Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Tutorial in BeadStyle Magazine

I have a tutorial in the current issue of BeadStyle magazine -- this one features a vintage lucite flower with a cluster of pearls. You can change out the pearls for crystals if you want something with more glitz.

The original will be for sale on my web site, www.lorianderson.net, very soon!

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Happy 40th Birthday Weekend

OH my, what a wonderful weekend!

I had a three-day art and craft show in Chantilly, VA this weekend, the Craftsmen's Classic. Sunday was my 40th (eek, when did THAT happen?) birthday, so I was determined to make it a good one.

Well, it was better than I could ever have expected. My customers are just the best, and they treated me to birthday cards, hugs, and some wonderful surprises. On Friday, one of my customers brought me a fairy wand pen:

and a plate of cupcakes:

(The photo is a stand-in, as they were delicious and gone before I ever thought of pulling out the camera).

In an earlier post, I showed you the back of the Birthday Queen crown that Allegra made me. I decided to wear it ALL weekend, not just on Sunday, and it got lots of comments and more than a few sales offers.

Isn't it lovely? She used amazing things -- vintage Miriam Haskell pearls, German glitter, and there are two huge Swarovskis in the center of two of the hydrangeas. I just love hydrangeas, and use silk ones all throughout my show booth.

Just putting this crown on put me in a festive mood, and I swear, it was contagious. There was such energy and fun in my booth the entire weekend, and I beat my all-time sales record -- a marvelous birthday gift!

I dearly hate having my picture taken, but 40 is a time for change, right?

The entire weekend was, in a word, awesome. I got a chance to hang out with my friend Ayenne, having great dinners and indulging in drinks and desserts that I normally skip. I got huge hugs from my guys when they came to help me pack out, and when I got in my van to drive home, there were cards and candy on the seat waiting for me.

I was dreading 40. But it's off to a fantastic start!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ultimate Blog Party!

I just found out about Ultimate Blog Party 2009, and hope to see some of the participants wandering over this way! We're supposed to list what goodies we would like to win, but to me, anything in the mail that is an unexpected gift is fine with me!

I'm looking forward to visiting all the wonderful blogs and hope to see some of you soon!

A few things for you newcomers to the blog:

- I am an ex-Air Force linguist, UVA grad (Biology pre-med), dot.com survivor (barely), and currently (and most happily) a full-time jewelry designer stay-at-home mom to a six-year old sweetie.

- I'm an avid reader and post on GoodReads all the time.

- I vascilate between horrid insomnia and the complete inability to wake up in the mornings. I wish I could go to bed at 2am and get up at 11am.

- I married a man I met ten years before I knew he was The One -- we only spoke to each other a few times, lost track of each other for ten years, and then voila -- married now for eight years.

- I love to make things -- Crafty Girl, I am. I love that my son is a Crafty Boy.

I hope you'll hang around for a while!

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Cadbury Egg Time!

Oh, it's that time of year again... the time of year when I studiously steer my shopping cart well away from any aisle that remotely, possibly could harbor one of these....

It's Cadbury Creme Egg time!

I had never, ever had one of these until 1996, when I was in college. My friend Jen had given up candy for Lent and she missed these the most. We were driving around aimlessly one night, trying to forget we had Organic Chemistry due, and she had me stop at the 7-11 for a Cadbury egg and a Lottery ticket (another thing I'd never bought before).

I'd heard of these "eggs", but was dubious because the insides seemed, well, a bit ... icky.

I remembered the first commercials in the US for these things, and they made a great to-do about the gooey eggy "realism" and I just did not like eggs in any form at ALL, so this wasn't endearing itself to me. No rushing to the store in my pajamas at 3am for a chocolate fix. No, that wasn't me.

Now, though, that COULD be me. Seriously. The lucky thing? One egg will put me into a sugar coma. I just ate one five minutes ago, was prompted to write this, and am lucky I am still coherent. And my refusing to enter the candy aisles at Target, Walmart, or Giant does no good at all when you have a well-meaning, loving husband who only wants to make you happy with the goodness that is Chocolate.

Zack, however, won't have a thing to do with these eggs.

So, what is YOUR favorite Easter candy?


