Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's It To Hue? and other ramblings...

What's It To Hue?
Pink and green! In the Western world, pink is a color associated with romance and love. It is associated with words like female, soft, sweet, nurture and security. Green is a color associated with nature, fertility and life. Green is associated with words like calm, tranquility, nature, fresh, youth, abundance. Hospitals use green to sooth patients. Prisons use pink to sooth prisoners! And this week we will use pink and green as our challenge colors. This week, in an effort to hopefully inspire some non-beaders - I made a multimedia piece with pink and green:

I couldn't help but use some pink glitter in this little piece after my husband, over the weekend, said something to the effect of "what do you need more glitter for anyway? I'm sure you have more glitter than anyone could possible use in a lifetime!" Hah! That's what you think, honey!

So next Tuesday - June 7th - let's meet back up here and do a blog hop reveal of our pink & green creations!

In other news, I've been working slowly but surely on my Artbeads Design Parnter piece. "What's Old is New Again" is the theme. Here is a sneak peek:

And let me tell you - I am IN LOVE with those golden seed beads (so rich and creamy!) and the sage green lined amber seed beads!


How was your Memorial Day? It was pretty toasty here in Maryland. In the 90's but felt like over 100! So we met some friends down by the bay. They said they would be doing a little fishing and crabbing:

...so we didn't plan for any swimming. But that didn't matter to Jackson - he just took his shirt off and went right into the water to join the ball game they were playing!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Margie & Me - Oil On Canvas

I was glad time allowed for me to take part in this month's Margie & Me challenge hosted by Marcie at La Bella Joya. I have always loved this challenge but time got away from me last month and it was the first time I didn't participate in months. I loved the first painting she chose for the palette! I love orange!!

Back in March, I won a beading contest and I received as a prize, a gift certificate to Beadazzled *YAY*. When I redeemed the certificate, I picked up a package of size 8 matte terra cotta seed beads. And when i saw this painting - I knew they'd work perfect for the palette.

I had hoped to try out the other palette, too - I've always been a fan of that painting "Girl with the Pearl Earring". But as it is, I have three unfinished projects on my bead table!!

Wishing everyone a reverent and fun Memorial Day Weekend!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What's It To Hue? Tuesday! Pink & Green

Welcome back to What's It To Hue? Tuesday!

Thanks for all the great feedback! I'm tickled pink (haha) that other bloggers want to participate! I was honored to see that Chrissy at Naturalist Designs already has a piece up! (I will still do a link up reveal on June 7).

I've had pink & green on the mind all week. And I was seeing it everywhere!

Mint plant on the kitchen table and plenty of green outside.

In the bedroom.

I love this plant. It's behind me in my 'office area' and I've given lots of clippings to others.

And these are the plants along my right in my 'office area'.

Really - is this color supposed to make this medicine seem appealing?

I made these....

...to go with this shirt!

And I learned a bit about pink and green this week too in addition to what I posted about the chakras last week. One thing that stood out to me is the difference in what color means to different cultures. For instance, in Japan, pink is commonly used for both genders. Likely because of the cherry blossom color. In history, warriors were given cherry blossom branches when going to battle. In South Africa, the color pink is associated with poverty. In Korea it is the symbol of trust. But my FAVORITE thing I learned about pink and other cultures is that in China the word for pink translates to "foreign color". Apparently the Chinese didn't use the color pink until they came into contact with the Western world. And while we are discussing the Chinese, they use the color green for exorcisms and the color green symbolizes infidelity. The Irish consider it lucky. And green is the color of fertility in Egypt.

Tune in next week when I will talk about the meaning of pink and green in the Western world! In the meanwhile - I need to get going on my Margie & Me project! I love these color palettes Marcie chose and I can't wait to play with them!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last Wednesday my poor little munchkin contracted strep throat!

He was out of school for two days, while he recovered. It made me overwhelmingly grateful that I work from home full time. In the past, I used to agonize about missing work when my son was sick. I would ponder how sick was he, did he need to go to the doctor, did he need to stay home, would a dose of ibuprofin do the trick or does he need some real medicine, if I sent him to school, will he be okay, will he suffer, would they just call me to pick him up, and so on. All in the name of being a reliable worker. But on Wednesday he said his throat was sore and I said, "do you want to stay home from school"? And he said "I think so." What a relief it was to be able to not stress out about missing work. He stayed in bed or lounged on the couch, watched tv and played his DS. All while I worked all day, and every half hour checked on him, hugged him, and comforted him!

In a fit of overwhelming gratitude toward the woman who has given me 90% of my current contracts, I whipped her up a pair of earrings as a token of my appreciation!

By Friday, Jackson was feeling 100%. But I kept him home to get a little more rest so he could enjoy his Cub Scout camping trip that began Friday and ended yesterday!

We were blessed with spectacular weather. The boys all had a blast and so did I!

