Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Visitor

kabs steampunk style 1

I am going to be MIA for the next few days. My best friend, Kelley from VA, is driving in today!! The trip is sorta last minute. I thought she was was coming in next week, but plans changed, I convinced her she should come Thursday instead of Friday (so we have more then a few hours together). Now, she is in the car and on her way!! I love my Kelley and can't wait to see her!!

I couldn't leave you without a little peak at a new piece of jewelry. When I was in Cleveland a few weeks back, Melanie Brooks gifted me some components made of raw brass that she uses in some of her jewelry designs. She also used them in her demo for the show we were taping. I thought it would be a fun, and very different look, for one of my KABachons. I don't like the chain at all... I think it needs some cool brass chain, but over all, I love the look of my bead in that setting. And has ideas stirring for new bead designs that could be highlighted by this style of jewelry!

kabs steampunk style 1back

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It happens this time every year... my middle child gets a year older.

andrew 10

I am thankful that this year is done for him and a fresh one is ahead. Nine was, by far, the most difficult we've experienced in his life. (For those new to the blog, Andrew was diagnosed two years ago with Early Onset Childhood Bi-Polar Disorder.) I am stubborn in my resolve that we are going to find the magic *thing* to help him get to a place where life isn't such a struggle. And then, one of these years, I will be able to give you a post of all the wonderful things we experienced we him, rather than the hardships we've had.

I put extra love into his quilt to help wrap him up in the traits I hope he will someday have. Hidden in the stitching of the big blocks of fabric in his birthday quilt are the words LOVE, HOPE, THANKFUL, HAPPINESS, HONEST, STRONG, BALANCE, COURAGE, KIND, and CREATIVE.

finished quilt 2

Happy Birthday Andrew, your Momma loves you.

(more photos of Andrew's birthday quilt can be found HERE on Flickr.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bead Fest Wire 2010

my desk again

Yesterday I received an awesome email asking if I might be interested in teaching at Bead Fest Wire in PA in April 2010. I am thrilled to have been asked!! And will be jumping at the chance to be at such an exciting wire event. I am scrambling to come up with class ideas and would love your help.

I had it in my head that with the release of my book, I would teach an intro to wire class, but unfortunately, I have heard intro classes don't do so well. Students like classes where they get to spend a few hours learning a new technique and leave with a finished project in their hot beading hands. I have a couple ideas for projects from the book that I can teach, but I was thinking I should come up with a few fresh things too. OR, I could teach some oldie but goodies. There are just so many options and very little time to get the proposal pulled together.

So... give me some ideas. From you, the future wire students, what would you like to learn! What projects have you seen me make that you would want to see available as a class or kit? Feedback people. I need it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blueberry Bliss

blueberry bliss 3

Friday morning, the kids and I set out on our second blueberry picking adventure of the season. We tried to pick blueberries last year, but a small crop at a local farm and birds eating up what little berries they had led to no picking. The kids love blueberries. Love love love them. Everyone but Lauren that is. She continues to have an extreme aversion to fruit (and has since she was 6months old). So she is by far the best picker, unlike the boys who tend to eat their weight in berries rather than filling their berry baskets.

blueberry bliss 5

I, of course, had my new camera at my side. I got to play around with the depth of field (areas of focus). And I got to hear lots of "Mom, take a picture of this..." comments. I was very happy to oblige. Little outings like this, just a few hours out of the house after some hair raising days, are what save my nerves during summer. And I promise not to mention how many more days until school starts, Cindy ;)

blueberry bliss 6

By the end of the picking, in just about an hour, we had 7 1/2 pounds of berries. Some went to my Mom's house, some were eaten at a little picnic lunch at a playground on our ride home from the farm, some went right into a batch of yogurt muffins with some mini chocolate chips, and some more are being saved for Andrew's birthday on Wednesday. He has requested blueberry cake for his birthday cake. The boy, unlike his Momma, hates chocolate and only sorta cares for vanilla... makes a blueberry cake just right for him. Hopefully, I can keep Jacob from eating them all before then!!

blueberry bliss 9

blueberry bliss 12

I have lots of things to share this week. I finished Andrew's birthday quilt!! I made two pieces of jewelry and I am not so sure I like 'em, there will be birthday post of course, and I am working on round two of the lickety split beads. I hope you'll come back and check things out this week. (and oh yes, I am still running! I started week two of couch to 5k this morning.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wild Weather

summer storm

We keep floating between sun and this. This truly has been the wildest summer, weather-wise, I have ever seen.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's Mom's... Don't Touch!

