Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trends I don't get...and a few I do

Trends I don't get...

Twilight - I have not read a single book or seen a single movie in the Twilight series. It is nothing against them I just haven't been drawn in. I have friends who love it. I read blog posts counting down the minutes. I see the debates between Jacob and Edward. But for me I haven't felt drawn to it. Which is odd because I like vampire and werewolf legends. So for those who are into it tell me why.

Survivor - I tried watching it one season and didn't see the draw to it. But maybe it is because of the drama that is involved at the camps and I'm not a drama person. I do watch other reality tv just not Survivor. For those who watch it faithfully what draws you in?

Twitter - I have an account because I briefly thought about tweeting but I never got into it. I have friends who love it and think it is great. For those who use it what am I missing?

No Carb Diets - I understand that lots of processed carbs are bad for you. However there are good carbs and anything in moderation is ok. And even good things in excess are bad. I know too many people who lose weight and gain weight and lose weight on these diets. Anyone had success with  no carb diet?

Trends I get...

DVR - I will tell you this little machine is a life saver in our house. We only have one TV but now it doesn't matter. We just record one show and watch another no big deal.

Facebook - to a certain degree...I like to see what my friends are up to but I due not like the personal life overload that can occur on Facebook. Information on Facebook should be kind of like public displays of affection...keep it clean and keep it appropriate.

Blogging - well duh...

So what about you what are some trends you get and/or some you don't?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Blogging Day of Silence for Cohen

Megan over at In this wonderful life... and her husband Brent have shared their story of their baby boy Cohen and his struggle with four Congenital Heart Defects. He was born June 7th and sadly he died June 18th after fighting a brave fight.

One of Megan's blog friends, Adie from Almost Perfect, contacted Jessica with the wonderful idea of asking for a day of silence from all of the people who have been following Cohen's Story. She was touched! She teamed up with Blue Eyed Bride and there you have it... Thank you ladies for this opportunity! She hopes EVERYONE participates!


What: Moment of Silence for Cohen

When: Thursday July 1st from midnight to 11:59 pm.

How: Bloggers participating will post the Cohen banner (below) or simply post Cohen’s name in large letters on their blog.

Why: July 1st Megan and Brent will be holding Cohen’s memorial service. The moment of silence is an opportunity for Megan’s blog community to stand behind her and support her on this difficult day. Linking up will give Megan a chance to see the support at a glance.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Bead Give Away

Lori Anderson, the wonderful host of the Bead Soup Blog Swap is giving away this beautiful pendant. Go to Pretty Things to learn how to enter.

Shows we watch...

J and I don't watch a ton of TV but this time of year there are a couple shows we watch faithfully.

True Blood - We love this show. I will admit we like movies about vampires and werewolves so when this show cam out we wanted to take a look. Well then we got to know the characters and we love it. We admit it is a night time soap opera about vampires but we like it. They have added werewolves this season and it is an interesting addition.

America's Got Talent  - This is a enjoyable show to watch because you get to see people's dreams come true last year's winner Kevin Skinner was a chicken farmer. You also have some acts who think they are amazing but have no business being on a stage. But for the most part the acts are really quite good. The judges are Piers Morgan, Sharon Osborne, and Howie Mandel. Howie Mandel is new this year and has been a nice addition.

Last Comic Standing - We enjoy stand up comedy so we like the try outs and the later competitions for the title but not the house drama...thank you DVR...we can fast forward through the parts we don't like. I haven't watched this in a few years and I liked the former host better but the judges are fun this season so...we'll see.

So what do you watch?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bead Soup Reveal

First off a big Thank You to Lori Anderson for hosting the bead swap! And to my partner Elisabeth for sending me a great bead soup! I admit I went out of the box on the design of this necklace...usually I don't combine so many elements but I felt this soup called for a mixed design.

I have loved looking at everyone else's designs it has amazed me to see such beautiful creations using so many mediums and elements!

So here is mine....

First my soup...

The focal piece

The earrings and another view of the dress

Bigger view of the necklace

I wanted the clasp to be a focal too so I moved it toward the front

The full view

Now...go check out the other reveals today too!

