Friday, February 27, 2009

What is this focal point?

I know I haven't been blogging much this past week. It's been crazy busy at work and by the time I get home, I'm too pooped to go online.
Hey, once I crawl into my massaging recliner with a cat or two in my lap, it's all over. Before I know what's happening, I end up dozing off.

Anyway, this is Friday night so I'm making the time to post because I have a question for you, gentle beader readers:

I did some much-needed gleaning of ye olde beading area and came across this pretty focal point. I gathered up some fire polished Czech glass beads in complimentary tones, added a few dyed freshwater pearls, glass pearls and a goldplated chain and put together a necklace.
Trouble is, I need to be able to list the components and I have no clue what that focal point is. The receipt for purchase is long gone. It's not plastic, it's some kind of gemstone.
Anyone got any clue what it might be? Click on the picture to enlarge it for a better view.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Boston Trip Two - THE RECEPTION

And finally, we come to the reception. It was held in a very plush place and was absolutely fabulous.
Members of both families gathered first in a small room for formal wedding pix. A lovely table of snacks was provided including cheese and crackers, fruit and champagne. All rightey, then!
I was so very proud to be lined up with my Mother and my seven half-siblings for the first formal family portrait ever made of Mother and all her children.

from left to right: Mary, me, Palmira, Mother, Rose, John, Anthony, Pasquale, Vincent and Thomas.
When they gathered the entire Santorelli family for the group portrait, it was a rather large crowd, as you can see here-- well, with eight siblings, assorted spouses and children...the numbers add up!

But lemme ask you this: did ya ever see so many people dressed in black at a wedding? I mean, come on...even the kids?
*shakes head*
Don't get me wrong, everyone looks terrific but well, I dunno. I just never really thought of black as a color to wear for a wedding. Maybe it's just me.
Anyway - The food was terrific. Everything from soup to wedding cake. Delicious Italian dishes, of course, and an amazing buffet including a huge prime rib that was carved to order by a guy in a chef's hat. Pretty fancy, huh? The room was decorated beautifully. Every table had a lovely floral arrangement.
The cake was beautiful, too.

There was a terrific deejay and did they ever have some excellent music! Of course there were plenty of good ole Italian love songs by crooners like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett but they also had fun stuff like Topo Gigio (remember the little mouse on Ed Sullivan?) and Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin.

Other tunes included Respect by Aretha Franklin, Barry White's My First, My Last, My Everything, Brick House, Feel Like A Woman by Shania Twain, and of course the inevitable group dances like Electric Slide, Macarena and Miami Shuffle.

My sister and her new husband were out there on the dance floor along with everyone else, having a ball. Check them out HERE --this is cute, ya gotta watch it.

Yours truly got out there and boogied, too. Heck, I even joined the conga line that snaked through the room, up onto the stage, and down again.

The entire evening was great fun! I ate too much, drank too much, and danced a LOT - in other words I enjoyed myself immensely!

Boston Trip Two - THE WEDDING

SATURDAY --02-14-09-- The Big Event - My Sister's Wedding
After a nice warm bath and delicious cup of coffee and some pizzelles, I headed over to Pam's apartment. It's been just under a month since I was last there but Pam's been a busy girl. There are still a few boxes here and there but for the most part, the place has been put to rights and is looking good.
I just love the little window over her kitchen sink. It looks out onto the courtyard of the complex. She said she has changed the curtains three times already. haha.

We chatted merrily about what we were wearing and all the details of the Big Day and soon it was time for Pam to keep her hairdresser's appointment. At the little neighborhood hair salon, my Mother was already under the drier and my Aunt Earlene was just getting combed out. I hadn't seen Aunt Earlene since I was knee-high to a cricket so she immediately hopped out of the chair and came over to envelop me in a big ole down-home hug. She and her husband flew up from Maryland for the wedding.
Once Aunt Earlene's hairdo was finished, she stepped outside for a smoke and I went with her. Not to smoke, just to chat. Now you must understand that Aunt Earlene is famous in our family for Telling It Like It Is so she pulled no punches with me. She wanted to "set the record straight" about a few things - the primary thing being that she wanted me to know that my Mother had tried to get me back after Daddy spirited me away from her when I was little. Unfortunately, her new husband wasn't having any parts of that scene so this explained why I remained with my father. Then she wanted to know why I'd changed my name.
She said it had really hurt my mother who thought it was because of her.
I quickly negated that idea, explaining that it most definitely was not because of my mother but my step mother that I'd opted to go from my given name of Patricia to my chosen name of Heather. Okay. Glad we got that cleared up.
I soon met my Uncle Jimmy for the first time as he drove Aunt Earlene. Mother and I back to Rose's house. We sat and talked with my Mother awhile and then Rose came home from getting her hair and makeup done. She looked beautiful and we all got a kick out of her "Sexy Little Bride" hoodie.