Oh how much like a spoiled child I am! Want to improve my grumpy mood? Give me a new toy!!

me and my d90

EEEEKKKKKKK!! I decided that I bitched long enough and it was time to get myself a new camera. I hemmed and hawwed for months about this, but finally bit the bullet on Monday and placed the order. My new Nikon D90 arrived yesterday morning. OH. MY. STARS. I am in camera heaven.

daisies 1

daisies 2

Honestly, I am a half-ass photographer. I don't deserve this nice a camera. I took a few photography classes in High School, so I recognize words like ISO, F-Stop, and Apature, but really, I don't know what to do to set or change them. If I want to get a certain style shot, I look up setting online, change my settings to something similar and start clicking. I learned a few tricks in college to edit photos with Photoshop, but even with editing, I don't know a lot. I am so excited to finally get to learn more. And this camera demands an owner that knows what she's doing. It said so.

wine and knitting

whiper cardigan close up

I know you are probably thinking, Kerry... the pictures from your old camera were fine. And yeah, they were okay, when on the super macro setting, but that thing couldn't take a candid to save it's life. I think it was the mega pixels, but things were grainy or blurry or just ugh. I still need to invest in a marco lense for this new camera but it takes such amazingly clear photos that I don't have to shoot as close and I can crop in without affecting the quality. Plus, the high mega pixels allows me to get good shots even in really low light. Several of the magazines I write articles for and others I would like to submit to, want images at least 300 dpi at 8.5 x 11. This camera can do that.

bedroom corner

my bed

The kids are begging to play with the camera and when told they may never touch it, they make jokes. "Hey Mom? So what would happen if I had your camera out on the deck and accidently dropped it?" to which I reply "you had better call the police before you drop it, because I will probably kill you after you drop it." I am going to give them my old camera to play with. They are most likely the reason it doesn't work great anyhow. They like to make mini movies and have let it tumble down the stairs during action sequences.

wasn't him

laurens frizzy hair

*sigh* I love taking pictures.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One of *THOSE* Days

quilt progress - facing

Yesterday was one of *those* days. The kind of day that erases all thoughts, wants, and wishes of thankfulness for the life I have. Monday I was all calm and peaceful, feeling so good about things and Wednesday just pulled the rug out from under me. Forty seven days, people. Forty SEVEN days and school will be back in session.

I can't even say what was so bad about it. The days blend together so much this time of year. I think it was the constant bickering centered around the middle child that had my jaw clenched. The new meds don't seem to be doing much good for him. In fact, we are seeing a new symptom now, annoyance. Everything, right down to Lauren breathing, gets on his nerves if he isn't being allowed to do exactly what he wants in a moment. I limit his computer playing to two hours a day, 1 in the morning 1 in the afternoon. He could play for hours on end if I let him, and some days I think I should. It sure as hell would be a lot easier. But, I think it is wrong. I think it is neglectful. And I don't think my kids should be parented by a computer screen. They need to get off their bums and go outside. Use their imaginations... play catch... explore the woods... ride their bikes... anything but sit in the computer room on a beautiful day zapping orks.

And all day, all I wanted to do was work on something special for HIM! Andrew's 10th birthday is next week and I am trying to get his quilt done in time. I finished the facing and the back throughout the day yesterday and even got to start some of the stippling.

