Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Key West

Look at us in our rented electric car! We had the best time cruising the island in that little thing. We were on a mission, to find the best Key Lime Pie, a custard -like delicacy best when found closest to the source - the Keys (the winner: The Island Fish Co.). I was also determined to taste the best Mojitos ( a lime and mint concoction) ...I still think Greg makes the best. Our island trip could best be described as a quest for flavors and finding the best scenery to consume them in. Not at all difficult in such a beautiful place! We went to another butterfly garden and I picked up a couple of specimens to add to my collection. Bob took loads of pictures of gorgeous jewel -like butterflies and we are ready to carve new nature inspired goods. We are back in Orlando, relaxing in a coffee house, still sluggish from all of our feasting and fun. Azalea is ready to go back to the beach....maybe tommorow!

Ft. Lauderdale

Azalea at Butterfly World in Ft. Lauderdale.

A picture of me, mid-sentence, taken by Azlaea.

Here we are in pretty Ft. Lauderdale, Florida! Greg and Bob worked at the show and had a fine time selling lots of beads. Azalea and I lounged around the hotel room and the pool, which was a pleasure considering what a nice place The Renaissance Hotel is. I could live there. When you check in at the desk, there is a glass of champagne with a raspberry floating in it, waiting alongside fresh baked cookies. It was also really close to the beach. One of the best things about Ft. Lauderdale is all the good food. We ate at 15th Street Fisheries, right on the water and had fun luring huge fish with crackers. I was startled by a tarpon - a fish that was easily 5-6' long. I wondered how good it would be grilled with a cilantro butter sauce.

The next day we went to Butterfly World and nearly cooked to death in the heat. The insects were awesome, I just couldn't believe how HOT it was. I took some pics of koi and moths for reference and then went to the show to shop. I found some gorgeous teal and raspberry colored rubizosite in some fun nuggets from Talisman Beads. Can't wait to add them to my hoard. Well, its time to get back on the road!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

goods I can't live without

I found this letter game called Bananagrams at the local toy store and I (and everyone in my family, friends....) are hooked. Its fast paced, portable and not super competitive. Think Scrabble without the board or point system. I carry it in my bag, so if we are waiting around at a restaurant or having coffee at The Green Sage, I can bust it out and have a game. Azalea plays as well, naming the letters and lining them up. I read somewhere that playing a crossword or wordfind game everyday stimulates your brain and helps prevent memory loss - can't argue with that!
The next find is that fancy water bottle pictured next to the game. Its from Sigg, a Swiss brand thats been making canteens and whatnot for like a hundred years. This is from there Vintage line, perfectly portable (holds maybe 2 cups or so) with a water tight lid. It has this magical feature of being taste neutral, so if you put something stronger in it, that flavor washes right out. Its also very well -made and beautiful. I carry it everywhere like its my elixir of life. I love my new favorite things!


A good omen.

Little chef at work preparing beenie weenies.

Look how our girl is growing! So foxy!
Azalea and I enjoyed a perfect, quiet weekend - we caught fireflies, searched for four -leafed clovers, took long naps and made fairy feasts. We went to the movies and saw Kung Fu Panda, which I highly recommend; its a comedy with a strong message that if you believe in yourself, anything is possible. Which is something I can agree with one hundred percent.
I also spent time researching recipes to make fruit water and found a site that carries fruit concentrates in delectable flavors (blood orange and white peach! Now you know they are speaking my language!). I will be ordering some goods from The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley right away- I think I'll try to recreate a Blood Orange and Brown Sugar Martini from Zen Den.

Occasionally, when I have loads of work to do, I find I have an urge to do something unrelated and without monetary gain. This time, I've decided to make nice things for the friends that have made a difference with their exceptional kindness for us here GGS. I want to make little drawings or pendants(maybe a combination!) - hopefully I can get everything done before we leave for Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando (Bead Mercantile Shows). Well, its time to get to work!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Stringing!

I love Stringing magazine, it is so good! Really beautiful designs. Go get the new copy asap. I love Danielle Fox's designs, really spot on, not trendy. There is a new section about designers who are successful, and this issue features a Sundance Catalog artist. I think its a useful section if your interested in branching out with the 'big boys' of the industry. I also love my brother Andrew's work (there's an Anne Choi bead used in one of his pieces- gotta love it!) I think the layout is user friendly and has an upscale look. Can you tell its one of my favorites?


I swapped a bezel for this house by Kate McKinnon (meteor -lookin beads from her as well).

Gorgeous glass by Joanne Zekowski.

Sapphires and rubies from Kia and opals from Derek Lusk.

Beautiful Heather Wynn pendants and a recycled bottle cap bead from Glass Garden.
My favorites by Anne Choi.

Happy days in Chicago.

We are really enjoying being home! Greg and Bob left for Cincinnatti this afternoon so its been quiet around the house. Azalea and I have had fun with her playmobile set and read Nobody Rides the Unicorn about half a dozen times, played dress up, then we watched some Blue Planet and Barbie Fairytopia. I know, we played pretty hard, she's totally wiped out. We were so happy to get Kitsune back from daycare, we missed her so much! She got a bath and snoodlings and treats...she's also wiped out.
I still feel exhausted, I can't decide if its because of all the work before the show, or just how stressful the big shows can be. Maybe a combination of both. Or maybe its from all the socializing and having fun! I realized that many of the vendors and customers that I visit with at the shows have been a big part of my life since I started out in 1997, they've become good friends. It also occured to me that I don't see them as much as I used to since Azalea's birth three years ago. I felt a little nostalgia for those carefree days, but also a sense of accomplishment and excitement for all the new endeavors that have cropped up very recently. Anyway, its good to be home, I miss my buddies and its time for some sleep.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bead and Button

new bezels (I did pour resin on them, they felt naked without them) , most sold.

me and Jessica Wiesel at the aquarium

lunch time

annual cheese gathering

Hi! Done with the show! Yay! We can relax and I'm still relaxing. We are in Chicago, enjoying city life with our long time buddy Jeremiah Ketner. We went to the John Shedd Aquarium and walked around town, trying to recharge after such an exhausting event. The show was fantastic! Better every year. So, for eveyone that gave me a comment on my last post, email me and the first three in my inbox will win some new beads. Thanks to everyone for such good marketing ideas!
So we are recuperating and reviving, after all the standing and talking and tornados, which was weird and scary. Folks were held in an extra hour on saturday because there was a tornado alert. Yikes! It was nice catching up with all of our old friends and making new ones, which is half the reason for doing the shows - that and getting new goods from my friends. When I get home, pics of my new finds will be posted.