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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bead Peeps Swap Reveal

It's A Long, Long Time from February to May...whoops, that's not how the song goes...ok, I know, you're not surprised to find a blog that's been quiet for a while until TODAY!!!  Yes, folks, it's time for the 2016 Bead Peeps Bead Swap REVEAL!  Welcome - I hope you enjoy discovering what I created to share even just a bit as much as I enjoyed working with my swap "goodies."

First, a reminder, I received this wonderful assortment of goodies from Maria Rose Sharrow of  Willow Street Shops.

The requirements of the swap are that you send at least one focal and at least one clasp which are to be used in the final designs.  As you can see, Rosa  was very generous, providing me with lovely soldered and bezeled focals (which she makes herself!!), two clasps, and a great variety of "supportive players" (game talk for lots of fun beads!).

My first designs came together out of the "necessity" to have some new jewelry for the Easter holiday, and I knew that Rosa's yellow flower pendant would be perfect.  I used some of the yellow and blue vintage beads as part of the necklace chain and added my own blue chrysocolla rounds and amazonite nuggets along with the sterling silver toggle clasp from the swap.

The matching earrings with more chrysocolla beads and amazonite use the textured silver links from the swap.

After thinking that I had an early start in preparing for today's reveal, I, naturally, procrastinated on any more work...until, yes, just a few days ago (some things never change).  But once I settled on using another one of Rosa's unique focals - this time the soldered pendant with a butterfly wing - things quickly fell into place.  The swap included brilliant teal glass rounds which highlighted the wing's color along with added chrysocolla rounds, turquoise rounds and accents of freshwater pearls in coral and white.

For the matching earrings I used gorgeous turquoise drops from the swap along with the accent freshwater pearls.

Finally, I used more of the swap's teal rounds in a memory wire triple wrap bracelet that features the same turquoise rounds and freshwater pearls as the necklace along with a variety of gemstone chips and sterling silver rounds.

My muse decided that the lovely darker pieces of the swap will need to wait for cooler weather, I think!  I just could not get focused with those pretties, but I know I will love working with them this fall!  Thanks, Rosa - I had a great time!

Here is the swap that I mailed to Rosa.

I'm excited to see what she has created.  You can join me by heading to Rosa's blog here Willow Street Shops.  And of course, please enjoy browsing all of the participating blogs and see what I know will be incredible, beautiful jewelry!  Happy Hopping!

Linda Anderson (our hostess) 

Teresa Schurter
Terry Jeanette Carter 
Kelly Hosford Patterson

Rachel Mallis 


Palak (aka Pallavi Asher) 

Bobbie Rafferty 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Time for an Introduction

I'm very excited to have signed up for another "swap and hop" - getting a "surprise" package of beads and things from a partner (to whom you have also sent an assortment of beads, etc.) and then designing a piece...or two...or...

This is the Bead Peeps 2nd Annual Swap and Hop, hosted by Linda Anderson of From the Bead Board.  My partner for this swap is Rosa Sharrow, a talented designer, and I'm thrilled to be receiving some of her own work in my goody stash!  You can read more about Rosa here at Willow Street Shops.

In order to introduce Rosa to more of me and my designs, I've got an overview here of my past projects and current favorites.  I hope it helps Rosa in planning her surprise for me and that you enjoy it as well.

My first bead hop was the incredible (500+ participants from all over the world) Bead Soup Blog Party, created and hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things.  This is the necklace I created for that hop in 2013.

I also participated in Lori's 8th Bead Soup Blog Party in 2014, creating the necklace and bracelet below as well as two more pairs of earrings and another bracelet.  It was a very full soup!!

Lori also hosted a Bead Hoarders Blog Hop (hoarding beads? me???) which I did in December of 2014 - this bracelet was perfect for the holidays!

I also participated and had great fun with the 2014 Octoberfest Blog Hop, hosted by Toltec of Toltec Jewels.

Taking a peek at some more recent creations, here is my favorite piece currently in my Etsy shop.

Mother of Pearl Bracelet

And my favorite "to be listed next" piece are these sterling wrapped smoky quartz earrings.

Follow this blog to get updates on our Bead Peeps Blog Hop - see what I send Rosa (well, a clue or two perhaps) and what goodies I get from her to create with, and be sure to stop by on May 15th for the big reveal from me, Rosa, and all our participants - good stuff!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

When I Was 29...

If you are on Facebook - the great procrastination tool of our era - you may be familiar with some of the quizzes that have floated around over the years of its existence.  I was reminded of this one from 3 years ago in my "FB memories" list and thought it was a fun reflection.

When I was 29...
I lived in: Lincoln, Nebraska - the city that never sleeps...well, except between 10pm and 6am.
Who had my heart:  My precocious, four-year-old Sarah and my independent, two-year-old Andrew.
What I drove: A Ford LTD station wagon
What I did:  Full time - homemaker; part time - substitute teacher (favorite assignment - 6 week maternity leave for a neighborhood friend whose very small district couldn't find an English major teacher and was about to hire anyone who breathed - I had lived that nightmare myself; took the assignment for her and discovered the school was so small I was teaching language arts for grades 7-12, no prep period) and office manager for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
I feared: Being clueless as a mom.
I wanted to be: Happy.

