Saturday, January 1, 2011

Holiday update and a new BJP year!

 Happy New Year to all of you!  I hope that you all had a marvelous holiday season.  For me, it was exhausting, but it was really good nonetheless.  First, my oldest baby and his girlfriend, Michelle, moved in with us.  Now we have a family of 7 in a 3 bedroom house.  Tyler and Michelle have been assigned to the sectional sofa in the living room.  Unfortunately, there are no extra beds or rooms other than that.  At least they have a roof over their heads, are getting good meals and aren't freezing out there.  Here's a pic of Ty and Michelle:
Tyler and his girlfriend, Michelle.
They are both searching hard for work, but this is an awful time of year to be looking for a job.  Everyone is telling them "middle to end of January."  Please keep good thoughts, prayers, whatever it is that you do for these kids so they can get on their feet.

Getting ready for the holidays was hectic.  I was the designated cookie maker for the family get-togethers this year.  I had big plans of making several dozen of 4 different kinds of cookies.  But, *sigh* I only made 3 kinds.  Well, I only made two.  Michelle had been wanting to make cookies, too, so she and Sara teamed up to make the chocolate chips.  They turned out great!
Sara and Michelle baking cookies for Christmas
Then, during the week before Christmas, my best friend from high school (who I haven't seen in 22 years!!!) came to Phoenix and stayed with us for a few days!  It was so much fun to get to know her again, talk, get caught up, etc.  I felt bad because my house and lifestyle is not very exciting, so I didn't really know what to do to entertain.  One day we took a car trip in a big circle through the different areas around Scottsdale, and we had a great lunch at a place called Island's.  Oh my, do they have the best dang burgers on the planet!!!!  We had a very nice time together, and it better not be another 22 years until I see her again!!!  We had lost touch just up until a few months ago, and she tracked me down through Facebook.  The wonders of modern technology!  Now I know how to reach her, and I vow not to lose track of her again!!!
Of course, the kids all got just about everything they wanted for Christmas.  I know we spoil them.  But they are only kids for a short while.  Does anyone remember my computer that crashed and died on me a few months back?  Well, we had the hard drive wiped clean and had windows reloaded on it.  The kids got that for their room for Christmas, and they were sooooo excited!  We got a wireless adapter thingy and I got them hooked up to the internet, and they couldn't be happier.  They have very tight restrictions on where they can go and what they can do, but they haven't argued one bit about it.  Right now they are having a lot of fun on a website called "Club Penguin".  Keeps them busy!
Sara and Matthew
Unfortunately, I didn't have much opportunity to get photos of Sami during the week of Christmas.  One of her very good friends that moved away to Arkansas came in town to visit her dad, and Sami was invited over to their house for a few days.  She had a great time visiting with Lejend, and I'm happy that even though she has moved away that they have stayed in touch.  Unlike me and Angela when I moved away!

Oh!  And I nearly forgot!  The other morning there was a knock at the door.  I got up to go answer it, and I was a little irritated.  I was sure it was going to be yet another salesman wanting to fix my windshield.  We get LOTS of different types of door-to-door salesmen, but especially ones who want to fix my windshield.  So I opened the door with a scowl on my face...and I couldn't believe it!  Unannounced all the way to Scottsdale, AZ from Denver was my parents!!!!  They didn't tell us they were coming, so we were all shocked, and happy and surprised.  We had a nice few days visiting with them.  Pop took the little ones hiking up Camelback Mountain, and for the first time ever they made it to the top!!!  Me and mom looked at each other's bead work, oohed and ahhhed, and I showed her how to do a couple stitches.  Years ago I got her into some heavy duty scrapbooking, now I have gotten her into beading.  lol  Like mother, like daughter. (Notice, the wall behind them is also Sara's Art Wall. :)
Mom and Pop

Bead Journal Project 2011

OK!  Now on to the beads!!!  I did not finish last year's project.  I think I only got through June.  The reason is that my carpal tunnel has gotten so bad that I can no longer do bead embroidery.  My hands hurt up to my elbows within about 5 minutes, and it is just too painful and frustrating.  So this year I am going to do something different.  I know that 99% of the people in the BJP do bead embroidery, so I hope my ideas can still be appreciated even though they are not the norm.  My goal this year is to learn a new type of bead weaving stitch or method or idea every month for the next year to expand my knowledge of beads and to find as many ways of expressing myself through beads as I can...that doesn't hurt my hands.

