Friday, April 30, 2010

Goodbye April...

April is always a very busy month with the hope of winter ending and Spring arriving, lots of family and friends birthdays and this year the Letter Writing Month challenge I joined.
The photo above shows the wonderful amount of snail mail I have received this month. We each were paired with a "blog pal" and the criteria of sending at least one snail mail item to that person. Well, the list included 32 participants and we could also send to any one or all of the list. You know me...I sent to every person on the list at least once. Some of them more than once. And my blog pal several times. I was so lucky as my blog pal sent me lots of wonderful mail. Each so very clever and handmade which is just what I love.
Thank you each and every one for such a fun month of snail mail.
I also took this month and sent mail to some of my friends and blogland friends. I thought it would be the right time to remember so many people who mean so much to my daily living.
I am awaiting one more piece of mail from my blog pal because she gave me a hint that she made me something and I am so excited to see what it is.
So as this is the last day of April we say goodbye and put this very busy month to rest for another year.
When was the last time you handwrote a letter or handmade a card and mailed it to someone?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Winter Hijacked Spring...Again

The rain is so refreshing and clean and clear. I really do like it. However, Winter has hijacked our Spring again. Here it is April 28th and no sunshine again. When I took this picture it was just between hail and snow and a white layer on the ground. Snow level is 4000 feet today and we are 3400 foot elevation. The Sierra's are definitely getting another batch of snow. This rain is so good for our water table. We are on our own well so we are thankful for the rain. It also means we don't have to turn on our drip irrigation system yet.
Welcome refreshing rain.
I was going to post pictures of my clever creative artistic bookmarks I made however I seem to have some little (or big) gremlin who deleted the two pictures I needed. Afterall they were sandwiched in with Mr. Createology's car project photos so I can easily see how a couple of "craft" photos were not needed. LOL
I was going to show you how I use an old catalog for my gluing station. You probably already are doing this or know about this but just in case you aren't using this trick here it is. Get an old catalogue and instead of throwing it out just yet, use the pages for your base to apply glue to your pieces of ephemera. As each page gets messy just turn it over and you have a new clean page to work on.
I recycled some propaganda (so mysterious sounding) mail I had received and cut it into bookmark sized strips. It had some lovely flower photos on one side so I merely embellished around the photos. Some old sheet music, some glittery butterfly stickers, some text and done. The other side I glued my vintage wrapping paper to cover the strip. Some corner punches, a single hole punch and some ribbon finishes and a bookmark ready for mailing and using.
Very simple and kept some junk mail out of the landfill. As for my glue catalogue it takes a long time to fill every page with glue. Once filled you can use it for another art project.
P.S. I couldn't retake the photos because I mailed out all the bookmarks I made.
Do you have a handy tip for gluing paper or such things?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Choker Completed...

This feels so good to have it finished and ready for an event quickly coming up.
I handstitched this choker out of black lace and black grosgrain ribbon. The red rose braid is also handstitched on the black grosgrain. This choker ties with black velvet ribbons. I love how this lace really spreads out around the neck.
Then I made a fabric envelope to keep the choker in. It ties with the same black velvet ribbon as the choker.
I am so pleased with how this project turned out and the fact that it is ready for giving. I made it for a raffle which is coming up in early May. Proceeds not to benefit me but a fraternal organization.
I just know this will look amazing on the lovely lady who's number is drawn.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Scrapbook page or Tag keeper???

So I do not "scrapbook" as in the current terms however I certainly do my version of scrapbooking and always have. From the days of putting photos in an album and then having no text as to who or what is happening in the photos, to the horrible days of putting photos in those icky sticky photo albums which have long since ruined and eaten the photos, to the more current trend of designing and decorating the pages...oh and then maybe put a tiny photo on said page.
What you see here is utilizing scrapbook archival paper in the lovely shades of pink which not only represent girly but also cancer wellness in a generous 12" x 12" size. I needed to make some tags and thought why not make the scrapbook page to house the tags in also. I made six tags and kept the embellishments all fairly flat so the page would not be too bulky. Lots of butterflies, glitter, an angel, some lace, my favorite mary jane shoe stamp, princess ribbons and stickers.

