Friday, July 31, 2009

Need Some Prozac?


I have some for you!

Finally, FINALLY, I had the beads and the time to make another "Better Than Prozac" necklace. This is the Fifth Dose -- Dose One and Two were on the web site but Three and Four never made it there because they sold before I could even get the pictures up.

BUT! I just now uploaded a dose of happiness. Wear this necklace, and you CANNOT have a bad day. You just can't. And anyone who sees it won't have a lousy day, either. Trust me. I've seen people's faces change when they see these funky things.

Click here and you can check it out.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry in her studio in Easton, MD. She tends to gravitate to the funky and the whimsical, but also has some pretty classic pieces, too. Visit www.lorianderson.net to see!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jane Austen Won't Be Coming To Tea Anytime Soon

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I'm an avid reader. Over on the right side of this blog, you can see what I'm currently reading and what I have already read, along with my rating. Click it, and it should take you to Goodreads.com, where my book list is. It doesn't include ALL the books I've read -- just the ones I can remember.

One thing I've discovered -- I must be the only person in the world who doesn't like Jane Austen. In fact, I can hear the gasps from here. Seriously, people, I've tried. I picked up "Pride and Prejudice" I don't know HOW many times, figuring maybe I'd tried to read it at the wrong time. Sometimes if I've been stuck on a certain genre, like crime/mysteries, tackling a classic won't work. But when it comes to dear Jane, nothing has worked. Nothing. Not. One. Thing.


I feel the same way about "Jane Eyre". Granted, I did try to read that when I was ten. But I also was a very precocious ten who was reading way above her level. I've tried to read it now that I'm way older, but no no. No to "Wuthering Heights", too. (I can still hear you gasp, people. Stop it.)

Now, please understand, I read the classics. I do. I've read a couple of Dickens (love), "Jude the Obscure" (also liked),"The Jungle" (good but it made me quit meat), and two Ayn Rands. And "Atlas Shrugged" is certainly not a light read.

But Jane, she eludes me. And I have no idea why! So please, Dear Readers, please oh please, using kind words, tell me WHY I dislike that book so much? Because I really would like to invite her to tea.

I imagine she and Ayn Rand would have some interesting conversations.


When Lori isn't reading, she's making jewelry. You can see her work at www.lorianderson.net.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Funky Jewelry Weekend

I have been busy.

I've been decorating and stocking the new studio (spent hours out there today, unpacking and TRYING to decipher the directions on how to put up a four-foot mural. It nearly bested me.) But yesterday I made a ton of really fun, funky jewelry designs. No, I haven't had time to photograph them. But I DID make a Better Than Prozac necklace which will go on sale SOON. I made one as a custom order and one for the web site, and then a smaller version that I still need to come up with a name for. "They Lowered My Meds" doesn't really sound quite right.

I also made a pile of Halloween candy corn earrings and two Halloween bracelets. That's it for Halloween. Last year all the Halloween jewelry sold out. When I have photos, I'll show it here first, and if you want something, you'd better speak up, or it will likely be gone! Everything is made with handmade lampwork glass. These were some of last years (although this year's are different and these are no longer available)....

So yeah, I've been busy.

Yet pleasantly so.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Son, the Glass Fuser

This summer, I signed Zack up for three camps. So far, his favorite hands-down has been his day camps at The ClayBakers. Rather than do a full week of camp, he goes for a random six days throughout the summer for a couple of hours to do a specific project. He's loved it.

One project this summer was glass fusing. Of course, the teacher did the actual slumping and kiln action, but Zack put together his own piece. And here's what he made.....

Zack is six. And I couldn't be prouder.

I am so hoping that his love of art -- all kinds of art -- continues throughout his life. We have a craft closet to rival any store, and Zack has experimented with everything from paint to oil pastels. Obviously, I hope he continues to love glass, because as soon as he's old enough, I want to teach him how to make beads. He's already telling me that he doesn't want to go to college but wants to go to art school, but only if I go with him, and I have to say, I'd love to go! There is so much I'd love to learn, so much YET to learn.

