Monday, December 31, 2012

My Glass Stash

I'm almost embarrassed to say that this is just a portion of my glass stash.  This particular rack has 104 coe Effetre Moretti, Vetrofond and Cim and are organized (kind of) by color family.  I have three more shelves of glass, one that has boro and 90 coe, one shelf that has 104 coe Devardi glass, and one that has odds and ends and the silver and specialty glasses.  Honestly, I could look at my glass all day long lol.  It truly is just a fun medium to work in and the color ranges are incredible.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

German Braided Sweet Bread

I finally had a chance to make my mother's German braided sweet bread!  I'm so excited lol.  I haven't really had a decent mixer for some years and now that I have a really good one, I am able to start doing some more baking.  This recipe is particularly time consuming as its a recipe that requires three rounds of the yeast dough rising.  So, its easily a three or four hour project at a minimum.  Usually, my sister makes this for Christmas and we all get to have some then, but we never seem to have it any other time of the year.  I have a feeling that is about to change lol!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ohio Flint Sterling Silver Ring

I just love Ohio Flint.  It has such a wide range of colors and some of it has beautiful druzy crystals.  This is a large ring and very suitable for either guys or gals.  Its a 10 1/2 and a fairly large stone.  As always, click on the picture to go to this listing.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Speaking of Work Spaces

Speaking of work spaces, this is my metal smithing space in the basement.  (as opposed to the beading space upstairs).  This one stays relatively clean, mostly because, well, I am playing with fire lol, and I being too messy is not a wise thing around an open flame.  But anyway, this is where the metal work gets done,  the stones are paired to with the metal, the metal is cut out and etched or pounded or stamped and tumbled etc. I am fortunate that my husband doesn't mind the fact that I have taken over at least half of the basement.  I will post a pictures of the space I use to make glass beads in another post.  Also locate in the basement.  The nice thing about working in the basement is that I also get a lot of laundry done lol.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Clean Up

Well, I did it, I set up the shelves, and I organized all the beads.  This is the result.  I'm almost embarrassed  by how many beads I have lol.  I did find quite a few beads that I had forgotten that I had.  It was kind of like a beading shopping trip without actually spending any money.

I did organize the glass beads on the middle shelf by color.  The top shelf  is split between pearls on the left and stones on the right about evenly split down the middle. The bottom shelf has the metal findings and some of the leather and suede cording, as well as beads that are mixed as far as color etc. goes.

The desk has crystals, all of my head pins, ear wires clasps etc. as well as the three drawers full of seed beads. (and yes, they are sorted by color).

I am happy that I got all this accomplished besides the several side trips that involved picking itsy bitsy beads off the floor when I bumped an open container.  (or two or three).

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Snug as a Bug

Snug as a bug.  Dragon is so comfy I just want to curl up in a blanket and have a nap myself!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My Messy Jewelry and Beadweaving Space

This is what my work space for beading and beadweaving currently looks like.  I will be re organizing and adding some shelves to the left instead of current fold out tray lol.  I need to get all the containers back in the proper color order and have them on the shelves in away that I can see them at a glance.  And I need to get all of the crystals organized into bins size wise along with the seed beads.  Its almost to the point that its too messy for me to work in.  I seem to go through the same cycle every couple of months though, I will start off with a clean work space and I will run with wherever the inspiration leads me until its too messy to work on, clean it all up and then start again lol.  Anyone else out there do the same?

I will be working on the clean up this week.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus blooming.  Right on time for a change.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Favorite Fat Cat

My favorite fat cat.  This is Drake, taking up the whole blanket lol.  He is such a sweetie and for some reason has decided to become more social. What is really funny is that Ella, our youngest Aussie, is totally afraid of him.  Its rather amusing to watch her tip toe around him.  He doesn't have any front claws so that isn't it.  But he does have a fierce growl.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Tree of Life Pendant

I love making these tree of life pendants.  There are so many different combinations between metal choices and bead choices, each one is totally different than the next and it never gets boring to make them.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that its an important part of creating for me.  I get bored relatively easily and I would never be able to do production work.  I much prefer one of a kind lol.  I have enough ideas in my head to that it would take several lifetimes to make them all.  As always, click on the picture for more info!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Pendant

I had a difficult time deciding what to do with this stone.  Its so beautiful I really wanted to make sure that as much of the stone showed as possible while still doing a beautiful wrap.  This is what I came up with.  I love the way the copper sets off the deep green.  The agate is semi translucent in spots and really a beautiful stone.

If you are interested in this pendant you can click on the picture and it will take you where you need to go.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Success at Last!

