Sunday, May 30, 2010

Organizing stuff

This weekend, I'm staying at my brother-in-law's house. I forgot my beading stuff and asked Lanine to bring it to me when she brought her hubby and son down for the day (read late afternoon/evening). The best time for me to work on it is when we have a family gathering as there are more hands to help sort as we buy stuff in the bulk. Lanine always shows everything neat and tidy in the white plastic bins. I decided that you needed to see the chaos that is always going on at my house. I'm not nearly as organized but can pack it up quickly and take it almost anywhere without mixing it all back together. Here are some pictures of my sister-in-law's table with the plastic beads we are currently organizing.

I'll post more later when I have more time and I am at home with my "fail" and "success" photographs. This way, I'm also no longer the silent partner/funding only. After all, this *is* a mother and daughter business *and* we've both been really busy this last week with family things (and me with my other job). My hubby and his brother are wanting me to finish making the lasagne.

And while you're at it, please do your job.......what's that you ask? Create a login to blogger so that we know we have more than 2 followers. If you have a Gmail/Google entity/email, just use it or Real I.D. (even Yahoo has that). Thank you to all of you that have joined/liked our Facebook page too!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Mascot is Born.....

Before we started a webpage, Sandy and I sat down (in Y!M) and talked about names, logos, color scheme, website design.... and a mascot. Not happy with anything in the clip art section, or any of my previous creations... I sat down and penciled a dragon. I spent at least two days working on him, making sure he looked just the way I wanted him to... and then I scanned him in, loaded him into photoshop to "ink" his lines... and then I promptly gave up. He was a mess. Smudge lines everywhere, and no easy way to color his lines in without losing too much detail and spending at least another day cleaning him up. So... he sat in a folder, alone, waiting for the day when I might get around to coloring him. I opened him up a couple of times.. dusted him off... but still didn't feel confident enough to make him look the way I wanted him to.... so I always put him back and let him alone until a better time.

But then we got a domain! (*yay!*) And I really needed something more than that little clip art dragon that used to be in the corner of the webpage.... and so I pulled our little prism dragon out again, and got to work, and finally, after several hours of work.... he was inked.. and colored, and ready to be placed on the webpage!

Which is, of course, when everything went down hill. I then spent the next two days working on code, and trying to get the measurements right, and the frames to work, and ARG STAB ARG! until... FINALLY... on the morning of the third day... I threw everything out the window, and started over. haha And it was glorious... and now you too can see the glory of the Prism Dragon that I spent so long working over. Or maybe you can't.... because Internet Explorer makes me stabby, and refuses to leave my frames alone. So the coding may be a little wonky for you.... and if you have a resolution less than 1280x1024, I'm sorry... his wing might not show up as well as it should. But again... IE makes me a little stabby, and I can't figure out how to fix it right now... so for now that's what you get (until I can figure out a better method!). But rejoice! For you can see him in all of his glory, here, so you aren't missing anything that anyone else is seeing. :D

Please welcome our new Mascot... the Prism Dragon.... and know that he will eat anyone that displeases him. >:D

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Exciting New News!

Guess what! Guess what! We are now hosted! Change your bookmarks, because we can now be found at!!!! Yaaaaay!

Bear with me a couple of days... I need to fix a couple of links and pages... but the site should be fully functional, otherwise. :D


So I'm having a perfectionist moment. Or maybe it's Artist's Block. My muse has abandoned me for more interesting people. Or maybe... yeah, probably just a perfectionist moment.

I have created and torn apart at least 3 awareness bracelets this morning. I don't like the colors, I don't like the beads, I don't like how scratchy it is... take your pick! They just don't... look... RIGHT. I wouldn't sell these to a 5 year old with a quarter. And the worst part about it? I can't figure out how to make them BETTER. Maybe it will come to me tomorrow... or the next day. Or maybe I should just give it up and sell subpar stuff. Maybe I should let you decide? Maybe I should be more dramatic about it, and I'll get a more dramatic response from my psyche? (*snicker*)

This is the only one that's survived this morning, and even it is destined for the chopping block because the elastic I used is too tight, so it scrunches up. I'm not very happy with the different shades of pink, and the silver findings just don't look right with the rest of the compilation. But... I can't come up with anything better that will cost 5$ or less, and not be scratchy. (*pulls hair out*)! Not Happy, Bob. Not. Happy.

