Friday, August 22, 2014

I'm sorry.

I didn't mean for my last post to be a guilt trip. I really, really didn't.


So many of you have treated me well, with kind words, with things I love, and be assured I keep every card I get.


I'm really sorry if the post was taken as a ticket to the longest guilt trip ever.  I am just very sad and was venting.


I have no immediate family that visits (or in some cases, doesn't even talk to me).  I haven't seen or heard from my sister, two step brothers, or father in years to twenty+ years. I love Rick's family, but I don't see them as often as I'd like due to distance.   And in town, I have (I think) three friends, but they're just too busy and I should suck it up.  Ditto for a couple friends two hours away.  One said "we have nothing in common anymore" and blocked me from anything she could and told me not to write again.  I'm respecting that no matter how much it hurts over the years and how confused I am that a person can be so close I considered her family could wash her hands of me.


Or maybe I can.


The others are fighting their own physical battles, so we're not supposed to be around each other (immune system, etc).  And I'm socially awkward in person, which means making face-to-face friends is difficult.





I wear my heart on my sleeve.  The good part is I care and love easily.  The hard part is I care and love easily.


Thank you all for the kind words and the sweet things in the mail.  It's appreciated, but I never wanted to force anyone or to alienate anyone.   I know none of our lives are perfect.  I absolutely did not mean to make you upset with my whining.  So...





Hug your loved ones...
for real, or virtually.







Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dangling by one finger on a ledge

Rather at the end of my rope.  Don't really care, either.




Liver biopsy and peek around at stomach, gall bladder, and pancreas Tuesday next. Immense pain, new pain of course.  I'm tired.  I can't think or move or do anything but read, and most of the time I can't concentrate on what I just read. No pain meds, because they'd cause further liver damage.  But Jesus God, the pain...


I don't quite know why this disease (diseases, to be more honest) struck me.  Or what the point is. After giving up my Bead Soup Cafe group (a very robust group), I feel like I don't have a creative bone in my body.  Or a creative purpose.  I feel like I quit a job with no prospects ahead.


How much longer?  I've been sick two years.  I don't see an end.  Neither do my doctors, honestly. Nothing I did, none of the dreams I had, will make any difference in the scheme of things.  I was doing so WELL with my business, blogging, having sponsors, growing, but now..."Lori who?". All I wanted from life was to make a difference.


My legacy is Zack, and I can't even be a good and present mother.



You have no idea ...no matter how much I overshare.  When I'm being chided for oversharing, did you ever think it was because those were the EASY things to share?


I can't even be a present, active mother, friend, wife, anything.  Moving hurts.  Taking a shower exhausts me.  I've lost twenty pounds this year, ten in the past month, with no exercise, but the cruel irony is I can't see the difference and I have thirty to go.  I'm afraid to eat because it hurts.  I have to eat because it hurts.  I'm afraid to eat since I need to lose another thirty pounds, and I don't want to slip backwards.


I'm tired of emails and anonymous posts from people who think I'm either faking or should snap out of it. If you really knew me, had any inkling, you would know I used to do an extraordinary amount of work in very little time.  I don't have the energy to be mad at those messages any more.  What's sad is some came from people I loved the most.




My creativity is nonexistent other than in my fevered, sleep deprived brain.  I used to think I could get things done.  But for every two or three good days (which I cram with doing things for Zack), I have weeks of agony.  So I can't plan anything.  Ever.


Summer was lonely.  No visitors.  Rarer emails.  I feel invisible.  Anything good I've ever done seems quickly forgotten or not noticed at all.  Loneliness is the worst.  It can kill.  But I don't have the energy to walk across the house most days.




I don't know what I can do to help myself.  Even my writing sucks now.  I thought I had a good blog.  I wrote over 200 posts a year until last year.  Then about sixty.  Now, around thirty.  I have over 2,000 followers, but who is listening anymore?


I am afraid of being ridiculed, or my posts being torn apart (again, by those I loved).  If you despise me now, say so...dont keep giving me hope and making me run circles trying to explain what I thought was clear anyway (damn that Lao Tzu post, it truly showed some people's true colors, but why did it still devastate me?)