I used another sheet of the scrapbook paper to cut strips and sewed them onto the base sheet. This gave me pockets in which to place the tags. Each tag can be removed to view and then replaced back in the pocket for keeping.
For Colette once again to cheer her in her battle against cancer. Think Pink and Health!!!
Once I started this project I just couldn't stop until I was satisfied with the cheer and smiles I hopefully sent along with it.
This is a part of a bigger project that Sherry at Country Wings is doing and I am so blessed to be a tiny part of it.
Do you have any ideas for Pink mailable items to send to Colette?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pink Wishes...

In keeping with Colette and wishing her pink and recovery from cancer I made and sent this small charm that can be attached to anything. I like to put one on my scissors just for fun. Some use them on cell phones. Others attach them to their keys. You can imagine the many ways in which you can enjoy one of these.
The pink owl bead is for wisdom.
A pink heart bead for caring.
The butterfly for 10,000 happinesses and new beginnings.
And of course the heart charm that says it all...Made with Love.
Colette please know I am thinking of you and wishing you pink.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rust Motherload...

I couldn't help myself!
This is the rust motherload!
I was at a rental yard for about an hour and I finally couldn't contain myself any longer.
I had to pick up these pieces of rusty metal.
Nuts, bolts, washers, nails, screws, wire, plates and a huge hinge. All completely covered in rust. Very disgusting and dirty...unless...
You fancy yourself to be a mixed media artist.
You just know you can use these pieces in your artwork some day. :o)
I love ephemera.
Honey may I have the key to the car? I must justify to Mr. Createology why I absolutely have to have this wonderful handful of junk. Not an easy task to say the least!
So I merely put them in the trunk carefully inside a box so as not to mess up anything.
Luckily I had a moist clean wipe for my incredibly rusty hands.
With a smile on my face I put on my blinders and did not look at the ground or pick up another piece of anything.
Now I await inspiration to strike.
Wait, I know where you are going right now...
P.S. Park outside as you don't want to get these in your tires.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I have discovered a new color in Swarovski crystals. Olivine. In gem quality olivine is known as peridot. The birthstone of August. I stitched this tennis bracelet with olivine Swarovski bicone crystals and I think it is stunning. Pictures do not do justice to this beautiful bracelet.
If you like, you might check out my etsy shop for more photos and availability.
As you can see, I am getting back to my focus of making jewelry and filling my online shop. I have not forgotten my goals and realize this year is moving along very quickly. So now I am off to the studio for more inspiration and jewelry making. I am so blessed to have the time to be able to do what makes me happy.
Happy creating...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thank you blogland...

Thank you to each of you who took the time to make such wonderful and comforting comments on my post of yesterday. This is what I know about blogland...there are not only extremely creative souls...there are extremely caring souls and I feel so fortunate to be able to be part of such a warm community.

This blue fabric sewn envelope is one of the items I made and gave to my Sister (Marie) yesterday. Notice how the button reflects the pattern in the fabric. It is the little details that I so enjoy about creating something. Blue is not only my favorite color but also Marie's favorite. I had included a pair of artisan made wire wrapped dragonfly earrings. I missed keeping a photo of them but they looked perfect on Marie.

Here is a pair of very plain pink feminine slippers that I embellished and gave to Marie for her birthday. I love how they turned out.
This is the box with the slippers in it wrapped and ready to give. I was carrying it around when we met at The Fountains for our day together (5 women) of lunch, laughter and shopping. We were in Chicos clothing store and one of the sales ladies was so enamored with the box she practically scared me. Wanted to know if I had gotten it at Anthropolgy across the way. My friend told her I created it. The woman was agast. May I just say the entire time I carried this box around women were commenting on it and so amazed at how clever it was. Thank you I humbly say. I am merely following in my mother and grandmother's footsteps as this is how we always did things. "Think outside the box" was common place for our family of creative people. My mother was Martha Stewart without the fame and fortune!
I took a thrift store uncut pattern and wrapped the slippers in the tissue. Then I wrapped the box in the pattern instructions. Cut the pattern package and put it on the ends of the box. Used a tape measure for the ribbon and glued some colorful buttons to the top. Even Mr. Createology said how clever the package looked. That was a compliment I cherish!
All in all the weather was perfect, the company was perfect and we had a wonderful and very relaxing day. The Fountains was bustling with people, the roses were blooming and very fragrant, all the flowers were happy and proudly showing their stuff, young entertainers were putting on little shows at the stage...ballerinas, glowing pumpkins, fairys wearing butterfly wings. I was in heaven with all the wonderment of a little girl enjoying every moment. Yes, I did think of Uncle Bud and smile thinking of how he owned a small train that gave rides to children of all ages just like the one at The Fountains. It was a glorious day.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Goodbye Dear Uncle Bud...

