Friday, November 30, 2007

Experimenting with Etsy

If you haven't already found Etsy -- oh my! I love it, buy a lot of things there. It's geared towards all things handmade, from cards to bags to jewelry, and you won't believe some of the talent there.

I've been toying with the idea of opening a small store on Etsy for a while -- Ebay just isn't good for artisan jewelry and I have been looking at ways to attract new customers who might otherwise not find my web site. So I opened a store today, and will carry a few things that are NOT on my official site.

So click here to visit the store, and bookmark it so you can check it often!

In the meantime, here is some eye candy for you:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Book Reviews

I've read several books in the past weeks and thought I'd share some quick thoughts. As always, I'd love to know your comments (there's a "comments" section below each post, feel free to use it any time!)

First, "The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd. I was expecting a lot more from this book, as it had been hyped on a number of Best Seller lists, but my over-riding opinion was -- Ick. The idea of a woman and a monk getting heavily romantic didn't do it at ALL for me. I'm all for romance, and unconventional romance at that, but this just wasn't written to where I was sympathetic at all.

Next was Sandra Dallas' "The Chili Queen". This one was pretty good -- had some plot twists that I saw coming, and a few that I didn't at all. Set in 1860's New Mexico, it's about a whorehouse madam, a bank robber, a mail-order bride and a former slave. That description alone makes it an interesting read.

I then read "A False Sense of Well Being" by Jeanne Braselton. I thoroughly enjoyed this one -- well-written with some laugh-out-loud spots, it's about a middle-aged woman in a mid-life crisis, and how she manages it.

I'm now reading "The Golden Compass" by Philip Pullman. I've had these books for a long time, well before the movie was in the works. I hope like heck that it starts making sense soon, because I'm a little lost and it's just not drawing me in at all. But I'm hanging in there, hoping it will be like the Dark Tower series by Stephen King -- it took me a while, but I eventually loved it.

So what have you been reading?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back from Thanksgiving!

Whee! We're finally back home from our whirlwind Thanksgiving holiday/show week. I'd hoped to post from the road, but a dial-up connection just won't play nice with the blog.

We left for Virginia Beach on Wednesday, two cars packed to the gills. When we got to the beach house, Colin watched Zack while Rick, Ryan, and I headed to the convention center to set up the booth. We've got it down to a science now, even though I keep tweaking things here and there. The latest edition (or rather, a re-introduction, as it's been languishing in storage) is the "Eiffel Tower". It's perfect for the open side of the corner booth, as I can put pendants on all four sides, and it attracts attention and is pretty memorable -- made it easy for people to find me after wandering rows upon rows of goodies!

And oh, the weather! Wednesday and Thursday could only be described as "balmy" -- perfect temperature, beautiful skies, very un-November-like. Thursday, while we were waiting for the turkey to be done and the older guys were watching football, I took Zack to the park, and we walked down to the pier at the beach. Our house has a porch that overlooks the water, which was very cool -- a huge oil tanker was anchored out a ways, which Zack thought was VERY cool.

The show went from Friday to Sunday, and holy heck, but Friday was mobbed! I didn't sit down, didn't eat, didn't do anything but write tickets and box up pretties all day. I could have decided not to show up on Saturday and Sunday and would have been perfectly happy with the financial outcome. What a great way to end the show season! I also feel I have the best customers ever -- I love when they stop by just to chat for a few minutes, or share stories, comment on things they read in this blog -- that's the great part of doing shows. One of my customers even brought me Godiva chocolates, which was an amazingly sweet and unexpected surprise.

Really glad to be home -- there's nothing quite like your own bed, you know? I'm surrounded by a mess of boxes and just STUFF, (where did I get so much STUFF from?) but I'm home. No more shows for the year, just home shows, and I'll be updating the web site with tons of new things soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Wasn't Me"

Last night Rick was ironing a shirt while Zack was in the tub. When he came back into the bathroom, there was water EVERYWHERE.

Rick asked, "Who did this?"

Zack answered, "It wasn't me!"

Rick looked around and saw our cat. He asked, "Did Buddy do it?"

Zack nodded solemnly. "Buddy came into the tub."

Rick looked at the cat. "But Buddy's not wet."

Zack explained, "He's wet on the inside".

Saturday, November 17, 2007

This is very cool

I saw this on another blog and thought I'd share it! I love it -- it reminds me of the stop-action films we made in art class in 7th grade, but waaaaaaaay cooler and more creative. And I LOVE the music.

I have a great husband

I have a great husband. Here's just an example of why:

Last night my throat started hurting and I thought, "Oh great, here comes strep."

Rick volunteered to call the doctor right when they opened for Saturday hours and get me an appointment, so I didn't have to get out of bed and earlier than necessary.

He woke me up with JUST the right amount of time to take a shower and drive 25 minutes to the doctor's office.

When I got out of the shower, he was standing there with a cup of Ghiradelli hot cocoa for me. The good stuff, made with milk, not water.