Stay tuned for some thoughts on pink & green tomorrow for What's It To Hue? Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What's It To Hue? Tuesday!

Welcome to What's It To Hue? Tuesdays! Here's the basics:
  • I'll be picking a color or color combination.
  • I will announce that color or color combination on the second Tuesday of the month, along with some interesting tidbits about the color(s).
  • Your challenge will be to create something (anything!) using that color or color combination and write about what that color(hue) means to you. What's it to you(hue)? If you are not inclined to create something - feel free to write about that color and what it means to you for the blog hop.
  • The What's It To Hue? reveal will take place three weeks after the announcement, so it will be on the first Tuesday of the following month. I will have a linky tool in place - so I hope you'll play along!!!

So without further ado - I bring you What's It To Hue? Tuesday:

As you know I've been toying with what to do for a blog hop. I've felt very strongly about focusing the hop around color...but I didn't want to copy other hop ideas. And then I was reading my friend Mandy's blog. Now, I could write a whole blog post about what's going on with Mandy. But to summarize, she is a young lady, early 30's (or is it late 20's? does it matter - it's all way too young), a veritable spitfire, who is the baby sister of one of my good friends. And she is battling breast cancer. She recently had a mastectomy, and is currently undergoing chemo treatment. When she is up to it, she writes these awesome, funny posts that make you only hope that if you were going through the same thing, you'd be able to channel some of her humorous, positive perspective.

Now - back to What's It To Hue? So yesterday, she had a great post about color and it's relevancy to a person's chakras (chakra definition:Each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body, usually considered to be seven in number). Head on over to her blog post from yesterday and see what she wrote about the colors pink & green.

After I read that, I thought, I am totally making Mandy something green with a little bit of pink. And that's when the idea for What's It To Hue? spawned. I totally LOVE the expansive information there is to learn about the meaning of color. I love reading the effects color has on your psyche. I love learning about the the different powers that crystals have based on their color. I love learning about people behaviors because of color. I definitely believe in the chakras and their colors. There is a whole school of thought on color's impact in the metaphysical world. I love hearing what emotions, memories and associations people have with color. Color is a very interesting subject, and people typically have pretty strong and diverse opinions on each of them.

Back to Pink & Green. I have to be honest. When I hear pink and green together, I think preppy, preppy, preppy. I think ribbons and izods with their collars turned up. I think plaids and stripes and polkadots. I think...well...pink and green:

On Crystal-cure.com, it says: "Although green is the primary color used with the heart chakra, it can also be effective to use pink stones (such as rose quartz or rhodonite) if more softness, affection and love seem to be needed in working with the heart chakra."

Pink is one of my favorite colors. I would tell you that I would never pair it with green, but you'd see I was lying if you saw my garden:

(Disclaimer - this is not my garden - but I sure wish it was - instead, picture a smattering of pink petunia and impatiens!!!)

So here is your first What's It To Hue? challenge. Create something with pink & green. It doesn't have to be jewelry. It can be anything. And also write about what pink & green means to YOU! Our reveal will be June 7.
(P.S. How cool would it be though, if while we were all making our pink and green creations, that we are thinking of and sending healing thoughts to Mandy!? And while we're at it...let's throw in some loving thoughts for Jean, another dear friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer right around the same time earlier this year.....just a suggestion!)

Monday, May 16, 2011


Thanks to all of you who wrote in with comments and private messages regarding my last post! I'm excited about hosting a blog hop and I think I'm finally zeroing in on plan. More to come by the end of the week! But probably a little earlier than that since I have an event to attend in DC Thursday night and will be leaving for a Cub Scout camping trip Friday. (see me laying out my excuses should I not get around to posting before Thursday!?)

In the meanwhile, it's been nearly a week since I posted. I wanted to post my gratitude last Thursday or Friday, but to my shock and surprise - Blogger was down! Oh well. Can we really complain when there is a free service as cool as this available?!

And after that there was a very important activity to attend to:

Major in Biology, Minor in Neuroscience, Nitze Scholar recognition, Cum Laude! And in about 8 weeks, my stepdaughter is off to earn her PhD via fellowship at Wake Forest University! So yeah, we were rather proud and celebrating!

I also had a couple orders to complete:

Sorry for the bad photography on this one, I just finished it about half hour ago and the sun is already down!

Happy Monday to all....and I hope to be back here on Wednesday to announce the plans for my blog hop!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Reflection on Blogging

This past year of blogging - I realize that one of my favorite things about 'being a blogger' (more on that later), is being part of a community, albeit virtual, and taking part in blog hops and parties and challenges. They are such a great way to explore other blogs and get friendly with other bloggers! It's been so fun to "meet" other bloggers on line, and even meet them in person (shout out to Lori at Pretty Things - we frequent the same B&N and Whole Foods, and I had the pleasure of meeting her shortly after her Bead Soup Blog Party!)

