Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It's me! ME ME ME!

Two memes about ME.

Jessica & Sandy tagged me for these, and since I haven't done a tag thingy in a while, I figured why not?

What I was doing ten years ago:

  • Getting ready to graduate high school. Frick on a stick, it's been 10 years already. *gasp*
  • Preparing for college.
  • Hating the boyfriend that dumped me without even informing me of it. (Who does that?!)
  • Writing award winning poetry. *grin*
  • Singing in an award winning trio & female ensemble.

5 things on my to-do list today
  • Work on custom jewelry order.
  • Pay pest control dude.
  • Write website newsletter.
  • Go to spa party if my allergies stop making me dizzy.
  • Finish some new stud earrings and photograph them.

5 snacks I enjoy
  • Umm, chocolate
  • Raw almonds
  • Granola bars
  • Cheese sticks (though I'm still kind of sick of cheese)
  • Nut Thins

5 things I would do if I were a billionaire: in no particular order!
  • Build a big house with a huge kitchen, open floor plan, and a large studio with all the jewelry making equipment (and pottery making stuff too) that I dream about. (And buy one for my parents too.)
  • Buy a nicer car.
  • Donate more to various charities.
  • Make my husband quit his job so he can spend his time doing the things he loves.
  • Pay someone to find a real cure for panic disorder.

5 bad habits
  • Not eating enough.
  • Forgetting to wear a dusk mask when I sand metal.
  • Scratching my face (nervous habit!).
  • Falling asleep on the couch... with my glasses on.
  • Leaving half empty soda cans in strategic locations.

5 places I've lived
  • Texas
  • Texas
  • Texas
  • Texas
  • Texas

5 jobs I’ve had
  • Computer lab tech
  • Home daycare owner
  • Cashier at Hallmark (worst job EVER)
  • Payroll assistant
  • Small business owner/jewelry designer/amateur metalsmith *grin*

5 People I'll tag

I think just about everyone has already been tagged, so I'll refrain. :)


Meme #2

I am…..... me! Duh.
I be a mommy.

I have...... a lot of wonderful things in my life, yet still want more.

I wish...... I could kick the anxiety.

I hate....... touching raw meat. Ewww.

I miss....... my granny.

I fear........ A LOT.

I feel......... sort of tired and a little anxious.

I hear........ the tv and my jewelry tumbler.

I smell....... nothing, actually.

I crave....... sanity! LOL

I search....... for jewelry stuff online. All the time.

I wonder..... if my life will ever feel normal.

I regret........ letting people that didn't deserve it shape my life and make me feel less than I am.

I love........... the feeling of writing something great, creating something beautiful with my hands, and making people laugh until it hurts.

I ache.......... because I'm clumsy and run into things.

I care........... less and less about what people think of me and more and more about who I really am.

I always........ have chocolate in my house (just ask my dad)!

I am not…... boring!

I believe......... "I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky..." (Actually I'm terrified of flying, so that's a lie. I really believe that if I fly I will pass out or die or at least throw up ten times in those little barf bags.)

I dance......... like an idiot just to make my husband smile.

I sing........... because I can. And I do it well. But rarely in front of people. For reasons I won't go into now.

I cry............. a lot less than I did last year.

I don’t always......... think things through before getting emotional.

I fight........ with Molly to come inside after going potty. She just sits there staring at me like I'm an idiot for even suggesting it.

I write....... music, poetry, funny and embarrassing things about myself and perhaps someday even a book.

I never....... saw myself in this life, but am pretty happy with most of it.

I listen........ when my husband tells me I'm beautiful.

I need........ to find some floor moisture testers so we can lay down our new floors sometime this century.

I am ......... me. I thought we covered this already!?

You are.... tagged? Go for it. :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

NOW it's really a bad day

The dog situation just turned into an emergency. We're waiting a callback from the vet to see what we need to do.

If you read this, please pray for our little Molly. I'm worried sick.

UPDATE: Vet thinks it's a bacterial infection and she's on antibiotics to clear it up. I hope he's right and that's all it is.

It's a sad day

I have new glasses with rimless frames. They have a few little crystals embedded in them (no, I did not do that. They came that way.) I ordered them online. They were very inexpensive, but very very nice high quality glasses.

My dog's poo was "negative", meaning she does not have parasites or worms. So we don't know what's wrong with her. Could be stress, could be her food (we recently changed flavors, tho the poo issues started quite a bit after that), could be both.

