Monday, December 31, 2007

Gingerbread House

The girls and I successfully completed our first ever gingerbread house!!! It looks nothing like the suggested house on the box, but we are unique designers, are we not?!

And yes, it is a wee bit after Christmas isn’t it, but that’s what happens when two of the designers are away for a week! I guess we will be eating a lot of gingerbread house in the new year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


That’s what the quality is on the individual gems I ordered from The Earth Bazaar. They are simply gorgeous! And the single Green Gold one that I received (bottom picture in my previous post) is so thick! These are not “flimsy” stones (if a rock could be considered flimsy!), and as far as I can tell—without actually working with them—the drilling is first class as well.

The same goes for the two strands I got from A Cut Above on eBay. Superb gems (as well as super fast shipping!!!)! Now I’m seriously itching to sit down and make something very “gemmy!”

I’m like a drug user needing his fix!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

No more beads!

Just a mangle. A mangle? Yes, a mangle. It’s a bangle for men, but I didn’t let that stop me. It’s very comfortable. In fact, it’s so comfortable, I don’t even take it off at night! I NEVER used to sleep with jewelry, not even wedding bands, but this one ... it stays on! And I only bought one, despite the fact that several look quite nice together ... hm! You can find them at (for some reason, it won’t let me make a link today! Bwahahaha!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I have a serious problem!!!

Does anyone have the number to the local chapter of Beaders Anonymous? Oh, yeah! I guess if you do, you wouldn’t be very anonymous anymore ... as if what I’m doing is any great secret! Ha! It’s been pretty obvious since I started this blog where my sickness lies. Hm! OK. So, these gems ended up in my shopping cart at The Earth Bazaar. I have not bought individual gems from them before, so I’m curious to see if they look as good in person as they do on the photos, AND how do they compare to the full strands I’ve bought from them in the past? So, this is really research and NOT an obsession. Yes, that’s right.

Are you convinced yet?

Didn’t think so! Oh, well! All I can say is, I have plenty of materials to work with now. No excuses for not making stuff every chance I get.

Oh, and I didn't buy ALL these beads. Just one each of three of them and two of the faceted coin ones in the third picture. I already have an idea ... !

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I’ve been scanning the gems at eBay for the last week or two, and finally stopped scanning and purchased something today. I sure hope they look at least as good as they do on the screen. What do you think?

And in that vein, I will try to actually make something this weekend, while the girls enjoy a visit with their dad. I have a few ideas, but whether any of them come into fruition, or I end up creating something completely different, remains to be seen!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Ruby Clusters

I finally had a chance to sit down and create something I had been noodling for quite a while. I wish I could sit for about a week and just make all the things that are still in my head ... Thumbnails? Nah, never been much for those, not even in my design work. I like creating on the go! I like seeing it take shape on the screen, when I do layouts, and in my hands, when I work with beads and gemstones.

So, I’m pretty pleased with how these pieces turned out, considering I don’t usually make sets. And I’m not selling it on Etsy as a set, either. But, they do go together nicely, don’t you think?! Lots of rubies and large faceted amethysts in a truly unique shape.

And here are the earrings I made during my last session (see previous post), but didn’t get a chance to photograph until now. You can really see the blue flash in the labradorites this time. I learned a trick to photographing labradorite, but I need a light box for that and ... well, I’m not really in a place where I can set up a light box at this time. Maybe one day ...

The other stone in these earrings is chrysocolla, which I had not seen in this magnificent a blue prior to buying these.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A little bit of pretty

I’ve managed to tap into a little bit of creativity during the holidays. Nothing major, but at least a few new pieces. Earrings with amethyst, pink rutile and sapphire, and a pair with gorgeous aquamarine drops. Also, a double-strand bracelet with pearls and pink chalcedony, and one with really smooth nuggets of labradorite.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Where’s the inspiration?

So, if I can’t show you anything I’ve made lately, at least I can show you what my kitchen table has looked like that last couple of days!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

After the Bead Show

So, nobody had any Thai silver for sale. That was the only reason I went to the bead show! However, I didn’t want to make the whole trip a total waste, so I bought a few beads … from left to right: green onyx in matrix, aquamarine, aquamarine, kyanite, aquamarine and ruby. Guess I had a thing for aquamarines today, huh?! As you can see, they are all different, though. From translucent to opaque.

And look at these two handmade glass beads, aren’t they just fabulous? I’ve never seen anything like them before! And if you enlarge the pictures, you can really see all the wrinkles in my hand. Ha, ha!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Big fat liar!!!

