Monday, September 29, 2008

80's Flashback

Does anyone remember watching Faerie Tale Theatre as a child? I loved it so, and even though we did not have Showtime I remember my Mom renting the VHS tapes for me. Throughout the years I remembered the shows and always thought to myself, "I should look for those to purchase". And every time I went to eBay, I could only find bits and pieces of them. I was flipping through an entertainment magazine this weekend and was thrilled to see they released the entire collection on DVD this month. I promptly went online and ordered my set and I can't wait to get them! Here is a synopsis of the programs:

"Every episode of Faerie Tale Theatre, a children's TV program created by Shelley Duvall, is included in this collector's set, featuring lush, live-action adaptations of classic fairy tales. A Showtime staple from 1982 to 1987, the series consistently drew a vast array of prestigious collaborators, including directors Tim Burton and Francis Ford Coppola, award-winning actors Robin Williams, James Earl Jones, and Susan Sarandon, and even musicians such as Mick Jagger and Frank Zappa. This remarkable collection includes imaginative re-tellings of “Beauty and the Beast,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Pinocchio,” and over 20 others."

I am sure when I watch them again, some of the props and special effects will be funny compared to what we have now. But they are so classic!

Speaking of the 80's, I also went to the basement to dig out my miniature shelf - I thought it would make a great bead organizer! Things like this, and antique dentist drawers, and such, have become really popular lately for organizing or make altered art. I remember many of my family members had these. I know I have all the little treasures carefully packed away too. It was a treat to go to the corner drug store and pick out a new piece and the majority of them were glued to a little cardboard square that you had to soak off. I found a picture on eBay as an example.
The back of my shelf is stamped "Enesco 1983". I think I am all set on bead organizers for a while now that I have pulled this out and I found the votive glass holders for my new peacock! But with any artist, it is surprising how quickly things can grow and accumulate!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Whirlwind Weekend!

What a busy weekend! On Friday night, Jon and I went to a Tigers game and got to sit in his company's box - oh so spoiled! The dessert cart alone is worth going for! Here is a picture of me at the stadium next to the Big Boy Restaurant. When I was young, Big Boy was my love. I had the plastic bank/doll of him and he went with me everywhere! Oh, and I am wearing my Anne Choi necklace - stayed tuned to a future blog where I explain how it ended up 3 times it's original length.
Saturday, I went to what scrapbookers call a "crop". For those who don't scrapbook, it's basically an all day event to get together and scrap, eat snacks and socialize. Scrapbooking has taken the back burner for a while for me, so I was glad to get six 12 x 12 pages done. It's nice to leave feeling like you got something accomplished. Four of them are 2 page layouts (picking strawberries and a trip to the zoo) and the other 2 are just single pages (my nephew and Jon & Biscuit).
Saturday night, I had a bachelorette party to go to for my friend Melissa. She is getting married this Friday and I am doing a reading at the church. I also made her bridal jewelry. I feel too old to be going bar hopping though! The smoke, loud music, people checking you out, Ugh! I absolutely reeked when I came home and had to take a shower before going to bed and washed my clothes right away. Don't get me wrong - I love a tropical drink at a beachside bar or savoring wine with a nice dinner - just not into the bar scene. She had a good time though and that's what's important. Here is a pic of her riding the bull!
We met at her place first and played a game where everyone brought a pair of underwear to give to her that matched your personality. I found a pair of peacock feather printed underwear online and ordered them. I don't know what is going on with sizes sometimes. Are manufacturers really trying to make women feel terrible by producing things that only fit a size 2 when they are labeled a large? Craziness - okay, that's my rant for today. I can't believe Sunday is almost over. I didn't get as much done today as I wanted. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.....

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Peacock Finds

My lovely sister-in-law alerted me about a peacock votive holder on sale on the Pottery Barn website. Although still expensive, I bought him and thought he would make a great centerpiece on my work table. His 6 clear glass containers could hold beads! I don't know if I just didn't read the fine print or what, but I guess I wasn't too surprised when it arrived that it did not come with the votive holders. I thought, no problem, I can find those anywhere for like $1 a piece. And there would have been no way I was going to pay $24 to get them from Pottery Barn! But after going to several stores I am amazed how hard a plain glass votive holder is to find! I have a few more places to look today.

