Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Home for the Holidays - Where is my Long underware?!?!?

Last Thursday, we struck out for Southern Illinois to have a quick weekend visit with my family. I rarely get home for the holidays and took advantage of having a long weekend, to go home.

We started watching the weather on Wednesday night. I was watching the path of the winter storm that was working its way toward my destination. Unfair. We kicked around not going, but I don't know when I am going to get more time to go, so we lit out on faith we would get there.

It is a 11 hour drive to my folks house. When I go with James it turns into 14. He likes to stop a lot. This trip, took 12. I was proud of him. We drove straight thru, trying to stay ahead of the storm. I kept getting updates from my dad as we drove. We hit some freezing drizzle not to far across the Illinois border, but wasn't too concerned, my folks don't live to far now.

Entering Marion, we hit the freezing rain, and the roads conditions deteriorated quickly. 5 o'clock traffic kept the tire tracks open, and the salt trucks were doing their jobs. When we arrived at my parents, the car looked like this. We acquired this much, in just an hour.

It is funny to see the car sitting in the dark, and it just be 5:30 PM. I never get used to time change. We got unloaded, the house was warm, and decorated and there was a pot of chili simmering on the stove. Oh God the smell of home!

By morning

And it is still coming down.

It has been 15 years since I have seen this much snow. I was like a kid. I couldn't wait to get out in it!!!! I bundled up and Comet and I hit the streets.

 Nothing is moving, and the snow is still coming down hard. The crunch of the snow under my boots, and the hiss as it fell took me to a place so long ago. In the quiet, I let myself believe for just an instant, I had somehow walked thru a portal and was 10 again. Me and my trusty side kick were on a snow adventure and gathering up the gang for a days outting of sledding, snowball fights and fort building.

It is good to be home again.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wreath Making - Poor Planning, Over Spending Tutorial

You know you are going to make something, you have the idea in your head, but it is just an idea. You haven't fully prepared, but you venture out anyway to buy your supplies.....

Ominus music  - *dum dum dum.......*

This is the unprepared hell I live in. Walk with me, if you dare :)

I am making a wreath for my Mom for Christmas. Don't worry, she doesn't use the interwebs. It is still a magical place that only a special few are invited to see, so we don't have to worry about her seeing the pictures.  I want to make her one of those big poofy wreaths. I like them, and she does too. Anything that is over the top is perfect for my Mom.

I do a bit of poking around to find out what supplies I may need as opposed to doing my research while shopping. This gives me a ruff idea of what will be purchased as opposed to what I have,  and out the door I go.  First stop Dollar Tree to see if they have any wreaths. A lot of times they have some really fun stuff, but today, I think everyone else is in the same mood. Off I go to the the hell that is Wal-Mart during the holidays.

Of course I grab the trolley with the wonkey wheel and instead of gliding thru the throngs of shoppers (where are they all coming from on a weekday afternoon!) I have to with great effort, push my cart.  Picture me in the same body posture as pushing a lawn mower, that was me,  thru the isles of this retail purgatory.

In my head I have a list of things that I need beyond the crafty items -  toothpaste, socks, bread..ya know those things that you always need. I tell myself, "Get those on the way out", I really need to focus on the task at hand. Off to the craft department. There is a specific list rolling thru my head, fanciful pipe cleaners, festive material, beautiful wired ribbon and a wired wreath. It is all coming together and looking beautiful in my noggin studio. I must find these things!

The wreaths are picked over, the material choices are nil, ribbon is freaking expensive, and no fanciful pipe cleaners. Panic kicks up a notch, not quite at DefCon 1 but I could get there quick. Time to make sacrifices and work on different choices.

When it doesnt' go the way you want it to, it gets frustrating. Instead of making it a game, and searching for fun and cool alternatives, I felt rushed and made hasty decisions. Did I say, I am giving this to her tomorrow? Now, I make panic'd choices, and fill my cart with too many items, and then we hit DefCon1. I can't filter thru all of these things to make a proper choice. I am overwhelmed! So I wander. I wander around looking at snow tires, and fishing poles to clear my mind, then go back and start to glean what I need. I am really excited that I did venture into the Christmas department during one of these mind clearings. I found ribbon for a fraction of a cost!

