Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bead Journal Project 2011 and a New AMC Show

I have made the big decision to join the Bead Journal Project for another year.  Last year I only finished I think 6 months of projects.  It started out very well, but I chose a very ambitious size of 5"x7".  My carpal tunnel got so bad it was to the point that I could no longer do bead embroidery, even for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.  At that rate it would take several months for me to finish just one project.  I was very frustrated because I was enjoying being a part of the group so much.  When the call came out for the new registration I thought to myself that there's just no way I can do it.  And I ignored all the posts on the blogs and Facebook to join.  I was sad.  I really wanted to join.  So then I thought, I can beat this!  I'm not going to give in to carpal tunnel!  I just have to get creative, right?  I mean, there's nothing in the rules that says it has to be bead embroidery does it?  I just have to think of some other format of beads that I can express myself with each month that won't be so taxing on my hands.  So tonight I made a leap of faith in myself that I can overcome and I joined the 2011 Bead Journal Project.

Here is my call to all of you.  Have you joined the 2011 BJP yet?  There is still time!  Registration doesn't close until December 8th.  For those of you out there who think that you can't or aren't good enough...this is not a competition!  This is self expression, and all the work is beautiful and done just the way it was supposed to be.  If you would like to learn how to do bead embroidery but don't know how, I have started a series on how to do bead embroidery with step by step instructions on different stitches on my Videojug pages.  There are videos along with text, and of course if you have any questions you can always ask me.  Do you have any friends who might want to learn how to do this?  Send them to my video links...they're very easy to follow.  Don't want to learn bead embroidery?  Well, I'm not doing it this year, so think of some other creative form of beading for personal expression.  After all, the rules say that they just need to have beads.

Some main characters: dad, Rick; mom, Lori; son, Carl.
And now, I am off to watch our family's favorite new drama series on the AMC channel, "The Walking Dead".  Haven't heard of it?  It's about zombies!!!  My son Matthew especially loves zombies.  The show is very well done, great special effects and the story line is suspenseful.  If you have not seen this show, you really should check it out.  I think they show repeats on Sundays to get people caught up, with a new episode also airing Sunday nights and repeats of the new show throughout the week.  The kids are not allowed to stay up late on school nights, so they get to watch the new show repeats on Friday nights.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sara's Dress & Ring

Hi, all.  Did you have a good Thanksgiving for those of you in the states?  We did.  As a matter of fact, I am cooking a turkey dinner right now.  We always go to relative's house for dinner, and I never have leftovers for turkey sammies.  I just didn't want that again this year, so we are having our own 2nd Thanksgiving dinner at home.  The kids are starving and the house is smelling pretty good, so tummies are grumbling.

Sara picked out a sparkly red dress that she just had to have for the holidays this year.  I was thinking something practical that she could also wear to school, but no.  She saw that dress and I could not get her to look at anything else!  So I caved in and bought her the impractical but pretty sparkly red dress.  And, of course, the shoes to go with it because white sneakers with hot pink laces just would not do.

She wore the dress the first time on Thursday, and will wear it again for Christmas.  Then, I got my order in the mail from Bello Modo.  Usually they put a free little goody in the package, and guess what I got? Three 4mm Swarovski bicones in green, white and red.  So guess what I did with it.  I made Sara a Christmas ring to go with her sparkly red dress for Christmas next month.  She really loves it.  Here are some pics...

Sara in her new red dress...
And here is her Christmas ring...
lol...she's been painting with watercolors all day...can you see the paint still in her fingers even though she washed them?

Anyhow, there's her ring.  I'm getting better at wrapping them and getting the sizing right.  Sara's turned out to be the exact size I was shooting for, and I was very happy about that.  What do you think of it?  It's much daintier than the other ones I did.  We both like it.  I'm thinking about making more with the 4mm bicones.  What do you think?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pilgrim Hats

Ok, I did my mommy time with Sara tonight and made yummy pilgrim hats.  I got the idea off Facebook that my step-brother posted.  Of course, the professionals do it so much neater, but an 8 year old does it better!  That's what I say anyways.  The store did not have yellow frosting in a little tube for the hat buckles, so we substituted white.  So instead of brass or gold or whatever yellowish metal it was that they used...we'll just pretend they used silver instead.  Works for me!

