Category Archives: Beading

Just Do It-Vision Boards, Habits and Making a Plan..

The phrase “Just Do It” is famous.  It is supposed to inspire us to get over all obstacles and get it done.  Easy words to say-not so easy to put into practice.

I am a person of many interests and activities (those that know me will agree). To some, I have a lot of adventures and get a lot done.  I do, but for me I am consistently frustrated with doing the things that I should do.  Not the should dos like housework-the should dos that I WANT to do and are good for me but I am not consistent.

At the beginning of the year I took a great Vision Board Class at Decide Differently I had to choose one word for the year.  I chose Deliberate.  I chose that word because I wanted to be deliberate on how I chose to spend my time/money/resources.  I did not want time to get away from me-wasted in front of the television or rescuing pets on Facebook. I wanted to be mindful of financial resources-using the library first instead of just buying the book. Tithe on a regular basis (God has blessed me with so much), and to think about my resources.  If I have things I do not need/use-give them to someone who does need them or can use them.


I realized at vision board class that things will not get done unless there is a plan to get it done. Thank you Shakti Sutriasa for such a great class. At the bottom of my board I have dream it-plan it-do it. That made sense to me.  I can say I want to walk weekly-but what’s the plan? I also realized that if I wanted to make more time for something, I had to take time from something else.  So I made a more-less chart. It made so much sense. This list has helped me to see my time as something I CAN manipulate to some degree.  Below are some things I struggled with and the plan I used to resolve it.


Writing: I love writing but was not getting it done. My excuse-my journal was too big and I never had it with me. So I switched to a Moleskin.  Now it is with me all the time.   I use it to write the plan for the day (rather than on scraps of paper) and as a diary. I saw a video called The Bullet Journal. While I have not adapted everything, some parts have been very useful to me-like the index. I now carry my journal everywhere and a lot is getting written-all because of a plan. The moleskin for Jan/Feb of this year has more than my whole journal last year. After I filled the moleskin I bought s set of three pretty little notebooks and am using them now. Thanks Mychele for telling me about the Bullet Journal Video!

moleskin    index  notebook

Supplements: I love my doTERRA supplements.  When I take them, I have more energy, my body systems are more efficient and I eat less (Slim & Sassy). I KNOW this, yet days would go by when I was not taking them.  I would put them in a little carrier to take on my days out (to take at lunch) and then I would not do it. A couple days in I would wonder why I was dragging, all clogged up, and eating junk food.  My husband is  amazing taking them-morning, lunch, dinner, bedtime. My friend Sandie Bowen finally told me her trick.  She never packs them to take out for the day-she puts them in a bowl on the counter.  Then they are there every time she walks by.  If she doesn’t see it and act-her husband reminds her.  This has helped a lot-a pretty bowl by my coffee maker. Thanks to Sandie & Marty for helping me get a plan in place.

Art/Creativity: I was not getting anything artistic/creative done.  It made me sad-especially since I had a room filled with paint, beads, paper, and cloth. I would see my friend Mychele (who has two young children) getting all artsy and I wanted to be there! This is very much who I am and not to do it is like slow death. Every day I would intend too.  Then I would start reading email, catch up on Facebook, start some wash, do some business and before I knew it-time to make dinner. This went on for months.  Then after talking to my friend Mychele (I was talking out loud-she was listening) I came up with a motto-Mornings are Mine. I was always going to do those other things…so put my things first.  This simple thing was LIFE CHANGING! I found when I spent the morning writing, sewing, painting etc..that when it came time for the other things-I was a JOYFUL person.  Not only joyful but I seemed to be in super speed. I was not dragging through-I was efficient and I was getting things done for myself and for the family/business. I told Marty and as always, he was okay with my choice.  I didn’t realize how much until we both visited Sandie.  I said to her, “I don’t think Marty gets the ‘mornings are mine’ concept but it really has changed everything for me! Marty’s response, “Oh no honey, I get it.  I WANT you to do your art first”. Thankful for a supportive husband and artsy sister Mychele. Mychele inspires me by posting what she is up hopefully I do the same for her!

