Friday, May 31, 2013

Anklet Blog Hop Reveal!

Finally, its reveal day :-)

Before anything else, a big THANK YOU to all the super talented participants. Thanks for the participation, the encouragement, the interaction, everything!

For those who don't know...this is the first ever blog hop I am hosting. I got the idea when I saw a colleague sporting a really delicate one with super cute polka dotted ballet flats :)
It went smooth enough, and here is the big day! I have already sneaked a peek at some of the designs, and am humbled by the gorgeousness I saw. Mine definitely pale in comparison. But...this is not a competition, just a fun addition to our summer wardrobes, so here goes.

I made three (actually four, but have pics of only 3) anklets, and converted one from a bracelet to an anklet this morning because it kept falling off my wrist ;-) I will start with the last one first.

This one, I started off with aqua cotton cord, then white cotton cord, then silver chain, and finally this...which I like a lot. I reallllly wanted to use the little dolphin bead for a beach themed anklet, and hence all those iterations.

I loved the black chain with the little dolphin. But I did not have a black clasp, so I added the silver and blue accents and added silver clasp. I spoke to Cynthia the day I started this, and she mentioned bells. And that just gave me this sudden urge to add bells to mine too!

I realized only after I took these photos that the two larger beads are not matching! But I like this one enough to keep it for myself. Which means I can be lazy and let the beads be ;-)

The next one is nothing great design wise, but pretty nonetheless. I wanted to use the purple bead with a gold center, and came up with this. My sister gave me a strand of these beads.

And finally, the star! I wanted to do something different, something "un-anklet" like, and this perfectly fits that!

I made this from a pair of earring dangles Melinda Orr sent to me as a gift. Adding the chains turned out to be quite a challenge. I did not want to use plain jumprings, so I made very tiny figure 8 links. The chain is very fine, so the links had to be miniscule, and exact in size. But I did it :) Am thrilled with this one :) *pats-self-on-the-back*

Here are a few other pics I took of them all together...a happy family ;)

There were two parts to this challenge:
1. There has to be color - check
2. Make a polyvore set (optional) - not done :( I will add it tomorrow. Trouble with that is, I don't know how to upload an item to polyvore. It has to be there on some website so you can clip it. And I couldn't add the pics because they are a big secret! But I will make them this weekend and do a post with them. Promise!

Another optional part (which I think some of the participants thought was mandatory, and am not going to correct them now, teehee), are modeled pics of the anklets. I have those :) Ugly pictures, but I have them! So I will show you :p

Well...that was fun! Do visit all the other participants, I promise there is some serious eye-candy there!

Kashmira Patel
Kaushambi Shah Will post on Kashmira's blog - am waiting for her entry
Jean Wells
Mischelle Fanucchi
Shellie Grindie
Ginger Bishop
Monique U
Cynthia Machata
Kay Thomerson
Mimi Gardner
Anindita Basu
Rita (Toltec Jewels)
Gina Hockett
Tammie Everly

Dyanne Cantrell
Ema Kilroy
Emma Todd
K Morgan
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson
Cheri Reed
Rochelle Brisson
Michelle Buettner
Sandra McGriff
Stephanie Weiss
Shelley Graham Turner

Lynda Carson
Roxanne Mendoza

Focus On Life ~ Week 23 ~ Foodie

This week Sally asked "Are you a foodie? Whatcha eating?"

Nope, am not a foodie. I cook, but enjoy it only when I am trying out something new, or I know it is for someone who will appreciate it. I can happily get by on cereal, Twix and Maggi Noodles.


I married a foodie. A very picky foodie. And he likes rotis. So I make them almost everyday, 8 of them...5 for him, 3 for me. Now, if you say that to someone from my mom's generation..."I make them almost everyday", that will be a red flag. What do you mean "almost"? You don't cook everyday? Like twice or thrice a day?
But...being who I am, I feel mighty pleased with myself if I cook even one meal.

Coming back to the rotis. Hubby used to eat bread everyday before we met, then I started making them and he is hooked. When I am not in town, he gets them from the Indian store, but he says they are like cardboard, and I agree. They even look like cardboard.

My rotis are hardly perfect, they are never even round, but they are super thin. And my mother-in-law likes them, that is huge validation!
So a couple days back, while making my 6th roti of the day, I decided they will be the subject of my post for this week. Luckily, my phone was right by me. With the 7th roti in the pan, I rolled out the 8th one, washed my hands and clicked these.

Step 1: Knead the dough.
Step 2: Roll it out. Yes, I know its not round! Quiet, you!

Step 3: Roast it a bit on both sides in a pan. Usually, this is an iron pan, but I don't have one.

