Monday, December 20, 2004

And then there were meatballs...

...or at least there will be if I can ever find the recipe I'm looking for. Each year at Christmas I seem to be mostly on top of everything that needs to get done (except for last year...but that's another story) but I always end up on a last minute hunt for ONE elusive thing. Usually it's a gift item but this year it's a recipe...for sweet and sour meatballs made in a crockpot.

I'm hosting the Christmas Eve festivities for the whole family and thought I'd add something different to the menu. We usually go to church services and then head back to our house for some punch, heavy hors d'oeuvres and dessert and I always seem to make the same exact things each year because that's what people ask for but I'm getting bored. So, I had these meatballs at a party several months ago and thought they were really awesome and I've been trying to get the recipe for them ever since (don't know the person that brought them that well). There seem to be quite a few versions of this particular dish - apparently I'm the only one on the planet who's never made it before LOL! Yeah, okay, I know...LOSER. But I'm not going to let that stop me :-)

Now my only problem is choosing between all the versions I've found as to which is the best (and I don't have time for a lot of taste-testing between now and Xmas Eve). I think the grape jelly/ketchup version sounds the best. The others use chili sauce and I'm afraid that might be too spicy for a few of my guests who have acid reflux problems...but we'll see. Maybe I'll make two versions.

The other new thing I'm trying is a cranberry chutney recipe that's to be service with cream cheese as a spread for crackers. I thought it sounded fun and pretty easy to whip up. In addition to cranberries it's got apples, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and brown sugar...mmmmmm! I thought I might try adding some orange zest, too, but not sure if I'm brave enough to do it or not.

Tomorrow's my last day of work for the year - WOO HOO! I'm taking Wednesday just to relax and get ready for the "holiday storm" and then Thursday will be last minute gift and grocery shopping and probably baking day as well. And then Friday morning I'll make up the last couple of things and get the table set. Fortunately the daycare is open this week so I'll be able to have Ryan occupied and cared for while I whip around to get all this stuff done and then we have him home with us for the entire next week.

Next I've got to start planning his birthday party and getting the invitations out. He turns two on 1/14/05. Can't BELIEVE he's getting so BIG!

Wish me luck on the meatballs and Happy Holidays everyone!


Friday, December 17, 2004


Or as my toddler would say "CANDY! It GOOD!" Thanks, by the way, to his daycare for teaching him that...sigh. Just posted a picture of the first piece I created after coming home from the bead show this weekend. I've called it "Cinnamon Candy" because of the colors used and the way the main pendant reminded me of cotton candy.

It was a better show than usual and (unlike last time) had moved back into the main building so that was really nice. Last time it was partially outside and partially in a building with no A/C! I kept having to run back outside in between booths just to cool off. One poor vendor had sent her husband to Home Depot to get a fan to set up in their booth because she couldn't take it any more. But, like I said, this show was better.

I found all the "must haves" I was looking for like more of the glass leaves and re-stock on the silver and vermeil Bali caps and spacers that I need to finish off any of my peyote tube creations. That was a huge relief because I'd been looking for that stuff (especially the 8mm silver spacers) EVERYWHERE and couldn't find them. Everyone had 6, 7 or 9mm but no 8's and the peyote tubes just really have to have the exact right size or they don't come out right.

Just to show how much of a frenzy I was in...I found this great vendor selling really nice stone pendants for CHEAP! and bought a bunch of stuff from him and then completely forgot to pay attention to the vendor NAME. So, for future shows, I have NO IDEA who he is...will just have to wander around, I guess.

I got two really nice faceted "chunks" of pink Peruvian opal (the first I used as a pendant in the picture that was just uploaded). Haven't decided what to do with the other yet - maybe a bracelet, double-stranded with some pearls? Hmm...have to think on it. Also picked up some really stunning ocean jasper pendants in various shapes and colors, a nice piece of sodalite and a magnificent botswana agate.

Other purchases include some faceted rectangular jade dyed a deep cherry color, lots of small, faceted briolettes in various colors (mostly quartz or dyed jade), some large, irregular pastel chalcedony slabs and some really gorgeous Thai hill tribe silver flowers and butterflies. These flower pendants are going to be just outstanding with some of the bigger, chunkier chalcedony I've been buying lately.

