Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back.....

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It's amazing looking back on this year.


I discovered how intense hosting
the Bead Soup Blog Party could be.
And then I started writing a book about it.

I taught a jewelry class
(and will be teaching another in March).

 The 3rd Bead Soup Blog Party reveal was exciting
as I worked with beads completely out of my comfort zone.


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I dyed my hair pink.


I had a lot of MRIs and had some good thoughts
 in the tube.


I learned to melt solder and burn up fire brick
with Stephanie Lee.



I thought about finding my bliss. 

You made blue bracelets with me.

I went to BeadFest and Bead and Button
and shopped like crazy.

I took my camera for an outing and
wrote about the entire day,
which ended with hugs from this guy.


Both the older boys got their PhDs, and
Zack wants to be like them.

Zack and I went to the beach
and then went again.


I had Bead Soup Blog Party #4
and about lost my mind.

I went to ArtBliss
and met a lot of friends
and made some cool things.

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I finished my book
and had my picture taken.


I wrote 266 blog posts 


And I read lots of comments
and emails and cards
from all of you, which brought me
unbelievable joy.


Thank you all
for a wonderful year!



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Friday, December 30, 2011

It will be ok. I have pie.

Thought I'd share one of my Christmas presents with you --

Yeah, buddy!


Rick bought me this on CafePress.com, and I flipping LOVE it!  I love pink, and then, well... there's the pie.


We have had pie in the house for the holidays and as I sit here in jeans, I can tell that I, um, partook too much, methinks.  But who can turn down cherry!  Pumpkin!  Key lime!  And a coconut cake.  It's not pie, but it's an awesome, awesome cake.


I've loved this holiday time.  Every year Rick takes off a week or so, the older boys come for a long visit, and it's just a lovely, relaxing time.  One of my favorite parts of this time off is the lack of guilt for lying about reading.  My brain is so messed up from this past year that the devouring of books has helped tremendously.  


I've tried to make jewelry -- but for some reason, it's not coming to me.  Soon.  But right now, the brain is on survival mode and is telling me to chill.

(Isn't that a cute picture of Zack at three years old?)


So everyone, 
take some time to be good to yourself.
The payoff is tremendous.

 
 
 
 
 
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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Santa Recycles

Another Zack story today:

As he opened a present, he noticed it was in an Amazon.com box that had been re-taped.

"OH!" he pipes up.  "Santa uses Amazon!  AND he recycles!"





Quote of the Day:  "There's Always a Plan B"
Book Review: "Schindler's List"


 
 
 
 
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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.
 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas with LEGO

Last year we started a tradition that has been a blast for the three boys.  We buy one of the LEGO shops -- this year, the Grand Emporium -- and the three boys put it together.  The buildings link together so eventually, we'll have a village (and need to figure out where the heck to show them off).

I'm awed and amazed at the detail of these creations.  I makes me think a job at LEGO would totally rock.


This is a shot of the two buildings hooked together.  
Notice the window washer?


Then there's the rotating doors....


... and the ice cream vendor.


Of course, there has to be a billboard!


And now we lift off the floors so you can see each department.
There's a crystal chandelier above the escalator, and the toy floor.


Down the escalator to the first floor, with the cash register, 
revolving door, and window displays.


And out the front door for another look at the window displays, 
a street light, and mail box.


These are not the LEGO things I knew as a kid!

Hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!






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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Merry Christmas from Zack

Zack at 11 months
photo by Jen Fariello


I absolutely adore this photo.

If you'd like to see more from this series,


Much love to you all!




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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Being Alone on the Holidays.

Our tree, taken by me lying underneath it.      Pin It


For most of us, I dare say, the holidays are a joyful time with family and friends, great food, surprising gifts, and a general warm feeling of happiness.


However, there's a number of people who hate the holidays and I used to be one of them.  There are so many wonderful posts about the great times, but I wanted to acknowledge those for whom this time of year can be dreaded, difficult, and hard.


When I was in the military, Christmas didn't mean all that much.  No tree, no family, no gifts -- just another day.  I'd always volunteer for day duty so those who had their families with them could celebrate.  I have religious beliefs that make Christmas meaningful, but the loneliness was like a heavy fog.


Then when I was 30, I pretty much hit rock bottom in my life.  I spent the worst Christmas ever alone in my house.  I think I spent a lot of it in bed.  But the desire to be a part of a celebration was horribly painful.