So why is is today a sad day? It's always a sad day when you find nothing to talk about other than glasses and poo!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Toxic Sludge

It's always so much fun to get a box of jewelry making supplies in the mail. I just adore a box full of silver! Though with silver prices these days, a $200 order comes in a tiiiiny box. *sigh* It's not so fun, however, when you pull out one item meant to oxidize certain metals and start reading the label and see...

"Caution: Acidic solution. Use Eye protection. Toxic if taken internally."

... and that's all. No instructions on how to handle it or what to do if it gets on your skin (I mean, will it melt it or cause third degree burns?).
No ingredients list.
No manufacturer's name.

Toxic sludge with no identification or real instructions.


Google got me nowhere. Shame on you, Google. You've done me so good until now, but now you've done me wrong. Wrong, I say! I shall pour a thousand bottles of toxic sludge over you and liquefy your skin. (Again, don't you just love my blog?)

Just as I was about to find an online supplier for hazmat suits (because, I mean, who couldn't use a hazmat suit? Especially the clumsy and the dog poo catchers among us... thank goodness we are clumsy and dog poo catchers but not clumsy dog poo catchers. That could be interesting. Though we are clumsy dog pee catchers, but that's another story for another day...) I decided to call the retailer of this product. They were little help. They didn't know what its ingredients are and didn't say how to safely dispose of it if necessary. "You can prolly just flush it down the toilet..."

Ooooor prolly not. Contaminated toxic earth, much?

I did finally find out that if it somehow happens to sneak up under my hazmat suit and touch my skin, at least my skin will not turn into goo. "It's not like hydrochloric acid or anything..."

It will just turn it black. I already have black thumbs, so no biggie there.

Apparently this product is no big whoop. "I mean, you don't want to eat it or anything. That would be bad..."

Perhaps I'm just paranoid. But the words caution, acidic, eye protection, and toxic just sort of do that to a poo catching clumsy person, you know?

Oh, the lengths I go to make shiny pretty things. Got a hazmat suit? Anyone? Anyone?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

One sick pup

Our little Molly Mouse has been a little sick the past several days. I think she got into something outside. Whatever it is, her little belly has not been happy. It's been all gurgley so she'll go outside and eat the grass which of course then makes her puke. There have been other digestive issues too, of which I will spare you the details.

If she continues to have problems today, I get to be the lucky person who catches a poo to give to the vet to analyze. Aren't you glad you don't have that job (either poo catcher or analyzer)? So far, so good today. Yesterday I started her on a very bland diet with some added acidophillus and a doggy safe tummy med and I think it might be helping. I haven't heard a gurgle since, and I haven't let her eat grass the past two days, so no pukes either.

I discovered that she does not like plain white rice. It's too sticky. She'll try to eat it and then spit it out, smacking her lips like, "what the HECK?!" However, she loves boiled potato, and she'll tolerate the rice mixed with boiled potato. I'll add some meat after her belly gets a little rest and I'm sure she'll tolerate the rice with meat as well. Trixie, on the other hand, will eat anything.

There. I promised I'd make my next post about something other than jewelry, so even though I have several new pretties to share - you got to read about poo and puke instead! Don't you just love my blog?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dude. More jewelry?

Yes, sorry. MORE jewelry. I worked my little tail off all week making new stuff and you have to see it. My apologies. ;oP

This first one I am very proud of because it is a new skill for me. It's a green gemstone cab - I wish I knew what the stone is, but I'm not sure - that I bezel set. I made the entire bezel! From the back plate to the hidden bail... all of this was new to me. Very proud. :o)

I couldn't decide whether I should put it on this gorgeous slinky snake chain or on a leather cord. I think it looks good with both, so I will probably give customers the choice when I put it up on the site.

These last two are pendants I made while playing with my brand new metal clay. They were clay but now they're pure silver. You gotta love that. I'm in awe of this stuff - it is so cool. It's an incredible medium... the possibilities are pretty much unlimited. Must.Get.More!

The little square one was my first - it has a tree branch impression. It needs a bit more polishing.

Then there's this one which I'm calling "Puppy Love". Hubby bought this puppy thing for me, after we saw it in the craft store a few weeks prior and commented on how it reminded us of our Trixie. I oxidized this piece to bring out the impression. Who doesn't love a puppy? Awwww.

Okay. That's all. For now. I'll try to make my next post about something other than jewelry. ;o)

Friday, April 18, 2008

So Studly

No, sorry honey, this post is not about you. Although you are a stud... just not the type of which I am speaking today.

