Saturday, January 25, 2014

GROW YOUR BLOG 2014

Thank you for joining me in the "Grow Your Blog" blog hop! Hosted by 2 Bags Full, the idea of this is to discover new blogs and meet new people!



Here are a couple of guidelines Vicki gave us:
 Introduce yourself, tell us who you are and why your love to blog.  If your blog pertains to a specific interest or area - tell us all about that. In short - we would all like to know what drives you create your blog.  

So here we go! My name is Amy and I DO love my blog!!  It is a place where I share my beaded creations and sometimes just random things happening in my life.   But what's made blogging so wonderful for me, is that it has become a gateway to meet other beaders and non-beaders around the nation and the world!  Blog hops and challenges are a wonderful component of blogging too.  I started blogging in 2010, and when I look at this blog's stats, I'm astonished to see that this is my 343rd post!


In honor of the Grow Your Blog event, I am hosting two giveaways.  Since I know there are a LOT of beaders that stop by here, one giveaway is a stash of beads that include a turquoise bead soup.   

The next giveaway is a package of four pairs of earrings.  


all you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment specifying if you want in on the earrings or the bead stash giveaway! Everything is packaged and ready to go.  Vicki simply asked that we wait til Feb 15 to announce the winners! So comment until the 15th and I'll put you in a drawing to win one of the packages!


Thanks for stopping by!  Please visit this page to see other participants in the Grow Your Blog event! 

Focus on Life | Week 4

If you are looking for the Grow Your Blog post, please click HERE.

For our fourth week in the Focus on Life  photo challenge,this week we were prompted to "focus on words.  What word speaks to you, makes you laugh, makes you feel good about your being and who you are in that moment."

There's a good chance I have posted a picture of this drawing in the past, because I just love it so much.   It was part of a gift from my son, several Christmases ago, and he thought he wrote "Life is Beauty" LOL!  ( I had lots of fun playing with the "textures" function on PicMonkey that I couldn't choose just one result!)




It's been on our fridge ever since!

Please go here to visit the other participants this week!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 3

"Black and White Photo of You"

We're still working on minimalism..and this week's photo is a "Black and White Photo of You"....Sally said we are "so critical of ourselves, at a drop of a hat we can name a half dozen features that we feel don't make the cut.  This week we will focus on what we feel so self conscious about, ourselves!"

She's right.  Definitely self conscious and critical, and I definitely have a long laundry list of issues when I look in the mirror or a photo of myself. But in the spirit of this week's photo assignment, I'll keep them to myself.  Here's my selfie for Week 3!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Today I'm

Time for another edition of "Today I'm...", which I saw on Hope's blog a couple months ago and really thought was fun!

So....today I'm....

Bookmarking: information on fiber....I got an Artful Fiber kit for Christmas and want to dive in! (this is the exact one!)  ANY TIPS OR TRICKS ARE WELCOME!

http://www.amazon.com/Artful-Fiber-Surfaces-Mixed-Media-Surface/dp/1607055899

Creating: Just finished a pile of quilt squares for the Bead it Forward project. They are in an envelope waiting to get to the post office, and then to Milwaukee!  The patterns are on my Free Pattern page, so please feel free to use them for this wonderful cause! Now I'm just finishing a UFO!


Enjoying: Quieting of my workload.  I've taken on a lot, in the last several months and work became busier than it's been in a while. Between my new work in MA and holding onto a lot of work I had in DC I was starting to burn the candle at both ends.  I'm phasing out most of my DC work and it feels good to focus on what's going on here!

Feeling: Content

Giggling: At my one pup playing under the covers and poking his nose out every once in a while , and the other pup giving me that "why did you ever bring him home" look....(he's practically camouflaged, but his nose is front and center! lol)


Listening: Again, the dogs

Needing: A MacBook....okay, okay - well maybe that should go under the "want" category!!!  Not really needing anything right now! Which is a good thing!

Noticing: The temperature starting to drop again.  Funny that I was thinking how warm 40 felt!

Reading: House of Hades....the latest in the Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan.  I am seriously going to read an adult book soon! But it really is enjoyable reading the same books as my son and having the opportunity to discuss them afterward!

Watching: Dexter.  This show is gruesome, but also suspenseful and interesting!

Wearing: Jeans and a turtleneck sweater and cozy, furry slippers (did I mention the temperature's dropping?)

Wishing:  My husband a happy birthday! It's today!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Time To Stitch Reveal

I had big plans...oh did I have big plans!!!!
A Time To Stitch is a challenge hosted by Therese Frank of Therese's Treasures and Christine Altmiller of One Kiss Creations challenging participants to try out new stitches or perhaps combine stitches.  The choices this time around were chevron, chenille, and/or spiral rope...to be combined with netting. 

So back to my big plans....

My hopes were to do a chevron rope lariat with some netting at each end...but for whatever reason, I just wasn't loving the chevron that I was working on!



I have tried chenille in the past and really liked it, so when I abandoned the chevron stitch I planned to do a chenille necklace with netting coming off of it.