Step 3: Put it on the flame and puff it up into a nice round ball :-) Mine always puffs up, but just because I was taking a picture, this time it did not. And this was the last roti of the day, so I just clicked it...

I love the purple glow of the flames under this roti!

So this is what I am eating..almost everyday :)

Lets see what everyone else is eating, shall we?
Over to Sally's blog we go!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Focus On Life ~ Week 21 ~ Reminisce

Oh boy...I have really been slacking on these posts :(( And also in visiting other blogs :( Just have not been able to get down to it lately :( Sometimes I take a picture, but don't have time to write a post about it. Other times, I have an idea for a photo, but no time to go click.

But I do have a post for this week's prompt.

Last weekend I went car shopping. Had been planning on it for months now, finally went for a test drive last Saturday. I loved the car (of course!), but hated the start/stop button. I always thought it was so much fun to turn that key and bring the car to life. Pressing a button is just not the same.
And I realized, once I swap my baby (that would be my current car) for a new one, it might be the last time I turn a key to start a car! So had to click this! So that I could reminisce in the future :-)

But Sally has asked us to reminisce about the past. When I clicked this picture, I could almost hear the engines of the two very first cars ever to be made in India starting up.

These would be the Hindustan Ambassador and the Premier Padmini. They were both so distinct, I could tell which one was which just by listening to the engines start up without even looking out the window to see what it was. My dad has had a lot of cars (I think I can remember at least 12, I could have missed some), but the first ones were all Ambassadors...mammoth cars these were. We could (but thankfully did not!) fit in two whole families in there ;-)

It was the first car made in 1958. It is still made, and looks pretty much the same!
Here's a link in case you want to buy one ;-)
We took a lot of road parents, four of us girls and the driver. Yup! We all fit in there! Not quite sure how! The earlier models did not have a cassette player, but when they started installing them, dad got it. And each long trip would start with one "bhajan" (religious music) tape and then Bollywood songs. With the four of us singing along. Allllll the way (or most of the way)
I am now wondering how the adults (my parents and our driver) tolerated us!!!

The other one my eldest brother-in-law used to was his first car. And I have such fond memories of late night long drives he used to take us on whenever we visited him and my sister. And he loves music, he always had the best music playing in his car. Always! I believe a road accident where the driver hit a buffalo totaled that car, but I may be wrong. Here's what it looks like...

My brother-in-law's car was more or less this same color, but it did not have the rack on top.

Hmmmmm..that was a gooood drive down the memory highway! Thanks Sally!

Now on to Sally's blog to see what memories everyone else has unearthed....

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Whimsical Monkey (Jessica Murray) Earring Swap Reveal

I recently signed up for an earring swap hosted by Jessica Murray of Whimsical Monkey.
Its been good fun! She set up a Facebook group for us to interact and get to know each other, a pinterest board for us to pin our inspirations...lots of help to finish the challenge :-) Definitely a lot of work! Thanks a LOT, Jessica!

Now on to what I got and what I sent :-)

My partner is Stephanir Weiss. Her blog is called UniquelyMe - Beads, Wire and Desire.
Stephanie is a very interesting line of work....she trains recruiters how to find candidates online using deep web searching technique. Although I am a software engineer myself, and have worked in the networking field a good part of my career, the internet still boggles me, and searching and deep searching is a total land of mystery! So I have a huge amount of respect for people who can understand it! I think she is super-duper smart...who else uses Boolean Math As Jewelry Inspiration!

She has the most precious little 7 yr old girl, who is equal parts athlete and debutante, a very generous and gently spirit. I don't have kids of my own, but I believe a child gets almost all her behavioral traits from parents, so I bet, Stephanie is all that too :)

When we were introduced, I asked her for something yellow. I love yellow, but I have nothing in that color, no clothes, no jewelry (I do have yellow shoes, not sure why). So yellow it was! She made something for me the very next day and sent it off too. But UPS decided they liked them as well, and kept them! They never even left the UPS facility! Stephanie made me something again and sent them right on time! And also sent me some goodies (lovely lovely goodies!!)

Ok, enough is my yellow sunshine :-)
I told her I liked color...a lot of it, so a lot of it is what I got!

I am totally blown away by how perfect each loop is!

I don't think I will ever reach this level of perfection! Totally love it! Now I need to buy a yellow top :) Just looking at them makes me smile :)

And not to forget the sweet gift she sent me...
I like the lampwork ones (there was another purple bead on the other end...I opened it and used it for something), but the ones on the side are too too tooooooo cute! I could just hold them and play with them all day! Thank you SO much, Stephanie!

