Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31st...

Very simply...May you each have a wonderful, happy, safe, healthy, wealthy and creative New 2010 Year.
I am looking forward to new adventures in my journey of life.
Thank you each and every one who has followed my blog during this past year. I am so encouraged by your comments and "friendship".

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

AHA moment...

Hello bloggers. Last night I spent a very restless and sleepless night thinking of all the things I never accomplished this year and why I sometimes just sit instead of actually creating what my mind is thinking of and how shall I be better in this coming new year. Well...
Behold I turned on my computer this morning and went into my very first blog I ever read: and there it AHA moment. Please check out her blog and read for yourself. It explains how having one word instead of an entire list is so much easier to do and definitely less overwhelming for many of us. Well that is exactly what I was so stressed over last night. I felt so overwhelmed and yet I do not need to.
So as I was making my comment on Kerri Jean's blog my AHA moment was the wonderful word I came upon to make my life and new year less overwhelming.
FOCUS is my word. What a wonderful word it is yet what a difficult thing it is for me to do. And as a bonus I just realized that this wonderful word has five letters in it and five just happens to be my lucky number. I believe this may just be my breakthrough year of being able to accomplish the creative things I have yet to be and do.
Thank you Kerri Jean. Thank you blogspot and blogs of all types as I have come to realize that this is a medium which encourages without judging, lets us all share our triumphs and struggles and brings like-minded artisans together in friendships otherwise not possible.
What is your method of bringing in the new year? Do you write out your goals? Do you make lists?
I am so happy that I can now FOCUS on what I truly want to accomplish in this new year.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Time to regroup...

After a wonderful Christmas with family and friends it is time to relax, refresh and regroup.
Not ready to put away decorations as I want to enjoy them without the hectic rush. I am finding myself today not out shopping but staying home in my comfy sweats, having a cup of tea and planning what needs to be done before the new year. DH and I are moving some furniture and getting rid of some old unneeded items. We are organizing a storage area which is never my favorite thing to do but must be done. I am the packrat and my husband is the throw-it-away guy even if he needs it.
We will enjoy the results and feel better after today.
However you are enjoying your day I hope you are taking time to re-energize your own batteries. Gathering lots of creative ideas for the days and weeks ahead. I am looking forward to seeing what each of you are doing in your creative pursuits. What are you making? What new mediums are you going to try? What challenges are you going to tempt yourselves with?
That is part of what I am taking time to regroup...what shall I be creating next???

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas...

May you each enjoy today as we wind down to celebrate Christmas Eve. Some will gather with family and some with friends to share this joyous time. Eat, drink and be merry.
Tomorrow may you be overjoyed with your gifts. May you have food a plenty. Make lots of family traditions and memories to last a lifetime and beyond.
A very Merry Christmas to all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Make Now & Give Now...

This is a wonderful quick gift to make for the men on your gift list. My very creative and intelligent sister Marie actually made this one for my husband for his garage and he loves it.
One day Marie and I were shopping and we bought a large package of scrap booking papers. We sat in the car and split the package so we each had half the papers. Not knowing what we were going to do with them but very happy to put them in our stash of craft goodies. Well, this year Marie used the papers to make wonderful gifts. She glued a car photo from a magazine onto this one as my husband is a guru of supercars. Then she printed with black permanent ink the rules of the garage. She used "manly" twine to fashion a hanger for the nail on the wall.
Personally I think this is very clever and what a winner it is for the difficult to buy for men gift.
Thank you Marie and you did a superb job of not only being creative but of making my man smile when he opened his gift and then hung it in his garage!
So bloggers you can easily see how quick and simple this will be to make and give. And you can change it up to suit any hobby or space your men need rules for. I will definitely be making these for next year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wrapping tip...

Here is my handy wrapping tip for this busy holiday season.
As you are wrapping presents and you are in a hurry and you still want to be safe...
Measure your paper around your gift and then fold the paper. Instead of grabbing the scissors and cutting the fold line or worse yet opening the scissors and sliding them down the fold line reach for your painting pallet knife and slide it down the fold line. The pallet knife is actually safer and it is offset so you can see what you are doing. I found it quite by accident and am really happy with using this method.
After 40 plus years I still bear a nasty scar from using the open scissor method which slid right through my hand between my thumb and forefinger.
Yes, you can go to the store and purchase a new fangled tool made by Scotch to slice your paper but who has time?
Let's use what we have and be safe all at the same time.
I hope this little handy tip will help you get those gifts wrapped safely.
There are those who love to wrap presents and make it quite a creative experience and there are those who will do most anything to not wrap gifts. I fall into the first category and learned how from my mom who was brilliant at making a gift look like a very special present made just for the recipient. It takes lots of time but with shortcuts like the pallet knife great wrapped packages are doable.
Merry Christmas to everyone and happy gift wrapping.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tested Breathing...