The future this boy has. He amazes me every day.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Next Comes Color -- The Continuing Saga of Building a Lampwork Studio

Take a stroll over to Watch Me Create and you can see my current dilemma -- what colors to paint my studio! Now that the building is finished, the fun part begins -- the decorating!


Lori is anxious to use more of her beads in her jewelry, which you can see at www.lorianderson.net

Friday, July 17, 2009

Used To, Do Now, Want To

My brain has been quite full lately -- Zack, a few pesky headaches, studio design, web site updates, getting orders out the door, cleaning house -- that writing blog entries sometimes falls behind. So I thought I'd try a stream-of-consciousness style of post that my blogger friend Blackbird has used and said I could try.

I decided to call this one "Used To, Do Now, Want To". I'm going to write three things down that I used to do (and still can but don't), three things I do now, and three things I want to do (but haven't tried yet, and am not sure I ever will). Doors shut, doors opened, doors yet to be flung wide open.

Ready?

I Used To:

1. Know four languages other than English -- Spanish, French, Latin, and Korean. Five if you count halting Italian.

2. Dance until the wee morning hours in fun night clubs -- mostly when I was stationed in Korea, some in Italy, and some when I came back to Virginia. I miss that energy and abandon. I don't miss wearing heels.


3. Garden with as much attention to detail as I now make jewelry. Clods of dirt would be crumbled by hand. Vegetables would be grown from seed. I weeded every day and dead-headed religiously. People sometimes stopped in the driveway to look at the flowers.



I Now Do:

1. Own more books than clothes and shoes. And I read up to three a week -- always at least one. And always only one at a time.

2. Read at stop lights. I never used to do that. But I have a pile of magazines for the gym in the passenger seat, and I grab one when I hit the light (and some of the ones around here are LONG). I am the ultimate multi-tasker.

3. Color. I color in these cool intricate coloring books (sometimes with Zack, sometimes by myself when I just want to zone) and I am as excited about a brand new box of Crayolas as any kid.


I Want To:

1. Dance. Ballroom, ballet, swing, or modern, I don't care -- just not the wild arms-over-the-head-shimmy-shake of night club dancing that I used to enjoy. And this was LONG before all those dance programs hit TV. I've wanted to dance since I was a kid, but the closest I ever came to a dance lesson was a swing dance lesson which my then boyfriend walked out on in the middle of (twerp). I think that's why I loved teaching aerobics so much -- it's the closest I ever came to dancing.

2. Write a book. This one I think I can do. I've been writing journals almost all my life, and I wish I hadn't dumped a dozen of them in a dumpster in my early twenties (again, because of another twerp).


3. Be an artist. I've always wanted to know how to paint and delve into mixed media and all the cool new things out there that I see in the magazines Somerset Studio and Cloth Paper Scissors. I hope one day to have the time, and the nerve to make the mistakes.


So what are your Used To, Do Now, Want To's? Write them up, send me your link -- I'd love to read them!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry when she's not dreaming and writing. Her web site is www.lorianderson.net

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Butterfly or Moth?

I have no idea if this is a butterfly or a moth on the Star Gazer Lily, but whatever it is, it's lovely. It was slowly flapping its wings the entire time I was taking pictures, so I was lucky to get one half-decent shot.

Enjoy!


Lori will probably use this shot as inspiration for some of her jewelry creations. See more of her work at www.lorianderson.net.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who Hit Me With a Sledge Hammer?

Who in the HECK hit me with a sledge hammer yesterday? I would like a severe, stern word with him or her, and then I would like to repay the deed with all the fervor I can currently muster.


Many of you are long-time readers and know of my saga of raging headaches from posts like this and this. After the spinal tap, the doctors and I had hoped that it would be a long-term fix, and that I wouldn't have any further headaches beyond my normal migraines once in a blue moon.

That was for naught, because within a week, the headaches were back.


