Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Good Days, Bad Days, Real Days



Sometimes I have Bad Days.

Sometimes I have Good Days.

But they are all REAL days.



What you read here is me.

It may be one hour of me.

Or two weeks of me.

But it's me.



All real.

And hopeful.

Even on the Bad Days.


(For more on this topic, click here.)


Addition, due to past comments:


When I say I have to sometimes "fake it"

that does not mean I am fake. 

It means I am convincing myself I DO want to get out of bed

and I DO want to make this a good day 

even though I DO feel like neither of those things are possible.




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, September 22, 2014

Help Me Pick a Topic for 31 Days -- A Writing Challenge

My friend Dana suggested I take part in a 31 day writing challenge held throughout October. Writing every day is going to be an endeavor all on its own, and I won't feel a bit bad if I recycle some things from the past, but for the most part, I'd like to make each post unique.

The difficult part is choosing a category for thirty-one days, considering I write about my son, jewelry, vintage stuff, Lyme disease, all sorts of things.  So would you mind helping me by telling me what you would most like to see me write about and share with you?


What is 31 Days?  

31 Days is an online writing challenge started by home blogger, Myquillyn Smith (The Nester) where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in October. 
As a writer, 31 Days challenges you to go deeper into one topic.
As a reader, 31 Days will most likely have a few topics that you are curious about, it’s a great time to get to know some new bloggers.





  • What do you think, folks? And want to join me and Dana?

House & Home
Simplicity & Organizing
Family Life
Inspiration & Faith
Writing, Blogging, & Internet Stuff
Fashion & Beauty
Food, Health, & Wellness
Personal Endeavors
Too Awesome to Categorize



So those are all the topics you can write about, once a day for 31 days.

Personally, I'm tending toward

Writing, Blogging, & Internet Stuff
or
Personal Endeavors
or 
Too Awesome to Categorize.


What do you think I should do?
And want to join us?




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.

Eye Candy Day -- the Jewelry Archives

As I prepare for my only fall show this year (Craftsmen's Classic, Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, VA, Oct 17-19), I thought I'd share some of my past designs.  All of these sold long ago, but there will be interesting new things at this show, as my style, while remaining true to me, has been morphing in some beautiful new ways.  I know what my customers like, and I know what I like making, but moving forward at the proper pace is important.  I want my jewelry to still "look like Lori".


There are styles and techniques I'd love to jump into with both feet, but to be successful at almost any business, you have to know your demographic, and making too many changes too quickly, to the point of obliterating your tried and true, your brand, can be a huge mistake. That being said, I've watched several designers cut the cord completely and rebrand from scratch with great success.  It's a brave and scary thing to do, but they obviously had done their market research and knew what they were doing.


Here's the old...I'll show the new at a later date!











Hope you enjoyed that little walk
down jewelry memory lane!





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, September 19, 2014

Winners of Book Giveaway from Interweave/F + W



Zack and I cut up the names into strips,
removed the duplicates,
and drew the winners of the books!


 "Wire + Metal - 30 Easy Metalsmithing Designs" 
by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson

goes to 


"Mastering Herringbone Stitch -- The Complete Guide" 
by Melinda Barta

goes to


and 
"Patina: 300+ Coloration Effects for Jewelers and Metalsmiths" 
by Matthew Runfola

goes to



Please email me your mailing addresses!!!!



I have a few more books to review soon!

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.

How to Deal With Change

Yesterday I had Zack try on every pair of long pants he owned to see what fit and what didn't. It's a ritual every mother of a growing boy goes through each season.  After putting the pants that fit back in their drawer and the many that didn't fit into a bag for the school rummage sale, I mentally added "buy new pants" to my checklist for today's shopping trip.


As I was driving Zack to school, I looked over and realized I didn't have a little boy any more. Not in the traditional way of thinking, anyway.  He'll always be my little boy, but things have certainly changed.

Zack at age two and a half, and me, loving that he fits in my lap.  


Zack at an Orioles game a couple of weeks ago, age eleven.


For instance, adolescence is already here.  He's almost as tall as I am.  He can sit in the front seat of the car with me now.  But the clothes -- it hit me hard today that when we go shopping, I can no longer go to those cute and adorable stores any more.  No more Gymboree or Hanna Andersson.  It was easy for me to ignore that in Target I was buying him "Bazinga" logo t-shirts in the men's section because Target has always run small for boys and besides, there was no "Bazinga" in the kids section.


original source unknown, but via The Big Bang Theory.


This segues quite well into the changes I've been struggling with in my own life.


I am like my son.  I don't do well with change, and that's an understatement.  It makes me twitchy and bitey and sometimes stabby.  I want to know what's ahead.  I'm a list-maker, the sort who will write something down that I did that wasn't ON the list just so I can check it off. Super Type A.