Spring Craft Shows

This has been a busy month! I said in an earlier post that I was going to be taking more time off this year, and I am -- the entire month of April and May, for instance, have no shows whatsoever. But I got double-booked this month, and as nearly all of my shows are booked six to nine months in advance, that's the way it rolled this go round.

Last weekend I was in Richmond, doing a show in an area I've never sold in before. This can be daunting, because there are no repeat customers to sell to -- I'm a totally new face to everyone. There was also a fair amount of jewelry at this show, and depending upon which door you went into, I was either the first booth you saw or the LAST booth you saw. Add to that sleet and snow (!) on Friday and rain all day Saturday and Sunday, it should have been a disaster -- but it wasn't. Spring shows are always iffy, because there's no holiday to buy for, really, and being new, I didn't expect much, and was prepared for that. But I was pleasantly surprised.

Next weekend, March 27-29, you'll find me at the Dulles Expo Center doing yet another craft show. And this year, the Sunday happens to be

My 40th Birthday

Oh yes! A most auspicious day! So to celebrate that day, my friend Allegra made me the most amazing Birthday Queen crown to wear. I'll tease you with just the back:

So show up and see it in person, or wait to see a blog post on it in April!

You'll also get to see a LOT of new work, including my own clasps:

And some whimsical, summery bracelets

And then once I'm home, I'll start putting all the new spring and summer jewelry on the web site. There is so much -- I've been enjoying myself!

Now, if I can just get my migraines to go away (two this month? Really? I needed that?) I'll be able to smile while wearing that birthday crown....


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back from the show

I'm back from the show, and promise to write a more interesting post soon -- but fighting another round of migraines. Anyone else get these and have a good remedy? Imitrex just doesn't seem to be cutting it. I may have to cave in and take another shot for it (blech).

More soon!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

High School gym can be a nightmare -- and then, there's this.

My husband emailed me a link to a story on ESPN today, and I sat confused for a second.

"Did you mean to send me this?" I hollered into the next room.

"Yes! You have to read it!" Slight pause. "It's short!"

(Because he knew I might just delete and say, "good story" -- kind of like when I hold up a piece of jewelry I just made and he says, without looking, "Very nice".)

You have to read it. Really. It will amaze you, warm your heart, and give you hope for teenagers. In a world where so many kids are bullying each other, carrying guns to school, and being rude to anyone over eighteen, this story makes you realize it isn't ALL like that.

And as a mom, that makes me very, very hopeful.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cleaning Closets

I wrote an article on Watch Me Create about what to do when a piece of jewelry just won't sell. It's about taking that brave step, tearing it apart, and developing a new vision. This bracelet is featured -- click here to read!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Another Blog Drive-by....

It's Day Two of my madly rushing around preparing for the show in Richmond. Today's task? Sticking labels on 400 boxes, and making sure each and every one had a business card and an organza bag in it for the jewelry, because I'm a firm believer that presentation is important. You buy a beautiful piece of jewelry from me? You're going to get a beautiful way to store it.

So not much time to write, but wanted to show you something:

Here's a pile of earrings (waiting for their ear wires). A couple of years ago, I introduced these colorful beauties, and it's time to bring them back! After I get done with these two shows for March, I'll put whatever is left on the web site.

Don't worry. I made lots!


Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Story of, um, Weddings

I am up to my eyes in preparations for this weekends show, so hop on over to Cake Failures to read this hilarious story. Warning -- it's technically not NSFW, (Not Suitable For Work) but some of it certainly should be.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Terri of Blooming Ideas and Annette of Under the Loupe both awarded my blog with the Kreativ Blogger award.

The rules of the award are to list seven things that I love, and to then pass this award on to seven bloggers that I love. Here are the things I love, but I'll have to tag the bloggers I love later -- I am suffering what I not-so-lovingly call a Migraine Hangover and just typing is proving to be a little too loud.

7 Things I Love

1. Books -- I can't live without them!

2. Beads -- I can't work without them!

3. The softness of spring air and the crispness of fall air. I detest the heat, and love having the windows of the house open, although it does usually mean that all the occupants of the house have to take allergy medicine against pollen thereafter.