I refuse to wake up to a new day hopeless though. Today is a different day. Today can be different. Even if it is as bad as yesterday... it has a chance to be a good day. That is my motto. It is pouring out which means I think a movie day is in order. We haven't seen Night At The Museum 2 yet. It also means I didn't get to run this morning in the thunder and lightning. (Maybe it will dry up enough to be able to run this afternoon.)

For those of you having *those* kinds of days too... misery loves company. Feel free to gripe in the comments. Get it off your chest and face the day with the power that you aren't alone. That sounds so corny, LOL.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Listening To A Whisper

running shoe

Anyone remember back in January when I talked about the lovely Kelly Rae Robert's book, Taking Flight? I mentioned that one of the things that Kelly Rae talks about is listening to your heart's whispers. Well, there is a whisper that I have been hearing for a long time and tried to ignore. Today, I listened.

I used to be a runner... way way back in junior high. The fact that my running days were about 18 years ago and I still long to have them back really says something. I loved running. Probably because I was that girl in school that was tormented by bullies to no end, and running, running was something that I was really really good at. It was a place to escape to, listening to the rhythm of my breath and the drum of my step on the ground.

Then... my knees started to hurt. One year, I grew about 6 inches, and when my hips popped out it threw everything out of alignment. My knee caps were grinding against my femur bone and I was loosing cartilage. I went to an arthroscopic surgeon who told my Mom, and I quote "she isn't the next Jackie Joyner Kersey... just have her stop running". And being that there was no way for my parents to afford that kind of surgery, I had to stop. Even though I was running 5min miles at the time. I used that excuse to get out of gym class anytime running was involved for the remained of my time in the public school system. Soccer, nope, my knees hurt... field hockey, no way, my knees hurt. You get the picture.

For a couple of years now, I have been saying I want to try to run again. I mention it to my aunts that are runners. I think about it when I drive down the road and see the bobbing pony tails of girls running along side traffic. There is a demon in my head called self-doubt that has been eating at me. If I buy the sneakers, will I actually run? If I run, will it hurt? Am I too out of shape? Where will I find the time?

Finally, my spirit is getting stronger then the self-doubt. Enough is enough. I want to run again. I was out last night getting Jacob his new cleats for football and I bought myself some running sneakers. They are Target cheapies, but they are a start. I woke up at my usual time this morning and threw on my shoes. I started a pot of coffee (so it would be ready when I got home). I grabbed my cell phone to keep time and I went out.

Oh how my body fought me. So I did more of a run/walk. I would run a few hundred yards, then walked a few hundred... ran... then walked. My hips are sore and my ankles are clicking, and my lungs felt like they were been squeezed in a vice. BUT, I used the time to talk to myself in a way that I hope combats the horrible ffu-s I have been feeling. FFU stands for "frumpy fat and uglies". In my head, I said things like "come on Kerry... just get to that tree... I can do this...". I think it is an amazing way to start the day. I did my walk/run for about 35 minutes, came home to a warm shower and hot coffee. And, I still have all the time I need to get done they usual things I do in the morning. My emails are answered, my kids are working on their chores, and I have 15 more minutes to hit my favorite blogs.

I don't know if I will stick with it. I hope that I do. I hope that writing about it here holds me accountable. Let's see how bad the shin splints are tomorrow, lol.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Things right now...


eating: lots of berries, freshly picked... and the raspberries are lovely in a little pink lemonade with a splash of vodka.

feeling: slightly odd... there is a quite sense of longing that is getting bigger very slowly and I can't quite put my finger on what I am longing for. More time to work? Time for other art? Time that is kid-free and just for me? Maybe just to have time slow down?

watching: the veggies in my garden as the struggle against the wants of an all too smart groundhog. I was so excited by the hope of having carrots to pick, and now they disappeared.

wine bottle chandelier

thinking: I should be more thankful then I am. I got a pretty sweet gig of a life and I think I should be more thankful in each day for getting to live the life I do.

hoping: that Andrew's new meds work this time. After several straight days of meltdowns the first week of July and a kick that left a bruise the size of a baseball on my arm, it was time for a change. We went two weeks med free, now, we are trying Lithium. It is very scary for me, and I am sure it is for him too.

wishing: that this cool, rainy summer lasts until fall. I would take this over sun and heat any day of the week. This summer has been incredible.


loving: having my first ever girls weekend, celebrating friendship and the 10 year wedding anniversary of my friend.

