Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Year in the Making, Day 60

Happy Halloween! And don't forget Daylight Saving Time, for those of you to whom this applies.

Today, we gutted and lacerated three pumpkins. Here's mine:

Scary Smile Pumpkin

This one is technically the munchkins, although daddy did the actual carving. She scooped out all the seeds, though, so she does get some credit. Her litany during the process? "Mommy, this is slimy!"

Skeleton Pumpkin

And here's the husband's, the scariest of all if you are a console gamer:


After carving, he roasted the pumpkin seeds, with some teriyaki and a dash of tobasco:

Pumpkin Seeds

More beading accomplished today - I'm getting close to done and feeling good about it. Also on tomorrow's agenda, I'll be attempting pumpkin butter.

Now on to the chocolate!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Year in the Making, Day 59

No new jewelry today. I'm in the middle of a not-so-secret beading project for a teammate, but pictures will have to wait until after she's received it. So instead, you get Better than Sex cake!

Chocolate Cake

And yes, that is actually the official real published name of the cake. It's one of the many fabulous recipes in the book The Cake Mix Doctor, and believe you me it's a tasty treat. It's the basis for my Hot Chocolate cake I posted about awhile back.

Soon we are headed out to the munchkin's school's Halloween Dance. All the teachers dress up and the kids trick-or-treat up and down the halls and then they go work off all the sugar-generated energy in the gym. Hopefully. The cake is for the PTA cake raffle fundraiser that will be going on during the dance.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Year in the Making, Day 58

Firstly, here's tomorrow's dinner in the making, barbecue pulled pork:

Barbecue Pulled Pork in the making

That's 15 pounds of pork (oy!), in a sauce made from a bottle of rose wine, two 18-oz bottles of bbq sauce, and a can of crushed pineapples. I've got it all set to pop in the oven tomorrow. My mouth is already watering thinking about it.

And I did achieve the extra yard of blue trim I was lacking so my custom order parasol is complete!

Grey, Ivory, and Blue Parasol

It was examined by Miss Nellie:

Grey, Ivory, and Blue Parasol

And she has given it her feline seal of approval:

Grey, Ivory, and Blue Parasol

I've also got another new pair of earrings for the day. Have I mentioned previously how much I love freshwater pearls? I'm sure I have, but just in case, let me re-iterate. I LOVE freshwater pearls. In my bead kit, I've got individual boxes sorted by color. I've got the red/purple box, the green box, the amber box, the black/white/clear box, and I've got two boxes of freshwater pearls. I just found these strands of delightfully organic irregular pieces, so here's the first thing made from them:

Grey Freshwater Pearls with Pewter Celtic Knot Beads:

I've also listed another of the pieces that didn't sell at SteamCon:

Citrine and Brass Filigree Dangle Earrings

More beading ahead!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Year in the Making, Day 57

Years ago, when we were in san Francisco, celebrating our 4th anniversary (our 12th was this year, to give you a time reference), we booked our hotel right outside Chinatown. Literally, right outside Chinatown, as in our hotel was right next to the lions that guard the entrance. We did lots of wandering around down there, and at one point we came across this little shop that had an entire wall of different freshwater pearls, in a technicolor rainbow of colors. I bought entirely too many strands, including a large quantity of pearls in a brilliant cobalt blue. That was over 8 years ago, and for the last four, I've been looking for more pearls in that same color. The ones regularly available were never the same shade, always darker and not as bright a hue.

Here's what my original discovery looked like:

And here's what was commonly on the market:

But one of the wonderful things about being on a team as supportive as my fellow members of the Jewelry on Etsy team is that my JETs are always lending a helping hand. One of our number, the gracious and talented Elizabeth of Foret, came across a supplier with a huge untapped stash, and asked us each if there was anything particular we were looking for. Guess what I asked her about? She came through brilliantly. Check these out!

Cobalt Blue Pearls

She's got oodles of other dangerous goodies in her supply shop, ForetTwo. Check out these lovelies!

10 mm Micro Faceted Ruby:

Here's a necklace with these, Cobalt Blue Pearls and Pewter Celtic Knot:

And for good measure, I listed the Cobalt Blue Glass Steampunk Earrings I'd made a few weeks ago as well. Can't believe these beauties didn't sell last weekend!

One more thing - here's my new business card, which I just finished editing this evening. The previous one still mentioned "wire-wrapped glassware," which I haven't done for a couple of years ago.

2010 Business Card!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Year in the Making, Day 56

Today, I almost finished a parasol. I bought as much as I normally use, I swear. I was working on the ribs with the ivory, and ended up about 20" short. Before I left, I measured the blue and it looked like I had enough. I went off to the store, and waited ages longer than expected because of all the other folks there buying last minute supplies for their Halloween costumes. Trim acquired, I came back, got back to work, and was almost finished when I realized I was about 6" short of the navy blue trim. Gah!

