Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Collection

For the Winter Art & Crafts Fair at work this year, I have created a Christmas gifts collection...bookmarks, lanyards, charms, earrings and ornament hangers. It was lot of fun to work on a theme and designing with red, green, white and gold as the main colors. Sharing some pictures below.





Christmas Ornament Hangers

The Fair is tomorrow and I can't wait to see people's response to the collection.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kalmbach Bead Soup Party

Kalmbach Jewelry Books, the publishers for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Book hosted a bead soup in honor of Lori. I was lucky to get one of the bead soup too. The beads were from McM Designs which included a very nice textured ceramic focal with silver clasp and a mixture of orange and heart shaped beads along with crystals and pearls.

I designed a long necklace with the bead soup adding Carnelian beads from my stash.

I got the inspiration for this design from one of the bead soup designs in Lori's book. Will write more about it in book review post.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

7th Bead Soup Blog Party - Mark your calendar

Today Lori Anderson announced the date for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party. Lori organizes these parties twice a year and as the number of participants have grown with each party, now we have three reveal days.

I must say that no matter whether you are an amateur beader or a seasoned one, you don't want to miss these parties. I have participated in three of them and trust me I have learnt a lot each time. The best part is to be able to connect with such amazing and creative people from all over the world.

You can find out more details on the party here.

And you can see below what I made for the ones I attended.
February 2011 (3rd BSBP)
September 2011 (4th BSBP) - this one was special. I missed the sign up window for the party and Lori was kind enough to send me a soup herself.
March 2012 (5th BSBP)
August 2012 (6th BSBP)

So mark your calendar and don't miss out on a wonderful opportunity to enrich yourself as a beader.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Giveaways for Intel WIN Conference

Around 6 weeks back, I got the big task to create participant giveaways for Women @ Intel Network (WIN) annual conference.The theme for the conference being 'Collaboration and Winning Together', the idea was to collaborate with Intel artists and create different from regular giveaways. 

The challenge was the budget per participant was very minimal and there were few hundred pieces to make. Me along with two other Intel artists took the challenge and put our creative heads together to come up with three giveaways and when I presented the samples to the planning committee everybody simply loved it :)

I decided to make cute little bookmark with beads in Intel blue and white colors, Jennifer Grimes made soapmallows - handmade soap in mashmallow shape too hard to resist eating them :) and Frank Krause made greeting cards with his original photographs.

Making few hundred pieces was not easy but I am blessed to have very supportive family and friends who helped me at each step...from shopping for beads and packing supplies, getting the bead danglers ready, designing the new logo to capturing each stage in pictures. Here are some of them for you to see how the bookmarks came up.



Today was the conference and the participants just loved the giveaways. We ran out of them very fast and people who came later were disappointed to miss them. We had a very successful conference overall and I am already looking forward to the event next year.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Murano Bead Treasure

Five years ago during 2007 September, me and my family went to Rome and from there I bought some very beautiful Murano beads. When we came back, I kept those beads at a safe place in my office room hoping to use them soon. But as you know how we sometimes keep things at a safe place and then forget that safe place itself...exactly that's what happened with me. This summer when we were packing the house for few renovations, then I finally found them and it really felt like I found a treasure...my Murano bead treasure :)

Hope to create lovely jewelry pieces with these beads soon!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

6th Bead Soup Blog Party : 3rd Reveal

Today is the day for the 3nd and final reveal for 6th Bead Soup Blog Party organized by Lori Anderson. This year the bead soup blog party got so big that Lori had to break it down into three reveals. If you haven't yet, do check out the first and second reveals.

This year, my partner is lamp work artist Rachel Baron who sent me a very yummy bead soup. After looking at the blue green focal made by Rachel herself, my mind started exploring various designs and once I thought of a simple design with a chain, I knew that is what I am going to make.

I used the focal bead to make a dangling pendant accompanied by green and blue Swarovski crystal. In the chain I used small Swaraovski bicones to add more color. I generally don't use the toggle clasp for a chain necklace so first I thought of using a different clasp in the necklace but eventually used the Swarovski clasp that Rachel has sent and I liked the way it came out.

