Saturday, June 30, 2007


I'm busy working on the web site, so thought I'd share some things before they got put up for sale!

Book Review

I just finished Anita Shreve's "Body Surfing". Rick introduced me to Shreve's work when we first started dating, and I've read everything she's written. With this book, she keeps to her formula of poignant tragedy, but what I liked was that the book centered on the same beach house that she wrote about in "The Pilot's Wife", "Fortune Rocks", and "Sea Glass". I feel like I know that house well, and wish like anything I had one like it!
I'm now reading Jefferey Deaver's "More Twisted Collected Stories Vol II". I love his stuff and love the horror/mystery/true crime genre, so it's right up my alley.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Zack and Food

We’ve made a big decision about Zack’s food treatment (I need to just copy this into my blog) – we’re not sending him. I met with another occupational therapist who said that since the food is Zack’s ONLY issue (no cerebral palsy, no acid reflux, nothing else) that the KKI program could very well be too traumatic for him. He’s old enough to remember this stuff, and the last thing I want to do is make eating that much harder and more distasteful.

A lot of this came to a head when, on his own, Zack asked for an ice cream cone. He’d previously screamed if we tried to get him to eat anything cold. But on his own, he asked for, and did some damage to, his own cone.

Tonight, we set him down and told him that he was now old enough to start getting serious about his food, and that he needed to eat healthy things so he could be strong and do things like swim (he’s in swim lessons now). We gave him baked chicken nuggets, something he USED to eat and then suddenly refused months ago. He cried and said he didn’t want them, and we told him that was fine, but that was all he was getting for dinner, and that we knew he liked them, he’d just forgotten he liked them.

After about 15 minute, he ate one, and said, “Mmm, I like these!” and we reiterated that we only ask that he try things.

That all being said, I seriously doubt I can get him to love brocolli overnight. And it’s not like we haven’t already been trying to get tough on the food -- we’ve tried everything. But when he asked for that ice cream cone, it was like a light bulb went off in my head – he’s healthy, he’s happy, he’ll get over this. It’s just going to take time.

He’s healthy as a horse – I can’t remember the last time he had a cold. He’s growing, is a bit on the short side, but then so am I, and so is my dad. We get veggies into him with V8 Fusion juices. He takes his vitamins. Are we doing the right thing? I sure as heck hope so. But the thought of living at the Ronald McDonald house for 6-8 weeks while they basically follow my child’s mouth with a spoon until he “breaks” – I just think there has to be another way for him.

That’s also not to say that KKI doesn’t have a great program. They do. They work with kids who have feeding tubes, severe allergies, all kinds of things. I think I feel better knowing that a more seriously ill child will get their slot sooner. I also know it’s not going to be easy to get Zack to eat “real” food. But I have hope.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


In between migraines, we went to one of Rick's colleagues houses for a cookout/party. Tons of kids, lots of toys, and a trampoline.

Zack had tried out the trampoline a couple months ago on a previous visit, and he didn't like to be on it when anyone else was on it, because he kept falling down. Also, with his sensory issues, I imagine the sensation of insecure footing had to be frightening.

Today, I wanted him to try the trampoline with ME, to see how it would feel with other movement. It took a little while, and his laughter was just on the verge of hysterical terror, but he did let me bounce with him, gently at first, and then a little harder.

All bets were off after about three minutes of it, when two girls joined us -- just too much movement for him and his poor brain just overloaded and that was it.

But I was so proud of him for TRYING it, and it was another small step forward!

Book Review

I just finished Maeve Binchy's "Whitethorn Woods". I first discovered her books when "Tara Road" was on Oprah's book list, and since then I've read every single thing she's written. She took a break there for a while (it's my understanding her husband was quite ill) and I was thrilled to have another book by her pop up at the book store.

What I loved about this book was how she started with the common thread - a town's concern about a bypass that is planned, that will go right through the woods and subsequently a sacred well in the woods. She then goes into her (for lack of a better word) "two-fers" -- she writes a chapter in the point of view of a character, and then does a second chapter from the point of view of a character in that first chapter. It's really clever, and it unearths some surprises. I wish I could describe it better!

At any rate, a good book -- the ending fell a little weak for me, but I was more interested in the vignettes than the actual story line, anyway.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fairy Houses

I ran across this book at Barnes and Noble and visited the web site -- it's adorable!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

OOOOH, Eye Candy!

This is a lovely ring by Carlo Viani -- turquoise, tanzanite, and blue topaz.

This is a beautiful handblown vase by Michael Trimpol:

This is so cool -- the mirror by Mitch and Susie Levin is made with bits of recycled soda cans.

And finally, these amazing rings by Ananda Khalsa:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Eagle Sighting

This afternoon we all went kayaking up the Choptank River, down some side creeks. It was an amazing day to be out -- calm water, perfect temperature, and no other boats on the water. On our way back down the river, we saw a bald eagle. Utterly amazing. I'd never seen one outside of a zoo.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Have you ever gotten so involved in a book that you get all emotional when certain things happen to the characters, or the book comes to an end and there's no more? I finally finished Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series. I have to say, I loved them, and I'm sad that it's over. I wasn't at all happy with the ending -- and audible "OH NO!" when I got there, but I've learned to expect that from King.

