Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Present, not Christmas Past

This Christmas, money was tighter than last year. I had to keep my gifts within a budget. I wasn't much into the Christmas spirit since my mom passed away.

I made 2 of the gifts under the tree. One necklace was for my daughter. Her favorite colors are pink and green. The charm and silver chain came from Dreamland Jewelry.

"You are My Sunshine" is the song my mother sang to me and my children when we were all younger. 

I made the turquoise necklace for my daughter-in-law. She loves turquoise. I made matching earrings as well.

The open heart charm came from Dreamland Jewelry. 

The rest of the gifts were all store bought. I did make a charm bracelet for my son's girlfriend. Pics will be posted later. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Blog Ring 2013, Week 4

Merry Christmas!!

This will be the last round for the Holiday Blog Ring. 

This week's featured artists are: 

Kim of Makin The Best of It
April of Brooklyn Bead Goddess.

Kim also has a blog, It's Better HandmadeShe has been creating for many years thanks to a crafty Grandmother that insisted on living a do-it-yourself lifestyle as much as possible. Kim took these lessons to heart and developed a serious case of Crafter's ADD!! 

Kim has an insanely busy  with her two boys, going from one event to another.  She currently lives in a small shore town in New Jersey and spends a lot of time on the beach! (Lucky Gal!) She is married to Andrew, who works full time as a Senior Estimator and Project Manager in the construction industry. 

Kim works at a friend’s business as well as on her own craft business selling hand painted glassware and chainmaille jewelry.  Her boys have gotten into the handmade act and are able to create many chainmaille weaves for themselves! 

Along with her husband, Andrew, they founded HandmadeArtists forum and shop. The project began as a place where creative types could come together to share information, ask questions or for support as well as show off their latest treasures. It has grown to over 2,300 members from around the world!  

Kim is passionate about handmade and the artists behind the work. She and Andrew hope to help artists get seen and show the world that handmade should hold a special place of its own. Makin' the Best of It began as a hobby and grew into a business. Kim wanted to create something beautiful that was useful as well. She creates hand painted glassware, one of a kind sea glass jewelry, and custom painted wedding invitations. She welcome custom orders.

April of Brooklyn Bead Goddess is the second featured artist for week 4 in this blog ring. She has an etsy store, Brooklyn Bead Goddess and a blog, Brooklyn Bead Goddess. April is a lampwork bead maker. And a talented one at that! She is an Artist, Jewelry Designer, Glass Bead Maker. She creates Artisan Glass Beads and Handcrafted Jewelry. Each bead is made one at a time by melting glass in a torch fire flame. Her beads take time and patience and the results are a work of art. From the start of actually making a bead to adding the finishing touches of a completed piece, her jewelry designs are as unique as the person who wears them. April also enjoys photographing her pieces of art. Capturing the the details of each piece is a challenge and April rises to the challenge. Check out her Facebook page: Brooklyn Bead Goddess. Here are some examples of her work:

This has been a fun Blog Ring! I hope you have enjoyed following it as much as I have enjoyed writing about it. Please join HandmadeArtists

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Blog Ring 2013 Week 3

We have made it to week 3 of the Holiday Blog Ring!! 

This week features 2 artists, Ananasa and Highland Princess Designs

I will introduce you to Ananasa first.

Ananasa offers unique handmade items. She finds all the wonderfully hidden handmade gems and makes them available for purchase. No matter who or where you are! Basically, Ananasa is an online marketplace for artisans to showcase and sell their work. Ananasa also has a Facebook fan page: Ananasa on Facebook.

This is from her website:

Founded in 2011, is an online marketplace that enables artisans, artists and designers in the Middle East to sell their creations worldwide with no barriers. started when two sisters wanted to expose the hidden beauty of the Middle East to the world. Ananasa takes away the headaches of logistics, customer service & marketing so artisans can focus on creating their handmade items and individuals worldwide can buy unique items from the Middle East easily.

And that is why it's called Ananasa: Ana: means "I" in Arabic. Nas: means "the people" in Arabic. A: adding an "a" at the end allows the word to become feminine, just like the co-founders."
Here is a video about Ananasa:

The second featured artist is Highland Princess Design. You can follow her blog here: The Highland Princess.
The Highland Princess got her start in making jewelry when she saw a headpiece she loved at a belly dance booth at the local Renaissance Festival. Instead of buying it, she decided to make one herself. Soon she had cases full of rings and Swarovski crystals and other sparkly pieces.
She has since branched out to other styles of jewelry, as well as armor for stuffed animals. Being a true nerd, she loves making pieces for Renaissance/Medieval garb, Cosplay, and Steampunk, as well as day-to-day wear.

