Saturday, June 20, 2009

We've Moved!!!

My shiny new blog is all set up! Please visit me at and if you're one of the best people in the world (aka people who give me blog link love) be sure to change your links to the new space!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Song of Her Soul

That will be my new blog name, on my very own domain.

Just as soon as I figure out all the hosting/moving/fixing/pulling my hair out. Which means it might be a few years.

But for now, the domain is mine. Sorry to all my bloggy buds who helped me pick a name way back in September. I went with my own suggestion! Boooo, Crystal. Baaaad, Crystal! You'll forgive me, right? *grin*

Of course, I haven't been blogging all that much, so it may be a waste of money. But maybe actually paying for it will help me get my butt in gear. I guess we'll see!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On Dr Seuss

I'd like to start collecting children's books. I love Dr Seuss and loved reading them when I was little.

What were your favorites? What are your children's favorites?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Meet Horton

Meet Horton.

She's an elephant.


Yes, this Horton is a she. (Notice all the purple.)

I don't think our Horton has heard a Who. Or a What. Or a Why, for that matter. But she has a Where, and that Where is at our house. In our nursery. On the new dresser - that took me months and months to pick - and will belong to our future-adopted-child-to-be. (No, we do not have any news.)


(Dustin named her, by the way.)

Horton joined our little family a long time ago. She came to us from a cute little Etsy shop. I'm sure I bought her for a baby gift, but for some reason or other did not give her away. I ended up buying something else for the gift, and I don't remember What it was, or for Whom it was even bought. So Horton still resides in our little home, on her very own little Where, just waiting to make a friend.

Hopefully our future little Who will love her.

Friday, June 12, 2009

On Open Adoption

Here is an excellent blog post on open adoption.

And another one by the same person on what it is not.

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding open adoption. I know I had several myself going into the process. In fact, I was uncomfortable with it at the beginning of our journey, but just a little ways in I totally had a change of heart and desire it 100%.

Good posts. Read 'em!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Dear Baby...

A year or two ago, I found this pretty little journal at Target. I don't really journal, and I had no idea what I would do with it, but for some reason, it caught my eye. It was calling out to me, so despite the fact that I nearly choked at spending almost ten dollars on a blank book, I bought it. It sat on my bookshelf, looking all pretty, this whole time. Still blank. Without a purpose.

Tonight, laying in bed with the hubby, I decided to write a letter to our baby. Then my mind flashed over to the pretty little journal, and I knew what I had to do. The journal has now been turned into a Dear Baby book, and in it I will write letters to our child from now, pre-parenthood, until it is filled. I'd love for our child to see how much he or she has been wanted, how often we think of him or her, and how much love we have always had.

I wrote the first letter tonight. I thought I'd share it with you. It's special to me, and hopefully someday it will also be special to Baby.

Dear Baby,

It's hard to imagine the possibility of missing someone you haven't even met. But I do. Hi, it's me. Your mama. We haven't met yet, but we will. I crave that day like a root thirsts for water to nurture its very soul. To hold you, cuddle you to my chest and feel the rise and fall of your breath, counting and kissing every tiny finger and every tiny toe again and again. I can't wait to sing to you a lullaby and rock your gray skies away. I love you already. Find me quickly, little baby. I miss you so much.

I think about you often... about your future. What you will look like. Who you will become. Will you grow to be tall? Will you share your daddy's and my love of the arts? Will you excel in sports? Will you want to be a doctor? A preacher? A teacher? A husband or wife... mommy or daddy? I dream so big for you. I have high hopes for you. Whatever it is that you want out of life, I promise to do everything within my power to help you attain it. But right now, my dream is you. So find me quickly, little baby. I miss you so much.

Wherever you are, whoever you are, and whatever you grow up to become, your daddy and I cherish every breath of you. You have us wrapped around your little finger without even having to try. We've been waiting for you and ready for you for a very long time. We've loved you even longer. So find us quickly, little baby. We miss you so much.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Weekend Promo

2 Belles & a Bead is a member of the most fabulous group on Etsy - SATeam! Our team has a fabulous blog, and we're having a fabulous secret sale this weekend.

Check it out!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Random Fact of the Day #11

Last night, staring at myself in the mirror, I found about 10 white hairs. I plucked them all.

After the deed was done, I noticed that one was white only on the bottom half. The top half that once was closest to my scalp was red.

My hair is as indecisive as I am.

That is all.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Flower Obsession

My obsession with little glass flowers continues...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Random Fact of the Day #10

I have filed the taxes and am almost caught up on business orders.


That is all.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No macro here, sorry...

Sorry, bloggy buds. I'm exhausted and not doing too great right now, so I haven't been much up to blogging lately. I think I need to put off Macro Monday at least until sometime in April, after taxes are done and paperwork is caught up.

