Wednesday, February 16, 2011

7 Facts...

Thanks for the tag, Courtney!  I always tell my students that if you can't think of a topic to write on, write about yourself - there's no research involved and let's face it - people LOVE to talk about themselves:)
So, here goes.....7 facts about me.....I admit I borrowed some of these from a Facebook tag a few years ago on 25 random things.  I will try and be original, as not to overlap too much in case you want to read those facts too:)

1.  I am petrified of leaving the house on vacations. Ask my neighbors, I call them constantly to make sure my dog and cats are still alive!  I even went as far as posting sticking notes on all the light switches I wanted turned on and off, during the appropriate times.  "Neighbor Neil" had way too much patience, and I can't believe he put up with that! I leave for a 4 day trip to Vermont tomorrow, and so far...I am doing ok.  Many thanks to Daniel and Kate for taking such good care of our animals!

2. I have a problem with accessories - scarves, jewelry, etc...  Perhaps I will post a picture of my bathroom counter, and all my jewels.....and maybe my closet door with all my scarves displayed.  My friends and neighbors have often joked that Brent will one day "open up shop" and sell off my wares:(

3. I watch the Young and the Restless....every day.  I DVR it, so I AM available between the hours of 4 and case you think I skip work for such a pathetic reason!  I am hooked, but I admit that I could probably get by only watching Mondays and Fridays...the rest of the days are just "fillers" (as Brent affectionately calls them, while asking me to fast forward through those parts!)  I also watch the Martha Stewart Show, Modern Family, and This Old House.  For some reason, I really dislike Reality shows.  I find they just make me angry. (edit - I recently discovered I have a hidden fascination with Teen Mom 2 and Toddlers in Tiaras - what. the. heck. These shows make me feel soooo much better about myself when I am in a bad mood.  Please, please, please knock me upside the head if I EVER act like them.)

4. I would love to move to another state for a brief period of time..just to see what it's like.  I have only had 3 residences in my whole life - my home in Chapel Hill (where my parents still reside), my college dorms, and the house I currently live in.  Some places up for consideration - anywhere in New England, western Virginia, Colorado or Montana, coastal North Carolina, or the Asheville area.  Now, if only I could convince Brent!

5. I love music, and I love it LOUD.  If anyone has ever lived near me, you know I like to blare my tunes while washing the car or doing yard work.  Brent always tells me to turn it down - I'm like.."why?? everyone should enjoy this song like I am!"  This may be why I am a phenomenal car rider  (that, and growing up always driving up and down the east coast for skiing or visiting family).  I don't really like to chat in the car, even for short distances - I love to pop in a CD, or the Ipod, and just old standbys are bluegrass (AKUS, Alecia Nugent, Donna Hughes, Melonie Cannon), and Jason Aldean.  But I will occasionally throw in a little of Windham Hill collection or my "Island" playlist with some Buffet and Kenny Chesney.  And yes, that loud music you hear IS coming from the girl in the Jetta behind you - don't judge.

6. I am pretty conservative, politically speaking.  And I know I am going out on a limb here..but I don't think this is a secret to anyone.  Nevertheless, I have learned that no matter what your views or beliefs, it is imperative that you display them with humility and kindness.  There have been many times that I wish I had done this.  Forcing your opinion down someone's throat does not get your point across, it only makes them think they are even more right!  I am also proud to have friends that do not share the same views as I, and I learn something new every day from them - most importantly, that we are all humans, with emotions, and should always treat each other with compassion, period.

7. I love food.  It's not a comfort or emotional thing, I just love the taste of food.  I love cooking it, smelling it, and devouring it.  I don't deny myself much, which is why I would FAIL miserably at any diet plans.  I also believe it is a sin to cut out any food groups - please, let's keep the food pyramid in tact, and perhaps change the fats, oils, and sweets category from "use sparingly" to 1-2 servings!!  When I crave something, I go out and get it, or a good substitute for it.  I think this will be a HUGE problem when I am pregnant (pun intended!).  My mom did Weight Watchers several years ago and lost over 40 pounds - she is my hero, as is everyone else who has mastered self-control.  We don't do this often (much to my dismay), but I also love going out to eat.  My friend, Corrie, and I just discovered Watts' Grocery in Durham, and happened to stumble there for lunch during Restaurant week.  I am a sucker for local places with cozy atmospheres and clean food, which is why I love Asheville so much.  Our recent trip there centered around food - no joke.  We planned everything around where we were eating - it was awesome.

So there you have facts about me!  I hope the rest of my blog friends will take the challenge - I will be checking your new posts religiously until I see them:)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beadaholics anonymous....

