Thursday, September 28, 2006

Catching Up!

I had a bunch of people wondering where I was as I hadn't posted in a bit -- just been super busy!

I had a show this past weekend in Occoquan, VA, and it's easily the most difficult one of the year to set up and tear down -- narrow 1700s roads, tight booth spots, etc. I met the BEST people there this year and got a lot of good ideas for the booth (going to be making new table drapes, for one) but logistics, holy cow. Anyway, here are some photos. I used a lot of pottery I painted and flowers all over. And the majority of the jewelry I showed a few posts back sold before I had the chance to get them on the web site, which is always nice.

Zack got to stay with a friend this weekend and loved it. He got to go to Chuckie Cheese for the very first time (sorry I missed it, but probably best for my headaches!) He was a really good boy -- so proud of him!

This weekend we head to Connecticut to visit Colin at Yale, and I get to spend time with my friend Jen -- you MUST check out her web site (just click here). Then the following weekend, I have a home jewelry party on Friday and a Breast Cancer Survivor's Tea on Sunday. I was really honored to be invited to that, as I will be one of only four vendors at that special event. It's a private affair at the Maryland Country Club and I'm really looking forward to it.

I read a book last night -- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, a definite classic and Pulitzer Prize winner. I got through it all in one day, as it's not that long. I'm amazed that this book about enlightenment, spiritual journies, Buddha, aescetics, and ancient India was written by a German! Quite a book.

I just started "Postcards from the Edge" by Carrie Fisher and I'm only a few pages in and I know I'll really love it. Some of the ways she expresses herself, the words she chooses, make me think, "Oh, exactly!" and I love that.

I have more in my stack of books that I just picked up at the library, and my friend Heidi just sent me a million books (like, 30 or so, but it felt like a million when I picked up the box!) and lots of stuff in there that's peaking my interest. AH, books.

OK -- I guess that about catches us all up!

Comments? Email me at

Want to see all the jewelry you missed at the show? Visit

update coming later tonight!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mommy-Son day

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingToday Zack and I had a great mommy-son day. We lay around in bed watching cartoons until 9am and then decided we wanted to go to Arundel Mills. It's about an hour away, and we have a little routine when we go -- we hit Old Navy (I finished getting Zack's winter wardrobe) and we get a bouncy ball from their huge "bubble gum" machine.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We then went to see the gigantic fish aquarium at Bass Pro Shops. There are ENORMOUS cat fish in there, among other things!

We then hit those little mechanical cars you stick quarters in, and then I was able to do a little shopping at TJ Maxx. I'm always scoping them out for cool things for my booth display, and today I got a VERY cool shabby-chic metal mirror and a box to display rings in. Love that store -- you never know what you're going to find!

On a totally different topic, some friends of mine on a jewelry forum were discussing the perception of beaded jewelry versus silver-smithed jewlery in the show circuit. There are many show promoters (in the big shows, in particular) who look down on beaded jewelry and call it "assembly" jewelry. I am completely in agreement that beaded jewelry is different than jewelry that requires soldering and stone setting and lapidary techniques -- it's fabulous stuff but I personally just have no interest in that side of jewelry making.

I love the challenge of finding just the right stones or silver or handmade lampwork and putting them together into something beautiful that DOESN'T look like something you'd see on anyone any day of the week. And with what seems to be a million and a half beaders out there, it's a

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

challenge to stay unique and creative and not mundane. I do a lot of things -- I make my own chains, I do a fair amount of wire work, and sooner or later I may try my hand at melting glass. But I doubt I'll ever stop stringing beads -- it's just too much fun! Believe me, there are so many ways to string, so many materials available, and so many techniques to learn, that I should never get bored. And I have the client base that tells me that's what they like, too.

So if there are any art and craft show promoters out there, take a second look at us "stringers" -- we're certainly not all the same!

