Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Nostalgia

At this time of year I get sad and long for the good old times when  my Mom was still alive. She passed away ten years ago and while that should be long enough time to get used to it, it is not.  I get that feeling of wishing things were the same as back then.  The dates in the year are reminders of how much I miss her.  Mother's Day, her birthday, my birthday, her anniversary, Christmas for sure.

On the positive side I have nice reminders of her all the time and at this time it's these two ornaments.  Inexpensive, simple not fancy but full of memories that ring every year when I get them out.  My mom was a Pic n' Save addict, she loved that store and all it had to offer.  I remember  taking her there when se visited me and rolling of the eyes was a constant thing I did.... oh mom, that is junk..!  Well these ornaments came from there, and while at the time I didn't do a song and dance when she got them, I knew inside I liked them.... yeah,, get them, they are cute and will look nice.  The little red house she gave to me before she passed away, I basically said  when you don't want that I want it... llevatelo mija (take it honey).  The tree I took after she passed away, it had most meaning to me than to my siblings...  I remember the day we got them, what store, how much, and where we went for lunch after we shopped.

Looking at them they do look like the $1.49 item we bought, but for me looking at them and going back to the many memories of every Christmas with her, they are priceless.  

I hope your Christmas is full of wonderful memories with those you love, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

And this is Jupiter!

Just a quick post on this little bundle of fun.  Jupiter "Joops"  is such a darling little girl.  We got her home Tuesday and right away she felt at home exploring around and bouncing from couch to couch.  She is actually two months old and I am glad because I wanted a little kitty.

Layla took to her right away welcoming her with snuggles, cleaning her and playing.  Layla we found out had a litter last May, so she is used to caring for babies and does so well caring for this little one.  Having Jupiter come home has also helped Layla come out of her shell and spend more time all over the house and not just a couple rooms.

Here they are together last night right before bed.  They seem like old buddies.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We got new kitties!

Meet Regalia who has been renamed Layla

We had difficult decisions to make last year and this September with our older pets when they had to be put to sleep exactly a year apart.  They were 13 and their time had come, we miss them terribly still. But knowing how much happier they made us, we thought it was time to get some life back into this house.  We will always love them and remember how happy we were to have them.

Been looking at rescues online for a month or so,  went to the shelter a couple times too.  But this week I went back wanting to get a dog, but the decision was hard on what I (we) want to get that will please all humans in our household. Well, I made the decision yesterday and instead we got two cats!

Meet Regalia she is two and a half, black and white and such a sweet girl.  She is still shy about the new home and has claimed dibs on Christina's bedroom.... pics prove it, I think.  She is getting to know the house but pretty much stays there.  She had a good night sleep.  It will take her several days I am sure to get used to being here.  She is loving, friendly and has the cutest meow as if she was a baby kitty.  Too sweet! and I am happy for her to come to our home!

The other kitty is a three month calico with lots of white, she is also a girl. She is getting spayed Monday and I will bring her home Tuesday.  She was too quick and I could never take a good picture of her.  We have decided to name her Jupiter.  Will post her pictures next week if she stays still for more than an second.

I am happy we are giving these two sweethearts love and a good forever home.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Patchwork on Again

Come and see me and other 80 crafters at the best show in Orange County, Patchwork.

Patchwork will be on today Sunday November 28th.  from 11am to 5pm.  Located at 2202 N. Main St. in Santa Ana.  Main and Buffalo right off the 5 Freeway.  You can't miss it! the hole block on Buffalo is closed off for this great event.

Click me for a bigger version and to get info

Come and enjoy everything handmade, food and music.  This event is free to everybody! I hope to see you there, I will be at booth 9.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fresh off The Kiln

This morning I got to open the kiln to these  beauties.  They are from what I call my "Spring Fling Watercolors"  This time I added some twists into making these to give them a different look.  The results, is what I expected so I am pretty happy with them.

I really have a lot of fun making these.  I realize that I am the happiest when I am creating.  I hope I can continue doing this for a long time.

The shapes are hearts, circles, birds, two size of ovals.

I will be listing these in the next couple days, many of you know me,,, and know that I have a hard time letting go of what I make.  But I will have to let them go and I hope I can do it and list them in the next day or two.  If you want some of them before I list, email me and I can reserve them for you.
They will be $10 per pendant.  My email is

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I love these!

On my last post last Wednesday  I blogged about the decals I applied to some colorful beads and pendants that I won as a giveaway from Bisque Bead Supply.  Well after a couple days of wind and some other work to do they are finally done.  Here they are.

