Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Challenge of Color Blog Hop Reveal

Today is the reveal day for the Challenge of Color Blog Hop hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz. There are 54 participants who were assigned a color palette chosen by Erin. These beautiful color palettes were created by Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds (Thank you Jessica!). If you are ever in need of inspiration visit her blog for more colorful ideas.

The palette Erin chose for me was ‘Island Play’ Just look at the lovely colors! Don’t they make you wish you were on a beach or island far, far away?

The bracelet I created began with this gorgeous etched, patina clasp made by Melinda Orr . Check out her etsy shop to see more of her lovely handmade creations.

The blue lampwork bead is from an ebay seller (which I can’t seem to recall). I’ve been hoarding these lovely beads for a long time. Also included is a small, sand colored lampwork bead, some pretty faceted aqua beads from Nina Bagley from her recent studio cleanout (check out her lovely blog and amazing jewelry!) a Wasabi Silk Czech Nautilus Shell, and Vintaj Brass components.

Please go to Erin’s blog to see her own creations, and to enter her giveaway. And take some time to visit the other participants to see what they created. A big thanks to Erin for organizing this challenge. I enjoyed it very much!

Norma Turvey
Jeannie Dukic
Mary McGraw
Jo Tinley
Rebecca Anderson
Kristi Jaro
Stephani Gorman
Melissa Meman
Kathleen Lange Klik
Cynthia Riggs
Heidi Post
Cece Cormier
Amy Freeland
Alice Peterson that's me!
Rose Noble
Kristina Johansson
Kirsi Luostarinen
Tari Kahrs
Mallory Hoffman
Molly Alexander
Regina Santerre
Emanda Johnson
Amy Severino
Bobbie Rafferty
Tanya Goodwin
Lisa Lodge
Hope Smitherman
Linda Landig
Ambra Gostoli
Lori Bowring-Michaud
Pippa Chandler
Keirsten Giles
Jennifer Justman
Sandy Richardson
CJ Bauschka
Shaiha Williams
Kay Thomerson
Sally Russick
Cilla Watkins
Shirley Moore
Jenni Connolly
Tamara Soper
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson
Jen Velasquez
Maria Grimes
Elisabeth Auld
Susan Kennedy
Shannon Chomanczuk
Holly Westfall
Patty Gasparino
Angela Little
Lizzie Zawinski
Kristen Stevens
Dawn Doucette

Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Sunday of Advent

Advent is such a wonderful season; a time for looking forward, and a time for reflecting. A time to give, and a time to forgive. A time for anticipation, and a time to be watchful. A time to open our hearts, and a time to let our hearts be opened. A time to prepare, and a time to wait.

I found the Advent poem below, but the author was not indicated.

As the Advent time draws near
We wait with expectation
As Mary and her husband dear
Await the Incarnation.

Advent is a time to look
To watch with eyes of Faith
To make our hearts an open book
Our souls an empty slate.

For Christ will surely come to all
To write upon our inward scroll
The words of Faith He shall recall
And childhood’s love extol

The Baby Jesus shall rekindle
The child of Faith deep down within
For as we light the Advent candle
We shall give birth to Him.

All the Advent wreaths were found on pinterest.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day One of the Virtual Craft Show

Yay, it's here! Day One of Lori Anderson's First Annual Virtual Craft Show! Click on the photo above and you'll be taken to Lori's site for instructions on how to enter the giveaways, and links to each of today's artists.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks and Paying It Forward

I love celebrating Thanksgiving; time spent with family, good food, and giving thanks for all the blessings we receive. But this year I’m dreading it a bit. You see, my mom lost her battle with cancer this June, and just five weeks later my nephew was killed in a motorcycle accident. Even though they are with us in spirit, this celebrations will not be the same without them.

Mom had a zest for life. She loved any excuse to celebrate, and she especially loved the holidays. She would decorate to the hilt, feed us until we were about to burst, and always had gifts for the grandkids. Oh how she loved her grandkids! Mom was especially thoughtful for those who were less fortunate, always giving, whether it was cash, or gifts, a listening ear, or a cheerful conversation.

Today my nephew would have been 24. John enjoyed life, and I never, ever saw him without a huge smile on his face. John also cared for those who were less fortunate by helping at camps for the disabled, or helping a friend through a difficult time. To celebrate John’s birthday, the family asked that we all ‘pay it forward’ and do something nice for someone else. It didn’t have to be anything big, or cost a lot of money, just something thoughtful and with John in mind.

I thought about all the things one could do for others, things that really didn’t require much effort, but would put a smile on someone’s face. Things like visiting someone in the nursing home, taking food to a neighbor that has no family, raking leaves for an elderly couple or a single mother, or just saying hello to someone you meet on the street. It doesn’t take much to make a difference to someone, even if for just a day.

Even though this holiday will be a bit sad for us, I still have much to be thankful for. If I made a list of these blessings, it would never end.

My wish is for you and your family to have a Blessed Thanksgiving

from pinterest

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Catching Up

Wow I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post. I’ve been so busy that I nearly meet myself coming and going. So here’s what I’ve been up to: organizing the annual Christmas Home Tour for our city, helping organize the Christmas Program at our church, attending a few school functions, writing long-overdue thank you notes, trying to figure out ways to promote my business, attempting to clean of my end of the kitchen island where I tend to stack papers (the other half belongs to my husband—the island has really become a dumping ground for important papers), and the usual laundry, bills, dishes, bookkeeping,

and this…….

