Breaking Up Is Hard To Do!

While cleaning out a closet, I discovered these . . .

They were towards the back of a shelf. I haven’t seen them for several years.

Sir Beads and I bought them on our honeymoon (40+ years ago!).
I remember it vividly…. We were driving through the White Mountains area of New Hampshire and had stopped at a little gift shop on the side of the road. In the windows, there was an assortment of jewel-toned art glass that immediately caught our attention. It sparkled like crazy in the sunlight. Of course, I chose the amethyst purple.


The pieces are fairly small – the tallest is 5 inches. They were on display in my home for many years. I guess at some point I must have decided to pack them away – possibly to make room for a newer treasure. When I came across them again last week, I stopped and asked myself if it might be time to let them go. After all, I hadn’t missed them while they were out of sight.


Problem is I’m terribly sentimental. If something has a “history” in my life (or in the lives of my family) I am attached to it. Simple as that.

Bottom line? These little vases will be staying put for a while longer…

How about you?

Are you in love with your “stuff”?

Is it a trauma to part with things you no longer use because they evoke a sweet memory?



I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Click the envelope to leave a comment or to read what the other kids are saying! 😀

Timeless Treasures

It seems to me that when it comes to handmade items, there are 2 kinds of people:

1. Those who make things

2. Those who do not.

Within the “those who do not” category – there are also 2 kinds of people:

1. Those who do not make things but are enchanted with all things handmade.

2. Those who do not make things and find nothing special about handmade things.

I’m not judging anyone – everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. I’d just like to offer mine. 😉

Alrighty, Crystal. Go right ahead!

What brings this up all of a sudden? Spill it!

Well, I’ve been doing some sorting/organizing and I came across a little bag of “test” pieces made by my mother-in law. She’s been gone for 15 years now and I’ve had them that long – just can’t part with them. You see, I’m one of those people who is touched by handmade things. (You probably knew that.)

There’s a bit of her spirit in these . . .

click photo to enlarge

It was probably an ordinary day when she worked on these sample pieces. (Maybe it was snowing; maybe she had a cake in the oven!) They were created in preparation of assorted projects she was about to begin. While doing a swatch – she’d be testing the yarn, or the size of the stitches, or even the colors. As I hold them now, I wonder… Did she and I talk on the phone on a day she worked on one of these? Could be.

Whenever I’m at a garage sale or flea market, I always feel a twinge of sadness when I see people’s handwork for sale by their heirs – for pennies! Those heirs are surely in the group who don’t see anything special about handmade things.

My mother-in-law was an avid knitter. She made countless sweaters for her family – from the time they were in the cradle until they were fully grown.

Here are the beginnings of a baby sweater. She made dozens of them.

Then there were the afghans she made for all of us. They were virtual hugs that warmed our hearts as well as our shoulders.

This next photo shows her favorite afghan pattern – an Aran knit with cables. So labor-intensive! It has long strips and miles of stitches to sew together afterward. She made many of these, too.

Not only an expert knitter, Sir Beads’ Mom could crochet, sew, embroider, and do tatting, as well. No matter how experienced she became, she was a firm believer in doing a practice piece before beginning a new project. I’m still a novice compared to her and yet I seldom have the patience to do a test swatch. I usually jump right into a pattern and then spend more time unwinding and re-doing than it would have taken to make that practice piece in the first place!

I recognize this motif as a test for an afghan she eventually made for my younger daughter – her youngest grandchild.

I should probably turn these pieces into pillows or something more permanent. She lives in them still – her laugh, her love, her talent.

I have them carefully tucked away with things I treasure. Just looking at them every now and then brings back so many memories.

With my own handcrafts, I’ve always thought that the act of making them was truly enough . . . I didn’t have to wonder what would become of them when I am gone. I thought the important thing was the experience of creating something.

But, as I look at Mom’s little yarn “doodles” here in front of me, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve decided that handmade items have even more value than just giving a sense of fulfillment to the artist . . .

To those who notice and cherish the message – they’re a connection to the past, to the soul of a person. It’s a joy, it’s intriguing, it can even be a comfort that in the middle of all the drama and change in life – some things live on.