It's amazing how so many people (most who I thought were friends) have forgotten me. I don't blame them.  I'm a pain in the ass to be around.  But it's now that I need true friends the most.  I would do anything for friends, both present or online, but ...it seems futile, and it's exhausting.


What a difference a visit once in a while would have been.  Some had said they would...but they never did.  And again, I don't blame them.  I'm not contagious, but I am depressed, but depression can lift when someone takes the time to sit with me.  Or call.  Or email.  But everyone has their own life, of which I hope are truly awesome lives, so I don't ask them to help.  Depression is ugly.  I don't blame anyone for avoiding it.


I haven't learned this yet.



There's got to be a reason for this.  I just have to live through it.  If not for Zack, I can't say I would have.  On some days, I think he'd be better off with a better mom.


The worst thing, beyond the pain and insomnia and the hallucinations that brings, and nothing to ease anything, is knowing I MUST be here for Zack.  But I'm not even really HERE for Zack.  Yet he's what keeps me fighting, even when I see disappointment in his eyes when I can't move.  The guilt is tremendous. Horrific.


I'm lost.  And scared.  And horribly depressed.








Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Haberdashery Blog Hop -- better late than never!

I am such an idiot.  I was a week off on the due date for the Haberdashery Blog Hop held by Melissa Trudinger, a friend of mine from Australia.


When I hear the word "haberdashery", I think of a show my son used to watch -- iCarly. There was a character, Nevel Papperman, who wanted nothing more than to own a haberdashery when he grew up. When asked what the heck that was, he explained, in exasperation, that it was "a men's retail store that sells men's accessories such as wallets, belts, buttons, and zippers."  And I swear one day he included ribbons.


My pieces are simple but fun.  I first thought of some of the haberdashery-esque vintage booths I've visited:



I dug into my stash of well-hoarded white buttons...



... which I've since separated out into styles -- mother of pearl, two hole, four hole, engraved, special, plastic but cool, etc.



Then I looked for my stash of Tierracast copper bezels from their Keepsake collection and braved resin again.  The fun part was finding buttons that would fill SQUARE bezels.  


And if these look familiar (sigh) they are ones I made a while back.  The nice big batch I made for this blog hop have gone completely missing.  But if you saw my studio.....


I also made a haberdashery mannequin out of a styrofoam form and pinned lots of paper flowers to her. I threaded a seed bead onto each pin before pushing it into the flower, tied a bow at her waist, and gave her a shiny top by pinning daisy spacers into the styrofoam.  She may not be technically part of the haberdashery realm, but she looks it!



Now I hope you'll visit the rest of the people (who were on time, oh man, I'm so sorry) and marvel at their creations!



Melissa Trudinger, hostess                            http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com

Ann Schroeder                                                 http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com

Tammy Adams                                                http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog.html

Amanda Wacasey                                           http://mandyinmystic.blogspot.com

Dolores Raml                                                   http://craftydscreations.wordpress.com 

Divya N                                                             http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com

Michelle McCarthy                                         http://www.fireflydesignstudio.BlogSpot.com

DiYana Brooks                                                 http://agapecreationsjewelry.blogspot.com/

Robin Kae Reed                                               http://willowdragon.blogspot.com

Andrea Glick                                                    http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/

Karin Grosset Grange                                     http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr

Mitzie Crider                                                    http://needfulluxuries.blogspot.com

Janine Lucas                                                    http://www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories

Rosantia Petkova                                           http://bairozan.blogspot.com/

Susan Kennedy                                                http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Leithleach Alainn Seodra                              http://alainnjewelry.wordpress.com/

Kathleen Breeding                                          http://99bobotw.blogspot.com/

Shiraz Biggie                                                    http://secretsongdesigns.blogspot.com

Chris Eisenberg                                               http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com

Heather Richter                                              http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com/

Lennis Carrier                                                  http://www.windbent.net/

Rebecca Anderson                                         http://www.songbeads.blogspot.com

Jenny Kyrlach                                                   http://anafiassa.blogspot.com

Rita Toltec Jewels                                          http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Mischelle Fanucci                                           http://www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com

Karen Mitchell                                                 http://overthemoon-design.com

Carol Briody                                                     http://Cbriody.blogspot.com