May you rest in heaven and never feel pain again. I love you Uncle Bud. I have just lost my only uncle and it is the end of the line. My grandmother, my grandpa, my mother and now my uncle who was my mothers only brother are all passed on. I feel a great sadness.
I know that memories will stay with me and I will have lots of pleasant remembrances and smiles. However for now time shall have to help me process my sadness.

Nothing creative right now. Today I shall spend a wonderful day with my sister and my girlfriends celebrating my sister's birthday. We shall talk, laugh, and eat way too much. We will share our day together making more memories to enjoy over and over.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Snail Mail Fun...

April is National Letter and Card writing month and I am part of a great group of people who are swapping snail mail . I did seven of these cards and envelopes last evening. I have been at the local post office every day to confirm my mailings. My envelopes have been too small by as little as 1/8" and too bumpy which I admit the buttons were but flat ribbon? So some serious excess postage fees for me and my mailings but hey...I am committed and must send what I made for my swaps.
This photo also shows a page of postage stamps I purchased that are very artistic and oversized. They are the standard 44 cent and titled Abstract Expressionists. I think they are perfect for creative handmade and fun snail mail.
Now for the fun of what I have received...
Very sweet handmade card from New York.

Handmade and this photo does not do justice to the lovely squares of handmade paper.

An adorable pocket card with a very sweet tag. The colors are bright and cheery.

A fabric postcard that was hand screened and hand made.

And I love this card that shows a row of houses and a VW bug in San Francisco.
Funny thing about all my mail I have received is that where it is coming from the postage rates are very reasonable and obviously not worried about "bumps" like buttons or envelopes that are under-sized. Go figure! Maybe I should drive (yes the gas would be cheaper than the postage) to another post office to use regular postage that more than makes sense.
All in all this has been a lot of fun to receive surprise mail.
Well I must get back to my addressing and sending. I am only about 2/3 way through the list. I will admit I have been spending an outrageous amount of time with all of this mailing but I like to think of the ladies of previous days and the wonderful way they hand wrote letters in beautiful script and I think of life in simpler times. :o)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Making more cards to mail...

In my quest to honor April and Letter Writing Month I am mailing a lot of cards to a lot of people. So to keep the post office and my wallet a little happy I am trying to make my cards flatter and lighter yet still have interest and dimension. This batch of four should qualify. I have used vintage french floral wrapping paper. The feel of this paper is exquisite. To give dimension I am using some of my packing tape transfers as accents on the cards. I hope the recipients enjoy receiving these.
Then I was gathering the recycling the other day and there was a wonderful cosmetic box but it had writing and logo printed all over it which looked very tacky. So, I cut the box apart and glued some vintage gardening pages to each side. Then I shaped and punched a hole and stamped on the backside of the tag/bookmark. A little piece of ribbon and it is looking much better.

I like to think of these as finished now. I applied a packing tape transfer to the front side and did some more stamping with a subtle gold and silver floral motif. I think these will make a very fine bookmark or placeholder for someone. This was very easy and fun and saved our landfill. I have already prepared more of these for embellishing and gifting.
It only takes time and thought and not a lot of money if you use what you have to create something useful.
Enjoy your middle of the week and Happy creating...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Busy listing...