My other recent find has been a wine rack from Pier One. We've looked at wine racks on and off for years so it wasn't a totally unnecessary purchase.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Green Girl Studios

Green Girl Studios is one of my favorite places to shop for treasures. The entire Thornton family is highly talented, and reading their blogs everyday is like an escape to a magical world. I am totally in love with their new bronze coins - particularly the skull one! Andrew posted on his blog that he would try to set some aside if you emailed him and I feel borderline stalker-ish as I have emailed him twice. I know they are on their way to Hawaii for a show so I am praying they have some of the skulls left when they get back. Here is a necklace Andrew created with the coin - breathtaking, right?

Since I am on the subject of GGS, I thought I would showcase the pieces I have from them from my own personal collection. I know what you are thinking - this lady posts pictures of jewelry that she keeps for herself! But I will have you know that I have sold 4 necklaces over the past few years that featured GGS pieces. I do let go sometimes....

Here is my "Owl Collection" necklace with the two small pewter owls being from GGS. The large owls are from various sources and they all hang from a chain that is further strung with brown cotton cord.

And then here is my GGS dragonfly bead strung simply with some tiny metal beads and Swarovski crystals. And my GGS fairy clasp that holds a strand of fancy jasper faceted donuts.

I must say, I am loving my new studio! It feels like walk in closet for jewelry! Every morning after I get dressed, I wander in there to pick out what necklace I am going to wear. I guess necklaces are my favorite and what I wear most. I am not much of an earring person, personally, because I have long hair. I feel like the earrings not only do not get shown off under the hair, but they also get tangled in the hair at times. If I wear my hair up, I will wear earrings. I am a firm believer that less is more so I very rarely wear both a necklace and earrings at the same time unless they are really simple. I love bracelets but very few are comfortable to wear to work when one has to type most of the day, so I try to wear them as much as I can leisurely.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Tuesdays are usually my "free" nights. Neither Jon or I have class and it's a good time to make a nice meal, relax, get stuff done. Tuesdays are also new release days for DVD's. So instead of doing homework or making jewelry (like I should have been) I felt the need to purchase and watch Sex and the City, the movie. I had already seen it twice in the theater - once with a huge group of girlfriends on opening night - and again with my Mom and Grandma when they were visiting me. It certainly lived up to all it's hype, in my opinion.

So I thought I would post some "things" I've learned about myself as a crafter, since I don't have any big bead news right now....

1. It's always better to make something too long than too short.

2. Based on the above, I shuffle back and forth to the bathroom mirror holding things up to my neck to judge size.

3. I often improvise when I don't have the right tools. Just ask Jon about the time I used the cake server to spread grout on a mosaic window!

4. If I don't love a piece right away, I will often lay awake at night trying to come up with ideas for it and will eventually rework it.

5. I don't like my hands smelling like metal. I have to wash them quickly after working with it. Even when I wear a mostly metal piece on my bare neck, I can start to smell it there too. Ick.

6. After completing a project, I am bad about putting the remaining supplies away. They seem to pile up in a designated area - most recently a tray that traveled around with me before I had my permanent studio (pic below). Perhaps now I can organize and put everything away and try to be good about always putting things in their place.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Etsy Day!

All my purchases from Etsy seemed to arrive in yesterday's mail. So it seemed only natural to start selling for myself on Etsy last night. I don't have many pieces yet, but hope my time schedule will open up soon.

My only dilemma is I want to post the "snapshot" of my shop on my blog and am having a hard time figuring out the correct way to do it. I have been in Etsy under the "mini" option and have gotten to the point where you can copy the Javascript or Flash addresses. I am assuming I need the Javascript one, but then where to put it? I've been under "gadgets" in Blogger and tried pasting it in a few places. Help anyone???

Until I get this figured out, I am on Etsy under username peacockfairy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Somebody's got a case of the Mondays.....