The Highland Princess has been crafting chainmaille jewelry for over a decade. The first project she attempted was a chain-and-jewel headdress with a three-foot chain net to hold her hair. Several of her friends had started working with chainmaille. She saw a complex headdress at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. The Highland Princess thought to herself, "If my friends can do it, so can I." She chose to jump in with both feet, bought the necessary materials and numerous mistakes later, had her first headdress.

After making her first piece, she was hooked. Since that time, The Highland Princess has branched out, making necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and hand flowers. She works with a variety of materials, from base metals and glass to silver and gemstones.

In addition to chainmaille, the Highland Princess enjoys crocheting and making costumes. Her crochet work includes clothing for infants to nerdy pastimes like a hat modeled after the "Prince of All Cosmos" and a coin bank shaped like a Minion from "Despicable Me." Her costuming started with making garb for trips to the local Renaissance Festival, and has expanded into steampunk, anime, and video game costumes for conventions.

Here is a sample of the Highland Princess' work:

Neobedouin Ribbon Necklace

Jungle Flowers bronze and blue byzantine necklace

Purple and Opal Handflower

The Highland Princes has some wonderful pieces. Her prices are very reasonable too!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holiday Blog Ring 2013 Week 2

This week I am one of the featured Handmade Artists. Therefore, my blog will feature the other Handmade Artist:, Jules Lavellee of ThinkEco2 on etsy.

Jules is the founder of ThinkEco2. Her products are handcrafted and 100% recycled cedar wine racks and garden products. Jules is also a writer and Philanthropist. Her goal is to keep jobs in America!!  Jules works with local artisans to build her products. She has a passion for helping her community and does so by donating handmade wine racks to various charities for fundraisers.

The ThinkEco2 products are produced from Cedar or Redwood that have been rescued by Jules instead of going to landfills. The wood is usually unfinished to keep the rustic, vintage look. All the products from ThinkEco2 are handcrafted in San Diego, CA.

Jules also has a Facebook page: ThinkEco2.

Here are some examples of ThinkEco2 products:

ThinkEco2 planter

ThinkEco2 Wine Rack

ThinkEco2 Small Wine Rack
Please visit Jules' shop and Facebook and show your support for Handmade Artists!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holiday Blog Ring 2013

I recently joined up for a Holiday Blog ring from Every week 2 artists will be featured. The first 2 artists are: John Rasmussen of Rasmussen Gems. I'm a huge fan of John's. He is very talented. He also has a blog you can follow: Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry LLC.  
John Atwell Rasmussen was educated in Geology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. He then taught geology and after ten years switched professional course to prehospital medicine. He retired from emergency medical services and now pursues his love of rocks, minerals and gems as the lapidary and jeweler at Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry LLC. He has been educated in Gemology and Jewelry Design and Repair at: International Gem Society, Gemological Institute of America and Penn Foster Career School.

Dr. Rasmussen is assisted in the shop by his wife, Debora Lee Rasmussen. She is disabled and does bead design and crafting making all of the beaded pieces in the shop. Debora previously designed decorative swags and wreaths custom made for home decor. He is on Facebook as well: Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry

The other artist featured is Larissa of Reef Botanicals and Fabric of my Mind

Larissa is part of a husband and wife team, (Eric and Larissa) who discovered their mutual love for making things from scratch. They cook, bake, brew, craft, paint, photograph... and that doesn't take into account our other hobbies! They have one dog, three cats, and four fish. Reef Botanicals was named after their our 4th cat, Reef, a feisty, loyal sweetheart who is remembered fondly.

I hope you hop over to their shops and blogs and check them out. 

Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sad days and more sad days

I have not blogged since August. I have my reasons. You see, my mother, my best friend, has been battling Stage 4 Breast Cancer since 2011. In August 2013, she began a new chemo drug. This is her 3rd round of chemo in 2 and a half years. On Sept 12, 2013, she went to the hospital due to vomiting for a week. She had lost a pound a day from the vomiting. She was admitted to the hospital and the doctor decided the chemo medication was making her ill. Within 2 weeks the cancer had spread to the lining of both lungs, her ribs, and her liver. She was too weak and sick to begin chemo.