I like it when the writers of some of the blogs I read have a post titled "right now" followed by single words with in the post like "loving", then add a ":" and tell what they are loving. (I think that is a run-on sentence.) So, I am going to jump on the band wagon and give it a go myself.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lickety Split Super Quick Beads - Round 1

lickety split super quick round 1

For those of you wondering... round one is ready and will be mailed out on Monday!! Aren't they perdy? I love the colors!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Did I Mention...

... that I have a couple of Projects in Creative Jewelry? I looked through the last few weeks of posts, and yeah, I think I forgot to mention that I am in CJ. It is on news stands now!! Grab it. There are tons of inspiring projects. It is just dripping with ideas.

I promise, I won't send you out to buy more magazines again until the Fall. LOL. One of my glass bead friends that works in a bead shop commented that I am in every magazine on the shelves right now. I told her it is really only three and I have plenty more bead world out there to conquer. HA!

I would love to hear from you all the kinds of tutorials you would like to see from me. I tend to hold back on submitting things more regularly. I have this idea that something has to be really really original it be in print. So things just straight stung, I don't send in. But then mags like Stringing are primarily straight strung projects... and there are always great ideas for twists to take on basic stringing. There is always more wire up my sleeve too.

(edited to add) I have had a few comments about my "straight stringing" comment. So I wanted to come back and add some more to that statement to better explain myself. *I* have been feeling lately that I need to work on submitting things more to magazines. I know I am in a bunch right now, but I went a good nine months before that not in any. In my mind, I have the silly idea that everything *I* submit needs to be wirey and wild designs. I think people don't want to see "straight strung" things from me. BUT, there are a bunch of magazines out there made up of nothing but strung projects and they are VERY inspiring. Some people think stringing isn't original, but my point is that it can be.

I do apologise if I offended anyone. That wasn't my intention at all. I was writing that on a whim and should have taken more time to better explain myself. Stringing can be awesome!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Hurt My Finger

There is a little boy's birthday right around the corner. And while the little boy is away during the day at baseball camp this week, I started working on his birthday quilt. You might remember the birthday quilt I made for Lauren a few months back. Turns out everyone wants one this year. I am happy to oblige actually... this designing a quilt thing is really fun.

quilt in progress 1

I started a few weeks ago with a sketch of what I wanted to make for him. I love "stacked coin" style quilt designs. Those are the ones with lots of stripes sewn together, usually with a solid color field for them to float on. Check it out, there is a whole Flickr Pool dedicated to stacked coin quilts. For my design, I decided on something a little different. Leave it to me to find a way to not follow design rules, right? HA! Anyway, I decided to turn the coins on their sides. Maybe there is a name for this out there already, but as I am not an avid quilter, I know not what it is. I also decided that there would be no sashing, and I want big fields of a print. A big block of sorts in the rows of stacking. I can see it in my head, and I think it is loverly.

quilt in progress 3

I asked my little boy what color he wants his quilt. Yes, he knows I am making it. There is no way I could work on something of this size without him knowing. His request was for orange and black. Hmmm... interesting combination. However, not likely, sorry. I did find as much orange as I could, and there is several black and white prints too. But, the color artist in me wanted blues too and some browns. Though not exactly what he requested, I think he is gonna love it. It is so bright and cheerful... wild and crazy... how could you not love it?

Monday, I started cutting the strips according to my directions I came up with and although I breezed through pre-calc my senior year of high school, my math leaves much to be desired. My brain doesn't work that way. It is much more visual. Just hand me a block of fabric and I will get the pieces out of it that I need... don't make me plan ahead. I was able to figure out though that I need 100 strips that are 9x3.5, 70 at 9x2.5, and 40 at 9x1.5, plus 10 pieces 9x18 to get ten rows that are about 68inches long each. Did that just make your brain hurt? It did mine.

