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


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This is the November 2011 Archive Page

11/26/11 I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. I've really enjoyed the down time and having the kids off school. Not looking forward to the daily grind again but the Christmas break will be here soon enough.

We had a nice turkey day with my parents. My brother and his family hosted dinner with my SIL's family so they weren't able to join us this year. It didn't stop my mother from going all out and doing the complete fixings. She is an incredible cook and we all heartily ate more than our fair share. Including desserts which included turkey cupcakes, pumpkin pie, and cherry pie.

Connor spent the night at my parents so that he could help my mom cook. That is totally his thing.

We headed out for Black Friday shopping but I totally have mixed feelings this year about the entire experience. This is a tradition and something that we look forward to every year. It is just fun and I laugh and giggle a thousand more times than I do on any other mother and daughter and other family members who choose to join us. This year all of the sales started early and it changed the entire dynamics. The strangest thing we discovered (thanks to my brother who had to work the next day and couldn't join us this year) is that almost every single Black Friday special was available on-line and before the stores even opened. Before we headed out the door, we had almost everything that was important to us already bought on-line. Then while sitting in line 1.5hours before Toys R Us opened, I used the iPad to buy other stuff that came available. It was the strangest thing. So by the time we headed into the store, all we really needed were low dollar dumb items. But it was still fun all the same and mom and I enjoyed ourselves all the same. By the time we got over to Walmart, they were already open and all the good deals had vanished into thin air. We bought simple stocking stuffer things that were not even on sale. Target is one of our favorite places for Black Friday but the line was one that I had never seen before. I swear it was 1/2 mile long of people waiting to get inside. We basically said screw it and sat in our car and driving around people watching until the store opened. After about 25 min, it had cleared out enough where we are able to walk inside. I grabbed the last 5 of the iTunes gift cards that were $20 for $25 and got a few other things and deals that I would have never bought on-line. We waited in line at least 1.5 hours to check out which was a record for us. Then it was off to iHop for a 3 a.m. breakfast before the other stores opened at 5 a.m.

So the early store openings totally changed the dynamics of this shopping tradition. It brought out all of the young kids. I swear every college aged kid and early 20's was out that night. There weren't near the amount of typical older ladies and mom's grabbing all the great deals. We were so out numbered. I remember the days of not even heading out for the evening until after 9 p.m. and staying out late was fun and the norm. Well this appealed to everyone in that age group. I don't have a problem with that but it made everything twice as crowded as normal and I'm sure the stores will continue with the tradition as their sales had to triple doing it this way. I have no idea what to expect for next year but thinking we will be doing all of our shopping on-line next year. Although, part of the fun is just getting out in the hussle so I'm sure we will still go to grab the feeling.

11/22/11 The holidays are upon us. It seems like I just blinked my eyes and they have arrived. I hope everyone has wonderful plans to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends. We will be going over to my parents house for the day. Then my Mom, sister-in-law, and I will head out for Black Friday shopping. Yippee!!! Except I'm having mixed emotions this year about the stores opening up so early. 10 p.m. That is just too early and doesn't give the employees or the shoppers time to enjoy Thanksgiving in a proper manner. Then the other side is happy that we won't have to camp outside at 3 a.m. when it is freezing cold. Although, those are some of my fondest memories of giggling and laughing so hard while not being able to feel my fingers and toes from the freezing cold.

So the basement and my workshop is getting closer and closer to being completed. The boys area needs to be cleaned up and then carpet installed. Hubby worked on installing a few doors last night and he still has to make the entertainment cabinet and do all of the trim work and the stairs but the end is in sight. I can't wait for the boys to have their own area to really spread out and be boys.

My area is almost done. Just a few odds and ends. I hung the grass wallpaper on one wall which was much easier than I expected and I love how it turned out. I set up another beading table and moved all of my beading stuff downstairs finally. Man that feels good to have everything in one area. While hubby was out of town, I moved my metal working table into his tiny little workshop and basically took that room over with all of my glass and bead storage. Poor guy didn't have a chance. I did clean him off an entire wood 8 foot shelf and gave him the area where my table used to be in the other part of the unfinished basement:-) So now it needs some decorating, a rug, and I want to get a cozy chair and table for the empty corner.

I've been working on a few new designs here and there between orders. I'll post photos soon. In the mean time, these are head pins that will be turned into toggles for a custom order and I also listed this bracelet and earrings over on Etsy the other day.

11/11/11 I love today's date BTW. Well, I'm back home and have spent several days trying to get back on track and caught up from being gone. My parents were gems watching the kids and carting them to and from school and their 400 activities in between. I've got to admit that the down time from being a taxi to my kids was really nice.

So the Bahama's was fabulous. Kim lives on the island of Abaco. It isn't very touristy and there are no fast food restaurants. I jokingly said I couldn't live there because there is also no Target or any department store! Kim had invited me to come teach and give her private lessons several months ago. We got all of the details worked out and then all of a sudden the date had arrived. Randy ended up going with me and gave me a fun companion to hang out in the afternoons and evenings. I had gotten to know Kim from FB and her buying beads. So we had it all figured out that I would teach her for 3 days. It worked out perfect. She has the lampworking experience so it was just helping her get to the next level. It was a lot of fun and Kim was great to work with and a wonderful host. She lives in paradise and seems to live a perfect happy life.

So after we spent several hours each day making beads, hubby and I would wander off and go exploring. One afternoon we rented a car and drove over to Treasure Cay which is supposed to be one of the top 10 beaches in the world. This area is not commercialized at all. No big hotels and none right on the beach. Just a great beach bar that was located where a hotel used to be and condos and private homes. It was STUNNING and jaw dropping. The entire trip was worth it just for this view. The resort where we stayed also had an incredible view and beautiful waters. I'm sure I gained at least 5 pounds from all the great food. We had Conch fritters everyday.

I thought I would share a few pics of this beautiful island. Below is Kim and I, Hubby and I, and then a photo of all of us including Kim's fun loving hubby. They had taken us to Pete's Pub for dinner which is right on the beach. The bar is a boat and the floor is the beach. No walls. I loved everything about that place.

View from airplane flying home and heading to Miami.

This was sunset in front of our hotel. We were laying on the hammocks on the beach watching it.

One day I got up extra early to teach since we were going to quit early to go to Treasure Cay and this the view of sunrise from our balcony.

On Treasure Cay. Found a hairy coconut and this was live coral that had washed up on the beach. There were several pieces of coral everywhere.

Stunning views from the Beach Bar on Treasure Cay.

This is the view we saw after parking the car and walking up to the beach on Treasure Cay. My mouth fell open.

There was a 10 min sprinkle at the end of day on Treasure Cay and when we were driving home, this rainbow is what we saw. It was a full rainbow but couldn't get it all in the camera. The pot of gold must have been on the other side! of Randy holding a conch shell. They were everywhere.

My feet in the sand on the first day we arrived.

Randy standing on the beach at our hotel.

This was at the beach bar on Treasure Cay. Incredible scenes make the food taste even better! More conch fritters. They are so good.

So there were just a few photos of my teaching experience on Abaco. It was a great time and I think Kim learned a lot. Even though it was considered a working trip, this is my kind of work. The combination of making beads and the beach goes perfectly together. I created some great memories and made a really nice friend all at the same time!