And, when I got home, what was waiting for me in the mail? Last week's e-bay purchases! I got a great deal on some large, circular fluorite pendants and countered that by spending WAAAYYY too much on a truly stunning set of lampwork beads featuring a large pansy flower. But, hey, the pansy is my sorority's official flower so whenever I see one I just HAVE to have it! On top of which, this one is particularly outstanding in shades of blue and the lampwork artistry on it is just top-notch. Don't believe me? Just wait til I get it made up into something and post a picture! But don't hold your breath - it's so incredible I might have to hoard it for a while. I'm sure my fellow Tri Deltas will understand the bond I feel with this particular set of beads, LOL!

But don't despair - I'm moving forward on having a section of "greek"-related jewelry on my site. I found a supplier for sterling silver alphabet beads (like those I use in my regular "brag" bracelets) but this is the greek alphabet! I've already made up and sold an Alpha Gamma Delta (AGD) bracelet to a friend and she loved it so I'm definitely moving forward on this. It's one of my goals for 2005 to get this section up and I've already got the beads for Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Gamma and Delta Delta Delta so those will probably be the first up. But feel free to e-mail me at if you're interested in any type of Greek bracelet. I'll definitely take custom orders until I get that section of the site up and running!

Let's see...oh yeah...we're going to try to take kidlet to see Santa tonight and hopefully sneak in before the crowd (yeah, right). Oh, and last but absolutely not least: HUGE CONGRATS TO MY DH WHO JUST GOT A NEW JOB!!! Way to go, honey!

Lastly, today's the last day of my "free shipping" holiday sale. It runs til midnight so if you need last minute gift ideas be sure to head over to I've got more new designs up there than what is posted here in the blog!

Happy Holidays to all!


Cinnamon Candy

First piece using purchases from this weekend's beadshow - the center stone is pink Peruvian opal and it's paired with rhodonite and rose quartz. Posted by Hello

Friday, December 10, 2004

Bead Show Tomorrow!

I'm an addict. I admit it - I need a 12-step program for beads. "Hi, I'm Kelly and I'm a bead slut." Sigh.

Okay, enough wallowing, back to being excited about the show tomorrow. I just LOOOOOVE shopping for beads. All the sparkly gemstones and gorgeous, classy pearls and stunning artist glass - and it's all clamoring to come home with ME! One of these days when my business picks up, I'll go to a show with enough money to make that happen, but for now I have to be satisfied with just bringing home a few exciting things here and there.

Usually when I shop the shows I just go by "want." Whatever looks good, different, interesting is what I go for.

But this time I've got some specific "needs" that I have to take care of first so that'll probably blow a good chunk outta my budget but I've got to do it as I have half-finished pieces waiting for me to re-stock things I've run out of so I can finish them. I've been searching all over the place for 8mm Bali silver daisy spacers to finish my next set of peyote tube jewelry. Used to get them at my local bead store (LBS) but they've been out of 'em for months now and can't seem to get them back in stock. I've tried ordering on-line only to get the order in the mail and it's not exactly 8mm and so won't work. I'm taking my half-finished peyote tubes that have spacers on them already to the show tomorrow to try to match. I'm also totally out of the spacers and caps in vermeil that I need to START the next peyote tube project which definitely calls for gold vs. silver. And I've used up all my vermeil clasps, too, so will have to buy some of those.

THEN I can go play after I take care of all that stuff. Maybe some coin pearls and some new artist glass and I've got a coupon to use at Via Murano for some Venetian glass beads...yummm. That ought to about clean me out.

In other news...kidlet and I are still well! Wahooooooooo! His grandparents are going to babysit for us tonight so DH and I can go out to dinner. We've had a gift certificate to a local restaurant that we've been hanging onto for ages waiting for a chance to use it so tonight's the night. Tomorrow I'm taking Ryan for a haircut before I head off to the beadshow and I've also got to get some Christmas presents wrapped so they can get mailed out this weekend to some of DH's relatives in Texas and Minnesota. Then it will be time to get going on Christmas cards. Get me being all on top of stuff...I'm so proud! LOL!

