Thursday, January 31, 2008

and the winner is....

My giveaway finale has finally arrived. Here's how I did it.

First I primed the pot.... and swirled all the names around...

Then I closed my eyes and the lucky winner is....

PamAries !!! Congrat's Pam!
Tomorrow starts the One World One Heart giveaway . I'll be joining up and displaying my goodies for that giveaway tomorrow. It's our second annual. Last year was a blast. Hope you can join in !
I finally gave in to my cold. After suffering for 12 days with a head cold I went to the Dr. and got some heavy duty antibiotics. Looks like a sinus infection took hold. I should be able to hear, taste and smell any day now. I can't wait to feel normal again. I might even get back to my normal blogging self.

Valentines Day Giveaway!

This is a STICKY POST - it will remain on top of my daily posts until the Giveaway is over on Jan. 31.

In appreciation of National De-lurking week - I'm having a Valentine giveaway for any blog friends I've made who happen to stop by in the next two weeks and to get any lurkers out there to come forward in the open.

All you need to do is leave your name in the comments of this post or any post through Jan 30 ...make sure I have a way of reaching you if you don't have a blog!! I will draw the winner's name sometime on January 31st so that he/she can receive it on time for Valentine's Day:-) Here are the Items in my Giveaway. I've got snack size paper plates and napkins, a candy heart, heart decorations, scrapbook stickers, large heart confetti, a small picture frame, a braclett I've made and I'm making a pair of earrings to go with the bracelet. Good luck!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


I've been keeping myself housebound while recovering from this awful cold. I'm trying to let my body do it's recovery thing with as little stress as possible. So I've kept myself stress-free by doing things I enjoy.

I had recently purchased some new fabrics. I hope to start another quilting project soon. Just not sure exactly what it'll be. So many choices. I did my prep work yesterday so I'm ready as soon as I decide what to sew. Yesterday I washed and ironed this beautiful pallete of spring colors. I love each and every pattern too. There is actually a de-stressing that occurs for me when I iron pretty fabrics - smoothing out their lines and wrinkles - making one straight calm piece. Do you see why I can't wait to start sewing? yet I want it to be the perfect project for these pretty fabrics.
After that I sat down and made a bracelet and earrings. March is coming quickly - in March we have St. Paddy's day on March 17, the Vernal Equinox on March 20 (first day of Spring), and Easter Sunday on March 23. That's a whole lot of colors to work with for my little area at the consignment shop I sell my jewelry at. It also means I need to start now to have my inventory ready for sale at the same time for all 3 events. Usually there's a few weeks in betweem each one for breathing room. Without further ado. here is the first in my March line up.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

FOUND: some fun Valentine giveaways

I had a blast this morning blog hopping! I found LOTS of giveaways and I'll share them with you. Hope you win something!
There is a Valentine giveaway going on at Iowa Geek's blog. She has a lot of goodies in that giveaway so stop by and leave a comment before Jan. 31 for a chance to win.

Another Valentine giveaway is by Sylvia Anderson. She has some surprises in store and her work is beautiful, so stop by before Jan. 31 and drop your name in the hat.

Teresa is running her first contest of the year over at her personal blog. You have a chance to win a beautiful turquoise bracelet created by Lori Jaclyn. She’s willing to ship anywhere and that means anyone is eligible to participate and win.

Good luck!
Also, I've finished another book for my challenges. Here is my review for "Aunt Dimity Goes West" by Nancy Atherton.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

1st book review in

I've finished my first book in my quest to complete 52 books this year. I will be listening to some books rather than reading them all. It will give me a fighting chance to get through 52 books in a year and still keep my job. I can listen in the car, while I'm beading and while I'm running.
Here is my first review.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I've gone challenge crazy. I am now enlisted for 4 reading challenges. There is a method to my madness. My A-Z Challenge can use all the books that I read in the other 3 challenges - if I plan it right. So at most, if I plan it right, and I complete them all, I will read 52 books this year. A book a week - I'm not that fast of a reader, but it will be fun to see how far i get. wish me luck. the lists for each challenge are stored here

A-Z Reading Challenge

Chunkster Reading Challenge

YA Reading Challenge.
and my first one What's in a Name? reading challenge

Monday, January 21, 2008

I WON a Giveaway!