What we did was melt some chocolate chips over a double boiler (but I don't have a double boiler so it was a pot and a metal bowl--works!).  While they're melting you put out Keebler Fudge Stripes cookies, bottom side up.  When the chocolate is all melted and stirred smooth you get a toothpick in each hand.  Put a large marshmallow in the chocolate and swirl it around to get it coated.  Poke the top of the marshmallow with one toothpick so you can pick it up and put it in the center of a cookie.  Use the other toothpick to hold the marshmallow down while you take out the first toothpick.  Then smooth out the chocolate on top.  When you're all done with the marshmallows, put the pan in the fridge to chill the chocolate back up.  Take them back out in a few minutes and then draw little icing squares on the fronts for the buckles.

Sara had a good time, as I'm sure any kid would have a good time playing with marshmallows and chocolate!  Cute, easy, fun idea.  Now we have something for all the kids to munch on tomorrow at our family's house.  lol  Not that there won't be enough...but this is KID stuff, after all.  May be too late for you to do it this year, but keep it in mind for next year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!  May yours be filled with love and laughter...and good eats.

What a Sweepstakes!!!

I just got an email from  They have just launched a holiday giveaway called Stocking Stuffer Sweepstakes!  What's up for grabs is a stocking full of beads and a $100 gift card!  woohoo!  Who wouldn't want that?  I have already entered, and of course I really really really want to win, but in case it's not me...I hope it's one of my readers.

Click here to enter the contest.  Good luck!!!

Here it is the day before Thanksgiving, and I am going through my head all the things I need to do to prepare for our outing to visit family.  Gotta go shopping tonight for some goodies, gotta make the green bead casserole (as I do every year, because mine's the best :)  gotta get Sara's hair all curled up and a bit of little girl makeup on, gotta get myself ready.  In the meantime today I've got to clean the kitchen and cook a pork roast.  Oh, and I forgot that I also have to repair a necklace.  So many things to do!  But, I am taking a moment to slow down and smell the roses.  What is this holiday about anyways?  Thankfulness.  Not the rush rush rush.

What I am thankful for most in the entire world is my family.  I have the best husband in the world, and all four of my children are gems in their own unique ways.  I would be a lost soul if not for them.  They are everything to me.  Especially more so now than ever before.  A couple years ago my husband and I separated, and I was very ill so he was better equipped to take care of the kids.  It was a very dark and dreary period in my life.  So I am eternally thankful for my second chance.  And it has been pure bliss.

I am also thankful for you...those of you who take the time to come visit my blog in my little corner of the world.  And thank you to those of you who take precious moments from your own time to leave me comments of encouragement, critique, and just fun things to read.  I appreciate all of you and am glad to have the pleasure of calling you my friends.

With that said, I hope all of you have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend, full of love and laughter.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bling Bling I Made Some Rings

My order finally came in from I got my ring mandrel, which was the most important thing I was waiting for. And, I of course ordered some beads. But I have to tell you, I was soooo disappointed in my beads this time around. Not because of the way they look or the quality...Artbeads always puts out gorgeous products. The problem is, I am not good at picturing 10mm vs 20mm in my head. That dang metric system! lol The beads that I thought were going to be pretty substantial in size were actually so flippin' small. Not big enough for bling rings. Bummer! But, they are pretty and I'm sure I will use them in something someday. One day I'll need the perfect thing, and BOOM there it'll be. Love it when that happens. So they will wait for another project on another day.

Making wire wrapped rings looked so easy on the video I watched. It's actually very tricky to get the hang of. I've wasted so much of my wire on the mistake rings already! Frustrating. I should have ordered two spools of it. I'm having a hard time getting the sizing right. When you wrap, you wrap bigger than you actually want the ring to end up. So I'm finding out by trial and error how to get a size 7. So far they have been smaller. Too small for my chunky monkey fingers! I think a 7 is about average. What size do you all wear? Leave me a comment so I can take a poll and start getting some averages.