Last week was of water droplets on a marigold.

Thanks for being patient.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lessons From a Not-Quite-Two-Year Old

1.) Oatmeal is very exciting, but yogurt meltaway drop thingies are downright blissful.

2.) Ceiling fan remotes provide hours of fun. Off, on, giggle... off, on, giggle... repeat.

3.) When a camera is pointed at you, grin as big as you can. You're cute and you know it.

4.) When a big person grins at you, grin back. Big person will inevitably grin even bigger. (See last part of #3.)

Valuable lessons we all should learn, I do believe!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Did You Know?

No, I did not. But... wow.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bobbing Through the Basil

I found this critter in the garden the other day.

Yes, we have a garden already. A raised bed square foot garden.

Yes, I have pictures.

No, you can't see them.

Ok, I guess you can. Later. When I remember to upload them.

But for now, you must be satisfied with only the little creepy crawly. You know how I love photographing my creepy crawlies!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Macro UnMonday #18

Sorry we're late. My mind is in a thousand different directions these days.

Last week's photo was of a bee. I'll have you know that no, it was not a dead bee. It was a dying bee. There is a difference, people! I felt sorry for li'l bee. Poor, poor li'l bee, all dying of unknown causes on my back porch. We like bees. They give us honey. And pollinate our plants so we can eat the fruit. We've had lots of bees in our neighborhood lately. I don't mind really, so long as they don't swarm and/or sting me. This dying little honeybee reminded me of the masses of honeybees that are dying all around the world... a fact that is a little frightening and a lot sad.

Anyway, on to this week's photo.

Do ya know it? Happy guessing!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Macro Monday #17

We have a winner! Just one this week. Brandy guessed that last week's photo is of zip ties. My husband is a little obsessed with them. He's a zip-tyin' fool.

On to this week...

Is it easy? Do you know it? Good luck!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Random Fact of the Day #9

While showering today, I counted seven bars of soap in our shower. Yes, seven.

Four are mine, two are Dustin's, and one is a facial soap bar that we're currently sharing.

Excessive? Nah. A girl needs options. Who wants to smell the same every day?

That is all.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Macro Monday #16

As you saw, last week was way too easy as well. Sorry, guys. I'm a little off my game lately! I'm sorta running out of ideas too.

Anyway, it was the inside of a bubble mailer. I believe Sandra P. and Nicole guessed it exactly.

Here is the photo for this week. A little harder maybe? Perhaps!

Figured it out yet? Go ahead, outsmart that macro!

Good luck!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Orange you glad?

Finally, a post not titled "Macro Monday..." and not about jewelry. Shocker. I know. I really don't have anything to say these days. Yes, I always say that and then end up writing a novel... but for reals, yo. Most of my time on the computer is spent building and growing our business. It's a full time job, just with no "perks" (yet). I guess that's not entirely true. It has paid for some pretty cool toys. Toys are definitely perks.

Today I spent all afternoon working on taxes. The sad part is, I'm not to the actual tax part yet. It took me all afternoon to enter my end of year inventory into my spreadsheet and add up the totals. People, I have too much stuff. Really, does a girl need so many gemstones?

Well, yes. Yes, she does. A girl just doesn't want to be bothered with counting them every year for uncle Sam. Uncle Sam is not the nicest of uncles. All he does is take our hard earned money and spend it on crap. He's not very fiscally responsible. And yet I have to be accountable to him. That's all kinds of crazy.

Speaking of all kinds of crazy... it's been all kinds of crazy windy here. I mean, knock you over windy. Well, knock you over if you're tiny like me. Ok, I have not
actually been knocked over, but "knock you over windy" just sounds so much more ominous than plain old "windy". Shoot, everywhere has plain old "windy". How boring is "windy"? But we don't get plain old "windy" here. We get 50 MPH winds on a weekend for no good reason. That's all kinds of crazy.

Bloggy buds, please take a short break while I drag the recycling bin to the curb. At 1am. Several hours after my husband reminded me to do it (he is out of town, by the way... not a jerk).

And we're back.

It will be all kinds of miraculous if I awaken to the lack of recyclables strewn all across the neighborhood and threatening stares from our neighbors.

Speaking of all kinds of miraculous... the fact that the following photos came out even halfway decent in this all kinds of crazy knock you down wind must indeed be a sign from the heavens. A sign of what, I am not sure.

These are, as I'm sure you guessed, little baby oranges on my little baby mandarin orange tree.

*Pauses to relish in the collective aaaawww*

Not so awww? The fact that I picked and threw away probably twenty little baby oranges. It was so sad. So very, very sad. I did it only because apparently it's recommended the first few years, so the little baby fruits don't take so much energy from the growing tree.