Yeah buddy, I wish I could stay in bed and snuggle with you too. You must be exhausted from your busy weekend of:

1. needing a bath after rolling in something smelly in the yard.

2. us being scared wondering what you might have eaten in the yard to cause you to act like you were going to throw up for an hour.

3. chewing a hole in the rear end of Dad's pants that you pulled down off the hamper. We know the distressed look is in, but this just makes them un-wearable.

4. deciding to walk on the winter pool cover as we are putting it on and then Mom having to come rescue you because the water flowed through it too fast.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Here's to you, Babe.....

It's Jon's 34th birthday today! Me, Mocha and Jon are all Virgo's - poor Biscuit is not part of the club since his birthday is in June. We just got done enjoying a last hurrah in the pool. The weather is beautiful here, but the water was cold! Jon has requested I make him lasagna for dinner and then he wants to go watch the Sprint Car races at our local dirt race track. Jon has raced Sprint Cars since he was a teen, but has sat out this season because it is so expensive. For his gift from me, he asked that I buy us tickets to the Opera, Tosca, in November. Hmmmm, this guy gets dirty and greasy with cars but then cleans up real nice to enjoy some culture. He truly is one of a kind! What more could a girl ask for! (The picture is one of my favorites from a trip to Florida about 4 years ago).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Studio Space

Ahhh, it feels complete. This is our spare bedroom upstairs. When we first moved in, it originally was my bead room. I had a small drafting desk and pretty much a bunch of other crap in there. Eventually, we ended up with an extra bed which we put in the spare bedroom downstairs and moved the futon up to this room - again with a bunch of other crap in there! So, I moved my beads to an antique roll top desk in the spare bedroom downstairs which yes, it did hide the mess when we had company but was not very user friendly. Somewhere along the way I got into scrapbooking too and there was even more stuff to organize and store. I would start working on projects sitting indian style on the floor (yes, painful after a couple of hours) in our sunroom off the living room OR on our dining room table. As you can imagine, I always felt like a disorganized mess which often made it hard to get inspired/motivated to work.

About a month ago I made the decision to actually create a permanent, organized space. My original thought was to get a cool wood desk that would like nice in the sunroom, since it would always be seen through the french doors. I got a lot of push back from Jon and more and more issues/questions of my own were raised during the process. Such as: it gets really cold in there in the winter - and that's where we always put our Christmas tree, house plants and outside plants during the winter - and even with the blinds drawn will I still have to worry about sun damage to certain things - etc. So our solution was to sell the futon (not comfortable for guests to sleep on anyway) to make room for my space. We setup our folding table - not the prettiest thing in the world but it is roomy and I don't have to worry about damaging a nice wood surface. I have storage tables and files on each side of it. I've had my funky printed chair and ottoman since forever and it's one of those pieces that never seems to go with anything but I love it and will never get rid of it. It's very comfy to sit on for a long time and you can even snuggle a chihuahua behind your back for support and warmth! The walls were already blue and I knew a major renovation - not even painting - was not an option with our busy schedules right now so I just went with a blue and brown color scheme. I found the cool necklace prints on each side of the window at Hobby Lobby and some cute brown valances that have beads dangling on the edge!

Once sitting at the table, if you look to the right I have 2 trays hanging on the wall to store necklaces in. Jon helped me adapt regular wood serving trays by screwing several hooks into the edge and then attaching hangers on the back. Also, my awesome geode torch lamp that I love - but like the chair, difficult to decorate with a Male with a pink and purple theme. It's refreshing and surprising that Jon wants so much input into our decor - sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes it's a battle. That's what I meant before when I said this spare bedroom had a lot of "other crap" in it - meaning all those bits and pieces that don't have a place in the rest of the house. But all in all, I think this look came together and works - I love it. If you look to the left from the table I have more shelves that hold neck displays, peacock frames I use for advertising, a wire peacock that has been used to hold business card and now earrings, and a handmade wood display my Dad made that was too short for necklaces but perfect for bracelets. If you turn around from the table to the other wall, I have a painted hoosier cabinet there that is great storage and on top of it several mini-bust displays. I have also shown my view out the window to our backyard. Very calming and far away from that leaky dining room mess that is stressing me out.

