Monday, December 31, 2007

Ring In the New!

I've got two new blog links for you. I've been a fan of both of these artists for many, many years. Get a cup of whatever and go visit for a while. Megan does it all and Rice is a fellow Texan. Both are extremely talented.

Here Chez Bead-Mused we are doing our traditional junk food, movie watching, game playing, puzzle working New Year's Eve. Then we stand under the shelter of the front porch (shelter from the bullets shot into the night sky) and listen to all of our neighbors bring in the New Year. By the way, it is a balmy 70 degrees under a crystal blue sky, but it will drop down to about 32 tonight just as the New Year literally blows in. Sounds like a good night for cuddling. Later, beadlings et al!Baby Gecko

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ring Out the Old

I still have laryngitis. You might think this is a blessing for my loved ones, but you would be wrong. I squeak my through as many conversations as possible, all the while my sister telling me to be quiet so I'll save my voice. I go through this every year, so it's old hat by now.

The kids had a great Christmas. I hope you and your families had wonderful holidays. Please stay safe and have a . . .


Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the Ni . . .cough . . cough . . hack . . hack

I am sick. I have laryngitis. It's my yearly bout of laryngitis. Just when I thought I might make it through one year without it, it jumps on my back like a rabid monkey. T-man and I did our shopping yesterday. *whew* Some time in the not so distant future, we will actually shop in November, or maybe even October.

I wish you all a very merry Yuletide celebration! I'll be back Wednesday.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Solstice Snickerdoodles! Sniff, Achoo!

An afterthought, another thought, oh my stars, it has happened.I could not figure out why I feel like crapola, and then the allergy count came on the news. Because we've already had a freeze, the f#;*%ing cedar has pollinated and those of us with "cedar fever" are going to be miserable until it rains/snows/sleets. Crikey, I hate those trees. Here is a quote from Untwisting The Cedar: the myths & culture of the Ashe juniper tree by Elizabeth McGreevy Seiler: "The mountain cedar, alias Ashe juniper, blue-berry juniper,post cedar, cedro, sabino, rock cedar, and Ozark white cedar, grows everywhere.It takes over and forms impenetrable thickets of twigs and branches that poke your eye and tear your clothing. Come winter every year, their clouds of yellow pollen roll down from the hillsides so as to plague you with months of sneezing, watery eyes and itching. In short, they plague you with that most famous allergy: cedar fever. Just when you're clear of the thickets and cedar fever, you hear that nothing grows under the damn scrappy trees except rocks and all they do is sit there all day sucking water from the aquifer. Hell, you figure, these cedars aren't native and they are totally useless, so, let's annihilate them all!" I've got my chainsaw and my bio-hazard suit, and I'm ready to get rid of some trees!

Snickerdoodles, snickerdoodles, rah, rah, rah!
Good with cocoa, good with cider, sis boom bah!

I slept. I slept so well, it's freakin' awesome. I wish I could do that every night. My baby felt better this morning and went off to school. She did not want to miss the Christmas party, and she took along a box of snickerdoodles made by yours truly out of the giant box of cookie mix. Yum.

Today is my sister's birthday (not the baker, the other one with the grown boys -- I have two sisters and a brother, four nephews and a niece). Today is also the Winter Solstice. Well, astronomically speaking tomorrow is. Solstice is one of my favorite times. We have a big fire with our Yule log out in the back 40 (yards, not acres). Cookies, cocoa, cider, laughing, watching the moon rise, looking at the stars. Then the days start getting longer and warmer. At least they do until February when we typically have at least one good ice storm. Like I've said before, we don't get snow. However, we do get ice. Last year we were all stuck in the house (with the pup) for three days! But we had fun!

Today, I have the house to myself. It is almost clean, the tree is ready for its ornaments, and tonight we'll go look at the pretty lights. I'll bake more cookies today. Finish up with the light housework tomorrow. Then everything is taken care of until January 2.

So, I want to get up earlier (I've been doing so) and to start being more active (a little of that as well). GG will laugh at this -- I want to better organize my studio and I want the business part of my business to become more organized! But how do I explain this next change, which is the most important?

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "Art is not a thing, it is a way." I want to live as an artist. I don't want to just play at it, I don't want to just say "I'm an artist". I want to truly live as an artist. I want to be immersed in my art, coming up for air when my family comes home in the afternoon, sleep the sleep of the righteous, do my yoga and pilates in the morning, and then immerse myself again. I want this to be my daily schedule from now until the sky falls down into the sea. You might think this would be easy to do. Ah, non, non, non, mes amis! C'est très difficile! Something always comes along and throws a monkey wrench into the machinery. But that is probably my own fault becau

oooooh look! A puppy!!

Happy Holidays, whichever you celebrate. I hope it's sunny wherever you are. I hope you stay warm and dry and loved. I will be back Wednesday morning!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Poor Baby!

You get a short post today, kids. You may remember from yesterday that I went and had lunch with A at school, where we ate food prepared by the cafeteria staff. Normally, she takes her lunch -- I don't necessarily agree with the dietitian on what is nutritional. For instance, I believe a green salad would be much healthier than a burrito! But I digress. Around 6:00 last night my entire digestive system went on strike and informed me not that not only was nothing else allowed in, but what was in was not allowed to stay. And around 4:30 this morning and again at 6:30, her digestive system told her the exact same thing. So, she's curled up in the chair, wearing her big fleece robe and looking like something the cat drug in and forgot about for three days. And that means no cookie baking til much later (hopefully she will feel better by dinner), plus my day will be devoted to her. We did get the living room furniture rearranged, an the spot for the tree is cleared. T-man finally threw away a bunch of crap he was holding on to for some reason or other (safety manuals from a two jobs ago, for instance). He proudly showed me box, but he had that look in his eye that said "what are you throwing away?" Ugh. ¡Hasta mañana!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So This is Christmas

Okay, I've finally got a bit of Christmas spirit. Pam wanted to know if I had gotten it from a bottle. *snicker* Not yet, but I am spending Christmas Eve where I am not very wanted and don't really want to be, so it may well come from a bottle that afternoon and into that night. I'll try to be good, but I'm not promising anything. Oh, the things we do for love. Pass the spiked nog, please. My recipe for egg nog calls for egg nog (duh), cinnamon, Cool Whip (or comparable whipped topping) and Bicardi black or gold label rum. Put everything in the glass/punch bowl to taste. Yum!!! But not yet -- we'll have the first cups Sunday night, then Monday night, then Tuesday night. And then we'll have it again New Year's morning, but probably without the rum.

Hey, guess what? I slept last night. I realize it was from sheer exhaustion, but I did sleep. T-man had to leave at 2:30 this morning to be in Plano by 7:00. For you non-Texans, that's driving from just south of Austin up to just north of Dallas. And he got there just before 7:00 as planned. I vaguely remember him leaving. He should be home about the same time as A. I would have gone with him, but I had already promised to eat lunch with A at school. She was honored for her scholastic performance this past six weeks. She was very happy that I was there. She's going to be in junior high next year. Hard to believe, isn't it? (That was directed to all the adopted aunties in her life!)

We're putting the tree up tonight, but no one knows that yet. Tomorrow night, we want to take A to look at lights she hasn't seen since she was just a year old --- 37th Street in Austin and the Trail of Lights at Zilker Park. We used to walk to the Trail of Lights from our old house in Austin when N was in grade school and A was just a sprout. It should be fun.

I have my first big beady income to-do for 2008 already planned. See? Making plans for changes is already working. So, first there was getting up earlier. The next change on the list is to become more active and work with my army of doctors to get all this excess weight off me one way or another. I'm stopping short of liposuction, but if I thought it would work without being in horrendous pain and the insurance company would pay for it, I'd do it. My third 2008 lifestyle change will be listed tomorrow morning (and maybe a couple more). Remember -- changes, not resolutions! There's a rumor that if you do something for 90 days it becomes part of your lifestyle. Three months doesn't seem that long in the great scheme of things, and that's how I have to look at it -- it's not that long in the great scheme of things and I'll be a better, healthier, happier person for it.

GG, Cat, T & JulsHave I mentioned that I have some of the best friends a person could ask for? The other High Priestesses of the Temple of the Goddess of Beading have arranged for me to attend the 2008 Texas Bead Retreat. This will be the very first time I've been able to go. This is a picture of us taken this past April. By the way, those tumblers are full of Cosmos. Never again, never again, never again. My Bead Angels are flexing their fingers, ready for more work regarding that first beady income to-do. I'll get a picture of them next time we are all together. I'm already planning our first pot-luck bead class for 2008, which T-man will be teaching. And Pam and I have some things we'll be working on very soon.

Go check out Art Bead Scene's 12 Days of Beading. It's great, with quite a few links for wonderfully beady things. Don't forget Suzanne Cooper's Countdown to Christmas. And tomorrow will be Margot Potter's last installment of Ornament Thursday, with lots of eye candy.

