Wednesday, August 31, 2011

fridge "walk"

A number of people enjoyed my fridge photo from this house update post last month.  I decided to give you a closer look at some of what's up there.  If you see anything you'd like to know more about that I don't cover here, let me know.

I wasn't able to go to Jake's white coat ceremony at the beginning of med school.  (It's stupid, but I'm still a little bitter about this.)  We keep in touch with one of his professors from undergrad who visited us in Iowa not long after the event.  We thought it would be funny to take a picture for Facebook that looked like he went with us to the ceremony.  It's the most recent picture that I have of the three of us so I still have it up.

I try to change the pictures somewhat regularly, but there are a few that stay, included a few from our wedding.

This is us with the maid of honor and best man.  Yep, my MOH was about 25 weeks pregnant.

I have a lot of favorite wedding pictures, but this one of my huddle with Jake and his side of the wedding party is way up there on my favorite list.

I have a few pictures up from other weddings, too.  Most of my favorite shots of us with wedding couples are framed, but I have some other pictures up right now from Ray and Shana's wedding (they're the couple that we just visited in DC), which was just last year.

The picture taking process took forever so I took some goofy pictures of some of the guys while the girls were taking their pictures.

This is my favorite posed group shot.

This is another all-time favorite picture.  This is from Memorial Day weekend 2008 at the Milwaukee Art Museum with my little sister-in-law and father-in-law (who had separated his shoulder while demonstrating hurdle jumping for my little sister-in-law).

Of course I have pictures up from Match Day.  For those of you who don't remember, Match Day is when all of the medical students in the country find out where they matched for residency.  (For EtsyBloggers who were wondering what my hair looks like short, this is still pretty much what it looks like.)

Finally, I like to put pictures up of some of the people who I don't get to see a lot in person.  This is one of the pictures that I have up right now of my brother and his girlfriend.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of just a few of the pictures that I enjoy looking at while I'm cooking.  I would love to see pictures from other people's fridges.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

final summer house update and Milwaukee happenings

This is my final update for the summer with pictures of what we've been working on around the house and what we've been up to in Milwaukee.  As Jake moves into his busier intern months soon, we won't be doing as many things either around the house or elsewhere, but I'll continue to update about Milwaukee periodically.

The only thing that I took a lot of pictures of around Milwaukee the last couple weeks was during my second summer trip to the zoo.  This one was with Jake.

Some people had expressed interest in seeing our new bed now that we have the frame so here it is.  We love it.  Our comforter is going to look gorgeous on it in the winter.  It's almost the same gray as the frame with bubble designs.  We have all neutral sheets to match it.

I've finally been making some serious headway with getting rid of our massive collection of (empty!) boxes.  If we cut them up, they can go with our regular cardboard recycling.  The basement is going to seem so much bigger without the empty boxes.

Some of you know that I put in a lot of effort the last couple years to sell tons of our old textbooks and other books that we never plan to read again.  We only added one shelf after we moved, and I unpacked all of my kid books that I had in my classroom.  And we still have empty shelf space!  I'm in shock.  I still have a couple boxes of books that I'm trying to sell that I can store elsewhere, but we really made a lot of progress downsizing our collection.  And no, I did not make that pillow with my name on it.  An old friend made it for me back in high school.

We literally trimmed half of our front bushes off so that our house number would be visible from the street.  I feel badly that people haven't been able to see it so well until now.

Jake replaced our upstairs bathroom faucet.  We were mostly looking for an aesthetic change with a little hope that a new faucet would increase the water pressure.  We were shocked at the water pressure difference.  It's like having a completely new sink.  And new faucet does look much better.  We were in for a little surprise about how long the job would take, though.  We'd replaced both of the bathroom faucets in our condo before we sold it so we thought that this wouldn't be too tricky.  Haha so much harder in an old house!  I'm proud of Jake for sticking it out with this project.