It is a fine Monday morning and Christmas is quickly approaching.
Yesterday I was able to actually test my last posting about breathing during this busy time of year. I drove myself and a couple of girlfriends "down the hill" in the rain to meet up with my sister and her girlfriend. We meet at a shopping mecca across from the huge Galleria mall. There was lots of traffic. There were gobs of shoppers and very long lines in each store, however lots of registers running so the lines actually moved along quite quickly. We dig through the clearance bins at Michaels craft store and we always love using our 40% off coupon. My sister is the best at bargain finding. I always buy things that I have no thought or purpose for at the time but eventually I am able to utilize them for some project or another. We had a very tedious "glitch" at the checkout register and my patience was really tested. I was overcharged for several items and not very happy but took a deep breath and smiled. I was able to gather my patience and persevere enough to pay for my stash and leave that store with my goodies which turned out to be not so bargain but that I bought anyway.
I enjoyed watching all the people who were trying to buy gifts for others. There was a male high school teacher who was shopping for his class and I found that quite amazing that he would be thinking of his students for the holidays. There was also a young mom who was party shopping for her two kids school parties...first grade and fifth grade...what a job she had to do at this busy time of year.
We girls opted for lunch at PF Changs and we got there early enough to beat the crowd that was lined up when we were leaving. We charmed our waitress and left her an extra large tip because we exchanged our gifts and took extra time at our table. It was the perfect time to relax and breathe during a very hectic day. I am so proud of my sister because she made each of us a wonderful gift that I shall photo and share soon.
On to more shopping in the rain and lots more people and very crowded stores. Each of us were able to get exactly what we wanted or needed and we had coupons for everything. We had a great day and a safe drive "back up the hill".
I saw holiday decorations and noted the ones I really liked...I am an old fashioned green and red traditional theme...but I saw new twists that looked great like plaid ornaments.
I stayed focused on just what I needed so I didn't get frustrated and overloaded with all that is out there.
I enjoyed some beautiful Christmas music that was playing very quietly in the background beyond the crazy crowds.
But most of all I enjoyed time with family and friends and the joy of sharing.

What is your favorite part of this season? What type of gifts do you like to receive?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Take time to breathe...

As the holiday season is here and people are rushing to accomplish all that is expected of them I do hope everyone takes time to breathe.
This year I am not doing much of what is "expected" for the holidays.
I am not putting up a tree with all the decorations and the frustration and hassle that goes with getting out all the boxes stored away. It is something I cannot actually do by myself and there is no one else that wishes to deal with it so therefore I am taking this holiday season off. I have no family or friends to miss any of it as they are not able to visit this year. I certainly will not miss the incredible mess it leaves when the time comes to take the tree down and store away all the decorations once again. Of course again a job I cannot do by myself.
Instead...I am enjoying this holiday season so much more than I ever expected to be doing. I am thrilled when I see a decoration since I am not surrounded by them at home. I smile when I see a child with their eyes wide open looking at the wonder of Santa and of course the presents.
I hear the Christmas music and it makes me stop and listen.
I am enjoying wrapping gifts for my chosen friends and family to receive. This year we have opted for fewer gifts and requested everyone not to spend money they might not have but to buy food and utilities for their family.
Hand addressing handmade and some purchased Christmas cards is a relaxing task and a wonderful way to think of each recipient as I cross off their names on the list. I get out last years cards and letters and reread them as I do my addressing. It is a reminder of the year we have just experienced.
So for those of you who are feeling stressed and harried and rushed, please take time to breathe and realize you can do less and still enjoy more.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Good Information re Gemstones...

Good day bloggers.

If you are unaware of this website then welcome. You have just reached your bonanza for beads, ready made gifts, and all sorts of invaluable information about beading and jewelry making.

I have been a customer of Fire Mountain for many years and I am not part of their staff however I love their service and products. So I want to share it with all of you.