Speaking of hurting!! Ugh and grrrrr.... I cut my cutting short on Monday (LOL, yes, pun intended) because the blade in my rotary cutter was dull and it was eating my fabric. Tuesday I set finishing the cutting with a fresh blade and... damn it... I sliced my finger. I sliced it good. It bled for about 9 hours, through at least 6 bandage changes. "Kerry, you need stitches..." you say. Ah, if only there was a skin flap to stitch back on!! Ugh. I called my best friend in VA and emailed her photos of my sorry pathetic left index finger, she is surgical nurse, and she told me how to bandage it and said there wouldn't be much a doctor could do. So, now I sit and type with my finger perched in the air and a giant q-tip like bandage protecting my poor hurt finger. It is both comical and painful.

quilt in progress 4

I persevered though, and got 7 out of 10 rows sewn yesterday. I hope to finish the other three today and start the backing. My goal is to start the stippling by Friday. His birthday isn't until the 29th, but I want it done before then. July 29th already? Where did the summer go?

And for those of you who can't get enough of me... pop into Watch Me Create for a new post on something I have spent the past few weeks working on.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Operation A.E.I.O.U ~ Complete


Okay, so we weren't able to finish it in 4 days like my impatient inner child wanted. But I say getting it done in 9 day ain't too shabby. The bathroom is DONE!! No more icky ucky yucky oder... no more gross grout... no more ugly cabinet... just crisp clean sparkling white porcelain goodness.

new mirror treatment

The new treatment for the mirror is my favorite new touch in the bathroom. I found the frame for $3 at an estate sale. It was way too big, but Ron was able to cut it down and it fills the space perfectly. And I love it with the light from Lowes too that rang up $3.53. LOL... new mirror and light for less then $7... not bad.

installing the sink 1

While we are talking prices, before we started the remodel, I read somewhere that the average bathroom remodel costs between $10,000-$15,000!! Granted, those people are probably putting in Italian marble shower surrounds, but seriously. $15K for a bathroom? Not us!! We ended up spending around $650.

installing the sink 3

finished bathroom 2

There are few more finishing touches. I need to hang a reclaimed window frame on the wall and touch up some paint on the moulding. I plan to hunt down a lace edged bed sheet at an estate sale and use it as a shower curtain (until then, the circles remain). And we gotta caulk the tub too. But isn't it pretty?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Beadwork Magazine Page 14

challenge beads 1

Almost two years ago I asked to be added to the wait list of bead makers featured in Beadwork magazine's "The Challenge". My time has finally come!! Check out the latest issue (Aug/Sept) on news stands to see SEVEN designs created by FOUR different designers using the beads above.

I made these beads back in February. In fact, I mailed them out on my birthday. I went with what I thought would be a different kind of summery beach combination of colors. I used ink blue, lavender, denim blue, turquoise, and swirled it all up with stormy gray. I was very into stripes and dots. I think the stripes are very "navy-ish" and the dots are very "under the sea". It works!

And the projects! They turned out so cool!! They all use seed beads, something I very very rarely see my beads paired with. They really are all too cool to pick a favorite.

challenge beads 2

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tales of The Taping

(aka... what happened on Thursday?)

After a rather restless nervous night of sleep, I was up bright and early on Thursday. My make up was due to be done at 8am and I needed to get in early to set up (or so I thought). Running on the adrenaline of excitement along, no coffee, I was up at 6am... showered, dressed, and checked out of the hotel by 7:15am. Did you notice what I was wearing in the photo with Jean yesterday? Yep... SueBeads, come collect your give-away prize! I did end up wearing the same top that I wore in the head shots I had done a few months back. Sue, just send me an email with your address, I will get a goodie in the mail to you.

Now back to the tale.

