Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Photos of Zack

Happy Birthday to Me -- turned 36 today!

I wanted to share some photos of Zack -- we built a tent out of couch cushions and a blanket and then got our camping lamp for him to feel all grown up -- he's just the cutest thing ever!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

our tour of the house (long)

We looked, and love it. The front porch is deep enough that you could sit on it in a rain storm and not get wet – I’ve always wanted a wrap around porch like that. Has a porch swing already, too! The roof is slate, great condition, and the yard is nice. There’s a huge carriage house out back that could be used as a garage, but it looks to be full of stuff that was there when the house was built (in 1901) – I’d love to dig through it all.

The entry way is a double entry – doors into a tiny tiled foyer, then doors into the house. The main foyer is amazing – tiger oak walls and stair case, which goes up three floors. Sitting room to the left (they had a grand piano in it, which Zack LOVED), big family room with fire place (the walls in that room were painted deep burgundy, with a door to a side porch), big kitchen that had glass-fronted cabinets and back stairs to the upper level, large dining room – and a room that I guess is a pantry, but it’s huge! It had some built in oak cabinetry in there as well. There was a full bath on the first floor, too, but it was completely modernized.

Off the kitchen was MY room – a sunroom painted periwinkle blue/purple with enormous windows that opened up onto a new deck they built. That room is just crying out to be a studio!

On the second floor there were five bedrooms (I think?) – maybe four, but one room was converted into a closet – over time it would probably get converted to another bathroom. The master bedroom had a small powder room (no shower or tub) but the main bathroom had a gorgeous old slipper tub, mansard windows, old tile – so pretty, and really big! Then there was the laundry room (painted bright pink, I loved it!).

The third floor had a room that was converted into a cedar closet, and a couple more bedrooms, but we would shut the entire third floor off – this house is a monster and we wouldn’t want to heat or cool the whole thing! Kids would love to play hide and seek here!
The basement was actually finished, which (in our limited experience with old houses) is unusual. Had a couple of “scary” closets, LOL.

Pros, it’s public sewer and water, so no hand-dug well to contend with as in the other old houses we’ve looked at. Cons, it’s a total hodge-podge of electrical/heating/cooling options. The lights aren’t switches, they’re push buttons, lots of outlets are not grounded, and we think the 2nd floor is the only one that has a/c, but we aren’t sure.

Bottom line, we’re really interested. It will take a little work, over time, but there’s not a thing that has to be done in order to move in and be comfortable. They’ve taken great care of it – the wood floors are in terrific shape, and their paint choices are what I would pick. Even the old, old wallpaper is on the right side of quaint! It’s the sort of house that we can afford because it’s in Denton – if it were in Easton, it would be upwards of a million dollars, easily.

So we’re going to put together a list of questions to get answered and see what happens. It’s always been for us that the right thing happens, so we’re not getting to nervous or frantic – but what a pretty place!

Friday, March 24, 2006

a house to look at (maybe)

Rick has been on the internet every night looking at houses and on a whim checked out a Victorian that he passed the other day on the way to taking Zack to the doctor. On paper, it looks incredible -- an old Victorian, 4200 square feet, central air, nice lot -- and it's in the price range. But, it's not any closer to Rick's work, and it's in a smaller town than we are in now. It's 15 miles down the road, and we'd have to drive to Easton for a certain amount of shopping and for Zack's school, BUT, it's such a pretty house. AND, they are developing Denton a bit more so before too long, it'll be like Easton.

Hopefully we can get in to see it -- seems like things aren't on the market all that long around here.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Online groups and light bulbs - a funny

I am a member of a few online chat boards on Yahoo, and own a new one that I spend a lot of time on and love. A friend emailed me this today and I had to laugh -- you've probably already seen it, but it's still hilarious. And if you belong to any sort of news group, it'll probably make you chuckle, too! The trick is to figure out which one are YOU? :-)

Q:How many listmembers does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: One to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed.

Fourteen to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.

Seven to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.

Seven more to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs.

Three to correct spelling/grammar errors.

Six to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb".

Another six to condemn those six as stupid.

