Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

What a day! I hope you all had a wonderful one.

Zack was more than a little overwhelmed! He got a huge electric train set (which, when set up, was about twice the size I expected!). In order to get the train set up, we had to take down the Christmas tree.

Santa must have decided I was REALLY good this year, because not only did I get a camera, but I got one HECK of a camera -- an 8 megapixel Panasonic Lumix with a Leica lens. Incredible. Now I just need a degree to use it! All kidding
aside, it's a super camera, with lots of bells and whistles, and it'll be nice to have something like this in the studio.

I also got new PhotoShop software, which is essential for my keeping up my web site, and I've been playing with that all afternoon, while Zack sits behind me and watches his trains.

Rick cooked the most incredible turkey for dinner -- brined with cloves and bay leaves and allspice -- never in my life have I had turkey that good! Email me if you want the recipe. Couldn't get Zack to eat a bit of it, though. His pickiness with food is getting old, let me tell you!

Now the boys are playing poker and I'm back to playing with my toys. Have to get to bed early, because I'm driving to Tysons Corner to meet Lesley for a girls' day out!

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Last night we went to the house of one of Rick's co-workers, who throws a kids' craft party. Really fun, with lots to do -- Zack got into the rubber stamps (for gift bags) and the glitter (for glitter pinecones). Decorating cookies wasn't for him -- he just ate a huge plain one!

Today all the boys all watched a lot of football, and fed the cats catnip -- their annual treat this time of year! Zack is VERY excited about presents, which is cool as this is really the first Christmas that's he's really understood what all is going on. Our neighbors from across the street came over with their two little boys with a watercolor painting book (Thomas the Tank Engine, of course!) and Zack spent a lot of time all day going back to that and playing. He's never had the kind of paints where you dip the brush in water first -- he's always had the paint-in-the-bottle kind, so he was really interested in how it all worked.

I, on the other hand, spent a pleasant day clearing my desk of the stacks and stacks of magazines I had to look through, and learning a bunch of new chain maille weaves -- which are as addictive as knitting! Made a helm chain bracelet and a bunch of different earrings, all of which need to get tossed in the tumbler tomorrow.

Made Indian food (chicken Tandoori) for dinner -- tomorrow night is traditional, spice-brined roast turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. But Zack still won't touch it. It's peanut butter and jelly or fish sticks for him, darn it.

I plan to get up at 6am tomorrow so I can beat Zack's normal rising time -- want to get good pictures of him when he sees the HUGE box in front of the tree that magically materialized since the time he went to bed!

Friday, December 23, 2005

in 2006....

A friend and I were laughing today and decided this was the mantra for 2006.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Excited! Back in school!

Well, sort of. I just started taking an online business course that will ultimately help my web site, and I have a million ideas running through my head (not good half an hour before bed time!) I already have two product launches for the beginning of the year, but there will be a lot of behind-the-scenes invisible work that will be done to really optimize the business. PSYCHED!

I got to visit my friend Lyn today -- she had her baby boy yesterday! He is adorable, I got to hold him, and I'm just in awe that Zack was EVER that small. Wow. Little miracles, they are.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

photos from Zack's Pre-School Christmas party

Zack's Pre-School class had their Christmas Party today, and as with all the times all the moms and dads converge on the classroom, Zack was out of whack. Well really, all the kids were less than their normal selves, but who can blame them with all the excitement!

While we were waiting for all the moms to arrive, we had Book Time, and Zack parked himself in my lap. I love it when he does that -- he'll just back himself up and plop down and I get to smell how sweet his hair smells and snuggle.

Then the tables were getting set with all the snack goodies, and Zack saw COOKIES, and wanted them immediately. Well, they were supposed to sing songs for us first, and they also must wait for everyone to be seated before they can eat. So Zack throws himself on the ground crying that he wants "dinner" (his word for any food on a plate). Miss Shannon scooped him up and held him and they started their songs, and once they handed out the bells so they could do "Jingle Bells", he was right as rain. He's a ham and he loves those bells.

