Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Going Postal

I really, really, really wanted to mail my package that was going to central Alaska so that it would be heading out Monday morning. I was waiting for one last gift ordered on-line to make an appearance in my mailbox. It arrived Saturday afternoon, was quickly wrapped and slipped into the waiting large Priority Mail box. I flew out the door trying to make the 4:30 Post Office closing time. I didn’t, primarily because they close at noon on Saturdays.

A young girl (looked about 12 but was driving and all so she must have been older) was there and suggested I stop whining and pounding on the closed, locked and empty section and use the Do It Yourself Package Mailing Kiosk. This sounded good until I discovered that it was related to a computer! You know how I am about following directions on a computer.

Well, no one was around so I figured I could always grab my package and run out the door if I botched this job too badly. Got almost through when I noticed the 12 year old girl (who drives a car) was back and watching me. I hate an audience when I’m stumbling around. Fortunately, for a change, I managed to follow the directions and get the job done and she only had to remind me to hit NO at the end to clear the screen.

All I had to do was to take my large package and put it in one of the two bins. Neither bin would open. Yanking, pulling, kicking and muttering unladylike comments didn’t work. It wouldn’t fit in any of the slots (duh) so I had to take it home and bring it back Monday. (The 12 year old didn’t have any luck either but she had a small package and was able to slip it into a letter slot. Not fair!)

Returned Monday, in the rain, and felt that since I was now a pro at managing the kiosk, skipped the lines and went to the machine. Unfortunately, this time I had an envelope and I couldn’t find the Delivery Confirmation. Fortunately, the Maintenance Man was there cleaning the doors and came over to offer assistance. We worked around the menu a bit and discovered that if I called my small envelope a ‘package’ I could get the Delivery Confirmation. Thanked the gentleman profusely, added addresses to my printed labels and jauntily tossed the three packages into the now functioning bin.

I’ll use the Kiosk again…as long as there is a 12 year old girl or a maintenance man handy to hand-hold me through the hard parts.

Take the time to enjoy your holiday's.  It doesn't matter if the floors are scrubbed or the silverware is shined.  Relax and enjoy good company and family. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Golden Pouches

I want to share some information with you about one of our Promotional Frenzy Leaders.  I made a BNR purchase from Magda and happened to include an order for some little pouches.  What a lovely surprise.
I can't tell you how fabulous the Jewelry Bags or Pouches from magdamagdaFashion  are.  They come in sets of 4 and are beautiful.  The fabric is a lovely shimmery gold (which doesn't show well in my pictures) and are heart shaped  A beautiful jeweled button is the closure.

Attractive packaging can be found but the question is, how well does it work with your product.  Let me show you.

Medicine Stones, Delicate Pendant Necklaces and items with sculpted figures all worked comfortably with Magda's pouches.  She will customize these for you if you'd like.  I love them and plan to see if Magda will make some in other colors for me.  We all know how talented and inventive Magda is.  I can hardly wait to see more of these.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My First and Last Craft Show Adventure

Here’s a story for Turtle and other Bad Luck Participants in Craft Shows

The first place I had any of my jewelry, many, many years ago, was in the gift shop of the Tucson Museum of Art. (Fancy-Dancy) They have two High-End Artisan Markets a year and the manager really wanted me to participate. Now, we had been to these before as browsers and buyers. The markets are held in a lovely, multi-level plaza with trees and so on. These are usually wonderful events.

A jewelry artist friend and I (plus our husbands) decided to participate, paid for a spot and did all the usual preparation. It was a first time for both of us so we spent a lot of time setting up and deciding upon displays the weekend before the Market.

The first day of the event (there were 3) got off to a bumpy start as there was no parking in the vicinity and things went downhill from there.

1. -We had a horrible spot well outside of the lovely patio area. It was dirt and didn’t even look to be a part of the event. There were 7 venders there.

2. -While unloading in the unloading zone, we got a parking ticket. Seems someone needed to be with the vehicle the whole time. We found this out later.

3. -It was a horribly hot 3 day weekend and there was no shade where we were.

4. -Some guy came by and asked if this ‘swap meet’ was here every weekend. (Fancy-Dancy revisited)

5. -Directly across from us was a couple with about 4 items in their tent who spent the whole weekend practicing having sex. Had they removed their clothing the deed would have been done… a lot. (X-rated Fancy-Dancy)

6. -The food tents were up-wind from us and the flies and trash were pretty bad. (Unsanitary Fancy-Dancy)

7. -We sold just enough to cover our expenses including the parking ticket but not enough for the lunches the husbands bought from expensive restaurants in the area. (Costly Fancy-Dancy).