If only I knew this fact when we planted the dang thing two years ago. No wonder it hasn't grown. But it is prolific!

Did you know that little baby mandarin oranges, even when teeny tiny pea sized and still green, smell just like edible full sized mandarin oranges? Oh, so sad having to pick 'n toss them.

Did you also know that I can throw little baby mandarin oranges all teeny tiny pea sized and still green over the fence really really far? I probably made some birdies really happy. Well, if they didn't get hit over the head that is.

Now orange you glad I blogged?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Macro Monday #15

Okay, okay, okay... so last week was a little too easy. I think everyone guessed correctly!

Red onion, indeed. I was making a big pot of black beans the night I photographed the pepper and onion. I bought a red onion specifically with Macro Monday in mind. Maybe I should have stuck with yellow! *wink*

I'm afraid that this week is going to be a little too easy too, as I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't get quite close enough. But I guess we shall see!

Well there you go... can you outsmart my macro?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Newest Obsession...

... little bitty glass flowers. Every-freaking-where.

What can I say? I guess I'm ready for spring.

Maybe I like them cause I can't kill them.

Oh wait. I guess that's not true. I did kill a few... apparently glass flowers do not like the 1400+ degree heat of a torch. They sort of explode. I don't recommend trying that.

I do recommend wearing them, however, as they are just darling. Dontcha think?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Macro Monday #14

A few of you got kiiiinda sorta close, but not really.

Sorry, peeps. No alien skin. How about another macro of the item? I took two and had to choose:

Does that help?

Here is the rest of the original photo:

Got it yet?

It's the inside of a bell pepper! Oh, the nastiness! I really, really hate bell peppers. I always have. They have always made me want to gag. Their flavor is quite offensive to my palate for some reason or other. I feel the same way about celery. All other veggies, I'm fine with.

Up this week:

Let's see how you do this time. Can you outsmart my macro? Good luck!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Random Fact of the Day #8

Signs that you are a chocolate addict:

You are walking out the door, on your way to Lowe's, Circuit City, and any other store your husband decides to drag you to... but before you get out the door, you find yourself running back to the kitchen and stuffing a bag of Hershey kisses into your purse.

You find yourself holding it up, proudly, and declaring it your "snack".

Cause heaven forbid you go a few hours without chocolate bliss.

That is all.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Random Fact of the Day #7

To my fellow inhabitants of planet earth, and beyond:

I love babies and I used to love the idea of carrying and birthing one. That ship has long sailed. I no longer desire to be pregnant. Whether that disappearing desire is my own doing or God's, I don't know, but the fact remains that it is gone and I am glad.

I want a baby, not a pregnancy.

I need lots of support and encouragement as we seek to get that baby through adoption.

I've moved on... why can't you?

That is all.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Macro Monday #13

Sorry it's so late this week!

Several of you were right last week. The photo was of a rubber texture sheet used for metal clay. Pretty much a stamp, just large and without a wooden backing. Or any backing, really. This particular one leaves a bamboo texture. It's really cool... I should use it sometime.

This week's photo is a little tricky. A little noisy too. Sorry.

Can you outsmart my macro? Go on, give it your best shot!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Random Fact of the Day #6

I'm a firm believer in forgiveness and grace. You know this already. I don't like to hold a grudge, nor do I like one held against me.

So what happens when someone offends you deeply (a rare occurrence) and you just cannot let it go? You try. You ask God for help. But you can't. The bitter roots run deep.

What does that mean?

Try as I may, the very sight of certain people turns my stomach and makes my blood run cold. Even after pleading with God to change my heart about it. This bothers me almost as deeply as the bitter roots go... but obviously not quite there yet.
I hate this about me.

That is all.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Dreamer - A Front Pager!

I happened to catch Mama Belle's gorgeous copper heart earrings on the front page of Etsy a few minutes ago.

Go Belles... go Belles... go! Go! Go Belles!

*giggle* Sorry, we're like a couple little school girls sometimes.


Random Fact of the Day #5

Deciding to try new things, we recently bought a jar of sunflower seed butter. What do you know, sunflower seed butter tastes frighteningly similar to sunflower seeds. What's even more frightening is the fact that this somewhat took me by surprise.

I hear "______ butter" and expect to taste peanut butter. I don't know. Don't ask.

Almond butter? Tastes surprisingly like almonds. It's my favorite.

Chocolate licorice, however, tastes nothing like chocolate or licorice. What kind of world do we live in anyway?

That is all.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Random Fact of the Day #4

Yesterday, I was out of hand soap. I thought I was not out, but when I went to refill the pump in my bathroom, I could not find the refill bottle. I'm not entirely convinced that it isn't hiding from me, in hopes to spare what little soapy life it has left.

