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Beads and other Needs
How's this for a first day's attempt at fishing....We get in the boat all ready to go, turn the key and 'click..click..click'. Dead battery. 'Borrowed' a battery from our friendly neighbor...not sure why they gave my Dad the code to their boat house security system
. Started the boat and headed out to find the 'birds' that indicate small fish being driven to the surface by bigger fish. Found the birds and tried to troll into them using the fish finder to scope out the area. Fish finder would not work and the trolling motor was only at half capacity...
AHHH!!! Fished a little while, rod hung up on stump and led to a broken rod! We headed back for a little lunch and to check on dinner (ribs which were already cooking on the grill). Ribs turned out to be done already so lunch became a feast of ribs (definitely a highlight of the day!). Headed back out to the birds (and fish, hopefully) and come to an unexpected halt just as we are hitting open water...out of gas
. Get motor started and run at IDLE back to the point just off the boathouse. Trolled around a bit just to get our bait wet and try to get a fish. I got a few bites and then suddenly WHAM! caught one. Unfortunately it was a little below the keeper level and we threw it back. No more bites and the day ended with me and Dad vowing to get the boat ready Saturday for some good fishing on Sunday. Were we diappointed?...Sure...Were we ready to throw in the towel?...No way!
Anyone who has ever fished or boated knows that there are times when the weather, equipment, etc. just won't lend itself to a carefree day on the lake...SATURDAY...Penny, Kimmie and my Mom got all dressed up to go to the HGTV dreamhouse today...Here they are all ready to go!
They were meeting up with my aunt Liz and cousins Lisa (left) and Amy (right). Here's the whole crew (don't blink Liz!)
Everyone kindly commented on their return that the real 'Dream House" was right here and I would have to agree with that! Dad and I replaced all the boats batteries, gassed it up, renewed the fishing licenses and performed a few other repairs and are ready this time to get the fish, as we all agree that on Friday the fish got us!
We had a great trip to Dallas and had the pleasure of flying on a connecting flight from Las Vegas right over the Grand Canyon...WOW...what more can you really say. Almost as impressive was Lake Meade which strectched for miles and looked like it had some very interesting shorelines and coves. After a 2 hour drive we were in Tyler and today we had a relaxing day on Lake Palestine. Although, the day was a bit too cold for fishing, we bought our fishing licenses and Penny and Kimmie got some new fishing gloves (yes, gloves...fingerless no less
). The local fish and hunting supply store has everything sporting good related. From bow hunting to bird watching to fishing. I haven't seen that many guns since I was in, well, Wal Mart. Dad has a huge stockpile of lures so we are ready to settle the issue of who the real fish catchers (and who the fish models) are! Weather permitting I'm sure that we will soon have some pictures of Kimmie and Penny holding at least a few of my trophy fish.
Maybe I'll even hook one and let one of the girls bring it into the boat...I'm such a softy...
Nice, Mr. Penny!
I love those little emoticons! Now I just have to remember how to use them..maybe I'll just write it down the old fashioned way. Okay, now that's done
The shed is basically complete, but for a few parts that weren't sent with the kit
. Unfortunately, it is pouring rain and while I do love you all who visit the blog, I'm not going out there for a picture! The dogs were surprisingly uninterested in the guy building the shed. They gave him a good sniff and all but didn't do their usual barkfest. Scooter never had so much fun. He is our 'busy' dog, always checking out the fenceline, making sure there are no intruders or rabbits coming around. He jumped in the shed, crawled all over the trailer, in and under the truck and just generally helped out. He's really my husband's dog and when he got home and went out to see how things were going, Scoot's two favorite things were in the same place. I thought he was going to pass out he looked so happy. Today of course, he is exhausted!
Had a little errand to run out of town yesterday and got to visit one of my favorite places, The Antique Rose Emporium
in Independence, TX. It's about a 40 minute drive from us and is laid out more as a series of charming gardens than as a regular nursery. Independence is a very historic little place too, on a very old mission road (La Bahia) and one of the places where the Texas declaration of independence was drafted--cool huh? So Bunny and I took our time and read all the historical markers in town and brought home some nice plants. And of course some clay pots...I have a real addiction to them!