Her hairdo was lovely, complete with a little beaded tiara and sparkly crystal butterflies embedded in the French twist. Pam swung by to pick me up after her hair had been finished and we dashed off in search of a red purse for her daughter, Kerry. Pam said she'd never been through a store so fast in her life as we tried two or three different places to no avail. I had to dash into Michael's to pick up a set of beading tools. Turned out my cross necklace had to be shortened. Dummy me, I forgot to try it on with my red dress and when I put it on, it kinda got lost in the cleavage. haha
I told Pam that was the quickest trip I'd ever made through Michael's, too. But now we were both all set and she dropped me off at the suite.
Now anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm not one to lollygag around. I already had my entire outfit set out on the bed, from the skin out so I just got dressed, did a bit of touchup on my makeup and hair and schlepped on over to Pam's place. But was she ready? Uh, that would be a no. I think I surprised her showing up as quickly as I did.
Niece Kristy was at the diningroom table with her makeup mirror, putting on her face. I won't bore you with all the rest of the details because it's now time to move onto The Big Event.
It was quite cold - about 40 degrees - but my romantic sister just had to arrive at the church in a horsedrawn carriage with her Matron of Honor (daughter Melissa) and Mother.

Let's just say Rose looked like a princess and John was beaming all over his face. The church is gorgeous and mother looked beautiful, too as she
walked Rosie up the aisle.
There ceremony was very lovely and meaningful, complete with the traditional reading from I Corinthians 13 about love is patient, etc. Rose and John also had someone read the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi which I thought was a nice touch. When John said his vows, he said, "My Bella Rosa" - his pet name for Rose. It was all just so terrific. I didn't cry, though. I was too busy grinning happily, just savoring the joy of being present with all my family to witness this special event.
As they were walking down the aisle after the ceremony, Rosie caught my eye and smiled just as I clicked the shutter. Aw, doesn't she look happy?

Rose and John were taken to their reception in the horsedrawn carriage, too. Just after they got settled in, John popped open a bottle of champagne and offered a toast to the assembled friends and family.

Then it was off to the reception! More about that later.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

As Promised: Boston Trip Two - Part One

I'm finally getting around to blogging about Boston Trip Two.

No worries about it being Friday the 13th (cue spooky music) 13 happens to be my lucky number so I was up and ready way ahead of time, anxious to get to the airport. Dunno why I like to get there so early, I just do. Airports have always held a fascination for me: I'm a great fan of people-watching and you can see some very interesting people coming and going at airports. Sometimes I wish I could have a little hidden camera to capture all the unique and unusual people. Wouldn't that be cool?
These days of course, one cannot see the emotional greetings or leave-takings because of security constraints meaning families must drop off and greet outside the gate area, but it's still an excellent venue for character study.
Once my DH finally hauled his aching body out of bed, we headed down the road to I-95.