Karla Morgan                                                  http://TexasPepperJams.blogspot.com

Carolyn Lawson                                              http://Carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com

Lori Anderson                                                  http://www.prettythingsblog.com/

Jami Shipp                                                        http://www.celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com

Lili Krist                                                             http://pcbylik.blogspot.com/

Laney Mead                                                     http://laney-izzybeads.blogspot.co.uk/

Evelyn Shelby                                                   http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/

Raissa de Guzman                                          http://www.abloro.com

Niky Sayers                                                      http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk

Keren Panthaki                                                http://vasdea.wordpress.com

I hope you enjoyed the hop, and come back soon soon soon for a massive book giveaway you don't want to miss!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Haberdashery Hop

Holy crow, I was using the wrong calendar page!  Tomorrow, God willing, I'll have my pieces (which ARE completed) posted.  I'm so sorry!  Brain fog or stupidity, either one is embarrassing.


A hint:



You can hop the other participants now!  And thanks to Melissa Trudinger for organizing this!


Melissa Trudinger                                           http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com

Ann Schroeder                                                 http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com

Tammy Adams                                                http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog.html

Amanda Wacasey                                           http://mandyinmystic.blogspot.com

Dolores Raml                                                   http://craftydscreations.wordpress.com 

Divya N                                                             http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com

Michelle McCarthy                                         http://www.fireflydesignstudio.BlogSpot.com

DiYana Brooks                                                 http://agapecreationsjewelry.blogspot.com/

Robin Kae Reed                                               http://willowdragon.blogspot.com

Andrea Glick                                                    http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/

Karin Grosset Grange                                     http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr

Mitzie Crider                                                    http://needfulluxuries.blogspot.com

Janine Lucas                                                    http://www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories  <-- will post on Sunday

Rosantia Petkova                                           http://bairozan.blogspot.com/

Susan Kennedy                                                http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Leithleach Alainn Seodra                http://alainnjewelry.wordpress.com/

Kathleen Breeding                                          http://99bobotw.blogspot.com/

Shiraz Biggie                                                    http://secretsongdesigns.blogspot.com

Chris Eisenberg                                               http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com

Heather Richter                                              http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com/

Lennis Carrier                                                  http://www.windbent.net/

Rebecca Anderson                                         http://www.songbeads.blogspot.com

Jenny Kyrlach                                                   http://anafiassa.blogspot.com

Rita Toltec Jewels                                          http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Mischelle Fanucci                                           http://www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com

Karen Mitchell                                                 http://overthemoon-design.com

Carol Briody                                                     http://Cbriody.blogspot.com

Karla Morgan                                                  http://TexasPepperJams.blogspot.com

Carolyn Lawson                                              http://Carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com

Lori Anderson                                                  http://www.prettythingsblog.com/

Jami Shipp                                                        http://www.celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com

Lili Krist                                                             http://pcbylik.blogspot.com/ 

Evelyn Shelby                                                   http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/

Raissa de Guzman                                          http://www.abloro.com

Niky Sayers                                                      http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk

Keren Panthaki                                                http://vasdea.wordpress.com

Monday, July 14, 2014

Kork-Ease Work Out -- yup, they're shoes



ANY day when I feel I can move around and get a few errands done, I try to take advantage of it. Today, however, I REALLY took advantage of it and decided that wearing 4" heels (3" with a 1" platform) constituted a work out for someone who spends most of her time in bed. 


Oh, I was right.  I can hardly walk now.  But that is quite OK.  Quite.


I even wore a skirt (I'm fancy like that sometimes).  Luckily, Kork-Ease shoes are very comfortable, even these towering things.  I managed to go to the orthodontist (NO MORE BRACES ON MY TEETH!), take Zack for a frozen hot chocolate....




... which they thoughtfully adorned with a chocolate smiley face.  I love Rise Up Coffee!


After I dropped Zack off at camp (MineCraft stuff, I totally don't get it), I went to get my own coffee, did a boring errand run at Target (but hey, I was OUT. OF. BED!), stopped by the local Hobby Shop so I could find US coin books for Zack (we've sorted approximately ten million -- thank you, by the way!), then to the paint store to buy paint to refurbish a vintage curio cabinet I bought last year.