4. My iPod. I said for two years that I didn't want one, and now I don't know what I did without it. Music has a visceral effect on me, taking me back to exact moments in my life -- the iPod makes it a private, all-encompassing memory.

5. Naps. I think I discovered this lovliness in college. A good book to make me drift off, rain on my white noise machine, and I'm set.

6. My family. I know everyone says "my family" on these things, but I truly lucked out. I have a doting husband and a hilarious child, and I never thought I'd have either.

7. True friends. You know who you are. You're loved, and appreciated.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Books and Beading

I was recently asked by Soft-Flex, a leading company of beading wire, to write about Books and Beading. You can read the article by clicking here.

To the left is a snippet of one of my many bookshelves, filled with an eclectic assortment of books. The top shelf has a lot of antique books and some old college literature texts, while the second shelf has some modern novels and classics. I also like to decorate my bookshelves with this and that, mementos, trinkets, and treasures. Here you see a huge chunk of Swarovski crystal given to me in celebration of my new office, one of my favorite photos of me and a best friend from my stay in Korea, and a collection of Zack's sand art.

Books are well-loved in this house, and even though I've cut my book budget dramatically, using the library more often, there's just something to be said for walking up to the counter of Barnes and Noble and plunking down a stack of books and knowing they'll be gracing my night stand for days to come. Some people collect stamps or art -- I collect books.

I just finished a fantastic historical fiction book by Sharon Kay Penman, an amazingly well-researched book about King Edward and King Henry III called "The Sunne in Splendour". If you like that sort of thing, you'll just love it. Royalty, intrigue, betrayals -- all covering a span of 35 years.

I finished it last night, so of course I ran out to the library first thing this morning to get another of her books.

Yes, I do have an obsession with books!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Progression of a March Snow

I love snow. I've always loved it -- not just because it got me out of school as a child, but because of its ability to blanket the world in peace. I remember years ago taking a nighttime walk while it was snowing, through a neighborhood of old, beautiful Victorian houses all lit up by street lights, and marveling that I couldn't hear the traffic from the nearby highway. I also loved that my footprints were the very first, and it's a memory that I hold fondly.

So I was thrilled that my hopes for snow this year were really, truly going to be more than a token dusting. Radar maps said that Easton, MD would be hit around 4:00pm, so Zack kept watch:

The skies had been white for a long time, and around 3:30pm, the first of the snow started. The flakes were fat, lush pom-poms of white, beautiful and magical and pretty serious about blanketing things over.

I decided to take photos of the progression of the snow storm. At 3:30, the pine tree by our door had just the barest of decorations:

Around 8:00pm, Zack and I opened the door to check the progress and take another picture. I quickly discovered that to take night time photographs, I needed my tripod -- that, or to turn into a statue for the eight seconds it took for the shutter to close.

In the morning, it was still barely snowing, but the wind had drifted snow like sand to sand dunes, and our little tree was completely covered:

Off in the distance, if you look behind the tree, is the sledding hill (of very modest proportions) and all the kids quickly realized this wasn't prime sledding snow, but lightweight, feathery snow that poofed up when you walked. That didn't stop Zack from dragging Rick out for the past two days. Zack is so light that on his plastic saucer he was able to zoom where the heavier kids on runner sleds got stuck.

Yes, I do love snow. However there is something I learned, this being my first snow with a child. One -- cabin fever is a nightmare. A six-year old stuck in a house for four days does not make for a tension-free household.

And as for buying lots of milk and bread before the snow started -- forget THAT. What we SHOULD have bought lots of was NYQUIL. I was hoarding that stuff like it was liquid gold.

Now where did my husband hide the tissues?


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sometimes I Feel Like a Superhero

Not often, but it happens. When I come up with a cool craft for Zack, for instance. He's two seconds to Boredom Meltdown and BIFF! ZOW! BAM! I come up with something that makes his eyes light up and I feel just awesome.

To that end, I found a really cool web site where you can build your own Superhero. Here's mine:

The wings are because I'm a GOOD Superhero. The whip is to lash out at Bad Days and Grumpiness. And I never go anywhere without my glasses.

If you want to create your own, visit www.cpbintegrated.com/theherofactory -- and have fun!