85. Melissa, One-Eared Pig Beads

86. Rebecca, 2SistersBeadwork

87. Karyn, Releases by Rufydoof

88. Denise, Bling on the Blog

89. Doris, Glaszwerg

90. Megan, Churchy & Her Sailor

91. Jo, Daisychain Designs

92. Jen, VanBeads Jewelry and Design

93. Kristie, Artisan Clay

94. Jess, Vintaj

95. Suzann, Beadphoria

96. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden

97. Michelle, bMichelle

Friday, June 25, 2010

Etsy Favorites

I spend a fair amount of time on Etsy. And I love the eclectic mix of artist and creations that are on there.

Here are some of my favorites...

Lulu Bug Jewelry - Beautiful handmade jewelry using PMC silver clay, and concrete. For dog lovers she has some great pendants for different breeds. I love the smiling pit bull. (But I may be biased.) 

Relic Soap Company - I actually encountered this soap first at a Farmer's Market in Michigan while visiting family. I love it! I have sensitive skin and it doesn't bother it at all. I love the Ginger Soap. It smells wonderful!!

Stick Nymph - A delightful art line with cards and prints. They are fun and different. I love the dragon toasting the marshmallows...too cute. Another artist that I found at a craft show in Michigan.

Poppy Chic Designs - Fun and feminine hair pins and corsages. They could easily be dressed up or down depending on your mood. 

Floridity - Unique beads and jewelry. I love the clay beads they have a natural draw to them. In particular I love her wing beads...I haven't decide what to do with them but I know I want some.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


A few random thoughts...

  •  It is 101 degrees outside today. This makes me want to do jack and squat. It also makes me feel blessed that I work in AC and I live in a home with AC. Not everyone is so lucky.
  • I am loving the Bead Soup Blog Party. So a big thank you to Lori Anderson for coordinating it. I've loved seeing everyone's creations. I reveal my creation on Saturday. My swap partner Elisabeth, of Beads for Busy Gals revealed her creations today. 
  • I am making yummy buffalo chicken sandwiches for dinner tonight which will be ready when I get home. I love my crock pot especially in this heat it keeps my kitchen cooler.
  • I have had a headache all day. I think it is from the heat.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Patience and Flexibility

If you have any association with the also have a very good understanding of these words. July 2nd J was supposed to complete his refresher course and fly out that evening for Japan. The start of his three year tour.

When he checked into school on Friday we learned that the refresher course is not going to be sufficient because he hasn't done this in four years so he has to go to the complete school. And the complete school isn't offered until September. So over the summer he'll be going to other refresher schools and then to his prep school and the to the complete school.

So he will not be leaving for Japan until September. I'm thrilled!!! But it took me a day to get there because I was in the sending him off mindset and now I get to go back to the having him home mindset for a few more months. We are coming up with some home projects and possibly a trip during the extra time we have. We are excited!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Menu Planning

I would love to tell you that I am one of those people who looks at cookbooks, websites, etc and plans her monthly menu...I'd even be happy to tell you that I do it weekly. But the reality is that it is still an aspiration. Every once in a while I'll decide to plan meals out a day or two ahead. Sometimes I'll figure it out in the morning so that meat is thawing...but most of the time I figure it out when I get home at 6:30 PM at night.

I love cooking. I do. Particularly for others. So menu planning seems like it would go hand in hand with that. But it always gets pushed to the back burner. So I go day by day figuring out what to feed us.

I have decided to set a goal. The 4th of July will start my menu planning. (I'd like to say it is symbolic but really it is just the first Sunday of the month and that makes it easy. I have even designed menu planning sheets that fit into my Franklin Covey Classic planner.

For those of you who menu plan or who want to start here is a free pdf of my menu planner. Please feel free to download and print it. You are welcome to share it on your blog but please link back to mine to do so. It is an
8 1/2 x 11 inch document that has two planners per page. If you have problems printing please let me know.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Amazing Giveaway!

