Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bead Soup Stewing

So. After I retired my trusty PowerBook G4 after 7+ years of faithful service, I got a little 13 inch Toshiba laptop. After a week of that, it's graphic card (I think) broke and I was given a 15.6 inch as a replacement.

Long story short, it is 2:36 am and I can't get any of my pictures to load onto my new computer. Worse, I can't see any of the pictures on my camera.

I will have to approach this problem with a rested mind tomorrow.

In the mean time, check out these wonderful people with working computers and cameras...

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads 
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities

Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry

Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog
Sally Anderson, Wild Sally Road
Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo

Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs
Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paper, Love, and Dreams

When you buy something handmade, you're giving a loved one a gift that someone made with their own hands. That gift was once an idea, a sketch, a dream. The artist took that idea, sketch, dream, and worked to make it something beautiful. It's a wonderful process and something amazing to witness.

I have a friend. Her name is Grace. She just opened up Paper, Love, and Dreams. It's an online boutique that sells gorgeous handmade stationary.

I know. You're thinking, "Who uses stationary anymore?"

Well. I do. And more people should.

We've become a culture that is always connected by invisible electrical signals. Texting is an everyday thing. The email inbox has replaced mail boxes. And we don't even take the time to print actual pictures anymore.

Grace's block prints are fun and colorful. Who doesn't love a tipsy hedgehog?

I know of at least 5 different people who would just light up if they got one of those cards in the mail randomly one day.

I've teamed up with my friend for a giveaway on her blog. She's giving away a beautiful set of cards she designed called "Drink Up." These cards are dipped in Cabernet Sauvignon to create an ombre effect. That's right. Dipped in wine. How clever is that?

And I designed these earrings to compliment the collection. If your name is drawn, you get both the card set AND those pearl earrings.

Hop on over to her blog and enter the giveaway. Also, check out her shop. She has this collection called "Girls" that is just inspiring. And 20% of the proceeds of a "Girls" card goes to benefit Girls, Inc.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Life Runs Fast


It's been 13 days since I blogged.

I promise, I didn't mean to let life get in the way.

But that happens during the summer.

I last left you saying that I was having a show on the 21st.

Well, the day after (Happy 4th of July, btw), the boyfriend's car died. Long story short, his engine had to be rebuilt. Fun times.


I cancelled the show and we took care of business. I didn't have to help pay for the repair or anything but he works far away and I drove him around (gas is expensive).

I will have another show closer to the holiday season and I'll keep you guys posted on that.

What else happened between now and then?

OH! I hit 100 sales on Etsy! *dance*

And now... this bracelet is selling like crazy. It's keeping me busy and I'm insanely happy about it. I feel so blessed there are people out there who like my stuff enough to buy it.

The blog will be changing a little. I have a few regular weekly post ideas bouncing around in my head. That should be fun.

I'm also working on some tutorials for the blog.

Lots of new and exciting things going around in my mind.

I'm moving forward and it's awesome.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A First for Me

This year has been full of exciting changes and leaps of faith.

Don't get me wrong, there were too many times where I lay in bed, crying, frustrated with myself and with life.

But, I've kept my heart open and continued to move forward. Sometimes, I take great strides... most of the time, I seem to tip-toe on. But I'm moving forward.

I have my first show on July 21st!


To be honest, I didn't find this show. They found me. An organization called "RAW: natural born artists" contacted me about doing a show at a night club on the 21st.

My heart raced as I spoke with Tyler (the RAW rep). Everything felt right. There will be a fashion show. Music. They will work to get the press there and are currently promoting the show. How awesome is that?

I think it's awesome.

Because it's at a night club, tickets are $10. The money goes to the event and not the artists. It's kind of like a booth fee. I have to sell 20 tickets. So.. if you'd like to show some support, check out the Facebook event to see how to buy tickets.

Oh. And if you buy a ticket, let me know! I'll make you something pretty! I'll have it waiting for you at the table OR I will mail it out to you if you can't make it to the show but still want to show your love.

I'm so ready for this.

Mentally, anyway.

