June 27, 2010

Oh The Stress Of It! or It's Driving ME CRAZY!

It's not in the top 10 of stressful life events, but I would put it at number eleven. Buying a new(er) car. Turns out our 93 wagon is on her way out. We called her "Kitty", our mom car. We bought her when we started our family, I was 6 months into my first pregnancy. Being a used car "Kitty" ended up needing a new radiator. Unfortunately, the mechanics assistant decided not to put new $2 clips to attach the oil hoses and reused the old ones. Not good. I ended up dropping the engine oil all over the 101 freeway in rush hour traffic. Not a good thing. Luckily our cracker-jack of a mechanic replaced the engine. Alas, the car was never the same. Nine years later, it is time to move on. We are 4 days into our car mission and my insides are screaming to be ousides. My stomach just can't take the stress of interest rates and auto dealerships and endless searches on line. Credit unions, by the way, are THE way to go! I've been up late, getting no sleep and worrying about the money we will have to spend. Used is the only route for us, and I don't mind that, you can get some pretty awesome deals. By the way,  the Ojai Lavender Festival was great, but I did spend the whole time obsessing over cars and deadlines and failed smog checks. Ugh! So bright and early I'm dragging the kids, Nintendo games in hand, to the credit union to make some sense of this. Wish me luck.

June 24, 2010

Tiny Cuteness!

These earring pairs are now available from the website! I've been having a great time playing and making earrings....

There is also free shipping from now through Monday!


Thanks to the lovely ladies who took the time to look for my projects in the latest Stringing! The lucky number is... 2! Copper Diem!

Please email me your address so I can send you your frame pendant!

June 23, 2010

Yes. I'm A Geek.

How bad do I want to go here? I want to cry, that's how bad! How cool does it look?!?!!



Here are some of the buttons that I made in the last firing. Some lavender buttons would have been sooooo cute!!! WHHHHAAAAA! Ok. Moving on...

I've been trying to get a gem like effect out of my beads by playing with glaze and shape. I felt like these were getting pretty gemmy.

Then I saw Nancy's work on The Rabbit Muse blog and swooned "That is it!" She cleverly carved them to be like faceted gemstone beads. Then I saw bead artist Diane Hawkey's little faceted gems and swooned all over again. There was also a sweet little faceted pewter charm posted on the Green Girl Studios blog that must have been removed. Swoon again. Are you seeing a pattern. I wanted to put my own touch on their great technique....

June 22, 2010

Color Me... Lavender

All shades of purple welcome! I am less than a away from the Ojai Lavender Festival! Miss Yvonne and I will share a booth again a la our Earth Day adventure! Her fantastic parasols were a hit last time and I'm sure they will be this time as well! Of course planning ahead is not my strong suit, but I did manage to get it in gear enough to make a few lavender and leaf pendants. Of course as I was pulling them out of the kiln I shouted "AHHHH!!! I COULD HAVE DONE SOME BUTTONS!!!!" I did make many buttons but not with the lavender on them! Doh. Next time....

There is still time to enter to win a frame pendant.

June 21, 2010

What's That Smell?

We are still in the middle of rubik's cubing our house back together and in the middle of the clutter, I'm trying to work and fire the kiln. I glazed like a mother f@%$er on fire to get it all done on time. Loaded my sweet Amaco up and started her up. About half way through the first hour we started to smell a smell. Not a good smell.

Robert: What's that smell?
Gaea: There must be a hair stuck in the kiln. It will fire out. Yuck!
Robert: It's getting worse. Really bad!
Gaea: Ick! What is that?!?
Robert: Did the cat pee in the studio?
Gaea: OH MY GAWD! Is that cat pee burning in the kiln?!?!??

Yes. It appears the cat was stuck in the studio and had to go. On my kiln shelves. Why. Oh. Why.

If you've ever had a cat pee somewhere in your house or car you know what a hellacious smell that is. Now bake that smell and watch us run. I am talking bad. Really. Really. BAD. Good thing is, when the kiln got hot enough it fired out and stopped making the smell. Sadly we all had that stink stuck in our noses for the rest of the day. I almost passed out. Lesson learned. No cats in the studio.

June 17, 2010

Once upon a time... a giveaway!

It seems like a super long time ago that I submitted the bracelet and earring projects that are in the lovely summer issue of Stringing magazine. In fact the bracelet project was originally slated for another magazine entirely and for earlier in the year. But here they are and I'm really happy with them! Find which pages the projects are on and leave a comment with the page numbers and I'll draw a random winner next Wednesday to win a new empty frame pendant! Happy reading beading!

June 14, 2010

All work...

