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


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 Jan 2010 Archive Page

Feb. 1 Gosh darn it. I have the worst memory right now. We moved Keegan's piano lessons to Mondays at 5 p.m. and I just forgot again! I think this is the 3rd time! I'm so bummed out. Plus at $25 a pop, it is like throwing money down the drain. When will I learn?

So.. I posted a note but just to let you know that I will be out of commission starting this Thursday until Feb. 16th. If you need anything, snag it now.

This pic cracks me up. The saying "dog pile" seems to work perfectly here!

Jan 30th: I love Saturday's. Nothing like sleeping in and having a leisure morning. Although.. I sit here looking at 3 laundry baskets of clothes that have to be put away (did I ever mention that I HATE doing laundry?). I'm going to make that on the top of my list of things to do today. Although, I've been listening to some awesome digital books on my ipod and it is so much easier to do housework listening to a great book.

My beady friend Lori Anderson (who is in charge of the Bead Soup swap) mentioned this book series on her blog and I can't believe that I've never heard of them before. It is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. They are incredible. I finished the 2nd book last night and it was such a cliff hanger. I was so glad I got in late on the series because I was able to start book 3 right away to find out what happened. The first thing that went through my mind is that if I had to wait a few years to see what was going to happen, that would be down right painful!

Sorry about not having a lot of the rings listed on Etsy. I had a bead friend buy 8 of them. But I did list some of the heart beads with the vertical holes on Etsy last night.

Jan 27th: Just listed some rings on etsy that were left over in my inventory at reduced prices. Nothing much else to report here. Caiden stayed home from school for a sick day today but he seems to be feeling much better. It is COLD again but that isn't anything new.

I also did a made to order listing on Etsy for the small hearts with the vertical holes.(just click on the photo) And I have about 8 hearts baking in my kiln that I made today. So I will get those posted over on Etsy tomorrow if I am productive:-)They are just so bloomin cute and I'm addicted to making them right now.

Jan. 26th: I got a fun package in the mail yesterday.... The early copies of the latest Step By Step Wire Magazine Feb/March 2010 issue. I have a tutorial in there on how to make a Heart Bangle Bracelet using lampwork beads and 12 gauge silver wire, and a brass screw set as a clever way to assemble it. As usual, I will offer the lampwork beads for sale for $28 and the kit that includes all of the required supplies for $50. You can also purchase the actual magazine over at too.

So head over to the boutique page here or to find the goodies.

Jan. 24th: So a quick update on the Bead Soup Swap that I'm participating in. My partner for the swap is Melissa Meman. I sent her some of my lampwork beads a week ago and she mailed me a really nice selection of beads in return. She doesn't make lampwork beads and in this case, it is a plus as it forces me to work with something different than I normally would. That can always be a good thing to explore and try new things. The focal bead is a ceramic pendant, and then there is a great selection of other beads including yummy green heishi pearls, agate, carnelian flower, green opal, and a bronze clasp, charm and spacers.

I played around with them a tad today and as of right now, have decided to make a bracelet with the loot. I might add one of my lampwork beads but not sure yet. I always work in bright colors so these organic colors are always a challenge for me when it comes to making lampwork beads so I think I will just let this fine collection of beads speak for itself. The big reveal on on Feb 10th but I think I will be needing to do my reveal earlier than that. Just click on the photo for a link to her blog.

And... I will probably have some more of the 15mm hearts posted in Etsy tomorrow.

Jan 23rd: Today was the annual Pinewood Derby race for Keegan and Connor's cub scouts. This is the biggest scouting event of the year and the boys just love it. It was a really fun day with highs and one big low. Both of the boys did great in the initial races and I think out of 60+ cars, Keegan placed 2nd and Connor placed 8th. The top 16 go onto the finals. There were some great fast cars and it was a fun battle. Keegan ended up placing 3rd place and Connor ended up in 9th place. And this is where the big divide took place. Keegan was in high heaven and got a trophy and the top 8 kids get to move on to district competition.

So poor Connor ended up in some major tears as only the top 8 got trophies. So he just missed getting a trophy and doesn't get to go to district competition unless someone above him declines to go. And... to add insult to injury...Keegan also won a trophy for best modern design. That came out of left field. So here is Keegan with 2 trophies and poor Con ends up with nothing. It is so hard to lose to your older brother. I was glad that my niece and nephew were having a birthday party tonight because it was a great transition and helped Connor to forget about the big loss which wasn't really a big loss when compared to all the other kids that competed but you know how that goes.

