I have had to close comments on all previous posts and will not be accepting trackbacks anymore. My blog has been flooded with spam! I have had to delete 20-30 spam posts daily for the past few weeks. Although I haven't posted to this blog in a very long time, I still view and respond to comments that come in. I have hopes of restarting frequent posts in the future, so I have to get this spam dilemma settled. Thank you for your understanding and patience :)
Die cut these flowers out of various papers - organic, vintage dictionary,and regular stock. Crumpled them and inked them using my new Jim Holtz Distress inks in Antique Linen and Tea Dye. I love the inks! I don't know why it took me years to purchase these! I'm planning to either use a mini brass fastener or tiny button the hold them together. Also planning to use them to embellish tags.
Argh! I can't upload the pic! Gonna try to take another photo with another camera later. Maybe it's because I used my camera on my iphone. I was hoping that I could use my iphone to post on this blog. I am able to type text, but not upload a photo :( I am now on my desktop computer trying to upload the photo that I saved to it from my phone and it's not working :( Gotta figure this out. . .
So, I finally joined the KE exchange at work. I'm not even sure exactly what it is. I think KE stands for Kookie exchange? Anyway, it's a group of participants who exchange little gifties so many times a year. I guess it must have started out as a cookie or baked goods type of exchange, but now you can exchange anything. The cost should be around $1 which is really difficult to stay with nowadays! The group has 37 players now so we have to make 36 little gifties.
Ray and a few others had been trying to get me to join from last year. Then from last month Ray and Cathy (mostly Cathy this time) really started to "put on the pressure" ;) Since Tasia is off to college and doing well, and the stress of all of that is over, I finally caved in. :) Here are some pics of my first gifties for the exchange! Since it's in November, I made little pumpkin fall charms and clipped them to mini sharpies.
My Fall Pumpkin Charm :) I used an orange rondelle for the pumpkin, a green flower on top and two 11/0 seed beads for the stem. Then I attached the yellow, brown and red crystals for Fall colors. Jumpring the lobster claw to the top of the chain and it's done! :)
Here's how it clips on :)
The four colors of the mini sharpies I got - not really Fall colors, but it was either these or the regular black, red, green and blue. I liked these happy colors! :)
Just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!! I am so thankful for family and friends near and far - even those I only know through cyberspace. You all make my life full and fun. Thank you and God bless. Have a wonderful weekend!
I just found this cool tutorial on how to make paper beads. It's the best one I found so far. I've seen the actual Mzuri beads that this tutorial is teaching and they are the nicest and bestest paper beads ever! A local store here in Hawaii brought them in. The tutorial is on the Instructables site. I threw away bunches and bunches of magazines this past summer while I was purging stuff. If I knew about this I would have at least saved the covers to make the chubby Mzuri beads. I love them.
I took this quote from an article I read in my most favorite magazine/publication - Somerset Life (Oct/Nov/Dec 2009 - Wonderings and Wanderings by Jeanine Caron).
Jeanine writes: "I realize in that moment that the reason I love writing so much is because it encourages me to cultivate curiosity. It makes me say "Yes" more often than "No." It pushes me to pay attention to the small details and revel in the complicated beauty. It makes me want to see my world without labeling it, for the sheer enjoyment of the experience and the subsequent tale to tell."
This quote struck a chord with me because it's how I used to live my life. It sounded so familiar to read these words. If, in the first sentence you replace the word "writing" with "art and communicating with people" it would reflect how I felt back then. It's been a long time since I lived that way. What happened? I feel like I can't allow it somehow. In little bits and pieces maybe. And maybe that's enough for now.
The next part of the quote reads, "Sometimes we just have to take life as it comes, without resistance, without planning, without judgement. Because when we constantly try to control the outcome, we leave very little room for serendipity and growth."
This is also how I lived my life b.c. (before children). I think the responsibility of being a mom and the fear of "doing something wrong that would ruin their lives" put that way of living on hold for a long while. Why? I think I swung way over to the other side of the pendulum. I think also, that my mom's way of living is so totally opposite from this philosophy that I don't have the freedom right now to live that way. She is so much a part of our lives on a daily basis that it makes it very difficult. She is very controlling and opinionated. I think the key word in the second part of the quote is "sometimes." If we are responsible people we definitely should not "sweat the small stuff" and "sometimes take life as it comes, without resistance, without planning, without judgement." And I would add " . . . and always trusting God."
I am thankful that I read this today as a reminder to let go and experience what God and life have to offer. I should take the time to notice the beauty that is all around and the simple joys and details that are a part of everyday life.
I've been wanting to make granny squares for a while now. Actually, I think I've been thinking about it off and on for a couple of years. I finally decided to try it. I actually really like making them! I have this idea that I'm going to make a blanket for Tasia for college. I'm using a soft wool so it should be warm. I don't know if I can make that many granny squares though. It might end up being a scarf! Lol!
