Friday, December 21, 2012

From Slovenia to Japan

I won the most amazing earring from Alenka of Pepita Handmade
way back on November 9th.
Apparently, it takes a long time to ship from Slovenia to Japan.
I entered into google maps and it said, "we could not calculate directions."
It seems the postal service had the same problem.
Despite all this, and just in time
 to help make gingerbread "structures" with my son's class
they arrive!
I was just on the wrong side of the camera
to show you what they look like on.
They are more beautiful than I imagined,
 and much, much lighter than you would think.

Thank you Alenka for sharing your jewelry with me.
They are a fine example of wearable art,
 and I adore them.

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's almost Christmas!

The tree is up.
(There are presents under it now too.)
The cards are mailed.
(And seem to be arriving on time.)
I made an advent package for Miranda's swap,
(Advent numbers found here)
and received one too from Miranda herself.
Here's where I am today.
(#25 is under the tree.)
I finished the treats for the cookie exchange.
Though all my favorite cookie recipes didn't meet the allergy requirements.
So I ended up making Merry Marshrooms.
(From desperation comes inspiration, right.)

Recipe:  Dip big marshmallows in candy melts.
Immediately dip in sprinkles 
(TIP:  if you don't dip to the bottom of the dish the candy wont sully the sprinkles.)
set aside till the candy hardens

UPDATE:  So I forget everyone doesn't have the same background info I do.
There are several ways to melt Wilton candy melts, but I use a double boiler.  Actually I use one little sauce pot sitting on top of another because I refuse to pay $40 for a double boiler.  The bottom one holds water & the top one the candy melts.  I have set an electric stove eye about 1/4 the way to high and an gas stove between an 1/8 & 1/4.  Keep stirring, and it'll be perfect for dipping.

I put 3 in a treat bag.  I figure that's enough for a cavity or two.
(TIP: I cut the top off the treat bags so they are more appropriate in size 
and even cut the twist ties in half.)
I'm the baker not the chef.  SO I'm trying to figure out how to ask my dear husband
if he could make a turkey for Christmas.  He made 2 beautiful hams like this one for Thanksgiving, 
but I'd really like some turkey.

All the gifts that have arrived are wrapped.
Nope!  Hubby just called and said he has another box.
Good thing I didn't put the wrapping supplies up yet.
I found a bunch of great gift tags on pinterest if you need a few

Merry Christmas from me and my guys!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Wow, what a busy holiday season! 

First a little info on HBBH:

Shelley Graham Turner & Marlene Cupo are amazing, outstanding, phenomenal women.  Who's combined genius have lead me and many others to create beautiful pieces for not one but TWO "Holiday Bling Blog Hops."

This is the reveal day for the second as I'm sure you've deduced by now.

On the first reveal day all I could show you was what I had sent since I didn't have a gift to reveal.

Well, I think Marlene and Shelly must have felt bad for those of us with partners who didn't follow through because this time I was paired with someone who could be my wiser, prettier more talented twin.  We're both Navy wives, crafters and moms.  She's much more active in sharing her work than I am, but I've made a great big leap forward recently.  I had my first craft table on the first of December.  I'll post more about that later.  

So take the time to meet...

Tammie Everly of TTE Designs.  She's an amazing partner.  

She sent me an ornament, a set of beads and a gorgeous necklace and earring set.
She considered my favorite colors when making these pieces.  
(orange like the sunset and teal like the sea)  
The mermaid is in fact something we both shared having lived in the Hampton Roads area before.  
 The city of Norfolk has many mermaids.  There is even a tourist map to find them all.  I believe surrounding cities have gotten involved now as well.  The last time I lived in the area I lived in Ocean View and this is the mermaid from the library there.
 You can see more Norfolk mermaids here.
click "the mermaids" then photo gallery
Here's a few more close ups of Tammie's amazing clay work:
Here's a quick peek at what I sent...
but please take time to visit Tammie's blog as well.
sea urchin "tree"
washi paper to cover the opening
This is the Bella Necklace design by Maria Teresa Morgan.  Beadwork done by me and pattern found in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Beadwork magazine.  I loved how this one turned out so much I made 2 more with other color combinations.  But more on that another day. 
Now it's time to go check out everyone else's "bling."

Merry Christmas Ya'll!

Shirley Moore
Lori Bowring Michaud
Catherine King
Dyanne Cantrell
Sonya Stille
Elaine Ray
Gina Hockett
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Debbie Rasmussen
Renetha Stanziano
Ginger Bishop
Miranda Ackerley
Sandra McGriff
Tammie Everly
Alicia Marinache
Melinda Abrahamson
Rita/ Toltec Jewels
Chandra Merod
Mary Govaars
Kelley Fogel
Tiffany Goff Smith
Heather Rats Otto
Anitra Gordy Boyers 
Marlene Cupo
Shelley Graham Turner

My partner for HBBH #1 actually did ship me something about a week after the blog hop. 
Better late than never right. SO thanks Melinda.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Art Charm Auction benefiting Beads of Courage

Okay maybe you're like me, and wait till an auction is about to close before you bid.  Well, get ready because our charms from the Art Charm Swap will end in less than 24 hours.

Check them out HERE.

