Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Regaining ground...

Oh man I was on a roll!
The dog got sprayed by a skunk. 
Oh My Goodness does that stink.
By the fourth bath, I was already feeling the pain, and I bent over just a little bit too far and my back went out. And I mean, it went way out. All I could do is stand there, and look down at my poor wet pooch and beg her quietly not to run away. When help arrived to take over dog washing, it took me 20 minutes to even make my way into the house. I was down for the count. But I got up and dragged myself to work the next day and the day after (I got a little bit of brain activity back from the shock, and got myself a cane to help take the pressure off my back, lol!). I had the chills from the pain so I literally sat at work with my afghan around me, a pillow behind my back and my cane next to me. I felt like I was 100!

I made an appointment with the Chiropractor that I decided to cancel and went for a massage instead. 
It worked like magic and helped tremendously!  My range of motion is getting better every day and thank goodness because I am far too busy to be out of commission!
I've even gotten back on track somewhat getting more steps in every day. So in a week's time I have managed to go from flat on my back to taking the stairs again. 
The dog still stinks slightly, but she's on the mend too. ;)

School starts Thursday... and that's a whole post in itself!
Annual back to school pics to follow! 
You can start singing the Staples commercial now...
"It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Going the Distance

I have been trying to increase my exercise. Right. Like I have time for that. 
But I sit all day at my job, strapped to my desk (literally, with my phone cord) and I only get up a couple times to use the ladies room. 
Because of my now sedentary lifestyle, I have certainly put on a few extra pounds. Boo. 
I'm done with it. I hate it. And I must change it. So, earlier this year, I bought myself a Fitbit One, and I wear it every day. I log my food and my exercise and it helps to keep me on track. Recently I have lowered my intake of Sugar and Carbs. Boo again. My goodness, how fun is that? Especially since my drink of choice, besides Diet Coke, is a Caramel Swirl Iced Coffee from Dunkin Donuts, with lots of cream and sugar. It's pretty much a hot fudge sundae in a glass calorie wise. And it's SO yummy. To.die.for. 
So, instead, for the past month I have been getting an Unsweetened Iced Tea with Lemon and Splenda. 9 little calories. It's good, I enjoy it on my hour long ride to work. I doesn't give me the sugar rush that I am accustomed to, however, when I think about it... the calories I'm saving alone will help me button my pants without jumping up and down and screaming, you know what I'm saying?
I've also cut down on the carb intake. Carbs and I do not get along. At all. I love my bread. But aside from that, I don't eat a lot of rice, pasta, potatoes, etc. But bread is a tough one. I've been really watching it and tracking my calories, carbs and sugar intake and increasing my exercise. 
On vacation last week, I walked with my father every single morning. We did approximately 3 miles a day. It felt great! Before vacation I was walking a mile and a half daily. But now that I've been walking longer distance, I feel like I'll be shortchanging myself if I go backwards. So this morning, in an effort to go the distance, I got up at 6am, got dressed, headphones on with some new tunes, and set off on my 3 mile walk.
 I was done in just about an hour and I was 
Work week starts again tomorrow, so no more vacation walking, but I have been taking the stairs (76 stairs) instead of the elevator, and I walk around at my break and up and down the stairs again at lunch. Once I get home I'll be grabbing the kids and heading out for an outside walk. I hope I can keep up the distance before it gets dark but I think I may have to lessen it during the week and make sure I go for it on the weekends. 
Hoping to slim down a bit before cooler weather gets here, so the motivation is there! 
We did a little yard work today too.A couple months ago, we took a chance and planted my favorite flower. I was so shocked and thrilled to see that it's growing! I have 1 beautiful yellow Calla Lily! So excited!
I don't know if the others will come up or if it will last but I'm so glad I got to see it and take a picture of it. 
It put a smile on my face for sure. 
Now if I can use these colors in a piece of jewelry, I'd be all set!
Going to search the bead box for something. ;) 
Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I need a do over...

If there was anything I could do to better manage my time I would do it in a heartbeat. Juggling a full time job now with everything else I have on my plate has proven to be a little more challenging than I expected. I am extremely happy to be working again. I've been able to get myself established and am doing pretty well!
 I have rearranged my schedule and am making things work with the kids school schedules as well. I knew it would happen though... my jewelry designing has taken a back seat. Along with Blogging. I think I'm going to try to get back on track with it though. I have a TON of beads to create with, because although I have had little time to design, it's easy to find time to shop for beads! ;)

I think that I need my outlet again. I used to love blogging about pretty much nothing. It was such a release of pent up energy and I honestly forgot that I have this outlet to do that in. I am making an effort to get back into it, and share what I've got going on, even if it's not all jewelry related. At least I'll be present and I think it will help focus me.