I remember going to The Original Ornament a long, long time ago.  It was still located on Franklin Street, in a narrow little corridor.  My mom took me, and I remember being mesmerized by all the beads - shiny, sparkly, chunky.  I knew I was in big trouble.  I dabbled here and there in elementary and high school with simple beading necklaces - the kinds you wore all the time, even in the shower.  It didn't matter whether they matched your YMCA t-shirt or not, it was there to stay.  Then, in highschool, I decided to revamp the collection and I have been happily obsessed ever since.  I will have to say that the one good thing about making jewelry is that isn't permanent.  I am constantly re-working old pieces into new styles.  I often find myself perusing the sale sections at department stores, just to see if there is a somewhat-not-too-hideous necklace with some great bead finds on it.  And then, there are the bead shows - millions upon millions of beads - strand after strand.  Thank goodness they only come to town once or twice a year - my marriage thanks you.  

I find most of my inspiration by looking at other jewelry.  As I have stated before, I love to check out whatever is new at Charlotte's in Cameron Village - love the jewels, but can't afford.  And I love the infiltration of Sundance catalogs that flood my mailbox monthly.  But I am not tempted by fancy stones and real gold.  I'm always amazed at what some people will pay for accessories - since I know how little it costs to make. For awhile, and only awhile, I was making a necklace or earrings to match my latest outfit purchase - yes, I did go a bit too far.

Here are some of my current wares - and I must give a special shout out to my husband - for funding my habit, and  my cats - for restraining themselves as I spread beads and trinkets out all over the floor.
Oh - and sorry for the not so professional photography - my next wish list item is a better camera:)

I love the texture of using different shaped beads - teardrops make cute necklaces because when stacked, they have a chunky, tiered affect.

Ornamentea and Beadin Path have the best filigree - the top two are gold filigree pieces that make the BEST earrings, and the bottom pairs are vintage lucite filigree - which come in many more colors.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A new piece for the collection...

This is my first piece of jewelry made in 2011.  I have never been afraid of chunky, and funky, jewelry.  Just ask my dad, who always comments on my large gold filigree earrings as......hubcaps.  I have recently really loved the vintage style clothing and jewelry - unique, trendy, but with some traditional elements.  No thanks to Anthropologie, this trend seems to be on everyone's list, yet few can truly afford.  I get most of my inspiration from seeing other pieces that I want, but can't justify paying for.  I love to peruse the cases at Charlotte's just for inspiration!  Here is my creation - and I admit, I did get a lot of compliments on it the first day I wore it. I also got some requests for their it must be a success!

It is simple to make - a hot glue gun, some felt, gold chain, and fabric or paper flowers are all that's needed.  Michael's actually had a great selection of flowers in the scrapbook section, and I am currently learning how to make yo-yo fabric flowers for the next necklace.

As a followup on yesterday's post, here is my new crafting area.  Brent bought the table to go under the sewing machine, and it was all set up for my birthday. He even put a vintage piece of material as a table cloth - it was found in my grandparent's basement before we sold their house. The coral basket container was also my grandmother's sewing box.  It still has hundreds of spools of unused thread, in every color imaginable.  I would also like to think that, as with most things, the thread made back then is of much better quality than today's! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 month too late

Let's be real. No one ever really sticks to their New Year's Resolutions. I, for one, am not a fan of New Year's at all. To me, every day should be a new beginning...a chance to make new goals, better yourself, etc... Every year, I jot down the same old ambitions - most dealing with the gym, food, and reading. This year, I have been ruminating on some real, substantial things in my life that I want to change or accomplish. Some of it may even be things I want to be known for. I guess turning 30 in November - truly staring adulthood in the face - made me realize that I've spent enough time talking and thinking about my life. If I spent half as much time thinking about things I needed to do, and actually DID them....what a grand life I would have.
So here is what I value for my life...for 2011 and beyond.

1. I value friendships. I admit, I am not the best at staying in touch with people. And I have never been one to surround myself with TONS of friends. Nevertheless, I want to work on being a better friend this year.

2. I want to read more - currently, I have 4 books I have started over the past few years - really pathetic, I know. But the sad thing is, I have a whole list of books I want to read and buy - even though I haven't finished so many already!!

My current reads are:
Decision Points by George W. Bush (just started...and can't put it down)

Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush

Have a little Faith by Mitch Albom

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (my friend, Jaime, will never let me live down that I have yet to finish this one. I can't help it if I think the dog is going to die, so I don't dare read on!)

My next trip to Borders includes this purchase...

3. My husband - the greatest man on this earth under the age of 50 (my dad takes the older title) bought me a sewing machine for my 30th birthday. It is something I have always wanted, but never had the nerve to invest in myself. I had used my mom's old Singer when I lived at home, and completed a few mediocre projects. But I have real ambitions to make legit things - pillows, duvet covers, skirts. I already have some great oil cloth that is destined to become a set of outdoor pillows for our deck......wish me luck!

Take two....

Clearly, I have fallen short of real blogger standards. Perhaps I was afraid....for as soon as you broadcast yourself out into the abyss, rejection could soon follow..or skepticism..or judgment. Truth be known, I am terrified of all of those.

Either way, I failed my first blogging attempt, but am willing to give it another try. If I fail again, I promise I will fire myself.