Shop Announcement and Giveaways Found

Pat and I are taking a vacation soon, so I just want to give all you Etsy shoppers a heads up. I WILL be keeping the shop open this time, but all orders received will not be shipped until August 9th. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me.

One of the things I've done to prepare for vacation is to try to get through the list of beaders in the first bead soup reveal. I'm just about done with the list, but thought you might want to know that I've found quite a few giveaways in the mix. Here's the ones I've found.
Now, there may be some others I've missed (I know there was one giveaway already drawn for, so oops!), but I just figured I'd share. If you're having a giveaway and I missed you, I do apologize. Feel free to add a link in the comments.

As always, I do hope to blog while I'm out. . .but I never do know how busy I'll be, if I'll have internet, and such. I don't want to promise anything.

I guess that's everything for now. Later y'all!

Get your piping hot links here!

It's feeling like a Link-a-palooza kind of day.
I never did make it into the craft room yesterday so I'm feeling it's pretty necessary today. As such, I'm hurrying the process along by just sharing some links. They're pretty great links though, you should totally check them out. I'm totally serious.

  • I'm the type of person who likes to have music playing when I'm doing chores, cooking, working, or anything pretty much (hmmmm....might explain why I married a musician.) Unfortunately, since my rock star husband is actually a home office-working software programmer by day, I need to give him the peace he needs. Yet, this music to clean by playlist shared by Curbly would be fabulous otherwise. As such, I figured the rest of you might could use it!

  • Many moons ago (late last year), Marcie Abney of La Bella Joya was generous enough to share a beautiful seed bead pendant tutorial for the pendant pictured above. I was first struck by the beauty of the design and almost immediately after by the thought that, "Oh yeah, seed beads and I don't always see eye-to-eye." However, I've since gone back and admired the design some more, I've realized that Marcie has made the directions concise and fairly easy to follow. I just might be able to make something close to what she's created. I bet you could too!!
  • Along with the official start of the Olympics tonight, the beady Olympics begin. . .I mean, the first reveal for the Bead Soup Blog Party starts tomorrow!! The Bead Soup's amazing hostess, Lori Anderson will have a full list for you of the participants first thing in the morning (actually, she'll probably have it up at midnight, Eastern Standard Time if you're raring to go blog hopping tonight like I probably will be!)
That's it for me today. I'm serious about trying to get in the craft room today and not waste it on chores or in front of this dang machine. What about you? What are you serious about getting done today?

BTW: Discovered

Back in May I revealed my efforts in the Button Swap, but admitted that I hadn't made anything with the handmade ceramic button from my partner, Brenda Salzano.

This morning as I was doing some cleaning in the craft room, I re-discovered said button along with a whole set of corresponding beads. Since I had JUST cleaned off my bead table, it seemed like the perfect time for this button project to jump back on it.

Thinking back to when I worked on the button swap, I do remember deciding on using the butterfly wings and I kinda recall making the shabby beads and picking out other beads that would go with the fabulous button. But, I just couldn't commit to a design that would flow. Since I'm under no pressure of a reveal for this button I think I might actually be able to pull something together!!

There's more Bead Table Wednesday in the Flickr Group!
Bead Table Wednesday

I need to know do you ever forget about projects only to discover them later? Is it just me?

What's on my Plate

Yesterday's journaling went . . .okay. I definitely want to begin to try my hand at "art journaling", but I do love to write. As such, much of what I want to express comes out better in words than it does visually. Or something like that. . .see. . . me write good. Yeah, we'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, let me share what else I'm up to. Laurel Steven at Rue's Daftique is having a 40% off Rent Party Sale in her Laurel Steven Etsy Shop.. Apparently, she has already sold enough to pay her rent, but the sale is still going on if you want to check it out. I swooped in and got this GORGEOUS pendant that came in the mail yesterday.

She even textured the back side of it with swirls.

Now to come up with a design that will compliment it's awesomeness!

