Looking for my Bead Soup?

27 February 2010

Are you a winner?

"You were born to win,
but to be a winner,
you must plan to win,
prepare to win,
and expect to win.
"
~ Zig Ziglar


Giveaway alerts for all my beady peeps!


Just two more days to register to win one of three sets of Barbara Lewis' Torch Fired Enamel bead sets! They are the most glorious new things going...I have some and can attest! Go to her brand-spankin' new blog and tell her how lovely these are and you might be a winner!


My friend Julie from Prairie Thistle just hit 400 blog posts and is giving away a most sweet Madonna and Child reliquary. You need to go here and read about the inspiration behind this many-layered piece. You have until March 21st to participate and possibly win this dreamy work of art.


Rings & Things has their big Your Designs Rock! contest going on right now. But hurry! The deadline to submit your rockin' designs is tomorrow, Sunday, February 28th!!! Yikes! I am a bit behind myself. At stake is a $750 Grand Prize gift certificate to Rings & Things. Who doesn't like to win free beads?

And tomorrow is the last day for the February Inspired by...The Solar System challenge.
There is some out of this world talent with black holes and orbiting moons and falling stars... You have until Sunday, February 28th at midnight to post your entry to the Flickr group. And stay tuned next week when I reveal the March Inspired by... challenge!

What's the best thing you ever won? Do tell!

Enjoy the day!

26 February 2010

RAW::An Abundantly Rewarding Day

"Lose yourself in generous service and every day can be a most unusual day, a triumphant day, an abundantly rewarding day!"
~William Arthur Ward

Take 14 girls...


...add 27 blocks of polymer clay...

...mix thoroughly in one pasta machine...

...spread liberally over 18 tin boxes...


...bake in a toaster oven for 20 minutes...


...serve with a generous helping of ice cream cake...


...instead of gifts, collect two boxes full of yarn...


...twelve pairs of reading glasses...


...assorted felt, fabric scraps, crochet hooks and embroidery needles...


...toss in a rainbow of embroidery floss and a smattering of hoops...


...don't forget to write 14 love notes to the women of Despina, Haiti**...


...complete with phrases in French wishing them joy and happiness...

Yield: One abundantly rewarding happy birthday

"Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity."
~Buddha


Happy 9th Birthday, Tiny Dancer!
You grow more beautiful, thoughtful and generous each year.
We are blessed to have you for our daughter.

What is the best birthday party that you remember as a kid? What made it so memorable? The cake? The games? That one special gift? Do tell!

I'll start...my 8th birthday I wanted Mickey Mouse on my cake but we couldn't afford that. My mother found a plastic Mickey Mouse bank and that was my cake topper. We had a picnic in the backyard under huge trees on a warm August day and played a relay game where we had a suitcase filled with clothes and accessories. We had to race to the other end of the yard, open the suitcase, put on all of the clothes, shoes, hats and jewelry and race back to the other. Then we had to remove all the clothes, put them back in the suitcase and hand it off to our partner. I can still see that race to this day!


{**NOTE: These craft supplies will be shipped to Rebecca Sower, founder of Haiti by Hand. Rebecca is still collecting craft supplies for the women of Despina, Haiti to empower them to start businesses that will sustain and grow their families and community. There is still a tremendous need in this country. The rainy season is coming, and there is sure to be more troubles in this poor nation. I encourage you to dig deep and do what you can...donating money or goods for sale, purchasing wares from artists supporting Haiti by Hand on Etsy, your prayers...every little bit helps.}

25 February 2010

(Much more than) 30 Words::Get your TWIST on!


Twirl-a-Gig by Kerry Bogert

BANG GALS!
Kerry's CAGEY new book
will have you
CATCHING A WAVE
with your

CHUNKY MONKEY
on the wire-twisting bandwagon.
Don't get all CLUSTERed...
this DELIGHTFUL resource
filled with
DOODADS, SQUIGGLE WIGGLES
& other hue-filled FANTASTICNESS
will LASSO you into
TAKING A WHIRL with wire.
Your SPLIT PERSONALITY
(yes, I know you have one!)
will fall HOOK, LINE & SINKER
for the SCROLLIRIFIC
FLYING TRAPEZE
...no, I'm not PRETENDING!
TIMELESS,
REFINED...
let your EYES HAVE IT
Get ready to rock a potential new addiction to
fresh-innovative, happy-beady wire.


Get your copy of Totally Twisted by Kerry Bogert now!
(And go to her website to buy the originals from the book!)


Enjoy the day!

