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Mail Call April 28, 2008

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter, Friendship.
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Is collecting your mail the highlight of your day?  It is for me, sometimes.  Sure….there always seems to be a bill of some kind, but usually, there’s something equally delightful to off-set it.  Take Friday, for example. I had a most excellent mail day.  A package from Catt with some cool new presses, a gorgeous bead that I had ordered from Hayley, and a total surprise package with the cutest turtle shelf-sitter (inside joke) and gorgeous bracelet from my friend Lisa, who just happened to instinctively know that I needed a little pick-me-up.

Saturday, it was a bunch of movies from Blockbuster.  Granted, I have to pay for the priviledge of having movies delivered to my door.  But on a no-make-up Saturday when I don’t even want to leave the house….its sooooooo worth that monthly subscription fee!

Today was a really exciting day at the mailbox.  Not only did I get the latest issue of the ISGB “Glass Bead”, but my visitors guide to New Orleans arrived, too!  So obviously, as soon as I’ve signed off here, I’ll be cozying up in bed, admiring the work of my contemporaries and dreaming of my cajun vacation!

Now where did I throw down that gas bill…………oh well, we’ll worry about that one tomorrow.

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Anticipation…… April 19, 2008

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter, Friendship, Parenthood.
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Is it really the best part??  Sometimes I think so.  I’m never happier than when I’m planning something.  Doesn’t really matter if its a simple movie date, or a full-blown vacation, I’m just thrilled to pieces anytime there are plans to be made, and something to look forward to.

Consequently, I’m a really, REALLY happy girl right now.  One of my best bead-buds, Deanna Chase is coming for a playdate weekend in just two short weeks, and she’ll be here at the perfect time to meet the rest of the Smoky Mtn. Firecrackers at our next meeting!

Three weeks after Deanna’s visit, my son will be graduating from high school, and we all know there are tons of festivities and activities to plan for around that time.  In celebration of finishing school, B.W, and I will be meeting my best friend Marte and her son Adam in New Orleans for an eight days of fun during the week of July Fourth!  We plan to tour some of the galleries and museums, do the haunted walking tours of the historic cemetaries, maybe gamble a bit at the new Harrah’s casino, take a riverboat cruise, see the Audobon Zoo and the Aquarium of the Americas, and of course, eat entirely too much fresh seafood!  Living in land-locked areas that are pretty much the capitals of beef consumption, Marte and the boys and I will be taking full advantage of all the fresh catches that the gulf will provide.  😀  And we’ll cap our week off with the Dueling Barges Fireworks show from the bank of the grand Mississippi River.

After spending all that “quality time” together on vacation, B.W. and I will have to come home and start packing up his room, because the first of August will find him moving to Nashville and getting ready to begin his classes at Nashville Auto Diesel College.  I think he’s finally beginning to get a little excited at the thought of stepping out on his own, moving to the city and taking the first steps to a career for which he’s already shown great aptitude.

And if that weren’t enough excitement to make for a fabulous summer, I just found out this week that I made it into GlassStock again this year!  My friend Carol Crye and I both made the draw, so we’re gonna plan a couple extra days after our classes, and spend some time with our friend Kaye Husko torching and playing with what we learned, as well as doing some exploring on the beautiful Oregon Coast.

And with a jam-packed schedule like that, I suppose I should quit planning the activities and go make some beads so I can plan how to pay for them!  😀  Look for a ton of new stuff coming up on Etsy this week. 

Learning new Tricks October 9, 2007

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter.
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I just love finally learning how to do something that I’ve been curious about for so long.  It was that way with knitting……I’d watched my mom do it for years, and when I finally sat down and learned for myself, I was so proud!  My skills never advanced to what I’d call more than beginner, but just being able to cast on and knit a simple scarf with a couple of twisted cables was enough to satisfy me.  It was the same with bead crochet…..once I got the hang of that, I must have crocheted hundreds of bracelets in different colors and patterns.  As for beadmaking……well we all know that’s an obsession I won’t outgrow anytime soon.

 But what makes hot glass so interesting to me is the fact that there are always new techniques to learn, and if I live to be 200 years old, I’ll never really feel like I’ve “mastered” them all.  But…..this weekend, I did get the opportunity to finally learn how to make something I’ve wanted to try for a long time.  My friend Jodie of Ruskin Designs came for an all-too-short visit, and she’d just been at a glass gathering in Ashville.  As it happens, her demo was on off-mandrel pendants in soft glass!  So she graciously agreed to teach me the technique that she’s perfected.  I know I have a long way to go before I’ll feel like I’ve truly mastered it, but for my very first try, I was pretty pleased with the results!

I was so excited to finally learn how to make these, I’ve got another one in the kiln tonight!  I think Jodie’s created a monster.  And after I’ve done a few more in soft glass, I’d like to start trying a few in boro as well!