Finally got to "dinner" and he ate two little cookes, a few bites of cupcake (a big acheivement, he normally won't touch them) and that was it. Yay, sugar. The kids then got to see Santa and get presents. We left a little early because Zack was more than ready (so he said) and wanted to go to "Nobu" which isn't that expensive restaurant in New York City, but rather, Barnes and Noble, where we go to get stuffed pretzels and play with Thomas the Tank Engine.

Did all that, and then we got home in time for a migraine to attack, so we all napped.

And finally, a shot of the Christmas tree this year, residing in my office:

Much prettier in person but it's so hard to get a really good Christmas tree shot, with all the lights, you know?

Things are finally slowing down, too. Sent out Express orders this morning, have customers coming on Thursday, and then I think I get to breathe a little! Time to finish up my New Year product launch!

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Can you see it? The word "Faith" written into the snow, and the little crocuses blooming? Faith is what gets me through some days.

New computer!

Colin is home! Rick left here at 2am to drive to Yale and pick up Colin, back by 2pm. I had a new computer waiting for his experience to set up -- he's a wizard, that kid. He has built more than a couple computers and I just don't know how he manages to keep all his smarts stuffed in his brain. Anyway, upshot of it is, I have a new computer and I didn't have to spend many hours cursing at it trying to transfer files! And MUCH faster, too.

Zack and I had our little shopping trip today -- never made it to Barnes and Noble and very nearly never made it to Target, as our first stop (Marshalls) netted him a new Thomas toy. He was ALL about getting home to put it together. It's this electronic thing and you don't really do much other than sit and watch it and I don't get how little kids can DO that for hours at a time. But it keeps him happy, and didn't cost me a thing, since I got a VISA gift card in the mail from doing some phone survey ages ago. Bonus!

Oh, and The Rule of Four -- excellent! Spent WAY too much time awake last night reading it, and getting ready to do the same thing right now!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Various Randomness

The print I got last night? Was from my best friend from when I was in the military -- she and I hadn't talked in a while, from one of those incidents that has no happy ending and no matter what happens, someone's going to get feelings hurt. I never stopped loving her (you just don't stop loving true friends) but had decided to just give the whole thing some space. Out of the blue, got this wonderful print and a lovely card, and it was the best Christmas miracle ever. And the print is perfect -- our meeting was really random and unexpected and we were close almost immediately.

How cool is that!

Rick leaves tomorrow (well, 2am) to drive to Connecticut to pick up Colin from Yale for Christmas break, driving BACK the same day. Yikes. So Zack and I are going to go and brave the crowds at Barnes and Noble, Target, and Marshalls in Salisbury. He's usually a very good shopper, so it should be fun. I'm basically done with Christmas shopping, except for the fun, random impulse buys.

I finished reading Son of a Witch last night and I have to say, I loved Wicked but not so excited about SOW. I actually skimmed some of the more extensive political intrigue stuff. BUT, I think there will be a third book and that one should be more interesting, I would imagine. I'm now starting Rule of Four, which already looks great -- I stayed in the bathtub until the water got cold reading it!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

an amazing find

I got a wonderful, unexpected gift in the mail today -- more on the who and why later, I'm too overwhelmed. But I went to the web site of the gift, and found the most amazing things, and had to share.

The drawing on the left, I had to show you, because lately, that's how I feel!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

new necklace!

I just got in some awesome Bali silver and this heart pendant just screamed for these pearls I've been saving. LOVE the color. At one show this fall, the first sale I made was the necklace I was wearing -- the sweater was the same color as those pearls, so hmmm.... should I keep this one?

Nah. If you want it, click here

Got a lot of boro bead bracelets made today, but my camera and I didn't have a meeting of the minds, so no photos. I am pretty sure that Santa is bringing me a new camera with better focusing capabilities, so let's hope! I just love boro glass, better even than soft glass. Unfortunately, boro glass is a lot more expensive than traditional lampwork glass, but it's hard to beat the look! Take a look at this piece, made by 5 Fish Designs :

Their work is AMAZING and they just got beads put in the Bead Museum and I can't wait to go see!