22 February 2010

Good things come in small packages

Isn't that what they say?
Over the past week I have had my fair share of little bits of love sailing through my mailbox. And today I thought I would share some of them with you.

Esther of Mes Illusions Baroques is the kindest soul. If you don't know Esther, you should {go see her blog here}. She lives in France {which is marvelous in an of itself} and makes the most fantastical things. She is always experimenting and pushing herself to try something new. She even sent me a surprise package at Christmas with a gorgeous hand made pin. {I think it got packed away with my Christmas ornaments so I shall be so surprised to find it again and recall my friend from France!}.

Esther had mentioned that she was making small book charms. I told her that as soon as she started selling them that I wanted to be first in line. {Warning! This bead porn is how I broke my bead diet...but you bead peeps will totally agree that it was worth it!}


This is the packaging it arrived in. A sweet little denim pouch tied with a glitzy ribbon. And just look what was inside!


Squeeeeee......Three darling book charms... {Stay tuned for the March Inspired by... challenge...hint...it is inspired by Esther's charms!}

{And there is still time to enter the February
Inspired by...The Solar System challenge. Deadline is February 28th! View the current entries here!}

Esther even put in some extra goodies just for me. I feel so cosmopolitan with my trinkets from overseas {hey, a Cosmopolitan sounds good right about now!}

Next up is a spur-of-the-moment vintage trinket I ordered from Julie at Prairie Thistle. Her blog proclaims it as a mix of "Urban Farmhouse, Antiques, Jewelry, Apparel, Jardin, Artist Books and More..." When I saw this silver plated ring holder entitled "Tiny Dancer" I knew I just had to have it.


And Julie sent the nicest note and a special little something extra... a St Therese medal tied to the package, who is patron of small things. {Thanks, Julie!}


Last, but certainly not least, I received a mystery package. {I love surprises, don't you?} If you have been paying attention, you know I had declared myself on a bead diet for February, {which for the record was mostly successful...see above!} and someone took pity on me with a beautiful assortment of bead soup components. Soup for one.

I actually gasped when I opened the package and read the sweet handwritten note meant just for me.

And I may have let a tear slip down my cheek. For joy, of course.


How delightful this little box with the floral tape and the stamp image. How thoughtful and generous a soul to send such a gift. How big my smile was knowing that someone out there was thinking of me. Now I am figuring out how I can pay it forward, this random act of beadiness. {Wouldn't this world be a better place if we all participated in random acts of beadiness?}

Aren't they lovely? The most soothing shades of green and a Mary Harding heart.

I am a lucky, lucky girl. Truly blessed.


Oh! I almost forgot! My Rings & Things blog partner goodie bag arrived today too. An amazing jumble of faceted crystals and assorted glass pearls in shades of purple, pink, gray and gunmetal. That is my color palette indeed. I am concocting something lush for this wonderful assortment and will share with you when I get it done!

What is the best surprise present that you have ever received? Do tell!

Check It Out::
Illusions Barock (she is gone right now while she moves, but you will want to bookmark this Etsy site for when she returns!)

18 February 2010

30 Words::Dying Light



cotton candy lilac dreams
fill the sky
in soft cashmere coziness

I

see the inky branches
etched on the clouds

each arm entwined about another
caging in the


dying


light


{inspired by the beautiful winter sunset out my window 17 February 10, wishing I had my camera to capture the brilliant strokes of the Master Artist of the Universe. It was incredible. Makes me glad to have been alive to see it.}

16 February 2010

Random Acts & Blessed Bucks


“Do something for somebody every day for which you do not get paid.”
~ Albert Schweitzer


Today is Mardi Gras.

In French that means "fat Tuesday" and is the traditional start to Lent in the Catholic religion. More than just a heckuva party in New Orleans, it is a time to whoop it up because tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday, as tradition states, we fast and refrain from exuberant activities and call to mind that Lent is 40 days to make a change.


There are three components to Lent: prayer, fasting and alms-giving.


I believe in the power of prayer and feel that there are many ways to pray, you have to find what works for you. My favorite way to pray is to do centering prayer. Sit in a quiet place. Relax. Focus on your breathing. As you inhale repeat a mantra that means something to you...I like to call to mind who I am praying to... "Lord Jesus Christ"... "Ruler of the Universe"... "God in heaven"... whatever works for you. As you exhale you breathe out the words that focus on what you need from the prayer.. "show my your way"... "guide and protect me"... "help me seek peace"... it is a great way to destress and relax and when you let yourself really give in to it, your mind can be opened to the possibilities.