Inventory-wise? Not really. Have I met the ticket quota yet? No...

But I'm not worried. I know good things will happen.

Because I'm ready for good things to happen. I'm ready to do the work. I AM doing the work.

Today is a good day.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Metal Stamp Storage Tip and New Cutters

I'm a beginner at metal stamping. And I'm not rich. So when I bought my stamp set, they came in a nice red case, but the stamps get out of order easily. I needed a stamp holder.

Like this one:

But with shipping, the holder would cost more than my metal stamps! And then there's the wait and well, sometimes, I'm not very patient.

So, I went to Michaels. And for less than $5 (I want to say only $2, but I'm not sure), I purchased a square piece of floral foam and...

Made it look like a porcupine! :P I could have measured our the foam and made the stamps all equidistant and pretty in the foam but.. eh... I'm lazy. The container for the stamps was square so I bought square foam and eyeballed it. Works great!

I was ready to stamp... But first...

How on earth was I to cut this flat wire???

My regular snippers were to small and my other cutters... well, I once used them to cut memory wire and they haven't forgiven me since. So. For Rod and my anniversary, I asked for a pair of cutters. We went to Lowe's and looked around. I couldn't remember the gauge of my flat wire and all I remember reading about with cutters was to get something called "heavy duty wire cutters."

Well, let me tell you. Couldn't find anything that said "heavy duty wire cutters." So. Well. We bought a $9 pair of bolt cutters. I figured, hey, if it can cut through a friggin' BOLT, it can cut through some flat wire.

Look at the size of these things! 8 inch bolt cutters. Could have gotten the 14 inch version for like $3 more but I decided against it.

And they work great. Of course, you still have to file down the edges, but what was I expecting? Magic cutters? For the price, this thing is pretty magical, let me tell you.

Now, I need something to make holes. I have a coupon for Hobby Lobby and I think their hole punch thingy is only $7.99... maybe $9.99. Michaels has theirs for over $20 now. So I will be heading over to Hobby Lobby sometime this week. I'm very excited. It's coming together... slowly, but surely.

Happy Monday, all!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Explaining Infinity

The word "infinity" comes from the Latin "infinitas," which means "unboundedness."

The ancient Indians and Greeks were unable to explain "infinity" mathematically so they thought of it as a philosophical concept.

I remember when my father tried to explain the concept of infinity to me for the first time. My father, brilliant, troubled man that he is, loves math. Probably a little too much. In fact, it's one of his triggers for a schizophrenic episode. During one of his episodes, I remember his trying to teach me mental math. Out of the blue, he told me to turn an 8 on it's side in my mind.

Dad: "Do you know what that means?"

Me: "No..."

Dad: "Infinity. Do you know what infinity means?"

Me: "No..."

Dad: "Forever. Unending. Unlike the alphabet which ends at z, numbers go on forever."

It was a hard concept for me to grasp at 8 years old (or however old I was... my sister will tell you, I have a terrible memory sometimes) but I think I get it now.

Infinity. Forever. Unending. Like my love for my family.

I've got these infinity bracelets up in the shop right now. Also have some in brassy gold too.

Happy Thursday, all! Weekend is almost here! *happydance!*

Monday, June 25, 2012

BSBP: What I Love Most

Our fearless leader, Lori Anderson, posed the question "Why/how did you become a jewelry designer and what do you like best about it?" Well, I answered the first half of the question but completely left out the second half!

There are quite a few different things I love about being a jewelry designer.

There's the pretty things I make. I thoroughly enjoy making pretty things.

There's the fact that I get to actually make pretty things. That's pretty awesome. Making things brings me happiness.

Then... there's my customers.

I don't consider myself a successful Etsy seller, but in the last year, I've sold more and made more jewelry than any time before. And I love my customers. Custom orders make me giddy. Questions about my work get me excited. And then the feedback... oh the feedback.

Knowing that someone loves a piece as much as I loved making it... that's joy. I make these things with my own two hands. My heart goes with each piece and a part of me is expressed in every little thing I make... even my $6 bracelets.

