Before and After June 28, 2013 These were the assembled pieces prior to actual assembly. I like to get all of the elements together. And, for a rosary, I divide the counting beads into 5 piles of 10 and actually put the bead on the wire cutting it into the correct length for each bead before I make loops. This assembly line style makes it super speed to loop and build the chain this piece uses opal, jade and vintage rosary findings with silver wire. Final assembly. I actually posted the after way before but wanted to include the earlier pieces/parts for comparison. Loved the final outcome. Jewelry Goodness June 25, 2013 A friend asked me to make a rosary for a Father’s Day present. He picked out the opal and I added the vintage rosary pieces and the carved jade. With the sulfured wire, I love the antique vibe. This one was a quick “use up the beads” project. I like the long flapper style and the pink against the black steel. Super cute. Clasp via wire wrapping and s-hook. Happy Father’s Day! June 17, 2013 Vacation Dreams June 14, 2013 via The start of summer kicks of the new season of travel yearnings in the house. Rolland is always thrilled <insert sarcasm>. I start rattling off places I’d like to visit, shoot for the moon dreaming might even be a long sabbatical with living abroad potential. The list is mighty but it feels like the right time to write it down and start to make some progress. Put it out there and let if flourish. We have some realistic summer weekend trips planned which are fine with me as Sophy’s not ready for international travel. Yet. I’m mostly not ready for international tantrums. But soon, the baby passport will be in hand. In the mean time, dreaming it is…. Travel ListAustralia Bali Butterfield & Robinson Trip CambodiaChina Croatia DubaiEaster IslandEgyptGerman Christmas MarketsGreeceIsrael Japan Iceland’s Geothermal PoolsIreland Italy – most everywhere in the countryMachu PichuNepal Tea House Trek New Zealand Safari Trip Vietnam This is a pretty small list since I’d basically like to go everywhere! Ideally, I want to visit a lot of the major sites from the ancient world but given that most of the ancient world is now mostly in conflict countries it’s not happening soon. In the meantime… road trip! Summer Break June 3, 2013 It’s been pretty busy around the house lately but I’m still super excited for summer. Every year I still think I’m going to get out for the summer and decide to over plan when not much really changes with our schedules except less traffic. Not to minimize the importance of less trafficcause that’s awesome!But we’ve made some changes around the house that have made it feel a little more special. We’ve started eating al fresco for all meals at home. This was partially to save our dining room rug from the toddler but we also wanted to enjoy our nice patio. We’ve cleaned up the yard and all the debris that had accumulated in the nooks and crannies. A small furniture rearrangement has made it seem roomier and the grill area has a space all to itself making it easier to keep Sophy fingers away. I still want to get a little more color via retro styled seating. Similar to these. I have a long list of recipes I want to work on from Salty Snacks: Make Your Own Chips, Crisps, Crackers, Pretzels, Dips, and Other Savory Bites, Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk, The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux, and a bunch of other cookbooks I’ve amassed.I’m also stock piling these jars. I’ve currently got a couple in the refrigerator with basil simple syrup and another with lime juice for spontaneous Basil Lime Coolers. My new favorite drink. Sophy’s a fan too. Super quick recipe is:1. Simply Syrup: add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water along with 5-6 basil leaves (substitute with mint or any other favorite herb here) and heat until sugar dissolves. Let cool and use immediately or store in a container in the refrigerate.2. Juice limes: we do an entire bag at a time. Costco or Sam’s is your best bet for large inexpensive produce for this. You could also do grapefruit, orange juice, etc. 3. I also add carbonated water that Rolland carbonates using the soda stream but totally optional.4. Mix the above into a pitch or in a glass of crushed ice to taste. Sophy and I like tart so I do about 2/3 juice to small amount of syrup and water. Sophy’s has about 1/4 juice and 3/4’s water with a tiny bit of sugar.Tasty summer goodness.