Picture from Denise Yezbak Moore

 Denise Yezbak Moore part of the Bead Soup Blog Swap is offering all of the above beads as a giveaway. Check out her site for more pictures and more information on how to enter. This picture doesn't do it justice. It is an impressive giveaway.

Amish Grace

Friday morning I watched the movie "Amish Grace" it is based on the events that occurred in Nickel Mines at the Amish school house in October of 2006. This is an amazing movie. It is well written and touching. (a bit gut wrenching at times) There is a book by the same title that I still want to read too. In the real life story and in the movie I was moved by the forgiveness the families and the whole Amish community was able to offer to the shooters wife and family. Throughout the movie they talked about how it was their call from God to forgive. And how anger only ate at their heart it didn't hurt the shooter at all. It was such an amazing story of forgiveness in an almost unforgivable situation.

I cannot recommend the movie enough it was a wonderful movie and ultimately a testimony to forgiveness. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bead Soup Blog Party Begins

And so it begins....the Bead Soup Blog Party is so massive it will take 8 days for all the projects to be revealed on all the blogs. I am happy because this gives me some extra time to finalize my piece (I don't reveal until the 26th of June). My partner Elisabeth will reveal her piece on the 24th of June. I encourage you to check out the other amazing pieces the other swappers have designed. I admit I'm a little like a kid on Christmas morning...I can't wait to see all of the beautiful creations.