And when someone tells me how much they like it... or that it was the perfect gift for their friend... my heart soars. I am so thankful to these wonderful people who take time out of their day to tell an artist they like the work he/she is doing.

We all need to hear that, sometimes.

Oh. At the risk of contradicting yesterday's post... there's also the beads.

I. Love. Beads. Shopping for them. Holding them. Sketching them. Thinking about making them. Dreaming about my own bead store. Oh yes. Beads are another reason why I make jewelry. ^_^

What do you love most about what you do?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More to Life Than Beads

I have my first show coming up in July (more about that in another post... promise) and I spent the better part of the week before last FREAKING the EFF out. Stressing over money (like always) and inventory.

Then this happened on the 16th.

My nephew's 1st birthday. FIRST! He had a cold. But certainly loved all the attention. That picture in the bottom right corner? That's storytime with me and Rowan who is adorable.

There were lollicakes. Cotton candy hair is genius, by the way. Genius... AND delicious. *nomnom*

Then the next morning, Rod and I made pancakes with Kai, my other nephew and Kian's older brother. That boy is such a picky eater... but if he cooks it, he eats it. I'm told they've already cooked through the whole box of pancake mix we bought. That middle picture? HE put the blueberry there on top of the butter.

At first, he only wanted plain pancakes, but Tita Rose made blueberry for herself. Well, he saw me making them and wanted to make them too... then... he ate them. Lol. LOVE YOU, KAI!

Then we went home. It was our anniversary week last week. We took it easy. He played guitar. It reminded me of one of our first dates... 4 years ago. <3

At first, there wasn't much creating. We went to a book store and I found a magazine called "Handmade Fashion," a British import that cost $20! Oh how I want it. He picked me flowers. I played with seed beads.

I was able to go to the bead store on Thursday. These were the lovelies I acquired. I got two Ganesha bone pendants because I want one for myself. We turned the table into our own joint worktable.

Toward the end of the week, after some much needed relaxation, he had at least three watercolor paintings done. I was frantically working with my wire and sketching out new designs.

My family is so important to me. So far, I've seen someone from my immediate family every weekend for the past 3 weeks. How lucky am I? Why am I stressing? I'm doing what I love... Sure, right now, it's a struggle, financially, but I know I can do this. My family believes in me. My boyfriend believes in me. Now, I just need to believe in myself.

How was your week last week?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BSBP: Why I Became a Jewelry Designer

Lori Anderson, the lovely lady behind the Bead Soup Blog Party, emailed us recently with an interesting idea: Tell why I became a jewelry designer. I scratched my head... Have I already told you how I decided to become a jewelry designer? I'm pretty sure I haven't... because, really, I kind of stumbled onto it accidentally.

I was working at Borders when I started designing jewelry. Right around the time I had to drop out of LCAD, I felt like I couldn't do any art. I had failed to complete art school because I was lacking funds and therefore, I had failed as an artist. I drifted around quite a bit. Threw myself into working at Borders... Oh, I still sketched, but I couldn't complete a real "piece."

Enter Beadwork magazine. I was putting magazines away and this one just caught my eye. Gorgeous designs in beautiful colors. My brain went "OH! It's just thread and beads! I can do that."

From a 2010 blog post. I couldn't make the seed beads hold the rivoli in place.
Epic. Fail.

I can't tell you how many incomplete projects I STILL have sitting in a plastic box from 2009. Oh, they started out pretty enough but maybe I couldn't find exactly the right size seed bead and then it threw the whole project out of whack. Or the tension was wrong. Or the needle(s) broke. Whatever the reason, I just couldn't do bead weaving.

But. Then.

I found... wire.

My first piece published in Jewelry Affaire

And I never looked back. I think my love for seed beads stems from the fact that I so desperately wanted to be a beadweaver. I tried so hard but just couldn't do it. So I wrap them up instead. And they come in so many beautiful colors and sizes! I love that they add such detail to pieces... they're tiny gems!

