So here we are two days before the big fluffy guy shows up. Have you caught up ? We've had revolving drama and disease but yesterday everyone went to school and I went off like a crazy person trying to finish up - I almost made it. Today I have another sickie - I feel like we've all had The Plague or at least some Consumption. Soon I'll be searching the internet for leeches because nothing else seems to be working!
We did manage to make a few ornaments and today when the boys get off the bus they will have the happy surprise of each getting to decorate their own Gingerbread House! Usually they have to share but I got such a deal I was able to get them each one - that should keep them busy.
Do you know how to tell if Santa is real?
From my seven year old:
"If the cookies and milk are gone - Santa is real!"
From one nine year old:
"Don't be ridiculous - You need a trip wire and a few cameras!"
From my other nine year old:
"Why wouldn't Santa be real?"
From my twelve year old:
"None of you are getting any presents cause your arguing!"
...ahhhh the magic of a Christmas car ride.......
I hope you all get to celebrate with those you love! I am truly grateful for each and every one who stops by to visit every day. I have met the most awesome people, polished up my skills and opened an Etsy store this year.
I am also immensly grateful for my brother in laws recovery and happy we get to celebrate with him. Can't ask for more then that!
Wishing you a Happy and safe Christmas ! From my house to yours - I'd hug you all but we are still probably contagious : )
I have some fun planned for the new year - including.....dare I say it......a *GIVEAWAY* ......some fun display making for jewelry (can you say cheap?).... a little work with UV resin .....perhaps some new challenges and I feel a little cheap redecorating coming on too!
Merry Christmas !
XOXO, The Gasparino Family
...and if you've been trying to contact me I've fixed that very rude button up there and I think it may actually work now!
Coming down from the enormously fun blog hop yesterday I threw a log in here at 6:00 am then ran downstairs to start up that fire. I came back to find a small infestation in front of my fireplace - LOL!
This is the first morning in three weeks he has not woken up in pain but he really likes the fire on his poor little back. We finally got a bit of a diagnosis this week as both his Lyme and Ehrlichia blood work came back ridiculously high (both tick borne diseases). Earned him 6 weeks of antibiotics and pain meds. *Ticks* I am coming for you.........I've had just about enough.......beware.
We are hunkering down as I think there is a proposed Nor Easter for the north east ....or has it blown out to sea??? I've got to check out some news. I did buy some crafty bits for some serious ornament making so we have things to do.
I want to Thank everyone for stopping by and leaving such sweet , uplifting and encouraging comments - blog hops ROCK!!!
Have a warm and safe weekend.
Are you being blown out to sea or will you be high and dry? Hahaha : ) XOXO , Patty
So once again the most creative Lorelei Eurto offered up a Michael's creative challenge. We were to take faceted mother of pearl ovals, peacock pearls, silvered glass squares, black quartz and gunmetal chain add two other accent beads in and a clasp and focal.
This is some stash and some things I picked up at Michael's. I ended up choosing some turquoise dyed mother of pearl coin beads and Indian Sapphire Swarovski's as my additional beads. I had a hell of a two weeks and really wanted to make something with a bit of zen in it - something protective.
Looking at my choices I heard the word "Talisman" in my head and thought of putting together a focal of protective charms. This hand in heart is another of my favorite symbols very victorian in feeling yet modern from Green Girl Studios - one of my absolute favorite bead makers!!!
I also chose a key and heart locket charm and added in a chunk of the black quartz. I tried all kinds of wrapping with this intending on using it with the chain but it crumbled like a cookie - or maybe I just have man hands?
The next part made my hair stand up but I thought I should share it - it is incredibly ironic. I Googled to look up what black quartz actually symbolizes. Apparently it is used for death and protection from harmful incidence or attack.
Those of you who don't know me may not now my brother in law (a police officer) was shot last week during the execution of a warrant. I literally got chills as I read this - miraculously he escaped incredible harm and injury. I am thinking I was influence by outside forces to make this necklace. Crazy as I sound .......
I tarnished the glass beads by flaming them - I thought they were too bright. I literally held them in a butane torch flame until they darkened. I found a clasp at Michael's in the Industrial Chic line by Susan Lenart Kazmer that fit perfectly.
