Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 336

Today, we spent a good portion of the day at the Seattle Scottish Highland Games. We caught several of the games competitions, as well as a performance by the Seattle Knights.

The weather was absolutely divine - low 70s, and overcast till about 3pm, so there was no danger of overheating. If only the weather will hold through next weekend, and the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Festival. *fingers crossed*

It was a bit cool, but I broke out some summer finery, my hand-tatted barefoot sandals by TotusMel on Etsy.

barefoot sandals

We got to watch the hammer toss:

hammer toss 13

And the caber toss:

caber toss 7

That gent in the right corner of that shot, with his arms raised? He got the flip all three times he tossed. It was a sight to see!

The munchkin defended us from a pirate:

fighting the pirate 3

There were shaggy ponies, oops, I mean Irish Wolfhounds!

irish wolfhound 2

(There were actually real shaggy ponies too.)


And there were kilts. Ooooh, were there kilts!

seattle knights 14

We came home, fired up the grill, and stuffed ourselves on cheeseburgers and corn on the cob, and I'm now in my regular spot on the sofa, listening to The Swing Years on NPR and indulging in some blood orange soda. Have I mentioned lately that life is good?

One little old necklace for the evening:

Lucky Stars Green Glass and Sterling Silver Choker

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 335

It's Friday! Not that it's been a rough week, not at all, but no matter what, you always get excited about an upcoming weekend, especially in summertime, and even more especially when the weather is predicted to be absolutely beautiful.

I'll be picking up some Italian prune plum trees this weekend, if all works out, so I'll hopefully have my own fruit to harvest for jam. I make a mean plum jam, if I do say so myself.

Playing in the black box today, which isn't entirely black, but has lots of interesting neutral stones besides the onyx and the hematite and the smokey quartz.

Faceted Black Onyx Necklace

Faceted Black Onyx Earrings

Fossilized Coral and Rutilated Quartz Necklace

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 333

Made on day 334 - I should have posted this last night, but I spent too much time chatting in the bar with my coworkers after our conference ended last night. Mmmm ... appletinis! And chili chicken kabobs.

Here's the two pieces from Wednesday & Thursday, playing with some lovely green glass beads:

Green Glass Disc Dangle Earrings

Green Glass Y Necklace with Pewter Celtic Knot

I never used to work with glass, sticking to semi precious stones and pearls, but I'm glad I got over that, because there are so many lovely options made from melted sand.

I am now going to enjoy curling up on my own sofa, then crawling into my own bed. Home sweet home!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 331

This post brought to you live from exciting Yakima, the Palm Springs of Washington. At least that's what the billboard outside of town claims. I have my doubts. There's not a palm tree in sight. It's hot hot hot, but a dry heat at least. It's in the 90s (low 30s for you Celsius folks), but I didn't break a sweat walking across the street to grab lunch. Of course, it was only a walk across street, so there wasn't that much opportunity to work up a sweat. More notable is the A/C in our conference room, which has me in danger of becoming a meat popsicle.

No on-the-road pictures, as I'm sure you're not all that interested in seeing the lovely view of the parking lot from my hotel window.

Here's a couple of quickies before we go back for the afternoon's session:

Antique Aurora Borealis Crystal Dangle Earrings

Yellow Agate Necklace

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 329

It's been a busy weekend. We went to a friend's housewarming yesterday afternoon and nomnom'd on tasty bbq'd sausages. I also made something tasty:

Spinach Strawberry Salad

1 bunch spinach, stems removed, washed
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4oz gorgonzola
10-15 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup poppyseed dressing

Directions? Mix it all up. Then stuff yourself silly.

I got a necklace made yesterday but never got pictures, so today you get a two-fer!

Jasper and Red Malachite Y Necklace

Black Onyx and Sterling Necklace

We spent the day at the Point Defiance Zoo today. OMG, the animals! They were out and they were frisky.

Today was the premier of the brand new baby tigers! Squeeee!

Tiger cubs

We got to the polar bear exhibit right at feeding time.

Polar bear

Meercats! Squeeee!


And some lovely swaying underwater life:



Blue Tang and Coral

I'll be off to a work conference tomorrow, so there'll be another on-the-road post or two.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 326

It's been overcast all day today. Every other day this week the haze has burned off about 2-3pm and we've had nice sunny afternoons. It's staying cool, though, so I won't complain. And we had a bit of a sprinkle, so with all the windows open I'm getting rainy-smelling breezes through the house. Life is good.