P.S. I told you you would be seeing more of my little new hand. :D

P.P.S. If you don't know what the Not Happy quote is from, watch The Incredibles. Then let your 2-4 year old watch The Incredibles. Now count the seconds until your 2-4 year old picks up "NOT HAPPY!!!"

Thursday, May 20, 2010


So, if you couldn't tell by the picture I took last post x2 ago, then I'm just gonna say it. We have a LOT of beads. Big beads, and small beads, (and some as big at your head! hahaaa.... errm ok. Sorry.) and shiny beads, and dull beads, and glass beads, and acrylic beads, and wood beads, and yes! YES. Even BONE beads.. though we won't sell you those unless you ask for them. Yes, they are cow, and supposedly they were hand carved by monks, and if you're interested, send me a message and I'll tell you all about them... but that's neither here nor there. :) I have many favorites that I try to work into every piece I make, when appropriate... and I have others that I cringe just to think about. We've purchased several bargain variety packs over the years, and there are usually a LOT of variety in those. Different shapes, sizes, textures, and quality.. and sometimes there's only one or two of any different type. The worst ones are the Pony Beads.

Of course, It's mostly because of Girl Scouts that I have this very strong aversion to Pony Beads. You know, those large plastic beads with the large hole that can fit almost any type of string? They come in about a bajillion different colors and shapes, and they can be found in almost any store where crafts supplies can be found. In Girl Scouts... we used them a LOT. Like, A LOT a lot. They are cheap, you can get them in bulk, and you can do almost anything with them with short stubby little kid fingers. Out of all of the containers from that picture two posts ago, only ONE of the large blue containers held round pony beads (the ones I hate the most). I may have two or three other slots or containers holding stars, or hearts, but they are few and far between.

Now, as you may have remembered from my first post (not the welcome, but my first real post), I recently got the chance to make a necklace for a co-worker of Sandy's. The necklace was for a teenage boy, who was very active in sports. This wasn't something I could just throw some glass beads at, and expect them to last very long! So... I had to revert to Pony Beads. My revulsion to the whole idea made me desperately try to find an alternative, which I finally succeeded at finding 5 of (out of 16 needed). I made the necklace twice before I figured out an appropriate pattern for the beads I had chosen, and still I was unhappy. But after I'd finished off the last knot, it occurred to me that it didn't really LOOK bad... it was just my prejudice towards this overly used bead kicking in that made me dislike the necklace so much. Who in the world was going to look at a boy's hemp style necklace and say "Oh, how poser. You used PONY beads. Ugh. Doesn't EVERYONE use those?!" Kids are mean to each other... but I really don't think the beads I used were going to be the issue. So I tied it off, and handed it over to Sandy. Her coworker loved it, and her son wears it every day, so obviously I did something right! I still don't LIKE Pony Beads.... but I've come to the conclusion that they do have their uses. :)

So, what about you? Do you have any unreasonable hatreds towards any inconsequential, inanimate objects??? :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tsk. Falling behind already.

Well, day 4 of the blog, and I'm already falling behind. Of course, I had a good excuse today since I was out of the house most of the day, and then we had company. :)

As far as business goes.. today was spent brainstorming "Cancer Bracelets". I've had several ideas rattling around in the vast empty acreage of my mind for a while now, concerning Ribbon Bracelets/Necklaces/Bookthongs. You know... those little ribbons people love so much that change their colors depending on their meanings? This is.. similar, but a little bit different. Instead of "Awareness", we're looking for "Support" and "Hope". Another one of Sandy's co workers said that it would be ok if we made several cancer related items to sell at the front desk of her office, for patients to buy. You see, Sandy works for an Oncologist, which is a Dr. that specializes in Cancer (and all of it's associated things).