Nope, I mean stud earrings. It seems as though several of our customers are wanting some little bitty lovelies for their ears. I've never been too hot on little bitties for my ears. I love danglies. If it doesn't dangle, I just don't even want it. *giggle* At first, I thought there are not that many things you can do with a stud earring. Then I started rummaging through my stash and idea after idea after idea came to me. So I made a few. There will be many more to follow, I'm sure. But for now, just enjoy these "Li'l Bits". I decided to call them that because even though they don't dangle, they really are li'l bits of fun. Corny? Yes. Cool jewelry? Abso-freakin'-lutely! *grin*

Li'l Bit of Bloom - sterling silver flowers & posts

Li'l Bit of Flower Power - sterling silver flower rings & posts

Li'l Bit Linear - sterling silver bar with red brass ball accents

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Shagadelic, baby

Have you ever wondered what a shagadelic bracelet would look like? Well, here you go. This bracelet is so hot, in fact, that it burned a hole in my shorts. Literally. Yes, it's never a good idea to drop red hot metal on nylon-y athletic shorts. I'm thinking it's not a good idea to wear nylon-y athletic shorts while working at the torch. But the nylon-y athletic shorts did save my leg from what could have been a nasty burn. I'm always really, really careful at the torch (I promise - I'm uber-paranoid about my scary stuff like torches and saws), but even being careful, accidents can happen. The tweezers slipped and I don't know how red hot silver ended up on my lap, but it did. My next trip to Lowe's, I think I'll be buying some kind of protective apron. These were my one and only pair of leg saving nylon-y athletic shorts, so next time I'm just out of luck.

But anyway... back to the super hot shagadelic bracelet. This is a chain maille bracelet made with a weave titled "shaggy loops" or "flip flop". I'm in love with this weave. It worked up so fast and is just plain cool. When it's hanging straight down (like it would in earrings), it looks very linear. But when it's laying flat, like on your wrist or neck... it gets all funky. The rings flop around in a most delightful manner.


This one is made with sterling silver, copper, and red brass wire that I coiled and cut into these little bitty rings. I made the toggle clasp too, from sterling silver sheet and copper I made into the little accent balls. I might just name it the toggle clasp of death. It killed my shorts, you know.

I haven't worked any maille in quite a while and I missed it! It's so satisfying. Heck, any metal work is something I find satisfying. I broke out the metal clay today and wanted to scream had a blast. I really, really love working with metal.

I've decided I need a bracelet like this all in silver. I don't wear many bracelets, but if I make myself one of these, I think I may never take it off.

Enjoy. :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Barbie did it, I tell you!

Many, many, MANY years ago I was a small child. I have a cousin who was an even smaller child. She is a few years younger than I am, but we always got along really well. We had a lot of fun playing together when my family would travel up north to visit my granny and various aunts and uncles. I hate to play favorites, but if I had to pick a favorite cousin, I'd pick her. Except for a brief period of time when she was in love with 'N Sync and The Hansons, (MMMBop! *gaaaag*) she's always been a cool chick.

I'm not sure they knew it, but I always loved going to their house. You see, their house was completely different than my house (not that I didn't like my house, mind you). My aunt and uncle are hilarious people (if not a little scary - at least to the young, sheltered, weird child that I was). They had cats. Very strange but fun cats. And dogs - HUGE but gentle dogs. Rottweilers. The kind that knock you over when they wag their tails. They always had a good variety of junk food. Breakfast was usually mix-n-pour pancakes. You know, the kind where you just add water. They had a big television and satellite tv. MTV, VH1,
(and here is where my parents will freak out) all the movie channels - fun stuff, I tell you. MTV was actually somewhat cool back then, you know. They had good music videos, and YES, I was a little heathen that watched them. I can attribute much of my love for a wide variety of music to my favorite cousin and her parents. If it weren't for them, I probably never would have been exposed to great 90s bands like Collective Soul. Ahh, memories.

Of course, before we were too into stuff like MTV, we did other fun things such as swing on the swing set while the Rotties nipped at our feet. Or get our butts "whooped" for ruining library books by taping them all together to make Barbie cities. Or sing "The Ants Go Marching..." at night over and over again until we fell asleep. Or play Toy War. Now, if you've never played Toy War, you should know that it's play at your own risk. To play, you hide behind some makeshift "fort" with a pile of toys (mostly stuffed animals) and, well, make war. The object of the game is to hit but not be hit.

This one fateful day that favorite cousin and I played Toy War will forever be recorded in the history books as The Day Crystal Gave Favorite Cousin a Black Eye. (Can't you just hear the music go, "dun dun dun!!!"?)

