TP Jewelry on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Headlines

 My Toilet Paper Earrings and Toilet Paper Necklace were featured on the Tonight Show!  The cutout is from a feature in the January Readers Digest.
 You can get them at my website: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LiciaBeads
video

Official video below.(FF to 1:40 to see the feature)




Tips from a new mama - have cradle, will travel

So we have been a little busy this year.  Eventually I do want to write about Koa's journey but for the time being a few things I have learned these last 4 weeks.  A few little tips and tidbits that were not necessarily in the vast array of books that I read.  In no particular order either, because life doesn't go in any kind of order any longer for us.

One of my favorite things is the little cradle on wheels.  The cradle is borrowed from family and we had a base with good quality caster wheels put on the bottom.  This allows us to have him in any room we need (granted, this will not work so well if you have stairs).  Baby essentials can be moved around with baby on the little shelf.
 To keep baby centered and prevent him from rolling around I have placed some rolls of blankets beneath the mattress.  This also works if I want to have him on a slight incline.  Remembering that he will just scootch down and he needs a little roll under his tuckus to keep that from happening.
 Newborn essentials can tucked between the side of the mattress and the bumper guards.  A thermometer is a must (and actually, I like the simple little digital one, placed under the armpit till it beeps, 36.5 - 37.5 Celsius is the ideal baby temp) until they can regulate their own temp.  Koa needed quite a few warm blankets for the first two weeks.  Now that winter is on the way it's nice to have those warmer ones donated by some special friends. ♥

We bundle him burrito style (take a lesson from the hospital nurses, they do amazing wraps!) so he cannot startle himself awake and stays nice and cozy just like in the womb (be it dryer) and then tuck a second blanket no higher than his chest and secure the edges into his cradle.  Now, those feet can still get the blankets off most times... but it works for a little while anyway.

I also transport a little "travel" changing kit with him too, a couple extra diapers, wipes and a pee pee pad (or the changing pad that came with your diaper bag) so I don't have to always go back to the nursery to change him.

That's it for now, more sporadic posts as we are able.

Maui no ka oi (the babymoon and more)


We knew we wanted to be able to take one last trip to our favorite place before baby is born.  Following are some tidbits of our trips to the island and other things you may want to enjoy if you ever visit. Events are sorted by island location and are all things we have personally enjoyed.

We first went to Maui together in 2000 for several weeks where I transferred temporarily and worked at the Eagle Hardware while we lived in a little apartment.  The working didn't last long as I got bored with the really (unbelievably) slow pace of the island and I decided to use up all my vacation time all at once. 

It was 10 years before we visited again, this time to get married in Sept 2010.  We invited family and several were able to make the trip.  Close family stayed with us and we were able to rent 3 side by side units at the Wailea Ekahi Village.  

We have had wonderful service renting from the Pauli's thru their website http://waileaekahivillage.com/ and have stayed in 20A (suits up to 6, which is closer to the large pool and beach, and you can hear the ocean waves at night) and 49D (suits up to 3, further up the property, you can hear the traffic from here but have a great view of the property and sunset and a wonderful casual walk (enter from bldg 48 walk) that meanders thru the property all the way to the beach with no interruptions).

We loved the area and feeling of the village so much that we returned to it for the Babymoon.  This time we rented a condo further up the property and loved the reward of the beautiful view (although really, all of them are just spectacular) and tradewinds in the evening.  Tall hotels and other condo communities don't even come close to this.  Along with the huge variety of tropical birds, we were even visited by a little kitten who climbed the bougainvillaea to our lanai.  

This time we were able to get a little further from the beaten path and enjoy more personal aspects of the island. Of all our visits, I recommend the following:
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Lahaina: Just spending the day hanging out and wandering around Lahaina is entertaining, there is lots to see and do, plenty to eat, and fun things to purchase from cracking an oyster for a pearl to enjoying fine art at the many galleries.

Old Lahaina Luau http://www.oldlahainaluau.com - the most personal, authentic and immersive.  Our favorite Maui Luau (if you go to Oahu, check out the Polynesian Cultural Center!)

Warren and Annabelle's Magic Show http://www.warrenandannabelles.com/ - a fun place to have evening pupu's and drinks and enjoy a humorous magic show.

Atlantis Submarineshttp://www.atlantisadventures.com/maui One for the keiki (kiddos) to enjoy.  For those who want to see the fishes up close but not get wet, this is the way to go. (Although I do really suggest the wet version of sea life viewing for best effect.) They dive up to 100 feet into the vast blueness and follow along with fishes and give an up close view of the Carthaginian replica shipwreck that now serves as an artificial reef.
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Kihei - Wailea: Things that are good to locate if you stay in Kihei, the Post Office, Longs Drugs and several other handy shops are located at the Azeka Shopping center at the intersection of Piikea and S. Kihei road.  There are plenty of places to get groceries but for Maui grown fruits, stop by one of the little roadside stands, or if you see kids selling them "lemon aid stand style" from a little wagon, surely visit!  Many typical grocery stores will sell you Mangos from Peru, and Bananas from Guatemala, even on Maui. 

Natural Grocery:  There is a Whole Foods in Kahului but it still doesn't quite have what we wanted (real local produce and natural foods) so we found this tiny little grocer in Kihei called Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods http://www.hawaiianmoons.com/ that was like a mini PCC and had so many of the things we were looking for.

Ice Cream and giftsKihei Aloha Ice Cream & Yogurt is located in a little strip mall south of Alanui Kealii Drive.  They have over a hundred flavors of Yogurt and many delicious tropical options for ice creams.  I personally like Heavenly Hana, James had the Kona Lava Java.  After you finish your treats you can walk over to the cute little clothing and gift shop for some souvenirs.  

Breakfast:  Sure you can go to Dennys (or any breakfast style restaurant) if you want, but the locals and tourists in the know go to Kihei Caffe, located just south of the Kalama Village Shopping area on Alahele Place.  This place is informal, opens early, 5AM and closes at 2PM.  If you come later than about 8 and before noon, be prepared to wait to order.  As noted at the door, don't try to save a table, they have it worked out just right so even at the busiest times you will get one.  The meals come out quite fast considering how busy they are, and there will be plenty of birds begging but the food, atmosphere and people are wonderful.  We like to support Kihei Caffe each time we visit, at least once.
Souvenir shopping:  Kalama Village is just to the North of Kihei Caffe and has a great selection of lovely finds.  A nice place to enjoy the space too with some lush mature shade trees (even the parking has plenty of shade!) and a tropical Koi pond with bridge.  Lovely at night when the torches are lit!  The sun always sets right around 7PM too, restaurants facing the water will be most busy at this time.  Reservations are usually recommended, especially in Lahaina and other higher end restaurants.

Spa Grande at the Grande Wailea Resort :   http://www.grandwailea.com/spa-grande/  Our wedding planner was able to generously offer us a discounted entry to the Spa Grande which we took with open arms at the chance to be pampered to maximum effect.  The terme is separated into mens and womens but if you get a Lomi Lomi massage afterward (we got the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi) you can prerequest to have it together.  Something to keep in mind ahead of time, the spa usually experienced in a natural state, so if you are not comfortable that way, bring a swimsuit. They do provide a large plush towel for walking around, and you can just lay down in a lounge while waiting for your massage.  For those who don't want the full effect, there is also a full salon and you can get a mani pedi or several other pampering treatments, they really have it all!

Big Beach:  At the very end of the south part of Maui, past the resorts of Wailea is a spectacular beach! There is parking but I imagine it could fill up during busy times, restrooms are porta johns last time we went. A must for very experienced boogie boarders, or just to watch them at the far end of the beach where the waves break quickest.  When the waves are big here, the waves are BIG, they break shallow and with force so do use great care if you go into the water.  It's a treat just to see the huge beach in all it's natural sense, no giant resort to interrupt the true nature of this area.  For those who are really into the natural aspect, just to the right and over a rock outcropping is the place you can get a full tan all over if you want.  (But use care in the sun too, Maui is equatorial so the sun can get right at you fast and burns are no fun!
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Kula, Upcountry and Haleakala: off the beaten path, and great locations to beat the heat, or in the case of the mountain summit, downright chill down!

Partway up the mountain you will encounter several tiny little towns.  This trip we visited Kula and saw some of the things it had to offer.  Because of it's location it's much cooler in Kula, and when we visited it even gave us some welcome rain.  It felt just like home in Seattle with the mid 60 temps and a spot of shower, we also had some coffee.

O'O Farm: http://www.oofarm.com/ Reservations Required (call them) as space is always limited to best serve their guests.  A few days a week this little local farm offers luncheon tours and visitors can walk along the hillside and sample coffee beans right from the bushes (they are berries with thick skins and a little sweet coatings around a coffee bean, the bean is nothing special until roasted though).  The restrooms are porta johns which they keep very clean, you really are on a farm here.  Wear shoes that are acceptable for walking from long grass to dusty soil and along some slopes.  We were greeted by one of the farm roosters who monitored us while he pranced fancy rooster style around the grounds.  Richard was our tour guide and led us around the farm grounds, passed out samples of lettuces, flowers and herbs that he picked from the garden and gave us an overview about their organic garden and methods.  All the while chef JJ (from Seattle!) was preparing our meal from food picked that morning.  It really was delicious, beautifully rustic and like nothing else on Maui!  I would certainly do it again!

Aina Coffee: Grown only at O'O Farm, it was wonderful too, get some! http://www.ainagourmetcoffee.com/

Alii Kula Lavender Farm
http://www.aklmaui.com/default.aspx Come for the Lavender, stay for the SCONES!  These are like no other scones I have had, just delicious with Lilikoi Jelly (that's PassionFruit).  The lavender was not in full bloom while we were there, but there is a vast collection of plants in the lower garden as well as a beautiful view of Maui from above.  The gift shop is full of pretty things, lavender and otherwise so you can support this pretty little piece of paradise.  Did I mention the scones?  Warm them to perfection in the little oven out the back door and spread with Lilikoi jelly while you enjoy the view from the deck.  Then get some to take back to your place for breakfast the next morning! 


Kula Botanical Garden:
http://www.kulabotanicalgarden.com/ Another beautiful place to visit and wander around in the cooler temps of Kula.  Give yourself at least an hour (they close at 4), more if you are a plant lover who delights in the details, to take a self guided tour of this collection of tropical plants.  Admission is $10 and the garden is well worth supporting. Bring a sack lunch, or scones from the Lavender farm.  You can also have tropical flowers shipped back to the mainland from here if you like.  What a fun reminder of the trip to have a fresh bouquet arrive shortly after you get home!

Morihara Store (Kula): Here's a little oddball treat for you tomato lovers out there.  Off the highway on Lower Kula Road (which is actually uphill from the highway) there is a little general store/grocery. Toward the back in the produce section there are a selection of tomato options.  Dave's tomatoes are the best we have ever had, spring for them!  We used them that night on the burgers we grilled on the lanai (a bonus of having our own condo space!) and they were just delicious! Tomatoes really are a fruit!


Ulupalakua Ranch Maui's Winery, Tedeschi Vinyards: http://www.mauiwine.com/ Our wedding guests joined us on the visit to Ulupalakua Ranch as we selected some wines for the upcoming wedding.  The grounds were spacious and the upcountry views were lovely.  We enjoyed browsing the gift shop and having a wine tasting to choose our favorites.  We liked them so much that we arranged to have a case shipped home for when we got back.  There are actually a couple bottles left for us to enjoy after the baby is born. 


Haleakala (the mountain that made Maui):  http://www.nps.gov/hale/index.htm (save your entrance receipt and you can use it for the Seven Sacred Pools near Hana) Haleakala is otherworldly to me!  Absolutely worth the visit be it for sunrise (timed just right for the weather, it's spectacular) or just to walk around and see the landscape.  Keep in mind it's 10,000 feet, and the air is thin so take care with your pace.  For those who are eager and able to do more at this altitude there are tours, hikes, guided camping, bike rides down the mountain on the road, or more daring down the "spine" extreme mountain bike style.

If you visit for sunrise, plan accordingly as many many vehicles make the trip and when the lots are full they close! The road is very curvy and the sides are treacherous, use care and allow a little more time than you may expect because parking can fill up and the trip takes much longer than you would suppose looking at a map.  They do always have early morning agents at the top to help direct parking though as this is a common attraction.  Also, it's chilly up there!  Bring a coat, long pants, sturdy shoes and I've even seen people wearing blankets.  Those planning on visiting should prepare clothing special for this part of the trip as it can get close to freezing.  

Maui Zip Line: http://www.zipline.com/locations/haleakala There are a few options for zip lines on Maui for the more adventurous (and those not pregnant, I would so have gone again!).  Almost our entire family went on this zip line before the wedding and we had a great time!  The guides were hilarious and entertaining and the zip line was as fun to zip on as it was to watch others enjoy.  At the end we purchased our pictures and videos and enjoyed the event all over again, oh the faces you will make!  Reserve quite a bit in advance as space is limited, especially for large parties.
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Paia: Spend a day here to enjoy the artistry, local music and flavor all it's own.  This is an eclectic artist town full of great little shops and even a bead store just at the west end of town.

Mamas Fish House $$$$: http://www.mamasfishhouse.com/ If you are prepared for some of the best food of your life this is the place to go.  Make reservations well in advance to make sure they have a place for you because they always fill up from reservations alone. The atmosphere is like nothing I have ever had the opportunity to experience, truly professional and welcoming!  Come with an open heart and mind and be prepared to delight in the seafood that they prepare daily as it arrives each morning on their own shore. It's worth it to enjoy the full course selection from amazing beverages all the way to amazing desserts! I only wish I could have enjoyed it all!  Please note that this is a four star location in a one of a kind place on Earth and your support directly goes to the wonderful employees amazing chefs and fishermen who have been keeping Mamas a unique part of Maui since 1973. 
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Hana and the Road to Hana: Hana is another amazing place to visit on Maui, the town itself is small, local and there really isn't too much to it, the road itself is rather spectacular though!  There are so so many things to see on this road that it would be much too much to include here.  It's worth your money to invest in a guide (there are free ones too at the little tourist brochure stands all over the island) or the invaluable book Maui Revealed http://www.hawaiirevealed.com/books-apps/maui-revealed that has every little thing inside down to the tiniest detail. I'll include my top favorites and other little treats.  Bring bug spray, I needed it the first time I visited, but the second (Sept) it wasn't necessary, not sure why.

If you want to see some of the more rare sights on the way to Hana, get on the road very early (sun-up even) because some of the greatest sights have the tiniest little pullouts that will only accomodate 2 or 3 cars and this road does not allow passing, some bridges and corners are one lane and you will even have a stop sign to let vehicles take turns. If I had my way, I would stay locally for a few days, even stay in Hana, leaving early each day and getting in a few places at a time. (The bamboo forest and the eucalyptus forest are some to visit if you can, get the Maui Revealed book for the best info on these locations.)

Halfway to Hana: http://halfwaytohanamaui.com/ A cute little stand just past mile marker 17 with plenty of space to pull off and get yourself a banana bread.  There are lots of places to get banana bread on Maui and there may be better breads, but this is easily at the top of my list. A great and easy tradition every time we have the chance to drive to Hana.

Keanae Peninsula: A little break from the curves of the road, and a great place to eat your snacks and visit the restroom.  Also, photo opportunities galore along this rocky shoreline with it's dark black lava rocks contrasted with blue of the ocean and foamy white spashes of waves. 

Pu'a'a Ka'a State Park: Another rest stop that usually has enough parking to serve everyone who needs it.  Walk across the road and up the paths to a pleasant little waterfall oasis and pool.  The first time I went (1993) classmates took a dip in the relatively frigid water.  Use care around the cats, they are not as friendly as they may look and most all are feral here.

Hana Powered Hang Gliding
http://www.hangglidingmaui.com/ Again something for the more adventurous.  My husband took a flight while we watched him from Wainapanapa Beach down below.  He had a great time and even purchased a digital selection of photos from the flight. Also great, this is a small time operation that directly supports the pilot and his family.

note: just before you get to the road for Wainapanapa there is a cute little roadside store, it's worth a peek and perusal of their treats!

Wainapanapa State Park
http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/maui/waianapanapa.cfm For me, this is one of the most beautiful beaches on Maui.  Such crisp contrast between the ocean, foliage, sky and deep black sand beach and lava rocks. 
  
Hasegawa General Store (in Hana): Worth a stop to this little store that is cram packed with so much it's hard to believe.  It seems like there is a little of everything and I like to grab a few things for the remainder of the trip and just to support this eccentric little gem of a shop. It's grown on me.

