Friday, September 30, 2011

Very Excited!!

As soon as the boys get home, we're packing some snacks, hitting the road, and going to....


Lake George, NY is one of my favorite places on Earth - it's about 3.5 hours north of here, in the heart of the Adirondack National Park.  It's a wonderland of kitsch and natural beauty and we usually go once a year, even if just for a weekend.  When the boys were smaller they LOVED it there, mostly for the plentiful arcades on Canada Street.

I know tag saling isn't exactly their thing, but I'm giving them each $20 to blow on whatever they want.  Tyler is really into vinyl, I'm SURE there will be some there.  I am looking for Pyrex, of course, but I'm also looking for ugly lamps, one of those electric frying pans, cheap beads/craft supplies, and old magazines I can tear up for decoupage.

Best of all, we're staying at one of the classic hotels up there, it's off-season so it's reasonable AND it's prime foliage season!

I don't know how I can wait until 3:30!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WTF? Tuesday - Ick

Let's keep the bathroomy-theme going shall we?
The above photo is not enhanced, and sadly you cannot see HOW urine-like the yellow water appears in the carousel horse snow-globe offered at the New Milford, CT Goodwill.

My big question is when something is this grossly discolored, why not just throw it out? Or donate it to a haunted house, if you want to minimize landfill?  Why force this foul marriage of cheese and gross on the unwitting public?  

I'm linking to Sir Thrift-A-Lot for WTF Tuesday? because I like to spread the pain.

I Heart Etsy

Etsy is a dangerous place for me. I can spend hours in an Etsy K-Hole before even realizing how much time has passed. I'm always delighted by the awesome things I find - I tend to geek out over photography and vintage stuff (of course) but I can't get enough of beadmakers and metalworkers.  Those are two things that I tell myself that I will "someday" learn.  Randy and I even looked into the start-up expenses for lampworking a few months back, but we don't really have the cash to lay out for the gear.  I would prefer to take some classes in both of these crafts before jumping in and buying a bunch of stuff, but have been to busy/lazy to seek out said classes, so for now, I just go from page to page to page to page until I realize I am supposed to be working!

I "Favorite" a lot of stuff, some of which I do intend to purchase when I have a little extra.  One thing I recently bought myself (and am so glad I did) is the below pendant from New Hope Beading :

I had "convo'd" Caroline about one of her pendants, which was the periodic table symbol for silver and asked her if she could customize the same idea for me, but the element Mercury, because...well, I'm Elemental Mercury!

And look how cool it is!  I had big plans of making a funky cascade with a multi-beaded strand for it, but couldn't wait to wear it so it's on its original leather cord (and yes, that's the geode from the gem/mineral show I'm wearing with it, I think they look cool together).

Caroline makes personalized charms, mother's necklaces and bridesmaids jewelry and has some very cool pendants that she has designed and stamped. She was lovely to work with, as well.

On the selling side, yesterday someone purchased one of my flower hair clips, and I'm almost sad to see it go.  I keep all my hair clips hanging from wide ribbons pinned to my inspiration board so they brighten up the studio while I'm working.

I'm crazy about these earring wires from Blue Moon Beads
I've been known to throw in a free gift with purchase sometimes. If someone purchases vintage sewing notions from me, I'll add a little extra vintage something from my stash, and lately I've been making coordinating earrings for the flowers for my customers.

I think they turned out cute and I hope she likes them.

I don't even know what kind of flower this is
supposed to be, but I'm digging it.

I also made a bunch of new fall flowers for the shop that I still need to photograph and upload.

I happened to find some black roses with black leaves and they cracked me up, so I now have black rose hair clips as well as some cream colored roses and bright orangey-yellow mums.  This purple bad boy is all mine, though, I totally love it.

As much as I wander around Etsy, I know there's something like approximately 800,000 sellers.  Do you have a shop? Do you have a favorite shop? Have you bought something lately that just tickled you hot pink?  If so, hook this Etsyholic up and post a link in the comments, because I can't get enough!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Been Busy Hookin'

That's right!  I've been crocheting my butt off, that kind of hookin'.  I found a great website offering free crochet patterns am working on my first crocheted sweater.
I want to use the funky yarn
as a scalloped trim for this super
square neckline

I've stuck to hats, flowers, scarves and fingerless gloves until now, but I'm feeling brave and going for it.  If it looks horrible, I'll just unravel it and make some more hats.

We took the weekend off from thrifting because we had scheduled a college tour for our high school senior - road trip to Long Island!  We toured SUNY Stony Brook - Tyler is undecided as far as majors go, so we're looking at schools that offer a broad base of majors/minors.  I'm not crazy about the drive into Long Island from Northwestern CT.  It ended up being an all day thing - especially once I used the smartphone after the tour and used a GPS to find us the closest "Guitar Center".  The boys like to go in and try out all different kinds of amps and guitars even though they have PLENTY of their own at home.  I like to go into the acoustic room, but this time I sat in the car crocheting and listening to the horrible Yankees/Red Sox game.  Horrible because I'm a Sox fan. I also did a GPS search for a bead store, but other than an AC Moore, there wasn't anything nearby.

I prefer to go to independent bead shops when I look for beads - I find the most unusual beads that way and I have a Michael's near me, and any Michael's you go to is exactly the same.

I keep hoping I'll run into another Off The Beaded Path.  Off The Beaded Path is a great little store in Great Barrington, MA.  I also like Beadworks in Norwalk, CT and A Bead of Roses in Newtown, CT.

Whenever we strike out to check out a college, I will be looking for local bead stores, thrift stores and Guitar Center/Sam Ashes.