Fifteen to claim experience in the lighting industry and give the correct spelling.

Nineteen to post that this group is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a lightbulb (or light bulb) forum.

Eleven to defend the posting to the group saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this group.

Thirty six to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.

Seven to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs.

Four to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL.

Three to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group.

Thirteen to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including all headers and signatures, and add "Me too".

Five to post to the group that they will no longer post because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy.

Four to say "didn't we go through this already a short time ago?"

Thirteen to say "do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs."

Three to tell a funny story about their cat and a light bulb.


One group lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now with something unrelated and start it all over again!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

back from the show

Had a great show today! Nice way to kick of the year, too! Thanks to everyone who came out -- we raised a nice chunk of change for ovarian cancer research.

Someone sent me this link to an amazing artist who, using only her fingers, draws in sand on a glass table.

The link is to her drawings that are done set to music -- mesmerizing!

Exhausted after a long day -- so not much chat tonight!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Random Chat Night

Rick went to look at the house today -- it's a great house, but is an older house (lots older, which is actually what we'd love) but with that comes the typical older house problems -- in this case, lack of bathrooms. It only had one in the main house, and one in the guest house (perfect studio) and at the cost of the house, we couldn't see putting another huge chunk of change to add on. So a pass on that one. He also looked at another old house that's being redone, but not sure yet when it will be on the market, and I think it has the same issue.

Tomorrow is the first show of the season, in Annapolis, where I've not done a show before, so will hopefully be getting some home show sign ups, since it's more or less local.

I'm also excited about changes in the web site! I have been working with since the end of last year to incorporate a shopping cart into my existing web site. They'll be transferring it over any day now, so I'll be up to my neck getting the new site populated with pretties to look at, but it will be worth it! I have really enjoyed working with Alex at Pappa Shop. They are lampworkers so they know exactly what beaders need in a web site! There's going to be a learning curve for me, but ultimately, it should save me a LOT of time, which can only be good for my customers. Less time on the computer is more time at the beading table!

Beading -- my mind is bursting with ideas. My vintage bead drawer is packed to bursting and I really, REALLY need to work with that, especially some pretty lucite I got that will be perfect for spring. I want to try some more wire things with these huge lampwork focals I have, and then I have some gorgeous "gemmy gems" like citrine that I want to give a proper design to.

So much to do. And still trying to fit in classes somewhere. The Torpedo Factory has a bunch but that's a pretty decent drive. And there are so many I am interested in, hard to pick!

OK, enough randomness for tonight. Still have to pack up for tomorrow's show and it will be an early day for this night owl.

Visit for a great selection of handmade beaded jewelry!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

book, houses, etc

Will be finishing a FUNNY book tonight -- Skinny Dip by Carl Hiassen. It reminds me a lot of Dave Barry's Big Trouble -- and I'm enjoying it immensely. Basic synopsis -- idiot husband tries to kill his wife by tossing her overboard -- she lives, is rescued, and sets about driving her husband crazy -- he doesn't know she's alive, and she is having serious fun messing with his head. That doesn't sound like a comedy, but you have to read the book.

On the house front -- still looking. We know it's going to take a while as we won't move unless the PERFECT house appears, as this will be our last move. Rick is going to go look at a house on Friday (I'll be at a friends' across state so can't go). And we also looked at a development that's being built. I still have no idea of the time frame - who knows, could be next year, or next month. Where ever we go, we want studio space for me, as I still haven't decided what to do about lampworking -- do it, don't do it -- or PMC, or metal smithing, or any number of things I'm interested in. Or we can turn the studio into a huge playroom for Zack, who knows! That's the fun part of life, the adventure.

The first show of the year is this weekend, too, so have to prepare for that. It's a small one, a fund-raiser for ovarian cancer, but I've sent out postcards and have already gotten notices from customers who are coming and have things they want to see. I have so much stuff that's not on the web site -- there's just not enough time in the day to post it all -- but I am still working like mad to have tons of stuff since I have about 10 shows this year.

Exhausted -- been working all day packing beads for people and haven't posted in a while. Off to bed to finish that book!

