Saturday, March 31, 2012

Screampunk: The Keeper of All Time

This is my piece for the EHAG Screampunk Challenge: a pocketwatch necklace with a skeleton responsible for the movement of time.

This skeleton is the Keeper of All Time.

Does time seem to more more quickly at times, and other times more slowly?

That's him.  He can speed it up or slow it down.

And no, he doesn't take requests.

He does it with his machine, which is constantly in need of repairs...

That's why he always keeps a few spare parts on hand (and in his eye sockets.)

 A pocket watch, a skeleton, and a chain of cog wheels.

Just say Screampunk.

Available on etsy.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Tortoise and the Slacker Easter Bunny

Once upon a time there was a slacker Easter Bunny who was always bragging about how he was faster than anyone.  (He claims that was how he delivered all the eggs while in truth, his wife did all the work.)  

And he was always teasing the tortoise for being so slow.

One day the tortoise, with a few drinks under his shell, had had enough.  "You think you're so fast," he said, "But I bet I could beat you."

This gave the Easter Bunny a good laugh.

"You?  Beat me?  Like that's gonna happen," the Easter Bunny said.  

This annoyed the tortoise even more.

The Easter Bunny continued.  "I could beat you with one paw tied behind my back."

The tortoise was steaming by now and (rather foolishly) accepted the challenge.  A course was mapped out, and the next day at dawn, the tortoise and the Easter Bunny were ready at the starting line.

The Easter Bunny was yawning as the now-sober tortoise started his slow trek along the track.  And quite honestly, the Easter Bunny was pretty sleepy, and decided to take a little nap before starting.

“Take your time!” he yelled at the tortoise. “I’ll catch some Zs and catch up with you before you hit the first marker."

Then he closed his eyes and went to sleep.  He slept and slept.

Finally he awoke with a start.  He looked around, fully expecting to see the tortoise plodding along nearby... and he was.

So the Easter Bunny decided to have some breakfast,  and went to find a nearby breakfast burrito.  The breakfast burrito, however, made the Easter Bunny sleepy again.  So, with a quick glance at the tortoise, the Easter Bunny settled in for a snooze, chuckling about how he'd leave the tortoise in the dust.  Soon he was snoring happily.

The sun started to sink slowly in the sky and the tortoise, who had been trucking all day, was within a foot of the finish line.  At that moment, the Easter Bunny awoke with a start.  He could see the tortoise far off in the distance.  

He leapt to his feet and started running as fast as he could, gasping and wheezing.  Just a little further and he’d be the first to cross the finish line.

But it was too late.  The tortoise had reached the finish line.

The Easter Bunny, tired and disgraced, collapsed by the tortoise, who was smiling silently.

"Bummer!" said the tortoise.  
“Slowly does it every time!”

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Here Comes Patricia Cottontail

She's hoppin' down the bunny trail.  She also raised the chickens, collected the eggs, and decorated them with organic dyes she created using plants she grew.  What did you expect?  She's a woman.  
Yeah, Peter gets all the credit but really he's off making wagers with the tortoise.  

But you know who's got the eggs.  

Patricia can be found in my eBay store.  Peter's down by the racetrack.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Salad Fit for a Manatee

Of all the creatures in the sea
There's none quite like the manatee.
He swims along, amongst the fishes
Finding algae quite delicious.

One eats so much grass and clover,
He's still chomping when day's over.
With their big time chow adventures
You'd expect they would need dentures.

Adopt a manatee on etsy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Feast Fit for a Leprechaun

I serve this every year.  My sweetie's birthday comes close to St. Patrick's day, and this is our party fare each year.  Even people who say "I never eat corned beef" love this.  Unless, of course, you're a vegetarian.  Then you still won't eat this meal... unless you'd like some cabbage and potatoes and a salad with green goddess dressing and some Irish soda bread.

So here it is.  My foolproof St. Paddy's feast, along with my St. Paddy's BrightandShinyThings.  Enjoy.

Shopping List:
A corned beef (it comes raw and slimy, in a package with some spices in it)
A cabbage
Some cute little potatoes
Some cheap beer
Check and be sure you have some:
Bay leaves
Cinnamon sticks
A few whole cloves

And if you want to make soda bread as well, be sure you have:
Baking powder
Baking soda
An egg
2. c raisins or currants

I you want salad with Green Goddess dressing, you'll also need:
Salad stuff (romaine)
Green onions (well, one)
a bunch of parsley
mayonnaise or mayo and sour cream
wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar or cider vinegar

In the AM:
Take the slimy corned beef out of the package and toss it in the crockpot.  Add the spices provided.  Also add a bay leaf, a cinnamon stick, and a few whole cloves.  Pour two cans of beer over it and set it to simmer all day long.

In the evening:
Cut up and core your cabbage.  Throw the cabbage wedges into the crock pot to steam on top of your corned beef.
Take out some of the corned beef liquid and put it in a sauce pan.  Bring it to a boil and cook your little potatoes in it.  (You can cook them in the crock pot if you give them a couple of hours.)

