Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I know, I know - it HAS been a long time since I have posted. What can I say? Life has been a bit crazed. My grandmother had a "spell" and I spent some time in Maine trying to get her settled into an assisted living facility. I started a new job this past summer, only to have the position eliminated at the beginning of the month. This is also my busy time of year since craft show season is upon us here in NH and I signed up for a number of those. Thank goodness I did! I thought a part-time position would be easily found this time of year - and I am wrong. It would appear that the economy has affected retail as well and some places are not even hiring for the season (or they already have their staff in place).

On the bright side, I have lots of time to create. And I've met lots of my NH Street Team members at recent craft shows - and I have to say, we have a GREAT team! For me, this is a huge bonus to actually put faces and names together. Not to mention, the talent! We are trying to schedule a get-together after the holiday season and I'm really looking forward to it since I've already met some of our members.

I hope you'll check back - now that I have more time, I'm hoping to be able to post to my blog a bit more often and I'd love to hear from all of you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Autumn is in the air!

On my way to work this morning, I noticed the tree leaves are beginning to change color here in New Hampshire. A sure sign that autumn is on the way - well, that and all of the bright yellow school buses on the road!

For me, another autumn "new" tradition is the craft shows that I will be attending. I thought I had tons of time to prepare but now I realize that my first show is only a month away! I know time flies as you get older but at this rate I'm going to turn ninety by December!

I'm really looking forward to this season. Our NH Street Team has been busy and we've all been sharing information about various shows, contacts, and events. Katy (aka muchachak) has been hard at work with the Concord Arts Market. Our street team is planning on getting together for a couple of hours and work on projects while chatting with each other. It should be tons of fun and a great way to get to know other team members.

I've also been working on my Etsy shop, trying to build inventory and take better pictures to entice people to browse through the store. Some of my new items:

Pretty Raspberry Pearls Necklace
I love pearls and found some really beautiful little freshwater pearls at my favorite bead shop. Lots of colors! This necklace is available in a gorgeous green, beautiful blue and (of course) a lovely ivory.

Hoot-ee Owl Earrings

Lime Green Saucer Earrings
I would love to hear about your autumn plans!

Friday, August 29, 2008

US Holiday - Labor Day

For many of us here in the US, Labor Day weekend signifies the symbolic end of summer. The kids are heading back to school, the nights are starting to cool down, lightweight jackets come out of the closet, and sandals get retired. The long weekend looms before us like a special treat (unless you're working one of those industries like healthcare or retail, in which case special holidays really don't exist) - a last chance to go out and play in the warm summer sun before the fall season arrives.

Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894. All fifty states observe Labor Day, which was instituted as a day off for the "working man", according to Wikipedia. Many cities and towns have parades to celebrate.

For many of us, including myself, it is time to enjoy the last rites of summer passing. My husband and I always have a bar-b-que on Monday (the official holiday) and sit outside enjoying the cooler weather. With the extra day off, I also often take time to pack away items I won't be needing in the near future. My flower beds get one more pass - cutting and pruning away flowers that have faded so new ones can appear. As fall is one of my favorite times of year, I really don't mourn the passing of summer - the best is yet to come in my humble opinion.

Best wishes to all of my blogger friends to have a safe and happy Labor Day holiday weekend (or just an enjoyable weekend if you live outside the US).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Featured Etsyblogger!

This morning I woke up and packed a small suitcase - I'm heading to Maine to visit my Mom, brothers, grandmother and see lots of old friends! It takes 6 hours from my house to get there (yuck!) but I've got some great CDs for the trip and plan on stopping at one of my favorite bead shops on the way. Hmmmm, I wonder if I could write this off (LOL - just kidding IRS!)

OK - so onto the important stuff. The featured Etsyblogger of the month is .... *drum roll* ... Tulips Treasure Box! While there are many beautiful items in her shop, my mouth actually dropped open with this piece - so much work and attention to detail!

"Framboise Drupelet BLACK RASPBERRY Essential Oil Necklace"

Beautiful and functional - it allows you to fill the handmade essential oil glass vessel focal with your favorite scent. How cool is that?? Stop on by Tulips Treasure Box for more gorgeous items!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Getting back on track!

