Monday, June 21, 2010

Sharing the Coolest Contest With You (Click Me)

Denise Yezbak Moore is very generously giving away more than $350 worth of absolutely gorgeous beads via her blog.  Check out the link above to enter yourself!

Thanks Denise!

In other news, I get to spend a couple days in Champaign with my best friend Beth.  This is even better than (and nearly as rare as) bead winning.  We had a great time at the Bead and Button Show last week and have decided that two days are not enough.  Next year we're making it three days in a row.  Hopefully that will allow for time in the evenings to meet up with other beady friends.

I'll post more about Bead and Button in the near future, but forewarning, I didn't take any photos. 


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Trying to Catch Up

I know I owe photos from our last trip to Europe, but I have mislaid my camera somewhere.  I'm hoping that someone borrowed it without telling me, otherwise I have no idea what I did with it.

I had a fantastic lunch with my son today at a local restaurant, Tacos El Norte.  He had a taco dinner and I ordered a chile relleno, quesadilla (corn), and tamale from the side items menu.  The food was delicious, and though I didn't get to see his girlfriend and her son, it was wonderful to catch up a bit. This lunch also falls into my 3/50 for June.

I'm really looking forward to the Bead and Button Show this weekend.  It will be my first time ever going for more than one day of the show.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Bit Bummed

I seem to have lost 5/7 of my photos from the Czech Republic.  My camera will take about 240 photos on a single set of batteries.  While I wandered around each day I'd take photos of what ever was interesting.  When the batteries were nearly dead I would download the photos (nearly a weeks worth) onto a flash drive.  When I tried to download the drive to my computer the photos weren't there.  I have no idea what happened to them.  My husband has a few somewhere so I may supplement mine with his as time goes by.  We'll see.

For today we will have a look at some of the interesting architechtural features of the region.  Some of these photos were taken in the Chumotov and some were taken in Prague.  I honestly don't know which city most are from. 

This is the door to the building that is across the square from the hotel we stayed at.  The building was constructed in 1669 (see the stone above the door) and at one time was a church. I believe it is an apartment building now.  I've not seen anyone use this door, and at different times during the week concert posters are placed here.

This is the building that belongs to the door in the first photo.  In real life it doesn't lean the way it does in my photo.  :)  I love these half round windows.

This is another view in the courtyard.  The building in the photo above is to the right.  The arched windows look into a retail area that was never open when I was around it.  I believe that the stage is where the concerts are held and the benches are where the patrons sit.

This is the third building in that same courtyard. Aren't the different textures and shapes interesting? I love these arches and columns. I also love the shrubbery but I don't think I took any photos of just that.  See the wires on the roof?  I was told that those are ground wires for the lightning rods that aren't in the photo.  This cluster of buildings had about a dozen lightning rods, and it was nowhere near the tallest building in the area.  Also note the wheelchair ramp behind the wrought iron fence.  This was one of only two wheelchair ramps I saw during my entire three week visit.


This is the arch that you walk through to get into the court yard.  Note the rosettes carved into the stone.  There were so many examples of this type of thing that it would be impossible for one person to catalog it all.


This is a random building somewhere in Chomutov.  Most of the buildings in the area are business on the bottom and apartments on the upper floors.  There are many exceptions to this though.  One of the places that we most enjoyed eating was upstairs and quite a few of the retail stores are located above other establishments.  In the upper corners of the building the figures are the heads of lions.

This is a detail of the face in the photo above.  I was amazed at how many buildings have this kind of adornment.  I'd love to know if it is original to the buildings or if it was added at a later date.  Most of it is in really good shape too.

This building is starting to crumble but it is still visually interesting and very detailed. 
This is the detail from above the window.  Usually these adornmants are figural.  This display of fruit is one of the few exceptions that I noted.

Another figural adornment.  The building where she lives must be pretty nondescript because I didn't take a photo of it.

He reminds me of Dionysus.  I'd love to hear your opinion in the comment section.

This Is a slightly slanty photo of the building that the two heads above live on.  I guess I did take a photo of it after all.  The sprire you see is on top of this building. 

The brown brick building you see in the background houses a Herna.  I couldn't get a solid translation for that, but everywhere that word was, there was a small casino inside.  It is open 24 hours a day and even says "non-stop" in English outside of the building.  You can play roulette and video poker there all the time.  Other table games open on the weekend when there are more patrons.  It is my understanding that you can also place wagers on televised sports in these buildings, but there aren't any televisions inside to watch the events so you'd have to come back at a later time to collect any winnings.  They also wager on "football" which is played on a table similar to a foosball table.  There are many of these Hernas in Chomutov.  I can remember at least 10 of them within walking distance of the hotel and since it was 10 degrees Farenheit or less the entire time we were there, walking distance for me was about a mile in any direction.

I don't know what this building houses, but I thought it was pretty.  I love that there are lots of windows on the fronts of these buildings.  It is probably an attempt to make up for the fact that there aren't any on the sides since they are usually touching the building next door.  The glass in the upstairs windows was wavy which is fascinating to me.

