Archive for March, 2013


Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

All that I know
Of a certain star
Is, it can throw
(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of red,
Now a dart of blue
Till my friends have said
They would fain see, too,
My star that dartles the red and the blue!

Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs furled:
They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
What matter to me if their star is a world?
Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.
— Robert Browning

And now you know why my new Etsy shop is named Dartle. Most of the bead jewelry I make is either natural stone or very sparkly glass and crystal; it tends to be inspired by water, mountains or stars. I wanted a name that would suggest some of those things (at least to me!), and many of the sea and star-related names I thought of were already taken.

I used to do a lot of bead-and-wirework, but it got to where I had more than I could wear, didn’t have many people to give them to, and thought it would be difficult to sell them while living in the Netherlands or Taipei. I was getting Beads of the Month, too, but finally had to stop because I had more beads than I could use. For a while I made things and put them in a bowl to sell ‘someday’, but that felt so unrewarding. Someday is here now, though; I’ve started making things again, now I have a place to sell them.

You can see all pieces here at the shop, but here’s a sampling:

The difficult part seems to be marketing. Obviously I like sales, but if my stuff is not your style, or you don’t want to buy anything for whatever other good reason, I’d also appreciate mentions to friends, Facebook sharing, Etsy favoriting, Pinterest linking or whatever.

Note: A couple of these pieces have already sold, but they’re good examples of what I can do. In many cases I have similar beads and can make something similar or slightly different on request.

Note: a few of these pieces have already been sold, but they’re good examples of what I can do. In many cases I’ve got more of the same beads and can make similar (not exactly the same) pieces on request.

meet the new family members

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Oolong and Macchiato:



Macchiato is the more outgoing; we put them in our bedroom to start with, and as you can see she’s been exploring a bit. She seems to like water (she was rolling around with my water bottle earlier, too). Oolong just comes out now and then to eat or use the litterbox, though she has let me pet her and purred at me. She’d made it clear she’s not terrified or anything; she simply prefers staying under the bed for the moment.

I’ve ended up being prompted into research by both of them already, in one case into coffee and the other into cats. The names Oolong and Macchiato are because we wanted names to reference Taiwan and the Netherlands, as well as fitting the cats. The Dutch do drink a lot of coffee, but typically use the Italian names fo specific drinks. Apparently this cat is a latte macchiato (steamed milk with a shot of espresso, which is a layered drink with a dark spot on top) rather than a caffe macchiato (espresso with a shot of steamed milk, leaving a white spot on top). We were going to call her Mach for short, but that doesn’t seem to fit (too abrupt for her, and she isn’t actually all that fast) so I think it will be Macca or Maka for daily use.

Someone didn’t filter out the tea leaves for Oolong, leaving her stripy. Apparently that makes her a caliby – a calico because she’s got three colors, and a tabby because of the stripes. I’ve been seeing some dire hints about caliby cattitudes, but nothing definite. So far, they both actually seem pretty mellow compared to our previous cats, who were both male. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to eat those words in a week’s time, though.

Incidentally, on the house front, all the damage from the leak is now fixed, as of today – drywall replaced, subfloor dried, new flooring in place. Now we have a problem with a totally different toilet. It flushes fine, but ten minutes later all the water has drained out of the bowl. The plumber says the trap is cracked and he needs to replace the toilet bowl – he was supposed to do that today, but didn’t feel well, so he’s shooting for tomorrow. Thank goodness the house is under warranty! I think this toilet company had a batch issue.

the toilet exploded!

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

OK, I’m exaggerating. A little.

We went down to Rowell (the lake house) last night with a small moving van (a benefit our realtor provides), came back with a load of boxes, opened the garage door… and saw water dripping from the ceiling. The toilet from the powder room above was leaking, and I mean LEAKING – there were drips down the garage wall on both sides and coming down from the ceiling. It turns out the toilet tank had developed a crack. I guess there must have been a manufacturing defect in it, and after a few flushes it spontaneously ruptured while we were away. Good thing we were only gone for one night this time! The house is under warranty, so we paged the emergency number.

The service guy came up (I felt a little bad – he’d been about to head to a wedding), asked if we had shut off the valve (we had) and sawed holes in the garage and powder room drywall, setting up fans to dry it out. They’ll come by Monday to assess and fix it all. This is going to be a big job – I sure am glad it’s under warranty. They’ll need to replace the toilet, the baseboard and possibly some flooring and patch the drywall upstairs and in the bathroom.

Meanwhile, we now have a another chair, our city bikes, and a lot of boxes we need to unpack. Tomorrow e’ll pick up Ted’s desk, which should at least make it easier to unpack some of it, but we’re still missing one bookshelf and two desks, to be delivered in another few weeks. I foresee boxes sticking around in our short-term future.