Alms-giving is a tradition of donating money. I do this all year round, but find a particular satisfaction in giving up something that my life has come to rely on and donating that money to a cause. My church supports Catholic Relief Services, but you could choose anything that speaks to you. As far as fasting, I plan to refrain from my beloved "liquid courage" - COFFEE - and donate the money I would have spent on it. I will be a tea drinker for these next weeks. That will be hard (I know, I have done this before).

One great way to incorporate all three is to be a living prayer... to do those things which will have you fasting from the richness and overindulgences in your life while also calling to mind those who are less fortunate and spreading joy. All life can be a living prayer.

On the blog Kind Over Matter, I read that this week is Random Acts of Kindness week. I think that we should be doing that all the time, not just during one week. But it reminded me of what I did last year. Since I only had about 50 followers last year at this time, and now I am pushing the 250 follower mark {seriously, how does that happen?}, I thought I would resurrect a challenge to all of you called the Blessed Bucks Challenge. Read on...

____________________________
Completing the Circle of Good

When we are faced with uncertainties in our lives it is easy to curl into ourselves and play the WHY-ME card. The challenge then is to take stock of the blessings that do abound in your life and find a way to step outside of yourself. You gain so much more giving than by receiving.


We celebrated Fat Tuesday this past week. My husband and I attended a party hosted by one of our favorite restaurants, Christian's Bistro {you have no idea how lucky we are to have this little gem}, with my best friend Lynn and her husband. There were Hurricanes and gumbo and jambalaya and red beans and rice. There was authentic Dixieland jazz, boas, beads and voodoo dolls. There was even a tarot card reader.

But one of the things that we had fun with was to randomly choose a "spell" from a bucket. These spells were of the good variety with the promise of health, wealth and love.

The spell that I received was called "Blessed Bucks."


Blessed Bucks Money Spell
Take one or more dollar bills and write on each,
"May you be blessed with health, wealth & love"
Then take the Blessed Bucks out into
the world and hide them in places where people will find them.
NEVER just drop one on the ground as it might look like merely an accident.


Great places to hide them:
Open a newspaper kiosk and slip one inside a newspaper, especially the jobs section.
Carry a glue stick with you and go inside a grocery store. Glue a Blessed Buck on the back of a food item, milk, or a box of diapers.
Pull out the next cup on the coffee kiosk at your favorite convenience store. Wrap the buck around the cup so that when the cup is pulled out pops a buck.


Lynn and I challenged each other on the spot to distribute one Blessed Buck per day during the 40 days of Lent. I have been recording where I have placed them just as a reminder of my progress, and I am trying to pick varied spots to ensure that they will be found by the widest range of people. I will also be making donations to my church's rice bowl collection, but it feels good to know that someone, somewhere will pick up that package of diapers or reach for that packet of sugar on the table at Applebee's or take home a plant to brighten someone's day and there will be an added bonus, a Blessed Buck wishing health, wealth and love on the recipient.

"In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us." ~ Flora Edwards

Will you join me in the Blessed Bucks Challenge?

Starting on Wednesday, February 17th and for the 40 days of Lent (or just for the next 40 days in whatever faith you celebrate) I challenge you to a play along and pay it forward.


Leave a comment on this post sharing some suggestions of places you will hide Blessed Bucks. I will check in periodically and ask for your continued suggestions.


At the end of the 40 days - at Easter - I will select a random winner from all the Blessed Bucks participants who post where they are hiding them to win one of my Seeds of Inspiration necklaces, customized with the winner's choice of power word.


What are you doing to complete the circle of good? I challenge you to find one thing each month that will allow you to step outside of your life (and maybe even your comfort zone) and give.


Do tell me about it! I love to hear from you.

Check It Out::Kind Over Matter

Enjoy the day!

15 February 2010

The Best Time is NOW

“The past is behind, learn from it.
The future is ahead, prepare for it.
The present is here, live it.”
~Thomas S Monson


So many great comments about the question...

If you were to live in any period of time, what would it be and why?


From Ireland in 500 A.D. to 1920s flappers to 13th century France and ancient Egypt, there was a huge variety in the answers. One of my favorites was reliving your college years...at least 4 more times! There were even those of you who would choose to fast forward yourself into the future to get a glimpse of what might be in store. But the majority of responses were that they would not want to live anyplace but NOW. All those time periods mentioned, from pre-Civil War to medieval times to Paris in the late 19th century to the 1960s/1970s seemed to be prefaced with the fact that being a woman in any of those other times were certainly more of a challenge than it is today. Things definitely look up for us in the here and now, and hopefully things will only get better for the women of the future.

