beads by breul

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Christmas Eve

Christmas Day


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Almost there.....

Three days and counting! Family arrives tomorrow, kids get out of school tomorrow. Craziness! We are running around finishing up things, cleaning, baking etc. We can't wait. My son is SO EXCITED! Despite the fact that he is 12, he can't wait. For family. For Christmas. For our annual football game on Christmas day.

Thank you all, for following, for reading, for supporting.

In case I am not back, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
Enjoy. Be safe. Have fun.

Monday, December 20, 2010


So, we sit here watching videos from Christmas's past! My 12 yr old son as a 16 month old. Those chubby cheeks, the eyes, the hand that goes up so he can step over the train tracks. My now 16 yr old daughter as a 4 1/2 yr old. Jumping up into the camera, laughing, doing that "artistic flip of the hair", no teeth. Then there is my mother in law, who passed away in March. Tears sprung to my eyes. This will be our first Christmas without her. Talk about emotional - going from the tears from laughing so hard at my son (bearing his teeth at the camera, about 1 inch away) to tears for my mother in law. What a ride. I am so happy my husband has this thing about video taping everything.

Anyway. We went to look at the lights at Wheaton Regional park on Sunday with my sister and her family.  The lights are soooo amazing. Such fun.

 Ah, family!

 My sister and daughter.

This is my favorite! My 2 yr old niece!

The dolphin.

Love this shot!




The dragon, and sunflower

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

Such fun this past Sunday!

Merry, Merry!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Or something like it. Spent the weekend being home! Kids needed the break and some family time. Did some baking, finished getting ALL of Christmas up. Did some shopping and some wrapping. All of my cards are out. Did some serious baking! Daughter needed some mom time, so I/we baked. Dozens. The house smells good. Spent today, Sunday, finishing the baking. Made risotto for lunch all week - love risotto. Made Barefoot Contessa's Parm. Chicken with Lemon Vinagrette! My husband is so happy. Kids loved it. 

I didn't go to a few parties this weekend, but that is ok. (if you were one of the invitors, I am sorry)  

We are watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and laughing, lots and out loud. Feels good to be a family. 

Being home and being a family is good!

I hope your weekend was peaceful!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happiness today!

Went to the mall last night to do shopping!
Kids, hubby and all.
Got a fair chunk done. :)

Back and feet hurt.

Surprisingly, it was not the Christmas shoppers that were a pain, but rather all the 
TEENAGERS that were everywhere. Seriously.

Wish that the Post Office was open on Sundays - I will never get stuff packed 
up in time today. Sigh.

Going to bake up a storm today! 
Makes the house smell so good!
Makes us all so happy. :)

Hoping you have a happy Saturday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Katie and her love of Star Wars

I came across this story today. Many of you may have seen/heard it already. This struck a cord with me having just been through a year's worth of bullying/harassment with my son. The support and inspiration brings tears to my eyes! Such a great story. Katie, you rock!

(couldn't get a picture!)

Wear your Star Wars clothes tomorrow, Dec. 10th in support of this wonderful girl!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Just sittin' here, enjoying a glass of wine and doing my Christmas cards. Love that!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

I mean cold. Windy and cold. Now if it would only snow. :)  I am getting evil looks right now. But I do love the snow. Last winter, apart from losing power during Snowapocolypse, was wonderful!!! I do have a sneaky feeling that we won't see much snow this winter.

We decorated this weekend! It was awesome. My daughter did the outside lights - she used scotch tape on the bushes to make sure that the lines of color were straight......can you say OCD? Really, she did a great job. And the best part was that we did it while hubby was at work! He came home at 11:30 on Saturday night and the house and outside lights were DONE! All we had to do yesterday was the tree! I love Christmas decorations. The house looks so wonderful. The train went up this afternoon (around the tree)

As many of you know, my muse has taken the holidays off. I tried to call her yesterday ~ sat at the desk, played, moved things, looked at catalogues ~ nothing, nada, nunca! Oh well. Hopefully she is having a wonderful holiday and comes back rested, tan and ready to go. (sip that margarita for me toooo!)

I must away, the steaks on the grill need to be flipped! Love my grill! :)

Have a great dinner!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Challenge of Color! Reveal!

Ok! Here we go...
Here is the color grouping that I received.

Peach Frappe
Raspberry Cream
Pink Sunrise
Amethyst Gem

Now, interestingly, when I got these I was stumped.  Especially since the other part of my challenge was to use what was on hand, no purchasing.  Par for the course, I needed to look at the colors, play with my beads, move things around, open/close things, sit and stare for awhile before inspiration hit. I thought about using wire, but that didn't feel right. I strung, re-strung, added, and took away before I was happy. 

