Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 7

So it's not that I don't think I'm capable of following through with something - but I'm so HAPPY that I've been able to stick with this 30 day blog challenge for 7 days!

I saw the ortho again today for my first follow up. The bone is still broken, but healing. I'm still sentenced to my aircast/boot for the next two weeks - to be worn at all times except when showering. Which means still no driving. But the good news is, she said that I could start bearing weight on my foot and gradually stop using the crutches! Yay!

In the meanwhile - it's day 7 of the 30 day blog challenge!
Today I'm going to start with something 'beady'. I actually did a little beading today. I worked on my Margie & Me challenge (which I'm hoping will be finished by Saturday). And I also made this ring. Forgive the quality of the photo - I forgot to photograph when I was upstairs today which is where my camera happens to be. And so I snapped this with my phone's camera!

Now onto the challenge topics!
On two of the lists for day 7, the topic was a photo that makes you happy. On another list there was "What is your place of refuge?"

So...since I mentioned there were so many photos that make me happy - I'll go ahead and indulge (myself) in sharing another.

Here (above) is a photo of something that happens every day during the week, ever since we were blessed with bringing home our dog Molly. When Jackson gets home from school, she is beyond excited to see him and he takes her outside and runs around the back yard with her. Frankly - I can NOT get enough of the giant smile on his face and I don't think I will ever tire of this scene.

The arrow above is a response to "What is your place of refuge?" If the weather ever warms up - the above picture shows where I like to be when I need a little refuge. In the photo, the chairs are about 10 feet out of place to where they normally are. I usually have them under a tree and facing the yard. The firepit is in front of the chairs, and in a bed of flowers behind the chairs are a row of tiki torches. It's a lovely place to be outside.

My other place of refuge is my 'bead room'.

The entire far right corner of this room contains beads galore! It overlooks the same yard that the two chairs in the former picture also overlooks - which may not be super fancy - but in the Spring, Summer and Fall - it's awfully pleasant. There is a cozy bed in the opposite corner, which is great to relax on and read a novel, self-help book or a Bead & Button magazine. I absolutely love this space and get all the privacy, quiet, peace and inspiration I need!

And on that note...I'm on my way there since there's a project (or two or three) I need to finish!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whatever tickles your fancy

Day 6 – Whatever tickles your fancy


Day 6 - A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 6 – Whatever tickles your fancy
I picked two of the topics today. Part of me wanted to also pick the topic - "Describe a specific moment where God obviously was working in your life". When I kept thinking of things that fell under that topic, it felt a little too intense! But let me tell you - there are plenty of times when God is very, very obviously working in my life!!

But in the interest of keeping things light - and not too...well...intense....I will share a nice experience from today.

Picture this: A woman with a broken foot starts feeling her tummy rumble with hunger. She hops over to the kitchen and is fairly unsatisfied with her options. She rummages. There's food there, but nothing is jumping out at her. Her house is overdue for a grocery store trip - which she usually does, but since she can't drive, she needs to patiently wait for the weekend to com around and just pick from the slim pickins'. In the meanwhile, it starts to rain a bit, so she goes to the back door to call in her dog. The dog is disobedient and just stares at her. She calls sweetly. Then firmly. The dog just looks at her as if to say, "I don't feel like coming in and it sure doesn't look like you can make, me walking around with those crutches." So the woman goes outside in the damp cold yard and coaxes the dog to her. While she's outside, she hears the telltale sound of a UPS truck...which sounds like it's stopping in front of her house. She can't think of anything that she ordered that might be coming, but maybe her husband is expecting a package. She gets the dog in and makes her way through the house cold, wet and hungry. Upon opening the front door she sees it's a packet for her! She opens the package and it's filled with FOOD! AHA! She remembers that she won a drawing of a box of Whole Foods goodies from the lovely Amanda, author of the Eats, Love and Happiness blog! Woo hoo!