Please have a cup of Joe and visit with these lovely designers who have also participated today !
Thanks so much to the genius that is Lorelei and to all the amazing participants. Please make sure to check them out.
I would also like to send a big hug to Annette from So Many Memories for featuring me as todays Etsy seller!!!
Happy Friday !!! Patty
Ok so as if Christmas isn't stressful enough - we had the week from Hell last week culminating in one of my boys getting a CAT scan for back pain on saturday! Yeesh.
Well I've finally listed new goodies in my Etsy Shop. Maybe I'm getting into the swing of things?
Tree is up - check.
Tree is now decorated - check.
Everyone has all there parts still attached - check.
I took 487 pictures to use 25 in my Etsy store - check.
Does it take that many pictures for everyone??? - UGH!!!
I have 1/3 of my Christmas shopping done and a sickie home today. Seriously - it's like they know you have nothing done and spend the day licking down the school bannisters so they all get sick at the same time! Every year!!! ....sigh.
How are you doing? Are you all caught up.......or still way behind....or maybe you just feel like a behind? LOL!!!
Thanks to everyone for the amazing support we have received for my brother in law! ((((HUGS))) to all of you!
Happy Wednesday.....tell me I'm not the only one!
Everyone of us has some rituals around food. Most of our occasions are marked by the foods we use to celebrate them. Take Thanksgiving that has just passed - turkey - stuffing - potato's - you get the idea. Showers, weddings and favorite birthday meals pass and mark time.
One of my favorite scene's from a movie is from My Big Fat Greek Wedding ( talk about food) where the boyfriend states," I'm a vegetarian." and the aunt pronounces, " Good! I'll make you lamb!". So ingrained is meat as comfort and introduction she can't even imagine a world where meat doesn't exist.
Sometimes when we don't know what else to do - we bring food. I found myself in this position last week.
Thursday night we got one of those calls. A call everyone dreads. The call that tells you someone you love has been injured. You may remember my brother in law is a police officer. He was awarded "Officer of the Year" for 2009 and we celebrated with him. He is nicknamed "The Rock" as much for his resemblance to the celebrity as for his quiet, stead fast, yet unassuming demeanor. Our hearts sank as we cryptically sifted through sparse detail to learn he had been shot in the face during the execution of a warrant. Nothing ever can prepare you for this - ever. I thought of his parents, his young wife, my husband and other siblings.
We were so grateful to learn that his injuries weren't life threatening - miraculously he has had only soft tissue damage. We have never been so happy to see someone. I could not imagine an offering that would fit the love and gratitude we were feeling.
So I cooked.
I added in gratitude to all the other ingredients in the kitchen. There are no words to express our joy - I used chicken breast and butternut squash soup. I wanted their fridge to be as full as our hearts.
Events like this remind you how wonderful people can be. The outpouring of love and support is amazing. Surely his Guardian Angel was working overtime that night.
What's comforting to you? Is is a person, place or thing? Is there a food that say's " I Love You"?
This family is surely counting our blessings as we go into the Christmas Season!
Happy Monday! Patty
Blogging brings with it a whole new world of people you really may have not met any other way. I have been so blessed to find a plethora of people who have made me laugh, made me cry, played Scrabble with me and become a part of my daily cruising of the internets.
It's not often you get to actually get to meet any of these people so I was so excited during one of the last challenges a lovely lady stopped by and recognized the name of a local bead store and realized we are both in Connecticut!
Now I don't know anyone else who blogs never mind someone who blogs AND makes jewelry. We emailed back and forth and made plans to get together. It took us a few weeks but we managed a bead store hook up this tuesday. The poor thing waited for me for an hour and a half whilst having a blond moment I could not find the store - with her 2 1/2 year old no less! I was the date from hell.
Anyway she is graceful and lovely and funny too - what more could a girl ask for? Check out my blog friend Holly's blog
or her Etsy shop
This is one of my favorites from her shop!
What are your plans for the weekend?
Can I tell you I've made an ass of myself twice this week. I got lost for an hour on my way to meet another blogger then I went Christmas shopping and forgot all my money at home! I had to just give it up to Jesus and walk out the door and come home after filling my cart. Forty-six isn't that old but I'm starting to wonder. So this totally made my day.
