Biddy’s Beads has moved!

After a year on Artfire, I have decided to return to Etsy. Many things have helped sway my decision to go back to Etsy. First, Etsy is almost a trademark for handmade. Secondly, I did not advertise my shop for a month in Artfire just to see what happens and I got almost no traffic at all. In Etsy, I still would have appeared in the searches and gotten traffic. Third, I like Etsy’s sleek look. So…I’m trying Etsy once again.

Please stop by my shop and let me know what you think. I could definitely use ideas for increasing traffic to my newly reopened shop too! Just click below to visit my shop:

Giraffes

Today’s Learning Topic: Giraffes!

  1.  These adorable little (gigantic?) creatures are the tallest living land creatures on Earth!  They grow to about 19 feet tall.
  2. Giraffes have short horns on their head called ossicones. Both the males and females have horns. Ossicones are made of ossified cartilage (cartilage that has became bone).Female giraffes have little poofs of hair at the top of their ossicones but the males generally don’t have the hair because it is worn away during combat with other males
  3.  There are white giraffes but these giraffes are not albino.
  4. Giraffes are herbivores and eat young leaves from the tops of trees.
  5. Giraffes live on the African continent.
  6. Adults weigh 2000-3000 lbs!
  7. Giraffes hearts have adapted to be able to pump blood up the long neck to the giraffes brain.
  8.  The gestation period for a giraffe is 15 months! (and we thought 9 months of carrying a child was a long time!)
  9.  Baby giraffes are about 6 feet tall at birth!
  10. In Africa, the giraffe has been revered as a religious symbol, kept as a pet and traded as a diplomatic offering of goodwill.

 

Biddy’s Beads Giraffe Necklace $28

Love Giraffes? Check out these handmade giraffe items on Artfire! Just click the image to go to the collection.

Bike Trek to Shakertown

As you’ll see on in my “Things I want to do” post, I have been wanting to visit Shaker Village for some time. It’s a gorgeous little Shaker community here in Kentucky. Two of my other goals is to be more fit and to do more for charity this year.  So….how do you combine all three things? With the Bike Trek to Shakertown, of course!

This event is a 2-3 day (I’m doing the 3 day) cycling event in which we bike 30-60 miles daily. I’ll be training for this event all season this year. Actually, we’ve (my husband and I) already been doing some longer bike rides to prepare for it though it’s freezing cold here in Kentucky this time of year.

The Bike Trek to Shakertown event raises money for the American Lung Association. I have a cousin (by marriage) who has cystic fibrosis and had a double lung transplant in 2008. Unfortunately she is have problems rejecting the transplanting lungs and is currently awaiting an 2nd lung transplantion. I will be riding in her honor for the Shakertown event. Please send healing thoughts her way.

If you are able, please support my fundraising efforts with a donation. There is no minimum donation. All donations are tax deductible (you can print a receipt after your donation). Also, please spread the word so that others can support this great cause!

Click here to donate. 

Interested in riding? Email me at sabshire07@gmail.com

Things I Want to Do – January 2012 Update

Here it is 2012 and there are many things still on my list that I wanted to to do last year. So I’m updating my list and making a conscious effort to start crossing some things off! 🙂

*Items in green are currently in progress. Items in purple are completed.

Things I want to do in 2012:

1. Get a passport – DONE! 🙂 And traveled to Denmark in March of 2012. 

2. Lose 15 pounds to be at the optimal BMI for health (BMI 22)

3. List 500 items in my jewelry shop online – http://www.etsy.com/shop/biddysbeads 

4. Simplify my house…keep only what I need –  donate/recycle the rest.

5. Learn more! Read more!

6. Begin a scrapbook for Demetrius and I. – I can’t believe I haven’t done this yet! I’ve saved a lot of things though!

7. Get my old cell phones cleared out and then donate them to someone that can use them. (Domestic violence shelter for women? Our troops stationed overseas?)

8. Complete 12 week Body for Life Program

9. Beat my personal best 5K time of 27:10.

10.  Blog more!

Things I want do before leaving Kentucky:

1. Visit Shaker Village

2. Visit Mammoth Cave

3. Visit Red River Gorge/Natural Bridge

4. Eat at 5 Lexington Restaurants that I haven’t been to

5. Versailles Castle

6. Camp at Lake Cumberland

Things I want to do someday:

