Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let The Packing Begin


Yesterday in the studio, I started the tedious process of packing for the Bead Cruise. It is quite the undertaking. I had the option to ship things in advance to the hotel where some other instructors are staying the night before disembarking. I decided I didn't want to make someone else responsible for making sure my materials make it to the ship, though I'm sure they would have been very happy to do it for me. I checked with my airline and the checked bag fee for my second bag is only $40. Heck! I would have paid at least that in shipping... so why not just pack it all and bring it myself?

Um, ya'd think jewelry supplies would be little and lite... not so, people. Not so.

My first attempt at packing yielded a 57lb suitcase with about half of the things I needed to bring. Basically, here is what I am attempting to pack:

* kits - for students and extras to sell at the evening Bead Bazaar (about 100 kits total)
* wire - several spools of various gauge copper for practice projects in class and extra silver wire for any oops in class. I also want to bring sets of colored wire for students to purchase at the Bead Bazaar.
* tools - mine and extras for students that forget any of the important ones (ex, extra coiling tools)... pliers, cutters, hammers, a bench block (I'm leaving home the bracelet mandrel, it's just too heavy). My lovely friend Lindsey made me custom tool bags for all my goodies! That's what the purple and white fabric is.
* display - I realize that I can't bring much for display, but I thought I should at least bring a piece of my swirly fabric for a table cloth.
* books - copies of Totally Twisted. As an author, of course I want to bring copies of my book for students to purchase. I planned to bring 20 copies, but quickly cut that to 5 and knocked 18lbs out. Sigh... I guess I will offer to ship the book when I get home if anyone wants to order one!!
* loose beads - about 40 little packages of beads for students and the Bead Bazaar.
* lights & poster board - I'm teaching Snaptastic while on the cruise and need to figure out a way to get two lights into this already full and over weight suitcase.

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I think I am getting ahead of myself here. I should explain exactly what my suitcase options are. My parents bought me a matched set of luggage years ago. I'll be bringing one decent size bag (the one shown), another that is smaller but the same shape, a carry on bag, and a purse. One of the challenges I'm having it the security process on the ship (oddly enough, not the airport!). Our Bead Cruise fearless leader, Heather Powers, was telling me that I should give my bag with clothes to the porters to be taken under the ship for security screening and my bag with tools needs to be with me for boarding security. We have special clearance to have our tools but if they go to the under-the-ship security it may be delayed longer as I won't be there to explain my clearance. At least, that's my understanding. At this point though, I can't figure out a way to put it all in one bag without going over weight (over 50lbs that is). Which means I will have to bring everything with me through security if I spread the weight out over all of my bags. I'll have to check with Heather to see if that is allowed.

Other challenges... there are two formal nights on the cruise, so I need to back at least 2 nice dresses and shoes. I also need to figure out how to get me beautiful fascinator on the ship without destroying it! Plus, um, I'd like to do my hair and whatnot while on the ship, so like, it might be nice to have my hair dryer and curling iron. All takes up space. (I just have to say... saying "matched luggage" always makes me think of the MOG on the movie Spaceballs... just saying... and my hair dryer is not industrial strength, but like Princess Vespa, I can't live without it.)

Here is what I'd like to pack for myself:

* dresses - 2 formal, 3 sun
* capris - at least 3 pairs (I don't do shorts)
* jeans - 2 pairs (I'll wear one pair and pack one)
* tops - a variety of shirts both t-shirts and blouses, let's say 5-7
* a light sweater - for cooler nights
* toiletries - all the usual... shampoo, conditioner, mouse, hairspray, make up, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc...
* shoes - flip flops, high heels (for formal), and sneakers
* camera & lenses - and all the chargers and cords that go with
* laptop & cords - I really only need to bring my laptop because my camera will only hold so many photos, I'd like to get pics off my camera, process them in my down time, and then take more pics!
* my Nook - for reading
* knitting - of-freaking-course!

