Friday, December 29, 2006

Oh, almost forgot!

How could I forget this -- it's just too cute to pass by.

One of Rick's co-workers throws this awesome kid's craft party right before Christmas. Each room of the house has different crafts, and it's amazing and tons of fun.

Last year Zack was a little overwhelmed by it all, but this year was into it! He decorated his own Christmas cookies:

And he also made his own Christmas ornament:

I wish I had that kind of bravery to have that many kids over to do that many crafts, but I sure am glad these folks did -- although they're still probably cleaning glitter out of their carpet!

Merry Christmas (a little late!)

Well, I'm a few days late, but here's how we spent Christmas!

Amazingly, Zack went right to sleep on Christmas Eve and we all got up at a reasonable hour on Christmas morning. Zack was excited to see what showed up under the tree:

The first thing he saw was this big rug we got with roads and things on it for his car collection. He immediately had to go find a car to try it out.

Traditionally, we open our stocking first, and Zack got into that -- chocolate at the bottom, and neat little packages all wrapped up in the middle:

The older boys wrapped Rick's present in the sports page and duct tape:

Once all of the presents were opened, Rick, Colin, and Ryan descended like a hurricane on my office (where we had the tree). Poor Zack had no warning that they were going to dismantle EVERYTHING, including the tree, so he was beside himself. Never fear, Mom to the rescue -- we took the tree upstairs and put it in his bedroom!

My office was then painted that day, and the next day, the floor was put in. Zack and I took off for a while and went shopping, as the chaos in the house was more than I could stand. I was without a computer as well, yikes. Wednesday we left for Pennsylvania to visit Rick's parents and brother, and as always, we had a great time. We got home today, and the quarter-round still has to be put in the office, plus the furniture won't arrive until the 3rd, so I'm sitting in the middle of the room with my computer on a folding table (and the rest of the house is still a disaster!).

The best part of the holidays was the little things -- having dinner all together, playing board games, lots of laughing -- things that really don't need a holiday to have happen. I'm keeping that in mind as top of my list for New Year's Resolutions.... celebrate each day as if it were Christmas.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas Eve to you all!

Today was a normal day for the most part -- we started dismantling my office to start painting and ripping out the floors, so of course I can't find a thing. I actually made a fair amount of jewelry, and will be getting those photos fixed soon.

After dinner, I took Zack out to look at Christmas lights (both of us in our pajamas). I wish there were a house here that had really ROCKING lights, but there were a few that did ok! Zack thoroughly enjoyed it so that's all that counts.

We opened our one Christmas present, a Christmas tradition I started a while back -- the present we open on Christmas Eve is an ornament. Zack got a handcarved snowman and promptly had to get big-brother Ryan to pick him up so he could put it on his tree. I got the latest Swarovski snowflake (I collect those) but quickly found out that clear crystal just doesn't show up on a white tree!

Surprisingly, after counting down the days on the calendar, Zack passed out pretty quick when we put him to bed. Now, I have no idea how early he'll get up! I told Rick he has to keep him upstairs until we're all ready to go down, as one of his presents, a huge rug with roads on it for his cars, was too big to wrap and we have it spread out on the floor.

After Zack went to bed, Ryan, Colin, and I played Monopoly, by the real rules, and with no cheating (I'd never played but apparently, that was an important note from them, as I think it gets cut-throat between those guys!). I'd never really played it, just played AT it when I was a kid, and my sister and I never really understood the rules. This time was hilarious and a lot of fun, and I ended up winning just because I flew below the radar and didn't add too many houses to my properties too fast!

OH, it's 12:04, so MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all!!!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Presents!

Today I went to a bead show a couple of hours away from here -- it was nice to get a little time away as I've been running myself ragged the past couple of months. I didn't have any intention of spending much (inventory = taxes) but I found the most amazing strand of beads that I just had to have. They're also the most EXPENSIVE beads I've ever purchased, but soooo worth it.

Kyanite is a really neat stone -- it's natural in color, a blue silicate mineral with a vitreous, pearly luster. The color varies widely, and even the "cheaper" strands aren't that cheap. Anyway, this strand is HUGE, 16mm beads. Their shine and luster are terrific. They'll go into something special!

So that was my present to myself!

Rick bought my present today -- an complete room of office furniture. It's antiqued white and cherry. This is the desk, but it will have a hutch on the top, and then there's the bookcases and all the rest that go with it. We're painting the walls of the office periwinkle blue and the guys are putting in the laminate floors next week. Major overhaul!

My gift to Rick is actually a gift for all of us. For the past two years we've talked about getting a kayak, ever since we got hooked on it when visiting friends in Florida. Something always came up -- we just never seemed to get around to getting one. So today I went in and ordered a tandam kayak, so all three of us can go out.

