Tuesday, December 30, 2008


My granddaughter Athena wanted an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas, this follows on the heals of her getting a Disney Princess Cool-Bake Oven for her birthday. What a phenomenal waste of money that was. It's bad enough the darned cakes are so small, and "refills" are at least $5 for two packages making approximately 4 cakes (about a tablespoon of cake) each, but they were also disgusting. so as my daughter Tess and I were shopping for Christmas we were discussing the Cool-Bake Oven fiasco, and trying to figure out what else we could do to satisfy Athena's need to bake.

She also wanted a cupcake maker, which is actually just a cupcake decorator. Her dad volunteered to buy her the cupcake maker so that left it to us to handle the cupcakes.

We discussed the price of refills for the Easy-Bake Oven, the amount of mess and clean-up required, and the ridiculous one-bite size of the darned things. I mentioned it was too bad there wasn't a way to use regular cake mix for it, and my brilliant daughter said, "Mom, she knows how to use the oven and the Easy-Bake cupcakes are hot when they are done so she won't be much more apt to burn herself with regular cupcakes. Why don't we just buy her muffin pans, cake mixes and frosting in the regular baking department." We ended up getting some of the cutest little specialty cupcake pans and liners as well as the cake mixes and icings with sprinkles.

Last night I heard someone on my front porch and a moment later in came Athena and Tess with a plate of cupcakes complete with icing and sprinkles. What a nice surprise. And how wonderful to share in Athena's first cupcakes. Yum!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Our Christmas day was really a strange one, but very fun all the same. I was awakened by my dad thinking it was the day he was “supposed” to wake me up. NOT, so I started out the day a bit cranky. I told him I would get him up when I was warm, awake, and the coffee was made so I had something to look forward to. I had been expecting Tess to be the one who would be waking me up. We still had to get the tree set up, the presents moved into the kitchen (tiny overcrowded living room), and make room for a giant toybox and bicycle somewhere. Instead of making room for the toybox, we decided we would let it continue to live in my bedroom for another few days so the girls could spread their new toys all over Cassie’s bedroom (the playroom) and have a ball with them before they had to think about putting them away. My cousin Nick decended around 11:30 am, and we then had to work around him, too. Tess had decided on cold-cuts and cheese with a few little tidbits to go along and we started getting all that ready after she had brought over the first car full of toys. She and Eric brought over the rest of the presents (she is the designated wrapper). She couldn’t find the roast beef and sliced cheddar she swears we bought a few days before Christmas anywhere at either house. I know it never came to my house and she claimed it didn’t go to hers either. Eric, the incredible eating machine, went back home and scavenged a variety of meat and cheese from their fridge. Funny thing is, no one missed the danged roast beef anyway, even though Tess had a big melt-down over not being able to find it. Then at around 1:45 pm Brian, the girls’ dad, called to find out when to bring them. I told him 10 minutes and we would be ready. We had to get the bicycle in front of the presents and prepare for them trying to get into things ahead of time. From the moment they came through the door, Athena kept saying can we open our stockings? Cassie kept asking Tess if she had made the bike (Athena didn’t even know there was a bike). We kept Athena out of the kitchen so she wouldn’t see the bike, until about 10 minutes later she suddenly turned around and spotted it. It then went to live in my dad’s room for the rest of the afternoon. Yea!!! We could sort of move around again. Cassie was as much fascinated by the act of opening things as she was by what was in them. She didn’t really play with much of anything until she got them home, then she couldn’t leave any of them alone for long. I think the hit for her was a school bus that had tons of buttons and shapes and colors and letters and numbers on it. It made lots of sounds and was very interactive. She also loved her dog that howled as he sang Christmas carols. My dad got a dog that played jingle bells and rolled over on the floor, and more candy than anyone except a child or an 89 year old should have. We were all so exhausted after it all that Tess went to bed by 8 pm and I was asleep in the living room by 10 pm. I woke up in time for dad to ask if he had to get me up in the morning. I told him he never had to get me up again. Ever.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A new creation

Just in time for Christmas I decided to try a couple of new techniques. One i can't show you until after the person receiving it has seen it. Just in case she reads my blog. The other i will post, but not tell you who it is for. Naughty aren't I?!!

