Friday, December 14, 2012

Alex's Crosses

My son Alex, my best repeat customer!

Every year he has me make several crosses for him to give as gifts. He designs them, draws up a sketch and has me create and fine tune the piece.

Not this year.

Oh, he designed and drew up sketches. But, he wanted to be the one making. So, he asked if I would teach him how to weave, and I did gladly!

So here's my proud Mama moment, My Son Made These!
I hammered out the frames for him and he did the weaving, and wrapping.

Brass with a bead filled base - I helped a little more with this one, he wanted to learn wire weaving not bead weaving lol

He wasn't content to just weave the cross for this one he also wrapped chain around the halo and wrapped beads to the chain, paying special attention to the sizes of the beads to create a pattern for a scalloped edge. I almost forgot to add, he even LOS'd it!!

This one is my personal fav. Again, I did the bead work for him - I love that detail!

This one started out a very simple cross with a couple beads in her favorite color. By the time he had finished with the others he started to feel a little badly that they were ornate and this one wasn't. Back to the design table, he dressed it up a little bit, adding swags of chain. The beads free sliding on the chain are mood beads. All week they were a pretty bluish green, I set the cross on the anvil while I snapped some quick pics and this is what I got lol Please don't hold the color change against him :)

Thanks for stopping by, taking a peek at our hand crafted Christmas goodness, and sharing in my proud Mama moment!
See you next time!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

we interrupt our handmade Christmas for a note on customer service...

Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile may remember my Dear Alan post on the umm virtues of customer service.

Today I find myself in the same position, but this time with Fire Mountain Gems. Can we say an entirely different experience?!

Check this out....
Dear Dana,
Thank you for your email. We sincerely apologize the package we sent you was shipped via USPS to your physical address which may cause the package to be returned as "No Mail Receptacle". We have initiated a correction order for a replacement package to be sent. Your order confirmation number is xxxxx (cause you don't need to know that lol). We have also noted your account that in the future all Best Way Select orders need to be shipped via FedEx Ground if shipping to your physical address.

This package will be shipped via USPS Priority Mail with a signature required, courtesy of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads. You will receive an automated email containing shipping and tracking information when the package is picked up. This shipping method generally arrives within 3 – 5 days; however it can take up to 14 days from the date of shipment.

The order invoice you receive will state 'Amount Billed'. This notation is needed for our internal accounting purposes. Please be assured that you have not been charged a second time for these items.

We look forward to serving you in the future. If you should have any further questions or comments, please feel free to reply to this email. You may also contact us via Live Chat by clicking the button below or contact one of our friendly Customer Service Representatives at 1-800-423-2319 during regular business hours.

Best Regards,

e-Service Contact Center
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Not only did they get MY name right, but THEY initiated the correction and took steps to prevent it from happening a second time. I NEED to put them on my Christmas card list :) at least Tamara. And Wal Mart could take a page from their book on customer service, because that's how you do it! Kudos to Tamara and Fire Mountain Gems!

Til next time!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Countdown to Christmas

It's official! The countdown to Christmas has begun! Paige's final for 3D design is in it's final stages of creation which took us to the Dollar Tree for a few filler items she needed. It's going to be so pretty! She's had it hanging in her room as she's worked on it and all I can think is - that really needs to hang in front of the fireplace! :)

As I was saying we went shopping and I found some cute items for my great nephews and niece. It kind of changes the direction I was going but I really like the whole idea. Look for that post next week!

This weeks post is a pin I just stumbled onto while carousing Pinterest. Food stuffs are always an appreciated gift, after all "nothin says lovin like goodies from the oven" but these days that oven can be of the microwave variety.

Love the marketing idea for this as well - did you notice? The pin is for a printer who can customize your mug to say whatever you like! Clever!

If you want that brownie in a mug to be 100% hand made (you know me and hand made!) my friend Christine of BackBay Pottery has some ....

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

Or Nancy and Mike's mugs over at HillTop Pottery....

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

As does Diana of Crop Circle Clay....

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

Or maybe you prefer a Vintage flair....
My friend Jean of Jean's Vintage Kitchen has this great set you may be interested in. Can't you just see the fudge sauce being poured over the brownies from that awesome pitcher? Yum!

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

Or maybe CKs Vintage mugs appeal to you.....

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

There are many wonderful potters and vintage sellers on Etsy all of whom would love to help you create that tasty little treat for your friends and family.
I could easily list off a dozen or so of my favs and I hope to be able to show off all their goodies to you at some point as they are all deserving of a spot light.
Til then, thanks for stopping by and we'll see you next time!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am still here.....

Just really missing my computer :( I have so much I'd like to share but I really don't want to stuff Paige's computer full of my pics.

Alex finished his first cross. I made the frame for him and then showed him how to weave it. He did such a great job! I'm proud of him and he's happy with his gift, three more to go.

Started priming my bathroom. Ran out of primer and then put the brushes in water to clean while I went to get the other bucket. Yup, you heard right, got a little ahead of myself lol

Trying to decide which room to tackle next.
I still have to finish the ceiling in the laundry room. It has a seam I never finished, not sure how I managed that either. Get that seam finished and I can paper in there like I did the kitchen.
I can finish sanding the entry hall, texture and finish painting it.
I can sand the kids bathrooms - they were supposed to - and get started painting them.
Or I can head downstairs and finish the bedroom/gym.
They are all on the to do list - I made up a list of things I could do that don't require Alan to finish something first and was actually surprised at how much I had! Now I feel like a slacker lol

On the desk are my forum swap pieces. All cut, patinated, sanded and waiting for me to decide how to assemble. I really like them so far, hoping my friends do as well. I also made up the cutest little angels and IF I had a computer I'd show you! sigh. Apple is having a black Friday sale, maybe just maybe we'll have a little extra money in time for the sale. Fingers crossed.