So $71  later here is what I got::
1. There is the reciept - $71?? What the heck was I thinking???
2. Batteries - while clearing my head, I remembered I needed batteries
3. Snickers peanut butter and Dr. Pepper - for medicinal purposes only
4. Pattern for a purse.......It must have just fallen into my cart, I have no memory of looking at patterns
5. Material for the wreath, and my dog a coat, and some awesome shear rainbow material that will make something awesome!!!!
6. Wreath. Couldn't find a wire one, but the vine one will work just fine.
7. Ribbon from the garden center that was so flippin cheap!
8. Sheer netting and glittery gold ribbon. Perfect compliment to the material
9. I couldn't decide on one pattern, and besides it is for my Mom, she likes it wild!
11. Little ornaments for the wreath
12. Pipe cleaners. I had to buy 2 packs, because I needed more than 10 gold pipe cleaners........

Time for fun!

Tie pipe cleaners on the inside ring of the wreath - all points of the compass, 8 pipe cleaners. Then do the same on the outside edge of the wreath (just a bit offset from the inside of the wreath) - 8 pipe cleaners.

Wreath = $4.47
Pipe Cleaners = $2.47 per pk - I used 16 of them - total .64

I bought 2 yards of fabric at $2.97 a yard, only needed 1. Fold the fabric into thirds long ways and cut it into strips. This is roughly the same width as the red mesh spool of ribbon. at $3.77 a spool. Once that is done, sew the ends together. This will give you a bit over 6 yards of fabric.

Take the end of the fabric and secure it to one of the inside pipe cleaners, and work your way around the inside of the wreath. Twist the pipe cleaners around the fabric, keeping it tight and close to the wreath. There is plenty of pipe cleaner sticking up, you will use a lot of it. Use 8 - 10 " of fabric between each pipe cleaner, it will make the fabric bulk up.

When you have gone around the inside of the wreath and are back where you started, continue on, now on the outside of the wreath.

Now it is a matter of repeating your steps. I put the red and gold mesh together, and worked it around the wreath, just like the fabric. This is why you need the extra length in the pipe cleaner. The red and gold mesh worked out to about .08 a yard  - approx 6 yards each, we will round it up to .50 for easier math. so $1.

Don't stop yet! There is still more ribbon. Work it around the same way, but this time, skip around the pipe cleaners. Let the ribbon wander around the design.  I bought 2 of the red/gold ribbon at $2.47, didn't use the whole roll, it worked out to aprox .16 per foot for a total of  $1.44. The same for the White ribbon with the design - $1.44. Finish it off with some ornaments, 2 packs at $2 each and you are done! Fluff your ribbons and material to really bulk out the design. Now you need to tuck the pipe cleaners thru the back of the wreath and twist them down tight. You can clip any excess or just tuck it back thru. 

 Moral of the story - I spent $71, $20.51 more than I should have. If I would have went into it only buying exactly what I needed I would have spent,  $50.49 -  to make a $16 wreath. If I would have done a better job of planning and scouting deals, I could have trimmed off maybe $5 or more. Upside, I have an older wreath, that I can dismantle, and I still have enuff things (minus the ornaments) to re make this wreath. So, I almost got a two for one deal!

Did I have fun and enjoy myself - you betcha!!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Think I am Protesting!!!!!

I did it!! I made the decision to make a stand. I posted this on my Facebook Fan Page -  

"I am committing the biggest business mistake and am proud of it. I know earlier this week I made the comment about small business Saturday and cyber Monday. Well, I have changed my mind and I am closed on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. (I will be open on Sunday!) 

 I sell my jewelry and crystals at a discounted price to begin with, because my theory is that everyone should have something pretty, a piece of original art, something that has meaning at a cost that is affordable. I will not buy into the greed and envy that I feel these giant blowout sales promote.

 Enjoy your holiday weekend, visit with your family, watch what you eat, play a card game, sit up too late and watch an old movie. Unplug from the everyday chaos and relax for a change. I send you peace and love!!!" 

Selling my jewelry and crystals is just as much of a joy for me as the making of the jewelry. I love the interaction and the meaning that the jewelry or crystal has for the person.  I love being able to help my clients find the perfect stones, or the perfect piece of jewelry that reflects who they are, what they are and where they are going in their journeys.

That being said, I am going to use the time to meditate, create, visit, enjoy, relax and celebrate another day in my life.

