Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Captured by the sparkle.

I saw these vintage chandelier crystals on the front page of Etsy one day, visited Sweet Little, and made an impulse purchase. I don't know what I'll do with them, but then, that's sometimes what happens with impulse purchases, isn't it?

For now, I'm content to put them in a glass dish and look at them from time to time.

Photos from Sweet Little

I hope your 2009 is filled with wonder and a whole lot of sparkle.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lazy days.

Mark has been off the last several days. We've done a few things around the house, taken N. to see Bolt, and been generally lazy. I haven't done any beading, but earlier in the week I did get things straightened out in my studio. It's nice to be somewhat organized again.

I made this bracelet a few y ears ago. Pink crystals and seed beads.

Today I finished a book and started a new one. N. has been busy playing with his toys and Mark is watching football. It's been great to have some down time. Tomorrow it's back to work.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Season's Greetings.

Best wishes for you and yours this season!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I'm glad we don't have anywhere we need to go today. Looking outside the wind is fiercely blowing and snow is piling up in new drifts.

Beaded mitten made by my aunt Corinne

Indoors I'll be cleaning and cooking in preparation for Christmas. We are hosting this year and I'm planning to make lasagna, starting the second batch of sauce today. If I can get my studio organized, I'd like to do some bead work. I have an idea for a pair of earrings that I'd like to try out.

Or I could abandon the organizing plans and just curling up with a good book and cup of hot chocolate, looking up at the Christmas tree lights from time to time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Flower beads.

Maybe I'll think of something to do with these while I'm off work next week.

Even though the listing aptly described the size, for some reason they were larger than what I was thinking. Has that ever happened to you?

Monday, December 15, 2008


My cousin also beads. Last year I asked her to make snowflakes from an old Martha Stewart kit that I'd had for a long time but never worked up. There are some basic snowflake instructions on the MS site if you're interested.

She made up four of them for me. I have three photographed for this post. The one in the photo above is gigantic.

See how large that first one is? I could hang it in a window. This year N. wants it on the tree.

It seems as though winter is here already.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Let it snow.

All the snow we've had around here put me in the mood for a snowflake necklace. The basic pattern comes from a book I have, but I expanded on it a bit. Being that it's almost all crystals, it's very sparkly.

Mellisa tagged me with the 7 random facts meme. I think I am running out of random facts about myself. We'll soon find out.

  1. I am totally into the holidays this year, probably because I didn't feel well at this time last year. The house is decorated, the tree is trimmed, presents are wrapped and Christmas music is playing every evening. In fact, I think this is going to be a holiday themed list. And I'll check it twice. :)
  2. My Christmas cards are addressed, stamped, and ready to mail. They have been for two weeks. I'm waiting a little while longer to mail them.
  3. I love hot chocolate, but I don't drink it very often.
  4. I keep forgetting to buy candy canes for our tree. When I do remember, all I seem to find are weird ones, like yellow and blue SpongeBob candy canes. Does SpongeBob scream Christmas to you? Me neither.
  5. There's eggnog in my refrigerator right now. For years I would buy it for Mark, which is funny because he doesn't like it and never has. This year I bought it for N to try.
  6. Our pantry is looking pretty bare because N and I raided it this morning for food pantry donations his school is doing. Yesterday I'd brought in a bunch of food for the food pantry donation my work is doing. I should have planned that better and split up the food.
  7. I'm going to buy some supplies after work to make these button ornaments with N. He loves to sew.
Play along if you'd like.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tis the season.

This is the ornament I received from Tamy in the ornament exchange. Pretty, isn't it? That was a fun exchange. Tamy is giving away more handpainted ornaments. Check out her blog for details.

It's snowing here today. (Too bad my snow boots haven't arrived yet!) N is all caught up with his spelling homework for the week, so I think tonight we are going make ornaments and drink hot chocolate. Maybe we'll put in a Christmas movie, too. Doesn't that sound cozy?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Snowflakes and snow boots.

After a very nice Thanksgiving weekend during which we ate too much, spent time with our friends, celebrated our 12-year wedding anniversary, and put up the Christmas tree, we woke up to snow this morning. The snow reminded me that I wanted to show you what I made for the my partner in the 2008 Blogger's Ornament Exchange.

I love making beaded snowflakes for some reason. In this exchange, you send an ornament to one person, but receive one from someone else. I'll show you what I received after I take a picture of it.

Last night we went through our snow boots and found that none of N's fit him. I ordered a red pair for him online. Then I decided that I needed a new pair of boots, too. Mine are probably more than ten years old and they only come up to a little above the ankle. That means that here in Chicago I usually end up with more snow inside my boots than I'd like!