Comments? Email me at

Want to see what the fuss is all about? Visit

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Ruins

Wow. I just finished (in record time) "The Ruins" by Scott Smith. What a page-turner! If you like Stephen King and other types of horror-thriller books, you should like this one. It's about a group of people who head off for what should have been a day's outing in the Mexican jungle, and what happens when, oh woops, it turns into a nightmare. Because it's not written with chapters to at least give you a breath to say, "OK, it can't get any worse", the suspense keeps building. It didn't end quite like I thought it would, but in retrospect, it ended the only way it COULD end. Makes you think a lot, about "what would I do in that situation". Highly recommend it!

After nearly two weeks of an on-again/off-again migraine, I got a shot of Imitrex and finally had a day where I didn't need to hide from the light under the covers. Thank goodness, because I have the Occoquan show this weekend. Migraines just stink. Normally I get one and its gone in a couple hours or so. This time it just hung on and on. At least I got a lot of jewelry made this month so I'm not behind.

Today I met up with a friend and we took Zack and her two daughters to the park -- what a LOVELY day today was! Perfect blue sky, perfect temperature -- the kids ran themselves silly and it was one of those "I love being a parent" moments.

Comments? Email me at

Want to see some really pretty jewelry (and maybe buy some???)? Visit

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Zack's Reward Toy

Ah, the joys of parenthood. Not the least of these is potty training. Zack nailed the first part just fine, but shall we say, the, um, #2 part was a bit more difficult. We tried bribing that child with everything known to man and had pretty much just given up and left it up to him (always a good idea anyway). When we finally got there, we were so excited (he was so embarrassed) that Rick took him out to buy a present. This is what he chose:
Just one problem. This Hot Wheels: Terror-Dactyl Track Set is a complete piece of crap (ironic, no?) First, it took over an hour to put together, including when we realized two pieces of track were mis-labled, AND when we had to take apart a "hard-wired" piece with a screwdriver to fix a flaw. At one point we told Zack we thought it was broken and we'd have to get another toy -- he put his little hands over his face and burst out in tears, and that broke my heart in a million pieces so we kept at it. We finally got it put together and quickly realized, there is no way in the laws of either physics or engineering that it will ever, ever work the way it is supposed to.

It takes no batteries, which Rick thought would be a plus, and relies on the child pushing a lever to propel cars forward and around the track. The track has two options (theroretically) -- to go all around the loop-the-loop, or shoot at the dinosaur and set the dinosaur into flight.

Yeah right.

If Zack were older and knew how it was supposed to work, he would have been sorely disappointed. But as he's three, he thought it was too cool that the cars just launch randomly into space, never once doing what they were supposed to do. If you push the lever too hard, they fly off and hit the cat. If you push more gently, they just whiz and fall off the track.

And the dinosaur? Total garbage. Try to hit it and it just falls off -- no majestic soaring whatsoever.

But the good thing is, Zack has no idea his toy is a nightmare and he's been happily pushing cars all over the track and launching them into space. In fact, when I just now showed him the picture of him with this train wreck of a toy, he said, "I was so happy!" which just made it all worth it.

Comments? Email

Want to see some pretty beaded jewelry? Go to

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thought for the Day

From --

Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life.

More about Zack tomorrow -- we're all exhausted here -- but big day for him today!!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Early Morning

For no good reason I couldn't sleep last night, so when Rick got up to go to work at 3:30am, I got up, too. I am SO not a morning person but was doing GREAT this AM, and got a ton of stuff done and jewelry made (not to mention got caught up on a backlog of TIVO -- I am so glad House is back on!). Got Zack to preschool, went to Coffee East for a coffee, and back home for more work. By the time I got Zack and had lunch, I was about to fall down. Both of his had naps today!

Zack has this new thing he says when he doesn't want something -- he says, "I can't love it". He has this sincere little look on his face and it's really cute -- except of course when I'm trying to get something healthy into him. I think this child lives on air.

Tomorrow Zack and I heading to Annapolis for a shopping trip -- he's getting so tall! Kidlet needs fall pants! He has definite opinions on his likes and dislikes, so I'm sure I'll here "I can't love it" more than once tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Books and Rings

I spent the entire weekend with strep throat (ACK!) and the only good thing about it was being able to catch up on my reading.