Peace and love to you!!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

My First Gallery Hanging - Litmus Gallery - Anything Goes 2013

I submitted three of my paintings to Litmus Gallery in Raleigh and then started to chew my nails. Submitting work is nerve wracking - it is the waiting. I am no stranger to submitting my work. I have submitted to several magazines with my jewelry, and have been published over 20 times - and the results are the same. I have no nails.

The acceptance date had come and gone with no word from the gallery and I removed it from my mind and continued on to other adventures. Then the email came. Two of my paintings were accepted! I will be honest, I teared up, squealed, and maybe even pee'd my pants a bit.


"Cosmic Chrysanthemums"11 1/2" x 14 1/2" acrylic on cherry wood cabinet door

"Meteoroid Showers on Sand" 11 1/2" x 14 1/2" acrylic on cherry wood panel
Tonite is the reception, and I couldn't be more proud and more nervous and more excited! I can't wait to see my work hanging in a gallery and to see all of the other submissions. I can barely focus on the day, I want to be at the gallery now :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

LAST CHANCE TO ENTER! - CLOSED is having an awesome giveaway and today is the last day to enter!!!!
Do you see all this!?!?!

  • SpellBinders Rectangles One-Silver, Dies-Ovals One, Labels Twenty Five, Build a Wreath    
  • 7 Audubon Quilt Block Pattern Set   
  • Sizzix Framelits Dies- Birds by Rachael Bright and Ornaments, Round by Rachael B; Sizzix Thinlits Dies- Labels, Long by Rachael Bright, Christmas #2 by Rachael Bright, and Lace Pattern Card Front by Rachel B  
  • Book Assortment, including: 50 Yards of Fun; Christmas is Coming; Easy Knitting for Baby; Simply Modern Christmas; Becoming a Confident Quilter; Patchwork Plus; Simple Quilts from Me and My Sister Designs; Quilts Made with Love; The Sock Knitter's Handbook
  • TPP Quilt Calendar 2014               
  • Lion Brand Heartland Yarn in Isle Royale, Great Smoky Mountains, and Glacier Bay; 2 balls Lion Brand Imagine Yarn in Purple Haze; Lion Brand Unique Yarn in Moon Shadow, Grapevine, and Passion Fruit; 3 balls Lion Brand Romance Yarn in Grey Shades
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Knit and Weave Loom Kit   
  • 2 Crystal Golden Shadow Beads, 2 Pendants 6090 Topaz, 2 Pendants 6202 Dark Indigo, 2 Beads 5752 Sunflower, Fancy Stones MC 4584 Crystal, 2 Fancy Stones MC 4854 Crysal, 2 Flat Backs Sunflowers, 2 Fancy Stones MC 4137 Crystal Bermuda Blue, 2 Fancy Stones MC 4737 Crystal Bermuda Blue, Pendants 6202 Light Topaz 28 mm, 2 Beads 5301 Purple Velvet, 2 Flat Backs Crystal Golden Shadow, Pendants 6202 Light Topaz 40 mm    
  • Crystal Jewelry Inspiration            
  • 1/2 in Double-Sided High Tack Tape and 1/4 in Double-Sided High Tack Tape 
  • Xyron Sticker Maker and Xyron 3" Sticker Maker           
  • Permanent Adhesive
  • 3/8 in Adhesive Dots and 3/16 in Adhesive Dots            
  • Teresa Collins Adhesive Kit, Teresa Collins Plier Stapler, Teresa Collins Chipboard Punch        
  • Fiskars AdvantEdge Punch System and Fiskars AdvantEdge Cartridges: Winter Frost, Perfectly Paisely, and All a Glow  
  • Size 7 Straight Needles                
  • Jimmy Beans Wool Artyarns Zara Hand-Dyed Yarn and Silk Splash Light Yarn
  • Red Heart Yarn Tote, Red Heart Yarn Sassy Fabric 3 Pack, Sassy Lace 3 Pack; Red Heart Yarn Vivid Yarn-Powerful Pink and Electric Blue; Red Heart Yarn Unforgettable Yarn -Tidal and Winery; Red Heart Yarn Midnight Yarn- Serenade and Borealis; Red Heart Yarn Treasure Yarn- Abstract and Watercolors; Red Heart Yarn Sashay Sequin Yarn- Champagne         
  • Nov/Dec Crochet Today Magazine                   
  • Heart Shape Tape Measure                
  • Tipping Points Knitting Needles 10" 8/5mm        
  • Bamboo Handle/Silvalume Head Crochet Hooks 5-1/2"    
  • Yarn & Thread Cutter Pendant               
  • COLORTOOL spray paint-Blue Bright, Burgundy, Coral Bright, Fuchia Bright, Holiday Green, Holiday Red, Spring Green, Tangerine, and Turquoise
  • Deco Mesh Assortment
I entered and there is a lot of this that I don't  use, BUT I know a lot of really cool artist and crafters that would love to be gifted this!

