Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beach-themed Lampshade

Here is a small glimpse of the latest lampshade I have been working on. It has been a lot of work, but I am pleased with how it is turning out. It features pretty iridescent shells, blue starfish, and, of course, sand--all carefully stitched on. It is a small shade but would be perfect in a bathroom or a cottage home or room that has a beach theme. I should finish it later this week and will post it on my eCrater site. I can't help thinking while browsing through magazines featuring home decor that people should have more decorative lampshades. I have decorated two in my living room with pretty rose-covered floral fabric (roses, of course!), burgundy trim, and a rose, pink, green, and red beaded fringe--and those shades really "make" the lamps (not to mention enhance the look of my living room)! I'm just trying to find the perfect beads now to go with my bedroom decor to decorate the two plain lampshades there. It is fun having a "quest", and this will be my quest--finding those perfect beads--as I visit new bead shops this summer.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Swaps--"A Not Too Shabby Swap" and the Itty-Bitty Swap

The names are in. I'll tell you, that Roxi is pretty organized. I'm impressed! She mailed me two stickers which I received yesterday on which were the adorable symbol of her swap (little and dolly in a boat). I can in turn put these on the package or elsewhere on the correspondence for the recipient. What a darling idea! My recipient by the way is Lori from Morning Glories and Moonflowers (www.perfectisboring.blogspot.com). Very nice blog! I do hope she likes her summery pendant.

Also, I sent the itty-bitty tins out last week, and Leslie has already responded that she received...and, yes, even liked hers! I'm tickled that she enjoyed it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Itty-Bitty Swap is Over

Well, the "Itty-bitty Swap" is over, and many thanks to the Rozells for hosting the swap. Three ladies and I have exchanged names and addresses. What fun! I've mailed out the tins full of itty bitty things to them and so hope they enjoy going through them as much as I have had putting them together! I really do like small things and have a printer's drawer and dingbat drawer (I know--very 80's and 90's, but I can't get rid of them) full of small things that I've had fun collecting over the years from around the U.S. and even from different countries.

I'll talk more on little things in another post, but perhaps my favorite small thing was found at a yard sale for $5 several years back. It is the small, complete, leather-bound King James Bible you see here (including a small magnifying glass held in a sleeve in the back cover). Some research indicates that this type of Bible was given out for Sunday School attendance awards years and years ago. However, inside this one is hand written, "Property of M. Alice Washburn, A.M.A., M.A.L.F.P., A.D., Spring Hill School, 1928". One of my favorite yard sale finds for sure!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Hummingbirds Have Arrived!

Spring is officially here--today I saw the first hummingbird at our feeder! While this picture may not be the best because it was taken through our window screen, you can still see the little lady. Isn't she sweet? I have missed "our" hummingbirds and am delighted at their return. Praise be to God for creating such delightful little creatures!
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

African Violets by Bathtub

You know, I really enjoy African violets. They can be beautiful all year long (certainly a pleasure during those long, cold, snowy winters) and come in an array of lovely colors. Their velvety, sometimes glittering petals either smooth edged or ruffly are a delight. I have a large tub next to a frosted window and have had a hard time in the past getting things to grow on the windowsill. I had this wonderful image in my mind of ivy or philodendron growing up a metal fence-like piece to look like a garden. Well, all of the greenery would always look terrible after awhile. I guess a frosted window isn't the best for leafy plants. So, I decided to try some African violets since they like lots of light but not necessarily direct sunlight (the status quo for this window). I certainly do not have my greenery-covered garden-like fence as once imagined, but, alas, those violets are just thriving here (as you can see from the picture)! The colors of the violets match the curtains wonderfully (which unfortunately you cannot see) and are also some of my favorite violet colors. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Two New Charms

I've added two new charms to my Ecrater account (www.glassbeadtreasures.ecrater.com). Here is a picture of one of them if you'd like a peak. The inspiration behind this cobalt and copper charm is from a Limoges teacup and saucer I bought in Paris. I couldn't get any better inspiration than from this! I really like the cobalt flower beads--such a rich, deep blue--which are gorgeous held up to the light.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Being Thankful

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving
one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven
you." (Ephesians 4:32) "...and be ye thankful." (Colossians 3:15)

One thing my mother drilled into my brother and me growing up was making sure we always wrote our thank you notes every time after we received a gift. Thank you notes were mandatory! At the time, it sure was a drudgery; though I do admit having a positive feeling after all the thank you notes were done and in the stack to mail. Today I see the great value (thanks, Mom!) of that training and am training my own two children to do the same. Sure, one child cannot write and the other barely, but they draw pictures, write what letters and words they can, and the thank you note is done. It shows whoever took the time to pick out their card and/or gift that they are appreciated. It is a person returning the kindness of another. Now, how can you go wrong with that??

There sure aren't many people who are thankful anymore, and it takes such little effort to make a great positive impact. It doesn't take much time and is always worth the effort to be thankful--a simple smile and a "thank you" to someone at the cash register; a quick note to someone who did something nice for you; or perhaps a little gift to show someone your appreciation for their faithful work.

We had a long, snowy, cold, miserable winter here in Wisconsin this past year; yet, our mail carrier was there faithfully every day up and over country roads (which were rarely plowed until hours after the storm) delivering our mail. I can hear it now..."But he/she is PAID to deliver your mail--that is the mail carrier's job!" That is TRUE...but...how could it possibly hurt to thank our carrier for faithful delivery on all of those wintry days? And thank our carrier we will! We bought a candy bar, the kids are in the process of drawing pictures, and we will jot a quick note just to be kind and thankful and hopefully put a spring in the step and smile on the face of our mail carrier.

Now, how about you? Who can you show thankfulness and kindness to today?