In addition to the pendant, I received more happy mail yesterday. A friend (I haven't seen in about 14 years) and I have been re-connecting via Facebook for a few months. She's in to arts and crafts too and wanted to do a swap between us. Apparently, she had just ordered some mini dominoes. She sent me 12 of them.

We agreed that these can be made into anything (though she has a request or two), but we MUST use at least six of them and will send the completed projects back to each other at the end of September. I just need to figure out what to do with them. There are no holes or anything, simply mini dominoes. Suggestions?! Ideas!? I'm open.

I'll also be playing with Sarah at Saturday Sequins as she has offered up a sequin challenge. She's calling it Sequintastic September (since the challenge is to create something with sequins and reveal it as part of a blog hop in September.You probably figured that out yourself though huh?) Anyway, it sounds fun right!? Well, head over to Saturday Sequins now to sign up!!

Cat Kerr at In the Light of the Moon has been playing around with new materials also. In fact, she made some really beautiful polymer clay pendants that she wants to give away. You should totally check it out!!

Suor Angelica JUNK Necklace on sale!
Beach Weather earrings re-listed
It sounds like I've got a lot on my plate and better get busy with it! What's on your plate at the moment?

Crafter's Devotional and a Menu

Today I begin another item on my To Do List.
Ack! What am I thinking?

Well, I'm thinking I need a spark. You see, while I was catching up on all the blog reading I missed while I was out-of-town, I stumbled on posts by my friend, Patty at My Life Under the Bus, and by Elisabeth at Beads for Busy Gals. Apparently, their muse has been off her game lately too and Elisabeth had recently found The Crafter's Devotional by Barbara R. Call.

They decided to use this book as a rallying point for a group of "like minded (semi-lost) souls, and host blog hops occasionally to see how everyone is doing." As soon as I saw their posts, I ran out of the house and to the bookstore to grab the book. As well, I've asked to be added to their list of semi-lost souls as I intend to play along. Elisabeth has a link at the top of her blog that will take you to the list of participants and some other information.

One of the first things you notice and learn about the book is that it advocates journaling. (I don't think I'm spoiling anything here. . .it says this on the back cover plain as day.) So I've made sure to gather some supplies to have with me for this part. I actually had a mostly empty journal/sketchbook already, and I took a quick trip up to the store for some colorful pens (SCHOOL SUPPLIES!! They're on sale right now. I have a problem.) and a stick of glue for any collaging desires that possess me.

In addition, I grabbed a cheap pencil case. With a book ring I already had, I've attached my supplies to my journal for easy travel.

I'm all ready to go. . .now to actually DO the prompts and whatnot in the book!!

Beyond that, it's Monday and I'm all ready with a meal plan for my week.

Breakfasts: Breakfast banana split, cereal/oatmeal, raspberry parfaits, muffin cup egg casseroles, muffins, omelets

Lunches: Turkey (leftover) on salad, ham sandwiches, bean burritos, pita pizzas, soup w/grilled cheese, tuna noodles, chicken salad pitas

Chicken with mustard cream sauce w/cauliflower & salad
Easy vegetable beef soup (sub ground turkey)
Crockpot chicken w/ sweet potatoes & baked zucchini fritters
Chipotle rubbed flank steak w/green beans & potato salad

These Black Satin Earrings are new in the shop

I've got plenty to hop on today as you can imagine. How's your week looking?

Riverside Macro

Toward the beginning of the summer, we took an excursion to one of the local rivers with some friends. There was cooking out, lounging on the bank, and Frisbee-tossing in the shallow water. I always like to keep my eye out for interesting textures and items.
This tree root amazes me since it looks so much like some sort of lizard skin. Doesn't it?

We found this OLD beer can. I adore the patina on it and the pull tab opening.
Am I the only one whose always got her eyes peeled for a neat photo?

Pshaw. . .I know that's not true. You should check out the whole list of people who have captured and shared some awesome Macro shots over at Studio Waterstone for I Heart Macro Sunday.