I thank you for playing along and for giving me something more to think about.







But without futher ado, the winner of the 'Aberdeen Ferns' bracelet is comment #16 {I did Random Number generator but I am having trouble getting it to show you...you will just have to take my word for it!}....................

Be-Jeweled by Jana!

Jana had this to say about her chosen time period:
"I would like to have lived in "Gone with the Wind" BEFORE the war!
The beautiful homes and gorgeous gowns...They seemed so carefree before the war.
Of course, it was a movie, not real life!"


Be sure to stop by her blog where she showcases her beautiful wire crochet jewelry.

Jana, send me an email to enjoytheday{at}tesoritrovati{dot}com with your mailing address and I will send your new bracelet right out.

Just a reminder that there is still time to enter the February Inspired by...The Solar System challenge, deadline February 28th. You can read more about it here.




Check It Out::The Smithsonian (a video tour with funnyman Ben Stiller and one of the greatest repositories of "things that matter" in the world!)


Enjoy the day!

13 February 2010

Indie Handmade Love

"Whoever said 'money can't buy happiness' simply didn't know where to go shopping."
~ Bo Derek


I don't know about you, I love to shop online. But let's face it... I barely have time to know where to start.

Etsy is, of course, my go-to for great handmade artisan gifts and supplies. But have you ever wished that there was one stop where you could find the coolest stuff all in one place?

There are several sites that I turn to every single week to clue me in to the best there is to be had in the handmade universe. To help me make my own business the best it can be. Or simply to inspire.

These sites are written so extremely well, and have hostesses who are fun and witty and engaging. If you like to win things, you should definitely check these sites out...they almost always have something going on. I have actually had the pleasure of winning on two of them (three, if you include my latest score... see below).

In no particular order, here are some sites worth checking out:

Indie Fixx

I recently participated in an online auction that Indie Fixx held to raise money for the Haiti earthquake victims. Lucky me, I won a $100 gift certificate {unfortunately, for less than the face value...I totally thought that I would be outbid. Don't worry, I spent more than the certificate to thank them for their generosity} to sponsor The Vintage Pearl. I keep coming back, because I love the self-professed "indie design love" that hostess Jen Wallace dishes out. I just used my gift certificate for The Vintage Pearl and was able to order a special keepsake for my sister with her kids' names and something wonderful for my mother for Mother's Day that includes names from the entire family. And, okay, you caught me, a little something for myself! Check the example of the one I just ordered for my mother {shhh...don't tell!}:

Such beauty that Jen showcases on her site. Definitely check out the Indie Fixx Galleria filled with all sorts for loveliness. I can only hope that one day I might be there.


Makeunder My Life
Jess is a Chicago jewelry designer by night, living a corporate life by day. She is making moves to move into the next phase of her life. And she defines "makeunder" as "any action that improves one’s life through addition by subtraction." I think that is a little slice of brilliance. There is so much I can learn from Miss Jess. She writes regularly about the following: Designing Your Life (featuring really intriguing guest bloggers),End of the Week Exfoliation (where she gives up or gives away one thing that isn't working in her life - could there be a more brilliant idea? I should start with all the boxes in my garage!), Small Business Advice (having been an entrepreneur for ten years - since she was a freshman in high school - I need all the help I can get! And it sounds like she offers it!), Dressing Charlotte (her trusty dressmaker dummy - which happens to be the middle name of my Tiny Dancer and my favorite aunt!), Easy Recipes (can't have too many of those!), and Off the Chain (new developments in her jewelry business). I encourage you to check out Jess and her quirky, fun, successful and inspirational world.

Modish
Modish is one of the first sites that I followed. I love the eclectic mix of handmade artistry that Miss Modish features. For awhile there, Miss Jena, the hostess with the mostess, was also offering a blog called Modish Biz Tips which I really embraced. She is no longer offering those tips, but Modish continues to be a site that has a pulse on the handmade market. Sometimes I just like to come here to gawk at the gorgeous photos and color inspiration out there in the world.

OliveBites
This is the home of Polarity + Uncorked. I have been fascinated by both of these storefronts on Etsy for sometime. I have concocted elaborate schemes whereby I get one of everything in each store front. But since that isn't likely to happen, I started reading this blog. Catherin Ivins is the goddess of repurposed. Her Polarity pendants are genius and feature a tiny automotive part that would have cluttered up landfills. She even uses the artwork of other Etsians in a most incredible collaboration.
Now it is paired with illustrations from some of the best indie artists around. They are interchangeable and unique. And her Uncorked goods are just as clever. A variety of styles including earrings, necklaces and other lovelies all imprinted on corks.
These Robot Love earrings are seriously funky. And those Etsy artists' whose work appears on the Polarity lockets are just too cool for words. What are you waiting for? Go check them out!