What a weekend! My feet feel like they could fall off and my hands are all puffy and ache too! We spent all weekend rearranging the house. There are four of us and only 2 bedrooms... At some point a boy and a girl need their own space. That point is now. We painted, moved, dusted, cleaned, recycled, and sorted. There is so much more to be done too. For now we have turned our living room into a bedroom and now each kid has their own space. Not all the furniture has be moved but the main pieces have. The living room (or should I now say the bedroom?) has a fire place that is beautiful but we never use. Since the kids have bigger rooms now ALL THE TOYS ARE OUT OF THE REST OF THE HOUSE!!!! YES!! WHOOO HOOO! I'm a bit excited about this and my big boy is so excited that he insists he will keep his room clean! The house cleaning and sorting was interspersed with trips to the Made In Ojai booth at the four day long Ojai Music Festival. Thirteen artisans chipped in for a booth! I had earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and hair pins and the bracelets seemed to be a hit! So now it is really time to get down to work... and play with some beads.

Last firing I made some of these empty frames! They are perfect for a resin project... I might find some time to play with them... I might also add them to the ol' etsy shop...

June 11, 2010


I've had this gold glaze on my shelf for about 3 years. I tried it once and then couldn't remember what it looked like. I just remember that it looked nothing like the web photo from the company site. I've been wanting to add some metallic glazes as a contrast to the brights and watery colors I've been glazing in. Here is how some of the beads turned out...

Still nothing like what I expected but I really like it! They may need a thicker coating of glaze to be more metallic. They look a bit like golden toned lava rocks. I'm still looking for a shinny metallic glaze...

June 8, 2010


In a good way! Finding just the right display for jewelry can stump me! My co-op space at the Made In Ojai store is very small and I usually make the most of it by filling every nook and cranny. Rings are a particular challenge. If I put them in the case they will not be picked up and tried on. I've been leaving them on top of the case in a small bowl for people to touch and feel and try. They seem to get noticed there but look a bit messy piled in a bowl. I thought about a ring tree but it was turning into a big gangly project. The solution turned out to be much smaller...

The ones at the shop have multiple rings! They look fun all stacked together.

This was my favorite! 

Whoooo doesn't love an owl! I'm keeping this one at home! It has our initials on it!

They would even be great by the sink for when you take your ring off to do dishes!

June 7, 2010


 It happens. The dry glaze gets poured into a jar, water is added, the lid returned, and you give it a good shake. Here is where I for got the crucial step... WRITE THE NAME OF THE GLAZE ON THE OUT SIDE OF THE JAR. Honestly, it really should be step one and having learned my lesson this time, it will be the next. While I do love the Blue Moon glaze, it is not what my customers ordered, but that is the color I laid eyes on when I opened the kiln this morning! It isn't all bad though! I usually put a thin layer of clear over certain items and this time it ended up being a great effect.

Blue Matilija Poppy dish.

This is how they look in real life...

They got the blue treatment! 

What serendipitous discovery have you made lately?

June 3, 2010

One of THOSE days.

Some days are yellow. Some days are blue. So says the Dr. Seuss book for kids about color and emotion. This day was more a rainbow of colors. Not in the beautiful arching colors type rainbow but more like a technicolor yawn (read as vomit).

I'm pretty sure I took it out on a well deserving but complete stranger. Thing is, if you live in a small town, any town really, shouldn't you make an extra effort to tip your hat at your neighbor and do things with kindness?

I could have been a bit kinder in delivering my message. At least I remembered not to curse in front of the kids when the impatient driver right behind us floored it around us through a stop sign so as not to be stuck behind our slow moving 1980 diesel. There are usually many kids and families on bikes on their way to school at this intersection and it made my blood boil that someone would think they were above the law and above the safety of anyone around them. It wasn't a mistake what they did. Or an accident. It was decidedly on purpose. Something inside my head snapped. I've heard people describe it as if their feet and hands have a will of their own. Mine sure did. I thought she should know and decided to tell her so.

My car drove after her. She turned off the main street literally 100 feet from the stop sign she just ignored. My horrified kids just wanted to get to school. I thought they should know it's OK to tell someone they are being dangerous. I obeyed all speed limits and stop signs. As I rolled down my window in front of her and told her that she was unsafe and should know better living in a small town than to expect her rude and dangerous behavior to be ignored, she quickly slunk into her house and avoided eye contact. A grown woman in her 50's should really be able to be responsible for her actions. Heck! My 4 year old knows how to apologize when she's wrong.

I reached for my camera just in case I needed it and she managed to collect herself and come out. I flipped the video camera on and recorded. Her excuse? "Your toxic fumes". "Sorry we can't afford a nicer car" was my reply. A light must have dawned on her and she became apologetic. Her words, "I can understand" and "I didn't mean to scare you" were the right ones but were delivered in an forced and unapologetic way. "I don't want you to report my actions to the authorities" was what it sounded like. I got the kids to school and was happy to get home and focus on something positive.... loading the kiln.

Just A Peek...

At what is going on...

I am so excited to open the kiln and I haven't even loaded her yet! I made a few ring displays that I hope will be a fun new addition to my sales display!

Also a few bead dishes. I could use some clay play time making other non-jewelry ideas!

June 1, 2010

I'm a big boned gal!

Just doesn't get any better than K.D. Lang and the Reclines...

This just makes me want to dance! Welcome to June!