Monday, April 29, 2013

Summer beads

I was in the mood for summer when I made these beads:

They have a very "beachy" feel to me, and I love going to the beach.  I just wish it wasn't so far away (at least 7 hours).  Being born and raised in the mountains, the beach environment (the sand, the plants, the ocean) fascinates me.  Someday I hope to be able to visit it more than once a year at most! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Homestead

I'm back from my conference at The Homestead.  What a place!  I've been to some nice places before, but this one takes the cake.  It's an old resort--founded when a lodge was built on the site in 1766--and had all the charming old-fashioned details I love.  As promised, here are some pictures.

The front porch...

The lobby...

A set of windows in a hallway.  These lined the hall, and there was a sitting area with chaise lounges and comfy chairs that spanned the length of the hall...

The library...

An old letterbox outside the library...

My room...

And, the grounds outside my room...

How can you not be inspired by such a beautiful setting?


Friday, April 19, 2013

Stress and relaxation

I hate stress.  I know everyone suffers from it, but it seems like this week has been a doozy.  Luckily, I'm going to a conference Sunday through Wednesday at what appears to be a pretty swanky place.  I've never been there, but from what I've seen and heard it will be very enjoyable.  We even get afternoon tea!  I don't like tea, but that just sounds so prissy!  (It's the little things that excite me).  I'm looking forward to seeing colleagues that I only see at this type of thing, but I'm really looking forward to some downtime for a couple of nights.  I'll try to post some pics of the place--it's supposed to be very pretty. 

Yesterday evening I was so excited to get to sit down and make some new jewelry.  I pulled out a bunch of beads, sat down, and went completely blank.  Yep.  Maybe I was tired, maybe I was overwhelmed at the reasonably new goodies (new as in sitting in a bag for a few weeks or months) really took me a while to get going.  But, then I came up with this:

The pendant was created by a coworker, and I had sets of beads that complimented it perfectly.  I paired it with a yellow shirt today, and the blues and greens in the necklace look great against that color.

Now to enjoy a nice, wet day!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Back to business

Things are finally getting back to normal--somewhat--after my teaching stint last week and my mishap with a can lid Thursday evening.  The class I taught went well and I enjoyed it more than I expected!  Thursday evening I was rushing around, trying to fix dinner before taking Katie to gymnastics.  I opened a can of mandarin oranges, but the can opener didn't completely do the job, so I used a spoon to pry open the lid a little.  Then, I did the smartest thing I've done lately (insert sarcasm).  I pulled up the lid with my hand.  I'm not sure exactly what happened from there, but the lid sliced right into the base of my thumb where it meets the rest of my hand.  I honestly thought I might need stitches, but in the end decided to let it go.  It's still sore, but has finally closed up nicely, with the help of some Neosporin and band-aids.  

Last night I pulled out Travis' dremel and sanded down a few of the broken pieces of china.

I really like the funky shapes--especially the pieces that look like birdhouses.  I'm definitely going to make a pearl chain for one of the pieces, and i plan to do some beadweaving for another.  Still debating about the rest...  I'd like to try drilling a hole in some of them instead of gluing on a bail, but I'm not sure how that will turn out.  Guess there's only one way to find out!   

Monday, April 8, 2013

Broken china

A few weeks ago, my BFF asked me if I could make jewelry out of a broken china plate.  I told her I've never tried it, but I'd love to give it a shot.  Over the weekend, she sent me this plate:

I assumed when she said the plate was broken, she meant that it was really broken, instead of a little piece chipped out.  So, I had to take drastic measures and drag out the hammer...

I have to say, smashing a plate is a pretty good stress reliever!  Turns out, the plate is her aunt's wedding china.  I'm just glad I found that out after I had smashed it!

As a side note, I got some odd looks from my husband and youngest daughter when they saw me sitting in the floor, smashing a plate with a hammer.  Travis said he thought she had sent the plate to me to fix . I found this amusing, because I'm pretty sure Misty is capable of gluing a plate.  

Anyway, I think I wound up with some pretty good pieces, and hope to have some jewelry pieces finished sooner than later.  Key word--hope.  I'm teaching a class tomorrow and Wednesday, and Hannah has softball games every night this week.  This is one week I'll be glad to see end!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bead Trends

The May issue of Bead Trends is out, and I have a pair of earrings in it.  Be sure to check it out!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mini vacation

Since the kids are out of school this week, we decided to take a mini vacation to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.  We left Sunday afternoon, came back on Tuesday, and headed straight to the softball field for a double header.  Had another double header last night, and a game planned for this evening if the rain holds off.  I'm starting to wonder if you can die from sleepiness!  

I haven't had a chance to make any new jewelry, but I did get to visit a small bead store in Gatlinburg.  I only bought a few things, and haven't managed to photograph them yet, but I do have a few other pictures from the aquarium we visited while on our trip.

A cute little seahorse...

A sea dragon...I think these are so interesting.

A big jellyfish...I love to look at these as long as they're safely contained in a tank.

Katie's favorite--penguins...

And, finally, my girls with a penguin statue. Katie is on the right, and probably would have taken this little guy home if we could have moved him.

We also made a stop at Bass Pro Shop, where they have some nice tackle boxes that would be great for bead storage.  Wish now I had picked one up!