I was wondering what else to make from the remaining beads and one tiny earrings pair came to my mind right away and that's what I made.

I still have leftover beads from the soup which I plan to use later to make a matching bracelet.

Now its time to go blog hopping. Why don't you come along with me :)

 Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads 
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie

Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging
Hannah Annear, Squintessential

Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs
Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels

Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home
Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas

Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show
Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities
Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures

Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN
Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops

Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio
Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts

Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi
Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry
Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog

Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog
Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo
Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila
Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs
Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick

Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design
Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

Friday, August 24, 2012

6th Bead Soup Bog Party : Soup exchange

As many of you know that the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party organized by Lori Anderson is going on and this time we have not one, not two but three reveals. I am participating in the third reveal which is due on August 25th. I know my readers were wondering why I didn't post the pictures of the bead soups me and my partners exchanged, till now and here is why.

When I got my bead soup from my partner Rachel Baron in the beginning of July, I had just started to pack my house for renovation so to keep the bead soup safe I packed it in a box along with other beading stuff but missed marking the box :( Packing the whole house took couple of weeks and after that we moved out to my sister in-law's house for a week to get the hard wood floor done. After the hard wood floor, interior painting was done and ever since we moved into the house I was trying to unpack the boxes and find the bead soup packet. And finally I found the box couple of days back tucked underneath the pile of boxes in my garage. I am so glad that I found it in time and though now I got only few days to work on the design and blog reveal I hope I was able to do justice with my partner's beautiful soup.

Here is the beautiful soup I got from Rachel.

It included a lamp work focal made by Rachel herself, matching lamp work spacers, a Swarovski toggle clasp, Laboradite, glass pearls and blue crystals.

And here is the soup I sent to Rachel.

It included a dyed Turquoise focal, a silver and copper toggle, faceted Agate, white quartz and Jade roundels, onion shaped green Onyx. I also sent different shapes of silver rings and beads.

Can't wait to see what Rachel has designed with the soup I sent to her. I guess the wait is not too long :)

You can check out the first and second reveals here

And all the participants here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What did you do during lunch today?

In our "To do list" there are always small things that all of us keep postponing everyday. I have been trying to take care of some of these things lately. And here is one such thing that I finally took care of during lunch today.

The keyboard now feels like new and I love it :)

What did you do during your lunch today?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A day out at Bharatanatyam Arangetram

On last Saturday, I got an opportunity to attend Bharatnatyam Arangetram of one of my friend's daughter and it was such an amazing and overwhelming experience that I knew I have to share my experience with my readers.

I organize Art & Crafts Fair at my work place and that's how my friendship with Shobana started around 3 years back. Shobana is a very talented and experienced jewelry maker and her work includes wide variety of styles. When I got an invitation for her daughter's Bharatnatyam Arangetram around a month back, I was pleasantly surprised and had not much  idea about the grandeur of the ritual. I was determined to attend it for sure as I had never attended one before and after I talked to some of my friends who are from Southern India and came to know the significance of Arangetram I was sure not to miss it.

Bharatnatyam is an ancient classical Indian dance form which originated many centuries ago in Southern India. Bha- Bhavam (means expression), Ra- Ragam (means music), Ta- Talam (means beat or rhythm) and Natyam (means dance) in Tamil language. Arangetram is a debut on-stage performance of a Bharatnatyam student after undertaking years of training. Its the graduation performance and only done when the Guru (teacher) feels that the student is ready to perform solo in public. Its a 3 hr performance divided into two major parts with total 8-9 acts. The student performs wide variety of dances ranging from simple to really complex ones showcasing abundance of postures and expressions. The performance is supported by a complete orchestra which includes a vocalist singing for each act accompanied by a Mridang, a Flute and a Violin. The combination of live music and dance makes it a heavenly experience.

Arangetram is a very proud moment not only for the Guru and the student but for the parents too who invite family and friends to attend the performance and bless the student. There were around 300 people for the event which included family & friends from various parts of US and India. It was like a mini Indian wedding as they call it, attendees give a gift to the student and dinner was served for all after the performance. Traditionally the gift used to be either gold or cash but these days other gifts are also fine. I thoroughly enjoyed each act and loved the way Shobana's daughter explained each act before performing it. The hard work of nine years was easily evident in her effortless dance. I could clearly see how proud Shobana and her husband felt of her daughter's achievement and I myself felt very much honored to be a part of their special moments. I wish Shobana's daughter all the very best as she starts her college this fall.

