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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Rings up for Grabs

And here are some non-custom-order rings I finished today...

California cat's-eye tourmaline on hammered band

Ruby on floral band

Faceted amethyst

Such a pretty stone!

Big round labradorite on hand-textured band

California pink tourmaline

Large, flashy green oval labradorite on hand textured band

Custom Order Rings

Here are a few custom order rings I finished today...

Amethyst with antiqued, hammered band

(rear view of the same)

Prasiolite (green amethyst)

Clear quartz with purple mineral inclusions

Holy Mother of all Labradorite...

I also got some of these beads yesterday... I'm not sure yet whether I'll sell any of them or use them all in my own designs. I think it's particularly striking all on its own, hung from a simple sterling chain.

Beady Goodness

More beads for my shop, to be listed whenever I can find the time...

Chunky turqouise nuggets

Smooth sunstone rondelles

Amber tourmaline rondelles

More of the best-of-the-best tourmaline

Plump pink opal briolettes

Luscious tourmaline slices... a definite splurge

Kyanite ovals

Labradorite briolettes

Really nice faceted kyanite rondelles

Smoky lemon quartz marquis briolettes

Pink opal marquis briolettes

Amethyst marquis briolettes

Aquamarine briolettes

Large aquamarine (beryl) faceted nuggets

Big chrysoprase rondelles

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A rare treat

Okay, so those of you who live in colder climates will probably roll your eyes and say 'so what?', but we hardly ever get snow here in Northern California, and on the rare occasions when it does come down, it seldom sticks. But today, completely unexpectedly, it started snowing, and it's now been snowing for several hours, and is actually sticking to the ground! Matt, Carlos, and I are all totally enthralled; we've been spending a lot of the day just staring out the windows.

Here are a few from earlier in the day. I was trying to get that 'snowflakes floating down softly' effect but all I ended up with was the 'smeary white lines' effect. Oh well, they're still kind of cool.

And here are a couple more recent ones, after it started to stick better.

We took Carlos outside a little while ago and he had no idea what to make of it.


I'm having a tough time finding the right shoes for my new dress. I want to wear stockings (it seems too casual for a wedding to go bare legged), which means I would prefer closed-toe shoes because I really don't care for the look of stockings with open-toed shoes... but I still want them to be cute and sexy. I don't see anything I like on any of my usual vegetarian shoe websites.

I found several pairs I liked on, but they all have open toes. As far as I can tell, none of these three contain leather.

(Matt's favorite)

Ideally, I'd love to find something like these. Unfortunately, this particular pair is made from cow skin. Blech.

Of course, in the course of looking for wedding shoes, I found a pair of boots I absolutely love. Must resist...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

More New Beads

I still haven't found time to list all of the beads in the last batch, and now I have more...

Faceted amethyst rondelles

Garnet briolettes

Lemon quartz cushion briolettes

Peridot briolettes

Rhodolite garnet briolettes

Spectrolite cushion briolettes

Lapis lazuli marquis cabochon

Rainbow moonstone 'heart' cabochons

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fun stuff!

I'm going to be in a wedding in March and the bride is being so nice - she's letting the three of us (meaning her attendants) choose whatever we want to wear, as long as it's black. She really wants us to get something we'll actually wear again. Here's what I found:

(photo nabbed from the She-Bible site)

The dress arrived today and it fits perfectly and is just absolutely gorgeous and comfortable and perfect in every way. On the model (above), it looks like it hits just above the knee, but I'm short and it's quite a bit longer on me. Also, the picture above isn't really true to life as far as how the top of the dress fits. It's a lot more flowy and feminine, like this:

(photo also from She-Bible)

I'm going to dress it up with some fabulous jewelry (of course!) and some sexy shoes. Maybe even some fun stockings, we'll see...

So does anyone have shoe suggestions? I did a quick browse of a few of the top vegan shoe sites and didn't really see anything that grabbed me. I don't walk well on a tall, skinny heel, but I still want them to have some va-voom. Help me, fellow vegan shoppers!

Oh no!

Carlos has a cavity! Matt took him to the dentist today (I was at my own dentist appointment at the time) because we had noticed a tiny dark speck on one of his molars and wanted to have it checked out. Sure enough, it's a tiny little cavity. Of course we were surprised because he eats really healthy and we brush his little toothies twice every day (although he often fights like crazy). The hygenist told Matt that sometimes when the little buds of their teeth are forming, a little air pocket is left and it eventually becomes a cavity, so no blame on us, whew! The good news is that we caught it so early, it's really just a tiny little thing, and will require only the most minute little bit of drilling. Even so, I think I'm going to let Matt take him in for the cavity work without me. I get so worried about things like that, and Carlos picks up on my freak-outedness, plus he' s just generally more compliant and laid back with Papa...

