Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Or even decorating (which is why you see the "Christmas Tour of Homes" button in my sidebar but no pics). Hopefully that will change tomorrow if I get motivated. Hopefully.
But I am done with making jewelry and shipping it to people in time for Christmas. Which means that I heave a huge sigh of relief, listen to some Christmas carols, think about what Jesus' birth means to me, and enjoy the season a little, even though I have a bunch of things to finish up.
Merry Christmas, y'all!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Bradley thought he would be singing in front of the class, but it's so much worse than that... turns out the calculus class will be wandering the halls, caroling the other classes. Please understand, this is not a CHOIR class my child is in. It is CALCULUS. These kids aren't known for their singing ability. Mine can play drums, but I can assure you it's not the same thing. Rhythm he has in abundance, but pitch? Not so much.
Anyway, he and I had a fun time late last night coming up with two stanzas of Christmas, er, calculus cheer. I'll let you figure out for yourself which tune we chose. Here are our twisted lyrics. Bonus points if you have any idea what we're talking about. Yes, we were a little punchy.
O come all ye math geeks
Hopeful and intelligent
O come ye, o come ye to calculus
Come and behold them
Derivatives and integrals
O come and find the slope
O come and find the slope
O come and find the slope
Of this curve
Now try to integrate
You'll find it's much more complex
Than any other math
You've ever done before
And find it exactly
Riemann sums won't help you
O come and find the area
O come and find the area
O come and find the area
Under this curve
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I just found out today that one of my oldest friends, Kim, who I've known since I was 12 years old, died on November 29th.
She was the person who took me back to church after I left the Catholic church when my parents divorced when I was 10. She took me to a church lock-in, and I went to church with her family for years after that. Kim and her brother Coby and mom Jackie were like a second family to me.
She moved across town in high school when her mom and stepdad divorced, but we were still close and continued to go to church together. It wasn't until I left for college at A&M that we began to really lose touch. I caught up with her a few times after that, but we were both so busy with our "real" lives that we only caught up with each other once every several years after that. But a sentence from her last email to me says how we felt about each other: "You've always been one of the most important people in my life, and I've always thought about you."
She left behind three kids I know she loved more than life itself, and I weep for them too. Please pray for Michael (19), Amanda (17), and Taylor (15), who are missing their mom more than they can say. I know a little bit about what that's like, although I didn't lose my mom at such a tender age. They made a lovely tribute page for her.
Use that beautiful voice of yours to sing with the angels, Kim.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
It rained a great deal on the way home, so we had a very wet tree once we got home with it. We got it set up in its stand, moved into its place of honor, and watered, and left it there to dry before putting up the lights (tonight's family activity will be decorating after I put up the lights today).
Hubby had just decided to go to bed and went in the front room to check on the tree, so he was in the room when it decided to take its dramatic dive. That's right, seven feet of tree and two gallons of water, lying on the living room carpet. Resources were marshaled; family members were called to assist. Son the Older held the tree, I mopped up the carpet with towels as best I could, and Hubby readjusted the tree stand. Son the Younger chose this moment to interject his own brand of stress and was dismissed to be dealt with later.
We ended up changing tree stands, and thankfully, the tree is still vertical this morning. After this whole ordeal, I'm seriously rethinking the whole "real tree" thing.
If you're reading, I really want to know: is your tree real or artificial? Why do you prefer what you have?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
We had friends (Brian and Angela) visiting from Colorado. They stayed with other friends, which was good considering the rest of the weekend. So Brian and Ang came in on Thursday evening. Heather came over on Friday and helped me by beading a few (OK, six) last minute things for the jewelry party on Saturday. Heather rocks.
Later on Friday, Brian and Ang and Matt and Becky (the friends they stayed with) came over and we chatted while Ang and Becky helped me tag everything for the party. I have the best friends ever. We went for gelato to a place that said it's "open late" but hello, late on Friday is at LEAST 9pm, even in suburbia. So we walked across the parking lot to Marble Slab and got actual ice cream instead, which we ate outside. In December. Sometimes it seems wrong to live in Central Texas...
So after the crowd left, I finished pricing everything and packed up the beads to take them, and thanks to everyone's help, I went to bed by midnight.
On Saturday, I was up by 8am so I could get on the road early -- I had heard a couple of people wanted to come early and look before they had to move on to other commitments. I got there well before party time, but no one arrived early, which was just as well -- it gave us time to get everything ready for the party. I had forgotten my business cards, of all things, so my wonderful niece scanned in one I had in my purse and made copies for the party.
Everything went smoothly, and I sold about 2/3 of the stuff I brought. I apparently didn't make enough matching earrings (earrings are kind of a pain to make, and I really just ran out of time), so I owe one woman a matching pair for a necklace she bought, and I only came home with four pairs, including ones that came in sets with necklaces. Lesson learned!
After the party, I went to dinner with all the girly in-laws (niece, MIL and two sisters-in-law) and then the sister-in-law who played hostess for the party and I got a couple of movies and chilled out for the rest of the evening while her son, who is quite the social butterfly, had friends over. We were both exhausted but couldn't sleep with that many teenagers in the house.
After a solid but too-short sleep, I came back to Austin, missing a turn somewhere that added about 45 minutes to my drive. I crashed again before going to dinner with the Friday night crowd (mmmm, NY style pizza!). Then Monday I took the Colorado folks to the airport, with admonitions to "move to Austin soon!"
