Cassie Donlen, lampworking, beads, jewelry, lampwork beads, glass, hoypoloi, glass beadle, glassbeadle




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Welcome to my News page. This is my little place to share life....a journal of sorts...dedicated to ramblings, observations, discoveries and cool new things. Find past postings in the Archive link above.












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This is the Sept 2009 Archive Page


Sept 30th: Good grief, is the area where you live doing the same thing? There are news reports that St.Louis hospitals are setting up tents in the parking lot to accomodate the ER over flow for swine flu patients! Yikes, that sounds scary. I think they are saying it is just precautionary but MO isn't one of the states that they list in the US that has wide spread swine flu. It looks like it is coming though as I'm hearing more and more about so and so having the swine flu. The boys had swim tonight at the YMCA. We have been taking Caiden up there to play in the kids area that he loves while we work out, but tonight I stayed home with Caiden as we figure the germs are there and less likely of a chance for him to get sick if he doesn't go. I hate this time of year and having to worry about getting sick. I know this year is worse than previous years but it still is no fun. I miss the pool and the lazy river!

So are you guys surprised that I've been true to my word and posting every day? I know I am. Just hope I don't run out of things to talk about! ha! I doubt that though as there is always something in this world that just needs to be discussed! Make sure to keep checking out Etsy as I've been doing good there too and listing at least one item every day.

Sept. 29th: You could really feel the chill in the air today. The leaves are starting to turn and that means crummy cold weather is not far off. I hate to admit it but I even bought some Christmas presents last Friday. I went to Toys R Us to do a return and just wandered around the store for no reason. They had a sign up at the Lego area that was buy 2 legos and get the 3rd one free. SCORE! My middle child and youngest LOVE Legos. Can't get enough of them. The only downside was that the Star War legos wasn't in the deal. But for that savings, I couldn't not buy any and set them aside for Christmas and Connor actually is celebrating his 10 year old birthday in a few weeks so they will be used for that too. I was pretty excited about my find!

I made another few beads including the pink and black hollow bead with the stuffed seed beads again. I just liked the beads and couldn't resist. I turned them into a pendant.


Sept. 28th: What a fun action packed weekend. We had a soccer game on Friday night, 2 on Saturday morning, and then we went to the science fair at the local high school and then to an action packed 5th annual BBQ contest at our local town center. That was crazy. It was soooo crowded and the most people that we have ever seen in the town center. I was just amazed. The party lasted for 2 days and there was some awesome BBQ to be eaten. We went there once at lunch time and then went back later that evening in search of some ribs. I got the last half slab I think in all the booths on Saturday night. As we walked around eating them, people kept asking us where we got the ribs because they couldn't find any. I don't think they anticipated so many people and that was even with all the rain we had on Saturday. It didn't seem to stop the crowds.

I mentioned that I would post a photo of my early anniversary present and here it is. Something most people would not get excited about but I saw this helmet when hubby was looking at the Harleys. We went back to buy it and it had sold a few days earlier. I guess they have discontinued making them and it was getting harder and harder to find them in my size. Bless hubby's soul. He knew how bad I wanted that helmet and he made lots and lots of phone calls until he tracked down one for me.

I'm a total pink girl (as if you guys haven't figured that out by now!) and love the skulls and cross bones and I really like the Ed Hardy designs. So this helmet has it all! It is pink with the skulls and designed by Ed Hardy with his signature tatoo design on the helmet. Check out the box it came in also. Very eye catching don't you think? I don't really plan to ride much with hubby but when I do, I wanted to wear that girly pink helmet! A fun fashion statement don't you think?


Sept 25th: Whew... another week that has flown by once again. I haven't gotten my one Etsy item posted yet. I think I paid for a showcase slot for tomorrow so I better get some items posted or it won't be worth my advertising money! I didn't get a chance to take photos yesterday and now I'm behind. But... I did get the directions written for the vintage bottle cap bracelet last night. So I'm guessing that I will have the kits ready the first part of next week. I just need to take inventory of my bottle caps. I know I have loads of the Coke one but I'm not sure how many I have of the blue bottle cap. I might have to offer some other color choices but I have a lot of other really cool ones so it won't be a big love loss.