When Erin was putting this together, I was unsure as to whether or not I would be able to play because of my back surgery. She was wonderful and sent me colors and said that I could play if I was up to it. Thank you Erin, for your support and kind words and letting me play! I love a challenge!

So, without further ado, I present

Pink Sunrise

I spent alot of time trying to figure out how to end/start the satin ribbon. 

On my beautiful model. 
I love the little dangly. :)

I used coral Swarovski pearls, amethyst Swarovski crystals, brass chain, brass beads, and Cr. Copper Swarovski crystals. 

Now, Swarovski's are expensive but they feel oh, so good on. Nice and solid, comfortable.
 (Admission: I love sparkly things and tend to buy Swarovski's when I go to the bead store, 
whether or not I need them)
I think I got the majority of the colors and the feel, they ended up going together so well! 

Thank you for taking the time to stop here and look! :)

There are so many amazingly talented folks playing along. Please, please go and visit their blogs, admire their amazing creations, and comment.

  • Alice Peterson

  • Amy Freeland

  • Beth McCord

  • Brandi Hussey

  • Cary Scholes

  • Catherine Pruitt

  • Cindy Wimmer

  • Claire Maunsell

  • Cory Tompkins

  • Courtney Breul

  • Cristi Clothier

  • Cynthia Riggs

  • Emanda Johnson

  • Holly Westfall

  • Janea McDonald

  • Jeannie Dukic

  • Jennifer Cameron

  • Judy Campbell

  • Karyn White

  • Keirsten Giles

  • Kelly Morgan

  • Kristie Roeder

  • Kristin Stevens

  • Lisa Godfrey

  • Lisa Tracy

  • Lori Anderson

  • Mallory Hoffman

  • Marie Voyer-Cramp

  • Mary McGraw

  • Nicole Keller

  • Nicole Valentine

  • Paige Maxim

  • Patty Gasparino

  • Rebecca Anderson

  • Renate Stark-Krammer

  • Rita Parra

  • Shannon Chomanczuk

  • Sheila Summers

  • Stefanie Teufel

  • Yelisa Rojas

  • Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Where I am

    I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Hubby had to work all week, so we will be celebrating ours today! I can't wait for that turkey smell filling  the house! Need a child or two to get up to help. Still can't lift. We are all excited. The Redskins play at 1:00 pm, we will be watching and eating our meal! Sounds pretty perfect to me, low key and fun.

    I have been so torn about the holidays, my Etsy and Artfire stores, hosting a trunk show, and creating more pieces. It has taken time and much thought but I have decided that it is OK for me not to have a trunk show, OK for me to not stress about my Etsy and Artfire shops, and OK to let the muse rest. I have felt so very guilty about these decisions. The weight has been heavy. I am trying to get things moving with my business, slow tho it may be.  And my trunk show generates a fair amount of our Christmas money.  I have  given myself permission to let it go. I need to focus on healing and focus on my family.  It is ok for me not to "do it all".  Why do I have to give myself permission? Silly question, huh? 

    I have just installed Google Analytics for my blog, hope to be able to track "stuff", want to be able to track my Etsy also (anyone have suggestions?) I will do it when time allows.  I will create when my muse is ready and not forced to. I will like this. This is supposed to be fun, yes?  Creating is a peaceful thing for me. 

    So, that is where I am. Feels good to get it out there and say it. It is OK. :)  Well, I am off to get my turkey stuffed and in the oven, make green beans, mashed potatos, and sweet potatos. Hope I haven't forgotten anything! 


    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I have so much to be thankful for - family, my husband, friends, our health, jobs, a home! So very much. My heart is so full right now.

    Thank you all also, for reading my blog, supporting my creativeness (ups, downs, mistakes), for listening when I needed an ear!

    My blog has turned into such a fun spot for me, hopefully for you also! :) Thank you for that.

    I hope you all have a wonderful day, doing whatever it is you do. May your travels be safe, may your meals be filled with love and good food. May your hearts be content!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Rings & Things ~ October Challenge (picture heavy!)

    Ok, Here they are! I received some glass tiles and bezels in a few sizes along with bails. I had a blast!

    Some fun pendants. My favorite is the numbers tile! Love that. My other love is the pin up girl with the yellow background, however, I managed to glue her on the wrong side!

    Now, the bracelets are not part of the challenge, but since I was playing with resin......these are my Chipotle bracelets. I did learn the importance of making sure that your paper is THOROUGHLY glued down. You can see what I am talking about. Oh well, I love them and am wearing them!

    Some of the bezels.