I finished The Birth of Venus -- great book, but at the end, I found myself saying, "No, no, do THIS, not THAT, and you'll be happier!" but of course, this was Florence, Italy, in the 1500's. Women weren't even supposed to be artists back then, can you believe it? Interesting the shifts and changes over time. I liked the twists at the end, and although the book didn't capture me quite as well as In the Company of the Courtesan, I would certainly recommend it. As usual when I read historical fiction novels, I found myself marking up pages to look things up for later -- more info on Savonarola, things like that.

I also finished The Regime, the prequel to the Left Behind series. The writing is a little rudimentary but I loved the first 12 books -- well, I loved the first half and then liked the last ones -- and I was glad to see the prequel. I've just started reading the 3rd book in the prequel (there's supposed to be four) and will probably finish that tonight.

Zack started back to his "old" preschool today. The summer just FLEW by and I can hardly believe it. He got a lot out of his summer session, particularly some gross motor skills that he could only have improved by playing on the playground with all the other kids.

I got back to making jewelry today -- amazing how three days in bed will make you so TIRED. But I'll leave you with some photos -- I started making rings (that first bead is from Michele Goldstein) :
And I've been playing with wire a lot more -- the last is a pendant I made with an awesome etched bead by Kandice Seeber. Twisting all that wire will give you some pretty awesome callouses, let me tell you!

Comments? Email me at

Want to buy some cool beaded jewelry? Visit

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sophie's Choice

Wow. Finally finished Sophie's Choice (over 600 pages, and I only read before bed). It took me a bit to read because while it was interesting, it had a lot of what I call "SAT" words in it -- you know, those long words you know you've heard or read before but aren't quite sure what they mean, only to find them in word associations on the SAT tests? Words like philatelic, moribund, supernumerary, pettifoggery -- and then the many words and phrases in French (I know a bit), German (I know just a few words), and Yiddish (I know a small amount). Oh, and Polish, which I know none. But still, engaging story, very well-written.

If you haven't read it and plan to --
stop reading now so I don't spoil it.

Any book on the Holocaust is grim just by definition, and this book was no exception. But holy God. The last 40 pages, when her "choice" was revealed -- having to choose which of her children to send to the ovens and which would be taken away from her but put in the camps -- immediate tears. I talked to a friend of mine today about this and she said, "How could she even choose?" but it WAS no choice -- had she not picked one, they would have sent BOTH to the ovens.

And then the end, when she gave up Stingo for a double suicide with her psychotic lover. Not sure I can even watch the movie (Meryl Streep plays Sophie so you know that she plays it well) because it would just kill me.
Had to cross the hall to hug Zack after finishing THAT book.

So on to what I hope is a more cheerful one, The Birth of Venus. I've really loved historical fiction like Girl With Pearl Earring, Slammerkin, and The Crimson Petal and the White (highly recommend all of those). OH, and The Historian, which is in my top ten favorites I think.

So many books. Way too little time!

Comments? Email
Want to see what I do for my day job? Visit

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I was listening to Laura Ingraham on the radio when I went to go pick up Zack today, and she was talking about how we as a nation should not forget 9/11, and how it seems that so many of us have, especially if you weren't directly affected. She then had a few brief interviews with people who had loved ones on the planes that were hijacked. I'm sitting here with a huge ball of tears inside and felt compelled to write.

I've never been able to watch any of the made-for-TV or big-screen movies about 9/11. I heard the explosion and saw the smoke of the airplane hitting the Pentagon from the high-rise I worked in at the time, so I just can't watch it without being totally messed up.

On 9/11 we had been watching the television coverage of the Twin Towers trying to figure out just what the hell was going on and my boss said, "Everyone get the hell out of here NOW."

At the time, my husband was visiting the Pentagon for his work about once a week or so, and I couldn't remember if he was supposed to be there that day. As you can imagine, phone lines were completely overloaded and I had three of my co-workers trying at the same time to reach my husband. I finally got through . We were riding to work together at the time, so I raced down the Beltway to get him at his office.