So that was my weekend... how was yours?
Friday, December 7, 2007
"Your meticulous attention to detail will once again ruin an otherwise fun and pleasureable pasttime."
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I got some new sunglasses, since -- par for the course -- I lost mine. $10 for polarized at Academy, sweet!
Also at Academy, I got some long johns so the rare chilly times in central Texas won't be quite so bad out in the garage bonding with my torch.
Then I headed to my favorite bead place, where I stocked up on clasps. I was running REALLY low. It's no good to have a necklace if you can't fasten it!
Everyone seems to like my hair. I unexpectedly got about 6" whacked off last night. My stylist and I agreed it was too long and some needed to go. In my mind, that meant 3" or so. When she made the first cut, I'm pretty sure I gasped audibly. Oh well, it's hair. It'll grow back. Of course, Katina is a hair wizard, so it looks fantastic in the opinion of everyone but my husband, who only loves it if it's looooooooong.
Sorry, no pics yet... no time for much of anything except beading right now. Hope to post one soon!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Austin supposedly has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation; yet I've been looking for a job diligently for a month and a half with barely a nibble.
I have a jewelry party (my first) coming up on Saturday with my hubby's two sisters in a Houston suburb. I'm about to hit full panic mode on this one. I feel like I'm on a treadmill, running as fast as I can and getting nowhere at all. I still have so much to do and so little time left in which to do it. I'm sure it will be fine; my perfectionistic tendencies say otherwise.
The weather here can't make up its mind whether it's early fall or (for us) deep winter, which is playing havoc with my sinuses. And making it difficult to work on the torch, which is in the garage, at least on the cold days. Today is a "bundle up!" day.
But yesterday, my hubby found me a new job listing that fits me amazingly well in a place I've always wanted to work. I don't want to say a lot more about it now, but I talked to the hiring manager, and I'm hoping for it. In a lot of ways, it's not possible for anyone else with my history and experience to apply, not that that's any guarantee of getting the job, but I have to cling to something.
Funny how one little thing can turn your perspective around, isn't it?
Friday, November 30, 2007
I'm a little nervous. OK, that's an understatement. I'm a LOT nervous. The party is being hosted by my two lovely and gracious sisters-in-law, who know pretty much everyone in their smallish hometown outside Houston. So far the Evite doesn't look like the entire town is coming, but I still want to have enough jewelry made that everyone can leave with stuff.
So I've been beading like mad, and working on my torch like mad. Oh, and not posting much. Which may make a difference to you if you're one of my two faithful readers. Otherwise, not so much.
Here are the bead sets I've finished or almost finished. A couple of caveats: there is white stuff in all the beads. It's called bead release, and it keeps the glass from sticking to the metal rod (or mandrel) that the bead is made on. I clean it out after the beads are annealed (put through the kiln to strengthen the glass). Since these beads are new, and since I don't own a kiln, they haven't been annealed yet.
Also, when I photograph beads, I often use ticky-tack to make them stay put where I want them. You can see it in some of the pictures. Oops! If you see a yellow blob at the bottom of a bead, it's not glass, it's ticky-tack.
The first picture is of a black and white set I'm playing with. I haven't decided if the two beads in the back "go with" the one in the front. What do you think?
The next pic is two cute caterpillars (or callapidders). Guess who requested that? I like to have two good ones to put in the kiln. I thought I had a good one the first time, and then one of his antennae fell off. Tragedy! So I may make one more before the grand annealing run next week.
Next is Christmas trees. If the friends of one of hubby's sisters are anything like her, these will all sell. (One will probably go to sis herself.)
These beads may look familiar; I've posted a pic of similar beads before. But the more of these I make, the more I find that people want them. I make a few of them every time I sit down at the torch. I finally figured I should probably (DUH) make earrings to go with them, thus the smaller ones in the back. My sister and one of my best friends have already stated their Christmas wishes for these...
Likewise, you may have seen these white-on-clear beads before. I've posted pics of these either like this or after they've been through an acid etch -- they look frosted rather than clear when they've been etched. I will etch all the ones in this pic after they're annealed. As in the pic above, all the small ones will be earrings (four pairs in all in this pic).
I posted the pic of this black swirl bead before, but these are the actual beads it will go with. I didn't like what I had it paired with before. I will make others to go with it as well; this isn't a finished set just yet.
And ah yes, another crowd favorite -- the clear jewel toned shaped beads. Again, I make a few of these every time I sit down. It's fun to figure out a different shape for each one, and since I don't have molds or presses, shaping the glass is an interesting challenge.
Last but not least, my old nemesis: the guitar bead. Apparently people liked the pics I posted before, but I was not satisfied with those beads. At long last, tonight I made one I was happy with! I took my time and made each detail right. There are even markings for the fretboard.
There's also a huge crack down the front. Tragedy, part 2! Back to the drawing board.
Yes, there's plenty of new beaded jewelry as well... you can find all of it here. And there will be more to come in the next few days; I will put it up on the site as I finish it and get it photographed.
Thanks for indulging my overgrown kindergarten show and tell once again. =)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Anyway, I was mostly being good, and I had a lovely lunch with all the guys. Trey had bought a new vehicle -- much needed since he had been driving a 12-year-old truck -- so we talked about his new FJ, fun times at the ol' sweatshop, all that stuff.
