Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mad Hatter Tea Party revisited

I wanted to post one of my favorite Mad Hatter Tea Party posts (other than Vanessa's, of course) -- the delightful Minor Details. Now there were a LOT of bloggers who spent a lot a lot a LOT of time on their Tea Party posts, and it made me very humbled (and quite embarrassed!) by my meager offering, but maybe next year, right?

Here are some photos of her party, which will give you an idea of what I REALLY am like inside, and I hope you'll visit her blog and make a comment.

(I really, really want a tutu).

(Need I say more?)
(Please do my makeup. And yes, girls, that IS the most divine ring EVER.)

(AAAAND -- she made that table).

Monday, June 29, 2009

52 Bracelets

I was excited to get the email announcing the pre-order opportunity for BeadStyle's "52 Bracelets". I'm extra-excited because I have a bracelet in it!

If you click here, you'll see some of the pages that are in the magazine, and mine is on the "Wood Beads and Gemstones" page. As soon as the magazine is published and I get the bracelet back from the publishers, I'll have it up for sale on my web site.

There will be more tutorials coming up this year, but I'll keep those under wraps for now!

On another note, you'll see on the right hand column that I've started to Wreck This Journal. I am a VERY Type A person who also has a healthy dose of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and while that worked quite well for me when I worked in Organic Chemistry lab or while studying for MCATs, it's another thing altogether when you're an artist trying to branch out. I'd seen several bloggers using this book as an exercise, and thought I'd try it.


Today's random page was this:

OCD people also tend to be a little bit germ-o-phobic, but I promised I'd do what the book told me, so I bit a hole in the page, chewed once, and promptly spat it out.

I have no idea what that did for my creativity today, but we'll see.

Lori Anderson creates pretty things and designs jewelry at www.lorianderson.net. She hopes she doesn't have to eat any more books.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

And Now, the Winner of the Gift Certificate!

There were over 100 visitors to my little part of Vanessa's 2nd Annual Mad Hatter Tea Party. I am so overwhelmed! Thank you one and all for stopping by and making comments! The comments on the blog are what make it so worthwhile, and make me feel like I'm not talking to myself!

I don't like using the random number generators that you can find online, but chose a more whimsical approach. Last time I did a giveaway, I shouted across the room to my husband for a number. This time, I employed my dear little boy.

And Number 19 happens to be Katydiddy!

Katy receives a $20 gift certificate to my web site, www.lorianderson.net, and it never expires. I'll be adding LOTS of new things during the month of July, so feel free to hang onto it, and I'll give you a reminder now and again to let you know you have money to spend!

Thank you everyone for coming to my party! I hope to see you next year!

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's the Mad Tea Party!

Today's the day! It's the official launch of A Fanciful Twist's 2nd Annual Mad Tea Party. The idea is to visit her blog, enjoy her sublime stories and photos, and then visit the participating partiers listed on the right side of her blog. Each blogger will have a different party theme going on -- I can't wait to go look (and please make comments!) Check my previous post for more detailed info.

First, a little-known factoid -- do you know why Mad Hatters are CALLED Mad Hatters? Well, long ago, mercury was used in the process of curing felt used in hats, and it was impossible for hatters to avoid inhaling the fumes. Hatters often suffered mercury poisoning, which caused the hatters to appear disturbed or mentally confused.

Speaking of um, disturbing, how about the new Alice in Wonderland movie? Johnny Depp -- oh, my lovely Johnny Depp. What have they done to you as the Mad Hatter?

Le sigh. I miss the pirate. But you have to admire Johnny's moxie.

So, what does one WEAR to have tea with the Mad Hatter? I mean, LOOK at him! He demands only the best! And as I make jewelry, won't you come poke through my jewelry box and pick something out to adorn yourself for the party of the year?

Perhaps you want something flowery, but not too much so....

Perhaps you want something more colorful, glittering, and elegant:

Or, just glittering and elegant:

Then, of course, you just might want to match the Mad Hatter's attire:

Whichever you choose, you'll be sure to have a wonderful time. I've heard the food is divine, the company the most interesting of all, and the presents -- oh, they're just fabulous. Why, I myself am giving away a present!

YES! I'm giving away a present!

Visit my blog and make a comment (and I'd be so honored if you became one of my followers, but that's not required) and you could win a very special gift certificate to be used at www.lorianderson.net so you can choose your very own baubles. Be sure to leave a way for me to track you down, either by your own blog, or by leaving your email.

Happy Partying!

Photo Credit Disney publicity shots of Tim Burton’s upcoming movie "Alice in Wonderland" with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. All jewelry are things I've made.