Erin Prais-Hintz is hosting a Challenge of Color Blog Hop using color palettes from Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds. The palette Erin chose for me is Island Play (after my request to stay with blues). It’s a lovely palette, but so far I’ve only had time to pull out some beads I thought matched the palette. Hopefully I can come up with a design before the contest ends. There are 52 participants. Be sure to check back on the 30th to see what everyone has created.

and this……

Getting ready for my youngest daughter’s birthday. Sarah turns 15 today, and my how the time has flown! This photo (actually a photo of a photo) was taken when she was almost two years old. She’s grown to be a beautiful, intelligent, kind, thoughtful, artistic, athletic young woman. I know she will do amazing things.

and this…..

I’m also participating in Sally Russick’s Ornament Swap/Blog Hop. I can’t show you what I’m working on as it is supposed to be a surprise for my partner, Erin Prais-Hintz. But I can tell you it will be sparkly. Stay tuned for the blog hop on December 17th. This is the first time I’ve participated in a handmade ornament swap, and I’m excited to see what everyone makes!

And last, but not least, I’ve been the lucky winner of a few blog giveaways, and would like to share them here with you---something I should have done weeks ago (my apologies to the artists).

From the talented lampwork glass artist Jane Perla, is a lovely ruffled flower and two green leaves. Check out Jane’s etsy site to see her wonderful offerings. I guarantee you will be drooling.

And from artist Shannon Levart who does wonderful things with metal and patina, this beautiful pile of shiny copper goodness.

photo from misficlkemedia's blog

And from Patty Gasparino, this very lovely bracelet customized just for me. Check out her sweet etsy shop where you’ll find more of her delightful creations.

And if you've stayed with me during this long post, I commend you. I hope to find a rhythm in posting here on the blog, but I'm not making any promises.

Tomorrow, count your blessings, and smile at someone--it just might turn their day around.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Good News

As I was driving the other day I heard part of a song on the radio. The tune was not particularly memorable, but the words were so powerful that I wanted to hear more. When I got home I did a search on the words, and up popped the lyrics to the song. I’d like to share them with you.

The song ‘You Love Me Anyway’ is by the Sidewalk Prophets. I’m sharing the refrain and a verse I heard that day, as I feel they have the most impact.

I am the thorn in your crown
But you love me anyway
I am the sweat from your brow
But you love me anyway
I am the nail in your wrist
But you love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But you love me anyway

But you love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life
That I’ve ever known
Yes you love me anyway
Oh Lord, how you love me

Because we are human, we will always make mistakes. Every new day we are given a chance get it right. But every day we fail in some way. And every day the slate is wiped clean, we are forgiven, and we are loved. And that is Good News.

All photos from Pinterest

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Reveal

I just love participating in Andrew Thornton’s monthly challenges. His kits are filled with the most delightful surprises. The October kit was blue, my favorite color and right up my alley—well except for the skull bead he included. I’ve never used one of these in my jewelry before, but it seemed fitting considering it was almost Halloween.

Andrew's October Kit

For some reason I went dainty with my creations this time. I never know what my customers are going to want, but it seems that they gravitate to the simple pieces. Maybe it’s because they can be worn any time for any occasion, whereas the fuller and more artistic pieces are somewhat limited as to where they can be worn.

The first necklace includes one of Sue Beads lovely glass headpins. It reminded me of a tiny snowflake, and so the title of the necklace was born. Also included from the kit are various pearls and crystals which were used to make the chain link on one side. A sweet little lampwork bead from LGL Artists sits on top of the ‘snowflake’ headpin. Vintaj components are also included.

'And Soon Comes Winter'

I received a large order of Vintaj products just before I was making this bracelet, and the sweet ‘Soaring Sparrow’ was begging to be included. A couple crystals from the kit flank the sparrow, and the blue beads are from the luxury bead blend also from the kit. Again more Vintaj components—I just love their stuff!

'Midnight Flight'

The inspiration for the second necklace came from Keith O’Connor’s ceramic blue swirl bead which was included in the kit. I used it as part of the focal along with sterling hammered links on either side, and a gunmetal chain.

'Twilight Zone'

I have never made miss-matched earrings before, but the skull bead seemed suited for this. The second earring sports a carved bead, and both include pearls, crystals-all from the kit, and gunmetal chain. I love the idea of miss-matched earrings and will be doing more of these in the future.

'Dead of Night'

I was determined to use everything in the kit but I just ran out of time and wasn’t able to use the pretty terra-cotta bead from Rare Earth Beads, and the silver ball chain.

I had a lot of fun with this kit! Be sure to check Andrew’s blog on November 4th for links to the other participants, or click on the links below:

Shay Williams http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/
Michelle Hardy http://fireflyvisions.blogspot.com/
Rosemarie Cowit http://www.gemrosedesigns.blogspot.com/
Cilla Watkins http://www.tellyourgirlfriends.com/
Christina Porter http://www.QueenBeeDesignsNY.com/
Collette Collins http://fireflymyst.blogspot.com/
Mary Govaars http://www.mlhjewelrydesigns.com/
Cindy Cima Edwards http://www.cindycima.com/
Jessica Nelson http://stilettospirituality.blogspot.com/
Tara Linda http://taralinda.wordpress.com/
Alice Peterson http://alice-dreaming.blogspot.com/ --you're here!
Lisa Lodge http://pineridgetreasures.blogspot.com/
Cece Cormier http://www.thebeadingyogini.com/
Karin Slaton http://backstorybeads.blogspot.com/
Sandi Volpe http://www.sandivolpe.com/
Kate Richbourg http://katerichbourg.blogspot.com/
Sue Kennedy http://suebeads.blogspot.com/
Michelle Mach http://www.michellemach.com/blog/
Andrew Thornton http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vintaj and Beadaholique Copper Giveaway

I want to win the @vintajco & @beadaholique Crystal Copper Giveaway! #ilovevintaj

Visit here for the details!