What a sight. There were already people on the overpasses waving American flags. Traffic was going almost exclusively in one direction -- away from DC. It was the most surreal drive.

My brother-in-law works for the Chinatown fire station so responded to the Pentagon. He still doesn't talk about it. He stopped by our house in Frederick, MD on his way back home to Pennsylvania the day after and I remember the haunted look on his face.

Frederick, MD also happens to be in the flight pattern for Camp David, so the civil air patrols were constantly flying over -- and flying low. It took months before the sound of airplanes didn't completely unnerve me.

Regardless of how you feel about the President or the war, it's important to remember how the country came together during that time, and important to never forget.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Exciting News!

In February I was one of about 40 vendors for Rejuvenate III, an ovarian cancer awareness benefit. It was held in a hotel, with the vendors on tables in the hallway, and various symposiums and classes being held in the ballrooms. There were very few vendors that made their own stuff – lots of Cookie Lee Jewelry, home party stuff, etc, but I make two fund-raiser bracelets for the Mid-Maryland division and I got great response. While there, this lady said she was involved with the Maryland division of Susan G. Komen (breast cancer) and she thought I’d be great for their fund raisers.

Well as generally happens, you hear that at the show and then nothing.

Today I get a call from the chair person, and they invited me to be one of only four vendors at their Survivors Tea in October! It’s a private event, invitation only, up to 200 people. No other jewelry person but me. I am over the moon. What a great way to give something back (there’s no fee to be there, but I’m donating a $100 gift certificate). It’s being held at the Maryland Country Club.

I am SO EXCITED. It’s one thing for me to get accepted in a juried show, but to be sought out and chosen? I am so humbled and honored, I can’t even begin to tell you.

What a great way to end the weekend!

Comments? Email
Visit my other awareness jewelry by clicking here.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

LOVE long weekends

This has been a great long weekend. I actually got up early today (well, early for me on a weekend, 8:30) and had the house to myself because Rick and Zack went to Dover to shop. Got a LOT done and am now clearing the piles of paper off my desk, flipping through catalogs, etc. And I have one more day where I can sleep late (yay!) . There is a distinct advantage to me being a night person and Rick being an early riser!

Got a note today from a friend of mine -- she's having her first baby, due in December! And one of my other friends had her baby this weekend, and another is due in March. (Am I forgetting anyone?) The cool thing is I get to buy fun gifts for them. So check out these cute things I found while looking:

From -- Having Kids is Like Being Pecked by a Duck. I laughed out loud when I saw this, and if you have little kids, you are probably laughing, too!

Also from -- the Rules of Life! Again, if you have kids, you already know these. By heart.

Aren't kids great?

Comments? Email me at

Want to see what I do to make money for my little boy's college fund? Visit

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I absolutely love the daily emails I get from but this one in particular made me giggle:

I always wanted to invent something that would move around & make funny noises & would change the world as we know it & I forgot all about that until we had kids & now I see I came pretty close.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Raining Cats and Dogs (But I Have New Earrings!)

It has been pouring the rain down all day, and WINDY, but I didn't have to go out in any of it so I actually could enjoy watching it. Thank goodness I cancelled my show for this weekend because it would have been held in a huge mud pit!

I still got all dressed up for the appointment I thought I was having (the shop called and said do NOT go out in this weather) and am wearing a new pair of earrings I bought from artist Angela Walker. First of all, I've always admired the photo on her opening web page (click her name to visit her site) but I've also always loved her jewelry. I wanted a pair of earrings she made but they were already sold, and I emailed her and she made me a pair! I'm actually wearing them right now. They're fabulous! Looks like she has more in stock, so grab them if you want them!

I made a ton of new stuff myself today, lots on the web site. Working with fall colors, and check this one out -- not on the site, but don't you love it? Chunky moukite and a BIG vermeil bead. Very, very simple, but the moukite is SO pretty, with a full range of color from ivory to gold to mahogany pink. Delicious.

Comments? Email me at

Want to see some great beaded creations? Visit