Then time started running out so I had to be happy with something a little smaller.  And I am happy!  I really love the way the chenille stitch rope comes together pretty quickly and the look of it is a very lovely netted rope.  For this piece I created a loop pendant.  I attached a disc to the connection at the top and put a netted top on the disc.  Here is the result!




Please check out the other participants!!  And thanks again to our hosts, Therese and Christine, for this fun challenge/hop!  I enjoyed getting reacquainted with chenille stitch!

21.   Nelly May
22.   Ana Cravidao






Saturday, January 11, 2014

Focus on Life | Week 2

This week's assignment was to capture a silhouette.  It didn't take much coaxing to get my son to sit in on this one!

He's so silly - almost every single time I ask him to pose, he goes right into "the thinker" pose.  Better 'duck lips' I suppose!! :)

Coming next week will be the A Time To Stitch reveal, hosted by Therese & Christine!  Should be lots of fun to see what everyone created.  I'm excited that this challenge prompted me to try a new stitch!
Stop by on Wednesday for the reveal!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Focus on Life: Week One

Week One: The Minimalist Photograph

I loved seeing this challenge last year and I am excited to take part this year! 

This week's prompt is: The Minimalist Photograph | Capture an image using a single subject

I picked a snowflake!


This snowflake idea as a single subject is easier said than done, particularly when it's snowing 1-2 inches per hour! LOL!  I took a TON of photos with my fancy camera and my point & shoot camera over the course of our two day Nor'easter.  But the funny thing is, I got the best one from my phone when the storm had quieted a little and I was out running an errand!



More from my phone on my car!


I thought if I was quick I'd be able to catch just one flake.  This only happened on my car after a few attempts.  Earlier in the day I couldn't snap fast enough to get just one!  But the task was addictive and mesmerizing!! I took about 600 photos on Thursday morning and spent way too much time zooming in and admiring the beauty Mother Nature bestowed upon us!

Check out this little flower flake!!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Stating the obvious, this blog suffered from a bit of neglect in the later part of 2013!! One of my goals this year is to post more regularly.  I miss the interaction with my blogosphere friends....I may have been quiet, but I was thinking of you all!!!

In wrapping up 2013 - I can only say it was a year of great challenges, but also great growth.  Our family finally got all settled in Massachusetts, and put some roots down in this wonderful town we live in.  My work situation changed dramatically - but in an amazingly positive way.  My only complaint was that as I settled into the changes, I simply didn't have time to bead or blog! 


Bead-It Forward Quilt
Back in July - when I learned what the theme was for the 2014 Bead-It-Forward quilt, I made a few patterns.  The theme is Turning the Tide on Cancer, and quilt squares should be ocean/aquatic/beach themed.  I have a few patterns posted on the Free Pattern page.  I'm still tweaking a few, but plan to put them up as I finish them.  Here are a couple quilt blocks I completed in the last few days.  I posted the patterns for each on the patterns page...they are free to use for the 2014 Bead-It-Forward quilt project!





Creative Spark
Once again, I was remiss in sharing the link to Creative Spark which was published a few weeks ago!  This winter issue is a lot of fun.  Hope does an amazing job putting this piece together and I encourage you to check it out!  There is a lot of eye candy, and lots of great blurbs from the contributors!


Focus on Life
http://thestudiosublime.com/2013/12/23/focus-on-life-2014-registration/
I so enjoyed reading everyone's Focus on Life posts during 2013.  In an effort to push my photography skills, and to have a reason to make sure I'm posting at least once a week, I joined the Focus on Life 2014 series.  The theme is posted weekly by organizer Sally Russick (of The Studio Sublime), and participants post on Saturdays!


 
Blogging from A-Z
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/what-is-blogging-from-to-z.html

This is a challenge that holds true to it's name....it is a CHALLENGE!!!  I participated in 2011, 2012,  and 2013 though and loved it.  I've kept the theme about beads over the last three years, and it may be sacrilege to say - but I think I'm out of beady subject matter for this challenge!! Last year I was definitely reaching for new subjects, and found myself repeating a bit.  So this year I plan to do it again, but will probably move the theme to food....something I"m surrounded by at home and at work! 

Grow Your Blog
http://vicki-2bagsfull.blogspot.ca/2013/10/grow-your-blog-2014-this-is-official.html

This is another hop I signed up for.  Not unlike the A-Z challenge, I like these types of hops to venture a bit outside my normal blog reading! And it's always fun to have new visitors! If you come back on the 25th there will definitely be a giveaway!

New Crafts
Last year, I dabbled a bit in polymer clay and also paper quilling.  I really, really, really enjoyed these new crafts and truly hope to do more of them in 2014...

Spring Fling
And speaking of new crafts...if I can successfully become more regular with my beading and my blog...I will hold another Spring Fling challenge/hop this year! This type of challenge is my absolute favorite type - because i love to see the different visions of everyone who receives the same kit!!!

Okay - well that's all for now!  See you on Saturday for Focus on Life!