Each month I will make a necklace and bracelet set.  This month I chose to do wire crochet.  I was surprised at how fast they worked up!  I chose 4 different types of beads.  There was a czech glass green square, a Czech glass maple leaf in cobalt luster, a pearlized glass garnet nugget and a copper-ish serpentine glass square.  I used 26g silver craft wire and a simple, plain silver toggle for the closures.

I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I call it "Joyful Chaos", which describes my last few months of 2010.  There were a lot of happy things going on, such as my son coming home and Angela coming to visit, but it was also very chaotic and stressful at the same time.  Here are some pics for you to see.

(Just a note...the silver chain at the top is not part of the necklace...that is Michelle's chain that she already had on.)

And a close-up...

Here's the bracelet, and I also made a matching wire-wrapped ring in 20g silver parawire.

I didn't post anything for New Year's.  I think because I convinced myself I had to come up with something profound to say.  But I had nothing.  I just want to say that I appreciate all of you.  So many of you have become personal friends in 2010, and I hope to become friends with many more of you in 2011.  May all of you have a blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!!!


Barbara said...

Isn't it funny how we think we are supposed to do one thing, then something makes us shift gears and we find we really were meant to do another. I do think you've found your thing with making jewelry! This month's wire crochet pieces are stunning!!!

Beadwright said...

This is such a nice post. Seems like you were surround with love and happiness this holiday.
All the best to you and your family.

Robbie said...

I really like your 'BJP' idea! And your latest is wonderful! Looks like you had a great holiday! Take care..Oh, I used the same 2011 logo! Wasn't/isn't it cool!

Bellesanbeaus said...

Miss Lisa...I haven't even posted on my blog since September but felt the urge to tell you I am so blessed to have found you, made friends with you and stayed in touch in other ways. It has been my honor to watch you grow in your beading and the eye candy you have put up here are such proof of that growth. I know you will do awesome things in 2011 so I'm just gonna enjoy the ride! Huge hugs to you sweetie and job well done!

Sweetpea said...

Lisa, what a lovely, truly individual post this is...I can learn so much from your acceptance of what comes our way. Wishing you a very HapPY nEW YeAR!!!!

Carol said...

Hi Lisa
You have adjusted to the hand you have been dealt. Wonderful! Others would have rejected another BJP year. I am so glad that you chose to continue on in your own way.

The necklace is just stunning!! And yet it depicted a journal of what is going on in your life.

Happy New Year.
Roll with the punches...the only way to survive!!

(You are profound in your own way. Guess you didn't know that)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful, family-filled holiday filled with happy moments & happy surprises! I hope 2011 brings all good things to you and your family!

A big wow on that necklace & bracelet set! I am looking forward to next month already, LOL!

Jan said...

Your house is very crowded with people and love. I realize things are hard for you and yet you appear to be looking at the bright side as much as possible. Your jewelry making is growing better with each piece I see so in one way even your carpal tunnel is a blessing, forcing you to branch out in new directions.

I wish you all the best that the coming year can offer.

Lynn said...

Joyful Chaos. That is the most perfect name for your January pieces :) you are so witty!

I love the colors - I would have never thought to put those together. They compliment each other so well!

I think you BJP theme is excellent. One of the goals is to grow and learn and it sounds like you'll be doing just that.

Huggy Hug Hug to you my friend!

Robin said...

Lovely post, Lisa and great idea for how to stay with the BJP but not do something that hurts your hand!!!! Joyful Chaos is super fun... You have such a good way with colors! I enjoyed seeing the pictures of kids and Mom and Pop... like someone else said, you have a house filled with people and love. I hope your son has luck finding a job soon, as I know it's tough for a kid his age to be unemployed. I'm happy that we're on the same BJP blog this year ;>}

Hugs, Robin A.