I'm not sure why she did it, but Barbie infiltrated my camp. She Trojan Horsed her way in and plunked herself right in the midst of my ammo. With her evil plastic grin, unnaturally large bosom, and permanently disfigured feet, she crawled her way to the top of my pile and leapt into my hand as I reached for my next weapon.
In playing Toy War, you don't look before you throw. You just reach down, grab a toy, and bombs away!

Barbie was airborne.

Now listen carefully bloggy friends, because this next bit of information is mighty important. Barbies and favorite cousins who cannot duck properly do not a good pair make.

Barbie made contact. Eye contact, that is. Apparently permanently disfigured feet and unnaturally large bosoms can do quite a number on a child's eye. Meaning: I Barbie gave favorite cousin a shiner. What can I say? Chick didn't duck. It was a total accident. Barbie did it. None of these excuses, however, quell the constant reminders of that fateful day. I have become infamous, people. Infamous. The Notorious B.A.R.B.I.E.

Without fail, each and every time I see these particular family members, The Day is mentioned. Do we talk about the Rotties? Or the MTV? The mix-n-pour pancakes? The ants that go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain boom boom boom, boom boom boom boom? No, no. We talk about the black eye. That I caused. When I threw the Barbie. At favorite cousin.

Just like the time I ran into the pole in the middle of the mall food court, and the time I set the pan on fire and coated the entire kitchen with a fine layer of fire extinguisher
shmudge... this is one day that I will never live down.

Lock up your plastic dolls, people. Hide your children who cannot duck properly. The Notorious B.A.R.B.I.E. is in town. And she can throwdown. Right in your eye, yo.

(Love ya, favorite cousin. Mad props, girlfriend.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's jewelry, of course

New stuff from The Belles.

I have to say that this is one of my new favorites from my mama. I love chocolate brown, and chocolate brown pearls are so hot this year. I mean, they're so hot that we had trouble finding them because they were all sold out!

There are also some pretty earrings to match.

Gorgeous tiger jasper & 14kt gf set:

And last, but not least, a cool and modern triple ring pendant (matches these earrings).

Molly Mouse: it's what's for dinner

Mmmm... nose... tasty.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Life

We have this tree in the back yard. It's a little thing that was here when we bought the house. Our home is only 6 years old, so the tree is still an itty bitty, though it has grown a lot in the two years we've lived here.

Our first winter here, we thought it had died. It shed everything it had and we were left with just a lone, tall stick poking up from the ground. Our baby oak tree in the front did not do this, but this stick in the back we were sad to see die. Come spring, the silly thing started growing and getting leaves and such again. It didn't die, it just went into hibernation. *giggle*

It did the same thing this winter, but at least we knew what to expect this time. Now it's starting to put on some green again. I have no idea what kind of tree it is, but it's a funny little thing. In another month, it will be completely FULL of lovely green leaves.

Oh, and look. A beeeeeby squash! Too cute to eat.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The curse has been lifted

The curse of the kitchen disasters, you know. It left as suddenly as it came, leaving behind a veritable feast of yummiliciousness (oooh, Crystal made up a word!).

I'm not sure why it decided to visit my home, nor do I know why it chose to go, but let me tell you I am sure glad that it did. Perhaps it left with my cold, or perhaps my little emo dog chased it away with her sad, sad eyes. Or maybe... just maybe... it was banished into the night with the arrival of the newest member of our household.

Meet my new favorite family member, Miss KitchenAid Mixer.

Aint she a beaut? Her baby sister, Li'l Immersion Blender is sitting next to her. I've been wanting to welcome Miss Mixer into my home for quite some time now and after months and months of agonizing over the decision I went for it. I bought the souped up model with the all metal gears and the huge bowl and the powerful motor. This baby has some power, people. I was originally not going to spring for that one, but I found it for a crazy low price and with a rebate to boot and I carefully measured the tiny spot on my counter to make sure it would fit... and, well, obviously it does. Barely. *grin*

When I ordered her, I had visions of bread loaves and cookies and brownies dancing in my head. I'm hopefully going to be a mom someday, and moms bake, you know. They do not, however, kill off half of their state by making nu-cu-ler pastries. But I have these grand dreams of me and Miss Mixer creating all sorts of yummilicious items full of genetically-modified-wheat and white sugar and pounds and pounds of luscious butter. Someone's gotta fatten me up (seriously... lost toooo much weight this winter!). Do you think she's up to the task?