I am now 54...
I live in Van Wert, Ohio - another city that never sleeps (well, maybe - I wouldn't know - I'm usually asleep between 10pm and ...)
Who has my heart:  Kevin Kelly, who finally found me after all these years :) Ain't life grand?
What I drive: A Toyota Camry
What I do:  Still deciding what I'll "be when I grow up," but for now, I enjoy visiting our family and grandkiddos (we have 2 kids and the grandkids here in Ohio, 1 in Florida - planning a trip to see him for his bday this summer, and 1 in Africa - you all should remember that trip :) ); look forward to one more season of being "soccer mom" (and for any of you out there who were soccer family with me during high school - believe it or not, since they will be roomies next year as well as teammates & friends, looks like what goes around comes around - the OWU graduation celebration at the "soccer house" in May 2014 will be planned in part by myself and Barb Satter! Who knew!); designing and making jewelry (can't tell you when I last bought myself a pair of earrings - well, Africa, but that's different), reading, dabbling in photography and computer stuff, and knitting projects that never seem to get finished (my knitting group appears very polite so far - they never ask where's the so-and-so you were working on...)....oh, and, Hello, my name is Sue and I'm a Pin-a-holic.
What I fear:  Pass.  See, you don't have to answer everything. It's ok to break the rules.  Or you can make something up or put down something like the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz movie - I fear them. Really, I do. When I was little I would go in the other room when they were on.  Now I just hold somebody's hand. :)
What I want: I'm happy. I want my kids to be happy - I know I can't make that happen, but I want them to know how to be happy. I think they do :)  I hope it is always that way.
Like for your age.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, January 22, 2016

It's Friday So It Must Still Be Christmas

I had the usual New Year's resolutions - eat healthier, exercise more, worry less.  But here's a new one - de-Christmas the house before Valentines Day.  Yes, I have to confess we still are decked out in holiday style.  No, our Christmas tree is not still up - we managed to get it down in time for the last city pickup before spring.  The rest of the house, however, looks like this...

And this…

And this…

I could probably give you a variety of excuses - some might even be decent ones -

But the bottom line is, I just haven't done it. Yes, if you still want to experience the magic of Christmas, feel free to stop by… least for a few more weeks anyway.  Check in with me again on Valentines Day.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Newest Member of the Family

Introducing our new youngest (sorry, soccer girl, you've been bumped from the cradle) - Brady.

Brady is a “Labbie” - half beagle and half lab.  Hubby is convinced that the stubbornness of a beagle is clearly evident.  However, since I believe in the power of self-fulfilling prophecy, I'm trying to look at the orneriness behind these adorable eyes as typical toddler behavior.  Brady is 3 ½ months which according to this dog years calculator puts him between 3-4 human years old, and toddler/preschooler yes, he is.
We “rescued” our little guy Thanksgiving weekend - wasn't intended to be an “official” rescue.  I had fallen in love with his face when I saw a Facebook posting which I was scrolling through while we were waiting for a movie to start at the theater the weekend before (Bridge of Spies - highly recommend). Because of holiday company we made arrangements to pick him up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. However, once we arrived at his home we realized we really should have rescued him immediately - really sad, awful situation.  Needless to say, a good bath was the first thing that happened when we got him home, followed by a vet visit as soon as they opened that week.  Happy to say the little guy is now healthy, happy, and definitely feeling at home (as he sprawls on the couch next to me as I write - we really tried to be the kind of parents that makes our dog stay off the furniture but what can I say...look at those eyes - yep...although he is confined to the back half of the house - isn't “allowed” in our bedroom or living room).  I am keeping an eye on FB to watch for future postings by the same people selling puppies and will call their local humane society to report what we experienced.

So the “back half” of our home has become puppy central for the most part - right now our family room contains a crate (which he hates but once in it does not argue and happily for us, sleeps through the night), a dog bed (which, now that I think about it, has been untouched in the last few days since he prefers to snooze and snore loudly on the couch), and a floor which right now has 6 various dog toys scattered about on it.  Said toys are also in varying stages of deterioration as Brady still has his puppy teeth and when awake must be actively chewing. All. The. Time.


You can count on seeing Brady updates from time to time, especially as we discover just how big he's going to get.  Everything we've read about Labbies gives a big range, 25-90 lbs. when full-grown.  We're holding our breath as it a looks like this not so little guy may be headed for the higher side of that.  The first picture in this post was when we were first bringing him home, and he weighed in at the vet that week at 11 lbs.  Last week - 19 lbs. and his lab paws are huge!

Oh, and finally, no, “Brady” is not named after the New England Patriots’ QB - just a great Irish name that we liked (and we weren't about to keep calling him Snoopy as he was being called where we got him). ;)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mimi's Monday Look at Pinterest

I've been "pinning" alot lately and actually doing some of the pins as well.  I thought I'd share a bit how that's been working out for me....