Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Pattern Wednesday: Rubber Duckie

Now you can play your saxaphone and still keep your favorite duckie friend close!

Rubber Duckie

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Names Matter

So, I have a name is that frequently spelled wrong... and it really bugs me. It shouldn't. I should be able to shrug it off and not worry if someone gets it wrong. I mean, really, how much does it matter? Do I know they are talking about me? Yes. So, why does it bother me sooooooo very much?

Because names matter.

I believe that one of the main things that makes people people is that we name things. There are other animals that problem solve, there are ones that use tools. We are the only ones that name things. This allows us to view our world differently. To organize it. Categorize it.

In my mind, Sara is not at all the same as Sarah. Even though it sounds the same, it is not the same name at all. When people ask me how I spell my name, I say " S - A - R - A - H. The H is for visual balance." And I say it as a joke, but is it? To me, Sara is some hot young thing who dances and stays out all night. Sarah, however, is that Aunt you love who comes over on weekends to do crafts with you.

Anyway, what set this rant off, was seeing yet another person link to my blog and insist on capitalizing salla. Spelling it in all lower case is actually a deliberate referance back to my real name (Sarah Small). When I send people my blog name, I very carefully spell it in all lowercase. And yet... and yet people insist on the capitalization. Blah.
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Monday, February 27, 2012

What I Made Monday

So, I was away from my studio(living room corner) this past week. In the past I have had bad experiences when traveling with beads, so I was leary about taking them with me this time. But, after much thought (and much repacking) I finally decided to take some with me.

I wanted something that would be easy to work on (didn't need to look at the pattern) and something that could either be finished quickly or was easy to start and stop. These hearts were perfect for that. After I made the first one, remembering the thread path to make some more was easy. The original pattern (only $1!) suggested making each heart an earring dangle, but I decided to string several together and make a necklace.

Heart motif necklace

Heart motif necklace

Attached to some beading chain, it totally fits the clean, no fuss asthetic that I like so much.

Quote: Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
John Bunny
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Field Trip to Arizona

So, last week I was in Arizona for work. Really screwed up my blogging plans for the week, sorry about that.

However, I did get to see some beautiful country and got to visit a couple of nice bead shops in the Phoenix area. I plan to get back to the new regularly scheduled posting tomorrow. For today, here are some of my favorite pictures from my trip.






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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What I have been making lately

So, Mondays are supposed to now be the days where I post something(s) new that I have made recently. However, I was traveling for work yesterday and had NO time. So, this first week is a little late.

This is a bracelet that I made to give a friend as a wedding gift. It is done in Russian spiral stitch and has sterling silver findings. I am slowly trying to add to my stash of sterling, but with current prices it is slow going, so for now only special pieces get it, most still get base metal, stainless, or beaded findings.

Bracelet for a friend's wedding

Bracelet for a friend's wedding

Bracelet for a friend's wedding

You may notice that I also put a little white beaded bead at the end of the chain. This helps the chain to hang down and it is cute.

Also, does anyone know if you can iron the backdrops that come with the photo box?????

Quote: Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn't seem to be working.
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Friday, February 17, 2012

This Week on the Web

As part of my plan to have a more structured blog format, Friday will be the day when I share with you the fun places I found on the web this week. Some places will be jewelry/craft related, some will not. Enjoy, I did!

Cake Wrecks - this site is so much fun that I won't bother sending you to a specific page. Just make sure you are somewhere that you won't get in trouble for unending giggling. (also check out her site Epbot where she has all things geeky and frequently crafty!)

Hardly Housewives has some great craft ideas and recipes. Specifically this chicken recipe I tried and it was WONDERFUL!

Rings & Things has listed some new base metal findings. My favorite is the shaped crimps. I don't think I will ever use plain crimps again! is just really soothing.

The blog I still love you has a cool tutorial on braiding leather.

And finally, this wire woven vessel is one of the most impressive things I have seen in a while!
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Ring Pattern: Triskele

Ring Pattern: Triskele

I am gonna try to be more organzied with my blogging and have specific topics on specific days. We shall see how that goes.

