Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I know it has been a long time since I have blogged but things have been quite busy! 

If you have been living under a rock for the past two weeks I am here to inform you that New York City was hit by a Hurricane called Sandy.

The city took a devastating blow from this storm and still a week later we are trying to get things here back on track. 

Before I get into the storm, let me back track a bit to the days that led up to it.  As I had mentioned in the last blog I had a Harvest Festival which I was selling my jewelry at just days before the Hurricane hit the city. 

The hubby and I started out very early that Saturday after a little partying at church the night before.  Our church has a party for the kids every year.  This year, kid less, we showed up as empty nesters!  Although we were probably the only couple there without children we had fun watching others get into the spirit of things. There was even a pumpkin pie eating contest!

The next morning we got up very early and headed out toward Staten Island.We lived there several years ago, and I hadn't been there since we moved!   It was very cloudy and windy and you could tell a storm was on its way. We arrived late to the venue because there were several detours due to construction but we still had a good pick of spots left so we were happy!

Such a supportive husband!!!
My husband is the master at setting up the table, so he started arranging things right away as I checked in with the venue coordinator.  The clouds continued to loom as we set up and we kept praying we would not get any rain because we had no tent (Yes, we do plan to get one in the future)!

On the way home we heard the news on the radio regarding the storm headed our way, so since we had the car for the day we went and stocked up for the following week.  People of course were cleaning off the shelves when we arrived at our local Target.  We got the few provisions we needed and headed home.

At church on Sunday we got to connect with friends and discuss with them the preparations they had made for the upcoming storm.  Everyone was taking the necessary precautions of having extra flashlights, getting extra canned goods in and making sure they had candles.  Most of us  had our 72 hour emergency kits and we were ready for whatever came our way.

That Monday morning I checked on a few sisters from my church to make sure they were okay and made sure they didn't need anything before the storm.   Around 6pm the storm hit full force.  Our lights flickered and we prayed together.  We felt safe and we were ready in case the lights went out.  Our block became strangely silent as we heard the howling winds through the empty streets.  Public transportation had stopped earlier so the streets were dark and bare. There were torrential rains.  I could hear branches breaking and falling in the garden next to my house and we continued to pray that our power held up and that the large trees in the yard would not take down the power lines.

When there was some calm on Tuesday we made it out to combat the feeling of cabin fever we were starting to have.   Public transportation was still down but we walked around to see what damage had been done. Our block had relatively no damage at all!  Surprising considering the community garden has several large trees in it which could have been a problem.  But other area's had a lot of falling trees, and power outages.

Those who suffered the most damage were those on Staten Island, Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey.  Also, City Island in the Bronx got hit hard.  It was very hard for me to see my old neighborhood in Staten Island under water.  It truly bought tears to my eyes. People lost their homes and others lost family members.  My husband and I became totally humbled and  grateful for our blessings of heat, hot water, and shelter.  We are praying for those who have been deeply affected and challenged by this storm, that they may overcome this tragic disaster. 

I extend this to all of you, please pray for those at this time who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.  There are so many ways you can provide service as well.  Here are a few links to sites if you would like to help.




I hope that you all are safe and doing well.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Harvest Festival!!!!

This Saturday I will be at the Fall Harvest Festival at the Reformed Church of Huguenot Park.

I will be one of the many vendors there, and of course I will be selling my jewelry.

A lot went into preparing for this.....for starters this festival is geared toward children so I steadily worked on some daisy chain necklaces for little girls.  I had a lot of left over crystal and pearls and used them in the necklaces. 
All the centers of each flower are either pearls or crystal!!! They look wonderful!   Next I worked on my earring collection and used something called Hybrid seed beads.  Hybrids are unusual in the sense that they are a bead that is made in 2 different parts of the world.  They are first sized and cut in Japan for precision and then they are sent to the Czech Republic for there wonderful coloring....which makes them look like tiny gemstones!!!!  Just look at the earrings below! 
I will also be selling my necklaces and bracelets as well!
The Reformed Church of Huguenot Park is 163 years old!!!! It is a landmark on the borough of Staten Island, and tours will be given that day, so there is something for the adults as well. 
So if you are one of those people whoever wondered what to do on Staten Island I am giving you this option, and definitely bring your kids!!! There will be tons for them to do!
Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Workspace!

As some of you may know recently I have become somewhat of an empty nester.  It has been an interesting adjustment not having my kids around!  I miss my son, who always made me laugh, and my daughter who is my close buddy!

As an empty nester I have acquired an extra bedroom space which is now doubling as a guestroom/studio.  I would like to share what I have done with this space with you!