The Beechwood Studios are just around the corner from the hotel we were all staying at. I was there bright and early, ready to get my stuff set and make up on. But, um, yeah, I was a little over eager I think, lol. No one else was there yet but a fella named Billy that was setting up the set.

the set 1

the set 2

Slowly but surely everyone else started to trickle in. I set my things up on a huge shiny silver tray in the green room (makes for easy switching of 'stuff' after each segment is finished) and then, I waited... and waited... and waited. The order got mixed around and instead of being first on the make up list, I was third. I didn't mind. I got to hang out in the green room and chat more with the other artists and see the goodies they would be showing.

melanies stuff in the green room

Melanie was there to talk about Steampunk. I am sure you have heard of it. If not... just ask her, she is an expert! In fact, she wrote an article for Beadwork magazine all about it (though, I can't seem to find a link, sorry). And Jean has a new book coming out about Steampunk style jewelry. Cool huh?

jean on set

Jean was the first to film. She has been on the show a few times and the producer thought it was a good idea to have her go first so us newbies could have a good example. GREAT IDEA!! Jean, though she said she gets nervous, was wonderful. She is so knowledgeable about the things she talks about. You can tell she is the kind of person that likes knowing about what she talks about, she reads about... finds out more... finds out all she can. You know what I mean? And if she isn't that way... she sure has me fooled! I think she is awesome, can you tell?

getting ready 1

Soon it was my turn! A big thanks to Diane Hawkey for running around the set while I was setting up and snapping pictures for me. You know, I didn't really know what my make up looked like until I got home and downloaded all the photos. HA! I don't wear make up. If I do, it isn't more then a line of eye shadow and some mascara. This is for two reasons, I am allergic to everything and I can't wear a ton of make up and two... I am lazy about it. I think I have fairly nice skin, I don't want to cake on a lot of product. I am pony tail and jeans kinda girl. I told that to the make up artist, who has been in the biz for more the 30 years!, and she said she would keep it light and clean. Her work on everyone was wonderful. Just a shock to my system, though. And looking at the photos, I feel like I look like Weeble, with a spare tire of a belly, that got made up like a China doll. Oh well. I am who I am, right?

katina and me

This is me, with the show's host, Katina. Just so you know, I hate this picture... so moving on.

getting ready 2

Set up took about 5 mins. Then, the producer sat on a stool in front of Katina and me and said "so talk me through what we are doing". We basically made up the script right there on the spot. It is funny... they tell you not to look at the camera and just pretend like you were having a conversation right before Katina turns and says "I am here today with...". So we are looking at each other and nodding, but we weren't saying anything, lol. Would you believe we shot my segment in one take? YEAH! JUST ONE!! But oh how I wanted another one!! Things went fine, everyone said I was a natural (though I think they were just saying that), I sat and talked to Katina and showed her how I make a fun pendant from my book. We did it all with about 10seconds to spare. Which is good, because they are going to need to edit in a cover shot of my book. I was supposed to have the book there on the table to show as reference, but the cover isn't ready yet.

The entire thing was 15 mins. I drove four hours, went to dinner, stayed in a hotel, got up at 6am, had make up done and stressed about what to wear... all for 15min. But it is MY 15mins and I so loved it.

Now, I could have left at 11am and drove back home to NY. Could have had my tile floor grouted by dinner and been lounging in the back yard with a glass of wine, BUT NO WAY!! Nothing was gonna make me miss seeing the other gals do their bits. (I did have to wash the make up off, lol... my eyes started to burn and water... told ya I was allergic to everything.)

Melanie was up next. I think she was the most nervous of us all. But I could be wrong. She was so quiet in the green room. She did really great though. She showed this really cool trick to taking a bead made of natural brass and popping it open and using it to set a cabochon. Which has me thinking.... hmmmm? What is there was a Steampunk carnival and I was the ring master? What kind of wild and crazy colorful, yet dingy and tooled kinda jewelry would I wear? There would definitely be stripes involved... and spray paint...

melanie on monitor in green room 1

diane on set 2

Diane was up after Melanie and I LOVE this picture!! Diane was doing a clay segment about how to make one of her signature heart beads with a special word on it. She kept having to wash the clay off her hands.