So here is a pic of my cute boys and then the other photo is of my fun girlfriends that I get to hang out with once a week. I'm all the way on the right for those of you who don't know what I look like:-) We are missing my wonderful friend Ilyse and then another friend Annette. But this is a great group of girls. Our kids have played on the same soccer team for the past 3 years and have been in scouts together too. We meet once a month for coffee after we drop the kids off at school and just planned a dinner outing in a few days. Besides being a great group of girls to laugh and play with, they are an awesome resource for school things. Some have older kids which is awesome for questions about middle school where Keegan will be starting next year and between all of us, we keep each other informed and on top of school things that we wouldn't know otherwise. I'm very grateful to have them. I wish my green coat wasn't covering the cute t-shirt I have on. Jennifer (sitting next to me) gave it to me for my birthday. It is hot pink and a retro pic of the Candyland Game with all the sweet pickins. It is totally me!

Jan. 19th: Can I just say my hubby rocks? He is so sweet. For my birthday last week, he had gotten me a Ed Hardy long sleeve shirt that had a similiar design as my pink Ed Hardy Helmet. Except, it was a little tight in the shoulders. So he returned it and they didn't have the next size up so I told him to just forget it and I'm sure while we are at Disney I will find some cute shirts that I want. So today the UPS guy delivered a box to me. Inside were 2 black Ed Hardy Shirts with lots of bling and rhinestones! Oh, yea... they rock and are 1,000 times cooler than the other shirt. I love them. It just doesn't seem normal for a hubby to pick out cool clothes for his wife but this guy rocks. He totally got me awesome stuff for Christmas too. Which is great because it is things that I love but would not normally treat myself too. The funny thing is that he balks at spending more than $15 for a shirt for himself and it seems strange that he doesn't bat an eye when he buys me clothes that cost more than $10!

So tonight was lots of fun. Jean came over for round two and we made the rockin bezel rings that will be taught at Bead Fest. They turned out awesome! She is doing such a great job and after making the bezels last month, these rings were a breeze for her. Her soldering is top notch and she really has a great knack for metal smithing. We made 2 rings and I should have taken a photo of the 2nd ring. Not sure what I was thinking. But here is the first one we made. I love this cab bead. I started making the cabs a tad smaller so that it leaves more rim of the silver showing for the ring. Thanks Jean for a fun night. You're awesome!

Jan 18th: I'm so glad that it is bedtime! Days off with no school are a lot of work with 3 kids. Without mentioning the fighting and bickering that goes on amoung them, there was a trip to Chucke Cheese, time spent at my parents, a birthday party for one of the boys, and a trip to Target to finally buy a new vacuum cleaner that I have been avoiding for many many months. It got good reviews so lets hope it is better than the last one that I paid top dollar for and never really worked great after about 6 months.

It is such a boring purchase! I couldn't even get excited and take it out of the box. It is sitting in the garage. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel like vacuuming. I better though as I have Jean coming back over tomorrow night for a private lesson on how to make the Rockin Bezel Rings that I will be teaching a class on at Bead Fest Wire in April. It will be a fun night. As long as she doesn't look at my carpet if I don't get the gumption to drag the vacuum out of the box!

A few more hearts.

Jan 17th: It has been a busy week. I had a birthday (boo!) and went out for a date night with hubby last night. We went and saw the movie Up in the Air. Part of it was filmed here in St. Louis this past summer. It was good but kind of strange. I really didn't like the ending and it felt like you were left depressingly hanging. I know all movies don't need to have a feel good ending but it is still nice.

Tiny hearts... aren't they cute? They are smaller at 15mm tall. Valentines is around the corner! I've listed a few new things in my Etsy store.

Jan. 10th: Thank you for all the well wishes from my ski trauma. I'm feeling much better today. I'm still sore but don't feel like lieing in bed as much as I have been doing. I didn't think I had spent so much time in bed but when I was in the kitchen this morning hubby and I were bumping elbows fighting over a certain countertop space and I told him this was my space and he replied "no, your space is in the bedroom right now!". I had to laugh because I realized then he was right.

Connor told me earlier that I must be really desperate as I cleaned the snow off of the hot tub and hopped in it today with temps in the teens. It was a dreamy 105 degrees when I got in. It felt great!

Better late than never I guess. I had the best intentions to post this earlier but there is still time until the end of tonight to sign up to participate. My friend Lori Anderson is hosting a Bead Soup Party. It is a bead swap sign up where you are paired up with another participant to swap beads and make a piece of jewelry with the swap.

Then Feb. 1st is the big reveal and everyone hops around to the blogs of all the participants to see what was created.

So if you are reading this today Sunday, Jan 10th and you have a blog, go sign up. It'll be fun!