Slowly but surely I am getting back on track with my Etsy shop. This summer has been a bit difficult due to a number of things (job being the main item on the list) but things are finally starting to settle down and get back to normal.

This past weekend was spent catching up on housework, taking photos, and writing descriptions. Trying to come up with a quick way to post new items during my work breaks has been a challenge but I think I've finally come up with something that works. I send the pictures and a written description to my personal email from myself (make me feel like I'm getting mail!) and then its just a matter of copy/pasting the info onto the site.

Here are a couple of new items just posted up today - I hope you enjoy them!

Cool Tones Anklet - Sodalite, New Jade and Sterling Silver

Green Secrets Lariat Necklace - Swarovski crystals and sterling silver

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's Grilling Season!

I know, I know - what does this have to do with jewelry? Absolutely nothing! But I thought I would share one of my favorite grilling recipes with all of my blogger buddies as a "something different".

Now, this is a really complicated recipe so be sure to follow the directions closely. One slip up and the whole thing could be ruined (like I could cook that way!!) I actually have requests from friends to bring these to parties, which is amazing since I am a basic cook at best. The great thing about this recipe is that you cannot mess it up - as long as the hot sauce mix touches most of the chicken, they will be fabulous. I've adjusted how much hot sauce and ranch dressing I use, depending on the size of the package of chicken, but it is a total taste preference.

Slow Burn Chicken Wings

  • Family pack of chicken wings (I like to cut the tips off the wings and then cut them in half but you can certainly leave them whole if you prefer)
  • Large bottle of hot sauce (generally found with the marinades - I like Frank's Red Hot but pick whichever you like or prefer)
  • One package dry Ranch dressing mix

Wash and place your chicken wings into a large ziploc style bag. Mix the hot sauce and ranch dressing together. Pour mixture over chicken wings, securely close the bag, and let the mixture marinate for 24-48 hours (the longer they soak, the richer the flavor) in the refrigerator. Grill the wings on a medium heat until cooked through and serve hot.

An alternate to grilling these would be to broil them, making sure to watch them closely to avoid burning them. I prefer to grill since chicken wings tend to smoke a bit and much better to have this happen outdoors.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Hello all my blogger friends! I've missed you all but needed to take some time to find a new job (I HATE sending out resumes and job hunting) and get settled into my new position (now into the second week). While that has been happening, my little Etsy shop, my blog and creating fun new pieces have all taken the back seat (so to speak). I've been thinking of you all often!

Now I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things! I've been experimenting with new materials again and have some fresh, new items that I will be posting up to my shop over the next couple of weeks.

To give you a peek, I have some bright and colorful necklaces (pictured below) that would be great for the summer months or as a gift to that tween/teen in your life. I'd love to hear your thoughts on them! The rubber cords and sterling silver are perfect for those hot and humid summer days!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Featured EtsyBlogger - Cozy

Looking for fabulous handknit items for your home? Well, look no further! One of my fellow EtsyBloggers, Cozy, has terrific AND functional items for you to use and make your home more "cozy".

These kitchen cloths are among one of my favorite items in Cozy's shop. I love the oatmeal color and I can just imagine using them in my kitchen instead of those that anyone can buy at Walmart.

Cozy also carries some really adorable accessories. As a paisley fan, I fell in love with this Blue Paisley headband:
Have fun shopping!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What have you been up to lately?

My goodness - I can't believe how quickly spring has sprung. My poor little blog has suffered mightily since I have been trying to enjoy the warm spring weather and get some long neglected outdoor chores done. Here in NH, the lilacs are starting to bloom (is there a more heavenly scent?), my bleeding hearts have blooms on them, and I have lovely little green shoots popping up everywhere!

With the upcoming summer, I decided to also add a new product line to my jewelry selection - belly rings! I've added some photos below - I'd love some feedback on them since it is such a new item for me!