Thanks Amanda! YUM! That Larabar HIT.THE.SPOT. when I was feeling dramaticlly cold wet and hungry! The Nut-thins cracker are delish too! :) (and I can't wait to dive into all the other goodies!!!)

The rest of the day seemed to flesh out beautifully after that. It was as though the generous energy that started with that great package snowballed with all sorts of good news and good fortune.

Day 6 - A picture of something that makes you happy

Okay - there are truly hundreds of pictures I could have selected for this one! But I selected this:

I don't know if it's those chubby cheeks...or that 'come hither' look...or the all around handsomeness and confidence portrayed in this photo of my son at age 6. Anwyay - this picture (among the other several hundred of my only child) makes me happy. But the following picture makes me laugh out loud.

Jackson had his school portraits taken. And shortly thereafter, he began wearing glasses. Weeks later the package of his portraits arrived at home and were sitting on the kitchen table for a few hours. At some point I went to the fridge for something and there stuffed under a magnet was this:

A self-edited photo. That Jackson said is "more accurate".


I have done very little beading this week....and I think I declared earlier this week that I was finishing some peyote eagles this week (let's just say that this week will end on Sunday, okay?) But once upon a time, I was addicted to making St. Petersburg stitched bracelets:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quotes & inspiration

Day 5 - Your favorite quote

When asked to name all these superlatives, I am realizing that I often have many favorites in these topics! When asked to declare them here in writing I don't want to be pinned down to just one sometimes!

I'm a little short on time today, so I'm only doing one of the 30 day challenge topics. So here are a few of my favorite quotes:

" If you think you can, or you think you can't, either way, you're right" - Henry Ford

" Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Ghandi

" No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit." - Helen Keller

I've been thinking back over the last year and all my blog posts. And realized that I have yet to gush over how profoundly I love these two little girls:

These are my nieces. My little brother's children. Eight years ago I was hardly prepared for all the aunt-ly love I was going to feel. I just adore them. So...since I don't have anything newly beaded, I decided to find something old!

When I learned of each of their names, I created a special beaded banner for them. I wasn't in the habit of photographing my beadwork when Abigail was born, but after I completed Olivia's I photographed it and entered it into the Fire Mountain Gems' seed bead contest.

It was a finalist that year!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Margie & Me sneak peek!

Day 4 - Your favorite book
Day 4 - What is your dream career?
Day 4 - Your parents

Day 4 - Your favorite book
I love to read and I could come up with a ton of 'favorites' (Eat Pray Love, White Mary, Poisonwood Bible, He's Just Not That Into You..and there are plenty more!) But my favorite book that even ranks above all these and others is:

I Know This Much is True, by Wally Lamb, just has it all. It's a compelling story of redemption. A love story. A story about mental illness. There's a story within the story that is that is incredibly well crafted and integrated into the main story. There are surprising and believable twists. It isn't a spoiler if I summarize: it is a story about identical twins and one of them is schizophrenic. The protagonist is the sane twin and the story opens with the schizophrenic twin cutting off his own hand at a public library to protest the first Gulf War. What follows, is an epic novel you don't want to miss.

Day 4 - What is your dream career?
Well, this is an easy one! My dream career would be beading full time. I suppose it isn't so far out of reach. But so far it just doesn't pay the bills. Oh my gosh though - what a dreamy idea it is to think about beading ALL DAY! :)

Day 4 - Your parents
They married young, and had babies young. My mom was 19 & my dad 22 when they were married, and they had me a little over a year later. My little brother came three years after that. Then they divorced about 10 years after that. They are both really two of the nicest people you'd ever meet. Like the kind of nice that if you ever met either of them you would have to comment to me on how very nice they are! They have been incredibly supportive to me my entire life no matter what the circumstance. And above all I've always felt incredibly loved by each of them! I'm a pretty lucky gal, huh?
Working on my Margie & Me color challenge and having a ball. Here is a sneak peek of some bead mixtures I made to get this project going:


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 3 - Your favorite TV program or
Day 3 - What are three of your biggest passions? or
Day 3 - Your first love

Day 3 - Your favorite TV program

Favorite TV program is pretty easy, but I have a handful of runner-ups. I have a computer in my bead room and a couple times a week I go up and catch up on my shows on Hulu. They are as follows (in no particular order):
Modern Family

Raising Hope
The Event
Desperate Housewives
Pretty Little Liars

But the one show that I faithfully tune into when it is aired, is my favorite, hands down:

I am still grieving Michael's pending departure!!!

