This blog is now hosted on my website at; please update your bookmarks to follow the latest posts. Thanks!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Big Sale!

Latest Political News...

I'm not sure which is most disturbing -

Her inexperience?
  • Ms. Palin has spent barely 20 months in office in a state that has rarely played much of a role in national politics.
  • Before becoming Alaska’s first female governor, the top line on her political résumé was her tenure as mayor of Wasilla, a suburb of Anchorage with fewer than 7,000 residents.
Her positions on the issues?
  • Ms. Palin is a conservative Protestant and is a member of Feminists for Life, an anti-abortion group.
  • She has supported the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, alongside evolution.
  • She is a member of the National Rifle Association, and has said Alaska’s economic future depends on aggressively extracting its vast natural resources, from oil to natural gas and minerals.
  • She said she supported Alaska’s decision to amend its Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Or her tastelessly cruel decorating sense?

Look at her snuggled up to the carcass of that once-beautiful creature. So sad.

Full article at NY Times website.

More help than I know what to do with!

Well, one helper is great, but I'm not sure what to do about this new assistant who has recently arrived on the scene, horning in on my beads and insinuating herself into my photography area!

Friday, August 29, 2008

My dogs are cute too!

I used to take pictures of my dogs all the time. Obsessively, some might say. (ahem.) Anyhoo... after Carlos came along, and then the chickens and the ducks, poor Hazel and Otis haven't been getting the film time they deserve. I mean really - how can you resist this face??? You can't.

Otis - 10 years old this November!

Blurry, but still cute.

Chicken Pic of the Day

Our girls are getting so big! Isn't this one a beauty? :-)

Good News & Bad News

Well, the bad news is that I'm on a destructive streak, meaning that everything I touch in my workshop either breaks or gets otherwise f&#@ed up. I have ruined more rings in the last week than I care to remember. So last night, in extreme frustration, I decided to take a couple of days away from my torch and work on some other things I've been meaning to do for ages...

Today I wrote a brand-spankin'-new tutorial, which you can purchase for $5.00 in my bead shop if you are so inclined. I'm considering it a warm-up for the soldering and bezel setting tutorials that I am determined to eventually crank out.

Ornate Beaded Earring Tutorial - find it in my Etsy bead shop!

And because I am a nice person (oh, and maybe because I need your help!), I will send the tutorial for free to the first five people who leave a comment on this post asking for it. (Please either leave your email address in the post, or if you prefer to keep it private, email it to me so I will know where to send the tutorial.) All I ask in exchange is that you try it out sometime in the next couple of weeks and let me know if you find any problems or things that are unclear.

Please send healing vibes in the direction of my workbench! I feel like we are cursed lately.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Kucinich Lovin'

I missed the live version, but here's the video of Kucinich's address at the DNC. I love his energy and the way he connects with the audience...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So many reasons to love Kucinich

Okay, I admit it. I'm not over the fact that Kucinich is out of the presidential race. I still have a Kucinich bumper sticker on my car. He's simply the only candidate who made me believe that truly substantial change - monumental change - was possible. I hope that someday this country will be ready for a leader like Kucinich.

The New York Times just ran a little interview with Kucinich. The first question was whether he really believed, during his presidential campaign, that he had a chance of winning. Kucinich answered in the affirmative. The second question dove right into veganism - believe it or not! - and I love Kucinich's response.
Q: But you’re a vegan. Do you think America is ready to elect a non-beef-eating president?

A: I think America is ready for a president with a blood pressure of 90 over 60 who could beat most people half his age in a sprint.
Oh, snap! Dennis, you rock.

The interview also touches on Kucinich's ongoing effort to impeach Bush.

Q: You’ve met with opposition from Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats for continuing to push for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

A: The process of democracy is a slow process, and it’s important that I do what I know to be the right thing.

Q: But why bother with impeachment when Bush is on his way out of Washington anyhow?

A: This president is capable of taking us into war, in October, on the eve of an election, to try to change the outcome of the election. We need to keep the ability to impeach at the ready in the event that this president continues to exercise a wanton approach toward the use of power, particularly the war power. The events in Georgia are a premonition.