Hurray!  The dog bed actually has a DOG on it tonight lol!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wow! I Can't Believe We Are Done!

I am a little shocked I must admit.  Its the day after Thanksgiving and the tree is up and decorated, the mantel and piano are decorated and the house is clean.  We never get the tree up and the decorating done until the week of Christmas usually lol!  I am so happy its already finished!  Wish I could say the same about the Christmas shopping lol!

In all fairness, most of the credit goes to my daughter Megan.   I help put the tree together and wrap the garland, and she does the rest.  Her choice I might add.  And I am okay with that, decorating is not really my thing lol.  She always does a fabulous job!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


The cat has graciously allowed Ella to rest her head on the side of the DOG bed.  Progress is being made lol.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Pie

4 Apple Crumb Pies, 2 Pumpkin Pies and 1 Pecan Pie.
We made two kinds of stuffing too.  Tomorrow, home made mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, corn, and biscuits.  That's just what we are making, it doesn't count what everyone else brings.  We will also have homemade green beans, rottkraut (red cabbage), sweet potatoes, cheesy potatoes, cucumber salad and probably something else that I am forgetting.  Of course. the turkey!

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The New Dog Bed

Need I say more?

He's not sharing either.  He has chased off our other cat twice lol.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Sweet Fat Cat

My sweet fat cat Drake. He is such a sweet heart, very loving and affectionate.  We have had since he was just a baby, he is a rescue from the pound.  He is going on 11 now, and is such a blessing in our lives!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November Blog Contest With GiveAway

 I am a member of a great group of artists.  We are hosting a blog contest for November.  the prize package below is valued at over $200.00  This is a great opportunity to check out some fabulous stuff for Christmas (or birthdays, or housewarmings lol), and who knows, a $200+ prize would go a long way toward my holiday shopping!  Just hop on over to the gift guide from the link below. 

November blog contest

Want to earn some incredible prizes?  Check out these fantastic shops by clicking on their product pictures below.  Keep track of your favorite shop's name.  Don't forget the shops on page 2!  When you are ready, hop over to our "Poll" page and vote.  It's that simple!  The prize package will be awarded to one lucky winner by random drawing on November 26, so be sure to fill out the contact form on the Poll page.

The prize pack consists of 12 different items,  all of which are listed on the gift guide in the form of  a slide show on the page entitled Prizes.

This contest will be announced on several sites that list contests and giveaways.  The contest is now started and entries will close at midnight ET on November 25th.  Good luck to everyone and thanks in advance for your participation.

 Here is the link to the Gift Guide Site  .  The poll and list of prizes are also on this site. Repeated voting is not allowed.  Vote for up to 3 shops and than your voting is completed.  DON'T FORGET for a second chance to win choose to leave a comment.  You must fill out the form with both your name and your email address, that is the only way we can declare who the winner is and contact them for an address to ship the prizes to. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cute Stocking Stuffer!

These cute little posts would make an excellent stocking stuffer some one you love!

There are lots more goodies in my shop if you are looking for something unique and well made.  I am adding new items almost every day, so check back often!  You can find me here.  Or just click on the picture.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Something Simple Rustic and Earthy

Copper and Opal LOVE Pendant Handmade Metal Stamped Textured Rustic Pendant

This one would make a nice little stocking stuffer if you have a loved one who likes an earthy and rustic look.  Click HERE to check it out in my Etsy shop, or, as always, you can click on the picture.

Handmade hammered metal stamped LOVE pendant. The O in love is a small oval opal. This is a c grade opal and does not have any flash, however, it is a beautiful milky white. The pendant was hand cut from a sheet of copper metal. The letters were hand stamped and I made the bezel to fit the opal cab.

The pendant has been oxidized and has a very earthy, rustic look.

The pendant is a hair over 1 1/2 inches long.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jewlery Supplies From JewelryCatSupplies

I am going to be sharing some other shops from both Etys and Artfire and possibly other places as well.  I have made some really good friends on line, and as a member of several different teams, and I wanted to share some the wonderful finds I have come across in their various shops.

Today, I am going to share some things from JewelryCatSupplies shop.  Like many of us, she also makes jewelry, but that will be a post for another day. 

One of my favorite things to look (and drool) over, is her lovely collection of leather cord.  She has a great collection of colors, sizes and lengths.  I am particularly fond of the turquoise myself lol. You can find all of her goodies in her shop JewelryCatSupplies.


She also has a wonderful supply of silver charms that make a great addition to almost any project!  Check out these whale tail charms!  I just love these!