So the goal is to make bracelets, or light weight necklaces, or key chains, or... or.. whatever that just happens to give the patients, or their family, or friends some kind of... hope. Something to make them happy. Something for them to concentrate on when they have their chemo therapies, or are feeling sick, or are just having a really bad day. Something to prove that they are a survivor, or something to give them the strength to live another day, another hour, another minute. I want to find materials that are light weight, and moderately inexpensive so that I can offer them for a very low price... and who knows; if they work out, maybe I'll donate a portion of each one. We'll just have to see. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tools of the trade

So I made a goal for myself to at least *try* to come up with something to post here every day, or at least every couple of days if life got busy. I was grasping for something to post, being new to this whole blog thing, and then decided that I would blog about my poor man photography tricks. But then... all I really had to post was "I use a gold edged Edgar Allan Poe book, and some paper. Voila!" So I figured that I would leave the photography tips and hints up to Sandy to post. She's been trolling the internet for years now coming up with fancy new things to do with her newish Canon SLR Camera (More or less the same as mine, but about 5 years newer with all sorts of new stuff. haha), and has pointed ME towards all of the ghetto tricks I use, so I didn't think it was right for me to pull that spotlight from her. :)

Aaannnnddd... I still didn't have anything to write about. So then I thought "Hey! I can take a picture of all of my beads and talk about them some!" And then it turned into extras including findings and glues, and then tools, and then papers, and then the box I hold all of my bookthongs in, and that stupid Edgar Allan Poe book, and the floss I use for the braids, and then I had somehow accumulated an ENTIRE COFFEE TABLE OF STUFF!!!!! And that was about the time that I realized that my life was really weird, and no wonder my hutch always looked crowded, no matter how much I cleaned. And, jeeze, do I have a lot of stuff.

And there it is. All of the stuff I use to make all of the stuff I make. Ok, not all of it; I know for a fact I'm missing a couple of things, but I had to save it from the boychild and didn't want to risk taking another picture.  :) Also, for anyone wondering why I haven't finished the "Custom Bookthong" section of the webpage, count those opaque plastic containers: the larger ones on the corners are 4 rows deep, and the smaller ones in the middle are 3. Each and every one of those slots is full with a different kind, shape, or color of bead, finding or charm. Now add in about 1/2 of the medium containers with the blue lids, and all of the smaller containers with blue lids, the purple lids on the left and right, the four small flat containers on the right, AND the four large tubs in front. I'm not exactly good at math, but I came up with a whole freaking lot. So, you know... it may take a little time to catalog all of those, take pictures, and then turn them into HTML. But I AM working on it. :D

Any of you have any additional ideas on how to store embroidery floss, by the way? The little plastic baggies work well enough, but it's not exactly aesthetically pleasing. haha

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Exciting new things...

Exciting new happenings! Yesterday I went out to the local Hobby Lobby with my Mom, Dad, and the Boychild to pick up some new organizers for the large amount of beads Mom had picked up a couple of weekends ago. Soon after walking in to the store, I happened upon this lovely black hand figurine. It was in the glass section so I didn't figure it was going to be affordable, but then I noticed the 50% off sign right next to it. Really???? 50% off, you say?? I looked at the price tag, and my heart sang with joy. It was TOTALLY affordable.

So why in the world would I want something like this, and how does it pertain to TPD (The Prism Dragon)????? Other than the fact that it's just plain AWESOME... it's a jewelry display. That's right... it's something to hang jewelry from, and then take awesome pictures of it. Or just to set on my desk and stare at every once in a while. Whatever!

