Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Is here?

Notice the question mark.  Spring may have arrived on the calendar, but it is hiding its sunny face
from us here in the Pacific Northwest.  I woke again to another day of rain, wind, and cool
temperatures.  I am really getting the itch for some sunny days and better weather.  Gardening
isn't my thing, but about once a year I get the urge to plant something.  So off to the nursery
I went to gather a few posies and a few new pots with which to expend my yearly gardening
energy.  I think it turned out pretty good.  I'll just leave the rest of the spring gardening
to my husband.

My husband with the green thumb.
This rainy weather really doesn't do much for my energy level and neither did my late night
last night.  I'd like to say I spent it crafting, but I stayed up til 2 a.m. reading.
Anyone who knows me well, knows I really enjoy books.  My husband always knows
when the UPS man has delivered an Amazon box on our doorstep.  A new book
usually puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

Last nights nocturnal reading was 'Left Neglected' by Lisa Genova.

Some of you may recognize her name from her previous book 'Still Alice'.
I just love her books.   I think its because she depicts situations that could
happen to any of us.   Her books truly touch me because I can honestly put myself if the
shoes of these women she writes about.  Women who are in the full swing of life, with
careers, families, problems.  Women who are so busy taking care of everyone and
everything, that they really don't have time for what is to come.  Ms. Genova writes
about women who face neurological issues that bring their current lives to a halt.

 I have to admit I spent a few tears reading this book, just like 'Still Alice'.  My husband
can't quite understand how I can lay in bed, reading and crying and not wanting to
stop reading.  These are such well written stories, that while the situations are dire and
not without consequences, I come away with the feeling that these women, find something
so much richer, more valuable somehow than what they have lost.  This book
conveys the idea that our careers and material things (things that we think truly define us)
can be wiped out in a heartbeat.  That the true test of our success in life is how a person can
learn to live a life that has a 'new normal', and that our families, friends and the time
we spend with them is invaluable.  I know that life seems to move so much faster than
it used to.  These stories just show the possibility of gaining a richer life experience by
taking the opportunity to drop the trappings of our 'faster than light' lives.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Paddy's Day....

Well it's St. Patrick's Day.  Went looking for a little leprechaun and his pot
of gold, but he wasn't to be found.  I created a cute little pot of shamrocks and daffodils
to decorate for the day.

 If you haven't seen Phyllis Hoffman's magazine
Celebration, your should really go take a look.

This year I'm using some of their recipes for a St. Paddy's Day dinner.  We are
having Corned Beef Sandwiches, coleslaw, herb roasted potatoes and Chocolate Guiness
I think it turned out well.  Normally, I'll cook a corned beef brisket with cabbage and potatoes,
but I thought we needed a change.  Ok, I needed a change.  I have to say I am
really getting tired of cooking and for the last few weeks have relied on magazines
for recipes and inspiration.  Good news is that I am cooking and some of it is actually
eaten by my particular kids, however some of it hasn't turned out well.  It looked
good in the magazine, but my finished product just didn't do it justice.

Well, enough about cooking.  That's close to housework in my book and I don't like to do
housework.  I do it, but I don't like it.  Long before kids, I could spend an entire Saturday cleaning the house and then sit down and enjoy the fact that the whole house is clean.  Not any more, housework gets done sort of in shifts.  So my house does get cleaned, just not all at the same time.

Enough about housework and cooking, I need to get my focus back on beads and other crafting adventures...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Party Aftermath...

It's been quite a busy few days.  As you all know, I was participating in Lori Anderson's (of Pretty Things) Bead Soup Blog Party.  I spent the weekend visiting the blogs of all 210 participants.  What an amazing group of artists.  It was truly a path of inspiration.  Again I need to thank Lori for all of the work she put into hosting this.  Not only was it fun, but it was education and inspirational.  And another thank you to Valerie Norton of Hot Fused Glass for the absolutely wonderful 'Soup' she sent me to work with.

I've always been a chaotic crafter and this week has been no exception.  I finally got new valances made for my kitchen.  I have to say they turned out great.  I was tired of the old ones, they just seemed to blend into the walls and I needed a change.  I don't think my husband quite understood.   He doesn't understand my need for change.  But it sure makes me feel better.  Maybe it's my itch for spring to come. 

I've also been able to get some beading done.  A local bead shop has started carrying Chinese crystal.  I have to say it certainly has the sparkle.  I'm still a Swarovski girl, but it was fun trying out some new beads.  With Mardi Gras coming up, I thought they would add to some charms I purchases the last time I visited New Orleans.  (I probably should mention that my husband is from New Orleans.)  So every year around Mardi Gras he gets a hankering for King Cake.  Ok, I have to admit we all love King Cake.  There are few foods that I order and have sent to the house, but Randazzo's King Cake is one of those things that I do.  I can't wait til it comes.  Yum. 

These are some of the pieces I made with the Chinese Crystal.

We are planning on having a few friends over this weekend for a Mardi Gras Dinner.  I think I have my bling to wear.  Beads, doubloons, King Cakes and Hurricanes are all synonymous with Mardi Gras.  And having company over is just what I need to get motivated to get some spring cleaning done.  I better get busy.

Til next time.....