And then (I won't go into details) I spent most of the afternoon and evening visiting Sir Porcelain. Everything tasted fine, so I don't know what the deal was. I don't think anyone else felt horrible, although we all ate different things. I've heard food poisoning takes four hours or so to set in, and this was faster than that, so maybe it was something else. I have no idea. Everything else I'd eaten in the last 24 hours was stuff I've eaten at home with no problem -- a PBJ the night before, cereal that morning, etc.
Regardless of the cause, I bet that's the last time I eat fish for a long time.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Yeah, we ate some food with friends. A lot of food with a lot of friends, in fact. It was good. They gave us some leftovers to take home. Those were yummy too.
Then we watched the aforementioned football game on Friday, plus a few others. Lots of good football on this weekend (unless you were from LSU).
And I played a lot of World of Warcraft (WoW). My guildmates and I went back and did a lot of "old school" stuff that we haven't done in months, just to blow stuff up that's way below our level and have a good time, instead of doing stuff that's really challenging, which is what we're usually doing. So we did Zul'Gurub, a 60-level raid, with an almost full group of mostly level 70 players, on Saturday, and today we did UBRS, another (much easier) 60-level raid with mostly 70s. Lots of laughter was had and friendships were built. We have several new people in the guild, so it's good to bond with them.
Everything in WoW costs gold -- money -- it's just like a "real" economy. The thing that costs the most money is called an epic flying mount. It's the very fastest way to get from place to place in the very large world. Lots of my guildmates have had their epic flying mounts for months. They're ridiculously fast. The usual way to travel long distances is to fly on the griff -- the hippogriff -- but these are just as fast, so you never have to pay for a griff flight again once you have your epic flying mount.
So we did a bunch of quests this weekend, my husband and I. He has three level 70 characters, one of which has its epic flying mount, and he's been on a mission for a while now to get up enough gold to get me mine. After all our questing and goofing off this weekend, we finally made it. And now I have my very own epic flying mount. If you care, you can see a picture of it here. If you know me, you won't be surprised to find I chose the purple one.
Now that I have nothing to spend my gold on, I guess I'll just go string some beads. =)
Friday, November 23, 2007
Not as much of a nail-biter as the LSU-Arkansas game -- wow, what a game! -- but still.
Two more things to be thankful for.
Although it would have helped if I'd checked my email before I went to bed and posted then. :-P Silly Lisa.
Anyway, please forgive my shameless self-promotion, but my new jewelry web site has launched. I've been working on it for a month or two with my amazing webmaster, and I think she's done a great job. Thanks, Rose!
I have a few new things I need to put up -- I haven't had time to photograph them yet -- but the store is open and ready for business. If you ever have questions, you can always email me at lisalisalisa(at)gmail[dot]com.
And now back to your regularly scheduled blog-surfing.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I'll start with the ones that I've either sold or that are in process to be sold.
This cute little froggy dude is the culmination of probably a month's worth of work. A frog bead takes about an hour to make. Cindy asked for a frog necklace as a gift, and I had a book with instructions on making a frog bead, so I went to work. I think this is my 5th frog. I love him almost too much to sell.
It's a "feature" (or an annoyance) of this green glass that it occasionally makes lines as you work with it. In this case, it was a happy accident that this little guy ended up with a line right where his mouth should be. I could never replicate that in a thousand years.
The other beads are similar to the bead the frog is sitting on and will go on the same necklace.
These are frogs 3 and 4 (note their lack of mouths... you miss them now, don't you?). People have told me how cute they are, but naturally I can only see their flaws. #3 (on the right) is off-balance -- I made his front feet to the left with regard to his back feet, so he's twisted, and his right front leg is really long. And his right front foot is just all wrong. #4 on the left is better, but he has a hunched right shoulder.
I'd show you #1 and #2, but they unfortunately broke. =( I haven't yet glued them back together. I am the master (mistress?) of SuperGlue, but it bonds glass THISFAST, and I really don't want to ruin one of my little froggies. Both of them separated from their beads.
OK, on to not-frogs! I have a friend who is mastering my web site, and she does many others as well. She requested joolz for a musician friend of hers who shall remain nameless. I'm not at all happy with these... they are three of the first four attempts (one broke). You can see the crack in the pink one; it may break. So these are a work in progress. We'll call them the alpha versions; I'm not sure they're even beta level yet. They're certainly not ready for prime time.
This is another set for the same nameless musician. She wears a lot of black and white, so this is my first attempt at something around that. The flat bead in the center is a pendant. The bead on the upper right was my first idea for beads to go with it, but I wasn't happy with how it turned out, so I went with the other idea (top left and bottom right). This set isn't complete yet; it's a work in progress.
Next we're onto sets that aren't spoken for yet. This large bead is one that I made a long time ago and decided to make beads to go with it. Probaly one pair of the small beads will be earrings and the other pair will go into the necklace.
These beads have been a huge hit with everyone who has seen them. They are pale pink glass with hot pink decoration -- a real girly girl bead. I envision these in a bracelet with Swarovski crystals, but I'll be making a bunch more, so there may be necklace, earrings, etc.; who knows?
