Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back from Disney World.

Last week we went to Disney World with Mark's family. Our summer so far hasn't been too hot in the Chicago area, so we weren't prepared for the heat and humidity of Florida!

Our first day at the Magic Kingdom knocked us out; we left at 2 p.m. to go back to the pool at the hotel. Later that evening we took a boat trip to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

On Monday we went to Epcot. N had a great time there exploring all the science areas. When we went on the ride inside the big ball, he thought he really went to space. Before we got on he was worried about there being enough oxygen.

We spent a lot of time riding trains and monorails throughout our trip. We also watched model railroads. Mark and I went to Disney about seven years ago and I don't think we rode one train. N was able to spot them all and made sure we rode them or at least watched them go by.

The model railroad at Epcot is also entertaining because of the small anole lizards that are climbing on the houses and jumping around.

We enjoyed Sea World on Tuesday. On Wednesday we went to a water park.

Animal Kingdom was Mark's favorite park. We had a safari celebration dinner there that was a lot of fun.

We went on a safari ride before the dinner. It was slower and had more information than their regular safari ride. It was followed by dinner in an African restaurant. The food was so good.

The highlight of N's day was an autograph and photo with Chip -n- Dale. We had practically stalked them through the other parks with no luck. N was worried he wasn't going to meet them on our trip, but luckily they were waiting for us right outside Animal Kingdom.

On Friday we visited Hollywood Studios, which was one of my favorites. N was excited that a High School Musical parade was going by just as we walked into the park.

While I was away, Annie published a short interview with me on her blog. I had the honor of being her very first Etsy customer one year ago.

It's good to be home.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I'll be back soon.

I'm heading out of town this weekend and will be away from the blog for a week or so.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Crystal bracelets.

A long time ago nearly every beader among my friends and family was making these bracelets. We loved them! I learned how to make them at a class at Caravan Beads in Chicago, but later a Beadwork book had the pattern for them. In the pink one below I made a beaded bead for the clasp.

They are sparkly and fun. I have some others that I can show you another time. Most of mine seem to be monochromatic.

At the time I thought these bracelets were really expensive to make because of all the bicone crystals. Little did I know I was on a slippery beaded slope. Those were the days before I discovered semi-precious stones.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Art fair.

This weekend N. and I went to an art fair where we had the pleasure of meeting Amie King of Amy King Fine Art Jewelry. I'd long admired her jewelry in her Etsy shop and when I read on her blog that she was going to be in Orland Park, I thought it would be fun to see her artful pieces in person. We had a really nice chat and I hope she makes it back to the Chicagoland area soon.

I went with the intention of looking closely at this or this, but I walked away with this beautiful piece instead. The rabbit is from an old tobacco tin. I love the antique look of it.

She also stamps the back. Given that I also like stamping metal, I like this finishing touch.

After purchasing this necklace, N. and I walked around and admired other artists' work. He especially liked a pottery artist who was making vases in front of his booth. That was a very smart move, as all the kids at the art fair made their parents stop to watch. N. was enthralled with the whole process and now wants to learn how to work to with clay. He talked me into buying him a piece for his room.

There was also a bus to paint on and we stopped there so N. could paint a picture of his pottery piece on the bus.

We had a snack at Panera and then found ourselves at Amie's booth again. This time I asked her if she'd brought a piece with her I'd seen in her Etsy shop. The photos in the rest of this post are from Amie's shop.

And it came home with me, too.

Amie's work looks like it would be at home in the Sundance catalog.

While we were walking around, I learned that N. thought an art fair is a place where people go to get rid of the artwork they don't want anymore, sort of like a garage sale. When I explained that the artists are making their work to sell and this is how many of them make money to live on, his eyes lit up. He thought that was a fantastic idea, but he was disappointed that there weren't any artists making paper sculptures because that's what he likes to make. Later that night at his grandparents' house, he made his own art fair with paper bowl painted "pottery."

I'd say he enjoyed the art fair, too.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pod ring.

I bought this ring from Janice Berkebile of Wired Arts. I wanted to take this class with her, but ended up taking another one instead. This ring is fun to wear because people have all sorts of reactions to it. Usually when I wear it N. says, "She's wearing that crazy ring again."

I like that it's different; why wear the same jewelry everyone else is wearing?

Janice was gracious enough to let me show you this photo from her site.

Hey! I think that's my ring on the bottom left!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jenn's earrings.

A pair of earrings I made for my friend Jenn for her birthday.

Vintage Czech glass beads, modern Czech glass beads, Swarovski crystal, vintage enameled flowers, and sterling silver.

Jenn's having a birthday giveaway over at her blog. Go check it out and wish her a happy day.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

Yesterday I went to a thrift store and an antique mall looking for some ornate frames that I could paint and hang in a grouping. I saw a lot of frames I liked, but didn't find any prices I liked. The search is still on.

I did, however come across a mirror that I really liked. I liked the price, too, so it came home with me. My original intention was to paint the frame of the mirror white and to hang it either in my hallway or family room. But, as I was unwrapping it in the foyer, I thought I might like it there.

Now I'm thinking that, other than cleaning it up a bit, I will leave the finish on it as is.

I'm still trying to decide if this is where I want to leave it. I had another mirror hanging in this spot previously that was a gift from my mom. I would like to move that one to the office, but that would mean moving Mark's Beatles picture.

Right now it's the only room in the house where he's hung a picture that he likes on the wall, so I don't want to take it down.

Mark and N. are at the beach, so this would be a good time to look around the house with an eye for rearranging.

Friday, July 4, 2008

N. Necklace.

When N. was about 18 months old, I asked Romero Designs to create a charm from one of N.'s photos. There were very nice and great to deal with and it looks like they've expanded their line. I have often thought I should get more charms and make a charm bracelet chronicling N. over the years.

I made this simple necklace for the charm and I used to wear it a lot. Now that he's older, I am wondering if I should go ahead and start some sort of charm bracelet. It seems odd to wear a baby photo around my neck when he's seven if it's not in a locket.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Last weekend my brother Toby graduated from grad school. He did the nights and weekends thing for long time. At times I'm sure he was sick of it and wanted to quit, but he persevered.

The graduation was at Navy Pier and the weather was grand. He was surrounded by friends and family who were all so happy for him and very proud indeed - especially our mom.

Great job, little brother.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

And... I'm back.

Well, I've actually been back for over a week, but I came down with a sinus infection upon our return and have been trying to recover.

Mark and N. accompanied me on my San Francisco business trip. Our first evening there we rode the cable car and had dinner.

They played during the day while I worked. Then we had dinner together.

We stayed an extra day and decided to spend it at Muir Woods and Sausalito.

We spent as much time as we could by the water.

The best part of the trip was meeting two of my favorite blogging friends, Ginny and Jenn.

I learned a lot of interesting information for work, saw some sights, and spent time with friends and family. All in all a great trip.