Monday, February 28, 2011

Murrini Monday

Is it Monday already? Well, the good news is - it's time for some murrini!

My elephant beads are very fond of murrini. They suck it up in their trunks whenever they can. This purple elephant found the perfect match with a slice of Poolhouse murrini from Lori and Kim.

But recently I had a request from a customer to place the murrini up on the elephant's forehead. Her idea was meant to be a small circle on the forehead, like a jewel. But as you can see, I chose a piece of murrini that spread out and became more of a decorative headpiece. I still really like how it turned out - this elephant is ready to paint the town red. Or at least dark orange.

And here's that fabulous Smarties murrini blend at work on my mini turtles. Could this blend be any sweeter? I call these Candy Turtles, partly because they look like candy, and partly because I was inspired by Lori Peterson's Candy Jacks beads that she makes with her murrini. I top the shell with murrini, then a small glob of clear glass, which gives the murrini a magnified effect.

Happy Murrini Monday!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Maybeads ~ Where are They Now?

And now, it's time for another episode of Maybeads ~ Where are They Now?

Buttercup the cow bead has learned that the grass is greener on the other side - the other side of the world, that is! She traveled all the way to The Netherlands, and now calls this grass-filled silver bowl ring her home. Marjorie from M-ixes Jewelry created the ring, and it's like nothing I've ever seen before - totally unique. Buttercup couldn't be happier in her new, lush surroundings. I think it's the coolest ring ever.

A few weeks ago I got a custom order for three pet beads: Oliver the chihuahua and Catreeny and Molley the tailless cats. I sent the beads off, and now look where they are! They're sitting pretty on this bangle-style charm bracelet my customer made. The wire work is amazing! And I love all the little touches - the pet-themed charms and matching lampwork beads she added (I only made the paw print bead, but the rest my customer added and they match so well). Now she can take her pets with her wherever she goes.

If you've ever made anything out of my beads, I'd love to see a picture! If you've made something out of someone else's lampwork beads, I'd bet they'd love to see a picture as well. It's super fun to see where our beads wind up.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Randomness on my Memory Card

I take pictures of somewhat random things from time to time. They are usually of things I don't plan on turning into prints and will probably get erased eventually, so I thought I'd share them here.

My little sister turned 40 at the beginning of the month, so I made her a turtle ring. Just what every 40-year-old is wishing for, I know! My sister has two turtles as pets, and she is the one who prodded me to make turtle beads. The purple turtle in the picture is the one I made for her. There is glow-in-the-dark frit on it (from GlowJoe) and a sparkly piece of murrini (from Lori and Kim) - I pulled out all the stops for this ring. :) The green ring is one I wear. I think they like each other.

My sister had a wine and cheese party to celebrate her big milestone birthday, so I also made her some wine glass charms to use for the celebration. When I got to the party I noticed the boob and the fried egg were still not being used.

Any guesses what this is? Here's a hint: Watch it wiggle, see it jiggle. Yep, it's jello. And it's shaped like a human heart. This was a gift from my dad. For Valentine's Day he gave me a jello mold of an anatomically-correct heart. Kids, dinner's ready! Mmmmm, good.

Our dog Chunky is obsessed with tennis balls and playing fetch. He especially likes to chase down tennis balls in the snow. Sometimes, when we say we've had enough fetch and it's time for a break, Chunky will take his tennis ball and give it new look. Afterward, this is what is left and what he expects us to throw to him in the next round of fetch. Ick.