Recently I won a contest on OliveBites of a gorgeous inital pendant by the most talented Alona of Rafya from Israel who sells her work on Etsy. All I had to do was leave a comment. {I am proof that you don't need to have multiple entries to win!}
I ordered an "e" of course, and haven't received it yet, but I can barely contain myself at the amazingly juicy color palette.{One of my major goals this year is to embrace color, and this will be a great way to start!} I will be ordering more of her wares for sure.

Etsy Stalker
Last, but certainly not least, are the intrepid curators Beatrice and Violet, who fearlessly travel Etsy to find the best and the brightest. They are art-lovers and want to encourage us all to buy handmade and regularly seek out the coolest things out there. I appreciate the witty style in which they write, and their interviews, called Solo Exhibits, are top-notch. They have giveaways all the time, and early on in my following I won an 8x10 photography print of some absolutely stunning chain maille from Crescent Maille. Keeps me coming back for more!

I don't know if you follow these sites but I think that they are worth popping over to have a look-see. Even if you don't choose to follow them all, find the one that speaks the most to you and add it to your reader. You never know what wonders you will find!

What is your favorite site to go to for handmade inspiration?
Do you buy handmade items online?
Any favorite sellers or storefront sites for selling or buying?
Please share your favorites in the comments! Do tell!

Enjoy the day!

11 February 2010

30 Words::Wicked Beauty


soft, fluffy, tumbling six-pointed stars
each unique

snuggling together
,
bonding, burgeoning

angel
-turned-demon,

threatening
entombment

menacing
temperatures

smothering
houses

dwindling
traffic

downing
powerlines

living day-to-day
clawing
our way out of

SNOW

Enjoy the day!

10 February 2010

Simmer your creativity...Bead Soup!

If a pot is cooking, the friendship will stay warm.
~ Arab proverb

"Rêver du Printemps" Soup


Ingredients (from gourmand Emma at FredBean's Nook):
1 aquaterra focal bead
4 smoky gray glass rounds
4 incredible beaded bead tubes
1 cream glass flower bead
8 sterling silver daisy spacers 1 sweet sterling silver toggle
1 delightfully sweet Anne-Julie Aubrey illustration from Emma's business card

Add to these staples from my pantry:
1 orange enameled filigree bead from Barbara Lewis
assorted creamy white river jasper beads
5 repurposed flower links
lots of brushed silver plated curb chain
1 bezel setting

Stir, simmer, string, wrap, cook under UV lamp for 15 minutes and enjoy!
______________________

Have you ever started cooking something with no clear idea of what it will be?

You start with a bit of this and add a pinch of that, stopping to taste and sample along the way, until the dish morphs into a completely different thing than you though, but yummy just the same?

That is the way that I cook...and bead. I don't always have a plan in mind. I prefer to let my ingredients chart the course. Sometimes you end up throwing it out and sometimes you end up licking the pot.


But when you start with fresh, quality ingredients, the end result is always a success.

These beaded beads from my partner Emma
Thomas of FredBean's Nook were so delicious from the moment I opened the cute little box...I just wanted to eat them up raw! But I knew that I had to "cook" up something great with them so I stopped fondling them and trying to decipher how they were made. Sometimes a little magic is a good thing. I have no idea how she does that but they are the best pop of color and texture ever! I have no patience for seed beads so I really appreciate the time and patience it must have taken to make them. You should definitely go check out her jewelry at her Etsy site. She uses these little beaded tubes in some really cool designs. My favorite is the Vibrant Forest pendant.


The little Moo card that accompanied my goodies was so enchanting. That is the piece that changed the whole dish for me! I was playing around with my Gel du Soleil resin on Sunday and her card was sitting there beside my soup ingredients as my muse, and it was the perfect match to the colors. I took a chance and decided to make that the focal of my Bead Soup. I have since found out that the artist that created this image is Anne-Julie Aubry from France. Her hauntingly whimsical designs are adorable. Anne-Julie was described on her website as being "a distant dreamer" which is where the name came from..."rêver du printemps" means "dreaming of spring," which to those of us pounded by snow can attest that it seems like it is a distant dream.