Oh, and by the way, if you haven't already signed the impeachment petition, please go do it now! I know it may seem pointless with so little time left in The Evil One's reign, but Kucinich provides numerous compelling reasons why impeachment is imperative, even at this late date.
  • Urge real Congressional action to hold President Bush accountable now

  • Reinstate the authority of our Constitution

  • Document crimes committed by President Bush for historical account

  • Facilitate post-Administration law enforcement and prosecution

  • Reset the standard for the incoming and future administrations

  • Demand justice for the over 3,000 who died on 9/11and whose deaths were tragically exploited to take us into an illegal war in Iraq

  • Demand justice for the estimated 30,324 U.S. military personnel who have been injured/wounded

  • Demand justice for the estimated 4,138 U.S. military personnel who have been killed or died

  • Demand justice for the 1 Million innocent Iraqis who have died

  • Avert another illegitimate looming war – this time against Iran
Oh, and to all of you Obama-ites out there, don't get me wrong - I like him just fine, and yes, I will vote for him. Of course I will; look at the alternative... But as excited as I am at the prospect of a Democrat - any Democrat - regaining control of the White House (and even more excited at the possibility of finally having a non-Caucasian president), I have to be honest and say that Obama just doesn't excite me the way Kucinich does. He's too conservative - too business-as-usual for my taste. This country needs radical change right now, and I fear we aren't going to get it, regardless of the outcome of November's election.

What do you think?

Saturday, August 23, 2008


This is awesome. Go read it. Then go live it. :-) I'm gonna try...

New Stuff

Completed today...

floral labradorite ringLabradorite & recycled sterling silver ring, size 7
{ to be listed soon in my shop }

pink tourmaline ringCalifornia pink tourmaline & sterling silver ring
{ custom order; sold }

modern labradorite ringLabradorite & recycled sterling silver ring, size 7.75
{ to be listed soon in my shop }

pietersite sapphire necklacePietersite & Thai hill tribe silver pendant on sapphire necklace
{ to be listed soon in my shop }

floral sapphire necklace

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Since I'm sure you've all been waiting on pins and needles... hear the results of my most recent contest, I probably shouldn't keep you in suspense any longer, even though I don't have a resolution yet to the question I posed.

(Drum roll please...) I chose at random, and the lucky winner is - Ellie! Ellie, you have $25 to spend in either my bead shop or my jewelry shop. Email me to let me know how you'd like to use your credit, and congratulations!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated. You guys had some great ideas, some of which I'm considering for my new line. Some of my favorite suggestions were the Sanskrit words, which was something I had never considered -
  • Karuna (which means kindness in Sanskrit)
  • Inika (which means little Earth in Sanskrit)
I have one other idea floating around in my head - a name nobody mentioned, so I'm curious to hear what you think of it...

To me, the word 'legacy' is really appropriate because it reflects the idea that everything we do (both in our business and personal lives) has an impact on the people, animals, and environment around us. It encourages a measure of consciousness about how our choices today will affect those who follow. And last but not least, it is appropriate to the jewelry as well, since these are higher-end, heirloom-quality pieces that can be passed down from generation to generation. (Also, down the road, I'd like to offer a service where you can send in old pieces and have them re-worked, and/or possibly start incorporating re-worked estate pieces that I find myself.)

Oh, and the layout I used above is totally preliminary - I'd play around more before settling on fonts, colors, etc.

So, I'm still undecided, but at least I have a few ideas. Please let me know what you think of these possibilities - both positives and negatives. :-)

Carlos is napping and I should be working...

...but instead I think I'll play this little game that Hannah at bittersweet came up with. :-)

The Vegan's Hundred

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. *
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!

* I can't figure out how to cross words out in Bloglines so I'll make notes in blue instead.

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme Brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles (soba noodles are a favorite at our house)
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart (I've had burritos from a street cart, does that count?)
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (I doubt I'll try it; I really don't drink alcohol.)
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream (mmm... that new coconut milk kind is SO yummy.)
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar (I have no desire to try this, even if it's vegan. sounds barfy)
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas (meh.)
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly (again with the alcohol... not so much.)
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries (no thanks, although I do like the thicker, non-fast food kind.)
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (not to be repetitive, but no, I don't think so.)
46. Stroopwafle (I'm totally intrigued...)
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi (mmm...sushi.)
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy (Is regular old cotton candy vegan? I had no idea.)
56. Gnocchi
57. Piña colada (maybe a virgin one?) :-)
58. Birch beer (nope)
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips (not a carob fan)
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake (Are traditional churros vegan? If so, I'm in trouble.)
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe (sounds yucky)
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough

Well, I can see I have a lot of work to do! So many foods, so little time. I feel very sheltered and unworldly when I see how many things I haven't tried yet!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shopping trip part two - faceted gemstones

In addition to the cabs I bought yesterday, I also had fun buying lots of faceted stones. Again, most of these are available for custom orders, so email me if you see something you need. :-)

oregon sunstoneOregon sunstone, 5mm

green tourmalineCalifornia golden green tourmaline, 5.5mm

blue tourmalineAfghan blue tourmaline, 5.5mm

green tourmaline gemstoneCalifornia green tourmaline, 5.5mm

pink tourmalineCalifornia pink tourmaline, 6.5mm

pink tourmaline gemstoneCalifornia pink tourmaline, 5mm

spessartine garnet gemstoneTiny little spessartine garnets, 2.5mm

champagne quartzCalifornia champagne quartz, 7mm

afghan tourmaline gemstoneAfghan blue-green tourmaline, 5mm

andradite garnet gemstoneTeeny-weeny andradite garnets, 2.5mm

gary peterson gemstoneThis one is really special - a gorgeous African garnet cut by expert US gem cutter Gary Peterson. It's pretty big too - 2.59 carats (8mm).

gemstone garnetThis is the back view of that same garnet.

arizona amethystArizona amethyst, 7mm

amethyst gemstoneArizona amethyst, 5mm

amethystArizona amethyst, 6.5mm

amethyst faceted gemstoneArizona amethyst, 5.5mm

aquamarine gemstoneNigerian aquamarine, 5mm

Shopping trip part one - cabochons

I went shopping with one of my local suppliers yesterday and got all kinds of fun things. I'll start with cabs and do a separate post for the faceted stones. Most of these stones are available for custom orders; get in touch if you see something you like!

pink tourmaline cabsCalifornia pink tourmaline

aquamarine cabochonsAquamarine (Nigeria)

chrysoverde chalcedonyChrysoverde chalcedony

green tourmaline cabochonsCalifornia green tourmaline

purple chalcedony cabsHolley chalcedony

afghan blue tourmalineAfghan blue tourmaline

I also decided to try re-selling some of this vendor's cabs in my bead shop. I'll be listing these soon...

aquamarine cabs for saleAquamarine, 5mm x 7mm

chrysoverde chalcedony cabsChrysoverde chalcedony, 5mm

hessonite garnet cabsHessonite garnet, 5mm

pink tourmaline for saleCalifornia pink tourmaline, 6mm

Ooh, the cool kids like me!

I feel like I just got accepted into some kind of popular clique... I'm on Trunkt! I have applied a few times in the past and been rejected, but yesterday I re-applied using my new moissanite and recycled metal designs, and they let me in. Yay! Now I have to figure out how to get my portfolio all tricked out... anyone who is a current member, feel free to advise me. :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More Moissanite

I'll be listing these soon in my shop...

moissanite ringMoissanite, recycled sterling silver, recycled 14k gold, and 21k gold solder, size 7
{ more pics here }

moissanite wedding ringMoissanite, recycled sterling silver, and recycled 14k gold, size 7
{ more pics here }

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Stuff

labradorite ringAn oldie but a goodie - square cushion cut labradorite set diagonally, recycled sterling silver
{ custom order; sold }

fire opal ringMexican fire opal, recycled sterling silver
{ custom order; sold }

blue labradorite ringAnother oldie but goodie - square cushion cut labradorite, recycled sterling silver
{ custom order; sold }

moonstone ringFaceted grey moonstone, recycled sterling silver
peridot ringPeridot, sterling silver
{ custom order; sold }

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Beady Goodness

The latest additions to my ever-growing bead stash... well, I guess it's not technically my stash since they are going to be up for sale in my shop. Right???

smoky quartz beadsSmoky quartz step-cut 'rice' briolettes

faceted carnelian cabochonFaceted square cushion cut carnelian cabochons, 10mm

lapis lazuli cabochonLapis lazuli cabochons, 8mm

smoky quartz cabochonEnormous faceted smoky quartz cabochons
(I may keep one or more of these... not sure yet.)

carnelian beadsCarnelian briolettes

faceted labradorite beadsFaceted labradorite twister rondelles

I was also able to re-stock a few things I've been out of for a while...

melanite garnet cabochonFaceted melanite garnet cabochons, 12mm

square amethyst cabochonSquare cushion cut amethyst cabochons, 1omm

prehnite cabRound prehnite cabochons, 8mm