I’ve never done another. (Retired Fancy-Dancy)

Note: The Tucson Museum of Art has since undergone extensive expansion and remodeling. All the venders are in the patio/courtyard areas. It really is a great site. We just caught it at a bad time.  Left a lasting impression.  LOL

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bat Monitoring Expands

All these bat pictures posted here and elsewhere have done quite a bit for the on-going study of endangered varieties.  Not only are there people in rural Southern Arizona keeping track but the monitoring has expanded into the more urban areas of the foothills around Tucson.

Here's one more picture from someone in Tucson who has signed up to help monitor the visitors at her hummingbird feeders.

You can really see this guy.  I suppose they are 'filling up' for the upcoming trip back to Mexico soon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Endangered Bats

More on Bats in Southern Arizona.  Nature lovers and biologists will be most interested.

This is from my friend who called Game and Fish about her bats after she heard they were interested in tracking bats on the endangered list. I posted her pictures in last week's blog.

The Game and Fish crew arrived around 7:00 and were here until 9:30 P.M.

They first set up some tall poles by the back patio, then ran some very light fish net between them to cover the length of the patio and about 3-6 feet off the ground. Once the bats started flying around they entangled themselves in the net, and if they struggled a lot it might take 10 minutes to untangle them. I think they caught 6 bats before they found the one they wanted to glue the transmitter to.

The process was that once a bat got caught in the net, the guys (wearing gloves) carefully extricated it from the net; the more the bat struggled, the longer that took. Once it was freed they dumped it in a cloth bag so they could hang it from a scale and get a weight which they recorded in a notebook. Next they took it out and examined it, noting species, sex, age and if it was 'breeding' or not.

There are two species that feed on nectar in Az., and so far all the pictures we've taken have been the Lesser Long-Nosed Bat (the one on the endangered list and the subject of their study) so naturally the first bat they trapped turned out to be the other species (the Mexican Long-Nosed bat) so she was turned loose. She was about 22 gms, but the next several were lighter so were not selected for the transmitter. After the first Mexican bat, all the others caught were the desired Lesser Long Nosed bat, both sexes. The last two were caught at the same time and each weighed 23 gms (the desired minimum for the transmitter) but one was very full of nectar and the other had little water weight so he was selected as the biggest.

The transmitter was about 5 cm long, but with a wire antenna about another 6 mm long; it was glued on with a skin bond glue which will hold it on for 7-10 days. The two p/u trucks had extended directional antennas mounted in the beds; one truck took off before the bat was released, and headed out the back roads to Dos Cabezas intending to wait at the 186 highway expecting the bat to head that way when it went back to its roost. The other truck stayed here in my yard for about 45 minutes, tracking the signal. They expected that after release the bat might go 'rest' somewhere (like my barn) before returning to the feeders and then heading home.

They promised to let her know what happens, and if they track him to the daytime cave/mine or other roost.  Haven't heard anything yet.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Going Bat-ty

Now, brace yourselves.  No intolerance allowed! 

One of my friends who lives on a small ranch in Southern Arizona has visitors a couple of times a year as they migrate to and from Mexico.  She knows they're around when her many hummingbird feeders are empty every morning.  My picture taking friend (she of the darling Corgi puppies and banded hawk babies) took pictures a couple of weekends ago.

Most U.S. bats eat insects. A single bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in one hour. Some bats in the Southwestern U.S. also pollinate plants like the big saguaro cactus while drinking nectar.

Bats are one of the most prolific forms of mammals with over 900 species living in the world and making up over 20% of all mammals. Bats are the only form of mammal to have attained powered flight. Several mammals like flying squirrels glide but cannot stay in the air for long like bats can. In the United States there are 45 species of bats and seven species in the U.S. are in danger of extinction

Fewer than 0.5% of bats have rabies. Since 1960 there have only been 40 reported cases of humans getting rabies from bats.

During the summer, just at twilight, we will see a couple of bats flying over the swimming pool, grabbing a quick sip.  While I don't want one for a pet (thank you just the same), they do eat insects and polinate our Saguaro's.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BNR Tuesday

I told my husband that I couldn't think of anything to write about in my blog.  He snorted his wine.  He feels I am gabby and am willing to discuss anything with most anyone.  My younger daughter, when she was in High School, complained that I embarrassed her.  "Mother, you'll talk to anyone."  Guilty on all counts.