I would say that if you get a chance to attend an Arangetram don't miss it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Celebrating 3rd birthday with FLL, Forbidden Earth & WorldWeDream

Today is the 3rd birthday of Menka's Jewelry blog. It feels great to express myself through the blog and connect with people from all over the world. With each post, I feel I am improving a little as a writer and hope to write more provided I could take out more time to write. Believe me, writing every post takes lots of thought and time but at the end, its a wonderful experience and when people read and comment on the blog post, it gives me lot of satisfaction.

On this special day, I would like to wish my blog a very happy birthday by celebrating three wonderful kids I know and their recent achievements.

I will start with my 9 year old son Aditya. Since early childhood days, Aditya loves to play with all types of construction or building toys, be it his favorite Lego, Knex, Soft blocks, Tinker toy or just constructing something with simple paper, thread and scotch tape. In our house, everybody knows who to ask for a scotch tape. A 4th grade now, Aditya along with few other elementary kids formed a First Lego League (FLL) team. FLL is a world wide robotics program to promote science and technology among children 9-16 yrs of age. As a FLL challenge - Food Factor (to keep food safe), Aditya's team needed to create a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS to perform certain missions, research a solution for a problem as part of the project, create presentation and play based on the research and much more. Being a rookie team, the kids and parents were mainly looking to learn about the program and have fun.

Everyone was really excited when the team participated in the district level competition and qualified for the Silicon Valley Championship. The kids worked hard and improvised on the robot missions, play and team activities. At the Championship, they competed with 45 other teams with majority teams having middle school kids; and won Judges Choice Award for Perseverance, a big achievement for a rookie team making their coach and parents proud. Aditya is already looking forward to the next FLL challenge.

Second I would like to tell you about daughter of one of my childhood friend. A middle school student, Sabina Anand is a very talented young girl. She loves art, music, dance and at the same time reading and writing. I remember her sharing her wonderful drawing and sketches when I visited her couple of months back. Last year she got interested in writing a science fiction and recently got her first book published.

Sabina's book Forbidden Earth is a thrilling ride which takes the reader many many years in future where human race has been driven away from Earth by biological computers. Its a journey of Macey (a chirpy teenager like Sabina) to the forbidden part of the planet where biological computers haven't ventured yet. You can find the book on Amazon. Like Sabina, I also hope her book provides inspiration to a Hollywood movie one day. Can't wait to get my own copy of the book and enjoy reading it.

Third is Shubhankar Jain, a Junior at Cupertino High School. As a family friend, I have known Shubhankar since he was a toddler. Always very patient and calm Shubhi as the near and dear ones call him, is a brilliant young man. He is very athletic, runs cross country and enjoys being part of the track and field team of his school. Recently he founded a non-profit organization called WorldWeDream to strengthen the abilities of special needs people and better integrate them into the community.

The organization's philosophy is to foster inspiration and compassion in the society on everyday basis to focus on abilities rather than disabilities. The organization through their website invites people all over the world to share their stories and experiences of inspiration and compassion with people having special needs. They believe that sharing these experiences will help people with disabilities excel in what they can do best and help them be an integral part of the community. Early this week, WorldWeDream was featured in the local news paper San Jose Mercury News. If you or anyone you know has a story to tell, WorldWeDream looks forward to hear from you.

Its my pleasure to know these talented kids and I wish them all the best for a bright future.

Note: Photographs courtesy Google.com, Amazon.com and WorldWeDream.org

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hop hop hop...its 5th Bead Soup Blog hop

Welcome to the 5th Bead Soup Blog hop...

For this blog hop, I got a rich bead soup from Lisa Chapman, my partner. The soup included a good mix of faceted Amethyst, Tibetan, dyed Magnetite and glass beads. The focal was a very beautiful purple and orange lamp bead with bronze clasp and charms.

