Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Merry!

Our Christmas was lovely. It's rare for us to have all three kids together (one away in college, another living here but in college and working, and of course the little one who is still here all the time!) so that was great!

After the girls left for their grandmother's house, my mom came over and we had a ton of fun playing parcheesi, Chinese checkers and Jeopardy (on the Wii).

Santa was very good to everyone, but a favorite of mine were the gifts my son to gave to his sisters.

Jackson drew & colored & glittered the pictures. I set them in resin and added the chain & beads. The girls loved them and Jackson felt pretty happy seeing how touched they were!

Today I'm looking forward to a snowy, quiet, beady Sunday! (And maybe a few more rounds of Jeopardy....)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

She's just not that into you

"She's just not that into you" said the newly chosen color palette to the previously selected color palette:

In other Margie & Me bead challenges, I've relied heavily on what Delicas colors I have in my stash. This time around, for this awesomely fun Margie & Me The Finals Challenge, I took each palette and compared it with what I owned in Delicas to be sure my color were accurate. So I picked a palette that I had the most Delicas, which was the Lady & the Unicorn #56 (as noted above). I dutifully picked all the complimenting beads and put them in a Gladware container...and then they just sat. They sat, and sat, and sat some more. I glanced at it often and said to myself..."Self, you should get going on that challenge". But I didn't. And then I realized, I just wasn't that into that color palette. I thought I was because I definitely have a thing for burgundy & blue together. But all in all I couldn't get inspired. So I visited Marcie's site again and looked through the book at the palettes again. Although I hardly needed to because this time I knew...this time, she had me at " richness of the reds and punches of creamy pinks". OOOOOHHHHH.....creeeeeeaaaamy pinks. Right away I thought of these little 3mm beauties:

I have pretty much EVERY incarnation of this bead color:

I buy it (matte silver lined light pink) almost every time I see it. Then I get home and see I already have it, of course. And now I'm working on about 10 tubes of it, in different sizes.

Also in my opinion - these earrings go with just about everything. They might as well be a pair of silver or gold hoops I wear them so much!

I priced this piece so high a few craft shows ago, it was as though I was daring someone to take it from me (It has since been taken out of the for sale stuff, and into my personal collection):

So you see, I like pink. And I like the colors that make pink too. So this is definitely a palette that I'm a little more into. In the book, The Beader's Color Palette, it is described as "deep Venetian reds are featured against warm ivory-gold flesh and pale neutral linen-whites."

I've tossed aside the notion of doing this with only Delica colors to keep me on track and go with my gut on this great palette!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas this weekend!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Special Treat!

How FUN was it, to pull my Google Reader up and see my name posted as a winner for a giveaway!?!?! It was a special treat in an otherwise crazed and stressful week!!! I won the December drawing for a grab bag of cabs from Lori on her blog, Out Of The Flames! And just two days later I received this GORGEOUS bag of cabochons!!!

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! THESE ARE SO PRETTY AND I AM SO LUCKY TO HAVE THEM! Thank you Lori! I cannot wait to do some projects with these!

In other news, I sustained a minor injury early last week. I was using one of those winged cork screws when....

I somehow got my thumb caught in the spoke of the wheel....and did a fair amount of damage to the pad of my thumb. Turns out, I really need that digit to do any beadwork. It definitely put me a little behind schedule this week...but I was able to get going again last night to make a necklace to go with my outfit for my husband's firm's Christmas party tonight!

Based on Diane Fitzgerald's "Trillium" necklace:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday sparkle

It was a great weekend!!!! It was cold and it rained terribly all day Sunday....which was a perfect excuse to stay in and craft all day!

The weekend started Friday night with my son's school's Winter Dance. I think it is so cute that they do a dance for the kids. The kids have such a good time! The DJ was great playing all the kids' faves from Nickelodeon like Miranda Cosgrove, Victoria Justice and Jackson's favorite, Big Time Rush (I've been scouring the web looking for 2011 tour dates in our area for a Christmas present!)

Saturday we found a pretty tree and put it up! And then I went on a cleaning blitz.

But Sunday is when the fun began! I pretty much spent the whole day in my bead/craft room....working on a special requested collage:

and after playing with my big collage I remembered I had some Easy Cast from last year and played around with some teeny collaging...and stamping....and glittering:

And then I moved onto the real holiday sparkle by working on some birds for my tree:

The Martha Stewart glitter collections have to be one of my most favorite-est craft products on the market. The colors are just exquisite!

It can transform something that is just blah, to something that is BLING!