I've added leather and cord to my list of tools I love and now I'm learning to play with metal. It's such an awesome learning process and I don't think I'll ever stop growing, learning, making mistakes... HAVING FUN!

Jewelry gives me an opportunity to express myself. To add some beauty to our world. And I find myself loving it like I never thought I would. I can actually FINISH pieces, which I used to struggle with when I was just drawing and painting. I even finish paintings now...

Something about making pretty things just makes me happy. And that's ultimately why I do what I do. To bring smiles and happiness to my life and to the lives of those who like my jewelry.

So why did you become a jewelry designer?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mew-mew Earrings

Have you seen the movie "Thor?"

One of my favorites.

Well, these earrings were inspired by his hammer, Mjolnir (or "mew-mew" as one of the girls calls it in the movie :P).

These are up in the shop right now. Sea glass and copper... Such a lovely combo. So lovely, in fact, that this happened...

They're waiting for payday so they can have earring wires. Lol.

My sister loved these so much, she asked me to make her a necklace. That one is currently waiting for payday as well... because, well, a necklace can't be a necklace without a chain. :P

I've been on an earring kick lately because these are also a new addition to the shop

Am I too late in the game for the feather trend? Are they still in? All I know is I've always loved feathers. These were bound together with floral tape and then a fold-over crimp was added.

Fun times.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Korean BBQ and Metal Stamps

Did you know I have a little sister? Well, not really little anymore... or even that much younger than I am (we're a year and a half apart), but she's the baby of the fambam. She's the one who calls me "Ahtee."

My Kuya John, Michelle (the baby sister) in blue, and that's me in back. Oh. and the little guy? That's Kai. This was in Hawaii almost 5 years ago.
We have our ups and downs... a lot of downs lately but we're trying. Anyway, she came to visit me yesterday.

We had Korean BBQ. So. Good. Expensive but when do we ever get to hang out like we used to? There was a book store trip and a Hobby Lobby exploration as well. I had a good time and she said she did too so a successful visit, I think.

Speaking of Hobby Lobby...

Remember when I bought these?

I looked up "metal stamping" on youtube the day after I bought these stamps and found some videos by Lisa Niven Kelly that explained the basics of stamping. I also picked up Lisa's book at the library (goodness, libraries are a book lover's best friend when they're broke)... I just need to read it :P

But I'm still missing tools (like a torch for annealing or something to darken letters). So, when I decided to give it a go, I really didn't see results that made me happy...

See! Or well... maybe you can't. Lol. Those two pieces of metal are supposed to say "AHTEE." On the brass square, you can (just barely) see how the last 'e' is up higher than the rest of the letters. Well, I didn't know that these stamps were going to come oiled and the stamp slipped. Oh, the frustration.

I thought maybe I needed to anneal the metal. I thought maybe my stamps were SO CHEAP they wouldn't stamp anything right. I thought I was a complete klutz and not meant to stamp metal.

I wrapped my stamps up in paper towels and let them sit on my desk for a while... intending to wait until I could afford a torch and try again...

But. You see. Today. My anvil was out on the table with the stamps and something clicked in my brain. Lisa says in one of the videos that she doesn't like anvils because they're higher up than a regular bench block and don't have a big enough surface area so when I tried out my new toys, I used my RUBBER bench block. Well, I whipped out the first letter I could find and tried out the anvil...

This picture shows the difference between the rubber bench block and my anvil. The letter came out cleaner! WOW! Then I moved the metal blank to the rubber bench block to try it again and sure enough, it did not work (see purple arrow... yes, the 'b' is on it's side :P).

Oh, the happiness I felt. I'm not a klutz! And the paper towels got rid of all the oil! And I don't need a torch right now! YAY! *happydance!*

By the way. My solution for the height of the anvil and small surface area?

Turn the anvil on it's side. YEP! Still not perfect letters but I'm getting better. For some reason, my hammer strikes have resulted in a deeper indentation at the bottom of the letter than the top. I'm going to try and work on that. Maybe tilt the stamps a little? I dunno yet.

Any new techniques you're working on right now?