Tomorrow is cookie baking day. Just imagine my children when they get home, greeted by the smell of freshly baked cookies (mmmmmm) and the sight of mom covered in flour and drinking wine straight from the bottle (Oh MOM!). Did you know that Costco sells this giant box of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix? It makes 18 dozen cookies, I kid you not. Sorry, no homemade cookies here, except for the Tollhouse cookies. I leave all that to my youngest sister who proudly shows off her baking skills every Christmas. I will take my homemade lemon curd pie to Mom's, though. So tune in tomorrow beadlings (and others) for more items for change, maybe a picture of the tree, and other various and sundry STUFF that makes my world go round!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Insomnia, Insomnia, Insomnia

If you say it over and over, it's almost hypnotic -- insomnia. It could almost be a mantra -- insomnia. It's like the words to a song (with BIG apologies to Def Leppard):

"Oh, I got insomnia, insomnia
Oh can you feel it, do you believe it?
It's such a horrible insomnia
(when you get that feelin)
You better believe it!
(better try sleepin')
Cos it'd be a miracle, if I could sleep
Oh babe, you say you will
(rock me to sleep)
Start rockin' baby
No snores for me"

Crapola, I haven't had more than 12 hours total over the past three nights and it's starting to show. Many, many years ago Steve Martin (he's so dreamy to me because he's so friggin' intelligent!) was on David Letterman. It was probably during the height of his stand-up popularity and he came out with these tiny paper bags taped under his eyes. When Letterman asked about them, Steve burst into tears and went on about how tired he was and how he hadn't gotten any sleep and it caused the bags under his eyes and the makeup department couldn't hide them. Well, today I have those very same bags.

It would be different if I hadn't gotten sleep because I drove nine hours straight through to Alpine right after T-man got home from work, or we drove 20 hours straight through to Pennsylvania, or (here's the big one) I was driving straight through to a bead retreat in Napa Valley (someday, kids, someday). I can handle that type of staying awake. Remember when we were younger and pulling an all nighter (for whatever reason) was NOTHING?? We even got up the next day and stumbled to class, even if class wasn't until 1:00. I won't be able to get a nap today either, because I must go to COSTCO (say that with an echo to get the full effect). Yes, it's grocery day. I'll clear some more stuff out of the living room and try to bead a bit tonight and probably head to bed around 8:00.

Back to yesterday's topic of lifestyle changes for 2008. Don't laugh too hard when you read this one, okay?. One of the big things I want to change (drum roll please) is to start getting up earlier. Yep, yep, yep, the insomniac wants to cut her sleep time even more!!! There you go. That's what I leave you with today. I want to become an early riser. That and the fact that there is no Steve Martin fansite and I can be the first to register one on Rotten Tomatoes. Hmmm . . .

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

It's cold as all get-out, but it's gorgeous outside. Oh, I know you folks that live up in the frozen north laugh when I talk about the cold. But you should realize that before the blizzard at Thanksgiving, the last time we saw snow was Christmas of 2002 when we visited T-man's grandmother in the mountains of Pennsylvania! It just doesn't snow here. It does get cold, but usually with rain. However, the past two nights have been crystal clear and in the mid-20s, with crystal clear days that warm up to the low 50s. Brrrrrr. And yes, I do want to make it to Alpine some day, where it snows every winter and the mid 80s makes for a heat wave. But there are so many things I love about that area that make up for the temperature.

I finished part of the special project, and today hope to finish it. Then I will send the designer pictures, mail the project and right after Christmas I'll post the pictures. I don't want to unveil it before the proper authorities (lol) get to see it. That just would not be good manners.

Now, are you sitting down? No coffee in your mouth? Swallow, sit. I cleaned house yesterday. No, no, no -- nothing big, but I did clear out the corner where I was doing my photography. We also moved some things around, which made the room look a bit bigger. Today I need to clear my beady stuff from the living room. Then I should have the space for the Christmas tree, which please A immensely.

I'm also doing something else I don't usually do. I'm making changes (not resolutions) for 2008. 2007 has not been the best year. T-man believes it is because I swerved slightly from what the universe directed. He keeps pointing out that when I do what makes me happy (rather than what I think people want me to do) my work is better and more profitable. It's not that I do this to make money, but those darned kids have to be fed on a regular basis! Anyway, more along this line throughout the week. I just got a call from T-man and must rush something to him at the office. Stay warm wherever you are and have a peachy-keen day!

Friday, December 14, 2007

What If There Were More Than One Of Me?

Well beaders and others, I tuned in to QVC yesterday and caught Margot on the air. The woman is gorgeous and her jewelry was gorgeous. I found out that Mom has been a fan of hers for quite a while.

I must clone myself today because there is simply that much to get done. Have you ever wanted a replicator like they had on the Star Trek series? I'll take one if I can get Jean-Luc Picard to control it! Mmmm -- sexy bald man. We always wondered why, with all the technological and medical advances of that era, did he remain bald? Oh well, who cares? Please don't tell T-man. Let's just say it was a big relief to him when Steve Martin got married. I'm not sure he can handle all of my crushes at once.

If one more of me is good, why not two or even three? I just have to be careful not to let the copies make copies, because a copy of a copy loses all integrity, right?? Come on, think about it -- more of me would be a joyous thing. There would be more of me to love without my gaining another 40 pounds! Or this me could bead while another me cleaned the house and a third took over civilization and ruled the world my way. You know I'm right -- just think about putting a menopausal woman in charge. And you can bet your bottom dollar I would fill my cabinet with OTHER MENOPAUSAL WOMEN. Bwaaahaaaahaaaahaaaa!!!

As an end note, I must leave off the typing because Baby is determined to sit on my boobs. Yeah, yeah -- get all your shelf jokes out of your system. She got shut in my room yesterday and now she needs to be reassured that I have not deserted her. Do you have any idea what 10 pounds of gray cat on your boobs feels like ?? And just try to bead that way, much less type. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Not Quite the SS Today

No silly, it's not the name of a ship! It's another one of those days. However, this morning at 10:00 Texas time, I'm going to tune in to QVC and catch Margot on the telly! Yep, the Impatient Blogger herself will be hosting Suspicion Marcasite. I think I'll give Mom a call, too. She loves marcasite jewelry. And while I watch, I'll keep beading. I'm working on a very special item today, so special that it put everything else on hold until it's finished. I'll have pics next week. So, until Margot magically appears on the telly, I'm going to enjoy a nice big bowl of oatmeal (hey, I like it, okay?) and another cup of hot coffee. I hope you all enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beady Day

Yep, that's what it is -- a beady day. I'm going to make a fire and bead my fingers to the bone. There's really not much going on over here. How is it in your world today?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Totally Pissed Off!!

UPDATE: It's gone, along with a couple of others I didn't know were there. Check out Clara's comment below. I've never had much luck with Norton or McAfee. The nice thing about Spybot is that it was created specifically to get rid of adware, spyware and malware, which Norton and McAfee just don't. And avast! sends off these whooping alarms, which can scare the crap out of you. The only problem there is the human factor -- I could not sever the connection fast enough. But all is well now, and I am a happy surfer once again. I am half way through the newest project, which is a beaded business card holder. It's an elegant design, and will be offered in several color palettes. It will be unveiled in a few months, so you will have to be patient. Adios, amigos!

I am soooo pissed off. Yesterday I was surfing for Christmas crafts for A so she would have something to do during the holidays. I clicked on a site and got a freaking trojan called "SpyShredder" and now I'm working to get rid of it. So, until it is gone, no emails from me to you. I've got the virus scan running, I'm clearing out all the files for this pain in the ass, and then I will run Spybot. Spybot -- it's a good thing. So now you know what I'll be doing all day. While everything is being cleaned up, I'll bead. Checking the computer will give me a good reason to get up and move on a regular basis.

If you should have this happen to you, DO NOT BE FOOLED INTO BUYING SPYSHREDDER!! It is a fraud. They fool you into thinking you must buy it to get rid of it, and it will infect your entire system and you will have to take your computer out and shoot it! Okay, maybe not that, but you will spend considerable time and money getting it fixed. T-man recommeds avastAntiVirus, Spybot and Registry Medic. They are all free and they do they job, and they will all three be run on this computer today. Crikey, I hate this. Too bad the people who create these things don't use their power for good. GGRRRRRRRR!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Two Posts in One Day! It's a Festivus Miracle!

My day got a little brighter around 3:00 today. Guess that just goes to show you miracles do happen. These are my two.

Blah Humbug

Crikey, it is such a nasty day here on the prairie. *sigh* Sometimes I think I would be happy living in Hawaii, where the sun shines almost every day. Then I remember things that occur in Hawaii, like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and hurricanes. Nope. I guess I'll just stay here for a few more years.