(this is the card I will attach with my holiday cookies, with the name of the cookies on the back)

When I finally emerged from the room on Sunday night my husband commented that I had glitter all over me head to toe and asked, "Are you magical"? I said, "No, just go in and out of the bead room and you will look like this too. Literally" He said, "Ah, so in order to be magical, all you need to do is go into the bead room!"

Yes, my dear, I suppose there is magic in the bead room! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Art With Heart Cycle 3

The Art With Heart Cycle 3 deadline is tonight at midnight!!

As mentioned in a previous post, my stepmother, Lois, passed away from her battle with cancer in mid-October. Her passing was also just two days before the Art With Heart kits were shipped. And this cycle is benefiting Step Up For Cancer. Poignant.

I drove from Maryland to Massachusets for the funeral, but just a few weeks before my stepbrother was married and I also made the trek! It was a fun and special day:

Now I don't know if you are familiar with the "95 corridor" up the MidAtlantic, but having lived in the D.C. area for the past 20 years, I have traveled that route many, many a time.

It is rare to have it be an easy trek. Approaching all the tolls, even if you have an EZ Pass, can be a traffic nightmare. Don't even get me started on traveling through or near the major cities!

So after TWENTY years of having what should be an 8 hour drive, end up being 10 hours or much more....I decide to go another route. And was I sure glad that I did! I took the interstates through Pennsylvania and central New York this time. Although this route added about 100 miles to the trip, there were tremendous amounts of added benefits. First of all - there was hardly anyone on the road. It only got a little congested near Scranton (we had lunch at the Steamtown Mall on one of the pass thrus - for any of you fellow Office fans!). Secondly - there was only one toll of $1.00 (as opposed to the over $25 in tolls on 95). So the whole trip including pit-stops was about 9 hours for every jaunt.

However, the best benefit was traveling through the beautiful mountain ranges on this route. It was, in a word, spectacular. The views were amazing. And depending on which part of the country, and what day in October, the foliage was stunning.

I grew up in New England, so I'm no stranger to stunning foliage....but somehow, this year, all the colors were sparkling and alive. After spending the summer really studying and experimenting with color theory, I was amazed at how many colors I was seeing. Typically when I think "Autumn colors" I think red, orange, yellow, brown...but what I was amazed to see, was the pinks, mauves and purples dotting the countryside. And green. The green is still there with the evergreens...but the varying shades that go along with all the changing leaves was pretty incredible too! I'm sure all these colors have always been there, but it was as though I was seeing it with new eyes.

So...let's circle back now to the subject at hand: Art With Heart Cycle 3. My kit was waiting for me when I got back from the funeral:

I had been thinking of a plan for this kit for weeks before it arrived. So...inspired by all the beautiful scenery and teeming with tons of emotion I went to work.

This is what I came up with:

I've been thinking a lot about what to do with this piece. And I think my final decision will be to hold a raffle or an auction for this piece and donate the proceeds to Hospice Care in my stepmother's honor. Just need to figure out the logistics!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Some days....

Some days...I find myself in a funk. Today was one of those days. And it's not even that things are so bad!! I have about a bazillion things to be grateful for. It's just little annoying things that have to be dealt with...and maybe some things that are not so little (even though I refer to these stressors as "little" such as...."my little irs issue", "this little festival that I'm working on", "the little mess someone left in kitchen" "this little pile of laundry" to name a few) And usually I don't sweat the small stuff. Or even the big stuff. But some days, that little mechanism of facing it all is a little off!

The universe is funny though, because after muddling through my funky fog this morning, I opened up my Google reader and the first blog that came up was this wonderful quote:

Trust in the universe that no matter how bad a situation seems
there is a reason. Ultimately, it will make you a better person
& give you the ability to help someone else when it's
their time of need.
Dawn Abraham

This was from the lovely ladies over at Kind Over Matter.

Anyway - it was a nice thing to read first thing today. It's funny how things get put in front of you just when you need them. It's as though - it was meant for ME!

My holiday craft show went relatively well. I didn't meet my goal but my take wasn't too shabby either! I was lucky that I had a good friend spend most of the day there with me. It was nice to have a second set of hands and the company.

I'm super triple dog excited for Marcie Abney's Color Throwdown this month! What a great idea!

And speaking of color challenges, Zoya Gutina (of My Lovely Beads, also the winner of the Ice Queen Bead Maven's challenge!) just announced in her November newsletter the colors for her Fashion Colorworks 2011 competition. I can't remember how I came across this contest earlier this year, but it was the muse for my very first blog post!

I'm also excited for the Art With Heart Cycle 3 deadline coming up this Friday. I finished my piece a few days after I received the kit, so I've been dying to do a reveal!

And's the last couple days to vote for the What INspires You Contest of which I entered. So if you are so inclined, I'd love to get your vote!