When I got home (strep test negative, but meds anyway), I really wanted to just fall in bed and hopefully sleep it off. He'd made the bed up with fresh, clean sheets. Nothing quite as great as clean sheets, you know?

Then he took Zack out for an "adventure" so the house would be quiet and I could sleep.

And that is one of the many reasons why I love my husband.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Diabetes Awareness Jewelry

I've had a lot of requests for more Diabetes Awareness jewelry, and finally got the crystal to do what I had in mind. If you're interested, click here to take a look, and preview some of my favorites below:

For most of these, I use this diabetes awareness charm, which has DIABETES stamped on one side, and CURE stamped on the other.

I also do custom work for Juvenile Diabetes bracelets, and I also stock round medic alert charms that are engravable -- you can switch out the ribbon charm and add the medic alert charm for an additional cost of $10.00 to your bracelet, and have it engraved at your local jeweler.

Thanks for looking!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and writes the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.

500 posts!

I just realized -- my last post was Post #500! Wow! A neat but useless factoid!

Book Review -- The Pilot's Wife

I just finished reading "The Pilot's Wife" by Anita Shreve. I've been a fan of Anita Shreve ever since my husband introduced me to her via "Where or When". (Can I mention here how much I LOVE that my husband reads a lot?)

As with most of Anita Shreve's book, the heroine is a quietly tragic figure. Shreve's way with words is great, but oh how I wish one day that the main character would just reach out and SLAP the heck out of someone -- in this book, particularly when she meets the second wife. But then, it wouldn't be an Anita Shreve book if that happened.

But it would be immensely satisfying.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rubber Chicken Earrings

OMG, these are hilarious.

My friend Amy makes fun, affordable jewelry that is definitely on the whimsical side. She does a lot of the same shows I do, and I am so glad to have met her. Her booth is amazing, too -- lots of fun and very cute!

She specializes in funky bracelets and necklaces, some with the most unusual "beads" ever -- plastic Ninja men and rubber chickens, among others!

She just debuted her Rubber Chicken Earrings this past show, and I had to share. They would be a wild addition to a Christmas stocking, don't you think?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Atlas Shrugged -- The Movie

This year I finally read the classic "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. I had the hardback edition, so its over-1000-pages occasionally whacked me in the face when I nodded off reading in bed. I recommend the paperback.

Anyway, after reading it, my friend Tara and I had a discussion about who we thought could play Dagny Taggart in a movie. I remember reading in "Hollywood Animal" that years back, when the idea of a movie was being tossed around, Sharon Stone thought she'd be PERFECT for the role (this was right after her "Basic Instinct" success). I'm laughing, as I hope you are, at the thought of Sharon Stone playing that role. I mean, Dagny is a strong, charismatic, smart woman who single-handedly runs a railroad. Give me a break.

So, I was reading a magazine and saw that Angelina Jolie is scheduled to play Dagny.

OK. Let me think about that for a minute.

I think I could see it -- I loved Angelina in "Girl, Interrupted" (one of the few times I liked the movie better than the book), and ok, I can definitely deal with Angelina Jolie rather than Sharon Stone.

But it makes me wonder about what would have happened had the movie been cast soon after it was written. Tara and I were tossing around people like Katharine Hepburn for the role. The men were far easier for us to cast with modern actors -- but we were at a loss for a good modern actress.

If you read the book, I'd love to know what you think!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Reporting from Northern Virginia

A quick note because I'm SO tired -- in the middle of a big three-day craft show in Northern Virginia and having a ton of fun but exhausted. I love doing these shows -- seeing vendors I haven't seen since last year, visiting with customers, doing a fair amount of Christmas shopping, too!

Rick and Zack are at home, so tonight I went out to dinner with my friend Amy, and tried something new -- Afghani food. REALLY liked it. To me, it was similar but better than Indian food -- savory without the curry, which I've never been fond of. We talked and laughed and it was a welcome adventure!

Started a new book -- "Lord John and the Private Matter" by Diana Gabaldon, she of the Outlander series fame. Lord John was a character in the Outlander books, and I don't know if it's because I keep waiting to read about Jamie and Claire, or if I'm trying to read these while too tired, but I'm not getting into this one nearly as much as I expected. I'll keep at it, and try the second one, too, because there's no denying Gabaldon can tell a great story.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


OMG. I just got an email from Fire Mountain Gems and the ad they just ran is also going to be in a European bead magazine. That is too cool for words.

You know, four years ago when my friend Michelle took me to my first bead store, I had no idea it would turn into the full fledged business that it now is. Have I told you that story? I was about three months pregnant, and had to be put on "modified" bed rest for a bit -- that meant I could sit upright and make the occasional excursion, I couldn't be on my feet more than about an hour a day. When the doctor told me that, we were supposed to be leaving for the beach the next day, to share a house for a week with our friends Rob and Michelle. The doctor said, Yes, by all means, go and relax, but you can't go the beach, you can't get overheated, you can't walk on the boardwalk, etc etc etc. So Michelle took me for a very brief trip about a mile down the road from where we were staying in Kill Devil Hills, NC, I got some beads, and I was hooked.

