Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Snowy World

I love snow. We don't get snow every year here in Maryland, but this year we got a fair amount. I love to watch it, especially as I sit at my table and look out the back sliding doors at it accumulating on the deck.

What I don't like is coaching my husband home from Pennsylvania while navigating a national weather web site (complete with Doppler radar) and traffic cameras for three areas. It was strange to watch it snowing like crazy on the Eastern Shore and then to see it sunny with nothing but dry road above Baltimore. Rick ended up taking the Delaware route home, and he said it was like running through a magic portal. Bing, no snow. WHOOSH, more snow than Narnia.

Snuggle up, folks ... even if there's no snow near you.
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Friday, January 29, 2010

Two Cups of Bead Soup

You may remember my Bead Soup Blog Party post. The party date is coming closer and closer -- February 10th, to be exact! On that date, you'll be able to hop around all the 84 blogs and see what the beaders made. If you'd like to start taking a look at the "soup" they've already received, you can visit the Flickr Pool Bead Soup Party Swap and see what people are starting with.

I, like everyone else, got one partner, but two people came late to the party and of course I couldn't say no, so I'm actually doing a total of three swaps. Two have arrived, but one is on its way from Korea and hasn't gotten here yet. But here are the first two.

First, from Libby Leuchtman, a lampwork bead maker.....


When she asked me what I might be interested in, I told her "anything, but donuts give me trouble" -- so she decided to challenge me with a donut. She did a smart thing, because this entire exercise is supposed to be about stretching our skills and working outside our comfort level.

She also gifted me with a pendant as a "thank you" for running the blog party -- and I can't tell you how grateful and humbled I am by it.


Next up is a gemstone mix from Dee Gordon, and I already know what I want to do with that fat gemstone on the right:


So there you have it -- two bowls of distinctly different types of soup, neither of which I would have chosen for myself, both destined for (in my opinion!) cool designs.

Be sure to mark you calendars and visit the blog on February 10th to see what all we've made!

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$12,000 Goal REACHED for Tanya!

Remember in this post I was auctioning off a bracelet for IH/Pseudotumor Awareness to help my friend Tanya raise enough money for the surgery she needs on the 31st? She lives in Thailand and they wouldn't do the surgery without the $12K in hand.

Today, the goal has been reached.

All of her friends, beaders, bead makers, bead sellers, rallied together and sold jewelry and beads and supplies and in a few short weeks, raised the money.

This goes a long way to show the love of the bead community and its supporters. My bracelet was purchased by a long-time and much-loved customer and I am so grateful for that as 100% of the purchase went to the fund. Many other artists did the same thing, donating various percentages of their sales towards Tanya's surgery.

So many people think that beading is about worrying about who is copying who, or who has the best design, or who is making more innovative designs than others. But it's not about that at all. It's about using your skill to come together to help someone who needed it, someone who would have done the same for us if we'd had a similar situation.

Keep this in mind as you go through the day. $1 here or there to help a person you don't even know can add up to thousands. That's how this fund made it. At one point, we would have reached the goal if everyone donated the cost of a Starbucks coffee. Boom, donations came in.

So yes -- little amounts do indeed help.

Thank you all for reading this, and please say prayers or meditations for Tanya's swift recovery.

Love and thanks, Lori Anderson

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eye Candy (and 300 Followers!)

Today is an eye candy day -- and a huge, heart-felt thank you to my followers. I have no idea how I reached 300, but I am humbled and grateful. Thank you, each and every one.








More jewelry can be seen at www.lorianderson.net.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Post-it Notes


Has found the real problem with Post-it Notes is that they don't stick in your head.

(From www.storypeople.com, who rock out loud).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

And this is what I did this weekend.

Many times, I get to the end of the weekend and am irritated. "I didn't get a THING done!" I'll mutter, and write up yet another to-do list that unfurls across the floor in its never-ending length.

This weekend, however, things actually got done. It could very possibly have been because I stayed up until 4am each night. It could have been because I now have a laptop and can watch shows I've TiVo'd while I do busy-work. Whatever, I killed that to do list.

1. Took two batteries-worth of jewelry photos.


2. Photoshopped said jewelry photos -- or at least, enough that I felt I'd accomplished something.
3. Managed to stay off the coffee... and didn't miss it. (My neurologist would be so proud.)


4. After two years, finally finished a knitted Noni bobble bag. HUGE accomplishment.

5. Made a bunch of felted bead jewelry to take to the gallery that carries some of my jewelry. Half of the gallery is for hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn, so it's a perfect fit.


6. All those little pieces of paper on my desk with one sentence here, two things to do there? Gone. Poof. Trash canned, accomplished.