Day 3 - What are three of your biggest passions?
1. Family.
2. BEADS! (of course! Although I think I could include many creative art forms in this question - but it is definitely beads that move me!)
3. Learning - contextually and spiritually. I am currently taking classes on a website called For $25 a month, subscribers can view an unlimited amount of their software training and tutorial videos. If there is a program or technology you think is confusing or over your head, they probably cover that subject. It's amazing. I've been logging on about 3-5 hours a week and I'm so excited about such affordable access to this knowledge!! I also recently completed a "Soul Restoration" workshop on line, which was pretty fantastic as well. It combined my love of self exploration and growth with crafting - which they call "Soul Crafting."

Day 3 - Your first love
Shawn Cassidy

Come on every body, get down, get with it!

I made the same pair of these earrings for my mom for Christmas...and when I saw her wearing them when she came to visit recently, I decided I needed to make more for my shop!

And now I am heading up to my bead room to continue working on my Margie & Me color challenge - which I am SUPER excited about. (Can I go back and add COLOR to one of my biggest passions?!)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day two and a free pattern

Day 2: favorite movie or
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 2: Has a painful experience ever had a positive impact in your life?

Day 2: favorite movie

It's hard to pick just ONE favorite movie, and several came to mind. So in no particular order of favorites here they are:

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
The meaning behind my blog is somewhat obvious: my name is Amy and I like to bead. However, I began using this moniker nearly 15 years ago. Back in 1995 or 1996, my boyfriend and I had a personal computer...we got this really neat disc that told us we could connect to the World Wide Web if our phone line was plugged into the computer and we used this service called America OnLine. My boyfriend set up our account and simply put, Amybeads for my screen name. I was a year or so into beading at that point and already quite obsessed! The name Amybeads seemed to stick. I've since had many other email addresses with Amybeads. It is the name of my Etsy shop. And now this blog!

Day 2: Has a painful experience ever had a positive impact in your life?
In a word, yes. My first reaction to this question, is to answer it somewhat philosophically. I feel like nearly all painful experiences have had a positive impact in my life. Whenever an experience is painful, it usually means something isn't working right and it's a message to make a change....see a doctor...end a relationship....LEARN! "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger". "This too shall pass." These are some quotes/cliches/philosophies I try to live by. Now this is coming from the woman who has been such a crabbypants about this broken foot, I feel sort of like a hypocrite for writing the previous sentence. But really, when I stop complaining about the pain I am experiencing, and how irritating it is that I can't leave the house unless someone gives me a ride...I remember that it's not going to last forever. It is only a broken foot. And for the first time since I can not even remember when, I have been laying down in front of the TV for an hour or two without doing anything in addition to just laying there. Just relaxing. Usually if I sit to watch TV, I am beading, or ironing clothes or folding clothes...just something. Already I can see this painful experience is teaching me to slow down - actually rest and relax when I am trying to rest and relax! Take a load off. I can tell my son is loving the fact that I'm totally present with him when we are watching a movie together!

I could come up with plenty of other examples. But I could also come up with examples of where I didn't handle the experience in a way that might have a positive impact. I often beat myself up about it, but hey, I'm certainly not perfect!!!
And speaking of not being perfect, I'll segue in to something bead related!

