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Archive for July, 2008

Chaos


I named this piece “Chaos” because when it is being made, it is indeed an organized chaotic mess of rings until that last step when it all comes together into this gorgeous pendant. It’s the kind of weave you’re not sure you’re doing right the whole time because surely it isn’t supposed to look like that, but then all of a sudden, viola! (Yes, my blog pronounced “voila” properly in case you were wondering, thankyouverymuch.)



It is made with close to 100 copper rings, all hand cut and woven into this Oriental ball chain maille weave. A sterling silver box chain is threaded through the center, so it hangs oh so perfectly around the neck. The pendant is approximately 7/8″ in diameter.

Do you love it? I think this weave is super cool. I see myself making it in brass and maybe even in sterling soon. Mixed metals would work well for it too.



Oooh, and I took these with my new lens. I didn’t think I’d be able to use it at all with jewelry, but it doesn’t do too badly. I have to move the tripod waaaay back for it to focus, so my next lens purchase will definitely be a macro (which is $$$$ so it might be a while!), but it surprised me that it sort of worked okay for this.

It’s Another Bloggy Giveaway Carnival!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button


Hi bloggy buds! In case you don’t know, there’s a big Bloggy Giveaways Carnival going on this week. Click here to go check it out. There are a ton of great prizes you can win.

I participated in the last giveaway carnival, and have been asked to participate this time by giving away some coupons for FREE cereal! So of course, I agreed. I mean, who doesn’t love cereal… especially when it is free!?

Are you kookoo for Cocoa Puffs? Health nut that I may be, I do enjoy a Cocoa Puff now and then. *grin* In fact, it was one of my favorites growing up. I’ve always been a sucker for sweet cereals, and chocolate IS a girl’s best friend after all!


Photobucket


“NEW Cocoa Puffs Combos cereal… combines great-tasting chocolatey puffs with vanilla puffs, a classic combination that kids love. Even better, Cocoa Puffs Combos is made with whole grain and is a good source of Calcium and Vitamin D.”

I have FOUR coupons to give away to four different people for FREE boxes of this new Cocoa Puffs Combos cereal. Each one has a value up to $5.33. To enter, just leave a comment telling me what your favorite childhood cereal was (or is?) and why. (US residents only, please.)

Good luck! *grin*

The Visitor

My parents have been in Hawaii for the past week, so we have been dog sitting their “baby”, Lucy. A little red teacup poodle that has the attitude to match the hair (don’t we all?).

She is truly a little doggy diva. I’m surprised she doesn’t demand doggy spas and doggy iPods and doggy bling. In fact, I think if she knew where my parents were, she’d have insisted they channel the Hollywood wackos and take her with them in a little poochie Gucci.

But alas, she had to stay in boring old Texas with boring old me and Dustin and our two stinkies. Trixie adores Lucy. She tries her hardest to love on her and play with her and Lucy just doesn’t give a flip. Trixie’s a mutt, after all, and not Hollywood material. Molly doesn’t care about much of anything, so long as Lucy isn’t in her corner. Then she gets a little OCD.

It’s a zoo here, people. A zoo.

Poor little Lu has some pretty bad allergies and eats a special diet complete with two fish oil capsules with every dinner. Clumsy me + dull knife + cutting open fish oil capsules = stinky, fishy hair. Don’t ask.

But isn’t she a cutie pie?


Looks can be deceiving! Ah, who am I kidding? She’s mostly a sweetie too. Just don’t pretend you’re going to grab her chin. Cause then she’ll go all Tyson on you.

(And yes, I did take that photo with my new lens, thank you very much! Fresh out of the box, indoors, low light, NO flash, no tripod… *LOVE*)

For grins, here’s one of the doodle bug (aka “Trixie”). It’s a little, umm, bright? But I love the look on her face.

I just might abandon my long term love affair with my torch and marry my camera instead.

Dear rolling mill,

you’ve been moved down on the list. Sorry. You’ll get over it. You’re a big boy.