Meanwhile, make your soda bread.
In a large bowl, combine:
4 c. unsifted regular flour
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ c. sugar (optional)
2 c. raisins or currants
Cut in:
¼ c. butter with a knife or pastry blender.
Mix this in with the dry mixture until it's all crumbly.
Beat together:
1 egg
1 ¾ c. buttermilk
Mix together wet stuff with dry stuff.  Knead it on a floured board for a few minutes, until it is smooth.  This will take 2-5 minutes.
Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a round loaf.  Press each round loaf into an 8" cake or pie pan.
With a sharp knife, cut an "x" into the top of each loaf. 
Pop them in the oven and bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

Salad Time.
While your bread is baking, make you salad.
To make the dressing,
Clean the parsley, and pull the leafy stuff off the stems.  Dry it carefully.  Chop ¼ c. of it.
Chop a green onion and ¼ of chives.  (If you don't have chives, use more green onion).
Take a blender. Put it:
¼ c. vinegar
3 c. mayo (or 2 c. mayo and 1 c. sour cream)
¼ c. chives
2 Tbs. tarragon
1 minced green onion
¼ c. chopped parsley
Blend it all together in short blender bursts. Use it to top your salad.  Put the rest in a jar.  It makes lovely dip or dressing for many days to come.

Slice the corned beef.  Cut up your bread.  Serve it all with the taters and cabbage and salad.  Leave a little for the leprechauns and the Prophet Elijah.  (What, you think he only eats one night a year?!)

Saint Patrick's Day in my etsy shop
Saint Patrick's Day in my eBay shop

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Love to Eat Them Mousies

Gilda has been catching mousies lately.  
Lots and lots of mousies...which she leaves in various places 
to surprise me when I'm barefoot.

She looks all demure in the picture but,
in truth, she is a fierce huntress.

It put me in mind of the Kliban cartoon and song.  
There's a link to the Kliban website at the bottom,
so you can hear the song performed, and then can sing it to your kitties.

Love to eat them mousies...

Mousies what I love to eat.

Bite they little heads off.

Nibble on they tiny feet.

charms on etsy
charms on eBay
the extremely charming Kliban website with a cattoon every day

Saturday, March 3, 2012

When Life Gives You Beads... Make Bead Soup!

I'm participating in the 5th Bead Soup Blog Hop Party.  The way it works is that you are partnered with another bead lover -- one whose pieces are quite different from your own.  My lovely partner is Cindy Cima Edwards and you can find her work at,,  and  She even told me how to make a favicon, which is the little black cat at the top of my blog... which looks remarkably like Cindy's favicon.

You send your partner a bag of beads, a focal, and a clasp and your partner sends you a bag of beads, a focal...

...and a clasp.  Here's the clasp Cindy sent me, and some of the beads.

Then... you make something with your beads and focal and clasp, and so does your partner.  Elsewhere other partners are scratching their heads and wondering what to do with their beads.

I was a very lucky partner.  Because, though my partner's tastes and mine are quite different, she selected a disparate group of elements that appealed to my eclectic nature.

She gave me beads in colors I rarely use...


...and metals that I've never used...

...but in colors and textures that looked fabulous together.

This forced me to think out of the box, break out of my comfort zone, and experiment.

Some of the Bead Soupers made several pieces out of their "soup" but I was enchanted with the way my bits looked together.  I went out and got more chain in matching metal but un-matching patterns.

I got myself some bronze colored copper wire, knowing I'd be able to wrap with that.  I got myself some stringing material and some end loops and started pondering how I was going to join chain with strung beads.

And I came up with a concept -- something I'd been wanting to do for a long time.  I wanted to make a complex and long lariat necklace.  A lariat necklace, for inquiring minds, is generally long, with an open end and a loop through which the open end can pass.

Of course, first I had to figure out how to do that with the pieces I now had heaped in front of me.  I figured out a way to join strung elements and chain.

Then I figured out how to make one end of the necklace split off and form a loop big enough for my tiger's eye focal bead to pass through.

I even figured out how to combine the elements so that each element enhanced the others.

I wire wrapped and strung and strung and wire wrapped.

I struggled with the beautiful clasp.  I also struggled with the concept that a lariat necklace doesn't HAVE a clasp.  Mine does.

It turns out (as you may have already guessed, that if your necklace has open ends and a clasp, you can end up with two disconnected pieces of necklace.  I'm still working on that.  ;0)

But it was all okay because the necklace was looking cool.

Really cool.

I mean, seriously cool.

It is, in fact, so cool, that I am going to give it as a gift to my friend Melissa, who faithfully follows my blog every single day (as do her cats) and who supports my jewelry and writes me wonderful emails even when I'm too buried in beads and work and cat fur to email back.

And it's going to look very cool on her.

Now... if you would like to hop to the other blogs, coolness awaits, and here's a little "map" for you.

Enjoy and thanks for sharing my beady adventure.

Hostess, Lori Anderson 
(who made this utterly amazing list and organized the whole beady shebang)

Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer

1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)

2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)

3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)

4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman

7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu

15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)

16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)

21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski

22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)

24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)

25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs

32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)

33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)

37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)

39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)

41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)

43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday

45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)

48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent

54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)

55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)

65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)

66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)

76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)

78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)

83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)

92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde

93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick

95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)

97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)

98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)