So, the kayak and one of the paddles is on order -- I was able to walk out with the other paddle. The shop owner gave me a photo of the kayak to wrap up to put under the tree, but I couldn't figure out how or where I'd hide a nearly 8' paddle! And of course I stink at keeping surprises secret. I ended up knocking on our front door, and when Rick opened it, I'm standing there with this paddle. He is all confused, what the heck do I have a paddle for, and I say, "You'll need that for THIS!" and hand him the photo. Very cool reaction followed!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Some Pretty Christmas Decorations

I love these! I started collecting Jim Shore's work -- take a look at his web site,

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Check out the new jewelry I just uploaded tonight ---

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Play Date with Trains

Sorry I haven't been posting anything with substance lately -- with the holidays coming, I am just stretched for time. Tonight was the first night I was able to see the bottom of my beading table, in fact!

My friend Mina and her two munchkins came to play with Zack. Our dining room is in the process of being converted to an exercise/play room (and we're remodeling my office, as well as the entry way, much fun, much mess). We moved Zack's Thomas the Tank Engine train table into storage as he wasn't playing with it anymore, but still had the huge tote full of track and trains. The kids, completely without adult help, built the coolest train track:

It was only partially built when I took this photo. They even ignored the chocolate chip cookie pops I made them for their snack, they were so engrossed!

Zack is out of preschool for the time being, too, and is home with me ALL the time now. We're going to enroll in a more established one that will better challenge him this fall (with any luck at all -- the two we're looking at are really popular). Zack is such a smart, inquisitive little guy, and he needs a better learning environment. Til then, I'm going to have to figure out how to keep him busy! Today we made paper chains for his Christmas tree and painted, and did a lot of reading, and we went to the gym where he got to go nuts on the new play gym they have -- that thing is HUGE!

Oh, books! Just finished The Doctor's Wife. It was interesting, but a tough read emotionally. I'm now reading Amish Confidential, which is equally tough. I got through Chapter Four while riding the bike at the gym today and had to stop because I was a little nauseated, and not from riding that bike! The only thing that comforted me was knowing that Chris Burkholder's experience isn't the norm. At least I hope not.

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Visit my jewelry web site at

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Children and Shopping

This is just too funny (especially in this heavy shopping season) not to post. If you have kids, this sign would certainly put the fear of God in you:

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Want to see some beautiful artisan jewelry? Visit

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hey Ya! Charlie Brown Style

"Hey Ya!" is a catchy tune that was almost impossible to avoid on the radio for a while -- and some guys took that song and played it over the top of Charlie Brown -- FUNNY! I remember as kids we used to turn the sound off on the TV and then play records (yikes, yep, records) and sometimes the result was stinking hilarious.

(I particularly love Sherman in this video, the kid in the yellow shirt -- I knew a guy who danced like that -- he'd just hang out in the corner of the dance floor and groove by himself!)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree

Zack decided ages ago that he wanted a WHITE Christmas tree this year.

We have no idea where he got that idea, but for weeks he's been talking about a white tree with blue ornaments. Last night, we put it together (three cheers for pre-lit trees, what a BREEZE that was!). Then I put hooks on all the blue ornaments and Zack happily decorated.

Trouble is, he's short, and tended to favor putting all the ornaments on the same branch!

But he was so pleased with the result -- I only helped him a little with the higher branches.

He kept coming back into the room saying, "It's so beautiful!". And that is what Christmas is about.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Rick sent me flowers today -- aren't they pretty? :-) A sweet reminder that it's becoming "museum weather". Once the rush of the holidays and shows are over, we usually hit the Smithsonian pretty often. Yeah, sure, it's cold in January but there are always hot chocolate vendors on the sidewalks, and there's just something really neat about being in the heart of Washington DC.

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I added lots of new jewelry today, so visit -- hurry!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What You Missed

I'm working like mad updating the web site -- orders are coming in every day now, so expect it to get updated massively and constantly over the next couple of weeks. Not much time to chat, but wanted to show you some of the pieces I took to Virginia Beach that sold and never made it to the web site:

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Want to buy artisan jewelry? Visit

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Busy weekend in Virginia Beach

A very long weekend is almost over -- we arrived in Virginia Beach on Wednesday to set up my booth for the craft show. Colin, Rick's 21-year old, came with us, but Ryan was driving up from Virginia Tech and got into a minor fender-bender. The weather was hideous -- rain and major wind, and it was one of those hydroplane-effect accidents. Fortunately, he's just fine (his car, not so much) and a rental car got him here in no time.

Thursday I got the luxury of sleeping VERY late, after a night of reading (also very late). I finally finished "Lisey's Story" and picked up a collection of short stories by Shirley Jackson, "Just an Ordinary Day". It's a collection of stories, many that had never been published before, and I'm really enjoying them. You may remember reading Shirley Jackson in high school, when English teachers made us read "The Lottery".

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were the show, and as much as I love doing craft shows, I'm exhausted and glad this is the last one of the year. I had three shows just this month and I'm whipped.

This week I'll be adding jewelry to the web site -- I made a lot for the shows that I never had on the web, and I'll be clearing out all of the sold items, so look for PLENTY to look at.

I also wanted to thank my loyal customers who have attended the shows this year -- I love seeing you all and you've helped make this year the best ever!