And then, because I had a $25 coupon, I made an impulse purchase.

I don't usually wear white shoes, so hopefully these won't seem too white to me.

They're whimsical and fun. And also easy to return if I don't like them in person.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A change.

I didn't know I was looking for for a tray, but when I found this it seemed obvious.

I cut a bead mat to fit and it became my new beading tray. It's bigger than my others - and prettier, too! I love it.

I did some beading today. Mark and N went out for a while. The house was quiet. A very nice afternoon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey day.

I've been wearing this necklace all week. N made the pendant for me at school. I added a jumpring and chain.

It's the cutest turkey I've ever seen.

He's been drawing turkeys like crazy, too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I enjoy reading the Resurrection Fern blog. Margie makes some imaginative things -- like sweaters for snails! -- and often has beautiful photos of nature.

I told my mom about the little felted bowls and acorns Margie had made and she asked me to send her the tutorial. The next thing I knew, I had some of my very own.

Thanks, Mom!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The girl in the painting.

Lately I've been paying attention to paintings and sketches in antique malls. I found this girl a few months ago for a mere $14. I liked the shape of the frame, but not the color. It was a dark stain, which really made the whole thing very dark. I painted the frame a very light pink and put the painting in our office. The signature at the bottom indicates it was painted in 1963.

Something about her reminded me of myself as a young girl. When my mom saw it that was also the first thing she thought. The woman at the register said the girl looked mischievous, but I don't agree. To me, she looks quiet and a little sad. I wonder who she is waiting for?

How interesting that two people can look at the same painting and see such very different things.

What do you see?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The chain gang.

The last store I visited in New York was Metalliferous. Wow! I could have spent hours there. I boosted my supply of chain and chandelier findings.

Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Of wood and sequins.

After being overcome by the sparkly wall at M & J Trimmings, I visited several stores, but only bought this wooden pendant and some greenish sequins. I'm not sure what it is about bead stores in New York that makes me want to buy sequins.

See you Friday.

Monday, November 10, 2008

And the angels sang.

After Toho Shoji, I stopped at M & J Trimming. Not necessarily a bead store, but they did have some beads. This store was beautiful.

I wish I had a better picture to depict the insane sparkliness (Is that even a word?) of this wall. I had to stand in front of it for a long, long time.

I swear I heard angels sing. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bead Store: Toho Shoji

While we were in New York I had the chance to visit several bead stores, which I'll share with you over the next few posts. The first one I went to -- and my favorite one -- was Toho Shoji NY. I wish I could share with you everything I bought there, but some things are intended to be made into gifts. I'll be sure to show you the finished products after the holidays.

I loved these Japenese Tensha Beads.

And I found a little sparkle, too.

The shop was easy to find and everyone was very nice. It was fun flipping through the Japanese beading magazines, too.

Look at the ornaments beaded from crystals on this wreath. This was displayed in the window.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What does it take?

To run a marathon? Endurance. Motivation. Support. Determination.

What does it take to stand out in the cold for 2-1/2 hours being pushed around by the crowd while waiting to cheer on your runner? Endurance. Motivation. Determination.


Mark finally reached his goal of running in the New York City Marathon this past weekend. It was his 10th marathon in four years. His first one was in Chicago in 2004. His most grueling marathon was last year in Chicago in unseasonably hot 90+ degree weather.

After all that, I missed Mark when he ran past me. I was concentrating so hard on looking at the runners trying to see him that I gave myself a headache. I'm still upset that I missed him.

I got a few pictures of some other characters, like Marily Monroe...

A bunny man...

and Minnie Mouse.

Later I learned that Mark had made friends with Minnie Mouse while waiting for the marathon to begin in the morning.

Here's Mark with his running friends Deirdre and Jeremy.

It was cold and windy for the NYC marathon. He said the bridges were killers. He wanted to run it in 3:50. Because of the conditions he ran it in 4:05:18. I think that's awesome.

I wanted to take a cab back to the hotel after standing outside for 2-1/2 hours. Instead, I walked 19 blocks. And I stopped at Barnes & Noble for a hot drink along the way. That was awesome.

He's not hanging up his marathon shoes just yet. He still has plenty of endurance, motivation, and determination to keep running marathons. And I'll be supporting him all the way.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I like polka dots quite a lot.

It's fun to look at the vintage beads available on Etsy. I've seen polka dot beads in blue, orange, and yellow and thought they were cute. These deep red beads appealed to me right away. I hadn't seen them in this color previously. I found them at Original Bead.

Aren't they fun? In a way they remind me of red toadstools.