Don't you just love getting packages in the mail? I know I do! I just got these wonderful feather earrings from Cali at the The Bead Muse. The pictures don't do them justice - they're beautiful and delicate and so so soft. That's because they're made with feathers that Cali hand selects from her own flock of birds. I chose the red and black rooster feathers (on the left) for my chicken-obsessed daughter. She will LOVE them! And she'll flip when she finds out they came from an actual rooster. The other pair is made with pheasant feathers that are a stunning dark green and have wonderful polka-dotted markings on them. They are so unique and I'm so happy I got them. Check out more feather earrings in The Bead Muse's Feather Jewelry section.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
It's been so long since I've blogged regularly, and I do miss it. I think of things to blog about all the time, and then I just don't follow through. So here I go again, trying to start being consistent. :)
Since today is Tuesday, I thought I'd bring back Turtle Tuesday - woohoo! I haven't made a whole lot of turtles lately, but when I do I always wonder why. I love making turtles! Unlike dogs, they're all the same breed - at least when I make them they are. So I don't have to worry about whether to put on a nubby tail or a long skinny one, cropped ears or floppy ones - I just make a turtle. And I can decorate them however I want!
I recently got some awesome murrini from Lori and Kim called Electric Jellyfish, and it was perfect for turtle shell decorating.
Turtles in my shop aren't just a pretty shell. Nope. This one has chosen to decorate his shell in a rainbow of colored spots, as well as wear a symbol for Marriage Equality on his backside. I like to give turtles a nice backside because when they're moseying away, it can take a while. So you might as well have something appealing to look at back there. I even have an album on Facebook featuring my favorite Turtle Butts.
Right now the Turtle section in my Etsy shop has seven turtles in it - that's pretty sparse. I do hope to add more soon! But if you purchase a turtle bead today, put "tiny turtle" in the notes to seller and your turtle will travel with a leetle friend.
Happy Turtle Tuesday!!!
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Yes, you read that right - this giveaway is for not just one - but two - hooters! They are not a matching pair (whose really are anyway?) - one is a lampwork owl bead that I made, and the other is a handcrafted brass and aluminum owl pendant made by Serina of Pooch Tags on Etsy. We're teaming up to bring you this giveaway.
Here are the rules:
Leave a comment under the Giveaway post on the Pooch Tags page HERE.
**The winner will be chosen by random number generator on Saturday, April 20, so be sure to enter before then!
There are nine (9!) pages of wonderful pet tags, key chains, earrings and necklaces at Pooch Tags! Serina handcrafts each one, using copper, brass, bronze, aluminum and nickel. You are sure to find something you love there - here's a little sample:
Thanks for stopping by ~ good luck in the giveaway!
Monday, March 4, 2013
In today's edition of Murrini Monday, we're celebrating 3-Peats. What are 3-Peats, you ask? They are murrini blends of three different, but coordinating, murrini from Lori and Kim. And get this - when a blend of 3-Peats is sold out in their shop, Lori and Kim will make more! That's good thing for lampworkers who make a bead set using certain murrini, and then are asked to make that set or a similar one again. It's nice to know these blends will always be replenished.
I love the colors in this Airstream murrini blend. I had to have them. :)
Here is the Airstream murrini on a turtle. Turtles love murrini.
This blend is called Electric Jellyfish. I had to buy it - for the awesome colors and for the cool name!
This turtle loves her Electric Jellyfish murrini. So stylish.
Happy Murrini Monday!!!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
These last few days have been a little nerve-wracking. My daughter Annie went on her class trip to Washington, DC, over the weekend. This was her first time away from home for several days (aside from diabetes camp) since being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes last year. As her parents, we want her to experience everything the other kids her age are doing when it comes to education and activities, so we weren't about to turn this opportunity down because of her diabetes. But we also knew we had to research how to pack for a diabetic so that she would be prepared for anything. I did a lot of research online, and then I talked to my sister-in-law, whose daughter also is type 1. I'm happy to say that Annie had a super fun trip, and her diabetes didn't give her any major issues. She said she went low once in her hotel room, and once at a museum. She didn't have any sugar with her at the museum (she took with her spare meter that didn't have glucose tabs in the side pocket - must fix that!), but she was able to buy something to get her sugars back up in the normal range. Annie had only flown once before, and that was before diabetes. So she made sure to test her blood sugar on the plane to see if it dipped. It was just above normal.