I won a book selection from the giveaway that Julie Marie at the Celtic Woman had! I'm so excited. It's way fun to win something. I chose 'I Capture the Castle' from her list of selections. oooo - now I can't wait to draw a name from my giveaway and make someone else's day a little brighter too. Thank you Julie Marie!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Getting organized

I've been working on getting organized and it feels really good. I actually have more time to do the things I love. My bead desk is tidy, my computer desk is tidy, my kitchen is clean. This all puts my mind at peace.

I feel less scattered and I'm actually enjoying more beading, more blogging and more reading. Last night after finishing up two projects I've been working on -- see my necklace and bracelet (these will be sold at the consignment shop that carries my work)....

I layed down in front of the fire, with my book -no TV - and READ MY BOOK. it was so relaxing - I listened to the snap-crackle of the fire, felt the warmth it gave off and slipped into another world with my fictional characters. every weekend should be so enjoyable.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Baby it's ccccoooold out

It's dropping down to 4 degrees tonight so we went to the park loaded with nuts to throw around for the squirrels to eat to help them stay warm. Peanuts and almonds. We loaded up our bird feeder but the little birdies must have flown a bit farther south, we haven't seen them around lately.

I expect the river will freeze over tonight. It's already freezing around the edges.

The we stopped in the store on the way home and Gary met his new best friend.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Limited edition

I will be rushing back to the store this weekend for a LARGE supply of Dr Pepper "Cherry Chocolate"!! It's great. just a hint of Cherry, just a hint of Chocolate. If it wouldn't make me feel so guilty, I plop a glob of vanilla ice cream in a big glass of this. YUM.

and please note... It does say 'limited edition' at the top of the can.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Downtown view

Went downtown yesterday. It snowed all day and amounted to very little. Here is the view I see out the nearest window. I really don't mind working downtown a couple days/week. If I could get free parking it would be even better.

I'm beginning to get an itch to learn bead crochet. Lydia at Bead Crochet makes the cutest little Schmoo dolls. I want to learn how to do make those. they are darling!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I've started a daily journal as part of my Creative Every Day project. In it I've been writing 3 things that brought me joy that day (or the day before - depending on when I'm writing it) and 3 things I am grateful for. Once I get those down, my mind opens and it feels easier to just start writing - about anything - what I'm feeling, what I'm thinking. Just free form writing. so far, I'm enjoying the process and progress.

I met my sis at Blake's Seafood for happy hour tonight. What fun we have. $1.99 appetizers and $2.00 off cocktails. It seems our cocktail bill was larger than the appetizer bill :) I just love our chats together. I can't wait for this Cleveland weather to break into spring so we can start jogging together again.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gratitude eyes

Every so often I read something so poignant it shakes me to my core.
Thornton Wilder brings this to light in Out Town as Emily, a child ghost, looks back on life.

"... 'I didn't realize', she confesses mournfully, ' all that was going on and we never noticed. Good-by world. Good-by, Grover's Corners....... Good-by to clocks ticking .... and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths... and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. ...."

After reading that, I stopped to appreciate all I have and how blessed I am for such a wonderful family and friends. For where I was born to and how much I take for granted. The daily grind of life dulls our eyes. Today, I will try to keep them open wide so they can take in my world and all I can be grateful for.

My 'bead shop' is cleaned up and ready for action. I actually have created a few pieces this weekend. I'll get a pic of them tonight to upload.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


We finished making our beer last night. On Dec 26, we went to the Brew Kettle and started the process to create our own Dortmunder beer. Yesterday, we went back to label and bottle our beer, and of course we had to sample it.
The first steps are to sanitize and label the bottles. We had an oppotunity to create our own labels for forgot about it and ran out of time. So we were given generic labels which I like a lot. My sis and I got a little creative with the labeling.
We all took turns filling the bottles. Here my G and bro-in-law G are working at the bottling machines.
When a bottle is filled, a bottle cap goes on.

Here's my turn at the bottle capping machine.

And of course, there was the constant sampling to make sure it didn't go bad in the last 5 min.

We sampled until it was all gone.

Here I am showing off a new bracelet I recently finished during my turn at the bottling machine.