Blog Soup Party Goers

June 19th - Check Out
1. Lori, Pretty Things

2. Lorelei, Lorelei1141

3. Norma, Moonlit Fantaseas

4. Beth, EB Bead and Metalworks

5. Katie, KatieBead

6. Kimberly, Bahama Dawn

7. Debbie, Prairie Emporium

8. Lisa, Joolz by Lisa

9. Kate, Tropical Blonde

10. Janet, Singing Woods

11. Julianna, Juls Beads

12. Erin, Treasures Found

June 20th - Check Out
14. Jen, Jen Judd Rocks

15. Kella, Me But a Little More In Depth

16. Emanda, Artemisia Studio

17. Marie, Skye Jewels

18. Loretta, Designs By Loretta

19. Stacy, Sissy and Jack's

20. Joanna, Filcowe

21. Diane, Diane Hawkey

22. Marianna, Pretty Shiny Things

23. Anna, The Laughing Raven

24. Marcie, La Bella Joya

25. Lois, Que Onda Q'town?

26. Jayne, Mama's Got To Doodle

June 21st - Check Out
27. Lisa, Alterity

28. Dale, Dales' Flights of Fancy

29. Melanie, Kookie Designs

30. Christine, A Hot Piece of Glass

31. Nancy, Beading From the Heart

32. Laurel, Rue's Daftique

33. Sandi, Do Be Do Bead Do

34. Nicki, Nicki's Reef

35. Virginie, ViviBijoux

36. Janeen, Wild Vanilla

June 22nd - Check Out
37. Filomena, Pink Velvet Bird

38. Lyn, Lyn Foley

39. Tari, Pearl and Pebble

40. Rebecca, Song Beads

41. Regina, Regina's Writings

42. Nancy, The Rabbit Muse

43. Whitney, Whitney Lassini

44. Maria, Garden Path Beads

45. Michelle, Life in the Bead Lane

46. Ann, My Critical Eye

47. Lisa, Lucid Moon Studio

June 23rd - Check Out
48. Nan, Spirit Rattles

49. Amy, Copper Diem

50. Malin, Beading by Malin de Koning

51. Anne, Gardanne Glass Lampwork

52. Alice, Alice's Beads and Baubles

53. Barbara, Second Surf

54. Amanda, Articulations

55. Heather, Humble Beads

56. Melissa, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love

57. Kate, Organic Odysseys

58. Patti, PJ Clark Designs

59. Stefanie, Stefanie's Sammelsurium

June 24th - Check Out
60. Carol, Carol Bradley Designs

61. Wanda, A Frayed of Fibers

62. Diana, Vintage Blue Studio

63. Marieke, Marieke's Blog

64. KJ, Silver Parrot

65. Maire, Maire Dodd

66. Shannon, Miss Fickle Media

67. Dana, Dana's Jewelry Designs

68. Charlene, The Bead Dreamer

69. Elisabeth, Beads for Busy Gals

70. Cathryn, Chile Cats

71. Missy, Melissa Rappaport

June 25th - Check Out
72. Cindy, Cindy Dolezal Designs

73. Valerie, Hot Art

74. Courtney, Beads by Breul

75. Johanna, Fire Phoenix Creations

76. Shea, gr8findings

77. Julie, Pryce Designs

78. Jeannie, Jeannie's Blog

79. Patricia, Verre Design

80. Christa, Adventures of One Beady Woman

81. Heather, My Muse

82. Susan, Night Beader at Large

83. Sonja, Drachenei

84. Jennifer, Glass Addictions by Jennifer

June 26th - Check Out
85. Melissa, One-Eared Pig Beads

86. Rebecca, 2SistersBeadwork

87. Karyn, Releases by Rufydoof

88. Denise, Bling on the Blog

89. Doris, Glaszwerg

90. Megan, Churchy & Her Sailor

91. Jo, Daisychain Designs

92. Jen, VanBeads Jewelry and Design

93. Kristie, Artisan Clay

94. Jess, Vintaj

95. Suzann, Beadphoria

96. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden

97. Michelle, bMichelle

Friday, June 18, 2010

Some more of my favorite blogs....

Here is the next installment in favorite blogs...I thought I would do a mixture this time.

Beads for Busy Gals - Elisabeth is my bead swap partner and I have enjoyed getting to know her through email and through her blog. She discusses her life, work, husband's military career, and her beadwork. She makes lovely jewelry in her fun studio.

Just Another Weigh + Baby -Jodi shares anecdotes about her life, work, weight-loss, getting married, and now being pregnant. I enjoy the way she writes because it is entertaining. And she is a fellow motorcycle enthusiast so I gotta love her!

Noodlehead - I found Anna and her blog through Sew, Mama Sew and I'm glad I did. She shares fun stories and pictures about her family, her sewing, and she has awesome tutorials. I bought the pattern for her gathered clutch pattern. (very cute)

Pretty Things - I first encountered Lori at a local craft show. I was drawn to her jewelry and to her bubbly personality. Then I discovered her blog Pretty Things. She talks about life, jewelry, beads, books, and many other things. She is a talented bead artist and writer.

Redhead Recipes - Sarah shares yummy recipes for all sorts of food items. My favorite so far is her German Pancake recipe. And she's a redhead too. ;-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Leaping...with support

Picture: John Collier, Purdue landscape architect 

I have long wanted to be my own boss for a long time now. Mainly because the high school drama that occurs in most work places drives me nuts. My current work place has less of this because it is a small staff and frankly working in a church creates a more open environment. But we still have our issues. Also I am not a morning person...seriously. I could easily work until midnight or even 2 in the morning and then sleep late and start all over again. However, office hours run from 9 AM to 6 PM. So I get up at 7:30 AM and get ready to go to work. And I function pretty well most of the time.

I have been a bead artist since I was in my teens (well back then I'm not so sure it was art) and recently I've added sewing to my talents. I've been busy beading and sewing fun. And with my wonderful husband's encouragement I've been getting things in order to open a business selling my goodies online. Currently I've talked to the city about a business license and a DBA (doing business as). I haven't gone to get them because I'm still working on a name that covers what I currently do but also what I might create in the future. I'm a bit of an flittering artist...I start many things and then switch to something new. But currently I'm drawn to fabric and beads. So I've been working...

In the beginning I will continue to work full time and make my creations in the evenings and on weekends. But my hope is that it will expand and at some point it will become my livelihood. We have our fingers crossed. I have decided the only way to move forward is to have faith that it will succeed. And sometimes the very willingness to leap is the success. So I'm ready to leap...and build my wings on the way down.

What about you...what are you getting ready to do? What changes are coming your way?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekend review...

We had a nice quiet weekend. But we needed it. We'd been busy busy busy with going out of town and so we needed a down weekend to catch up.

