Sunday, September 30, 2012

Where oh where has Cindy been? She hasn't blogged in AGES!

I haven't been very good about blogging... my apologies.
I haven't even spent the time browsing other bloggers writings... shame on me!
I am busy with work, my sister is just now able to be at the store more hours.  The radiation treatments took a lot of energy away.  The one thing we are the most grateful for is that it was NOT cancer.  If it weren't for Dad and the wonderful friends we have, I would have run myself into the ground!  I am thankful for that every moment of every day.
It is the time of year that we start stocking the shelves with wonderful gift ideas.  Terri had the window of opportunity, after recuperating from the surgery and starting radiation, and went to the Atlanta Gift Market in July with our friend Phyllis.  (I went to Chicago with Mary for the Craft & Hobby Association show)
We also are gearing up for Christmas and the other end-of-the-year holidays with card and gift making classes.  That is where it gets tough for me.  I want to offer everyone lots of classes, but in the evenings, I am the only one who can teach for the time being.  If I were to offer classes every Tuesday & Thursday evening, and throughout the days Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, I would not have a milligram of energy for life.
Next week, Mary & I are headed off to Orlando for a trade show.  The rep group deals with paper arts (rubber stamping, scrapbooking...) and Mary & I will be taking several classes between us to learn new ideas and techniques.  We have a lot of talented & creative people in our lives, it is nice that Mary can be a part of our staff and share her talents with those interested, and share a big smile while she is at it.  And, since Terri is still physically unable to handle a trip like this, I am glad to have Mary as a travelling partner as well as someone whose opinion I can get while shopping for creative goodies for the store.
What do I do in my spare time these day, you ask... and do I even have any spare time?!?!?  Well, I still do occasional house & pet sitting and enjoy these little get-aways so the pet's humans can get away.  I am at my nephew's house this weekend, enjoying the dogs and the peacefulness here at the lake.
When I am at home, I am working on my pottery.  I have my Fall show coming up in November at the Anderson County Museum;  Mistletoe Market.  It is my 6th or 7th year (I lose track of time...).  That is the first weekend of November.
I would post photos, but I am not on my own computer...
I hope to not be such a stranger 'round these parts...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sun & Sea Creative Bead Chat Challenge 2012

I have been part of a group on facebook called Creative Bead Chat.  Bead lovers from all over share their creations and tips and all sorts of things.  They are a wonderful support group, personally as well as creatively.
I was chosen by to be one of the recipients of the beads for the Sun & Sea challenge.

Here is what I started with.  I pulled together some things I thought would go well with the ceramic, polymer, shell, copper & glass I was provided with.
My own textured & patina'd copper sheet & wire with the challenge goodies.
 The first item I made is this double strand copper necklace & earring set.
I took 1/3 of the sheet of copper & made it into charms.  The bail of the donut is embellished peyote stitch.  The copper ear wires are hand made by me.  The beautiful copper clasp provided is on the back of this piece.
Ocean Breezes

Ocean Breezes Earrings
 This bangle was next.
Shell We Dance

 Adding some pearls, aquamarine & sponge coral helped set-off the beautiful components provided.
On The Boardwalk
 The glass beads were beautiful enough that I wanted to spotlight them on these hoops.
I had so much fun creating with the items supplied by some very talented bead artisans.

My pottery is still my first love, but beads and creating things with them come in a fairly close second.

Thank you to all who organized this challenge!  And thank you to all of the others who have participated.

Feel free to comment below, I won't know what you think (good, ambivalent or bad) unless you do.  And, I don't bite!

Please visit the other blogs that have participated in the challenge.

Most of all, have fun!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Come and check out the blog on Sunday July 1, 2012

This Sunday is the reveal for the 
Sun & Sea Challenge 
from the  
Creative Bead Chat 
facebook group.
All of us have created things with a wonderful collection of beads from fabulous bead artisans.  
We then photographed them and are posting to our blogs.

The blogs to check out (besides mine - of course) are:

Have fun!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Home again!