Amybeads - circa 2001 - long before a blog was even a twinkle in my eye!

So what does it mean to 'be a blogger' or to 'have a blog'? Well, I'm sure it means different things to different people. I thought a lot about blogging before I actually did it. I thought it was more or less something people did to promote their businesses, or to get on their soapboxes etc... Then last year I was having this incredibly exciting moment while taking part in the Fashion Colorworks contest when I felt like all my colors were coming together beautifully and I wanted to share that moment! So I shared with my husband, who dutifully listened....but I just felt like he didn't get it! And that day - my blog was born. Zoya (host of the Fashion Colorworks contest) kindly commented on that first post less than 24hours after I posted.

Amybeads - circa 2003 - I do believe Blogger was founded this year!

So then I posted one more time in April. And my stats for the next few months looked like this:
  • April - posted x2
  • May - posted x 1
  • June - posted x 1
  • July - posted x 5
  • August - no posts!
  • September - posted x 4
  • October - posted x 5
  • November - posted x 9!!!!!!
And I've been posting much more frequently since then -December x6, January x8, March x15, April x24 (whew that was exhausting!)! It must have been November, when I decided that in order to 'be a blogger' I needed to blog more often, and with some consistency. At that time, I sort of promised myself, that I would blog twice a week. I picked two days of the week, and have mostly stuck with it! This is not to say that I don't think folks who post less frequently aren't real bloggers. In fact, some of my favorite bloggers simply post when they post, and I sure feel like I'm getting a treat when their new posts come up in my reader!

Amybeads - circa 2004 - Merriam-Webster's Dictionary declared "blog" as the word of the year!

I can't believe I'm approaching 100 posts! Blogging has introduced me to others. I've won contests (props to Lori at Out of the Flames and Amanda at Eats, Love and Happiness) I've learned about contests. I've been challenged. I've had fun. I've laughed. I've cried. I've been inspired. To sum it up, I would have to say, blogging has enriched my life.

For the past few months, I've been toying with the idea of hosting a blog party/hop/challenge. And while my blog has been primarily focused on beading, I don't necessarily want to focus solely on beads...maybe creativity...gratitude...friendship???

Amybeads - circa 2007 - joined Etsy and began wondering if I should have a blog!

So stay tuned for my first ever - and hopefully not my last - blog party/hop/challenge! Maybe in time for my 100th post!

What's your favorite kind of blog party/hop/challenge???

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's been a few days!

Well, hello there! I was blogging so frequently last month with the A-Z Blogging challenge that it felt like weeks since I've blogged. But I see it was just Monday. Looks like I'm back to my twice a week blogging habits after all.

It's been a busy week preparing for a farmer's market I help market & manage. Today was opening day, and we couldn't have asked for better weather: in the 70's and sunny. I was feeling anxious about going to D.C. today, with all that happened earlier in the week. I had to park in a government building; but felt better when my car was vigorously searched and my hands, steering wheel and dashboard were tested for explosives. A little surreal, but comforting nonetheless.

I picked up lots of goodies when it was over: a variety of hummus (mango/curry, cheesy artichoke & salt and vinegar - YUMMOLICIOUS!), fresh asparagus and strawberries, fresh baked bread, Old Bay roasted Virginia peanuts, and more!

In the meanwhile, I've had a handful of beading projects on hand. My stepdaughter requested a necklace for her senior dance at college. I sent that baby out so quick I didn't even photograph it! I have an order for a bride who bought a necklace and has since commissioned two bracelets and a pair of earrings (note to self: stop blogging and get up to your bead room). I've barely scratched the surface on my Artbeads Design Parnter project (note to self: get off the computer and go bead). And last night, in honor of our market opening day, I of course had to make a pair of earrings that matched my shirt, which matched the market logo!

Yup - same ol' circular peyote I like to use, just a different color! I have to say, even I am getting a little bored with this, but I've been fantasizing about taking this old standby to a new level. Perhaps when I finish with the aforementioned projects!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A-Z Blog Challenge - Reflections

I really enjoyed the A-Z blog challenge. I discovered it the day it began so I didn't put a lot of thought into it, but I was in the midst of a 30 blog challenge and this seemed more interesting!

Now that it's over I find myself disappointed, yet relieved all at the same time. The A-Z Blog Challenge really lived up to it's name. It really was a challenge! I put a lot of thought into many of the letters, but some of them I admit I just went through the motions. Before this challenge and the 7 days of the 30 day challenge I completed, I was more of a twice a week blogger. I will be curious to see how these last 5 weeks will affect my future blogging habits!

It was great to get introduced to other blogs! Some of them were so moving. Many were endearing. Some were informative. And several made me just laugh my a** off! (thank you very much Princess of Procrastination!) It was also fun to gain a bigger audience!

I will definitely try this again if it happens next year! Thanks to Arlee at Tossing It Out for hosting this great fun blogging event.