The Pennys will be in Texas tonight and tomorrow I'll be joining them, look here for updates and pictures!
Wow...that was fun
Ahem, allow me to clarify...
I cannot believe that Mr. Penny has turned this blog into a forum for sibling rivalry; before I set the record straight on that last post, allow me to remind him that I have in my power the ability to release his 'real' name to the world, so that shoppers at bead shows from California to Milwaukee will run up to the booth and squeal it as loudly as possible. They will be encouraged to do so if we have much more of this behavior!
That entire stringer of fish was caught by Penny and me. End of story. Penny is the luckiest fisherman I have ever seen. Her motto is: 'first, biggest, most' and she usually gets all three. Daddy has been studying up on February fishing and has collected the appropriate tackle so that we hope to have some success this week too. Rest assured, the results will be posted here! Unlike Penny, my husband is the unluckiest fisherman I have ever seen. We are probably fortunate that he will be staying home.
Oh, I almost forgot! The SHED is finally under construction! The guy came yesterday and managed to get the floor done before dark. I expected him earlier this morning to finish up, but haven't given up on him, it's only a quarter to nine. And he can't bail on us, as he left his trailer and a couple of air compressors in the yard. Still, I wish he would get here! Can't wait to post some pictures here for you...
Tyler on our minds...
Next week Penny and I will be traveling to Tyler to visit mine and Kimmie's parents (they happen to be one in the same you know). We plan on lots of fishing and some good old fashion relaxation! Mom and Dad have a terrific home on Lake Palestine and it is really a treat to spend some time there. I will be sure to get some pictures posted because when Kimmie and Penny get together, things get pretty crazy! Heck, I'm already looking forward to the Bead and Button show this year because we all had such a good time last year. I actually have some photos here from a recent visit to sort of set the tone...Here they are after a great day on the lake holding up the fish my Dad and I caught. They can't catch many fish, but they sure do look cute holding up the stringer!
More coming soon...if I don't lose my blogging privileges.
What a trooper I am..
Ok it's not exactly fording the alps in the dead of winter, but I do have a splitting headache! The doctor prescribed some lovely cough medecine for me that makes me feel like I'm having an out of body experience, but since I just woke up I am feeling pretty hung over at the moment, LOL! I wanted to say hello and let everyone know that I'm still here before I take the next dose and go back to La La land.
Did I mention that HGTV's dream house for this year is near my parents' house? We will be going to see it next week when Mr. and Mrs. Penny are here. Here's a little web game, you can see the house in the background:
Tubin' on Lake Tyler!
Okay, I'm having trouble putting sentences together now it seems, and I promised Penny I wouldn't try to BUI (Blog Under the Influence)...See you Monday!
I won't gross you out with excessive details, but I have a cold...I don't like to torch when I am under the weather, something about sneezing, kleenex, and a very hot flame sounds like a risky combination!
So yesterday I worked on something I've been thinking about for a while--some members of our Cocker Spaniel rescue group are participating in a sort of dog festival next month. The event includes a 'dog walk', which is either a sort of parade or a pledge thing, several members will be in it. I thought it would be fun to show our CSR pride! This is what I came up with:
Joan Miller Porcelain Beads
Hello all...Just wanted the visitors to my site to know that my friend Joan Miller has a whole new page of beads and jewelry available at www.joanmiller.com
. Joan and I have teamed up on a number of new finished pendant designs and in addition to some of these you will find many new collector beads and bead sets from Joan. Her pieces are incredibly detailed and besides awesome color and whimsical designs...they feel really good! Joan puts a lot of work into rasied textures that make her beads very special to me and I'm sure that you will enjoy them too. Here's a sample to get you motivated...
BIG Sea Life bead...Hello Fishy!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Housework, how romantic...