I do not like this time of year. I used to like it, when I was younger and had a sense of wonder. But now it's just too stressful, too commercial. I detest going into the stores right now. There was a story on one of the local news channels about how this year we seemed to move from Halloween straight into Christmas, with no Thanksgiving. Did you notice? There wasn't much said about Thanksgiving itself, and little was said about Thanksgiving sales (what happened on Black Friday?). I totally understand why craft stores start putting Christmas items out in July, but the grocery and hardware stores?? That started in September!! And the stress, oh my stars, the stress is just horrendous. T-mas is already feeling it, which makes me worry about him. It's not just monetary stress, either. There is the stress of which house do we go to on which day, traveling when we want to stay home, putting up with things we'd much rather not, what should we get for whom, etc. And I'm a bit sad that Thanksgiving was just glossed over. I appreciate that day, even if it is solely an American holiday. It reminds me that I should be thankful for all that I have, like a good husband and wonderful children, my supportive family, a good house, food to eat, loving friends. If we could channel some of the appreciation for what we have, rather than the commercialism of the season (which grows longer by the year), back into Christmas maybe it wouldn't be so depressing for so many people. By the way, A pointed out to me that we could make presents for everyone this year and boy, is she ready to get started! She may have an idea there.

So, on this dreary, wet, cold, dismal day during this overly commercialized, stressful time of year, I leave you with some tasty links.

Queen of SparkleMelanie at Earthenwood Studios has this great ornament in her Etsy shop. She has several "queen" ornaments, so there is probably one for each of us! She also has a wonderful step-by-step post on her blog of how the ornaments are made.
Heather's Tags
Heather Powers has free gift tags with her original art on her Humblebeads blog.

Suzanne Cooper has some holiday freebies on her site. And free box templates which are just the right size for jewelry here. A few bright spots in this horribly dreary day. I'll post more as I find them. I hope you are having a good day, wherever you are.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Itchy Fingers

That's right, I've got itchy fingers. They are just itching to bead today, so this won't be much of a post.

By golly, it's Friday. I know that doesn't mean as much to me as it does to those of you with 8-to-5's, but it's a good thing. Tomorrow, we have an office party to attend. T-man is very excited about this, as we have not been to an office party since before we got married! It's just that none of his employers since then (1) had holiday parties or (2) scheduled him so that he could attend. And the entire family is invited to this one, so the girls will get to spiffy up a bit so their proud daddy can show them off. This is a photo of them that I took two years ago.Thanksgiving 2005 at Lost Maples

Y'all have a good weekend and I'll be back on Monday!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Everything Takes Longer Than You Think It Will

Oh, such profound words of wisdom they are! Where to start, where to start, where to start. First, we did not drive to Fort Worth. No, no, gentle reader, we drove to BFE! We ended up in a small town called Brad at the intersection of TX16 and Hwy180. What is Brad close to? Palo Pinto. Yes, that is correct. It is also close to Possum Kingdom Lake State Park. It's between Mineral Wells and Breckenridge. Let me begin the comedy of errors for you.

We left at 7:00 a.m. after putting Miss A on her bus. Oddly enough, T-man (also known to some as Wilderness Man) starts driving in the opposite direction of that which we need to take! I ask "where are you going?" He tells me he doesn't want to drive behind the bus and its many stops. So, we took the LONG way back up to the new shopping center with its new Whataburger and Starbucks. Yes, Kyle now has a Starbucks!! All is right with the world. T-man still can't explain our ciruitous route. He hasn't had his OJ yet, so maybe he's a bit discombobulated, which is why we headed toward Buda before turning around and going back to Kyle. We get our food, then walk over to get the coffee, then we take off. I ask him where we are going and he shows me the map. So I look and I tell him that this is NOT a four hour trip, and besides that, going through Fort Worth to get there is taking the VERY LONG WAY. So we map out our new route. Now, get this, he does not have a delivery address. So when we get to Goldthwaite he calls the number he was provided. The guy who answers gives him directions from our new route, telling T-man that he believes the road we need to turn right onto is "Davis or something like that" and that it is "very close to the intersection at TX16". Okie dokie!

As we leave Goldthwaite, we notice that phone reception is rather spotty at best, and suddenly these guys are calling wanting to know when we will be there. Evidently they have neither any idea where Goldthwaite is nor how far from them it is. At this point in the drive, we have to find a really high rise in the terrain to talk on the phone. After wasting 30 minutes doing this, we give up and keep driving. It's a beautiful drive, mind you. But there are long stretches of nothing but hills and dales, goats, sheep, cattle and a small herd of antelope.

We finally get to the intersection of TX16 and Hwy 180, turn left and start looking. THERE ARE NO ROADS TO TURN RIGHT ONTO and THERE IS NO CELL SERVICE OF ANY TYPE. Yes folks, welcome to BFE. So we keep driving. We drive 10 miles and come to the intersection of Hwy 180 and TX16 CONTINUING NORTH. This happens to be the intersection the guy was referring to -- it never occurred to him that where we would be hitting Hwy 180 from TX16 was 10 miles away. Just after this intersection is a road called "Brad Road". Now I want to describe for you Brad, Texas. It consists of the highway intersection, a tiny little store, a sign indicating Possum Kingdom Lake State Park is 17 miles north, a road called Brad Road and a road called Upper Brad Road (Lower Brad road is way back the other direction and it was a left-hand turn). There is no "Davis" or anything else, because we drove a ways up Hwy 180 to check and had to turn around. So we go back to Brad Road, which is little more than a jeep rut. We are loaded down with a collapsible water tank that weighs 750 pounds, on a single axle flat bed trailer pulled by a two-ton diesel pickup. It was a fun ride. Little did we know that the fun was just beginning. We get to two gates, both of which are locked. Behind gate number two is a guy with a gimme cap, sitting in a truck. He gets out, asks if T-man if he is who he is, and tells T-man he doesn't know what happened to his note pad with the combination to the lock. Kids, there are no less than seven locks, all clipped together, on this gate! But we are informed that the dude who went to get the sand should be back soon.

I must mention here that I have needed to pee for the past 30 minutes. So now we must wait for the sand dude. Oh look, here comes sand dude. He has a small pickup pulling a small dump trailer loaded with sand. He introduces himself and unlocks one of the several locks, then he tells T-man that there will be a bit of an incline on the "road" and is that going to be a problem? No? Okay, follow the sand dude.

Let me just say that the road to the locked gate was smooth as glass compared to what we now find ourselves on. And sand dude takes off and promptly loses us. We come to a turn in the road, but we cannot tell which way sand dude went, so we continue on. Did I mention that this is also one of those roads in a pasture without fences? In Texas that means loose livestock, and we pass a small group of lovely black Angus bovines taking a rest, joined by a big chestnut horse. We drive on and come to a little house, go past the house on an even more rutted, rough road and come to another locked gate. Yes, it is locked. T-man BACKS THE TRAILER DOWN THE RUTTED ROAD because there is no place to turn. We come to another open gate, but no one has driven on that road in a while (T-man got out and used his tracking skills here). But there is a place to turn around, so he does. As we come around the curve, we see that road is now blocked by a big black Angus bull and his harem of about eight lovely ladies, and they are not inclined to Moooooove. So, I stick my head out of the truck and yell at them to git, go on now, moooove. They do, but one has the audacity to moo back at me!

So off we go, back down over the road from rutted hell, to the fork we passed up. We take the fork, and now we see what he meant by a short incline! Short incline my ass! I've climbed rocks with less incline than this (back when I was trim and slim). We bounce our way into a clearing containing two small trailer houses (nope, not manufactured houses -- these are true trailer houses), and new metal house in the process of being built, stupid sand dude, six latino guys who speak no English and are doing all the work, the homeowner who is filming everything, one other guy who seems to be a foreman, and the leader of the pack, whom we will refer to as college-educated-dude-from-Fort-Worth-who-knows-nothing-of-the-real-world (CEDFFWWKNOTRW). When I ask if there is a restroom I could use, he suggested the cedar trees! Mmm, what class! This gets better. When T-man asks if they have a tractor or some such equipment with which to offload the tank, the foreman says "we can probably just pick up and take it off. It shouldn't be hard with six of them." He calls the latino workers to come do this!! That's when I got out of the truck to watch. Fortunately, T-man declines that offer and suggests that they just take it off one piece at a time. I get back in the truck.

Okay, the tank gets taken off, and we start to head back down the rutted road that makes for nightmares, but first we have to get the combination to the lock. We are given the magic number and off we go, bumping and jostling all the way. We get to the gate (I'm not quite crossing my legs quite yet), and I get out to unlock the gate. Crikey!! Which friggin' lock is it? So T-man gets out and we divvy up the locks. The combination does not work on any of them! We try again, and a third time because that's supposed to be a charm. Well, it isn't. I'm pretty close to leg-crossing time now. But wait! Here comes a truck! It's gimme hat guy!! And yippee, he has the notepad with the combination, which turns out to be totally different from what CEDFFWWKNOTRW has given us! How ignorant are these guys and how did they manage to sell this tank to that homeowner??? Hallelujah, I can now find a bathroom!

