Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Ah, the joys of motherhood. For the past two months Zack has insisted he didn't want to wear a costume (he never has wanted to). I gave him a catalog full of costumes -- not interested. He picked out a t-shirt to wear with spiders and pumpkins on it and orange sweat pants and wanted to wear THAT for his costume. No problem, I buy the shirt and pants.

I continue throughout the past weeks to interest him in a costume -- took him to Toys R Us to look -- not interested. Showed him some web sites -- not interested.

So what happens today?

He decides he wants a costume.

Today. Halloween. The day OF Halloween.

Not only did he want a costume. He insisted on being a jet.

Not something simple like a ghost, a pirate, something that I could easily make with things readily on hand.

A jet.

So off to Walmart we go. And you guessed it -- no Halloween costumes of ANY kind. I did luck into a Superman treat bucket, and I said, "Well, Superman flies LIKE a jet", so we got that.

We get home, and he still wants a jet COSTUME.

Thank goodness I have a huge craft closet. All I could manage were the wings of a jet, but you never saw a kid happier. He was running up and down the sidewalks yelling, "Trick or Treat! Trick or Treat! Trick or Treat! I'm FAST! I'm a jet!", arms outstretched, flying away.

Happy Anniversary!

Rick and I celebrated our six year anniversary over the weekend. Every anniversary we go to Prospect Hill Plantation -- it's where Rick proposed and we had our honeymoon. This year we stayed in the Carriage House. No TV, no internet, no phones, five course dinners and the best breakfasts EVER -- it was fabulous! Plus it's close to Charlottesville, where I went to college, bought my first house, and the location of our wedding.

The days were spent doing what most would call "ordinary stuff", but we got to take our time and relax (Nana and Pop-Pop had Zack). We've decided to put off buying a new house (just can't find what we want) and are planning on remodeling, so we did a lot of shopping for that -- new entry door, new floors, etc. We also hit my favorite, Barnes and Noble -- I could live there! Without Zack, we had the opportunity to really browse, but I still found myself in the kids' section buying things for him!

The leaves were in their prime, just like the day we got married.

Lovely foliage, GORGEOUS weather -- it was just like six years ago.

OK, I guess that's enough mushy stuff.

The Christmas Jewelry Gallery will be open SOON, so keep watching the web site -- there will be lots of jewelry for Christmas and Hannukah, snowflakes, snowmen -- fun stuff!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a photo of a necklace from my new line called "Treasures" -- fun necklaces with removable charms (or, little "treasures").

Comments? Email me!

Visit www.lorianderson.net to start your holiday shopping!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Halloween Pumpkin

We have two jack o'lanterns -- one Zack and I decorated with Mr. Potato Head fixtures (like a witch). The second one, I got the brainstorm of buying quilting pins (the ones with the round bead on the end) and using up my stash of kids beads to decorate. I have a monster jar of plastic and glass beads that I take out whenever my friends bring their kids over -- it's been a source of unending entertainment for them, and a great way to recycle funky beads!

Zack did a LOT of this pumpkin all by himself. I was quite impressed that he didn't prick his finger once (he left that to me!) and he was quite engrossed in his activity. What you can't see is the back of the pumpkin, where there aren't any beads. He thought the back needed decorating, too, so he scribbled pink hair on her.

I just adore my son.

And just because I can't help it, here are photos of Zack's first Halloween, 2003....

And in 2004, he was less than thrilled that the Jack O'Lantern stole his paci:

See why I adore him????

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fabulous Weekend

This was a great weekend. On Friday, Zack and I went over the bridge to Annapolis to go to the mall (his choice) and he was SUCH a good boy. I ended up buying him this cool sit-on scooter thing that doesn't need batteries and doesn't require pedaling -- it moves by your wiggling the steering wheel and your body weight. He had so much fun trying it out, and was so successful at it, that I couldn't resist. He still has trouble with pedals and since he's got this temperment that gets frustrated easily, I thought it would give him a boost of confidence, and help him get back on the pedaling bikes with less irritation.

Zack has been watching this cool DVD we got from the library (we've checked it out twice now) about volcanos and planets. On the way home from the mall, a truck kicked up a rock and it hit the van really hard, and Zack said, "OH! A meteor rock hit us!" Thought I would die laughing.

Saturday all of us went to a craft show, this time as visitors, which was nice! I usually am so busy working one that I never have time to look around. We got some awesome things and it was a great family day.

On the way home, we stopped at a new furniture store in town, and I got a new kitchen table and chairs (well, a new work table, since that's where I make jewelry) and a big comfy chair for Rick for our anniversary. Can't wait for that to be delivered!

