European ArtFire guild giveaway!

And here it is! The Christmas giveaway from the European Artfire guild. For the past couple of months we have been working to put together the collection of goodies you can see in the picture below. There are hairpins and hairclips, some holiday themed glasswork beads, a shawl, gorgeous jewelry, Christmas decoration, a pair of ladies' fingerless gloves, a christmasy box and I bet I forgot to mention something.

If you want a chance to win all these lovely handmade goods from Europe all you need to do is write a comment to our guild blog, you can even get your name in the hat twice if you blog or twitter or help us promote this giveaway in any other way. So be sure to let us know.
We will ship to anywhere.

On the 27th of november we will ask random.org to pick us a winner.
Please don't forget to provide an e-mail address you regularly check when you comment so we can contact you for your home address if you turn out to be the lucky winner.

Participating artists:

Jane from http://loopylou.artfire.com/
Bernadette from http://berniolie.artfire.com/
Alison from http://thesheriffsdaughter.artfire.com/
Neki from http://nekidesu.artfire.com/
Jenny from http://jennykarlssondesign.artfire.com/
Wendy from http://eddyspressies.artfire.com/
Helen from http://kittyballistic.artfire.com/
Cat from http://catswire.artfire.com/
Susanne from http://BabsBeadsandDesign.artfire.com/
Mary from http://truecolours.artfire.com
Liesan from http://ignisfatuus.artfire.com/


Letting the week pass by in my memory

This wasn't one of my best weeks. Nobody's fault, there are just times that stress me out easier than others.
It was a mixture of a cold coming and going, dry lips (yes, that IS a problem if it starts to keep you from smiling or eating because it hurts), not enough people at work, a "neglected email" list that goes from here to Saturn, five million WIPs at home, items waiting to be photographed, darkness when I came home (bye bye, "summertime") and two more highlights I want to tell you about.

Number 1 - how to lock yourself out

1. Take a camera, a Christmas ornament and your keys and go outside to catch the last light of the day
2. Be sure to not wear a jacket because you only want to be outside for a few minutes
3. Take pictures on various plants and surfaces
4. Go back inside, only to see a plant in front of the downstairs neighbors' door that looks perfect for one more picture
5. Go back outside to throw something into the trash can, taking the ornament and the camera with you
6. Reach into your jeans pocket to notice you forgot the keys beside the plant IN the house
7. See that the door closed
8. Ring the neighbors' bell just to see they are not home
9. Decide to wait for the tall guy (you can insert whatever matches for you) and feel it getting colder
10. - 29. Take silly pictures of yourself until it is too dark for that, afterwards delete them because you look like a creep
30. The tall guy arrives after 45 minutes. You go upstairs and jump into a HOT bubble bath and go to bed afterwards

Number 2 - take the train to Beimerstetten

1. Make an appointment for dinner with a friend
2. Take the train and get your feet trampled by a 4 - 5 year old girl whose grandmother is worn out by the day and won't tell her not to play standing on other people feet (not even after you carefully dare to bring up the topic)
3. Shortly before the train reaches your station, listen to the train conductor telling you you all have to get off at Beimerstetten (2500 inhabitants, I checked in Wikipedia) and from there buses will pick you up - reason: an accident in the next station
4. Call to get picked up by car
5. Get off the train with hundreds of other people who gather in a large crowd in front of a pathetic little station building (sorry, but I doubt that station has ever seen so many people)
6. Come to the fun part - talking with fellow victims, for example the guy who tells you he just made it home from Madagascar without any delay and "now I am standing here in BEIMERSTETTEN". He was surprised that nobody came running out of the house to take the chance and offer coffee and sandwiches ;-)
7. Really enjoy the talk which makes waiting much easier, then see the car pulling up and say you are going to leave now.
8. Listen to an incredulous "you won't go and leave us here now", get into the car and wave while driving by. Ok, I'm not sure if that was taken the way I meant it, but I felt the urge to wave goodbye, just to the people I had talked to.
9. Warm up in the car!!

There were some nice events, though.
You know I still have my giveaway going (have you voted yet and commented yet?) http://catswire.blogspot.com/2009/10/help-me-name-my-dragon.html) and this week two more giveaways started, from my Etsy's SATeam and from my ArtFire guild. Check them out, they are worth it!

As for new items, I must disappoint you. No pictures yet, but I really hope you are looking forward to the ones coming up soon!


Etsy’s Starving Artist Team Wrist Candy Holiday Giveway and Sale!!

Take a look at this amazing collaboration of SATeam members! This holiday themed charm bracelet could be yours. You want to know how?

If you buy something from one of the participating shops on Etsy, your name will be included in the drawing and maybe you are the lucky one to wear this bracelet on YOUR wrist soon!

