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!