Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End

Standing here on the edge of another old year I feel vaguely sentimental. Nevertheless, I am ready to dip my toes into the warm promise of 2010, the next 365 days of mystery.

I've put a bottle of swank pink champagne into the fridge and am waiting for the clock to tell me it's time to pop that cork. I love opening Champagne - there are few things that are as much fun, eh?

We ought to do this or that, and we ought to go partying here and there tonight, but I am feeling cold. A snuggle of warm blankets and a pile of even warmer little black poodles are luring me to stay at home this New Years Eve and be a party poop. Maybe just a couple of sparklers in the front yard is all I need to say goodbye, and goodnight, to 2009.
Have fun tonight - whether it be loud or quiet, solo or with a monstrous mob. Be happy, be well and be good to yourself.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Love Is In the Air

Here in the beady little sweatshop, even tho Christmas is still a burning memory, Valentine's Day is lurking right around the corner.
For Cupid's holiday I am bringing back an old favorite - an off mandrel heart with a hole in one of the lobes for stringing. A deceptively simple looking bead, it can be a real booger to make.
But, with each one my technique is getting more solid and there are fewer, and fewer, hearts that look like ruptured amoebas.
Valentines Heart - Tongue Pink and Cim's Sangre glass on a red silk cord.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MaMa's Got a Squeeze Box

It was oddly romantic - we swapped Hohners Christmas morning.
That thing wedged in his mouth it's called a "Trumpet Call" harmonica - an overly fancy instrument with five brass horns attached to the harmonica body. He's been wanting one since, oh, the minute he saw his first one.
You know you've been married a long, long time when you give each other (without any planning or hinting) matching Christmas gifts.
That's me with my new Hohner Concertina. The object of my secret desire for years and years. I adore musette and tango, but I am not at all musical so this ought to be quite the wild ride. So far the dogs seem to find my playing fascinating rather than painful. A good sign.
Isn't it lovely?

Monday, December 28, 2009


Once upon a time Krampus was Santa's dark companion. While Santa was merrily handing out presents to the good children Krampus was beating the naughty ones with birch sticks. Or even worse, hauling the really rotten ones away in the basket on his back to later drop them into the pits of hell.
At some point Santa and Krampus parted company and Santa began threatening bad kids with the less drastic "lump of coal in your stocking" punishment.
Here's hoping that Krampus did not come to your home and that your babes are safe and sound and gently coming down off their sugarplum highs.
Krampus, black poodles, glittery copper pine cones and magical (amanita muscaria) mushrooms on our tree.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Sewing Explosion

It's a sweet, cheerful Christmas sweatshop in my dining room.
Yeah, we're making oodles of gifts. That's Miss Margaret on the other side of the table. She's making aprons with her great new Hello Kitty sewing machine. That's Kiki sitting in my spot.

A second pair of fingerless gloves with birds - I sold the first pair in an unfocused moment and had to re-create them.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mi Corazon

I <3 my dog.
Napoleon P. Oodle is a bit blurry in this snapshot - but I kinda like him that way.
In this glamorous photo he's licking his nose, he's gifted.

Another pair of wool felt fingerless gloves.
I had to wait until now to share them with you - because it wasn't until today that I finally got to gift them. I love this pair.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Sublte Stripe

I cannot tell you how much fun I am having making these stinkin' fingerless gloves.
My big dining room table is a happy, beautiful explosion of wool bits and sewing crap.

Fingerless Gloves Galore

It's a bird, It's a painting - no it's a pair of fingerless gloves.

I bought so many sad, forgotten wool sweaters at garages sales this summer.
Who wants wool in August?
Me, that's who. Because now, in December, I have the most amazing stash of felt to make fingerless gloves with.

Christmas gifts?
I'm making fingerless gloves for all the babes in my life.

Sunday Citrus

One of the best things about Christmas is big bowls of citrus just hanging around and smelling wonderful. Oranges, grapefruits, limes, lemons, clementines, kumquats...

Citrus stripey fingerless gloves.

These juicy gloves were made from a recycled sweater. I don't know about you - but I get a naughty little thrill each time I throw a wool sweater into the washer and then pop it into the dryer. Making felt is too much fun.