We head off in the direction of Breckenridge, where we will pick up Hwy 183 back to Lampasas, then we will pick up Hwy 290 into Dripping Springs, go past my granparents' old house and my mom's road in Driftwood, on into Kyle and home. We find a gas station/convenience store that sells diesel and I go in for the potty. What relief! Now, to find food, because it is 2:15 and we are starving. Yes, we started out at 7:00 a.m. for what was supposed to be a four hour drive but it is 2:15. So, I inquire as to the whereabouts of a Dairy Queen (all the small towns in Texas have them) or other fast food. Well, they are on the other side of town, far past our turn onto Hwy 183. So we buy a snack and REAL Dr. Pepper, the ones still made with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar!Yum!

After lunch at the Sonic in the bustling metropolis of Cisco, we get back into the truck and head back home. We have decided that this part of Texas will not be considered for our retirement, for many, many reasons. We got home at 7:45 last night. The considerable drive caused my sciatic nerve to be pinched again. Ouch. But as my sweet husband pointed out to me, I got to spend the day with him. Yes, yes I did. Oh, the things we do for love.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

I won't be here tomorrow. T-man has a tank delivery waaaaaaay up north near Fort Worth. He does not like to take long drives by himself. Right now, he is probably on his way back from Lake Buchannan -- just a hop, skip and a jump away. Anyway, he asked if I would ride with him tomorrow. I said yes, fully cognizant of the fact that I will have to haul my fat butt out of bed at (as Anne T says) 0:dark:30. I'll take something to read and something to bead. Oh, the things we do for love.

Today I'm going to take some pictures for the Etsy shop. I've neglected it lately and it is feeling sad and lonely. Okay, not really, but I am feeling a bit guilty since I have a tray of fabulous earrings that need to be sitting there in the "shop" and not on the coffee table. I also need to redo some of the current photos and get some holiday specials up there. And I have an order of patterns to mail, since the printer finally decided it would start working again.

By the way, it is FREAKING cold out there. See? It's so cold I can't even use the word I prefer. I took A to school this morning and the thermometer said 31!!! On the upside, it's not raining/sleeting/snowing.

I leave you with a suggestion to read Clara's comments on yesterday's post, Fan Club Blues. My dear friend Clara definitely has a song for every occurrence! Adieu, mes amis! Au revoir!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Fan Club Blues

Let's reminisce. First, I'm going to pretend that we are all the same age, which means you remember how your mother cried when President Kennedy was shot, you had a shoop-shoop hula hoop, you watched men walk on the moon and you know the words to all the songs the Monkees sang. Oh, and you remember when David Cassidy was . . . , well *sigh*, you know.

And if you remember that, you remember the teen fan mags. And how you could send your dues in to the fan club of your choice. And you could write fan letters. Did you ever write a letter to your secret crush? You don't have to answer that. It's the next part that is important.

Did the object of your adoration write back? The good manners that our mothers taught us back then dictated some sort of reply. Emily Post said so.

And I hear you asking, "T! Why on earth are you writing about the '60s? Did you get lost in a time warp?? Are you having Partridge Family bus flashbacks?" Nope, nope, nope. Look back up there at the part that is important.

Several months ago I sent an email to a fellow beadwork artist. I told her how I have admired her work for several years. I also told her that she was a big inspiration to me when I decided to apply to art shows. And I told her that it was her work that made me realize that I can be well paid for the pieces that I create. I also asked her a few questions about her experiences with art shows. I figured that since she is 1,000 miles away she wouldn't feel threatened by any sort of competition, even if she considered me in her league of talent. Do you know she never replied?? This is a professional, who has been published in Beadwork Magazine, who wins awards at art shows, has pieces in museums and galleries, yet she did not have the good grace to send back a reply. How rude! Even if the reply was "go blow it out your ass" there should have been something, right? Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect her to spill all her secrets, but the questions I asked were not along the lines of "I'm thinking of doing this, too. Can you tell me how to get started?" (and those of you who know me well, also know how much I detest that line of questioning). I had already gotten started, I had already had several large sales. I just asked a couple of questions along the lines of categorization of the art form. Again, how rude of her not to answer!

So, I promise, if you ask me questions like that, I will respond, even if it is to tell you to go blow it out your ass. However (BIG HOWEVER), if you come to me and ask "I've been thinking of doing the same thing. Can you tell me how to get started?", I will hunt you down like the mangy cur that you are. I will spill and mix all your beads, I will tangle your beading thread, and I will bend all of your beading needles. And then I will make a bonfire of all your beading magazines and books. Are we clear? Good. Have a nice day.

Friday, November 30, 2007


That is pretty much what my weeks seem to be comprised of, with the exception of last week -- same shit, different day. *sigh* And through it all, I feel content to just sit and stare at (pick one) the computer/TV/back yard/belly button.

Nope, nope, nope -- I exaggerate. It's not always that dull. Sometimes it just seems that way.

In an effort to bring a sense of normalcy to my surroundings, I pulled out a piece of beading that I started before we left for the wilds of west Texas. When it is finished, it will be a breathtakingly beautiful bracelet, if I may say so. And it's in (drum roll) VIOLET AND TEAL. Yes, yes, that is correct -- my faves, together again.

The base for this piece is MADDENINGLY, TORTUOUSLY, SEEMINGLY ENDLESS, but it will make the most stupendous teaching piece. Yes, that is correct, I said TEACHING PIECE. Maybe I should call it the S&M Special. I'm not kidding. I have been working on this for about 20 hours now and the base, which is stitched with size 8 seed beads, is only a third of the way complete, and I haven't even started the embellishments yet. One third of the way is all that's done after 20 hours!! Geez, T -- are we feeling a little masochistic these days?? So tell me, beady buddies, what is the most masochistic piece you have worked on?

NEWS FLASH! For you lampwork bead lovers, Pam Way is participating in a trunk show this Sunday, December 2 (my mom's birthday), from 10:00 to 5:00, at Blue Moon Glassworks in Austin. Focal beads, sets, gift items --- all made by her, one bead at a time, at the end of her sofa, in her living room, in South Austin. And yes, I am president of her fan club, but by golly, I've watched her work evolve over the years and her beads are fantastic. And not only that, they are affordable. Blue Moon is located in Hyde Park on 108 W. 43rd Street.

And so, Gentle Reader, I leave you with this very Zen thought for the day: No matter where you go, there you are. (And yes, Buckaroo Banzai fans, he did say that, but Confucius said it first!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

There's No Place Like Home!

We are home again. We got back at 1:00 Sunday morning after driving 13 hours, half of it in snow. We took about 150 pictures, and I will put together a slide show this week. We had a javelina visit our campsite. I had a conversation with a mule deer fawn. We saw several gray foxes and a bobcat. The last mountain lion sighting was in July and the last sign of bear was early October, so we didn't see any of those, but we did look for them. And the birds! Oh my stars, you have never seen so many different types and colors in one place! I cannot wait to show my mom (the birder) all those pictures.

We left home at 7:00 Wednesday night, with a stop at the grocery store, which we left at 8:00. We took a scenic route through Del Rio to 90 simply because I did not want to be on IH10 with all the 18-wheelers trying to get home to their families. We drove into the park at 5:00 Thursday morning. T-man and A slept in the car, while I just wiggled around trying to get comfy and warm. We had staked out our campsite, hoping it wasn't reserved. When the rangers showed up, we found out that the person who had originally reserved the site had deserted it, so it was ours! It was a great site, too.

We hiked. I didn't make all of the first hike, as it was pretty steep, but I did make it halfway up the mountain. T-man and A did several hikes on their own, which A absolutely loved! That child had a wonderful weekend. She missed her big sister, but she had a lot of fun.

We had two days of crystal clear weather with Friday being very warm, then it started snowing in the wee hours of Saturday morning. We decided to come home early simply because we could not have a camp fire due to a county-wide burn ban! There was literally no way to keep warm between sunset and bed time except by wearing every stitch of clothing we had brought with us! So we leisurely packed up. And it was still snowing. By the time we drove from Ft. Davis to Alpine, there was one to two inches of snow sticking to the ground. The drive from Alpine to Marathon was done slowly (and I do mean slowly). We had to stop periodically to clear the snow from the windshield wipers. By the time we made it to Del Rio, the snow had turned to rain. Yuck! And it rained all the way home. I am glad we made the decision to leave early, otherwise we might not have gotten out of Alpine! Not that I would mind staying in Alpine, but it's not time for that yet.

We had lots of fun. We met several people and, with the exception of one nice gentleman, they were all from Austin! Go figure. But it's nice to be home, sleeping in my bed. Like I said, I'll get the pictures transferred from the cameras this week and make a nice slide show somewhere. I hope you all had a great weekend. I know I did, but now it's back to work. TTFN!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lions, and Piggies, and Bears. Oh My!

