Sunday, January 08, 2017

Very quick post -- more tomorrow

I woke up today to start telling you more about the new Bead Soup Blog Party when my son and I discovered that NONE of his application to high school had saved. NONE. No essays, no questionnaires -- nada. And that took hours and hours and hours and HOURS. I am going to call it a day and after a two hour school delay for snow, a two hour total drive to get the application to the school, I am hoping to be back here tomorrow to tell you more details and show you lots of pictures on how this blog hop does NOT have to be expensive and how it is my little part of making 2017 a whole lot better than 2016.

Love to all.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Announcement of the Bead Soup Blog Party -- Bead Hoarders Edition


It's been a long time, hasn't it? I had to give up holding these massive parties because of my health, and after eight shows, culminating in over 500 people, I had to take a break and concentrate on getting well. This is my baby. I started it in 2010, and look what it became!

the book that came about as a result of the parties

This is the one thing in the beading community I felt I did well. I'm not a particularly innovative beader or bead maker. Occasionally (and usually during the Bead Soup Blog Party, or BSBP as it's known, the "wow, I made THAT?" moment came). To learn more about it, you can scroll through pages by clicking here.

I've decided that each year there will be a new theme. This year's theme is dear to my heart, as I've also run the Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop (here and here) and I believe in bringing beautiful beads out of the back of the drawer and into creations to be worn and admired.

Tomorrow, I'll talk a bit more about what the rules will comprise (as in, what exactly do I send?),  and a button to put on your blog or Facebook or Pinterest or even Instagram! In the meantime, you can keep up to date with things by joining:

or keeping up with me on my newly dusted-off blog, 

A piece I made during one of the older Bead Soup Blog Parties. I made the pendant and used the lampwork beads sent to me.  I augmented the  rest of the piece with things from my own stash, one of the delights of this challenge -- looking through beads in your own stash to use in a new way.

I hope that some of you will come to the party, and that the rest of you will join us on March 25th to visit all the people who swapped beads with each other.

Love to all.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book Hangover

Did you know I am an avid, voracious reader? I am, indeedy do, I am. I normally read between 75 and 100 books a year, with an average of 

This year, however, I've only read 53 books, and that made me so sad. I haven't been able to concentrate as much but then I thought, wait. I should be happy! This means I've also been out in the car, going places, doing things with Zack (he and I are wicked at poker), and in general getting the house and studio back into shape again. So in hindsight, 53 books is pretty darned good. 

And the year isn't over yet,

So this year:


Img totalmediuml 2x

Img totalmediumr 2x
The Transfer by Veronica RothA Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
Img ruler 3x
30 pages
The Transfer
980 pages
A Breath of Snow and Ashes

355 pages

My best year, in retrospect, was 2012, when I read 135 books (39,024 pages). I somehow didn't sleep that year!

So once again, I'm going to make my goal 75 books for 2017, but I'm not going to be upset if I can't make it. I thought I'd be a lot more peeved at myself this year, but you know what? As much as I love books (more than beads, so that tells you a LOT), there's nothing I love more than getting better, making plans, going places with Rick and Zack, and allowing myself to SLEEP instead of read all night when what I really need is to sleep and not learn if King Whofurfluffit is going to kill the raging hoards or not.

That is NOT to say I won't have a few book hangovers, but those -- ah, those are the only kind that are worth it.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Never trust your tongue when your heart is bitter.

Truer words were never spoken, yet harder words were never uttered.

I have several relationships in my life -- friends, family -- who can in one minute express kindness and in the next remind me rather intensely of my faults.

What happens then is a complete disaster of emotions. Are they right?  Am I failing as a mother and missing all the cues? Am I selfish? Am I stupid to listen to a therapist (words actually spoken to me)? Am I faking it (because really, I honestly can't faint at a whim or cry when told to)? Am I a waste of time?

After the initial panic attack, I start to think like the educated person I've fought to be. By "educated", I don't just mean my degree from University of Virginia, a not at all shabby school. I mean I 've done copious research, looked for opposing sources (and THEIR sources).This is when a scientific background, a scientific family, and a husband who is so smart I am constantly boggled comes into play. I won't lie ... sometimes it takes a Xanax and deep breathing and sleeping on it to makes sense of things.

Now where was I? Ah, yes. Even while venting, I have to (HAVE TO) keep a calm, civil tongue, one which *I* would listen to. Rationality doesn't necessarily mean you have the answers. Being absolutely certain you're right doesn't mean you can make that clear to anyone.

It means knowing when to keep quiet; respecting, even if not believing, what I'm hearing. It means taking the time to not make snap decisions and to above all, not vent in a public space. It means being able to accept if you're wrong or if your delivery was faulty.

Everyone gets angry, hurt, humiliated, saddened, and often, struck with knowledge that they are indeed right, but it's no longer important to nail that home.

During the Christmas season, I've found that a lot of people can get into tiffs and outright fights that are caused because people haven't been together for a while, didn't know how a person felt about a particular subject, or, you know -- eggnog.  A slice of fruitcake and a glass of liquored-up eggnog can make things go bad if the situation is just right.

So my goal, not just for 2017, but for life, is to keep quieter when I'm hurt, really evaluate what was said, and realize that it's not always me, and it's not always them. It can be a simple misunderstanding ("You don't like blue? But I bought you a blue sweater!") to things that are deeply rooted and may never get fixed.

Just never trust your tongue (or your typing!) when you're in the heat of anger. Sit on it for a while and decide if there is really, truly, a reason to let anger take the center stage when calmness and a degree of compassion could fix everything.

Much love to you all.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Stuffed Animal Speciman Jars

I'm vaguely creeped out but more "that's brilliant, especially in a scientific family".  I wouldn't put liquid in the bottles like there would appear to be in some, but the biologist part of me is oddly intrigued.

I think Zack would not agree.

What do you think?

Source unknown