In my 2010 desire to stay focused on my goals I am spending time in the studio creating some new fun pieces of jewelry. I have just listed these two sets on my etsy site.
I call the top photo set "Fishing for Compliments". Actually Mr. Createology came up with this name and I love it. I merely had a vision for combining some fun elements with some very traditional elements and seeing how it would come out. I really like the fun and funky look of this colorful set which I see someone wearing with anything from jeans to shorts to a cute summer sundress. The assortment of colors is what makes it so summer fun. I really like the ease of the magnetic clasp on the bracelet as it allows the user to fasten it easily on her own wrist without help from others.

This set is similar to the gold toned set however much simpler and more elegant. You really should see it in person to get the true sparkle power of the Swarovski crystals. Combined with the dark glimmer of charcoal barrel swivels and the sterling silver wire this is quite a stunner. I can easily see it being worn with everything including black evening wear.
This is part of my Adorn Me! jewelry design line and I am very pleased with the way they turned out.
What would you wear these with?
Do you prefer the gold with assorted colors or the silver with clear?
I am busy with some more designs so I better stay focused and on task.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Mr. Wonderful...

A very Happy Birthday to my Wonderful husband. Today is his birthday.
We are do-overs and since we have only been together since our forties we got a rather late start. We couldn't be more opposite - in everything and everyway. Somehow it not only works it actually enhances the togetherness of us. We seem to balance one another.

So today is all about food which he loves dearly. Yesterday in the cold rainy weather it was so nice to turn on the oven and bake this chocolate cake from scratch. Thank you to Ina Garten for her fabulous recipe. This cake is so moist and delicious. But wait...

It is all about the chocolate butter cream frosting from scratch that makes this cake To-Die-For! It is also Ina's recipe. When it came time to turn on the Kitchen Aid mixer and make this DH just had to help. He cut up and melted the chocolate which I was certain we wouldn't have enough because of his sampling so much. He mixed all the ingredients and did some more sampling. Butter is definitely his favorite yellow food. He has been known to put a dollop of butter right on top of his Oreo's that he is eating. Yes he has! I, of course, am a neat freak and about fainted to see the mess he was making but had to remind myself this is his birthday and this is his cake and let him have fun and that I, the maid, could actually clean up this mess and all would be fine. DH thinks you aren't a good cook unless you make a huge mess all over the entire kitchen. LOL He then spread the frosting on his cake and TA DA!
Happy Birthday Honey. Job well done.
P.S. We did eat a piece each after dinner last evening while it was snowing and OMG this cake is the best I/we have ever made.
Birthdays should be a joyous occasion so in the spirit we will be eating our way through the day as food is what makes him happiest.
Happy Birthday to you...
Happy Birthday to you...
Happy Birthday dear DH...
Happy Birthday to you!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Winter is here...

Yes it is April and this is how lovely it looks while it is snowing. Winter is definitely here. Oh we did have Spring a couple of weeks back but it didn't last. This is how every year fools us.
The newbies all have spent their money on flowers and plants and put them in the ground. Silly newbies! It always snows in April and May too. The snow is so quiet and ethereal. It will be interesting to wake up tomorrow and see how much snow we will have then. This is just beginning to snow when I took these photos.
Happy Winter...again.
We usually go from Winter right into Summer because Spring is just so short lived and only lasts just a few days here and there. Now that I know how this weather works I feel much better about experiencing seasons. When I lived in Southern California I never had seasons and loved the weather all year long. Oh how I miss the sunshine and consistency of beautiful weather all year. I do not seem to need seasons and I never like the cold.
But it is beautiful here and the air is clean and refreshing and the pine trees are amazing and...
I do like it here very much!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More cards...

I would like to acknowledge Fiskars and thank them for great customer service. I began to make some cards and discovered my Seagull corner punch was broken. Somehow the metal parts had broken and fell out in pieces which meant I could not use the corner punch for making my cards. Before I threw it in the trash I took a couple of pictures and thought I would email Fiskars to let them know. I got an email response right away and they said they would send me a new one in a few days. Well today I did get my new punch and it works and I am very happy. Just when I was thinking customer service is a lost art Fiskars comes through with excellent customer service. Thank you very much Fiskars.
As for receiving cards I have done that this week. My Blog Pal Cory sent me this very creative card she made using recycled cards. It is multi layered and has lots of interest to it. She tied on a tea bag for a relaxing cup of tea. On the envelope she hand drew some little flowers to mimic the tree in the picture. Well done Cory. I like it very much thank you.