"Mr. Sun"

So what have you been doing lately?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Recycling sterling silver

I recently discovered that you can recycle your scrap sterling silver by sending it in to be refined. In the interest of reuse and recyle, I thought I would post a list of companies that will recyle your scrap sterling (or other precious metals). Most of these companies offer a choice of either a check back or credit toward a future purchase.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not personally used any of these companies yet - I'm still saving my scrap for a rainy day. But I save every single link of chain, cut off headpin, and wire that didn't wrap properly for a raindy day payoff - AND it's good for the environment! Talk about a win-win situation!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Blogger Carnival - Poetry

The EtsyBloggers Street Team have a Blog Carnival theme each week. This week the theme is Poetry Reading Day, which is April 28th. Tough one for me, I must admit.

Now, don't get me wrong, I like poetry. BUT - it is not something that I aspire to read, write or even think about. This might make me a social moron, but I evidently do not have a poetic bone in my body. Maybe it was all of those high school English classes where I had to deconstruct every line, ready into every nuance - way too much work as far as I was concerned. I'm more of a lay-it-on-the-line kind of girl (my no nonsense New England upbringing showing through) - if I'm happy, then you'll know it. No prose needed.

That being said, I have nothing but respect for those who can write expressive poetry and understand that world of words. The just right turn of word, the thought provoking phrase and it emits a world of emotion. Kudos to all of those who have the talent.

On that note, I will leave you with one of my favorite poems by William Blake - I hope you enjoy it.

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

picture from http://freeherbpictures.com/ - © 2002 Karen Bergeron

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Latest projects

Oxidizing has become my newest "thing" - and I've made some fun new earrings just so I could keep practicing!
Pearlicious Earrings

Rosy Rhodonite Earrings

Lakeland Earrings

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Featured EtsyBlogger - Stormy Designs

As part of the Etsy Bloggers Street Team, I am always finding fun and interesting new shops. A recent find is Stormy Designs, who makes amazing pieces out of polymer clay. Stormy makes interesting pieces of jewelry, home decor, and other fun accessories in wonderful colors and textures.

One of my favorite pieces is this cuff bracelet. Terrific colors and fun pattern - the perfect accessory for upcoming summer days! And to think, this is just ONE item out of many that Stormy features in her Etsy shop.

For those of you who would like to find out more about the Etsy Bloggers, visit our blog for details.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm oxidizing!

As part of my experimenting with new processes, I tested out oxidizing a few of my newer pieces. I love the results - and it was much easier than I had anticipated. I was SO nervous but it was all for nothing. The little glass flower earrings were a perfect item to practice with since I knew the glass would be unaffected by the chemicals. What do you think?

Bluebells and Buttercups!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lucky 7

The Wildfire: Gifts and Decor tagged me for a blog game - I'm supposed to come up with 7 different things about myself. Since I haven't visited my blog in quite some time (you'll find out why in later posts), I thought this would be a good way to jump back into the swing of things.

Hmmm....7 things - that's a lot of info to come up with but I'll try my best!

1. Macaroni and cheese is one of my all time favorite comfort foods (along with pot roast)
2. I love to spend snowy winter days baking. It can be anything - but my favorite thing to make is cookies.
3.Out of the MANY cross stitch pictures I've done, I've only kept one to hang in my own home - a Welcome sign with birds and flowers. All others I've made primarily as gifts.
4. I can watch the Lord of the Rings movies over and over again - it drives my husband crazy!
5. I love to eat ice cream for breakfast. (shhhh - don't tell anyone!)
6. My husband and I were together for 13 years before we got married.
7. I love to walk the beach during the spring and fall months - not as many people and it is so peaceful and calming.

So, now I get to tag 7 other people and they get to share their little secrets. Let's see - I think I'll tag:

Lane Designs
Lora Kelly Designs
Across the Pond
Prairie Daisy Homespun
Tizzalicious Crafts & Cuteness
Bags by Melanie

Have fun and Happy Easter! *wink*

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Heart-o-Matic

Since it IS Valentine's Day, this particular post seemed somewhat appropriate. I don't know about you, but I love to see how many people mark my Etsy shop as a favorite (or heart it, in Etsy terms). It's also interesting to see which items get "hearted" the most. At one time, there was a tool that showed exactly this information. Alas, it was lost when the Etsy administrators changed some programming on their side and the heart finder no longer worked.

