Thursday, May 31, 2007

And How Are You Today?

Yes, here is another pic of my goofy cat Sabrina. She obviously failed her kitten test when it came to the part about not allowing people to photograph anything but you bathing the base of your tail. The expression on her face was so comical I couldn't help but put it up here. I have been working on another patriotic bracelet making fringe on it. I came up with a couple other ideas I want to do, so it kind makes me antsy to finish this bracelet to move on to the next project. If I don't finish one, I will end up with a box of started but not finished projects like I have for sewing and embroidery. There is something very thrilling about the hunt for the perfect supplies and starting the project, but that quickly wanes and it ends up in the started but not finished box.
I am nearing the 1000 mark on my visitor counter, which pleases and surprises me to no end! I enjoy looking at my account that shows where people visiting my blog are coming from. I have had visits from all over the U.S. and also from France, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Japan, and Italy. Very Cool! Thanks for being interested in my jewelry and what I have to say!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Red, White, and Blue Beading Thing Project

Here is my RW&BBT challenge project from Beads and Botanicals. I took it apart 4 times and then couldn't find my round nose pliers to finish the earrings but I really like how it turned out and I love the earrings. I look forward to the next challenge Carla throws at us.

Pirates of the Caribbean 3...

Here it is my review for the new POTC3 movie. LOVED IT! Orlando Bloom FINALLY fulfilled the expectation of being a sexy pirate. I didn't think he pulled it off in the other 2, but WOW he certainly did in this one! Keira Knightly's performance with her character Elizabeth Swan was also amazing. What an awesome roll model for girls to see a strong, smart woman challenging male authority to do what she believes is right and ends up with the goods to show for her hard fought independence. Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow was as always hilarious in his confused and confounded way! Geoffry Rush, who plays Captain Barbosa, was tremendous as always. He is the perfect pirate. He has the swagger, the brogue, and the villany to pull it off and yet you can't help but love him as a bad pirate. He played very well against Keira's Elizabeth. The respect was obvious there that Barbosa didn't think Elizabeth was just another vacant woman with nothing going on upstairs. He was more of a father figure to her than that of her own father. The filmmakers were smart to keep all of the origional supporting cast as the pirate crew and Jack Davenport who plays Admiral Norrington in the movies was really great in all of them, but really came full circle with his character in the third film. If you have the chance~DON'T MISS SEEING IT IN THE THEATER!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Horray for the Red, White, & Blue

No, this isn't my Red, White, and Blue Beading Thing. I didn't get good pics of that so those will be up tomorrow. This is a choker that I made the other night along with 3 bracelets. This is also on Etsy now for your viewing pleasure!

Does Anyone have Tequila?

This is my Lovin' Lime Bracelet which is now on Etsy. I love the way it glows and that is not just my poor photography skills! Check it out won't you?!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Red, White, and Blue Beading Thing

Happy Friday! I am happy, I finished my beading challenge from Beads and Botanicals last night. Well almost finished, I have to finish the earrings as soon as I find my round nose pliers! Have I mentioned that I need to get my work area straightened out? Well, maybe it will happen this weekend. I will get pics of my beading project up for you this afternoon. I am also excited that we will get to go see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 this weekend. Mina wants to go to the water park but I think we will put that off until next weekend to allow the water to warm up a bit (and for me to adapt to the trauma of wearing a swimming suit)! I hope that where ever you are and what ever you are doing this long Memorial Day weekend, you have time for fun, sun, and family. My Aunt Judy is visiting my parents this weekend so I think we will take supper over tomorrow night and visit them. Sunday we have church and then we are helping with the community fun day. Monday, looks like Pirates day~Aarrgh matey (you can't see it but I have my pegleg and eye patch on)! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Watch Out...Monkeys On The Loose!

It's official, today is the last day of school! I can't believe another year has flown by. It seems like just yesterday we were getting ready to send Mina to Kindergarten and now she's ready to be a fifth grader. She made it through the year with perfect attendance which I am very proud of her for! She knows how to get sick on the weekends and be better by Monday! She is a smart cookie so her grades should be pretty great, she has been on high honor roll all year and I don't expect that she will fall off at this point. I just had to brag a bit, mother's right you know. We have a bunch of running to do this afternoon so I doubt very much that I will get any jewelry done today. I need to take time off from the job that keeps me from my real joy! Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ahh summer's almost here...

