Sunday, December 27, 2009

Truth or Consequences color and style :-)

Our bathroom

One of the hot tub rooms

A yummy little diner

Oh yes they did. :-)

Saturday, December 26, 2009


This Christmas Eve was, I think, the most laughs ever, despite techno difficulties and colds and just plain tiredness. The posole was excelente and the guests were easy going. Aunt Alice had hugs for all, newcomers and oldtimers alike. And who needs Christmas carols when you have a Wii? The marathon bowling and boxing was hilarious, with toy filled poppers for all participants.

Tia Alicia, Joe, Paul, Uncle Steve, and Junior.

Ibrahim and Paul, after the poppers, and before the crowns disintegrated.

And now we're having a deliriously lazy day-and-night down in T or C. I might even read a book! Pictures to come . . .


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Posole & Cell Phones

My motherboard crashed. So I bought a new tower. My hubbie gave me a cell phone. It doesn't work. I exchanged it and that one doesn't work. Ya think this is a not so subtle hint I might want to let go of the technology for the holiday? :-) My new computer wasn't sposed to be ready until Monday, but they called today to say it was ready and I just wanted to say "Keep it for awhile, ok?" But hubbie was having none of that, so he's racing over there to pick it up.

Meanwhile, the house is filled with the smell of posole and cinnamon (I bought a bag of scented pine cones and I keep moving them around the house cause they're so strong!). At 6:00 the friends and relatives will start coming around and we'll chow down on piles of empanadas, wedding cookies, posole and tamales. Lord, help me get this house ready...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

More Ouled Nail Photos

Three more Ouled Nail photos. Click on the images to get to the larger versions.

Ouled Nail Photos

About 12 years ago (which is eons in computer years) I purchased a multi-CD volume of clip art that was so bad I never opened it again, until recently. I finished going through the first volume, which consisted mainly of bad rescans and grainy black and white illustrations.

This morning I started poking around in Vol. 2, and found several photos of what look like the Ouled Nail, an Algerian tribe, probably scans from an old magazine spread? So, for all you belly dance and tribal dance fans, click on the photos below for larger versions...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A bit'o Christmas clipart

My favorite present to myself this year was a discounted "Christmas Crafts Fun Kit" from Dover, and I didn't even notice it included a CD of clipart until the box arrived. Here are a couple of samples -- they look like unaltered scans to me (except I added the blue to the angel below). Doncha love that old fashioned lettering?

Also inside the box were several sticker books, an origami book and two packs of paper, a stained glass coloring book we'll use with the wee ones who stop by on Christmas Eve, and a box of snowflake patterns I'm getting ready to sit down with.
Oh btw, click on the images above to get to a larger, printable version.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Go Juni and Winter News

Woot! After second place finishes in every tourney he's been in the last year, Junior got his first First Place finish last weekend in Vegas (grappling). Please notice the guy who got second is about a foot taller and probably a couple of years older. Hehe.

So yeah, that's where I've been. That and under the weather with a post-semester cold. Two weeks off for Christmas, can't wait!

Shipped a bunch of Etsy packages today after staying in bed all day with a slight fever. Brushed up on our famous American outlaws on the History channel, but after dozing through parts of the whole marathon, I still couldn't tell ya who shot Billy the Kid or why Wyatt Earp went nuts (personally I think it was his last name...)

Will I ever have time to make jewelry again? I finally conceded that I cannot keep two Etsy shops open this Spring and take two grad classes, so I temporarily closed my jewelry shop, bringing most of my inventory over to OFFCenter to the Christmas show, where sales have been pretty good so head on over if you're looking for great handcrafted holiday gifts at a good price.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Precious Trivia Questions

1. What did Precious's mother called the oldest baby?
2. What does the letter F stand for?
3. What was Lenny Kravitz's first line in the movie?
4. What did Mariah Carey say when Precious asked her what color she was?
5. How did Precious pronounce the word "incest"?

