Death By Weekend

Busy busy, that’s how it always is here anymore! Which is a good thing, considering how many things need to be done! On Friday, we “took the day off” and took all the kids to Idlewild Park! They have a new wave pool, so we did that first for hours, then went to the amusement park part for hours! We had a great day, leaving the house no later than 11:30 am and returning about 11:00 pm! Here is a cute photo collage of our day. Lots of stuffed animals were won!Today, we did some mulching in my front and side yards. This was a much-needed chore as well, and we got all the kids involved. Things look really great! There is still some mulching to do, so later this week the rest will get done. Of course, it wouldn’t be a weekend without starting a totally new project. The bottom right photo in the collage shows how the omni-stone bricks were picked up to be reset – this week as well.

Finally, I thought I’d give you a pool update. This is how it looks now. Pretty, huh? Jeff called and said the liner would be in Monday or Tuesday, so he should be here Tuesday or Wednesday to start it. Apparently it’s going to take a few days.

Tonight, me and my sweetie are going to go out for a few Perfect Margarita’s, and then start all over again tomorrow!

Artisan Clay Design Team Reveal Day!

Today is the last Friday of the month, which means it’s the Artisan Clay Design Team reveal day! (Please check Kristie’s blog for the other participants – I too cannot figure out that in link thingy). As usual, I waited until the last minute to make my piece. It wasn’t all my fault – the first piece Kristie sent me got lost in the mail so she had to send me another one. I chose this gorgeous turquoise/green/cobalt piece – it’s one of her made-to-order items made with recycled glass. I was a little stumped at first – I know it had to be the focal, with very little to take away from it. I wanted to make a bail out of seed beads, but I just didn’t have the right color mix. So I took my 18 gauge copper wire and made my own. I’m pretty proud of it, I must say! I made the toggle as well. I am just getting into wirework so it may take a bit of time to perfect my skills, but I’m happy with the results. I (finally) used some of my own lampwork beads in the piece, and paired them with some pretty filigree bead caps. They are joined by shiny copper jump rings.

I originally was going to finish it with two rows of seed beads at the top, but again, didn’t really have the right mix. I was looking around my beadroom and voila! I saw this pretty ribbon that I received from someone as a gift (some generous person on etsy) with purchase. I haven’t used ribbon in any of my designs before, but remembered seeing others who did, and what their connections looked like and tried it myself! I’m happy!

Thanks Kristie for a great piece to work with! Visit her store to see more of her work!

Raku Mood

I have been on a raku kick the past few days! When you use this raku frit (it’s really called iris orange), and you use a press or a roller, you can get the pretty blues, greens and purples instead of just the browns that you frequently see. Of course, this is dependent on the base glass as well; sometimes raku just wants to be brown on certain colors of glass. But I love using the round roller and some pretty nice raku colors are showing through! And I was in a bit of a beachy mood too! All are listed in my SueBeads etsy store now!


The Claw

“vertigo” effects

Last night I was at the U2 concert here in Pittsburgh! While I’m not given to hero worship, every time I listen to these guys or see them in concert (this is my third one) I am reminded why I admire them so much! It was awesome. Interpol opened for U2 – I don’t really know who they are and maybe heard one song from them before. They weren’t the best band to choose for a venue like Heinz Field, but, whatev – I was there for U2! They came on about 9:10 and opened with David Bowie’s Space Oddity. This would be foreshadowing for a really cool experience later in the concert! Gabbie Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly recorded a cool special message for this concert while he was in space – it was awesome and gave me chills! Later in the concert, there was a message from Aung San Suu Kyi (which I couldn’t hear because at this point I was deaf) who has finally been released from house arrest in Burma for her non-violet demonstrations to bring about Democracy. I had an awesome time and paying for it today, but it was well worth it!

Charm Swap!

