Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Are These Beads Called?

Er, I cannot for the life of me remember what these blue beads are called. They come in various colors and styles and their name was even written on the bag when I bought them. . .anybody got a name?

I keep wanting to call them... bindis (no, not bindis) or kulchi (no, wrong)...

Ha, it will probably come to me as soon as I post this (but just in

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Crafty Chica's Empanada Pincushions

Oh. My. Gawd. I was checking out Kathy Cano-Murillo's (The Crafty Chica) Flicker site and what did I see at the top of the photos today?

Empanada Pincushions! made with white felt and a bit of paint.
I think she has out-craftychica'd herself this time. I can't wait to show this to my SIL. It's so realistic looking! I make empanadas every Christmas. My MIL's favorite was mincemeat but I could never bring myself to make that -- I use fruit such as dried apples and apricots. Let me tell you, Kathy's are very convincing!

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Favorites in My Shop

After doing really intensive seed bead embroidery for so many years, I am completely hooked on the "simply satisfying" project. I don't care what it is, paper, shrink plastic, fabric, glue gun and glitter madness, or (of course) -- jewelry. I still play with my seed beads for sure, but I'm enjoying Etsy because I can also post my jewelry "art attacks." And I've noticed that my favorite projects are often the most affordable...

Plum Pools $14.00
I make these in many colors, using vintage
Western German rhinestones and vintage bezel
stampings I bought from a local manufacturer
when he decided to retire.

Silver Pomegrantes $18.00
Sterling silver is always in style around here.
I always try to keep a few simple silver things in my shop.
Great for everyday wear. These have handmade earring wire
"nooses" for something a bit different.

Milky Silver Ring $14.00
More vintage Western German rhinestones.
This one's an opaline faceted glass cab set into
an adjustable floral ring.

Secret of Birds $20.00
One of the advantages of having a messy worktable is
you can find all kinds of things to put together in unusual
ways. I have been doing a monthly ATC swap, plus
making jewelry for my Etsy shop, not to mention my
little fiber dolls and such, which makes for some very
interesting archaeological detritus on my table!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Color Friends and Lovers

"All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites."
--Marc Chagall
(who also said, "I work in whatever medium likes me at the moment." LOL!)

Can you tell I've got color on the brain? Ever since (well, and before) the NMBS color workshop, I've been seeing color theory in action everywhere. (Ok, so why is my blog BROWN? I even wore olive, khaki and black to the workshop!)

What Chagall is saying is, analogous colors -- "neighbors" that live beside each other on the color wheel -- are harmonious, and complementary colors (opposites on the color wheel) are "lovers" in the sense that they complete each other; that is, every pair of complementary colors contain a bit of all three primaries.

Internet resources have improved and multiplied thousand fold since I started doing color seminars for bead & fiber artists. Here's a great place that keeps getting better:

And wwwwow, here's another link I'd never seen before. It's called Color Vision and Art, "The Science of Vision and the Emergence of Art." Just go there. It's. . . well, vivid!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Edible Color Wheel

Can't get motivated to learn color theory? Here's an idea from an elementary school teacher -- create an edible color wheel! I'm pretty sure vanilla wafers and frosting could get me up and at 'em. Plus a little food coloring. . .

Nice job, kids!

Oh, and I dare ya to sing the songs -- "The Red & Yellow Blues". . . and let's never forget that hit classic, "Roy G Biv". . .

Friday, July 25, 2008

Treasurilicious or was that Etsilicious?

Aww, Emmakat loves pyrite too -- and she made a whole Treasury out of it, including a pair of my earrings...

I do love pyrite but I have to admit it's one of the toughest sells of all the stones I use. I don't know why. It's silvery -- that's good right? And it's SO earthy, substantial, but as you can see from this partial Treasury grab, it comes in so many shapes and styles. Whenever I find new pyrite stones, I grab them. They feel, well, electrical and grounded at the same time. I guess you have to love it's rough look to appreciate it.

I Wake To Sleep

Here's one of my all-time favorite poems, or rather a few verses from it. Years ago one of my teachers, Howard McConeghey, an art therapist, read it in class and I was very moved. I asked if he had another copy, and he handed me his. I was about 21 or 22 at the time.