This is one of those buildings of which I don't remember the location.  Note the width, or lack thereof, of the door. 

Another interesting piece of a fruitbowl.  This is one of the buildings where I think the adornment was added well after original construction.  Something about the cement reminds me a but of stucco.

I thought this was very interesting because it is so intricate.

This reminds me of Green Man, though there are no leaves.  I think he makes an interesting juxtaposition with the texture and lined design behind him.  Exposed wires like those to his right are nearly as common a sight as the adormnent of the buildings.

Faces and flowers.  And that hole that looks like someone took a sledge hammer to the building.  I have no idea what that hole is but, it isn't the only one I saw.

I thought this building was interesting in the variety of work.  Simple on the bottom and increasing in intricacy as we work our way up.


Another that reminds me of the Green Man.  And this one has a beard that looks like leaves.

I really enjoyed the colorful buildings.  I think that this green is just about perfect.  And the designs are interesting.  I think this photo was taken in Prague and I am almost positive that the business on the right is a tavern.


Detail from the photo above.  I adore these owls!


This building was definitely in Prague.  I wish I'd been the one to take a photo of the U.S. Embassy there.  It is the only Embassy I've seen in real life and the building was ver cool.

We've come to the last architecture photo.  I included this one because the decorative features are different than the others I've shown today.

When I post again the topic will be art.  And this isn't museum art, but art around the town.  There was an incredible amount.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Waiting for Laundry to Dry

How boring, eh?  The last load of wash is in the dryer and I am surfing around enjoying the internet while I wait.

I think it would be a grand idea to post a picture of my recent trip to the Czech Republic.  I have about one third of them loaded on this machine so I think I'll try my luck and see if I can get one stuck in this blog some how.  Here we go...

It worked!  I'm so happy I could do a little dance.  Instead I'll tell you a bit about the photo.

This is the view of the city square in Chomutov.  The steepled building in the background is the biggest church I saw in the town.  The white tent about midway in the photo was put up after we'd been there for about three days.  Each night a different performace was held in the tent.  Most of the entertainment was performed by local school children. 

The small brown structure just behind the first car is a temporary store front for a fish monger.  It is my understanding that people in this part of the country only eat fish for Christmas dinner.  So, a few weeks before the holiday these buildings are erected and several huge blue plastic tubs are filled with cold water.  Then come the fish, somehow by magic I think.  Huge carp appear in the tubs and then the shoppers show up.  They select a fish and the owner of the stall cleans and packages it for the supper of the lucky diner.  I watched this happen for days, the men stayed all night and I never saw a single fish delivered to the square though many dozens left in tidy paper packages.

Just to make sure it wasn't a fluke I uploaded another photo.  This was a holiday art exhibit that we saw one evening as we were walking to dinner.  I believe the entire thing is made of straw.  Somewhere in my photos I have some pictures of live sheep that were just beyond the field of vision of the first photo I posted.  I thought this was one of those photos, but apparently I was mistaken. 

I will try to get the remainder of the photos into my computer tomorrow and will post a few more photos regularly until I have them all available to you.  I hope you enjoy these two in the mean time.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Participating in the 3/50 Project

I feel that small business is important to community and in the past I made a commitment to patronize small businesses when possible regardless of where I was at the time.  I've kept to that commitment in a way that makes me feel proud.  While I would prefer to spend my money in my neighborhood, city, county and state, when I am out of town I don't think twice about making the purchases I need at the local small business.  In an effort to share this enthusiasm I am going to add these purchases to my blog.  Besides, it is fun to share the eye candy.  :)

I recently learned of the 3/50 project which asks people who are actively employed to spend $50 at each of three locally owned small businesses.  You can learn about why this is a great thing to do at the following link.  The information there is better presented and more complete than I could ever hope to describe here.  While I don't agree with every single principle in the project, I do agree with the general philosophy.

For the last three weeks I've been visiting Evansville, IN.  I haven't had much opportunity to explore the area, but a friend came to visit me and we did get to do a little shopping.  Yay for local bead stores!

The first store we shopped at was The Bead Angel store.  It is a combo metaphysical/spiritual/bead store.  My friend and I had a friendly competition going on to see who could spend more money in the store.  I was clearly in the lead until I pointed out a display of magnetized "pearls" in the back corner of the store.  After ransacking the magnets Beth beat me by a small margin, but I still managed to spend $65.20 before tax.  Not bad for impulse shopping in a store that stocks less beads than I have in my personal stash.

Our next stop was to a store called Busy Beedz.  It was a lovely store filled with unique hand made jewelry with something for everyone from the baby to the bride.  I managed to spend another $16.88 there.  I admit that there wasn't a lot for me to choose from though the store held a good amount of pearls and semi-precious stones.  I, however, am a seed beader and there is only so much I can do with a lump of kyanite regardless of how pretty it is in the bowl.  I did leave with a nice handful of lampwork which I will turn into necklaces for my Etsy store.