PS. The metal blanks? From Michaels. YEP! MICHEALS. They've been getting a ton of new tools making it easier for people to get new tools to give techniques a try. I even saw a disc cutter for $50. When a good coupon comes out, I'm going to grab one. I'm lucky I have a Michaels, JoAnns, and Hobby Lobby all in one county. AND 3 or 4 bead stores I love. Happy girl.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Puppies and Bracelets

Since Thursday, my world has been a lot of this:

Dog-sitting for my friends. The pups seem to really like the boyfriend.

Especially Indy, short for Indiana Bones. He likes to snuggle Rod when he's on the couch.

Wee little Etsy shop update this week.

These bracelets are now in the bracelet section. Double strand, braided, mother of pearl buttons... FUN colors. Perfect for the beach, I think.

Another wire wrap bracelet, similar to this one... but in pastel colors. Loving the palette here.

And I made this one for a man. Not a specific man, but a man nonetheless. Buffalo nickel button!

I have a show coming up in July! Isn't that exciting? I will do a whole blog post about that... next week. Right now, puppies and boyfriend need cuddles. :P

Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I've Never Felt So Lucky

I had such an amazing weekend. My boyfriend had his hours cut at the shop he works so our weekend started on Thursday.

Drove up to Fullerton in search of a baby print press. I was cranky from lack of sleep but Rod still managed to get me to smile by (surprise, surprise) taking me to check out the Whole Foods that opened up a few weeks ago. Lots of yummy looking pastries! They even had Indian food in their food bar!

On Friday, after taking me to the bead store and the new Hobby Lobby that opened up, he took me out for some pho. It was our date night and I love me some pho. Before going to the movies (we saw "Pirates!"), we hit Starbucks and I got to look at my new lovelies.

Saturday, the boyfriend and I hung out most of the day at Starbucks, making and creating (and Facebooking :P). He had dinner with his mom that night and I went back to Hobby Lobby. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they have Vintaj. And all the leathey goodness makes me swoon. I bought my first letter punch set that day. I'm excited to try it out.

And now Sunday. Sunday was my favorite day of the weekend. Why? Because I got a surprise visit from my lovely family.

My adorable nephew, Kai...

And my other nephew, Kai's baby brother and my godson, Kian...

My sister-in-law called me Sunday morning to let me know they were on their way for a surprise visit! We met them in Irvine for dim sum (yummy!) and drove out to Laguna Beach. We hit the Fingerhut Gallery and looked at all the Dr. Seuss paintings and bronzes. Kai was IN LOVE. He just couldn't believe his eyes. Here were drawings and paintings he learned to read from in an ART GALLERY. It certainly opened his eyes to new things.

He said to me, "Let's paint Kian and put him in the art room." Lol. <3 Even asked for paints from his mom who promptly said to ask me. Ha!

It was pretty cold.

Kai, being the energetic 7 year old that he is, begged us to buy him a shovel and bucket to make sand castles. But it was freezing! My brother, sister-in-law, and I sat on a bench with Kian while my boyfriend ventured out into the sand and played! I love him so much for that. Lol.

My big brother and Kian. Kian's nose is red! Lol.

After Laguna Beach, we hit Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour for dinner.

Such yummy food. Those garlic fries were excellent with ranch.

Kai was fascinated with the flags that came with our sandwiches.

Kai right after I said, "No ice cream until you have some pizza..." Something we had to constantly remind him of. Lol.

Quite possibly the best BEST cherry coke I've ever had.

And of course... the ice cream... 

My big bro and our ice cream.

We got Kai his own little sundae but ours looked better, I'm guessing. :P

At the end of the night. That's me directly across from Kai. My sister-in-law is taking the picture... Lucky lady. Lol. She can hide behind the camera. :P

I had such a wonderful weekend. Nothing inspires me more than being with my loved ones and I needed their love and hugs. Even my brother, who is usually pretty quite, gave me a good hug when they left. 

I miss them so much but I will see them again on the 16th which is little Kian's 1st birthday party. The theme? Cat in the Hat. ^_^

How was your weekend?