Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Feature-Keepin' It Real

attentive dog clip art
Ok, did ya'll notice that I missed last Friday? Whew, good! I was hoping with the holiday rush, you'd let me slide.

So what am I blathering about, Keeping It Real? Well, let me tell ya. If you've spent any time hangin' out here, you know I'm  a pretty blunt person. No hidden agendas, what you see is what you get, sometimes more than you ever wanted. Just sayin'.
I was scrolling through some of my bloggy friends, and saw the awesome Dawn Doucette's post for today. After I read it and cried, I noticed a blog on her list that looked interesting. So I jumped over there. (Ya'll do that too, right?) Now, the actual post that caught my eye was for Spinach Bread. YUM!!! Well, the title of my blog is Beads and BREAD!!!
But that's not what pulled me up short. It was her next post down. Where she talked about making some lifestyle changes. And this is something that's been on my heart for  a while. Now, whenever I talk about this, my hubs immediately starts with the, "You need to cut out this, and don't do that, and start exercising, cause you sit too much...." Please tell me you know what I'm talking about, that I'm not the only one with a sweet, loving hubs that totally doesn't get how to motivate me??!!
And yes, I do know that talking about something like this is like Taboo at the holidays. But, see, I'm not talking about going on a diet. Cause we all know how that turns out, right?  I'm talking about doing some stuff that will work for me. Like drink an extra couple of glass of water every day. Go with my kids to walk the dog, instead of sitting here on FB....
Now, I don't mean that I need to look like this....
 I just need to be a better me....

If you'd like to join me, encourage me ,pray for me, or just lurk while I head out on this journey, please do. I know I'll need all the encouragement I can get.
Now, there are several blog hops today,including the AJE Components, and Erin's Color challenge, so go check out some lovely jewelry! Blessings, Shirley

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Feature-Food!!!

 Yes, I've given you the link for this!

Well, what did you think I'd talk about, the weekend before Thanksgiving? And, you know, the title of my blog is Beads and Bread! So, do you make a traditional meal? Switch it up every year? Go to the in laws, and bring home leftovers?
I'm very excited for my Thanksgiving this year. And it's actually happening a few days early. I'm picking up my mom and bringing her for a visit, then I have some cousins coming in Sunday, so we are having our meal then, rather than Thursday. Which, knowing my family, we'll probably do another meal Thursday as well!
My cousin is fixing the turkey and dressing, so I'm handling the sides and some of the desserts.
Oh, my mouth is watering now!!!!
Here's what we decided on, and some recipes to go along with them, cause I'm nice like that.
Giblet Gravy
Cranberry Relish
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potato casserole
Green Beans
Broccoli Casserole
Slow Cooker Corn
Homemade wheat rolls

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
French Silk Pie
Pumpkin Bars
Peanut Butter Fudge

Now, I didn't come up with any of these recipes, but I have eaten their goodness enough times to say, you need to try them!!! The pound cake is a recipe my mom has made her own, and she is known to her breakfast group (and the rest of the folks in the restaurant) as the 'cake lady'.
And a friend of mine shared the fudge recipe several years ago, and I've never heard anyone say they didn't like it. I personally like chocolate fudge much better, but even I think this is good fudge. So anyone with a good, firm, chocolate fudge recipe out there, share the love, 'k?
The only one I haven't had is the French Silk pie. I'll let you know next week how it turned out.
Now, go have a great weekend!! Blessings, Shirley

Monday, November 12, 2012

Beads of Courage Art Charm Reveal

Today's the day! The wonderful Jenny Cameron, of Glass Addictions, came up with this idea, and I'm so thrilled to be a part of it.  I was in a group of 10 other artists, who were unknown to me until I received my package. The instructions were to make ten charms, plus one to be auctioned off for Beads of Courage. Here is the link for the auction. Beads of Clay Auction
Now, if you've never heard of them, I highly encourage you to check out their site.
My cousin's daughter has life threatening scoliosis, and has just come home from having a titanium 'rib' inserted into her back, to help with the curvature. It's really more of a rod that runs the length of her spine, and is attached to her ribs. Every 4-6 months, she has another surgery to have it 'extended'. She has broken her ribs several times throughout this ordeal.  This is only one of many surgeries she has endured. She is such a trooper, and doesn't allow anything to slow her down. She has received her beads of courage, and, right now, I'd just love for her mom to tell me her necklace was finished. So, you can see, this swap holds special meaning for me.
Our theme for this Charm Swap was Laughter. Now, my charms are all beadwoven, so I couldn't really figure out a way to write the words, so I started thinking of the ways~in beads~I could interpret laughter.
I decided the best way for me was with color. Color affects our lives constantly. When I was a skin care consultant, we learned about wearing the 'right' colors to make a statement, to be a calming influence, or to get a sick day at work! :)
As we head into winter, with it's shorter days, a lot of people find themselves suffering depression, from the longer darker nights. And have you ever hear of 'seeing red'? Emotions are associated with colors, so I wanted to make sure I chose 'happy' colors!
Since this is a 'Charm' swap, the pieces needed to be pretty small.  If you follow my blog, you'll know I've had a bit of a love affair with CRAW lately.
Now, for some reason, my computer seems to have eaten my awesome pics of all the charms I made, so I'm going to show you similar pieces. (throws hands up in the air) What's a girl to do?  Anyway, I made a couple of these open CRAW squares, in bright happy colors, just trust me, ok?  
Then I made some filled ones, like this one. (You actually get one of your own charms back in the swap.)

