Thursday, May 31, 2007

More white vases.

My latest finds. They're just so clean and fresh looking. Martha Stewart would be proud. I especially love the one on the left. There are even scallops on the base. Sigh. I was also feeling a green vibe this time for some reason. Though, white is still my fave.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mom's hexagonal box.

Previously, I showed you the hexagonal box I made in a class. Here's the one my mom made in the same class. I liked the colors of her box better than my own, so she gave me hers. What a sweet Mom. She put some beads and a clasp in it for me. A nice surprise.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


After much deliberation, I've decided to work on this kit next. Isn't the box and ribbon pretty? This is a passion flower vessel kit from Laura McCabe.

Over the weekend I only went so far as to pull out the contents of the kit and look at them. No actual beading took place.

We did, however, plant a lot of shrubs. And we spent a lot of time (and $) at the local nursery. We also cooked out, met some of our very nice neighbors, watched N. search for bugs with his new-found friends, and finished up a few projects. All in all, a very lovely weekend.

And now, on to the workweek!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007

This girl is learning how to use her camera.

A little better. At least you can see the detail.

And how about this?

If only I'd taken the time to read the manual first.

The haul.

Yesterday my friend Lisa and I went to the International Gem and Jewelry show. Oh my Lord, was it ever hot in there! And humid. And crowded. Ick. Luckily, in the wholesale section it was much cooler and less crowded. I wasn't feeling great (UTI - I don't know what is going on with me lately, but hopefully this is the last of it!), and I think my selections for the day reflected that. Everything was very grey. Sterling silver and labradorite.

Sorry about the picture quality. My camera seems to be going downhill. I'm trying to baby it along, as we are busy buying plants and things for our landscaping.

Oh, I almost forgot...we saw Loretta Swit at the show on our way out. She has a jewelry line or something and was at the booth.

And now, I'm off to buy a lilac bush!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Where the beading magic really happens.

Yesterday I showed you my studio, but today I'm going to show you where I really do my work.

Yep, that's right. On my big, comfy couch. With my trusty companion, Season. I must admit I did tidy it up a bit. Usually I'm buried under pillows to create my little makeshift table to put my bead tray on. And that end table is typically piled high with beading essentials.

Tomorrow I am heading to the International Gem and Jewelry Show with my friend Lisa. This show has an eclectic mix of anything from enormous diamonds to cheap purses. Some years I find a lot of good semi-precious beads and freshwater pearls and other years I hardly buy anything. Last year I bought picture frames. See what I mean? Eclectic. This show will tide me over until Bead & Button in June. Now there's a show where I'm almost guaranteed to part with some cash.

Mark has been working hard to get his workshop in order. I was just in the basement with N. and all I can say is, "wow." He is so organized. I wish I could be that organized. I know he wishes I could be, too. :) Now that his workshop is situated I can put in my orders.

Any holiday weekend plans? We are staying home. Other than the bead show, we have a friend in town from Seattle who is coming to visit tonight and my very dear friend Andrea from Minnesota will be in town as well. I might also get together with my mom to learn how to make granny squares.

Have a safe, relaxing holiday weekend, everyone.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

In my room.

I always enjoy it when others post about their workspace, so I thought I'd share my room with you. The room is very white because we haven't painted yet. I change my mind all the time about what color it will be when we can paint it. Mark made the bookshelf for me and I painted it. He's very handy.

This picture is for you, Jenn. This is the spice rack I told you I keep some of my beads in.

A crocheted beaded bag with a bee on it. More on these later. I received this one as a shower gift when I was pregnant with N. His room was decorated with bumblebees. Also, a tiny bird picture I cross-stitched. For those who cross stitch, this was done on 28-count linen, stitched with one thread over one thread. Tiny! It's the only one I did with one-over-one because I thought I would go blind doing it. But the bird is very cute. It's the red winged blackbird pattern from Bent Creek. And notice the vintage French beaded flowers.

A print from The Black Apple. Also on this shelf is a bag that my friend Christina knitted for me.

Ah yes, my table. Yes, it's usually this messy. Used to be our old kitchen table. I was going to give it away when Mark had the great idea to keep it for bead work. He's so smart.

Here's a closer look at the projects on the table. My problem is that I start a project and then get excited about the thought of a new project and move on to that. The flower scissors case has been on my table for a long time. I need to start a new thread for the bead embroidery and for some reason that seems really hard. I really don't like ending and starting threads.

