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




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This is the November 2010 Archive Page


November 30th: It's a few minutes shy of midnight. Close enough to call it November 30th. Wow, can you believe that?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was exceptionally good this year. My mother out did herself on a super fine dinner. It was just one of those fun days where we merrily enjoyed each other's company, sat around looking at Black Friday Ads planning our attack, and letting the kids run wild while we sat back in our chairs complaining about how we overindulged. It even snowed huge flakes that were quite beautiful. But the snow flakes had stiff competition as they were up against these adorable cookies that my mom made. Every single one got gobbled up that night.

Many of you know that we love Black Friday. It is a tradition to go shopping on this day every year. The deals are great but honestly, it's more about all the fun we have living up the experience. We have such incredible memories and hysterical stories that can only come from an adventure like Black Friday. Last year, mom and I never even went to bed and this year was just the same. All the stores seem to open earlier and earlier.

Toys R Us had a sale starting at 10 p.m. So my mother, brother, sister-in-law, and my cousin started off the night at 8:45 standing in line. The line was huge already and we were pretty far back. This was my cousin's first year to experience the thrill of Black Friday. She was a blast and you would have never known she was a newbie. She came prepared with her list, ads, chairs, and thank goodness for blankets as it was just darn cold!!!! 24 degrees cold!

So after a successful run at Toys R Us, we headed over to go see the Harry Potter movie at an 11:20 showing. My mom, brother, and SIL hadn't seen it yet. Angie and I had. The movie got out a tad before 2 a.m. and then we headed over to Target. It opened at 4 a.m. This is a pic of us spending 2 hours in line waiting for it to open. I don't think we could have made it without the blankets. We had a ball though and the 2 hours really passed by very quickly. Angie and I couldn't feel our toes but no big deal right? Target had some pretty good sales and we had fun filling up the shopping carts. Although, when I look at these pics I just feel the brisk air. YUCK!

Then we went to Walmart, over to Sam's Club, to Border's at the mall, to a local independent toy store.... then to IHop for an incredible breakfast (this is tradition too) and then we had to run back to Toys R Us and finally arrived home around 9:30 a.m. We had sooooo much fun and I really just about have all of my shopping done. Just a few things here and there but they are easy ones.

So anyhoo...that was my big adventure on shopping and now it is 12:25 a.m. and it really is Nov. 30th.

Nov. 19th: We went to go see the Harry Potter movie last night. We had tickets for a 7:25 show but when we got there 35 min early, the line was soooo backed up that we were worried that we wouldn't even be able to find enough seats for the family to sit together. So we swapped out for the 8:35 show and was 3rd in line. Oh the anticipation as we settled down into our perfect seats eagerly awaiting the movie to begin. Oh poor Caiden as we drug him along he kept complaining that I am a Harry Potter addict and that he had absolutely no desire to see Harry Potter as Harry Potter "sucks". I guess you can tell he has older brothers as his language does not always model that of a 6 year old.

The movie was pretty intense with lots of action. I loved it. The big boys enjoyed it but I often saw Connor with his coat buried over his eyes adverting a scary moment. It has some good humor sprinkled through out but was pretty dark. A huge contrast from the very first movie in the series. I want t see it again so might have to wrangle up my mother or my other movie buddy that is also a Harry Potter fan to see it a second time!

I thought I would tempt you with a viewing of the new bracelet kit I have designed. I'm just waiting for more of the supplies to arrive and then I need to get it all packaged up and the directions written. Even though these aren't my normal colors, they are so striking together and the lampwork beads have a beautiful sheen like a soft early morning view of a lake with no ripples or activity. The type that makes your body inhale a deep breath and soak in its undisturbed beauty as it shines like glass.

November 18th: I've started to write several times this week but found that I was just in survival mode and didn't have much to write about. Hubby was gone with work for an entire week and I just focused on juggling the 3 kids and doing orders. We had an action packed kids' weekend though and the kids loaded up on having friends over to play, going to friend's houses to play, running around shopping etc. I don't think there was any down time. Then of course there was something going on every evening. I even had a girls night dinner out and I drug 2 of the kids with me. I had them sit at a seperate table right next to us because by that time, I was ready for some girl time and there was no way I was going to miss out on the fun. Thankfully, I had just bought the latest installment of the Diary of the Wimpy Kid book and Connor sat there for the 2 hours and read and finished that book. So he was a happy camper.

I finally designed a new bracelet for a kit. The colors are totally different from my normal style but it just seems perfect for the season. It is one of those glammer pieces that just shines and sparkles and just makes you want to sit and admire it. I keep picking it up to fondle and love on it. I need to take photos but the sun hasn't been shining for the past few days. I guess I'm going to have to break down and use the light box to take pics. I just don't think they turn out as well as using natural sunlight.

In the mean time, here is a necklace made with onion shape mystic blue quartz gemstones that I listed on Etsy. I made it late in the summer but am just now getting around to lisiting it. It was really hard to photograph and I had to do a few different sessions to try and get some decent pics.


