Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas in Pictures

I've been working on my New Year's post in my head for a while now, and it's just not ready.  I have so much to say but no energy for it at the moment.

This week has been amazing and crazy-making at the same time.  The worst part -- I spent almost the entire last week in bed.  My pain management doctor went on vacation without leaving anyone in charge to write refills for pain meds, and mine are too strong for just anyone to write.  While that sucked on a royal level of suckage, it also gave me some opportunities I may not have had otherwise.  I watched a ton of movies, read a lot of books (including reading "The Hobbit" to Zack and starting the Lord of the Rings trilogy), and crocheted a bunch of blankets and scarves.  Pain will not keep me from staying busy on some level!  And since pain kept me awake longer hours, I had more time in which to enjoy these things.  Looking on the bright side helped.

Today I got my prescription filled and I'm taking advantage of being up to be with my family, but I'm stopping here for a quick photo view of the past month.

Around the middle of the month, we drove to visit my Dad.  And what should my eye light upon first, as we walked in and gazed upon the tree?

Oh. No.

And there wasn't just one.  There were three of the creepy things.

Mr. Ray, as Zack calls his grandfather, got him the LEGO kit he had been wanting for ages.  Every time I think SURELY we have all the LEGO Star Wars kits that could possibly be made, out comes another one!

Pretty soon those LEGO instruction books are going to be as large and complicated as my Organic Chemistry textbooks.  They certainly cost as much!

After we got home, I opened packages to discover this ADORABLE present from Sherry Ellison of Creatology.  Remember my random blog post about losing my marbles?  Sherry is amazing with a needle and thread and made this cute fabric origami box and filled it with marbles (and included some extra ones in case I lose any more!)

One goal for this coming year?  Holding on to my marbles.  

Our Christmas was lovely.  I only wish it had snowed!  Santa brought Zack a keyboard with instructions to "share it with your Mommy".  I wish we had room for a real piano, but now I can teach Zack how to play and eventually find a place to take advanced lessons myself.  The highlight of the afternoon was being able to play the "Linus and Lucy" Charlie Brown theme.

(Did you notice the elf sitting where the sheet music goes?)

Rick and I give each other presents throughout the year since neither of us is very good at keeping secrets.  I have actually lost some of the smaller presents I bought for the guys as I hid them TOO well.  Their Christmas Eve tradition of opening an ornament was fouled up because the only ornament I could find was (thankfully) Zack's.  I have NO IDEA where I hid those other ornaments.  Or a few other small things.  

ANYWAY, because we give each other presents during the year, Christmas is not a huge deal between Rick and I for giving gifts to each other -- it's all about the boys.  But he never ceases to surprise and amaze me.  My favorite gift this year, I think, was a new addition to my vintage camera collection.  He gave me a miniature/spy camera and film to go with it.  It's only about 3" long and I ADORE it.

He also scored a deal on a bunch of vintage typewriter ribbon tins.  While I collect typewriters, I have four adult and three toy ones and there's just not much room for any more, but there's always room for a cool tin!  Remember me showing you this pink Panama ribbon tin some time ago?

Now I have an orange one!   I don't know why I love vintage tins of all different sorts, but I do, and this year I'm going to have to figure out how to build a case to display them properly.

And lastly, we got a family gift of Trivial Pursuit.  Whenever the older boys come home, playing games, particularly Trivial Pursuit, is high on the list of must-dos.  Between Ebay and finding them in stores, we now have every edition of the game.  We even bought the kid's version so Zack can play with us more easily. 

So here we are, on New Year's Eve, and I'm looking forward to tonight's game.  I'm hoping to be able to sum up my thoughts of the past year and hopes for the coming year soon, and I hope they come out cogently and with the right expression.  

Thank you all so VERY much for visiting, reading, commenting, and emailing me this year.  All of those things were an incredible gift.

Thank you.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Upcoming Jewelry and Beading Blog Hops

Just a quick reminder of two beading blog hops coming up soon.

First is the Memories and Thanks Blog Hop, which will take place on January 12th.  You can learn more about this blog hop by clicking here.

Technically, the deadline to sign up has passed, BUT, as this blog hop does not involve swapping beads, if you want to participate, you can email me by clicking here.

Next comes the Bead Soup Blog Party®, which is now only taking place ONCE A YEAR -- and sign ups are coming up fast!  You do NOT want to miss this one.  The last one had 400 beaders from all over the world, in all genres, in all skill levels, and the book about it (with tutorials and a gallery from past Bead Soupers) can be bought by clicking here.

To learn about this blog hop, click here.

To grab the button for your blog, click here.