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Ready to buy jewelry for Christmas gifts? Visit and fill up that shopping cart!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm leaving for the Virginia Beach Christmas Market tomorrow, so in case I can't upload this later:
Hug your family, visit with friends, and have a great Thanksgiving!

Today announced our partnership -- I create their line of jewelry! They also listed my web site on their 2006 Holiday Gift Guide. Check out their web magazine for arts, culture, and entertainment.

Books -- I'm still reading Stephen King's Lisey's Story -- I would have been done a long time ago but I've been working late every night due to this being the super-busy season of shows and web sales and it's all I can do to keep half an eye open by the time I get to bed.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!

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If you'd rather shop online this year, visit my web site,, and buy something terrific for all the women in your life.

Friday, November 17, 2006

a new Hannibal Lechter book!

I have to admit, I really loved the movie "Silence of the Lambs" and I even own the book in Korean (from my linguist days) and was very excited when I got an email about a prequel called "Hannibal Rising", a book that is supposed to tell us why Hannibal became the way he is. Just preordered it at Amazon, due out in December!

The ALS Artisan Boutique is this Sunday, and I'm working to get ready for both it and a huge show on Thanksgiving Weekend. I hope if you're in the Annapolis, MD area, you'll stop by the Sheraton hotel near the mall and check it out!

And as always, a little eye candy:

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Visit to see Lori Anderson Designs artisan jewelry.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Legos Rock!

Zack has finally discovered that we have two huge bins of Legos -- rather, he's discovered he likes building with them rather than hurling them all over the room, as he did when he was younger.

He warms my heart.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Back from the show

Totally exhausted, a ton of things to catch up on, but wanted to share the new booth -- as with most photos, it looks better in person (I forgot that the track lights were on and it just lit things weird) but I'm always changing things with my booth anyway, so this is just a start.

I had a terrific time -- this is one of my favorite shows, and my third year here, and even with 75° weather Friday and Saturday, the turnout was fantastic.

Off to bed -- I just started reading Stephen King's latest, Lisey's Story, and need to just relax -- next show is Sunday, then another Thanksgiving weekend!

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View some artisan jewelry that I take to my shows at

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Eye Candy

I'm leaving tomorrow for a big show in Northern Virginia and as always is the case before a show, I'm busy making "just one more piece" to put in the case to take with me. I've finally stopped for the evening and wanted to show you a few bits.

Oh, and also got a nice bit of free publicity -- Women's View Magazine featured one of my necklaces, along with a bit of info, when writing an article about the ALS Artisan Boutique that I'll be participating in later this month. Several other stellar artists were featured. It was so neat to have someone walk up to me yesterday and say, "I saw your work in a magazine!"

So here's some eye candy, both adult jewelry and cute children's jewelry:

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Want to buy some of these lovely handmade pieces? Visit

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Importance of Safety

Tonight Zack and I were playing a game, and the backdrop was various planets. He looked at one and knew it was Jupiter because of the big red spot. Then he looked at me and said very earnestly, "We could go to Jupiter if we wore our seat belts."

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Take a look at my jewelry web site,

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Later that night...

I've been working like the Energizer Bunny all weekend adding things to the web site and still have a ton of things that aren't on that I'm taking to my shows this month. I'll put some photos below so you can see.

Rick and I also worked all weekend on my new booth set up. Just as I got to where I liked my booth, I got some good feedback from some high-end, difficult-to-get-into shows that they loved my jewelry, but I needed a more "gallery like" booth -- meaning, no tables. So we sunk another huge chunk of change on revamping.... new vertical displays, track lighting, etc. It's going to take me some getting used to, and I'll still use the other display set up for outdoor shows, I think, but we'll see how this turns out and is received. I'll have photos next week.

Today Rick took Zack to one of Rick's friends houses for a few minutes, and Zack got his first taste of a trampoline. The other three (older) kids would get on and start jumping, and poor little Zack would get bounced all over (not that he really didn't like it!). Then Zack would yell, "Stop jumping!" and everyone would stop, Zack would bounce-bounce-fall-giggle, and they'd start all over again. Last time I was on a trampoline, I was hooked to a harness so I could practice tricks while training for an aerobics competition and I can't say I miss it!

OK, so here's some eye candy for you! And there's more at

This is SO pretty. That's a BIG chunk of Swarovski crystal, their latest pendant shape (De-Art). BEAUTIFUL, even if you're not normally drawn to gold.

This is so fun and funky. The pendant is hand-painted porcelain, and the rest is made of smoky quartz and dyed jade.
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I have no idea why I fell in love with these ocean jasper stones when I went to a bead show this summer. They're big, and chunky, and so full of character. The large Thai Hill Tribe pendant just seemed made for those beads.
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Beautiful Swarovski crystal and a handmade lampwork bead from Charmaine Jackson.
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I used five 16" strands of rare larimar to make this four-strand necklace -- I love it! Not even sure if I will sell it yet.

Comments, or want to buy one of these? Email me! I'd love to hear from you.