Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Etsy Favorite: imogene and annie

I really love the style of Annie's Etsy shop, imogene and annie. Annie also has another an online shop, imogene, where she offers her wares as well as other indie artists. She's almost finished with a challenge she gave herself to start the new year: to create a new piece of jewelry every weekday between January 22 and February 29. You can find the pieces that are still available from the challenge in her Etsy shop. And, she's currently having a sale on some of her pieces, including the tree necklace that I have.

It's hard to only pick a few favorites, but these top my list right now.

This peacock necklace has already sold, but I still wanted to show it to you because I think it's amazing.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Motivation needed.

I only need to make one more petal for this brooch before I can start work on the center and put the piece together. I'm close to being finished with this piece, so why can't I get up the motivation to finish it?

This morning I played around with the color palette for my next project. No! I must finish this one first!

Tonight. I will at least make the last petal tonight.


Sunday, February 24, 2008


Change in weekend plans: get lots of rest (check; 15 hours last night) drink plenty of fluids (check; I'm drinking tea like crazy), and take your medicine (check; pain reliever and antibiotic).

N. and I spent our day yesterday going from his doctor to mine. We both have strep throat and I have a sinus infection, too. He did not get to go to the birthday party, which made him very sad.

Late in the afternoon yesterday I was so cold from fever that I was literally shaking and my teeth were chattering. N. took care of me by bringing me blankets upon blankets. He's a sweetheart.

Mark and I did have our date on Friday. He took me to see Martin Short. It was a very funny, entertaining show. We had a great time. I don't know how long this link will be good, but here's an article.

I'll leave you with this beaded piece my cousin Amy made.

The couch is calling.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Take a deep breath.

I made this necklace to wear to a special event my work was putting on several years ago. It's sterling silver and various semi precious stones.

We have a busy weekend of fun ahead of us starting tonight. Mark and I have a special date this evening that he planned out. I'll tell you more about that next time.

Tomorrow my mom is bringing N. to my nephew's birthday party. My brother lives quite far from me and my stamina isn't quite back to where it should be (and tonight will be a late night), so she's going to take N. for me. On Sunday Mark is going to take N. to work with him for a little while and then he and I might have another date while N. spends the afternoon with his grandparents. Sometime during the weekend the house needs to be cleaned and laundry needs to be done.

Now I'm giong to go enjoy a cup of tea before plunging into my workday and the weekend. See you next week.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Etsy Favorite: April Kawaoka

I like hoop earrings. They are my go-to earrings when I don't know what else to wear on the days I want to be casual. I had a pair that my mom bought that I loved and wore all the time. And then one evening I realized I'd lost one. I was so upset. I looked everywhere, but I'd been to a lot of places that day and I don't know when it fell off. So, I went to the jewelry store where she'd bought them and purchased what I thought was the same pair. Unfortunately, during the time I'd had my hoops they'd changed how they were made, and in my opinion, not for the better. So I returned them.

That's when I decided to look through my favorite Etsy shops and I rediscovered a listing I'd saved for swirl hooked earrings in April Kawaoka's shop. I received them last night and I love them! I'm wearing them today. They're even prettier than in the photo and they look great on.

Some other jewelry I like in her shop...

My bloggy friend Melissa tagged me to list seven random facts about myself. Here are the rules:

  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
I know many of you have done this before, so I'll leave it open to you to decide if you want to participate. If you're reading this, you can consider yourself tagged!

And now on to the facts...

  1. Winter is usually one of my favorite seasons, but this year I'm ready for it to be over. I'm tired of days with a high temp of 5 degrees.
  2. I'm allergic to dairy, but sometimes I eat things like pizza anyway.
  3. My favorite Starbucks drink right now is an orange mocha with soy. I'm trying to cut back on coffee, so instead I've been drinking hot soy chocolate milk with orange extract in it. It's surprisingly good.
  4. My feet grew 1/2 size longer while I was pregnant with N.
  5. I like to play in puddles with N. This involves splashing and singing and generally acting like a nut.
  6. It takes me a while to fall asleep and I am a light sleeper. It's very annoying. I wish I was one of those people who could fall asleep right away wherever they are and sleep deeply. I have a hard time sleeping in hotels, too.
  7. If I buy something in a store where a salesperson has to help me, and then decide I want to return the item, I usually go to a different store location to return it. I just did that with the hoop earrings. It's like I don't want the salesperson to know I changed my mind or I don't want to hurt their feelings - buy why would they care?
Now you know a little bit more about me. Let me know if you decide to participate.