It's been a really rough couple of weeks around here, I'm blessed to have such a wonderful family and enough to keep my hands busy and my mind occupied. I am ever thankful these types of weeks are rare in my life and I know without a doubt if we just keep moving forward we will be fine.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my ramblings once again :)
May you have a blessed Thanksgiving even if it isn't a holiday you celebrate in your locale, we all have something in our lives to be thankful for right?!
We'll be counting down the days to Christmas when I post next and as always I'm committed to a Handmade Holiday so look for gift ideas you can make for your loved ones to be posted soon!
See you next time!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On the Desk......

Let me start by apologizing for no new pics. I'm still using Paige's laptop and I haven't uploaded my camera to it yet. I have several pieces I need to list so I'll be retaking photos sometime this week. I think I'll take a peek into my shop and see which pieces need a refresher while I'm at it too.

On the Desk is a little some thing special this week. Christmas! For those of us who hand craft our gifts the time to create is here! I have goodies to make for the forum swap and Christmas gifts, and........ Alex wants to make crosses for a couple friends this year. Usually he wants ME to make them, I've called him my best repeat customer many times :) But this year, he wants me to TEACH HIM how to make them! I'm so excited, I love sharing wire working with my kids!

I don't remember if I mentioned here that I had picked up some new toys when I ran to Hobby Lobby with Paige. I've been playing with those toys and having so much fun! I also broke out the saw and made up a small coil for sawn jump rings. can I just say WOW!! The difference in the rings is amazing, no recutting anything. It's just like the difference from regular cutters to flush cutters. Playing with new tools always make me so happy!

In the Garden this week.... now that the temps have fallen below 100 the tomato plant has finally decided to grow. After producing a whopping TWO tomatoes this year it is now covered in blooms and small fruit. I hope a few get big enough to pick before the frost gets them. Garden fresh veggies were missed around here this year. Between the record heat and the drought I'm lucky I even have a tomato plant and am looking forward to a harvest.

On the Home Front I'm beginning texturing in my bathroom! Walls should be ready for paint by this weekend! It would be ready now, but I forgot the ceiling had that awful fiberglass wrapped sheet rock Lowe's was selling for awhile. My poor face was itchy and swollen for a few days after sanding it. sigh

Parent/Teacher conferences were last night. Alex has nearly all A's, two B's. One last conference this spring and then no more. All my babies are grown up, it happens so fast! I swear they were all just in Kindergarten last year.

All in all, itchy face aside, it has been a great week! Thanks for letting me share with you and I hope your week - minus the itchy face - is just as good!

Thanks for stopping by!
See you next time!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

I had mentioned in an earlier post I had wanted to start writing daily. While I hadn't quite gotten the habit of daily down I did have quite a bit written. During the blog hop Jean, so full of faith in me, suggested I write. I was writing and it was just starting to really become cohesive. I was actually feeling pretty good about it, adding to it little by little.

Then my computer died. Thursday evening the power went out, and Friday morning when I tried to turn on my poor little Mac, nada. Nothing. Zilch.

Macs are awesome little machines, in the past 20+ years I've owned three, each lasting roughly seven years. As awesome a little machine as a Mac is, it's still a machine and does have limited life. I know this, and I do back up files. In fact, most of my files have been backed up. Most.

Just not my writing or my most recent pictures. It's been a couple months since I've backed anything up. I knew my Mac was running on limited time and I knew I needed to get the last couple of months files backed up, but..... I just didn't seem to get it done.

It's a heavy expense month so I'm not sure when the extra funds to replace my computer will become available. I'm hoping by Christmas. In the meantime, my daughter has graciously set up a profile for me on her laptop. She also chided me for not using Google Docs. hangs head

I am very thankful to Paige for sharing her laptop with me, but I don't want to monopolize it. I'm keeping my morning routine roughly the same, check e-mail and Etsy and then puttering around the house. Checking mail again in the afternoon before the kiddo gets home from college. I guess I should hit Google docs and start over, little by little.

On the bright side, this does force me to manage my time on the computer. I can be the queen of wasted time when I'm staring at a monitor! But I suppose that's true of anything. Well, I should get off of here. I have a bathroom wall awaiting tape and texture.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
See ya next time!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I've mentioned my favorite blog before. Brass Tack Thinking Todays post is just pretty inspiring. It's one of those "I just knew I could" stories.

Someone somewhere decided that an inspiring story had to be about overcoming adversity and this post has a touch of that too but the true inspiration comes in the form of I just knew I could.

Haven't we all done something that someone else thought impossible or improbable? But we just knew it would work and so we just did. And it did, and life was great and we just didn't get the fuss. Right?

Well if you haven't, you really should try it and you really should read this post.

The guy swam 1000 miles with no special training. He just knew he could. Seriously! He knew he could swim 10 meters, so 1000 miles was a gimme. Even if it meant just swimming 10 meters at a time.

Is that not brilliant? We can all do pretty much anything a little at a time can't we? And that is what makes him so inspiring.

Let's all pick one thing we REALLY want to do but have been holding back on because the big picture was so darn intimidating. Now, what would we need to do to get from here to there? Break it down into manageable tasks. How much time will you need to achieve your first block of tasks? Set a goal and a goal date and lets do this!

I want my house finished by August and I have some writings I've been working on I would like to gel and be a little more cohesive. I've kicked around the Need to Do's but haven't actually written them down as a check list, I think it's time.

What about you? Have anything you'd like to share? Feel free to comment, if it's important to you - it's worth doing!

Thanks for stopping by!
See ya next time!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Things You Should Never Discuss in Polite Company


I think there were others but these are the ones that stick with me and I've tried to live by that rule. What makes it worse is it really seems these days all three of those are so intertwined that you can't avoid one if you make the mistake of mentioning one of the others!

I've made the mistake of not following that rule twice this week. TWICE bash me in the head now! Seriously when people ask your opinion, they don't really want your opinion. They want an affirmation of THEIR opinion, it's human nature and I KNOW this and yet I still offer my opinion.