The SATeam Holiday Sale begins today, October 26, 2009 and continues through December 6, 2009.

You'll find a list of the participating shops at the Starving Artists blog. You can also find holiday sale items on Etsy by searching for sateamwrist.
During this special promotion I'll put in a little surprise gift with each bought item.


Christmas - already??

My goodness, are we really that close to Christmas already? Today my coworker told me she already has bought my present weeks ago (that's what I called prepared!), the stores don't play Christmas music, but ginger bread is offered in abundance and we just put up the Halloween decorations at work yesterday!

But to be true, I am getting ready as well. I ordered some wire a while ago (from my favorite place) and just had to play with colors. I am not done yet!
The idea developed from my ball pendants and the baskets, it grew, the hooks became bigger, I needed more hooks, I played, tried and experimented and suddenly I had a Christmas ornament I was happy with.
This is just a part of all the colors available, I'll keep you up-to-date here when adding new colors or even combinations.

And now they were featured in this great treasury, Ornament time! Yay! Thanks, Cindy!!


Help me name my dragon!

This morning I saw her again.

She wasn't hiding and she had brought me a new nest.

I guess that means she is going to stay and that means she needs a name now. I asked my friends and my coworkers, I played around with a dragon name generator one of my Plurk friends recommended and still I can't decide.

I need your help and you shall not go unrewarded, well, at least not the winner. You will get five names that have come from different sources. There would have been so many more I liked, but five it is now. Pick your favorite. The majority will then decide what name my girl will carry from now on.
I will then randomly draw a winner who will get the latest little dragon nest!

Poll will be open for a month, so the nest will definitely arrive in time for Christmas.

And go! Please don't forget to comment, so I'll know who voted and can draw a winner!

By the way - if you like my dragon girl (and how couldn't you??), you should really go and check out the shop and blog of ColtPixy. She is one talented lady with polymer clay and it's her merit the dragon flew to my house! ;-)


Crawly creeper in my house

I like spiders, I really do. They are beautiful creatures, they are talented little artisans and even if I wouldn't want to meet one as big as Tarantula (there is nothing like old b/w movies with great special effects ;-)), I like watching them. I have watched them spinning their webs for hours.

I have owned spider earrings before (now where did they go?), I have a beautiful huge rhinestone spider brooch that lost one leg, though :-( and soon I hope to impress my coworkers with my new beaded spider hairpin.

So when I saw these coasters from Auntifrannis Sunny Days Embroidery, I was smitten at once.

And do you want to know the coolest part? The spider is glow-in-the-dark! Since I still didn't get a black light, I finally chose to take pictures in the dark. You will forgive the quality (of the pic!), I hope. At least you'll get the idea.
I love my coasters so much that I almost feel bad about using them now!

Check out Franni's shop, she has so much more cool things to offer. I know I will be stopping by in time for Christmas!


Murphy's law, paragraph 113

I feel a little sick today. Headache since yesterday, nose starts running and overall weird. Do you know this feeling that it hurts when someone or something touches your hair (that I got on the arms in abundance)?
So I decided to go home early today after making the mistake to go to work in the first place.
Happily I trotted off to the train, but when I came from the S-Bahn (kind of suburban train) to the regular one I saw mine was cancelled. "Police investigations in one of the stations" - that usually means someone has jumped in front of a train. Another train was waiting, but as the track had been blocked, of course it didn't run, either. At least it would be warm in there, outside it was freezing cold and I sure didn't feel like that.
Soon a lady joined me and (remember the sign on my forehead that says "Talk to me!"?) started asking me what was the matter, telling me about her train experiences and sighing heavily in between questions and stories. Then a group of students entered the wagon and started talking very loud. I could have handled either one easily, but not together. Because of the noise the lady couldn't hear the announcements from outside which she told me a few times. Then one of the students said "At least they could announce something!" Uh-oh.
The lady started telling them nobody could hear the speaker because of them and the students asked back if they were supposed to remain silent or WHAT. I shrinked into my seat because what I needed least in this moment was a heated discussion. Luckily one of the students took over and calmed everybody down by apologizing to the lady and winking at his friends.
Over one hour late we could leave the station. Slowly because of course the long-distance trains were allowed to pass us by on the way. I made it home anyway and now I am more than ready for a nap.

Still I wanted to share with you what keeps me sane through rides like this one ;-)

Ice nest - frosted nest with a shimmering piece of ice inside

I'll never go anywhere without hooks and wire! :-D


Psycho cat! ;-)

So it was time for the vet's. Again.
This time it was Ponder's turn. The black devil is losing hair on his belly and leg, so I thought before alien parasites would take over the house (too much X-files on my mind?), we take him there to have it checked out. Not that I have seen him licking himself excessively and it was only a little red, but I didn't want to take chances.