Be sure to check out their web site --

Long day tomorrow, so off to bed! Santa's coming soon, so BE NICE!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Finally, the Santa photos

I finally got a couple minutes free time to post the Santa pictures! I've been a busy elf at the beading table for a long time, but had to get these up, because Zack is just too cute.

Guppys has this wonderful event each year called Dessert with Santa. The kids get to come and play in an environment they know (unlike the lines at the mall) and Santa stops in to visit. At first, Zack was a little apprehensive, and stood on the outskirts of the group, just watching the action.

When he finally got the nerve to go up to Santa, he still wasn't at all sure about getting on his lap. Can't say I blame him -- strange men with beards kind of scare me, too!

Then Santa gave Zack a coloring book, which earned some trust -- I thought this picture was cute, since it looks like Zack is reading off his Christmas list to Santa!

And we finally got Zack on Santa's lap, but as you can see, he was less than interested. I guess he knows that Mommy and Daddy are really behind all the cool gifts!

Well actually, Nana and PopPop are behind some cool gifts, too -- they were here all last week, and Zack got his first remote control car. VERY cool toddler car, goes forwards only, but it took him no time at all to figure out all four buttons on the "mote" (remote". LOVES it, and I think he likes it all the more because it's a Mercedes, just like Daddy's car (which just hit 300,000 miles, and is running as well as ever, can you believe it?)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Quick thought

Crazy week, parents in town, Zack has a cold, I'm busy til late at night processing orders, and STILL haven't gotten Santa photos downloaded off the camera (which means Christmas cards are late) but did find a cool thought for the day.....

Character -- it really is everything.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Busy day!

I spent a lot of today working -- the International Jewelry Designers Guild had their Virtual Trunk Show and I hosted an hour-long chat about crystals -- their origin, all about vintage, things like that. Finally cleared my desk of about ten pounds of paperwork, and have a stack of orders that need to get done tomorrow for shipment. Then we took Zack to Guppys for Dessert with Santa. I'll have photos of that tomorrow! He didn't cry this year, but was still much more interested in playing than sitting on Santa's lap.

He has been so funny -- he's been walking around with a toy train catalog going, "DIS ONE!" and pointing to the Polar Express train -- making sure Daddy and I both know he wants THAT train! Too cute.

I just got a really cool book -- Playmakers, The Origins of Timeless Toys -- SO interesting to read about how things like Silly Putty and Mr. Potato Head came about. There's actually a lot of history learned while reading this, too, as things like World War II and rationing had a part in how many things changed. I highly recommend taking a look at it next time you're at the bookstore!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Funny thing happened today!

A funny-ha-ha thing happened today.

Months ago, I entered Fire Mountain Gems beading contest. I never expected to win, largely because I don't really use much of their stuff anymore and as the jewelry had to be made entirely of their components, my options were limited. But I thought, what the heck, I'll just try, and put together a VERY simple necklace.

The contest ended this week and I hadn't gotten an email from them, and the longer I looked, the more I really didn't like the necklace, anyway, so I took it apart. Zack wanted to play with the mother of pearl nuggets, anyway.

Today, I was opening the mail and there was an envelope from Fire Mountain -- I figured it was one of the standard "thanks for your entry but no thanks" letters. Imagine my surprise when it said that while I hadn't won, I was a finalist, and they needed the necklace to photograph for their catalog!

Holy moly! I had to laugh. I have to put it back together again, which isn't difficult, but I guess that will teach me!

The other funny thing was a new nickname my husband came up with for this girl who keeps thinking she came up with every beading design known to man, no matter how simple it is or the fact that any search on the internet shows a million of the same idea. He calls her the Al Gore of the Beading World -- Al Gore thinks he invented the internet, this girl thinks she invented bead stringing! That gave me a good giggle.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Phenomenally busy but had to say, Zack had his first taste of the GOOD stuff today -- Godiva chocolate! Zack LOVES chocolate but today I got him a little tiny Godiva Santa (any more than that and he'd be pinging off the walls) and he snarfed that thing down but quick, with lots of yummy noises.