Am I missing anything? If I am, it will have to stay home because this bag below is so small I don't think even my clothes will fit in it!

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even shooting this suitcase at a creative angle doesn't make it any bigger!!

Okay, I am gonna keep at it for a while more this morning and see if I can make it work. Otherwise, it might be time to start calling friends to borrow another larger suitcase. Sigh... at least I'm figuring it out now instead of Friday night, ha! That's good, right? Wouldn't it be grand if we could put everything in a giant trunk like the old days? I have one... it'd fit everything... but it weights almost 50lbs empty! HA!


Friday, February 24, 2012



:: as promised, Ron took today off work so I could get things done in the studio.
:: as soon as I walked through the door, I felt the weight of just how little time I have left until Bead Cruise and all the other stuff I need to do too.
:: deadlines, new designs, and studio times... oh my
:: you can easily measure my stress level by watching how I tidy things... high stress = more meticulous piles and lining things up.
:: to calm myself and organize my thoughts... I cleaned off my desk... it helps calm me.
:: I need to find a BIG suitcase that is less than 62 total inches to pack for the cruise... ugh, that might be a tough one.
:: after 3 measly hours, I took my work home
:: banana bread hot out of the oven with melted chocolate chips is the best snack on a rainy (why isn't it snowing in February? was yesterday a fluke?) afternoon.
:: just a couple more hours of work and I think I'll be able to call it a day.
:: deep breaths... it will all be fine.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


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:: Lauren and I fascinator-ed the evening away yesterday... I went with a headband over a hair clip.
:: Her's is purple... and she wants to wear it to school when she does her next book report... hmmm, might be too distracting.
:: sometimes I know I should change my camera lens before taking photos, but I'm so into what I'm doing that I don't... and alas, there is a total lack of awesome fascinator photos... but I loosely followed this tutorial I found on Pinterest.
:: I finally bought myself my birthday present yesterday... I now have an iPhone 4s and I freaking stinking love it.
:: last night when all the lights were out and I looked out the window as I was falling alseep, it had snowed.

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:: in the stillness of the morning, I walked in my yard turned to a black/white/blue wonderland... Rusty the cat was happy to have company for his morning walk... I was happy he didn't wake us last night.
:: there wasn't the slightest whisper of a wind or tweet of a bird and I couldn't feel the cold as we walked.
:: just the other day Lauren bounced on a little trampoline under the apple tree saying "Momma, it smells like Spring".
:: as the sun has started to rise and the golden hour of morning shown, I tell you, the world turned to sepia... the beauty of it was impossible to capture in a picture, so I took a picture in my mind.
:: I think we aught to go for a winter walk today before the snow melts again.
:: first I think I'll knit a few more rows on my sweater while the house is still as quiet as the morning outside.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012


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:: Lindsey and I checked out the vintage consignment shop, Panache, and I wished my feet were just a half size smaller.
:: oh how we laughed at the pants suits!
:: Lola Boomer Jane is suddenly feeling lovey and just raced across the room to curl around my feet... she is such a silly cat.
:: $79 for the perfect vintage leather wide band belt that fit like a glove... *sigh* I just couldn't pull the trigger on that price, but OH how I want it so!
:: Simply Crepes is a favorite spot for our birthday lunches.
:: so very thankful for the thoughtfulness of her handmade gifts... a tea (or coffee) mat with a reminder of something I'm striving to remember will be a wonderful way to start my mornings.