Now, I *could* use this for the bookthongs, but really it's designed for jewelry. "But Lanine," you say "You don't HAVE Jewelry to display!" And that would only be partially true. True, I don't have anything up on the website, but that doesn't mean I don't have anything laying around waiting to be photographed. AND that doesn't mean that I don't have piles and piles of beads that can't be used for bookthongs because the holes are too small! Just lying around... staring at me forlornly, making us both wish that I could make something with them. But now I have a display, so you will probably be seeing much more of this little hand. :)

On the same note.. (backwardsly speaking) a co-worker of Sandy's (Mom's) saw my bookthongs, and asked her if I could also make necklaces. You see, her son liked the LOOK of those little hemp necklaces, but just couldn't handle the scratchiness. So I thought about it, and researched the different knots and beads and materials, and finally settled on black waxed cotton as an alternative. I made several 'experiments' in order to figure out length and bead placement, and then I got to work. And guess what?? Her son loved it so much, she ordered a SECOND one (shown on the right. The first one was blue in a similar pattern, which was only supposed to be a guideline because I hadn't really measured it, but she liked it so much she wouldn't let me have it back. haha) So, kind reader... is this something you might be interested in? Something I should be making more of?

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Welcome to the official blog for The Prism Dragon.

What IS The Prism Dragon, you ask? (or maybe you didn't. Doesn't matter, I'll tell you either way. :D) Why, it's a store. Well, sort of. It's really more of an outlet with vague dreams of occasionally making money.

You see, once there was a Mother and her Daughter. They did the usual girly things like Girl Scouts and crafts, and both grew to love pretty shiny things, while still enjoying the tom boy side of life with horseback riding and camping with the whole family. For (almost) all of the Daughter's school life they were involved in Girl Scouts. The Daughter, of course, hated it. But that's the way of children.

All of those years of the Mother being first an assistant, and then a Leader, and then a Camp Director led to having a whole bunch of 'stuff' lying around the house. Beads, and cloth, and glue, and glitter, and popsicle sticks, and pom poms, and BELLS, and paper, and stamps, and markers, and.. well, you get the point. There was a LOT of stuff. Of course, after the Daughter turned 18, there wasn't a need for it anymore, since finally she was able to leave the Girl Scouts forever (or so she thought, until the Mother decided that the perfect graduation present would be a Life Time Membership to said Girl Scouts. This didn't make the Daughter very happy, but she still carries the card in her wallet for some unknown reason.) And now the daughter is grown, and has a boychild of her own. So the stuff just sat there, collecting dust. Occasionally pulled out for special occasions like special meetups with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides who happened to be in town, the Daughter's baby shower, and baby's first Christmas.

Until one fateful day when one of the Mother's favorite book authors blogged about a neat little bookmark idea called a "Book Thong". As both the Mother and the Daughter were avid readers, this sounded like a cute little project they could do. And of course, we all know that crafting leaves it's mark. The Daughter also braided. Everything. Anything she could get her hands on. A gift from her Grandmother who used to braid horse hair for jewelry, before arthritis had set in. So the Daughter made a book thong. It was rainbow colored though it showed more red and pink than anything, and the beads were very expensive and mismatched. It was sparse in decoration and highly simple. But it's the bookmark she still uses today. So the Mother decided to pull out the beads, and they sorted through them until they found just the right ones, and then the Daughter made some more. And some more. And then she gave some away; to family members, for a baby shower, a wedding, and a couple of birthdays. She had so many she didn't know what to do with them all, but she absolutely loved making them, so she was happy. They kept her entertained while the boychild napped or played by himself, and she was finally stretching creative muscles that had begun to atrophy over the years.

But then someone bought one. Suddenly the Mother and Daughter were buying more beads, and more floss, and more buttons, and more tools, and making more custom orders for people, and making a webpage ( which is still only partially finished), and coming up with more ideas, and making new plans. Thus The Prism Dragon was born.

And then.. the Mother also happened to see a post from someone online, asking how they should go about making a blog for their beads... and WOW, that sounded like a great idea. Thus this blog was born. And hopefully everyone will live happily ever after... but I guess you'll just have to keep reading to find out. :)


So what is this BLOG about? Yes it's a craft blog, and yes it's specifically for The Prism Dragon... but it's not just to sell you things. It's where we can tell you about each item that we make, Mother AND Daughter, because we enjoyed making it so much. It's about where we can teach you how to make some of these yourself. It's an outlet for the scars that being all crafty and girl scouty have left on our psyche. But best of all.... it gives us something to do. :D