Share the love!

Enter today! Hurry!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What is This in The Mail From Rings & Things?

Last week I got the most awesome surprise in my mail box. A package from Rings & Things! Rings & Things sent me a sample pack of their new web exclusive raw brass blanks. All sizes and shapes!

*blink* *blink*

What brought this on?  I am THRILLED!!!

Not too long ago, I used to work closely with Rings & Things, and review products for them. It was a fun trade off. They would send me a surprise pack of goodies, and I would in return write about each product. It was a win win!Several of my creations, inspired by the goodie bags from Rings & Things, were published in Bead Trends Magazine (which is sadly no more). I got exposure, and Rings & Things got free advertising, because I listed them as my material source. It was so much fun.

It looks like Rings & Things may be starting up their blogger program again. In the letter, Anne says "We want to work closer with designers, getting products to you that will hopefully get you exposure in beading magazines........"

Stay tuned! More posts coming to show off these cool brass blanks and the glorious creations that come from these Rings & Things inspirations.

It is on kids - on like Donkey Kong. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

More Interesting Tidbits From Art Biz Blog - Quadrupling Art Sales Accidently

I follow Art Biz Blog and am always finding great information, for site and support from the posts.

The most recent post is a guest blogger Rani Garner and she shares her story about how, quite by accident on vacation, she wandered into an art gallery, struck up a conversation with the owner, well and the rest is history.  Take a peak for yourself and see what Rani wrote about here!

This post got me thinking about how I started selling in stores, the anxiety that sometimes would try to overtake me, being afraid to talk to anyone about my work, the fear of rejection - you know the drill. Looking back, I have been in several stores, shown in galleries, published in magazines, used in run way shows - all because I asked.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy, and still today, I get a bit of the 'nerves' when I approach a new store or venue for my jewelry - but I am always looking. I am always on the lookout for a new boutique or gallery while I am out driving around doing my dailies. Cruising ads for artists and events, and google searching for 'call for artists'.

Thinking about all of this when I read this post made me curious - what do you do? How do you approach stores or galleries with your art? I would sure love to know!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Conversations with Zeus" Acrylic Painting

9x12 Acrylic on Canvas board.

Zeus - yes the same Zeus in the Because of Zeus Fund. He haunts me still, and most likely will for a long time. It isn't a bad haunt - although I will admit, sometimes when I fell asleep in my recliner, I did jump awake, I could feel him staring at me, with his big eyes wide open, and ready to pounce.

It is a good haunt, and we have invited him to do so in the house. I see a shadow run across my peripheral vision, and when I turn to look nothing is there. I respond with "Hi Zeus". Something will be moved from my work bench, and I KNOW right where I left it (especially if it was in a plastic baggie) and I will find the baggie on the floor, or in another room. I respond with "Damnit Zeus" so yeah, I invite his playfulness still.

It is a way of me working thru my grief even after a year of having him put to sleep due to his sickness.

I painted for him. A painting I will frame and keep for myself. An odd sized canvas, that I had no ideas I even had,  that no frame fits, and I have to have it custom framed. A bit of Zeus - you bet :)

It is in his colors, oranges, yellows, dark browns, creams and of course the crimsons.

I went round and round with myself while he was living in my house. Round and round with how do I deal with a feral cat? How do I deal with a cat who suffers from so much brain damage? How do I keep this cat in the house and trust him? Do I put him out and let him become feral again? Will that be what is best for him? All of that torture I wrestled with daily is represented by the circles.

I used water on the painting, causing it to run - representing my tears

Oh and the crimson, yes that is the blood that was shed so many times due to that cat, and his freak outs he would have. He would snap, like cats do, and go from zero to sixty in an instant .I was always in the way when that happened, and I always suffered from it.

I had made a promise to keep him safe, and I did, until the end.

I miss you buddy

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Celebrating Libra's in October!