Years later I ran into him at, of all places, my husband's cousin's house. Turns out Howard's nephew and he were friends, and the nephew brought Howard over for Thanksgiving, or Easter, or some type of holiday. He's a lovely man. He wrote a wonderful little book called Art and Soul.

Anyway, I ran across the poem again recently, and remembered all that it means to me. . .

The Waking
Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

La Llorona in Print

la lloronaLa Llorona sure gets around. She travelled for almost two years, came home about a year ago, and yesterday I received a copy (thank you Domino!) of a powerful new culture studies book called There Was a Woman: La Llorona from Folklore to Popular Culture, written by Domino Renee Perez, Associate Prof. at UT-Austin, where she's included in the pages.

My beaded La Llorona is featured in the center color section, and also as a black and white in the final chapter -- along with, surprise surprise, photos and a description of my piece as it was greatly enlarged and used (rearranged a bit it appears) as a backdrop for a children's theatre play. I had no idea! It it rather mind-boggling to think of that polarity -- the teeny tiny beadwork and the humongous stage set.

I suspect the writing must have started out as Ms. Perez's doctoral dissertation -- I know the book itself was at least 3 years??? in the making (and that's a loooong pregnancy folks!). It's very dense writing, but readable, approachable. The book basically traces the history to contemporary interpretations of the legend of La Llorona, the wailing, child-stealing, waterways haunting woman of Hispanic cultures of the southwestern U.S. (and Mexico...)

I guess I was drawn to making the piece because of my association of La Llorona with the ancient European (and Mesopotamian) dark goddesses I've met once or twice in life's dark alleys. And Hindu dames. And Tibetan Buddhist divas, too, come to think of it. Most people wouldn't suspect it about me, but heck, there's just something about those wailing, bloodthirsty mujeres that strikes a chord, I guess. ;-)

Anyhoo, I sat with the book for an hour or two last night and came away feeling reconnected and inspired. The reviewer from the back cover writes, "This is interdisciplinary scholarship at its finest...ethnography, cultural critique, feminist critique, literary analysis, visual analysis, and popular culture studies...I wanted to read every word of it." I agree.

P.S. In case you're curious about how my beadwork ended up in the book, the answer's easy -- it was on my website, and the author contacted me. Proof that if you put your work out there, nice things can happen. If you don't? Well...they probably won't. ;-) That's all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Picasa Thieves Poll and Update

To get caught up on this subject, feel free to read my coupla Picasa posts.

Picasa is a free photo-hosting site by Google. Unfortunately, free isn't the only thing it is. It is also a cesspool of wicked, wicked hoarders who call themselves "sharers" and play hot potato with other crafters' (and publishers') intellectual property. Who me, ranting??? ;-)

T H E ~ P O L L
I created a poll (look left! top of column...) that gleans various suggestions and responses from Beki Haley's All About Beading forum on Delphi. This time, rather than create long, wordy poll responses I thought I'd sum them up here. Especially since I seem to create confusing polls on a regular basis. Maybe this will help to put the responses into context:

1. Raise pitchforks & take to the streets!
In other words, throw a royal group fit, scream and yell and be outraged

2. Write the offenders privately
Contact the "sharers" and tell them how you feel/what you think, asking them to remove the content. Or curse them in Yiddish, I don't care. Whatever you think. 8-)

3. Report the items as offensive
Not Picasa's recommendation for IP violations, but one theory is that if enough people do it, the dweeb in charge of fielding the emails will delete the stuff out of sheer exasperation.

4. Create an online petition
One suggestion was to create a public petition and send it to Picasa so they are well aware of how folks feel.

5. Notify the copyright holders
If you know how to contact the author or publisher, do that, and let them decide whether to go through the IP complaint/removal process with Picasa.

6. There's nothing we can do
Pretend you're Kafka. Or, up your meds and forget about it. You can't damn the river. That sort of thing.

7. Let the porn industry handle it?
This was Monkey Girl's idea, I include it in the interests of complete disclosure.

8. Quit publishing stuff
If we didn't publish, they wouldn't have anything to steal. This is the most logical solution in the list, IMHO. ;-)

9. Blame the victims
People who publish, especially those big meanies in the big publishing houses, are just greedy bastids who don't want to share. On a more subtle level, you might choose this answer if you think the craft authors sort of deserve whatever they get.

10. Urge publishers to pursue offenders
Not quite the same as other options -- this means that we exert pressure on publishers to defend their works, assuming they have more resources compared to their authors (who mostly don't actually own the rights anyway) and to self-publishers.