I did get a diagnosis, though -- idiopathic intracranial hypertension. The GREAT news is there is no optic nerve damage yet (which is great, because this can make you go blind), there is NO tumor, there is NO cancer, and there is NO aneurysm. All big, HUGE bonuses. The bad news is there really isn't a cure, per se. I take two medications that dehydrate me big time and make me very, very tired, and I'm still getting adjusted to them and the doctors are playing around with the dosage. And when things get super-bad, spinal taps. Again.



What all that has to do with sledge hammers is yesterday I was doing fine, and as we were walking into Lowes to buy the paint for my lampwork studio, I got a rapid-onset migraine. What the...? Two types of headaches at once? You have got to be kidding me. But we got the paint, got me home, I took a shot, fell into bed, and my husband, who is a saint, painted the entire studio for me.


(I'll show you pictures later -- but I CAN tell you that it's three colors, one of which is purple, and one of which made my husband raise his eyebrows and ask me if I was really sure.)


I know this has been hard on Zack. But he showed me today that I am indeed loved. He called me into his playroom and with my eyes squinted half-open, I see this:


See, that's a heart coming out of a headache.


So much for the sledge hammer. It's relegated to the garage for now.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jewelry Eye Candy

I finally took a lot of pictures today (a LOT) and have a lot more still to take. Now comes the hardest part of the job -- Photoshopping and cleaning them up and getting them on the web site.

So here for your viewing pleasure are a few things that aren't on www.lorianderson.net just yet, but as always, if you see something you want more information on or just have to have NOW, shoot me an email by clicking here.





Friday, July 10, 2009

A Day in Oxford, MD

Being a Good Mommy is sometimes a very difficult, trying task. Take yesterday, for instance.

After three crafts, two games, and a snack, Zack proclaimed he was bored.

It was 10:30am.

I was at wit's end and almost in tears because I had no idea what I was going to do with a raging headache and no more ideas up my sleeve. So I went outside to pay the guy that mows our lawn and asked if he wanted to trade a lawn mower for a kid (I wasn't serious. But you moms out there get it.)

He suggested I take Zack to Oxford Park, a mere 10 minutes away. Within five minutes, we were in the van and cruising at the speed of happy.

Oxford is lovely, and the park is covered over with huge old trees to keep it nice and cool. Zack brought an airplane to throw....

and there were plenty of swings (and what a view!)

We wandered down to the tiny beach and Zack wrote in the sand and collected a few shells and rocks.

One of the shells was encrusted with barnacles.


If you looked to the left from the park, you see this...

and if you look to the right, you see this...

Very soothing, and just the thing that Mommy and Zack needed on a day when we thought we had Nothing To Do.

It's amazing the things you can find less than 15 miles from your front door.


When Lori isn't playing in the park, she makes jewelry for a living. Her work can be seen at www.lorianderson.net.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Lori Anderson on Handmade News


I was interviewed and featured on HandmadeNews.org yesterday -- if you'd like to read it, click here!

Thank you, Angelica, for the interview! You can visit her shop by clicking here.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry while chasing a six-year old and shooing the occasional cat. Her work can be seen at craft shows on the East Coast and at www.lorianderson.net

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

An Antique Typewriter

I have a passion for old things. I could tell you stories about searches through abandoned houses with my friend Katie and the things we saw.... and I love junk stores. Antique stores are cool, but the antique junk stores are the best. They're the ones where you just don't quite know what you're going to get -- crap or treasure.

This is a treasure. A 1908 Remington Standard 10 typewriter that still essentially works (if I could find a ribbon). The keys work, the carriage return works, and the bell works. It's so heavy I'd break a foot and the floor if I dropped it. I cleaned it up a bit but it's still a little rusty and a bit crusty but I LOVE it.

My office is full of little treasures here and there -- things that people have made for me, things that I've collected -- old tea cups, the beginning of an antique camera collection, acorns Zack brought to me -- and I love being surrounded by these things. My desk is such a horror of paperwork and things that must be done NOW and things that should have been done last MONTH that it's nice to turn around in the chair and see all the pretty things.

