Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Surviving Dental Insurance

I used to be afraid of the dentist. Not anymore. Now I'm afraid of the BILL! Can someone tell me WHY dental insurance bascially only covers that little cup of mouthwash they give you to swish and spit with? It sure isn't paying for anything else!

Last week a tooth broke in half around an old filling. Fine. Off to the dentist, where I get a temporary crown.

After insurance -- $525.00

Today I go back because my jaw is still sore and hurting and it shouldn't be. Due to the cracked tooth, the root is now dying. Giddyup, root canal time.

After insurance --- $200.00

I go back on the 14th for the permanent crown and for them to do the second half of the root canal -- who knows WHAT that will cost!

Cripes. I'm going to bed with my Vicodin.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Some jewelry for you!

Some more things -- I've been too busy to get them on the web site (show this weekend) but I'm trying! So if you see something you like, email me!

Amethyst and blue topaz necklace, $80

Boro lampwork by Joanie Croyder, accented with carnelian and copper, $65

Large copper filigree pendant, accented with colorful charms, on copper chain, $48

Fun lampwork ring, $25

More can be seen at

A Trip to OK, and Books

I just got back from visiting friends Jen and Andy in Oklahoma, where she's stationed. It was the first time I've seen her in uniform and it was so wild -- I was in the military and then went to college, and she went to college and then the military! We met in Organic Chemistry class at UVA, and I'd rather repeat the Air Force than that class, hands down. But I'd repeat that class ten times just to have Jen live nearby.

I visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial -- how sobering. The chain link fence with all the momentos and tokens just overwhelmed me. Then there was the Field of Empty Chairs. Each victim is memorialized with a chair, and the thing to got to me was the number of LITTLE chairs, for the children that were killed. Overall, it was a very well-done memorial, probably the nicest I've seen, even with all the ones I've visited in DC. Go see it if you are in the area.

On to books. Flying on planes and waiting in airports gives me a primo chance to read, and I finished up quite a lot. The night before I left, I finished James Patterson's "Cross". I'm not sure why I keep getting James Patterson's books out. They're a quick read and fast-paced, but I keep getting annoyed by some of his writing styles. But I keep getting them! And he's laughing all the way to the bank.

A better book was Joseph Kanon's "Los Alamos". It's the third of Kanon's books I've recently read ("The Good German", "Alibi") and Kanon has a style, too -- guy meets girl early on, falls madly in love immediately, etc. But the thing I like about Kanon is good plot, good history lessons, good story. "Los Alamos" is about the Manhattan Project, and while it's a fictional book, it covers a lot of interesting info about the making of the first nuclear bomb. It's a great murder mystery steeped in science and history.

I then read one of my favorite author's latest, "Echo Park" by Michael Connelly. I love Harry Bosch and this one read fast!

OK, that got me all caught up -- more later!

Comments? Email me!

Check out my jewelry site,, for handcrafted artisan jewelry.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'm in Beadstyle Magazine!

I just got my copy of Beadstyle Magazine, and I have an article on pages 70-73! Funny how it happened. I got the carnelian briolettes from Ebay, and at the time, I hadn't done anything with briolettes other than wire wrap them for earrings. The strand of beads was so pretty, I wanted to use ALL of them together.

So I strung them up in groups of three, and the spacing was off -- the center of the necklace didn't have a triplet. I had a piece of leftover chain lying on the work table, so got to playing around with it and came up with the centerpiece. The entire necklace took me some time because I kept stringing it, then tearing it apart as I tried to get the charm clusters just right, so when I got done, I thought, "I have to show somebody this danged thing." So on a whim, I emailed a photo of it to Beadstyle, thinking they might put it in their customer inspiration gallery.

I got an email back in a couple of weeks asking if I could send the necklace in, so I sent it, along with the matching bracelet, and they got back in touch and said they wanted it as a full-fledged article. Took about a year to fit into their publishing schedule, but it's in the magazine now and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Comments? Email me!

Want to see more of the jewelry? Visit
New customers -- say you read this article and receive free shipping on your first order!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Zack's Lego Village

Zack got a very cool set of Legos for his birthday -- the idea is to make a mosaic on it, 2D, but he decided it made a great miniature village, 3D, so here we have it:

I love that he has this creative streak, and I try to nuture it as much as I can. He has a short attention span normally, but these Legos have kept him occupied a lot the past two days.

Here's the link to the Lego Mosaics, if you're interested in them for your kid (or yourself!)

I added a bunch of things to the web site and will probably send out an update newsletter in the next couple of days, but it's going to be a busy week. Thursday Zack and I go to an Open House for a new preschool, and I leave on Friday for Oklahoma to visit my best friend from college, Jen -- she's due in March and I can't wait to see her!

Here's some of the goodies that haven't made it to the web site yet -- email me if you want anything!