I was very fascinated by the focal bead which had purple base with orange and black flower with yellow and black spots making it very pretty. When I started thinking of the designs, I knew I wanted to use the color combination such that I bring up the different colors from the focal but not overpower them. So I decided to make a two strand necklace with a little twist.

Using orange Magnetite on one strand with black Onyx and Carnelian on the second along with tear drop black glass beads and Amethyst enhanced the orange in the focal and black round Onyx for the single strand helped balance it. For the earrings, I dangled the bronze charms with orange Magnetite and Amethyst.

I loved the almond shaped ear wires that Lisa had sent to me. Tibetan beads with bead caps made a wonderful pair of earrings with those ear wires. I also made a simple pair of earrings with black tear drops.

Now its time for me to start hopping and I will do it with Lisa's blog!

Hostess, Lori Anderson

Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer

1. Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3. Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4. Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
5. Alesha Conklin and Becki Mendivil
6. Alice Peterson and Carol Dillman
7. Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
8. Amanda Dittloff and Brandy Thomason McNair
9. Amanda Tibbetts and Andrea Trank
10. Amy Freeland and Kay Mallery

11. Andra Weber and Christine Murrow
12. Ann Sherwood and Diane Welte
13. Barbara Bechtel and Kerry Bogert
14. Barbara Lewis and Cat Pruitt
15. Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16. Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)
17. Cassie Donlen and Deryn Mentock
18. Cathie Carroll and Janel Dudley
19. Cece Cormier and Morwyn Mullins
20. Charlene Jacka and Christina Hickman

21. Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22. Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
23. Christine Damm and Deb Brooks
24. Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25. Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs
26. Cindy Cima Edwards and Eleanor Burian-Mohr
27. Cory Celaya and Rhea Freitieg
28. Courtney Breul and Dana Hickey
29. Cynthia Abner and Jennifer Boreck
30. Cynthia Tucker and Jean Peter

31. Debbie Goering and Heidi Post
32. Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33. Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
34. Diane Cook and Lyn Foley
35. Donna Bohler and Lisa Lodge
36. Donna Millard and Kiersten Giles
37. Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
38. Elisabeth Auld and Eva Sherman
39. Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)
40. Ema Kilroy and Laurie Keefe-Cecere

41. Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
42. Erin Grant and Jean Wells
43. Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
44. Genea Crivello-Knable and Heather Powers
45. Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
46. Heidi Kingman and Lori Greenberg
47. Helen Kemp and Lisa Wangeman
48. Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
49. Jamie Hogsett and Jeannie Dukic
50. Jeanette Ryan and Jelveh Jaferian

51. Jennifer Cameron and Tania Spivey
52. Jennifer Justman and Kari Carrigan
53. Jennifer Tough and Lorelei Eurto
54. Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55. Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
56. Julie Anne Leggett and Kelley Fogle
57. Karen Hess and Linda Landig
58. Karyn Bonfiglio and Kathleen Lange Klik
59. Kashmira Patel and Kat White
60. Kat Barron Miller and Kelly Morgan

61. Kathy Lindemer and Rose Binoya
62. Krafty Max and Sandra Miller
63. Kristen Latimer and Pam Ferrari
64. Kristie Roeder and Lea Avroch
65. Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66. Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)
67. Lara Lutrick and Lisa Suver
68. Laura DeMoya and Lisa Hanna
69. Libby Leuchtman and Melanie Brooks
70. Linda Koch and Rosemarie Cowit

71. Lisa Chapman and Menka Gupta
72. Lisa Liddy and Marion Simmons
73. Lori Anderson and Marcie Abney
74. Lori Bowring-Michaud and Mary Govaars
75. Lori Dorrington and Maria Rosa Sharrow
76. Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
77. Lynn Bennett and Mandi Ainsworth
78. Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
79. Mary Harding and Shannon LeVart
80. Mary Jane Dodd and Stacey Curry

81. Melinda Orr and Molly Alexander
82. Melissa Meman and Michelle Escano-Caballaro
83. Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
84. Nan Emmett and Nicole Valentine-Rimmer (Canada)
85. Nancy Boylan and Suzette Bentley
86. Natasha Lutes and Patti Vanderbloemen
87. Pam Hurst and Rebekah Payne
88. Patty Miller and Sara Rhoades
89. Rebecca Anderson (UK) and Lori Anderson
90. Rebecca Sirevaag and Sharon Driscoll

