Saturday, October 18, 2014

Two sides to Qandi

There is nothing wrong with the quality of this image.  It's blurry because it shows how crazy she was going over her little pink rag (which used to be a ball).

And the complete opposite.  Soccer ball or cat?  You decide.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Story Behind StringtownBeads

In 2007 I was looking for a unique shower gift for my soon-to-be sister-in-law. I wanted to give her something nobody else would give her. I remembered that my best friend had a jewelry making kit.

2010 was a life-changing year. On July 25th my best friend since pre school passed away. She was the one who sparked my interest in beading and it was something we both grew to love. In addition to her passing in 2010 I also retired on disability. I spent the following year mourning the loss of my best friend and not knowing what to do with my life.

Once I got back on my feet I started beading again and I found I could use it as a way to remember Stephanie. On July 25, 2011, one year after her passing I opened StringtownBeads in Stephanie's memory. Stringtown comes from the main technique I use - stringing. I feel that we opened StringtownBeads together. I am also committed to raising awareness for Spina Bifida. Stephanie and I were both born with Spina Bifida.

 The banner you see on my shop homepage represents our story. When Stephanie passed away I was given her bead collection. One day while going through her collection I found the necklace you see pictured on my shop banner. It was already strung, but it did not yet have the clasp secured. I completed the necklace Stephanie had begun and decided to use the image for my shop banner.  It represents closure, yet new beginnings.

StringtownBeads is more than just a shop. It's a symbol of strength. I turned a tragedy into something positive and I hope to inspire others to do the same. It touches me to know that Stephanie and I can reach people all over the world with our story.

And so it began. I fell in love with beading and it became a favorite hobby for both of us. In addition to making jewelry as gifts for others, we began to create our own pieces. It was something I did when I wasn't grading papers or planning my lessons, as I was an elementary school teacher at the time.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Lunar Eclipse

I often gain inspiration just by looking up at the sky.  I took these with my phone.  Which pic do you like best?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gifts Certificates Now Available in StringtownBeads!

StringtownBeads Gift Certificates now available!

If you would like a gift certificate in an amount other than $25 dollars please contact me.

StringtownBeads gift certificates are electronic PDF files and can be emailed either to you or to the recipient after payment is received. Please include instructions in the "Message to Seller" during checkout. To redeem a gift certificate the recipient will need to contact me on Etsy with the unique code located in the bottom BEFORE making a purchase.

Before processing a transaction with the gift certificate, please convo me on Etsy. In your convo please include a link to the item you want to purchase, the unique code on your gift certificate, and the amount of your gift certificate. I will create a custom listing for you based on this information.

If you want to place a custom-made order with your gift certificate please describe in your convo what you would like. I will create a custom listing for you based on this information.

If the amount of your gift certificate is equal to the cost of the item, your custom listing will be for $0.01.

If the amount of your gift certificate is less than the cost of the item you picked, your custom listing will be priced to cover the difference and you will need to submit that payment.

If the amount of your gift certificate is greater than the cost of the item you picked, I will issue you a new gift certificate for the remaining sum.

Please note:

- StringtownBeads coupon codes are not applicable to gift certificates - they are applicable to merchandise only.
- StringtownBeads gift certificates are redeemable only at
- For a gift certificate to be redeemed, the correct unique code must be supplied to me.
- Gift certificates are e-mailed according to instructions entered in the "Message to Seller" during checkout.
- Gift certificates are not redeemable for cash and are non-refundable.

Shipping is always free!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Confessions of a Non-knitter

Four years ago today my best friend passed away.  The following year I started making it my annual goal to bring something to life in memory of her.  In 2011 StringtownBeads opened for business.  In 2012 I presented my new and improved blog.  Last year I created a lyric video for If I Die Young by The Band Perry.  This year I knitted my version of a scarf, and here's why.

One day when Stephanie and I were out shopping as we so often did, I bought some yarn and needles to try my hand at knitting.  I tried several times and got frustrated.  I would make a mistake, then completely start over.  Eventually I got tired of it and just gave up. 

This year I wanted to change that.  I wanted to overcome the challenges I faced, much like what life is all about.  I wanted to push through the tough times and finish a garment, so I decided to knit a scarf.  Problem is, who wears a thick scarf in the middle of Maryland summers?  Then it hit me.  A Christmas in July scarf!  I had red and green yarn, so it was perfect.  Okay, so I may not wear this scarf in the middle of summer, but I'll always remember it as my Christmas in July scarf because that's when it was created.

It's a good thing it's the journey that counts, and not the final product.  What I learned about myself throughout this whole process is that my true passion is still with beading, not knitting.  But I can say I gave it a good shot.  We don't have to like every new thing we try.  The important thing is simply that we try.  And I did.  I put my heart and soul into completing this scarf.  I bought a book, watched instructional videos, and got help from friends who are seasoned knitters.  I also felt an enormous amount of support from friends who don't know how to knit.  Everyone encouraged me to keep going.  All of these people completed the scarf with me, including Stephanie.  After all, the original inspiration came from her.

So, the scarf is it's own kind of perfect.  I did improve as I continued working on it and that's evident if you see the scarf in person and know which part I did first and which part I did second.  I may eventually pick up the yarn and needles again, but for now it's back to the beading.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 92

Another example of how nature teaches us about life - past (some of the petals have fallen), present (petals on the flowers), future (some of the buds haven't opened yet). Seems to me that most of it is all about enjoying the present!

Sunday, April 20, 2014