Camping Update: We are going. Well, most of us are going. N has decided that she does not want to go. She does not like camping in her old age! She loved it when she was smaller. I guess once they grow up things change. *sigh* I'm not ready for my baby bird to leave the nest yet. Her reasons also include all the desserts that will be at my mother's house. My youngest sister loves to bake, and every year there is something new. T-man is upset, though. He loves her fudge, but it will be too humid for fudge

Just for grins, I thought I would give you the link to the weather forecast for our desitination. Click here. Don't laugh too hard! T-man and I spent Thanksgiving in the snow with N the year before we got married. I have pictures somewhere of her standing in the snow in a short-sleeved shirt. We camped off the logging roads in the mountains near Taos.

A is very excited. I had her watch the video of the park. Of course, they mention that mountain lion sightings are FREQUENT. And the bears in Texas have probably NOT started hibernating. We have camped with javelina before, so they are nothing new to us. We are taking three cameras, so hopefully I'll have lots of pictures of the flora and fauna in the Chihuahuan Desert area. Lions, and piggies, and bears. OH MY

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beadful Things

Well kids, today I would like to send you out into the World Wide Web. If you are going to be home this weekend, maybe you would like something new to bead or something new to read. Maybe you would like some mindless entertainment that doesn't involve grown men chasing a leather ball. And maybe you just want to look at some pretty pictures. I'm going to try to keep these links as bead/jewelry oriented as possible, but I might slip up here and there.

Live in the middle of nowhere? Want to take classes from nationally known teachers without the hotel fees? Go to Beaducation for their online classes (Laura McCabe! Lisa Niven Kelly!). Some of the classes are even free!

Want some eye candy? Want some fun? Suzanne Cooper's newsletters are full of both. Be sure to check out her Jump Start Classroom if you are new to bead weaving. Suzanne has some of the best instructions I've ever seen. And by all means check out Suzanne's vast listings of links.

Bead Pattern Central is the place to go for advanced bead weaving patterns (Laura McCabe again!). Yes, I have purchased from them. And if you prefer kits, visit Beads East.

Need color inspiration? Margie Deeb has it. Check out her Muse (which you can listen to as a pod cast), her patterns, her books, everything.

Need a smile?

Would you like to play a game?

That should keep you busy for a couple of hours! Have a wonderful weekend, whatever you do, and stay safe and WARM. By the way, the only place I found for camping in Texas that did not have rain in the forecast has SNOW. We are seriously considering it. After all, it's just one evening and one night, and the high the next day will have any icy roads thawed early. SNOW, yes I said SNOW in Texas! So much better than rain. I'll let you know next week.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Who Else is Having Split-Pea Soup for Thanksgiving?

TrashCan and OliverYes, that is correct -- split-pea soup. No, that is not what TrashCan and Oliver are sharing. This is N's request for Thanksgiving dinner. She does not like turkey (I do), she does like my stuffing (we all do). She likes all the desserts, but not the sweet potatoes (I do). We went camping for Thanksgiving the year before T-man and I got married and again a couple of years ago. Both times, we had split-pea soup on Thanksgiving day, and that is her request. Maybe we will get to go camping, also. We'll see. I'm not sure I want the split-pea soup to become a tradition.

The First Thanksgiving by Jean Louis Gerome FerrisSo, Thanksgiving being less than a week away, what are your traditions? I'm not talking about your mother's traditions or your grandmother's traditions or your mother-in-law's traditions, but your very own traditions established now that you are an adult. I always fix a lemon curd tart. This is something I started doing when T-man and I got married. Every Thanksgiving, there is a lemon curd tart, and each of the girls has helped make it. I also make my very own wild rice/sausage/pecan stuffing -- not my mom's cornbread stuffing or his mom's bread stuffing, but my own recipe that came about from years of experimentation. And each of the girls picks a dessert that she wants me to fix, or that she fixes herself (last year N made her first apple pie). Share your traditions with us.

Tonight has been declared "family night" by A, which means really bad movies and games. We haven't had one in quite a while, and this causes her some concern. I'm very proud that at the ripe old age of ten, she realizes the value of family togetherness. "Family night" was something she came up with last year, and we tried to do it on a regular basis. We seem to have fallen away from that a bit, so she has decided to fix things. This is a tradition I like. We usually held "family night" on Saturday nights so we could watch bad sci-fi movies, but N won't be home Saturday, so we'll have to wing it on the bad movies!

Today I am working on the computer. I need to revamp the Etsy store and work on the web site. I'm trying to stay focused on this. It's like house-cleaning -- I can find so many other things to do. But it needs to be done. I need some cash flow, and the only way to generate it right now is via the WORLD WIDE WEB. The Internet is a wonderful thing, but using it properly takes some work. *sigh* Sometimes I wish I could just wiggle my nose like Samantha and get everything done.

Oh look! A puppy . . . . . . . .

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Look Pooh, It's a Blustery Day!

You know, it kind of sucks being a human barometer. Whenever the weather undergoes a drastic change, I get a migraine. Hurricane season in Houston was sheer torture for me. Tornado and thunderstorm season on the prairie isn't much better. And a blue norther will knock me down every time. It's a bit better today, but the wind is blowing all kinds of stuff around, so I'm not sure how I'll feel this weekend. T-man wants to take a ride Sunday if the weather holds. Oh well, I'll just take cold medicine and try to hold on!

So, the bead stash. I got lots of charlottes and the new permanent galvanized finish seed beads and, of course, some rivolis from Beyond Beadery. Chatting with Betcey was great, and she had a wonderful helper with her. We had several things other than beads in common. I could gleefully have stayed in that room all day. I got some interesting fancy jasper crescent moons and carved leaves plus a strand of the richest apatite coins I have ever seen from Zeka Beads and handfuls of wonderful glass from my beady pal Melissa (who does not have a web site). Plus I hit LB before I left to pick up some size 15 cuts --- very yummy, those are. I am a happy beader.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hello Beadlings!

Well, Houston was a blast. I got to spend the weekend with one of my dearest friends (GG), I got to see the people I only see at the Houston bead bazaar, I got to meet some new friends, I saw some Austin area friends, and I got to play Pam for a weekend. I sold lots and lots of Pam's beads. I bought a few new beads of my own (I'll get some pictures up later this week). I did not, however, get any beading done. I took beads with good intentions, but there just wasn't time.

And now that I'm back, everything is the same old same here Chez Bead-Mused. There is not much to report on the home front, so I guess this is one of those short posts! I'll try my best to have some pearls of wisdom for you tomorrow. In the meantime, happy beading!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sunny Day?

Where is the sunshine as promised by the local weather guys/gals? I really want to know. I don't like dreary days, not one bit. Well, at least it's not cold and blustery to go along with the clouds.

I'm going to start packing shortly. I'll take off as soon as A gets home this afternoon. It's my first road trip in the cruiser. Well, that's not entirely true. The first day we had it, T-man and I drove to Blanco for dinner. That is probably the last time in my life I will have chicken fried steak. Let's just say the gall bladder really spoke out loud that night. But it was a beautiful drive and a great date night.

So, who's coming to Houston? Raise your hand. I will be at the Hess Club on Westheimer, in the Texas Ballroom. That's the big room to the left of the main entrance. Look for the Yellow Dog Beads booth. If you don't own any of Pam's beads yet, now is the time. These are the last beads I bought from her, but certainly not all that I have. You can find more information about the Houston Bead Society's Annual Bead & Jewelry Show on their website. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Middle of the Week Slump

Well kids, here it is -- Hump Day, Wednesday, half-way, the middle. Yep, the middle of the week. What do you do with it? I've got more errands to run in getting ready for the weekend.

Tomorrow afternoon, I leave for Houston to spend the weekend with GG!! And to be Pam at the bead bazaar. I can't wait. Then T-man will meet me there Friday night. The weather is supposed to be great, which seems to bring out the beaders in full force. And I promise to share pictures of my stash on Monday. But if you can make it, come see us. It's just a short drive from pretty much everywhere, right? The longest part of the drive is from the loop to bazaar. Oh no, I do not miss living in Houston! But it's nice to go visit once in a while.

So, once again, it's pretty normal and boring here. Hope your little corner of the world is a bit more stimulating. Hugs and kisses (figuratively speaking -- it is flu season, you know)!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Proof of Beading

Okay, this is supposed to be a blog about beading (among other topics). You've all read my rants about not being able to do anything beady. Well, here you are.

This is one of my newest patterns, which will also be a kit come February. It is a bracelet, and now I must come up with some sort of clasp, else it will fall off the wrist! HAH! I've also picked out the next palette for the next new thingie, and my angels will be happy to know that their projects will be put in the mail tomorrow. Yes, dear readers, it has finally happened -- my ass is on fire!

I love my husband, but you all know that. One of the reasons I love him is that he supports me in my endeavors. Now, the bad news is I am going to need some outside work (and that is because we had to buy a car the month before T-man got laid off), and I've signed up for substitute teaching in A's school district. The good news is, T-man does not want it to interfere with the other things I do, so it's not something I must do every day. There is more to this story, of course.