91. Rochelle Brisson and Shannon Chomanczuk
92. Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93. Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
94. Sandi Volpe and Sarah/Saturday Sequins
95. Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
96. Skylar Brez and Theresa Buchle
97. Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98. Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)
99. Stephanie LaRosa and Vonna Maslanka
100. Terri Wlaschin and Wendy Blum

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

10K in 10 weeks - week 4 & 5

At the end of week 5 here is how week 4 & 5 went

W04 Day1 - rest
W04 Day2 - rest
W04 Day3 - 1 mile walk
W04 Day4 - 3 miles run - tried interval training with different paces every quarter mile, ran up to 9:13 min/mile pace for the first time; also did strength training
W04 Day5 - rest
W04 Day6 - 4 miles run; first 4 miler, ran mostly with 9:13 min/mile pace, 2 qtrs with 9:22 and 2 with 9:05...and guess what?? ran last 100 meters with 8:57 min/mile...yahooooo first time less than 9 min/mile pace:)
W04 Day7 - rest

W05 Day1 - 2 miles run - interval training with pace ranging from 9:22-8:57 min/mile. Ran 200 meters with 8:57 min/mile.
W05 Day2 - rest
W05 Day3 - rest
W05 Day4 - 2.25 miles run - interval training with pace ranging from 9:22-8:57 min/mile. Ran 1/2 mile with 8:57 min/mile; also did strength training with 40 squats, jumping jacks, high knees, fire hydrants, side kicks, back low kicks, back high kicks, push ups, cycling, scissors
W05 Day5 - rest
W05 Day6 - 4.25 miles run + 0.75 mile walk - interval training again with pace ranging from 9:13-8:57 min/mile; touched a pace of 8:00 min/mile for 100 meters or so :)
W05 Day7 - rest

During weeks 4 & 5 I mainly concentrated on interval training and varying the pace for short intervals worked well. I had 4 rest days which I need to improve in coming weeks.

Total mileage so far
week 5 - 9:25 miles
week 4 - 8 miles
week 3 - 11.28 miles
week 2 - 8.40 miles
week 1 - 7.66 miles

For week 6 I am concentrating on increasing the mileage. The target is to run a 5 miler or may be more. Let's see how I perform.

My husband who is a marathon runner himself always tells me that running helps him concentrate better and he enjoys his 'me' time during a run. Now as I am running more each week, I am realizing that he is absolutely right. I have my jewelry studio in the garage where our treadmill is too. During one of the runs last week, I thought about different designs options for my bead soup and in fact finalized the design for various pieces I can make from it. Also, I have been thinking of catching up on some audio books lately but didn't really start. Last week I got an audio book from our local library and am enjoying it whenever I walk on the treadmill. This book Julie & Julia is based on real stories of two people - a chef Julia Child in her early years of cooking career and a young New Yorker Julie Powell , the author who aspires to cook all 524 recipes in Child's cookbook in 365 days. A motion picture of the same name also came out in 2009 starting Meryl Streep as Julie and Amy Adams as Julia.

It feels that getting disciplined for running is helping me in taking out time for few other things which I was missing in my daily schedule; and I am totally loving it.

Note: pictures courtesy www.clker.com & www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bead soup from Lisa Chapman

Lisa Chapman, my partner for the 5th Bead Soup Blog party organized by Lori Anderson has sent me one of the yummiest bead soups. The packet had two beautiful handmade keepsake boxes with the beads in them along with a hand written card from Lisa describing every piece in details.

Lisa loves purple and so do I :) She has sent faceted Amethyst beads, two orange Tibetan beads with integral bead caps, orange dyed Magnetite beads and a variety of glass beads. And you know what, the almond ear wires are handmade by her which I liked the best!

The focal bead is made by a very talented Lamp work Artist Donna Millard. The bronze clasp and charms are made by Lois Wynwood from Port Townsend Washington who makes very cute and reasonably priced charms.