One of my fellow charm swappers, Monique of A Half-Baked Notion, made some great photo collages of the charms up for sale.  Like this one which features my bead.  See mine bottom left?  I'm still very honored to be a part of a group with all this talent.
Now take a minute, and head over to eBay to place a bid for a great cause.
You'll be glad you helped out, and be the proud owner of a wonderful, tiny piece of art.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Well Worth the Wait

I won a giveaway from Eileen of Dorset Hill Beads back in August.  Check out some of her work in my post about winning and her blog.  She's a great lady and a truly creative spirit.

She even sent me a second gift since the mail system decided to hide the original package from the two of us.  That was above and beyond since it was simply a giveaway.  I received the package weeks ago, but only when I was under my beading table cleaning rouge beads from the tracks of the sliding glass doors did I finally find the tag that must have slipped out when I opened it.  So now I can thank her properly.  Thank you for the awesome gift.  There are no better coasters in the world!  I love coasters by the way, and am never in possession of less than 4 sets.
they're super absorbent.
they're over-sized which means great for hot bowl of soup too.
 and best of all...
Thanks again for the great gift Eileen.  I love gifts I can use.

DorsetHillBeads on etsy 


Monday, November 12, 2012

Art Charm Exchange 2012

The wonderful and talented Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions took on the enormous task of organizing a charm swap for Beads of Courage.  Thank you, Jennifer, for allowing me to be a part of this project. 

Beads of Courage is a program many hospitals use to brighten the outlook of their pediatric patients by giving them a fun, colorful bead for each surgery, procedure, etc. that they endure.  It gives them a playful visual of how far they've come in their treatment and a tactile reminder of what they are capable of overcoming.

I like almost 50 other participants, I made 11 charms which I mailed to Jennifer back in October.
Then she sorted them all, and sent each of us one of our own charms plus 9 different charms from other participants.  The last charm from each batch is being auctioned off on eBay for BOC.

The theme was LAUGHTER which immediately brought children to mind.  While trying to figure out what to do I ran through dozens of ideas with metal stamping and polymer clay, but when I went to put my son to bed an idea hit me and held on.  So here's my inspiration:
See my silly little man?  Look behind him.  See the Mario shaped planet?  He has a game with gardens in all sorts of shapes, but his favorite part of the game is running around and around on the planets. Like I said this idea took hold, but I couldn't figure out how to translate it into a charm.  Then I was tending my flowers, and it hit me.  A round garden!  That idea still makes me laugh.  SO I set to making some.
I was trying to decide what color to make them in.  Then I read in the Facebook group Jennifer had set up for us that they didn't all have to be identical.  That's when this really got fun.  Here's what I submitted. 
Well, I kept the red one because I had forgotten we'd get one of our own back.
click any picture for a better look
I'd never made cards before, and I waited till after 10 at night to do them so yes I wrote instead of  Honestly I didn't catch that mistake till I'd made about a dozen cards for earrings too.  Oh well, it was good practice.
I have to say packaging is something the Japanese are very good at.  I love these cards and baggies.
(In case this is your first time here I live in Okinawa, Japan.  Oh and welcome!)
All bagged up and ready to go.
Now without all the waiting I went through, we'll take a peek at the fabulous charms I received.  In no particular order because I couldn't possibly choose a favorite.
first impression
Love the back of the card on the faux sea glass!
I've bought a few of these from Jeannie in the past.
I even sent one to my last BSBP partner Debbie.

blue bottle with tiny book
one of the many great page spreads in this tiny book
another great set of pages
See how tiny next to the business card.
Sandpail by Sundown Bead Design
Cupcake and smile by Jean P Designs
From our fearless and fabulous leader
This cutie from Studio Marcy may make it's way to Sam.
love the image on this card
Tell me please 'cause it's driving me and my kid crazy. "Find a happy place, find a happy place, FIND A HAPPY PLACE!"  What kid's movie is that from?  As I write this I'm watching Finding Nemo because that's my guess.  Update:  I was r-i-g-h-t!  When the "fish killer" child taps on the glass of the aquarium till the starfish falls off the starfish says the line.

The one of mine I got back.
Alrighty, off to visit the BOC auction this whole swap was about.  Please take the time to visit the eBay listings Jennifer set up, and feel free to outbid me because it's for a great cause.

Auction Site:

Then check out the other participants' posts.  There is a lot of talent involved in this swap.

Alenka Obid

Alicia Marinache

Babette Cox

Carol Watson

Carolyn Chenault

Cassi Paslick

Charlene Jacka

Cheri Reed

Cheryl McCloud

Deb Kauzlarich

Denielle Hagerman

Emma Todd

Erin Prais-Hintz

Ginger Bishop

Inge vonRoos

Jean Peter

Jeannie K Dukic

Jennifer Cameron

Kia Dallons

Kimberly Roberts

Kristi Bowman

Lea Avroch

Leslie Schenkel

Linda Florian

Lori Greenberg

Lynnea Bennett

Mallory Hoffman

Marcy Lamberson

Marsha Neal Studio

Maureen Connolly

Melissa Meman

Monique Urquhart

Natalie McKenna

Perri Jackson

Renetha Stanziano

Robin Koza

Shaiha Williams

Shannon Hicks

Shelby Foxwell

Shelley Graham Turner

Shirley Moore

Stephanie Haussler

Susan Kennedy

Toltec Jewels

Vanessa Gilkes