My son is a Webelo scout and their den's mascot is an eagle. I had this bright idea in the FALL, to make beaded eagle neckerchief slides for all the boys in the den. There are only four of them. And so, I started with this embroidered eagle:

Too big, and the eagle looks terrible. I made a rough sketch on the stiff stuff, but ew. I couldn't stand how ugly it was turning out!

Then I made a detailed peyote pattern.

Now I was getting somewhere, but again the eagle was too big. Also the orientation of the peyote stitch didn't really allow any movement around a slide.

So I created another peyote pattern, changing the orientation and simplifying the eagle.

BINGO! I got it, and wouldn't you know, this little guy works up so QUICK!

But here's where the beating myself up comes in.....this tray has looked like this since before Christmas!!!!

I was hoping to have them ready to present to the boys at the Blue & Gold Banquet back in February. But I basically forgot about it. The tray was sitting in the living room on the top shelf of a bookcase never to be looked at again. UNTIL I was looking like crazy for these blue beads for a certain color challenge I am working on:

So I do declare that I will finish the beadwork this week for all the slides (perhaps I will even throw some in for myself and the other den leader!). We have another ceremony for the boys in June. It is a graduation ceremony and I think it will be a perfect time to give it to them!

For anyone interested - here is the free pattern of this cute little eagle!

Friday, March 25, 2011

30 day blog challenge - DAY 1

Day 1: Intro, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
Day 1: what was a changing moment in your life? or Day 1: Your favorite song

Day 1: Intro, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
This is a picture of me today! I would normally eschew having a pic taken of myself on a ay when I didn't 'do my hair', or when I have a huge blemish on my chin (I can see that it's barely visible in the 3megapixel shot...but I know it's there!!!). But this is the real me. This is what I look like about 70% of the time!

I'm walking into my kitchen here. The jacket thrown over the chair in the forefront has been there for about 4 days. But I will be putting it in the coat closet after this post. My husband will take out the trash. And I probably won't pick up the empty dog dish until I feed her next!

I had a tough time with 15 interesting facts. For a little while. I was stuck after about 8 facts. And then I berated myself for being so uninteresting! LOL! But I persevered and here is what I came up with:
1. I am a left handed, except in sports; I throw, bat, swing a racket etc. with my right hand.
2. I'm a self-help book addict. My favorite authors are Eckhart Tolle & Jack Canfield
3. I worked in the restaurant industry for 22 years as a waitress, bartender, hostess, manager, catering manager, and for the final 10 years as a director of sales & marketing.
4. My heritage is Polish, Irish & English
5. I am a Cub Scout den leader, and also a certified whitlin' chip instructor.
6. When I was an infant & toddler, my pediatricians office was next door to Dr. Seuss's office in Springfield, MA.
7. I use marshmallow root extract to cure just about everything that ails me and my family.
8. I have a great sense of direction.
9. When I'm driving car and the traffic is heavy, I need to turn everything off (radio, air or heat) and no one is allowed to talk. (I sometimes am stressed enough in heavy traffic that even if my husband is driving I turn everything off!)
10. I am very good at remembering the names of anyone I meet.
11. 9/11 was my second day back to work from maternity leave. It was also my son's second day at his day care. His daycare was less than two miles from the Pentagon.
12. I think birds are amazing.
13. When I was 30, I literally lost everything I owned, except my bed, because of a gas explosion in the apartment next to mine. The damage was four fold, some things I lost because of the sheer force of the explosion, a fire followed that which took the furniture, the rest was lost to smoke damage, and water damage from the firefighters putting out the fire. (This fact also answers the other Day 1 question regarding a changing moment in your life - there were other moments, but this one definitely ranks high!)
14. I love awards shows.
15. I have no problem hooking worms and taking fish off hooks when fishing.

Day 1 - something beady!
I recently sold a piece to a bride in Rhode Island. She also requested a bracelet and earrings:

I've been so beadweaving-centric in my work lately, I forgot how nice a simply strung piece can be!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

30 day blog challenge!