This last set was a lot of fun. The owner of the shop where I buy all my glass showed me the chemical reaction between ivory and turquoise glass -- it makes an outline anyplace the two colors meet. The five large beads will go into the necklace, and the two small beads will be earrings. I love these a ton. I may price them a little higher in hopes I get to keep them. Is that wrong? :-\
That's all I have right now, although I'm also working on another necklace (or maybe two)similar to BooMama's... one ordered by someone who got the idea from the same place, and I may just make an extra for the jewelry party since apparently everyone in the world just loves that necklace.
Thoughts? Which ones do you love / hate? I thrive on feedback, so please tell me. =)
Here's the thing: my all-consuming activities right now are A) getting my web site online, which I keep thinking will be any day now; and B) making jewelry for Christmas and for a jewelry party I'm doing with and for my hubby's two sisters in Houston on December 8th, plus stuff that people have ordered.
And since I don't want my blog to be about nothing but jewelry, I have nothing to talk about.
But today, this very morning, there will be a new person in the world, so I thought y'all should know about that.
Our neighbors across the street, who are really the best neighbors anyone could ever ask for, have lived there longer than we have (we've been in this house for ten years). When we moved in, "Junior" was probably 16 or 17 years old, the youngest of four brothers. Now he's about to be a daddy! Shannon's labor will be induced this morning at 7:30, and our dear neighbors will be grandparents for the fifth time. Little Junior moves up a rung on the generational ladder. *sniff* Makes me all misty. Except I'm really not a crier. Hee hee.
And no, they are not naming this new baby boy Trey, or Al the Third. Grandma-to-be told me his name, and I promptly forgot -- bad Lisa!
An update: for everyone who's been concerned about Son the Elder, he's doing well. He's not in much pain from the shingles -- says it feels a little like a sunburn -- and the sores are starting to fade on his front and scab over and heal on his back, so hopefully we're on the downhill side of the shingles.
If you're traveling this week, please do so safely. Be thankful -- always, not just this week. And shop wisely if you must do so.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Now, understand how amusing it is to go to the doctor with this child. "Finding Nemo" is playing in the waiting room. The oldest patient other than Bradley is about four. Bradley, on the other hand, towers over me (not difficult, since I'm 5'2"). They call his name, and he answers in an adult male voice. The nurse looks up at him when he walks back. She has to weigh him, and he weighs more than she does (he's slim, but she's tiny).
Not to mention his diagnosis: they don't get many cases of shingles in a pediatrician's office.
And D'OH! -- bad mom! -- I just remembered I forgot to drop off his antiviral prescription. All hail the blog for memory jogging!
Turns out they don't quarantine you for such things anymore, since there's now a vaccine for it, and since all the sores are covered by his clothing. Who knew?
And now, if you'll excuse me, I must be off to the 24-hour Walgreen's...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I assume you addictive personalities know who you are. >>
The next one is about how happy your city is. It may come as no surprise that cities in which more people are married, go to church, and are employed have higher happiness rates. Cities with more days of sunshine also rank higher (I'm prone to seasonal affective disorder m'self). My city -- Austin -- came out reasonably well on most measures... how's yours?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
My other small group has been meeting for a few months now and has the interesting title "Creative Not-So Small Group." It meets every other week and consists of all the artistic types in our church -- the video editors, the visual artists, the writers, the production volunteers, the photographers, etc. I used to lead a creative writing group, but that dwindled to nothing after a few months. There appears to be some debate as to whether to jump-start it... but I digress.
My small group. They met at my house last night, which is why there has been no blogging. There has only been cleaning. You see, I live with a husband, a 17 year old male, a 14 year old male, a male roommate, and a male dog. Although my husband is brilliant -- brilliant, I tell you! -- at laundry, dishes, and other general keeping-the-house-running type chores, dirt is generally invisible to him. The roommate and the teenagers are worse. And the dog, of course, just sheds mounds of black hair everywhere. So I spent two solid days reversing entropy, and one day nursing a horrific migraine. But I digress again. Going with my strengths.
My small group met here last night... there were munchies, there was social interaction, there was a fascinating lesson about finding God in the art of artists who don't consider themselves Christian. I don't know where Alex gets his lesson ideas, but I love them! This one was particularly great. One of the artists we talked about is on the web; I'd love to be able to post the link.
Theoretically the reason we met at my house was to show my torch to the group, so at the end of the night, an hour past our usual end time, we all trooped out to the garage, and I fired up the torch. I gave a little monologue as I made a single bead. I forget how interesting molten glass is since I work with it all the time; I almost laughed out loud at all the "oohs" and "aahs" when I wrapped the glass around itself using the flat graphite marver. I wish we'd had time to let some people have a try -- since they're all creative types, I'm sure a few people would have liked to -- but it was almost 10pm by then.
They were SO disappointed to hear that they'd have to wait a half hour to see the bead come off the mandrel (the metal rod where it's made in the fire). I actually didn't take it off until just now.
Here it is on the mandrel:
And off the mandrel, all on its little own:
Sunday, November 11, 2007
When you have to wait for the third dose for pain relief to kick in, you pretty much lose the day. Bummer since my small group is meeting here tomorrow and I really wanted to get more cleaning done today. Makes for a busy day tomorrow, I suppose.
But at least it's gone now, for which I am quite grateful -- otherwise there would be no looking at a light source like a computer screen.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Bad blogger! No donut!