OMG! It's been so long since I posted that I just lost a super long post with lots of pictures. Okay, so I'm trying again to post all the pictures of jewelry I've made in the last few months. I made some bracelets, some necklaces, and a few earrings. I also made lanyards and more earrings since I took these pictures, but those will come on a later post. Okay, here we go.
These are three separate pearl bracelets that I made.
This is the chocolate freshwater pearl with two different Swarovski crystlas in between. I can't remember the names of the crystal though - aiy.
This bracelet is made with gold pearls wire wrapped with gold filled wire. I used a single chain link in between each connection to prevent kinks.
This one is made with pale green pearls and wire wrapped with sterling silver wire. I used the single chain link in between again to prevent kinks
This bracelet has mixed stones and pearls wire wrapped with gold filled wire.
These earrings were a fun project. Kathy brought the materials and shared this project. She, Elaine, Kammie, and I made our own versions. Fun time!
These earrings are made with honey quartz drops, czs and brass findings. I wire wrapped the czs onto the brass filigree.
These earrings are made with pale green freshwater pearls and green amethyst drops. They match the pale green freshwater pearl bracelet. I also made a matching necklace.
This is the pale green necklace that completes the set. Yup. I actually did a matching set! I rarely make sets, but I love the pale green pearls and the green amethysts.
This is a close up of the drop on the necklace. I love the cut of the green amethyst drop!
These pale peach pearls and faceted czech rounds make up an extra long lanyard that can be wrapped once, twice or three times around the neck.
This is a single wrap.
This is a double wrap.
This is the triple wrap.
This necklace has a phrenite drop on a wire wrapped faceted opal rectangle and Swarovski crystal chain. I've had the materials to make this necklace for over 2 years. I saw the necklace at Bella Beads. The owner Karen had made it. She sold me the stuff to make it before I worked there for about a year. I've since been working for the state for a year and a half. What a procrastinator huh!
This necklace was a redo. I had made a double strand with the flat oval beads, but the flat beads would get stuck to my skin in the humid Hawaii weather. I had to add in the cubes and rose cut rounds to have it hang right. I decided to just make it a single strand. I like it much better now :)
These earrings are made with brass findings and round and oval picasso beads. It's another set! I have a matching two strand necklace. :)
This is the matching necklace to the earrings :)
This necklace is made with turquoise colored picasso beads, matching pinch beads, faceted czech beads and brass chain. I made earring to match it too! Wow. So many matching sets!
These are the matching earrings.
This necklace has little clusters of white keshi pearls dangling from gold filled chain.
Well, that's all for now until I take pics of the new stuff!
I've been driving to work for the past few months instead of catching the bus and didn't realize how much I miss the sunrise. I can leave later if I drive so by the time I start driving it's already lit outside. On this day I left early so I could get some bloodwork done at Queen's. I parked the car and started walking to work and saw the sunrise. Had to snap these photos. It felt so good to see this on the way to work. What a great way to start off the day!
Elaine and I were at Starbucks a couple of weeks ago and I decided to make a pair of cascade type earrings with some hessonite onion briolettes that I had. I used gold filled chain and gold filled wire and although it was a simple design, I really liked how they came out. I just love hessonite! It's a garnet family semi-precious stone and comes in graduated shades from a light pale translucent yellow to a very dark reddish brown. I hung them from 14k gold-filled earwires.
I was so happy with them I wore them right away :) and got several compliments - thank you! - so I made one for the etsy shop .
Speaking of the etsy shop, I reopened it last week and got three sales already! Yay! Thank you to my new customers! I'm excited! :)
Ray and I made goodies for the P.O.s for girl's day. It was supposed to be simple, and it looks simple, but it wasn't so simple! LOL! Ray did a wonderful job with the printing (even though I asked her to change it a couple times - yikes!) Good job Ray!
So she made a sample out of regular copy paper and it came out great! I brought the colored cardstockand she printed it all out and cut it and gave it to me. We decided to go to Starbucks to put them together and oh-oh . . . the cardstock was a little too thick for the design. Oh well, too bad . . . it's a little crinkled but it's still cute! So we put them all together with a little pack of kaki mochi or mochi crunch or some people call it rice crackers and a little lychee candy. All done - pau - right?
Nope. I was home sick for a few days and decided to take pictures for this post. I opened the bag of goodies and . . . yikes . . . about 3/4 of them were coming apart and opening! The cardstock is way to heavy for this project. The heavy duty two-way tape wasn't even holding. What to do . . . what to do . . . too late to remake them . . . hmm . . . okay, stick them back together and h-h-o-o-l-l-d-d-d-d them together so they stick. Cross you fingers!
