Saturday, January 31, 2009

Beading Daily Heartfelt Reader Gallery


Beading Daily is an email newsletter full of beading tips and tutorials. This week, they featured a reader gallery called "Heartfelt Jewelry", and of my pieces, "Czarina", was featured. It already has a loving home, but I hope you'll visit my web site, lorianderson.net, to see other beautiful pieces, all made from the heart.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

In Which Little Debbie Comes Calling

My friend and blogger extraordinaire Jen wrote a post recently about snack cakes. She is a very organic, make-it-from-scratch sort of person, but she cannot resist the call of the snack cake. She even referred to them as "crack cakes" -- in the title, I do believe.

I would love to have been a fly on the wall when she checked her email Inbox a bit later and discovered....

a note from Little Debbie.

They didn't shake their finger at her (or give her the finger) for relating their snacks to drugs. No, they wanted to GIVE her (insert squeal here) THREE sampler boxes. Yes, ladies and gentlement, THREE boxes, and Jen had a drawing for two of them.


I, who never win a darned thing, won one.


(Insert another squeal and hands waving in glee.)

I can honestly say I've never had anything other than a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie. I never had snack cakes in my lunches, have never eaten a Twinkie in my life (although I've mailed them) -- these sorts of goodies just never got tossed in the shopping cart with the Oreos.

The other day, a HUGE box arrived:


People, there were three layers of boxes in this thing. It's all their new line of 100 calorie snack cakes (thank goodness for that!).


Rick and Zack snagged the Nutty Bars faster than I could say "no, mine". They're now hidden somewhere in the house, probably in Zack's bed.


I, however, snagged the Snow Puffs, as I'd heard of the marshmallow/coconut things since I was a kid and was DYING for one. These are good -- the brownie bit on the bottom sticks to your teeth a bit, so don't eat this before a big date or an interview, but otherwise, delish.


Zack also absconded with the yellow cakes. I say "yellow cakes" because the box is now GONE and I don't have the official name. But they were also delish, and are now finito.


We haven't gotten anywhere NEAR trying everything. I've hidden the box a bit in the back of the pantry, but I have a feeling it's going to get sniffed out. Probably by me. At midnight.


(Now, where DID Zack hide those Nutty Bars?)
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Holy Comments, Batman!

WOW! I had no idea I'd get the response I did for the One World, One Heart giveaway. I'm slowly working my way down the list, visiting your blogs (for those of you who have one) and I promise I'll visit!

I hope you come back and visit my little corner of the internet -- and I'm looking forward to the drawing!

**** UPDATE ****

I'm about halfway, maybe less? through checking out everyone's blogs and making comments. I'm really loving seeing how diverse everyone is, and I want to spend time on each blog, not just glance, so it is taking me a little while -- but I promise I'll visit!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One World, One Heart Giveaway

I just learned of this very cool event blog run by Lisa Swifka and I barely got to participate -- there aren't many days left!

Here's the concept -- a lot (a LOT!) of bloggers are participating by giving away something wonderful on February 12th to someone who comments below. The idea is that by visitors taking a look at the participating blogs and making comments, you'll get to know people from all over the world. You're not required to do a thing but make a comment below -- if you feel like checking out the other participants, click here and check out the list on the right side of the blog.

So, what's my gift? I decided not to choose one piece of jewelry, since not everyone likes the same thing. So I'm giving away a

$40 gift certificate

You can use it all the way up to March 31st at http://www.lorianderson.net/ -- cool, huh?

All you have to do is make a comment below. Say hi, tell me a little about you, anything you want.


Enjoy!

***********UPDATE -- commenting is closed for this event -- stay tuned tomorrow for the announcements! **************************
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book Review -- "The Witching Hour"

The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches book 1) The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'd kind of sworn off Anne Rice for a while, but I got this book for $2 at the coffee shop and thought what the hey.

I liked it rather a lot. I particularly enjoyed "The Files" and the history, and only got a little bored in a few pages. I finished it last night, and sent my hubby out in the snow to the (thankfully still open) library to go get "Lasher".

View all my reviews.

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Non-traditional Valentine's Day Jewelry

I just wrote an article for Watch Me Create about non-traditional Valentine's Day jewelry -- if you're interested, pop on over by clicking here!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dream Interpretation

I've tried to keep this blog, started in 2005, as basic and neutral as possible. Whatever you write on the Internet, stays on the Internet, and that often makes you think twice about what you write.


