Monday, January 31, 2011

New Beads!!

This is a photo of the beads and "found objects" that I got from my trip to FL. I bought the heart earrings, pearl clip earrings, silver pendant, pink pendant and buckle from thrift shops. I don't usually buy packaged beads and bead items when I'm on trips, as I can usually buy these in Dallas at Michael's, Hobby Lobby and JoAnn Fabrics, but these are brands I had never seen before and I liked the beads/pendants. When I go into bead stores, I look for beads/pendants/components that are unusual and ones that I don't think the bead stores around where I live would carry. I have fun thinking up ways to use them. Some of these beads are cloisonne, blue sponge coral, blue jasper, candy jasper, tagua nut, acai berry and a brass/copper blend. I can't wait to get my beads out and make some new items!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Linda's Trip to Florida -- Vero Beach

The third part of my trip to FL, I spent with my sister-in-law Chris, in Vero Beach. I arrived on Thursday near dinner time, after spending the day with my dad and Susan in Lake Placid. Lots of driving on Thursday! I started the day in Parrish with my friend Pat. Chris made a yummy spinach quiche for dinner. Chis enjoys cooking like I do and we have a lot of other common interests. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of my trip!

On Friday, Chris took me to a couple of bead shops, some thrift shops and we had a nice walk along the Indian River and the Wabasso Beach. We looked for shells and sea glass. Chris collects sea glass and she has a few containers filled with it. Last year Chris gave me some of her sea glass that I used in pieces of jewelry.

My niece Chelsea and my nephew Paul live with Chris. Chelsea is working at American Eagle at the mall and going to school to get her degree in accounting. Paul is in his senior year of high school. He is excelling in the ROTC program and he plans to train as a Navy Seal after graduation.

On Saturday, I THOUGHT my flight from Orlando back to Dallas was at 7 p.m. So, Chris and I decided to spend the day shopping at an outlet mall. Chris isn't much of a shopper like I am, but I was thrilled that she took me! We had a wonderful time! We went back to her house for some leftover quiche. Then, I drove back to Orlando.

As I was standing in line to check my bags, I looked at my itinerary and saw that my plane was leaving in 10 minutes!!! Well, I missed that one, needless to say. I was put on another plane that left an hour after I arrived at the airport and it was a better flight since I didn't have a layover in Houston.

If you would like to view more photos from my trip, you can access them at

Linda's Trip to Florida -- Part 2

This is my dad -- Rollin Smith. He is a very funny man and I love him very much! Daddy had a heart attack on Dec. 26th and he had some complications after he had three stents put in. He was home on the 28th, but back in the hospital on Jan. 4th. He was there through the 11th. Then, he went back in for 3 more stents on the 17th. He told me he needed his rest, so I couldn't stay with him and Susan. So, I visited them on Tuesday and Thursday last week. Cindy, Ken and I had planned to send him a cookie bouquet while he was in the hospital, but to make a very long story short, he never received them (and my credit card didn't get billed!). I think the bakery in Sebring where I ordered them decided to go out of business the day I called them with my order! On the way to visit Daddy, I stopped at the local Publix grocery store and bought a plastic container, a kitchen towel, cookies, a James Patterson mystery book and a card. I made and delivered my own "cookie bouquet (box)"! Daddy loved it!

After I left Gainesville on Sunday the 23rd, I started my 904-mile trip through FL to visit friends and family. I drove on Sunday to Sarasota to have lunch with Nance, Diana and Jo, whom I worked with at Aqua Utilities for five years. It was great to see them and get caught up!

Then, I drove to Tampa for dinner with Zach. It was a quick dinner and chat, but I am glad I got to see him. I wanted to get to Parrish, where I was staying with my friend Pat and her husband Ross, before dark.

I stayed with Pat & Ross through Thursday. They have a lovely home in Parrish, north of Bradenton. Pat and I both love to shop, so we drove to the Brandon Mall on Monday.

On Wednesday, I drove to Sarasota and met some of my former St. Paul Lutheran Church Red Hat ladies for lunch. Rosalie was celebrating her 91st birthday! Such FUN chatting with wonderful friends!

