Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Eye of the Storm" winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.  I randomly/blindly pulled the winning name from a bowl of nearly 50 little folded up pieces of paper!

Congratulations to...

Kay, I'll be in touch via Facebook and get your bracelet sent out to you right away.  Congrats!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene Giveaway

We've all been watching the news about Hurricane Irene, and unfortunately, some of you are dealing with the aftermath of Irene's wrath.  One of the hardest hit places is our family's beloved vacation spot...the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Hatteras Island is now totally isolated and only accessible by ferry. 

Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber

Our family vacationed on that very island this summer. I have driven on that very stretch of Route 12 that no longer exists now. And our family had considered renting the blue house that sits on the right side of this photo...the Blue Canoe.  These hurricane aftermath pictures all seem very surreal. 

When I was on vacation at Hatteras Island this summer, I found this great little bead shop in Avon, NC.  While The Glass Bead doesn't have a website, I did find a photo of their store front all boarded up and ready for Irene to visit.

source:  Kinnakeet Clay Works (photo on Facebook)

There is a very cool clay gallery right next door to the bead shop.  Antoinette Gaskins Mattingly creates beautiful pieces like this sweet little drawer pull...

source:  Kinnakeet Clay Works

So, in honor of that sweet little bead store in Avon, I am giving away this bracelet!  The red and yellow swirled focal bead, plus the little yellow glass beads, were purchased there.

"Eye of the Storm"
Do those little swirls remind you of a hurricane?  Here's another look at it.

To enter:  please leave a comment below.  That counts as one entry.   Please note:  if you have trouble leaving a comment or don't know which profile to choose in the drop down box under comments, simply choose "anonymous" and leave your name in your comment. 

For a second entry, please go to my Artful Accents Facebook page and leave a comment there.  If you haven't "liked" Artful Accents on facebook, now might be a good time to do so!  :-) 

The winner will be chosen randomly and announced tomorrow afternoon!  Good luck! 
(open to residents of USA and Canada)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Let's Talk Colors

My boys are starting back to school, the evenings and mornings are getting cooler, the days are more crisp and clear with less humidity haze.  Yep, it's that time of year...fall is coming.  And with a new season, new colors are popping up in fashion and jewelry.  I thought it would be fun to try to find items (BEADS!) from Etsy that match the official Pantone color report for Fall 2011.

Without further ado...let's begin!


Large Hole Yellow Beads
photo credit: AngelasPaperArt


photo credit: meluna
photo credit: handmadebynancy

photo credit: FabulousRocks

photo credit: dreamgirlbeads

Deep Teal

photo credit: mksupplies

Coffee Liqueur

photo credit:  SoManyBeads

photo credit:  riversongrapture

Orchid Hush

photo credit: ManifestBeads


photo credit: ForElephant

Saturday, August 20, 2011

We're Cooking!

If you read this previous post, you will know what I mean when I say "Bead Soup."  It's not a recipe or any kind of kitchen concoction; no, it's a concoction of some creative minds.  I've been hopping around already to the different blogs where bead soup is being stirred, and I am excited to see the final creations.  For that, I will have to wait until September 17.  Until then, I've got some bead soup of my own to throw together.

If you recall, last week I showed you a skewed picture of the beads I sent to my bead soup partner, Christa Murphy.  I am really enjoying getting to know Christa, as we are emailing back and forth about our bead selections.  Here are some pics of the beads I sent to Christa.

The Bead Soup Mystery Pic
The Bead Soup from me to Christa... revealed

We both wanted to challenge each other with colors we don't normally work with.  We both like blues and greens, so those were "off limits!"  I sent her peachy pinks and Vintaj brass; and she sent me yellow and copper.  I love the beads Christa sent me!  Here they are, this is my bead soup I will use to create a piece or 2 for the blog hop...

I will remind you, but be certain to come back on September 17 to see the final reveal.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Special Visitors

"Wow, Mom, it's like the queen is coming!!"  My youngest son said, as he watched me pull out my "good" plates and the "fancy" glasses.  My oldest son was catching the excitement too, taking pictures of food and tidying his room.

bruschetta    (photo taken by oldest son)

Youngest son...waiting for the visitors to arrive!

Well, it wasn't a visit from royalty...but it was an eagerly anticipated visit nonetheless.  We were preparing to host Anneliese, a friend from Canada whom I knew only from blogging and emailing.  More about that here.  She and Lovella, who blogs here, traveled together on a book tour to promote this cookbook:  Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  They both came to our house last weekend for dinner.

