Taking a Break from Blog Hopping for Meal Planning

I am methodically working my way through the other 209 participants' blogs in the Bead Soup Blog Party. I've still got about 100 blogs left to go, but soooooo many other tasks on my plate (in my soup bowl) that it's taking me a bit of time to work through each of them. How far have you gotten? If you are here to see what I made with my soup, you can just scroll down to the next post, or click HERE to be taken to my bead soup post.
One of the pieces I completed with my Bead Soup

I'm really loving this blog hop and have found quite a few more blogs to follow (as if I needed any more in my feedreader.) Even though my attention really should have been on the soup party, Pat and I had all kinds of plans for the weekend: dinner with friends, a wedding reception (for which we had to get hairs cut and a present bought), and the longing to and actuality of spend some time outdoors (on our bikes again.) We stayed as close to the water as we could almost all weekend without actually getting in it since the water's still a bit too chilly.
Wedding reception
Bike Riding view

Since I've got all kinds of tasks that I need to get done today (blog hopping, grocery shopping, jewelry making, description writing, etc.), let me share my weekly meal plan for Menu Plan Monday and be on my way. Be sure to check out all the other meal plans over at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

B: Cereal
L: Bagel pizzas
D: Ham and Broccoli casserole

B: Muffins
L: Tuna noodles
D: Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes, peas

B: Waffles
L: Soup and grilled cheese
D: Three cheese stuffed shells, salad

B: Bacon & cheese omelets
L: Turkey & cheese quesidillas
D:  Pat has gig, Hope on own

B: Breakfast parfait
L: Chicken salad sandwiches
D: MEXICAN - out

B: Biscuits, fruit, sausage
L: Leftovers
D: Beef and snow peas, rice

B:Breakfast burritos
L: Turkey sandwiches
D: Ham, rice mix, green beans

I can almost guarantee that you'll see many of these recipes repeated next week. This week will be full of Mardi Gras parades and merriment, so I may not got to making dinner. Wait and see!
That's it for today. Later gators.

Bead Soup Blog Party

Welcome to the 3rd Bead Soup Blog Party!
What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?

 Each beader was paired up with another jewelry designer and tasked with sending the following:

~ A focal
~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)
~ Some coordinating spacers or beads

Using the focal and the clasp was mandatory, but we could use anything from our own stash to round out the rest, and choose to use the coordinating beads or not.
Here's what I made!

First, let me remind you what my bead soup blog partner Patty at My Life Under the Bus sent me.
And here's what I did with it

I made this necklace right away

But then, there was so much left over that I made another necklace (this one's all mine, I'll definitely be keeping it!)

And, I crafted a pair of earrings!
AND. . .there's still more left in the soup pot. Patty really did spoil me.
Now head over to Patty's blog and ALL the others to see their Bead Soup creations

Bead Soup Blog Party

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life 
3.  Michelle Heim, Life In the Bead Lane 
4.  Lisa Petrillo, Lucid Moon Studio
5.  Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
6.  Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
7.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
8.  Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
9.  Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto
10.  Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio

11.  Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
12.  Rachel Walsh, Balanced Crafts
13.  Marian Hertzog, M's Place
14.  Mary McGraw, MK's Musings
15.  Sarabeth Burke, Chronicles of Sarita
16.  Deci Worland, Gem Trails 
17.  Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
18.  Laura Zeiner, Stick Lizard Designs
19.  Kristin Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
20.  Cathryn Brooks-Williams, Chile Cats

21.  Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
22.  Janna Harttgen, Palima-Lim 
23.  Libby Leuchtman, Libby Leu
24.  Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
25.  Deb Hunter, Living On Air
26.  Diana Ptaszynski, Suburban Girl Studio
27.  Jennifer VanBenschoten, VanBeads 
28.  Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
29.  Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
30.  Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul

31.  Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium
32.  Patricia Gasparino, My Life Under the Bus
33.  Tari Khars, Pearl and Pebble
34.  Kristi Bowman-Gruel, Kristi Bowman Design
35.  Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
36.  Becky Fairclough, Chameleons Designs
37.  Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead & Metal Works
38. Lynne Bowland, Islandgirl's Insights
39.  Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
40.  Lorelei Eurto, Inside the Studio

41.  Stacy Hartis, Sissy & Jack's
42.  Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
43.  Marcie Abney, La Bella Joya 
44.  Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
45.  Nan Emmett, Spirit Rattles 
46.  Melissa Mesara, One Eared Pig  
47.  Amanda Davie, Articulations
48.  Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady
49.  Virginia Joste, ViviBijoux