A quick newbie from me today, and then I'm going to try to take a quick nap before going to get the munchkin from summer camp.

Watermelon Tourmaline Necklace Earring Set on Sterling

Speaking of the munchkin, she has reached a childhood milestone:

All I want for Christmas in July is

We had too much fun last night with a girls' night that she forgot all about her tooth and putting it under her pillow. We'll see if she remembers tonight.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sneak peak

Here's the fabric I'm using for my dress in progress:

Cute Smiley Skulls

I've got the pieces out and should be able to get the sewing done tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Protect your pictures!

I came across this handy blog post today, which is of especial importance to professional photographers, those who are selling their work, but is of general interest to everyone on Facebook, I think. There are new applications that allow you to order prints of the photographs you upload to your Facebook account through Walmart, Target, and Walgreens. This sounds like a good thing, yes? But depending on what your permissions are set to, it also allows your friends, and maybe even friends of friends, to make prints from your albums.

It's really simple to disallow this. All you have to do is click "block application" underneath the logo in the upper left hand corner of these applications' pages.

The Walmart Application

The Target Application

The Walgreens Application

How do you know if you've blocked these? Well, if you click on the link and it takes you to the facebook wall page, that the sign of success.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 322

Today, the eyes were happy! Yaaaa! I wore my contacts for only about an hour and a half yesterday, then went back to my glasses. I realized this afternoon that I hadn't put them in their soaking solution, and they just sat overnight in a bit of water from when I rinsed the case out. So I'm trying an experiment today, thinking that maybe, just maybe, my eyes had suddenly decided they didn't like the solution I've been using. I got a different brand of solution and am giving this a go tonight. Cross your fingers for me, okay? I have to do an awful lot of driving tomorrow.

I did two variations on the same design of earring today, a longer and shorter version. I usually go for longer styles, because small ones get lost in my mane, but some of my friends like the smaller decorations. They have pearls, of course!

Short Red Crystal and Freshwater Pearl Dangle Earrings on Sterling

Long Red Crystal and Freshwater Pearl Dangle Earrings on Sterling

There's really just over 1/2" difference between the lengths of these two pairs, but it looks like so much more, doesn't it?

We will be snacking soon on the husband's infamous crab dip. It was supposed to be eaten at a party today, except I did a boner and got the date wrong - realized at about 12:30 today that the party was actually last night! Color me a heel.

Gratuitous food shot before I sign off for the evening, last night's dinner (with the husband's beer - my Pimms' cup was mostly empty by the time this was ready to eat):

BBQ Pork and Carrots

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Also vending at last weekend's festival was the talented and gracious Javagoth, who makes beautiful beaded jewelry. I purchased a steampunk pin of hers at this year's Norwescon from the artshow, similar to this piece:

Bright Steel & Black Watchface Pin

We conferred on a custom piece for me, which she just completed. Isn't it marvelous?

I'm jokingly calling this part of our jewelry exchange program, as she's bought jewelry from me previously. It's wonderful to return the favor!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A year in the making, day 320

I got an unpleasant surprise today. I've been neglecting my twitter and facebooks, because with the allergies my eyes have really been bothering me and they burn and itch worse when I'm staring for too long at a white computer screen. I've been doing my work stuff and not much else for the last two and a half weeks. So about the only thing that's been hitting my Facebook wall was my RSS feed from Twitter with my new item listings. Bad!

They were marked as abusive and now whenever you click on a link to one of my stores, all you get a warning page from Facebook that my shop links are blocked for abuse. It's my own fault for setting these things up and not paying attention to them. I don't even remember which service I used to feed my Etsy to twitter - it wasn't the popular TwitterFeed or HootSuite. So I finally figured out, after an hour or two, how to get things to feed to my fan page, which I should have done months ago, and then this wouldn't have happened. Live and learn.

Did get some productive work done tonight, too, in between bites of tasty pepperoni pizza (or, as my daughter would say, Macaroni Pizza!).

Purple Glass Flowers Tassle Necklace on Sterling Silver

Agate Teardrop Necklace on Sterling Silver

I've also got a lot of 5 fire opal cabs listed in my meagre supply section. I got them in an odd lot of bits and bobs, and they've been sitting around staring at me making me feel guilty that I couldn't use them, so now hopefully they'll find a good home.