I think these two above are my most favorite ones.  but I do love them all.

I hope to list later today on my etsy store.  If you're interested let me know and I will get back to you as soon as I feel a bit better.... kind of
not feeling well today.

What do you think of them?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What I did this Morning

Last month I won a giveaway of bisque items from Bisque Bead Supply
Bisque is the term given to ceramic that has been fired once, and is ready to be glazed with many choices of glazes.  Once glazed you need to fire again and they come out all shiny like these beads above, aren't they pretty just like that?

These beads I decided to do a third firing
because I wanted to add decals for the decoration part of the design.  I printed my own decals on special paper.  Sooo, this morning I printed the decals at 4 am... couldn't sleep so might as well get going right?  and after a walk this morning I applied the decals to the fired pieces.  The picture to the right shows the pieces with the decal that will be attached to that piece, it has the white backing paper that will be removed after the decal is immersed in water, the water loosens up the decal from the paper and when ready I will set on piece and slide the  paper off.  Dry the decal and remove any wrinkles once set on bead.

   And this is what they look like once the decal has been attached to the piece.  I will let dry overnight and do the firing probably tomorrow.

So Stay tuned to see the results in two days or so.
let me know if you have any questions about decals.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Never Win Anything!

That was a frequent  saying of mine.  I remember for many years entering raffles at church, for school fundraisers and honestly the only time I won something was like fifteen years ago at church.  But the thing is not  to win but to help support the causes of those places that need it.

The last several months I have entered giveaways from blogs of artists and designers I read.  Last month I entered a giveaway at Lisa's blog  Lisa's Clay Happenings and yesterday I got these two little boxes above.

An this is what was inside, yay!  Lovely pendant and lots of beads in bright pretty colors, and a pair of earrings to match!  I have admired Lisa's work for her use of raised designs on her pieces.  I am one who loves touching and running my fingers over the pendant and feeling the continuous lines of the leaves. I also love her tropical color combinations.  I have one other piece of hers from a past bead swap on the Beads of Clay Group.  If you would like to visit Lisa's website here is the link Clayworks of New Hampshire  Thank you Lisa for putting such a beautiful and lovely giveaway, as soon as I make something with the beads I will post here.

But wait!  There is more....  last month I also won another giveaway at a supplier of ceramic pieces.  I got them last week or so, but they are in the process of glazing and then firing them.... so stay tuned. And I guess now that title phrase cannot be used as much.  Unless another fifteen years go by.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Meaning of Friendship

Throughout the many years of internet surfing, google searching, art forums, ebay purchases, handmade crafting, shows, ceramic beads and jewelry.  The list could go on.  I have come to make friends with many of you, many friendships have been long lasting and some go on to be an eventual hello through emails, blog postings or most recently facebook.  But this person I want to share with you today is too much fun and special to not comment on.

I met Gerry through the Beads of Clay group a few months ago, in the spring when we opened an etsy store for the team, she joined and donated a few pieces to raise funds for promotion of Beads of Clay. We have emailed continually for months now, always having fun in what we say and what we know and don't know about internet how tos.  We talk about our work, life, pets, shows and the going ons of the team.

Today I received this beautiful watercolor card with a sweet message to brighten up my day while I continue to go through losing Sparky.  Gerry makes  beautiful pendants with the imprint of a Fleur de Lis in what she calls an Oxblood Red Glaze.  I have commented on it a couple times... okay maybe a few times or maybe too many times  how much I like that glaze.  I really do like it!  Well today along with her card and her sweet message sending me some "happy" she also included this lovely necklace for me...  Awww.... thank you Gerry!

It made me so happy to receive this Gerry,  I really wanted to thank you and let you know howmuch I  appreciate your friendship.  We may not know each other in person, but I really appreciate to have you in my list  of friends to get to talk to.  This is one of the great things of the internet in out time.  Brining people together sharing same interests, forming friendships, sharing skills and knowledge.

You can visit Gerry Lee's store on etsy for a sweet pendant like this.  her store is  Clay Designs by glee

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Having to say Goodbye

Sparky 1999-2010

I posted last week about Sparky not doing too well and having to take care of her hoping that she would get a little bit better.  Unfortunately, she took a turn for the worse in the next few days and Monday we had the vet come to our home to have our sweet Sparky put to sleep.

