Tuesday, December 29, 2009

CheeChee Is Here!

CheeChee, a.k.a. Cindy Meier, and the other half of the NeeNee & CheeChee's Beaded Things business is here in Dallas with us! My sister, Cindy, flew into Dallas this morning to visit with us through the remainder of the week. I was still working my temp job this morning, so Bob picked her up at DWF Airport. They picked me up from my job downtown and after lunch and after Bob returned to work, Cindy and I got down to business -- BEADING! We talked about beads all afternoon. I have been collecting various beading components from bead shows, bead shops, shopping online, Christmas gifts and even from Walmart. Since Cindy flew in, she couldn't bring any of her beads with her. I am letting her help me with my projects. We haven't added any new beaded jewelry to the Etsy website for awhile, but you will be able to see some new pieces there by the end of the week. On to BEADING!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas BLIZZARD!!

Bob and I left Dallas around 11:30 a.m. on Thursday the 24th to drive to Tulsa for the Christmas weekend. It was raining in Dallas when we left, but it started sleeting when we got further north in TX. By the time we hit the turnpike in OK, it was very thick ice on the road and building up on our windshield. We saw many cars and trucks off in the ditch. We also saw an overturned car right in the middle of the road! My stomach did flip-flops! I thought we should turn around and go back home, but Bob continued on. We could only go around 30 mph for a very long time. When we hit the edge of Tulsa, there was about a foot of SNOW on top of the ice! Around 5 p.m., we arrived in Tulsa at Corbin & Christy's house. We pulled into their drive way and went inside for a wonderful Christmas dinner with Corbin, Christy, Caty, Carson, Christian and all of Christy's family. We opened presents and watched the kids have fun with their new toys. Around 9 p.m., Bob and I decided we had better head to our hotel, which was on the other side of Tulsa. We got stuck in Corbin's housing addition four times and he and Christy's two brothers had to push us out! Corbin said he would get us a room at the new Hampton Inn behind their house and Christy's dad drove us there in his 4-wheel drive. Our car was stuck in a snowdrift. At the hotel, we turned on the TV and heard that we had been driving around in a BLIZZARD! There were winds of 50 mph, snow, ice and white out conditions and the weather station was advising everyone to stay in and stay put! We heard it was the first time in Tulsa history that a blizzard had been forecasted! Well, we made it there and back home and had a wonderful Christmas with a lot of our family. Next year, everyone can come to Dallas for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

SPAM Emails

SPAM Emails!! Do you like getting them? I don't! They waste my valuable time! I rarely read them. If Iam really BORED, I might read one or two if they are SHORT ones or in cartoon form. If I open an email with a really long forwarded joke, many photos or such, I just delete it without reading it. I have too many friends and family members that I would rather write emails to than spend my time reading JUNK SPAM emails. One might get opened by mistake if the sender changes the subject line and takes out the "Forwarded" part of it. I have a Yahoo email address that I set up when I lived in Sarasota, so I could use the Freecycle. Once in awhile I will take a look at that email just to get a chuckle. I just looked at it and I have 507 emails in my Inbox and ALL of them are SPAM! Not one legitimate email in there! AND, I have another 244 emails in my SPAM Inbox! That is a total of 751 SPAM emails! WOW! Am I popular or what?

Which mascara do I use today?

I don't know about you (and I'm referring to the GIRLS out there), but I am a sucker when it comes to advertising. And I love to try new products on the market, especially make up products. And I love trying different mascara products. Whenever I see a mascara advertised that I haven't tried, I HAVE to buy it and try it. I must have 20 of them in my make up bag and bathroom drawers. Last week one day when I was riding the train into work, the BEAUTIFUL, YOUNG girl sitting next to me was applying her mascara and she was using one in a bright green tube. I had never bought that one or tried it. Her eye lashes were so long, dark and beautiful that I HAD to find out what kind of mascara that she was using. I wanted MY eye lashes long, dark and beautiful too! I tried to be discreet and see if I could see any kind of writing on the tube of mascara. I didn't want to ask her. After all, no one talks to anyone on the train -- especially so early in the morning! I saw a "MA" on the bright green tube, so I was sure I could find that brand at a drug or grocery store. On my lunch hour, I walked directly to CVS and sure enough, I found the bright green Mabelline mascara! I knew this was the mascara I had been looking for all of these years that would make MY eye lashes long, dark and beautiful!! I couldn't wait to get home to try it out. The next morning after my shower, I applied the new mascara and just like most of those other mascaras I have bought in my life time of applying mascara, my eye lashes looked JUST THE SAME as they always did! I was very disappointed. I thought for sure that I had FINALLY found the brand of mascara that was going to make my eye lashes long, dark and beautiful. So, I'll continue my hunt and fill up my make up bag and drawers with the various mascaras on the market. If you have one to suggest, please let me know.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Elements Necklace