Don't Forget the Mad Hatter Tea Party Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the official launch of A Fanciful Twist's 2nd Annual Mad Tea Party. Click here to see what Vanessa did last year....

Here's what you do -- tomorrow, visit my blog to see what all good partiers are wearing this year. Then click the photo above (I'll post it again tomorrow just for good measure) to see what Vanessa prepared for us. And then, visit the blogs that are listed on the right side of Vanessa's blog (A Fanciful Twist).

You'll get to see some amazing art, visit fun blogs, and meet new people!

And there will probably be cake involved.

When Lori isn't dreaming of cake, she's making beautiful jewelry. Visit her web site at www.lorianderson.net, or come back tomorrow to see some really awesome creations!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

(OK, I'm cheating on the "wordless", but since this is my first one -- you can click on the photo to see it larger. Carry on.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kids at Craft Shows

In my previous post, I told you about how I couldn't do my craft shows without my husband's help. Now it's time to talk about how we manage setting up my booth with an inquisitive, short-attention-span child in tow.

I've been exhibiting at craft shows for about four years, which means it all started when Zack was two. At first, it was rough -- I'd have to walk Zack around in the stroller to keep him occupied, or I'd have to hire a sitter (which I think I only did once, because I couldn't bear to be away from him).

As he got older, though, things got easier, because he had distractions that didn't involve constant parental attention. For instance, he discovered the joys of a portable DVD player or my iPod, and snacks are ALWAYS a welcome diversion...

Indoor shows are a lot easier for managing children, I think, because I don't have to worry about Zack getting run over by a car. Outdoor shows, on the other hand, require a different method. The battery on the iPod only lasts so long, so we pack up a tote full of puzzle books, markers, and such, and park him in a spot with a stern command to NOT MOVE from that spot.

Let's take a closer look....

Zack "borrowed" the plastic box from my booth and plunked himself and his favorite stuffed rabbit in it. He then contented himself with books, stickers, and markers, as well as quacking at the ducks that ambled by.

Fortunately, once the tent is set up, the guys go off and have fun doing whatever it is that guys do for fun. They come back when it's time to help me shut down, and we go enjoy dinner and the evening together. I love having them around, much preferring it to sleeping alone in a boring hotel room.

I'm lucky to have my two Best Guys. They're both so supportive of what I do for a living, and I love them dearly for it and for a gazillion other things.

Smoochies, sweeties.

Lori Anderson travels the east coast exhibiting at craft shows with husband and child in tow. You can see and purchase her work at www.lorianderson.net.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day is Every Day

It seems that we're always on the road for "event" days -- my birthday is during a craft show. Mother's Day tends to fall during a show. And Father's Day does, too. Today was a particularly rough show because we had to leave early due to 20-30mph winds and rain, which made the tent and everything in it a hazard. I mean, I have insurance, but I didn't particularly feel like sending some poor customer to the hospital when the table flipped over, the tent legs buckled, and things started flying.

I felt horrible for Rick, spending the day this way, but he's such a trooper. Without him, I'd never be able to do a single craft show. He's the muscle, the organizer, the van-packer, the one who does the hard work. He never complains, always encourages, and is, in a word, fantastic.

All of this is multiplied and transferred to his sons. He brought up two boys single-handedly (they're now both getting PhDs -- one in Physics, the other in Microbiology) and now he's bringing up a six year old with more calm and wisdom than I have ever had.

Here are some favorite Daddy/Zack pictures, two from 2005 and one from this year. There are countless others, but there's not enough bandwidth in the world to show them all or express all the love I feel for the father of my best boy.

He's read countless stories...

and walked by his side, both figuratively and literally (through hurricane-ravaged Florida, in this case)....

And indulged Zack in his love of monster trucks.

Thank you, Rick, for being the best.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Joys of Kindergarten

Zack's last day of Kindergarten was Friday. He had a great year with a super teacher, and I volunteered at the school as much as I could. I went on field trips, made a million copies, cut out tons of die-cuts, and (the most fun) bought tons of school supplies for the kids. For a crafty person like me, buying glitter glue, foamies, construction paper, and paint was a treat. And I loved going to the classroom to help out, getting tackle-hugged by the kids, and never being able to walk down the hall without some child knowing me. While Zack truly enjoyed his Kindergarten experience, I know that I got just as much out of my Kindergarten experience.

One day, Miss M, Zack's teacher, asked me if I could come in one afternoon because they wanted to do something special for me. I never in a million years could have imagined how special it was.

I walked in, and got tackle-hugged and tickled. Abject joy on the kid's faces, big huge silly smile on mine. I got to sit in the Seat of Honor (rather than a tiny kidlet chair) because, they said, I was the Queen. And then they sang a song for me, which brought tears to my eyes... I wish like anything I had a recording of it.