We took a trip to Rhode Island this past week, and the kids honestly had a blast. We go every year with my parents and my sisters family. So nice to unwind at the beach and spend time with the family. I got a little color, which is a welcome change for my white skin! After all it is summertime! I've been so busy at my house doing project after project after work, that there has been little time to enjoy the sunshine. But that's what weekends and vacations are for, right? Well, at least I had a little break, and now it's almost time for school to start again. Bittersweet.

I did manage to get one set designed last week. When I posted it on Facebook, I said that I wasn't ready for Summer to be over, and I truly enjoy all the beachy blue beads I have in my glass stash. I got these beads from Tanya Mcguire on Etsy and I just loved them when I saw them. I have a few others as well that I picked up that I'm still working with ideas for. But aren't they awesome? 
I'm calling this Poseidon's Playground and I think I'm in love.
I've got to get a few more things made to rotate stock at a couple of shops that carry my jewelry, and then I'll be focusing on getting my Etsy shop back up and running. It's been empty for far too long now and I miss it terribly. Jewelry design has been an important part of my life for the past 9 years since I started doing it, and I have to find a way to continue to create. I need that part of my life back.
 And so I set out on another path in search of a way to juggle it all, successfully. 
I am a huge Pinterest addict, and I recently saw this and it really kind of hits home:
(Sorry there is no link back to the original source, it was not found on Pinterest)
I'm starting to like taking the stairs...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Remembering Sandy Hook Elementary School

It was Friday, December 14, 2012. My Birthday. 
Yet it did not seem like anything worth celebrating. 
I was, like everyone else, on my iPhone, pouring over all the news reports regarding the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Trying to focus on work. That was not an easy task.
 Sandy Hook is a beautiful quiet little town about 15 minutes from where I grew up. It was shocking, to say the least, to hear that there was a shooting. And then the bad news just kept getting worse. It was not just a shooting, it was a complete massacre. Senseless. And it was children. So many children. And their teachers, their protectors, their angels. 
The tears are still coming as I type this. 

You see, I also have a 6 year old. Who I can't imagine living without. I can't imagine the pain that these parents and families are suffering right now, being Christmas and all on top of it. 
This just hit home for me. And so I grieve, along with this entire country. I am deeply saddened and in so much agony trying to figure out WHY this has happened. And why these beautiful babies and their teachers were taken from all of us in such a horrible way. I have concluded that their lives, however short, had so much meaning. I can't believe the outpouring of love and support that I've seen in the past week. People doing random acts of kindness, bonding together and HELPING each other. Is this what it takes??

In an effort to wrap my head around this and to deal with the intense sadness I feel, I have designed a special ring to honor the memory of these precious people who died that day. For whatever reason, they were needed elsewhere. To serve a better purpose, and I will never forget any of them. Even though I did not personally know any of them. They will remain in my heart forever. And with each birthday I celebrate from this year forward, I will celebrate their lives as well. 

I have only made 26 of these rings. One for each life lost. They are $10/each and I will be donating 100% of the money to a charity that will benefit Sandy Hook Elementary School. I'll update you which one I choose, as there are SO many of them popping up all over the place right now, I want to make sure that the money goes to help the victims families. I know it's not a lot, but it's my way to share in the healing process too. It seemed endless. The process of making these rings. They just kept coming. I cried over each one. And prayed.

 So please help me remember these beautiful people who were so much braver than I feel I would have been...
Charlotte Bacon, 6; Daniel Barden, 7; Rachel Davino, 29; Olivia Engel, 6

Josephine Gay, 7; Ana Marquez-Greene, 6; Dylan Hockley, 6; Dawn Hochsprung, 47

Madeleine Hsu, 6; Catherine Hubbard, 6; Chase Kowalski, 7; Jesse Lewis, 6

James Mattioli, 6; Grace McDonnell, 7; Anne Marie Murphy, 52; Emilie Parker, 6

Jack Pinto, 6; Noah Pozner, 6; Caroline Previdi, 6; Jessica Rekos, 6

Avielle Richman, 6; Lauren Rousseau, 30; Mary Sherlach, 56; Victoria Soto,27

Benjamin Wheeler, 6; Allison Wyatt, 6

May you all Rest In Peace. 
You will never be forgotten. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Change is in the air...