Precious Trivia Quiz

Wow. Last night I saw the best movie I've seen in years. On so many levels. Mulling it over this morning, it's like there are overlapping constellations of perfection -- the dialogue among the girls at the alternative school, the acting by folks we have previously only known as comediennes, the film quality, obviously the story line -- everything from the opening typography to the closing credits was inventive and moving. Swear!

Yes, I can see where the critical reviews are coming from. And I have to admit the movie was so intriguing it drew me in to where I thought I had gotten acclimated to the emotional content, and then it sucker punched me by breaking my heart in one powerful scene by
Gabourey Sidibe. But I vote this best picture of the 21st century. :-) I just wish there was an Academy Awards category for "best cameo" because it would be a toss-up between Mariah Carey and Lennie Kravitz, as well as Sherrie Shepherd. They delivered.

And so, for all you Precious fans or potential fans, here's a Trivia Quiz for ya. I thought I'd start with the Answers first, then post the Questions later... hehe.

1. Mongo
2. Fat
3. Stop screaming.
4. What color do you think I am?
5. Insect

Ok -- so what are the questions???

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Big Ole Pile of Earrings

That's right. And if I ever get them put onto cards I'll be selling them up on the gallery wall at OFFCenter's Holiday Gift Show, opening Friday, Dec. 4 (5-8:30 pm). The show will stay up through mid-December.
New styles include decoupaged findings with lightweight lucite baubles, clusters of dangles with vintage flower cabochons, plus several new smaller sized combos; along with the usual suspects -- collaged, resin, ethnic, wire wrapping, vintage rhinestones, smashed penny creations, etc. Not that you can actually see them in this mess.
And now I'm really wondering if I should even post this, LOL! They will look a lot more appealing all organized and on their little hang tags. Oy! (Since I seem to be in confession mode, I'll just go ahead and admit the photo above only shows half the plate and I've got another plateful too...).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Accidental Altars

I find these little displays all over my house. I think of them as "accidental altars" because they display things that I think are too precious to throw out, but their arrangements are not deliberate. If I was more deliberate, people would call me organized.
There always seem to be stray plastic animals around the house.
These two have been perched atop my mica shelf for a few
years now. Although they're not glued down, they seem content
to stay where they are.

This old Scrooge pops up in my jewelry photos now and then.
These days he holds court among the crystals, in the
shade of the peacock feathers.

Buttons, milk pogs, old black snaps, and little bottles
the MOTH finds on his hunting-gathering missions.

I adore the little Japanese lamp the MOTH brought home.
Suddenly we had a new accidental altar.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sun and Moon Inchies 4U

I used these clip art images recently for an inchy ATC swap. Regardless of how they appear here, you should be able to click on either image to get to a 1-inch square image to use in your inchy art.

These two images make nice alternating patterns. They also work well as polymer clay transfers that you can color in (before baking) with colored pencils.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Birthdays and Beads

I thought I was on the 5- to 7-day blogging plan, but obviously I missed even that mark this week. Ah well, it's the last couple of weeks of the semester, and I have taken a rare fancy to keeping the house clean, which leaves a bit less time (make that ZERO) for making jewelry or blogging much. Don't worry, I'm doing plenty of typing. Just not around here.

So considering the above, I had to seriously question my sanity for volunteering to work for Betcey and Mark at the Bead Renaissance show yesterday. I woke up Saturday morning tired and achy from the work week, with a sink fulla dishes and dog hairs on the bed spread. I asked the MOTH "Why am I doing this again?" and he said, "Because you love it." And he was right.

I was late for my first and last day of work, LOL! But fortunately they didn't fire me, and once I got out on the floor I remembered how much fun I have gabbing with people and finding beads that match their crystals, etc. In a perverse way I also enjoy scouting for the show's well known perennial would-be shoplifters, though I didn't see either of them this year, darn it. It's so much fun to talk their ears off until they just finally leave. Hehe.

Yes it was fun, and I do love it, and when Betcy is around we always hit a nice restaurant or two at dinnertime. We celebrated Nikia's birthday on Saturday with Italian food, off-color jokes, brought-in cheesecake (an annual tradition), gifts, and whatever Betcey was drinking.