We ended up with 6 cases of 22 oz bottles of beer. and good memories. A creative way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Everytime my sis was working on a machine, I was helping her, thus no pics of my sis today.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reading, beading and eating

Thanks to Janet at the Lavender Loft I've learned that it's National De-Lurking week. From Julie's site at The Celtic Woman "..a lurker in blogland is a person who reads your blog but never leaves a comment.This is amnesty week - your time to come out of the lurking closet and come clean about your lurking habit - without penalties."

It would be fun to find out there are people out there who stop by my site to visit. Let me know who you are so I can read your blog. It's fun to find new blogs to read. I love blog hopping and do it often. The times I stop to leave comments I often end up with a new blog friend.

Also, if you've read this far and came all the way through blogland to find me I've got a great surprise. I'm joining PEA at PEA's Corner and having a Valentines Giveaway.
All you need to do is leave your name in the comments of this post or any post through Jan 30 ...make sure I have a way of reaching you if you don't have a blog!! I will draw the winner's name sometime on January 31st so that he/she can receive it on time for Valentine's Day:-) I haven't decided what items I'll have in the giveaway, I'll post them by Sunday night. Good luck!!!
I'm reading my first book in the What's in a Name challenge. I've started with My Antonia - may have mentioned that before but so far I like it. When I start books and they can't grab my attention, I put them down after struggling through a few chapters. There are sooo many good books to read out there, it's not worth what little reading time I have to struggle through a book that doesn't work for me. I'm finding My Antonia entertaining. It's a look at how people lived, laughed and struggled in the early west. It's both simple and involved. This is one I'll finish.

I was surprised when I started Eat, Pray, Love that I've read so many good reviews about. By the time I got to the third chapter I couldn't convince myself to go on. Everyone is raving about it, but I couldn't get past her bouts of depression. I'm a bit disappointed in myself for not trying harder to see if the book gets any better since everyone but me appears to love it, but it goes against my reading philosophy(sp?).

I've worked on a few beaded Valentince pieces to sell at the consignment shop. I'll have the pics up later today. I'm really pleased with the way they turned out. It's hard to sell the pieces I like best, but I get joy in knowing someone else loves them too.

Found a new vegetarian site. DeliciousTV This show is actually aired on TV in some cities, but not mine so I'll have to stop by the website now and then to check out some new recipes to try.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dear Blog

Dear Blog, believe it or not, I think of you often. I know you feel neglected, but I'm playing catch-up and expect to be back to being more dedicated to you soon. In the meantime, here's how I've kept myself busy.
I've been put on a 'special assignment' at work. I have 3 months to help a project team get to production. Being a 'subject matter expert' we are told to expect this from time-to-time. this is the cube I'm visiting while at the downtown office. It's plain, but I call it home.
here is what I see while walking to my temporary site. Morning and night I get to walk past Lola Restaurant and the House of Blues. You can't see the sign for House of Blues, it's blocked but it's there on this street next to Lola. If your familiar with Iron Chef on the Food Network Channel, new Iron Chef Mike Simon owns Lola. I would love to take the time to go into both places --- perhaps someday.
We did take time out this week, after a LONG day at work and a stop off at the gym. I countered all the good I did at the gym with some Wings and Beer and BuzzTime fun at BW3's.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Being creative

I've joined another challenge for this year. Creative Every Day . I'm hoping this challenge will encourage me to be creative every day in 2008. Even though I've missed a week of blogging, I've been working on my creativity. I started a bracelet using the herringbone bead stitch. My first tries at a new stitch are usually a bit iffy. I plan on undoing this and starting over. Some of the beads I selected, don't quite fit the pattern well.
I was creative another day making a new soup. It was a ham and bean, but I added potatoes and spinach, celery and onions. Very creative, very yummy.
Today, I brought my small camera to work and took a photo of the street where the 'House of Blues' lives in downtown Cleveland. The whole street was lit up at 8:00 am as if they were still rockin' in the House. Great street atmosphere.
I'll get all my photo's posted tomorrow... I hope. It's getting late. I worked out today, ate dinner, read my emails and it's almost time for bed already!!!

I've started my What's in a Name Reading Challenge . I started with My Antonia by Willa Cather. It's going well, my problem is I read at night in bed and I've been so tired by the time I get to bed, I only get a few pages read. I'll have to dedicate a night/week reading so I can get through my books in time.