Friday, December 14, 2007

When we start to think the worst

It's cold here. I mean, it's really cold. The longest night of the year is almost here. People are rushed and tired. Christmas is so close now. I just realized it's 9, count them, 9 days away. I decided that tonight I would blog. I decided that I would make a comment about another blog. I tried to log in. The message said, "user name and password don't match." I tried again. I tried again. I tried again. I thought, "Someone has hacked into my blog!" It didn't make any sense, but it was the only explanation. I tried to change my password. My worst fear was becoming a reality. An email had been sent to my gmail account. I don't have a gmail account. Why would anyone want to hack into my blog? Nothing had changed. Nothing had been edited. My password was considered strong. I began to think the worst. I knew I had to check on accounts to see if any had been hacked into. I tried the help center. No help. I tried to see if there was contact information. None. Why would anyone want to hack into my account? I decided to try one last time. The information asked me for my email address. My email address? Was that what I was supposed to log in with to my blog? Oooooooooooooooooooooops! I guess that I wasn't signing in correctly. I'm sure glad that no one can see my face. It's really quite red right now. I did log in with my email address. It worked.
Oh, well, goodbye and good night. I'll be back to blog another day.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Time for more bead pictures!

Christmas is, officially, 15 days away. Wow! The Christmas cards are arriving daily now. I've quit being such a grinch about Christmas. But my love for beads still surfaces, even though, this year, I didn't make Christmas beads. Here are a few photos of some of my beads.
This set of beads is a small nugget set made of light silver plum. When I first used light silver plum, I had no idea of what could happen with the color if you learned how to treat it the way it likes to be treated. The color is dark, and, depending on how you use it, you rarely see the plum color. I have seen the actual plum color pop out in twisties, but the fascinating colors don't pop out until you whisk it through the flame, low and easy, for about five minutes. You can see hints of the colors that popped in the photo. The color is dark, but in the right light you see the lighter and more vibrant colors emerge. I love the plums. Dark silver plum has another set of colors to it, but you have to treat them lovingly and whisk them in and out of the flame.

I call heart "Confetti Heart." The base is white. After I shaped and formed the heart, I dotted the heart with as many colors as I could find to create a piece that looks like confetti falling from the sky at a parade. I love the outcome on this heart. If you notice the faded background, you can see the contrast and how this heart brightens up the photo.

I always love the first snow of winter. After that, well, there's ice and places to fall, and places to slide. Then the snow gets dirty. I think you get the picture here, but the first snowfall is beautiful. This bead reminds me of that first snowfall. The big, chunky globs of snow are falling and weighing down the plants and trees. The sky seems to sparkle. This reminds me of Christmas.

Well, that's all for today. I doubt that anyone is reading this blog but me, and that's all right. I had good writing teachers all through my years of schooling. Beads are my passion. Melting glass is my passion. I'm lucky. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It really is beginning to look a lot like Xmas!