Top Row: Erin Prais-Hintz, Susan Kennedy, Sally Russick
Bottom Row: Sandi Lee James, Jennifer Cameron, Mallory Hoffman

Today is reveal day for the charm exchange Jennifer Cameron, of Glass Addictions, hosted. The guidelines were simple: create a charm based on the theme of “PLAY” and make enough charms for everyone plus one extra to auction off. We are actually auctioning off two sets of charms! The proceeds from the auction benefit Beads of Courage.

My charm was based on the beach – my family has a house in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and I have been going there for years! My charm is a beach ball with a shell dangle attached! We love to play on the beach!

Spring 2011 Participants:
1. Jennifer Cameron: Glass Addictions by Jennifer Cameron
2. Sandi Lee James: Do Be Do Bead Do
3. Mallory Hoffman: For the Love of Beads4. Sue Kennedy: Sue Beads
5. Sally Russick: Wireworked6. Erin Prais-Hintz: Treasures Found

You can find the auctions by using the following links!

Ebay Beads of Courage Charm Swap Lot 1

Ebay Beads of Courage Charm Swap Lot 2

Please take a look and bid, if you are so inclined! The proceeds all go to Beads of Courage, which is a wonderful organization – click on the Beads of Courage link to read all about it! Thanks to Jennifer Cameron for hosting her second charm swap – it was fun! She did a lot of work in a little bit of time!

Weekend Landscaping Update

This is the other thing I have been spending my past few weekends on – new landscaping out by the pool! My sweetie helped make everything possible, although I put in a few hours myself! The top mosaic is in daylight, the bottom at night when it’s all lit up with the landscaping lighting! I love it. It’s on a dusk/dawn timer, so I don’t even have to mess with it. I think in the winter it will look spectacular, too!

Pool Update

Well, here’s the status of the pool! I mentioned that a spontaneous rip occurred in the pool liner on Thursday night, out of the blue. This is the status of the pool right now. The first mosaic shows when the water started to really drain out on Friday. I had to turn off the pump and call my pool guy. He was very responsive and I ordered the new liner – it’s the photo on the bottom right. It’s going to be sooooo pretty when it gets put in!

The second mosaic shows the pool as of today – water drained all the way to the deep end, liner starting to sag in, just a big mess. I can’t wait to get it done.

Tomorrow I’ll give you an update on my landscaping we finished this weekend! It looks so great, especially at night!

Fun and Not Fun

I mentioned that I had been busy cleaning up my basement storage room, and painting it, and tossing things out, and building some shelves. I was all proud of myself and happy happy happy that it finally got done! Things have been let go here for about 5 years and I am finally getting my energy back and my ability to get things done on my own, so I was really happy to have something like this accomplished! I never take before photos, a fault of mine, but here are some afters. We painted the long room with that drylock paint, which is thick and sandy. The floor still needs to be painted, but I sure didn’t feel like doing it after painting those walls. That paint is thick! It’s even more organized now because I got another shelf unit to put up. All in all, I’m quite happy with the progress!

And then…apparently karma struck. My pool liner, which has needed to be replaced and was scheduled for that in the fall, when it’s pool closing time, decided to rip itself a big tear yesterday. Not only did it do that, but it left itself a black hole at the bottom of the tear through which all pool water flows!

Now, one might say, oooh, she has a pool, what is she complaining about???? Having a pool is great; I moved into this house 12 years ago and my children have thoroughly enjoyed having this pool. However, it is a ton of work for a single parent to take care of. I don’t think I’m that strong, either, and to have to vacuum it every day or every other day sure does build your upper arm strength. Also, you have to make sure the chemicals are balanced so you don’t grow algae or make your and your neighbors’ kids sick! It’s not inexpensive, either, to maintain a pool. If you can see in the photo how far the water has gone down, that’s just $5 dollar bills flying away (or floating away!)!!!! And when they bring the new liner, they will have to drain all this water, and then I’ll get to put all new water in the pool to the tune of 25,000 gallons.

Ok, enough complaining Sue, off to the treadmill and to make beads!