Good news! The Heart-O-Matic is back, thank to Juln from the Etsy Tools site. If you are interested in finding out how many hearts each of your works has earned, check out the Heart-o-Matic! Very easy to use and a fun way to gather some interesting market information about your store.

Thanks Juln! Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Hoop Earrings

Another style - entirely handformed! - hoop earrings with a post. Made of sterling silver wire, lightly hammered and then tumbled in my new tumbler for a beautiful sheen. Did I mention how much fun I am having with my new tumbler? Lots of new things on the way!

Monday, February 11, 2008

I finally did it!

At last! After thinking about this for several months, I took the plunge and decided to make more of my own components. My first attempt using sterling wire was to make some paddle earrings. Since I love the look of the denim lapis so much, I decided to use some of my spare beads and a couple of oxidized sterling saucers to make a fun, yet casual, pair of earrings.

I hand forged the earwires, then lightly hammered them for texture and finally tumbled them in my new tumbler. What do you think? Is it worth the extra effort?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

I'm not a sports fan superfan by any stretch of the imagination. My husband has always followed basketball - both college and pro - and I admit that I enjoy a good game every now and then. We are from New England and even I, with my very limited knowledge of the game, knew that the New England Patriots were headed for the Big Game against the NY Giants. So when Super Bowl Sunday rolled around this year, I figured we'd be checking the score every now and then but certainly didn't expect to be caught up in the hoopla.

Well ... big surprise! We turned the channel at the beginning of the fourth quarter just to see what the score was at the time. It seems to me that the score was 7-3 with the Pats leading. Hmmm, closer than expected so we tuned in to watch the rest of the game. I think I learned more about football in that quarter than I ever have before! The fourth quarter had a touchdown from the Giants, a responding touchdown from the Pats, and then an amazing game-winning pass from quarterback Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress - leaving only 35 seconds for the beloved Patriots to get back down the field to score. They failed to do so - and the rest is Super Bowl history.

There were, as always, lot of commercials posted. I obviously didn't see them all since we really only tuned in for the last part of the game but I thought this one was hysterical (child of the 80s that I am!) - hope you get a laugh out of it also!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

And the winner is ...

Smilesandsunshine - the winner of my earrings from the Etsy Bloggers Treasure Hunt! Congrats - your earrings have been shipped!

On a different note, I have decided to move forward with learning a new jewelry skill, in keeping with my resolutions for 2008. Today I placed an order for a tumbler and some basic tools so that I can learn how to make my own jewelry components. I love the look of handmade earwires (especially those that have been hammered down a bit and oxidized), as well as the unique clasps that I see out there while shopping online.

While I know the tools are considered an investment, I must admit that I was a little freaked out when pressing the "Place your order" now button. Even using moderately priced items, the bill was a bit more than I expected. However, the expense will *hopefully* be outweighed by the fact that I will never run out of earwires again! Since I was in the ordering mode, I also decided to splurge and purchased some sterling wire in various gauges (obviously some of this is for the upcoming earwire project) so I could play around with some designs that have been sifting through my head for some time now. Now comes the hard part - waiting for everything to arrive! In the meantime, some copper colored craft wire has been purchased so I can experiment with different shapes.

As soon as the goodies arrive, I'll post a picture so that all those interested can take a look. Hope I didn't forget anything important!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Just a reminder

The Etsy Bloggers Street Team's Treasure Hunt begins tonight at midnight. If you like to peruse various shops and would like to get a free item just for shopping around (which we know you LOVE to do anyway!), this is the event for you! Details can be found in the Etsy forum post for the treasure hunt.

And it would be remiss of me not to post some new items that I have in my store - hope you enjoy!