I will make this quick so I can finish my chores and get to the torch...Had to run errands this morning and of course managed to drag it out till afternoon; it is good that I do get out of the house once in a while, you know. I wouldn't normally let housekeeping get in the way of beadmaking, but the one thing I do not allow is odor, and after two weeks of rainy weather, this house smells pretty doggy! Not accidents or anything, just, well, doggy. A quick sweep and mop and a trip around the house with the duster should do the trick. I don't care too much about neatness, but smells are another story. It is a source of great pride to me that two separate people have told me that my house doesn't stink. Aim Low!
Okay, no orders to fill so once I get out there it will be fun stuff, come back tomorrow and see what I come up with!
Happy Valentine's Day!
NEW Bead Critter Page
Wow, that was a looonnnggg project! I did not know what I was biting off when I suggested to Penny that we overhaul the Bead Critter page
. But, I just could not stand the old page anymore...the huge and very old photos that I'm sure took forever to load on a dial up connection...the lame descriptions...the shear length of that mammoth page...AAAAHHHHH!!! Enough was enough. So I proposed what I had been thinking of for a while...that the Bead Critter page be changed to a concise index of individual pages for each critter. Now, Funny Bunny, Hoppy Frog, Happy Kitty, Shelly the Turtle and all the Critters have their own page with lots of pictures, accessory charms and even the ability to order assembled pieces with your choice of bead! Each page is easily accessible from the Bead Critter Gallery page. I also made it possible to just order the Bead Critter components you want right from the Gallery page. We hope you all can take some time to browse the new pages and see for yourself all the fun possibilities that exist when Bead meets Critter! Enjoy...
The NEW Bead Critter Gallery page...
Sorry I missed posting yesterday...had a special project that took more time than I anticipated...To make up for it, I'll share some of our funnier dog pictures...
This has to be my all time favorite of the monster. He is such a baby and comes running like this when I call. Look at those fangs! And to think the cockers pick on him so terribly, he won't walk past them to come in the house...see these vicious spaniels on the next page...
Here are some fun show pics...
Penny's booth all set up and ready for the show!
Close up on the displays.
Mingo hamming it up for the camera with his neighbor at the show.
Our favorite visitor! And she didn't even buy anything!
...And to think I was sorry I missed it!
I was disappointed not to go to Tucson this year...now I think it's just as well that I stayed home! What a bummer for Penny and Mr. P; they were really looking forward to spending some time at the shows this year instead of just working the booth. I wonder if the mineral shows suffered the same kind of casualty rate!
A couple of recent koi beads, just to show the different color combos I'm working on. Unfortunately, both of these are rejects. The one on the right, although I love the new base colors, is cracked, and the on on the left has a big crease in it where I must have jabbed it without noticing! What a drag! I can wear the creased one myself, but the cracked guy goes into my rejection collection...go to the next page to see what happens to these beads...
Tucson takes it's toll...
We are home a full day early due to a rash of illnesses that seemed to sweep through the bead show. We had planned to spend all of Monday at our favorite Bed and Breakfast and the gem and mineral shows around Tucson. I started to come down with something prior to the end of the show and although I was sniffling alot it seemed not so bad and I could probably just get over it. Then, after the bead show, Penny caught what seems to be the flu and after one night at the Bed and Breakfast we left for home. Our hostess at the B&B said the news had reported a doubling of flu cases at area hospitals so it seems flu season in Tucson is just getting started. Several other vendors were suffering from various symptoms during the show; some so bad they had to pack up their things and leave early. Other vendors covered the empty tables and spread out their products to fill in the spaces. We got home after the 7 hour drive and went straight to bed. I think I slept for over 12 hours. Penny is now resting comfortably with Mr. Bojangles and I seem to be getting better except for a nagging cough. I think someone needs to print up some "I Survived Tucson 2005" T-shirts! Our best wishes for speedy recoveries to all our fellow vendors. If we seem a bit slow to respond to your inquiries, rest assured we will be up and around pretty soon. Thanks to Ma Belle and Ron for running to the store for meds and chicken soup. We also appreciate all the organization you did in the kitchen...it looks amazing!