Jan 8th: Well yesterday's snow day was a disaster. We only got about 3" of snow over night and the roads seemed pretty clear so I decided to take the kids up to to Hidden Valley Ski to get our passes processed. It was really cold about 15 degrees but people were saying how good the slopes were because of the fresh snow so I decided to take the boys skiing. All started out grand. It was Caiden's first time to ski and I took him on the tiny bunny slope and he did fantastic. My parents were kind enough to come and pick him up after a bit so that I could take the big boys on the ski lift since we won't let them ride the chairs by themselves.

So all was fine and we did one run. Except it was FREEZING and the wind chill was in the minus area. Going down the second time was where it all went downhill (no pun intended. ha!) Connor was a little rusty on the skiis and it was still really icy at the top of the hill so I was going slow in front of him to show him the path. Then out of no where with zero inclination I get slammed in the back by what felt like a bullet train. I went flying in the air and while I was in the air I immediately thought that my back was broke. I heard cracking.

Some little kid was out of control and had to be going at full speed when she hit me. She had told my son Connor that she had never skiied before and I know with all that ice and being at the top of the hill where it was the steepest, she had time to get going at record speed before plowing into me. I guess no one told her to just fall or sit down if that happens since she has zero clue how to stop on her own.

So after the initial shock, I begin to think that I was okay. Just sore. I could move everything. Ski patrol came wanting to put me on the board and ski me down and send me to the ER. YUCK! I so did not want to do that. But they kept telling me better to be safe than sorry. I couldn't decide what to do so of course, a gal (me) calls her parents and my mother told me to let them treat me because it would prevent a fight with my insurance company if there are future issues and I had declined treatment.

My 11 year old was already at the bottom of the hill (poor kid) and he saw me get hit but he had to wait about 20-30 min while all this was going on. I sent Connor down to the bottom with him and told them to wait in the lodge and my mom would come and get them. So they get the board and lie me flat and I got all tied down and skiied to the bottom, then hooked onto a snow jet ski and dragged to their medical room and then transferred to an ambulance to the ER. So bless my parents souls as mom watches the kids and my dad comes to the hospital. Where is Randy in all this mess? On an airplane coming home from California with no clue until he gets off the plane and sees phone messages from my mom and text messages from me saying "not to worry". So of course he worries thinking we are lieing to him.

So after many hours of stress and anguish, neck brace, and back boards, they take chest and neck x-rays, and nothing is broken thank goodness. I was sent home with scripts for muscle relaxer and ibuprofen. Dad took me to go get my car from the ski place and Randy drove home from the airport and picked the kids up from my parents. They beat me home and the kids latched onto me and didn't let go all night and most of today. I think they were pretty shaken up. Can't say I blame them. I was just so thankful that the gal hit me instead of Connor.

So today I am extremely sore. My back is sore but my neck is really tender. Even the front of my neck is tender to the touch. I'm glad I went ahead and went to the hospital because as sore as I am today, I would be thinking something was wrong and probably ended up at the hospital anyway. It helps knowing it is all just a strain.

The kids were off school again today because of the record low temps which ended up being a good thing because I was supposed to speak to the 4th and 5th graders first thing this morning for career day to represent the artist career path. I think it would have been difficult to pull off 6 fifteen minute presentations with being this sore and banged up.

Jan. 6th: Our first snow day of the season will be tomorrow. I'm glad they already called it off so we don't get one of those wake you out of your sleep 5 a.m. phone calls saying school had been canceled. It's a shame it is so bloomin cold though. Doesn't make me want to go outside to go sledding. Although I doubt it will keep the boys inside.

I had a special order a few weeks ago trying to incorporate both the names of daughters and grandkids on a necklace. I came up with stamping the daugther names on the flat silver circle and then on the domed part, I stamped all of the grandkids names and soldered it all together and added a red lampwork heart to tie it all together. It turned out really cute.

Jan 4th: Happy New Year and HAPPY HAPPY ME the kids are back in school! As fun and wonderful as break was I'm so ready to be back on a routine. If anything just to stop celebrating by eating. It was starting to get way out of control.

But most importantly for today, Happy Birthday Hubby. Yep, today is his birthday which equated to more celebrating but without food. Poor guy had to have a salad for dinner as I refused to cook anything fattening after all the eating we have been doing. There is a Disney Cruise coming in 1 month and we gotta fit in our swimming suits! Thank goodness for something warm to look forward too. It has just been down right freezing. Right now it is 6 degrees but it feels like -7 degrees. It has been cold like this for a week and there is no end in sight.

And... while I'm whining about the weather... can I just say that I'm really getting tired of the post office raising rates AGAIN! I went to print a shipping label and the cost was more than normal. I thought I had entered the wrong weight but no, after a Google search I had the pleasure to discover that they raised rates again and I can no longer count on a package that weighs 1 lb or less costing an across the board $4.95.