I used the aquaterra focal bead with the soothing green color and balanced that with a hot orange Moroccan enamel bead I bought from Barbara Lewis at Painting with Fire.

I made that the clasp with the toggle bar and two of Emma's beaded beads. The toggle ring was repurposed as a charm holder under the pendant as a way to draw the eye down to the focal with the sweet little cream flower and use it in an unexpected way.

I decided to make this necklace really long with the chain in the back. The sweet little flowers are an upcycle from an old piece of jewelry in my ever-growing stash.

Thanks so much to Lori Anderson for this wonderful opportunity to play with all of you! I am ever so grateful that you stopped by to taste what was cooking in my pot!
___________________________
And if you are excited about challenges, I invite you to join me in my monthly Inspired by... challenge. For February, we are Inspired by...The Solar System . If you are interested in participating, the deadline to enter has been extended until February 28th. You can read all about it here.
___________________________
And if you would just like to be entered into a drawing, I am giving away a bracelet I made inspired by William Morris vintage wallpaper called "Aberdeen Ferns." You can enter by answering the question on this post here.
___________________________
Check It Out::Bead Soup Participants!

1. Lori, Pretty Things Blog
2. Mallory, For the Love of Beads
3. Terri, Blooming Ideas
4. Cindy, Sweet Bead Studio
5. Lorelei, Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
6. Kerry, Kab's Creative Concepts
7. Erin, Treasures Found you are here!
8. Jeannette, Jeannette Blix Wire and Metal Jewelry
9. Adrienne, Adrienne Designs
10. Nan, Spirit Rattles
11. Laurel, Rue's Daftique
12. Nancy, Beading From the Heart
13. Mary, MK's Creative Musings
14. Cassie, The Glass Beadle
15. Dot, Winchell Clayworks
16. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
17. Lisa, Lo and Behold
18. Norma, Bead Dreams and Moonlit Fantaseas
19. Judith, Judith B.
20. Debbie, Prairie Emporium
21. Maria, Garden Path Beads
22. Susan, Kaplan Creations Jewelry and Glass Design
23. Melissa, Melissa Meman: Art, Love, Life
24. Marianna, Pretty Shiny Things
25. Lisa, Joolz by Lisa
26. Cristi, 2 If By Sea
27. Sandra, Marbella Jewelry Design
28. Maria, Greene Earth Originals
29. Barbara, Jewelry of Distinction
30. Leslie, Bei Mondi
31. Loretta, Designs by Loretta
32. Linda, Bella Bead Jewelry
33. Kathie, The Bead Cult
34. Patty, Plays With Fire
35. Nicki, Nicki's Reef
36. Anne Marie, Heart's Desire
37. Mary, Mary Harding Jewelry
38. Jayne, Mama's Got to Doodle
39. Emanda, Artemesia's Studio
40. Whitney, Whitney Lassini
41. Marcie, La Bella Joya
42. Suzann, Beadphoria
43. Jen, Jen Judd Rocks
44. Julie, Credit River Art Glass
45. Janiece, J Birds Garden
46. Kate, Organic Odysseys
47. Laurie, The Mermaid Tale
48. Michelle, My Crazy Crafty Adventure
49. Sue, Sue Beads
50. Janeen, Wild Vanilla Designs
51. Nancy, The Rabbit Muse
52. Kristie, Artisan Clay
53. Regina, Regina's Writings
54. Tari, Pearl and Pebble
55. Lyn, Lyn Foley
56. Beth, Sunshine Daydreamz
57. Cathryn, Chile Cats
58. Emma, Fred Bean's Nook
59. Connie, Cetta Cheese Chatter
60. Juli, Jul's Beads
61. Julie, RockerJewlz
62. Libby, LibbyLeu and Glass Too
63. Melanie, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
64. Katie, My Life and My Beads
65. Zuleykha, Zuleykha's Polymer Clay
66. Rekella, Me But a Little More in Depth
67. Ricki, What's New at Ricki Voges Design
68. Lisa, Lucid Moon Studio
69. Jo, Daisychain Jewellery
70. Lynette, Rock Hill Designs
71. Lynne, Island Girl's Insights
72. Chas, One Woman's Haven
73. Ruthie, Rose Works Jewelry
74. Elizabeth, Turquoise Sky
75. Maire, Maire Dodd
76. Janet, Singing Woods
77. Eileen, Dorset Hill Beads
78. Julie, Miss Kitten's Jewels
79. Joann, Jo's Jewels
80. Patti, PJ Clark Designs
81. Mel, Kookie Designs
82. Erin, Every Heart Crafts
83. Dale, Flights of Fancy
84. Dee, Runako Designs

Enjoy the day!