But I'll finally lay it out there -- I suffer from chronic, often debilitating depression. I've suffered it all my life. It usually is completely regulated, but the past two years have been full of random dips and dives. Nothing has HAPPENED, you understand -- I just get sad for no reason, and it ticks me off. A total neural thing that is as real a disease as the flu, and just as freaking aggravating.


Today was a rough day for no apparent reason, so I went to bed at 3pm for a nap. I had some of the weirdest dreams, and as I have tried to look for the silver lining in all of this, I will tell you some that are kind of giggle-worthy (it's OK to laugh, it really is the best medicine).

* I dreamed we arrived for a new craft show on the day of set up, but decided NOT to set up until the next day, during the chaotic short hours that doing something like that entails. In addition, I was sure I was in the wrong city. And the wrong arena. Which had been set up backwards. (Interpretation -- I worry about my work).


I dreamed that Oprah was interested in earrings. You may remember reading that she just recently got her ears pierced, as she was terrified of doing it. Yet in MY dream, she not only had them pierced, but she was piercing them all around her ears, across her neck, and up her other ear. None of the earrings were mine. (Interpretation -- I worry about people liking my work. And I worry about Oprah, apparently).


Those are just two of the many nebulous dreams that I was able to hang onto long enough to put them to paper. In retrospect, they're laughable, silly, and easily understood. Who hasn't had the dream of a college committee telling them they forgot to take a class or test, and therefore were going to rip their diploma from the wall? (Another dream I've had -- and apparently many of my UVA friends have the same dream.)


Depression is a quiet but vicious beast. So many people (and apparently, many artists), suffer from it at some point in their lives, but hide it in their heart for fear of the stigma. Well, I'm not afraid anymore. It's a real thing, a real disease, and nothing any of us asked for.

Why am I writing this? In hopes that this will give you the bravery, the impetus to tell your story, to a friend, a family member, a diary, or a blog. Sharing stories can help.

I'm always hear with an ear. Email me any time.
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Sixth Photo in the Sixth Folder

"The sixth photo in the sixth folder"... almost sounds like part of a murder/mystery book, doesn't it, one with secret societies and such.

I've been tagged by Pink Diamond Workshop for a meme I've never heard of -- so let's see where it ends up. If you want to try this one yourself, post in the Comments section and let us know!

The instructions:

1. Navigate to where you keep your pictures, select the 6th folder, and the 6th picture in that folder.

2. Post the picture on your blog with an explanation about the picture.

And here it is (or click here for the wider, full version):

This is a picture that I'd actually forgotten I'd taken. It's the University of Virginia Book Store as seen from the top floor, where they sell the text books. Since UVA has its fair share of secret societies, I think it's kind of cool that it was the sixth of the sixth.

I took this picture in October, 2008, when Rick and I were on our annual honeymoon visit to Prospect Hill. We always head into nearby Charlottesville to just wander -- I went to school at UVA, I bought my first house in Charlottesville, and Rick and I were married in the UVA Chapel.
For some reason, I would head to the Book Store when I was having a bad, sad day at school (which for a completely broke pre-med student who felt in over her head was often) and just walk around, looking at this and that. I just looked and thought and for a little while, was away from worrying about that night's 1,498 pages of molecular biology to be read or the organic chemistry lab that needed tending to.

So there's my Sixth Photo in the Sixth Folder. What's yours?


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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Does This Work?


OK -- the beads are very cool -- etched green white-core beads with black dots, and they reminded me of tadpoles.

Added onyx -- very good.

Added funky sticky-outy bits. They don't REALLY stick out, but lie flat on the wrist -- but they're still not your norm. Good? Not Good?

I have no idea.

Do you?
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Stringing, Winter 2008

The winter edition of Stringing 2008 is out, and I have a bunch of earrings in it -- there are also lots of amazing necklace tutorials and bracelet ideas in there by other talented artisans. You can find it at Barnes and Noble or most any bookstore.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When Life Throws You a Curve Ball....

If you've ever been going along blissfully in your business and then out of nowhere, WHAM, you're hit with a curve ball, you might be interested in the article I just wrote for Collective Creatives. You just never know when something is going to fall in your path that makes you have to totally rethink what you're doing.


(Photo via thecompletepitcher.com)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Baltimore Schmap and Port Discovery

If you look down on the right of this blog, you'll see a widget that shows you some of the photos I've got posted on Flickr. Some of the photos are of my jewelry, but lots are just experiments and explorations.