That’s what I am! I’m not sure how long “a while” is (see previous post filled with lofty assurances), but traditionally, when it comes to bead shopping, one should hope that it is more than two weeks. Not so, dear friend! Not in my case, apparently. I REALLY just went to my local bead store to use up the store credit I had there. You know, $17 just sitting there, when I could have $17 worth of beads at home instead. Well, I had no idea they were having a trunk show!!! I believe I am in serous need of help!

Pictured from top to bottom of my pile of obsession are: green garnet (or grossular garnet, for those of us who have a serious addiction to gems!) impression jasper, aquamarine (these are luscious ... mm!), gorgeous polished chunks of labradorite, lava, white turquoise, pink tourmaline chunks, and lapidalite jasper.

I’m making no more promises of frugality. Nope! I’m sure I’ll be buying more beads in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A little bit of creativity

I had envisioned lots of beading for this weekend, but my beading session started out with me just staring at all my new beads and finding myself completely out of ideas!! Figures! When I finally took the pressure off myself to just sit down and make even just one pair of earrings, the creative juices sort of came back—and then I ran out of time. Ha, ha! Well, despite my lack of time, I did manage to finish these two bracelets; one with kyanite—my favorite—and oxidized silver, the other with gorgeous chunks of citrine—appropriate for November and my personal birthstone.

And please, no comments on the amount of wrinkles on my hands and arms, OK? OK! Thank you!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This is it!

I really, truly am not buying any more after this. At least not for a while. I need to sit down and make something—anything—before I add any more beads to my inventory, which, by the way, is taking up more and more of the space I don’t have!

Pictured are strands of labradorite (I know, I already got some, but this is a different cut), gorgeous tourmaline, beautiful white moonstone, and tiny iolite.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Earth’s Bounty

Or at least bounty from The Earth Bazaar. So, they had a(nother) fabulous sale and I decided to make a major investment. It’s part of my feeling like I’m heading in a new direction with my jewelry. I still like doing what I’ve been doing, but I am also incredibly inspired by Magdalena Borejko and Iza Malczyk, not to mention Eni Oken, of course. I obviously don’t want to infringe on their styles, respectively, but there might be some way to do my own take on the wire wrapping. Granted, they have time. I believe all three of these lovely ladies do this full-time. And at least two of them have told me it’s highly addictive. I don’t have time for anything highly addictive! But I would still like to expand on what I’ve been doing so far. And I’m really tempted to integrate silversmithing, but haven’t quite figured out how yet. Kathy, of the soon-to-be-closed bead store KMarie Beads, is opening up a metalsmithing studio, with space and equipment for rent. The only thing is, if I have to start factoring all that into the price of my pieces, it adds yet another element to keep track of. I figured, I’ll start with buying LOTS of faceted stones and see where that takes me … so, whaddayathink?!

There’s amethyst, beer quartz, phrenite, peridot, hessonite, citrine, garnet, spessartine garnet, petro tourmaline, and mandarine garnet, and not necessarily in that order. While I was at it, I decided to attend a private sale with Sir Arun, and this is what I picked up from him. From the back: chrysocolla (this is a gorgeous strand), labradorite (best quality I’ve ever seen!), pink rutile (scrumptious), sapphire (pinks and greens ... mmm!) and, last but not least, black onyx. Can you tell I REALLY like the stuff I got from Arun? He truly has that little (!?) extra, in addition to the fact I get to hold and pick my own strands. I’m in bead heaven!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Coming and going

So, I downloaded, or is it uploaded? I really don’t know which direction the files are going ... could be side loaded, since the card reader attaches to the side of my laptop. Anyway! Whichever way they ended up in iPhoto, I came across this picture I took of a fun necklace I made a couple of weeks ago, and I realized I’d sort of prepared it for Etsy, but it never made it there. I took it to work, and one of my best customers snapped it up even without trying it on. She’s so funny, “I know it’ll fit.” Yes, but don’t you want to see if you like it ... ? She sees, she buys! Not that I mind, mind you, but I’m picky and sometimes I don’t even like what I’ve made if it doesn’t hang right. Right?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Times of change

I have been in denial for quite a while now, but I finally owned up to it: I DO want to learn more complicated wire wrapping!! I just bought a tutorial from Eni Oken for the lovely earrings you see here. I already bought a tutorial from Magdalena for a wonderful almond-shaped pendant, which I figured I would use some time in light years to come since it’s quite intricate ... well, I’m obviously getting the itch NOW! Not sure how soon I will actually get the chance to sit down and make these earrings (which I fell in love with as soon as Eni posted them after Mother’s Day), but at least I have the tutorial on hand for when I have all the right materials and lots of time on my hands. Thank God she labeled the project “easy”!

