Friday, December 31, 2010

Three Beautiful Things This Week - Happy New Year's Eve!

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) Today, we hit 40 degrees! It's amazing! This is late December, and usually we don't see these temperatures until February, or most likely, March! There was a lot of melting of the snow, but more is on the way. I don't know if it's more snow, or freezing rain. Looks like it will be a quiet evening to bring in the New Year.

2) Pixie and I spent a bit of time howling at each other. I love it when she "roos!" She is slowly, but sure, becoming more and more of a dog than an object! I'm glad we found each other. She's been a wonderful companion from the first morning when she woke me up with a bite on my nose.

3) Hope is my "life" word for 2011. I look forward to the future with hope for good health for my family, for a better life, and for lots of glass to melt!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Word for 2011: Detail

My life word is: Hope!
My work word is: Detail!
I have been told that some of my work is not as "detailed" as others. In 2011, I plan to change that.
As I look around Etsy at some of my favorite bead artists,
I notice the "detail" in their work.
For example,
Look at Marcy Lamberson's work.
Here's an angel in her shop.
Notice the detail.
She holds a small blue bird in her hand.
Her dress has dots.
Her wings have creases.
Her cheeks are pink, and she wears a green halo.
Isn't Tansy sweet?
Like Oprah says, "It's all in the details."
And she's right!
Skully in Love is from Sharon Driscoll's store,
Right Turn ArtWerks.
Notice Skully's details.
His face is full of hearts.
The hearts are different colors and sizes.
His teeth are wide but perfectly spaced.
Each decoration on Skully adds a bit more detail to his face.
He is Skully in love!

This little ewe is from Nikki, aka Sheep Goddess aka NLC Beads.
She is a Blue Suede Sheep.
Each dot is topped with another blue suede dot.
Her ears are turned over.
She has a nose and eyes that just say, "Love me!"
She is simple, but very complicated.
Each dot adds a detail.
Look at this sweet 'gator from MayBeads' shop.
This gator has toe nails. He has nostrils and a mouth.
Little green dots are his scales.
His hat has pom poms.
His eyes say, "Take me home!
Yes, it's all in the details.

Meet Melvin from Paula's store, Island Top Glass Art.
Again, details.
Notice the little pocks on his cheeks.
His tongue hangs out of his mouth like he's panting.
His snout is creased.
His eyes beg you to rub his ears, which are each a different color.
I look forward to adding more detail to my minimalist beads.
All right: Hope and Details.
Welcome 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So, How Do YOU like my new Shoes?

How about that color? I think it's very close to Pantone's color choice for 2011- Honeysuckle. You can see it here.

My shoes might be a little bit richer than the true honeysuckle, but the color is close enough for me!

So, how do you like my new shoes? I think they might make great beads, too!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year End Review? Sure, and it can be said without a lot of words, or so I thought, until I wrote this blog.

All right. The reason I have this bead photo here is because I just needed a photo for that spot. I also happen to like this bead. It's in my Etsy store right now. You can see it here.

Now, on to the real blog.

If I had to sum up 2010 in one word, that word would be:


In truth, that is an understatement.

However, things are going well, and, for that, I am grateful. I feel much older and so vulnerable. I do not want to relive this year. I am shaking the dust off my feet and moving on with my life.

I know that mountains are often placed in front of us to climb, but I'm tired. Climbing that same mountain again is not what I wanted to do this year, however, we must live what we are dealt.

So, looking to the future, my mantra for 2011 will be:


I have the HOPE that life will be better in 2011.
I have the HOPE that, no matter what, I will have the strength to endure and the courage to climb that blasted mountain.
I have the HOPE that there will be much JOY in life, again, along with the LAUGHTER that accompanies JOY, like two angels walking the road together.
I have the HOPE that even with the challenges we will face in our every day lives, we will bring something to the world that will endure when we are gone.
I have the HOPE that PEACE will flow through us to all those whom we love and to those we don't like.
I have the HOPE that LOVE will triumph in the end.

I feel very BLESSED because I have HOPE.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Artisitic Growth - Christmas in New Zealand and Christmas in Minnesota

have challenged ourselves to grow artistically using different mediums for growth.
Our first challenge was to use copper in a non jewelry item. Click here to see that blog.
Then, if you want to see the Reveal, click here.

Knowing that December is a busy month,
Deb and I decided that we would use our cameras to record our Christmas events.
Not only that, we would have a wonderful bit of history to keep for years to come!

Deb lives in New Zealand.
I live in Minnesota.
At this time, we are in opposite seasons.
Deb is in summer.
I am in winter.
Our landscapes, our foods, our activities reflect these differences.

Here in Minnesota, we are COVERED in snow.
This year, there is SNOW EVERYWHERE!

Icicles are forming.

Critters leave footprints in the snow.

The mailbox is almost buried in snow.
The colors of the landscape are like these almost everyday in the winter.