Also, FYI for those who have been following the saga of our poor broken upstairs ceiling fan, after one failed attempt, our second fan now works beautifully.  Jake is fully enjoying having a working fan and light in his office area again.

Monday, August 29, 2011

different earrings

I didn't list anything new in my shop last week while I was out of town so today I'm sharing a other couple items that I made this summer.  They aren't intended for specific people, but I haven't decided if I want to list them or not.

I bought the focal beads for both sets of earrings with the intention of making earrings out of them.  Bead shopping is one of the few areas of shopping in which I have little self control so I have to make the majority of my purchases with specific projects in mind.  When I saw both the dominos and the triangles, I immediately thought earring pairs.

Do you remember the domino beads from one of my bead excursions back in June?  The triangle beads that I used in the next pair are buried in those bead bags somewhere, too.  I was originally thinking of creating a simpler design with single bead loops, but of course I have trouble creating almost any beadwork that is very simple anymore so I had to try the double loops.  I still think that the single loops would look good, too.  Any preferences?

I do think that these earrings fit with the random, fun nature of my shop so I'm more tempted to list these than the next pair.  I have more domino beads, too, so I can easily make additional pairs.

I'm sure that many of you already know that I love triangles.  I'm not really sure why I do, but I know that's why I was drawn to these beads.  I do not work with a lot of pink, not for any particular reason.  I love this design.  It's so simple and elegant.  The main reason I'm hesitant to list these earrings is that I'm not planning to make a lot more like them.  One of my goals for 2011 has been to narrow the focus of my shop.  The earrings that I currently have listed are:

1) beadwoven
2) involve buttons
3) shell earrings that coordinate with my shell bracelet line

But maybe it's good to have a couple other things in there, too.  Again, any thoughts would be appreciated.  I've also thought about saving the pink earrings for Breast Cancer Awareness in October and using them as my freebie item then.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

EtsyBloggers Carnival: back to school fashion

Treasury round up will return next week.  I wasn't able to collect treasuries while I was out of town this week, but I'll gather them up and post everything next week.

One of the current EtsyBlogger Carnival topics is to talk about back to school fashions from my shop.  With a jewelry shop, there are tons of different options for back to school.  Of course pieces with fall colors are always a good choice.  (Click on the photos for the listings.)

Search fall in my shop for a few additional pieces.

I also be listing these sometime next month. (Yes, listing a seasonal piece in the correct season!)

Another fun consideration for a lot of the skinnier pieces in my shop is layering.  I know that this is not everyone's style, but I have always enjoyed stacking several bracelets together.

A lot of my narrower right angle weave bracelets are perfect for this.

Browse my right angle weave section for more choices.  There is no end of possibilities for different color combinations, themes, textures, styles, etc.

Does anyone else enjoy layering their bracelets?  I would love to see your techniques for this.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday Link List

Welcome to this week's edition of my link list.  Enjoy!

The title of this free pattern is a little misleading, as it is obviously not a pattern for the Van Gogh painting.  But it is still a lovely cuff pattern.  It would be great to see this done in a bright color palette.

Edi wrote a blog post last year (yep, I have tons of saved links that I'm sharing with you) about using the "ship now" function on PayPal, which is wonderful for creating labels for purchasing that do not go directly through PayPal.  For example, Amazon Marketplace payments aren't made until your item ships, so it's great to create a label with "ship now."  I also use it for the occasional random package like a birthday or baby present for an out of town friend.

This is a perfect (FREE) tool for those who enjoy making cards, scrap books, announcements, flyers, etc. that can use some decorative details or borders.

I bookmarked this a while back when I was trying to figure out what to do with the numerous wire hangers that we have.  That was before we bought our current house and we inherited about 50 more.  Honestly I still haven't done much with them, but it's great if you can find creative uses for a few.