From the doorway you will notice its bright yellow color and who could overlook the rather large pic of Audrey Hepburn ( a donation from my daughter)!
My daughter bought this pic years ago....we both love watching the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" so this was my gift to her. 
Next we have my storage space.  I try to keep things labelled and neat as I can, but when I am working on projects it seems to be all I can do to just keep things in there labelled boxes!
Notice in the right hand corner my two owl friends, Lenny and Squiggy, which my mom made for me! She makes owls and they all seem to each have a different personality. 

I have a nice amount of window space, so the light during the day is incredible and the view is not bad either....it overlooks the community garden!

I also use my wall space as storage for my to do board,  beading boards, and rulers and cutting boards. 

My desk is always a mess!!!! But trust me, there's a method to the madness!
I hope you enjoyed this brief tour!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Punkin' pickin'

The leaves have fallen and an autumnal chill has hit New York City.  It's time to start clearing my summer clothes out of the closet and committing to putting my fall clothes in!  It's also time for all those wonderful fall activities here in NYC!  Walks through Central Park and pumpkin picking on Long Island's East End! The weekends are usually the time I rest my hands from beading all week and partake of all the fun things the city has to offer!

When my kids were younger we use to take them to hanks pumpkintown in Watermill NY on Long Island.  There are so many pumpkins and things to do for the kids and some of my best family memories were from those times! 

This year I took a little friend with me :-)
This is my little friend!  While her mom was busy one Saturday me and the hubby treated her to activities on the East End!  Here she is as the train conductor at the Tanger Outlet!!!  Woot Woot all aboard!!!!

We then grabbed a bite to eat and headed to Hank's pumpkintown!
The day we went it was raining off and on, but you would have never known it by the amount of kids (big and small, us included) were out at the pumpkin patch!

Tons of bright beautiful pumpkins greeted us when we drove up!!!

But the main attraction was all the things they had for the kids to do and of course the food!  Candy apples, caramel apples, apple cider donuts, pies of all kinds and pumpkin bread all cooked there at the farm!!!! Delish!

My little friend loved all the activities for the kids....we took lots of pics!!! What a character she is!
This place is a kids paradise....us big kids liked it too!

The husband even got with the festivities and started hamming it up....after he bought his pumpkin pie of course!

Time to pick some pumpkins to take home!!!! What about these two?....how strong is that kid????
I guess these two will do.  We like the small cute ones! Notice the red lips....we just devoured a candy apple!!!

It was a fun day for all of us!!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

My First Blog Tutorial!!!
Serpentine Necklace

Recently I made a necklace and posted it online.  It was a stitch I had created years ago which was totally by accident. 

It came about in the very early days of my beading.  I had a friend who had some pearls and gemstones.  She wanted them strung and at the time I didn't know how to string pearls.  I also wanted a stitch that would show off the bead and bring out its beauty, especially if it was a gemstone.  Basically I wanted to create something where you would notice the beauty of the beads first, and then the stitch.

So I started fooling around and this is what I came up with.  Well that was over 20 some odd years ago, and lately I resurrected it to make a few pieces for my Etsy store.  I have used this stitch off and on for many years and notice it comes out best with 6mm rounds.  You can use gemstones, glass rounds, Presciosa, Swarovski, and Chinese crystals!   I have used 6mm bicones as well, and it adds a different dimension to the stitch. The spine of the stitch is an 11/0 seed bead.  I like miyuki and Presciosa seed beads....TOHO beads are lovely as well.  Any 11/0 seed bead where there is a ton of uniformity works well for me.  I have not tried it with delica's because I feel that they are cut too small. 

I first start out with about 3 yards of thread, a little over.  You can use fireline, power pro, or wildfire.  I am especially fond of Wildfire.  If you have ever used fireline you know the black one stains your fingers.  Wildfire black does not.

I then condition it with Thread Heaven, and have found that this cuts down tremendously in the tangling of such a long thread.

Put on a stop bead and leave a tail of about 12 inches.
Now the fun begins!  String on 10 11/0's, a 6mm round, and 1 more 11/0.
Now take your needle and skip the first three seed beads you cast on and put your needle through beads 4-9.  Skipping seed bead 10, your 6mm and the other 11/0.  It will look like this,
Pull your needle through and you will get your first in many zig zags on this chain.
The beginning may be a little fiddly, but after you get your needle through those 6 beads and pull the piece together it will start taking shape.  I usually flip my work back and forth so that it creates a little zig zag.  Now for the second stitch.

Add on 7 11/0's, 1 6mm, and 1 more 11/0.
Now for the interesting part!  Take your needle and go back through bead 9 from the first stitch.  It should all look like this,
Now add on the next 6 beads to your needle and pull through.
As you pull it through it will look like this,

Now you just keep flipping and repeating until you reach the desired length. 
I usually like to end my piece with wire protectors. 
 I go through them at least twice and then run my needle through the piece for about 6 inches and then cut the excess thread. 
Here are a 2 pieces in my Etsy store that I have recently made
and this one is about 50 inches and can be doubled....check out the decorative clasp!

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!