Jenny came home with her kitties.

These are the kitties.

Pixie endures the kitties, and she stays on her couch.

Nick came home, too.
It was a great joy to have both of the kids home!

We added a few more decorations.
The red looks great on the wooden trees.

We lit a fire.

"Santa" brought presents and put them under the tree.

We set the table with the Christmas dishes.
The food was cooked, and we sat down to eat.

Jenny made some green beans and peppers.

Jenny also made black bean enchiladas.
There was baked ham.

We also had baked beans.

This was one delicious meal!
Gifts were fun and practical.
I'm not sure Nick was impressed with his toothpaste!

Family, food, blessings.
What could make Christmas better?
Not much. Not much at all!
Be sure to visit Deb's blog to see her photo essay about her Christmas celebration!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Three Beautiful Things Sunday

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) Nothing can replace the gift of my children being home for Christmas! What a wonderful gift that was given to me again this season. Thanks, kids, I love you both!

2) Sweet! Nick bought me a new dremel and Jenny bought me some new jewelry organizers! Yes!

3) We were truly blessed with a, for sure, white Christmas. Snow totals to date: 36 inches for December and 46.5 inches for the season. Both are records for the year. The landscape was beautiful, but our snowiest months are February and March! Yikes!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Peace, Love, and Joy to you and yours!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's Almost Here!

Are you ready?
It's Almost here!
How are you celebrating?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have you Voted Yet? What, you say, is this an election month?

No, it's time to vote in the Christmas contest sponsored by FlameTree Glass. You can check out the entries here. All you have to do is scroll down to the bottom, click on my name, and hit the submit button.

Although there are many fine entries, this one is mine.

I'm not above asking for your vote. The prizes are some wonderful torches!

FlameTree Glass
has partnered with GTT Torches to sponsor this contest. Thanks to both companies for this chance to compete! Winners will be announced on Christmas Eve. What a wonderful chance to win a great gift!
Thanks to both companies for this opportunity!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I have Waited for This Day!

Today is the Winter Solstice! That means that even though today will have the least amount of light for the year, beginning tomorrow, we will see more light in our day!

Even though we are up to our butts in snow, with much more to come, every day will bring more light into our lives! The long nights are over for now! We are truly headed toward spring!

I am so full of joy at this thought! Light, light and more light!!!! I love this day!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

The fourth candle on the Advent Wreath is lit. The time of preparation is almost over.

In five days we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Son of God in a humble stable, cold and bare, to a virgin named Mary. Let us rejoice!

Isaiah ( 7:14) spoke: Therefore the Lord Himself will give you this sign: The virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son, and shall name Him Emmanuel.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Hoffman Family Christmas Letter 2010

Merry Christmas!

2010 has been a year of challenge!
the last 6 months have been the most challenging.
In July,
Jenny was diagnosed with cancer -- multiple myeloma -- which is the same cancer that Dan had.
Jenny is doing extremely well!

In spite of this extreme life challenge,
we have drawn closer as a family,
and that's good!
We appreciate each other more than we have ever have!
I am so proud to be the mother of Jenny and Nick!

I don't know how we can thank all you people who have been so wonderful to us!
You know who you are.
You are the ones who called, wrote to offer words of support, help, your prayers, and love.
You didn't hesitate.
You joined us for dinner.
You listened.
You held us up when we most needed your love and strength.
You were there when we needed you.
You have no idea how much this meant!
You have our eternal gratitude!

This is Jenny's Caring Bridge site:
There's not a lot of activity there,
but you can sign up for emails when we post.
I usually just copy and paste Jenny's Face Book updates.

We can all be found on Face Book now.
Look us up.
We have a lot of photos there.

Nick is busy, as always.
He still loves Chicago.
He loves the area where he lives!
He's a Cubs fan!
Nick makes frequent trips home.
This is great because we love to see him!
He is a rock, and he has so much strength!
Words just aren't enough!

I'm still busy with my beads and jewelry.
I enjoy going to the Bead and Button Show each year,
I'm looking forward to that again in 2011.
I am also hoping to attend the Gathering this year.
That is truly a gathering of other glass people.
It's so much fun to see everyone!

Pixie is coming along very well.
She's come a long way since I adopted her a year ago.
She gets along well with Jenny's kitties.
They teach her the rules of their house when we are there.
Pixie simply avoids them when they are here with us!

As we look forward to 2011, we look forward with HOPE.
We know that there will be challenges.
We know that there will be obstacles to these challenges.
It doesn't matter.
Jenny, Nick, Pixie, Walter, Marvin, and I are a family.
What more could we ask for in this crazy life of ours?
We are family!

Just a quick update:
Jenny's stem cell harvest will begin on January 3, 2011.
We don't know when her stem cell transplant will be,
but it is a future part of her treatment.
The first step, however, is to harvest her stem cells.
Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

One World One Heart - and it's the last one!