Just as we'd turned onto the highway, we were met with a huge traffic jam. Cars appeared to be lined up for miles. We followed the line of folks pulling off onto the grassy side and turning around. Good thing Daniel knew we could go down US 17 and get onto the next I-95 onramp, huh? I felt sorry for those who either didn't know about this escape route or who were unable to escape the line of cars inching toward their destination at a snail's pace.
In the security checkpoint line, the woman behind me had a little dog in a carrying case. The poor little guy was just whining and crying the whole time.
"We have drugs," she said to me. "I'll give him a pill just before we board and he'll sleep the whole flight."
Apparently the dog was not only anxious about the flight, he didn't like being separated from his papa who was in a different line. Ah, I get it: daddy's dog, huh? Yeah, I know all about that. I have a daddy's cat at home. haha
E-ticket in my hand, I boarded the plane and took my seat beside the window. You'd think someone who hates to fly as much as I do would avoid the window. It's odd, but once we're airborne and I'm over that pit of the stomach dread that fills me during takeoff, I do like to look out at the land spread out below me.
Since I'd slurped down a hefty slug of Rescue Remedy during my pre-flight wait, I was able to endure liftoff with only minor phobic response. Good. I'm getting better at this!
Despite having brand new batteries, my CD player kept cutting out. So annoying. It is a bit old but hey, I wanted to listen to music during the flight to Charlotte. Oh, well.
I'll condense this little story by saying that both flights went well and I had only a brief wait in Boston before my brother Tony pulled up in his big extended cab pickup truck. After a warm bear hug, we were on our way.
We chatted amiably during the drive to his home, eyeing the snow that still had not all melted away. When I asked him why folks still had their Christmas decorations up in February, he quickly replied, "Because it's too cold to take them down!"
I love to hear him speak with his Bah-ston accent. haha
My sister-in-law Maria and niece Nicole were at the house. Sister Pam had taken the two littlest girls, Angela and Amanda to the store and would join us later.
I was surprised and delighted when Tony started cooking!
Turns out his dad and our mother ran a restaurant at some point and all four of my brothers learned to cook there. Who knew?
Tony made a fabulous shrimp scampi for supper. Oh, man! It was fantastic!
After a delicious meal and warm, family conversation, Pam took me to my free suite at her luxury apartment complex. She's still riding high on having landed her new digs and I'm happy for her. She deserves it!
It was kinda nice being back in the suite again. It is so beautiful and I enjoy the feeling of being pampered there. This is the gorgeous kitchen. Check out those granite countertops! If you look closely, you can see my little stash of goodies: a box of sleepytime tea, some yummy pizzelle cookies and my morning coffee kit so I wouldn't have to go downstairs to the lounge. No more getting lost in the corridors of The Shining for me! haha

This is the livingroom, equipped with cable TV with many, many channels. See the little wooden sign that says Home Sweet Home? Kinda felt like that, too. These pix were actually taken Saturday but there's way too much to blog for that day so I popped 'em into this post.

After I'd unpacked and recorded the day's events in my written journal, I snuggled down under a nice thick comforter and drifted right off to sleep in the big ole queen size bed. Ahhh, yes. Good to be back.
More later, kids.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

First Things First: The Lemonade Award

The lovely and talented TERI B nominated me for the Lemonade Award way back before I left for my Boston trip. First of all, Thank you very much for my very first award nomination. I am humbled yet proud.
Second, I'm sorry it took me so long to post this! Forgive me?

The Lemonade Award is awarded to sites that show a positive attitude and gratitude. I am honored to be in such august company!

Here are the rules for the award:
1.Put the logo on your blog or post
2.Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.
3.Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.
4.Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.
5.Nominate your favorites and link to your post.

Since I'm relatively new to Blogspot, I don't think I can fulfill the entire nominate 10 blogs part, but anyway - I'd like to nominate these five folks for the Lemonade Award:

1. Snap - Tales from Twisty Lane
2. Whimsical Bohemian
3. Wilma's Whimseys
4. Happy Tiler
5. Jona Panesa

These five ladies have been chosen because I believe their blogs show great gratitude and attitude. But don't take my word for it, go visit them yourself!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm back...with apologies

I know I have neglected you all shamefully but I have valid excuses
Well, they're valid to me, anyway.

It's been a bit chaotic around my place for reasons I won't go into here. Suffice it to say my afternoons have been swallowed up by tax preparation. Yes, I know. If I'd kept after things all through my first six months in business, I wouldn't have to be doing it all at once now. But that's me: Miss Procrastination. SIGH The taxes are being done this afternoon - FINALLY! so at least that's one drawback eliminated. *checks it off list*

Anyway - I hereby faithfully promise to bring you all up to date over the weekend.
No, really. I will. Wedding details, the latest projects, and even ..gasp! award nomination!

Meanwhile, here's a picture of my beautiful sister in her awesome wedding gown.

Every bit of that red bandeau was intricately embroidered with seed beads, bugle beads and sequins, along with the entire hem and a large band down the back which ended in a small train. The gown was simply gorgeous. But by the time I could have taken a closeup of the dress after Rose had left for her honeymoon, my memory card was full! lol

One of the most wonderful parts of the entire celebration was being able to spend time with my Mother. We've lived apart since I was a tiny child and have only ever seen each other four times in my adult life. Having the opportunity to spend some quality time with her was precious.

That's all for now - gotta scoot off to my day job.

Be good to each other.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Headed to Boston

Okay, Kids. I'm headed to Boston for four days to enjoy the wedding of my terrific half-sister, Rosie.

Love that Boston Skyline!

According to, temperatures will be in the 30s the whole time and I didn't see any predictions of snow so that's a relief!

