First some business - the winner of the Uncommon Goods giveaway is Kathy!  Hit me up with your address please!

Now for some storage ideas - magnets can be your friend!  Back when my desk in our home office was also my studio, we hung sheet metal above my desk and I put all my beads in clear topped containers with magnetic tape on the bottom.  You can get ready make ones at IKEA, but since I needed many of them, I ordered the containers online and stuck on my own magnetic tape.  You can read all the details at my post here.

It took me a while once I moved everything down to my new studio to get my new bead wall built.  I wanted a single sheet of sheet metal and I found a place that would do it for me.  Once we got it home we realized that we needed a cut out for the outlet.  Sheet metal is not forgiving, so it took more effort that you would think to cut a suitable hole.  We made it look a little prettier with duct tape :-).

Recently a good friend stayed with me and wanted to do some shopping.  My inventory is usually a tangled mess in a bin - and it took us a while to put it into order.  In the new basement configuration, the extra/drink fridge got moved into my studio.  It occurred to me that some magnetic hooks could turn the side of it into a display, so that I am ready for the random shopping request.  A little search on Amazon and I was set:

We were lucky to combine some time off, the kid's spring break and some super discounted airline tickets into a trip to Germany and France.  We lived in Germany in the early 2000s, and Michael was born there.  It was fun showing the kids places that held so many memories, plus made some new memories in Bayeux and Normandy.  Emma and I both took lots of pictures, and both like unusual textures hidden in the places we visited.  Here are some of my faves - perhaps they can inspire you too!

Duetsches Eck, Germany

Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

Notre Dame, Paris, France

Louvre, Paris, France

Bayeux Cathedral, Bayeux, France

Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

I was asked by the wonderful folks at Uncommon Goods if I would be interested in participating in their blogger review program - of course!  I eagerly await their catalogs and love to shop with them.  They scour the globe for one of a kind and clever items, from clothing to food to gardening supplies, and highlight the artists and designers behind them.  It's their mission to support artists and designers, and half of what they sell is hand made.  Most of their products are American made, and many incorporate recycled or up cycled materials.  It's a dream of mine to have something I've made featured in their catalog -- their jewelry collection is incredible.

It was tough to choose among many favorites from their awesome Mother's Day collection (which you can find here)!  I decided to give their cork watch a try.  Emma agreed it looked cool, and I suspect she was hoping she might get to wear it. NOPE!  I love it too much.

The band is cork on organic cotton, and the watch case and mechanicals are equally environmentally friendly.  It's super light and super comfortable, yet looks substantial.  

Wouldn't you like to shop for some Uncommon Goods too?  You can!  Leave a comment below and you will be entered to win a $25 gift certificate.  I'll be drawing names on April 23rd!

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