Friday, March 29, 2013

TGIF

Today was stunningly gorgeous here in Massachusetts.  We took a walk along the pretty babbling brook at the bottom of the hill our house sits on.   Snow is almost gone!!!

I can't believe the Blogging from A-Z Challenge is beginning on Monday.  I think I have my topics ready to roll - but I admit...there are some days I just haven't thought of anything!

Lately I've been seeing so many pieced done in this gorgeous 'micro-macrame'.   

I want to learn - but I have always had the hardest time with basic macrame knotting.  There have been so many crafts that I sometimes just 'don't get'....and macrame knotting was one of them.  UNTIL I came across this wonderful video that made me have my 'aha moment' on macrame. 


I gave it a try and finally had a little success!  You should have heard me in my best British accent saying "over, over, under....under, under, over"...just like the lovely lady in the video! I finally get it!!!
Have a great weekend.  Back on Monday when you'll hear from me 6 days a week for four weeks!!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

DESTASHING!

As mentioned in plenty of blog posts over the last year, I've moved a few times.  Three to be exact.  In the last 10 years, I"ve moved four times. Every time I move - I am astonished at the large quantity of moving boxes I have that are labeled "BEADS".


Our storage PODS unit was dropped off about a month ago and slowly I've been sorting through the contents of all the boxes.  This morning I was sorting through the boxes of beads I haven't seen in over 8 months.  And it occurred to me that some of them were in boxes or bags that I hadn't opened in YEARS!! Literally! I realized then and there it was time for me to DESTASH!  I know there are beaders out there who will put these beads to good use.  They are all great supplies - they are just not for me any more! 

Everything is for sale in my Etsy shop in groups of how they have been stored.  Everything is $4 or under, so there are some huge values in the destash section!



It's hard to part with some of these items - I am very attached to my beads!  So much so, I've been moving some of them around for the last 18 years! 

So check it out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/amybeads?section_id=13334456

This is just the beginning - I feel certain there will be more destashing in my future.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Luck of the Irish!

I'm only a quarter Irish - but I grew up in Western Massachusetts where the Holyoke St. Patrick's Day parade is practically a religion in its own right.  I grew up on a street that is just off the parade route and watched it every year in my youth.

I had the pleasure of watching the parade again last weekend after many many years of missing it!

(point of interest that will surely age me: the building behind the Clydesdale horses was my elementary school... in the back engraved into the stones above the doors were separate entrances for boys and girls!  And there was a line down the middle of the playground that separated the girls and boys during recess too! hahahahah!)

I made some little shamrocks for earrings and was tasked with making several more pairs for my Irish friends for next year's parade!

 And just a few days before St. Patrick's Day, I got very lucky and won this amazing stash of beads from an Artbeads contest on Facebook! 



Now I need to get busy using these great beads!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Color Palette Fun!

Have I mentioned that I'm in love with the little town we landed in? It's small, with about 1100 residents - although we're less than 20 min away from bigger towns and anything we need.  I like that it isn't too crowded, especially coming from the DC area which is incredibly crowded.  But what I love the most is the HUGE network of hiking trails.  I've read that there are over 100 trails covering over 100 miles in this town. 

There is a lot of history here.  Just the other day on one of the trails - we discovered a castle just two miles from my house!





Technically it's not a castle, but it sure looks like one! It was originally built as a bungalow (hah!) in 1906 for a wealthy general's wife!, but the builder's wife passed before it was built, money ran out and the local hunting club bought it.  Then back in the 30's during the Fourth of July, the place caught fire and all that was left standing was the stone structure you see above. I can't wait to see this place in the spring, summer and fall!

Over the weekend, we hiked on a trail that is very close to our house and I snapped this shot for a color palette:





The colors were SO vibrant on our sunny Sunday - I didn't manipulate this photo whatsoever - it was an iphone shot and you can see how spectacular the greens on the pines was looking!!!  We saw plenty of insects, even in the snow....so I know spring is coming!!

Anyway - I've been pretty busy with work, but I have a LOT of projects on my beading table!!Yesterday I wore my fish pendant (for the upcoming Beading Babes project) to the International Seafood Show and got tons of compliments!  I can't wait to reveal in April! 




Thursday, March 7, 2013

Glasses & Firmoo

Glasses.
I've been wearing them for many, many, many, many, many years now! In fact, if I remember correctly - I learned I had to wear glasses the same year I started wearing braces.  Good times.

It was the 80's, and the fashionable look was big round glasses. 



Yup - I sported this look for many, many, many years. Until about a year ago actually!  When a lovely young sales associate, wrinkled her nose and shook her head "no," when I picked out a yet another pair of  big round glasses....   I am in her debt for introducing me to a new look!