They just recently did an article on Gemstone Enhancement Guide and it is very interesting. It may help you while you are shopping so that you can be more informed and not buy something that isn't what you really want. You can check it out here

I know this link seems long and tedious but the article is short and easy to read. I actually printed it out (just two short pages) and I will keep it in my 3-ring binder to refer to when my memory fails me and I need a refresher.

I have been busy in the studio and here is a gift I made myself (photo above top). The beads are vintage garnets from my girlfriend who is a January baby. Various beads and components from Fire Mountian Gems. And the focal bead is a signed KLEW (Karen Lewis) polymer bead I purchased at her studio in Tehachapi I so appreciate the time and talent KLEW put into such a beautiful bead. My girlfriend and I met Karen while we were at her studio and she was so nice and interesting and really spent time with us. I do apologize for the lighting and you all know I am not a professional photographer.
I hope this blog has been interesting and worth your time to read as I know so well that all of you are busy and have plenty to do in this month of overload and holiday happiness.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Holiday Shopping...

Happy Holiday Shopping can be a wonderful thing or it can be very frightening to many. Let's keep it very simple this year. I myself am not out doing the "Black Friday" crazy shopping frenzy at the stores which opened at pre-dawn hours.

Usually I am gathering gifts all year long as I see them for friends and family. It is what I have always done and it works well for me. Then of course I also buy last minute gifts that strike my fancy for someone.

This year our family is being extra cautious and careful as the urge to overspend is all too dangerous and none of us can well afford to do so. As a result many of our gifts are from the heart and are handmade. For those that do not sew or bead or craft they make something related to food or creativity in the kitchen. We luckily have lots of talent in our family and it comes from many generations back. Thank you Grandma and Mom for being so creative.

So for today I wanted to share with you a wonderful etsy shop that has unique items that are very affordable and fun to give. I have purchased from this very talented lady and I was extremely pleased with my items and with her customer service. Then my daughter bought from her also and she was very pleased. Therefore it is my pleasure to introduce you to for possibly your simplest shopping solutions. The photo above is one of Jennifer Nillson's wonderful drawings. Please visit her shop to see if there is something there for your gift list. You might use them as tags, special inserts to cards and letters mailing to out-of-area friends and family, or merely as stocking stuffers.

May your holiday shopping be serene this season.

Please let me know if you visit this link and if this post has been helpful for you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...

May each and everyone enjoy a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Whether you spend it with family and/or friends make the most of your time together and savor the memories you will be making.

Stay safe and well.

A very Happy Thanksgiving 2009.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Field of Miracles...

This is the famous leaning tower of Pisa. Yes in Pisa Italy. This is a very shaded photo and hard to determine the actual lean of the tower. Years of engineering and straightening the tower and it still leans...dramatically! When you are standing near the tower it is amazing. If you wanted to spend the Euros, wait in a very long line, and climb a lot of stairs you could actually climb up the tower. I did not. However I can imagine the view.
This photo shows the actual dramatic lean of the tower as it sits in the Field of Miracles. The large building just in front of the tower is a church. The building to the left was a hospital.

This is me after a very long day of walking and my little piggies were not only tired but they were almost blistered. That cool green grass felt so good.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to stand amongst so much history in this world we live in.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Italian Bead Quest...

Oh the quest for beads in Italy began far before my actual trip took place. I searched on the internet, asked friends and travelers, chatted on line with recent returning travelers and it was looking very grim for finding beads and bead stores in Italy. I finally just days before departure found one bead store in Florence which was our first stop. This is me looking very tired and wondering in hindsight why we forgot to take any photos inside while we selected and made our purchases.

These are the handmade lampwork beads the artist makes. I merely bought an assortment not knowing what I was going to do other than make jewelry pieces for my etsy shop. The shop owner and artist actually graciously fired up the torch and made me a bead on the spot. It is the black and white one in the photo at top of the group. I was trying to convince my husband to learn lampwork bead making as I am too fearful of fire and burning flesh to do it myself. I did not succeed with that request. LOL

Purchasing beads in a foreign country is a wonderful pursuit as it breaks up the constant visits to churches and museums. Also the beads are very easy to carry and don't add much weight to carry-ons. They also lighten the bank account as the prices can really soar especially with the very high Euro to US Dollar rates we experienced.

Oh I feel so proud like I have just hatched the most beautiful creation.

This necklace is the first item for "Adorn Me!" jewelry design line I am adding to etsy. Please check out for more information.