So far this year, I have been in a bah-hum-bug! mood regarding Christmas. There are no Christmas lights outside. Bah! The tree isn't up. Hum! It got really cold! Bug! For the past few years, the delights of Christmas haven't been so delightful, and this year, well, Bah! Hum! Bug!
I've been shopping! Yuck! I've been driving in the ice and snow! Yuck! And now, there are only 19 days left until Christmas. Oh, my goodness! What was I thinking? All of a sudden, there are Christmas cards to send, a Christmas letter to write, baking to be done, cleaning to be finished, a tree to be put up and decorated! What was I thinking?
I feel like I just woke up from a deep coma to see the freshly fallen snow and to feel the icy whip of the wind on my face and wonder, where was I all this time?
What changed everything? I'm not sure that it was just one thing. The snow fell today, and I took a picture. My dog posed for me in his antlers. I received a secret santa gift in the mail. I called a store to question why I didn't get my santa dollars on the gift certificate that I bought, and the store manager said that he would try to get them for me. I don't know. Maybe it's just that people are trying harder now. Maybe, in spite of the rudeness and crabbiness, there's a part that says, it's just the stress of the holidays. Be glad that you don't have that burden. Maybe, it was just time to wake up and smell the pine and remember and live each day to the fullest. I'm not sure.
People will be the same after Christmas. The snow will fall again and again and again. I think I just don't want to wake up and say anymore, "Where was I all this time?" In spite of the cold, I want to feel it on my face. In spite of the wind, I want to be able to say, "Dang it all that was cold." In spite of the hurry and stress, I want to say, "It's almost over." Like the ground, I don't want to glaze over and wait for the thaw. I want Christmas now! It's time to get going. There are cards to write. There are presents to buy. There is a tree to decorate. It's too icy to put out lights now, but that's okay. The neighbors did a great job decorating the neighborhood! It's time to celebrate! December 22nd will be the longest night of the year, after that, more light will creep into our days. I can hardly wait! Now, it's really Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beads! Beads! and more beads!

Beads! Beads! and more beads! There are beads all over my house. I find them in the chair. I find them everywhere! Beads! Beads! and more beads!
Okay, so that's a silly little poem, but it's true. There are beads all over my house. Storage is quite a problem at times. If I leave my beads to close to the edge of something, my dog tries to eat them. If I move them to another area, I have to find room to house them. If I fill up an area, I have to find a new one. I have beads in plastic containers. I have beads in medicine bottles. I have beads on towels in the bathroom. I have beads on paper on my desks. Yes, I said, desks. I have beads on my television. I have beads on the floor. I have beads in my closet. I have beads all over.
Now, you are probably thinking, she doesn't clean up often, does she? I do, but those beads just keep reproducing and reproducing. I love them dearly, but I think I need a bigger house. I clean up my beads by sending the vast majority to the childrens' hospitals in the Twin Cities. I also send them to Beads of Courage. I take part in exchanges with people around the world. I love these exchanges! These clean me out, but when I am not looking, like little rabbits, these beads continue to reproduce. I just need more room.
The beads I'll show you today are beads that I have made. In future posts, but I'm not sure when, I will be featuring other wonderful artists that I know. So, here's the first of my beads that you'll see. They will be back from time to time.

This is one of my favorite hearts. I made it using a transparent pink with rose frit. It is so pretty in person. Right now, I have it featured in my etsy store. I love it!

I've been on a heart kick lately. This heart, though not one of my favorites, is a favorite of a lot of people. It is also featured in my etsy store.

These are some of my favorites, too. They are made with mandrels that are 3/16". That means they will fit a bigger chain or bracelet such as the Pandora style or even a kumihimo braid. They are meant for immediate use. The base color is cobalt blue. I've accented these beads with white and clear. Love them. These are featured this week on ebay.
I do realize that I have to resize my photos. I thought I had done that enough. I guess not. They need to be smaller. I'll keep working on this, so, until next time. Look for beads around your house. I'd write more, but it's almost time for Dr. Phil.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I will never do it again!

Today, like a fool, I went shopping. It's the day after Thanksgiving. I will never do it again! I waited until I thought the early shoppers would have cleared out. I went to the mall around 11AM. The parking was easy to find. Then, I went into the mall. Oh, my goodness! I will never do this again. No one was looking where they were going. Carts were stopped at Target because people would leave them in the aisles, look for their things, and block the way. Babies and young children were crying. I wanted to cry. Cell phones were blazing. I heard one man say, "Well, I'm getting it anyway. I don't care." Lines were long. No one looked behind them. No one looked ahead of them. No one looked around them. And there were so many crabby people who had been up since the early hours shopping.
I will never do this again. With so many online opportunities available, even now, I will use them. If you have never visited, you should. This site is full of items, mostly all handmade, for sale. If you can't find what you want at etsy, I would be shocked. I have a small store there. I sell beads and jewelry. My etsy address is: Feel free to visit. You will be able to see some of my beads and jewelry there. In my next post, I will share some photos of my beads. No matter what, I will never shop the day after Thanksgiving again.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Just got back from Thanksgiving Dinner