So, I don't think I have shared with you my hubby's new toy. I'm still kind of surprised that he got this as I swore up and down that there would be no way as long as the kids are young that he could have one. I guess I softened over time and as hubby is the first to admit it, I pretty much pushed him to buy something that he has really wanted! So I'll just share a pic with ya and you'll get the idea.

Yep, that new Harley is sitting in our driveway. I must admit that it is a beautiful bike. I guess we have had it for almost 3 weeks now. It hasn't seen a lot of road miles and now that the weather will be getting colder, it won't get as much use but it is a fun conversation piece and opens up a whole new world.

And.... just wait till I show you what he got me for an early anniversary present. It is soooooooo cool! I gotta take a pic though so that will come later.

Sept. 24th Wow, where is this week going? I just can't believe how fast the days fly by while the kids are in school. I've been staying busy working and I've been motivated to stay on the torch as I started listening to the Lord Of The Rings on audio cassette. I read the books about 10 years ago and have seen the movies multiple times but I must say it is fun listening to the book because it has been long enough that I don't remember all the extra details that weren't included in the movie. I always love it when I get a get audio book.

I just finished listening to Ken Follets two books called "The World With out End" and "Pillars of the Earth". They are very very long books (and have more passion than I would like) but I loved the stories and found myself listening to them on my ipod even when I wasn't making beads. I'm still a member of audible.com and I think I have about 4 credits sitting there waiting to be used. So anyone have any MUST READS THAT ARE INCREDIBLE? Not just pretty good but really really good. Shoot me an email if ya have a good suggestion.

I just got done writing an article for Art Jewelry Magazine on how to make these domed silver beads. But, you won't see it in print for at least 6 months and likely longer.


Sept. 23rd: I have a great find for you guys. I know in the past that I have posted photos of belt buckles that my dearest friend Joan has made for me and then a few I had made for myself (thanks to Joan showing me the way). Anyway.... they are incredibly beyond cool and they look sooooo good on. I get loads of compliments when I wear mine and they totally make your outfit. Joan just finally opened up her Etsy shop to start selling these buckles. You gotta go check them out. You will love them. Just click on her banner below to visit her store. OH!! She is having a buy 1 get one 50% off this week!

Joan LaBue Buckles

Do you know that our crawdad and tad pole that we brought home from the creek the first part of August is still alive?! The tadpole still shows no sign of growing legs yet and the crawdad is growing like a weed. It is so fun to watch him eat. I throw a shrimp pellet in the water right by his claws and he will grab it and eat it right then and there. He is so spoiled. Really has no reason to come out from under his rock since the food is dropped right by him!

Sept. 22: True to my word, I'm still listing at least one new item a day on my ETSY store. I even designed a new banner today. I was really hating the one that was on there.

Not much else to report here. I get to go help in Caiden's kindergarten class this morning. I can't wait!!! It should be lots of fun. He seems to be doing really well. His fine motor skills are still a big issue as his handwriting is horrible. But this is the first time over the past few weeks that he will sit down and let me work with him without having a big knock down dragged out fight. He gets OT twice a week in school so hoping between that and then me working with him about 20-30 min a night, we can gain some ground.

Here is a pic I took of Dobby when he would sit still for a brief second. He thinks he is pretty smart and has been learning how to get the gate open in the kitchen to roam the house. Which, would be a wonderful thing but Dobby has a stuffed animals and paper fetish. You let him out unatteneded and he is like a kid in the candy store grapping and chewing all sorts of things! So, he gets confined to the back part of the house which isn't a bad thing because that is where we are 90% of the time. I totally laugh if you say his "full name" Dobby Donlen. How cute is that? Well, for a dog but horrible if you were a child because that would be some fun pickins by other kids. Whenever he goes to the vet I get to use his full name!


Another weekend gone by. But we made the best of it and had a wonderful few days off. Saturday was the annual Great Balloon Race in Forest Park. It is really cool and there are supposed to be about 70 "hound" balloons that chase the Energizer Bunny. But sadly, the weather did not cooperate and they launched the balloons early and the energizer bunny takes a long time to blow up so he ended up getting grounded and not getting off the ground because of the incoming storm. Sigh.. but we had a great time and little Caiden loved seeing all the balloons.It was packed there with tons of people and activities going on. It is the 20th anniversary of the Energizer Bunny so they made a big deal out of that. The weather was wonderful but it was so cloudy from the incoming rain that it didn't make for good photos. I love the pic of the Remax balloon as it flew right over the top of our heads.