And while you’re here, check out the link I posted on the right for Polish jewelry artist Iza. I found her site through Magda and I am in awe! I’ll just be pleased if I can master making these earrings ... !

Friday, October 5, 2007

Beautiful treats

Look at these cute little tags I just ordered on Etsy. It’s amazing how creative people are, and what people are actually buying and selling there, including myself. I could stand to sell a few more things on Etsy, but at the same time I feel like I might be taking a different direction in my jewelry design in the near future, so might as well wait a little bit and post new items when I have some new FUN things to show. I’m hoping to make a few things this weekend, while the girls are away.

Oh, yeah! I also bought the gorgeous earrings below. Ahem! Guess I was tired of drooling ...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fabulous earrings!

I’ve been drooling again lately (this could become a serious problem!). This time over these fabulous earrings by a fellow Etsyan. She has a certain Eni Oken flavor, which I am obviously drawn to, but has definitely found her own style, and it is oh, so lovely! I’ve added her Etsy site to my links on the right (Magdalena’s Atelier), so be sure to check it out for inspiration. In the meantime, I’m tempted to empty my bank account for these ... donations are welcome!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Computer genius

I have discovered something: The end of my frustrations! Now, I love Safari. It’s a good browser and it has served me well. Until today. I’ve spent the last 20 minutes trying to add that neat little row of images on the right from my Etsy site to my blog, and it just kept going and going and nothing appeared. It kept giving me error messages, but wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. OK, I may not always be able to fix everything that goes wrong, but if you don’t even tell me what it is, how could I possibly?! So, finally a little tiny (very small) lightbulb goes off. What if I try Firefox? Voilà! There’s my little cluster of images … repeated three times! Turns out it posted every time I hit post, but never showed in Safari. So, will I do my postings using Firefox from now on? Probably not, because I am, after all, a creature of habit. I will however, use Firefox when I want to add a post with a link. I may even go back to some of my older posts to add the links that Safari wouldn’t let me. Interesting how different two applications can be even when the site is the same. In fact, the entire toolbar looks different in the two browsers. Takes a genius like me to figure it out. In about three months!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This is for you, Pat!

I’ve been working on this necklace for my friend Pat today and I just had to share the results. Isn’t it lovely! She wants a bracelet and matching earrings as well, but this is all I have time to do today, after making a pearl necklace, bracelet and anklet set for my friend JoAnne. I’ve been very busy today!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Budding photographer

My youngest daughter has a fascination with taking pictures of herself. I think she simply aims the digital camera at her sweet little face and click, click, clicks until she gets bored or distracted. Or, I tell her, "Enough!" Well, imagine my surprise when I downloaded the latest batch and found this whole series of innovative and hilarious shots of her. She was making faces I’ve never seen her make in person. She’s a ham! There isn’t enough space to share all of them here (there must have been at least 20!), but I picked three of the ones that make me chuckle every time I look at them. Enjoy!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Back to normal … ?!

I just realized it has been forever since I last posted anything here, so I thought a short update would be appropriate. I’m happy to share that I sold two more pieces from my Etsy site. Had to ship them all the way to England, which was exciting. Of course, it’s exciting to ship them just about anywhere, so don’t let the destination stop you! I have bought a lot more beads during The Colorstones 4th Anniversary Sale (did I really need more beads?), and now I am anxious to get started on new projects. Lots of new projects! I think I’ll start with doing an inventory, but my goal is to get at least one piece done this weekend. My storage boxes are simply overflowing and need some relief! I guess we’ll see if I have something to show here after the weekend.

Friday, August 10, 2007

And more beads!

I just remembered I splurged on some beads at one of my local shops (The Colorstones), too! Here’s a picture of gorgeous chrysocolla, African turquoise, tiny pearls and tourmaline. My fingers are itching to make something, but instead I’m nursing a cold. Well, I’m going to nurse it right outta here this weekend so I can start making my stuff!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Beads, beads, beads

Look at these, aren’t they gorgeous? This was my first time ordering from Lima Beads, so I was a little nervous about the quality of their beads*. No need to worry, everything looks really good and the shipping was super fast. Now, all I need is time! Sound familiar? Well, I’m in the middle of my fall freelance project, so I really don’t have that much spare time to be playing with my beads. But, maybe there will be an evening here or there when the project will be temporarily out of my hands in the clients’, well, then you know what I will be doing!

