Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I've liked The Black Apple for some time and enjoy reading Emily's blog, Inside a Black Apple as well. Her shop was the second Etsy shop I discovered. (Jenn Maruska Design was the first.)

When Emily posted on her blog about this painting, entitled Fern, I immediately loved it. I have several of her prints, but no originals. I decided that if I was lucky enough to get it during her shop update, I would splurge. Sort of an I'm-[almost]-completely-healed-from-surgery-and-infection gift to myself.

I think everything in her originals update sold out in under five minutes! It was amazing to see. Every time I refreshed several items would be gone.

But I was lucky.

It took me a little while to recover from the shock of being fortunate enough to purchase this painting. Knowing how fast items in her updates sell is very stressful!

How sweet are those toadstools?

Thanks to Emily for letting me use her photos.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Another one bites the dust.

Another weekend past. I'd like another few days, please.

I haven't given you an update on my surgery recovery in a while, so here's the deal... The wound tunnel stalled in healing for several weeks, so I sought a second opinion with a surgeon. My doctor had thought it might need to be stitched up, but luckily that wasn't the case. The surgeon instructed me on a new way of packing the wound with different material and it's made a difference. It's down from 4 to 4-1/2 cm to about 2 cm.

With the new way of caring for the wound I haven't had any pain, either during packing or at any other time, which has been great. And yesterday the recliner left the family room! Woo-hoo!

On Saturday we went to my brother's in Chicago to hang out for the day with my mom, and my other brother and his three (soon to be four!) boys. Including N., there were five boys running around! Someone (not me) needs to have a little girl sometime soon, I think. We ate, we talked, we laughed, and had a good time.

By the time we got home I was exhausted. I think with feeling so much better this past week I may have been overdoing it. (Yes, Mom, I think I did overdo it this week, even though I wouldn't admit it before. I am your daughter after all!)

That night I was sleeping on the couch at 7 p.m. while watching Goosebumps with N., then finally gave up and went to bed 8 p.m. and slept for 10 hours. Yesterday the most strenuous thing I did was put Tomato Pesto Soup in the slow cooker (this recipe is very similar to the one I used). The rest of my day was spent relaxing: watching some taped television shows, doing a little bit of this and that around the house, a tiny bit of beading, catching up on blog reading, and reading Shannon Hale's latest young adult book, Book of a Thousand Days. And I slept for 10 hours again last night!

The beaded bag is one made by my youngest brother's mother-in-law. I received it for a baby shower gift. N.'s nursery was decorated with bumble bees.

Friday, January 25, 2008


More vintage flowers.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The birds.

I don't know why, but somehow shopping on Etsy has led me to like birds. I think I might have mentioned this before.

Anyway, I received this little red bird plate from Mordenti Pottery for Christmas.

I'd been lurking in Alicia's shop for a while and added it to my Christmas list. Currently in her shop is this tile, which I really like.

I gave this pouch from The Cherry Stem to a friend.

I showed you my current wallet from Moxie and Oliver once before, but here's a photo of the full pattern.

Even my 2008 calendar from Joom has birds!

Birds go with me to the library, thanks to iSew.

I'm even spreading the bird love to others. This is my mom's custom sewing book from Jenn Maruska Design.

I don't own this one, but I like it. It's from Jump Up and Down. (Psst! It was still available this morning!)

I think that's enough bird love for one day.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I miss you, too.

Last night I was going through N.'s jean pockets and found this note that made my heart hurt a little.

I miss you, too, sweet boy. I miss you, too.

But you still have to go to school.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What's old is new again.

Sometimes I like to browse through Etsy to see what's out there. Last week I was doing just that when I came across this beautiful necklace from Star Willow Studio. Laura makes her pieces with vintage beads and components. I was quick to snatch this one up; Laura said she had just found the aqua brooch that same day!

I love that she added the small rhinestone detail to the clasp of the necklace as well.

Ah, the sparkle factor. I love it.

I also purchased some very simple earrings to go with it. Laura is changing out the pearl for one that matches the necklace and is using leverbacks instead of ear wires.

Here are some other items from her shop I have my eye on.

Oh my gosh, it is still freezing here. Yesterday we braved the cold to go out to lunch and grocery shopping. While I was getting the mail, I took a deep breath and my teeth hurt from the cold!


Thursday, January 17, 2008


I planned this one out using peyote stitch graph paper to design the snowflake pattern and chart out the size of the ring basket. Because the bottom of ring baskets are made up of three flaps sewn together, I change the size of the basket by determining the size of the bottom flaps first. I was very pleased with how this one turned out.

It's cold here. I hope it's warmer where you are.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I dream of butterflies...

I made this pendant in a Tracy Stanley workshop. She's a very fun teacher. It was the first time I'd done any riveting - that can get addictive!

The front is sterling, the beads are a variety of semi-precious, pearls, and Karen Hill Tribe silver.

The back is copper and I stamped a little saying on it, "I dream of butterflies fluttering softly in the wind."

In keeping with my fondness for butterflies I registered for this class at Bead & Button in June. I have to bring the beads to use in it, so I'll have to look and see what I have. I might have to do some bead shopping. Oh, no, that would be torture!

While I was at it, I registered my mom for this bracelet class with Marcia DeCoster. Pretty, isn't it?

Now if June would just get here...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday, Monday.

Why does the weekend go by so fast?

This is my current wallet, from Moxie and Oliver. Isn't it cute?! The hummingbird reminds me of my grandparents. They had a hummingbird feeder outside their dining area window and had many hummingbirds come to visit for dinner.

When we lived in our townhouse, I planted impatiens along the sidewalk. One day I stepped out my front door and saw what looked like a large bee fluttering amongst the flowers. When I realized it was a hummingbird, I stood and watched it for a time. When it was finished, it flew up and touched me on the ankle with it's beak and flew away.

