Monday, December 27, 2010

After Action Review of Christmas

Every year for Christmas we go to my Aunt Sherry's on Christmas day for lunch and to open presents.  Before going to Aunt Sherry's I always go to mom's house, and we exchange our gifts. 

This year I bought mom a Mike Byers fused glass piece called Charon Crossing the River Styx, a bird house in the shape of a sparrow and the big bonus DVD set for the movie Avatar.  I have lost count of the number of times mom has watched that movie.  I thought she would like to watch the documentary of how James Cameron made the movie.

For my Christmas gifts, I got my printer early because the printer we had died, a steam mop which I have wanted one for over a year and a purse by Lori at Waterstone.  I borrowed the photo from Lori's website so you could see the glorious bag that is all mine, mine I say, hahahahaha.  Can you tell I am stoked about this bag.  If you haven't been to her blog, go there now and be prepared to drool all over your keyboard! 

After opening gifts, mom and I headed over to my aunt's house.  There were 15 of us who eat dinner, and then there were four more who joined us later to open gifts (have the other side of the family to see). 

The above photos are the dinner table set up when we sit down to chow down on all the good food.  There is the main table and then two extra tables set up in the sun room.  I should have taken a picture of all the food that can feed an army, which is our family.

After eating, we sit around for about an hour before letting the kids open their gifts.  That use to be a big production.  When I first came home we all got each other gifts and then each of us would open a gift one at a time and gift opening would take almost three hours, plus it was getting expensive buying each other gifts.  About seven years ago we decided to start drawing each others names.  We would have a set dollar limit, and we would write up a list of things we would like, put our name on it, put the list in a basket and then each of us would draw a name.  That was fun.  Then two years ago, because money was tight for everyone, we decided to do a white elephant gift exchange. 

My cousins and gifts for adults
All the adults would buy a gift ($25) wrap it up and we would put the gifts in a pile.  We would all draw a number and start with one.  If a person didn't want to pick a present they could steal a present they liked.  The person who had their gift stolen then could either steal a gift or pick another present to open.  The item stolen could be only stolen twice, and we did numbers because otherwise I think it would have been a free for all with elbows flying and adults being taken down (believe me when I say I cheat!).

It was an awesome day, even with more snow.  I think this has been the first white Christmas in several years.  I know the first two years I was home were white, but I don't remember a white Christmas in a long time.  I know mom was happy because she loves snow.

Here are some photos of the white fluffy crap, err, snow.

Mom and I also have another holiday tradition that I am hoping gets broken next year.  It seems either around Christmas or New Year's either mom, me or it use to be my grandparents would be in either the urgent care or ER.  Well, yesterday I had to take mom to urgent care, nothing serious, but this is one tradition I hope we can break for next year!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  I am hoping mom gets to feeling better and we can work on cutting out, enameling or patina pendants and bowls.  Keep your eyes peeled for that.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Some of My Favorite Things - Before Christmas

Metallic Gothic Snow Ravens Blue Winter - Gothicrow
Well, it is the 23rd of December and I thought I would share one more of My Favorite Things before Christmas, in case you are still looking for ideas.  The above image is from Gothicrow's shop on Etsy and I can't get enough of their stuff.  I drool all over the keyboard, but unfortunately I have not broken down and bought something yet.  Maybe next year, which is only a week away, hmmm shopping I think.

Well, on to the show. Enjoy!
Plumes of Fire - SassyGlassJewelry

White, Red, Brown Cherry Blossom - ModernHouseArt

Kerribeads Lampwork Raven w/ Berry Focal Bead - Kerribeads

Droplets - Kellya
Sterling Silver Lotus Necklace - Markhed
Last Leaves Tree Bead - Islandgirl

A Pair of Purples Agate Necklace - MischiefbyLoki
If I don't post anything tomorrow - I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with your family and friends!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse and Winter Solstice

Last night was the Winter Solstice and a lunar eclipse, the first time this happened in about 400 hundred years.  I am pretty bummed that I didn't get to see it last night because it was snowing.  Oh well, there are some fabulous photographs out there if you also didn't get a chance to see it last night.