Thanks for visiting my room. Maybe next time I'll show you where most of the bead work really happens. Toodles!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A New Look.

Last night I changed my blog template. I like to mix things up now and then. Plus, since I'm new to blogs, I want to experiment a bit. I'm not sure how long this template will last.

Thanks for the well wishes - I am feeling much less itchy today after two days of taking Benadryl. I still have little red bumps here and there. I think I was making people all around me feel itchy because I was scratching so much!

This bracelet is made of sterling silver, citrine, and crystal. The little tag says, "inspire."

Mark took the day off today and I'm working at home, so we're going to have a lunch date. It's nice to go out and have adult conversation without N. interrupting every two minutes. :)


This bracelet is from a class I took last summer with Janna Bedinghaus. It's made with vintage Swarovski rivolis (the large, round bezeled pieces), freshwater pearls, Swaroviski drops and bicones, delicas, seed beads, and charlottes. Charlottes are seed beads that have a cut one one side so that they appear faceted and give off a little bit of sparkle.

In other news, I had an allergic reaction to the Amoxicillin I was taking for strep throat. Last week I started having a lot of itching on the soles of my feet and my palms. By Sunday it had progressed to feeling generally unwell and vaguely itchy everywhere. Yesterday morning I woke up feeling swollen and much more itchy all over. As I went to take my last Amoxicillin pill it dawned on me that that could be the problem. The doctor recommended Benadryl, so now all I want to do is sleep!

Last night I did work on my pink and brown flower bracelet a little bit. I've discovered I'm going to need four flowers rather than three.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Another pair of earrings.

One of my faves. It's hard to tell, but they almost look like little disco balls. They are smokey quartz and sterling silver. Oh, and I'm loving this idea. I have to find some great old frames and make myself one!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


We bought one thing at the garage sales yesterday: a pair of sunglasses.

It was a busy day yesterday. After going to the garage sales we went to Chicago to meet our new nephew. He is so sweet. He slept in my arms the entire time I held him. Hard to believe N. was that small once. Then we met up with friends in the city to see their new place, where they hosted game night. We played Apples to Apples, Who? What? Where?, and Uno. You really need to play Apples to Apples if you haven't yet. It's hilarious.

Today we did some things around the house after picking up N. I worked on my bracelet a little bit, but didn't take a picture. We also checked on N.'s garden. He's growing tomato plants and peppers. He saw a caterpillar on one of the plants the other day and now he's obsessed with checking his garden to make sure there aren't any caterpillars in the vicinity.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I've Been Too Busy Buying Things to Bead *or* Recent Etsy Purchases

I love Etsy. I don't know if my pocketbook loves Etsy, but I do! Since I haven't been working on any beading projects lately, I thought I'd show some of my recent purchases.

A Wee Peep from Sweet Nellie. How sweet is this? And I also really like her Pinecone Peep, Eleanor, and Nola.

A felted brooch from Dottie Angel. And I like this tote by her, too.

This pendant, which I love, from Bibbidi Baubles. She has some great pottery pendants.

And my latest purchase that I love, love, love. I'm not always about the sparkle. I also have a love of concrete. Why? Balances things out. One year I made concrete stepping stones for our old flower garden. I have other things I'd like to make with concrete. But, I digress. This is from Scenic Artisans. He has another one that I love, called Potion, and I like this one, too.

Today I am going to go to some garage sales in the neighborhood with my friend Wendy. I have never really gone to garage sales before, so we'll see how it goes. I'll let you know if I find anything.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bling? Come out, come out wherever you are.

I may have mentioned...oh, once or twice...that I'm all about the sparkle. If I lost my inhibition I would be sparkle crazy, both on my person and in my home. I tell my husband that when we are both very old he won't have to worry about finding me even if his eyesight is going; I'll be the blurry shape that's twinkling and glittering.

Our house has little bits of sparkle here and there. I thought I'd show you a few of them.

The light in our foyer with Swarovski crystals. Can you see the reflection on the ceiling?

The 1920s perfume bottle with a spray of crystals on its lid that's in our powder room.

The beaded chandelier in our master bedroom. I always wanted a chandelier in my bedroom.