It is titled "Night Lights on the Arno" and the photo at the top is the inspiration for it.

It was a magical and wonderful trip to Italy and one I shall never forget. Oh I do wish I had purchased more beads than I did.
Buona sera.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cinque Terra, Italy...

Welcome to Cinque Terra Italy. It is comprised of five small towns along the coast of Italy. They are perched high up on the cliffs and we arrived by train. This photo is the usual stance of me climbing stairs...lots and lots of very steep stairs. We actually had a variety of stairs, steep, long and low, spiral, concrete, brick, metal, wood and I counted 116 stairs to our room. WHEW! What an incentive to pack light and not have a ton of things to carry. There are no elevators!

How in the world these towns and buildings got built way back in centuries of yore is a daunting and back-breaking task of unimaginable size. They not only got built but are still standing and being lived in. Truly amazing.
Cinque Terra is some peoples very favorite magical place in the world. The water is clear and beautiful. The towns are quaint and charming. The food is so so. But some how when you are here you feel like you are on top of the world.
The colors are exactly what you would think and expect. Soft earthly tones.

Our hotel is near the tower you see at the very end of this cliff. We had one of the prized balconies and a view that was to die for. We could see forever. DH took this photo while on his hike from town to town. I did the short easy hike referred to as lover's hike. I am more of the strolling adventurer. Nothing too strenuous for me.

This is the largest town with 1700 population and is known as Monterosso. It is the resort town and is becoming quite the riviera of Cinque Terra. Note: The prices here reflect the status they are striving for.

This is Vernazza where we stayed for three nights. It was charming and beautiful. During the day it was overly crowded with day tourists that came in by the boat loads. However in the evenings after the day-trippers left it was quite pleasant. Watching the sunsets, sipping wine, eating pizza and gelato, watching the locals enjoying their tiny that is what a vacation is.
I am thankful I have been so lucky to experience such an incredible trip on this journey of life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hungry for flavor???

While we were in Italy we tried to eat something unique each and every day. And you can be very certain that we ate very well. As you know dinner is served later than we are used to here in the USA. So after walking and exploring all day long we were always "starving" long before the 9:00 pm dinner time. We were usually the first to be seated at any restaurant and therefore early at 8:00 or 8:30 pm. In Florence I ordered Raviolini with drunk cheese and this is the picture of my dinner. What an unusual meal I had! The pecorino cheese is actually stuffed into grapes and left to ferment. The flavor is strong and quite tasty. The small dark flecks are the grape skins that actually petrify during the fermenting process. The waiter had quite a smile when he explained my meal to me in his broken english.

So for truly unique cuisine we went to a very posh restaurant in Monterosso which is one of the five towns in Cinque Terra. This photo is of the salted anchovies we ate for appetizer at lunch. Thank goodness for bread. Monterosso hosts an annual world festival dedicated to anchovies.
In Pisa we missed visiting the one restaurant we had pre-selected based on recommendations. Instead our hotel suggested Benys across the river. I must tell you that it was the best overall in our entire trip. Damiano and his wife (who does the cooking) were wonderful and ever so friendly and charming. He suggested the white wine and the red wine both of which were perfect. He had his wife make a special salad for us that was not on the menu.

This is porcini mushrooms with pecorino cheese and white truffle oil. The presentation was beautiful. The flavors were superb. Luckily for us it was mushroom season and we both enjoy mushrooms very much. This salad was original and yummy.

Then for the he-man hunger Damiano suggested the Chianna Beef stuffed with prosciutto and pecorino drizzled generously with a browned red wine sauce. My husband was in heaven. I had a bite and it literally melted in my mouth. Oh my goodness.
As I have said we ate extremely well throughout our trip. Luckily we did a lot of walking so it offset the immense food we so willingly ate.
No photos of gelatto but I did enjoy my share of this cool and creamy treat. My favorite flavor was the mascarpone e nutella I ate in Vernazza.
Okay...back to reality and regular food. At least we have our memories of such tasty treats.
Celery anyone???

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Colors of Italy...