I got off from work a bit late then had to go to the bank and the post office. When I got home J was relaxing with the puppies. We decided to go out to dinner at a local Thai restaurant. (J doesn't get my love of oriental food but he works with it) It was very yummy. We went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to use a gift card to buy the curved shower curtain rod we wanted. (more on that later) We also went to The Fresh Market to buy groceries (I love their bulk coffee). Then we came home and watched some tv with the puppies and then headed to bed.

We got to sleep in which was nice. Then we made coffee and J watched "Axe Men." I don't see the draw but he loves it. Then we went to a local farmers market that we hadn't been to before. We were a bit disappointed at the selection...not a lot of produce, etc. But I bought some yummy homemade sourdough bread. Then we walked around the town there and then came home because it was warming up. We stopped at Bloom to pick up a few items we missed at the Fresh Market. When we got home J started working on putting up the shower rod. This required a new drill bit. Once it was all done it was nice. More spacious.We had bought some steaks at The Fresh Market but after looking at them we decided we only needed to cook one. We grilled the steak after marinading it in a Blackberry & Chipotle marinade. We also grilled our sweet potatoes. And I fixed some corn on the cob. Very yummy. We watched a Back to the Future Marathon. I got a craving for some ice cream so we went to Cold Stone Creamery for some ice cream. Very yummy!

We woke up and made breakfast then we sort of lounged around the house a bit. I was really tired so we napped for a bit. Then I got up and watched Pearl Harbor such a good movie. I fixed dinner and we relaxed around the house a bit. Then we watched the season premiere of True Blood. We love that show...and this season brings werewolves. Very exciting. Then we headed to bed.

As I said a very relaxing and laid back weekend but we needed it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Being Military=Being Flexible & Patient

aka...why we are a bit insane at our house right now...

J is supposed to report to Japan the beginning of July. (Isn't that nice.) Before he goes to a boat he has to go to refresher school on his rate so he can do his job. Well that class is supposed to finish around the holiday weekend...problem that is the start of a long weekend and the class may or may not finish. So he may go into the week after that to finish and then have a later departure date or they may finish the class early and have him go on time. We do not know and probably won't until closer to the end of the month.

Since he was given this assignment he has changed ships three times and we think we have the final one. But with all things military nothing is final until the moment it is final. So we find out his ship and his departure date. And  we learn lessons in patience and flexibility.

Bead Soup Party Update

Here is a picture of amazing collection of beads Elisabeth sent me in the Bead Soup Party. It was wrapped in a ton of bubble wrap (better safe than sorry...precious cargo) and my husband laughed because he said I was like a kid on Christmas morning. The bubble wrap revealed baggies of goodies. A fun and beautiful toggle clasp...a cool and unique focal bead...a collection of red glass beads (you can't see the striations in them but they are beautiful)...some tear drop shaped copper colored beads with the hole going horizontal. And a string of round gemstone beads. The focal is creating a fun challenge for is drilled with two holes on one side and five holes on the other so I'm going asymmetrical. This is out of my comfort zone (but I like it). I am thinking I may end up doing two pieces or a set with the beads but we'll see what is left  when I'm done with the main piece.

Interestingly I sent her turquoise and red beads too but with silver accents...something about great minds comes to mind. Final pictures to come June 19th...check back

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Under the Weather

No not me my babies puppies. While we were on vacation we boarded Eva and Ares at our vet. We've done this before no problems. We go to pick them up on Monday and they are not themselves. We get them home and get a closer look...both of them have lost enough weight that you can see their ribs which you couldn't before. (they weren't overweight) They are sneezy and have runny noses. Neither of them are too active. They aren't even messing with each other. (very very unusual) So I call the vet...they think they may have picked up a bug from a sick dog that was brought in. And since they were stressed by being boarded they were more easily exposed.

J is furious saying we will never board them again that we will take them everywhere we go. Not very practical. I'm leaning toward our neighbor the pet sitter (once we get our fence up). But I was surprised because we've never had a problem. And I guess I figure the vet is one place they shouldn't have an issue. Then my practical side kicks in and realizes that a vet office is like a people doctor's office...germs come in and get spread around.