One of the things that was so interesting about this series is how intertwined it is with so many of his other books. This series took him years and years to complete, and there are references to it in "It", "Desperation", and "Insomnia", to name just a very few. Makes me want to re-read a ton of his stuff.

I then started (and am almost finished with) Harlan Coben's "The Innocent". I love Coben -- he has great plot twists. Coben tends to make a lot of bad things happen to good people, and he can change directions on the plot in a heartbeat.

Next I'll read the new Richard Bachman/Stephen King book that arrived in the mail today -- "Blaze". Unfortunately, it's not very thick, but as you can probably already tell, I love King's stuff so who cares!

At some point soon, I need to reread the last Harry Potter, in preparation for the NEW one. Don't expect me to do anything but read, read, read when it arrives -- I won't be turning on TV or the computer for fear of accidentally hearing about the ending before I get there! And don't worry, I'd never spoil it for you!

In case you've never seen it, my book wish list (books I want to read, as well as ones I have since last year) is here. I'd better live a long, long time to get to them all!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Back from Ocean City

We're back! What a great weekend trip!

The show was amazing -- it was the first time I'd done the Art's Alive show in Ocean City, MD, and I don't have any customers in that area, so I had no idea what to expect.

The weather was perfect -- it was overcast on Saturday and cool, so people flocked to the show instead of the beach. I didn't slow down until about 45 minutes before closing. It was just amazing! I had one of the best sales days I've ever had.

Sunday was much warmer and sunny, so more people hit the beach. Plus, it was Father's Day, and there was a boat race going on, too. It was a lot slower but still a better sales day than expected.

Overall, a fabulous show, well run, lots of fine art, beautiful location on a lagoon -- a definite "do again!"

The best part of the weekend, though, was watching some major strides with Zack. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that Zack has Sensory Integration Disorder, which means in a nutshell that he has strong aversions to many textures -- walking barefoot on grass or sand was almost like torture for him. He's been through a year of Occupational Therapy, which HUGELY made a difference, but he is still very cautious about new things. His food aversion (texture, temperature, smell, etc) is still very strong, and we're also working on that to this day.

With that said, this was a great sensory adventure weekend for Zack. This was really the first time he's ever walked on sand without freaking out. It took a little while for me to coax him out of his shoes, but once they were off, he was intrigued. We bought a bunch of fun plastic beach toys with us, and he LOVED digging and making sand castles with Mommy.

I wanted him to come with me and get his feet wet, and it took him watching me for a bit and seeing that I didn't get swept away for him to get interested. And once we went to the water's edge -- oh boy, he couldn't get enough. One wave wet him to his waist and he laughed like he was being tickled. We held hands and let the water rush over our feet and I felt that this was what being a mom was all about.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


We're in Ocean City (the show is going GANGBUSTERS, I'm overwhelmed, but in a good way -- more on that later) but the absolute BEST thing that happened today was Zack had his very first ice cream cone. Keep in mind, he's 4 1/2 and has some serious food issues, including hating cold stuff. But today he wanted his very own ice cream cone, so I got them to make a little one and he actually spent a good five minutes licking it. That may not seem like a big deal, but for this kid, it's HUGE!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Off to Ocean City

We're leaving for Ocean City here in a bit for a new show (at least for me!), Art's Alive. I don't have a customer base in Ocean City, so it will be entirely new and I have no idea what to expect. The weather is supposed to be wonderful, which is a blessing. And after this show, I have a break from the circuit until August 11th. I'm going to need that break to get ready for the fall shows and Christmas shoppers. I can't believe I'm thinking about that while it's summer, but if I don't, it'll catch up with me.

It will also give me some time to do some new things. I've been wanting to try some new directions with my jewelry, but haven't had a lick of time, and my goal now is to take each Friday and make that my "experimentation" day.

I'll leave you with some pictures of recent jewelry -- you can see more at

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

...and about the trip!

The Bead and Button show is an annual event in Milwaukee, WI, with tons of classes and tons of bead vendors. I can only bear to be gone from my guys for a few days, so I only go for the shopping. And SHOPPING it is -- 4pm-9pm on Thursday, 10-8pm Friday, 10-6pm Saturday, and 10-4pm on Sunday -- serious shopping hours.

Although the shopping was divine, the real reason for going was to meet some of my internet friends. Over the past few years, I've made some wonderful friendships with people I've never met, and this was our first chance to get together in person. I was a little nervous at first but that quickly disappeared -- it was like we had been best friends since grade school. Everyone was so INTERESTING and so fun, and it could not have gone better.