This one is a unique breast cancer awareness bracelet. The toggle has the awareness ribbon in it. I wanted to make a really glam awareness bracelet, something that celebrated the wearer.

This one is a lampwork charm bracelet with boro glass and tons of Swarovski crystal charms. Very girly!

This one will be hard to part with! It's a cute frog necklace -- I got the beads at a huge bead show a couple years ago and just now got around to putting it together. Isn't it fun?

Comments? Send me an email.

And make sure to visit for lots more handcrafted artisan jewelry!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Zack's Birthday Party

Today we had Zack's birthday party at the YMCA. They have an AWESOME set up for little guys, and he and his friends had a blast:

After they wore themselves out there, they had pizza, cake and ice cream:

He got a bit overwhelmed with opening presents, and of course I guess I should expect that since he's only four, but I am so mortified if he acts up! Overall, though, a great party, and worth every penny to pay the Y to do the whole thing -- very nice not to have the house torn up and have to clean up!

I've been busy at work on jewelry, as well. Here's some pretties to look at.... if you want something you see her, send me an email!

You can see more beautiful handcrafted jewelry at

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lots of new jewelry

I've been busy, busy, busy for my upcoming show at the McLean Community Center and have lots of new jewelry but no time to put most of it on the web site. So here's a preview -- if you see something you want, send me an email!

Want to see more? Visit

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Evolution of Dance, Part 2

OK, and now I am in love with THIS one. Not much of a dancer, but one heck of a traveler!!!!
Evolution of Dance

OK, I can't remember if I'd already posted this some time in the past, but I like it, so here it is again!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Charms and Candy Beads

I just joined a charm exchange group -- I make 21 charms, and get 20 back (one from each of 20 different designers). The lady who organizes this must have the patience of a saint! From what I've seen, the charms are going to be very neat and very varied in technique, from beads to clay to found objects to you name it. I didn't have time to make what I had envisioned since I joined in late, so made a bunch of charms using handmade artisan lampwork, crystal, and silver:

I'll show you what I receive when they arrive!

I posted some Valentine's-Day-Inspired necklaces on my web site -- three gorgeous fused glass dichroic hearts. I'm also going to make a fun bracelet with these marvelous candy beads I got last year. The packaging alone was to die for -- take a look!

Does it get any cuter? White chocolates but they're glass, I assure you, no matter how realistic they look!

Tomorrow Zack turns FOUR. I can't even believe it. How did he get so old so FAST? We're having his official birthday party on the 19th, so tomorrow is total Mommy/Zack day. We're going to the grocery store first thing to buy cupcake fixings, including whatever "sprinkles" he wants to decorate them with. Once we bake them, I have to let them cool, but Zack isn't known for his patience (then, neither am I!) so while they're cooling, we're going over the bridge to the Toys R Us in Annapolis. He got a little gift card from them for being in their "Birthday Club" (clever marketing idea, that) and is dying to spend all $3 of it! My plan is to let him pick out a new railroad piece -- his big brother Colin put this masterpiece together for him in his playroom:

So I think we'll find a way station of some sort -- the engine car wash, the fire house, something like that.

I still just can't believe he's FOUR.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Books, Beads, etc

It's been a while but I have a good excuse! The office is still in rennovations -- almost done, but the finishing touches always seem to be what takes the longest. I promise to have photos up when it's done. I've also been working on Zack's new play room, too.

January I tend to buy a LOT of beads and this month is no exception. Be on the look-out for some really cool new designs soon! I also usually take January to prepare my marketing plan but I got that done last year because I have shows starting in FEBRUARY this year, so not that much time! And of course, I try to catch up on some non-bead things, like knitting and painting.

OK, books. I just finished reading "The Good German" by Joseph Kanon. I highly recommend it if you like historical fiction. It's a murder-mystery about the days prior to the end of World War II, in a Germany that's recovering from being bombed.

I also read "Notes From the Underbelly" by Risa Green, a chick-lit book about a woman's pregnancy. I wasn't in the mood for it but I'd run out of other books and a friend had sent it to me. It was amusing, I guess, but I kept wanting to reach through the pages and slap the stupid ninny.

I re-read "Naked" by David Sedaris, who is utterly hilarious. But I really need to get to the library tomorrow and get another stack of books to read!

I also am now offering logo t-shirts and things for sale -- I was searching for t-shirts to wear to the gym and found Cafe Press and thought, "Why not?" I thought the tote bags in particular would make a good freebie to customers at my shows who buy a lot, and if nothing else, it's good advertising to wear locally!

Comments? Email me!

Want to see my jewelry? Visit

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

And a fun video to celebrate -- it's not fireworks, but I think it will suffice! And yes, it does work -- put a Mentos into a 2-liter bottle and watch out! You can access it at

and there's another cool one at

I first learned about this when watching Mythbusters on The Discovery Channel. Very cool!

If you want to see more, go to -- enjoy!