Always, Katie: June 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stylish Medical Alert Bracelets

I'm going to try and post this in as many places as I can, so if you're new, HI!!  I'm nutty, but we have fun :-)  Introduce yourself, stick around...

I have been diabetic for almost twelve years... and I faithfully wore a medical alert bracelet for, oh, four or five of them.  I know they're important and why... I know I really need to wear one... but they're so BORING!  **My grandparents got me a STUNNING one right after diagnosis, which is the one I wore every day for four/five years... but it got very snug... and then the clasp gave out.  So they're not all boring... but most are :-)**

Anyway... one of the detectives I worked with when I was an intern had a seven-year-old daughter diagnosed with Type I diabetes while I was working there.  I had begun dabbling in jewelry making, but hadn't yet made it a business.  I bought one of the drug store cheapie bracelets and cut the chain off, then made some little bracelet pieces that she could attach to the tag and switch out as she wanted.  Meant to make one for myself.  Didn't... 

Fast forward, um, a little bit...  I make all kinds of jewelry... sell it to friends, and to strangers who become friends... never leave the house (even to the mailbox) unless I'm wearing something I made... pride myself in being able to teach myself new techniques...

Still hadn't made a medical alert bracelet for myself.  Whoops.  So, I ordered a tag with my info engraved, and fixed that oversight :-)  In one evening, I made seven new bracelets for myself, and am now wearing my medical alert bracelet for the first time in a while.  

I also added a cute little "K" to the plaque... I may get more charms to switch out with my moods. :-) The lobster-claw clasps on the ends of the chains attach to either side of the plaque.  Easy-as-pie!
Here are my eight (as of typing... I'm sure I'll add to my collection OFTEN!) chains...
Swarovski in three shades of purple... matches my chandeliers nicely!
Three shades of green... can you tell I'm in a crystal mood lately?
My signature color!
Red chip beads were a gift from my granny-in-law.  Wanted to save them for something special!!
The red and pink bracelets have these heart-shaped lobster clasps... aren't they CUTE!?
Another gift from Granny, put to good use!

This matches the necklace and ring I'll show you tomorrow. :-)
Basic basic basic!  If nothing else matches, this will!!  And it sparkles, so I love it!
If you have any condition or are on any medications that make medical alert jewelry advisable, PLEASE consider buying one of these... It's so very important!  

Okay, the numbers stuff.  I found a website that sells very reasonably priced tags... so, after you've let me know you're planning on this, go here and pick out the tag you like--that way you can choose engraving fonts and phrases, and I don't have to mark every tag up a bunch to compensate for people who want six lines vs. one line!  I'll send you my address in an email, and you can use that as the "ship to" address.  While we're waiting for your tag to arrive at my house, we can email about what colors and styles, and how many chains you want. :-)  That's the fun part!  Almost all of my work is custom, so you will most likely have the only bracelet like it!  You're SO not constrained to any of the chains you see above!!!  Browse the blog for others, most can be adapted!  Send me a photo of your favorite shirt or dress--I'll make a bracelet to match!  "Normal" bracelets cost $10 apiece, or $15 for two... there are very few cases that I can think of when I'd need to charge more than that, and I will let you know RIGHT up front if your request is one of them :-) 

See... these are super-reasonably priced, and (I think, humbly) gorgeous!  Medical alert jewelry doesn't have to be icky or expensive!  Even if you don't order one of mine, if a doctor has ever told you to wear alert jewelry and you don't... please start.  Please, please, please.  :-)


PS: To get started on your fabulous, custom-made medical alert jewelry, shoot an email to me at !!  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Ethan and I were married on July 11, 2009... and brought home our precious ball of fluff on August 10!  I was aching for someone to nurture, and this little sweetie gave me the perfect opportunity to do that :-)  

We named him Charlemagne, after my ancestor and Ethan's love of history.  However... at 7 and a half pounds... he doesn't quite live up to the ferocious conqueror's name!  So we call him Charley.

Today is his second birthday.  In honor of this occasion, I wanted to share pictures of his life so far!  I think you'll agree--he's adorable!!

We were looking for a little white, female maltipoo... when the pet store attendant handed me this teeny little red boy, I looked at him and fell in love.He weighed 2 and a quarter pounds the day we brought him home!  He was scared and pitiful, and would only eat soft foods out of my hands... we bonded pretty quickly :-) 

Momma toting him around in a Longaberger Medium Market Basket...

We only have one bathtub... where I bathe Charley.  When I tried to take a bath, he hopped in, and got promptly evicted. 

He loves tummy-rubbin's...

Cuddling after he got sick.

For some reason, he loved hanging out under the dresser in our hotel room in Lynchburg, VA last summer.

His first birthday!

I love when he lets me hold him while he snoozes <3

His first snowfall.