So, Wednesday will be New Pattern day! This week, we bring you a triskele. Seen in many cultures around the world, it can represent a variety of things to differnt people and cultures. You can read all about it on the Wiki. Personally, I just think it looks cool.

Quote: There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

True love never dog ears pages

So, for Valentine's day this year, my niece and I made some heart bookmarks. As she has type 1 diabetes, we try to find things to give out that are not candy.

This year I came across a cute tutorial for making felt heart bookmarks. While I am teaching my niece to sew, it is still a very slooooooow process. This necessitated some minor changes. We made our hearts out of craft foam, and we painted on 'stitch marks'. Still turned out rather cute.

Heart Bookmarks

Molly was in charge of cutting out the hearts and making the 'stitch marks', I got to do the hot gluing. She then slipped one on each of the Valentine's cards for her classmates. Good way to pass a Sunday afternoon.

Heart Bookmark closeup

Quote: I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf.
Robert Bloch (1917 - 1994)
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Michelle Mach Valentine Challenge

For her Valentine Challenge, Michelle sent out some off white embossed cards. The challenge was to embellish the card. She will pick her favorite, and that person will will a gift card to Amazon.

She had a couple of different card to choose from. I picked one that had some lovely branches embossed on it. I was very excited about this, as I had done something similiar with a Christmas card I gave out this year.

However, once the card arrived, I had no idea how to embellish it. I would take it out and stare at it, then put it back aside with no more clue what to do with it then when I started. With the Feb. 10th deadline looming, I finally hauled out the big guns... the 7 year old in the house.

Molly knew right away what she wanted to do. She wanted to paint a sunset. She actually practiced her sunset technique for several days before she finally started on the actual card. She mixed gold and red metallic paints for the sunset, and blue and white metallic paints for the ocean.

Not bad, eh?
Michelle Mach Valentine Challenge

Also of note, this is the first item to be photographed in my new photo studio. Really liking how true the colors came out and that the white does not look yellow! Woo!

All of the cards submitted and the name of the winner will be available on Michelle's blog on Feb. 14th.
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm back!

Well, kinda.

After the daily posting of last month I found I needed a little break. There were also other reasons, such as my flickr free account is nearly full so I need to upgrade to keep hosting pictures there, and I was waiting for my new photo setup to arrive so I can take decent pictures.

Speaking of....

new photo setup!

It came last night! I am so excited. I didn't have time to get it out of the box last night, but I will be doing that tonight. The picture above is from, and links to, the Amazon listing where I got it.

I am REALLY hoping that some decent lights and a real photo box (as opposed to the cardboard box and tissue paper I was using) will really improve the quality and consistancy of my photos.

So, my plans for this weekend will include re-photographing everything I have ever made, and then updating all my Etsy listings. And adding new Etsy listings to both of my shops.

So, hopefully next week I will have lots of new things to post and will be raving about how much I love the new setup. Hopefully.

Quote: If we were not all so interested in ourselves, life would be so uninteresting that none of us would be able to endure it.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Groundhogs Day!

So, I am happy to report that last night I did NOT make any earrings. YAY! I did walk 10 minutes on my treadmill, which is my personal challenge for February. My motto is "If you can make a pair of earrings every day, you can walk every day." The idea right now isn't to actually get any fitter with the walking (I'm not walking near fast enough for that) but to establish the habit of walking. We'll see.

So, today is Groundhogs Day. That day when we all trust a rodent to predict the weather. I have brought you two ring patterns for this festive occassion. One where the groundhog sees his shadow, and one where he does not. And if my groundhog seems a little large... well, have you seen Punxsutawney Phil??? He is HUGE! Best fed groundhog ever!

Groundhogs Day!

Quote: Phil: What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?
Ralph: That about sums it up for me.
Groundhog Day (1993)
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beading Daily Earrings Every Day Challenge: Day 31

Final Day!!! WOOOO!!!! So for the final pair of earrings, I grabbed the wire that happened to be sitting on my work table and made some simple spirals. Add posts and DONE!

My friend Stacy declared this to be her favorite of all the earrings I made in January. I looked at her like she is crazy.

Beading Daily Earrings Every Day Challenge: Day 31
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