Just wanted to share a few photos of the eclipse.  Now it is off to work, just today and tomorrow working and then vacation until the first of the year - yippee!  Mom and I plan on getting a lot done while on vacation and I can't wait. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

They Arrived, They Arrived, They Arrived

Our Goodies from Kristen!
Here are all the goodies we received from Kristen, My Bead Journey.  Aren't they to die for!  In November Kristen asked if mom and I would like to do a bead swap with her, and I jumped at the chance.  I have done one other bead swap with Juls, and I thought it would be so much fun to do one with Kristen.  It is always nerve wracking waiting to find out if someone likes what you swapped with them.  Mom and I were so happy that Kristen liked her goodies, and we were so excited waiting for our goodies from Kristen.  I know Kristen was a nervous wreck waiting for the package to arrive, but she had no reason to be - the beadwork is GORGEOUS!  Kristen sent us some of her beaded beads, snowflakes (that are just too cute), and ornaments for mom and I.  Don't you like the card she sent us?  I have a design idea running through my head right now, and I can't wait to put it together.  Thank you Kristen, you made our day and put a smile on our faces!

Here are closer images of what she sent us.

I also wanted to show other goodies mom and I received this week.  A few months ago, I purchased a half day of skillz from Juls for some beads.  I asked Juls to make more beads for mom like the ones we swapped with her previously.  Mom wanted to buy more beads for a bracelet and earrings, but I beat her to Juls.  The beads were part of her St. Nicholaus Tag gift.  Juls asked what other beads I would like and I told her to just surprise me - oh boy did she ever.  Here is what Juls made for us:

The only specific beads I asked Juls to make
Mom's necklace with the beads to be made into a bracelet and earrings

We also received a box from Juls of yarn.  Juls had a blog post about her hoarding, and I mentioned how mom collects yarn (mom is a yarn whore).  Juls asked if mom would be interested in the yarn, and I jumped on it.  The box also arrived yesterday.  Mom is in heaven and drooling all over the place.  Good thing Juls had everything in plastic bags!

We also received another package earlier this week from Genea Beads.  Her beads are the goodies we won for the Art Bead Scene Novemeber monthly challenge.

Now, mom and I are off to our friends' vineyard to sit, talk, knit and drink wine slushies.  Mom and I aren't doing any enameling this weekend.  We have to first saw out a bunch of stuff, but we have plans to work our tails off when we are on vacation from the job that pays the bills. 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Drum Roll Please...The Winner Is...

Here are the names from the comments left on the post Two Year Blogiversary giveaway

Sorry, no photographs because I was home with a migraine yesterday and my camera is at mom's house and I am a little out of it this morning.

 I thought I would give the random generator a whirl and see what number it would pick.

So, the winner of our giveaway is:

The winner is #4 - Erin of Treasures Found: Inspiration is Everywhere.  Erin if you could email me your shipping information mom and I will pack up the pendants and beads tonight and ship out in the morning.

Thank you everyone for participating and stick around because we may have another giveaway after the beginning of the year (around Bead Soup Party Time).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some of My Favorite Things and a Reminder

Glass Sea Turtle - GlassnFire
Can you believe Christmas will be here in 10 days!  I have just one more gift to get and I am done, except for the gifts I am making for friends and I have just two more to finish up, which mom is helping me with.  Isn't she the bomb!  Love you mom!

I thought I would share with you some of my favorite things that I have found on Etsy in the last week.  I love this new Activity Feed because you can see what your circle of friends find and you can show your friends what you find too.  These are some of the finds I found from the Activity Feed and some I found by just hopping around on Etsy.  I love Etsy - now I just need to win the lottery so I can buy all of my favorite things!  Okay, here we go.  Enjoy!

Arteria Arcanum Pendant in Amethyst Purple Glaze - Earthenwoodceramics
Native Relic - Julsbeads
Infrared Metallic Secret Graveyard - Gothicrow
Recycled Brown Leather Handbag - Waterstone Jewelry
Blue Desire - Madart
Tall Ladies Mug - KHPhillips
Blue Shimmer Dragonfly Focal Bead - Kerribeads
I just wanted to remind you about our giveaway on Friday, 17 December.  Mom and I are giving away three pendants and some of our beads.  I will do the drawing around 8am Eastern.  If you want to learn more click here.  Here is what we are giving away.
Have a great Wednesday!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What You Have Been Waiting For - Two Year Blogiversary Giveaway

Yes, yes, yes, I know you want to know what the giveaway is, but this is our blog and I will do it my way :)  I am going to hold you hostage while I give you a little background about how we got started on this little adventure of blogging.