The question was Who Do You Think Won The Debate? Not who you wanted to, but actually won.
To win a debate one must sway anothers opinion to your side. So my answer was: No One Won.
Let the name calling begin. And folks, I do know what those big words mean.
Apparently what I actually thought wasn't an acceptable answer as it was not an affirmation of the other posters opinions. I will say I did make the mistake of bringing up Big Bird in my answer as part of my reasoning. Believe it or not that turned into a homophobic rant. I was stunned! A perpetual 3 yo puppet as the target of a rant of that nature. Really? Which one is NOT like the other?

Just one more month, all I have to do is hang in there one more month and hopefully all my friends and their friends will return to nice people again. I miss them and I really do not like all the hateful spew being bantered around as if it were acceptable behavior. It's not and my heart hurts for the awful things I'm seeing!

I'm seriously considering a break from the internet. I have my shop to take care of and that's enough online time for me. I can write my blog posts offline, as I'm doing now. Post when I pop on to check on my shop. My poor computer is getting tired anyway it could probably use the break as well.

Bless your hearts.
See you next time.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

of Saws and Spoons

Some months ago I bought myself a jewelers saw and had fully intended to play right away. But life, as it sometimes does, got in the way and the saw was put away in my tool drawer.

Paige is in 3D design this semester and needed some tools for a wire sculpture project. When I showed her where to find my tools and reminded her which were off limits for her project, my new saw quietly said Hi there! Remember me?

Paige and I had a few things to pick up and headed off to Wally World, while there I plunked down 94 cents for some stainless spoons. Figuring I could play with the saw and if I mangled the spoon well at least it wasn't antique cutlery!

First spoon up snapped. It didn't bend in a graceful arc at all, it bent at a hard 90 and then fell apart, oops!

So I break out the torch, obviously a little annealing is in order. Heat spoon number two to a soft glowing red all along the handle. That should do the trick! Sit down to my desk and grab the spoon with my right hand to adjust it for the pliers. OUCH that's HOT!

I've been playing with fire for years and still somehow managed to forget to quench my spoon. There I am looking at a perfectly scalloped scorch mark on my index finger and thumb, darn it! Walk into the kitchen, quench the spoon, set it down on the welders mat, and put some lavender oil on my fingers.

With some force I'm able to wrap the spoon around the mandrel. Rather lopsided and not at all graceful, it is a start. "Look!" I show the kids. The bowl of the spoon is still attached and they ask if I'm working on putting a knot in the spoon and offer free spoon bending if I just buy some ice cream! sigh

With children thoroughly unimpressed I pull out the saw and cut off the bowl end of the spoon. Slip it back onto the mandrel and estimate a current size and a desired size. With a few sizes in between those numbers I grab the hammer and start the process of convincing the handle it wants to be round and a much smaller size than it currently is.

When I was in high school my favorite ring was a spoon ring. After much coercing and a little pain I think a spoon ring may become a favorite yet again. It's a little "worn around the edges" and stands an inch tall but it wears every bit as comfortably as the one I had way back when.

Spoon Ring1

Spoon Ring2

It took snapping a couple blades but I think I've got the tension down and can hear the difference in the sound as the blade starts to dull. I'm really looking forward to continued playtime and you can look forward to seeing more sawn pieces in the future. Maybe...... even some pierce work :D

Thanks for stopping by!
See ya next time!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Scorpions can Walk on Ceilings and other bits

That is what I learned this week. Impressive isn't it? You really should learn something new every day or week. I just never thought that was a little tidbit that would ever come in handy. I was in the bathroom when something caught my eye on the ceiling. Since I'm finished in the kitchen until hubs gets those trim pieces cut and he finally turned his attention to our bath ((YAY!!!!)) I've been doing a little taping on the ceiling and shadows stand out really well on an all white surface. There it was walking along on the ceiling! So I slithered very non cowardly along the wall - so as not to be directly under it should it suddenly lose it's grip and fall. Hey I've been stung on two separate occasions now, it hurts, keeping it away from my face is survival mode lol So I'm slithering and calling for the hubs to come rescue me. He of course doesn't believe me - On the ceiling? He grabs his boot. We have 10 ft ceilings, hubs is 6 ft and change, that's why we have 10 ft ceilings! and here he is with a boot. I laugh, I mean it really is a sight to see. All I can think is he's going to shake his boot at the scorpion and warn it!! Have I mentioned, we have 10 ft ceilings!

The hubs gets in the bathroom, I flip on another light so he can see it. With boot poised for the kill he says, "Huh, it's on the ceiling." Face-palm "I know!! Good luck with that boot thing mister." I'm safe now, standing on the bedroom side of the archway.

He grabs my ladder, picks up my drywall spatula and ascends with spatula in one hand and boot in the other, very menacing. Flicks the scorpion off the ceiling and throws his boot at it.

It's a miss.
But he's a scared scorpion.

Back down the ladder, picks up the boot and misses again.

I'm thinking this little guy is going to be really po'd and there will be no sleeping tonight. Hubs goes for a third try, smacks him dead and finishes the job. My hero!

Scorpions CAN Walk On Ceilings! I'm in such big trouble, I have to watch my feet outside for snakes and now my ceilings for scorpions. There are walls and trees and things that must not be walked into this could be a problem!

On the jewelry front I have managed to get those charm bracelets listed! I have a couple pairs of earrings to get listed and I've just wrapped a pretty little cabochon I received from John during the Christmas swap with a piece of Vintaj filigree. Working on a beaded brass chain for it as I type this - that is I have several inches made up and I'll get back to work on it this afternoon :) I can actually see parts of my desk again!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope I haven't scarred you with my scorpion tale :D
See ya next time!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

All Reveals in One Place

If like me, you got behind on your hopping for the Bead Soup Blog Party, I have got some great news for you! Tanya has finished compiling all our reveal blog posts! You can see the whole Hop on three pages - one for each reveal!

I started you off on Reveal One just click on the tabs up top to navigate to Reveals two and three.

After the creative frenzy my poor desk was covered - I mean covered!!!! - with bits of wire and beads and tools and sketches and UFO's. It was a disaster area. As much as my muse loves a mess to create in, I don't so much like mess. Yes, I like to see and touch but mess equals chaos to my brain.