It's sitting on a white glass-doored cabinet/bookshelf, and it is going to look great.  I bought a light sage green to match some of the other things in the foyer, and I have to now figure out how to sand down the wood a little bit (wearing a mask), paint it, and then distress it.  I just don't care for the yellow at all and it's going to be a fun project that will likely take me all summer, but that's OK!


Then back to the orthodontist to pick up my retainer (yes, I'm 12), and to the used book store where I tried to grab the Chinese book I wanted while holding my breath as much as possible (book dust is a Bad Thing for me right now, unfortunately).


I am now exhausted.  Completely happy, but exhausted.  Who knows how I'll feel tomorrow, but I don't care, because today, I felt normal.  And sometimes, normal is really, really cool.



Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.




Saturday, July 12, 2014

Winner of the book from Lark Crafts is...



Lynn Berry, you won!

I contacted you by email.

If I don't hear from Lynn within a week, I'll pick a new winner!

Thank you, and stayed tuned for more book giveaways!



Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

(Calling all seed beaders!) Book Giveaway from Lark Crafts -- Beading All-Stars

HEY SEED BEADERS!!!!  I am giving away an amazing book from Lark Crafts which has not been released yet -- you'll be among the first to own it!


The book is called "Beading All-Stars" and it includes 20 jewelry projects from Marica DeCoster, Jamie Cloud Eakin, Mabeline Gidez, Diane Hyde, Amy Katz, Rachel Nelson-Smith, Glenda Paunonon and Liisa Turonen, Sherry Serafini, Melissa Grakowsky Shippee, and Anneta Valious, all experts in their own right.




The book is 127 pages with 20 well-planned, well-illustrated seed beading designs, with nine pages of techniques.  I recommend this book for those who have done some bead weaving or free form stitching before, as the projects tend toward the intermediate to advanced category.  You will NOT be disappointed in the range of projects the book contains!  Plus there are Gallery photos throughout that will get your creative juices flowing even that much faster!


I am giving this book away to US residents only.

(I'm sorry -- international postage would cost more
 than the book -- what's up with that????).


I'm going to try out Rafflecopter for the first time and see how that goes.  Cutting out all the names can take a lot of time, even though Zack loves to do it for me (usually).  There are various options to give you points.  The only mandatory one is that you comment below and have a way for me to contact you (your email connected to your blog or include your email) and remember, US only. I'll have something for International folks soon!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


I will also have three books from Interweave/F+W 
to give away soon as well,
so stay tuned!!!






Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Wedding of the Year

(If this is TL:DR, please go to the bottom and watch the videos -- they're so worth it.)


Finally, I get to blog about the most beautiful, amazing wedding of my stepson, Ryan, and his beautiful, charming, sweet fiancee Jessica.  We adored Jessica from the very beginning and just KNEW she was The One.  Apparently, from the homily and the Best Man's speech, Ryan knew, too.



I was terrified I wouldn't be able to attend the wedding because I'd been so sick but nothing rest and and an IV couldn't fix!  My dress actually had gotten looser (when does that ever happen?) but I'm still packing the weight from illness and just life.  I hate that, but I learned from reading a wonderful article that it's FAR more important that I am IN THE PICTURES for my family than worrying about how I look.  And after all, this wedding is about Ryan and Jessica, not me!


I love his cuff links, and his yellow and blue socks to match their colors.


I have to share a funny story.  I have never been more glad that there wasn't a videographer because of ... gum.


Both Zack and I were thirsty but we couldn't find water and instead accepted gum from my sister-in-law.  The family was hanging out in the vestibule, and Zack and I were sitting calmly alone, resting and chatting, when all of a sudden the wedding coordinator says, "YOU'RE UP!" and whips her hand at me and Zack and the aisle.


GORGEOUS church with a pipe organ in the balcony and beautiful stained glass everywhere.

Well, I rather freaked.  I had no idea we were THAT close to ready and I must have missed the warning but all of a sudden I realized I was probably going to be the first person down that aisle in the wedding party and I was still a little unsure as to what pew to sit in.  During rehearsal, we left the front pew open for the groomsmen and bridesmaids, but I saw CHAIRS up there for them now -- what the heck to do?  I finally decided to just do what they told me to the day before and made it down the aisle on steady feet on Zack's arm.  (A big fear I had was stumbling since I still on occasion have to use a cane to stay steady and I haven't worn heels in a long time).