With one daughter gone for the long weekend, I found some extra time to create. I fixed several earrings, made a simple one for my younger daughter, fixed a bracelet, and finished my double pearl necklace! Here's a couple pics of the necklace:
I love the color of these golden - brown - champagne pearls! They are fresh water pearls that I got at a trade show. I made one necklace and Elaine said I should make it a double strand. What I actually did was make two necklaces at different lengths and both with adjustable chains in the back so I have more wearable options. I love it. If I were to do it again though, I'd probably put a link of chain between each wire wrapped pearl so it doesn't kink between loops. I still love it though! Gotta get more jewelry boxes by Redenvelope!
I also made a couple new earrings to put in my etsy shop:
This one has a square copper link and a flat square czech glass bead and picasso finished rondelle hanging from it. It hangs from a copper plated leverback earwire.
This set is made with gunmetal links, ball headpins and earwires. I love the color of the flat czech glass beads and the rondelles.
Okay, yes, after all these months, or has it been a year, or more, I am reopening my etsy. I will upload a bunch of earrings by the end of the week. I want to get involved again with this blog and my etsy store. My plan is that if I reopen the store, it serves two purposes, I can sell some of the jewelry that I continue to make (because I can't wear everything!) and it will help me be more committed to this blog - which I REALLY want to try to upkeep this year.
Today was the first free Saturday I've had in a long time. I restrung a necklace that I have been meaning to do for weeks now, took pictures to post here, watched tv, and took a 3 hour nap! Whoo hoo! Here's a picture of the mermaid necklace I restrung:
Elaine made the first mermaid necklace. She gave Deb and I the materials to make one for ourselves one night at Starbucks and we strung em up. I wore it a couple of times, but realized that I'd get to wear it more if I made it a little longer. The length it was at hit a lot of the necklines of the tops I wear. I asked Elaine for more stuff to make it longer and she generously gave me more. That was a couple weeks ago. I finally was able to restring it today and it's perfect now. Yay! Thanks Elaine! Here's a closer look at it:
Elaine also gifted me with some goodies she brought back from her trip to Tucson. She let Kammie and I choose a little girl pendant each. I also got a cool strand of carnelian rondelles, beautiful gold vermeil leaf earrings that I totally love, and yes, those pearls are Tahitian pearls to make earrings with, all wrapped up in the pretty little sari bag! Thank you Elaine! Here's pics:
Happy Valentine's Day! This is a picture of my first heart rock. I'd been seeing pictures of other heart rock finds and collections that people have posted for the past few years now (ever since I started blogging actually) and I've always wanted to find one. Well, this one was actually given to me. A co-worker was placing rocks in her orchid plant a couple of months ago when she found this rock and said, "Look!" I looked over and exclaimed, "Ooo a heart rock!" She smiled and said, "Here, you can have it." "No, you have to keep it. It's a heart rock!" I said to her. She insisted that I have it. I love it! And I'm so excited to post it here on Valentine's Day! Thank you Carrie! Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
Wow. It's been a long time since I've posted. I've thought about it so many times. I've even planned what pictures I'd use or what things I could post about but never got around to doing it. So bad. I'm such a slow transitioner. I started back to work full-time a couple of years ago and fell out of so many things - exercising, crafting (everything but jewelry), Christmas cards (haven't sent any the past two Christmases), keeping in touch with people, keeping the car maintenanced, putting pictures in albums, and on and on, and of course . . . blogging.
Well, I am yet again going to attempt to blog more frequently, with hopes that somehow it will be the catalyst to bringing back other enjoyable and/or important things in my life that have been put aside.
I've wanted to do some other crafting besides jewelry for some time now. Actually, the first project was this Christmas. Ray and I combined our resources and made some adorable jars of candy for all the clerical staff and P.O.s in our unit (P.O.= probation officers). They turned out really well and Ray even personalized each one with their first name initial. Sorry, no pics.
Okay, I know, nothing about this post so far has anything to do with the title of the post - "Little Valentine Cuties" - but I had to do a little catching up. Sooo . . . Ray and I again pulled our resources together and made these little valentine cuties for everyone!
Ray has a wonderful diecut machine called a "Cricut Expressions". It cut all the templates for the boxes. It still took time to score and put together all the boxes, but it would have been a huge task to also cut out all the templates without this machine. Actually, it would have been next to impossible because with the Cricut, we could customize the size of the box! How cool is that? We programed it to 4", but if you plan on making these, use 4 1/4". Ours came out a little tight but we found out a little late - grin. We just gently tapped down the slight arch on the last candy - ha! ha! We made it in three colors - pale pink, dark pink, and red.
We didn't plan this, but the word "Bliss" fits perfectly in the heart shaped window! Ray also had cellophane with little hearts on it so she cut pieces out and taped them to the back of the windows. So cute!
