The good news is that my muse showed back up, apparently she went to Turkey to get her coffee, and I finished the piece I was struggling with a few days ago. The bad news is that I can't post pictures until this coming Saturday because the piece was made for a craft challenge at the snopes messageboard. I'll post pictures as soon as I can along with pictures of the piece I ended up with the first time I tried to make something. Hopefully I'll get the small bag I have waiting around together sometime soon too so I can post pictures of it.
Other good news is that I got a really fantastic deal on more glass beads for the lanyard project so as soon as the swivel hooks come in I can get going on those too.