Well, tomorrow is Mina's last day as a 4th grader. She has promotion to 5th grade at 11am and then school gets out at 12pm. Chris' family fishing trip fell through so he and I will go to promotion and then we will spend the day together. We are greatly looking forward to seeing Pirates of the Caribbean 3 this weekend. We are also going to Grand Island tomorrow because Chris is taking a fishing facilitator class through NE Game and Parks to be a facilitator for GS. Then you can check out fishing tackle from the NE G&P and take the kids fishing. On Thursday, Mina and I are having lunch at McDonald's with our new friends Michelle (she is also my dr.) and her daughter Anna. We are very excited about this. Mina is puppy sitting on Saturday, and I am helping with Buddy Bingo for the Lawrence Fun Day on Sunday. If you are in the area, stop by Lawrence for some old fashioned games and fun all afternoon and evening on Sunday, May 27. Mina is counting down days until the water parks and swimming pools open so she can swim! Next week on Friday we are taking several girls to Camp Cosmo for Science camp for the day. That will be a great day!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Baubles the Bobbing Beaky Bird

Here is Baubles~isn't she cute?! I got her Saturday and she will perk up my work area! More pics soon.

Weekend Notes

Hello! You have survived another weekend and made it to Monday! So have I! We spent Saturday doing fun family stuff. We took Mina and her "adopted" sister Taylor, to Stuhr Museum for free day. We had a great time as we always do when we go there, the girls enjoyed walking through history in Railroad town and all the buildings there. Chris and I enjoyed sharing what historical wisdom we possess with them and watching them run around together. The day was beautiful, temps warm and wind blowing so that it wasn't too warm. We went to the mall afterwards and had pizza. I hit Sam's Club for the supplies for the c-store that I manage and all told we were gone about 12 hours from when we picked up Taylor to when we dropped her off and went home and dropped ourselves! I am working with cleaning my work area on our front porch so that I can sit and work with my jewelry all in one place instead of scattered all over our living room. I bought a beaky bird who will by on my work table so I will get her picture up for you to see my "mascot". I think I will call her Baubles. See you soon!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Funny how...

Life is a long series of funny coincedences, don't you think? Just when things look their bleakest, out pops a ray of hope to show you that you are not in control, but that someone (in my case God) is watching over your life. In December, I started going to counseling because I was pretty low in the bottom of life's brine. I felt even more depressed than I had normally felt, and at that moment used up and thrown out. My brother had moved last summer taking my nieces and nephew to Kansas, and I had a hard time with missing being with the kids, and the support that Mark and Cheryl had given in caring for our parents. Summer is also very difficult at work, due to the fact that a large part of my job is working with our fuel inventory (I work for a chain of gas stations doing the bookwork) and that gets pretty crazy when the farmers start up their irrigation pivots. The end of June, all of July and August, and much of September is spent up to my eyeballs in fuel bill of ladings, inventory sheets, reconcilation reports, and finally the state fuel reports. I bring a great deal of my fuel work home with me, because most of the time I spend at work is doing books and entering the data on the computer. There are just not enough hours in the days sometimes. So relationship issues, work issues, and just keeping up with life as a Mom, Wife, Daughter, Worker, Friend, Girl Scout Leader, and Sunday School Teacher had left very little for who I am for me inside of me. As Bilbo tells Gandalf in Fellowship of the Rings, "I feel like butter spread too thin over too much bread" (big Lord of the Rings fan!). So I started counseling.
Through counseling, a change in medication for my depression, the support of my wonderful husband and daughter, I have learned to see my life through different eyes. I have just started reading "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne and it talks about the law of attraction to the point that you can get anything you want in your life by applying that law to get it. (I have oversimplified but I did just start the book). So I come to the funny how ... title~I started counseling in Dec., which improved my outlook and self esteem and through an illness I started going to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Dr. Chris was in the bead store one day with me and picked up a flier for the Central NE Bead Show in March in Kearney. My new and improved outlook (and optimistic husband and encouraging friend Carla) got me to enter my jewelry in the design contest. Yes, I went a tad overboard and entered 7 items, but I came out of it with 2 honorable mentions and a better understanding of design contests. Two weeks later, I started this blog, and my Etsy site. The ladies at the ENT clinic loved my stuff, and I was invited to exhibit my jewelry at the craft show in Sept, and Nov. I sold a bracelet to Leslie, whom I have become friends with through Mina and Taylor being friends and Leslie also exhibits her craft work at the very same show I was invited to. My Dr and I run into each other all the time at Wal-mart and last week we were talking and decided to get together to have lunch, coffee, or whatever. So Mina and I are meeting with her and her daughter next week for lunch. I went from being worn down and wanting to be left alone (really the last thing I needed) to being connected and have more friends and blessings than I can count. Well, I am off to bead, enjoy the evening!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Caribbean Blues Bracelet

Here is the finished fringed bracelet with lots of lovely blues! It reminds me of the pics of the clear crystal waters in the Caribbean. The fringe is made with 11's and 15's and Delicas and topped with crystals, drop beads, quartz chips, cats eye beads, and Czech glass beads. I love it!