I also got over my wibbliness and listed the cinnabar butterfly piece in my Artfire shop:

Antique Green Cinnabar Butterfly with Glass and Purple Fluorite

Now off to finally watch Alice in Wonderland, which I missed in the theatres.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 319

I've had this piece for at least two years now, waiting for the idea to bloom, an antique piece of carved green Cinnabar, from the Victorian era. I found the perfect glass beads to go with it about a year ago, faceted discs of green that shaded into what I thought was black. I wanted black faceted onyx to go with them, and I found those about a month ago. The pieces all acquired, I sat down to start putting it together.

My current workspace is at the kitchen table, right next to the French doors to the deck, started wrapping, and when I saw the glass beads in direct sunlight for the first time next to the black onyx, I realized they weren't black and green after all. Instead, they shaded from green to a puce color into deep purple. Oops!

So I went looking again, and found some rounds of purple fluorite, and then I started over again. Been working on this bit by bit all week, as my allergies have been making life ... interesting, shall we say?

Antique Cinnabar Butterfly by *dbvictoria on deviantART

Haven't listed it yet, as I'm not completely comfortable selling something made of real cinnabar, that could come into direct contact with someone's skin.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 316

It rained again today. But you know, I'm alright with that. Because rain and cool weather is much preferable to breaking 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I wasn't a big fan of the heat when I lived in New Orleans, and I was there 9 years so it's not like I didn't have a chance to get used to it. And now, after 12 years (almost exactly) in the great and temperate Pacific Northwest, I'm even less disinclined to react favorably to excesses in temperature.

And the rain does bring lovely green growing things, doesn't it? It definitely put me in a green sort of mood today. Whether that green is a result of verdant growth or mold, I'll let you decide.

Celadon and Mint Green Glass Dangle Bracelet

With the long summer days, I actually had time to go out and socialize (I made this while chatting with friends this evening at a local coffeehouse), and still have enough lovely diffuse light in which to photograph this when I got home!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 315

Back from day two of the Steampunk Erotic Festival at Little Red Studio. I am tired, I'll admit it. The mileage is showing. I used to be able to stand on cement floors for hours on end and be able to go out and play afterward. Not anymore. All I want is a glass of wine and an ice pack for my aching lower joints. I'm not even "old" yet. What fun to look forward to!

Yesterday was not quite a scorcher, but still warmer than was comfortable. It looked to be, and proved to be, much more temperate today, but I still wanted to make sure I'd survive the day. Yesterday I wore a loose vest and a pair of antique ivory cotton bloomers, with an ivory scarf wrapped loosely around my neck. Periodically I soaked that scarf in water, and it got me through the day with minimal discomfort. Well, that and the two iced bottles of Gatorade.

This morning, before heading out (the festival didn't start till noon) I made myself a black scarf to match today's outfit. It's all nice and wrinkled in this shot because I took it after I got home and it's been wrapped wet around my neck all day:

My new black scarf

It's 100% cotton, with the edges finished in a scrap of Venice lace I had left over from a previous project, just long enough to tie once loosely around the neck and drape over my shoulder. It held water beautifully, and still looked stylish.

I made another piece specifically for myself today, too. Normally, my pieces become mine because I make them and then fall in love with them and decide to keep them instead of selling them like I should. But this morning, I set out to make a "mine" piece deliberately.

I have several antique keys that formerly belonged to a friend, now sadly deceased. I've done a couple of pieces in this style before, and was sad to see them go, so now I'll have my own, with memories attached:

Steampunk Key with Garnets by *dbvictoria on deviantART

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 313

A couple of things today, as I recover from the heat. I will not complain about sun, as I've been complaining about its lack for how many months now? Thank goodness for central air.

I've been working on this piece on and off all week now, finally finishing it up today, another parasol:

Red Parasol with Black Trim and Ivory Lace

And one more piece, a little bit of summer fun:

Rose Quartz Wire Wrapped Choker

And now there is a nice lukewarm shower calling my name.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Upcoming Event!

This weekend, I will be vending here, Saturday from 12-8 and Sunday, 12-6:

There'll be lots of fun things to do and see, including an appearance by Abney Park!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Onions. Always onions.

No real post from me today. I was slicing onions to carmelize for our steak sandwich dinners and sliced into the pad of my middle finger on my right hand. I am giving all of you the finger as I peck this out! Well, not really. Waiting for the bleeding to stop so I can assess the damage.