(photo by net_efekt)

7. And the most important thing -- had time to go out to dinner with my hubby.


Good weekend. Very good.


Lori Anderson makes beaded jewelry for a living and couldn't be happier doing it. You can see her work at www.lorianderson.net and read her creative exploration blog at www.AnArtistsYearOff.com.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Heart Necklaces

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I have three new heart necklaces on my web site, www.lorianderson.net. The "Purple Heart" one has an interesting story to it, so click on over and read if you have a few minutes.

Each necklace is made with a handcrafted fused glass heart by New Terra Artifacts, a friend of mine who is just a wizard with dichroic glass.

Clicking each photo will take you directly to the necklace -- enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Posts on An Artist's Year Off!

Even as I prepare for two of my five shows for the year, I'm getting things done over at An Artist's Year Off -- be sure to click and read the new posts on my other blog!

*Chain Maille for Dummies.
*In which I finally fire up my lampwork torch.
*I'm taking a bunch of classes -- where will they take me?
*How I organize an artful day.

And check out the books on the right side of the blog - you might find some inspiration!

Thanks for reading!

Jewelry Made With Recycled Bowling Balls

My friend Matt Cole has long made the silver beads that I use in my jewelry creations. He now lives in the Midwest with his wife and little boy and has been designing sterling silver beads and jewelry for years.



Matt has now taken his life-long love of bowling to a new level -- creating a unique line of jewelry with discarded bowling balls that would ordinarily be destined for a land fill. How cool is that?

Bowling Ball Jewelry -- Buy me!
Bowling Ball Jewelry  --  Buy me!

I love that he's making beautiful jewelry out of a recycled material, and an unusual one at that. I also love his attention to detail. I love how some of his recycled bowling ball jewelry looks like miniature bowling balls!  Imagine showing up at your league bowling night with these dangling from your ears is going to make you the envy of the entire bowling alley.


Bowling Ball Jewelry -- Buy me!


You can visit Matt Cole's recycled bowling ball jewelry site by clicking www.matt-cole.com.  Tell him Lori sent you, and that she said the jewelry would "bowl you over"!


(Ha ha -- see what I did there?)



Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.




Thursday, January 21, 2010

Helping a Friend in Need


When I was first diagnosed with IH, also known as pseudotumor, I met a wonderful jewelry artist on Facebook named Tanya. Tanya runs Aardvark Silver on Etsy (so if you need awesome silver for your beading needs, head over there now!). She was also the first person I met who also had IH.

Tanya, unfortunately, has been sick for a while and doesn't live in the US. She's an Australian living in Thailand, and is in desperate need of a life-saving operation due to the IH, but the hospital in Thailand won't take her unless she has the $12,000 in cash.

SO, the jewelry and bead-maker community being what it is, a Facebook page has been started for Tanya, and we're fundraising like crazy, because she only has nine days left before the surgery is scheduled.

I've listed a very special IH Awareness bracelet on Ebay -- I hope you'll take a look, pass it along to others, and say a prayer or send up some good wishes for this most generous of souls. 100% of the proceeds will go to Tanya, and if you win the auction, I'll send you a copy of the Paypal slip that shows it went to her.

Tanya doesn't deserve this fear. She's talked me down more than once when I was terrified and in horrible pain from the headaches, and it hurts me to see her in a situation none of us should ever be in.

Click here for the auction link, and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sometimes Happiness is .... Shoes

I had a neurology appointment over the bridge and took the opportunity afterwards to stop at the mall to look for socks. Simple pink socks. You would have thought I'd asked for socks with three toes in stripes of purple, orange, and chartreuse with a bit of lace and oh yeah, a pom pom thrown in, because there were NO pink socks to be had.

But Betsey Johnson had a sale on thigh-high funktastic flower-and-stripe socks.

Never one to pass up the shoe department, I took a quick look, and like a beacon from above, my eyes were drawn to the latest Limited Edition Danskos.

Blue Patent Python (of the not-real-python variety). I fell in love. Not because they look like a snake, but because they glow almost purple in places when the light hits them, and because they are just so..... funky. And I do love funky shoes. These are a this-year-only edition, and are available in pale yellow and light green.

Then I had to get a pair I've been longing for for ages. I always said, "No, not now," because I wear a lot of blue, pink, and purple, and thus had nothing to wear with ....
claret red patent leather. But I do have one red sweater, and have plans for more red, and hey -- who says I have to wear black shoes with black outfits? Live a little.

Yes, happiness has many forms. Today, its form was shoes.