My mother was placed in hospice care shortly after the cancer spread. She was inpatient in hospice for 2 weeks and then discharged to my care in my home. I got the honor of caring for my mother in her final days. She passed away on November 2, 2013 at the age of 67 years old. She leaves behind, her husband of 50 years (my dad), and my 3 brothers, as well as myself.

I am struggling to accept that my mom is gone. She was my best friend. My partner at craft fairs. We sold MaryKay together.

There is an emptiness in my heart.

Rest in peace Mama.

My beautiful Mom

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop.... finally

I finally created something recently. I used my prized beads I won. Here is a picture:

The beads are purple, mostly. The Harlequin beads are purple. I won them from Toltec Jewels. The next smaller size is a purple as well. The black beads a black with lots of sparkle. Then crystals a purple Swarovski. Silver spacers were used. The chain in the back is sterling silver. The total length is 17 inches. I love wearing it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Muse took a vacation or is in a coma!

I haven't been making any lampwork beads. It's too hot to turn on the kiln and its too hot to stand over a torch!

I think my muse is out smoking crack!

I am entered in Lori's Bead Hoarder Blog Hop. But I haven't gone through my hoarded jewels of beads.

My muse has surely been smoking crack!!

I have an order for a bracelet - from a friend. She is very understanding when I say "My creativity has left the building!"

If you have seen my mojo, please return it ASAP!

I'm also entered in a Summer Bracelet Swap. My partner mailed her bracelet yesterday. I haven't started.

For how long?!

I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased some new beads and a new pendant, thinking that would motivate me..... still nothing.

I started on a project for Beading Idol competition and stopped in the middle of the project. Thank God it's not due until August 15!

VERB??!! WHAT??!!

Maybe I'm not in the right mind?
I'm not in my right mind!

Since my muse has taken a hiatus/gone on vacation/in a coma, I am going to enjoy the moment. 

What will you do when your creative muse/mojo takes a vacation/hiatus?

I'm on vacation until my muse returns!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop COMING SOON!!

Lori Anderson of Pretty Things throws the BEST parties! She hosts the annual Bead Soup Blog Hop.
Now, she is hosting the Bead Hoarders Blog HopYou use your own hoarded stash and make as many pieces as you like! How simple is that!!??

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Elements Blog Hop

Here's a blog hop I was jumping to get into!! When I heard Toltec Jewels was hosting the Summer Elements Blog Hop I was curious. So, I checked out the "rules". They were as follows: "Create and share what you love about an element of summer. It can be jewelry, beads, a recipe, a craft, vacation memories, campfire songs -- anything that celebrates summer. Whether it be gardening  advice, a quilt with a fireworks motif, a sand & sea necklace, your favorite apple pie recipe for the 4th of July, a sand dollar made of clay, a waterfall design, photography, or a tutorial for creating bath salts or potpourri from the garden!"

I recently purchased a Slip~n~Slide for my grandchildren. On the first day of their summer vacation we took it out of the box and broke it in! I made sure I had my camera handy. These pictures are the very epitome of summer!! I decided to for-go making Summer themed jewelry!!

Without further adieu - here are pictures of my grandchildren slipping and sliding!!
These pictures are prior to the slip~n~slide:

I must admit I have gorgeous grandchildren. This is 4 out of 8 of my grandchildren!

Slip~n~slide pictures: 

There ya have it! My idea of the Summer element of WATER! We have officially kicked off Summer at my house!! How about you?

Thank you Rita for hosting!!

Don't forget to check out the other participants of this blog hop!
Toltec Jewels (Hostess)
Marlene Cupo           
Cheri Reed               
Ailsa Cordner            
Robin Reed               
Nan Smith                
Sherri Stokey            
Christie (Charis Designs)
Carolyn Lawson         
Susie Harris              
Andrea Glick-Zenith   
Nelly May                 
Melissa Trudinger      
Dini Bruinsma           
Kathy Lindemer        
Cory Tompkins         
Robin Reed              
Gina Hockett            
Karen Martinez         
Jasvanti Patel           
Solange Collin          
Karla Morgan            
Anindita Basu           
Alicia Marinache       
Andrea Trank            
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell 
               (you are here)
Mischelle Fanucchi   
Tanty Sri Hartanti      
Shaiha Williams        
Mary Govaars           
Becca Sirevaag         
Lennis Carrier           
Regina Wood