While I'm here, let me go ahead and let you know that two items in the shop just got marked down by 15%. Yup, they're on sale!!
Live What You Love Necklace
Wet Grass Bracelet

It's well past time for me to figure out our adventure(s) for the day, so I best be getting off the computer. How's your weekend going?

Bead Table Wednesday: Short and Sweet

I'm still working toward getting back into the swing of things since my trip. I think I'm just about there and might actually make it into the craft room to create!

Since it is Bead Table Wednesday, let me share what's waiting for me there.
Some beaded bangles I started on last week. You can see some other little bits of them in the background as well.
While I'm talking about items I started before my trip, let me go ahead and share the pieces I made FOR the trip.
I just needed a few little things for some of the outfits I wore, and these worked out perfectly!

There's more Bead Table Wednesday in the Flickr Group!
Bead Table Wednesday

As I'm trying to keep this short and sweet, here's the bracelet I listed today
Passion Bracelet
 And now I'm outta here!! :)

Bead Soup Sent, Menu, and New Earrings

I made it back from my convention safe and sound late Sunday night. Yesterday was totally spent on an attempt to catch up on sleep and everything else, but my attention just wasn't in it. As such; no menu was made, no blogs were read, and very little unpacking was done. Today's already looking to be a bit more productive!

Let me start by following up with my Bead Soup post from Tuesday. I showed off what I received from Karen at Over the Moon Design in that post. While I was gone, she also received her bead soup from me. Karen spilled the details of the soup I sent (so you definitely want to check out her post) but here's a few quick pics of the soup(s).
A colorful mix of beads with a pewter focal
A more earthy mix with a brass focal
I realized while I was on my trip that I failed to fully express how very much I am enamored with the soup Karen sent me. The focal is just luscious and the beads totally make smile. I just hope I can do them justice. Thanks again Karen!!

I've got the menu made and the grocery shopping done. Even though it's no longer Menu Plan Monday, I still want to share the meals we'll be having this week so the links are there for all to enjoy!

Breakfasts: Cereal oatmeal, cinnamon rolls, raspberry parfaits, mini quiches, eggs w/bacon & toast, breakfast banana split

Lunches: Ham & cheddar paninis, tuna w/salad, pepperoni pizza puffs, soup w/grilled cheese, chicken salad roll-ups, leftovers

Alice Springs chicken (recipe below) w/broccoli

Here's the chicken recipe
ALICE SPRINGS CHICKEN (Makes 4 servings)
4 boneless chicken breasts
8 pieces bacon, coarsely chopped
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Season the chicken with the seasonings of your choice (I use Spicy Seasoning Salt); grill until just done.
Keep the chicken warm. Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels.
In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms and garlic in butter, seasoning with salt to taste. Cook until the juices have evaporated.
Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet. Top each piece of chicken with 1/4 of the mushrooms and bacon, then with the shredded cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Before I head out, let me show off these new earrings int he shop. I'm pretty proud of them.
Pagoda Earrings
How's your week going so far?

My Bead Soup and a Few Giveaways

I'm headed out of town for a few days. As such, this will most likely be my only post this week. Of course, we'll see if some kind of blogging bug hits me while I'm away. I really should have written and scheduled a few posts, but who can think that far ahead? In any case, my Etsy shop is definitely closed until Monday.

Before I go, I have to share that I received some yummy Bead Soup from my partner, Karen at Over the Moon Design, that I want to share with you. (You can click any of the pictures for a better view of them)
Here's the beads, pendant, and clasp all piled together
Here's those same beads separated with the labels Karen sent
Karen also made these fabulous crochet flowers!!
She also included some chain and fiber for me to play with.
Here's how beautifully she had it all packaged.
I'm absolutely pleased with the treasures Karen showered on me. Now to wait for inspiration to hit!

In addition to this news, there are a few giveaways going on right now.

*~* Lori Anderson, Bead Soup hostess, is giving away some items from her trip to Bead and Button. You should check out this awesomeness. She has FIVE prize packs. Head over to her blog to see what I mean.