50.  Andrew Thornton, The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
51.  Lori Dorrington, Lori's Glassworks
52.  Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
53.  Kate Gardenghi, Tropical Blonde
54.  Serena Trent, PinkIce Jewel's Blog
55. Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin de Koning
56.  Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
57.  Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio 
58.  Amy Freeland, Copper Diem
59.  Lisa Liddy, Joolz By Lisa

60.  Sandi Lee James,  Do Be Do Bead Do
61.  Mary Harding, Mary Harding Bead Blog 
62.  Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
63.  Leslie Gidden, Mad Maggie Designs
64.  Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
65.  Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
66.  Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.
67.  Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash
68.  Laurel Steven, Rue's Daftique
69.  Ingrid McCue, Wrapped In Silver

70.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
71.  Diana Hawkey, Diana Hawkey
72.  Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
73.  Jeanette Ryan, Jeanette Blix
74.  Jackie Ryan, Silver Lodge Gems
76.  Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium 
77.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art 
78.  Jana Trupovniece, Stories of the Secret Garden  
79.  Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

80.  Emma Thomas, Fred Beans Nook
81.  Karen Zanco, Everyday Gypsy
82.  Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
83.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
84.  Dana James, Dana's Jewelry Designs
85.  Kristina Johansson, Wild Roses and Blackberries
86.  CJ Bauschka, CJ Bauschka
87.  Angela Barribea, Re: Angela Rae
88. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
89.  Tanya Floyd, Glass Migrations

90.  Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
91.  Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous 
92.  Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Bead 
93.  Nally Parfyonova, Nally's Creations 
94.  Karyn White, Releases By Rufydoof  
95. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia Studio 
96.  Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
97.  Cindy Dolezal,  Cindy Dolezal Designs 
98.  Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
99. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads

101.  Nicole Valentine-Rimmer, N. Valentine Studio
102.  Jacinta Meyers, Jamberrysong's Creations 
103.  Charlene Gary, Gray Girl Studios
104.  Rubiee Hayes, Glitter and Keys Galore
105.  Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
106.  Elizabeth Freeman, Turquoise Sky
107.  Shelby Foxwell, Sundown Bead Designs Rhetoric
108.  Lynda Moseley, Diva Designs
109.  Grace Danel,  Grace Beading
110.  Lois Moon, Que Onda Quitman

111.  Agnes Shapiro, Beader Bubbe 
112.  Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo 
113.  Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
114.  Mary Ellen Parker, Bee Tree By Me
115. Barbara Bechtel, Second Surf
116.  Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
117. Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles 
118.  Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie 
119.  Ronda Adams, The Ravished Heart 
120.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs 

121. Anna Lear, The Laughing Raven 
122. Susie Hibdon, Vintagesusie & Wings  
123.  Amanda Austin, Sea Shore Glass 
124.  Jennifer Velasquez, Jen Judd Rocks 
125.  Hazel Ward, All Those Things 
126.  Brenda Salzano, Salzanos 
127.  Dee Gordon, Runako Designs by Dee 
128.  Anna Denisova, Anita-M 
129.  Margaret Saari, Mags-Jewelry

130.  Genea Crivello-Knable, Genea Beads 
131.  Penny Neville, Copper Penny
132.  Angela Blasingame, Hopemore
133. Helena Fritz, Beadwork by H's Blog
134. Stephanie LaRose, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
135. Stephanie Haussler, PixyBug Designs
136. Diane Cook, Rosa & Josies  
137.  Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
138.  Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by J.P.
139.  Shannon Chomanczuk, For My Sweet Daughter

140.  Lisa Godfrey, Bead Happy
141.  Heather Pyle, Welcome to My  Muse
142.  Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
143.  Liz DeLuca, Creative Arty Facts
144.  Sig Wynne-Evans, Beaded Bear's Nonsense
145.  Loretta Carstensen, Loretta's Boutique
146.  Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads 
147.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul 
148.  Shelly Graves, Stars Dance With Me  
149.  Jess Italia Lincoln, Vintaj Blog 

150. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
151.  Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
152.  Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
153.  Katarzyna Kwiatkowska, Quiet Area 
154.  Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
155. Magdalena Sikora, Poranna Gazeta
156.  Nicole Keller, Nicki's Reef
157.  Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
158.  Noemi Baena, Fire, Metal, and Color 
159. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman 