And then of course, I made jewelry:

Comments? Email me at lori@lorianderson.net

Want to buy some great beaded jewelry for Christmas gifts? Visit www.lorianderson.net

Friday, October 20, 2006

The End of Lemony Snicket

I absolutely love when an author I really like puts out a new book -- the anticipation a la Harry Potter, etc. So I was very excited to get the last in the series of the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, aptly called The End. Yes, it's technically a kid's book, but I love them like adults love Harry Potter -- there's a dry humor to them, and underlying cleverness of irony and satire that adults will pick up on where kids probably won't. LOVE it, and really looking forward to reading them again when Zack is older.

Zack has been loving the toy catalogs that are flooding the mail box these days -- he spends hours looking through them, pointing things out to us that he MUST HAVE (even things he has no idea what they are for, as in the case of the dart board, which we most certainly are NOT getting). I remember getting the Sears Toy Catalog when I was a kid -- that was magic!

Tonight is the last of the series of Third Fridays in St. Michaels - I'm getting good at the quick trunk show set up with the jewelry! I've been working, working, working to prepare for November's main shows as well as keeping up with the web site and private events -- nuts around here, no doubt about it.

You're probably starting to think about Christmas shopping -- don't forget to visit my web site, as well as my recommended links page to see what other artisans have to offer. Shop early, shop often!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lots done today

Got a lot accomplished today, largely because I woke up at 4:30am and couldn't get back to sleep. It's amazing what you can get done in the early morning -- too bad I'm normally NOT a morning person!

Tomorrow I'm hitting the gym with my friend Kiersten to take a Reebok Core Training class. I'm hooked! It's like taking step aerobics and kick boxing and throwing it all together with a whole bunch of sweat and loud music.

Filling out yet more show applications for next year -- they take forever! I have one in front of me and looked at the fine print -- the show runs from 10am to 10pm -- PM. I usually work shows by myself but there's just no way I could do that one alone. Potty breaks, ya know.

Got a bunch of jewelry photographed today and uploaded so please take a look! It's pretty much non-stop creating from now until Christmas, and while I photograph everything I make, I don't post nearly all of it -- I hope you can make it to one of my shows to see more!

Oh, and books. I read a bunch while I nursed another bout of strep throat this weekend (yikes, tonsils will be coming out I fear) and got a lot of "light" reading done. Read James Patterson's Lifeguard -- I keep telling myself "no more Patterson!" but then I just get sucked in again. Also read Tess Gerritsen's "Vanish". I'm now reading A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell, which is really good if I can keep the characters straight - that's a function of my cold medicine rather than the book, mind you. I've always been fascinated with World War II history and the Holocaust, and this book is about the Italian Jews as they cross the Alps in search of some sort of safety.

So that's the haps today!

Comments? Email me at lori@lorianderson.net

Check out the artisan jewelry at www.lorianderson.net (Christmas is coming, you know?)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Boy in a Box

Zack discovered another use for this toy box bins that go under his Thomas Train Table. I heard a little commotion in my office and went to check on him, and he was diligently removing all his toys from one bin to the other (at least he wasn't hurling them all over the floor!). Then he tried to shove the box into the living room -- I had to step in on that, as there was no way it was going to fit the way he was trying. I carried it into the living room, curious as to what he would do. Well, he built himself a nest for watching TV:

He's hamming for the camera and isn't really sleeping, but he earnestly said he wanted to sleep down here that night -- too cute!

Been super busy, preparing for major shows in November. Trust me, I have a ton of jewelry that I just haven't had time to put on the web site yet, but keep looking, in the next few days some new things will show up! In the meantime, here's a couple things:

Comments? Email me at lori@lorianderson.net

Want to see some lovely artisan jewelry? Go to www.lorianderson.net

Monday, October 09, 2006

Breast Cancer Survivor's Tea

I attended Maryland's Breast Cancer Survivor's Tea this Sunday, and what an event! I've never been in such a group of positive, dynamic women. There were between 150-200 survivors there, and everyone was so engaged, so cheerful -- it was uplifting to say the least. I was one of three vendors in attendance, and did better in three hours than I do in an entire day at some shows, and the country club put out a fabulous spread in a lovely venue. Congratulations to all the ladies who survived and are surviving and advocating for other women.

This evening I spent preparing for next year's shows -- applications are starting to come out and each one is a time-consuming job. It's like applying to college -- fill out this, write about that, pay the fee, and then cross your fingers until the envelopes come in the mail. If it's a fat envelope, yippee! If not, well darn. Plus, since I love to create with so many different types of beads, it's tough to narrow all that down to only four or five slides of my work. Often (especially in the jewelry category), there are 700 people applying for 100 spots, and jewelry is only a portion of that 100, but gets the most applicants.