Long, long ago, okay really, it was only two years ago today that I started this little blog.  I started the blog to post pictures of stuff mom and I were working on so friends and family, who lived out of town, could see what we were up to.   It is fun to go back and read what I have posted and see how much I have improved in my writing.  Even mom says I have relaxed and just let it go in the writing.  I was never one to write, and I sure learned how to edit my words while I was in the military.  You only had so much space to write a recommendation for an award, so I learned to be short and sweet.

When I first started this I didn't have plans to go full steam ahead with the blog until I was done with school.  Well, plans changed and the beginning of this year I made a conscious effort to blog more and start going to other people's blogs.  I am so glad I made this decision. 

I have had so much fun doing monthly challenges on Art Bead Scene, finding Lori, another veteran and all around fantastic woman and her Bead Soup PartyBarbara Lewis and learning how to torch fire enamel (I still plan on taking a class with her someday in the future - one of many goals), Juls the most fantastic beading artist and all around superwoman who makes me smile on a daily basis, Kristen who is our fan and all around sweet woman who about made me cry on Friday because of her enthusiasm for the goodies we sent her, Erin who makes me stop and think about why we are donig arts and life in general, Lori who makes the most drool worthy bags known and Shannon who encourages us to try the new patina and gives us great feedback on what we are doing!

I could make this whole blog about people I have met through blogging and go on and on about all the people I follow, but I am sure I am boring you all.  I wish I could name everyone who has encouraged us or influenced us since I have started blogging, but I think that would take the next year.  I am sure you are ready to know what the giveaway is.

Okay, instead of a bowl for a giveaway mom and I thought we would giveaway three pendants and a set of lampwork glass beads.

The crosses were handsawed by mom and the lampwork glass beads were made by me.  The large cross is about 2.5" long and about 2 1/4" wide.  The two smaller crosses are an 1.5" long and 1 1/4" wide.  The enameled colors I used were transparent woodrow red, Mandarin orange and sunset orange with opaque black for accents.

Here are close up shots of the crosses and beads:

It is easy to enter the giveaway.  Just leave a comment on our blog.  For an additional chance to win, blog about the giveway on your own blog and let us know you did.  I will draw a name on December 17th around 8am Eastern (that is when my co-worker gets to work, and she will be drawing the name).  Photos to follow.

Thanks for taking the journey with us and encouraging us along the way with your fantastic comments.  Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner on December 17th.  Mark your calendar!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Feet Are Killing Me But I Have Survived!

Today was a LONG day!  I started enameling a little before 11am and I just finished up around 6:30pm.  My feet are killing me but I got everything enameled that I needed to.  I got Christmas gifts done for a friend and I can't show those pics until after Christmas and I got some pendants done for another "friend", and I got pendants enameled that will be posted on Etsy tomorrow because I don't think I can get photographs taken tonight and posted - too tired.

Here is a quick peek at what I did today enameling, oh mom was working but on Christmas gifts.

Gifts for someone
Here are the pendants I plan on listing on Etsy tomorrow:

Here is a sneek peak of the giveaway for tomorrow:

And you thought I would make it easy on you to see what there is for the giveaway - you will have to check back tomorrow to see.  Yes, I know I am evil, but you all still love me anyway!

Here is information on two other giveaways that I know about:

Lori, Pretty Things, is having a bead giveaway.  Go check it out.  Her drawing will be on December 16th.
Heather, My Muse, is having an earring giveaway.  Go check it out.

If you missed Erin's wonderful Color Challenge there are two challenges going on right now, that I know about.

Love My Art Jewelry, has a monthly color challange.  The December color palette is pretty cool.

Art Bead Scene, has a montly challenge based on paintings.  The December challenge has two paintings to play with.

If you are too busy preparing for the holidays the lovely Lori, Pretty Things, is having the Bead Soup Blog Party after the first of the year.  If you have not participated in the past, I so recommend playing!  It is sooooo much fun.

That is kids, I am heading home, taking my shoes off and curling up in bead to read.  I will post the giveaway before noon tomorrow, so come back to play.
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