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.