Michelle told me about this cool web site called Fire Mountain Gems that had a huge free catalog full of beads, and I ordered it. When it arrived, I was in heaven. It reminded me of the Sears Wish Book that used to come in the mail when I was a kid, full of toys that I sat for hours poring over. I did the same thing with that bead catalog -- circiling things I wanted, creating lists, and finally, making that first order.

If you are a interested in learning how to make jewelry, I'd so recommend getting FMG's catalog or visiting their web site. It's full of beads, design ideas, tutorials and tips -- a great way to get started. And if you have any questions, I'm always available by email. If I don't know the answer, I can find you someone who does.

Happy beading!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A few new things

Only a few pieces of jewelry to share -- the first is a larimar necklace, along the lines of the Fire Mountain Gems ad that just came out. I originally was working on a charm bracelet, and was getting ready to add all the pearls when I laid it down on the table to answer the phone. I looked at it and thought, "Huh. Bracelet, maybe not," and the necklace was born. I think it's safe to say you won't find a larimar necklace like it anywhere else!

I also made a bunch of earrings for the upcoming shows, and here a couple of pairs, "Merlot" and "Tapestry":

You can visit my web site for more handcrafted jewelry by going to

Look what I just got!

I love pretty beads, and these by Dawn White are just amazing!!!! I think these may have to end up in my personal jewelry collection....

Monday, November 05, 2007

Busy Busy Busy

I need more hours in the day. Why?

This month I have three craft shows and it's frantic preparing for them. No matter how much I've made, I always feel like I need MORE.

I've been updating the web site daily, like a fiend.

I had three charm exchanges due in the past couple of weeks and finally got all those done.

I have to get more sleep, so have had to try to go to bed earlier than normal -- and failed miserably.

I've been busy writing beading tutorials and that takes a ton of time.

I'm writing curriculum for my first beading class.

Now is the time when most of the craft shows I exhibit at have their applications due. That's a long process, too -- I have said it's like applying to college every year.

And then today, I built a huge electric train set up for Zack -- took about an hour, and he played with it all of 10 minutes. I said a few bad words under my breath, but that's being a mom for you (both the building things, and the occasional swearing).

Oh well, I do enjoy this life, really! If I'm not busy I'm not happy, and multi-tasking is my speciality.

So is making jewelry -- take a look at some new things!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Well, I finished "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" last night, and of course it was wonderful, but I felt bad that the series was over. BUT guess what I just found out? There will be a Book 7! Woo hoo! I have to wait until the end of 2008 but still, jumpin' woo hoo!

I started another book, totally unrelated, called "The Elephant in the Playroom -- Ordinary Parents Write Intimately and Honestly About the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows of Raising Kids with Special Needs" by Denise Brodey. I got this to help me feel not so helpless when Zack's Sensory Integration Disorder gets in the way of his happiness. He's been doing SO much better, but he still gets completely overwhelmed by lots of noise and has a definite circle of personal space that he doesn't like broached by people other than his family. If you have a child with SID, autism, bipolar, cerebral palsy, or similar things, I'd recommend this book. It's not a diagnostic book, but it's a book that will make you feel you're not alone dealing with things.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fire Mountain Gems ad

When I was away last weekend, I got an email from someone asking about the necklace on the back of the latest Beadworks magazine. I thought, "Huh?" and went to the nearest Barnes and Noble to check it out.

Hey! Fire Mountain Gems featured a necklace I made on the back cover! It's a necklace I made two years ago (they did say it would take some time, LOL!) and it has a happy home. Fire Mountain has another of my necklaces for the same purpose, one that was a finalist in their beading contest, but I have no idea when that will appear.

Needless to say, it was a nice surprise!

Pendant Slides!

I'm debuting a new display at my next show, a Pendant Tree. Well, technically it should be called a Pendant Tower, because the display is a vintage-esque Eiffel Tower, but for some reason I can't get "tree" out of my head.

Anyway, I've been updating my web site with a TON of new things, and tonight will be putting more of the pendant slides up (and they make great gifts, by the way!) but here's a preview....

If you see something you absolutely must have and can't wait to see it on the web site, email me!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Finally finishing this series

I'm heading to an early bedtime to finish reading the last book in the Outlander series, "A Breath of Snow and Ashes", and I'm not happy about it. I loved these books. And I am wondering how she's going to tie up all the loose ends in the last 150 pages.....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Good local press!

I can't help it, I get so excited anytime something I do gets recognized. This month's issue of "Taste of the Bay" has a feature about Holiday Gift Picks and my jewelry was included! TOO exciting! If you'd like to see the PDF file of the article (there are a lot of really cool artisans included -- I've got my eye on some purses featured) please send me an email.

In the meantime, here's some eye candy to whet your holiday shopping appetite!

Visit for more handcrafted jewelry and unique holiday gifts!