And a small pillow with beaded fringe hanging in my studio. The pillow is from SaraBoo Creek, one of my favorite shops.

I hope your Thursday is full of unexpected sparkle.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Great idea!

I remembered that the launch date for Beaducation was supposed to be sometime this week (or maybe last week?). Sure enough, when I checked the site, it was up and running. Beaducation is the endeavor of artist Lisa Niven Kelly. The site allows students to take classes whenever and wherever they'd like, as long as they have access to a computer. Here's how it works: students select and purchase the class they'd like to take, get their supplies ready, view the video, print out the instructions, and they're on their way. You have one week to view the video as many times as you'd like. You'll also have the instructions you printed to help you if your project takes longer than one week. They have a great faculty as well. And, there are also some free instructional videos available on the site. I love this idea and I'm already eyeing a class or two...maybe three... I'm very interested in the upcoming class by Laura McCabe.

I took a stamped bracelet class called "Say it on Your Wrist" from Lisa at Bead & Button one year. This bracelet is the one I made in class and has a Chinese proveb stamped on it: "A book is a garden carried in your pocket." I've branched out to make bracelets with kid's names and inspiring words, along with birth dates. They make a great gift for new moms - or any moms for that matter!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Victorian Slide bracelet.

I took this class by Dona Anderson at Funky Hannah's. I always meant to make another one, but never did. I especially like the diamond shaped (or square, depending on how you string them) beads made from Swarovski crystal and bugle beads. This bracelet has a definite bling factor.

We are getting some much needed rain here this evening. N.'s chalk roads are being washed away, leaving him with a clean slate for next time. When I went to get the mail he was madly drawing some new roads as fast as he could and they were already melting away as we walked in the house.

Monday, May 14, 2007

More thrift store finds.

I stopped at Goodwill the other day and came out with these two lovelies. I've already used the white bowl several times.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

I'm having the best Mother's Day. It started out with a hug and kiss from N. What could be better? Then I had some freshly brewed Peet's coffee while I looked at my lovely flowers. My Mother's Day gift was the flowers, N.'s fabulous artwork and handmade cards, and some cash to use at the upcoming Bead & Button Show. We went to the nursery and bought loads of flowers and a bush to plant. N. also got some vegetables to start his very own vegetable garden. He's so proud of it. We had a busy day of getting our hands dirty. The planting is accomplished.

Yesterday I gave my mom her gift. Among other things, she received this pair of earrings I made for her. I know the photo is a little blurry, but you get the idea. My camera is driving me crazy. I think I took 12 photos of these earrings and this was the best one. Sad. But, I was really happy with the earrings and my mom loved them.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

And now my men are taking me out to dinner at my favorite local restaurant. It's been a very good day. I hope everyone is having a Mother's Day that's just as good.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


N. and I both have strep throat. It's the second time we've had it in a month. The first time, I'm pretty sure I had it first and gave it to him. This time, he was kind enough to share with me. We've both had a few times this past winter. I'm hoping once he's out of school and outside all day in day camp we can break the cycle.

I took the afternoon off work yesterday. I took a nice long nap and when I woke up, my head felt clear enough to look at beads, so I worked a little more on my pink and brown bracelet.

Friday, May 11, 2007


I made this anklet for a friend of mine for her wedding day. She wanted an anklet and couldn't find one she liked, so I came up with this. This photo doesn't show the amount of sparkle the crystals had.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

On the verge of learning something new.

I've been wanting to learn how to crochet granny squares for some time. I'm not sure why, maybe because we lost my grandma last year and I'm feeling nostalgic. She made many, many granny square afghans. My mom is very good at knitting and crocheting, so she going to teach me how to make granny squares once she figures them out herself. (Thanks, Mom!) I sent her the tutorial from Purl Bee. I tried to crochet a blanket once. I didn't get very far. I just poked around the house looking for it and couldn't find it. I wonder where it is? Anyway, my mom and I went to a local yarn shop and this is the color palette I chose. Yes, I am being ambitious and making granny squares with four colors.

I thought granny squares would be something small-ish I could work on while N. is busy drawing on the driveway. I always feel the itch to do something while I'm sitting outside watching him play. Hopefully it will be more portable than beading is. This is my typical bag-of-tricks when I'm working on a bead project or taking a class.

I've started working on my next bead project. I have one flower done for my bracelet. I'm going to make two more and then decide what to add to make the length just right.

