Sunday, August 5, 2012

I'm stuffed...

If you know me on Facebook you will know that the past two weekends my sweet husband Dave has made Frogmore Stew. If you've never had this, you MUST try it!! It's LOVELY!!! Seriously. Potatoes, corn, kielbasa, shrimp, onions.. shrimp... it's heaven. A quick google search brought me this blog first thing: Seaside Style (which I now think I will subscribe to) it gives a quick recipe for the Stew... which is not really a STEW at all.. I'm thinking of making either corn bread or biscuits next time to dip in the broth... We just cover the kitchen table with newspapers and dig in!!

Now that I'm done rambling about the delights of food.... I'm BACK! LOL I am going to try to at least do a weekly blog post until it gets colder.. then I'll have more time and will blog more often. 

Friday's will now be known as "Gluten Free Friday's" in honor of my dear, dear friend Jilly-Bean!!! She has a wonderful blog you really should check out!!! The Pink Cowgirl   Not only does she do amazing things with food to make it gluten free and beautiful.. she is also a pretty rockin chick!! She does Cowboy Racing and even does Pony Express rides!! We talk to each other on an almost daily basis and I consider her a sister from another mother! :D
So I will share her blog and some of the recipes there on Friday, or find other recipes or GF ideas to share with everyone!

To get up to speed with what I've been doing... hmmm... working at the bead store.. trying to create new pieces here and there.. lately I've been making the popular wrap bracelet a lot.. they are just so fun to wear!
 This is one of my recent designs, it's a mottled red & white sea glass with copper spacers. The second one is a leopard print bead and grey cat eye. I think it's my second favorite!! My absolute favorite is my tiger eye wrap.. tiger eye is my favorite stone... I call it my soul stone! I just can't see a piece without wanting to touch it and hold it and feel the warmth of the stone!! I'm obsessed!! LOL

And I also have been doing a bit of chain maille.. this is the Dragon Scale weave.. NOT For beginners! LOL Unless you are like me and get completely OCD about fine, fiddly weaving with tiny little jump rings! I simply LOVE the way it looks and feels though. I have worn it almost every day since I finished it!

I've also been running and have ran two 5ks so far this summer. I'm really enjoying it!!! My first was back in June, then we did one in July and I ran a better time! Yay! We have two scheduled this month, on the 18th we are doing our first Trail Run 5k.. which promises to be interesting to say the least! We hiked the trail today and it was a bit more rugged than I expected... I'll keep ya posted on how that goes! Then on the 26th we are doing the Race to the Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. I'm just looking to finish this one respectably.. it's uphill ... again, it should be interesting!

I find that I'm becoming quite addicted to running.. I never thought I would enjoy it so much! I know I have my husband and my two besty's: Jill & Melissa to thank for motivating me! And of course, my sister! She will call me every morning and tell me to go run, even if she doesn't join me!! :) :)  Sometimes I listen.. sometimes I turn the phone off ;) lol

Well that's my little update for now... I'll be back soon with more creations and running stories!! 

Say hello and goodbye to my pups!! Here they are all loaded up and ready to go hiking today! They LOVE it as much as I do!!

Happy Trails!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Hello again!

Well it's been fairly quiet around here... extremely HOT though... the past weekend we have been hovering around 105 and HUMID. UGH. But we are starting to cool a bit now.. only in the low 90s.. still humid but more bearable.

I've mostly been trying to finish up projects that have been laying around for a while so I can feel good about creating something NEW!  So this week I have been able to finish up a third Nefertiti necklace, two wrap bracelets, a pair of earrings for the shop, and I've been working on my chain maille bracelet. I LOVE this bracelet!!! It's the Dragon Scale technique.. I have about 8-9 hours in it already and it's a little over half finished! Definitely have a great respect for the medieval armorers!! This is about 1/4 finished in this picture.

Since we were off work yesterday, we decided to go for a hike. The DuPont State Forest is only about an hour away from us. We recently started going there after living so close for all these years! It's a beautiful place with miles and miles of trails... hopefully one day I can say I've seen it all!! (maybe?)
 David and our 'children' on top of the smaller mountain, at a trail crossing. I really need to have my camera out all the time on these hikes! This entire area was rock with patches of low growing evergreen and tall grasses, and then here and there were some stubby pine trees. It was very cool and odd looking at the same time. The rock is worn smooth from hikers, mountain bikers and weather. Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains as well! We met some mountain bikers at the top and they asked us to snap a pic of them and then returned the favor! It's nice because we rarely have pictures of the two of us together on these hikes!

 This is coming off the rock and heading back into the tree line..

 Beautiful ferns were everywhere.. it was cool but still slightly humid down in the trees....

 The mountain laurel is still in full bloom and just beautiful!!

And there's our trail!! I simply love the MapMyRun app!!!

So that's how I've been spending my time these days, well, that and running and working out! My weight loss has slowed down with just running so I've started adding in strength training to build muscle and burn more fat!

Thanks for following my little blog :) I love reading when people post in the comments! It makes me feel loved ;)  I am going to try to kick it up and post more often!

Have a great day!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

In Memory............

Today is a sad post, I learned yesterday that a dear friend's cousin was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Saturday. My heart goes out to her and her family this week as he is returned home and laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Rest In Peace, Niall Coti-Spears

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Project 5 Reveal!

So once again, I have neglected my blog for some time... but one sure way to get a blog post is for Karyn at Releases By Rufydoof to have a Reveal Day!!!

Project 5 included two patterns from Helena Tang-Lim at Manek Manek Beads. Echoes of Nefertiti and we were also able to purchase a pattern called 4 Leaf Clover cuff at a reduced rate once we showed that we worked on it. I have never purchased a pattern before and I have to say that I WILL be purchasing more of Helena's in the future. They are so well written and just work up so smoothly and the finished product is just lovely!!

I ended up with two versions of Nefertiti, and I'm currently working on a third! I will have to post pictures of that once it actually starts to be more than a pile of beads on my mat :)

Here is my first version, I just love the blue Tilas! I used Purple Zebra Jasper coins, they have a slightly rounded edge that does tend to let the fan slip around it.. I believe it's more of a 'too much tension' issue... which is present in the majority of my work ;)  I found the 4mm bicones in my stash and I think they are just perfect! I did have some issues with the toggle bar but I know what I did wrong and will fix it on my next one! :) 
 This is the second version I made, I'm not particularly keen on the bicones.. they are a bit too blue for the coppery purples of the rest of the necklace. Once I restock my stringing wire, I will change these out for another smokier blue crystal.

And here is one of the 4 Leaf Clover cuffs I worked up. I had my boss pick colors for me because I knew I would just go to black or greens.... this worked up SO nicely!! I just love the components and have been dreaming up other ways to use them..... I have one half finished in black pearls with a purple lined blue seed... but I left it at work yesterday! I will have to post a finished picture later in the week!

Thank you once again, Karyn and Helena for the WONDERFUL projects this month! I am eagerly awaiting our next challenge!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

I've been busy.....

I've sadly neglected my little blog for the past few ... months...  But here I am back again and hopefully can keep it going better :) At least a post a week maybe???

I've started running & exercising more.. this takes a lot of my spare time! Well.. that and the beading! So... where should I start? I think I've blogged once about SlimKicker and MapMyRun so I will post about beading today... :D  Because beading is FUN!

As you all know, I'm part of Beading Babes! This was founded by Karyn of Releases by Rufydoof and is now going totally wild on Facebook! Our small group has expanded to over 100 members I believe! While I do miss the small group and knowing everyone a little better, the larger group has really started to inspire me more in different color choices and styles! So it's All Good :D

Our latest pattern is 4-Leaf Clover Cuff & Echoes of Nefertiti, both created by Helena Lang-Tim at Manek-Manek. I have long looked at her patterns in awe.. they appear so incredibly intricate and detailed! And they are! BUT!! Helena has written out some of the best patterns I've seen! They are SO easy to follow that the project just grows from your bead mat!!
I see myself purchasing more of her tutorials in the future!

I have a sneak peek of one of the elements from Echos... I'm not quite finished with the whole project yet.. and I already have several new color choices to make more of them! It really is a terrific piece!

 The stone is a swirling grey Jasper of some sort.. something I found while wandering around Obsessions while I should have been was working....
Here is a sneak peek of the other pattern, 4-Leaf Clover cuff.. This worked up so quickly! And again, Helena's pattern was SO easy to follow! I will be making this in other colors as well!

So there is my recent beading story! I have about 8 projects on my table right now that REALLY need finishing up... So if you find something you think is totally awesome and needs to be made please send it to me right away so I can start another! just tuck it away and show me later! :D

Time to feed the ponies and get ready for a day of work! Hopefully my next blog post will be in a few days instead of weeks :)

Happy Beading, Happy Running!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

18 years ago....

I married my husband, David. It's hard to believe it's been 18 years!! Time truly flies!!
The first and last time I had my nails done!!

So to celebrate this year, I told my husband I had a whole weekend planned of 'fun' things to do! He raised his eyebrow and listened patiently..... and then agreed! LOVE HIM! :D  So, Friday night we went to the movies to see The Avengers.. can you say FUN!??!? We are both total comic nerds and are just loving all the great movies Marvel is putting out right now. FINALLY the FX people have managed to bring to life all those great artistic works from the comic books we love!!  lol  So what a fun night we had! Ate a nice tasty meal at Ruby Tuesday and then ran up to the cinema and really were blown away by a great movie!! 
We had planned to attend a symphony yesterday but ended up just spending the day at home. But today we did follow through on my final plans! We took our two young pups and drove out to South Mountains State Park. It's about 45 minutes away and just gorgeous!
It was overcast this morning but turned out to be a lovely day. This is my attempt to not take the picture through a somewhat dirty windscreen! The trails at South Mountain are well maintained and just a joy to walk on. They do get quite strenuous!! The most popular trail is the one we hiked today. It follows the river up the mountain to the high falls.. a great treat once you've climbed All. Those. Stairs. 
 Some down stairs early on the trail.....
 Crossing the river.......
 UP stairs..... one of several flights before you reach the overlook at the falls
 The falls!! I can't remember how high the drop is... it's really a beautiful sight. We didn't stay here long , there were people there and another dog that our pups were too excited to meet, we wanted to keep peace, so after a little sniffing around we moved on ....
 UP even more stairs!!! There are 3 more looooooong flights to reach the top of the falls... then you get a nice gradual climb back down to the bottom...  I truly enjoyed my anniversary hike today!! My husband did too and we plan to take a hike each Monday now! We live in the Western North Carolina foothills.. we literally can hike a new trail every week and not hike the same place twice in a year at least!!

But now I am quite tired and need to get some shut-eye.. Oh, did I mention that after our 5.5 mile hike, I ended up doing our normal walk routine with my sister this evening? Tack on another 2.1 miles! LOL All in all, a really great day!
I said I needed sleep.... but as I sit here I see a little pile of beads calling my name..... we shall see........