Here's the mostly-completed piece:

Grey, blue, and ivory parasol

So tomorrow, I'll be back at the store getting another few inches of trim.

I was pleasantly surprised when I came home last week, but forgot to it mention earlier in all the SteamCon excitement. My wonderful husband did some reorganizing for me. He got some new wooden shelves for my sewing room, replacing the plastic ones I was previously using which weren't tall enough to accommodate my larger totes. So now instead of piles of totes on the floor, I have a much neater space:

The new workroom set-up

The old shelves are now out in the garage, and my display and stock bins are up off the floor now too:

The new garage set-up

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Year in the Making, Day 55

It's always hard to readjust to the "real" world after working at an event all weekend. After years of doing this kind of thing, though, I try whenever possible to take off the Monday afterwards, to decompress. And sleep. Sleep is good. (I originally types that as "Sleep is god!")

Over the next few days, I'll be listing what's left of the stock I made for the con, and working in a few new pieces as well. I also have a request for a custom piece. But today I took it easy. So here's one of the three pairs of earrings from my "on the road" post last week, plus a new pair of earrings I made this afternoon:

Pineapple Glass and Gear Steampunk Earrings

Prehenite Briolette Waterfall Earrings:

The husband had the foresight to buy one of those pre-cooked roaster chickens yesterday, thank goodness, so I don't have to get up the gumption to cook tonight. Making an open-faced broiler sandwich with it and some cheddar sounds lovely. Tomorrow I'll make something tasty. After a week of hotel food, it's time for some real homecooked food.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

SteamCon 2009 Recap

What a weekend! Wonderful, fantastic, magical, a true flight of fancy. A year and a half in the planning, and such a joy to watch unfold. There were a few snags, of course, as the database and program decided to not cooperate for registration, and all the panel rooms were full sauna ahead (appropriate, maybe?)

I spent the majority of the convention in the dealer's room, of course, but still had many a delightful conversation with folks who passed through. There was the chance to spend time with friends that I see not often enough, and new and delightful acquaintances made.

Some of the wonders I beheld:

There were finely dressed ladies

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009 (
This was an extraordinary occurrence for me, a picture of the lovely lady who bought a parasol from me on Friday to match this dress that she wore on Saturday

And there were finely dressed gents

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009

(Our artist guest of honor was a member of this fine group, as well)

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Elegant couples:

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009

There were wondrous contraptions:

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009

Seattle SteamCon 2009

There were extradordinary weapons, large and small

Seattle SteamCon 2009
(our vice-chair, Diana Vick)

Seattle SteamCon 2009

And other extraordinary sights

Seattle SteamCon 2009 this gentleman was walking around the vendors' room balancing this red glass ball on his head

It's all sorted out now and packed up or recycled

Seattle SteamCon 2009

And when it was all done there was much collapsing in extraordinary exhaustion

Seattle SteamCon 2009

To close, my badge with my ribbon collection for the weekend:

SteamCon 2009 in Seattle

In order, they are:

Oooh! Shiny! the official vendor ribbon
My Thrift-Fu is Mighty! my personal ribbon
Victorian Adventurer
Around the World in 80 Panels
Steampunk needs historical accuracy like a dirigible needs a goldfish
Partying like it's 1899
I'll be exploring the Aether at the Steampunk Exhibition Ball
All Geared Up!
Airship Pirates Rule the Skies!

And now to bed!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Year in the Making, Day 53

Apologies for the absence of several days. Wednesday was a busy day at the work conference, and Thursday I finished up, hopped in the car at 5:45, and drove back home from Richland, WA, in the dark, through the mountains. A bit nerve-wracking for me, but at least that kept me awake. Got home a little before 10pm, got my goods together to take to the hotel, and I made the mistake of sitting down. Big mistake. Needless to say, I didn't end up taking the goods to the hotel till yesterday morning.

I got one new piece completed yesterday, but it was so busy I'm surprised I managed that:

New Steampunk Unisex Pendant

One of my fellow vendors helps me keep the others in line:

Bad Dmitri!

Hey, there's Phil Foglio! Oh, look, he's over there too! Huh?

I am not Phil Foglio!

And there is tea! The folks from B. Fuller kept us fueled with aromatic and tasty samples.

B. Fuller

Here's my booth setup. My husband cross-braced the parasol stands so I haven't had the tipping problem that occurred at Penumbra a few weeks ago, and I love how they look all on display together:

My Booth in the Vendors' Bazaar

My Booth in the Vendors' Bazaar

My Booth in the Vendors' Bazaar

My Booth in the Vendors' Bazaar

Some lovely outfits to be seen, but the vendors' room isn't the best setting for pictures. Here's one I got last night on my way out, though.


One of the best things about these events is the visiting with friends I get to see too seldom:

Drinks in the bar

A busy day ahead. Vendors' room is open from 10-6, and the Abney Park concert is this evening. Off we go!