Sunday, July 29, 2007

Surprise, surprise!

I woke up this morning and, lo and behold, found an email from pinkicejewels - she has featured me in her blog! I had responded to some questions back in the beginning of July when she had offered to run a feature but I had completely forgotten about it since there were so many other artists for her to pick from.

What an awesome wake-up call :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

My newest

I'm SO excited about my newest pieces of jewelry. Yeah, I know - I do tend to get carried away when I get involved in new projects but I still really do like my latest items.

First up - the first in my Simplicity Series. Beautiful blueberry quartz used as a focal on a simple sterling silver chain. Hence - simple.

I have more focal stones in both quartz and gemstone and I'm looking forward to putting them together for that simple, elegant look that can be worn anytime.

Next is a specialty item that is perfect for that "special" gift. A sterling silver double heart holds a Swarovski crystal birthstone (customized with the birthstone or crystal of your choice). A delicate sterling silver chain is used to add charm.

More ideas to follow in both of these lines. Oh! the possibilities....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Latest creation

Whew! This past weekend was SO busy. I recently bought some wonderful new supplies and was just dying to start using them. I have decided to expand my lines to include more sterling silver and gold-filled pieces so it was great fun just experimenting with new styles and the new pendants I managed to find on my last little shopping spree. Luckily, I have a local shop that displays my jewelry (they actually have most of my new items) but keep an eye on my Etsy shop - I'll be adding more there as I get the chance!

One of the items I just finished up is this pair of Unakite and Crystal earrings. I love the mossy greens and swirling pinks in Unakite - great earrings for the upcoming fall season!

Click on item for more information or to purchase

Monday, July 23, 2007

Maine-ly good lobster


If you are vegetarian or stricter, you may not want to read the following post.

I got an email from a friend of mine who knew I had just returned from my little Maine vacation. Knowing how much I love seafood, she asked if I had enjoyed any lobster during my trip. This caused me to ponder - I wonder how many people outside the New England area are familiar with the delicious Maine lobster and what lobstering entails. If you're interested, read on ...

Historically, lobsters used to be so plentiful that Native Americans used them to fertilize their fields and to bait their hooks for fishing. Now, they are not nearly as plentiful due to overfishing and commercialization. They ARE still considered a delicacy by many and as such, command a fairly high price (the last time I was in Maine lobster meat was selling for $47.95 a pound, US compared to crab meat - my personal favorite - at $17.95 per pound).

To catch a lobster involves devious technology - a trap is needed. There are lots of laws concerning the trap (I won't bore you with the details - if you are interested there is lots of information on the Dept of Marine Resources website) but basically most traps contain a small compartment which the lobster enters and has a tough time exiting. The lobster is lured into this compartment with bait.

Then the traps are lowered into the water. Each trap is attached to a colored buoy (all those dots in the water are buoys) and each buoy has a unique color combination which fishermen use to identify their traps. It is actually illegal in the State of Maine to pull a trap that is not registered to you. Each buoy also has to be marked with a fishing license number.

Finally, the lobstermen pull their traps and sell their catches to you directly or via a restaurant. Contrary to popular belief, a lobster is not bright red by nature. They are actually a brownish/green so they can blend into their environment. Lobsters turn bright red only after they have been cooked, as seen below.

Mmmmm, mmmmm - good!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vacation photos

Yeah! I finally got around to pulling some of the photos from my little vacation to Boothbay Harbor Maine and thought I would share a few (with running commentary of course!) with all my blogger friends.

This is the cottage where I stayed. I had a quaint little bedroom toward the back with a window looking right out onto the rocks. Most mornings you could hear the lobstermen in their boats pulling their lobster traps.

Rocks, rocks and more rocks - Maine has a very craggy coastline and this picture gives you an idea of exactly what it looks like. You can barely see it, but my beloved Adirondack chair is included - lovely place to watch the boats go by or take a quick nap in the sun!

The view from the previously mentioned Adirondack chair. Lazy sailboats cruise by all day long - what a beautiful sight!

