Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Le Stash

So far:

- 13 pairs of silver tone coin earrings, all different
- 13 pairs of brass tone coin earrings, all different
- 6 silver tone gypsy coin bracelets
- 3 sterling and Swarovski necklaces
- 1 gold and Swarovski necklace
- 1 pair sterling and Swarovski earrings
- 2 pairs sterling and glass briolette earrings
- 2 pairs gold and glass briolette earrings
- 7 pewter tone coin necklaces

GRAND TOTAL (as yet): 48 items

Hot damn, that's not bad for 2 nights of earnest work!

I'm going to break down and do a supply order though. There are some findings and basic items that methinks I should replenish.

And continuing with today's list theme, of the THREE (count em) Thanksgiving dinners I'm having, I'm especially excited about the third on Sunday which I'm hosting for my parents, my boy and my mother and brother in law. It will be all vegetarian!


Irish champ mashed potatoes
Basic stuffing with lots of celery and onion
Green bean casserole (cheddar cheese style)
Sweet corn
Mushroom Gravy
Quorn cutlets roasted with sage


Happy Thanksgiving, kids :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hello, Holidays!

The rush has begun! My Etsy sales are picking up for the holidays and I've started to crank out more and more items to add to my shop. In addition, I was just accepted to be a vendor at PehrSpace(craft) on December 13th (much more information will be forthcoming, I promise!) and since this will be my first fair, I'm FREAKING OUT about supply and table display. I'm not sure how many items to bring . . . but my plan so far has just been to GO FOR IT. I'm going to make as many as possible and whatever doesn't sell I can list in my Etsy shop later. There isn't time to bring in additional supplies before the show (which is actually great since I'm already REALLY well stocked at the moment and I SHOULD be using up my existing stash). Last night I made up 6 gypsy coin bracelets and 13 pairs of coin earrings . . . and that was just having sorted through my silver toned coin stash. I also plan to make a collection of gold and copper toned bracelets, brass and copper toned earrings as well as earrings without coins, base metal necklaces in silver and brass tone and of course, sterling and pearl, gold and pearl and ancient precious metal pieces. I'm thinking I should have about 100 items to take to the fair.

As for displays, last night I stopped at Ross and bought a damask silver table cloth and two pewter picture frames to use in making modified versions of Joyful Abode's jewelry displays for my earrings. My table is 25 inches square so I plan to drop the table cloth over it, set up the frames to display my earrings, use cut glass bowls (I have several handy) to display my coin bracelets and use the round mirror I already have to display necklaces. I would LOVE to find some kind of a "tree" situation to display my sterling and gold necklaces, as those are delicate and prone to tangling (not to mention they'd look much nicer if they were hanging and catching the light).

I think since I price all of my bracelets the same that I can get away without tagging those . . . earrings I do price differently but I think I can sort them in rows based on price. I'll have to tag the necklaces but if I can spare myself the work of tagging everything, then having to tag one category isn't that bad!

PHEW, right?!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Silver and Gold

I got into sterling wire a while back and I've been really happy with the pieces I've produced using it. Sterling is more flexible and stronger than base metal, making it a great, secure choice for setting coins and gems. And sterling has such a pretty, white glow . . . something I'd never noticed before I started making jewelry but real silver and silver colored base metals look TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Sterling is very pale, almost white . . . base metal is colder, more tin-y and metallic looking.

ANYHOW . . . I thought for the holidays since I'd already gotten my feet wet with sterling, why not try GOLD. Yep. Gold. I managed to score some reasonably priced 12k gold wire to play with (thank you Fire Mountain!) and, to keep my prices reasonable, I've finished off many of my gold pieces with heavily gold plated or gold filled findings.

I've used gold to make grape bunch earrings with freshwater pearls in different colors. To set ancient and medieval coins. And also to set Swarovski crystal drops. I've managed to sell three gold pieces so far, and I'm hoping they do well over the holidays. Gold is something I know I wouldn't usually splurge on for myself, but it makes a nice gift!

I was up all night last night fiddling with wire and pearls, so enjoy the photos and let me know what you all think :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Makeup and Meltdowns

I have to do my own hair and makeup for my wedding. Have I mentioned this? Well, I do. And I'm not terribly worried about the makeup thing, I have always loved makeup. You could almost say it is a hobby of mine.

I still remember the first makeup I owned. My parents friends Billy and Mickie (who were really more of an aunt and uncle to me than they were friends of my parents) bought me a little makeup bag for my fifth or sixth birthday and inside were a tube of teal mascara (this was 1980-something), a pan of four pastel eye shadows (blue, pink, lavender and teal), a pink blush and a frosty pink lipstick. Note that I can't remember exactly which birthday this was, but I can tell you the exact shades of all the makeup.