08 February 2010

I heart YOU!

"I sink like a stone that's been thrown in the ocean
My logic has drowned in a sea of emotion
Stop before you start
Be still my beating heart"
~Sting



Hearts are the theme this week!

Rings & Things sent me a package of goodies last month that included hearts. They looked just like little candies. So I used them in some simple designs on chain and they will be included inside boxes of Moonstruck truffle chocolates from my friend Rick at Sugar Cubed: Temptations to the Third Power {isn't that the greatest name for a chocolate shop? You math geeks out there will get the name}. Wouldn't you love to think you are getting a box of chocolates and then be surprised by an extra little goody to wear to remind you of you much you are loved?


{Aberdeen Ferns}

This design, called "Aberdeen Ferns", is patterned after the colors found in a vintage William Morris wallpaper of the same name. I chose as my focal a beautiful ceramic connector in a lush green with a nice scroll detail from Melanie Brooks at Earthenwood Studios. Wood saucers and a patterned wood tube (both purchased from Fire Mountain Gems) are knotted on brown leather cord from Rings & Things. I used a really wonderful large green faceted labradorite rondelle and a vintage 1945 pice coin from India. Both are from Rings & Things that I purchased some time ago when they gifted me with a mini-shopping spree as part of the blog partner program. The coin has these wonderful floral vine detail on the back and a nice large hole in the middle. I buffed up the coin to let the details stand out and turnd that into the toggle clasp. I think it lends a bit of history to the piece. The clasp is finished with chain dangling some striped poppy jasper rounds and a love knot toggle bar, both from Vintaj (who did not provide me these pieces, I just like them!).

Surprisingly, I have a hard time with bracelets. I really don't know why. But I think that this one works and really evokes the colors and pattern found in the vintage Morris wallpaper.

And you might be interested in entering the Rings & Things Your Designs Rock contest. I think that I will be entering something in this contest. But hurry! The deadline to enter is February 28, 2010. You can find all the details here.

Tonight I will be working on my entry for the Bead Soup Bloggers Party. The big reveal is on February 10th and there are more than 80 participants. Special thanks to Lori Anderson for hosting this fun event.

Would you like to win this bracelet?
Leave a comment answering the following question: If you were to live in any period of time, what would it be and why?
Leave your name and email address so that I can contact you if you win. I will pick a random winner on Sunday, February 14th just to show my love.

And there is still time to enter the Inspired by... The Solar System challenge that will run through this month! So far we only have one person who entered. Read more about that here.

Check It Out::Your Designs Rock!

Enjoy the day!

The heart beads, green labradorite and the vintage India coin used in thispost, specifically referenced as from Rings & Things were provided as promotional gifts by for review or design partnership purposes.

06 February 2010

RAW::What do you see


"It’s easy to reject what we don’t understand.
It’s so hard to embrace when we do." ~Angelia Sims

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Do you only see the wrinkles and age spots and stray grays? Or are you impressed with the beauty that God gave you?

Do you only see yourself as the labels that you place on yourself, that your job pigeon-holes you into, that others - outside your sphere of influence - peg you with? Or are you able to embrace the woman that you are, fully aware of your flaws and loving yourself anyway?

What about the women that you encounter every day? The ones you meet on the street, stand behind in the grocery store check out? The ones close up that you see everyday at work, or school or in your neighborhood? And the ones that you view from afar, through their blogs, on TV, in the news?

Barbara Walters on 20/20 last night had a very interesting show that I caught part of last night about the women behind the men of the wave of political scandals. A sort of 'where are they now' piece. I am not interested in the salacious details of the affairs that rocked these marriages, these political careers. I do not care what party their husband's represented, nor why they did what they did. What I was most interested in was the strength and grace and poise that these women exhibited. I was interested in their choices.

There is a case for standing by your man and running like hell. I don't really judge their choices either way. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be confronted with that sort of infidelity. I cannot imagine having to explain that to my children. Therefore, I will not judge them. I will not be party to dragging them down because of my perceptions of what I think is right.

Recently I pledged all of my sales in the month of January at the Gallery Q where my jewelry is sold to the Haitian relief efforts. I was talking to a woman from my church who told me that she really appreciated what I was doing, but that she had a conversation with another woman at church who was saying some very judgmental things about me, my jewelry and questioning my reason for doing such a thing. I don't really care about gossip. And I won't be corroborating this story. But what really bothered me was the thought that this person - whom I admire, who's children go to school with mine, who's laughter lights up a room, who is an artist in her own right - might not be what I thought. I thought she was a friend, a kindred spirit, the kind of person I would like to know better. But she obviously doesn't think highly of me for some reason.

