My son Michael just finished a week at Summer Music Camp at UNC Greensboro.  If you have a middle or high school band/orchestra/chorus kid I would highly recommend it.

Anyway - the week ends with an evening concert, so we spent the night and take our time sightseeing on the way home Saturday.  We decided to stop and tour Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello.  It was a bright sunny day, and it's a beautiful home, inside and out.  I didn't realize what a horticulturist TJ was, so as you can imagine, the gardens are wonderful.  Now to convince Greg that we also need a getaway on top of a mountain somewhere :-)

I grew up moving all the time in a Navy family, then joined the Air Force, so moving every 1-3 years continued until 2004. Then we were lucky to land in DC, and were able to stay here, for the most part, until my husband and I both retired.  I am loving living in the same place for this long, and knowing my neighbors, and the schools and my church so well.

But my house is starting to feel a bit same-o, same-o. A change up was in order, especially since I want to solve the age old problem, the everyone-crowds-into-the-kitchen-and-no-one-sits-in-the-living-room problem.  Seriously, at Christmas the kitchen was too crowded for me to open the fridge, and only Layla was hanging out in the roomy living room a mere 3 feet away.  My solution is to switch the living room and the dining room.

For the record, my husband is not a fan of this idea.  His issue is all about Christmas tree placement.  Also I think he wants to avoid spending a lot of time moving furniture around.  So like any self respecting wife,  I picked a time when he wasn't home and asked my daughter, a very strong person who liked the idea, to help.

Here are the before pictures (Layla was supervising):

Here is all the crap stuff found in the deep recesses of the china cabinet and buffet...

...including the beautiful (and cracked) candle from our wedding, 19 1/2 years ago.  It was time for this to go.  My husband doesn't know about the furniture switch, but I did text him a picture to get his agreement before tossing it :-)

And here is the almost finished result.  There is still work to be done re-arranging pictures and getting rid of more junk treasures.  Even though I am not sure where the Christmas tree will go (it's usually in the front window), I love all the room around the table.  Now I can extend both ends and we won't have to climb over each other to get more turkey :-)

My lovely, wonderful Aunt Suzanne's birthday is July 5th.  I'm a little behind so really need to bring it!  I found a really cute purse in Seattle...

So I decided to make beads in the same colors - I love gray and red together. I also like adding a "stripe" of clear to smoosh the red frit and also magnify it a bit :-)

I also love red velvet crystals.  Luckily I had some that were darker and matched the red in the beads really well.  Everything is boxed up and ready to head west!

We are getting ready to visit some dear friends - so of course I wanted to make some baubles to take as gifts.  A while ago I bought a unique focal from the lovely Erin at Treasures Found.  As often happens, I ended up using what was collected around my beading area - in this case, a set of 6 lavender beads that I made. They are creamy opaque encased in clear - a favorite combo of mine :-)

We have made many, many trips with these dear friends, from Italy to Portland, so don't you think the quote on the back is perfect?

I am not sure what their girl will like, but went with the traditional pink and lace.  Could be girly, could be hip vintage-y, so we'll see how it goes over :-)

And in the process of creating and cleaning up a bit, I finally unwrapped some new glass I bought thanks to an awesome gift certificate from my wonderful Aunt I am looking forward to coming home again to play!

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