I haven't been posting my Tuesday Training posts because I haven't really been training. I couple weeks ago I ran my six miles and felt great. I drank a ton of water and made sure I was hydrated throughout the day. But by 8pm that night I was sick with the chills. I know I wrote about my issues with this before and I got some great advice about keeping water with me all day, and that's what I did. And I drank it. But there's something more going on with me and my body just doesn't seem to want me to push that hard. Getting the chills is not the worst thing ever, I know, but if it happens after a 2-mile run or a 6-mile run, it will likely happen after a 13-mile run, and I'd rather not go through it in a hotel out of state. So I'm officially not going to run a half marathon. I'm totally bummed. I'll find another fitness goal that suits me better. My son, however, still might run it. So if he wants to, I told him I'd be happy to make the trip to IU to cheer him on. Maybe I'd even run the 5K for fun. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Murrini Monday

I have held off on buying murrini for the last month (talk about will power), simply because I wanted to concentrate on all the wonderful blends I already own. I was actually successful in resisting and I made a small dent in my murrini collection over the last month. But when I saw Lori and Kim's newest blend of Smarties murrini, I didn't event try to resist. They had to be mine. And now they are! They arrived last week, along with Poolhouse and some Parakeet frit. I probably won't use my frit for parakeet beads, but I've already tried it on a turtle and it is really pretty. I've also tried out both murrini blends and they are fantastic! The colors and designs just pop - they are so much fun! I don't have pictures of my beads with the new murrini yet, but I do have some newer beads (pink ones!) with some of my older blends to show.

Murrini is really fun to use for owl eyes, and the colors in this murrini were perfect for a pretty pink pandora owl.

Despite the mortified look on his face, this pug is pretty happy in his pink snowflake murrini sweater.

Rosa the pink hippo wears a pretty rosette murrini on one side. Now she can always stop to smell the roses, if only she could bend her neck back far enough.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beads of Courage

Yesterday I sent off 103 beads (it doesn't look like that many, does it?) to Beads of Courage. These beads will be used in their program that allows children coping with serious illnesses to string beads, each one representing a different treatment or milestone. I had a bunch of animal beads in this batch, including nine that glow in the dark. I also took apart a lot of the bookmarks I had made a while back and put those beads in, too. The holes in those beads are nice a big (I used 1/8" mandrels) and would be easy for little kids to string. Plus, they were just sitting in my cabinet when they could be out there doing some good. :)

I was all set to send my beads in in January, but I waited until now because this month only, I'm also entered to win a new torch. Marcy, of StudioMarcy, is generously donating a torch to the cause. For every 25 beads donated, or $25 donated, the donator gets a raffle ticket for the torch giveaway. So for my 103 bead donation, I'll have four chances to win the torch. But the competition is very stiff! You would not believe the amount of beads that are pouring in to Beads of Courage! Marcy started a blog to show them all off, so check them out HERE. If you are a lampworker, there is still time to get your beads in for this promotion. You know you've been sitting on some beads, just waiting to clean them and send them in - now is the time! You could win a torch, but you know you'll just feel good making your donation regardless.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Maybeads ~ Where are They Now?

It's time for another episode of Maybeads . . . Where are They Now?

A few of my owl beads had the good fortune of heading to Hawaii for the winter. Now they are hanging out on these fabulous pens made by Jennifer Garrison. You can find them at Night Owl Jewelry on ArtFire.

This blue owl is as happy as can be perched between silver on another fantastic pen designed by Jennifer. You can find it in her ArtFire shop, and also at Cute and Fun on Etsy. Jennifer has a lot of shops, so be sure to check them all out!

These doggies are living the good life on these exquisitely braided bracelets made by Laura Farrell of eXQUISITEcANINE. Laura also makes gorgeous braided dog leads and pet portraits, and you can find more of her work at Kanga-Leads.

Laura's Etsy shop has only a couple items in it at the moment, but my golden retriever bead is hanging out there on this super creative bracelet (check out the clasp!).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Heart Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I just added a SALE section to my Etsy shop. Some of the beads are close to expiring (holiday beads and others), and some I just decided to mark down a couple bucks. Here's a sampling of what's on sale:

This murrini turtle is small but mighty. It has different murrini on each side, and a cute one on its rear.

A sweet blue cat with a red heart murrini on his belly.

The Santa gator is long overdue to find a home. This is a very big bead for me, and I took $7 off his original price.

I've marked down 12 more beads, so I hope you find something you like in my SALE section!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Super Dog Tags!