And yeah, I know, I live the most boring life ever and yet still I dare to write about it here for all and sundry to see. I've exposed my extreme boringness to the entire world wide web. I'm so brave LOL!

That's all for now - take care!


P.S. Does anyone else out there watch "All My Children?" If so, I'd just like to add a little note about yesterday's episode: "AAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!" I cannot BELIEVE Bianca finally found out about her baby only to get pushed over a balcony (oh and nice job on the "fight" with her and was that ever badly choreographed!) I hate AMC for doing this to me! Why do I keep watching this stupid piece of crap that I've been addicted to since 1983? Well, okay, I love Tad and Ryan...but still...wit and rippling abs can only make up for so much frustration with incredibly stupid storylines and bad acting (not on Tad's part...he rocks!). AMC...give a poor girl a break!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Still playing with the dreamcatcher hoops! This time I added a cascade of genuine tanzanite rondelles chained together with sterling silver wire. Posted by Hello

More earrings - this time with amethyst and the synthetic blue topaz that I've just been adding to everything because I love its icy coolness. No hoop this time - a pretty sterling earring component instead. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

So many beads, so little time...

Ah...the lament of beaders everywhere. As you can see, I've been pretty busy. Posted a couple of new earring designs today and I've got more to show, too.

Plus, there's a bead show in town this weekend. Woo hoo! Time to stock up! I know I need more vermeil bead caps and clasps...for some reason I tend to always go for silver and forget to get any gold. Plus I've got to get more of those beautiful glass leaves and the vendor that sells them will be at the show. I've got another version of the leaf necklace I posted just about done, but ran out of leaves :-( Plus, they're so pretty, I just want to have a bunch more because I've got lots more design ideas.

Then (if I have any $ left) it'll be time to hit the gemstone vendors. I've really gotten a lot of use out of the stones I got at the last two shows so I'll be looking for more of that type. You can see the synthetic blue topaz briolettes in some of my newest earring designs. Hoping to find some good deals on wire and chain, too, as I'm going through those at a frightening rate

Let's see, what else? Kidlet has been healthy for about 2 weeks now....yippeeeeeee!! Of course, that means I've been healthy, too! Double yippppeeeee!!! I'm ahead of the curve (so far) on Christmas stuff - got a big chunk of our shopping done this past weekend so now I just have a few work gifts and stocking stuffers to finish up with. One thing I'm bummed about is that I got some really cute Xmas shirts for Ryan at Old Navy last year...for him to wear to some of the more casual social events of the season...and this year, they didn't have any :-( So I've got to come up with something for him to wear (including a nicer outfit for Christmas Eve church services, etc.)

Next I've got to figure out the menu for Christmas Eve. DH and I host a little hors d'oeuvres and hot, spiced cider gathering at our house after church each year. This year, DH's brother & sister-in-law and some of their kids will be joining us so we should have a nice grouping. Then on Christmas day it's over to my parents' house (or "grumagrum" as Ryan refers to "grandma & grandpa) for presents and feasting. I just love the holidays and it's even more fun now that Ryan knows a little more about what's going on. He's learning about Santa and can even sing along to a few Christmas carols. Such a doll!

Now I've just got to wrap and ship the out-of-state gifts and get the Christmas cards done and mailed and all should be well. So much better than last year where I was WAAAYYYY behind schedule and had to scramble like crazy to pull everything off.

At this rate maybe I'll even be able to go to the amazing day-after-Xmas sale that my local bead store (LBS) puts on every year. 50% off the entire store!! And hopefully I'll have some Xmas cash from Santa to spend, too!

And with that happy thought...I'm signing off!


See...told you I can't get enough of these. I've been playing and playing with these fun silver "dreamcatcher" hoops. SOOO many possibilities! Posted by Hello

I just can't get enough of long, dangly earrings. I guess I'm permanently scarred by growing up in the 80's :-) These are peridot, amethyst and sterling silver. Posted by Hello