I swear every time my husband finds a thick, tiny sweater in a basket of clean laundry he thinks I've made a hideous mistake. "No, hon, don't fret I'm just making more felt."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seed Pod Earrings - 2

New earrings - one of about 60 new pairs that have come and gone this season.
Lampwork beads, labradorite rondels, tiny opals & cornflake freshwater pearls.

Queen Anne's lace seed heads.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Etsy Sale!

I think I will start the after Christmas festivities early by marking down just about everything in my Curious Old Things Etsy Shoppe.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Let it Snow - Somewhere Else

'O the weather outside is frightful...'
We drove to pick up my daughter from college yesterday, a trip into the heart of central New York state. It was nice enough here, in Rochester, when we left. I called her and she said it was fine in Alfred - who knew that for miles in between it was literally a blizzard?

It was a nightmare, some of the worst driving I have ever managed. We're talking upside down tractor trailers in the median bad driving. A pitch black night, squalls & drifting snow - a real white knuckle experience. Miss Margaret took this photo from the backseat at some point. Dansville, maybe? Frankly, we were all scared and are feeling very lucky that we got home (eventually) in one piece.

I hate winter.

Personal Holiday Decorations

Holiday spirit?
I am getting there.

Holiday jewelry - not my thing.
Generally I would say that I prefer fruitcake to holiday jewelry.

Nevertheless, this grinchly old bat likes this pair of red, white and green earrings and is wearing them this holiday season.
A spiral core of copper green glass with a white glass flower overlay, a garnet for each end and some cornflake pearls as bead caps.

Bracelets Galore

I have made a lot of bracelets this season - and love every one of them.
Giverny Bracelet (detail)

Giverny Bracelet - handpressed and raked lentils with lots of metallic luster glass.

Raku Beans - black with raku & my handmade murrini. (sold)

My favorite style has a string of 6 or 7 matching handpressed lentils and a chain with a bauble on the end. The chain makes them perfect for any size wrist - so a gift the buyer can be confident that is will absolutely fit.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Encased Silver Foil

Ooo - sparkles
These beads are fun to make - it's a simple technique that has infinite variations.

Each one started with a small barrel core of black glass which has a postage stamp sized piece of fine silver foil wrapped around it. Then the foil is encased in a colorful transparent glass and shaped. The trick is to not burn off the silver - which you can do by never letting the flame touch the foil while you're encasing it. Just let the molten glass flow down onto the bead which you keep under the flame.

They're great just made with clear and you can change up the core colors and encasing colors to make nearly endless beautiful beady combination. Just keep your transparent encasing colors pale or you can't see the silver that well.

Here's a bracelet made with light blue, green, grass green and aqua.
Hint: be sure that you use silver foil and not silver leaf, silver leaf is too fragile and won't give you the same watery sparkle.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Nom de Guerre

Everyone needs a pseudonym.
They're very useful when you're doing something you ought not to be doing.

"Eunice" oil on board 8" x 10" (sold)

"The All Seeing Strawberry" oil on canvas 4" x 6" (sold)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Dark Pods Necklace

Morticia Addams would love this necklace.
"...creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're all together ooky..."
With big iridescent oil slick black glass beads, stacks peacock cornflake pearls used as bead caps and glowing labradorite rondelles all wired together with black steel wire.
This is the one of the two pieces that I hope does not sell this holiday season.
I love this necklace and want it for my own.
It's so subtle that I don't think anyone has even noticed it yet, it's just coyly hanging on the wall at More Fire waiting for me to bring it home at the end of the party.

Art to Go

Hey! I am in this exhibition and it opens tomorrow night.
All the ART pieces in the show are reasonably priced and can be plucked right off the wall and taken home. Just pay at the counter, you can even have your new ART wrapped in complimentary gift wrapping by the friendly Record Archive staff before you take it home right then and there.

The big ART TO GO opening Party is December 4th 6-9pm - the exhibited works will be for sale through the holidays with more ART being added to the wall as pieces sell like holiday hotcakes.