We were driving home from the grocery store last night, and I started talking to my ADHD hubby about my seemingly ADHD tendencies. I think I've finally got this figured out -- it may not be the meds, it may just be me. You see, what I do with the beads was starting to feel too much like work again, and I don't like that feeling. I truly believe you should love your job, whatever it is, but when mine starts feeling like work, I dig my heels in and I just don't want to do it anymore. Soooo, T-man agrees with me. Then he points out that I've fallen back into that hole where I'm too concerned with making what I think the general public wants instead of making what I know to be creative and artistic. Are you with me? Once I got my mind around this idea, I got up off my duff and became productive again. And yes, it was pretty much overnight. No, the beading was not done overnight -- I picked this particular piece up and put it down so many times it would make your head spin. What occurred overnight was the change in attitude, the desire to create art and not just beaded stuff. T-man also pointed out that when I do what the universe has been trying to direct me to do for years, everything else around me falls into place in the best possible way.

Crap, it's Monday. I'm still hoping for those three day weekends. Plus there was the time change. Try explaining the why's of this to a 10-year old, and then explain why Arizona doesn't play along. *sigh* And this coming weekend I'm in Houston at the Houston Bead Society's Bead Bazaar as an employee of Yellow Dog Beads. I've got to get my hair cut, get some more groceries, figure out what clothes to pack because you never know what the weather in Houston will do. And of course, I must figure out (1) what beads to take and (2) what beads to shop for! And I understand that Beyond Beadery will be there this year!! Oh my stars, I've heard that you need sunglasses as you near the booth because of all the Swarovski sparkling in the light! More tomorrow, beady buds!

Friday, November 2, 2007


Yes, that is the other thing I like about this time of year. Not that I need the sugar and the calories, but I must have CHOCOLATE! YUM!

There just isn't much going on at Chez Bead-Mused. What can I say? It's a fairly hum-drum week here. We went trick or treating with A and her BFF. T-mas was a lost tourist and yours truly was a little old lady exchanging butterscotch with those poor sweeties who didn't have any, but were eagerly handing out CHOCOLATE. A was, of course, Hannah Montana, complete with the streaked blond wig, and her BFF was a Mutant Kitty Girl, or What Happens When You Cast A Spell With The Cat Sitting Too Near The Sorceress. It was big fun. Maybe I'll get copies of the pictures to share. We'll have to wait and see.

It's sunny, it's mild, and it's altogether gorgeous outside and I should be beading. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Well, here it is. The night when the veil between the worlds is thin and ghosties and ghoulies walk amongst us. Send kind thoughts to your dearly departed and don't forget to treat the ghosties and ghoulies!

N does not like the picture below of the vampire kitty. She says "Mom, that is not okay!" She didn't like this one much either. Yes, that is my very own little vampire, A. Kids, this is a very good example of when the flash really should be used.
And over here, we have the Jack O'Lantern family. Mine is the not so traditional one. You can click on both of these to see larger, better images.

And lastly, Mommy and A enjoying a beautiful sunny afternoon at Grandma's house. This is much better when days are rosy, if you know what I mean. We go back tonight. A is taking her BFF along. It should be LOTS OF FUN. Just me, T-man, and two very excited tweens. And so, dear goblins, I bid you farewell until tomorrow. Have a fun, safe night!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Beading, Beading, Beading

Yes, I have been beading. Stitching, stitching, stitching. Everything else has been ignored, as you can see. Hmmmm.

I love this time of year. No, not because of the cooler weather, or the pumpkins, or Halloween (Samhain, thank you). Nope, not because I get to pick candy out of A's bucket. I love this time of year because I get to watch vampire movies almost nonstop. I love a good vampire movie and Sunday I saw one of the most original vampire movies ever. I watched "The Hamiltons". Talk about a new twist on an old genre. Of course, there have been lots of bad vampire movies as well. Just so you know, this is NOT one of my cats. By the way, A has been reading the "Bunnicula" series of books.

We carved pumpkins. If I remember tonight, I will get the pictures of T-man's camera so I can put them up somewhere. Tomorrow, we go back up the MIL's house so A and a friend can trick or treat. It's a nice, safe neighborhood where Ma knows everyone and everyone knows Ma. Plus most the neighbors know my child. I'm glad she gets to experience this particular childhood ritual. So many children miss out. Let me just say we would NEVER let her do this out here.

Okay kids, short post today. I need to get back to work. More tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Have A Great Pumpkin Weekend, Charlie Brown!

There was frost on the roofs out here this morning. The thermometer said it was 39 degrees outside when we drove to school!

Today will be filled with running errands, then tonight we go to A's school carnival. Last night, she and I baked a cake for the cake walk and for extra credit (as long as she helped, she gets a 100). I had her dad explain the importance of exact measurements in chemistry. He has first hand knowledge that the difference between 1 1/3 cups of liquid and 1 1/2 cups will cause a cake to become pudding! So she has something to share with the class.

Tomorrow, we go to the MIL's house to carve pumpkins, which is always a messy business. But it's fun, and A gets to spend time with her grandparents (and others). Then Sunday, I do believe we will laze around the house. Want your own pumpkin? Click on the image.

It's a full moon night, with the moon close to the Earth. You might also be able to see the shuttle and the space station. The sky will be clear as a bell, and it's going to be be COLD. I guess our very short summer weather is gone until December! Hah! I actually have a picture of N from second grade, in which she is holding the gingerbread house they made in school for Christmas. She's wearing shorts.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Still Ready to Bead!

Yep, it feels like a beady day! The sun is shining. I'll go outside and sit with the kitties for a bit, then come in and bead. It doesn't hurt that there is a Law & Order Criminal Intent marathon on. I just love Vincent D'Onofrio as an actor, and of course the Bobby Goren lean. It's almost as good as David Caruso and the Horatio Cain tilt on CSI Miami! Makes you wonder if those two had the same acting teacher.
Remember, it's good to be Queen! I may have to come up with something else in this nice, rich palette. Until tomorrow, beady buds!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On a Roll Today

Okay, I'm on a roll. I'm beading today (not so much yesterday). Have I ever told y'all that I have wonderful friends? Well, I do. And they give good advice.

I have lots of great ideas this afternoon, and I need to write them down. They'll be great kits -- intriguing but not too difficult to execute. So while my brain is functioning this way, I'm going to roll with it and I will return tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today's Musings Brought to You By . . . .

My warm snuggly bed!!! That's where I would like to spend the day, with my warm snuggly T-man by my side. I even told him he should play hooky and stay home with me today. Brrrrr, kids -- it's nippy outside. Of course, being the hothouse bloom that I am, anything below 60 degrees is too cold. There is a big reason I live in this part of the world -- very little winter weather. And today is the total opposite of yesterday, thank the stars above.

Be warned -- today's musings are EXTREMELY personal.

I beaded yesterday for HOURS. OH . . . MY . . . GOD! It felt like I had not done that in YEARS!! If this weird ADHD side effect doesn't settle down, I may well go truly crazy (as opposed to just make believe crazy). I printed the new pattern (wait til you see), gathered the beads, threaded the needle and away I went. And I don't even like to do peyote stitch! But I'll finish it up today, by golly. Of course, the question then will be "what now?"

There are so many things that have fallen by the wayside during the past two weeks, that I don't know where to go from here. I do not like this feeling of utter chaos hovering around my head. But life is rosy and there are no little aches and pains. So today's question is does the lack of pain, the feeling of lightness and the seemingly shiny day compensate for becoming Scarlett O'Hara and putting things off until tomorrow, because after all, it is another day? Those of you who have your own chemically rosy days, please feel free to offer up your own experience and suggestions. Inquiring minds want to know. And you can be anonymous in commenting.

My biggest concern is that this will affect my creativity to the point that it disappears. I am, after all, defined by that tiny artistic spark, or so it seems. I bead, therefore, I am, n'est-ce pas? I live to create and create to live. Put this into personal perspective: if someone came to you and told you that you could no longer do the one thing that you love to do in this world, no matter how hard you tried, no matter how much you desired it, what would happen to you? And yes, I'm probably being paranoid, or as T-man says, I'm looking for problems that aren't there. Maybe. I just must, being the creature that I am, consider the possibility so I can be prepared should that other shoe drop!

Let me hear from you on this one, rosy glasses or not.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's a Miserable Day in the Neighborhood

Yuck. It's wet and windy and cold. Yes, I know we need the rain, but why must we always get six month's worth at one time? I spent a week near Cancun one summer. Every morning you could watch the rain come down the shoreline from Cancun on its way to Belize -- a nice, gentle rain that lasted for 15 minutes every day. It was nice, it was soothing. Of course, it wasn't a hurricane, but that's another story.

If you are inclined to surf today, check out The Impatient Blogger and her tales of artistic mistakes. Be warned -- her potty mouth is as bad or worse than mine! But it's a great read.

I've been asked about the new medication. Well, life is rosy with no little aches and pains. But I've developed my own type of ADHD. I cannot stay focused on any one thing for more than half an hour. This is totally bumming me out, folks! So far, all the other side effects are surmountable with a bit of time, but not this. It sucks canal water!