I'd love to see YOUR pretty things -- comment below and send me your links!


You can view more pretty things -- Lori Anderson's jewelry -- at www.lorianderson.net

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Building of a Lampwork Studio



Things keep moving along slowly towards finishing the lampwork glass studio! You can read more about it and see some of the progress pictures at Watch Me Create -- just click here!


(beads by Nichole Byers)

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Book Review -- Maeve Binchy, "Heart and Soul"

Heart and Soul It's been FAR too long since I've given a book review, so let's go with one, shall we?

Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy


rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first taste of Maeve Binchy was Oprah's Book Club choice, "Scarlet Feather". After that, I was hooked and read everything Binchy has written. I was so sad when I heard that she was giving up writing to care for her husband, who was in bad health, so was thrilled when this book came around -- not just for the book, but hoping this meant her husband had recovered. Not sure if that's the case, but there's always the hope!

One of the things I love about her books is her character development. She really fleshes out each person, and I love how she blends in people from past stories -- in this case, from "Scarlet Feather", "Quentins", and "Nights of Rain and Stars", to name a few. All of these reunions of characters, though, worried me a bit -- it felt like Binchy was tying up the last few strings, and that this might indeed be her last book.

I hope I'm wrong -- but if it is, it is a truly wonderful one.


View all my reviews on GoodReads.


Lori Anderson reads every night to calm her mind from designing jewelry every day. You can see her jewelry at www.lorianderson.net.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

And I thought I was good with beads......

Seriously. I bow down to this woman. Thank you, Homemade Hilarity, for bringing this to my attention, and thank you, Liza Lou, for making my day (and making me put my work into perspective, I might add.)


(I make nothing nearly like this, but I have been known to make things with beads. You can check them out by clicking here.)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Love Jewelry? I'm Updating the Web Site!


It's been a while since I've had a big website update, but I have a huge bowl of jewelry sitting right beside me and all day and night to upload it. Rick and Zack are having fun with grandparents and I'm the resident plant-waterer and insulin-to-cats-giver and am enjoying a little quiet time.


So if you have a break between the barbeques and fireworks, please visit Lori Anderson Designs' "What's New" page and have a peek!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Non Sequitur

I'm having a day where I can't seem to write anything very informative or profound, so I'll leave you with a VERY random assortment of photos I've taken...

I took this just the other day. It's a corner in my office. The necklace I made using the technique Stephanie Sersich taught me, and one of her fantastic starfish.

One of my favorite sections of Barnes and Noble -- the craft section, of course.

A stone grotto from an.....

Abandoned church about 15 miles from where I live, near St. Michaels, MD. The church was built very, VERY close to the river, and almost as soon as it was built, it started sinking into the ground. It's lovely and I have a number of photos in my Flickr file from this visit.

A bunch of antique button charms I made for a charm swap. Some of these were REALLY rather old.


Part of a light post at the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian, PhotoShopped because I had never really played with the bells and whistles of the program before.

And finally, an abandoned car. This one was really a non sequitur. I was chaperoning a bunch of kids on a summer "hike" through a trail at Tuckahoe State Park in Queen Anne, MD, when I looked to my left and down the bank and there it was -- an old, rusted out car. How it got on the trail or OFF the trail, I'll never know.

I hope you enjoyed my little unrelated trip through my photo album!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - A Tree in Oxford, MD



Designing With Small Children (or, Short Attention Span Theater)


I have another post up on the creative process blog "Watch Me Create". This time, I talked about how, as a mom and a designer, I deal with the three months known as Summer Vacation.

It's not easy being a mother and an artist, and there's a fair amount of guilt mixed in with the joy. I hope you'll read the post, and comment about your own ideas on how you handle the mix.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and showcases it at craft shows and on her website, www.lorianderson.net. She's increasingly thrilled that her six-year old is exhibiting a major artistic side.