The only downside to this is Jon does not have a "man space". He has quite a collection of car memorabilia - posters, models, books, etc. - and has longed for a pole barn. Over the years we have kicked around the idea of building one or moving to a house that has one but it always seems to get put on hold - economy, real estate, job worries. So I felt bad as I stuffed the back of his already full closet with the few totes and boxes that had remained in this room. I did it on the night when he was in class. It's too bad we don't have a finished basement to display it all. I even tried to sell him on the sunroom studio idea by telling him that I would help him decorate this room with his stuff. He didn't seem interested. And let me know if you agree that the little loft space above our current garage would make a great rec area (with some work) - another option he is not interested in. Hey, it was even an idea for my studio if we ever had the chance to insulate/drywall/heat and cool it. Anyway, I know he'll get his own space someday.
Oh yeah, and where are we going to put babies someday? I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it....... For now though, on to creativity!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Embellished Cuff

I have had this leather cuff for about 3 years, trying (with no luck) to wire a bunch of beads to it. I also had some leftover Vintaj dragonflies from my Kerri Fuhr necklace (see post from last month). So imagine how excited I was when I came across the cover of Bead Unique magazine to see a bunch of leather cuffs with Vintaj components wrapped on them! I used my dragonflies of course, and then some delica beads. Ah, delica beads - from the good ole' Peyote Stitch days. Peyote is what got me into beading originally. Sure, I made plenty of friendship bracelets in the school yard with seed beads, but to see all those tiny beads woven together in an intricate pattern made to feel like fabric??? I was amazed. Don't get me wrong, I still think Peyote is very cool. But I learned quickly that it was time consuming and only appealed to a very small market. I'm all about more instant gratifications these days, and this was just the project to provide me with it! When I first started this project it was with the intention to sell the piece. Now I am not so sure....... Ugh, I admit I am a hoarder!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Mocha!

Friday marked Mocha's 5th Birthday! We got her a stuffed tree that holds 3 squirrels. As far as dog toys go, it's pretty darn cool! Mocha loves chasing squirrels and chipmunks in the yard all summer long - it is her life's work. She will spend hours doing it, never getting bored. She has never caught one and I don't think she'd even know what to do with it if she did (which we are thankful for). I think her big ole' ears even afford her the opportunity to hear them even when she's in the house because as soon as we open the door, she makes a beeline to where ever they are.

As for the rest of the weekend, it has never stopped raining - the aftermath of Ike. We woke up on Saturday morning to find our bay window and ceiling there leaking - what fun! We have been in our 80+ year old home for 5 years now and this is the first time for this new problem. Our roof is fairly new and we can't figure out where the water is coming from. Have to wait until Monday to make some calls. I know, how silly of me to complain about my leaking roof when a hurricane just swept through other people's homes, but still I am sticking my tongue out at the fact when you own a home, you can never seem to get ahead. I was so excited to complete my studio (which I will post pictures of later) and now this happens. Speaking of the hurricane, I spent all day at work on Friday reviewing over $1 million worth of food orders for a customer of mine who is working with FEMA and the Red Cross on the hurricane(s). My heart and thoughts go out to all of those affected by this crazy weather!
I will probably stay holed up in the house today. We only wandered out once yesterday to go to the movies: "Righteous Kill" with Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. I actually put on socks and shoes for the first time in months! While I absolutely love Fall, I am sad that sandal season is quickly coming to an end.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Costume Jewelry Makeover

Even though I make my own jewelry with cool gemstones and artist beads, I still cannot help but scan the costume jewelry section at stores when I am out shopping. I buy pieces here and there and wear them as is, OR take them apart and fashion them into new designs! I was excited to find some cool peacock feather earrings by Lucky Brand at Macy's a while back. After wearing them for a few hours - OUCH - they were too heavy! So I decided to make them into pendants. On another visit to Macy's, I found a long beaded necklace that had all the right colors and funky looking beads. So I bought it, rearranged their placement and length a bit, and attached the feather. Yippee!

