Like many of you, we have been on the road a fair amount this summer, and still have a little more fun on the books before school starts.  We spent some time out at my Mom's in Tucson, one of my favorite places to visit.  Mostly because my Mom is awesome, but also because I just love the area, and how amazing the desert is.  As my son said, "most things in the desert are trying to kill you" but there is beauty in the fierceness...

August is actually the wet season, with frequent storms, so there was water in the canyon creek...

Definitely fierce...

I did manage a trip to one of my favorite bead stores in Tucson, an out of the way place called A Bead Carnival.  A lot of there stuff was on sale, so I HAD to buy it all...

So, waaaaay back in 2013 (evidence of the date here), my friend Jennifer gave me a necklace that was special to her and needed repair.  It was one of the only possessions that her great grandmother brought with her wen she emigrated from Italy.  I don't do much seed beading, but my 2013 post asked for ideas and the resounding recommendation was: restring the entire thing.  A bit intimidating.

So I stalled, and kind of forgot, and asked for more advice here and there on threads and waxing, and did some research on finishing and four strand braiding. And I stalled some more. And then I read a post by Elizabeth Gilbert that said

Um, no kidding.

I know I am being a tad drama llama.  But I've been feeling a bit stuck about many things lately - nothing earth shattering, or life altering - just in need of some rut-breaking-out-of. So with a cookie sheet to catch beads, reading glasses, and instructions, I took out my scissors and pulled it all apart.

Getting the strands to be all one length and getting the braid right were the hardest parts :-)

Here is the finished project.  I had some beads left over so used those in a bracelet with the two large beads on the ends of the original necklace (forgot to take a picture).

And Jennifer was very happy with the result.

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 :-)

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