So I got to putting away and finishing up a couple ideas and suddenly my desk is starting to show itself again! Happiness! I can think again and create again!! It's funny, I brought the second desk up from the basement so I could keep a clean desk and a messy desk - but messy will not be contained. I feel much better now that I've gotten some cleaning up and finishing up done.

I even managed to snap a couple pics. Nice overcast day it was - until I walked outside with camera in hand. The sun was so happy to see me it popped out from behind that cloud with a fierceness of light! Shadows were casting shadows! There in the shade of the Hickory is a pallet of the last of the cinder blocks. On the cinder blocks is an old oak board, once upon a time it was the shelf I kept my pots and gardening hand tools on. All weathered and grey and in the bright shade...... sounds like the formula for some great pics doesn't it? Neutral background and natural light with no shadows, so I snapped a few. I know the weathered board has been done to death but I think these just may be some of my better photos. If only I hadn't sneezed lol Kidding, I didn't bring the tripod out so many of them were a bit fuzzy. But I did get a couple really nice ones!


Thanks for stopping by! See ya next time!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Are you ready for the final installment of Bead Soup #6?
It's happening this weekend on the 25th!
I don't don't know about you but I'm feeling kind of guilty that I haven't made it all the way through the second reveal yet. That's why I'm thankful Tanya put together the page that has all the soups in one spot! It's been soooo helpful! I may not have made it to each of the blogs yet, but I have seen all the wonderful works so far. WE are a Talented Group!
Here for your Hopping pleasure...... Reveal number 3!

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents

Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle, Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation, Art Food Lodging>br>
Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities

Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope, LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry

Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog
Sally Anderson, Wild Sally Road
Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo

Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs
Solange Collin, Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

Hajer Waheed -

Friday, August 17, 2012

Busy, busy?

I subscribe to Brass Tack Thinking, it's one of my favorite blogs. Every time Amber write a new post it shows up in my mail box and I tend to read it first over everything else. Well, unless my Mom or kids e-mail then they get priority :)

As I was reading todays post this line struck me....

we are convincing ourselves of our own “busyness” because we lack clarity of focus and priorities

Ouch! Guilty as charged. I'm always busy, always doing something, but on too many days it seems like I get nothing accomplished.

I have become fairly proficient at multitasking, doing several things at once. The problem is it always seems to take so much longer to finish things. Point in case all my On the Desk posts that list all the in progress/UFO's. I have several projects still not finished or even made progress on. I like to look at these as things to do when the muse flees but when taking a hard look at my productivity they sure seem to make me feel guilty. ack! I hope this isn't becoming a recurring theme.... I seem to recall another post about feeling guilty over the number of my UFO's recently - in June I think.

Maybe it's time to review my routine and make a few adjustments, instead of a large block of time for jewelry making I can break that into two smaller blocks of time. One for UFO's and the other for design/create. Maybe I can add writing to my daily list, whether it's a thought, a description, or a blog post doesn't matter so long as it's a daily process - could help avoid those oops it's Friday and I didn't post this week moments!! shhh I know it's Friday, I've been BUSY!

On a personal note, the kids go back to school in just a few days. Boy, It's going to be quiet around here.

Maybe it is a recurring theme after all. I review my routine when they get out of school and again when they go back....... hmmmm

Thanks for stopping by, see ya next time!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Home is Where Your Heart Is

And the Kitchen is the Heart of the Home
All things seem to congregate around the kitchen don't they? Family meals, Holiday gatherings, the newest works of art and report cards lovingly placed on the fridge for all to see and mmmm cookies in the oven.

I posted I had managed to load my wagon last month having decided now of all times (in the middle of Bead Soup) was when I was going to finally start the ceiling in my kitchen! I thought you might like a peek.

I love the look of tin ceilings with their gorgeous pressed patterns.
I don't however like the price tag that comes with - ouch! My Dad always said I had expensive tastes!
Unfortunately for me I don't have an endless supply of cash.
Fortunately for me, I love a challenge and finding ways to get the look without the pain!

Enter architectural paper, I remember it as anaglypta wallpaper but try finding that at Lowe's! It's paintable paper with an embossed texture, usually in "tin" designs and usually meant for your wall. It isn't cheap at around $18 a roll but it costs significantly less than $68 per tile and covers ALOT more square footage!

I bought a roll or two with each trip into Lowe's until I had enough to get started. While I was busy doing other things my pattern was discontinued!! Yikes! Turns out I had just enough and good thing too as I had already started in the hallway next to the kitchen.

The first two rows I had cut to length and then had the entire family on ladders holding it up on the ceiling while I smoothed and cursed (under my breath young ears!!!) and it sat like that while I contemplated a better way. Then it hit me, quite a few tin ceilings have a border trim that hides the seams. I could cut the paper to a manageable size and have trim work hide the seams! Wonderful plan! As it turns out, there is the slightest twist to the repeat in the pattern that requires a slight gap every so often to keep everything lined up and straight. Trim to the rescue!

I'm almost half way across the kitchen, waiting on the hubs to take the light fixture down. I have a larger bronzed medallion that will also go up when we put the light back up.

I did the ceiling in the Guest Bath the same way, but painted it a copper color. Painting was a long process for something being done overhead so I think I'll leave the kitchen ceiling white. But I thought I'd show it as it gives you a better look at the pattern.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bead Soup Reveal part 2

You got to see what Jean and I made and hopefully you hopped the blogoshere and got to see the rest of the 1st reveal as well. Here for your hopping pleasure is the list for Reveal number 2. Yup 2! The Party has grown so large Lori had to break it down to three reveal dates. Enjoy!