I've grown up fighting it, thinking that change is not just hard but evil.  And that thought has to metamorphosize into something better.



Life can indeed be a bowl of cherries.


Making changes in my life has been difficult but not impossible.  Recently I made the decision to stop fighting the things that suck the life out of me.  Yes, I sometimes have to fake it a bit to get that smile going and to therefore KEEP going (a smile can kind of force you into action, you know), but that doesn't mean *I* am fake.  And when things really, really hit me hard and lay me low, I won't Facebook or blog about it nearly as much.


However, I'm writing THIS now, because after thinking about shopping in the Young Men's Department for my baby boy, I realized that I can't keep shopping in the Department of Things That Were and cursing when things no longer fit.  There are lots of Departments of Epic Things out there, and "epic" doesn't have to mean world-changing -- it can mean life-changing for a party of one.




Almost all my life I imagined big plans, bigger dreams.  Somewhere along the way, I thought if I gave up anything, closed a chapter, picked up another book, it would negate that part of my existence and make my life less meaningful. That's not true. Difficult to make myself believe all the time, but certainly not true.  The world is full of books -- opportunities, ideas, and things that sometimes fall into your lap with providence and expectation from the stars. Fighting myself and these new chapters isn't helping me at all.  So, change.


I hate that Zack is growing up, because with one child, every first is also a last.  However, I am so fortunate to HAVE him that I'm really excited about his firsts and if I can, (and mothers know this is difficult) concentrate on those moments, not the "oh my gosh, that's the last time X will ever happen." With my personality, it will certainly be a challenge.  But this is where my writing comes in.  If I write about life, everyday life, the mundane to the exciting, there is a record, and re-reading is a joy. Even re-reading the low parts of life isn't a bad thing because inevitably, eventually, the wheel goes 'round and oh hey look, good things again.




So this afternoon, while I enjoy lunch with Zack and shop for his new pants, I'll be in that moment.  I may have to jab myself sometimes to STOP IT and ENJOY, because I can't help that I'm nostalgic and sentimental.  It's quite alright to be sad sometimes, mad at times, hurt at times.  If we didn't allow ourselves those emotions, we'd explode in a big squishy mess.  Now, though, I'm going to try and do my best to learn to give up past things, and live in the moment.  Yet I'll never forget the past, because it formed me.


And that, dear readers, is how I'm dealing with change.




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, September 15, 2014

Book Giveaway from Interweave/F + W (three awesome books!)

Today is another wonderful chance to win some of the newest books in the beading industry, this time by Interweave/F+W.  I'm excited to have been able to read these cover to cover, give you my opinion of them, and then have one book sent to three different people (US only, I'm sorry).


First up is the 144-page "Wire + Metal - 30 Easy Metalsmithing Designs" by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson.  Both of these talented ladies really do bring it to this book!


Along with Denise and Jane's work, you'll find other awesome tutorials by favorites such as Keirsten Giles and Cassie Donlen, to name just a few.  Techniques include working with flame, texturing, forming, cold connections, patina and color, and finishing processes.


The designs truly are accessible to beginner and intermediate.  Beginners will find ample instructions to get you started, and intermediate to advanced designers will find a ton of ways to adapt the tutorials to their own taste.  Here are just a couple of examples of the work you can find in the book:

"Camelot" by Jane Dickerson

"Pink Petals" by Denise Peck

If you can't wait and have to buy it now, click here!





Next up is for all you seed beaders and those who would like to learn this amazing art.  "Mastering Herringbone Stitch -- The Complete Guide" by Melinda Barta covers 21 projects incorporating various applications of the herringbone stitch.  There are 167 pages in this beautiful book.


I know next to nothing about seed beading, although I did make a caterpillar bracelet once using square stitch.  I learned very quickly to appreciate the thought and the process that goes into each little masterpiece.


There are 22 pages of basics to get even a beginner started, including seed bead size charts and must-know terms.  Melinda then goes on to cover creative tutorials in flat, circular, and tubular herringbone as well as my favorite, the twists and spirals.  


A portion of Melinda Barta's "Gilded Blossoms" necklace

A selection of Melinda's "Tambourine Bangles"


Joining Melinda Barta are Jean Campbell, Kelly Wiese, Lisa Kan, and more!  Don't be afraid if you're a beginner -- there are tons of diagrams showing you how to make the stitches.  Want it now?  Click here!





Finally, a real treat -- a hardback book of 255 pages!  "Patina: 300+ Coloration Effects for Jewelers and Metalsmiths" by Matthew Runfola is absolute eye candy while being an encyclopedia of color.  


Where do I even begin?  The plentiful chapters contain a coloration gallery, information about how to set up a safe workspace, aesthetic decisions, and color theory.  He compares common metals and their patination processes and then digs into the really great stuff -- how to create all those amazing patterns and patinas properly.