Lori Anderson uses a lot of color in the jewelry she makes. You can see it at www.lorianderson.net.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Jewelry on the Web Site!

I took some much needed time off from the frenetic rush of making and posting jewelry on my web site, but I do have two shows coming up in February and March and it's just time to start offering new pretties.

Here are just a few things. You can always see the most recent pieces by clicking the "Newest Designs" button on the home page of www.lorianderson.net.

Enjoy!




Friday, January 15, 2010

Gezhundheidt



Thank you, Jen, for showing this to me. It's your fault for making me laugh so hard a wardrobe change was nearly necessary.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

One Word

Green.

Oops.


Toys.


Yarn.


Buddy.

Love.


Lori Anderson is a jewelry designer -- you can see her work at www.lorianderson.net.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shop Review -- Hey Miemie

I love shopping on Etsy for pretty things. I've bought everything from stationery to my beloved antique typewriter there. One day when I was browsing, I fell in love with these cute felt birds, arranged like flowers in a vase.


"Those would be PERFECT in my office," I thought, and I contacted the seller, Hey Miemie and asked her if she'd be up for a trade for some jewelry. Luckily, she liked some things on my web site, and soon, a flock of birdies flew into my home.

Hey Miemie also sells these as cake toppers for wedding cakes, and makes other beautiful felt home decor. She even makes the most adorable hair clips for children, and even has a romantic line of hair adornments for women.


You can check out Hey Miemie by clicking here. Tell her Lori sent you!


When Lori isn't shopping on Etsy, she's making beaded jewelry for www.lorianderson.net. She also writes for her other blog, An Artist's Year Off.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Zack!

Today my little boy turned seven. Seven. I can hardly believe it! How did we get from this....


To this?I remember the first few months, when I was up every two hours, bleary eyed and frantic that this child would NEVER sleep without my holding him, terrified that I'd drop him, worried that the world would harm him.

I'm still a chronic worrier, but I keep that inside, away from him. I figure if Rick and I love him and play with him and teach him and (yes) discipline him when necessary, he'll have the tools to deal with the world.

One of the things I've been having trouble with is the number "seven". Up to age six, I've been able to think of Zack as a little boy, my baby. But seven evokes a totally different thing -- a kid who's starting to break away, do his own thing, moving away from the herd.

Then I realized, Zack and I have a bond that is pretty darned strong, and I think he's always going to have a bit of silly little kid in him. Case in point -- Friday, we went to Barnes and Noble and wandered into the children's section. We both adore Mo Willems' "Pigeon" series and we always like to check and see if a new one has come out. What do we see? The actual Pigeon!!!

Both of us shrieked in delight, I snatched it from the top shelf, and Zack clutched it to his chest.

"Can we get it?" he asked.

"Oh you KNOW we're getting it," I said.

On the way home, we came up with silly things for the Pigeon not to do (and if you've read any of the books, like "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" and "Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late", you'll understand where we were coming from. These included things from "Don't let the pigeon drink coffee" to "Don't let the pigeon do the taxes."

I realized, neither Zack, nor I, will ever truly grow up.



Lori Anderson makes beaded jewelry for www.lorianderson.net. She also writes another blog, An Artist's Year Off.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Rocking the Red Hair

Take a stroll over to my other blog, "An Artist's Year Off", and see who's rocking some red hair -- and why.


And if you're still interested in signing up for my Bead Soup Blog Party, you'd better hurry! Registration closes TOMORROW, January 10th, at midnight EST. There are a LOT of awesome participants and I'd love to have you play! Click here for more info.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Book Review -- "Under the Dome"

Under the Dome Under the Dome by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I belong to the Stephen King Book Club, so when my husband came into the house with this latest in King's library, I took it in both hands and sighed in book ecstasy. Over 1000 pages? Heaven.

There was absolutely nothing on the fly leaf -- no hint of what this book would be about beyond the artwork, which shows a glass dome over a town, and a certain amount of destruction crashed into it. I usually don't like reading a book unless I have SOME sort of idea what I'm getting into, but with Stephen King, I'll give him a pass.

One of my favorite things about King is his intensely detailed character development. I love getting to know all the characters -- the good, the bad, and the truly heinous -- and I love how King uses a broad brush, not caring whether or not he kills off a kind character while letting a jerk live. You just never know.

I won't tell you what happens, or how the Dome got there, or if it lifts, but will say the book is captivating. I felt trapped in my own Dome because I couldn't put the book down for hours at a time.

Don't let the size of the book stop you. Get set to visit The Dome.


(I'm now taking a total 180 degree turn and reading a historical fiction book called "Hugh and Bess". I'm nothing if not eclectic.)