First I want to share my excitement about a drawing I won!!! I follow a lovely young lady's blog, and she recently did a giveaway for basket of goodies from Whole Foods! Her blog name is "Eats, Love and Happiness". What's not to love about a name like that?! Thank you Amanda!

It's now been one week since my broken foot diagnosis. Last night my shoulders finally started having spasms and I woke up today with a stiff neck . I'm sure it's from the crutches or because my balance is all off...seems like a pretty crappy side effect/irritation of the whole thing.

But in my effort to see the sunny side - and since I seem to have a bit more time on my hands, I decided to take on one of those 30 day blog challenges. I've seen them on some of the blogs I follow and it looks like fun. I have also read time and time again, to become a better writer, you should write every day. The direction my career is taking right now will actually have me contributing posts to several blogs, so I think it will be good practice for me as well.

To kick it up a notch however, and stay in the theme of my blog, it is called Amybeads after all, I also decided I will also post something 'beady' for 30 days also! I am going to TRY to make something every day. But if that fails I will just have to search my stash of completed pieces and see what I can come up with!

While I looked for a 30 day challenge list of topics, I was amazed to see that there are tons of them out there. Here are a couple I I figured each day I could pick one, or a few, to answer! Here are the lists:

Day 1 – your favorite song
Day 2 – your favorite movie
Day 3 – your favorite television program
Day 4 – your favorite book
Day 5 – your favorite quote
Day 6 – 20 of my favorite things
Day 7 – a photo that makes you happy
Day 8 – a photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 9 – a photo you took
Day 10 – a photo taken over 30 years ago of you
Day 11 – a photo of you recently
Day 12 – something you are OCD about
Day 13 – a favorite fictional book
Day 14 – a favorite non-fictional book
Day 15 – your dream house
Day 16 – a song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 – an art piece made by you (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc)
Day 18 – my wedding/future wedding/past wedding
Day 19 – a talent of yours - direction
Day 20 – a hobby of yours
Day 21 – a recipe
Day 22 – a website
Day 23 – a youtube video
Day 24 – where I live
Day 25 – your day, in great detail
Day 26 – your week, in great detail
Day 27 – my worst habit
Day 28 – whats in my handbag/purse
Day 29 – hopes,dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 – a dream for the future

Day 01 — Your favorite song
Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book
Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fictional book
Day 15 — A fanfic
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

Day 1. What was a changing moment in your life?
Day 2. Has a painful experience ever had a positive impact in your life?
Day 3. What are three of your biggest passions?
Day 4. What is your dream career?
Day 5. What in life is most beautiful to you?
Day 6. Describe a specific moment where God obviously was working in your life.
Day 7. What is your place of refuge?
Day 8. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What about now?
Day 9. What song has moved you recently?
Day 10. Who is your "best self"?
Day 11. What is your favorite age?
Day 12. If you knew you would die in two weeks, would you change anything about your life now?
Day 13. Why do you keep a blog? What is your favorite part of keeping a blog? Least favorite?
Day 14. When do you feel most alive?
Day 15. Have you ever regretted something you DIDN'T do?
Day 16. How do you spend time alone?
Day 17. What kind of impact do you want to make on the world?
Day 18. If you had a friend who talked to you like you talk to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?
Day 19. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Day 20. Are you an optimist, a realist, or a pessimist? Which would you rather be?
Day 21. What do you miss most about your childhood?
Day 22. How are you inspired?
Day 23. What is a quality about yourself that you like? That you're striving to change?
Day 24. Who is someone who changed your life for the better?
Day 25. How is God working in your life right now?
Day 26. If you could write a letter to your thirteen-year-old self, what would you say?
Day 27. What do you like best about each member of your family?
Day 28. If you could do one thing to make the world a better place, what would you do?
Day 29. At this time in your life, do you think you're fulfilling God's plans for you?
Day 30. Share your testimony.