This will be the fifth and final event of One World One Heart! Click on the link to find out more information. I have participated in the last two events, and they were great!

One World One Heart is open to bloggers only. It is a world wide event. Because of this, you are able to interact with people from all over the world.

The dates of OWOH are:
January 30, 2011 when we announce that we are participating in this event and introduce our door prize.
February 17, 2011, when we announce the winner of our door prize.

I am looking forward to this event! It's been a wonderful way to "meet" other bloggers from around the world! Click here for the rules about the event. The rules are not complicated or hard to follow. They add to the fun!

Take care, and I'm looking forward to meeting you when this event begins!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lorelei's Michael's Challenge ReVeal and Blog Hop!

This was the sneak peek from yesterday.
Lorelei's 2nd Michael's challenge involved
finding the beads
that she chose.
This time,
the beads were the green label beads.

I was not able to find all the beads,
I had to improvise.

I substituted the blue checkerboard beads and the square crystal beads.
I also added the long white patterned beads in the upper right corner.
Not pictured here is the lampwork heart bead that I made and used as the focal.
I used the chain as a necklace extender.
I am able to slip this necklace over my neck.
It will look great with my Xmas outfit.
the time has come to
my necklace.

Are you ready?

This is going to be fun to wear.
start clicking on the links so that you can blog hop with us
see all the wonderful creations from Michael's beads!

Thank you, Lorelei for organizing this blog hop and challenge!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Three Beautiful Things This Week - A Day Early!

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

(In case you're wondering, this is a sneak peek of Lorelei's 2nd Michael's Challenge to be revealed tomorrow! I wonder what this will be when it's finished?)

1) I was invited, today, to do a trunk show in January and to teach a class at the same bead store. I am thrilled to be able to do that!

2) The snow started to whisper it's way down to the ground again today. There is enough snow pack now so that things are not as slippery as they were before. However, that did not stop me from getting stuck in the ice and snow in my own driveway. Now, how embarrassing is that? I had to laugh as I made a cookie in the driveway and got stuck in the snow. It took a little while, but I was able to get out of the snowbank and on to the road where it was not as icy! The best part was that I didn't need to call a tow truck. I'm sure the neighbors were chuckling as they watched me work up a sweat trying to get out on to the road!

3) I only have a little bit left, and I'm finished with my Christmas shopping! That will be so nice!
Now, I only have to make the house more Christmas friendly for the kids and get ready for the show and class! That will make for interesting work!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What's new? I have some new items in my Etsy store.

I've added some new things to my Etsy store.
I thought you might like to see them.
I'm trying to brighten up the look of my Etsy store,
and, I think, you need sunglasses for this set!
These beads are bright!

These Leaf Headpins have a much softer glow, but they do glow.
I used dichroic glass to make them.
The leaves have a shimmer to them.
Wouldn't these look great in your next project?

I've been doing some metal smithing, too.
Here, in this piece, I combined both copper wire and my handmade lampwork beads.
This clasp and connector link will add a sweet touch to your favorite project.
You can find it here.

Back to brights.
These say, "I'm ready for spring!"
Put on your sunglasses!
This mushroom and spacer set is bright!

Take a peek at my store,
but be sure to wear your sunglasses!
You won't be sorry!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Seriously! I Can't Believe I Did This: Shopping Etsy: Key Words: Outrageous Jewelry

If my children are reading this,
I'm sure they are either rolling their eyes
they are beginning to sweat.
I can tell you,
they are concerned that I will buy
these pieces!
Who knows,
Shopping Etsy,
Key Words
This ring is called:
Look At Me!
and I think most people would.
Isn't it great?
I found it after plugging in the words,
Outrageous jewelry on Etsy.
It's in Studio Leanne's shop,
she has many more like this!
Love it!
They are all handmade, too!

This is another find under the term "outrageous jewelry."
It's called an Iconic Purse Charm Necklace
and it's in
magsb's shop on Etsy.
Now, that is truly outrageous.
Kids, don't worry
I don't know if I could wear this one!
I like it, though. Hmmmmmmm!
Found another one!
Look at this cuff!
This is quite the piece of wearable art!
I actually like it!
It's steam punk, and you can find it here.

What fun!
don't worry,
I won't be wearing any of these for Christmas, this year!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Third Sunday of Advent - Rejoice

The third candle on the Advent wreath was lit today. The cantor sang, "Rejoice! Rejoice! Emanuel shall come to you, O Israel."

"Rejoice for the Lord is near."

The tree isn't up.
The Xmas shopping isn't finished.
I feel stressed.
I feel out of sorts.

Yet, as I lit the third candle on the advent wreath, I remembered the words of Isaiah the ancient prophet,

"The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the dessert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God."

The time of preparation is almost over. We have now passed the third Sunday of Advent.