As the days went by her legs were not working anymore.  Slowly she had lost total balance and strength to the point of not being able to get up anymore on Sunday.  Last Thursday my daughter came to visit to spend time with Sparky and see her for the last time.  We spent several days showering Sparky with love and attention while making her comfortable as much as we could.  She still had a great disposition, seemed happy to see us, ate well and seemed to enjoy the towel rides we gave her to get her outside several times a day.  We miss her terribly and wish we could have had her for longer, but we really try to concentrate on the time we had with her and a remember as many memories she gave us those eleven years.  We will always love you Sparky.

This is a poem I came across earlier this year from a post  a friend wrote when she lost her dog.   Making the decision to let them go is always hard, I hope we can find comfort in knowing that we did the best for our sweet friends.

If it should be...

If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
and pain should keep me from my sleep,
then you must do what must be done,
for we know this last battle can't be won.

You will be sad, I understand,
but don't let grief then stay your hand,
for this day, more than the rest,
your love and friendship must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years,
what is to come can hold no fears.
Would you want me to suffer? So,
when the time comes, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they'll tend,
only stay with me until the end,
and hold me firm and speak to me,
until my eyes no longer see.

It is a kindness that you do to me,
although my tail its last has waved,
from pain and suffering I have been saved.

Do not grieve, it should be you,
who must decide this thing to do.
We've been so close, we two these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

Author Unknown


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beads beads and more beads!

I have been busy with glazing and trying to make new work pieces and  jewelry in preparation for a show.  All this while I have a ton of things to do around and out of the house.  Plus taking care of my dog who the last couple months has been showing her age.  New things keep coming up with her symptoms, so trips to the vet have been often.  Her most recent and scary situation this week is that she has no control of her rear legs, she has little balance and walks like she is drunk.  The xrays showed she has the lower part of her vertebrae fused on three places.   So I am keeping an eye on her, she is on meds to help with inflammation, pain etc.  But if things don't get better, sadly I will have to make the decision
to have her put down.  In all other aspects she is doing great, she has an appetite, looks happy, wants to go on walks (but can't) and seems to be okay which makes the decision hard.

In the meantime here are some beads from the last firing, I hope to add more.  Hopefully I will have time to add some to my etsy store in the next couple days.

I will keep you posted on Sparky, hoping that she pulls through and is able to give me a couple more years of her companionship, love and reason to get out there with her.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Will Never Forget

As September 11 has been approaching I see on tv specials to watch, stories of families and ways to remember and honor those lost in the most horrible event in US History.  I've watched a couple and as I watch I continue to have the same feeling as I did that morning.  I couldn't believe what I was watching, I felt sick, I cried for those lost, I cursed at those responsible.  And while feelings of anger want to take over me, today I just want to remember and pray for those lost and their families and for the wellbeing of our country.

I chose the picture of this bird because it has been visiting me a lot this summer.  Sometimes I think it's my Mom sending me a message, or that it comes to protect me. But it also reminds me of someone I knew that passed away one year ago on this day.  Or it could totally be nothing related to the reasons above and just likes sitting at this chair under the shade the eves provide.  But all in all, seeing this bird it gives me a sense of feeling hopeful.  And I choose to concentrate on that hope.  Hope that our country some day will be united.  Hope that someday the victims of 9/11 will not feel as much pain.  Hope that those lost this day nine years ago and those that I have lost  personally will forever rest in peace.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bisque Bead Supply Giveaway!!

Bisque Bead Supply  is having a giveaway of $50 in bisque products from their website.  If you are a ceramics artist and have not been to their website you will be happy to find a lot of bisque pieces ready for decoration.  They have a selection of several clays for low and high fire pieces, and many other tools and supplies for ceramics.  You'll be happy you shop here and all their bisque is made in the USA.

Visit their blog  for their September giveaway here Bisque Bead Supply Blog  and maybe if I don't win you win $50 in bisque products.  So good luck!

Monday, August 30, 2010

In Need of Color

I love the ways these pendants turned out.  Bright, colorful and pretty.    I'm the kind of person who is affected by grey gloomy days and rain, specially when it last days....  I get gloomy along with the day, unenergized and basically drag with things to get done.  It's safe to say that my favorite time of year is summer.... even when it gets too hot.  But a pick me up for me any time of the year is color in other thing s I see.  Flowers, pictures, jewelry, clothes, pottery among many things.

What is something colorful that you own that makes you happy?


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some Beads to Show Off

The big pendant in the middle, dark blue pendant and the purple piece were made using the woodblock print stamps I bought at the flea market.

Yesterday I was supposed to post some pictures of the last firing I did on Saturday.  I don't know where the days go, but they sure pass by very fast lately.