A few weeks ago, I got a message from Schmap, which takes you "beyond the map" and helps people plan trips and activities. They had seen the photo I took of the door bench at Port Discovery in Baltimore, and said that if I was ok with it, I was on the short list of having my photo used in their Schmap description of Port Discovery.


I just got notified that my photo is the one they're using!

You can see the Schmap page by clicking here. Needless to say, I think it's pretty cool that this happened!

You just never know who is looking at what on the internet.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Sealed With a Kiss

OK, I managed to take some time from everything else that's going on and add a new pair of earrings and a necklace to my web site today.

The necklace I think is just too cool. Quirky, yes. Hip, m'kay. Non-traditional, absolutely.

Right now it's the only thing parked in the Holiday gallery, and the way it looks right now, it's the only "theme" jewelry for Valentine's Day I'm going to have this year. But there are a ton of other things available that would make great gifts.

Check it out!
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Which the Cats Are Always Shedding

We have two long-haired cats.

We have hardwood floors.

I can sweep, vacuum, and mop, then turn around and there goes a flippin' tumbleweed.

Then we comb the cats.

Have you ever heard someone say, "I combed enough hair off that cat to make a new one?"

It looks something like this:


(from icanhascheezburger.com)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year's Business Resolutions


I have a post up at Watch Me Create about New Year's Resolutions for my business -- it might be helpful or handy when you're looking ahead at your business year! Click here to read all about it.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

In Which the Jewelry Goes Missing

I know you've been wondering where the new jewelry is.

Well, I've been taking a much-needed, must-have break. I'm exhausted, and in 2008 I way overextended myself. So right now, I'm getting ready for filing taxes, knitting a bit, playing Wii with my son, going to museums, reading a ton, and catching up with friends. I need to take more time to chill, to let my creativity recharge.

But never fear. I made a few things when I could rouse myself up to it, and I do have a show coming up February 7th. If you're in the Northern Virginia area and want to treat yourself to an all-jewelry show, click here for the info. And if you're near Easton, MD, I'm teaching a class at Evergreen Cove.

The other thing that's been going on behind the scenes is preparation for a new company. Lori Anderson Designs isn't going anywhere -- I'm just planning a new company, too. That probably won't hit the streets until later this year, but I promise to keep you posted.

But I've been stocking beads for this year -- don't believe me? This is ONE days' mail. One.


(As for the necklace above, it's fresh for spring, ready to be sold (so email me if you want it). I learned the technique from Stephanie Sersich, whose work is nothing short of amazing.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Birthday in the House -- Zack Turns Six


Six years ago, at 11:37am, amidst quite a lot of craziness and doctors and machines, Zachary Richard Anderson was born. He is to me like nothing else. He's a terrific swimmer, is often hysterically funny without meaning to be, and always carries a quarter in his pocket to give to poor people on the street when we go to Baltimore.

I'm not making that last bit up. He has a soft spot for street people and when we stop at a light and there's someone asking for money, he always wants me to give them his bags of cookies or treats we've carried along for the ride. The other day, I asked him to hold my hand as he crossed the street on the way to the Science Museum, and he didn't do it, so I looked down....

"Zachary, what the heck is in your hand"? (me, thinking he'd taken a toy with him from the car)

"A quarter."

"Why do you need a quarter?"

"In case we see a poor person."

Ah. This child of mine.

I like to think of birthdays as Birthday Weeks. He got one small present early in the week, and another small present further into the week. Pizza was delivered last night. Then he got his main presents today.

Friday, of course, was Take a Birthday Treat to Kindergarten Day -- and oh boy were they all excited (and that was before they got all hopped up on sugar.) Zack had already told everyone days in advance that no, Mommy wasn't bringing cupcakes, she was bringing Rice Krispies Treats dipped in chocolate (with a piece of marshmallow to keep them from falling of the stick).

Today being the actual day, he was quite excited to capture his loot (Legos and an art easel).

He has been building things and painting things all day long, taking a break only long enough to bake a strawberry cake with Mommy, and then carrying pieces across to the neighbors.

All in all, the day was a success. Zack doesn't do well at birthday parties, his or anyone else's, due to too much sensory overload, so the little school party and then today's activities were just the thing. Delivering cake to the neighbors was his way of taking his party to everyone else, and he felt very important doing it.

