Friday, November 13, 2009


I was working so hard on my new idea, which looked really cool, that my neck and shoulders are tight and sore. This sucks because the first earring has a flaw (thread wrapped around a narrow part, I didn't see it and kept going) that I can't fix, so if I try to start over, I'll aggravate that.

Also, my car has been somewhat out of commission due to brake issues. It's fixed earlier and cheaper than expected due to babydaddy's buddy. Yay, I'm free again! Aaaaaaannnd, now I'm getting the cold that kiddo got and gave to babydaddy.

At least he's well enough to be primary parent this weekend. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Weaving Woes & Checking In with the Blogosphere

Bead weaving involves using the little tiny glass beads (seed beads) and thread to create amazing designs. Some are very simple - weaving netting is fairly easy to learn (and gets better over time). Many of these techniques are very old and seen in Native North American and African jewelry

I had an awesome idea for some earrings and it's turning out to be a little more work than I anticipated. First I tried herringbone stitch. This is a really cool looking stitch. It's also a very old stitch seen in African jewelry. As you can see, it looks really cool. Unfortunately, when I tried it with my earring idea, I couldn't keep it from ruffling and I couldn't find anything online that would help. Back to the drawing board. 
 On to re-teaching myself brick stitch. So far, the first couple rows are really hard. With so many of these stitches, they go much easier once you get going, so I'm mustering my patience. 
It will be worth it!

On a totally different note, here are some great notes from the feminist blogosphere.
Kellyanne Conway has some very confusing words regarding Sarah Palin. -Kate Harding
High school gender issues - New York Times
On remaining child-free - AlterNet (thanks, Henry)
What does US troop presence mean for Afghan women? - Washington Times
Democrats, please grow a pair of brass ovaries - New York Times
Because every day should be love your body day - Kate Harding

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coming Soon!

Coming soon to my Etsy shop. Very sparkly silverplate earrings.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Much Needed Rant

Somewhat off topic. Some whining, too.

Something is bugging me and I'm a little uncomfortable sharing (I know, I'm surprised, too). It's been bugging me more and more over the last couple weeks. I feel stuck. In my work life, I'm literally stuck because I'm not licensed in Oregon and can't get licensed without a job (that's the short version). It's at best frustrating and at worst discouraging. One of the results of my unemployment is that I have a lot of time to do laundry, dishes and other forms of cleaning, not to mention the volumes of relational work. *(Relational work is part of the massive amount of unpaid work in the home that traditionally falls to women to do. This includes caring for the emotional needs of family members, mediating conflict, listening, helping people get out of a bad mood, visits, letters and phone calls that keep the family connected to the rest of the family, etc.)

I have become a stay-at-home mom. 
Stay-at-home moms out there, please hear me out. This isn't criticism of people I see as inferior, because I don't see it that way. I support any woman's choice regarding what she does with her life. Absolutely no judgment there. The problem I have is that it wasn't my choice and I know from previous experience that I feel pretty overwhelmed easily. It doesn't help that it really is a 24-hour job.  I've tried really hard to define myself for myself. That is, I've tried not to let myself be defined in my own head by the roles I inhabit. This is hard because US culture encourages us to define ourselves by our career choice. We introduce ourselves to other people and one of the first questions is often "So, what do you do?" We base a lot of our assessment of others on that one fact. We base our assessment of ourselves on that fact, too, and I realize it affects my personal assessment more than I wanted it to.

And I don't know how to escape this, other than getting a job. I miss getting up every day, having to take a shower early, putting on a little make-up, wearing some of the nice clothes I have and going somewhere my talents or expertise are needed (though I will admit to not missing driving 30 min or more to get there). I miss doing something I really enjoy. I'm terrified I'll have to get a crappy job that limits me that I have to keep indefinitely while I continue looking in every possible nook and cranny for a better situation. Not the end of the world, I know, but I spent a long time getting my fancy-schmancy degree. My personal relationships, including my marriage, suffered greatly and I lost parts of myself I'm just beginning to find. Not to mention the ENORMOUS debt I've incurred. Seriously, I could have bought a pretty nice house for what I've committed to.

I definitely keep myself busy. I started my Etsy shop to have an outlet for all the jewelry I make and don't wear or give away. This has opened a whole new world of social networking to promote this shop. It's really amazing how social networking has encouraged incredible immediacy in commerce and overall debate. It sucks up a lot of my time and I'm not sure if it will pan out, if I'll sell even one piece. I do a lot of laundry. Sometimes I do dishes, though that's the one area where I get defiant and stop doing them for a few days (or, more recently, a few weeks). I love to read, but I feel guilty, like I should be looking for a job or working on Etsy stuff.