Saturday, we went in search of a rumored air show at the New Braunfels airport, only to find nothing going on. So we drove into NB and ended up at the Market Days in Gruene. May I say that I do not miss doing shows like that? Nope, not at all. And the Gruene show is juried, but it's still the same A&C.

I am going to try to get something beady done today, or something photographed and listed on Etsy. I've got seven pairs of earrings I made before I started the new medication. They are fabulous, and just waiting for their debut. I have no idea why I can't just get it done. If anyone has any tips, let me know! So long, farewell -- at least until tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Musings on Wednesday

Hee, hee -- Pam updated her site. She did so yesterday, when the weather was exactly as she described. But this morning, the sky fell down again -- pretty near zero visibility when I took A to school. But now the sun is shining brightly, trying its best to burn a hole in the gray blanket of fog.

Today, I am finishing up new patterns that will go into new kits. I will print them out, pick out the beads, and distribute them to my lovely bead angels. Therefore, I'm trying to stay in a creative mode, which is a bit difficult with the new medication. It seems I've developed a bit of ADHD, just like T-man!! This bothers me a somewhat, because I don't want to be MORE than I can be, just ALL that I can be. And in that vein, I leave you with this quote from Bill Cosby: I said to a guy, "Tell me, what is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful," and he said, "Because it intensifies your personality." I said, "Yes, but what if you're an asshole?"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday, Tuesday

HAH! It is to laugh! (quoting Daffy Duck)

It did NOT rain here yesterday. I'm sure it rained all around us, but not here. Guess what A is going to be for Halloween. Yup, Hannah Montana, her idol. *sigh* And N keeps saying she's going to be Elmo, but I don't know about that. I will be the same thing I am every year --- MONSTER MOM --- "stop running, don't eat that til I check it, don't go to the houses without lights, STOP RUNNING, no you cannot have candy yet, yes you have to go to school tomorrow, STOP THAT RUNNING!!!!!". Yessir, Monster Mom strikes again.

Is it not fab?? Can't you imagine a pair hanging from your very own dainty ears?? Coming soon!!

Much to do today! More caffeine to drink, more photos to shoot, more errands to run, and beads to sort. Hasta la vista, baby!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday, Monday

Ya'll are so cool! Thank you so much. You have no idea how much it means to me to know that you actually come read my blog!

There was a time, not so long ago, when the days of the week just kind of melded together into one big blob and I never knew what day it was without asking. It wasn't drudgery that caused this. It was constant bead work (not to be confused with beadwork) without breaks. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. But I have never, ever liked Mondays. I have always thought three day weekends would be wonderful. I could easily start my week with Tuesday. But then would the Mamas & Papas actually have written "Tuesday, Tuesday"?

Today, I'm shipping off patterns and hedgehogs. Then I am finally putting projects together for the angels. Sorry ladies, last week was pretty much a wash. I have not forgotten you. AND I must take more photos for the Etsy shop and the website. I will also take a photo of the earrings I made for myself (yes, moi). Who knows what other mischief I'll get into. Maybe yoga, maybe yogurt (I haven't had breakfast yet).

And it's supposed to rain most of the day. After all, today is Monday, right?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

All is Well in Beadland

I'm sitting here printing patterns to send off to the distributor, Threaded Needle Designs. And since I have to watch the printer, I thought I would make a tiny update.
I really appreciate the notes of concern. A is fine. In fact, we are all fine. I've just had days of nothing but errands, which left little time for bead business. So I decided to make a rare weekend post. I'm trying really hard to take weekends off, but you know how that goes. As I've said before, I hate it when real life interferes -- doctor's appointment for me, doctor's appointment for A then spending the rest of the day at the grocery store, the pharmacist, the auto supply store, and the office supply. Then driving to San Antonio Friday because I did not have enough zip lock bags (a BIG necessity) on hand. And believe me, it was drive there, get out, pick them up, get in, drive back. So I pretty much had three days in a row with very little time for bead related stuff. And that is what's happening in my little corner of the world. How about you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wasted Day

Okay, maybe not an entirely wasted day. I had an appointment with the rheumatologist this morning. Keep in mind that we live smack dab in the middle of Nowhere, so any specialist is pretty much in Austin. Except for this one who is in New Braunfels. She was the only doctor treating fibromyalgia that I could find without having to drive all the way to San Antonio. My eyes have suddenly begun to blur and I cannot even look at the TV without my glasses on. This has been very troubling to T-man, especially since the wonderful medication she put me on specifically for the fibro has a tendency to affect your eyes in a very bad way but, I found out today, only in very high dosage. Long story short, that medication is not the culprit (thank the stars above). But T, you might ask, what is causing the blurry vision?? Well, I'll tell you ---- it's the wonderful INEXPENSIVE medication she put me on to help me sleep. *sigh* The upside is that I'll be able to see again in a few days and perhaps get back to what I love to do, which was rather difficult lately. And she did give me samples of something new and we'll see how it goes.

I was hoping to put some more earrings in the Etsy shop, but it may have to wait until Friday. I am taking A to the doctor tomorrow. She has a very bad cough and it's keeping her up at night, poor baby. And she's miserable. Fortunately, this doctor is in Buda, which is much closer, but I will still feel like I've wasted an entire day doing things other than beading.

Don't you hate it when real life interferes with your fun??

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Marveling at the Marvelous

We are marvelous.

I am acquainted with quite a few bead artists. These are people who make art beads -- lampwork, polymer, PMC, etc. I marvel at their ability to take a rod, glob, slab, whatever, and turn it into a work of art that I can hold in my hand and then set to music with my tiny beads. If not for them, a lot of my artistic pieces just would not be. I know that they all have a box of not-so-perfect pieces. I know that they sweat, literally and figuratively, trying to create their visions. I marvel that these artists can work wonderfully well under pressure. They can, at the last minute, churn out a table full of marvelous things. I cannot do any of this, but it is marvelous.

It takes me days to chart a graph for a patterned piece, weeks if I work from a picture. There is a lot of tweaking, a lot of refining, and then if I'm really smart, there is a test strip to make sure the colors work. This is not marvelous, this is time consuming. But for the customer who purchased the pattern, the beaded piece which is the end result can be marvelous.

For the art pieces that don't follow a pattern graph, there is still a lot of angst involved. Again, there is a test strip. Then there is the ripping something apart three or four times before it becomes what I have envisioned. Sometimes a mound of thread or bent wire or culled beads is the only testament to days of blood, sweat and tears. But in the end, when it's placed in the display case at the show, and someone walks by and simply says "marvelous", I marvel that they are talking about a little piece of me.

For kits, there is the sending off of a bag of beads and scant instructions to an angel who takes my vision and stitches life into it. Weeks of work and rework go into these. This is not marvelous, this is exhausting. But for the stitcher who must have that special kit, the end result can be marvelous.

Perhaps the most marvelous thing of all is the look on someones face when they find that perfect art bead, or that perfect pattern, or that perfect kit, or that perfect piece of jewelry. And better still, they marvel that we, humble bead makers and beaders, are able to create marvelous works of art from a bit of nothing.

We are marvelous!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Bead Musings on a Cloudy Day

Yes, it's cloudy, definitely overcast. And it's a week into October! When did that happen? And I feel that I have accomplished so little this past summer. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to buckle down and work harder this fall.

If you happened to visit my web site, you saw that I'm listing new items in my Etsy shop, and so far I've got ONE new listing in there. Hah! It is to laugh. I always forget exactly how much work can be involved in a listing. Plus, in the scant two months that I've been listing, I have learned soooo much about my camera and taking good photos. I'm still working on that. On the upside, I have made 11 pair of earrings in the past week. Of course, one went to me (to go with my Sheherazade beaded necklace), N took one pair, and A got a pair. Not bad, considering working with wire is NOT a thing I enjoy. After I get the pictures finished, I'll get back to my tiny seed beads and mailing projects to the angels. The new beading kits will be awesome, if I may say so. There will be more blues, some reds, my favorite creamy ceylon 203, rosey golds, and I'll try to work some purples in there just for Juls. And those are just the kits for February. There will be more for June.

So, keep checking the Etsy shop and let me know what you think. By the way, you can click on "Add Seller to Favorites" without an Etsy id. You will show up as a secret admirer. Or get an id and start you holiday shopping early! This may well be what I do this year. Okay, fellow beaders (and other readers), it's back to the camera for me. By the way, it just started raining out here on the prairie. Yuck.

Friday, October 5, 2007

It's Friday

What can I say? It's Friday. N and A have a three day weekend. Well, N has a bit of a three day weekend. She is going to help T-man with a big job this weekend, and make herself a little bit of money. She has signed up to be a substitute teacher. She even got her ID card for the school district. N is home today, at least until her sweetie gets home. I'll be a brunette tomorrow. HAH!! I love it! The only color that never worked was blonde.

What is T-man doing today? He is skeet shooting with his new boss. I kid you not! And he is getting paid to do so. Is it any wonder he loves this new job?? Oh sure, they are watching a tank installation in Marble Falls, but afterwards? Skeet.