My glassy friend Paula not only makes fantastic glass dog beads, but now she's carrying custom-stamped dog tags (for actual dogs) in her jewelry shop. The bone-shaped Super Dog tag is my favorite, but she's got a whole bunch of designs to choose from and more in the works. Why should humans have all the fun? Or as Paula puts it - Every pet needs a little BLING.

More bling for your pet from IslandTopGems.

My new Super Pug bead sure would look sweet wearing a Super Dog tag from IslandTopGems, and I bet your pooch would, too.

Paula's gorgeous glass beads are in her PaulaNC shop.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Murrini Monday

It's Murrini Time!

These sweetheart turtles are headed to Austria today. I'm having a ton of fun with the Sweetheart blend by lori and kim.

This turtle features purple murrini encased in clear. I'm really enjoying the results when I encase the murrini.

Another sweetheart bead ~ nothing says Happy Valentine's Day like a pink elephant offering up her purple heart.

This Irish owl is quite happy with the shamrock murrini he's sporting on his belly. It's from the Lucky Charms blend from Lori and Kim (all the murrini today is from lori and kim, I should point out).

Happy Murrini Monday!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

That Special Bead ~ Fire Divas Jewelry Challenge

That Special Bead - you know the one - the one you've been hoarding and holding and waiting for just the right moment to turn it into something fabulous. That bead. The piece you make with that bead could win you even more beads! Enter your jewelry design in the Fire Divas Quarterly Jewelry Challenge! The theme is That Special Bead. It is entirely open to your own interpretation and we hope you have fun with it! For some inspiration, head over to our Flickr page. You can win some fantastic prizes; see them below!

That Special Bead (or beads) has to be made by a Fire Diva (hey, I'm a Fire Diva!). The deadline is coming up, so get your entries photographed and entered.

Winged heart bead like this one by Lori from

$20 Gift Certificate to

$40 Gift Certificate to

$15 Gift Certificate to or

A bead donated by Lara from and

$20 Gift Certificate to

This set of beads from RiversEdgeGlass

Now the boring stuff:

All submissions must feature Fire Divas' lampwork. We require the name of the Fire Diva who made the beads used in the submitted piece, so if you submit something, please be ready to provide that information.

We will allow one submission per person per contest, and a maximum of two photos per submission. Entries may be submitted here ( for approval, no later than February 10, 2011. No Flickr account? No problem. You can also email your submissions to firedivas @ gmail . com (no spaces). Please include, in the comments section or in your email, the following:
Information about the beads:
Description of the piece:
Inspiration for the piece:
Submissions will not be approved without all of this information.

Fire Divas reserve the right to approve or reject any submissions.

Fire Divas reserve the right to modify or cancel the challenge at any time.

The winners will be determined by an open poll which does not allow multiple votes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Therapy Thursday ~ Starring Heinz Doofinshmirts

I have three kids that range in age from 7 to 14. Two are girls and the teenager is a boy. You might think that finding a tv show that all three of them would want to watch together would be no easy task. But you'd be wrong. Phineas and Ferb is that show. And it has plenty of adult humor in it, too, so I openly admit to LOLing at it, too.

Here's a sampling ~ enjoy! And Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


We're having a major snow day here in the Midwest, so I've decided to try out my Etsy coupon code again. Use SNOWDAY when you check out of my Etsy shop and you'll get 15% off your entire order through tonight. How's the weather by you?

This is the view out our back door. My husband shoveled a path so the dog could go outside and do his business.

Here's our dog Chunky in the path he created running around looking for his tennis balls. When the snow melts, we expect our backyard to be covered in tennis balls.

Look at the snow drift coming off the roof - isn't that cool?

Look! There's the driveway!

Inside, the kitties are getting a little crazy. Bert jumped on top of the bookcase - something he's never done before.

Hope you're staying safe and warm. :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday Training

I did my first 5-mile run last week! And I felt pretty good, too. It took me 55 minutes, so I'm averaging an 11-minute mile. Back in the day I averaged a 9 to 10-minute mile, so I'm slowing down. But speed isn't a main issue for me. I'm more concerned about endurance. I'm hoping to hit a 6-mile run by the end of this week. That's it for today.