Here is another great color for some jewelry or craft projects.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are You Losing Facebook Fan Views?

Many of us who have a fan page on Facebook have noticed that the amount of fans that are seeing our posts (fans that many of us paid facebook to advertise for), the fans who signed up to see our posts, has been dropping dramatically.  I am currently at a bit over 3000 fans.  My posts to those 3000 fans are being seen, on average, by about 100 of them.  Less than 1%!!!!!  Facebook now wants me to pay them AGAIN to put my posts in front of the fans that I already paid to advertise for.

Here is a fantastic post that explains it much better than I can.  


 I will be doing far more with google+ from here on out instead of facebook.  The only effective way to make it clear to Facebook that we will not pay for this is to take our money and clicks and go somewhere else.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Visit To the Park

We never know what we are going to see when we head to the park.  I have to say this is the first time I have ever seen someone practicing their tight rope walking skills.  It was really cool, and he was quite good!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Best Buds

I think the picture says it all lol!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Love What I Do!

You know, every time I think I can't enjoy what I do any more than I already do, I sit down at the torch and realize that yes, I can enjoy it more lol.  Part of the joy of  making lampwork beads for me is that I find it very relaxing, it takes me to a different place and all of my energy is directed at the torch and watching how the glass flows and figuring out how to make it do what I want it to do.  Its that place where time kind of stops because you are so IN the moment.  Helps me keep my sanity lol!  As always if you would like to purchase this pretty set of periwinkle blue etched beads, simply click on the picture.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Heart Necklace Handmade Lampwork Glass Heart Necklace Copper Bronze Green Beaded

I really struggled with what to do with this particular heart bead.  I finally chose to pair it with faceted copper metallic beads and softer, pale green serpentine beads.  Here is the result!  I was qite happy with the way it turned out.  The metallic copper beads pic up the metallic look of the heart bead and serpentine softens it just enough. To see more about this necklace just click on the picture.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

For The Music Lover

I just wanted to share this cute pair of earrings.  I have designed these clef note earrings and various variations in necklace form for a while now but I figured I would share them since these make a great Christmas stocking stuffer fore the music lovers out there.  You can purchase these by clicking on the pictures or clicking HERE.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Got My Metal Smithing Table Back!

I have not had access to my meta smithing space for about 9 months.  I had an unexpected "guest" take over my work space. ( My work spaces are divided into separate areas, so there isn't any cross contamination).  My son (who's room is very small) decided he needed to move the cage to the basement.  Unfortunately, my work table was the only flat surface that was big enough and stable enough to put the cage on.  I finally got enough space cleared that I could move the cage and reclaim my space.  I am very excited to be getting back into the metal smithing!

Here is the culprit. Pretty, isn't he?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Awesome Customers!

Just wanted to show this great pair of earrings made by one of my customers who bought some lampwork beads from me.  I love to see what people make from my beads, its usually very different than what I would think of, so its really fun to see the different interpretations people make.  And these are gorgeous!  You can find this pretty pair of earrings in her shop on Artfire.  Just click on the link or on the picture of the earrings.
   From ShadowDogDesigns

 These are the beads.  If you are interested in beads just click on my etsy bead shop on the right

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Designs!

I have been really struggling with the flu the last couple of weeks.  No time to slow down, which means its taking longer to get well than I would like.  Despite the struggle I did manage to squeeze some creating time in.  I am introducing a line of glass rings into the jewelry shop.  These are fun and different and will come in a wide range of colors and designs, although each one will be one of a kind and unique.  Currently, they are available in a size 6, although I will be ordering the mandrels to make a size 5 and a size 7 ring.  If there is enough interest in other sizes I will consider ordering more mandrels in other sizes also.  Here is an example of a simple ring with a geometric dot design.

 If glass rings aren't your thing, I also have a variety of more traditional rings, like this pretty copper and red wire wrapped ring.  The wire wrapped rings come in a wider variety of sizes that the glass rings, although each one is also unique, and one of a kind.

I also have a small line of the more traditional metal smithed rings.  I will be adding to this line in the future, but for now, what I have listed is all I have left (we are working on re organizing my metal smithing space, currently, I have a 6 foot snake in a cage occupying most of my metal table). 