Comments? Email me at lori@lorianderson.net

Want to see the handmade artisan jewelry I sell at my shows? Go to www.lorianderson.net

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jewelry Party, Rainy Day

Back from the jewelry party -- fun night! The weather here was nasty (cold and rainy) but that didn't stop people from turning out. Now I'm getting ready to head to bed and finish another book -- believe it or not, "Sex in the City" by Candace Bushnell. The book preceded the series, but I never once watched the show. I'm not fond of SJP or Kim Cattrall so never bothered to watch. I've read all of the other books Candace Bushnell wrote and enjoyed them -- they're mind fluff, but fun -- but never read this one. I have no idea what the series is like, but I got halfway through the book in one evening. Sometimes you just need a brain break, you know?

I've been working on some more chain maille, and this is a piece I made with full persian weave and some large polymer clay and gold leaf beads -- interesting! The chain is bulky and chunky and was a perfect match for the beads, which while large, and really light-weight.

This one is also made with polymer clay -- a little psychedelic take on rose buds! Swarovski crystal adds some glitter.

Comments? Email me at lori@lorianderson.net

Interested in jewelry? Visit my site, www.lorianderson.net

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Books, Shoes, and Jewelry

I finished a book on my list last night, Natasha and Other Stories by David Bezmozgis, a collection of stories about Russian Jews immigrated to Canada. Very interesting but poignantly sad in a lot of places. But I'd recommend it.

Today Zack and I drove to Annapolis to buy new shoes for him for the fall from Stride Rite -- new sneakers and boots. He was so cute when he put on the tennis shoes -- he thought they would light up when he walked like his old Thomas sneakers did and he kept jumping up and down and wondering where the lights were. I had my old digital camera in my purse and took some pictures but (of course) the battery needs recharging, so those will come later.

I have a home party tomorrow and a private event on Sunday so it's going to be a busy weekend. Here's a preview of jewelry to come!

Comments? Email me at lori@lorianderson.net

Want to see handmade jewelry that's available right now? Visit my site, www.lorianderson.net

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Featured Designer for SoftFlex

I'm thrilled and honored to be SoftFlex Company's Featured Designer this month! SoftFlex makes the BEST beading wire, and if I'm not using sterling wire or rings, I use their wire.

Today Zack and I went to the library to return a video he's watched a million times (about volcanoes) and check out a video and books on planets. And it's not me pushing educational stuff on him -- he's the one that picked! There are these super DK Eyewitness books at Barnes and Noble that he wants to read every time we go, and the ones about volcanoes and oceans and planets are his favorite.

How about a look at some new beaded jewelry?

This one was made with heavy gauge sterling silver wire and a huge boro lampwork bead. It makes a stunning and unique pendant. Email me at lori@lorianderson.net if you're interested in making it yours!

This one is actually a do-over -- I had originally used just a single strand of pearls and decided it just was sort of "blah". So I took it all apart and jazzed it up, matching all the colors of the cool toggle! Want it? Email me at lori@lorianderson.net!

Comments? Email me at lori@lorianderson.net

Want to see even more handmade beaded jewelry? Visit www.lorianderson.net

Monday, October 02, 2006

Weekend in CT and a Surprise Gift

Rick, Zack, and I spent this past weekend in Connecticut. We visited with Colin at Yale and I got to spend all day Saturday with close friend, Jen Cook. I got a HUGE appreciation for how much work goes into making glass beads. She creates her own color canes (rather than use frit) and I thought I was going to hyperventilate when I got to paw through her huge box of beads that haven't been put on Ebay yet. I left with a huge stash of beads, and had an amazing time.

I came home to a huge stack of mail, and in the pile of boxes was a wonderful surprise from a customer -- a hand-knitted, felted bag. I was overwhelmed. She wrote the loveliest note, and she did a great job of matching the stripes of my web site -- and check out the CUTE bead box charm at the bottom of the bag! Jari, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I took a zillion photos of things and started putting some on the web site, but wanted to show you something I made for myself. I have a really pretty red jacket and thought this would go well -- it's made with huge 14mm Ruby Swarovski crystals and a mix of Bali and Turkish sterling silver. LOVE it. I made another ruby/silver piece that will be on the web site in a few days, so keep your eyes open!

Comments? Email me at lori@lorianderson.net

Want to see the latest in handmade beaded jewelry? Visit www.lorianderson.net