Well, not only is it a change in seasons but there are many changes happening in my life lately! I love Fall, so I'm not entirely upset about the cooler weather, the beautiful colors of the changing leaves, and the fact that I don't need to mow my lawn anymore. I love wearing my sweaters and boots and taking walks on a crisp fall day. The air is different. You can smell it. And it smells good. 
There have been so many things going on here that it is honestly disgusting how long it's been since I've been able to post. But here is the explanation. 
Eight years ago, I left my career behind, to raise my children. I would not have traded that opportunity for all the tea in China. I loved being home with them and just getting to experience every milestone with them has given me a lifetime of memories. Never regret that decision. However, my goal when I initially changed careers from the corporate world to being a full time mom (who started and ran two businesses out of her home) was to eventually go back to work when my youngest was full time in school. 
That happened this year. 
And so... 
After school started in September I started the tedious task of sending out my resume to what seems like the WORLD, and what do you know...I got a job!!
I can't tell you how excited I am about it. Full time. I'm heading back to the corporate world and I'm thrilled that my experience and the fact that I have developed additional skills at home running my own businesses has enabled me to go back to work. 
With this new challenge ahead of me, I am now finding myself having to re-prioritize everything. 
Now it's my kids and work first and jewelry design second. 
But I am still going to do my best to make it all work out. I truly love and enjoy designing and will work that into my free time because it will help me wind down from the day. Plus craft fair season is right around the corner and my local shops still need jewelry restocked. 
I thank everyone who has stood by my side throughout this process. 
Starting a new journey is fun though nerve wracking but extremely rewarding. 
I hope you'll all stick with me and send encouragement along the way! I'll need all the support I can get! 
And so I embrace the change. :)
Have a great weekend! I've got some work to do.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

And the crowd cheers...

Well, I guess the crowd in my head cheered because it's that time of the year again! 
The kids are heading back this coming week and I couldn't be more thrilled. 
The kids, however, not so much. 
But it's been a long summer, they have done SO many things. We've spent endless time outside and they all have lots of memories and stories to tell all their friends when school begins again. 
In honor of this most festive occasion, I am having a sale in my Etsy shop!
20% off everything in the store!
 The coupon code is BACKTOSCHOOL2012
Some of my favorite pieces are in there just waiting for new homes. I'd like to make room for some new things that I've been creating. And I'm on an earring kick. So more earrings should be posted throughout the week next week. 
So take a few minutes and stop by the shop, have a look around. I don't have these sales often, so if you see something you like, I'd grab it fast. Remember, most of my pieces are One of a Kind, so you probably wont see it again. 
Back to school means more time for designing! I always say that, but I'm really trying to take advantage of the time that the house is quiet and it's just me... and the beads. :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bead Soup Reveal!

Well the day has finally arrived! It's my turn to reveal my bead soup! 
My partner this time around was Martha Aleo, and she sent me some very cool beads to work with. 
I thought for a while on what I should do with these beads and I wanted to try something that I am not all that accustomed to making. It ended up being a multi strand bracelet with different beads...no symmetry. Which is not like me all! I generally like things all neat and tidy and the SAME, but as I grow as an artist, I have found that things can be just as beautiful in an asymmetrical way.
Here is what I came up with:
I wanted to use a little bit of everything she sent me. I used the beautiful lampwork glass beads on one strand, found some black Swarovski Pearls that matched the circles, and put Swarovski Crystals inside each one, and used some of the green tube beads. The third strand is actually a piece of black chain that I had left over from my last beads soup with Pam Ferarri! It was perfect and completed this multi strand bracelet exactly as I wanted it to. I used her handmade clasp as well, and I'm really happy with how it turned out!
I also made a matching pair of earrings:
Using the rest of the lampwork beads and some of the black clay disks that she made, I love how these came out! I love my dangles, and these are great! 
 I have a ton of materials left over, and had all intentions of creating more, but kind of ran into a snag this past week. I had some water damage on the roof of the back room on my house and unfortunately when I started tearing into it, it turned out to be so much worse than I could have ever imagined. I've been in rebuild mode all week and have had to devote all my time to that and keeping my house together! I'm so glad I got an early start and was able to get what I wanted made for the reveal! Now I have a great stash to continue to creating with for some time to come! 
Can't wait to see what Martha designed with what I sent her! Let's go check it out together now...
Thanks for stopping by!
Be sure to visit the rest of the participants on this reveal date, they are listed below!
Thanks Lori for another fun event!!
Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux 
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade 
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs 
Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure 
Amy Severino, Amy Beads 
Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess 
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate 
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads 
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios 
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners
Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Brandy McNair, Bella Vita Handmade Jewelry 
 Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry 
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads 
 Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul 
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Deana Hager, Just Deez'Art & Life
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead
Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas 
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy's Studio
Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine 
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier 
JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads
Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations 
 Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element 
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae
Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders
Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town?
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M's Place
 Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8 
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
 Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends 
Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Art


Saturday, July 21, 2012

My soup went from simmer to sizzle!