If you would like to purchase one of these rings or take a look at what rings are available you can either click on the pictures, which will take you directly to that listing or you can go to my Etsy shop and visit the rings section.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Speaking of Fall

Speaking of fall, these beads have wonderful rustic fall tones and can be found in my etsy shop.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Signs of Fall

When you start to see all of the boats being covered and brought into dry dock, you know that fall is right around the corner. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Supervisor

This is my unofficial supervisor and spell check guy.  He really, really wanted to be in my lap,
but his butt kept scrolling the mouse, so he was relegated to the supervisory position on the pillow next to me lol.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Considering how hot and dry it has been around here up til the last couple of weeks I am amazed that this tomato plant did as well as it has.  This baby is almost as tall as I am!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sleeping Dragon

Is it just me or does this look incredibly uncomfortable?  I think cat's are like babies, they can sleep anywhere, and in any position lol.  And yes, his name is Dragon. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Glow in the Dark Eyes

I was a wee bit startled the other night when I let the dogs go out before bed.  Fortunately, I had my camera handy and our boy Blackjack has just recently passed his 14th birthday so he isn't super fast going up and down the stairs anymore.  I almost took a jump backward he startled me so bad with the glowing eye thing going on!  His eyes are usually a beautiful ice blue.  Not so much in this picture!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

From the Garden

Its been a tough year as far as the garden goes.  It was really a fight to keep things watered enough that they wouldn't shrivel up and die.  This was one of the successes.  This particular plant has about 12-15 of these massive blooms on it and has been flowering for two months now.  It was a gift from my neighbor.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Words of Wisdom

This really brings home the fact that if you you shouldn't give up!

p.s.  You don't have to share if you agree lol.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Adventures With The US Postal Service

So, I have shipped a lot of packages over the last 5 years.  I've always been very pleased with the USPS and haven't had any trouble with lost or damaged packages. Imagine my surprise when I had not one, but two packages go missing from the same facility within two days of each other.  Most of the packages I send get to their destination within the US in two or three days, occasionally,  a week.  (International is a whole different ballgame, time wise, but I digress).  After three weeks I called my post office to find out what happened to my packages. And let me just tell you, wading through the automated system made my blood pressure go up.  I finally got a hold of my local post office.  Once I actually spoke to a real person, they were very good about trying to track things down and keep me informed.  After another two weeks went by, the first customer contacted me to let me know that his bead had arrived (I had sent a replacement several weeks prior, which got to him in three days) Hurray!  One mystery solved, I'm happy, he's happy (he now has two beads instead of one lol).  The second package was still missing.  My customer and I had come to a satisfactory resolution since we had simply assumed that they were gone for good.  She contacted me this week with some surprising news.  The package had arrived!  She sent me a picture of what it looked like when she received it. Amazingly enough, the beads themselves are fine.  Thank goodness I tend to err on the side of caution when packaging my items!  She said that every single bubble on the bubble wrap they were wrapped in was popped.  There were insects smooshed into the packaging.  The best part is, the post office stamped it as damaged when recieved.  Bwahahahaha!  Really?  I know it didn't leave my hands looking like that, so I am pretty sure that stamp should say "damaged by the post office".
All is well that ends well though, and the beads are fine, customer is happy and I am  sooo relieved that the finally showed up (two months later!).

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lunch at the Winery

Well, its been a busy week, not to mention scorching hot.  Add some heavy duty thunderstorms to that and well, I am shocked to realize a small part of me is wishing for fall!
 Things have been so hectic with my last kid graduating from highschool, and now looking at two kids in college, the grad party, a new work schedule for my husband, I haven't had much time to do anything fun with friends

This is the view from our spot on the wrap around porch.

Anyway, my friend Laura and I (we've been friends for 33 years!  Since junior high in fact lol), decided to spend the day together.  We headed out to the gym first then ran home, changed clothes and headed for the Wolf Creek Winery.   Not only do they have a nice variety of home grown wine, and
carry a nice variety of sweet fruity wine (which is the only kind I really like lol). they have a wonderful big wooden porch and they allow you to bring your own picnic food. (You can buy crackers and cheese etc from the also if you are in the mood)  So we gathered up our food and took off to the winery.  It was a bit humid (i.e. sticky and hot) but sitting under the roof on the porch with a bit of a breeze blowing was rather nice.  In case anyone is interested, besides the yummy wine (We settled on one called White Lies) we also had cheese and crackers, a delicious salad with tons of veggies and crab salad to add.  For desert, we had yogurt and fruit cups with fruit yogurt, blueberries, mangos and strawberries.  YUM! (and guilt free I might add!).  Every time we go, we say to each other, 'we need to this more often".  And we do. Need to do it more often.
 On a side note, if you like wine and you have lots of parties,
 I sell wine charms in my Etsy shop.  I will be contacting the appropriate
 people at the winery and see if they might be interested in carrying some of them in their winery.  Wish me luck!