Friday, July 27, 2012

Fruit Loops, whales and a Valentine!

"Fruit Loops" necklace in my Etsy shop.



"Valentine" 11 weeks. 3.7 lbs.

It's been a good week!
I went on a whale watching trip with my aunt, uncle, and cousins on Monday. Not only was the trip lots of fun but I got to spend time with family members that I don't get to see much. The whale watching tour boat started from Anacortes, Washington, (just a few miles northwest from where I live), and took us up through the beautiful San Juan islands. Hard to believe I've lived in the Northwest all my life and I've never been through the San Juans. The views are spectacular and there is so much wildlife to experience. Not only whales but other sea animals like sealions, seals, porpoise, and bald eagles as well as deer, and other birds were spotted on shore. We were lucky enough to get pretty close, or as close as the laws allow, to a pod of Orcas and watch them frolic and feed for much of the day. I took photos but mine of course didn't turn out so well. I've saved some of my cousins photos though. They were much more experienced at capturing those elusive shots than I.
I also managed to get some beads and jewelry made this week while trying to keep up with an 11 week old puppy. And, I spent one sunny afternoon taking some new photos of her for posterity, (she is growing so fast!).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Medallion Pendants

Adapted from a tutorial by Dustin Tabor, these intricate off-mandrel style pendants
are all one piece, meaning the medallion has its own glass bail so all you need to do
to wear it is add your favorite chain or cord.

Monday, July 16, 2012


"Shake It Up" necklace in my Etsy shop.

Sweet "Valenine" with "Zoofy" the cat.

We are enjoying summer here at the Miller household and also a new addition to our family. Yep, her name is Valentine and she is a 10 week old Chihuahua/terrier puppy we adopted from a puppy rescue facility. She is very tiny and very sweet and we tend to forget how much time and attention puppies need. But we are coming along with the training and housebreaking very nicely.
It's been nearly a year since our dog Dandy passed away and even though my husband and I vowed she would be our last dog, that we couldn't go through that painful loss again, we broke down and decided to re-adopt. We are just die hard dog-lovers and we need that unconditional love connection.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The whole KABOODLE!

The adventures of "Cornella LaBoosh"...

"Cornella LaBoosh"

100's of USPS shipping invoices.

  A very sweet customer of mine requested a "sister" to my original "Carlotta" and "Carmella LaBoosh" pendants. I had forgotten what challenging pieces these pendants are to create on demand. The hollow cone bead, turned into a character, takes at least an hour in the flame in order to apply the detail while keeping all parts of the bead hot enough so that it doesn't crack. The cone is a long bead, (about 1-1/2 inches), and funnel shaped. So that means the skinny end will cool at a much faster rate than the fat end. And of course the fat end has the most detail with all the curly hair and expressive eyes. The first two Cornella cone bead attempts failed. Two mornings in a row I pulled the cone bead from the kiln to find it cracked. Grrrrrr! The third attempt was finally successful and the pendant was completed and shipped to my customer using USPS with, as always, insurance,(thank goodness!). Well Cornella got lost and never made it to my customer.....
Now, in defense of USPS, in all the years I have made and shipped beads all over the world, this is the FIRST time I have ever had a problem with THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE! That's right. You can see the photo of a stack of literally
hundreds of USPS shipping invoices and only ONE problem in over 8 years of shipping! Yay for them!!! NOT, yay for my customer.....

I have though, made a clone of "Cornella", and she is on her way to my anxious customer along with a nice consolation gift.