Terri came home (well... to our house) on Thursday.
She is getting plenty of rest & plenty of spoiling from all of the wonderful people that know & love her.
The pathology report is due tomorrow, and her follow-up with the surgeon is late Tuesday morning.  We will know more then, hopefully.
Yesterday she conserved her energy so she could go with us to our usual Saturday night restaurant, New York Pizza, in Anderson, SC.  The owner & staff are like family to us & she wanted to be able to show them she is doing well... (and, enjoy their awesome pizza!).
We sure have good luck, Karma, angels, God, good spirits or what-have-you on our side.  This has been such a whirlwind couple of weeks & our true friends have emerged once again to give us support, love & assistance.  We could not ask for more (well, that she never had the tumor might be one request, but we learn from adversity...and we cannot change what was).
(I guess it makes me feel a bit like a wimp with migraines... LOL)
Friends have offered to help at the store & refuse payment, one thought I should not have given her a discount when she bought her items at the end of the day, another said she would be insulted if we even offered to pay.  But their help is worth a lot to us all. To Terri so she can feel less stress about the coverage at the store, & Dad and I so we can at least take a few hours off each.
Dad is a real trooper, he has worked just about every day (except Sunday) for 2 weeks.  I am grateful to Phyllis for helping me watch the shop yesterday so he could have a break.  I was able to get a couple of hours off Friday morning thanks to Mary for being an extra set of eyes at the store & a real help for anyone looking at the stamping supplies.
I have tried to keep up with updating everyone about Terri's progress, but it is not always easy to find the time when I have the energy.  Please forgive me if I missed anyone, it was not intentional.
Yes, this post will be cross-posted to the store's blog...

If anyone wants to help out at the store, please email the store ( ) with days & times so we can have a written list.  A few of you have told me days, but I for some reason cannot remember when they are...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Is it Wednesday already?

Last night I went to visit Terri.
She looked wonderful.  I didn't even notice the 'clown hair' she kept talking about.
She had been moved to a regular hospital room - no more ICU!!!!  She sat and talked with us for a while and she sounded as normal as we Earls do... a little bit crazy, but that is our way!
Again, I want to thank everyone for their support.  This has been a very fast crazy ride, but the love & support from our family & friends has been phenomenal!

And, a little surprise:

Right from our super-woman patient's facebook page!

Terri Earl Brooks
Dr came. Taking me off of iv fluids. Pathology went to musc and results may not be in until monday. Keeping me one more day for pt and shower. Home tomorrow. Another MRI after pathology in. yipee
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Update on Terri

Good morning,
Dad, Ben & our neighbor Luke went to visit Terri last night.  I had to make the tough decision to stay home & sleep.  I was totally physically exhausted.  I was asleep between 8:30 & 9 PM... and never heard the phone ring when my brother Rick called after 10... but I needed to take care of myself too.
But, on to the more important news... Terri was doing very well & in good spirits.  The surgery went well.  She was still in ICU (normal protocol) but should be moved to a regular room today.
I plan to go visit her after work this evening.
The outpouring of love & caring for Terri & our family has been astounding!  I knew she was well loved, but I guess I never really knew the vast extent.  Yes, I experienced it with Mom, but this time, it really hit home harder than then.  Maybe because of how fast this all happened & how fast everyone has rallied.
Yesterday, after one person offered to do what she can to help, I graciously accepted the offer & told her we would let her know.  Then, I said that if every person who had offered help in the last several days were to walk into our store, there would not be room for them all.  See what I mean?  ASTOUNDING!
All I can say is a heartfelt THANK YOU!!!
I will be updating on our store's blog & on our store's facebook page, as well as my own.  When I know more, and have the time to post, I will be posting my heart out!

PS: Terri is feeling well enough to be posting on facebook herself!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Life's surprises

Just as life seemed to begin to find some element of normalcy, something happens to cause turmoil.
A wonderful Christmas with Mom & Terri
As I posted before, my Mom passed away last July.  I have been having troubles getting my creative muse motivated & I am missing her so much.