But I just want to share how exciting I felt our BNR was this afternoon and evening.  The old enthusiasm and fun was there.  A number of new people showed up probably because of the increased number of hearts on the Activity Feeds and the Tweeting and Stumbling.  More importantly, these people stayed and participated and want to come back for the next one.

The curators did a terrific job and worked their butts off with 116 sales.

The break really paid off.  If you missed this one, be sure to come to the next.

Can't have a post without a picture.  This is the kind of work I did when I first started making jewelry.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

MEGA PromoFrenzy Specials



Horned Owl Peyote Beadwoven Cuff  remembering Missy
Horned Owl Peyote Woven Cuff


Customizable Flip Flop Ceramic Keepsake Boxes-Set of 4
Flip-Flop Ceramic Keepsake Boxes

Musical Frogs Baby Bib for the loveformalaciababies -  Handmade By Sewinggranny
Musical Frogs Baby Bib

Friday, August 5, 2011

Featuring the Work of BellatheBead

A thousand thanks to BellatheBead who has spent a great deal of time hand-holding me through the live link process. Here's some of her work.

Chain Earrings with smokey quartz teardrops
Chain and Smoky Quartz Earrings

Pearl Bracelet with crystals and sterling silver
One of Bella's Fantastic Bracelets

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Beans and Seeds in Jewelry Making - Warning

As most of you can tell, I am a gatherer.  I can't go anywhere without stopping to check out pods, seeds, shells, bark, stones, feathers and so on.  However, it is necessary to be careful to stay with legal and safe limits.

The Mescal Bean tree has red/orange seeds. These are hallucinogenic and were used by primitive healers initially but they switched to Peyote, as while the Mescal Bean produced first rate visions, it tended to kill those who ingested it.  Wise decision, don’t you think?

The Mescal Bean Tree (not to be confused with the Mescal, a tequila-like drink made from the agave plant) is also called Texas Mountain Laurel tree and grows very well around here. They plant it in the medians of divided roads. I have a quite large one myself in my front yard.
These are really pretty beans/seeds in shades from dark wine red to light orange.

Some years ago I collected and drilled a bunch of them, coated them with acrylic and threw them away. I was too afraid that some child or pet would ingest them and die!!

So, when you collect things from nature, be aware that there might be a downside.  Stay legal and stay safe.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wands and Feather Trees

In my last post I mentioned two new projects.  Both were in the experimental stages.

The wands really worked out well and I am making some others.

Moose Dreams Talisman Wand:

Fantasy Faerie Wand

The Feather Tree, which is a wall hanging of gifted and collected feathers, looks fine as shown in this partial sample. 

 The details are difficult, though.  If I sold them as shown, they would not be gifted or collected.  Only certain feathers are legal.  The feather tree would have to be sent unassembled and people probably wouldn't want to have to try and get it looking right.  It's like flower arranging.  I think I will set this aside for now.  Maybe I can think of something else to use this cactus skeleton.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Harry Potter Heads West!

Here I sit with every surface in my house covered with bits and pieces of jewelry making, feather decorating and medicine stone debris and all my attention is on two new projects. 

I have an idea for a Feather Tree where people can display found and gifted feathers and other collected objects.  I have tons of feathers as do many of my friends.  We are all nature lovers, spend lots of time outside and always return home with interesting feathers, pods, rocks, and plants.  This wall hanging would be a good way to display them if I can develop the concept into something concrete.

Another Project idea is making Totem/Fantasy wands!  Wow!  What fun that could be.  I have Yucca stalks that are very cool and I plan to decorate them.  They could help defend you from Dragons or something.  Harry Potter, move over!

Saturday, July 2, 2011



Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a great day and have a great 4th of July weekend!

I just wanted to let you know about a HUGE giveaway one of the teams I am on is having. Over $300 worth of prizes, and entering is SUPER EASY!

Check out the following link for info on the contest, to enter, and prize info as well.


♥♥♥Hurry only a few days left! Winners get great prizes! ♥♥♥

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hawk Chick Finale (probably)

The chicks are fledglings now and are doing lots of branch hopping.  They are shown here in a palm tree which is next to their own nest tree.  They're on the move.  (Yes, there are still 4 youngsters.  One must have been camera shy.)