Lisa works with the company that launched the Space Shuttles and when I told her that my son is very much interested in NASA Space program, she sent him a Space Shuttle program patch, a pin for the final flight and a medallion made from the metal flown on the Shuttle. My son is extremely thrilled to receive all these goodies.

I must say that I am really humbled by the warmth and personal touch behind Lisa's bead soup whether it was selecting the beads, packing them, writing a long and detailed card and sending the Shuttle memorabilia for my son.

Thanks a ton Lisa. Looking forward to design beautiful pieces using the soup.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

10K in 10 weeks - week 3

Week 3 has passed and here is how I did

W03 Day1 - 2.21 miles run
W03 Day2 - 1.71 miles walk
W03 Day3 - rest
W03 Day4 - 2.24 miles walk
W03 Day5 - rest
W03 Day6 - 4.00 miles run and strength training
W03 Day7 - 1.12 miles run and strength training

This week I concentrated on increasing the mileage. Ran my first 4 miles with first 3 miles at 9:40 min/mile and the last mile at 9:31 min/mile.

Total mileage so far
week 3 - 11.28 miles
week 2 - 8.40 miles
week 1 - 7.66 miles

Wait to hear how week 4 goes :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

10K in 10 weeks - week 2

At the end of week 2 of 10K in 10 weeks program I am following to prepare for my first 10K run, here is how the numbers look

W02 Day1 - rest
W02 Day2 - 2 miles walk and strength training
W02 Day3 - 0.98 mile walk
W02 Day4 - 3.21 miles run and strength training
W02 Day5 - rest
W02 Day6 - rest
W02 Day7 - 2.21 miles run

Total mileage was 8.40 miles, which is slightly greater than the week 1 mileage 7.66 miles. This week I concentrated on increasing the average pace and was able to run a mile at 9.31 min/mile.

Let's see how the week 3 goes :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

10K in 10 weeks - week 1

I recently signed up for Santa Cruz Half Marathon & 10K 2012, scheduled for April 1st, 2012...my first 10K :)

Last year, after my first 5K run, I was struggling to go back to my regular exercising routine and with overall a very busy schedule was trying hard to take out time to exercise. As time passed by I realized that having a goal will help me maintain a routine but the question was whether to sign up for next 5K or double it up and go for a 10K.

My husband, who himself is a marathon runner and very disciplined towards his exercising routine, motivated me to think about a 10K. He created a complete plan for me to do a 10K in 10 weeks which includes running along with strength training. Couple of weeks back, I started following the plan for strength training and resumed my runs. Initially I had no idea about these exercises like fire hydrants, jumping jacks etc and my body was so sore in the first few days but as I am doing them more regularly I am not only enjoying them but also feeling the difference it makes.

As per the race day, week 1 of 10 weeks ended yesterday and here is how it looks like.
W01 Day1 - 2 miles run and strength training
W01 Day2 - rest
W01 Day3 - 2.06 miles walk
W01 Day4 - rest
W01 Day5 - rest
W01 Day6 - 2.5 miles run and strength training
W01 Day7 - 1.55 miles walk

As we talked to our family and friends about this plan, many of them showed interest and decided to try it out. I guess they also needed the discipline, motivation and little push like me to get into a regular & healthy exercising routine! We attend weekly boot camps led by my husband and it feels great to see every body's enthusiasm, high spirits and determination to make a change for themselves.

I am using Runkeeper, to track my runs and exercising routine. It helps me connect with my runner/walker friends and we motivate each other to keep the good work going.

Come back to know how week 2 goes :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My partner for 5th bead soup blog party

I am very excited to be one of the participants for the 5th Bead Soup Blog party organized by Lori Anderson. This time, Lori choose the participants through a lottery and 200 lucky winners i.e, 100 pairs, were announced over the weekend. I am paired with extremely talented Lisa Chapman from Beach Cat Beads.

Lisa has been beading for few years and her work includes vast variety of semi-precious gemstones, unique lamp work glass, ceramic, and metal beads. She also loves to play with copper and sterling wire and chains.

Looking forward to the bead soup from Lisa.

Picture courtesy dreamstime.com

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