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs
Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure
Amy Severino, Amy Beads
Ana Krepel, Cat's Pajamas, Dog's Tuxedos

Andra Weber, Andra's Joyful Journey
Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios
Barb Fernald, Barbara S. Fernald Jewelry
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners

Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Brandy McNair, Bella Vita Handmade Jewelry
Brenda Sigafoos, Sunshine's Creations
Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads

Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Make sure you stop by Courtney's! She was my partner for Bead Soup 5 :)
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Deana Hager, Just Deez'Art & Life
Debbie Davis, Natural Treasures by Deb
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Debbie Rasmussen, A Little of This, A Little of That
Dhea Powers, Java Bead

Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eleanor Snare, The Magic Square Foundation
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy's Studio

Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier
JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads

Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations
Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Krafty Max, Krafty Max Originals
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae

Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Florian, Lilys of the Valley Jewelry Creations
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures

Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town?
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Callahan, Dancing Wire and Beads by Lori
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Marcia Dunne, The Alternative Foundry
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M's Place

Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
Melissa Muir, Kelsi's Closet Jewelbox
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

Pam DeBoer, Purple Notes from the Studio
Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle

Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads

Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Tanya Wiles, Tenebrous Hollow Studio
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends

Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Art

Just in case the copy/paste didn't take as it should.....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party 6 Reveal

I absolutely adore the soup Jean sent. These beads are so gorgeous I could do just about anything with them and walk out with something breath taking! Beads this gorgeous really take the pressure off and allow you to play. I sketched up design ideas immediately and I’m so glad I did because somehow I managed to completely load my wagon.

Already having those sketches allowed me to deal with everything else I had going on, Go me! I had a plan and I was getting things done! Even the what ifs didn’t slow me down too terribly bad. I managed to get that gorgeous Anne Choi bead finished with only minor modifications.

Yup I was doing great, then I heard it, thunder in the distance. We have had 100+ degree temperatures since the first week of May and very little rain. Thunder was a welcome sound. I got up looked out the window and could see the rain off in the distance and heading in our direction. Then the wind. No rain means the trees are brown and the leaves were swirling as if it were autumn. That much wind worried me for a moment but I had a necklace to finish. I sat down to work and flash, boom, darkness, no power.

We picked up take out for dinner, ate by candlelight, and the kids headed off to their respective lap tops. My oldest checks on the estimated return of power..... 6 am noooooo Tomorrow is picture day, write the blog post day. It is not finish the necklace day! Armed with a flash light I headed into the darkness of my office. I wrapped beaded links and made up my chain by the light of my flash light! With only a couple inches to go the power came back on and I was able to play with LOS at midnight!

A little reminder of those beautiful baubles Jean sent.
They immediately set my mind to a Garden and my inspiration board was born and designs sketched out in no time at all
So without further ado what you’ve come to see...... My Garden Gate

I had to set the first pic in the garden these Iris bloom in two tone and set the mood for the Anne Choi bead.

The Earthenwood escutcheon inspired an ensemble of pieces, the Key in scrolls reminiscent of iron work gates. A simple beaded chain of Amethyst and turkish silver and of course a bee with multiple strands of color lined glass seed beads and a sprinkling of Amethysts too.

And the Anne Choi bead. A focal in its own right - all a person really needed to do was string it and it would be worthy of any occasion. I chose instead to bring forth the beauty of her Iris and frame the bead instead. The Labradorite Jean sent has amazing flash, each and every single one of them. To achieve the two tone Iris I paired them with Amethyst and Blue Onyx ovals. Simply weaving leaves to finish the frame.

I do hope you have enjoyed your stay with me today. Please stop by JEANS BLOG and take a peek at her reveal - I’m on my way there right now! See you there!!

Jeans blog in case my hyper link didn’t work...
Don’t forget to drop by Lori’s blog and say Hi! and Thank you for hosting another awesome party! Enjoy the rest of the Hop !!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


No not yet! The reveal isn't for another 4 days yet.
Four days - my the time flies!
I still haven't finished my piece for the Iris bead....time to panic?
nooo I still have plenty of time to finish.
Might be pushing it for getting a good photo though. eeks
I'm pleased with my pieces so far and so hope you will be too. Please do come back on Saturday to see the big reveal!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wow! What a busy month I'm having!!
Bead Soup - reveal is in less the 10 days.
I was the forum host for our monthly draw on About's Jewelry Making site -
Congrats Susan!!
I've finally gotten around to papering my kitchen ceiling -same look as tin but minus the price tag. I'm about half way done 2 or 3 more days and we'll be waiting on hubs to cut some trim
Annnnd.... Today is Paige's birthday! Happy Birthday!! Ruby Reds to celebrate!

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The beads, those wonderful little spices that make the soup soooo good!

I know I usually post on Tuesdays, I apologize for my delay. I had an uninvited guest in my bed the other night, a scorpion. The little harbinger of havoc stung me six or seven times before I could get back out of bed. Not a fun way to wake up. Being allergic to these types of things I had Benadryl on hand but that leaves me in a stupor for some time. I knew I had things I wanted or needed to do, just couldn't remember what those things were.

I loved this photo Jean had shared on her wall so much that I pulled out just about every bead I had that would work in that palette! I actually had to remind myself that Jean was supposed to create something not me!


Don't you just love the colors!!

Jean's spices are rich and full bodied themselves. Gorgeous focals, luscious gems, and beautiful colors - a feast for the eyes!

Just look at the flash on those Labradorite brios! And the sparkle in the Amethyst! Such gorgeousness! Both focals are floral in nature (pun intended!) and that bee clasp, so cool! I love them!
No surprise then that my inspiration board is titled GARDEN GATE. You can click on either the title or the soup to visit my board. My designs are sketched out and I'm just debating the size wire I want to use before I get started. I'm really looking forward to the way the designs play out in my hands and the reveal, both Jean's and mine!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bead Soup! - Jeans Beads

My partner as I said before is Jean Yates. She has this wonderful high energy and the more we talk the more I find out we have in common.
I know she has thanked Lori for pairing us up, but I don't think I have.
Thank you Lori!

I spent some time looking through her shop
Browsing her Flick'r and reading her blog.
I think I have gotten a sense of her style, her jewelry is all so full of joy and whimsy. For her soup ingredients, I was very inspired by a photo she shared on her Facebook wall. It was in some of her favorite colors so I ran with it. Jean is quite accomplished and challenging that can be tough, hopefully the beads I chose provides some challenge for her and in a good way. I have to say, I've decided I definitely need to make something in these colors myself, they are gorgeous!

