Thursday, April 17, 2014

I've gone Toothless!

Really I have! No, no, I still have all the teeth in my head that I had yesterday..... My pliers have lost their teeth! Yup they've grown up!

The yellow pair were my very first pair of pliers. When I was 16 and had just gotten my drivers license, the very first thing I did was drive to the mall. No surprise, I was 16. But I didn't drive to the local mall, no I drove to Sun Valley Mall. They had a bead store, Bead something, it's been so long now I forget the name but I loved that store it was pure joy. Chain, beads, findings, tools....happy sigh. I don't have a bead store local to me now either sigh, I do have a Hobby Lobby and a Wal Mart, but it is just NOT the same.

As you can see in the close up those little yellow pliers were toothed. Toothed pliers are what I learned on all those years ago. I had egg shaped loops quite consistently and some scarring of metal on a regular basis too - death grip will do that.

The red and black pair my hubs picked up for me at the hardware store some 10-12 years ago.  I was making some wire baskets from fencing and needed a better grip. At that time I was just starting to work with wire as a primary component rather than purchased head and eye pins. As you can see they too are toothed. But by this point I was making round loops pretty consistently :) though an egg does sneak in from time to time and scarring does occur if I get frustrated and grip too tightly. Thankfully, those are rare occurrences these days too.

Death grip is the main cause of scarring metals, as you can see I've used toothed pliers exclusively for a lot of years and I don't have a lot of scarring in my pieces. On those rare occasions I do, I file and buff them out but that does take time too and eliminating the teeth would go a long way in eliminating those last bits of scarring. So I made the decision to buy toothless pliers, not going to lie, that was a scary decision. I've been using toothed pliers for a very long time and I wasn't entirely sure I'd like going toothless.

Rather than plunking down $50 or more for Lindstrom, Tronex, or Swanstrom I went middle of the road. I have never heard a bad word about Wubbers, in fact it's been all good and trusted I would have the same experience.

Sadly, this last week has been crunch time for taxes and I've been dealing with new software and trying to hunt down missing categories..... ahem can we say operator error, I really need to delete unused categories so things don't keep going awol...... as you can see that meant no real time to play with my new toy. I did however, pick up a piece of wire and squeezed the life out of it - um it flattened, and then it made a very pretty round loop..... no scars, none. NONE!

I think i'm going to like having gone toothless, I think, I'm going to like it ALOT! I am really looking forward to having some playtime this week!!

Thanks for stoppin' by!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bead Soup Inspiration

I have to admit I'm a little weirded out right now. We live on a nice little hill with plenty of acreage all around, so I never felt the need to close up all my windows with curtains. With all this gorgeous natural light and beautiful views why would you? But we seem to have a hunter who thinks he has the right to go wherever he pleases and turkey season starts in 11 days.  Right out side my bedroom window was a pink flag and a small group of saplings with purple paint (for those of you who don't hunt - purple means it's a no hunt area). We didn't flag or paint. We have painted the property lines before but not in awhile and never in the middle of the property or in line with my windows. So great, someone has been hiking around on my hill marking out my house. While it is nice my house is marked no hunt, ALL of my property is NO HUNTING and the thought of someone lurking outside of my bedroom is definitely unsettling. It also explains why the dogs have been barking like crazy lately - thought it was payback from kicking them back outside now that its spring and warm again and there are lots of scary bunnies and deer out there. German Shepherds though, should not be cooped up in the house, no matter how big the house is, they need room to run and bark at scary bunnies. Curtains and window films now on the immediate to do list and it does not make me happy.

BUT it's Tuesday and I need a blog post, sooooo How about I show off some of my favorites from my inspiration board on Pinterest?!


 I believe in proper attribution and credit so please do click through to my Pinterest board if you would like to know more about any of these wonderful pics.

and I will get back to the grindstone - lots of pieces made already but I'm still not quite done yet!

Thanks so much for stoppin by!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April's Birthstone = Diamond

So I have had my nose to the grindstone just playing with metals and beads with more and more ideas just constantly popping up - I LOVE it!!  But that means it's April Fools Day and here I am with no scheduled post!! Ack I was doing so well too lol Birthstones to the rescue, eh didn't I tell you they'd come in handy?! Whew!

This months birthstone is Diamond - a girls best friend! So Marilyn sang anyway :)

She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone,
Emblem of innocence, is known.

Sapphire was also on the list as the month's birthstone up until about 1912 when it converted to Diamonds alone.

To the Moon and Back

I don't have any jewelry in my Etsy shop with Diamonds but I do have a cute pair of Crystal earrings

Crystal Drops
Lotus Blossoms

And a sweet pair of MOP and Moonstone hoops.

March = Aquamarine

Thanks for stoppin' by!
We'll see ya next time!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Soups Have Arrived and Ideas are Simmering!

The soups of Danas have arrived at their destinations and we can get down to the FUN part! Making something wonderful!