Nov. 12th: Hope everyone is having a nice weekend. We had a fun adventure after school today looking at skateboards that Keegan wants for Christmas and then dinner out with my parents. They gave the boys $10 each and so of course we had to head over to Target afterwards to go shopping. Caiden was sooooo excited. He picked out a $5 transformer toy and a $4 Tron movie car and life was good. My kids are so blessed to have such wonderful grandparents. When you envision all of the sugar and spice and what a grandparent should be like, then you have my parents. Especially my mother. She is a true dream with these kids and one of the primary reasons we have stayed in St. Louis vs. moving off to the beach where both hubby and I would LOVE to live.

So I listed the silver heart that I made the other day with the lampwork heart on top over at Etsy. This is a photo of a custom bracelet that I made but I've also listed it over on Etsy so that duplicates can be ordered if you are at all inclinded to do so. This bracelet is LOADED with silver. It is at the point that if the silver market keeps rising like predicted, then it could be an investment piece too!

November 11: Have you guys found the latest issue of the Best of Step By Step Wire 2010 issue yet? It hit the stands not too long ago. Cindy Wimmer from SweetBeadStudio.com got the cover. I LOVE the necklace she created. It is awesome! I looked at both Borders and JoAnn's craft store and it wasn't there yet. Guess I will try to find myself a copy this weekend.

November 9: For the 3rd time since June, little Caiden has strep throat AGAIN. This one really knocked him out. He slept off and on all afternoon and then fell asleep at 5 p.m. and slept until this morning!

Man you guys, what are we going to do? The cost of silver is going crazy. Over the weekend, I had some silver in a shopping cart. Silver was around $26.50/oz. I was going to place the order on Sunday night but wasn't 100% positive I had everything I wanted and decided to just wait till Monday and even had the thought that maybe the silver price would drop when the markets open. Ha, it went up about 60 cents and then today I saw that it went up again since yesterday. So it is almost $1 more per ounce than even over the weekend. So very frustrating.

So I figured, I had better start using up the supplies that I have on hand (and let me tell you it is quite a buffet here as I seem to have a lot of everything!).

I went on a gemstone buying kick over a year ago but haven't ever really done anything with them. So I pulled the box out and made a few goodies that I just posted on Etsy. These just "feel right" for the cooler weather. Although, I did find it amusing that here in St. Louis (which is always freezing in the winter) that I'm walking the dog this morning wearing flip flops. The temps are supposed to reach 77 degrees today.

Anyhoo... I guess it is time for everyone to grab into that large stash of accumulated beads and try to use up inventory to help raise money to pay for silver supplies! Which reminds me... the stainless steel head pins I sell are a great alternative. They are a bit darker than silver but really nice quality and won't cost you a fortune.

November 6: I love the fact that we get an extra hour of sleep tonight. I have total mixed feeling though about it getting darker so early in the evening now though. But, when I was driving Keegan to school on Friday it was still dark outside. He got out of the car at 7 a.m. and as I watched him walk into school, I couldn't help think that this is all wrong. It feels like 9 p.m. at night. The kids shouldn't have to start school before the sun has even come up. So in that sense, I will be happy that he won't be going to school without any day light.

Hey, do you guys have scrap silver sitting around that is left over pieces from wire wrapping, silver stampings gone bad, etc. The price of silver is at an all time high. I bagged up and shipped to Rio Grande about 1 lb and 3 oz of a combo of fine and sterling silver. I about fell over when I got the email saying they were giving me a credit of $342. WOW!!! Talk about a sweet treat!!

It is so easy to do. Just print out the scrap metals form off of Rio's website. Bag up your silver (fine and sterling can be in the same bag), weigh it to get an approximate weight, and ship it off. Rio will also do a cash payout but if you choose store credit, you get 10% more in value. It only took about 5 - 6 days including shipping to get the email with the details.

Man, on the down side of silver costing so much, it is just about pricing a lot of people out of the market. It is hard to make nice inexpensive quality jewelry when the price of silver is so high. The common population hasn't yet shifted their mind set that silver is now expensive and that jewelry should reflect this. There is a big movement now to using copper in jewelry. I have to admit that when the copper is given a patina finish, it looks pretty darn cool. So I tried my hand and fabricated a copper heart and posted it over on Etsy. I soldered on a hammered silver strip, and hung some patinaed silver chain and handmade silver domed discs to spice up the design.

The following design came before the copper heart. I made up a heart pattern and used a jeweler's saw to cut out the sterling silver heart. Then it had to be filed to remove the rough edges. I punched a hole on each side and attached a lampwork heart with silver wire. But, as I was saying, the cost of silver is so high so the heart doesn't come cheap.

November 2: I have a confession.... I did some Christmas shopping today. YIKES! Maybe it was all of the holiday songs you hear in each and every store that finally got to me. I popped into Toys R Us looking for a certain Transformer toy that is in the holiday catalog. Caiden has been talking about it since the book came in the mail and I figured it was important enough that I had better get it now. Then I ended up buying a handful of other things that were on sale and I knew the kids wanted. It just seemed easier then fighting the crowds and the lack of inventory. I figure I can always return them and better to be safe than sorry but I was also mad at myself as I swore up and down that this year I wouldn't buy anything until after Thanksgiving.

I guess at least I waited until after Halloween. As my neighbor as had her Christmas tree, her white Christmas lights, red bows, and reindeer out in her yard since the first week of October and YES! she turns the lights on every night. Can you just imagine the trick or treaters? Talk about the little ones getting confused on what holiday it really is.

I listed a few things over at Etsy. Still more goodies to add.