And this is what I made for her:
Stephanie's only requirements fiber since its very humid here she lives, and not to heavy. So nothing too restrictive. When I was making her earrings, I was also thinking of what to do for the the Hats Off Challenge, and one of the inspiration photos/themes was black and white. So I had brought out these black and white polymer clay beads I have had a for a long time. They were actually given to me by a previous colleague to re-do into something. It was a loooooong necklace of all shapes, sizes and patterns of PC beads. We both left the company, and lost touch, and I still had the beads. So I decided to put them to use.

And this is what I came up with...

I had started off with only the PC beads and the bead cap. But I could not rest until I added some color to it...and in went the tiny red sead bead, and then the ceramic red/black bead on top.
The PC beads had somewhat large holes, so I had to add something to the back as well to stabilize it all...

Cute, right? I wish I could figure out some way to make these be able to wear this side showing front sometimes too.

A couple more views...since I have the pictures ;-)

I wish I could wrap as well as Stephanie!!!

So..this is what I have been upto. Thank you SO much, Jessica for hosting this. I totally gained a great new friend :-)

Here are the other participants:

Jessica Murray (Hostess):
 Nancy Smith:
Marianne Baxter:
Leah Tees:
Andrea Trank:
Miranda Ackerley:
Cheri Mitchell-Reed:
Susan Kennedy:
Michele Dotson:
Deanna Cox:
Shelley Graham Turner:
Ingrid McCue:
Lennis Carrier:
Ginger Davis Allman:
Mary Anne Flesch:
Nicole Valentine Rimmer:
Stephanie Weiss:
Silvia Sernicola:
Karla Morgan:
Kay Thomerson:
Paula Hisel:
Carol Dillman:
Spun Sugar Beadworks:
Tara Plote:
Rachel Baron:
Laurie Keefe:
Kashmira Patel:
Gina Hockett:
Shellie Grindy:
Shai Williams:
Dyanne Cantrell:
Mimi Gardner:
Jessica McMullen:
Jennifer LaVite:
Laura Medeiros:
Alenka Obid:
Elsie Fonseca:
Cheryl Dunham:
Sandra McGriff:
Tania Spivey:
Mowse Doyle:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

New Listings After A Very Long Time!

One of my "goals" for 2013 was to add at least two new listings a week to my etsy shop.
Which meant making at least two new things every week. Doable, right?
Right! I made more than two items a week, but did I list them? No :-(
Why? Because a lot were made as custom orders, others sold right off of my FaceBook page, and what was left behind...I felt too lazy to list. Fixed that! I am amazed, and thankful, that I only had only a handful of things unsold (one sold on FB just as I was measuring it to put it down in the listing! Gotta love my friends! And their friends!)
I know, I need to expand my clientele, and spread the word about Project Why that benefits from these sales. So to that effect, a short little promotional post:

Here's what I just put up:

Featuring an artisan made polymer clay focal (by Lisa Caryl), renaissance glass beads and sweet czech glass leaves, this wrap bracelet will brighten up any outfit!
I love this style. Wrap bracelets are really popular but most of them are made with cord and are pretty much the same ole same ole style. This is definitely going to stand out in the crowd!

These earrings feature hand etched brass components by Sharyl McMillian-Nelson with a sweet leaf/fern design. They are accented by turquoise pillow beads and antique brass wire hoop. The wire hoop has the daintiest little yellow beads that sparkle in the sunlight!

This is my happy necklace :-) I can actually smell fresh flowers when I see this (yeah, I am a little odd like that)

And a few others....

I also want to highlight a few listings already in the store, which surprisingly, are still in the store!

 My all time favorite bracelet! How can you not love this one...with those cute little clasps? ;-)

The blog post for this necklace, written in May 2012, is the third highest traffic generator for my blog. Why? Because the inspiration for this was the cocktail..Manhattan! The necklace is utterly gorgeous, but has still not found a new home :(

And lastly, this bubbly, frothy, perfect for the beach, necklace. Why is it still here!? It needs a new home too!

And thus ends my marketing pitch. I hope to sell some of these pretty pretty pieces, they all help the kids of Project Why!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Focus On Life ~ Week 18: Abstract



I bet most of the participants are struggling with this one.
Abstract. What does that even mean?
Something open to interpretation, is it?

I am an software developer, and to be, abstract only means classes. No, am not going that route. This has been a favorite interview question of mine. And not many have been able to answer it.

Anyway...moving on to abstract photography. This is what Sally said:

Abstract: the use of a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.

I take great pride in my command over the English language. But this line is still making me scratch my head. So I googled for abstract photographs, and reached this absolutely stunning collection!