Yes, that's right....the authors of a cookbook came to my house for dinner...only slightly intimidating!  But Anneliese told me "not to fuss", but of course I fussed!  If I don't bring out the good plates and fancy glasses for them, just exactly what event am I holding out for? 

My family was all excited to meet these ladies.  I had met Anneliese and Lovella already the night before our dinner, so I was now eager for my family to meet them as well.  It's kind of a difficult concept to explain...yeah, see I met these people on the internet, and they seem really nice, so why don't we invite perfect strangers into our home? 

As it turns out, we have made friends for life in these two women.  Wow, what a fun and wonderful time we had with them.  So fun, in fact, that we decided to go out with them again the next night as well!  They had a book signing at Barnes & Noble that we attended. 

Anneliese and Lovella, you weren't here nearly long enough for my liking.  But I am grateful for the short time we had together this past weekend.  A suspicion that I had was confirmed.   Yes, it's true, we would be friends if we lived closer.  But since we don't, we will continue to be friends across the miles, and I'll be forever grateful that a google search for "Russian Mennonite recipes" several years ago led me to you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party

Anyone notice the Bead Soup Blog Party button on the right side of my blog?  I'm taking part in something that, before now, I only admired from afar.  I am taking a risk and climbing outside of my comfort zone. 

This blog hop is hosted by the fabulous jewelry designer Lori Anderson.  In a nutshell, first you get paired with another beader.  Then you send each other a mixture of beads ("bead soup", get it?) and create something from it.  Finally on the blog hop day, you post a picture of your creation and then hop around to other designers' blogs to see what they have created. 

I'm excited!  For now, this is all I can show you.  These are the beads that I am sending to my partner, Christa Murphy

Yeah, I know, sorry about that.  I'll see if I can get the photo to come out more clear next time!  HA! 

You will have to wait until September 17 to see what Christa makes with these mystery beads I am sending to her!  When I get my beads from Christa, I can show you a picture of them.  BUT I cannot reveal what I make with them until September 17 as well. 

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Imaginery Friend

How many of you had a pen pal when you were little?  I did, and her name was Kris Weaver from St Paul, MN.  Do you know how many Kris Weaver's there are on facebook??  Believe me, I've tried to find her again, but to no avail.  I also had a pen pal from France, Cyril Salvagnac.  Last time I heard from him (early 1990's), he was putting together a band and thought he might visit sometime.  Hmmm....

All of that was before the internet.  Now with the internet, it's lots easier to stay in touch with people.  People you know and then people you don't know too.  I mostly keep in touch with people I know, it's safer that way! 

Meet the exception:

This is my modern day pen pal, Anneliese.  She is a contributor to the popular blog called Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  A couple years ago, I started reading the MGCC blog.  I noticed that the cooks also had their own personal blogs.  I started reading Anneliese's blog and immediately sensed a connection with this woman who lived in a different country.  She struck me as a person with whom I would be friends, if we lived closer.  I began leaving comments on her blog, and at that time, I didn't have a blog, so she emailed me with her replies/comments at times.  Time passed, and our friendship grew.  I still crack up that, at first, she wondered who this man was leaving comments on her blog!  My username is "Menno Jeweler" (more on that here), and she thought my real name was Menno.  Funny!

So, anyway...this is a long story because it needs an explanation!  Anneliese and I began to joke about visiting each other someday, actually meeting in person.  I could only hope!  Then one thing led to another, she and her fellow MGCC bloggers wrote a cookbook, which was published by Herald Press who just happened to move to an office near..... my hometown! 

So guess who's coming to visit me tomorrow??  I can hardly believe that I will finally get to meet, in person, my "imaginery friend" Anneliese!  It's surreal, and I realize, a bit strange and difficult to grasp.  As if that's not enough, another one of the MGCC authors is coming with her, Lovella!  I will meet them both!  AND they are coming to my house for dinner on Friday night!!   

Lovella is on the left, Anneliese is on the right
(both pics borrowed from Anneliese's blog)

Needless to say, I am eager and excited and a little nervous.  But mostly I'm just thrilled to finally meet my friend Anneliese, who will no longer be imaginery!

If you live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, you too can meet Lovella and Anneliese!  Go to this blog for information on a schedule of book signings they will be doing.  The cookbook will be sold at these locations, or you may bring your previously purchased book to be signed.  They will also be traveling to Lancaster, PA for a book signing before heading back up to Canada.