For the first time in years (like 20years), I started wearing my glasses instead of my contacts during the day!

Now enter Firmoo!  One of the perks of blogging regularly, is that sometimes you get an opportunity to try out something new and write about it.  Recently I ordered a pair of glasses from Firmoo.  There is a huge selection of stylish frames.  I selected a pair from the semi-rimless frames.  They have a very cool function on the site that allows you to upload a photo of yourself and then see how the glasses look on you - the Virtual Try-on Upload!



Ordering was very easy with my current prescription, and my glasses arrived very promptly (might I add, with a nice case, cleaning cloth and repair kit!)


It's been either snowing or raininig here for about the last three weeks - so I couldn't get a well-lit photo - but I think you can see from these pics, that I got a really great pair of frames that I am proud to wear regularly!

Firmoo
also offers a free pair of glasses (you only pay shipping) for new customers ("complemented with 1.50 index single vision lenses").  So you can get a pair of glasses even if you don't need them and just want the look!  Being a person who has needed corrected vision for the last 30+ years, I have a hard time understanding this desire - but I do know people who like to wear glasses anyway and if you are one of those people, this offer is definitely for you!

But even after the free offer, if you are a person who needs glasses, the pricing is very reasonable! 
 My son was just in need of a new pair of glasses!  Bless his heart - he was sitting at the kitchen table the other day and said, "I think you need to take me to the eye doctor - I can't see the clock on the microwave."  So he just got his prescription filled earlier this week and a new pair of glasses.  Here he is loving the 'roll up' sunglasses the doctor provided because his eyes would be sensitive from the drops:


Hahah - he loves these things!  He keeps putting them on when we go outside even in the snow and rain!

We have insurance for a new pair of glasses every year, but I am definitely going to get him a back-up pair on Firmoo. 

Disclaimer: Firmoo sent me this glasses to review.  I was not compensated to write this post, these opinions are my own. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Welcome to the Challenge of Music...hosted by Erin at Treasures-Found!


I participated in the Challenge of Music last year and loved it.  In fact - I submitted the earrings I made last year for publication in an upcoming bead book and they were accepted....the earrings are en route to the publisher on this very day!  So THANK YOU Erin for hosting this great challenge that pushed me to use the muse of music, and create something I was proud enough to send in for consideration!

For this year's challenge, I was all set to start rocking out some jewelry inspired by Pink's song, "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)", when Erin threw a twist in the challenge - choose an instrumental piece.

Okay!  I can do that.  I have a go-to mix on my iTunes that is instrumental that just makes me feel good when I listen to it.  Sometimes you don't need the words.  The hard part was selecting which of the songs in my instrumental mix I would select....


But then, it wasn't really that hard.  "Waltz for Julia," by Suzanne Ciani has been one of my favorite instrumental pieces for as long as I can remember.  It's frequently listed as meditation music, but it feels so much more hopeful to me.  Not that meditation can't be hopeful....it's just that when I hear this song, it makes me feel like I'm moving around in the movie of my life and this is the soundtrack...and something wonderful is about to happen or has just happened!  

When I sat down to bead, I was drawn to the pearls.  And apparently, this movie I am in, while listening to this music, is set in an era gone by....my necklace turned out, in my opinion to have a real Victorian or early 20th century feel (...come to think of it, I did sit down and work on this piece a few times while catching up on Downton Abbey.)

My piece...inspired by "Waltz for Julia":


Here is a list of everyone else participating.  Check it out.  I'm sure you will see some beautiful pieces and maybe even hear some new music, I know I did last year! Thanks again to Erin for hosting this great challenge!
Erin Prais-Hintz
Alenka Obid
Ali McCarthy
Alicia Marinache
Amy Severino
Amy Grass
Carolyn Lawson
Cece Cormier
Cynthia Riggs
Ema Kilroy
Emanda Johnson
Emma Todd
Erin Kenny
Evelyn Shelby
Evie and Beth McCord
Gerd Andersson
Holly Westfall
Jennifer Justman
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jess Green
Judy Campbell
Karla Morgan
Kay Thomerson
Kristina Johansson
Lola Surwillo
Lynn White
Malin de Koning
Mallory Hoffman
Mary K McGraw
Melissa Meman
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Escano
Michelle Bourbonniere
Michelle Heim
Michelle Mach
Molly Alexander
Molly Schaller
Monique Urquhart
Niky Sayers
Pam Farren
Rebecca Anderson
Sally Russick
Sharon Palac
Sharon Driscoll
Susan Kennedy
Tari Kahrs
Tracy Stillman
Veralynne Malone


Happy Hopping!