Here's hoping the work week goes by as quickly as the weekend did.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Garden party earrings.

I took a break from the seed bead project I'm working on to play with semi-precious stones (citrine and rhodolite), Swarovski crystal, and sterling silver.

I wish I had more of the bead caps. They remind me of whimsical flowers. They came from the collection of a former NanC Meinhardt customer. I bought all she had, which was only three. I used the other one on my stamped bracelet.

I took the class for the stamped bracelet from Lisa Niven Kelly one year at Bead & Button. She's teaching the class again this year. It's a lot of fun to play around with things to stamp on. I have more bracelets I'll show you another time. This is my favorite because it has N.'s name on it with words that make me think of him. I also stamped the inside with his birthdate.

Registration for this year's Bead & Button Show starts next week. I'm thinking about taking this class from Barb Switzer. I've never taken a class with her before.

N. has been busy drawing a lot of pictures, mostly of Chicago. He's obsessed with Chicago and the Sears Tower.

I like how he spelled city. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Last night I sat down to watch a show I'd taped when I heard the newscaster say there was a tornado near an intersection in Wisconsin that I'm familiar with. It took me a second to place it, but then I realized it was close to my aunt's house! I ran to the phone to call her and luckily everyone was fine.

Unfortunately, my cousin's boyfriend knows a family who lost their home.

My aunt had a harrowing drive home from work in the tornado weather, but arrived safely. It's unusual for tornadoes to touch down in Northeastern Illinois/Southeastern Wisconsin at any time of the year, but particularly so in January!

A few years ago I saw a funnel cloud, but it did not touch down. That was scary enough. The crazy thing is that all of our neighbors at the time were out on their front lawn looking at the funnel cloud! Not me; I was indoors with Mark and N. poised to go to the basement if necessary.

When I picked N. up from school yesterday one of the boys in the classroom was crying because there was a tornado warning. The teacher asked me to talk to him and tell him that there weren't any tornadoes around when I was driving to the school. While there weren't any tornadoes right around here, I feel badly that he probably went home and heard about the tornadoes close by in Wisconsin.

I hope you are safe and enjoying good weather wherever you are.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Snowflakes and Mocha.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Morris

If you haven't visited Jennifer Morris Beads & Jewelry, you really should. The eye candy factor alone is phenomenal! Be sure to look at her sold items. I am amazed by what she can make with polymer clay. After lurking around her shop for some time, I purchased these earrings in December. So pretty. I'd like a pair of dangly earrings from her shop next time.

N. did want to get up for school this morning. I felt for him. He spent almost all of last week fighting strep throat. After being on Amoxicillan for two days, he continued to worsen. We took him to the ER in the middle of the night on Thursday. He got a shot of antibiotics and a prescription for something stronger. That finally seems to be doing the trick. Today is probably the best he's felt and it's time to go back to school!

As for me, I slept in my bed for three hours last night before my stomach started to hurt around the wound. Then I spent the remainder of the night sleeping in the recliner, but still...three hours in my bed! Maybe tonight it will be longer.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Passion Flower Vessel.

I must admit, I got started on my 2008 resolution to use some of what I have a little bit early. I own way too many bead kits! During late November and December I worked on this Passion Flower Vessel kit by Laura McCabe. I planned to work on it way back in May, but that didn't work out. Check out the kit contents.

I asked N. what I should put in it and he said, "beads."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A quiet start.

I had hoped 2008 would start out as a healthier year, but so far that's not the case. Yesterday we went to see The Water Horse (good movie!) with N. He was a little warm before we set out for lunch and the movie, but he seemed in good spirits and had energy. He had a healthy appetite for lunch and even wanted popcorn during the movie. After eating his popcorn he crashed. He slept through most of it and says he doesn't really remember much.

His fever was higher last night. He swore he didn't have a sore throat, but by watching him I could see it was indeed quite sore. He was hoping to avoid the dreaded throat culture at the doctor's office.

Unfortunately, that was not to be. We went to the pediatrician at lunch time and found out my suspicions were correct; he has strep throat.

Season is taking good care of him and hasn't left his side.

Our friends Aaron and Andrea were in town this past weekend. It's always good to see them. We took them to a local restaurant we like that overlooks the lake. Then Andrea and I went shopping.

During our shopping excursion I bought a new shelf for the dining room.

The rose bag on the shelf was made by my brother's mother-in-law. It's crocheted with beads. I gave her a cross stitch pattern, beads, and crochet...thread?...yarn?...and received this back! She strings ALL of the beads before she begins crocheting.

Don't tell anyone, but it has a roll of toilet paper in it to keep it upright.

I don't usually make resolutions, but this year I thought I'd make a few:
  1. When the wound track is healed and doesn't need to be packed anymore, Mark and I will celebrate with a date night. We'll even go to a restaurant that needs reservations. (I just looked for a post to link to about the wound track and couldn't find one. Did I mention on here that I developed a second infection that created a deep tunnel in my belly button? That's why I needed the PICC line. It started out being almost 7 cm deep and 2 cm wide. Mark has to pack it morning and night. That's a good time, let me tell you. Infection after surgery is really not fun. The good news is that the first wound that had to be packed is now fully healed.)

  2. Sleep in my bed instead of the recliner.

  3. Learn how to make granny squares. (Mom, if you're reading this, you'd better add the following to your resolutions: "Teach Tina to make granny squares.")

  4. Use what I have. Work up some of the bead kits I have before I buy more beads.

  5. Decide if I'm going to take a class at the Bead & Button Show.
That's enough for now.

I hope your 2008 is off to a cheery start!