Visit my web site, for handcrafted beaded jewelry -- Jewelry that makes people ask..."Where did you get that?"

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Sweet Baby Boy and Great Day Out

Last night I was working on the web site in my office when I hear Ryan, my 22-year old stepson (he was in for a couple days Spring break from his PhD program), reading Dr. Seuss to Zack. I peeked around the corner and it was just the sweetest thing -- Zack sitting in Ryan's lap, and Ryan reading to him. He SO loves his big brothers, and misses them terribly when they're away at school. The photo is blurry (they were rocking, and I couldn't figure out my new camera fast enough) but you get the idea. It did my heart good.

Today I met up with Lesley and Jen in Olde Towne Alexandria -- what a great day! The weather was fabulous, and we got to do a lot of shopping, have a terrific seafood lunch on the water, and have some good quality "girl" time. We visited Arts Afire -- awesome glass shop, with a TON of beads from well-known lampwork artists -- Stephanie Sersich, Heather Trimlett, Kim Fields -- all very inspirational! I managed to keep my purchases to a minimum (tax season, ugh!) but plan on going back!

Visit my web site,, for creative beaded jewelry, custom designed for you!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Two new quotations I love

First, by the amazing Elie Wiesel:

"The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference".

A friend of mine reminded me of this one tonight. Hate is such a passionate emotion, but indifference -- that's cold and final. And makes much more sense.

The other:

"When you play in the mud with a pig - the pig has fun and you get muddy."

Not sure who said that originally, but funny, and TRUE! Mudslinging doesn't work when you're playing with a pig.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

my new bracelet

I just bought this bracelet from Jen Cook and I just love it! She's an amazing artist, makes her own beads, and is a very generous heart. She's going to have her tutorial for making something similar in an upcoming Bead and Button magazine -- way to go, Jen!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I'm going to be a FEATURED ARTIST!!!!

Woo hoo! This has been a good month for my New Year's Resolution of getting published or winning a contest -- I just got a notification that I will be October's featured artist on SoftFlex Companys' web site! I am just over the moon, especially since April's featured artist will be Kate McKinnon, who has won tons of awards and I admire a great deal. When I saw her name, I just KNEW I wouldn't be on the list, but kept scrolling down and I WAS and I am so excited!

The piece that I submitted was a necklace made with their new silver beading wire and a fused glass dichroic heart made by friend Jeanne Kent. It's a really simple necklace, since with Jeanne's gorgeous hearts, I like the glass to have the spotlight.

Earlier this month I had a necklace submitted to Fire Mountain Gems, which is where I ordered my very first beads. Not sure when that piece will be published, but excited nonetheless!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Catching Up on Reading

I read two books this weekend -- Mary Mary by James Patterson and The Twelfth Card by Jeffrey Deaver. The James Patterson book was an Alex Cross novel, so I enjoyed that -- often Patterson's books are so transparent you figure out the whodunnit way in advance, but I liked this one. I've been a big fan of Jeffrey Deaver, read everything the man ever wrote, and this book was pretty good, although there were a couple really unbelievable plot twists that I didn't think he needed to throw in there.

Went to the library today and forgot my book list so I picked up a book at random, and it looks like it will be interesting -- The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre . It's historical fiction, about the man who invented the daguerreotype. All the mercury that was used for those made him go mad. Mercury was also used by hat makers (hence the origin of the phrase, "mad as a hatter") -- frightening that they didn't know how dangerous mercury was back then! The one little bit that I read before deciding to check the book out described Louis rolling a KEG of the stuff down the street back to his studio.

Books -- there are so MANY I want to read!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Photos of my FIRST Glass Project!

My glass arrived today! Here's what I made -- a paperweight that has been a source of amazement to my little boy, and one heck of a heavy shot glass. I'm so proud of myself! :-)

For pretty glass jewelry featuring some fabulous lampwork artists, visit

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Never too young for bead appreciation!

A friend of mine says that beautiful lampwork glass beads are lickable -- Zack feels the same way! His new favorite book is 1000 Glass Beads -- and I can only hope that we'll have a mommy-son partnership in glass beadmaking one day!