So what about you take your pets with you? Do you board them? Do you hire a pet sitter?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Great Fabric Give Away

Allison over at Cluck Cluck Sew in conjunction with The Quilt Shoppe is offering a great give away of a fat quarter bundle of Whimsy by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda. Check out Cluck Cluck Sew to enter! There are four ways you can get an entry.

Shopping Locally

While up in Michigan we visited my husband's sister and her husband. She is a very environmentally aware person and likes to do as much as she can to help the environment. Don't even get her started on BP unless you have a couple of free hours (and who can blame her). They recycle and buy organic foods but they also like to go to a local farmers market to get meat and produce. The go to a delightful market in Farmington and buy fresh beef and vegetables from a delightful couple who has their own organic farm called Garden Gate Farm. It was fun to walk around and see everything else that was for sale. I bought some wonderful soap from Relic Soap. It is all natural and smells wonderful. 

Their habits got me thinking....would it be wise for me to start buying more things locally? We have three farmers markets on Saturday mornings within a 30 minute radius. There is good meat, good produce, honey, herbs, etc all for sale at these markets. And the nice part is you are keeping your money in the state, you aren't paying for transportation, things aren't getting hauled from state to state so the pollution is down, and it is nice to get out. We can take the puppies on a cooler day (dark gray coats in the VA heat don't work so well). And frankly nothing and I mean nothing beats fresh meat and produce. The lettuce tastes crisp and fresh, the tomatoes melt in your mouth, the beef tastes healthier for you, and the honey...crisp iced tea with a bit of honey and lemon. Screams summer!!

Now I will admit shopping locally takes a bit more time and planning. It isn't as convenient as walking into the store to buy what you need but it feels right to me. And during the winter months I'll still have to go to a store to buy what I need.

But thanks to S & A I'm looking at how and what I buy for our home and the impact it you shop locally? do you shop at farmers markets?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Leaving Home

This morning I had to leave this....

 she melts my heart every time.

Back in the Groove...

We drove into our driveway at 12:00 AM Sunday night after a 12 hour drive from Michigan. It was good to be home. Here are a few will come later.

  • Cops seem some how less of a bother when referred to as "Sneaky Pete" we got a good laugh out of this especially since we were going in the speed limit bubble and not a concern to the cops at all. Ohio cops are sneaky...they park in almost invisible places.
  • Camping is a tad tricky when you bring two air mattresses and no tent. So we slept in one end of the camper while his parents slept in the other. No worries.
  • Signs saying "Prison Area - Don't pick up hitchhikers" are to be taken seriously. 
  • A wake-up call of a 4 year old loudly whining "I don't want to sit next to Julian" for 15 minutes at 8:00 AM is not a nice way to wake up. (Especially when it is a neighbor's child outside your open bedroom window)
  • A defense of "I forgot the subject" can work in your favor. 
  • Cheese and Beer can make a filling dinner. (or cheese and wine)
  • Summer time and camping mean eating burgers and dogs a lot. 
  • Michigan is beautiful! Detroit is not as bad as it is made out to be. 
  • Being unplugged is a good computers, minimal cell phone use, no phones ringing, little tv
  • I missed my online connections though...I've become accustomed to reading blogs every day
  • Family is a great thing to have!
  • I am blessed with an amazing group of in-laws.  
So now that we're home the to do list is coming....

  • Finish my Bead Swap Jewelry...
  • Wash clothes
  • Mow the out of control lawn (my wonderful husband sent me a text telling me it was done)
  • Cut out some more purses...
  • Finish cleaning up the house (it got left in a bit of disarray when we left)
  • Get a really cool desk from my parents house
  • Get up with friends who want to see J before he leaves
  • Come up with a name for my business
  • Get the dogs used to being back home
  • Restock the kitchen (we emptied it before we left)
  • Try some new recipes (a fig and hazelnut compote...)
  • Get back into the grove at work (with my co-worker taking the rest of the week off....surprise)
  • Catch up on blog reading (I am already admitting that this may not fully happen but I'm trying)