I managed to cram four days worth of clothing and necessities into my carry-on. I had to practically sit on the doggone thing to get it closed but hey, at least this way I won't have to wait around at the baggage claim area or worse, wait for them to deliver it the following day. Logan is famous for losing luggage.

Speaking of luggage, I know this is a dreadful picture but I wanted to show you the charm I made for my carry-on. Since I wear my St. Christopher medal on a chain around my neck, (along with St. Bernadette and a cross) I thought I'd put a St. Therese medal on my luggage. Sorry the picture is blurry but it gives you some idea, anyway. It's made with Swarovski crystals and firepolished Czech glass beads with silverplated filigree beadcaps. Fancy, huh?

Since I hate flying so much, I thought it might be a good idea to sort of cheer myself up by wearing something bright and colorful so today, the motto is: "Think Pink".
I made this set to wear to my friend Keli's bridal shower and liked it so much I decided to wear it today. It looks a bit cattywompus in the photo but that's just because it's on the hanger. When traveling, I always like to wear an attractive set of handcrafted jewelry--and carry plenty of business cards! You never know who might be seated next to you. ;)

Okay, well - I guess I'll toddle on out to the kitchen and fix myself a good breakfast. Dunno when I'll eat again because I'm not inclined to pay the outrageous prices demanded in airport eateries. haha That's okay - my brother Tony's wife, Maria is fixing me Shrimp Scampi for dinner. YUM!

Catch you all on the flipside Tuesday.

Be good to each other!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And the Winner Is.....

And the winner is.....drum roll, please

------>>SNAP of Texas, USA<<----

It's amazing there were actually had 401 entrants into this drawing. I was incredibly pleased and proud to have so many wonderful folks from all over this big ole world of ours stop by and visit my little ole blog. Wow. I had a great time visiting many of your blogs and entering your giveaways, too. Hope we can continue to mix and mingle and get to know one another.

After all, We Are All Connected.

If you didn't win and you'd like to purchase this bracelet, you may do so HERE

Have a beautiful day.

Take care of each other.

Come back soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Completed Project

Wanting to make a necklace similar to the one I made for my Mother, I'd purchased another little gold cross and some garnet bicones and briolettes and set them aside. When it came time to put the necklace together, do you think I could find those items?

Uh, that would be a big, fat NO. *SIGH* I hate when that happens!

Oh, well. Knowing I wouldn't be satisfied until the design in my head turned into mission accomplished, I stopped by the town's bead store - be it known herewith I HATE paying retail! - and picked up another whole set of the items I needed to complete the necklace.

Once all the pre-trip chores I'd scheduled for myself had been completed, I happily settled in at the bead board.

My necklace (top picture) is a bit different from Mother's but they have the same color beads and the same little gold cross and chain.
Yesterday evening I had made a much dressier one, using primarily Swarovski crystals and no chain or cross, just a double row of garnet beads and 10mm Czech glass faceted beads with the beautiful aurora borealis finish. It's quite elegant if I do say so myself. I may post a picture here later on.
For now though, *YAWN* I'm weary.

The winner has been chosen for the drawing and I WILL announce it - as promised - tomorrow.

Patience, gentle people!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Finally! Snowberries Two

At last - Snowberries Two is finished. I thought I would never get through with this necklace! It's been completed and ripped out twice but as they say, "The third time's the charm." YAY!

This is for my sweet Mother-in-Law, Mama Jean. Papa John bought it as a birthday gift for her. I made earrings to match and will ship it off to her tomorrow.

It's amazing to me how many hours I can sit at the bead board, totally zoned out. Repeating the pattern like a mantra -- small, large, small, bicone, small, large, small, berry---I am completly focused on the task at hand. I don't eat, don't drink, only take time to pee if I absolutely must.

Slowly but surely, the necklace takes shape in my hands. It is always a thrill to me when it is finally completed. This is the rush that keeps me so addicted to beading. That moment when the piece is finished and you hold it up and say, "I made that!"

So glad I was able to complete this before I left for Boston. Now that it's finished, I have plenty of time to make something for myself to wear to Rose's wedding. Thank goodness!

I've got some beautiful garnet beads, a gold cross, gold-plated pewter spacers and a lovely clasp all set aside.

I don't think it will be another Fireline-strung piece. Those take too much out of me! LOL

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This is overwhelming

I truly cannot comprehend this:
over 200 visitors to my blog!
This is beyond my wildest dreams, really. It's been so interesting to browse through everyone's entries and learn about all the creative, funny, terrific people involved in this project. WOW.

