Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Heart Is Heavy

I've gone back and forth on whether to discuss this here on my blog for a few weeks now.  I usually don't like to be a Debbie-Downer here, but while personal, I know in my heart of hearts that I'm not the only going through this, and I know no one walks this path alone...

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

I received some horrible news two weeks ago.  A close family member of mine has cancer. The first thought that ran through my head was "this is a dream, right?  Here we go again" and then "how the hell do I handle this...knowing what could be?  At least last time I had my naivete."  Of course then I snapped out of the selfish mode and considered what they were going through as well...so far away from me...

The cancer "is curable"...and I swear if I hear that one more time I'm going to wallop someone...been there, done that and it wasn't curable!  My mom battled for 15 months on what should have been a "curable" cancer.  Without any immediate family close by, a lot of the day to day care I took on willingly (can I also say I was going through a bitter custody court case at the time, and well after she was gone), with four children, a new marriage, a new full time job, and then dealing with an alcoholic step father thrown in the mix didn't help matters.  Despite those dark days (most I didn't even remember my name), I wouldn't trade the extra time we got to spend together...regardless of the reasons or the outcome.  The parent/child relationship came full circle, rolls were reversed, and I did all I could to show the thanks for all those years that I never actually said "thank you!"

My mom & myself on my wedding day - July 31st, 2004. (mid cancer battle)
Coincidentally, she quickly exited my life exactly a year later...to the day.

I know my story isn't especially unique...or tragic in the grand scheme of things, but nevertheless, it's mine.  Mine to somehow work through, find faith for, and yet another reason I'll never give up.  

So, while I travel down this path, yet again, still without a damn clue, please bear with me.  If you've emailed or contacted me, I promise I will get back to you, it's just some days I'm still my happy-go-lucky self, and other days I'm holding a massive pity party for one!  

So, while you're waiting for me, can I please tempt you with getting involved with a Relay For Life event near you?  I can't even begin to tell you what an awesome experience they are.  Our whole family participates at our local event, and although the first year was extremely hard, the experience is always uplifting, humbling, and harrowing.  

Our 2010 luminary - My oldest designed it.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of the last lap made that night.  In complete darkness, with only the luminaries lit...and in total silence...to honor those who we've lost.

Our t-shirts I made for the 2010 event

2011 Relay event.  My girls participating in the "Relay for Relay"

Same girls 2011...thinking they could win the cupcake eating contest. Unfortunately, a massive thunderstorm came through and the event couldn't be finished that day, so we missed the luminary walk.

So, please...be kind to those around you, as you just never know what they're going through    

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Bead Soup Has Landed!

My Bead Soup Blog Hop partner, Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions received the soup I sent her today!!!

Now, because I'm a complete moron, and packaged, sent, and then realized I forgot to enclose the card with the description of my soup...I'll post a labeled picture here...sorry Jennifer!!!

And a few more shots....

Bead Soup

Close up of the clasp:  Polymer clay floral with copper key toggle

Close up of the polymer clay focal bead

I can't wait to see what Jennifer sent me...I know it'll be to die for though!  I'm even more excited for March 3rd...BSBH day!!!  Seriously, I'm more excited about this than I was at Christmas!

I'll be listing more artisan components in my Etsy store...but it won't be until late next week!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ingredients Are On Their Way....

I finally got Jennifer's bead soup sent off to her today.  In conversation, she mentioned that she gravitates towards blue in her designs (I have the same issue except green is my color of choice)...so I made sure that ABSOLUTELY no blue was included in my soup mix!

I can't wait to see what Jennifer and all the participates create...it's my favorite part of BSBH!  You too can follow and visit all of us HERE on Lori Anderson's blog Pretty Things.

And now for just a little sneak peek!

Nothing like a little color swapping and pixelation to completely throw someone off!

And a quick photo of my less than phenomenal packaging...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Knit One, Purl ...Damn ...I Lost Count ...AGAIN!

Not long ago, I was feeling adventurous (I must've had more than 4 hours of sleep and a least a pot of coffee that day), and on a whim, I decided to teach myself how to knit.  Just think, I could knit the whole family matching sweaters, and socks!!...lots of socks, cozies for everything, blankets for the homeless, table cloths, toilet paper...the possibilities are endless!!!!!

Sienna Closet leg warmers

I can crochet like a mad man, although self taught, so I'm certain my technique is off...or at least a strange sight to see.  Being left handed isn't all it's cracked up to be!  So my theory was "how much harder can it be?"  I've used a knitting board many times, but felt like I was back in the 70's (I just showed my age, huh?) weaving potholders on my bright red plastic loom!  Let's just say that I jinxed myself before I ever started!

After a quick trip to Walmarket (oh, how I despise that place...but here in BFE there literally isn't anywhere else to go without driving 45+ minutes) I came home with 2 sizes of needles, ready to conquer the knitting world!!
Of course my tutor of the day was Mr. You Tube himself!  I never realized how useful the pause and replay buttons are until I needed to use them every .7873 seconds!  Never easily discouraged, I forged on...and on...still forging...

Bella Bunny by Rare Rabbit Designs

I should also add, that I went out and purchased 5 -10 more needles of different sizes, lengths, circular needles, bamboo needles, and even pretty ($$$$) rosewood ones, that surely held the secret to perfect knitting!  *Sigh*, that evidently wasn't the case.  I've ordered yarn in every weight, color and fiber possible...because we all know that hand dyed, hand spun, bamboo and silk yarn was going to greatly improve my knitting ability, right?  Yeah, the only thing that did was tick me off when I had to cut off approximately $15 worth of yarn because it was tangle beyond repair!