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:: my toe hooked around the ankle of my pajama pants this morning and I slammed to the floor... I put a bag of frozen broccoli on my swelling knee.
:: I have fascinators on the brain today (ha ha, no pun intended)... I need/want one for the masquerade party on the Bead Cruise... Lauren and I will make some today, I think.
:: headband or hair clip... headband or hair clip?
:: when the sun rose this morning, it looked like a blazing fire... I burned it into my memory.
:: Ron says he'll be home from work on Friday for me... I'm looking forward to the studio time... packing needs to start.
:: I'm just 2 rows away from adding the pocket lining to my sweater.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012


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:: sometimes I get a hankering to sew something... this urge had been growing for while now.
:: I'm so thankful for the friends the kids have across the street... "can you play?" and "YES" were the best words I heard all day yesterday.
:: back and forth, from our house to theirs
:: between the quiet moments, I started a sketch...
:: oh how I love my beautiful stash of fabric. I hoard it and love it and save it for just the right project. With this, I'll be able to see my most favorite one so much more often.
:: if you have ever taken a class with me, you'll know how bad I am about keeping track of my tools... long deep pockets aught to remedy that.

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:: between my seams, she decided to sew a few of her own... "Momma, help me... how do you make a pocket?"
:: I French seamed a ruffled edge and I felt so proud!
:: it's was so hard to put things down, clear the table, and set it for dinner... so so hard to leave a project so close to finished.
:: at 4am the cat flipped the ironing board over... four...a...m...
:: sun was pouring in the project/dining room this morning as I finished the last stitches.
:: I <3 headpin bokeh.
:: with that finished, today we'll be having a playdate with some more friends on vacation this week.
:: this Momma and that Mama will have a playdate too... thrifting and lunch.

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Fabric is a mix of those by Anna Maria Horner.
I used the waist band pattern from the book Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross,
but the skirting of the apron is my own design.

Monday, February 20, 2012


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:: February Break is upon us... no school for the kids until the 27th... weren't they just off for Christmas? Wasn't that just the other day?
:: wonderful Buckeye Muffin recipe from JCasa Handmade... the absolute best way to guarantee Lauren will eat some breakfast.
:: I finally broke down and tried Greek yogurt... I'm head over heels for it... why in the world did I wait so long to enjoy it?
:: I've been contemplating cutting my hair... we'll see.
:: so very sad that Downton Abbey Season 2 ended last night... I'll be lost on Sunday nights without it.
:: I started a new sweater on my birthday... this one: Jaina... with the yarn Woobu, in the color Deep Unrelenting Grey, by Blue Moon Fiber Arts.
:: this morning I switched from French Vanilla creamer in my coffee to Hazelnut... gotta mix things up sometimes... I'm enjoying the switch.

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:: I spent 5 hours packaging kits for the Bead Cruise on Friday... so much wire cutting and sticker stickering... so much more still to do.
:: am I really setting sail in just 12 days?
:: somehow, someway, Andrew needs to get to his dentist appointment today at noon... it is going to be a challenge.
:: new studio daydreams continue at full pace... I have a new/old yellow chair from an estate sale this weekend.
:: Saturday my sister and I went shopping... like at the mall and stuff... and it so totally SUCKED.
:: why is it that when I want to shop, and spend, there is nothing worth getting?
:: LUSH is lovely though and I have some BB Seaweed mask in my fridge.
:: there was a very intriguing/interesting/challenging/scary/exhilarating opportunity in my email on Friday... we'll have to wait and see what comes of it.
:: I've had to referee 3 sibling fights already this morning... deep breath

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012


studio 348

Sigh, what a week it's been. To say that I have been on a roller coaster would be a HUGE under statement. Andrew had an adverse reaction to a new medication, we hosted a dinner party for a friend, I celebrated a birthday, we enjoyed Valentine's Day, two of my kids have been home sick, I've worked a ton, I've missed a ton of work, and all the while I've been day dreaming about this place. Yes, while all this life has been going on, my mind has been lost in a daydream in a rather dingy, albeit diamond in the rough, of a new studio space.

Remember when I mentioned a few weeks back that I had been hounding the building manager at The Hungerford Building to find me a room with a view? After 4 months of pestering, Friday he stopped by and said "come here, I gotta show ya something". Down the hall and around the corner... almost directly across from the elevator... and right next door to Delish Glass... is #348. The lock is busted, there is a giant hole in the wall, an odd rim of an old drop ceiling clings there still, and dried up spilled something or other is on the floor... but oh, can you see it? Can you see the potential there?