We also didn't plan it, but the heart cutouts worked perfectly for out tags. We tied them on with red and white bakers string. No waste with this project! Yay!
Here they are already to gift! Have a Happy Valentine's Day!!
Here are the pics I promised days ago - finally. These bunch of pics are very poor in quality. I must have been really shaky when I took them. They are pretty much all out of focus, but I hope you can get through them okay. Sorry.
First of all, I have to totally apologize to Andy. She gave me this cute bag as a giftie for starting my new job and I totally missed it in the pics in that post. Not only did she give me this awesomely cute bag, but she gave me 3 bags of clothes to start me off at my new job! It's the first time in 20+ years that I've had to actually "dress" somewhat decently (no scrubs, no shorts, etc.) for my job and I had nothing to wear! She generously donated her very expensive and cool clothes help me out. OMG! She is so generous! I have been wearing them and getting compliments on them all the time! Several of them still had the tags on! I could have never afforded the kind of clothes she gave me and I am totally appreciative of her generosity. Thank you, thank you, thank you Andy!
Here's an inside view of the bag. It has a drawstring closure/lining and pockets! So cool!
Rendy also gave me a Scrapbook Page a Day calendar (sorry, no pic because it's at work), a little sachet that she made and other goodies! She also was so thoughtful and brought me a whole bunch of bus schedules before I started and went through each one, explaining how to read the time schedules and maps so I would know which buses to catch. She is a doll. Thank you Rendy!
Yuck! Okay, I know this next picture is the worst. These are earring I finally made to go with the gold and silver lariat I made a while ago. I'm so glad I got them done! I was meaning to do it for so long. I really like them although it's such an awful picture.
I actually made a few more pairs of earring at the same time, but I couldn't find them to take the pictures. I guess it's just as well since I obviously didn't have my picture taking mojo on this day. Which reminds me of the night I made these earrings. We had dinner at Kathy's house. Steak and King crab legs, baked pototoes with an awesome sourcream topping, super delicious salad, and a sinful chocolate cake! It was such a wonderful evening! Not only did I get earrings made for several necklaces that I had been meaning to do for a while, I also got to see the long British version of Pride and Prejudice! Such a wonderful movie. I was at Sam's club yesterday so I looked for it, but they only had Sense and Sensibility. I really want to get the Pride and Prejudice DVD's. Oops! Okay, sorry for that tangent. Back to pictures.
This green stone necklace was inspired by a necklace I saw at the Soft Flex show I worked at in March. The one I saw had different stones and pearls in greens that were wire wrapped to each other to make a chocker length necklace. I really liked the idea of using all the different green stones and pearls. I used a couple of different chains that I had to link my stone together.
Elaine suggested another way of wearing this necklace. It's a two-in-one! I love it! Thanks Elaine!
This necklace was originally made for me by my husband (who actually started making jewelry before me!) I wanted to wear it to work with an outfit one day and it was too small! I had to lengthen it to wear it - Oiy. Here it is all ready for me to wear with my outfit!
This bracelet is made with vintage glass beads I just fell in love with. I just loved their shape when I found them at the Talisman booth at the Whole Bead Show that was here a few months ago. This picture is so awful, but the vintage glass is faceted and flat, not round. I wanted to keep the bracelet simple so I could enjoy the vintage beads. The bracelet is longer than I usually wear my bracelets and just dangles. I love it!
Well, that's it for now. I just made a couple more earrings tonight. I'll post them a little later. Maybe I'll find the other earrings and post them with my new ones. I'll sign off with pictures of our youngest family members - the furry ones.
I was rode the bus this morning, as I usually do, to get to work. This morning was no different. I caught the bus when it was still dark. The air was warm and there was no wind. I had to hurry down the hill because I knew I was cutting it close and I didn't want to miss the bus. Just as I crossed the street to the bus stop, the number 54 appeared at the intersection. I got on the bus expecting the cool air-conditioned air to greet me as I stepped up. Yuck. It was warm and muggy. The windows were fogged up. I guess the bus driver was cold (or had a cold). Even his windshield kept fogging up. He finally turned the a/c up and it started to get cool as we merged onto the freeway. What this also did was clear the windows just as the sun started to come up and brighten the morning sky. I looked out the windows as it cleared and thought, "What a beautiful time of day - dawn. It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day." Then I stopped myself. I thought, "What if it turns out to be a tragically awful day? Anything could happen. I better not jinx it. I better not notice the beauty of the morning. If it turns out to be a terrible, tragic day, the pendulum swing from beauty to tragedy may be to great. Too much of a risk." I noticed what had just happened in my mind and was very troubled that I would allow a beautiful thought and a beautiful moment get extinguished so quickly by negative and fearful thoughts. Auwe!
I took some pictures yesterday afternoon. Hopefully, I'll be able to post tonight.