Of course, while I was near my most favorite bead shop, F.O.B. Beads, I had to go buy some beads!

And, my ex-husband's cousin, Marty, and her husband were vacationing/camping near Bradenton the same week that I was there. They live in Alabama. Since we hadn't seen each other since the late 80's, we just HAD to make an effort to get together! We sure did a lot of talking in the short time we were together! Thank goodness for emails and Skype!

If you want to see more photos, you can access my Shutterfly album at this link --

Linda's Trip to Florida

I just returned last night from spending ten days in Florida by myself. Bob was too busy at work to take off for vacation and I felt a need to go visit my dad and other friends and family. So, I flew to Orlando on Thursday, January 20th. Michael (on the right of this photo), who has Cavan's right kidney, picked me up in Orlando and we drove to Gainesville to the Paramount Plaza Hotel where I stayed through Sunday. I was given the same suite that Bob and I had last year! It is a beautiful room and I had plenty of space to entertain and relax. Michael and I had lunch about 4 p.m. at a local deli called Toojays, then he took me to the hotel. We had planned to get together for dinner and spend the evening together, but we were both too tired and not hungry. I enjoyed the relaxation watching TV and reading since I'd gotten up at 5 a.m.

On Friday morning, Michael taught his law class at City College. I asked if I could sit in and watch, but since the class started at 8:30 a.m., I decided to pass on this opportunity. I had breakfast at the hotel and took a walk to the local Dollar Store and a thrift shop near the hotel. Michael picked me up for lunch and we went to the Olive Garden. We decided to eat light since we were planning to spend the evening having dinner with his girlfriend, Katie. Before dinner, Michael took me to two bead shops! He walked through them quickly to see what I thought was so interesting about bead shops, then he stood outside to wait for me. It was very sweet of him to take me. I met his girlfriend Katie and we went to dinner at Carrabba's. After dinner, they took me back to the hotel, where we sat and talked.

On Saturday, Michael picked me up for breakfast. I wanted to go to McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin. He said he would take me to some place better, but this is what I wanted. Then, we drove to the Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park -- Michael mentioned that there is a sinkhole there and I wanted to see it. I had something in mind already before I saw this sinkhole, as there was one mentioned in "The Lovely Bones" that I had read recently. This sinkhole was nothing like the one in the book, however. There is a 232-step stairway to the bottom which I walked down and then back up! Whew! I should have had a physical exam before I did that!!

DeWayne, who has Cavan's left kidney and liver, and his mother, drove over from Jacksonville to spend the afternoon with us. We went to lunch at the Genghis Grill. Michael, DeWayne and his mother had never gone there, but they enjoyed it.

We all spent the afternoon looking at old photos that DeWayne brought and getting caught up. I talk to Michael & DeWayne a few times each month. They are definitely a part of me now. I love them both dearly and they are very deserving of Cavan's organs.

If you would like to see more photos of my time spent with Michael & DeWayne, you can see them on my Shutterfly album --

On Sunday, Michael took me to Micky Dee's again for another Egg McMuffin. I don't like Fast Food, but I do like a good Egg McMuffin now and then! After breakfast, I got my rental car, a Ford Focus, and said good-bye to Michael. Then, I started my 904-mile trip around Florida.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another Found Object for New Jewelry?

Yesterday when I was walking from the free trolley to the eye doctor to pick up my new contact lenses, I saw this on the sidewalk. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. New piece of jewelry? Maybe a bracelet? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Homelessness in Dallas

I saw these signs on my walk to Albertson's. They are hard to read in this photo, but there is someone going around Dallas leaving these cutouts with heavy messages about the homelessness here in Dallas. I stopped to read them and a news crew from Channel 8 was filming them. They asked me if they could interview me and I said "yes". I might be on the late news tonight! They also told me that these illegal signs were all around the Dallas area, but many had already been removed.