Next, I have been a fan of Anne Choi for many years and have finally gotten around to purchasing some of her pieces.... I bought her 2 new owl beads! I used components from a necklace from the Express (that I had for years) and a necklace from Kohl's (recent find) to pull it all together. I knew I wanted different colors and finishes of metal on it. The part that is from Kohl's is the strand that is beaded. All of the other parts are from the Express necklace, and then I added some hematite stars as well. I wish my pictures would turn out better, but I will still keep experimenting with the best "techniques" for photographing jewelry. At any rate, I love the combination of silver, brass and copper and the rhinestone circle is unexpected and feminine in a look that I think is very "industrial".

Getting there.....

Thank you to knoblichstudio for my lovely peacock graphics! I am still so new to this whole blogging thing, but I think I am started to get the hang of it. How to personalize the page, add links, pictures, etc....

I have also been itching to get creative again, but have been spending all of my time recently in organizing a new "space" for all of my stuff. My "studio" has moved several times over the years between our 2 spare bedrooms, sometimes our sun room, and sometimes our dining room table! I am focusing on creating a more permanent place and always looking for new ways to organize. I made a lot of progress last night so I think it will be done by the weekend. It better be because I am having some friends over on Friday night to finish up some wedding jewelry for one of them. I will plan to post pictures of the room too!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Who" stumbed upon a new Etsy find?

Me! How could I resist this cute bag that incorporates two things I love: owls and peacocks! What a cute owl fabric lined with a peacock feather fabric. I can't wait to get it from pollyannacowgirlbags !

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What a difference a year makes......

If someone had told me this picture would exist a year ago, I would not have believed them. I got our male dog, Biscuit, as a 30th birthday present from my husband. We had already had our female, Mocha, for about 4 years. Let's just say the transition was a difficult one. I didn't think they would ever get along and there were many stressful moments. Having a boy puppy was WAY different than a girl puppy too! I can't believe how opposite they are. At any rate, things are much better now and they like to play and snuggle together. That's not to say that Biscuit still doesn't push Mocha's buttons at times. Even though he is twice her size, she is still the lady of the house and he accepts that.

So that brings me to my 31st birthday, which I celebrated yesterday. Actually, I had an early birthday dinner with my family last weekend with great food and visiting. Then yesterday, I had many warm wishes from my co-workers. Then my hubby whisked me off for a Japanese Stone Massage at the Greenery Spa, then dinner at Tre Cugini, then a walk through the Grand Rapids Art Museum Okay, that's a lot of then's...... Let's just say I've had a great last week or so!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

School Days, School Days

I was remembering this weekend a song my Mom used to sing to me when I was little and getting ready for school: "School days, school days, dear old happy school days...." and on it went. I did not like it very much! So today marks my first day back in going towards my Bachelor Degree. Tonight I had Auditing and tomorrow I have Advanced Accounting. Sounds fun, right? I am dreading this semester. I only had one measly week off between the end of summer classes and fall classes. But oh well, I will be completely done next May! My husband starts his Masters program tomorrow night so we will be very busy in the coming months!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Why I Decided To Blog

I must say, I am not a very "hip" person when it come to the latest technical trends and gadgets. While I often wonder how we ever lived without the internet, I have a crappy pay as you go cell phone (which has never failed me) and probably a first generation iPod (won at a charity auction long after iPods were invented)! I have just never felt the need to spend a lot of money on the latest and greatest thing that will outdate itself as soon as I walk out of the store with it. I have other priorities, and I am sure I am not alone in that. I am also part of the generation that just missed the importance of having a My Space page.

So blogging..... I have been moved away from my family and lifelong friends for 5 years now, and it's sometimes a bit hectic to stay in touch with everyone. Especially when I try to attach pictures to emails and my parents still have dial up (hope this works better for you Dad!). Also, since renewing my interest in beading and making jewelry, I have come across some very interesting bloggers and thought, "hey, I should get my name out there too". It's uncanny how I have many of the same interests and good taste as they do!

So there you go. Most often my blog will entail my latest shopping adventure, most recent project, or what I did on the weekend. Nothing fancy, but just a quick way of getting a peek into my world each day!