The moral of the story is to take your kids in as soon as you see some little thing like this and don't let it get bad. I'm relieved that we caught it right away.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm sad.

Okay, so obviously he was a long-shot, but it's still very sad to me that Kucinich is officially out of the race for president. What's even more sad, in my opinion, is that this article, which I found in the Yahoo News headlines minutes ago, is the most thorough, accurate, respectful, flattering thing I've read or heard about Kucinich in the mainstream media throughout the course of the campaign. Why didn't any of the major news outlets take the time to help people get to know Kucinich back when it could have mattered? Oh yeah, because they're controlled by corporations and special interest groups, whose job it is now, apparently, to decide on our president for us. And they're afraid we might have actually liked him.

Democrat Kucinich quits White House race

By JOE MILICIA, Associated Press Writer 54 minutes ago

CLEVELAND - Democrat Dennis Kucinich is abandoning his second, long-shot bid for the White House as he faces a tough fight to hold onto his other job — U.S. congressman.

In an interview with Cleveland's Plain Dealer, the six-term House member said he was quitting the race and would make a formal announcement on Friday.

"I will be announcing that I'm transiting out of the presidential campaign," Kucinich said. "I'm making that announcement tomorrow about a new direction."

Kucinich has received little support in his presidential bid; he got 1 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary and was shut out in the Iowa caucuses. He did have a devoted following.

Kucinich, 61, is facing four challengers in the Democratic congressional primary March 4, and earlier this week he made an urgent appeal on his Web site for funds for his re-election. Rival Joe Cimperman has been critical of Kucinich for focusing too much time outside of his district while campaigning for president.

His decision comes a month after his youngest brother, Perry Kucinich, was found dead.

Kucinich said he will not endorse another Democrat in the primary.

Kucinich brought the same sense of idealism to his second run for president as he did in his first bid. He said he was entering the race again because the Democratic Party wasn't pushing hard enough to end the Iraq war.

Once dubbed the "boy mayor" of Cleveland, he made an unpopular decision to refuse to sell a publicly owned utility that pushed the city into default and drove him from office.

After the city's financial troubles, the mayor faced death threats, and was forced to wear a bulletproof vest when he threw out the first ball at a Cleveland Indians game. He barely survived a recall vote.

But he lost his bid for re-election as mayor of Cleveland in 1978 to Republican George Voinovich, who went on to become governor and then U.S. senator. His life and his political career were derailed. Kucinich spent more than a decade trying to get back into politics — traveling around the country and then working as a teacher, consultant and television news reporter.

In 1994, Kucinich was elected state senator and he then won a seat in Congress in 1996. His once unpopular stand against the sale of the municipal electric system was praised as courageous. In 1998, the Cleveland City Council issued him a commendation for having the foresight to refuse to sell it.

During his time in Congress, Kucinich has been one of the most outspoken liberals, opposing international trade agreements like the North America Free Trade Agreement and marching with protesters in Seattle during a meeting of the World Trade Organization.

As a presidential candidate, he has proposed a Department of Peace, backed universal health care and supported gay marriage. He also pushed for impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.

At a debate last October, Kucinich delivered one of the night's lighter moments when he confirmed seeing an unidentified flying object at the Washington state home of actress Shirley MacLaine. With a smile, he said he would open a campaign office in Roswell, N.M., home to many alleged UFO sightings.

Kucinich married British citizen Elizabeth Harper, in 2005, ensuring his 2008 campaign would have one dramatic difference from his first campaign. Kucinich told New Hampshire audiences during the 2004 race that he was seeking a mate. Women then vied for a date with him during a contest arranged by a New Hampshire political Web site, but nothing romantic evolved from Kucinich's breakfast with the winner.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not taking my Kucinich bumper sticker off anytime soon. I can't see myself getting excited about any of the other options.

Pushing my limits

Every so often it feels like I really push myself and manage to create something that takes things to the next level. Interestingly, lately it's been a couple of custom orders that have nudged me to take some risks and try things I might not otherwise have attempted. Sometimes I fail, but other times something really awesome happens...

blue moonstone ring
turquoise moonstone ringHand fabricated turquoise, rainbow moonstone, & sterling silver ring