The firing I did was just one firing where I glazed greenware beads and fired to the temperature the clay is supposed to be fired.  I liked this one firing doing, because it saves one firing for the bisque load (usually I do  two firings). Plus it saves time, electricity and also wear and tear of my joints.... just kidding! wear and tear of the kiln.  So those things are worth exploring and hopefully having the results all be 100% good will make it better.  The firing had about a ten percent of the beads  not come out well.  This could be blamed on the glaze being kind of old, or it is just not a good glaze to use in only one firing.  I've never had problems with it before...  so I will say it was the firing it only once.  So live and learn.  But most results were good this time, so I like that.

This glaze always look good no matter what clay I use.

I really liked this dark and deep blue.

I am going to continue exploring with different glazes for this one firing approach to save time most of all.  I have a show coming up and need to get lots of pieces done between now and then.  What do you think of these glazes?  I really like them!  they look very different from other pieces I have done with the same glaze.  I have used different clay to so that's part of the difference.

Next post will be about different textures made from an item that most crafters have in their house.... stay tuned.

The purple tear bead on the right and the three teal round beads were stamped with the woodblock I got from the flea market earlier this month.

psssst....  I had to come back and add this picture, I love these pieces.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Testing testing..... Reviewing Bead Racks

A couple months ago I bought a bead rack from Bisque Bead Supply owned by a clay buddy I met online years ago on the Beads of Clay group that we both belong to.

I am always looking for ways to make loading the kiln a little easier with  all the small jewelry pieces I make.  I have a small kiln that is  8" by 8" which by industry standards is known as a test kiln.  Saturday I decided to use the rack for the first time.  I put the high fire wire through one of the holes  and then loaded three glazed beads and pushed the wire to the other side and let it sit on the matching hole.  The rack has holes all along  the length of it at different heights.  So it's easy to figure out where you want your beads to be set  and how many per wire, all depending on the size  of your beads.  I also used one space to hang pendants from the top indentations, this way you make full use of the whole height of the rack.

The rack made the  loading easier than I had done before, I'm always having to reach all the way to the bottom of the kiln to set several wires along one row at a time, it can get tedious  and tiring after a while.  I took the rack to the table, beads on a plate and started filling it.  When I was done I picked the whole thing and put it in the kiln and voila' I was done.  The wires I used were about 7" long, this gave plenty of room for the wire to go across and pass the holes on the opposite side, and after I had filled the rack I realized if I play it well I can hang stuff on the outside too!  Note that if you put something on one end, make sure to put an item on the same wire on the other end, so the weight does not tip the item on the other side because the wire will be lifted a little bit until the hole stops it.  Basically use a balance approach.  The pictures above were taken before loading into kiln.

Rack has been set on top section of kiln 

The picture right above here you can see the left row is where I hung the pendants I talked about above, and also two pendants on the outside of the rack one on each side.  I want to point out also that putting these pieces on the outside (specially the pendant row because of its weight) will avoid sagging of the wire thus avoiding pendants to stick to rack floor.  For those of you who are not ceramic people, things to look out for when doing a glaze firing is that things cannot touch (or rack sides) otherwise they will stick together and will not be usable, you can also see that not all wires had items on the outside because they'd be too close risking getting stuck.

I really liked the bead rack. It's durable, small, stackable.  The size is perfect for my kiln, it was a breeze to fill up and load in kiln.   I am going to order a second one since they are stackable, two will fit just right in my little kiln.  I could see these racks be made in bigger sizes too, I think they could  be used with larger kilns where you could have several in one firing.  I do want to say that this load took fewer beads than I usually put in the kiln, but saving my back from being tired and in pain for the years to come, is worth it to me.  The price for the bead rack is $34.95 plus shipping.  You can get the rods to suspend the beads and pendants also at Bisque Bead Supply click Supplies on the left and it will give you the choice to check the different sizes and gauge.  The wire that I used to fire the beads is nichrome high fire wire, I buy this at my local supplier and it's gauge 17.

If you think you might want to save time in loading your kiln I'd say give this rack a try.  They are available at Bisque Bead Supply made by ceramic people and most of all it is made  in the USA.   You can also buy lots of bisque items that are ready to be glazed and fired, their selection is really big for lots of designs for your ceramic jewelry.  BBS is family owned by Marla James.

Please let me know what you think and if maybe you are thinking of getting one. Wednesday I will post my experience of the results of this firing, it was the first time I did a one time firing.... stay tuned for the results of the firing and close ups of the items pictured above.