So I swiped the bottle from hubby's bathroom and later on went to the dollar store down the way. You must understand that I can't go to the dollar store and buy only one thing, so I found a little door rug and a few other needed items.

What I can't figure out is why the cashier gave me a funny look when I handed her a couple crunchy hippie all natural laundry products... and a can of Pringles.

Surely she gets hungry after doing the laundry.

That is all.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Random Fact of the Day #3

I keep trying to figure out why, if some soda crackers are sold with unsalted tops, they are still called Saltines.

Shouldn't they instead be just Ines?

That is all.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Macro Monday #12

Well, well, well... Erin & Mrs. Smith were right with #11. The photo was indeed part of a picture frame. Seeeee?

I thought that one was kinda fun!

This week's photo is fun too. I was trying to figure out what to photograph and saw something that reminded me of this, so I pulled it out and gave it a go.

What do you think? Can you figure it out?

Good luck!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Random Fact of the Day #2

Yesterday I walked down the hall and saw something peculiar out of the corner of my eye. I peered into the laundry room to see just what it was.

This is what I found:

The question isn't why, but rather who?

Because bwue fuzzy wuzzy beaws obviously like to swim.

That is all.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Out with the old...

I've been dreading this day for a while. The day I go and decide to completely change up the style of our product photography. See, I'm more comfortable with my neutral gray, doing the same old thing every time. But that's not what catches the eye of lots of people, at least not on Etsy. And since one of my marketing strategies this year is to tap better into Etsy, well, it was time to step out of my comfort zone.

I see lots of gorgeous artsy fartsy photos on Etsy and wonder to myself "hmm, could I do that?". I wasn't sure I could handle it. I mean, wow, SO much color... no gray? What? NO GRAY? A color theorist I am not. I mean, shoot... my couches have beige slip covers, my rug is beige, our chair and the accent walls are chocolate brown. (At least nothing is gray.)

A couple weeks ago Dustin and I ran around town, finding little things to use as props. We went to the used book store with the sole purpose of buying some hard cover books in pretty colors. I found the coolest old, old, OLD Winnie the Pooh book in a nice shade of red. I had to have it. I'll actually read that one to our kids. Then I saw The Yearling in a lovely teal. A couple others that I'm not sure of the titles... but their covers were pretty in their chocolate brown and purple-ish. Score!

Next I found some white vases, perfect for displaying hanging earrings. Finally I raided my mom's stash of scrapbook paper. People. The woman has a stash big enough to scrap for the entire state of Texas. Score!

I went home and got to work. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do a good job. I'm not sure why, because I have a fabulous camera and an even fabulous-er macro lens... but I was afraid they would suck.

They don't. In fact, I pretty much love them and am wondering why I was so afraid of color before. Hopefully you'll love them too, and they'll catch some spending eyes over at Etsy.

We're also planning some pretty big website changes this year, so stay tuned to see how that all pans out. I'm excited!

Here are a few new things.. photographed with no gray! Yay!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Random Fact of the Day

While in the shower, I shaved my leg. Yes, singular. The other was forgotten.

I didn't realize this until I was already getting dressed.

Poor lone, hairy leg.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I've never been a huge Kelly Clarkson fan. Don't get me wrong... I think her voice is pretty amazing and I enjoyed seeing her win American Idol. I'm not a huge fan of the type of music she did at first, but like a few of her later songs. I have a tremendous amount of respect for someone who goes against the grain and does their own music. Anyone can sound decent after time in the recording studio (hence the onslaught of recording artists that suck live - though I don't think Kelly is one of them), but not everyone can write good music.

I hadn't heard "Sober" until fairly recently. For some reason, I can't get it out of my head. It's about addiction... not necessarily to alcohol, just addiction to something, anything. To paraphrase a clip I read from her about the song, everyone has something. The only things I've been addicted to are chocolate and sugar. *giggle* But when I hear "Sober", it speaks to me not about addiction as much as about survival and beating the odds, which I feel like I'm still in the middle of trying to do myself.

I'm sure I'm one of the last people on the planet to hear it, but just in case you haven't or have but would like to hear it again, here is a video of her performing it live. You can read the lyrics here.

I don't know about you, but I'm still trying to pick those weeds.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Macro Monday #11

A few of you came really close to guessing last week's photo. So close, in fact, that I will call them wins.

Last week, Macro Monday was a close up of a large Scotch Brite pad from one of the jewelry supply companies I frequent. They can be used to clean metal and give it a matte or brushed finish... but I still prefer the results that messy old 0000 steel wool gives me.

Now for this week:

Got a guess? Let me know! Can you outsmart that swanky macro?