  1. Complete a triathlon.
  2. Learn to play golf.
  3. Learn to ski.
  4. Go snorkeling.
  5. Travel outside of the USA. -Done! Denmark March 2012
  6. Go on a cruise.
  7. Visit the Grand Canyon.
  8. Visit the Galapagos Islands.
  9. Have/adopt a child.
  10. Beat my best marathon time of 5:41:18.
  11. Get a complete makeover.
  12. Learn something new daily for a year and blog it.
  13. Ride a horse…scary since I’m allergic to horses.
  14. Visit Yellowstone Park.
  15. Camp on the beach.
  16. Be 1st author on a scientific manuscript.
  17. Create a super organized crafting space.
  18. Stop using plastic grocery bags.
  19. Visit my childhood best friend, Louise.
  20. See a pyramid.
  21. See the Great Wall of China.
  22. Go on a safari.
  23. Go to a murder mystery dinner.
  24. Volunteer for at least 5 different charitable causes.
  25. Go whitewater rafting.
  26. Sponsor a child.
  27. Ride a moped.
  28. Send a different friend a card or letter for 12 months.
  29. Ride a camel.
  30. Have 6 pack abs.
  31. Learn to edit photos in photoshop or gimp (i.e. reduce shiny face, red eyes, etc).
  32. Go to a drive in movie.
  33. Learn to make a fire without matches.
  34. Scuba dive.
  35. Bottle feed puppies or kittens that have been orphaned. Find the babies a home when they are ready.
  36. Ride a zipline.
  37. See a volcano.
  38. Research my family tree as far back as possible and get a really cool family tree picture made.
  39. Ride a segway.
  40. Send a message in a bottle.
  41. Help train/socialize a service dog.
  42. Have a big garden and share the food.
  43. Learn to can food.
  44. Be a foster parent to a child.
  45. Foster animals.
  46. Play 20 questions with 20 friends to learn more about them.
  47. Go geocaching.
  48. Do 10 unassisted pullups.
  49. Take my dogs somewhere and work with them until they aren’t afraid of the water and let them swim.
  50. Play on a slip-and-slide.
  51. Be the person up in the air at a VT football game.
  52.  Take a self defense class.
  53. Ride on a sailboat.
  54. Go on a retreat with close girl friends.
  55.  Take my husband on a surprise weekend getaway.
  56. Host a Halloween costume party.
  57. Spend the day picking berries at a berry farm.
  58. Adopt 2 children from the Angel tree at Christmas and spend the day shopping for them with my husband.
  59. Harvest honey.
  60. Build a raised vegetable garden.
  61. Take a trip with my brother – just the 2 of us.
  62. Spend a day at a spa.
  63. Shoot a gun at a shooting range.
  64. Finish a 365 Photography Project.
  65. Start a pay it forward chain.

Falafel

This past weekend, my husband and I went on a short bike adventure because rain was in the forecast so a long adventure was risky. Our little adventure took us downtown to the King Tut’s Mediterranean Grill.  

We had something there that I absolutely loved. I got the vegetarian platter and there were this little morsels of heaven on it! They were crispy and just delicious! So I did a little research to find out what they are and how they are made. Today’s learning topic is falafel.

Falafel is a middle eastern food. It’s a deep fried ball of ground chickpeas and/or fava beans. It’s served with pita bread. Falafel is believed to have orginated in Eygpt but is now eaten throughout the Middle East. It is a national food of Israel. Falafel has became a popular food choice for vegetarians and vegans throughout the world and is now served in health stores in a prepackaged mix. The beans used for falafel are not cooked prior to use. Instead they are soaked with baking soda and ground together with spices and deep fried. Falafel can also be baked instead of fried to reduce the fat content but this changes the texture of the dish somewhat.

This weekend I will attempt to make falafel. Check out this nice recipe over on blogspot.

http://falafel-recipes.blogspot.com/2011/06/falafel-recipe.html

I’ll let ya know how it goes. 🙂

The Praying Mantis

Apparently this week is about bugs for me. Yesterday I found a giant spider while pulling weeds in the backyard. Scared me half to death. Then last night I dreamed about bugs (probably due to the spider incident!). Then today I walk outside to my truck and there’s a praying mantis on the window of my driver side door! I just left him on there, got in and drove away. Eventually I looked over and he was gone. So today I decided to learn a little about the praying mantis since I didn’t even know whether to be scared of him or not!

 

 

Obviously the praying mantis is named for its little praying front legs. It’s kinda cute, don’t you think? They can turn their heads nearly 180 degrees so they can see all the way around their body! Also they have two large eyes and then another 3 small eyes! Creepy! They snatch up their pray with their front legs. Sometimes the female will also eat the male after mating. Praying mantises usually eat crickets and grasshoppers but have also been known to eat small rodents, birds, lizards and frogs.

Organic farms sometimes use mantises to replace pesticides. The mantises will eat the other pests without disturbing the fruit or vegetable crop. However, mantises also pray on beneficial insects too.

The movement and speed of the preying mantis as inspired many myths, stories, and superstitions.  For centuries, praying mantises have been a staple of some styles of martial arts that mimic their quick and fluid movements.

It appears a praying mantis can bite a human but the the creatures have no venom. So it might hurt but won’t make you super sick unless it gets infected or something. Many people actually keep these little guys as pets. So I’m glad I left the little praying mantis alone this morning. 🙂

As many of you know, I love handmade items…so I’m going to start sharing some cute finds with you related to my learning sessions. Like praying mantises? Here’s a adorable little handmade coffee mug by Hummingbird Studio Pottery on Artfire. Check it out! 🙂 Just click on the picture to go to their studio! 🙂