I should have taken photos. I always think of that after I'm done. I'll try to remember next time.

You'll find this great antiqued necklace in my Etsy store.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Etched Valentine Hearts

Wow, another brilliant day! It feels like spring and it's only February. I could get really used to this.
I should be doing cleaning today. That was my plan. Then I started taking some outdoor photos of these really great etched heart beads that I then made into pendants and the time just got away from me. If I hurry I may get the vacuuming done before Norm gets home from work....

My niece will be here tomorrow. I will be picking her, and her beau, up at the ferry terminal in Bellingham in the morning. Bellingham is about 50 miles north of us near the Canadian border. It will be a nice drive and I can't wait to see Shannon. It's been way too long! So I better get busy with the vacuum cleaner......

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Warmest January Ever.............

What a beautiful day! Not a cloud in the sky and not a breath of wind. What a treat!
Heard on the news last night, it's official, we had the warmest January in recorded history. Every single day in January beat or exceeded the record high temperature. Now, how 'bout the warmest February too. Would that be asking too much?
I took advantage of the sunshine today by taking photos of this stunning etched heart pendant. I've been taking lots of photos of my jewelry and beads outside lately and I think it adds more life and interest to them. I hope you agree, (please let me know if you don't). I wish I had time to take photos of things besides beads today but I still have much work to do. No rest for the wicked.