" Misty Glade"
Sesame jasper, prehinite
and sterling silver

"Fall Feelings"
Autumn jasper with
sterling silver accents

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cloudy Skies Necklace

I was wandering through one of my favorite little bead shops and discovered these delicious denim lapis beads. Now, what to make with them?

Floating along a serene blue sky on fluffy white clouds ...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Spotlight on ... Bags by Melanie

Let me start off by saying ... wow! there are lots and lots of talented bag sellers on Etsy. So why pick Bags by Melanie to spotlight?

I met Melanie at one of my craft fairs that I attended last fall. As a fellow New Hampshire crafter, we started chatting about trying to start our own small business while still taking care of our families and living life in general. She impressed me with her knowledge of fabrics, the various style choices she offered and most of all the obvious careful attention to detail on each of her bags. Patterns are not required (all of her bags are made freeform) so you will never find another bag quite like the one you buy from her - each one is unique! You can request any size or color combination, strap length, or even closure - your final accessory is limited only to your imagination and needs. And, to top it all off, quality does NOT suffer with all of the options - each bag is double stitched with patterns beautifully meeting at the seams. You can even get a personalized bag!

Melanie is also talented when it comes to special orders. She has made aprons for craft shows or gardening (I have one - pockets made to fit all of the items I normally carry - it's perfect!), small jewelry bags, gorgeous cosmetic sets, matching wallets, and coin pouches. As a nonsewer, it fascinates me that someone can create such beautiful items without even referring to a pattern!

So, if you're in the market for a truly unique bag for yourself or to give as a gift, check out Bags by Melanie - you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

EtsyBloggers Treasure Hunt

The EtsyBloggers Street Team is putting together a sure-to-chase the January blues away Treasure Hunt!

When? Saturday, January 19th
Who can play? All Etsy members members - both buyers and sellers -are welcome to join in the fun!

For more details (or if you would like to partipate), check out the forum post about this fun event. The more participants, the merrier!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Resolutions? Not sure about this ...

Yes, I know - New Year is the time for so many resolutions to be put into place. Good intentions, things I want to accomplish, and activities I'd like to do with the upcoming fresh start. Hmmmm ... I haven't always been so good with the whole resolution thing. Although to focus on the positive, I did manage to work a few into last year (got my jewelry business of to a good start, read more books, and started this blog) but soooo many things left to do. Who knows, this year may be MY year!

So, the resolution "thing" - here goes (maybe sharing it with you will inspire me to actually hold myself accountable for these things!)

  1. Learn metalsmithing - I absolutely LOVE the idea of creating an original piece of jewelry out of a plain sheet of silver or making a beautiful ring from a gorgeous gemstone and some wire. Oh, the possibilities!
  2. Make more time for friends. Go to lunch or dinner, or walk around the lake, or just pick up the phone more. I have some truly fabulous people in my life and am blessed - I need to take advantage of having them be a part of my existence!
  3. Be healthier in my living style. I would love to lose weight (wouldn't most of us?) but I'm hoping this will be a natural extension of just being healthier and feeling better. More fruits and veggies, regular exercise instead of the occasional exercise video, and less take-out.
I've limited this to 3 to keep it manageable (not that I don't need to do many more than that but 3 will suffice for now). Do you have any resolutions for 2008?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, 2008 has finally arrived. Being the major party animal that I am, I fell asleep at about 11:50 and woke up at 12:02 - missing the ringing in of the New Year by two whole minutes!

Following our tradition, my husband and I spent a quiet eve at home watching movies and eating Chinese food. Shrek 3 was on the movie list - quite cute and funny although Shrek 2 is still my favorite in that group. I just love the tongue-in-cheek humor that it portrays and it always gets a chuckle out of me. And isn't that what life should be about? Humor in little places in life.

New Years Day found us relaxing around the house with it snowing outside. While I am the first to admit I like a winter wonderland, I am getting a bit tired of shoveling the white stuff. However, it still is better than dealing with hurricanes and tornadoes so I'll count my blessings! Homemade lasagne for dinner and then outside to clear the driveway and burn off some of those pasta calories.

Best wishes to everyone for the upcoming year - may it be all that you wish it to be!