Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rocks in the Wall, Rocks in my Hand, Butter on my Bod....

Hello all,

Hoping Spring and Summer is going wonderfully for all of you!  A long delayed Spring here, going from cold to warm and back to cold, has suddenly burst headlong into summer.  Already HOT!

We've been scrambling to finally get everything in place where it should be.  Nothing slow about us, eh?
I think it was the reluctance to shop for bookcases, knowing we would then have to move all of the books to fill those bookcases.  Yes, after a few attempts, we got enough bookcases to accommodate Mr. Wonderful's obscene amount of books. (now please tell me, how can he rightly complain about the amount of tools or rocks I have?) All of the books have been unpacked and displayed.  I only rolled my eyes 3, no 4, ok- it was 15 times as I watched him affectionately unpack his beloved books.  I mean, seriously, it's hard for me to understand the excitement over a shelf full of books on computer security, software languages, and game code, but apparently I'm missing something. The history books, I get.  The fascinating odd and obscure books about weird and random things, I enjoy.  My shelf full of books on rocks and fossils, well that goes without saying, doesn't it?

You know what it means when the hubs gets new bookshelves, don't you?  You betcha!  I inherited the old ones for my studio.  Which of course entailed moving and sorting everything  in there to make room for them. So, the studio has been completely reorganized.  Phew! Now to mess it up with new projects....

Nothing like company coming to motivate getting things done.  So thank you dear friends who will arrive early next week.  We now have curtains in the bedroom, books unpacked and lounge chairs out by the pool.  Yes, please, do come back regularly.  Maybe we'll get the garage clean for your next visit!

We've obviously been keeping nose to the grindstone.  I need a vacation even if it just living vicariously through you guys telling me about yours. So please do share your escapades.
We did take an afternoon exploring. Because I couldn't look at another book!

These are the local sights I have to share with you this time..

Texas has some pretty cool rocks in the walls scattered here and there.
We took a quick drive to Glen Rose, home of myriads of dino tracks
and as we discovered, a restaurant that sells nothing but pies.
The coconut caramel chiffon whatever it was called was delicious!

The Mr's hand for size reference.
Yes, indeedy.
That's a big dino track.

Fascinating weathered textures in this hand hewn log cabin.

And here in this stone building.
Interesting placement of the windows.

We also popped into a local mineral show.
One of my favorite things about living near Fort Worth
is that there's often something to go do or see
if you have the hankering to do so.

Some new goodies to work with.
Those pyrite suns will make great focals for necklaces.
Beautiful colors in the ammonites.
Couldn't resist!

I also got some Anasazi pottery shards.
These were collected from a farm in Cortez, Colorado
from the 1920's-1950's.
New shards would be collected after plowing the fields each year.
In the summer of 2012, this collection
was classified at the Mesa Verde Museum.

When I was little, Mesa Verde was my absolute favorite family vacation spot.
This was before visitors were restricted as to where they could go
and what they could do. We had the run of the place.
So it is with great appreciation based upon pleasant memories that I was able to acquire these shards.

Type: Mesa Verde
Period: Pueblo II, III
1100- 1300 AD

Love these!
And even more so now that they've been drilled and  can be incorporated into necklaces...

I always feel conflicted about altering artifacts.
Especially those made by ancient peoples.
Somehow, it seems disrespectful.
Though as these were already broken, it felt less so..

Now getting back to the title of this post..
are you wondering about the rocks in my hand?

Wonder no more...

I acquired some gorgeous raw amber from a fellow Etsy shop owner

This was my first attempt ever polishing up amber.
Rather than working it on my lap machine, 
I played with a piece using my flex shaft.
She advised me to go slowly with it.

Here's how it arrived to me.
Has an interesting crust on it.

After a good rinsing.

Using a rubber tip in a pan of distilled water
smooths it nicely

Smoothed it up quite a bit.
Though in places it left some of the rubber, looking almost like a verdigris patina.
Don't think I'll use the rubber tips on it again.

Next I used a wet muslin wheel without rouge

Also did a nice, though slow job of smoothing.

A subtle sheen, which is just the effect I was going for.

The fastest and best results came from rubbing the amber on wet leather!

Now imagine the great results I'll get when I use the leather wheel on my lap machine!

I like my amber to look natural and raw so I wasn't going for a highly polished finish.

Happy with this result, it was time to drill it...

A hollow diamond core bit should do the trick.

Go slow, dip in water repeatedly to cool it off...


Didn't go slow enough!
Next time, IMMERSE in water to drill.

After the fact, I realized it was a happy accident!

Look at that gorgeous clarity in the broken surface.
Maybe I should hammer facet it?

A bit more work with the wet leather and voila! 
Smoothed the rough edges nicely while keeping the translucency.
I'm going to call this my "Humility Gash".
Quilters will often purposefully make a mistake in their quilts.
It's called a "Humility Square"
The thinking being that only God can make something perfect.
So that's what I'm going with...
This isn't a mistake...
This is my "Humility Gash".

