Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I just wanted to say that I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas! I know this is a little later than I had planned to post, but my computer has been suffering some kind of psychotic breakdown and I haven't been able to get online very much for over a week. *sigh* But now that I'm able to post today, I thought I'd share a few pics…

I tried to take a nice photo of the girls and dogs together, but the boys just didn't want to cooperate—Indy got too excited at the sight of the treats we had for them and kept running up to the camera, and Romeo had a panic attack when we tried to put on some reindeer antlers. I discovered that Ashley had put them on him a few days earlier and turned on their lights and music, which must have scared the poor little guy to the point where he didn't even want to come into the same room with them. Everyone was running around the room, chasing both dogs, and it just never worked out that they got a good pose all at the same time. It was hilarious though—imagine watching a "Four Stooges" scene and you might get the general idea of how it looked?! At the very end, when both dogs were at their most uncooperative, Katie threw up her hands and declared "I can't work like this!" in her best Model Diva voice that had us totally cracking up. My sides were still hurting 15 minutes later after I decided to call it quits on the photo session! LOL

The girls and I also made dozens of fabulously decorated cookies, and they worked on gingerbread houses (eating more candy than what ended up for decoration!), which is one of our favorite Christmas traditions. On Christmas Day, Kraig's mom and brother Kris came over for Christmas dinner and we all had a wonderful time visiting. Kraig's dad Ray wasn't feeling well enough to come too, but we're planning on going down to their house this weekend to bestow a little post-Christmas cheer to him then. ;-D

I hope you all were blessed with a magical Christmas as well and wishing you a very
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Yesterday was my and Kraig's 23rd wedding anniversary—whoohooo! I can't believe I've put up with this crazy guy for so long?! Just kidding!! LOL We decided not to exchange gifts this year, but he gave me some beautiful roses and some of my favorite chocolates, then took me out for dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant. *sigh* I guess I could let him stick around a little while longer? ;-D

edited to add:
Shirley made a comment asking why Kraig didn't make me something for our anniversary, and even though I know she was teasing, it made me remember something that I thought I'd add to this post. *Ü*

First of all, Kraig is probaby the least creative member of our family (and I say that with the utmost love and affection!). But a long time ago, he managed to surprise me with a homemade gift that he's never been able to top in my eyes…

It was for our very first anniversary, when we were so poor that we lived on macaroni and cheese and were lucky to have $25 in our checking account at the end of the month. We agreed then that we weren't going to spend anything on each other, but on our special day he presented me with a decorative cookie tin (I was into collecting them at the time). He told me to look inside and there I discovered little slips of paper, each one with a different sentence he had handwritten himself, describing something he loved about me. Then he told me there were a total of 365 notes and that I was to pull out and read one a day for the rest of the year. (Okay—this made me start crying again, just thinking about it!)

I still have that tin and all the notes and cherish them more than anything else he's ever given me since then, no matter how fancy or expensive now that we can finally afford them. And you know what the best thing is? He still likes to tell me things he loves about me all the time—even after all these years.

Yeah, I'm a very lucky girl and I totally know it!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Search for the Perfect Winter Coat

Last year, Ashley needed a good winter coat, but at the very first store we looked at, she immediately latched on to a pastel blue and pink one, declared that it was "The One" and was done shopping after that. I must have spent at least 15 minutes trying to get her to look at other options, but she had made her choice and wasn't budging. The thing is, Ashley has never been a light blue or pink kind of girl—in fact, that same year she wore so much black, I lived in constant fear that she was turning into what she calls an "Emo," which is uncomfortably close to "Goth." EEK! I think she ended up wearing that coat a total of eight times before she decided that light blue and pink weren't her style after all and she refused to ever wear it again, even at the risk of dying of hypothermia while waiting at the bus stop for school. *sigh*

So this week, I'm bound and determined to get her a winter coat that I know suits her and will last at least a few years. It's been bitterly cold here right now, so I'm anxious to find something soon. Last night we looked in a few stores, but couldn't find anything, so today I braved the mall by myself to see what I could bring home for her to chose from, armed with this criteria:

1) Colors: Purple, white, or black
2) Wooly Fur (okay) vs. Hairy Fur (definitely not okay)
3) No super slippery fabric on the inside (causes unwelcome static shocks)
4) No itchy fabrics
5) Needs to be very fashionable (translation: being "cool" looking is a much higher priority than keeping you warm)