Son the Younger was griping at me about my lack of posting yesterday. "Mother!" he said, in his most disapproving voice (which, if you have a teenage son, you know is highly disapproving), "you haven't posted in two days!"
Oh, the horror. Can you imagine such a thing?
So what was I off doing in my TWO DAYS of not posting? (I know it's three now. I'll get to that.)
On Monday night, Son the Older called from San Antonio, where he and the Mighty Marching Band were planning on competing in the state competition. He informed me that he had forgotten his marching shoes. Whaaa? But oh, hey, he could borrow shoes from an alternate who wouldn't be marching. What size? Oh, size 15. Son's size is 10.5.
You gotta be kidding me. No way was I gonna throw the state marching competition -- in my son's senior year, no less -- because he tripped over his own feet because he didn't have his own shoes.
The alarm rang at 5:30, which is highly uncivilized in my night-owl world. I showered, dressed, fought traffic, and made it there around 9am. Bradley's band was due to march at 10. I had no trouble finding him and made the Grand Shoe Switch. Turns out he had switched shoes with a third person who had taken the alternate's size 15 shoes. Too much for me to keep up with. I stowed the spare shoes in my trunk and hurried into the Alamodome to watch them march. I did stop long enough to buy a pretzel and a Dr. Pepper, since I hadn't gotten breakfast in my early morning fog.
The band was brilliant in the preliminaries, earning second place of all the bands. I drove the two hours home and collapsed since the finals were hours away.
Unfortunately, the finals did not treat them as kindly, and for the second year, they came in fifth place in state. Apparently several people in the crowd told band members they were robbed. When Bradley looked at the judges' marks online the next day, he found that one judge (we'll call him or her the "East German judge") had marked their school far lower than all the other judges.
Ah well. Life in the school of hard knocks.
Here is a pic of the band, or a lot of them. They don't all fit in one picture. Can you see the tenors in the back? They used to be called quads, but there are five drums. I've put those drums on, and they're HEAVY (about 40lb). I admire those kids for being able to carry them. Two of the three tenors this year are girls. You go, kids!
And here is Bradley doing what he loves to do. He is on the right of the three tenors, although there's a bass drum behind him.
Ah, but I promised to tell you about Wednesday too, huh? Well, Wednesday I slacked. I played a lot of World of Warcraft. And no one wants to hear about how I went to Serpentshrine Cavern for the first time and died repeatedly at the hand of a giant fish, or changed from mooncloth tailoring to shadowcloth tailoring, or farmed for materials for my new tailoring specialization.
I did mail out the jewelry to the Fall Y'all giveaway winners yesterday (except for the pink earrings -- haven't heard back from her yet, curiously), plus organized some other jewelry stuff (web site, blah blah blah). And I looked for a job, as always. And then I played the rest of the day away.
And now it's Thursday, and I'm overdue for a post. Not that anyone's reading, really. More that I feel like I should. =)
Happy Thursday, y'all!
Monday, November 5, 2007
I was expecting a sinus infection maybe. As I said, he's not a whiner. And he may have been running a low-grade fever last night.
Doc (who is the sweetest, tiniest human you've ever seen) looked in his throat, nose and ears and listened to him breathe. She asked if his ears hurt (they didn't). Oh dear, I thought, an ear infection. Then she turned to me and informed me he has bronchitis. Not a bad case, she said, but still.
So we have Augmentin for the boy, and if he runs fever, he's out of school tomorrow too. We had to get a doctor's note because he's missed a couple of days and has a couple of inexplicable single-class absences which prompted the school to send us a threatening note about misdemeanors and absences and such. The joys of teenagerhood, I tell ya. Fortunately, Doc left the return date blank, so I can fill it in for whichever date I see fit.
Curiously enough, bronchitis does nothing to curb the teen boy appetite. He's decimating a bag of grapes as I type. Go figure.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
I'm gonna be wacky and make up my own. I'm just that kind of a girl.
Like bensrib, I'm suffering from pre-menopause memory loss and can't remember whose blog tripped this for me so I can link them properly. I hereby apologize, but I'll identify you well enough so that you can gripe at me. How's that? =)
I was reading someone's blog recently who was talking about their earliest musical memories. She said she remembered hearing "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," which are also two of the earliest songs I can remember. It got me thinking about the music I grew up with (country) and the music I listen to now (lots of stuff, almost no country).
So here are the questions I have for anyone who might care to be tagged -- and I'm not going to tag anyone specific because I don't want to annoy anyone. If you'd like to pick this up, feel free. If it doesn't inspire you, ignore it.
1. What are your earliest musical memories? What songs do you remember? What was your first favorite song? What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
2. How have your tastes evolved? What kind of music do you love now? Do you have a favorite song; if so, what is it?
For me, I've answered most of #1, but my first favorite song was "Wildfire." If you're old enough to remember, it was a song about a horse that (I think) got lost. It was sad, and I would wail along to it when I heard it on the radio.
My tastes now are all over the map. I listen to some pop, some rock, a lot of "classic rock" (whatever that is), some Christian (although I'm pretty picky and tend toward indie artists), folk, some soul and jazz type stuff. My profile lists my favorite bands, most of which the general population has never heard of. Some are local Austin artists; some are indie.