I had to find a better picture than the one on the site so I got this one here.  I'm sure that most people reading this don't know that my dad's parents are Jewish.  His mom makes these every year.  The poppy seed kind is my favorite.  One of these days I will get inspired to make them myself.  There are more recipe variations on this site.

Did you use one of the resources, tutorials, or recipes from my link list?  Leave me a link in the comments or send me an e-mail ( with your photos and stories.  I would love to post them here!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday feature: clouds

I cannot believe that I have not done a cloud feature before!  I've always been drawn to items with clouds.  I'm not really sure why.  Clearly I'm not the only one because there are a lot of really neat cloud items out there.  Enjoy!

Sea Glass Necklace, Sterling Silver Cloud, 16 inches by akkricket

NEW DESIGN--Blue Skies (set of 6) by TessaAnn

Silver Cloud Stud Earrings by DestinysCreations

Of course I also love this one because it's turquoise and red.
LOVEly SKY, framed picture, paper and ceramics collage, handmade in Ireland by karoart

Thursday, August 25, 2011

blast from the past

My how I got where I am today post was well received so I decided to write another post about a past aspect of my beading.  This doesn't relate directly to Etsy, but I thought that you would still find it interesting.

I've enjoyed beads ever since I was little.  For a long time, the primary jewelry that I made with them was simple strung bracelets.  I still have a number of them.  Typically I wear newer pieces so that I can promote the jewelry that I sell.  But these are still fun to wear sometimes.  I have so many of them in every color that I can always grab a few that match my outfit.

I also think that it's important to promote stringing beads for a couple different reasons.
1) Stringing beads is an easy technique that allows for opportunities to experiment with different beads and color combinations.  I think that it's important to have some background with these skills before experimenting with more complex beading.
2) Stretchy bracelets are a great jewelry option for girls.  It's great for young girls to start accessorizing, but they may not be ready for more complex jewelry with clasps, etc.

With that being said, here are a few favorites from my collection.

I designed this first set for my wedding.  I love the bigger focals with gold/carmel stripes and the glass pony beads for my "something blue."

Chunkier rounds.  I love the yellow beads in the bracelet on the far right.  They remind me of lemon drops.

Skinnier bracelets.  You can pair these with anything.

I love these round evil eye beads.  I've been searching for another round set ever since that isn't horribly expensive.  The first set of bracelets was one of my favorite for a long time, as evidenced by the worn thread on the bracelet on the right.

I created bracelets with the evil eye beads in other colors, too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

what else I've been making lately

As many of you know, I enjoy cooking and especially enjoy baking.  I have always done most of our cooking from scratch and am doing more than ever now that I'm not working full time.  One thing that I'm also more conscientious about now is what I make for lunch at home.  During the school year, I packed healthy lunches and that's what I would eat.  Usually in summer, I'm a little more lax at home because I know that it's temporary.  Not anymore.  So I'm attempting to put the same effort into my lunches at home that I did into the ones I packed.  I know that sounds funny, but it's easy to wait until you're hungry and then grab something quickly at home. I'm trying to avoid that.

With that being said, here are just a few of the tasty things that I've made at home this summer.

My salads don't have names because I almost always use what I have at home.  This is more or less a Cobb salad.  It consists of lettuce, avocado, shredded Colby jack, tomato, ham, sliced chicken, and honey mustard dressing.

Remember the cream biscuit recipe that I posted a few weeks ago?  I've made it twice this summer.  Sometimes I get up when Jake does and make breakfast for him.  I also do bigger breakfasts on the weekends sometimes.  These are perfect for either.

Also, as promised here are my version of this layer bar recipe.  This is one of the first dessert recipes that I ever found and made on my own in college.  Again, I use a mix of semi-sweet chocolate and peanut butter chips and walnuts.  In general, Jake doesn't like any nuts in cookies ever, but he allows it in these.

With only two people, we often have leftovers.  One night this month I made pork chops to go with our leftover couscous and broccoli, served with raw orange pepper slices and red grapes.