160.  Barbara Blaszczyk, Labotorium Flory
161.  Collette Collins, Firefly Myst
162.  Carola Greiser, Polymer Clay Shed
163.  Joanna Kopijczuk, Bizuteria z Filcu
164. LeAnn Weih, Summers Studio 
165.  Cassandra Watsham, Design by Cassandra
166. Anna Motz, Stunning
167.  Shea Zukowski, Gr8findings
168.  Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
169.  Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings

170.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
171.  Alison Crenshaw, Beads by Earth Tones
172.  Dorcas Midkiff, Wondrous Strange Designs 
173.  Melissa Rediger, Sea of Glass 
174.  Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre  
176.  Menka Gupta, Menka's Blog
177. Patsy Evins, Patsy Evins Studio
178.  Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
179.  Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux

180.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
181.  Lyn Foley, Lyn Foley Wearable Art
182. Tara Plote, The Newbie Beader's Blog
183. Natalie Schuetz, Natalie S Perlen 
184. Kim Hutchinson, Running on Ink
185. Haley Frank, Wide Eyed Smilin 
186. Grace Caputo, Suddenly Last Summer
187. Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp, Skye Jewels 
188. Erin Siegel, Erin Siegel Jewelry 
189.  Janea McDonald, Organized Chaos

190.  Kristi Evenson, Colie Bug & Co.
191.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
192.  Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
193. Whitney Lassini, Whitney Lassini
194. Nancy Schindler, The Rabbit Muse
195. Pam Brisse, The Blue Between
196. Beth Bricker, Vintage Sweets
197.  Ruthie Stickney, Rose Works Jewelry and Gifts
198.  Rose Noble, Lady Noble Designs
199. Karen Williams, Baublicious

200.  Claire Maunsell, The Next Bend
201.  Christine Damm, Stories They Tell
202.  Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts
203.  Wendy Blum, Sand & Sea Designs
204.  Juli Cannon, Julsbeads
205.  Jenny Robledo, La Dona Boutique
206.  Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
207.  Pam Krinski, Ewa Beads
208.  Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love
209.  Dana Jones, Dana's Jewelry
210.  Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread

The next party's sign ups begin August 1-3, 2011.  Don't miss it!

A BIG THANK YOU goes to Lori Anderson at Pretty Things for Hosting the Bead Soup Blog Party. She went through a ton to organize this many bead bloggers. She's an angel for doing it!

Rectifying the Situation

Remember Wednesday?
I was a little embarrassed posting that picture of my messy craft desk for Bead Table Wednesday. Because. . . well. . .you only got to see the one desk. You didn't get a peek at the other surfaces in the craft room. And, you know what? You couldn't have seen any of the other surfaces anyway. They were COVERED with. . .stuff.

I had intended to clean house yesterday. However, my hopes to get the laundry done, kitchen cleaned, and living room picked up were thwarted by the mortification of you seeing those pictures I hastily shared. Well, I'm ashamed no more. I spent the bulk of yesterday cleaning the craft room.

The craft room is clean! Now, I'll just stay in there and hide from the mess in the rest of the house.

Seriously, I paid for my cleaning spree and had a day-long allergy attack as I did so. The sneezing, wiping, and blowing wore on me. As such, I failed to get anything else done. So, I apologize for my blog absence yesterday. I knew I shouldn't have promised something exciting for you. Promises like that always get me into trouble.

Well, I will make ONE more promise. Check back tomorrow for the Bead Soup Blog Party! It's going to be a BLAST!!

Since it is Friday, here's a little "Feel Good Friday" for you:
  • Rainbow jelly shooters. I like all things rainbow and I do like me some 'jelly shots.' These are just so pretty and so very coo. Oh, and here's a few more neat jello shots for fun - rock candy jello shots
  • This video seriously made me howl with laughter - Nonsense
Happy Friday Y'all. I'll see ya tomorrow!

Beady Basics

How'd you like that picture-fest yesterday?

Today, let's rock it old-school with just the basics.
First, here's a sneaky peek at my completed Bead Soup Blog Party pieces.

Don't forget to check back on Saturday to get a much better look at what I made with the lovelies Patty sent me.

Today's Wednesday and that means it's Bead Table Wednesday.
Bead Table Wednesday
Close up on my table, you see the remnants of my crafting the bead soup pieces.
However, if you back up all you can see is the mess left behind from working on and sending out a custom piece as well as the Bead Soup spillage.

I'll tackle that mountain of a disaster tomorrow. For now, why don't you go check out some really cool bead tables in the BTW flickr group.