For a while, he was obsessed with hanging out on the basement landing.
Happy birthday, little fella!  We didn't expect you to be our only baby for this long, but we're so glad to have you to snuggle and nurture... you bring so much laughter and love to this house.  :-)

Momma Katie

Friday, June 10, 2011

Project Closet Office WrapUp

I'm going to try to wrap up my cloffice project today!  I have an awful lot of pictures and cool details to show you, and an office that is sooo begging me to bead, so I'm hoping I can get through this post in a reasonably small number of sittings ;-)

First things, first: we went shopping.  Among our purchases were some particle board screws, which Ethan used to secure the melamine slab to the cubby-thingies:

To cover the relative ugliness of screws and hole in my pristine white desktop, I had already decided I was going to use the pictures I have been clipping from magazines and such... and some triple-thick glaze.  Right now, there is only one picture on it, but I expect that adding to it will be a project that lasts as long as the desk does!  (And I already have a stack of images waiting to be added)

Next, I needed light!  Not just any light... lanterns.  Woo!  I have fishing line holding these beauties in place:

They're cute, but not super-bright.  I did, however, have an old lamp from my dorm days laying around... the shade was broken in one of my moves, so I made a new one.  I'm not entirely thrilled, but it's a start!  I got the idea for the ruffles here...

We also got some organizers for mailing supplies, receipts, orders, and components that don't fit in tiny tubs...

I suspect that this one will be spray painted yellow in the near future!

I need somewhere to keep custom order notes, idea cards, coupons/codes and other miscellaneous stuff that I am apt to lose :-) So, I got a bunch of little 6"x6" cork tiles, and hot glued fun ribbon borders to them, and mounted them to the wall using the two-sided tape included in the packages.

The green ones are my favorites!
Now, I have lots of space to keep my bead organizers... 

The 624 crystals that came in Thursday's mail!
... inventory...

Grab bags!  Claim yours now!
... pieces waiting to be photographed, or that just make me smile :-)...

Purple version of my chandelier set... better close-ups later!

... and some cute, happy items!
Isn't he PRECIOUS?!?!
Happy yellow watering can... holds pens, scissors and jewelry tools.
These flowers are leftovers from a flower headband I made my niece FOREVER ago... then they graced random surfaces of my dorm room for two years... then they lived in a plastic tub for two more...
Now... are you ready for the "after" pictures?  I can hardly believe this is the same closet!


And AFTER!!!!
Oops.  It's better lighting than that, I promise...

Well... there you have it.  I don't have all of my supplies moved in yet, but since they are sooo scattered, I figure that will happen gradually over the next week or two. :-)  

And, now, I'm going to nap for a few days!  


Day 2: Office Closet Project

Typical Katie style, I couldn't wait to get my "cloffice" usable!  I'm not a patient woman, so once the paint was reasonably dry... the desk was assembled, the beginnings of organizing were purchased (along with a few little decorative touches), an old (dorm!) lamp was revived with a new lampshade (which will need some additions), lighting was installed, and cork boards were created and hung.  Yeah... the paint has only been dry about 24 hours as I type this.  Not a patient woman. :-)  

My blue wall, contrasting with the white door and shelf (which is anchored FIRMLY into studs... so the cloffice has to work around it!)... I think the color is pretty subtle, but just enough to not be sterile white, especially considering all of the white that is in there now.  Although, some of these things MAY get spray painted if I get bored later :-)

Here are the cubby-things that make up the legs of my desk... and the piece of white melamine we put over top of them.  The thingies came with three back pieces each, so that half are open to the back wall.  I stuck a piece of 12x12 cardstock under the backs before I nailed them in--this would work with any of this type of assemble yourself thingamabobby!  

Here are some close-ups:

This was Day 2... after I painted in the morning, and waited for the paint to dry! 

Stay tuned for Day 3... it's done, but I'm too sleepy to write any more tonight :-)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Too Excited NOT to Post this Prematurely

When I was living at my parents' house (junior high? high school?), my mom had the brilliant idea to put a desk in my extra bedroom closet for homework and my computer.  I. Was. So. Cool.  It was very James Bond-y :-)  

Fast forward, um, a couple of years, and closet offices (aka "Cloffices!") are all the rage!  I lovelovelove what Jen over at IHeartOrganizing has done with her bedroom closet...

Isn't it pretty?  Very tranquil.
All of my beading stuff is currently spread through the house.  Most of it is in our bedroom--on the desk, a bookcase, my nightstand, tray table--but there is also some in the kitchen (don't ask), the living room, basement... you'll find beads in almost every room of this house.  :-)  I want a little hub for my business... where my camera batteries can charge and I can type, where I can store mailing supplies, jewelry components, and inventory, where inspirational quotes, colors, and pictures can reside.  And we just happen to have a dreadfully under-employed closet in our home office. 

Here is the "before" picture:

I know, right? Nice, big, and nowhere near as useful as it can be!
We tossed most of the boxes, since we'd had the products long enough to be sure we wanted them, and got an accordion folder to organize the lovely stack of paperwork.  It'll be nice to have our sixth kitchen chair back!  

Ethan and I bought some "Blue Avalon" paint (by Glidden) at Walmart, and I got busy painting my first wall ever.  Painting clothes: practice uniform shorts from color guard... when I was 15.  Yeaah.  And the shirt is from a JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes :-)  And notice the 2Liter of Diet Coke?  I needed most of that bottle!

We secured Charley with his leash so he wouldn't try to interfere.  He was not amused.

But his daddy comforted him... :-) Aren't my boys handsome?

My closet looks beautiful so far!  We also have the makings for a make-shift desk that I am so excited for... lots of cubbie cubes with a piece of white melamine to lay over them as a desktop!  And I have all sorts of fun ideas for organizing my supplies, and adding bursts of light and color and inspiration... displaying jewelry... maybe even a little photography corner, so I don't have to keep using the top of my jewelry chest!

Stay tuned for the rest of the makeover!  Sooooo EXCITED!!!


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