Day 0: The 30 Day Challenge Explanation and Description
Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3: Your first love
Day 4: Your parents
Day 5: A song to match your mood
Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite movies
Day 8: A place you've traveled to
Day 9: A favorite picture of your best friend
Day 10: Something you're afraid of
Day 11: Favorite tv shows
Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without
Day 13: Goals
Day 14: A picture of you last year - how have you changed?
Day 15: Bible verse
Day 16: Dream house
Day 17: Something you're looking forward to
Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME Why?
Day 22: What's in your purse?
Day 23: Favorite Movie
Day 24: Something you've learned
Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26: Your Dream Wedding
Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in
Day 28: Something that stresses you out
Day 29: 3 Wishes
Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge

See you tomorrow for Day 1!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Think Spring!

Well, I'm finally getting used to the crutches!

I recently submitted this piece to the Think Spring! contest at my local bead store.
Now I'm harassing my hubby to take me to Baltimore so I can go vote for it! :)

Happy Spring!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

As of late..

Well, it's been a while since my last post...but I had a rough week and BROKE one of the bones in my foot! And tore a handful of muscles & ligaments in the process too!!!!

I wish I had a good story as to how this happened...but I can't seem to pinpoint the exact moment. There were a few times mid-week where I came down or up off my foot and felt like it hurt too much. On Wednesday it started to hurt a lot. On Thursday morning I attempted to walk my dog, but only managed to walk two houses down, before I was in tears. Then I just sobbed like a big baby when I learned I'd be off my feet for a while.

Now I'm in this boot for 4-6 weeks. The really stinky part of this, is it's my driving foot!!! Doc says I can't drive for at least 2 weeks and we'll have another look. I've been rather grumpy about the whole thing. I've never been on crutches...apparently my upper body strength isn't quite what I thought is was (but in other, good news I can feel my back fat melting away).

So, as I'm trying to adjust my crabby attitude, I spent most of the day in my bead room and finished this piece (which I also entered into the Bead Maven's Vernal Visions challenge ). I got these cabs from Lori at Out of the Flames.

I also sorted through my stash to pick out beads for the Margie & Me challenge. I love how Marcie really pushed us to continue stepping outside our comfort zone by selecting palettes with yellow. As it turns out, I actually have more yellow beads than I realized!

So over the next couple weeks, I will be stuck in the house. I am lucky that I can do nearly all my work from my desk in my home office, but I also plan to put in lots of time in my bead room. I tend to run around quite a bit (with my full time work, my part-time work, and my volunteer work -my son's school, cub scouts, and the golf tournament- and of course all of my beading projects.), my husband often comments that he's never known anyone who has so much going on all the time. I guess it's time to pause a bit! Relax. Heal.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pay It Forward - Changing the RULES!

Okay -so I was bummed I didn't get more responses to the Pay It Forward post! At first I thought, "oh, maybe they just don't want a free gift from me?!" I mean geesh - who doesn't want to get a free gift!!?!? But then I got off my pity pot and I realized, it wasn't really a free gift, because I had some conditions attached to it!!! It is my pay it forward and I would like to pay it without any strings attached!

So - without further ado - I promise to send a handmade gift to the first five people who comment on this post, some time in the year 2011! (ALSO -to the first three who commented on the first post - you're staying on my free gift list too!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pay It Forward

I love this Pay It Forward idea running wild in the blogosphere!

I first saw it on Ellen's blog, Shimmer & Tulle.

She had it linked to Tammy's blog, Art & Inspirations.

Lori, over at Pretty Things, took on quite a huge Pay It Forward project.
And most recently I saw it on Shirley's blog, Beads & Bread!

The rules I've seen on most of the Pay It Forward blogs go something like this: the blogger must promise something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here. However, to be eligible, you must repost this status, offering something handmade to 5 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade (or homemade) by you and it must be sent to your 5 people some time in 2011.