Until next time...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

You know you watch too much Food Network when...

The Food Network Channel is one that is on quite often in our house. It's something I can watch while beading or doing things around the house without worrying about N. seeing inappropriate stuff (like the time Friends was on and wasn't paying any attention until he asked me what "slutty" means).

But now I fear he has been exposed to too much Food Network. I present to you these examples:
  • When I use vanilla extract in baking, N. will sometimes ask me if I'm using real or artificial because "there's never a good time to use artificial vanilla." (Thanks, Ina.) Luckily, I agree and my vanilla comes from The Spice House.
  • I recently heard N. playing at cooking. He was making dinner for "when Jeffrey gets home." (Again, thanks, Ina.)
  • Sometimes he makes paper versions of the cakes he sees on Ace of Cakes.
  • If I ask him what he wants to watch, he'll ask if Rachael's Vacation is on.
And this is my favorite:

  • Last night I served homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner. N. took a small sip of the soup and seemed to think about it, then took another bite. I asked him if he liked it and he said, "It has a good flavor, but there are too many textures for my liking." (Thanks, Iron Chef America.)
It's a good thing we're getting out of the house today.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Happy Friday, everyone! I am looking forward to the weekend.

In case you were wondering, we did indeed go to Long John Silver's for dinner last night. This one is extra special because it's half Long John Silver's, half Taco Bell. Swanky. After listening to N. telling us over and over he wanted to go to "Fish Ahoy," we finally went. What did N. have for dinner after all of that? Two tacos from the Taco Bell half. Figures.

While I was at my mom's she gave me my finished Crewelwork piece!

Here are some details.

And the complete piece.

This was from a kit by Elsa Williams. I love how Mom wrapped her signature "Luv U, Mom 2008" around the flower stems. Now the piece just needs to be framed.

I sometimes think I'd like to learn how to do crewelwork. At one point I was going to buy a kit by Sue Hawkins, but never did. Maybe one day...

I saw on the news this morning that we could be getting a foot of snow on Sunday. I hope that's not the case; there's nowhere left to put the shoveled snow around here!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

♥ Happy Valentine's Day! ♥

I hope your Valentine's Day is coming along nicely. My day started out by waking up, going downstairs, and finding that Mark had left me flowers and chocolates. How very sweet!

Today I'm wearing my favorite necklace to wear on Valentine's Day, made by Kristen of Mood Swing Studio. And N. is giving out these monkey valentines we made to his class. The sock monkey stamp is from Craft Pudding. She even made a custom name stamp for him, which he loves and wants to stamp on everything!

While I'm thinking of it, I thought I'd share another one of my Mood Swing Studio necklaces, from Kristen's Storybook Charm series. The pendant is two-sided.

Above photos courtesy of Mood Swing Studios.

Mark and I are going to officially celebrate Valentine's Day in a few weeks by going to dinner and a movie. Tonight N. and I are going to my mom's to bring her a sweet gift. She said she made chili we could have for dinner, but I have a feeling N. will be doing some fast talking to get us to go to Long John Silvers. He loves that place. How's that for a swanky Valentine's Day dinner?

What are your Valentine's Day plans?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Etsy Favorite: String of Blue

I thought I'd share another of my Etsy favorites with you, String of Blue.

I received this necklace for Christmas. I love the tourmaline stones.

A few favorites from her shop...

I hope Tuesday is treating you well.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Preserving the past.

I decided to stop at the antique shop today before picking N. up from school because I wanted to find a doily to put on my black table. I love that the table looks like it's seen some life, but the top is a bit damaged. I don't want to refinish it, so a doily seemed like the perfect solution. Plus, I thought it would go well with the blue vase I bought the other day.

So this is the one I found. It fits the top of the table pretty well and is in good condition other than for a small tear in the upper left corner.

I think it looks good in its new home.

I spent a little bit of time looking at all the doilies, dresser scarves, and pillow cases that women had embroidered over the years. It brought back fond memories of my grandma. She made all of these things and displayed them in her home.