This morning I listed one of my most FAVORITE pieces. It just screams SPRING IS HERE to me. And, since I started seeing traces of spring in the yellow pollen that's begun to settle on my car, I thought today was the perfect time to go ahead and list it.
Secret Garden Necklace

Now for the routine of some
~*Crafty Links*~ (topic: Embroidery)
Finally, how about some "Wild, Wild Web Wednesday" Links also:
I'm hoping I can share something more exciting with you tomorrow. Check back to find out.

    Beach Weekend on the Alabama-Florida Gulf Coast

    Before I get into telling you about our weekend, let me make a correction from yesterday's post. The prizes I showed off that came in the mail were my winnings from Kristen Robinson's blog. I've made an addition on that post, but wanted to make sure it's clear.

    So. . . our February weekend at the beach was VERY NICE!!
    I don't know if you saw the moon on Friday night, but it was HUGE and awesome. I tried my darnedest to get a photo of the beauty of the big, beautiful, full moon just after it had risen. However, that didn't work out so well for me. Once we checked into the condo, I was able to snap this okay shot.

    By the way, that photo was taken with my new favorite iPhone app - Instagram. If you have an iPhone, you should TOTALLY check it out!

    Since it was Friday when we got there, we knew it was a must that we partake in what we call Margarita Friday.

    Saturday was spent recovering from the margaritas, eating at some of our local favorites, and enjoying just being at the beach. I did squeeze in some creative time and made this necklace.
    I'd REALLY like to know what you think of the necklace.

    Sunday was one of my favorite days of all time.
    Since we took our bikes down to the beach with us, we decided to check out the walking/biking trail at the Alabama Gulf State Park. We explored one part of the trail on foot several weeks ago. Come to find out, we barely made a dent in the trail that time. The main trail is about 5.5 miles long and paved the whole way. Of course, there are a ton of unpaved walking trails just off the main path AND several paved branches and forks off the main trail. There are benches, porch swings, and picnic tables all along the pathway. In addition, there was this screen-enclosed picnic area with porch swings on the front. This building was just near the bathrooms and water fountain.
    Almost the entire trail (at least the route we took) is wooded and lovely. There are patches of sand and palmettos on the side of the path, reminding you that you're at the beach. However, this was my favorite spot on the trail, reminding me that we were at the beach in Southern Alabama.

    Pat and I rode from one end of the trail to the other for a total of 11 MILES!!! Of course, there were forks off the path that we didn't take and are excited to explore next time.

    After that long ride, we were thirsty and hungry. We headed back to Perdido Key to check out a restaurant we've never visited before. We'd seen the Oyster Bar from the bridge that it's almost under and had wanted to check it out since it had a nice looking deck along the river.
     Oh my gosh! It was GOOD!! We both wanted to eat somewhat healthy after the exercise we had gotten, and lucked out with the yummy Mahi Mahi and sauteed crab claws. (the Bushwackers were to die for also!!) But the view absolutely sold us on the place. We'll be going back there!

     Back at the condo, we relaxed and enjoyed our last night on the beach.
    In the morning, we took one long gaze off the balcony.

    I should let you know that we rented the condo from Meyer Realty and stayed in Perdido Key.  We usually rent from Meyer because I really like the way their website search works and the amount of info you can get on each of the properties available. As well, they're almost always offering some sort of special. In this case, we got the "rent two nights get the third free" special that they were having for Valentine's.

    Now that I've been home for a full day, I'm getting back into the swing of things and knocked a few tasks off the to do list.
    These simple earrings were listed
    Flower Power Earrings
    As well, I knocked out a custom piece and finished up a few more for the Bead Soup Blog Party on Saturday.
    Now, I'm ready to relax again.
    Oh well, vicious cycle.

    I hope you enjoyed my little review of the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast and recognize that there is plenty to do down here other than swim in the water. Of course, had it been warmer, we would have TOTALLY been in the water. We were on the beach two days and saw lots of cleaning activity, but not a single tar ball. Come on down, there's lots of fun and food to be had!!

    Taking Care of Business

    Though I mentioned that Pat and I were going to celebrate Valentines over the weekend, I didn't reveal our plans. Now that the weekend is over, I figured I'd let you know that we rented a condo on the Gulf (in Perdido Key, Florida.) I've got lots to share today, so I'll overload you with pretty beach pictures and details tomorrow. For now, this is what the view looked like when we left this morning.