Ok, so now we've covered the first two parts of my title.
hmmm, what you've been waiting around to find out is why am I putting butter on my bod, right?
What, don't you?

Not as kinky as it sounds...

I would swim in this stuff if I could...

 Whipped Nourishing Body Butter

Holistic Essential Oil Blends

Holistic Essential Oil Blends
Customized per client requests.

All-Purpose Spray Cleaner

Even non-chemical cleaners!
These are great!
I especially like the lemon.

This is my big blog news this time.

My eldest daughter has just today opened her own etsy shop.

Yes, that's the daughter who has a degree in Alternative Medicine.
She knows her stuff about natural remedies and products.
Some of you are followers of her blog and are already familiar
 with her approach to wellness and healthful living.

I've had amazing results using the therapeutic essential oils and products
she's suggested that I try.
I'm excited about her shop and hope that all of her customers will enjoy
 the same positive benefits that I have had, using these products.
Even Mr. Skeptical, er I mean Wonderful is impressed with
the results I've personally experienced since I started
using this brand of essential oils.
If you want to hear specifics, contact me privately, be happy to share.

I'm usually reluctant to recommend products to others.
In this case I'm mindful that people might think 
I'm being disingenuous because
 these products are available through my daughter.
Hopefully, those of you who know me,
 know that I try to be very ethical and fair in all of my dealings,
regardless of who I'm working with..
When I say that these oils are amazing, I sincerely mean it! 
 Each batch is tested by a third party for strength and purity.
I couldn't in good conscience recommend them if I hadn't personally
had extremely good results.  I have and so I am.
Nice bonus that it's my daughter I get to recommend. 

Yes, you remember correctly.  This is the multi-talented daughter 
who designed my website

Please stop by, say "Hello"
and welcome her to Etsy.

Here's the link to her shop

and to her website
 She's got a couple of surprises in the works for her shop that I'm very excited about.
Will keep you posted.

What's been going on in my shops?
Since I blogged last, I've listed a few new things in the Attic

some delicious new beads and components,
here's just a few of them...

These sticks are similar to the green agate sticks that flew out of the shop, only these have
 a fabulous metallic coating.  I also have some focal slabs with the same finish.

I was also able to get more of these hard to find mini ammonites.
I've only been able to get them in limited amounts from one of my suppliers 
so I've been keeping them to use myself.
Now I can share.
 They're the perfect size for earrings.

I listed some new (to me) vintage metal links for use in bracelets and pendants,
I love these brass swans...

and these antique English berries and leaves...

I have a ton of things to list.
Here's a sneak peek...

an old chippy bangle

and another...
wood and bone(?)

and one of my coolest recent finds.....
 You might remember when I blogged about this 
creepy cool abandoned building last summer...

The Baker Hotel
in Mineral Wells, Texas

Look at this great find....

A set of spoons from the infamous hotel!

How cool is that?!

This was an exciting find indeed!
I'll be listing them soon.

There's also been a few things listed in the anvilartifacts store.

A few brand new things that are recent additions.
 Others were listed around the time of the 
8th Bead Soup Blog Hop post. 
 But they had to wait until my next post.
Apologies if you've already seen them in the store
and are bored out of your minds seeing them again.

How about if I don't bore you with detailed descriptions...
The listings in the shop give credit to all of the talented
artists whose components I've used.  
Sorry that I'm not crediting them here.
There's just so many this time.....

Mask of my Ancestors

Wispy Cloud in Blue Skies

Spires and Sparkle

Matte Desert Jasper

Ancient Adornments

Treasures Found

Cast Metal Hands..

Ruby, Tourmaline, Keishi Pearls, Sterling

Dreaming of Venice

The Snow Princess

Carved bone rose, micro mosaic, assemblage..

Shark Woman of Fossil Reef

earrings that compliment this necklace...

Of Jasper Dreams

Earth, Sky and Sea Chatelaine
chock full of treasures!
Yup, that's a Roman ring!

Articulated Vintage Peacock, mop and bling

Instant Ancestor

many shades of silver..

Leaves and Amber

The White Doves Gift

These beautiful brass leaf tips were a generous gift,
hence they won't be listed.
I kept the earrings simple so the focus would be on the stunning leaf tips.
Thank you very much, Barry!
I sure am enjoying wearing them.

druzy, agate, onyx....
and last but not least...

Dance of the Ancient Women.
The discs were made using my Faux Raku tutorial technique.

That was a ridiculous amount of pictures.
Thanks for bearing with me through that!

I think I've said all there is to say.
Except for "thanks" very much for stopping by.

Have a wonderful time till my next post!

(Hawaiian for "until we meet again")


  1. Wow! so many beauties, a feast for the eyes! the spoons are a splendid find! and your amazing last batch of earrings will need much more perusing :)

    1. Hello Lucie, thank you for stopping in! Yes, I'm quite excited about the spoons! Just learned that there are serious plans in the works to refurbish the hotel, complete with guest rooms, shops and restaurants! Might just hold onto the spoons for a bit and see what comes of that.