I've stayed up w-a-y past my bedtime exploring, ever since the whole thing began on Tuesday. *YAWN*

Hard to believe this time next week I'll be all packed and ready to head up to Bean Town again. Wow. Lil ole me - who hates flying - will yet again take to the skies. Only for my dear sister Rosie would I head off again.
My Sister, Rose -- The Bride

So romantic, getting married on Valentine's Day, huh? Not only that but get this: she is going to be taken to the church via horse and carriage and once the vows have been exchanged, she and her new husband will ride to their reception in the carriage, too. Aw! Isn't that just too much?!

I'm so happy for her. She deserves every happiness and it's just such a thrill for me to be able to participate.

Meanwhile, I still cannot get myself started putting my stuff together to do my business taxes. I keep procrastinating and procrastinating - but the appointment has been made and now I really have to hustle. UGH! It's my first time doing taxes and I'm scared stiff, frankly.
But I want to do everything right this time. This business is my heart and soul and I so want it to thrive. Oh, I know, times are tough and people aren't really splurging right now but we'll pull out of this. I know we will. Better days ARE ahead, people. And I want to be ready!

*YAWN* Okay well - I'd better toddle on off to dreamland now. It's just about TGIF. YAY!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway - if you haven't already. Scroll down to previous entry to enter...The drawing takes place at 6 p.m. February 11.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One World - One Heart Giveaway 2009

Hello Friends:

Today I've joined with nearly 900 other creative people in the
oneworld/oneheart giveaway. I'm so excited about this and hope to make MANY new friends from all over as a result.

The concept is simple:
Each craftsperson offers up an item (or two or three) that folks can win simply by commenting on their Blogger page. Simple, right?

My offering is a beaded bracelet I call "Heartfelt." It is comprised of vintage heart-shaped beads I purchased from a young lady named Sarka in Czechoslovakia combined with garnet glass hearts wired to a goldplated chain and finished with a goldplated pewter toggle clasp. This bracelet currently fits wrists from 7 to 7.5 inches but can be sized smaller or larger if need be. Want it? You know you do!
Just leave me a comment ON THIS POST ONLY to be in the running.
Be sure to leave me an e-mail address or some way to contact you if you win! ;)

The winner will be announced on February 12. I can't guarantee I'll be able to mail the package that day as I'm headed up to Boston Feb 13 for my sister's Valentine's Day wedding and I won't return home till Feb 16. But I will get it to you ASAP after I get back.
Be sure to check out ALL the great - almost 900! - crafts people who have offered up a myriad of fabulous goodies at
One World/One Heart
And thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I'm Back!

Sorry I haven't posted lately --It took awhile to figure out why I couldn't post to my blog but I'm back, finally.
Had a grand time in Boston, but this Florida girl was not prepared for all the SNOW! When we landed in Boston, our captain announced that it was 18 degrees! brrrrrrrrrrr!
My homebound flight was delayed which bumped me from the connection in Charlotte -- it was a mess. I left my sister Pam's place about 12 noon and never reached my home until about 10 p.m. that night. Whew!

We had so much fun at my Mother's 80th birthday party and as she told me: "The best part was seeing everyone together." I'll say! It's the very first time that all eight of us were together in one place. It's such a wonderful thing, getting to know all my half-siblings -- three sisters and four brothers. Growing up a lonely only - because we lived apart - I never realized the joys of a large family so I'm definitely making up for it now!
Here's a picture of me with my sweet Mother and my four fantastic brothers. Aren't they all so handsome?
For more pix from the 80th birthday surprise party and my whole Boston trip, go

I'm headed back up for my sister Rose's Valentine's Day wedding. I had not expected to be able to go. The two events loomed large on the calendar and I elected to attend Mother's birthday gathering, offering regrets to Rose only to have her generously offer to pay my way back to attend the nuptials. I'm taking some extra days off work in order to really enjoy the family instead of flying in and flying out so quickly. Hopefully, I will not encounter any more snow! LOL

Meanwhile, I've been struggling to finish a necklace for my sweet mother-in-law-- another Snowberries piece, this time using purple Czech beads instead of red.

I had the whole thing put together last weekend and then noticed a minor flaw which I was unable to correct without tearing the whole thing up. Frustrated, I set it aside and worked on other things....including a number of Valentine pieces for my etsy shop.

February is a VERY busy month - two weddings, several birthdays, and lots of other stuff going on. My life is never boring!