When I was much younger {and who knows? Maybe even still.} I have heard that people thought I was stuck up. They wouldn't speak to me and created a persona for me that wasn't true. They came to their own conclusion without ever knowing me. Then by some chance, they would get to know me. And we would open up. We would laugh. We would share our souls. And these same women would sheepishly tell me that at one time they thought I was stuck up but that I wasn't like that at all. I have no idea why I gave off that vibe {if I still do, will you tell me, please?}, but I am very glad that there were those who took the time to get to know me. Who looked past their initial prejudices and snap judgments and discovered what was under my veneer. And we all have veneers. Some are just thicker than others.

Those disparaging remarks that were passed along may or may not be the whole truth, but the message that I got was I was being portrayed as disingenuous, out for some sort of personal gain, and that my art was not worth what I have it priced at. And God wanted to challenge me because this past week I was sitting at the same lunch table with her. She asked how the sale went. We shared some nice conversation, and even traded some ideas. She has no notion that I know about her remarks. And I won't say another word about it. And yes, I still want to know her and be her friend. But unfortunately, I am a bit more wary. And that makes me sad.

Words hurt. Judgments based on hearsay and erroneous perceptions is wrong. I won't be sucked into a vortex of pettiness. I won't. But it made me stop and think about how we treat others based on things that we don't understand.

Angelia Sims is a writer I have just discovered who writes a blog called Living, Loving, Laughing. I am a new follower. Yesterday she wrote a post that was so raw and real that I feel compelled to share it with you for my Random Act of Wisdom {I know, day late}. The post is titled "When I see a woman..." and I urge you to read it. It is long. But it is so full of truth that when I read it I ended with tears... of recognition, yes {I see myself in those women}... but also of joy. Joy at being seen for who I really am. Joy at the chance to let down a facade that is not true to who I am. Joy that there is hope that we can move past judgments and move to a real understanding of the beauty within.

Embrace yourself and let yourself be embraced.

Do you identify with any of the women described?
Have you ever found yourself making judgments based on outward appearances?
Was there ever a time when you were completel
y wrong about someone?
Do tell!

_____________________

Don't forget...
Inspired by... The Solar System is going on now!
I have decided to extend the time to play... You now have until Sunday, February 28th to enter. I am hoping that more of you will want to play if you have a bit more time.
And here is the prize that I will be sending to one lucky random winner.
"Nebulae" inspired by the Orion Nebulae featuring a beautiful lampworked bead by Cathie Roberts with a veritable star field of swarovski crystals dangling below. Go on and get inspired!

_____________________
Check It Out::Living, Loving, Laughing

Enjoy the day!

04 February 2010

30 Words::One Ball of Yarn

{Rebecca Sower with some of the women of Despina that you can help}

Turn your unused craft supplies

(I know you have them)
into
empowerment
support
strength

encouragement
sustainability
independence
start a (local) donation drive today
the women of Haiti need you
More than 30 words today, to share a way to make a difference.
Rebecca Sower is an artist who was in Haiti just a few days before the earthquake hit. She witnessed firsthand the poverty in that nation. She spent time with the women there. She was moved to action by her experience. She created Haiti by Hand to not only showcase the handmade talents of a group of Haitian women, but also as a way for them to find financial independence and sustainability through their crafts. To make a difference…woman to woman.


And then, the earthquake hit.

Now these women that Rebecca aimed to help need even more.
But they are much like you and I. They want a better life for their children. They want to feel productive in their community. They want to feel safe and loved. And they want to rebuild their lives and move forward.

For another way to help, Rebecca is starting a drive to gather needed supplies for the women of Haiti so that they may support themselves and their families through the simple act of creating handmade goods for sale. Rebecca will also provide them with a means to sell their work through the Etsy site. But they need our help. Read the list below of art/craft supply needs that you can send directly to Rebecca. Or consider starting a donation drive in your area.

The need will be ongoing. What you donate today might be the difference for a woman living in poverty who is not very much different from you or me.
You can read more about the inspiration at the Haiti By Hand blog, and buy (or donate) handmade items at Haity By Hand Etsy Site.

Think of this as a hand up, not a hand out.

Amazing what one ball of yarn can do.

Read the list of requested donation items.

Raid your stash.

Give what you can.

Encourage your friends to do the same.


Enjoy the day!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin