A quote to change your day

In my travels yesterday, I passed a woman dressed in a Lady Liberty costume, pointing us passers-by toward a tax accountant's office in the strip mall behind her. That reminded me of a self-imposed deadline on my calendar. So, I spent the better part of today organizing the year that was 2009 to begin doing our taxes on Monday. As I was sorting through stacks of paperwork on my desk, despairing over the unglamorous week looming ahead, I came across this quote from Erma Bombeck. Totally turned my day/week/year around!

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me".


Signs of Spring

Had my first lizard sighting of the year while setting up on the deck this afternoon to take some photos of earrings for a future post. Can spring be far behind?


Playing with Wire

I like to take a break from bead weaving to do at least one wire project each week. For these earrings I used some nicely faceted garnet briolettes in a stunning deep red. The lighter rubies were a small treasure I found at Cynthia Rutledge’s Atlanta trunk show. I love the messy wire wrap look that’s so big in jewelry design right now – they can give the right piece a lot of character, but I wanted these wraps to look tight and clean. Much wire ended up in the trash pile before I finally managed to render three dangles with the silver spacer beads aligned horizontally! I was trying for a look that says elegant, but everyday wearable.


Wishful Thinking

I came across a fantastic hobo bag in a gift shop in Florida, sporting my favorite colors, sage and brown, finished with burnt red piping, and with just the right amount of slouch, but it was MUCH too pricey for this tourist to buy! I found the same colors in my bead stash and stitched up a right angle weave bracelet. Finished it off with a copper toggle, just like the expensive shoulder bag. If I can’t wear that hobo on my arm, this is a fine substitution…(sigh!)


Fat Tuesday Feasting

I had the best lunch today, courtesy of last night’s leftovers. After recovering from a two-day stomach flu, I wanted something light and comforting for dinner. When I want comfort food, I reach for my “Eat, Drink and Be Chinaberry” cookbook. Claire Regan’s Spinach Pie with a simple salad fit the bill. This afternoon, I tucked a warmed slice of last night’s spinach pie into a whole wheat pita and added a handful of romaine tossed with a splash of balsamic vinegar dressing. So simple. Lightening fast. Wickedly good!

I checked Chinaberry’s website, and their cookbook, compiled from the best dishes submitted by family and friends, is no longer available, so here’s the recipe.

Claire Regan’s Spinach Pie with Muenster Crust

¾ pound sliced Muenster cheese
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
3 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, cooked and drained well
(I use 2 packages of Cascadian Farm’s organic cut spinach, and I thaw, not cook it, before adding)
3 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup grated parmesan or less, to taste
Dill and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Line an ungreased 10” pie plate with overlapping slices of cheese. Cover the bottom of the pan and ¾ way up the sides. Combine cooked and drained spinach with cottage cheese, eggs, onion, parmesan, dill and pepper. Place in pie plate. Cook in 350° oven for one hour. Allow to stand 5 minutes before slicing. (I find an hour is too long. Check at 45 minutes.)


This Weather!

Three inches of snow yesterday, which is steadily dripping and melting in today's 40-degree temperatures. Dani took a break from a week-end home studying to build a snowman with Cary. I spent the morning putting together my order to finish all my projects for the upcoming trunk show in April. Now it's time to sit down and bead!


New Beads!

Just returned from a four day meeting in Tampa. We were hoping for warmth and sunshine (even packed swimsuits), but the weather turned cold and rainy. Still had fun catching up with old friends and making new ones. I took advantage of a free afternoon to check out Tampa Bead CafĂ©, where I headed straight for their wall of seed beads. Lots of colors I haven’t seen up close before, and I had a great time picking out a few tubes for upcoming projects. Walked over to the wall of semi-precious stones and found, tucked way in the back, a strand of faceted hessonite that was actually affordable! This citrus and caramel-colored stone is my current favorite and I was thrilled to have some for my stash!

Earlier that day, my friend Bev and I were strolling through the stores in Tarpon Springs’ Sponge Exchange, and came across these paper bead bracelets from Nairobi, handspun from recycled magazines. Bev remembered her mom picking up outdated wallpaper books from local merchants and teaching her how to cut, roll and lacquer paper beads just like these. I’m inspired! As soon as I finish my inventory for my April trunk show, I am going to investigate this art form. The idea of turning all my junk mail and department store catalogs into unique pieces of art, and incorporating them into my finished designs…how great is that!!!


Trend Setting Color

In my quest to understand color theory as it relates to jewelry design, I have read everything by Margie Deeb and am currently poring over the beaded colorways of Beverly Ash Gilbert. Pantone is another great source for finding out the up and coming colors in fashion. The undisputed leader in color forecasting announced that the 2010 Color of the Year is turquoise.

Although the designers at Pantone assure us that this is a color most people respond to favorably, it has never made my list of favorites…turquoise always transports me back to our 1950’s GE kitchen. Metal cabinets. Blue oven. Turquoise and yellow everywhere!

I decided to give this color a second look, and discovered that I like it! I paired turquoise Swarovski crystals with bronze pearls and varying shades of metallic bronze seed beads in this earring design. The pattern is by Ann Benson at Beads East. Pantone suggests this versatile shade goes well with all colors in the spectrum, translating equally well in fashion and interiors. I tried the earrings with all the dominant colors in my wardrobe: turquoise and brown (perfect, like sea meeting sand!), turquoise and red (amazing!) turquoise and black (very cool!) turquoise and any shade of green (sophisticated!) turquoise and navy (stunning!). Makes me want to redecorate my rooms…well, maybe not the kitchen!