Even as a young child I was allowed to wear makeup on the weekends for fun. In sixth grade my parents let me wear lipstick to school. My dad actually got called into the principal's office at one point over said lipstick; where he told her that I was ALLOWED TO wear it, thankyouverymuch. In junior high I was allowed to wear whatever makeup I wanted . . . my mom's reasoning being that if I was going to apply it badly for the first few years, I'd be better off if those years were in junior high, rather than in high school.

All this back story is really just to drive home the point that I KNOW HOW TO DO MY OWN MAKEUP and that this bridal thing should be a piece of cake for me. I'm somehow feeling a lot of pressure though. I've done a few trials and I always either end up with WAY too much stuff on my face or with a look thats really too similar to my everyday makeup.

So yesterday, big idea in mind, I hemorrhaged some money at Sephora then ran home and came up with this:

What think you guys? I know, it photographs really light, but trust me there is a lot of makeup going on there. FULL makeup, no doubt. (Proof: Foundation, Concealer, Blush (In, um, Orgasm. GAH! Why so inappropriately named?! My mother reads this blog!), Highlighter (Clear Radiance), Powder, Eye Shadow (Stila but discontinued), More Eye Shadow (Vintage Ruby), Lipstick, Eyeliner (in black), Eyebrow Pencil (good old Maybeline) and Mascara of indeterminate origin) The point though is to look good IN THE PICTURES, and I'm not sure I look "made up" enough . . . but then when I do add more I think I look clownish and costume-y, both of which things I'm totally trying to AVOID in my wedding photos.

Those of you who are married, how was your makeup for your wedding? How do you feel about it now, looking back at your photos? Do you think you should have worn more or less?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hey! Wanna talk about a bag I made like 3 months ago?

OK, great! Seriously, I don't know how I missed posting this baby but somehow I did . . . I'm not even carrying it regularly anymore, thats how long ago I made it! Sometime over the summer I found myself a big fat upholstery fabric sale at an antique furniture and re-upholstery shop. I bought 3 different toile prints thinking they'd look great mixed in one bag. I picked two for the outside of this bag and lined with one of my favorite fabrics (Wuthering Heights its called . . . its the background for my business cards and my Etsy banner!). I did the bag corset style. I LOVE making corset bags! Fidgety but in an easy, not challenging way.

In other news . . . I'm sure you guys were all DYING to hear about my sinuses, right? Well, great! There is news to report! I've been doing this totally gnarly sinus rinsing thing every few nights and guess what? I haven't needed ANY DRUGS in weeks! Thrilling, I know.

Annnnddd . . . boy and I are the proud new owners of two shiny wedding rings! We bought them on Saturday and they're perfect and I cannot freaking wait to wear mine. In less than four months. EEK!

Friday, November 7, 2008

You've got 20 minutes

Boy and I have been having a bit of a time getting dinner on the table lately. I've been working late pretty often, we've been doing the 30 Day Shred together after work most nights (you guys should see my abs . . . seriously!), then taking into consideration the little matter that we're both small business owners IN ADDITION to our day jobs and its kind of a wonder we get ourselves fed at all. Let alone well or regularly.

Some of our favorite really fast dinner options are:

1) Pasta: 1/2 a package of whole wheat pasta, boiled, drained and tossed with shallots sauteed in olive oil, fresh basil ribbons, bits of chopped tomato, a handful of Parmesan and lots of pepper (15 minutes or so)

2) "Meat" and Veg: Riblets (which are freaking AWESOME!) with whole wheat cous cous (made in the microwave with grated Parmesan and pepper for flavor), and a bag of fresh, steam in the nuker broccoli (about 20 minutes staring at the microwave, but bonus points for not using any pots or pans!)

3) Comfort Food Extravaganza!: I make "meat" loaf using Yves Veggie Ground Round, 1 egg, about 1/3 a cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, and 1/3 of an onion, finely diced . . . form into 6 balls, toss into a muffin pan and bake at 350 or so for 15-20 minutes. Then on the side either make from the box au gratin potatoes (like my grandma used to) or a quick green bean casserole (2 cans of french cut green beans drained really well, spread in a shallow baking dish, evenly topped with blobs of condensed cheddar cheese soup straight from the can, sprinkled with french fried onions, baked at 350-ish for 15 mins or so).