My other card I received from my Blog Pal is this one with a silk flower on the recycled cards she uses. I truly love the flower and it will be finding a new spot off of this card onto another project very soon. Cory included a package of Cosmos seeds and I shall be so happy to plant these as I love the flowers with their wonderful shades of pinks. On this envelope she drew some little cosmos flowers in the corner to carry out the theme. Very clever.
I have been busy writing and sending my April cards and goodies so it has been very busy on the desk top here in the studio. I must say I even had fun at the post office trying to mail my cards. Two envelopes were 1/8" too short so I had to bring them home and re-package them. Of course they still cost 64 cents each but 1/8"...come on! Some of my cards had "bumps" in them so that was an extra fee on top of the extra fees. I told the clerk I was trying to make them as flat and light weight as possible. A couple of the burly guys standing in line behind me suggested I take the envelopes outside and they could drive over them a few times with their big diesel truck! A good laugh was had by all except the clerk. Every single item I was trying to mail had some issue and excess expense and by now the guys in line are teasing me about maybe I used the wrong color of ink...purple. I was able to mail all except the two shorties that lacked 1/8" each envelope. Of course my wallet is now empty. Fortunately for me I had a mission of mailing some fun cards to some people I have never met and hopefully they will get a good laugh out of them.
Are you sending any snail mail this month of April?
I still have a long list of addresses I will be sending to so I better get very busy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Keep those cards and letters coming...

A few more cards to send out for April Letter Writing month. I didn't realize just how much time it takes to address and write in each card. Making each card is fun and time just gets by while being creative. However when it comes to writing the notes inside each card it takes a lot more time and thought than I realized. For the past several days I have been doing not much else as I get these ready for sending.
This is the Easter card I made and sent to my special "blog pal". I had fun with this one. Darn those jelly beans on the paper always make me hungry. LOL

These are like the top one I did in purple but these are done with a copper embossing powder. I love this stamp and have owned it for many years. I believe it was made by Magenta.
The recipients of my cards might be surprised as I have tucked something inside them.
Tomorrow I shall take my armload of cards to the post office where I shall probably faint when I hear the total I owe for mailing my fun cards. Several different states and a couple of different countries are the destinations. I just know the cards will brings smiles to those opening them.
As for my FOCUS? Well, things do come along that are not in the line of what we planned. I am working on my jewelry designs. I am merely much slower than I should be. I shall have an update on what I have been doing by the end of this week.
Enjoy your days and do what makes you the happiest. For me it is puttering in my studio and sewing rooms. What makes you happy?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April = Letter Writing Month...

April is Letter Writing month. For those of us who still get excited over snail mail this is a perfect opportunity to send and get mail. I know how frustrating and expensive mailing something can be at the post office. I have been constantly disappointed by postage rules I have never heard of. However, none of this will stop me from sending mail. So in the handmade theme of my life I have made some cards to send.
Very simply I took 3 pages of coordinating 12" x 12" scrapbook papers, 9 pre-folded cards with envelopes, glue stick, pencil, ruler, tape and my favorite heart punches. I lined the envelope flaps with printed paper, punched hearts to embellish the front of the envelopes and kept them very flat and smooth so the postal company "machines" can do their jobs without my having to pay the additional 20 cents for "handling". I am being optimistic on this as I have not mailed these yet. I may still get stung.
For the cards I merely cut and taped and glued papers to the fronts along with fun hearts and then embellished some of them with my Sharpie markers. Once again I am going with the flatest dimension possible. I am also trying to keep the overall weight very minimal. It should not cost me USA 44 cents plus 17 cents plus 20 cents to mail one simple card! That is 81 cents and what are they thinking? For my local recipients I can afford to drive it and hand deliver it myself...except that would spoil the fun of looking in the mailbox. :o)
On the back of each card I stamp my favorite little stamp I have owned for decades:
"When you care make it yourself!"
Happy letter writing this month and always.
Can't you just see fine ladies in their beautiful dresses sitting at their fancy writing desks actually writing letters and sending them across the country when it took weeks to deliver. Can you imagine using a quill and ink bottle? I am afraid I would spill the ink and make a huge mess.
To this day I still love a scripted letter from the days of yore. I appreciate those who do calligraphy as it is so beautiful and follows in the old traditions.
Hmmm...are you going to make some cards? Write some letters? Send some mail? I am.