My last photo of my bead soup beads was horrible, I admit it. But I took it quick and rushed. This one is better, although still inside as we've had rain for the past two days and it's dreary out. 
It had to be taken now because an idea needed to be played with. I had been thinking about what I wanted to do with these beads. The colors are pretty, right up my alley. I was having trouble with the clasp, as it's a full two inches in length. So I've been playing...
And although my reveal date isn't until August 11th, I've finished my designs!
They have been photographed as well and now you'll all just have to wait! 
Can't wait to see what Martha is doing with what I sent to her, and of course what everyone else is doing. 
This is such a fun challenge! 
Hope you have a great weekend!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Time to get creative...

I received my Bead Soup from my partner, Martha Aleo of Ornamento.
She has a much better picture of these on her blog, but I took these quick in an effort to get them posted! She has handmade the majority of these beads herself including the clasp. And if you recall, my two favorite colors are green and purple! I already have lots of ideas swirling around in my brain on what I'm going to design with these! 
Speaking of swirling...
I love this photoshop filter! This is a swirl of what I sent Martha to design with! I gave her a little bit of some of my favorites so I can't wait to see what she comes up with!! 
Going to enjoy the rest of this beautiful weather this weekend! More new things coming this week! I have some new lariat necklaces heading to Salon Odette in Middlebury. Photo's below. And I'm working on some more memory wire bracelets. Love those!
More new things coming!! Stay tuned!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Soup ideas!

I received my bead soup from Martha Aleo the other day and I'm excited to show you what I received! Photos coming in a bit, taking them now!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Getting ready...

I'm getting ready already for the Bead Soup swap, I have several different things that I'm pulling together. I just have to wait and see who my partner will be! It's always so much fun to participate in this and I get to meet so many new beady friends.

School is winding down here and soon the kids will become a full time job again for me over the summer. I have lots of activities planned for them and beading time scheduled for me so it will hopefully be good for all of us. I'm looking forward to staying in my PJ's a little longer each morning for sure! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Can't Wait!!

Bead Soup Blog Party

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mothers Day SALE!

I've just listed a ton of new jewelry in the shop, just in time to select something special for Mothers Day! Take 10% off everything up to $50 and take 20% off everything over $50. Plus FREE Shipping and Handling.
 From now until May 4th. 
Click the link below to be brought right to Etsy!
I know my mother would like almost all of the new items I've just listed. :)
 Happy Shopping!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Loving the Sunshine!

It's been a creative week even though the kids are on school vacation. The sun has been out and so have we. But I still found time to make a few more pretties!
This bracelet is fantastic. I love it! The beads have been hiding in my secret stash box just waiting for the right accents, which I have found and now it's ready to be shared with you. 
"Bay Breeze" Earrings. Love these beads and the color combination!
And here are a couple cute little memory wire rings. Summery! I have two of the blue seashell in stock, one of the dragonfly.
More to come! I love being inspired. And it feels really good to be back on track. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday fun!

Thank goodness it's Friday. The weekend is just about here and the weather is supposed to be nicer so I'm very much looking forward to that! I sat and made a necklace today, and am so pleased with how it turned out! I was looking online to see if I could come up with a name for it, because the colors remind me of Creme Brulee, but there's a beautiful purple in these beads too. So I searched "Lavender Creme Brulee" and I was shocked to see recipe's come up. There is such a thing, and I had no idea! So, that's what I've named this piece! 
And there are a pair of matching earrings.
Going to get these tagged and added to Etsy hopefully over the weekend!
On a side note, there was a lot of talk about cows today. No idea why. This morning, there was discussion about how part of this necklace reminded someone of cows and Matt had a field trip today to a local farm and he told me when he came back, as he was eating a cookie, that he got to milk a cow! I immediately thought about how gross that sounded as he was eating a cookie, and asked him if he washed his hands. He said yes, because it was DISGUSTING! I'm not sure I would have been a fan of that either, but I'm so proud of my little man for giving it a shot! And for remembering to clean up his hands before he ate! This is not something he always does without 18 reminders! He makes me laugh, and that's always a good way to start the weekend!
Hope you enjoy yours!