Penny and Dan
Surrender to cute!
It's an invasion, resistance is futile!
Spreading their manifesto of 'Cute at Any Cost', the Weeble Nation is on the move. Made up of both cats and dogs, they are a highly disciplined squadron of sweetness. Are you one of those people who like to say that you don't 'do' cute? Your days are numbered!
Sorry I'm so late with my update today; my husband came home from work before lunch, and that is such a rare occurence that I was distracted! I did manage a solid day at the torch though and will have something to show for it tomorrow...
It has been raining here for about a week, it is unbelieveably wet outside! Typical Texas February...I don't mind though, it's not as cold as it was, and my feet don't freeze while I'm working!
Off to spend some more quality time with the hub, sorry this is a short one!
Flame On...Flame Off!
Tonight was the annual flame off event held here during the bead shows. Imagine four teams of lampworkers working on projects in front of a live audience. Two sets of four teams were competing in two locations to obtain the highest bid on their ongoing project. Bidding is done through a silent auction with volenteers walking through the audience taking bids. The project scales varied quite a bit; from animal shape beads for a necklace to large human sculptural forms. As I mentioned in the last post, borosilicate glass has really become a popular medium and most of the teams; especially those doing large projects were using boro AND the huge torches they require to heat the glass. It gets pretty exciting to see those large flames heat the glass and the artists gyrating with it as it reaches melting point and really starts to move...I guess that's why glass work is so often referred to as a dance...The show was better, but we're hoping for an even better day as the Tucson locals are known to come out on the weekend. More later and hopefully some pics...I seem to have misplaced the cable I need to download pictures from the camera
Tucson Update from Penny
Sorry for the delay in updating our little journal on the show so far, but it has been an eventful few days and we have literally come home to crash every night. Our first day was tremendous and we and several other vendors were putting it right up there with our best shows ever. Then came Thursday...and the opening of one of the larger shows here, the Holodome. Everytime we made mention of how slow the show was someone would point out the opening of this large stone bead and finding show. It was still a good day, made better by the chance to get out and see the work from other vendors. Penny had lots of fun talking to friends and seeing all of their new designs. In the evening, the second Best Bead Show was open late so we could go by and see many of Penny's other favorite artists. You can get a real measure of Penny's excitment for something by the "squeal factor". Her voice goes up an octave or two giving out a loud squeal and ending in a jubuliant laugh. This was never more evident than at the ZOA art booth where she purchased several of their charm, link and bead designs that feature PMC alone or together with lampwork beads. We both really enjoyed the designs by polymer artist Chisti Freisen and the hollow lampwork fish by Ofilia Cinta. Christi has launched a whole new website devoted to just her dragon designs as they have become so popular. You should see the many booths with boro glass art...this medium is really taking off and we will witness it first hand tonight at the annual flame-off event! One of these artists, Shannon Hill, had a great booth with a new fish bead design that Penny almost had to have...as she would probably tell you, the week's not over yet! After all, it had a very good Squeal factor reading
. More later....
Bunches of beadies!
I am chipping away at the big order from yesterday, got off to a rocky start working on weebles, of all things! Now those are, or should, be fairly automatic--I have made so many of them. But yesterday I just couldn't do anything right! I thought I was losing my mind, what could it be? Well duh, the flame was turned up too high, I guess I was just in the habit of setting it differently as I've been doing other kinds of beads lately...and these are itty bitty weebles, smaller than you usually see on my page...LOL when something goes wrong like that I'm always sure it's a brain tumor, or I'm going blind, or aaack! Anyway, at least life is never lacking in drama...in my own mind...
I also wasted a hunk of time making half a dozen of the wrong thing--don't worry Penny, I figured it out!
And I think I did the best fairy yet, the heart fits easily inside the diameter of a quarter...
I hope to have some of these guys good enough to offer to you next week, if anybody's interested.