And speaking of this project, I decided it was time to invest in a new computer, since I will have had mine for six years in another month (in computer language that means it’s older than dirt!). I bought myself my first laptop! Not sure how I’m going to adjust to working on it, but it sure beats spending the money on a new desktop system. I think my biggest adjustment will be getting used to the smaller monitor. I mistakenly thought my monitor was a 15-inch, but it’s actually a 17-inch. So, working on a 27-inch monitor all day at work and then going home to a 15-inch laptop is ... well, a little challenging. But, I’m sure the speed of the laptop will make up for the lack of image I can see at one time. Change is good!

*Oh, and in case you’re curious, the beads pictured above include: Canadian jade, dumortierite, rainbow soocho jade (also called antique jade), rainbow aquamarine, amazonite black tourmaline, monaco agate, green prase, and two yellow jade pendants.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Etsy find

Look at this cute little clay heart pendant I found on Etsy this morning!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Going, Going, Gone

So, I sold another one of my favorites on my Etsy site. It’s exciting! Funny thing is, I miss some of the pieces I sell ... and some I forget I ever made. Not because I don’t like them, but because for the longest time I didn’t keep track of what I made. Etsy sort of forces me to take pictures of everything from every angle, so there’s always a reminder of what I’ve made. That’s probably not a bad thing, seeing that I’m starting to be forgetful in my old age ... ha-ha! I can only imagine what another ten years will do to my poor mind ...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Back to reality

This is where I’d like to be right now. Sitting on a cliff on my dad’s island watching the sun set after a day of doing basically nothing. Instead I’m back. Back home. My other home. And back at work. I’m blessed to have a job I love doing, I just wish I had had a little more time in Sweden and Finland. Oh, well! There is always next year or the year after that.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Going Home

So we’re almost off to Sweden, my youngest daughter and I. My oldest daughter is anxiously awaiting our arrival on Sunday, and I look forward to giving her a big hug. She’s been there with her Mormor (grandmother in Swedish) for three weeks. She’s been homesick in the evenings, but she’s been too busy to be homesick during the day. Her Swedish has improved, which was the reason I wanted to send her over there in the first place, and she has made friends with children who speak nothing but Swedish. It’s amazing how easy it is for children to just connect without even having a language in common. Somehow, a child’s play crosses the barrier and, when paired with another, they make up their own rules along the way. Many adults should take notes.

It will be great to see everyone again. My brother and his fiancée. My nephew and his [latest] girlfriend, whom I have never met. My niece and her little girl, whom I have also not yet met. My friends. My godson. I have one friend coming up from the south of Sweden so we can get together with some of our old classmates. THAT is going to be fun. Some of them I haven’t seen for almost 25 years! Is that possible? HOW is that possible? Some days I still feel like that very self-assured person I was at 18, but most days I am convinced I haven’t a clue. But, somewhere along the way I picked up a little bit of wisdom and a few life experiences that have made me the person I am today. Not self-assured, but God-assured, because without Him I’m sure I would have perished.

Keep me in your prayers, as I travel 4,655 miles with a very active, almost-4-year-old.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Bug is Back

So, honestly, I was getting a little concerned that I would never again want to sit down and make anything. But, yesterday I felt the need to go to the bead store. I guess it’s a need like someone else might need to feed themselves, or … well, basically, it’s an obsession. And an expensive one at that. So, I went to the bead store to look for anything with which I could make something quickly. I just wanted to be able to go home and throw some beads on a wire and call it … whatever it turned into! Well, this is the result of that. A bracelet that wraps around twice with a lovely toggle clasp that can’t be seen in this picture. It’s incredibly comfortable to wear, but I realize I will have to make it longer if it’s going to fit anyone besides myself. Thankfully, that’s not a big deal, though. I’m just very grateful that the beading bug is back and that I don’t have to figure out what to do with all my supplies!

Since I was on a roll, I also made matching earrings and a triple-strand necklace of yellow turquoise heishi beads, but that’s another picture for another day (or for my Etsy site).

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Flowery thoughts

Look at this gorgeous Thai silver toggle clasp I just bought at my favorite local bead store, KMarie Beads. Isn’t it fantastic! I have a really neat idea for it, just not the time to execute it right now. In a week, my youngest daughter and I fly to Sweden for 12 days. I haven’t been home in three and a half years ... it’ll be truly great to see everyone again. Busy, but great! And when we come back home again (yes, it’s “home” either way I go!), I will have a week while the girls are at their dad’s, so maybe then I can get some new jewelry pieces made and listed on Etsy.

Friday, July 6, 2007

I am Blessed!