So many October birthdays in my family and in the people I know. I will contribute it to Valentines day :)

So what do they say about Libras?

Latin for "the Balance" or "the Scales", from the Greek word Zygos. Libra is balance and achieving balance is their life goal. Libra will work with concentration and relax with dedication. Libras can captivate others with their sharp intellects, allowing them to entertain people for hours, they are equally awesome listeners. Making decisions can certainly be tricky as you need to analyse things carefully in order to make the very best decision which often sees the scales get tipped back and forth in the process. Continual assessment, consideration and evaluation are mentally exhausting... but with all of these experiences come discernment and confidence.

Librans love beauty and can seem superficial as they place emphasis on the visual beauty, however they can also see unseen beauty in those that most of us would not see. Beauty flows through them in creative expressions like music as well as the arts.   Some Libras do seek perfection, which can make life trying for those who live with them.  Love and marriage is important to Libra. (My daughter is libra - so true!!)

Birthstones for Libras can be sapphire if born in September or topaz if born in October.

But wait there's more!

Don't limit yourself to one stone. So many may speak to you. Bloodstone for example is a great stone for Libras (my daughters favorite). It aligns all levels. It strengthens the will to 'do good'. (works with the Libras desire for justice) It helps you to be present in the moment. Bloodstone also assists to revitalise love, relationships and friendships.(Love and relationships are very important to Libras) Use to dispel states of bewilderment and obscure thought. (because you know Libras need order!)

So to honor Libras, I have made this pendant.

African Bloodstone pendant with brecciated jasper and quartz accents, wrapped in copper.

Are you a Libra? What stone speaks to you?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Volunteering - An Important Part of My Work, and What I Do

Have you every thought to yourself, what can I do to make a difference, then stop yourself short because you don't have a lot of money.

Giving is not always about money.

Your time is as much of a generous gift as a monetary donation.

You may have a special talent that you can donate  - singing, dancing, puppetry, design, baking - pick one and share it.

You may have an knack for listening - so many people what to be heard, and know they matter - share it

You work so hard, and you want to spend time with your family, but you can't get everyone on the same page - Volunteer as a family!

My dog Rose and I  volunteer - 30 minutes 2x a week at assisted living facilities in our area. I am not a dog trainer, I was blessed with a great dog who loves to love. I am sharing her and she lights up a room. She doesn't do special tricks to entertain. What she does is give you a soft head or back to rub your troubles away on. She can carry that burden away for you - she is a dog and doesn't hold onto that energy. She lets it go in the wind when we walk, or leaves it in the grass with a good leg kicking, snorting roll.

 Rose is always so glad to see you, and from our visits, they are happy to see Rose too.

A quick Google search can show you volunteer needs in your community, or you can start with these national sites that help you connect locally.

Volunteer Match

National Service

Habitat for Humanity

 Think about giving, and share who you are. You are so important and have so much to offer, it is a shame to keep it all to yourself!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Layers of an Acrylic Painting "De-Stressing Distress"

I am in awe of how artists can create a painting in one sitting.

Mine take days and days of layers and layers. Sometimes the suspense is overwhelming, I can't wait to see what it will look like.

I never know where I am going to go with the color or the texture. It changes with each layer.

Here is how I started

It is a lot to take in, it screams at you. It makes me feel like I am driving on the interstate, hell bent on getting to work, so much traffic, my knuckles are white on the wheel. I hate that feeling. There is A lot of color, A LOT of paint. So thick took 5 days to dry. In the thickness of the paint I scrawled in words and shapes. Kept it positive. I NEED that positive. Kinda like my mantra I guess.

Now it is dry, lets add more color!

I mixed three colors to get this one. Slapped it on, and then with a damp towel and a wet paint brush, removed color in patches. Removed that screaming - I was nearly deaf!

Let it dry.

How bout some more color!!

This was a bit much. I really scared myself. Thought I had went to far. The screaming started again. Same process, used a damp towel, wet brush, and A LOT of water to remove this paint in areas of the work area, and to lighten the over all color.

Finally I did a coat of white - (forgot to take a picture) the coat of white was really watered down. I had to stop the screaming. I applied it with a wet washcloth. It had a white wash look to it, made the painting very opaque. Didn't have the look I wanted yet. So I kept rubbing, and wetting, and rubbing. Even rubbed the paint off in one spot, but I liked the look of it and kept going. Finally - with the white wash just right, and still wet, I went over it with a high gloss glaze.