Venus Pool: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emvionline/3496081880/lightbox/ check the Maui Revealed book for information on how to access this location. It's absolutely ethereal in it's beauty but is a little trek off the road and I'm not sure if it is accessible without trespassing. Use care, this is a flash flood location, as are many pools on this side of Maui.

Seven Sacred Pools, Ohe'o Gulch: http://mauiguidebook.com/road-to-hana-maui/road-to-hana-sites-to-see-maui/seven-sacred-pools/ (save your entrance receipt and you can use it for your Haleakala entrance) Plenty of parking, restrooms and a good place for a picnic if you've arrived early enough. A bonus if you have been able to stay somewhere on the Hana side is that you can enjoy this location before it is crowded (although it's great for people watching too).  Take the walk from the parking lot to the pools to enjoy a dip, or watch the crazy locals jump off the bridge above.  Always entertaining to spend time here and lots to see and enjoy.

The back side of Haleakala: Vehicle rental agreements typically prohibit travel around the back side of the mountain.   Having been there I would agree with them for the most part. Here is a story we had that involved driving "home" from the back side of Haleakala http://liciapots.blogspot.com/2011/02/centipede-story-one-of-our-adventures.html 

The road is not paved, but it is improved regularly so it is passable.  There are spots, like the road to Hana that are clearly one way at a time, this time without warnings or stop signs, and sheer cliff drops and faces, and rarely a guardrail.  Your cell phone will not work here and the way back to Kihei (in our case) is just as far if not further around the back side of the mountain because all roads lead back to Kahului, there is no road directly to South Maui from here.  That said, Google did go there, so you can see the area ahead of time to make a more educated decision via Google map view.  Watch for cows and horses in the road, they like to graze there and tend to move at their own pace. 
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All in all, Maui is a wonderful place to visit and take some time out in paradise.  Hopefully this posting will give you some ideas of the more intimate and local activities on the island so you can step out of the typical resort setting and really start feeling like Ohana (family).


There's been a developement

Little fetus

There are new events about to take place, and it's been quite the process so far.  We had a gender reveal party when I was 20 weeks along (that's halfway there).  My favorite cupcake bakery was wonderful in creating some cupcakes that were custom filled with colored frosting and the whole family was able to learn together (including us) what the gender was. It was a good time, and there was much sugar.  

Special thanks to Cupcake Royale for allowing us the special request and keeping the secret so well!

My Favorite Things - Homemade Caramels and Marshmallows

Extraordinary Vanilla Marshmallows by Have It Sweet
Have you ever had homemade marshmallows? Chances are, you haven't.  I hadn't before I purchased some from Have It Sweet on Etsy.  Because I love lemon, I purchased the lemon swirl flavor but she has so many others.

In addition to the fluffy sweet goodness of marshmallows, there is also caramel.  Oh caramel!
You have not had caramel the same way you have not had marshmallows!

These would make a great gift (for me) and are available shipped monthly to your (or my) door if you choose to participate in an of the month club. These would be great for Valentines day too, be sure to take a peek for some sweets for your sweet ones.

Drunken Salted Pecan Turtle Caramel Bars by Have It Sweet
Everything is handmade to order with exceptional quality ingredients  in a licensed commercial kitchen.  They came beautifully packaged too, like the lovely gifts that they are.

If there are other people living in your home and you don't plan to share these, do have a good hiding spot.  If you don't have a hiding spot, get a few selections.

We chose the Fleur de Sel along with my marshmallows and it was gone much too quickly. Next time I want to get the Drunken Salted Pecan Turtle Caramel Bars and the French Pistachio Nougat.

My Favorite Things - handmade cotton napkins

Oprah has her favorite things, so why can't I?  Granted, you have to purchase these yourself, but the majority of them will be from small business hand makers so you can feel great about where your money is going.

I'll be adding new lovely favorite things as I see fit.  These are all things I have personally used, so it's a bit of a product review too.

Unpaper Towels, eco friendly napkins from LoveForEarth

These eco-friendly napkins made of 100% cotton and perfect for everyday use.  They are a great replacement of standard throw away napkins and help save space in the cabinets too.  Not only are these great for adults but they can teach little ones the value of reusing materials rather than the waste created with a disposable society.  Just toss them in the wash (yes you can bleach them if needed) and the kids can help with folding when they are clean.

Get them on Etsy from favorite seller LoveForEarth.  While there, take the opportunity to check out the other great handmade and reusable products offered. There are sandwich baggies, produce bags too, which I also have that are great for farmers markets!




LiciaBeads Vault November sale and $50 giveaway!

Happy Holidays to all my sparkling friends and family! 

The Holiday sale is going on now in my Gemstone bead store and plenty of lovely friends have entered to win the giveaway.  See, they get the newsletter and it comes with all the bonus features.  You should really subscribe for your fair warning and unfair advantages.


I send it out about 6 times a year and always when major events happen like giveaways, sales, amazing finds and bargains.  If you change your mind at any point, simply unsubscribe.

 I'll be continually listing new items throughout the sale so add me to your circle to see the updates!

Now the fun stuff you have been waiting for...  FREE BEADS!  $50 worth to be exact! 

Enter to win a $50 Gift Certificate from LiciaBeads Vault!

Please take care with the details so I can keep track of your entries. And really, if you go for it the number of times you can enter really adds up and gives you a great advantage.  After about 10 of these style giveaways, I can tell you, most people don't enter more than a couple times so take advantage!  :)

*5 entries per treasury: 
Include one item from LiciaBeads Vault in a new treasury with tag LBV (for tracking purposes)

*3 entries per favorite:
Favorite a treasury with a LiciaBeads Vault item and leave a comment (add #LBV to your comment for tracking).
 
*5 entries:
"Like" LiciaBeads Vault on Facebook and write on my wall, already like me? (*blush, thanks!) just leave a note on my wall and I'll add 5 entries!
 
*1 entry per day:   
promote an item from my shop on Twitter using the hashtag #LBVgemstonesale

*10 entries:
Blog about my store between now and Thanksgiving (Nov 24) and link to my shop (send me a note with your blog article and I'll promote your blog/article here too!)
 
THE FINE PRINT: Winner will be drawn the first week of December.  The winner has the option of using the certificate on a previous purchase if made during the month of November 2011. Certificate must be used via Etsy purchase (you must have an account to purchase, it's easy and free to sign up). Not valid for cash and may not be combined with coupon codes (but is valid for posted sale prices).
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Questions, comments, suggestions, one liners, word of the day and hilarious cat photos, etc. can be noted below :)

Shows!

I don't know what it was like for most people to get started doing craft shows.... but it's exciting and scary all rolled into one for me!  I don't typically feel shy (and sometimes I don't shut up, case and point:  this blog) around people most of the time and when I know what I am doing, nerves are not an issue either.  

However... I'm not sure I know what I am doing.  The money part is not an issue, I can count well having been trained as a teller and vault cashier (Is money dirty, heck yeah, and it stinks) and I know how to manage plastic.  
Side note:  For those who want to take CC's in person, do check out https://squareup.com/  I'm hoping for awesome things and lots of credit card sales!

The hardest part is the transit of the booth setup (er... just tables so far, no tent yet) that allows me to transport everything I need in a single load.  It also must fit easily and quickly into a VW New Beetle...  So I am crafting a display setup and have decided on a subdued color pallet of creamy white and soft celadon greens (♥ celadon).  So far I have compiled an assortment of unique and decorative bordered picture frames, mostly from Value Village because frames are pricey (and I don't want to paint nice ones)!  I plan to paint them a soft flat white and center them with batted (that's cushiony underneath) fabric over sturdy cardboard and cork.  Then hopefully (if all that works) I can pin up some select pieces of jewelry. 
 
 All the frames will be arranged on a vertical base (I'm thinking fireplace screen) so that everything is at about eye level.  Having different levels and vertical surfaces allows more display space... although there is such a thing as too much for the eye to handle...  I know there is some psychology behind it too.

I've also collected a  selection of fabrics (also Value Village) that range from shower curtains to sheets to pillow cases to drape over the table and hide all the unmentionables.
So far, that is where I am.  I also need to think about getting a smallish box that is open on the back side so I can stash my latte, calculator and other work necessities.  It will be a riser from the front and a useful space from the back.  

Time to find some paint! 


I know, I know! Long time no free stuff!



Dearest peeps, it's been a very very long time.

Might I encourage you back for a little with some free beads?
Maybe you prefer free jewelry?
A little of both?

Drop a comment and let me know!