Walking: They say the simplest exercise is walking.  When I retired, Marty wanted me to make a goal for myself to walk three miles a day.  My friends though he was mean.  I knew he was caring-he knew I loved being outside, he knew I wanted to be healthy, he knew I wanted to stretch myself.  A month into retirement, I was still not walking.  Then I met my neighbor Cindy. I told her I recently retired and asked her if she was the one I saw walking all the time.  I told her I need a plan to get walking.  Her response, “I walk three miles a day.  Want to walk with me?. Just one of God’s little blessings.  Having someone to be accountable to really helps. So thankful for Cindy and what she has brought to my life.

Time Slipping: Did you ever go on the computer-intending to spend 15 minutes there and suddenly an hour hour passed? No…never! A timer is my new best friend. I will set the timer to spend so much time in an area and then move to the next.  I also think backwards.  If I have to leave the house at one, then I shower at noon, pack the to go bag 11:30, stop what I am doing at 11…etc.  This really helped.  I would often work on something till the last minute and then rush out of the house without the things I needed. Sound too regimented? You make think so-until you have that day when you cry out of joy for feeling successful!

Television: Yes I like television and I have favorite shows.  I do tape them, have not seen a commercial in forever.  Also I use television as my down time.  I have the computer set to go off at ten. Then I try and make myself sit on the couch.  I put on some serenity oil to calm me down and move towards sleep.  One thing I love though is where my desk/television are.  My desk is behind the couch where my husband sits to watch television.  I have a direct view.  Why is this important? I can sit at my desk, answer emails, write notes, or complete a project and watch a show at the same time.  I know, we are supposed to live in the moment but I am not willing to give up television completely nor am I willing to spend hours watching it while doing nothing. My next project is to set up a little writing box near my seat on the couch-so I can easily write notes during my TV time.  Real notes..instead of email. It’s a plan.

Out and About-It is amazing how a trip to the library can eat hours of my day and cost me money.  I have to get dressed etc, to go there.  More than likely I will stop somewhere else. Then I’ll get hungry and grab lunch. Next-go home and put everything away. By then-I am shot and find it difficult to be productive.  I now stack my days.  I choose days to not leave the house.  On the days I do leave, I pack several appointments/errands into the day. WOW-this was a game changer.  Sure I ‘m exhausted when I get home-but I would have been anyway.  This Wednesday I’ll make Thirty-One deliveries, meet two friends at different times at Barnes & Noble.  Thursday I will go to a class, see a friend and her new baby, meet another friend at dinner. In between I will pick up dog food and do other errands!.  This plan works and has given me more time!

Resources: Besides your friends and family, there are books and other resources that can help you.  I already mentioned The Bullet Journal.  I must now mention Gretchen Rubin. She is one of my favorite authors.  I have preordered every book she has written.  I own every book she has written in hardcopy and on audible (so I can listen again and again).  After I started writing this months ago, I received my preordered book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. I ordered it not knowing much about it.  Come to find out-it’s about habits.  I LOVE this book and truly need to blog a review about it. This book reinforced thoughts I was already having.  It also gives a lot of great ideas on developing and or/breaking habits.  As I write this, I think I will plug it in again for a listen while I work in the kitchen. To me, a lot of what we struggle for to “Just do it” has to do with either making or breaking a habit.  I think you will find this book a great resource.

I could go on and on.  I do want to note a recurring theme.  I did not develop all these plans on my own.  It started with the vision board, then different people/things (Sandie, Marty, Mychele, Cindy, Bullet Journal, Gretchen Rubin) that really helped me. Being vulnerable about what you struggle with will often get you the support you need. The funny thing is-if you tell me your struggles…I can probably come up with a plan for you.  If I tell you mine, you can probably help me.  Don’t be afraid to reach out.