We had a trip Killer Skate Park & Shop, LLC where our third member decided to spend his time.  He not only purchased a skating session, but in an extra effort to support the business he bought a skate deck that he didn't really need.  I love to see young people (Dan only just turned 18) making a difference.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not Enjoying the New Dairy Beverage She Purchased

I love milk, but don't really care for skim and the last time I was at the grocery store I saw a new (to me) product in the dairy case.  It is called Dean's Over the Moon Fat Free Milk.  It is skim milk fortified with more of the calcium and protein that is naturally found in skim milk and it has the bonus of being packed in a cardboard carton so it retains the vitamins found in the milk. On the carton they compare this product to 2% milk and it does look a bit like 2% when it is poured from the carton, but the resemblance ends there, at least for me.  To me it still tastes like skim milk so I won't be purchasing it again.  It is quite a bit more expensive than the same amount of skim milk.  The nice thing is that Dean's gives a money back guarantee and an 800 number to call if you aren't satisfied.  I won't be calling, because I will use the product up, and while I will continue to purchase other Dean's products, this one won't find its way back into my shopping cart.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Having a Hard Time with a Counter

Everyone has a really cool hit counter on their blog.  Of course, even though I don't have any readers yet, I still want a hit counter.  So I did a bit of research.  There is no option that I could find within Blogger to place a hit counter on a blog.  Blogger's gadgets allow me to place a random photo of a "hot" Hollywood star on my blog (refreshable with every click), or a photo of Mr. T of A-Team fame, or even a random tip, quote, fact or advice about love.  Alas, the lowly hit counter has been locked out.

So I Googled hit counters and came up with several sites that have many varied counters to choose from.  I selected one, went through the registration process and received my HTML code for the counter of my choice.  All this work only to find out that it isn't supported in any way that I can see.  The site I chose recommended that I embed the code where ever I would like the counter to show up.  What they didn't tell me was that Blogger doesn't allow this. *sigh*

So, in my fantastic ignorance I've been forced to place it just below the description of my blog.  Never fear, I'll continue to try to figure it out.  But if anyone out there would like to offer me some advice I'm not too humble to accept. 

Thanks for reading.  Have a great day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trying to Update More Regularly

So, I am going to post 25 things about me. Maybe they will inspire me to write more. Maybe not. We'll see how it works out.

1.) I turned 40 this year. It was harder than I thought it would be.
2.) I am one half of the happiest marriage I personally know of, and have been for the entire 12 years I've been married.
3.) I never wanted to get married until I met my husband. I was 26 at the time.
4.) I just finished knitting my first real project. It is a toddler sweater for my friend Beth's great nephew Joel. I hope that he likes it.
5.) I have a pet stingray. He's a really cool pet. I don't clean his tank enough.
6.) I am both excited and nervous about the bead seminar that I'll be attending in Lake Tahoe later this month.
7.) I really enjoy staying up late/all night long. And my husband really doesn't enjoy when I do.
8.) I am hopelessly addicted to the internet, and I have no desire to attend a program for it.
9.) My dream vacation spot is Ireland and I am really afraid to go because I am afraid that after I get there I won't want to come home - ever.
10.) I'm a Chemo-Angel, and currently enjoying writing to my third buddy. She's a 9 year old girl who has bone cancer.
11.) I love water, and the creatures that live in it.
12.) I am very hot blooded.
13.) I have a son who is the light of my life.
14.) I could spend an hour a day for a month tweezing my eyebrows and they would still need more work.
15.) My hair has been greying since I was 16.
16.) I have the best friend any girl ever had. Hi Beth!
17.) I like emoticons.
18.) Ice cream is my favorite junk food.
19.) When I am in a high place and look down I feel a compulsion to jump. It isn't suicidal, just the urge to leap.
20.) I am a foodie.
21.) I typically do not enjoy the food of any country that I am aware of having ancestry of (before we came to America.)
23.) I miss my grandma every single day of my life.
24.) My most strong desire right now is to know that my existence makes a difference somewhere.
25.) I really want to write, but I'm afraid because it has been so long that I might not be good at it any longer.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Finally finished with her Bead for a Cure Kit!

I am so excited to have this project completed. I am even more excited that for the first time ever, I am absolutely thrilled with the project. I think it is beautiful and am even thinking about attempting to win it back. My best friend says that she is going to win it but that I can borrow it any time I like. She's great like that. And to ensure that I get my article back, I'm not going to tell her when the auctions are. I'm sneaky like that.

I am also looking forward to beginning a new project. I haven't quite settled on one, but I am enjoying myself while I browse through about 40 bead magazines I have at the ready.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Anxiously Awaiting her Beading for a Cure Kit

It should mail to me on the 15th. You can check the link above to the Layne's Legacy Beading for a Cure website. Once there you can view all the projects from years past, and best of all, the projects that are going to be auctioned off in March.

I'm really hoping that this year's beads will speak to me as I remove them from the box. I'm afraid that is wishful thinking, but a girl can dream. Regardless, I am very excited to get my kit and begin my project.