So I hereby promise to Pay It Forward, by sending something hand made by me to the first five people leaving a comment here. While beading is my main creative outlet, I do dabble in other crafts too, so don't be surprised - your handmade gift may or may not be beady!

So go ahead - leave a comment! I will email the first five for your mailing details!

(P.S. - I had an interesting opportunity come across my inbox recently for iPhone users...stay tuned for another fun giveaway!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Busy busy!

I've had a busy weekend, and really need to catch up on some of my beading projects! The "Think Spring" contest at my local bead shop has a deadline of March 15 and I am not even half way done with one of the pieces I want to enter....never mind the fact that I have a second piece in mind!!!

On Saturday we took our Cub Scout pack out for "Scouting For Food" and we collected 281 pounds of non-perishable food. The boys worked hard, and were very proud of themselves (as we were of them too!)

On Sunday & Monday I had to go to a conference in Ocean City....and was lucky to get another room with a spectacular view:

Unfortunately the sun came out as I was leaving the shore! But it was still lovely to fall asleep and wake to the sound of ocean waves!

And of course we are still adjusting to the new little cutie-pie in the house.

(I am hoping that the novelty will wear off soon and I won't bore everyone to death with her...she's just SO DARN ADORABLE I can't help myself but to share!!!)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New Family Member! and a couple of beady updates...

This week flew by! I am always happy for Friday to get here but this week I was surprised it got here so fast.

I've been working with some of the gorgeous cabs I won from Lori at Out Of The Flames. (And you absolutely should go to her blog today and see what came out of her flames most recently!) I'm nearly done with this embroidery piece and will post the final product soon!

I also completed a ring for a ring swap:

In the meanwhile - I've had a very crazy week! In a somewhat sudden turn of events, we have a new family member!
Meet Molly!

A couple of months ago, my husband and I decided that we were ready to get a dog for the family. Both he and my son have dog allergies, so we decided to look for a dog that falls under the "hypoallergenic" category. So for a couple months, I have been casually checking craigslist and the local shelter websites for a cockapoo or other poodle mix. Then this past Tuesday, I saw an ad on craigslist for a "young Maltipoo". So I responded to the ad with a couple questions and a little bit of info on us. A lady responded that night saying she was giving her up because her medical problems interfered with caring for her and to call her for more details. I called her the next morning and she gave me all the info on the dog and was really pressuring me to meet her soon. It turns out she has Parkinsons that is progressing and she is in so much pain in the mornings she can't keep up with the dog. I met her at 2:30 on Wednesday and fell in love with the little pup. I said to her "well, I really love her and I think she'd be a great fit for our family...but I would like my husband to meet her too before we decide." So she handed me the leash and said, "Here, take her home if you want, and if your husband likes her you can keep her, and if he doesn't I'll meet you back here tonight."

(meeting my husband)

The rest you could say is history! We really lucked out with her. Although, now that I have gotten to know this sweet little pooch for the last two days, I know it must have been heartbreaking for her owner to give her up. But we plan to give her a wonderful life.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy First Day of March!

It's the first day of March, and that just makes me glad because it means Spring is near!!!! Woo hoo!

(source Beadazzled Facebook page)

I just love this picture (above) which is on the Facebook page of my local bead store. They are having a contest right now called "Think Spring". That's it - that's the only rule - "Think Spring"! I'm already working on the project with bright pink, tangerine orange and some lime green. There is also some purple on my bead table threatening to elbow it's way in!

In the meanwhile, I am DROOLING over this palette for the Margie & Me challenge put together by Marcie on La Bella Joya.

This painting is so rich and vibrant. I love how Marcie listened to all that everyone said about the yellow and pressed on, with encouragement to "face our fears head on" [of yellow] with such gorgeous palettes.

Over the last few days I have been visiting so many of the blogs for the Bead Soup Blog Party. I am blown away by the creativity I've seen. And also blown away by all the really nice comments I've received on my blog! Thanks everyone! :)