Once the tapings wrapped up, we were treated to lunch at the studio. The four of us, Jean, Melanie, Diane and I sat up in the atrium for a while after everyone left and talked. Diane has the very best estate sale story ever. Jean told us about how hard it is to get books published these days. It was such good conversation. I love those ladies. :)

Jean Diane Kerry Melanie in the green room

And here is where my tale winds down. After lunch it was time to hit the road and head back home. There is a rest stop on I90 between Erie PA and Buffalo NY. I stopped there on my way down to Cleveland and then again on the way back. On the way down, I had a plain ol' bathroom stall with no graffiti, but on the way home... when I was feeling yucky about the outfit I chose, and my chubby cheeks... my bathroom stall said this...

rest stop bathroom stall message

Funny how the universe throws things at you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

In 3...2...1...

Yeah, they really counted down and everything!! But I am jumping ahead in the Tales of Taping a Bead Baubles & Jewels segment.

Back to the beginning.

Wednesday morning I was a nervous wreck as previously posted. My laid-back-too-busy-with-other-things-to-worry-about-it attitude flew out the window and I hunkered down to prepare for the show. I did a run through of my segment a few times while packing up all the supplies, tools and materials needed to the segment. After that I vacuumed my van for the 4 hour drive down to Cleveland, grabbed a quick shower, and headed out the door. I took a quick detour before hitting the interstate. I ran into the library and picked up the book Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger on CD to listen to on the ride down. (I know you are giggling about that... Kerry don't you have an iPod with iTunes? can't you just download something to listen to?... no I can't and I don't and I won't... I like the library, and I like my CDs.)

sky to cleveland

The drive down was great. No traffic, no construction, beautiful billowing clouds. And I got completely lost in the story I was listening too. It totally erased my nerves! I was in Ohio by 4:00. I checked into the hotel... practiced doing my hair for the next morning (yes, we get our make up done, but have to do our own hair... ask my sister, I HATE doing my hair! it is all about controlling root direction and I suck at controlling root direction.) Then I waited... and waited. Bored.

practicing hair

While surfing Facebook, Melanie Brooks binged me a message that she was in the hotel too, with Diane Hawkey, did I want to come down to their room? Well OF COURSE I do!! So we chit chatted for a while. Talked about the different segments we had planned. Exchanged publishing stories... Melanie is in Chain-Style too! (and Creative Jewelry, and Beadwork, and Step By Step Beads)It was a great way to pass the time until dinner.

peppermint thai ~ mango curry

Dinner was fan-freaking-tastic!! The crowd was Kathie Stull (show producer), Katherine (also with the show), Marc and Audrey from Rio Grande, Marlene Blessing (Beadwork Magazine Editor In Chief), Leslie Rogalski (Step By Step Beads Editor In Chief), Marcia DeCoaster (one of Beadwork magazine's Designers of the Year), Melanie and Diane. (I linked to blogs, y'all know you would go there anyway, I just made it easier for you.) Plus one extra special guess I was super excited to finally get to meet in person... Jean Campbell!

jean and me

Why was I so excited to meet Jean? It is a secret I haven't gotten to share with you yet. Now here it is... Jean is editing my book! We have been emailing each other daily for weeks now and a few nerve calming phone calls too. What an amazing treat to have her there at the taping, doing three segments of her own, to give me pointers and chat in the green room. Over dinner I got a big high five in celebration of finishing the edits of my book. I also got to hear the tale of how she got started in publishing. It is an interesting story.

There are so many things from dinner I want to remember. Jean's story, Marcia's endless curiosity (she asked lots of questions, all things I was dying to know), being asked to contribute on a new magazine, and hearing I almost had a second cover this summer. We were back to the hotel by 9:30, and I had to get some sleep for the big night, but of course I was too excited!!

More tomorrow on what happened the next day... I don't think I could fit it all in one post if I tried.