I took photos and am posting them for you to see my first attempts at wire wrapped rings. I had a lot of fun making them.

This blue bubble ring turned out to be pretty small, so I gave it to Sara. She really likes it.  I have more of these beads, so I think I will do a couple more like this.
I really liked the mix of colors in this one.

oops.  I should have cleaned my fingernails...don't look! lol

 I really like this one a lot.

(Man, I have been having nothing but troubles making this post tonight.  It wouldn't upload any of my pics, then it was going to something called Cloud Picker that I had to sign in for and then gave an error message.  Ended up having to clear out all my cookies.  Great.  Now I get to put in all my passwords for all my pages again.  Joy.)

Anyways.  On with the rings.  What do you all think of my first rings?  I really kind of like the look of the big, chunky rings.  I love the square Venetian Glass ones.  Got those from a previous Artbeads order that I thought I was going to use and didn't.  Thought they worked out perfect here.  Wish I had some gold colored wire, too.  Guess I will be making another order to Bello Modo.  Have you ever shopped at Bello Modo?  They have wonderful customer service, and their orders process quick.  Most of the time I get a free little goodie in my package, which is always fun.  Free shipping, too.  But, if you are looking for something particular on their website and don't see it, don't give up!  Email or call Pam and ask her if she has what you are looking for.  I found out that she usually does and it's just not on the website yet.  Prices are great, so the checking is worth your while.  The wire I just received from them was a great example.  I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for as far as wire goes, so I just shot over an email with a question, and she answered very quickly.  Got my order quickly, too.

So here are my poll questions again, in case you forgot.  What size do you wear or do you think is average?  Do you like the direction of the styles I am choosing...the chunkier blingier look?  Also, what colors are your favorites?  What colors do you see other people wearing a lot of these days?  I can get the wire in colors.  Would you wear colored wire to match the beads, or do you prefer the basic silver or gold colored wire?  Tell me your thoughts on rings in general.  I had fun making them, so I'm thinking that if I can get some good feedback I can make some and put them in my Etsy shop, and maybe actually sell something.  That would be something different!

Ok.  I think I'm done.  It took me forEVER to make this post because of the Blogger issues, and I'm about Bloggered out for tonight.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Short week next week and the holidays officially start!  I love the holiday season.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Giveaway, a YouTube Debut and more!!!

Hello, all!  This is a miscellaneous catch-all post, so take a deep breath and here we go!

Andrew Thornton is having a great giveaway that you should really check out.  It is a $75 gift certificate to The Bead Chest!  How awesome is that?  All you have to do is leave Andrew a comment on his page to be entered to win this great prize.  I really really want to win, but if I don't I hope one of you do!  Also, he has recently undergone surgery for cancer, and the bead community has really rallied around him. 

To help alleviate his mounting medical bills for his treatment, many bead artists have been auctioning off some things with proceeds going to Andrew for his expenses.  Please take the time to read through the posts and see what is being offered.  He writes a fabulous blog anyways, so you might want to become a follower so you can stay tuned to read his great posts.  Visit him at The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton.

Next, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my order that shipped this past Saturday.  What is taking the mail sooooo long?  How come the bills come quick, but play things take so damned long?  Speaking of Artbeads, I have been authorized to give the readers of my blog an early bird Thanksgiving coupon code that won't be made available to everyone else until after Thanksgiving.  You can receive 20% off orders of $60 or more by typing the coupon code ZZ-THANKSGIVING-SALE at checkout.  If you have not shopped at Artbeads, I very highly recommend them.  They are simply awesome!!!  So, what are you waiting for?  Go shop!!!

Next, my son Matthew has made his YouTube debut.  Now you have to understand.  Our family just isn't right.  Or who knows?  Maybe we're "righter" than we know.  Maybe there's lots of families out there like us who don't tell anyone because they think they're the only ones.  Ok I'll say it.  Body functions are funny.  There.  Now the secret is out.  Matthew is 10, and not very big, but his burps have the BEST sound!  I laugh every time he does it.  So we set out on a project this past week, and we finally finished it tonight and put it live on YouTube.  Go check out Matthew.  And don't think less of us because we're for "Mega Burp Medly by Matthew".