Last weekend I met up with my dear friend Jon and his partner Gib in Niantic, CT.  They are the KINGS of the Flea Market and always find the greatest stuff which they then make even greater.  I am in love with their patio.
Note the vintage metal chairs/tables that they painted in
super bright colors

I could literally live back here, this hammock was a total motivational
suckage unit, I had the hardest time ripping myself out of it so I
could join everyone for dinner, despite the awesomness of dinner!

They have all kinds of magic hanging from their trees

I am hoping to go to a few fleas with Jon before the season ends down in his neck of the woods.

The big news is I've signed up for MY VERY FIRST CRAFT FAIR in November.  I immediately panicked thinking I certainly don't have enough product and need to start making stuff pronto!  The burns on my fingers from the new glue gun notwithstanding.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WTF Tuesday -- Really?

Maybe he needs his True Blue Friend instead of
a nice Chianti.
Seen at the Brookfield, CT Goodwill.  In what room is this appropriate? Was this meant to be kitchen decor? Because if so...Ewwww.

Naturally, I am linking with Sir Thrift A Lot's WTF Tuesday, because why should I be the only one to enjoy this work of art?

Necklace Du Jour

Blue and brown agate, dragon vein agate, tiger eye
cloisonne beads and crystal

Monday, September 19, 2011

Neighborhood Tag Sale

My family lives on a cul-de-sac off a main road in our town - it's a busy road, but our street is pretty quiet.  It's also probably one of the safest in town considering we have a policeman living next door and about four volunteer firemen on the street.

One of the ladies on the block decided it would be fun if we all had tag sales the same day, five families participated.

I had done a major purge not too long ago so I didn't have a whole lot to sell -- we did have some weird stuff: a karaoke machine, a banjo, two remote control "hoopty" cars - and some of that went.  I don't know if it was a good idea for me to demonstrate the karaoke machine for hours and hours, but it was sure fun.

I was making so much noise singing along to my iPod,  Randy and the boys decided to get in on the act and since Randy and I have a gig coming up at the end of October, we figured we could kill two birds with one stone and practice our set list and demonstrate the karaoke machine at the same time.
Tyler on bass, Randy on guitar, Ryan on guitar - Laura in the shade trying
to stave off a nasty sunburn (unsuccessfully)

We sold the banjo for less than we originally wanted, but we were okay with it because it was bought by an 18 year old girl who really wanted to learn.  We threw in a bunch of the banjo-finger-picks that we picked up at the Music Teacher Estate Sale a few months ago.

At one point I took out one of the scooters so I could cruise around the street to see what my neighbors were selling.  The folks across the street were selling a ton of tools and a motorcycle lift and other super butch stuff.  One of the families had a ton of little-kid stuff they were selling.  Their daughters set up a cookie/lemonade stand so of COURSE I patronized them.  But then I struck gold:

I had the wrong scooter - the one that DIDN'T have the milk crate strapped to the back and I didn't trust myself to get these home safely, so I left them at my neighbors after she put them aside and before I could go back, she delivered them (and she wanted to see if I had any jadeite, which I don't, but wish I did!)

How cute are these?? These have been in the dishwasher a LOT, but I still think they're cute and am probably going to use them in my craft room rather than cook in them.  Even so, LIDS! I have such a hard time finding Pyrex around here with lids.

I also picked up these:
Snowflake Divided Dish with lid, two Colonial Mist Cinderella
Round Bake Dishes

Snowflake Blue Mixing Bowl

And on the beading front, I went to a gem/mineral/jewelry show and wasn't blown away by the bead offerings (mostly chips or seriously overpriced) but I did fall in love with this Geode pendant.  I am already trying to think of how I want to work this one.
I'm thinking hematite crystals and maybe some purple

I'm linking up with Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Monday.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party -- Reveal Day!

The day is finally here!!!

Behold!! This is the soup that the fabulous Kym Hunter sent me:

And this is what I have made:

Work in Progress!

I just love the ceramic heart pendant - LOVE! I took a piece of wire and curved it through the bail, created two circles and tied the ribbon between these circles to keep the heart flat when worn -- and to give a strong base to the ribbon.

I went with an asymmetrical look, attached to one side of the necklace are the
raku beads mixed in with the silver daisy spacers, the complementary white Bari beads and I added some crystal from my own stash for sparkle.  'Cuz I gotta have the sparkle.

I can't get enough of that pop of green from the little faceted green beads.

On the other side, I attached a chain that leads up to the adorable hammered silver-tone heart clasp - I wanted to make the clasp part of the design since I liked it so much and it mirrored the pendant.

From the chain, I hung most of the agates, added some fairy bells and some of the crystals I used on the tamer side.  I also tried to use as many of the raku and faceted green beads as I could.  I used different headpins for variety.

I took the silk cord and wove it through the chain attaching the clasp to the "tame" side of the necklace, making little knots here and there.

So here we are! My first asymetrical necklace, my first necklace using a ceramic focal, my first necklace using ribbon -- and I am pretty pleased with the result!
I wish it was a better photo.
And here I am, modelling it in all my sunburned glory:
When I tried to tone down the red in my skin, it washed
the necklace out, but here you go!
I've worn it to a few family events and everybody asked where I got it.  When I told them I made it they were surprised, they were used to my usual style of square resin pendants or cascades.  It felt good to surprise them!

Hop on, fellow bead soup bloggers!! Attached below is the partner list, just clink a link and hop!

These are the partner pairs.

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel










121. Lois Moon and Melissa Muir
124. Lupe Meter and Mags Saari


154. Pat Haight and Mary McGraw



I am so glad to be a part of this blog hop! It's been truly fun and I can't wait to see what everybody else made with their soups!

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