I just love the colors in this photo. They are so vibrant and alive. Our last day in Florence we went to the Mercato and spent time visiting each of the different stalls. There were amazing buckets of olives in every shape and color. Fruits and vegetables of all types...but do not touch any of them or you will get yelled at as they think they (the vendor) should select them for you.
There were cured meats of all shapes and sizes. Hams, prosciuttos, salamis, and many that I have no idea what they were. This photo just makes me think it should be our cover shot for this year's Christmas cards. LOL

And then there was Andrea...the happy, smiling and helpful deli counter Italian who spoke a tiny bit of English. We had eaten some salami at one of our dinners earlier in the week and asked if he knew what it was. Our lucky day! It was Finocchiona and made special in Florence. The salami is infused with fennel (which we both love!) so it has a slight licorice taste and is delicious. Well, Andrea honored our request for some picnic items for our train ride and packaged our items perfectly. We bought Finocchiona sliced just right, Pecorino cheese, some soft dark bread and the extra special item...pear chutney to dip our Pecorino cheese into. Very YUMMY!!!

We boarded the train in Florence and headed to Cinque Terra which was our next location. Along the way we enjoyed our little picnic and the amazing views while zipping along. We found the trains to be quite accommodating and easy to use.
To sum up our stay in Florence...thank goodness we went in the off tourist season since there were hundreds of people in their tour groups. It was quite crowded to say the least. After hours it did settle down and one could walk the streets much more easily.
Ciao Florence. Boun giorno Cinque Terra will be the next post.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Florence sights...

Welcome to Florence Italy. This is where my adventures began last month when my husband and I went on Holiday vacation. As any of you who travel know the flights are extremely long and crowded. Lots of delays and virtually no sleep so that when you arrive at your destination you are so tired you just cannot even think straight. Fortunately for me my husband is a wonderful organizer and planner and therefore he gets us where we need to be with me just blindly following along. I am usually in such a daze and all wonder-eyed at the sights and sounds that I have absolutely no clue what I am doing or where I am going. I have such a child-like wonder at seeing everything. Traveling for me is incredibly mind expanding.

The Duomo in photo at the top is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and is the centerpiece of Florence. Neptune's fountain is in the Piazza della Signoria and while we were there was being repaired from damage done by someone. Florence is easily managed on foot and we did a lot of walking. Of course we visited Michelangelo's "David" who resides in the Accademia museum. Absolutely no photos are permitted of this most amazing statue. We also enjoyed the Uffizi and the Cappelle Medicee museums.

I just love the tiny little Smart cars. Of course we now have them here in the States but in Italy they make such better sense as the cobblestoned streets and alleys are all so very narrow and crowded.

Oh the famous Ponte Vecchio which means "Old Bridge". It crosses the Arno river and is lined with jewelry shops. This view we took from inside the Uffizi so you can see some glass glare. Our weather was perfect and we had an amazing time in Florence.

I shall share some food favorites and a special spot in a future post. For now we shall say Ciao to Florence.
I would love to hear of your travels to Italy and what your favorite thing might have been.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Comfort Dolls...

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday.
I feel extra good today as I am mailing out some Comfort Dolls to Pat Winter who so generously organizes and distributes these to womens shelters all over the country. Check out her blog: for more information on how you can support this very worthwhile cause.
I merely took a vintage fabric panel and stitched and stuffed these little angels into "comfort dolls". They each have Swarovski sparkle eyes which I like to think shows us all that we can have a "twinkle" in our eyes even when our situation seems the bleakest. And each doll has a heart button to remind us that we all have heart.
I will find comfort just knowing that each recipient will hopefully have a smile and know they are thought about and wished the strength and courage to improve their lives.
Today I shall spend time with some dear friends as we have lunch together and share lots of laughter.
Life is all about the caring and compassion for everyone.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's good to be home...

Oh it is so good to be home. Dear Hubby and I are safely home after spending 20 days away. I am still recovering from exhaustion but today finally feel like I will survive. This is the only photo of me that I do not look as weary as I felt every day. This was early in the day before the grind of museums or hill towns got me drop dead worn out.
Our destination was Italy...Florence, Cinque Terra, Pisa, Tuscany, Umbria and Rome. In the next few weeks I shall tell more in detail. As for now we had beautiful weather with only one morning that rain drenched us and shortened our plans. We had excellent travel with planes, trains and automobiles. DH plans everything so well that we really were well prepared for this trip.
As you can see from this photo we ate our way through Italy. This was homemade granola (muesli is what they call it...I prefer granola as it sounds so much better to me) with some strawberry yogurt. I have lots of photos of food that we enjoyed which I shall share along the way.
My goal was to find bead shops in Italy for my new jewelry line "Adorn Me!". Well that proved to be very difficult however I did manage to find a couple and will share these adventures as well.
As for now, I am catching up on tons of laundry, reacquainting myself with our beloved aging fur-child kitty and enjoying friends who are all too willing to listen to our travel tales. This entire trip was a no techno gadget time for us so you can imagine how much I missed reading all of your blogs and now I am catching up on those too.
"There is no place like home" and it is so good to be back in my beautiful cozy familiar home. I am extremely grateful for the trip of a life time and the experiences and memories it allowed me.
Now it is time to get into the studio and get to making jewelry.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Vacation Holiday...