In terms of packing for a flight, here is my advice:
Pack extra of everything. Annie now wears a pump, so although she had changed her site right before she left and wouldn't have to until she returned, we still packed extra sites and reservoirs.
Pack any medication - insulin, glucagon - in its original box with the prescription on the outside.
Pack extra pump batteries, extra medical ID tags, extra glucose tabs or other fast acting sugar (and be sure to keep it with you at museums!).
Pack an extra way to administer insulin. We sent with Annie's insulin pen and a new cartridge and several pen needles, just in case there was a problem with her pump.
Pack an extra meter.
Get a letter from your child's doctor that explains that she's diabetic and will be carrying with her all of her supplies.
Put it all in a big ziploc bag and label it. Then keep it in your carry-on bag.
Annie's pump and meters were not supposed to go through the x-ray machine or body scanners (ok to go through metal detectors), so she was pulled aside for a pat-down. One of the teacher chaperones was there with her, and I can't say enough good things about this teacher for all she did to make Annie's trip so easy (I'll write her a note once I'm done with this post).
Annie kept in touch with occasional texts, so I knew how she was doing and could send reminders to her to test her blood sugar. I think she did a great job! And I'm so happy she got to experience this trip and everything it had to offer. :)
Monday, February 18, 2013
It's Murrini Monday! Let's look at some murrini!
I've been having a lot of fun making "patchwork" owls. I make them when I just feel like using lots and lots of murrini. I use murrini from my friend Mallory at rosebud101. I have such a fun variety of Mallory's murrini, and I like to pick out about 12 pieces of different sizes and colors for each owl. I usually can't use every piece, but I sure try! I love the effect of them melting into each other to form the owl's colorful patchwork chest.
A while back I bought a pack of snowflake murrini from Lori and Kim. At the time, we weren't getting any snow, so I guess I wasn't inspired to start using it (why jinx our Chicago record for most winter days without snow?). But we did finally get our snowfall, so my elephants were out catching snowflakes with their trunks.
Speaking of Lori and Kim, they are having a President's Day murrini sale! Through February 20, all their COE 104 murrini is 15% OFF! I'm eyeing the 3-Peat Airstream murrini in the above picture - I see lots of owl eyes.
I think I'll join the President's Day celebration and also offer 15% OFF in my Etsy shop. My sale will end tonight, so act fast! Use coupon code PRESIDENT at checkout to get 15% OFF your entire order.
HAPPY MURRINI MONDAY!
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Lately I've been itching to change up some of my critter bead designs. I don't mean the gradual changes that naturally take place over time - those just sort of happen as I get more experienced. What I wanted to do was to take critter beads I already make and try making them in a new way - sort of a critter makeover.
I started with an elephant. The blue one above is how I've been making them for the past year or longer. He's tall and almost slender (for an elephant), and his feet are close together near the bottom bead hole. This style also allows me to give the elephants tasty treats (like grapefruit slices of murrini).
I think this style is very wearable because of its shape and the fact that it's flat on the backside. But I still wanted to change things up.
Here is my new elephant design. His face and ears are similar to the ones I usually make, but his body is more elephant-like. The challenge for me was to have enough room for a decent trunk (no stubby elephant trunks!) because his face is much closer to his feet. This fella's trunk would drag on the ground if he didn't hold it up and to the side.
This is the side view - a much fuller elephant body. I know, most makeovers involve unveiling a thinner look, but this is an elephant for pete's sake.
I'd been wanting to update my turtle beads for a looooong time. I've made them basically the same way since I started making turtles. They are very basic - a round bead (decorated with spots, frit, murrini, encased in clear or abstract designs) to which I add a face, feet and tail. I've always put my turtle face - whether it is transparent like the one above or opaque - coming right out of the top of shell. I knew that wasn't exactly how turtles actually look, but it was easy and still looked like a turtle. But I've always wanted to take the extra time to make a more realistic-looking shell (as realistic as my beads get, that is), and I finally did recently.
I think what was holding me back was that a) I wasn't sure I could do it, and b) I didn't know if I could still have fun decorating a new kind of shell. So above is my new turtle shell debut. It took a lot longer to make than my usual turtles, but it was worth it. It was fun to try something new. I think I'll keep making them this way, but I'll still make my other version, too.
So what do you think? Should I stick with my tried-and-true critters or keep exploring new versions of them? Any other critters need a makeover?