  2. Janet, I love every single piece that you showed here, they are truly magnificent!

    1. What a very generous compliment, Esther! Thank you! Especially appreciate it coming from someone as talented as you.

  3. You never fail to amaze. Fun bits and beautiful work. Best of luck to Ellice and her new shop !

    1. Thank you ,Tracy! Wow, you've been making some gorgeous new things! Podtopia! Everyday something new and wonderful appearing in your shops.

  4. Beautiful new always! You're so talented. And I always love to see dinosaur amazing. What was that building with the high windows?

    1. Thanks so much, Lela! If you get the chance to stop at Glen Rose on your next trip through here, I think you'll enjoy yourself. Dinosaur tracks all over the place. Hmmm, I'm thinking maybe a jail with those high windows? No idea. It was just one of numerous cool old buildings. Then there was that pie.....

  5. Dammit woman! you've given me a case of RSI scrolling through this post.
    Tip: if drilling underwater, keep the drill speed down, lift the bit often to allow water into the hole and finish the hole from the back.
    Hmmm RSI feeling better so off to scroll and rescroll and rescroll

    1. Hahahaha, sorry about that Greer. Thank you very much for the helpful tips. Much appreciated! Yup, that's exactly what I do when drilling rocks, but for some unexplainable reason, I didn't use the tried and true method on my first try with amber. I loved Susan's response when I showed her what I'd done. "Amber is humbling". Exactly, it sure is! Hoping you're enjoying working in that beautiful new studio of yours.

  6. Holy smokes woman, you've done it again! Just - WOW - one after another delicious new creations - and that shark tooth extravaganza??!! Whoooooooop!! Extraordinary!!
    ALL the very best to Ellice and her new shop. I hope it'll be a roaring success!!
    All congrats on finally housing Book Mountain!! I hope you can now enjoy relaxing by the pool at your leisure!!
    XOXOO :O) <3

  7. Hahaha I'm going to use that...Book Mountain! Now that's an apt description! Yes, indeed, relaxing by the pool is pencilled into my schedule. Thanks so much, Petra, for all of your encouraging words.

  8. Thank you for the wonderful mention <3 I am so grateful for all your support, it means more than you will ever know. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! xoxo

    1. You're most welcome. My pleasure. I'm so excited for you! It will be nice that so many more people will have access to your products. I love every single thing I've tried. But that body butter? Oh my, that is some amazing stuff!

  9. Wishing your daughter lots of success with her eco beauty products shop. My youngest would go completely nuts over that dinosaur footprint! Love all you new goodies, gorgeous designs full of life and adoring the tempting goodies in your "attic" too.

    1. Thanks so much, Marcia! Your kind wishes and words are very appreciated. You've got me wondering if you and Fern go ammonite hunting? Are you near the famous ammonite coast? I hope so. What fun she would have discovering fossils that no other person has ever seen before!

  10. So much to admire here Starting with those dino feet..paws? Wow!

    Your new work is exciting and beautiful... Thanks so much for being such a generous artist who is always willing to share ideas ...
    Continued success...


    1. Thank you, Cynthia! Talk about sharing, what a wonderful new article you've written for BAJ. Loved it! You have so many diverse talents. Always fun to see what you come up with next! I always enjoy your work and your articles.

  11. so many bold silhouettes and amazing color! such cool bits unexpectedly brought together. should i open a shop for vintage and supply? so many have them idk...
    so do these essential oils work to keep up your energy? sometimes i think i need smelling salts...
    you rock as always, such a breath of fresh positive vibes. and mix of metaphors...

    1. Thanks much, fanci Marina! If you do open a second shop, I'm sure it will be as successful as your current one. You're doing amazing things with your poly babies and faux Roman glass. The oils have sure helped my energy levels and general health.

  12. Hi AA - well there you go again - a mammoth post with everything from dinosaur tracks, through beads and bit, on to finished gorgeous earrings and even including some leaf tips. I have enjoyed reading it all and so good to see the collection of bits and such production - much admire that. Love the clear break in the amber - I think that is the way to go - too beautiful not to uncover it. Enjoy the summer. Go well. B

    1. No matter how hard I try to keep these posts short....hahahaha! Thanks for stopping in. I was hoping you would like what I've done with your beautiful leaf tips. Such a treasure! Thank you again! Enjoy some of that fresh roasted coffee for me, will you?

  13. Janet you always find THE coolest places to visit, and find awesome stuff!
    Wow those dino tracks! But everything is bigger in Texas right?

    The amber is beautiful, LOVE all the earrings , and "instant ancestor " is beautiful .
    Good luck to your daughter on her new Etsy store. It sounds like she has some wonderful products!

    1. Hi Sheri, thanks for your kind comment. Yes, pretty much! Wait till you see the gigantic spider living right outside our window which will be making her debut in my next post! I think there's some truth to the "everything's bigger in Texas" statement. Be prepared. Scary big!


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