Love,
Me

All my bags are packed…


Well, I suppose it’s jewelry more than bags.

It was a pretty decent day in jewelry land. This is a good thing, since I’ve made the decision to use some profits from my jewelry and jewelry supply sales (I have an Etsy shop that is strictly jewelry supplies, mostly handmade by moi) to knock things off my “Crystal Needs Likes New Toys” list. On this list, you will find at least four camera lenses, a kiln, and a rolling mill. People, that’s the short list. *grin*

I’ve had lots of decent days in jewelry land lately, which enabled me to knock the first item off my list… a 50mm 1.8 prime lens! Wooo! I’m so excited. The lovely Chelsea helped me pick it out after I deliberated over its purchase for years. Ok, I suppose it was days more than years, but it was long enough for me to pick up on some cool photog lingo. Like “prime lens”. Oooh. Doesn’t that sound important? And my new favorite word: “bokeh”. Aaaaah. Bokeh. Now that’s just the funkiest way you could ever say “blurry”. I dare you to figure out a funkier way. Go on. Try. You won’t succeed.

I also dare you to work that word into at least one conversation this weekend. Go on. Do it. And report back to me on Monday. I want to hear about the strange looks you get.

My new funky bokeh-inducing prime lens is currently on a UPS truck just a few hours away, and my patience is getting seriously bokeh-fied.

The tracking information doesn’t say what the delivery date is, which should be illegal. ‘Scuse me, but a girl orders a lens and a girl needs to know when said lens will be here because UPS has the nasty habit of leaving boxes of expensive goods on my doorstep whether I’m home or not. I’ve had things stolen this way. This is not a good thing for a girl who orders massive quantities of precious metals and gemstones, especially in this market!

So now UPS is PageRanking its big bokeh butt right alongside Google at a 10/10 on my “Crystal’s Most Hated” list. If my lens goes missing because I don’t know when to expect its delivery, I just might go postal (which, in my opinion, everyone should since despite all of its frustrating issues, at least the USPS won’t leave an expensive package unattended on my doorstep).

But anyway, now that I’m all packed up and ready to go, I’ll wish you all a good night. Errrr, morning. There’s nothing like waking up all bokeh-eyed to an email box notifying you of little steps closer to knocking off the next item on your list. Hopefully tomorrow… errrr, today… will be one of those days.

How much is your blog worth?


My blog is worth $15,242.58.
How much is your blog worth?

Unless you’re Google. Then you say it’s worth a big fat ZERO. Shame on you, Google, messin’ with my self worth and all.

Soooo, any takers? *giggle*

My husband’s favorite meal


Before we married, I had never even heard of stromboli, but my yankee husband grew up eating it and absolutely loves it. Nothing about it is healthy at all, its many ingredients are expensive, and it takes a while to prepare, so we rarely make it. However, Sunday we did. The way he traditionally makes it is with layered ham, pepperoni, hard salami, american cheese, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese wrapped up in white pizza crust. It’s truly a hearty man’s meal (yes, even hearty men who used to be in the bell choir)! This time we decided to be adventurous.

First, we used the KitchenAid to make a hearty whole grain dough (with whole wheat pastry flour, which, despite the fact people say it does not work for yeast doughs, always works just fine for me). Instead of spreading a bit of mayo onto the inside of the pocket (which to be honest, I always found a little disturbing!) we spread pesto. Then came the layered meats, which we kept the same, and cheeses (substituting monterey jack for the mozzarella). My hubby was super meticulous with the seams, making sure they were perfect. I sprinkled some sea salt and oregano on the top to make it all purdy.

The verdict is in. Best stromboli, ever.

Dip in marinara sauce, and you’re in pizza pocket heaven. My husband was on cloud 9. In fact, I think he sort of still is. Good thing we made extra for the freezer.

Oh, Baby

I could totally go for this…

a freeeeeee baby wearing stash!

Enter HERE.

Good luck!

Guest Blogger – Ana of The Pretty Peacock

Happy Monday!