I will still struggle at times and get off course.  I know one thing though, using Gretchen Rubin’s Words….I am Better Than Before!

Your turn:

What struggles have you solved with a plan? Please share-it may help someone else.

What do you still struggle with? Someone may be able to help you!

God Bless you all in your endeavors.  I would love to help if I can! Feeling powerful makes me want to help others feel the same way.

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Beading: Agate Wrap Bracelet


Originally posted on Blogger 6/24/11

30 Days of Creativity Day 5

I bought this kit many years ago, someplace, before I knew anything about beading.  You can easily create a project like this yourself with supplies purchased at your local craft/beading store.


Assorted beads

Wire Cutters (do not use your nice beading cutters)

Memory Wire (choose size by preference)

Round Nose PliersDirections:

Cut a length of wire that goes a couple times around your wrist.  There is no right or wrong length-this is truly a preference. Do not use your beading wire cutters to cut memory wire.  There is a reason for this!  Memory wire is stainless steel and it is tough to cut.  I bought a pair of cutters I use only for my memory wire and for cutting silk flower stems (I have a neat project to tell you with that later).

Once you have cut the wire to the desired length, use round nose pliers to make a loop at one end of the wire-this will keep beads from coming off.

Start putting on beads. Alternate colors, sizes, and types.  If you have a specific pattern you want to follow, you may want to lay the pattern out first on a mat.  This way you will not have to keep looking to see what comes next. I also have one made from pearls that I like very much!

When the wire length is covered, make a loop in the other end as well to keep the beads on.

This is a fast easy project that is great for people that have never done beading.  It is a great activity for a party (like a girl’s birthday party or girl’s night out) because few tools/skills are needed. You can make it a bit of a memory project by having each person bring beads and everyone swap.

If you like this project, you may also like making beaded napkin rings.  These make a wonderful gift and the process is the same. I have also seen memory wire in ring size!

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Beading: Swarovski Anklet

Originally on Blogger 6/24/11

30 Days of Creativity Day 15: Swarovski Anklet

I saw someone with an anklet that was different than the ones I had.  As I love beads (especially Swarovski crystals and natural stones) I have several anklets made of each.  I have had anklets made of chain in the past (before my beading days) but I must have broken them all.

This anklet was different because instead of simply circling the ankle, it had a chain section dangling with a charm on the end of it.

If you have some beading skills or get a little help-this is a pretty easy project.


sterling chain 2 inches longer than ankle width

3 or more split rings

sterling clasp


accent bead


split ring tool (if possible)

cutter pliers

round nose pliers

chain nose pliers


I don’t know that I will ever claim to be an expert at anything but I am pretty quick and sensible on projects.  I will tell you how I went about the process-it does mean it is the only way to do it.

First I connected my lobster class to a split ring.  I connected the split ring* to one end of the chain. This is one end of my anklet.

Then I put the chain around my ankle as if I was going to wear it, and made note where I wanted to fasten the lobster claw.  I attached a split ring to the chain at that spot. If you have a split ring tool it can be a great help.  Now I had a chain with a clasp with loose chain dangling. I attached my heart charm at the end of the long dangling piece of chain.

I wanted to add a Swarovski crystal for a little sparkle. For this I needed a headpin and the crystal. I put the crystal on the headpin and bent the headpin over at the top of the crystal-leaving about 1/4″.

Headpin and crystal.
Crystal with bent and cut headpin.
Crystal with loop-ready to attach.

Taking the round nose pliers, I made a loop on the crystal so that I could attach it to the chain.

After that, it was just a matter of adjusting and I changed things many times: the length of the chain, placement of the bead, etc.  In the end the dangling chain was about 1.5 inches.  The bead was connected at the same link of the chain where the dangle started.  That is where it looked best.

*If you are not familiar with split rings, they are a finding used to connect pieces in jewelry making. The best way to describe them is to say they look like a key ring-several loops. A jump ring would only be one loop. While you can buy soldered jump rings, most have an opening as you need to open them to attach. I prefer split rings as the several loops add more strenght. Also, if your chain/charm/jewelry gets snagged, it takes a lot to toally have your piece pulled apart. Usually I can feel it happening and am able to save the piece because the split ring takes a bit to completely uncoil.

