Saturday, June 25, 2011

Meeting Janet Evanovich!!

Last night I got to meet Janet Evanovich -- one of my most favorite authors! I'm not sure I would have driven 45 minutes -- TWICE! -- and stood in line for two hours for many other authors to sign a book. Maybe James Patterson or Jan Karon. But, it was worth it and very exciting to meet Janet E. in the flesh! Yesterday, my BFF, Jeanette, flew in from Atlanta. She had never heard of Janet Evanovich or her books, but she wanted to go with me to the book signing, of course. I told her to start with "One for the Money". I've read them all! After I picked her up at the DFW airport at 9 a.m., we drove directly to the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Frisco for our armbands. We were told that Ms. Evanovich would sign our books at approximately 10:30 p.m.! Jeanette and I enjoyed our day together going to breakfast at the IHOP, then to the Rock Barrel to pick out beads for a necklace she wants me to make for her daughter-in-law, and chilling out at our pool in our apartment complex. After dinner and a quick nap, Bob drove us back to Frisco. Isn't he just THE BEST husband to go and stand around for two hours while we wait in line to get books signed? YES!!! We finally met Janet E. and got our books signed at 11 p.m. I told Jeanette and Bob that it was kind of like a wedding. You plan, get excited, anticipate, wait and wait, the day finally arrives, then it's over in a flash! It was certainly worth it, however! Here is the link to the rest of my photos --

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Purchases from Bead & Button Bead Show in Milwaukee - June 2011

These are the purchases I made at the Bead & Button Bead Show in Milwaukee on Saturday, June 11th. Almost all of these purchases came from my favorite vendors. I have had subscriptions to several bead magazines and I have bought many bead books over the past seven plus years that I have been making jewelry and I have drooled over some of these components for about those many years. I love the Tibetan silver capped beads and I buy one at a lot of the bead shows I go to. I have purchased two of the Tibetan Prayer Amulets in the past, made them into necklaces and sold both of them. I finally found some sterling silver jewelry tags that I stamped "N & C" (for NeeNee & CheeChee) onto to put on our necklaces. The oriental-looking silver pendant is PURE silver. I saw this in one of my bead magazines and I have wanted one ever since. The greenish beads are Roman glass. They are extremely expensive in the bead stores and I got a good deal on them at the bead show. The "Obey Thy Heart" turquoise ceramic pendant is one of Pam & Heather Wynn's. I LOVE their ceramic pendants! My sister and I have drooled over EVERYTHING from Green Girl Studios, so this year, I broke down and bought an expensive copper bird toggle clasp. The green shell rectangle and the white and orange rectangle on top of the green one are from Lilly Pilly. Again, this is one of my most favorite vendors and I just HAD to own one of their pendants! (But, I'm sure I will make it into a necklace that I will sell.) The purple and pink lampwork bead is from Grace Beads. I spent a lot of time at the Grace Beads booth trying to decide which bead I was going to buy. I wanted ALL of them! I found the purple wire lace from Sonoran Beads that I plan to put with the Grace Beads lampwork bead pendant. I saw the painted enamel gears in a new bead magazine, found them at the bead show and purchased some. I have no plans for them yet. The metal heart with the red hand and "Left Hand Brewing Company" written on it, was purchased from Glass Garden Beads. My sister purchased one of these metal hearts last year from Glass Garden Beads and after we got home from the bead show last year, I kicked myself for not getting one then. Now, I have one! The pretty opal multi-stone rhinestone pieces came from AD Adornments. I could have bought every piece they had there! All of them were so beautiful! I will keep you posted on what I make with all of these pretty pieces, so keep your eye on my blogs.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Linda's Trip to IL - June 2011

I had another GREAT trip to IL to visit friends and family! I went last year in June and I recreated that trip this year -- but this year was EVEN BETTER! I arrived at Midway at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, June 10th and my sister and her husband were there to pick me up. They live in Elgin, which is an hours drive from Midway. What a wonderful sister and brother-in-law I have! I like to fly on Southwest from Love Field, as I can get cheap fares and there are no additional expenses for two suitcases.

On Saturday, Cindy & I drove up to Milwaukee, WI for the largest bead show in the world. There were 1,258 vendors there! Last year when Cindy & I went to this bead show, we had no idea what to expect. We went in the door, started on the left side and walked up and down rows looking at all of the vendors. We spent four hours looking and buying beads for our jewelry. We missed a lot of our favorite vendors, but by then we were too tired and out of money. This year we were more prepared. I printed a floor plan of where the vendors would be and highlighted our favorites we wanted to visit. We still spent four hours there again this year, but we got to visit all of our favorites. I can't wait to sit down and make new jewelry with my purchases!

