bead soup 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party ~ The brain child of Lori Anderson of Pretty Things. A bunch of creative types (with a blog) sign-up, get paired-up and send each other a bead soup.

Bead Soup ~ Has to include one focal and one clasp along with some coordinating beads.  (You can send more if you want but this is the bare minimum.) The soup should be something you would send your best friend ~ in other words ~ no cast-offs.

What happens next ~ You create something with what you were sent, and it doesn’t have to be jewelry. Rules state you have to use the focal and clasp but you don’t have to use them in the same piece.

Finally ~ The reveal date: May 3rd, 2014. You post a blog with a picture of your creation, and go blog-hopping to see what everyone else has created.

Why? ~ Because it’s FUN!!! to stretch your creativity and challenge yourself in new and creative ways. You get to meet new people and it’s also good advertising. 😉

For more detailed information please visit Lori’s BSBP info page.

My partner ~ Nicole DeMore from Beading for Healing. She is currently living on the west coast in Oregon, (One of my favorite states!!!) She mainly works with seed beads so the soup I sent her might be a bit of a challenge. Go on over and check out her blog! She’s posted some great tutorials!

Now for the wonderful soupy goodness that Nicole sent me. I love all of the sea glass, and beads, it will be fun to make something out of these! ~

Bead Soup 2014 for me

And here is what I sent her. The luna moth pendant is one of two that I made and that’s the only reason I was able to part with it. ~

Bead Soup 2014 for Nicole



week 10 : the big picture

Botanical Garden BridgeThere was finally a break in the weather so we decided to pack up, embrace the sun, and have a picnic at the Botanical Gardens. We happened upon this lovely bridge on our stroll through the park. I love the many colored stones that its comprised of.

It’s hard to believe that school was closed the next day due to a winter storm.


Goodbye, 2013.

My first post for 2014 and the first post on my new site will be a bit different than what I want this blog to become. But I thought it would be a good way to say goodbye to what I’ve done and hello to the new year and what’s to come.

This past year has been a whirlwind for me:

  • I started cooking dinner every night to get my son eating something other than mac and cheese and pb&j! Paleo and whole food meals have become a staple in this house.
  • I continued on a path back to a healthier lifestyle, continuing to loose weight and gain strength.
  • I turned 40. Woohoo! I was very blessed to have my Mom, Sister, Brother and Aunt Mary here to celebrate with me.

my sister, me, and mom

  • I traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, for the second time and realized traveling solo is not for me. I prefer to have someone to share the adventure with and the memories when you are home. Thanks again, Dad, for hanging out with the grandson who seems to be just like you!



  • I said goodbye to my Grandfather, who will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.
  • Went to the beach and caught up on on reading some of my favorite author’s books. (If you haven’t read anything by Jasper Fforde you are missing out!)


  • My husband returned from his second deployment to Afghanistan.
  • Went camping in the Shenandoah National Forest.



  • My son turned 6 and started 1st grade~in the same week.
  • I welcomed another niece to our ever-growing family. Hello, Elizabeth!!!


  • I went to one of my cousin’s weddings. (First time this worked out for both me and my husband, yah!)
    Congratulations again, Ryan and Emily!
  • Ran the Color-Me-RAD 5k with my husband and son. Yes, my 6-year old son! He blew us away by running/sprinting the whole way with us.


  • Changed my blog to WordPress ~ bear with me as I learn all the ins and outs of this new platform.
  • I decided on a name for my blog/website/brand that I am happy with: MichelleAnn Studio. I change way too much to go with anything else. 😉
  • I finally had enough inventory to send some things to my sister-in-laws’ open house.
    Check out their site on etsy ~Simple Family Gifts.


  • Finished a commission for my Mom. Pendants that pay homage to her childhood (and current) home, given to her sisters.


  • Successfully created my annual Christmas Ornaments for my nieces and nephews ON TIME!


  • We started looking for a house to buy (still looking.)

Yes, it has been a year full of a rainbow of emotions and memories.

I’m looking forward to 2014 mainly because there are a lot of changes on the horizon which I can’t wait to share along with all the inspirations that come with them.

Please join me tomorrow and every Saturday this year for my “Focus on Life” picture and post!

Coast to Coast

This move was our longest one to date. We left beautiful, temperate, San Diego and relocated to beautiful, not-so-temperate Virginia Beach. Being that this was also an end to an extremely long separation (military) from my husband, we turned the move into a family vacation/road trip. 
Amazingly the majority of the photos were taken using Hipstamatic on my iPhone. 
how in the world did i accumulate so much stuff?
saying “goodbye” to the pacific ocean
helicopter tour of the grand canyon

sight seeing at meteor crater
“the meteor made a BIG BIG hole”
camping in dinosaur park, texas

riding a pony at a rodeo in austin
saying “hello” to the atlantic ocean

chaos ensues

Can I tell you how much I dislike moving? I’m a huge procrastinator and those bad habits have bit me in the rear again. In fact I’m procrastinating right now…instead of actually getting at least one of the millions of things checked off my list of things to do, I’m writing on my blog! I have till Thursday to get things organized for the movers that come on Friday. My house is completely turned upside down. Caleb returned home from Afghanistan last week, YEAH!!! So we are getting reacquainted and moving all at the same time. We are also in the process of finding someone to ship one of our vehicles across country. I really hope the stress of dealing with these brokers is worth it.

To add to this chaos I’ve signed up for a class! Yes, you heard me right. I’m going to be taking Deryn Mentock’s on-line course “The Art of Closure.” The class start’s on April 1st. The same day we arrive in Virginia Beach. The same day we are supposed to start hunting for a house to rent. (We’ll be staying in a vacation rental for the month.) My brilliant thinking is that I’ll need something to do that’s creative during this time as a sort of escape from reality. I hope I can make it work because the class looks like a lot of fun!

Ok, that’s enough procrastinating… 😉