Two of the boys and I went to a few garage sales before soccer games on Saturday and we came home with a foosball table. So there has been some action there. That is "until Keegan cheated and then Connor gets made and quits the game." I'm sure that is a common occurance in all households with more than one kiddo! and a trip to go see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs toopped off the weekend.







Sept. 18th: Wow, my 3rd day in a row posting! How fun is that? This might be a record for me. You guys might get bored listening to me trying to come up with things to talk about! But, I have gotten some great feedback on those bottle cap bracelets and it looks like I will be for sure offering them as kits. I'm in the middle of meeting a dead line for writing a magazine article so after I get that completed I'll focus on getting the kits ready. And.. for those of you that "don't do kits" and just want the completed bracelet, I'll post it over on my boutique page to purchase.

So I took some better photos yesterday. I promise that I won't bore you every day with a pic of the item that I've made my goal to post on Etsy every day, but these are fun and so I thought I would share. I made some hollow beads and stuffed them with tiny seed beads. This isn't a new concept and I'm not sure why now it dawned on me to do this but for whatever reason here they are. I went ahead and wire wrapped them up so that the seed beads don't fall out but the wire can be trimmed and the stuffed beads can be used however you would like. These sets will be posted over at Etsy. Plus there are close ups of the stuffed hollow bead for a better look (find the link on my boutique page). Oops... the pink set is sold. I'll make duplicates if desired. The last photo of the black frog is a work in progress. I made a lampwork flower head pin with epoxy and had to wait for the expoy to cure so it will have to wait to be completed but it turned out really cute. I was thinking I was not going to like this frog bead when I put it in the kiln but he turned out really cute. So stay tuned for it to be listed.

And finally fun words from a 5 year old. Caiden has a funny sense of humor. We were in the car driving home from Connor's soccer practice last night and we were talking about the fact that my parents are in Disney World right now. Caiden mentioned that they are going to bring him back a toy. Connor said "I wonder what they are going to bring me." Caiden replied "they are bringing you a pink dress Connor!". Where did that come from? He thought he was so funny!.




Sept. 17th: The kids had a half day yesterday. They have one every month and the weather was fantastic. So my girlfriend and I packed up all the kids and went to a pumpkin farm and then to the playground for the afternoon. I love days like those.

My camera was not my friend last night. Sigh... I took some of the worst photographs I have ever taken. I have no clue what the problem was but I had about 4 items to take pics of and I had maybe 2 pics of one frog bead that I was able to make work. The rest went into the trash bin and I'll have to start over. Anyway... here is one of the frog beads that I mentioned. It's posted over at Etsy. I'll take pics this afternoon and try to get a few things listed this afternoon or tomorrow morning. My goal is one a day so at least I made my goal... right?!


Sept. 16: p.s. I have my dear friend Ann to thank for keeping me straight. If it wasn't for her, I would be telling you all that today is Monday (which by the way I did until she caught it:-) and that the last posting on a Wed I said was Monday. It made for some fun laughs for me and that is always a good thing! - and... come back tomorrow as I made some cute lampwork frog beads and a few stuffed hollow beads! Staying true to my word, I'll post them tomorrow on Etsy.

I have a new goal. I'm going to try to write on my blog every day (except weekends and that will be a maybe) and I'm going to try to list some sort of simple lampwork bead set or jewelry in my Etsy store every week day. That will be a steep goal for me as you all know that I only post once a week maybe twice a week if I'm doing really good!

So keep checking out my etsy store. You can find a link to it on my boutique page at the very top or just do a search under my name. Here is something that I listed last night. I love these silver domed beads. I haven't really had the time to work much in the metal smithing department lately so scoop this one up fast. (oops.. sorry. It is sold) They are so cool in jewelry designs. Below is a custom necklace that I made using these domed beads. You can order a duplicate of the necklace over at my Etsy store too!