FYI, after my, rant, my home girl Phreadde, aka fibergal, contacted me to say there is a grassroots method in place for reporting offenders to the major publishers. You can contact her (I won't put her email address here unless she tells me to but you can contact me for it...) and she sends frequent updates to the publishers about who's doing what where.

T H E ~ R U L E S
This time, you only get to pick one answer! Buahahaha! So think about it -- which one do you think would be most effective (or not)? Feel free to change your answer next time you stop by (within the next 3 weeks).

As usual, I'll post a summary when it's over.

P I C A S A ~ "F R I E N D S"
The two "women who like to share" that I linked to in previous posts have both toned it down quite a bit. In fact, one has been removed. So here are some fresh offenders, in case you're not aware of the extent of copyright violations on Picasa:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Anticraft

O....M....G. Where have I been? Or rather, where has the Anticraft been all my life? Beadnik Sarah found this one -- it's a zine! it's a blog! it's a sarcazmatron for crafters -- with projects in the current issue like "Vlad the Impaler" hats and a shrunken head polymer clay pendant.

Wow, my cranky-little-inner-pagan-girl-child-who-grew-up-artistic-and-lonely has finally found her tribe, and is utterly delighted (She's sitting on my lap now, begging me to let her play with the projects. Ouch! She's pulling my hair). I mean, how can you not love a zine whose inaugural issue was themed "You're gonna die anyway so you might as well knit." And they do book reviews. . . LOL (can't wait to read those). Everything strikes me so funny right now, I'd have to quote the whole thing so you might as well go read it . . .

(I know, I'm prolly the last neighbor on the block to hear of it...but better late than never eh? My inner girl child is running with the wolves again!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Smash Penny Birds

New earrings in my Etsy shop. . .vintage glass bird charms, smashed pennies, and faceted turquoise teardrops:

birds, copper, jewelry

Sunday, July 20, 2008

NMBS Summer Workshop Fun

Whoa, talk about jet lag. I flew back home on Friday afternoon and went straight to work prepping for yesterday's classes with the New Mexico Bead Society. Yes they asked me back again, I must not have tortured them too badly with the Tidepool Necklace in July 2007. ;-)

What an awesome group -- good vibes, great desserts, and fun, patient students. They had asked me to do a "hands-on" color workshop so I had to really think about how to do that, in a church meeting room, in 3 hours, with minimal set up and cleanup. So I created a booklet -- something I've been wanting to do for ages. For several years I did a color theory for beaders slide show with lecture & discussion, but I've been wanting to create a workbook to sell, so thanks to the NMBS for providing the impetus to get the first draft out. We used oil pastels as our coloring medium.

I printed the cover on a yummy creamy old-fashioned parchment paper and bound the class copies with string. I gave little beady prizes to the participants for finding my typos, and boy did they do a great job (I confess I did not proofread a printed copy before class, because in Las Vegas last week my laptop software wasn't up-to-date enough to open the file!).

I've been so busy with school I totally forgot how much fun I have teaching! Lots of laughs, for sure. I got great feedback on how to improve my instructions, some students were very new to color theory and one was a very experienced painter, so what can I say? Lots of expert advice, which I really appreciated.

The afternoon class was a herringbone cord bracelet I learned from Chris Phillips last year. There are lots of beginners in the NMBS, so when they asked for another class I figured something short and sweet would be a good idea (unlike last year's 6-hour Tidepool marathon, hehe). I put kits together for them in all different color combinations -- it was interesting to see which colors they liked and which ones sat on the table, especially after the morning color theory class! They definitely went for the more expensive seed beads in subtle colors.

What a blast! This group has grown in the past few years into a hopping bead society with lots of great activities. I really feel like I've grown close to some of the members. There are some great designers, and some just plain fascinating women. I got to eat lunch with Betty, an old timer I met years ago when I was a member. (She knows me -- she brought me three desserts.) She has been a member almost since the group started as a bead research/study group. Today of course it has evolved into a group of mostly seed beadworkers and stringers. I even met a woman who just moved out here from my hometown! She has an Etsy shop called High Desert Beadscapes.