Did anyone else notice how much pink and brown is in this post?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Welcome to the world, Sweet Pea.

I'm an aunt (again)! Little Cooper made his way into the world at 9:43 p.m. last night. He and his mommy are both doing well. My brother sounded exhausted on his message, but very happy! I'm so excited for them and cannot wait to meet my new nephew. This is their first little one. He is the 5th grandson for my mom - no granddaughters yet!

In honor of Cooper, and because I do not have a photo of him, today I'm sharing a pea pod charm I made out of precious metal clay (PMC). PMC is silver particles suspended in clay that becomes nearly pure silver when fired. Then I antiqued it in liver of sulfer solution - some pretty smelly stuff! This was among the very first things I made with PMC. I made several of them because they were so cute.

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I have a nephew on the way. My sister-in-law has been in labor all day today. I've gotten periodic updates throughout the day from my mom and brother, who are both at the hospital. Everyone is anxious for the baby to arrive!

I'm also waiting for Mother's Day so I can plant some flowers and bushes in front of our house. It's a general rule of thumb around here to wait until Mother's Day to plant so you know it's a pretty safe bet that there won't be any frost to kill the plants. I don't know what to plant--have no idea, really--so I'm waiting for a great idea to hit. Maybe if I take a picture of the landscaping in front of the house to the nursery they can help me. The builder provided a good amount of bushes, but I'd like to fill it in more and add some color. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of our bushes the builder put in is a flowering bush. A little sparse this year, but flowering nonetheless.

So now I guess I'll go back to waiting. Somewhat patiently.

Monday, May 7, 2007

A bit of this and a touch of that.

Wahoo! I finished the Lattice Weave Parure (LWP) last night. Here it is all connected with the pair of earrings.

And I got my tray set up for my next project. I decided to use the flower pattern from the LWP to make a bracelet in pinks and browns.

Ginny from iSew tagged me to list some random facts about myself. I'm supposed to tag 7 more people, but everyone I know in blogland has already been tagged. Anyway, here goes:

1. Malt-O-Meal is my all-time favorite thing to eat for dinner (I don't cook for breakfast). Unfortunately, I'm the only one in my house who feels that way.

2. I seem to have the motto: if one is good, three (or more) is better. It's terrible. Why do you think I have so many ring baskets?

3. One of my favorite childhood memories is of playing hopscotch with my mom while my two brothers were napping.

4. I'm terrified of spiders. I try really hard not to be, but I am.

5. After taking a walk during a camping trip, I had so many ticks on my jeans that it looked like the bottom of my jeans were brown. And that is the source of my other terror: ticks.

6. I like reptiles. I liked catching snakes as a kid. Mark and I used to have an iguana named Xavier.

7. I have a recurring nightmare that I have to make a phone call and no matter how hard I try, I cannot dial the correct number. What does that mean, I wonder?

8. I can sew, but choose not to. Sometimes I think I should sew something, but then I think I'd rather buy something someone else has sewn.

9. I love teaching N. to read. Curling up with him to read and watching his excitement when he gets a word right is the best. The best.

10. Speaking of teaching, I have two younger brothers that I tortured by making them play school in the summer. I didn't let them go outside until they completed the worksheets I made up for them. They were such difficult students that I think that's why I'm not a teacher today. :)

11. I can watch A Christmas Story over and over and over and over...

12. As a kid I had a pen pal who was only two towns away from me. This blog sort of makes me feel like I have pen pals.

13. I did not read the directions for this tagging exercise very well. I was supposed to list 7 random facts. Oops.

N. drew me a flower on the driveway. He's the best.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A tisket, a tasket, another beaded basket...

Thanks for all the nice comments on the truck basket! I did some research and found that the basic pattern I used for the ring baskets was created by Brenda Whitehead, published in her book entitled, Peyote 101.

Here's another variation. In this one I increased the size by quite a lot. It's 2-3/4" in diameter and stands about 1-3/4" high. In comparison, the truck basket was only a little over an inch in diameter and stands about an inch high.

This one is chocolate brown and pink - one of my favorite color combinations. I added little peyote flowers along the top.

And I added three at the bottom where all three sides come together.

I think this is my favorite one. I still have plenty more to show. I was a little obsessed with these for a time and made them for several of my friends and family. Stay tuned for more!