Friday, March 8, 2013

Stirring the soup!

Yesterday I received my portion of soup from my lovely partner, Brenda Sigafoos, from Minnesota.  Brenda is a wire-wrapper extraordinaire, and you can see her blog here

Here's a picture of what I sent to Brenda:

Okay, right off the bat we have a problem.  Although this picture is oriented correctly in Picasa, it will not rotate appropriately here.  (And it's a rubbish picture at that.)  I am sooooo not happy!  I know it's a personal problem; that only makes me more frustrated. 
But here's a rundown of "ingredients"...purple silk ribbon from Marsha Neal Studios.  Pendant made by me, using an image of an owl from a matchbox.  (Yes, a matchbox.)  Faceted 10 mm opalescent beads with lots of purple/pink "fire".  Glass rondelles with swirls and an AB finish on one side, but not on the other.  Dark amethyst polished long teardrops; a pewter clasp with an owl from Green Girl Studios; some gorgeous ribbed lampwork beads in blues/purples from an artist I can't find on my Etsy list (so, so sorry!).  Then I threw in some chartreuse for "pop" enameled clasp from my stash, and some Czech fire polished and picasso beads. 
Moving on.  My friend Brenda has outdone herself.  I promise that the pictures do not fully represent the gorgeousness of Brenda's gift.
This beautiful bundle of beads (love me some alliteration!) came wrapped in three exquisitely embroidered vintage hankies...a lovely cameo focal, tons of crystal-y crackle beads, faceted smoky teardrops, round black glass beads of different sizes, faceted black beads with an AB finish...oh, I could go on and on!  Here's the wire-wrapped clasp Brenda made:

And you have the added benefit of seeing a bit of the embroidery on one of the hankies!

And then, as if all this wasn't enough, take a look at the beautiful ring Brenda made just for me:

To top it off, because Miss Brenda knows I'm a sucker for most things vintage, and for ALL vintage jewelry, here's what she found for me at a local antiques store:

Brenda, I am going to work very hard to make pieces of jewelry that do justice to the lovely beads and findings and wire-wrapped and vintage loveliness that you've sent to me.  (And, once again, mental note to self to work on photography skills; mine are so elementary; it's embarrassing.)  I hope you can tell how much this means to me!  Eleventy-million hugs out to you in chilly Minnesota!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Don't Do It

If you ever think maybe you should roast coffee beans at home...stop thinking.  Don't do it. 
I figured that I'd successfully roasted my own beans. Maybe I am being too...well, I'll be honest, the apartment really stinks. I think the fire alarm reverted to a stink alarm, and that's why it kept going off. I wish I could say that it smells strongly of yummy coffee in here, but it doesn't. It smells strongly of stinky burning something...something terrible. I opened the patio door, and the window in the craft room, hoping for a cross-breeze that would clear out the stench. Didn't really work. I lit a lovely vanilla candle (ix-nay on sticking it in a container of coffee beans, just the vanilla candle on its own, good GOD no more coffee beans for awhile); hopeful that before bedtime my living quarters would smell sweetly of vanilla.  I have to say, it didn't work quite as planned.

But then I discovered (again what I already knew from before) that I was very VERY low on Cinnabon creamer. Tragedy. I tried to monkey with my latte, adding milk and cinnamon-sugar. Oh dear. My latte, which is really an important part of my day, was sub-par. The cinnamon does not dissolve like the sugar does. It stuck to my lips. I am very dissatisfied on all accounts.

And the poor cats.  Really, I think if I had birds, it would have killed them.  Here's Bella's reaction to the whole thing:
Well, actually that's Bella's reaction to just about everything.  But it still stinks in here.  I think I will leave the coffee roasting to the baristas.  Also, as a side note...did you know that coffee beans "pop" like popcorn?  Yes, they do.  Not all of them, and they don't morph into anything fluffy, but it's unnerving to hear that coming from the oven.  Yuck.