The other teachers at the workshop were my pal Rita Sova (owner of, who was teaching how to use her warpless Versa-Loom, Caroline Bleil, who I only seem to run into at Hobby Lobby, LOL (Caroline has won Best of Show at the NM State Fair more times than I can count), Camille Argeanas, whose wirework class I took several years ago. I was kind of envious yesterday because she was teaching on the other side of the room and when I saw the finished projects I realized I have a lot more to learn from her! I heard a rumor Camille is working on a book. And apologies for not remembering who the other teachers were... they were in other parts of the building and I didn't get to see them. I'm a zombie. Just wandering aimlessly around the house not particularly wanting to start any new projects. For today. ;-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Addendum to the Tech-exhibit swag list

Scuse me, I just went through my bag of swag... I forgot to mention little tins of mints, a bumper sticker that says I heart frogs, a water bottle, a couple of beer cooler sleeves, a doorknob hanger that says "Do Not Disturb, I'm Elluminating" a couple of plastic bookmarks, and an odd little fuzzy thing called a Weepul that I'm supposed to take a picture of and upload to a blog to win a prize. In fact one of the employees of the company giving them away took a picture of me holding mine (tho he declined to upload it for me, LOL) and thank goodness I had the presence of mind to move my Corona (with lime, in a beer sleeve...) out of the way first in case he changed his mind about uploading it, LOL.

A Perfect-Timing Day

This a.m. I woke up with just enough time to get ready, at a leisurely pace, for the airport. Even had time for coffee! Got to the airport in just enough time to check my bag, buy a bagel and juice, put on my makeup in the ladies room, then wait, oh, maybe 5 minutes before boarding. Got a seat right near the front, therefore, got off very quickly and claimed my bag within 5 minutes of getting to the baggage claim. Got on a shuttle that left within minutes and aside from the long line at the hotel check-in, it was an eerily smooth cruise! I was able to check in early and get all unpacked, get my Internet all set up, and enjoy the awesome view of the pool and gardens at the Venetian from my elegantly cozy room. Two flat screen TVs, a bathroom about the size of my kitchen, and a guest services dude on the phone who calls me Mrs. Tafoya. Wow! Considering the snafus and delays that can occur when travelling, this has been a perfect day.

After getting settled in, I went shopping. My strategy when travelling for work is to get the souvenirs over with as quickly as possible, because I often don't have time to shop later on. And in Vegas, the shopping is easy! (particularly if you like tacky souvenirs ;-)

The Venetian is connected to (a casino of course, and probably dozens of eating places...) a bunch of shops, including Coach, where I drooled over the new plum patent leather bags for Fall!!! I bought Papa a ridiculously expensive fuzzy monkey keyfob and in a little shop called Ice, I treated myself to a dreamy old-fashioned sparkly hamsa necklace by Israeli artist Michal Negrin.

The one I got is sort of like this, but not quite as fancy.
Mine has an old fashioned cerub holding a rose.

And if I'd had an extra $1,200 or so I'd have bought myself a beaded bracelet by Adonnah Langer, aka Chili Rose! <--the link goes to several examples from Wild West Trading Co.) Here's an example of her work, from Avilaretail wiki:

Enough drooling and back to the obligatory souvenirs. Junior was going to come with me, but unfortunately he is right on schedule with the urgent care injury visits -- yesterday he flipped over the front of a bike and landed on his tailbone. You know he's hurting when he bails on a trip anywhere. I had to cancel his ticket but you know, I wouldn't have been able to spend an hour in Ice if he'd been with me. I'm gathering up more than the usual bunch of goodies for him...(shhh, he might be reading this!)

After shopping til I almost dropped, I had just enough time to prop up my dogs for a few before getting ready for the exhibit hall swag-a-thon, complete with free drinks and an antipasto spread that functioned as a hearty dinner! Proscuitto, cheeses, cooked veggies, breads, fruit, yum!

I came back to my room embarassingly rich with freebies, including fancy post-it notepads, some little journals for my interns, lots of pens of course, a couple of T-shirts, an umbrella (???), a nifty zippered totebag with compartments for technology items that probably aren't even developed yet ;-) a Mad Libs book, and even a headset! I wish I had a camera! It's poundage!

So now I'm kicking back in my plush Venetian bathrobe, blogging. Yep, just enough time to relax, chill, blog, drink water, and switch back and forth between my two flat screens before settling in to read and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. A perfect, perfect-timing day.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Shattered Versions of Reality

Apprently, there comes a time in every adult's life when we have to face the facts. Our version of reality is so often distorted, enhanced, just plain incorrect.