He did put up quite a fight when we were there. A few times he almost sat on my head. I had him around the neck like a stola, I had him on my shoulder, clawing some of my best parts with his hind feet, I had him pinned down to the table and it was exhausting. And that was only when we were waiting!
While she checked him out and ripped out some hair, he tried to hit me a few times. When I agreed to do some tests for parasites, he really had "fun". It took three of us to hold him so the vet could scrape off a little skin here and there. I wish I had brought the camera, my sister could have taken a picture. The assistant holding him by the neck and his front legs, the vet holding one hind leg and scraping away and me holding the other hind leg and his tail out of the way.

The good thing is - no parasites found. The bad thing is - what is the problem? She asked me if anything had happened lately and I told her about Gandalf and that Ponder likes to pounce Meffi since Merlin is gone.
Possible diagnosis - I have a psycho cat. She thinks it could be psychogenic alopecia. Either the boy is frustrated, sad or a freak. No, I made the last one up.
Since he is full of energy, it's possible that he does the licking during the day when we are not there to play or cuddle with him. For the others he is playing too rough sometimes.
So now we put up Feliway diffusers with pheromones hoping that will help and he will need
even more playtime. I might get some more scratches when playing kitty monsters with him (my hand under the blanket, him pouncing it), but so what? He is so worth it!
If this doesn't make any difference in the next two to three weeks, we'll go back to searching what it could be.
Psychogenic alopecia is a controversial topic, but hey, I always knew he is special ;-)


I got a secret!

Yes, I know something you don't know. Yet. And I can't wait to tell you because it's a fun secret I think and it has to do with the Europe ArtFire Guild I am a member of.
You'll still have to wait, but why don't you check in at our blog from time to time?
Gotta go, there is more to do before we can share with the world.

I sure AM excited :-D


Have you taken your vitamins?

Seems I am on the fruit trip, even if not intentionally in the first place.

I buy my wire online in England, from wires.co.uk and I love their colored copper wire. I could buy the list up and down and back up again and when a parcel arrives, I sit down, hold the spools into a light and giggle like a little girl at the beautiful shine.
So it is easy to match wire and beads tone in tone and you have lots of possibilities to experiment with different color combinations as well.

This is one of my favorite colors, a beautiful metallic orange although I think the seller calls it honey.
It's a bright and happy color and was perfect for these earrings. They remind me of a puddle of orange juice that is trickling down in a spiral. What better to use as accent than a clear glass rounded cube with AB (aurora borealis) finish? I like ice cubes in my orange juice!

Recently I bought some purple and black glass beads.
I have used them with black and purple wire before on this spool knit necklace. Here I put the black beads on the purple and the purple beads on the black wire for the perfect mix.

For this pendant I wanted to go tone in tone, though. After I started I found it began to remind me of a berry, so instead of going for a plane disk I made it domed.

On the pendant I had stopped at a disk because when I decided it was a berry, it was too late to make a ball out of it, it would have been much too big. What about berries for the ears? It still is blackberry season, hmm. Thought, said out loud and done, here is the result. Yummy looking blackberries for your ears.

Let me think, what else do I need for fruit salad? One idea already came from a forum friend (thanks, Cindy!), another one is welling up in my mind just now ...


Come on over for the bead soup party!

It had to happen some day, I guess. And I can't even blame it on the cats. Of course Ponder was sitting on the pinball machine yelling for me to hurry up with whatever I was doing at the moment and of course he tried to jump my shoulder, but the fact that I pulled out one of the drawers of my plastic storage case and hit the bead box with it is only the fault of my own stupidness and carelessness.
He sure loved the sound - clickety, clackety - of beads flying everywhere and was eager to help me clean them up, but I threw him out of the room and closed the door.
Only when I already had retrieved most of them from the corners of a big room (isn't it amazing how far these fellows can fly?), the thought to take a picture came to me. I also didn't feel like dropping the box again, so all you get to see is the epicenter which really was the easiest area to clean up.
I can be more than glad that these were not the really small beads.

A few ones tried to hide inside my armchair. Not with me. No bead will roam free in this house if I can prevent it! ;-)

This was a sign to me I desperately need to organise again, also the cheap beads like these ones *sigh*


3rd of October

In honor of today's holiday, the Day of Reunification, I made this treasury. Although it's called German talent, this is not quite true. It is not that easy to find German artisans on Etsy, it seems! So some of the ones featured here are Americans, Australians and I don't know what that are living in Germany :-)
I am absolutely in love with the voodoo doll and the bunny. Is that a sign I am getting ready for Halloween?
Which reminds me, why are the bat garlands I ordered for to hang up at work not here yet?