I, like so many unemployed, get discouraged at times. I'm uncomfortable not working at what I wanted to. I'm somewhat uncomfortable about accepting money from the government and frustrated that it works out to about $7.16/hr (and that's on the high end). I'm grateful that unemployment compensation is available and I'm grateful that I have a roof over my head and I'm in very little danger of getting kicked out. I'm grateful that my ex-husband is a good guy who still puts up with my crap, loves our daughter to bits and is someone I know I will always be able to count on.

I suppose this means I'm comfortably stuck. Negotiating cognitive dissonance is exhausting. I'm going to go play with beads.

What the Hell?

Huh?  (kinda gross)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Show Some Love Sunday: Awesome Finds!

Show some love to these artists. Their stuff is amazing!

infinitecharms : dichroic glass (and other stuff)
loveclay: polymer clay jewelry (the robots are COOL!)
SeaFindDesigns: sea glass jewelry
Gnomies : gnomes are rad
LovelandShadeTree : octopus necklace
Se7enArtJewelry : beautiful wire and bead pieces

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Good Question

Normally I don't give two shits about country music, but this post raises a really good question: Why are young women in country music taking heat in the "new" vs "old" country debate?

Surprise Inspiration

I suppose that's kind of redundant. Inspiration can't be conjured, so it's often a surprise. It's definitely a rush!

This isn't the pic that will make it to Esty, but it will do for now. I made these in about 10 minutes, a possible wire wrapping record (say that 3 times fast) for me. I knew when I bought the 30mm rings on the bottom (on sale) that I'd have some difficulty figuring out what to do with them. I was at another bead store last week and I found the 4mm rondelles, though I still wasn't exactly sure what to do with them. Sitting on the couch, staring at some silver wire and voila! Here they are. 

I'll have some decent pics up on Etsy soon (probably tomorrow).

Oh, and my soundtrack to these was my daughter singing a song she was making up as she went with a chorus that included "release the hounds."

Wire Wrapping Experiments

OK, I think I have some of this internet stuff straightened out. I feel like there's a lot more I don't know, but I'll figure it out as I go. I'm used to that! 
Since I've taught myself most of the bead techniques I know, I miss stuff sometimes. Wire wrapping is an important skill to have and because of my perfectionism, I didn't miss anything as far as construction. When working with wire, I tend to go for a slightly higher gauge (20) because it doesn't bend as easily and I have more confidence in the finished product. Lately I've started wondering if bending easily might be better for construction - a higher gauge might make wrapping easier and I might be more satisfied with the resulting aesthetic.  As for strength, I make tight loops (wire goes through bead and there's a loop on either end - I tend to make my loops as close to the bead as I can so the bead doesn't wiggle on the wire), so that provides a lot of strength (finished piece is less likely to bend).

Maybe I can get some more practice in today. Kiddo's getting a cold (it's coming on too slowly to be porcine), so we'll see.

Friday, November 6, 2009


No, I'm not listening to the Dead. I'm getting more serious about making a go of my Etsy shop and I've been working on understanding how all this social networking stuff works. I'm not really sure exactly what I've done, but it appears like I'm approaching the apex of redundancy, which I think might be the goal. Twitter, Facebook and the blog are now intertwined in ways I don't quite understand. I'm figuring it out bit by bit, but I feel a bit like an old lady being drawn into the blog age kicking and screaming. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Back to Work

The last week (since we put the kitty down) has been really hard. Feeling dumb, unmotivated  and unfocused and it's been hard to get any jewelry work done (despite teeming with ideas). We finally got kitty back from the vet (she was cremated) and did the memorial we planned. As a family we went downtown and found a beautiful box that fits kitty's remains and a few sentimental items. She was a "volleyball" player - you could ball up a piece of paper (which would draw her from any room), lob it over head and she would swat it out of the air, no matter how high you tossed it. So we included a little paper wad. When kittydaddy and I first brought her home, we lived in an apartment over a Subway. I was in college and kittydaddy worked full time, so we ate a lot of Subway. Kitty loved sliced turkey and the crinkle of a Subway wrapper would also bring her in, so we included a piece of a Subway wrapper. She had beautiful fluffy black fur, but she had two white spots - one on her neck, below her chin and one in one of her "armpits." I was with her when she finally passed and I saved her white spot and included that. She recently developed an affinity for batting around kiddo's small toy doll heads, so kiddo included one of those. While we put all this stuff together, kiddo was drawing a picture of the cat that she wanted to put up on the wall. I had a small frame that the picture fit in, so we put out the box and framed drawing up in the living room. It felt really good to get her home and put the pieces together. I'm still really sad, but I feel much more settled.

Feeling better about this and not being able to drive my car much (needs an expensive repair) will keep me at home and hopefully I can increase production and put more items on etsy. Stay tuned.