I'm thinking of buying her a few friends to play with. Mr. Grain Mill and Mrs. Pasta Maker. Maaaaaybe if my husband is nice enough to me, I'll consider having his buddy, Mr. Ice Cream Maker Dude, over for a few meals. But for now, it's just me and Miss Mixer. But oh, what a wonderful pair we are.

We have already made pizza (with a chickpea crust):

And peanut butter cookies.... MMmmmmm!

That was Saturday. Sunday she really got a workout by mixing up some yummy doughy, yeasty goodness.

Oh yes. Bread. FRESH bread. Like, two loaves of BREAD. Made with yeast and white flour and white sugar. Kneaded and risen to perfection. *happy sigh* Can you even believe it?!


See? The first loaf is already half gone.

I can definitely say that Miss Mixer was broken into quite nicely this weekend. And my mind is going nuts trying to decide what to bake next! You know you like your new mixer when you look at the huge batch of cookies on the table and find yourself wanting to binge on them just so that you will have a good excuse to make brownies.

Who has issues? Not me. I just have a yummiliciousness-inducing new toy. Oh, and the absence of the kitchen curse, of course.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A belle & her beau on hair

Me: "Hey hon, what would you do if I decided to dread my hair?"

Hubby: "I would dread your hair too."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Emo dog...

... gets no cookie.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

People, I hereby declare myself dangerous in the kitchen. Remember the nu-cu-ler bread I made on Wednesday? Oh yeah. It gets worse.

Friday afternoon, I decided I REALLY wanted cookies. These cookies, to be specific, though I do not know why the person who posted them said to use instant oats. I've been eating these my entire life, and I'm pretty sure I've always had them with quick oats. At least that is what mama tells me to buy when I frantically call her from the grocery store to ask which kind I need. QUICK oats. Not old fashioned. Not instant. Instant oats are, like, ewwwe, but I digress.

At first I thought I did not have enough sugar, but it turns out that I had just enough. Whew. All was well. I carefully measured out my ingredients, paying extra attention this time (even though I did not use the confusing measuring cups - I desperately wanted these cookies and did not want to mess them up!). I used the special dark cocoa... mmmmmm... and threw in a dash of salt, just like mama taught me. Chocolate desserts need a dash of salt. Sometimes we make these with peanut butter and sometimes we leave it out. This time, however, the peanut butter was a-callin' my name. It has calories, you know, and I need calories. Plus, I haven't yet tasted them with special dark cocoa and peanut butter.

I set out my pot with the ingredients and got it going. Maybe 45 seconds later, I looked over and saw a measuring glass... with 1/2 cup milk. *sigh* I forgot to pour in the milk. Things seemed ok, so I poured it in. It immediately started to simmer. Hmm. I stirred vigorously and 30 seconds later, the bottom felt as though it had sticky stuff on it. By the time the mixture came up to a boil, it stunk to high heaven. Don't you love the smell of burnt sugar AND burnt chocolate? Oh yes, it is a lovely combo for sure.

I ruined the stinking (literally) cookies! I could not believe it. I've made these for years and years and have never made such a mistake.

Of course, I used up the last of the sugar so I could not make another batch. *grumble, grumble* And do you know how nicely burnt sugar and cocoa sticks to the bottom of a stainless steel pan? I think the three became one. It took several boiling soaks to get it off (ever boiled water with baking soda? That's kind of fun.). Here's how it looked after a few soaks and scrapes:

It did finally come clean. That's why I love stainless so... it can take a lot of abuse! Of course, the story does not end here. Nope, not quite. During my attempt to cause the pan and the burnt sugar/cocoa to get a divorce, something else happened.

Yep. To add insult to injury, I melted the end of my measuring cup.

I'm a GOOD COOK. I promise, I really am. Ask my husband and my daddy. Sure I set a pan on fire when cooking our second wedding anniversary dinner, forcing us to eat at Burger King for the memorable event instead... but that doesn't count.
Nor does the fact that I coated the entire kitchen with a fine layer of fire extinguisher shmudge to put it out (it was only the pan that was on fire, people. Just.The.Pan). And let's not count the time I somehow made oatmeal so salty that my husband nearly gagged. No, no. These do not matter. They were a loooong time ago. I make good food these days, and I promise I have not experimented with the pyrotechnics in 5.5 years. But last week, the kitchen did not treat me well. Blame it on the tax man. Or the migraine and fever I've been fighting for the past two days. Yes, one of them has to be to blame... not me.

But just to be safe, I think I might hire a cook from now on.