My Aspiring Artist

This lovely mug was made by Mina in art at school for me for Mother's Day. Isn't it cute?! She even drew a smiley face blowing raspberries at me on the lid and the nob is a girl with hair. On the MOM on the mug, the "O" has ponytails and a beautiful smile!

Damp Tuesday

Here in Lawrence this am it is damp and muddy. We had about 1.5 inches of rain last night. Nice rain and a cool breeze made sleeping wonderful last night. We didn't realize that our heater was still engaged to turn on, and with the cool breezes and all the windows open, the cats had a balmy 80 degree back porch to sleep on! We couldn't hear the heater running with the window fans running, so it was warm for the kitties last night. I finished fringing the blue bracelet, so I will get pics of that up for you this afternoon when I get home. Lots of fringe and crystals. Quite beautiful! I am going on to the next project from a beading magazine~it uses resin rondelles that end up looking like gumdrops. Then I have the Red, White, and Blue beading thing challenge from Beads and Botanicals, and I am venturing into the land of free form peyote bracelets. Oh so many projects...which to choose from! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Good Monday to You!

Hello! I hope that your weekend was restful and refreshing! I got a wonderful gift certificate from Mina and Chris for a European facial for Mother's Day. I have never had that particular spa treatment so that will be very nice! I spent yesterday afternoon/evening cleaning out Mina's dresser drawers, replacing winter clothes with summer ones and evaluating if pants that fit now will still fit in August. Her school gets out May 23 and starts back on August 14. That certainly seems very short for summer break, but I am sure that by the 14th I will be ready to send her back to school. We have several GS camps to attend and that will make time fly by, of course the thing Mina is looking forward to most is swimming! She is a little fish, and lives in the pool during the summer. She swims way better than I do! Don't forget the postage rates change in the U.S. today, that's what I am doing~adding three cent stamps to all of our statement envelopes so they can go in the mail! Thank heaven for the self adhesive stamps! Have a good day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mom's Heart

Isn't it pretty?! I love the beads that are on with the copper, they just glow! It will be beautiful hanging in the window, Carla does such fabulous work with the metals. All I get to take credit for is the bottom dangle. The heart has been in my beads, and it called to me for this project.

Yeah Moms!

You know Moms and Dads really rock! Since this weekend is Mother's Day let's focus on the Mom part of that equation. I think that being a good parent is one of the hardest jobs around. You don't want to be mean and you want to be fair, but darn it sometimes that just doesn't work. We love our kids so much and you want to protect them especially when you are not with them, but in order for them to mature into useful, caring individuals we have to let them out into the very world we want to protect them from. It's like that Army slogan~"The toughest job you'll ever love". Even women who don't have kids (through choice or nature), are caring to other people's children. Before we had Mina, my "daughter" was my niece Caitlyn. I loved her so much that it hurt to leave her, and we would both end up crying. She filled the void in my heart where the child I hadn't had yet (but wanted desperately)would eventually fill. I still love her so much it hurts, and miss her that much too. We see each other seldom and don't talk as often as we should. She is a freshman now and 15, which is a very busy age. She has a life of her own now, and I am designated as a sideline sitter. Mina is growing up fast too, almost 10 (in July) and will be a fifth grader in 8 days when this school year winds up. Before long I will be a sideline sitter in her world too. Man this is getting DEPRESSING!! On the plus side, I have been going to therapy and working on me as a person, so I will hopefully not be pathetic when that sideline invitation arrives! I told my husband last night that I have more friends now than I did when I was in school, which is a wonderful thing! As for my Mom, it is hard to see her and have memories of when I was growing up. My Mom has Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disease that affects fine motor skills, balance, muscles, etc. and at time she has had pretty debilitating depression. I unfortunately have inherited the chemical imbalance for the depression and have been treating mine with medicine and therapy for about 10 years now. Mom has difficulty moving around and has several other medical conditions that limit her mobility and cause her a great deal of pain. I purchased one of Carla's beautiful bronze sun catchers and added a longer dangle at the bottom and a large heart crystal. I will post the picture of it this afternoon. This is my gift to my Mom for Mother's Day (besides probably dinner) since she gave me my heart to begin with and taught me how to use it. Have a Great Mom's Day ladies!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Happy Feet, We've got those Happy Feet!