Homelessness is a big issue in Dallas. I'm sure it is a big issue in most big cities. Bob and I saw it first hand when we lived in downtown Dallas. We don't see so much of it here in the Uptown area where we now live. I do go downtown often to the library, my eye doctor and just to meet my friend Bradley at Starbucks now and then for tea and good conversation. I met Bradley when Bob and I lived downtown and Bradley stood on the Starbucks corner selling the "Zine" newspaper that addresses homelessness. Bradley WAS homeless, but now he lives in a government subsidized apartment. I still keep in touch with Bradley and meet him at Starbucks or for lunch whenever I go downtown.

I hope a lot of people will stop to read these signs and take to heart the homeless issue.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Roadkill Bottle Cap Necklace II

This is a continuation of my January 8th blog when I wrote about my search for rusty, smashed bottle caps. Here is the necklace I made with some of them. I called this one Roadkill Bottle Cap Necklace II because last August I made one and sold it to my friend Rhonda. I will take this one to the Walleska store to see if she wants to sell it in her store with the other pieces of jewelry made with recycled materials. I hope so! If not, it will be for sale on the NeeNee & CheeChee's Beaded Things website under the Dizzy Discards section.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Copies of Nordstrom Jewelry

A friend of mine will be attending her son's wedding in February and she asked me if I could copy a necklace and earrings she saw at Nordstrom, but she didn't want to pay the Nordstrom price for them. She described the necklace and earrings and I found them on the Nordstrom website. The upper left is the necklace and earrings I made for Judy and my price isn't even HALF of the Nordstrom price!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Hunt for Roadkill Bottle Caps

Last summer when I was visiting my sister and mom in IL, Cindy and I went to a bead shop in Springfield. The owner of the shop had just returned from the big bead show in Milwaukee that Cindy and I had also attended. The lady took us upstairs, away from the shop, to show Cindy and me the beads she bought at the show. She didn't have them marked yet for sale in the shop, so Cindy and I got first dibs on them. There were these wonderful, rusty, smashed bottle caps that I HAD to buy, but I had no idea what I was going to do with them. When I got home, I made a necklace and wore it a few times. When I was in Tulsa a couple of months later, I met my friend Rhonda for lunch and she bought my Bottle Cap Roadkill necklace.

After Cindy and I started our new line of jewelry made from recycling things, I thought of those rusty, smashed bottle caps. I think that another necklace and a pair of earrings might sell in the Walleska store. Yesterday on my walk around West Village, I looked for some rusty, smashed bottle caps, but I didn't find any. The parking lots around where I live are too clean! I started thinking about where I could find these old bottle caps that I needed for my new pieces of jewelry. Then it hit me! Deep Ellum! This is an area close to downtown Dallas that used to be THE PLACE to go for bars, restaurants, unique shops and tattoo parlors. This was in the late 90's. Since then, many of the places have closed down. But, when Bob and I walked around today to look for rusty, smashed bottle caps, I hit the jackpot! I can't wait to start making some more Roadkill Bottle Cap jewelry!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

From Trash to New Jewelry!

Yesterday when I was walking to my dentist office, I saw a smashed tape recorder lying in a yard near the sidewalk. I didn't see it as a smashed up tape recorder, however. I saw new jewelry! Cindy and I started Dizzy Discards, a new line of NeeNee & CheeChee's Beaded Things, using pieces from items like this, scraps of fabric, pieces of paper, and found objects, for our new jewelry. With my husband's help to dismantle the push on/push off switches and drilling the holes, I was able to create a new pair of earrings and a pendant for a simple necklace with some of the parts from the smashed tape recorder. These will go up for sale, so if you're interested in purchasing them, contact me.

Smashed Tape Player -- Piece of Trash or Jewelry?

As I was walking the 1/2 mile to the dentist office yesterday, I saw this smashed tape player sitting in someone's yard -- right by the edge of the sidewalk. I don't like to walk in people's yards, but if something is sitting right beside the sidewalk, then I'll take it if it is something that I think no one would want. I'm sure no one would want this broken tape player. Right? And why would I drag this piece of trash home with me, you ask? Well, keep your eyes on my blog and you will see!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dizzy Discards in Walleska Store in West Village!!!