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30 Days of Creativity: In Honor of Lexi

Originally on Blogger 6/24/11

30 Days of Creativity: Day 1

When I heard about the 30 Days of Creativity challenge I was excited.  I felt this was something that would get me in gear so to speak.  I have a room full of wonderful supplies but often make excuses not to go in there.

My husband has never once somplained that I need to clean more or create less yet I continue to “work” on other things instead of making time to create.  I think it is because it is so much fun…maybe I feel guilty?

Well when I saw this challenge on facebook I was excited and determined to get something done right away.  Before I really learned how to make jewelry I bought kits here and there because I was a wannabe that hoped to develop skills later on.  I did!  My sister made a joke once that every time I went to NY I bought beads and tools but I never did anything.  I told her that I was getting ready and my day would come!

So I went into my room of magic and pulled a kit for a necklace.  It was a bit tedious to complete but basic and a lot of fun.  It was a necklace of chain with multiple chains hanging at the end.  On each chain were crystal beads, shoes, and purses.  How could you not like it?

When I posted the picture I got many nice comments.  I wanted to give it to someone and was trying to think who…and then I knew.  We all know someone sweet as pie that always seems to have it rough.  That’s my Lexi.  Mind you I know she has had blassings too but just not enough in my opinion.  I decided I wanted her to have it.

Lexi and I have a history-and a story.  She was my UPS person for years and then she showed up at my church.  Her son, Ryan, is very special to me.  She has always been tender to Megan as well.  Lexi and I also have this funny thing going….about a cow.

I asked Lexi how it all started (probably over 10 years ago).  I think I gave her a gift at Christmas.  The bag had cows on it and she loves cows.  We didn’t  always exchange presents but sometimes one of us would show up with a gift for the other.  Next  time she showed up at church and I got the cow bag back with something in it.  This went back and forth for a long time.  It is amazing the bag is still with us.

Lexi works a lot on Sundays so doesn’t always get to church.  We had lost touch a bit but found each other again on facebook. One day she showed up at church…with the bag.  It was at Christmas time and there was a book , chcoolate, tea, and other goodies.  Such a special collection of things.

Now it was my turn to bless her. I put the necklace in a pretty pouch and  took it to church one week but she was working so I missed her. I sent her an email to see if she would be at church because if she wasn’t I was going to bring it to her job.

She was suprised and I could tell she really liked it.  You deserve it  Lexi-you are special and you are loved!

The beautiful Lexi with the infamous cow bag.
The necklace.
The chains at the end.
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Beading-Jeweled Napkin Rings


Originally on Blogger 6/3/11

30 Days of Creativity: Day 3

An inexpensive easy gift to make for yourself or someone else.


Assorted beads

Wire Cutters

Memory Wire (smaller size about 2.25in)

Round Nose Pliers


Cut a length of wire that goes at least once around  (a full circle).

You can also make it longer so the napkin ring goes around more than once.

The great thing about memory wire is that it will keep its shape over time.

Using round nose pliers make a loop at one end of the wire-this will keep beads from coming off.

Start putting on beads.  Alternate colors,sizes, and types.  It is best not to follow a pattern.

When the wire length is covered, make a loop in the other end as well to keep the beads on.

Using an eclectic group of beads will make your napkin rings go with any season/color.  While these are easy to make-it would cost a bit to make many sets so it is best to make one that you really love!


Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 12.52.39 PM

On the left the ring goes around more than once, on the right-just once.  While I like it going around twice,it takes more beads and time to do a set this way.  They are just a beautiful with one full loop around.


Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 12.52.46 PM

This is the set I made myself after making some for my daughter for her Christmas table setting.After making hers, I had to have a set.  Using a variety of colors, they go with  any occasion.
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