I also sent along a small token of friendship. I do hope she likes it and her soup too!

Please be sure to stop by and visit Jean in her ETSY and her BLOG, you won't be sorry you did!!

See ya next time!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We All Started at the Beginning

I was fiddling around on Pinterest the other day and stumbled onto a lettering poster drawn up by Jessica Hische. (that's the really cool thing about Pinterest, finding artists you might not have otherwise) The original page the poster had been linked from was no where to be found, so I poked around her site a little. Looked at some of her work, peeked at her graphics, and finally took a little read in her blog. She hasn't been a prolific writer, but steady and what posts she had written were worth the read.

This POST in particular caught my attention. It's a topic I've addressed here before. One many have addressed - obviously, the topic of copy right has touched every artist in one way or another.

Where I struggle is in this, I know we all start at the beginning. I know imitation is how we learn. It's how I learned. It's how I taught 4th grade art. Do as I do and you will create the same thing, and they did. They were amazed they could create, it opened a whole new world for them and I was thrilled to have opened that door. Just as I'm immensely flattered now to know or realize I have inspired as I have been.

"When you’re learning, it’s not wrong to copy people—to learn from them the way that they learned from others before them. What many young artists have a problem realizing though, is that the work you create while practicing and learning is completely separate of what you do professionally."

That last sentence of Jessica's, "practicing and learning is completely separate of what you do professionally" this is where it seems to go wrong, isn't it? It's how many of us get started, someone sees your work while you're learning, they fall in love with it and want to buy it. It kind of blurs the lines but the sale is such an ego boost! That someone would pay you money for something you created, is just plain cool! It's just as cool the next time, and the next time, and the next, that is as it should be.

But you should never pass off someone else's work as your own.

“There’s a difference between making an imitation and selling it.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you’ll often find high school students with their sketchbooks out, camped out in front of the Giottos and Dürers. It’s a time-honored way of learning: see, try to reproduce, and discover......But the 17 year old with the sketchpad is entirely different. He’s not passing off his Velasquez as a Velasquez, and he’s not passing it off as his own — in fact, he’s not passing it off at all. It’s a learning exercise, and if it’s presented at all, it’s always with the appropriate context. (“I did this in art class, from the Gubbio Studiolo at the Met.”) It also reveals what young artists finds fascinating, what they struggled with, and what they learned. It’s been my experience that these kinds of acts are met with great encouragement and support from the professional community."

As well they should be and are. As I said before, we ALL started at the beginning. We ALL had someone we looked up to, someone who inspired. Believe it or not, we ALL feel a warm glow when we know we have inspired too.
So go forth, ooh and ah, be inspired and learn. practice, Practice, PRACTICE and then practice some more. Find the style you love, let your heart move your hands and create your own works of inspiration your own works of art.

Just in case the hyperlink didn't work - html does not always do what I think it ought to do..... the full link to Jessica Hische's blog post
Read, Go Create! We'll see you next time!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bead Soup Partners are being announced!

I was so excited for being paired with Jean Yates I immediately ran to Lori's blog Pretty Things so I could be sure I was following her blog and immediately grabbed the info for Jean Wells. Whom I am already following and think she makes some pretty cute things too her info to follow! So as soon as Jean contacted me I was super excited and it immediately dawned on me I had to edit my post PRONTO lol

Excitement - this is going to be a blast I can tell already!

Jeans' Etsy is here and we are definately going to have FUN!

If you have a moment drop by Jean Wells or visit her Etsy I'm sure she'd love to see you!

Now I need to drop a line and say Hi! myself :) Then I get to dig through my stash and/or create a little something for her :D hmmm ideas brewing here........

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Revelations, Doubts and Imagination Run Amok

Meet the earrings that have caused me a great deal on introspection as of late.

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

They're a simple style, clean and dainty, very comfortable to wear. Hoops are readily found in many shops, a breeze to make, and quick too. So why the introspection? I found the exact earrings in sterling silver in Sun Dance recently......for more than double what I charge.

My college major was business management, so I am confident in my pricing structure. At least I was. The business woman in me is chiding me to revisit that structure. Etsy's workshops have all been focussing on pricing lately too, which only adds to it.

I think to myself if the items I make and sell are also found elsewhere for more than double I am seriously undercharging for my work. On the other hand I live in an economically challenged region in the US and I don't want to seem to be overcharging. See the dilemma?

I thought I had solved that by charging a healthy- for this area - hourly wage, and by the time all the math was done for factoring price, my wages would be boosted and still reflect a fair price. A recent workshop hinted that I should be charging almost quadruple for my wages, seriously? hmmmm the price of those hoops would support that theory as well.

ah but the flip side to that coin..... several of my pieces take far more time to create than a simple pair of hoops. Hours and hours would kick my prices out of the reach of all but a few. While I wouldn't mind selling to those few :D I am not completely artsy (business major remember lol) I can be practical and do realize that being able to sell to more than a few is actually a good thing! Truly when I say from my heart and hands to yours, that's what I mean. I want you to have my jewelry. For that to happen the price must be affordable...... but still, I need to be fair to me. My prices need to reflect that.....

On the Desk: is an explosion of beads and wire. I'm not kidding! My brain keeps kicking out ideas that my hands MUST try NOW before the last piece is done!! My UFO's have multiplied like bunnies. What's worse is I've been ummm borrowing precut pieces for this from that because it's the right size and I really want to see if it works sigh. Monkey brain! Swinging from idea to idea as if they were branches. It has actually gotten so bad that my To Do list actually reads:

mortar rocks
lay stepping stones and soaker hose
write blog post AND ideas for later (it bothered me I was behind!)
sketch ideas BEFORE exploring & FINISH at least ONE UFO
finish painting Paige's room (touch ups and bath)

etc etc

I did manage to actually finish one pair of earrings. I finally got around to using that gorgeous Seraphanite I bought with my winnings some time back, sweet sweet earrings. I was actually a little worried they looked a little too much like a pair Cleo has in her shop. That is a problem when you have similar tastes with a friend who also makes gorgeous jewelry. You really don't want to look as if you're borrowing (or worse) their ideas, even if they inspire you.