1. I'll laugh at pretty much anything - including myself. I've laughed a lot in the last couple of days. I cannot imagine how people handle life without a sense of humor.
2. I grew up an only child but discovered I had 2 step sisters in my 30's - surprise!
3. I spent my first year of college in an art school - it was horrible. I then left school for a year and went back for a degree in biology. My only regret is that I never went back for art : (.
4. I am a licensed veterinary technician.
5. I worked in a cytogenetics lab for 8 years looking in a microscope all day.
6. The most boring job I ever had was testing rats memories by teaching them to run a maze. Ironically this was possibly the nicest boss I ever had.
7. This is my new favorite blog - it made me laugh so hard I almost threw up - I might have a small crush on this cat. Thanks to Lori of Studio Waterstone for that one! You will find yourself talking like a Dominican cat - seriously - just go - it's addicting .
If you guys would like to play along simply list your seven things down in the comments! I am going to try this whole shopping thing again - wish me luck.
Happy Thursday! Patty
My new blog friend - Estorbo de beeg blag cad ! ( photo used with permission of Estorbo's wooman - Marie Viljoen : ) ) Go and check him out.
Much like curling up with a favorite book and a cup of tea I love checking out my favorite blogs. One of my favorite bloggers is T. from Poppy Place PDX - she is also one of my favorite photographers! Especially her flowers and black and white shots.
I find them so relaxing and just get lost looking at them. T. is one of those bloggers that always has a kind word or words of support when you need them - plus plenty of beautiful photos to gaze at.
Teresa has always loved documenting her life with photos. Describing herself as "...the girl at the pub, the party or on vacation with the camera." She bought her first camera at 16 for $3.00 and used it for 18 years!!! That's my kind of bargain. T. raised her kids and when high school rolled around and they were taking fancy pictures and getting fancy equipment she decided it was time to indulge herself - I say she is well worth it. She has taken 20,000 photo's in the last year !
Those petals remind me of painted suede - you can almost feel them come off the screen. When she's not photographing something she's also an abstract artist and sewist. You can find T. at any of her on-line stops :
I want to thank T. for driving the bus today and for the generous use of her photos.
Have you started any of your shopping? I haven't done any! ACK
Happy Wednesday! Patty
It's Saturday so there must be a reveal somewhere! So here is our beautiful inspiration from Etsy seller Lesley Sico . I saw it as a vintage Bohemian tea house sort of vibe.
Here is our palette.
Those tins reminded me of these beads down below. When I had bought them I originally thought they were ceramic but they are actually resin - reminds me of cracked porcelain. I chose brass to mimic the cans color.
I remembered these bead caps but they were too small for the beads I was using. I hammered them a bit so they would fit and dress up the bracelet a bit.
I then became obsessed with using this focal.
I spent at least an hour bending, twisting, poking, and putting holes in it and never put it on the final bracelet. I have to learn to let go sooner. I also have a brass teapot charm which I never found that is going to drive me crazy until I do. Where do these things go???
Oh and my imaginary tea house also has chandeliers so I threw in a few Czech glass crystals.
If anyone joined in feel free to post in the comments below and I will link to you! I think for the month of December I will put the challenges on hold and resume in January. This holiday season is totally kicking my butt!
Here's a few gratuitous shots for Lori from Studio Waterstone and Studio Saturday.
Gratuitous shot of dining room table.
Gratuitous shot of organized bead stash.
Why aren't I in my *Happy Place* you ask? It's about -37 in there - I have to close it off for the winter : (.
Lori's got Moose Munch and I have Pepperidge Farm crackers....... and a few nose prints on the glass. Oh and heat - she probably has heat too ...........what an embarrassment...........sigh.
Happy Saturday !!! Thanks for stopping by. If your feeling REALLY Challenge deprived Lorelei is running another Michael's Challenge *Here* revealing on Friday December 17th. Art Bead Scene also has their december challenge up ( it's frankly pretty gorgeous) *Here* - they even offer pretty sweet art bead prizes!
Have a Great Weekend, Patty
* Many thanks to Lesley Sico for the use of her gorgeous photography - Please check out her Etsy Shop - she is amazing!