Music is hugely important to me though. I see a lot of live shows and follow a lot of bands. I have friends who are musicians and love to see them live when I can. The upside to all that is that I'm not nearly as starstruck as I once was -- musicians are just folks really. There are a few people in the world who would make me tongue-tied, but not many.
Aha -- there's question #3:
3. What musician or band would you most love to meet and why? Would you be nervous?
I've met many of the bands on my profile page. A few of them are friends. The one I'd really love to sit down over dinner with would probably be Bono. I'd love to hear about his avtivism and why he chooses the causes he does to get involved in. I have a friend who's worked closely with him on one cause (debt relief for poor countries), so I'm familiar with a lot of his nearest and dearest causes. I'd love to hear more about them, though.
And yes, to meet Bono, I would probably be at least a little nervous.
Now it's your turn! Leave a comment if you pick up this meme on your blog. I'd love to read your answers.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Ribbon Rock Star won the earrings -- which she said she liked best, yay!
heather h won the Christmas necklace.
An anonymous poster with email "a friend" won the very popular cross necklace.
Emails will be going out to all the winners today. Congratulations to all three of you!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
So, would you like to hear about my lack of job opportunities or my lovely mother-in-law, who will be here to visit later?
*listens to the crickets*
OK, MIL it is!
I *heart* my mother-in-law Joan. Back in the days before Robert's dad died (in '91), I'd have to look at what I was wearing to see which piece of clothing or jewelry was given to me by her. These days, she's retired and thus on a fixed income. But I know her to be one of the most generous, dear people I know.
She didn't have to welcome me to her family with open arms. Here's a stunning confession for you internets (although all my RL friends know, of course): Robert and I found out 10 days after our engagement that we were expecting Son the Elder. So Joan was understandably a little upset about the situation early on, but she was never upset with me as a person, and I could not ask for a better mother-in-law. She's just a lovely person. She has always treated me just as she treats her own daughters. She chats with me when she calls, even if she really wanted to talk to Robert. In every way, she is a gracious, loving, model mother-in-law. I hope to live up to her if and when my boys marry.
She remarried a few years after Steve died. Dave is a great guy and a wonderful companion to Joan. So Dave and Joan will be coming this evening to take my family to dinner. Joan will enjoy seeing my new torch, since she and I are beading buddies.
The real reason that they are in town, though, is Son the Older's final high school marching performance tomorrow night. Yes, Bradley is a senior -- I can hardly believe it! There will apparently be some ceremony on the field for senior parents before tomorrow's game, so we have to be there early for photos and teary farewells. Fortunately I'm not a crier, but I may have to make an exception for this. I'll post pics later.
And now I'm going to have to go look at baby pictures of my giant son, if you'll pardon me...
I've actually gotten a lot done in terms of stuff that needed to be done, but no blogging.
So, aside from signing up for other people's giveaways, which admittedly has eaten up a fair bit of my week, here are a couple of other time wasters I've recently discovered. Honk if I'm a loser and you knew about these months ago. OK, stop. I'm deaf now.
Pictures of the insides of people's refrigerators. Most are from Europe; not many are from the US. This is an interesting look at "we are all different; we are all the same."
Hilarious pics of animals -- mostly cats -- on which people have written their own (intentionally misspelled) captions. Many reference geekdom, current events, etc. It's a black hole. You have been warned. You will also laugh out loud, thus the name of the photos: LOLcats.
I've also been trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, but surely that belongs in another post, one with fewer LOLcats...
Monday, October 29, 2007
In case you haven't heard, Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer is hosting a carnival this week called the Fall Y'alll Bloggy Giveaway.
I will give away three (3) items to three (3) different winners. I will include international readers in the giveaway. Post your comment, indicating which item you would like to win (I'll figure out the logistics of how to choose three winners later). If you'd like to sign up for all three, that's fine; I'd just hate for someone to win an item they don't particularly care for. And please, please make sure that you leave me a way to contact you -- if you don't have a blog, please leave me your email in case you win.
I will leave comments open through Saturday, November 3rd until noonish. Then I'll use a random number generator to pick the three winners. Winners will be notified by email on Saturday afternoon.
And now for the goodies!
First up is a pair of sterling silver earrings -- pink lampworked (handmade glass) beads with white dots, flanked by a pair 6mm opaque pink Swarovski crystal bicones, with a trio of dangling 4mm clear Swarovski bicones. They're a party on your ears! Earrings measure 2" and are a retail value of $20.
Next is a Christmas necklace. The pendant is a lampworked Christmas tree bead, 1" long (incl. crystal), green with red garland and white ornaments, topped with a 6mm clear Swarovski crystal bicone. The necklace is 16" of festively colored seed beads with a 2" extension chain and lobster claw clasp. Retail value $25.
Finally, I have a cross necklace as the centerpiece of a beautiful earthtone necklace of jasper, garnet, serpentine, Czech glass, wood, and a touch of hematite. Necklace is 17" with 2" extension chain and lobster claw clasp. Cross dangle is 1.5" below necklace.
I do make custom beaded and lampworked jewelry and have a website coming soon. Keep me in mind for Christmas gifts or for your own wishlist! I have several other items for sale left from a previous giveaway in the post titled "Lisa's Beading Treasures." All except #2 and #9 are available for sale. Email me at lisalisalisa (at) gmail [dot] com if you would like to purchase anything.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
This weekend was typical. Not heavy, not light... typical.