Silk yarn from Dye For Yarn

To date, I have started 100's of projects...dropped a stitch, completely jumbled the pattern, collected a gorgeous assortment of lovely yarns, and lots of bright and shiny knitting needles...that I seriously want to use to gouge my eyes out!!

So, my friends....anyone care to share the secret-society-knit-effortlessly-secret??  Because the only thing I've accomplished so far is an uber awesome rendition of Edward Scissorhands, and a mean air drum solo act!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I Burned My Soup....So More Glass Addictions

My BSBH partner definitely got her business name right..."addiction" about sums it up!  I sat down to make her  soup yesterday, and I'm not sure what happened...during the curing process, 2 of the beads cracked and turned strange colors.  I have no clue what went wrong...in the trash they went!  So, today, I'm back in the studio...which is a PERFECT way to spend a rainy Saturday!!!

In the meantime, I happened to look through Jennifer "sold" items on Etsy and fell in love with quite a few...no surprise there!

Oh my!!!  Seashell beads!!  Love the way they look like little pools of water.

I love all the colors in this!

Here's another favorite of mine...reminds me of  a Van Gogh painting.

And these speak for themselves!

I can't help but see an emerging butterfly deep within this bead...

How awesome is this?

Ok...this is my new favorite...love it!

Anyway...I'll get Jennifer's soup out to her on Monday...a day later than planned...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quote Day!

I'm a sucker for quotes.  Seriously, I even have them on my living room walls...they offer me comfort, inspiration and wisdom.  Because I'm weird that way!

And this my friends is how a drained, tired and lazy girl writes a blog post!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Hop & Glass Addictions

Somehow I had the good fortune of the planets aligning and I was one of the lucky 201 drawn to participate in Lori Anderson's 5th Bead Soup Blog Hop!!  This will be my second BSHP...Yep...I had SO much fun the first time around, I had to go back for seconds!!  If you're unfamiliar with Lori, or with her Bead Soup Blog Hop (and seriously, I don't know how she doesn't claw her eyes out trying to organize and please a group of this size...or of any size for that matter), then please head over to Lori's blog and check it all out...but first let me introduce my "partner in crime" for the hop...

Again, somehow I lucked out and drew a golden ticket...as I was paired with the amazing glass artisan Jennifer Cameron!!  I adore lampwork, with all it's mesmerizing facets buried within the glass, and even though I drool over glass beads on a daily basis, I haven't had the opportunity to work with them as much as I daydream about.  Partly because I can never decide which ones to purchase, but for the most part I always fear of not doing the beads justice in my creations.

Enough about me, let's get on with Jennifer's eye candy shall we?

First, let's check out her studio:

I love all the colors and having them on display they are like little works of art all by themselves!!!!

And of course I couldn't help but spy this little creation by Jennifer in her Etsy shop...found HERE

I've worked with glass discs...and I promise that I'll be hiding my creation after seeing how gorgeous this necklace is!  Jennifer made her own PMC hearts too...all kinds of talent!

Now on to the main act...BEADS!!!

See what I'm talking about?  So many dimensions in such a little bead!  Unbelievable!

I get lost in this piece...

And I'll wrap it up with my favorite:

Now you can see why it's my favorite!!

Please run on over and check out Jennifer's BLOG or her Glass Addictions Etsy store...but don't be greedy :) and save some for the rest of us!

Don't forget to come back and check out all the participants' creations on reveal day March 3rd!  I'll be re blogging the participants list, complete with links prior to reveal day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party Sign Ups End Today!!

Lori's Anderson's Pretty Things Blog 5th Bead Soup Blog Party sign ups end TODAY...run...sign up...then cross your fingers and hope your number comes up! :)  But, even if it doesn't please come back on March 3rd to visit all the participates goodies!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back From the Land of the Lost

I'm such a horrible blogger...the holidays just made it that much worse for slackers like myself!  There's nothing like sleeping in, working on my own schedule (yeah, that didn't happen in the past two weeks), and taking naps at my leisure (these happened ALOT), but sadly, all good things must come to an end!  With my gaggle of kids back to the books (and yes I did a happy dance and contemplated popping open a bottle of bubbly), I suppose I must clear the cobwebs out of my studio and my mind and get back to a schedule....and oh how I hate a schedule!  I live life "calendar free"...honestly, I despise being all date planner organized...I threw that in the trash when I fell off the corporate ladder.

I've also ventured on to a new obsession...reconstructing/upcycling clothing into new garments with shabby/boho flair.  I'll admit that I really was only looking for an excuse to buy (hoard) vintage lace, crochet and other bobbles from the antique mall we frequent on the weekends.  Thankfully, I haven't sewn through my hand yet (and yep...I've done it before), which equates to success in my book!  No pictures just yet, as it's absolutely FREEZING in my neck of the woods!!

With the new year, comes new commitments, and resolutions...I'm not big on those either by the way!  I did promise myself to lose the 10 lbs that happened to find me sometime during the holidays.  I even ate the last of the chocolate pie last night so I wouldn't keep getting up and eating a slice as a nightly midnight snack.  Who's brilliant idea was it to buy 4 pies for Christmas?  That would be the Mr....darn him...I don't see it hanging around on his hips!!!

I've also got to be a little more organized...my "studio" space is shared with my husband, and also doubles as our laundry/mud room.  Organization is not my strong point...I gave that up as soon as I had more than one child...but it's a complete DISASTER in there!!

But, despite all of the above...my biggest commitment this year is to simply...