Thursday, August 27, 2009

School Testing

Zack started First Grade on Tuesday. I'm in the other room and I just overheard this conversation between Zack and his daddy:

Zack: OH! I had a test today!

Rick: Oh yeah? A test?

Zack: Yeah! And Mr. Kraeer gave me an A+ because I got everything right.

Me (calling from the other room): What was it on?

Zack (yelling back in exasperation): A piece of paper, MOM!

Clearly, I need to go back to First Grade.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Color Inspiration for Jewelry Artists

There's a new blog post I wrote on Watch Me Create about ideas for color inspiration. It's great for anyone who loves color, whether you design jewelry, paint, collage, or are into interior design!

Click here to read the article.

(Image via

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Book Review - "Paris Out of Hand -- A Wayward Guide"

Paris Out of Hand: A Wayward Guide Paris Out of Hand: A Wayward Guide by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book many years ago because I was on a Nick Bantock kick and he helped illustrate this book.

The book is hilarious, with a dry-wit, tongue-in-cheek, irreverant at times sense of humor. It resembles a travel guide to Paris, but it's definitely not going to get you around the Paris anyone knows.

The book is broken down into sections, covering hotels, restaurants, nightlife, and the like. Hotels starts out with a key, and here is your first clue that the book is going to be a hoot. For instance, there is a symbol for:

*Bidet in the middle of the room
*Fezzes not required in public areas
*Angora busboys
*Beds turned down, chocolates left on pillow
*Beds turned down, fish left on pillow

And so it goes for two pages.

One of the hotels has no elevator because one of the ROOMS is IN the elevator. One restaurant only serves food that begins with the letter "P", and one restaurant only serves after 100 women are present, and if at any time that number decreases, the waiters stop in mid-step until another walks through the door. This means that women walking by the restaurant (or men in drag) run the risk of being kidnapped and fed a nice meal.

The drawings in the book are also a delight, and the only reason I gave the book four stars is because it got a little bogged down towards the end. But it's definitely a departure from the norm, and therefore absolutely worth finding a copy and reading it.

When Lori isn't reading, she's creating jewelry, which can be seen at her web site, Lori Anderson Designs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

BeadStyle Magazine's "52 Bracelets"

I have a bracelet in BeadStyle's latest special edition, "52 Bracelets". It's a great publication with lots of ideas for bracelets, and it even includes earring ideas for each bracelet.

Now that the magazine is out, I've put the bracelet I contributed on the web site up for sale. I wanted to make something that had lots of texture, and used a combination of turquoise, cherry quartz (which is really a type of glass), and wood to create a unique, fashionable bracelet.

If you like it and want it, click here and you can make it you own. If you click and nothing is there -- someone beat you to it!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and sells it at craft shows and on her web site, Lori Anderson Designs. She's also an avid reader and enjoys a good nap.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nick Bantock -- "Griffin & Sabine"

I've read the wonderful series of books that starts with "Griffin & Sabine", a masterpiece of art, suspense, and beauty written and illustrated by Nick Bantock. I wanted to share some of his art here, and encourage you to visit his web site,, in the hopes that you'll explore some of his books.

One of the many things that I loved about the Griffin & Sabine books was that they were written in a series of postcards and letters. For the letters, you opened these lovely envelopes and slipped decorated paper out of them and opened them up to read. It had a slightly decadent feel, like you weren't supposed to be reading someone else's mail, but you had to in order to understand the story.

Highly recommended.... a feast for the eyes and a challenge for the mind.

All photos are from

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Growing Pains

The other day Zack came into my room crying.

I hadn't heard any crashes, slamming doors, yelling of the other Parental Unit, or anything that would have led me to expect this.

I asked Zack what was wrong and he said, "I'm not telling you," which is code for "I don't know how to tell you because I think you'll laugh at me." Poor little guy, he hasn't gotten it yet that Mommys really DO listen, even if kids on the playground don't.

So I hauled him up on my lap and let him sniffle a little longer and asked again what was wrong.

He finally came out with it.

He's afraid of growing up.

I knew exactly where this was coming from. Earlier in the day, we'd been going through his DVDs and books and he was telling me if something was too "babyish" for him anymore, and I put it in a pile to donate. That, and he starts first grade in about two weeks.

So I told him it was ok to be sad saying goodbye to things, but that if there were special things he wanted to hold onto, he should tell me so we could save them. I reminded him that one of my favorite books EVER is "A Little Princess" and I still read it now and again. I told him that one day I was going to convert one of the bedrooms into The Dollhouse Room and play dolls whenever I wanted to.

And then I talked about all the many neat things he was going to get into now, things he wouldn't have liked last year. For instance, didn't he like Phineas and Ferb now? (And I really must say, I love it too). And wasn't it cool that he could swim even better this year than last?

When I mentioned the new friends he'd make, he got the sniffles again, saying he'd never see his old friends EVER AGAIN, and I explained to him how school was time to meet a lot of new people, and that as you get older, you start learning how to change classes, so one day, you'll take math in one room, and there will be that friend, and then you'll take English in THIS room, and there will be THAT friend, and he thought that was very interesting.

After a while he got up and headed off to play Wii -- something else he didn't do last year. The irony didn't escape me.