Some had classes, some just came to shop, and we all kind of drifted in and out of each other's space during the shopping (thank goodness for cell phones for the "what booth are you at?" calls) so dinner was when we really got to sit and talk and tell stories. YUMMY dinners, too, thanks to our local travel guide, Ann! One night we even went to a Chocolate Bar, which was as devine as it sounds!

So that's it in a nutshell!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

....and now jewelry!

Last post, I showed you beads. Here are some earrings I made today with beads I purchased at Bead and Button:


I bought so many beads at Bead and Button this year that I had to go and buy another suitcase to bring them home. Granted, I did buy some tools and things that were large and bulky, but I did a lot of damage on the bead front. Here's just a taste:

These are from one of my favorite artists, Joan Miller. She makes all of her beads with porcelain.
I love this little hippo ballerina, and she'll be hanging from my rear view mirror tomorrow! I have a different bead in the middle (still in pink and purple, but different) but this gives you an idea. You can buy your own at

This is a LARGE bead -- 3" wide! I watched Shannon Hill's video at the booth and finally learned how inside-out beads are made -- not an easy task!

Next is a very cool bead by Nancy Tobey. She called it "Ode to Athleticism"because it's a kayak paddle! And since we just started kayaking this year, I had to get it.

Finally, some fun beads that I nabbed -- they'll probably end up in a Treasures necklace at some point!

I had to pick up another starfish (or sea star, as I've been told they now prefer to be called) at Stephanie Sersich's booth:

And a lovely frosted lampwork flower for ME -- this one is large and soooo pretty, by Sorella Beads.

And that is just a tiny tiny bit of what I got. Add to that lots of cool gemstones, vintage chain, more lampwork glass, etc etc etc! So now you'll just have to visit on a regular basis to see what I do with all the new goodies!

just a quick note...

I'm back from Bead and Button -- well, I actually got back late on Sunday, then slept for 20 hours on Monday (no, you read that right) so I'm starting to dig out of my bags (lots of beads to sort) and will post a better update, with pictures, soon!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Best Sound in the World

Is there any sound better than that of Zack laughing while being tickled? I think not!

Am I the only person in the world that can't wear Crocs?

I think I must be the only person in the world that just can't wear Crocs. Zack has two pairs and they look so cute on him. I've seen approximately seventeen thousand people sporting various versions of the damned things and they swear they're the most comfortable things ever. SO I caved and ordered a pair in really pretty purple -- even ordered the narrower version for a better fit.

They arrived, and you know, Crocs just are not meant for me. They're still way too wide and do NOT look cute on my feet. Which is a shame, because I love all the new colors. And they're a third the price of Birkenstocks.

Monday, June 04, 2007

New Necklace

This is a fast photo and therefore not all that hot, but I wanted to test out my new dressmaker's dummy (the latest prop for my booth!) and this necklace was perfect as a test product.

A bit about it:

I've been fortunate to obtain several handmade pendants by artist Sandra Miller. I've been hoarding them for a while, but finally will start to share them!

Sandra is a phenomenal glass artist. Each pendant is made using fused glass, and she regularly experiments, trying new things to make each piece a work of art unto itself. To see more of her amazing work, click here. In case you're curious, I own 109, 179, 206, 211, and 262, among others! As you'll see from many of her photos, her work is inspired by her vast world travels. All of this she accomplishes with significantly diminished eyesight.

This pendant begged for something interesting, so I tried a new wire technique, creating little branches, each adorned with either a crystal or a pearl. I need to rearrange some of the branches, but overall, I like it! Let me know what you think!

See more of my work at

Cat In a Bag

Buddy, my old old Himalayan kitty, apparently wanted to go to my last show with me --

Zack in Pre-School

Zack started his summer pre-school today (and the angels did sing). He's been sleeping with his lunch box for the past few days, he was so excited! He's been home since December and we've done a TON of stuff, but Zack misses the structure of "school", loves the playground, and loves being with the kids. I picked him up an hour ago and he's kicked back on the couch watching "Conjunction Junction" and he'll be lucky if he stays awake!

The photo is one I found on my seldom-used Canon camera, and I have no idea what the heck we were doing -- not sure if Zack took the picture, or if I hit the button at the wrong time, or what, but there's the piglet, and the background is the photo studio section of my office. Kind of interesting!

Friday, June 01, 2007


I love shoes. LOVE. Back when I worked in Corporate America I had a bazillion pairs. And then came a rotten sports injury, almost a year off and on in a leg cast and on crutches, and I'm now relegated to the world of Birkenstocks, Danskos, and (gulp) Crocs. Sigh.

But I can still dream! I recently saw these amazing Steve Madden shoes in Nordstrom and was SORELY tempted:

These were under 100.00, what a bargain -- at least compared to these YSL beauties, which are a) enormously tall, and 2) running $650, with a waiting list to get them:

They're flipping AMAZING. And what's even more amazing is there are people out there who could run down the street in these things. Me, I'd fall off them and break another ankle, but at least I'd look good doing it.