Welcome! My name is Brenda.  I'm a wife and mom. I have two kids (okay, 3, but one is a dog). My daughter is 17 and a senior in high school (oh no!). My son is 13 and in the 8th grade.

My dog, Kai,  turned 3 in May. 
She is an American Bulldog and the craziest, best dog ever. 

I have been so inspired lately by so many different and wonderful blogs, I thought that I might give it a go myself.  I have so many different interests, try my hand at a variety of crafts, and collect a multitude of different things, so I figured there has to be at least one person out there that might find something of interest here at "Baskets, Beads & Baubles."

I had a hard time finding the right name for this blog. It was entitled "What's in YOUR Basket?" since it's inception in 2011.  You know, it's a play on "What's in YOUR Wallet?" but it just never "did" it for me.  So after coming to my computer after a sleepless, allergy filled night of tossing and turning, "Baskets, Beads & Baubles" came to me. (It may have been helped by the allergy/cold meds that I took.)

I tossed around the word "Flotsam" for a while.  I thought it would be a cool word for the title, but I also really love alliteration, so the 3 B's were born...."Baskets, Beads & Baubles". 

"Baskets" represents my love for organizing, storage and literally, baskets. I am a Longaberger Consultant, but I also have many Peterboro baskets stashed here and there throughout my home. I love to incorporate baskets into my decorating and storing. I also love anything you can put/store something else in.  I just about become a blathering idiot when I enter "The Container Store."

"Beads" represents my love for all things crafty.  I'm left-handed and they say that we think more with the right side of our brain, which is responsible for the more creative/artistic way of thinking.  Which may explain the many, many unfinished art projects scattered here and there.  My Nana (my Mom's mom) was uber-crafty.  She could do it all, and do it all well.  She taught me to crochet, but the lefty-ness threw us both off when it came to knitting...I never could get my hands to work right.  But I like to think that I inherited some of her talent.  These are just a few of the "crafty" things I like to do:
  • scrapbooking
  • crochet (am still trying to learn to knit & will be giving Knook a try soon-a way of crocheting that ends up looking like you've knitted)
  • love photography (which is why I ended up scrapbooking)
  • beadwork
  • cooking/baking
  • sewing
  • reading
  • building 1/12 scale miniature houses
  • I'm not much of an artist, but boy can I color up a storm (and my stick people are wicked cool! And I can also create awesome paint-by-number pictures).
"Baubles" represents the rest of my obsessions, collections and whatnot.  And there are a few...quite a few.  For example, I collect:
  • Robert Tonner Fashion Dolls
  • BJD Dolls (ball jointed dolls-this takes you to Google Images so you can see for yourself what a BJD is-there are many manufacturers, Elfdoll is among my favorite-I have 2 Elfdoll dolls)
  • Pocket Dragons (although their creator has retired & is making no more-the link just takes you to Google Images so you can see what cute little creatures they are)
  • All things "tea party-ish" (cups/saucers/teapots, etc.)
  • Longaberger Baskets & Pottery
  • Peterboro baskets 
  • Purses (I don't so much collect, as acquire....often..I just LOVE Vera Bradley)
  • Candles (as they say in the "biz", boy do I have an awful lot of wax-I used to be a PartyLite consultant, so when "I sez I gots a lot, I gots a lot"...much to Mr. BBB's dismay. But, hey, we're set for when we lose electricity. Always have to look on the "bright" side. Get it?  Bright side? Now, that's punny!)
I love power tools.  Mr. BBB & I completely renovated our kitchen in 2010 -- all by ourselves. And it turned out not too shabby.  Actually, I'm thrilled to death with how it turned out. Of course, the crown molding threw us for a loop (and still is not complete), but we will be hiring someone to finish that this summer. And the backsplash. I have been going back and forth about the backsplash for ... yep.... two years now.  It WILL be done this summer (UPDATE: It was NOT finished in the summer of 2012).  All that to say, I love me my drill, my Dremel, and my table saw.  I think I would like to be a carpenter when I grow up.

Mr. BBB & I met while attending the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA for German.   We were both in the Army at the time.  I served my 4 year enlistment, but Mr. BBB stayed in for 20. He has since left the Army and started his second career.  We sat next to each other in class.  He couldn't stand me (at first)....said I was too "moody".   [What does that mean? Gosh it makes me so ANGRY when he says stuff like that.  I just want to know what he means. I mean...sniff, sniff, it hurts my feelings. Now I need a tissue.]  Just kidding.  I know EXACTLY what he means. We have been married 22 years (September 2012). Just goes to show you......

After graduating from college with a B.A. in Social Welfare, I joined the Army.  (I joined under the College Loan Repayment Program & ALL of my college loans were paid in full... AWESOME!) (Caveat: I DID end up going to war during my 4 year enlistment-I was part of the Persian Gulf War and was stationed in Saudi Arabia for 6 1/2 months.......so I like to think I earned the repayment of my college loans.) (Second Caveat:  I was in the Army for 4 years, and my Dear Hubby was in for 20. I came away with a combat patch and he didn't.  But don't mention it to him...it's still a sticky point between us.)

After the Army I went to the Denver Paralegal Institute and worked for many years as a Legal Secretary...in Tennessee, Colorado, California, Hawaii, Washington DC. The life of an Army spouse means a lot (A LOT) of moving. But, oh the places I've been...

When my little guy was born (child number 2 -- or as Mr. BBB calls him "Thing 2") I became a stay-home mom for 7 years.  I did do some at home Immigration Court hearing transcriptions during the last 4 years of the stay-home 7, but realized that I needed to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE and start interacting with other adults again in order to save what little was left of my sanity. And to hopefully stave off anymore gray hair coming in... so far, I have NOT been successful in this regard. (Loreal...because I'm WORTH it!)

I am currently working as a Church Secretary.  This job came out of the blue (while attending a church other than my home one on Easter Sunday in 2008 due to NO available parking at my home church on said day) and I've been at that job for 4 years in April 2012.  I'm pretty sure I was in the right place at the right time on that Easter Sunday. I never would have found out about my job, if I hadn't had to come up with plan B on that Easter Sunday.  I love my job!  I think every Christian's dream is to be able to open and up front about our beliefs at our work place and so many people aren't able to do that.  I, on the other hand, am able to do just that...in fact, it's encouraged! How great is that?

Random Facts:
  • Persian Gulf War Veteran
  • German Linguist in the Army (was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Left-handed
  • Graduated from Albright College in Reading, PA
  • I love puns.  Love, love, love puns.  I crack myself up when I come up with a good one.  It's good when you can laugh at yourself, right?  You saw the one above, didn't you?
  • Power Tool aficionado 
  • Longaberger Consultant (going on 10 years)
  • Love to rearrange furniture (I used to rearrange my friends' parents' furniture when I was younger-well, only my very good friends..their parents knew me & understood)
  • Wanted to be an Interior Decorator & actually took a mail course (this was before online was available)
  • Walked the Susan G Komen 3-Day 60 mile walk twice 2009 & 2011 (crewed it once in 2010)
  • Am Hypothyroid (Hashimoto's Thyroiditis)
  • Just ran my very first 5K (on 3/11/12) and it didn't suck! I think I might even do it again!
Okay...I think that's about enough for now.  If you are still here (and haven't been scared off), then I think we probably have one or more things in common. Cool!

Bear with me as I unveil the mysteries of all that is blogging.  I'm learning as I go, so I apologize in advance for any major blunders  (and I think we can anticipate at least one or two). So there, you've been forewarned. :)

If you should ever want to contact me, please email BrendasBlog @ hotmail.com (take out the spaces, please). 

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