Sunday, January 26, 2014

The 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party® dates are up!



To get more information, please click here!

Badges for your web site coming soon.






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, January 13, 2014

The Breath in My Lungs

source unknown

I was browsing Pinterest today and saw this quotation, and it really made me think.  Even if I've spent the greater part of a year in bed, spent more than a few years in serious pain, was I still living?


At first I petulantly kicked my blankets and said NO, followed by words that got the point across more eloquently but certainly not as elegantly.


But OK, I thought.  I have nothing else I can do right now but lie here and wait for my meds to kick in....let's try the "glass is half full" mentality on for size.


Today I...

Today I read to Zack.
I made a kale/berry smoothie.
I put a few dishes in the dishwasher.
I answered some email.
I was able to stay upright for three hours solid.


That really doesn't look like a lot, but the point is, I DID do something, and on the really, really bad days, I manage less than that.  But I still try to do something.  The most important thing lately has been reading to the kidlet.  The very fact that an 11-year old boy still looks forward to spending time with his mother is priceless and must be cherished.


I still am human, though, and The Sads can take over with a full nelson and an illegal punch to the gut.  


I was upset over the holidays because I couldn't play with the family much.  It's the first Christmas I didn't decorate the tree.  I couldn't wrap any presents.  And I didn't get to beat the socks off the boys playing Trivial Pursuit with my husband as my partner (he knows everything about sports.  I just answer "Babe Ruth!" to all sports questions.)



But I DID knit five scarves and three blankets to give away, read a bit (especially with Zack), did a little writing, and ended up thankful for my family, friends, and health.  


Yep, I said health. Because things could be SO much worse.  I have excellent care, a comfortable place to convalesce in, and, as one of my friends constantly reminds me, "You're never alone."


If my life ended tomorrow, I could look back and know it was an amazing life.  My glass isn't half full, it's overflowing.  All the countries I've lived in.  All the people I've met.  All the risks I've taken.  All the flowers I've planted, all the books I've read, all the songs I've belted out (albeit so out of tune I occasionally offended myself).  I've laughed and I've cried but that means I'm alive and in the moment, and even the Very Very Bad Moments mean something and ultimately make me who I am.  


I grow every day, and having to deal with chronic illness has, in a twisted, Jabberwocky kind of way, made me treasure the small as well as the epic.  Allowing myself the freedom to let go, to say no to the unimportant things, to just BE, is giving me a much better, much longer view of my life.


Who knows how deep the rabbit hole goes?  I'm going as far as I have breath in my lungs.




Monday, January 06, 2014

The 8th Bead Soup Blog Party Sign Ups are COMING SOON!!!

A lot of people have asked if I've felt like having a Bead Soup Blog Party (also known as the BSBP) because my recovery from Lyme disease and a bunch of cross diseases is still underway.


The book that came about because of the parties.


The answer is YES.  However, there will be some changes to make it more streamlined.


I can tell you three important things....

1)  There will only be ONE sign up day.  Only 24 hours.
In the past there have been three days,
but this year will have a strict 24 hours.

2)  Regardless of the size of the party,
there will only be
ONE REVEAL DATE.

3) There will be no Facebook entries this year...
you MUST have a blog.
One of the missions of the BSBP is to get you blogging,
sharing your work, 
and increasing your opportunities
to participate in other blog hops.


I haven't decided if there will be a contest yet
and there are a couple of other things I'm working out.

A Bead Soup I received.


I will be announcing the dates on this page, at www.BeadSoupBlogParty.com, on the Facebook group www.BeadSoupCafe.com, and my personal Facebook.page.  I will also create a Facebook invite.  Now is a good time to check your account and see if you are set up to receive invites (they show up in the right top corner of your Facebook page), and also see if you clicked to receive an email when someone invites you to something.


If you're as excited as I am every year about this party, please feel free to start putting together your soup.  Make sure you're on the right track by reading:



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.

Winners of the Five-Year Journals

Congratulations!  Zack picked your names!  You can contact me or I will be giving you a shout this week.



Jessica. (Jessica McCann)

anafiassa (Wonder and Whimsy)

Elisabeth (Beads for Busy Gals)

Amy. (LABweorc)i

And don't be worried that you'll be a little behind.  You can either choose to catch up or wait for next year, as the year is written in by YOU.  So you can start at any time!


If you didn't win, I'd still highly recommend getting one.  You can buy one, or purchase a pretty notebook and designate each page as a day with space for five years.  I'm currently using the "Q&A" book because it's fun to answer the question (and quick!)  but I also ordered a traditional journal from Levenger to record my actual day. 

Photo via levenger.com


The next giveaway will be coming as son as I can slide out of bed and work with some very cool things by PJ Tool Jewelry & Craft, folks who have been over generous in their stamping and tool giveaways.


Rainy day today with plummeting temperatures, some my head and joints are whimpering "ow ow ow".  The cats already curled up in my lap, so I'm taking today to read Pat Conroy's latest book, "The Death of Santini" (thanks, Jen!).






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.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

Start Your Year With Inspiration -- Journal Giveaway

It's 2014, and I'm not even going to talk about 2013, other than to laugh that I wrote in 2012 that 2013 was going to be an epic year.  Well, it certainly was epic, that's for sure!


My goal this year is to set no firm goals.  This year I want to live purely in the moment, and look for things that I may have been overlooking my entire life.


For instance, how random shapes of rocks can make a sturdy wall.... and the arrival of spring flowers.


That's not to say I won't be planning blog hops.  There will soon be sign ups for the Bead Soup Blog Party®, and I'm planning a Pantone bead swap very soon as well as a doing the Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop in the summer since last year was so much fun, and the addition of the Go Big or Go Home Blog Hop, date to be announced, where the focus will be on beads larger than an inch.


Otherwise, I'm going to go with the flow.


To do that, I wanted to go back to actual writing on paper -- journaling.  I don't have the time or the energy to write and paste in menus and tickets and pictures like I did for years, but I DID think it would be interesting to see what, if anything, could change in me in five years.  I turn 45 this year, so when the journal is done, I'll be 50, and I think it would be a marvelous present to myself to have five years of "look at what happened!" to peruse.


Now I want to share this journaling challenge with you.




I'm giving away four Five Year Journals.  These are awesome for those who have no time as all you have to do is a write a sentence or two over the course of five years.  And these particular journals, "Q&A a Day" and "The Happiness Project", also have wonderful prompts and inspirational quotes.


From "Q&A a Day"


From "The Happiness Project"

I'm giving away four copies, one to four people.  To be put in the running, just comment below and be SURE your name links to your blog, if have have one, and that your email is linked on that page. So many people lose out when they have their "About Me" page linked to Google+ or don't have their email filled out in their profile.  I just have no way to track you down.  So if you aren't sure, check your "About Me" page or anything similar and make sure people can reach you.


Not required, but it would be lovely if you would let others know about the giveaway. International IS included.  It just might take a little while because holy smokes, but one of my contest winners from APRIL just NOW got her gift.  Gracious sakes. 




Here's to a wonderful new year!














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.
DESIGN BY: THE BLOG DECORATOR