Well, after two years of planning Dear Hubby and I are off on vacation holiday.
We will return mid October.
This same time last year we cancelled this trip due to the US dollar being weakened against the Euro. Guess what! It has happened to us again however we are not going to cancel this year. We are going and we are going to enjoy our trip to the fullest. We live only once and this is it.
As we explore and enjoy I am on a mission to also design my newest line of jewelry for "Adorn Me!" which I shall be debuting after our return. I am going to absorb the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and general ambience of each of the places we shall visit.
I shall eat Gelato and savor each tasty tiny spoonful. DH will love all of the food as he is much more adventuresome than I. I will eat paninis and pasta and pizza. I shall try squid with ink however I am not so anxious to do so. I will enjoy every piazza, every fountain, every statue , duomo and every musuem. I shall truly enjoy the people as I love to just watch them no matter where I am. I do not speak the language however I have tried to be familiar with some of the words and sayings.
My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...leaving on a jet plane.
I shall miss checking each of your blogs daily as I have come to do. This trip is a no computer, no "in touch" media time for us to relax and rejuvenate ourselves.
Be safe, be well and be creative.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mystic River...

This is my beautiful necklace from my birthday visit to Gioielli's in the Gold Country. Dear Hubby bought this lampwork bead and the sterling silver findings and the Italian mesh ribbon for me for my birthday. Of course it is much more beautiful in person as my photography is not the best.
The lampwork bead is amazing. Lots of detail that does not show in the photo. I believe the name Mystic River comes from the greenish trail that runs from top to bottom on both sides of the approximate 2" pendant.
As for the Italian mesh ribbon I actually have two colors used here. A beautiful darker blue and a very stunning greenish gold which both are exactly represented color wise in the bead. I have ruffled both colors of mesh ribbon as I like this look. Included in with the mesh ribbon I have added two complimentary colors of mohair yarn just to give the necklace a bit more fiber detail.
This necklace has so much texture with the lampwork bead, ribbons and fibers that it is very soft and feminine. The colors are spectacular and actually are working very well for fall.
I am loving my birthday present and never minded the fortune of being able to help select the components at my favorite bead shop and then be able to actually put it together to fit me perfectly. Thank you Mr. Dear Hubby. I am also thankful you like the finished product. :o)
I look forward to making more very special pieces with these types of materials that I shall offer in my etsy shop in the near future.
Have you worked with Italian mesh ribbon? Please let me know what you have done.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September Gemstone...

This is lapis lazuli. It is a "blue stone" and is commonly used for the September gemstone. Sapphire is also the stone for September however it can be a lot pricier than lapis lazuli.
As my day was winding down and I had completed my domestic dinner duties I settled in for a creative rest and a good look through one of my latest bead magazines..."Bead Style". I am looking at the September 2009 issue which is currently on the book stand. If you would like to check it out go to and you can see it for yourself. I enjoyed reading a short article regarding "10 things to know about lapis lazuli".
Let me recap it for you and save you some time possibly.
1. Lapis lazuli is pronounced as one word with the emphasis on "slaz".
2. The most valuable lapis lazuli stones have an even saturated blue color.
3. Lapis is a combination of several minerals; lazurite, sodalite, calcite and pyrite.
4. Most gemstone quality lapis has been dyed or heat treated to minimize fading.
5. There is a "denim" lapis which is pale blue and usually less expensive than the darker blue.
6. Afghanistan mountains have yielded the highest quality deposits for 6,000 years.
7. Ancient Egyptians ground lapis into powder for eye shadow.
8. Lapis is thought to stand for trust and friendship and promote harmony in relationships.
9. Lapis is an alternative birthstone for September or December.
10. Lapis is cut into a myriad of sizes and shapes for beading and jewelry making.
I hope this review helps you with your September gemstone choices. As you can see this is only a small bit of information.
Have you made anything with lapis lazuli even if in a different month of the year?
Blue just happens to be my all time favorite color. I think I might invest in some lapis lazuli for myself...hmmm.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beautiful fabric roses...

