Wednesday, January 28, 2009

By The Grace of Marzipan

Oh how lucky I am to live the closest to Marzipan Mom. I get to try the latest, or the leftovers, or the extras. Wow, I don't even like Lemon anything. This coffee cake is the best....maybe I need to reconsider my position on lemon. Perfectly moist, tangy and just the right amount of sweet.

Who wants to help me convince her to open an online bakery?

The Perils of Being a Mom: Or, How Your Kids See You

I received this recently from a friend: Someone had sent it to her. Through the beautiful magic of forwarding emails, I'd like to share what some child had turned in as homework:
The letter that was sent to the teacher the following day is enough to make your sides hurt:

Dear Miss Jones:
I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.
I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.
From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Sincerely, Miss Smith

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Confetti Car Wash

If only everything could be this easy and ingenious.

Let me explain: We have had some serious snow lately, and that causes the roads to be sloppy and covered with dirt and salt. Which, in turn, makes my car covered with dirt and salt. This leads to my kid's coats covered with dirt and salt. I'm not sure how this happens, there seems to be some magnetism between a 4 year old's clean coat and ANY car covered with dirt. It doesn't matter if you are in your own garage, or in the parking lot at the grocery store. Somehow, before we get anywhere important, my kid's coat looks like he rolled from the car to his final destination.

So, wash the coat, go immediately to the car wash. That's how it happens. It just is. It's all fruitless and a huge waste of time in the grand scheme of things, especially if 4-6 inches of snow is predicted for later that day. But, it does make you feel better to be able to see out of your windshield, even if it is only for 5 minutes.

The kids beg to go to the car wash, and let me tell you why: the marketing geniuses who make a particular type of all inclusive car wash incorporate colored soap! Yes, as you are sitting in your car, you are sprayed with foamy yellow, pink and blue bubbles. They all gloop together and swirl in strange color combinations. It's just plain fun.

The experience reminds me to search for the fun in the mundane and everyday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Hero Mom: An Update

I blogged last week about Cheryl Harris, who fought for an explanation for her son's death in Iraq. In news that was released today, Ryan Maseth's death has been reclassified from "Accidental" to "Negligent Homicide". You can read about it here. It was a battle hard won, and so bitter sweet.

I cheer Cheryl's resolve and her triumph. I'm sure that Ryan is cheering for her as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There is Always Something New

My Interchangeable bead rings are so unique because you can change the beads, which makes them perpetually new and fun. Every time I see the newest selection of Joy Beads, handmade by my talented husband, I have a new favorite.

He always says: "They are all your favorites!" Which may be true..

I have listed some of my "favorites" today on Etsy...maybe you'll find your favorite?

Friday, January 16, 2009

How Nice

Consumer Reports did a nice little article about Etsy: I'll provide a link HERE. This is the January 2009 Shop Smart Guide. The article promotes Etsy as a way for the general public to support Mom and Pop businesses. What a great idea!

I have been tagged...

I have been tagged by my talented friend over at Hope Studios. Here's what it means: You have to 1.) Write 6 Random things about yourself, and then 2.) Send this to 6 (possibly) random people!

Well, here goes: Hope Studios specializes in random, but I'll do my best:

1.) I love anything that is a complete contrast, for example, this fire pit that my husband got going last night so that the kids who were out sledding in sub-zero temperatures would have somewhere to get warm! 2.) I, unfortunately, know what lizard puke smells like. My son has a bearded dragon that seems to vomit a lot.

3.) I once participated in a backhoe rodeo and placed 3rd in the women's division. In a backhoe rodeo, participants move buckets and other objects with a backhoe in a timed event.

4.) The one noise that makes me nuts is windshield wipers skidding across a somewhat dry windshield. (And smearing the dirt in the process.)

5.) I can identify and use most tools in a woodshop...I built a grandfather clock in high school.

6.) I always think of Spring as "Mud Season" thanks to Toot and Puddle.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Power of A Mom

This story has been haunting me ever since I found out about it. It's so moving and emotional, so painful and yet provides so much hope.

There is a local family who lost their son in Iraq on January 2, 2008. He was electrocuted in the shower. His name was Ryan Maseth I have provided a link that details his many accomplishments and further details of his death.