So today I'll play catchup. And it was worth it. :-)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rather stunning color combos

Have you found typoGenerator? You type your text into the box, they generate it into an artsy image. You can create the most inspiring color combinations here . . . makes me want to go slather paint on something. Here's what I made today:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Free ATC Clip Art

Click on the image above for a slightly larger, ATC-sized image

A nice lass for this time of year, I thought. She's holding . . . an evergreen bough? A sprig of rosemary? She's perfect for coloring with pencils, markers, transferring, etc. Have fun!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bead Fest Santa Fe 2010 Classes

Pardon my absence of late. It's that time of year when school, family, work and life all collide and squeeze the blogging right out of my day. ;-)

Today I got the email that Bead Fest Santa Fe classes are open for registration. I was a little disappointed that Susan Kazmer wasn't on the roster cause I'll sign up for just about anything from her. But there were lots of other mixed media type metal classes. Didn't know the teachers though, so I signed up for these:

Micro macrame jewelry 101 with Joan Babcock! Joan lives in Santa Fe and produced a marvelous book that Suzanne Cooper showed me recently. I want! I've loved Joan's work for years, especially her color schemes. And even though there are tutorials on the web, I'm one of those "show me" gals. So a-micro-macrame-ing we go!

And this one is a copper etching class. And again, I even have a book that briefly describes the process but I look forward to getting some face time with a real live instructor. Her name is Gina Crow.
It feels so odd to be registering (and paying for) classes way off in March 2010 but I've learned the hard way it's pretty tough to get what I want if I wait until I make the hotel reservations.
Only one problem -- both of these classes are in the evenings, which is going to severely cutting into my , er, fine dining time with friends.

In other bead news, I just realized (thank you Nikia of the rhinestone embellished vintage Coach bag!) that the bead show in Albuquerque is weekend after next. I get to see Betcey and Mark! Buying beads doesn't have quite as much thrill as seeing them because cause after all we have great bead shopping here all year 'round.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trouble in Taos

This story made the national news. A new hotel owner new to Taos forbade employees from speaking Spanish in front of him because he was paranoid they'd be talking about them, and he wanted them to Anglicize their names.

Classic line in this story is when an employee tried to tell the owner they've been speaking Spanish in Taos since long before they were speaking English there.

So yeah, instead of trying to learn a little Spanish himself or market the cultural pride of the place, he tries to browbeat Taos out of the Taosenos. Go home dude, find another place to build your fiefdom.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Printable Rhinestone Sizing Chart

Here's a handy little chart shared by my new pal Jennifer from Etsy:

Giant Robber Banker Paper Dolls

I saw this photo at the Huffington Post today and thought "Why didnt' I think of that?" Course, they're not paper dolls exactly, they're giant signs. Taken at a protest outside the American Bankers Association annual convention, in Chicago.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Locust Tree at Night

We came across this tree while walking back from The Shed in Santa Fe and it looked so Halloween-ish we all tried to get a shot. The seed pods were rather spookey and by the way that's a street lamp, not the moon.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bead It and Weep

Well, the last several days have been pretty bumpy. First, I got the flu. Next, I got some kind of tooth infection. Haven't been to the dentist yet, because next, we got word that a dear relative had passed on.

I went up to Santa Fe anyway, where we have a small, annual bead retreat -- a bead, eat, shop, play, bead, laugh, catch up, bead, and sleep weekend -- every year. I figure it was the best place to be considering I could at least rest if I needed to, unlike what I'd be doing at home. This was our 15th year gathering together! (My 13th I believe.)

I have to say I was very well taken care of! A bit of therapeutic massage, many hugs, a few tears, some Rescue Remedy, and even antibiotics for my tooth. Not to mention my nurse-in-residence, Sarah.

On Saturday a couple of these friends decided to take me up to Chimayo. I bought my BIL (it was his mother who passed away) a pretty little silver cross made in Mexico. The neat thing about it is the top unscrews and you can fill it with healing Chimayo earth.