The glaze reacted with the white washing and gave a great look to the final painting. I am in love.

I have named it "De-Stressing Distress".

It reminds me of an old pair of blue jeans. Soft, and torn. When you pull them on, they button just right and  you sigh with comfort. You can trace your finger around the stains on the thigh and remember the party where you danced and danced, and spilled your drink. How about the rip in the knee. The memory of bending down to pick up your child at the park, and they ripped, and smile. The hole in the pocket where all your change drops thru, and you silently cuss, because you keep meaning to mend it. Deep in the threads of these jeans hold the secrets of your happiness and when you pull them on nothing else matters.

Like the painting, if you look, the words and shapes can be seen, words like love and passion, words that are so important to us, and we tend to forget in our busy lives.

I want you to get lost in this painting, and feel the comfort it gives.

Friday, September 6, 2013

"Follow Me" Acrylic Painting

This painting is titled "Follow Me".

Ever have those dreams where you are flying, chasing nothing as fast as you can thru the clouds?
Giggling and lost in the thrill of the flight, follow me and leave your troubles in the sky!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Innovative? Creative? Edgy? Sizzix Wants You!

My inbox had a blurb in the subject line - Sizzix wants to know who you are.

Hrm.....ok, I'll bite ;)

Sizzix is die cutters, embossers, paper (PAPER!) and all the support you need as a paper artist. They have the best tag - The start of something YOU! - genius!

The art we create is about us, what we are feeling, what has just inspired us. We are drawn to particular colors, textures and shapes. Yes, your art is something you.

Sizzix is having some fun with advertising that promotes themselves, and some lucky adventurer. On their site, they want you to create a log in, and then they want you to submit an image of yourself and your work you have made with their products - include 3 words that describe who you are. You may be the next face for Sizzix!

 Click on their banner and follow the directions. Will you be picked?

They are also all over the web at Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and just about everywhere else.

I like what I saw, it looks fun. Maybe I will start making cards :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sterling, Sapphire, September!

YAY for alliterations!

I love them :)

Still on my sapphire kick, this morning I made this little pendant.

Sapphires are a stone of hope where all else is hopeless. It is a stone of creative expression. Pulling on this creative expression, I did a very simple free form design from 12 ga sterling wire. The piece has some heft to it, so pendant hangs really nice on a cord.

I love this little nugget of sapphire. It has so much character. The blue is just screaming to get out!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September is Sapphires!

I have held onto this strand of raw sapphires for a couple of years now, just waiting on a bit of inspiration. I was at the annual Rings and Things Bead Tour as it came thru my area, and completely, as always, lost my mind at the selection and the prices.

September is the month to celebrate sapphires. Did you know sapphire is a stone of creative expression? Sapphires come in all colors, and if you have a red sapphire, it is a ruby :) What I love about sapphires is they are the stone of hope - they bring hope where there is hopelessness. Isn't that awesome.
This week I am celebrating sapphires and this is the first of a few designs I want to show you.

These tumbled and raw sapphire beads do not diminish in elegance. The swarovski crystals between the beads allow for more flow of the stones due to their irregular shape, and the copper bead caps just finish off the design.

How are you celebrating sapphires this month?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Copper Wire Wrapped Cuff - Inspired by Swirled Fudge!

Poking my way thru some awesome images at Pixabay - (an awesome public domain image site where the posters allow you use their images! ) one afternoon last week, I found this:

This was posted by Shirley of whom I became a fast fan.
I immediately slobbered on myself, because - I am REALLY watching what I eat. (not a diet - i don't believe in them - a life change. 6 lbs so far!)

I got lost in this image - maybe because I was craving something sweet. It became a birds eye view of a map, houses, hilltops, river beds, lakes, I wanted to go there. What would I wear if I went there? (this is how my mind works) Something just as delicious of course!

I let this image which had already taken me to someplace wonderful, take me by the hand, and lead me further into my creativity.

Then this popped up in my head. I RAN to my work table and started sorting thru beads and wire. I couldn't get this finished fast enuff. I was afraid the creativity would melt away like chocolate on a hot summer day, and I would never get it finished
 It's a creamy, dreamy, chocolate cuff of stoneware and ceramic, with a touch of swarovski crystals.