Today is officially "Happy Foot Thursday" (because I just declared it so)! Chris and Mina were goofing around tickling each other's feet and we ended up with this. What a pair of goofballs! Today is the day I go in to get my CPAP machine to treat my hypopnea. I just would really like to not feel like a walking zombie, being so tired all the time is a real drag. I also have a bunch of errands to run in Hastings so I'd better get a move on. I am working on the fringed bracelet and I have a couple other projects lined up when that one is done so you will see the pics as soon as I get them finished. Find someone's feet to tickle today!

Beginning Seed Beading

This was one of the first seed bead projects I made. It started with someone talking me into coming to the Central NE Seed Bead meeting at Beads and Botanicals in Hastings, and this is how it ended up! The way I look at it is if I did this as a starter project I can do anything now! I did about throw it through a window a few times, but this project taught me patience (something I sorely lack) and the basic stitches used in seed bead projects. With help from the ladies in the group and the instruction sheets, I did manage to finish it in about 3 months. Each section uses a different stitch and the dangles on the bottom do hang down, just not in my picture. I have one started for Mina in bright Gypsy colors, but I am not progressing very fast (certainly not as fast as she would like) with making jewelry and work and Girl Scouts and church and housework (which I don't do enough of), etc... Wouldn't it be awesome to clone yourself to do all those mundane tasks in life, and be able to concentrate on the fun ones? Though the cloning experiments usually go terribly wrong (see Multiplicity with Michael Keaton, or Jimmy Neutron and Kim Possible cartoons) and I certainly don't need to try to add cleaning up science disasters to my life list!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

"LOVE"ly Blues Necklace and Earrings

This set was inspired by the "LOVE" tag made by Carla at Beads and Botanicals (it is from her Red Eagle Silverworks company). It is surrounded by all my favorite things! Crystals in different shades of blues and navy blue pearls also surrounded by Swarovskis (the only way to go). It is attached to a black cotton cord and finished with an antique silvered finish heart button. The earrings match the blues and have twisted wire in a spiral shape at the end of the earring. These were also inspired by Carla~only hers are much more concentric than mine are! I have a major ability block when working with wire~it is very intimidating to me! But I struggled through and didn't break off the wires or shatter a crystal so I deem that a success! This is another set I am going to use for the craft show this fall. Well, I am off to watch House, M.D. one of the few shows I actually watch on a regular basis! I love Hugh Laurie~especially the British comedies with him when he was younger. Black Adder with Rowan Atkinson is one of our favorite series, especially for Mina. She also loves the Mr. Bean show with Rowan Atkinson. SOOO FUNNY! Check them out at Netflix if you haven't seen them yet!

Aqua Blues Bracelet

This bracelet is aqua blues with a large clear Swarovski crystal in the center and capri blue and light blue bicone crystals on either side. There are 2 lampwork beads in the same shades and two lighter blue twisted glass beads to finish it out. They are spaced with capri blue colored seed beads and I am getting ready to fringe it, so I will show you that when I am finished. I really do like it this way, but can't wait to see it fringed!

Cloisonne Bracelet

This lovely bracelet has teal green dagger beads and 3 cloisonne-type diamond flower beads and a silver plate snap clasp. I like to use the snap clasps on bracelets because they are easy to close one handed. I am going to make a pair of earrings to go with this.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Spidey, Tea Party, Jewelry

Good afternoon! I just wanted to buzz in and let you know I would be posting some pics later and to let you know that Mina and I really enjoyed Spiderman 3 Friday night. Popcorn and the movie were great and she and I really had a nice time. The tea party is tonight and I will be happy that it is done, though not because of the girls. Details just make things more complicated to deal with, getting food there, making sure we have everything packed that we need, covering everything about the summer that I need to, etc...
I made 2 bracelets, a necklace and pair of earrings last night. I am fringing one of the bracelets and making some earrings to go with the other bracelet, but will get some pics up for you to see what I made. I really like how the necklace/earrings turned out. There is a silver tag that says LOVE on it that is from Carla's Red Eagle Silverworks branch of Beads and Botanicals and it is surrounded by lovely blue crystals and navy blue pearls. Pics soon!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

More paw print necklaces

Here are a couple more paw print necklaces which I threw together the other night. They are for a couple guys I know, similar to the one I made for Mina with the black knotted cording. The beads are handmade by Jodie Marshall.