I’d like to think the essence of a person remains in something she (or he) made with her own hands. If so, there are “heirlooms” all around us! 😀



B is for Bureau

And also for . . .

Beads 😀


Many (but far from all) of my Vintage Lucite Beads are stored in this bureau.

Every drawer is chock full of beads!

Part of the fun for me is that this is a bureau I used while I was growing up!

After I got married, my parents turned it over to me. Since then I’ve used it for baby clothes, and later for sewing supplies and fabric.


But its most recent purpose is to house beautiful beads!



A is for Avatar

Because I’m always searching for ways to entertain you, it occurred to me to try a series that was a favorite in blogland several years ago, called: “ABC-Along”.

The idea is to periodically have a post that corresponds with a letter, in alphabetical order.

So, as you’ve guessed by now, today is: A. 😉


If you have been visiting here for a while, I’m sure you’ve noticed my banner/logo (above) and also my Avatar. But did you know that it was Sir Beads who designed them?


When I was setting up my website, and deciding on a name for my business, I chose a “fairy tale” theme as a way to tell our story.

Although he’s much too modest to admit it, Sir Beads has a real talent for art, so I asked him if he could draw a fairy for me . . .

Here’s an early prototype sketch:

And here’s a version getting close to the final design:

I think he figured that was all I wanted (LOL). But, oh no!

Next, I asked for the banner shown at the top of this page. In keeping with the fairy tale theme, you can see that the little fairy is sitting on a glass slipper filled with beads.


Here’s our original “glass slipper” – a photo, also by Sir Beads, which I currently use for my website bead store.


Eventually, I requested the Avatar and since then he’s done my business cards, blog buttons, labels, etc.

I’m so very proud of his work and it’s fun to have something unique!

Of course, the price was right, too. 😉



Getting to Know You

I was thinking it would be fun for us to get to know each other a little better. 😀


So for this week’s Lucky Seven, we have . . .

7 Things About You!

I’ll go first and I hope you’ll give your responses in the comments! If you don’t want to do all 7 – no problem! Just do as many as you like.


1. Where were you born?
Boston, Massachusetts. I spent summer vacations in a much more rural area, so I’m a true combination of city girl and country girl.

2. Do you have a journal?
Does this blog count? 😉 When I was a teenager, I did have a little leather diary with a lock and key. I’m not sure where it is today, so hopefully nobody out there is planning a tabloid tale of the angst and escapades of my youth! lol

3. Favorite food?
Heaven help me. I love things that one shouldn’t have in large portions – like pasta, potatoes, and rice. In my defense, I do LOVE all vegetables, though!

4. If you didn’t make the decision to get married and have a family, (or to be in the job you have now) what would you be doing today?
I would probably be a teacher. Of course, having a family doesn’t preclude that, but when I was expecting my first baby, I made the decision to be a stay-at-home Mom. It meant that family finances were a little trickier to manage, so over the years, I’ve worked at jobs where I could get some hours when my husband was available to watch the kids. I’ve always described myself as a “full-time Mom with a variety of part-time jobs”.

5. Who do you miss the most?
My grandparents – all 4 of them. I was really lucky to know both sets of grandparents very well. Three of them lived into my adult years. Each was unique and very special. They all had a part in shaping the person I am today. I don’t think there is anything more wonderful than a loving relationship between a child and a grandparent. My wish for every kid would be to have that opportunity.

6. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
Without a doubt, it’s that I am too sensitive. I wish I could change that. My feelings are too easily hurt and I’ve been that way since I was little. There is an upside though. I also am very empathetic to the feelings of others. My family and friends know they have someone who truly cares when they need consolation or a shoulder to cry on.

7. Scary Movies or Happy Endings???

Happy Endings, please. I’m such a scaredy cat! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed whole scenes of scary movies because I was squinting through slightly opened fingers and trying not to hear anything! During a scary part, I’m usually hiding my eyes and whimpering to Sir Beads: “What’s happening now?!?” :-O

Poor guy, he misses snippets of the movie with my antics. It’s a wonder he has put up with me for so long!


Well, so now it’s your turn! 🙂

How would you answer the questions?