Here are a few photos from our jaunt:

Rita and Judy make me so jealous because they are old ladies like me
but their hair is still soft and silky and down past their waists.

A swallow's nest under the eaves outside a little shop.

Don't ask. LOL!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Collage Earrings

What fun. I have been collecting old medicinal labels forever. Usually I use them in everything but jewelry. Here I decoupaged them onto some vintage brass stampings. The "pearls" are vintage glass cabs, and the round sage beads are vintage Lucite.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Kyanite, Pearls & Silver Chain

kyanite earrings on etsyCame home from work a little earlier than usual today, so I had time to do some late afternoon photography. These earrings are now up in my shop. :-)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Little India Recycled Envelope Set

I made three gift card envelopes from a single page out of a thrift store book about East Indian textiles. I found a pretty peachy handmade paper in my stash, and was able to make the enclosures out of just 1/4 sheet. Then I stamped and embossed them in gold! Couldn't resist stamping some seals to match. (Now if only I could find a very tiny paisley stamp I'd really be in business...)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Collage Clip Art for You

vintage collage clip art freeClick the image above for a larger version.
Have fun using this as a background, cutout elements,
transfer, transparency etc. in your artwork.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Kraftho has arrived!

Kraftho is finally on Etsy! I saw her work (and she ain't no ho btw) at the Folk Art Festival and it's very cozy and amazingly sturdy. Click the picture to go directly to the listing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box

Oooh, now here's a book I want to read: Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box by Madeline Albright. The cover shows her wearing a Statue of Liberty pin with eyes made of two clocks -- one is upside down and other is rightside up. Click the Browse & Buy button on the publisher's website for a nice peek (though slow-loading!) at some of the jewelry in the book.

The Museum of Arts & Design show by the same name opens Sept. 30.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rather extravagant use of antique steel cut beads

I'm making paper ornaments. I used Terrifically Tacky Tape
(thank you Dustin) along the bottoms and started out sprinkling
on colored mica flakes and other oddities I had in my
"bought it at China Phoenix II, still don't know what it's for"
drawer. Then I went poking through my tiny vintage beads
and couldn't resist using some steel cuts straight off the hank
(thank you again Dustin).

Here's a sampling. They are not quite finished... Need dangles.
Must prepare angelic dangles.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Personal Strengths Test for Women

My sis just sent me this link:

I have taken a find your strengths test before but I like this one a lot. It's a scenarios-based survey, with results, by Marcus Buckingham, author of other work-from-your-strengths type books. His new book is called "Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently."

I don't want to share my results right away but apparently the results range along these "types":

Advisor, Caretaker, Creator, Equalizer, Influencer, Motivator, Pioneer, Teacher, and Weaver

If you want to share your results by commenting on my blog, feel free!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why I love Etsy

Of course, I do make a bit of money over there. And I can maintain my shops in my spare time, season to season, as I have the time. Sure, you'll hear advice about listing something every day in order to get noticed and relisting to show up higher in the search results, and posting to the forums a lot to become "known" -- all things I never do. I don't even check to see if I ever make the home page anymore. People seem to find me. And the people who do are SO nice.

That's why I love Etsy. This week I returned home from a crazy weekend trip to Cruces, arriving very late on Saturday night (aka Sunday morning), then got up a few hours later and worked at the Folk Art Festival all day. Then Monday night I had class at UNM.

For most of the week my internet and phone were on and off, mostly off, thanks to the heavy rains and my late 1940s house. Every time I'd go to get online, the internet would be down. Then it would come on long enough for me to see that something had sold, but not long enough to actually print out the receipt.

Finally today I shipped 10 packages. Then I emailed the customers to let them know I was not so quick on the draw this week, and so far everyone who's emailed me back has been not just cool with it, but extraordinarily NICE. So far, I've heard back not to worry, that a thing called life happens, and not only that but peace and light and all kinds of other just nice things. That's why I love Etsy. It's a people thing. 8-)