Ana of The Pretty Peacock has written a guest post to share her practical advice on having an Etsy obsession. I know I can identify with that. Can you? *grin*

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Is this a healthy obsession? You can make it so.

By: Ana Talukder Simpson
theprettypeacock.etsy.com

How shamelessly obsessed are you with your Etsy life? I am pretty new to Etsy. I really knew very little about it coming into it. I was never even a buyer (I know, booooo on me, but I have bought a load of stuff since then!). In April of this year, I decided to list a few of my creative endeavors and, lo-and-behold, people liked them. My first listing was just over two months ago and I am now shamelessly obsessed with my Etsy life. I know you have all been there and still live here.

I am a stay at home parent with two small children (5 and 2) and I consider the work I do for my shop on Etsy as my ‘work’: My real-life, tangible, get-paid-for-it-in-real-money, work. My children are my joy and butterflies and all those other happy, lovely images one gives when they talk about being a mother. All true –most days.

Being an obsessive Etsy shop owner takes its toll on our little ones, loved ones, friends, relationships, etc. I make no apologies for wanting my shop to succeed or being in love with my work, but I do not want it to negatively affect my life, because, then, what would be the point? So, I invested in an inexpensive little timer with a loud buzzer to keep my obsession in check , and what it ended up doing was help me manage my time and invest it where it needed to go – so EVERYONE is happy! Don’t get me wrong, there totally needs to be more hours in the day, but at least now, I have more definite direction of where my time is going.

I typically set up my email/convo time for fifteen minute segments a few times a day. I make sure that after every thirty minutes of Etsy work, I take a break and hang out with the kids – even if that means just getting out the Play-doh or having ‘tickle-monster-time’. For those more involved projects, I wait until my littlest is napping or they are both in bed for the night. Twenty minutes is devoted to setting up shipments for the next day, another thirty to plan new designs, etc. You get the idea. It is all pretty magical. Oh! And if you get real fancy – you can get a timer with multiple features like counting up, so you can hit “start” right as you begin a new piece so you know exactly how long it takes you to create it for pricing. Shamelessly working the double-duty. Gotta love that.

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Indeed, we do! What a fabulous idea. I definitely need to work on my organizational skills, including organizing my time. Thanks so much for sharing, Ana. We wish you all the luck in your business as well as your other non-Etsy life. *grin*

Be sure to visit Ana and obsess over her gorgeous Etsy shop, The Pretty Peacock. Ana creates beautiful jewelry. I especially admire her PMC work. Check it out!

Friday Fill-In #81


How are you this fine Friday? I’m stressed because I’m having internet issues*. I can’t access half of the websites I need to access right now, including my own. Not cool when you have a business to run! I can access blogger though, and gmail so here I am, giving you quality blog content (stop laughing).

Now onto the Fill-In!

1. If I could be a fly on the wall I would cry because flies are nasty and walls don’t look so comfy. Though to be completely honest, I’d rather be a fly on the wall than a fly on the poop.

2. Jealousy is green. Wait. Green is supposed to be good, right? I’m so confused now.

3. When I see a shooting star my wish would be that wishing on stars would actually work because that kind of child-like hope and innocence could do some good in the world right now.

4. I’d rather be me than a fly on the poop any day!

5. Certain songs when I hear them make me wanna dance. But I can’t. So I try not to. But sometimes it slips out anyway. And that’s just scary, y’all.

6. If time were in a bottle, and that bottle were thrown out to sea, that might explain LOST. Or at least make for another good TV plot involving island castaways.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to seeing my folks off for their trip to Hawaii! tomorrow my plans include braving the grocery store and Sunday, I want to relax.

*Yay! The internet is back! Woooo!

This could be a problem

I nearly woke my sleeping husband just now laughing out loud.

Keyword that linked to my blog this week:

“how to install a bathroom doorknob”

To whoever is looking for advice on this topic here on song of my soul… be afraid. Be very, very afraid. (And clothed. Very, very clothed.)

Thanks, Google. Your pagerank might have pooped on me, but you’re always good for a laugh.

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