That fave necklace I couldn't decide whether to put on Etsy or not?
Faded. I wore it once and all that white stuff went away. I am SO glad I didn't list it. Now it's just brownish beads and a nice chunk o' turquoise. But I'll still wear it.

Those unconctacted Amazonians?
Turns out they'd been "mapped" for years, and the dude that put the story out into the news flew over this group he'd known about for maybe a decade, buzzing them until they put on their red battle paint. So, while not a complete hoax, his methods were questionable.

Oh, and my trusty guard dog who we thought had foiled a burglar?
I forgave her and picked up the mess she made flinging my rhinestones and bits of bling across the room trying to get to the window. We called her a hero(ine). But a week later she did it again -- apparently in the middle of the night. Now, before I go to work in the mornings I have to prop the chairs up to block her access. The second time she did it I barely had the heart to pick up and sort things. But, she did prompt a major reorganization -- of everything BUT my work table, LOL!

I guess I function better in a moderate amount of chaos. When I'm looking for the perfect dangle, I don't wanna have to walk into the studio and hunt for something. I'd rather it was on the table somewhere -- or on the floor nearby?

Signed, all(most) grown up in Albuquerque . . .

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Animal Skins Treasury

I noticed there were a lot of hits on my Crow Feather Earrings so I figured they must be in someone's Etsy Treasury. Sure enough . . . found them in this Animal-themed treasury by ileaiye. Thanks!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mom's Favorite

LOL, my sister sent me this. Now, bear in mind, there are 8 kids in my family. Yes, I have four brothers and three sisters (might be why I couldn't fall asleep unless the radio was on when I first moved out of the house). Anyway, sibling-number-7, my second-to-youngest sister, sent this to all of us, in an email entitled "How to Tell If You're Mom's Favorite..."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More Joyce Scott Beadwork

Oh! Oh! The gallery referenced in the blogpost below has a whopping four pages up of Joyce's work, featuring seed beadwork, art glass, and mixed media schtuff:

I'd love to show a picture but my $%&*# image upload thingy isn't working in Blogger at the moment...

Recent Joyce Scott Beadwork

I dunno how Monkey Girl found this, but she did!

The post contains two images of Scott's beadwork -- one is a variation of the nanny theme and the other is a yellow nude. I suspect there are details in the latter that aren't discernable in the photo, making the meaning of the title a little hard to suss out.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Migraine Marathon

So much for blogging on the road, hehe. I did have Internet access but was so busy, I didn't even get the 3-hour beadwork project started (much less finished). Busy, in a good way. Except for the migraine. It started on Friday night and if you get migraines you know that once they get there, they pretty much leave when they feel like it. The trick is to treat them right away.

Last time a migraine got me, it last 4 or 5 days and I was a whimpering idiot most of the time. I tried a new medicine and a shot, neither worked. I am counting my blessings this time because it wasn't nearly as severe and doing stuff was actually a nice distraction. When we got home last night I popped (or rather, dissolved) my last new migraine pill (you get a whopping THREE of them at a time), not knowing if it would do any good at that point. For a few hours I was pleasantly detached, feeling sort of like a ballooon that was blown up too big, but the migraine was still there at midnight. Counting my blessings again this morning cause it's gone now, except for a bruised feeling in the back of my head, and when I push on my ear it crackles like it's full of little knuckles.

So, how was YOUR holiday weekend? 8-) We did get a few pictures but they're on the DH's cell phone and he is off to Goodwill (again). Colorado was beautiful and benevolent and even the rainstorms on the way home yesterday were a treat. And I feel very suburban saying this but the Ft. Collins Comfort Suites we stayed in was the nicest one yet, and hardly anybody was there! Each time we passed the pool it was empty, making us sorry (for about 5 seconds) we didn't bring Junior.

Today it's cool and damp, and the house is quiet except for the turtle clunking around in her tank. Since I don't have any pretty vacation pictures to share, how about a picture of Squirt, our killer guard turtle, before I wander off to the kitchen to make coffee?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

We're Goin to Vegas Baby (BOTH of Them!

Today after work we head north, to the original Las Vegas -- New Mexico. Just me and the DH. He comes from up that way and we're going to the 4th of July Fiestas, but first, hopefully, breakfast with Beadnik after she gets done with her night shift at the hospital. Then we head to Colorado to visit my bro and friends for a long weekend.