Yesterday i decided to try a new technique. It was written as a bail for making pendants, but I could see applications for beyond bails for the wire wrapping technique they showed. I wanted to make a tree for hanging earrings. So i not only made one, even gave it a little nest complete with eggs.

Upon completing the bottom portion of the tree I discovered looking down at the top of it it looked sort of like a spider web (holding that idea for another day given the spider obsession my daughter has), but also really resembled a bird's nest quite a bit. With a little extra work it looked more like a nest, and a bit more work created some eggs to put in the nest. I love it. I hope you do too.

In case you wondered, the bail portion of the instructions was just for one of the leaves (legs), only doubled over and woven together at one end. I like this a lot, but will also give the pendant bail a shot soon.

I hope you like the face-lift I have given my blog. I figured it was time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Beads

I finally got up the energy to get back on the torch last night. Of course it all started at 11 pm. Nice time to begin when you have to get up at 7:15, huh?!! Needless to say since I started playing with fire at 11 pm I didn't get done until about 1 am. Which also means I didn't get to sleep until about 1:45 am. So I am pretty much running on 5 1/2 hours of sleep. First thing this morning I had to find the coffee pot before I could start my day. I also had to get dad up and ready for a pacemaker test at 8:30. He was in need of some extra personal care this am, too, so it was a busy morning. I am now at work, and sneaking this in. :D

Oh well, no sleep plus plenty of coffee almost equals human. At least I have some beads to show for it, and a couple of them I really like. Yea!!! A good session. I played with my EDP, since it arrived yesterday (or was it the day before, jeez, my days all run together). I also tried out the Southwest Striations Tutorial from Anne Ricketts again now that I had more of the colors in her list of suggested combos. I also practiced my stringer control in dot making and just a swirly line. And I tried out some of the 96 COE glass I got. It has to have a bit hotter flame and is stiffer than what I am used to working with. Interesting night, and I learned a lot and really had fun playing.

Here are my fabulous beads, I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed creating them. The green heart and spacer and the one with the line around it are the 96 COE glass, you can tell since it has some really odd texturing. But is was fun anyway.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Review of Glamorise® Magic Lift Plus® front hook posture bra

Originally submitted at WomanWithin

  • Cotton/polyester cups
  • Foam bands have unique cross-under-and-over design for better uplift, separation and support without wires
  • Posture back with cotton/Lycra® spandex bands reduces shoulder strain
  • Wide back-adjust straps. No-roll Helanca™ nylon midriff ba...

Comfort Plus Ease

By Rita the Reader from Oregon Coast on 12/10/2008


5out of 5

Cup Fit: Feels true to size

Band Size: Feels true to size

Pros: Comfortable, Soft, Good Coverage, Good Support, Figure-Flattering, Washes Well

Best Uses: Office, T-Shirts, Everyday

Describe Yourself: Comfort-oriented, Practical, Conservative

This is definitely the best bra I have ever owned. This is actually the second one I have ordered. This bra not only stays down on the sides, but doesn't cut in. It lifts and separates, and adds some actual shape to my shape. The soft lining and lack of wires added to the front hook is why I bought it. The comfort and support are why I bought it again. If you are full-figured and need support this is definitely a winner. I love it!!!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On taking a 4-year-old to work

When I agreed to take my granddaughter Cassie to work with me yesterday I wasn't really sure how things would go, but I agreed to do it anyway. It was a necessity that someone care for her and it seemed like a good idea it be me. She is my little angel girl. She and grandma always have fun together, and she was so excited to be loaded into my car. Tess says I should have seen her face, she was grinning from ear to ear, and saying, "I go grandma's work."

The wheelchair and diaper bag and all the food and drinks for a small army had already been loaded up before I went to get her. We live about a half a block apart, but with her being a paraplegic it is far enough to need to drive there.

All the way to the antique shop / mall, she kept saying, "Grandma, we going you work?" And I would say, "Yes, Cassie, we are going to my work. The antique mall." She would say, "We not going to you house?" And I would reply, "Nope, Grandma has to go to work and you are going with me." It was kind of a monotonous conversation, but I don't think she really believed her mom when she told her she was going to work with me.