    It was very hard to leave, but we missed the kitties.

    I've got a whole hoard of tasks to take care of this week.
    • I sold a pair of earrings and the buyer asked me to make a matching necklace. 
    • PLUS, the Bead Soup Blog Party reveal is Saturday!! I've got one piece made but I'd like to knock out a few more with the soup ingredients Patty sent me. 
    • And, I've got a bunch of items made whose pictures need to be cleaned up so they can be listed. 
    • In addition, these goodies arrived in the mail on Friday and I really want to play with them! **Added - these goodies were won from Kristen Robinson's blog**

    I have also added this little spark of fun in the shop.
    Doodle Whimsy Bracelet

    Of course, today is Monday, and I did take a little time on the ride home from the beach to do some Meal Planning for Menu Plan Monday. Don't forget to take a look at the other menus linked up at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

    B Out
    L Out
    D Ham steaks, mac-n-cheese, green beans

    B Muffins
    L Leftover pizza
    D Taco soup, tortilla chips

    B Cereal
    L Ham sandwiches
    D Grilled chicken, cauliflower, rice

    B Eggs, bacon, toast
    L Brats, baked beans
    D Pork chops, scalloped potatoes, corn

    B Cereal
    L Tuna noodles
    D MEXICAN - out

    B Omelets
    L Bagel pizzas
    D Wedding reception

    B Breakfast parfaits
    L Grilled cheese and soup
    D Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, peas

    Before I go, let me share a few "Made Me Smile Monday" links for the fun of it.
    • Here's a cute little video that I've been saving. I've seen it around a few different places online, but I thought I'd share in case some of you haven't seen it yet - ladybug plays with sprinkles
    • This firewood sign made me chuckle. 
    • The grammar freak in me wants to remind you that commas are important -

    It's taken me WAY too long to write this post. I keep getting distracted since I'm still totally in vacation mode. So, I need to go ahead and publish this in the hopes that it'll spur me to actually get started on some of those other "need-to-do" tasks.

    Lesson Learned - Love It or Leave It

    Prepare yourself for some over-analytical rambling on the topic of what is selling for me and what isn't. I've scattered some pictures of my jewelry though the post to distract you! You're welcome.
    Loved it - SOLD it!
    Since I started selling jewelry (just over 6 whole months now) I've been trying to find a pattern in what people buy from me. I can't seem to find a definite one. However, what I HAVE come to notice is that the pieces I absolutely LOVE tend to be the items that sell. And, the ones I'm not really a fan of . . . Well, it seems that no one else is either. That's not to say that I love EVERY item I've sold or that EVERY item I love gets sold. (Yeah, read that last sentence real slow and it will make sense, kinda.) But, the items that I'm no big fan of, they just don't sell.
    Didn't love, didn't sell
    What has all this over-analyzing taught me? Well, I've learned that if I don't really like an item, it's not worth listing. Just because I made it doesn't mean that it's a winner. Not EVERYTHING I make has to go into the shop.
    In simple terms: 
    If I like it, I list it. If I don't like it, leave it out.

    I've got to remember that the shop is a representation of who I am. It can't just be a pile of beads that kinda look good together.

    I see now that this is something that should have been blatantly obvious to me. However, I reasoned that not everyone has the same taste as I do in jewelry. So, I was making and including jewelry pieces that I thought would meet other tastes. That's got to stop.

    A favorite - SOLD

    Apparently, my distaste for those piece shone through. I am going to have to be more critical of what I use to represent me and seriously take a look at each item. Then, decide if it's a piece I would personally wear. If not, it gets taken apart and I start over.
    Not a fan = expired without a sell

    I've got two finished pieces right now, a necklace and a pair of earrings, that I KNOW I'm not particularly thrilled with. I think the necklace can be salvaged with a a few adjustments, but the earrings. . .they just need to be taken apart completely and the beads worked into something else.


    This is still a learning process for me, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

    And, here's a bracelet (that I DO LOVE) that is now on sale over 15% off!
    Rosy Glow Bracelet

    The necklace from Lorelei's 2nd Michael's Challenge was also listed in the shop. I am quite fond of the focal on this piece.
    Naughty or Nice Necklace

    What lessons have you learned?
    Do you have any tips or comments about the jewelry in my shop?
    I'd love to hear from you!!

    Tin and Bead Bracelet DIY

    As I flipped through some old jewelry magazines to decide if they needed to be kept or donated, I found so much inspiration in many of them ...