And then the presents. Oh my!

First, a butterfly bush in my favorite color...

Then, an awesome tote bag with all the kids creating butterflies out of their fingerprints and the words, "Thanks for always fluttering in to help".....

And a pitcher with thumbprint lady bugs.....

But my favorite gift by far was the Thankful Book.

Each child drew a picture and told Miss M what to write. She said they came up with them all on their own, and did I notice how almost all the kids put me in fun jewelry?

That book is amazing. From "thanks for making copies" to "thanks for buying Smelly Markers" to "thanks for helping me with art projects" -- they were all so wonderful and amazing.

Then came a veritable feast of ice cream and special butterfly cookies and M&Ms all around. I couldn't believe it. It was one of the best days ever.

Then, on the last day of school, I brought in a big bag of prezzies for Miss M and the kids had fun with that, too. The picture below is about Star Words. Miss M had certain words that the kids had to learn by the end of the year, and she put them all on slips of paper and put them in clear venti Starbucks cups and called them Star Words. So Zack made up slips of paper with words that described how he felt about Miss M.

Her hair's not really pink -- she's sitting under a pink beach umbrella -- which is one of the reasons I made her gifts beach-themed. A huge beach bag, beach towel, and a bunch of other stuff. The kids had as good a time watching her open things as she did, I think!

So now we're on to summer activities (we're headed to the National Aquarium with a friend tomorrow). Kindergarten was a load of fun. I think I'm going to miss it more than Zack! But onward and upward, and I'll bring the fun with me.

Lori Anderson makes jewelry when she's not volunteering. Her web site is www.lorianderson.net

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Knowing When To Say Goodbye

I have a new post on Watch Me Create about knowing when a piece of jewelry just isn't going to get worn, and what to do about it.

I regularly look through my personal stash of jewelry and if something hasn't been worn in a long time, I usually will take it apart and create something new. There are a few pieces that will stick around for sentimental reasons, but I'm pretty ruthless about not letting beautiful things languish in a closet.

If you'd like to read my article, please click here.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for a living. Her web site is www.lorianderson.net. Go ahead, click. You know you want to!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Zack has one day left of Kindergarten

Today was Zack's Kindergarten party and "award" ceremony. It was chaos, and about exactly as you'd expect. But all that chaos was ok, because this is the last Kindergarten class I'll ever get to experience, and I want to cherish it all.

Kindergarten -- all the crayons and glue and glitter, all the backwards-written "fives" and the joy over counting by tens, and the confusion of both mom and son when we try to decipher what he was writing phonetically....

With one child, things are always firsts at the same time as being lasts. For a long while, that really got to me, but then I realized how MUCH there is to enjoy and experience, and I started doing my best to concentrate on THAT, and not on the bittersweetness of things passing.

I'll have more to write about Zack's last day of Kindergarten later, but for now, I'll leave you with this -- hug your kidlets, big or small, and enjoy every single day.
When Lori isn't playing in Kindergarten class, she makes jewelry. Her web site is www.lorianderson.net

Monday, June 08, 2009

Dancing On Rooftops

My friend Vanessa of A Fanciful Twist (the most amazing blog ever) recently posted this music video, and it made me happy. I've been on the lookout for things that cheer me up and make me smile and brighten my day, and this certainly qualifies as soul-cheerer. It reminds me of being young, living my life to the absolute fullest, and having no regrets about a thing.


(If the video won't play here, click here to go directly to YouTube)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Eye Candy Day

I'm back from doing a show, have a ton of catching up to do, and REALLY want to clear my desk this week as this coming week is Zack's last bit of Kindergarten, and there are a ton of activities that I'll be attending. So with no further ado, I leave you with some eye candy that will soon be on www.lorianderson.net -- but as always, if you see something and can't wait, send me an email!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Invasion of the Frogs (and one lizard)

My web site had a sudden flood of frogs (and one lizard). This little guy immediately hopped off to someone's home:
And then these showed up on my What's New page -- they need homes, because my cats are FAR too interested in these guys for me to keep them all!
There are two frogs on this one, one on each side of the pendant....
But I think my favorite is the lizard....

I hope you'll hop on over (ha, sorry, couldn't resist!) and take a look at all the new things that made it to the web site over the weekend! And if you're near St. Michaels, MD this Saturday, I hope to see you at the Strawberry Festival!

Until they're gone, these pendants can be seen by clicking here.

Lori Anderson creates and writes from her studio in Easton, MD. As much as she loves glass frogs, she's not as fond of the real thing!