I figured it would take me about two hours to look, then I would treat myself to a nice lunch and head back home. So I dressed in a cute outfit, including my favorite pair of dress shoes (aka not my most comfortable ones), and headed out on my quest. Well, eight shopping bags, five blisters, no lunch, and four hours later—I limped back to my car. LOL I had to beg one of the stores to let me use one of their shopping carts to use through the rest of the mall when I was about halfway done because the bags were getting so bulky and heavy. My luck—I managed to pick a cart that had some sort of problem with one of the wheels so that it clattered and lurched the entire time. I should have exchanged it for another one, but by the time I realized what was going on and that it wasn't just the bumpy floors, I was too tired to go back. So I bravely continued on my way, complete with sound effects to alert every store of my impending visit. *lovely*

I started to wax nostalgic for the days when I had a nice big stroller to hold all my shopping bags, complete with a neat little cup holder so I could leisurely sip Diet Coke while I strolled down the aisles. Then I remembered those days also included having to change diapers in the mall bathroom and I decided maybe the cart wasn't so bad after all…

I did manage to find some cute coat possibilities for Ashley, so I'm hoping she sees one she loves. I also squeezed in a refreshing shopping frenzy break when I discovered that the rock and mineral store I like was having a great sale too. ;-D I bought a ton of gorgeous natural stones like laboradorite, smoky quartz, moss agate, tiger's eye, and snowflake obsidian, as well as freshwater pearls and coral—I can't wait to use them in my jewelry designs. Here's a photo of everything—there was so much I had to divide them into two photos. So please feel free to drool as much as you want! Baahaahaaahhaa!


It almost made up for all the blisters and shopping cart embarrassment. Almost…until I realized that I still need to schlep all the coats she didn't choose back to the mall again! *groan*

Saturday, December 5, 2009

BeadStar Give-Away Winner!

Just got back from my BazArt show (which went pretty well!) and the first thing I did was have one of my daughters draw one of your names randomly for the Bead Star magazine prize. And....

Drum roll, please..........

The winner is KLH Designs! Congratulations! Please email me and send me your address info and I'll get it out in Monday's mail!

Thanks so much to everyone for all their wonderful comments and for having fun with my little give-away contest. I'll probably try and do some more in the future—maybe with cool art supplies or other types of goodies? You'll just have to stay tuned to fine out! ;-D

Friday, December 4, 2009

BazArt Show

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'll be selling my designs at the Maple Valley Creative Arts Council holiday show called BazArt tomorrow! It's a special event featuring about a dozen local artisans who specialize in various mediums who will have items for sale. This will be my last show of the year and after that, I'll be listing a ton of items in my Etsy shop, just in time for all you last minute Christmas shoppers! *Ü* I'm hoping to add several new items each day, so please check back often to see if there's anything that might strike your fancy. Here's some eye candy of just some of the great designs I'll have available for sale…


So if you're in the Maple Valley area this Saturday, between the hours of 10 am to 5 pm, I hope you'll stop by the BazArt show and check it out!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

You Can Be a Winner Too!

Yesterday I was thrilled to find copies of the 2009 Bead Star contest winners in my mailbox. You may remember my mentioning several months ago that I entered a jewelry design contest here, but I've had to keep mum on the results until the issue hit the stands. So now I can shout it out and do the Happy Dance because I won an Honorable Mention!! (hmmm… maybe I should qualify myself as having more of a supporting role than actually being one of the stars?! ;-D)

I'm pretty proud of myself even so, since I was told that there were at least 2,000 entries and only 45 designs made the cut. I'm also happy to see that I'm in very good company on page 22, where my "Ode to Chihuly" glass necklace is featured on the same page as one of my favorite lampworking artists, Kerry Bogert, who also won an Honorable Mention in the Glass category. A big "Congrats!" to all the other winners too! I love how there are instructions on how to re-create every winning design and there is such a great variety of styles featured.

As a special "thank you!" to everyone who voted for me and gave me their support, I would like to offer up one of my copies as a prize for my very own contest! To enter, please leave a comment here any time between now and this Friday, December 4. Even if you didn't vote at all (or—ahem!—voted for someone else? LOL), I'd love to hear from ya! I will put everyone's name into a hat and draw a random winner on Saturday (and you may even get one of my beads too!).
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