Well this blog post could easily have been turned into several!! So I'll leave it for now and see you next time!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Busy Busy! Summer is almost here!

I'm sorry I missed last weeks posting! My son Alex has been having a wonderful couple of weeks and I have just been absorbed in his joy! We were invited to an awards banquet and were considering blowing it off. Who wants to sit for a couple hours and listen to how wonderful everyone else's kids are when you're pretty much inclined to think yours are every bit as wonderful, right? lol His instructor tells him it's a must attend, so we put the good clothes on lol and omg he's Student of the Year!

He opted to compete in Skills USA this year. Alex is second year auto shop and really enjoys it, but regretted not trying last year. His scores on the written test were so high it earned him an invitation to the AAA Ford Competition in Batesville at Mark Martin's. Only 10 teams are invited and scholarships are awarded to each participant.

Each team is given a car with the same problems. They each have one and a half hours to find and fix all 9 problems. Alex was the second team to get their car started and were the fourth team to finish. They lost points here and there, never having worked on air conditioning they completely passed on trying to locate the problem and fixing it - turns out it was a plug unplugged under the dash oops! So they finished in 9th place. But to be 16 and to be in the top 9 in the state is such a huge honor! I just really couldn't ask for any more than that, it was such a great learning experience for him. He came home with tools, a scholarship and a job offer!

Since auto shop is no longer just a class in high school - it's vocational study at the University. He also has completed his course of studies and "graduates" tomorrow night.

It is finals week at the University and my younger daughter is finishing her freshman year. It's so hard to believe how fast this year has flown by! She has her classes scheduled for next year and have made sure she's met all her requirements to keep her scholarship going. She's really looking forward to getting her Etsy shop up and running this summer - be on the look out for updates on that front!

Last but not least I've changed my profile picture on Etsy. In embracing the hand made movement, as we all have, I've decided to make my hands in the process of making one of my filigree pieces my new avatar. Though I suppose technically since it is still me, it's just a new profile pic! Big Grin!

The idea came to me when reading the forums at Etsy. They were discussing a silent protest showing their disproval of a manufacturer as having been chosen as the seller of the week. Ooops!! This as they are cracking down on drop shippers and resellers or at least trying to step up their efforts. Then a team mate of mine on the wired team is suspended for her rather wordy thank you for supporting hand made announcement while she places her shop on vacation for rebranding. On her blog she shared a photo of her hands.

And well darn it if hand made isn't ALL about our hearts and hands and so it just makes perfect sense to me.
So here they are my hands as avi - though I guess I could have used a full size pic instead of the avi sized one huh?

Be good to yourselves, enjoy your summers! Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you next time!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Tax Day?

Looks like I missed last weeks post - got a little caught up working on taxes :(

So I'll share a little music befitting the day......

Here's hoping you've got yours done too!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What's in the Garden.....

While I'm nursing the hubs back from his surgery I thought you might like to see what's in bloom in my garden. It will be another couple years before it's in it's full glory again, transplanting always takes it's toll but as you can see, the Iris's seem to be adapting quite well!
purple irisyellow iris

We have wild black berry EVERYWHERE up here it's been a battle to get it under control, but the fresh berries are wonderful and the flowers are much appreciated too, especially by the swallowtail community!
yellow and blue swallowtail

The hostas seem to have survived last years summer melt down and the peony seems to have as well. I'm pretty sure I've lost my roses but their root stock survived, it will be interesting to see what they reveal themselves to be. Sadly the deer seem to have bitten the top off of one my lillies :(
black and blue swallowtail

My seedlings seem to be doing well so far, the little paper pots and cloches I made for them seem to really be doing the trick - of course I think what helps most of all is the cats aka the magpies haven't discovered them in the laundry room. As of now I have cantaloupe, tomatoes, petunias and a hummingbird mix successfully started. No true leaves yet, so successfully getting them into the garden remains to be seen. It almost made 90 today, already! Getting the seedlings in the garden may be only the first major feat of the growing season. Hoping to get some more veggies going soon and get some more of my garden transplanted too!
swallowtail butterflies

Since writing this to put in the queue - which I forgot to do lol) the cantaloupe and tomatoes have true leaves yay! and the peachy orange Iris are blooming now too! I've even brought my first bouquet of the season in!! The honeysuckle has started blooming and the boxwood is close behind and then the air will be heavenly to breathe! If I were smart I'd cut a peach Iris and some Cherokee rose for a bouquet too, no I should wait for the box wood to bloom first!!
I love spring :)!

Thanks for stopping by, we'll see you next time!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One Dragon's Eye Ring Finally Finished!

I finally finished it! Alex has waited very patiently for this day .... sometimes not so patiently, but he's a good kid and his patience has paid off.

I had finished his pendant and was almost finished with the ring when I received a custom order for another ring. It came out great, my customer was pleased but Alex's ring had been set aside and sometimes it's harder to begin again than it is to start.

I had sized Alex's finger and checked the size of the ring several times. I did not however even once check to see if the sizer and my mandrel agreed as to what that size was. When I finally was ready to start back up I checked size on his finger and it was waaaaaay too big! Set aside again until I could figure out a way to size it back down, the shank was already wrapped.

Alan's surgery is tomorrow and I haven't been feeling creative but was looking for something to keep my hands busy. There it was, Alex' ring sitting there on the desk, waiting to be finished. I've always said the blessing of having several projects in the works is even if you aren't feeling creative you can work at finishing something. So I picked it up, finished weaving the little piece that was half done, tucked it into place, turning the ring over while doing so. The fix became so obvious I wondered why I hadn't thought of it sooner and within the hour the ring was finished and fit just as if it were made for him! LOL

He's wearing it today and was calling it his class ring as he walked out the door. A very custom class ring!