As we're walking down the aisle, I was only conscious of hitting the middle of the marble floor, not wobbling, and getting to the right pew without falling on my tuckus.  And when I sat down, I realized.... oh my dear Lord.  Was I chewing gum down the aisle?


Zack had the presence of mind to swallow his, because when the wedding coordinator said, "GO!" there was no thought other than that aisle, not finding a trash can to spit out the gum.  I, however, had totally forgotten about the darned gum until I sat down.  I have no idea if I was chomping down the aisle, but I think I was smiling too much to have done that.  


We'll pretend that never happened, shall we?


About the jewelry -- I made all of the bridesmaids necklaces and earrings, sitting with Jessica one afternoon with every bit of clear and pale crystal and pearls I had and we designed together.  I was so afraid I'd never get it done, because there were a LOT of little crystals to be wound on 26 gauge wire, and my hands have been shaking for months, but I think they turned out quite well.



I wanted to make something special for myself, and it was literally put off until the night before the wedding.  In the week before the wedding, I was not only laid up in bed but had broken my glasses.  Instead of being an easy fix, I was told my eyes had drastically changed and I needed bifocals.  All I could think of was trying to get used to bifocals while walking down an aisle in high heels and not falling on my face.  So I ended up getting one pair of distance glasses, which I was able to get immediately (they're purple, naturally), and then ordered the close-work glasses, which would arrive in a week.  


I quickly realized that without the close-work glasses, I was making my necklace in the blind.  I could NOT see a single wrap I made.  At all. I did all those pearls by feel.  I'm lucky I've made a million, because I could NOT see a single thing close up.  


I made the necklace with sentiment in mind.  The heart was for the wedding, two intricate silver beads, both similar but different, to represent Ryan and Jessica, and then lots of crystal and pearls. I also wore the friendship necklace that had been made for me years ago.  




I had originally made another pearl necklace to go with the long necklace, but Zack, who is my personal stylist, said Cindy's necklace worked much better, and I had to agree.  So that pearl one will be for sale soon.




The wedding was incredibly lovely, and the photos were equally amazing, taken by David Abel Photography (as is the last video I'll post).




Ryan walking down the aisle.



Colin walking down the aisle.

(Being a stepmother rather rocks).


The bride and groom joyously left the church in a vintage Bentley....



... which completely enamored Zack.  Then the bridal party had photos taken in historic Richmond, VA.


(I have to admit something -- I was weepy during the entire wedding, but when I saw the ring on Ryan's hand, it just hit me, hard, and it was just THAT moment, you know?)



Beautiful, stunning Jessica.  Could she be any prettier?  I think not.


The reception was held at a country club, and we had so much fun.  The table numbers were maps of all the places Jessica and Ryan have traveled together, a classy touch, and unique just like them. The wedding party was introduced to everyone to the infectiously fun song "Happy" - you MUST click and watch it and you'll catch the joy and fun that song brings out in so many people -- certainly the wedding party!


Then Jessica, who had just gotten her medical degree two weeks before the wedding, and Ryan, who has a Ph.D., walked out to the very apt Robert Palmer song "Doctor Doctor".  Totally awesome.  In fact, I think there were more doctors in that place, both of the tongue depressor type and the dissertation type, than my local hospital.  Introducing people could sound a lot like the movie "Spies Like Us".  Hilarity.


Ah, and then to beauty.  Ryan and Jessica had taken dancing lessons, and while this is from a cell phone, it's still beautiful, choreographed to "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz.  (I hope you're clicking on all these links, or you're missing out!)




I cried, of course.



Then toasts and food and cake and dancing.  I stuck to bopping in my chair, but oh I wanted to be on the dance floor.  I just knew better -- I was in no shape to get out there but enjoyed it all the same!





It was the most beautiful night.  I'll never forget it.

And now, a beautiful ending to a what I hope you agree is a beautiful post
 for two amazing people.







Thank you for joining me for one of the most important days of our lives.  Love to all.




Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.