I really am blessed. And for more reasons than the following: I just sold three more pieces of jewelry on Etsy! I am so excited! I also need to make a pair of amethyst earrings to match one of the necklaces (pretty obvious which one, huh?!). I’m sure I can swing that this weekend. Maybe I’ll even have time to finish a necklace I finally found the right toggle clasp for, and perhaps even make another necklace from start to finish ... but that sounds like a stretch right now. I do, after all, have to play Mommy all weekend also. Ha-ha!

If you click on the images, you can actually see them upclose. Don’t you just love the textures in the background? I owe a huge thanks to my friend Jack, who was so kind to lend me all the pretty papers for backdrops for all my Etsy photographs. His wide range of creativity can be found at

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Too much time

Some days there’s just not much to do but to play in Photoshop ...

Monday, July 2, 2007

Dentist and Sunglasses

I am all lopsided from going to the dentist. Well, he didn’t make my whole person lopsided, but I checked out my smile in the rearview mirror on my way to the office, and the right side won’t quite keep up with the left side. Of course, I noticed this after smiling at a motorcycle cop. Good thing I wasn’t trying to eat something at the same time, I’m sure that would’ve been a lovely sight!

I have also come to the realization that no matter how hard I look, I cannot find my $260 Maui Jim sunglasses. Last time I remember having them was at church last Wednesday, so I was hoping I would find them yesterday (Sunday), but ... alas. Now the question is, do I spend another wad of money to cover my sensitive eyes in style, or do I get a cheap pair that will give me headaches? The answer would’ve been much easier to come to, had I not just now spent $272 at the dentist’s. Sure, I’ll get the some of the money back through insurance, but what do I do in the meantime? Squint? Take Advil for my headaches? Stay in bed? Or just plain shut my eyes?

Thank God it’s overcast today! Makes me want to go with option three.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sold on Etsy!

I’m so excited! I had my first official sale on Etsy yesterday and it happened to be one of my favorite necklaces. As a rule, I try to wear every necklace I make to make sure it lays right and feels good around my neck. I don’t want to sell pieces I wouldn’t wear myself. So, this necklace is one of those that has a lot of presence, yet isn’t heavy around the neck. I sure hope the girl who bought it will enjoy it as much as I loved making it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Finally Mine!

I pondered and ogled for a long time ... and ogled and pondered some more ... and finally made the decision a couple of weeks ago to go ahead and order my very own Eni Oken bracelet. Eni is such a wonderful and talented artist, and she was really open to working with me and my particular taste. I wanted it just so, at the same time as I needed to leave her room to use her own creativity. We worked out all the details (mainly the color scheme) and here is the result. Isn’t it just a gorgeous piece of jewelry?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Midweek Mumblings

So, I had to return to the mall to see if I could find a less expensive bathing suit than the one I bought a couple of weeks ago. I just can’t justify spending $117 on a two-piece suit (yeah, that’s right, and I can’t believe I just put it in writing). I have a perfectly fine one-piece that I wear to the pool when I take the girls. I don’t have to worry about any mishaps. But, I thought I’d like a two-piece to take with me on my trip to Sweden and, hopefully, Finland where my dad has an island. Now, this island is in the middle of the sea in the south of Finland. Lots of water. Lots of privacy. Lots of nothing. Who cares if I’m wearing a designer bathing suit to this place?! Hence, the dilemma over the exorbitant amount for this piece of clothing that I can’t even wear to the office. Since my trip to search for something less costly yielded nothing, as did the two previous trips, I decided I would compromise: I would return the bottom and keep the top. Makes a lot of sense, right? Well, I’m thinking I could pair it with shorts instead. I mean, am I really going to want to walk around in a revealing bikini bottom anyway? I’m not saying I’m body conscious. I’m just cellulite and jiggle conscious. Some would say “whatever,” and they would be absolutely correct. Who cares? I guess I still have hopes of looking like I never gave birth and never ate anything but cherries for lunch. But, the fact is, I DID give birth—twice—and I DO eat more than cherries for lunch. So, why do I care? I really don’t know. Media pressure. Perfectionism. Poor self-esteem. I don't know. So, I’m going to [try to] not care anymore. Especially on an island in the middle of nowhere.

And then I’m going to buy myself a pair of blue jean shorts.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fish and Bracelets

I had a request to show some of my jewelry here, so I picked one of my favorite pieces at the moment. It’s a fun adjustable bracelet with kyanite, moukaite, amethyst and a Thai silver heart. You can check it out at

Other than that, I spent a stressful day at the Georgia Aquarium yesterday ... I wonder: Am I the only one who was [more than] a little disappointed after all the hoopla? I’m going to take the girls back to Tennessee Aquarium at the end of the summer. It fits our style better. And their temperament. Hm.