I only ever cut myself like this when it's onions. Maybe it's a sign from the layered tuber deity.

A Year in the Making, day 306

Yesterday's post, that I fell asleep without making!

For the fourth, what else could I make but potato salad? I'm not a fan of other peoples', usually, as they insist on putting things like celery and pickles in it. Ick! Mine has three basic ingredients - potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and {drummroll} BACON! Well, I guess there are four, as there are onions in it too, but since I cook them in the pan after making the bacon, they're nice and soft and tasty. I am convinced that potato salad should never crunch.

Potato salad:

5 lbs yukon gold potatoes, skins on, diced in 1/2-3/4" pieces
6 eggs
1/2# bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
1 medium sweet yellow onion, diced
2-3 tablespoons of gourmet mustard (I like the Jack Daniels brand)
1-2 cups mayo

Boil the potatoes 10 minutes, till taters are fork tender. You can hard-boil the eggs in with the potatoes.
Cook onions in ~2 tbsp of bacon grease till translucent
Peel & chop boiled eggs
Mix all in large bowl with mustard, add mayo till reaches desired moistness

potato salad

I'm having some for breakfast as I type this.

We enjoyed the afternoon festivities at a local park, in weather that may not have broken the 70F mark, with drooling skies. Folks brought along their tents and umbrellas to keep off the drizzle instead of the sun:

fort dent park

hiding from the rain

The cold and rain didn't keep the munchkin from begging for a Hawaiian ice:

cherry hawaiian ice

I stuck to my favorite picnic sweet - kettle corn!

ketttle corn

Even with the wet weather, our fine boys in blue were on-site and prepared:

fire truck

fire hoses

After wandering around for a bit, we headed home for dinner, and stayed there, as it started really raining. So we alternated between watching the local fireworks from our deck and viewing the Washington DC display on the TV.

Today, we still haven't decided what to do with ourselves, so Scooby Doo is playing while sofa snuggling is occurring.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 305

Today, I made zombies! Seattle attempted to regain the Guinness' World Record for largest zombie gathering, and we went to participate in Red, White, and Dead.

We each had some clothes that were slightly the worse for wear that I spent the morning distressing. For a zombie wardrobe, a cheese grater is your best friend! I had a white button-down shirt, one of my favorites, that had an unfortunate incident involving a tube of burgundy lipstick and the clothes dryer, as well as a pair of pants that I'd worn to death with both knees and the bottom ripped out. The husband had a slightly too-small Mariners shirt, and we sacrificed an Ichiro ball cap. The munchkin had a blue dress-up dress. My father had an old pair of black pants and shirt.

I hacked at them with dull scissors and ripped and scrubbed them against the grater. I ripped the hem off the munchkin's dress and shredded the chiffon overlayer. They all went into the drier to fray the edges more, and then I started making them look dirty.

The lighter colored pieces I took outside and kicked around and ground into our dirt front lawn (landscapers won't be installing the sod till next week sometime.) I mopped up a spill of wet coffee grounds with my shirt. The darker pieces go thrown into the fireplace and poked around in the ashes.

For our makeup, I started with a pale grease paint, dabbed in and blended some green, then finished with grey at eyes and to accent the neck, cheeks, and temples, then dabbed a bit of blue on the lips and outlined the bottom lid in red.

zombie makeup

We were a family of zombies, with the three of us plus my father, in for a visit for the holiday. I warned him ahead of time what he was getting into. He made a great zombie tourist!

Red White and Dead

Special touch - an "I survived Jurassic Park!" baseball cap.

My husband made fake blood out of water, flour, red food coloring, and chocolate sauce (That gives it a darker appearance, more "old blood" looking. And it's tasty!) After it sat for a bit, it got nice and gloopy. I spilled some fake blood on our stuff, and we packed it all together in a plastic bag and stuffed it in the trunk. Got to Fremont, changed in the car, and then glooped ourselves up with the hubby's concoction.

Red White and Dead

I didn't get good pictures taken of our makeup until we got home, so we were a little humanized around the edges by then, but still looking a bit on the frightening side:

Zombie grandpa


Best part? How easily it washed out, important since we all caked our hair with it.

The full set of pictures is here, and includes some shots my father took while we were waiting to begin our stumble and shuffle for the record.