Monday, April 5, 2010

More gifts for friends...

A brand new week and another opportunity for me to use my FOCUS to accomplish my goals.

This sweet little purple yo-yo fabric heart with the beautiful pink butterfly is a pin I made and sent to Colette in efforts to cheer her as she battles breast and bone cancer. Previous posts have the link if you would like to send cards or hope to Colette.

Swarovski crystals are probably my favorite beads. They are so exquisite and sparkly and easy to work with. They come in a myriad of colors, however I really like the traditional clear. This bracelet is a simple one strand using 4mm bicones. I love to use the magnetic clasps as they are so easy to fasten by oneself. This bracelet is so beautiful and the photo really does not do it justice.

Then of course I had to get out the fabric, lace, ribbon and button to make this sweet little jewelry pouch to hold the bracelet for giving. It just adds the extra feminine touch don't you think. You could always re-purpose the pouch for holding anything you letters, lingerie, can see the potential.

My wonderful friend Nancy commissioned two Swarovski tennis bracelets and so I made her this gift as a thank you. Good friends are treasures.
May you have a week of wonderful accomplishments and enjoy every minute.
I am off to complete my tennis bracelets which I will share photos of later. If you need to see one now please visit and I have a couple listed there.
Thank you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Special Day...

Very simply...Happy Easter.
May you celebrate this day as you like.
Enjoy the simple things.
Eat nutritious food.
Love your family and friends and spend time with them.
Make traditions and memories.
P.S. How do you devour your chocolate bunny? Ears first?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Close another week...

As we close another week and the year moves on we are surprised by how quickly dates are happening. Good Friday and Easter are here this weekend. If you celebrate these I do hope you enjoy and spend time with family and friends. Do you color eggs and have the traditional egg hunt? I remember our family always did these things when I was growing up. My mother would boil and prepare one dozen eggs for each of us girls and an extra dozen just for breakfast. We would all gather around the huge dining room table and be extremely creative with coloring and decorating our eggs. As I remember back I can see a huge mess everywhere but we had so much fun. We used Crayons for resist on the egg shells before we "splashed" them into the dye. We each had our own styles and of course Mom's were always the prettiest. Our traditional egg hunts were always outside in the yard and we found all of them, including our baskets the Easter Bunny had left for us. It was a magical time and I still believe in these traditions. Clever Mom replaced the cheesy basket when I became a young teenager with the most beautiful green hatbox purse that the Easter Bunny filled to overflowing with grass and chocolates and goodies. I do not have that purse but I shall forever be so happy that I got it instead of the baskets like my younger sisters got.
I did carry on the traditions while my daughter and then my granddaughters were young. Then my daughter picked up the traditions and still to this day fixes our traditional breakfast for the whole family that lives close enough to get together. Have you ever had "Eggs-a-la-Goldenrod"? Yummy and I miss them. My DH does not like them and won't eat any hard boiled or deviled eggs so I never fix them after the one time and he wouldn't eat.
We have no little ones around us and we no longer color eggs or prepare a big yummy Easter breakfast but I still love it when the Easter Bunny leaves a big beautiful basket for DH. Somehow I do not get one any longer.

As for being creative, this photo of my newest necklace is Hearts a Fire. I wanted to combine beautiful lace with gemstone beads, mother of pearl beads and Swarovski Crystals. I am pleased with the way it turned out. I have some other pieces I am designing for Adorn Me! and they will be debuting in the near future.
I do need to FOCUS as I am getting into a lot of other creative venues that I love too. However all of them are for fun and to give to others. I must remember my goal this year of building my jewelry business and my etsy shop and actually make some sales. FOCUS Saucy Chick Sherry.

May you each have a peaceful and relaxing weekend no matter what you are doing.