Friday: school all day. Away game in the evening. Somehow they lost his drums in the course of the evening, so Bradley got home around 1:30am (an hour later than anyone else).
Saturday: marching contest. He had to be at school at 7:30am, and the contest was out of town. He wasn't home until after midnight.
Sunday: work from 2 - 6:30pm. At 7:30, he had an info session with Rice University, where he went with his dad. Hopefully he'll be home by 9pm so he can unwind a little.
And this is his break from school. Yay.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
And I will now open up orders for the other items. Meredith has already emailed to choose #2. I haven't heard from Melissa May yet -- her comment also called out #2, which I can re-make if needed, although she also mentioned the fish.
So for all other items, if anyone cares to buy them, you're welcome to do so. Again, my email is lisalisalisa [at] gmail (dot) com.
Even if I make #2 twice for the contest winners, I have enough beads to make it at least twice more. First two emails in my inbox may buy it.
Thank you so much to everyone for the encouraging comments. I hope to have a web site up to sell my jewelry in the next few days as well, although there's no content there yet.
I will also give away another piece or two (different than those you've already seen) in the Fall Y'all giveaway next week, so come back for that.
Thanks for looking!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I used to never be a color girl, but Katina is amazing with color, and I've always wanted to be a redhead (Cindy , you'd better appreciate that gorgeous hair you have!), so several months ago I decided to take the plunge and turn my mousy brown into lush red.
And here I am a couple of days after my wild and crazy red:
The first picture is indoors while the second is outdoors, so you have to take that into account. And yes, my skin is really about as pale as a vampire's (thanks, Mom!). And the hair color is strangely unnatural, yet I like it.
Living in Austin will do odd things to a person.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
After a half dozen iterations, I finally stopped believing. You'd think I would catch on faster than that. You'd think I was smarter. But apparently you'd be wrong.
Toward the end of last week, my dear hubby said it again: "They say a cold front's coming through in a few days."
"No it's not!" I retorted. "They've been claiming that ALL MONTH. Every few days they say something about a cold front. There has been no front. It's stinkin' 85 degrees outside in October! Hello? I ordered AUTUMN!"
Not that I have any particular feelings on the topic. Not that I'm tired of the heat. (Not that I really have anything to complain about since this has been the mildest summer in memory in central Texas...)
But still, I'm ready for fall. And let me tell you, the past couple of days have been bee-yoo-tee-full. Gorgeous during the day and even chilly at night! Who'd've thunk it? Driving with the top down during the day and up at night? Crazy talk!
Hello, autumn. I've missed you. You know how I love your cool breezes and (if you can manage it in this part of the world) leaf changes. I'll admit, it's a shame the days get shorter when you arrive. But your relief from the heat makes it all worthwhile, baby. XXOOXX
First of all, I will not take orders for the 12 items in the giveaway until after BooMama announces winners -- that's only fair. Contest winners get first choice, and then I will sell the other items. In cases where I can make multiples, I will sell multiples. And yes, I can make multiples of #2. =)
My email and my PayPal i.d. are the same -- lisalisalisa (at) gmail [dot] com . Use that email for ordering after the contest winners are announced.
If anyone is interested in custom orders for things for themselves or Christmas gifts or whatever, I can certainly accommodate those. Please email me and we'll talk. If you're buying things outside the giveaway, you don't need to wait until it's closed to email me.
This week has been so fun, y'all. Thank you so much for saying such nice things about my jewelry. Lots of people in Austin can make jewelry, so it's pretty easy to feel like nothing special around here. It's really lovely to be told you're talented, especially after you're laid off.
I owe y'all more than you know.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
See, I knew y'all would want some fun swirly beads and some fun Christmas tree beads. Just think of the great necklace you could make with one of those as the pendant and some cute little beads to go with it -- like the fish necklace, kinda, only with festive Christmas colors.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
These are the pieces I made specifically for the BooMama blog giveaway. Many of them can be made again, but a few cannot (either I don't have the beads, or in one case, the focal bead is unique). In some cases, I'll use the "first come first served" rule; in others I'll be able to accommodate more than one person with the same design. Note that before now I have rarely made more than one item of the same design (I've done it probably twice, and in one case it was for identical twins). I will always do a custom order; email me and we'll talk. My email is lisalisalisa (at) gmail [dot] com.
In the case of BooMama's necklace, she asked for something specific, and I was able to make it on my torch (there are pics of the beads I've made in another post, but you'll find they're quite different than that necklace in general). This batch of jewelry is not made out of beads I've made -- they're gemstones and Czech glass, mostly -- but that can be accomplished. Have your people call my people. We'll talk.
General info about this jewelry:
I always identify the gemstones if I know what they are -- in a couple of cases below, they weren't identified when I bought them, so I don't know (I just bought 'em cuz they were pretty). I'll also let you know if anything is NOT sterling silver. That's true in a couple of cases with the larger spacer beads -- with silver prices through the roof, I only have them in sterling plated right now. But for the most part, what you see here is all sterling. All ear wires are French type ear wires in sterling.
I will price out the necklaces and earrings separately, but clearly they are made in sets. I'd prefer they find a happy home together for that reason, but, y'know, whatever. For the giveaway, I will give them away as a set if that's what you choose as your favorite (shipping included, of course).