Finally, I have a total of 10 bead embroidery instructional videos up so far.  If you haven't seen them yet, please check them out on my Videojug pages.  I can make money by visitors coming, so you might pick up a tip or two by visiting, and I'll get credit for you stopping by.  You don't even have to click any ads I found out.  Simply show up.  All you need to do when you get there is click on the tab that says Pages, and then click on a few pages to see what I've demonstrated and written about.  For those of you who have already visited, I really appreciate your time.  I hope you will be able to go back again sometime!  I am going to do about 20-25 videos on bead embroidery stitches and techniques (give or take).  Once I have that finished up I am going to do a small series on making a cuff bracelet.  Then probably one on how to do the square stitch and follow a pattern.  And probably a couple on what I know so far about working with wire.  It's been a lot of fun, and even though I haven't been beading too much, I have been very busy with this and enjoying it very much.

Thanks for stopping by, and I'll write again soon!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Please do me a favor...

Hello again, everyone.  Hope all is well out there for you.  Things have been busy for me.  I have been making videos and pages for my Bead Embroidery Series on videojug.  I might have a problem though.  I'm wondering if you all have any problems getting the videos to play.  Can you plllleeeeeaaaase go to the link for Lisa's Videojug Site and click the tab that says "Pages".  You can click those 4, but also I think there is a button or link that says "See All" where a couple more will pop up.  I had to take the video I did that you first saw down from YouTube and redo it so it was under 250mb and could be hosted directly on the Videojug site.  What I didn't know is that if my videos are hosted with YouTube, then THEY get the money my pages generate.  I only earn money if the videos are with Videojug.  So the videos are very short and sweet...under about 2 minutes or so, so it won't take up to much of your time to get check it out and give me a hand.  Please let me know if you could or could not view the videos.  Thanks so much for all your help!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A New Journey

Hello, everyone!  I just wanted to tell you about the project I am working on.  Just recently a representative from a website called Videojug contacted me.  She had seen my blog and really liked it (yea!).  Videojug is a website that is about all things hobbies and interests.  People contribute pages with instructions, videos, photos, etc. to help others interested in that hobby.  Jemma asked me to contribute pages for them!  Is that kinda cool???

So yesterday I had my daughter video tape me (or my short, little, stubby arms at least lol) giving a "getting started" demonstration into the world of bead embroidery.  I discussed needles, thread, fabric, backing and showed how to knot on and knot off the thread properly...a crucial task to learn well when doing bead embroidery.  I plan to do a whole little series teaching a variety of stitches from beginner to advanced.

The other fun thing is that Videojug is doing a contest this month...whoever submits the most and best quality videos will win $1000!!!  The prizes go down to $100, and they are giving away $3000 total.  I told Sami that if she videos for me and I happen to win, she gets 10%.  lol.  Whatever it takes to get the help, you know? 

The video is too dark if you ask me, and you can tell I was nervous doing my first video, but I'm satisfied with what I did.  The next ones will only get better.  I think I will need to do the videos in the daytime from now on with the natural light coming in the window to help brighten things up.  I also had to learn how to use YouTube, which isn't as easy as people make it out to be if you ask me.  My video was too big to upload directly to the site, so I had to link it in from YouTube.  I just have to make sure my videos are not longer than 10 minutes in the future.

But, I'd like to invite you to see my first page submitted to Videojug.  I hope I got the link can click here to view it.  Feel free to leave me comments, critiques and criticisms here or on my Videojug page itself.

Oh, and I forgot to mention.  I can make some extra $$ through this venture.  I get a 50/50 split on revenues generated from ad clicks.  So, you know, if you want to click an ad while you're there... ;)

And one more thing.  I'd like to thank all the veterans out there who have served to make this great nation what it is today.  If you, your hubbies, sons or daughters are veterans...thank you from me.