On Sunday the 12th, my friend Mary Finlayson, whom I have known since the late 70's when I lived in Glendale Heights, IL, came over to Cindy & Mike's house. She brought all of her broken jewelry to the "Bead Doctors". Cindy & I fixed several pieces of her broken jewelry and we remade some of her granny's jewelry into pieces that she could wear. Mike fixed us a wonderful dinner too! Mike loves to cook and he made all of my favorite things that I can't cook at home since Bob won't eat them. The catfish, risotto with baby bella mushrooms and asparagus was yummy!

Last Monday the 13th, Cindy & I didn't have any special plans and that was the only day of my trip we had nothing planned to do. Before I left for IL, my friend Kathy Jensen who lives in Ohio, sent me an email saying that her family would be traveling through the Chicago area from WI on their way back to OH, and maybe we could hook up for a couple of hours somewhere. Mike, Cindy & I met Kathy, her husband Brian, their son Chris and daughter Danielle at a McDonald's. They used to live down the street from my family in Broken Arrow, OK and I hadn't seen them since 1993 when they moved to OH. We sat and chatted for awhile and got caught up. What fun to see long-time friends!

On Tuesday, Cindy & I drove to Springfield to visit Mom and other family members. We took Mom to my ex-husband's cousin's house for dinner. Craig, Barb, their son Charlie and daughter Bethany have a beautiful home on Lake Springfield. David's nephew Connor and his wife Shiloah were there also. Mom was Shiloah's fourth grade teacher.

On Wednesday, Cindy & I drove to Decatur to visit more family. We stayed overnight with Uncle Jack & Aunt Louise. All of us met Aunt Eileen, her son Charlie and his wife Vicky, Eileen's son Gary, Jack & Louise's son Phil & his wife Mary Beth for dinner at Hometown Buffet for dinner.

On Thursday, we drove back to Springfield to tell Mom good-bye. We got back to Elgin -- a four hour drive from Springfield -- just in time for another one of Mike's wonderful dinners.

Last year Cindy & I had an impromptu jewelry sale in her friend's front yard on a busy street, so we decided to do it again this year. But, we were more prepared this year. Last year we made $300 which we thought was pretty good, but we did even better this year! On Friday and Saturday, we set up our tables of jewelry. My friend Sally Boynton and another friend, Cindy Rojic, came to sit with us. It was fun to sit and chat with "old" friends and make a little money at the same time. Cindy & I sold lots of jewelry and we both made back what we spent on beads at the bead show in Milwaukee. It was a good couple of days! And the weather couldn't have been more perfect!

Mike is a part of a group that cooks breakfast on the third Sunday of each month for the homeless at the Inspiration Cafe in Chicago. Both last year and this year I went with them to help cook. This year we served breakfast to 33 people. I wish there was a place here in Dallas like the Inspiration Cafe --

Later Sunday afternoon, Cindy & I met my friend Mary for lunch at the Panera Bread cafe for lunch. It was in a shopping center called the Arboretum, so Cindy & I got to do some shopping too.

Yesterday, was the day for me to travel back to Dallas. Cindy & I had the morning together before she took me back to Midway Airport. I hated to say good-bye, but I was anxious to get back home to my sweet hubby whom I missed. Bob and I will be driving back to IL in late July for a family reunion, so we'll see everyone again at this time. I can't wait!

If you would like to see more photos from my trip, here is the link --

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Linda's Excellent Adventure

I've had a really fun day and an adventurous afternoon. (I am so glad I have GPS in the car!) My day started early, as I helped a friend in Hurst with her three and five year old kids, as she is restricted to bed rest with her third pregnancy. Her husband Joel teaches math at a nearby college. I arrived at Ann & Joel's house at 7:30 this morning. I helped Rachel and Micah with their breakfast, cleaned up spilled milk from the floor, played a puzzle on the floor with Micah, helped Rachel find her clothes to wear and talked to Ann. It was a busy morning. I left their house around 1:00 p.m. and set my GPS to go to the McAlister's Deli in Addison. I found several gift cards in my wallet the other day, so I decided that I would use them and have a FUN day! I had lunch at McAlister's for less than $3.00 (plus my gift card that I received at the Empty Bowls event). I also found a Michael's Craft Store in the same shopping center and I needed some black bead thread and black beads for two projects that I am working on. Again, I used a gift card. I still have close to $10 left on my Michael's gift card! I had a gift card at Dillard's and I wanted to do my exercise walking (It is MUCH too HOT outside to do it!), so I headed to Northpark Mall next. I could have used my Dillard's gift card about ten times, but I walked out without using it at all. I decided I would rather save it for something I really want. I needed some vitamins, so I used a Visa gift card from an AT&T rebate on them. Then, I went across the street to the Barnes & Noble store. I had some money left on another gift card there. I bought a card and a Godiva dark chocolate bar. YUM! Lunch, card, chocolate bar, vitamins, beads and thread -- all for less than $20! Priceless!