Some of you have lost loved ones.  Some of you may not be able to see family.  Some of you may dread this holiday more than going to the dentist for a root canal.


I understand all of this.


To counteract these feelings surrounding the holiday, consider trying some of these things:

** Volunteer in a soup kitchen or hospital.

** Do Pay-It-Forwards for strangers -- buy them a cup of coffee if they're behind you in line, hand a card to a stranger, things like that.

**  Drive around and look at the lights.  That has always made me happy.  Be sure to take a cup of hot chocolate with you!

** Email me.  Because I get it.  I've been on both sides of the fence.  (***Edited-- I do mean this.  This post was written in 2011, but it's 2012 and I'm still getting emails, and I WILL answer them.)


I write an open, sometimes raw blog.  Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's like this -- introspective and possibly depressing.  But I'm trying to change the depressing to an open invitation to celebrate with me.  I want to make your holiday a better one.

I'm not trying to be narcissistic or Mother Teresa, thinking I can cure all ills.  I'm just hoping that someone who's having a rough holiday will see this and know they're not alone.  I would have given anything for that in past years.


Lots of love, respect, and care to you.



Quote of the Day: Holiday Shopping Flowchart



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Artists Helping Artists Silent Auction

Artists Helping Artists Silent Auction


Once again, several artists in the blog community have decided to come together to help a fellow artist in need.  It seems to have been a rough year for a lot of people, and there have been medical and personal tragedies that have caused a number of us to do what we can to help.  I know what it's like to have something awful happen and feel alone, so any time I can help, I want to.

For auction is this necklace, which can be customized to fit the wearer.





Made with a ceramic pendant and beads by Clayworks, this necklace is a piece I created for the Cup of Bead Soup project.






Would you like to be the winning bidder?


Bidding starts at $40.

Bidding will end on the 28th.

Please leave a comment along with your bid. If you are the winning bidder, you will receive an invoice after the close of the auction. There must be a way to contact you. If you have email preferences turned off in your profile, please leave your email.


Many people are auctioning items to help out! Please visit these the other artists below and place your bid!
List of participants:

Lori Anderson  (you are here)


I have comments moderated so be patient as I approve them!

Good luck, and thank you.

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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party sign-ups just a few weeks away!

It's almost time to sign up for the next Bead Soup Blog Party!  Remember, this time it's a lottery for 200 people (so I don't lose my mind with all the work from last time!)

To get the new badge and to read all the details, please click here or visit the link for "Bead Soup Blog Party" up above in my header bar.

I hope to see you in January!


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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods to Dad's House We Go!

This weekend we headed out to see my Dad for Christmas.  It was LITERALLY an over-the-river-and-through-the-woods event, as Dad lives in the mountains near Luray Caverns.  He built a house tucked in off the road...


... and when I say "he built", I really mean HE built it.  He's always been handy but this was truly his big creation.

When we got there, we heard low music behind the house.  Surely they weren't outside in 31 degree weather?  Why the radio?  To keep the bears away.  No.  Seriously.  He once had to shoo off a bear that got too close to the house.  Off to investigate, you find the gazebo (also built by Dad) ....


... guarded by a gargoyle.  Are bears afraid of gargolyes?


The first thing we saw once inside the house was the ornately decorated tree, which made Zack literally stand still with his jaw open.  Lots of bling and red and gold!  And then we got right down to the presents, which is always the most fun when you have a kidlet.



When Zack opened his Star Wars "Slave 1", he went into conniptions.



And then, of course, Zack had to explain ALLLLL about Star Wars to Dad.



Zack decided he wanted a ride around the woods in Dad's golf cart, so they braved the bracing weather for a short while and fortunately didn't see any bears.


Then we visited some of the House Guardians.



The trip was shorter than we would have liked but Gloria broke her hip a couple weeks ago and I can't even imagine what it's like recovering from that sort of thing.  I get exhausted just thinking about it.

Now we wait for Zack's brothers, Ryan and Colin, to come home, and Zack's paternal grandparents from Pennsylvania.  So much going on!  

And have I dusted the house yet?

Um, that would be a no.  

Maybe I can convince the house elves to do it for me.



Quote of the Day: "Snow (and Cats)"


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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.