And then week after next it's off to the OTHER Vegas for a work-related conference. Vegas is SO surreal. We're staying at a place where you can ride an actual gondola inside the hotel. I have to take Junior, oh yeah...poor thing, cause I can't leave him home four days while Papa goes to work so early... Junior is the adventurous type, so I know he is gonna love this. He even told me not to tell him anything about the hotel, he wants to be surprised.

IF he can walk, that is. Last night we let him go to an open gymnastics session with a couple of his kung fu buddies. He came home with a limp. I said, "What did you do?" He said, "I don't know." I said, "WHAT did you do?" He said, "I don't know." I said, "Did you break something?" He said, "Yeah, my toe." I said, "I'm not taking you to the hospital." He said, "I'm not going to the hospital!"

Which might sound like a weird conversation, unless you back up a few years and add up all the ER, urgent care, and follow up visits I've been to with this kid. I mean, I hope this doesn't sound hard hearted, it's just that, things like broken toes don't phase you much after a facial injury or two, bloody cuts and dressing changes every 48 hours, concussions, and actual broken limbs that, unlike toes, can be set, splinted and, eventually, casted (I do prefer casts, cause I do know my son. This spring he went to a basketball camp with a boot on his healing broken foot and I figured he'd just be taking free throw shots, but NO, he's racing up and down the full court.)

So Junior climbed into bed and we propped him up with pillows, arnica, and an ice pack. We know the drill. Hopefully he'll be up and around enough today to pack up some clothes for his Tia's.

Which brings me back to the original Vegas. See, Nik is a nurse. And whenever Junior gets a new injury (I tell people, oh he's not uncoordinated, he's just 3 times as active...) I Google Chat with Nik about it, and she advises me whether to take him in or not. Which, in his mind, means a 5-hour minimum wait and possibly a nearly all-night trip to be told he's going to live after all. Which is why he was so emphatic about not going to the hospital. It's not that he wasn't in's just that he'd rather be in pain where there's cable TV and regular snacks. ;-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fave New Necklace

I designed this to sell but I can't decide whether to put this in my shop or not. It's made with carved jade and turquoise, with sterling findings. It looks and feels so grounding, and it ain't lightweight (not too heavy either), but the weird thing is, when you put it on, it feels weightless. I can hardly tell I'm wearing it. Plus it matches my hair really well.

Which reminds me of JEWELRY DESIGN TIP Numero Uno: Pick colors that will go with a woman's hair. If it matches their hair it will match their clothing... I learned this from a guy I worked with years ago. He went climbing in Ecuador and came back with a wool scarf for each of us 3 women. We each eyeballed each other's gift but decided we each liked ours the best. We asked, "How did you do that? You picked the perfect scarf for each of us" He said he'd picked a scarf for each of us that would match our hair. Brilliant! I've never forgotten that tip and now I find myself not wanting to part with this necklace thanks to Jewelry Design Tip Numero Uno...)

Mystery Pliers and the Ultimate Spork

I now own the ultimate spork, thanks to my edamame and seaweed salad from Trader Joe's. The salad wasn't so great but it came in this cute little container that made it look like an ice cream sundae (albeit a green, slimy ice cream sundae). The label wrapped around the top so I didn't notice it came with its own spork.

This amazing spork is HINGED, sturdier and larger than most most other sporks (and more forklike, frankly -- maybe it should be called a "foon," or a "forkoon"), and the packaging is so well designed, when folded, it tucks under the little dip in the lid where it lives until you pop it out. I love great packaging design! Oh, yes, and the fork SNAPS in place to stay open, until you unsnap it and fold it again for, I don't know, space travel? Office life in a miniature cubicle?

Now, on to the pliers. The DH came home with these from the estate sale of a local jewelry maker person. The man had several interesting old tools, none of them seemed particularly top of the line and most were a little larger than my standard pliers and such.

These pliers are not round or half round -- they are toothed, and instead of having a flat or round plier thingy, they are pointed on the top. If I grab wire with them and wrap all around once, I get an oval shape. But they're tapered, so it's not like I can make a bunch of ovals the same size. And, as I mentioned, they are toothed. With diamond-shaped pliers.

Does anybody know what they heck they're for?