As always, Thanksgiving dinner was delicious! Since we moved to southern Minnesota almost 20 years ago, we have gotten together with friends on this holiday. We have seen our children grow up. Some are married. Some are single. Some have been both and are now divorced. One is remarried and expecting another child. Some of our children have children of their own. Our tradition has been to gather in the home of one of our friends, or when we can, to host Thanksgiving dinner. We eat. We talk. Then we come home to sleep or watch TV. It's a sharing of time with those we care about where we talk about the past and future. We laugh. We cry. We remember. Then we move on. We gain weight. We loose weight. We maintain.
The children's table has always been that, the place where the children can be together for a short while. Now, our adult children sit in that place of honor with the little children. Today, I was asked to leave my place because I accidentally sat with the "young 'uns". I left to join the "adults" in our own section of the table. No one talked about beads or making them. I am the only bead maker in the group, but my friends wear what I have made for them. They all rejoiced with me over my first e-Bay sale.
We laughed. We talked. We adults remembered. Now, my children and I are home. My son is watching TV. My daughter is playing with her cats. Tonight, she goes home. Saturday, my son goes home. Thanksgiving will be over. I'll be back to making my beads. Maybe, there will be another sale. Maybe not.
Now, we just wait for Christmas. Oh, I forgot to say, it snowed today.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Every little girl likes to dress up

When I was little, I remember going into my mother's jewelry box and dressing up with her fancy jewelry. Not being a rich woman, my mother didn't have jewelry that cost a lot of money. She bought her jewelry at Woolworth's. She needed jewelry that looked expensive but wasn't, as a part of her work wardrobe. I adopted that philosophy as I grew up. I was always on the lookout for jewelry that was not expensive, but had the look of fine jewelry. After all, I had to watch my budget as a high school student, a college student, and a young wife with a husband who had to finish college. I shopped at Woolworth's, Salvation Army, Goodwill Stores, and garage sales. I found many beautiful items in these places. They had the look of fine jewelry, but were very inexpensive to buy. My husband gave me my first diamonds for our tenth anniversary. He gave me my first real pearl when we were dating. Other than that, I did not own, and still do not own, any jewelry that I would call fine jewelry. A former boss of mine commented on one piece that I was wearing one day. It was the result of some intense garage sale shopping. I still remember him looking at my little pendant and saying, "Your husband must really love you to give you that piece of jewelry." He was right, but what he didn't know was that it had cost me 10 cents at a garage sale.
I have gone in and out of jewelry and wearing it for many years now. There were times when I wore no jewelry except for my wedding ring. There were days when it was hard to lift my head because my earrings were so long and my necklace was so chunky and heavy, that they added significant weight to my person. Now, many years later, with grown children, I find that some days I do, and some days I don't. And now that I have so many beautiful pieces to wear, I find it's hard to decide which item to use on any given day.
Now, my jewelry consists mostly of pendants, bracelets, and necklaces that are made up of glass beads. These beads are called lampwork beads. I started to make my lampwork beads almost two years ago. Whereas some lampworkers begin to sell their beads and jewelry almost immediately, I have only just begun. Until now, I have not felt that the quality of my work has been good enough to sell, but now, I have developed more confidence in my own work.
I rarely wear any of my own pieces, and people tell me I should. However, I have bought and been given so many wonderful pieces of jewelry and lampwork beads, that I have no reason to wear my own work. The beads and jewelry that I have purchased and been given are so beautiful that , in all honesty, I would rather wear those works of art than my own.
In future blogs, I will show you some of my wonderful pieces of art! I will also show some of my own lampwork beads. I hope you enjoy reading about beads and my love for beads.