Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where's the beads?

I've had some emails from folks wondering what I'm doing?...What's up?...Where's the beads?

Simple. There are no beads.
I'm not working.

I'm pretty sure that a goodly portion of you know what it's like just before summer vacation ends. The frenzied rush to the finish line - the scramble to get everything inventoried and organized. What do we need? What do we need to get rid of? What fits? What fits but that we absolutely refuse to ever be seen wearing in middle school?

And I'm like that, too, sort of. But, though I'll deny it until the bitter end, I always get a little touch of the weepies at the end of summer. Those children drive me crazy and half the time I'm wishing they were sitting in a classroom elsewhere from me, but I do recognize the rapid passage of time. I know that by next summer, many 'favorite' things and activities will have fallen by the wayside. Grown out of.


So I try to appreciate this undiluted together time with my kids as much as possible. I try as hard as I can not to be one of those moms that ruins the last few weeks of vacation by constantly reminding the kids that "Summer's almost over. Better enjoy it" or "We have to get back on a schedule so no more staying up late and having 'slumber parties' in the family room every night" or "You're going to be so busy with school pretty soon that you'll wish you hadn't wasted your summer sleeping until noon."

No. Instead, we've filled our last weeks of unscheduled time playing with friends, making homemade ice cream sandwiches and having 'night swims'. We've stayed up really late, eaten pizza for breakfast (I suppose it's technically brunch at 11:00) and played as many video games as we wanted to. We've gone to the beach, we've gone to the movies. We've caught baby lizards, ditch tadpoles and tons of fish. We've hatched butterfly cocoons, we've made soap and we've played super heroes and Dolphin Adventure for hours.

Oh yeah, we've had some other stuff going on, too.

In a move that was obviously fueled by some sort of early onset empty-nest syndrome, I agreed to let the kids get bunnies. They've always wanted them and somewhere in the back of my mind, I suppose I have, too. So we made a trip to the bunny farm.

Meet the bun-bun sisters, Violet and Blackie. Aren't they lovely? And very well mannered.

Unfortunately, the bunny farm was also the puppy farm. Meet Titus. He's one of a kind. And that's all I have to say about that.

So this is why there have been no new beads, no tutorial available even though it's been finished for nearly a month, and virtually no contact with the outside world. I am not working.

Until tomorrow.

Because today is the last day of summer vacation. It's over. I stood on the patio this morning, drinking my coffee and watching the sun rise. I looked around at the empty juice packs tossed carelessly beside the lounge chairs, the faded, half-deflated pool toys (so awesome just a couple of months ago), the rock village and pyramid built and abandoned in the flower bed 'jungle' and I felt almost overwhelmed by a sudden rush of emotion.

My son is in second grade now, in an upstairs classroom at the end of a seeming maze of hallways. My daughter is in middle school. Middle School!!! I highly doubt she'll be wanting to play any Ocean Rescue Dolphin Adventure with her baby brother and her mommy next year.

Summer is over.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kids...what's up with that?

We were able to get away for a very quick mini-vacation at the beach a couple of weeks ago and, when going through some of the pictures I was struck by the differences between kids and us.

For example. Here we have an entire ocean of sparkling blue-green mystery just waiting to be discovered. And where did they snorkel?

In the 4-inch deep tidepool

And here. A huge zoo full of incredible animals. It was one of the best we've ever visited (and that includes San Diego). I mean, just look how close we are to these beautiful giraffes!
But this was my daughter's favorite activity! Here we spent nearly 40 minutes watching the rays swim in circles and 'petting' them. In the wild, my kids are terrified of rays. (It really, really hurts when you step on one.) We stayed in a hotel complex that had gorgeous pools, restaurants, a very cool beachside entertainment complex, water sports and a facility completely dedicated to kids activities. And where did Connor decide was the most fascinating place of all?

He spent so much time in the evenings sitting beside this fountain that other people started taking his picture!

Children's minds are so, so different from ours. Their thoughts are more direct, more elemental and their joys are simpler. It's the old dilemma - which is better, the toy or the box it came in? Wouldn't it be great (particularly in these times!) to be able to shrug it all off and think more like kids? To just stop worrying about getting and find fascination in the wonder of the life that we already have?

That being said, there are some events that are hard to top. Doesn't everybody remember their first major league baseball game?

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Super Sale Item

Most importantly, I must acknowledge the passing of the great John Hughes, whose movies were such a part of my youth. I mean, I was Molly Ringwald. A piece of living Americana was that man. Bless him for his understanding, for his insight and for the way he gave independent thinkers and those on the fringe a voice.

Less importantly, as you might know, I've been listing lampwork glass bead Super Sale items in my Etsy shop for the last couple of days. These are items that are immediately available and that I've discounted as much as 30% off of their regular prices. I'm trying to clear out some things to make room for upcoming holiday beads.

I wanted to share a quick picture of todays item, a chunky sea shell focal in fantasy blue colors:
~Blue Lorelei~
Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New beads

Contrary to some people, I have been working very hard the last couple of weeks at making beads. I took a vacation in between, but before and after I've spent days and hours in the studio torching as fast as my little hands can. I'm thinking of doing a couple of shows in the upcoming months and am trying to build up some inventory. That being said, don't worry - I'm not going to be ignoring my online shops at all.

I have a couple of sets of beads that I'll be listing on eBay tonight. One is a brand new set, the other is a few weeks old but I haven't had a chance to list it yet. Make sure you come check them out.


~Fairy Dance~

Also, over the next few days, I'll be inundating my Etsy shop with some small, adorable sets of beads. New designs and some reworking of older designs, but all really cute and very, VERY well priced.

Check back, because I've got LOTS more to share!

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