AB = aurora borealis coating, which is used on lots of beads to give them a colorful shimmer. This is a standard shorthand which I will use a couple of times in the descriptions.
Measurements for earrings are given from the top of the ear wire to the bottom of the earring. Necklace measurements are what they will measure around your neck.
I mention my stringing wire in another blog post, but it's 49 strand stainless steel, the best I've ever found -- very strong, very flexible. It's possible to break it, but you have to work at it. Don't try -- for your happiness and mine. =)
I want you to be happy with your purchase (or winning). If you're not satisfied, email me and we'll work it out. I have confidence we can do that. We're all grownups here.
Disclaimers: neither of my beautiful models has a gray mark anywhere on her face or neck. There is a spot on the optics inside my camera that has not yet been cleaned, and I simply don't have the time or expertise to PhotoShop it out. I also should not have used the portrait setting on my camera since it wouldn't allow me to keep both the model and the jewelry in perfect focus. Bad photographer!
Thanks so much to my gorgeous models -- Amazing Katie (a friend of my son's), and Jennifer (a friend of mine). You may feel free to guess which one is a teenager and which one has just exited her 20s... they just don't look that far apart.
Enough of the chitchat! Where's the good stuff??
Here it is!
#1... This little beauty is in honor of BooMama and her beloved Mississippi State (and my own Fightin' Texas Aggies). Glowing mother of pearl mixes with faceted garnets, with a chunky garnet centerpiece flanked by Czech glass. It is finished with a sterling silver adjustable toggle clasp. Matches BooMama's sassy shoes! Necklace is adjustable between 17.75" and 18.25"; pendant hangs 1.25". Earrings are 1.75" long. Necklace: $35. Earrings: $15. Set: $45.
#2... The pictures don't do justice to the gold-flecked brown stones in this necklace! Paired with olivine Czech glass and brown AB crystals, this is a great earth-tone set to enjoy with all your fall fashions. Necklace is finished with a sterling silver toggle and is 18.25" long. Earrings are 2.25" long. Necklace: $30. Earrings: $15. Set: $40.
#3... I'm a purple girl, so of course there's a purple set. This one has three large purple focal stones plus several sugalite (veined purple and white stones) and lots of great lavender cats eye to complete the effect. The spacer beads in this necklace are sterling plated. Dangles in the earrings are Swarovski crystals (the world's finest). Necklace is finished with a sterling hook and eye clasp and is 19" long with a 1.5" long pendant. Earrings are 2" long. Necklace: $35. Earrings: $20. Set: $50.
#4... The stunning turquoise focal stone in this piece is actually a Mexican opal (ask me about special care instructions for this if you win or buy it). It is set off by picture jasper and crystals (the large ones are Swarovski). With its hook and eye clasp and chain, it is adjustable from 16" to 18" with a lovely crystal dangle in the back. Pendant is a 2" drop. Earrings are 1.5" long. Necklace: $35. Earrings: $15. Set: $45.
#5... This versatile piece can take you from serious daytime wear to a fun evening out with your friends or your favorite guy. The twisted hematite ovals and coin-shaped shells (half mother of pearl and half black lip shell) will match any color. Necklace is finished with a sterling silver toggle and is 18". Earrings are 1.75" long. Necklace: $35. Earrings: $15. Set: $45.
#7... Plenty of faceted Czech glass in olivine and clear combine with blue AB glass beads for a necklace with a lot of sparkle and pizzazz. It is finished with a sterling silver toggle and is 17.5" long. $25.
#8... Millefiori is Italian for "thousand flowers" and is the style of glass that includes flowers in its design. It's always been a favorite of mine, and I have a large collection of it. This necklace also has several pillow-shaped cats eye beads for contrast and interest. It is finished with a hook and eye clasp and chain with a purple flower dangle to match the earrings. Necklace is adjustable between 17.5" and 19.5"; pendant is a 5/8" drop. Earrings are 2" long. Necklace: $25. Earrings: $15. Set: $35.
#9... Serpentine was another recent discovery for me, and like feldspar, I couldn't wait to design with it. It's set off beautifully by rose quartz, with crystal spacers. The earrings are a double drop dangle using both stones. Necklace is finished with a sterling silver adjustable toggle clasp and is adjustable between 17.25" and 18". Pendant is a 1.5" drop. Earrings are 2.5" long. Necklace: $25. Earrings: $15. Set: $35
#12... Even if you don't remember the '20s you'll feel like a flapper with this necklace! It's 39.5" of sparkly fun, chock full of faceted Czech glass beads. You can wear it long or squeeeeeeeeeze it over your head and wear it doubled over (I should have made it just a little longer). I've had several people try it, and it's fit over everyone's head, but it does make some people nervous. If you know your head is larger than average, you might not count on wearing it doubled... and alas, I do not have the beads to re-make this (although I might be motivated to repurchase). A great necklace, and truth be told, one I originally intended to put in my own collection. $30.
You've made it allllllll the way to the end... that's all I have for you today! If you guys want, I can post a pic or 8 of my bead collection so you can see what your choices would be if you wanted to make a custom order. I actually took a picture of the whole thing tonight, but you can't see diddly in a single picture; I'd have to break it up into at least 6-8 pictures in order to see any detail at all.