There is a new store in West Village, just a couple blocks from our apartment, and when I went in it one day a couple weeks ago, the sales lady and I started talking. This store has clothes, purses, and jewelry made with recycled items. A lot of the clothes and purses are made with pull tabs from beer and soda cans. Check it out -- They are quite unusual. That night I couldn't sleep for thinking about the jewelry I can make and have made with recycled items. Cindy and I have already made a few pieces of jewelry using sea glass, beads made with recycled bottle glass, and pieces found on existing jewelry that we bought from the Goodwill stores. My mind was racing 100 mph that night trying to think up more jewelry to make with recycled items, what to name our new line of jewelry and how I wanted our business cards and logo to look. Last week Cindy came to visit and we started brain storming. We decided to start a new line of jewelry using recycled items and we named it Dizzy Discards. She and I sat down and made several new pieces of jewelry. Cindy made bracelet cuffs using plastic water bottles and material from a silk mans tie and one from a silk kimono (Check out the blog I wrote on that on Jan. 1, 2011.). I made a necklace from some plastic grocery sacks from the grocery store and a pin from an old sweater. Today I took some of our jewelry made with recycled items to Walleska and Tasia took four of our necklaces to sell on consignment!! I'm excited! I'll keep you posted on our new venture and the sales at Walleska.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dizzy Discards

Cindy and I started a new line of jewelry called Dizzy Discards. This new line can be found at our NeeNee & CheeChee's Beaded Things website under its own section -- Dizzy Discards. We decided we needed a special name, logo and business cards for our new venture. We are making some new jewelry using recycled components that we buy at bead stores, such as the recycled bottle glass beads and we are also recycling items, such as plastic water bottles, plastic grocery bags, items found and bought at thrift shops, and things around the house, such as pieces of fabric, felt and buttons. Cindy made two light-weight cuffs using sections of plastic water bottles that she put inside of sleeves of fabric. The fabrics she used were a kimono and a man's tie she bought at the Goodwill store. I made the brooch with the face, hands and many shoes using a piece of a sweater I bought at the Goodwill store. You might have already seen some of these necklaces already on the NeeNee & CheeChee's Beaded Things website. They are still there, only now under the section called Dizzy Discards. If you have any good ideas for jewelry we can make with recycled items, please let us know. We might even send you a piece of our jewelry for FREE!

Sister FUN!

My sister Cindy came to Dallas to visit us and we had a most wonderful time! But, too short, as always. I hadn't had my beads out since the end of October due to our move to a new apartment, working my temp job the whole month of November, the holidays, entertaining and various other things going on in our lives. But, when Cindy arrived, out came the beads! She inspires me and I'm full of ideas! I wish she lived closer to me so we can bounce ideas off of each other. It is easier to do when she is only across the table as opposed to her living in the Chicago area and me in Dallas. In the short 3 1/2-day time Cindy was here, we created a new line to our jewelry and named it Dizzy Discards. We are making jewelry in this line with components that have been recycled, such as bottle glass beads from Ghana, pendants made from organic materials or using items that we are recycling, such as paper, fabric, old jewelry we find at thrift stores, etc. We have a new logo and business cards for our new line of jewelry. I found a store in West Village where I live that might sell our jewelry on consignment! More about that later. In between our beading and creating, Cindy and I had two marathon shopping days! We were up at 6 a.m. and out the door by 9:30 a.m., and back home about 5 p.m. We went to bead stores (of course!), the mall, thrift shops, and many other stores and just basic errands (post office, cleaners, etc.). I also took her to some of my favorite restaurants for lunch. We went to the Oasis Cafe and Adelmo's. They are extreme opposites of each other, the Oasis Cafe being a hole-in-the-wall cafe with a lunch counter and a few booths, but excellent food and Adelmo's, which is a very upscale, expensive Italian restaurant. My very favorite of all! Bob and I took Cindy to the airport yesterday after lunch at a Latin bakery, Zaguan, and a bead store in Carrollton. Now, it is back to using Skype to show each other our new creations. We both are already looking forward to our next time together!