These are the earrings I made for A. She wore them yesterday, proudly I might add. Even her teachers complimented her on them. They are vintage black givre with the tiniest bit of white at the top. I put them on the same oxidized copper head pins and copper colored niobium wires. They are only 1 1/4 inches long. Just right for her 10-year old self! And they are much darker in person -- that flash is so bright!

I think I'll whip up some earrings this weekend to add to the Etsy store. According to Etsy statistics, shoppers like Monday, with Tuesday being a close second, around noon and then again around 9:00 p.m. my time. Those are traditionally the best selling times. Go figure. But I know when I'll be listing! I'll probably *gasp* bead a bit, also!

And so my beady friends, thus ends another week in my exciting life! Happy beading, and remember -- don't sweat the petty stuff, and pet the sweaty stuff!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Beady Mornings

Okay, it’s quiet in the house as N still has not emerged from her room. The kitties are still in their room and I have GMA on the TV, but the volume is low, and the only real sound is the dishwasher, which is not overly loud. And I’m sipping my coffee (yes, bad grammar there), just kind of enjoying my morning surf, which is what I do. I hop around from this site to that blog, clicking on links, just kind of exploring the world wide web, getting into the groove for the day, seeing what's happening in the world outside my doors, checking on what other creative souls are saying and doing.

So, I'm hunting for something that Pam mentioned (we've already exchanged several emails this morning -- oh man, deja vu!). I have a lot more time to surf and explore than she does, and I like it that way as some of my taxes pay part of her salary! Okay, picture this -- I'm sitting at the computer desk, in my jammies (that's how I work, okay?), sipping my java, looking for treasure. I Google, find a good possibility, I click and suddenly this HORRENDOUS NOISE emits from my computer!!! It sounds like a rabbit dying. If you don't know how that sounds, it's like an alien scream. This is coming from my computer!! Apparently, to get you in the mood to buy the beach themed product on this site, the designer decided to use the sounds of the Gulf coast. It was a sea gull crying LOUDLY, and now I'm listening to the gentle sounds of the surf. Oh, how apropos for my web surfing. Thank God I didn't have coffee in my mouth at the time

Remember the earrings I made that N claimed? Look below in Bead Musings. And you remember that A asked if I could make a smaller pair for her? Well, I made them last night. When she gets home today I'll take pictures.

I'm going through one of those periods where I have tons of ideas, and I try to write them all down. But I don't feel a need to pick up needle, thread and beads for some reason. I know this will pass, as it always does, but I feel this tremendous guilt for not doing what I should be doing.

But I will leave you with inspiration for your day. I give you a pot bellied pig, with thanks to Pam (who did not make this, but she did find it on eBay!).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Art Bead Scene Compliments

Oh my stars, if you scream in cyberspace, someone will hear you. I've been paid a cyber compliment by the lovely beaders at Art Bead Scene . If you haven't visited via my link over there on the right, take a little time today to inspect the eye candy made by some very talented art bead, well, artists! I found them via Heather Powers, with whom I first chatted years ago simply because people would get the names of our business confused: Bumble Beads and Humblebeads. I would get calls for her, she would get calls for me, and so on. So click on over there for a bit and then hop back over here. And many thanks to Elaine Ray for the compliment! I've added a link for blog over there on the right, also.

Today is T-man's birthday, and his third day on the new job, which he is just loving. I'll just be glad when our status quo returns and he can relax a bit. I think we need to plan a motorcycle ride here pretty soon. The weather has been just right and looks to stay that way for a while. This is a picture of us on our last ride in August. And no, the jacket is not hot, but it is armored in case of a fall.

N and I are off to the store to buy cake mix, ice cream and a card. So, dear readers, fellow beaders and assorted other beings, I'm signing off until tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bead Musings

Bead musings are what this blog is supposed to be about, right? I suppose that every once in a while I should stick to the topic. Last night I found a really cool quote that I wanted to post today. Then T-man needed to work on the computer. Did I bookmark it? No. Did I write it down? No. Does my med-fuzzed brain remember it? Oh, hell no. And the short term memory lapse is really irritating, so I'll step back and punt.

While making my morning rounds yesterday, I stopped at Yellow Dog Beads where Pam had posted "I admire all those people who can officially 'blog' - just can't imagine the commitment it must take." For me, it has become fairly easy, especially with the kids gone during the day. I am here, by myself, with only the cats for company, and they don't care what I think or say. So, this is my outlet for conversation. It's great to have a one-sided conversation with no one arguing. I have discovered that I have gotten more visitors to my web site and my Etsy shop since I've started blogging, and that was the main purpose. It's become a very creative outlet. It's like bouncing ideas off of a big group, only no one ever disagrees with me! Oh, and never mind the fact that I am a frustrated novelist at heart. More on that later. I will admit that I had to force myself to sit down and type something the first week, but now it's a little easier. I'm still paranoid that no one reads this. If you scream in cyberspace can anyone hear you?

Then I surfed over to Kate's journal where she posted "Most people choose a life of art from a perspective of freedom, and the desire to have a life structure that isn't fraught with the playground politics of most offices. But get a Guild together, or some kind of power structure, and before you know it you have people who are meticulously recreating the very environment that most of us chose not to participate in in the first place." Okay, office politics were not the reason I did not reenter the workforce after A was born, but I certainly don't miss them. Later, I held offices in two different organizations, at the same time, and I wholeheartedly agree with what she says. T-man once told me if I ever ran for office in any club/society/guild again, he would divorce me! But I'm not sure I agree with her statement that a life of art entails freedom. There is still "WORK" to be done. It's not all fun and games, kids. In fact, very little of it is. Being a self-employed anything takes drive, commitment, organization, self-discipline and enormous motivation. It also entails being able to say "NO" firmly. I've been self-employed for ten years now, and I'm still working on all of those. I'm also still struggling with the frustration of dealing with people who believe that since you are at home, you're not doing anything important. By the way, I don't think that will ever go away.

But neither of these is the quote I seek. So let's talk about my muses, The Beads. As I told you yesterday, I am on an earring kick. I don't know why, it just seems to be the thing to do. I should be sending instructions, patterns and beads out to the angels, and I should be designing more projects for them to stitch. After all, February is just around the corner (I have a big to-do in February). And June is right behind February (I have the EGA Regional Seminar), and I need lots and lots of fabu kits, bead packs, instructions, etc.

But no, I have this need to churn out a bunch of dangly things right now. The first pair has already been grabbed up by N, although she will tell you differently -- her story is that I "offered" them to her. My story? I was holding them up for an opinion, only to be met with an open hand, beseeching me to bestow the pretties in it. I bought these beads specifically to put them on these oxidized head pins and ear wires. Then A wants to know if I can make her a smaller pair of dangly earrings. And she also wants the oxidized wires so they will look almost like the ones her big sister has. So, today is an earring day. More pictures tomorrow!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Counting Beads, I Mean, Sheep . . .

I am soooooo very tired. I have three MDs suggesting that I do a sleep study. I know what the results will be. The study will show that I DON'T SLEEP. I am considering having one done, though.

All my pewter spiders have been shipped off to their new owners. I thoroughly enjoyed my reign as Queen of the Arachnids at my Etsy shop. I've got another cute something to start listing. I'm also on an earring kick and will put some pictures up soon.

Now, back to the stitch I can do in my sleep. I finally figured out that the problem was not in the stitching, but in my perception of the instructions. I was looking at my drawings, reading my words, using the correct number of beads. But my brain wanted all the beads to line up nice and straight with all the columns of equal height, regardless of what the instructions and drawings said! I am abandoning this project, although not because I couldn't stitch it. I did finally get it right. I'm abandoning it because as a short length, it's fine. As a longer length, say a necklace, it's too stiff. So today I will move on to something else.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bead DUH

When we belonged to a medieval role playing group, most of the stories around the camp fire started with "No shit, there I was." Even the dainty ladies used this phrase.

Well, no shit, there I was, working on a new teaching project. Now this is a stitch I have done countless times before. I have even put it in kits, so you would think I can do this in my sleep, right? Wrong. I'm sitting on the sofa stitching (okay, I was watching TV, but it was the season premier of CSI). I'm stitching along, just stitching away, and I look at what I've done, which was about five inches, and it's not spiraling. I look at my instructions, and for some unknown reason, I decide they are wrong (mind you, these were the instructions I included in a kit). So I un-bead. I start stitching again (now I'm watching ER). I bead about three inches and look at it, and it's STILL not spiraling. I decide it's a sign from the universe that I should not be beading at this particular moment in time. So I un-bead. I go to bed, read, try to sleep, toss and turn all night, and suddenly I am hit with an epiphany: DUH!

It turns out that I CAN do this stitch in my sleep after all. I just don't seem to be able do it while awake!

I'm spending the day with T-man, so no beading until this evening (I can't bead and drive at the same time). I did make a pair of earrings yesterday that go nicely with the new necklace. I'll put a picture of them either here or on my website tonight. Have a bead-iful weekend!