I just got the call a little while ago. My studio (#307) already has a new tenant ready to sign for it. While I'm away teaching on the Bead Cruise, magic will be worked inside these walls. The 15x35ft room will have the walls repaired, new sinks put in, the floors replaced, and a fresh coat of paint will go up. I can't wait to see it when it's finished and start the move!

In all honesty, I had started to contemplate a lot of sad/necessary/scary/unsettling/grown up things over the past few weeks. Not the least of which was possibly moving my studio back home. My brain was trying to do all the practical convincing one does to one's self in such situations... as it does when contemplating things the heart doesn't want to hear or deal with. It told me things like "a brick wall isn't much different than a basement one...", "no one stops and visits you very often down this empty hallway anyway...", "maybe Ron will build something outside at home, like a shed..." and worst of all "it'll save money if you give up the studio". That last one is the real kicker. The one that really ate away at me last week in particular while Ron was getting news that nearly 200 people in his group of 1200 at work were laid off. (Thankfully, he still has his job... at least for now.)

I'm still struggling with those voices. My heart has dealt with a little too much lately, so it is on the tender side... but the day dreams are rebuilding the strength of it. Bringing some reserved excitement back that has been missing. I close my eyes and I can feel the warmth of the sun streaming in from those 3 big windows, I can hear the train whistles in my ears, and it feels right. It's gonna be a good thing.

view from 348
the view from those big old windows

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bead Cruise Kits

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Please take a moment to hop over to my website and purchase your class kits.

frameworks preview
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Happy St. Valentine's Day

Monday, February 13, 2012

Birthday BLOWOUT!

Today is my 34th birthday and to celebrate I thought it would be fun to have a special 24 hours sale on my website.

So, today only, ALL jewelry is 34% off!! 

Y'all know that sales are something I rarely do. This is the kinda of discount that wholesale jewelry shops get. It's your chance to treat yourself to something beautiful, colorful, and one of a kind.
Think of it as a Valentine to yourself.

While you're shopping, I'll be stuffing my face with birthday cake, and brownies, and pie, and chocolates. (Maybe I should just leave my bathing suit at home when I go on the Bead Cruise! HA!)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Studio lights

I had such a blast in the studio today with the uber AWESOME Kelli Marsh of Kelli Marsh Photography. She is the doll that took my head shots for my first book, Totally Twisted. Do you remember the photos she took before? My editor said it was time for new shots and that's what we did today. I am waiting on pins and needles to see the shots!! Until then, you'll have to settle for a couple of fuzzy Instagrams.

How was your Wednesday?

Monday, February 06, 2012

Jump Rope for Heart!

Tomorrow, yep, TOMORROW, Lauren is participating in something at school called Jump Rope for Heart. It is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. I just found out in the past hour or so that she could fundraise online instead of door to door!! She has a goal of raising $100 or more (she has $25 so far). If you would like to offer some support as she jump ropes the afternoon away tomorrow, PLEASE visit her funraiser site: Help Me Be A Hero. She only has until tomorrow (Tuesday Feb 7th) to reach her goal (oops, Momma should have read the paperwork sooner!). Any donation would be so greatly appreciated!! THANK YOU!!


YOO HOOO!!! Lauren met her goal in under an hour!!! So, we decided to raise her goal to $200!!
Keep the donations coming... it's for a good cause!

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Remember to...

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A couple of years ago, when teaching my first Bang A Rangs class, I designed a little bangle that had the word "CREATE" on the center focal bead. I decided that it is time to make this sweet thing an official Kab's Kit! (complete with full color instructions) I decided to expand the vocabulary to include some other sentiments too. Which led to the bangle name "Remember To...". I love it. And I'm gonna be sending Amy over at Zoozii's an email about making "ASPIRE" as a word tile for me.

What do you want to remember to do in your days?

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