This is what I sent Dana. All metal components were hand crafted by me, clasps, tube beads, caps, and focal. The beads were mostly purchased from small vendors on Etsy and are a wonderful mix of sparkle and organic, at least I think so! I am really looking forward to seeing what Dana does with them.

And this what I Got!!

My ingredients came all packaged up in these awesome tins!

Just look at all this goodness! Dana made the focal and those awesome head pins too!!

Closer look at those lampies....look at that incredible blue!

Incredibly inspiring ingredients, time to get pinning and planning!
Woohoo let the fun begin!

btw...... those super cute little soup bowls.... hand thrown and glazed by my daughter!

See ya next time!
Thanks for stopping by!! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March Birthstone = Aquamarine

Available in my Etsy

Continuing our monthly postings of Birthstones this month we have Aquamarine. It is of a beautiful pale icy blue color quite fitting for this time of year when ice gives way to the first blush of spring. Especially fitting for this year when we seem to have had wave after wave of ice and snow storms. I for one am quite ready for this springs offerings.

This month holds two stones Heliotrope (aka Bloodstone) has been the stone of record since as early as the 15th century with Jasper as it's companion stone. However sometime around 1912 Aquamarine was substituted for Jasper and has quickly become the more recognized stone of the two.

Bloodstone too is quite fitting for this time of year, with its range of greens and slight speckles of red. The religious connotations aside (marking the upcoming Easter holiday) it is a striking stone, much like small flowers poking their heads up through the mossy ground and matt of last falls leaves.

Who in this world of ours their eyes
In March first open shall be wise,
In days of peril firm and brave,
And wear a bloodstone to their grave.

March = Aquamarine/Bloodstone


Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bead Soup #8 Meet my Partner Dana James

Dana - Celtic Goddess of
Manifestation Magic, Artistry, and Abundance

Bead Soup #8 - The Soup of Danas

Isn't that fun! I started my Hiya Partner e-mail off with Hi Dana! This is Dana!! We both work primarily with wire and beads though our styles differ somewhat, she does a lot more traditional wrapping where I play more with weaving and tiny filigree pieces.

I have taught my kids to bend wire and she teaches at ShipWreck beads. I'm a little envious there. Living in the middle of nowhere means my local bead store is Wal Mart or Hobby Lobby, so basically I shop online lol She not only gets to fondle beads in person but gets to fondle beads with others....who actually GET what I just said!! Fondling beads is no small thing!

Things don't stop there either. I just came home from California and she's headed there as I type this.

Neither of us seems to have an aversion to colors or beads so her soup will most likely be what seems to strike my fancy as I pull it together. I had been playing with soup ideas when My Grandma passed and all my beady stuff is exactly where I left it at that time so not too hard to see where I was going in terms of playtime. I have a few more ideas and only a week to solidify them so I need to get back to it pretty quickly. Having access to beady goodness like ShipWreck makes it a challenge of a sorts but I'm up for it!

Why not stop by Dana's blog and take a peek into her bead and wire goodness from last years Blog Party?! I'm sure she'd love to see you there!

Til Next time!
Thanks for stopping' by!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In Memoriam of Annie Menasco

Annie Menasco
There is a hole in my heart this week,  only time and good memories can fill it.
At 90 years young my Grandma was reunited with my Grandpa, all her brothers and sisters and all the generations before her.  The secondary problems constantly popping up during her recovery from surgery last summer have proven to be too much for her now frail body. The world is a slightly dimmer place today as she returns to her place amongst the stars.

a glimpse of Grandmas life via Etsy treasury
Grandma was born in Arkansas but the dust bowl and the depression made it impossible for the family farm to support the family any longer and they picked up, like so many others of the time and moved west looking for work, landing in the small mining town of Chloride just outside of Kingman Arizona in the Mojave Desert. There she met and married my Grandpa who also happened to be there looking for work. She thought he was handsome, and as she tells it so did all the other girls, she said she thought she never had a chance. Turns out she was the only one who ever stood a chance.

Grandpa went off to war and Grandma held down the home front. When he returned they began expanding the family, paying the Doctor for deliveries with chicken dinners.  {seriously! I think we need to bring back the bartering system!}

When they finally moved to California, Grandpa paid for the house they lived in for the rest of their lives with his new convertible and $8000.  {again! I say we need to bring back the bartering system!}

My Grandmother loved her garden, growing several flowers that will always remind me of her, roses, camellias, 4 o'clocks and hibiscus on occasion too. Her favorite color was red and many of the flowers in her garden bore that gorgeous hue.

Grandpa became the Commander of the VFW and she the first lady of the Auxiliary. I have many fond memories of Memorial day Poppy sales (so that we never forget our fallen and do right by our veterans)

Grandma spent her retirement taking care of me, most of my cousins and crocheting countless doilies, afghans, and lap warmers. Each of my children owns one of her pieces and uses them well.

Always quick witted she had a wonderfully fiery spirit and an equally fierce love of her family. Both as passionate as her favorite reds descry. I can only hope I am remembered with as much love and and happy memories as she.