The remainder of the book shows examples of coloration examples using NINE different metals. If you thought you knew it all about patinating metal, you're bound to learn something new and exciting in this amazing book.  And you won't be stuck wondering how he did it -- Matthew Runfola gives a comprehensive listing of colorant formulas, and throughout, beautiful gallery photos of finished jewelry by a wide range of jewelry artists.


Want it in your hands now?  Then click here!




In order to win, please leave a comment below
with the name (or names) of the book you would like.

YOU MUST have a way for me to contact you.  


 I will pick the winners (with Zack, of course) on Friday night, the 19th,
so hurry and put your name in!


Let's give some love to Interweave/F+W and post this giveaway
on your blog
on Facebook
in your beading groups!


Thank you so much to the publisher for providing these books and being so patient with me as it took me quite a bit longer to get this on the blog than I'd planned.  You guys rock!


Ready?
Set?

COMMENT!



Legal stuff:  I was not paid to write these reviews and the opinions stated are my own.  Books were provided to me free of charge.


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.

The Banana

So this weekend, I was out of bed all weekend.  First time in --- years I'd guess.  So I fell asleep so hard I heard my Kindle hit the floor, and that woke up Rick, and he wondered if I broke it, and I mumbled. "sskkkiplrrrmm"  which of course is "leave me alone I'm sleepy" language for "Shoot, I'll check in the morning."


I still haven't checked.


So when Zack saunters in to say good morning (I must have most certainly broken the snooze alarm. Or set it to PM) I said, "Hey, what's up?" and he looked at me with that particular 11-year old look.


"Mom.  It's a school day."


Now THAT will wake you up!


All that to share part of his lunch with you.  Yeah, it's a bit blurry.  But his stomach won't know.


 "EAT ME!  I don't want to be trash! Ahhhhh!
I'm delicious!  Not a nasty Twinkie!
(OK, Twinkies are pretty good).
EAT ME <3





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, September 09, 2014

Fancy a Retreat (and a Balloon Ride?)


Crossing my fingers, but other than the normal headache and stuff when the barometric pressure drops, I'm starting to venture out of bed more, making some forays into public, and I'm anxious to do things. Doing things might mean just sitting and knitting, or sitting and making jewelry, or sitting and chatting, (start small, think big!) but I'd love to start doing that with you. A little at a time, building up my strength, but so much more fun when there's a goal ahead.


To that end --  if you feel like making the trip to Easton, MD after October (I have a show I'm bound and DETERMINED to attend and sell my jewelry), I have three extra bedrooms and if you can handle cats, we're good.  It would be fun to have some ladies come and visit, yes? And it doesn't even have to be overnight.  Come for a few hours and we'll have fun. This offer stands all the time.  You don't have to wait until next  spring or fall (more on that in a sec.)  We'll get to know each other -- the real Lori that's been missing and you, the friend I want to know better.


Where will you come from?


I have another idea in mind but this one will take a bit of planning and a bit more time -- like fall of NEXT year.  I really want to wait until I've been "clean and clear" for a little longer, and I want to celebrate the healing with a workshop/hang-out with a small group, but just as importantly and exciting -- a hot air balloon ride.  Once I start feeling right about making serious plans, I'll post more details. I've been in touch with the gentleman who runs the balloon company and he can create a ride just for us.  To me, it's very symbolic -- rising above all the dreck that we've all been dealing with in our lives.


Photo courtesy of our pilot, Delmarva Balloon Rides

It's expensive -- at least a couple hundred dollars -- but I'm trying to figure out how to subsidize that to help everyone, and how to create a workshop that won't wear me out and is more of a celebration of fun and getting together and trading beads -- a real, live, Bead Soup HOUSE Party.  You pack your beads, head here, and we'll have fun teaching each other what we know.  No stress, just fun and laughter and learning from each other.  (The balloon ride is not mandatory, of course -- if the idea scares you, just come out and take pictures and have fun together watching!).

I live near lots of water and trees -- it will be gorgeous.
And we'll have a post-ride celebration!
(Photo courtesy of our pilot, Delmarva Balloon Rides.)


So if you can, hoard a few quarters away, or whatever you can, in a special jar and start getting excited, because *I* am.  And so is Zack, who will not be riding with us (unless you want to enjoy the entire ride filled with screams).  He just wants to see you and your beads!!!!


(Edited:  Depending upon the interest, there will be hotel rooms and I can get a project room for our beading.)


I am grateful to all of you for sticking with me.  I'm even grateful for the true-but-hard-to-admit-to-myself emails I've had.  No, I'm not over Lyme and Babesia but YES my life is pretty good, really, and I'm anxious to get back to it.


Oh.... I wonder if he'll let us bring pie on the balloon trip? HA!




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.