I find I really like the purple coneflowers on these-that's echinacea, you know, so they could be called 'flu fairies'--they will chase away the flu bug in the garden of your life, Ha Ha Ha!! wow, I'd better get out of here before I slide completely downhill...
So it's the Super Bowl this weekend...should be a good game anyway, but it is always bittersweet,
as it means no more football till the fall,
Wow, fire up!
Penny just called with a BIG bead order, so I may have to put my fairy experiments on hold for a few days...I bet I can sneak in a few at the beginning of the sessions though...If nothing else, I have become a wizard at making that heart shape!
Yesterday I made the mistake of waiting till the end of the session to try the fairies...my brain and arms were tired and it showed in the results, they are pretty so-so...I spent most of the day on small sized wave beads, to be used with one of Penny's newest findings, the mermaid tail! Allow me to premiere it here:
I love this-can't wait to see it in person. Look at that cat-fish! He looks very smug and cute doesn't he?
I hear the groundhog saw his shadow yesterday, which is fine with me
. The robins must have heard about it, because instead of heading on their way, they came back and this time landed in our yard. -------> click to see them!
When you gotta glow, you gotta glow!
Please help me. Like Marcel Proust, I have a phrase of music caught in my head. Unlike Marcel Proust, who kept hearing a phrase of Debussy (I think), I am stuck with a phrase from Johnny Mercer's version of 'The Glow Worm':
Hey little glow worm turn the key on,
You are equipped with tail-lights neon,
When you gotta glow, you gotta glow-
Glow, little glow worm glow!!!!
There, now that I have shared it with you maybe it will go away. We will save the explanation of how I know the words to this song for another day...
I spent all of yesterday at the torch working on fairy beads.. [wink to Noralie]:
Overall, I figured several things out and am pretty happy with them. The one on the lower right with blue sky was the very first, and cracked. Rather than chuck it, I kept working just for the practice, and I think I have decided that I like it when the hand melts into the wing a little. My favorite is the top center, I like the simplicity and the wings turned out well. The garland held by the one on the far right I think is the most effective, although I'm not happy with the other flower decoration on that one. In the future, I'll combine the overall design of the simple one with the garland and I think that is what I'm looking for. I like the blue sky too. By the way, these beads are about the size of a quarter.
In spite of all my whining (see previous notes), I really like working small. I'm more comfortable making them and wearing them, too. Besides, I'm just not happy unless I have something to complain about.
I'll do a few more today and report back tomorrow.
Happy Groundhog Day!
Tucson: Show setup day
It was a long day our first full day in Tucson. We started out shopping the bead shows that had already opened and the rest of the afternoon and evening setting up our own booth and display. Past blog entries showed our new booth design and the setup went pretty well for the first implementation. It has been great for me to be here and see for myself where some design modifications could improve the display at future shows. A full weeks worth of use will no doubt bring to light a number of other design changes to consider. We have already seen some amazing beads and jewelry and look forward to lots more. With the start of the show tomorrow, we are anxious to see how the many new pieces Penny is introducing will be received by the savy (and somewhat saturated) Tucson audience! Pictures next time...wish us luck!
No Surprises Here
I didn't clean up the studio. Is anyone surprised? I'm not...but really, it wasn't for lack of trying. I simply miscalculated the amount of cardboard tubing I had, which was the main element of my plan for glass organization. Instead of 2 whole 6-footers, all I could find was one 2-foot length. Oops! So I cleaned up the doggies' room instead. They are thrilled. Getting pvc pipe to make a glass rack will have to wait till the weekend, as the guy at the store refused to cut the 10-foot length in half so it would fit in my car. This is a family blog, and I will refrain from comment...
Exciting new beads are forthcoming fresh from the kiln tomorrow; in the meantime, enjoy these pictures of Scamp and SweetP in their Christmas sweaters. Penny got a scarf to match SweetP's sweater...
Thanks for tuning in, don't miss tomorrow's beads!