A reminder of what his pendant looks like.


And the matching ring!

Alex Ring

Side view

Alex' Ring

Thanks for stopping by! We'll see you next time!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Ramblings

I've sat down to write several times this week but the words have failed me. Too much stress I think as my muse has been fairly quiet. The weather however has been on the gorgeous side and I have spent a bit of time in the garden weeding and applying a new layer of mulch. Puttering is almost as relaxing as weaving until you decide to set a couple more stones in the pathway!

I did however play with a bit of a basketry weave in wire and while it's a bit wonky here and there I don't think it isn't anything a little tap of the nylon hammer can't fix :) I think I may play with this weave a little more it might just be what the muse was waiting for with Courtney's scarab.

Since it is spring break and my kiddo is waiting to watch a movie with me I'll leave you with a couple photos from my garden wish list on Pinterest......

I love Lilacs and would love a bush or two in my garden.

I have a couple itty bitty solar lights now but would LOVE to do something creative like this. These baskets would be uber cute done in copper wire don't you think?

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

None of my bi-colors are blooming yet, but my deep purples are and they smell wonderful too!

Thanks for stopping by! I'll see you next time!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

182 down 18 to go

Who knew blog hopping could be so exhausting?!

It's not the reading that's wiped me out. It's the high energy of it all. The anticipation, the pure joy and happiness - it's Christmas in every post! :D

This has been an amazing ride and I'm happy to have been a part of it. Truly.

Next time though.......I'm pacing myself!!!! lol I've gone through 182 blogs, pretty sure I left a comment for everyone, my sincere apologies if I didn't. I found a couple blogs I had not marked off that I had already visited and some that I hadn't but had marked. If I missed you please let me know!

Sincere thanks to Lori for co-ordinating and logistics this was world wide and a pretty amazing thing to pull off in sync!

Well then 18 more to go for me and back to dust bunnies and rock laying! Seed starting I think - maybe I can cloche them and protect them from the MagPie's and actually get them into the garden this year! But that's a story for another day! Til next time!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Time for the Bead Soup Reveal!

I have to say this has been a blast and has really allowed me to play and create pieces of jewelry that I wouldn't normally. I've gone big and bold while I usually prefer petite, I've learned to knot and I've gone heavily ornate. and you know what?? I liked it! annnnd I think I wanna do more of it :D I even took apart a vintage necklace to re-use the beads in my creation, this was another first for me, taking the beads from a necklace that wasn't already broken. I surprised myself and enjoyed that too!

Courtney sent some really great ingredients, some were already favs and others have become new favs. Some were in shapes I might not have tried or used if not for this swap and I find myself looking at those shapes in other beads now too - I think my stash may grow a bit this year. I've been trying really hard to use only what I have for the past year, I think it may be ok to splurge a bit before too terribly long!

and now......The Reveal!!

Sand Dollar Focal - Dreaming of Marrakesh
This focal brought to mind the breathtaking colors of an ocean sunset and the bounty of mermaid treasures. In creating my mood boards the visual word play brought me around to Marrakesh and more of those same breathtaking colors and exotic treasures. We travelled from the sands of the ocean to the sands of Marrakesh in all its riches, to a style of jewelry that is bold with an exotic beauty and I really like it!

From Courtneys Soup Ingredients :

• Stamped Brass Sand Dollar Focal
• Polymer disc focal
• FW Pearls in shades of blue, white, browns and purple
• Big gorgeous puffy silver beads
• Mother of pearl round bead frames in ocean blue
• Copper toggle clasp

From my pantry :

• copper plated brass filigree stampings
• copper beads
• copper wire in various gauges
• coppery topaz and rose cathedral glass beads
• deep ocean blue and coppery FW Pearls
• white and copper glass pearls
• silver plate moon connectors
• shell discs

Skeleton key Focal : Key to my Heart

There is no doubt here that Pirates of the Caribbean granted a very generous amount of inspiration from the watery blues of the labradorite and "Black Pearls" to the lines and opera length of the talismans Calypso wore around her neck. It is with a knowing nod to the love affair between Calypso and Davy Jones, that I present to you the Key to my Heart.

From Courtneys Ingredients

• Antique Skeleton key
• Labradorite faceted coins, cubes and rondelles
• black onyx beads
• silver hook

From my pantry:

• labradorite wheels
• labradorite focal heart
• copper wire in various gauges
• deep ocean blue and black FW pearls
• bronzite rounds
• vintage ceramic and brass beads
• sterling silver wire
• steel baling wire (yes, from a hay bale)
• vitrial finish Swarovski crystals
• midnight black softflex beading wire
• 6mm black rainbow ceramic beads
• 11/o emerald seed beads
• 10/o black seed beads

Torch Enameled Bead : Kreuz mit Frühlingsblumen

While debating which ingredients to play with next I stumbled upon a photo of a sunrise in gorgeous pinks and purples - almost the exact shades of the quartz and dyed agate Courtney had sent. Pinks and purples then were the color to work with here and one of those gorgeous enameled beads just happened to be purple. Very spring like shades, the daffodils have begun blooming here so the colors were very fitting, and as my daughter Paige pointed out, very Easter like. Several weeks ago I had read a blog post on Berlin Iron and had been wanting to make a piece of filigree in a similar style ever since, now seemed to be the perfect time.

Better pic! Last nights hurried photos color was a bit off - todays pic in filtered daylight, much better!!


From Courtneys Ingredients

• Faceted Rose Quartz
• Dyed Agate
• Enameled Filigree Bead

From my Pantry:

• micro faceted rose quartz
• copper wire
• fine silver wire
• copper beads
• Swarovski crystals
• Miyuki fringe beads

Well, I've had my fun! Let's head on over to Courtney's BLOG and see what she's done with the ingredients I sent her! Just in case the hyperlink didn't work........ Then if you've got your coffee and your comfy chair you can continue on the hop with these wonderfully talented peeps!

Have fun and we'll see you next time!