*~* Art Bead Scene Blog has a goal of getting 200 Art Bead Scene readers to donate bracelets to the Global Genes 7000 bracelets of Hope Project this month as part of their July monthly challenge. I've made a few bracelets for this cause in the past and know that it's a worthy cause. You can read more about it at the Global Genes site or through Art Bead Scene. They are using sponsors throughout the month to encourage getting the word out and participation. Melinda Orr is just one of those sponsors and has a pretty prize pack.

Okay. . .I've got a ton to finish up today. I have yet to start packing the craft supplies. Sheesh! Here's hoping you have a great week. I'll see ya on the flip side. :)

A Little Link-a-palooza and a Laugh (at myself)

It's really a shame how much the weather affects my mood and motivation. It's overcast and dreary here today and I'm really having to push myself to get anything done. Sigh. Am I the only one with this malady? What affects your motivation?

I really want to mention the great laugh I had Wednesday evening. Here in the states, the Fourth of July is our Independence Day. It's a day of bar-b-ques, watermelon, and fireworks.

Tons of people flock to their favorite firework-watching spot over the course of the day. Once the show is over, they all trudge back to their vehicles and homes.
This was the middle of the road. . .there was a car to my right stuck following the people walking.

As we joined the masses in this trek, I couldn't help but imagine that this is similar to what it would look like in apocalyptic scenarios, or that it's what a zombie hoard would look like. It really tickled and frightened me at the same time (I kinda like to be scared.)

It just goes to show you what an overactive imagination I can have and how easily amused I am.

Anyway. . .since my motivation is running low, it seems like the perfect time for

**Cindy at Sweet Bead Studio offered up this pretty sweet spiral wire clasp tutorial a few months back. I'm finally getting around to sharing the link. Maybe someday I'll get around to actually trying it out!
Cindy's Spiral Clasp Tutorial

** Handmadeology gathered up a pretty neat list of 25 Things to Do on Your Lunchbreak to Further your Handmade Business. Whether you have a lunchbreak or not, I think this list is a really great example of some tasks you can do pretty quickly to get inspired, manage your business, and think outside the box.

**Mary & Patch has a tutorial on altering plain metal bangles with macrame. I really love all the color it adds.

I've a PILE of videos to watch saved up. See. . . .I've got no speakers and heaphones don't seem to work on this desktop. As such, I really need to sit down with the iPad and the Apple TV and get to watching. Maybe soon I'll have a list of those for you.

For now, I'll leave you with the three items I put on sale today. The first two are from the Suor Angelica collection. Please note that although I've marked those items down, Melanie will still receive the 50% of the ORIGINAL price, not the reduced price.
Cross My Heart Necklace
Music Dreams Necklace
Bright Blossom Necklace

The bottom has finally dropped out of the clouds. Maybe once the rain passes I'll get my sunshine. Wishful thinking?

June in Photos

As promised in yesterday's meandering post, I'm going to share some of my favorite Instagram pictures from June.
As in every month (just about) I got a sunset on the water picture.
I thought the bubble pattern in my beer was pretty neat. What do you see in it?
I actually grew something I can eat!! (and did eat)

June was full of all kind of storms. This ominous one was setting off many alerts/alarms.

I took a Kumihimo class at my local bead store with a friend. That was so much fun!!

This cute tree frog was in my watering can as I struggled to keep my plants alive.

I took some time to bust out a baker's dozen pairs of earrings.
Father's Day meant a beer cake for my step-dad.

Stumbled on this pretty brook while at a playground and geocaching with the nieces.

Finally, I rounded the month out with a rainbow of jello shots (thanks Cindy!) and fun with a few really good friends.

Now. . .it's time to move past the month that got away and on to bigger and better.
New necklace in the shop.
Button Fringe Necklace
As well, there's a few more items in the on SALE section of the shop.

Now, let's see what we can do with July! ;)

Bead Box 18 - Reveal

 Hey y'all! I'm popping in to share the completed jewelry pieces that came out of Bead Box 18 . I've actually already stocked an...