Habits, Old and New October 1, 2007

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter, Holidays, Movies, Parenthood, Philosophy, Pop Culture.
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Geeze….am I a bad blogger or what?  Three days, and no “new” news?  Life just kinda jumped up and smacked me in the face this weekend.  That or the “daily blog” just hasn’t become a habit yet.  For those of you waiting patiently to find out how the night out on the town went….yes, I did break down and smoke about a half dozen cigarettes!  But, I’m happy to report that my patch went back on Saturday morning, and I haven’t craved one since.  And Friday night, it wasn’t really about the physical craving….that was plenty manageable.  It was more about being out with the girls, getting the giggles, listening to bad karaoke, and doing what everyone else was doing.  Yeah, I know….not a good reason, so I guess that old bad habit isn’t completely broken yet.  But I swear, if I thought I could ever be a successful “social” smoker, I wouldn’t even worry about quitting.  Fortunately, I’m smart enough to know that’ll probably never be an option for me, so I’m back on the patch wagon for the duration.

 Saturday was spent in Nashville.  B.W. had to go to Nashville Auto Diesel College for his entrance exam and the first round of scholarship testing.  We met his soon-to-be roommate, Bryant, and his mom and dad down there, and after the boys were finished with their tests, we all went out to look at apartments.  Its next to impossible for me to believe that my baby boy is gonna be living in the big city in an apartment next fall!  But we’ve found a complex that we all like, so keep your fingers crossed that when the time comes, a 2 bedroom wll be available!  LOL!

So let’s talk movies for a minute.  I actually took a few hours yesterday to work on some fiber projects, and watched a couple of movies I received from Blockbuster this week.  The first half of my double feature was “The Astronaut Farmer”, and I was really amazed at how wonderful it was.  The whole idea that we as a society are losing sight of what it means to work for and make our dreams happen really hit home.  I can remember the same thing Charlie Farmer did as a kid…..being told and actually believing that I could be and do anything I wanted.  At what point do we stop believing that?  I remember being in seventh grade, and genuinely believing that I would someday be a Senator, or possibly even the first woman president.  I’m not sure when that dream fell by the wayside, (and you couldn’t pay me enough to do the job these days!), but I do remember at some point in high school, feeling like I needed to make a “realistic” plan for my future.  There are times I wonder where I might be now if I’d been a little less realistic and more daring, and the movie was a reminder of how important it is for me to never make B.W. feel like his options are limited.

 The second feature was “Disturbia”.  Now I’ve always liked creepy movies, but this was one of the better ones I’ve seen lately!  There’s nothing quite like that feeling of being scared…..your heart beats fast, your blood is rushing through your veins, and all of your senses seem to be heightened.  Its a feeling I’ve always liked.  But couple that with a film that’s actually smart, and I’m really hooked.  I won’t spoil the drama for those of you that want to give it a try, but lets just say that it makes you think twice about how well you REALLY know your neighbors!

So after being away from my torch all weekend, I’ve been playing catch-up tonight.  I got a sizeable order last week (Thanks, Marcia!) and it included several sets of Christmas beads.  Well needless to say, I was a complete dork and made a couple of sets in the wrong style, so I had to come home today and actually make the ones my client wanted!  But I figure the season is just around the corner, so I’m just getting a little ahead of the normal schedule.  Here’s a pic of one of the sets that will be coming up for auction soon……

Making all these holiday beads over the last week has also made me realize just how behind schedule I am on my preparations.  I used to be one of those people that had my shopping done by October, and everything was wrapped and ready to go under the tree the day after Thanksgiving.  Where did that gal go??  I started strong…..I bought three gifts in January!  But since then?  Nada!  I know how disappointing that is to those of you who expect me to have it all done.  Unfortunately, ya’ll seem to be rubbing off on me instead of the other way around.  Guess I’ll see you in line at midnight on Christmas Eve this year, huh??

Girl’s Day Out September 22, 2007

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter, Friendship.
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What could possibly be more fun that an old-fashioned girl’s day out??  A girl’s day out at a BEAD SHOW!  Yep, that’s right.  I’ve been a bad, BAD girl today.  Three of us loaded up and drove to Murfreesboro today, and we’ve literally shopped til we dropped.  I got a TON of new silver goodies.  (Well, maybe not a ton, but between Ma and I, we bought waaaaay over a kilo!)  All three of us also picked up Kumohimo kits to start braiding some cords for our lampwork focals, as well as a bunch of c-lon thread and a couple of new patterns for making treasure bracelets.  After we’d shopped away half the day, we stopped at Puleo’s Grill for Sangria and appetizers (ever tried fried asparagus?  If not, you should!), and followed those up with the best cake called Chocolate Lasagna.  I was so completely stuffed, I wondered if I’d be able to stay awake for the two hour drive home!  LOL!

 So what is it exactly that makes a day out with the girls so rejuvenating??  I wonder this very thing every time we have a day like today.  It doesn’t seem to matter what we do, where we go, or how many of us there are.  (With my bunch, its usually somewhere between two and eight of us)  The where’s and whys don’t appear to make a difference……its all about the comfort of the companionship.  With your girlfriends, you can say anything, totally be yourself, scratch wherever you itch, fart if you feel like it, and discuss all those “womanly” topics that make the men in our lives so nervous.  There is something very freeing about spending time with people who will love you no matter what.  So I wanna give a shout-out to Vern and Terri for being those people for me today.  You girls sure know how to have a good time!