Ryan's Mom launched a private investigation into her son's death, and uncovered a slew of problems. In essence, this Mom took on the Department of Defence and their electrical sub-contractor, KBR. She found that there had been 19 deaths in Iraq due to accidental electrocutions, and that KBR was negligent. Through unwavering strength and tenacity, she was able to prove negligence.

I am humbled by the strength and courage of this Mom. I hope that she can somehow see all of the lives that she has saved due to her tremendous effort.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Handmade Wine Charms Celebrate Your Favorite Team!

I had a recent request that I thought I'd share here: I had an order for 3 sets of Steeler Wine Charms. As some of you know, once a Steeler fan, always a Steeler fan..they sell the most NFL licensed merchandise in all of the NFL.

Most of the bars that are in people's homes these days seem to be sports themed, usually because the guy/husband calls this "his territory".

I have already added my wine charms to my etsy site, but I'm adding a new listing specifically for these custom made sets. I'd like to add and stress that these are not Just for wine this may seem too fancy for some...they easily attach to beer steins and even coffee mugs. No more wondering where you left your glass!

Everyone I Know is Reading a Good Book.

My daughter got a fancy bookmark for Christmas because she's a big reader...The wheels start turning...My house is full of Beautiful Glass Beads, thanks to my talented husband....Hmmm...I've been looking to expand my line...more housewares...wider audience...
The Joy Beadworks Bookmark has been born! I thought it would make an excellent gift by itself, or with a book, or with a gift card to a book store. They are all handmade and each is unique. It's an excellent way to show someone that you care enough to choose something for them that they will really enjoy.
They are available in my shop:

Friday, January 9, 2009

For Those of You Who Have Been Waiting...

As with most companies that are trying new products, I usually go through a bit of a trial period. I need to know that my new product will work well and look beautiful. I have enlisted some of you as product testers on occasion, and you have been able to give me some very valuable feedback.
I have introduced a really fun a versatile faceted Swarovski Coin to my line of interchangeable earrings recently. And, I have gotten some really great feedback, so I just wanted to let you know that it is currently available in many colors in my shop:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January and What That Means to You...If you Celebrate Your Birthday this Month..

As I've said, I have been doing some research over here. I'm excited to Add to my line of Joy Beads: Birthstone Earrings.

I never really knew much about Birthstones, except that mine was a pearl. I looked into the meanings of these things, and it turns out that birthstone gems have centuries of history behind them as well as a tradition of legendary powers and revealing unique personality traits for those born in each calendar month.

The first writings about birthstones goes back to a Roman Historian in the first Century AD. He referred to the twelve precious gems on the breastplate of Aaron, high priest of the Israelites. In the Middle Ages, the birthstones, along with their traditional virtues, became connected with the twelve signs of the zodiac.

So, If you are lucky enough to be born in January, here are your Strengths:

Your Gem is the Garnet: Traditionally regarded for it's constancy, faith and truth. The deep tones in the red color reflect your passionate personality.

I have added Garnet Interchangeable Earrings to my shop just for you. Wear these deep reds to connect with your inner strengths.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What Color are You?

I have been doing lots of research lately on the meanings and emotional responses that color causes. I will have lots more on all of this later...

Pantone creates and maintains the world standard for color. So if you are a designer in Paris, you may consult or refer to a Pantone color in order to accurately translate exactly what color your merchandise is to a buyer in New York, for example. Pantone has worked in conjunction with Michele Bernhardt who has developed Colorstrology. Colorstrology will tell you exactly what color you should surround yourself with and what strength that color will give you.

I am surprised at how accurate it is: click here to see what your color is:

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Burning the Bayberry

Its funny..the things we believe. The customs and traditions that we pass on. My husband's family feels strongly about this one, and I had never heard of it before I met him. They burn Bayberry candles on New Year's Day for luck. I get 2 candles every year in my stocking from his Mom. And, it says right on the box: " A bayberry candle burned to the socket puts luck in the home, food in the larder and gold in the pocket".

It's funny the things we believe. Anyone else have any interesting traditions for starting the new year?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2009!! The snowflakes were falling and so were the temperatures, but it made for a picture perfect night! We live near a historic town( ) that was settled many years ago by a group from Germany.
This year, they held a family friendly New Year's Celebration. We brought in the New Year on German Time!

There was a ball drop and Fireworks at 6pm! The kids loved it, and it gave them a chance to share in the excitement and the party that usually is way past their bed time!