I wonder if he knows that moms get growing pains, too, watching their little ones grow up?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Diana Gabaldon, Outlander, and An Echo in the Bone

I LOVE the Outlander series. LOVE. Love as in it's my favorite series of all time, followed by a tie between books by Sharon Kay Penman (The Welsh trilogy, The Henry the II trilogy, and Sunne in Splendor), and of course, Harry Potter. I didn't even have to put a link on Harry Potter because EVERYONE has heard of Harry Potter.

I found out about Outlander when I was picking up Zack at summer day camp one year and they had a sign that said "Free Books" (Hmm? My eyes and ears pricked up and my feet just naturally detoured into the room.) I picked up a few and then ran across this one:

I immediately was intrigued because it was nice and thick -- my kind of book. And the crown on the front surely meant historical fiction -- also my kind of book. So I flipped it over and started reading about it. And I almost left it on the table.

See, it involved time travel, and I'm not so down with that. But I kept coming back around the table to that book, and at the last minute, I snatched it and carried it home. And life has never been quite the same.

To make it quick, she's a war nurse with her husband in Scotland in 1945. She touches a cairn stone and whoomp, is somehow transported 200 years back, and has no idea how, why, or how to get back. So she has to set about getting used to it. There are wars, narrow escapes, love, hate, intrigues, conspiracies -- terrific book.

Taken from Diana's site, and about Outlander:

And the series goes on for six books, and I was fortunate enough to come across them when all six were published. As large as these books are, and as incredibly as they're researched, it takes Diana Gabaldon about two years between books. I thought the sixth book was the last one.

But wait!

There's another one due in September! And rumor of another!

Needless to say, I pre-ordered that baby as soon as it was available.

If you love historical fiction -- if you love a good love story without drivel -- if you love action -- if you like a really thick book (and a stack of them!) to read -- try this series out. Then let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

My Experiment With Seed Beading

I have a new post up at Watch Me Create, a collective blog of various artists who write about the ups and downs of the creative process -- the good, the bad, and the mistakes!

My latest article can be accessed by clicking here. I talk about learning what I'm good at, what I've ignored, and what I may be good at but will never try again -- in this case, seed beading. This will segue nicely into a subject I plan to bring up in the coming months, about learning new skills, but that can wait for another day.

I hope you'll take a look at the article, make a comment there or here, and if you love that bracelet and have a 7.5" wrist and want to make an offer, well, shoot me an email.

Lori Anderson designs her jewelry in her studio in Easton, MD. Her favorite materials are silver and handmade lampwork glass beads. You can view her work at Lori Anderson Designs.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I Made a Mix Tape For You

I made a mix tape for you. Well, not really, but in words, I did. I can't come up with a really good topic, so I made a mix tape of random things. (But didn't you just love mix tapes, the real thing? There were all kinds.....boyfriend-please-come-back tapes, boyfriend-dissing tapes, drive-for-hours-aimlessly tapes, dance-in-your-room tapes... and now mix tapes have all been relegated to the iPod.)

So here's your mix tape.

1) I said in an earlier post that I had made all the Halloween jewelry that I was going to make. Here's a teaser with a little witch's hat for you. And I'll be posting it all very soon. Don't worry, I'll give you a head's up before the fact.

2) Everyone keeps asking when I'll be a) showing more pictures of my lampwork studio and b) getting started melting glass. I don't want to do a) until all the decorating is done, and it's SO close to done. I just need a tree. Yep, you read that right.

As for b), my husband is taking my torch up to the farm to have his dad drill a hole in the base so it can be bolted to the work station.

3) I miss the drive-through Starbucks more than you could ever, ever imagine. It's cruelty itself to drive by that empty sign.

4) I started "The 19th Wife" last night and probably would have stayed up all night reading if it had been the weekend. Fantastic book. It's historical fiction that weaves two stories about a splinter group of the Mormons that condone and practice polygamy. One story takes place during Brigham Young's lifetime, and one takes place in present day. It's fascinating, and the way the book is put together is clever and keeps you interested.

5) And finally, for some reason I can't think of mix tapes without remembering that sentimental movie from my late teenage years, "Say Anything" -- probably because of the Peter Gabriel song "In Your Eyes", which ends up on one heck of a lot of mix tapes. The entire soundtrack is pretty awesome, and I wore my cassette out. And the best line in the movie, and the reason for most mix tapes?

"She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen."

Monday, August 03, 2009

Earrings in BeadStyle Magazine, Sept 09

You can see all the magazines where I've been featured for one reason or other on the right side of this blog page, but I wanted to mention this one in particular.

I have a new tutorial out in BeadStyle magazine, the September 2009 issue, which should actually be on news stands now or in the very near future. The actual tutorial example is NOT mine, and was created by the BeadStyle team, but all the other design examples are mine.

This is one of the lovely things about sending in a tutorial to BeadStyle -- they do the photography and the writing. But I'm a bit anal about things like wire wraps and design and stuff like that. Anyway, these earrings are easy as pie to make, use Tierracast components (which can be purchased wholesale at or many retail online bead stores) and are open to ALL kinds of interpretations.

They're great for fall, but a lot of people wear beige and khaki for summer, and tans look great with those colors, so these earrings would be just perfect with that sort of wardrobe!

The rings are large, about 1.25" in diameter, and I have them in silver-tone as well. I'll get these on the web site asap, but they can be custom-designed just for you, too!

Grab the magazine, and enjoy!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry in her Easton, MD studio and mentors a number of beginning beaders. You can see her work at