It's been fun and a rare opportunity to have pictures of their progress and development.  My thanks to Maureen who has kept us supplied with terrific images. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hawk Chick Update (plus Owl)

Remember the earlier blog post where the hawk chicks were removed from the nest by a research team from the UofA?  The babies were too young to be banded
The university professor and student returned a week later to band the babies. Look at those feet!
The U of A reseach team is proving to be an endless source of education and entertainment.  Today they attempted they to incite the mother hawk into attacking the teethered owl perched beneath her nest in hopes of catching her in the large volley ball like nets and banding her.  Mom remained unimpressed and maintained her view from afar.  We humans on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed the show.  The owl was unflappable and thought we were all crazy.

Mother Hawk is probably well versed in the way of people by now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rooster Caught Smooching With Younger Woman!

We've been going to Dog Agility Tests for the past few weeks...gone every weekend plus travel time.  It was worth it as "Rooster" completed his requirements to earn the ADCH title  (Agility Dog Champion).
I can't run Rooster anymore (bad knees) so a friend runs him for me.  He really likes her.  In fact, I caught them smooching!!!  In a public park!!!

We were in the San Diego area (Chula Vista/Bonita) and the weather was wonderful.  Trees were in bloom.  Notice the spent flowers on the grass?  It was a great trip.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baby Cooper's Hawks

A friend shared this with me.  She lives about 15 minutes away but is more rural.

"A research team from the U of A visited on Friday to check on the status of our nesting Cooper's Hawks. A trip up the pine tree revealed 4 hatchlings, just 10 days old. Too young to band, they were temporarily removed from the nest via enclosed "elevator", measured, weighed and returned. Parents swooped unhappily about near by. Very cool!"

The "Elevator" showing two of the four chicks.

Parent, keeping a....Hawk's eye on things.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Colorful Houses

Went driving around the University of Arizona neighborhoods the other day with a friend who is doing some major landscape renovations and wanted to get ideas.  Here is one house that caught our eyes.

Lots of interesting things done to older houses in some of these early neighborhoods.  It was lots of fun and we took tons of pictures.  More metal sculptures too, of course.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wildlife on the Ranch (part II)

Here area few more of the metal sculptures.  (see prior blog for part I).

Hope everyone survived the Rattlessssssnake encounter.  Actually, I have spent a lot of time in wilderness and ranch areas in Southern Arizona and have only encountered a rattlesnake on two occasions...both of which when I was in a vehicle and Mr. Snake was crossing the road as fast as he could go.

We do have our working dogs (those who will be out in the fields) snakeproofed so they will avoid any snake.  That's a subject for another blog.

Cowboy, Cowgirl and Horse with a sign saying, "Welcome to the Ranch".

Family of Javelinas
                                                                     Quail in a tree.
                                                           Peacock with Yucca Stalk         

"What's with the Peacock?" did you say?  Well, that's another tale for another blog.                                                                                 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wildlife on the Ranch

I head to my friend's small ranch almost every Wednesday morning for Sheep Herding practice with my Sheltie, Rooster.  I thought you might like to see some of the "Wildlife" to be found there.  It's easy to get pictures of them as they tend to stay in one place.    There's a jackrabbit (huge, a turkey buzzard, mule (must be wild), armadillo, ground squirrel.......and....gasp.....

And, of course.....

To be continued.......

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wedding in Your Future?

Are you involved in planning a wedding sometime in the future?

Be brave!  Take a chance!  Move away from the ordinary!

Consider adding  some of these stones to the festivities.

They are wonderful for bridal showers, bridesmaids gift, family mementos and so on.

The event definitely will move into the 'remember forever' catagory with ideas like these.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Something Special for a Special Friend

I'd like to show-off one of my projects.

A year ago a friend of mine did a huge favor for me.  I wanted to give her a special 'Thank You' and this was the result.  I made her a beaded hatband.  I was very pleased with the results.

My friend judges and competes in Herding Competitions with her Pembroke Welsh Corgi's.  She has and herds ducks, sheep, cattle and geese. 
Along this side are a grey Pilgrim Goose, black headed Dorper Sheep, a red and white steer and, of course, a Red and White PWCorgi.

On this side is another Corgi, a black and white steer, a Black Bellied Barb Sheep and a white Pilgrim Goose. 

The front of the hatband features the name of her famous herding Corgi, Dual Champion (DC) Beau.  He's truly, one of a kind.  My friend is pretty special, too.