In the bottom drawer of the dresser, there were lots of old pillow cases. And underneath them all, I found this sweet needlepoint on linen. I just had to bring it home with me. It made me feel sad to think that someone put so much time into stitching this only to have it end up being stuffed in the bottom drawer of a dresser in an antique mall.

At some point I'll frame it and hang it somewhere in my house. I'd like to think the person who stitched it would be happy to have it displayed in my home.

When I went to the register, an older lady was there. We struck up a conversation. She told me she knits blankets for her grandchildren and gives them their blankets when they graduate high school. She has 16 grandchildren and is halfway finished with her blankets. Three of her grandchildren will graduate in 2010, so she has to get moving on those. What a great heirloom she's giving them. I told her about the stockings my mom makes and felt pretty lucky to have such a great heirloom myself.

When I got home I was feeling nostalgic and remembered I have a pillow case that my grandma embroidered. It's hard for me to imagine embroidering all of our pillow cases. My mom said the first time she had pillow cases that weren't embroidered it seemed very odd.

While talking to my mom on the phone this evening, I learned that these hotpads I have were made by my great, great grandma. She covered milk tops with aluminum foil and then crocheted over them. That was during the time when the milkman came to your door to deliver your milk. She was probably in her 80s when she made these. She lived to be 96.

I also learned that my great, great grandma came to the United States from Ireland and was later relocated to Wisconsin on one of the orphan trains when she was about 10. No one knows much about her family or how she was orphaned. This was the first I'd heard of the orphan trains. I cannot imagine how hard that must have been.

I'm happy to have these items made by women in my family and other women who worked hard on their crafts.

I hope my beadwork never ends up in the bottom drawer of a dresser in an antique mall.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow day.

It's a snow day here for me and for N. I'd say that was a smart call all around; in the five seconds it took me to stick my arm out the door for this photo, my arm was covered in snow! It's really blowing. And it's also pretty icy outside.

When I look outside my windows, most of the time all I see is white. I think it's a good time to pick up on my bead project again.

N.'s been enjoying the snow day by making craft projects. Those pink and purple balls of crumpled paper are the eggs from the two birds.

I received the Fern painting the other day. I hung her right outside the kitchen, on a wall viewable from the family room and dining area. It's a little dark in here today, so I don't think you get the full effect of the blue in the sky. I feel like I need to lower the painting a little bit. What do you think?

I found this vase at an antique shop yesterday.

N. wants to play with his friends a few houses down from us and I'm trying to decide if I want to brave the storm to walk him there. It's fierce out there!

While I'm thinking about it I'm off to fold laundry and then back to beading.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Etsy Favorite: TQB Designs.

Today I thought I would share one of my favorite Etsy shops with you: TQB Designs by Lisa Gastelum. I really like how Lisa combines seed beads with silver to create something fresh and modern.

Mark and N. gave me this bracelet...

...and these earrings for Christmas.

Here are a few other items I like from Lisa's shop.

I'm seriously wanting that necklace.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fern-inspired bracelet.

Last night I was looking at the photo of the Fern painting I purchased from The Black Apple and was inspired to make a bracelet using a similar color palette.

This is the result. The stones are citrine, smokey quartz, rhodolite, green garnet, and Swarovski crystal. Sorry the photos are a little dark; snow clouds are blocking the sunlight!

I could not find a clasp in my stash that seemed to go with the piece, so I made up my own. The flowery piece I used is a component I bought from Elemental Adornments at Bead & Button last year. You might remember that I made a necklace from other pieces I bought from Christi. I'm hoping she'll have a booth at the show again this year.

When I finished I realized it would match the earrings I recently made!

N. is enjoying a snow day here. I think we probably got around 8 inches of snow last night. We weren't supposed to have more than 4 inches. Surprisingly, N. was disappointed when he found out there was no school today because they were going to celebrate Groundhog Day by wearing pajamas to school and do fun activities. All is not lost; he's enjoying a pajama day at home right now.

I think we are going to make N.'s valentines for his classmates this year. We might go to my Mom's tomorrow to use some of her stash of supplies. One day I'll have to show you some of the cards she's made; they're really wonderful.

Have a fabulous weekend!