Sept. 15th: Yuck, it's quarterly tax day and how appropriate. It is dreary and raining outside!

So I've had this huge bucket with boat loads of vintage bottle caps for a pretty long time just sitting there wanting my attention. I was thinking of using them for a new kit but can't decide. What do you guys think? I really need to make some new kits but can't keep focused long enough to do anything. I made this bracelet at the beginning of the summer. It uses 2 bottle caps that have different designs on the front and back. They are wired together. I used a doming block to give them their bubble shape. And... I even made fast and simple video for youtube on how to stamp and use a doming block last week! I just gotta get hubby to get it formated and uploaded. Something very low key as I did it myself because hubby was in California all last week and I didn't feel like waiting for my camera man to get home because I knew I wouldn't do it then! So hopefully within the week that will be posted.



And lastly, I'm going to try to make a commitment to myself to post a tad more on my news page. Let's see if I can pull that one off:-)

Sept 14th: Wow, what a fun busy weekend. All from going to the outdoor concert of the Brit Beat Band (who dress up like the Beatles and play their songs) which was a blast to 2 soccer games on Sat and then to the Clayton outdoor Art Fair, to another soccer game today and pizza with a group of our good friends. The weather was beautiful and it was just a really nice weekend.

I don't have anything bead related to report as I didn't get hardly any bead work done over the weekend. But things will start back up tomorrow.

In the mean time, here is a pic of Caiden sharing Dobby's bed. Crazy kid!


Sept. 9th: I started this post a few days ago and never got it finished! I kept thinking that when school starts, things would slow down. It hasn't! I think time goes by even faster. But I will say that it is so nice having my days free to work so that I can have my evenings free with the family. It's a good thing because between homework and at least one sort of activity every evening of the week, I wouldn't be getting any bead stuff done. I even hit a few garage sales this morning. There weren't a lot out there but the ones I went to were pretty good and I scored on some good things for the boys. I think I'll even set a few aside for Christmas.

The best garage sale item was a pogo stick. I had bought one this past spring at a garage sale and Keegan LOVED it. He played with it the entire day and then it broke and he was soooooooooo bummed out. I bought him a new one at the store but they are all made differently now and the foam was rubbing his legs raw and he couldn't use it. So today when I found one just like the first one that broke, I tried hard not to jump up and down with excitement!

Keegan had soccer practice tonight and had to study for a science test so I didn't give it to him because I knew it would kill him to not be able to play with it. I told him tonight that if he does well on his science test, I will have a very special treat for him. He wanted a hint, and I told him what I said above that he would jump up and down with excitment! That seems like a great hint for a pogo stick. He didn't think it was very good and wanted another hint. I didn't give him one. He is too smart and could figure it out.

I worked on a new necklace this past week. I had bought these silverplated stick beads which are really cool. Then I figured some lampwork beads kind of modeled after the sticks would look cool too. So I put them all together on a omega chain. If you like something that is different, very unique looking, and makes a statement, then this necklace is right up your ally. It feels great on and looks awesome on the neck. I love it. I planned to get it listed in the boutique tonight but it is almost midnight and I'm too tired so it will get posted tomorrow for $75.



Friday, Sept 4th: All I have to say is that time flies when you are having fun! My days are flying by and I still feel like I'm getting nothing done. I've been trying to exercise in the morning and then by the time I get done and cleaned up, it is 11:00 a.m. and then there are always distractions before I get started on bead stuff and before you know it, the time is 4 o clock and the bus will be arriving at any minute. My friend Ilyse and I walked again today for 1 hour and 40 min and logged another 6 miles. I think I chatted her ear off today but unlike last week, I'm not sore with shin splints and other aches from muscles that I never realized could hurt after not doing a thing for 3 months and then starting off big with a 6 mile walk!

I finally slowed down and posted the jewelry I was speaking about on my boutique page. I really want to play some more with this design. I'm finding my problems during the day is that I have beaders ADHD and I'm all over the board spending seconds here and there and not getting anything done! I have been busy adding new items to Tickle Me and have a new shipment arriving tomorrow of some more fun beading supplies and tools. Slow but sure I'm expanding the selection.