Thanks for going on this trip with me. Inspiration can come from many places.  Where does yours come from?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Handmade Business Success Tips!

I am always looking for ways to improve on my art, my marketing, working my business and so much more. I scour the interwebs, go to meet ups, talk to other business owners, hit the book stores, you get it.

Found this article on twitter, and added to my bookmarks to come back to it again and again as reference. I wanted to share it with you too!

I try my best to not gloss over articles, because I think, "Been there, done that". Each author has a different perspective of the way business has worked for them, and for others, and it is worth a look.

10 Essentials For Handmade Business Success is the article I just read. Topics like - "Develop consistent systems" or "Toot your horn" that make great points. But my favorite is "Find time for fitness". I love how this is not only focused on the business aspects,  but on you as well! You are the business, you as a person. Fitness is as important for your body as marketing is for sales. Think about it.

Give it a look see if you get some time. I hope it has point of interest that will help you become more of a success than what you are now!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Clusters, Clusters, CLUSTERS!!!!

I can't stop with the clusters. I am in love with them!

Each time you look at them, you find something new.

Each time you move, there is a tiny rustle from the beads. Like a tiny whisper - we are here!! Puts a confident spring in your step.

Solid colors, or color combinations, the list goes on and on. I think I may have found my niche :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Faceted Fancy Jasper in a New Autumn Necklace

The weather has been glorious the past few days. Really putting me in the mood for fall.

I grabbed that fall muse by the hand and ran down the path of creativity giggling all the way. I have been very happy with myself the past few days, being able  to find time to create more jewelry and get it posted online.

This one is really a favorite of what I have been doing. These stones together have a beautiful offering of peace and gentleness. TTiny faceted fancy jasper beads are the accent to the piece, with a rose colored ceramic pendant. I added the tree agate, because summer is not yet over, and there is still plenty of green to be had. It is a nice splash of color, just like what is in my yard, and the fancy jasper is the leaves that have just started to fall, and are scattered around.

Notice how there are three seed beads between each of the stones, expect for in one spot. I do this intentionally. It is a signature so to speak. Yes there is a pattern, but everyonceinawhile, I like to mess it up, to remind myself, I am not perfect. I still have so much to learn and so much to do - if I was perfect, what else would there be?

Do you have a signature or message that you put into your designs, something that is a little bit of you?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fun Earrings from a Broken Bracelet!

My mom is the best at finding me the best things to create from. She is always at flea markets, thrift stores and yard sales looking for little treasures to send to me. I have had this one for a couple of years, just waiting for the right inspiration. I love this bracelet so much, that it honestly was hard to not just fix it and wear it. But I wanted to give it new life.

Once I sat down, it didn't take too much effort to start putting these earrings together.

They have a bit of weight to them, that gives them the best swing. I feel sassy :)

I was watching one of my favorite movies while making these - Say Anything - Have you seen it? Do you see the 80's influence?

Monday, August 12, 2013

"Chicken Slayer" Viking Pendant Necklace

A couple weeks ago I got the visit of a lifetime. My friend Jenny, of whom I had never met face to face, but we have been dear friends online for nearly 10 years, came to visit me from Sweden!!! We had 10 glorious days together doing everything we could think of and then some. We definitely didn't waste anytime, we were always busy. She brought me the greatest little gifts. One of them was this little brass pendant. She thought I could do something with it. The pendant is a replica of Viking jewelry. I got really excited when I looked at the pendant, because there was a dragon on it. She politely told me - "It is a chicken darling"

I am still not convinced

I couldn't wait to sit down and get to work on this. I paired up the pendant with this large TierraCast bead I have been hoarding for so long from Rings and Things , they no longer have it on their site :(

I knew I had to use iolite. Iolite is known by some as 'The Viking' stone. The vikings cut slabs of iolite very thin and held it up to the sky on very cloudy/foggy days to find the sun and help them navigate their ships. Iolite is also one of my favorite stones. So to incorporate that into the piece has even more meaning. I added rainbow obsidian and tourmaline, with little brass cap accents. I used seed beads to separate the beads, which also allows the design to have a better flow
I also wanted this to be a simple design, to compliment the 'age' of the pendant.

I am so excited about this piece. It has been a while since I have made something for myself. I am thrilled by this gift from my friend, and can't wait to wear it!
What do you think? Chicken or Dragon?