Passion Purple Pearls

This lovely fringe creation was finished Thursday morning. It has a variety of seed beads, glass beads, freshwater pearls, crystals, two amethysts, and a lovely purple abalone shell bead in the center. I will be selling this one at my fall craft show which I was invited to earlier this week. I think it turned out nice~loads of fringe and crystals!

Tea Party decorations

This is the Badge Bouquet (clever eh, I just made that up!) and has the badges each girl has earned stitched on to it. Their badge will easily remove by snipping the thread on the back. It will also help to keep the badges all together until they are ready to be placed on the girl's sashes. This one happens to be Mina's and there are a couple more badges that came in this week that I have to add to a few of them. I also purchased the flower stand at Dollar Tree and I drew the faces on the flowers with a Sharpie marker. On the bases are the names of the girls.
This is one of our centerpieces for the tea party tables. We allow the girls to bring one guest and when the party is over, the guests get to take home the centerpieces. This year the girls made the bouquets and that will count toward a badge. We used some Easter pails and bouquets of flowers from the Dollar Tree to put these together. There is floral foam glued in the bottom and the stems are glued into the foam (I have done this a few times, and am learning to be extra cautious so we don't have to start over). In the center of each is a pretty pinwheel in various colors of spring and the pails are also a variety of colors. We also added a bit of curly ribbon for a festive touch.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Spidey vs. Girl Scouts, who would win out?

Good Morning! I will try to get some new pics up this afternoon, before Mina and I go see the new Spiderman 3 movie! We are so excited, and Chris couldn't care less. I was not exposed to comics as a kid, and Mina is a big comic book fan so we are both really pumped about the new addition to the Spidey lineup. For me any movie is a great reason to go (I am a big movie popcorn fan), though the Spongebob Movie proved that even popcorn can't fix horrible movies! Tomorrow we are going to the Rowe Sanctuary near Gibbon, NE for a day of learning about migratory birds for Girl Scouts. We get to nature hike, picnic, etc. so that will be fun, and Monday is our end of the year Girl Scout Tea Party. The girls each invite one person and we dress up like ladies, and eat. The menu usually includes Hawaiian Punch Punch, veggies and dip, cheese, summer sausage, crackers, and some sort of sweet item. We will be doing mini eclairs and small pieces of cake for the sweet this year. I have the centerpieces for the table done, as the girls did these at a meeting (which will count toward a badge) and I almost have their badge stuff ready. I sewed their badges to a felt flower that we found at the Dollar Tree (what an awesome store) so I will get the pics of those up so you can see the hard work that the girls put in this school year! I pose the question?: If it were Spidey vs. the Girl Scouts who would win? I say the girls~while Spidey can shoot webs, and fly~ my girls are very resourceful, and would definitely win against him if the contest was charades! They love to play charades when the meeting is done before parents come for them! Have a happy weekend! Yeah for Comic Book Nerds!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Faith, Hope, Love...

Isn't it amazing how God works? Just when you are getting down, there comes that beautiful ray of sunshine streaming through the clouds! I was starting to get frustrated because my jewelry on Etsy was being looked at but not selling and things were just not moving quickly enough for my patience level. Yesterday, my horoscope in the one women's magazine that I get "All You" (if you don't get it, I recommend it) was dead on for what I have been feeling and then I got an email from a new networking contact asking me if I would like to do a craft show in September and November. Cindy is the mom of Angie, a fun gal that I met by going in to take allergy testing, and Cindy runs a craft show in the fall and at Christmas time from their barn near Doniphan, NE. She was very complimentary on my jewelry and is friends with Leslie, the mom of my daughter Mina's best friend Taylor! Leslie is also a wonderful friend who goes above and beyond to help others, and has saved Mina many a long bus ride this school year by bring her home after school. Taylor has become an extended member of our family, and is a wonderful, funny bubbly girl with a mind and opinion of her own. I love independent thinkers! Anyway, see how God is working in your life today, and thank Him for the bountiful and unexpected blessings in your life!

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