My sister Terri did a lot in the last 5 years of Mom's life in taking her to appointments as I had previously.  Terri had a better mind for comprehending and retaining the medical information.  I would understand as they told me, but then it wouldn't make sense later.

Now, Terri is facing her own diagnosis of a Cystic Tumor on the surface of her brain.  And, like Mom, she is facing it head on with a great attitude and complete trust in her Neurosurgeon (one of the best in his field).

Terri is the closet to me in age of all my siblings.  We shared a room growing up, and now we share the responsibilities at the store.  Although our teen years we rough (whose aren't? that surge of hormones & trying to determine boundaries with the world is not easy for anyone)  we are very close now (as we are with the rest of the family - we are blessed that way!).  I know this is difficult for the rest of the family, especially those who are not nearby.  I remember from the years I lived so far away from most of the family. 

I am trying my best to be strong & to keep an even keel at the store & home.  Terri's surgery is tomorrow morning at 11.  We are keeping the store open.  Terri's husband will be at the hospital with her.  The procedure should take nearly 3 hours.  Dad & I will keep ourselves busy & act as the information hub for all of our family & friends.

This is the time I really wish Mom were here to talk to & hug & cry with.  I know the tears don't help Terri, but they are cleansing for me.

If anyone reads this, thank you for reading it all as it rambled on.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A beautiful Spring Day

No, this is not a picture from our garden... it is a stock photo from my desktop...

Today is a gorgeous Spring day!

Did you remember to "spring forward" with your clocks & watches?

I have been absent as of late on here, I hope to be able to change that.

I am working on mugs and all for the Celebrate Clayton show the end of April, but today, I will take a break & go to Greenville for the FLW Fishing Expo for a few hours with friends.  I promise - I will NOT get a treble hook embedded in my leg!
We have been busy at the store.  Dad has been building new display fixtures to Terri's designs for the 'Garden Corner' and the toy department.  We have been having a lot of fun with the Osher Lifelong Learning classes in Wire & Metal Jewelry.  (We have some extremely talented students!)  And, we have been busy planning for a guest instructor to visit in April.  Nathalie Metivier from Magenta Rubber Stamps is going to be teaching a 3-hour class on April 22.  And in a week and a half, we have gotten 27 spaces filled!  (The limit is 30.)

I hope to be able to update things more often.  I have been sidelined by a number of things adding up.  And, on top of that, I got an Android phone, so the old desktop doesn't get fired up as often.  I plan to change that!

Meanwhile, I hope you all enjoy this Spring day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

This past year has been particularly rough. 
I have not posted in a while because I have just not felt like I had anything enough to say.
I still don't have a whole lot on my mind to share.  But I want to let you all know that I am still here and still plugging away.  I am not as creatively productive as I would like to be, but I am creating some.  I have lots of ideas, but not the complete motivation to make the ideas come to fruition.
My procrastination habit has become a real problem for me.  I hope in this new year that I can work to reverse that habit.  I have been trying for a while, and hope it continues to improve.
I finally got rid of the car I never liked or wanted.  I am now the proud owner of a, new to me, 2007 Chevy Equinox.  I LOVE IT!  The down side is having car payments again, but I have the comfort of knowing my car is newer and in better shape than the 1999 Mitsubishi Galant.  (And - it is a really pretty blue!)
Thank you to all of my family and friends for all you have done for & with me in 2011, I appreciate & love you all.
I look forward to making 2012 and on the best I can.  A lesson learned from my Mom - no matter what life hands you - do what you can to deal with it and keep your head up.  Focus on the positives in life, the negatives are still there, but they won't consume your time and rob you of enjoying what time you have.  Others have said basically the same things, but watching Mom practice those thoughts was an inspiration.  I only hope that if I am ever faced with half of what she went through that I can handle it with as much grace &  I dignity as she did.  I miss her every day.