4) Tacos: Veggie Ground Round again, sauteed with store bought taco seasoning. Sliced peppers and onions sauteed in another pan with some olive oil. Lay out tortillas, salsa, a bit of cheese or lettuce, whatever's in the fridge (like, 15 minutes flat)

Its a pretty decent repertoire, I think. And I do cook a "real dinner" at least twice a week. But we are starting to get a bit bored and would LOOOVEEEE to hear any suggestions you may have for quick veggie dinners (<-fishing).

And not to leave you with a photoless post three times in a row, my friend Natalie did a work craft fair today and I sent over a bunch of jewelry to help fill up her table. I bought a round bevled mirror to lay the pieces on as a display. I could end up doing a fair this winter, and I LOVE the mirror look! If I get into the fair I've applied to I'm going to cover my whole table with mirrors I think :)

Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We did, and we didn't

Starters, goes without saying, I AM COMPLETELY THIRLLED about the outcome of Tuesday's presidential election. An Obama win alone would've been thrilling, but can I assume we've all seen the actual electoral numbers? And that we all are aware of the MASSIVE margin by with Barack won? If that isn't hope right there, then I don't know what is.

Having said that: California, I am ashamed of you. It isn't quite over yet, there are millions of absentee and provisional ballots left to be counted, but it is looking like Proposition 8, a measure that would revise the state constitution to make marriage between same sex partners illegal, is likely to pass. And worse still: it seems to have passed not just in the eastern part of the state, which is traditionally more conservative, it very well could pass in the Los Angeles area as well.

I said it on Monday and I still think its true: This is a CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE. It shocks me that in 2008, in Los Angeles of all places, there are still people around who think its perfectly OK to treat one group of people differently than another. I always thought I lived in a very open minded part of the world, I'm stunned and saddened to find out that isn't entirely true.

This battle is far from over. I know justice will eventually be done. But I'm horrified that another several years and another several million dollars might have to be spent to get us there. And I'm more than a little freaked out to find myself living in what apparently, according to our recent voting record, isn't quite the progressive community I so recently thought it was.

So, ANYWAYS, who's ready to get back to blogging about weddings and jewelry making and sewing and shopping? I AM!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Here we are

This morning I walked down to the elementary school I went to as a child, stood in line outside the auditorium with my soon to be husband, and cast my vote for Barack Obama. Some people go their whole lives never having the opportunity to vote for a candidate they truly believe in . . . I feel so fortunate to have had that opportunity twice, once today and once in the primaries.

When boy and I were working on our mortgage, I had a little mantra that I used to keep my sanity. It was "Time inexorably passes". No matter what abject SHIT we were going through, time would pass and eventually, we'd find ourselves in a different place entirely. I think I'm going to be falling back on that mantra today . . . by the time I go to bed the last several months of mud-slinging, the last eight years of ignorance, will have come to an end and we will be SOMEWHERE. I hope we're someplace worth being.

And as for California's highly contentious propositions . . . notably Prop. 8 which would change the California state constitution to prohibit same sex couples from marrying: for the record, I have to say this, I cannot believe in 2008 there are people who still think its reasonable to suggest that anything can be separate but equal. Have we learned nothing? This is a civil rights issue. This is a discrimination issue. To say that gay couples can be "domestic partners" but not married is the same thing as saying that African Americans can go to school, but they must go to their own segregated schools. This is wrong. History will tell that this was wrong.

Soapbox moment over. Now, if you haven't already, get out and vote your conscience.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I have NEWS!!!

And while its not nearly as exciting as Domesticrazy's recent news, I'm thrilled to tell you that boy and I are OFFICIALLY homeowners as of Saturday. It has been a long road . . . I haven't done much talking about it on the blog but let it suffice to say that if there ever were a Purple Heart for patience with the mortgage industry, boy and I deserve a pair of those medals. AND a bag of chips. Each.

The last five months have been trial by fire, but the fact that boy and I still want to get married makes me pretty confident that we'll stay married. I know our lives aren't going to be a neverending stream of cavorting around building things for the house out of twigs and hot glue, like in some HGTV show. Trust me, I haven't assigned any magical fantasies to our home ownership. But we just went though HELL, and I'm sort of glad we've been tested and are still standing. I know, as a couple, we're pretty handy in a crisis. Thats a good thing to know.

So . . . weekend roundup: OMG SO FREAKING BUSY! I did LOTS of jewelry making, boy and I bought and put together a little china cabinet for our dining room (hooray for my grandmother's crystal NOT being in boxes!), I went to my best friend from first grade's 30th birthday party (wrap your mind around THAT one!) and boy and I (I THINK!) found our wedding rings! How was your weeekend?