I got a few ideas from here, and while I did not have time to consciously click abstract photos for today (you see, I did not know what I was looking for), I looked through my iPhone photos, and selected this one I took tonight at the "etsy meet and make" event

 And then I looked through some older photos and found a few better candidates


Still not sure if this is any good (mainly because I still don't get it), all these are just some sort of repeating pattern. Abstract or not?

I think I will go look at other participant's photos and see if I can understand this at all...
Lets start at Sally's blog:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hats Off with Beadsong Jewelry!

I had "almost" forgotten about this challenge. Almost because I knew I had to make something, in May. But did not remember when and did not realize that May was actually already here!

Then I read a reminder on Bobbie's blog, and panicked and made a few things :-)

So here are the details about the blog hop...
Bobbie Rafferty of Beadsong Jewelry is quite taken by the Kentucky Derby, and has kicked off an annual challenge where participants are to design jewelry inspired by the outrageous, top of over the top hats that ladies wear to the Derby. The reveal, of course, is today, on the day of the Kentucky Derby. She provided the inspiration photos in a few different categories. You can see them here. Click on the green hat. She wore it to the Oaks today!

Click on that hat, go see the pictures, and you will know why I signed up for this :-)

I made two pieces...actually, just one specially for the challenge, the other one just fits one of the themes, so am going to cheat and put it in ;-) Up to you guys to figure out which one it might be :P

One of the themes was Color, Texture and Shapes.
I picked this one:


and made this

The color and shape of the hat = color and shape of the shells. The shells have shell-like texture ;-)
And the hat has a nice wide, green silk bow. Well, mine is a nice, thin green silk bow. See below...for the bow, that is

The second theme I chose is"Inspired By Nature". This photo:

I took the green color, and the yellow flowers from that picture and put them in this

 Here's a closer look at some of the finishing touches.

So these were my entries. There's quite a few "jockeys" in this Derby! So lets say a BIG THANKS to Bobbie, and go see how they're doing....

Bobbie Rafferty - Da Hostess

Kashmira <-- YOU ARE HERE
Susan Nelson Bowie

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fresh Shop: WhatKnotShop

So glad to be actually following up on doing this Fresh Shop series (I usually make all kinds of grand plans and never follow through :((

Today's featured shop is

I am not quite sure how and when I stumbled across the blog that "owner, designer, maker, curator, design, make, market, sell, ship, lather, rinse, repeat" artist George Hutchinson writes. I know I started following it because he had shared an absolutely wonderful tutorial for making, what he calls "Fiber Art Bracelet". That's what the blog is all about: Turks Head Knot Bracelets and Contemporary Fiber Bracelets

This is what the tutorial taught:

 I have to say, I had never anything quite like this. Rustic and beautiful. I explored the blog, and followed it to the shop. And I pretty much dropped dead. Ok, I didn't really die, but you know what I mean ;-)

I think George is simply in love with cord. I am too, but I don't really know what to do beyond loving it ;-) Whereas George has converted all kind of cording into works of art. He dyes the cord in his kitchen and his laundry room is full of dye solutions. He even makes his own dye from natural materials like black walnuts that he harvests from a neighborhood tree. There is mathematics, chemistry, art, all going on at once in his studio!

His fascination started with Turks Head Knots, and my absolute favorites in his shop are these ombre ones. Yummilicious!

He started off with these, and started collecting the cut-off ends..which led to the most gorgeous bracelets. Ever!
This is what he says about his Design Series of bracelets:
"The design series of bracelets is inspired by traditional cultural ornamentation from remote tribal villages brought to the screen by National Geographic and many other photographers. The apparently unselfconscious expressions of these people speaks to our inner child in playful ways. The designs are fascinating"

I agree. Absolutely fascinating! So much that I ended up buying this while researching his shop for this post

I loved a lot of things in the shop, but what helped me narrow down my search was the size. He does them in 3 sizes, small, medium and large, and the dimensions are very clearly explained in the listing, leaving no confusion in the customer's mind.

The main reason I decided to feature this shop over a few others I had shortlisted is that George shares so much of his knowledge on his blog. It is easy (ok, not toooo easy) to be talented and good at what you do, but what makes the difference is being humble about the talent and the willingness to share!

Since George does not really know I am kind of, sort of, stalking his shop, I will stop. I will go let him know about this post and hope he visits.

Here's another one that I really like (but I do believe I snagged the best piece, muahahaha, no buyer's remorse here!)


George just sent me to his other shop on Zibbet, and there is a LOT more fun stuff this

and this

Such gorgeous colors....swoooon!