    The tile necklaces.

    Below is a picture of the bezels as they were curing.  The blue square is one of my favorites, but as the resin was on the older side, it didn't set totally and is tacky? Why did some set fine and this one not (my fav!) Also, learned that when you put sparklies in resin (far left Chrismasy one) you  lose all sense of the faceting. Looks flat. :(  I was psyched for this one and it is so-so.


    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Erin's Challenge of Color!

    Erin of Treasures Found :: Inspiration is Everywhere is hosting a Challenge of Color. Each person got send a series of paint chip samples and were challenged to create a piece following the colors. My colors are below!

    Here are my colors. I also challenged my self one step further - I had to use beads that I had, couldn't purchase anything! Not sure which was harder! :)  But, I had huge success and can't wait to share.

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    I am back, sort of

    Hi! I am back, sort of. I had back surgery on the 16th which was very successful.  I had a herniated disc between L4 and L5. This was the second time, last time was 14 years ago, surgery also. I had been living with a fair amount of pain - taking a pretty steady dose of meds for the past three months. So, surgery was a must. And successful it was. My doc explained it like this ~ it is like peeling bubblegum off of a ballon with out popping the balloon. It's off and nothing popped. And, no pain. I mean there is surgical pain, more like stiffness and soreness, but no pain. I have taken myself off of meds except for the occasional Advil and while I feel terrible right now, I feel better. Hope that makes sense.

    Hubby took a few days off to be here with my, my amazing friends at work brought home made meals over each night (dessert included) They are so amazing and eating food prepared with love is the best. Saying thank you to them seems like not enough. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. When hubby heard that dinners were coming, you could see the stress leave him (he was unaware that he was stressed) He didn't need to worry about that! The kids have been great - thank you all.

    I am sitting up more and more each day. Walking is still the best thing ever. Walked yesterday and today for approx. 30 minutes each day. I have been able to bead a bit - hope to get pictures up soon. I know that I am better because I am bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Tired of the big blue chair and the house.

    Hubby has to work over Thanksgiving (the 3-11 shift) which is bad and good. It means that I don't feel bad for sitting around and not cooking. We will do our Thanksgiving next Sunday when he is home. It's more about the meal and family than the day.  This week will be a slow and quiet week. I am working on being good. Will try to head to the office for a few hours each day. I know!  But, I have been out almost a week and don't even want to think of what my desk looks like. Like I said, sitting is ok and that is all I will do. Hey, getting outside the house sounds amazing right now. It will only be on Mon. and Tues. and then I am off for the break.  Quiet is good. Beading will be a must if I can find my desk.......

    Well, that is it from here for now. I'll be back with photos soon.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    I. Can't. Wait.

    Bead Soup Blog Party
    Coming in January
    Please go to Lori Anderson's blog
    And check it out!


    She is giving away some of  her wonderfulness.
    All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered. Go. Do it!

    Beautiful fall day ~ yesterday's walk

    It was absolutely beautiful!


    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Bead Soup party - Jewelry Swap!

    Lori Anderson hosted a swap of sorts. Folks swapped a piece of jewelry that wasn't selling or not working.  I didn't participate in this, too much going on. Please check out what folks created - should be amazing! Pictures should be up on the 15th!

    Norma Turvey http://www.bead dreams and moonlitfantaseas
    Tyne Bodenburg http://www.


    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    My message from the Universe this morning ~

    How do they know? 

    Deliberate living is very cool, Courtney, but so is deliberate resting.
        The Universe
    This advice will be heeded this weekend in our house!!!!!
    (Sometimes I am taken aback by the timeliness of these messages)

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Tools, metal punches, ring things, metal stamps

    I got tools! I have saved my pennies and ordered a bunch of stuff from Rings & Things and Fire Mountain Gems - got the package from Rings & Things and am awaiting Fire Mountain Gems. I am so psyched. I got some brass sheet, copper sheet, metal stamps, blanks and have my  disc punches on the way. Oh, to play with metal. :)  I opened my metal stamps last night and cleaned the goop off of them (ok, my son cleaned them while I made dinner...) He sorted them out and tried to put them in order. Turns out that I have two "s" stamps and no "a" stamp - I can't "dream" or "create" but I can "wish"! :) I called and Rings & Things laughed at me and are sending me my "a" stamp! Wonderful customer service. Hopefully I can play this weekend and will be able to share with you!  We are planning a quiet, pj wearing, comfort food eatin' weekend in the house. So much is going on, we are looking for down time. Good news - Taylor loves his new school. Yeah! Makes my heart happy. Said that he doesn't know why he was so nervous! Music to my ears.