You can also go back through the Bead Soup Blog Party's® page,  
and see what the past six blog hops have been like.  
You are guaranteed to meet a lot of jewelry designers 
and bead makers you've never met before, 
and you'll be inspired by all the creativity!

If you'd like to join the Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe, go to and click to join.  Due to Facebook rules, once the group got past a certain number of members, I couldn't change the group to a public group, so don't worry that it says private -- just a minor inconvenience that one day Facebook may get around the changing.  Here is the blog button for the group if you'd like to link it on your blog:

I have several other unique blog hops in store for the year, but these are the first two!  I hope to see you soon!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Spending the Holidays Alone -- a year later

(This post from last year has been getting a lot of hits and emails lately, so I thought I'd post it again, with a few edits.  I hope it helps someone.)

This post has received many clicks this time of year -- click here to read more.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and is destashing her beads at 

After a long battle with Lyme disease and four coinfections, she hopes to create another shopping blog site soon.She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Elf on the Shelf -- The Near Debacle

Oh dear Lord.

Many, MANY times during my tenure of motherhood, I've felt a day late and a dollar short.  I keep finding out about things that would have been cool when Zack was three -- but now he's nine.  And then I learn about traditions I just never knew about because we never did anything like that when I grew up.

I've been noticing this mildly creepy looking elf in the bookstore along with the book "The Elf on the Shelf", but I bypassed it because if *I* thought the little guy looked a little .... freaky ... then surely Zack would, too.

Last night, while reading "The Hobbit" to him (something I am at least on time with for once), Zack popped up out of bed and said, "Do we have any crackers?????  Oh, and a glass of water."

Well that was a little off-topic from Gandalf and My Precious but I'm used to that with Zack.

"What kind of crackers?" I asked, starting to get nervous, because, you know... this is Zack.

"If we put out water and crackers, in the morning, we get AN ELF!!!!" he exclaimed, clapping his hands.  I, on the other hand, widened my eyes in horror because it's 8pm and Mommy has no mad elf-making skillz. 

"Um, honey, I don't know that elves always come out that way,"  I said, still frantically trying to come up with something because when Zack gets an idea going, it doesn't stop.  No, it goes on and on until it's been completed and then some.

After a little conversation about elves (we had this similar conversation about freaking leprechauns in March, I swear), we went back to reading "The Hobbit" -- but I was still worried.

As I should have been.  Because today, when we came home from school, Zack asked if we could go get an elf.

"Don't you think it's kind of creepy?  I mean, we don't like clowns, it looks like a clown's kid, don't you think?"  I asked.  (Bad Mommy.  Think of the children.  The poor little clown children.)

But no.  I did some research on the internet and found out what the hoopla about "The Elf on the Shelf" is about and I've already missed half the danged month.  But next week, when we have a mommy/son play date to the book store, guess what we're buying?

A creepy little elf.  But it will make the boy happy.  

That elf just better not end up on my night stand in the middle of the night.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Everyone Has an Opinion

As you can probably tell, I've not been blogging much.  I sit down to blog, write a few things, then delete them.  I've recently lost the respect of some people I cared about because they don't like how I blog or what I blog about, and the net result is I'm afraid of my own words now. 

Art by Obsolete World

I've been doing a lot of reading and thinking and wondering.  Today I ran across this article that was perfectly timed, and I wanted to share it, as it hit me hard -- in a good way.

It's an awesome article for anyone who's making life changes and tells how to safeguard yourself against opinions that can damage.  I hope you'll take some time to read it -- it's not long and really, really good.

I've learned a lot of things this year, and I'm absorbing it all and hopefully will be able to make more positive changes in my thinking.  Therapy helps a LOT.  I've learned that a friend doesn't necessarily have to be physically in my neighborhood, but can be an online friend, or a distant friend I haven't seen in years.  And it's better to have no friends or family at all than to constantly be wondering why I'm not good enough for respect, empathy, or understanding.  I have my husband and son and they are indeed the best things that have ever happened to me.  There is such a thing as unconditional love.

Really, I wish I had been able to write that article -- it's so very perfect.  I am 100% responsible for how I feel about my life, so I'm 100% responsible for who I allow in it and what I allow to bother me. Friends, family, co-workers -- they can be toxic or hurt us with passive aggressive (or just plain aggressive!) words, but we don't have to take it.  It's up to any of us to decide whether a relationship is fixable or not.  Just don't wait so long to decide that you end up hurting your own feelings.

Light shining through clouds outside my home.

Next year is going to be a banner year.  I can feel it.  With all the changes I'm making now, the things I'm tentatively exploring and the things I'm rapidly embracing, there's no way it can't be.  My word for the year IS "metamorphosis", after all.  

I think I'm ready to break out of that chrysalis.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.