You can tell I am easily entertained. Throwing bread into the air to attract the seagulls in the area and then feeding them for awhile is great fun! Greedy little urchins!

Another wonderful part of the island is the back beach area. A long dock with a smaller floating dock for mooring boats can be found in this area. I loved this picture just because it shows a typical Maine beach - rocks, seaweed and beautiful pine trees (Maine's state tree is the white pine) dotted all around. When it is high tide, there is very little beach showing but I walked around as the tide was going out and had some fun checking out shells and beach glass findings.

*Sigh* I think I need another vacation!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Weekend getaway

What a fabulous weekend I had (and a rather extended one at that!) A friend invited me to the cottage that her parents rent every year in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. So on Wednesday night after work, I packed up my little suitcase and drove for 3 hours to take full advantage of her offer to come up for a few days.

The cottage is located on a little private island where most of the houses have been owned by families and passed down through the years. Some are rented out, while others are used for family vacations throughout the summer. We were close to the very tip of the island (there were only a couple of houses beyond ours). By day we could sit out in the adirondack chairs with a cold drink in hand and enjoy the sun and seabreeze. Night found me reading on the screened in porch and then turning in with my window wide open to listen to the sound of the water crashing on the rocks (Maine has a very rocky coastline - it's not a sandy beach kind of thing in most places).

Pictures to follow in a later post ...

I've also posted a couple of new items in my shop:
Ocean Mix Earrings and Pink Drop Earrings

Click on item to find out more information or to purchase

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The NH Street Team blog

Living in southern New Hampshire is a wonderful thing. Along with the benefit of having gorgeous seasonal changes, we are fortunate to have the mountains, ocean and large city (Boston) all within an hour of drive time. It's difficult to describe how breathtaking the mountain area is during the fall season with all of the leaves changing and the crisp air while you are enjoying apple-picking time. And while I despise shoveling snow, I must say that waking up to a winter wonderland during the holiday season is something that I would truly miss were I to live in a warmer climate.

Since joining Etsy and opening my Etsy shop, I've been fortunate enough to meet many people I now consider my online "cyber-friends". They've been kind enough to share their families, their craft and their lives with me (and others) through their blogs. One group in particular - the NH Street Team - is relatively new. This team consists of New Hampshire crafters who are banding together to promote Etsy and their shops through shows, marketing, and networking. We'd love for you to get to know all of us and what we do - visit us on the NH blog site and have some fun with us!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Weekend work

Well, now that the weather in NH is truly hitting the "hot" range, I can no longer put off the dreaded project - my mulch pile. While I really do love working in my flower beds, spreading mulch is not one of my favorite chores. With the summer weather now upon us, I am out of time and need to get the mulch down to help protect my plants and conserve on water.

I had to take a photo of it in front of my car just so I could have a point of reference when my back is breaking and I need to realize just how much mulch has been moved once the weekend is over. My timing is a bit off - it is supposed to be in the ninety degree range this weekend - last weekend would have been a much better time to do this project as it was nice and breezy and in the seventies! But, as usual, my procrastination has caught up with me and I'm going to pay the price.

It will all be worth it - the flower beds looks so much nicer and cleaner when fresh mulch has been spread. Hope your weekend is much more relaxing!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Latest editions

As promised in earlier posts, I have been working on a new anklet line - and I must say, it was alot of fun and I loved the way they turned out. Since anklets are one of those items that can easily get wet, I opted to make all pieces with marine quality jewelry wire and used nothing but sterling for all metal parts (right down to the crimp bead inside the crimp cover!) Since this is a new market for me, I also tried to make some casual styles which could be worn every day, as well as a couple of dressier styles that would be perfect for a summer wedding or at work.

The mother of pearl in this one is perfect for summertime fun!

Oh, so feminine! Swarovski crystals and glass pearls

My fave is the fluorite and sterling

Onyx and pearls - classic combination! This would also make a gorgeous necklace.

This multi-colored anklet is perfect for summer and beach weather!

(click on images for more information or to purchase)

The option to have the various elements made into a necklace, earrings or a bracelet is also available through my online store.