I opened my mail yesterday and these beautiful fabric roses appeared. I had been notified that I won these "Dior" handmade beauties from Lilla in Hawaii. Well, you must go to her blog and see for yourself. She even has a tutorial on there of how to make these roses. What a talented and very nice lady Lilla is. I have been following her blog for some time now and I am constantly inspired by her. Not only did I receive these three Dior roses Lilla also included one of her handmade tags. What a lot of work and very special indeed.
Thank you so very much Lilla. I will continue to be inspired by your talents and generous sharing of the wonderful things you make. I feel so fortunate.
Now be sure to go on over and check it out as you just might be inspired too.
As for my beautiful Dior roses from Lilla...hmmmmmmmmm. Maybe these soft feminine roses will work their way into a lovely bag I shall make. Or maybe an embellishment on a fancy top
or...we shall have to wait and see what results I am inspired to create.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day...

Happy Labor Day to everyone. I do hope you are taking time to relax and enjoy the
cooler mornings and evenings.
My wonderful hubby took me for a surprise drive the other day. We headed east and took a very beautiful scenic drive to Donner Lake over Donner Summit. The weather was perfect, the sky was blue and the trees were green and full. We drove to Truckee which is a very old quaint town from the gold rush days. One of our favorite restaurants is there and I enjoyed a yummy tossed curry chicken cobb salad while overlooking the old town, the hillsides and the trains coming and going ( I love the sound of a good train whistle!).
Then dear hubby had a bigger surprise for me. We visited one of my favorite bead stores, Gioelli which happens to be in Truckee located in a little house on the main street of the old town. Well, upon entering this haven of beads and findings hubby spots my newest favorite...Bead Trends magazine on a table. It is opened to show the necklace pictured above. We talk with the shop hostess and find out Janelle,owner of Gioelli's, is the proud creator of this necklace and has been published in the magazine. This is her second publishing. The store has all of the components to make this beautiful necklace ready for purchase. How clever of them. I am in search of just the right special look for me. A couple of years ago hubby brought me here and I made a beautiful necklace that I happened to be wearing this very day. What inspiration I was surrounded with. How could I select just one focal bead for my special new necklace? Then it happened. Lampwork beads that are each unique and special caught my attention. Some shaped like hearts and some long and rectangular. Oh the colors and the designs and the colors and oh my... How could I pick just one to be my special gift this year? Then I touched the beads and yes one bead was special just for me. It felt good in my hand and when I took it to the window to see it in real light it was beautiful yet serene. Now I paired it with Italian mesh ribbons and that was the right look. Dear hubby bought me the special bead and findings and ribbons and I shall complete the necklace at home in my studio.
We drove along the lake and enjoyed the beauty of the surroundings. If you ever get to the area you will see why people come from all over the world just to experience the hiking, boating, biking and rock climbing and yes in winter the snow skiing.
What a beautiful and special day it was. Thank you hubby and Mother Nature.
When I have completed my necklace I shall share pictures with you.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bead Trends Magazine...

Wow! Bead Trends magazine is my new favorite tool for my upcoming designer line of jewelry..."Adorn Me". Soon to be debuting in my online shop
If you love jewelry...making it, wearing it, buying it or giving it you need to see this magazine. No, I do not have any vested interest in this publication. It is simply and beautifully done.
I found Bead Trends at my closest big book store last week. At $17.95 it seemed very pricey for a monthly issue, however I decided to splurge and give it a solid try. Well, upon bringing it home and literally devouring it page by page I am sold on the quality and focus of this magazine. The photography is amazing and interesting. Each piece of jewelry is shown and then lists the materials used. This is an excellent resource for everyone making their own jewelry. Use it as wonderful inspiration but never copy pieces for resale. Be unique in your style. There is an artist feature and display of their jewelry. Excellent how to directions for a piece of jewelry.
This beautiful magazine has very few advertisements and therefore the true focus is on jewelry. I believe I have found my new favorite resource in my pursuit of making "Adorn Me" a successful venture. I look forward to submitting my work to Bead Trends for possible publication. What a gem among the numerous beading magazines on the shelves.
Have you read or seen this Bead Trends magazine? Has it inspired your jewelry making?