I do so love this son of mine.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

In Which Nothing Continues To Be Done

The people who know me will laugh when I say, with hands pulling hair out, "I've got to get organized this year." Because mostly, I've been known as a pretty multi-tasking kind of gal.

This is true. However, there is something called Critical Load and I hit that about oh, six months ago.

So this year I decided that I'd help myself out and Keep It Simple by making a list every day, of only five things that really MUST get done. If something doesn't get done, it gets moved to the next day, not shuffled into forget-about-it-dom. And if, while I'm completing a task on the list, I see something else that, oh HEY! needs to be done, it has to get added to the list. At the bottom.

To start this endeavor, I picked up my brand new Diary produced by a bunch of artists. If you click the link, you'll see some of the examples. So not only do I have a cool diary (I do so love journals and notebooks and anything paper), I get to visit a new, cool web site each day.

This worked for approximately two days.



First day:

Smugly wrote my list down. Accomplished four things out of five, moved the one not-done to the next page. Looked at cool web site. Patted myself (again, smugly) on the back.

Second day:

Wrote down only three things to do. Looked at cool web page. Thought, eh, I'll do some of that this evening. Went back to bed.

Third day:

Wrote down two things, did one, said "screw it", went back to bed. Forgot to look at cool web site.

Fourth and fifth day:

Completely forgot everything, including the existance of the Diary. Which meant I missed my OWN page in the book. Cripes. Dug the diary out from under a mound of things to do.


Now I'm so far behind that I'm skipping days ahead to write things down, which is really cheating, but the list won't stay under five things if I don't.

(BTW -- writing a blog entry wasn't on today's list. Sigh).




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Sunday, January 04, 2009

How to Give a Cat a Pill

You may remember that I wrote about our older cat, Buddy, having feline diabetes. He gets one shot a day, and is lovely about it. Right on the dot of 4pm, he ambles into the kitchen, reminds us it's shot time, quietly takes it, then ambles back off to his nap.


Our other cat, Max, has just been diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid, and now needs to take medication twice a day for the rest of his life. Fortunately, this will help him stop yakking and stop him from losing weight. Unfortunately, the medicine is in pill form. And oh yeah, Max is our fritzy-afraid-of-his-shadow cat.

Needless to say, it's been a rough time around here. Our pill-popper thingee the vet gave us doesn't pop the pill with enough force, and after a while ... well, chaos just takes over.

So Rick got on the internet to see if he could get some help. He found the following, which I thought was quite accurate. Please know:

1) I did not write this, and don't know who did.

2) I do not condone tying up cats and being rough with them.

3) I do not condone giving away household pets to the SPCA.

That being said, here's "How to Give a Cat a Pill"

How To Give Your Cat A Pill

1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door on neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot,drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw Tee shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

13. Tie the little bastard's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15. Arrange for SPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

HOW TO GIVE A DOG A PILL

1. Wrap it in bacon.

2. Toss it in the air

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Wishes

New Year's Eve was spent very uneventfully -- just like I like it. Rick had surgery on his knee and was resting comfortably, Zack was playing Wii, and I was just being happy. This past year was full, to be sure, and it was nice to sit and reminisce.

One of the things I thought about was my trip to Japan years ago to see my best friend, and the tree I saw at a temple with wishes written on paper and then tied to the tree branches.

So this morning, I told Zack that to bring in the New Year, we were going to write up our wishes and send them off. So I pulled out the paper and crayons and we wrote down our hopes and dreams and wishes for 2009.

If you can read Kindergartenese, Zack's first wish is that he can go back to school to tell his friends... something. I don't know the rest, and well, wishes can be secret.



Then we cut them into strips....

and folded them up tight and punched holes in the top of each one.

Off we trooped to buy twelve helium balloons. We tied a wish to each string.

While we were waiting for a helium tank refill, Zack wandered off to enjoy the flowers. He declared the tulip his favorite, and guess what? They're one of my favorites, too.
Getting twelve balloons into a car when there are high winds was a trick, but finally we sped off to the park.

Zack did the honors. We counted, "ONE, TWO, THREE!" and he let them all go.

And we waved to our balloons as they carried our hopes, dreams, resolutions, and wishes up into a perfect blue sky.


On and on...

We watched until we couldn't see them any longer.

I think this is a wonderful tradition to carry out each New Year, and I think when our hopes and dreams have such a lovely flight, they're sure to come true.


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