Once we arrived I got her wheelchair out and put her in it, we "walked" around to the front of the building and unlocked the front door. I told her we needed to turn on the lights and then go to the back door and bring in our things. She has been here many times before, just not with her wheelchair for so long a time. She led me to the back door and I loaded in all our things and put them in the kitchen.

I told her I thought there was a little table in the back that would fit her and her chair, and sure enough it was exactly the right size for her wheels to go between the legs of, and just high enough, too. She sat next to me at her "desk" and colored while I did the computer work I needed to do. She was so good, and funny, and entertaining. She charmed all the customers who came in, and played games with a young man who lives up the hill behind the shop. I think they both enjoyed the hide and seek, and oooh, the monster is chasing me games.

She was pretty timid about going very far in the shop when she first arrived, but by the end of the day was "running" to the back door and down the back aisle and over the "hill" (which is actually a big bump in the carpet, about 10 feet long). It made her chair go faster when she went over it, so she really enjoyed it.

She also wanted to visit my friend, Tammy, who works in the adjacent shop. And was really excited when she got to go over to see her. Friends came in to visit and she snuggled our friend Dora for a long time, and gave everyone hugs before they left.

She played with all the little hot wheels cars in our toy basket, and colored an entire coloring book with her new crayons. She had a lot of fun, kept me entertained all day, made me laugh a lot, and gave me a lot of love. In fact she had so much fun she was disappointed when we had to go home. I am sure she will be back and spend the day with me again some time.

I slept very well last night, I'm sure you know why.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The switch to propane

Well, the switch to propane has proven two things to me. I need a ton more practice, and I don't realize how much time has gone by when I don't have a tank freezing up on me after about an hour. I guess that means I am torching longer, but still having some adjustments to make. I did make some beautiful silvered ivory stringer, though, with some silver foil a secret santa on my favorite site, Wet Canvas, sent me. What a nice surprise, especially when I had just been given a tutorial that called for silvered ivory stringer. Coincidence? I really doubt it. Just a nice surpise. Since I had never really understood what it meant to pull stringer I was glad the tutorial had a tiny bit of info on it about at least how to begin. Pulling stringer, for you non-glass folks, is taking a rod of glass which begins from 5-10 mm in size and heating and stretching it to be in the 1-3 mm range for using in detail work, or as dots or decoration on lampwork beads.

I made one bead based mostly on the tutorial I had been gifted, with a couple of color changes to suit the colors my daughter, Tess, likes. The bead I am talking about is the bottom one in the group shot, I am also including a solo photo of the back / front side of the bead. I love it, and the tutorial was a huge help. The rest of the beads were again experimental stuff using the silvered ivory stringer, or other techniques I have been working on. Not to bad for a newbie.

Hoping to get on the torch tomorrow night. I really think I am too tired to go back to it tonight. We shall see. The new annealing bubbles in the crockpot, on high, helped save my beads today, even the giant one. Yea!!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm back and posting

Well, I know I kind of fell off the radar there, but things happen, and so does depression. I was in a post-Thanksgiving funk there for a bit. My kitchen looked like a bomb went off and no one was helping take care of it. Top that off with little sleep, too many hours at work, and just feeling down and cranky. I am back to normal now. My kitchen is looking better, and my new torching area has been mostly readied. I am going to put the finishing touches on it tonight or first thing tomorrow and fire up the torch attached to a propane BBQ tank. I think it will be much easier on my shoulders and neck when I spend 1-3 hours at a whack on the torch. The silver lumps on the table are my new armrests. Toilet paper rolls wrapped in foil to keep them from flaming if hit with flying hot glass. Here is my new table and set-up, minus the torch, since I just picked up the clamps I needed. I misplaced the big bowl with all my containers of frit in it. It is a lovely old antique bowl, and I wanted to be sure it and the frits and short rods were safe while we rearranged and removed one table and put in a different one. Of course it was safe, I couldn't even find the darned thing. Well, Tess found it this morning when she went to warm some chai tea for dad for breakfast this morning. It was safely ensconced in the microwave. How funny is that!!??