I enjoy looking at the Etsy website -- www.etsy.com -- for unusual items. Etsy is made up of "stores" that people set up to sell their homemade wares -- paintings, soap, clothes, jewelry, etc. This website is where I have my jewelry store, NeeNee & CheeChee's Beaded Things. I look at the beads on the Etsy website that people make, as I think these different components is what makes my jewelry pieces that ladies want to buy and wear. Us ladies don't like to wear things that everyone else is wearing. We want to look individual and our clothes and jewelry tells a bit about what we are like. I found a website on Etsy called My Elements. The lady makes these components from plexiglass and hand paints each piece. They are a bit expensive and a little more than what I usually pay for my beads and jewelry making components. But, my sweet sister decided that I NEEDED these beads, so she bought them for me. I think I will sell this necklace on my website, so I'll have to pay her back for them. I have another set of My Elements components that are purple and orange, called Funky Monkey. I haven't used them yet in a piece of jewelry. I'll post a photo when I get something made.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Girl Who Wears Many Hats -- Including a Red One

I have been a receptionist for most of my working days. Right after I was married in 1970, I started to work for Credit Information Corporation on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, IL. I started out as a CRT operator, but one day my boss asked me to work at the reception desk when the receptionist didn't show up for work. She told me that I had a "pretty smile". That first day as I remember was quite a disaster. I wasn't coached on how to be a receptionist and right off the bat, someone walked into the office to see the president. I called him and said that "there is a woman here to see you". I didn't ask for a name, company or anything about the person. It did get better after that. I found out through the years working as a receptionist that I have to "wear many different kinds of hats", as the saying goes and be able to do many odd jobs. Throughout the years, I've had to be a nurse, a chauffeur, a hair stylist, make up artist, go-fer, typist, time clocker, and many more that I can't think of at the moment. Today, I am a gift wrapper. I am working a temp job as a receptionist with a law firm and they are sending out Christmas gifts to their clients. I am wrapping up Kindle's. You know, those books you read on a little gizmo that you hold in your hand? I sure wish I could drop one in my bag and take it home with me! Do you think anyone would miss it? Just kidding. I'd never do anything like that. But, it sure is going to make a nice gift for someone. And occasionally, I wear my Red Hat when I go to lunch with the Red Hat Society ladies.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yummy Dessert Recipe

Last night Bob and I hosted our Tables of Eight dinner. Our church has several groups of Tables of Eight and we are in one of them. We take turns going to each others homes for dinner. Bob and I decided to host the first one for our group for this season. We made Paella, a green salad, bread and this wonderful dessert called "Chocolate icebox Cake with Mascarpone and Blackberries". I got the recipe from chowhound.com -- a website I was introduced to from my nephew Eric, who used to be a chef and enjoys cooking. This dessert was delicious and I got rave reviews! Here is the recipe in case you are interested in trying it for yourself. It was quick and easy too.

INGREDIENTS for the Cake

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup blackberry liqueur
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 8-oz. container mascarone cheese
2 9-oz. packages chocolate wafer cookies, such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
Fresh blackberries, for garnish

INGREDIENTS for the Coulis

1/2 pound blackberries
1/2 pound granulated sugar -- 1 1/8 cups
1/4 cup blackberry liqueur

Combine cream, sugar, vanilla extract, blackberry liqueur, cocoa powder and mascarone in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until firm peaks form. Set aside.

In the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, arrange 12 cookies in a circle to form a base. Spread about 1/3 cup of the whipped cream mixture evenly to cover. Repeat layering the cookies and cream until all the cookies are used; top with remaining cream mixture. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 hrs. or overnight.

Combine berries, sugar and liqueur in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let cook until syrupy and reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pushing on the mixture with a rubber spatula, to strain out the seeds. Set aside to cool.

Garnish with blackberries and serve with Blackberry Coulis.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Vintage Beads

These are all Vintage Beads. So "they" say. I purchased all of these Vintage Beads through Etsy sellers. Some of the Etsy sellers say that their Vintage Beads are 50 - 100 years old! How am I to know? I really don't care that they are old beads. I just like the way they look and that is why I purchased these beads. Some of these beads are from Germany, Japan or Czechoslovakia. I have no specific ideas on how I will use these Vintage Beads, but I am sure I will come up with something. If you see any beads that you like, let me know and I will make something for you.