I used a different color accent bead on each side.

Happy, happy!!

Jenny was kind enough to email the pic she took of the piece she chose for the auction. She really made it look awesome! :)
This cool spinner top is from Diane Fitzgeralds 'Shaped Beadwork'. I just love the shape, and the fun colors! I really, really hope it auctions well for the organization!!

Now, I have to tell you, I was squealing when I opened my package of charms, cause I adore all of these artists! And one was a former Bead Soup partner!!
You can see my bead on the far left. The others also used happy colors to convey laughter.

No, (sigh) I didn't mean for it to turn sideways...Here, LOL and Have Fun get the message across perfectly.

 And a little food for thought anyone? I adore cupcakes, and who could resist bacon and eggs!! Serious genius there!

Last, but certainly not least, the perfect way to convey laughter....with a smile...or two!!

Here is the list of participants, please go check out their wonderful stories!
Blessings, Shirley

Denielle Hagerman  

Jennifer Cameron

Natalie McKenna 

Robin Koza  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Feature-Thankfulness and BOC

Pumpkin Pie Wiki Commons Public Domain PumpkinPiePublicDomain.jpgStuffed Turkey

Yes, this is the month of being Thankful...for turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. It is also a time when folks try to slow down, take a minute, and reflect on their blessings...before they rush out the next day to push and shove and fight their way to a deal. (Yes, that was a bit tongue in cheek)

However, I want to talk about thankfulness as it relates to my bloggy friends. Most of whom are jewelry people, some bread people, and some who just think I'm the bees knees! Ha!
 This has been such a fantastic journey of discovery, sweet people, understanding, and awe. I've made some wonderful friends, and I look forward to meeting some of you in the future.

And now I want to tell you about a very special post I will have on Monday, so you can make sure to come back. The wonderful Jenny Cameron, of Glass Addictions, has created a fantastic opportunity for us to give to Beads of Courage.  If you've never heard of them, please go check them out here
Our Art Charm Swap Reveal will be on Monday, where I will show you what I made to be auctioned off for Beads of Courage.
Please come back and join me, and have a Blessed weekend!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Feature-Novica

A while back I received a very interesting email from a company called Novica. They asked if I would be interested in writing a review of their site. I went to their website, not really knowing what to expect. Wow, was I pleasantly surprised! They are associated with National Geographic, and you can see from their mission statement that they are dedicated to providing a unique opportunity to artists worldwide.

We want to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity. And, we want to provide you with access to unique, hard-to-find items at great values that only the Internet infrastructure can allow.
At the deepest essence of our philosophy, we want to create a bridge between you and the many talented artisans across the globe.
We want you to know about who you're buying from. We want you to feel that attachment to the product and to the hands that created it.
In the spirit of the Internet, let us bring you together.
NOVICA. The World is Your Market.

I had the opportunity to purchase a couple of items from their group of artists. This is when it really gets good.

In our ever smaller world, where you can get just about anything from anywhere, true customer service has all but disappeared. In our age of automation, you rarely get a 'live' person on the phone. The post office gives you a 'range' of when a package will arrive. Returns policies state that you are not guaranteed anything, and you will have to pay postage. Ya'll know where I'm coming from.
So, when I placed my order, and received a confirmation email within five minutes, I was pleased. I ordered two items, from two different countries of origin. Which would make you suspect that my shipping costs would be higher, right? Nope. 
Then I received two more emails, identifying where my packages were in the shipping process!
All this was in addition to the tracking number being provided. I received the packages in record time, and again, was very pleasantly surprised with the beautiful wrapping of the items.
Would you like to see what I got? Of course you would!
Gorgeous Balinese earrings. Each tiny dot of silver is placed by hand.

I fell in love with the rich colors of this bag. And with two outer pockets, and a roomy interior, it's just perfect for fall weather!

There were beautiful cards, signed by the artist with a short bio, but I've misplaced them. 
As an artist, searching for my creative voice, I appreciate the desire and passion of these talented folks. And I applaud Novica for helping them to become businessmen and women. The Novica website is intriguing and innovative. I hope you'll take a moment to check them out. Below are links for some of the different areas of interest.   Blessings, Shirley

Disclosure: I have not been paid for this review. Opinions stated are my own based upon my experience as a customer of the website.